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Ἀράχωτος, Ptol. 6.20.5; Isid. Charax; Plin. Nat. 6.23; Arachoti, Ἄραχωτοι, Strab. xi. p.514; Steph. B; Arachosia, Plin. Nat. 6.33), the chief city of Arachosia, said to have been founded by Semiramis (Steph. B. sub voce and to have been watered by a river which flowed from the Indus eastward into a lake called Ἀράχωτος κρήνη (Ptol. 6.20.2), and by Solinus to have been situated on the Etymander. Some difference of opinion has existed in modern times as to the exact position of this town, and what modern city or ruins can be identified with the ancient capital. M. Court (Journ. Asiat. Societ. Beng.) has identified some ruins on the Arghasan river, 4 parasangs from Kandahar, on the road to Shikarpur, with those of Arachotus; but these Prof. Wilson considers to be too much to the SE. Rawlinson (Journ. Geog. Soc. vol. xii. p. 113) thinks that he has found them at a place, now called U´lán Robát. He states, what is indeed curious, that the most ancient name of the city, Cophen, mentioned by Stephanus and Pliny, has given rise to the territorial designation of Kipin, applied by the Chinese to the surrounding country. The ruins are of a very remarkable character, and the measurements of Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy are, he considers, decisive as to the identity of the site. Stephanus has apparently contrasted two cities,--Arachosia, which he says is not far from the Massagetae, and Arachotus, which he calls a town of India. Col. Rawlinson believes the contiguity of the Massagetae and Arachosia may be explained by the supposition that by Massagetae Stephanus meant the Sacae, who colonised the Hazárah Mountains on their way from the Hindu-Kush to Sacastan or Seistan.


Ἀραχωτός, Steph. B. sub voce Isid. Charax; Plin. Nat. 6.23), the river of Arachosia, which flowed from the southern part of the Caucasus (Hindu-Kush), and gave its name to the capital. (Steph. B. sub voce Ptolemy has committed an error in extending this river to the Indus; but he has in part attained the truth in connecting it with a lake (λίμνη, ἥτις καλεῖται Ἀράχωτος κρήνη, Ptol. 6.20.2; “Arachoti Fons,” Amm. Marc. 23.26: perhaps the modern Dooree). The chief point is to determine what river Ptolemy refers to, as he does not give its name. The Etymander, Hermandus, or Erymanthus (now Helmend), flows from the mountains W. of Kábul into Lake Zarah; and M, Burnouf has supposed this to be the Arachotus, Zend Haraquaiti (Sansc. Saraswati) being a name common to a river, and implying connection with a lake. Wilson considers, however, the present Arkand-Ab, one of the tributaries of the Helmend, as answering best to the description of Ptolemy. Another tributary called the Turnuk flows through a small lake called Dooree in Elphinstone's map. It is possible that the name Arachotus may have been formerly applied indiscriminately to the three tributaries of the Helmend, the Arkand-ab, Turnuk, and Arghasan, which are all rivers of about the same volume. (Wilson, Ariana, pp. 156, 157.) [V]

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.33
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