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GERRHUS (Γέρρος, Ptol. 3.5.12; Plin. Nat. 4.12; Steph. B. sub voce a river of Scythia, and region bearing the same name, where the tombs of the Scythian kings were. (Hdt. 4.19.) This region must have been at a considerable distance up the Borysthenes, as we are told that forty days' navigation on that river were required before it was arrived at. (Hdt. 4.53.) Potocki (Voyage dans les Steps d'Astrakhan et du Caucase, Paris, 1829, vol. i. pp. 145, 163, 172, 388) has identified this with the district below the cataracts of the Dnieper, where the river becomes navigable, and where there are now in fact a number of ancient tombs or “tumuli” in the neighbourhood of Takmak. (Comp. Schafarik, Slav. Alt. vol. i. p. 516.) It is difficult to reconcile the description of the courses and confluence of the Gerrhus, Panticapes, and Hippacyris with modern geography.

Beyond the Panticapes (Koúskawoda) was the country of the nomad Scythians. It is a steppe destitute of wood, and comprehending a space of 14 days' journey, in an eastern direction, as far as the river Gerrhus, or the steppe of the Nogaï. Beyond the river Gerrhus the ruling horde of the Scythians who were named “royal,” first appear. (Hdt. 4.19.) The Hypacyris is generally considered to be the same as the Kalantchak. According to Herodotus, the Gerrhus fell into the Hypacyris; by which must be understood, not the Kalantchak, but the Outlouk. The course of this river appears clear enough in Pliny and Ptolemy (l.c.). Pliny agrees with Herodotus in making it the boundary between the Nomad and Royal Scythians, and with Ptolemy in conducting it finally into the Palus Maeotis; the difference only is, that Pliny leads it into the lake BUGES, which communicates with the gulf CORETUS and the Palus Maeotis, while Ptolemy discharges it considerably to the E. of the lake Buges or Byce (Βύκη λίμνη). The Gerrhus is probably represented by the Moloschnijawoda, which forms still a shallow lake or marsh at its embouchure. (Comp. Schafarik, Slav. Alt. vol. i. p. 270; Rennell, Geog. of Herod. vol. i. pp. 75, 88, 93, 94.)


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.19
    • Herodotus, Histories, 4.53
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.12
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.5
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