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Abydos was founded by Milesians by permission of Gyges, king of Lydia; for those places and the whole of the Troad were under his sway. There is a promontory near Dardanus called Gyges. Abydos is situated upon the mouth of the Propontis and the Hellespont, and is at an equal distance from Lampsacus and Ilium, about 170 stadia. At Abydos is the Hepta Stadium, (or strait of seven stadia,) the shores of which Xerxes united by a bridge. It separates Europe from Asia. The extremity of Europe is called Cherronesus, from its figure; it forms the straits at the Zeugma (or Junction)1 which is opposite to Abydos.

Sestos is the finest2 city in the Cherronesus, and from its proximity to Abydos was placed under the command of the same governor, at a time when the same limits were not assigned to the governments and to the continents. Sestos and Abydos are distant from each other, from harbour to harbour, about 30 stadia. The Zeugma is a little beyond the cities; on the side of the Propontis, beyond Abydos, and on the opposite side, beyond Sestos. There is a place near Sestos, called Apobathra, where the raft was fastened. Sestos lies nearer the Propontis, and above the current which issues from it; whence the passage is more easy from Sestos by deviating a little towards the tower of Hero, when, letting the vessel go at liberty, the stream assists in effecting the crossing to the other side. In crossing from Abydos to the other side persons must sail out in the contrary direction, to the distance of about eight stadia towards a tower which is opposite Sestos; they must then take an oblique course, and the current will not be entirely against them.

After the Trojan war, Abydos was inhabited by Thracians, then by Milesians. When the cities on the Propontis were burnt by Dareius, father of' Xerxes, Abydos shared in the calamity. Being informed, after his return from Scythia, that the Nomades were preparing to cross over to attack him, in revenge for the treatment which they had experienced, he set fire to these cities, apprehending that they would assist in transporting the Scythian army across the strait.

In addition to other changes of this kind, those occasioned by time are a cause of confusion among places.

We spoke before of Sestos, and of the whole of the Cherronesus, when we described Thrace. Theopompus says that Sestos is a small but well-fortified place, and is connected with the harbour by a wall of two plethra in extent, and for this reason, and by its situation above the current, it commands the passage of the strait.

1 A bridge of boats which could be unfixed at pleasure for the passage of vessels.

2 Meineke reads κοͅατίστη, the strongest fortified, instead of ἀρίστη.

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