Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.26 Str. 12.3.30 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.34


Above the places about Pharnacia and Trapezus are the Tibareni, and Chaldæi, extending as far as the Lesser Armenia.

The Lesser Armenia is sufficiently fertile. Like Sophene it was always governed by princes who were sometimes in alliance with the other Armenians, and sometimes acting independently. They held in subjection the Chaldæi and Tibareni. Their dominion extended as far as Trapezus and Pharnacia. When Mithridates Eupator became powerful, he made himself master of Colchis, and of all those places which were ceded to him by Antipater the son of Sisis. He bestowed however so much care upon them, that he built seventy-five strongholds, in which he deposited the greatest part of his treasure. The most considerable of these were Hydara, Basgedariza, and [Note]

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Sinoria, a fortress situated on the borders of the Greater Armenia, whence Theophanes parodied the name, and called it Synoria.

All the mountainous range of the Paryadres has many such convenient situations for fortresses, being well supplied with water and timber, it is intersected in many places by abrupt ravines and precipices. Here he built most of the strongholds for keeping his treasure. At last on the invasion of the country by Pompey he took refuge in these extreme parts of the kingdom of Pontus, and occupied a mountain near Dasteira in Acilisene, which was well supplied with water. The Euphrates also was near, which is the boundary between Acilisene and the Lesser Armenia. Mithridates remained there till he was besieged and compelled to fly across the mountains into Colchis, and thence to Bosporus. Pompey built near this same place in the Lesser Armenia Nicopolis, a city which yet subsists, and is well inhabited. 12.3.29

The Lesser Armenia, which was in the possession of different persons at different times, according to the pleasure of the Romans, was at last subject to Archelaus. The Tibareni, however, and Chaldæi, extending as far as Colchis, Pharnacia, and Trapezus, are under the government of Pythodoris, a prudent woman, and capable of presiding over the management of public affairs. She is the daughter of Pythodorus of Tralles. She was the wife of Polemo, and reigned conjointly with him for some time. She succeeded, after his death, to the throne. He died in the country of the Aspurgiani, a tribe of barbarians living about Sindica. She had two sons by Polemo, and a daughter who was married to Cotys the Sapæan. He was treacherously murdered, and she became a widow. She had children by him, the eldest of whom is now king. Of the sons of Pythodoris, one as a private person, administers, together with his mother, the affairs of the kingdom, the other has been lately made king of the Greater Armenia. Pythodoris however married Archelaus, and remained with him till his death. At present she is a widow, and in possession of the countries before mentioned, and of others still more beautiful, of which we shall next speak. 12.3.30

Sidene, and Themiseyra are contiguous to Pharnacia. Above these countries is situated Phanarœa, containing the best portion of the Pontus, for it produces excellent oil and

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wine, and possesses every other property of a good soil. On the eastern side it lies in front of the Paryadres which runs parallel to it; on the western side it has the Lithrus, and the Ophlimus. It forms a valley of considerable length and breadth. The Lycus, coming out of Armenia, flows through this valley, and the Iris, which issues from the passes near Amaseia. Both these rivers unite about the middle of the valley. A city stands at their confluence which the first founder called Eupatoria, after his own name. Pompey found it half-finished, and added to it a territory, furnished it with inhabitants, and called it Magnopolis. It lies in the middle of the plain. Close to the foot of the Paryadres is situated Cabeira, about 150 stadia further to the south than Magnopolis, about which distance likewise, but towards the west, is Amaseia. At Cabeira was the palace of Mithridates, the water-mill, the park for keeping wild animals, the hunting-ground in the neighbourhood, and the mines. 12.3.31

There also is the Cainochorion, (New Castle,) as it is called, a fortified and precipitous rock, distant from Cabeira less than 200 stadia. On its summit is a spring, which throws up abundance of water, and at its foot a river, and a deep ravine. The ridge of rocks on which it stands is of very great height, so that it cannot be taken by siege. It is enclosed with an excellent wall, except the part where it has been demolished by the Romans. The whole country around is so covered with wood, so mountainous, and destitute of water, that an enemy cannot encamp within the distance of 120 stadia. There Mithridates had deposited his most valuable effects, which are now in the Capitol, as offerings dedicated by Pompey.

Pythodoris is in possession of all this country; (for it is contiguous to that of the barbarians, which she holds as a conquered country;) she also holds the Zelitis and the Megalopolitis. After Pompey had raised Cabeira to the rank of a city, and called it Diospolis, Pythodoris improved it still more, changed its name to Sebaste, (or Augusta,) and considers it a royal city.

She has also the temple of Men surnamed of Pharnaces, at Ameria, a village city, inhabited by a large body of sacred menials, and having annexed to it a sacred territory, the produce of which is always enjoyed by the priest. The kings held this temple in such exceeding veneration, that this was the Royal oath, by the fortune of the king, and by Mēn of

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Pharnaces. This is also the temple of the moon, like that among the Albani, and those in Phrygia, namely the temple of Mēn in a place of the same name, the temple of Ascæus at Antioch in Pisidia, and another in the territory of Antioch.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.26 Str. 12.3.30 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.34

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