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PARTHIA is not an extensive tract of country; for this reason it was united with the Hyrcani for the purpose of paying tribute under the Persian dominion and afterwards, during a long period when the Macedonians were masters of the country. Besides its small extent, it is thickly wooded, mountainous, and produces nothing; so that the kings with their multitude of followers pass with great speed through the country, which is unable to furnish subsistence for such numbers even for a short time. At present it is augmented in extent. Comisene1 and Chorene are parts of Parthiene, and perhaps also the country as far as the Caspian Gates, Rhagæ, and the Tapyri, which formerly belonged to Media. Apameia and Heracleia are cities in the neighbourhood of Rhagæ. From the Caspian Gates to Rhagæ are 500 stadia according to Apollodorus, and to Hecatompylos, the royal seat of the Parthians, 1260 stadia. Rhagæ2 is said to have had its name from the earthquakes which occurred in that country, by which many cities and two thousand villages, as Poseidonius relates, were overthrown. The Tapyri are said to live between the Derbices and the Hyrcani. Historians say, that it is a custom among the Tapyri to surrender the married women to other men, even when the husbands have had two or three children by them, as Cato surrendered Marcia in our times, according to an ancient custom of the Romans, to Hortensius, at his request.
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