Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Ascatancas

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ASCATANCAS ('AtrjcoTcryjcar), a mountain range of Asia, forming a part of the E. boundaiy which divided the land of the Sacae from Scythia. Extending, apparently, NW. and SE., it joined, at its SE. extremity, the branch of M. Imaiis which ran N. and S., according to Ptolemy [Imaus], at a point which he defines as the halting-place (dpftri- Hiptou) 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 lby the rock-hewn monument called Takht-i-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 Imaüs. The Ascatancas might then answer to the Alatau M. or the Khouhakhai M.; and the more northerly Anaret M. of Ptolemy might be the Khaltai or Tachingis; 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, Erdkundt, vol. i. p. 513; Heeren, Ideen, i. 2. p. 487; Forbiger, vol. ii. p. 469.) [ P. S. ]