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COLCHI INDIAE (Eth. Κόλχοι, Peripl. Mar. Erythr. p. 33; Tab. Peuting. Colchis Indorum; Κόλχοι ἐμπόριον, Ptol. 7.1.10), a port on the Malabar coast, to the NE. of the present Cape Comorin, in that subdivision of India which the ancients called India intra Gangem. According to Ptolemy (7.1.10) it gave its name to a gulf which was called the Κολπὸς Κολχικός. Its present representative has not been determined; but the position is sufficiently identified by the description of the neighbouring coast, which was and is celebrated for its pearl fisheries. Dr. Vincent, in his Commentary on the Periplus (vol. ii. p. 444), has shown that near it, on the northern shore of Ceylon, was the island of Epiodorus (now the island of Manaar), and one of the most celebrated seats of the pearl fisheries. It is not improbable that many other names which are mentioned in the immediate neighbourhood, as Colias, Prom. Coliacum, Coniaci (Κωνιακοί, Strab. xv. p.689), are really connected with that of Colchi. Indeed, the text of the Periplus is so corrupt, that it is difficult to have faith in the emendations even of the very learned men who have made it their study. (Vincent. Periplus of Erythraean Sea, vol. ii.; Asiatic Researches, vol. v. p. 395.)


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