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Near the Tigris are the places belonging to the Gordyæi,1 whom the ancients called Carduchi; their cities are Sareisa, Satalca, and Pinaca, a very strong fortress with three citadels, each enclosed by its own wall, so that it is as it were a triple city. It was, however, subject to the king of Armenia; the Romans also took it by storm, although the Gordyæi had the reputation of excelling in the art of building, and to be skilful in the construction of siege engines. It was for this reason Tigranes took them into his service. The rest of Mesopotamia (Gordyæa?) was subject to the Romans. Pompey assigned to Tigranes the largest and best portion of the country; for it has fine pastures, is rich in plants, and produces ever-greens and an aromatic, the amomum. It breeds lions also. It furnishes naphtha, and the stone called Gangitis,2 which drives away reptiles.

1 Gordyæa was the most northerly part of Assyria, or Kurdistan, near the lake Van. From Carduchi, the name of the inhabitants, is derived the modern name Kurds.

2 Pliny, x. c. iii. and xxxvi. c. xix., calls it ‘Gagates lapis;’ a name derived, according to Dioscorides, from a river Gagas in Lycia.

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