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 Equally unworthy of credit is the statement of those who tell us, that the Don rises in the vicinity of the Danube, and flows from the west; they do not remember that between these are the Dniester, the Dnieper, and the Bog, all great rivers, which flow [into the Euxine Sea]; one runs parallel to the Danube, the other two to the Don. Now if at the present day we are ignorant of the sources both of the Dniester, and also of the Dnieper and Bog, the regions farther north must certainly be still less known. It is therefore a fictitious and idle assertion, that the Don crosses these rivers, and then turns northward on its way to discharge itself into the Mæbtis, it being well known that the outlets to this river are in the most northern and eastern portions of the lake.1 No less idle is the statement which has also been advanced. that the Don, after crossing the Caucasus, flows northward and then turns towards the Mæotis.2 No one, however, [with the exception of Polybius,] made this river flow from the east If such were its course, our best geographers would never have told us that its direction was contrary to that of the Nile, and, so to speak, diametrically opposite thereto, as if the course of both rivers lay under the same meridian.
1 Palus Mæotis.
2 This was the opinion of Theophanes of Mytilene, who followed Pompey in his expeditions to the East. The Caucasus here mentioned is that which bounds Georgia in the north, and from whence the modern river Kuban (the Vardanus of Pompey) takes its rise. This river does incline slightly to the north, and afterwards turns westward in its course to the Palus Mæotis. It is possible that some confusion between this river and the Don gave occasion to the belief that the latter rose in the Caucasus.
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