previous next


MA´RSYAS (Μαρσύας).


A tributary of the Maeander, having its sources in the district called [p. 2.286]Idrias, that is in the neighbourhood of Stratoniceia, and flowing in a north-western direction past Alabanda, discharged its waters into the Maeander nearly opposite to Tralles. On its banks were the λευκαὶ στῆλαι near which the Carians held their national meetings. (Hdt. 5.118.) The modern name of this river is Tshina, as is clearly proved by Leake (Asia Minor, p. 234, &c.); while earlier geographers generally confound this Marsyas with the Harpasus.


A small river of Phrygia, and, like the Carian Marsyas, a tributary of the Maeander. Herodotus (7.26) calls it a καταρράκτης; and according to Xenophon (Xen. Anab. 1.2.8) its sources were in the market-place of Celaenae, below the acropolis, where it fell down with a great noise from the rock (Curt. 3.1.) This perfectly agrees with the term applied to it by Herodotus; but the description is apparently opposed to a statement of Pliny (5.41), according to whom the river took its origin in the valley of Aulocrene, ten miles from Apamea. (Comp. Strab. xii. p.578; Max. Tyr. 8.8.) Strabo, again, states that a lake above Celaenae was the source of both the Maeander and the Marsyas. “Comparing these accounts,” says Col. Leake (Asia Minor, p. 160), “with Livy (38.38), who probably copied from Polybius, it may be inferred that the lake or pool on the summit of a mountain which rose above Celaenae was the reputed source of the Marsyas and Maeander; but that in fact the two rivers issued from different parts of the mountain below the lake.” By this explanation the difficulty of reconciling the different statements seems to be removed; for Aulocrene was probably the name of the lake, which imparted its own name to the plain mentioned by Pliny. The Marsyas joined the Maeander a little way below Celaenae. (Comp. MAEANDER and Hamilton's Researches, i. p. 499.) [L.S]

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.118
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.26
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.2.8
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.41
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 38
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.1
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: