), a promontory of the S. coast of Arabia, at the eastern extremity of the Adramitae, the westernmost of the gulf of the Sachalitae, placed by Ptolemy in long. 90°, lat. 14° (6.7.11).
He comments on an error of his predecessor, Marinus, who, he says, places the gulf Sachalites on the W. of Cape Syagros, while all who had navigated those seas distinctly asserted that the country Sachalitis and its synonymous bay were to the E. of Syagros (1.17. § § 2, 3). Marcianus (p. 23, ap. Hudson Geogr. Min. tom. i.) agrees with Ptolemy.
The author of the Periplus ascribed to Arrian seems, however, to confirm the testimony of Marinus, by placing the Sinus Sachalites next to Cane Emporium, between that and Syagros Promontorium, and naming the bay to the E. of Syagros, Omana, which he reckons as 600 stadia in width; but as he mentions still further to the E., Moscha Portus, as a magazine for the spicery of Sachalitis, which he there more fully describes, it is possible that he may have included all the country as far E. as Moscha under this name.
It is at least clear that the Omana Sinus could be no part of the present [p. 2.1052]
district of Oman.
The maps give no bay to the W. of Syagros, where the Tretus Portus was situated. The Periplus says that the cape extended eastward, places a castle with a harbour and magazine at Syagros, and describes, in connection with it, the Dioscoridis Insula (Socotora
), which Pliny places at a distance of 2240 stadia.
There is no difficulty in identifying this promontory Syagros with the modern Ras Farstask,
which derives its designation from the snout
of the animal commemorated in its Greek name, which was probably a loose translation of its native appellation. The Periplus describes Syagros as the largest promontory in the world,--an hyperbolical expression, no doubt, but better suited to this cape than to any other on the coast, since the isolated mountain that forms Ras Fartask
reaches an elevation of 2500 feet, and is visible at a distance of 60 miles; while those of Ras Saugra
), further to the E., sometimes identified with Syagros on account of the similarity of name, do not exceed 600 feet.
The subject, it must be admitted, is not free from difficulty, mainly owing to the fact that Ptolemy places Moscha Portus,--which is usually supposed to be the same as the Moscha Portus of the Periplus, and is identified with Dzafar
--W. of Syagros; in which case Ras Noos
), or Ras Saugcra
), must be his Syagros, and the Sachalites Sinus still further E.
But since the distance between Socatra and the coast at Ras Fartask,
about 2000 stadia, approximates much more nearly to Pliny's figures, 240 M.P. (== 2240 stadia), than that between the same island and either of the other capes,--for Ras Noos
is 3600 stadia distant, and Ras Saugra
considerably more,--the most probable solution of the difficulty is found in the hypothesis adopted above, of two ports called Moscha on the same coast. [MOSCHA.] (See Müller's Notes to Didot's ed. of the Geogr. Graec. Min.
vol. i. pp. 279, 280.)
The question has been examined by Dean Vincent, who was the first to fix correctly this important point in Arabian geography, and his main conclusions are acquiesced in by Mr. Forster, who has corroborated them by fresh evidence from the researches of modern travellers; and it is an interesting fact, that while the Greek geographers appear to have translated the native name of the cape, which it retains to this day, the natives would appear to have adopted a modification of that Greek translation as the name of the town situated, then as now, under the cape, which still bears the name of Sugger.
vol. ii. pp. 331--351; Forster, Arabia,
vol. ii. pp. 166--177.)