Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.12 Str. 7.6.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.1


OF the country situated between the Danube and the mountains on each side of Pæonia, there remains to be described the Pontic coast, which reaches from the Sacred mouth of the Danube to the mountainous district about Hæ- mus, and to the mouth of the Pontus at Byzantium. As in describing the Illyrian coast we had proceeded as far as the Ceraunian mountains, which, although they stretch beyond the mountainous district of Illyria, yet constitute a sort of proper boundary, we determined by means of these mountains the limits of the nations in the inland parts, considering, that such separating lines would be better marks both for our present and future use; so here also the coast, although it may fall beyond the mountainous line, will still end at a proper kind of limit, the mouth of the Pontus, which will be useful both for our present and our future descriptions.

If we set out from the Sacred mouth of the Danube, having on the right hand the continuous line of coast, we find at the

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distance of 500 stadia, Ister, [Note] a small town founded by Mile- sians; then Tomis, [Note] another small town, at the distance of 250 stadia; then Callatis, [Note] a city, a colony of the Heracleotæ, at 280 stadia; then, at 1300 stadia, Apollonia, [Note] a colony of Milesians, having the greater part of the buildings upon a small island, where is a temple of Apollo, whence Marcus Lucullus took the Colossus of Apollo, the work of Calamides, and dedicated it as a sacred offering in the Capitol. In the intermediate distance between Callatis and Apollonia, is Bizone, a great part of which was swallowed up by an earthquake; Cruni; [Note] Odessus, [Note] a colony of Milesians; and Naulochus, a small town of the Mesembriani. Next follows the mountain Hæmus, [Note] extending to the sea in this quarter; then Mesembria, [Note] a colony of the Megarenses, formerly called Menabria, or city of Mena, Menas being the name of the founder, and bria, [Note] signifying in the Thracian tongue, city. Thus the city of Selys is called Selybria, and ænus once had the name of Poltyobria. Then follows Anchiale, [Note] a small town of the Apolloniat$aa, and Apollonia itself.

On this coast is the promontory Tirizis, a place naturally strong, which Lysimachus formerly used as a treasury. Again, from Apollonia to the Cyanetæ are about 1500 stadia. In this interval are Thynias, a tract belonging to the Apolloniatæ, Phinopolis, and Andriace, [Note] which are contiguous to Salmydessus. This coast is without inhabitants and rocky, without harbours, stretching far towards the north, and extending as far as the Cyaneæ, about 700 stadia. Those who are wrecked on this coast are plundered by the Asti, a Thracian tribe who live above it.

The Cyaneæ [Note] are two small islands at the mouth of the Pontus, one lying near Europe, the other near Asia, and are separated by a channel of about 20 stadia. This is the mea-

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sure of the distance between the temple of the Byzantines and the temple of the Chalcedonians, where is the narrowest part of the mouth of the Euxine Sea. For proceeding onwards 10 stadia there is a promontory, which reduces the strait to 5 stadia; the strait afterwards opens to a greater width, and begins to form the Propontis. 7.6.2

From the promontory, then, that reduces the strait to 5 stadia, to the Port under the Fig-tree, as it is called, are 35 stadia; thence to the Horn of the Byzantines, 5 stadia. This Horn, close to the walls of Byzantium, is a bay, extending westwards 60 stadia, and resembling a stag's horn, for it is divided into a great many bays, like so many branches. The Pelamides [Note] resort to these bays, and are easily taken, on account of their great number, and the force of the current, which drives them together in a body; and also on account of the narrowness of the bays, which is such that they are caught even by the hand. These fish are bred in the marshes of the Mæotis. When they have attained a little size and strength, they rush through the mouth in shoals, and are carried along the Asiatic coast as far as Trapezus and Pharnacia. It is here that the fishery begins, but it is not carried on to any considerable extent, because the fish are not of a proper size at this place. When they get as far as Sinope, they are in better season for the fishery, and for the purpose of salting. But when they have reached and passed the Cyaneæ, a white rock projects from the Chalcedonian shore, which alarms the fish, so that they immediately turn away to the opposite coast. There they are caught by the stream, and the nature of the places being such as to divert the current of the sea in that part towards Byzantium, and the Horn near it, the fish are impelled thither in a body, and afford to the Byzantines, and to the Roman people, a large revenue. The Chalcedonians, however, although situated near, and on the opposite side, have no share of this supply, because the Pelamides do not approach their harbours.

After the foundation of Chalcedon, Apollo is said to have

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enjoined the founders of Byzantium, in answer to their in- quiries, to build their city opposite to the Blind, applying this name to the Chalcedonians, who, although they were the first persons to arrive in these parts, had omitted to take possession of the opposite side, which afforded such great resources of wealth, and chose the barren coast.

We have continued our description to Byzantium, because this celebrated city, [Note] by its proximity to the mouth of the Euxine Sea, forms a better-known and more remarkable termination of an account of the coast from the Danube than any other.

Above Byzantium is the nation of the Asti, in whose territory is the city Calybe, which Philip the son of Amyntas made a settlement for criminals.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.12 Str. 7.6.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.1

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