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 The name of Syrians seems to extend from Babylonia as far as the Bay of Issus, and, anciently, from this bay to the Euxine. Both tribes of the Cappadocians, those near the Taurus and those near the Pontus, are called to this time Leuco-Syrians (or White Syrians),1 as though there existed a na- tion of Black Syrians. These are the people situated beyond the Taurus, and I extend the name of Taurus as far as the Amanus.2 When the historians of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians, and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean no other Syrians than those who built the royal palaces at Babylon and Nineveh; and Ninus, who built Nineveh in Aturia, was one of these Syrians. His wife, who succeeded her husband, and founded Babylon, was Semiramis. These sovereigns were masters of Asia. Many other works of Semiramis, besides those at Babylon, are extant in almost every part of this continent, as, for example, artificial mounds, which are called mounds of Semiramis, and walls3 and fortresses, with subterraneous passages; cisterns for water; roads4 to facilitate the ascent of mountains; canals communicating with rivers and lakes; roads and bridges. The empire they left continued with their successors to the time of [the contest between] Sardanapalus and Arbaces.5 It was afterwards transferred to the Medes.
1 P. xii. c. iii. § 5; Herod. i. 6 and 72.
2 Al. Lucan. b. xi. c. xii. § 4; b. xiv. c. v. § 18; b. xvi. c. ii. § 8.
3 Probably walls built for the protection of certain districts. Such was the διατείχισμα σεμιοͅάμιδος, constructed between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and intended, together with canals brought from those rivers, to protect Babylon from the incursions of the Arabian Scenitee or Medes. B. ii.
4 κλίμακες, roads of steep ascent, with steps such as may be seen in the Alps of Europe; the word differs from ὁδοὶ, roads below, inasmuch as the former roads are only practicable for travellers on foot and beasts of bur-then, the latter for carriages also.
5 The union of these two names, says Kramer, is remarkable, and still more so is the insertion of the article τῆς before them: he, therefore, but with some hesitation, suggests that the word μάχης has been omitted in the text by the copyist.
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