(τὰ Ἠμωδὰ όρη
, Strab. xi. p.511
, xv. pp. 698, 715; Ptol. 6.15
; τὸ Ἠμωδὸν ὄρος
, Diod. 2.35
; Dionys. A. R. 748
; τὰ Ἠμωδὰ
, Ptol. 6.16
; δ Ἠμωδός
, Strab. xv. p.689
; Arrian, Arr. Anab. 2
; Eustath. ad Dionys
. 748; Emodus, Plin. Nat. 5.27
; Hemodes, Mela, 1.15.2, 3.7.6; Emodon, Amm. Marc. 23.6.64
). Although the expedition of Alexander the Great opened out to the Grecian mind only that part of the chain of the Himalayah
which is nearest the country of the five rivers of W. India, yet it is to this epoch that we must date a new era for Asiatic geography.
The enterprise of the Macedonian conqueror, the campaign of Seleucus Nicator, the long residence of Megasthenes at the court of Sandracottus, and the researches made by Patrocles, the general of Seleucus, and the most veracious (῞ηκιστα ψευδόλογος
of all writers concerning India (Strab. ii. p.70
), seem to have thrown great light upon the more E. portions of the peninsula. From this time there appear in the Greek, and subsequently in the Roman writers, views more or less generally accurate on the existence, direction, and continuity of a vast range of mountains extending over the entire continent from W. to E. Dicaearchus, the pupil of Aristotle, has the merit of having been the first to point this out, and it is clearly indicated in the geography of Eratosthenes.
In both authors, more than 300 years before Pliny, the name of Imaus is met with under the form of Imaon. India is bordered to the N., from Ariana to the Eastern Sea, by the extremities of Taurus, to which the aboriginal inhabitants give the different names of Paropamisus, Emodon, Imaon, and others, while the Macedonians call them Caucasus. (Eratosth. ap. Strab. xv. p.689
; comp. ii. p. 68, xi. p. 490.)
The idea of attaching to the Taurus of Asia Minor the W. extremity of the Himalayah
range or Hindou-kush,
the plateau which is prolonged towards the volcano of Demavend,
and extends along the S. shore of the Caspian, is not strictly correct. But Strabo (xi. p.511
), in a passage where he describes the chain of the Taurus on the other side of the Caspian, illustrates the continuity of the chain with great detail.
In proceeding from the Hyrcanian sea to the E., the mountains that the Greeks call Taurus are always on the right hand, as far as the Indian sea.
These mountains begin in Pamphylia and Cilicia, and, receiving different names, are uninterruptedly prolonged to the E. All these mountains beyond the Arii have received from the Macedonians the name of Caucasus; but among the barbarians the mountains to the N. are called Paropamisus, the Emodes and Imaon taking different names in different parts. (Comp. Groskurd, apud l.c.
) It is remarkable that these indigenous denominations of the great Himalayan chain were so little altered by the Greeks, that in our time, more than 2000 years after Eratosthenes, we are enabled to interpret them from the Sanscrit.
The name of Himalaya,
applied to a chain of mountains limiting India to the N., has been recognised by Haughton in the laws of Manu.
It is the “abode” (âlaya
of “snow” (hima
The great epic poems of India, the Rámáyana
and the Mahábhárata,,
speak of Himavân
--“snowy,” “wintry.” Imaus is derived from Himavat
(Bohlen, Das Alte-Indien,
vol. i. p. 11), an etymology of which Pliny was aware, who, after speaking of the Montes Emodi, adds, “quorum promontorium Imaus vocatur, incolarum linguâ nivosum significante” (6.17). The Montes Emodi are the “golden mountains” (hêmâdri)--hêma,
“gold;” ad ri,
“mountain” --either because of the supposition that there were rich mines of gold, as in the other extremity of Central Asia, in the Altai
or in allusion to those fires of the setting sun reflected by the snows of the Himalayah which gild its highest summits, as described in The Cloud Messenger of Kálidása.
As it appears, therefore, that, according to the great geographical views conceived by Eratosthenes, and elaborated in detail from better and more numerous materials by Marinus of Tyre and Ptolemy, the ancients believed that the interior of Asia was traversed by one single great chain of mountains prolonged from the E. to. the W. in the parallel of Rhodes, it only remains to mark off that portion of the great central cordillera to which they applied the name of Emodus or Emodi Montes. They may generally be described as forming that portion of the great lateral. branch. of the Indian Caucasus, the colossal Himalayan
range (μέγιστον ὄρος,
Agathem. 2.9), extending along Nepaul,
and probably as far as Bhotan.
The prolongation was occasionally indefinitely made. Thus Dionysius Periegetes (2.62) describes the foot of the Emodes as bathed by the foaming waves of the Eastern Ocean. Ptolemy (6.16
) gives the name of Ottorocorras (Ὀττοροκόρρρας
) to the E. extremity of the chain. The Greeks probably specially applied a general denomination in the systematic geography of India. The Ottorocorras of Ptolemy is the Uttara-Kuru
of the Vedás
the upper or hyperborean regions of Asia. (Comp. Colebrooke, Asiat. Research.
vol. viii. p. 398.)
The text of Ammianus (23.6.64) has Opuro-Carra, which is the same Mount Kuru.
The same historian describes in a very picturesque manner one of those Alpine forms ( “Contra Orientalem plagam in orbis speciem consertae celsorem aggerum summitates ambiunt Seras.; a Septentrione nivosae solitudini cohaerent,” l.c.
) which are so often repeated in the windings of the mountains of E. Asia. The S. spurs of this chain were called BEPYRRHUS (τὸ Βήπυρρον ὄρος, Ptol. 7.2
), with the sources of the DOANAS
); DAMASSI or DAMASII MONTES (τὰ Δάμασσα ὄρη,
), with the sources of the DORIAS; and SEMANTHINI MONTES
(τὸ Σημανθινὸν ὄρος,
), from which the rivers SERAS and ASPITHRA take their rise. (Humboldt, Asie Centrale,
vol. i. pp. 140--145; Gosselin, Géographie des Anciens,
vol. iii. pp. 173, 188, 297, 298; Ritter, Erdkunde,
vol. ii. p. 185, vol. v. p. 449.)