Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Abasci

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ABASCI, ABASGI (Ἀβασκοί, Ἀβασγοί), a Scythian people in the N. of Golchis, on the confines of Sarmatia Asiatica (within which they are sometimes included), on the Abascus or Abasgus, one of the small rivers flowing from the Caucasus into the NE. part of the Euxine. They carried on a considerable slave-trade, especially in beautiful boys, whom they sold to Constantinople for eunuchs. These practices were suspended for a time, on their nominal conversion to Christianity, during the reign of Justinian; but the slave-trade in these regions was at least as old as the time of Herodotus (iii. 97), and has continued to the present time. (Arrian. Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 12; Procop. B. Goth. iv. 3, B. Pers. ii. 29; Steph. B. s. v. Σάννιγαι.) [ P. S. ]