Imatges de pÓgina

the Caspian sea ; on the south by Perlis, Sufiana, and Assyria ; on the east by Parthia and Hyrcania ; and on the west by Armenia Major. It was, in antient times, divided into several provinces, namely Tropatene, Charoinithrene, Darites, Marciane, Amariace, and Syro-Media. All these were, by a later division, reduced to two only, the one called Media Magna, the other Media Atropatia, or fimply Atropatene b.

Atropatene was that part which lay between mount Taurus and the Caspian sea, and is supposed to have been so called from one Atropatus, who, being governor of this province in the time of Darius, the last Persian monarch, withstood Alexander the Great, and, upon the downfal of the Persian monarchy, seized on this part of Media, and transmitted it to his posterity, who held it as sovereigns to Strabo's time. This was a cold, barren, and unhospitable country, and on that very account allotted by Shalmanezer for the abode of many captive Israelites, after the conquest of that kingdom.

Cities of note, in this part of Media, were Gaza or Gaza, the metropolis of the province, and situated, according to Pliny, in a spacious plain, betweeen Ecbatan and Artaxata, and equally distant from both. Sanina, seated between the Araxes and the Cambyses; Fazina, between the Cambyses and the Cyrus; and Cyropolis, between the Cyrus and the Amardus. This tračt was inhaþited by the Cadufians and Caspians, a barbarous and inhuman race, originally sprung from the Scythians d.

Media MAGNA was bounded by Persis, Parthia, Hyrcania, the Hyrcanian sea, and Atropatene. The most reinarkable cities in this part of Media were Ecbatan, Laodicea, Apamea, Regeia, Ar facia, &c, Ecbatan, the metropolis of all Media, and the feat both of the Median and Persian monarchs, was built by Dejoces, called in the book of Judith e Arphaxad, the first that reigned b Strab. 1. xi. p. 360, & 363.

E STRAB, ibid. p. 523. d Plin. l. vi. c, 13.

Judith i. 2. a city, here called Media, others we learn (3), that it was whence, say they, the whole also called Aria. But to incountry borrowed its name (1). quire farther into the origin Sextus Rufus tells us, that in of these various appellations, his time it was known by the would prove both a laborious name of Medena (2); and from and fruitless talk.

(1) Strab. l. xi. p. 526. (2) Orieltbeli geogr. ad vicem Media, (3) Ortel. ibid.

in Media, after the inhabitants had shaken off the Allyrian yoke, The walls of this city are much celebrated by the antients, and minutely described by Herodotus. They were seven in number, all of a circular form, and gradually rising above each other by the height of the battlements of each wall. The situation of the ground, rising by an easy ascent, was very favourable to the design of building them, and perhaps first suggested it. The royal palace and treasury were within the innermost circle of the feven. The first of these walls was equal in circumference to the city of Athens, that is, according to Thucydides , one hundred and seventy-eight furlongs, and had white battlements; the second black; the third of a purple colour; the fourth blue; and the fifth of a deep orange ; but the two innermost, as serving more immediately for a fence to the royal person of the king, were embellished above the others, the one being covered with filver, and the other with gold . This defcription of Herodotus favours, we must own, somewhat of romance; but, nevertheless, that Ecbatan was a great and powerful city, and perhaps no-ways inferior either to Nineveh or Babylon, is confirmed by far greater authorities. In the book of Judith i we read, that the walls of this stately metropolis were seventy cubits high, and fifty cubits broad ; that the towers on the gates were an hundred cubits in height, the breadth in the foundation fixty cubits, and the walls built of hewn and polished. ftone, each ftone being fix cubits in length, and three in breadth. This city is, by the antients, constantly called Ecbatan of Media, to distinguish it from another in Syria bearing the same name ", where the unfortunate Cambyses died, as we read in Herodotus? (B).

LAODI• HERODOT. I. i. c. 98.

f HERODOT. ubi fupra. % Lib. i. h Herodot. ibid.

Judith c. i. 2, 4. k HERODOT. I. iii. c. 62. DIODOR. 1. xiv. c. 23. Plin. 1. vi. c. 27. PLUTARCH. in Alex. p. 704. Tacit. 1. xv. C. 31, &c.

HERODOT. I. iii. c. 66.


(B) Pkiny (4) tells us, that Ec- tus, but likewise in Demofthebatan was built by Seleucus ; an nes (5!, who calls it the ordiunaccountable oversight, fince nary residence of the Persian he must have read a descrip- monarchs. On the other hand, tion of it not only in Herodo. Diodorus (6) carries the build


(4) Plin. l. vi. 4, 14. Sicul. l, ür, f. 124

(6) Diodor.

(5) Demofth. Pbilip. iv. p. 100,

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LAODICE A, of which appellation there were many towns, so called either from the mother of Nicator, or the wife of Antiochus, is counted, by Strabo m, among the cities of Media, and placed, by "Pliny”, near the confines of Persia. Apamea is, by Strabo, sometimes adjudged to Média, and sometimes to Parthia Raga, Rageia, or Ragea, is called, by Ifidorus. P, the greatest city of Media. It was repaired by Nicator, who called it Europus, and by that name it was known to Ptolemy; but, in the book of Tobit, it is called Rages, and placed in

m Strab. I. xi. p. 361. n L. vi. c. 26. o STRAB. 1. xi. p. 354, & 361.

p Isidor. p. 361. ing of this town back to the mer; nay, there is a great dirfabulous times of Semiramis, agreement among our modern and speaks of mountains le travellers about the place where veled, valleys raised, waters that stately metropolis stood. conveyed through rockymoun- The opinion of Molet, who tains, and other astonishing translated and wrote a comworks performed by his he- mentary upon Ptolemy, seems Toine for the embellishment of to Sir John Chardin the moft the city, and convenience of probable, viz. that Tauris is the inhabitants. This great the antient and famous Ecbacity was situate on a rising tan (8); and this opinion is ground, according to Ptolemy confirmed by Ortelius, Golnitz, and Diodorus, about twelve Trixera, Andrea della Valle, stades distance from mount &c. Jofephus assures us (9), Orontes, and not at the foot of that the palace built by Daniel mount Jafonius on the sou was intire in his time; but at thern confines of Media and present not even the ruins of Persia, where Ammianus Mar- any magnificent buildings are cellinus is pleased' to place it to be seen either at Tauris, or (7). Here Daniel is laid by in that neighbourhood; for in Fosephus to have built a stately all the ruins there the materials, palace, which afterwards served as our traveller judiciously oba. as a mausoleum of the kings ferves (10), are only earth, of Media: Some of the beams, brick, and pebbles, which in

says this author, were of file antient times were never used (ver, and the rest of cedar, but in Media for the building of

plated with gold. There are palaces. Some writers con- now no monuments remaining, found Ecbatan with Batana,

either of this magnificent build- which is evidently. Ptolemy's ing, or of the proud palace, Batina, and placed by him to where the monarchs of Afia the north of mount Orontes, were wont to pass their sum- near the river Straton,

(7) Ammian. Marcell. i.xxiii. c. 23. (8) Chardin. vog. en Pers. vol. i. pisi. (9) Jofeph, antiquitat, lix. »(10) Chardin ubi suprae

the neighbourhood of Ecbatan P. In process of time, it became the seat of the Parthian kings; who gave it the name of Ar facia, or Arface, as we shall see in the history of that people. Other cities of Media are mentioned by Pliny, Stephanus, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Ifidorus ; viz. Zombis, Patigran, Gazaca, Margasis, &c. but these were all built in after-ages by the Macedonians, and are therefore called, by Strabo , Greek cities. This part of Media was inhabited by the Carduchians, Marandæans, Gelians, Syro-Medians, Margafans, &c.

The mountains of this country, such as may be proper Mountains to take notice of, are, according to Ptolemy and Strabo ', andrivers, Choatra parting Media from Asyria, and branching

out from the Gordyean mountains on the confines of Allyria and Armenia ; Zagrus dividing it from the same Älyria on the east, a mountain, according to Polybius , one hundred cubits high. Parachoatra placed by Ptolenny on the borders towards Perfia, and by Strabo on the confines of Media, Hyrcania, and Parthia. These are the boundaries between Media and the adjacent regions, and therefore may be said as properly to belong to the latter as to the former ; but the Orontes, the Jasonius, and the Coronus, are in the strictest sense mountains of Media, as arising in the very heart of the country. The rivers of note are, according to Ptolemy, the Straton, the Amardus, the Cyrus, and the Cambyses. But these rivers, as they are represented to disembogue themselves into the most southern part of the Caspian sea, must by their position have belonged to the provinces of Ghilan and Mazandaran, as they are now call’d, and consequently could not belong to Media Proper, as it is described to us by the antients.

We cannot help taking notice here of a considerable mistake, which many of the antients have been guilty of, with respect to the situation of the Caspian Streights, called by the Latins Porta Caspia, Claustra Caspia, and Pyla Caspia. Ptolemy, Strabo, Arrian, Ifidorus, Characenus, and Dionysius Periegeta , place them on the confines of Media and Parthia, or on the eastern borders of Media. But Pliny, not liking this situation, carries them quite cross the country; and, after having been some time at a loss how to dispose of so heavy a load, drops it at last on

p Ch. v. & feq. paff. 4 STRAB. 1. vi. p. 361.

Idem ibid. p. 363 Ś POLYB. 1. v. C. 44.

STRA3. ubi fupra. u STRABO, 1. xi, p. 362. ARRIAN. 1. iii. Isidor, Characenus, p. 6. DYONYS. Perieget. versu 1939.

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the confines of Media and Armenia, that is, on the most
western borders of Media w. Suetonius x and Tacitus y
confound them with the Iberian streights, which are a nar-
row passage through the mountains dividing Iberia from
Sarmatia. Some of our modern geographers place them
in Media Atropatia, between the Caspian mountains and
the Caspian sea, confounding them with what the present
inhabitants call Demir-can, or Iron-gate, which is a nar-
row passage out of Tartary into Persia.

The northern parts of Media, lying between the Caf-
pian mountains and the sea, are very cold and barren:
the present inhabitants make their bread of dried almonds,
and their drink of the juice of certain herbs. Here the
fnow lies on the mountains for nine months in the year 2.
But the southern parts are productive of all sorts of grain,
and neceflaries for life, and withal fo pleasant, that the
country, adjoining to Tauris, probably the antient Ec-
batan, is called the garden of Persia. There are here
large plains, among which that of Nysa is famous for the
numerous studs of horses that were kept in it for the ufe
of the Persian monarchs, and are often mentioned and
celebrated by the antients. Where this plain of Nysa was
fituated, is no easy matter to determine (C).


w Plin. 1. vi.c. 15.

* SUETON. C. 19.

y Tacit. 1. i. hift. c. 6. z CHARDIN voy. en Perse, vol. i. p. 524.

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(C) The antients place the “ lent pasture of all Media, Nysean plain in the eastermost and, I dare say, of the parts of what they call Media, “ whole world, and the best and far beyond the limits of “ horses of the country were what is now supposed to have “ there at grass.---I asked a been properly this country. young nobleman in comWe have a traveller, who pany with us, If there were thinks he has seen this fertile

any other plains in Media so pasture; but, if he did, we fine and so extensive? He must place it quite differently “ told me, He had seen some as from what the antients seem fine about Derbent, but none to insinuate it ought to be, and more extensive. So that 'tis several degrees nearer us. His “ reasonable enough to bewords

are, We continued “ lieve, that these plains are our way (from Tauris to “the Hippobaton of the anso wards Persia) upon the most “ tients, and where they say “ beautiful and fertile plains " the kings of Media had a as covered with villages. These “ ftud of fifty thousand horses ; plains afford the most excel. « and that here it is also we

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