, Ptol. 6.1.5
; Steph. B. sub voce
a small village of Assyria, about 12 miles on the other side of the Lycus, at no great distance from the river Bumadus.
It was the actual scene of the last great battle between Dareius and Alexander the Great, which is sometimes called that of Arbela, though this place was at some distance from the real battlefield. [ARBELA
] Strabo states that the word Gaugamela means “Camel's house,” and that it was so called because Dareius gave the place for the support and nourishment of one of his camels which was much wearied with the march (xvi. p. 737). Pliny places the town to the west of the Orontes (6.26. 8. 30). Each of the two forms Gangamela and Gaugamela admits of explanation [p. 1.979]
from the Persian; the first might be derived from Kháneh
(the house-home), the second from Gâh
(Zend, Gâ), (the place). Arrian, on the authority of Ptolemy and Aristobulus, has corrected the mistake about the place where the battle was really fought, stating that it was at Gaugamela, and not at Arbela; he adds the conjecture, that Arbela, being a well-known place, while Gaugamela, on the other hand, was one little known, obtained the credit of having been the exact site of the conflict; he suggests that the two places are as far apart as Salamis from the Isthmus of Corinth, or Artemisia from Aegina or Sunium (Anab.
6.12). Plutarch agrees with Arrian. (Alex.
100.31.) Ammianus follows the same opinion (23.6). Curtius, on the other hand, calls the field of battle Arbela (4.100.9). Stephanus calls it a place of Persis, probably because, in his time, all that part of Mesopotamia was subject to the Persian Empire.
It is, perhaps, represented by a small place now called Karmelis;
yet it can hardly be the one marked in Niebuhr's Map (ii. p. 284, tab. 45), as that is too near to Mosul and too far from Arbela; Niebuhr himself is inclined to place the scene of action on the banks of the Khauser,
which he calls a small tributary of the Greater Zab.