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CA´SIUS MONS

CA´SIUS MONS (Κάσιον: Jebel-el-Akrá), a mountain of N. Syria, near Nymphaeum (Strab. xvi. p.751) and Seleuceia (Plin. Nat. 5.22). Its base was bathed by the waters of the Orontes. (Amm. Marc. 14.8.10.) This great mass of rock, rising abruptly from the sea, with the exception of some highly crystalline gypsum near its foot on the E. side, and some diallage rocks, serpentine, &c. towards the SE., is entirely composed of supracretaceous limestone. The height has been ascertained to be 5318 feet, falling far short of what is implied by Pliny's (1. c.; comp. Solin. 39) remark, that a spectator on the mountain, by simply turning his head from left to right, could see both day and night. The emperor Hadrian, it was said, had passed a night upon the mountain to verify this marvellous scene; but a furious storm prevented his gratifying his curiosity. (Spartian. Hadrian, 14.) A feast in honour of Zeus was celebrated in the month of August at a temple situated in the lower and wooded region, at about 400 feet from the sea. Julian, during his residence at Antioch, went to offer a sacrifice to the god. (Amm. Marc. 22.14.8 Julian, Misop. p. 361; Le Beau, Bas Empire, vol. iii. p. 6.) A feast in honour of Triptolemus was also celebrated on this mountain by the people of Antioch. (Strab. p. 750.)

Coins of Trajan and Severus have the epigraph ΖΕΥΞ ΚΑΞΙΟΞ ΞΕΛΕΥΚΕΩΝ ΠΕΙΕΠΙΑΞ. (Rasce, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 428.) The upper part of [p. 1.558]Mons Casius is entirely a naked rock, answering to its expressive name Jebel-el-Alkrá, or the bald mountain. (Chesney, Exped. Euphrat. vol. i. p. 386.)

[E.B.J]

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