Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.12 Str. 12.3.16 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.21


Next to Gadilon [Note] are the Saramene, [Note] and Amisus, a considerable city distant from Sinope about 900 stadia. Theopompus says that the Milesians were the first founders, * * * * * [Note][then by] a chief of the Cappadocians; in the third place it received a colony of Atlenians under the conduct of Athenocles, and its name was changed to Piræus.

This city also was in the possession of the kings. Mithridates Eupator embellished it with temples, and added a part to it. Lucullus, and afterwards Pharnaces, who came from across the Bosporus, besieged it. Antony surrendered it to the kings of Pontus, after it had been declared free by Divus Cæsar. Then the Tyrant Strato oppressed the inhabitants, who again recovered their liberty under Cæsar Augustus after the battle of Actium. They are now in a prosperous condition. Among other fertile spots is Themiscyra, [Note] the abode of the Amazons, and Sidene. [Note]

-- 295 --

15. Themiscyra is a plain, partly washed by the sea, and distant about 60 stadia from the city (Amisus); and partly situated at the foot of a mountainous country, which is well wooded, and intersected with rivers, which have their source among the mountains. A river, named Thermodon, which receives the water of all these rivers traverses the plain.

Another river very similar to this, of the name of Iris, [Note] flowing from a place called Phanarœa, [Note] traverses the same plain. It has its sources in Pontus. Flowing westward through the city of Pontic Comana, [Note] and through Dazimonitis, [Note] a fertile plain, it then turns to the north beside Gaziura, [Note] an ancient seat of the kings, but now deserted; it then again returns to the east, where, uniting with the Scylax [Note] and other rivers, and taking its course beside the walls of my native place, Amaseia, [Note] a very strongly fortified city, proceeds to Phanarœa. There when joined by the Lycus, [Note] which rises in Armenia, it becomes the Iris. It then enters Themiscyra, and discharges itself into the Euxine. This plain, therefore, is well watered with dews, is constantly covered with herbage, and is capable of affording food to herds of cattle as well as to horses. The largest crops there consist of panic and millet, or rather they never fail, for the supply of water more than counteracts the effect of all drought; these people, therefore, never on any occasion experience a famine. The country at the foot of the mountains produces so large an autumnal crop of spontaneous-grown wild fruits, of the vine, the pear, the apple, and hazel, that, in all seasons of the year, persons who go into the woods to cut timber gather them in large quantities; the fruit is found either yet hanging upon the trees or lying beneath a deep covering of fallen leaves thickly strewed upon the ground. Wild animals of all kinds, which resort here on account of the abundance of food, are frequently hunted. 12.3.16

Next to Themiscyra is Sidene, a fertile plain, but not watered in the same manner by rivers as Themiscyra. It has strongholds on the sea-coast, as Side, [Note] from which Sidene has

-- 296 --

its name, Chabaca and Phabda (Phauda). [Note] Amisene extends as far as this place.

Among the natives of Amisus [Note] distinguished for their learning were the mathematicians Demetrius, the son of Rathenus, and Dionysodorus, of the same name as the Ionian (Milesian?) geometrician, and Tyrannion the grammarian, whose lessons I attended. 12.3.17

Next to Sidene is Pharnacia [Note] a small fortified city, and then follows Trapezus, [Note] a Greek city, to which from Amisus is a voyage of about 2200 stadia; thence to the Phasis about 1400 stadia, so that the sum total of stadia from the Hieron [Note] to the Phasis is about 8000 stadia, either more or less.

In sailing along this coast from Amisus we first come to the Heracleian promontory; [Note] then succeeds another promontory, Jasonium, [Note] and the Genetes; [Note] then Cytorus (Cotyorus) a small city, [Note] from which Pharnacia received a colony; then Ischopolis, which is in ruins. Next is a bay on which are situated Cerasus, and Hermonassa, [Note] small settlements. Near Hermonassa is Trapezus, then Colchis. Somewhere about this place is a settlement called Zygopolis.

I have already spoken of Colchis, and of the sea-coast beyond. [Note] 12.3.18

Above Trapezus and Pharnacia are situated Tibareni, Chaldæi, Sanni, (who were formerly called Macrones, [Note]) and the Lesser Armenia. The Appaitæ also, formerly called Cercitæ, are not far from these places. Through the country belonging to these people stretches the Scydises, [Note] a very rugged mountain, contiguous to the Moschic mountains [Note] above Colchis. The heights of the Scydises are occupied by the Heptacometæ. [Note] This country is likewise traversed by the Paryadres, [Note] which extends from the neighbourhood of Sidene and Themiscyra to the Lesser Armenia, and forms the eastern side of the Pontus.

-- 297 --

All the inhabitants of these mountains are quite savage, but the Heptacometæ are more so than all the others. Some of them live among trees, or in small towers, whence the ancients called them Mosynceci, [Note] because the towers were called mosȳnes. Their food consists of the flesh of wild animals and the fruits of trees. They attack travellers, leaping down from the floors of their dwellings among the trees. The Heptacometæ cut off three of Pompey's cohorts, as they were passing through the mountains, by placing on their road vessels filled with maddening honey, which is procured from the branches of trees. The men who had tasted the honey and lost their senses were attacked and easily despatched. Some of these barbarians were called Byzeres.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.12 Str. 12.3.16 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.21

Powered by PhiloLogic