David C. Braund
Albania (Transcaucasian), the land between *Iberia and the *Caspian, to the north of *Media Atropatene: it now lies largely within northern Azerbaijan and Daghestan. Albania comprises an extensive and quite dry plain, with the eastern spur of the main Caucasus to the north: pastoralism was widespread, though archaeology indicates agriculture and significant settlements (so too notably *Ptolemy (4)). Through Albania, past Derbend, lay the easiest and most-frequented route south across the Caucasus. In extant manuscripts of classical texts the Albani are often confused inextricably with the *Alans across the mountains to the north. The Albani are first mentioned in the context of Alexander III's campaigns. Pompey brought them within the Roman sphere in 65
Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Susan Mary Sherwin-White
Pierre Briant and Amélie Kuhrt
Alexander John Graham and Stephen Mitchell
Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton and Antony Spawforth
Cappadocia, at one time designated the whole region between Lake Tatta and the *Euphrates, and from the *Euxine Sea to *Cilicia; but the northern part became ‘Cappadocian Pontus’ or simply ‘*Pontus’, and the central and southern part Greater Cappadocia. This last consists of a rolling plateau, almost treeless in its western portion, some broken volcanic areas in the centre and the west (the cone of Mt. Argaeus reaches 3,660 m.: 12,000 ft.), and the ranges, for the most part well watered and well timbered, of the *Taurus and Antitaurus. A rigorous winter climate limits production to hardy cereals and fruits. Grazing was always important; the *Achaemenid kings levied a tribute of 1,500 horses, 50,000 sheep, and 2,000 mules, and Roman emperors kept studs of race-horses there. *Mines are mentioned of quartz, salt, Sinopic earth (cinnabar), and silver. Since the passes were frequently closed in winter the country was isolated.
Walter Eric Harold Cockle
Coptus (mod. Qift), a nome-capital of Upper *Egypt on the east bank of the Nile. The temple of Min, repaired by Ptolemy II (see
Cyprus, third largest Mediterranean island (9,282 sq. km.: 3,584 sq. mi.) was of strategic and economic importance to the Mediterranean and near eastern powers, and significant both to their relations with western Asia and with one another. It is vulnerable to the power politics of its neighbours, by one or other of whom it has often been occupied or governed, and whose mutual conflicts have sometimes been fought out on its soil or its seas. Though mountainous (the highest points on its Troödos and Kyrenia ranges are 1,951 and 1,023 m. (6,403 and 3,357 ft.) respectively), its central plain (Mesaoria) is fertile, while its extensive piedmont and river-valley systems are suited to crop and animal husbandry. The island suffers intermittently from serious seismic disturbance. Rainfall is uncertain, drought endemic, and fertility dramatically responsive to irrigation capacity. Copper ore, chiefly located in the Troödos foothills at the junction of igneous and sedimentary deposits, has been exploited since prehistory. Timber resources played a major role in the region's naval history.