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But Hyrcania is exceedingly fertile, extensive, and in general level; it is distinguished by notable cities, among which are Talabroce, Samariane, Carta, and the royal residence Tape, which, they say, is situated slightly above the sea and at a distance of one thousand four hundred stadia from the Caspian Gates. And because of its particular kind of prosperity writers go on to relate evidences thereof: the vine produces one metretes1 of wine, and the fig-tree sixty medimni;2 the grain grows up from the seed that falls from the stalk; bees have their hives in the trees, and honey drips from the leaves; and this is also the case in Matiane in Media, and in Sacasene and Araxene in Armenia.3 However, neither the country itself nor the sea that is named after it has received proper attention, the sea being both without vessels and unused. There are islands in this sea which could afford a livelihood, and, according to some writers, contain gold ore. The cause of this lack of attention was the fact that the first governors of the Hyrcanians, I mean the Medes and Persians, as also the last, I mean the Parthians, who were inferior to the former, were barbarians, and also the fact that the whole of the neighboring country was full of brigands and nomads and deserted regions. The Macedonians did indeed rule over the country for a short time, but they were so occupied with wars that they could not attend to their remote possessions. According to Aristobulus, Hyrcania, which is a wooded country, has the oak, but does not produce the torch-pine4 or fir5 or stone-pine,6 though India abounds in these trees. Nesaea, also, belongs to Hyrcania, though some writers set it down as an independent district.7

1 A little less than nine gallons.

2 The medimnus was about a bushel and a half.

3 Cf. 2. 1. 14.

4 Pinus maritima.

5 Pinus picea.

6 Pinus pinea.

7 Cf. 11. 13. 7.

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