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Below this lies the region of Pontus known as Colica,1 in which the mountain chain of Caucasus bends away towards the Riphæan mountains, as we have previously2 mentioned; one side running down towards the Euxine and the Lake Mæotis, the other towards the Caspian and the Hyrcanian sea. The remaining portion of these shores is peopled by savage nations, the Melanchlæni,3 and the Coraxi, who formerly dwelt in Dios- curias,4 near the river Anthemus, now deserted, but once a famous city; so much so, indeed, that we learn from Timos- thenes, that three hundred nations, all of different languages, were in the habit of resorting to it, and in later times we had there one hundred and thirty interpreters for the purpose of transacting business. There are some authors who are of opinion that this place was built by Amphitus and Telchius, the charioteers5 of Castor and Pollux, from whom it is generally understood that the nation of the Heniochi sprang. After passing Dioscurias we come to the town of Heracleium,6 seventy miles distant from Sebastopolis, and then the Achæi,7 the Mardi,8 and the Cercetæ,9 and, behind them, the Cerri and the Cephalotomi.10 In the innermost part11 of this district there was Pityus,12 a city of very considerable opulence, but destroyed by the Heniochi: behind it are the Epageritæ, a people of Sarmatian origin, dwelling upon the range of the Caucasus, and beyond them, the Sauromatæ. It was with these people that Mithridates13 took refuge in the reign of the Emperor Claudius: and from him we learn that the Thalli14 join up to them, a people who border on the eastern side upon the mouth15 of the Caspian sea: he tells us also that at the reflux the channel is dry there. Upon the coast of the Euxine, near the country of the Cercetæ, is the river Icarusa,16 with the town and river of Hierus , distant from Heracleium one hundred and thirty-six miles. Next to this, is the promontory of Cruni, after passing which, we find the Toretæ upon a lofty ridge of mountains. The city of Sindos17 is distant from Hierus sixty-seven miles and a half; after passing which, we come to the river Setheries. (6.) From thence to the entrance of the Cimmerian Bosporus the distance is eighty-eight miles and a half.

1 16 Inhabited anciently by the Coli, and constituting the northern portion of ancient Colchis.

2 In B. v. c. 27.

3 Or nation "with the black cloaks," from some peculiarity in their dress.

4 This was the great trading-place of the wild tribes in the interior; and so numerous were they, that the Greeks asserted that there were seventy different languages spoken in the market of Dioscurias.

5 Whence the appellation Heniochi, from the Greek ἡνιοχὸς.

6 There were two places called Heracleium on this coast, one north and the other south of the river Achæus: probably the latter is here meant.

7 Probably meaning the "martial people," or the "people of Mars."

8 Said to have been descended from the Achæns or Greeks who accompanied Jason in the Argonautic Expedition, or, according to Ammianus, who resorted thither after the conclusion of the Trojan war.

9 This was the title, not of a single nation, but of a number of peoples distinguished for their predatory habits.

10 This people occupied the N.E. shore of the Euxine, between the Cimmerian Bosporus and the frontier of Colchis. Their name is still in existence, and is applied to the whole western district of the Caucasus, in the forms of Tcherkas, as applied to the people, and Tcherkeskaia or Circassia, to the country.

11 Meaning, nearly in the extreme corner of Pontus.

12 In the time of Strabo this was a considerable sea-port, and after its destruction by the Heniochi, it was restored, and served as an important frontier fortress of the Roman empire against the Scythians.

13 This was Mithridates, king of Bosporus, which sovereignty he obtained by the favour of the emperor Claudius, in A.D. 41. The circumstances are unknown which led to his subsequent expulsion by the Romans, who placed his younger brother Cotys on the throne in his stead.

14 Hardouin thinks that the Thalli inhabited the present country of Astrakan.

15 It was the ancient opinion, to which we shall find frequent reference made in the present Book, that the northern portion of the Caspian communicated with the Scythian or Septentrional ocean.

16 Mentioned only by Pliny. It is supposed to answer to the present Ukrash river; and the town and river of Hierus are probably identical with the Hieros Portus of Arrian, which has been identified with the modern Sunjuk-Kala.

17 Inhabited by the Sindi, a people of Asiatic Sarmatia. They probably dwelt in and about the modern peninsula of Taman, between the Sea of Azof and the Black Sea, to the south of the river Hypanis, the modern Kouban. The site of their capital, Sindos, or Sinda, is supposed to have been the modern Anapa. Parisot conjectures that this place was one of the ancient settlements of the Zigeunes, the modern Bohemians or Gypsies. He seems to found his opinion upon some observations of Malte Brun (Précis de Geographie, vol. vi.) upon the origin of the Gypsy race, which will amply repay the perusal.

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