While geographical knowledge of the west was still scanty and the secrets of the tin-trade were still successfully guarded by the seamen of Gades and others who dealt in the metal, the Greeks knew only that tin came to them by sea from the far west, and the idea of tin-producing islands easily arose.
The towns of the ancient province of Africa which received coloniae were very numerous: Abitensis (civitas Avittensis Bibba), Bisica Lucana (Tastour), Byzacium, Capsa (Gafsa), Carthage, Cuina, Curubis (Kurba), Hadrumetum (Susa), Hippo Diarrhytus or Zarytus (Bizerta), Leptis Magna (Lebda), Maxula (Ghades, Rades or Gades),Neapolis(Nabel, Nebeul), Oea (Tripoli), Sabrata (Zoara), colonic Scillitana (Ghasrin), Sufes (Sbiba), Tacape (Gabes),Thaenae or Thenae (Tina), Thelepte (Medinet Kedima), Thugga (Dugga), Thuburbo maius (Kasbat), Thysdrus (El Jem), Uthina (Wadna) and Vallis (Median).
A native of Apamea in Syria and a pupil of Panaetius, he spent after his teacher's death many years in travel and scientific researches in Spain (particularly at Gades), Africa, Italy, Gaul, Liguria, Sicily and on the eastern shores of the Adriatic. When he settled as a teacher at Rhodes (hence his surname "the Rhodian") his fame attracted numerous scholars; next to Panaetius he did most, by writings and personal intercourse, to spread Stoicism in the Roman world, and he became well known to many leading men, such as Marius, Rutilius Rufus, Pompey and Cicero.
Patavium acquired Roman citizenship with the rest of Gallia Transpadana in 49 B.C. Under Augustus, Strabo tells us, Patavium surpassed all the cities of the north in wealth, and in the number of Roman knights among its citizens in the census of Augustus was only equalled by Gades, which had also Soo.
The most important of the name were the two Cornelii Balbi, natives of Gades (Cadiz).