Chersonesis, Or Chersonese (Gr. ), the ancient designation for a peninsula. The word is not used generally of all peninsulas, and the ancients do not appear to have regarded all such pieces of land partially surrounded by water as we should now designate as peninsulas, in that light. Spain, for instance, and Italy, they never seem to have looked at in their general conformation. What they generally regarded as a chersonese appears to have been a long narrow strip of land, with its projecting length far exceeding its breadth. Of the larger peninsulas of antiquity four were known as chersoneses, besides many smaller ones scarcely exceeding what we should now call promontories or headlands, the latter word exactly corresponding with what the Greeks called Three of these four have an elongated shape, the other being nearly an irregular parallelogram, connected by a narrow neck with the mainland, and all have narrow straits connected with them, which in two instances are termed bos-pori. The first is the Thracian Chersonese, now the peninsula of Gallipoli, commonly known to the Greeks as the Chersonesus emphatically; being the long, narrow strip of land running out southwesterly from the mainland of Thrace, between the Hellespont, now Dardanelles, and the gulf of Melas, now of Saros. Not many leagues distant, at the eastern extremity, is the Thracian Bosporus, now the strait of Constantinople. The second is the Tauric Chersonese, the modern Crimea, which alone has not the elongated shape, but is somewhat fashioned into the semblance of a trapezium. It has, however, a narrow channel, the strait of Yenikale, which is also a bosporus, called the Cimmerian for distinction, across which, before the earliest historic ages, the Scythian Cimmerii are said to have been conducted by a heifer; as in later times the Huns are reported to have been introduced under the same guidance.
The third is the Cimbric Chersonese, or Jutland with the main part of Schleswig, which has the above described shape and the narrow strait, probably called the Cimbric Bosporus, between its right flank and the island of Fiinen, known as the Little Belt. The last is the Aurea Chersonesus, or Golden Chersonese, the modern peninsula of Malacca.