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CARMA´NIA (Καρμανία, Strab. xv. p.726; Arrian, Anab. 6.28, Ind. 32; Pol. 11.32; Steph. B. sub voce Plin. Nat. 6.23; Marcian, Peripl. p. 20; Ptol. 6.8; Amm. Marc. 23.6), an extensive province of Asia along the northern side of the Persian Gulf, extending from Carpella (either C. Bombareek or C. Iask) on the E. to the river Bagradas (Nabend) on the W. According to Marcian, the distance between these points was 4250 stadia. It appears to have comprehended the coast line of the modern Laristán, Kirman, and Moghostán. (Burnes' Map, 1834.) It was bounded on the N. by Parthia and Ariana, on the E. by Drangiana and Gedrosia, on the S. by the Persian Gulf, and on the W. by Persis. It was a district but little known to the ancients, though mentioned in Alexander's expedition against India, in Nearchus's voyage, and in the wars of Antiochus and Ptolemy.

Ptolemy divides Carmania into Carmania Deserta and Carmania. In the former, which was the inland country, now called Kirman, he mentions no towns or rivers, but gives simply a list of places which are otherwise unknown to us. In Carmania, or Carmania Vera, as it has been called by the old geographers, he mentions many rivers and places, which have been identified with more or less certainty. The principal mountain ranges were the Mt. Semiramidis (ὄρος Σεμιραμίδος, Arrian, Peripl.; Marcian, p. 20), perhaps that now called Gebal Shemil, a high land on the coast at the narrowest part of the Persian Gulf; and on the confines of Gedrosia, a mountain named Strongylus. The principal capes were Carpella (either C. Bombareek or C. Iask), the eastern extremity of a mountain which terminated at the entrance of Paragon Bay; Harmozon (Kohistug?), and Tarsia, near the Persian frontier (C. Sertes or Ras-el-Jerd?). The chief [p. 1.521]rivers were the Anamis, Andanis, or Addanis Ibrahim Rud), which flows down from the Persian mountains, and falls into the Persian Gulf near Harmozon; the Corius or Carius (either the Shur or Div Rud), and the Bagrada (Nabend).

Ptolemy divides the territory of Carmania into several subdivisions, the names of which are not met with in other authors; they are the Rudiana or Agdinitis, Cabedena, Paraepaphitis, and Modomastite. Other names which he mentions, as the Camelobosci, are merely descriptive of the occupation or mode of life of particular tribes. The inhabitants of Carmania were called Carmanii (Καρμάνιοι, Diod. 2.2, Tacit. 6.36) or Carmani (Καρμανοί, Plb. 5.79; Mel. 3.8; Plin. Nat. 6.26, &c.), and comprehended several nations, or probably tribes, whose names are given by Ptolemy. They appear to have been a warlike independent race, exhibiting, according to Strabo (xv. p.727) and Arrian (Ind. 38), a great resemblance in their manners and customs to the Medians and Persians. Little more is known of the various cities which are placed in Carmania by ancient writers than of the subdivisions of that territory, according to its nations or races. Ptolemy mentions Harmuza, whose name implies a Persian origin, and which was visited, if not founded, by Nearchus (Arrian, Arr. Ind. 33), and Tarsiana, on the coast; and Arrian (Ind. 37) adds Sidodone; and in the interior of the country, Ora, Cophanta, Throasca or Oroasca, Sabis, Alexandreia, and Carmana. The latter is called by Ptolemy Metropolis (μητρόπολις), and is without doubt the town now called Kirman, which gives its name to the whole province of Kirman. It was in the time of Ammianus (23.6) a place of wealth and luxury.

Along the coast of Carmania were several islands, Organa, Cataca, Aphrodisias, and Ooracta or Ooractha, Carmana or Carminna, about which, however, little more is known than their names.

The ancient accounts of the province of Carmania speak of it as a land fruitful in corn and wine (Strab. xv. p.726; Arrian, Arr. Anab. 6.28, Ind. 1.32; Amm. Marc. 23.6; Curt. 9.10), but it appears that the olive could not be cultivated there (Strab., Arrian, ll. cc.); but from its mountainous and rugged character its wealth in minerals was probably the greatest. Silver, copper, and cinnabar are mentioned among its productions, and even gold was found in some of its water-courses. (Strab. l. c.; Plin. Nat. 6.23. s. 26.) The land also possessed abundance of wild asses, but few horses. (Strab. l.c.; Vincent, Voyage of Nearchus, vol. i. p. 370, &c.)


hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Polybius, Histories, 5.79
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.26
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 23.6
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.28
    • Arrian, Indica, 33
    • Arrian, Indica, 37
    • Arrian, Indica, 38
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.10
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 2.2
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