), or ABSARUM (Plin. Nat. 6.4
), a river and a fort, as Pliny calls it, “in faucibus,” 140 M.P. east of Trapezus (Trebizond
). Arrian (Peripl.
p. 7) places this military station 1000 stadia from Trapezus, and 450 or 490 stadia south of the Phasis, and about the point [p. 1.163]
where the coast turns north.
The distance of 127 miles in the Peutinger Table agrees with Arrian. Accordingly several geographers place Absarum near a town called Gonieh.
Its name was connected with the myth of Medea and her brother Absyrtus, and its original name was Absyrtus. (Stephan. s. v. Ἀψυρτίδες.
) Procopius (Bell. Goth.
4.2) speaks of the remains of its public buildings as proving that it was once a place of some importance.
Arrian does not mention a river Apsarus
He places the navigable river Acampsis 15 stadia from Absarum, and Pliny makes the Apsarus
and Acampsis two different rivers. The Acampsis of Arrian is generally assumed to be the large river Joruk,
which rises NW. of Erzerum, and enters the Euxine near Batun. Pliny (6.9
) says that the Absarus rises in the Paryadres, and with that mountain range forms the boundary in those parts between the Greater and Less Armenia.
This description can only apply to the Joruk,
which is one of the larger rivers of Armenia, and the present boundary between the Pashalicks of Trebizond and Kars. (Brant, London Geog. Journ.
vol. vi. p. 193.) Ptolemy's account of his Apsorrus agrees with that of Pliny, and he says that it is formed by the union of two large streams, the Glaucus and Lyeus ; and the Joruk
consists of two large branches, one called the Joruk
and the other the Ajerah,
which unite at no great distance above Batun.
It seems, then, that the name Acampsis and Apsarus
has been applied to the same river by different writers. Mithridates, in his flight after being defeated by Cn. Pompeius, came to the Euphrates, and then to the river Apsarus
It is conjectured that the river which Xenophon (Xen. Anab. 4.8
) mentions without a name, as the boundary of the Macrones and the Scythini, may be the Joruk;
and this is probable.