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[11]

Then one comes to Sinope itself, which is fifty stadia distant from Armene; it is the most noteworthy of the cities in that part of the world. This city was founded by the Milesians; and, having built a naval station, it reigned over the sea inside the Cyaneae, and shared with the Greeks in many struggles even outside the Cyaneae; and, although it was independent for a long time, it could not eventually preserve its freedom, but was captured by siege, and was first enslaved by Pharnaces1 and afterwards by his successors down to Eupator2 and to the Romans who overthrew Eupator. Eupator was both born and reared at Sinope; and he accorded it especial honor and treated it as the metropolis of his kingdom. Sinope is beautifully equipped both by nature and by human foresight, for it is situated on the neck of a peninsula, and has on either side of the isthmus harbors and roadsteads and wonderful pelamydes-fisheries, of which I have already made mention, saying that the Sinopeans get the second catch and the Byzantians the third.3 Furthermore, the peninsula is protected all round by ridgy shores, which have hollowed-out places in them, rock-cavities, as it were, which the people call "choenicides";4 these are filled with water when the sea rises, and therefore the place is hard to approach, not only because of this, but also because the whole surface of the rock is prickly and impassable for bare feet. Higher up, however, and above the city, the ground is fertile and adorned with diversified market-gardens; and especially the suburbs of the city. The city itself is beautifully walled, and is also splendidly adorned with gymnasium and marked place and colonnades. But although it was such a city, still it was twice captured, first by Pharnaces, who unexpectedly attacked it all of a sudden, and later by Leucullus and by the tyrant who was garrisoned within it, being besieged both inside and outside at the same time; for, since Bacchides, who had been set up by the king as commander of the garrison, was always suspecting treason from the people inside, and was causing many outrages and murders, he made the people, who were unable either nobly to defend themselves or to submit by compromise, lose all heart for either course. At any rate, the city was captured; and though Leucullus kept intact the rest of the city's adornments, he took away the globe of Billarus and the work of Sthenis, the statue of Autolycus,5 whom they regarded as founder of their city and honored as god. The city had also an oracle of Autolycus. He is thought to have been one of those who went on the voyage with Jason and to have taken possession of this place. Then later the Milesians, seeing the natural advantages of the place and the weakness of its inhabitants, appropriated it to themselves and sent forth colonists to it. But at present it has received also a colony of Romans; and a part of the city and the territory belong to these. It is three thousand five hundred stadia distant from the Hieron,6 two thousand from Heracleia, and seven hundred from Carambis. It has produced excellent men: among the philosophers, Diogenes the Cynic and Timotheus Patrion; among the poets, Diphilus the comic poet; and, among the historians, Baton, who wrote the work entitled The Persica.

1 183 B.C.

2 Mithridates the Great.

3 7. 6. 2 and 12. 3. 19.

4 "Crossing the town to the north I passes through a sally-port, and descended to the beach, where the wall was built upon a sharp decomposing shelly limestone which I was surprised to find full of small circular holes, apparently resembling those described by Strabo, under the name of 'choenicides'; but those which I saw were not above nine inches in diameter, and from one to two feet deep. There can, however, be no doubt that such cavities would, if larger, render it almost impossible for a body of men to wade on shore." (Hamilton's Researches in Asia Minor, 1. p. 310, quoted by Tozer.)

5 See Plut. Lucullus 23

6 i.e., the [Chalcedonian] "Temple" on the "Sacred Cape" (see 12. 4. 2) in Chalcedonia, now called Cape Khelidini.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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