Copyright
Samuel Butler.

Geographia classica, or, The application of antient geography to the classics online

. (page 10 of 23)
Online LibrarySamuel ButlerGeographia classica, or, The application of antient geography to the classics → online text (page 10 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


chea, to distinguish it from other cities of that name,) on
the river Calycadnus, now Kelikidni, or Yersak: it was
antiently the principal city of Cilicia Trachea, and main-
tains its rank under the name of Seletkeh. Inland, on
the confines of Isauria, was a strong fortress called Ho-
monada, now Ermenah.

In Cilicia Campestris the first place that presents itself
is Corycus*, now Curco, a place greatly celebrated
amongst the antients for its saffron, and for a cave inha-
bited by the monstrous Titan Typhon. North-east of it

* Ut cum scena croco Cilici perfusa recens est.

Lueret. II. 421.

Corycioque croco sparsum stetit. Hor. Sat. II, 4, 68.

20






154

is Soli, an antient but decayed town in the time of Pom-
pey, who established there the Cilician pirates, whom he
admitted to a capitulation, and gave it the name of Pom-
peiopolis: it stands on the river Lamus, whence the ad-
jacent territory was called Lamotis, now Lamuzo.
North-eastward is Anchiale, said to have been built, as
well as Tarsus, in one day, by Sardanapalus *, the last
and most effeminate of Assyrian kings, who burnt him-
self, with his palace, B.C. 820. At the Northern point
of the shore, at the mouth of the river Cydnus, was the
city of Tarsus, the birth-place of St. Paul, and so much
celebrated for the learning and refinements of its inhabi-
tants, as to be the rival of Athens and Alexandria. It
was here that Alexander nearly lost his life, by bathing
when hot in the cold stream of the Cydnus, and here that
Cleopatra paid her celebrated visit to Antony, in all the
pomp and pageantry of Eastern luxury, herself attired
like Venus, and her attendants like Cupids, in a galley
covered with gold, whose sails were of purple, the oars
of silver, and cordage of silk, a fine description of which
may be seen in Shakspear's play of Antony and Cleopa-
tra, Act. II. Scene 2. It is still called Tarsous, but is sub-
ject to Adana, a city somewhat to the East, which still
preserves its name, on the Sarus, or Stihoun* Above
Adana is the famous pass of Mount Taurus called the
Pylse Cilicise, or gates of Cilicia, on the frontier of Cap-
padocia. South-east of Adana, is the city of Mopsus, or
Mopsuestia, now Messis, North-east of which is Ana-

* , Et potiores

Herculis zerumnas ducat sxvosque labores
Et venere et coenis et plumis Sardanapali.

Juv. Sat, X, 360.



155

zarbus, or Jlnzarbe, of considerable importance under
the Eastern Emperors. South-east of it is Castabala,
and below it Issus, now i/Iiasse, the ever-memorable
scene of the victory of Alexander over Darius, Oct. B.C.
S33, 01. 111. 4. and afterwards of another most impor-
tant victory obtained by the Roman emperor Severus
over his rival Niger, A.D. 194. The river Pinarus,
which runs through the plain of Issus into the Issian
Gulf, is now called the Deli-sou. At the point where
the Mediterranean bends Southward were the Pylae Sy-
riae, a very difficult and strong pass, on the frontiers of
Syria and Cilicia, between Mount Amanus and the sea.
We must not forget that Cicero was pro-consul of Cili-
cia, and was vain enough to hope for the honours of a
Roman triumph, in consequence of some successes ob-
tained by himself and his lieutenant over the neighbour-
ing barbarous tribes.

Wo are now to describe the two inland provinces of
Asia Minor, Phrygia, and Cappadocia. Phrygia receiv-
ed the appellation of Major to distinguish it from a part
of Mysia, near the Hellespont, which was occupied by
some Phrygians after the Trojan war, and from them
called Phrygia Minor*. It is bounded on the North by
Bithynia and Galatia, on the West by Mysia, Lydia, and
Caria, on the South by Lycia, Pisidia, and Isauria, and
on the East by Cappadocia. In the North, adjoining
Bithynia, on the river Thymbrus, is the city Dorylaeum,
now Eski-shehr. Southward is Cotyaeum, now Kutaieh
and still South, Peltae, mentioned by Xenophen in his

* Hence it appears that the term Phrygians is applied impro-
perly or by anticipation, to the Trojans in Virgil.



156

Anabasis, now Uschah. On the Southern confines of
Lydia was Laodicea, now Ladik, and a little North-east
of it is Colossae, now Chonos. In the Southern angle,
between Caria and Lycia, is Cibyra*, a considerable
trading city, now Buraz ; to the North-east, is Themi-
sonium, or Teseni, and above Themisonium, to the North,
is Apamea Cibotus, antiently a very rich and flourishing
city, which occupied the site of a more antient city called
Celsenae ; it is situated near the sources of the Mseandcr,
on the river Marsyas, on whose banks the celebrated
musician of that name is said to have been flayed alive
by Apollo, and his skin was shown at Celaensc. North-
east of Celaense, on the confines of Galatia. was Synnada,
whose marble was held in great estimation among the
Romans; a little South-east is the plain of Ipsus, where
the famous battle was fought between the surviving gene-
rals of Alexander, Antigonus and his son Demetrius on
the one side, and Lysimachus, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and
Cassander on the other, in which Antigonus was defeated
and died of his wounds, B.C. 301, 01. 119. 4. South of
Ipsus was an Antiochia, called, for the sake of distinc-
tion, Antiochia ad Pisidiam, or Antiochia near Pisidia;
it is now called M-shehr, or the White city: and East
of Ipsus is Thymbrium, mentioned by Xenophon in his
Anabasis, now Tshakteula; but later writers give this
name to Tyrixum a little South of it. The remaining
Eastern part of Phrygia was called Lycaonia; the first
place of importance in which was Laodicea Combusta,
or Ladikie, and ; South -east of it was Iconium, now

Cave nc portus occupet alter,

Nc Ciby ration, ne Bythyna. ncgotia perdns.

//->/-. Ejiist. I, 6. 3J,



157

Konieh, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, cli. xm
51. In the North of Lycaonia was a long and salt pool
called Tatta Palus, now Tuzla^ or the salt.

Cappadocia was bounded on the West by Phrygia, on
the North by Pontus, on the East by the Euphrates, and
on the South by Phrygia. The Cappadocians are remark-
able for having refused liberty when offered them, pre-
ferring to live under their kings, who seem to have had
a number of slaves on the royal domains, somewhat like
our feudal barons *. Cappadocia was divided into a num-
ber of districts, which it is hardly necessary to enumer-
ate. On the confines of Lycaonia, Archelais was a Ro-
man colony, founded under the Emperor Claudius, now
Erkeli. East of it was Nazianzus, the birth-place of
Gregory, one of the early fathers of the church, who
died A.D. 389. East of it was Tyana, the birth-place of
a celebrated impostor called Apollonius, whose life and
miracles are recorded by Philostratus: he flourished A.D.
90: it was in a district called Catania. North-east of
Tyana was Comana, celebrated for its temple of Bellona,
reputed the richest and most sacred in the East; it was
plundered by Antony. South-east of which, on the con-
fines of Cilicia, was Cucusus, or Cocsan, a remarkably
gloomy and retired place, among the mountains of Tau-
rus, to which the great St. Chrysostom was banished,
And North-eastward, on a small stream between the riv-
ers Melas and Euphrates, was Melitene, now Malatia,
the antient capital of Armenia Minor. Returning to the

* Hence Horace

Mancipiis locuples eget asris Cappadocum rex.

Hor. Ejiist. II. 6. 49,



158

confines of Phrygia, in the North of Cappadocia, is Nys-
sa, or Noris-shehr, the birth-place of another Gregory,
also a father of the church, who died A.D. 396. East of
it is Mazaca, the capital of Cappadocia, called Csesarea in
the time of Tiberius, with the addition of ad Argseum, to
signify its position at the foot of the very lofty Mon8
Argaeus, from which both the Euxine and Mediterranean
seas might be discovered; it is now called Kaisarieh,
and the mountain Argseus is J2rgeh-Dag : the river Me-
las, now Korah-Sou, or the Black Water, rises in it;,
one source of the Halys rises not far distant The North-
eastern part of Cappadoeia, on the Western bank of the
Euphrates, was called Armenia Minor. Towards the
confines of Pontus is Sebaste, now Sivas, more antiently
called Cabira; it was taken from Mithridates by Pompey ;
and a little North-east of it was an almost impregnable
fortress called Novus, now Hesen-Now 9 where Mithri-
dates kept his principal treasures. Still North-east is
Nicopolis, or Tephrice, now DevriM, built by Pompey,
after he had forced Mithridates across the Euphrates:
and in the extreme North-eastern angle, on the confines
of Pontus and Armenia Major, was Satala, now Jlrzin-
gan.



159



CHAPTER XII.



ORIENS.

PART i. SYRIA; CONTAINING PHOENICIA, P^LJESTINA=



Plates I. XIV. XV. XVI. XVIL



THE remainder of Asia shall be described under
the general title of Oriens, or the East.

Below Cilicia, on the Eastern coast of the Medi-
terranean, is Syria (PI. XV.), but the Southern
part of the coast is called Phoenicia, and below it
Palsestina, or Holy Land, in the upper part of
which was Galilsea, in the middle Samaria, and the
lower Judaea. Below Judaea, at the top of the Si-
nus Arabicus, or Red Sea, (Pl.L), was Arabia Pe-
trsea, or the Stony Arabia; lower, towards the en-
trance of the Sinus Arabicus, was Arabia Felix, or
the Fruitful, and the rest of the vast plain between



160

the Arabian and Persian Gulfs was Arabia Deserta,
or the Desert Arabia. East of Arabia, near the
mouth of the Euphrates, at the top of the Persian
Gulf (PI. XIV.), is Chaldea, and above it, Babylo-
nia. Between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, is
Mesopotamia; on the East of the Tigris is Assy-
ria, East of which is Media, and South of it Persia;
that part of Persia near the Tigris is called Susi-
ana. North of Mesopotamia is Armenia Major,
on the East bank of the Euphrates ; Armenia Mi-
nor (PL I. XVII.) was on the Western bank of the
Euphrates, being originally part of Cappadocia.
Above Armenia, on the Eastern coast of the Pon-
tus Euxinus, was Colchis, and East of it Iberia,
and, still East, on the shore of the Caspian, Alba-
nia. Above them, between the Palus Mseotis and
Northern part of the Caspian, was Sarmatia Asiati-
ca. East of Persia (PL XIV.) was Carmania, and
South-east of it Gedrosia, reaching nearly to the
river Indus. The great country between the In-
dus and the Ganges (PL I.) was India intra Gan-
gem, and that East of the Ganges, which was very
little known, was India extra Gangem, South-east
of which were the SinsB. East of Media was Aria
and Bactriana. North of Media, at the Southern
extremity of the Caspian, was Hyrcania and Par-
thia, and North of Hyrcania the Chorasmii, to the
North-east of whom were the Massagetse, and to
the South-east Sogdiana, and still Eastward the



161

Sacse. All the country to the North was called
Scythia intra Imaum, or Scythia within the moun-
tain Imaus, and South-east of it was Scythia extra
Imaum, somewhat North-east of which was Serica,
which approached to the North-western frontier
of China.

We may consider Syria (PI. XV.), including the
coasts of Phoenicia and Faustina, as bounded by Cili-
cia on the North, by the Euphrates and Arabia on the
East, by Arabia and Egypt on the South, and by the
Mediterranean on the West. Immediately on the Cili-
cian confines was Alexandria, now Jllexandretta, or
Scanderona. South-east, but somewhat inland, is the
famous city of Antiochia, or Antioch, now almost depo-
pulated, and called Jlntakia. It was built by Seleucus
Nicator, the son of Antiochus, who called it after his
father's name. Seleucus was one of the most powerful
of Alexander's generals, who obtained Syria for his
share in the dismemberment of the Macedonian empire,
and the kings of Syria, his descendants, were called Se-
leucidae. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles, ch.
xi. 26., that the disciples were first called Christians in
Antioch, and after the prevalence of Christianity it re-
ceived the appellation of Theopolis, or the divine city.
It was built on the river Orontes, or El *ftesi, the only
important river in Syria, if we except its Eastern bound-
ary, the Euphrates. About five miles below it was a
delightful grove and fountains, called Daphne, celebrated
for the worship of Venus, and the licentiousness of its
visitors; it is now called Beit el Ma, or the House of
Water. Near the mouth of the Orontes was Seleucia,
21



162

founded by Seleucus Nicator, now Savedia, and South
of it was Mons Casius, said to be so high that the sun-
rising might be seen from the summit when the bottom
of the mountain was yet enveloped in darkness. Con-
siderably South, near the small river Marsyas, which
flows into a lake on the Orontes, was Apamea, now Fa-
miehj an important city, founded by Seleucus Nicator,
who kept five hundred war elephants there; and below
it is Epiphaneia, or Hamah. South-east of Epiphaneia
is the city of Emesa, or Hems, where was a famous tem-
ple of Elagabalus, or the sun, the priest of which, a youth
of fourteen, was made Emperor by the licentious Roman
soldiers, A.D. 218, and disgraced himself and the purple,
during a reign of almost four years, by the most horrid
cruelties and unheard-of licentiousness. South-west of
Emesa, on the opposite side of the Orontes, is Heliopolis,
or J3albec 9 where are still to be seen the ruins of a most
magnificent temple of the sun. It is in a valley between
two parallel ridges of mountains, Libanus and Anti La-
banus. This valley was called Aulon, or the hollow, by
the Greeks, and all this part of Syria was called Ccele
Syria, or the Hollow Syria. Almost South of Heliopo-
lis, but with a little declination towards the East, was
Damascus, or Demesk, one of the most celebrated cities
of Asia, both in sacred and profane geography. It was
beautifully situated in a valley, still called Gouteh De-
mcsk, or the Orchard of Damascus, and watered by a
river called by the Greeks Bardine, or Chrysorrhoas, the
Golden Stream, now Baradi. We shall next describe
the interior of Syria to its Eastern boundary, the Eu-
phrates. The Northern extremity of Syria, on the de-
clevity of Mount Taurus and Amanus, was called Coma-
gene: its principal city was Samosata, now Semisat^ on



163

the Euphrates, the birth-place of Lucian. Somewhat
South-west of it is Pindenissus, now Behesni, which was
besieged and taken by Cicero, when proconsul of Cilicia,
after a siege of twenty-five days, A.U.C. 702, B.C. 52.
South-east of it is Zeugma, the principal passage of the
Euphrates; South of which is Hierapolis, so called from
its being the seat of worship of the Syrian goddess Ater-
gatis; by the Syrians it was called Bambyce, or Mabog,
now Menbigz. Near it was Batnse, now ifldaneh, the
delightful situation of which rivalled the Antiochian
Daphne. South-west of it was a city antiently called
Chalybon, but by the Macedonians of Alexander, Beroea,
now celebrated under the modern name of Haleb, or
Aleppo. South-west of this was a city called Chalcis,
now Old Haleb, and North of it Cyrrhus, now Corus.
These three cities gave the name of Chalybonites, Chal-
cidice, and Cyrrhestica, to the surrounding districts.
Considerably to the East of Beroea is Resapha, which
preserves its name; and South-east of it are the celebra-
ted fords of the Euphrates at the city of Thapsacus, now
El-Der. This ford was first passed by Cyrus, in his ex-
pedition against Artaxerxes, immortalized by Xenophon,
B.C. 401, 01. 94, 4.; afterwards by Darius, after his de-
feat by Alexander at Issus, B.C. 333, 01. 111. 4.; and
near three years after by Alexander, in pursuit of Dari-
us, previous to his final and decisive victory of Arbela.
Below it is Orouros, or Gorur, which was fixed by Pom-
pey as the boundary of the Roman Empire, when he re-
duced Syria to a Roman province. To the West about
midway between Orouros and Emesa, in the vast desert
which connects Syria with Arabia, is Palmyra, or Tada-
mora, (the city of Palmtrees,) said to have been founded
by Solomon, now Tadmor in the wilderness. It was a



164

most powerful city under its celebrated Queen Zenobia,
the wife of Odenatus. She opposed the Emperor Aure-
lian, in the plains of Syria, at the head of 700,000 men,
and had nearly defeated him, but was overthrown and
carried captive to Italy, A.D. 273, where she had large
possessions assigned to her near Tibur. She was no less
an accomplished than brave princess, and had for her se-
cretary the celebrated Longinus, the author of the well-
known treatise on the Sublime.

That part of Syria which occupied the coast of the
Mediterranean, with the exception of the Northern dis-
trict, was called Phoenicia, and is most justly memorable
for having made the earliest progress in civilization and
the arts. Navigation was invented and greatly cultiva-
ted by the Phoenicians, who are thought to have visited
the Scilly islands at a period unknown to history. The
Greeks ascribe the origin of letters to Cadmus, a Phoeni-
cian; and we know from the sacred books that Tyrian,
that is, Phoenician artists, presided over the most glori-
ous building recorded in Scripture, the Temple of Solo-
mon. Nearly opposite the Eastern promontory of Cy-
prus was Laodicea, now LadikieH; below it is Aradus,
now Ravad ; below it is Tripolis, now Taraboli, or Tri-
poli ; below which is the little river Adonis, now Nahr
Ibrahim, the streams of which, at the anniversary of the
death of Adonis, which was in the rainy season, were
tinged red with the ochrous particles from the mountains
of Libanus, and were fabled to flow with his blood*.

* The story is told by Milton:

Thammuz next came behind,

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd



165

Below it is Berytus, now Berut ; below it is Sidon, so
renowned in sacred and profane history, now Say da ;
and a little below it, Sarepta, the scene of Elijah's mira-
cles; and still lower, the city of Tyre, now Sar, so great-
ly celebrated by all writers, sacred and profane. Tyros
was a colony of Sidonians, founded before the records of
history, and consisted of two cities, one on an island, and
the other, called Palaetyros, on the shore; the two were
about nineteen miles in circumference, but Tyros alone
was not more than four. It was taken after a seige of
seven months, and a most obstinate resistance, attended
with innumerable difficulties, by Alexander, Aug. 20.,
B.C. 332, 01. 112. 1., who thus fulfilled the many pre-
dictions of its destruction delivered by the prophets in
the Scriptures: it is now almost in ruins.

Palaestina, or Palestine, (PI. XVI.), derived that name
from the Philistsei, who inhabited the coast, but as it was
the promised inheritance of the seed of Abraham, and the
scene of the birth, sufferings, and deatjpf our Redeemer,
we are accustomed to designate it by the more religious
appellation of the Holy Land. It is bounded on the
North by Phosnicia and Crelesyria, on the East by Ara-
bia Deserta, on the South by Arabia Petraea, and on the
West by the Mediterranean, called in the Bible the
Great Sea. It will be the most convenient to invert



The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

In amorous ditties all a summer's day,

While smooth Adonis from his native rock

Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood

Of Thammuz yearly wounded, Par, Lost, Book I,



166

the order of time, and first describe it as it existed in the
time of our Saviour, and then to state briefly the settle-
ment of the twelve tribes under Joshua. The river Jor-
don, which rises in Mount Hermon, a branch of Anti-
Libanus, flows into the North end of a lake called the
Lake, of Gennesareth, or Sea of Tiberias, and issuing
from its Southern extremity passes through a long, spa-
cious, and fertile valley called Aulon, or Magnus Cam-
pus, at the end of which it enters a much larger lake
called the Lacus Asphaltites, or Mare Mortuum, in the
sacred writings the Dead Sea, or Salt Sea. On the
Western side of Jordan were the three countries of Ju-
deaea in the South, Samaria in the middle, and Galilaea
in the North: on the Eastern side of Jordon was Peraa.
In a work like this we can only take a brief review of
the principal cities of this most interesting country. In
the kingdom of Judaea, about midway between the Medi-
terranean and the Northern extremity of the Dead Sea,
stood the sacred city of Hierosolyma, or Jerusalem^
thought to have JBen the Salem of which Melchisedec
was King. It was sometimes called Jebus, from having
been possessed by the Jebusites, a Canaanitish people
from whom it was taken by David, and made his resi-
dence. It was built on several hills, the largest of which
was Mount Sion, which formed the Southern part of the
city. A valley towards the North separated this from
Acra, the second, or lower city, on the East of which
was Mount Moriah, the site of the temple of Solomon.
Still North of which was Bethesda, where was the pool .
at which the cripple was healed by our Saviour, as rela-
ted in the Gospel of St. John, chapter v. North-east oi
Mount Moriah was the Mount of Olives, lying beyond
the brook and vallev of Kedron, which bordered Jerusa



167

lem on the East: this valley is also thought to 1 be the
valley of Jehoshaphat; on the. South was the valley of
Hinnom, and at the North was Mount Calvary, the scene
of the crucifixion of our Lord. Near Jerusalem, on the
North-east, was Bethan}% and on the South, Bethlehem.
Jerusalem was utterly destroyed by Titus, according to
the prophecy of our Saviour, Sept. 8. A. D. 70.

Beginning at the South, along the coast of Philistsea
was Gaza, and above it, Ascalon, which preserve their
names, and above that, Azotus, or Jlsdod; still 'North of
this, but rather more inland,, is Accaron or Ekron, which
preserves its name, and a little South-east of it is Gath.
Returning again to the South of Judaea, which in the
time of the second temple was called Daromas, now Da-
rom, extending to the North and North-west of Idumasa,
or the antient Edom, we find Gerara, or Gerar, and Ber-
sabe, or Beersheba, the well of the oath, so often men-
tioned in Scripture as the Southern limit of the country
possessed by the children of Israel. North-east of it was
Hebron the original name of which we find from the
books of Moses was Kirjath-Arba. This was the burial-
place of Abraham and his family, and is now called Cabr
Ibrahim, or the Tomb of Abraham. North-west of Je-
rusalem was Emmaus, recorded in sacred history as the
place to which the two disciples were going to whom our
Saviour showed himself after his resurrection, and in pro-
fane, as the place where Vespasian defeated the revolted
Jews. Directly North of Jerusalem was Bethel : a rug-
ged mountainous country lay between Jerusalem and Hi-
erichus, or Jericho, to the North-east. Below Jericho,
towards the top of the Dead Sea, was Engaddi, celebra-



168

ted, like Jericho, for its palm-trees, as was all Judaea and
Idumaea*.



Samaria and Galilee lie above Judaea. In the former,
the original royal city was Sichem, North of Jerusalem,
afterwards called Neapolis, now Nablous ; it lay in a
valley enclosed by Mount Ebal on the North-east, and
Mount Geriziin on the South-west, from the former of
which the curses, from the latter the blessings, attached
to the law were read to the people by Joshua. At the
foot of Mount Gerizim was the temple of the Samari-
tans. The city of Samaria itself had been destroyed by
the Asmonean princes, and was fortified and embellished
by Herod, who called it Sebaste, in honour of Augus-
tus: it was North of Sichem. But the principal city of
Samaria was North-west of Samaria, in the plain of
Megiddo, on the coast, called Csesarea, which was the
seat of the Roman governors ; it was antiently called
Turris Stratonis, but was made a magnificent city and
port by Herod, who called it Caesarea, in honour of Au-
gustus Caesar. Considerably below it, on the coast, was
Joppa, now Jafa, known also in profane history, or fa-
ble, as the spot where Andromeda is said to have been
chained to a rock to be devoured by a sea-monster, from
which she was rescued by Perseus. Inland, East of
Joppa, but within the Judsean frontier, is Lydda, now
Lody called by the Greeks Diospolis, and South-west of
it is Arimathea.

* Primus Idumseas referam tibi, Mantua, palmas.

Virg. Georg. III. 12.

Przeferat Herodis palmetis pinguibus.

Hor. fli8t. II. 2. 184,



169

Above Samaria is Galilee, the lower part of which
was called Galilaea Inferior, being principally inhabited
by Jews, the upper part, or Galilsea Superior, adjoining
Coelesyria, was called Galilsea Gentium, or Galilee of the
Gentiles, or foreign nations. At the entrance into Gali-


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibrarySamuel ButlerGeographia classica, or, The application of antient geography to the classics → online text (page 10 of 23)