Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 2

From Jatland Wiki

Pliny the Elder, The Natural History

John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A., London, 1855.

Chap. 2. (2.) — Paphlagonia.

Wikified by Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Beyond this river begins the nation of Paphlagonia1, by some writers called Pylæmenia2; it is closed in behind by the country of Galatia. In it are Mastya3, a town founded by the Milesians, and then Cromna4, at which spot Cornelius Nepos also places the Heneti5, from whom he would have us believe that the Veneti of Italy, who have a similar name, are descended. The city also of Sesamon, now called Amastris6, Mount Cytorus7, distant sixty-three miles from Tium, the towns of Cimolis8 and Stephane9, and the river Parthenius.10

The promontory of Carambis11, which extends a great distance into the sea, is distant from the mouth of the Euxine three hundred and twenty-five miles, or, according to some writers, three hundred and fifty, being the same distance from the Cimmerian Bosporus, or, as some persons think, only three hundred and twelve miles. There was formerly also a town of the same name, and another near it called Armene; we now find there the colony of Sinope12, distant from Mount Cytorus one hundred and sixty-four miles.

We then come to the river Evarchus13, and after that a people of the Cappadocians, the towns of Gaziura14 and Gazelum15, the river Halys16, which runs from the foot of Mount Taurus through Cataonia and Cappadocia, the towns of Gangre17 and Carusa18, the free town of Amisus19, distant from Sinope one hundred and thirty miles, and a gulf of the same name, of such vast extent20 as to make Asia assume the form of a peninsula, the isthmus of which is only some two hundred21 miles in breadth, or a little more, across to the gulf of Issus in Cilicia. In all this district there are, it is said, only three races that can rightly be termed Greeks, the Dorians, the Ionians, and the Æolians, all the rest being of barbarian origin.22 To Amisus was joined the town of Eupatoria23, founded by Mithridates: after his defeat they were both included under the name of Pompeiopolis.

Foot Notes

1 Paphlagonia was bounded by Bithynia on the west, and by Pontus on the east, being separated from the last by the river Halys; on the south it was divided by the chain of Mount Olympus from Phrygia in the earlier times, from Galatia at a later period; and on the north it bordered on the Euxine.

2 In the Homeric catalogue we find Pylæmenes leading the Paphlagonians as allies of the Trojans; from this Pylæmenes the later princes of Paphlagonia claimed their descent, and the country was sometimes from them called Pylæmenia.

3 Suspected by Hardouin to have been the same as the Moson or Moston mentioned by Ptolemy as in Galatia.

4 It is mentioned by Homer, Il. ii. 855, as situate on the coast of Paphlagonia.

5 Strabo also, in B. xii., says that these people afterwards established themselves in Thrace, and that gradually moving to the west, they finally settled in the Italian Venetia, which from them took its name. But in his Fourth Book he says that the Veneti of Italy owe their origin to the Gallic Veneti, who came from the neighbourhood known as the modern Vannes.

6 This city, ninety stadia east of the river Parthenius, occupied a peninsula, and on each side of the isthmus was a harbour. The original city, as here mentioned, seems to have had the name of Sesamus or Sesamum, and it is spoken of by that name in Homer, Il. ii. 853, in conjunction with Cytorus. The territory of Amastris was famous for its growth of the best box-wood, which grew on Mount Cytorus. The present Amasra or Hanasserall occupies its site.

7 See the last Note.

8 Otherwise called "Cinolis." There is a place called Kinla or Kinoglu in the maps, about half-way between Kerempeh and Sinope, which is the Kinuli of Abulfeda, and probably the Cirolis or Cimolis of the Greek geographers.

9 The modern Estefan or Stefanos.

10 Now known by the name of Bartin, a corruption of its ancient appellation.

11 It still retains its ancient appellation in its name of Cape Kerempeh: of the ancient town nothing is known.

12 Now called Sinope, or Sinoub. Some ruins of it are still to be seen. The modern town is but a poor place, and has probably greatly declined since the recent attack upon it by the Russian fleet. Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher, was a native of ancient Sinope.

13 The boundary, according to Stephanus Byzantinus, also of the nations of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia. As Parisot remarks, this is an error, arising from the circumstance of a small tribe bearing the name of Cappadocians, having settled on its banks, between whom and the Paphlagonians it served as a limit.

14 On the river Iris. It was the ancient residence of the kings of Pontus, but in Strabo's time it was deserted. It has been suggested that the modern Azurnis occupies its site.

15 In the north-west of Pontus, in a fertile plain between the rivers Halys and Amisus. It is also called Gadilon by Strabo. D'Anville makes it the modern Aladgiam; while he calls Gaziura by the name of Guedes.

16 Now called the Kisil Irmak, or Red River. It has been remarked that Pliny, in making this river to come down from Mount Taurus and flow at once from south to north, appears to confound the Halys with one of its tributaries, now known as the Izchel Irmak.

17 Its site is now called Kiengareh, Kangreh, or Changeri. This was a town of Paphlagonia, to the south of Mount Olgasys, at a distance of thirty-five miles from Pompeiopolis.

18 A commercial place to the south of Sinope. Its site is the modern Gherseh on the coast.

19 Now called Eski Samsun; on the west side of the bay or gulf, anciently called Sinus Amisenus. According to Strabo, it was only 900 stadia from Sinope, or 112 1/2 Roman miles. The walls of the ancient city are to be seen on a promontory about a mile and a half from the modern town.

20 He means the numerous indentations which run southward into the coast, from the headland of Sinope to a distance of about one degree to the south.

21 On examining the map, we shall find that the distance is at least 300 miles across to the gulf of Issus or Iskenderoon.

22 Not speaking the Greek language.

23 A part of it only was added to Eupatoria; and it was separated from the rest by a wall, and probably contained a different population from that of Amisus. This new quarter contained the residence of the king, Mithridates Eupator, who built Eupatoria.