ASIA.SUMMARY. The Eleventh Book commences with Asia and the river Don, which, taking its rise in the northern regions, separates Europe from Asia. It includes the nations situated in Asia near its sources on the east and south, and the barbarous Asiatic nations who occupy the neighbourhood of Mount Caucasus, among whom are the Amazones, Massagetæ, Scythians, Albani, Iberes, Bactriani, Caspii, Medes, Persians, and the two Armenias, extending to Mesopotamia. Among these nations are included the Troglodytæ, Heniochi, Sceptuchi, Soanes, Assyrians, Polyphagi, Nabiani, Siraci, and Tapyri. Mention is made of Jason and Medea, and of the cities founded by them:—of Xerxes, Mithridates, and Alexander, son of Philip.
CHAPTER I.ASIA is contiguous to Europe, approaching close to it at the Tanaïs or Don. I am to describe this country next, after dividing it, for the sake of perspicuity, by certain natural boundaries. What Eratosthenes has done with respect to the whole habitable earth, this I propose to do with respect to Asia.  The Taurus, extending from west to east, embraces the middle of this continent, like a girdle, leaving one portion to the north, another to the south. The Greeks call the former Asia Within the Taurus,1 the latter, Asia Without the Taurus. We have said this before, but it is repeated now to assist the memory.  The Taurus has in many places a breadth of 3000 stadia; its length equals that of Asia, namely 45,000 stadia,2 reckoning from the continent opposite to Rhodes to the eastern extremities of India and Scythia.  It is divided into many parts, which are circumscribed by boundaries of greater or less extent, and distinguished by various names. But as such an extended range of mountains must comprise nations some of which are little known, and others with whom we are well acquainted, as Parthians,3 Medes, Armenians, some of the Cappadocians, Cilicians, and Pisidians; those which approach near the northern parts must be assigned to the north, (northern Asia,) those approximating the southern parts, to the south, (southern Asia,) and those situated in the middle of the mountains must be placed on account of the similarity of the temperature of the air, for it is cold to the north, while the air of the south is warm. The currents of almost all the rivers which flow from the Taurus are in a direction contrary to each other, some running to the north, others to the south, at least at the commencement of their course, although afterwards some bend towards the east or west. They naturally suggest the adoption of this chain of mountains as a boundary in the division of Asia into two portions; in the same manner that the sea within the Pillars, which for the most part runs in the same line with these mountains, conveniently forms two continents, Europe and Africa, and is a remarkable boundary to both.  In passing in our geographical description from Europe to Asia, the first parts of the country which present themselves are those in the northern division, and we shall therefore begin with these. Of these parts the first are those about the Tanaïs, (or Don,) which we have assumed as the boundary of Europe and Asia. These have a kind of peninsular form, for they are surrounded on the west by the river Tanaïs (or Don) and the Palus Maotis4 as far as the Cimmerian Bosporus,5 and that part of the coast of the Euxine which terminates at Colchis; on the north by the Ocean, as far as the mouth of the Caspian Sea; on the east by the same sea, as far as the confines of Albania and Armenia, where the rivers Cyrus6 and Araxes7 empty themselves; the latter flowing through Armenia, and the Cyrus through Iberia8 and Albania;9 on the south is the tract of country extending from the mouth of the Cyrus as far as Colchis, and comprising about 3000 stadia from sea to sea, across the territory of the Albani, and Iberes,10 so as to represent an isthmus.11 Those writers do not deserve attention who contract the isthmus as much as Cleitarchus, according to whom it is subject to inundations of the sea from either side. According to Posidonius the isthmus is 1500 stadia in extent, that is, as large as the isthmus from Pelusium to the Red Sea. And I think, says he, that the isthmus between the Palus Mæotis and the Ocean is not very different from this in extent.  I know not how any one can rely upon his authority respecting what is uncertain, when he has nothing probable to advance on the subject; for he reasons so falsely respecting things which are evident, and this too when he enjoyed the friendship of Pompey, who had carried on war against the Iberes and Albani, and was acquainted with both the Caspian and Colchian12 Seas on each side of the isthmus. It is related, that when Pompey13 was at Rhodes, on his expedi- tion against the pirates, (he was soon afterwards to carry on war against Mithridates and the nations as far as the Caspian Sea,) he accidentally heard a philosophical lecture of Posidonius; and on his departure he asked Posidonius if he had any commands; to which he replied,
Add to this, that he wrote the history of Pompey. For these reasons he ought to have paid a greater regard to truth.  The second portion is that above the Hyrcanian,15 which we also call the Caspian Sea, extending as far as the Scythians near the Indians. The third portion is continuous with the above-mention- ed isthmus, and consists of the country following next in order to the isthmus and the Caspian Gates,16 and approaching nearest the parts within the Taurus, and to Europe; these are Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, and the intervening country.17 The fourth portion consists of the tract within the Halys,18 and the parts upon and without the Taurus, which coincide with the peninsula formed by the isthmus,19 which separates the Euxine and the Cilician Seas. Among the other countries beyond the Taurus we place Indica and Ariana,20 as far as the nations which extend to the Persian Sea, the Arabian Gulf, and the Nile, and to the Ægyptian and the Issic seas.
“ To stand the first in worth, as in command.14”Il. vi. 208. Pope.
CHAPTER II.ACCORDING to this disposition, the first portion towards the north and the Ocean is inhabited by certain tribes of Scythians, shepherds, (nomades,) and Hamaxœci (or those who live in waggon-houses). Within these tribes live Sarmatians, who also are Scythians, Aorsi,21 and Siraci, extending as far as the Caucasian Mountains towards the south. Some of these are Nomades, or shepherd tribes, others Scenitæ, (or dwellers in tents,) and Georgi, or tillers of the ground. About the lake Mæotis live the Mœotæ. Close to the sea is the Asiatic portion of the Bosporus and Sindica.22 Next follow Achæi, Zygi, Heniochi,23 Cercetæ, and Macropogones (or the longbeards). Above these people are situated the passes of the Phtheirophagi (or Lice-eaters). After the Heniochi is Colchis, lying at the foot of the Caucasian and Moschic mountains. Having assumed the Tanaïs as the boundary of Europe and Asia, we must begin our description in detail from this river. 2. The Tanaïs or Don flows from the northern parts. It does not however flow in a direction diametrically opposite to the Nile, as some suppose, but its course is more to the east than that of the latter river; its sources, like those of the Nile, are unknown. A great part of the course of the Nile is apparent, for it traverses a country the whole of which is easy of access, and its stream is navigable to a great distance from its mouth. We are acquainted with the mouths of the Don, (there are two in the most northerly parts of the Mæotis, distant 60 stadia from each other,) but a small part only of the tract above the mouths is explored, on account of the severity of the cold, and the destitute state of the country; the natives are able to endure it, who subsist, like the wandering shepherd tribes, on the flesh of their animals and on milk, but strangers cannot bear the climate nor its privations. Besides, the nomades dislike intercourse with other people, and being a strong and numerous tribe have excluded travellers from every part of the country which is accessible, and from all such rivers as are navigable. For this reason some have supposed that the sources of the river are among the Caucasian mountains, that, after flowing in a full stream towards the north, it then makes a bend, and discharges itself into the Mæotis. Theophanes24 of Mitylene is of the same opinion with these writers. Others suppose that it comes from the higher parts of the Danube, but they do not produce any proof of so remote a source, and in other climates, though they seem to think it impossible for it to rise at no great distance and in the north.  Upon the river, and on the lake, stands a city Tanaïs, founded by the Greeks, who possess the Bosporus; but lately the King Polemon25 laid it waste on account of the refractory disposition of the inhabitants. It was the common mart both of the Asiatic and of the European nomades, and of those who navigate the lake from the Bosporus, some of whom bring slaves and hides, or any other nomadic commodity; others exchange wine for clothes, and other articles peculiar to a civilized mode of life. In front of the mart at the distance of 100 stadia is an is land Alopecia, a settlement of a mixed people. There are other small islands not far off in the lake. The city Tanaïs,26 to those who sail in a direct line towards the north, is distant from the mouth of the Mæotis 2200 stadia, nor is the distance much greater in sailing along the coast (on the east).  In the voyage along the coast, the first object which presents itself to those who have proceeded to the distance of 800 stadia from the Tanaïs, is the Great Rhombites, as it is called, where large quantities of fish are captured for the purpose of being salted. Then at the distance of 800 stadia more is the Lesser Rhombites,27 and a promontory, which has smaller fisheries. The [nomades] at the former have small islands as stations for their vessels, those at the Lesser Rhombites are the Mæotæ who cultivate the ground. For along the whole of this coasting voyage live Mæotæ, who are husbandmen, but not less addicted to war than the nomades. They are divided into several tribes; those near the Tanaïs are more savage, those contiguous to the Bosporus are more gentle in their manners. From the Lesser Rhombites to Tyrambe, and the river Anticeites, are 600 stadia; then 120 to the Cimmerian village, whence vessels set out on their voyage along the lake. In this coasting voyage we meet with some look-out places, (for observing the fish,) said to belong to the Clazomenians.  Cimmericum was formerly a city built upon a peninsula, the isthmus of which it enclosed with a ditch and mound. The Cimmerii once possessed great power in the Bosporus, whence it was called the Cimmerian Bosporus. These are the people who overran the territory of the inhabitants of the inland parts, on the right of the Euxine, as far as Ionia. They were dislodged from these places by Scythians, and the Scythians by Greeks, who founded Panticapæum,28 and the other cities on the Bosporus. 6. Next to the village Achilleium,29 where is the temple of Achilles, are 20 stadia. Here is the narrowest passage, 20 stadia or more, across the mouth of the Mæotis; on the opposite continent is Myrmecium, a village. Near are Heracleium and Parthenium.  Thence to the monument of Satyrus are 90 stadia; this is a mound raised on a promontory,30 in memory of one of the illustrious princes of the Bosporus.  Near it is Patræus,31 a village, from which to Corocondame,32 a village, are 130 stadia. This is the termination of the Cimmerian Bosporus, as it is called. The narrow passage at the mouth of the Mœotis derives its name from the straits opposite the Achilleium, and the Myrmecium; it extends as far as Corocondame and a small village opposite to it in the territory of the Panticapæans, called Acra,33 and separated by a channel of 70 stadia in width. The ice reaches even to this place, for the Mæotis is frozen during severe frost so as to become passable on foot. The whole of this narrow passage has good harbours.  Beyond Corocondame is a large lake34 which is called from the place Corocondametis. It discharges itself into the sea at the distance of 10 stadia from the village. A branch35 of the river Anticeites empties itself into the lake, and forms an island, which is surrounded by the waters of the lake, of the Mæotis, and of the river. Some persons give this river the name of Hypanis,36 as well as to that37 near the Borysthenes.38  Upon sailing39 into the Corocondametis, we meet with Phanagoria, a considerable city, Cepi, Hermonassa, and Apa turum, the temple of Venus (Apatura). Of these cities Phanagoria and Cepi are situated in the above-mentioned island on the left hand at the entrance of the lake; the others are on the right hand in Sindica beyond the Hypanis. There is Gorgipia,40 but the royal seat of the Sindi is in Sindica near the sea, and Aborace. All those who are subject to the princes of the Bosporus are called Bosporani. The capital of the European Bosporani is Panticapæum, and of the Asian Bosporani, the city of Phanagorium,41 for this is the name given to it. Phanagoria seems to be the mart for those commodities which are brought down from the Mæotis, and from the barbarous country lying above it; and Panticapæum, the mart for the commodities which are transported thither from the sea. There is also in Phanagoria a magnificent temple of Venus Apatura, the Deceitful. This epithet of the goddess is derived from a fable, according to which the giants assaulted her in this place. Having obtained the assistance of Hercules she hid him in a cave, and then admitted the giants one by one into her presence, and delivered them over to Hercules, thus craftily42 to be put to death.  The Sindi, Dandarii, Toreatæ, Agri, Arrhechi, and besides these, the Tarpetes, Obidiaceni, Sittaceni, Dosci, and many others, belong to the Mæotæ; to this people belong the Aspurgiani also, who live between Phanagoria and Gorgipia, at the distance of 500 stadia [from the Mæotis?]. Polemon, the king, entered the country of these people under a show of friendship, but his design was discovered, and they on their part attacked him unawares. He was taken prisoner, and put to death. With respect to the Asian Mæotæ in general, some of them were the subjects of those who possessed the mart on the Tanaïs; others, of the Bosporani; and different bodies have revolted at different times. The princes of the Bosporani were frequently masters of the country as far as the Tanaïs, and particularly the last princes, Pharnaces, Asander, and Polemon. Pharnaces is said to have once brought even the river Hypanis over the territory of the Dandarii through some ancient canal, which he had caused to be cleared, and inundated the country.  Next to Sindica, and Gorgipia upon the sea, is the sea-coast inhabited by the Achæi, Zygi, and Heniochi. It is for the most part without harbours and mountainous, being a portion of the Caucasus. These people subsist by piracy. Their boats are slender, narrow, light, and capable of holding about five and twenty men, and rarely thirty. The Greeks call them camaræ. They say, that at the time of the expedition of Jason the Achæi Phthio$tæ founded the Achaia there, and the Lacedæmonians, Heniochia. Their leaders were Rhecas, and Amphistratus, the charioteers43 of the Dioscuri; it is probable that the Heniochi had their name from these persons. They equip fleets consisting of these camaræ, and being masters of the sea sometimes attack vessels of burden, or invade a territory, or even a city. Sometimes even those who occupy the Bosporus assist them, by furnishing places of shelter for their vessels, and supply them with provision and means for the disposal of their booty. When they return to their own country, not having places suitable for mooring their vessels, they put their camaræ on their shoulders, and carry them up into the forests, among which they live, and where they cultivate a poor soil. When the season arrives for navigation, they bring them down again to the coast. Their habits are the same even in a foreign country, for they are acquainted with wooded tracts, in which, after concealing their camaræ, they wander about on foot day and night, for the purpose of capturing the inhabitants and reducing them to slavery. But they readily allow whatever is taken to be ransomed, and signify this after their departure to those who have lost their property. In places where there is a regular government, the injured find means of repelling them. For, frequently, the pirates are attacked in return, and are carried off together with their camaræ. But the country subject to the Romans is not so well protected, in conse- quence of the neglect of those who are sent there.  Such then is their mode of life. But even these people are governed by persons called Sceptuchi, and these again are subject to the authority of tyrants, or of kings. The Heniochi had four kings at the time that Mithridates Eupator fled from the country of his ancestors to the Bosporus, and passed through their country, which was open to him, but he avoided that of the Zygi on account of its ruggedness, and the savage character of the people. He proceeded with difficulty along the sea-coast, frequently embarking in vessels, till he came to the country of the Achæi, by whom he was hospitably received. He had then completed a journey from the Phasis of not much less than 4000 stadia.  From Corocondame, the course of the voyage is directly towards the east. At the distance of 180 stadia is the Sindic harbour, and a city. Then at the distance of 400 stadia is Bata,44 as it is called, a village with a harbour. It is at this place that Sinope on the south seems to be directly opposite to this coast, as Carambis45 has been said to be opposite to Criu-Metopon.46 Next to Bata Artemidorus places the coast of the Cercetæ, which has places of shelter for vessels, and villages along an extent of about 850 stadia; then at 500 stadia more the coast of the Achæi, then that of the Heniochi, at 1000 stadia, then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia. The authors most worthy of credit who have written the history of the Mithridatic wars, enumerate the Achæi first, then Zygi, then Heniochi, then Cercetæ, Moschi, Colchi, and above these the Phtheirophagi, Soanes, and other smaller nations about the Caucasus. The direction of the sea-coast is at first, as I have said, towards the east, with a southern aspect; but from Bata it makes a bend for a small distance, then fronts the west, and terminates towards Pityus, and Dioscurias, for these places are contiguous to the coast of Colchis, which I have already mentioned. Next to Dioscurias is the remainder of the coast of Colchis, and Trapezus contiguous to it; where the coast, having made a considerable turn, then extends nearly in a straight line, and forms the side on the right hand of the Euxine, looking to the north. The whole of the coast of the Achæi, and of the other nations, as far as Dioscurias, and the inland places lying in a straight line towards the south, are at the foot of the Caucasus.  This mountain overhangs both the Euxine and the Caspian seas, forming a kind of rampart to the isthmus which separates one sea from the other. To the south it is the boundary of Albania and Iberia, to the north, of the plains of the Sarmatians. It is well wooded, and contains various kinds of timber, and especially trees adapted to shipbuilding. Eratosthenes says that the Caucasus is called Mount Caspius by the natives, a name borrowed perhaps from the Caspii. It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the Moschic mountains,47 and besides these the mountains of Scydises, and the Paryadres. All these are portions of the Taurus, which forms the southern side of Armenia, and are broken off in a manner from it towards the north, and extend as far as Caucasus, and the coast of the Euxine which lies between Colchis and Themiscyra.48  Situated on a bay of this kind, and occupying the most easterly point of the whole sea, is Dioscurias,49 called the recess of the Euxine Sea, and the extreme boundary of navigation, for in this sense we are to understand the proverbial saying, “ To Phasis where ships end their course.
” Not as if the author of the iambic intended to speak of the river, nor of the city of the same name upon the river, but Colchis designated by a part, because from the city and the river there remains a voyage of not less than 600 stadia in a straight line to the recess of the bay. This same Dioscurias is the commencement of the isthmus lying between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine. It is a common mart of the nations situated above it, and in its neighbourhood. There assemble at Dioscurias 70 or, according to some writers who are careless in their statements,50 300 nations. All speak different languages, from living dispersed in various places and without intercourse, in consequence of their fierce and savage manners. They are chiefly Sarmatians, but all of them Caucasian tribes. So much then respecting Dioscurias.  The greater part of the rest of Colchis lies upon the sea. The Phasis,51 a large river, flows through it. It has its source in Armenia, and receives the Glaucus,52 and the Hippus,53 which issue from the neighbouring mountains. Vessels ascend it as far as the fortress of Sarapana,54 which is capable of containing the population even of a city. Persons proceed thence by land to the Cyrus in four days along a carriage road.55 Upon the Phasis is a city of the same name, a mart of the Colchians, bounded on one side by the river, on another by a lake, on the third by the sea. Thence it is a voyage of three or two56 days to Amisus and Sinope, on account of the softness of the shores caused by the discharge of rivers.57 The country is fertile and its produce is good, except the honey, which has generally a bitter taste. It furnishes all materials for ship-building. It produces them in great plenty, and they are conveyed down by its rivers. It supplies flax, hemp, wax, and pitch, in great abundance. Its linen manufacture is celebrated, for it was exported to foreign parts; and those who wish to establish an affinity of race between the Colchians and the Ægyptians, advance this as a proof of it. Above the rivers which I have mentioned in the Moschic territory is the temple of Leucothea,58 founded by Phrixus59 and his oracle, where a ram is not sacrificed. It was once rich, but was plundered in our time by Pharnaces, and a little afterwards by Mithridates of Pergamus.60 For when a country is devastated, in the words of Euripides,
 How great anciently was the celebrity of this country, appears from the fables which refer obscurely to the expedition of Jason, who advanced as far even as Media; and still earlier intimations of it are found in the fables relative to the expedition of Phrixus. The kings that preceded, and who possessed the country when it was divided into Sceptuchies,61 were not very powerful, but when Mithridates Eupator had enlarged his territory, this country fell under his dominion. One of his courtiers was always sent as sub-governor and administrator of its public affairs. Of this number was Moaphernes, my mother's paternal uncle. It was from this country that the king derived the greatest part of his supplies for the equipment of his naval armament. But upon the overthrow of Mithridates, all the country subject to his power was disunited, and divided among several persons. At last Polemon obtained possession of Colchis, and after his death his wife Pythodoris reigned over the Colchians, Trapezus, Pharnacia, and the Barbarians situated above them, of whom I shall speak in another place. The territory of the Moschi, in which is situated the temple, is divided into three portions, one of which is occupied by Colchians, another by Iberians, and the third by Armenians. There is in Iberia on the confines of Colchis, a small city, the city of Phrixus, the present Idessa, a place of strength. The river Charis62 flows near Dioscurias.  Among the nations that assemble at Dioscurias are the Phtheiropagi, who have their appellation from their dirt and filth. Near them live the Soanes, not less dirty in their habits, but superior perhaps to all the tribes in strength and courage. They are masters of the country around them, and occupy the heights of Caucasus above Dioscurias. They have a king, and a council of three hundred persons. They can assemble, it is said, an army of two hundred thousand men, for all their people are fighting men, but not distributed into certain orders. In their country the winter torrents are said to bring down even gold, which the Barbarians collect in troughs pierced with holes, and lined with fleeces; and hence the fable of the golden fleece. Some63 say that they are called Iberians (the same name as the western Iberians) from the gold mines found in both countries. The Soanes use poison of an extraordinary kind for the points of their weapons; even the odour of this poison is a cause of suffering to those who are wounded by arrows thus prepared. The other neighbouring nations about the Caucasus occupy barren and narrow tracts of land. But the tribes of the Albanians and Iberians, who possess nearly the whole of the above-mentioned isthmus, may also be denominated Caucasian, and yet they live in a fertile country and capable of being well peopled.
“ respect to the gods languishes, and they are not honoured.”Eurip. Troad. 26.
CHAPTER III.THE greater part of Iberia is well inhabited, and contains cities and villages where the houses have roofs covered with tiles, and display skill in building; there are marketplaces in them, and various kinds of public edifices.  Some part of the country is encompassed by the Caucasian mountains; for branches of this range advance, as I have said, towards the south. These districts are fruitful, comprise the whole of Iberia, and extend to Armenia and Colchis. In the middle is a plain watered by rivers, the largest of which is the Cyrus, which, rising in Armenia, immediately enters the above-mentioned plain, having received the Aragus,64 which flows at the foot of the Caucasus, and other streams, passes through a narrow channel into Albania. It flows however between this country and Armenia in a large body through plains, which afford excellent pasture. After having received several rivers, and among these the Alazonius,65 Sandobanes, the Rhœtaces, and Chanes, all of which are navigable, it discharges itself into the Caspian Sea. Its former name was Corus.  The plain is occupied by those Iberians who are more disposed to agriculture, and are inclined to peace. Their dress is after the Armenian and Median fashion. Those who inhabit the mountainous country, and they are the most numerous, are addicted to war, live like the Sarmatians and Scythians, on whose country they border, and with whom they are connected by affinity of race. These people however engage in agriculture also, and can assemble many myriads of persons from among themselves, and from the Scythians and Sarmatians, whenever any disturbance occurs.  There are four passes into the country; one through Sarapana, a Colchian fortress, and through the defiles near it, along which the Phasis, rendered passable from one side to the other by a hundred and twenty bridges, in conse- quence of the winding of its stream, descends abruptly and violently into Colchis. The places in its course are hollowed by numerous torrents, during the rainy season. It rises in the mountains which lie above, and many springs contribute to swell its stream. In the plains it receives other rivers also, among which are the Glaucus66 and the Hippus.67 The stream thus filled and navigable discharges itself into the Pontus. It has on its banks a city of the same name, and near it a lake. Such is the nature of the entrance into Iberia from Colchis, shut in by rocks and strongholds, and by rivers running through ravines.  From the Nomades on the north there is a difficult ascent for three days, and then a narrow road by the side of the river Aragus, a journey of four days, which road admits only one person to pass at a time. The termination of the road is guarded by an impregnable wall. From Albania the entrance is at first cut through rocks, then passes over a marsh formed by the river (Alazonius),68 in its descent from the Caucasus. On the side of Armenia are the narrow passes on the Cyrus, and those on the Aragus, for before the junction of these rivers they have on their banks strong cities set upon rocks, at the distance from each other of about 18 stadia, as Harmozica69 on the Cyrus, and on the other (Aragus) Seusamora. Pompey formerly in his way from Armenia, and afterwards Canidius, marched through these passes into Iberia.  The inhabitants of this country are also divided into four classes; the first and chief is that from which the kings are appointed. The king is the oldest and the nearest of his predecessor's relations. The second administers justice, and is commander of the army. The second class consists of priests, whose business it is to settle the respective rights of their own and the bordering people. The third is composed of soldiers and husbandmen. The fourth comprehends the common people, who are royal slaves, and perform all the duties of ordinary life. Possessions are common property in families, but the eldest governs, and is the steward of each. Such is the character of the Iberians, and the nature of their country.
CHAPTER IV.THE Albanians pursue rather a shepherd life, and resemble more the nomadic tribes, except that they are not savages, and hence they are little disposed to war. They inhabit the country between the Iberians and the Caspian Sea, approaching close to the sea on the east, and on the west border upon the Iberians. Of the remaining sides the northern is protected by the Caucasian mountains, for these overhang the plains, and are called, particularly those near the sea, Ceraunian mountains. The southern side is formed by Armenia, which extends along it. A large portion of it consists of plains, and a large portion also of mountains, as Cambysene, where the Armenians approach close both to the Iberians and the Albanians.  The Cyrus, which flows through Albania, and the other rivers which swell the stream of the Cyrus, improve the qualities of the land, but remove the sea to a distance. For the mud, accumulating in great quantity, fillsup the channel in such a manner, that the small adjacent islands are annexed to the continent, irregular marshes are formed, and difficult to be avoided; the reverberation also of the tide increases the irregular formation of the marshes. The mouth of the river is said to be divided into twelve branches, some of which afford no passage through them, others are so shallow as to leave no shelter for vessels. The shore for an extent of more than 60 stadia is inundated by the sea, and by the rivers; all that part of it is inaccessible; the mud reaches even as far as 500 stadia, and forms a bank along the coast. The Araxes70 discharges its waters not far off, coming with an impetuous stream from Armenia, but the mud which this river impels forward, making the channel pervious, is replaced by the Cyrus.  Perhaps such a race of people have no need of the sea, for they do not make a proper use even of the land, which produces every kind of fruit, even the most delicate, and every kind of plant and evergreen. It is not cultivated with the least care; but all that is excellent grows without sowing, and without ploughing, according to the accounts of persons who have accompanied armies there, and describe the inhabitants as leading a Cyclopean mode of life. In many places the ground, which has been sowed once, produces two or three crops, the first of which is even fifty-fold, and that without a fallow, nor is the ground turned with an iron instrument, but with a plough made entirely of wood. The whole plain is better watered than Babylon or Ægypt, by rivers and streams, so that it always presents the appearance of herbage, and it affords excellent pasture. The air here is better than in those countries. The vines remain always without digging round them, and are pruned every five years. The young trees bear fruit even the second year, but the full grown yield so much that a large quantity of it is left on the branches. The cattle, both tame and wild, thrive well in this country.  The men are distinguished for beauty of person and for size. They are simple in their dealings and not fraudulent, for they do not in general use coined money; nor are they acquainted with any number above a hundred, and transact their exchanges by loads. They are careless with regard to the other circumstances of life. They are ignorant of weights and measures as far as exactness is concerned; they are im- provident with respect to war, government, and agriculture. They fight however on foot and on horseback, both in light and in heavy armour, like the Armenians.  They can send into the field a larger army than the Iberians, for they can equip 60,000 infantry and 22,000 horsemen; with such a force they offered resistance to Pompey. The Nomades also co-operate with them against foreigners, as they do with the Iberians on similar occasions. When there is no war they frequently attack these people and prevent them from cultivating the ground. They use javelins and bows, and wear breastplates, shields, and coverings for the head, made of the hides of wild animals, like the Iberians. To the country of the Albanians belongs Caspiana, and has its name from the Caspian tribe, from whom the sea also has its appellation; the Caspian tribe is now extinct. The entrance from Iberia into Albania is through the Cambysene, a country without water, and rocky, to the river Alazonius. The people themselves and their dogs are excessively fond of the chase, pursuing it with equal eagerness and skill.  Their kings differ from one another; at present one king governs all the tribes. Formerly each tribe was governed by a king, who spoke the peculiar language of each. They speak six and twenty languages from the want of mutual intercourse and communication with one another. The country produces some venomous reptiles, as scorpions and tarantulas. These tarantulas cause death in some instances by laughter, in others by grief and a longing to return home.  The gods they worship are the Sun, Jupiter, and the Moon, but the Moon above the rest. She has a temple near Iberia. The priest is a person who, next to the king, receives the highest honours. He has the government of the sacred land, which is extensive and populous, and authority over the sacred attendants, many of whom are divinely inspired, and prophesy. Whoever of these persons, being violently possessed, wanders alone in the woods, is seized by the priest, who, having bound him with sacred fetters, maintains him sumptuously during that year. Afterwards he is brought forth at the sacrifice performed in honour of the goddess, and is anointed with fragrant ointment and sacrificed together with other victims. The sacrifice is performed in the following manner. A person, having in his hand a sacred lance, with which it is the custom to sacrifice human victims, advances out of the crowd and pierces the heart through the side, which he does from experience in this office. When the man has fallen, certain prognostications are indicated by the manner of the fall, and these are publicly declared. The body is carried away to a certain spot, and then they all trample upon it, performing this action as a mode of purification of themselves.  The Albanians pay the greatest respect to old age, which is not confined to their parents, but is extended to old persons in general. It is regarded as impious to show any concern for the dead, or to mention their names. Their money is buried with them, hence they live in poverty, having no patrimony. So much concerning the Albanians. It is said that when Jason, accompanied by Armenus the Thessalian, undertook the voyage to the Colchi, they advanced as far as the Caspian Sea, and traversed Iberia, Albania, a great part of Armenia, and Media, as the Jasoneia and many other monuments testify. Armenus, they say, was a native of Armenium, one of the cities on the lake Beebeis, between Pheræ and Parisa, and that his companions settled in Acilisene, and the Suspiritis, and occupied the country as far as Calachene and Adiabene, and that he gave his own name to Armenia.
CHAPTER V.THE Amazons are said to live among the mountains above Albania. Theophanes, who accompanied Pompey in his wars, and was in the country of the Albanians, says that Gelæ and Legæ,71 Scythian tribes, live between the Amazons and the Albanians, and that the river Mermadalis72 takes its course in the country lying in the middle between these people and the Amazons. But other writers, and among these Metrodorus of Scepsis, and Hypsicrates, who were themselves acquainted with these places, say that the Amazons bordered upon the Gargarenses73 on the north, at the foot of the Caucasian mountains, which are called Ceraunia. When at home they are occupied in performing with their own hands the work of ploughing, planting, pasturing cattle, and particularly in training horses. The strongest among them spend much of their time in hunting on horseback, and practise warlike exercises. All of them from infancy have the right breast seared, in order that they may use the arm with ease for all manner of purposes, and particularly for throwing the javelin. They employ the bow also, and sagaris, (a kind of sword,) and wear a buckler. They make helmets, and coverings for the body, and girdles, of the skins of wild animals. They pass two months of the spring on a neighbouring mountain, which is the boundary between them and the Gargarenses. The latter also ascend the mountain according to some ancient custom for the purpose of performing common sacrifices, and of having intercourse with the women with a view to offspring, in secret and in darkness, the man with the first woman he meets. When the women are pregnant they are sent away. The female children that may be born are retained by the Amazons themselves, but the males are taken to the Gargarenses to be brought up. The children are distributed among families, in which the master treats them as his own, it being impossible to ascertain the contrary.  The Mermodas,74 descending like a torrent from the mountains through the country of the Amazons, the Siracene, and the intervening desert, discharges itself into the Mæotis.75 It is said that the Gargarenses ascended together with the Amazons from Themiscyra to these places, that they then separated, and with the assistance of some Thracians and Eubœans, who had wandered as far as this country, made war against the Amazons, and at length, upon its termination, entered into a compact on the conditions above mentioned, namely, that there should be a companionship only with respect to offspring, and that they should live each independent of the other.  There is a peculiarity in the history of the Amazons. In other histories the fabulous and the historical parts are kept distinct. For what is ancient, false, and marvellous is called fable. But history has truth for its object, whether it be old or new, and it either rejects or rarely admits the marvellous. But, with regard to the Amazons, the same facts are related both by modern and by ancient writers; they are marvellous and exceed belief. For who can believe that an army of women, or a city, or a nation, could ever subsist without men? and not only subsist, but make inroads upon the territory of other people, and obtain possession not only of the places near them, and advance even as far as the present Ionia, but even despatch an expedition across the sea to Attica? This is as much as to say that the men of those days were women, and the women men. But even now the same things are told of the Amazons, and the peculiarity of their history is increased by the credit which is given to ancient, in preference to modern, accounts.  They are said to have founded cities, and to have given their names to them, as Ephesus, Smyrna, Cyme, Myrina, besides leaving sepulchres and other memorials. Themiscyra, the plains about the Thermodon, and the mountains lying above, are mentioned by all writers as once belonging to the Amazons, from whence, they say, they were driven out. Where they are at present few writers undertake to point out, nor do they advance proofs or probability for what they state; as in the case of Thalestria, queen of the Amazons, with whom Alexander is said to have had intercourse in Hyrcania with the hope of having offspring. Writers are not agreed on this point, and among many who have paid the greatest regard to truth none mention the circumstance, nor do writers of the highest credit mention anything of the kind, nor do those who record it relate the same facts. Cleitarchus says that Thalestria set out from the Caspian Gates and Thermodon to meet Alexander. Now from the Caspian Gates to Thermodon are more than 6000 stadia.  Stories circulated for the purpose of exalting the fame [of eminent persons] are not received with equal favour by all; the object of the inventors was flattery rather than truth; they transferred, for example, the Caucasus to the mountains of India, and to the eastern sea, which approaches close to them, from the mountains situated above Colchis, and the Euxine Sea. These are the mountains to which the Greeks give the name of Caucasus, and are distant more than 30,000 stadia from India. Here they lay the scene of Prometheus and his chains, for these were the farthest places towards the east with which the people of those times were acquainted. The expeditions of Bacchus and of Hercules against the Indi indicate a mythological story of later date, for Hercules is said to have released Prometheus a thousand years after he was first chained to the rock. It was more glorious too for Alexander to subjugate Asia as far as the mountains of India, than to the recess only of the Euxine Sea and the Caucasus The celebrity, and the name of the mountain, together with the persuasion that Jason and his companions had accomplished the most distant of all expeditions when they had arrived in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus, and the tradition that Prometheus had been chained on Caucasus at the extremity of the earth, induced writers to suppose that they should gratify the king by transferring the name of the mountain to India.  The highest points of the actual Caucasus are the most southerly, and lie near Albania, Iberia, the Colchi, and Heniochi. They are inhabited by the people whom I have mentioned as assembling at Dioscurias. They resort thither chiefly for the purpose of procuring salt. Of these tribes some occupy the heights; others live in wooded valleys, and subsist chiefly on the flesh of wild animals, wild fruits, and milk. The heights are impassable in winter; in summer they are ascended by fastening on the feet shoes as wide as drums, made of raw hide, and furnished with spikes on account of the snow and ice. The natives in descending with their loads slide down seated upon skins, which is the practice in Media, Atropatia, and at Mount Masius in Armenia, but there they fasten circular disks of wood with spikes to the soles of their feet. Such then is the nature of the heights of Caucasus.  On descending to the country lying at the foot of these heights the climate is more northerly, but milder, for the land below the heights joins the plains of the Siraces. There are some tribes of Troglodytæ who inhabit caves on account of the cold. There is plenty76 of grain to be had in the country. Next to the Troglodytee are Chamæcœt,77 and a tribe called Polyphagi (the voracious), and the villages of the Eisadici, who are able to cultivate the ground because they are not altogether exposed to the north.  Immediately afterwards follow shepherd tribes, situated between the Mæotis and the Caspian Sea, Nabiani, Pangani,78 the tribes also of the Siraces and Aorsi. The Aorsi and Siraces seem to be a fugitive people from parts situated above. The Aorsi lie more to the north.79 Abeacus, king of the Siraces, when Pharnases occupied the Bosporus, equipped 20,000 horse, and Spadines, king of the Aorsi 200,000, and the Upper Aorsi even a larger body, for they were masters of a greater extent of territory, and nearly the largest part of the coast of the Caspian Sea was under their power. They were thus enabled to transport on camels the merchandise of India and Babylonia, receiving it from Armenians and Medes. They wore gold also in their dress in consequence of their wealth. The Aorsi live on the banks of the Tanaïs, and the Siraces on those of Achardeus, which rises in Caucasus, and dis- charges itself into the Mæotis.
CHAPTER VI.THE second portion of northern Asia begins from the Caspian Sea, where the first terminates. This sea is called also the Hyrcanian Sea. We must first speak of this sea, and of the nations that live near its shores. It is a bay extending from the Ocean to the south. At its commencement it is very narrow; as it advances further inwards, and particularly towards the extremity, it widens to the extent of about 500 stadia. The voyage from the entrance to the extremity may exceed that a little, the entrance approaching very near the uninhabited regions. Eratosthenes says that the navigation of this sea was known to the Greeks, that the part of the voyage along the coast of the Albanians and Cadusii80 comprised 5400 stadia; and the part along the country of the Anariaci, Mardi, [or Amardi,] and Hyrcani, as far as the mouth of the river Oxus,81 4800 stadia, and thence to the Iaxartes82 2400 stadia. But with respect to the places situated in this portion of Asia, and to those lying so far removed from our own country, we must not understand the accounts of writers in too literal a sense, particularly with regard to distances.  Upon sailing into the Caspian, on the right hand, contiguous to the Europeans, Scythians and Sarmatians occupy the country between the Tanaïs and this sea; they are chiefly Normades, or shepherd tribes, of whom I have already spoken. On the left hand are the Eastern Scythian Nomades, who extend as far as the Eastern sea, and India. The ancient Greek historians called all the nations towards the north by the common name of Scythians, and Kelto-Scy- thians. Writers still more ancient than these called the nations living above the Euxine, Danube, and Adriatic, Hyperboreans, Sauromatæ, and Arimaspi.83 But in speaking of the nations on the other side the Caspian Sea, they called some Sacæ,84 others Massagetæ. They were unable to give any exact account of them, although they relate the history of the war of Cyrus with the Massagetæ. Concerning these nations no one has ascertained the truth, and the ancient histories of Persia, Media, and Syria have not obtained much credit on account of the credulity of the writers and their love of fable.  For these authors, having observed that those who professedly were writers of fables obtained repute and success, supposed that they also should make their writings agreeable, if, under the form of history, they related what they had never seen nor heard, (not at least from eye-witnesses,) and had no other object than to please and surprise the reader. A person would more readily believe the stories of the heroes in Hesiod, Homer, and in the tragic poets, than Ctesias, Herodotus, Hellanicus, and writers of this kind.  We cannot easily credit the generality of the historians of Alexander, for they practise deception with a view to enhance the glory of Alexander; the expedition also was directed to the extremities of Asia, at a great distance from our country, and it is difficult to ascertain or detect the truth or falsehood of what is remote. The dominion of the Romans and of the Parthians has added very much to former discoveries, and the writers who speak of these people describe nations and places, where certain actions were performed, in a manner more likely to produce belief than preceding historians, for they had better opportunities of personal observation.
CHAPTER VII.THE nomades, or wandering tribes, who live on the left side of the coast on entering the Caspian Sea, are called by the moderns Dahæ, and surnamed Parni.85 Then there intervenes a desert tract, which is followed by Hyrcania; here the Caspian spreads like a deep sea till it approaches the Median and Armenian mountains. The shape of these hills at the foot is lunated.86 Their extremities terminate at the sea, and form the recess of the bay. A small part of this country at the foot of the mountains, as far as the heights, if we reckon from the sea, is inhabited by some tribes of Albanians and Armenians, but the greater portion by Gelæ, Cadusii, Amardi, Vitii, and Anariacæ. It is said, that some Parrhasii were settled together with the Anariace, who are now called Parrhasii, (Parsii?) and that the $SAEnianes built a wailed city in the territory of the Vitii, which city is now called Æniana (Ænia). Grecian armour, brazen vessels, and sepulchres are shown there. There also is a city Anariacæ, in which it is said an oracle is shown, where the answer is given to those who consult it, during sleep, [and some vestiges of Greek colonization, but all these] tribes are predatory, and more disposed to war than husbandry, which arises from the rugged nature of the country. The greater part of the coast at the foot of the mountainous region is occupied by Cadusii, to the extent of nearly 5000 stadia, according to Patrocles, who thinks that this sea equals the Euxine in size. These countries are sterile.  Hyrcania87 is very fertile, and extensive, consisting for the most part of plains, and has considerable cities dispersed throughout it, as Talabroce, Samariane, Carta, and the royal residence, Tape,88 which is said to be situated a little above the sea, and distant 1400 stadia from the Caspian Gates. The following facts are narrated as indications of the fertility of the country.89 The vine produces a metretes90 of wine; the fig-tree sixty medimni 91 of fruit; the corn grows from the seed which falls out of the stalk; bees make their hives in the trees, and honey drops from among the leaves. This is the case also in the territory of Matiane in Media, and in the Sacasene, and Araxene of Armenia.92 But neither this country, nor the sea which is named after it, has received proper care and attention from the inhabitants, for there are no vessels upon the sea, nor is it turned to any use. According to some writers there are islands on it, capable of being inhabited, in which gold is found. The cause of this neglect is this; the first governors of Hyrcania were barbarians, Medes, and Persians, and lastly, people who were more oppressive than these, namely, Parthians. The whole of the neighbouring country was the haunt of robbers and wandering tribes, and abounded with tracts of desert land. For a short time Macedonians were sovereigns of the country, but being engaged in war were unable to attend to remote possessions. Aristobulus says that Hyrcania has forests and produces the oak, but not the pitch pine,93 nor the fir,94 nor the pine,95 but that India abounds with these trees. Nesæa96 belongs to Hyrcania, but some writers make it an independent district.  Hyrcania is watered by the rivers Ochus and Oxus as far as their entrance into the sea. The Ochus flows through Nesæa, but some writers say that the Ochus empties itself into the Oxus. Aristobulus avers that the Oxus was the largest river, except those in India, which he had seen in Asia. He says also that it is navigable with ease, (this circumstance both Aristobulus and Eratosthenes borrow from Patrocles,) and that large quantities of Indian merchandise are conveyed by it to the Hyrcanian Sea, and are transferred from thence into Albania by the Cyrus, and through the adjoining countries to the Euxine. The Ochus is not often mentioned by the ancients, but Apollodorus, the author of the Parthica, frequently mentions it, [and describes it] as flowing very near the Parthians.  Many additional falsehoods were invented respecting this sea, to flatter the ambition of Alexander and his love of glory; for, as it was generally acknowledged that the river Tanaïs separated Europe from Asia throughout its whole course, and that a large part of Asia, lying between this sea and the Tanaïs, had never been subjected to the power of the Macedonians, it was resolved to invent an expedition, in order that, according to fame at least, Alexander might seem to have conquered those countries. They therefore made the lake Mæotis, which receives the Tanaïs, and the Caspian Sea, which also they call a lake, one body of water, affirming that there was a subterraneous opening between both, and that one was part of the other. Polycleitus produces proofs to show that this sea is a lake, for instance, that it breeds serpents, and that the water is sweetish.97 That it was not a dif- 98 stance of the Tanaïs discharging itself into it. From the same mountains in India, where the Ochus and the Oxus rise, many other rivers take their course, and among these the laxartes, which like the former empties itself into the Caspian Sea, although it is the most northerly of them all. This river then they called Tanaïs, and alleged, as a proof that it was the Tanaïs mentioned by Polycleitus, that the country on the other side of the river produced the fir-tree, and that the Scethians there used arrows made of fir-wood. It was a proof also that the country on the other side of the river was a part of Europe and not of Asia, that Upper and Eastern Asia do not produce the fir-tree. But Eratosthenes says that the fir does grow even in India, and that Alexander built his ships of that wood. Eratosthenes collects many things of this kind, with a view to show their contradictory character. But I have said enough about them.  Among the peculiarities recorded of the Hyrcanian sea, Eudoxus and others relate the following. There is a certain coast in front of the sea hollowed out into caverns, between which and the sea there lies a flat shore. Rivers on reaching this coast descend from the precipices above with sufficient force to dart the water into the sea without wetting the intervening shore, so that even an army could pass underneath sheltered by the stream above. The inhabitants frequently resort to this place for the purposes of festivity and of performing sacrifices, one while reclining beneath the caverns, at another basking in the sun (even) beneath the fall of water. They divert themselves in various ways, having in sight on each side the sea and shore, the latter of which by the dew [and moisture of the falls] is rendered a grassy and flowery meadow.
CHAPTER VIII.IN proceeding from the Hyrcanian Sea towards the east, on the right hand are the mountains which the Greeks call Taurus, extending as far as India. They begin from Pamphylia and Cilicia, and stretch to this part from the west in a continuous line, bearing different names in different places. The northern parts99 of this range are occupied first by Gelæ, Cadusii, and Amardi, as we have said, and by some tribes of Hyrcanians; then follow, as we proceed towards the east and the Ochus, the nation of the Parthians, then that of the Margiani and Arii, and the desert country which the river Sarnius separates from Hyrcania. The mountain, which extends to this country, or within a small distance of it, from Armenia, is called Parachoathras. From the Hyrcanian sea to the Arii are about 6000 stadia.100 Next follow Bactriana, Sogdiana, and lastly nomade Scythians. The Macedonians gave the name of Caucasus to all the mountains which follow after Ariana,101 but among the barbarians the heights and the northern parts of the Parapomisus were called Emoda, and Mount Imaus;102 and other names of this kind were assigned to each portion of this range.  On the left hand103 opposite to these parts are situated the Scythian and nomadic nations, occupying the whole of the northern side. Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Dahæ Scythæ, and those situated more towards the east Massagetæ and Sacæ; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomades. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asii, Pasiani, (Asiani?) Tochari, and Sacarauli, who came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes,104 opposite the Sacæ and Sogdiani, and which country was also occupied by Sacæ; some tribes of the Dahæ are surnamed Aparni, some Xanthii, others Pissuri.105 The Aparni approach the nearest of any of these people to llyrcania, and to the Caspian Sea. The others extend as far as the country opposite to Aria.  Between these people, Hyrcania, and Parthia as far as Aria lies a vast and arid desert, which they crossed by long journeys, and overran Hyrcania, the Nesæan country, and the plains of Parthia. These people agreed to pay a tribute on condition of having permission to overrun the country at stated times, and to carry away the plunder. But when these incursions became more frequent than the agreement allowed, war ensued, afterwards peace was made, and then again war was renewed. Such is the kind of life which the other Nomades also lead, continually attacking their neighbours, and then making peace with them.  The Sacæ had made incursions similar to those of the Cimmerians and Treres, some near their own country, others at a greater distance. They occupied Bactriana, and got possession of the most fertile tract in Armenia, which was called after their own name, Sacasene. They advanced even as far as the Cappadocians, those particularly situated near the Euxine; who are now called Pontici. When they were assembled together and feasting on the division of the booty, they were attacked by night by the Persian generals who were then stationed in that quarter, and were utterly exterminated. The Persians raised a mound of earth in the form of a hill over a rock in the plain, (where this occurred,) and fortified it. They erected there a temple to Anaïtis and tile gods Omanus and Anadatus, Persian deities who have a common altar.106 They also instituted an annual festival, (in memory of the event,) the Sacæa, which the occupiers of Zela, for this is the name of the place, celebrate to this day. It is a small city chiefly appropriated to the sacred attendants. Pompey added to it a considerable tract of territory, the inhabitants of which he collected within the walls. It was one of the cities which he settled after the overthrow of Mithridates.  Such is the account which is given of the Sacæ by some writers. Others say, that Cyrus in an expedition against the Sacæ was defeated, and fled. He advanced with his army to the spot where he had left his stores, consisting of large supplies of every kind, particularly of wine; he stopped a short time to refresh his army, and set out in the evening, as though he continued his flight, the tents being left full of provisions. He proceeded as far as he thought requisite, and then halted. The Sacæ pursued, who, finding the camp abandoned and full of the means of gratifying their appetites, indulged themselves without restraint. Cyrus then returned and found them drunk and frantic; some were killed, stretched on the ground drowsy or asleep; others, dancing and maddened with wine, fell defenceless on the weapons of their enemies. Nearly all of them perished. Cyrus ascribed this success to the gods; lie consecrated the day to the goddess worshipped in his own country, and called it Sacæ. Wherever there is a temple of this goddess, there the Sacœan festival, a sort of Bacchanalian feast, is celebrated, in which both men and women, dressed in the Scythian habit, pass day and night in drinking and wanton play.  The Massagetæ signalized their bravery in the war with Cyrus, of which many writers have published accounts; we must get our information from them. Such particulars as the following are narrated respecting this nation; some tribes inhabit mountains, some plains, others live among marshes formed by the rivers, others on the islands among the marshes. The Araxes is said to be the river which is the chief cause of inundating the country; it is divided into various branches and discharges itself by many mouths into the other sea107 towards the north, but by one only into the Hyrcanian Gulf. The Massagetæ regard no other deity than the sun, and to his honour they sacrifice a horse. Each man marries only one wife, but they have intercourse with the wives of each other without any concealment. He who has intercourse with the wife of another man hangs up his quiver on a waggon, and lies with her openly. They account the best mode of death to be chopped up when they grow old with the flesh of sheep, and both to be devoured together. Those who die of' disease are cast out as impious, and only fit to be the prey of wild beasts; they are excellent horsemen, and also fight well on foot. They use bows, swords, breastplates, and sagares of brass, they wear golden belts, and turbans108 on their heads in battle. Their horses have bits of gold, and golden breastplates; they have no silver, iron in small quantity, but gold and brass in great plenty.  Those who live in the islands have no corn-fields. Their food consists of roots and wild fruits. Their clothes are made of the bark of trees, for they have no sheep. They press out and drink the juice of the fruit of certain trees. The inhabitants of the marshes eat fish. They are clothed in the skins of seals, which come upon the island from the sea. The mountaineers subsist on wild fruits. They have besides a few sheep, but they kill them sparingly, and keep them for the sake of their wool and milk. Their clothes they variegate by steeping them in dyes, which produce a colour not easily effaced. The inhabitants of the plains, although they possess land, do not cultivate it, but derive their subsistence from their flocks, and from fish, after the manner of the nomades and Scythians. I have frequently described a certain way of life common to all these people. Their burial-places and their manners are alike, and their whole manner of living is independent, but rude, savage, and hostile; in their compacts, however, they are simple and without deceit.  The Attasii (Augasii?) and the Chorasmii belong to the Massagetæ and Sacæ, to whom Spitamenes directed his flight from Bactria and Sogdiana. He was one of the Persians who, like Bessus, made his escape from Alexander by flight, as Arsaces afterwards fled from Seleucus Callinicus, and retreated among the Aspasiacæ. Eratosthenes says, that the Bactrians lie along the Arachoti and Massagetæ on the west near the Oxus, and that Sacæ and Sogdiani, through the whole extent of their territory,109 are opposite to India, but the Bactrii in part only, for the greater part of their country lies parallel to the Parapomisus; that the Sacæ and Sogdiani are separated by the Iaxartes, and the Sogdiani and Bactriani by the Oxus; that Tapyri occupy the country between Hyrcani and Arii; that around the shores of the sea, next to the Hyrcani, are Amardi, Anariacæ, Cadusii, Albani, Caspii, Vitii, and perhaps other tribes extending as far as the Scythians; that on the other side of the Hyrcani are Derbices, that the Caducii are contiguous both to the Medes and Matiani below the Parachoathras.  These are the distances which he gives.
|From the Caspian Sea to the Cyrus about||1800|
|Thence to the Caspian Gates||5600|
|Thence to Alexandreia in the territory of the Arii||6400|
|Thence to the city Bactra, which is called also Zariaspa||3870|
|Thence to the river Iaxartes, which Alexander reached, about||5000|
|Making a total of||22,670|
|To Alexandreia111 in the country of the Arii (Ariana)||4530|
|Thence to Prophthasia112 in Dranga113 (or according to others 1500）||1600|
|Thence to the city Arachoti114||4120|
|Thence to Ortospana on the three roads from Bactra115||2000|
|Thence to the confines of India||1000|
|Which together amount to||15,300116|