Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.16 Str. 12.3.19 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.24


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.

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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. 12.3.19

The present Chaldæi were anciently called Chalybes. It is in their territory chiefly that Pharnacia is situated. On the sea-coast it has natural advantages for the capture of the pelamydes. For this fish is first caught at this place. On the mainland there are at present mines of iron; formerly there were also mines of silver. The sea-shore along all these places is very narrow, for directly above it are hills, which abound with mines and forests; much, however, of the country is not cultivated. The miners derive their subsistence from the mines, and the fishermen from the fisheries, especially from the capture of pelamydes and dolphins. The dolphins pursue shoals of fish, the cordyla, the tunny, and even the pelamys; they grow fat on them, and as they approach the land incautiously, are easily taken. They are caught with a bait and then cut into pieces; large quantities of the fat are used for all purposes. 12.3.20

These I suppose are the people who are called by Homer Halizoni, who in his Catalogue follow the Paphlagonians. But Odius and Epistrophus led the Halizoni
Far from Alybe, where there are silver mines; [Note]
Il. ii. 856.
whether the writing was changed from far from Chalybe, or whether the people were formerly called Alybes instead of Chalybes. We cannot at present say that it is possible that Chaldæi should be read for Chalybes, but it cannot be maintained that formerly Chalybes could not be read for Alybes, espe-

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cially when we know that names are subject to many changes, more especially among barbarians. For example, a tribe of Thracians were called Sinties, then Sinti, then Saii, in whose country Archilochus is said to have thrown away his shield: one of the Saii exults in having a shield, which, without blame, I involuntarily left behind in a thicket. This same people have now the name of Sapæi. For all these people were settled about Abdera, they also held Lemnos and the islands about Lemnos. Thus also Brygi, Briges, and Phryges are the same people; and Mysi, Mæones, and Meones are the same people. But it is unnecessary to multiply instances of this kind.

The Scepsian (Demetrius) throws some doubt on the alteration of the name from Alybes to Chalybes, but not understanding what follows, nor what accords with it, nor, in particular, why the poet calls the Chalybes Alizoni, he rejects the opinion that there has been an alteration of name. In comparing his opinion with my own I shall consider also the hypotheses entertained by others. 12.3.21

Some persons alter the word to Alazones, others to Amazons, and Alybe to Alope, or Alobe, calling the Scythians above the Borysthenes Alazones and Callipidæ, and by other names, about which Hellanicus, Herodotus, and Eudoxus have talked very absurdly; some say that the Amazons were situated between Mysia, Caria, and Lydia near Cyme, which is the opinion also of Ephorus, who was a native of the latter place. And this opinion may not be unreasonable, for he may mean the country which in later times was inhabited by the æolians and Ionians, but formerly by Amazons. There are some cities, it is said, which have their names from the Amazons; as Ephesus, Smyrna, Cyme, and Myrina. But would any one think of inquiring in these places after Alybe, or, according to some writers, Alope, or Alobe; what would be the meaning of from afar, or where is the silver mine?

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.16 Str. 12.3.19 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.24

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