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DASCY´LIUM (Δασκύλιον, Δασκυλεῖον, Dascylus: Eth. Δασκυλίτης). Stephanus B. (s. v.) mentions several Asiatic cities called Dascylium. The only place of any historical note is the town near the [p. 1.755]Propontis. Herodotus (3.120) mentions Mitrobates, a Persian, as governor of the nome in Dascylium; and again (3.126), he calls the same man the governor of Dascylium (τὸν ἐκ Δασκυλείου ὕπαρχον). But in 6.33, he speaks of the Cyziceni submitting to Oebares, son of Megabazus, “the governor in Dascylium.” Agesilaus, in one of his campaigns, marched to Phrygia, and came near Dascylium. (Xen. Hell. 3.1. 13) Xenophon, who speaks of the Phrygia of Pharnabazus, seems to place Dascylium in Phrygia (Hell. 4.1.15); but his narrative is confused, and nothing can be learned from it as to the position of Daseylium. He says that Pharnabazus had his palace here, and there were many large villages about it, which abounded with supplies; and there were hunting grounds, both in enclosed parks and in the open country, very fine. A river flowed round the place, and it was full of fish. There was also plenty of birds. The governor spent his winter here; from which fact and the context we seem to learn that it was in the low country. Alexander, after the battle of the Granicus, sent Parmeno to take Dascylium (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 1.17.2); but there is nothing in Arrian which shows its position. The town does not seem to have been a large place, but it gave name to a Persian satrapy (τὴν Δασκυλῖτιν σατραπείαν, Thuc. 1.129), the extent of which cannot be defined.

Strabo (p. 575) says that, above the lake Dascylitis, there are two large lakes, the Apolloniatis and the Miletopolitis; and on the Dascylitis is the town of Dascylium. We must therefore look for Dascylium and its lake between the shores of the Propontis and the lakes Apolloniatis [APOLLONIAE, p. 161b.] and Miletopolitis. Strabo also says that the Doliones are a people about Cyzicus, from the river Aesepus to the Rhyndacus and the lake Dascylitis; from which we might perhaps conclude that the Dascylitis is east of the Rhyndacus; and another passage (p. 582) seems to lead to the same conclusion. In Strabo's time the territory of the Cyziceni extended to the Miletopolitis and the Apolloniatis; they had also one part of the Dascylitis, and the Byzantines had the other. From this also we infer that it was east of the Rhyndacus. Mela (1.19), in express words, places Dascylos, as he calls it, east of the Rhyndacus. Pliny (5.32) says that it is on the coast. Hecataeus, quoted by Strabo (p. 550), says that a river Odrysses flows from the west out of the Dascylitis, through the plains of Mygdonia, into the Rhyndacus. But this description applies to a lake west of the Rhyndacus. Strabo further says (p. 588) that the lake Dascylitis was also called Aphnitis; and he again mentions the Aphnitis (p. 59), but without identifying it with the Dascylitis. Stephanus (s. v Ἄφνειον) says that the lake near Cyzicus is Aphnitis, and that it was formerly called Artynia. There is no lake nearer to Cyzicus than the lake of Maniyas, west of the Rhyndacus, which is the ancient Miletopolitis. The Rhyndacus flows through the Apolloniatis.

Leake, in his map of Asia Minor, marks a lake Dascylitis north of the Apolloniatis, and consequently between it and the shore of the Propontis, and east of the course of the Rhyndacus after it has flowed from the Apolloniatis. Some authorities speak of a lake in this part called Diaskilli, or some name like it; but this seems to require further confirmation. This town Dascylium must have existed to a late time, for a bishop of Dascylia is mentioned. (Plin. Nat. 5.32, ed. Harduin.).

What we can learn about Dascylium is very unsatisfactory. There is a river marked in the newest maps, which rises near Broussa, and flows westward towards the Rhyndacus, but its junction with the Rhyndacus is not marked. It is called the Lufer Su, or Nifer. Cramer (Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 172) conjectures that this may be the Odrysses of Hecataeus, though it does not run in the direction described in Strabo's text; and that it is also the river described by Xenophon.


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.120
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.129
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 3.1.13
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.32
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 1.17.2
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