Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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Next to the Sea of Sicily, are the Cretan, Saronic, [Note] and Myrtoan Seas, comprised between Crete, Argia, [Note] and Attica. [Note] Their greatest breadth, measured from Attica, is 1200 stadia, and their length not quite double the distance. Within are included the Islands of Cythera, [Note] Calauria, [Note] ægina, [Note] Salamis, [Note] and certain of the Cyclades. [Note] Adjacent to these are the ægæan Sea, [Note] the Gulf of Melas, [Note] the Hellespont, [Note] the Icarian and Carpathian Seas, [Note] as far as Rhodes, Crete, Cnidus, and the commencement of Asia. [In these seas] are the Cyclades, the Sporades, and the islands opposite Caria, Ionia, and æolia, as far as the Troad, namely, Cos, [Note] Samos, [Note] Chios, [Note] Lesbos, [Note] and Tenedos; [Note] likewise on the Grecian side as far as Macedonia and the borders of Thrace, Eubœa, [Note] Scyros, [Note] Peparethus, [Note] Lemnos, [Note] Thasos, [Note] Imbros, [Note] Samothracia, [Note] and numerous others, of which it is our intention to speak in detail. The length of this sea is about 4000 stadia, or rather

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more, [Note] its breadth about 2000. [Note] It is surrounded by the coast of Asia above mentioned, and by those of Greece from Sunium [Note] northwards to the Thermaic Gulf [Note] and the Gulfs of Macedonia, [Note] and as far as the Thracian Chersonesus. [Note] 2.5.22

Here too is the strait, seven stadia in length, which is between Sestos [Note] and Abydos, [Note] and through which the ægæan and Hellespont communicate with another sea to the north, named the Propontis, [Note] and this again with another called the Euxine. This latter is, so to speak, a double sea, for towards its middle are two projecting promontories, one to the north, on the side of Europe, and the other opposite from the coast of Asia, which leave only a narrow passage between them, and thus form two great seas. The European promontory is named Criu-metopon; [Note] that of Asia, Carambis. [Note] They are distant from each other about 2500 stadia. [Note] The length of the western portion of this sea [Note] from Byzantium to the outlets of the Dnieper is 3800 stadia, its breadth 2000. Here is situated the Island of Leuca. [Note] The eastern portion is oblong and terminates in the narrow recess in which Dioscurias is situated. In length it is 5000 stadia, or rather more, and in breadth about 3000. The entire circumference of the Euxine is about 25,000 stadia. Some have compared the shape of its circumference to a Scythian bow when bent, the string representing the southern portions of the Euxine, (viz. the coast, from its mouth to the recess in which Dioscurias is situated; for, with the exception of Carambis, the sinuosities of the shore are but trifling, so that it

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may be justly compared to a straight line,) and the remainder [of the circumference representing] the wood of the bow with its double curve, the uppermost very much rounded, the lower more in a straight line. So this sea forms two gulfs, the western much more rounded than the other. 2.5.23

To the north of the eastern Gulf of the Pontus, is the Lake Mæotis, whose perimeter is 9000 stadia or rather more. It communicates with the Euxine by means of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, [Note] and the Euxine with the Propontis [Note] by the Thracian Bosphorus, for such is the name given to the Strait of Byzantium, which is four stadia in breadth. The length of the Propontis from the Troad to Byzantium is stated to be 1500 stadia. Its breadth is about the same. It is in this sea that the Island of the Cyziceni [Note] is situated, with the other islands around it. 2.5.24

Such and so great is the extent of the ægæan Sea towards the north. [Note] Again, starting from Rhodes, the [Mediterranean] forms the seas of Egypt, Pamphylia, and Issus, extending in an easterly direction from Cilicia to Issus, a distance of 5000 stadia, along the coasts of Lycia, Pamphylia, and the whole of Cilicia. From thence Syria, Phœnicia, and Egypt surround the sea to the south and west as far as Alexandria. The Island of Cyprus is situated in the Gulfs of Issus and Pamphylia, close to the Sea of Egypt. The passage between Rhodes and Alexandria from north [to south] is about 4000 stadia; [Note] sailing round the coasts it is double this distance. Eratosthenes informs us that, although the above

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is the distance according to some mariners, others avow distinctly that it amounts to 5000 stadia; while he himself, from observations of the shadows indicated by the gnomon, calculates it at 3750.

That part of the Mediterranean Sea which washes the coasts of Cilicia and Pamphylia together with the right side of the Euxine, the Propontis, and the sea-coast beyond this as far as Pamphylia, form a kind of extensive Chersonesus, the isthmus of which is also large, and reaches from the sea near Tarsus [Note] to the city of Amisus, [Note] and thence to the Themiscyran [Note] plain of the Amazons. In fact the whole region within this line as far as Caria and Ionia, and the nations dwelling on this side the Halys, [Note] is entirely surrounded by the ægæan and the aforementioned parts of the Mediterranean and Euxine Seas. [Note] This is what we call Asia properly, [Note] although the whole continent bears the same name.

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