Tanais (Tanais, Ptol. iii. 5. § 26, viii. 18. § 5), a town of Asiatic Sarmatia, lying on the more southern mouth and between both mouths of the river of the same name. It may also be described as situated at the northernmost point of the Palus Maeotis, and not far from the sea. It was a flourishing colony of the Milesians, enjoying an extensive commerce, and being the principal market of the surrounding tribes, both of Europe and Asia, who here bartered slaves and skins for the wine, apparel, and other articles of more civilised nations. (Strab. xi. p. 493.) The inhabitants soon reduced a considerable part of the neighbouring coasts to subjection, but were in turn themselves subdued by the kings of the Bosporus (Id. vii. p. 310, xi. p. 495). An attempt to regain their independence only ended in the destruction of their city by Polemon I. (Id. p. 493), a little before the time when Strabo wrote. Pliny (vi. 7. s. 7) speaks of Tanais as no longer existing in his time; but it appears to have been subsequently restored (Ptol. ll. cc.; Steph. B. p. 633), though it never recovered its former prosperity. Clarke (i. p. 415) could discover no trace of it, nor even a probable site; but its ruins are said to exist near the modern Nedrigoska (cf. Grafe, Mem. de l'Ac. des Sc. a St. Petersb. vi. Ser. vi. p. 24; Stempowsky, Nouv. Jour. Asiat. i. p. 55; Bockh. Inscr. ii. p. 1008).
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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