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the Chernaia Protoka. It is a shallow passage of scarcely one hundred fathoms in breadth; and on the capture of Anapa, during the war from 1787 to 1791, the Russian horsemen forded it from one point to the other3. On the map of the Caucasus, published at St. Petersburg in 1834, the Chernaia Protoka is marked among the great rivers by a blue line between its outlines, just as the Kuban itself. It is very probable that in the time of Constantine Porphyrogeneta the Chernaia Protoka was still more important. The tract through which it flows is an immense swamp; extensive fields of rushes and high reeds cover the banks of the innumerable rivers and lakes by which it is drained; and while they gradually obstruct the current of the inland waters, the mouths of the rivers are blocked up by masses of sand and mud, deposited there by the sea, and by which, among others, both the channels through which the lake of Temruk empties itself into the sea of Azof, have been rendered unfit for navigation. There is a continual struggle between land and water. But although in the rainy season the whole country seems to be drowned for ever, the waters gradually sink, and the ground acquires still more solidity from a thick deposit of clay and mud, of which a luxuriant vegetation soon takes a lasting possession. This phenomenon, says Dr. Clarke4, is especially to be observed on the very spot where the Chernaia Protoka takes its origin, by separating itself from the main branch of the Kuban. This struggle, in which the solid element is victorious, obliges us not to reject altogether so many maps of the 15th, the 16th, the 17th, and even of the 18th century, in which the Chernaia Protoka has a breadth quite equal to that of the main branch of the Kuban. In several other maps the Kuban has but one mouth by which it empties itself into the Sea of Azof. Such are, the map contained in the beautiful and rare edition of Ptolemy, published at Rome in 1490; that of Ortelius of the sixteenth century; that of Matthew Steutter of the seventeenth; and others.

The identity of the Choracul and the Chernaia Protoka acquires still more strength from several other circumstances. A comparison

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between Turkish and European maps of the country between the Black Sea and the Caspian, will show that, a great number of Russian names now in use in that country are but translations of the primitive names, which are nearly all of Turkish origin. In the tenth century the country round the Sea of Azof was inhabited by Turkish tribes, except a small tract in the Crimea and some places in the island of Taman, where there were a few Goths surnamed "Tetraxita?." We must therefore conclude that the primitive names given by Constantine Porphyrogeneta are Turkish, and this language of course will be of great use wherever it is desirable to know the meaning of those words. Bayer has already observed that Choracul is without any doubt the Turkish J£ *j {Kara Kol), altered only by the Greek pronunciation, and the signification of which is the black arm, or the black branch, that is, "of a river." A striking fact, which it was impossible for the learned academician to observe, is, that the present Russian name, Chernaia Protoka, signifies exactly the same as Kara Kol; and this is another proof of the identity of the Choracul and the Chernaia Protoka. The indiscriminate use of kara and chernoi, of which chernaia is the feminine, and both of which signify black, is proved by many instances. In some maps the Chernaia Protoka, or Chernoi Protok, is called Kara Kuban; in some, Chernoi Kuban; in others, these names are given indiscriminately to a dead branch of the Kuban west of the Chernaia Protoka; and the same double name still designates one of the greatest of the tributaries of the Kuban, as well as a broad branch of it which leaves it near Karakubanskoi, and again joins the main river near Fort Kalaus.

It is also remarkable that Constantine Porphyrogeneta designates the Choracul by To XapanovX, and not hy 6 XapanovK, scilicet 6 jroTa/ios. This strange exception of gender appears quite natural if the article To is explained by the omitted noun O-to/uov, a designation which accurately describes the character of a river which is but one of the mouths of the great Kuban.

The emperor completes his description of the Choracul by the words, "in which the fish called Berzeticon are caught."

The commentary of Bandurius gives sufficient information about this fish. It was one of the species of sturgeon, or perhaps a general name for all the different sorts of sturgeon which abounded in the Maeotis as early as the time of Pliny and Strabo, especially in the two Rhombites, the mouths of the Yey and the Bey-su. In our days the mouth of the Chernaia Protoka is one of the principal places for sturgeon-fishing. In the time of Constantine the Kuban generally was renowned for its abundance of fish, as we learn from the Arabic geographer Mas'udi, who tells a story about them which is still more marvellous than what Strabo relates about these fish being hewn out from the ice s.

The identity of the Choracul and the Chernaia Protoka having been proved, and this river being the southernmost of all the rivers of the Sea of Azof, it is evident that the other rivers mentioned by the author are to be placed between the Don and the Chernaia Protoka.

It is generally believed that the Bal, or, according to the pronunciation of the time of Constantine, the Val, is the present Bey-su. This is a mere hypothesis. Bal or Val, JU or Jl. signifies in Turkish a whale, and also various other kinds of very large fish. The name is therefore well fitted for a river in which large fish are caught. It is this circumstance that perhaps induced geographers to presume that the Val is the present Bey-su, although there are some traces of this name left in the country, which rather refer to the Yey. In the map of Matthew Steutter the name of Callballnar is given to the tract round the mouth of the Yey, while a district south of the mouth of the Bey-su is called Callver. In the map of Minor Tartary by Peter Schenk, the name of Callballnar is changed into Kallbarna, and designates the river Yey itself, which, in the map contained in the Atlas of Russia published by the Academy of St. Petersburg in 1745, as well as in several other maps, is called Cabanar. But all this may refer as well to the river Chalbash-su, or Chelba-su (yAAs-, or perhaps Jilab-su, ^»uj3*-, the muddy river), the next neighbour of the Bey-su, the mouth of which is entirely blocked up by the sand which the sea has deposited there. I have been enabled to compare a considerable number of English, Russian, French, German, and Turkish maps, of the best geographers, and several others in MS. of different ages; but they exhibit so many contradictions with regard to those

6 Strabo, p. 307, Cas.; Mas'udf, translated by Dr. Sprenger, Vol. i. p. 438.

rivers, that it is impossible to come to any satisfactory conclusion. Bayer also is far from deciding the question. As to the river Burlic, I suppose that it is the Kazatchei Yerik, or the second northern branch of the Kuban, the course of which is parallel to the Chernai'a Protoka, which it accompanies at but a small distance from its origin near Fort Kopil on the Kuban, to its mouth, which is only at a few miles east of the mouth of the Chernai'a Protoka. We shall see below that the signification of the word Burlic gives some probability to this hypothesis. There are no facts which allow us to fix the position of the Khader; it is one of the larger rivers between the Don and the Chernai'a Protoka.

I shall now examine the passage in which Constantine mentions the channel Burlic, which must not be confounded with the river Burlic.

This passage is of great importance, and of equal interest to philologers and geographers. It presents great difficulties. "Subobscura ha?c sunt"—says Bayer with regard to it. His endeavours to remove the difficulties are a specimen of that kind of witty sagacity of which I have spoken above. Supposing that there is a certain connexion between the river Burlic and the channel Burlic, he says: "Videtur Burlic esse ille fluvius quem in charta turcica j^ljjj), Kuban, vocari video. Potest fieri ut hie fluvius devectus in Maeotin super ejus undis natet coloremque servet usque ad Bosporum, unde ipsius Bospori nomen Burlic ei quoque tributum sit." Thus the Burlic, that is, a branch of the Kuban, crosses the Sea of Azof, a distance of more than fifty miles, and preserving its primitive yellowish colour amidst the equally yellow waves of this sea, arrives as a separate stream in the Bosporus, and gives it its name! If this be true, the Straits of Yenikale must be of a curious aspect. For the Don, the Yey, the Bey-su, and all the other rivers of the Sea of Azof, are all yellow enough to retain their peculiarity unimpaired, as well as the Burlic.

With regard to the channel Burlic, Bayer says: "Apparet eum Burlic vocare Meeotidis ostium ubi se Ponto miscet, seu ipsum Bosporum Cimmerium. Nam ista," h> $ eWi» 6 BoWopos," sive sic

interpretari possis: "iv m Sijxovoti Tw Tcotcu iorlv 6 Bdoiropor, Sive "iv (f Movon rat (Tropin Ta> BovpXtK KaKovjiivm itrriv 6 BoWopor, Ut Bosporum dicat trajectum, Burlic ipsum alveum e Majotide se exonerantem in Pontum."

This explanation is inadmissible. If such were the opinion of Constantine, he would have expressed himself in an easier and more intelligible way. Besides, Strabo6 tells us that the name of Bosporus designated the whole extent of the straits, from their origin to their mouth; and there is not the slightest ground for believing that during the time between Strabo and Constantine Porphyrogeneta that name was given to only a part of the straits. In another passage (p. 309), Strabo says that Bosporus designated the northern, narrow part of the straits; but this must be understood in a narrower sense of the word, and does not exclude what he states in p. 394. .

However obscure the text is, we have the choice between two hypotheses: either the Bosporus and the channel called Burlic are identical, or the Burlic was a second channel which existed in the time of Constantine Porphyrogeneta, but has entirely disappeared in the present time. If they were identical, Burlic was undoubtedly the barbarous name of the Bosporus, which was likewise called Tanais, according to Procopius7, Arrian8, and Evagrius9; and Patares or Pataris, according to Ammianus Marcellinus10. But we must suppose, that if the emperor's intention was to tell his son that the barbarians used to call the Bosporus Burlic, he would have done so in as many words. I shall therefore proceed to the second hypothesis, that the Burlic and the Bosporus were two distinct channels, the latter of which was so universally known that, the author could refer to it in order lo fix the position of the Burlic, which of course must have been less known and of less importance. If I call this alleged meaning of the passage an hypothesis, it is merely on the ground that at present there is but one channel. For as to the words of the text, they clearly mention two channels; and neither Bayer uor any other commentator would have hesitated to admit the fact, had they not been prepossessed by the opinion

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