1902 Encyclopedia > Asia Minor

Asia Minor




ASIA MINOR is the name commonly given by geographers to the portion of Western Asia which pro-jects from the main mass of the continent towards the west, between the Black Sea and the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, and which at its north-western extremity approaches so closely to Europe as to be separated from it only by the two narrow straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. It is situated between 36° and 42° of N. lat., and between 26° and 40° of E. long., and is about equal in superficial extent to France, while it is but little inferior to the peninsula of Spain and Portugal, with which it offers some striking analogies. But while its boundaries on three sides—the Black Sea on the N, the iEgean Sea or Archipelago on the W., and the Mediterranean on the S.—are clearly defined by nature, its eastern boundary is wholly arbitrary and uncertain. The ranges of mountains which extend from the Gulf of Scanderoon, at the north-eastern extremity of the Mediterranean, across to the Black Sea near Trebizond, are so far from forming a continuous range like the Pyrenees, that they are broken into a number of irregular groups and masses, some of which may be regarded as continuations of the Taurus on the south, while others are connected with the highlands and moun-tain ranges of Armenia on the north; and the great river Euphrates forces its way through the central mass of moun-tains, nearly at right angles to the general direction of the chain. Hence it is impossible to separate Asia Minor on this side from the adjoining regions of Armenia and Mesopotamia by any real or physical boundary, and for this very reason the political limits have in all ages been very vague and fluctuating. For the purpose of geographical descrip-tion it may suffice to take a line roughly drawn along the mountain ranges from the Gulf of Scanderoon or Issus to the Euphrates, between Samosata and Malatiyeh, thence to follow the line of that river to the point near Erzinjan where it first turns to the south, and thence to draw an imaginary line to the Black Sea, a little to the eastward of Trebizond. The tract extending along the coast eastwards from the latter city to Batoum, though included within the limits of Turkey in Asia, belongs in a geographical sense to Armenia rather than to Asia Minor. But whatever line of demarcation be assumed, it must be carefully borne in mind that it does not correspond to any natural boundary.
The term Asia Minor, notwithstanding its ancient form, is of comparatively modern introduction, and was unknown to the principal Greek and Roman geographers. Orosius, who wrote early in the 5th century, was the first writer who employs the term in this sense, and he introduces it in a manner that shows it was not yet in general use. The name of Asia was, indeed, specially applied from a much earlier period by the Romans to the province which they constituted out of the Greek kingdom of Pergamus, and which was extended by subsequent additions till it com-prised a large portion of the peninsula, but it was never at any time coextensive with the geographical region we are considering, nor do we find the distinctive epithet of Minor applied to it before the time of Orosius.
The name of Anatolia, which is not unfrequently used by modern geographers as synonymous with Asia Minor, is obviously a Greek term derived from avarokq, the sunrise, and thus corresponding exactly to the modern term of " the Levant." It appears to have first come into use under the Byzantine empire, and is first found in the works of Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10th century. It has been retained in general usage by the Turks, but is employed very irregularly, being sometimes applied in an administrative sense only to the portion of the peninsula westward of the Halys, at other times extended even be-yond the limits which we have assigned to Asia Minor. The use of the latter appellation is therefore decidedly preferable as a geographical term.
The territory comprised within the limits above proposed is about 650 English miles in length, from Malatiyeh on the Euphrates to the promontory opposite the Island of Scio; but if the line be drawn from Cape Sigeum, at the entrance of the Dardanelles, to the boundary beyond Trebizond, the distance amounts to more than 720 miles. Its greatest breadth from Cape Anamur (Anemurium) on the south coast, to Cape Kerembeh (Carambis) on the north, is just about 6° of latitude, or 420 English miles; but a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of Scanderoon to the nearest point of the Black Sea (at Ordu) does not exceed 300 miles. This may, therefore, be considered as the isthmus by which the peninsula of Asia Minor is joined to the main continent. But very erroneous notions prevailed in ancient times, and even down to a comparatively recent date, with regard to the width from sea to sea, so that the peninsular character of the region to the west of it was greatly exaggerated. Herodotus stated that it was only five days' journey for an active man from the east of Cilicia to Sinope on the Euxinc; other authors extended this to seven days ; and Pliny gives the distance from Amisus to the Gulf of Issus at only 200 Roman miles (about 185 English miles). Even in the last century the great geographer D'Anville diminished the width of the isthmus between the two seas by a whole degree, or about 70 English miles.
Asia Minor, therefore, can only be termed a peninsula in the same vague and general sense in which that expres-sion is applied to the peninsula of Spain and Portugal. It has been already observed that there are several points of analogy between the two, not only from their forming re-spectively the westernmost portions of the two continents of Europe and Asia, and occupying much the same position in latitude, but still more in regard to their general conformation and structure. In both cases the interior of the country is occupied by a vast table-land, which forms, as it were, the nucleus of the whole, while ranges of mountains border this elevated tract on all sides, and these again are separated from the sea by valleys or plains at a low level, which are in many cases regions of surpassing fertility. The central plateau of Asia Minor is, however, more extensive than that of the Spanish peninsula, and occupies a much greater portion of the whole country. Beginning on the east with Cappadocia, the whole of which extensive province is more than 3000 feet above the sea, it is continued to the foot of Mount Taurus, by the high table-lands of Lycaonia and Isauria, the former of which is even superior in elevation to Cappadocia; while to the north of these two districts it comprises the whole of Galatia, and by far the greater part of Phrygia, together with portions of the adjoining provinces of Mysia and Bithynia. No part of this extensive region is situated less than 2000 feet above the sea, except where it is occasionally cut into by deep valleys on its northern or western borders.
A tract of such great extent naturally presents great diversity of surface, and is not only varied by extensive undulations, and occasionally by deep valleys, but is traversed in different directions by numerous ranges of mountains, some of them rising to a considerable altitude above the ordinary level of the surrounding plains. These ranges separate the different portions of the great central plateau from one another, and thus divide them into several basins, the waters of which have no direct communication with each other. One of the most remarkable features in the physical geography of the interior is the fact, that one of the basins thus parted off from the rest, extending nearly 250 miles in length and 150 in breadth, from the sources of the Sangarius and Halys on the north to the great chain of Mount Taurus, has no communication with the sea,—the streams by which it is watered having no outlet, and consequently forming a chain of lakes extending from near Synnada in Phrygia through the whole of Lycaonia, to beyond Tyana in Cappadocia. The most considerable of these lakes is that called, by Strabo, Tatta, and by the Turks, Tuzlah, or the Salt Pan,—an epithet well deserved from its extreme saltness, which exceeds even that of the Dead Sea. It is about 45 miles in length by 18 in breadth, but varies much with the season, being very shallow, so that a considerable portion of its surface is dry in summer and covered with incrustations of salt.
North of the region of these lakes lies a dry and naked tract, consisting principally of undulating downs, traversed by the branches and tributaries of the Sangarius and Halys, but otherwise scantily supplied with water, and almost wholly destitute of trees. A portion of this region was in ancient times specially designated as Axylus, or the wood-less ; but the same epithet might with almost equal pro-priety be applied to the whole tract extending from Doryheum and Cotiseum, through the north of Phrygia and Galatia, to the confines of Pontus and Cappadocia, a distance of nearly 300 miles. These vast treeless downs afford pasturage at the present day, as they did in the time of Strabo, to numerous flocks of sheep, but they are for the most part uncultivated, and in many places utterly barren and desolate. The few towns that are found within their limits are, however, sometimes surrounded by luxuriant gardens and fruit-trees in great variety.
Mountains.—The orography of Asia Minor is extremely complicated, and ¡3 still but imperfectly known, though the researches of recent travellers, especially of Hamilton and Tchihatcheff, have of late years thrown much light on the subject. But very few of the highest ranges have as yet been accurately measured, and the barometrical determina-tions of the altitudes of numerous points in the interior, which have been made by Hamilton, Ainsworth, and Tchihatcheff, often differ so much from one another, as to render it doubtful how far we can place reliance upon them. At the same time, we are now able, in a general way, to describe and distinguish the more important mountain ranges of the peninsula—a task for which there existed no sufficient materials down to a late period.
By far the most important of these mountain ranges, and that which constitutes one of the leading geographical features of Asia Minor, is the great chain known to modern as well as ancient geographers by the appellation of Mount Taurus. Beginning at the south-western extremity of the peninsuia, in the province of Lycia, it extends in a direc-tion nearly parallel with the south coast as far as the south-eastern angle at the confines of Cilicia with Syria,—a distance, as measured on the map, of more than 7° of longitude, or above 400 English miles. Throughout this extent it forms a continuous range of very considerable elevation, constituting a complete natural barrier between the Mediterranean and the great upland plains of the interior; while in some parts, as in Lycia and the western portions of Cilicia, it sends down numerous anns and branches quite to the sea-shore : in others, on the contrary, leaving a broad strip of alluvial plain between the foot of the mountains and the sea. Its positive elevation is very imperfectly known, none of the summits of the great cen-tral range having as yet been measured with any degree of accuracy, and the numbers given in the best maps resting only on tne more or less vague estimates of different travellers. It is probable, however, that throughout the greater part of its extent the summits of the main range attain to an elevation of from 7000 to 8000 feet, while many of the higher summits are estimated to exceed 10,000, and in some instances, at least, to approach to 11,000 feet.
The only portion of the Taurus which has yet been examined with much care is that contained within the ancient province of Lycia. Here, as is observed by Strabo, the whole country is occupied by the ramifications of the great chain, which descend in numerous arms and branches quite to the sea, leaving between them only narrow valleys and alluvial plains of very small extent at the mouths of the different rivers. In this instance, as in many similar cases, several of these offshoots and outliers of the main chain attain to a greater elevation than the summits of the central range itself. Thus it is stated, that while the peaks of the Lycian Taurus, which walls off the great mountain table-land of Asia Minor, do not much exceed 7000 feet, the mountain mass of Massicytus (Ak-dagh), which forms the eastern boundary of the Xanthus valley, attains to 10,000 feet; Soosoos-dagh, east of the preceding, rises to between 8000 and 9000 feet; and the highest point of Mount Solyma (Bai-dagh), which rises immediately to the west of the Gulf of Adalia, attains to 10,500 feet (Spratt and Forbes's Lycia). It is obviously impossible to fix pre-cisely the natural termination of the Taurus in this part of Asia, these various ridges expanding from the central chain much in the form of a fan. The Gulf of Macri (the Glaucus Sinus of the ancients) is often taken as marking its limits to the west, but in reality, the ridges which descend from the central table-land to the sea opposite Bhodes, as well as to Cnidus and Halicarnassus, are all ramifications of the Taurus, and any one of these headlands might with equal propriety be chosen as the first com-mencement of the great mountain chain. The popular notion among the ancients, which regarded Cape Chelidonia (the south-eastern promontory of Lycia) as the termination of the Taurus, is deservedly censured by Strabo, who regards the chain as prolonged to the Peraea of the Bhodians.
One of the characteristic features of the Lycian Taurus, which is found also throughout the whole range, is that of the frequent occurrence of basin-shaped valleys, called by the inhabitants " yailahs," sometimes containing mountain plains of considerable extent, walled in on all sides by limestone mountains, and having no outlet for their waters, which in consequence pour themselves into the precipitous cliffs that surround them. These yailahs vary in elevation from 2000 to 6000 feet, and afford excellent pasturage, on which account they are the summer resorts of the wander-ing tribes of Turcomans and Yourouks. Almost the whole mass of the Taurus is composed of limestone, belonging to the same great formation which constitutes the greater part of the Apennines, as well as of the mountains of Greece, and is generally known to geologists by the name of scaglia, or Apennine limestone. The streams which descend from thence to the sea, and which in many cases have had subterranean courses of considerable extent, are so strongly charged with carbonate of lime that they form vast deposits of travertine; and the level plains intervening between the foot of the mountains and the sea, instead of being com-posed, like ordinary alluvial plains, of loose detritus and soil, consist of solid deposits of travertine rock of an extent unknown elsewhere. The whole plain of Pamphylia, at the foot of the mountains of Pisidia and Isauria, is thus constituted, and a considerable part of the plains of Cilicia is composed of similar materials.
The principal passes across the chain of the Taurus which are deserving of notice, are the following :—1. That which crosses the chain from the plain of Cibyra (a portion of the great upland tract of Phrygia, at an elevation of 3500 feet above the sea) into the valley of the Xanthus in Lycia, and descends to the city of the same name. 2. That which leads from Afiom Kara Hissar, in the centre of Phrygia, by Isbarta and the ruins of Sagalassus, to Adalia on the Mediterranean. This is one of the most important lines of route in Asia Minor, being the high road from Constan-tinople to the flourishing seaport of Adalia, at the present day one of the chief ports on the south coast of Asia Minor.
3. A route leading from Konieh (Iconium) by Karaman (Laranda) to Mout, in the valley of the Calycadnus, and thence to Kelenderi (Celenderis) on the coast of Cilicia. This was the route followed by Colonel Leake in 1800, and is the most direct line of communication with Cyprus.
4. The celebrated pass called the Cilician Gates (Pylse Cilicise), which is not only the direct route from Konieh and Kaisariyeh on the north, to Tarsus and Adana on the south of the Taurus, but has been in all ages the great highway from Asia Minor into Syria and the valley of the Euphrates. It is a narrow gorge or defile between two lofty mountain masses, and derives great military impor-tance from its being easily defensible, while it absolutely commands the entrance into Asia Minor on this side. Hence it is mentioned as a point of special interest during the march of the younger Cyrus towards the Euphrates, as well as in the advance of Alexander previous to the battle of Issus. In modern times it was strongly fortified by Ibrahim Pasha, during the short period for which the Egyptians held possession of Syria (1833-1840); but these fortifications have since been abandoned.
This celebrated pass, which crosses the central ridge at an elevation of only about 3300 feet, marks the line of separation between two of the loftiest masses of the moun-tain chain, the Bulghar-dagh on the west and the Ala-dagh on the east, both of which are estimated to attain to a height of from 10,000 to 11,000 feet. Thus far the mountain range of the Taurus may be considered as form-ing a continuous chain, the boundaries and direction of which may be readily described. But from this point its character is altogether changed, and it is very difficult to determine, among the numerous mountain masses which we found on the borders of Asia Minor and Syria, which is most properly entitled to be regarded as the main chain of the Taurus. Strabo, the only ancient writer who appears to have had any clear ideas on the subject, describes the Taurus as sending forth two distinct branches, —the one called Mount Amanus to the south, which bounds the Gulf of Issus, and forms the limit between Cilicia and Syria; the other, to which he gives the name of Anti-Taurus, striking off in a north-easterly direction through the eastern portion of Cappadocia, and gradually sinking into the plain. This last chain is clearly the one which forms the continuation of the Ala-dagh towards the north-east, between the valley of the Saras and that of the Halys, and is continued, though at a lower elevation, till it joins the mountains that separate Pontus from Armenia. The name of Taurus is given by the Greek geographer to the mountain masses which extend more towards the east, between the districts of Melitene and Commagene, and are prolonged across the Euphrates into Armenia, where they are connected with the more lofty ranges and high table-lands of that country. All this mountain region is still very imperfectly known, and it will require much investi-gation before its orographical relations are fully under-stood ; but it is clear that there is such a mountain mass as that supposed by Strabo, and which may be regarded as continuous, though cut through by deep and narrow gorges, through which the rivers Saras and Pyramus force their way from the elevated valley of Cataonia to the low plains of Cilicia. Just in the same manner the Euphrates, further east, forces its way through the same mountain range by a channel so narrow and tortuous as to afford no means of communication, so that travellers proceeding south from Malatiyeh (Melitene) to Samosata on the Euphrates, have to cross a pass over the mountains known as the pass of Erkenek. The range here traversed, which is of very considerable elevation, appears to be continuous with that which forms the boundary of Commagene on the west, and is continued under the name of Mount Amanus to the Gulf of Issus. Strabo is also certainly correct in regarding it as connected with the mountains of Armenia, but these lie beyond the limits which we are at present considering.
At a short distance from the chain of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus to the west, but wholly unconnected with them geologically or in a true geographical sense, is a remarkable series of volcanic peaks or groups, extending in a direction from N.E. to S.W., through an extent of more than 150 miles. The northernmost and most elevated of these was known to the ancients as Mount Argasus, and is still called by the Turks Erdjish-dagh. It is the highest mountain in Asia Minor, attaining to very nearly (if it does not exceed) 13,000 feet, and its base is upwards of 60 miles in circum-ference. About 60 miles S.W. of this rises the volcanic mass of Hassan-dagh, the highest peak of which attains an elevation of above 8000 feet, and which has covered the whole country to the north-east with a vast extent of volcanic deposits. Beyond this, towards the S.W., is situated the volcanic group of Karadja-dagh, of very inferior altitude, but interesting as exhibiting a well-marked series of volcanic cones, having in some instances very well preserved craters, extending through a range of above 35 miles, as far as the village of Kara Bounar. About 25 miles S.W. of this rises the insulated mass of Kara-dagh, of similar volcanic character, and estimated to attain to a height of about 8000 feet. All these volcanic mountains-are composed principally of trachyte, and though separated by intervening spaces, either of level plain or gently undu-lating country, may be regarded as forming part of the same line of volcanic action, the axis of which has a direc-tion nearly from N.E. to S.W. It is remarkable that this is almost precisely parallel with the line of the Anti-Taurus, as formed by the Ala-dagh and its continuation towards the north.
Nearly at right angles with the series just described is the range called the Sultan-dagh, which extends through a space of more than 120 miles from the neighbourhood of Afiom Kara Hissar to that of Konieh. It has a general direction from W.N.W. to E.S.E., and is separated from the neighbouring portions of the Taurus by a broad valley having an average elevation of over 3000 feet, as well as by the three upland lakes of Egerdir, Kereli, and Soghla. Its central and highest portion rises to more than 6000 feet in height, and forms a continuous barrier between the valley above described and that known to the ancients as Phrygia Paroreios, through which lay the high road from the central plain of Phrygia to Iconium and the passes of the Taurus. Nearly parallel with the chain of the Sultan-dagh, and of about equal altitude, is that now known as the Emir-dagh, which forms the boundary of Phrygia Paroreios on the north, separating it from the great open plains of Galatia and Lycaonia, the latter of which extend without interruption to the great salt lake of Tatta.
We now come to consider the numerous mountain chains that branch off from the borders of the great central plateau to the west, and descend to the shores of the iEgean, leaving between them valleys of surpassing beauty and fertility, which were in ancient times thickly studded with towns and cities of Greek origin. As these valleys widen out in approaching the sea, the mountain chains that separate them become clearly marked, and can be readily distinguished; but as we attempt to trace them back towards the interior, it will be found that they often arise in the same knot or cluster of mountain masses, and are in fact only branches radiating from the same point. But as there is no great central chain from which they can be regarded as emanating, it is convenient to describe them separately,—the more so as, from the familiarity of the Greek writers with this portion of Asia Minor, almost every range has some distinctive appellation by which it is well known to scholars.
It has been already shown that there is no natural limit between the ranges that form the termination of the chain of Taurus on the west, and those that branch off to the iEgean through Caria. The lofty range of Baba-dagh (known to the ancients as Mount Cadmus) in the interior, on the confines of Phrygia and Caria, is certainly closely connected with the mountains that separate Lycia from the upland valley of the Cibyratis, as well as with the high range now called Boz-dagh (the ancient Salbacum), which descends in a S.W. direction, and forms the boundary between the Cibyratis and Caria. The lower ranges that spread out from thence through the province of Caria, known in ancient times by the appellations of Lida, Grium, and Latmus, may be regarded as only offshoots of this central masa The ridge of Latmus is, however, in great measure detached, and may be considered as begin-ning on the south bank of the Maeander, and terminating towards the S.E. in the elevated plain or plateau on which stand the ruins of Stratonicea.
The mountain ranges north of the Masander are more clearly marked. That which Strabo describes under the name of Messogis arises on the borders of the great central table-land in the neighbourhood of the town of Buladun, and stretches from thence nearly due west for about 75 miles, till it approaches the neighbourhood of Ephesus, where it makes a sudden turn to the S.W., and ends in the bold mountain range and promontory of Mycale (now called Samsoun-dagh), just opposite to the island of Samos. It nowhere rises to any great elevation, but forms a continuous barrier (from 3000 to 4000 feet in height) on the N. side of the valley of the Maeander, which it sepa-rates from the parallel valley of the Cayster. Beyond this latter again rises the chain of Mount Tmolus, now known as Boz-dagh, which branches off from Mount Messogis near the point of their common origin, and after sweeping round the sources of the Cayster, holds a course towards the west, till it sinks to the sea in the neighbour-hood of Smyrna. Through the greater part of its range it forms the southern boundary of the valley of the Hermus, but near its western extremity there arises a subordinate range of inferior importance and elevation, which separates it from the course of that river. It is this inferior range, which is a mere offshoot of Mount Tmolus, of very little importance in a geographical point of view, that bore in ancient times the name of Sipylus, so celebrated from its connection with the fables of Tantalus and Niobe.
North of the valley of the Hermus arise a succession of ranges of no great elevation or importance, which separate it from the valley of the Caicus, and that again from the Gulf of Adramyttium. All these masses, constituting a very broken and irregular country, may be regarded as connected in an orographical point of view with the interior range of the Demirdji-dagh, which extends through the whole of Mysia from near the Gulf of Adramyttium to the frontiers of Phrygia. It is apparently the Mount Temnus of Strabo, and is connected at its S.E. extremity with the more lofty groups called Ak-dagh and Murad-dagh, which rise out of the elevated plains of Phrygia to a height of about 8000 feet. The last of these mountains contains the sources of the Hermus, and the chain thus described forms the boundary separating that river, and the other streams which flow to the ^Egean, from the Macestus and Rhyndacus, which flow northwards into the Sea of Marmora.
The north-western angle of Asia Minor, bounded by a line drawn from the Gulf of Adramyttium to the mouth of the ^Esepus, so as nearly to coincide with the limits of the district known in ancient times as the Troad, is occupied almost entirely by the mountain system of which Mount Ida constitutes the centre. The highest summit—the ancient Gargarus, now known to the Turks as Kaz-dagh— rises to a height of 5750 feet, and sends out its arms and underfalls in all directions ; the most lofty ridge being that which extends westward to Cape Lectum, while subordinate ranges fill up the space that spreads northwards to the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmora.
Almost the whole of the northern provinces of Asia Minor, extending along the coast of the Black Sea— Bithynia, Paphlagonia, and Pontus—are extremely moun-tainous, and occupied through the greater part of their extent by successive ranges of mountains, filling up the space between the sea-coast and the borders of the great table-land of the interior. In a general view these may be characterised as forming a series of vast undulations, more or less parallel with the line of coast, which preserves a general direction from west to east. But when examined more in detail, they will be found to be complicated and broken in a manner that renders their description very difficult, while few of them have any historical importance or special geographical interest. It will suffice here to mention a few of the most important.
The most westerly of these ranges is that known as the Mysian Olympus, which rises on the borders of Mysia and Bithynia, immediately south of the city of Broussa, and extends in a direction from N.W. to S.E., between the valley of the Rhyndacus and the head-waters of the Gallus, one of the principal tributaries of the Sangarius. It attains a height of about 6400 feet, and is a conspicuous object in the view from Constantinople, as well as from the plains of the interior. After a range of about 60 miles it sinks to a comparatively low level, where it joins the table-land of Phrygia, but may be considered as continued by subordinate masses which connect it with the range of Demirdji-dagh on the one side, while other elevations branch off from it to the valley of the Sangarius, which separates it from the chain of Ala-dagh, sometimes known as the Galatian Olympus. This is a lofty range which extends pretty continuously from the valley of the Sangarius to that of the Halys, constituting during a considerable part of its course the frontier between Galatia and Paphla-gonia. The highest and central portion of the chain rises to between 6000 and 7000 feet, and almost the whole province of Paphlagonia is filled up with the subordinate ranges and offshoots that may be considered as connected with it. From thence it is continued under the name of Kusch-dagh, quite to the left bank of the Kizil Irmak or Halys. That river is indeed, in one part of its course, so closely hemmed in between two opposite ranges of moun-tains as to afford no passage for a road.
East of the Halys, again, the central and maritime portions of Pontus are traversed by a succession of moun-tain ranges, for the most part of no great elevation, but rising progressively as they approach to the great table-land of the interior. Throughout the whole line of coast, from near Samsoun (Amisus) to Trebizond, these mountains de-scend so close to the sea as to render the coast line extremely picturesque and varied. But the most important range appears to be that which extends from the neighbourhood of Trebizond, where it attains to an elevation of more than 8000 feet, in a direction towards W.S.W., so as to pass between the towns of Tokat and Sivas. It is here called Chamla Bel, and the passes by which it is crossed from one of these towns to the other attain to above 5000 feet. It is apparently this range to which Strabo gives the name of Paryadres, and which he describes as continuous with another mountain chain called Scydises, and connected also with the mountains of the Moschians, which occupied the sea-coast from Trebizond to the borders of Colchis. But though the great geographer was himself a native of Amasia, his ideas of the orography of his native country were apparently very vague, and he certainly has not supplied us with any definite ideas on the subject, while in modern times the region has still been very imperfectly explored. The whole tract on the borders of Pontus and Armenia is very rugged and mountainous, and is still, as in the days of Strabo, inhabited by wild and lawless tribes, which render it very difficult of access to strangers.
Rivers.—The rivers of Asia Minor are of very little importance in comparison with those of countries of similar extent in Europe. This is owing principally to the exist-ence of the great table-land in the interior, the climate of which is remarkably dry, and a considerable part of which, as has already been pointed out', does not discharge its waters to the sea. The much steeper inclination of the river-beds, resulting from the high elevation of their sources, tends, moreover, to give them the character of mere torrents, rather than of placid and navigable streams, while at the same time none of them are fed, like the Rhine and the Rhone, by the unfailing supply of glaciers. The want of navigable rivers is, indeed, one of the great defects of the country, and one which, so far as the interior is concerned, must always remain a disadvantage not to be surmounted.
Much the largest river of the peninsula is the Halys, called by the Turks the Kizil Irmak, or "Red River," which derives additional interest from its having formed in early ages the boundaiy between the kingdoms of Lydia and Persia. It takes its rise in the mountains on the borders of Cappadocia and Pontus, in the district called by Strabo Camisene, about 70 miles above the modern town of Sivas, and flows in a direction nearly S.W. for above 200 miles, till it passes within 20 miles of the city of Kaisariyeh; soon after which it turns to the N.W., and then makes a vast bend round till it assumes a northeasterly direction, which it pursues as far as the town of Osmandjik. Here it makes a sharp and sudden turn, caused by its encountering the range of mountains which extends from Paphlagonia into Pontus, and which it traverses by a winding course through narrow gorges, between precipitous cliffs, until it emerges into the level country near the sea, which it enters about half way between Amisus (Samsoun) and Sinope. Its whole course (as measured on the map, without taking account of the minor windings) is not less than 560 miles, though, from its describing so great a curve, the direct distance from its sources to its mouth is only about 180 miles. In length of course, therefore, it is about equal to such rivers as the Elbe and the Loire, but it is far inferior to them in body of water, in which respect it scarcely equals the second class rivers of Prance. Even in the lower part of its course its breadth frequently does not exceed 100 yards.
The Halys has but few tributaries of importance. The most considerable are—the Delidji Tchai, which traverses the great upland plains of Galatia, and after flowing near the town of Yuzgat, joins the Kizil Irmak about 70 miles above Osmandjik; (2),theGok Irmak ("BlueRiver"),which rises in the mountains of Paphlagonia, a short distance above the town of Kastamuni, and flows through a deep and narrow vailey till it joins the Kizil Irmak in the midst of the narrow gorges above described.
At a short distance east of the mouth of the Halys is that of another of the most considerable streams that fall into the Black Sea—the Iris of ancient geographers, now known as the Yeschil Irmak, or " Green River." This has its source in the same range of mountains as the Halys, but flows from thence towards the N.W. It passes within a short distance of the town of Tokat, and under the walls of Amasia, the birth-place of Strabo, near which it bends abruptly to the N.E., as far as the site of the ancient Eupatoria, where it receives a tributary stream from the E., and thence pursues a course nearly due north for about 40 miles, till it enters the Black Sea about 15 miles east of Samsoun. It has a course altogether of about 200 miles. Its most important tributary is the one above noticed, the Lycus of Strabo, now called the Ghermeli Tchai, which is nearly equal to the main stream. It rises in the moun-tains on the borders of Armenia, nearly due S. of Trebizond, and flows under the walls of Niksar (the ancient Neo-Csesarea). But great part of its course is still very imper-fectly known.
The most important of the northern rivers of Asia Minor, after the Halys, is the Sangarius, which still retains its ancient name in the corrupted form of Sakaria. It falls into the Black Sea, W. of Heraclea, about 80 miles from the mouth of the Bosphorus. It has its sources in the uplands of Phrygia, not far to the N. of Afiom Kara Hissar, and flows by a very winding course through the great tableland of Galatia, as far as a place called Bei Bazar, about 50 miles W. of Angora, where it turns abruptly to the west, and traverses the mountainous regions of Phrygia and Bithynia, till, after approaching within a short distance of the Sea of Marmora, it again turns to the N.E., and pursues its course to the Black Sea. Its course has a length of more than 320 miles, while its sources, which are situated almost due south of its mouth, are distant from it only about 160 miles. Its two chief tributaries are theEnguri Su, or river of Angora, which flows past the city of that name, and the Pursak (the Thymbres of ancient writers), which passes near the towns of Kiutahia (Cotiaeum) and Eski Shehr (Dorylasum), and falls into the Sakaria about 20 miles below the latter place.
The most considerable rivers which have their outlet to the Sea of Marmora are the Rhyndacus and Macestus, which unite their waters at a distance of about 15 miles from the sea. They both take their rise in the range of mountains known as the Demirdji-dagh, the Macestus having its source in a small lake called the Simau Gol, a few miles north of Simau (Synnaus), the Rhyndacus in the neighbourhood of iEzani, about 25 miles further east. They flow at first in widely divergent directions, but ulti-mately both turn towards the north; and the Rhyndacus (now called Adranas Tchai), which is the most considerable of the two, after forming the Lake of Apollonia (an exten-sive sheet of water), receives the waters of the Macestus a few miles lower down.
The streams which flow from the mountain mass of the Ida are of little importance in a geographical point of view, but two of them are of the highest interest from historical associations—the Granicus, so celebrated for Alexander's first victory over the Persians, and the still more famous Scamander, which flowed beneath the walls of Troy. The first of these rivers rises in the northern slopes of Mount Ida, and flows northwards to the Sea of Marmora, after a course of little more than 40 miles. It is now called the Khodja Tchai, but it is a very inconsiderable stream. The Scamander has its sources in Kaz-dagh, the highest part of Ida (Mount Gargarus), and flows at first towards the west, but then turning northwards, pours its waters into the Dardanelles, near the point of Kum Kaleh, which marks the entrance into that remarkable strait.
The western portion of Asia Minor, between the Gulf of Adrarayttium and the frontiers of Caria, is traversed by four considerable streams, which flow through parallel valleys from the uplands of the interior to the Aegean Sea. The most northern of these is the Caicus, now called the Bakyr Tchai, which rises in the chain of the Demirdji-dagh (Mount Temnus), and flows through the whole of Mysia, passing within about 5 miles of the city of Pergamus, and falling into the sea about 20 miles below that city, between the sites of Pitane and Elaea. Much more impor-tant, as well as more celebrated, is the Hermus, now known as the Ghediz Tchai, from the town of Ghediz, the ancient Cadi, in Phrygia, near its sources. These are derived from the two mountain masses called Ak-dagh and Morad-dagh, the latter being the more considerable stream. After their junction the river flows in a S.W. direction for about 30 miles, and then turns due west; it traverses the volcanic district of the Katakekaumene, and emerges below Adala into the broad and fertile valley, through which it continues to flow to the sea. It passes only about 5 miles to the north of the celebrated city of Sardis, and almost close to that of Magnesia. It appears to have in ancient times pursued its westerly course to the sea, which it entered near Phocasa ; but at the present day it makes a turn abruptly to the S., and enters the Gulf of Smyrna about 10 miles from that city. Its only important tributary is the Hyllus, called also the Phrygius, which joins it at Magnesia from the N.E., having its sources above Thyatira. The Pactolus, so famous for its golden sands, which flows under the walls of Sardis, is a very trifling stream.
Next in order, proceeding south, comes the Cayster, a stream very inferior in magnitude to the Hermus and Maeander, which rises in the knot of mountains at the junction of Mount Messogis and Tmolus, and flows through a broad, fertile valley for above 70 miles, till it enters the sea just below Ephesus. It is now called the Kutschuk Mender or Little Maeander. The true Maeander (now called Bojuk Mender, or Great Mseander) is much the most considerable of the four rivers. It takes its rise at Apamea (previously called Celaenae) in Phrygia, above 175 miles in a direct line from its mouth, and is derived from abundant sources of water, so as to form a deep and clear stream almost immediately below its origin. Thence it flows for some distance to the N.W. as far as the site of Peltse, where it receives a tributary called the Sandukli Tchai(the ancient Obrimas),sometimes erroneously regarded as the main stream, and there, turning to the S.W., pursues a course a little to the southward of west to the sea. It preserves this general direction with no great change, the numerous windings for which it was famous in antiquity being of no great magnitude or extent, but after passing through a series of mountain gorges between Peltae and Tripolis, it emerges into a broad and rich alluvial valley, through which it holds its winding course to the sea. This valley is bounded immediately on the north by the lofty range of Mount Messogis, the streams descending from which have only a very short course, and the Maeander, in consequence, receives no affluents of any importance from this side. From the south, on the contrary, it receives several considerable tributaries, which have their sources in the mountains of Caria. The most important of these are the Tchoruk Su, which flows by Colossae and Laodicea, the Arpas Su (the ancient Harpasa), and the Tchinar Tchai (the Marsyas of ancient writers), which rises in the moun-tain mass of Boz-dagh, on the confines of Caria and Lycia, and flows by the site of Alabanda at Arab Hissar. The total course of the Maeander is estimated at about 240 miles.
All these rivers which we have just been considering are remarkable for the great amount of alluvial matter which they bring down, and the extensive deposits which they in consequence form where they enter the sea. Thus the Cayster, though the least considerable of the four, has not only filled up the port of Ephesus, but has pushed forward the shore for more than two miles beyond its site. The Maeander has blocked up the deep gulf former! y extending inwards from near Miletus to the foot of Mount Latmus, so as to convert the inner portion of the gulf into a lake, while it has entirely filled up the port of Miletus, united the island of Lade with the mainland, and formed a broad space of alluvial marshes extending thence to the foot of Mount Mycale. At the present day the alluvial deposits are advancing with such rapidity in the Gulf of Smyrna as to threaten Smyrna with the same fate as has befallen Miletus.
Of the rivers of Lycia the only one which deserves notice is the Xanthus, which rises in Mount Taurus, and falls into the sea about 12 miles below the city of the same name. But a much more considerable stream is that now known as the Gerenis Tchai, which rises on the northern side of Mount Taurus, at a short distance from the sources of the Xanthus, and flows in a northerly direction through the upland district of Cibyra, then turns suddenly round, and pursues a course about S.S.W., traversing the whole of the mountain region on the borders of Caria and Lycia, until it falls into the sea between Caunus in Caria and the Gulf of Macri. It was called Calbis in the lower part of its course, and Indus in the upper, but ancient geographers were apparently not aware that the two were in fact the same river.
The rivers which flow from the main chain of Taurus to the Mediterranean are very numerous, and many of them in winter bring down a large body of water. But they have necessarily but short courses, and few of them hava much geographical importance. Of those which traverse the plain of Pamphylia it will be sufficient to mention th« Cestrus and the Eurymedon, both of them considerabl» streams, pursuing parallel courses to the sea, which they enter within less than 20 miles of one another. The one flows beneath the ruins of Perge, the other by those of Selge and Aspendus. The rugged and mountainous country of Cilicia, which adjoins Pamphylia on the east, id furrowed by numerous streams flowing through deep and narrow valleys, the largest of which is the Calycadnus (now called the Gok Su, or "Blue River"), which has a direction nearly from W. to E., taking its rise in a lofty spur of Mount Taurus that advances close to the sea, so that its sources are not more than about 20 miles from the sea at Alaja, while it has a course of more than 100 miles (in a direct line) from thence to its mouth. It falls into the sea about 12 miles below Seleucia (still called Selevke), and is a deep and rapid stream of considerable magnitude.
The broad alluvial plain which forms the eastern portion of Cilicia is traversed by several rivers, two of which, the Sarus and Pyramus, now known as the Sihun and Jihun, are among the most important rivers of Asia Minor. Both of them alike take their rise far in the interior, in the high lands beyond the Taurus, and force their way across that great chain through deep and narrow gorges. The Saras is indeed formed by the junction of two branches, both of which descend from the ranges of the Anti-Taurus through two parallel valleys, and after traversing for a long distance the mountain gorges, pour their united waters into the plain about 20 miles above the town of Adana. The Pyramus takes its rise in the upland district called Cata-onia, near the modern town of Albistan, flows by Marasch, where it receives a considerable tributary from the east, bringing with it the waters of some small lakes on the reverse of the mountains of Commagene, and after passing near the ruins of Anazarbus, falls into the Gulf of Issus or Sc&nderoon. Both these rivers have formed great alluvial deposits at their mouths, and it is probable that they have repeatedly altered their channels in flowing through the plain. Hence the accounts of them found in ancient authors are very contradictory. The Cydnus, which flowed by Tarsus, is a very inferior stream to those just described, though its name is perhaps better known than either of them. It rises in the mass of Mount Taurus called the Bulghar-dagh', and has a course of not more than 50 miles to the sea, but is a clear and rapid river.
Lakes.—The lakes of Asia Minor are numerous, but of no great importance. The most extensive is the great salt lake already noticed, on the borders of Lycaonia and Cappa-docia, which is bounded on the east by a considerable range of mountains called Khodja-dagh, while on the west it is separated only by some low hills from the broad up-land plains, or steppes, of Lycaonia. Beyond these to the west, but separated from them by the range of the Emir-dagh, is a string of three lakes of no great extent, having a general direction from N.W. to S.E., and follow-ing the line of the valley of Phrygia Paroreios. They bear the names of Eber G61, Ak-Shehr Gbl, and Ilgun Gbl, and are all basins of fresh water passing into mere marshy pools during the dry season. Much more important than these are the two lakes now known as the Egerdir Gbl and Kereli Gbl (from towns of those names built upon their banks), which are situated between the range of the Sultan-dagh and the northern offshoots of the Taurus, and are both of them extensive mountain lakes of not less than 30 miles in length. The northernmost of the two (the Egerdir Gbl, which is described as the most picturesque and beautiful of the lakes of Asia Minor) is situated at an elevation of about 2800 feet above the sea, while the level of the neighbouring Kereli Gbl, which is separated from it by an intervening range of mountains, is at least 800 feet higher. Both are perfectly fresh, and their waters clear and deep, though the one has no outlet, and the other communicates only by a small rivulet with the much smaller lake called Soghla Gbl, the waters of which occasionally disappear altogether. They are without doubt carried off by subterranean channels. About 30 miles S. W. of the Egerdir Gol is the Lake of Buldur, adjoining the town of that name; and at a short distance north of this lies the Tchbruk Su Gbl, or Lake of Chardak, the waters of which are extremely salt, so that large quantities of salt are collected there, and sent from thence to Smyrna.
In the north-western portion of Asia Minor, within the confines of Mysia and Bithynia, are situated three lakes of a wholly different character from the preceding, but having much the same features in common. These are the Lake of Nicaea (still called Isnik Gbl), the Lake of Apollonia (Aboulonia Gbl), and the Lake of Miletopolis (Manyas Gbl). All these are within a few miles of the Sea of Marmora, into which they discharge their waters. The Lake of Apollonia (which is rather the largest of the three) is formed principally by an expansion of the river Rhyndacus, which may be considered as flowing through it. The Lake of Nicaea, on the contrary (called also Lake Ascania), is a mere basin formed by the streams which descend from the surrounding mountains, and discharging its waters into the neighbouring Gulf of Moudania by a channel only about 10 miles long. The lake itself does not exceed 20 miles in length.
Climate and Natural Productions.—The climate of Asia Minor necessarily presents great differences. All travellers have remarked on the striking contrast as they passed from the warm and fertile regions of the west and south to the cold and bleak uplands of the interior. The great central plateau, which constitutes so large a part of the country, is not only much colder than regions in corresponding lati-tudes in Europe, but is characterised by a great dryness, in consequence of the moisture from the Mediterranean being in great part intercepted by the continuous mountain chain of the Taurus. The result of this, combined with its great elevation above the sea, is to render the summers excessively hot, and the winters extremely cold. In both these respects the climate of the central parts of Asia Minor presents a close analogy with that of Central Spain, as well as with the still more extreme case of the neigh-bouring Armenia. On the other hand, the plains and low valleys on the south coast, which are in a latitude corre-sponding to that of Sicily and the south of Spain, have a mean temperature considerably higher than those countries, and the summer heat at Tarsus is said greatly to exceed that of Cadiz or Gibraltar, and to be nearly equal to that of Cairo. Systematic observations for any length of time are, however, almost wholly wanting. The north coast, on the contrary, is subject to the depressing influence of the cold winds and fogs of the Euxine, which, as is well known, bring down the mean temperature of Constanti-nople (and still more its winter temperature) far belcw that of places in corresponding latitudes on the Mediter-ranean. This effect is, however, found to diminish as one proceeds eastward along the shores of the Euxine; and the climate of Trebizond, which is situated almost exactly in the same latitude with Constantinople, is much milder than that of the capital, or of the neighbouring city of Broussa,—a result, doubtless, produced by the sheltering action of the great range of the Caucasus, which prevent* the cold winds from the steppes of Russia to the N. and N.E. from sweeping down on the eastern angle of the Black Sea. The western districts of Asia Minor are in all respects the most favoured, and the coasts of Ionia and Caria may be considered as enjoying one of the finest climates to be found in any part of the Mediterranean. The action of the cold north winds from Thrace and th»-Bosphorus is, however, still felt as far south as Smyrna, and the winters at that place are somewhat colder than those in corresponding latitudes in Spain and Sicily.
The vegetation of the different parts of the peninsula naturally varies with the climate and the soil. The southern coasts present most of the plants and shrubs char-acteristic of the southern portions of the Mediterranean, with the exception of the prickly pear and American aloe (both of them originally exotics imported into Europe), which form so important a feature in the landscape of oSicily and the south of Spain, as well as of Syria, but are very rare in Asia Minor, while the dwarf palm (Chamcero,;: humilis) is wholly wanting. The date palm is occasionally found, but does not ripen its fruit even at Tarsus, where the summer temperature is almost tropical. The vegetation of Lycia, which occupies an intermediate position between the hot plains of Pamphylia and Cilicia and the compara-tively temperate western provinces, is thus described by Forbes:—
"The wild olive covers the bills, wherever the pine (Pinus man tima and halepensis) and the arbutus leave room. The valone* oaks (Quercus Ballota, JEgilops, and infectoria) afford ample shade. The mastic, the fig, and the mulberry are not unfrequent, both cultivated and wild. The Oriental planes afford abundant shade near every village; and the dark and towering cypress is plantm by the place of burial, but grows wild in the ravines. The pome-granate flourishes in great abundance, and its wild fruit supplies a grateful refreshment under the warm sun of autumn. The almond and manna-ash grow wild among the rocks, and the bay and Judas tree in the ravines. The orange and the lemon are cultivated. Melons, cucumbers, sesame, maize, cotton, capsicum, lentils, kid-ney-beans, andbalmias (Hibiscus esculentus), are the common cultivated vegetables."—(Spratt and Forbes's Lycia, vol. ii. p. 152.1
Higher up on the mountain slopes and the uplanot, facing the sea is the chief realm of the oak and pine forests, with which a large part of the chain of Taurus is covered. The walnut is the most plentiful and conspicuous tree around the villages, while vineyards and tobacco fields yield rich produce. The high upland plains, on the con-trary, are generally bare and treeless, but the villages are frequently surrounded with walnut trees, Lombardy poplars, apples, apricots, and willows. The vine is still grown in many spots in these elevated regions, though in others it will not thrive. Large tracts of the table-land of the interior, as has been already mentioned, are either quite barren and desolate, or open treeless downs, affording pasture only to sheep. But it is probable that they would be capable of producing abundant crops of corn (like the similar tracts of Central Spain) if properly cultivated, except in a few districts, such as the steppes of Lycaonia, where the soil is strongly impregnated with salt.
The northern coast districts present a wholly different climate, and from the influence of the Black Sea and the cold of Russia, have much more of the character of the tem-perate regions of Europe than of that of Rome or Naples which correspond to them in latitude. But the mountains are covered with extensive forests of oaks, chestnut, beech, box, and other trees, while the valleys produce fruit trees in extraordinary abundance and variety. This is the case especially in the province of Pontus, extending eastward from near Sinope to Trebizond, which is a country of singular beauty and great fertility, notwithstanding its mountainous character. This region is supposed to be the native land of many of our well-known fruits, especially cherries and apricots. The hills also are covered with medlars, apple, pear, and plum trees, all growing wild, but cultivated also with great success in the neighbourhood of the villages an/i towns. The olive also thrives in sheltered situations, though it is not found west of Sinope. At the same time, the luxuriant undergrowth of rhododendrons and azaleas, besides bay, myrtle, arbutus, and other flourish-ing shrubs, gives a special charm to the scenery of this beautiful region.
Among the vegetable productions that are of importance in a commercial point of view may be mentioned saffron, which is so largely cultivated at a town in Bithynia as to have given it the name of Safaranboli; opium, which has in like manner given name to Afiom Kara Hissar; madder, extensively grown at Ak Shehr; the orchis called salep; and cotton, of which considerable quantities are now produced in the warmer districts near the sea. Mulberries also are extensively cultivated, and large quantities of silk produced in the neighbourhood of Broussa, where there are now established large silk manufactories, as well as at Tokat, Amasia, and other places. The dried figs and raisins for which Smyrna is so celebrated are grown principally in the valley of the Masander near A'idin.
The wild animals of Asia Minor are in general the same as are found in most parts of Europe, though a few mark its connection with the more eastern parts of Asia. Wolves, wild boars, bears, foxes, are abundant; but with them is associated the jackal, which is found in large troops in all parts of the country. The lion, which was certainly an inhabitant of Asia Minor in ancient times, is no longer found in any part of the peninsula, and though the tiger is said to exist in the Cilician Taurus, the fact does not rest on any good authority. But leopards still occur not unfrequently in the mountain country of the Taurus, and from thence range along the mountains to the west, so that they have been occasionally shot even in the neighbourhood of Smyrna. The high mountains are frequented by the ibex and chamois, while the true wild goat (Capra JSgagrus) is found on those of Cappadocia and Cilicia. The moufflon, also, is not uncommon in Cappadocia; but the wild ass, which existed there in the time of Strabo, is no longer found within the limits of the peninsula. The gazelle abounds in the plains of Cilicia, while both fallow and roe deer are found in the forests in large numbers. In regard to the domestic animals, the remark of Professor Forbes, that in Lycia the introduced camel and buffalo, both unknown to the country in ancient times, now play a more important part than the aboriginal quadrupeds, may be extended to the greater part of Asia Minor. Enormous numbers of sheep are, however, reared on the vast plains of the interior, as well as in the level parts of Cilicia, though they no longer retain the celebrity they enjoyed in antiquity for the fine quality of their wool. This, however, supplies the material for the celebrated Turkish carpets, the principal manufactory of which is at Ushak in Phrygia. Not less celebrated is the breed of goats peculiar to the neighbourhood of Angora, the hair of which is worked up into shawls but little inferior to those of Cashmere. No trace is found of the existence of any such peculiar race in ancient times, or even in the Middle Ages, and the period of its introduction is unknown. In comparison with the sheep and goats, cattle occupy but a subordinate position in Asia Minor; and though the plains of the interior, and still more those of Cilicia, were cele-brated in ancient times for the number and beauty of the horses reared on them, nothing of the kind is now to be found, and the horses of Asia Minor are generally of an inferior description.
The geology of Asia Minor is still very imperfectly known, very few districts having been as yet examined in detail; but the researches of Hamilton, Ainsworth, and Tchihatcheff, and of Edward Forbes in Lycia, have thrown much light on the subject, and enabled us to form a general notion of the structure of the country. The great mass of the chain of Mount Taurus, and of the subsidiary ranges connected with it, consists, as has been already noticed, of the formation known as Apennine limestone, which is generally referred by geologists to the Cretaceous period. No sedimentary formations of older date are known to exist in the southern parts of the peninsula, but in the northern districts this is replaced by saccharine limestones and mica schists, with other metamorphic rocks, which are probably to be assigned to a much earlier period. The great table-land of the interior is composed for the most part of a vast lacustrine or fresh water formation belonging to the Tertiary period; and large portions of similar fresh water tertiaries, detached from the great central mass, are found scattered between its borders and the coasts, in some instances descending quite to the sea, as in the neighbourhood of Smyrna. But in the interior the lacustrine limestones and marls are frequently intermixed with extensive deposits of volcanic tuffs, the soft mate-rials of which are rent by water-courses into deep and narrow glens, often studded with cones and pinnacles, presenting a great variety of picturesque and singular forms, and constituting one of the most peculiar fea-tures of the scenery of Asia Minor. Igneous rocks are found scattered through almost all parts of the peninsula, and the remarkable chain of volcanic mountains extend-ing from Mount Argaeus to the Kara-dagh near Kara-man has been already noticed. All these mountains are of a trachytic character, and apparently belong to the Tertiary period; but there is a district on the borders of Phrygia and Lydia which presents volcanic phenomena of a much later date. It was known in ancient times as the Katakekaumene, or Burnt country, and its volcanic char-acter wa* fully recognised by Strabo, though we may infer from his silence that there was no record of any eruption within the historical period. It has been fully described by Mr Hamilton, and presents three conical black hills of scoriae and ashes, with well-defined craters, from which have flowed broad streams of rugged black vesicular lava, the surfaces of which are as barren and as little influenced by atmospheric action as the latest products of Vesuvius, so that if it were not for the negative evidence iO the contrary, they might be well supposed to belong to a recent historical period. Igneous rocks of an older character are found in many parts of Asia Minor ; those in Lycia are principally serpentine, while in the north-western districts various forms of trachyte prevail, and several of the minor ranges which rise out of the great central table-land are of granitic character.
Towards the sources of the River Halys is an extensive formation of saliferous red sandstones with gypsum, which would doubtless yield abundance of salt, were not that article more readily procured from the salt lakes already mentioned. Coal is found in the neighbourhood of Hera-clea on the Black Sea, and was worked to some extent during the Crimean War. There is little doubt that Asia Minor is rich in minerals, but they are nowhere worked to much purpose. Iron ores of very good quality are still found in abundance in the country of the Chalybes, so celebrated among the Greeks for their skill as workers of iron, and they are still worked in a very primitive fashion by the inhabitants. The district of Cibyra, also, which was noted in the days of Strabo for its iron manufactories, still produces iron ores in plenty, of the same kind as those of Elba, but they are altogether neglected. The copper and silver mines of the north, though partially worked, are of very little importance. The same neglect has be-fallen ttie numerous quarries of marble, which attracted so much attention in the time of the Romans, and among which those of Proconnesus (the island of Marmora) and those near Synnada (Afiom Kara Hissar), producing the kind known as Phrygian marble, were the most celebrated.
Though Asia Minor had no active volcanoes it was sub-ject in all ages to frequent and severe earthquakes. The most remarkable of these was one which occurred in 17 A.D., during the reign of Tiberius, and which almost entirely destroyed twelve considerable cities, including Magnesia and Sardis. Laodicea, also, was peculiarly subject to these visitations, which Strabo sagaciously connects with the evidences of recent volcanic action in the Katakekaumene. Thermal springs are found in many parts of the peninsula, but the most remarkable are those of Broussa, which from their proximity to Constantinople are still much frequented, and those at the ancient Hierapolis, the site of which is now utterly deserted.
Ancient Divisions and Ethnography:—The division of Asia Minor which is commonly adopted by geographers, and which is followed in the present article, is that given by Strabo, which coincides in the main with those of Ptolemy and Pliny. According to this the whole peninsula is considered as comprising—1. Pontus, on the Euxine, adjoining the frontiers of Armenia, and extending west as far as the Halys; 2. Paphlagonia, from the Halys to the Parthenius; 3. Bithynia, from the Parthenius to the Rhyndacus; 4. Mysia, which, with the subordinate dis-tricts of the Troad and iEolis, or the land occupied by the iEolian Greek colonists, comprised the north-western angle of the peninsula; 5. Lydia, of which Ionia in like manner formed the sea coast; 6. Caria, including the Dorian Greek colonies; 7. Lycia; 8. Pamphylia ; 9. Cilicia—the last three provinces extending along the southern coast, from the Gulf of Macri to the frontiers of Syria; while in the interior were—-10. Pisidia, comprising only the rugged mountain country above Pamphylia; 11. Phrygia, forming the western portion of the great table-land; 12. Galatia; 13. Cappa-docia; 14. Lycaonia and Isauria, two barren and mountainous regions oa the north side of Mount Taurus. (For farther par-ticulars as to the extent and limits of these different regions the reader must be referred to the respective articles).
The system thus adopted by Strabo, and which appears to have been already generally received in his time, was, properly speaking, merely a geographical one. It did not coincide with the political or administrative divisions of the country, either in his time or for at least three centuries earlier. Though some of the countries enumerated—as Bithynia and Cappadocia—had continued down to a late period to form independent sovereignties, the limits of which were well established, the greater part of the penin-sula had undergone many fluctuations and changes, the different provinces passing at one time under the kings of Syria, at others under those of Pergamus, and being trans-ferred by the Romans in an arbitrary manner from the rule of one potentate to another. And when the Romans had established their own dominion over the greater part of the peninsula, it was long before the division of it into provinces had assumed a definite and settled form. But the Roman province of Asia, as it existed from the days of Cicero to those of Strabo, may be regarded as comprising Mysia, Lydia, Caria, and Phrygia, but excluding Lycia, Pisidia, Galatia, and Bithynia, so that it contained much less than half of Asia Minor, with which it is sometimes erroneously supposed to have been identical.
The divisions of the country thus generally recognised were in fact (with one exception) ethnographical ones, or at least had been so originally. Herodotus, the earliest writer from whom we have any information on the subject, describes Asia within the Halys, as containing fifteen different races or nations, including the Greek settlers ; and of these the Cilicians, Pamphylians, Lycians, Carians, Lydians, Mysians, Bithynians, Paphlagonians, and Phry-gians undoubtedly then occupied the countries which long after retained their names. East of the Halys lay the Cappadocians, who in his time occupied the whole country from the frontiers of Cilicia to the Euxine. It was not till a later period that the northern portion of this extensive country came to be known and distinguished from the rest as Cappadocia on the Pontus, and eventually under the designation of Pontus alone. Galatia, on the other hand, derived its name from the Gauls, who established them-selves in that country about two centuries B.C., and con-tinued to retain their language and nationality down to a late period of the Roman empire. The Lycaonians, Isau-rians, and Pisidians are not noticed by Herodotus; pro-bably the names of these obscure mountain tribes had never yet reached the ears of the Greeks.
Our information concerning the origin and ethnographi-cal relations of the nations that we thus find occupying the peninsula at the earliest period is very imperfect, and rests almost wholly on the vague statements of ancient authors, none of the nations in question, with the exception of the Lycians, having left any trace of their language. But according to the distinct and uniform assertion of ancient writers, the Bithynians were of Thracian origin, and identical with the people who were separated from them by the narrow strait of the Bosphorus—a statement in accordance with the natural probability of the case. The same probability may be alleged also in favour of the Thracian origin of the Mysians, which is asserted both by Herodotus and Strabo, though they would appear to have settled in the peninsula at a much earlier period than the Bithynians. Much less value can be attached to the tra-ditions concerning the original connection between the Mysians, Lydians, Phrygians, and Carians, which would assign a common Thracian origin to all these nations. The Carians indeed were, according to the more prevalent opinion among the Greeks, later immigrants from Crete and the adjoining islands—a theory certainly not supported by internal probability. But there seem strong reasons for regarding the Carians, like their neighbours the Lycians, as a peculiar people, distinct from all who surrounded them. The Lycians, as already mentioned, are the only people of Asia Minor who have left us the means of judg-ing of their ethnic affinities by the remains of their lan-guage. From th«se we learn that they were an Aryan race, apparently more nearly connected with the Persians than with the Greek or other Pelasgic races. But besides the Lycians, there existed within the province of Lycia a tribe called the Solymi, who were generally considered as of Syrian or Semitic origin. The fact does not appear in their case to rest upon any sufficient authority, but the connection of the Cilicians, who held so large a part of the south coast, with the Syrians and Phoenicians, may be con-sidered as well established. All ancient writers, moreover, agree in describing the Cappadocians, who originally extended from Mount Taurus and the frontiers of Cilicia to the Puxine, as a Syrian race, so that they were at first called by the Greeks Leucosyri, or White Syrians, to dis-tinguish them from their darker brethren farther south. Whether the mountain tribes of the Pisidians, Isaurians, and Lycaonians were connected with the Cappadocians or with the Phrygians, or to what other race they belonged, we have no information whatever.
The population of Asia Minor at the present day can hardly be said to retain any traces of the earlier nations that composed it, though, according to some writers, the Zeybeks,—-a race presenting some marked peculiarities, who occupy the south-western corner of the peninsula— are the lineal representatives of the ancient Carians. They, however, speak only Turkish. The bulk of the population is composed of Turks, Greeks, and Armenians, among whom the Turks preponderate greatly in numbers, and (unlike what is the case in European Turkey) compose the mass of the agricultural and rural population, while the Greeks and Armenians are found principally in the towns, where almost all the trade is in their hands. But besides these elements, which constitute the fixed and permanent population of the peninsula, there is a considerable portion consisting of nomad and half nomad tribes, which are known under the names of Turcomans, Yourouks or Euruques (the name is very variously written), and Kurds. The last of these are found principally in the eastern and south-eastern districts, the Turcomans in the north-eastern and central provinces, and the Yourouks in the west and south-west of the peninsula. They are all exclusively pastoral races, but the Turcomans have in general their villages in which they spend the winter months, wandering over the great plains of the interior with their flocks and herds during the summer months. The Yourouks, on the contrary, are a truly nomad race, dwelling all the year round in tents, and removing from place to place according to the season. Their tents are made of black goats' hair, and their principal covering is a heavy cloak of the same material. Besides large flocks of sheep and goats, they breed many camels, and one of their principal occupations is burning charcoal, in the course of which they do enor-mous injury to the forests. They are by no means limited to the wilder districts of the interior, but when the harvest is over descend into the rich plains and valleys near the coast, through which they wander almost without restraint, and their black tents are often to be seen within a few miles of Smyrna. Though distinguished at the present day by certain peculiarities from the Turcomans, the You-rouks are apparently of Turkish origin, and speak a Turkish dialect. The Kurds, on the contrary, who are merely a wandering offshoot of the race that occupies the great mountain tract called Kurdistan, extending from the bor-ders of Cappadocia between Armenia and Mesopotamia into Persia, speak a wholly different language, and belong altogether to a different race. They are, however, confined to the border districts on the eastern frontier of Asia Minor, and to Cilicia, where the tribes that have their summer encampments in the neighbourhood of Csesarea descend to pasture their flocks in the winter.
History.—It is remarkable that a country like Asia Minor, possessing such great natural advantages, and to a great extent so clearly limited by nature, can hardly be said to have any history of its own. It was never at any period united under one independent sovereign, but was always either divided among a number of minor potentates, or, as under the Roman, Byzantine, and Turkish rule, con-stituted merely a subordinate portion of a more extensive empire. Its western and northern shores were from a very early period occupied by Greek colonies, which gradually formed an almost unbroken chain of settlements along its coasts and islands from Rhodes to Trebizond. But these exercised comparatively little influence upon the nations of the interior; and the first historical event that can be considered as affecting the fortunes of the peninsula in general, was the rise of the Lydian monarchy, which attained to so great a predominance that for a short time Croesus, the last monarch of the dynasty (560-546 B.C.), had subdued the whole of Asia Minor west of the Halys with the exception of Lycia. But having, unfortunately, engaged in war with Cyrus, king of Persia, he was entirely defeated, and his dominions conquered by the Persian monarch. From this time the whole of Asia Minor, from the frontiers of Syria to the Hellespont and the Bosphorus, continued for more than two centuries to form part of the Persian monarchy, until its overthrow by Alexander the Great, 333 B.C. It was during this period divided into satrapies, the boundaries of which were, however, very uncertain and fluctuating, like those of the Turkish govern-ments in modern days. In the division of the Macedonia! i empire after the death of Alexander, Asia Minor became a chief object of contention among his generals, but was ultimately included in the dominions of Seleucus, and the greater part of the peninsula continued for a considerable period to be subject to the Seleucidan kings of Syria. A small independent monarchy had, however, been estab-lished at Pergamus, soon after 280 B.C, and when the Romans entered Asia, and defeated Antiochus III. at the battle of Magnesia (190 B.C.), they transferred a consider-able part of his dominions to Eumenes, king of Pergamus, whose kingdom was thus extended to the Taurus. The monarchy of Pergamus thus constituted continued to sub-sist till after the death of Attalus III., when it was annexed to the Roman dominions under the name of the province of Asia (130 B.C.) Bithynia, however, still continued a separate kingdom, as did also Pontus, which for a short period rose under the great Mithridates to be a really formidable power. But after the defeat and death of Mithridates, in 63 B.C., the greater part of his kingdom, as well as that of Bithynia, was annexed to the Roman dominion; and though some petty dynasties were allowed to linger on till after the Roman empire, the whole of Asia Minor was virtually subject to Rome from the time of Augustus. There ensued a long period of tranquillity and prosperity under the Roman and Byzantine empires, during which it suffered less than almost any other part of the empire from the inroads and ravages of barbarians. Even after the rise of the Mahometan power, though Asia Minor was repeatedly traversed by the armies of the Arab con-querors, who twice laid siege to Constantinople, it was never permanently annexed to the dominion of the caliphs, like the adjoining provinces of Syria and Mesopotamia, and the whole country, as far as the passes of Mount Amanus, continued subject to the Byzantine empire, until it was overrun by the Seljukian Turks in 1074 A.D. I The conquest of Asia Minor by the Turks was not a mere passing inroad, but a permanent occupation of the country, in which they established themselves in such numbers that they have ever since formed the predominant element in the population, and have to a great extent supplanted or absorbed all the previously existing races. But the dynasty of the house of Seljuk, established by the first conqueror Soliman, who had fixed his capital at Nice, within 100 miles of Constantinople, did not long retain its undivided sovereignty, and its power was broken by the armies of the first Crusade (1097 A.D.), which took Nice, defeated the Turks in a great battle at Dorylseum, and then swept over the land almost without opposition, up to the very walls of Antioch. The Byzantine emperor recovered possession of the whole circuit of the coast, from Trebizond to the Syrian gates; and the Seljukian sultans of Bourn, as they termed themselves, who had removed their capital to Iconium, in the heart of the interior, found themselves cut off from the sea on all sides. Their domi-nion was gradually broken up, and divided among a number of small independent chieftains, until the rise of the Ottoman dynasty at the commencement of the 14th century once more consolidated the power of the Turks in Asia. The history of Asia Minor from this period is in-separably connected with that of the Turkish empire, and will be given under the head of TURKEY. TO the same article we must refer our readers for the modern division of the country and the present system of administration, as well as for such statistical information concerning its present state as it is possible to collect in the absence of all official or trustworthy authorities.
At the commencement of the present century our information, concerning Asia Minor was extremely imperfect. The survey of the-southern coast by Captain Beaufort (published in his Karamania, 4to, Lond. 1817), was the first contribution to a sound knowledge of any part of the country; and the work of Colonel Leake (Journal of a Tour in Asia Minor, 8vo, Lond. 1824), in which he embodied a careful review of all the information then existing, and applied it to the comparative geography of the peninsula, became the basis of all subsequent researches. Since then the labours of successive travellers have thrown a great deal of light upon the subject, and most parts of the peninsula.have been visited and described, though the materials for a good map are still wanting, and there exists no satisfactory geographical or geological description of many parts of the country. For further information and details our readers may consult Arundel's Visit to the Seven Chwrches, 8vo, Lond. 1828, and his Discoveries in Asia Minor, 1834 ; Hamilton's Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus, and Armenia, 2 vols. 8vo, Lond. 1842; Fel-lows's Excursion in Asia Minor, Lond. 1839, and his Discoveries in Lycia, Lond. 1841 ; Ainsworth's Travels in Asia Minor, 2 vols., Lond. 1842 ; Spratt and Forbes's Travels in Lycia, 2 vols., Lond. 1847 ; Langlois's Voyage dans la Cilicie, 8vo, 1861 ; C. T. Newton, Travels and Discoveries in the Levant, 2 vols., Lond. 1867.
The work of M. Tchihatcheff (Asie Mineure—Description Physique, Statistique, et Archéologique, 3 vols., 8vo, Paris, 1853-60), the result of several years' explorations in different parts of the country, and the first attempt at a systematic description of Asia Minor, has unfortunately never been completed. The first volume (published in 1853) contains by far the best description that has yet appeared of the physical geography of the whole peninsula ; the second and third are devoted to the meteorology, zoology, and botany ; but those which should have contained the geology and the archaeology have never been published. (E. H. B.)










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