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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography


published in Vol. V
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

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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(Vol. V) Strabo

 p277  Book XI, Chapter 10

1 (515) Aria and Margiana are the most powerful districts in this part of Asia, these districts in part being enclosed by the mountains and in part having their habitations in the plains. Now the mountains are occupied by Tent-dwellers, and the plains are intersected by rivers that irrigate them, partly by the Arius and partly by the Margus. Aria borders on Margiana and . . . 516 Bactria;​1 it is about six thousand stadia distant from Hyrcania. And Drangiana, as far as Carmania, was joined with Aria in the payment of tribute — Drangiana, for the most part, lying below the southern parts of the mountains, though some parts of it approach the northern region opposite Aria. But Arachosia, also, is not far away, this country too lying below the  p279 southern parts of the mountains and extending as far as the Indus River, being a part of Ariana. The length of Aria is about two thousand stadia, and the breadth of the plain about three hundred. Its cities are Artacaëna and Alexandreia, and Achaïa, all named after their founders. The land is exceedingly productive of wine, which keeps good for three generations in vessels not smeared with pitch.

2 Margiana is similar to this country, although its plain is surrounded by deserts. Admiring its fertility, Antiochus Soter​2 enclosed a circuit of fifteen hundred stadia with a wall and founded a city Antiocheia. The soil of the country is well suited to the vine; at any rate, they say that a stock of the vine is often found which would require two men to girth it,​3 and that the bunches of grapes are two cubits.4

The Editor's Notes:

1 The text is corrupt (see critical note).

The critical note to the Greek text reads:

The words καὶ τὴν ὑποστᾶσαν ὄρει τῷ ἔχοντι τὴν Βακτριανήν are unintelligible. For purely conjectural emendations see C. Müller, Ind. Var. Lect., p1016.

2 King of Syria 280‑261 B.C.

3 i.e. about ten to eleven feet in circumference.

4 i.e. about three feet; apparently in length, not in circumference.

Thayer's Note: τὸν δὲ βότρυν δίπηχυν. In a similar passage on Margiana (II.1.14) Strabo writes τὸν μυθμένα φασὶν εὑρίσκεσθαι τῆς ἀμπέλου πολλάκις δυεῖν ἀνδρῶν ὀργυιαῖς περιπληπτόν τὸν δὲ βότρυν δίπηχυν, which Prof. Jones translates ". . . and that the cluster of grapes is two cubits long", with no footnote; but in another passage, on nearby Carmania (XV.2.14) Strabo writes καὶ δίπηχυν ἔχει πολλάκις τὸν βότρυν., which Prof. Jones translates ". . . a vine which often has clusters of even two cubits", this time footnoting it "In circumference, surely."

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Page updated: 9 Sep 12