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Asia is adjacent to Europe, bordering thereon along the Tanaïs1 River. I must therefore describe this country next, first dividing it, for the sake of clearness, by means of certain natural boundaries. That is, I must do for Asia precisely what Eratosthenes did for the inhabited world as a whole.2 [2]

The Taurus forms a partition approximately through the middle of this continent, extending from the west towards the east, leaving one portion of it on the north and the other on the south. Of these portions, the Greeks call the one the "Cis-Tauran" Asia and the other "Trans-Tauran." I have said this before,3 but let me repeat it by way of reminder. [3]

Now the mountain has in many places as great a breadth as three thousand stadia, and a length as great as that of Asia itself, that is, about forty-five thousand stadia, reckoning from the coast opposite Rhodes to the eastern extremities of India and Scythia. [4]

It has been divided into many parts with many names, determined by boundaries that circumscribe areas both large and small. But since certain tribes are comprised within the vast width of the mountain, some rather insignificant, but others extremely well known (as, for instance, the Parthians, the Medes, the Armenians, a part of the Cappadocians, the Cilicians, and the Pisidians), those which lie for the most part in its northerly parts must be assigned there,4 and those in its southern parts to the southern,5 while those which are situated in the middle of the mountains should, because of the likeness of their climate, be assigned to the north, for the climate in the middle is cold, whereas that in the south is hot. Further, almost all the rivers that rise in the Taurus flow in contrary directions, that is, some into the northern region and others into the southern (they do so at first, at least, although later some of them bend towards the east or west), and they therefore are naturally helpful in our use of these mountains as boundaries in the two-fold division of Asia—just as the sea inside the Pillars,6 which for the most part is approximately in a straight line with these mountains, has proved convenient in the forming of two continents, Europe and Libya, it being the noteworthy boundary between the two. [5]

As we pass from Europe to Asia in our geography, the northern division is the first of the two divisions to which we come; and therefore we must begin with this. Of this division the first portion is that in the region of the Tanaïs River, which I have taken as the boundary between Europe and Asia. This portion forms, in a way, a peninsula, for it is surrounded on the west by the Tanaïs River and Lake Maeotis as far as the Bosporus7 and that part of the coast of the Euxine Sea which terminates at Colchis; and then on the north by the Ocean as far as the mouth of the Caspian Sea;8 and then on the east by this same sea as far as the boundary between Albania and Armenia, where empty the rivers Cyrus and Araxes, the Araxes flowing through Armenia and the Cyrus through Iberia and Albania; and lastly, on the south by the tract of country which extends from the outlet of the Cyrus River to Colchis, which is about three thousand stadia from sea to sea, across the territory of the Albanians and the Iberians, and therefore is described as an isthmus. But those writers who have reduced the width of the isthmus as much as Cleitarchus9 has, who says that it is subject to inundation from either sea, should not be considered even worthy of mention. Poseidonius states that the isthmus is fifteen hundred stadia across, as wide as the isthmus from Pelusium to the Red Sea.10 "And in my opinion," he says, "the isthmus from Lake Maeotis to the Ocean does not differ much therefrom." [6]

But I do not know how anyone can trust him concerning things that are uncertain if he has nothing plausible to say about them, when he reasons so illogically about things that are obvious; and this too, although he was a friend of Pompey, who made an expedition against the Iberians and the Albanians, from sea to sea on either side, both the Caspian and the Colchian11 Seas. At any rate, it is said that Pompey, upon arriving at Rhodes on his expedition against the pirates (immediately thereafter he was to set out against both Mithridates and the tribes which extended as far as the Caspian Sea), happened to attend one of the lectures of Poseidonius, and that when he went out he asked Poseidonius whether he had any orders to give, and that Poseidonius replied:“Ever bravest be, and preeminent o'er others.
12Add to this that among other works he wrote also the history of Pompey. So for this reason he should have been more regardful of the truth. [7]

The second portion would be that beyond the Hyrcanian Sea, which we call the Caspian Sea, as far as the Scythians near India. The third portion would consist of the part which is adjacent to the isthmus above mentioned and of those parts of the region inside Taurus13 and nearest Europe which come next after this isthmus and the Caspian Gates, I mean Media and Armenia and Cappadocia and the intervening regions. The fourth portion is the land inside14 the Halys River, and all the region in the Taurus itself and outside thereof which falls within the limits of the peninsula which is formed by the isthmus that separates the Pontic and the Cilician Seas. As for the other countries, I mean the Trans-Tauran, I place among them not only India, but also Ariana as far as the tribes that extend to the Persian Sea and the Arabian Gulf and the Nile and the Egyptian and Issic Seas. 2.

Of the portions thus divided, the first is inhabited, in the region toward the north and the ocean, by Scythian nomads and wagon-dwellers, and south of these, by Sarmatians, these too being Scythians, and by Aorsi and Siraci,15 who extend towards the south as far as the Caucasian Mountains, some being nomads and others tent-dwellers and farmers. About Lake Maeotis live the Maeotae. And on the sea lies the Asiatic side of the Bosporus, or the Syndic territory. After this latter, one comes to the Achaei and the Zygi and the Heniochi, and also the Cercetae and the Macropogones.16 And above these are situated the narrow passes of the Phtheirophagi;17 and after the Heniochi the Colchian country, which lies at the foot of the Caucasian, or Moschian, Mountains. But since I have taken the Tanaïs River as the boundary between Europe and Asia, I shall begin my detailed description therewith. [2]

Now the Tanaïs flows from the northerly region—not, however, as most people think, in a course diametrically opposite to that of the Nile, but more to the east than the Nile—and like the Nile its sources are unknown. Yet a considerable part of the Nile is well known, since it traverses a country which is everywhere easily accessible and since it is navigable for a great distance inland. But as for the Tanaïs, although we know its outlets (they are two in number and are in the most northerly region of Lake Maeotis, being sixty stadia distant from one another), yet but little of the part that is beyond its outlets is known to us, because of the coldness and the poverty of the country. This poverty can indeed be endured by the indigenous peoples, who, in nomadic fashion, live on flesh and milk, but people from other tribes cannot stand it. And besides, the nomads, being disinclined to intercourse with any other people and being superior both in numbers and in might, have blocked off whatever parts of the country are passable, or whatever parts of the river happen to be navigable. This is what has caused some to assume that the Tanaïs has its sources in the Caucasian Mountains, flows in great volume towards the north, and then, making a bend, empties into Lake Maeotis (Theophanes of Mitylene18 has the same opinion as these), and others to assume that it flows from the upper region of the Ister, although they produce no evidence of its flowing from so great a distance or from other "climata," as though it were impossible for the river to flow both from a nearby source and from the north. [3]

On the river and the lake is an inhabited city bearing the same name, Tanaïs; it was founded by the Greeks who held the Bosporus. Recently, however, it was sacked by King Polemon19 because it would not obey him. It was a common emporium, partly of the Asiatic and the European nomads, and partly of those who navigated the lake from the Bosporus, the former bringing slaves, hides, and such other things as nomads possess, and the latter giving in exchange clothing, wine, and the other things that belong to civilized life. At a distance of one hundred stadia off the emporium lies an island called Alopecia, a settlement of promiscuous people. There are also other small islands near by in the lake. The Tanaïs20 is two thousand two hundred stadia distant from the mouth of Lake Maeotis by a direct voyage towards the north; but it is not much farther by a voyage along the coast. [4]

In the voyage along the coast, one comes first, at a distance of eight hundred stadia from Tanaïs, to the Greater Rhombites River, as it is called, where are made the greatest catches of the fish that are suitable for salting. Then, at a distance of eight hundred more, to the Lesser Rhombites and a cape, which latter also has fisheries, although they are smaller. The people who live about the Greater Rhombites have small islands as bases for their fishing; but the people who carry on the business at the Lesser Rhombites are the Maeotae themselves, for the Maeotae live along the whole of this coast; and though farmers, they are no less warlike than the nomads. They are divided into several tribes, those who live near the Tanaïs being rather ferocious, but those whose territory borders on the Bosporus being more tractable. It is six hundred stadia from the Lesser Rhombites to Tyrambe and the Anticeites River; then a hundred and twenty to the Cimmerian village, which is a place of departure for those who navigate the lake; and on this coast are said to be some look-out places21 belonging to the Clazomenians. [5]

Cimmericum was in earlier times a city situated on a peninsula, and it closed the isthmus by means of a trench and a mound. The Cimmerians once possessed great power in the Bosporus, and this is why it was named Cimmerian Bosporus. These are the people who overran the country of those who lived in the interior on the right side of the Pontus as far as Ionia. However, these were driven out of the region by the Scythians; and then the Scythians were driven out by the Greeks who founded Panticapaeum and the other cities on the Bosporus. [6]

Then, twenty stadia distant, one comes to the village Achilleium, where is the temple of Achilles. Here is the narrowest passage across the mouth of Lake Maeotis, about twenty stadia or more; and on the opposite shore is a village, Myrmecium; and near by are Heracleium and Parthenium.22 [7]

Thence ninety stadia to the monument of Satyrus, which consists of a mound thrown up on a certain cape in memory of one of the illustrious potentates of the Bosporus.23 [8]

Near by is a village, Patraeus, from which the distance to a village Corocondame is one hundred and thirty stadia; and this village constitutes the limit of the Cimmerian Bosporus, as it is called. The Narrows at the mouth of the Maeotis are so called from the narrow passage at Achilleium and Myrmecium; they extend as far as Corocondame and the small village named Acra, which lies opposite to it in the land of the Panticapaeans, this village being separated from it by a strait seventy stadia wide; for the ice, also,24 extends as far as this, the Maeotis being so frozen at the time of frosts that it can be crossed on foot. And these Narrows have good harbors everywhere. [9]

Above Corocondame lies a lake of considerable size, which derives its name, Corocondamitis, from that of the village. It empties into the sea at a distance of ten stadia from the village. A branch of the Anticeites empties into the lake and forms a kind of island which is surrounded by this lake and the Maeotis and the river. Some apply the name Hypanis to this river, just as they do to the river near the Borysthenes. [10]

Sailing into Lake Corocondamitis one comes to Phanagoreia, a noteworthy city, and to Cepi, and to Hermonassa, and to Apaturum, the sanctuary of Aphrodite. Of these, Phanagoreia and Cepi are situated on the island above-mentioned, on the left as one sails in, but the other cities are on the right, across the Hypanis, in the Syndic territory. There is also a place called Gorgipia in the Syndic territory, the royal residence of the Sindi, near the sea; and also a place called Aborace. All the people who are subject to the potentates of the Bosporus are called Bosporians; and Panticapaeum is the metropolis of the European Bosporians, while Phanagoreium (for the name of the city is also spelled thus) is the metropolis of the Asiatic Bosporians. Phanagoreia is reputed to be the emporium for the commodities that are brought down from the Maeotis and the barbarian country that lies above it, and Panticapaeum for those which are carried up thither from the sea. There is also in Phanagoreia a notable temple of Aphrodite Apaturus. Critics derive the etymology of the epithet of the goddess by adducing a certain myth, according to which the Giants attacked the goddess there; but she called upon Heracles for help and hid him in a cave, and then, admitting the Giants one by one, gave them over to Heracles to be murdered through "treachery"25 [11]

Among the Maeotae are the Sindi themselves, Dandarii, Toreatae, Agri, and Arrechi, and also the Tarpetes, Obidiaceni, Sittaceni, Dosci, and several others. Among these belong also the Aspurgiani, who live between Phanagoreia and Gorgipia, within a stretch of five hundred stadia; these were attacked by King Polemon under a pretence of friendship, but they discovered his pretence, outgeneralled him, and taking him alive killed him. As for the Asiatic Maeotae in general, some of them were subjects of those who possessed the emporium on the Tanaïs, and the others of the Bosporians; but in those days different peoples at different times were wont to revolt. And often the rulers of the Bosporians held possession of the region as far as the Tanaïs, and particularly the latest rulers, Pharnaces, Asander, and Polemon. Pharnaces is said at one time actually to have conducted the Hypanis River over the country of the Dandarii through an old canal which he cleared out, and to have inundated the country. [12]

After the Sindic territory and Gorgipia, on the sea, one comes to the coast of the Achaei and the Zygi and the Heniochi, which for the most part is harborless and mountainous, being a part of the Caucasus. These peoples live by robberies at sea. Their boats are slender, narrow, and light, holding only about twenty-five people, though in rare cases they can hold thirty in all; the Greeks call them "camarae."26 They say that the Phthiotic Achaei27 in Jason's crew settled in this Achaea, but the Laconians in Heniochia, the leaders of the latter being Rhecas28 and Amphistratus, the "heniochi"29 of the Dioscuri,30 and that in all probability the Heniochi were named after these. At any rate, by equipping fleets of "camarae" and sailing sometimes against merchant vessels and sometimes against a country or even a city, they hold the mastery of the sea. And they are sometimes assisted even by those who hold the Bosporus, the latter supplying them with mooring places, with market place, and with means of disposing of their booty. And since, when they return to their own land, they have no anchorage, they put the "camarae" on their shoulders and carry them to the forests where they live and where they till a poor soil. And they bring the "camarae" down to the shore again when the time for navigation comes. And they do the same thing in the countries of others, for they are well acquainted with wooded places; and in these they first hide their "camarae" and then themselves wander on foot night and day for the sake of kidnapping people. But they readily offer to release their captives for ransom, informing their relatives after they have put out to sea. Now in those places which are ruled by local chieftains the rulers go to the aid of those who are wronged, often attacking and bringing back the "camarae," men and all. But the territory that is subject to the Romans affords but little aid, because of the negligence of the governors who are sent there. [13]

Such is the life of these people. They are governed by chieftains called "sceptuchi,"31 but the "sceptuchi" themselves are subject to tyrants or kings. For instance, the Heniochi had four kings at the time when Mithridates Eupator,32 in flight from the country of his ancestors to the Bosporus, passed through their country; and while he found this country passable, yet he despaired of going through that of the Zygi, both because of the ruggedness of it and because of the ferocity of the inhabitants; and only with difficulty could he go along the coast, most of the way marching on the edge of the sea, until he arrived at the country of the Achaei; and, welcomed by these, he completed his journey from Phasis, a journey not far short of four thousand stadia. [14]

Now the voyage from Corocondame is straight towards the east; and at a distance of one hundred and eighty stadia is the Sindic harbor and city; and then, at a distance of four hundred stadia, one comes to Bata, as it is called, a village and harbor, at which place Sinope on the south is thought to lie almost directly opposite this coast, just as Carambis has been referred to as opposite Criumetopon.33 After Bata Artemidorus34 mentions the coast of the Cercetae, with its mooring places and villages, extending thence about eight hundred and fifty stadia; and then the coast of the Achaei, five hundred stadia; and then that of the Heniochi, one thousand; and then Greater Pityus, extending three hundred and sixty stadia to Dioscurias. The more trustworthy historians of the Mithridatic wars name the Achaei first, then the Zygi, then the Heniochi, and then the Cercetae and Moschi and Colchi, and the Phtheirophagi who live above these three peoples, and the Soanes, and other small tribes that live in the neighborhood of the Caucasus. Now at first the coast, as I have said, stretches towards the east and faces the south, but from Bata it gradually takes a turn, and then faces the west and ends at Pityus and Dioscurias; for these places border on the above-mentioned coast of Colchis. After Dioscurias comes the remaining coast of Colchis and the adjacent coast of Trapezus, which makes a considerable bend, and then, extending approximately in a straight line, forms the righthand side of the Pontus, which faces the north. The whole of the coast of the Achaei and of the other peoples as far as Dioscurias and of the places that lie in a straight line towards the south in the interior lie at the foot of the Caucasus. [15]

This mountain lies above both seas, both the Pontic and the Caspian, and forms a wall across the isthmus that separates the two seas. It marks the boundary, on the south, of Albania and Iberia, and, on the north, of the plains of the Sarmatae. It is well wooded with all kinds of timber, and especially the kind suitable for shipbuilding. According to Eratosthenes, the Caucasus is called "Caspius" by the natives, the name being derived perhaps from the "Caspii." Branches of it project towards the south; and these not only comprise the middle of Albania but also join the mountains of Armenia and the Moschian Mountains, as they are called, and also the Scydises and the Paryadres Mountains. All these are parts of the Taurus, which forms the southern side of Armenia,parts broken off, as it were, from that mountain on the north and projecting as far as the Caucasus and that part of the coast of the Euxine which stretches from Colchis to Themiscyra. [16]

Be this as it may, since Dioscurias is situated in such a gulf and occupies the most easterly point of the whole sea, it is called not only the recess of the Euxine, but also the "farthermost" voyage. And the proverbial verse,“To Phasis, where for ships is the farthermost run,
”must be interpreted thus, not as though the author35 of the iambic verse meant the river, much less the city of the same name situated on the river, but as meaning by a part of Colchis the whole of it, since from the river and the city of that name there is left a straight voyage into the recess of not less than six hundred stadia. The same Dioscurias is the beginning of the isthmus between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine, and also the common emporium of the tribes who are situated above it and in its vicinity; at any rate, seventy tribes come together in it, though others, who care nothing for the facts, actually say three hundred. All speak different languages because of the fact that, by reason of their obstinacy and ferocity, they live in scattered groups and without intercourse with one another. The greater part of them are Sarmatae, but they are all Caucasii. So much, then, for the region of Dioscurias. [17]

Further, the greater part of the remainder of Colchis is on the sea. Through it flows the Phasis, a large river having its sources in Armenia and receiving the waters of the Glaucus and the Hippus, which issue from the neighboring mountains. It is navigated as far as Sarapana, a fortress capable of admitting the population even of a city. From here people go by land to the Cyrus in four days by a wagon road. On the Phasis is situated a city bearing the same name, an emporium of the Colchi, which is protected on one side by the river, on another by a lake, and on another by the sea. Thence people go to Amisus and Sinope by sea (a voyage of two or three days), because the shores are soft and because of the outlets of the rivers. The country is excellent both in respect to its produce—except its honey, which is generally bitter—and in respect to every thing that pertains to shipbuilding; for it not only produces quantities of timber but also brings it down on rivers. And the people make linen in quantities, and hemp, wax, and pitch. Their linen industry has been famed far and wide; for they used to export linen to outside places; and some writers, wishing to show forth a kinship between the Colchians and the Egyptians, confirm their belief by this. Above the aforesaid rivers in the Moschian country lies the temple of Leucothea, founded by Phrixus, and the oracle of Phrixus, where a ram is never sacrificed; it was once rich, but it was robbed in our time by Pharnaces, and a little later by Mithridates of Pergamum. For when a country is devastated,“things divine are in sickly plight and wont not even to be respected,
36says Euripides. [18]

The great fame this country had in early times is disclosed by the myths, which refer in an obscure way to the expedition of Jason as having proceeded as far even as Media, and also, before that time, to that of Phrixus. After this, when kings succeeded to power, the country being divided into "sceptuchies,"37 they were only moderately prosperous; but when Mithridates Eupator38 grew powerful, the country fell into his hands; and he would always send one of his friends as sub-governor or administrator of the country. Among these was Moaphernes, my mother's uncle on her father's side. And it was from this country that the king received most aid in the equipment of his naval forces. But when the power of Mithridates had been broken up, all the territory subject to him was also broken up and distributed among many persons. At last Polemon got Colchis; and since his death his wife Pythodoris has been in power, being queen, not only of the Colchians, but also of Trapezus and Pharnacia and of the barbarians who live above these places, concerning whom I shall speak later on.39 Now the Moschian country, in which is situated the temple,40 is divided into three parts: one part is held by the Colchians, another by the Iberians, and another by the Armenians. There is also a small city in Iberia, the city of Phrixus,41 the present Ideëssa, well fortified, on the confines of Colchis. And near Dioscurias flows the Chares River. [19]

Among the tribes which come together at Dioscurias are the Phtheirophagi,42 who have received their name from their squalor and their filthiness. Near them are the Soanes, who are no less filthy, but superior to them in power,—indeed, one might almost say that they are foremost in courage and power. At any rate, they are masters of the peoples around them, and hold possession of the heights of the Caucasus above Dioscurias. They have a king and a council of three hundred men; and they assemble, according to report, an army of two hundred thousand; for the whole of the people are a fighting force, though unorganized. It is said that in their country gold is carried down by the mountain torrents, and that the barbarians obtain it by means of perforated troughs and fleecy skins, and that this is the origin of the myth of the golden fleece—unless they call them Iberians, by the same name as the western Iberians, from the gold mines in both countries. The Soanes use remarkable poisons for the points of their missiles; and even people who are not wounded by the poisoned missiles suffer from their odor. Now in general the tribes in the neighborhood of the Caucasus occupy barren and cramped territories, but the tribes of the Albanians and the Iberians, which occupy nearly all the isthmus above-mentioned, might also be called Caucasian tribes; and they possess territory that is fertile and capable of affording an exceedingly good livelihood. 3.

Furthermore, the greater part of Iberia is so well built up in respect to cities and farmsteads that their roofs are tiled, and their houses as well as their marketplaces and other public buildings are constructed with architectural skill. [2]

Parts of the country are surrounded by the Caucasian Mountains; for branches of these mountains, as I said before,43 project towards the south; they are fruitful, comprise the whole of Iberia, and border on both Armenia and Colchis. In the middle is a plain intersected by rivers, the largest being the Cyrus. This river has its beginning in Armenia, flows immediately into the plain above-mentioned, receives both the Aragus, which flows from the Caucasus, and other streams, and empties through a narrow valley into Albania; and between the valley and Armenia it flows in great volume through plains that have exceedingly good pasture, receives still more rivers, among which are the Alazonius, Sandobanes, Rhoetaces, and Chanes, all navigable, and empties into the Caspian Sea. It was formerly called Corus. [3]

Now the plain of the Iberians is inhabited by people who are rather inclined to farming and to peace, and they dress after both the Armenian and the Median fashion; but the major, or warlike, portion occupy the mountainous territory, living like the Scythians and the Sarmatians, of whom they are both neighbors and kinsmen; however, they engage also in farming. And they assemble many tens of thousands, both from their own people and from the Scythians and Sarmatians, whenever anything alarming occurs. [4]

There are four passes leading into their country; one through Sarapana, a Colchian stronghold, and through the narrow defiles there. Through these defiles the Phasis, which has been made passable by one hundred and twenty bridges because of the windings of its course, flows down into Colchis with rough and violent stream, the region being cut into ravines by many torrents at the time of the heavy rains. The Phasis rises in the mountains that lie above it, where it is supplied by many springs; and in the plains it receives still other rivers, among which are the Glaucus and the Hippus. Thus filled and having by now become navigable, it issues forth into the Pontus; and it has on its banks a city bearing the same name; and near it is a lake. Such, then, is the pass that leads from Colchis into Iberia, being shut in by rocks, by strongholds, and by rivers that run through ravines. [5]

From the country of the nomads on the north there is a difficult ascent into Iberia requiring three days' travel; and after this ascent comes a narrow valley on the Aragus River, with a single file road requiring a four days' journey. The end of the road is guarded by a fortress which is hard to capture. The pass leading from Albania into Iberia is at first hewn through rock, and then leads through a marsh formed by the River Alazonius, which falls from the Caucasus. The passes from Armenia into Iberia are the defiles on the Cyrus and those on the Aragus. For, before the two rivers meet, they have on their banks fortified cities that are situated upon rocks, these being about sixteen stadia distant from each other—I mean Harmozice on the Cyrus and Seusamora on the other river. These passes were used first by Pompey when he set out from the country of the Armenians, and afterwards by Canidius.44 [6]

There are also45 four castes among the inhabitants of Iberia. One, and the first of all, is that from which they appoint their kings, the appointee being both the nearest of kin to his predecessor and the eldest, whereas the second in line administers justice and commands the army. The second caste is that of the priests, who among other things attend to all matters of controversy with the neighboring peoples. The third is that of the soldiers and the farmers. And the fourth is that of the common people, who are slaves of the king and perform all the services that pertain to human livelihood. Their possessions are held in common by them according to families, although the eldest is ruler and steward of each estate. Such are the Iberians and their country. 4.

The Albanians are more inclined to the shepherd's life than the Iberians and closer akin to the nomadic people, except that they are not ferocious; and for this reason they are only moderately warlike. They live between the Iberians and the Caspian Sea, their country bordering on the sea towards the east and on the country of the Iberians towards the west. Of the remaining sides the northern is protected by the Caucasian Mountains (for these mountains lie above the plains, though their parts next to the sea are generally called Ceraunian), whereas the southern side is formed by Armenia, which stretches alongside it; and much of Armenia consists of plains, though much of it is mountainous, like Cambysene, where the Armenians border on both the Iberians and the Albanians. [2]

The Cyrus, which flows through Albania, and the other rivers by which it is supplied, contribute to the excellent qualities of the land; and yet they thrust back the sea, for the silt, being carried forward in great quantities, fills the channel, and consequently even the adjacent isles are joined to the mainland and form shoals that are uneven and difficult to avoid; and their unevenness is made worse by the backwash of the flood tides. Moreover, they say that the outlet of the river is divided into twelve mouths, of which some are choked with silt, while the others are altogether shallow and leave not even a mooring place. At any rate, they add, although the shore is washed on all sides by the sea and the rivers for a distance of more than sixty stadia, every part of it is inaccessible; and the silt extends even as far as five hundred stadia, making the shore sandy. Near by is also the mouth of the Araxes, a turbulent stream that flows down from Armenia. But the silt which this river pushes before it, thus making the channel passable for its stream, is compensated for by the Cyrus.46 [3]

Now perhaps a people of this kind have no need of a sea; indeed, they do not make appropriate use of their land either, which produces, not only every kind of fruit, even the most highly cultivated kind, but also every plant, for it bears even the evergreens. It receives not even slight attention, yet“all things spring up for them without sowing and ploughing,
47according to those who have made expeditions there,48 who describe the mode of life there as "Cyclopeian." In many places, at any rate, they say, the land when sown only once produces two crops or even three, the first a crop of even fifty-fold, and that too without being ploughed between crops; and even when it is ploughed, it is not ploughed with an iron share, but with a wooden plough shaped by nature. The plain as a whole is better watered by its rivers and other waters than the Babylonian and the Egyptian plains; consequently it always keeps a grassy appearance, and therefore is also good for pasturage. In addition to this, the climate here is better than there. And the people never dig about the vines, although they prune them every fifth year;49 the new vines begin to produce fruit the second year, and when mature they yield so much that the people leave a large part of the fruit on the branches. Also the cattle in their country thrive, both the tame and the wild. [4]

The inhabitants of this country are unusually handsome and large. And they are frank in their dealings, and not mercenary;50 for they do not in general use coined money, nor do they know any number greater than one hundred, but carry on business by means of barter, and otherwise live an easy-going life. They are also unacquainted with accurate measures and weights, and they take no forethought for war or government or farming. But still they fight both on foot and on horseback, both in light armour and in full armour,51 like the Armenians.52 [5]

They send forth a greater army than that of the Iberians; for they equip sixty thousand infantry and twenty-two thousand53 horsemen, the number with which they risked their all against Pompey. Against outsiders the nomads join with the Albanians in war, just as they do with the Iberians, and for the same reasons; and besides, they often attack the people, and consequently prevent them from farming. The Albanians use javelins and bows; and they wear breastplates and large oblong shields, and helmets made of the skins of wild animals, similar to those worn by the Iberians. To the country of the Albanians belongs also the territory called Caspiane, which was named after the Caspian tribe, as was also the sea; but the tribe has now disappeared. The pass from Iberia into Albania leads through Cambysene, a waterless and rugged country, to the Alazonius River. Both the people and their dogs are surpassingly fond of hunting, engaging in it not so much because of their skill in it as because of their love for it. [6]

Their kings, also, are excellent. At the present time, indeed, one king rules all the tribes, but formerly the several tribes were ruled separately by kings of their own according to their several languages. They have twenty-six languages, because of the fact that they have no easy means of intercourse with one another. The country produces also certain of the deadly reptiles, and scorpions and phalangia.54 Some of the phalangia cause people to die laughing, while others cause people to die weeping over the loss of their deceased kindred. [7]

As for gods, they honor Helius,55 Zeus, and Selene,56 but especially Selene;57 her temple is near Iberia. The office of priest is held by the man who, after the king, is held in highest honor; he has charge of the sacred land, which is extensive and well-populated, and also of the temple slaves, many of whom are subject to religious frenzy and utter prophecies. And any one of those who, becoming violently possessed, wanders alone in the forests, is by the priest arrested, bound with sacred fetters, and sumptuously maintained during that year, and then led forth to the sacrifice that is performed in honor of the goddess, and, being anointed, is sacrificed along with other victims. The sacrifice is performed as follows: Some person holding a sacred lance, with which it is the custom to sacrifice human victims, comes forward out of the crowd and strikes the victim through the side into the heart, he being not without experience in such a task; and when the victim falls, they draw auguries from his fall58 and declare them before the public; and when the body is carried to a certain place, they all trample upon it, thus using it as a means of purification. [8]

The Albanians are surpassingly respectful to old age, not merely to their parents, but to all other old people. And when people die it is impious to be concerned about them or even to mention them. Indeed, they bury their money with them, and therefore live in poverty, having no patrimony. So much for the Albanians. It is said that Jason, together with Armenus the Thessalian, on his voyage to the country of the Colchians, pressed on from there as far as the Caspian Sea, and visited, not only Iberia and Albania, but also many parts of Armenia and Media, as both the Jasonia59 and several other memorials testify. And it is said that Armenus was a native of Armenium, one of the cities on Lake Boebeïs between Pherae and Iarisa, and that his followers took up their abode in Acilisene and Syspiritis, occuping the country as far as Calachane and Adiabene; and indeed that he left Armenia named after himself. 5.

The Amazons, also, are said to live in the mountains above Albania. Now Theophanes,60 who made the expedition with Pompey and was in the country of the Albanians, says that the Gelae and the Legae, Scythian people, live between the Amazons and the Albanians, and that the Mermadalis River flows there, midway between these people and the Amazons. But others, among whom are Metrodorus of Scepsis61 and Hypsicrates, who themselves, likewise, were not unacquainted with the region in question, say that the Amazons live on the borders of the Gargarians, in the northerly foothills of those parts of the Caucasian Mountains which are called Ceraunian;62 that the Amazons spend the rest of their time63 off to themselves, performing their several individual tasks, such as ploughing, planting, pasturing cattle, and particularly in training horses, though the bravest engage mostly in hunting on horseback and practise warlike exercises; that the right breasts of all are seared when they are infants, so that they can easily use their right arm for every needed purpose, and especially that of throwing the javelin; that they also use bow and sagaris64 and light shield, and make the skins of wild animals serve as helmets, clothing, and girdles; but that they have two special months in the spring in which they go up into the neighboring mountain which separates them and the Gargarians. The Gargarians also, in accordance with an ancient custom, go up thither to offer sacrifice with the Amazons and also to have intercourse with them for the sake of begetting children, doing this in secrecy and darkness, any Gargarian at random with any Amazon; and after making them pregnant they send them away; and the females that are born are retained by the Amazons themselves, but the males are taken to the Gargarians to be brought up; and each Gargarian to whom a child is brought adopts the child as his own, regarding the child as his son because of his uncertainty. [2]

The Mermodas65 dashes down from the mountains through the country of the Amazons and through Siracene and the intervening desert and then empties into Lake Maeotis. It is said that the Gargarians went up from Themiscyra into this region with the Amazons, then revolted from them and in company with some Thracians and Euboeans who had wandered thus far carried on war against them, and that they later ended the war against them and made a compact on the conditions above-mentioned, that is, that they should have dealings with one another only in the matter of children, and that each people should live independent of the other. [3]

A peculiar thing has happened in the case of the account we have of the Amazons; for our accounts of other peoples keep a distinction between the mythical and the historical elements; for the things that are ancient and false and monstrous are called myths, but history wishes for the truth, whether ancient or recent, and contains no monstrous element, or else only rarely. But as regards the Amazons, the same stories are told now as in early times, though they are marvellous and beyond belief. For instance, who could believe that an army of women, or a city, or a tribe, could ever be organized without men, and not only be organized, but even make inroads upon the territory of other people, and not only overpower the peoples near them to the extent of advancing as far as what is now Ionia, but even send an expedition across the sea as far as Attica? For this is the same as saying that the men of those times were women and that the women were men. Nevertheless, even at the present time these very stories are told about the Amazons, and they intensify the peculiarity above-mentioned and our belief in the ancient accounts rather than those of the present time. [4]

At any rate, the founding of cities and the giving of names to them are ascribed to the Amazons, as, for instance, Ephesus and Smyrna and Cyme and Myrine; and so are tombs and other monuments; and Themiscyra and the plains about Thermodon and the mountains that lie above them are by all writers mentioned as having belonged to the Amazons; but they say that the Amazons were driven out of these places. Only a few writers make assertions as to where they are at the present time, but their assertions are without proof and beyond belief, as in the case of Thalestria, queen of the Amazons, with whom, they say, Alexander associated in Hyrcania and had intercourse for the sake of offspring; for this assertion is not generally accepted. Indeed, of the numerous historians, those who care most for the truth do not make the assertion, nor do those who are most trustworthy mention any such thing, nor do those who tell the story agree in their statements. Cleitarchus66 says that Thalestria set out from the Caspian Gates and Thermodon and visited Alexander; but the distance from the Caspian country to Thermodon is more than six thousand stadia. [5]

The stories that have been spread far and wide with a view to glorifying Alexander are not accepted by all; and their fabricators were men who cared for flattery rather than truth. For instance: they transferred the Caucasus into the region of the Indian mountains and of the eastern sea which lies near those mountains from the mountains which lie above Colchis and the Euxine; for these are the mountains which the Greeks named Caucasus, which is more than thirty thousand stadia distant from India; and here it was that they laid the scene of the story of Prometheus and of his being put in bonds; for these were the farthermost mountains towards the east that were known to writers of that time. And the expedition of Dionysus and Heracles to the country of the Indians looks like a mythical story of later date, because Heracles is said to have released Prometheus one thousand years later. And although it was a more glorious thing for Alexander to subdue Asia as far as the Indian mountains than merely to the recess of the Euxine and to the Caucasus, yet the glory of the mountain, and its name, and the belief that Jason and his followers had accomplished the longest of all expeditions, reaching as far as the neighborhood of the Caucasus, and the tradition that Prometheus was bound at the ends of the earth on the Caucasus, led writers to suppose that they would be doing the king a favor if they transferred the name Caucasus to India. [6]

Now the highest parts of the real Caucasus are the most southerly—those next to Albania, Iberia, and the Colchians, and the Heniochians. They are inhabited by the peoples who, as I have said,67 assemble at Dioscurias; and they assemble there mostly in order to get salt. Of these tribes, some occupy the ridges of the mountains, while the others have their abodes in glens and live mostly on the flesh of wild animals, and on wild fruits and milk. The summits of the mountains are impassable in winter, but the people ascend them in summer by fastening to their feet broad shoes made of raw ox-hide, like drums, and furnished with spikes, on account of the snow and the ice. They descend with their loads by sliding down seated upon skins, as is the custom in Atropatian Media and on Mount Masius in Armenia; there, however, the people also fasten wooden discs furnished with spikes to the soles of their shoes. Such, then, are the heights of the Caucasus. [7]

As one descends into the foothills, the country inclines more towards the north, but its climate is milder, for there it borders on the plains of the Siraces. And here are also some Troglodytae, who, on account of the cold, live in caves; but even in their country there is plenty of barley. After the Troglodytae one comes to certain Chamaecoetae68 and Polyphagi,69 as they are called, and to the villages of the Eisadici, who are able to farm because they are not altogether exposed to the north. [8]

The next peoples to which one comes between Lake Maeotis and the Caspian Sea are nomads, the Nabiani and the Panxani, and then next the tribes of the Siraces and the Aorsi. The Aorsi and the Siraces are thought to be fugitives from the upper tribes of those names70 and the Aorsi are more to the north than the Siraces. Now Abeacus, king of the Siraces, sent forth twenty thousand horsemen at the time when Pharnaces held the Bosporus; and Spadines, king of the Aorsi, two hundred thousand; but the upper Aorsi sent a still larger number, for they held dominion over more land, and, one may almost say, ruled over most of the Caspian coast; and consequently they could import on camels the Indian and Babylonian merchandise, receiving it in their turn from the Armenians and the Medes, and also, owing to their wealth, could wear golden ornaments. Now the Aorsi live along the Tanaïs, but the Siraces live along the Achardeüs, which flows from the Caucasus and empties into Lake Maeotis. 6.

The second71 portion begins at the Caspian Sea, at which the first portion ends. The same sea is also called Hyrcanian. But I must first describe this sea and the tribes which live about it.

This sea is the gulf which extends from the ocean72 towards the south; it is rather narrow at its entrance, but it widens out as it advances inland, and especially in the region of its recess, where its width is approximately five thousand stadia. The length of the voyage from its entrance to its recess might be slightly more than that, since its entrance is approximately on the borders of the uninhabited world. Eratosthenes says that the circuit of this sea was known to the Greeks; that the part along the coast of the Albanians and the Cadusians is five thousand four hundred stadia; and that the part along the coast of the Anariaci and Mardi and Hyrcani to the mouth of the Oxus River is four thousand eight hundred, and thence to the Iaxartes, two thousand four hundred. But we must understand in a more general sense the accounts of this portion and the regions that lie so far removed, particularly in the matter of distances. [2]

On the right, as one sails into the Caspian Sea, are those Scythians, or Sarmatians,73 who live in the country contiguous to Europe between the Tanaïs River and this sea; the greater part of them are nomads, of whom I have already spoken.74 On the left are the eastern Scythians, also nomads, who extend as far as the Eastern Sea and India. Now all the peoples towards the north were by the ancient Greek historians given the general name "Scythians" or "Celtoscythians"; but the writers of still earlier times, making distinctions between them, called those who lived above the Euxine and the Ister and the Adriatic "Hyperboreans," "Sauromatians," and "Arimaspians," and they called those who lived across the Caspian Sea in part "Sacians" and in part "Massagetans," but they were unable to give any accurate account of them, although they reported a war between Cyrus75 and the Massagetans. However, neither have the historians given an accurate and truthful account of these peoples, nor has much credit been given to the ancient history of the Persians or Medes or Syrians, on account of the credulity of the historians and their fondness for myths. [3]

For, seeing that those who were professedly writers of myths enjoyed repute, they thought that they too would make their writings pleasing if they told in the guise of history what they had never seen, nor even heard—or at least not from persons who knew the facts—with this object alone in view, to tell what afforded their hearers pleasure and amazement. One could more easily believe Hesiod and Homer in their stories of the heroes than Ctesias, Herodotus, Hellanicus,76 and other writers of this kind. [4]

Neither is it easy to believe most of those who have written the history of Alexander; for these toy with facts, both because of the glory of Alexander and because his expedition reached the ends of Asia, far away from us; and statements about things that are far away are hard to refute. But the supremacy of the Romans and that of the Parthians has disclosed considerably more knowledge than that which had previously come down to us by tradition; for those who write about those distant regions tell a more trustworthy story than their predecessors, both of the places and of the tribes among which the activities took place, for they have looked into the matter more closely. 7.

Those nomads, however, who live along the coast on the left as one sails into the Caspian Sea are by the writers of today called Däae, I mean, those who are surnamed Aparni; then, in front of them, intervenes a desert country; and next comes Hyrcania, where the Caspian resembles an open sea to the point where it borders on the Median and Armenian mountains. The shape of these mountains is crescent-like along the foothills, which end at the sea and form the recess of the gulf. This side of the mountains, beginning at the sea, is inhabited as far as their heights for a short stretch by a part of the Albanians and the Armenians, but for the most part by Gelae, Cadusii, Amardi, Vitii, and Anariacae. They say that some of the Parrhasii took up their abode with the Anariacae, who, they say, are now called Parsii; and that the Aenianes built a walled city in the Vitian territory, which, they say, is called Aeniana; and that Greek armour, brazen vessels, and burial places are to be seen there; and that there is also a city Anariace there, in which, they say, is to be seen an oracle for sleepers,77 and some other tribes that are more inclined to brigandage and war than to farming; but this is due to the ruggedness of the region. However, the greater part of the seaboard round the mountainous country is occupied by Cadusii, for a stretch of almost five thousand stadia, according to Patrocles,78 who considers this sea almost equal to the Pontic Sea. Now these regions have poor soil. [2]

But Hyrcania is exceedingly fertile, extensive, and in general level; it is distinguished by notable cities, among which are Talabroce, Samariane, Carta, and the royal residence Tape, which, they say, is situated slightly above the sea and at a distance of one thousand four hundred stadia from the Caspian Gates. And because of its particular kind of prosperity writers go on to relate evidences thereof: the vine produces one metretes79 of wine, and the fig-tree sixty medimni;80 the grain grows up from the seed that falls from the stalk; bees have their hives in the trees, and honey drips from the leaves; and this is also the case in Matiane in Media, and in Sacasene and Araxene in Armenia.81 However, neither the country itself nor the sea that is named after it has received proper attention, the sea being both without vessels and unused. There are islands in this sea which could afford a livelihood, and, according to some writers, contain gold ore. The cause of this lack of attention was the fact that the first governors of the Hyrcanians, I mean the Medes and Persians, as also the last, I mean the Parthians, who were inferior to the former, were barbarians, and also the fact that the whole of the neighboring country was full of brigands and nomads and deserted regions. The Macedonians did indeed rule over the country for a short time, but they were so occupied with wars that they could not attend to their remote possessions. According to Aristobulus, Hyrcania, which is a wooded country, has the oak, but does not produce the torch-pine82 or fir83 or stone-pine,84 though India abounds in these trees. Nesaea, also, belongs to Hyrcania, though some writers set it down as an independent district.85 [3]

Hyrcania is traversed by the rivers Ochus and Oxus to their outlets into the sea; and of these, the Ochus flows also through Nesaea, but some say that the Ochus empties into the Oxus. Aristobulus86 declares that the Oxus is the largest of the rivers he has seen in Asia, except those in India. And he further says that it is navigable (both he and Eratosthenes taking this statement from Patrocles)87 and that large quantities of Indian wares are brought down on it to the Hyrcanian sea, and thence on that sea are transported to Albania and brought down on the Cyrus River and through the region that comes next after it to the Euxine. The Ochus is not mentioned at all by the ancient writers. Apollodorus,88 however, who wrote the Parthica, names it continually, implying that it flows very close to the country of the Parthians. [4]

Many false notions were also added to the account of this sea because89 of Alexander's love of glory; for, since it was agreed by all that the Tanaïs separated Asia from Europe, and that the region between the sea and the Tanaïs, being a considerable part of Asia, had not fallen under the power of the Macedonians, it was resolved to manipulate the account of Alexander's expedition so that in fame at least he might be credited with having conquered those parts of Asia too. They therefore united lake Maeotis, which receives the Tanaïs, with the Caspian Sea, calling this too a lake and asserting that both were connected with one another by an underground passage and that each was a part of the other. Polycleitus goes on to adduce proofs in connection with his belief that the sea is a lake (for instance, he says that it produces serpents, and that its water is sweetish); and that it is no other than Maeotis he judges from the fact that the Tanaïs empties into it. From the same Indian mountains, where the Ochus and the Oxus and several other rivers rise, flows also the Iaxartes, which, like those rivers, empties into the Caspian Sea and is the most northerly of them all. This river, accordingly, they named Tanaïs; and in addition to so naming it they gave as proof that it was the Tanaïs mentioned by Polycleitus that the country on the far side of this river produces the fir-tree and that the Scythians in that region use arrows made of fir-wood; and they say that this is also evidence that the country on the far side belongs to Europe and not to Asia, for, they add, Upper and Eastern Asia does not produce the fir-tree. But Eratosthenes says that the fir-tree grows also in India and that Alexander built his fleet out of fir-wood from there. Eratosthenes tries to reconcile many other differences of this kind, but as for me, let what I have said about them suffice. [5]

This too, among the marvellous things recorded of Hyrcania, is related by Eudoxus90 and others: that there are some cliffs facing the sea with caverns underneath, and between these and the sea, below the cliffs, is a low-lying shore; and that rivers flowing from the precipices above rush forward with so great force that when they reach the cliffs they hurl their waters out into the sea without wetting the shore, so that even armies can pass underneath sheltered by the stream above; and the natives often come down to the place for the sake of feasting and sacrifice, and sometimes they recline in the caverns down below and sometimes they enjoy themselves basking in the sunlight beneath the stream itself, different people enjoying themselves in different ways, having in sight at the same time on either side both the sea and the shore, which latter, because of the moisture, is grassy and abloom with flowers. 8.

As one proceeds from the Hyrcanian Sea towards the east, one sees on the right the mountains that extend as far as the Indian Sea, which by the Greeks are named the Taurus. Beginning at Pamphylia and Cilicia they extend thus far in a continuous line from the west and bear various different names. In the northerly parts of the range dwell first the Gelae and Cadusii and Amardi, as I have said,91 and certain of the Hyrcanians, and after them the tribe of the Parthians and that of the Margianians and the Arians; and then comes the desert which is separated from Hyrcania by the Sarnius River as one goes eastwards and towards the Ochus River. The mountain which extends from Armenia to this point, or a little short of it, is called Parachoathras. The distance from the Hyrcanian Sea to the country of the Arians is about six thousand stadia. Then comes Bactriana, and Sogdiana, and finally the Scythian nomads. Now the Macedonians gave the name Caucasus to all the mountains which follow in order after the country of the Arians; but among the barbarians92 the extremities93 on the north were given the separate names "Paropamisus" and "Emoda" and "Imaus"; and other such names were applied to separate parts. [2]

On the left and opposite these peoples are situated the Scythian or nomadic tribes, which cover the whole of the northern side. Now the greater part of the Scythians, beginning at the Caspian Sea, are called Däae, but those who are situated more to the east than these are named Massagetae and Sacae, whereas all the rest are given the general name of Scythians, though each people is given a separate name of its own. They are all for the most part nomads. But the best known of the nomads are those who took away Bactriana from the Greeks, I mean the Asii, Pasiani, Tochari,94 and Sacarauli, who originally came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes River that adjoins that of the Sacae and the Sogdiani and was occupied by the Sacae. And as for the Däae, some of them are called Aparni, some Xanthii, and some Pissuri. Now of these the Aparni are situated closest to Hyrcania and the part of the sea that borders on it, but the remainder extend even as far as the country that stretches parallel to Aria. [3]

Between them95 and Hyrcania and Parthia and extending as far as the Arians is a great waterless desert, which they traversed by long marches and then overran Hyrcania, Nesaea, and the plains of the Parthians. And these people agreed to pay tribute, and the tribute was to allow the invaders at certain appointed times to overrun the country and carry off booty. But when the invaders overran their country more than the agreement allowed, war ensued, and in turn their quarrels were composed and new wars were begun. Such is the life of the other nomads also, who are always attacking their neighbors and then in turn settling their differences. [4]

The Sacae, however, made raids like those of Cimmerians and Treres,96 some into regions close to their own country, others into regions farther away. For instance, they occupied Bactriana, and acquired possession of the best land in Armenia, which they left named after themselves, Sacasene; and they advanced as far as the country of the Cappadocians, particularly those situated close to the Euxine, who are now called the Pontici. But when they were holding a general festival and enjoying their booty, they were attacked by night by the Persian generals who were then in that region and utterly wiped out. And these generals, heaping up a mound of earth over a certain rock in the plain, completed it in the form of a hill, and erected on it a wall, and established the temple of Anaïtis and the gods who share her altar—Omanus and Anadatus, Persian deities; and they instituted an annual sacred festival, the Sacaea, which the inhabitants of Zela (for thus the place is called) continue to celebrate to the present day. It is a small city belonging for the most part to the temple slaves. But Pompey added considerable territory to it, settled the inhabitants thereof within the walls, and made it one of the cities which he organized after his overthrow of Mithridates. [5]

Now this is the account which some writers give of the Sacae. Others say that Cyrus made an expedition against the Sacae, was defeated in the battle, and fled; but that he encamped in the place where he had left behind his supplies, which consisted of an abundance of everything and especially of wine, rested his army a short time, and set out at nightfall, as though he were in flight, leaving the tents full of supplies; and that he proceeded as far as he thought best and halted; and that the Sacae pursued, found the camp empty of men but full of things conducive to enjoyment, and filled themselves to the full; and that Cyrus turned back, and found them drunk and crazed, so that some were slain while lying stupefied and asleep, whereas others fell victims to the arms of the enemy while dancing and revelling naked, and almost all perished; and Cyrus, regarding the happy issue as of divine origin, consecrated that day to the goddess of his fathers and called it Sacaea; and that wherever there is a temple of this goddess, there the festival of the Sacaea, a kind of Bacchic festival, is the custom, at which men, dressed in the Scythian garb, pass day and night drinking and playing wantonly with one another, and also with the women who drink with them. [6]

The Massagetae disclosed their valor in their war with Cyrus, to which many writers refer again and again; and it is from these that we must get our information. Statements to the following effect are made concerning the Massagetae: that some of them inhabit mountains, some plains, others marshes which are formed by the rivers, and others the islands in the marshes. But the country is inundated most of all, they say, by the Araxes River, which splits into numerous branches and empties by its other mouths into the other sea97 on the north, though by one single mouth it reaches the Hyrcanian Gulf. They regard Helius98 alone as god, and to him they sacrifice horses. Each man marries only one wife, but they use also the wives of others; not in secret, however, for the man who is to have intercourse with the wife of another hangs up his quiver on the wagon and has intercourse with her openly. And they consider it the best kind of death when they are old to be chopped up with the flesh of cattle and eaten mixed up with that flesh. But those who die of disease are cast out as impious and worthy only to be eaten by wild beasts. They are good horsemen and foot-soldiers; they use bows, short swords, breastplates, and sagares99 made of brass; and in their battles they wear headbands and belts made of gold. And their horses have bits and girths made of gold. Silver is not found in their country, and only a little iron, but brass and gold in abundance. [7]

Now those who live in the islands, since they have no grain to sow, use roots and wild fruits as food, and they clothe themselves with the bark of trees (for they have no cattle either), and they drink the juice squeezed out of the fruit of the trees. Those who live in the marshes eat fish, and clothe themselves in the skins of the seals that run up thither from the sea. The mountaineers themselves also live on wild fruits; but they have sheep also, though only a few, and therefore they do not butcher them, sparing them for their wool and milk; and they variegate the color of their clothing by staining it with dyes whose colors do not easily fade. The inhabitants of the plains, although they possess land, do not till it, but in the nomadic or Scythian fashion live on sheep and fish. Indeed, there not only is a certain mode of life common to all such peoples, of which I often speak,100 but their burials, customs, and their way of living as a whole, are alike, that is, they are self-assertive, uncouth, wild, and warlike, but, in their business dealings, straightforward and not given to deceit. [8]

Belonging to the tribe of the Massagetae and the Sacae are also the Attasii and the Chorasmii, to whom Spitamenes101 fled from the country of the Bactriani and the Sogdiani. He was one of the Persians who escaped from Alexander, as did also Bessus; and later Arsaces,102 when he fled from Seleucus Callinicus,103 withdrew into the country of the Apasiacae. Eratosthenes says that the Arachoti and Massagetae are situated alongside the Bactrians towards the west along the Oxus River, and that the Sacae and the Sogdiani, with the whole of their lands, are situated opposite India, but the Bactriani only for a slight distance; for, he says, they are situated for the most part alongside the Paropamisus, and the Sacae and the Sogdiani are separated from one another by the Iaxartes River, and the Sogdiani and the Bactriani by the Oxus River; and the Tapyri live between the Hyrcanians and the Arians; and in a circuit round the sea after the Hyrcanians one comes to the Amardi, Anariacae, Cadusii, Albani, Caspii, Vitii, and perhaps also other peoples, until one reaches the Scythians; and on the other side of the Hyrcanians are Derbices; and the Cadusii border on the Medi and Matiani below the Parachoathras. [9]

Eratosthenes gives the distances as follows: From Mt. Caspius to the Cyrus River, about one thousand eight hundred stadia; thence to the Caspian Gates, five thousand six hundred; then to Alexandreia in the country of the Arians, six thousand four hundred; then to the city Bactra, also called Zariaspa, three thousand eight hundred and seventy; then to the Iaxartes River, to which Alexander came, about five thousand; a distance all told of twenty-two thousand six hundred and seventy stadia. He gives also the distance from the Caspian Gates to India as follows: To Hecatompylus, one thousand nine hundred and sixty stadia; to Alexandreia in the country of the Arians, four thousand five hundred and thirty; then to Prophthasia in Drangge, one thousand six hundred (others say one thousand five hundred); then to the city Arachoti, four thousand one hundred and twenty; then to Ortospana, to the junction of the three roads leading from Bactra, two thousand; then to the borders of India, one thousand; a distance all told of fifteen thousand three hundred stadia.104 We must conceive of the length of India, reckoned from the Indus River to the eastern sea, as continuous with this distance in a straight line. So much for the Sacae. 9.

As for the Parthian country, it is not large; at any rate, it paid its tribute along with the Hyrcanians in the Persian times, and also after this, when for a long time the Macedonians held the mastery. And, in addition to its smallness, it is thickly wooded and mountainous, and also poverty stricken, so that on this account the kings send their own throngs through it in great haste, since the country is unable to support them even for a short time. At present, however, it has increased in extent. Parts of the Parthian country are Comisene and Chorene, and, one may almost say, the whole region that extends as far as the Caspian Gates and Rhagae and the Tapyri, which formerly belonged to Media. And in the neighborhood of Rhagae are the cities Apameia and Heracleia. The distance from the Caspian Gates to Rhagae is five hundred stadia, as Apollodorus says, and to Hecatompylus, the royal seat of the Parthians, one thousand two hundred and sixty. Rhagae is said to have got its name from the earthquakes that took place in that country, by which numerous cities and two thousand villages, as Poseidonius says, were destroyed. The Tapyri are said to live between the Derbices and the Hyrcanians. It is reported of the Tapyri that it was a custom of theirs to give their wives in marriage to other husbands as soon as they had had two or three children by them; just as in our times, in accordance with an ancient custom of the Romans, Cato gave Marcia in marriage to Hortensius at the request of the latter. [2]

But when revolutions were attempted by the countries outside the Taurus, because of the fact that the kings of Syria and Media, who were in possession also of these countries, were busily engaged with others, those who had been entrusted with their government first caused the revolt of Bactriana and of all the country near it, I mean Euthydemus and his followers; and then Arsaces, a Scythian, with some of the Däae (I mean the Aparnians, as they were called, nomads who lived along the Ochus), invaded Parthia and conquered it. Now at the outset Arsaces was weak, being continually at war with those who had been deprived by him of their territory, both he himself and his successors, but later they grew so strong, always taking the neighboring territory, through successes in warfare, that finally they established themselves as lords of the whole of the country inside the Euphrates. And they also took a part of Bactriana, having forced the Scythians, and still earlier Eucratides and his followers, to yield to them; and at the present time they rule over so much land and so many tribes that in the size of their empire they have become, in a way, rivals of the Romans. The cause of this is their mode of life, and also their customs, which contain much that is barbarian and Scythian in character, though more that is conducive to hegemony and success in war. [3]

They say that the Aparnian Däae were emigrants from the Däae above Lake Maeotis, who are called Xandii or Parii. But the view is not altogether accepted that the Däae are a part of the Scythians who live about Maeotis. At any rate, some say that Arsaces derives his origin from the Scythians, whereas others say that he was a Bactrian, and that when in flight from the enlarged power of Diodotus and his followers he caused Parthia to revolt. But since I have said much about the Parthian usages in the sixth book of my Historical Sketches and in the second book of my History of events after Polybius,105 I shall omit discussion of that subject here, lest I may seem to be repeating what I have already said, though I shall mention this alone, that the Council of the Parthians, according to Poseidonius, consists of two groups, one that of kinsmen,106 and the other that of wise men and Magi, from both of which groups the kings were appointed.107 10.

Aria and Margiana are the most powerful districts in this part of Asia, these districts in part being enclosed by the mountains and in part having their habitations in the plains. Now the mountains are occupied by Tent-dwellers, and the plains are intersected by rivers that irrigate them, partly by the Arius and partly by the Margus. Aria borders on Margiana and . . . Bactriana;108 it is about six thousand stadia distant from Hyrcania. And Drangiana, as far as Carmania, was joined with Aria in the payment of tribute—Dragiana, for the most part, lying below the southern parts of the mountains, though some parts of it approach the northern region opposite Aria. But Arachosia, also, is not far away, this country too lying below the southern parts of the mountains and extending as far as the Indus River, being a part of Ariana. The length of Aria is about two thousand stadia, and the breadth of the plain about three hundred. Its cities are Artacaëna and Alexandreia and Achaïa, all named after their founders. The land is exceedingly productive of wine, which keeps good for three generations in vessels not smeared with pitch. [2]

Margiana is similar to this country, although its plain is surrounded by deserts. Admiring its fertility, Antiochus Soter109 enclosed a circuit of fifteen hundred stadia with a wall and founded a city Antiocheia. The soil of the country is well suited to the vine; at any rate, they say that a stock of the vine is often found which would require two men to girth it,110 and that the bunches of grapes are two cubits.111 11.

As for Bactria, a part of it lies alongside Aria towards the north, though most of it lies above Aria and to the east of it. And much of it produces everything except oil. The Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Ariana, but also of India, as Apollodorus of Artemita says: and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander—by Menander in particular (at least if he actually crossed the Hypanis towards the east and advanced as far as the Imaüs), for some were subdued by him personally and others by Demetrius, the son of Euthydemus the king of the Bactrians; and they took possession, not only of Patalena, but also, on the rest of the coast, of what is called the kingdom of Saraostus and Sigerdis. In short, Apollodorus says that Bactriana is the ornament of Ariana as a whole; and, more than that, they extended their empire even as far as the Seres and the Phryni. [2]

Their cities were Bactra (also called Zariaspa, through which flows a river bearing the same name and emptying into the Oxus), and Darapsa, and several others. Among these was Eucratidia, which was named after its ruler. The Greeks took possession of it and divided it into satrapies, of which the satrapy Turiva and that of Aspionus were taken away from Eucratides by the Parthians. And they also held Sogdiana, situated above Bactriana towards the east between the Oxus River, which forms the boundary between the Bactrians and the Sogdians, and the Iaxartes River. And the Iaxartes forms also the boundary between the Sogdians and the nomads. [3]

Now in early times the Sogdians and Bactrians did not differ much from the nomads in their modes of life and customs, although the Bactrians were a little more civilized; however, of these, as of the others, Onesicritus112 does not report their best traits, saying, for instance, that those who have become helpless because of old age or sickness are thrown out alive as prey to dogs kept expressly for this purpose, which in their native tongue are called "under-takers," and that while the land outside the walls of the metropolis of the Bactrians looks clean, yet most of the land inside the walls is full of human bones; but that Alexander broke up the custom. And the reports about the Caspians are similar, for instance, that when parents live beyond seventy years they are shut in and starved to death. Now this latter custom is more tolerable; and it is similar to that of the Ceians,113 although it is of Scythian origin; that of the Bactrians, however, is still more like that of the Scythians. And so, if it was proper to be in doubt as to the facts at the time when Alexander was finding such customs there, what should one say as to what sort of customs were probably in vogue among them in the time of the earliest Persian rulers and the still earlier rulers? [4]

Be this as it may, they say that Alexander founded eight cities in Bactriana and Sogdiana, and that he razed certain cities to the ground, among which was Cariatae in Bactriana, in which Callisthenes was seized and imprisoned, and Maracanda and Cyra in Sogdiana, Cyra being the last city founded by Cyrus114 and being situated on the Iaxartes River, which was the boundary of the Persian empire; and that although this settlement was fond of Cyrus, he razed it to the ground because of its frequent revolts; and that through a betrayal he took also two strongly fortified rocks, one in Bactriana, that of Sisimithres, where Oxyartes kept his daughter Rhoxana, and the other in Sogdiana, that of Oxus, though some call it the rock of Ariamazes. Now writers report that that of Sisimithres is fifteen stadia in height and eighty in circuit, and that on top it is level and has a fertile soil which can support five hundred men, and that here Alexander met with sumptuous hospitality and married Rhoxana, the daughter of Oxyartes; but the rock in Sogdiana, they say, is twice as high as that in Bactriana. And near these places, they say, Alexander destroyed also the city of the Branchidae, whom Xerxes had settled there—people who voluntarily accompanied him from their homeland—because of the fact that they had betrayed to him the riches and treasures of the god at Didymi. Alexander destroyed the city, they add, because he abominated the sacrilege and the betrayal. [5]

Aristobulus115 calls the river which flows through Sogdiana Polytimetus, a name imposed by the Macedonians (just as they imposed names on many other places, giving new names to some and slightly altering the spelling of the names of others); and watering the country it empties into a desert and sandy land, and is absorbed in the sand, like the Arius which flows through the country of the Arians. It is said that people digging near the Ochus River found oil. It is reasonable to suppose that, just as nitrous116 and astringent and bituminous and sulphurous liquids flow through the earth, so also oily liquids are found; but the rarity causes surprise.117 According to some, the Ochus flows through Bactriana; according to others, alongside it. And according to some, it is a different river from the Oxus as far as its mouths, being more to the south than the Oxus, although they both have their outlets into the Caspian Sea in Hyrcania, whereas others say that it is different at first, but unites with the Oxus, being in many places as much as six or seven stadia wide. The Iaxartes, however, from beginning to end, is a different river from the Oxus, and although it ends in the same sea, the mouths of the two, according to Patrocles, are about eighty parasangs distant from one another. The Persian parasang, according to some, is sixty stadia, but according to others thirty or forty. When I was sailing up the Nile, they used different measures when they named the distance in "schoeni" from city to city, so that in some places the same number of "schoeni" meant a longer voyage and in others a shorter;118 and thus the variations have been preserved to this day as handed down from the beginning. [6]

Now the tribes one encounters in going from Hyrcania towards the rising sun as far as Sogdiana became known at first to the Persians—I mean the tribes inside119 Taurus—and afterwards to the Macedonians and to the Parthians; and the tribes situated on the far side of those tribes and in a straight line with them are supposed, from their identity in kind, to be Scythian, although no expeditions have been made against them that I know of, any more than against the most northerly of the nomads. Now Alexander did attempt to lead an expedition against these when he was in pursuit of Bessus120 and Spitamenes, but when Bessus was captured alive and brought back, and Spitamenes was slain by the barbarians, he desisted from his undertaking. It is not generally agreed that persons have sailed around from India to Hyrcania, but Patrocles states that it is possible. [7]

It is said that the last part of the Taurus, which is called Imaïus and borders on the Indian Sea, neither extends eastwards farther than India nor into it;121 but that, as one passes to the northern side, the sea gradually reduces the length and breadth of the country, and therefore causes to taper towards the east the portion of Asia now being sketched, which is comprehended between the Taurus and the ocean that fills the Caspian Sea. The maximum length of this portion from the Hyrcanian Sea to the ocean that is opposite the Imaïus is about thirty thousand stadia, the route being along the mountainous tract of the Taurus, and the breadth less than ten thousand; for, as has been said,122 the distance from the Gulf of Issus to the eastern sea at India is about forty thousand stadia, and to Issus from the western extremity at the Pillars of Heracles thirty thousand more.123 The recess of the Gulf of Issus is only slightly, if at all, farther east than Amisus, and the distance from Amisus to the Hyrcanian land is about ten thousand stadia, being parallel to that of the above-mentioned distance from Issus to India. Accordingly, there remain thirty thousand stadia as the above-mentioned length towards the east of the portion now described. Again, since the maximum breadth of the inhabited world, which is chlamys-shaped,124 is about thirty thousand stadia, this distance would be measured near the meridian line drawn through the Hyrcanian and Persian Seas, if it be true that the length of the inhabited world is seventy thousand stadia. Accordingly, if the distance from Hyrcania to Artemita in Babylonia is eight thousand stadia, as is stated by Apollodorus of Artemita, and the distance from there to the mouth of the Persian Sea another eight thousand, and again eight thousand, or a little less, to the places that lie on the same parallel as the extremities of Ethiopia, there would remain of the above-mentioned breadth of the inhabited world the distance which I have already given,125 from the recess of the Hyrcanian Sea to the mouth of that sea. Since this segment of the earth tapers towards the eastern parts, its shape would be like a cook's knife, the mountain being in a straight line and conceived of as corresponding to the edge of the knife, and the coast from the mouth of the Hyrcanian Sea to Tamarum as corresponding to the other side of the knife, which ends in a line that curves sharply to the point. [8]

I must also mention some strange customs, everywhere talked about, of the utterly barbarous tribes; for instance, the tribes round the Caucasus and the mountainous country in general. What Euripides refers to is said to be a custom among some of them,“to lament the new-born babe, in view of all the sorrows it will meet in life, but on the other hand to carry forth from their homes with joy and benedictions those who are dead and at rest from their troubles;
126and it is said to be a custom among others to put to death none of the greatest criminals, but only to cast them and their children out of their borders—a custom contrary to that of the Derbices, for these slaughter people even for slight offences. The Derbices worship Mother Earth; and they do not sacrifice, or eat, anything that is female; and when men become over seventy years of age they are slaughtered, and their flesh is consumed by their nearest of kin; but their old women are strangled and then buried. However, the men who die under seventy years of age are not eaten, but only buried. The Siginni imitate the Persians in all their customs, except that they use ponies that are small and shaggy, which, though unable to carry a horseman, are yoked together in a four-horse team and are driven by women trained thereto from childhood; and the woman who drives best cohabits with whomever she wishes. Others are said to practise making their heads appear as long as possible and making their foreheads project beyond their chins. It is a custom of the Tapyri for the men to dress in black and wear their hair long, and for the women to dress in white and wear their hair short. They live between the Derbices and the Hyrcanians. And he who is adjudged the bravest marries whomever he wishes. The Caspians starve to death those who are over seventy years of age and place their bodies out in the desert; and then they keep watch from a distance, and if they see them dragged from their biers by birds, they consider them fortunate, and if by wild beasts or dogs, less so, but if by nothing, they consider them cursed by fortune. 12.

Since the northern parts of Asia are formed by the Taurus,— I mean the parts which are also called "Cis-Tauran" Asia,127 I have chosen to describe these first. These include all or most of the regions in the mountains themselves. All that lie farther east than the Caspian Gates admit of a simpler description because of the wildness of their inhabitants; and it would not make much difference whether they were named as belonging to this "clima"128 or that, whereas all that lie to the west afford abundant matter for description, and therefore I must proceed to the parts which are adjacent to the Caspian Gates. Adjacent to the Caspian Gates on the west is Media, a country at one time both extensive and powerful, and situated in the midst of the Taurus, which is split into many parts in the region of Media and contains large valleys, as is also the case in Armenia. [2]

For this mountain has its beginning in Caria and Lycia; there, indeed, it has neither any considerable breadth nor height, but it first rises to a considerable height opposite the Chelidoniae, which are islands at the beginning of the coast of Pamphylia, and then stretching towards the east enclose long valleys, those in Cilicia, and then on one side the Amanus Mountain splits off it and on the other the Antitaurus Mountain, in which latter is situated Comana, in Upper Cappadocia, as it is called. Now the Antitaurus ends in Cataonia, whereas the mountain Amanus extends to the Euphrates River and Melitina where Commagene lies adjacent to Cappadocia. And it is succeeded in turn by the mountains on the far side of the Euphrates, which are continuous with those aforementioned, except that they are cleft by the river that flows through the midst of them. Here its height and breadth greatly increase and its branches are more numerous. At all events, the most southerly part is the Taurus proper, which separates Armenia from Mesopotamia. [3]

Thence flow both rivers, I mean the Euphrates and the Tigris, which encircle Mesopotamia and closely approach each other in Babylonia and then empty into the Persian Sea. The Euphrates is not only the larger of the two rivers, but also, with its winding stream, traverses more country, having its sources in the northerly region of the Taurus, and flowing towards the west through Greater Armenia, as it is called, to Lesser Armenia, having the latter on its right and Acilisene on the left. It then bends towards the south, and at its bend joins the boundaries of Cappadocia; and leaving these and the region of Commagene on the right, and Acilisene and Sophene in Greater Armenia on the left, it runs on to Syria and again makes another bend into Babylonia and the Persian Gulf. The Tigris, running from the southerly part of the same mountain to Seleuceia, approaches close to the Euphrates and with it forms Mesopotamia, and then flows into the same gulf as the Euphrates. The sources of the Euphrates and the Tigris are about two thousand five hundred stadia distant from each other. [4]

Now the Taurus has numerous branches towards the north, one of which is that of the Antitaurus, as it is called, for there too the mountain which encloses Sophene in a valley situated between itself and the Taurus was so named. On the far side of the Euphrates, near Lesser Armenia and next to the Antitaurus towards the north, there stretches a large mountain with many branches, one of which is called Paryadres, another the Moschian Mountains, and another which is called by various names; and these comprehend the whole of Armenia as far as Iberia and Albania. Then other mountains rise towards the east, I mean those which lie above the Caspian Sea, extending as far as Media, not only the Atropatian Media but also the Greater Media. Not only all these parts of the mountains are called Parachoathras, but also those which extend to the Caspian Gates and those which extend still farther towards the east, I mean those which border on Aria. The mountains on the north, then, bear these names, whereas those on the south, on the far side of the Euphrates, in their extent towards the east from Cappadocia and Commagene, are, at their beginning, called Taurus proper,129 which separates Sophene and the rest of Armenia from Mesopotamia; by some, however, these are called the Gordyaean Mountains, and among these belongs also Masius, the mountain which is situated above Nisibis and Tigranocerta. Then the Taurus rises higher and bears the name Niphates; and somewhere here are the sources of the Tigris, on the southern side of the mountainous country. Then from the Niphates the mountain chain extends still farther and farther and forms the mountain Zagrus which separates Media and Babylonia. After the Zagrus there follows, above Babylonia, the mountainous country of the Elymaei and that of the Paraetaceni, and also, above Media, that of the Cossaei. In the middle are Media and Armenia, which comprise many mountains, many plateaus, and likewise many low plains and large valleys, and also numerous tribes that live round among the mountains and are small in numbers and range the mountains and for the most part are given to brigandage. Thus, then, I am placing inside the Taurus both Media, to which the Caspian Gates belong, and Armenia. [5]

According to the way in which I place them, then, these tribes would be towards the north, since they are inside the Taurus, but Eratosthenes, who is the author of the division of Asia into "Southern Asia" and "Northern Asia" and into "Sphragides,"130 as he calls them, calling some of the "sphragides" "northern" and others "southern," represents the Caspian Gates as a boundary between the two "climata"131 reasonably, therefore, he might represent as "southern" the parts that are more southerly, stretching towards the east,132 than the Caspian Gates, among which are Media and Armenia, and the more northerly as "northern," since this is the case no matter what distribution into parts is otherwise made of the country. But perhaps it did not strike Eratosthenes that no part either of Armenia or of Media lay outside the Taurus. 13.

Media is divided into two parts. One part of it is called Greater Media, of which the metropolis is Ecbatana, a large city containing the royal residence of the Median empire (the Parthians continue to use this as a royal residence even now, and their kings spend at least their summers there, for Media is a cold country; but their winter residence is at Seleuceia, on the Tigris near Babylon). The other part is Atropatian Media, which got its name from the commander133 Atropates, who prevented also this country, which was a part of Greater Media, from becoming subject to the Macedonians. Furthermore, after he was proclaimed king, he organized this country into a separate state by itself, and his succession of descendants is preserved to this day, and his successors have contracted marriages with the kings of the Armenians and Syrians and, in later times, with the kings of the Parthians. [2]

This country lies east of Armenia and Matiane, west of Greater Media, and north of both; and it lies adjacent to the region round the recess of the Hyrcanian Sea and to Matiane on the south. It is no small country, considering its power, as Apollonides134 says, since it can furnish as many as ten thousand horsemen and forty thousand foot soldiers. It has a harbor, Capauta,135 in which salts effloresce and solidify. These salts cause itching and are painful, but this effect is relieved by olive-oil; and the water restores weathered garments, if perchance through ignorance one should dip them in it to wash them. They have powerful neighbors in the Armenians and the Parthians, by whom they are often plundered. But still they hold out against them and get back what has been taken away from them, as, for example, they got back Symbace from the Armenians when the latter became subject to the Romans; and they themselves have attained to friendship with Caesar. But they are also paying court to the Parthians at the same time. [3]

Their royal summer palace is situated in a plain at Gazaca, and their winter palace in a fortress called Vera, which was besieged by Antony on his expedition against the Parthians. This fortress is distant from the Araxes, which forms the boundary between Armenia and Atropene, two thousand four hundred stadia, according to Dellius, the friend of Antony, who wrote an account of Antony's expedition against the Parthians, on which he accompanied Antony and was himself a commander. All regions of this country are fertile except the part towards the north, which is mountainous and rugged and cold, the abode of the mountaineers called Cadusii, Amardi, Tapyri, Cyrtii and other such peoples, who are migrants and predatory; for the Zagrus and Niphates fountains keep these tribes scattered; and the Cyrtii in Persis, and the Mardi (for the Amardi are also thus called), and those in Armenia who to this day are called by the same name, are of the same character. [4]

The Cadusii, however, are but little short of the Ariani in the number of their foot-soldiers; and their javelin-throwers are excellent; and in rugged places foot-soldiers instead of horsemen do the fighting. It was not the nature of the country that made the expedition difficult for Antony, but his guide Artavasdes, the king of the Armenians, whom, though plotting against him, Antony rashly made his counsellor and master of decisions respecting the war. Antony indeed punished him, but too late, when the latter had been proved guilty of numerous wrongs against the Romans, not only he himself, but also that other guide, who made the journey from the Zeugma on the Euphrates to the borders of Atropene eight thousand stadia long, more than twice the direct journey, guiding the army over mountains and roadless regions and circuitous routes. [5]

In ancient times Greater Armenia ruled the whole of Asia, after it broke up the empire of the Syrians, but later, in the time of Astyages, it was deprived of that great authority by Cyrus and the Persians, although it continued to preserve much of its ancient dignity; and Ecbatana was winter residence136 for the Persian kings, and likewise for the Macedonians who, after overthrowing the Persians, occupied Syria; and still today it affords the kings of the Parthians the same advantages and security. [6]

Greater Media is bounded on the east by Parthia and the mountains of the Cossaei, a predatory people, who once supplied the Elymaei, with whom they were allies in the war against the Susians and Babylonians, with thirteen thousand bowmen. Nearchus137 says that there were four predatory tribes and that of these the Mardi were situated next to the Persians; the Uxii and Elymaei next to the Mardi and the Susians; and the Cossaei next to the Medians; and that whereas all four exacted tribute from the kings, the Cossaei also received gifts at the times when the king, after spending the summer in Ecbatana, went down into Babylonia; but that Alexander put an end to their great audacity when he attacked them in the winter time. So then, Greater Media is bounded on the east by these tribes, and also by the Paraetaceni, who border on the Persians and are themselves likewise mountaineers and predatory; on the north by the Cadusii who live above the Hyrcanian Sea, and by the other tribes which I have just described; on the south by Apollioniatis, which the ancients called Sitacene, and by the mountain Zagrus, at the place where Massabatice is situated, which belongs to Media, though some say that it belongs to Elymaea; and on the west by the Atropatii and certain of the Armenians. There are also some Greek cities in Media, founded by the Macedonians, among which are Laodiceia, Apameia and the city138 near Rhagae, and Rhaga139 itself, which was founded by Nicator.140 By him it was named Europus, but by the Parthians Arsacia; it lies about five hundred stadia to the south of the Caspian Gates, according to Apollodorus of Artemita. [7]

Now most of the country is high and cold; and such, also, are the mountains which lie above Ecbatana and those in the neighborhood of Rhagae and the Caspian Gates, and in general the northerly regions extending thence to Matiane and Armenia; but the region below the Caspian Gates, consisting of low-lying lands and hollows, is very fertile and productive of everything but the olive; and even if the olive is produced anywhere, it is dry and yields no oil. This, as well as Armenia, is an exceptionally good "horse-pasturing"141 country; and a certain meadow there is called "Horse-pasturing," and those who travel from Persis and Babylon to Caspian Gates pass through it; and in the time of the Persians it is said that fifty thousand mares were pastured in it and that these herds belonged to the kings. As for the Nesaean horses, which the kings used because they were the best and the largest, some writers say that the breed came from here, while others say from Armenia. They are characteristically different in form, as are also the Parthian horses, as they are now called, as compared with the Helladic and the other horses in our country. Further, we call the grass that makes the best food for horses by the special name "Medic," from the fact that it abounds there. The country also produces silphium; whence the "Medic" juice, as it is called, which in general is not much inferior to the "Cyrenaic" juice, but sometimes is even superior to it, either owing to regional differences, or because of a variation in the species of the plant, or even owing to the people who extract and prepare the juice in such a way as to conserve its strength for storage and for use. [8]

Such is the nature of the country. As for its size, its length and breadth are approximately equal. The greatest breadth of Media seems to be that from the pass that leads over the Zagrus, which is called Medic Gate, to the Caspian Gates through Sigriane, four thousand one hundred stadia. The reports on the tributes paid agree with the size and the power of the country; for Cappadocia paid the Persians yearly, in addition to the silver tax, fifteen hundred horses, two thousand mules, and fifty thousand sheep, whereas Media paid almost twice as much as this. [9]

As for customs, most of theirs and of those of the Armenians are the same, because their countries are similar. The Medes, however, are said to have been the originators of customs for the Armenians, and also, still earlier, for the Persians, who were their masters and their successors in the supreme authority over Asia. For example, their "Persian" stole,142 as it is now called, and their zeal for archery and horsemanship, and the court they pay to their kings, and their ornaments, and the divine reverence paid by subjects to kings, came to the Persians from the Medes. And that this is true is particularly clear from their dress; for tiara,143 citaris,144 pilus,145 tunics with sleeves reaching to the hands, and trousers, are indeed suitable things to wear in cold and northerly regions, such as the Medes wear, but by no means in southerly regions; and most of the settlements possessed by the Persians were on the Red Sea, farther south than the country of the Babylonians and the Susians. But after the overthrow of the Medes the Persians acquired in addition certain parts of the country that reached to Media. However, the customs even of the conquered looked to the conquerors so august and appropriate to royal pomp that they submitted to wear feminine robes instead of going naked or lightly clad, and to cover their bodies all over with clothes. [10]

Some say that Medeia introduced this kind of dress when she, along with Jason, held dominion in this region, even concealing her face whenever she went out in public in place of the king; and that the Jasonian hero-chapels, which are much revered by the barbarians, are memorials of Jason (and above the Caspian Gates on the left is a large mountain called Jasonium), whereas the dress and the name of the country are memorials of Medeia. It is said also that Medus her son succeeded to the empire and left his own name to the country. In agreement with this are the Jasonia of Armenia and the name of that country146 and several other things which I shall discuss. [12]

This, too, is a Medic custom—to choose the bravest man as king; not, however, among all Medes, but only among the mountaineers. More general is the custom for the kings to have many wives; this is the custom of the mountaineers of the Medes, and all Medes, and they are not permitted to have less than five; likewise, the women are said to account it an honorable thing to have as many husbands as possible and to consider less than five a calamity.147 But though the rest of Media is extremely fertile, the northerly mountainous part has poor soil; at any rate, the people live on the fruits of trees, making cakes out of apples that are sliced and dried, and bread from roasted almonds; and they squeeze out a wine from certain roots; and they use the meat of wild animals, but do not breed tame animals. Thus much I add concerning the Medes. As for the institutions in common use throughout the whole of Media, since they prove to have been the same as those of the Persians because of the conquest of the Persians, I shall discuss them in my account of the latter. 14.

As for Armenia, the southern parts of it have the Taurus situated in front of them,148 which separates it from the whole of the country between the Euphrates and the Tigris, the country called Mesopotamia; and the eastern parts border on Greater Armenia and Atropene; and on the north are the mountains of Parachoathras that lie above the Caspian Sea, and Albania, and Iberia, and the Caucasus, which last encircles these nations and borders on Armenia, and borders also on the Moschian and Colchian mountains as far as the Tibarani, as they are called; and on the west are these nations and the mountains Paryadres and Scydises in their extent to Lesser Armenia and the river land of the Euphrates, which latter separates Armenia from Cappadocia and Commagene. [2]

For the Euphrates, having its beginnings on the northern side of the Taurus, flows at first towards the west through Armenia, and then bends towards the south and cuts through the Taurus between Armenia, Cappadocia, and Commagene, and then, after falling outside the Taurus and reaching the borders of Syria, it bends towards the winter-sunrise149 as far as Babylon, and with the Tigris forms Mesopotamia; and both rivers end in the Persian Gulf. Such, then, is our circuit of Armenia, almost all parts being mountainous and rugged, except the few which verge towards Media. But since the above-mentioned Taurus150 takes a new beginning on the far side of the Euphrates opposite Commagene and Melitene, countries formed by that river, Mt. Masius is the mountain which ties above the Mygdonians of Mesopotamia on the south, in whose country is Nisibis, whereas Sophene is situated in the northern parts, between Masius and Antitaurus. The Antitaurus takes its beginning at the Euphrates and the Taurus and ends towards the eastern parts of Armenia, thus on one side enclosing the middle of Sophene,151 of the Euphrates, before that river bends towards the south. The royal city of Sophene is Carcathiocerta. Above Mt. Masius, far towards the east opposite Gordyene, lies Mt. Niphates; and then comes Mt. Abus, whence flow both the Euphrates and the Araxes, the former towards the west and the latter towards the east; and then Mt. Nibarus, which stretches as far as Media. [3]

I have already described the course of the Euphrates. As for the Araxes, it first flows towards the east as far as Atropatene, and then bends towards the west and towards the north and flows first past Azara and then past Artaxata, Armenian cities, and then, passing through the Araxene Plain, empties into the Caspian Sea. [4]

In Armenia itself there are many mountains and many plateaus, in which not even the vine can easily grow; and also many valleys, some only moderately fertile, others very fertile, for instance, the Araxene Plain, through which the Araxes River flows to the extremities of Albania and then empties into the Caspian Sea. After these comes Sacasene, this too bordering on Albania and the Cyrus River; and then comes Gogarene. Indeed, the whole of this country abounds in fruits and cultivated trees and evergreens, and even bears the olive. There is also Phauene, a province of Armenia, and Comisene, and Orchistene, which last furnishes the most cavalry. Chorsene and Cambysene are the most northerly and the most subject to snows, bordering on the Caucasian mountains and Iberia and Colchis. It is said that here, on the passes over the mountains, whole caravans are often swallowed up in the snow when unusually violent snowstorms take place, and that to meet such dangers people carry staves, which they raise to the surface of the snow in order to get air to breathe and to signify their plight to people who come along, so as to obtain assistance, be dug out, and safely escape. It is said that hollow masses of ice form in the snow which contain good water, in a coat of ice as it were; and also that living creatures breed in the snow (Apollonides152 calls these creatures "scoleces",153 and Theophanes154 "thripes"155); and that good water is enclosed in these hollow masses which people obtain for drinking by slitting open the coats of ice; and the genesis of these creatures is supposed to be like that of the gnats which spring from the flames and sparks at mines. [5]

According to report, Armenia, though a small country in earlier times, was enlarged by Artaxias and Zariadris, who formerly were generals of Antiochus the Great,156 but later, after his defeat, reigned as kings (the former as king of Sophene, Acisene, Odomantis, and certain other countries, and the latter as king of the country round Artaxata), and jointly enlarged their kingdoms by cutting off for themselves parts of the surrounding nations,—I mean by cutting off Caspiane and Phaunitis and Basoropeda from the country of the Medes; and the country along the side of Mt. Paryadres and Chorsene and Gogarene, which last is on the far side of the Cyrus River, from that of the Iberians; and Carenitis and Xerxene, which border on Lesser Armenia or else are parts of it, from that of the Chalybians and the Mosynoeci; and Acilisene and the country round the Antitaurus from that of the Cataonians; and Taronitis from that of the Syrians; and therefore they all speak the same language, as we are told. [6]

The cities of Armenia are Artaxata, also called Artaxiasata, which was founded by Hannibal157 for Artaxias the king, and Arxata, both on the Araxes River, Arxata being near the borders of Atropatia, whereas Artaxata is near the Araxene plain, being a beautiful settlement and the royal residence of the country. It is situated on a peninsula-like elbow of land and its walls have the river as protection all round them, except at the isthmus, which is enclosed by a trench and a palisade. Not far from the city are the treasuries of Tigranes and Artavasdes,158 the strong fortresses Babyrsa and Olane. And there were other fortresses on the Euphrates. Of these, Artageras was caused to revolt by Ador, its commandant, but Caesar's generals sacked it after a long siege and destroyed its walls. [7]

There are several rivers in the country, but the best known are the Phasis and the Lycus, which empty into the Pontic Sea (Eratosthenes wrongly writes "Thermodon" instead of "Lycus"), whereas the Cyrus and the Araxes empty into the Caspian Sea, and the Euphrates and the Tigris into the Red Sea. [8]

There are also large lakes in Armenia; one the Mantiane, which being translated means "Blue";159 it is the largest salt water lake after Lake Maeotis, as they say, extending as far as Atropatia; and it also has salt-works. Another is Arsene, also called Thopitis.160 It contains soda,161 and it cleanses and restores clothes;162 but because of this ingredient the water is also unfit for drinking. The Tigris flows through this lake after issuing from the mountainous country near the Niphates; and because of its swiftness it keeps its current unmixed with the lake; whence the name Tigris, since the Median word for "arrow" is "tigris." And while the river has fish of many kinds, the fish in the lake are of one kind only. Near the recess of the lake the river falls into a pit, and after flowing underground for a considerable distance rises near Chalonitis.163 Thence the river begins to flow down towards Opis and the wall of Semiramis, as it is called, leaving the Gordiaeans and the whole of Mesopotamia on the right, while the Euphrates, on the contrary, has the same country on the left. Having approached one another and formed Mesopotamia, the former flows through Seleuceia to the Persian Gulf and the latter through Babylon, as I have already said somewhere in my arguments against Eratosthenes and Hipparchus.164 [9]

There are gold mines in Syspiritis near Caballa, to which Menon was sent by Alexander with soldiers, and he was led up165 to them by the natives. There are also other mines, in particular those of sandyx,166 as it is called, which is also called "Armenian" color, like chalce167 The country is so very good for "horse-pasturing," not even inferior to Media,168 that the Nesaean horses, which were used by the Persian kings, are also bred there. The satrap of Armenia used to send to the Persian king twenty thousand foals every year at the time of the Mithracina.169 Artavasdes,170 at the time when he invaded Media with Antony, showed him, apart from the rest of the cavalry, six thousand horses drawn up in battle array in full armour. Not only the Medes and the Armenians pride themselves upon this kind of cavalry, but also the Albanians, for they too use horses in full armour. [10]

As for the wealth and power of the country, the following is no small sign of it, that when Pompey imposed upon Tigranes, the father of Artavasdes, a payment of six thousand talents of silver, he forthwith distributed to the Roman forces as follows: to each soldier fifty drachmas, to each centurion a thousand drachmas, and to each hipparch and chiliarch a talent. [11]

The size of the country is given by Theophanes:171 the breadth one hundred "schoeni," and the length twice as much, putting the "schoenus at forty stadia;172 but his estimate is too high; it is nearer the truth to put down as length what he gives as breadth, and as breadth the half, or a little more, of what he gives as breadth. Such, then, is the nature and power of Armenia. [12]

There is an ancient story of the Armenian race to this effect: that Armenus of Armenium, a Thessalian city, which lies between Pherae and Larisa on Lake Boebe, as I have already said,173 accompanied Jason into Armenia; and Cyrsilus the Pharsalian and Medius the Larisaean, who accompanied Alexander, say that Armenia was named after him, and that, of the followers of Armenus, some took up their abode in Acilisene, which in earlier times was subject to the Sopheni, whereas others took up their abode in Syspiritis, as far as Calachene and Adiabene, outside the Armenian mountains. They also say that the clothing of the Armenians is Thessalian, for example, the long tunics, which in tragedies are called Thessalian and are girded round the breast; and also the cloaks that are fastened on with clasps, another way in which the tragedians imitated the Thessalians, for the tragedians had to have some alien decoration of this kind; and since the Thessalians in particular wore long robes, probably because they of all the Greeks lived in the most northerly and coldest region, they were the most suitable objects of imitation for actors in their theatrical make-ups. And they say that their style of horsemanship is Thessalian, both theirs and alike that of the Medes. To this the expedition of Jason and the Jasonian monuments bear witness, some of which were built by the sovereigns of the country, just as the temple of Jason at Abdera was built by Parmenion. [13]

It is thought that the Araxes was given the same name as the Peneius by Armenus and his followers because of its similarity to that river, for that river too, they say, was called Araxes because of the fact that it "cleft"174 Ossa from Olympus, the cleft called Tempe. And it is said that in ancient times the Araxes in Armenia, after descending from the mountains, spread out and formed a sea in the plains below, since it had no outlet, but that Jason, to make it like Tempe, made the cleft through which the water now precipitates175 itself into the Caspian Sea, and that in consequence of this the Araxene Plain, through which the river flows to its precipitate176 descent, was relieved of the sea. Now this account of the Araxes contains some plausibility, but that of Herodotus not at all; for he says that after flowing out of the country of the Matieni it splits into forty rivers177 and separates the Scythians from the Bactrians. Callisthenes, also, follows Herodotus. [14]

It is also said of certain of the Aenianes that some of them took up their abode in Vitia and others above the Armenians beyond the Abus and the Nibarus. These two mountains are parts of the Taurus, and of these the Abus is near the road that leads into Ecbatana past the temple of Baris. It is also said that certain of the Thracians, those called "Saraparae," that is "Decapitators," took up their abode beyond Armenia near the Guranii and the Medes, a fierce and intractable people, mountaineers, scalpers, and beheaders, for this last is the meaning of "Saraparae." I have already discussed Medeia in my account of the Medes;178 and therefore, from all this, it is supposed that both the Medes and the Armenians are in a way kinsmen to the Thessalians and the descendants of Jason and Medeia. [15]

This, then, is the ancient account; but the more recent account, and that which begins with Persian times and extends continuously to our own, might appropriately be stated in brief as follows: The Persians and Macedonians were in possession of Armenia; after this, those who held Syria and Media; and the last was Orontes, the descendant of Hydarnes, one of the seven Persians;179 and then the country was divided into two parts by Artaxias and Zariadris, the generals of Antiochus the Great, who made war against the Romans; and these generals ruled the country, since it was turned over to them by the king; but when the king was defeated, they joined the Romans and were ranked as autonomous, with the title of king. Now Tigranes was a descendant of Artaxias and held what is properly called Armenia, which lay adjacent to Media and Albania and Iberia, extending as far as Colchis and Cappadocia on the Euxine, whereas the Sophenian Artanes, who held the southern parts and those that lay more to the west than these, was a descendant of Zariadris. But he was overcome by Tigranes, who established himself as lord of all. The changes of fortune experienced by Tigranes were varied, for at first he was a hostage among the Parthians; and then through them he obtained the privilege of returning home, they receiving as reward therefore seventy valleys in Armenia; but when he had grown in power, he not only took these places back but also devastated their country, both that about Ninus and that about Arbela; and he subjugated to himself the rulers of Atropene and Gordyaea, and along with these the rest of Mesopotamia, and also crossed the Euphrates and by main strength took Syria itself and Phoenicia; and, exalted to this height, he also founded a city near Iberia,180 between this place and the Zeugma on the Euphrates; and, having gathered peoples thither from twelve Greek cities which he had laid waste, he named it Tigranocerta; but Leucullus, who had waged war against Mithridates, arrived before Tigranes finished his undertaking and not only dismissed the inhabitants to their several home-lands but also attacked and pulled down the city, which was still only half finished, and left it a small village;181 and he drove Tigranes out of both Syria and Phoenicia. His successor Artavasdes182 was indeed prosperous for a time, while he was a friend to the Romans, but when he betrayed Antony to the Parthians in his war against them he paid the penalty for it, for he was carried off prisoner to Alexandreia by Antony and was paraded in chains through the city; and for a time he was kept in prison, but was afterwards slain, when the Actian war broke out. After him several kings reigned, these being subject to Caesar and the Romans; and still today the country is governed in the same way. [16]

Now the sacred rites of the Persians, one and all, are held in honor by both the Medes and the Armenians; but those of Anaïtis are held in exceptional honor by the Armenians, who have built temples in her honor in different places, and especially in Acilisene. Here they dedicate to her service male and female slaves. This, indeed, is not a remarkable thing; but the most illustrious men of the tribe actually consecrate to her their daughters while maidens; and it is the custom for these first to be prostituted in the temple of the goddess for a long time and after this to be given in marriage; and no one disdains to live in wedlock with such a woman. Something of this kind is told also by Herodotus183 in his account of the Lydian women, who, one and all, he says, prostitute themselves. And they are so kindly disposed to their paramours that they not only entertain them hospitably but also exchange presents with them, often giving more than they receive, inasmuch as the girls from wealthy homes are supplied with means. However, they do not admit any man that comes along, but preferably those of equal rank with themselves.

1 The Don.

2 See 2. 1. 1.

3 i.e., "Asia this side Taurus and Asia outside Taurus." (Cp. 2. 5. 31.)

4 i.e., to the Cis-Tauran Asia.

5 i.e., Trans-Tauran.

6 i.e., the Mediterranean (see 2. 1. 1).

7 The Cimmerian Bosporus.

8 Strabo thought that the Caspian (Hyrcanian) Sea was an inlet of the Northern Sea (2. 5. 14).

9 See Dictionary in Vol. II.

10 Cf. 17. 1. 21.

11 The Euxine.

12 Hom. Il. 6.208

13 Cis-Tauran.

14 i.e., "west of."

15 Also spelled "Siraces." See 11. 5. 8.

16 "Long-beards."

17 "Lice-eaters."

18 Intimate friend of Pompey; wrote a history of his campaigns.

19 Polemon I. He became king of the Bosporus about 16 B.C. (Dio Cassius 54.24).

20 i.e., the mouth of the Tanaïs.

21 i.e., for the observation of fish.

22 Cf. 7. 4. 5.

23 See 7. 4. 4.

24 i.e., as well as the Narrows.

25 In Greek, "apate."

26 i.e., "covered boats" (cf. Lat. and English "camera"). See the description of Tac. Hist. 3.47)

27 Cf. 9. 5. 10.

28 Apparently an error for "Crecas."

29 "charioteers."

30 Castor and Pollux.

31 "Sceptre-bearers" (see note on "sceptuchies," section 18 below).

32 See Dictionary in Vol. I.

33 See 2. 5. 22 and 7. 4. 3.

34 See Dictionary in Vol. II.

35 An unknown tragic poet (Anon. Fr. 559 (Nauck)).

36 Eur. Tro. 27

37 i.e., divisions corresponding to the rank of Persian "sceptuchi" ("sceptre-bearers").

38 See Dictionary in Vol. I.

39 12. 3. 28 ff.

40 Of Leucothea (section 17 above).

41 Phrixopolis.

42 "Lice-eaters."

43 11. 2. 15.

44 Crassus the Triumvir.

45 i.e., as well as four passes leading into the country (see section 4, beginning).

46 i.e., the excessive amount of silt deposited by the Cyrus compensates for the failure of the Araxes in this respect. On these rivers see Tozer, Selections, pp. 262-263.

47 Hom. Od. 9.109

48 In particular Theophanes of Mitylene (already mentioned in 11. 2. 2).

49 i.e., every four years.

50 See section 8 following.

51 For a description of this heavy armour, see Tac. Hist. 1.79

52 Cf. 11. 14. 9.

53 Plut. Pompey 35, says twelve thousand.

54 Members of the spider family; but here, apparently, tarantulas (see Tozer, op. cit., p. 265).

55 The Sun.

56 The Moon.

57 Cf. 12. 3. 31.

58 As among he Luistanians (3. 3. 6) and the Gauls (4. 4. 5).

59 i.e., temples dedicated to Jason (see 11. 14. 12).

60 Cnaeus Pompeius Theophanes of Mytilene.

61 See 13. 1. 55.

62 See 11. 4. 1.

63 i.e., ten months of the year.

64 Apparently some sort of single-edged weapon (see Hesychius s.v.).

65 Apparently the same river as that called Mermadalis in the preceding paragraph.

66 See Dictionary in Vol. II.

67 11. 2. 16.

68 i.e., "People who sleep on the ground."

69 i.e., "Heavy-eaters."

70 i.e., the southern tribes. The tribes of the Aorsi and Siraces (also spelt Syraci, 11. 2. 1) extended towards the south as far as the Caucasian Mountains (11. 2. 1).

71 i.e., of the First Division(see 11. 1. 5).

72 See note on "Caspian Sea" (11. 1. 5).

73 See 11. 2. 1.

74 11. 2. 1.

75 Cyrus the Elder. For an account of this war, see Hdt. l.201ff

76 On their writings, see Dictionary in Vol. I.

77 i.e., people received oracles in their dreams while sleeping in the temple (cf. 16. 2. 35).

78 See Dictionary in Vol. I.

79 A little less than nine gallons.

80 The medimnus was about a bushel and a half.

81 Cf. 2. 1. 14.

82 Pinus maritima.

83 Pinus picea.

84 Pinus pinea.

85 Cf. 11. 13. 7.

86 This Aristobulus accompanied Alexander on his expedition and wrote a work of unknown title.

87 See Dictionary in Vol. I.

88 Of Artemita.

89 See 11. 5. 5.

90 Eudoxus of Cnidus (see Dictionary in Vol. I).

91 11. 7. 1.

92 i.e., the "natives," as referred to in 15. 1. 11.

93 i.e., the "farther most (or outermost) parts of the Taurus," as mentioned in 15. 1. 11 (q.v.).

94 On the Tochari and their language, see the article by T. A. Sinclair in the Classical Review, xxxvii, Nov., Dec., 1923, p. 159.

95 The Aparnian Däae (see 11. 9. 2).

96 Cf. 1. 3. 21, 12. 3. 24, 12. 8. 7, 13. 1. 8, 13. 4. 8, 14. 1. 40.

97 The Northern Ocean.

98 The Sun.

99 See note on "sagaris," 11. 5. 1.

100 e.g., 7. 3. 7-8.

101 See Arrian Expedition of Alexander 3.28.16, 29.12, 30.1

102 King of Parthia.

103 King of Syria 246-226 B.C.

104 The sum total of the distances here given is 15,210 stadia, not 15,300 (15,500 MSS.). The total of 15,300 is again found in 15. 2. 8.

105 See Vol. I, p. 47, note 1.

106 i.e., of the king.

107 It appears that the kings were chosen from the first group by the members of the second (see Forbiger, Vol. III, p. 39, note 7).

108 The text is corrupt.

109 King of Syria 280-261 B.C.

110 i.e., about ten to eleven feet in circumference.

111 i.e., about three feet; apparently in length not in circumference.

112 See Dictionary in Vol I.

113 Cf. 10. 5. 6.

114 Cyrus the Elder.

115 See 11. 7. 3 and footnote.

116 i.e., containing soda (see 11. 14. 8 and footnote).

117 i.e.,, apparently, when one does happen to find them.

118 On the variations in the length of the "schoenus," see 17. 1. 24.

119 i.e., "north of" Taurus (see 11. 1. 2).

120 Satrap of Bactria under Darius III.

121 To understand this discussion, see Map in Vol. I.

122 See 2. 1. 3 ff.

123 See, and compare, 1. 4. 5, 2. 1. 35, 2. 4. 3, and 11. 1. 3.

124 See Vol. I, p. 435, note 3.

125 Six thousand (2. 1. 17).

126 Eur. Cresphontes 449 (Nauck)

127 See 11. 1. 1-5.

128 See Vol. I, p. 22, footnote 2.

129 Cf. 11. 12. 3.

130 See 2. 1. 35 and note on "Sphragides."

131 See Vol. I., p. 22, footnote 2.

132 "Stretching towards the east," seems to be an interpolation.

133 In the battle of Arbela, 331 B.C.

134 Vol III., p. 234, footnote 2.

135 Now Lake Urmi (see 11. 14. 8 and note on "Blue").

136 Apparently an error of the copyist for "summer residence" or "royal residence" (cf. section 1 above and section 6 below).

137 See Dictionary in Vol. I.

138 Heracleia (see 11. 9. 1).

139 The name is spelled both in plural and in singular.

140 Seleucus Nicator. King of Syria 312-280 B.C.

141 "Hippobotos," a Homeric epithet of Argos (e.g., Hom. Od. 4.99).

142 i.e., robe (cf. Lat. "stola").

143 The royal tiara was high and erect an encircled with a diadem, while that of the people was soft and fell over on one side.

144 A kind of Persian head-dress. Aristoph. Birds 497 compares a cock's comb to it.

145 A felt skull-cap, like a fez.

146 See 11. 4. 8.

147 So the Greek of all MSS.; But the editors since Du Theil regard the Greek text as corrupt, assuming that the women in question did not have plural husbands. Accordingly, some emend the text to make it say, "for their husbands to have as many wives as possible and consider less than five a calamity".

148 The Greek implies that Armenia is protected on the south by the Taurus.

149 See Vol. I, p. 105, note 2.

150 Cf. 11. 12. 4.

151 i.e., "enclosing Sophene in a valley between itself (the Antitaurus) and the Taurus" (11. 12. 4) and having on its other side Acilisene, which is situated between the Antitaurus and the river land.

152 See Vol. III, p. 234, footnote 2.

153 "Worms" or "larvae."

154 See footnote on 11. 2. 2.

155 Woodworms.

156 Reigned as king of Syria 223-187 B.C.

157 The Carthaginian.

158 Father and son respectively, kings of Armenia.

159 Mantiane (apparently the word should be spelled "Matiane"; see 11. 8. 8 and 11. 13. 2) is the lake called "Capauta" in 11. 13. 2, Capauta meaning "Blue" and corresponding to the old Armenian name Kapoit-azow (Blue Lake), according to Tozer (note ad loc.), quoting Kiepert.

160 On the position of this lake see Tozer (ad loc.).

161 The Greek word "nitron" means "soda" (carbonate of soda, our washing soda), and should not be confused with our "nitre" (potassium nitrate), nor yet translated "potash" (potassium carbonate). Southgate (Narrative of a Tour through Armenia, Kurdistan, etc., Vol. II, p. 306, Eng. ed.) says that "a chemical analysis of a specimen shows it to be alkaline salts, composed chiefly of carbonate of soda and chloride" (chlorite in Tozer is a typographical error) "of sodium" (salt).

162 See 11. 13. 2.

163 There must have been a second Chalonitis, one "not far from Gordyaea" (see 16. 1. 21), as distinguished from that in eastern Assyria, or else there is an error in the name.

164 2. 1. 27.

165 "Led up" (or "inland") seems wrong. The verb has been emended to "destroyed," "imprisoned," "hanged" (Meineke), and other such words, but the translator knows of no evidence either to support any one of these emendations or to encourage any other.

166 An earthy ore containing arsenic, which yields a bright red color.

167 i.e., purple dye. The usual spelling is calche.

168 See 11. 13. 7.

169 The annual festival in honor of the Persian Sun-god Mithras.

170 See 11. 13. 4.

171 See footnote on 11. 2. 2.

172 On the variations in the meaning of "schoenus," see 17. 1. 24.

173 11. 4. 8.

174 "ap-arax-ae" is the Greek verb.

175 "cat-arax-ae."

176 Again a play of the root "arax."

177 "The Araxes discharges through forty mouths, of which all, except one, empty into marshes and shoals. . . . The one remaining mouth flows through a clear channel into the Caspian sea" (Herod. 1. 202)

178 11. 13. 10.

179 See Hdt. 3.70

180 This cannot be the country Iberia; and, so far as is known, the region in question had no city of that name. Kramer conjectures "Nisibis" (cp. 11. 12. 4); but C. Müller, more plausibly, "Carrhae." Cp. the references to "Carrhae" in 16. 2. 23.

181 69 B.C.

182 See 11. 13. 4.

183 1. 93, 199.

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