You are viewing a draft
Not for citation.

Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150


Stephanus of Byzantium was a polymath who compiled the magnificent Book of Nations (Ἐθνικά) in the eastern capital during the age of prosperity under the emperor Justinian I. This geographical dictionary was a treasury of geographical, literary, and historical data collected from myriad ancient works, which Stephanus often directly cited. Consequently, Stephanus has been greatly valued by scholars from medieval to modern times. The long entry under “Doros”, rich with quotations from Classical to Late Roman sources, attests to the Phoenician settlement and natural environment of the area around Dor. The passage on Strato’s Tower derives from Artemidorus of Ephesus, Geographical Description fr. 111, written roughly six to seven centuries before Stephanus’s work, and Marcian of Heraclea, Epitome of Artemidorus’ Geography 576.19-27, written roughly one to two centuries before Stephanus’s work.


Δῶρος· πόλις Φοινίκης. Ἑκαταῖος Ἀσίᾳ “μετὰ δὲ ἡ πάλαι Δῶρος, νῦν δὲ Δῶρα καλεῖται.” καὶ οὕτως Ἰώσηπος αὐτὴν καλεῖ ἐν εʹ τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς ἱστορίας “ἀπὸ μέν Ἰορδάνου μέχρι Δώρων πόλεως.” καὶ πάλιν “Ἀζώτῳ καὶ Δώροις ὁριζόμενοι.” καὶ ἐν ϛʹ “εἶναί τι γύναιον ἐν πόλει Δώρῳ.” καὶ πάλιν “ὅτε ἤνεγκεν εἰς τὴν Δῶρον.” καὶ Κλαύδιος Ἰόλαος ἐν γʹ Φοινικικῶν “μετὰ Καισάρειαν Δῶρα κεῖται βραχεῖα πολίχνη, Φοινίκων αὐτὴν οἰκούντων, οἳ διὰ τὸ ὑπόπετρον τῶν {τε} αἰγαλῶν καὶ τὸ πορφύρας γόνιμον συνελθόντες καλιὰς αὐτοῖς ᾠκοδομήσαντο καὶ περιβαλόμενοι χάρακας, ὡς ὑπήκουεν αὐτοῖς τὰ τῆς ἐργασίας, τεμνόμενοι τὰς πέτρας διὰ τῶν ἐξαιρουμένων λίθων τα τείχη κατεβάλοντο καὶ τὴν εὔορμον χηλὴν ὅπως <οἷόν> τε ἀσφαλῶς ἔθεντο, ἐπώνυμον αὐτὴν τῇ πατρίῳ γλῴσσῃ Δὼρ καλοῦντες. Οἱ δ’ Ἕλληνες χάριν τοῦ τῆς φωνῆς εὐπροφόρου καλεῖν ἀρκοῦνται Δῶρα τὴν πόλιν. καί τινες ἱστοροῦσι Δῶρον τὸν Ποσειδῶνος οἰκιστὴν αὐτῆς γεγονέναι.” καὶ Ἀρτεμίδωρος Δῶρα τὴν πόλιν οἶδεν ἐν Ἐπιτομῇ τῶν ιαʹ “συνεχῶς δʼ ἐστὶ Στράτωνος πύργος, εἶτα ἔνι Δῶρα, ἐπὶ χερσονησοειδοῦς τόπου κείμενον πολισμάτιον, ἀρχομένου τοῦ ὄρους τοῦ Καρμήλου.” καὶ ἐν θʹ Γεωγραφουμένων τὸ αὐτό. Ἀπολλόδωρος δὲ Δῶρον καλεῖ ἐν Χρονικῶν δʹ “εἰς Δῶρον οὖσαν ἐπιθαλάττιον πόλιν.” καὶ Ἀλέξανδρος ἐν Ἀσίᾳ· “Δῶρός τ’ ἀγχίαλος τ’ Ἰόπη προύχουσα θαλάσσης.” καὶ Χάραξ ιαʹ “Τρύφων ἐν Δώρῳ τῆς κοίλης Συρίας πόλει πολιορκούμενος ὑπ’ Ἀντιόχου ἔφυγεν εἰς Πτολεμαΐδα τὴν Ἄκην λεγομένην.”1

Textual Note

Ed. Billerbeck and Zubler 2011


Doros. City in Phoenicia. Hecataeus in [his book on] Asia: “After that is the city called Doros in the old times but today Dora.” So Josephus called it this in Jewish Antiquities 5: “from the Jordan to the city Doros”; and “bordered by Azotos and Doros”; and in Jewish Antiquities 6: “there is a woman in the city Doros”; and “when he came to Doros.” Claudius Iolaus in Phoenicica 3: “Behind Caesarea is located Dor, a small settlement. Phoenicians inhabit it who, because of the rocky seabed and the fertile conditions for purple-dye shellfish, came together and built huts for themselves and erected a palisade all around. When the fruits of their labor brought them success, quarrying the bedrock, they founded walls out of the extracted stones and established a breakwater for good mooring, as safe as possible. They gave it an eponymous name, Dor, in the language of their homeland, but the Greeks just called the city Dora for easy pronunciation. And some report that Doros the son of Poseidon was the city’s founder.” Artemidorus knows the city Dora in Epitome of 11 books: “Continuing on is Straton’s Tower, and then Dora, a town situated on the peninsula where Mount Carmel begins.” Τhe same thing in Geography 9. But Apollodoros calls it Doros in Chronicle 4: “to Doros, a coastal city.” Alexander in [his book on] Asia: “both Doros and waterside Iope projecting into the sea.” And Charax [in book] 11: “Tryphon, beseiged by Antiochus at Dor, a city in Koile Syria, fled to Ptolemaïs, also called Ake.”

Translation Note

Trans. J. L. Rife with ref. to Billerbeck and Zubler 2011

Works Cited

  • 1 Stephan of Byzantium, Stephani Byzantii Ethnica II: Δ-Ι, ed. Margarethe Billerbeck et al., vol. 2, Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae 43 (Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2011), letter: Δ, entry: 150.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to HathiTrust Bibliographic record

Copyright and License for Reuse

Except for materials quoted from other sources, this entry is copyright 2022 by the contributors (Joseph L. Rife, et al.) and the Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project. It is licensed under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Some texts quoted in this entry may be in the public domain in the United States. No copyright is asserted for these quotations.

Some texts quoted in this entry may have copyright restrictions and are reused under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17 of the United States Code) which permits “fair use” of copyrighted materials for purposes such as criticism, comment, scholarship, and research. These texts remain under copyright of their owners. No copyright infringement is intended.

How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published October 19, 2022,


Joseph L. Rife, “Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman and David A. Michelson., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2022. Entry published October 19, 2022.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman, and David A. Michelson, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editor, “Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Stephanus of Byzantium, Book of Nations Δ 150

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
Show full citation information...