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Listed 5 sub titles with search on: Various locations for destination: "SKYTHIA Ancient country RUSSIA".


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Ancient place-names

Ascatancas mountains

  Ascatancas (Askatankas), a mountain range of Asia, forming a part of the E. boundary which divided the land of the Sacae from Scythia. Extending, apparently, NW. and SE., it joined, at its SE. extremity, the branch of M. Imaus which ran N. and S., according to Ptolemy, at a point which he defines as the halting-place (hormeterion) of the caravans on their way to Sera, and which he places in 140° Ion. and 43° lat. (vi. 13. § 1). Now, following Ptolemy's latitude, which is seldom far wrong, and the direction of the roads, which are pretty well defined by nature where great mountains have to be crossed, we can hardly be far wrong in placing Ptolemy's caravanserai at the spot marked by the rock-hewn monument called Takhti-Souleiman (i. e. Solomon's Throne), near Och, in a lateral valley of the upper Jaxartes (Sihoun),- which is still an important commercial station, from its position at the N. foot of the pass of Terek over the great Moussour range, Ptolemy's N. branch of the Imaus. The Ascatancas might then answer to the Alatau M. or the Khouhakhai M.; and the more northerly Anarei M. of Ptolemy might be the Khaltai or Tschingis; both NW. branches of the Moussour range: but it is, of course, impossible to make the identification with any certainty. Ammianus Marcellinus (xxiii. 6) appears to refer to the same mountains by the name of Ascanimia. (Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. i. p. 513; Heeren, Ideen, i. 2, p. 487; Forbiger, vol. ii. p. 469.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited October 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Baltia island

  Baltia. Three days' sail from the coast of Scythia lay an island of immense magnitude, called Baltia; this being the name which Pliny found in Xenophon of Lampsacus. Pytheas, on the other hand, called it Basilia. (Plin. xxxvii. 7. s. 11.)
  Whatever may be the uncertainties as to the exact geographical position of the ancient Baltia, the word itself is important as being the origin of our term Baltic. Little less certain is its Slavonic or Lithuanian origin, since so little is it German that, except in England, the usual name for the Baltic, amongst the Gothic nations, is the East-Sea. This helps us in certain points of criticism. In the first place, it suggests an explanation of the ambiguities of the early writers, who took their names from two sources. If Baltia was Slavonic, the name Ostiaioi (Eastmen), who dwelt on its coast, was German. Yet each is found in Pytheas. Hence the likelihood of two names to the same locality, and the confusion arising therefrom. Again, the fact of the name being strange to the present Germans makes the assumption of an erroneous application of it all the more likely. Name for name, nothing represents the ancient Baltia so closely as the Great and the Little Belts between the Danish isles and Jutland. But these are the names of straits of water, not of islands of land. Yet the present writer believes that the Baltia of Pytheas was the island of Fyen or Sealand (one or both), and that the name Baltia is retained in that of the waters that bound them. He would not, however, believe this, if there had been no change in language. Had that been uniform from the beginning, the confusion which he assumes would have been illegitimate.
  Another speculation connects itself with the root Balt-. In the article Avari, a principle which will bear a wide application has been suggested. It is as follows: when the name of a non-historical individual coincides with that of an historical population (or locality), the individual is to be considered as an eponymus. Now, the legends of the country of the Getae connected them with the Guttones of the Baltic; indeed, when the name Goth became prominent, the original seat of the stock was laid on that sea, sometimes on the southern coast in the amber-country, sometimes as far north as Scandinavia. More than this, the two royal lines were those of the Balt-ungs (Baltidae), and the Amal-ungs (Amalidae). For a Balt, or an Amal, as real personages, we look in vain. Populations, however, to which they were Eponymi, we find in the two localities Baltia and Abalus-associated localities in the accredited mother-country.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited October 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Oxii-montes

   Oxii Montes (ta Oxeia ore, Ptol. vi. 12. § § 1, 4), a chain of mountains between the rivers Oxus and Jaxartes, in a direction from SW. to NE., and which separated Scythia from Sogdiana. They are identified with the metalliferous group of Asferah and Aktagh-the Botom, Botm, or Botam ( Mont Blanc) of Edrisi (ed, Jaubert, vol. ii. pp. 198-200). The Oxi Rupes of Strabo (Oxou petra p. 517), which he also calls the hill-fort of Arimazes (Q. Curt. vii. 11), has been identified by Droysen, as quoted by Thirlwall (Hist. of Greece, vol. vi. p. 300), with the pass of Kolugha or Derbend, in the Kara-tagh, between Kish and Hissar; but as it is called the rock of the Oxus it must be looked for on that river, and is probably Kurghan-Tippa on the Amu. (Wilson, Ariana, p. 167; Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. vii. p. 734; Humboldt, Asie Centrale, vol. ii. pp. 18-20.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited October 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Pyretus


Tapuri montes

Tapuri montes a chain of mountains, in Scythia, to the N. of the Jaxartes, apparently a portion of the Altai range, towards its western extremity (Ptol vi. 14. § 7). It may, however, be doubted whether this view of Ptolemy is really correct. It would seem more likely that they are connected with the Tapuri, a tribe who nearly adjoined the Hyrcani [Tapuri]; and this a notice in Polybius would appear clearly to imply (v. 44).


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