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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6465
Herodotus, Histories, 4.12


καὶ νῦν ἔστι μὲν ἐν τῇ Σκυθικῇ Κιμμέρια τείχεα, ἔστι δὲ πορθμήια Κιμμέρια, ἔστι δὲ καὶ χωρῇ οὔνομα Κιμμερίη, ἔστι δὲ Βόσπορος Κιμμέριος καλεόμενος· φαίνονται δὲ οἱ Κιμμέριοι φεύγοντες ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην τοὺς Σκύθας καὶ τὴν χερσόνησον κτίσαντες, ἐν τῇ νῦν Σινώπη πόλις Ἑλλὰς οἴκισται. φανεροὶ δὲ εἰσὶ καὶ οἱ Σκύθαι διώξαντες αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐσβαλόντες ἐς γῆν τὴν Μηδικὴν, ἁμαρτόντες τῆς ὁδοῦ· οἱ μὲν γὰρ Κιμμέριοι αἰεὶ τὴν παρὰ θάλασσαν ἔφευγον, οἱ δὲ Σκύθαι ἐν δεξιῇ τὸν Καύκασον ἔχοντες ἐδίωκον ἐς οὗ ἐσέβαλον ἐς γῆν τὴν Μηδικήν, ἐς μεσόγαιαν τῆς ὁδοῦ τραφθέντες. οὗτος δὲ ἄλλος ξυνὸς Ἑλλήνων τε καὶ βαρβάρων λεγόμενος λόγος εἴρηται.And to this day there are Cimmerian walls in Scythia, and a Cimmerian ferry, and there is a country Cimmeria and a strait named Cimmerian. ,Furthermore, it is evident that the Cimmerians in their flight from the Scythians into Asia also made a colony on the peninsula where the Greek city of Sinope has since been founded; and it is clear that the Scythians pursued them and invaded Media, missing their way; ,for the Cimmerians always fled along the coast, and the Scythians pursued with the Caucasus on their right until they came into the Median land, turning inland on their way. That is the other story current among Greeks and foreigners alike.


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13 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 47.1 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

47.1. וַתִּבְטְחִי בְרָעָתֵךְ אָמַרְתְּ אֵין רֹאָנִי חָכְמָתֵךְ וְדַעְתֵּךְ הִיא שׁוֹבְבָתֶךְ וַתֹּאמְרִי בְלִבֵּךְ אֲנִי וְאַפְסִי עוֹד׃ 47.1. רְדִי וּשְׁבִי עַל־עָפָר בְּתוּלַת בַּת־בָּבֶל שְׁבִי־לָאָרֶץ אֵין־כִּסֵּא בַּת־כַּשְׂדִּים כִּי לֹא תוֹסִיפִי יִקְרְאוּ־לָךְ רַכָּה וַעֲנֻגָּה׃ 47.1. Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; For thou shalt no more be called Tender and delicate.
2. Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah, 21.4 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

21.4. כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִנְנִי מֵסֵב אֶת־כְּלֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה אֲשֶׁר בְּיֶדְכֶם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם נִלְחָמִים בָּם אֶת־מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל וְאֶת־הַכַּשְׂדִּים הַצָּרִים עֲלֵיכֶם מִחוּץ לַחוֹמָה וְאָסַפְתִּי אוֹתָם אֶל־תּוֹךְ הָעִיר הַזֹּאת׃ 21.4. Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, that besiege you without the walls, and I will gather them into the midst of this city."
3. Hebrew Bible, Joshua, 24.2-24.3 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

24.2. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים׃ 24.2. כִּי תַעַזְבוּ אֶת־יְהוָה וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֱלֹהֵי נֵכָר וְשָׁב וְהֵרַע לָכֶם וְכִלָּה אֶתְכֶם אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־הֵיטִיב לָכֶם׃ 24.3. וָאֶקַּח אֶת־אֲבִיכֶם אֶת־אַבְרָהָם מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וָאוֹלֵךְ אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וארב [וָאַרְבֶּה] אֶת־זַרְעוֹ וָאֶתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־יִצְחָק׃ 24.3. וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ בִּגְבוּל נַחֲלָתוֹ בְּתִמְנַת־סֶרַח אֲשֶׁר בְּהַר־אֶפְרָיִם מִצְּפוֹן לְהַר־גָּעַשׁ׃ 24.2. And Joshua said unto all the people: ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor; and they served other gods." 24.3. And I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac."
4. Herodotus, Histories, 1.1, 1.6-1.94, 1.192, 1.196, 1.198-1.199, 1.202-1.216, 2.2-2.182, 3.17-3.26, 3.98-3.105, 3.139, 4.1-4.11, 4.13-4.82, 4.99-4.101, 4.108, 4.145-4.149, 4.172, 4.179-4.181, 4.183, 4.187-4.189, 4.197, 5.3, 5.7, 5.9, 5.23, 5.43, 5.97, 6.5, 7.63, 7.171 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.1. The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute. These (they say) came to our seas from the sea which is called Red, and having settled in the country which they still occupy, at once began to make long voyages. Among other places to which they carried Egyptian and Assyrian merchandise, they came to Argos, ,which was at that time preeminent in every way among the people of what is now called Hellas . The Phoenicians came to Argos, and set out their cargo. ,On the fifth or sixth day after their arrival, when their wares were almost all sold, many women came to the shore and among them especially the daughter of the king, whose name was Io (according to Persians and Greeks alike), the daughter of Inachus. ,As these stood about the stern of the ship bargaining for the wares they liked, the Phoenicians incited one another to set upon them. Most of the women escaped: Io and others were seized and thrown into the ship, which then sailed away for Egypt . 1.6. Croesus was a Lydian by birth, son of Alyattes, and sovereign of all the nations west of the river Halys, which flows from the south between Syria and Paphlagonia and empties into the sea called Euxine . ,This Croesus was the first foreigner whom we know who subjugated some Greeks and took tribute from them, and won the friendship of others: the former being the Ionians, the Aeolians, and the Dorians of Asia, and the latter the Lacedaemonians. ,Before the reign of Croesus, all Greeks were free: for the Cimmerian host which invaded Ionia before his time did not subjugate the cities, but raided and robbed them. 1.7. Now the sovereign power that belonged to the descendants of Heracles fell to the family of Croesus, called the Mermnadae, in the following way. ,Candaules, whom the Greeks call Myrsilus, was the ruler of Sardis ; he was descended from Alcaeus, son of Heracles; Agron son of Ninus, son of Belus, son of Alcaeus, was the first Heraclid king of Sardis and Candaules son of Myrsus was the last. ,The kings of this country before Agron were descendants of Lydus, son of Atys, from whom this whole Lydian district got its name; before that it was called the land of the Meii. ,The Heraclidae, descendants of Heracles and a female slave of Iardanus, received the sovereignty from these and held it, because of an oracle; and they ruled for twenty-two generations, or five hundred and five years, son succeeding father, down to Candaules son of Myrsus. 1.8. This Candaules, then, fell in love with his own wife, so much so that he believed her to be by far the most beautiful woman in the world; and believing this, he praised her beauty beyond measure to Gyges son of Dascylus, who was his favorite among his bodyguard; for it was to Gyges that he entrusted all his most important secrets. ,After a little while, Candaules, doomed to misfortune, spoke to Gyges thus: “Gyges, I do not think that you believe what I say about the beauty of my wife; men trust their ears less than their eyes: so you must see her naked.” Gyges protested loudly at this. ,“Master,” he said, “what an unsound suggestion, that I should see my mistress naked! When a woman's clothes come off, she dispenses with her modesty, too. ,Men have long ago made wise rules from which one ought to learn; one of these is that one should mind one's own business. As for me, I believe that your queen is the most beautiful of all women, and I ask you not to ask of me what is lawless.” 1.9. Speaking thus, Gyges resisted: for he was afraid that some evil would come of it for him. But this was Candaules' answer: “Courage, Gyges! Do not be afraid of me, that I say this to test you, or of my wife, that you will have any harm from her. I will arrange it so that she shall never know that you have seen her. ,I will bring you into the chamber where she and I lie and conceal you behind the open door; and after I have entered, my wife too will come to bed. There is a chair standing near the entrance of the room: on this she will lay each article of her clothing as she takes it off, and you will be able to look upon her at your leisure. ,Then, when she moves from the chair to the bed, turning her back on you, be careful she does not see you going out through the doorway.” 1.10. As Gyges could not escape, he consented. Candaules, when he judged it to be time for bed, brought Gyges into the chamber; his wife followed presently, and when she had come in and was laying aside her garments, Gyges saw her; ,when she turned her back upon him to go to bed, he slipped from the room. The woman glimpsed him as he went out, and perceived what her husband had done. But though shamed, she did not cry out or let it be seen that she had perceived anything, for she meant to punish Candaules; ,since among the Lydians and most of the foreign peoples it is felt as a great shame that even a man be seen naked. 1.11. For the present she made no sign and kept quiet. But as soon as it was day, she prepared those of her household whom she saw were most faithful to her, and called Gyges. He, supposing that she knew nothing of what had been done, answered the summons; for he was used to attending the queen whenever she summoned him. ,When Gyges came, the lady addressed him thus: “Now, Gyges, you have two ways before you; decide which you will follow. You must either kill Candaules and take me and the throne of Lydia for your own, or be killed yourself now without more ado; that will prevent you from obeying all Candaules' commands in the future and seeing what you should not see. ,One of you must die: either he, the contriver of this plot, or you, who have outraged all custom by looking on me uncovered.” Gyges stood awhile astonished at this; presently, he begged her not to compel him to such a choice. ,But when he could not deter her, and saw that dire necessity was truly upon him either to kill his master or himself be killed by others, he chose his own life. Then he asked: “Since you force me against my will to kill my master, I would like to know how we are to lay our hands on him.” ,She replied, “You shall come at him from the same place where he made you view me naked: attack him in his sleep.” 1.12. When they had prepared this plot, and night had fallen, Gyges followed the woman into the chamber (for Gyges was not released, nor was there any means of deliverance, but either he or Candaules must die). She gave him a dagger and hid him behind the same door; ,and presently he stole out and killed Candaules as he slept. Thus he made himself master of the king's wife and sovereignty. He is mentioned in the iambic verses of Archilochus of Parus who lived about the same time. 1.13. So he took possession of the sovereign power and was confirmed in it by the Delphic oracle. For when the Lydians took exception to what was done to Candaules, and took up arms, the faction of Gyges came to an agreement with the rest of the people that if the oracle should ordain him king of the Lydians, then he would reign; but if not, then he would return the kingship to the Heraclidae. ,The oracle did so ordain, and Gyges thus became king. However, the Pythian priestess declared that the Heraclidae would have vengeance on Gyges' posterity in the fifth generation; an utterance to which the Lydians and their kings paid no regard until it was fulfilled. 1.14. Thus the Mermnadae robbed the Heraclidae of the sovereignty and took it for themselves. Having gotten it, Gyges sent many offerings to Delphi : there are very many silver offerings of his there; and besides the silver, he dedicated a hoard of gold, among which six golden bowls are the offerings especially worthy of mention. ,These weigh thirty talents and stand in the treasury of the Corinthians; although in truth it is not the treasury of the Corinthian people but of Cypselus son of Eetion. This Gyges then was the first foreigner whom we know who placed offerings at Delphi after the king of Phrygia, Midas son of Gordias. ,For Midas too made an offering: namely, the royal seat on which he sat to give judgment, and a marvellous seat it is. It is set in the same place as the bowls of Gyges. This gold and the silver offered by Gyges is called by the Delphians “Gygian” after its dedicator. 1.15. As soon as Gyges came to the throne, he too, like others, led an army into the lands of Miletus and Smyrna ; and he took the city of Colophon . But as he did nothing else great in his reign of thirty-eight years, I shall say no more of him, and shall speak instead of Ardys son of Gyges, who succeeded him. He took Priene and invaded the country of Miletus ; and it was while he was monarch of Sardis that the Cimmerians, driven from their homes by the nomad Scythians, came into Asia, and took Sardis, all but the acropolis. 1.16. Ardys reigned for forty-nine years and was succeeded by his son Sadyattes, who reigned for twelve years; and after Sadyattes came Alyattes, ,who waged war against Deioces' descendant Cyaxares and the Medes, drove the Cimmerians out of Asia, took Smyrna (which was a colony from Colophon ), and invaded the lands of Clazomenae . But he did not return from these as he wished, but with great disaster. of other deeds done by him in his reign, these were the most notable: 1.17. He continued the war against the Milesians which his father had begun. This was how he attacked and besieged Miletus : he sent his army, marching to the sound of pipes and harps and bass and treble flutes, to invade when the crops in the land were ripe; ,and whenever he came to the Milesian territory, he neither demolished nor burnt nor tore the doors off the country dwellings, but let them stand unharmed; but he destroyed the trees and the crops of the land, and so returned to where he came from; ,for as the Milesians had command of the sea, it was of no use for his army to besiege their city. The reason that the Lydian did not destroy the houses was this: that the Milesians might have homes from which to plant and cultivate their land, and that there might be the fruit of their toil for his invading army to lay waste. 1.18. He waged war in this way for eleven years, and in these years two great disasters overtook the Milesians, one at the battle of Limeneion in their own territory, and the other in the valley of the Maeander . ,For six of these eleven years Sadyattes son of Ardys was still ruler of Lydia, and it was he who invaded the lands of Miletus, for it was he who had begun the war; for the following five the war was waged by Sadyattes' son Alyattes, who, as I have indicated before, inherited the war from his father and carried it on vigorously. ,None of the Ionians helped to lighten this war for the Milesians, except the Chians: these lent their aid in return for a similar service done for them; for the Milesians had previously helped the Chians in their war against the Erythraeans. 1.19. In the twelfth year, when the Lydian army was burning the crops, the fire set in the crops, blown by a strong wind, caught the temple of Athena called Athena of Assesos, and the temple burned to the ground. ,For the present no notice was taken of this. But after the army had returned to Sardis, Alyattes fell ill; and, as his sickness lasted longer than it should, he sent to Delphi to inquire of the oracle, either at someone's urging or by his own wish to question the god about his sickness. ,But when the messengers came to Delphi, the Pythian priestess would not answer them before they restored the temple of Athena at Assesos in the Milesian territory, which they had burnt. 1.20. I know this much to be so because the Delphians told me. The Milesians add that Periander son of Cypselus, a close friend of the Thrasybulus who then was sovereign of Miletus, learned what reply the oracle had given to Alyattes, and sent a messenger to tell Thrasybulus so that his friend, forewarned, could make his plans accordingly. 1.21. The Milesians say it happened so. Then, when the Delphic reply was brought to Alyattes, he promptly sent a herald to Miletus, offering to make a truce with Thrasybulus and the Milesians during his rebuilding of the temple. So the envoy went to Miletus . But Thrasybulus, forewarned of the whole matter, and knowing what Alyattes meant to do, devised the following plan: ,he brought together into the marketplace all the food in the city, from private stores and his own, and told the men of Miletus all to drink and celebrate together when he gave the word. 1.22. Thrasybulus did this so that when the herald from Sardis saw a great heap of food piled up, and the citizens celebrating, he would bring word of it to Alyattes: ,and so it happened. The herald saw all this, gave Thrasybulus the message he had been instructed by the Lydian to deliver, and returned to Sardis ; and this, as I learn, was the sole reason for the reconciliation. ,For Alyattes had supposed that there was great scarcity in Miletus and that the people were reduced to the last extremity of misery; but now on his herald's return from the town he heard an account contrary to his expectations; ,so presently the Lydians and Milesians ended the war and agreed to be friends and allies, and Alyattes built not one but two temples of Athena at Assesos, and recovered from his illness. That is the story of Alyattes' war against Thrasybulus and the Milesians. 1.23. Periander, who disclosed the oracle's answer to Thrasybulus, was the son of Cypselus, and sovereign of Corinth . The Corinthians say (and the Lesbians agree) that the most marvellous thing that happened to him in his life was the landing on Taenarus of Arion of Methymna, brought there by a dolphin. This Arion was a lyre-player second to none in that age; he was the first man whom we know to compose and name the dithyramb which he afterwards taught at Corinth . 1.24. They say that this Arion, who spent most of his time with Periander, wished to sail to Italy and Sicily, and that after he had made a lot of money there he wanted to come back to Corinth . ,Trusting none more than the Corinthians, he hired a Corinthian vessel to carry him from Tarentum . But when they were out at sea, the crew plotted to take Arion's money and cast him overboard. Discovering this, he earnestly entreated them, asking for his life and offering them his money. ,But the crew would not listen to him, and told him either to kill himself and so receive burial on land or else to jump into the sea at once. ,Abandoned to this extremity, Arion asked that, since they had made up their minds, they would let him stand on the half-deck in all his regalia and sing; and he promised that after he had sung he would do himself in. ,The men, pleased at the thought of hearing the best singer in the world, drew away toward the waist of the vessel from the stern. Arion, putting on all his regalia and taking his lyre, stood up on the half-deck and sang the “Stirring Song,” and when the song was finished he threw himself into the sea, as he was with all his regalia. ,So the crew sailed away to Corinth ; but a dolphin (so the story goes) took Arion on his back and bore him to Taenarus. Landing there, he went to Corinth in his regalia, and when he arrived, he related all that had happened. ,Periander, skeptical, kept him in confinement, letting him go nowhere, and waited for the sailors. When they arrived, they were summoned and asked what news they brought of Arion. While they were saying that he was safe in Italy and that they had left him flourishing at Tarentum, Arion appeared before them, just as he was when he jumped from the ship; astonished, they could no longer deny what was proved against them. ,This is what the Corinthians and Lesbians say, and there is a little bronze memorial of Arion on Taenarus, the figure of a man riding upon a dolphin. 1.25. Alyattes the Lydian, his war with the Milesians finished, died after a reign of fifty-seven years. ,He was the second of his family to make an offering to Delphi (after recovering from his illness) of a great silver bowl on a stand of welded iron. Among all the offerings at Delphi, this is the most worth seeing, and is the work of Glaucus the Chian, the only one of all men who discovered how to weld iron. 1.26. After the death of Alyattes, his son Croesus, then thirty-five years of age, came to the throne. The first Greeks whom he attacked were the Ephesians. ,These, besieged by him, dedicated their city to Artemis; they did this by attaching a rope to the city wall from the temple of the goddess, which stood seven stades away from the ancient city which was then besieged. ,These were the first whom Croesus attacked; afterwards he made war on the Ionian and Aeolian cities in turn, upon different pretexts: he found graver charges where he could, but sometimes alleged very petty grounds of offense. 1.27. Then, when he had subjugated all the Asiatic Greeks of the mainland and made them tributary to him, he planned to build ships and attack the islanders; ,but when his preparations for shipbuilding were underway, either Bias of Priene or Pittacus of Mytilene (the story is told of both) came to Sardis and, asked by Croesus for news about Hellas, put an end to the shipbuilding by giving the following answer: ,“O King, the islanders are buying ten thousand horse, intending to march to Sardis against you.” Croesus, thinking that he spoke the truth, said: “Would that the gods would put this in the heads of the islanders, to come on horseback against the sons of the Lydians!” Then the other answered and said: ,“O King, you appear to me earnestly to wish to catch the islanders riding horses on the mainland, a natural wish. And what else do you suppose the islanders wished, as soon as they heard that you were building ships to attack them, than to catch Lydians on the seas, so as to be revenged on you for the Greeks who dwell on the mainland, whom you enslaved?” ,Croesus was quite pleased with this conclusion, for he thought the man spoke reasonably and, heeding him, stopped building ships. Thus he made friends with the Ionians inhabiting the islands. 1.28. As time went on, Croesus subjugated almost all the nations west of the Halys ; for except the Cilicians and Lycians, all the rest Croesus held subject under him. These were the Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, Chalybes, Paphlagonians, the Thracian Thynians and Bithynians, Carians, Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, and Pamphylians; 1.29. and after these were subdued and subject to Croesus in addition to the Lydians, all the sages from Hellas who were living at that time, coming in different ways, came to Sardis, which was at the height of its property; and among them came Solon the Athenian, who, after making laws for the Athenians at their request, went abroad for ten years, sailing forth to see the world, he said. This he did so as not to be compelled to repeal any of the laws he had made,,since the Athenians themselves could not do that, for they were bound by solemn oaths to abide for ten years by whatever laws Solon should make. 1.30. So for that reason, and to see the world, Solon went to visit Amasis in Egypt and then to Croesus in Sardis . When he got there, Croesus entertained him in the palace, and on the third or fourth day Croesus told his attendants to show Solon around his treasures, and they pointed out all those things that were great and blest. ,After Solon had seen everything and had thought about it, Croesus found the opportunity to say, “My Athenian guest, we have heard a lot about you because of your wisdom and of your wanderings, how as one who loves learning you have traveled much of the world for the sake of seeing it, so now I desire to ask you who is the most fortunate man you have seen.” ,Croesus asked this question believing that he was the most fortunate of men, but Solon, offering no flattery but keeping to the truth, said, “O King, it is Tellus the Athenian.” ,Croesus was amazed at what he had said and replied sharply, “In what way do you judge Tellus to be the most fortunate?” Solon said, “Tellus was from a prosperous city, and his children were good and noble. He saw children born to them all, and all of these survived. His life was prosperous by our standards, and his death was most glorious: ,when the Athenians were fighting their neighbors in Eleusis, he came to help, routed the enemy, and died very finely. The Athenians buried him at public expense on the spot where he fell and gave him much honor.” 1.31. When Solon had provoked him by saying that the affairs of Tellus were so fortunate, Croesus asked who he thought was next, fully expecting to win second prize. Solon answered, “Cleobis and Biton. ,They were of Argive stock, had enough to live on, and on top of this had great bodily strength. Both had won prizes in the athletic contests, and this story is told about them: there was a festival of Hera in Argos, and their mother absolutely had to be conveyed to the temple by a team of oxen. But their oxen had not come back from the fields in time, so the youths took the yoke upon their own shoulders under constraint of time. They drew the wagon, with their mother riding atop it, traveling five miles until they arrived at the temple. ,When they had done this and had been seen by the entire gathering, their lives came to an excellent end, and in their case the god made clear that for human beings it is a better thing to die than to live. The Argive men stood around the youths and congratulated them on their strength; the Argive women congratulated their mother for having borne such children. ,She was overjoyed at the feat and at the praise, so she stood before the image and prayed that the goddess might grant the best thing for man to her children Cleobis and Biton, who had given great honor to the goddess. ,After this prayer they sacrificed and feasted. The youths then lay down in the temple and went to sleep and never rose again; death held them there. The Argives made and dedicated at Delphi statues of them as being the best of men.” 1.32. Thus Solon granted second place in happiness to these men. Croesus was vexed and said, “My Athenian guest, do you so much despise our happiness that you do not even make us worth as much as common men?” Solon replied, “Croesus, you ask me about human affairs, and I know that the divine is entirely grudging and troublesome to us. ,In a long span of time it is possible to see many things that you do not want to, and to suffer them, too. I set the limit of a man's life at seventy years; ,these seventy years have twenty-five thousand, two hundred days, leaving out the intercalary month. But if you make every other year longer by one month, so that the seasons agree opportunely, then there are thirty-five intercalary months during the seventy years, and from these months there are one thousand fifty days. ,Out of all these days in the seventy years, all twenty-six thousand, two hundred and fifty of them, not one brings anything at all like another. So, Croesus, man is entirely chance. ,To me you seem to be very rich and to be king of many people, but I cannot answer your question before I learn that you ended your life well. The very rich man is not more fortunate than the man who has only his daily needs, unless he chances to end his life with all well. Many very rich men are unfortunate, many of moderate means are lucky. ,The man who is very rich but unfortunate surpasses the lucky man in only two ways, while the lucky surpasses the rich but unfortunate in many. The rich man is more capable of fulfilling his appetites and of bearing a great disaster that falls upon him, and it is in these ways that he surpasses the other. The lucky man is not so able to support disaster or appetite as is the rich man, but his luck keeps these things away from him, and he is free from deformity and disease, has no experience of evils, and has fine children and good looks. ,If besides all this he ends his life well, then he is the one whom you seek, the one worthy to be called fortunate. But refrain from calling him fortunate before he dies; call him lucky. ,It is impossible for one who is only human to obtain all these things at the same time, just as no land is self-sufficient in what it produces. Each country has one thing but lacks another; whichever has the most is the best. Just so no human being is self-sufficient; each person has one thing but lacks another. ,Whoever passes through life with the most and then dies agreeably is the one who, in my opinion, O King, deserves to bear this name. It is necessary to see how the end of every affair turns out, for the god promises fortune to many people and then utterly ruins them.” 1.33. By saying this, Solon did not at all please Croesus, who sent him away without regard for him, but thinking him a great fool, because he ignored the present good and told him to look to the end of every affair. 1.34. But after Solon's departure divine retribution fell heavily on Croesus; as I guess, because he supposed himself to be blessed beyond all other men. Directly, as he slept, he had a dream, which showed him the truth of the evil things which were going to happen concerning his son. ,He had two sons, one of whom was ruined, for he was mute, but the other, whose name was Atys, was by far the best in every way of all of his peers. The dream showed this Atys to Croesus, how he would lose him struck and killed by a spear of iron. ,So Croesus, after he awoke and considered, being frightened by the dream, brought in a wife for his son, and although Atys was accustomed to command the Lydian armies, Croesus now would not send him out on any such enterprise, while he took the javelins and spears and all such things that men use for war from the men's apartments and piled them in his store room, lest one should fall on his son from where it hung. 1.35. Now while Croesus was occupied with the marriage of his son, a Phrygian of the royal house came to Sardis, in great distress and with unclean hands. This man came to Croesus' house, and asked to be purified according to the custom of the country; so Croesus purified him ( ,the Lydians have the same manner of purification as the Greeks), and when he had done everything customary, he asked the Phrygian where he came from and who he was: ,“Friend,” he said, “who are you, and from what place in Phrygia do you come as my suppliant? And what man or woman have you killed?” “O King,” the man answered, “I am the son of Gordias the son of Midas, and my name is Adrastus; I killed my brother accidentally, and I come here banished by my father and deprived of all.” ,Croesus answered, “All of your family are my friends, and you have come to friends, where you shall lack nothing, staying in my house. As for your misfortune, bear it as lightly as possible and you will gain most.” 1.36. So Adrastus lived in Croesus' house. About this same time a great monster of a boar appeared on the Mysian Olympus, who would come off that mountain and ravage the fields of the Mysians. The Mysians had gone up against him often; but they never did him any harm but were hurt by him themselves. ,At last they sent messengers to Croesus, with this message: “O King, a great monster of a boar has appeared in the land, who is destroying our fields; for all our attempts, we cannot kill him; so now we ask you to send your son and chosen young men and dogs with us, so that we may drive him out of the country.” ,Such was their request, but Croesus remembered the prophecy of his dream and answered them thus: “Do not mention my son again: I will not send him with you. He is newly married, and that is his present concern. But I will send chosen Lydians, and all the huntsmen, and I will tell those who go to be as eager as possible to help you to drive the beast out of the country.” 1.37. This was his answer, and the Mysians were satisfied with it. But the son of Croesus now entered, having heard what the Mysians had asked for; and when Croesus refused to send his son with them, the young man said, ,“Father, it was once thought very fine and noble for us to go to war and the chase and win renown; but now you have barred me from both of these, although you have seen neither cowardice nor lack of spirit in me. With what face can I now show myself whenever I go to and from the market-place? ,What will the men of the city think of me, and what my newly wedded wife? With what kind of man will she think that she lives? So either let me go to the hunt, or show me by reasoning that what you are doing is best for me.” 1.38. “My son,” answered Croesus, “I do this not because I have seen cowardice or anything unseemly in you, but the vision of a dream stood over me in my sleep, and told me that you would be short-lived, for you would be killed by a spear of iron. ,It is because of that vision that I hurried your marriage and do not send you on any enterprise that I have in hand, but keep guard over you, so that perhaps I may rob death of you during my lifetime. You are my only son: for that other, since he is ruined, he doesn't exist for me.” 1.39. “Father,” the youth replied, “no one can blame you for keeping guard over me, when you have seen such a vision; but it is my right to show you what you do not perceive, and why you mistake the meaning of the dream. ,You say that the dream told you that I should be killed by a spear of iron? But has a boar hands? Has it that iron spear which you dread? Had the dream said I should be killed by a tusk or some other thing proper to a boar, you would be right in acting as you act; but no, it was to be by a spear. Therefore, since it is not against men that we are to fight, let me go.” 1.40. Croesus answered, “My son, your judgment concerning the dream has somewhat reassured me; and being reassured by you, I change my thinking and permit you to go to the chase.” 1.41. Having said this, Croesus sent for Adrastus the Phrygian and when he came addressed him thus: “Adrastus, when you were struck by ugly misfortune, for which I do not blame you, it was I who cleansed you, and received and still keep you in my house, defraying all your keep. ,Now then, as you owe me a return of good service for the good which I have done you, I ask that you watch over my son as he goes out to the chase. See that no thieving criminals meet you on the way, to do you harm. ,Besides, it is only right that you too should go where you can win renown by your deeds. That is fitting for your father's son; and you are strong enough besides.” 1.42. “O King,” Adrastus answered, “I would not otherwise have gone into such an arena. One so unfortunate as I should not associate with the prosperous among his peers; nor have I the wish so to do, and for many reasons I would have held back. ,But now, since you urge it and I must please you (since I owe you a return of good service), I am ready to do this; and as for your son, in so far as I can protect him, look for him to come back unharmed.” 1.43. So when Adrastus had answered Croesus thus, they went out provided with chosen young men and dogs. When they came to Mount Olympus, they hunted for the beast and, finding him, formed a circle and threw their spears at him: ,then the guest called Adrastus, the man who had been cleansed of the deed of blood, missed the boar with his spear and hit the son of Croesus. ,So Atys was struck by the spear and fulfilled the prophecy of the dream. One ran to tell Croesus what had happened, and coming to Sardis told the king of the fight and the fate of his son. 1.44. Distraught by the death of his son, Croesus cried out the more vehemently because the killer was one whom he himself had cleansed of blood, ,and in his great and terrible grief at this mischance he called on Zeus by three names—Zeus the Purifier, Zeus of the Hearth, Zeus of Comrades: the first, because he wanted the god to know what evil his guest had done him; the second, because he had received the guest into his house and thus unwittingly entertained the murderer of his son; and the third, because he had found his worst enemy in the man whom he had sent as a protector. 1.45. Soon the Lydians came, bearing the corpse, with the murderer following after. He then came and stood before the body and gave himself up to Croesus, holding out his hands and telling him to kill him over the corpse, mentioning his former misfortune, and that on top of that he had destroyed the one who purified him, and that he was not fit to live. ,On hearing this, Croesus took pity on Adrastus, though his own sorrow was so great, and said to him, “Friend, I have from you the entire penalty, since you sentence yourself to death. But it is not you that I hold the cause of this evil, except in so far as you were the unwilling doer of it, but one of the gods, the same one who told me long ago what was to be.” ,So Croesus buried his own son in such manner as was fitting. But Adrastus, son of Gordias who was son of Midas, this Adrastus, the destroyer of his own brother and of the man who purified him, when the tomb was undisturbed by the presence of men, killed himself there by the sepulcher, seeing clearly now that he was the most heavily afflicted of all whom he knew. 1.46. After the loss of his son, Croesus remained in deep sorrow for two years. After this time, the destruction by Cyrus son of Cambyses of the sovereignty of Astyages son of Cyaxares, and the growth of the power of the Persians, distracted Croesus from his mourning; and he determined, if he could, to forestall the increase of the Persian power before they became great. ,Having thus determined, he at once made inquiries of the Greek and Libyan oracles, sending messengers separately to Delphi, to Abae in Phocia, and to Dodona, while others were despatched to Amphiaraus and Trophonius, and others to Branchidae in the Milesian country. ,These are the Greek oracles to which Croesus sent for divination: and he told others to go inquire of Ammon in Libya . His intent in sending was to test the knowledge of the oracles, so that, if they were found to know the truth, he might send again and ask if he should undertake an expedition against the Persians. 1.47. And when he sent to test these shrines he gave the Lydians these instructions: they were to keep track of the time from the day they left Sardis, and on the hundredth day inquire of the oracles what Croesus, king of Lydia, son of Alyattes, was doing then; then they were to write down whatever the oracles answered and bring the reports back to him. ,Now none relate what answer was given by the rest of the oracles. But at Delphi, no sooner had the Lydians entered the hall to inquire of the god and asked the question with which they were entrusted, than the Pythian priestess uttered the following hexameter verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“I know the number of the grains of sand and the extent of the sea, /l lAnd understand the mute and hear the voiceless. /l lThe smell has come to my senses of a strong-shelled tortoise /l lBoiling in a cauldron together with a lamb's flesh, /l lUnder which is bronze and over which is bronze.” /l /quote 1.48. Having written down this inspired utterance of the Pythian priestess, the Lydians went back to Sardis . When the others as well who had been sent to various places came bringing their oracles, Croesus then unfolded and examined all the writings. Some of them in no way satisfied him. But when he read the Delphian message, he acknowledged it with worship and welcome, considering Delphi as the only true place of divination, because it had discovered what he himself had done. ,For after sending his envoys to the oracles, he had thought up something which no conjecture could discover, and carried it out on the appointed day: namely, he had cut up a tortoise and a lamb, and then boiled them in a cauldron of bronze covered with a lid of the same. 1.49. Such, then, was the answer from Delphi delivered to Croesus. As to the reply which the Lydians received from the oracle of Amphiaraus when they had followed the due custom of the temple, I cannot say what it was, for nothing is recorded of it, except that Croesus believed that from this oracle too he had obtained a true answer. 1.50. After this, he tried to win the favor of the Delphian god with great sacrifices. He offered up three thousand beasts from all the kinds fit for sacrifice, and on a great pyre burnt couches covered with gold and silver, golden goblets, and purple cloaks and tunics; by these means he hoped the better to win the aid of the god, to whom he also commanded that every Lydian sacrifice what he could. ,When the sacrifice was over, he melted down a vast store of gold and made ingots of it, the longer sides of which were of six and the shorter of three palms' length, and the height was one palm. There were a hundred and seventeen of these. Four of them were of refined gold, each weighing two talents and a half; the rest were of gold with silver alloy, each of two talents' weight. ,He also had a figure of a lion made of refined gold, weighing ten talents. When the temple of Delphi was burnt, this lion fell from the ingots which were the base on which it stood; and now it is in the treasury of the Corinthians, but weighs only six talents and a half, for the fire melted away three and a half talents. 1.51. When these offerings were ready, Croesus sent them to Delphi, with other gifts besides: namely, two very large bowls, one of gold and one of silver. The golden bowl stood to the right, the silver to the left of the temple entrance. ,These too were removed about the time of the temple's burning, and now the golden bowl, which weighs eight and a half talents and twelve minae, is in the treasury of the Clazomenians, and the silver bowl at the corner of the forecourt of the temple. This bowl holds six hundred nine-gallon measures: for the Delphians use it for a mixing-bowl at the feast of the Divine Appearance. ,It is said by the Delphians to be the work of Theodorus of Samos, and I agree with them, for it seems to me to be of no common workmanship. Moreover, Croesus sent four silver casks, which stand in the treasury of the Corinthians, and dedicated two sprinkling-vessels, one of gold, one of silver. The golden vessel bears the inscription “Given by the Lacedaemonians,” who claim it as their offering. But they are wrong, ,for this, too, is Croesus' gift. The inscription was made by a certain Delphian, whose name I know but do not mention, out of his desire to please the Lacedaemonians. The figure of a boy, through whose hand the water runs, is indeed a Lacedaemonian gift; but they did not give either of the sprinkling-vessels. ,Along with these Croesus sent, besides many other offerings of no great distinction, certain round basins of silver, and a female figure five feet high, which the Delphians assert to be the statue of the woman who was Croesus' baker. Moreover, he dedicated his own wife's necklaces and girdles. 1.52. Such were the gifts which he sent to Delphi . To Amphiaraus, of whose courage and fate he had heard, he dedicated a shield made entirely of gold and a spear all of solid gold, point and shaft alike. Both of these were until my time at Thebes, in the Theban temple of Ismenian Apollo. 1.53. The Lydians who were to bring these gifts to the temples were instructed by Croesus to inquire of the oracles whether he was to send an army against the Persians and whether he was to add an army of allies. ,When the Lydians came to the places where they were sent, they presented the offerings, and inquired of the oracles, in these words: “Croesus, king of Lydia and other nations, believing that here are the only true places of divination among men, endows you with such gifts as your wisdom deserves. And now he asks you whether he is to send an army against the Persians, and whether he is to add an army of allies.” ,Such was their inquiry; and the judgment given to Croesus by each of the two oracles was the same: namely, that if he should send an army against the Persians he would destroy a great empire. And they advised him to discover the mightiest of the Greeks and make them his friends. 1.54. When the divine answers had been brought back and Croesus learned of them, he was very pleased with the oracles. So, altogether expecting that he would destroy the kingdom of Cyrus, he sent once again to Pytho and endowed the Delphians, whose number he had learned, with two gold staters apiece. ,The Delphians, in return, gave Croesus and all Lydians the right of first consulting the oracle, exemption from all charges, the chief seats at festivals, and perpetual right of Delphian citizenship to whoever should wish it. 1.55. After his gifts to the Delphians, Croesus made a third inquiry of the oracle, for he wanted to use it to the full, having received true answers from it; and the question which he asked was whether his sovereignty would be of long duration. To this the Pythian priestess answered as follows: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“When the Medes have a mule as king, /l lJust then, tender-footed Lydian, by the stone-strewn Hermus /l lFlee and do not stay, and do not be ashamed to be a coward.” /l /quote 1.56. When he heard these verses, Croesus was pleased with them above all, for he thought that a mule would never be king of the Medes instead of a man, and therefore that he and his posterity would never lose his empire. Then he sought very carefully to discover who the mightiest of the Greeks were, whom he should make his friends. ,He found by inquiry that the chief peoples were the Lacedaemonians among those of Doric, and the Athenians among those of Ionic stock. These races, Ionian and Dorian, were the foremost in ancient time, the first a Pelasgian and the second a Hellenic people. The Pelasgian race has never yet left its home; the Hellenic has wandered often and far. ,For in the days of king Deucalion it inhabited the land of Phthia, then the country called Histiaean, under Ossa and Olympus, in the time of Dorus son of Hellen; driven from this Histiaean country by the Cadmeans, it settled about Pindus in the territory called Macedonian; from there again it migrated to Dryopia, and at last came from Dryopia into the Peloponnese, where it took the name of Dorian. 1.57. What language the Pelasgians spoke I cannot say definitely. But if one may judge by those that still remain of the Pelasgians who live above the Tyrrheni in the city of Creston —who were once neighbors of the people now called Dorians, and at that time inhabited the country which now is called Thessalian— ,and of the Pelasgians who inhabited Placia and Scylace on the Hellespont, who came to live among the Athenians, and by other towns too which were once Pelasgian and afterwards took a different name: if, as I said, one may judge by these, the Pelasgians spoke a language which was not Greek. ,If, then, all the Pelasgian stock spoke so, then the Attic nation, being of Pelasgian blood, must have changed its language too at the time when it became part of the Hellenes. For the people of Creston and Placia have a language of their own in common, which is not the language of their neighbors; and it is plain that they still preserve the manner of speech which they brought with them in their migration into the places where they live. 1.58. But the Hellenic stock, it seems clear to me, has always had the same language since its beginning; yet being, when separated from the Pelasgians, few in number, they have grown from a small beginning to comprise a multitude of nations, chiefly because the Pelasgians and many other foreign peoples united themselves with them. Before that, I think, the Pelasgic stock nowhere increased much in number while it was of foreign speech. 1.59. Now of these two peoples, Croesus learned that the Attic was held in subjection and divided into factions by Pisistratus, son of Hippocrates, who at that time was sovereign over the Athenians. This Hippocrates was still a private man when a great marvel happened to him when he was at Olympia to see the games: when he had offered the sacrifice, the vessels, standing there full of meat and water, boiled without fire until they boiled over. ,Chilon the Lacedaemonian, who happened to be there and who saw this marvel, advised Hippocrates not to take to his house a wife who could bear children, but if he had one already, then to send her away, and if he had a son, to disown him. ,Hippocrates refused to follow the advice of Chilon; and afterward there was born to him this Pisistratus, who, when there was a feud between the Athenians of the coast under Megacles son of Alcmeon and the Athenians of the plain under Lycurgus son of Aristolaides, raised up a third faction, as he coveted the sovereign power. He collected partisans and pretended to champion the uplanders, and the following was his plan. ,Wounding himself and his mules, he drove his wagon into the marketplace, with a story that he had escaped from his enemies, who would have killed him (so he said) as he was driving into the country. So he implored the people to give him a guard: and indeed he had won a reputation in his command of the army against the Megarians, when he had taken Nisaea and performed other great exploits. ,Taken in, the Athenian people gave him a guard of chosen citizens, whom Pisistratus made clubmen instead of spearmen: for the retinue that followed him carried wooden clubs. ,These rose with Pisistratus and took the Acropolis; and Pisistratus ruled the Athenians, disturbing in no way the order of offices nor changing the laws, but governing the city according to its established constitution and arranging all things fairly and well. 1.60. But after a short time the partisans of Megacles and of Lycurgus made common cause and drove him out. In this way Pisistratus first got Athens and, as he had a sovereignty that was not yet firmly rooted, lost it. Presently his enemies who together had driven him out began to feud once more. ,Then Megacles, harassed by factional strife, sent a message to Pisistratus offering him his daughter to marry and the sovereign power besides. ,When this offer was accepted by Pisistratus, who agreed on these terms with Megacles, they devised a plan to bring Pisistratus back which, to my mind, was so exceptionally foolish that it is strange (since from old times the Hellenic stock has always been distinguished from foreign by its greater cleverness and its freedom from silly foolishness) that these men should devise such a plan to deceive Athenians, said to be the subtlest of the Greeks. ,There was in the Paeanian deme a woman called Phya, three fingers short of six feet, four inches in height, and otherwise, too, well-formed. This woman they equipped in full armor and put in a chariot, giving her all the paraphernalia to make the most impressive spectacle, and so drove into the city; heralds ran before them, and when they came into town proclaimed as they were instructed: ,“Athenians, give a hearty welcome to Pisistratus, whom Athena herself honors above all men and is bringing back to her own acropolis.” So the heralds went about proclaiming this; and immediately the report spread in the demes that Athena was bringing Pisistratus back, and the townsfolk, believing that the woman was the goddess herself, worshipped this human creature and welcomed Pisistratus. 1.61. Having got back his sovereignty in the manner which I have described, Pisistratus married Megacles' daughter according to his agreement with Megacles. But as he already had young sons, and as the Alcmeonid family were said to be under a curse, he had no wish that his newly-wedded wife bear him children, and therefore had unusual intercourse with her. ,At first the woman hid the fact: presently she told her mother (whether interrogated or not, I do not know) and the mother told her husband. Megacles was very angry to be dishonored by Pisistratus; and in his anger he patched up his quarrel with the other faction. Pisistratus, learning what was going on, went alone away from the country altogether, and came to Eretria where he deliberated with his sons. ,The opinion of Hippias prevailing, that they should recover the sovereignty, they set out collecting contributions from all the cities that owed them anything. Many of these gave great amounts, the Thebans more than any, ,and in course of time, not to make a long story, everything was ready for their return: for they brought Argive mercenaries from the Peloponnese, and there joined them on his own initiative a man of Naxos called Lygdamis, who was most keen in their cause and brought them money and men. 1.62. So after ten years they set out from Eretria and returned home. The first place in Attica which they took and held was Marathon: and while encamped there they were joined by their partisans from the city, and by others who flocked to them from the country—demesmen who loved the rule of one more than freedom. These, then, assembled; ,but the Athenians in the city, who while Pisistratus was collecting money and afterwards when he had taken Marathon took no notice of it, did now, and when they learned that he was marching from Marathon against Athens, they set out to attack him. ,They came out with all their force to meet the returning exiles. Pisistratus' men encountered the enemy when they had reached the temple of Pallenian Athena in their march from Marathon towards the city, and encamped face to face with them. ,There (by the providence of heaven) Pisistratus met Amphilytus the Acarian, a diviner, who came to him and prophesied as follows in hexameter verses: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“The cast is made, the net spread, /l lThe tunny-fish shall flash in the moonlit night.” /l /quote 1.63. So Amphilytus spoke, being inspired; Pisistratus understood him and, saying that he accepted the prophecy, led his army against the enemy. The Athenians of the city had by this time had breakfast, and after breakfast some were dicing and some were sleeping: they were attacked by Pisistratus' men and put to flight. ,So they fled, and Pisistratus devised a very subtle plan to keep them scattered and prevent them assembling again: he had his sons mount and ride forward: they overtook the fugitives and spoke to them as they were instructed by Pisistratus, telling them to take heart and each to depart to his home. 1.64. The Athenians did, and by this means Pisistratus gained Athens for the third time, rooting his sovereignty in a strong guard and revenue collected both from Athens and from the district of the river Strymon, and he took hostage the sons of the Athenians who remained and did not leave the city at once, and placed these in Naxos . ,(He had conquered Naxos too and put Lygdamis in charge.) And besides this, he purified the island of Delos as a result of oracles, and this is how he did it: he removed all the dead that were buried in ground within sight of the temple and conveyed them to another part of Delos . ,So Pisistratus was sovereign of Athens : and as for the Athenians, some had fallen in the battle, and some, with the Alcmeonids, were exiles from their native land. 1.65. So Croesus learned that at that time such problems were oppressing the Athenians, but that the Lacedaemonians had escaped from the great evils and had mastered the Tegeans in war. In the kingship of Leon and Hegesicles at Sparta, the Lacedaemonians were successful in all their other wars but met disaster only against the Tegeans. ,Before this they had been the worst-governed of nearly all the Hellenes and had had no dealings with strangers, but they changed to good government in this way: Lycurgus, a man of reputation among the Spartans, went to the oracle at Delphi . As soon as he entered the hall, the priestess said in hexameter: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"You have come to my rich temple, Lycurgus, /l lA man dear to Zeus and to all who have Olympian homes. /l lI am in doubt whether to pronounce you man or god, /l lBut I think rather you are a god, Lycurgus. /l /quote ,Some say that the Pythia also declared to him the constitution that now exists at Sparta, but the Lacedaemonians themselves say that Lycurgus brought it from Crete when he was guardian of his nephew Leobetes, the Spartan king. ,Once he became guardian, he changed all the laws and took care that no one transgressed the new ones. Lycurgus afterwards established their affairs of war: the sworn divisions, the bands of thirty, the common meals; also the ephors and the council of elders. 1.66. Thus they changed their bad laws to good ones, and when Lycurgus died they built him a temple and now worship him greatly. Since they had good land and many men, they immediately flourished and prospered. They were not content to live in peace, but, confident that they were stronger than the Arcadians, asked the oracle at Delphi about gaining all the Arcadian land. ,She replied in hexameter: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"You ask me for Arcadia ? You ask too much; I grant it not. /l lThere are many men in Arcadia, eaters of acorns, /l lWho will hinder you. But I grudge you not. /l lI will give you Tegea to beat with your feet in dancing, /l lAnd its fair plain to measure with a rope. /l /quote ,When the Lacedaemonians heard the oracle reported, they left the other Arcadians alone and marched on Tegea carrying chains, relying on the deceptive oracle. They were confident they would enslave the Tegeans, but they were defeated in battle. ,Those taken alive were bound in the very chains they had brought with them, and they measured the Tegean plain with a rope by working the fields. The chains in which they were bound were still preserved in my day, hanging up at the temple of Athena Alea. 1.67. In the previous war the Lacedaemonians continually fought unsuccessfully against the Tegeans, but in the time of Croesus and the kingship of Anaxandrides and Ariston in Lacedaemon the Spartans had gained the upper hand. This is how: ,when they kept being defeated by the Tegeans, they sent ambassadors to Delphi to ask which god they should propitiate to prevail against the Tegeans in war. The Pythia responded that they should bring back the bones of Orestes, son of Agamemnon. ,When they were unable to discover Orestes' tomb, they sent once more to the god to ask where he was buried. The Pythia responded in hexameter to the messengers: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"There is a place Tegea in the smooth plain of Arcadia, /l lWhere two winds blow under strong compulsion. /l lBlow lies upon blow, woe upon woe. /l lThere the life-giving earth covers the son of Agamemnon. /l lBring him back, and you shall be lord of Tegea . /l /quote ,When the Lacedaemonians heard this, they were no closer to discovery, though they looked everywhere. Finally it was found by Lichas, who was one of the Spartans who are called “doers of good deeds.”. These men are those citizens who retire from the knights, the five oldest each year. They have to spend the year in which they retire from the knights being sent here and there by the Spartan state, never resting in their efforts. 1.68. It was Lichas, one of these men, who found the tomb in Tegea by a combination of luck and skill. At that time there was free access to Tegea, so he went into a blacksmith's shop and watched iron being forged, standing there in amazement at what he saw done. ,The smith perceived that he was amazed, so he stopped what he was doing and said, “My Laconian guest, if you had seen what I saw, then you would really be amazed, since you marvel so at ironworking. ,I wanted to dig a well in the courtyard here, and in my digging I hit upon a coffin twelve feet long. I could not believe that there had ever been men taller than now, so I opened it and saw that the corpse was just as long as the coffin. I measured it and then reburied it.” So the smith told what he had seen, and Lichas thought about what was said and reckoned that this was Orestes, according to the oracle. ,In the smith's two bellows he found the winds, hammer and anvil were blow upon blow, and the forging of iron was woe upon woe, since he figured that iron was discovered as an evil for the human race. ,After reasoning this out, he went back to Sparta and told the Lacedaemonians everything. They made a pretence of bringing a charge against him and banishing him. Coming to Tegea, he explained his misfortune to the smith and tried to rent the courtyard, but the smith did not want to lease it. ,Finally he persuaded him and set up residence there. He dug up the grave and collected the bones, then hurried off to Sparta with them. Ever since then the Spartans were far superior to the Tegeans whenever they met each other in battle. By the time of Croesus' inquiry, the Spartans had subdued most of the Peloponnese . 1.69. Croesus, then, aware of all this, sent messengers to Sparta with gifts to ask for an alliance, having instructed them what to say. They came and said: ,“Croesus, King of Lydia and other nations, has sent us with this message: ‘Lacedaemonians, the god has declared that I should make the Greek my friend; now, therefore, since I learn that you are the leaders of Hellas, I invite you, as the oracle bids; I would like to be your friend and ally, without deceit or guile.’” ,Croesus proposed this through his messengers; and the Lacedaemonians, who had already heard of the oracle given to Croesus, welcomed the coming of the Lydians and swore to be his friends and allies; and indeed they were obliged by certain benefits which they had received before from the king. ,For the Lacedaemonians had sent to Sardis to buy gold, intending to use it for the statue of Apollo which now stands on Thornax in Laconia ; and Croesus, when they offered to buy it, made them a free gift of it. 1.70. For this reason, and because he had chosen them as his friends before all the other Greeks, the Lacedaemonians accepted the alliance. So they declared themselves ready to serve him when he should require, and moreover they made a bowl of bronze, engraved around the rim outside with figures, and large enough to hold twenty-seven hundred gallons, and brought it with the intention of making a gift in return to Croesus. ,This bowl never reached Sardis, for which two reasons are given: the Lacedaemonians say that when the bowl was near Samos on its way to Sardis, the Samians descended upon them in warships and carried it off; ,but the Samians themselves say that the Lacedaemonians who were bringing the bowl, coming too late, and learning that Sardis and Croesus were taken, sold it in Samos to certain private men, who set it up in the the temple of Hera. And it may be that the sellers of the bowl, when they returned to Sparta, said that they had been robbed of it by the Samians. Such are the tales about the bowl. 1.71. Croesus, mistaking the meaning of the oracle, invaded Cappadocia, expecting to destroy Cyrus and the Persian power. ,But while he was preparing to march against the Persians, a certain Lydian, who was already held to be a wise man, and who, from the advice which he now gave, won a great name among the Lydians, advised him as follows (his name was Sandanis): “O King, you are getting ready to march against men who wear trousers of leather and whose complete wardrobe is of leather, and who eat not what they like but what they have; for their land is stony. ,Further, they do not use wine, but drink water, have no figs to eat, or anything else that is good. Now if you conquer them, of what will you deprive them, since they have nothing? But if on the other hand you are conquered, then look how many good things you will lose; for once they have tasted of our blessings they will cling so tightly to them that nothing will pry them away. ,For myself, then, I thank the gods that they do not put it in the heads of the Persians to march against the Lydians.” Sandanis spoke thus but he did not persuade Croesus. Indeed, before they conquered the Lydians, the Persians had no luxury and no comforts. 1.72. Now the Cappadocians are called by the Greeks Syrians, and these Syrians before the Persian rule were subjects of the Medes, and, at this time, of Cyrus. ,For the boundary of the Median and Lydian empires was the river Halys, which flows from the Armenian mountains first through Cilicia and afterwards between the Matieni on the right and the Phrygians on the other hand; then, passing these and still flowing north, it separates the Cappadocian Syrians on the right from the Paphlagonians on the left. ,Thus the Halys river cuts off nearly the whole of the lower part of Asia from the Cyprian to the Euxine sea . Here is the narrowest neck of all this land; the length of the journey across for a man traveling unencumbered is five days. 1.73. The reasons for Croesus' expedition against Cappadocia were these: he desired to gain territory in addition to his own, and (these were the chief causes) he trusted the oracle and wished to avenge Astyages on Cyrus; for Cyrus, son of Cambyses, had conquered Astyages and held him in subjection. ,Now Astyages, son of Cyaxares and the king of Media, was Croesus' brother-in-law: and this is how he came to be so. ,A tribe of wandering Scythians separated itself from the rest, and escaped into Median territory. This was then ruled by Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, son of Deioces. Cyaxares at first treated the Scythians kindly, as suppliants for his mercy; and, as he had a high regard for them, he entrusted boys to their tutelage to be taught their language and the skill of archery. ,As time went on, it happened that the Scythians, who were accustomed to go hunting and always to bring something back, once had taken nothing, and when they returned empty-handed, Cyaxares treated them very roughly and contemptuously (being, as appears from this, prone to anger). ,The Scythians, feeling themselves wronged by the treatment they had from Cyaxares, planned to take one of the boys who were their pupils and cut him in pieces; then, dressing the flesh as they were accustomed to dress the animals which they killed, to bring and give it to Cyaxares as if it were the spoils of the hunt; and after that, to make their way with all speed to Alyattes son of Sadyattes at Sardis . All this they did. ,Cyaxares and the guests who ate with him dined on the boy's flesh, and the Scythians, having done as they planned, fled to Alyattes for protection. 1.74. After this, since Alyattes would not give up the Scythians to Cyaxares at his demand, there was war between the Lydians and the Medes for five years; each won many victories over the other, and once they fought a battle by night. ,They were still warring with equal success, when it happened, at an encounter which occurred in the sixth year, that during the battle the day was suddenly turned to night. Thales of Miletus had foretold this loss of daylight to the Ionians, fixing it within the year in which the change did indeed happen. ,So when the Lydians and Medes saw the day turned to night, they stopped fighting, and both were the more eager to make peace. Those who reconciled them were Syennesis the Cilician and Labynetus the Babylonian; ,they brought it about that there should be a sworn agreement and a compact of marriage between them: they judged that Alyattes should give his daughter Aryenis to Astyages, son of Cyaxares; for without strong constraint agreements will not keep their force. ,These nations make sworn compacts as do the Greeks; and besides, when they cut the skin of their arms, they lick each other's blood. 1.75. Cyrus had subjugated this Astyages, then, Cyrus' own mother's father, for the reason which I shall presently disclose. ,Having this reason to quarrel with Cyrus, Croesus sent to ask the oracles if he should march against the Persians; and when a deceptive answer came he thought it to be favorable to him, and so led his army into the Persian territory. ,When he came to the river Halys, he transported his army across it—by the bridges which were there then, as I maintain; but the general belief of the Greeks is that Thales of Miletus got the army across. ,The story is that, as Croesus did not know how his army could pass the river (as the aforesaid bridges did not yet exist then), Thales, who was in the encampment, made the river, which flowed on the left of the army, also flow on the right, in the following way. ,Starting from a point on the river upstream from the camp, he dug a deep semi-circular trench, so that the stream, turned from its ancient course, would flow in the trench to the rear of the camp and, passing it, would issue into its former bed, with the result that as soon as the river was thus divided into two, both channels could be forded. ,Some even say that the ancient channel dried up altogether. But I do not believe this; for in that case, how did they pass the river when they were returning? 1.76. Passing over with his army, Croesus then came to the part of Cappadocia called Pteria (it is the strongest part of this country and lies on the line of the city of Sinope on the Euxine sea ), where he encamped and devastated the farms of the Syrians; ,and he took and enslaved the city of the Pterians, and took all the places around it also, and drove the Syrians from their homes, though they had done him no harm. Cyrus, mustering his army, advanced to oppose Croesus, gathering to him all those who lived along the way. ,But before beginning his march, he sent heralds to the Ionians to try to draw them away from Croesus. The Ionians would not be prevailed on; but when Cyrus arrived and encamped face to face with Croesus, there in the Pterian country the armies had a trial of strength. ,The fighting was fierce, many on both sides fell, and at nightfall they disengaged with neither side victorious. The two sides contended thus. 1.77. Croesus was not content with the size of his force, for his army that had engaged was far smaller than that of Cyrus; therefore, when on the day after the battle Cyrus did not try attacking again, he marched away to Sardis, intending to summon the Egyptians in accordance with their treaty ,(for before making an alliance with the Lacedaemonians he had made one also with Amasis king of Egypt ), and to send for the Babylonians also (for with these too he had made an alliance, Labynetus at this time being their sovereign), ,and to summon the Lacedaemonians to join him at a fixed time. He had in mind to muster all these forces and assemble his own army, then to wait until the winter was over and march against the Persians at the beginning of spring. ,With such an intention, as soon as he returned to Sardis, he sent heralds to all his allies, summoning them to assemble at Sardis in five months' time; and as for the soldiers whom he had with him, who had fought with the Persians, all of them who were mercenaries he discharged, never thinking that after a contest so equal Cyrus would march against Sardis . 1.78. This was how Croesus reasoned. Meanwhile, snakes began to swarm in the outer part of the city; and when they appeared the horses, leaving their accustomed pasture, devoured them. When Croesus saw this he thought it a portent, and so it was. ,He at once sent to the homes of the Telmessian interpreters, to inquire concerning it; but though his messengers came and learned from the Telmessians what the portent meant, they could not bring back word to Croesus, for he was a prisoner before they could make their voyage back to Sardis . ,Nonetheless, this was the judgment of the Telmessians: that Croesus must expect a foreign army to attack his country, and that when it came, it would subjugate the inhabitants of the land: for the snake, they said, was the offspring of the land, but the horse was an enemy and a foreigner. This was the answer which the Telmessians gave Croesus, knowing as yet nothing of the fate of Sardis and of the king himself; but when they gave it, Croesus was already taken. 1.79. When Croesus marched away after the battle in the Pterian country, Cyrus, learning that Croesus had gone intending to disband his army, deliberated and perceived that it would be opportune for him to march quickly against Sardis, before the power of the Lydians could be assembled again. ,This he decided, and this he did immediately; he marched his army into Lydia and so came himself to bring the news of it to Croesus. All had turned out contrary to Croesus' expectation, and he was in a great quandary; nevertheless, he led out the Lydians to battle. ,Now at this time there was no nation in Asia more valiant or warlike than the Lydian. It was their custom to fight on horseback, carrying long spears, and they were skillful at managing horses. 1.80. So the armies met in the plain, wide and bare, that is before the city of Sardis : the Hyllus and other rivers flow across it and run violently together into the greatest of them, which is called Hermus (this flows from the mountain sacred to the Mother Dindymene and empties into the sea near the city of Phocaea ). ,When Cyrus saw the Lydians maneuvering their battle-lines here, he was afraid of their cavalry, and therefore at the urging of one Harpagus, a Mede, he did as I shall describe. Assembling all the camels that followed his army bearing food and baggage, he took off their burdens and mounted men upon them equipped like cavalrymen; having equipped them, he ordered them to advance before his army against Croesus' cavalry; he directed the infantry to follow the camels, and placed all his cavalry behind the infantry. ,When they were all in order, he commanded them to kill all the other Lydians who came in their way, and spare none, but not to kill Croesus himself, even if he should defend himself against capture. ,Such was his command. The reason for his posting the camels to face the cavalry was this: horses fear camels and can endure neither the sight nor the smell of them; this then was the intention of his maneuver, that Croesus' cavalry, on which the Lydian relied to distinguish himself, might be of no use. ,So when battle was joined, as soon as the horses smelled and saw the camels they turned to flight, and all Croesus' hope was lost. ,Nevertheless the Lydians were no cowards; when they saw what was happening, they leaped from their horses and fought the Persians on foot. Many of both armies fell; at length the Lydians were routed and driven within their city wall, where they were besieged by the Persians. 1.81. So then they were besieged. But Croesus, supposing that the siege would last a long time, again sent messengers from the city to his allies; whereas the former envoys had been sent to summon them to muster at Sardis in five months' time, these were to announce that Croesus was besieged and to plead for help as quickly as possible. 1.82. So he sent to the Lacedaemonians as well as to the rest of the allies. Now at this very time the Spartans themselves were feuding with the Argives over the country called Thyrea; ,for this was a part of the Argive territory which the Lacedaemonians had cut off and occupied. (All the land towards the west, as far as Malea, belonged then to the Argives, and not only the mainland, but the island of Cythera and the other islands.) ,The Argives came out to save their territory from being cut off, then after debate the two armies agreed that three hundred of each side should fight, and whichever party won would possess the land. The rest of each army was to go away to its own country and not be present at the battle, since, if the armies remained on the field, the men of either party might render assistance to their comrades if they saw them losing. ,Having agreed, the armies drew off, and picked men of each side remained and fought. Neither could gain advantage in the battle; at last, only three out of the six hundred were left, Alcenor and Chromios of the Argives, Othryades of the Lacedaemonians: these three were left alive at nightfall. ,Then the two Argives, believing themselves victors, ran to Argos ; but Othryades the Lacedaemonian, after stripping the Argive dead and taking the arms to his camp, waited at his position. On the second day both armies came to learn the issue. ,For a while both claimed the victory, the Argives arguing that more of their men had survived, the Lacedaemonians showing that the Argives had fled, while their man had stood his ground and stripped the enemy dead. ,At last from arguing they fell to fighting; many of both sides fell, but the Lacedaemonians gained the victory. The Argives, who before had worn their hair long by fixed custom, shaved their heads ever after and made a law, with a curse added to it, that no Argive grow his hair, and no Argive woman wear gold, until they recovered Thyreae; ,and the Lacedaemonians made a contrary law, that they wear their hair long ever after; for until now they had not worn it so. Othryades, the lone survivor of the three hundred, was ashamed, it is said, to return to Sparta after all the men of his company had been killed, and killed himself on the spot at Thyreae. 1.83. The Sardian herald came after this had happened to the Spartans to ask for their help for Croesus, now besieged; nonetheless, when they heard the herald, they prepared to send help; but when they were already equipped and their ships ready, a second message came that the fortification of the Lydians was taken and Croesus a prisoner. Then, though very sorry indeed, they ceased their efforts. 1.84. This is how Sardis was taken. When Croesus had been besieged for fourteen days, Cyrus sent horsemen around in his army to promise to reward whoever first mounted the wall. ,After this the army made an assault, but with no success. Then, when all the others were stopped, a certain Mardian called Hyroeades attempted to mount by a part of the acropolis where no guard had been set, since no one feared that it could be taken by an attack made here. ,For here the height on which the acropolis stood is sheer and unlikely to be assaulted; this was the only place where Meles the former king of Sardis had not carried the lion which his concubine had borne him, the Telmessians having declared that if this lion were carried around the walls, Sardis could never be taken. Meles then carried the lion around the rest of the wall of the acropolis where it could be assaulted, but neglected this place, because the height was sheer and defied attack. It is on the side of the city which faces towards Tmolus. ,The day before, then, Hyroeades, this Mardian, had seen one of the Lydians come down by this part of the acropolis after a helmet that had fallen down, and fetch it; he took note of this and considered it. ,And now he climbed up himself, and other Persians after him. Many ascended, and thus Sardis was taken and all the city sacked. 1.85. I will now relate what happened to Croesus himself. He had a son, whom I have already mentioned, fine in other respects, but mute. Now in his days of prosperity past Croesus had done all that he could for his son; and besides resorting to other devices he had sent to Delphi to inquire of the oracle concerning him. ,The Pythian priestess answered him thus: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“Lydian, king of many, greatly foolish Croesus, /l lWish not to hear in the palace the voice often prayed for /l lof your son speaking. /l lIt were better for you that he remain mute as before; /l lFor on an unlucky day shall he first speak.” /l /quote ,So at the taking of the fortification a certain Persian, not knowing who Croesus was, came at him meaning to kill him. Croesus saw him coming, but because of the imminent disaster he was past caring, and it made no difference to him whether he were struck and killed. ,But this mute son, when he saw the Persian coming on, in fear and distress broke into speech and cried, “Man, do not kill Croesus!” This was the first word he uttered, and after that for all the rest of his life he had power of speech. 1.86. The Persians gained Sardis and took Croesus prisoner. Croesus had ruled fourteen years and been besieged fourteen days. Fulfilling the oracle, he had destroyed his own great empire. The Persians took him and brought him to Cyrus, ,who erected a pyre and mounted Croesus atop it, bound in chains, with twice seven sons of the Lydians beside him. Cyrus may have intended to sacrifice him as a victory-offering to some god, or he may have wished to fulfill a vow, or perhaps he had heard that Croesus was pious and put him atop the pyre to find out if some divinity would deliver him from being burned alive. ,So Cyrus did this. As Croesus stood on the pyre, even though he was in such a wretched position it occurred to him that Solon had spoken with god's help when he had said that no one among the living is fortunate. When this occurred to him, he heaved a deep sigh and groaned aloud after long silence, calling out three times the name “Solon.” ,Cyrus heard and ordered the interpreters to ask Croesus who he was invoking. They approached and asked, but Croesus kept quiet at their questioning, until finally they forced him and he said, “I would prefer to great wealth his coming into discourse with all despots.” Since what he said was unintelligible, they again asked what he had said, ,persistently harassing him. He explained that first Solon the Athenian had come and seen all his fortune and spoken as if he despised it. Now everything had turned out for him as Solon had said, speaking no more of him than of every human being, especially those who think themselves fortunate. While Croesus was relating all this, the pyre had been lit and the edges were on fire. ,When Cyrus heard from the interpreters what Croesus said, he relented and considered that he, a human being, was burning alive another human being, one his equal in good fortune. In addition, he feared retribution, reflecting how there is nothing stable in human affairs. He ordered that the blazing fire be extinguished as quickly as possible, and that Croesus and those with him be taken down, but despite their efforts they could not master the fire. 1.87. Then the Lydians say that Croesus understood Cyrus' change of heart, and when he saw everyone trying to extinguish the fire but unable to check it, he invoked Apollo, crying out that if Apollo had ever been given any pleasing gift by him, let him offer help and deliver him from the present evil. ,Thus he in tears invoked the god, and suddenly out of a clear and windless sky clouds gathered, a storm broke, and it rained violently, extinguishing the pyre. Thus Cyrus perceived that Croesus was dear to god and a good man. He had him brought down from the pyre and asked, ,“Croesus, what man persuaded you to wage war against my land and become my enemy instead of my friend?” He replied, “O King, I acted thus for your good fortune, but for my own ill fortune. The god of the Hellenes is responsible for these things, inciting me to wage war. ,No one is so foolish as to choose war over peace. In peace sons bury their fathers, in war fathers bury their sons. But I suppose it was dear to the divinity that this be so.” 1.88. Croesus said this, and Cyrus freed him and made him sit near and was very considerate to him, and both he and all that were with him were astonished when they looked at Croesus. He for his part was silent, deep in thought. ,Presently he turned and said (for he saw the Persians sacking the city of the Lydians), “O King, am I to say to you what is in my mind now, or keep silent?” When Cyrus urged him to speak up boldly, Croesus asked, ,“The multitude there, what is it at which they are so busily engaged?” “They are plundering your city,” said Cyrus, “and carrying off your possessions.” “No,” Croesus answered, “not my city, and not my possessions; for I no longer have any share of all this; it is your wealth that they are pillaging.” 1.89. Cyrus thought about what Croesus had said and, telling the rest to withdraw, asked Croesus what fault he saw in what was being done. “Since the gods have made me your slave,” replied the Lydian, “it is right that if I have any further insight I should point it out to you. ,The Persians being by nature violent men are poor; so if you let them seize and hold great possessions, you may expect that he who has got most will revolt against you. Therefore do this, if you like what I say. ,Have men of your guard watch all the gates; let them take the spoil from those who are carrying it out, and say that it must be paid as a tithe to Zeus. Thus you shall not be hated by them for taking their wealth by force, and they, recognizing that you act justly, will give up the spoil willingly.” 1.90. When Cyrus heard this, he was exceedingly pleased, for he believed the advice good; and praising him greatly, and telling his guard to act as Croesus had advised, he said: “Croesus, now that you, a king, are determined to act and to speak with integrity, ask me directly for whatever favor you like.” ,“Master,” said Croesus, “you will most gratify me if you will let me send these chains of mine to that god of the Greeks whom I especially honored and to ask him if it is his way to deceive those who serve him well.” When Cyrus asked him what grudge against the god led him to make this request, ,Croesus repeated to him the story of all his own aspirations, and the answers of the oracles, and more particularly his offerings, and how the oracle had encouraged him to attack the Persians; and so saying he once more insistently pled that he be allowed to reproach the god for this. At this Cyrus smiled, and replied, “This I will grant you, Croesus, and whatever other favor you may ever ask me.” ,When Croesus heard this, he sent Lydians to Delphi, telling them to lay his chains on the doorstep of the temple, and to ask the god if he were not ashamed to have persuaded Croesus to attack the Persians, telling him that he would destroy Cyrus' power; of which power (they were to say, showing the chains) these were the first-fruits. They should ask this; and further, if it were the way of the Greek gods to be ungrateful. 1.91. When the Lydians came, and spoke as they had been instructed, the priestess (it is said) made the following reply. “No one may escape his lot, not even a god. Croesus has paid for the sin of his ancestor of the fifth generation before, who was led by the guile of a woman to kill his master, though he was one of the guard of the Heraclidae, and who took to himself the royal state of that master, to which he had no right. ,And it was the wish of Loxias that the evil lot of Sardis fall in the lifetime of Croesus' sons, not in his own; but he could not deflect the Fates. ,Yet as far as they gave in, he did accomplish his wish and favor Croesus: for he delayed the taking of Sardis for three years. And let Croesus know this: that although he is now taken, it is by so many years later than the destined hour. And further, Loxias saved Croesus from burning. ,But as to the oracle that was given to him, Croesus is wrong to complain concerning it. For Loxias declared to him that if he led an army against the Persians, he would destroy a great empire. Therefore he ought, if he had wanted to plan well, to have sent and asked whether the god spoke of Croesus' or of Cyrus' empire. But he did not understood what was spoken, or make further inquiry: for which now let him blame himself. ,When he asked that last question of the oracle and Loxias gave him that answer concerning the mule, even that Croesus did not understand. For that mule was in fact Cyrus, who was the son of two parents not of the same people, of whom the mother was better and the father inferior: ,for she was a Mede and the daughter of Astyages king of the Medes; but he was a Persian and a subject of the Medes and although in all respects her inferior he married this lady of his.” This was the answer of the priestess to the Lydians. They carried it to Sardis and told Croesus, and when he heard it, he confessed that the sin was not the god's, but his. And this is the story of Croesus' rule, and of the first overthrow of Ionia . 1.92. There are many offerings of Croesus' in Hellas, and not only those of which I have spoken. There is a golden tripod at Thebes in Boeotia, which he dedicated to Apollo of Ismenus; at Ephesus there are the oxen of gold and the greater part of the pillars; and in the temple of Proneia at Delphi, a golden shield. All these survived to my lifetime; but other of the offerings were destroyed. ,And the offerings of Croesus at Branchidae of the Milesians, as I learn by inquiry, are equal in weight and like those at Delphi . Those which he dedicated at Delphi and the shrine of Amphiaraus were his own, the first-fruits of the wealth inherited from his father; the rest came from the estate of an enemy who had headed a faction against Croesus before he became king, and conspired to win the throne of Lydia for Pantaleon. ,This Pantaleon was a son of Alyattes, and half-brother of Croesus: Croesus was Alyattes' son by a Carian and Pantaleon by an Ionian mother. ,So when Croesus gained the sovereignty by his father's gift, he put the man who had conspired against him to death by drawing him across a carding-comb, and first confiscated his estate, then dedicated it as and where I have said. This is all that I shall say of Croesus' offerings. 1.93. There are not many marvellous things in Lydia to record, in comparison with other countries, except the gold dust that comes down from Tmolus. ,But there is one building to be seen there which is much the greatest of all, except those of Egypt and Babylon . In Lydia is the tomb of Alyattes, the father of Croesus, the base of which is made of great stones and the rest of it of mounded earth. It was built by the men of the market and the craftsmen and the prostitutes. ,There survived until my time five corner-stones set on the top of the tomb, and in these was cut the record of the work done by each group: and measurement showed that the prostitutes' share of the work was the greatest. ,All the daughters of the common people of Lydia ply the trade of prostitutes, to collect dowries, until they can get themselves husbands; and they themselves offer themselves in marriage. ,Now this tomb has a circumference of thirteen hundred and ninety yards, and its breadth is above four hundred and forty yards; and there is a great lake hard by the tomb, which, the Lydians say, is fed by ever-flowing springs; it is called the Gygaean lake. Such then is this tomb. 1.94. The customs of the Lydians are like those of the Greeks, except that they make prostitutes of their female children. They were the first men whom we know who coined and used gold and silver currency; and they were the first to sell by retail. ,And, according to what they themselves say, the games now in use among them and the Greeks were invented by the Lydians: these, they say, were invented among them at the time when they colonized Tyrrhenia. This is their story: ,In the reign of Atys son of Manes there was great scarcity of food in all Lydia . For a while the Lydians bore this with what patience they could; presently, when the famine did not abate, they looked for remedies, and different plans were devised by different men. Then it was that they invented the games of dice and knuckle-bones and ball and all other forms of game except dice, which the Lydians do not claim to have discovered. ,Then, using their discovery to lighten the famine, every other day they would play for the whole day, so that they would not have to look for food, and the next day they quit their play and ate. This was their way of life for eighteen years. ,But the famine did not cease to trouble them, and instead afflicted them even more. At last their king divided the people into two groups, and made them draw lots, so that the one group should remain and the other leave the country; he himself was to be the head of those who drew the lot to remain there, and his son, whose name was Tyrrhenus, of those who departed. ,Then the one group, having drawn the lot, left the country and came down to Smyrna and built ships, in which they loaded all their goods that could be transported aboard ship, and sailed away to seek a livelihood and a country; until at last, after sojourning with one people after another, they came to the Ombrici, where they founded cities and have lived ever since. ,They no longer called themselves Lydians, but Tyrrhenians, after the name of the king's son who had led them there.The Lydians, then, were enslaved by the Persians. 1.192. And Babylon, then for the first time, was taken in this way. I shall show how great the power of Babylon is by many other means, but particularly by this. All the land that the great King rules is parcelled out to provision him and his army, and pays tribute besides: now the territory of Babylon feeds him for four of the twelve months in the year, the whole of the rest of Asia providing for the other eight. ,Thus the wealth of Assyria is one third of the entire wealth of Asia . The governorship of this land, which the Persians call “satrapy,” is by far the most powerful of all the governorships, since the daily income of Tritantaechmes son of Artabazus, who governed this province by the king's will, was an artaba full of silver ,(the artaba is a Persian measure, containing more than an Attic medimnus by three Attic choenixes), and besides warhorses he had eight hundred stallions in his stables, and sixteen thousand brood mares, each stallion servicing twenty mares. ,Moreover he kept so great a number of Indian dogs that four great villages of the plain were appointed to provide food for the dogs and exempted from all other burdens. Such were the riches of the governor of Babylon . 1.196. This is the equipment of their persons. I will now speak of their established customs. The wisest of these, in our judgment, is one which I have learned by inquiry is also a custom of the Eneti in Illyria . It is this: once a year in every village all the maidens as they attained marriageable age were collected and brought together into one place, with a crowd of men standing around. ,Then a crier would display and offer them for sale one by one, first the fairest of all; and then, when she had fetched a great price, he put up for sale the next most attractive, selling all the maidens as lawful wives. Rich men of Assyria who desired to marry would outbid each other for the fairest; the ordinary people, who desired to marry and had no use for beauty, could take the ugly ones and money besides; ,for when the crier had sold all the most attractive, he would put up the one that was least beautiful, or crippled, and offer her to whoever would take her to wife for the least amount, until she fell to one who promised to accept least; the money came from the sale of the attractive ones, who thus paid the dowry of the ugly and the crippled. But a man could not give his daughter in marriage to whomever he liked, nor could one that bought a girl take her away without giving security that he would in fact make her his wife. ,And if the couple could not agree, it was a law that the money be returned. Men might also come from other villages to buy if they so desired. ,This, then, was their best custom; but it does not continue at this time; they have invented a new one lately [so that the women not be wronged or taken to another city]; since the conquest of Babylon made them afflicted and poor, everyone of the people that lacks a livelihood prostitutes his daughters. 1.198. The dead are embalmed in honey for burial, and their dirges are like the dirges of Egypt . Whenever a Babylonian has had intercourse with his wife, they both sit before a burnt offering of incense, and at dawn they wash themselves; they will touch no vessel before this is done. This is the custom in Arabia also. 1.199. The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. ,But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. ,Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). ,It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. ,So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus . 1.202. The Araxes is said by some to be greater and by some to be less than the Ister. It is reported that there are many islands in it as big as Lesbos, and men on them who in summer live on roots of all kinds that they dig up, and in winter on fruit that they have got from trees when it was ripe and stored for food; ,and they know (it is said) of trees bearing a fruit whose effect is this: gathering in groups and kindling a fire, the people sit around it and throw the fruit into the flames; then the fumes of it as it burns make them drunk as the Greeks are with wine, and more and more drunk as more fruit is thrown on the fire, until at last they rise up to dance and even sing. Such is said to be their way of life. ,The Araxes flows from the country of the Matieni (as does the Gyndes, which Cyrus divided into the three hundred and sixty channels) and empties itself through forty mouths, of which all except one issue into bogs and swamps, where men are said to live whose food is raw fish, and their customary dress sealskins. ,The one remaining stream of the Araxes flows in a clear channel into the Caspian sea .This is a sea by itself, not joined to the other sea. For that on which the Greeks sail, and the sea beyond the pillars of Heracles, which they call Atlantic, and the Red Sea, are all one: 1.203. but the Caspian is separate and by itself. Its length is what a ship rowed by oars can traverse in fifteen days, and its breadth, where it is broadest, is an eight days' journey. Along its western shore stretches the range of Caucasus, which has more and higher peaks than any other range. Many and all kinds of nations dwell in the Caucasus, and the most of them live on the fruits of the forest. ,Here, it is said, are trees growing leaves that men crush and mix with water and use for painting figures on their clothing; these figures cannot be washed out, but last as long as the wool, as if they had been woven into it from the first. Men and women here (they say) have intercourse openly, like beasts of the flock. 1.204. This sea called Caspian is hemmed in to the west by the Caucasus : towards the east and the sunrise there stretches from its shores a boundless plain as far as the eye can see. The greater part of this wide plain is the country of the Massagetae, against whom Cyrus was eager to lead his army. ,For there were many weighty reasons that impelled and encouraged him to do so: first, his birth, because of which he seemed to be something more than mortal; and next, his victories in his wars: for no nation that Cyrus undertook to attack could escape from him. 1.205. Now at this time the Massagetae were ruled by a queen called Tomyris, whose husband was dead. Cyrus sent a message with a pretence of wanting her for his wife, but Tomyris would have none of his advances, well understanding that he wanted not her but the kingdom of the Massagetae. ,So when guile was of no avail, Cyrus marched to the Araxes and openly prepared to attack the Massagetae; he bridged the river for his army to cross, and built towers on the pontoons bridging the river. 1.206. But while he was busy at this, Tomyris sent a herald to him with this message: “O king of the Medes, stop hurrying on what you are hurrying on, for you cannot know whether the completion of this work will be for your advantage. Stop, and be king of your own country; and endure seeing us ruling those whom we rule. ,But if you will not take this advice, and will do anything rather than remain at peace, then if you so greatly desire to try the strength of the Massagetae, stop your present work of bridging the river, and let us withdraw three days' journey from the Araxes; and when that is done, cross into our country. ,Or if you prefer to receive us into your country, then withdraw yourself as I have said.” Hearing this, Cyrus called together the leading Persians and laid the matter before them, asking them to advise him which he should do. They all spoke to the same end, urging him to let Tomyris and her army enter his country. 1.207. But Croesus the Lydian, who was present, was displeased by their advice and spoke against it. “O King,” he said, “you have before now heard from me that since Zeus has given me to you I will turn aside to the best of my ability whatever misadventure I see threatening your house. And disaster has been my teacher. ,Now, if you think that you and the army that you lead are immortal, I have no business giving you advice; but if you know that you and those whom you rule are only men, then I must first teach you this: men's fortunes are on a wheel, which in its turning does not allow the same man to prosper forever. ,So, if that is the case, I am not of the same opinion about the business in hand as these other counsellors of yours. This is the danger if we agree to let the enemy enter your country: if you lose the battle, you lose your empire also, for it is plain that if the Massagetae win they will not retreat but will march against your provinces. ,And if you conquer them, it is a lesser victory than if you crossed into their country and routed the Massagetae and pursued them; for I weigh your chances against theirs, and suppose that when you have beaten your adversaries you will march for the seat of Tomyris' power. ,And besides what I have shown, it would be a shameful thing and not to be endured if Cyrus the son of Cambyses should yield and give ground before a woman. Now then, it occurs to me that we should cross and go forward as far as they draw back, and that then we should endeavor to overcome them by doing as I shall show. ,As I understand, the Massagetae have no experience of the good things of Persia, and have never fared well as to what is greatly desirable. Therefore, I advise you to cut up the meat of many of your sheep and goats into generous portions for these men, and to cook it and serve it as a feast in our camp, providing many bowls of unmixed wine and all kinds of food. ,Then let your army withdraw to the river again, leaving behind that part of it which is of least value. For if I am not mistaken in my judgment, when the Massagetae see so many good things they will give themselves over to feasting on them; and it will be up to us then to accomplish great things.” 1.208. So these opinions clashed; and Cyrus set aside his former plan and chose that of Croesus; consequently, he told Tomyris to draw her army off, for he would cross (he said) and attack her; so she withdrew as she had promised before. Then he entrusted Croesus to the care of his own son Cambyses, to whom he would leave his sovereignty, telling Cambyses to honor Croesus and treat him well if the crossing of the river against the Massagetae should not go well. With these instructions, he sent the two back to Persia, and he and his army crossed the river. 1.209. After he had crossed the Araxes, he dreamed that night while sleeping in the country of the Massagetae that he saw the eldest of Hystapes' sons with wings on his shoulders, the one wing overshadowing Asia and the other Europe . ,Hystaspes son of Arsames was an Achaemenid, and Darius was the eldest of his sons, then about twenty years old; this Darius had been left behind in Persia, not yet being of an age to go on campaign. ,So when Cyrus awoke he considered his vision, and because it seemed to him to be of great importance, he sent for Hystaspes and said to him privately, “Hystaspes, I have caught your son plotting against me and my sovereignty; and I will tell you how I know this for certain. ,The gods care for me and show me beforehand all that is coming. Now then, I have seen in a dream in the past night your eldest son with wings on his shoulders, overshadowing Asia with the one and Europe with the other. ,From this vision, there is no way that he is not plotting against me. Therefore hurry back to Persia, and see that when I come back after subjecting this country you bring your son before me to be questioned about this.” 1.210. Cyrus said this, thinking that Darius was plotting against him; but in fact, heaven was showing him that he himself was to die in the land where he was and Darius inherit his kingdom. ,So then Hystaspes replied with this: “O King, may there not be any Persian born who would plot against you! But if there is, may he perish suddenly; for you have made the Persians free men instead of slaves and rulers of all instead of subjects of any. ,But if your vision does indeed signify that my son is planning revolution, I give him to you to treat as you like.” 1.211. After having given this answer and crossed the Araxes, Hystaspes went to Persia to watch his son for Cyrus; and Cyrus, advancing a day's journey from the Araxes, acted according to Croesus' advice. ,Cyrus and the sound portion of the Persian army marched back to the Araxes, leaving behind those that were useless; a third of the Massagetae forces attacked those of the army who were left behind and destroyed them despite resistance; then, when they had overcome their enemies, seeing the banquet spread they sat down and feasted, and after they had had their fill of food and wine, they fell asleep. ,Then the Persians attacked them, killing many and taking many more alive, among whom was the son of Tomyris the queen, Spargapises by name, the leader of the Massagetae. 1.212. When Tomyris heard what had happened to her army and her son, she sent a herald to Cyrus with this message: ,“Cyrus who can never get enough blood, do not be elated by what you have done; it is nothing to be proud of if, by the fruit of the vine—with which you Persians fill yourselves and rage so violently that evil words rise in a flood to your lips when the wine enters your bodies—if, by tricking him with this drug, you got the better of my son, and not by force of arms in battle. ,Now, then, take a word of good advice from me: give me back my son and leave this country unpunished, even though you have savaged a third of the Massagetae army. But if you will not, then I swear to you by the sun, lord of the Massagetae, that I shall give even you who can never get enough of it your fill of blood.” 1.213. Cyrus dismissed this warning when it was repeated to him. But Spargapises, the son of the queen Tomyris, after the wine wore off and he recognized his evil plight, asked Cyrus to be freed from his bonds; and this was granted him; but as soon as he was freed and had the use of his hands, he did away with himself. 1.214. Such was the end of Spargapises. Tomyris, when Cyrus would not listen to her, collected all her forces and engaged him. This fight I judge to have been the fiercest ever fought by men that were not Greek; and indeed I have learned that this was so. ,For first (it is said) they shot arrows at each other from a distance; then, when their arrows were all spent, they rushed at each other and fought with their spears and swords; and for a long time they stood fighting and neither would give ground; but at last the Massagetae got the upper hand. ,The greater part of the Persian army was destroyed there on the spot, and Cyrus himself fell there, after having reigned for one year short of thirty years. ,Tomyris filled a skin with human blood, and searched among the Persian dead for Cyrus' body; and when she found it, she pushed his head into the skin, and insulted the dead man in these words: ,“Though I am alive and have defeated you in battle, you have destroyed me, taking my son by guile; but just as I threatened, I give you your fill of blood.” Many stories are told of Cyrus' death; this, that I have told, is the most credible. 1.215. These Massagetae are like the Scythians in their dress and way of life. They are both cavalry and infantry (having some of each kind), and spearmen and archers; and it is their custom to carry battle-axes. They always use gold and bronze; all their spear-points and arrow-heads and battle-axes are bronze and the adornment of their headgear and belts and girdles is gold. ,They equip their horses similarly, protecting their chests with bronze breastplates and putting gold on reins, bits, and cheekplates. But they never use iron and silver, for there is none at all in their country, but gold and bronze abound. 1.216. Now for their customs: each man marries a wife, but the wives are common to all. The Greeks say this is a Scythian custom; it is not, but a custom of the Massagetae. There, when a man desires a woman, he hangs his quiver before her wagon, and has intercourse with her without fear. ,Though they fix no certain term to life, yet when a man is very old all his family meet together and kill him, with beasts of the flock besides, then boil the flesh and feast on it. ,This is held to be the happiest death; when a man dies of an illness, they do not eat him, but bury him in the earth, and lament that he did not live to be killed. They never plant seed; their fare is their livestock and the fish which they take in abundance from the Araxes. ,Their drink is milk. The sun is the only god whom they worship; they sacrifice horses to him; the reasoning is that he is the swiftest of the gods, and therefore they give him the swiftest of mortal things. 2.2. Now before Psammetichus became king of Egypt, the Egyptians believed that they were the oldest people on earth. But ever since Psammetichus became king and wished to find out which people were the oldest, they have believed that the Phrygians were older than they, and they than everybody else. ,Psammetichus, when he was in no way able to learn by inquiry which people had first come into being, devised a plan by which he took two newborn children of the common people and gave them to a shepherd to bring up among his flocks. He gave instructions that no one was to speak a word in their hearing; they were to stay by themselves in a lonely hut, and in due time the shepherd was to bring goats and give the children their milk and do everything else necessary. ,Psammetichus did this, and gave these instructions, because he wanted to hear what speech would first come from the children, when they were past the age of indistinct babbling. And he had his wish; for one day, when the shepherd had done as he was told for two years, both children ran to him stretching out their hands and calling “Bekos!” as he opened the door and entered. ,When he first heard this, he kept quiet about it; but when, coming often and paying careful attention, he kept hearing this same word, he told his master at last and brought the children into the king's presence as required. Psammetichus then heard them himself, and asked to what language the word “Bekos” belonged; he found it to be a Phrygian word, signifying bread. ,Reasoning from this, the Egyptians acknowledged that the Phrygians were older than they. This is the story which I heard from the priests of Hephaestus' temple at Memphis ; the Greeks say among many foolish things that Psammetichus had the children reared by women whose tongues he had cut out. 2.3. Besides this story of the rearing of the children, I also heard other things at Memphis in conversation with the priests of Hephaestus; and I visited Thebes and Heliopolis, too, for this very purpose, because I wished to know if the people of those places would tell me the same story as the priests at Memphis ; for the people of Heliopolis are said to be the most learned of the Egyptians. ,Now, such stories as I heard about the gods I am not ready to relate, except their names, for I believe that all men are equally knowledgeable about them; and I shall say about them what I am constrained to say by the course of my history. 2.4. But as to human affairs, this was the account in which they all agreed: the Egyptians, they said, were the first men who reckoned by years and made the year consist of twelve divisions of the seasons. They discovered this from the stars (so they said). And their reckoning is, to my mind, a juster one than that of the Greeks; for the Greeks add an intercalary month every other year, so that the seasons agree; but the Egyptians, reckoning thirty days to each of the twelve months, add five days in every year over and above the total, and thus the completed circle of seasons is made to agree with the calendar. ,Furthermore, the Egyptians (they said) first used the names of twelve gods (which the Greeks afterwards borrowed from them); and it was they who first assigned to the several gods their altars and images and temples, and first carved figures on stone. Most of this they showed me in fact to be the case. The first human king of Egypt, they said, was Min. ,In his time all of Egypt except the Thebaic district was a marsh: all the country that we now see was then covered by water, north of lake Moeris, which is seven days' journey up the river from the sea. 2.5. And I think that their account of the country was true. For even if a man has not heard it before, he can readily see, if he has sense, that that Egypt to which the Greeks sail is land deposited for the Egyptians, the river's gift—not only the lower country, but even the land as far as three days' voyage above the lake, which is of the same nature as the other, although the priests did not say this, too. ,For this is the nature of the land of Egypt : in the first place, when you approach it from the sea and are still a day's sail from land, if you let down a sounding line you will bring up mud from a depth of eleven fathoms. This shows that the deposit from the land reaches this far. 2.6. Further, the length of the seacoast of Egypt itself is sixty “schoeni” —of Egypt, that is, as we judge it to be, reaching from the Plinthinete gulf to the Serbonian marsh, which is under the Casian mountain—between these there is this length of sixty schoeni. ,Men that have scant land measure by feet; those that have more, by miles; those that have much land, by parasangs; and those who have great abundance of it, by schoeni. ,The parasang is three and three quarters miles, and the schoenus, which is an Egyptian measure, is twice that. 2.7. By this reckoning, then, the seaboard of Egypt will be four hundred and fifty miles in length. Inland from the sea as far as Heliopolis, Egypt is a wide land, all flat and watery and marshy. From the sea up to Heliopolis is a journey about as long as the way from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens to the temple of Olympian Zeus at Pisa . ,If a reckoning is made, only a little difference of length, not more than two miles, will be found between these two journeys; for the journey from Athens to Pisa is two miles short of two hundred, which is the number of miles between the sea and Heliopolis . 2.8. Beyond and above Heliopolis, Egypt is a narrow land. For it is bounded on the one side by the mountains of Arabia, which run north to south, always running south towards the sea called the Red Sea . In these mountains are the quarries that were hewn out for making the pyramids at Memphis . This way, then, the mountains run, and end in the places of which I have spoken; their greatest width from east to west, as I learned by inquiry, is a two months' journey, and their easternmost boundaries yield frankincense. ,Such are these mountains. On the side of Libya, Egypt is bounded by another range of rocky mountains among which are the pyramids; these are all covered with sand, and run in the same direction as those Arabian hills that run southward. ,Beyond Heliopolis, there is no great distance—in Egypt, that is: the narrow land has a length of only fourteen days' journey up the river. Between the aforesaid mountain ranges, the land is level, and where the plain is narrowest it seemed to me that there were no more than thirty miles between the Arabian mountains and those that are called Libyan. Beyond this Egypt is a wide land again. Such is the nature of this country. 2.9. From Heliopolis to Thebes is nine days' journey by river, and the distance is six hundred and eight miles, or eighty-one schoeni. ,This, then, is a full statement of all the distances in Egypt : the seaboard is four hundred and fifty miles long; and I will now declare the distance inland from the sea to Thebes : it is seven hundred and sixty-five miles. And between Thebes and the city called Elephantine there are two hundred and twenty-five miles. 2.10. The greater portion, then, of this country of which I have spoken was land deposited for the Egyptians as the priests told me, and I myself formed the same judgment; all that lies between the ranges of mountains above Memphis to which I have referred seemed to me to have once been a gulf of the sea, just as the country about Ilion and Teuthrania and Ephesus and the plain of the Maeander, to compare these small things with great. ,For of the rivers that brought down the stuff to make these lands, there is none worthy to be compared for greatness with even one of the mouths of the Nile, and the Nile has five mouths. ,There are also other rivers, not so great as the Nile, that have had great effects; I could rehearse their names, but principal among them is the Achelous, which, flowing through Acaria and emptying into the sea, has already made half of the Echinades Islands mainland. 2.11. Now in Arabia, not far from Egypt, there is a gulf extending inland from the sea called Red, whose length and width are such as I shall show: ,in length, from its inner end out to the wide sea, it is a forty days' voyage for a ship rowed by oars; and in breadth, it is half a day's voyage at the widest. Every day the tides ebb and flow in it. ,I believe that where Egypt is now, there was once another such gulf; this extended from the northern sea towards Aethiopia, and the other, the Arabian gulf of which I shall speak, extended from the south towards Syria ; the ends of these gulfs penetrated into the country near each other, and but a little space of land separated them. ,Now, if the Nile inclined to direct its current into this Arabian gulf, why should the latter not be silted up by it inside of twenty thousand years? In fact, I expect that it would be silted up inside of ten thousand years. Is it to be doubted, then, that in the ages before my birth a gulf even much greater than this should have been silted up by a river so great and so busy? 2.12. As for Egypt, then, I credit those who say it, and myself very much believe it to be the case; for I have seen that Egypt projects into the sea beyond the neighboring land, and shells are exposed to view on the mountains, and things are coated with salt, so that even the pyramids show it, and the only sandy mountain in Egypt is that which is above Memphis ; ,besides, Egypt is like neither the neighboring land of Arabia nor Libya, not even like Syria (for Syrians inhabit the seaboard of Arabia ); it is a land of black and crumbling earth, as if it were alluvial deposit carried down the river from Aethiopia; ,but we know that the soil of Libya is redder and somewhat sandy, and Arabia and Syria are lands of clay and stones. 2.13. This, too, that the priests told me about Egypt, is a strong proof: when Moeris was king, if the river rose as much as thirteen feet, it watered all of Egypt below Memphis . Moeris had not been dead nine hundred years when I heard this from the priests. But now, if the river does not rise at least twenty-six or twenty-five feet, the land is not flooded. ,And, in my opinion, the Egyptians who inhabit the lands lower down the river than lake Moeris, and especially what is called the Delta—if this land of theirs rises in the same proportion and broadens likewise in extent, and the Nile no longer floods it—will forever after be in the same straits as they themselves once said the Greeks would be; ,for, learning that all the Greek land is watered by rain, but not by river water like theirs, they said that one day the Greeks would be let down by what they counted on, and miserably starve: meaning that, if heaven send no rain for the Greeks and afflict them with drought, the Greeks will be overtaken by famine, for there is no other source of water for them except Zeus alone. 2.14. And this prediction of the Egyptians about the Greeks was true enough. But now let me show the prospect for the Egyptians themselves: if, as I have already said, the country below Memphis (for it is this which rises) should increase in height in the same proportion as formerly, will not the Egyptians who inhabit it go hungry, as there is no rain in their country and the river will be unable to inundate their fields? ,At present, of course, there are no people, either in the rest of Egypt or in the whole world, who live from the soil with so little labor; they do not have to break the land up with the plough, or hoe, or do any other work that other men do to get a crop; the river rises of itself, waters the fields, and then sinks back again; then each man sows his field and sends swine into it to tread down the seed, and waits for the harvest; then he has the swine thresh his grain, and so garners it. 2.15. Now if we agree with the opinion of the Ionians, who say that only the Delta is Egypt, and that its seaboard reaches from the so-called Watchtower of Perseus forty schoeni to the Salters' at Pelusium, while inland it stretches as far as the city of Cercasorus, where the Nile divides and flows to Pelusium and Canobus, and that all the rest of Egypt is partly Libya and partly Arabia —if we follow this account, we can show that there was once no land for the Egyptians; ,for we have seen that (as the Egyptians themselves say, and as I myself judge) the Delta is alluvial land and but lately (so to speak) came into being. Then if there was once no land for them, it was an idle notion that they were the oldest nation on earth, and they need not have made that trial to see what language the children would first speak. ,I maintain, rather, that the Egyptians did not come into existence together with what the Ionians call the Delta, but have existed since the human race came into being; and as the land grew in extent, there were many of them who stayed behind, and many who spread down over it. Be that as it may, the Theban district, a land of seven hundred and sixty-five miles in circumference, was in the past called Egypt . 2.16. If, then, our judgment of this is right, the Ionians are in error concerning Egypt ; but if their opinion is right, then it is plain that they and the rest of the Greeks cannot reckon truly, when they divide the whole earth into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Libya ; ,they must add to these a fourth part, the Delta of Egypt, if it belongs neither to Asia nor to Libya ; for by their showing the Nile is not the river that separates Asia and Libya ; the Nile divides at the apex of this Delta, so that this land must be between Asia and Libya . 2.17. We leave the Ionians' opinion aside, and our own judgment about the matter is this: Egypt is all that country which is inhabited by Egyptians, just as Cilicia and Assyria are the countries inhabited by Cilicians and Assyrians, and we know of no boundary line (rightly so called) below Asia and Libya except the borders of the Egyptians. ,But if we follow the belief of the Greeks, we shall consider all Egypt commencing from the Cataracts and the city of Elephantine to be divided into two parts, and to claim both the names, the one a part of Libya and the other of Asia . ,For the Nile, beginning from the Cataracts, divides Egypt into two parts as it flows to the sea. Now, as far as the city Cercasorus the Nile flows in one channel, but after that it parts into three. ,One of these, which is called the Pelusian mouth, flows east; the second flows west, and is called the Canobic mouth. But the direct channel of the Nile, when the river in its downward course reaches the apex of the Delta, flows thereafter clean through the middle of the Delta into the sea; in this is seen the greatest and most famous part of its waters, and it is called the Sebennytic mouth. ,There are also two channels which separate themselves from the Sebennytic and so flow into the sea: by name, the Saïtic and the Mendesian. ,The Bolbitine and Bucolic mouths are not natural but excavated channels. 2.18. The response of oracle of Ammon in fact bears witness to my opinion, that Egypt is of such an extent as I have argued; I learned this by inquiry after my judgment was already formed about Egypt . ,The men of the cities of Marea and Apis, in the part of Egypt bordering on Libya, believing themselves to be Libyans and not Egyptians, and disliking the injunction of the religious law that forbade them to eat cows' meat, sent to Ammon saying that they had no part of or lot with Egypt : for they lived (they said) outside the Delta and did not consent to the ways of its people, and they wished to be allowed to eat all foods. ,But the god forbade them: all the land, he said, watered by the Nile in its course was Egypt, and all who lived lower down than the city Elephantine and drank the river's water were Egyptians. Such was the oracle given to them. 2.19. When the Nile is in flood, it overflows not only the Delta but also the lands called Libyan and Arabian, as far as two days' journey from either bank in places, and sometimes more than this, sometimes less. Concerning its nature, I could not learn anything either from the priests or from any others. ,Yet I was anxious to learn from them why the Nile comes down with a rising flood for a hundred days from the summer solstice; and when this number of days is passed, sinks again with a diminishing stream, so that the river is low for the whole winter until the summer solstice again. ,I was not able to get any information from any of the Egyptians regarding this, when I asked them what power the Nile has to be contrary in nature to all other rivers. I wished to know this, and asked; also, why no breezes blew from it as from every other river. 2.20. But some of the Greeks, wishing to be notable for cleverness, put forward three opinions about this river, two of which I would not even mention except just to show what they are. ,One of them maintains that the Etesian winds are the cause of the river being in flood, because they hinder the Nile from emptying into the sea. But there are many times when the Etesian winds do not blow, yet the Nile does the same as before. ,And further, if the Etesian winds were the cause, then the other rivers which flow contrary to those winds should be affected like the Nile, and even more so, since being smaller they have a weaker current. Yet there are many rivers in Syria and many in Libya, and they behave nothing like the Nile . 2.21. The second opinion is less grounded on knowledge than the previous, though it is more marvellous to the ear: according to it, the river effects what it does because it flows from Ocean, which flows around the whole world. 2.22. The third opinion is by far the most plausible, yet the most erroneous of all. It has no more truth in it than the others. According to this, the Nile flows from where snows melt; but it flows from Libya through the midst of Ethiopia, and comes out into Egypt . ,How can it flow from snow, then, seeing that it comes from the hottest places to lands that are for the most part cooler? In fact, for a man who can reason about such things, the principal and strongest evidence that the river is unlikely to flow from snows is that the winds blowing from Libya and Ethiopia are hot. ,In the second place, the country is rainless and frostless; but after snow has fallen, it has to rain within five days ; so that if it snowed, it would rain in these lands. And thirdly, the men of the country are black because of the heat. ,Moreover, kites and swallows live there all year round, and cranes come every year to these places to winter there, flying from the wintry weather of Scythia . Now, were there but the least fall of snow in this country through which the Nile flows and where it rises, none of these things would happen, as necessity proves. 2.23. The opinion about Ocean is grounded in obscurity and needs no disproof; for I know of no Ocean river; and I suppose that Homer or some older poet invented this name and brought it into his poetry. 2.24. If, after having condemned the opinions proposed, I must indicate what I myself think about these obscure matters, I shall say why I think the Nile floods in the summer. During the winter, the sun is driven by storms from his customary course and passes over the inland parts of Libya . ,For the briefest demonstration, everything has been said; for whatever country this god is nearest, or over, it is likely that that land is very thirsty for water and that the local rivers are dried up. 2.25. A lengthier demonstration goes as follows. In its passage over the inland parts of Libya, the sun does this: as the air is always clear in that region, the land warm, and the winds cool, the sun does in its passage exactly as it would do in the summer passing through the middle of the heaven: ,it draws the water to itself, and having done so, expels it away to the inland regions, and the winds catch it and scatter and dissolve it; and, as is to be expected, those that blow from that country, the south and the southwest, are the most rainy of all winds. ,Yet I think that the sun never lets go of all of the water that it draws up from the Nile yearly, but keeps some back near itself. Then, as the winter becomes milder, the sun returns to the middle of the heaven, and after that draws from all rivers alike. ,Meanwhile, the other rivers are swollen to high flood by the quantity of water that falls into them from the sky, because the country is rained on and cut into gullies; but in the summer they are low, lacking the rain and being drawn up too by the sun. ,But the Nile, being fed by no rain, and being the only river drawn up by the sun in winter, at this time falls far short of the height that it had in summer; which is but natural; for in summer all other waters too and not it alone are attracted to the sun, but in the winter it alone is afflicted. 2.26. I am convinced, therefore, that the sun is the cause of this phenomenon. The dryness of the air in these parts is also caused by the sun, in my opinion, because it burns its way through it; hence, it is always summer in the inland part of Libya . ,But were the stations of the seasons changed, so that the south wind and the summer had their station where the north wind and winter are now set, and the north wind was where the south wind is now—if this were so, the sun, when driven from mid-heaven by the winter and the north wind, would pass over the inland parts of Europe as it now passes over Libya, and I think that in its passage over all Europe it would have the same effect on the Ister as it now does on the Nile . 2.27. And as to why no breeze blows from the river, this is my opinion: it is not natural that any breeze blow from very hot places; breezes always come from that which is very cold. 2.28. Let this be, then, as it is and as it was in the beginning. But as to the sources of the Nile, no one that conversed with me, Egyptian, Libyan, or Greek, professed to know them, except the recorder of the sacred treasures of Athena in the Egyptian city of Saïs. ,I thought he was joking when he said that he had exact knowledge, but this was his story. Between the city of Syene in the Thebaid and Elephantine, there are two hills with sharp peaks, one called Crophi and the other Mophi. ,The springs of the Nile, which are bottomless, rise between these hills; half the water flows north towards Egypt, and the other half south towards Ethiopia . ,He said that Psammetichus king of Egypt had put to the test whether the springs are bottomless: for he had a rope of many thousand fathoms' length woven and let down into the spring, but he could not reach to the bottom. ,This recorder, then, if he spoke the truth, showed, I think, that there are strong eddies and an upward flow of water, such that with the stream rushing against the hills the sounding-line when let down cannot reach bottom. 2.29. I was unable to learn anything from anyone else, but this much further I did learn by the most extensive investigation that I could make, going as far as the city of Elephantine to look myself, and beyond that by question and hearsay. ,Beyond Elephantine, as one travels inland, the land rises. Here one must pass with the boat roped on both sides as men harness an ox; and if the rope breaks, the boat will be carried away by the strength of the current. ,This part of the river is a four days' journey by boat, and the Nile here is twisty just as the Maeander ; a distance of twelve schoeni must be passed in the foregoing manner. After that, you come to a level plain, where there is an island in the Nile, called Takhompso. ,The country above Elephantine now begins to be inhabited by Ethiopians: half the people of the island are Ethiopians, and half Egyptians. Near the island is a great lake, on whose shores live nomadic Ethiopians. After crossing this, you come to the stream of the Nile, which empties into this lake. ,Then you disembark and journey along the river bank for forty days; for there are sharp projecting rocks in the Nile and many reefs, through which no boat can pass. ,Having traversed this part in forty days as I have said, you take boat again and so travel for twelve days until you come to a great city called Meroe, which is said to be the capital of all Ethiopia . ,The people of the place worship no other gods but Zeus and Dionysus; these they greatly honor, and they have a place of divination sacred to Zeus; they send out armies whenever and wherever this god through his oracle commands them. 2.30. From this city you make a journey by water equal in distance to that by which you came from Elephantine to the capital city of Ethiopia, and you come to the land of the Deserters. These Deserters are called Asmakh, which translates, in Greek, as “those who stand on the left hand of the king”. ,These once revolted and joined themselves to the Ethiopians, two hundred and forty thousand Egyptians of fighting age. The reason was as follows. In the reign of Psammetichus, there were watchposts at Elephantine facing Ethiopia, at Daphnae of Pelusium facing Arabia and Assyria, and at Marea facing Libya . ,And still in my time the Persians hold these posts as they were held in the days of Psammetichus; there are Persian guards at Elephantine and at Daphnae . Now the Egyptians had been on guard for three years, and no one came to relieve them; so, organizing and making common cause, they revolted from Psammetichus and went to Ethiopia . ,Psammetichus heard of it and pursued them; and when he overtook them, he asked them in a long speech not to desert their children and wives and the gods of their fathers. Then one of them, the story goes, pointed to his genitals and said that wherever that was, they would have wives and children. ,So they came to Ethiopia, and gave themselves up to the king of the country; who, to make them a gift in return, told them to dispossess certain Ethiopians with whom he was feuding, and occupy their land. These Ethiopians then learned Egyptian customs and have become milder-mannered by intermixture with the Egyptians. 2.31. To a distance of four months' travel by land and water, then, there is knowledge of the Nile, besides the part of it that is in Egypt . So many months, as reckoning shows, are found to be spent by one going from Elephantine to the country of the Deserters. The river flows from the west and the sun's setting. Beyond this, no one has clear information to declare; for all that country is desolate because of the heat. 2.32. But I heard this from some men of Cyrene, who told me that they had gone to the oracle of Ammon, and conversed there with Etearchus king of the Ammonians, and that from other subjects the conversation turned to the Nile, how no one knows the source of it. Then Etearchus told them that once he had been visited by some Nasamonians. ,These are a Libyan people, inhabiting the country of the Syrtis and a little way to the east of the Syrtis . ,When these Nasamonians were asked on their arrival if they brought any news concerning the Libyan desert, they told Etearchus that some sons of their leading men, proud and violent youths, when they came to manhood, besides planning other wild adventures, had chosen by lot five of their company to visit the deserts of Libya and see whether they could see any farther than those who had seen the farthest. ,It must be known that the whole northern seacoast of Libya, from Egypt as far as the promontory of Soloeis, which is the end of Libya, is inhabited throughout its length by Libyans, many tribes of them, except the part held by Greeks and Phoenicians; the region of Libya that is above the sea and the inhabitants of the coast is infested by wild beasts; and farther inland than the wild-beast country everything is sand, waterless and desolate. ,When the young men left their companions, being well supplied with water and provisions, they journeyed first through the inhabited country, and after passing this they came to the region of wild beasts. ,After this, they travelled over the desert, towards the west, and crossed a wide sandy region, until after many days they saw trees growing in a plain; when they came to these and were picking the fruit of the trees, they were met by little men of less than common stature, who took them and led them away. The Nasamonians did not know these men's language nor did the escort know the language of the Nasamonians. ,The men led them across great marshes, after crossing which they came to a city where all the people were of a stature like that of the guides, and black. A great river ran past this city, from the west towards the rising sun; crocodiles could be seen in it. 2.33. This is enough of the story told by Etearchus the Ammonian; except he said that the Nasamonians returned, as the men of Cyrene told me, and that the people to whose country they came were all wizards; ,as to the river that ran past the city, Etearchus guessed it to be the Nile ; and reason proves as much. For the Nile flows from Libya, right through the middle of it; and as I guess, reasoning about things unknown from visible signs, it rises proportionally as far away as does the Ister. ,For the Ister flows from the land of the Celts and the city of Pyrene through the very middle of Europe ; now the Celts live beyond the Pillars of Heracles, being neighbors of the Cynesii, who are the westernmost of all the peoples inhabiting Europe . ,The Ister, then, flows clean across Europe and ends its course in the Euxine sea, at Istria, which is inhabited by Milesian colonists. 2.34. The Ister, since it flows through inhabited country, is known from many reports; but no one can speak of the source of the Nile ; for Libya, though which it runs, is uninhabited and desert. Regarding its course, I have related everything that I could learn by inquiry; and it issues into Egypt . Now Egypt lies about opposite to the mountainous part of Cilicia ; ,from there, it is a straight five days' journey for an unencumbered man to Sinope on the Euxine ; and Sinope lies opposite the place where the Ister falls into the sea. Thus I suppose the course of the Nile in its passage through Libya to be like the course of the Ister. 2.35. It is sufficient to say this much concerning the Nile . But concerning Egypt, I am going to speak at length, because it has the most wonders, and everywhere presents works beyond description; therefore, I shall say the more concerning Egypt . ,Just as the Egyptians have a climate peculiar to themselves, and their river is different in its nature from all other rivers, so, too, have they instituted customs and laws contrary for the most part to those of the rest of mankind. Among them, the women buy and sell, the men stay at home and weave; and whereas in weaving all others push the woof upwards, the Egyptians push it downwards. ,Men carry burdens on their heads, women on their shoulders. Women pass water standing, men sitting. They ease their bowels indoors, and eat out of doors in the streets, explaining that things unseemly but necessary should be done alone in private, things not unseemly should be done openly. ,No woman is dedicated to the service of any god or goddess; men are dedicated to all deities male or female. Sons are not compelled against their will to support their parents, but daughters must do so though they be unwilling. 2.36. Everywhere else, priests of the gods wear their hair long; in Egypt, they are shaven. For all other men, the rule in mourning for the dead is that those most nearly concerned have their heads shaven; Egyptians are shaven at other times, but after a death they let their hair and beard grow. ,The Egyptians are the only people who keep their animals with them in the house. Whereas all others live on wheat and barley, it is the greatest disgrace for an Egyptian to live so; they make food from a coarse grain which some call spelt. ,They knead dough with their feet, and gather mud and dung with their hands. The Egyptians and those who have learned it from them are the only people who practise circumcision. Every man has two garments, every woman only one. ,The rings and sheets of sails are made fast outside the boat elsewhere, but inside it in Egypt . The Greeks write and calculate from left to right; the Egyptians do the opposite; yet they say that their way of writing is towards the right, and the Greek way towards the left. They employ two kinds of writing; one is called sacred, the other demotic. 2.37. They are religious beyond measure, more than any other people; and the following are among their customs. They drink from cups of bronze, which they clean out daily; this is done not by some but by all. ,They are especially careful always to wear newly-washed linen. They practise circumcision for cleanliness' sake; for they would rather be clean than more becoming. Their priests shave the whole body every other day, so that no lice or anything else foul may infest them as they attend upon the gods. ,The priests wear a single linen garment and sandals of papyrus: they may have no other kind of clothing or footwear. Twice a day and twice every night they wash in cold water. Their religious observances are, one may say, innumerable. ,But also they receive many benefits: they do not consume or spend anything of their own; sacred food is cooked for them, beef and goose are brought in great abundance to each man every day, and wine of grapes is given to them, too. They may not eat fish. ,The Egyptians sow no beans in their country; if any grow, they will not eat them either raw or cooked; the priests cannot endure even to see them, considering beans an unclean kind of legume. Many (not only one) are dedicated to the service of each god. One of these is the high priest; and when a high priest dies, his son succeeds to his office. 2.38. They believe that bulls belong to Epaphus, and for this reason scrutinize them as follows; if they see even one black hair on them, the bull is considered impure. ,One of the priests, appointed to the task, examines the beast, making it stand and lie, and drawing out its tongue, to determine whether it is clean of the stated signs which I shall indicate hereafter. He looks also to the hairs of the tail, to see if they grow naturally. ,If it is clean in all these respects, the priest marks it by wrapping papyrus around the horns, then smears it with sealing-earth and stamps it with his ring; and after this they lead the bull away. But the penalty is death for sacrificing a bull that the priest has not marked. Such is the manner of approving the beast; I will now describe how it is sacrificed. 2.39. After leading the marked beast to the altar where they will sacrifice it, they kindle a fire; then they pour wine on the altar over the victim and call upon the god; then they cut its throat, and having done so sever the head from the body. ,They flay the carcass of the victim, then invoke many curses on its head, which they carry away. Where there is a market, and Greek traders in it, the head is taken to the market and sold; where there are no Greeks, it is thrown into the river. ,The imprecation which they utter over the heads is that whatever ill threatens those who sacrifice, or the whole of Egypt, fall upon that head. ,In respect of the heads of sacrificed beasts and the libation of wine, the practice of all Egyptians is the same in all sacrifices; and from this ordice no Egyptian will taste of the head of anything that had life. 2.40. But in regard to the disembowelling and burning of the victims, there is a different way for each sacrifice. I shall now, however, speak of that goddess whom they consider the greatest, and in whose honor they keep highest festival. ,After praying in the foregoing way, they take the whole stomach out of the flayed bull, leaving the entrails and the fat in the carcass, and cut off the legs, the end of the loin, the shoulders, and the neck. ,Having done this, they fill what remains of the carcass with pure bread, honey, raisins, figs, frankincense, myrrh, and other kinds of incense, and then burn it, pouring a lot of oil on it. ,They fast before the sacrifice, and while it is burning, they all make lamentation; and when their lamentation is over, they set out a meal of what is left of the victim. 2.41. All Egyptians sacrifice unblemished bulls and bull-calves; they may not sacrifice cows: these are sacred to Isis. ,For the images of Isis are in woman's form, horned like a cow, exactly as the Greeks picture Io, and cows are held by far the most sacred of all beasts of the herd by all Egyptians alike. ,For this reason, no Egyptian man or woman will kiss a Greek man, or use a knife, or a spit, or a cauldron belonging to a Greek, or taste the flesh of an unblemished bull that has been cut up with a Greek knife. ,Cattle that die are dealt with in the following way. Cows are cast into the river, bulls are buried by each city in its suburbs, with one or both horns uncovered for a sign; then, when the carcass is decomposed, and the time appointed is at hand, a boat comes to each city from the island called Prosopitis, ,an island in the Delta, nine schoeni in circumference. There are many other towns on Prosopitis; the one from which the boats come to gather the bones of the bulls is called Atarbekhis; a temple of Aphrodite stands in it of great sanctity. ,From this town many go out, some to one town and some to another, to dig up the bones, which they then carry away and all bury in one place. As they bury the cattle, so do they all other beasts at death. Such is their ordice respecting these also; for they, too, may not be killed. 2.42. All that have a temple of Zeus of Thebes or are of the Theban district sacrifice goats, but will not touch sheep. ,For no gods are worshipped by all Egyptians in common except Isis and Osiris, who they say is Dionysus; these are worshipped by all alike. Those who have a temple of Mendes or are of the Mendesian district sacrifice sheep, but will not touch goats. ,The Thebans, and those who by the Theban example will not touch sheep, give the following reason for their ordice: they say that Heracles wanted very much to see Zeus and that Zeus did not want to be seen by him, but that finally, when Heracles prayed, Zeus contrived ,to show himself displaying the head and wearing the fleece of a ram which he had flayed and beheaded. It is from this that the Egyptian images of Zeus have a ram's head; and in this, the Egyptians are imitated by the Ammonians, who are colonists from Egypt and Ethiopia and speak a language compounded of the tongues of both countries. ,It was from this, I think, that the Ammonians got their name, too; for the Egyptians call Zeus “Amon”. The Thebans, then, consider rams sacred for this reason, and do not sacrifice them. ,But one day a year, at the festival of Zeus, they cut in pieces and flay a single ram and put the fleece on the image of Zeus, as in the story; then they bring an image of Heracles near it. Having done this, all that are at the temple mourn for the ram, and then bury it in a sacred coffin. 2.43. Concerning Heracles, I heard it said that he was one of the twelve gods. But nowhere in Egypt could I hear anything about the other Heracles, whom the Greeks know. ,I have indeed a lot of other evidence that the name of Heracles did not come from Hellas to Egypt, but from Egypt to Hellas (and in Hellas to those Greeks who gave the name Heracles to the son of Amphitryon), besides this: that Amphitryon and Alcmene, the parents of this Heracles, were both Egyptian by descent ; and that the Egyptians deny knowing the names Poseidon and the Dioscuri, nor are these gods reckoned among the gods of Egypt . ,Yet if they got the name of any deity from the Greeks, of these not least but in particular would they preserve a recollection, if indeed they were already making sea voyages and some Greeks, too, were seafaring men, as I expect and judge; so that the names of these gods would have been even better known to the Egyptians than the name of Heracles. ,But Heracles is a very ancient god in Egypt ; as the Egyptians themselves say, the change of the eight gods to the twelve, one of whom they acknowledge Heracles to be, was made seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis. 2.44. Moreover, wishing to get clear information about this matter where it was possible so to do, I took ship for Tyre in Phoenicia, where I had learned by inquiry that there was a holy temple of Heracles. ,There I saw it, richly equipped with many other offerings, besides two pillars, one of refined gold, one of emerald: a great pillar that shone at night; and in conversation with the priests, I asked how long it was since their temple was built. ,I found that their account did not tally with the belief of the Greeks, either; for they said that the temple of the god was founded when Tyre first became a city, and that was two thousand three hundred years ago. At Tyre I saw yet another temple of the so-called Thasian Heracles. ,Then I went to Thasos, too, where I found a temple of Heracles built by the Phoenicians, who made a settlement there when they voyaged in search of Europe ; now they did so as much as five generations before the birth of Heracles the son of Amphitryon in Hellas . ,Therefore, what I have discovered by inquiry plainly shows that Heracles is an ancient god. And furthermore, those Greeks, I think, are most in the right, who have established and practise two worships of Heracles, sacrificing to one Heracles as to an immortal, and calling him the Olympian, but to the other bringing offerings as to a dead hero. 2.45. And the Greeks say many other ill-considered things, too; among them, this is a silly story which they tell about Heracles: that when he came to Egypt, the Egyptians crowned him and led him out in a procession to sacrifice him to Zeus; and for a while (they say) he followed quietly, but when they started in on him at the altar, he resisted and killed them all. ,Now it seems to me that by this story the Greeks show themselves altogether ignorant of the character and customs of the Egyptians; for how should they sacrifice men when they are forbidden to sacrifice even beasts, except swine and bulls and bull-calves, if they are unblemished, and geese? ,And furthermore, as Heracles was alone, and, still, only a man, as they say, how is it natural that he should kill many myriads? In talking so much about this, may I keep the goodwill of gods and heroes! 2.46. This is why the Egyptians of whom I have spoken sacrifice no goats, male or female: the Mendesians reckon Pan among the eight gods who, they say, were before the twelve gods. ,Now in their painting and sculpture, the image of Pan is made with the head and the legs of a goat, as among the Greeks; not that he is thought to be in fact such, or unlike other gods; but why they represent him so, I have no wish to say. ,The Mendesians consider all goats sacred, the male even more than the female, and goatherds are held in special estimation: one he-goat is most sacred of all; when he dies, it is ordained that there should be great mourning in all the Mendesian district. ,In the Egyptian language Mendes is the name both for the he-goat and for Pan. In my lifetime a strange thing occurred in this district: a he-goat had intercourse openly with a woman. This came to be publicly known. 2.47. Swine are held by the Egyptians to be unclean beasts. In the first place, if an Egyptian touches a hog in passing, he goes to the river and dips himself in it, clothed as he is; and in the second place, swineherds, though native born Egyptians, are alone of all men forbidden to enter any Egyptian temple; nor will any give a swineherd his daughter in marriage, nor take a wife from their women; but swineherds intermarry among themselves. ,Nor do the Egyptians think it right to sacrifice swine to any god except the Moon and Dionysus; to these, they sacrifice their swine at the same time, in the same season of full moon; then they eat the meat. The Egyptians have an explanation of why they sacrifice swine at this festival, yet abominate them at others; I know it, but it is not fitting that I relate it. ,But this is how they sacrifice swine to the Moon: the sacrificer lays the end of the tail and the spleen and the caul together and covers them up with all the fat that he finds around the belly, then consigns it all to the fire; as for the rest of the flesh, they eat it at the time of full moon when they sacrifice the victim; but they will not taste it on any other day. Poor men, with but slender means, mold swine out of dough, which they then take and sacrifice. 2.48. To Dionysus, on the evening of his festival, everyone offers a piglet which he kills before his door and then gives to the swineherd who has sold it, for him to take away. ,The rest of the festival of Dionysus is observed by the Egyptians much as it is by the Greeks, except for the dances; but in place of the phallus, they have invented the use of puppets two feet high moved by strings, the male member nodding and nearly as big as the rest of the body, which are carried about the villages by women; a flute-player goes ahead, the women follow behind singing of Dionysus. ,Why the male member is so large and is the only part of the body that moves, there is a sacred legend that explains. 2.49. Now then, it seems to me that Melampus son of Amytheon was not ignorant of but was familiar with this sacrifice. For Melampus was the one who taught the Greeks the name of Dionysus and the way of sacrificing to him and the phallic procession; he did not exactly unveil the subject taking all its details into consideration, for the teachers who came after him made a fuller revelation; but it was from him that the Greeks learned to bear the phallus along in honor of Dionysus, and they got their present practice from his teaching. ,I say, then, that Melampus acquired the prophetic art, being a discerning man, and that, besides many other things which he learned from Egypt, he also taught the Greeks things concerning Dionysus, altering few of them; for I will not say that what is done in Egypt in connection with the god and what is done among the Greeks originated independently: for they would then be of an Hellenic character and not recently introduced. ,Nor again will I say that the Egyptians took either this or any other custom from the Greeks. But I believe that Melampus learned the worship of Dionysus chiefly from Cadmus of Tyre and those who came with Cadmus from Phoenicia to the land now called Boeotia . 2.50. In fact, the names of nearly all the gods came to Hellas from Egypt . For I am convinced by inquiry that they have come from foreign parts, and I believe that they came chiefly from Egypt . ,Except the names of Poseidon and the Dioscuri, as I have already said, and Hera, and Hestia, and Themis, and the Graces, and the Nereids, the names of all the gods have always existed in Egypt . I only say what the Egyptians themselves say. The gods whose names they say they do not know were, as I think, named by the Pelasgians, except Poseidon, the knowledge of whom they learned from the Libyans. ,Alone of all nations the Libyans have had among them the name of Poseidon from the beginning, and they have always honored this god. The Egyptians, however, are not accustomed to pay any honors to heroes. 2.51. These customs, then, and others besides, which I shall indicate, were taken by the Greeks from the Egyptians. It was not so with the ithyphallic images of Hermes; the production of these came from the Pelasgians, from whom the Athenians were the first Greeks to take it, and then handed it on to others. ,For the Athenians were then already counted as Greeks when the Pelasgians came to live in the land with them and thereby began to be considered as Greeks. Whoever has been initiated into the rites of the Cabeiri, which the Samothracians learned from the Pelasgians and now practice, understands what my meaning is. ,Samothrace was formerly inhabited by those Pelasgians who came to live among the Athenians, and it is from them that the Samothracians take their rites. ,The Athenians, then, were the first Greeks to make ithyphallic images of Hermes, and they did this because the Pelasgians taught them. The Pelasgians told a certain sacred tale about this, which is set forth in the Samothracian mysteries. 2.52. Formerly, in all their sacrifices, the Pelasgians called upon gods without giving name or appellation to any (I know this, because I was told at Dodona ); for as yet they had not heard of such. They called them gods from the fact that, besides setting everything in order, they maintained all the dispositions. ,Then, after a long while, first they learned the names of the rest of the gods, which came to them from Egypt, and, much later, the name of Dionysus; and presently they asked the oracle at Dodona about the names; for this place of divination, held to be the most ancient in Hellas, was at that time the only one. ,When the Pelasgians, then, asked at Dodona whether they should adopt the names that had come from foreign parts, the oracle told them to use the names. From that time onwards they used the names of the gods in their sacrifices; and the Greeks received these later from the Pelasgians. 2.53. But whence each of the gods came to be, or whether all had always been, and how they appeared in form, they did not know until yesterday or the day before, so to speak; ,for I suppose Hesiod and Homer flourished not more than four hundred years earlier than I; and these are the ones who taught the Greeks the descent of the gods, and gave the gods their names, and determined their spheres and functions, and described their outward forms. ,But the poets who are said to have been earlier than these men were, in my opinion, later. The earlier part of all this is what the priestesses of Dodona tell; the later, that which concerns Hesiod and Homer, is what I myself say. 2.54. But about the oracles in Hellas, and that one which is in Libya, the Egyptians give the following account. The priests of Zeus of Thebes told me that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians; one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas ; these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries. ,When I asked them how it was that they could speak with such certain knowledge, they said in reply that their people had sought diligently for these women, and had never been able to find them, but had learned later the story which they were telling me. 2.55. That, then, I heard from the Theban priests; and what follows, the prophetesses of Dodona say: that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona ; ,the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there; the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. ,The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra; and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true. 2.56. But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia ; ,and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there; for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes , she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come. ,After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination; and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her. 2.57. I expect that these women were called “doves” by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds; ,then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech; as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian . ,The fashions of divination at Thebes of Egypt and at Dodona are like one another; moreover, the practice of divining from the sacrificed victim has also come from Egypt . 2.58. It would seem, too, that the Egyptians were the first people to establish solemn assemblies, and processions, and services; the Greeks learned all that from them. I consider this proved, because the Egyptian ceremonies are manifestly very ancient, and the Greek are of recent origin. 2.59. The Egyptians hold solemn assemblies not once a year, but often. The principal one of these and the most enthusiastically celebrated is that in honor of Artemis at the town of Bubastis , and the next is that in honor of Isis at Busiris. ,This town is in the middle of the Egyptian Delta, and there is in it a very great temple of Isis, who is Demeter in the Greek language. ,The third greatest festival is at Saïs in honor of Athena; the fourth is the festival of the sun at Heliopolis, the fifth of Leto at Buto, and the sixth of Ares at Papremis. 2.60. When the people are on their way to Bubastis, they go by river, a great number in every boat, men and women together. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, others play flutes all the way, while the rest of the women, and the men, sing and clap their hands. ,As they travel by river to Bubastis, whenever they come near any other town they bring their boat near the bank; then some of the women do as I have said, while some shout mockery of the women of the town; others dance, and others stand up and lift their skirts. They do this whenever they come alongside any riverside town. ,But when they have reached Bubastis, they make a festival with great sacrifices, and more wine is drunk at this feast than in the whole year besides. It is customary for men and women (but not children) to assemble there to the number of seven hundred thousand, as the people of the place say. 2.61. This is what they do there; I have already described how they keep the feast of Isis at Busiris. There, after the sacrifice, all the men and women lament, in countless numbers; but it is not pious for me to say who it is for whom they lament. ,Carians who live in Egypt do even more than this, inasmuch as they cut their foreheads with knives; and by this they show that they are foreigners and not Egyptians. 2.62. When they assemble at Saïs on the night of the sacrifice, they keep lamps burning outside around their houses. These lamps are saucers full of salt and oil on which the wick floats, and they burn all night. This is called the Feast of Lamps. ,Egyptians who do not come to this are mindful on the night of sacrifice to keep their own lamps burning, and so they are alight not only at Saïs but throughout Egypt . A sacred tale is told showing why this night is lit up thus and honored. 2.63. When the people go to Heliopolis and Buto, they offer sacrifice only. At Papremis sacrifice is offered and rites performed just as elsewhere; but when the sun is setting, a few of the priests hover about the image, while most of them go and stand in the entrance to the temple with clubs of wood in their hands; others, more than a thousand men fulfilling vows, who also carry wooden clubs, stand in a mass opposite. ,The image of the god, in a little gilded wooden shrine, they carry away on the day before this to another sacred building. The few who are left with the image draw a four-wheeled wagon conveying the shrine and the image that is in the shrine; the others stand in the space before the doors and do not let them enter, while the vow-keepers, taking the side of the god, strike them, who defend themselves. ,A fierce fight with clubs breaks out there, and they are hit on their heads, and many, I expect, even die from their wounds; although the Egyptians said that nobody dies. ,The natives say that they made this assembly a custom from the following incident: the mother of Ares lived in this temple; Ares had been raised apart from her and came, when he grew up, wishing to visit his mother; but as her attendants kept him out and would not let him pass, never having seen him before, Ares brought men from another town, manhandled the attendants, and went in to his mother. From this, they say, this hitting for Ares became a custom in the festival. 2.64. Furthermore, it was the Egyptians who first made it a matter of religious observance not to have intercourse with women in temples or to enter a temple after such intercourse without washing. Nearly all other peoples are less careful in this matter than are the Egyptians and Greeks, and consider a man to be like any other animal; ,for beasts and birds (they say) are seen to mate both in the temples and in the sacred precincts; now were this displeasing to the god, the beasts would not do so. This is the reason given by others for practices which I, for my part, dislike; 2.65. but the Egyptians in this and in all other matters are exceedingly strict against desecration of their temples. ,Although Egypt has Libya on its borders, it is not a country of many animals. All of them are held sacred; some of these are part of men's households and some not; but if I were to say why they are left alone as sacred, I should end up talking of matters of divinity, which I am especially averse to treating; I have never touched upon such except where necessity has compelled me. ,But I will indicate how it is customary to deal with the animals. Men and women are appointed guardians to provide nourishment for each kind respectively; a son inherits this office from his father. ,Townsfolk in each place, when they pay their vows, pray to the god to whom the animal is dedicated, shaving all or one half or one third of their children's heads, and weighing the hair in a balance against a sum of silver; then the weight in silver of the hair is given to the female guardian of the creatures, who buys fish with it and feeds them. ,Thus, food is provided for them. Whoever kills one of these creatures intentionally is punished with death; if he kills accidentally, he pays whatever penalty the priests appoint. Whoever kills an ibis or a hawk, intentionally or not, must die for it. 2.66. There are many household animals; and there would be many more, were it not for what happens among the cats. When the females have a litter, they are no longer receptive to the males; those that seek to have intercourse with them cannot; ,so their recourse is to steal and carry off and kill the kittens (but they do not eat what they have killed). The mothers, deprived of their young and desiring to have more, will then approach the males; for they are creatures that love offspring. ,And when a fire breaks out, very strange things happen among the cats. The Egyptians stand around in a broken line, thinking more of the cats than of quenching the burning; but the cats slip through or leap over the men and spring into the fire. ,When this happens, there is great mourning in Egypt . The occupants of a house where a cat has died a natural death shave their eyebrows and no more; where a dog has died, the head and the whole body are shaven. 2.67. Dead cats are taken away to sacred buildings in the town of Bubastis, where they are embalmed and buried; female dogs are buried by the townsfolk in their own towns in sacred coffins; and the like is done with mongooses. Shrewmice and hawks are taken away to Buto, ibises to the city of Hermes. ,There are few bears, and the wolves are little bigger than foxes; both these are buried wherever they are found lying. 2.68. The nature of crocodiles is as follows. For the four winter months, it eats nothing. It has four feet, and lives both on land and in the water, for it lays eggs and hatches them out on land and spends the greater part of the day on dry ground, and the night in the river, the water being warmer than the air and dew. ,No mortal creature of all which we know grows from so small a beginning to such greatness; for its eggs are not much bigger than goose eggs, and the young crocodile is of a proportional size, but it grows to a length of twenty-eight feet and more. ,It has eyes like pigs' eyes, and long, protruding teeth. It is the only animal that has no tongue. It does not move the lower jaw, but brings the upper jaw down upon the lower, uniquely among beasts. ,It also has strong claws, and a scaly, impenetrable hide on its back. It is blind in the water, but very keen of sight in the air. Since it lives in the water, its mouth is all full of leeches. All birds and beasts flee from it, except the sandpiper, with which it is at peace because this bird does the crocodile a service; ,for whenever the crocodile comes ashore out of the water and then opens its mouth (and it does this mostly to catch the west wind), the sandpiper goes into its mouth and eats the leeches; the crocodile is pleased by this service and does the sandpiper no harm. 2.69. Some of the Egyptians consider crocodiles sacred; others do not, but treat them as enemies. Those who live near Thebes and lake Moeris consider them very sacred. ,Every household raises one crocodile, trained to be tame; they put ornaments of glass and gold on its ears and bracelets on its forefeet, provide special food and offerings for it, and give the creatures the best of treatment while they live; after death, the crocodiles are embalmed and buried in sacred coffins. ,But around Elephantine they are not held sacred, and are even eaten. The Egyptians do not call them crocodiles, but khampsae. The Ionians named them crocodiles, from their resemblance to the lizards which they have in their walls. 2.70. There are many different ways of crocodile hunting; I will write of the way that I think most worth mentioning. The hunter baits a hook with a hog's back, and lets it float into the midst of the river; he himself stays on the bank with a young live pig, which he beats. ,Hearing the squeals of the pig, the crocodile goes after the sound, and meets the bait, which it swallows; then the hunters pull the line. When the crocodile is drawn ashore, first of all the hunter smears its eyes over with mud; when this is done, the quarry is very easily mastered—no light matter, without that. 2.71. Hippopotamuses are sacred in the district of Papremis, but not elsewhere in Egypt . They present the following appearance: four-footed, with cloven hooves like cattle; blunt-nosed; with a horse's mane, visible tusks, a horse's tail and voice; big as the biggest bull. Their hide is so thick that, when it is dried, spearshafts are made of it. 2.72. Otters are found in the river, too, which the Egyptians consider sacred; and they consider sacred that fish, too, which is called the scale-fish, and the eel. These, and the fox-goose among birds, are said to be sacred to the god of the Nile. 2.73. There is another sacred bird, too, whose name is phoenix. I myself have never seen it, only pictures of it; for the bird seldom comes into Egypt : once in five hundred years, as the people of Heliopolis say. ,It is said that the phoenix comes when his father dies. If the picture truly shows his size and appearance, his plumage is partly golden and partly red. He is most like an eagle in shape and size. ,What they say this bird manages to do is incredible to me. Flying from Arabia to the temple of the sun, they say, he conveys his father encased in myrrh and buries him at the temple of the Sun. ,This is how he conveys him: he first molds an egg of myrrh as heavy as he can carry, then tries lifting it, and when he has tried it, he then hollows out the egg and puts his father into it, and plasters over with more myrrh the hollow of the egg into which he has put his father, which is the same in weight with his father lying in it, and he conveys him encased to the temple of the Sun in Egypt . This is what they say this bird does. 2.74. Near Thebes there are sacred snakes, harmless to men, small in size, and bearing two horns on the top of their heads. These, when they die, are buried in the temple of Zeus, to whom they are said to be sacred. 2.75. There is a place in Arabia not far from the town of Buto where I went to learn about the winged serpents. When I arrived there, I saw innumerable bones and backbones of serpents: many heaps of backbones, great and small and even smaller. ,This place, where the backbones lay scattered, is where a narrow mountain pass opens into a great plain, which adjoins the plain of Egypt . ,Winged serpents are said to fly from Arabia at the beginning of spring, making for Egypt ; but the ibis birds encounter the invaders in this pass and kill them. ,The Arabians say that the ibis is greatly honored by the Egyptians for this service, and the Egyptians give the same reason for honoring these birds. 2.76. Now this is the appearance of the ibis. It is all quite black, with the legs of a crane, and a beak sharply hooked, and is as big as a landrail. Such is the appearance of the ibis which fights with the serpents. Those that most associate with men (for there are two kinds of ibis ) ,have the whole head and neck bare of feathers; their plumage is white, except the head and neck and wingtips and tail (these being quite black); the legs and beak of the bird are like those of the other ibis. The serpents are like water-snakes. ,Their wings are not feathered but very like the wings of a bat. milestone unit="para"/I have now said enough concerning creatures that are sacred. 2.77. Among the Egyptians themselves, those who live in the cultivated country are the most assiduous of all men at preserving the memory of the past, and none whom I have questioned are so skilled in history. ,They practice the following way of life. For three consecutive days in every month they purge themselves, pursuing health by means of emetics and drenches; for they think that it is from the food they eat that all sicknesses come to men. ,Even without this, the Egyptians are the healthiest of all men, next to the Libyans; the explanation of which, in my opinion, is that the climate in all seasons is the same: for change is the great cause of men's falling sick, more especially changes of seasons. ,They eat bread, making loaves which they call “cyllestis,” of coarse grain. For wine, they use a drink made from barley, for they have no vines in their country. They eat fish either raw and sun-dried, or preserved with brine. ,Quails and ducks and small birds are salted and eaten raw; all other kinds of birds, as well as fish (except those that the Egyptians consider sacred) are eaten roasted or boiled. 2.78. After rich men's repasts, a man carries around an image in a coffin, painted and carved in exact imitation of a corpse two or four feet long. This he shows to each of the company, saying “While you drink and enjoy, look on this; for to this state you must come when you die.” Such is the custom at their symposia. 2.79. They keep the customs of their fathers, adding none to them. Among other notable customs of theirs is this, that they have one song, the Linus-song, which is sung in Phoenicia and Cyprus and elsewhere; each nation has a name of its own for this, ,but it happens to be the same song that the Greeks sing, and call Linus; so that of many things in Egypt that amaze me, one is: where did the Egyptians get Linus? Plainly they have always sung this song; but in Egyptian Linus is called Maneros. ,The Egyptians told me that Maneros was the only son of their first king, who died prematurely, and this dirge was sung by the Egyptians in his honor; and this, they said, was their earliest and their only chant. 2.80. There is a custom, too, which no Greeks except the Lacedaemonians have in common with the Egyptians: younger men, encountering their elders, yield the way and stand aside, and rise from their seats for them when they approach. ,But they are like none of the Greeks in this: passers-by do not address each other, but salute by lowering the hand to the knee. 2.81. They wear linen tunics with fringes hanging about the legs, called “calasiris,” and loose white woolen mantles over these. But nothing woolen is brought into temples, or buried with them: that is impious. ,They agree in this with practices called Orphic and Bacchic, but in fact Egyptian and Pythagorean: for it is impious, too, for one partaking of these rites to be buried in woolen wrappings. There is a sacred legend about this. 2.82. Other things originating with the Egyptians are these. Each month and day belong to one of the gods, and according to the day of one's birth are determined how one will fare and how one will end and what one will be like; those Greeks occupied with poetry exploit this. ,More portents have been discovered by them than by all other peoples; when a portent occurs, they take note of the outcome and write it down; and if something of a like kind happens again, they think it will have a like result. 2.83. As to the art of divination among them, it belongs to no man, but to some of the gods; there are in their country oracles of Heracles, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Ares, and Zeus, and of Leto (the most honored of all) in the town of Buto . Nevertheless, they have several ways of divination, not just one. 2.84. The practice of medicine is so specialized among them that each physician is a healer of one disease and no more. All the country is full of physicians, some of the eye, some of the teeth, some of what pertains to the belly, and some of internal diseases. 2.85. They mourn and bury the dead like this: whenever a man of note is lost to his house by death, all the women of the house daub their faces or heads with mud; then they leave the corpse in the house and roam about the city lamenting, with their garments girt around them and their breasts showing, and with them all the women of their relatives; ,elsewhere, the men lament, with garments girt likewise. When this is done, they take the dead body to be embalmed. 2.86. There are men whose sole business this is and who have this special craft. ,When a dead body is brought to them, they show those who brought it wooden models of corpses, painted likenesses; the most perfect way of embalming belongs, they say, to One whose name it would be impious for me to mention in treating such a matter; the second way, which they show, is less perfect than the first, and cheaper; and the third is the least costly of all. Having shown these, they ask those who brought the body in which way they desire to have it prepared. ,Having agreed on a price, the bearers go away, and the workmen, left alone in their place, embalm the body. If they do this in the most perfect way, they first draw out part of the brain through the nostrils with an iron hook, and inject certain drugs into the rest. ,Then, making a cut near the flank with a sharp knife of Ethiopian stone, they take out all the intestines, and clean the belly, rinsing it with palm wine and bruised spices; ,they sew it up again after filling the belly with pure ground myrrh and casia and any other spices, except frankincense. After doing this, they conceal the body for seventy days, embalmed in saltpetre; no longer time is allowed for the embalming; ,and when the seventy days have passed, they wash the body and wrap the whole of it in bandages of fine linen cloth, anointed with gum, which the Egyptians mostly use instead of glue; ,then they give the dead man back to his friends. These make a hollow wooden figure like a man, in which they enclose the corpse, shut it up, and keep it safe in a coffin-chamber, placed erect against a wall. 2.87. That is how they prepare the dead in the most costly way; those who want the middle way and shun the costly, they prepare as follows. ,The embalmers charge their syringes with cedar oil and fill the belly of the dead man with it, without making a cut or removing the intestines, but injecting the fluid through the anus and preventing it from running out; then they embalm the body for the appointed days; on the last day they drain the belly of the cedar oil which they put in before. ,It has such great power as to bring out with it the internal organs and intestines all dissolved; meanwhile, the flesh is eaten away by the saltpetre, and in the end nothing is left of the body but hide and bones. Then the embalmers give back the dead body with no more ado. 2.88. The third manner of embalming, the preparation of the poorer dead, is this: they cleanse the belly with a purge, embalm the body for the seventy days and then give it back to be taken away. 2.89. Wives of notable men, and women of great beauty and reputation, are not at once given to the embalmers, but only after they have been dead for three or four days; ,this is done to deter the embalmers from having intercourse with the women. For it is said that one was caught having intercourse with the fresh corpse of a woman, and was denounced by his fellow-workman. 2.90. Anyone, Egyptian or foreigner, known to have been carried off by a crocodile or drowned by the river itself, must by all means be embalmed and wrapped as attractively as possible and buried in a sacred coffin by the people of the place where he is cast ashore; ,none of his relatives or friends may touch him, but his body is considered something more than human, and is handled and buried by the priests of the Nile themselves. 2.91. The Egyptians shun using Greek customs, and (generally speaking) the customs of all other peoples as well. Yet, though the rest are wary of this, there is a great city called Khemmis, in the Theban district, near the New City. ,In this city is a square temple of Perseus son of Danae, in a grove of palm trees. Before this temple stand great stone columns; and at the entrance, two great stone statues. In the outer court there is a shrine with an image of Perseus standing in it. ,The people of this Khemmis say that Perseus is seen often up and down this land, and often within the temple, and that the sandal he wears, which is four feet long, keeps turning up, and that when it does turn up, all Egypt prospers. ,This is what they say; and their doings in honor of Perseus are Greek, inasmuch as they celebrate games that include every form of contest, and offer animals and cloaks and skins as prizes. ,When I asked why Perseus appeared only to them, and why, unlike all other Egyptians, they celebrate games, they told me that Perseus was by lineage of their city; for Danaus and Lynceus, who travelled to Greece, were of Khemmis ; and they traced descent from these down to Perseus. ,They told how he came to Khemmis, too, when he came to Egypt for the reason alleged by the Greeks as well—namely, to bring the Gorgon's head from Libya —and recognized all his relatives; and how he had heard the name of Khemmis from his mother before he came to Egypt . It was at his bidding, they said, that they celebrated the games. 2.92. All these are the customs of Egyptians who live above the marsh country. Those who inhabit the marshes have the same customs as the rest of Egyptians, even that each man has one wife just like Greeks. They have, besides, devised means to make their food less costly. ,When the river is in flood and flows over the plains, many lilies, which the Egyptians call lotus, grow in the water. They gather these and dry them in the sun; then they crush the poppy-like center of the plant and bake loaves of it. ,The root of this lotus is edible also, and of a sweetish taste; it is round, and the size of an apple. ,Other lilies grow in the river, too, that are like roses; the fruit of these is found in a calyx springing from the root by a separate stalk, and is most like a comb made by wasps; this produces many edible seeds as big as olive pits, which are eaten both fresh and dried. ,They also use the byblus which grows annually: it is gathered from the marshes, the top of it cut off and put to other uses, and the lower part, about twenty inches long, eaten or sold. Those who wish to use the byblus at its very best, roast it before eating in a red-hot oven. Some live on fish alone. They catch the fish, take out the intestines, then dry them in the sun and eat them dried. 2.93. Fish that go in schools are seldom born in rivers; they are raised in the lakes, and this is how they behave: when the desire of spawning comes on them, they swim out to sea in schools, the males leading, and throwing out their milt, while the females come after and swallow and conceive from it. ,When the females have grown heavy in the sea, then all the fish swim back to their own haunts. But the same no longer lead; now the leadership goes to the females. They go before in a school as the males had, and now and then throw off some of their eggs (which are like millet-seeds), which the males devour as they follow. These millet-seeds, or eggs, are fish. ,The fish that are reared come from the eggs that survive and are not devoured. Those fish that are caught while swimming seawards show bruises on the left side of their heads; those that are caught returning, on the right side. ,This happens because they keep close to the left bank as they swim seawards, and keep to the same bank also on their return, grazing it and keeping in contact with it as well as they can, I suppose lest the current make them miss their way. ,When the Nile begins to rise, hollow and marshy places near the river are the first to begin to fill, the water trickling through from the river, and as soon as they are flooded, they are suddenly full of little fishes. ,Where these probably come from, I believe that I can guess. When the Nile falls, the fish have dropped their eggs into the mud before they leave with the last of the water; and when in the course of time the flood comes again in the following year, from these eggs at once come the fish. 2.94. So much, then, for the fish. The Egyptians who live around the marshes use an oil drawn from the castor-berry, which they call kiki. They sow this plant, which grows wild in Hellas, on the banks of the rivers and lakes; ,sown in Egypt, it produces abundant fruit, though malodorous; when they gather this, some bruise and press it, others boil after roasting it, and collect the liquid that comes from it. This is thick and useful as oil for lamps, and gives off a strong smell. 2.95. Against the mosquitos that abound, the following have been devised by them: those who dwell higher up than the marshy country are well served by the towers where they ascend to sleep, for the winds prevent the mosquitos from flying aloft; ,those living about the marshes have a different recourse, instead of the towers. Every one of them has a net, with which he catches fish by day, and at night he sets it around the bed where he rests, then creeps under it and sleeps. ,If he sleeps wrapped in a garment or cloth, the mosquitos bite through it; but through the net they absolutely do not even venture. 2.96. The boats in which they carry cargo are made of the acacia, which is most like the lotus of Cyrene in form, and its sap is gum. of this tree they cut logs of four feet long and lay them like courses of bricks, and build the boat ,by fastening these four foot logs to long and close-set stakes; and having done so, they set crossbeams athwart and on the logs. They use no ribs. They caulk the seams within with byblus. ,There is one rudder, passing through a hole in the boat's keel. The mast is of acacia-wood and the sails of byblus. These boats cannot move upstream unless a brisk breeze continues; they are towed from the bank; but downstream they are managed thus: ,they have a raft made of tamarisk wood, fastened together with matting of reeds, and a pierced stone of about two talents' weight; the raft is let go to float down ahead of the boat, connected to it by a rope, and the stone is connected by a rope to the after part of the boat. ,So, driven by the current, the raft floats swiftly and tows the “baris” (which is the name of these boats,) and the stone dragging behind on the river bottom keeps the boat's course straight. There are many of these boats; some are of many thousand talents' burden. 2.97. When the Nile overflows the land, only the towns are seen high and dry above the water, very like the islands in the Aegean sea . These alone stand out, the rest of Egypt being a sheet of water. So when this happens, folk are not ferried, as usual, in the course of the stream, but clean over the plain. ,Indeed, the boat going up from Naucratis to Memphis passes close by the pyramids themselves, though the course does not go by here, but by the Delta's point and the town Cercasorus; but your voyage from the sea and Canobus to Naucratis will take you over the plain near the town of Anthylla and that which is called Arkhandrus' town. 2.98. Anthylla is a town of some reputation, and is especially assigned to the consort of the reigning king of Egypt, to provide her shoes. This has been done since Egypt has been under Persian dominion. ,The other town, I think, is named after Arkhandrus son of Phthius the Achaean, and son-in-law of Danaus; for it is called Arkhandrus' town. It may be that there was another Arkhandrus; but the name is not Egyptian. 2.99. So far, all I have said is the record of my own autopsy and judgment and inquiry. Henceforth I will record Egyptian chronicles, according to what I have heard, adding something of what I myself have seen. ,The priests told me that Min was the first king of Egypt, and that first he separated Memphis from the Nile by a dam. All the river had flowed close under the sandy mountains on the Libyan side, but Min made the southern bend of it, which begins about twelve and one half miles above Memphis, by damming the stream, thereby drying up the ancient channel, and carried the river by a channel so that it flowed midway between the hills. ,And to this day the Persians keep careful watch on this bend of the river, strengthening its dam every year to keep the current in; for were the Nile to burst its dikes and overflow here, all Memphis would be in danger of flooding. ,Then, when this first king Min had made dry land of what he thus cut off, he first founded in it that city which is now called Memphis (for even Memphis lies in the narrow part of Egypt ), and outside of it he dug a lake from the river to its north and west (for the Nile itself bounds it on the east); and secondly, he built in it the great and most noteworthy temple of Hephaestus. 2.100. After him came three hundred and thirty kings, whose names the priests recited from a papyrus roll. In all these many generations there were eighteen Ethiopian kings, and one queen, native to the country; the rest were all Egyptian men. ,The name of the queen was the same as that of the Babylonian princess, Nitocris. She, to avenge her brother (he was king of Egypt and was slain by his subjects, who then gave Nitocris the sovereignty) put many of the Egyptians to death by treachery. ,She built a spacious underground chamber; then, with the pretence of inaugurating it, but with quite another intent in her mind, she gave a great feast, inviting to it those Egyptians whom she knew to have had the most complicity in her brother's murder; and while they feasted, she let the river in upon them by a vast secret channel. ,This was all that the priests told of her, except that when she had done this she cast herself into a chamber full of hot ashes, to escape vengeance. 2.101. But of the other kings they related no achievement or act of great note, except of Moeris, the last of them. ,This Moeris was remembered as having built the northern forecourt of the temple of Hephaestus, and dug a lake, of as great a circumference as I shall later indicate; and built pyramids there also, the size of which I will mention when I speak of the lake. All this was Moeris' work, they said; of none of the rest had they anything to record. 2.102. Leaving the latter aside, then, I shall speak of the king who came after them, whose name was Sesostris . ,This king, the priests said, set out with a fleet of long ships from the Arabian Gulf and subjugated all those living by the Red Sea, until he came to a sea which was too shallow for his vessels. ,After returning from there back to Egypt, he gathered a great army (according to the account of the priests) and marched over the mainland, subjugating every nation to which he came. ,When those that he met were valiant men and strove hard for freedom, he set up pillars in their land, the inscription on which showed his own name and his country's, and how he had overcome them with his own power; ,but when the cities had made no resistance and been easily taken, then he put an inscription on the pillars just as he had done where the nations were brave; but he also drew on them the private parts of a woman, wishing to show clearly that the people were cowardly. 2.103. He marched over the country doing this until he had crossed over from Asia to Europe and defeated the Scythians and Thracians. Thus far and no farther, I think, the Egyptian army went; for the pillars can be seen standing in their country, but in none beyond it. ,From there, he turned around and went back home; and when he came to the Phasis river, that King, Sesostris, may have detached some part of his army and left it there to live in the country (for I cannot speak with exact knowledge), or it may be that some of his soldiers grew weary of his wanderings, and stayed by the Phasis. 2.104. For it is plain to see that the Colchians are Egyptians; and what I say, I myself noted before I heard it from others. When it occurred to me, I inquired of both peoples; and the Colchians remembered the Egyptians better than the Egyptians remembered the Colchians; ,the Egyptians said that they considered the Colchians part of Sesostris' army. I myself guessed it, partly because they are dark-skinned and woolly-haired; though that indeed counts for nothing, since other peoples are, too; but my better proof was that the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. ,The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. ,But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas cease to imitate the Egyptians in this matter and do not circumcise their children. 2.105. Listen to something else about the Colchians, in which they are like the Egyptians: they and the Egyptians alone work linen and have the same way of working it, a way peculiar to themselves; and they are alike in all their way of life, and in their speech. Linen has two names: the Colchian kind is called by the Greeks Sardonian ; that which comes from Egypt is called Egyptian. 2.106. As to the pillars that Sesostris, king of Egypt, set up in the countries, most of them are no longer to be seen. But I myself saw them in the Palestine district of Syria, with the aforesaid writing and the women's private parts on them. ,Also, there are in Ionia two figures of this man carved in rock, one on the road from Ephesus to Phocaea, and the other on that from Sardis to Smyrna . ,In both places, the figure is over twenty feet high, with a spear in his right hand and a bow in his left, and the rest of his equipment proportional; for it is both Egyptian and Ethiopian; ,and right across the breast from one shoulder to the other a text is cut in the Egyptian sacred characters, saying: “I myself won this land with the strength of my shoulders.” There is nothing here to show who he is and whence he comes, but it is shown elsewhere. ,Some of those who have seen these figures guess they are Memnon, but they are far indeed from the truth. 2.107. Now when this Egyptian Sesostris (so the priests said) reached Daphnae of Pelusium on his way home, leading many captives from the peoples whose lands he had subjugated, his brother, whom he had left in charge in Egypt, invited him and his sons to a banquet and then piled wood around the house and set it on fire. ,When Sesostris was aware of this, he at once consulted his wife, whom (it was said) he had with him; and she advised him to lay two of his six sons on the fire and make a bridge over the burning so that they could walk over the bodies of the two and escape. This Sesostris did; two of his sons were thus burnt but the rest escaped alive with their father. 2.108. After returning to Egypt, and avenging himself on his brother, Sesostris found work for the multitude which he brought with him from the countries which he had subdued. ,It was these who dragged the great and long blocks of stone which were brought in this king's reign to the temple of Hephaestus; and it was they who were compelled to dig all the canals which are now in Egypt, and involuntarily made what had been a land of horses and carts empty of these. ,For from this time Egypt, although a level land, could use no horses or carts, because there were so many canals going every which way. The reason why the king thus intersected the country was this: ,those Egyptians whose towns were not on the Nile, but inland from it, lacked water whenever the flood left their land, and drank only brackish water from wells. 2.109. For this reason Egypt was intersected. This king also (they said) divided the country among all the Egyptians by giving each an equal parcel of land, and made this his source of revenue, assessing the payment of a yearly tax. ,And any man who was robbed by the river of part of his land could come to Sesostris and declare what had happened; then the king would send men to look into it and calculate the part by which the land was diminished, so that thereafter it should pay in proportion to the tax originally imposed. ,From this, in my opinion, the Greeks learned the art of measuring land; the sunclock and the sundial, and the twelve divisions of the day, came to Hellas from Babylonia and not from Egypt . 2.110. Sesostris was the only Egyptian king who also ruled Ethiopia . To commemorate his name, he set before the temple of Hephaestus two stone statues, of himself and of his wife, each fifty feet high, and statues of his four sons, each thirty-three feet. ,Long afterwards, Darius the Persian would have set up his statue before these; but the priest of Hephaestus forbade him, saying that he had achieved nothing equal to the deeds of Sesostris the Egyptian; for Sesostris (he said) had subjugated the Scythians, besides as many nations as Darius had conquered, and Darius had not been able to overcome the Scythians; ,therefore, it was not just that Darius should set his statue before the statues of Sesostris, whose achievements he had not equalled. Darius, it is said, let the priest have his way. 2.111. When Sesostris died, he was succeeded in the kingship (the priests said) by his son Pheros . This king waged no wars, and chanced to become blind, for the following reason: the Nile came down in such a flood as there had never been, rising to a height of thirty feet, and the water that flowed over the fields was roughened by a strong wind; ,then, it is said, the king was so audacious as to seize a spear and hurl it into the midst of the river eddies. Right after this, he came down with a disease of the eyes, and became blind. When he had been blind for ten years, an oracle from the city of Buto declared to him that the term of his punishment was drawing to an end, and that he would regain his sight by washing his eyes with the urine of a woman who had never had intercourse with any man but her own husband. ,Pheros tried his own wife first; and, as he remained blind, all women, one after another. When he at last recovered his sight, he took all the women whom he had tried, except the one who had made him see again, and gathered them into one town, the one which is now called “Red Clay”; having concentrated them together there, he burnt them and the town; ,but the woman by whose means he had recovered his sight, he married. Most worthy of mention among the many offerings which he dedicated in all the noteworthy temples for his deliverance from blindness are the two marvellous stone obelisks which he set up in the temple of the Sun. Each of these is made of a single block, and is over one hundred and sixty-six feet high and thirteen feet thick. 2.112. Pheros was succeeded (they said) by a man of Memphis, whose name in the Greek tongue was Proteus. This Proteus has a very attractive and well-appointed temple precinct at Memphis, south of the temple of Hephaestus. ,Around the precinct live Phoenicians of Tyre, and the whole place is called the Camp of the Tyrians. There is in the precinct of Proteus a temple called the temple of the Stranger Aphrodite; I guess this is a temple of Helen, daughter of Tyndarus, partly because I have heard the story of Helen's abiding with Proteus, and partly because it bears the name of the Foreign Aphrodite: for no other of Aphrodite's temples is called by that name. 2.113. When I inquired of the priests, they told me that this was the story of Helen. After carrying off Helen from Sparta, Alexandrus sailed away for his own country; violent winds caught him in the Aegean and drove him into the Egyptian sea; and from there (as the wind did not let up) he came to Egypt, to the mouth of the Nile called the Canopic mouth, and to the Salters'. ,Now there was (and still is) on the coast a temple of Heracles; if a servant of any man takes refuge there and is branded with certain sacred marks, delivering himself to the god, he may not be touched. This law continues today the same as it has always been from the first. ,Hearing of the temple law, some of Alexandrus' servants ran away from him, threw themselves on the mercy of the god, and brought an accusation against Alexandrus meaning to injure him, telling the whole story of Helen and the wrong done Menelaus. They laid this accusation before the priests and the warden of the Nile mouth, whose name was Thonis. 2.114. When Thonis heard it, he sent this message the quickest way to Proteus at Memphis : ,“A stranger has come, a Trojan, who has committed an impiety in Hellas . After defrauding his guest-friend, he has come bringing the man's wife and a very great deal of wealth, driven to your country by the wind. Are we to let him sail away untouched, or are we to take away what he has come with?” ,Proteus sent back this message: “Whoever this is who has acted impiously against his guest-friend, seize him and bring him to me, that I may know what he will say.” 2.115. Hearing this, Thonis seized Alexandrus and detained his ships there, and then brought him with Helen and all the wealth, and the suppliants too, to Memphis . ,When all had arrived, Proteus asked Alexandrus who he was and whence he sailed; Alexandrus told him his lineage and the name of his country, and about his voyage, whence he sailed. ,Then Proteus asked him where he had got Helen; when Alexandrus was evasive in his story and did not tell the truth, the men who had taken refuge with the temple confuted him, and related the whole story of the wrong. ,Finally, Proteus declared the following judgment to them, saying, “If I did not make it a point never to kill a stranger who has been caught by the wind and driven to my coasts, I would have punished you on behalf of the Greek, you most vile man. You committed the gravest impiety after you had had your guest-friend's hospitality: you had your guest-friend's wife. ,And as if this were not enough, you got her to fly with you and went off with her. And not just with her, either, but you plundered your guest-friend's wealth and brought it, too. ,Now, then, since I make it a point not to kill strangers, I shall not let you take away this woman and the wealth, but I shall watch them for the Greek stranger, until he come and take them away; but as for you and your sailors, I warn you to leave my country for another within three days, and if you do not, I will declare war on you.” 2.116. This, the priests said, was how Helen came to Proteus. And, in my opinion, Homer knew this story, too; but seeing that it was not so well suited to epic poetry as the tale of which he made use, he rejected it, showing that he knew it. ,This is apparent from the passage in the titleIliad /title (and nowhere else does he return to the story) where he relates the wanderings of Alexander, and shows how he and Helen were carried off course, and wandered to, among other places, Sidon in Phoenicia . ,This is in the story of the Prowess of Diomedes, where the verses run as follows: cit quote l met="dact"There were the robes, all embroidered, /l lThe work of women of Sidon, whom godlike Alexandrus himself /l lBrought from Sidon, crossing the broad sea, /l lThe same voyage on which he brought back Helen of noble descent. /l /quote biblHom. Il. 6.289-92 /bibl /cit ,[He mentions it in the titleOdyssey /title also: cit quote l met="dact"The daughter of Zeus had such ingenious drugs, /l lGood ones, which she had from Thon's wife, Polydamna, an Egyptian, /l lWhose country's fertile plains bear the most drugs, /l lMany mixed for good, many for harm: /l /quote biblHom. Od. 4.227-30 /bibl /cit ] ,and again Menelaus says to Telemachus: cit quote l met="dact"I was eager to return here, but the gods still held me in Egypt, /l lSince I had not sacrificed entire hecatombs to them. /l /quote biblHom. Od. 4. 351-2 /bibl /cit ,In these verses the poet shows that he knew of Alexander's wanderings to Egypt ; for Syria borders on Egypt, and the Phoenicians, to whom Sidon belongs, dwell in Syria . 2.117. These verses and this passage prove most clearly that the Cyprian poems are not the work of Homer but of someone else. For the Cyprian poems relate that Alexandrus reached Ilion with Helen in three days from Sparta, having a fair wind and a smooth sea; but according to the titleIliad /title, he wandered from his course in bringing her. 2.118. Enough, then, of Homer and the Cyprian poems. But, when I asked the priests whether the Greek account of what happened at Troy were idle or not, they gave me the following answer, saying that they had inquired and knew from Menelaus himself. ,After the rape of Helen, a great force of Greeks came to the Trojan land on Menelaus' behalf. After disembarking and disposing their forces, they sent messengers to Ilion, one of whom was Menelaus himself. ,When these were let inside the city walls, they demanded the restitution of Helen and of the property which Alexandrus had stolen from Menelaus and carried off, and they demanded reparation for the wrongs; but the Trojans gave the same testimony then and later, sworn and unsworn: that they did not have Helen or the property claimed, but all of that was in Egypt, and they could not justly make reparation for what Proteus the Egyptian had. ,But the Greeks, thinking that the Trojans were mocking them, laid siege to the city, until they took it; but there was no Helen there when they breached the wall, but they heard the same account as before; so, crediting the original testimony, they sent Menelaus himself to Proteus. 2.119. Menelaus then went to Egypt and up the river to Memphis ; there, relating the truth of the matter, he met with great hospitality and got back Helen, who had not been harmed, and also all his wealth, besides. ,Yet, although getting this, Menelaus was guilty of injustice toward the Egyptians. For adverse weather detained him when he tried to sail away; after this continued for some time, he carried out something impious, ,taking two native children and sacrificing them. When it became known that he had done this, he fled with his ships straight to Libya, hated and hunted; and where he went from there, the Egyptians could not say. The priests told me that they had learned some of this by inquiry, but that they were sure of what had happened in their own country. 2.120. The Egyptians' priests said this, and I myself believe their story about Helen, for I reason thus: had Helen been in Ilion, then with or without the will of Alexandrus she would have been given back to the Greeks. ,For surely Priam was not so mad, or those nearest to him, as to consent to risk their own persons and their children and their city so that Alexandrus might cohabit with Helen. ,Even if it were conceded that they were so inclined in the first days, yet when not only many of the Trojans were slain in fighting against the Greeks, but Priam himself lost to death two or three or even more of his sons in every battle (if the poets are to be believed), in this turn of events, had Helen been Priam's own wife, I cannot but think that he would have restored her to the Greeks, if by so doing he could escape from the evils besetting him. ,Alexandrus was not even heir to the throne, in which case matters might have been in his hands since Priam was old, but Hector, who was an older and a better man than Alexandrus, was going to receive the royal power at Priam's death, and ought not have acquiesced in his brother's wrongdoing, especially when that brother was the cause of great calamity to Hector himself and all the rest of the Trojans. ,But since they did not have Helen there to give back, and since the Greeks would not believe them although they spoke the truth—I am convinced and declare—the divine powers provided that the Trojans, perishing in utter destruction, should make this clear to all mankind: that retribution from the gods for terrible wrongdoing is also terrible. This is what I think, and I state it. 2.121. The next to reign after Proteus (they said) was Rhampsinitus. The memorial of his name left by him was the western forecourt of the temple of Hephaestus; he set two statues here forty-one feet high; the northernmost of these the Egyptians call Summer, and the southernmost Winter; the one that they call Summer they worship and treat well, but do the opposite to the statue called Winter. ,This king (they told me) had great wealth in silver, so great that none of the succeeding kings could surpass or come near it. To store his treasure safely, he had a stone chamber built, one of its walls abutting on the outer side of his palace. But the builder of it shrewdly provided that one stone be so placed as to be easily removed by two men or even by one. ,So when the chamber was finished, the king stored his treasure in it, and as time went on, the builder, drawing near the end of his life, summoned his sons (he had two) and told them how he had provided for them, that they have an ample livelihood, by the art with which he had built the king's treasure-house; explaining clearly to them how to remove the stone, he gave the coordinates of it, and told them that if they kept these in mind, they would be the custodians of the king's riches. ,So when he was dead, his sons got to work at once: coming to the palace by night, they readily found and managed the stone in the building, and took away much of the treasure. ,When the king opened the building, he was amazed to see the containers lacking their treasure; yet he did not know whom to accuse, seeing that the seals were unbroken and the building shut fast. But when less treasure appeared the second and third times he opened the building (for the thieves did not stop plundering), he had traps made and placed around the containers in which his riches were stored. ,The thieves came just as before, and one of them crept in; when he came near the container, right away he was caught in the trap. When he saw the trouble he was in, he called to his brother right away and explained to him the problem, and told him to come in quickly and cut off his head, lest he be seen and recognized and destroy him, too. He seemed to have spoken rightly to the other, who did as he was persuaded and then, replacing the stone, went home, carrying his brother's head. ,When day came, the king went to the building, and was amazed to see in the trap the thief's body without a head, yet the building intact, with no way in or out. At a loss, he did as follows: he suspended the thief's body from the wall and set guards over it, instructing them to seize and bring to him any whom they saw weeping or making lamentation. ,But the thief's mother, when the body had been hung up, was terribly stricken: she had words with her surviving son, and told him that he was somehow to think of some way to cut loose and bring her his brother's body, and if he did not obey, she threatened to go to the king and denounce him as having the treasure. ,So when his mother bitterly reproached the surviving son and for all that he said he could not dissuade her, he devised a plan: he harnessed asses and put skins full of wine on the asses, then set out driving them; and when he was near those who were guarding the hanging body, he pulled at the feet of two or three of the skins and loosed their fastenings; ,and as the wine ran out, he beat his head and cried aloud like one who did not know to which ass he should turn first, while the guards, when they saw the wine flowing freely, ran out into the road with cups and caught what was pouring out, thinking themselves in luck; ,feigning anger, the man cursed all; but as the guards addressed him peaceably, he pretended to be soothed and to relent in his anger, and finally drove his asses out of the road and put his harness in order. ,And after more words passed and one joked with him and got him to laugh, he gave them one of the skins: and they lay down there just as they were, disposed to drink, and included him and told him to stay and drink with them; and he consented and stayed. ,When they cheerily saluted him in their drinking, he gave them yet another of the skins; and the guards grew very drunk with the abundance of liquor, and lay down right there where they were drinking, overpowered by sleep; ,but he, when it was late at night, cut down the body of his brother and shaved the right cheek of each of the guards for the indignity, and loading the body on his asses, drove home, fulfilling his mother's commands. ,When the king learned that the body of the thief had been taken, he was beside himself and, obsessed with finding who it was who had managed this, did as follows—they say, but I do not believe it. ,He put his own daughter in a brothel, instructing her to accept all alike and, before having intercourse, to make each tell her the shrewdest and most impious thing he had done in his life; whoever told her the story of the thief, she was to seize and not let get out. ,The girl did as her father told her, and the thief, learning why she was doing this, did as follows, wanting to get the better of the king by craft. ,He cut the arm off a fresh corpse at the shoulder, and went to the king's daughter, carrying it under his cloak, and when asked the same question as the rest, he said that his most impious act had been when he had cut the head off his brother who was caught in a trap in the king's treasury; and his shrewdest, that after making the guards drunk he had cut down his brother's hanging body. ,When she heard this, the princess grabbed for him; but in the darkness the thief let her have the arm of the corpse; and clutching it, she held on, believing that she had the arm of the other; but the thief, after giving it to her, was gone in a flash out the door. ,When this also came to the king's ears, he was astonished at the man's ingenuity and daring, and in the end, he sent a proclamation to every town, promising the thief immunity and a great reward if he would come into the king's presence. ,The thief trusted the king and came before him; Rhampsinitus was very admiring and gave him his daughter to marry on the grounds that he was the cleverest of men; for as the Egyptians (he said) surpassed all others in craft, so he surpassed the Egyptians. 2.122. They said that later this king went down alive to what the Greeks call Hades and there played dice with Demeter, and after winning some and losing some, came back with a gift from her of a golden hand towel. ,From the descent of Rhampsinitus, when he came back, they said that the Egyptians celebrate a festival, which I know that they celebrate to this day, but whether this is why they celebrate, I cannot say. ,On the day of the festival, the priests weave a cloth and bind it as a headband on the eyes of one of their number, whom they then lead, wearing the cloth, into a road that goes to the temple of Demeter; they themselves go back, but this priest with his eyes bandaged is guided (they say) by two wolves to Demeter's temple, a distance of three miles from the city, and led back again from the temple by the wolves to the same place. 2.123. These Egyptian stories are for the benefit of whoever believes such tales: my rule in this history is that I record what is said by all as I have heard it. The Egyptians say that Demeter and Dionysus are the rulers of the lower world. ,The Egyptians were the first who maintained the following doctrine, too, that the human soul is immortal, and at the death of the body enters into some other living thing then coming to birth; and after passing through all creatures of land, sea, and air, it enters once more into a human body at birth, a cycle which it completes in three thousand years. ,There are Greeks who have used this doctrine, some earlier and some later, as if it were their own; I know their names, but do not record them. 2.124. They said that Egypt until the time of King Rhampsinitus was altogether well-governed and prospered greatly, but that Kheops, who was the next king, brought the people to utter misery. For first he closed all the temples, so that no one could sacrifice there; and next, he compelled all the Egyptians to work for him. ,To some, he assigned the task of dragging stones from the quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile ; and after the stones were ferried across the river in boats, he organized others to receive and drag them to the mountains called Libyan. ,They worked in gangs of a hundred thousand men, each gang for three months. For ten years the people wore themselves out building the road over which the stones were dragged, work which was in my opinion not much lighter at all than the building of the pyramid ,(for the road is nearly a mile long and twenty yards wide, and elevated at its highest to a height of sixteen yards, and it is all of stone polished and carved with figures). The aforesaid ten years went to the building of this road and of the underground chambers in the hill where the pyramids stand; these, the king meant to be burial-places for himself, and surrounded them with water, bringing in a channel from the Nile . ,The pyramid itself was twenty years in the making. Its base is square, each side eight hundred feet long, and its height is the same; the whole is of stone polished and most exactly fitted; there is no block of less than thirty feet in length. 2.125. This pyramid was made like stairs, which some call steps and others, tiers. ,When this, its first form, was completed, the workmen used short wooden logs as levers to raise the rest of the stones ; they heaved up the blocks from the ground onto the first tier of steps; ,when the stone had been raised, it was set on another lever that stood on the first tier, and the lever again used to lift it from this tier to the next. ,It may be that there was a new lever on each tier of steps, or perhaps there was only one lever, quite portable, which they carried up to each tier in turn; I leave this uncertain, as both possibilities were mentioned. ,But this is certain, that the upper part of the pyramid was finished off first, then the next below it, and last of all the base and the lowest part. ,There are writings on the pyramid in Egyptian characters indicating how much was spent on radishes and onions and garlic for the workmen; and I am sure that, when he read me the writing, the interpreter said that sixteen hundred talents of silver had been paid. ,Now if that is so, how much must have been spent on the iron with which they worked, and the workmen's food and clothing, considering that the time aforesaid was spent in building, while hewing and carrying the stone and digging out the underground parts was, as I suppose, a business of long duration. 2.126. And so evil a man was Kheops that, needing money, he put his own daughter in a brothel and made her charge a fee (how much, they did not say). She did as her father told her, but was disposed to leave a memorial of her own, and asked of each coming to her that he give one stone; ,and of these stones they said the pyramid was built that stands midmost of the three, over against the great pyramid; each side of it measures one hundred and fifty feet. 2.127. The Egyptians said that this Kheops reigned for fifty years; at his death he was succeeded by his brother Khephren, who was in all respects like Kheops. Khephren also built a pyramid, smaller than his brother's. I have measured it myself. ,It has no underground chambers, nor is it entered like the other by a canal from the Nile, but the river comes in through a built passage and encircles an island, in which, they say, Kheops himself lies. ,This pyramid was built on the same scale as the other, except that it falls forty feet short of it in height; it stands near the great pyramid; the lowest layer of it is of variegated Ethiopian stone. Both of them stand on the same ridge, which is about a hundred feet high. Khephren, they said, reigned for fifty-six years. 2.128. Thus, they reckon that for a hundred and six years Egypt was in great misery and the temples so long shut were never opened. The people hate the memory of these two kings so much that they do not much wish to name them, and call the pyramids after the shepherd Philitis, who then pastured his flocks in this place. 2.129. The next king of Egypt, they said, was Kheops' son Mycerinus. Disliking his father's doings, he opened the temples and let the people, ground down to the depth of misery, go to their business and their sacrifices; and he was the most just judge among all the kings. ,This is why he is praised above all the rulers of Egypt ; for not only were his judgments just, but Mycerinus would give any who were not satisfied with the judgment a present out of his own estate to compensate him for his loss. ,Though mild toward his people and conducting himself as he did, yet he suffered calamities, the first of which was the death of his daughter, the only child of his household. Deeply grieved over this misfortune, he wanted to give her a burial somewhat more sumptuous than ordinary; he therefore made a hollow cow's image of gilded wood and placed the body of his dead daughter therein. 2.130. This cow was not buried in the earth but was to be seen even in my time, in the town of Saïs, where it stood in a furnished room of the palace; incense of all kinds is offered daily before it, and a lamp burns by it all through every night. ,Near this cow in another chamber statues of Mycerinus' concubines stand, so the priests of Saïs said; and in fact there are about twenty colossal wooden figures there, made like naked women; but except what I was told, I cannot tell who these are. 2.131. But some tell the following story about the cow and the statues: that Mycerinus conceived a passion for his own daughter and then had intercourse with her against her will; ,and they say that afterwards the girl strangled herself for grief, and that he buried her in this cow, but that her mother cut off the hands of the attendants who had betrayed the daughter to her father, and that now their statues are in the same condition as the living women were. ,But this I believe to be a silly story, especially about the hands of the figures. For in fact we ourselves saw that the hands have fallen off through age, and were lying at their feet even in my day. 2.132. As for the cow, it is covered with a purple robe, only the head and neck exposed, encrusted with a very thick layer of gold. Between the horns is the golden figure of the sun's orb. ,It does not stand, but kneels; it is as big as a live cow of great size. This image is carried out of the chamber once every year, whenever the Egyptians mourn the god whose name I omit in speaking of these matters: ,then the cow is brought out into the light; for they say that before she died she asked her father, Mycerinus, that she see the sun once a year. 2.133. After what happened to his daughter, the following happened next to this king: an oracle came to him from the city of Buto, announcing that he had just six years to live and was to die in the seventh. ,The king took this badly, and sent back to the oracle a message of reproach, blaming the god that his father and his uncle, though they had shut up the temples, and disregarded the gods, and destroyed men, had lived for a long time, but that he who was pious was going to die so soon. ,But a second oracle came announcing that for this very reason his life was hastening to a close: he had done what was contrary to fate; Egypt should have been afflicted for a hundred and fifty years, and the two kings before him knew this, but not he. ,Hearing this, Mycerinus knew that his doom was fixed. Therefore, he had many lamps made, and would light these at nightfall and drink and enjoy himself, not letting up day or night, roaming to the marsh country and the groves and wherever he heard of the likeliest places of pleasure. ,This was his recourse, so that by turning night into day he might make his six years into twelve and so prove the oracle false. 2.134. This king, too, left a pyramid, but far smaller than his father's, each side twenty feet short of three hundred feet long, square at the base, and as much as half its height of Ethiopian stone. Some Greeks say that it was built by Rhodopis, the courtesan, but they are wrong; ,indeed, it is clear to me that they say this without even knowing who Rhodopis was (otherwise, they would never have credited her with the building of a pyramid on which what I may call an uncountable sum of money was spent), or that Rhodopis flourished in the reign of Amasis, not of Mycerinus; ,for very many years later than these kings who left the pyramids came Rhodopis, who was Thracian by birth, and a slave of Iadmon son of Hephaestopolis the Samian, and a fellow-slave of Aesop the story-writer. For he was owned by Iadmon, too, as the following made crystal clear: ,when the Delphians, obeying an oracle, issued many proclamations summoning anyone who wanted it to accept compensation for the killing of Aesop, no one accepted it except the son of Iadmon's son, another Iadmon; hence Aesop, too, was Iadmon's. 2.135. Rhodopis came to Egypt to work, brought by Xanthes of Samos, but upon her arrival was freed for a lot of money by Kharaxus of Mytilene, son of Scamandronymus and brother of Sappho the poetess. ,Thus Rhodopis lived as a free woman in Egypt, where, as she was very alluring, she acquired a lot of money—sufficient for such a Rhodopis, so to speak, but not for such a pyramid. ,Seeing that to this day anyone who likes can calculate what one tenth of her worth was, she cannot be credited with great wealth. For Rhodopis desired to leave a memorial of herself in Greece, by having something made which no one else had thought of or dedicated in a temple and presenting this at Delphi to preserve her memory; ,so she spent one tenth of her substance on the manufacture of a great number of iron beef spits, as many as the tenth would pay for, and sent them to Delphi ; these lie in a heap to this day, behind the altar set up by the Chians and in front of the shrine itself. ,The courtesans of Naucratis seem to be peculiarly alluring, for the woman of whom this story is told became so famous that every Greek knew the name of Rhodopis, and later on a certain Archidice was the theme of song throughout Greece, although less celebrated than the other. ,Kharaxus, after giving Rhodopis her freedom, returned to Mytilene . He is bitterly attacked by Sappho in one of her poems. This is enough about Rhodopis. 2.136. After Mycerinus, the priests said, Asukhis became king of Egypt . He built the eastern outer court of Hephaestus' temple; this is by far the finest and grandest of all the courts, for while all have carved figures and innumerable felicities of architecture, this court has far more than any. ,As not much money was in circulation during this king's reign, they told me, a law was made for the Egyptians allowing a man to borrow on the security of his father's corpse; and the law also provided that the lender become master of the entire burial-vault of the borrower, and that the penalty for one giving this security, should he fail to repay the loan, was that he was not to be buried at his death either in that tomb of his fathers or in any other, nor was he to bury any relative of his there. ,Furthermore, in his desire to excel all who ruled Egypt before him, this king left a pyramid of brick to commemorate his name, on which is this writing, cut on a stone: ,“Do not think me less than pyramids of stone; for I excel them as much as Zeus does other gods; for they stuck a pole down into a marsh and collected what mud clung to the pole, made bricks of it, and thus built me.” These were the acts of Asukhis. 2.137. After him reigned a blind man called Anysis, of the town of that name. In his reign Egypt was invaded by Sabacos king of Ethiopia and a great army of Ethiopians. ,The blind man fled to the marshes, and the Ethiopian ruled Egypt for fifty years, during which he distinguished himself for the following: ,he would never put to death any Egyptian wrongdoer but sentenced all, according to the severity of their offenses, to raise embankments in their native towns. Thus the towns came to stand yet higher than before; ,for after first being built on embankments made by the excavators of the canals in the reign of Sesostris, they were yet further raised in the reign of the Ethiopian. ,of the towns in Egypt that were raised, in my opinion, Bubastis is especially prominent, where there is also a temple of Bubastis, a building most worthy of note. Other temples are greater and more costly, but none more pleasing to the eye than this. Bubastis is, in the Greek language, Artemis. 2.138. Her temple is of this description: except for the entrance, it stands on an island; for two channels approach it from the Nile without mixing with one another, running as far as the entryway of the temple, the one and the other flowing around it, each a hundred feet wide and shaded by trees. ,The outer court is sixty feet high, adorned with notable figures ten feet high. The whole circumference of the city commands a view down into the temple in its midst; for the city's level has been raised, but that of the temple has been left as it was from the first, so that it can be seen into from above. ,A stone wall, cut with figures, runs around it; within is a grove of very tall trees growing around a great shrine where the image of the goddess is; the temple is a square, each side measuring an eighth of a mile. ,A road, paved with stone, about three eighths of a mile long leads to the entrance, running eastward through the marketplace, towards the temple of Hermes; this road is about four hundred feet wide, and bordered by trees reaching to heaven. Such is this temple. 2.139. Now the departure of the Ethiopian (they said) came about in this way. After seeing in a dream one who stood over him and urged him to gather together all the Priests in Egypt and cut them in half, he fled from the country. ,Seeing this vision, he said, he supposed it to be a manifestation sent to him by the gods, so that he might commit sacrilege and so be punished by gods or men; he would not (he said) do so, but otherwise, for the time foretold for his rule over Egypt was now fulfilled, after which he was to depart: ,for when he was still in Ethiopia, the oracles that are consulted by the people of that country told him that he was fated to reign fifty years over Egypt . Seeing that this time was now completed and that he was troubled by what he saw in his dream, Sabacos departed from Egypt of his own volition. 2.140. When the Ethiopian left Egypt, the blind man (it is said) was king once more, returning from the marshes where he had lived for fifty years on an island that he built of ashes and earth; for the Egyptians who were to bring him food without the Ethiopian's knowledge were instructed by the king to bring ashes whenever they came, to add to their gift. ,This island was never discovered before the time of Amyrtaeus; all the kings before him sought it in vain for more than seven hundred years. The name of it is Elbo, and it is over a mile long and of an equal breadth. 2.141. The next king was the priest of Hephaestus whose name was Sethos. He despised and had no regard for the warrior Egyptians, thinking he would never need them; besides otherwise dishonoring them, he took away the chosen lands which had been given to them, twelve fields to each man, in the reign of former kings. ,So when presently king Sanacharib came against Egypt, with a great force of Arabians and Assyrians, the warrior Egyptians would not march against him. ,The priest, in this quandary, went into the temple shrine and there before the god's image bitterly lamented over what he expected to suffer. Sleep came on him while he was lamenting, and it seemed to him the god stood over him and told him to take heart, that he would come to no harm encountering the power of Arabia : “I shall send you champions,” said the god. ,So he trusted the vision, and together with those Egyptians who would follow him camped at Pelusium, where the road comes into Egypt ; and none of the warriors would go with him, but only merchants and craftsmen and traders. ,Their enemies came there, too, and during the night were overrun by a horde of field mice that gnawed quivers and bows and the handles of shields, with the result that many were killed fleeing unarmed the next day. ,And to this day a stone statue of the Egyptian king stands in Hephaestus' temple, with a mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect: “Look at me, and believe.” 2.142. Thus far went the record given by the Egyptians and their priests; and they showed me that the time from the first king to that priest of Hephaestus, who was the last, covered three hundred and forty-one generations, and that in this time this also had been the number of their kings, and of their high priests. ,Now three hundred generations are ten thousand years, three generations being equal to a hundred. And over and above the three hundred, the remaining forty-one cover thirteen hundred and forty years. ,Thus the whole period is eleven thousand three hundred and forty years; in all of which time (they said) they had had no king who was a god in human form, nor had there been any such either before or after those years among the rest of the kings of Egypt . ,Four times in this period (so they told me) the sun rose contrary to experience; twice he came up where he now goes down, and twice went down where he now comes up; yet Egypt at these times underwent no change, either in the produce of the river and the land, or in the matter of sickness and death. 2.143. Hecataeus the historian was once at Thebes , where he made a genealogy for himself that had him descended from a god in the sixteenth generation. But the priests of Zeus did with him as they also did with me (who had not traced my own lineage). ,They brought me into the great inner court of the temple and showed me wooden figures there which they counted to the total they had already given, for every high priest sets up a statue of himself there during his lifetime; ,pointing to these and counting, the priests showed me that each succeeded his father; they went through the whole line of figures, back to the earliest from that of the man who had most recently died. ,Thus, when Hecataeus had traced his descent and claimed that his sixteenth forefather was a god, the priests too traced a line of descent according to the method of their counting; for they would not be persuaded by him that a man could be descended from a god; they traced descent through the whole line of three hundred and forty-five figures, not connecting it with any ancestral god or hero, but declaring each figure to be a “Piromis” the son of a “Piromis”; in Greek, one who is in all respects a good man. 2.144. Thus they showed that all those whose statues stood there had been good men, but quite unlike gods. ,Before these men, they said, the rulers of Egypt were gods, but none had been contemporary with the human priests. of these gods one or another had in succession been supreme; the last of them to rule the country was Osiris' son Horus, whom the Greeks call Apollo; he deposed Typhon, and was the last divine king of Egypt . Osiris is, in the Greek language, Dionysus. 2.145. Among the Greeks, Heracles, Dionysus, and Pan are held to be the youngest of the gods. But in Egypt, Pan is the most ancient of these and is one of the eight gods who are said to be the earliest of all; Heracles belongs to the second dynasty (that of the so-called twelve gods); and Dionysus to the third, which came after the twelve. ,How many years there were between Heracles and the reign of Amasis, I have already shown; Pan is said to be earlier still; the years between Dionysus and Amasis are the fewest, and they are reckoned by the Egyptians at fifteen thousand. ,The Egyptians claim to be sure of all this, since they have reckoned the years and chronicled them in writing. ,Now the Dionysus who was called the son of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, was about sixteen hundred years before my time, and Heracles son of Alcmene about nine hundred years; and Pan the son of Penelope (for according to the Greeks Penelope and Hermes were the parents of Pan) was about eight hundred years before me, and thus of a later date than the Trojan war. 2.146. With regard to these two, Pan and Dionysus, one may follow whatever story one thinks most credible; but I give my own opinion concerning them here. Had Dionysus son of Semele and Pan son of Penelope appeared in Hellas and lived there to old age, like Heracles the son of Amphitryon, it might have been said that they too (like Heracles) were but men, named after the older Pan and Dionysus, the gods of antiquity; ,but as it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried him away to Nysa in Ethiopia beyond Egypt ; and as for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge. 2.147. So far I have recorded what the Egyptians themselves say. I shall now relate what is recorded alike by Egyptians and foreigners, and shall add something of what I myself have seen. ,After the reign of the priest of Hephaestus the Egyptians were made free. But they could never live without a king, so they divided Egypt into twelve districts and set up twelve kings. ,These kings intermarried, and agreed to be close friends, no one deposing another or seeking to possess more than another. ,The reason for this agreement, which they scrupulously kept, was this: no sooner were they established in their districts than an oracle was given them that whichever of them poured a libation from a bronze vessel in the temple of Hephaestus (where, as in all the temples, they used to assemble) would be king of all Egypt . 2.148. Moreover, they decided to preserve the memory of their names by a common memorial, and so they made a labyrinth a little way beyond lake Moeris and near the place called the City of Crocodiles . I have seen it myself, and indeed words cannot describe it; ,if one were to collect the walls and evidence of other efforts of the Greeks, the sum would not amount to the labor and cost of this labyrinth. And yet the temple at Ephesus and the one on Samos are noteworthy. ,Though the pyramids beggar description and each one of them is a match for many great monuments built by Greeks, this maze surpasses even the pyramids. ,It has twelve roofed courts with doors facing each other: six face north and six south, in two continuous lines, all within one outer wall. There are also double sets of chambers, three thousand altogether, fifteen hundred above and the same number under ground. ,We ourselves viewed those that are above ground, and speak of what we have seen, but we learned through conversation about the underground chambers; the Egyptian caretakers would by no means show them, as they were, they said, the burial vaults of the kings who first built this labyrinth, and of the sacred crocodiles. ,Thus we can only speak from hearsay of the lower chambers; the upper we saw for ourselves, and they are creations greater than human. The exits of the chambers and the mazy passages hither and thither through the courts were an unending marvel to us as we passed from court to apartment and from apartment to colonnade, from colonnades again to more chambers and then into yet more courts. ,Over all this is a roof, made of stone like the walls, and the walls are covered with cut figures, and every court is set around with pillars of white stone very precisely fitted together. Near the corner where the labyrinth ends stands a pyramid two hundred and forty feet high, on which great figures are cut. A passage to this has been made underground. 2.149. Such is this labyrinth; and still more marvellous is lake Moeris, on which it stands. This lake has a circumference of four hundred and fifty miles, or sixty schoeni: as much as the whole seaboard of Egypt . Its length is from north to south; the deepest part has a depth of fifty fathoms. ,That it has been dug out and made by men's hands the lake shows for itself; for almost in the middle of it stand two pyramids, so built that fifty fathoms of each are below and fifty above the water; atop each is a colossal stone figure seated on a throne. ,Thus these pyramids are a hundred fathoms high; and a hundred fathoms equal a furlong of six hundred feet, the fathom measuring six feet or four cubits, the foot four spans and the cubit six spans. ,The water of the lake is not natural (for the country here is exceedingly arid) but brought by a channel from the Nile ; six months it flows into the lake, and six back into the river. ,For the six months that it flows out of the lake, the daily take of fish brings a silver talent into the royal treasury, and twenty minae for each day of the flow into the lake. 2.150. Furthermore, the natives said that this lake drains underground into the Libyan Syrtis, and extends under the mountains that are above Memphis, having the inland country on its west. ,When I could not see anywhere the earth taken from the digging of this lake, since this was curious to me, I asked those who live nearest the lake where the stuff was that had been dug out. They told me where it had been carried, and I readily believed them, for I had heard of a similar thing happening in the Assyrian city of Ninus . ,Sardanapallus king of Ninus had great wealth, which he kept in an underground treasury. Some thieves plotted to carry it off; they surveyed their course and dug an underground way from their own house to the palace, carrying the earth taken out of the passage dug by night to the Tigris, which runs past Ninus, until at last they accomplished their end. ,This, I was told, had happened when the Egyptian lake was dug, except that the work went on not by night but by day. The Egyptians bore the earth dug out by them to the Nile, to be caught and scattered (as was to be expected) by the river. Thus is this lake said to have been dug. 2.151. Now the twelve kings were just, and in time came to sacrifice in Hephaestus' temple. On the last day of the feast, as they were about to pour libations, the high priest brought out the golden vessels which they commonly used for this; but he counted wrongly and had only eleven for the twelve. ,So the last in line, Psammetichus, as he had no vessel, took off his bronze helmet and held it out and poured the libation with it. All the kings were accustomed to wear helmets, and were then helmeted; ,it was not in guile, then, that Psammetichus held out his headgear; but the rest perceived what Psammetichus had done, and remembered the oracle that promised the sovereignty of all Egypt to whoever poured a libation from a vessel of bronze; therefore, though they considered Psammetichus not deserving of death (for they examined him and found that he had acted without intent), they decided to strip him of most of his power and to chase him away into the marshes, and that he was not to concern himself with the rest of Egypt . 2.152. This Psammetichus had formerly been in exile in Syria, where he had fled from Sabacos the Ethiopian, who killed his father Necos; then, when the Ethiopian departed because of what he saw in a dream, the Egyptians of the district of Saïs brought him back from Syria . ,Psammetichus was king for the second time when he found himself driven away into the marshes by the eleven kings because of the helmet. ,Believing, therefore, that he had been abused by them, he meant to be avenged on those who had expelled him. He sent to inquire in the town of Buto, where the most infallible oracle in Egypt is; the oracle answered that he would have vengeance when he saw men of bronze coming from the sea. ,Psammetichus did not in the least believe that men of bronze would come to aid him. But after a short time, Ionians and Carians, voyaging for plunder, were forced to put in on the coast of Egypt, where they disembarked in their armor of bronze; and an Egyptian came into the marsh country and brought news to Psammetichus (for he had never before seen armored men) that men of bronze had come from the sea and were foraging in the plain. ,Psammetichus saw in this the fulfillment of the oracle; he made friends with the Ionians and Carians, and promised them great rewards if they would join him and, having won them over, deposed the eleven kings with these allies and those Egyptians who volunteered. 2.153. Having made himself master of all Egypt, he made the southern outer court of Hephaestus' temple at Memphis, and built facing this a court for Apis, where Apis is kept and fed whenever he appears; this court has an inner colonnade all around it and many cut figures; the roof is held up by great statues twenty feet high for pillars. Apis in Greek is Epaphus. 2.154. To the Ionians and Carians who had helped him, Psammetichus gave places to live in called The Camps, opposite each other on either side of the Nile ; and besides this, he paid them all that he had promised. ,Moreover, he put Egyptian boys in their hands to be taught Greek, and from these, who learned the language, are descended the present-day Egyptian interpreters. ,The Ionians and Carians lived for a long time in these places, which are near the sea, on the arm of the Nile called the Pelusian, a little way below the town of Bubastis . Long afterwards, king Amasis removed them and settled them at Memphis to be his guard against the Egyptians. ,It is a result of our communication with these settlers in Egypt (the first of foreign speech to settle in that country) that we Greeks have exact knowledge of the history of Egypt from the reign of Psammetichus onwards. ,There still remained in my day, in the places out of which the Ionians and Carians were turned, the winches for their ships and the ruins of their houses. This is how Psammetichus got Egypt . 2.155. I have often mentioned the Egyptian oracle, and shall give an account of this, as it deserves. This oracle is sacred to Leto, and is situated in a great city by the Sebennytic arm of the Nile, on the way up from the sea. ,Buto is the name of the city where this oracle is; I have already mentioned it. In Buto there is a temple of Apollo and Artemis. The shrine of Leto where the oracle is, is itself very great, and its outer court is sixty feet high. ,But what caused me the most wonder among the things apparent there I shall mention. In this precinct is the shrine of Leto, the height and length of whose walls is all made of a single stone slab; each wall has an equal length and height; namely, seventy feet. Another slab makes the surface of the roof, the cornice of which is seven feet broad. 2.156. Thus, then, the shrine is the most marvellous of all the things that I saw in this temple; but of things of second rank, the most wondrous is the island called Khemmis . ,This lies in a deep and wide lake near the temple at Buto, and the Egyptians say that it floats. I never saw it float, or move at all, and I thought it a marvellous tale, that an island should truly float. ,However that may be, there is a great shrine of Apollo on it, and three altars stand there; many palm trees grow on the island, and other trees too, some yielding fruit and some not. ,This is the story that the Egyptians tell to explain why the island moves: that on this island that did not move before, Leto, one of the eight gods who first came to be, who was living at Buto where this oracle of hers is, taking charge of Apollo from Isis, hid him for safety in this island which is now said to float, when Typhon came hunting through the world, keen to find the son of Osiris. ,Apollo and Artemis were (they say) children of Dionysus and Isis, and Leto was made their nurse and preserver; in Egyptian, Apollo is Horus, Demeter Isis, Artemis Bubastis. ,It was from this legend and no other that Aeschylus son of Euphorion took a notion which is in no poet before him: that Artemis was the daughter of Demeter. For this reason the island was made to float. So they say. 2.157. Psammetichus ruled Egypt for fifty-three years, twenty-nine of which he spent before Azotus, a great city in Syria, besieging it until he took it. Azotus held out against a siege longer than any city of which we know. 2.158. Psammetichus had a son, Necos, who became king of Egypt . It was he who began building the canal into the Red Sea, which was finished by Darius the Persian. This is four days' voyage in length, and it was dug wide enough for two triremes to move in it rowed abreast. ,It is fed by the Nile, and is carried from a little above Bubastis by the Arabian town of Patumus; it issues into the Red Sea . Digging began in the part of the Egyptian plain nearest to Arabia ; the mountains that extend to Memphis (the mountains where the stone quarries are) come close to this plain; ,the canal is led along the foothills of these mountains in a long reach from west to east; passing then into a ravine, it bears southward out of the hill country towards the Arabian Gulf . ,Now the shortest and most direct passage from the northern to the southern or Red Sea is from the Casian promontory, the boundary between Egypt and Syria, to the Arabian Gulf, and this is a distance of one hundred and twenty five miles, neither more nor less; ,this is the most direct route, but the canal is far longer, inasmuch as it is more crooked. In Necos' reign, a hundred and twenty thousand Egyptians died digging it. Necos stopped work, stayed by a prophetic utterance that he was toiling beforehand for the barbarian. The Egyptians call all men of other languages barbarians. 2.159. Necos, then, stopped work on the canal and engaged in preparations for war; some of his ships of war were built on the northern sea, and some in the Arabian Gulf, by the Red Sea coast: the winches for landing these can still be seen. ,He used these ships when needed, and with his land army met and defeated the Syrians at Magdolus, taking the great Syrian city of Cadytis after the battle. ,He sent to Branchidae of Miletus and dedicated there to Apollo the garments in which he won these victories. Then he died after a reign of sixteen years, and his son Psammis reigned in his place. 2.160. While this Psammis was king of Egypt, he was visited by ambassadors from Elis, the Eleans boasting that they had arranged the Olympic games with all the justice and fairness in the world, and claiming that even the Egyptians, although the wisest of all men, could not do better. ,When the Eleans came to Egypt and announced why they had come, Psammis assembled the Egyptians reputed to be wisest. These assembled and learned all that the Eleans were to do regarding the games; after explaining this, the Eleans said that they had come to learn whether the Egyptians could discover any juster way. ,The Egyptians deliberated, and then asked the Eleans if their own citizens took part in the contests. The Eleans answered that they did: all Greeks from Elis or elsewhere might contend. ,Then the Egyptians said that in establishing this rule they fell short of complete fairness: “For there is no way that you will not favor your own townsfolk in the contest and wrong the stranger; if you wish in fact to make just rules and have come to Egypt for that reason, you should admit only strangers to the contest, and not Eleans.” Such was the counsel of the Egyptians to the Eleans. 2.161. Psammis reigned over Egypt for only six years; he invaded Ethiopia, and immediately thereafter died, and Apries the son of Psammis reigned in his place. ,He was more fortunate than any former king (except his great-grandfather Psammetichus) during his rule of twenty-five years, during which he sent an army against Sidon and fought at sea with the king of Tyre . ,But when it was fated that evil should overtake him, the cause of it was something that I will now deal with briefly, and at greater length in the Libyan part of this history. ,Apries sent a great force against Cyrene and suffered a great defeat. The Egyptians blamed him for this and rebelled against him; for they thought that Apries had knowingly sent his men to their doom, so that after their perishing in this way he might be the more secure in his rule over the rest of the Egyptians. Bitterly angered by this, those who returned home and the friends of the slain openly revolted. 2.162. Hearing of this, Apries sent Amasis to dissuade them. When Amasis came up with the Egyptians, he exhorted them to desist; but as he spoke an Egyptian came behind him and put a helmet on his head, saying it was the token of royalty. ,And Amasis showed that this was not displeasing to him, for after being made king by the rebel Egyptians he prepared to march against Apries. ,When Apries heard of it, he sent against Amasis an esteemed Egyptian named Patarbemis, one of his own court, instructing him to take the rebel alive and bring him into his presence. When Patarbemis came and summoned Amasis, Amasis (who was on horseback) rose up and farted, telling the messenger to take that back to Apries. ,But when in spite of this Patarbemis insisted that Amasis obey the king's summons and go to him, Amasis answered that he had long been preparing to do just that, and Apries would find him above reproach, for he would present himself, and bring others. ,Hearing this, Patarbemis could not mistake Amasis; he saw his preparations and hastened to depart, the more quickly to make known to the king what was going on. When Apries saw him return without Amasis, he did not stop to reflect, but in his rage and fury had Patarbemis' ears and nose cut off. ,The rest of the Egyptians, who were until now Apries' friends, seeing this outrage done to the man who was most prominent among them, changed sides without delay and offered themselves to Amasis. 2.163. Learning of this, too, Apries armed his guard and marched against the Egyptians; he had a bodyguard of Carians and Ionians, thirty thousand of them, and his royal palace was in the city of Saïs, a great and marvellous palace. ,Apries' men marched against the Egyptians, and so did Amasis' men against the foreigners. So they both came to Momemphis and were going to make trial of one another. 2.164. The Egyptians are divided into seven classes: priests, warriors, cowherds, swineherds, merchants, interpreters, and pilots. There are this many classes, each named after its occupation. ,The warriors are divided into Kalasiries and Hermotubies, and they belong to the following districts (for all divisions in Egypt are made according to districts). 2.165. The Hermotubies are from the districts of Busiris, Saïs, Khemmis, and Papremis, the island called Prosopitis, and half of Natho—from all of these; their number, at its greatest, attained to a hundred and sixty thousand. None of these has learned any common trade; they are free to follow the profession of arms alone. 2.166. The Kalasiries are from the districts of Thebes , Bubastis, Aphthis, Tanis, Mendes, Sebennys, Athribis, Pharbaïthis, Thmuis, Onuphis, Anytis, Myecphoris (this last is in an island opposite the city of Bubastis )— ,from all of these; their number, at its greatest, attained to two hundred and fifty thousand men. These too may practise no trade but war, which is their hereditary calling. 2.167. Now whether this, too, the Greeks have learned from the Egyptians, I cannot confidently judge. I know that in Thrace and Scythia and Persia and Lydia and nearly all foreign countries, those who learn trades are held in less esteem than the rest of the people, and those who have least to do with artisans' work, especially men who are free to practise the art of war, are highly honored. ,This much is certain: that this opinion, which is held by all Greeks and particularly by the Lacedaemonians, is of foreign origin. It is in Corinth that artisans are held in least contempt. 2.168. The warriors were the only Egyptians, except the priests, who had special privileges: for each of them an untaxed plot of twelve acres was set apart. This acre is a square of a hundred Egyptian cubits each way, the Egyptian cubit being equal to the Samian. ,These lands were set apart for all; it was never the same men who cultivated them, but each in turn. A thousand Kalasiries and as many Hermotubies were the king's annual bodyguard. These men, besides their lands, each received a daily provision of five minae's weight of roast grain, two minae of beef, and four cups of wine. These were the gifts received by each bodyguard. 2.169. When Apries with his guards and Amasis with the whole force of Egyptians came to the town of Momemphis, they engaged; and though the foreigners fought well, they were vastly outnumbered, and therefore were beaten. ,Apries, they say, supposed that not even a god could depose him from his throne, so firmly did he think he was established; and now, defeated in battle and taken captive, he was brought to Saïs, to the royal dwelling which belonged to him once but now belonged to Amasis. ,There, he was kept alive for a while in the palace and well treated by Amasis. But presently the Egyptians complained that there was no justice in keeping alive one who was their own and their king's bitterest enemy; whereupon Amasis gave Apries up to them, and they strangled him and then buried him in the burial-place of his fathers. ,This is in the temple of Athena, very near to the sanctuary, on the left of the entrance. The people of Saïs buried within the temple precinct all kings who were natives of their district. ,The tomb of Amasis is farther from the sanctuary than the tomb of Apries and his ancestors; yet it, too, is within the temple court; it is a great colonnade of stone, richly adorned, the pillars made in the form of palm trees. In this colonnade are two portals, and the place where the coffin lies is within their doors. 2.170. There is also at Saïs the burial-place of one whose name I think it impious to mention in speaking of such a matter; it is in the temple of Athena, behind and close to the length of the wall of the shrine. ,Moreover, great stone obelisks stand in the precinct; and there is a lake nearby, adorned with a stone margin and made in a complete circle; it is, as it seemed to me, the size of the lake at Delos which they call the Round Pond. 2.171. On this lake they enact by night the story of the god's sufferings, a rite which the Egyptians call the Mysteries. I could say more about this, for I know the truth, but let me preserve a discreet silence. ,Let me preserve a discreet silence, too, concerning that rite of Demeter which the Greeks call dateThesmophoria /date , except as much of it as I am not forbidden to mention. ,The daughters of Danaus were those who brought this rite out of Egypt and taught it to the Pelasgian women; afterwards, when the people of the Peloponnese were driven out by the Dorians, it was lost, except in so far as it was preserved by the Arcadians, the Peloponnesian people which was not driven out but left in its home. 2.172. After Apries was deposed, Amasis became king; he was from a town called Siuph in the district of Saïs. ,Now at first he was scorned and held in low regard by the Egyptians on the ground that he was a common man and of no high family; but presently he won them over by being shrewd and not arrogant. ,He had among his countless treasures a golden washbowl, in which he and all those who ate with him were accustomed to clean their feet. This he broke in pieces and out of it made a god's image, which he set in a most conspicuous spot in the city; and the Egyptians came frequently to this image and held it in great reverence. ,When Amasis learned what the townsfolk were doing, he called the Egyptians together and told them that the image had been made out of the washbowl, in which Egyptians had once vomited and urinated and cleaned their feet, but which now they greatly revered. ,“Now then,” he said, “I have fared like the washbowl, since if before I was a common man, still, I am your king now.” And he told them to honor and show respect for him. 2.173. The following was how he scheduled his affairs: in the morning, until the the hour when the marketplace filled, he readily conducted whatever business was brought to him; the rest of the day, he drank and joked at the expense of his companions and was idle and playful. ,But this displeased his friends, who admonished him thus: “O King, you do not conduct yourself well by indulging too much in vulgarity. You, a celebrated man, ought to conduct your business throughout the day, sitting on a celebrated throne; and thus the Egyptians would know that they are governed by a great man, and you would be better spoken of; as it is, what you do is by no means kingly.” ,But he answered them like this: “Men that have bows string them when they must use them, and unstring them when they have used them; were bows kept strung forever, they would break, and so could not be used when needed. ,Such, too, is the nature of man. Were one to be always at serious work and not permit oneself a bit of relaxation, he would go mad or idiotic before he knew it; I am well aware of that, and give each of the two its turn.” Such was his answer to his friends. 2.174. It is said that even when Amasis was a private man he was fond of drinking and joking and was not at all a sober man; and that when his drinking and pleasure-seeking cost him the bare necessities, he would go around stealing. Then when he contradicted those who said that he had their possessions, they would bring him to whatever place of divination was nearby, and sometimes the oracles declared him guilty and sometimes they acquitted him. ,When he became king, he did not take care of the shrines of the gods who had acquitted him of theft, or give them anything for maintece, or make it his practice to sacrifice there, for he knew them to be worthless and their oracles false; but he took scrupulous care of the gods who had declared his guilt, considering them to be gods in very deed and their oracles infallible. 2.175. Amasis made a marvellous outer court for the temple of Athena at Saïs, far surpassing all in its height and size, and in the size and quality of the stone blocks; moreover, he set up huge images and vast man-headed sphinxes, and brought enormous blocks of stone besides for the building. ,Some of these he brought from the stone quarries of Memphis ; the largest came from the city of Elephantine, twenty days' journey distant by river from Saïs. ,But what I admire most of his works is this: he brought from Elephantine a shrine made of one single block of stone; its transport took three years and two thousand men had the carriage of it, all of them pilots. This chamber is thirty-five feet long, twenty-three feet wide, thirteen feet high. ,These are the external dimensions of the chamber which is made of one block; its internal dimensions are: thirty-one feet long, twenty feet wide, eight feet high. It stands at the entrance of the temple; ,it was not dragged within (so they say) because while it was being drawn the chief builder complained aloud of the great expense of time and his loathing of the work, and Amasis taking this to heart would not let it be drawn further. Some also say that a man, one of those who heaved up the shrine, was crushed by it, and therefore it was not dragged within. 2.176. Furthermore, Amasis dedicated, besides monuments of marvellous size in all the other temples of note, the huge image that lies supine before Hephaestus' temple at Memphis ; this image is seventy-five feet in length; there stand on the same base, on either side of the great image, two huge statues hewn from the same block, each of them twenty feet high. ,There is at Saïs another stone figure of like size, supine as is the figure at Memphis . It was Amasis, too, who built the great and most marvellous temple of Isis at Memphis . 2.177. It is said that in the reign of Amasis Egypt attained to its greatest prosperity, in respect of what the river did for the land and the land for its people: and that the number of inhabited cities in the country was twenty thousand. ,It was Amasis also who made the law that every Egyptian declare his means of livelihood to the ruler of his district annually, and that omitting to do so or to prove that one had a legitimate livelihood be punishable with death. Solon the Athenian got this law from Egypt and established it among his people; may they always have it, for it is a perfect law. 2.178. Amasis became a philhellene, and besides other services which he did for some of the Greeks, he gave those who came to Egypt the city of Naucratis to live in; and to those who travelled to the country without wanting to settle there, he gave lands where they might set up altars and make holy places for their gods. ,of these the greatest and most famous and most visited precinct is that which is called the Hellenion, founded jointly by the Ionian cities of Chios, Teos, Phocaea, and Clazomenae, the Dorian cities of Rhodes, Cnidus, Halicarnassus, and Phaselis, and one Aeolian city, Mytilene . ,It is to these that the precinct belongs, and these are the cities that furnish overseers of the trading port; if any other cities advance claims, they claim what does not belong to them. The Aeginetans made a precinct of their own, sacred to Zeus; and so did the Samians for Hera and the Milesians for Apollo. 2.179. Naucratis was in the past the only trading port in Egypt . Whoever came to any other mouth of the Nile had to swear that he had not come intentionally, and had then to take his ship and sail to the Canobic mouth; or if he could not sail against contrary winds, he had to carry his cargo in barges around the Delta until he came to Naucratis . In such esteem was Naucratis held. 2.180. When the Amphictyons paid three hundred talents to have the temple that now stands at Delphi finished (as that which was formerly there burnt down by accident), it was the Delphians' lot to pay a fourth of the cost. ,They went about from city to city collecting gifts, and got most from Egypt ; for Amasis gave them a thousand talents' weight of astringent earth, and the Greek settlers in Egypt twenty minae. 2.181. Amasis made friends and allies of the people of Cyrene . And he decided to marry from there, either because he had his heart set on a Greek wife, or for the sake of the Corcyreans' friendship; ,in any case, he married a certain Ladice, said by some to be the daughter of Battus, of Arcesilaus by others, and by others again of Critobulus, an esteemed citizen of the place. But whenever Amasis lay with her, he became unable to have intercourse, though he managed with every other woman; ,and when this happened repeatedly, Amasis said to the woman called Ladice, “Woman, you have cast a spell on me, and there is no way that you shall avoid perishing the most wretchedly of all women.” ,So Ladice, when the king did not relent at all although she denied it, vowed in her heart to Aphrodite that, if Amasis could have intercourse with her that night, since that would remedy the problem, she would send a statue to Cyrene to her. And after the prayer, immediately, Amasis did have intercourse with her. And whenever Amasis came to her thereafter, he had intercourse, and he was very fond of her after this. ,Ladice paid her vow to the goddess; she had an image made and sent it to Cyrene, where it stood safe until my time, facing outside the city. Cambyses, when he had conquered Egypt and learned who Ladice was, sent her away to Cyrene unharmed. 2.182. Moreover, Amasis dedicated offerings in Hellas . He gave to Cyrene a gilt image of Athena and a painted picture of himself; to Athena of Lindus, two stone images and a marvellous linen breast-plate; and to Hera in Samos, two wooden statues of himself that were still standing in my time behind the doors in the great shrine. ,The offerings in Samos were dedicated because of the friendship between Amasis and Polycrates, son of Aeaces; what he gave to Lindus was not out of friendship for anyone, but because the temple of Athena in Lindus is said to have been founded by the daughters of Danaus, when they landed there in their flight from the sons of Egyptus. Such were Amasis' offerings. Moreover, he was the first conqueror of Cyprus, which he made tributary to himself. 3.17. After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians, against the Ammonians, and against the “long-lived” Ethiopians, who inhabit that part of Libya that is on the southern sea. ,He decided after consideration to send his fleet against the Carthaginians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would first send spies, to see what truth there was in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bringing gifts for the Ethiopian king. 3.18. Now the Table of the Sun is said to be something of this kind: there is a meadow outside the city, filled with the boiled flesh of all four-footed things; here during the night the men of authority among the townsmen are careful to set out the meat, and all day whoever wishes comes and feasts on it. These meats, say the people of the country, are ever produced by the earth of itself. Such is the story of the Sun's Table. 3.19. When Cambyses determined to send the spies, he sent for those Fish-eaters from the city of Elephantine who understood the Ethiopian language. ,While they were fetching them, he ordered his fleet to sail against Carthage . But the Phoenicians said they would not do it; for they were bound, they said, by strong oaths, and if they sailed against their own progeny they would be doing an impious thing; and the Phoenicians being unwilling, the rest were inadequate fighters. ,Thus the Carthaginians escaped being enslaved by the Persians; for Cambyses would not use force with the Phoenicians, seeing that they had willingly surrendered to the Persians, and the whole fleet drew its strength from them. The Cyprians too had come of their own accord to aid the Persians against Egypt . 3.20. When the Fish-eaters arrived from Elephantine at Cambyses' summons, he sent them to Ethiopia, with orders what to say, and bearing as gifts a red cloak and a twisted gold necklace and bracelets and an alabaster box of incense and an earthenware jar of palm wine. These Ethiopians, to whom Cambyses sent them, are said to be the tallest and most handsome of all men. ,Their way of choosing kings is different from that of all others, as (it is said) are all their laws; they consider that man worthy to be their king whom they judge to be tallest and to have strength proportional to his stature. 3.21. When the Fish-eaters arrived among these men, they gave the gifts to their king and said: “Cambyses, the king of the Persians, wishing to become your friend and ally, sent us with orders to address ourselves to you; and he offers you as gifts these things which he enjoys using himself.” ,But the Ethiopian, perceiving that they had come as spies, spoke thus to them: “It is not because he values my friendship that the Persian King sends you with gifts, nor do you speak the truth (for you have come to spy on my realm), nor is that man just; for were he just, he would not have coveted a land other than his own, nor would he try to lead into slavery men by whom he has not been injured. Now, give him this bow, and this message: ,‘The King of the Ethiopians advises the King of the Persians to bring overwhelming odds to attack the long-lived Ethiopians when the Persians can draw a bow of this length as easily as I do; but until then, to thank the gods who do not incite the sons of the Ethiopians to add other land to their own.’” 3.22. So speaking he unstrung the bow and gave it to the men who had come. Then, taking the red cloak, he asked what it was and how it was made; and when the Fish-eaters told him the truth about the color and the process of dyeing, he said that both the men and their garments were full of deceit. ,Next he inquired about the twisted gold necklace and the bracelets; and when the Fish-eaters told him how they were made, the king smiled, and, thinking them to be fetters, said: “We have stronger chains than these.” ,Thirdly he inquired about the incense; and when they described making and applying it, he made the same reply as about the cloak. But when he came to the wine and asked about its making, he was vastly pleased with the drink, and asked further what food their king ate, and what was the greatest age to which a Persian lived. ,They told him their king ate bread, showing him how wheat grew; and said that the full age to which a man might hope to live was eighty years. Then, said the Ethiopian, it was no wonder that they lived so few years, if they ate dung; they would not even have been able to live that many unless they were refreshed by the drink—signifying to the Fish-eaters the wine—for in this, he said, the Persians excelled the Ethiopians. 3.23. The Fish-eaters then in turn asking of the Ethiopian length of life and diet, he said that most of them attained to a hundred and twenty years, and some even to more; their food was boiled meat and their drink milk. ,The spies showed wonder at the tale of years; whereupon he led them, it is said, to a spring, by washing in which they grew sleeker, as though it were of oil; and it smelled of violets. ,So light, the spies said, was this water, that nothing would float on it, neither wood nor anything lighter than wood, but all sank to the bottom. If this water is truly such as they say, it is likely that their constant use of it makes the people long-lived. ,When they left the spring, the king led them to a prison where all the men were bound with fetters of gold. Among these Ethiopians there is nothing so scarce and so precious as bronze. Then, having seen the prison, they saw what is called the Table of the Sun. 3.24. Last after this they viewed the Ethiopian coffins; these are said to be made of alabaster, as I shall describe: ,they cause the dead body to shrink, either as the Egyptians do or in some other way, then cover it with gypsum and paint it all as far as possible in the likeness of the living man; ,then they set it within a hollow pillar of alabaster, which they dig in abundance from the ground, and it is easily worked; the body can be seen in the pillar through the alabaster, no evil stench nor anything unpleasant proceeding from it, and showing clearly all its parts, as if it were the man himself. ,The nearest of kin keep the pillar in their house for a year, giving it of the first-fruits and offering it sacrifices; after which they bring the pillars out and set them round about the city. 3.25. Having seen everything, the spies departed again. When they reported all this, Cambyses was angry, and marched at once against the Ethiopians, neither giving directions for any provision of food nor considering that he was about to lead his army to the ends of the earth; ,being not in his right mind but mad, however, he marched at once on hearing from the Fish-eaters, ordering the Greeks who were with him to await him where they were, and taking with him all his land army. ,When he came in his march to Thebes , he detached about fifty thousand men from his army, and directed them to enslave the Ammonians and burn the oracle of Zeus; and he himself went on towards Ethiopia with the rest of his host. ,But before his army had accomplished the fifth part of their journey they had come to an end of all there was in the way of provision, and after the food was gone, they ate the beasts of burden until there was none of these left either. ,Now had Cambyses, when he perceived this, changed his mind and led his army back again, he would have been a wise man at last after his first fault; but as it was, he went ever forward, taking account of nothing. ,While his soldiers could get anything from the earth, they kept themselves alive by eating grass; but when they came to the sandy desert, some did a terrible thing, taking by lot one man out of ten and eating him. ,Hearing this, Cambyses feared their becoming cannibals, and so gave up his expedition against the Ethiopians and marched back to Thebes , with the loss of many of his army; from Thebes he came down to Memphis, and sent the Greeks to sail away. 3.26. So fared the expedition against Ethiopia . As for those who were sent to march against the Ammonians, they set out and journeyed from Thebes with guides; and it is known that they came to the city of Oasis, inhabited by Samians said to be of the Aeschrionian tribe, seven days' march from Thebes across sandy desert; this place is called, in the Greek language, Islands of the Blest. ,Thus far, it is said, the army came; after that, except for the Ammonians themselves and those who heard from them, no man can say anything of them; for they neither reached the Ammonians nor returned back. ,But this is what the Ammonians themselves say: when the Persians were crossing the sand from Oasis to attack them, and were about midway between their country and Oasis, while they were breakfasting a great and violent south wind arose, which buried them in the masses of sand which it bore; and so they disappeared from sight. Such is the Ammonian tale about this army. 3.98. All this abundance of gold, from which the Indians send the aforementioned gold-dust to the king, they obtain in the following way. ,To the east of the Indian country is sand. of all the people of Asia whom we know - even those about whom something is said with precision - the Indians dwell nearest to the dawn and the rising sun; for on the eastern side of India all is desolate because of the sand. ,There are many Indian nations, none speaking the same language; some of them are nomads, some not; some dwell in the river marshes and live on raw fish, which they catch from reed boats. Each boat is made of one joint of reed. ,These Indians wear clothes of bullrushes; they mow and cut these from the river, then weave them crosswise like a mat, and wear them like a breastplate. 3.99. Other Indians, to the east of these, are nomads and eat raw flesh; they are called Padaei. It is said to be their custom that when anyone of their fellows, whether man or woman, is sick, a man's closest friends kill him, saying that if wasted by disease he will be lost to them as meat; though he denies that he is sick, they will not believe him, but kill and eat him. ,When a woman is sick, she is put to death like the men by the women who are her close acquaintances. As for one that has come to old age, they sacrifice him and feast on his flesh; but not many reach this reckoning, for before that everyone who falls ill they kill. 3.100. There are other Indians, again, who kill no living creature, nor plant anything, nor are accustomed to have houses; they eat grass, and they have a grain growing naturally from the earth in its husk, about the size of a millet-seed, which they gather with the husk and boil and eat. When any one of them falls sick, he goes into the desert and lies there, and no one notices whether he is sick or dies. 3.101. These Indians whom I have described have intercourse openly like cattle; they are all black-skinned, like the Ethiopians. ,Their semen too, which they ejaculate into the women, is not white like other men's, but black like their skin, and resembles in this respect that of the Ethiopians. These Indians dwell far away from the Persians southwards, and were not subjects of King Darius. 3.102. Other Indians dwell near the town of Caspatyrus and the Pactyic country, north of the rest of India ; these live like the Bactrians; they are of all Indians the most warlike, and it is they who are sent for the gold; for in these parts all is desolate because of the sand. ,In this sandy desert are ants, not as big as dogs but bigger than foxes; the Persian king has some of these, which have been caught there. These ants live underground, digging out the sand in the same way as the ants in Greece, to which they are very similar in shape, and the sand which they carry from the holes is full of gold. ,It is for this sand that the Indians set forth into the desert. They harness three camels apiece, males on either side sharing the drawing, and a female in the middle: the man himself rides on the female, that when harnessed has been taken away from as young an offspring as may be. Their camels are as swift as horses, and much better able to bear burdens besides. 3.103. I do not describe the camel's appearance to Greeks, for they know it; but I shall tell them something that they do not know concerning it: the hindlegs of the camel have four thighbones and four knee-joints; its genitals are turned towards the tail between the hindlegs. 3.104. Thus and with teams so harnessed the Indians ride after the gold, being careful to be engaged in taking it when the heat is greatest; for the ants are then out of sight underground. ,Now in these parts the sun is hottest in the morning, not at midday as elsewhere, but from sunrise to the hour of market-closing. Through these hours it is much hotter than in Hellas at noon, so that men are said to sprinkle themselves with water at this time. ,At midday the sun's heat is nearly the same in India as elsewhere. As it goes to afternoon, the sun of India has the power of the morning sun in other lands; as day declines it becomes ever cooler, until at sunset it is exceedingly cold. 3.105. So when the Indians come to the place with their sacks, they fill these with the sand and drive back as fast as possible; for the ants at once scent them out, the Persians say, and give chase. They say nothing is equal to them for speed, so that unless the Indians have a headstart while the ants were gathering, not one of them would get away. ,They cut loose the male trace-camels, which are slower than the females, as they begin to lag, one at a time; the mares never tire, for they remember the young that they have left. Such is the tale. Most of the gold (say the Persians) is got in this way by the Indians; they dig some from mines in their country, too, but it is less abundant. 3.139. After this, King Darius conquered Samos, the greatest of all city states, Greek or barbarian, the reason for his conquest being this: when Cambyses, son of Cyrus, invaded Egypt, many Greeks came with the army, some to trade, as was natural, and some to see the country itself; among them was Syloson, son of Aeaces, who was Polycrates' brother and in exile from Samos . ,This Syloson had a stroke of good luck. He was in the market at Memphis wearing a red cloak, when Darius, at that time one of Cambyses' guard and as yet a man of no great importance, saw him, and coveting the cloak came and tried to buy it. ,When Syloson saw Darius' eagerness, by good luck he said, “I will not sell this for any money, but I give it to you free if you must have it so much.” Extolling this, Darius accepted the garment. 4.1. After taking Babylon, Darius himself marched against the Scythians. For since Asia was bursting with men and vast revenues were coming in, Darius desired to punish the Scythians for the wrong they had begun when they invaded Media first and defeated those who opposed them in battle. ,For the Scythians, as I have said before, ruled upper Asia for twenty-eight years; they invaded Asia in their pursuit of the Cimmerians, and ended the power of the Medes, who were the rulers of Asia before the Scythians came. ,But when the Scythians had been away from their homes for twenty-eight years and returned to their country after so long an absence, as much trouble as their Median war awaited them. They found themselves opposed by a great force; for the Scythian women, when their husbands were away for so long, turned to their slaves. 4.2. Now the Scythians blind all their slaves, because of the milk they drink; and this is how they get it: taking tubes of bone very much like flutes, they insert these into the genitalia of the mares and blow into them, some blowing while others milk. According to them, their reason for doing this is that blowing makes the mare's veins swell and her udder drop. ,When done milking, they pour the milk into deep wooden buckets, and make their slaves stand around the buckets and shake the milk; they draw off what stands on the surface and value this most; what lies at the bottom is less valued. This is why the Scythians blind all prisoners whom they take: for they do not cultivate the soil, but are nomads. 4.3. So it came about that a younger generation grew up, born of these slaves and the women; and when the youths learned of their parentage, they came out to fight the Scythians returning from Media. ,First they barred the way to their country by digging a wide trench from the Tauric mountains to the broadest part of the Maeetian lake; and then, when the Scythians tried to force a passage, they camped opposite them and engaged them in battle. ,There were many fights, and the Scythians could gain no advantage; at last one of them said, “Men of Scythia, look at what we are doing! We are fighting our own slaves; they kill us, and we grow fewer; we kill them, and shall have fewer slaves. ,Now, then, my opinion is that we should drop our spears and bows, and meet them with horsewhips in our hands. As long as they see us armed, they imagine that they are our equals and the sons of our equals; let them see us with whips and no weapons, and they will perceive that they are our slaves; and taking this to heart they will not face our attack.” 4.4. The Scythians heard this and acted on it; and their enemies, stunned by what they saw, did not think of fighting, but fled. Thus, the Scythians ruled Asia and were driven out again by the Medes, and returned to their own country in such a way. Desiring to punish them for what they had done, Darius assembled an army against them. 4.5. The Scythians say that their nation is the youngest in the world, and that it came into being in this way. A man whose name was Targitaüs appeared in this country, which was then desolate. They say that his parents were Zeus and a daughter of the Borysthenes river (I do not believe the story, but it is told). ,Such was Targitaüs' lineage; and he had three sons: Lipoxaïs, Arpoxaïs, and Colaxaïs, youngest of the three. ,In the time of their rule (the story goes) certain implements—namely, a plough, a yoke, a sword, and a flask, all of gold—fell down from the sky into Scythia . The eldest of them, seeing these, approached them meaning to take them; but the gold began to burn as he neared, and he stopped. ,Then the second approached, and the gold did as before. When these two had been driven back by the burning gold, the youngest brother approached and the burning stopped, and he took the gold to his own house. In view of this, the elder brothers agreed to give all the royal power to the youngest. 4.6. Lipoxaïs, it is said, was the father of the Scythian clan called Auchatae; Arpoxaïs, the second brother, of those called Katiari and Traspians; the youngest, who was king, of those called Paralatae. ,All these together bear the name of Skoloti, after their king; “Scythians” is the name given them by Greeks. This, then, is the Scythians' account of their origin 4.7. and they say that neither more nor less than a thousand years in all passed from the time of their first king Targitaüs to the entry of Darius into their country. The kings guard this sacred gold very closely, and every year offer solemn sacrifices of propitiation to it. ,Whoever falls asleep at this festival in the open air, having the sacred gold with him, is said by the Scythians not to live out the year; for which reason (they say) as much land as he can ride round in one day is given to him. Because of the great size of the country, the lordships that Colaxaïs established for his sons were three, one of which, where they keep the gold, was the greatest. ,Above and north of the neighbors of their country no one (they say) can see or travel further, because of showers of feathers; for earth and sky are full of feathers, and these hinder sight. 4.8. This is what the Scythians say about themselves and the country north of them. But the story told by the Greeks who live in Pontus is as follows. Heracles, driving the cattle of Geryones, came to this land, which was then desolate, but is now inhabited by the Scythians. ,Geryones lived west of the Pontus, settled in the island called by the Greeks Erythea, on the shore of Ocean near Gadira, outside the pillars of Heracles. As for Ocean, the Greeks say that it flows around the whole world from where the sun rises, but they cannot prove that this is so. ,Heracles came from there to the country now called Scythia, where, encountering wintry and frosty weather, he drew his lion's skin over him and fell asleep, and while he slept his mares, which were grazing yoked to the chariot, were spirited away by divine fortune. 4.9. When Heracles awoke, he searched for them, visiting every part of the country, until at last he came to the land called the Woodland, and there he found in a cave a creature of double form that was half maiden and half serpent; above the buttocks she was a woman, below them a snake. ,When he saw her he was astonished, and asked her if she had seen his mares straying; she said that she had them, and would not return them to him before he had intercourse with her; Heracles did, in hope of this reward. ,But though he was anxious to take the horses and go, she delayed returning them, so that she might have Heracles with her for as long as possible; at last she gave them back, telling him, “These mares came, and I kept them safe here for you, and you have paid me for keeping them, for I have three sons by you. ,Now tell me what I am to do when they are grown up: shall I keep them here (since I am queen of this country), or shall I send them away to you?” Thus she inquired, and then (it is said) Heracles answered: ,“When you see the boys are grown up, do as follows and you will do rightly: whichever of them you see bending this bow and wearing this belt so, make him an inhabitant of this land; but whoever falls short of these accomplishments that I require, send him away out of the country. Do so and you shall yourself have comfort, and my will shall be done.” 4.10. So he drew one of his bows (for until then Heracles always carried two), and showed her the belt, and gave her the bow and the belt, that had a golden vessel on the end of its clasp; and, having given them, he departed. But when the sons born to her were grown men, she gave them names, calling one of them Agathyrsus and the next Gelonus and the youngest Scythes; furthermore, remembering the instructions, she did as she was told. ,Two of her sons, Agathyrsus and Gelonus, were cast out by their mother and left the country, unable to fulfill the requirements set; but Scythes, the youngest, fulfilled them and so stayed in the land. ,From Scythes son of Heracles comes the whole line of the kings of Scythia ; and it is because of the vessel that the Scythians carry vessels on their belts to this day. This alone his mother did for Scythes. This is what the Greek dwellers in Pontus say. 4.11. There is yet another story, to which account I myself especially incline. It is to this effect. The nomadic Scythians inhabiting Asia, when hard pressed in war by the Massagetae, fled across the Araxes river to the Cimmerian country (for the country which the Scythians now inhabit is said to have belonged to the Cimmerians before),,and the Cimmerians, at the advance of the Scythians, deliberated as men threatened by a great force should. Opinions were divided; both were strongly held, but that of the princes was the more honorable; for the people believed that their part was to withdraw and that there was no need to risk their lives for the dust of the earth; but the princes were for fighting to defend their country against the attackers. ,Neither side could persuade the other, neither the people the princes nor the princes the people; the one party planned to depart without fighting and leave the country to their enemies, but the princes were determined to lie dead in their own country and not to flee with the people, for they considered how happy their situation had been and what ills were likely to come upon them if they fled from their native land. ,Having made up their minds, the princes separated into two equal bands and fought with each other until they were all killed by each other's hands; then the Cimmerian people buried them by the Tyras river, where their tombs are still to be seen, and having buried them left the land; and the Scythians came and took possession of the country left empty. 4.13. There is also a story related in a poem by Aristeas son of Caüstrobius, a man of Proconnesus . This Aristeas, possessed by Phoebus, visited the Issedones; beyond these (he said) live the one-eyed Arimaspians, beyond whom are the griffins that guard gold, and beyond these again the Hyperboreans, whose territory reaches to the sea. ,Except for the Hyperboreans, all these nations (and first the Arimaspians) are always at war with their neighbors; the Issedones were pushed from their lands by the Arimaspians, and the Scythians by the Issedones, and the Cimmerians, living by the southern sea, were hard pressed by the Scythians and left their country. Thus Aristeas' story does not agree with the Scythian account about this country. 4.14. Where Aristeas who wrote this came from, I have already said; I will tell the story that I heard about him at Proconnesus and Cyzicus . It is said that this Aristeas, who was as well-born as any of his townsfolk, went into a fuller's shop at Proconnesus and there died; the owner shut his shop and went away to tell the dead man's relatives, ,and the report of Aristeas' death being spread about in the city was disputed by a man of Cyzicus, who had come from the town of Artace, and said that he had met Aristeas going toward Cyzicus and spoken with him. While he argued vehemently, the relatives of the dead man came to the fuller's shop with all that was necessary for burial; ,but when the place was opened, there was no Aristeas there, dead or alive. But in the seventh year after that, Aristeas appeared at Proconnesus and made that poem which the Greeks now call the titleArimaspea /title, after which he vanished once again. 4.15. Such is the tale told in these two towns. But this, I know, happened to the Metapontines in Italy, two hundred and forty years after the second disappearance of Aristeas, as reckoning made at Proconnesus and Metapontum shows me: ,Aristeas, so the Metapontines say, appeared in their country and told them to set up an altar to Apollo, and set beside it a statue bearing the name of Aristeas the Proconnesian; for, he said, Apollo had come to their country alone of all Italian lands, and he—the man who was now Aristeas, but then when he followed the god had been a crow—had come with him. ,After saying this, he vanished. The Metapontines, so they say, sent to Delphi and asked the god what the vision of the man could mean; and the Pythian priestess told them to obey the vision, saying that their fortune would be better. ,They did as instructed. And now there stands beside the image of Apollo a statue bearing the name of Aristeas; a grove of bay-trees surrounds it; the image is set in the marketplace. Let it suffice that I have said this much about Aristeas. 4.16. As for the land of which my history has begun to speak, no one exactly knows what lies north of it; for I can find out from no one who claims to know as an eyewitness. For even Aristeas, whom I recently mentioned—even he did not claim to have gone beyond the Issedones, even though a poet; but he spoke by hearsay of what lay north, saying that the Issedones had told him. ,But all that we have been able to learn for certain by report of the farthest lands shall be told. 4.17. North of the port of the Borysthenites, which lies midway along the coast of Scythia, the first inhabitants are the Callippidae, who are Scythian Greeks; and beyond them another tribe called Alazones; these and the Callippidae, though in other ways they live like the Scythians, plant and eat grain, onions, garlic, lentils, and millet. ,Above the Alazones live Scythian farmers, who plant grain not to eat but to sell; north of these, the Neuri; north of the Neuri, the land is uninhabited so far as we know. 4.18. These are the tribes by the Hypanis river, west of the Borysthenes . But on the other side of the Borysthenes, the tribe nearest to the sea is the tribe of the Woodlands; and north of these live Scythian farmers, whom the Greek colonists on the Hypanis river (who call themselves Olbiopolitae) call Borystheneïtae. ,These farming Scythians inhabit a land stretching east a three days' journey to a river called Panticapes, and north as far as an eleven days' voyage up the Borysthenes ; and north of these the land is desolate for a long way; ,after the desolation is the country of the Man-eaters, who are a nation apart and by no means Scythian; and beyond them is true desolation, where no nation of men lives, as far as we know. 4.19. But to the east of these farming Scythians, across the Panticapes river, you are in the land of nomadic Scythians, who plant nothing, nor plough; and all these lands except the Woodlands are bare of trees. These nomads inhabit a country to the east that stretches fourteen days' journey to the Gerrus river. 4.20. Across the Gerrus are those lands called Royal, where the best and most numerous of the Scythians are, who consider all other Scythians their slaves; their territory stretches south to the Tauric land, and east to the trench that was dug by the sons of the blind men, and to the port called The Cliffs on the Maeetian lake; and part of it stretches to the Tanaïs river. ,North of the Royal Scythians live the Blackcloaks, who are of another and not a Scythian stock; and beyond the Blackcloaks the land is all marshes and uninhabited by men, so far as we know. 4.21. Across the Tanaïs it is no longer Scythia; the first of the districts belongs to the Sauromatae, whose country begins at the inner end of the Maeetian lake and stretches fifteen days' journey north, and is quite bare of both wild and cultivated trees. Above these in the second district, the Budini inhabit a country thickly overgrown with trees of all kinds. 4.22. North of the Budini the land is uninhabited for seven days' journey; after this desolation, and somewhat more toward the east wind, live the Thyssagetae, a numerous and a separate nation, who live by hunting. ,Adjoining these and in the same country live the people called Iyrkae; these also live by hunting, in the way that I will describe. The hunter climbs a tree, and sits there concealed; for trees grow thickly all over the land; and each man has his horse at hand, trained to flatten on its belly for the sake of lowness, and his dog; and when he sees the quarry from the tree, he shoots with the bow and mounts his horse and pursues it, and the dog follows close behind. ,Beyond these and somewhat to the east live Scythians again, who revolted from the Royal Scythians and came to this country. 4.23. As for the countryside of these Scythians, all the land mentioned up to this point is level and its soil deep; but thereafter it is stony and rough. ,After a long journey through this rough country, there are men inhabiting the foothills of high mountains, who are said to be bald from birth (male and female alike) and snub-nosed and with long beards; they speak their own language, and wear Scythian clothing, and their food comes from trees. ,The tree by which they live is called “Pontic”; it is about the size of a fig-tree, and bears a fruit as big as a bean, with a stone in it. When this fruit is ripe, they strain it through cloth, and a thick black liquid comes from it, which they call “aschu”; they lick this up or drink it mixed with milk, and from the thickest lees of it they make cakes, and eat them. ,They have few cattle, for the pasture in their land is not good. They each live under a tree, covering it in winter with a white felt cloth, but using no felt in summer. ,These people are wronged by no man, for they are said to be sacred; nor have they any weapon of war. They judge the quarrels between their neighbors; furthermore, whatever banished man has taken refuge with them is wronged by no one. They are called Argippeans. 4.24. Now as far as the land of these bald men, we have full knowledge of the country and the nations on the near side of them; for some of the Scythians make their way to them, from whom it is easy to get knowledge, and from some of the Greeks, too, from the Borysthenes port and the other ports of Pontus; such Scythians as visit them transact their business with seven interpreters and in seven languages. 4.25. As far as these men this country is known, then, but what lies north of the bald men no one can say with exact knowledge; for high and impassable mountains bar the way, and no one crosses them. These bald men say (although I do not believe them) that the mountains are inhabited by men with goats' feet, and that beyond these are men who sleep for six months of the twelve. This I cannot accept as true at all. ,But the country east of the bald-heads is known for certain to be inhabited by the Issedones; however, of what lies north either of the bald-heads or the Issedones we have no knowledge, except what comes from the report of these latter. 4.26. It is said to be the custom of the Issedones that, whenever a man's father dies, all the nearest of kin bring beasts of the flock and, having killed these and cut up the flesh, they also cut up the dead father of their host, and set out all the flesh mixed together for a feast. ,As for his head, they strip it bare and clean and gild it, and keep it for a sacred relic, to which they offer solemn sacrifice yearly. Every son does this for his father, just like the Greeks in their festivals in honor of the dead. In other respects, these are said to be a law-abiding people, too, and the women to have equal power with the men. 4.27. of these too, then, we have knowledge; but as for what is north of them, it is from the Issedones that the tale comes of the one-eyed men and the griffins that guard gold; this is told by the Scythians, who have heard it from them; and we have taken it as true from the Scythians, and call these people by the Scythian name, Arimaspians; for in the Scythian tongue “arima” is one, and “spou” is the eye. 4.28. All the aforesaid country is exceedingly cold: for eight months of every year there is unbearable frost, and during these you do not make mud by pouring out water but by lighting a fire; the sea freezes, as does all the Cimmerian Bosporus; and the Scythians living on this side of the trench lead armies over the ice, and drive their wagons across to the land of the Sindi. ,So it is winter for eight months, and cold in that country for the four that remain. Here, there is a different sort of winter than the winters in other lands: for in the season for rain scarcely any falls, but all summer it rains unceasingly; ,and when there are thunderstorms in other lands, here there are none, but in summer there are plenty of them; if there is a thunderstorm in winter they are apt to wonder at it as at a portent. And so, too, if there is an earthquake summer or winter, it is considered a portent in Scythia. ,Horses have the endurance to bear the Scythian winter; mules and asses cannot bear it at all; and yet in other lands, while asses and mules can endure frost, horses that stand in it are frostbitten. 4.29. And in my opinion it is for this reason that the hornless kind of cattle grow no horns in Scythia. A verse of Homer in the titleOdyssey /title attests to my opinion: cit quote l met="dact"“Libya, the land where lambs are born with horns on their foreheads,” /l /quote biblHom. Od. 4.85 /bibl /citin which it is correctly observed that in hot countries the horns grow quickly, whereas in very cold countries beasts hardly grow horns, or not at all. 4.30. In Scythia, then, this happens because of the cold. But I think it strange (for it was always the way of my history to investigate excurses) that in the whole of Elis no mules can be conceived although the country is not cold, nor is there any evident cause. The Eleans themselves say that it is because of a curse that mules cannot be conceived among them; ,but whenever the season is at hand for the mares to conceive, they drive them into the countries of their neighbors, and then send the asses after them, until the mares are pregt, and then they drive them home again. 4.31. But regarding the feathers of which the Scythians say that the air is full, so thickly that no one can see or traverse the land beyond, I have this opinion. North of that country snow falls continually, though less in summer than in winter, as is to be expected. ,Whoever has seen snow falling thickly near him knows himself my meaning; for snow is like feathers; and because of the winter, which is as I have said, the regions to the north of this continent are uninhabited. I think therefore that in this story of feathers the Scythians and their neighbors only speak of snow figuratively. So, then, I have spoken of those parts that are said to be most distant. 4.32. Concerning the Hyperborean people, neither the Scythians nor any other inhabitants of these lands tell us anything, except perhaps the Issedones. And, I think, even they say nothing; for if they did, then the Scythians, too, would have told, just as they tell of the one-eyed men. But Hesiod speaks of Hyperboreans, and Homer too in his poem titleThe Heroes' Sons /title, if that is truly the work of Homer. 4.33. But the Delians say much more about them than any others do. They say that offerings wrapped in straw are brought from the Hyperboreans to Scythia; when these have passed Scythia, each nation in turn receives them from its neighbors until they are carried to the Adriatic sea, which is the most westerly limit of their journey; ,from there, they are brought on to the south, the people of Dodona being the first Greeks to receive them. From Dodona they come down to the Melian gulf, and are carried across to Euboea, and one city sends them on to another until they come to Carystus; after this, Andros is left out of their journey, for Carystians carry them to Tenos, and Tenians to Delos. ,Thus (they say) these offerings come to Delos. But on the first journey, the Hyperboreans sent two maidens bearing the offerings, to whom the Delians give the names Hyperoche and Laodice, and five men of their people with them as escort for safe conduct, those who are now called Perpherees and greatly honored at Delos. ,But when those whom they sent never returned, they took it amiss that they should be condemned always to be sending people and not getting them back, and so they carry the offerings, wrapped in straw, to their borders, and tell their neighbors to send them on from their own country to the next; ,and the offerings, it is said, come by this conveyance to Delos. I can say of my own knowledge that there is a custom like these offerings; namely, that when the Thracian and Paeonian women sacrifice to the Royal Artemis, they have straw with them while they sacrifice. 4.34. I know that they do this. The Delian girls and boys cut their hair in honor of these Hyperborean maidens, who died at Delos; the girls before their marriage cut off a tress and lay it on the tomb, wound around a spindle ,(this tomb is at the foot of an olive-tree, on the left hand of the entrance of the temple of Artemis); the Delian boys twine some of their hair around a green stalk, and lay it on the tomb likewise. 4.35. In this way, then, these maidens are honored by the inhabitants of Delos. These same Delians relate that two virgins, Arge and Opis, came from the Hyperboreans by way of the aforesaid peoples to Delos earlier than Hyperoche and Laodice; ,these latter came to bring to Eileithyia the tribute which they had agreed to pay for easing child-bearing; but Arge and Opis, they say, came with the gods themselves, and received honors of their own from the Delians. ,For the women collected gifts for them, calling upon their names in the hymn made for them by Olen of Lycia; it was from Delos that the islanders and Ionians learned to sing hymns to Opis and Arge, calling upon their names and collecting gifts (this Olen, after coming from Lycia, also made the other and ancient hymns that are sung at Delos). ,Furthermore, they say that when the thighbones are burnt in sacrifice on the altar, the ashes are all cast on the burial-place of Opis and Arge, behind the temple of Artemis, looking east, nearest the refectory of the people of Ceos. 4.36. I have said this much of the Hyperboreans, and let it suffice; for I do not tell the story of that Abaris, alleged to be a Hyperborean, who carried the arrow over the whole world, fasting all the while. But if there are men beyond the north wind, then there are others beyond the south. ,And I laugh to see how many have before now drawn maps of the world, not one of them reasonably; for they draw the world as round as if fashioned by compasses, encircled by the Ocean river, and Asia and Europe of a like extent. For myself, I will in a few words indicate the extent of the two, and how each should be drawn. 4.37. The land where the Persians live extends to the southern sea which is called Red; beyond these to the north are the Medes, and beyond the Medes the Saspires, and beyond the Saspires the Colchians, whose country extends to the northern sea into which the Phasis river flows; so these four nations live between the one sea and the other. 4.38. But west of this region two peninsulas stretch out from it into the sea, which I will now describe. ,On the north side one of the peninsulas begins at the Phasis and stretches seaward along the Pontus and the Hellespont, as far as Sigeum in the Troad; on the south side, the same peninsula has a seacoast beginning at the Myriandric gulf that is near Phoenicia, and stretching seaward as far as the Triopian headland. On this peninsula live thirty nations. 4.39. This is the first peninsula. But the second, beginning with Persia, stretches to the Red Sea, and is Persian land; and next, the neighboring land of Assyria; and after Assyria, Arabia; this peninsula ends (not truly but only by common consent) at the Arabian Gulf, to which Darius brought a canal from the Nile. ,Now from the Persian country to Phoenicia there is a wide and vast tract of land; and from Phoenicia this peninsula runs beside our sea by way of the Syrian Palestine and Egypt, which is at the end of it; in this peninsula there are just three nations. 4.40. So much for the parts of Asia west of the Persians. But what is beyond the Persians, and Medes, and Saspires, and Colchians, east and toward the rising sun, this is bounded on the one hand by the Red Sea, and to the north by the Caspian Sea and the Araxes river, which flows toward the sun's rising. ,As far as India, Asia is an inhabited land; but thereafter, all to the east is desolation, nor can anyone say what kind of land is there. 4.41. Such is Asia, and such its extent. But Libya is on this second peninsula; for Libya comes next after Egypt. The Egyptian part of this peninsula is narrow; for from our sea to the Red Sea it is a distance of a hundred and twenty-five miles; that is, a thousand stades; but after this narrow part, the peninsula which is called Libya is very broad. 4.42. I wonder, then, at those who have mapped out and divided the world into Libya, Asia, and Europe; for the difference between them is great, seeing that in length Europe stretches along both the others together, and it appears to me to be wider beyond all comparison. ,For Libya shows clearly that it is bounded by the sea, except where it borders on Asia. Necos king of Egypt first discovered this and made it known. When he had finished digging the canal which leads from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf, he sent Phoenicians in ships, instructing them to sail on their return voyage past the Pillars of Heracles until they came into the northern sea and so to Egypt. ,So the Phoenicians set out from the Red Sea and sailed the southern sea; whenever autumn came they would put in and plant the land in whatever part of Libya they had reached, and there await the harvest; ,then, having gathered the crop, they sailed on, so that after two years had passed, it was in the third that they rounded the pillars of Heracles and came to Egypt. There they said (what some may believe, though I do not) that in sailing around Libya they had the sun on their right hand. 4.43. Thus was the first knowledge of Libya gained. The next story is that of the Carthaginians: for as for Sataspes son of Teaspes, an Achaemenid, he did not sail around Libya, although he was sent for that purpose; but he feared the length and loneliness of the voyage and so returned without accomplishing the task laid upon him by his mother. ,For he had raped the virgin daughter of Zopyrus son of Megabyzus; and when on this charge he was to be impaled by King Xerxes, Sataspes' mother, who was Darius' sister, interceded for his life, saying that she would impose a heavier punishment on him than Xerxes; ,for he would be compelled to sail around Libya, until he completed his voyage and came to the Arabian Gulf. Xerxes agreed to this, and Sataspes went to Egypt where he received a ship and a crew from the Egyptians, and sailed past the Pillars of Heracles. ,Having sailed out beyond them, and rounded the Libyan promontory called Solois, he sailed south; but when he had been many months sailing over the sea, and always more before him, he turned back and made sail for Egypt. ,Coming to King Xerxes from there, he related in his narrative that, when he was farthest distant, he sailed by a country of little men, who wore palm-leaf clothing; these, whenever he and his men put in to land with their ship, left their towns and fled to the hills; he and his men did no harm when they landed, and took nothing from the people except cattle. ,As to his not sailing completely around Libya, the reason (he said) was that the ship could move no farther, but was stopped. But Xerxes did not believe that Sataspes spoke the truth, and, as the task appointed was unfulfilled, he impaled him, punishing him on the charge first brought against him. ,This Sataspes had a eunuch, who as soon as he heard of his master's death escaped to Samos, with a great hoard of wealth, of which a man of Samos got possession. I know the man's name but deliberately omit it. 4.44. But as to Asia, most of it was discovered by Darius. There is a river, Indus, second of all rivers in the production of crocodiles. Darius, desiring to know where this Indus empties into the sea, sent ships manned by Scylax, a man of Caryanda, and others whose word he trusted; ,these set out from the city of Caspatyrus and the Pactyic country, and sailed down the river toward the east and the sunrise until they came to the sea; and voyaging over the sea west, they came in the thirtieth month to that place from which the Egyptian king sent the above-mentioned Phoenicians to sail around Libya. ,After this circumnavigation, Darius subjugated the Indians and made use of this sea. Thus it was discovered that Asia, except the parts toward the rising sun, was in other respects like Libya. 4.45. But it is plain that none have obtained knowledge of Europe's eastern or northern regions, so as to be able say if it is bounded by seas; its length is known to be enough to stretch along both Asia and Libya. ,I cannot guess for what reason the earth, which is one, has three names, all women's, and why the boundary lines set for it are the Egyptian Nile river and the Colchian Phasis river (though some say that the Maeetian Tanaïs river and the Cimmerian Ferries are boundaries); and I cannot learn the names of those who divided the world, or where they got the names which they used. ,For Libya is said by most Greeks to be named after a native woman of that name, and Asia after the wife of Prometheus; yet the Lydians claim a share in the latter name, saying that Asia was not named after Prometheus' wife Asia, but after Asies, the son of Cotys, who was the son of Manes, and that from him the Asiad clan at Sardis also takes its name. ,But as for Europe, no men have any knowledge whether it is bounded by seas or not, or where it got its name, nor is it clear who gave the name, unless we say that the land took its name from the Tyrian Europa, having been (it would seem) before then nameless like the rest. ,But it is plain that this woman was of Asiatic birth, and never came to this land which the Greeks now call Europe, but only from Phoenicia to Crete and from Crete to Lycia. Thus much I have said of these matters, and let it suffice; we will use the names established by custom. 4.46. Nowhere are men so ignorant as in the lands by the Euxine Pontus (excluding the Scythian nation) into which Darius led his army. For we cannot show that any nation within the region of the Pontus has any cleverness, nor do we know of (overlooking the Scythian nation and Anacharsis) any notable man born there. ,But the Scythian race has made the cleverest discovery that we know in what is the most important of all human affairs; I do not praise the Scythians in all respects, but in this, the most important: that they have contrived that no one who attacks them can escape, and no one can catch them if they do not want to be found. ,For when men have no established cities or forts, but are all nomads and mounted archers, not living by tilling the soil but by raising cattle and carrying their dwellings on wagons, how can they not be invincible and unapproachable? 4.47. They have made this discovery in a land that suits their purpose and has rivers that are their allies; for their country is flat and grassy and well-watered, and rivers run through it not very many fewer in number than the canals of Egypt. ,As many of them as are famous and can be entered from the sea, I shall name. There is the Ister, which has five mouths, and the Tyras, and Hypanis, and Borysthenes, and Panticapes, and Hypacuris, and Gerrhus, and Tanaïs. Their courses are as I shall indicate. 4.48. The Ister, the greatest of all rivers which we know, flows with the same volume in summer and winter; it is most westerly Scythian river of all, and the greatest because other rivers are its tributaries. ,Those that make it great, five flowing through the Scythian country, are these: the river called by Scythians Porata and by Greeks Pyretus, and besides this the Tiarantus, the Ararus, the Naparis, and the Ordessus. ,The first-named of these rivers is a great stream flowing east and uniting its waters with the Ister; the second, the Tiarantus, is more westerly and smaller; the Ararus, Naparis, and Ordessus flow between these two and pour their waters into the Ister. 4.49. These are the native-born Scythian rivers that help to swell it; but the Maris river, which commingles with the Ister, flows from the Agathyrsi. The Atlas, Auras, and Tibisis, three other great rivers that pour into it, flow north from the heights of Haemus. The Athrys, the Noes, and the Artanes flow into the Ister from the country of the Crobyzi in Thrace; the Cius river, which cuts through the middle of Haemus, from the Paeonians and the mountain range of Rhodope. ,The Angrus river flows north from Illyria into the Triballic plain and the Brongus river, and the Brongus into the Ister, which receives these two great rivers into itself. The Carpis and another river called Alpis also flow northward, from the country north of the Ombrici, to flow into it; ,for the Ister traverses the whole of Europe, rising among the Celts, who are the most westerly dwellers in Europe, except for the Cynetes, and flowing thus clean across Europe it issues forth along the borders of Scythia. 4.50. With these rivers aforesaid, and many others, too, as its tributaries, the Ister becomes the greatest river of all, while river for river the Nile surpasses it in volume, since that owes its volume of water to no tributary river or spring. ,But the Ister is always the same height in summer and winter, the reason for which, I think, is this. In winter it is of its customary size, or only a little greater than is natural to it, for in that country in winter there is very little rain, but snow everywhere. ,In the summer, the abundant snow that has fallen in winter melts and pours from all sides into the Ister; so this snow-melt pours into the river and helps to swell it and much violent rain besides, as the summer is the season of rain. ,And in proportion as the sun draws to itself more water in summer than in winter, the water that commingles with the Ister is many times more abundant in summer than it is in winter; these opposites keep the balance true, so that the volume of the river appears always the same. 4.51. One of the rivers of the Scythians, then, is the Ister. The next is the Tyras; this comes from the north, flowing at first out of a great lake, which is the boundary between the Scythian and the Neurian countries; at the mouth of the river there is a settlement of Greeks, who are called Tyritae. 4.52. The third river is the Hypanis; this comes from Scythia, flowing out of a great lake, around which wild, white horses graze. This lake is truly called the mother of the Hypanis. ,Here, then, the Hypanis rises; for five days' journey its waters are shallow and still sweet; after that for four days' journey seaward it is amazingly bitter, ,for a spring runs into it so bitter that although its volume is small its admixture taints the Hypanis, one of the few great rivers of the world. This spring is on the border between the farming Scythians and the Alazones; the name of it and of the place where it rises is in Scythian Exampaeus; in the Greek tongue, Sacred Ways. ,The Tyras and the Hypanis draw near together in the Alazones' country; after that they flow apart, the intervening space growing wider. 4.53. The fourth is the Borysthenes river. This is the next greatest after the Ister, and the most productive, in our judgment, not only of the Scythian but of all rivers, except the Egyptian Nile, with which no other river can be compared. ,But of the rest, the Borysthenes is the most productive; it provides the finest and best-nurturing pasture lands for beasts, and the fish in it are beyond all in their excellence and abundance. Its water is most sweet to drink, flowing with a clear current, whereas the other rivers are turbid. There is excellent soil on its banks, and very rich grass where the land is not planted; ,and self-formed crusts of salt abound at its mouth; it provides great spineless fish, called sturgeons, for salting, and many other wonderful things besides. ,Its course is from the north, and it is known as far as the Gerrhan land; that is, for forty days' voyage; beyond that, no one can say through what nations it flows; but it is plain that it flows through desolate country to the land of the farming Scythians, who live beside it for a ten days' voyage. ,This is the only river, besides the Nile, whose source I cannot identify; nor, I think, can any Greek. When the Borysthenes comes near the sea, the Hypanis mingles with it, running into the same marsh; ,the land between these rivers, where the land projects like a ship's beak, is called Hippolaus' promontory; a temple of Demeter stands there. The settlement of the Borystheneïtae is beyond the temple, on the Hypanis. 4.54. This is the produce of these rivers, and after these there is a fifth river called Panticapas; this also flows from the north out of a lake, and the land between it and the Borysthenes is inhabited by the farming Scythians; it flows into the woodland country, after passing which it mingles with the Borysthenes. 4.55. The sixth is the Hypacuris river, which rises from a lake, and flowing through the midst of the nomadic Scythians flows out near the city of Carcine, bordering on its right the Woodland and the region called the Racecourse of Achilles . 4.56. The seventh river, the Gerrhus, separates from the Borysthenes at about the place which is the end of our knowledge of that river; at this place it separates, and has the same name as the place itself, Gerrhus; then in its course to the sea it divides the country of the Nomads and the country of the Royal Scythians, and empties into the Hypacuris. 4.57. The eighth is the Tanaïs river; in its upper course, this begins by flowing out of a great lake, and enters a yet greater lake called the Maeetian, which divides the Royal Scythians from the Sauromatae; another river, called Hyrgis, is a tributary of this Tanaïs. 4.58. These are the rivers of note with which the Scythians are provided. For rearing cattle, the grass growing in Scythia is the most productive of bile of all pastures which we know; that this is so can be judged by opening up the bodies of the cattle. 4.59. The most important things are thus provided them. It remains now to show the customs which are established among them. The only gods whom they propitiate are these: Hestia in particular, and secondly Zeus and Earth, whom they believe to be the wife of Zeus; after these, Apollo, and the Heavenly Aphrodite, and Heracles, and Ares. All the Scythians worship these as gods; the Scythians called Royal sacrifice to Poseidon also. ,In the Scythian tongue, Hestia is called Tabiti; Zeus (in my judgment most correctly so called) Papaeus; Earth is Apia; Apollo Goetosyrus; the Heavenly Aphrodite Argimpasa; Poseidon Thagimasadas. It is their practice to make images and altars and shrines for Ares, but for no other god. 4.60. In all their sacred rites they follow the same method of sacrifice; this is how it is offered. The victim stands with its forefeet shackled together; the sacrificer stands behind the beast, and throws it down by pulling the end of the rope; ,as the victim falls, he invokes whatever god it is to whom he sacrifices. Then, throwing a noose around the beast's neck, he thrusts in a stick and twists it and so strangles the victim, lighting no fire nor offering the first-fruits, nor pouring any libation; and having strangled and skinned the beast, he sets about cooking it. 4.61. Now as the Scythian land is quite bare of wood, this is how they contrive to cook the meat. When they have skinned the victims, they strip the meat from the bones and throw it into the cauldrons of the country, if they have them: these are most like Lesbian bowls, except that they are much bigger; they throw the meat into these, then, and cook it by lighting a fire beneath with the bones of the victims. But if they have no cauldron, then they put all the meat into the victims' stomachs, adding water, and make a fire of the bones beneath, ,which burn nicely; the stomachs easily hold the meat when it is stripped from the bones; thus a steer serves to cook itself, and every other victim does likewise. When the flesh is cooked, the sacrificer takes the first-fruits of the flesh and the entrails and casts them before him. They use all grazing animals for sacrifice, but mainly horses. 4.62. This is their way of sacrificing to other gods and these are the beasts offered; but their sacrifices to Ares are of this sort. Every district in each of the governments has a structure sacred to Ares; namely, a pile of bundles of sticks three eighths of a mile wide and long, but of a lesser height, on the top of which there is a flattened four-sided surface; three of its sides are sheer, but the fourth can be ascended. ,Every year a hundred and fifty wagon-loads of sticks are heaped upon this; for the storms of winter always make it sink down. On this sacred pile an ancient scimitar of iron is set for each people: their image of Ares. They bring yearly sacrifice of sheep and goats and horses to this scimitar, offering to these symbols even more than they do to the other gods. ,of enemies that they take alive, they sacrifice one man in every hundred, not as they sacrifice sheep and goats, but differently. They pour wine on the men's heads and cut their throats over a bowl; then they carry the blood up on to the pile of sticks and pour it on the scimitar. ,They carry the blood up above, but down below by the sacred pile they cut off all the slain men's right arms and hands and throw these into the air, and depart when they have sacrificed the rest of the victims; the arm lies where it has fallen, and the body apart from it. 4.63. These then are their established rites of sacrifice; but these Scythians make no offerings of swine; nor are they willing for the most part to rear them in their country. 4.64. As to war, these are their customs. A Scythian drinks the blood of the first man whom he has taken down. He carries the heads of all whom he has slain in the battle to his king; for if he brings a head, he receives a share of the booty taken, but not otherwise. ,He scalps the head by making a cut around it by the ears, then grasping the scalp and shaking the head off. Then he scrapes out the flesh with the rib of a steer, and kneads the skin with his hands, and having made it supple he keeps it for a hand towel, fastening it to the bridle of the horse which he himself rides, and taking pride in it; for he who has most scalps for hand towels is judged the best man. ,Many Scythians even make garments to wear out of these scalps, sewing them together like coats of skin. Many too take off the skin, nails and all, from their dead enemies' right hands, and make coverings for their quivers;the human skin was, as it turned out, thick and shining, the brightest and whitest skin of all, one might say. ,Many flay the skin from the whole body, too, and carry it about on horseback stretched on a wooden frame. 4.65. The heads themselves, not all of them but those of their bitterest enemies, they treat this way. Each saws off all the part beneath the eyebrows, and cleans the rest. If he is a poor man, then he covers the outside with a piece of raw hide, and so makes use of it; but if he is rich, he covers the head with the raw hide, and gilds the inside of it and uses it for a drinking-cup. ,Such a cup a man also makes out of the head of his own kinsman with whom he has been feuding, and whom he has defeated in single combat before the king; and if guests whom he honors visit him he will serve them with these heads, and show how the dead were his kinsfolk who fought him and were beaten by him; this they call manly valor. 4.66. Furthermore, once a year each governor of a province brews a bowl of wine in his own province, which those Scythians who have slain enemies drink; those who have not achieved this do not taste this wine but sit apart dishonored; and this they consider a very great disgrace; but as many as have slain not one but many enemies have two cups apiece and drink out of both. 4.67. There are many diviners among the Scythians, who divine by means of many willow wands as I will show. They bring great bundles of wands, which they lay on the ground and unfasten, and utter their divinations as they lay the rods down one by one; and while still speaking, they gather up the rods once more and place them together again; ,this manner of divination is hereditary among them. The Enarees, who are hermaphrodites, say that Aphrodite gave them the art of divination, which they practise by means of lime-tree bark. They cut this bark into three portions, and prophesy while they braid and unbraid these in their fingers. 4.68. Whenever the king of the Scythians falls ill, he sends for the three most reputable diviners, who prophesy in the aforesaid way; and they generally tell him that such and such a man (naming whoever it may be of the people) has sworn falsely by the king's hearth; ,for when the Scythians will swear their mightiest oath, it is by the king's hearth that they are accustomed to swear. Immediately, the man whom they allege to have sworn falsely is seized and brought in, and when he comes the diviners accuse him, saying that their divination shows him to have sworn falsely by the king's hearth, and that this is the cause of the king's sickness; and the man vehemently denies that he has sworn falsely. ,When he denies it, the king sends for twice as many diviners: and if they too, consulting their art, prove him guilty of perjury, then he is instantly beheaded, and his goods are divided among the first diviners; ,but if the later diviners acquit him, then other diviners come, and yet again others. If the greater number of them acquit the man, it is decreed that the first diviners themselves be put to death. 4.69. And this is how they die. Men yoke oxen to a wagon laden with sticks and tie the diviners up in these, fettering their legs and binding their hands behind them and gagging them; then they set fire to the sticks and drive the oxen away, stampeding them. ,often the oxen are burnt to death with the diviners, and often the yoke-pole of their wagon is burnt through and the oxen escape with a scorching. They burn their diviners for other reasons, too, in the way described, calling them false prophets. ,When the king puts them to death, he does not leave the sons alive either, but kills all the males of the family; the females he does not harm. 4.70. As for giving sworn pledges to those who are to receive them, this is the Scythian way: they take blood from the parties to the agreement by making a little cut in the body with an awl or a knife, and pour it mixed with wine into a big earthenware bowl, into which they then dip a scimitar and arrows and an axe and a javelin; and when this is done those swearing the agreement, and the most honorable of their followers, drink the blood after solemn curses. 4.71. The burial-places of the kings are in the land of the Gerrhi, which is the end of the navigation of the Borysthenes. Whenever their king has died, the Scythians dig a great four-cornered pit in the ground there; when this is ready, they take up the dead man—his body enclosed in wax, his belly cut open and cleaned and filled with cut marsh-plants and frankincense, and parsley and anise seed, and sewn up again—and transport him on a wagon to another tribe. ,Then those who receive the dead man on his arrival do the same as do the Royal Scythians: that is, they cut off a part of their ears, shave their heads, make cuts around their arms, tear their foreheads and noses, and pierce their left hands with arrows. ,From there, the escorts transport the king's body on the wagon to another of the tribes that they rule, and those to whom they have already come follow them; and having carried the dead man to all in turn, they are at the place of burial, in the country of the Gerrhi, the farthest distant tribe of all under their rule. ,Then, having laid the body on a couch in the tomb, they plant spears on each side of the body and lay wooden planks across them, which they then roof over with braided osiers; in the open space which is left in the tomb they bury one of the king's concubines, his cupbearer, his cook, his groom, his squire, and his messenger, after strangling them, besides horses, and first-fruits of everything else, and golden cups; for the Scythians do not use silver or bronze. ,Having done this, they all build a great barrow of earth, vying eagerly with one another to make this as great as possible. 4.72. After a year has past, they next do as follows. They take the most trusted of the rest of the king's servants (and these are native-born Scythians, for only those whom he tells to do so serve the king, and none of the Scythians have servants bought by money) ,and strangle fifty of these and fifty of their best horses and empty and clean the bellies of them all, fill them with chaff, and sew them up again. ,Then they fasten half of a wheel to two posts, the hollow upward, and the other half to another pair of posts, until many posts thus prepared are planted in the ground, and, after driving thick stakes lengthways through the horses' bodies to their necks, they place the horses up on the wheels ,so that the wheel in front supports the horse's forequarters and the wheel behind takes the weight of the belly by the hindquarters, and the forelegs and hindlegs hang free; and putting bridles and bits in the horses' mouths, they stretch the bridles to the front and fasten them with pegs. ,Then they take each one of the fifty strangled young men and mount him on the horse; their way of doing it is to drive an upright stake through each body passing up alongside the spine to the neck leaving enough of the stake projecting below to be fixed in a hole made in the other stake, which passes through the horse. So having set horsemen of this fashion around the tomb, they ride away. 4.73. This is the way they bury their kings. All other Scythians, when they die, are laid in wagons and carried about among their friends by their nearest of kin; each receives them and entertains the retinue hospitably, setting before the dead man about as much of the fare as he serves to the rest. All but the kings are carried about like this for forty days and then buried. ,After the burial the Scythians cleanse themselves as follows: they anoint and wash their heads and, for their bodies, set up three poles leaning together to a point and cover these over with wool mats; then, in the space so enclosed to the best of their ability, they make a pit in the center beneath the poles and the mats and throw red-hot stones into it. 4.74. They have hemp growing in their country, very like flax, except that the hemp is much thicker and taller. This grows both of itself and also by their cultivation, and the Thracians even make garments of it which are very like linen; no one, unless he were an expert in hemp, could determine whether they were hempen or linen; whoever has never seen hemp before will think the garment linen. 4.75. The Scythians then take the seed of this hemp and, crawling in under the mats, throw it on the red-hot stones, where it smoulders and sends forth such fumes that no Greek vapor-bath could surpass it. ,The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapor-bath. This serves them instead of bathing, for they never wash their bodies with water. ,But their women pound cypress and cedar and frankincense wood on a rough stone, adding water also, and with the thick stuff thus pounded they anoint their bodies and faces, as a result of which not only does a fragrant scent come from them, but when on the second day they take off the ointment, their skin becomes clear and shining. 4.76. But as regards foreign customs, the Scythians (like others) very much shun practising those of any other country, and particularly of Hellas, as was proved in the case of Anacharsis and also of Scyles. ,For when Anacharsis was coming back to the Scythian country after having seen much of the world in his travels and given many examples of his wisdom, he sailed through the Hellespont and put in at Cyzicus; ,where, finding the Cyzicenes celebrating the feast of the Mother of the Gods with great ceremony, he vowed to this same Mother that if he returned to his own country safe and sound he would sacrifice to her as he saw the Cyzicenes doing, and establish a nightly rite of worship. ,So when he came to Scythia, he hid himself in the country called Woodland (which is beside the Race of Achilles, and is all overgrown with every kind of timber); hidden there, Anacharsis celebrated the goddess' ritual with exactness, carrying a small drum and hanging images about himself. ,Then some Scythian saw him doing this and told the king, Saulius; who, coming to the place himself and seeing Anacharsis performing these rites, shot an arrow at him and killed him. And now the Scythians, if they are asked about Anacharsis, say they have no knowledge of him; this is because he left his country for Hellas and followed the customs of strangers. ,But according to what I heard from Tymnes, the deputy for Ariapithes, Anacharsis was an uncle of Idanthyrsus king of Scythia, and he was the son of Gnurus, son of Lycus, son of Spargapithes. Now if Anacharsis was truly of this family, then let him know he was slain by his own brother; for Idanthyrsus was the son of Saulius, and it was Saulius who killed Anacharsis. 4.77. It is true that I have heard another story told by the Peloponnesians; namely, that Anacharsis had been sent by the king of Scythia and had been a student of the ways of Hellas, and after his return told the king who sent him that all Greeks were keen for every kind of learning, except the Lacedaemonians; but that these were the only Greeks who spoke and listened with discretion. ,But this is a tale pointlessly invented by the Greeks themselves; and be this as it may, the man was put to death as I have said. 4.78. This, then, was how Anacharsis fared, owing to his foreign ways and consorting with Greeks; and a great many years afterward, Scyles, son of Ariapithes, suffered a like fate. Scyles was one of the sons born to Ariapithes, king of Scythia; but his mother was of Istria, and not native-born; and she taught him to speak and read Greek. ,As time passed, Ariapithes was treacherously killed by Spargapithes, king of the Agathyrsi, and Scyles inherited the kingship and his father's wife, a Scythian woman whose name was Opoea, and she bore Scyles a son, Oricus. ,So Scyles was king of Scythia; but he was in no way content with the Scythian way of life, and was much more inclined to Greek ways, from the upbringing that he had received. So this is what he would do: he would lead the Scythian army to the city of the Borysthenites (who say that they are Milesians), and when he arrived there would leave his army in the suburb of the city, ,while he himself, entering within the walls and shutting the gates, would take off his Scythian apparel and put on Greek dress; and in it he would go among the townsfolk unattended by spearmen or any others (who would guard the gates, lest any Scythian see him wearing this apparel), and in every way follow the Greek manner of life, and worship the gods according to Greek usage. ,When he had spent a month or more like this, he would put on Scythian dress and leave the city. He did this often; and he built a house in Borysthenes, and married a wife of the people of the country and brought her there. 4.79. But when things had to turn out badly for him, they did so for this reason: he conceived a desire to be initiated into the rites of the Bacchic Dionysus; and when he was about to begin the sacred mysteries, he saw the greatest vision. ,He had in the city of the Borysthenites a spacious house, grand and costly (the same house I just mentioned), all surrounded by sphinxes and griffins worked in white marble; this house was struck by a thunderbolt. And though the house burnt to the ground, Scyles none the less performed the rite to the end. ,Now the Scythians reproach the Greeks for this Bacchic revelling, saying that it is not reasonable to set up a god who leads men to madness. ,So when Scyles had been initiated into the Bacchic rite, some one of the Borysthenites scoffed at the Scythians: “You laugh at us, Scythians, because we play the Bacchant and the god possesses us; but now this deity has possessed your own king, so that he plays the Bacchant and is maddened by the god. If you will not believe me, follow me now and I will show him to you.” ,The leading men among the Scythians followed him, and the Borysthenite brought them up secretly onto a tower; from which, when Scyles passed by with his company of worshippers, they saw him playing the Bacchant; thinking it a great misfortune, they left the city and told the whole army what they had seen. 4.80. After this Scyles rode off to his own place; but the Scythians rebelled against him, setting up his brother Octamasades, son of the daughter of Teres, for their king. ,Scyles, learning what had happened concerning him and the reason why it had happened, fled into Thrace; and when Octamasades heard this he led his army there. But when he was beside the Ister, the Thracians barred his way; and when the armies were about to engage, Sitalces sent this message to Octamasades: ,“Why should we try each other's strength? You are my sister's son, and you have my brother with you; give him back to me, and I will give up your Scyles to you; and let us not endanger our armies.” ,Such was the offer Sitalces sent to him; for Sitalces' brother had fled from him and was with Octamasades. The Scythian agreed to this, and took his brother Scyles, giving up his own uncle to Sitalces. ,Sitalces then took his brother and carried him away, but Octamasades beheaded Scyles on the spot. This is how closely the Scythians guard their customs, and these are the penalties they inflict on those who add foreign customs to their own. 4.81. How numerous the Scythians are, I was not able to learn exactly, and the accounts that I heard did not tally, some saying that they are very numerous, and some that they are few, so far as they are true Scythians. ,But this much they let me see for myself: there is a region between the Borysthenes and Hypanis rivers, whose name is Exampaeus; this is the land that I mentioned when I said that there is a spring of salt water in it, whose water makes the Hypanis unfit to drink. ,In this region is a bronze vessel, as much as six times greater than the cauldron dedicated by Pausanias son of Cleombrotus at the entrance of the Pontus. ,For anyone who has not yet seen the latter, I will make my meaning plain: the Scythian bronze vessel easily contains five thousand four hundred gallons, and it is of six fingers' thickness. This vessel (so the people of the country said) was made out of arrowheads. ,For their king, whose name was Ariantas, desiring to know the census of the Scythians, commanded every Scythian to bring him the point from an arrow, threatening death to all who did not. ,So a vast number of arrow-heads was brought, and he decided to make and leave a memorial out of them; and he made of these this bronze vessel, and set it up in this country Exampaeus. This much I heard about the number of the Scythians. 4.82. As for marvels, there are none in the land, except that it has by far the greatest and the most numerous rivers in the world; and over and above the rivers and the great extent of the plains there is one most marvellous thing for me to mention: they show a footprint of Heracles by the Tyras river stamped on rock, like the mark of a man's foot, but forty inches in length. Having described this, I will now return to the story which I began to tell. 4.99. Thrace runs farther out into the sea than Scythia; and Scythia begins where a bay is formed in its coast, and the mouth of the Ister, facing southeast, is in that country. ,Now I am going to describe the coast of the true Scythia from the Ister, and give its measurements. The ancient Scythian land begins at the Ister and faces south and the south wind, as far as the city called Carcinitis. ,Beyond this place, the country fronting the same sea is hilly and projects into the Pontus; it is inhabited by the Tauric nation as far as what is called the Rough Peninsula; and this ends in the eastern sea. ,For the sea to the south and the sea to the east are two of the four boundary lines of Scythia, just as seas are boundaries of Attica; and the Tauri inhabit a part of Scythia like Attica, as though some other people, not Attic, were to inhabit the heights of Sunium from Thoricus to the town of Anaphlystus, if Sunium jutted farther out into the sea. ,I mean, so to speak, to compare small things with great. Such a land is the Tauric country. But those who have not sailed along that part of Attica may understand from this other analogy: it is as though in Calabria some other people, not Calabrian, were to live on the promontory within a line drawn from the harbor of Brundisium to Tarentum. I am speaking of these two countries, but there are many others of a similar kind that Tauris resembles. 4.100. Beyond the Tauric country the Scythians begin, living north of the Tauri and beside the eastern sea, west of the Cimmerian Bosporus and the Maeetian lake, as far as the Tanaïs river, which empties into the end of that lake. ,Now it has been seen that on its northern and inland side, running from the Ister, Scythia is bounded first by the Agathyrsi, next by the Neuri, next by the Man-eaters, and last by the Black-cloaks. 4.101. Scythia, then, is a four-sided country, two of whose sides are coastline, the frontiers running inland and those that are by the sea making it a perfect square; ,for it is a ten days' journey from the Ister to the Borysthenes, and the same from the Borysthenes to the Maeetian lake; and it is a twenty days' journey from the sea inland to the country of the Black-cloaks who live north of Scythia. ,Now, as I reckon a day's journey at two hundred stades, the cross-measurement of Scythia would be a distance of five hundred miles, and the line drawn straight up inland the same. Such then is the extent of this land. 4.108. The Budini are a great and populous nation; the eyes of them all are very bright, and they are ruddy. They have a city built of wood, called Gelonus. The wall of it is three and three quarters miles in length on each side of the city; this wall is high and all of wood; and their houses are wooden, and their temples; ,for there are temples of Greek gods among them, furnished in Greek style with images and altars and shrines of wood; and they honor Dionysus every two years with festivals and revelry. For the Geloni are by their origin Greeks, who left their trading ports to settle among the Budini; and they speak a language half Greek and half Scythian. But the Budini do not speak the same language as the Geloni, nor is their manner of life the same. 4.145. At the same time that he was doing this, another great force was sent against Libya, for the reason that I shall give after I finish the story that I am going to tell now. ,The descendants of the crew of the Argo were driven out by the Pelasgians who carried off the Athenian women from Brauron; after being driven out of Lemnos by them, they sailed away to Lacedaemon, and there camped on Teügetum and kindled a fire. ,Seeing it, the Lacedaemonians sent a messenger to inquire who they were and where they came from. They answered the messenger that they were Minyae, descendants of the heroes who had sailed in the Argo and put in at Lemnos and there begot their race. ,Hearing the story of the lineage of the Minyae, the Lacedaemonians sent a second time and asked why they had come into Laconia and kindled a fire. They replied that, having been expelled by the Pelasgians, they had come to the land of their fathers, as was most just; and their wish was to live with their fathers' people, sharing in their rights and receiving allotted pieces of land. ,The Lacedaemonians were happy to receive the Minyae on the terms which their guests desired; the chief cause of their consenting was that the Tyndaridae had been in the ship's company of the Argo; so they received the Minyae and gave them land and distributed them among their own tribes. The Minyae immediately married, and gave in marriage to others the women they had brought from Lemnos. 4.146. But in no time these Minyae became imperious, demanding an equal right to the kingship, and doing other impious things; ,hence the Lacedaemonians resolved to kill them, and they seized them and cast them into prison. (When the Lacedaemonians execute, they do it by night, never by day.) ,Now when they were about to kill the prisoners, the wives of the Minyae, who were natives of the country, daughters of leading Spartans, asked permission to enter the prison and each converse with her husband; the Lacedamonians granted this, not expecting that there would be any treachery from them. ,But when the wives came into the prison, they gave their husbands all their own garments, and themselves put on the men's clothing; so the Minyae passed out in the guise of women dressed in women's clothing; and thus escaping, once more camped on Teügetum. 4.147. Now, about this same time, Theras, a descendant of Polynices through Thersander, Tisamenus, and Autesion, was preparing to lead out colonists from Lacedaemon. ,This Theras was of the line of Cadmus and was an uncle on their mother's side to Aristodemus' sons Eurysthenes and Procles; and while these boys were yet children he held the royal power of Sparta as regent; ,but when his nephews grew up and became kings, then Theras could not endure to be a subject when he had had a taste of supreme power, and said he would no longer stay in Lacedaemon but would sail away to his family. ,On the island now called Thera, but then Calliste, there were descendants of Membliarus the son of Poeciles, a Phoenician; for Cadmus son of Agenor had put in at the place now called Thera during his search for Europa; and having put in, either because the land pleased him, or because for some other reason he desired to do so, he left on this island his own relation Membliarus together with other Phoenicians. ,These dwelt on the island of Calliste for eight generations before Theras came from Lacedaemon. 4.148. It was these that Theras was preparing to join, taking with him a company of people from the tribes; his intention was to settle among the people of Calliste and not drive them out but claim them as in fact his own people. ,So when the Minyae escaped from prison and camped on Teügetum, and the Lacedaemonians were planning to put them to death, Theras interceded for their lives, that there might be no killing, promising to lead them out of the country himself. ,The Lacedaemonians consented to this, and Theras sailed with three thirty-oared ships to join the descendants of Membliarus, taking with him not all the Minyae but only a few; ,for the greater part of them made their way to the lands of the Paroreatae and Caucones, and after having driven these out of their own country, they divided themselves into six companies and established the cities of Lepreum, Macistus, Phrixae, Pyrgus, Epium, and Nudium in the land they had won; most of these were in my time taken and sacked by the Eleans. As for the island Calliste, it was called Thera after its colonist. 4.149. But as Theras' son would not sail with him, his father said that he would leave him behind as a sheep among wolves; after which saying the boy got the nickname of Oeolycus, and it so happened that this became his customary name. He had a son, Aegeus, from whom the Aegidae, a great Spartan clan, take their name. ,The men of this clan, finding that none of their children lived, set up a temple of the avenging spirits of Laïus and Oedipus, by the instruction of an oracle, after which their children lived. It fared thus, too, with the children of the Aegidae at Thera. 4.172. Next west of these Auschisae is the populous country of the Nasamones, who in summer leave their flocks by the sea and go up to the land called Augila to gather dates from the palm-trees that grow there in great abundance and all bear fruit. They hunt locusts, which they dry in the sun, and after grinding sprinkle them into milk and drink it. ,It is their custom for every man to have many wives; their intercourse with women is promiscuous, as among the Massagetae; a staff is placed before the dwelling, and then they have intercourse. When a man of the Nasamones weds, on the first night the bride must by custom lie with each of the whole company in turn; and each man after intercourse gives her whatever gift he has brought from his house. ,As for their manner of swearing and divination, they lay their hands on the graves of the men reputed to have been the most just and good among them, and by these men they swear; their practice of divination is to go to the tombs of their ancestors, where after making prayers they lie down to sleep, and take for oracles whatever dreams come to them. ,They give and receive pledges by each drinking from the hand of the other party; and if they have nothing liquid, they take the dust of the earth and lick it up. 4.179. The following story is also told: it is said that Jason, when the Argo had been built at the foot of Pelion, put aboard besides a hecatomb a bronze tripod, and set out to sail around the Peloponnese, to go to Delphi. ,But when he was off Malea, a north wind caught and carried him away to Libya; and before he saw land, he came into the shallows of the Tritonian lake. There, while he could find no way out yet, Triton (the story goes) appeared to him and told Jason to give him the tripod, promising to show the sailors the channel and send them on their way unharmed. ,Jason did, and Triton then showed them the channel out of the shallows and set the tripod in his own temple; but first he prophesied over it, declaring the whole matter to Jason's comrades: namely, that should any descendant of the Argo's crew take away the tripod, then a hundred Greek cities would be founded on the shores of the Tritonian lake. Hearing this (it is said) the Libyan people of the country hid the tripod. 4.180. Next to these Machlyes are the Auseans; these and the Machlyes, separated by the Triton, live on the shores of the Tritonian lake. The Machlyes wear their hair long behind, the Auseans in front. ,They celebrate a yearly festival of Athena, where their maidens are separated into two bands and fight each other with stones and sticks, thus (they say) honoring in the way of their ancestors that native goddess whom we call Athena. Maidens who die of their wounds are called false virgins. ,Before the girls are set fighting, the whole people choose the fairest maid, and arm her with a Corinthian helmet and Greek panoply, to be then mounted on a chariot and drawn all along the lake shore. ,With what armor they equipped their maidens before Greeks came to live near them, I cannot say; but I suppose the armor was Egyptian; for I maintain that the Greeks took their shield and helmet from Egypt. ,As for Athena, they say that she was daughter of Poseidon and the Tritonian lake, and that, being for some reason angry at her father, she gave herself to Zeus, who made her his own daughter. Such is their tale. The intercourse of men and women there is promiscuous; they do not cohabit but have intercourse like cattle. ,When a woman's child is well grown, the men assemble within three months and the child is adjudged to be that man's whom it is most like. 4.181. I have now described all the nomadic Libyans who live on the coast. Farther inland than these is that Libyan country which is haunted by wild beasts, and beyond this wild beasts' haunt runs a ridge of sand that stretches from Thebes of Egypt to the Pillars of Heracles. ,At intervals of about ten days' journey along this ridge there are masses of great lumps of salt in hills; on the top of every hill, a fountain of cold sweet water shoots up from the midst of the salt; men live around it who are farthest away toward the desert and inland from the wild beasts' country. The first on the journey from Thebes, ten days distant from there, are the Ammonians, who follow the worship of the Zeus of Thebes ; for, as I have said before, the image of Zeus at Thebes has the head of a ram. ,They have another spring of water besides, which is warm at dawn, and colder at market-time, and very cold at noon; ,and it is then that they water their gardens; as the day declines, the coldness abates, until at sunset the water grows warm. It becomes ever hotter and hotter until midnight, and then it boils and bubbles; after midnight it becomes ever cooler until dawn. This spring is called the Spring of the Sun. 4.183. After ten days' journey again from Augila there is yet another hill of salt and springs of water and many fruit-bearing palms, as at the other places; men live there called Garamantes, an exceedingly great nation, who sow in earth which they have laid on the salt. ,The shortest way to the Lotus Eaters' country is from here, thirty days' journey distant. Among the Garamantes are the cattle that go backward as they graze, the reason being that their horns curve forward; ,therefore, not being able to go forward, since the horns would stick in the ground, they walk backward grazing. Otherwise, they are like other cattle, except that their hide is thicker and harder to the touch. ,These Garamantes go in their four-horse chariots chasing the cave-dwelling Ethiopians: for the Ethiopian cave-dwellers are swifter of foot than any men of whom tales are brought to us. They live on snakes and lizards and such-like creeping things. Their speech is like no other in the world: it is like the squeaking of bats. 4.187. Thus it is with this region. But west of the Tritonian lake the Libyans are not nomads; they do not follow the same customs, or treat their children as the nomads do. ,For the practice of many Libyan nomads (I cannot say absolutely whether it is the practice of all) is to take their children when four years old, and to burn the veins of their scalps or sometimes of their temples with grease of sheep's wool, so that the children may never afterward be afflicted by phlegm draining from the head. ,They say that this makes their children quite healthy. In fact, the Libyans are the healthiest of all men whom we know; whether it is because of this practice, I cannot say absolutely; but they certainly are healthy. When the children smart from the pain of the burning, the Libyans have found a remedy; they soothe them by applications of goats' urine. This is what the Libyans themselves say. 4.188. The nomads' way of sacrificing is to cut a piece from the victim's ear for first-fruits and throw it over the house; then they wring the victim's neck. They sacrifice to no gods except the sun and moon; that is, this is the practice of the whole nation; but the dwellers by the Tritonian lake sacrifice to Athena chiefly, and next to Triton and Poseidon. 4.189. It would seem that the robe and aegis of the images of Athena were copied by the Greeks from the Libyan women; for except that Libyan women dress in leather, and that the tassels of their goatskin cloaks are not snakes but thongs of hide, in everything else their equipment is the same. ,And in fact, the very name betrays that the attire of the statues of Pallas has come from Libya; for Libyan women wear the hairless tasselled “aegea” over their dress, colored with madder, and the Greeks have changed the name of these aegeae into their “aegides.” ,Furthermore, in my opinion the ceremonial chant first originated in Libya: for the women of that country chant very tunefully. And it is from the Libyans that the Greeks have learned to drive four-horse chariots. 4.197. These are all the Libyans whom we can name, and the majority of their kings cared nothing for the king of the Medes at the time of which I write, nor do they care for him now. ,I have this much further to say of this country: four nations and no more, as far as we know, inhabit it, two of which are aboriginal and two not; the Libyans in the north and the Ethiopians in the south of Libya are aboriginal; the Phoenicians and Greeks are later settlers. 5.3. The Thracians are the biggest nation in the world, next to the Indians. If they were under one ruler, or united, they would, in my judgment, be invincible and the strongest nation on earth. Since, however, there is no way or means to bring this about, they are weak. ,The Thracians have many names, each tribe according to its region, but they are very similar in all their customs, save the Getae, the Trausi, and those who dwell above the Crestonaeans. 5.7. These are most notable of their usages. They worship no gods but Ares, Dionysus, and Artemis. Their princes, however, unlike the rest of their countrymen, worship Hermes above all gods and swear only by him, claiming him for their ancestor. 5.9. As for the region which lies north of this country, none can tell with certainty what men dwell there, but what lies beyond the Ister is a desolate and infinitely large tract of land. I can learn of no men dwelling beyond the Ister save certain that are called Sigynnae and wear Median dress. ,Their horses are said to be covered all over with shaggy hair five fingers' breadth long, and to be small, blunt-nosed, and unable to bear men on their backs, but very swift when yoked to chariots. It is for this reason that driving chariots is the usage of the country. These men's borders, it is said, reach almost as far as the Eneti on the Adriatic Sea. ,They call themselves colonists from Media. How this has come about I myself cannot understand, but all is possible in the long passage of time. However that may be, we know that the Ligyes who dwell inland of Massalia use the word “sigynnae” for hucksters, and the Cyprians use it for spears. 5.23. Megabazus, bringing with him the Paeonians, came to the Hellespont, and after crossing it from there, he came to Sardis. Histiaeus the Milesian was by this time fortifying the place which he hadasked of Darius as his reward for guarding the bridge, a place called Myrcinus by the river Strymon. Megabazus discovered what he was doing, and upon his arrival at Sardis with the Paeonians, he said to Darius, ,” Sire, what is this that you have done? You have permitted a clever and cunning Greek to build a city in Thrace, where there are abundant forests for ship-building, much wood for oars, mines of silver, and many people both Greek and foreign dwelling around, who, when they have a champion to lead them, will carry out all his orders by day or by night. ,Stop this man, then, from doing these things so that you will not be entangled in a war with your own subjects, but use gentle means to do so. When you have him in your grasp, see to it that he never returns to Hellas.” 5.43. There Antichares, a man of Eleon, advised him, on the basis of the oracles of Laius, to plant a colony at Heraclea in Sicily, for Heracles himself, said Antichares, had won all the region of Eryx, which accordingly belonged to his descendants. When Dorieus heard that, he went away to Delphi to enquire of the oracle if he should seize the place to which he was preparing to go. The priestess responded that it should be so, and he took with him the company that he had led to Libya and went to Italy. 5.97. It was when the Athenians had made their decision and were already on bad terms with Persia, that Aristagoras the Milesian, driven from Sparta by Cleomenes the Lacedaemonian, came to Athens, since that city was more powerful than any of the rest. Coming before the people, Aristagoras spoke to the same effect as at Sparta, of the good things of Asia, and how the Persians carried neither shield nor spear in war and could easily be overcome. ,This he said adding that the Milesians were settlers from Athens, whom it was only right to save seeing that they themselves were a very powerful people. There was nothing which he did not promise in the earnestness of his entreaty, till at last he prevailed upon them. It seems, then, that it is easier to deceive many than one, for he could not deceive Cleomenes of Lacedaemon, one single man, but thirty thousand Athenians he could. ,The Athenians, now persuaded, voted to send twenty ships to aid the Ionians, appointing for their admiral Melanthius, a citizen of Athens who had an unblemished reputation. These ships were the beginning of troubles for both Greeks and foreigners. 6.5. So troubles arose in Sardis. Since he failed in this hope, the Chians brought Histiaeus back to Miletus at his own request. But the Milesians were glad enough to be rid of Aristagoras himself, and they had no wish to receive another tyrant into their country now that they had tasted freedom. ,When Histiaeus tried to force his way into Miletus by night, he was wounded in the thigh by a Milesian. Since he was thrust out from his own city, he went back to Chios; when he could not persuade the Chians to give him ships, he then crossed over to Mytilene and persuaded the Lesbians to give him ships. ,They manned eight triremes, and sailed with Histiaeus to Byzantium; there they encamped, and seized all the ships that were sailing out of the Euxine, except when the crews consented to serve Histiaeus. 7.63. The Assyrians in the army wore on their heads helmets of twisted bronze made in an outlandish fashion not easy to describe. They carried shields and spears and daggers of Egyptian fashion, and also wooden clubs studded with iron, and they wore linen breastplates. They are called by the Greeks Syrians, but the foreigners called them Assyrians. With them were the Chaldeans. Their commander was Otaspes son of Artachaees. 7.171. In relating the matter of the Rhegians and Tarentines, however, I digress from the main thread of my history. The Praesians say that when Crete was left desolate, it was populated especially by Greeks, among other peoples. Then, in the third generation after Minos, the events surrounding the Trojan War, in which the Cretans bore themselves as bravely as any in the cause of Menelaus, took place. ,After this, when they returned from Troy, they and their flocks and herds were afflicted by famine and pestilence, until Crete was once more left desolate. Then came a third influx of Cretans, and it is they who, with those that were left, now dwell there. It was this that the priestess bade them remember, and so prevented them from aiding the Greeks as they were previously inclined.
5. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.97.2 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.97.2. My excuse for relating these events, and for venturing on this digression, is that this passage of history has been omitted by all my predecessors, who have confined themselves either to Hellenic history before the Median war, or to the Median war itself. Hellanicus, it is true, did touch on these events in his Athenian history; but he is somewhat concise and not accurate in his dates. Besides, the history of these events contains an explanation of the growth of the Athenian empire.
6. Aeschines, Letters, 2.78, 2.180 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

7. Septuagint, Judith, 5.3, 5.6-5.9, 6.5 (2nd cent. BCE - 0th cent. CE)

5.3. and said to them, "Tell me, you Canaanites, what people is this that lives in the hill country? What cities do they inhabit? How large is their army, and in what does their power or strength consist? Who rules over them as king, leading their army? 5.6. This people is descended from the Chaldeans. 5.7. At one time they lived in Mesopotamia, because they would not follow the gods of their fathers who were in Chaldea. 5.8. For they had left the ways of their ancestors, and they worshiped the God of heaven, the God they had come to know; hence they drove them out from the presence of their gods; and they fled to Mesopotamia, and lived there for a long time. 5.9. Then their God commanded them to leave the place where they were living and go to the land of Canaan. There they settled, and prospered, with much gold and silver and very many cattle. 6.5. But you, Achior, you Ammonite hireling, who have said these words on the day of your iniquity, you shall not see my face again from this day until I take revenge on this race that came out of Egypt.
8. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 1.152 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.152. Now Terah hating Chaldea, on account of his mourning for Haran, they all removed to Haran of Mesopotamia, where Terah died, and was buried, when he had lived to be two hundred and five years old; for the life of man was already, by degrees, diminished, and became shorter than before, till the birth of Moses; after whom the term of human life was one hundred and twenty years, God determining it to the length that Moses happened to live.
9. New Testament, Acts, 7.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7.2. He said, "Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran
10. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 15.9-15.12 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

11. Aeschines, Or., 2.78, 2.180

12. Strabo, Geography, 7.3.8

7.3.8. Those, however, who lived before our times, and particularly those who lived near the time of Homer, were — and among the Greeks were assumed to be — some such people as Homer describes. And see what Herodotus says concerning that king of the Scythians against whom Dareius made his expedition, and the message which the king sent back to him. See also what Chrysippus says concerning the kings of the Bosporus, the house of Leuco. And not only the Persian letters are full of references to that straightforwardness of which I am speaking but also the memoirs written by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Indians. And it was on this account that Anacharsis, Abaris, and other men of the sort were in fair repute among the Greeks, because they displayed a nature characterized by complacency, frugality, and justice. But why should I speak of the men of olden times? For when Alexander, the son of Philip, on his expedition against the Thracians beyond the Haemus, invaded the country of the Triballians and saw that it extended as far as the Ister and the island of Peuce in the Ister, and that the parts on the far side were held by the Getae, he went as far as that, it is said, but could not disembark upon the island because of scarcity of boats (for Syrmus, the king of the Triballi had taken refuge there and resisted his attempts); he did, however, cross over to the country of the Getae, took their city, and returned with all speed to his home-land, after receiving gifts from the tribes in question and from Syrmus. And Ptolemaeus, the son of Lagus, says that on this expedition the Celti who lived about the Adriatic joined Alexander for the sake of establishing friendship and hospitality, and that the king received them kindly and asked them when drinking what it was that they most feared, thinking they would say himself, but that they replied they feared no one, unless it were that Heaven might fall on them, although indeed they added that they put above everything else the friendship of such a man as he. And the following are signs of the straightforwardness of the barbarians: first, the fact that Syrmus refused to consent to the debarkation upon the island and yet sent gifts and made a compact of friendship; and, secondly, that the Celti said that they feared no one, and yet valued above everything else the friendship of great men. Again, Dromichaetes was king of the Getae in the time of the successors of Alexander. Now he, when he captured Lysimachus alive, who had made an expedition against him, first pointed out the poverty both of himself and of his tribe and likewise their independence of others, and then bade him not to carry on war with people of that sort but rather to deal with them as friends; and after saying this he first entertained him as a guest, and made a compact of friendship, and then released him. Moreover, Plato in his Republic thinks that those who would have a well-governed city should flee as far as possible from the sea, as being a thing that teaches wickedness, and should not live near it.
13. Vergil, Georgics, 3.349-3.382

3.349. The wool-clad flocks and shaggy goats to treat. 3.350. Here lies a labour; hence for glory look 3.351. Brave husbandmen. Nor doubtfully know 3.352. How hard it is for words to triumph here 3.353. And shed their lustre on a theme so slight: 3.354. But I am caught by ravishing desire 3.355. Above the lone Parnassian steep; I love 3.356. To walk the heights, from whence no earlier track 3.357. Slopes gently downward to Castalia's spring. 3.358. Now, awful Pales, strike a louder tone. 3.359. First, for the sheep soft pencotes I decree 3.360. To browse in, till green summer's swift return; 3.361. And that the hard earth under them with straw 3.362. And handfuls of the fern be littered deep 3.363. Lest chill of ice such tender cattle harm 3.364. With scab and loathly foot-rot. Passing thence 3.365. I bid the goats with arbute-leaves be stored 3.366. And served with fresh spring-water, and their pen 3.367. Turned southward from the blast, to face the sun 3.368. of winter, when Aquarius' icy beam 3.369. Now sinks in showers upon the parting year. 3.370. These too no lightlier our protection claim 3.371. Nor prove of poorer service, howsoe'er 3.372. Milesian fleeces dipped in Tyrian red 3.373. Repay the barterer; these with offspring teem 3.374. More numerous; these yield plenteous store of milk: 3.375. The more each dry-wrung udder froths the pail 3.376. More copious soon the teat-pressed torrents flow. 3.377. Ay, and on Cinyps' bank the he-goats too 3.378. Their beards and grizzled chins and bristling hair 3.379. Let clip for camp-use, or as rugs to wrap 3.380. Seafaring wretches. But they browse the wood 3.381. And summits of Lycaeus, and rough briers 3.382. And brakes that love the highland: of themselve


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham Gera (2014), Judith, 205
accusation Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
achior,talks to holophernes Gera (2014), Judith, 205
achior Gera (2014), Judith, 205
aeschines Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
ammianus marcellinus Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
anacharsis Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
apista Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
apollo,travels Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
arrow Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
assyrians,biblical and historical Gera (2014), Judith, 205
audience Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
autochthony Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
babylon,babylonians Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
babylon and babylonians Gera (2014), Judith, 205
barbarians/barbarity,as non-greeks Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
barbarians/barbarity,herodotus on Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
berossus the babylonian Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 192
black sea Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
boundary Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
budini Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
cambyses Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
canaan and canaanites Gera (2014), Judith, 205
chaldeans Gera (2014), Judith, 205
civic addresses Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
comedy Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
contempt Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
councils and conferences Gera (2014), Judith, 205
creation Gera (2014), Judith, 205
ctesias Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 192
customs/traditions/practices as identity markers,shared among peoples Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
cyzicus Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
death Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
deception Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
demosthenes Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
digression Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
dinarchus Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
diodorus,lacks originality Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
diodorus,use of hecataeus Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
egypt,ethnographies of Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
egypt and egyptians Gera (2014), Judith, 205
eikos Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
ethnography,ethnographies Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
ethnography,structure of Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 192, 194
ethnography Gera (2014), Judith, 205
ethnos/ethne,of the budini Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
exile,captivity,and return,exodus,story of Gera (2014), Judith, 205
fantastic Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
flying Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
forms of address,,civic Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
gaul,gauls,sack,of rome Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
god,and abraham Gera (2014), Judith, 205
gods,foreign Gera (2014), Judith, 205
greece/hellas Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
greeks/hellenes,contrast with barbarians Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
greeks/hellenes,shared characteristics with barbarians Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
hannibal Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
hannibalic war Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
haran Gera (2014), Judith, 205
hecataeus of abdera,influenced by herodotus Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
hecataeus of abdera,on the egyptians Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
hecataeus of abdera,structure of ethnographies Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194
hecataeus of miletus Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 192
hercules Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
herodotus Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194; Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289; Gera (2014), Judith, 205; Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13, 46; Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83; Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
historical surveys,biblical Gera (2014), Judith, 205
identity as hybrid and malleable,between budini and geloni Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
identity as hybrid and malleable,herodotus on Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
identity as nation or people,mixed character of Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
india,indians Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
isaeus Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
issedones Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
kimmerians Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
language as identity marker,for herodotus Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
libya,libyans Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
livy Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
logos,structure Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
lydia Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
manetho Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 192
marvel Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
massagetae Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
massagetai Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
mesopotamia Gera (2014), Judith, 205
metapontum Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
migration,immigration,immigrants and nomadism Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
mythic origins as identity marker,legendary ancestors Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
narrative manners and techniques Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
nomadism,migration Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
nomads Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
oikoumenē Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
ovid,natural philosophy in exilic corpus Williams and Vol (2022), Philosophy in Ovid, Ovid as Philosopher, 251
ovid,paradoxography Williams and Vol (2022), Philosophy in Ovid, Ovid as Philosopher, 251
persia,persians Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
persia/persians/iran Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
pindar Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
polybius Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
possession Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
principate,the roman Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
proconnesus Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
questions Gera (2014), Judith, 205
racism/prejudice/bias (question of) Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
rationality Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
report' Kingsley Monti and Rood (2022), The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography, 80
republic,the roman,memory and trauma Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
ridicule Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
sallust Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
scythia,scythians Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269; Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
scythians Bar Kochba (1997), Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora, 194; Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46; Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
second punic war,hannibal Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
sicily Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
skill Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
sky Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
spies Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
strabo Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 13
table of the sun Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
terah Gera (2014), Judith, 205
thrace,thracians Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
thucydides Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
tomis,and empedoclean elements Williams and Vol (2022), Philosophy in Ovid, Ovid as Philosopher, 251
tomis,environmental extremes Williams and Vol (2022), Philosophy in Ovid, Ovid as Philosopher, 251
travel Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289, 302
troy,trojans Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
ur Gera (2014), Judith, 205
violence Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 302
voice Michalopoulos et al. (2021), The Rhetoric of Unity and Division in Ancient Literature, 83
wonder Gagne (2021), Cosmography and the Idea of Hyperborea in Ancient Greece, 289
worship/ritual/cult as identity markers,in herodotus Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
worship/ritual/cult as identity markers,shared by greeks and barbarians Gruen (2020), Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter, 46
θώματα (marvels) Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
λόγος (oral report,story,prose text) Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
νόμοι (laws and customs) Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43
ἀρχή Poulsen (2021), Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography, 269
ἔργα μεγάλα (great accomplishments) Torok (2014), Herodotus In Nubia, 43