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ASCATANCAS

ASCATANCAS (Ἀσκατάγκας), a mountain range of Asia, forming a part of the E. boundary which divided the land of the Sacae from Scythia. Extending, apparently, NW. and SE., it joined, at its SE. extremity, the branch of M. Imaüs which ran N. and S., according to Ptolemy [IMAUS], at a point which he defines as the halting-place (ὁρμητήριον) of the caravans on their way to Sera, and which he places in 140° Ion. and 43° lat. (6.13.1). Now, following Ptolemy's latitude, which is seldom far wrong, and the direction of the roads, which are pretty well defined by nature where great mountains have to be crossed, we can hardly be far wrong in placing Ptolemy's caravanserai at the spot [p. 1.231]marked by the rock-hewn monument called Takhti-Souleiman (i. e. Solomon's Throne), near Och, in a lateral valley of the upper Jaxartes (Sihoun),--which is still an important commercial station, from its position at the N. foot of the pass of Terek over the great Moussour range, Ptolemy's N. branch of the Imaus. The Ascatancas might then answer to the Alatau M. or the Khouhakhai M.; and the more northerly Anarei M. of Ptolemy might be the Khaltai or Tschingis; both NW. branches of the Moussour range: but it is, of course, impossible to make the identification with any certainty. Ammianus Marcellinus (23.6) appears to refer to the same mountains by the name of Ascanimia. (Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. i. p. 513; Heeren, Ideen, 1.2, p. 487; Forbiger, vol. ii. p. 469.)

[P.S]

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