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4 results for "paradoxography"
1. Herodotus, Histories, 2.35, 2.75, 3.98-3.114, 3.116 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)  Tagged with subjects: •paradoxography, and ethnography Found in books: Lightfoot (2021) 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65
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. 2.75. 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. 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. 3.106. The most outlying nations of the world have somehow drawn the finest things as their lot, exactly as Greece has drawn the possession of far the best seasons. ,As I have lately said, India lies at the world's most distant eastern limit; and in India all living creatures four-footed and flying are much bigger than those of other lands, except the horses, which are smaller than the Median horses called Nesaean; moreover, the gold there, whether dug from the earth or brought down by rivers or got as I have described, is very abundant. ,There, too, wool more beautiful and excellent than the wool of sheep grows on wild trees; these trees supply the Indians with clothing. 3.107. Again, Arabia is the most distant to the south of all inhabited countries: and this is the only country which produces frankincense and myrrh and casia and cinnamon and gum-mastich. All these except myrrh are difficult for the Arabians to get. ,They gather frankincense by burning that storax which Phoenicians carry to Hellas ; they burn this and so get the frankincense; for the spice-bearing trees are guarded by small winged snakes of varied color, many around each tree; these are the snakes that attack Egypt . Nothing except the smoke of storax will drive them away from the trees. 3.108. The Arabians also say that the whole country would be full of these snakes if the same thing did not occur among them that I believe occurs among vipers. ,Somehow the forethought of God (just as is reasonable) being wise has made all creatures prolific that are timid and edible, so that they do not become extinct through being eaten, whereas few young are born to hardy and vexatious creatures. ,On the one hand, because the hare is hunted by every beast and bird and man, therefore it is quite prolific; alone of all creatures it conceives during pregcy; some of the unborn young are hairy, some still naked, some are still forming in the womb while others are just conceived. ,On the one hand there is this sort of thing, but on the other hand the lioness, that is so powerful and so bold, once in her life bears one cub; for in the act of bearing she casts her uterus out with her cub. The explanation of this is that when the cub first begins to stir in the mother, its claws, much sharper than those of any other creature, tear the uterus, and the more it grows the more it scratches and tears, so that when the hour of birth is near seldom is any of the uterus left intact. 3.109. So too if the vipers and the winged serpents of Arabia were born in the natural manner of serpents life would be impossible for men; but as it is, when they copulate, while the male is in the act of procreation and as soon as he has ejaculated his seed, the female seizes him by the neck, and does not let go until she has bitten through. ,The male dies in the way described, but the female suffers in return for the male the following punishment: avenging their father, the young while they are still within the womb gnaw at their mother and eating through her bowels thus make their way out. ,Other snakes, that do no harm to men, lay eggs and hatch out a vast number of young. The Arabian winged serpents do indeed seem to be numerous; but that is because (although there are vipers in every land) these are all in Arabia and are found nowhere else. 3.110. The Arabians get frankincense in the foregoing way, and casia in the following way: when they go after it they bind oxhides and other skins all over their bodies and faces except for the eyes. Casia grows in a shallow lake; around this and in it live winged creatures, very like bats, that squeak similarly and make a fierce resistance; these have to be kept away from the eyes in order to take the casia. 3.111. As for cinnamon, they gather it in an even stranger way. Where it comes from and what land produces it they cannot say, except that it is reported, reasonably enough, to grow in the places where Dionysus was reared. ,There are great birds, it is said, that take these dry sticks which we have learned from the Phoenicians to call cinnamon and carry them off to nests stuck with mud to precipitous cliffs, where man has no means of approach. ,The Arabian solution to this is to cut dead oxen and asses and other beasts of burden into the largest possible pieces, then to set these near the eyries and withdraw far off. The birds then fly down (it is said) and carry the pieces of the beasts up to their nests, while these, not being able to bear the weight, break and fall down the mountain side, and then the Arabians come and gather them up. Thus is cinnamon said to be gathered, and so to come from Arabia to other lands. 3.112. But ledanon, which the Arabians call ladanon, is produced yet more strangely than this. For it is the most fragrant thing produced in the most malodorous; for it is found in he-goats' beards, forming in them like gum among timber. This is used in the manufacture of many perfumes; there is nothing that the Arabians burn so often as incense. 3.113. Enough of marvels, and yet the land of Arabia gives off a scent as sweet as if divine. They have besides two marvellous kinds of sheep, found nowhere else. One of these has tails no less than nine feet long. Were the sheep to trail these after them they would suffer by the chafing of the tails on the ground; ,but every shepherd there knows enough of carpentry to make little carts which they fix under the tails, binding the tail of each sheep on its own cart. The other kind of sheep has a tail a full three feet broad. 3.114. Where south inclines westwards, the part of the world stretching farthest towards the sunset is Ethiopia ; this produces gold in abundance, and huge elephants, and all sorts of wild trees, and ebony, and the tallest and handsomest and longest-lived people. 3.116. But in the north of Europe there is by far the most gold. In this matter again I cannot say with assurance how the gold is produced, but it is said that one-eyed men called Arimaspians steal it from griffins. ,But I do not believe this, that there are one-eyed men who have a nature otherwise the same as other men. ,The most outlying lands, though, as they enclose and wholly surround all the rest of the world, are likely to have those things which we think the finest and the rarest.
2. Aristotle, History of Animals, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)  Tagged with subjects: •paradoxography, and ethnography Found in books: Lightfoot (2021) 64