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PHASIS (Φᾶσις), the easternmost town on the coast of the Euxine, on the southern bank, and near the mouth of the river Phasis, which is said to have received this name from the town having previously been called Arcturus. (Plot. de Fluv. s. v.; Eustath. ad Dion. Per. 689.) It was situated in a plain between the river, the sea, and a lake, and had been founded by the Milesians as a commercial establishment. (Strab. xi. p.498; Steph. B. sub voce The country around it was very fertile, and rich in timber, and carried on a considerable export commerce. In the time of Ammianus Marcellinus (22.8), the place still existed as a fort, with a garrison of 400 picked men. It contained a temple of Cybele, the great goddess of the Phasiani. (Comp. Arrian, Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 9; Scylax, p. 32; Strab. xi. pp. 497, 500; Ptol. 5.10.2, 8.19.4; Pomp. Mela, 1.19; Plin. Nat. 6.4; Zosim. 2.33.) Some geographers regard Phasis and Sebastopolis as two names belonging to the same place [SEBASTOPOLIS]. The name of the town and river Phasis still survives in the languages of Europe in the wood pheasants (phasianae aves), these birds being said to have been introduced into Europe from those regions as early as the time of the Argonauts. (Aristoph. Ach. 726; Plin. Nat. 2.39, 44, 10.67; Martial, 3.57, 16; Suet. Vit. 13; Petron. 93.)


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