or BUGES LACUS
(Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 26
), BYCE or BYCES (ἡ Βύκη λίμνη, Ptol. 4.5
. § § 9, 10), BICES (Val. Flacc. Arg.
6.68), an almost enclosed gulf at the end of the Palus Maeotis (Sea of Azov
), from which it is separated, says Pliny, by a ridge of rock (petroso dorso,
now called the Kosa Arabatskaia:
it is, however, rather sandy than rocky). Ptolemy mentions it as the E. boundary of the isthmus of the Tauric Chersonesus (Crimea
). Strabo (vii. p.308
) gives a more particular description of it under the name of ἡ Σαπρὰ λίμνη,
the Putrid Lake,
by which it is still called; in Russian, Sibaché
He describes it as 4000 stadia in length, and as the W. part of the Palus Maeotis, with which it is united by a large mouth (the strait is in fact only a furlong wide); it is very marshy, and scarcely navigable by boats made of hides sewn together, as the shallows are readily uncovered and covered again by the winds. (Strab. l.c.
) It is in fact a great lagoon, covered with water when an E. wind blows the water of the Sea of Azov
in at its narrow opening, but at other times a tract of pestilential mud. Mela (2.1), Pliny, and Ptolemy mention a river of the same name, the exact position of which is doubtful. (Ukert, vol. iii. pt. 2, pp. 170, 201, 356, 422, 462.)