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Book V, Chapter 2

Location of Asia properly so called
(from the First 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.

Asia, properly so called, is bounded on the north by Bithynia along the line we have designated; on the west by the remaining part of the Propontis and the Hellespont and by the Aegean, the Icarian, and the Myrtoum seas; a description of its seacoasts is as follows: on the Propontis

Mysia Minor Hellespontica

Cyzicus 56*00 41°30
mouth of the Aesepus river 56*00 41°20
mouth of the Granicus river 55*50 41°30
Parium 55*35 41°25
Lampsacus 55*20 41°25
on the Hellespont, Abydus 55*20 41°15
mouth of the Simoentus river 55*20 41°10
Dardanum 55*15 41°05
mouth of the Scamander river 55*15 41°00
Sigeum promontory on the Aegean sea 55*10 41°00

Phrygia Minor or Troas

Alexandria Troas 55*25 40°40
Lectum promontory 55*25 40°25
Assus 56*00 40°15

Mysia Major

Gargarum 56*10 40°20
Palaesepsis 56*15 40°30
Antandrus 56*30 40°20
Adramyttium 56*30 40°00
Poroselene 56*30 39°45

In Aeolis

Cane promontory 56*15 39°30
Pitane 56*10 39°45
mouth of the Caicus river 56*30 39°35
river sources 58*30 40°30
Elaea 57*00 39°25
Myrina 57*15 39°15
Hydra promontory 57*00 39°05
Cyme 57*20 39°00
Phocaea 57*10 38°50
mouth of the Hermus river 57*30 38°45
where the Hermus and the Pactolus rivers unite 58*10 39°20
sources of the Hermus river 60*00 40°00
sources of the Pactolus river 59*00 39°00

In Ionia

Smyrna 57*40 38°35
Clazomenae 57*00 38°35
Erythre 56*40 38°35
Argennum promontory on the Icarian sea 56*30 38°25
Teos 57*10 38°25
Lebedus 57*30 38°20
Colophon 57*40 38°00
mouth of the Cayster river 57*45 37°50
river sources 60*15 39°20
Ephesus 57*40 37°40
Trogilium promontory 57*10 37°40
mouth of the Maeander river 57*40 37°30
where the Lycus river unites with this 59*00 38°40
sources of the Maeander river 62*30 39°30
sources of the Lycus river 60*00 37°45

In Caria on the Myrtoum sea

Pyrra 57*50 37°10
Heraclea 58*00 37°10
Miletus 58*00 37°00
Iasus 57*50 36°50
Bargylia 57*50 36°40
Myndus 57*40 36°25

In Doris

Scopias promontory 57*20 36°25
Halicarnassus 57*50 36°10
Ceramus 57*00 36°00
Cnidus town and promontory 56*15 36°00

On the south it is terminated by the Rhodian sea, on which is

Onugnathos promontory 56*40 35°50
Loryma 57*20 35°35
Cressa harbor 57*40 36°00
Phoenix castle 58*00 36°10
Physca 58*15 36°10
mouth of the Calbis river 58*45 36°05
Caunus 59*10 36°00

On the east is the border of Lycia, from Cannus to

the terminus which is in 59*30 37°50 a

On the south it is terminated

by the Milyade region of Lycia which is located in 61*00 37°50
and by Pamphylia along that line leading from the indicated terminus to that which is located in 61*20 38°35
and on the east by Galatia along the line which is the boundary of Bithynia, the middle of which turns toward the east; the location of this bend is in 62*15 39°15

Very important mountains are in Asia, of which the central localities are:

Ida mountain 56*00 41°00
Cillaeus mountains 56*00 40°40
Temnus mountains 57*40 40°30
western part of Dindymus 61*00 40°40
Sipylus mountains 59*00 39°10
Tmolus mountains 58*30 38°30
Mimas mountains 57*10 38°30
Mesogis mountains 58*40 38°10
Mycale mountains 58*00 37°40
Cadmus mountains 59*20 37°40
Phoenix mountains 58*00 36°20

The interior towns of Mysia Minor in Hellespontica are

Scepsis 56*30 41°00
Sacra Germa 56*15 41°15

The inland town of Phrygia Minor or Troas is

Ilium 55*20 41°00

Towns in the interior of Mysia Major are

Daguta 57*30 41°20
Apollonia on the Rhyndacus river 57*00 41°15
Traianopolis 56*40 40°15
Alydda 57*30 40°15
Prepenissus 56*50 40°25
Pergamus 57*25 39°45

The Olypeni people are in the north, the Grimenothuritae in the west, whose town is Traianopolis; in the south are the Pentademitae; and the people in the middle between these are the Mysomacedones.

Towns in Lydia:

Perpera 57*50 40°00
Mosteni 58*00 39°55
Hierocaesarea 57*15 39°30
Nacrasa 58*20 39°30
Thyatira 58*00 39°20
Magnesia near the Sipylus 58*40 39°10
Juliogordus 59*00 39°55
Aegara 57*50 38°50
Hypaepa 58*00 38°25
Sardes 58*20 38°45
Philadelphia 59*00 38°50
Dioshieron 59*40 38°55
Metropolis 58*00 38°00

In Caria

Tripolis 59*30 38°30
Laodicea on the Lycus 59*45 38°20
Antiochia on the Meander 59*10 38°30
Itoana 59*15 38°25
Trapezopolis 59*30 38°15
Nysa 59*00 38°15
Aphrodisia 59*20 38°10
Tralles 58*40 38°05
Magnesia on the Meander 58*30 38°05
Apollonia 59*25 37°55
Heraclea 59*30 37°55
Priene 58*00 37°25
Harpasa 58*25 37°35
Orthosia 59*00 37°35
Neapolis 59*25 37°35
Bargaza 58*20 37°25
Amyzon 58*15 37°10
Alabanda 58*40 37°20
Stratonice 59*00 37°10
Alinda 59*10 36°50
Badessus 58*00 36°15
Mylasa 58*20 36°30
Hydissa 58*30 36°30
Idymus 59*00 36°35
Thera 59*00 36°15
Pystus 59*00 36°25

The Erizeni a people near Phrygia.

In Maeonia on the confines of Mysia, of Lydia and of Phrygia:

Saittae 58*10 40°15
Dadales 58*00 40°20
Cadi 58*30 40°25

Towns of Greater Phrygia:

Synnaus 58*00 41°15
Dorylaeum 58*15 41°20
Midaium 59*30 41°20
Tricomia 60*00 41°10
Ancyra 58*20 41°10
Nacolea 59*00 41°00
Tribanta 59*40 40°35
Dioclea 60*00 40°55
Amorium 60*30 41°15
Abrostola 60*30 40°50
Cotiaium 58*40 40°40
Aezani 59*00 40°20
Conna 59*15 40°30
Lysias 59*50 40°30
Cercopia 59*25 40°15
Eucarpia 60*00 40°05
Prymnesia 60*20 40°20
Docimaeum 60*15 40°30
Synnada 60*50 40°05
Gammausa 61*15 40°40
Melitara 61*30 40°20
Juliopolis 61*30 40°10
Acmonia 59*50 39°20
Eumenia 60*10 39°50
Druzon 60*20 39°55
Tiberiopolis 60*15 39°30
Bleandrus 60*30 39°10
Stectorium 61*00 39°15
Silbium 61*40 39°15
Philomelium 62*15 39°20
Pelta 61*20 39°10
Metropolis 61*15 39°25
Apamea Cibotos 61*10 38°55
Hierapolis 60*00 38°15
Cibyra 60*30 (37)°55
Diocaesarea 61*00 38°15
Sanis 61*00 38°30
Themisonium 60*10 38°10
Phylacaeum 60*20 38°20
Sala 60*15 38°20
Gazena 60*40 38°00

The peoples near Lycia are the Lycaones and the Themisoni; near Bithynia are the Moccadeni and the Cydisses; below these are the Pelteni; then the Moxiani; then the Phylacenses, below whom are the Hierapolitae.

The island near Asia, and which is near the Hellespont is:

Tenedos island and town 55*00 40°55

Island in the Aegean Sea

Lesbos, an Aeolian island, around which are:

Sigrium promontory 55*00 40°00
Eressus 55*15 39°40
Pyrrha 55*25 39°30
Malia promontory 56*00 39°25
Mytilene 55*40 39°40
Argennum promontory 55*40 39°50
Methymna 55*25 40°25
Antissa 55*15 40°10

Islands in the Icarian sea are:

Icarus island 56*45 37°20
Chios island and town 56*20 38°35
Phanaea promontory 56*20 38°15
Posidium promontory 56*25 38°25
town of Samos island 57*00 37°35
Ampelos promontory 56*30 37°30

Islands in the Myrtoum sea, and towns of Amorgus island are:

Arcesine 56*00 37°00
Aegialus 56*10 36°50
Minoa 55*50 36°50
town of Cos island 55*40 b 36°25
town of Astypalaea island 55*40 36°25

Islands in the Rhodian and Carpathian seas:

Syme island 56*40 35°40
town of Casus island 56*30 35°15

Around the Carpathian island:

Thoantium promontory 57*00 35°20
Ephialtium promontory 57*20 35°20
Posidium town 57*20 35°25

Around the Rhodian island:

Panos promontory 58*00 35°55
Camiros 58*20 35°15
Lindos 58*40 36°00
Ielyssos 58*20 36°00


Thayer's Notes:

a

For the boundary with Lycia, the 1932 edition gives:

On the east is the border of Lycia, from the terminus located near Cannus which is in 59*30 37°50
Well obviously, the latitude is quite wrong and the real figure must be an error for 35°50; from my experience with the text, the error is almost certainly modern.

Plotting the map of Lycia with the latitude thus corrected, though, led to another anomaly:


[image ALT: zzz] (blank) (blank)

My impulse was to emend the longitude to 59*10 — after all if one coöordinate was wrong, why not the other?

This was less satisfactory because I couldn't see any reasonable way for 30 to turn into 10, and it yields a rather noticeable promontory yet one that is not named:


[image ALT: zzz]


[image ALT: zzz]
			The medieval map once again provided the answer. Between Cannus and Chlyda, no point other than Calinda; from Cannus, a thin line (highlighted in red in this colorized detail of Dover's b&w reproduction) terminating at. . . 59*10 and 37°50, which is nowhere near Cannus of course.

Conclusion, although with only 85% certainty: 1932 translation error. The coördinates were right, but the meaning of the text was changed. Apparently the Latin text of Ptolemy has something like "a termine in 59*10 et 37°50 ad Cannum" but this must have been read as "a termine ad Cannum in 59*10 et 37°50". Pending any comments then, my emendation above, which in fact adopts the medieval figures.

By the way, you'll have noticed that the medieval transcriber gives Chyda and the 1932 editor has Chlyda: so which of the two is right on that one? By now, I think you can see who the favorite is: modern is not necessarily better.

b There is obviously an error here: this place and the next cannot both be at the same coördinates. As elsewhere in this edition, I have a feeling the error lies with the modern editor. An inactive area of this clickmap. If you click here, you will stay exactly where you are.


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Page updated: 30 Apr 12