Strabo's
Geography

Book XIII
Asia

Summary

The Thirteenth. Book contains the part of Asia south of the Propontis (Sea of Marmara), the whole of the sea-coast, and the adjacent islands. The author dwells some time on Troy, though deserted, on account of its distinction, and the great renown it derived from the war.


Chapter1

1. THESE are the limits of Phrygia. We return again to the Propontis, and to the sea-coast adjoining the Aesepus, and shall observe, in our description of places, the same order as before.

The first country which presents itself on the sea-coast is the Troad. Although it is deserted, and covered with ruins, yet it is so celebrated as to furnish a writer with no ordinary excuse for expatiating on its history. But we ought not only to be excused, but encouraged, for the reader should not impute the fault of prolixity to us, but to those whose curiosity and desire of information respecting the celebrated places of antiquity is to be gratified. The prolixity is greater than it would be otherwise, from the great number of nations, both Greeks and Barbarians, who have occupied the country, and from the disagreement among writers, who do not relate the same things of the same persons and places, nor even do they express themselves with clearness. Among these in particular is Homer, who suggests occasions for conjecture in the greatest part of his local descriptions. We are therefore to examine what the poet and other writers advance, premising a summary description of the nature of the places.

2. The coast of the Propontis extends from Cyzicene and the places about the Aesepus and Granicus as far as Abydos, [339] and Sestos. Between Abydos and Lectum is the country about Ilium, and Tenedos and Alexandria Troas. Above all these is the mountain Ida, extending as far as Lectum. From Lectum to the river Caicus and the Canae mountains as they are called is the district comprising Assus, Adramyttium, Atarneus, Pitane, and the Elaitic bay, opposite to all which places lies the island Lesbos. Next follows the country about Cyme as far as Hermus, and Phocaea, where Ionia begins, and Aeolis terminates. Such then is the nature of the country.

The poet implies that it was the Trojans chiefly who were divided into eight or even nine bodies of people, each forming a petty princedom, who had under their sway the places about Aesepus, and those about the territory of the present Cyzicene, as far as the river Caicus. The troops of auxiliaries are reckoned among the allies.

3. The writers subsequent to Homer do not assign the same boundaries, but introduce other names, and a greater number of territorial divisions. The Greek colonies were the cause of this; the Ionian migration produced less change, for it was further distant from the Troad, but the Aeolian colonists occasioned it throughout, for they were dispersed over the whole of the country from Cyzicene as far as the Caicus, and occupied besides the district between the Caicus and the river Hermus. It is said that the Aeolian preceded the Ionian migration four generations, but it was attended with delays, and the settlement of the colonies took up a longer time. Orestes was the leader of the colonists, and died in Arcadia. He was preceded by his son Penthilus, who advanced as far as Thrace, sixty years after the Trojan [340] war, about the time of the return of the Heracleidas to Peloponnesus. Then Archelaus the son of Penthilus conducted the Aeolian colonies across the sea to the present Cyzicene, near Dascylium. Gras his youngest son proceeded as far as the river Granicus, and, being provided with better means, transported the greater part of those who composed the expedition to Lesbos, and took possession of it.

On the other side, Cleuas, the son of Dorus, and Malaus, who were descendants of Agamemnon, assembled a body of men for an expedition about the same time as Penthilus, but the band of Penthilus passed over from Thrace into Asia before them; while the rest consumed much time near Locris, and the mountain Phricius. At last however they crossed the sea, and founded Cyme, to which they gave the name of Phriconis, from Phricius, the Locrian mountain.

4. The Aeolians then were dispersed over the whole country, which we have said the poet calls the Trojan country. Later writers give this name to the whole, and others to a part, of Aeolis; and so, with respect to Troja, some writers understand the whole, others only a part, of that country, not entirely agreeing with one another in anything.

According to Homer, the commencement of the Troad is at the places on the Propontis, reckoning it from the Aesepus. According to Eudoxus, it begins from Priapus, and Artace, situated in the island of the Cyziceni opposite to Priapus, and thus he contracts the boundaries [of the Troad]. Damastes contracts them still more by reckoning its commencement from Parium. He extends the Troad as far as Lectum. But different writers assign different limits to this country. Charon of Lampsacus diminishes its extent by three hundred stadia more, by reckoning its commencement from Practius, for this is the distance between Parium and Practius, but protracts it to Adramyttium. It begins, according to Scylax of Caryanda, at Abydos. There is the same diversity of [341] opinion respecting the boundaries of Aeolis. Ephorus reckons its extent from Abydos to Cyme, but different writers compute it in different ways.

5. The situation of the country actually called Troja is best marked by the position of Ida, a lofty mountain, looking to the west, and to the western sea, but making a slight bend to the north and towards the northern coast. This latter is the coast of the Propontis, extending from the straits near Abydos to the Aesepus, and to the territory of Cyzicene. The western sea is the exterior (part of the) Hellespont, and the Aegaean Sea.

Ida has many projecting parts like feet, and resembles in figure a tarantula, and is bounded by the following extreme points, namely, the promontory at Zeleia, and that called Lectum; the former terminates in the inland parts a little above Cyzicene (to the Cyziceni belongs the present Zeleia), and Lecturn projects into the Aegaean Sea, and is met with in the coasting voyage from Tenedos to Lesbos.

"They (namely, Somnus and Juno) came, says Homer, to Ida, abounding with springs, the nurse of wild beasts, to Lectum where first they left the sea,"
where the poet describes Lectum in appropriate terms, for he says correctly that Lectum is a part of Ida, and that this was the first place of disembarkation for persons intending to ascend Mount Ida. [He is exact in the epithet "abounding with springs; " for the mountain, especially in that part, has a very large supply of water, which appears from the great number of rivers which issue from it;
"all the rivers which rise in Ida, and proceed to the sea, the Rhesus, and Heptaporus,"
and others, which he mentions afterwards, and which are now to be seen by us.]

In speaking of the projections like feet on each side of Ida, as Lectum, and Zeleia, he distinguishes in proper terms [342] the summit Gargarum, calling it the top (of Ida), for there is now in existence in the higher parts of Ida a place, from which the present Gargara, an Aeolian city, has its name. Between Zeleia and Lectum, proceeding from the Propontis, are first the parts extending to the straits at Abydos. Then the parts below the Propontis, extending as far as Lectum.

6. On doubling Lectum a large bay opens, formed by Mount Ida, which recedes from Lectum, and by Canae, the promontory opposite to Lectum on the other side. Some persons call it the Bay of Ida, others the Bay of Adramyttium. On this bay are situated the cities of the Aeolians, extending, as we have said, to the mouths of the Hermus. I have mentioned also in a former part of my work, that in sailing from Byzantium in a straight line towards the south, we first arrive at Sestos and Abydos through the middle of the Propontis; then at the sea-coast of Asia as far as Caria. The readers of this work ought to attend to the following observation; although we mention certain bays on this coast, they must understand the promontories also which form them, situated on the same meridian.

7. Those who have paid particular attention to this subject conjecture, from the expressions of the poet, that all this coast was subject to the Trojans, when it was divided into nine dynasties, but that at the time of the war it was under the sway of Priam, and called Troja. This appears from the detail. Achilles and his army perceiving, at the beginning of the war, that the inhabitants of Ilium were defended by walls, carried on the war beyond them, made a circuit, and took the places about the country;

"I sacked with my ships twelve cities, and eleven in the fruitful land of Troja."
[343] By Troja he means the continent which he had ravaged. Among other places which had been plundered, was the country opposite Lesbos, that about Thebe, Lyrnessus, and Pedasus belonging to the Leleges, and the territory also of Eurypylus, the son of Telephus;
"as when lie slew with his sword the hero Eurypylus, the son of Telephus; "
and Neoptolemus,
"the hero Eurypylus."
The poet says these places were laid waste, and even Lesbos;
"when he took the well-built Lesbos,"
and,
"he sacked Lyrnessus and Pedasus,"
and,
"laid waste Lyrnessus, and the walls of Thebe."
Briseis was taken captive at Lyrnessus;
"whom he carried away from Lyrnessus."
In the capture of this place the poet says, Mynes and Epistrophus were slain, as Brisei's mentions in her lament over Patroclus,
"Thou didst not permit me, when the swift-footed Achilles slew my husband, and destroyed the city of the divine Mynes, to make any lamentation;"
for by calling Lyrnessus "the city of the divine Mynes," the poet implies that it was governed by him who was killed fighting in its defence.

Chrysei's was carried away from Thebe;

"we came to Thebe, the sacred city of Eetion,"
and Chryseis is mentioned among the booty which was carried off from that place.
Andromache, daughter of the magnanimous Eetion, Eetion king of the Cilicians, who dwelt under the woody Placus at Thebe Hypoplacia.
This is the second Trojan dynasty after that of Mynes, and in agreement with what has been observed are these words of Andromache;
[344] "Hector, wretch that I am; we were both born under the same destiny; thou at Troja in the palace of Priam, but I at Thebe."
The words are not to be understood in their direct sense, but by a transposition; "both born in Troja, thou in the house of Priam, but I at Thebe."

The third dynasty is that of the Leleges, which is also a Trojan dynasty;

"of Altes, the king of the war-loving Leleges,"
by whose daughter Priam had Lycaon and Polydorus. Even the people, who in the Catalogue are said to be commanded by Hector, are called Trojans;
"Hector, the mighty, with the nodding crest, commanded the Trojans;"
then those under Aeneas,
"the brave son of Anchises had the command of the Dardanii,"
and these were Trojans, for the poet says,
"Thou, Aeneas, that counsellest Trojans;"
then the Lycians under the command of Pandarus he calls Trojans;
"Aphneian Trojans, who inhabited Zeleia at the farthest extremity of Ida, who drink of the dark waters of Aesepus, these were led by Pandarus, the illustrious son of Lycaon."
This is the sixth dynasty.

The people, also, who lived between the Aesepus and Abydos were Trojans, for the country about Abydos was governed by Asius;

"those who dwelt about Percote and Practius, at Sestos, Abydos, and the noble Arisbe, were led by Asius, the son of Hyrtacus."
Now it is manifest that a son of Priam, who had the care of his father's brood mares, dwelt at Abydos;
"he wounded the spurious son of Priam, Democoon, who came from Abydos from the pastures of the swift mares."
At Percote, the son of Hicetaon was the herdsman of oxen, but not of those belonging to strangers;
"first he addressed the brave son of Hicetaon, Melanippus, who was lately tending the oxen in their pastures at Percote.''
[ 346] so that this country also was part of the Troaa, and the sub- sequent tract as far as Adrasteia, for it was governed by
"the two sons of Merops of Percote."
All therefore were Trojans from Abydos to Adrasteia, divided, however, into two bodies, one governed by Asius, the other by the Meropidae, as the country of the Cilicians is divided into the Thebaic and the Lyrnessian Cilicia. To this district may have belonged the country under the sway of Eurypylus, for it follows next to the Lyrnessis, or territory of Lyrnessus.

That Priam was king of all these countries the words with which Achilles addresses him clearly show;

"we have heard, old man, that your riches formerly consisted in what [346] Lesbos, the city of Macar, contained, and Phrygia above it and the vast Hellespont."
8. Such was the state of the country at that time. Afterwards changes of various kinds ensued. Phrygians occupied the country about Cyzicus as far as Practius; Thracians, the country about Abydos; and Bebryces and Dryopes, before the time of both these nations. The next tract of country was occupied by Treres, who were also Thracians; the plain of Thebe, by Lydians, who were then called Maeonians, and by the survivors of the Mysians, who were formerly governed by Telephus and Teuthoras.

Since then the poet unites together Aeolis and Troja, and since the Aeolians occupied all the country from the Hermus as far as the sea-coast at Cyzicus, and founded cities, we shall not do wrong in combining in one description. Aeolis, properly so called, (extending from the Hermus to Lectum,) and the tract which follows, as far as the Aesepus; distinguishing them again in speaking of them separately, and comparing what is said of them by Homer and by other writers with their present state.

9. According to Homer, the Troad begins from the city Cyzicus and the river Aesepus. He speaks of it in this manner:

"Aphneian Trojans, who inhabited Zeleia at the farthest extremity of Ida, who drink the dark waters of Aesepus, these were led by Pandarus, the illustrious son of Lycaon."
These people he calls also Lycians. They had the name of Aphneii, it is thought, from the lake Aphnitis, for this is the name of the lake Dascylitis.

10. Now Zeleia is situated at the farthest extremity of the country lying at the foot of Ida, and is distant 190 stadia from Cyzicus, and about 80 from the nearest sea, into which the Aesepus discharges itself.

The poet then immediately gives in detail the parts of the sea-coast which follow the Aesepus;

"those who occupied Adrasteia, and the territory of Apaesus, and Pityeia and the lofty mountain Tereia, these were commanded by Adrastus, and Amphius with the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of Percote,"

[347] These places lie below Zeleia, and are occupied by Cyziceni, and Priapeni as far as the sea-coast. The river Tarsius runs near Zeleia; it is crossed twenty times on the same road, like the Heptaporus, mentioned by the poet, which is crossed seven times. The river flowing from Nicomedia to Nicaea is crossed four-and-twenty times; the river which flows from Pholoe to Eleia, several times; [that flowing from * * * * to Scardon,] five-and-twenty times; that running from Coscinii to Alabanda, in many places, and the river flowing from Tyana through the Taurus to Soli, is crossed seventy-five times.

11. Above the mouth of the Aesepus about * * stadia is a hill on which is seen the sepulchre of Memnon, the son of Tithonus. Near it is the village of Memnon. Between the Aesepus and Priapus flows the Granicus, but for the most part it flows through the plain of Adrasteia, where Alexander defeated in a great battle the satraps of Darius, and obtained possession of all the country within the Taurus and the Euphrates.

On the banks of the Granicus was the city Sidene, with a large territory of the same name. It is now in ruins.

Upon the confines of Cyzicene and Priapene is Harpagia, a place from which, so says the fable, Ganymede was taken away by force. Others say that it was at the promontory Dardanium, near Dardanus.

12. Priapus is a city on the sea, with a harbour. Some say that it was built by Milesians, who, about the same time, founded Abydos and Proconnesus; others, that it was built by Cyziceni. It has its name from Priapus, who is worshipped there; either because his worship was transferred thither from Orneas near Corinth, or the inhabitants were disposed to worship him because the god was said to be the son of Bacchus and a nymph, for their country abounds with vines, as also the country on their confines, namely, the territory of the Pariani and of the Lampsaceni. It was for this reason that Xerxes assigned Lampsacus to Themistocles to supply him with wine.

It was in later times that Priapus was considered as a god. [348] Hesiod for instance knew nothing of Priapus, and he resembles the Athenian gods Orthane, Conisalus, Tychou, and others such as these.

13. This district was called Adrasteia, and the plain of Adrasteia, according to the custom of giving two names to the same place, as Thebe, and the plain of Thebe; Mygdonia, and the plain of Mygdonia.

Callisthenes says that Adrasteia had its name from King Adrastus, who first built the temple of Nemesis. The city Adrasteia is situated between Priapus and Parium, with a plain of the same name below it, in which there was an oracle of the Actagan Apollo and Artemis near the sea-shore. On the demolition of the temple, all the furniture and the stonework were transported to Parium, where an altar, the workmanship of Hermocreon, remarkable for its size and beauty, was erected, but the oracle, as well as that at Zeleia, was abolished. No temple either of Adrasteia or Nemesis exists. But there is a temple of Adrasteia near Cyzicus. Antimachus, however, says,

"There is a great goddess Nemesis, who has received all these things from the immortals. Adrastus first raised an altar to her honour on the banks of the river Aesepus, where she is worshipped under the name of Adrasteia."
14. The city of Parium lies upon the sea, with a harbour larger than that of Priapus, and has been augmented from the latter city; for the Pariani paid court to the Attalic kings, to whom Priapene was subject, and, by their permission, appropriated to themselves a large part of that territory.

It is here the story is related that the Ophiogeneis have some affinity with the serpent tribe. They say that the males of the Ophiogeneis have the power of curing persons bitten by serpents by touching them without intermission, after the manner of the enchanters. They first transfer to themselves the livid colour occasioned by the bite, and then cause the inflammation and pain to subside. According to the fable, the founder of the race of Ophiogeneis, a hero, was transformed from a serpent into a man. He was perhaps one of the African Psylli. The power continued in the race for some time.

[349] Parium was founded by Milesians, Erythraeans, and Parians.

15. Pitya is situated in Pityus in the Parian district, and having above it a mountain abounding with pine trees; it is between Parium and Priapus, near Linum, a place upon the sea, where the Linusian cockles are taken, which excel all others.

16. In the voyage along the coast from Parium to Priapus are the ancient and the present Proconnesus, with a city, and a large quarry of white marble, which is much esteemed. The most beautiful works in the cities in these parts, and particularly those in Cyzicus, are constructed of this stone.

Aristeas, the writer of the poems called Arimaspeian, the greatest of impostors, was of Proconnesus.

17. With respect to the mountain Tereia, some persons say that it is the range of mountains in Peirossus. which the Cyziceni occupy, contiguous to Zeleia, among which was a royal chase for the Lydian, and afterwards for the Persian, kings. Others say that it was a hill forty stadia from Lampsacus, on which was a temple sacred to the mother of the gods, surnamed Tereia.

18. Lampsacus, situated on the sea, is a considerable city with a good harbour, and, like Abydos, supports its state well. It is distant from Abydos about 170 stadia. It had formerly, as they say Chios had, the name of Pityusa. On the opposite territory in Cherronesus is Callipolis, a small town. It is situated upon the shore, which projects so far towards Asia opposite to Lampsacus that the passage across does not exceed 40 stadia.

19. In the interval between Lampsacus and Parium was Paesus, a city, and a river Paesus. The city was razed, and the Paeseni, who, as well as the Lampsaceni, were a colony of Milesians, removed to Lampsacus. The poet mentions the city with the addition of the first syllable,

"and the country of Apaesus;"
and without it,
"a man of great possessions, who lived at Paesus;"
and this is still the name of the river.

[350] Colonae also is a colony of Milesians. It is situated above Lampsacus, in the interior of the territory Lampsacene. There is another Colonae situated upon the exterior Hellespontic Sea, at the distance of 140 stadia from Ilium; the birth-place, it is said, of Cycnus. Anaximenes mentions a Colonae in the Erythraean territory, in Phocis, and in Thessaly. Iliocolone is in the Parian district. In Lampsacene is a place well planted with vines, called Gergithium, and there was a city Gergitha, founded by the Gergithi in the Cymaean territory, where formerly was a city called Gergitheis, (used in the plural number, and of the feminine gender,) the birthplace of Cephalon the Gergithian, and even now there exists a place in the Cymaean territory called Gergithium, near Larissa.

Neoptolemus, surnamed the Glossographer, a writer of repute, was of Parium. Charon, the Historian, was of Lampsacus. Adeimantes, Anaximenes, the Rhetorician, and Metrodorus, the friend of Epicurus, even Epicurus himself might be said to be a Lampsacenian, having lived a long time at Lampsacus, and enjoyed the friendship of Idomeneus and Leontes, the most distinguished of its citizens.

It was from Lampsacus that Agrippa transported the Prostrate Lion, the workmanship of Lysippus, and placed it in the sacred grove between the lake and the strait.

20. Next to Lampsacus is Abydos, and the intervening places, of which the poet speaks in such a manner as to comprehend both Lampsacene and some parts of Pariane, for, in the Trojan times, the above cities were not yet in existence:

'those who inhabited Percote, Practius, Sestos, Abydos, and the famed Arisbe, were led by Asius, the son of Hyrtacus,"

[351] who, he says,

"came from Arisbe, from the river Selleis in a chariot drawn by large and furious coursers;"
implying by these words that Arisbe was the royal seat of Asius, whence, he says, he came,
"drawn by coursers from the river Selleis."
But these places are so little known, that writers do not agree among themselves about their situation, except that they are near Abydos, Lampsacus, and Parium, and that the name of the last place was changed from Percope to Percote.

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