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 Two provinces only have cities. In the Tyanitis is Tyana,1 lying at the foot of the Taurus at the Cilician Gates,2 where are the easiest and the most frequented passes into Cilicia and Syria. It is called, ‘Eusebeia at the Taurus.’ Tyanitis is fertile, and the greatest part of it consists of plains. Tyana is built upon the mound of Semiramis, which is fortified with good walls. At a little distance from this city are Castabala and Cybistra, towns which approach still nearer to the mountain. At Castabala is a temple of Diana Perasia, where, it is said, the priestesses walk with naked feet unhurt upon burning coals. To this place some persons apply the story respecting Orestes and Diana Tauropolus, and say that the goddess was called Perasia, because she was conveyed from beyond (πέοͅαθεν) sea. In Tyanitis, one of the ten provinces above mentioned, is the city Tyana. But with these I do not reckon the cities that were afterwards added, Castabala, and Cybistra, and those in Cilicia Tracheia, to which belongs Elæussa, a small fertile island, which Archelaus furnished with excellent buildings, where he passed the greater part of his time. In the Cilician province, as it is called, is Mazaca,3 the capital of the nation. It is also called ‘Eusebeia,’ with the addition ‘at the Argæus,’ for it is situated at the foot of the Argeus,4 the highest mountain in that district; its summit is always covered with snow. Persons who ascend it (but they are not many) say that both the Euxine and the sea of Issus may be seen from thence in clear weather. Mazaca is not adapted in other respects by nature for the settlement of a city, for it is without water, and unfortified. Through the neglect of the governors, it is without walls, perhaps intentionally, lest, trusting to the wall as to a fortification, the inhabitants of a plain, which has hills situated above it, and not exposed to the attacks of missile weapons, should addict themselves to robbery. The country about, although it consists of plains, is entirely barren and uncultivated, for the soil is sandy, and rocky underneath. At a little distance further there are burning plains, and pits full of fire to an extent of many stadia, so that the necessaries of life are brought from a distance. What seems to be a peculiar advantage (abundance of wood) is a source of danger. For though nearly the whole of Cappadocia is without timber, the Argæus is surrounded by a forest, so that wood may be procured near at hand, yet even the region lying below the forest contains fire in many parts, and springs of cold water; but as neither the fire nor the water break out upon the surface, the greatest part of the country is covered with herbage. In some parts the bottom is marshy, and flames burst out from the ground by night. Those acquainted with the country collect wood with caution; but there is danger to others, and particularly to cattle, which fall into these hidden pits of fire.
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