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 My native city, Amaseia, lies in a deep and extensive valley, through which runs the river Iris.1 It is indebted to nature and art for its admirable position and construction. It answers the double purpose of a city and a fortress. It is a high rock, precipitous on all sides, descending rapidly down to the river: on the margin of the river, where the city stands, is a wall, and a wall also which ascends on each side of the city to the peaks, of which there are two, united by nature, and completely fortified with towers. In this circuit of the wall are the palace, and the monuments of the kings. The peaks are connected together by a very narrow ridge, in height five or six stadia on each side, as you ascend from the banks of the river, and from the suburbs. From the ridge to the peaks there remains another sharp ascent of a stadium in length, which defies the attacks of an enemy. Within the rock are reservoirs of water, the supply from which the inhabitants cannot be deprived of, as two channels are cut, one in the direction of the river, the other of the ridge. Two bridges are built over the river, one leading from the city to the suburbs, the other from the suburbs to the country beyond; for near this bridge the mountain, which overhangs the rock, terminates. A valley extends from the river; it is not very wide at its commencement, but afterwards increases in breadth, and forms the plain called the Chiliocomon (The Thousand Villages). Next is the Diacopene, and the Pimolisene, the whole of which is a fertile district extending to the Halys. These are the northern parts of the country of the Amasenses, and are in length about 500 stadia. Then follows the remainder, which is much longer, extending as far as Babanomus, and the Ximene,2 which itself reaches to the Halys. The breadth is reckoned from north to south, to the Zelitis and the Greater Cappadocia, as far as the Trocmi.3 In Ximene there is found fossile salt, (ἄλες, Hales,) from which it is supposed the river had the name of Halys. There are many ruined fortresses in my native country, and large tracts of land made a desert by the Mithridatic war. The whole of it, however, abounds with trees. It affords pasture for horses, and is adapted to the subsistence of other animals; the whole of it is very habitable. Amaseia was given to the kings, but at present it is a (Roman) province. 40. There remains to be described the country within the Halys, belonging to the province of Pontus, and situated about the Olgassys,4 and contiguous to the Sinopic district. The Ol- gassys is a very lofty mountain, and difficult to be passed. The Paphlagonians have erected temples in every part of this mountain. The country around, the Blæne, and the Domanitis, through which the river Amnias5 runs, is sufficiently fertile. Here it was that Mithridates Eupator entirely destroyed6 the army of Nicomedes the Bithynian, not in person, for he himself happened to be absent, but by his generals. Nicomedes fled with a few followers, and escaped into his own country, and thence sailed to Italy. Mithridates pursued him, and made himself master of Bithynia as soon as he entered it, and obtained possession of Asia as far as Caria and Lycia. Here is situated Pompeiopolis,7 in which city is the Sandaracurgium,8 (or Sandaraca works,) it is not far distant from Pimolisa, a royal fortress in ruins, from which the country on each side of the river is called Pimolisene. The Sandaracurgium is a mountain hollowed out by large trenches made by workmen in the process of mining. The work is always carried on at the public charge, and slaves were employed in the mine who had been sold on account of their crimes. Besides the great labour of the employment, the air is said to be destructive of life, and scarcely endurable in consequence of the strong odour issuing from the masses of mineral; hence the slaves are short-lived. The mining is frequently suspended from its becoming unprofitable, for great expense is incurred by the employment of more than two hundred workmen, whose number is continually diminishing by disease and fatal accidents. So much respecting Pontus.
1 Tusanlu-su, a branch of the Ieschil Irmak.
2 West of Koseh Dagh.
3 Situated between the Kizil Irmak and the river Delidsche Irmak, a tributary of the former.
5 Gok-Irmak, or Kostambul Tschai, flowing between the mountain ridges. Jeralagoz-Dagh and Sarikawak-Dagh.
6 B. C. 88.
8 Pliny, xxxiv. c. 18.
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