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SISAPON

SISAPON (Σισαπών, Strab. iii. p.142), a considerable town in Hispania Baetica. (Cic. Phil. 2.19; Plin. Nat. 3.1. s. 3.) It lay N. of Corduba, between the Baetis and the Anas, and was celebrated for its silver mines and veins of cinnabar (Strab. l.c.; Vitr. 7.9; Plin. Nat. 33.7. s. 40; Dioscor. 5.109.) The town of Almaden in the Sierra Morena, with which Sisapon is identified, still possesses a rich mine of quicksilver. “The mine is apparently inexhaustible, becoming richer in proportion as the shafts deepen. The vein of cinnabar, about 25 feet thick, traverses rocks of quartz and slate; and runs towards Almadenejos. Virgin quicksilver occurs also in pyrites and hornstein.” “Between 20,000 and 25,000 quintals of mercury are now procured annually.” (Ford, Handbook of Spain, p. 70; comp. Laborde, Itin. ii. p. 133; Dillon's Travels, ii. pp. 72, 77.) The name of this town is variously written It appears on coins as “Sisipo” (Sestini, p. 87), whilst others have the correct name. (Florez, Med. iii. p. 119; Mionnet, i. p. 25, and Supp. i. p. 114.) The form “Sisalone” (Itin. Ant. (p. 444) is probably corrupt. It appears to be the same town called Σισαπώνη by Ptolemy (2.6.59), who, however, places it in the territory of the Oretani, in Hispania Tarraconensis, on which indeed it borders.

[T.H.D]

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