Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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12.2.8

In the plain in front of the city, and about 40 stadia from it, is a river of the name of Melas, [Note] whose source is in ground lower than the level of the city. It is useless to the

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inhabitants, because it does not flow from an elevated situation. It spreads abroad in marshes and lakes, and in the summertime corrupts the air round the city. A valuable stone quarry is rendered almost useless by it. For there are extensive beds of stone, from which the Mazaceni obtain an abundant supply of materials for building, but the slabs, being covered with water, are not easily detached by the workmen. These are the marshes which in every part are subject to take fire.

Ariarathes the king filled in some narrow channels by which the Melas entered the Halys, and converted the neighbouring plain into a wide lake. There he selected some small islands like the Cyclades, where he passed his time in boyish and frivolous diversions. The barrier, however, was broken down all at once, and the waters again flowed abroad and swelled the Halys, which swept away a large part of the Cappadocian territory, and destroyed many buildings and plantations; it also damaged a considerable part of the country of the Galatians, who occupy Phrygia. In compensation for this injury he paid a fine of three hundred talents to the inhabitants, who had referred the matter to the decision of the Romans. The same was the case at Herpa; for he there obstructed the stream of the Carmalas, and, on the bursting of the dyke, the water damaged some of the places in the Cilician territories about Mallus; he was obliged to make compensation to those who had sustained injury. 12.2.9

Although the territory of the Mazaceni is destitute in many respects of natural advantages, it seems to have been preferred by the kings as a place of residence, because it was nearest the centre of those districts which supplied timber, stone for building, and fodder, of which a very large quantity was required for the subsistence of their cattle. Their city was almost a camp. The security of their persons and treasure [Note] depended upon the protection afforded by numerous fortresses, some of which belonged to the king, others to their friends.

Mazaca is distant from Pontus [Note] about 800 stadia to the south, and from the Euphrates a little less than double that distance; from the Cilician Gates and the camp of Cyrus, a

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journey of six days by way of Tyana, [Note] which is situated about the middle of the route, and is distant from Cybistra 300 stadia. The Mazaceni adopt the laws of Charondas, and elect a Nom┼Źdist, (or Chanter of the Laws,) who, like the Jurisconsults of the Romans, is the interpreter of their laws. Tigranes the Armenian, when he overran Cappadocia, treated them with great severity. He forced them to abandon their settlements, and go into Mesopotamia; they peopled Tigranocerta, chiefly by their numbers. Afterwards, upon the capture of Tigranocerta, those who were able returned to their own country. 12.2.10

The breadth of the country from Pontus to the Taurus is about 1800 stadia; the length from Lycaonia and Phrygia, as far as the Euphrates to the east, and Armenia, is about 3000 stadia. The soil is fertile, and abounds with fruits of the earth, particularly corn, and with cattle of all kinds. Although it lies more to the south than Pontus, it is colder. Bagadania, although a plain country, and situated more towards the south than any district in Cappadocia, (for it lies at the foot of the Taurus,) produces scarcely any fruit-bearing trees. It affords pasture for wild asses, as does a large portion of the other parts of the country, particularly that about Garsauira, Lycaonia, and Morimene.

In Cappadocia is found the red earth called the Sinopic, which is better than that of any other country. The Spanish only can rival it. It had the name of Sinopic, because the merchants used to bring it down from Sinope, before the traffic of the Ephesians extended as far as the people of Cappadocia. It is said that even plates of crystal and of the onyx stone were discovered by the miners of Archelaus near the country of the Galatians. There was a place where was found a white stone of the colour of ivory in pieces of the size of small whetstones, from which were made handles for small swords. Another place produced large masses of transparent stone for windows, which were exported.

The boundary of Pontus and Cappadocia is a mountainous range parallel to the Taurus, commencing from the western extremities of Chammanene, (where stands Dasmenda, a fortress built upon a precipice,) and extending to the eastern parts of

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Laviansene. Both Chammanene and Laviansene are pro- vinces of Cappadocia. 12.2.11

When the Romans, after the defeat of Antiochus, first governed Asia, they made treaties of friendship and alliance both with the nations and with the kings. This honour was conferred upon the other kings separately and independently, but upon the king of Cappadocia in common with the nation. On the extinction of the royal race, the Romans admitted the independence of the Cappadocians according to the treaty of friendship and alliance which they had made with the nation. The deputies excused themselves from accepting the liberty which was offered to them, declaring that they were unable to bear it, and requested that a king might be appointed. The Romans were surprised that any people should be unwilling to enjoy liberty, but permitted [Note] them to elect by suffrage any one they pleased from among themselves. They elected Ariobarzanes. The race became extinct in the third generation. Archelaus, who was not connected with the nation, was appointed king by Antony.

So much respecting the Greater Cappadocia.

With regard to Cilicia Tracheia, which was annexed to the Greater Cappadocia, it will be better to describe it when we give an account of the whole of Cilicia.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.2.5 Str. 12.2.10 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.2

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