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A´RAGUS, ARAGON, ARRHABON (Ἄραγος, Ἀραγῶν, Ἀρραβῶν: Aragui, or Arak), a river of Iberia, in Asia, flowing from the Caucasus into the Cyrus. It is the only tributary of the Cyrus in Iberia, which Strabo mentions by name. (Strab. xi. p.500, where the MSS. have Ἀραγῶνα, Ἀρραλῶνα, and Ἀρραβῶνα.

The same river is evidently meant a little further on, where Strabo, in describing the four mountain passes into Iberia, says that that on the N. from the country of the Nomades is a difficult ascent of three days' journey (along the Terek); after which the road passes through the defile of the river Aragus, a journey of four days, the pass being closed at the lower end by an impregnable wall. This is the great central pass of the Caucasus, the Caucasiae, or Sarmaticae Pylae, now the Pass of Daríel. [CAUCASUS] But Strabo adds, as the text stands, that another of the four Iberian passes, namely, the one leading from Armenia, lay upon the rivers Cyrus and Aragus, near which, before their confluence, stood fortified cities built on rocks, at a distance of 16 stadia from each other, namely, Harmozica on the Cyrus, and Seumara on the other river. Through this pass Pompey and Canidius entered Iberia (pp. 500, 501). According to this statement, we must seek the pass near Misketi, N. of Tiflis; but it is supposed, by Groskurd and others, that the name Aragus in this last passage is an error (whether of Strabo himself, or of the copyists), and that the pass referred to is very much further westward, on the great high road from Erzeroum, through Kars, to the N., and that the river wrongly called Aragus is the small stream falling into the Cyrus near Akhaltsik, where the ruined castles of Horum Ziche (or Armatsiche) and Tsumar are thought to preserve the names, as well as sites, of Strabo's Harmozica and Seumara. (Reinegg, Beschreib. d. Cauc. vol. ii. p. 89; Klaproth, Voyage au Cauc. vol. i. p. 518.) The river spoken of is supposed to be the Pelorus of Dio Cassius (37.2).


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