mountain plains, in which not even the vine grows. There
are also many valleys, some are moderately fertile, others
are very productive, as the Araxenian plain, through which
the river Araxes flows to the extremities of Albania, and
empties itself into the Caspian Sea. Next is Sacasene,
which borders upon Albania, and the river Cyrus ; then
Gogarene. All this district abounds with products of the soil,
cultivated fruit trees and evergreens. It bears also the olive.
There is Phauene, (Phanenas, Phasiana ?) a province of Ar-
menia, Comisene, and Orchisterie, which furnishes large bo-
dies of cavalry.
2 An almost uniform tradition has pointed out an isolated peak of this
range as the Ararat of Scripture. It is still called Ararat or Agri-Dagh,
and by the Persians Kuh-il-Nuh, mountain of Noah. Smith.
3 Formerly the mass of ruins called Takt-Tiridate, (Throne of Tiri-
dates,) near the junction of the Aras and the Zengue, were supposed to
represent the ancient Artaxata. Col. Monte ith fixes the site at a remark-
able bend of the river somewhat lower down than this. See Smith, art.
B. xi. c. xiv. 5, 6. ARMENIA. 269
Chorzene l and Cambysene are the most northerly countries,
and particularly subject to falls of snow. They are contigu-
ous to the Caucasian mountains, to Iberia, and Colchis.
Here, they say, on the passes over mountains, it frequently
happens that whole companies of persons have been over-
whelmed in violent snow-storms. Travellers are provided
against such dangerous accidents with poles, which they force
upwards to the surface of the snow, for the purpose of breath-
ing, and of signifying their situation to other travellers who
may come that way, so that they may receive assistance, be
extricated, and so escape alive.
They say that hollow masses are consolidated in the snow,
which contain good water, enveloped as in a coat ; that ani-
mals are bred in the snow, which Apollonides call scoleces, 2
and Theophanes, thripes, and that these hollow masses con
tain good water, which is obtained by breaking open their
coats or coverings. The generation of these animals is sup-
posed to be similar to that of the gnats, (or mosquitos,) from
flames, and the sparks in mines.
5. According to historians, Armenia, which was formerly
a small country, was enlarged by Artaxias and Zariadris,
who had been generals of Antiochus the Great, and at last,
after his overthrow, when they became kings, (the former
of Sophene, Acisene, (Amphissene ?) Odornantis, and some
other places, the latter of the country about Artaxata,) they
simultaneously aggrandized themselves, by taking away por-
tions of the territory of the surrounding nations : from the
Medes they took the Caspiana, Phaunitis, and Basoropeda ;
from the Iberians, the country at the foot of the Pary-
adres, the Chorzene, and Gogarene, which is on the other
side of the Cyrus ; from the Chalybes, and the Mosynceci,
Carenitis and Xerxene, which border upon the Lesser Arme-
nia, or are even parts of it ; from the Cataones, Acilisene, 3
and the country about the Anti-Taurus ; from the Syrians,
Taronitis ; 3 hence they all speak the same language.
6. The cities of Armenia are Artaxata, called also Artax-
1 Kars is the capital of this country.
2 <TKto\i]KaQ and flpiTrag, species of worms. See Smith, art. Chorzene.
8 Melitene. Groskurd.
* It corresponds, Kramer observes, with Taron, a province of Armenia,
which is called by Tacitus, Ann. xiv. 24, Taraunitium (not Tarani-
270 STRABO. CASATTB. 529.
iasata, built by Hannibal for the king Artaxias, and Arxata,
both situated on the Araxes ; Arxata on the confines of
Atropatia, and Artaxata near the Araxenian plain ; it is
well inhabited, and the seat of the kings of the country. It
lies upon a peninsular elbow of land ; the river encircles the
walls except at the isthmus, which is enclosed by a ditch
Not far from the city are the treasure-storehouses of Ti-
granes and Artavasdes, the strong fortresses Babyrsa, and
Olane. There were others also upon the Euphrates. Ador,
(Addon ?) the governor of the fortress, occasioned the revolt
of Artagerse, but the generals of Ctesar retook it after a
long siege, and destroyed the walls.
7. There are many rivers in the country. The most cele-
brated are the Phasis and Lycus ; they empty themselves
into the Euxine ; (Eratosthenes instead of the Lycus men-
tions the Thermodon, but erroneously ;) the Cyrus and the
Araxes into the Caspian, and the Euphrates and the Tigris
into the Persian Gulf.
8. There are also large lakes in Armenia ; one the Man-
tiane, 1 which word translated signifies Cyane, or Blue, the
largest salt-water lake, it is said, after the Palus Maeotis, ex-
tending as far as (Media-) Atropatia. It has salt pans for
the concretion of salt.
The next is Arsene, 2 which is also called Thopitis. Its
waters contain nitre, and are used for cleaning and fulling
clothes. It is unfit by these qualities for drinking. The
Tigris passes through this lake 3 after issuing from the moun-
tainous country near the Niphates, and by its rapidity keeps
its stream unmixed with the water of the lake, whence it has
its name, for the Medes call an arrow, Tigris. This river
contains fish of various kinds, but the lake one kind only.
1 We should read probably Matiane. The meaning of the word pro-
posed by Strabo may easily be proved to be incorrect, by reference to
the Armenian language, in which no such word is to be found bearing
this sense. As Kapoit in the Armenian tongue signifies " blue," this ex-
planation of Strabo's appears to refer to the lake Spauta or .Kapauta,
above, c. xiii. 2. Kramer.
' z The lake Arsissa. Thospitis or Van.
8 This is an error ; one of the branches of the Tigris rises among the
mountains on the S. W. of the lake Van, and which form part of the
range of Nepat-Learn or Niphates.
B. xi. c. xiv. 911. ARMENIA. 271
At the extremity of the lake the river falls into a deep cavity
in the earth. After pursuing a long course under-ground, it
re-appears in the Chalonitis ; thence it goes to Opis, and to
the wall of Semiramis, as it is called, leaving the Gordyasi l
and the whole of Mesopotamia on the right hand. The Eu-
phrates, on the contrary, has the same country on the left.
Having approached one another, and formed Mesopotamia, one
traverses Seleucia in its course to the Persian Gulf, the other
Babylon, as I have said in replying to Eratosthenes and
9. There are mines of gold in the Hyspiratis, 2 near Ca-
balla. Alexander sent Menon to the mines with a body of
soldiers, but he was strangled 3 by the inhabitants of the coun-
try. There are other mines, and also a mine of Sandyx as
it is called, to which is given the name of Armenian colour,
it resembles the Calche. 4
This country is so well adapted, being nothing inferior in this
respect to Media, for breeding horses, that the race of Nesaean
horses, which the kings of Persia used, is found here also ;
the satrap of Armenia used to send annually to the king
of Persia 20,000 foals at the time of the festival of the Mi-
thracina. Artavasdes, when he accompanied Antony in his
invasion of Media, exhibited, besides other bodies of cavalry,
6000 horse covered with complete armour drawn up in array.
Not only do the Medes and Armenians, but the Albanians
also, admire this kind of cavalry, for the latter use horses
covered with armour.
10. Of the riches and power of this country, this is no
slight proof, that when Pompey imposed upon Tigranes, the
father of Artavasdes, the payment of 6000 talents of silver, he
immediately distributed the money among the Roman army,
to each soldier 50 drachmas, 1000 to a centurion, and a talent
to a Hipparch and a Chiliarch.
11. Theophanes represents this as the size of the country ;
its breadth to be 100 schoeni, and its length double this num-
ber, reckoning the schoenus at 40 stadia ; but this comput-
ation exceeds the truth. It is nearer the truth to take the
1 The Kurds. 2 Groskurd proposes Syspiritis.
3 cnri}yxQr}. Meineke.
4 It is doubtful whether this colour was red, blue, or purple.
272 STRABO CASAUB. 630.
length as he has given it, and the breadth at one half, or a
Such then is the nature of the country of Armenia, and its
12. There exists an ancient account of the origin of this
nation to the following effect. Armenus of Armenium, a Thes-
salian city, which lies between Pherae and Larisa on the lake
Boebe, accompanied Jason, as we have already said, in his ex-
pedition into Armenia, and from Armenus the country had
its name, according to Cyrsilus the Pharsalian and Medius
the Larissean, persons who had accompanied the army of
Alexander. Some of the followers of Armenus settled in
Acilisene, which was formerly subject to the Sopheni ; others
in the Syspiritis, and spread as far as Calachene and Adia-
bene, beyond the borders of Armenia.
The dress of the Armenian people is said to be of Thessa-
lian origin ; such are the long tunics, which in tragedies are call-
ed Thessalian ; they are fastened about the body with a girdle,
and with a clasp on the shoulder. The tragedians, for they
required some additional decoration of this kind, imitate the
Thessalians in their attire. The Thessalians in particular,
from wearing a long dress, (probably because they inhabit the
most northerly and the coldest country in all Greece,) afford-
ed the most appropriate subject of imitation to actors for their
theatrical representations. The passion for riding and the
care of horses characterize the Thessalians, and are common
to Armenians and Medes.
The Jasonia are evidence of the expedition of Jason : some
of these memorials the sovereigns of the country restored, as
Parmenio restored the temple of Jason at Abdera.
1 3. It is supposed that Armenus and his companions called
the Araxes by this name on account of its resemblance to
the Peneius, for the Peneius had the name of Araxes from
bursting through Tempe, and rending (u7rapacu) Ossa from
Olympus. The Araxes also in Armenia, descending from the
mountains, is said to have spread itself in ancient times, and
to have overflowed the plains, like a sea, having no outlet ;
that Jason, in imitation of what is to be seen at Tempe, made
the opening through which the water at present precipitates
itself into the Caspian Sea; that upon this the Araxenian
B. xi. c. xiv. H, 15. ARMENIA. 273
plain, through which the river flows to the cataract, became
uncovered. This story which is told of the river Araxes
contains some probability ; that of Herodotus l none whatever.
For he says that, after flowing out of the country of the Ma-
tiani, it is divided into forty rivers, and separates the Scythians
from the Bactrians. Callisthenes has followed Herodotus.
14. Some tribes of .JEnianes are mentioned, some of whom
settled in Vitia, others above the Armenians beyond the Abus
and the Nibarus. These latter are branches of Taurus ; the
Abus is near the road which leads to Ecbatana by the temple
of Baris (Zaris ?).
Some tribes of Thracians, surnamed Saraparae, or decapi-
tators, are said to live above Armenia, near the Gouranii and
Medes. They are a savage people, intractable mountaineers,
and scalp and decapitate strangers ; for such is the meaning
of the term Saraparae.
I have spoken of Medeia in the account of Media, and it is
conjectured from all the circumstances that the Medes and
Armenians are allied in some way to the Thessalians, de-
scended from Jason and Medeia.
15. This is the ancient account, but the more recent, and
extending from the time of the Persians to our own age, may
be given summarily, and in part only (as follows) ; Persians
and Macedonians gained possession of Armenia, next those
who were masters of Syria and Media. The last was Orontes,
a descendant of Hydarnes, one of the seven Persians : it was
then divided into two portions by Artaxias and Zariadris,
generals of Antiochus the Great, who made war against the
Romans. These were governors by permission of the king,
but upon his overthrow they attached themselves to the Ro-
mans, were declared independent, and had the title of kings.
Tigranes was a descendant of Artaxias, and had Armenia,
properly so called. This country was contiguous to Media,
to the Albani, and to the Iberes, and extended as far as Col-
chis, and Cappadocia upon the Euxine.
Artanes the Sophenian was the descendant of Zaria-
dris, and had the southern parts of Armenia, which verge
rather to the west. He was defeated by Tigranes, who be-
came master of the whole country. He had experienced
many vicissitudes of fortune. At first he had served as a
k 1 Herod, i. 202.
274 STRABO. CASAUB. 532.
hostage among the Parthians ; then by their means he return-
ed to his country, in compensation for which service they ob-
tained seventy valleys in Armenia. When he acquired power,
he recovered these valleys, and devastated the country of the
Parthians, the territory about Ninus, and that about Arbela. 1
He subjected to his authority the Atropatenians, and the
Gordyseans ; by force of arms he obtained possession also of
the rest of Mesopotamia, and, after crossing the Euphrates, of
Syria and Phoenicia. Having attained this height of pros-
perity, he even founded near Iberia, 2 between this country
and the Zeugma on the Euphrates, a city, which he named
Tigranocerta, and collected inhabitants out of twelve Grecian
cities, which he had depopulated. But Lucullus, who had
commanded in the war against Mithridates, surprised him,
thus engaged, and dismissed the inhabitants to their respect-
ive homes. The buildings which were half finished he de-
molished, and left a small village remaining. He drove Ti-
granes both out of Syria and Phoenicia.
Artavasdes, his successor, prospered as long as he con-
tinued a friend of the Romans. But having betrayed An-
tony to the Parthians in the war with that people, he suffered
punishment for his treachery. He was carried in chains to
Alexandria, by order of Antony, led in procession through
the city, and kept in prison for a time. On the breaking
out of the Actiac war he was then put to death. Many
kings reigned after Artavasdes, who were dependent upon
Ctesar and the Romans. The country is still governed in
the same manner.
16. Both the Medes and Armenians have adopted all the
sacred rites of the Persians, but the Armenians pay particu-
lar reverence to Ana'itis, and have built temples to her hon-
our in several places, especially in Acilisene. They dedicate
there to her service inale aad female slaves ; in this there
is nothing remarkable, but it is surprising that persons of the
highest rank in the nation consecrate their virgin daughters
to the goddess. It is customary for these women, after being
2 That this is an error is manifest. Falconer proposes Armenia ; Gros-
kurd, Assyria ; but what nairle is to be supplied is altogether uncertain.
The name of the city is also wanting, according to Kramer, who proposes
B. XI. C. XIV. 16.
prostituted a long period at the temple of Anaiitis, to be dis-
posed of in marriage, no one disdaining a connexion with
such persons. Herodotus mentions something similar re-
specting the Lydian women, all of whom prostitute them-
selves. But they treat their paramours with much kindness,
they entertain them hospitably, and frequently make a return
of more presents than they receive, being amply supplied
with means derived from their wealthy connexions. They
do not admit into their dwellings accidental strangers, but
prefer those of a rank equal to their own.
The Twelfth Book contains the remainder of Pontus, viz. Cappadocia, Gala
tia, Bithynia, Mysia, Phrygia, and Maeonia : the cities, Sinope in Pontus,
Heracleia, and Amaseia, and likewise Isauria, Lycia, Pamphylia, and
Cilicia, with the islands lying along the coast ; the mountains and rivers.
1. l CAPPADOCIA consists of many parts, and has expe-
rienced frequent changes.
The nations speaking the same language are chiefly those
who are bounded on the south by the Cilician Taurus, 2 as it
is called ; on the east by Armenia, Colchis, and by the inter-
vening nations who speak different languages ; on the north
by the Euxine, as far as the mouth of the Halys ; 3 on the west
by the Paphlagonians, and by the Galatians, who migrated
into Phrygia, and spread themselves as far as Lycaonia, and
the Cilicians, who occupy Cilicia Tracheia (Cilicia the moun-
2. Among the nations that speak the same language, the
ancients placed the Cataonians by themselves, contra-dis-
tinguishing them from the Cappadocians, whom they con-
sidered as a different people. In the enumeration of the nations
they placed Cataonia after Cappadocia, then the Euphrates,
and the nations on the other side of that river, so as to
include even Melitene in Cataonia, although Melitene lies
between Cataonia and the Euphrates, approaches close to
Commagene, and constitutes a tenth portion of Cappadocia,
1 The beginning is wanting, according to the opinion of critics, Xy-
lander, Casaubon, and others.
2 The range of mountains to the S. of Caramania.
3 Kizil-Irmak. * Itsch-Ili.
B. xn. c. i. 3, 4. CAPPADOCIA, 277
according to the division of the country into ten provinces.
For the kings in our times who preceded Archelaus 1 usually
divided the kingdom of Cappadocia in this manner.
Cataonia is a tenth portion of Cappadocia. In our time
each province had its own governor, and since no difference
appears in the language of the Cataonians compared with
that of the other Cappadocians, nor any difference in their
customs, it is surprising how entirely the characteristic marks
of a foreign nation have disappeared, yet they were distinct
nations ; Ariarathes, the first who bore the title of king of
the Cappadocians, annexed the Cataonians to Cappadocia.
3. This country composes the isthmus, as it were, of a
large peninsula formed by two seas ; by the bay of Issus, ex-
tending to Cilicia Tracheia, and by the Euxine lying between
Sinope and the coast of the Tibareni.
The isthmus cuts off what we call the peninsula ; the whole
tract lying to the west of the Cappadocians, to which Hero-
dotus 2 gives the name of the country within the Halys. This
is the country the whole of which was the kingdom of Croesus.
Herodotus calls him king of the nations on this side the river
Halys. But writers of the present time give the name of
Asia, which is the appellation of the whole continent, to the
country within the Taurus.
This Asia comprises, first, the nations on the east, Paphla-
gonians, Phrygians, and Lycaonians ; then Bithynians, My-
sians, and the Epictetus ; besides these, Troas, and Helles-
pontia ; next to these, and situated on the sea, are the jEolians
and lonians, who are Greeks ; the inhabitants of the remain-
ing portions are Carians and Lycians, and in the inland parts
We shall speak hereafter of the other nations.
4. The Macedonians obtained possession of Cappadocia
after it had been divided by the Persians into two satrapies,
and permitted, partly with and partly without the consent of
the people, the satrapies to be altered to two kingdoms, one
of which they called Cappadocia Proper, and Cappadocia
' Archelaus received from Augustus (B. c. 20) some parts of Cilicia
on the coast and the Lesser Armenia. In A. D. 15 Tiberius treacherously
invited him to Rome, and kept him there. He died, probably about
A. D. 17, and his kingdom was made a Roman province.
2 Herod, i. 6, 28.
278 STRABO. CASAUB. 534.
near the Taurus, or Cappadocia the Great ; the other they
called Pontus, but according to other writers, Cappadocia on
We are ignorant at present how Cappadocia the Great
was at first distributed ; upon the death of Archelaus the
king, Caesar and the senate decreed that it should be a Ro-
man province. But when the country was divided in the
time of Archelaus and of preceding kings into ten pro-
vinces, they reckoned five near the Taurus, Melitene, Cataonia,
Cilicia, Tyanitis, and Garsauritis ; the remaining five were
Laviansene, Sargarausene, Saravene, Chamanene, Morimene.
The Romans afterwards assigned to the predecessors of Ar-
chelaus an eleventh province formed out of Cilicia, consist-
ing of the country about Castabala and Cybistra, 1 extending
to Derbe, belonging to Antipater, the robber. Cilicia Tra-
chea about Elasussa was assigned to Archelaus, and all the
country which served as the haunts of pirates.
1. MELITENE resembles Commagene, for the whole of it is
planted with fruit-trees, and is the only part of all Cappadocia
which is planted in this manner. It produces oil, and the
wine Monarites, which vies with the wines of Greece. It is
situated opposite to Sophene, having the river Euphrates
flowing between it and Commagene, which borders upon it.
In the country on the other side of the river is Tomisa, a
considerable fortress of the Cappadocians. It was sold to the
prince of Sophene for a hundred talents. Lucullus presented
it afterwards as a reward of valour to the Cappadocian prince
for his services in the war against Mithridates.
2. Cataonia is a plain, wide and hollow, 2 and produces
everything except evergreen trees. It is surrounded by
mountains, and among others by the Amanus on the side to-
wards the south, a mass separated from the Cilician Taurus,
and also by the Anti-Taurus, 3 a mass rent off in a contrary
1 Eregli near the lake Al-gol.
2 That is, surrounded by mountains, as below.
8 The range on the west of the river Sarus, Seichun, now bearing vari-
B. xii. c. ii. 3, 4. CATAONIA. 279
direction. The Amanus extends from Cataonia to Cilicia, and
the Syrian sea towards the west and south. In this intervening
space it comprises the whole of the gulf of Issus, and the
plains of the Cilicians which lie towards the Taurus. But
the Anti-Taurus inclines to the north, and a little also to the
east, and then terminates in the interior of the country.
3. In the Anti-Taurus are deep and narrow valleys, in
which is situated Comana, 1 and the temple of Enyus (Bellona).
which they call Ma. It is a considerable city. It contains
a very great multitude of persons who at times are actuated
by divine impulse, and of servants of the temple. It is in-
habited by Cataonians, who are chiefly under the command of
the priest, but in other respects subject to the king. The
former presides over the temple, and has authority over the
servants belonging to it, who, at the time that I was there,
exceeded in number six thousand persons, including men and
women. A large tract of land adjoins the temple, the revenue
of which the priest enjoys. He is second in rank in Cappa-
docia after the king, and, in general, the priests are descended
from the same family as the kings. Orestes, when he came
hither with his sister Iphigenia from Tauric Scythia, 2 is
thought to have introduced the sacred rites performed in
honour of Diana Tauropolus, and to have deposited here the
tresses (Coman, Kopriv) of mourning, from which the city had
the name of Comana.
The river Sarus flows through this city, and passes out
through the valleys of the Taurus to the plains of Cilicia, and
to the sea lying below them.
4. The Pyramus, 3 which has its source in the middle of the
plain, is navigable throughout Cataonia. There is a large sub-
terraneous channel, through which the water flows underground
to a great distance, and then may be seen springing up again to
the surface. If an arrow is let down into the pit from above, the
resistance of the water is so great that it is scarcely immersed.
Although it pursues its course with great 4 depth and breadth,
it undergoes an extraordinary contraction of its size by the
time it has reached the Taurus. There is also an extra-
ordinary fissure in the mountain, through which the stream is
carried. For, as in rocks which have burst and split in two
1 Supposed to be Al-Bostan. 2 The Crimea.
8 Dschehan-Tschai. * The text is here corrupt.
280 STRABO. CASAUB. 536.
parts, the projections in one correspond so exactly with the
hollows in the other that they might even be fitted together,
so here I have seen the rocks at the distance of two or three
plethra, overhanging the river on each side, and nearly reach-
ing to the summit of the mountain, with hollows on one side
answering to projections on the other. The bed between (the
mountains) is entirely rock ; it has a deep and very narrow