Page:The Natural History of Pliny.djvu/480

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446
[Book V.
PLINY'S NATURAL HISTORY.

446 1’LINY’S NATURAL msfronr. [Book V. (26.) Below the deserts of Palmyra is the region of Stelendene', and Hierapolis, Bcroen, and Clmlcis, already mentioned’. Beyond Palmyra, Emcsa” takes to itself a. portion of these deserts; also Elatium, nearer to Petra by one-half than Damascus. At no great distance from Sora* is Philiscum, a town of the Parthians, on the Bunhrates. From this place it is ten days’ sail to Seleucin, and nearly as many to Babylon. At a distance of 594 miles be- yond Zeugma, near the village of ldassicc, tle Euphrates divides i11to two channels, the left one of which runs through Mesopotamia, past Seleucia, and falls into the Tigris as it Hows around that city. Its channel on the right runs towards Babylon, the former capital of Chaldsea, and flows through the middle of it; and then through another city, the name of which is Otriss, after which it becomes lost in the marshes. Like the Nile, this river increases at stated times, and at much about the same period. Wlieii the sun has reached the twentieth degree of Cancer, it ll`lllll(l&t(‘S6 Mesopotamia ; and, after he has passed through Leo and entered Virgo, its Waters begin to subside. By the time the sun has entered the twenty-ninth degree of Virgo, the river has fully regained its usual height. CHAP. 22. (27 .)-CILICIA AND THE ADJOINING NATIONS. But let us now return to the coast of Syria, joining up to which is Cilicia. “Ve here find the river Diaphanes7, 1 Pliny is the only author that makes mention of Stelendene. 9 In C. 19 of the present Book. ' Previously mentioned by Pliny. See p. 439. Of Elatium nothing is known. 4 The same place that is also mentioned in history as Flavia Firma Sura. The site of Plliliscum is totally unknown. 5 Nothing is known of this place. 5 Parisot remarks, that it is true that the Euphrates increases peri- odically, much in the same manner as the Nile; but that its increase does not arise from similar causes, nor are the same results produced by it, seeing that the river does not convey the same volume of water as the Nile, and that the country in the vicinity of its bed does not, like Egypt, form a valley pent up between two ranges of hills. 7 So called probably from the Greek 6»a¢avf;s, “ transparent." It has not been identified, but it was no doubt a small stream falling into

the Gulf of Issus.