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THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, Volume 1 by Herodotus

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because the hare is hunted by every beast and bird as well as by man,
therefore it is so very prolific as it is: and this is the only one of
all beasts which becomes pregnant again before the former young are
born, and has in its womb some of its young covered with fur and
others bare; and while one is just being shaped in the matrix, another
is being conceived. Thus it is in this case; whereas the lioness,
which is the strongest and most courageous of creatures, produces one
cub once only in her life; for when she produces young she casts out
her womb together with her young; and the cause of it is this:--when
the cub being within the mother[98] begins to move about, then having
claws by far sharper than those of any other beast he tears the womb,
and as he grows larger he proceeds much further in his scratching: at
last the time of birth approaches and there is now nothing at all left
of it in a sound condition. 109. Just so also, if vipers and the
winged serpents of the Arabians were produced in the ordinary course
of their nature, man would not be able to live upon the earth; but as
it is, when they couple with one another and the male is in the act of
generation, as he lets go from him the seed, the female seizes hold of
his neck, and fastening on to it does not relax her hold till she has
eaten it through. The male then dies in the manner which I have said,
but the female pays the penalty of retribution for the male in this
manner:--the young while they are still in the womb take vengeance for
their father by eating through their mother,[99] and having eaten
through her belly they thus make their way out for themselves. Other
serpents however, which are not hurtful to man, produce eggs and hatch
from them a very large number of offspring. Now vipers are distributed
over all the earth; but the others, which are winged, are found in
great numbers together in Arabia and in no other land: therefore it is
that they appear to be numerous. 110. This frankincense then is
obtained thus by the Arabians; and cassia is obtained as follows:--
they bind up in cows'-hide and other kinds of skins all their body and
their face except only the eyes, and then go to get the cassia. This
grows in a pool not very deep, and round the pool and in it lodge, it
seems, winged beasts nearly resembling bats, and they squeak horribly
and are courageous in fight. These they must keep off from their eyes,
and so cut the cassia. 111. Cinnamon they collect in a yet more
marvellous manner than this: for where it grows and what land produces
it they are not able to tell, except only that some say (and it is a
probable account) that it grows in those regions where Dionysos was
brought up; and they say that large birds carry those dried sticks
which we have learnt from the Phenicians to call cinnamon, carry them,
I say, to nests which are made of clay and stuck on to precipitous
sides of mountains, which man can find no means of scaling. With
regard to this then the Arabians practise the following contrivance:--
they divide up the limbs of the oxen and asses that die and of their
other beasts of burden, into pieces as large as convenient, and convey
them to these places, and when they have laid them down not far from
the nests, they withdraw to a distance from them: and the birds fly
down and carry the limbs[100] of the beasts of burden off to their
nests; and these are not able to bear them, but break down and fall to
the earth; and the men come up to them and collect the cinnamon. Thus
cinnamon is collected and comes from this nation to the other
countries of the world. 112. Gum-mastich however, which the Arabians
call /ladanon/, comes in a still more extraordinary manner; for though
it is the most sweet-scented of all things, it comes in the most evil-
scented thing, since it is found in the beards of he-goats, produced
there like resin from wood: this is of use for the making of many
perfumes, and the Arabians use it more than anything else as incense.
113. Let what we have said suffice with regard to spices; and from the
land of Arabia there blows a scent of them most marvellously sweet.
They have also two kinds of sheep which are worthy of admiration and
are not found in any other land: the one kind has the tail long, not
less than three cubits in length; and if one should allow these to
drag these after them, they would have sores[101] from their tails
being worn away against the ground; but as it is, every one of the
shepherds knows enough of carpentering to make little cars, which they
tie under the tails, fastening the tail of each animal to a separate
little car. The other kind of sheep has the tail broad, even as much
as a cubit in breadth.

114. As one passes beyond the place of the midday, the Ethiopian land
is that which extends furthest of all inhabited lands towards the
sunset. This produces both gold in abundance and huge elephants and
trees of all kinds growing wild and ebony, and men who are of all men
the tallest, the most beautiful and the most long-lived.

115. These are the extremities in Asia and in Libya; but as to the
extremities of Europe towards the West, I am not able to speak with
certainty: for neither do I accept the tale that there is a river
called in Barbarian tongue Eridanos, flowing into the sea which lies
towards the North Wind, whence it is said that amber comes; nor do I
know of the real existence of "Tin Islands"[102] from which tin[103]
comes to us: for first the name Eridanos itself declares that it is
Hellenic and that it does not belong to a Barbarian speech, but was
invented by some poet; and secondly I am not able to hear from any one
who has been an eye-witness, though I took pains to discover this,
that there is a sea on the other side of Europe. However that may be,
tin and amber certainly come to us from the extremity of Europe. 116.
Then again towards the North of Europe, there is evidently a quantity
of gold by far larger than in any other land: as to how it is got,
here again I am not able to say for certain, but it is said to be
carried off from the griffins by Arimaspians, a one-eyed race of
men.[104] But I do not believe this tale either, that nature produces
one-eyed men which in all other respects are like other men. However,
it would seem that the extremities which bound the rest of the world
on every side and enclose it in the midst, possess the things which by
us are thought to be the most beautiful and the most rare.

117. Now there is a plain in Asia bounded by mountains on all sides,
and through the mountains there are five clefts. This plain belonged
once to the Chorasmians, and it lies on the borders of the Chorasmians
themselves, the Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sarangians, and Thamanaians;
but from the time that the Persians began to bear rule it belongs to
the king. From this enclosing mountain of which I speak there flows a
great river, and its name is Akes. This formerly watered the lands of
these nations which have been mentioned, being divided into five
streams and conducted through a separate cleft in the mountains to
each separate nation; but from the time that they have come to be
under the Persians they have suffered as follows:--the king built up
the clefts in the mountains and set gates at each cleft; and so, since
the water has been shut off from its outlet, the plain within the
mountains is made into a sea, because the river runs into it and has
no way out in any direction. Those therefore who in former times had
been wont to make use of the water, not being able now to make use of
it are in great trouble: for during the winter they have rain from
heaven, as also other men have, but in the summer they desire to use
the water when they sow millet and sesame seed. So then, the water not
being granted to them, they come to the Persians both themselves and
their wives, and standing at the gates of the king's court they cry
and howl; and the king orders that for those who need it most, the
gates which lead to their land shall be opened; and when their land
has become satiated with drinking in the water, these gates are
closed, and he orders the gates to be opened for others, that is to
say those most needing it of the rest who remain: and, as I have
heard, he exacts large sums of money for opening them, besides the
regular tribute.

118. Thus it is with these matters: but of the seven men who had risen
against the Magian, it happened to one, namely Intaphrenes, to be put
to death immediately after their insurrection for an outrage which I
shall relate. He desired to enter into the king's palace and confer
with the king; for the law was in fact so, that those who had risen up
against the Magian were permitted to go in to the king's presence
without any one to announce them, unless the king happened to be lying
with his wife. Accordingly Intaphrenes did not think it fit that any
one should announce his coming; but as he was one of the seven, he
desired to enter. The gatekeeper however and the bearer of messages
endeavoured to prevent him, saying that the king was lying with his
wife: but Intaphrenes believing that they were not speaking the truth,
drew his sword[105] and cut off their ears and their noses, and
stringing these upon his horse's bridle he tied them round their necks
and so let them go. 119. Upon this they showed themselves to the king
and told the cause for which they had suffered this; and Dareios,
fearing that the six might have done this by common design, sent for
each one separately and made trial of his inclinations, as to whether
he approved of that which had been done: and when he was fully assured
that Intaphrenes had not done this in combination with them, he took
both Intaphrenes himself and his sons and all his kinsmen, being much
disposed to believe that he was plotting insurrection against him with
the help of his relations; and having seized them he put them in bonds
as for execution. Then the wife of Intaphrenes, coming constantly to
the doors of the king's court, wept and bewailed herself; and by doing
this continually after the same manner she moved Dareios to pity her.
Accordingly he sent a messenger and said to her: "Woman, king Dareios
grants to thee to save from death one of thy kinsmen who are lying in
bonds, whomsoever thou desirest of them all." She then, having
considered with herself, answered thus: "If in truth the king grants
me the life of one, I choose of them all my brother." Dareios being
informed of this, and marvelling at her speech, sent and addressed her
thus: "Woman, the king asks thee what was in thy mind, that thou didst
leave thy husband and thy children to die, and didst choose thy
brother to survive, seeing that he is surely less near to thee in
blood than thy children, and less dear to thee than thy husband." She
made answer: "O king, I might, if heaven willed, have another husband
and other children, if I should lose these; but another brother I
could by no means have, seeing that my father and my mother are no
longer alive. This was in my mind when I said those words." To Dareios
then it seemed that the woman had spoken well, and he let go not only
him for whose life she asked, but also the eldest of her sons because
he was pleased with her: but all the others he slew. One therefore of
the seven had perished immediately in the manner which has been

120. Now about the time of the sickness of Cambyses it had come to
pass as follows:--There was one Oroites, a Persian, who had been
appointed by Cyrus to be governor of the province of Sardis.[106] This
man had set his desire upon an unholy thing; for though from
Polycrates the Samian he had never suffered anything nor heard any
offensive word nor even seen him before that time, he desired to take
him and put him to death for a reason of this kind, as most who report
the matter say:--while Oroites and another Persian whose name was
Mitrobates, ruler of the province of Daskyleion,[107] were sitting at
the door of the king's court, they came from words to strife with one
another; and as they debated their several claims to excellence,
Mitrobates taunting Oroites said: "Dost /thou/[108] count thyself a
man, who didst never yet win for the king the island of Samos, which
lies close to thy province, when it is so exceedingly easy of conquest
that one of the natives of it rose up against the government with
fifteen men-at-arms and got possession of the island, and is now
despot of it?" Some say that because he heard this and was stung by
the reproach, he formed the desire, not so much to take vengeance on
him who said this, as to bring Polycrates to destruction at all costs,
since by reason of him he was ill spoken of: 121, the lesser number
however of those who tell the tale say that Oroites sent a herald to
Samos to ask for something or other, but what it was is not mentioned;
and Polycrates happened to be lying down in the men's chamber[109] of
his palace, and Anacreon also of Teos was present with him: and
somehow, whether it was by intention and because he made no account of
the business of Oroites, or whether some chance occurred to bring it
about, it happened that the envoy of Oroites came into his presence
and spoke with him, and Polycrates, who chanced to be turned away[110]
towards the wall, neither turned round at all nor made any answer.
122. The cause then of the death of Polycrates is reported in these
two different ways, and we may believe whichever of them we please.
Oroites however, having his residence at that Magnesia which is
situated upon the river Maiander, sent Myrsos the son of Gyges, a
Lydian, to Samos bearing a message, since he had perceived the designs
of Polycrates. For Polycrates was the first of the Hellenes of whom we
have any knowledge, who set his mind upon having command of the sea,
excepting Minos the Cnossian and any other who may have had command of
the sea before his time. Of that which we call mortal race Polycrates
was the first; and he had great expectation of becoming ruler of Ionia
and of the islands. Oroites accordingly, having perceived that he had
this design, sent a message to him and said thus: "Oroites to
Polycrates saith as follows: I hear that thou art making plans to get
great power, and that thou hast not wealth according to thy high
thoughts. Now therefore if thou shalt do as I shall say, thou wilt do
well for thyself on the one hand, and also save me from destruction:
for king Cambyses is planning death for me, and this is reported to me
so that I cannot doubt it. Do thou then carry away out of danger both
myself and with me my wealth; and of this keep a part for thyself and
a part let me keep, and then so far as wealth may bring it about, thou
shalt be ruler of all Hellas. And if thou dost not believe that which
I say about the money, send some one, whosoever happens to be most
trusted by thee, and to him I will show it." 123. Polycrates having
heard this rejoiced, and was disposed to agree; and as he had a great
desire, it seems, for wealth, he first sent Maiandrios the son of
Maiandrios, a native of Samos who was his secretary, to see it: this
man was the same who not long after these events dedicated all the
ornaments of the men's chamber[109] in the palace of Polycrates,
ornaments well worth seeing, as an offering to the temple of Hera.
Oroites accordingly, having heard that the person sent to examine
might be expected soon to come, did as follows, that is to say, he
filled eight chests with stones except a small depth at the very top
of each, and laid gold above upon the stones; then he tied up the
chests and kept them in readiness. So Maiandrios came and looked at
them and brought back word to Polycrates: 124, and he upon that
prepared to set out thither, although the diviners and also his
friends strongly dissuaded him from it, and in spite moreover of a
vision which his daughter had seen in sleep of this kind,--it seemed
to her that her father was raised up on high and was bathed by Zeus
and anointed by the Sun. Having seen this vision, she used every kind
of endeavour to dissuade Polycrates from leaving his land to go to
Oroites, and besides that, as he was going to his fifty-oared galley
she accompanied his departure with prophetic words: and he threatened
her that if he should return safe, she should remain unmarried for
long; but she prayed that this might come to pass, for she desired
rather, she said, to be unmarried for long than to be an orphan,
having lost her father. 125. Polycrates however neglected every
counsel and set sail to go to Oroites, taking with him, besides many
others of his friends, Demokedes also the son of Calliphon, a man of
Croton, who was a physician and practised his art better than any
other man of is time. Then when he arrived at Magnesia, Polycrates was
miserably put to death in a manner unworthy both of himself and of his
high ambition: for excepting those who become despots of the
Syracusans, not one besides of the Hellenic despots is worthy to be
compared with Polycrates in magnificence. And when he had killed him
in a manner not fit to be told, Oroites impaled his body: and of those
who accompanied him, as many as were Samians he released, bidding them
be grateful to him that they were free men; but all those of his
company who were either allies or servants, he held in the estimation
of slaves and kept them. Polycrates then being hung up accomplished
wholly the vision of his daughter, for he was bathed by Zeus whenever
it rained,[110a] and anointed by the Sun, giving forth moisture
himself from his body.

126. To this end came the great prosperity of Polycrates, as Amasis
the king of Egypt had foretold to him:[111] but not long afterwards
retribution overtook Oroites in his turn for the murder of Polycrates.
For after the death of Cambyses and the reign of the Magians Oroites
remained at Sardis and did no service to the Persians, when they had
been deprived of their empire by the Medes; moreover during this time
of disturbance he slew Mitrobates the governor in Daskyleion, who had
brought up against him the matter of Polycrates as a reproach; and he
slew also Cranaspes the son of Mitrobates, both men of repute among
the Persians: and besides other various deeds of insolence, once when
a bearer of messages had come to him from Dareios, not being pleased
with the message which he brought he slew him as he was returning,
having set men to lie in wait for him by the way; and having slain him
he made away with the bodies both of the man and of his horse. 127.
Dareios accordingly, when he had come to the throne, was desirous of
taking vengeance upon Oroites for all his wrongdoings and especially
for the murder of Mitrobates and his son. However he did not think it
good to act openly and to send an army against him, since his own
affairs were still in a disturbed state[112] and he had only lately
come to the throne, while he heard that the strength of Oroites was
great, seeing that he had a bodyguard of a thousand Persian spearmen
and was in possession of the divisions[113] of Phrygia and Lydia and
Ionia. Therefore Dareios contrived as follows:--having called together
those of the Persians who were of most repute, he said to them:
"Persians, which of you all will undertake to perform this matter for
me with wisdom, and not by force or with tumult? for where wisdom is
wanted, there is no need of force. Which of you, I say, will either
bring Oroites alive to me or slay him? for he never yet did any
service to the Persians, and on the other hand he has done to them
great evil. First he destroyed two of us, Mitrobates and his son; then
he slays the men who go to summon him, sent by me, displaying
insolence not to be endured. Before therefore he shall accomplish any
other evil against the Persians, we must check his course by death."
128. Thus Dareios asked, and thirty men undertook the matter, each one
separately desiring to do it himself; and Dareios stopped their
contention and bade them cast lots: so when they cast lots, Bagaios
the son of Artontes obtained the lot from among them all. Bagaios
accordingly, having obtained the lot, did thus:--he wrote many papers
dealing with various matters and on them set the seal of Dareios, and
with them he went to Sardis. When he arrived there and came into the
presence of Oroites, he took the covers off the papers one after
another and gave them to the Royal Secretary to read; for all the
governors of provinces have Royal Secretaries. Now Bagaios thus gave
the papers in order to make trial of the spearmen of the guard,
whether they would accept the motion to revolt from Oroites; and
seeing that they paid great reverence to the papers and still more to
the words which were recited from them, he gave another paper in which
were contained these words: "Persians, king Dareios forbids you to
serve as guards to Oroites": and they hearing this lowered to him the
points of their spears. Then Bagaios, seeing that in this they were
obedient to the paper, took courage upon that and gave the last of the
papers to the secretary; and in it was written: "King Dareios commands
the Persians who are in Sardis to slay Oroites." So the spearmen of
the guard, when they heard this, drew their swords and slew him
forthwith. Thus did retribution for the murder of Polycrates the
Samian overtake Oroites.

129. When the wealth of Oroites had come or had been carried[114] up
to Susa, it happened not long after, that king Dareios while engaged
in hunting wild beasts twisted his foot in leaping off his horse, and
it was twisted, as it seems, rather violently, for the ball of his
ankle-joint was put out of the socket. Now he had been accustomed to
keep about him those of the Egyptians who were accounted the first in
the art of medicine, and he made use of their assistance then: but
these by wrenching and forcing the foot made the evil continually
greater. For seven days then and seven nights Dareios was sleepless
owing to the pain which he suffered; and at last on the eighth day,
when he was in a wretched state, some one who had heard talk before
while yet at Sardis of the skill of Demokedes of Croton, reported this
to Dareios; and he bade them bring him forthwith into his presence. So
having found him somewhere unnoticed among the slaves of Oroites, they
brought him forth into the midst dragging fetters after him and
clothed in rags. 130. When he had been placed in the midst of them,
Dareios asked him whether he understood the art; but he would not
admit it, fearing lest, if he declared himself to be what he was, he
might lose for ever the hope of returning to Hellas: and it was clear
to Dareios that he understood that art but was practising
another,[115] and he commanded those who had brought him thither to
produce scourges and pricks. Accordingly upon that he spoke out,
saying that he did not understand it precisely, but that he had kept
company with a physician and had some poor knowledge of the art. Then
after this, when Dareios had committed the case to him, by using
Hellenic drugs and applying mild remedies after the former violent
means, he caused him to get sleep, and in a short time made him
perfectly well, though he had never hoped to be sound of foot again.
Upon this Dareios presented him with two pairs of golden fetters; and
he asked him whether it was by design that he had given to him a
double share of his suffering, because he had made him well. Being
pleased by this saying, Dareios sent him to visit his wives, and the
eunuchs in bringing him in said to the women that this was he who had
restored to the king his life. Then each one of them plunged a cup
into the gold-chest[116] and presented Demokedes with so abundant a
gift that his servant, whose name was Skiton, following and gathering
up the coins[117] which fell from the cups, collected for himself a
very large sum of gold.

131. This Demokedes came from Croton, and became the associate of
Polycrates in the following manner:--at Croton he lived in strife with
his father, who was of a harsh temper, and when he could no longer
endure him, he departed and came to Egina. Being established there he
surpassed in the first year all the other physicians, although he was
without appliances and had none of the instruments which are used in
the art. In the next year the Eginetan State engaged him for a payment
of one talent, in the third year he was engaged by the Athenians for a
hundred pounds weight of silver,[118] and in the fourth by Polycrates
for two talents. Thus he arrived in Samos; and it was by reason of
this man more than anything else that the physicians of Croton got
their reputation: for this event happened at the time when the
physicians of Croton began to be spoken of as the first in Hellas,
while the Kyrenians were reputed to have the second place. About this
same time also the Argives had the reputation of being the first
musicians in Hellas.[119]

132. Then Demokedes having healed king Dareios had a very great house
in Susa, and had been made a table-companion of the king; and except
the one thing of returning to the land of the Hellenes, he had
everything. And first as regards the Egyptian physicians who tried to
heal the king before him, when they were about to be impaled because
they had proved inferior to a physician who was a Hellene, he asked
their lives of the king and rescued them from death: then secondly, he
rescued an Eleian prophet, who had accompanied Polycrates and had
remained unnoticed among the slaves. In short Demokedes was very great
in the favour of the king.

133. Not long time after this another thing came to pass which was
this:--Atossa the daughter of Cyrus and wife of Dareios had a tumour
upon her breast, which afterwards burst and then was spreading
further: and so long as it was not large, she concealed it and said
nothing to anybody, because she was ashamed; but afterwards when she
was in evil case, she sent for Demokedes and showed it to him: and he
said that he would make her well, and caused her to swear that she
would surely do for him in return that which he should ask of her; and
he would ask, he said, none of such things as are shameful. 134. So
when after this by his treatment he had made her well, then Atossa
instructed by Demokedes uttered to Dareios in his bedchamber some such
words as these: "O king, though thou hast such great power, thou dost
sit still, and dost not win in addition any nation or power for the
Persians: and yet it is reasonable that a man who is both young and
master of much wealth should be seen to perform some great deed, in
order that the Persians may know surely that he is a man by whom they
are ruled. It is expedient indeed in two ways that thou shouldest do
so, both in order that the Persians may know that their ruler is a
man, and in order that they may be worn down by war and not have
leisure to plot against thee. For now thou mightest display some great
deed, while thou art still young; seeing that as the body grows the
spirit grows old also with it, and is blunted for every kind of
action." Thus she spoke according to instructions received, and he
answered thus: "Woman, thou hast said all the things which I myself
have in mind to do; for I have made the plan to yoke together a bridge
from this continent to the other and to make expedition against the
Scythians, and these designs will be by way of being fulfilled within
a little time." Then Atossa said: "Look now,--forbear to go first
against the Scythians, for these will be in thy power whenever thou
desirest: but do thou, I pray thee, make an expedition against Hellas;
for I am desirous to have Lacedemonian women and Argive and Athenian
and Corinthian, for attendants, because I hear of them by report: and
thou hast the man who of all men is most fitted to show thee all
things which relate to Hellas and to be thy guide, that man, I mean,
who healed thy foot." Dareios made answer: "Woman, since it seems good
to thee that we should first make trial of Hellas, I think it better
to send first to them men of the Persians together with him of whom
thou speakest, to make investigation, that when these have learnt and
seen, they may report each several thing to us; and then I shall go to
attack them with full knowledge of all."

135. Thus he said, and he proceeded to do the deed as he spoke the
word: for as soon as day dawned, he summoned fifteen Persians, men of
repute, and bade them pass through the coasts of Hellas in company
with Demokedes, and take care not to let Demokedes escape from them,
but bring him back at all costs. Having thus commanded them, next he
summoned Demokedes himself and asked him to act as a guide for the
whole of Hellas and show it to the Persians, and then return back: and
he bade him take all his movable goods and carry them as gifts to his
father and his brothers, saying that he would give him in their place
many times as much; and besides this, he said, he would contribute to
the gifts a merchant ship filled with all manner of goods, which
should sail with him. Dareios, as it seems to me, promised him these
things with no crafty design; but Demokedes was afraid that Dareios
was making trial of him, and did not make haste to accept all that was
offered, but said that he would leave his own things where they were,
so that he might have them when he came back; he said however that he
accepted the merchant ship which Dareios promised him for the presents
to his brothers. Dareios then, having thus given command to him also,
sent them away to the sea. 136. So these, when they had gone down to
Phenicia and in Phenicia to the city of Sidon, forthwith manned two
triremes, and besides them they also filled a large ship of burden
with all manner of goods. Then when they had made all things ready
they set sail for Hellas, and touching at various places they saw the
coast regions of it and wrote down a description, until at last, when
they had seen the greater number of the famous places, they came to
Taras[120] in Italy. There from complaisance[121] to Demokedes
Aristophilides the king of the Tarentines unfastened and removed the
steering-oars of the Median ships, and also confined the Persians in
prison, because, as he alleged, they came as spies. While they were
being thus dealt with, Demokedes went away and reached Croton; and
when he had now reached his own native place, Aristophilides set the
Persians free and gave back to them those parts of their ships which
he had taken away. 137. The Persians then sailing thence and pursuing
Demokedes reached Croton, and finding him in the market-place they
laid hands upon him; and some of the men of Croton fearing the Persian
power were willing to let him go, but others took hold of him and
struck with their staves at the Persians, who pleaded for themselves
in these words: "Men of Croton, take care what ye are about: ye are
rescuing a man who was a slave of king Dareios and who ran away from
him. How, think you, will king Dareios be content to receive such an
insult; and how shall this which ye do be well for you, if ye take him
away from us? Against what city, think you, shall we make expedition
sooner than against this, and what city before this shall we endeavour
to reduce to slavery?" Thus saying they did not however persuade the
men of Croton, but having had Demokedes rescued from them and the ship
of burden which they were bringing with them taken away, they set sail
to go back to Asia, and did not endeavour to visit any more parts of
Hellas or to find out about them, being now deprived of their guide.
This much however Demokedes gave them as a charge when they were
putting forth to sea, bidding them say to Dareios that Demokedes was
betrothed to the daughter of Milon: for the wrestler Milon had a great
name at the king's court; and I suppose that Demokedes was urgent for
this marriage, spending much money to further it, in order that
Dareios might see that he was held in honour also in his own country.
138. The Persians however, after they had put out from Croton, were
cast away with their ships in Iapygia; and as they were remaining
there as slaves, Gillos a Tarentine exile rescued them and brought
them back to king Dareios. In return for this Dareios offered to give
him whatsoever thing he should desire; and Gillos chose that he might
have the power of returning to Taras, narrating first the story of his
misfortune: and in order that he might not disturb all Hellas, as
would be the case if on his account a great armament should sail to
invade Italy, he said it was enough for him that the men of Cnidos
should be those who brought him back, without any others; because he
supposed that by these, who were friends with the Tarentines, his
return from exile would most easily be effected. Dareios accordingly
having promised proceeded to perform; for he sent a message to Cnidos
and bade them being back Gillos to Taras: and the men of Cnidos obeyed
Dareios, but nevertheless they did not persuade the Tarentines, and
they were not strong enough to apply force. Thus then it happened with
regard to these things; and these were the first Persians who came
from Asia to Hellas, and for the reason which has been mentioned these
were sent as spies.

139. After this king Dareios took Samos before all other cities,
whether of Hellenes or Barbarians, and for a cause which was as
follows:--When Cambyses the son of Cyrus was marching upon Egypt, many
Hellenes arrived in Egypt, some, as might be expected, joining in the
campaign to make profit,[122] and some also coming to see the land
itself; and among these was Syoloson the son of Aiakes and brother of
Polycrates, an exile from Samos. To this Syloson a fortunate chance
occurred, which was this:--he had taken and put upon him a flame-
coloured mantle, and was about the market-place in Memphis; and
Dareios, who was then one of the spearmen of Cambyses and not yet held
in any great estimation, seeing him had a desire for the mantle, and
going up to him offered to buy it. Then Syloson, seeing that Dareios
very greatly desired the mantle, by some divine inspiration said: "I
will not sell this for any sum, but I will give it thee for nothing,
if, as it appears, it must be thine at all costs." To this Dareios
agreed and received from him the garment. 140. Now Syloson supposed
without any doubt that he had altogether lost this by easy simplicity;
but when in course of time Cambyses was dead, and the seven Persians
had risen up against the Magian, and of the seven Dareios had obtained
the kingdom, Syloson heard that the kingdom had come about to that man
to whom once in Egypt he had given the garment at his request:
accordingly he went up to Susa and sat down at the entrance[123] of
the king's palace, and said that he was a benefactor of Dareios. The
keeper of the door hearing this reported it to the king; and he
marvelled at it and said to him: "Who then of the Hellenes is my
benefactor, to whom I am bound by gratitude? seeing that it is now but
a short time that I possess the kingdom, and as yet scarcely one[124]
of them has come up to our court; and I may almost say that I have no
debt owing to a Hellene. Nevertheless bring him in before me, that I
may know what he means when he says these things." Then the keeper of
the door brought Syloson before him, and when he had been set in the
midst, the interpreters asked him who he was and what he had done,
that he called himself the benefactor of the king. Syloson accordingly
told all that had happened about the mantle, and how he was the man
who had given it; to which Dareios made answer: "O most noble of men,
thou art he who when as yet I had no power gavest me a gift, small it
may be, but nevertheless the kindness is counted with me to be as
great as if I should now receive some great thing from some one.
Therefore I will give thee in return gold and silver in abundance,
that thou mayest not ever repent that thou didst render a service to
Dareios the son of Hystaspes." To this Syloson replied: "To me, O
king, give neither gold nor silver, but recover and give to me my
fatherland Samos, which now that my brother Polycrates has been slain
by Oroites is possessed by our slave. This give to me without
bloodshed or selling into slavery." 141. Dareios having heard this
prepared to send an expedition with Otanes as commander of it, who had
been one of the seven, charging him to accomplish for Syloson all that
which he had requested. Otanes then went down to the sea-coast and was
preparing the expedition.

142. Now Maiandrios the son of Maiandrios was holding the rule over
Samos, having received the government as a trust from Polycrates; and
he, though desiring to show himself the most righteous of men, did not
succeed in so doing: for when the death of Polycrates was reported to
him, he did as follows:--first he founded an altar to Zeus the
Liberator and marked out a sacred enclosure round it, namely that
which exists still in the suburb of the city: then after he had done
this he gathered together an assembly of all the citizens and spoke
these words: "To me, as ye know as well as I, has been entrusted the
sceptre of Polycrates and all his power; and now it is open to me to
be your ruler; but that for the doing of which I find fault with my
neighbour, I will myself refrain from doing, so far as I may: for as I
did not approve of Polycrates acting as master of men who were not
inferior to himself, so neither do I approve of any other who does
such things. Now Polycrates for his part fulfilled his own appointed
destiny, and I now give the power into the hands of the people, and
proclaim to you equality.[125] These privileges however I think it
right to have assigned to me, namely that from the wealth of
Polycrates six talents should be taken out and given to me as a
special gift; and in addition to this I choose for myself and for my
descendants in succession the priesthood of Zeus the Liberator, to
whom I myself founded a temple, while I bestow liberty upon you." He,
as I say, made these offers to the Samians; but one of them rose up
and said: "Nay, but unworthy too art /thou/[126] to be our ruler,
seeing that thou art of mean birth and a pestilent fellow besides.
Rather take care that thou give an account of the money which thou
hadst to deal with." 143. Thus said one who was a man of repute among
the citizens, whose name was Telesarchos; and Maiandrios perceiving
that if he resigned the power, some other would be set up as despot
instead of himself, did not keep the purpose at all[127] of resigning
it; but having retired to the fortress he sent for each man
separately, pretending that he was going to give an account of the
money, and so seized them and put them in bonds. These then had been
put in bonds; but Maiandrios after this was overtaken by sickness, and
his brother, whose name was Lycaretos, expecting that he would die,
put all the prisoners to death, in order that he might himself more
easily get possession of the power over Samos: and all this happened
because, as it appears, they did not choose to be free.

144. So when the Persians arrived at Samos bringing Syloson home from
exile, no one raised a hand against them, and moreover the party of
Maiandrios and Maiandrios himself said that they were ready to retire
out of the island under a truce. Otanes therefore having agreed on
these terms and having made a treaty, the most honourable of the
Persians had seats placed for them in front of the fortress and were
sitting there. 145. Now the despot Maiandrios had a brother who was
somewhat mad, and his name was Charilaos. This man for some offence
which he had been committed had been confined in an underground
dungeon,[128] and at this time of which I speak, having heard what was
being done and having put his head through out of the dungeon, when he
saw the Persians peacefully sitting there he began to cry out and said
that he desired to come to speech with Maiandrios. So Maiandrios
hearing his voice bade them loose him and bring him into his presence;
and as soon as he was brought he began to abuse and revile him, trying
to persuade him to attack the Persians, and saying thus: "Thou basest
of men, didst thou put me in bonds and judge me worthy of the dungeon
under ground, who am thine own brother and did no wrong worthy of
bonds, and when thou seest the Persians casting thee forth from the
land and making thee homeless, dost thou not dare to take any revenge,
though they are so exceedingly easy to be overcome? Nay, but if in
truth thou art afraid of them, give me thy mercenaries and I will take
vengeance on them for their coming here; and thyself I am willing to
let go out of the island." 146. Thus spoke Charilaos, and Maiandrios
accepted that which he said, not, as I think, because he had reached
such a height of folly as to suppose that his own power would overcome
that of the king, but rather because he grudged Syloson that he should
receive from him the State without trouble, and with no injury
inflicted upon it. Therefore he desired to provoke the Persians to
anger and make the Samian power as feeble as possible before he gave
it up to him, being well assured that the Persians, when they had
suffered evil, would be likely to be as bitter against the Samians as
well as against those who did the wrong,[129] and knowing also that he
had a safe way of escape from the island whenever he desired: for he
had had a secret passage made under ground, leading from the fortress
to the sea. Maiandrios then himself sailed out from Samos; but
Charilaos armed all the mercenaries, and opening wide the gates sent
them out upon the Persians, who were not expecting any such thing, but
supposed that all had been arranged: and the mercenaries falling upon
them began to slay those of the Persians who had seats carried for
them[130] and were of most account. While these were thus engaged, the
rest of the Persian force came to the rescue, and the mercenaries were
hard pressed and forced to retire to the fortress. 147. Then Otanes
the Persian commander, seeing that the Persians had suffered greatly,
purposely forgot the commands which Dareios gave him when he sent him
forth, not to kill any one of the Samians nor to sell any into
slavery, but to restore the island to Syloson free from all suffering
of calamity,--these commands, I say, he purposely forgot, and gave the
word to his army to slay every one whom they should take, man or boy,
without distinction. So while some of the army were besieging the
fortress, others were slaying every one who came in their way, in
sanctuary or out of sanctuary equally. 148. Meanwhile Maiandrios had
escaped from Samos and was sailing to Lacedemon; and having come
thither and caused to be brought up to the city the things which he
had taken with him when he departed, he did as follows:--first, he
would set out his cups of silver and of gold, and then while the
servants were cleaning them, he would be engaged in conversation with
Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides, then king of Sparta, and would
bring him on to his house; and when Cleomenes saw the cups he
marvelled and was astonished at them, and Maiandrios would bid him
take away with him as many of them as he pleased. Maiandrios said this
twice or three times, but Cleomenes herein showed himself the most
upright of men; for he not only did not think fit to take that which
was offered, but perceiving that Maiandrios would make presents to
others of the citizens, and so obtain assistance for himself, he went
to the Ephors and said that it was better for Sparta that the stranger
of Samos should depart from Peloponnesus, lest he might persuade
either himself or some other man of the Spartans to act basely. They
accordingly accepted his counsel, and expelled Maiandrios by
proclamation. 149. As to Samos, the Persians, after sweeping the
population off it,[131] delivered it to Syloson stripped of men.
Afterwards however the commander Otanes even joined in settling people
there, moved by a vision of a dream and by a disease which seized him,
so that he was diseased in the genital organs.

150. After a naval force had thus gone against Samos, the Babylonians
made revolt, being for this exceedingly well prepared; for during all
the time of the reign of the Magian and of the insurrection of the
seven, during all this time and the attendant confusion they were
preparing themselves for the siege of their city: and it chanced by
some means that they were not observed to be doing this. Then when
they made open revolt, they did as follows:--after setting apart their
mothers first, each man set apart also for himself one woman,
whosoever he wished of his own household, and all the remainder they
gathered together and killed by suffocation. Each man set apart the
one who has been mentioned to serve as a maker of bread, and they
suffocated the rest in order that they might not consume their
provisions. 151. Dareios being informed of this and having gathered
together all his power, made expedition against them, and when he had
marched his army up to Babylon he began to besiege them; but they
cared nothing about the siege, for the Babylonians used to go up to
the battlements of the wall and show contempt of Dareios and of his
army by gestures and by words; and one of them uttered this saying:
"Why, O Persians, do ye remain sitting here, and not depart? For then
only shall ye capture us, when mules shall bring forth young." This
was said by one of the Babylonians, not supposing that a mule would
ever bring forth young. 152. So when a year and seven months had now
passed by, Dareios began to be vexed and his whole army with him, not
being able to conquer the Babylonians. And yet Dareios had used
against them every kind of device and every possible means, but not
even so could he conquer them, though besides other devices he had
attempted it by that also with which Cyrus conquered them; but the
Babylonians were terribly on their guard and he was not able to
conquer them. 153. Then in the twentieth month there happened to
Zopyros the son of that Megabyzos who had been of the seven men who
slew the Magian, to this Zopyros, I say, son of Megabyzos there
happened a prodigy,--one of the mules which served as bearers of
provisions for him produced young: and when this was reported to him,
and Zopyros had himself seen the foal, because he did not believe the
report, he charged those who had seen it not to tell that which had
happened to any one, and he considered with himself what to do. And
having regard to the words spoken by the Babylonian, who had said at
first that when mules should produce young, then the wall would be
taken, having regard (I say) to this ominous saying, it seemed to
Zopyros that Babylon could be taken: for he thought that both the man
had spoken and his mule had produced young by divine dispensation.
154. Since then it seemed to him that it was now fated that Babylon
should be captured, he went to Dareios and inquired of him whether he
thought it a matter of very great moment to conquer Babylon; and
hearing in answer that he thought it of great consequence, he
considered again how he might be the man to take it and how the work
might be his own: for among the Persians benefits are accounted worthy
of a very high degree of honour.[132] He considered accordingly that
he was not able to make conquest of it by any other means, but only if
he should maltreat himself and desert to their side. So, making light
esteem of himself, he maltreated his own body in a manner which could
not be cured; for he cut off his nose and his ears, and shaved his
hair round in an unseemly way, and scourged himself, and so went into
the presence of Dareios. 155. And Dareios was exceedingly troubled
when he saw the man of most repute with him thus maltreated; and
leaping up from his seat he cried aloud and asked him who was the
person who had maltreated him, and for what deed. He replied: "That
man does not exist, excepting thee, who has so great power as to bring
me into this condition; and not any stranger, O king, has done this,
but I myself to myself, accounting it a very grievous thing that the
Assyrians should make a mock of the Persians." He made answer: "Thou
most reckless of men, thou didst set the fairest name to the foulest
deed when thou saidest that on account of those who are besieged thou
didst bring thyself into a condition which cannot be cured. How, O
thou senseless one, will the enemy surrender to us more quickly,
because thou hast maltreated thyself? Surely thou didst wander out of
thy senses in thus destroying thyself." And he said, "If I had
communicated to thee that which I was about to do, thou wouldst not
have permitted me to do it; but as it was, I did it on my own account.
Now therefore, unless something is wanting on thy part, we shall
conquer Babylon: for I shall go straightway as a deserter to the wall;
and I shall say to them that I suffered this treatment at thy hands:
and I think that when I have convinced them that this is so, I shall
obtain the command of a part of their forces. Do thou then on the
tenth day from that on which I shall enter within the wall take of
those troops about which thou wilt have no concern if they be
destroyed,--of these, I say, get a thousand by[133] the gate of the
city which is called the gate of Semiramis; and after this again on
the seventh day after the tenth set, I pray thee, two thousand by the
gate which is called the gate of the Ninevites; and after this seventh
day let twenty days elapse, and then lead other four thousand and
place them by the gate called the gate of the Chaldeans: and let
neither the former men nor these have any weapons to defend them
except daggers, but this weapon let them have. Then after the
twentieth day at once bid the rest of the army make an attack on the
wall all round, and set the Persians, I pray thee, by those gates
which are called the gate of Belos and the gate of Kissia: for, as I
think, when I have displayed great deeds of prowess, the Babylonians
will entrust to me, besides their other things, also the keys which
draw the bolts of the gates. Then after that it shall be the care of
myself and the Persians to do that which ought to be done." 156.
Having thus enjoined he proceeded to go to the gate of the city,
turning to look behind him as he went, as if he were in truth a
deserter; and those who were set in that part of the wall, seeing him
from the towers ran down, and slightly opening one wing of the gate
asked who he was, and for what purpose he had come. And he addressed
them and said that he was Zopyros, and that he came as a deserter to
them. The gate-keepers accordingly when they heard this led him to the
public assembly of the Babylonians; and being introduced before it he
began to lament his fortunes, saying that he had in fact suffered at
his own hands, and that he had suffered this because he had counselled
the king to withdraw his army, since in truth there seemed to be no
means of taking the town: "And now," he went on to say, "I am come for
very great good to you, O Babylonians, but for very great evil to
Dareios and his army, and to the Persians,[134] for he shall surely
not escape with impunity for having thus maltreated me; and I know all
the courses of his counsels." 157. Thus he spoke, and the Babylonians,
when they saw the man of most reputation among the Persians deprived
of nose and ears and smeared over with blood from scourging, supposing
assuredly that he was speaking the truth and had come to be their
helper, were ready to put in his power that for which he asked them,
and he asked them that he might command a certain force. Then when he
had obtained this from them, he did that which he had agreed with
Dareios that he would do; for he led out on the tenth day the army of
the Babylonians, and having surrounded the thousand men whom he had
enjoined Dareios first to set there, he slew them. The Babylonians
accordingly, perceiving that the deeds which he displayed were in
accordance with his words, were very greatly rejoiced and were ready
to serve him in all things: and after the lapse of the days which had
been agreed upon, he again chose men of the Babylonians and led them
out and slew the two thousand men of the troops of Dareios. Seeing
this deed also, the Babylonians all had the name of Zopyros upon their
tongues, and were loud in his praise. He then again, after the lapse
of the days which had been agreed upon, led them out to the place
appointed, and surrounded the four thousand and slew them. When this
also had been done, Zopyros was everything among the Babylonians, and
he was appointed both commander of their army and guardian of their
walls. 158. But when Dareios made an attack according to the agreement
on every side of the wall, then Zopyros discovered all his craft: for
while the Babylonians, having gone up on the wall, were defending
themselves against the attacks of the army of Dareios, Zopyros opened
the gates called the gates of Kissia and of Belos, and let in the
Persians within the wall. And of the Babylonians those who saw that
which was done fled to the temple of Zeus Belos, but those who did not
see remained each in his own appointed place, until at last they also
learnt that they had been betrayed.

159. Thus was Babylon conquered for the second time: and Dareios when
he had overcome the Babylonians, first took away the wall from round
their city and pulled down all the gates; for when Cyrus took Babylon
before him, he did neither of these things: and secondly Dareios
impaled the leading men to the number of about three thousand, but to
the rest of the Babylonians he gave back their city to dwell in: and
to provide that the Babylonians should have wives, in order that their
race might be propagated, Dareios did as follows (for their own wives,
as has been declared at the beginning, the Babylonians had suffocated,
in provident care for their store of food):--he ordered the nations
who dwelt round to bring women to Babylon, fixing a certain number for
each nation, so that the sum total of fifty thousand women was brought
together, and from these women the present Babylonians are descended.

160. As for Zopyros, in the judgment of Dareios no one of the Persians
surpassed him in good service, either of those who came after or of
those who had gone before, excepting Cyrus alone; for to Cyrus no man
of the Persians ever yet ventured to compare himself: and Dareios is
said to have declared often that he would rather that Zopyros were
free from the injury than that he should have twenty Babylons added to
his possession in addition to that one which he had. Moreover he gave
him great honours; for not only did he give him every year those
things which by the Persians are accounted the most honourable, but
also he granted him Babylon to rule free from tribute, so long as he
should live; and he added many other gifts. The son of this Zopyros
was Megabyzos, who was made commander in Egypt against the Athenians
and their allies; and the son of this Megabyzos was Zopyros, who went
over to Athens as a deserter from the Persians.


[1] See ii. 1.

[2] {'Amasin}. This accusative must be taken with {eprexe}. Some
Editors adopt the conjecture {'Amasi}, to be taken with
{memphomenos} as in ch. 4, "did this because he had a quarrel with

[3] See ii. 152, 154.

[4] {Suron}: see ii. 104.

[5] {keinon}: most MSS. and many editions have {keimenon}, "laid up."

[6] {demarkhon}.

[7] {exaireomenos}: explained by some "disembarked" or "unloaded."

[8] Or "Orotal."

[9] {dia de touton}.

[10] {trion}: omitted by some good MSS.

[11] See ii. 169.

[12] {alla kai tote uathesan ai Thebai psakadi}.

[13] The so-called {Leukon teikhon} on the south side of Memphis: cp.
ch. 91.

[14] {omoios kai} omitting {a}.

[15] {pentakosias mneas}.

[16] {aneklaion}: perhaps {anteklaion}, which has most MS. authority,
may be right, "answer their lamentations."

[17] See ch. 31.

[18] {egeomenon}: some Editors adopt the conjecture {agomenon}, "was
being led."

[19] {sphi}: so in the MSS.: some editions (following the Aldine) have

[20] {to te}: a correction for {tode}: some Editors read {tode, to},
"by this, namely by the case of," etc.

[21] "gypsum."

[22] {epi}, lit. "after."

[23] {leukon tetragonon}: so the MSS. Some Editors, in order to bring
the statement of Herodotus into agreement with the fact, read
{leukon ti trigonon}, "a kind of white triangle": so Stein.

[24] {epi}: this is altered unnecessarily by most recent Editors to
{upo}, on the authority of Eusebius and Pliny, who say that the
mark was under the tongue.

[25] {ekeino}: some understand this to refer to Cambyses, "that there
was no one now who would come to the assistance of Cambyses, if he
were in trouble," an office which would properly have belonged to
Smerdis, cp. ch. 65: but the other reference seems more natural.

[26] Epilepsy or something similar.

[26a] Cp. note on i. 114.

[27] {pros ton patera [telesai] Kuron}: the word {telesai} seems to be
corrupt. Stein suggests {eikasai}, "as compared with." Some
Editors omit the word.

[28] {nomon panton basilea pheras einai}: but {nomos} in this fragment
of Pindar is rather the natural law by which the strong prevail
over the weak.

[29] {iakhon}: Stein reads by conjecture {skhon}, "having obtained

[30] {mede}: Abicht reads {meden} by conjecture.

[31] {alla}, under the influence of the preceding negative.

[32] {prosson} refers grammatically only to {autos}, and marks the
reference as being chiefly to himself throughout the sentence.

[33] {prorrizos}, "by the roots."

[34] {toi tesi pathesi}: the MSS. mostly have {toi autaisi} or

[35] See i. 51.

[36] {es Aigupton epetheke}, "delivered it (to a messenger to convey)
to Egypt."

[37] The island of Carpathos, the modern /Scarpanto/.

[38] {to thulako periergasthai}: which is susceptible of a variety of
meanings. In a similar story told of the Chians the Spartans are
made to say that it would have been enough to show the empty bag
without saying anything. (Sext. Empir. ii. 23.) Probably the
meaning here is that if they were going to say so much, they need
not have shown the bag, for the words were enough without the
sight of the bag: or it may be only that the /words/ {o thulakos}
were unnecessary in the sentence {o thulakos alphiton deitai}.

[39] See i. 70.

[40] {genee}. To save the chronology some insert {trite} before
{genee}, but this will be useless unless the clause {kata de ton
auton khronon tou kreteros te arpage} be omitted, as it is also
proposed to do. Periander is thought to have died about 585 B.C.;
but see v. 95.

[41] The MSS. add {eontes eoutoisi}, and apparently something has been
lost. Stein and others follow Valckenńr in adding {suggenees},
"are ever at variance with one another in spite of their kinship."

[42] {noo labon}: the MSS. have {now labon kai touto}.

[43] {iren zemien}.

[44] {tauta ta nun ekhon presseis}: the form of sentence is determined
by its antithesis to {ta agatha ta nun ego ekho}.

[45] {basileus}, because already destined as his father's successor.

[46] {sphea}: the MSS. have {sphe} here, and in the middle of the next

[46a] The Lacedemonians who were not Dorians had of course taken part
in the Trojan war.

[47] {leuka genetai}.

[48] {prutaneia}.

[49] {lokhon}.

[50] {prosiskhon}: some read {proseskhon}, "had put in."

[51] {kai ton tes Diktunes neon}: omitted by some Editors.

[52] {orguias}.

[53] {stadioi}.

[54] {kai}: the MSS. have {kata}.

[55] {en te gar anthropeie phusi ouk enen ara}.

[56] Or possibly, "the most necessary of those things which remain to
be done, is this."

[57] {apistie polle upekekhuto}, cp. ii. 152.

[58] Or perhaps Phaidymia.

[59] {Gobrues} or {Gobrues}.

[60] {'Intaphrenea}: this form, which is given by at least one MS.
throughout, seems preferable, as being closer to the Persian name
which it represents, "Vindafrana," cp. v. 25. Most of the MSS.
have {'Intaphernea}.

[61] {phthas emeu}.

[62] {ti}: some MSS. have {tis}, "in order that persons may trust
(themselves) to them more."

[63] i.e. "let him be killed on the spot."

[64] {ta panta muria}, "ten thousand of every possible thing," (or,
"of all the usual gifts"; cp. ch. 84 {ten pasan doreen}).

[65] {dethen}.

[66] {oideonton ton pregmaton}: "while things were swelling," cp. ch.
127: perhaps here, "before things came to a head."

[66a] {andreona}, as in ch. 121.

[67] {ana te edramon palin}, i.e. they ran back into the room out of
which they had come to see what was the matter; with this
communicated a bedchamber which had its light only by the open
door of communication.

[67a] {magophonia}.

[68] Or, "after it had lasted more than five days," taking {thorubos}
as the subject of {egeneto}. The reason for mentioning the
particular number five seems to be contained in the passage quoted
by Stein from Sextus Empiricus, {enteuphen kai oi Person
kharientes nomon ekhousi, basileos par' autois teleutesantos pente
tas ephexes emeras anomian agein}.

[69] See vi. 43.

[70] {isonomie}, "equal distribution," i.e. of civil rights.

[71] {ouden oikeion}: the MSS. have {ouden oud' oikeion}, which might
be translated "anything of its own either."

[72] {to lego}: the MSS. have {ton lego}, "each of the things /about
which I speak/ being best in its own kind." The reading {to logo},
which certainly gives a more satisfactory meaning, is found in
StobŠus, who quotes the passage.

[73] {kakoteta}, as opposed to the {arete} practised by the members of
an aristocracy.

[74] {okto kaiebdomekonta mneas}: the MSS. have {ebdomekonta mneas}
only, and this reading seems to have existed as early as the
second century of our era: nevertheless the correction is
required, not only by the facts of the case, but also by
comparison with ch. 95.

[75] {nomos}, and so throughout.

[76] or "Hygennians."

[77] i.e. the Cappadokians, see i. 6.

[77a] See ii. 149.

[78] {muriadas}: the MSS. have {muriasi}. With {muriadas} we must
supply {medimnon}. The {medimnos} is really about a bushel and a

[79] {Pausikai}: some MSS. have {Pausoi}.

[80] {tous anaspastous kaleomenous}.

[81] {Kaspioi}: some read by conjecture {Kaspeiroi}, others {Kasioi}.

[82] {ogdokonta kai oktakosia kai einakiskhilia}: the MSS. have
{tesserakonta kai pentakosia kai einakiskhilia} (9540), which is
irreconcilable with the total sum given below, and also with the
sum obtained by adding up the separate items given in Babylonian
talents, whether we reduce them by the proportion 70:60 given by
the MSS. in ch. 89, or by the true proportion 78:60. On the other
hand the total sum given below is precisely the sum of the
separate items (after subtracting the 140 talents used for the
defence of Kilikia), reduced in the proportion 78:60; and this
proves the necessity of the emendation here ({thop} for {thphm})
as well as supplying a strong confirmation of that adopted in ch.

[83] The reckoning throughout is in round numbers, nothing less than
the tens being mentioned.

[84] {oi peri te Nusen}: perhaps this should be corrected to {oi te
peri Nusen}, because the {sunamphoteroi} which follows seem to
refer to two separate peoples.

[85] The passage "these Ethiopians--dwellings" is marked by Stein as
doubtful on internal grounds. The Callantian Indians mentioned
seem to be the same as the Callantians mentioned in ch. 38.

[86] {khoinikas}.

[87] {dia penteteridos}.

[88] i.e. the Indus.

[89] Either {auton tekomenon} is to be taken absolutely, equivalent to
{autou tekomenou}, and {ta krea} is the subject of
{diaphtheiresthai}; or {auton} is the subject and {ta krea} is
accusative of definition, "wasting away in his flesh." Some MSS.
have {diaphtheirein}, "that he is spoiling his flesh for them."

[90] {gar}: some would read {de}, but the meaning seems to be, "this
is done universally, for in the case of weakness arising from old
age, the same takes place."

[91] {pros arktou te kai boreo anemou}.

[92] This clause indicates the manner in which the size is so exactly

[93] {autoi}, i.e. in themselves as well as in their habits. Some MSS.
read {to} for {autoi}, which is adopted by several Editors; others
adopt the conjecture {autois}.

[94] i.e. two in each hind-leg.

[95] {kai paraluesthai}: {kai} is omitted in some MSS. and by some

[96] {ouk omou}: some Editors omit {ouk}: the meaning seems to be that
in case of necessity they are thrown off one after another to
delay the pursuing animals.

[97] The meaning of the passage is doubtful: possibly it should be
translated (omitting {kai}) "the male camels, being inferior in
speed to the females, flag in their course and are dragged along,
first one and then the other."

[97a] See ii. 75.

[98] {metri}: the MSS. have {metre}, "womb," but for this Herod. seems
to use the plural.

[99] {metera}: most MSS. have {metran}.

[100] Most of the MSS. have {auton} before {ta melea}, which by some
Editors is omitted, and by others altered to {autika}. If {auton}
is to stand it must be taken with {katapetomenas}, "flying down
upon them," and so it is punctuated in the Medicean MS.

[101] {elkea}. There is a play upon the words {epelkein} and {elkea}
which can hardly be reproduced in translation.

[102] {Kassiteridas}.

[103] {o kassiteros}.

[104] cp. iv. 13.

[105] {akinakea}.

[106] This is the second of the satrapies mentioned in the list, see
ch. 90, named from its chief town. Oroites also possessed himself
of the first satrapy, of which the chief town was Magnesia (ch.
122), and then of the third (see ch. 127).

[107] The satrapy of Daskyleion is the third in the list, see ch. 90.

[108] {su gar en andron logo}.

[109] Or, "banqueting hall," cp. iv. 95.

[110] {apestrammenon}: most of the MSS. have {epestrammenon}, "turned
towards (the wall)."

[110a] "whenever he (i.e. Zeus) rained."

[111] This clause, "as Amasis the king of Egypt had foretold to him,"
is omitted in some MSS. and by some Editors.

[112] {oideonton eti ton pregmaton}: cp. ch. 76.

[113] i.e. satrapies: see ch. 89, 90.

[114] {apikomenon kai anakomisthenton}: the first perhaps referring to
the slaves and the other to the rest of the property.

[115] i.e. the art of evasion.

[116] {es tou khrosou ten theken}: {es} is not in the MSS., which have
generally {tou khrusou sun theke}: one only has {tou khrusou ten

[117] {stateras}: i.e. the {stater Dareikos} "Daric," worth about ú1;
cp. note on vii. 28.

[118] {ekaton mneon}, "a hundred minae," of which sixty go to the

[119] This passage, from "for this event happened" to the end of the
chapter, is suspected as an interpolation by some Editors, on
internal grounds.

[120] Tarentum. Italy means for Herodotus the southern part of the
peninsula only.

[121] {restones}: so one inferior MS., probably by conjectural
emendation: the rest have {krestones}. The Ionic form however of
{rastone} would be {reistone}. Some would read {khrestones}, a
word which is not found, but might mean the same as {kresmosunes}
(ix. 33), "in consequence of the /request/ of Demokedes."

[122] {kat' emporien strateuomenoi}: some MSS. read {kat' emporien, oi
de strateuomenoi}, "some for trade, others serving in the army."

[123] {prothura}.

[124] {e tis e oudeis}.

[125] {isonomien}: see ch. 80, note.

[126] {all' oud' axios eis su ge}. Maiandrios can claim no credit or
reward for giving up that of which by his own unworthiness he
would in any case have been deprived.

[127] {ou de ti}: some read {oud' eti} or {ou de eti}, "no longer kept
the purpose."

[128] {en gorgure}: the word also means a "sewer" or "conduit."

[129] {prosempikraneesthai emellon toisi Samioisi}.

[130] {tous diphrophoreumenous}: a doubtful word: it seems to be a
sort of title belonging to Persians of a certain rank, perhaps
those who were accompanied by men to carry seats for them, the
same as the {thronoi} mentioned in ch. 144; or, "those who were
borne in litters."

[131] {sageneusantes}: see vi. 31. The word is thought by Stein to
have been interpolated here.

[132] Or, "are very highly accounted and tend to advancement."

[133] "opposite to."

[134] The words "and to the Persians" are omitted in some MSS.



1. After Babylon had been taken, the march of Dareios himself[1]
against the Scythians took place: for now that Asia was flourishing in
respect of population, and large sums were being gathered in as
revenue, Dareios formed the desire to take vengeance upon the
Scythians, because they had first invaded the Median land and had
overcome in fight those who opposed them; and thus they had been the
beginners of wrong. The Scythians in truth, as I have before said,[2]
had ruled over Upper Asia[3] for eight-and-twenty years; for they had
invaded Asia in their pursuit of the Kimmerians, and they had
deposed[4] the Medes from their rule, who had rule over Asia before
the Scythians came. Now when the Scythians had been absent from their
own land for eight-and-twenty years, as they were returning to it
after that interval of time, they were met by a contest[5] not less
severe than that which they had had with the Medes, since they found
an army of no mean size opposing them. For the wives of the Scythians,
because their husbands were absent from them for a long time, had
associated with the slaves. 2. Now the Scythians put out the eyes of
all their slaves because of the milk which they drink; and they do as
follows:--they take blow-pipes of bone just like flutes, and these
they insert into the vagina of the mare and blow with their mouths,
and others milk while they blow: and they say that they do this
because the veins of the mare are thus filled, being blown out, and so
the udder is let down. When they had drawn the milk they pour it into
wooden vessels hollowed out, and they set the blind slaves in order
about[6] the vessels and agitate the milk. Then that which comes to
the top they skim off, considering it the more valuable part, whereas
they esteem that which settles down to be less good than the other.
For this reason[7] the Scythians put out the eyes of all whom they
catch; for they are not tillers of the soil but nomads. 3. From these
their slaves then, I say, and from their wives had been born and bred
up a generation of young men, who having learnt the manner of their
birth set themselves to oppose the Scythians as they were returning
from the Medes. And first they cut off their land by digging a broad
trench extending from the Tauric mountains to the Maiotian lake, at
the point where[8] this is broadest; then afterwards when the
Scythians attempted to invade the land, they took up a position
against them and fought; and as they fought many times, and the
Scythians were not able to get any advantage in the fighting, one of
them said: "What a thing is this that we are doing, Scythians! We are
fighting against our own slaves, and we are not only becoming fewer in
number ourselves by being slain in battle, but also we are killing
them, and so we shall have fewer to rule over in future. Now therefore
to me it seems good that we leave spears and bows and that each one
take his horse-whip and so go up close to them: for so long as they
saw us with arms in our hands, they thought themselves equal to us and
of equal birth; but when they shall see that we have whips instead of
arms, they will perceive that they are our slaves, and having
acknowledged this they will not await our onset." 4. When they heard
this, the Scythians proceeded to do that which he said, and the others
being panic-stricken by that which was done forgot their fighting and
fled. Thus the Scythians had ruled over Asia; and in such manner, when
they were driven out again by the Medes, they had returned to their
own land. For this Dareios wished to take vengeance upon them, and was
gathering together an army to go against them.


5. Now the Scythians say that their nation is the youngest of all
nations, and that this came to pass as follows:--The first man who
ever existed in this region, which then was desert, was one named
Targitaos: and of this Targitaos they say, though I do not believe it
for my part, however they say the parents were Zeus and the daughter
of the river Borysthenes. Targitaos, they report, was produced from
some such origin as this, and of him were begotten three sons,
Lipoxa´s and Arpoxa´s and the youngest Colaxa´s. In the reign of
these[9] there came down from heaven certain things wrought of gold, a
plough, a yoke, a battle-axe,[10] and a cup, and fell in the Scythian
land: and first the eldest saw and came near them, desiring to take
them, but the gold blazed with fire when he approached it: then when
he had gone away from it, the second approached, and again it did the
same thing. These then the gold repelled by blazing with fire; but
when the third and youngest came up to it, the flame was quenched, and
he carried them to his own house. The elder brothers then,
acknowledging the significance of this thing, delivered the whole of
the kingly power to the youngest. 6. From Lixopa´s, they say, are
descended those Scythians who are called the race of the Auchatai;
from the middle brother Arpoxa´s those who are called Catiaroi and
Traspians, and from the youngest of them the "Royal" tribe,[11] who
are called Paralatai: and the whole together are called, they say,
Scolotoi, after the name of their king;[12] but the Hellenes gave them
the name of Scythians. 7. Thus the Scythians say they were produced;
and from the time of their origin, that is to say from the first king
Targitaos, to the passing over of Dareios against them, they say that
there is a period of a thousand years and no more. Now this sacred
gold is guarded by the kings with the utmost care, and they visit it
every year with solemn sacrifices of propitiation: moreover if any one
goes to sleep while watching in the open air over this gold during the
festival, the Scythians say that he does not live out the year; and
there is given him for this so much land as he shall ride round
himself on his horse in one day. Now as the land was large, Colaxa´s,
they say, established three kingdoms for his sons; and of these he
made one larger than the rest, and in this the gold is kept. But as to
the upper parts which lie on the North side of those who dwell above
this land, they say one can neither see nor pass through any further
by reason of feathers which are poured down; for both the earth and
the air are full of feathers, and this is that which shuts off the

8. Thus say the Scythians about themselves and about the region above
them; but the Hellenes who dwell about the Pontus say as follows:--
Heracles driving the cattle of Geryones came to this land, then
desert, which the Scythians now inhabit; and Geryones, says the tale,
dwelt away from the region of the Pontus, living in the island called
by the Hellenes Erytheia, near Gadeira which is outside the Pillars of
Heracles by the Ocean.--As to the Ocean, they say indeed that it flows
round the whole earth beginning from the place of the sunrising, but
they do not prove this by facts.--From thence Heracles came to the
land now called Scythia; and as a storm came upon him together with
icy cold, he drew over him his lion's skin and went to sleep.
Meanwhile the mares harnessed in his chariot disappeared by a
miraculous chance, as they were feeding. 9. Then when Heracles woke he
sought for them; and having gone over the whole land, at last he came
to the region which is called Hylaia; and there he found in a cave a
kind of twofold creature formed by the union of a maiden and a
serpent, whose upper parts from the buttocks upwards were those of a
woman, but her lower parts were those of a snake. Having seen her and
marvelled at her, he asked her then whether she had seen any mares
straying anywhere; and she said that she had them herself and would
not give them up until he lay with her; and Heracles lay with her on
condition of receiving them. She then tried to put off the giving back
of the mares, desiring to have Heracles with her as long as possible,
while he on the other hand desired to get the mares and depart; and at
last she gave them back and said: "These mares when they came hither I
saved for thee, and thou didst give me reward for saving them; for I
have by thee three sons. Tell me then, what must I do with these when
they shall be grown to manhood, whether I shall settle them here, for
over this land I have power alone, or send them away to thee?" She
thus asked of him, and he, they say, replied: "When thou seest that
the boys are grown to men, do this and thou shalt not fail of doing
right:--whichsoever of them thou seest able to stretch this bow as I
do now, and to be girded[12a] with this girdle, him cause to be the
settler of this land; but whosoever of them fails in the deeds which I
enjoin, send him forth out of the land: and if thou shalt do thus,
thou wilt both have delight thyself and perform that which has been
enjoined to thee." 10. Upon this he drew one of his bows (for up to
that time Heracles, they say, was wont to carry two) and showed her
the girdle, and then he delivered to her both the bow and the girdle,
which had at the end of its clasp a golden cup; and having given them
he departed. She then, when her sons had been born and had grown to be
men, gave them names first, calling one of them Agathyrsos and the
next Gelonos and the youngest Skythes; then bearing in mind the charge
given to her, she did that which was enjoined. And two of her sons,
Agathyrsos and Gelonos, not having proved themselves able to attain to
the task set before them, departed from the land, being cast out by
her who bore them; but Skythes the youngest of them performed the task
and remained in the land: and from Skythes the son of Heracles were
descended, they say, the succeeding kings of the Scythians
(Skythians): and they say moreover that it is by reason of the cup
that the Scythians still even to this day wear cups attached to their
girdles: and this alone his mother contrived for Skythes.[13] Such is
the story told by the Hellenes who dwell about the Pontus.

11. There is however also another story, which is as follows, and to
this I am most inclined myself. It is to the effect that the nomad
Scythians dwelling in Asia, being hard pressed in war by the
Massagetai, left their abode and crossing the river Araxes came
towards the Kimmerian land (for the land which now is occupied by the
Scythians is said to have been in former times the land of the
Kimmerians); and the Kimmerians, when the Scythians were coming
against them, took counsel together, seeing that a great host was
coming to fight against them; and it proved that their opinions were
divided, both opinions being vehemently maintained, but the better
being that of their kings: for the opinion of the people was that it
was necessary to depart and that they ought not to run the risk of
fighting against so many,[14] but that of the kings was to fight for
their land with those who came against them: and as neither the people
were willing by means to agree to the counsel of the kings nor the
kings to that of the people, the people planned to depart without
fighting and to deliver up the land to the invaders, while the kings
resolved to die and to be laid in their own land, and not to flee with
the mass of the people, considering the many goods of fortune which
they had enjoyed, and the many evils which it might be supposed would
come upon them, if they fled from their native land. Having resolved
upon this, they parted into two bodies, and making their numbers equal
they fought with one another: and when these had all been killed by
one another's hands, then the people of the Kimmerians buried them by
the bank of the river Tyras (where their burial-place is still to be
seen), and having buried them, then they made their way out from the
land, and the Scythians when they came upon it found the land deserted
of its inhabitants. 12. And there are at the present time in the land
of Scythia Kimmerian walls, and a Kimmerian ferry; and there is also a
region which is called Kimmeria, and the so-called Kimmerian
Bosphorus. It is known moreover that the Kimmerians, in their flight
to Asia from the Scythians, also made a settlement on that peninsula
on which now stands the Hellenic city of Sinope; and it is known too
that the Scythians pursued them and invaded the land of Media, having
missed their way; for while the Kimmerians kept ever along by the sea
in their flight, the Scythians pursued them keeping Caucasus on their
right hand, until at last they invaded Media, directing their course
inland. This then which has been told is another story, and it is
common both to Hellenes and Barbarians.

13. Aristeas however the son of Ca strobios, a man of Proconnesos,
said in the verses which he composed, that he came to the land of the
Issedonians being possessed by Phťbus, and that beyond the Issedonians
dwelt Arimaspians, a one-eyed race, and beyond these the gold-guarding
griffins, and beyond them the Hyperboreans extending as far as the
sea: and all these except the Hyperboreans, beginning with the
Arimaspians, were continually making war on their neighbours, and the
Issedonians were gradually driven out of their country by the
Arimaspians and the Scythians by the Issedonians, and so the
Kimmerians, who dwelt on the Southern Sea, being pressed by the
Scythians left their land. Thus neither does he agree in regard to
this land with the report of the Scythians.

14. As to Aristeas who composed[15] this, I have said already whence
he was; and I will tell also the tale which I heard about him in
Proconnesos and Kyzicos. They say that Aristeas, who was in birth
inferior to none of the citizens, entered into a fuller's shop in
Proconnesos and there died; and the fuller closed his workshop and
went away to report the matter to those who were related to the dead
man. And when the news had been spread abroad about the city that
Aristeas was dead, a man of Kyzicos who had come from the town of
Artake entered into controversy with those who said so, and declared
that he had met him going towards Kyzicos and had spoken with him: and
while he was vehement in dispute, those who were related to the dead
man came to the fuller's shop with the things proper in order to take
up the corpse for burial; and when the house was opened, Aristeas was
not found there either dead or alive. In the seventh year after this
he appeared at Proconnesos and composed those verses which are now
called by the Hellenes the /Arimaspeia/, and having composed them he
disappeared the second time. 15. So much is told by these cities; and
what follows I know happened to the people of Metapontion in Italy[16]
two hundred[17] and forty years after the second disappearance of
Aristeas, as I found by putting together the evidence at Proconnesos
and Metapontion. The people of Metapontion say that Aristeas himself
appeared in their land and bade them set up an altar of Apollo and
place by its side a statue bearing the name of Aristeas of
Proconnesos; for he told them that to their land alone of all the
Italiotes[18] Apollo had come, and he, who now was Aristeas, was
accompanying him, being then a raven when he accompanied the god.
Having said this he disappeared; and the Metapontines say that they
sent to Delphi and asked the god what the apparition of the man meant:
and the Pythian prophetess bade them obey the command of the
apparition, and told them that if they obeyed, it would be the better
for them. They therefore accepted this answer and performed the
commands; and there stands a statue now bearing the name of Aristeas
close by the side of the altar dedicated to Apollo,[19] and round it
stand laurel trees; and the altar is set up in the market-place. Let
this suffice which has been said about Aristeas.

16. Now of the land about which this account has been begun, no one
knows precisely what lies beyond it:[20] for I am not able to hear of
any one who alleges that he knows as an eye-witness; and even
Aristeas, the man of whom I was making mention just now, even he, I
say, did not allege, although he was composing verse,[21] that he went
further than the Issedonians; but that which is beyond[20] them he
spoke of by hearsay, and reported that it was the Issedonians who said
these things. So far however as we were able to arrive at certainty by
hearsay, carrying inquiries as far as possible, all this shall be

17. Beginning with the trading station of the Borysthenites,--for of
the parts along the sea this is the central point of all Scythia,--
beginning with this, the first regions are occupied by the Callipidai,
who are Hellenic Scythians; and above these is another race, who are
called Alazonians.[22] These last and the Callipidai in all other
respects have the same customs as the Scythians, but they both sow
corn and use it as food, and also onions, leeks, lentils and millet.
Above the Alazonians dwell Scythians who till the ground, and these
sow their corn not for food but to sell. Beyond them dwell the Neuroi;
and beyond the Neuroi towards the North Wind is a region without
inhabitants, as far as we know. These races are along the river
Hypanis to the West of the Borysthenes; but after crossing the
Borysthenes, first from the sea-coast is Hylaia, and beyond this as
one goes up the river dwell agricultural Scythians, whom the Hellenes
who live upon the river Hypanis call Borysthenites, calling themselves
at the same time citizens of Olbia.[23] These agricultural Scythians
occupy the region which extends Eastwards for a distance of three
days' journey,[24] reaching to a river which is called Panticapes, and
Northwards for a distance of eleven days' sail up the Borysthenes.
Then immediately beyond[20] these begins the desert[25] and extends
for a great distance; and on the other side of the desert dwell the
Androphagoi,[26] a race apart by themselves and having no connection
with the Scythians. Beyond[20] them begins a region which is really
desert and has no race of men in it, as far as we know. 19. The region
which lies to the East of these agricultural Scythians, after one has
crossed the river Panticapes, is occupied by nomad Scythians, who
neither sow anything nor plough the earth; and this whole region is
bare of trees except Hylaia. These nomads occupy a country which
extends to the river Gerros, a distance of fourteen[27] days' journey
Eastwards. 20. Then on the other side of the Gerros we have those
parts which are called the "Royal" lands and those Scythians who are
the bravest and most numerous and who esteem the other Scythians their
slaves. These reach Southwards to the Tauric land, and Eastwards to
the trench which those who were begotten of the blind slaves dug, and
to the trading station which is called Cremnoi[28] upon the Maiotian
lake; and some parts of their country reach to the river Tana´s.
Beyond[20] the Royal Scythians towards the North Wind dwell the
Melanchlainoi,[29] of a different race and not Scythian. The region
beyond the Melanchlainoi is marshy and not inhabited by any, so far as
we know.

21. After one has crossed the river Tana´s the country is no longer
Scythia, but the first of the divisions belongs to the Sauromatai, who
beginning at the corner of the Maiotian lake occupy land extending
towards the North Wind fifteen days' journey, and wholly bare of trees
both cultivated and wild. Above these, holding the next division of
land, dwell the Budinoi, who occupy a land wholly overgrown with
forest consisting of all kinds of trees. 22. Then beyond[20] the
Budinoi towards the North, first there is desert for seven days'
journey; and after the desert turning aside somewhat more towards the
East Wind we come to land occupied by the Thyssagetai, a numerous
people and of separate race from the others. These live by hunting;
and bordering upon them there are settled also in these same regions
men who are called Irycai, who also live by hunting, which they
practise in the following manner:--the hunter climbs up a tree and
lies in wait there for his game (now trees are abundant in all this
country), and each has a horse at hand, which has been taught to lie
down upon its belly in order that it may make itself low, and also a
dog: and when he sees the wild animal from the tree, he first shoots
his arrow and then mounts upon his horse and pursues it, and the dog
seizes hold of it. Above these in a direction towards the East dwell
other Scythians, who have revolted from the Royal Scythians and so
have come to this region.

23. As far as the country of these Scythians the whole land which has
been described is level plain and has a deep soil; but after this
point it is stony and rugged. Then when one has passed through a great
extent of this rugged country, there dwell in the skirts of lofty
mountains men who are said to be all bald-headed from their birth,
male and female equally, and who have flat noses and large chins and
speak a language of their own, using the Scythian manner of dress, and
living on the produce of trees. The tree on the fruit of which they
live is called the Pontic tree, and it is about the size of a fig-
tree: this bears a fruit the size of a bean, containing a stone. When
the fruit has ripened, they strain it through cloths and there flows
from it a thick black juice, and this juice which flows from it is
called /as-chy/. This they either lick up or drink mixed with milk,
and from its lees, that is the solid part, they make cakes and use
them for food; for they have not many cattle, since the pastures there
are by no means good. Each man has his dwelling under a tree, in
winter covering the tree all round with close white felt-cloth, and in
summer without it. These are injured by no men, for they are said to
be sacred, and they possess no weapon of war. These are they also who
decide the disputes rising among their neighbours; and besides this,
whatever fugitive takes refuge with them is injured by no one: and
they are called Argippaians.[30]

24. Now as far as these bald-headed men there is abundantly clear
information about the land and about the nations on this side of them;
for not only do certain of the Scythians go to them, from whom it is
not difficult to get information, but also some of the Hellenes who
are at the trading-station of the Borysthenes and the other trading-
places of the Pontic coast: and those of the Scythians who go to them
transact their business through seven interpreters and in seven
different languages. 25. So far as these, I say, the land is known;
but concerning the region to the North of[20] the bald-headed men no
one can speak with certainty, for lofty and impassable mountains
divide it off, and no one passes over them. However these bald-headed
men say (though I do not believe it) that the mountains are inhabited
by men with goats' feet; and that after one has passed beyond these,
others are found who sleep through six months of the year. This I do
not admit at all as true. However, the country to the East of the
bald-headed men is known with certainty, being inhabited by the
Issedonians, but that which lies beyond both the bald-headed men and
the Issedonians towards the North Wind is unknown, except so far as we
know it from the accounts given by these nations which have just been
mentioned. 26. The Issedonians are said to have these customs:--when a
man's father is dead, all the relations bring cattle to the house, and
then having slain them and cut up the flesh, they cut up also the dead
body of the father of their entertainer, and mixing all the flesh
together they set forth a banquet. His skull however they strip of the
flesh and clean it out and then gild it over, and after that they deal
with it as a sacred thing[31] and perform for the dead man great
sacrifices every year. This each son does for his father, just as the
Hellenes keep the day of memorial for the dead.[32] In other respects
however this race also is said to live righteously, and their women
have equal rights with the men. 27. These then also are known; but as
to the region beyond[20] them, it is the Issedonians who report that
there are there one-eyed men and gold-guarding griffins; and the
Scythians report this having received it from them, and from the
Scythians we, that is the rest of mankind, have got our belief; and we
call them in Scythian language Arimaspians, for the Scythians call the
number one /arima/ and the eye /spu/.

28. This whole land which has been described is so exceedingly severe
in climate, that for eight months of the year there is frost so hard
as to be intolerable; and during these if you pour out water you will
not be able to make mud, but only if you kindle a fire can you make
it; and the sea is frozen and the whole of the Kimmerian Bosphorus, so
that the Scythians who are settled within the trench make expeditions
and drive their waggons over into the country of the Sindians. Thus it
continues to be winter for eight months, and even for the remaining
four it is cold in those parts. This winter is distinguished in its
character from all the winters which come in other parts of the world;
for in it there is no rain to speak of at the usual season for rain,
whereas in summer it rains continually; and thunder does not come at
the time when it comes in other countries, but is very frequent,[33]
in the summer; and if thunder comes in winter, it is marvelled at as a
prodigy: just so, if an earthquake happens, whether in summer or in
winter, it is accounted a prodigy in Scythia. Horses are able to
endure this winter, but neither mules nor asses can endure it at all,
whereas in other countries horses if they stand in frost lose their
limbs by mortification, while asses and mules endure it. 29. I think
also that it is for this reason that the hornless breed of oxen in
that country have no horns growing; and there is a verse of Homer in
the Odyssey[34] supporting my opinion, which runs this:--

"Also the Libyan land, where the sheep very quickly grow hornŔd,"

for it is rightly said that in hot regions the horns come quickly,
whereas in extreme cold the animals either have no horns growing at
all, or hardly any.[35]

30. In that land then this takes place on account of the cold; but
(since my history proceeded from the first seeking occasions for
digression)[36] I feel wonder that in the whole land of Elis mules
cannot be bred, though that region is not cold, nor is there any other
evident cause. The Eleians themselves say that in consequence of some
curse mules are not begotten in their land; but when the time
approaches for the mares to conceive, they drive them out into the
neighbouring lands and there in the land of their neighbours they
admit to them the he-asses until the mares are pregnant, and then they
drive them back.

31. As to the feathers of which the Scythians say that the air is
full, and that by reason of them they are not able either to see or to
pass through the further parts of the continent, the opinion which I
have is this:--in the parts beyond this land it snows continually,
though less in summer than in winter, as might be supposed. Now
whomsoever has seen close at hand snow falling thickly, knows what I
mean without further explanation, for the snow is like feathers: and
on account of this wintry weather, being such as I have said, the
Northern parts of this continent are uninhabitable. I think therefore
that by the feathers the Scythians and those who dwell near them mean
symbolically the snow. This then which has been said goes to the
furthest extent of the accounts given.

32. About a Hyperborean people the Scythians report nothing, nor do
any of those who dwell in this region, unless it be the Issedonians:
but in my opinion neither do these report anything; for if they did
the Scythians also would report it, as they do about the one-eyed
people. Hesiod however has spoken of Hyperboreans, and so also has
Homer in the poem of the "Epigonoi," at least if Homer was really the
composer of that Epic. 33. But much more about them is reported by the
people of Delos than by any others. For these say that sacred
offerings bound up in wheat straw are carried from the land of the
Hyperboreans and come to the Scythians, and then from the Scythians
the neighbouring nations in succession receive them and convey them
Westwards, finally as far as the Adriatic: thence they are sent
forward towards the South, and the people of Dodona receive them first
of all the Hellenes, and from these they come down to the Malian gulf
and are passed over to Eubťa, where city sends them on to city till
they come to Carystos. After this Andros is left out, for the
Carystians are those who bring them to Tenos, and the Tenians to
Delos. Thus they say that these sacred offerings come to Delos; but at
first, they say, the Hyperboreans sent two maidens bearing the sacred
offerings, whose names, say the Delians, were Hyperoche and Laodike,
and with them for their protection the Hyperboreans sent five men of
their nation to attend them, those namely who are now called
/PerphereŰs/ and have great honours paid to them in Delos. Since
however the Hyperboreans found that those who were sent away did not
return back, they were troubled to think that it would always befall
them to send out and not to receive back; and so they bore the
offerings to the borders of their land bound up in wheat straw, and
laid a charge upon their neighbours, bidding them send these forward
from themselves to another nation. These things then, they say, come
to Delos being thus sent forward; and I know of my own knowledge that
a thing is done which has resemblance to these offerings, namely that
the women of Thrace and Paionia, when they sacrifice to Artemis "the
Queen," do not make their offerings without wheat straw. 34. These I
know do as I have said; and for those maidens from the Hyperboreans,
who died in Delos, both the girls and the boys of the Delians cut off
their hair: the former before marriage cut off a lock and having wound
it round a spindle lay it upon the tomb (now the tomb is on the left
hand as one goes into the temple of Artemis, and over it grows an
olive-tree), and all the boys of the Delians wind some of their hair
about a green shoot of some tree, and they also place it upon the
tomb. 35. The maidens, I say, have this honour paid them by the
dwellers in Delos: and the same people say that Arge and Opis also,
being maidens, came to Delos, passing from the Hyperboreans by the
same nations which have been mentioned, even before Hyperoche and
Laodike. These last, they say, came bearing for Eileithuia the tribute
which they had laid upon themselves for the speedy birth,[37] but Arge
and Opis came with the divinities themselves, and other honours have
been assigned to them by the people of Delos: for the women, they say,
collect for them, naming them by their names in the hymn which Olen a
man of Lykia composed in their honour; and both the natives of the
other islands and the Ionians have learnt from them to sing hymns
naming Opis and Arge and collecting:--now this Olen came from Lukia
and composed also the other ancient hymns which are sung in Delos:--
and moreover they say that when the thighs of the victim are consumed
upon the altar, the ashes of them are used to cast upon the grave of
Opis and Arge. Now their grave is behind the temple of Artemis, turned
towards the East, close to the banqueting hall of the Ke´eans.

36. Let this suffice which has been said of the Hyperboreans; for the
tale of Abaris, who is reported to have been a Hyperborean, I do not
tell, namely[37a] how he carried the arrow about all over the earth,
eating no food. If however there are any Hyperboreans, it follows that
there are also Hypernotians; and I laugh when I see that, though many
before this have drawn maps of the Earth, yet no one has set the
matter forth in an intelligent way; seeing that they draw Ocean
flowing round the Earth, which is circular exactly as if drawn with
compasses, and they make Asia equal in size to Europe. In a few words
I shall declare the size of each division and of what nature it is as
regards outline.

37. The Persians inhabit Asia[38] extending to the Southern Sea, which
is called the Erythraian; and above these towards the North Wind dwell
the Medes, and above the Medes the Saspeirians, and above the
Saspeirians the Colchians, extending to the Northern Sea, into which
the river Phasis runs. These four nations inhabit from sea to sea. 38.
From them Westwards two peninsulas[39] stretch out from Asia into the
sea, and these I will describe. The first peninsula on the one of its
sides, that is the Northern, stretches along beginning from the Phasis
and extending to the sea, going along the Pontus and the Hellespont as
far as Sigeion in the land of Troy; and on the Southern side the same
peninsula stretches from the Myriandrian gulf, which lies near
Phenicia, in the direction of the sea as far as the headland Triopion;
and in this peninsula dwell thirty races of men. 39. This then is one
of the peninsulas, and the other beginning from the land of the
Persians stretches along to the Erythraian Sea, including Persia and
next after it Assyria, and Arabia after Assyria: and this ends, or
rather is commonly supposed to end,[40] at the Arabian gulf, into
which Dareios conducted a channel from the Nile. Now in the line
stretching to Phenicia from the land of the Persians the land is broad
and the space abundant, but after Phenicia this peninsula goes by the
shore of our Sea along Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, where it ends; and
in it there are three nations only. 40. These are the parts of Asia
which tend towards the West from the Persian land; but as to those
which lie beyond the Persians and Medes and Saspeirians and Colchians
towards the East and the sunrising, on one side the Erythraian Sea
runs along by them, and on the North both the Caspian Sea and the
river Araxes, which flows towards the rising sun: and Asia is
inhabited as far as the Indian land; but from this onwards towards the
East it becomes desert, nor can any one say what manner of land it is.

41. Such and so large is Asia: and Libya is included in the second
peninsula; for after Egypt Libya succeeds at once. Now about Egypt
this peninsula is narrow, for from our Sea to the Erythraian Sea is a
distance there of ten myriads of fathoms,[41] which would amount to a
thousand furlongs; but after this narrow part, the portion of the
peninsula which is called Libya is, as it chances, extremely broad.

42. I wonder then at those who have parted off and divided the world
into Libya, Asia, and Europe, since the difference between these is
not small; for in length Europe extends along by both, while in
breadth it is clear to me that it is beyond comparison larger;[42] for
Libya furnishes proofs about itself that it is surrounded by sea,
except so much of it as borders upon Asia; and this fact was shown by
Necos king of the Egyptians first of all those about whom we have
knowledge. He when he had ceased digging the channel[43] which goes
through from the Nile to the Arabian gulf, sent Phenicians with ships,
bidding them sail and come back through the Pillars of Heracles to the
Northern Sea and so to Egypt. The Phenicians therefore set forth from
the Erythraian Sea and sailed through the Southern Sea; and when
autumn came, they would put to shore and sow the land, wherever in
Libya they might happen to be as they sailed, and then they waited for
the harvest: and having reaped the corn they would sail on, so that
after two years had elapsed, in the third year they turned through the
Pillars of Heracles and arrived again in Egypt. And they reported a
thing which I cannot believe, but another man may, namely that in
sailing round Libya they had the sun on their right hand. 43. Thus was
this country first known to be what it is, and after this it is the
Carthaginians who make report of it; for as to Sataspes the son of
Teaspis the Achaimenid, he did not sail round Libya, though he was
sent for this very purpose, but was struck with fear by the length of
the voyage and the desolate nature of the land, and so returned back
and did not accomplish the task which his mother laid upon him. For
this man had outraged a daughter of Zopyros the son of Megabyzos, a
virgin; and then when he was about to be impaled by order of king
Xerxes for this offence, the mother of Sataspes, who was a sister of
Dareios, entreated for his life, saying that she would herself lay
upon him a greater penalty than Xerxes; for he should be compelled
(she said) to sail round Libya, until in sailing round it he came to
the Arabian gulf. So then Xerxes having agreed upon these terms,
Sataspes went to Egypt, and obtaining a ship and sailors from the
Egyptians, he sailed to the Pillars of Heracles; and having sailed
through them and turned the point of Libya which is called the
promontory of Soloeis, he sailed on towards the South. Then after he
had passed over much sea in many months, as there was needed ever more
and more voyaging, he turned about and sailed back again to Egypt: and
having come from thence into the presence of king Xerxes, he reported
saying that at the furthest point which he reached he was sailing by
dwarfish people, who used clothing made from the palm-tree, and who,
whenever they came to land with their ship, left their towns and fled
away to the mountains: and they, he said, did no injury when they
entered into the towns, but took food[43a] from them only. And the
cause, he said, why he had not completely sailed round Libya was that
the ship could not advance any further but stuck fast. Xerxes however
did not believe that he was speaking the truth, and since he had not
performed the appointed task, he impaled him, inflicting upon him the
penalty pronounced before. A eunuch belonging to this Sataspes ran
away to Samos as soon as he heard that his master was dead, carrying
with him large sums of money; and of this a man of Samos took
possession, whose name I know, but I purposely pass it over without

44. Of Asia the greater part was explored by Dareios, who desiring to
know of the river Indus, which is a second river producing crocodiles
of all the rivers in the world,--to know, I say, of this river where
it runs out into the sea, sent with ships, besides others whom he
trusted to speak the truth, Skylax also, a man of Caryanda. These
starting from the city of Caspatyros and the land of Pacty´ke, sailed
down the river towards the East and the sunrising to the sea; and then
sailing over the sea Westwards they came in the thirtieth month to
that place from whence the king of the Egyptians had sent out the
Phenicians of whom I spoke before, to sail round Libya. After these
had made their voyage round the coast, Dareios both subdued the
Indians and made use of this sea. Thus Asia also, excepting the parts
of it which are towards the rising sun, has been found to be
similar[44] to Libya. 45. As to Europe, however, it is clearly not
known by any, either as regards the parts which are towards the rising
sun or those towards the North, whether it be surrounded by sea: but
in length it is known to stretch along by both the other divisions.
And I am not able to understand for what reason it is that to the
Earth, which is one, three different names are given derived from
women, and why there were set as boundaries to divide it the river
Nile of Egypt and the Phasis in Colchis (or as some say the Maiotian
river Tana´s and the Kimmerian ferry); nor can I learn who those
persons were who made the boundaries, or for what reason they gave the
names. Libya indeed is said by most of the Hellenes to have its name
from Libya a woman of that country, and Asia from the wife of
Prometheus: but this last name is claimed by the Lydians, who say that
Asia has been called after Asias the son of Cotys the son of Manes,
and not from Asia the wife of Prometheus; and from him too they say
the Asian tribe in Sardis has its name. As to Europe however, it is
neither known by any man whether it is surrounded by sea, nor does it
appear whence it got this name or who he was who gave it, unless we
shall say that the land received its name from Europa the Tyrian; and
if so, it would appear that before this it was nameless like the rest.
She however evidently belongs to Asia and did not come to this land
which is now called by the Hellenes Europe, but only from Phenicia to
Crete, and from Crete to Lykia. Let this suffice now which has been
said about these matters; for we will adopt those which are commonly
accepted of the accounts.

46. Now the region of the Euxine upon which Dareios was preparing to
march has, apart from the Scythian race, the most ignorant nations
within it of all lands: for we can neither put forward any nation of
those who dwell within the region of Pontus as eminent in ability, nor
do we know of any man of learning[45] having arisen there, apart from
the Scythian nation and Anacharsis. By the Scythian race one thing
which is the most important of all human things has been found out
more cleverly than by any other men of whom we know; but in other
respects I have no great admiration for them: and that most important
thing which they have discovered is such that none can escape again
who has come to attack them, and if they do not desire to be found, it
is not possible to catch them: for they who have neither cities
founded nor walls built, but all carry their houses with them and are
mounted archers, living not by the plough but by cattle, and whose
dwellings are upon cars, these assuredly are invincible and impossible
to approach. 47. This they have found out, seeing that their land is
suitable to it and at the same time the rivers are their allies: for
first this land is plain land and is grassy and well watered, and then
there are rivers flowing through it not much less in number than the
channels in Egypt. Of these as many as are noteworthy and also can be
navigated from the sea, I will name: there is Ister with five mouths,
and after this Tyras, Hypanis, Borysthenes, Panticapes, Kypakyris,
Gerros and Tana´s. These flow as I shall now describe.

48. The Ister, which is the greatest of all the rivers which we know,
flows always with equal volume in summer and winter alike. It is the
first towards the West of all the Scythian rivers, and it has become
the greatest of all rivers because other rivers flow into it. And
these are they which make it great:[46]--five in number are those[47]
which flow through the Scythian land, namely that which the Scythians
call Porata and the Hellenes Pyretos, and besides this, Tiarantos and
Araros and Naparis and Ordessos. The first-mentioned of these is a
great river lying towards the East, and there it joins waters with the
Ister, the second Tiarantos is more to the West and smaller, and the
Araros and Naparis and Ordessos flow into the Ister going between
these two. 49. These are the native Scythian rivers which join to
swell its stream, while from the Agathyrsians flows the Maris and
joins the Ister, and from the summits of Haimos flow three other great
rivers towards the North Wind and fall into it, namely Atlas and Auras
and Tibisis. Through Thrace and the Thracian Crobyzians flow the
rivers Athrys and Noes and Artanes, running into the Ister; and from
the Paionians and Mount Rhodope the river Kios,[48] cutting through
Haimos in the midst, runs into it also. From the Illyrians the river
Angros flows Northwards and runs out into the Triballian plain and
into the river Brongos, and the Brongos flows into the Ister; thus the
Ister receives both these, being great rivers. From the region which
is above[20] the Ombricans, the river Carpis and another river, the
Alpis, flow also towards the North Wind and run into it; for the Ister
flows in fact through the whole of Europe, beginning in the land of
the Keltoi, who after the Kynesians dwell furthest towards the sun-
setting of all the peoples of Europe; and thus flowing through all
Europe it falls into the sea by the side of Scythia. 50. So then it is
because these which have been named and many others join their waters
together, that Ister becomes the greatest of rivers; since if we
compare the single streams, the Nile is superior in volume of water;
for into this no river or spring flows, to contribute to its volume.
And the Ister flows at an equal level always both in summer and in
winter for some such cause as this, as I suppose:--in winter it is of
the natural size, or becomes only a little larger than its nature,
seeing that this land receives very little rain in winter, but
constantly has snow; whereas in summer the snow which fell in the
winter, in quantity abundant, melts and runs from all parts into the
Ister. This snow of which I speak, running into the river helps to
swell its volume, and with it also many and violent showers of rain,
for it rains during the summer: and thus the waters which mingle with
the Ister are more copious in summer than they are in winter by about
as much as the water which the Sun draws to himself in summer exceeds
that which he draws in winter; and by the setting of these things
against one another there is produced a balance; so that the river is
seen to be of equal volume always.

51. One, I say, of the rivers which the Scythians have is the Ister;
and after it the Tyras, which starts from the North and begins its
course from a large lake which is the boundary between the land of the
Scythians and that of the Neuroi. At its mouth are settled those
Hellenes who are called Tyritai. 52. The third river is the Hypanis,
which starts from Scythia and flows from a great lake round which feed
white wild horses; and this lake is rightly called "Mother of
Hypanis." From this then the river Hypanis takes its rise and for a
distance of five days' sail it flows shallow and with sweet water
still;[49] but from this point on towards the sea for four days' sail
it is very bitter, for there flows into it the water of a bitter
spring, which is so exceedingly bitter that, small as it is, it
changes the water of the Hypanis by mingling with it, though that is a
river to which few are equal in greatness. This spring is on the
border between the lands of the agricultural Scythians and of the
Alazonians, and the name of the spring and of the place from which it
flows is in Scythian Exampaios, and in the Hellenic tongue Hierai
Hodoi.[50] Now the Tyras and the Hypanis approach one another in their
windings in the land of the Alazonians, but after this each turns off
and widens the space between them as they flow.

53. Fourth is the river Borysthenes, which is both the largest of
these after the Ister, and also in our opinion the most serviceable
not only of the Scythian rivers but also of all the rivers of the
world besides, excepting only the Nile of Egypt, for to this it is not
possible to compare any other river: of the rest however the
Borysthenes is the most serviceable, seeing that it provides both
pastures which are the fairest and the richest for cattle, and fish
which are better by far and more numerous than those of any other
river, and also it is the sweetest water to drink, and flows with
clear stream, though others beside it are turbid, and along its banks
crops are produced better than elsewhere, while in parts where it is
not sown, grass grows deeper. Moreover at its mouth salt forms of
itself in abundance, and it produces also huge fish without spines,
which they call /antacaioi/, to be used for salting, and many other
things also worthy of wonder. Now as far as the region of the
Gerrians,[51] to which it is a voyage of forty[52] days, the
Borysthenes is known as flowing from the North Wind; but above this
none can tell through what nations it flows: it is certain however
that it runs through desert[53] to the land of the agricultural
Scythians; for these Scythians dwell along its banks for a distance of
ten days' sail. Of this river alone and of the Nile I cannot tell
where the sources are, nor, I think, can any of the Hellenes. When the
Borysthenes comes near the sea in its course, the Hypanis mingles with
it, running out into the same marsh;[53a] and the space between these
two rivers, which is as it were a beak of land,[54] is called the
point of Hippoles, and in it is placed a temple of the Mother,[55] and

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