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3. Of CHARAX, a geographical writer, 1 who seems to have lived under the early Roman emperors. A passage in his σταθμοί, in which he refers to the flight of Tiridates (p. 4; comp. Tac. Annal. 6.44), seems to fix his time in or after the reign of Tiberius. He is quoted, however, by Lucian (Macrob. 15), in a way which seems at first sight to imply that he lived in the time of Ptolemy I., that is, before the existence of the Parthian empire which he describes. There is no occasion, however, to assume another Isidore of Charax; we would rather assume either that the Artaxerxes of whom Lucian speaks was one of the Arsacidae, or that the words ἐπὶ τῶν πατέρων are not to be taken literally, or that here, as in many other instances, Lucian's incidental chronology is worth nothing.


Description of Parthia

τῆς Παρθίας περιηγητικός is quoted by Athenaeus (iii. p. 93d.), and whose Σταθμοὶ Παρθικοί is probably a part of the above work.


The Σταθμοὶ Παρθικοί are printed among the works of the minor geographers in the collections of Höschel (1600), Hudson (1703), and Miller (Supplément aux dernières éditions des petits Géographes, Paris, 1839; comp. Letronne, Fragments des Poemes Géogr. de Scymnus, Paris, 1840.)

Range of his geographical work

That his geographical work embraced not only Parthia, but probably the whole of the then known world, may be inferred from several quotations from Isidorus in Pliny. (H. N. 2.108, s. 112; 4.4. s. 5; 22, s. 37; 5.6, et alib.

Further Information

Dodwell, Dissert. de Isidoro Characeno ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. pp. 612-614.

1 GRC 6/11/2008: I have rearranged this article to follow the normal Smith's pattern: Life-->works-->editions.

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