Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 352: 286-287

Tools

Pliny: Natural History

hoc eunte quo vult, illo prohibente ire qua velit. a catarractis iterum navigatur. x͞l͞ p. inde Commagenes caput Samosata.

86

XXI. Arabia supra dicta habet oppida Edessam quae quondam Antiochia dicebatur, Callirrhoen a fonte nominatam, Carrhas Crassi clade nobiles. iungitur praefectura Mesopotamiae ab Assyriis originem trahens, in qua Anthemusia et Nicephorium oppida. mox Arabes qui Praetavi vocantur; horum caput Singara. a Samosatis autem, latere Syriae, Marsyas amnis influit. Cingilla Commagenen finit, Imeneorum civitas incipit. oppida adluuntur Epiphania et Antiochia quae ad Euphraten vocatur,1 item Zeugma l͞x͞x͞i͞i͞ p. a Samosatis, transitu Euphratis nobile: ex adverso Apameam Seleucus, idem utriusque 87conditor, ponte iunxerat. qui cohaerent Mesopotamiae Rhoali vocantur. at in Syria oppida Europum, Thapsacum quondam, nunc Amphipolis, Arabes Scenitae. ita fertur usque Suram locum, in quo conversus ad orientem relinquit Syriae Palmyrenas solitudines quae usque ad Petram urbem et regionem Arabiae Felicis appellatae pertinent.

88

Palmyra urbs nobilis situ, divitiis soli et aquis amoenis, vasto undique ambitu harenis includit

286

Book V

river reaching the goal of its choice but the mountain preventing it from reaching it by the couxse of its choice. After passing the Cataracts the stream is again navigable; and 40 miles from this point is Samosata the capital of Commagene.

XXI. Arabia above mentioned contains the townsMesopotamta; Syria on the Euphrates. Edessa, which was formerly called Antiochia, Callirrhoe, named from its spring, and Carrhae, famous for the defeat of Crassus there. Adjoining it is the prefecture of Mesopotamia, which derives its origin from the Assyrians and in which are the towns of Anthemusia and Nicephorium. Then comes the Arab tribe called the Praetavi, whose capital is Singara. Below Samosata, on the Syrian side, the river Marsyas flows into the Euphrates. At Cingilla the territory of Commagene ends and the state of the Imenei begins. The towns washed by the river are Epiphania and Antioch (called Antioch on the Euphrates), and also Bridgetown, 72 miles from Samosata, famous as a place where the Euphrates can be crossed, Apamea on the opposite bank being joined to it by a bridge constructed by Seleucus, the founder of both towns. The people contiguous to Mesopotamia are called the Rhoali. In Syria are the town of Europus and the town formerly called Thapsacus and now Amphipolis, and an Arab tribe of Scenitae.a So the river flows on to the place named Sura, where it takes a turn to the east and leaves the Syrian desert of Palmyra which stretches right on to the city of Petra and the region called Arabia Felix.

Palmyra is a city famous for its situation, for the richnessPalmyra. of its soil and for its agreeable springs; its fields are surrounded on every side by a vast circuit of sand,

  • aSee § 65 n.
287
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938