EXTENT AND BOUNDARIES.—Ancient geogra phers do not agree as to the extent of Syria. Hero dotus makes it reach to the Black Sea on the north (i. 6) ; to Paphlagonia and the Mediterranean on the west (i. 72 ; ii. 12, 116) ; tO Egypt 011 the south (ii. 153, 159) ; and to Media and Persia on the east (vii. 63). He confounded Syria and As syria, and hence arose the error into which he fell regarding thc extent of the former. The same view is taken by Xenophon (Anab. i. 4. 11-19). Even Strabo states in one place that the name Syria seems to extend from Babylonia as far as the bay of Issus, and anciently from this bay to the Euxine. Both tribes of the Cappadocians—those near the Taurus, and those near the Pontus—are called to this day Leuco-Syrians.' It is clear, how ever, from a subsequent sentence, that he in this place fell into the error of Herodotus ; for he thus remarks : When the historians of the Syrian em pire say that the Medes were conquered by the Persians, and the Syrians by the Itledes, they mean no other Syrians than those who built the royal palaces of Babylon and Nineveh ; and Ninus who built Nineveh in Aturia, was one of these Syrians ' (xvi. p. 737). It is clear that for Syrians the name Anyriamr should here be substituted. The great similarity of the names no doubt tended to create this confusion.
When writing directly of the country of Syria Strabo is more accurate. He describes its extent, boundaries, and divisions with great minuteness. Syria is bounded on the north by Cilicia (cf. Acts
xv. 23) and Mount Amanus ; on the east by the Euphrates and the Arabian Scenitm, who live on this side (west) of the Euphrates ; on the south by Arabia Felix and Egypt ; on the west by the Egyptian and Syrian seas, as far as Issus' (xvi. p. 749). Pliny gives substantially the same bound aries. He says, however, that some geographers divide the country into four provinces—IdumEea, Judaea, Phcenicia, and Syria (Hist. Nat. v. 13; cf. Joseph. Antig. x. 6. 1).
Ptolemy confines Syria within the same limits on the north, west, and east ; but he marks its south ern boundary by a line running from Dor, at the base of Carmel, by Scythopolis and Philadelphia, to Alsadarnus Mons Uebel Hauran). He thus in cludes Plicenicia, Galilee, and a portion of Peraea, but excludes judma and Iduma (v. 15).
In this article the name Syria is confined to what appears to be its more strict N. T. signification. Its boundaries may be given as follows :—Palestine on the south ; the Mediterranean on the west ; Cilicia and Mount Amanus on the north ; and the Euphrates and desert of Palmyra on the east. Its length, from the mouth of the Litany on the south to the bay of Iskanderfin on the north, is 25o miles, and its breadth averages about 13o miles. Its area may thus be estimated at 32,500 square miles. It lies between lat. 33° 13' and 36° 42' N.. and long. 34° r5' and 38° E.