This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 The second portion is that above the Hyrcanian,1 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,2 and approaching nearest the parts within the Taurus, and to Europe; these are Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, and the intervening country.3 The fourth portion consists of the tract within the Halys,4 and the parts upon and without the Taurus, which coincide with the peninsula formed by the isthmus,5 which separates the Euxine and the Cilician Seas. Among the other countries beyond the Taurus we place Indica and Ariana,6 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.
1 In many authors these names are used indifferently, the one for the other; they are however distinguished by Pliny, (iv. 13,) who states that this sea begins to be called the Caspian after you have passed the river Cyrus, (Kur,) and that the Caspii live near it; and in vi. 16, that it is called the Hyrcanian Sea, from the Hyreani who live along its shores. The western side should therefore in strictness be called the Caspian; the eastern, the Hyrcanian. Smith, art. Caspium Mare.
2 A narrow pass leading from North Western Asia into the N. E provinces of Persia. Their exact position was at the division of Parthia from Media, about a day's journey from the Median town of Rhagæ. (Arrian. iii. 19.) According to Isodorus Charax, they were immediately below Mt. Caspius. As in the case of the people called Caspii, there seem to have been two mountains Caspius, one near the Armenian frontier, the other near the Parthian. It was through the pass of the Caspiæ Pyle that Alexander the Great pursued Darius. (Arrian. Anab. iii. 19; Curt. vi. 14; Amm. Marc. xxiii. 6.) It was one of the most important places in ancient geography, and from it many of the meridians were measured. The exact place corresponding with the Caspie Pylæ is probably a spot between Hark-a-Koh, and Siah-Koh, about 6 parasangs from Rey, the name of the entrance of which is called Dereh. Smith, art. Caspiæ Pylæ.
3 Du Theil justly remarks on the obscurity of this passage. His translation or paraphrase is as follows: "La troisième contiendra ce qui touche à l' isthme dont nous avons parlé; et, par suite, ceux des pays qui, au sud de cet isthme et des Pyles Caspiennes, mais toujours en decà, on, au moins, dans le sein même du Taurus, se succédant de l' est à l' ouest, se rapprochent le plus de l' Europe. In B. ii. c. v. § 31, Strabo assigns Colchis to the third portion, but in this book to the first.
4 The Kizil Ermak.
5 B. i. c. iii. § 2.
6 A district of wide extent in Central Asia, comprehending nearly the whole of ancient Persia; and bounded on the N. by the provinces of Bactriana, Margiana, and Hyrcania; on the E. by the Indus; on the S. by the Indian Ocean and the eastern portion of the Persian Gulf; and on the W. by Media and the mountains S. of the Caspian Sea. Its exact limits are laid down with little accuracy in ancient authors, and it seems to have been often confounded (as in Pliny, b. vi. c. 23, 25) with the small province of Aria. It comprehended the provinces of Gedrosia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Paropamisus mountains, Aria, Parthia, and Carmania. Smith, art. Ariana. See b. xv. c. ii. § 7, 8.
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.