Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

The student's manual of ancient geography online

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from time immemorial. The majority of the population would
naturally be scattered over the face of the coimtry in those
villages of subterraneous houses, which Xenophon {Anah, iv. 5,
§ 25) describes, and which still exist in precisely the same state.

The capital, Artaz&ta, stood on the banks of the Araxee, below the
heights of Ararat : it was built under the superintendence of Hannibal,
and named after the Armenian ruling sovereign Artaxias : having been
destroyed hj Corbulo, a.d. 68, it was rebuilt by Tiridates with the
name Neronia. ligraaooerta, "the city of Tignmes," was situated on
the banks of the Nicephorius, a tributarv of the Tigris : it was built and
stronffly fortified by Tigranes, and shortly after dismantled by LucuUus,
who defeated Tigranes before its walls : its exact position is unknown.
Amlda, on the Tij^, occupied the site of the modem Diarbekr: the
only event of interest in its early history is the siege it sustained f^m
the Persian king Sapor, aj>. 359. ArtemXta stood either at or near the
ancient town of Wan, on the eastern shore of Lake Arsissa : the Bolaa
of Ptolemy, and the Salban, captured in the reign of Heraclius, were
probably in the same neighbourhood. We may briefly notice
Anamos&ta, a fortress in the valley of the Euphrates near the junction
of the two branches — Oaroafhiooerta, in the same neighbourhood
— Ansn, probably at .Snerum — TheododopoUs, identified by some
writers wita Arzen, but by others placed about 35 miles to the £. : it
derived its name from Theodosius II., who founded it— KazQiaa,
Nachdjevan, in the valley of the Araxee -and Elegia, near Erzrim, the
scene of a battle between Vologeses Til. and the Romans, a.d. 1^2.

History. — The hittory of Armenia is unimportant ; it has been a

' They are found on the fooe of the rook, and in exoayated chambers, whieh
may have been used as sepulchres : detached stones and slabs also bear inscriptions.
Some of these resemble the most ancient Assyrian inscriptions, others are of the
time of the Persian empire.


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icene of constant warftu*e, but at no period the seat of an independent
empire— exposed to the invasions of the more powerful masters of the
surrounding plains, Assyrians, Medes, Greeks, Syrians, and at a later
period the battle-field on which the armies of Rome contended for the
empire of the East. Armenian historians record the names of the kings
who held rule in the coimtry from the earliest times : the first dynasty
was named after Haig, who is said to have lived b.c. 2107 : there were
fifty-nine kinga belonging to this, the last of whom, Wahe, fell in a
battle with Alexander the Great, B.C. 328. This dynasty was followed
b^ a succession of seven governors appointed by Alexander, and after
his death by the Seleucidae, from b.c. 328 to b.c. 149. The independent
dynasty of the Arsaddse established itself, according to the Roman
historians, in the year b.c. 188 in the person of Artaxias ; but accord-
ing to the Armenians, in b.c. 149, in the person of V alarsaces, a brother
of Tigranes III. The Arsacidas were divided, according to the latter
authorities, into two branches, the elder of which reigned from b.c.
149 to A.D. 62, and the younger at Edessa from b.c. 38, and afterwards
in Armenia Magna from a.d. 62 until a.d. 428. The most illustrious
of these rulers was Tigranes I., the ally of Mithridatea. against the

§ 15. The countries which we have described in the preceding
part of this chapter were the scene of one of the most interesting
adventares recorded in ancient literature, viz. the advance and
retreat of the 10,000 Greeks, who aided Cyrus the younger in his
expedition against his brother Artazerxes. As the narrative pre-
sents some few geographical difficulties, we shall give a brief account
of the route described in Xenophon's Ajiabasis.

The early part of the course lay across the plateau of Asia Minor, from
Ephesus to Dana or Tyana, and thence over the Taurus range into the
maritime plain of Cilicia, which was traversed to the eastern extremity
of the Bay of lasus : thus far the route requires no elucidation. We
now approach the border of Syria. South of Issus the Amaaian
range approaches close to the sea-shore : the Kersus (Merkez-gu) dis-
chargee itself at this point : and on each bank was a fort, one belonging
to Cilicia, the other to Syria, which guarded the pass of the ** Cilician
and Syrian Gates : " Cyrus passed through these to Myriandrus. The
narrative is then singularly defective in the omission of all notice ot
the difficult Pass of BeUan, and the rivers which must have been
crossed before reaching the Chains (Koweik or river of Aleppo). The
river Dar&dax and the Castle of Belesis must liave been met with
close to the Euphrates, although no mention is there made of the river:
Belesis may be represented by the ruins of Balis, and the river
Daradax by a canal drawn from the Euphrates to the town. The
Euphrates was crossed at the ancient ford of Thapsacus, the later Sura,
Suriyeh, and the army entered on the plain of Mesopotamia, which
Xenophon (L 5) calls Syria in this port as far as the river Araxes, better
known as the Chaboras, Khdbur — Araxes being apparently an appel-
lative for any river. Thenceforward the plain ia termed Arabia (i. 5),
as being occupied by Scenite Arabs : the Masca was merely a channel
of the Euphrates surrounding the site of the town CorsOte, InaJi:
Pylse was situated about 70 miles N. of Cunaxa, at the point where
the plain and the mountains meet: Carmande may have been Hit,

L 3


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Babylonia waB now entered : Xenophon deacribes four canala as crossing
the plain from the Tigris to the Euphrates; these may yet be dis-
tinguished, the third of them being the Nahr Maloka of modem maps.
Xenophon does not give the name of the place where the battle was.
fought ; this is supplied by Plutarch, as Cunaza, the exact position of
which cannot be asoertiuned : Plutarch states that it was 500 stades or
nearly sixty miles from Babylon.

After the battle the Greeks retreated northwards over the plains of
Babylon, by a somewhat circuitous route, until they reached the
Median Wall, the remains of which (^ named SiddNimmdf i. e. * Wall of
Nimrod') may still be traced across the plain from the Euphrates to
the Tigris, near Opis, in a north-easterly direction. This wall they
are said to have passed through (ii. 4), but must have again passed
through it in order to reach Sit&ce (perhaps at Akba4ra), where they
crossed the Tigris. The river Phyncu3 and the town Opis cannot be
identified with certainty: the former is supposed to be either the
Adltem, on the banks of which extensive ruins have been found, or the
Naltr-wariy an artificial channel, in which case Opis would be neai* Eski
Boijhdad, in about 34^ 30' latitude. The Lesser Zab&tus {Zab) was
crossed without beiu^ noticed by the historian : Csense was probably
Kalah Shergat. The Zabatus \6reat Zah) was forded at a point about
25 miles from its confluence with the Tigris : the torrent which they
next crossed (iii. 4) was the Bumadus, Ghazir, which joins the
right bank of the Zabatus about three miles below the ford : thence
they reached Larissa {Nimritd) and on the following day Mesplla
{Koutjunjih), the site of ancient Nineveh. They followed the ordinai-y
route towards the north, leaving the Tigris at a considerable distance
to their left, by Balnai. They forsook this route, however, as they ap-
proached the Khahoury and instead of fording it near its confiuunce with
the Tigris, deviated to the right, and crossed a range of hills to Zakko:
the piassage of the Khabour, and of its confluent the llazd, are
not noticed, though the former is a difficult operation. Crossing the
triple ridge in the neighbourhood of Zakko, they reached, after four
days, the mountains of KurdisUm, which, in the neighbourhood of
Ftpiyk, press close upon the bank of the Tigris. Xenophon resolved to
cross Armenia instead of following the other routes which offered,
themselves : he crossed the motmtain range to Finduk, which he
• reached probably at the end of the first day's march, and thence by a
series of difficult passes reached the Centrites or eastern Tigris, which
receives the waters of the rivers BUli», Sert, and Bohtan. They crossed
the Centrites near TiUeli ; then proceeded northwards, and in six days
reached the Teleboas, which Ainsworth identifies with the Kararsu, a
confluent of the Southern Euphrates, but Layard with the river of
BitUs: assuming the latter as the more probable, Xenophon would
have passed a little westward of the lake of Wan, a range of moimtains
intervening, and would have reached the Euphrates (Aluradau) in six
days from the Teleboas. After leaving the Euphrates, tlio coiu^e, as
described by Xenophon, is quite uncertain. Ainsworth identifies the
Phaais with the Pa»in Chat, a tributary of the Araxes or Aras, and the
Harp&sus with the Arpa Choi, another tributary of the same river, and
the town Gymnias with Erz Bum: Layard and others identify the
Phasis with the Araxes or perhaps the Cyrus, and the Harpasus with
the Tckeroukf which flows into the Euxine. In the former case the
holy mountain Theches would be the range between the sources of
the Euphrates {Karam), and the Tcherouk ; in the latter, it would be


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228 COLCHIS. Book II.

more to the eastward, between Baioun and Trebizond, Arrived at
Trapezum, Trebizond, they followed the line of coasti partly by land
and partly by sea, back to their native country.

The CSancasos.

V. — Colchis, Ibebia, Albania, Sarmatia.

§ 16. Colohifl lay along the eastern coast of the Euxine, from the
Phasis in the S. to the Corax in the N.W. : on the N. it was
bounded by Caucasus, on the E. by Iberia, and on the S. by Ar-
menia. It answers to the modem provinces of Mingrelia and part
of Ahbasia. The chief mountain range is Cauo&siii» which in this
\y8LTt of its course approaches close to the shores of the Euxine : little
was known of this extensive range by the ancients : it was the
fabled scene of the suflferings of Prometheus,® and supplied the poets
with a picture of wild and desolate scenery.' The chief river of
Colchis was the Fhasis in the S. ; numerous lesser streams pour

Caucasiaaque refert volucres, fartumqne Prometbei.

Yifto. £cl. Ti. 43.
Duris genuit te caatibus borreiw
Caucasus. Id. ^Bh. It. 466.

Sire per Syrtes iter aestuosas,
Sire (kcturos per inboepitalem
Caucasom. Hob. Carm. i. 22, 5.


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down from the Caucasus to the Euxine. The inhabitants were sub-
divided into numerous tribes, of which we may notice the Lazi, who
communicated to this district its later name of Lazica ; and the
Abasci, whose name surviyes in the modem Abbcuia, The only im-
portant towns were IMosoorias* on the sea-coast, a Milesian colony,
where Mithridates wintered b.o. 66 : on its site the Romans after-
wards built Sebastopolis ; and Outatisiiim, ihe reputed birthplace of
Medea,' in the interior. There were numerous lesser towns on the
coast, which carried on an active trade in timber, hemp, flax, pitdi,
gold-dust, and especially linen.

History. — Colchis ocoupiee a prominent place in mythology as the
native laad of Medea, and the scene of the capture of the golden fleece
by the Argonautic expedition :* it was regarded by poets as the native
seat of all aoroery,' a credit which it may perhaps have gained from the
abundant growth of the plant iris, whence the medicine ^tlled colchicum
is extracted. Colobis was reputed the most northerly portion of the
Persian empire, but was practically independent of it. Mithridates
annexed it to the kingdom of Pontus, and made his son king of it. The
Romans deposed him, and appointed a governor; but Phamacee re-
gained the territory, and under his son Polemon it was part of the
kingdom of Pontus and Bosporus.

§ 17. Iberia was bounded on the N. by Caucasus, on the W. by
Colchis, on the £. by Albania, and on the S. by Armenia'^ it answers
to the modem Georgia. The chief n^ountain ranges in it are —
Cancasnst which was here traversed by the celebrated pass named
OanoasiflB PortsBi now the Pass of Darxel^ in the central range ; and
the Moicliioi Mantes on the side of Colchis. The only important
river is the Cymi. the upper course of which falls within the limits
of Iberia : it received, on its left bank, the Ar&gnt, Arak^ which
rises near the Caucasian Oates. The inhabitants, named Iberi or
Iberes, were divided into four castes — royal, sacerdotal, military,
and servile : they are described as a peaceful and industrious race.
The modem Georgians, their descendants, are still named Virh, pro-
bably a form of Iberi, by the Armenians. The chief towns were—
Harmoiloa. the later capital, S. of the Cyrus, near the borders of
Armenia ; and MestUtai the earlier capital, near the confluence of
the Aragus with the Cyrus.

History. — The Iberians were probably nominal subjects of the Persian
empire. They afterwards acknowledged thei|^upremacy of Mithridates.

1 Hence named Cytola —

Tunc ego crediderim robis, et sidera et omnea
Poese Cytieeis dncere oarmlnibns. PaopsnT. i. 1, 24.

* Bt^ St^K' *kfrf€^ fill hiawrAaSai okJu^

KiUxMr cf tlatf icvttHfM Sv^^vAirH^daf. EvaiP. JTmI. 1.

' Bed postqnam Colchis arait nova nupta renenis,
Flagrantemqoe dornnm regis mare ridit atramque.

Or. Met. Tii. S94.


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The Rotuans penetrated into the country under LucuUus and Pompeius,
the latter of whom subdued the inhabitants, b.c. 65. It remained,
however, under ite own princes, even after it had been nominally
attached to the province of Armenia in a.d. 115. The Romans, by the
treaty of Jovian, renounced their supremacy in favour of the Persians.

§ 18. Albaiiia was bounded on the W. by Iberia, on the N. by
Sarmatia, on the £. by the Caspian, and on the S. by Armenia, the
river Cyrus forming the line of demarcation in this direction : it
answers tcr the present Shirwan and part of Daghestan, The moim-
tain ranges in this district consist of the eastern portion of Caaeatat,
which is here traversed by an important pass named Albanloae Portsst
Pass of Derbend ; an important oflGset from the central chain, the
Oerannii Monteti strikes off towards the N.E. The chief river is the
CymS} which here receives two important tributaries — the Cambyses*
Yoriy and the Alftion, Alasan, which unite shortly before their con-
fluence with the main stream : Pompey followed the course of the
Cambyses in his pursuit of Mithridates, b.c. 65. The Albani are a
race of doubtful origin, but probably Scythians, and allied to the
more famous Alani : they were divided into twelve hordes, the name
of one of which, Legas, is preserved in the modem Leghistan : these
tribes were in Strabo's time imited under one king, but formerly
had each its own prince. The only towns of importance were —
Albftna* Derbend, which commanded the pass on the shore of the
Caspian ; and Chab&la. which ranked as the capital.

§ 19. Under the title of Sarmatia Asiatioa is included the vast
region lying N. of the Caucasus and E. of the Tanais, stretching
northwards to an undefined extent, and eastwards as far as the Rha,
which separated it from Scythia. The mountain ranges assigned to
this region emanated from Caucasus, and were named Corazlci Xonteti
on the borders of Colchis, and HippIoi» between the Tanais and Rha.
The rivers were — the Tanais, Dariy which formed the limit between
Europe and Asia — the Attitfltus, Ktdxxn, which discharged itself
partly into the Palus Maeotis and partly, into the Euxine— the Rha,
Wdga, flowing into the Caspian — the Udon, Kouma, and the AUmts,
Terek, falling into the same sea more to the S. ITie inhabitants of
this district were broadly classed together under the name of Sar-
mfttae or Sauromftta^ and were subdivided into a vast number of
tribes, whose names an4 localities, though interesting in an ethno-
logical point of view, need not be specified here. The only towns
known to the ancients were situated on the shores of the Euxine,
and were for the most part Greek colonies. We may notice Pityui,
Pitsunda, N. of Dioscurias, described in the reign of Grallienus as a
strong fortress with an excellent haibour — ^Phanagoria, on the B:
side of the Cimmerian Bosporus, founded by the Teians, a great
empojrium for the trade of these districts, and the Asiatic capital of


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the kings of Bosporus, with a remarkable temple of Aphrodite :
numerous tombs stand on the site, but the town itself has disap-
peared, the materials having been carried away to other places —
and Tanaisi at the mouth of the river of the same name, a colony of
the Milesians, and a place of large trade : it was destroyed by
Polemon I., but probably restored : ruins of it exist near Nedrigoska.

Pass or Ibe Caocasns.


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I. Pebsis. § 1. Boundaries and physivJ character. § 2. Inhabitants;
Divisions; Towns. II. Susiana. § 3. Boimdaries ; Rivers. § 4.
Inhabitants ; Districts ; Towns. III. Media. § 5. Boundaries ;
Districts; Mountains; Rivers. § 6. Inhabitants; Districts; Towns.
IV. Abiama. § 7. Its extent and divisions; Carmania, Parthia,
Aria, ParopamisadoB, Drangiana, Qedrosia. Y. The Northern
Provinces. § 8. Hyrcania, Margiana, Bactriana, and Sogdiana.
§ 9. The Campaigns of Alexander the Great. § 10^ India. § 11.
Taprobane. § 12. Sinse. § 13. Serica. § 14. Scythia. § 15.
Scythian Tribes.

§1.1. Pebsib. — Of the provinces of the Persian empire Persis de-
mands the earliest notice, as being the original seat of the race, and
containing the metropolis, Persepolis. It was bounded on the N.
by Media and Parthia, from which it was separated by the range
of Parachoathras ; on the W. by Susiana ; on the S. by the Persian
Gulf; and on the E. by the desert of Carmania. The name still
survives in the modem Fars. It is throughout a mountainous dis-
trict, with some extended plains and a few valleys of great beauty
and fertility. The mountain chains are continuations of Zagnis,
under the names of Panohoatlirai, Elwend, and Oohui, and run for
the most part in a direction parallel to the coast of the Persian Gulf:


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hence the rivers are in many cases confined to the interior, and dis-
charge themselves into lakes. This is the case with the Ixazat,
BendHimir^ which rises on the borders of Snsiana and flows east-
ward, receiving the tributary waters of the Qynis or lltdiui, Ptdxoan^
and discharging itself into a lake now named Baktegan, about 40
miles E. of Persepolis. The only river of any importance that
reaches the sea is the ArMs or Qroitis, Tab^ on tbe border of Susi-
ana. The sea-coast was almost iminhabitable from the extreme
heat and unhealthiness of its climate.

§ 2. The Persians were the most important nation of the Arian
branch of the Indo-European race. They were originally called
Artaei, a form of Arii and of the Sanscrit Arya, "noble." The
name Persse is also of Indian origin. The Persians were divided
into three castes, warriors, agriculturists, and nomads; and these
were subdivided into ten tribes, which have been already noticed in
connexion with the geography of Herodotus.* They were refuted
both by the Greeks and Romans a most warlike * race, good riders,
and skilful in the use of the bow, but superstitious" and effemi-
nate.* Persis was divided into numerous districts, of which Parae-
tacene was the most important. The name is probably derived from
a Persian or Sanscrit root signifying " mountaineers." Of the towns
but few .are known to us. Pasarg&de ranked as the ancient capital
of Cyrus, and PenMpSlis as that of the later sovereigns. The former
was on the banks of the Cyrus, N.E. of Persepolis, its position hav-
ing been identified by the discovery of the tomb of Cyrus at Mur-
ghdb ; the latter was finely situated at the opening of an extensive
plain, near the junction of the Araxes and Medus, and is represented
by the extensive and beautiful ruins now named Chd-Minar, " the
forty columns." A town named Ispad&aa* in the N. of the province,
occupied the site of Ispahan,

1 See p. S7.

* Toyol Ucp^wr,

B«unAci« BootA^iK ^iroxoi luydkov

lawrai, tfrpartoc voAA^ •^Qpoc,

To^oJofMUT^ T* 1^ iinro^arau,

4o^cpol flip iitiy, Octroi M Max*)**

irvxifi tvTk^iutvt 86ifi. JEacn, Pen. 38.

Qoaqae pharetrato Ticinia Peraldis urget.

ViBO. Georg. ir. 290.

* Disoat Peraioam hanispicium.
Nam Magus ex matre et gnato gignatur oportet,

Si Tera est Persanun impia religio,
Onatos nt aecepto reneretar carmine DiTos,
Omentum in flamma pingue liquefaciens.— Catvll. so. 3.

* Peraiooe odi, puer, apparatus ;
DispUeent nex» pbiiyra corona ;
Mitte seetari, roea quo looorum

Sera moretur. Hob. Carm. 1. 88, 1.


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234 SUSIANA. Book If.

Some doubt exists as to the date t>f the edifices which adorned Per-
■epolis. It seeniB probable that they were subsequent to the time of
Cyrus, and were erected by Darius Hystaspis and Xerxes. The city
was surrounded, according to Diodorus (xvii. 71), by a triple wall of
great strength. Persepolis was burnt by Alexander the Great, and is
afterwards only noticed in 2 Mac. ix. 1, as having been attacked by
Antiochus Epiphanes. The ruins stand on an immense artificial plat«
form, originally some 40 or 50 ft. in height above the plain, which is
approached by a remarkably fine flight of steps. The buildings are
adorned with bsA-reliefs, and the columns are elaborately chiselled.
In the neighbourhood of Persepolis are some places which bear marks
of high antiquity, but which are unnoticed by any early writer. About
five miles off is the steep conical hill named Idakr, crowned with the
remains of a fortress, and surrounded by a plain which' is thickly
covered with fragments of sculpture of all kinds. Naksh-i-rustam is
another cliff in the same neighbourhood, in the face of which
numerous tombs have been excavated. The sculptures with which
these are ornamented belong partly to the Persian, but more generally
to the Sassanian periojd.

Tomb of C7nu at Uurghdb, the ancient Pasargadn.

§ 3. II. SusiANA. — Susiana was bounded on the N. by Media ;
on the W. by the Tigris and a portion of Assyria ; on the S. by the
Persian Gulf; and on the E. by Pereis, from which it is separated
by the ranges of Parachoathras : the name survives in the slightly
altered form Khuzktan, The country is in its eastern half inter-
sected by the various ramifications of Parachoathras: the western
portion is a plain, and suffers from intense heat. In addition to


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the Tigris, which skirts its western border, we may notice the
Ghoaspes, Kerkhdh, which rises in Media, not far from Ecbatana,
penetrates the chain of Zagrus, and, emerging into the plain, passes
by the ancient Susa, and falls into the Tigris below its junction with
the Euphrates. Its course appears to have undergone considerable
change within historical times. It formerly divided above Susa, and
sent off two arms, one of which joined the Euljeus, while the other
flowed into the Chaldaean lake. Enlaraf, Karun, or river of Shuster,
which rises in P^rachoathras, and pursues a westerly course through
the mountains, but on gaining the plain turns southwards. It
receives from the N. an important tributary, the Copr&tes, Diz/ul,
which approaches within eight miles of the Choaspes in the neigh-
bourhood of Susa. After the junction of the Eulteus and Copra tes
the river assumes the name of Pasitigrif* and formerly discharged
itsdf directly into the Persian Gulf, but now into the Shat-el-Arah,
§ 4. Susiana appears to have been originally occupied by a Ha-
mitic race ; the name of Cush being preserve<l not only in Susiana,
but, still more evidently, in Cossaei and Cissia, the former being the
name of a tribe, perhaps identical with the Cuthaeans of the Bible,
and the latter being the title by which Herodotus describes the
whole of the province. These retired towards the mountains, and a
Semitic race, the Elymaei, the Elam of Scripture, occupied the

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