Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.3.19 Str. 7.4.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.4.7


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. 7.4.5

The mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis is called the Kimmerian Bosporus. The entrance, which at the broadest part is about 70 stadia across, where there is a passage from the neighbourhood [Note] of Panticapæum to Phanagoria, the nearest city in Asia. The [Palus] Mæotis closes in an arm of the sea which is much narrower. This arm of the sea and the Don [Note] separate Europe from Asia. Then the Don flows from the north opposite into the lake, and into the Kimmerian Bosporus. It discharges itself into the lake by two mouths, [Note] which are distant from each other about 60 stadia. There is also a city of the same name as the river; and next to Panticapæum it is the largest mart belonging to the barbarians.

On sailing into the Kimmerian Bosporus, [Note] on the left hand is Myrmecium, [Note] a small city, 20 stadia from Panticapæum, and 40 stadia from Parthenium; [Note] it is a village where is the narrowest entrance into the lake, about 20 stadia in breadth; opposite to it is a village situated in Asia, called Achilleum. Thence to the Don, and to the island at its mouths, is a voyage in a direct line of 2200 stadia. The distance is somewhat greater if the voyage is performed along the coast of Asia, but taking the left-hand side, (in which direction the isthmus of the Chersonese is fallen in with,) the distance is more than tripled. This latter course is along the desert shore of Europe, but the

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Asiatic side is not without inhabitants. The whole circum- ference of the lake is 9000 stadia.

The Great Chersonesus resembles Peloponnesus both in figure and size. The kings of the Bosporus possess it, but the whole country has been devastated by continual wars. They formerly possessed a small tract only at the mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis near Panticapæum, extending as far as Theodosia. The largest part of the territory, as far as the isthmus and the Gulf Carcinites, was in possession of the Tauri, a Scythian nation. The whole of this country, comprehending also a portion on the other side of the isthmus as far as the Dnieper, was called Little Scythia. In consequence of the number of people who passed from thence across the Dniester and the Danube, and settled there, no small part of that country also bore the name of Little Scythia. The Thracians surrendered a part of it to superior force, and a part was abandoned on account of the bad quality of the ground, a large portion of which is marshy.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.3.19 Str. 7.4.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.4.7

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