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Book V, Chapter 13

Location of Cyprus island
(from the Fourth Map of Asia)

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.


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No information has been added to Ptolemy's text as I have it, so there is almost no topographic data, a single mountain range being vaguely indicated; the courses of the rivers also remain unmapped.

Leaving Ptolemy aside for a moment, Cilician pirates had a nasty reputation in Antiquity. If, as Agatha Christie would have it, opportunity makes half the crime, this map explains it. Navigation tended to hug the coasts, and the Cilician Strait, much like a narrow mountain pass, was an ideal place to waylay travellers. The other major den of piracy was Crete: a similar set-up. (For a good introduction to the Cilician pirates, see the page at Livius.)

Cyprus is surrounded on all sides by the sea, on the west alone by the Pamphylian sea, which side is thus described:

Acamas promontory 64*10 35°30
Paphus nova 64*20 35°10
Zephyrium promontory 64*10 35°05
Paphus vetus 64*30 35°00
Drepanum promontory 64*30 34°45

On the south by the Egyptian sea and the Syrian sea, which side is thus described:

After the Drepanum promontory:

Phrurium promontory 64*45 34°50
Curium town 65*00 35°00
mouth of the Lycus river 65*20 35°05
Curias promontory 65*30 34°45
Amathus 65*45 35°00
mouth of the Tetius river 66*10 35°00
Citium town 66*15 35°00
Dades promontory 66*30 35°00
Thronos town and promontory 66*45 35°00

On the east by only the Syrian sea, which coast is thus described: after the Thronos promontory

Pedalium promontory 67*00 35°10
mouth of the Pediaeus river 66*50 35°20
Salamis 66*40 35°20
Elaea promontory 67*00 35°40
Clides promontory 67*30 35°50

On the north by the Cilician strait, which side is thus described:

Carpasia 66*50 35°50
Achaeorum Acte 66*40 35°50
Aphrodisium 66*30 35°40
Macaria 66*00 35°45
Cerynia 65*40 35°45
mouth of the Lapethus river 65*30 35°50
Lapethus town 65*20 35°50
Crommyon promontory 65*10 36°10
Soli 65*00 36°00
Callinusa promontory 64*40 35°45
Arsinoë 64*40 35°35

In the eastern part of the island is Salaminia, in the western Paphia; in those parts which are between these in the south are Amathusia and the Olympus mountains; in the north Lapethia. The towns in the interior are:

Chytrus 66*10 35°35
Tremithus 66*25 35°25
Tamassus 66*40 35°25

The islands near this are called the Clides,

the middle part of which is in 67*35 35°45
and the middle part of the Carpasian islands is 67*05 35°45
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Page updated: 31 Jan 10