Phew!! .....you go away, play with electronic Opsimeter armed with new clues regarding Antigonus march, and the thread moves on at lightning speed !!
Since I've done the research, I'll post my findings anyway.........
(Ramsay) “This is the "strong Castle of Hirakla," as the Arabs called it, Herakleia of the Greeks...”
I've now located this place, but it is too far east distance wise ( see post) and has the wrong name in any event ! (Nora's name did change, but not, apparently, to Herakleia)
Chris Taylor wrote:
They are more than best guesses. Watersheds (= mountains & rivers) are natural borders: for peaceful / administrative purposes, they are practical because they facilitate communication and travel within a region. Basically, officials don't need to cross mountain passes and rivers to collect tax - that's the duty of the satrap on the other side of the mountain / river.
For warring parties, watersheds are easy to defend. If one or the other side chooses to invade across a natural border, they have to find a new frontier line that it defensible.
So unless there's evidence to the contrary, it is safe to assume that, in the eyes of the ancients, the border to the next province was the river and mountain
I agree: the watershed - that division between north and south flowing rivers - is the demarcation. I think that Diodorus (I haven't bothered checking others) is indicating that clearly in describing Eumenes "passing over" the Taurus. That can only mean passing the "Cilician Gates" and thus entering Cilicia.
My observation regarding "best guesses" relates more to boundaries guessed at where no such striking and defining natural feature exists. For example, the boundary of Coele-Syria and Cilicia is a guess. One logical argument is that the mouth of the Orontes marked this as well as the road through to Thapsacus.
Theoretically, I have no doubt that what has been said is correct. The ‘official’ border may be the river or watershed, but in the latter case the reality is that in practical terms, the ruler’s sway usually extends no further than the foothills, because population/villages to tax peter out, and the highlands are invariably the home of wildly independent pastoralists. In our case, the Isaurians for example, who maintained their independence from all comers.
Agesilaos makes some interesting points:-
Strabo XII 6 i
The boundary between the Lycaonians and the Cappadocians lies between Coropassus, a village of the Lycaonians, and Garsaüra, a town of the Cappadocians. The distance between these strongholds is about one hundred and twenty stadia.
That's a three mile wide border, probably drew their maps with marker pens. It also has to be said that the boundaries were not immutable ,Cappadocia encompassed Cicilia Tracheia under the Romans and what Strabo would call Pontus under Ariarethres I.
Boundaries do indeed change over time, and the marker pen is even thicker than Agesilaos says, for I make 120 stadia =120 x 200 yds =24,000 yds = 13.63 miles !! ( A 1903 map I’ve seen places these two towns, just south of the white salt lake Tatta /Tuz Golu on Google Earth even further apart – 25 miles! ) With such uncertainties, one simply cannot declare a watershed a ‘real’ boundary, more a nominal one.
Now from the Cilician Taurus a continuous range of mountains extends through the whole of Asia as far as the Caucasus and the Eastern Ocean. This range is divided by crests of varying heights, and each part has its proper name. Asia is thus separated into two parts, one sloping to the north, the other to the south. Corresponding to these slopes, the rivers flow in opposite directions [...] The satrapies likewise are divided, some sloping toward the north, the others toward the south.
This source clearly places Ciilcia to the south of the "Cilician Taurus". The boundary is, if we take Diodorus literally, the watershed where rivers flow north or to the south (the Med.). Thus Diodorus can describe Eumenes, still in Cappadocia, to have crossed the Taurus into Cilicia
“...(Antigonus’ army) undertook to follow those who had gone with Eumenes; but since it was not able to come up with them, it returned to Cappadocia. Eumenes himself quickly passed over the Taurus by forced marches and entered Cilicia. “
Now, Eumenes "retreated" from Nora - to where we are not told. This, though, is irrelevant as Eumenes had to "pass over" the Taurus to enter Cilicia. The natural interpretation here is that the passing of the "Cilician Gates" sees one entering Cilicia. Thus, as Diodorus' source states, the demarcation is the watershed that divides north flowing from south.
See above regarding boundaries and watersheds and uncertainties.
That said, I would not disagree with the above. Where Eumenes retreated to is plain enough. Antigonus lay to the west, so he “retreated” east, into Cappadocia, which is where we find him next, and from there he indeed ‘passed over’ the Taurus range from Cappadocia to Cilicia via the Cilician gates, to enter Cilicia. But the pass is over 70 miles/115 km long, and takes several days to cross. One naturally would ‘enter Cilicia’ on emerging from the southern end of the pass (and I doubt anyone, then or now, would describe themselves as ‘in Cilicia’ whilst at the mid-point of the pass). The boundary here between Cappadocia and Cilicia seems to have been drawn with a particularly thick marker pen, creating a ‘no-man’s land’ of the mountain range itself, inhabited by fiercely independent peoples such as the Isaurians and the Lycaonians. These ‘marker pen boundaries’, often many miles wide as we have seen, just make locating the real Nora all the more difficult. I have located Ramsay’s candidate for Nora, which I find unconvincing also – it is too far east, and is only 20 miles or so west of the Cilician gates.
Equally, after looking into the matter further, I now agree with Agesilaos that my initial approximate location is mistaken and likely too far west. However, I do believe that Nora is somewhere between that location and Ramsay’s location some 50 miles to the Northwest. More on that anon.
I don't think I said Nora is definitely near Comana, only that it may be; if I am amplifying the evidence (which I readily confess) you still have to explain how Sisines could use Nora as treasury to fund actions against the realm of the Cappadocians during Strabo's lifetime, or stand accused of ignoring his testimony to suit your position for Nora; these things always cut both ways I would have expected the site to be identifiable through archaeology, there should be remains/signs of Antigonos' double wall for instance and the site described seems unlikely to have provided prime building land. A major reason for not finding a thing is not looking in the right place!
To take up your first point, it is a fact that throughout history, down to the present day, that if a revolt or rebellion is to succeed, it must have external help – a well-known military axiom - for otherwise the powers that be hold all the cards and invariably win. ( c.f. North Vietnam’s support for Vietcong down Ho Chi Minh trail; Nato support of Libyan rebels; various outside support for Syrian rebels; Allies support of French resistance; Ptolemaic support of Pyrrhus coup in Epirus; German support of Russian revolutionaries and many more, ad nauseum )
The high probability is that Sisines was supporting the Cappadocian rebels from ‘across the border’ with supplies and treasure, for anywhere within Cappadocia his base would have come under immediate attack by the government forces.
As to finding traces of archaeology, it is a fact that far more remains in every country are unexplored than gets funding for exploration. In Egypt alone, for example, there are over 1200 identified sites of towns, villages, temples and even pyramids that haven’t even been looked at yet. Then there’s the thousands of mound tombs/tumuli in plain sight in Bulgaria/Thrace that are similarly unexplored. The same applies to sites in Turkey. Antigonus’ works weren’t that permanent; “double walls, ditches and amazing palisades.” ( DIOD. XVIII41.6 ). Today the timber palisades have long since rotted, the ditches fallen in, and the (probably) dry stone walls collapsed to mere piles of loose stones, if not robbed to form pastoralists enclosures – c.f. siege of Numantia’s walls and towers for example, unrecognised until Schulten in 1912 or so, and that in populous Spain, not some Turkish mountain wilderness.....
[digression: Diodorus does in fact refer to Antigonus leaving a guard on Nora [XVIII. 41.7] before setting out on his march [XVIII.44.1-2]
And I think Agesilaos is right about not looking in the right place !! Nora, I believe, remains yet to be found....
I wonder if Plutarch or his source has misread Strabo or his source when he says Eumenes 6 i
"Moreover, after he had taken refuge in Nora, a stronghold on the confines of Lycaonia and Cappadocia..."
Compare Strabo XII 2 vi
In the other prefectures are Argos, a lofty stronghold near the Taurus, and Nora, now called Neroassus, in which Eumenes held out against a siege for a long time. In my time it served as the treasury of Sisines, who made an attack upon the empire of the Cappadocians. To him also belonged Cadena, which had the royal palace and had the aspect of a city. Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is also a town called Garsauira.
In this reading Nora is neither 'near the Taurus', that applies to Argos, nor 'Situated on the borders of Lycaonia' that applies only to Garsauira, which is confirmed at XII 6 i above.
“The Taurus” here will be specifically Mt Taurus itself, rather than the range, and it sounds to me that all these places were broadly along the Lycaonian border. ( having referred to the other places, Strabo says “Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is ALSO....” so I don't think 'borders' applies only to Garsaura - subject to further analysis of the Greek LOL! ). The Hellenistic border between Lycaonia and Cappadocia, to be drawn with a thick marker pen 13 miles wide, ran more or less due south from the white salt lake on the Google map ( Tuz Golu/L. Tatta). In which event Plutarch and Strabo are consistent with one another. Nora does appear to lie between Ramsay’s placement and mine, along the border between Lycaonia and Cappadocia, somewhere in the Taurus mountains. Unfortunately for my postulated coastal route though, it turns out that there is a viable inland route other than ‘cross graining’ the Taurus mountains, that can be taken by armies, namely the one Cyrus and Xenophon took going the opposite direction.
Starting from due south of Tuz Golu, where it intersects the Taurus range, ( a postulated Nora) the route runs more or less due west for 75 miles give or take, avoiding the barren, salty Anatolian plateau and its desert-like conditions, then the route turns north to Konya ( ancient Iconium), which is in the middle of a fertile area ( 130 miles or so), then south-west for 60 or so miles, to south of the large blue lake, then another 94 miles, via Isparta, to Cretopolis. Total distance, the necessary 285 miles aprox !!
: Nora would seem on the face of all the gathered evidence – thanks to Agesilaos and Paralus - to be close to the Lycaonian/Cappadocian border, somewhere in the Taurus range yet unidentified, and there is a viable known route which necessarily doglegs north to Iconium, and is the correct distance, and so I now think that 'northern detour' inland route more likely ( a coastal route from the vicinity of a border location for Nora in the Taurus range is 20 - 25 miles or so too long – not impossible, but doesn’t fit as well as the inland route)