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This is the general description [of Syria].1

In describing it in detail, we say that Commagene is rather a small district. It contains a strong city, Samosata, in which was the seat of the kings. At present it is a (Roman) province. A very fertile but small territory lies around it. Here is now the Zeugma, or bridge, of the Euphrates, and near it is situated Seleuceia, a fortress of Mesopotamia, assigned by Pompey to the Commageneans. Here Tigranes confined in prison for some time and put to death Selene, surnamed Cleopatra, after she was dispossessed of Syria.2

1 Judging from Arrian (Anab. v. § 25; vii. § 9; iii. § 8), the historians of Alexander, as well as more ancient authors, gave the name of Syria to all the country comprehended between the Tigris and the Mediterranean. The part to the east of the Euphrates, afterwards named Mesopotamia, was called ‘Syria between the rivers;’ that to the west was called by the general name Cœle-Syria, and although Phœnicia and Palestine were sometimes separated from it, yet it often comprehended the whole country as far as Egypt. Strabo below, c. ii. § 21, refers to this ancient division, when he says that the name Cœle-Syria extends to the whole country as far as Egypt and Arabia, although in its peculiar acceptation it applied only to the valley between Libanus and Antilibanus.

2 B. C. 70.

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