Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.3.19 Str. 7.4.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.4.6


AT the bottom of the bay (Carcinites) commences the isthmus [Note] which separates the lake called Sapra, [or the Putrid Lake,] from the sea; it is 40 stadia in width, and forms the

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Tauric or Scythian Chersonese. [Note] This, according to some, is 360 stadia across. The Putrid Lake [Note] is said to extend 4000 stadia (in circumference), and forms part of the [Palus] Mœotis on its western side, with which it communicates by a large opening. It abounds in marshy tracts, and is scarcely navigable with sewn [Note] boats. The shallower parts are soon uncovered, and again covered with water, by the force of the wind; but the marsh will not bear boats of a deeper draught. In the bay are three small islands; and in sailing along the coast, some shallows are met with, and rocks which rise above water. 7.4.2

On the left in sailing out of the bay [Carcinites] there is a small town and another harbour [Note] belonging to the people of the Chersonese; for in coasting along the bay, there projects towards the south a large promontory, which is a part of the great Chersonese. Upon it stands a city of the Heracleotæ, who are a colony from Heraclea [Note] in the Euxine; it bears the same name, Chersonesus, as the territory. It is distant from the Dniester, [Note] in following the coast, 4400 stadia. In this city is a temple of the Virgin, some goddess, [Note] after whom the promontory, which is in front of the city, at the distance of 100 stadia, is called Parthenium. It has a shrine of the goddess and a statue. Between the city [Note] and the promontory are three harbours; next is the Old city Chersonesus in ruins; then follows a harbour with a narrow entrance. It was called Symbolon Limen, or Signal Harbour; and here principally was carried on a system of piracy against those who took

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refuge in the ports. This, together with another harbour, called Ctenus, [Note] forms an isthmus of 40 stadia in extent. This isthmus locks in the Smaller Chersonesus, which we said was a part of the Great Chersonesus, having on it a city of the same name. 7.4.3

It was formerly governed by its own laws, but after it was ravaged by barbarous nations, the inhabitants were obliged to elect as their protector, Mithridates Eupator, who was anxious to direct his forces against the barbarians who lived above the isthmus, and occupied the country as far as the Dnieper and the Adriatic, and thus to prepare himself against war with the Romans. Mithridates, with these views, readily despatched an expedition into the Chersonesus, and carried on war at the same time against the Scythians, Scilurus, and the sons of Scilurus, namely, Palacus and his brothers, whom Posidonius reckons to have been fifty, and Apollonides eighty, in number. By the subjugation of these enemies he became at once master of the Bosporus, which Pairisades, who held the command of it, voluntarily surrendered. From that time to the present the city of the Chersonitæ has been subject to the princes of the Bosporus.

Ctenus is equally distant from the city of the Chersonitæ, and from Symbolon Limen. From Symbolon Limen the Tauric coast extends 1000 stadia to the city Theodosia. [Note] The coast is rugged and mountainous, and during the prevalence of the north winds, tempestuous. From this coast a promontory projects far into the sea, and stretches out southwards towards Paphlagonia, and the city Amastris. It is called Criu-metopon, or Ram's Head. Opposite to it is Ca-

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rambis, [Note] the promontory of the Paphlagonians. Criu-metopon and Carambis together form a strait compressed between them, and divide the Euxine into two parts. Carambis is distant from the city of the Chersonesus 2500 stadia, and from Criu-metopon much less; for many persons who have sailed through the strait say, that they saw both promontories at once. [Note]

In the mountainous district of the Tauri there is a hill called Trapezus, [Note] of the same name as the city, [Note] which is near Tibarania and Colchis. There is another hill also, the Kimmerium, [Note] in the same mountainous district, for the Kimmerii were once sovereigns of the Bosporus, and hence the whole of the strait at the mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis is called the Kimmerian Bosporus. 7.4.4

After leaving the above-mentioned mountainous district, is the city Theodosia, situated on a plain; the soil is fertile, and there is a harbour capable of containing a hundred vessels. This formerly was the boundary of the territory of the Bosporians and of the Tauri. Then follows a fertile country extending to Panticapæum, [Note] the capital of the Bosporians, which is situated at the mouth of the Palus Mæotis. [Note] Between Theodosia [Note] and Panticapæum there is a tract of about 530 stadia in extent. The whole country is corn-producing; there are villages in it, and a city called Nymphæum, with a good harbour.

Panticæpsum is a hill inhabited all round for a circuit of 20 stadia. To the east it has a harbour, and docks capable of containing about thirty vessels; there is also an acropolis. It was founded by the Milesians. Both this place and the neighbouring settlements on each side of the mouth of the Palus Mæotis were for a long period under the monarchical dynasty of Leucon, and Satyrus, and Pairisades, till the latter surrendered the sovereignty to Mithridates. They had the

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name of tyrants, although most of them were moderate and just in their government, from the time of Pairisades and Leucon. Pairisades was accounted even a god. The last sovereign, whose name was also Pairisades, being unable to resist the barbarians, by whom great and unusual tributes were exacted, surrendered the kingdom into the hands of Mithridates. After him it became subject to the Romans. The greater portion of it is situated in Europe, but a part of it is also situated in Asia.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.3.19 Str. 7.4.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.4.6

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