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CHARAX SPASINU (Χάραξ Σπασίνου, Steph. B. sub voce Ptol. 6.3.2; D. C. 68.28; Plin. Nat. 6.27. s. 31), a town in the southern end of Babylonia, or, perhaps more truly, in Susiana, between the mouths of the Tigris and Eulaeus, and near the Persian Gulf. It gave its name to the district Characene in Susiana, along the banks of the Tigris. The town appears to have borne different names at different periods of its history. It was originally founded by Alexander the Great, and called Alexandreia. Some time later, a flood destroyed the greater part of it, when it was restored by Antiochus Epiphanes, under the name of Antiochia. Lastly, it was occupied by Pasines or Spasines, the [p. 1.604]son of Sogdonaeus, the chief of the Arabs who lived in the neighbourhood, from whom it acquired the name by which it has been best known. Pliny states that the original town was only 10 miles from the sea, but that in his time the existing place was as much as 120. These numbers are certainly exaggerated; but Pliny correctly ascribes the advance of the coast into the Persian Gulf to the rivers which flowed into it. It appears to have been a place of considerable extent in Pliny's time. It was the birthplace of Dionysius Periegetes and of Isidorus, both geographers of eminence.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.27
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