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CARCATHIOCERTA

CARCATHIOCERTA (Καρκαθιόκερτα: Kharpút), the capital of SOPHENE one of the cantons of Armenia. (Strab. xi. p.527; Plin. Nat. 6.10.) St. Martin (Mém. sur l'Armenie, vol. i. p. 188) considers that this was the ancient and heathen name of the city of Martyropolis [MARTYROPOLIS]; but Ritter (Erdckunde, vol. x. p. 811) has shown satisfactorily that this cannot be the case. Carcathiocerta does not occur in the Byzantine writers, but must be the same as the strong fortress which Cedrenus (Hist. Comp. vol. ii. p. 686) calls Χάρποτε, and which commanded Mesopotamia. It was called by the Syrians Kortbest (Chartbist, D'Anville; Khartabist, Herbelof; Haretbaret, Assemann; comp. Von Hammer, Gesch. den Osman, vol. i. p. 226, vol. ii. p. 345). Kharpút is placed on an eminence at the termination of a range of mountains, commanding a beautiful and extensive plain. At no great distance is a lake, which, though described as salt, is really freshwater (Lake Goljik), which Kinneir (Geog. Mem. Pers. Emp. p. 335) conjectures to be the lake Colchis of the ancients. (Comp. Ptol. 5.13.) The word Kol, Kul, or Gul frequently occurs in the interior of Asia, and signifies a tarn or mountain lake. (Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. x. p. 103; Journ. Geog. Soc. vol. vi. p. 207, vol. x. p. 3.65.)

[E.B.J]

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