Page images

coast of Mysia is called Troas, the celebrated scene of the Iliad of Homer. The South coast of Mysia and a little of the North of Lydia is called Æolis or Æolia. The remaining coast of Lydia is called Ionia. There were also some Ionian cities on the coast of Caria ; and the South West coast of Caria was called Doris. East of Caria was Lycia, and East of Lycia Pamphylia, with Pisidia to the North, and to the North East Isauria and Lycaonia. East of Pamphylia was Cilicia. In the center, East of Lydia, was the large province of Phrygia, and East of Phrygia was Cappadocia.

Bithynia was originally called Bebrycia : two Thracian nations, the Thyni and Bithyni, who settled there, gave it the name of Bithynia. It is separated from Mysia by the Rhyndacus on the West, and from Paphlagonia by the Parthenius on the East; on the North it is bounded by the Pontus Euxinus, and on the South by Phrygia and Galatia. On the Western frontier the great mountain of Olympus gave the name of Olympena to the surrounding territory. At the foot of Olympus was the city Prusa, or Bursa, which gave the title of Prusias to the kings of Bithynia. One of this name was the betrayer of Hannibal to the Romans, who poisoned himself to escape falling into their hands, B. C. 183, A. U. C.571. The next city we shall mention is Nicæa, now Isnik, on the banks of the lake Ascanius, North East of Prusa. Here was the famous general Council held under Constantine the Great, when the Nicene Creed was drawn up, A. D. 325. North of Nicæa is Nicomedia, now called Isnickmid, and West of it, towards the Bosporus, is Libyssa, now Gebise, which derived its name from containing the tomb of the great African general, Hannibal. At the point where the Propontis begins to contract was Chalcedon, called the city of the blind, in derision for its founders having overlooked the more delightful and advantageous situation of Byzantium: it is now Kadikeui. Opposite to Byzantium, or Constantinople, was Chrysopolis, now Scutari. On the Bosporus was a celebrated temple of Jupiter Urius, the dispenser of favourable winds: it is now called Ioron.

The Thyni, a Thracian pation, were settled on this part of the shore of the Euxine, extending from the Bosporus to the river Sangarius, or Sagaris, now the Sakaria. On the East of the Sangarius were the Mariandyni, in the North Eastern part of whose district was the powerful city of Heraclea Pontica, now Erekli : a small peninsular promontory to the North West is called Acherusia, and it is said that Hercules dragged Cerberus from hell through a cavern in this promontory. North East of the Mariandyni are the Caucones, adjoining Paphlagonia.

Paphlagonia extends from the river Parthenius, or Partheni, to the great river Halys, now called KizilErmak, or the red river. * In the North were the Heneti, who are said to have passed over into Italy after the Trojan war, where they established themselves under the name of Veneti. The principal cities were on the coast of the Euxine: Amastris *, now Amastreh, Cytorus, now Kitros; North East of which was the promontory of Carambis, now Cape Karampi, which we have noticed as opposite to Criu Metopon in the Tauric Chersonese; and a little after the shore has bent downwards is Sinope, a celebrated Grecian colony, founded by the Milesians, and the birth-place of the philosopher Diogenes; it was the capital of Pontus in the reign of the great Mithridates, and is still called Sinub.

* The river Halys was the boundary of the dominions of Crosus King of Lydia, to whom the celebrated oracle was given, Kgoñoos "Akur διαβάς μεγάλην αρχήν καταλύσει, a line which might well have been applied to the late Emperor of France when he crossed the Vistula.

Under the Eastern part of Bithynia and Paphlagonia is Galatia. A colony detached from the great Gaulish emigration, under Brennus, B.C. 270, crossed the Helles. pont, and settled themselves in the North of Phrygia and Cappadocia, where, mingling with some Grecian colonies, they caused the country to obtain the name of GalloGræcia, or Galatia; and what is singular, they continued to speak the Celtic language even in the days of St. Jerome, 600 years after their emigration. On the confines of Phrygia and Bithynia was the city of Pessinus, originally Phrygian, and Mount Dindymus, remarkable for the worship of Cybele, hence called Dindymene t, whose image was brought from this place to Rome, with aremarkable miracle attending itf, in the second Punic war,

* Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer.

Catull. IV. 13.
t Non Dindymene, non adytis quatit
Mentem sacerdotum incola Pythius,
Non Liber æque.

Hor. Od. I. 16, 5. Claudia, a vestal, had been accused of incontinence, and the goddess was prevailed upon by her prayers to vouchsafe her testimony to her innocence, by enabling her to remove by her girdle the ship which had grounded in the Tiber. - Ov. Fast. IV. 315.

A little North of Pessinus was Gordium, also originally in Phrygia, where Alexander cut to pieces the Gordian knot, respecting which there was an antient tradition that the person who could untie it should possess the empire of Asia, East of Pessinus was Ancyra, now Angora, from whence the celebrated shawls and hosiery made of goat's hair were originally brought. Near this place Bajazet was conquered and made prisoner by Timour the Great. East of this, on the confines of Paphlagonia, Gangra, now Kankiari, was the residence of Cicero's friend Deiotarus, one of the tetrarchs or princes of Galatia, in whose favour we have an oration of Cicero to the Senate. This city, however, was also sometimes considered as one of the principal in Paphlagonia. It is not necessary to enter into the detail of the other cities in Galatia; but we may observe, in proof of the Gaulish origin of the people, that the Northern part of them were called the Tectosages.

East of Paphlagonia and Galatia is Pontus, extending along the coast of the Euxine, from the mouth of the Halys to the Ophis. It was originally part of Cappadocia, and was formed first into a Satrapy, and then into an independent kingdom, about B. C. 300. Leaving the mouth of the Halys, the first important city we shall notice is Amisus, now Samsun, a Greek colony, aggrandised by Mithridates. The sea here forms a gulph called Amisenus Sinus. The river Iris, called now JekilErmark, or the green river, flows into the sea here. Upon its banks, considerably inland, was Amasea, now Amasieh, the most considerable of the cities of Pontus, and the birth-place of the great Mithridates and Strabo the geographer. Above it was Magnopolis, built by Pompey the Great, and below it, in a direction nearly

South, was Zele, where Cæsar overcame Pharnaces, son of the great Mithridates, with such rapidity, that he wrote his account of his victory to the senate in those three famous words, “ Veni, vidi, vici.” East of Zele was the city of Comana, now Almons, and called Pontica, to distinguish it from another of the same name in Cappadocia: both were celebrated for their temples, and college of priests, consecrated to Bellona, who was, however worshipped by those oriental nations rather as the Goddess of Love than of War. Above it is NeoCæsarea, now Niksar. Advancing towards the sea we find the river Thermodon, or Terme, which runs through the plains of Themiscyra, the antient residence of those warlike females the Amazons. * East of this was Poleanonium, now Vatija, built by Polemon, who was established in the kingdom of Marc Antony, and East of it was Cerasus, now Keresoun, from which Lucullus introduced the first cherries into Italy in the Mithridatic war. Considerably East of it, almost on the confines of Colchis, was Trapezus, or Trebisond, so famous antiently as the first Greek colony which received the 10,000 Greeks in their immortal retreat under Xenophon, and subsequently as the seat of Grecian Enıperors, so well known in romance, and so little read of in history, South East of Trapezus, above the banks of the river Ophis, was Teches, or Tesqua, now Tekeh, the mountain from which the troops of Xenophon had their first view of the sea, the account of which is so finely described by him in the latter part of the fourth book of the

[ocr errors]

Cum flumina Thermodontis
Pulsant, et pictis bellantur Amazones armis,

Virg. Æn. XI, 659.

« PreviousContinue »