Pliny the Elder.

The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) online

. (page 23 of 57)
Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 23 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the Epiphanæenses[3767]; and on the east, the Laodiceni[3768], who
are called the Laodiceni on the Libanus, the Leucadii[3769], and the
Larissæi, besides seventeen other Tetrarchies, divided into kingdoms
and bearing barbarous names.




CHAP. 20. (24.)—THE EUPHRATES.


This place, too, will be the most appropriate one for making some
mention of the Euphrates. This river rises in Caranitis[3770], a
præfecture of Greater Armenia, according to the statement of those
who have approached the nearest to its source. Domitius Corbulo
says, that it rises in Mount Aba; Licinius Mucianus, at the foot of
a mountain which he calls Capotes[3771], twelve miles above Zimara,
and that at its source it has the name of Pyxurates. It first flows
past Derxene[3772], and then Anaitica[3773], shutting out[3774] the
regions of Armenia from Cappadocia. Dascusa[3775] is distant from
Zimara seventy-five miles; from this spot it is navigable as far as
Sartona[3776], a distance of fifty miles, thence to Melitene[3777],
in Cappadocia, distant seventy-four[3778] miles, and thence to
Elegia[3779], in Armenia, distant ten miles; receiving in its course
the rivers Lycus[3780], Arsanias[3781], and Arsanus. At Elegia it meets
the range of Mount Taurus, but no effectual resistance is offered
to its course, although the chain is here twelve miles in width. At
its passage[3782] between the mountains, the river bears the name of
Omma[3783]; but afterwards, when it has passed through, it receives
that of Euphrates. Beyond this spot it is full of rocks, and runs
with an impetuous tide. It then divides that part of Arabia which is
called the country of the Orei[3784], on the left, by a channel three
schœni[3785] in width, from the territory of the Commageni[3786] on the
right, and it admits of a bridge being thrown across it, even where it
forces a passage through the range of Taurus. At Claudiopolis[3787],
in Cappadocia, it takes an easterly direction; and here, for the
first time in this contest, Taurus turns it out of its course; though
conquered before, and rent asunder by its channel, the mountain-chain
now gains the victory in another way, and, breaking its career, compels
it to take a southerly direction. Thus is this warfare of nature
equally waged,—the river proceeding onward to the destination which it
intends to reach, and the mountains forbidding it to proceed by the
path which it originally intended. After passing the Cataracts[3788],
the river again becomes navigable; and, at a distance of forty miles
from thence, is Samosata[3789], the capital of Commagene.




CHAP. 21.—SYRIA UPON THE EUPHRATES.


Arabia, above mentioned, has the cities of Edessa[3790], formerly
called Antiochia, and, from the name of its fountain, Callirhoë[3791],
and Carrhæ[3792], memorable for the defeat of Crassus there. Adjoining
to this is the præfecture of Mesopotamia, which derives its origin
from the Assyrians, and in which are the towns of Anthemusia[3793] and
Nicephorium[3794]; after which come the Arabians, known by the name of
Prætavi, with Singara[3795] for their capital. Below Samosata, on the
side of Syria, the river Marsyas[3796] flows into the Euphrates. At
Cingilla ends the territory of Commagene, and the state of the Immei
begins. The cities which are here washed by the river are those of
Epiphania[3797] and Antiochia[3798], generally known as Epiphania and
Antiochia on the Euphrates; also Zeugma, seventy-two miles distant from
Samosata, famous for the passage there across the Euphrates. Opposite
to it is Apamia[3799], which Seleucus, the founder of both cities,
united by a bridge. The people who join up to Mesopotamia are called
the Rhoali. Other towns in Syria are those of Europus[3800], and what
was formerly Thapsacus[3801], now Amphipolis. We then come to the
Arabian Scenitæ[3802]. The Euphrates then proceeds in its course till
it reaches the place called Ura[3803], at which, taking a turn to the
east, it leaves the Syrian Deserts of Palmyra[3804], which extend as
far as the city of Petra[3805] and the regions of Arabia Felix.

(25.) Palmyra is a city famous for the beauty of its site, the riches
of its soil, and the delicious quality and abundance of its water. Its
fields are surrounded by sands on every side, and are thus separated,
as it were, by nature from the rest of the world. Though placed between
the two great empires of Rome and Parthia, it still maintains[3806] its
independence; never failing, at the very first moment that a rupture
between them is threatened, to attract the careful attention of both.
It is distant 337 miles from Seleucia[3807] of the Parthians, generally
known as Seleucia on the Tigris, 203 from the nearest part of the
Syrian coast, and twenty-seven less from Damascus.

(26.) Below the deserts of Palmyra is the region of Stelendene[3808],
and Hierapolis, Berœa, and Chalcis, already mentioned[3809]. Beyond
Palmyra, Emesa[3810] takes to itself a portion of these deserts;
also Elatium, nearer to Petra by one-half than Damascus. At no great
distance from Sura[3811] is Philiscum, a town of the Parthians, on
the Euphrates. From this place it is ten days’ sail to Seleucia, and
nearly as many to Babylon. At a distance of 594 miles beyond Zeugma,
near the village of Massice, the Euphrates divides into two channels,
the left one of which runs through Mesopotamia, past Seleucia, and
falls into the Tigris as it flows around that city. Its channel on the
right runs towards Babylon, the former capital of Chaldæa, and flows
through the middle of it; and then through another city, the name of
which is Otris[3812], after which it becomes lost in the marshes. Like
the Nile, this river increases at stated times, and at much about the
same period. When the sun has reached the twentieth degree of Cancer,
it inundates[3813] Mesopotamia; and, after he has passed through Leo
and entered Virgo, its waters begin to subside. By the time the sun has
entered the twenty-ninth degree of Virgo, the river has fully regained
its usual height.




CHAP. 22. (27.)—CILICIA AND THE ADJOINING NATIONS.


But let us now return to the coast of Syria, joining up to which is
Cilicia. We here find the river Diaphanes[3814], Mount Crocodilus,
the Gates[3815] of Mount Amanus, the rivers Androcus[3816],
Pinarus[3817], and Lycus[3818], the Gulf of Issos[3819], and the
town of that name; then Alexandria[3820], the river Chlorus[3821],
the free town of Ægæ[3822], the river Pyramus[3823], the Gates[3824]
of Cilicia, the towns of Mallos[3825] and Magarsos[3826], and, in
the interior, Tarsus[3827]. We then come to the Aleian Plains[3828],
the town of Cassipolis, Mopsos[3829], a free town on the river
Pyramus, Thynos, Zephyrium, and Anchiale[3830]. Next to these are
the rivers Saros[3831] and Cydnus[3832], the latter of which, at
some distance from the sea, runs through the free city of Tarsus,
the region of Celenderitis with a town[3833] of similar name, the
place where Nymphæum[3834] stood, Soli of Cilicia[3835], now called
Pompeiopolis, Adana[3836], Cibyra[3837], Pinare[3838], Pedalie[3839],
Ale, Selinus[3840], Arsinoë[3841], Iotape[3842], Doron, and, near the
sea, Corycos, there being a town[3843], port, and cave[3844] all of
the same name. Passing these, we come to the river Calycadnus[3845],
the Promontory of Sarpedon[3846], the towns of Holmœ[3847] and Myle,
and the Promontory and town of Venus[3848], at a short distance from
the island of Cyprus. On the mainland there are the towns of Myanda,
Anemurium[3849], and Coracesium[3850], and the river Melas[3851],
the ancient boundary of Cilicia. In the interior the places more
especially worthy of mention are Anazarbus[3852], now called Cæsarea,
Augusta, Castabala[3853], Epiphania[3854], formerly called Œniandos,
Eleusa[3855], Iconium[3856], Seleucia[3857] upon the river Calycadnus,
surnamed Tracheotis, a city removed[3858] from the sea-shore, where it
had the name of Holmia. Besides those already mentioned, there are in
the interior the rivers Liparis[3859], Bombos, Paradisus, and Mount
Imbarus[3860].




CHAP. 23.—ISAURIA AND THE HOMONADES.


All the geographers have mentioned Pamphylia as joining up to Cilicia,
without taking any notice of the people of Isauria[3861]. Its cities
are, in the interior, Isaura[3862], Clibanus, and Lalasis; it runs down
towards the sea by the side of Anemurium[3863] already mentioned. In
a similar manner also, all who have treated of this subject have been
ignorant of the existence of the nation of the Homonades bordering upon
Isauria, and their town of Homona[3864] in the interior. There are
forty-four other fortresses, which lie concealed amid rugged crags and
valleys.




CHAP. 24.—PISIDIA.


The Pisidæ[3865], formerly called the Solymi, occupy the higher parts
of the mountains. In their country there is the colony of Cæsarea, also
called Antiochia[3866], and the towns of Oroanda[3867] and Sagalessos.




CHAP. 25.—LYCAONIA.


These people are bounded by Lycaonia[3868], which belongs to the
jurisdiction of the province of Asia[3869], to which also resort the
people of Philomelium[3870], Tymbrium[3871], Leucolithium[3872], Pelta,
and Tyrium. To this jurisdiction is also added a Tetrarchy of Lycaonia
in that part which joins up to Galatia, containing fourteen states,
with the famous city of Iconium[3873]. In Lycaonia itself the most
noted places are Thebasa[3874] on Taurus, and Hyde, on the confines of
Galatia and Cappadocia. On the [western] side of Lycaonia, and above
Pamphylia, come the Milyæ[3875], a people descended from the Thracians;
their city is Arycanda.




CHAP. 26.—PAMPHYLIA.


The former name of Pamphylia[3876] was Mopsopia[3877]. The Pamphylian
Sea[3878] joins up to that of Cilicia. The towns of Pamphylia are
Side[3879], Aspendum[3880], situate on the side of a mountain,
Pletenissum[3881], and Perga[3882]. There is also the Promontory of
Leucolla, the mountain of Sardemisus, and the rivers Eurymedon[3883],
which flows past Aspendus, and Catarrhactes[3884], near to which is
Lyrnesus: also the towns of Olbia[3885], and Phaselis[3886], the last
on this coast.




CHAP. 27.—MOUNT TAURUS.


Adjoining to Pamphylia is the Sea of Lycia and the country of
Lycia[3887] itself, where the chain of Taurus, coming from the
eastern shores, terminates the vast Gulf[3888] by the Promontory
of Chelidonium[3889]. Of immense extent, and separating nations
innumerable, after taking its first rise at the Indian Sea[3890], it
branches off to the north on the right-hand side, and on the left
towards the south. Then taking a direction towards the west, it would
cut through the middle of Asia, were it not that the seas check it in
its triumphant career along the land. It accordingly strikes off in a
northerly direction, and forming an arc, occupies an immense tract of
country, nature, designedly as it were, every now and then throwing
seas in the way to oppose its career; here the Sea of Phœnicia, there
the Sea of Pontus, in this direction the Caspian and Hyrcanian[3891],
and then, opposite to them, the Lake Mæotis. Although somewhat
curtailed by these obstacles, it still winds along between them, and
makes its way even amidst these barriers; and victorious after all,
it then escapes with its sinuous course to the kindred chain of the
Riphæan mountains. Numerous are the names which it bears, as it is
continuously designated by new ones throughout the whole of its course.
In the first part of its career it has the name of Imaüs[3892], after
which it is known successively by the names of Emodus, Paropanisus,
Circius, Cambades, Paryadres, Choatras, Oreges, Oroandes, Niphates,
Taurus, and, where it even out-tops itself, Caucasus. Where it throws
forth its arms as though every now and then it would attempt to invade
the sea, it bears the names of Sarpedon, Coracesius, Cragus, and then
again Taurus. Where also it opens and makes a passage to admit mankind,
it still claims the credit of an unbroken continuity by giving the
name of “Gates” to these passes, which in one place are called the
“Gates of Armenia[3893],” in another the “Gates of the Caspian,” and
in another the “Gates of Cilicia.” In addition to this, when it has
been cut short in its onward career, it retires to a distance from the
seas, and covers itself on the one side and the other with the names of
numerous nations, being called, on the right-hand side the Hyrcanian
and the Caspian, and on the left the Paryadrian[3894], the Moschian,
the Amazonian, the Coraxican, and the Scythian chain. Among the Greeks
it bears the one general name of Ceraunian[3895].




CHAP. 28.—LYCIA.


In Lycia, after leaving its promontory[3896], we come to the town
of Simena, Mount Chimæra[3897], which sends forth flames by night,
and the city of Hephæstium[3898], the heights above which are also
frequently on fire. Here too formerly stood the city of Olympus[3899];
now we find the mountain places known as Gagæ[3900], Corydalla[3901],
and Rhodiopolis[3902]. Near the sea is Limyra[3903] with a river of
like name, into which the Arycandus flows, Mount Masycites[3904],
the state of Andriaca[3905], Myra[3906], the towns of Aperræ[3907]
and Antiphellos[3908], formerly called Habessus, and in a corner
Phellos[3909], after which comes Pyrra, and then the city of
Xanthus[3910], fifteen miles from the sea, as also a river known by the
same name. We then come to Patara[3911], formerly Pataros, and Sidyma,
situate on a mountain. Next comes the Promontory of Cragus[3912], and
beyond it a gulf[3913], equal to the one that comes before it; upon it
are Pinara[3914], and Telmessus[3915], the frontier town of Lycia.

Lycia formerly contained seventy towns, now it has but thirty-six.
Of these, the most celebrated, besides those already mentioned, are
Canas[3916], Candyba, so celebrated for the Œnian Grove, Podalia,
Choma, past which the river Ædesa flows, Cyaneæ[3917], Ascandalis,
Amelas, Noscopium, Tlos[3918], and Telandrus[3919]. It includes also
in the interior the district of Cabalia, the three cities of which are
Œnianda, Balbura[3920], and Bubon[3921].

On passing Telmessus we come to the Asiatic or Carpathian Sea, and the
district which is properly called Asia. Agrippa has divided this region
into two parts; one of which he has bounded on the east by Phrygia and
Lycaonia, on the west by the Ægean Sea, on the south by the Egyptian
Sea, and on the north by Paphlagonia, making its length to be 473
miles and its breadth 320. The other part he has bounded by the Lesser
Armenia on the east, Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia on the west, the
province of Pontus on the north, and the Sea of Pamphylia on the south,
making it 575 miles in length and 325 in breadth.




CHAP. 29.—CARIA.


Upon the adjoining coast is Caria[3922], then Ionia, and beyond it
Æolis. Caria surrounds Doris, which lies in the middle, and runs down
on both sides of it to the sea. In it[3923] is the Promontory of
Pedalium[3924], the river Glaucus[3925], into which the Telmedium[3926]
discharges itself, the towns of Dædala[3927], Crya[3928], peopled by
fugitives, the river Axon[3929], and the town of Calynda[3930].

(28.) The river Indus[3931], which rises in the mountains of the
Cibyratæ[3932], receives sixty-five rivers which are constantly
flowing, besides upwards of 100 mountain torrents. Here is the free
town of Caunos[3933], then the town of Pyrnos[3934], the port of
Cressa[3935], from which the island of Rhodes is distant twenty miles;
the place where Loryma formerly stood, the towns of Tisanusa[3936],
Paridion[3937], and Larymna[3938], the Gulf of Thymnias[3939], the
Promontory of Aphrodisias[3940], the town of Hyda, the Gulf of Schœnus,
and the district of Bubasus[3941]. There was formerly the town of
Acanthus here, another name of which was Dulopolis. We then come to
Cnidos[3942], a free town, situate on a promontory, Triopia[3943], and
after that the towns of Pegusa and Stadia.

At this last town Doris begins; but, first, it may be as well to
describe the districts that lie to the back of Caria and the several
jurisdictions in the interior. The first of these[3944] is called
Cibyratica, Cibyra being a town of Phrygia. Twenty-five states resort
to it for legal purposes, together with the most famous city of
Laodicea[3945].

(29.) This place at first bore the name of Diospolis, and after
that of Rhoas, and is situate on the river Lycus, the Asopus and
the Caprus[3946] washing its sides. The other people belonging to
the same jurisdiction, whom it may be not amiss to mention, are the
Hydrelitæ[3947], the Themisones[3948], and the Hierapolitæ[3949].
The second jurisdiction receives its title from Synnas[3950]; to it
resort the Lycaones[3951], the Appiani[3952], the Eucarpeni[3953],
the Dorylæi[3954], the Midæi, the Julienses[3955], and fifteen
other peoples of no note. The third jurisdiction has its seat at
Apamea[3956], formerly called Celænæ[3957], and after that Cibotos.
This place is situate at the foot of Mount Signia, the Marsyas, the
Obrima, and the Orga, rivers which fall into the Mæander, flowing
past it. Here the Marsyas, rising from the earth, again makes its
appearance, but soon after buries itself once more at Aulocrenæ[3958],
the spot where Marsyas had the musical contest with Apollo as to
superiority of skill in playing on the flute. Aulocrenæ is the name
given to a valley which lies ten miles on the road towards Phrygia from
Apamea. As belonging to this jurisdiction, it may be as well to mention
the Metropolitæ[3959], the Dionysopolitæ[3960], the Euphorbeni[3961],
the Acmonenses[3962], the Pelteni[3963], and the Silbiani[3964],
besides nine other nations of no note.

Upon the Gulf of Doris[3965] we have Leucopolis, Hamaxitos, Eleus,
and Euthene[3966]. We then come to Pitaium, Eutane[3967], and
Halicarnassus[3968], towns of Caria. To the jurisdiction of this last
place six towns were appended by Alexander the Great, Theangela[3969],
Sibde, Medmasa, Euralium, Pedasus, and Telmissus[3970]. Halicarnassus
lies between two gulfs, those of Ceramus[3971] and Iasus[3972]. We
then come to Myndos[3973], and the former site of Palæomyndos;
also Nariandos, Neapolis[3974], Caryanda[3975], the free town of
Termera[3976], Bargyla[3977], and the town of Iasus[3978], from which
the Iasian Gulf takes its name.

Caria is especially distinguished for the fame of its places in
the interior; for here are Mylasa[3979], a free town, and that
of Antiochia[3980], on the site of the former towns of Symmæthos
and Cranaos: it is now surrounded by the rivers Mæander[3981] and
Orsinus[3982]. In this district also was formerly Mæandropolis[3983];
we find also Eumenia[3984], situate on the river Cludros, the river
Glaucus[3985], the town of Lysias and Orthosa[3986], the district
of Berecynthus[3987], Nysa[3988], and Tralles[3989], also called
Euanthia[3990], Seleucia, and Antiochia: it is washed by the river
Eudon, while the Thebais runs through it. Some authors say that a
nation of Pygmies formerly dwelt here. Besides the preceding towns,
there are Thydonos, Pyrrha[3991], Eurome[3992], Heraclea[3993],
Amyzon[3994], the free town of Alabanda[3995], which has given
name to that jurisdiction, the free town of Stratonicea[3996],
Hynidos, Ceramus[3997], Trœzene[3998], and Phorontis. At a greater
distance[3999], but resorting to the same place of jurisdiction,
are the Orthronienses, the Alindienses[4000] or Hippini, the
Xystiani[4001], the Hydissenses, the Apolloniatæ[4002], the
Trapezopolitæ[4003], and the Aphrodisienses[4004], a free people.
Besides the above, there are the towns of Coscinus[4005], and
Harpasa[4006], situate on the river Harpasus[4007], which also passed
the town of Trallicon when it was in existence.




CHAP. 30.—LYDIA.


Lydia, bathed by the sinuous and ever-recurring windings of the
river Mæander, lies extended above Ionia; it is joined by Phrygia on
the east and Mysia on the north, while on the south it runs up to
Caria: it formerly had the name of Mæonia[4008]. Its place of the
greatest celebrity is Sardes[4009], which lies on the side of Mount
Tmolus[4010], formerly called Timolus. From this mountain, which
is covered with vineyards, flows the river Pactolus[4011], also
called the Chrysorroas, and the sources of the Tarnus: this famous
city, which is situate upon the Gygæan Lake[4012], used to be called
Hyde[4013] by the people of Mæonia. This jurisdiction is now called
that of Sardes, and besides the people of the places already mentioned,
the following now resort to it—the Macedonian Cadueni[4014], the
Loreni, the Philadelpheni[4015], the Mæonii, situate on the river
Cogamus at the foot of Mount Tmolus, the Tripolitani, who are also
called the Antoniopolitæ, situate on the banks of the Mæander, the
Apollonihieritæ[4016], the Mesotimolitæ[4017], and some others of no
note.




CHAP. 31.—IONIA.


Ionia begins at the Gulf of Iasos, and has a long winding coast with
numerous bays. First comes the Gulf of Basilicum[4018], then the
Promontory[4019] and town of Posideum, and the oracle once called the
oracle of the Branchidæ[4020], but now of Didymæan Apollo, a distance
of twenty stadia from the sea-shore. One hundred and eighty stadia
thence is Miletus[4021], the capital of Ionia, which formerly had
the names of Lelegëis, Pityusa, and Anactoria, the mother of more
than ninety cities, founded upon all seas; nor must she be deprived
of the honour of having Cadmus[4022] for her citizen, who was the
first to write in prose. The river Mæander, rising from a lake in
Mount Aulocrene, waters many cities and receives numerous tributary
streams. It is so serpentine in its course, that it is often thought
to turn back to the very spot from which it came. It first runs
through the district of Apamea, then that of Eumenia, and then the
plains of Bargyla; after which, with a placid stream it passes through
Caria, watering all that territory with a slime of a most fertilizing
quality, and then at a distance of ten stadia from Miletus with a
gentle current enters the sea. We then come to Mount Latmus[4023],
the towns of Heraclea[4024], also called by the same name as the
mountain, Carice, Myus[4025], said to have been first built by Ionians
who came from Athens, Naulochum[4026], and Priene[4027]. Upon that
part of the coast which bears the name of Trogilia[4028] is the river
Gessus. This district is held sacred by all the Ionians, and thence
receives the name of Panionia. Near to it was formerly the town of
Phygela, built by fugitives, as its name implies[4029], and that of
Marathesium[4030]. Above these places is Magnesia[4031], distinguished
by the surname of the “Mæandrian,” and sprung from Magnesia in
Thessaly: it is distant from Ephesus fifteen miles, and three more from
Tralles. It formerly had the names of Thessaloche and Androlitia, and,
lying on the sea-shore, it has withdrawn from the sea the islands known
as the Derasidæ[4032] and joined them to the mainland. In the interior
also is Thyatira[4033], washed by the Lycus; for some time it was also
called Pelopia and Euhippia[4034].

Upon the coast again is Mantium, and Ephesus[4035], which was founded
by the Amazons[4036], and formerly called by so many names: Alopes at
the time of the Trojan war, after that Ortygia and Morges, and then
Smyrna, with the surname of Trachia, as also Samornion and Ptelea.
This city is built on Mount Pion, and is washed by the Caÿster[4037],
a river which rises in the Cilbian range and brings down the waters of
many streams[4038], as also of Lake Pegasæus[4039], which receives
those discharged by the river Phyrites[4040]. From these streams there
accumulates a large quantity of slime, which vastly increases the
soil, and has added to the mainland the island of Syrie[4041], which
now lies in the midst of its plains. In this city is the fountain of
Calippia[4042] and the temple of Diana, which last is surrounded by two
streams, each known by the name of Selenus, and flowing from opposite
directions.

After leaving Ephesus there is another Mantium, belonging to the
Colophonians, and in the interior Colophon[4043] itself, past which
the river Halesus[4044] flows. After this we come to the temple[4045]
of the Clarian Apollo, and Lebedos[4046]: the city of Notium[4047]
once stood here. Next comes the Promontory of Coryceium[4048], and
then Mount Mimas, which projects 150 miles into the sea, and as it
approaches the mainland sinks down into extensive plains. It was at
this place that Alexander the Great gave orders for the plain to be



Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 23 of 57)