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This webpage reproduces a chapter of

published by The New York Public Library, 1932

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book III, Chapter 5

Location of European Sarmatia
(from the Eighth Map of Europe)

Thayer's Note: Stevenson's "translation" of Ptolemy, to which this page belongs, is abysmally bad. It should not be used for any serious purpose. For details and correctives, see my Ptolemy homepage.

European Sarmatia is terminated on the north by the Sarmatian ocean adjoining the Venedicus bay and by a part of the unknown land, a description of which is the following:

mouth of the Chronus river 50*00 56°00
mouth of the Rubonis river 53*00 57°00
mouth of the Turuntus river 56*00 58°30
mouth of the Chesinus river 58*30 59°30

The terminus of its seacoast is located on that parallel extending thru Thule,

which parallel is the terminus of the known sea 62*00 63°00

The terminus of Sarmatia, which extends southward thru the sources of the Tanais river

is 64*00 63°00

It is terminated in the west by the Vistula river and by that part of Germania lying between its source and the Sarmatian mountains but not by the mountains themselves, the position of which has been indicated; on the south by Iazyges Metanastae then from the southern terminus of the Sarmatian mountains

to the beginning of the Carpathian mountains which is in 46*00 48°30

and by the following part of Dacia along that parallel up to the mouth of the Borysthenes river, and the shore of the Pontus which is near the Carcinitus river; then along the seacoast are:

mouth of the Borysthenes river 57*30 48°30
mouth of the Hypanis river 58*00 48°30
Hecates forest, promontory 58*30 47°45
Isthmus of Cursus Achilles 59*00 47°40

The western promontory of the Isthmus of Achilles is called

Sacred promontory 57*50 47°30

The eastern promontory is called

Mysaris promontory 59*45 47°30
Cephalonensus 59*45 47°50
Pulcher harbor 59*30 47°45
Tamyrace 59*20 48°30
mouth of the Carcinitus river 59*40 48°30

Next is the isthmus separating the Tauric peninsula, the terminus of which is on the Carcinitus bay in the

position 60*20 48°20
which is near Lake Byce 60*30 48°30

On the east Sarmatia is bounded by the isthmus which is near the Carcinitus river,

which is near Lake Byce 60*30 48°30

Maeotis which extends as far as the Tanais river, then by the Tanais river, and by the line which extends from the sources of the Tanais river toward the unknown land as far as the indicated terminus.

This side is thus described from the isthmus which is near the Carcinitus river and along Lake Maeotis:

Neontichus 60*30 48°40
mouth of the Pasiacus river 60*20 49°30
Lianum town 60*00 49°15
mouth of the Byce river 60*20 49°30
Acra town 60*30 49°40
mouth of the Gerrhus river 61*00 49°50
Cnema town 62*30 49°45
Agarum promontory 63*00 49°40
mouth of the Agarus river 62*30 50°30
Dark woodland, Piscatura Dei 62*40 51°15
mouth of the Lycus river 63*00 51°30
Hygres town 63*30 52°30
mouth of the Poritus river 64*30 53°00
Caroca village 65*00 53°30
western mouth of the Tanais river 66*20 54°20
eastern mouth 67*00 54°30
Bend of the river 72*30 56°00
Source of the river 64*00 58°00

Above this the terminus, which I have mentioned, near the unknown land,

the location of which is 64*00 63°00

Sarmatia is divided by other mountains, which are called

Peuce mountains 51*00 51°00
Amadoci mountains 55*00 51°00
Bodinus mountains 58*00 55°00
Alanus mountains 62*30 55°00
Carpathian mountains as we call them 46*00 48°30
Venedici mountains 47*30 55°00
Ripaei, the middle of which is in 63*00 57°30
The part of the Borysthenes river which is near Amodoca lake is in 53*30 50°20
The source of the Borysthenes river more toward the north is in 52*00 53°00

Of the rivers which are below the Borysthenes

the Tyras separates parts of Dacia and Sarmatia at the bend which is located in 53*00 48°30

The Axiaces river flows thru Sarmatia not far above Dacia, and from the Carpathian mountains.

The Greater Venedae races inhabit Sarmatia along the entire Venedicus bay; and above Dacia are the Peucini and the Basternae; and along the entire coast of Maeotis are the Iazyges and the Rhoxolani; more toward the interior from these are the Amaxobii and the Scythian Alani.

Lesser races inhabit Sarmatia near the Vistula river.

Below the Venedae are the Gythones, then the Finni, then the Sulones; below whom are the Phrungundiones; then the Avarini near the source of the Vistula river; below these are the Ombrones, then the Anartophracti, then the Burgiones, then the Arsietae, then the Saboci, then the Piengitae and the Biessi near the Carpathian mountains.

Among those we have named to the east: below the Venedae are the Galindae, the Sudini, and the Stavani, extending as far as the Alauni; below these are the Igylliones, then the Coestoboci and the Transmontani extending as far as the Peuca mountains.

Back from the Ocean, near the Venedicus bay, the Veltae dwell, above whom are the Ossi; then more toward the north the Carbones and toward the east are the Careotae and the Sali; below whom are the Gelones, the Hippopodes and the Melanchlaeni; below these are the Agathyrsi; then the Aorsi and the Pagyritae; then the Savari and the Borusci to the Ripaeos mountains; then the Acibi and the Nasci; below whom are the Vibiones and the Idrae; and below the Vibiones bordering on the Alauni are the Sturni, and between the Alauni and the Amaxobii are the Cariones and the Sargati; near the bend of the Tanis river are the Ophlones and then the Tanaitae; below whom are the Osili extending as far as Rhoxolanis; between the Amaxobii and the Rhoxolani are the Rheucanali and the Exobygitae; and between the Peucini and the Basternae are the Carpiani, above whom are the Gevini, then the Bodini; between the Basternae and the Rhoxolani are the Chuni, and below the mountains named from these are the Amadoci and the Navari.

Near Lake Byce dwell the Toreccadae, and near Achilles Cursus the Tauroscythae; below the Basternae near Dacia are the Tigri and below these are the Tyrangitae. Below the bend of the Tanais river are located:

the Altars of Alexander 63*00 57°00
and the Altars of Caesar 68*00 56°30
and on the shore of the river is Tanais town 67*00 54°40

The inland towns in the river regions around the Carcinitus river are:

Carcina town 59*30 48°45
Torocca 58*30 49°00
Pasyris 58*30 49°10
Ercabum 58*30 49°15
Tracana 58*30 49°45
Navarum 58*30 50°00

Along the Borysthenes river are:

Azagarium 56*00 50°40
Amadoca 56*00 50°30
Sarum 56*00 50°15
Serimum 57*00 50°00
Metropolis 56*30 49°30
Olbia or Borysthenes 57*00 49°00
above the Axiaces river, Ordessus 57*00 48°30

And near the river which flows into the Borysthenes:

Leinum town 54*00 50°15
Sarbacum 55*00 50°00
Niossum 56*00 49°40

Above the Tyras river near Dacia:

Carrodunum 49*30 48°40
Maetonium 51*00 48°30
Clepidava 52*30 48°40
Vibantavarium 53*30 48°40
Eractum 53*50 48°40

The island located near the mouth of the Tanais river is

Alopecia or Tanais island 66*30 53°30

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Page updated: 10 Sep 09