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 There are also large lakes in Armenia; one the Mantiane,1 which word translated signifies Cyane, or Blue, the largest salt-water lake, it is said, after the Palus Mæotis, extending as far as (Media-) Atropatia. It has salt pans for the concretion of salt. The next is Arsene,2 which is also called Thopitis. Its waters contain nitre, and are used for cleaning and fulling clothes. It is unfit by these qualities for drinking. The Tigris passes through this lake3 after issuing from the mountainous country near the Niphates, and by its rapidity keeps its stream unmixed with the water of the lake, whence it has its name, for the Medes call an arrow, Tigris. This river contains fish of various kinds, but the lake one kind only. At the extremity of the lake the river falls into a deep cavity in the earth. After pursuing a long course under-ground, it re-appears in the Chalonitis; thence it goes to Opis, and to the wall of Semiramis, as it is called, leaving the Gordyæi4 and the whole of Mesopotamia on the right hand. The Euphrates, on the contrary, has the same country on the left. Having approached one another, and formed Mesopotamia, one traverses Seleucia in its course to the Persian Gulf, the other Babylon, as I have said in replying to Eratosthenes and Hipparchus.
1 We should read probably Matiane. The meaning of the word proposed by Strabo may easily be proved to be incorrect, by reference to the Armenian language, in which no such word is to be found bearing this sense. As Kapoit in the Armenian tongue signifies ‘blue,’ this explanation of Strabo's appears to refer to the lake Spauta or Kapauta, above, c. xiii. § 2. Kramer.
2 The lake Arsissa, Thospitis or Van.
3 This is an error; one of the branches of the Tigris rises among the mountains on the S. W. of the lake Van, and which form part of the range of Nepat-Learn or Niphates.
4 The Kurds.
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