During my research wanderings through books and across the internet, I often come across thing--often little things--that catch my eye. Yesterday I stumbled upon an epithet of Zeus I was unfamiliar with: Asbamaios (Aσβαμαιοσ).

This epithet of Zeus refers to Zeus as the protector of the sanctity of oaths. It was derived from a spring, Asbamaeon near Tyana, in Cappadocia, Turkey, the water of which was said to be beneficial and pleasant to honest persons, but pestilential to those who were guilty of perjury. When perjured persons drank of the water, it produced a disease of the eyes, dropsy, and lameness, so that the guilty persons were unable to walk away from the well, and were obliged to own their crime.

Tyana was a place of great consequence, both in a commercial and a military viewpoint. The plain around it was extensive and fertile. Tyana is celebrated in history as the native place of the famous impostor Apollonius, of whom we have a detailed biography by Philostratus. The temple of Zeus Asbamaios stood on the borders of a lake in a marshy plain. The water of the lake itself was cold, but the connected hot spring was sacred to Zeus.

It was formerly believed that Kara Hissar marked the site of Tyana becse many ruins litter the city and its inhabitants still maintain that their town once was the capital of Cappadocia. But with the description above, Kara Hissar is too far north to be identified with Tyana. It's believed that the true site of Tyana is between a place now called Kiz Hissar, south-west of Nigdeh, and Erekli. The ruins of Tyana are considerable, but the most conspicuous is an aqueduct of granite, extending seven or eight miles to the foot of the mountains. There are also massy foundations of several large buildings, shafts, pillars, and one handsome column still standing. Two miles south of these ruins, the hot spring also still bubbles forth in a cold swamp or lake.