(τὸ Καΰστρου πεδίον
) is Strabo's name for the plain of the Cayster. Stephanus (s. v. Καΰστριον πεδίον
) assigns it to the Ephesia or territory of Ephesus, with the absurd remark that the Cayster, from which it takes its name, was so called from its proximity to the Catacecaumene or Burnt Region. Stephanus adds the Ethnic name Καϋστριανός ;
but this belongs properly to the people of some place, as there are medals with the legend Καυστριανων.
Xenophon, in his march of Cyrus from Sardis (Anab.
1.2.11), speaks of a Καΰστρου πεδίον.
Before coming here, Cyrus passed through Celaenae, Peltae, and Ceramon Agora.
The march from Celaenae to Peltae is 10 parasangs; from Peltae to [p. 1.578]
Ceramon Agora, 12 parasangs; and from Ceramon Agora to the plain of Cayster, which Xenophon calls an inhabited city, was 30 parasangs. From the plain of Cayster, Cyrus marched 10 parasangs to Thymbrium, then 10 to Tyraeum, and then 20 to Iconium, the last city of Phrygia in the direction of his march; for after leaving Iconium, he entered Cappadocia. Iconium is Koniyeh,
a position well known. Celaenae is also well known, being at Deenair,
on the Maeander. Now the march of Cyrus from Celaenae to Iconium was 92 parasangs, or 2760 stadia, according to Greek computation, if the numbers are right in the Greek text. Cyrus, therefore, did not march direct from Celaenae to Iconium.
He made a great bend to the north, for the Ceramon Agora was the nearest town in Phrygia to Mysia.
The direct distance from Celaenae to Iconium is about 125 English miles.
The distance by the route of Cyrus was 276 geog. miles, if the Greek value of the parasang is true, as given by Xenophon and Herodotus; but it may be less.
The supposition that the plain of Cayster is the plain through which the Cayster flows cannot be admitted; and as Cyrus seems for some reason to have directed his march northwards from Celaenae till he came near the borders of Mysia, his route to Iconium would be greatly lengthened. Two recent attempts have been made to fix the places between Celaenae and Iconium, one by Mr. Hamilton (Researches,
&c., vol. ii. p. 198, &c.), and another by Mr. Ainsworth (Travels in the Track of the Ten Thousand, &c.,
p. 24, &c.).
The examination of these two explanations cannot be made here for want of space.
But it is impossible to identify with certainty positions on a line of road where distances only are given, and we find no corresponding names to guide us. Mr. Hamilton supposes that the Caystri Campus may be near the village of Chai Kieui,
“and near the banks of the Eber Ghieul
in the extensive plain between that village and Polybotum.” Chai Kieui
is in about 38° 40′ N. lat. Mr. Ainsworth places the Caystri Campus further west at a place called Surmeneh,
“a high and arid upland, as its ancient name designates,” which is traversed by an insignificant tributary to the “Eber Göl,
” Mr. Hamilton's Eber Ghieul.
The neighbourhood of Surmeneh
abounds in ancient remains; but Chai Kieui
is an insignificant place, without ruins. Both Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ainsworth, however, agree in fixing the Caystri Campus in the basin of this river, the Eber Ghieul,
and so far the conclusion may be accepted as probable.
But the exact site of the place cannot be determined without further evidence. Cyrus stayed at Caystri Campus five days, and he certainly would not stay with his troops five days in a high and arid upland.
As the plain was called the Plain of Cayster, we may assume that there was a river Cayster where Cyrus halted. One of Mr. Ainsworth's objections to Mr. Hamilton's conclusion is altogether unfounded.
He says that the plain which Mr. Hamilton chooses as the site of the Caystri Campus is “an extensive plain, but very marshy, being in one part occupied by a perpetual and large lake, called Eber Göl,
and most unlikely at any season of the year to present the arid and burnt appearance which could have led the Greeks to call it Caustron or Caystrus, the burnt or barren plain.” But the word Caystrus could not mean burnt, and Stephanus is guilty of originating this mistake.
It means no more a burnt plain here than it does when applied to the plain above Ephesus. Both were watery places; one we know to be so; and the other we may with great probability conclude to be.
The medals with the epigraph Καυστριανων
may belong to this place, and not to a city in the valley of the Lydian Cayster. [CAYSTER.]