The greater part of the rest of Colchis lies upon the sea. The Phasis,1 a large river, flows through it. It has its source in Armenia, and receives the Glaucus,2 and the Hippus,3 which issue from the neighbouring mountains. Vessels ascend it as far as the fortress of Sarapana,4 which is capable of containing the population even of a city. Persons proceed thence by land to the Cyrus in four days along a carriage road.5 Upon the Phasis is a city of the same name, a mart of the Colchians, bounded on one side by the river, on another by a lake, on the third by the sea. Thence it is a voyage of three or two6 days to Amisus and Sinope, on account of the softness of the shores caused by the discharge of rivers.7 The country is fertile and its produce is good, except the honey, which has generally a bitter taste. It furnishes all materials for ship-building. It produces them in great plenty, and they are conveyed down by its rivers. It supplies flax, hemp, wax, and pitch, in great abundance. Its linen manufacture is celebrated, for it was exported to foreign parts; and those who wish to establish an affinity of race between the Colchians and the Ægyptians, advance this as a proof of it. Above the rivers which I have mentioned in the Moschic territory is the temple of Leucothea,8 founded by Phrixus9 and his oracle, where a ram is not sacrificed. It was once rich, but was plundered in our time by Pharnaces, and a little afterwards by Mithridates of Pergamus.10 For when a country is devastated, in the words of Euripides,
“ respect to the gods languishes, and they are not honoured.”Eurip. Troad. 26.