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EULAEUS (6 Εὔλαιος, Strab. xv. p.728; Diod. 19.19; Arrian, 7.7; Plin. Nat. 6.23. s. 26), a river of Susiana, which rises in the mountains to the east of that province, in the district called Dinarún, and, after passing the modern town of Shuster, flows into the Tigris by means of an artificial canal called the Haffar. Its present name is Karún. There have been some difficulties about the identification of the ancient Eulaeus, caused chiefly by the confusion which prevails in many of the ancient geographical notices of the rivers of Susiana, and the Choaspes and Coprates having been by some confounded with it. [CHOASPES] Its principal tributary was the Coprates, now called the river of Dizful, which falls into it a little above the town of Ahwaz. (Selby, Ascent of Karún, in I. R. Geogr. Soc. vol. xiv. pt. ii.) In the lower part of its course it probably represents the ancient Pasitigris. (Rawlinson's Map, I. R. Geogr. Soc. vol. ix. pt. i.) Strabo, on the authority of Polycleitus, makes the Tigris, Choaspes, and Eulaeus end their courses in a marsh, and thence flow on to the sea; and remarks on the peculiar lightness and purity of its water (xv. pp. 728--735; compare remarks on the same subject by Lieut. Selby, I. R. Geogr. Soc. xiv. p. 223). Pliny speaks of the lakes made by the Eulaeus and Tigris near Charax (6.23, 26), and adds that the Eulaeus, whose source was in Media, separated Susiana from Elymais (6.27. s. 31). Where, however, he states subsequently in the same chapter that it flowed round the citadel of Susa, he is mistaking it for the Coprates, or, more strictly, for a small stream now called the Shapúr river, the ancient name of which, however, has not been preserved. In like manner, Pliny is probably in error when he makes the Eulaeus flow through Messabatene. This district is almost certainly the present Mah-Sabaden in Laristán, which is drained by the Kerkhah (Choaspes), and not by the Eulaeus. There can be no doubt that, in ancient times, the Eulaeus had a direct channel to the sea, which Lieut. Selby (l.c. p. 221) states to be at Khór Bâmushír, about three miles to the E. of the Shat-al-Arab, or Basrah river. The same may be gathered from Arrian's account of the movements of Alexander, who states that Alexander the Great, having placed the main body of his infantry under the command of Hephaestion to be led to the Persian gulf, himself descended by the Eulaeus to the sea; that, having arrived at its mouth, he thence proceeded by the sea to the Tigris, leaving some of his ships to follow the canal which joined the Eulaeus and Tigris; and that then he ascended the Tigris (7.7). Ptolemy speaks of the mouths of the Eulaeus, and gives it a double source in Media and Susiana (6.3. 2). This view may perhaps be reconciled, by supposing the Median source to refer to the Coprates (Dizful), and the Susianian to the proper Eulaeus or Karún. Ptolemy, however, places the mouth of the river much too far to the E., and appears to have confounded it, in this instance with either the Hidypnus (Ierráhi) or the Oroatis (Tab). There seems no reason to doubt that the name itself is a Graecised form of the Chaldee ULAI (Daniel, 8.2, 16); though, as we have shown above, the Eulaeus could not in strictness be said to be the river of Susa.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 19.19
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