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[3]

This city1 was at first self-governing, but when it was sacked by the barbarians it was forced to choose Mithridates Eupator as protector. He was then leading an army against the barbarians who lived beyond the isthmus2 as far as the Borysthenes and the Adrias;3 this, however, was prepratory to a campaign against the Romans. So, then, in accordance with these hopes of his he gladly sent an army to Chersonesus, and at the same time carried on war against the Scythians, not only against Scilurus, but also the sons of Scilurus—Palacus4 and the rest—who, according to Poseidonius were fifty in number, but according to Apollonides5 were eighty. At the same time, also, he not only subdued all these by force, but also established himself as lord of the Bosporus,6 receiving the country as a voluntary gift from Parisades7 who held sway over it. So from that time on down to the present the city of the Chersonesites has been subject to the potentates of the Bosporus. Again, Ctenus Limen is equidistant from the city of the Chersonesites and Symbolon Limen. And after Symbolon Limen, as far as the city Theodosia,8 lies the Tauric seaboard, which is about one thousand stadia in length. It is rugged and mountainous, and is subject to furious storms from the north. And in front of it lies a promontory which extends far out towards the high sea and the south in the direction of Paphlagonia and the city Amastris;9 it is called Criumetopon.10 And opposite it lies that promontory of the Paphlagonians, Carambis,11 which, by means of the strait, which is contracted on both sides, divides the Euxine Pontus into two seas.12 Now the distance from Carambis to the city of the Chersonesites is two thousand five hundred stadia,13 but the number to Criumetopon is much less; at any rate, many who have sailed across the strait say that they have seen both promontories, on either side, at the same time.14 In the mountainous district of the Taurians is also the mountain Trapezus,15 which has the same name as the city16 in the neighborhood of Tibarania and Colchis. And near the same mountainous district is also another mountain, Cimmerius,17 so called because the Cimmerians once held sway in the Bosporus; and it is because of this fact that the whole of the strait18 which extends to the mouth of Lake Maeotis is called the Cimmerian Bosporus.

1 Strabo is now thinking of the Old Chersonesus.

2 Isthmus of Perekop.

3 That is, the head of the Adriatic.

4 See 7. 3. 17.

5 Little is known of this Apollonides. According to the scholiast on Apollonius Argonautica 4.983, 1175, he wrote a geographical treatise entitled Periplus of Europe.

6 The Cimmerian Bosporus, the country about the strait of Kertch. The capital was Panticapaeum (now Kertch).

7 The correct spelling of the name seems to be “Paerisades” (so on coins), but several ancient writers spell it Parisades.

8 Now called Feodosia or Kaffa.

9 Now Amasra.

10 Literally, “Ram's-forehead”; now Cape Karadje.

11 Now Cape Kerembe.

12 Cp. 2. 5. 22, where the same thought is clearly expressed.

13 But cp. 2. 5. 22.

14 Cp. the footnote on seeing from Lilybaeum to the Carthaginian harbor, 6. 2. 1.

15 Now Tchadir-Dagh.

16 i.e., the Trebizond of today.

17 Now Aghirmisch-Daghi.

18 The strait of Kertch.

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