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NEXT to Carmania is Persis. A great part of it extends along the coast of the Gulf, which has its name from the country, but a much larger portion stretches into the interior, and particularly in its length, reckoned from the south, and Carmania to the north, and to the nations of Media.

It is of a threefold character, as we regard its natural condition and the quality of the air. First, the coast, extending for about 4400 or 4300 stadia, is burnt up with heat; it is sandy, producing little except palm trees, and terminates at the greatest river in those parts, the name of which is Oroatis.1 Secondly, the country above the coast produces everything, and is a plain; it is excellently adapted for the rearing of cattle, and abounds with rivers and lakes.

The third portion lies towards the north, and is bleak and mountainous. On its borders live the camel-breeders.

Its length, according to Eratosthenes, towards the north and Media,2 is about 8000, or, including some projecting promontories, 9000 stadia; the remainder (from Media) to the Caspian Gates is not more than 3000 stadia. The breadth in the interior of the country from Susa to Persepolis is 4200 stadia, and thence to the borders of Carmania 1600 stadia more.

The tribes inhabiting this country are those called the Pateischoreis, the Achæmenidæ, and Magi; these last affect a sedate mode of life; the Curtii and Mardi are robbers, the rest are husbandmen.

1 The Arosis of Arrian, now the Tab.

2 This passage is very corrupt, and many words, according to Kramer, appear to be omitted. See b. ii. c i. § 26. We read with Groskurd ‘Media’ for ‘Caspian Gates’ in the text: and insert ‘9000 stadia,’ here from b. ii. c. i. § 26, and, following the same authority, 3000 for 2000 stadia in the text below.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 4
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