), a plain in the north of Pontus, about the mouths of the rivers Iris and Thermodon, was a rich and beautiful district, ever verdant, and supplying food for numberless herds of oxen and horses.
It also produced great abundance of grain, especially pannick and millet; and the southern parts near the mountains furnished a variety of fruits, such as grapes, apples, pears, and nuts in such quantities that they were suffered to waste on the trees. (Strab. ii. p.126
, xii. p. 547, foll.; Aeschyl. Prom.
722; comp. Apollod. 2.5
; Apollon. 2.370
; Plin. Nat. 6.3
.) Mythology describes this plain as the native country of the Amazons.
A Greek town of the name of Themiscyra, at a little distance from the coast and near the mouth of the Thermodon, is mentioned as early as the time of Herodotus (4.86
; comp. Scylax, p. 33
; Paus. 1.2.1
). Ptolemy (5.6
§ 3) is undoubtedly mistaken in placing it further west, midway between the Iris and Cape Heraclium. Scylax calls it a Greek town; but Diodorus (2.44
) states that it was built by the founder of the kingdom of the Amazons.
After the retreat of Mithridates from Cyzicus, Themiscyra was besieged by Lucullus.
The inhabitants on that occasion defended themselves with great valour; and when their walls were undermined, they sent bears and other wild beasts, and even swarms of bees, against the workmen of Lucullus (Appian, App. Mith. 78
But notwithstanding their gallant defence, the town seems to have perished on that occasion, for Mela speaks of it as no longer existing (1.19), and Strabo does not mention it at all. (Comp. Anon. Peripl. P. E.
p. 11; Steph. B. sub voce Χαδισία.
) Some suppose that the town of Thermeh,
at the mouth of the Thermodon, marks the site of ancient Themiscyra; but Hamilton (Researches,
i. p. 283) justly observes that it must have been situated a little further inland. Ruins of the place do not appear to exist, for those which. Texier regards as indicating the site of Themiscyra, at a distance of two days' journey from the Halys, on the borders of Galatia, cannot possibly have belonged to it, but are in all probability the remains of Tavium. [L.S
] [p. 2.1157]