Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Ich

ICH (Ἴχ), a river of Central Asia which only occurs in Menander of Byzantium (Hist. Legal. Barbarorum ad Romanos, p. 300, ed. Niebuhr, Bonn, 1829), surnamed the "Protector," and contemporary with the emperor Maurice, in the 6th century after Christ, to whom comparative geography is indebted for much curious information about the basin of the Caspian and the rivers which discharge themselves into it on the E. Niebuhr has recognised, in the passage from Menander to which reference has been made, the first intimation of the knowledge of the existence of the lake of Aral, after the very vague intimations of some among the authors of the classical period. Von Humboldt (Asie Centrale, vol. ii. p. 186) has identified the Ich with the Emba or Djem, which rises in the mountain range Aïruruk, not far from the sources of the Or, and, after traversing the sandy steppes of Saghiz and Bakoumbaï, falls into the Caspian at its NE. comer. (Comp. Levchine, Hordes et Steppes des Kirghiz-Kazaks, p. 65.) [ E. B. J. ]