are nearly dry in summer. Of lakes there is also a scarcity, and
as spring-water is not always to be found, the inhabitants are some¬
times obliged to use reservoirs.
Climate. The mean annual temperature of the Dalmatian coast
is about 59° Fahr., but great variations are caused by the violent
and changeable winds. The winds from the sea bring moisture
and in winter warmth. The Scirocco (S.E.; Fortunate, S.W.), called
at Ragusa 'the father of the poor', always alternates in winter with
the dreaded Bora (Boreas; called, the 'wind of the dead'), which
descends from the mountain - gorges in terrific gusts (refoli), dan¬
gerous to the landsman and the mariner alike. The S.W. wind is
also very violent, as may be gathered from an inscription on the
molo of Ragusa, where the waves throw up their foam to a height
of 100 ft., and wrench the heaviest blocks of stone out of the pier.
The Bora prevails in winter only, usually from October to April.
The prevailing wind in summer is the genial N.W. wind (Maestrale),
which rises in the forenoon, blows steadily for several hours, and
generally subsides at sunset. The water between the coast and the
island is unaffected by these winds and is always calm, but very
rough water is often experienced on the voyages to Lissa and La-
gosta and from Ragusa to Punta d'Ostro. A heavy swell without
wind is known here as ligazzi.
Vegetable and Animal Life. Strabo calls Dalmatia sterile, un¬
suitable for agriculture, and scarcely able to support its population.
But in another passage he states that 'vines and olives abound, but
that the country had been neglected and its value had remained
unknown, probably on account of the barbarity and predatory habits
of the natives'. The natives have certainly improved since Strabo's
time, but the country, like most limestone regions, is still in great
part destitute of vegetation. As the heavy rains are apt to sweep
away the best soil, the inhabitants have great difficulty in cultivat¬
ing the mountain-slopes, where they frequently grow vines, figs,
olives, and almonds in carefully built terraces. They have lately
taken to cultivating the Pyrethrum cinerariae folium and the Chry¬
santhemum turraneum, from the blossoms of which, somewhat re¬
sembling camomile, they prepare the Dalmatian insect-powder. The
flora of Dalmatia also includes rosemary, oleanders, myrtles, pome¬
granates, agaves, and the cistus, which cover the slopes and the
islands, especially in the south. While the north part of Dalmatia,
as far as Sebenico, is comparatively poor, Spalato with its Riviera
is famed for its wine, and the territory of the former republic of
Ragusa is luxuriantly fertile, reminding one of Sicily. Altogether
Dalmatia partakes more of an Oriental than a European character,
and even with Italy it has little in common.
On the mountains are pastured flocks of sheep and goats, while
the only beast of prey is the jackal, which descends from the east,
andis sometimes found in the islands of Giuppana, Curzola, andSab-