Above the region of Pharnacia and Trapezus are the Tibareni and the Chaldaei, whose country extends to Lesser Armenia. This country is fairly fertile. Lesser Armenia, like Sophene, was always in the possession of potentates, who at times were friendly to the other Armenians and at times minded their own affairs. They held as subjects the Chaldaei and the Tibareni, and therefore their empire extended to Trapezus and Pharnacia. But when Mithridates Eupator had increased in power, he established himself as master, not only of Colchis, but also of all these places, these having been ceded to him by Antipater, the son of Sisis. And he cared so much for these places that he built seventy-five strongholds in them and therein deposited most of his treasures. The most notable of these strongholds were these: Hydara and Basgoedariza and Sinoria; Sinoria was close to the borders of Greater Armenia, and this is why Theophanes changed its spelling to Synoria.1
For as a whole the mountainous range of the Paryadres has numerous suitable places for such strongholds, since it is well-watered and woody, and is in many places marked by sheer ravines and cliffs; at any rate, it was here that most of his fortified treasuries were built; and at last, in fact, Mithridates fled for refuge into these farthermost parts of the kingdom of Pontus, when Pompey invaded the country, and having seized a well-watered mountain near Dasteira in Acilisene (near by, also, was the Euphrates, which separates Acilisene from Lesser Armenia), he stayed there until he was besieged and forced to flee across the mountains into Colchis and from there to the Bosporus. Near this place, in Lesser Armenia, Pompey built a city, Nicopolis,2
which endures even to this day and is well peopled.