Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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12.3.10

After the river Parthenius is Amastris, bearing the same name as the princess by whom it was founded. It is

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situated upon a peninsula, with harbours on each side of the isthmus. Amastris was the wife of Dionysius, the tyrant of Heracleia, and daughter of Oxyathres, the brother of the Darius who fought against Alexander. She formed the settlement out of four cities, Sesamus, Cytorum, Cromna, (mentioned by Homer in his recital of the Paphlagonian forces, [Note]) and Tieium, which city however soon separated from the others, but the rest continued united. Of these, Sesamus is called the citadel of Amastris. Cytorum was formerly a mart of the people of Sinope. It had its name from Cytorus, the son of Phrixus, according to Ephorus. Box-wood of the best quality grows in great abundance in the territory of Amastris, and particularly about Cytorum.

ægialus is a line of sea-coast, in length more than 100 stadia. On it is a village of the same name, [Note] which the poet mentions in these lines, Cromna, and ægialus, and the lofty Erythini; [Note]
Il. i. 855.
but some authors write, Cromna and Cobialus.
The Erythini are said to be the present Erythrini, and to have their name from their (red) colour. They are two rocks. [Note]

Next to ægialus is Carambis, a large promontory stretching towards the north, and the Scythian Chersonesus. We have frequently mentioned this promontory, and the Criu-metopon opposite it, which divides the Euxine into two seas. [Note]

Next to Carambis is Cinolis, [Note] and Anti-Cinolis, and Aboniteichos, [Note] a small city, and Armene, [Note] which gave rise to the common proverb; He who had nothing to do built a wall about Armene.
It is a village of the Sinopenses, with a harbour. 12.3.11

Next is Sinope itself, distant from Armene 50 stadia, the most considerable of all the cities in that quarter. It was founded by Milesians, and when the inhabitants had established a naval force they commanded the sea within the Cya-

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nean rocks, and were allies of the Greeks in many naval battles beyond these limits. Although this city was independent for a long period, it did not preserve its liberty to the last, but was taken by siege, and became subject first to Pharnaces, then to his successors, to the time when the Romans put an end to the power of Mithridates Eupator. This prince was born and brought up in this city, on which he conferred distinguished honour, and made it a capital of the kingdom. It has received advantages from nature which have been improved by art. It is built upon the neck of a peninsula; on each side of the isthmus are harbours, stations for vessels, and fisheries worthy of admiration for the capture of the pelamydes. Of these fisheries we have said [Note] that the people of Sinope have the second, and the Byzantines the third, in point of excellence.

The peninsula projects in a circular form; the shores are surrounded by a chain of rocks, and in some parts there are cavities, like rocky pits, which are called Chœnicides. These are filled when the sea is high. For the above reason, the place is not easily approached; besides which, along the whole surface of rock the road is covered with sharp-pointed stones, and persons cannot walk upon it with naked feet. The lands in the higher parts and above the city have a good soil, and are adorned with fields dressed as gardens, and this is the case in a still greater degree in the suburbs. The city itself is well secured with walls, and magnificently ornamented with a gymnasium, forum, and porticos. Notwithstanding these advantages for defence, it was twice taken; first by Pharnaces, who attacked it unexpectedly; afterwards by Lucullus, who besieged it while it was harassed by an insidious tyrant within the walls. For Bacchides, [Note] who was appointed by the king commander of the garrison, being always suspicious of treachery on the part of those within the city, had disgraced and put many to death. He thus prevented the citizens both from defending themselves with bravery, although capable of making a gallant defence, and from offering terms for a capitulation. The city was therefore captured. Lucullus took away

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the Sphere of Billarus, [Note] and the Autolycus, [Note] the workmanship of Sthenis, whom the citizens regarded as a founder, and honoured as a god; he left the other ornaments of the city untouched. There was there an oracle of Sthenis. He seems to have been one of the companions of Jason in his voyage, and to have got possession of this place. In after times the Milesians, observing the natural advantages of the city, and the weakness of the inhabitants, appropriated it as their own, and sent out colonists. It has at present a Roman colony, and a part of the city and of the territory belongs to the Romans. It is distant from Hieron [Note] 3500, from Heracleia 2000, and from Carambis 700, stadia. It has produced men distinguished among philosophers, Diogenes the Cynic, and Timotheus surnamed Patrion; among poets, Diphilus, the writer of comedy; among historians, Baton, [Note] who wrote the history of Persia.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.7 Str. 12.3.11 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.14

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