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HECATOMPYLOS

HECATOMPYLOS (Ἑκαρόμπυλος, Strab. xi. p.514; Ptol. 1.12.5, 8.21.16; Ἑκατόμπυλον βασιλειον, Ptol. 6.5 § 2; Steph. B. sub voce a town of some importance in Parthia, and one of the capitals of the Arsacidan princes. There is, however, great doubt where it was situated, the distances recorded by ancient writers not corresponding accurately with any known ruins. According to Strabo (xi. p.514), it was 1960 stadia (about 224 miles) from the Pylae Caspiae, and, as we may infer from the passage, in the direction of India, eastward; while Ptolemy places it on the same parallel of latitude (N. 37°) as Rhodes. Again, Pliny makes the same distance to be only 133 Roman (or about 122 English) miles. It has been supposed that Damngham corresponds best with this place; but Damngham is too near the Pylae Caspiae: on the whole, it is probable that any remains of Hecatompylos ought to be sought in the neighbourshood of a place now called Jah Jirm. (Cf. Burne, Travels, vol. ii. p. 129; Frazer, Khorassan, Append. p. 118; Wilson, Ariana, p. 171.) The place itself was of [p. 1.1034]ancient date, and is stated to have been a distinguished city when Alexander marched through Parthia (Curtius, 6.2; cf. Diod. 17.100.75), though it is clear that it was not, as Curtius states, founded by the Greeks. Polybius affirms that it derived its name from its position in a locality where many roads met (10.25). Appian asserts that Hecatompylos, in common with many other cities in Asia, derived its Greek name from Seleucus. (Syr. 100.57.) In the second century A. n., when Isidorus of Charax wrote his Itinerary, Hecatompylos had apparently ceased to exist, or perhaps, as Mannert (5.2. p. 76) has conjectured, had given up its Greek name. Isidore calls Sauloe the chief place of Parthia in his day; hence Mannert has suggested, though we think without much reason, that this was the native form of the Greek Hecatompylos.

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