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CYBISTRA (τὰ Κύβιστρα: Eth. Κυβιστρεύς, coin). Strabo (p. 537), after mentioning Tyana, says “that not far from it are Castabala and Cybistra, forts which are still nearer to the mountain,” by which he means Taurus. Cybistra and Castabala were in that division of Cappadocia which was called Cilicia. Leake (Asia Minor, p. 62) says that Strabo places Cybistra 300 stadia from Mazaca [CAESAREIA]: but the obscure text seems to mean (p. 539) that it is 300 stadia from Tyana to Cybistra. Strabo makes it six days' journey from Mazaca to the Pylae Ciliciae, through Tyana, which is about half way; then he makes it 300 stadia, or about two days' journey, from Tyana to Cybistra, which leaves about a day's journey from Cybistra to the Pylae; and this is consistent with the passage already cited. Leake further observes, “We learn also from the Table that Cybistra was on the road from Tyana to Mazaca, and sixty-four Roman miles from the former.” He thinks that these data are sufficient to fix the site of Cybistra at Karahissar, where are considerable remains of an ancient city. Karahissar is about 30 miles SSW. of Mazaca (Kaisariyeh). But Hamilton (Researches, vol. ii. p. 293), who visited Karahissar, says that it contains no vestiges of antiquity; and besides this, it is plain that, if Strabo's description is right, Karahissar is a long way from Cybistra. Hamilton adds, in a note, that it is stated on German authority that “Cybistra is at a place called Pasmaktchi, on the road from Caesareia to the Cilician pass;” but no more precise indication is given. Ptolemy (5.7) places Cybistra in Cataonia, but he mentions Cyzistra as one of the towns of the Cilicia of Cappadocia, and Mazaca as another. It appears, then, that his Cyzistra corresponds to Strabo's Cybistra, which certainly is not in Cataonia.

When M. Cicero was proconsul of Cilicia, he led his troops southwards towards the Taurus through that part of Cappadocia which borders on Cilicia, and he encamped “on the verge of Cappadocia, not far from Taurus, at a town Cybistra, in order to defend Cilicia, and at the same time hold Cappadocia” (ad Fans. 15.2, 4). Cicero stayed five days [p. 1.723]at Cybistra, and on hearing that the Parthians were a long way off that entrance into Cappadocia, and were hanging on the borders of Cilicia, he immediately marched into Cilicia through the Pylae of the Taurus, and came to Tarsus (ad Att. 5.20). This is quite consistent with Strabo, and shows that Leake has misplaced Cybistra. The exact site remains to be determined, unless the German authority has indicated it.

Whether Cyzistra is really a different place from Cybistra, as some geographers assume, may be doubted.


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