Procopius, History of the Wars

LCL 81: 4-5

Go To Section
Go To Section

Procopius of Caesarea

δύο ἐκροή τις ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὴν ἑσπέριον εἰσβάλλουσα μοῖραν καὶ ταύτην δὴ ποιουμένη τὴν θάλασσαν, ἀπὸ Γαδείρων μὲν ἀρξαμένη,1 ἐς 5αὐτὴν δὲ τὴν Μαιῶτιν διήκουσα1 λίμνην. ταύταιν ταῖν ἠπείροιν ἁτέρα μὲν ἐν δεξιᾷ εἰσπλέοντι τὴν θάλασσαν μέχρι καὶ ἐς τὴν λίμνην Ἀσία κέκληται, ἀπό τε Γαδείρων καὶ τῆς ἑτέρας τῶν 6Ἡρακλέους στηλῶν. Σέπτον καλοῦσι τὸ ἐκείνῃ φρούριον οἱ ἐπιχώριοι, λόφων τινῶν ἑπτὰ φαινομένων ἐνταῦθα· τὸ γὰρ σέπτον ἑπτὰ2 τῇ Λατίνων 7φωνῇ δύναται. ἡ δὲ ἀντιπέρας αὐτῇ ξύμπασα Εὐρώπη ἐκλήθη. καὶ ὁ μὲν ταύτῃ πορθμὸς τέτταρσι καὶ ὀγδοήκοντα σταδίοις μάλιστα ἤπειρον ἑκατέραν διείργει, τὸ δὲ ἐντεῦθεν πελάγεσι μεγάλοις ἀλλήλαιν διέχετον μέχρις Ἑλλησπόντου. 8ταύτῃ γὰρ ξυνίασιν αὖθις ἀμφὶ Σηστόν τε καὶ Ἄβυδον, καὶ πάλιν ἔν τε Βυζαντίῳ καὶ Καλχηδόνι μέχρι τῶν πάλαι Κυανέων λεγομένων πετρῶν, οὗ καὶ νῦν Ἱερὸν ὀνομάζεται. ἐν τούτοις γὰρ δὴ τοῖς χωρίοις μέτρῳ δέκα σταδίων τε καὶ τούτου ἐλάσσονι διείργεσθον ἀλλήλαιν.

9Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς ἑτέρας τῶν Ἡρακλέους στηλῶν μέχρι ἐς τὴν ἑτέραν διὰ τῆς ἠιόνος ἰόντι καὶ οὐ περιερχομένῳ κόλπον τε τὸν Ἰόνιον καὶ τὸν Εὔξεινον καλούμενον Πόντον, ἀλλ᾿ ἔκ τε Καλχηδόνος3 ἐς Βυζάντιον ἔκ τε Δρυοῦντος4 ἐς ἤπειρον


History of the Wars, III. i.

is split into two continents by a sort of outflow from the ocean, a flow which enters at the western part and forms this Sea which we know, beginning at Gadira1 and extending all the way to the Maeotic Lake.2 Of these two continents the one to the right, as one sails into the Sea, as far as the Lake, has received the name of Asia, beginning at Gadira and at the southern3 of the two Pillars of Heracles. Septem4 is the name given by the natives to the fort at that point, since seven hills appear there; for “septem” has the force of “seven” in the Latin tongue. And the whole continent opposite this was named Europe. And the strait at that point separates the two continents5 by about eighty-four stades, but from there on they are kept apart by wide expanses of sea as far as the Hellespont. For at this point they again approach each other at Sestus and Abydus, and once more at Byzantium and Chalcedon as far as the rocks called in ancient times the “Dark Blue Rocks,” where even now is the place called Hieron. For at these places the continents are separated from one another by a distance of only ten stades and even less than that.

Now the distance from one of the Pillars of Heracles to the other, if one goes along the shore and does not pass around the Ionian Gulf and the sea called the Euxine but crosses from Chalcedon6 to Byzantium and from Dryous7 to the opposite

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.procopius-history_wars.1914