Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 11.8.6 Str. 11.9.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 11.10.2


These are the distances which he gives.
From the Caspian Sea to the Cyrus about1800
Thence to the Caspian Gates5600
Thence to Alexandreia in the territory of the Arii6400
Thence to the city Bactra, which is called also Zariaspa3870
Thence to the river Iaxartes, which Alexander reached, about5000
Making a total of22,670

He also assigns the following distances from the Caspian Gates to India.
To Hecatompylos [Note]1960
To Alexandreia [Note] in the country of the Arii (Ariana)4530
Thence to Prophthasia [Note] in Dranga [Note] (or according to others 1500)1600
Thence to the city Arachoti [Note]4120
Thence to Ortospana on the three roads from Bactra [Note]2000
Thence to the confines of India1000
Which together amount to15,300 [Note]

-- 250 --

We must regard as continuous with this distance, in a straight line, the length of India, reckoned from the Indus to the, Eastern Sea.

Thus much then respecting the Sacæ.

CHAPTER IX. 11.9.1

PARTHIA is not an extensive tract of country; for this reason it was united with the Hyrcani for the purpose of paying tribute under the Persian dominion and afterwards, during a long period when the Macedonians were masters of the country. Besides its small extent, it is thickly wooded, mountainous, and produces nothing; so that the kings with their multitude of followers pass with great speed through the country, which is unable to furnish subsistence for such numbers even for a short time. At present it is augmented in extent. Comisene [Note] and Chorene are parts of Parthiene, and perhaps also the country as far as the Caspian Gates, Rhagæ, and the Tapyri, which formerly belonged to Media. Apameia and Heracleia are cities in the neighbourhood of Rhagæ.

From the Caspian Gates to Rhagæ are 500 stadia according to Apollodorus, and to Hecatompylos, the royal seat of the Parthians, 1260 stadia. Rhagæ [Note] is said to have had its name from the earthquakes which occurred in that country, by which many cities and two thousand villages, as Poseidonius relates, were overthrown. The Tapyri are said to live between the Derbices and the Hyrcani. Historians say, that it is a custom among the Tapyri to surrender the married women to other men, even when the husbands have had two or three children by them, as Cato surrendered Marcia in our times, according to an ancient custom of the Romans, to Hortensius, at his request. 11.9.2

Disturbances having arisen in the countries beyond the Taurus in consequence of the kings of Syria and Media, who possessed the tract of which we are speaking, being engaged in other affairs, [Note] those who were intrusted with the

-- 251 --

government of it occasioned first the revolt of Bactriana; then Euthydemus and his party the revolt of all the country near that province. Afterwards Arsaces, a Scythian, (with the Parni, called nomades, a tribe of the Dahæ, who live on the banks of the Ochus,) invaded Parthia, and made himself master of it. At first both Arsaces and his successors were weakened by maintaining wars with those who had been deprived of their territory. Afterwards they became so powerful, in consequence of their successful warfare, continually depriving their neighbours of portions of their territory, that at last they took possession of all the country within the Euphrates. They deprived Eucratidas, and then the Scythians, by force of arms, of a part of Bactriana. They now have an empire comprehending so large an extent of country, and so many nations, that it almost rivals that of the Romans in magnitude. This is to be attributed to their mode of life and manners, which have indeed much of the barbarous and Scythian character, but are very well adapted for establishing dominion, and for insuring success in war.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 11.8.6 Str. 11.9.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 11.10.2

Powered by PhiloLogic