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CHOASPES (Χοάσπης), a river of Susiana which rising among the Laristan mountains, and after passing the town of Susa, flowed into the Tigris, a little below the junction of the latter river with the Euphrates.

The indistinctness of the ancient descriptions has led to some confusion between this river and the Eulaeus, which, at the distance of about half a degree of latitude, flows nearly parallel with it into the Tigris. Yet the course of the Choaspes is, on the whole, clearly made out, and it can hardly have been the same as the Eulaeus, though this was at one time the opinion of geographers. Herodotus (1.188, 5.52) and Strabo (i. p.46) distinctly state that the town of Susa was on the Choaspes, and Polycletus (ap. Strab. xv. p.728) and Pliny (6.27. s. 31) speak of the Choaspes and Eulaeus as different rivers, though the latter states it was the Eulaeus on which Susa was situated. On the other hand, Pliny (l.c.) tells the same story of the Eulaeus which Herodotus (1.188) has given to the Choaspes, viz., that the King of Persia was in the habit of drinking the water of this river only. From the agreement of the description of these two rivers, it has been conjectured by some that the Choaspes was the Persian name, and Ulai (Dan. 8.8) (whence Eulaeus) the Chaldaean appellation. The difference and the similarity of these accounts may perhaps be accounted for in this way. There are two considerable rivers which unite at Bund-i-Kir, a little above Ahwaz, and form the ancient Pasitigris and modern Karûn. Of these the western flows near, though not actually beside, the ruins of Sus (Susa), and is called the Dizful river; the eastern passes Shuster, and is called the Karûn, or river of Shuster. It is probable that the former was sometimes supposed to be the Choaspes, though its correct name was the Coprates, and the latter the Eulaeus; while, from the fact of their uniting about 25 miles below Susa, what was strictly true of the one, came with less accuracy to be applied to the other. There seems no doubt that the Karûn does represent the ancient Eulaeus, and the Kerkhah the old Choaspes. At present the main stream of the Karûn is united with the Tigris by a canal called Haffar, near Mohammerah, but anciently it had a course direct to the sea. It may be remarked that Ptolemy only mentions the Eulaeus. (Map to Rawlinson's March from Zoháb to Khuzistân, in Journ. R. G. Soc. vol. ix. p. 116.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.188
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.52
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.27
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