This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 It is said that the termination of Taurus, which is called Imaus, approaches close to the Indian Sea, and neither advances towards nor recedes from the East more than India itself. But on passing to the northern side, the sea contracts (throughout the whole coast) the length and breadth of India, so as to shorten on the East the portion of Asia we are now describing, comprehended between the Taurus and the Northern Ocean, which forms the Caspian Sea. The greatest length of this portion, reckoned from the Hyrcanian Sea to the (Eastern) Ocean opposite Imaus, is about 30,000 stadia,1 the route being along the mountainous tract of Taurus; the breadth is less than 10,000 stadia.2 We have said before, that3 from the bay of Issus to the eastern sea along the coast of India is about 40,000 stadia, and to Issus from the western extremities at the pillars 30,000 stadia. The recess of the bay of Issus is little, if at all, more to the east than Amisus; from Amisus to Hyrcania is about 10,000 stadia in a line parallel to that which we have described as drawn from the bay of Issus to India. There remains therefore for the portion now delineated the above-mentioned length towards the east, namely, 30,000 stadia.4
1 That is, from the Caspian Gates to Thinæ. Gossellin.
2 Strabo does not here determine either the parallel from which we are to measure, nor the meridian we are to follow to discover this greatest breadth, which according to him is ‘less than 10,000 stadia.’ This passage therefore seems to present great difficulties. The difficulties respecting the parallel can only be perceived by an examination and comparison of the numerous passages where our author indicates the direction of the chain of mountains which form the Taurus.
3 I do not see where this statement is to be found, except implicitly. Strabo seems to refer us in general to various passages where he endea- vours to determine the greatest length of the habitable world, in b. ii. Du Theil.
4 I am unable to fix upon the author's train of thought. For immediately after having assigned to this portion of the Habitable Earth (whose dimensions he wishes to determine) 30,000 stadia as its ‘greatest length,’ and 10,000 stadia as its ‘greatest breadth,’ Strabo proceeds to prove what he had just advanced respecting its greatest length. Then he should, it seems, have endeavoured to furnish us, in the same manner, with a proof that its greatest breadth is not more, as he says, than 10,000. But in what follows there is nothing advanced on this point; all that he says is to develope another proposition, viz. that the extent of the Hyrcanian—Caspian Sea is at the utmost 6000 stadia. The arguments contained in this paragraph on the whole appear to me strange; they rest on a basis which it is difficult to comprehend; they establish explicitly a proposition which disagrees with what the author has said elsewhere, and lastly they present an enormous geographical error.It will therefore be useful to the reader to explain, as far as I understand it the argument of our author.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.