Many false notions were also added to the account of this sea because1
of Alexander's love of glory; for, since it was agreed by all that the Tanaïs separated Asia from Europe, and that the region between the sea and the Tanaïs, being a considerable part of Asia, had not fallen under the power of the Macedonians, it was resolved to manipulate the account of Alexander's expedition so that in fame at least he might be credited with having conquered those parts of Asia too. They therefore united lake Maeotis, which receives the Tanaïs, with the Caspian Sea, calling this too a lake and asserting that both were connected with one another by an underground passage and that each was a part of the other. Polycleitus goes on to adduce proofs in connection with his belief that the sea is a lake (for instance, he says that it produces serpents, and that its water is sweetish); and that it is no other than Maeotis he judges from the fact that the Tanaïs empties into it. From the same Indian mountains, where the Ochus and the Oxus and several other rivers rise, flows also the Iaxartes, which, like those rivers, empties into the Caspian Sea and is the most northerly of them all. This river, accordingly, they named Tanaïs; and in addition to so naming it they gave as proof that it was the Tanaïs mentioned by Polycleitus that the country on the far side of this river produces the fir-tree and that the Scythians in that region use arrows made of fir-wood; and they say that this is also evidence that the country on the far side belongs to Europe and not to Asia, for, they add, Upper and Eastern Asia does not produce the fir-tree. But Eratosthenes says that the fir-tree grows also in India and that Alexander built his fleet out of fir-wood from there. Eratosthenes tries to reconcile many other differences of this kind, but as for me, let what I have said about them suffice.