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It can hardly be doubted that the ancients had some knowledge of the Burlic, the importance of which, however, was never equal to that of the Bosporus.
Arrian19, in mentioning the Bosporus Cimmerius, says:—"From Sindica to the Bosporus called Cimmerius, and to Panticapaeum, a city of the Bosporus, there are 540 stadia. From Panticapaeum to the river Tanais, which is said to divide Europe from Asia, there are 60 stadia. This river bursts forth from the Palus Mseotis and empties itself into the Euxine."—This passage has a striking analogy with the passage of Constantine; and the same questions which have been put above may be repeated here. Arrian distinguishes between the Bosporus and another channel which he calls Tanais, a name which was also applied to the whole Bosporus, as stated above. He does not give any description of the Bosporus, on the ground, as it seems, that this channel was too well known to require it. But as to the Tanais, he adds, that it is a channel by which the Mseotis flows into the Euxine, and that it divides Europe from Asia. The whole description applies so well to the Burlic, as to leave not the slightest doubt of their identity. Moreover, from Panticapaeum to the mouth of the present bay of Taman there are exactly 60 stadia. Cellarius20 apparently understood Arrian in this way, for in his map of Sarmatia there is a second channel, which he calls Bosporus Arriani. However, as he had no accurate knowledge of the country, he puts this second channel right across the island of Taman, and with both its mouths distinct from those of the Bosporus Cimmerius, which is an absolute impossibility.
Pomponius Mela21 gives further evidence, in a passage which has always been considered as extremely difficult, and concerning which Tzschukke has collected five pages of notes. We may choose between two readings.
1. "Obliqua tunc regio, et in latum modice patens, inter Pontum Paludemque ad Bosporum excurrit: quam duobus alveis in lacum et in mare profluens Corocondame (Corocondamam) pene insulam reddit22." The only way of making this description
intelligible is to supply a nominative to the second sentence, and to read "quam fluvius (scil. Hypanis or Anticeita, that is, the Kuban), duobus alveis," &c. In this case the intention of Mela was to say that the said tract, which he calls Corocondama, was surrounded on all sides by the Mreotis, the Euxine, and two branches of the river Hypanis. But by saying either "pene insulam" or "peninsulam," two readings in which all the codices agree, Mela excludes every conjecture by which his peninsula could be changed into an island. He distinguishes between an island, and a peninsula, a part of this island, which he calls Corocondama.
2. "Obliqua tunc regio, et in latum modice patens inter Pontum Paludemque ad Bosporum excurrit: qui duobus alveis in lacum et in mare profluens, Corocondamam peninsulam reddit," A glance at the map will show that the south-western peninsula of Taman, on which the ancient town of Corocondama was situated, is formed by the bay of Taman in the north, the Bosporus in the west, and the Euxine in the south; this is the peninsula which Mela calls Corocondama. By "duobus alveis" Mela did not understand the two mouths of the Bosporus, the peninsula not being formed by the Bosporus and the Euxine alone. The two "alvei" are therefore two different channels, and not merely the two extremities of the same channel. One of the "alvei" being the Bosporus, the other, as I have shewn above, cannot but be the Burlic of Constantine. The lacus is of course the wider part of this channel, the Lacus Corocondametis of Strabo, and the present bay of Taman. We thus see that Mela, too, was acquainted with the existence of a second mouth of the Mffiotis23.
The fact of there having been two channels, leads to the natural
Codd. Arund. and Harl.; "Corocanda,"
23 This was already printed when 1 read the Codex Hargravianus, No. 399, in the Library of the British Museum, which is an English translation of Pomponius Mela, made in the earlier part of the sixteenth century. The translator was a very accurate scholar, whose name however is unknown. He translates the passage in question thus:—" There the region is croked, and is hut of smale
quantitie in bredde, and runneth forth betwyne Fontus and the poole (scil. Palus Maeotis) unto Bosphorus. The which flowyng by twyne two brenches into the lacke and the see maketh the peninsull Corocandamam."
One might imagine that the translator had, perhaps, a very accurate knowledge of the country, which enabled him to give a translation more consistent wi(h what he believed to be the truth, than the original. In this, be it said, very
conclusion that there was a considerable island between them, and from a considerable island being mentioned in that place, we must conclude that it was separated from the country by two channels.
Strabo24 says, that at a distance of 100 stadia or 11.5 English miles from the town of Tanais there was an island in the Maeotis by name of Alopecia, which was inhabited by people belonging to different nations. Ptolemy25 says that this island was also called Tanais, and he puts it in 53" 30 lat. and 66° 30 long., that is, at 704 stadia, or nearly 81 miles south-west of the town of Tanais, which, according to him, is in 54° 30 lat. and 67° long. Pliny26 also knows Alopecia, but says that it was situated within the Bosporus Cimmerius. With regard to the situation of the island, either both Strabo and Ptolemy, or Pliny, are wrong. As Alopecia was inhabited, it was not inconsiderable; which Strabo seems also to understand by adding, that there were several islands more in the Maeotis, but they were small (nja-iSia). There is no such island neither at 11 miles nor at 80 miles from Tanais; nor can we suppose that, if it existed, it had been drowned by the Maeotis; the general tendency of this sea having always been to create land, and not to swallow it up, a circumstance which attracted attention as early as the time of Polybius27. We must therefore suppose that Pliny is right with regard to the position. Mannert is of this opinion; but, contrary to the description of Strabo, he thinks that Alopecia was the small, flat, and sandy island called Atech by Constantine Porphyrogeneta; a barren spot which has never been fit for any population at all. It is very probable that Alopecia was that island which was situated between the two channels, the Bosporus Cimmerius and the Burlic, and which now forms the north-western peninsula of Taman. This island was large and fertile enough to support a considerable population; and
improbable case, his "The which" would have been a conjecture, as is my "qui," scil. Bosporus. • But there is a considerable number of maps in this codex, drawn and coloured, undoubtedly, by the translator himself; and his map of the Euxine and Palus Masotis shows that he composed it according to the system of Ptolemy, and that his knowledge concerning the surrounding countries was
very imperfect. We can, therefore, only suppose that he translated from a Codex which had the reading " qui," which he carefully translated by " the which." This Codex has the first book divided into twenty-one chapters, and not into nineteen only. There is a great probability that this Codex is still in this country.
84 Pag. 493. 25 n. 5.
25 iv. 26. 27 iv. 39, 40.
as it was situated within the mouth of the Bosporus, and near the rich commercial towns of Cimmerium, Panticapseum, and Phanagoria, there might have been a considerable number of strangers who flocked thither for the purpose of getting a livelihood by shipping and commerce. The error of Strabo and Ptolemy is not very difficult to explain. Their knowledge of the Maeotis was not very correct. Tanais was the name of the Don as well as of the Bosporus; and it seems that these two geographers, having been told, or having read that there was a considerable island near the Tanais, put it towards the mouth of the Don, while Pliny, better informed, put it within the Bosporus. Besides, the distance between the southern point of the peninsula which I suppose to be Alopecia, and the island of Atech, which lies exactly in the middle of the Bosporus or Tanais, is nearly 12 miles, or 104 stadia, which corresponds very well to the 100 stadia of Strabo.
Constantine Porphyrogeneta also mentions a river called Ucruch, which separates the island of Tamatarcha from the country of Zichia or Circassia. Mannert has already mentioned the fact, which is evident enough, that this is the main branch of the Kuban. I add, that one of the largest tributaries of the Kuban still bears the name of Urukh, but not Urup, as it is written in many maps. The variety of names for the same river cannot surprise us in a country which has always been, and still is, inhabited by many nations of very different race and languages.
The advantages to a classical scholar of some knowledge of the Sanscrit and the other languages akin to the Greek and Latin, are now so generally admitted, that it would be needless to dwell upon them in this place. I therefore propose to give, from time to time, a few instances in which the etymology of Greek and Latin words is explained by the help of the Sanscrit and other languages of the Indo-Germanic family.
is usually connected with ceedo, cut. This is the etymology given by Servius (ad Virg. Mn. i. 590) and the other ancient grammarians, and has been repeated by most modern writers. It seems however to be connected with the Sanscrit tesa, "hair." The proper name Casar probably contains the same root, though this word also has been derived from ccedo.
The root of in-qua-m appears to be qua, in being the preposition and m the sign of the first person. It is the same root as the Sanscrit khya "speak," and also appears in the Gothic quithan and the English quoth. It has nothing to do with the Greek fa-pl, with which some writers connect it: ^7-/11 is clearly the same as the Latin fa-ri.
''Avefioi, Animus, Anima.
The derivation of m/epos from aij/at scarcely deserves notice. A comparison of av-tfios, an-imus, an-ima, with one another, and with words of similar terminations, as dom-inus, would lead to the conclusion that an is the root. This root, which is not found in a simpler form in Latin and Greek, exists in Sanscrit, and is the verb which signifies, "to blow."