previous next

It is said that the last part of the Taurus, which is called Imaïus and borders on the Indian Sea, neither extends eastwards farther than India nor into it;1 but that, as one passes to the northern side, the sea gradually reduces the length and breadth of the country, and therefore causes to taper towards the east the portion of Asia now being sketched, which is comprehended between the Taurus and the ocean that fills the Caspian Sea. The maximum length of this portion from the Hyrcanian Sea to the ocean that is opposite the Imaïus is about thirty thousand stadia, the route being along the mountainous tract of the Taurus, and the breadth less than ten thousand; for, as has been said,2 the distance from the Gulf of Issus to the eastern sea at India is about forty thousand stadia, and to Issus from the western extremity at the Pillars of Heracles thirty thousand more.3 The recess of the Gulf of Issus is only slightly, if at all, farther east than Amisus, and the distance from Amisus to the Hyrcanian land is about ten thousand stadia, being parallel to that of the above-mentioned distance from Issus to India. Accordingly, there remain thirty thousand stadia as the above-mentioned length towards the east of the portion now described. Again, since the maximum breadth of the inhabited world, which is chlamys-shaped,4 is about thirty thousand stadia, this distance would be measured near the meridian line drawn through the Hyrcanian and Persian Seas, if it be true that the length of the inhabited world is seventy thousand stadia. Accordingly, if the distance from Hyrcania to Artemita in Babylonia is eight thousand stadia, as is stated by Apollodorus of Artemita, and the distance from there to the mouth of the Persian Sea another eight thousand, and again eight thousand, or a little less, to the places that lie on the same parallel as the extremities of Ethiopia, there would remain of the above-mentioned breadth of the inhabited world the distance which I have already given,5 from the recess of the Hyrcanian Sea to the mouth of that sea. Since this segment of the earth tapers towards the eastern parts, its shape would be like a cook's knife, the mountain being in a straight line and conceived of as corresponding to the edge of the knife, and the coast from the mouth of the Hyrcanian Sea to Tamarum as corresponding to the other side of the knife, which ends in a line that curves sharply to the point.

1 To understand this discussion, see Map in Vol. I.

2 See 2. 1. 3 ff.

3 See, and compare, 1. 4. 5, 2. 1. 35, 2. 4. 3, and 11. 1. 3.

4 See Vol. I, p. 435, note 3.

5 Six thousand (2. 1. 17).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
load focus Greek (1877)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: