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Lying to the east of the Caspii is the region known as Apavortene,1 in which there is a place noted for its singular fertility, called Dareium.2 We then come to the nations of the Tapyri,3 the Anariaci, the Staures, and the Hyrcani, past whose shores and beyond the river Sideris4 the Caspian begins to take the name of the 'Hyrcanian' Sea: on this side of that stream are also the rivers Maxeras and Strato: all of them take their rise in the Caucasian chain. Next comes the district of Margiane,5 so remarkable for its sunny climate. It is the only spot in all these regions that produces the vine, being shut in on every side by verdant and refreshing hills. This district is fifteen hundred stadia in circumference, but is rendered remarkably difficult of access by sandy deserts, which extend a distance of one hundred and twenty miles: it lies opposite to the country of Parthia, and in it Alexander founded the city of Alexandria. This place having been destroyed by the barbarians, Antiochus,6 the son of Seleucus, rebuilt it on the same site as a Syrian city.7 For, seeing that it was watered by the Margus,8 which passes through it, and is afterwards divided into a number of streams for the irrigation of the district of Zothale, he restored it, but preferred giving it the name of Antiochia.9 The circumference of this city is seventy stadia: it was to this place that Orodes conducted such of the Romans as had survived the defeat of Crassus. From the mountain heights of this district, along the range of Caucasus, the savage race of the Mardi, a free people, extends as far as the Bactri.10 Below the district inhabited by them, we find the nations of the Orciani, the Commori, the Berdrigæ, the Harmatotropi,11 the Citomaræ, the Comani, the Marucæi, and the Mandruani. The rivers here are the Mandrus and the Chindrus.12 Beyond the nations already mentioned, are the Chorasmii,13 the Candari,14 the Attasini, the Paricani, the Sarangæ, the Marotiani, the Aorsi,15 the Gaëli, by the Greek writers called Cadusii,16 the Matiani, the city of Heraclea,17 which was founded by Alexander, but was afterwards destroyed, and rebuilt by Antiochus, and by him called Achaïs; the Derbices also,18 through the middle of whose territory the river Oxus19 runs, after rising in Lake Oxus,20 the Syrmatæ, the Oxydracæ, the Heniochi, the Bateni, the Saraparæ, and the Bactri, whose chief city is Zariaspe, which afterwards received the name of Bactra, from the river21 there. This last nation lies at the back of Mount Paropanisus,22 over against the sources of the river Indus, and is bounded by the river Ochus.23 Beyond it are the Sogdiani,24 the town of Panda, and, at the very extremity of their territory, Alexandria,25 founded by Alexander the Great. At this spot are the altars which were raised by Hercules and Father Liber, as also by Cyrus, Semiramis, and Alexander; for the expeditions of all these conquerors stopped short at this region, bounded as it is by the river Jaxartes, by the Scythians known as the Silis, and by Alexander and his officers supposed to have been the Tanais. This river was crossed by Demodamas, a general of kings Seleucus and Antiochus, and whose account more particularly we have here followed. He also consecrated certain altars here to Apollo Didymæus.26

1 By some writers called Apavareticene, in the south-eastern part of Parthia. Ansart says that it is now known as Asterabad and Ghilan.

2 Or Dara. A strongly fortified place, built by Arsaces I., and situate on the mountains of the Zapaorteni.

3 According to Ansart, the district now known as Tabaristan, or Mazanderan, derives the first of those names from the Tapyri.

4 D'Anville remarks that this river still retains its "starry" name, being the modern Aster or Ester, on which Asterabad is situate.

5 This district occupied the southern part of modern Khiva, the southwestern part of Bokhara, and the north-eastern part of Khorassan. This province of the ancient Persian empire received its name from the river Margus, now the Moorghab. It first became known to the Greeks by the expeditions of Alexander and Antiochus I.

6 Antiochus Soter, the son of Seleucus Nicator.

7 The meaning of this, which has caused great diversity of opinion among the Commentators, seems to be, that on rebuilding it, he preferred giving it a name borne by several cities in Syria, and given to them in honour of kings of that country. To this he appears to have been prompted by a supposed resemblance which its site on the Margus bore to that of Antiochia on the Orontes.

8 The modern Moorghab; it loses itself in the sands of Khiva.

9 Its remains are supposed to be those of an ancient city, still to be seen at a spot called Merv, on the river Moorghab.

10 The people of modern Bokhara.

11 This appears to mean the nations of "Chariot horse-breeders."

12 In former editions, called the 'Gridinus.' It is impossible to identify many of these nations and rivers, as the spelling varies considerably in the respective MSS.

13 An extensive tribe of Sogdiana, now represented by the district of Khawarezm, in the desert country of Khiva.

14 A tribe in the north-western part of Sogdiana. They appear to have been situate to the east of the district of Khawarezm. It has been suggested that they derived their name from the Sanscrit Gandharas, a tribe beyond the Indus.

15 The chief seat of the Aorsi, who appear to have been a numerous and powerful people both of Europe and Asia, was in the country between the Tanais, the Euxine, the Caspian, and the Caucasus. It seems doubtful, however, whether it is these people who are alluded to in the present passage.

16 These would almost seem to be a different people from those mentioned in c. 15 of the present Book, as dwelling in Atropatene. The present appears to have been a tribe of Sogdiana.

17 Strabo mentions a town of this name, which he places, together with Apamea, in the direction of Rhagæ. If Pliny has observed anything like order in his recital of nations and places, the Heraclea here mentioned cannot be that spoken of by Strabo, but must have been distant nearly 1000 miles from it.

18 This was a tribe, apparently of Scythian origin, settled in Margiana, on the left bank of the Oxus. Strabo says that they worshipped the earth, and forbore to sacrifice or slay any female; but that they put to death their fellow-creatures as soon as they had passed their seventieth year, it being the privilege of the next of kin to eat the flesh of the deceased person. The aged women, however, they used to strangle, and then consign them to the earth.

19 The modern Jihoun or Amou. It now flows into the Sea of Aral, but the ancients universally speak of it as running into the Caspian; and there are still existing distinct traces of a channel extending in a southwesterly direction from the sea of Aral to the Caspian, by which at least a portion, and probably the whole of the waters of the Oxus found their way. into the Caspian; and not improbably the Sea of Aral itself was connected with the Caspian by this channel.

20 Most probably under this name he means the Sea of Aral.

21 The Bactrus. This river is supposed to be represented by the modern Dakash. Hardouin says that Ptolemy, B. vi. c. 11, calls this river the Zariaspis, or Zariaspes. See the Note at the end of c, 17, p. 30.

22 Now known as the Hindoo-Koosh; a part of the great mountainchain which runs from west to east through the centre of the southern portion of the highlands of Central Asia, and so divides the part of the continent which slopes down to the Indian ocean from the great central table-land of Tartary and Thibet. The native term, Hindoo-Koosh, is only a form of the ancient name "Indicus Caucasus," which was sometimes given to this chain. The ancient name was derived probably from the Persian word paru,a "mountain."

23 Flowing from the north side of the Paropanisus. According to Pliny and Ptolemy, this river flowed through Bactria into the Oxus; but ac- cording to Strabo, through Iyrcania into the Caspian Sea. Some suppose it to have been only another name for the Oxus. Ansart suggests that it may have been the river now known as the Bash.

24 D'Anville says that there is still the valley of Al Sogd, in Tartary, beyond the Oxus. The district called Sogdiana was probably composed of parts of modern Turkistan and Bokhara. The site of Panda does not appear to be known.

25 It was built on the Jaxartes, to mark the furthest point reached by Alexander in his Scythian expedition. It has been suggested that the modern Kokend may possibly occupy its site.

26 The "twin," of the same birth with Diana.

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