Strabo's
Geography

Book XIV


(Continued from Previous Page [44])

Chapter 3

I. AFTER the part of the coast opposite to Rhodes, the boundary of which is Daedala, in sailing thence towards the east, we come to Lycia, which extends to Pamphylia; next is Pamphylia, extending as far as Cilicia Tracheia, which reaches as far as the Cilicians, situated about the Bay of Issus. These are parts of the peninsula, the isthmus of which we said was the road from Issus as far as Amisus, or, according to some authors, to Sinope.

[45] The country beyond the Taurus consists of the narrow line of sea-coast extending from Lycia to the places about Soli, the present Pompeiopolis. Then the sea-coast near the Bay of Issus, beginning from Soli and Tarsus, spreads out into plains.

The description of this coast will complete the account of the whole peninsula. We shall then pass to the rest of Asia without the Taurus, and lastly we shall describe Africa.

2. After Daedala of the Rhodians there is a mountain of Lycia, of the same name, Daedala, and here the whole Lycian coast begins, and extends 1720 stadia. This maritime tract is rugged, and difficult to be approached, but has very good harbours, and is inhabited by a people who, are not inclined to acts of violence. The country is similar in nature to that of Pamphylia and Cilicia Tracheia. But the former used the places of shelter for vessels for piratical purposes themselves, or afforded to pirates a market for their plunder and stations for their vessels.

At Side, a city of Pamphylia, the Cilicians had places for building ships. They sold their prisoners, whom they admitted were freemen, by notice through the public crier.

But the Lycians continued to live as good citizens, and with so much restraint upon themselves, that although the Pamphylians had succeeded in obtaining the sovereignty of the sea as far as Italy, yet they were never influenced by the desire of base gain, and persevered in administering the affairs of the state according to the laws of the Lycian body.

3. There are three and twenty cities in this body, which have votes. They assemble from each city at a general congress, and select what city they please for their place of meeting. Each of the largest cities commands three votes, those of intermediate importance two, and the rest one vote. They contribute in the same proportion to taxes and other public charges. The six largest cities, according to Artemidorus, are Xanthus, Patara, Pinara, Olympus, Myra, Tlos, which is situated at the pass of the mountain leading to Cibyra.

At the congress a lyciarch is first elected, then the other officers of the body. Public tribunals are also appointed for [46] the administration of justice. Formerly they deliberated about war and peace, and alliances, but this is not now permitted, as these things are under the control of the Romans. It is only done by their consent, or when it may be for their own advantage.

Thus judges and magistrates are elected according to the proportion of the number of votes belonging to each city. It was the fortune of these people, who lived under such an excellent government, to retain their liberty under the Romans, and the laws and institutions of their ancestors; to see also the entire extirpation of the pirates, first by Servilius Isauricus, at the time that he demolished Isaura, and afterwards by Pompey the Great, who burnt more than 1300 vessels, and destroyed their haunts and retreats. Of the survivors in these contests he transferred some to Soli, which he called Pompeiopolis; others to Dyme, which had a deficient population, and is now occupied by a Roman colony.

The poets, however, particularly the tragic poets, confound nations together; for instance, Trojans, Mysians, and Lydians, whom they call Phrygians, and give the name of Lycians to Carians.

4. After Daedala is a Lycian mountain, and near it is Telmessis, a small town of the Lycians, and Telmessis, a promontory with a harbour. Eumenes took this place from the Romans in the war with Antiochus, but after the dissolution of the kingdom of Pergamus, the Lycians recovered it again.

5. Then follows Anticragus, a precipitous mountain, on which is Carmylessus, a fortress situated in a gorge; next is Mount Cragus, with eight peaks, and a city of the same name. The neighbourhood of these mountains is the scene of the fable of the Chimaera; and at no great distance is Chimaera, a sort of ravine, extending upwards from the shore. Below the Cragus in the interior is Pinara, which is one of the largest cities of Lycia. Here Pandarus is worshipped, of the same name perhaps as the Trojan Pandarus [47];

"thus the pale nightingale, daughter of Pandarus"
for this Pandarus, it is said, came from Lycia.

6. Next is the river Xanthus, formerly called Sirbis. In sailing up it in vessels which ply as tenders, to the distance of 10 stadia, we come to the Letoum, and proceeding 60 stadia beyond the temple, we find the city of the Xanthians, the largest in Lycia. After the Xanthus follows Patara, which is also a large city with a harbour, and containing a temple of Apollo. Its founder was Patarus. When Ptolemy Philadelphua repaired it, he called it the Lycian Arsinoe, but the old name prevailed.

7. Next is Myra, at the distance of 20 stadia from the sea, situated upon a lofty hill; then the mouth of the river Limyrus, and on ascending from it by land 20 stadia, we come to the small town Limyra. In the intervening distance along the coast above mentioned are many small islands and harbours. The most considerable of the islands is Cisthene, on which is a city of the same name. In the interior are the strongholds Phellus, Antiphellus, and Chimsera, which I mentioned above.

8. Then follow the Sacred Promontory and the Chelidoniae, three rocky islands, equal in size, and distant from each other about 5, and from the land 6 stadia. One of them has an anchorage for vessels. According to the opinion of many writers, the Taurus begins here, because the summit is lofty, and extends from the Pisidian mountains situated above Pamphylia, and because the islands lying in front exhibit a [48] remarkable figure in the sea, like a skirt of a mountain. But in fact the mountainous chain is continued from the country opposite Rhodes to the parts near Pisidia, and this range of mountains is called Taurus.

The Chelidoniae islands seem to be situated in a manner opposite to Canopus, and the passage across is said to be 4000 stadia.

From the Sacred Promontory to Olbia there remain 367 stadia. In this distance are Crambusa, and Olympus a large city, and a mountain of the same name, which is called also Phoenicus; then follows Corycus, a tract of sea-coast.

9. Then follows Phaselis, a considerable city, with three harbours and a lake. Above it is the mountain Solyma and Termessus, a Pisidic city, situated on the defiles, through which there is a pass over the mountain to Milyas. Alexander demolished it, with the intention of opening the defiles.

About Phaselis, near the sea, are narrow passes through which Alexander conducted his army. There is a mountain called Climax. It overhangs the sea of Pamphylia, leaving a narrow road along the coast, which in calm weather is not covered with water, and travellers can pass along it, but when the sea is rough, it is in a great measure hidden by the waves. The pass over the mountains is circuitous and steep, but in fair weather persons travel on the road along the shore. Alexander came there when there was a storm, and trusting generally to fortune, set out before the sea had receded, and the soldiers marched during the whole day up to the middle of the body in water.

Phaselis also is a Lycian city, situated on the confines of Pamphylia. It is not a part of the Lycian body, but is an independent city.

10. The poet distinguishes the Solymi from the Lycians, when he despatches Bellerophon by the king of the Lycians to this second adventure;

"he encountered the brave Solymi;"
other writers say that the Lycians were formerly called Solymi, and afterwards Termilae, from the colonists that accompanied Sarpedon from Crete; and afterwards Lycians, from Lycus the son of Pandion, who, after having been banished from his own country, was admitted by Sarpedon to a share in the government; but their story does not agree with Homer. We prefer the opinion of those who say that the poet called the people Solymi who have now the name of Milyae, and whom we have mentioned before.

Chapter 4

1. AFTER Phaselis is Olbia; here Pamphylia begins. It is a large fortress. It is followed by the Cataractes, as it is called, a river which descends violently from a lofty rock, with a great body of water, like a winter torrent, so that the noise of it is heard at a great distance.

Next is Attaleia, a city, so called from its founder Attalus Philadelphus, who also settled another colony at Corycus, a small city near Attaleia, by introducing other inhabitants, and extending the circuit of the walls.

It is said, that between Phaselis and Attaleia, Thebe and Lyrnessus are shown; for, according to Callisthenes, a part of the Trojan Cilicians were driven from the plain of Thebe into Pamphylia.

2. Next is the river Cestrus; on sailing up its stream 60 stadia we find the city Perge, and near it upon an elevated place, the temple of the Pergaean Artemis, where a general festival is celebrated every year.

Then at the distance of about 40 stadia from the sea is [Syllium], on an elevated site, and visible at Perge. Next is Capria, a lake of considerable extent; then the river Eurymedon; sailing up it to the distance of 60 stadia, we come to Aspendus, a well-peopled city, founded by Argives. Above it is Petnelissus; then another river, and many small islands [50] lying in front; then Side, a colony of the Cymaeans, where there is a temple of Minerva. Near it is the coast of the Little Cibyratae; then the river Melas, and an anchorage for vessels; then Ptolemais a city; next the horders of Pamphylia, and Coracesium, where Cilicia Tracheia begins. The whole of the voyage along the coast of Pamphylia is 640 stadia.

3. Herodotus says, that the Pamphylians are descendants of the people who accompanied Amphilochus and Calchas from Troy, a mixture of various nations. The majority of them settled here, others were dispersed over different countries. Callinus says that Calchas died at Clarus, but that some of the people who, together with Mopsus, crossed the Taurus, remained in Pamphylia, and that others were scattered in Cilicia and Syria, and as far even as Phoenicia.

Chapter 5

1. OF Cilicia without the Taurus one part is called Cilicia Tracheia, the rugged; the other, Cilicia Pedias, the flat or plain country.

The coast of the Tracheia is narrow, and either has no level ground or it rarely occurs; besides this, the Taurus overhangs it, which is badly inhabited as far even as the northern side, about Isaura and the Homonadeis as far as Pisidia. This tract has the name of Tracheiotis, and the inhabitants that of Tracheiotae. The flat or plain country extends from Soli and Tarsus as far as Issus, and the parts above, where the Cappadocians are situated on the northern side of the Taurus. This tract consists chiefly of fertile plains.

I have already spoken of the parts within the Taurus; I shall now describe those without the Taurus, beginning with the Traeheiotae.

2. The first place is Coracesium, a fortress of the Cilicians, [51] situated upon an abrupt rock. Diodotus surnamed Tryphon used it as a rendezvous at the time that he caused Syria to revolt from her kings, and carried on war against them with various success. Antiochus, the son of Demetrius, obliged him to shut himself up in one of the fortresses, and there he killed himself.

Tryphon was the cause of originating among the Cilicians a piratical confederacy. They were induced also to do this by the imbecility of the kings who succeeded each other on the thrones of Syria and Cilicia. In consequence of his introduction of political changes, others imitated his example, and the dissensions among brothers exposed the country to the attacks of invaders.

The exportation of slaves was the chief cause of inducing them to commit criminal acts, for this traffic was attended with very great profit, and the slaves were easily taken. Delos was at no great distance, a large and rich mart, capable of receiving and transporting, when sold, the same day. ten thousand slaves; so that hence arose a proverbial saying,

"Merchant, come into port, discharge your freight everything is sold."
The Romans, having acquired wealth after the destruction of Carthage and Corinth, employed great numbers of domestic slaves, and were the cause of this traffic. The pirates, observing the facility with which slaves could be procured, issued forth in numbers from all quarters, committing robbery and dealing in slaves.

The kings of Cyprus and of Egypt, who were enemies of the Syrians, favoured their marauding enterprises; the Rhodians were no less hostile to the Syrians, and therefore afforded the latter no protection. The pirates, therefore, under the pretence of trading in slaves, continued without intermission their invasions and robbery.

The Romans paid little attention to the places situated without the Taurus; they sent, however, Scipio Aemilianus, and afterwards some others, to examine the people and the cities. They discovered that the evils arose from negligence on the part of the sovereigns, but they were reluctant to deprive the family of Seleucus Nicator of the succession, it which he had been confirmed by themselves.

For the same reason the Parthians, who occupied the parts [52] beyond the Euphrates, became masters of the country; and lastly the Armenians, who also gained possession of the country without the Taurus as far as Phoenicia. They used their utmost to extirpate the power of the kings and all their descendants, but surrendered the command of the sea to the Cilicians.

The Romans were subsequently compelled to reduce the Cilicians, after their aggrandizement, by war and expeditions, whose progress, however, and advancement they had not obstructed; yet it would be improper to accuse the Romans of neglect, because, being engaged with concerns nearer at hand, they were unable to direct their attention to more distant objects.

I thought proper to make these remarks in a short digression from my subject.

3. Next to the Coracesium is the city Syedra; then Hamaxia, a small town upon a hill, with a harbour, to which is brought down timber for ship-building; the greatest part of it consists of cedar. This country seems to produce this tree in abundance. It was on this account that Antony assigned it to Cleopatra, as being capable of furnishing materials for the construction of her fleet.

Then follows Laertes a fortress, situated upon the crest of a hill, of a pap-like form; a port belongs to it; next, the city Selinus, then Cragus, a precipitous rock on the sea-coast; then Charadrus a fortress, which has a port (above it is the mountain Andriclus) and a rocky shore, called Platanistus, next Anemurium a promontory, where the continent approaches nearest to Cyprus, towards the promontory Crommyum, the passage across being 350 stadia.

From the boundaries of Pamphylia to Anemurium, the voyage along the Cilician coast is 820 stadia; the remainder of it as far as Soli is about 500 stadia (1500?). On this coast, after Anemurium, the first city is Nagidus, then Arsinoe, with a small port; then a place called Melania, and Celenderis a city, with a harbour.

[53] Some writers, among whom is Artemidorus, consider this place as the commencement of Cilicia, and not Coracesium. He says, that from the Pelusiac mouth to Orthosia are 3900 stadia, and to the river Orontes 1130 stadia; then to the gates of Cilicia 525 stadia, and to the borders of Cilicia 1260 stadia.

4. Next is Holmi, formerly inhabited by the present Seleucians; but when Seleucia on the Calycadnus was built, they removed there. On doubling the coast, which forms a promontory called Sarpedon, we immediately come to the mouth of the Calycadnus. Zephyrium a promontory is near the Calycadnus. The river may be ascended as far as Seleucia, a city well peopled, and the manners of whose inhabitants are very different from those of the people of Cilicia and Pamphylia.

In our time there flourished at that place remarkable persons of the Peripatetic sect of philosophers, Athenaeus and Xenarchus. The former was engaged in the administration of the affairs of, state in his own country, and for some time espoused the party of the people; he afterwards contracted a friendship with Murena, with whom he fled, and with whom he was captured, on the discovery of the conspiracy against Augustus Caesar; but he established his innocence, and was set at liberty by Caesar. When he returned from Rome, he addressed the first persons who saluted him, and made their inquiries, in the words of Euripides--

"I come from the coverts of the dead, and the gates of darkness."
He survived his return but a short time, being killed by the fall, during the night, of the house in which he lived.

Xenarchus, whose lectures I myself attended, did not long remain at home, but taught philosophy at Alexandria, Athens, and Rome. He enjoyed the friendship of Areius, and afterwards of Augustus Caesar; he lived to old age, honoured and respected. Shortly before his death he lost his sight, and died a natural death.

[54] 5. After the Calycadnus, is the rock called Poecile, which has steps, like those of a ladder, cut in the rock, on the road to Seleucia. Then follows the promontory Anemurium, of the same name with the former, Crambusa an island, and Corycus a promontory, above which, at the distance of 20 stadia, is the Corycian cave, where grows the best saffron. It is a large valley of a circular form, surrounded by a ridge of rock, of considerable height all round. Upon descending into it, the bottom is irregular, and a great part of it rocky, but abounding with shrubs of the evergreen and cultivated kind. There are interspersed spots which produce the saffron. There is also a cave in which rises a river of pure and transparent water. Immediately at its source the river buries itself in the ground, and continues its subterraneous course till it discharges itself into the sea. The name of (Pikron Hydor) "bitter water" is given to it.

6. After Corycus, is the island Elasussa, lying very near the continent. Here Archelaus resided, and built a palace, after having become master of the whole of Cilicia Tracheiotis, except Seleucia, as Augustus had been before, and as at a still earlier period it was held by Cleopatra. For as the country was well adapted by nature for robbery both by sea and land, (by land, on account of the extent of the mountains, and the nations situated beyond them, who occupy plains, and large tracts of cultivated country easy to be overrun; by sea, on account of the supply of timber for ship-building, the harbours, fortresses, and places of retreat,) for all these reasons the Romans thought it preferable that the country should be under the government of kings, than be subject to Roman governors sent to administer justice, but who would not always be on the spot, nor attended by an army. In this manner Archelaus obtained possession of Cilicia Tracheia, in addition to Cappadocia. Its boundaries between Soli and Elaeussa are the river Lamus, and a village of the same name.

7. At the extremity of the Taurus is Olympus a [55] mountain, the piratical hold of Zenicetus, and a fortress of the same name. It commands a view of the whole of Lycia, Pamphylia. and Pisidia. When the mountain was taken by (Servilius) Isauricus, Zenicetus burnt himself, with all his household. To this robber belonged Corycus, Phaselis, and many strongholds in Pamphylia, all of which were taken by (Servilius) Isauricus.

8. Next to Lamus is Soli, a considerable city, where the other Cilicia, that about Issus, commences. It was founded by Achaeans, and by Rhodians from Lindus. Pompey the Great transferred to this city, which had a scanty population, the survivors of the pirates, whom he thought most entitled to protection and clemency, and changed its name to Pompeiopolis.

Chrysippus the Stoic philosopher, the son of an inhabitant of Tarsus, who left it to live at Soli; Philemon the comic poet; and Aratus, who composed a poem called "the Phaenomena," were among the illustrious natives of this place.

9. Next follows Zephyrium, of the same name as that near Calycadnus; then Anchiale, a little above the sea, built by Sardanapalus, according to Aristobulus. (According to the same author) the tomb of Sardanapalus is here, and a stone figure representing him with the fingers of his right hand brought together as in the act of snapping them, and the following inscription in Assyrian letters : "SARDANAPALUS, THE SON OF ANACYNDARAXES, BUILT ANCHIALE AND TARSUS IN ONE DAY. EAT, DRINK, BE MERRY; EVERYTHING ELSE ISs NOT WORTH THAT" the snapping of the fingers.

Choerilus mentions this inscription, and the following lines are everywhere known :

"Meat and drink, wanton jests, and the delights of love, these I have enjoyed; but my great wealth I have left behind."
10. Above Anchiale is situated Cyinda a fortress, where the Macedonian kings formerly kept their treasure. Eumenes, when he revolted from Antigonus, took it away. Further above this place and Soli, is a mountainous tract, where is situated Olbe a city, which has a temple of Jupiter, founded by Ajax, son of Teucer. The priest of this temple was master [56] of the Tracheiotis. Subsequently many tyrants seized upon the country, and it became the retreat of robbers. After their extermination, the country was called, even to our times, the dominion of Teucer; and the priesthood, the priesthood of Teucer; indeed, most of the priests had the name of Teucer, or of Ajax. Aba, the daughter of Xenophanes, one of the tyrants, entered into this family by marriage, and obtained possession of the government. Her father had previously administered it as guardian, but Antony and Cleopatra afterwards conferred it upon Aba, as a favour, being ultimately prevailed upon to do so by her entreaties and attentions. She was afterwards dispossessed, but the government remained in the hands of the descendants of her family.

Next to Anchiale are the mouths of the Cydnus at the Rhegma, (the Kent,) as it is called. It is a place like a lake, and has ancient dockyards; here the Cydnus discharges itself, after flowing through the middle of Tarsus. It rises in the Taurus, which overhangs the city. The lake is a naval arsenal of Tarsus.

11. The whole of the sea-coast, beginning from the part opposite to Rhodes, extends to this place in the direction from the western to the eastern point of the equinoctial. It then turns towards the winter solstice, as far as Issus, and thence immediately makes a bend to the south to Phoenicia. The remainder towards the west terminates at the pillars (of Hercules).

The actual isthmus of the peninsula, which we have described, is that which extends from Tarsus and the mouth of the Cydnus as far as Amisus, for this is the shortest distance from Amisus to the boundaries of Cilicia; from these to Tarsus are 120 stadia, and not more from Tarsus to the mouth of the Cydnus. To Issus, and the sea near it, there is no shorter road from Amisus than that leading through Tarsus, nor from Tarsus to Issus is there any nearer than that leading to Cydnus; so that it is clear, that, in reality, this is the isthmus. Yet it is pretended that the isthmus extending as far as the [57] Bay of Issus is the true isthmus, on account of its presenting remarkable points.

Hence, not aiming at exactness, we say that the line drawn from the country opposite to Khodes, which we protracted as far as Cydnus, is the same as that extending as far as Issus, and that the Taurus extends in a straight direction with this line as far as India.

12. Tarsus is situated in a plain. It was founded by Argives, who accompanied Triptolemus in his search after Io. The Cydnus flows through the middle of it, close by the gymnasium of the young men. As the source is not far distant, and the stream passing through a deep valley, then flows immediately into the city, the water is cold and rapid in its course; hence it is of advantage to men and beasts affected with swellings of the sinews, fluxions, and gout.

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