Written by Strabo circa 7 BC
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 Tracheiotæ. 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 Tracheiotæ.
The first place is Coracesium1, a fortress of the Cilicians, 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, favored their marauding enterprises; the Rhodians were no less hostile to the Syrians, and therefore afforded the latter no protection. The pirates, therefore, under the pretense 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 Æmilianus, and afterwards some others, to examine the people and the cities. They discovered that the aforementioned evils arose from negligence on the part of the sovereigns, but they were reluctant to deprive the family of Seleucus Nicator of the succession, in which he had been confirmed by themselves. And this is what made the Parthians masters of the country, who got possession of the region on the far edge of the Euphrates; and at last made also the Armenians masters, who not only seized the country outside the Taurus even as far as Phoenicia, but also, so far as they could, overthrew the kings and the whole royal stock; the sea, however, they gave over 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.
Next to the Coracesium is the city Syedra; then Hamaxia, a small town upon a hill, with a harbor, 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 Charadrus2 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. On this coast, after Anemurium3, the first city is Nagidus, then Arsinoë4, with a small port; then a place called Melania, and Celenderis5 a city, with a harbor.
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 3,900 stadia, and to the river Orontes 1,130 stadia; then to the gates of Cilicia 525 stadia, and to the borders of Cilicia 1,260 stadia.
Next is Holmi6, 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 Calycadnus7. Zephyrium8 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, Athenæus 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 Cæsar; but he established his innocence, and was set at liberty by Cæsar. 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 Cæsar; he lived to old age, honoured and respected. Shortly before his death he lost his sight, and died a natural death.
After the Calycadnus, is the rock called Pœcile, 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 then 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.
After Corycus, is the island Elæussa, 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 harbors, 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 Elæussa are the river Lamus9, and a village of the same name10.
At the extremity of the Taurus is Olympus a 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.
Next to Lamus is Soli11, a considerable city, where the other Cilicia, that about Issus, commences. It was founded by Achæans, 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 Phænomena,” were among the illustrious natives of this place.
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:
THE SON OF ANACYNDARAXES, BUILT ANCHIALE AND TARSUS IN ONE DAY. EAT, DRINK, BE MERRY; EVERYTHING ELSE IS NOT WORTH THIS12,”
Chœrilus 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.”
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 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 Cydnus13 at the Rhegma, (the Rent,) 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.
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 Phœnicia. The remainder towards the west terminates at the pillars (of Hercules)14.
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 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 Rhodes, 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.
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.
The inhabitants of this city apply to the study of philosophy and to the whole encyclical compass of learning with so much ardor, that they surpass Athens, Alexandria, and every other place which can be named where there are schools and lectures of philosophers.
It differs however so far from other places, that the studious are all natives, and strangers are not inclined to resort thither. Even the natives themselves do not remain, but travel abroad to complete their studies, and having completed them reside in foreign countries. Few of them return.
The contrary is the case in the other cities which I have mentioned, except Alexandria; for multitudes repair to them, and reside there with pleasure; but you would observe that few of the natives travel abroad from a love of learning, or show much zeal in the pursuit of it on the spot. But both these things are to be seen at Alexandria, a large number of strangers is received, (into their schools,) and not a few of their own countrymen are sent out to foreign countries (to study). They have schools of all kinds, for instruction in the liberal arts. In other respects Tarsus is well peopled, extremely powerful, and has the character of being the capital.
The Stoic philosophers Antipater, Archedemus, and Nestor were natives of Tarsus: and besides these, the two Athenodori, one of whom, Cordylion, lived with Marcus Cato, and died at his house; the other, the son of Sandon, called Cananites, from some village, was the preceptor of Cæsar, who conferred on him great honors. In his old age he returned to his native country, where he dissolved the form of government existing there, which was unjustly administered by various persons, and among them by Boëthus, a bad poet and a bad citizen, who had acquired great power by courting the favor of the people. Antony contributed to increase his importance by having in the first instance commended a poem which he had composed on the victory at Philippi; his influence was still augmented by the facility which he possessed (and it is very general among the inhabitants of Tarsus) of discoursing at great length, and without preparation, upon any given subject. Antony also had promised the people of Tarsus to establish a gymnasium; he appointed Boëthus chief director of it, and entrusted to him the expenditure of the funds. He was detected in secreting, among other things, even the oil, and when charged with this offence by his accusers in the presence of Antony, he deprecated his anger by this, among other remarks in his speech, that as Homer had sung the praises of “Achilles, Agamemnon, and Ulysses, so have I sung yours. I therefore ought not to be brought before you on such a charge.” The accuser answered, “Homer did not steal oil from Agamemnon nor Achilles; but you have stolen it from the gymnasium, and therefore you shall be punished.” Yet he contrived to avert the displeasure of Antony by courteous offices, and continued to plunder the city until the death of his protector.
Athenodorus found the city in this state, and for some time attempted to control Boëthus and his accomplices by argument; but finding that they continued to commit all kinds of injustice, he exerted the power given to him by Cæsar, condemned them to banishment, and expelled them. They had previously caused to be written upon the walls, “Action for the young, counsel for the middle-aged, discharging wind for the old;” but Athenodorus, accepting it as a jest, gave orders to inscribe by the side of it, “Thunder for the old.” Someone, however, in contempt for his good manners, having a lax state of body, bespattered the gate and wall of his house as he passed by it at night. Athenodorus, in an assembly of the people, accusing persons of being factiously disposed, said, “We may perceive the sickly condition of the city, and its bad habit of body, from many circumstances, but particularly from its discharges.”
Those men were Stoics, but Nestor, of our time, the tutor of Marcellus, son of Octavia, the sister of Cæsar, was of the Academic sect. He was also at the head of the government, having succeeded Athenodorus, and continued to be honoured both by the Roman governors and by the citizens.
Among the other philosophers, “those whom I know, and could in order name,” were Plutiades and Diogenes, who went about from city to city, instituting schools of philosophy as the opportunity occurred. Diogenes, as if inspired by Apollo, composed and rehearsed poems, chiefly of the tragic kind, upon any subject that was proposed. The grammarians of Tarsus, whose writings we have, were Artemidorus and Diodorus. But the best writer of tragedy, among those enumerated in “The Pleiad,” was Dionysides. Rome is best able to inform us what number of learned men this city has produced, for it is filled with persons from Tarsus and Alexandreia.
Such then is Tarsus.
After the Cydnus follows the Pyramus15, which flows from Cataonia. We have spoken of it before. Artemidorus says, that from thence to Soli is a voyage in a straight line of 500 stadia. Near the Pyramus is Mallus16, situated upon a height; it was founded by Amphilochus, and Mopsus, the son of Apollo, and Mantus, about whom many fables are related. I have mentioned them in speaking of Calchas, and of the contest between Calchas and Mopsus respecting their skill in divination. Some persons, as Sophocles, transfer the scene of this contest to Sicily, which, after the custom of tragic poets, they call Pamphylia, as they call Lycia, Caria, and Troy and Lydia, Phrygia. Sophocles, among other writers, says that Calchas died there. According to the fable, the contest did not relate to skill in divination only, but also to sovereignty. For it is said, that Mopsus and Amphilochus, on their return from Troy, founded Mallus; that Amphilochus afterwards went to Argos, and being dissatisfied with the state of affairs there, returned to Mallus, where, being excluded from a share in the government, he engaged with Mopsus in single combat. Both were killed, but their sepulchres are not in sight of each other. They are shown at present at Magarsa, near the Pyramus.
Crates the grammarian was a native of this place, and Panætius is said to have been his disciple.
Above this coast is situated the Aleïan plain, over which Philotas conducted Alexander’s cavalry, he himself leading the phalanx from Soli along the sea-coast and the territory of Mallus to Issus, against the forces of Darius. It is said that Alexander performed sacrifices in honour of Amphilochus, on account of their common affinity to Argos. Hesiod says that Amphilochus was killed by Apollo at Soli; according to others, at the Aleïan plain; and others again say, in Syria, upon his quitting the Aleïan plain on account of the quarrel.
Mallus is followed by Ægææ, a small town with a shelter for vessels; then the Amanides Gates, (Gates of Amanus) with a shelter for vessels. At these gates terminates the mountain Amanus, which extends from the Taurus, and lies above Cilicia towards the east. It was successively in the possession of several tyrants, who had strongholds; but, in our time, Tarcondimotus, who was a man of merit, became master of all; for his good conduct and bravery, he received from the Romans the title of King, and transmitted the succession to his posterity.
Next to Ægææ is Issus, a small town with a shelter for vessels, and a river, the Pinarus17. At Issus the battle was fought between Alexander and Darius. The bay is called the Issic Bay. The city Rhosus is situated upon it, as also the city Myriandrus, Alexandreia, Nicopolis, Mopsuestia, and the Gates, as they are called, which are the boundary between Cilicia and Syria.
In Cilicia are the temple of the Sarpedonian Artemis and an oracle. Persons possessed with divine inspiration deliver the oracles.
After Cilicia, the first Syrian city is Seleucia-in-Pieria; near it the river Orontes empties itself. From Seleucia to Soli is a voyage in a straight line of nearly 1000 stadia.
Since the Cilicians of the Troad, whom Homer mentions, are situated at a great distance from the Cilicians without the Taurus, some writers declare that the leaders of the latter colony were Cilicians of the Troad, and point to Thebe and Lyrnessus in Pamphylia, places bearing the same name as those in the Troad; other authors are of a contrary opinion, and (considering the Cilicians of the Troad as descendants of those from beyond the Taurus) point to an Aleïan plain (in support of their hypothesis).
22. Having described the parts of the before-mentioned Chersonesus without the Taurus, I must add these particulars.
Apollodorus, in his work on the catalogue of the ships mentioned in Homer, relates, that all the allies of the Trojans, who came from Asia, inhabited, according to the poet, the peninsula of which at its narrowest part is the isthmus between the innermost recess of the bay at Sinope and Issus. The exterior sides (of this peninsula), which is of a triangular shape, are unequal. Of these, one extends from Cilicia to Chelidoniæ, (islands,) another thence to the mouth of the Euxine, and the third from the mouth of the Euxine to Sinope.
The assertion that the allies were only those who occupied the peninsula may be proved to be erroneous by the same arguments by which we before showed that those who lived within the Halys were not the only allies. For the places about Pharnacia, where we said the Halizoni lived, are situated without the Halys, and also without the isthmus, for they are without the line drawn from Sinope to Issus; and not only without this line, but also without the true line of the isthmus drawn from Amisus to Issus; for Apollodorus incorrectly describes the isthmus and the line of its direction, substituting one line for another (the line drawn from Sinope to Issus for the line drawn from Amisus to Issus).
But the greatest absurdity is this, that after having said that the peninsula was of a triangular shape, he speaks of three exterior sides. For in speaking of exterior sides, he seems to except the line of the isthmus itself, considering it still a side, although not an exterior side, from its not being upon the sea. But if this line were so shortened that the extremities of the (exterior) sides falling upon Issus and Sinope nearly coincided, the peninsula might in that case be said to be of a triangular shape; but as his own line (from Sinope to Issus) is 3,000 stadia in length, it would be ignorance, and not a knowledge of chorography, to call such a four-sided figure a triangle. Yet he published a work on Chorography, in the meter of comedy, (Iambic meter) entitled “The Circuit of the Earth.”
He is still liable to the same charge of ignorance, even if we should suppose the isthmus to be contracted to its least dimensions, and follow writers who erroneously estimate the distance at one-half of the sum, namely 1,500 stadia, to which it is reduced by Artemidorus; but even this would not by any means reduce the thus contracted space to the figure of a triangle.
Besides, Artemidorus has not correctly described the exterior sides; one side, he says, extends from Issus to the Chelidoniæ islands, although the whole Lycian coast, and the country opposite to Rhodes as far as Physcus, lies in a straight line with, and is a continuation of it; the continent then makes a bend at Physcus, and forms the commencement of the second or western side, extending to the Propontis and Byzantium.
Ephorus had said that this peninsula was inhabited by sixteen tribes, three of which were Grecian, and the rest barbarous, with the exception of the mixed nations; he placed on the sea-coast Cilicians, Pamphylians, Lycians, Bithynians, Paphlagonians, Mariandyni, Troes, and Carians; and in the interior, Pisidians, Mysians, Chalybes, Phrygians, and Milyæ. Apollodorus, when discussing this position, says there is a seventeenth tribe, the Galatians, who are more recent than the time of Ephorus; that of the sixteen tribes mentioned, the Greeks were not settled (in the peninsula) at the period of the Trojan war, and that time has produced great intermixture and confusion among the barbarous nations. Homer, he continues, recites in his Catalogue the Troes, and those now called Paphlagonians, Mysians, Phrygians, Carians, Lycians, Meionians, instead of Lydians and other unknown people, as Halizoni and Caucones; nations besides not mentioned in the Catalogue but elsewhere, as Ceteii, Solymi, the Cilicians from the plain of Thebe, and Leleges. But the Pamphylians, Bithynians, Mariandyni, Pisidians, and Chalybes, Milyæ, and Cappadocians are nowhere mentioned by the poet; some because they did not then inhabit these places, and some because they were surrounded by other tribes, as Idrieis and Termilæ by Carians, Doliones and Bebryces by Phrygians.
But Apollodorus does not seem to have carefully examined the statements of Ephorus, for he confounds and misrepresents the words of Homer. He ought first to have inquired of Ephorus why he placed the Chalybes within the peninsula, who were situated at a great distance from Sinope, and Amisus towards the east. Those who describe the isthmus of this peninsula to be on the line drawn from Issus to the Euxine, lay down this line as a sort of meridian line, which some suppose to pass through Sinope, others through Amisus; but no one through the Chalybes, for such a line would be altogether an oblique line. For the meridian passing through the Chalybes, drawn through the Lesser Armenia, and the Euphrates, would comprise (on the east) the whole of Cappadocia, Commagene, Mount Amanus, and the Bay of Issus. But if we should grant (to Ephorus) that this oblique line is the direction of the isthmus, most of these places, Cappadocia in particular, would be included, and (the kingdom of) Pontus, properly so called, which is a part of Cappadocia on the Euxine; so that if we were to admit the Chalybes to be a part of the peninsula, with more reason we ought to admit the Cataonians, the two nations of Cappadocians, and the Lycaonians, whom even he himself has omitted. But why has he placed in the interior the Chalybes, whom the poet, as we have shown, calls Halizoni? It would have been better to divide them, and to place one portion of them on the sea-coast, and another in the inland parts. The same division ought to be made of the Cappadocians and Cilicians. But Ephorus does not even mention the former, and speaks only of the Cilicians on the sea-coast. The subjects, then, of Antipater of Derbe, the Homonadeis, and many other tribes contiguous to the Pisidians, “men, who know not the sea, nor have ever eaten food seasoned with salt,” where are they to be placed? Nor does he say whether the Lydians and the Meonians are two nations or the same nation, or whether they live separately by themselves or are comprehended in another tribe. For it was impossible for Ephorus to be ignorant of so celebrated a nation, and does he not, by passing it over in silence, appear to omit a most important fact?
But who are “the mixed nations”? For we cannot say that he either named or omitted others, besides those already mentioned, whom we should call mixed nations. Nor, indeed, should we say that they were a part of those nations whom he has either mentioned or omitted. For if they were a mixed people, still the majority constituted them either Greeks or Barbarians. We know nothing of a third mixed people.
But how (according to Ephorus) are there three tribes of Greeks who inhabit the peninsula? Is it because anciently the Athenians and Ionians were the same people? In that case the Dorians and the Æolians should be considered as the same nation, and then there would be (only) two tribes (and not three, inhabiting the peninsula). But if, following modern practice, we are to distinguish nations according to dialects, there will be four nations, as there are four dialects. But this peninsula is inhabited, especially if we adopt the division by Ephorus, not only by Ionians, but also by Athenians, as we have shown in the account of each particular place.
It was worthwhile to controvert the positions of Ephorus, Apollodorus however disregards all this, and adds a seventeenth to the sixteen nations, namely, the Galatians; although it is well to mention this, yet it is not required in a discussion of what Ephorus relates or omits; Apollodorus has assigned as the reason of the omission, that all these nations settled in the peninsula subsequently to the time of Ephorus.
Passing then to Homer, Apollodorus is correct in saying that there was a great intermixture and confusion among the barbarous nations, from the Trojan war to the present time, on account of the changes which had taken place; for some nations had an accession of others, some were extinct or dispersed, or had coalesced together.
But he is mistaken in assigning two reasons why the poet does not mention some nations, namely, either because the place was not then occupied by the particular people, or because they were comprehended in another tribe. Neither of these reasons could induce him to be silent respecting Cappadocia or Cataonia, or Lycaonia itself, for we have nothing of the kind in history relating to these countries. It is ridiculous to be anxious to find excuses why Homer has omitted to speak of Cappadocia [Cataonia] and Lycaonia, and not to inform us why Ephorus omitted them, particularly as the proposed object of Apollodorus was to examine and discuss the opinions of Ephorus; and to tell us why Homer mentions Mæonians instead of Lydians, and also not to remark that Ephorus has not omitted to mention either Lydians or Mæonians.
Apollodorus remarks, that Homer mentions certain unknown nations, and he is right in specifying Caucones, Solymi, Ceteii, Leleges, and the Cilicians from the plain of Thebe; but the Halizones are a fiction of his own, or rather of those who, not knowing who the Halizones were, frequently altered the mode of writing the name, and invented the existence of mines of silver and of many other mines, all of which are abandoned.
With this vain intention they collected the stories related by the Scepsian (Demetrius), and taken from Callisthenes and other writers, who did not clear them from false notions respecting the Halizones; for example, the wealth of Tantalus and of the Pelopidæ was derived, it is said, from the mines about Phrygia and Sipylus; that of Cadmus from the mines about Thrace and Mount Pangæum; that of Priam from the gold mines at Astyra, near Abydos (of which at present there are small remains, yet there is a large quantity of matter ejected, and the excavations are proofs of former workings); that of Midas from the mines about Mount Bermium; that of Gyges, Alyattes, and Crœsus, from the mines in Lydia and the small deserted city between Atarneus and Pergamum, where are the sites of exhausted mines.
We may impute another fault to Apollodorus, that although he frequently censures modern writers for introducing new readings at variance with the meaning of Homer, yet in this instance he not only neglects his own advice, but actually unites together places which are not so represented (by Homer).
(For example), Xanthus the Lydian says, that after the Trojan times the Phrygians came from Europe (into Asia) and the left (western) side of the Euxine, and that their leader Scamandrius conducted them from the Berecynti and Ascania. Apollodorus adds, that Homer mentions the same Ascania as Xanthus, “Phorcys and the divine Ascanius led the Phrygians from the distant Ascania.”
If this be so, the migration (from Europe to Asia) must be later than the Trojan war; but in the Trojan war the auxiliaries mentioned by the poet came from the opposite continent, from the Berecynti and Ascania. Who then were the Phrygians, “who were then encamped on the banks of the Sangarius,” when Priam says, “And I joined them with these troops as an auxiliary”?
And how came Priam to send for the Phrygians from among the Berecynti, between whom and himself no compact existed, and pass over the people who were contiguous to him, and whose ally he formerly had been?
Apollodorus, after having spoken of the Phrygians in this manner, introduces an account concerning the Mysians which contradicts this. He says that there is a village of Mysia called Ascania, near a lake of the same name18, out of which issues the river Ascanius, mentioned by Euphorion: “near the waters of the Mysian Ascanius;” and by Alexander of Ætolia: “they who dwell on the stream of Ascanius, on the brink of the Ascanian lake, where lived Dolion, the son of Silenus and Melia.”
The district, he says, about Cyzicus, on the road to Miletopolis, is called Dolionis and Mysia.
If this is the case, and if it is confirmed by existing places and by the poets, what prevented Homer, when he mentioned this Ascania, from mentioning the Ascania also of which Xanthus speaks?
I have already spoken of these places in the description of Mysia and Phrygia, and shall here conclude the discussion.
- Alanya, which lies along the Mediterranean coast, in modern Turkey.
- Charadrus is located near modern Yakacik in Turkey.
- Anemurium corresponds to modern Anamur in Turkey.
- Near the modern city of Boyazi in Turkey.
- Gülnar in modern Turkey.
- Silifke in modern Turkey.
- The river is known as Göksu in modern Turkey.
- Zephyrium corresponds to the modern city and port of Mersin in Turkey.
- Now known as Limonlu River in modern Turkey.
- The town in modern Turkey also goes by the same name, Limonlu.
- Now known as Mezitli in modern Turkey.
- “This” meaning a snapping of the fingers.
- Now known as the Berdan River in modern Turkey.
- Strabo means to say, that the coast, from the part opposite Rhodes, runs East in a straight line to Tarsus, and then inclines to the Southeast; that afterwards it inclines to the South, to Gaza, and continues in a westerly direction to the Straits of Gibraltar.
- Now known as the Ceyhan River in modern Turkey.
- Located in the Karataş peninsula in modern Turkey.
- Known as the Payas River, in modern Turkey, and the ancient location of the First Battle of Issues between Alexander the Great and Darius III.
- Now known as Iznik and Lake Iznik, in modern Turkey.