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THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, Volume 1 by Herodotus

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opposite the temple upon the river Hypanis are settled the

54. This is that which has to do with these rivers; and after these
there is a fifth river besides, called Panticapes. This also flows[56]
both from the North and from a lake, and in the space between this
river and the Borysthenes dwell the agricultural Scythians: it runs
out into the region of Hylaia, and having passed by this it mingles
with the Borysthenes. 55. Sixth comes the river Hypakyris, which
starts from a lake, and flowing through the midst of the nomad
Scythians runs out into the sea by the city of Carkinitis, skirting on
its right bank the region of Hylaia and the so-called racecourse of
Achilles. 56. Seventh is the Gerros, which parts off from the
Borysthenes near about that part of the country where the Borysthenes
ceases to be known,--it parts off, I say, in this region and has the
same name which this region itself has, namely Gerros; and as it flows
to the sea it borders the country of the nomad and that of the Royal
Scythians, and runs out into the Hypakyris. 57. The eighth is the
river Tana´s, which starts in its flow at first from a large lake, and
runs out into a still larger lake called Maiotis, which is the
boundary between the Royal Scythians and the Sauromatai. Into this
Tana´s falls another river, whose name is Hyrgis.

58. So many are the rivers of note with which the Scythians are
provided: and for cattle the grass which comes up in the land of
Scythia is the most productive of bile of any grass which we know; and
that this is so you may judge when you open the bodies of the cattle.

59. Thus abundant supply have they of that which is most important;
and as for the rest their customs are as follows. The gods whom they
propitiate by worship are these only:--Hestia most of all, then Zeus
and the Earth, supposing that Earth is the wife of Zeus, and after
these Apollo, and Aphrodite Urania, and Heracles, and Ares. Of these
all the Scythians have the worship established, and the so-called
Royal Scythians sacrifice also to Poseidon. Now Hestia is called in
Scythian Tabiti, and Zeus, being most rightly named in my opinion, is
called Papaios, and Earth Api,[57] and Apollo Oitosyros,[58] and
Aphrodite Urania is called Argimpasa,[59] and Poseidon
Thagimasidas.[60] It is not their custom however to make images,
altars or temples to any except Ares, but to him it is their custom to
make them.

60. They have all the same manner of sacrifice established for all
their religious rites equally, and it is thus performed:--the victim
stands with its fore-feet tied, and the sacrificing priest stands
behind the victim, and by pulling the end of the cord he throws the
beast down; and as the victim falls, he calls upon the god to whom he
is sacrificing, and then at once throws a noose round its neck, and
putting a small stick into it he turns it round and so strangles the
animal, without either lighting a fire or making any first offering
from the victim or pouring any libation over it: and when he has
strangled it and flayed off the skin, he proceeds to boil it. 61. Now
as the land of Scythia is exceedingly ill wooded, this contrivance has
been invented for the boiling of the flesh:--having flayed the
victims, they strip the flesh off the bones and then put it into
caldrons, if they happen to have any, of native make, which very much
resemble Lesbian mixing-bowls except that they are much larger,--into
these they put the flesh and boil it by lighting under it the bones of
the victim: if however thy have not at hand the caldron, they put all
the flesh into the stomachs of the victims and adding water they light
the bones under them; and these blaze up beautifully, and the
stomachs easily hold the flesh when it has been stripped off the
bones: thus an ox is made to boil itself, and the other kinds of
victims each boil themselves also. Then when the flesh is boiled, the
sacrificer takes a first offering of the flesh and of the vital organs
and casts it in front of him. And they sacrifice various kinds of
cattle, but especially horses.

62. To the others of the gods they sacrifice thus and these kinds of
beasts, but to Ares as follows:--In each district of the several
governments[61] they have a temple of Ares set up in this way:--
bundles of brushwood are heaped up for about three furlongs[62] in
length and in breadth, but less in height; and on the top of this
there is a level square made, and three of the sides rise sheer but by
the remaining one side the pile may be ascended. Every year they pile
on a hundred and fifty waggon-loads of brushwood, for it is constantly
settling down by reason of the weather.[63] Upon this pile of which I
speak each people has an ancient iron sword[64] set up, and this is
the sacred symbol[65] of Ares. To this sword they bring yearly
offerings of cattle and of horses; and they have the following
sacrifice in addition, beyond what they make to the other gods, that
is to say, of all the enemies whom they take captive in war they
sacrifice one man in every hundred, not in the same manner as they
sacrifice cattle, but in a different manner: for they first pour wine
over their heads, and after that they cut the throats of the men, so
that the blood runs into a bowl; and then they carry this up to the
top of the pile of brushwood and pour the blood over the sword. This,
I say, they carry up; and meanwhile below by the side of the temple
they are doing thus:--they cut off all the right arms of the
slaughtered men with the hands and throw them up into the air, and
then when they have finished offering the other victims, they go away;
and the arm lies wheresoever it has chanced to fall, and the corpse
apart from it. 63. Such are the sacrifices which are established among
them; but of swine these make no use, nor indeed are they wont to keep
them at all in their land.

64. That which relates to war is thus ordered with them:--When a
Scythian has slain his first man, he drinks some of his blood: and of
all those whom he slays in the battle he bears the heads to the king;
for if he has brought a head he shares in the spoil which they have
taken, but otherwise not. And he takes off the skin of the head by
cutting it round about the ears and then taking hold of the scalp and
shaking it off; afterwards he scrapes off the flesh with the rib of an
ox, and works the skin about with his hands; and when he has thus
tempered it, he keeps it as a napkin to wipe the hands upon, and hangs
it from the bridle of the horse on which he himself rides, and takes
pride in it; for whosoever has the greatest number of skins to wipe
the hands upon, he is judged to be the bravest man. Many also make
cloaks to wear of the skins stripped off, sewing them together like
shepherds' cloaks of skins;[66] and many take the skin together with
the finger-nails off the right hands of their enemies when they are
dead, and make them into covers for their quivers: now human skin it
seems is both thick and glossy in appearance, more brilliantly white
than any other skin. Many also take the skins off the whole bodies of
men and stretch them on pieces of wood and carry them about on their
horses. 65. Such are their established customs about these things; and
to the skulls themselves, not of all but of their greatest enemies,
they do thus:--the man saws off all below the eyebrows and clears out
the inside; and if he is a poor man he only stretches ox-hide round it
and then makes use of it; but if he be rich, besides stretching the
ox-hide he gilds it over within, and makes use of it as a drinking-
cup. They do this also if any of their own family have been at
variance with them and the man gets the better of his adversary in
trial before the king; and when strangers come to him whom he highly
esteems, he sets these skulls before them, and adds the comment that
they being of his own family had made war against him, and that he had
got the better of them; and this they hold to be a proof of manly
virtue. 66. Once every year each ruler of a district mixes in his own
district a bowl of wine, from which those of the Scythians drink by
whom enemies have been slain; but those by whom this has not been done
do not taste of the wine, but sit apart dishonoured; and this is the
greatest of all disgraces among them: but those of them who have slain
a very great number of men, drink with two cups together at the same

67. Diviners there are many among the Scythians, and they divine with
a number of willow rods in the following manner:--they bring large
bundles of rods, and having laid them on the ground they unroll them,
and setting each rod by itself apart they prophesy; and while speaking
thus, they roll the rods together again, and after that they place
them in order a second time one by one.[67] This manner of divination
they have from their fathers: but the EnareŰs or "man-women"[68] say
that Aphrodite gave them the gift of divination, and they divine
accordingly with the bark of the linden-tree. Having divided the
linden-bark into three strips, the man twists them together in his
fingers and untwists them again, and as he does this he utters the
oracle. 68. When the king of the Scythians is sick, he sends for three
of the diviners, namely those who are most in repute, who divine in
the manner which has been said: and these say for the most part
something like this, namely that so and so has sworn falsely by the
hearth of the king, and they name one of the citizens, whosoever it
may happen to be: now it is the prevailing custom of the Scythians to
swear by the hearth of the king at the times when they desire to swear
the most solemn oath. He then who they say has sworn falsely, is
brought forthwith held fast on both sides; and when he has come the
diviners charge him with this, that he is shown by their divination to
have sworn falsely by the hearth of the king, and that for this reason
the king is suffering pain: and he denies and says that he did not
swear falsely, and complains indignantly: and when he denies it, the
king sends for other diviners twice as many in number, and if these
also by looking into their divination pronounce him guilty of having
sworn falsely, at once they cut off the man's head, and the diviners
who came first part his goods among them by lot; but if the diviners
who came in afterwards acquit him, other diviners come in, and again
others after them. If then the greater number acquit the man, the
sentence is that the first diviners shall themselves be put to death.
69. They put them to death accordingly in the following manner:--first
they fill a waggon with brushwood and yoke oxen to it; then having
bound the feet of the diviners and tied their hands behind them and
stopped their mouths with gags, they fasten them down in the middle of
the brushwood, and having set fire to it they scare the oxen and let
them go: and often the oxen are burnt to death together with the
diviners, and often they escape after being scorched, when the pole to
which they are fastened has been burnt: and they burn the diviners in
the manner described for other causes also, calling them false
prophets. Now when the king puts any to death, he does not leave alive
their sons either, but he puts to death all the males, not doing any
hurt to the females. 70. In the following manner the Scythians make
oaths to whomsoever they make them:--they pour wine into a great
earthenware cup and mingle with it blood of those who are taking the
oath to one another, either making a prick with an awl or cutting with
a dagger a little way into their body, and then they dip into the cup
a sword[64] and arrows and a battle-axe and a javelin; and having done
this, they invoke many curses on the breaker of the oath, and
afterwards they drink it off, both they who are making the oath and
the most honourable of their company.

71. The burial-place of the kings is in the land of the Gerrians, the
place up to which the Borysthenes is navigable. In this place, when
their king has died, they make a large square excavation in the earth;
and when they have made this ready, they take up the corpse (the body
being covered over with wax and the belly ripped up and cleansed, and
then sewn together again, after it has been filled with /kyperos/[69]
cut up and spices and parsley-seed and anise), and they convey it in a
waggon to another nation. Then those who receive the corpse thus
conveyed to them do the same as the Royal Scythians, that is they cut
off a part of their ear and shave their hair round about and cut
themselves all over the arms and tear their forehead and nose and pass
arrows through their left hand. Thence they convey in the waggon the
corpse of the king to another of the nations over whom they rule; and
they to whom they came before accompany them: and when they have gone
round to all conveying the corpse, then they are in the land of the
Gerrians, who have their settlements furthest away of all the nations
over whom they rule, and they have reached the spot where the burial
place is. After that, having placed the corpse in the tomb upon a bed
of leaves, they stick spears along on this side and that of the corpse
and stretch pieces of wood over them, and then they cover the place in
with matting. Then they strangle and bury in the remaining space of
the tomb one of the king's mistresses, his cup-bearer, his cook, his
horse-keeper, his attendant, and his bearer of messages, and also
horses, and a first portion of all things else, and cups of gold; for
silver they do not use at all, nor yet bronze.[70] Having thus done
they all join together to pile up a great mound, vying with one
another and zealously endeavouring to make it as large as possible.
72. Afterwards, when the year comes round again, they do as follows:--
they take the most capable of the remaining servants,--and these are
native Scythians, for those serve him whom the king himself commands
to do so, and his servants are not bought for money,--of these
attendants then they strangle fifty and also fifty of the finest
horses; and when they have taken out their bowels and cleansed the
belly, they fill it with chaff and sew it together again. Then they
set the half of a wheel upon two stakes with the hollow side upwards,
and the other half of the wheel upon other two stakes, and in this
manner they fix a number of these; and after this they run thick
stakes through the length of the horses as far as the necks, and they
mount them upon the wheels; and the front pieces of wheel support the
shoulders of the horses, while those behind bear up their bellies,
going by the side of the thighs; and both front and hind legs hang in
the air. On the horses they put bridles and bits, and stretch the
bridles tight in front of them and then tie them up to pegs: and of
the fifty young men who have been strangled they mount each one upon
his horse, having first[71] run a straight stake through each body
along by the spine up to the neck; and a part of this stake projects
below, which they fasten into a socket made in the other stake that
runs through the horse. Having set horsemen such as I have described
in a circle round the tomb, they then ride away. 73. Thus they bury
their kings; but as for the other Scythians, when they die their
nearest relations carry them round laid in waggons to their friends in
succession; and of them each one when he receives the body entertains
those who accompany it, and before the corpse they serve up of all
things about the same quantity as before the others. Thus private
persons are carried about for forty days, and then they are buried:
and after burying them the Scythians cleanse themselves in the
following way:--they soap their heads and wash them well, and then,
for their body, they set up three stakes leaning towards one another
and about them they stretch woollen felt coverings, and when they have
closed them as much as possible they throw stones heated red-hot into
a basin placed in the middle of the stakes and the felt coverings. 74.
Now they have hemp growing in their land, which is very like flax
except in thickness and in height, for in these respects the hemp is
much superior. This grows both of itself and with cultivation; and of
it the Thracians even make garments, which are very like those made of
flaxen thread, so that he who was not specially conversant with it
would not be able to decide whether the garments were of flax or of
hemp; and he who had not before seen stuff woven of hemp would suppose
that the garment was made of flax. 75. The Scythians then take the
seed of this hemp and creep under the felt coverings, and then they
throw the seed upon the stones which have been heated red-hot: and it
burns like incense and produces a vapour so think that no vapour-bath
in Hellas would surpass it: and the Scythians being delighted with the
vapour-bath howl like wolves.[72] This is to them instead of washing,
for in fact they do not wash their bodies at all in water. Their women
however pound with a rough stone the wood of the cypress and cedar and
frankincense tree, pouring in water with it, and then with this
pounded stuff, which is thick, they plaster over all their body and
also their face; and not only does a sweet smell attach to them by
reason of this, but also when they take off the plaster on the next
day, their skin is clean and shining.

76. This nation also[73] is very averse to adopting strange customs,
rejecting even those of other tribes among themselves,[74] but
especially those of the Hellenes, as the history of Anacharsis and
also afterwards of Skyles proved.[75] For as to Anacharsis first, when
he was returning to the abodes of the Scythians, after having visited
many lands[76] and displayed in them much wisdom, as he sailed through
the Hellespont he put in to Kyzicos: and since he found the people of
Kyzicos celebrating a festival very magnificently in honour of the
Mother of the gods, Anacharsis vowed to the Mother that if he should
return safe and sound to his own land, he would both sacrifice to her
with the same rites as he saw the men of Kyzicos do, and also hold a
night festival. So when he came to Scythia he went down into the
region called Hylaia (this is along by the side of the racecourse of
Achilles and is quite full, as it happens, of trees of all kinds),--
into this, I say, Anacharsis went down, and proceeded to perform all
the ceremonies of the festival in honour of the goddess, with a
kettle-drum and with images hung about himself. And one of the
Scythians perceived him doing this and declared it to Saulios the
king; and the king came himself also, and when he saw Anacharsis doing
this, he shot him with an arrow and killed him. Accordingly at the
present time if one asks about Anacharsis, the Scythians say that they
do not know him, and for this reason, because he went out of his own
country to Hellas and adopted foreign customs. And as I heard from
Tymnes the steward[77] of Ariapeithes, he was the uncle on the
father's side of Idanthyrsos king of the Scythians, and the son of
Gnuros, the son of Lycos, the son of Spargapeithes. If then Anacharsis
was of this house, let him know that he died by the hand of his
brother, for Idanthyrsos was the son of Saulios, and Saulios was he
who killed Anacharsis. 77. However I have heard also another story,
told by the Peloponnesians, that Anacharsis was sent out by the king
of the Scythians, and so made himself a disciple of Hellas; and that
when he returned back he said to him that had sent him forth, that the
Hellenes were all busied about every kind of cleverness except the
Lacedemonians; but these alone knew how to exchange speech sensibly.
This story however has been invented[78] without any ground by the
Hellenes themselves; and however that may be, the man was slain in the
way that was related above.

78. This man then fared thus badly by reason of foreign customs and
communication with Hellenes; and very many years afterwards Skyles the
son of Ariapeithes suffered nearly the same fate as he. For
Ariapeithes the king of the Scythians with other sons had Skyles born
to him: and he was born of a woman who was of Istria, and certainly
not a native of Scythia; and this mother taught him the language and
letters of Hellas. Afterwards in course of time Ariapeithes was
brought to his end by treachery at the hands of Spargapeithes the king
of the Agathyrsians, and Skyles succeeded to the kingdom; and he took
not only that but also the wife of his father, whose name was Opoia:
this Opoia was a native Scythian and from her was born Oricos to
Ariapeithes. Now when Skyles was king of the Scythians, he was by no
means satisfied with the Scythian manner of life, but was much more
inclined towards Hellenic ways because of the training with which he
had been brought up, and he used to do somewhat as follows:--When he
came with the Scythians in arms to the city of the Borysthenites (now
these Borysthenites say that they are of Miletos),--when Skyles came
to these, he would leave his band in the suburbs of the city and go
himself within the walls and close the gates. After that he would lay
aside his Scythian equipments and take Hellenic garments, and wearing
them he would go about in the market-place with no guards or any other
man accompanying him (and they watched the gates meanwhile, that none
of the Scythians might see him wearing this dress): and while in other
respects too he adopted Hellenic manners of life, he used also to
perform worship to the gods according to the customs of the Hellenes.
Then having stayed a month or more than that, he would put on the
Scythian dress and depart. This he did many times, and he both built
for himself a house in Borysthenes and also took to it a woman of the
place as his wife. 79. Since however it was fated that evil should
happen to him, it happened by an occasion of this kind:--he formed a
desire to be initiated in the rites of Bacchus-Dionysos, and as he was
just about to receive[79] the initiation, there happened a very great
portent. He had in the city of the Borysthenites a house of great size
and built with large expense, of which also I made mention a little
before this, and round it were placed sphinxes and griffins of white
stone: on this house Zeus[79a] caused a bolt to fall; and the house
was altogether burnt down, but Skyles none the less for this completed
his initiation. Now the Scythians make the rites of Bacchus a reproach
against the Hellenes, for they say that it is not fitting to invent a
god like this, who impels men to frenzy. So when Skyles had been
initiated into the rites of Bacchus, one of the Borysthenites went
off[80] to the Scythians and said: "Whereas ye laugh at us, O
Scythians, because we perform the rite of Bacchus and because the god
seizes us, now this divinity has seized also your king; and he is both
joining in the rite of Bacchus and maddened by the influence of the
god. And if ye disbelieve me, follow and I will show you." The chief
men of the Scythians followed him, and the Borysthenite led them
secretly into the town and set them upon a tower. So when Skyles
passed by with the company of revellers, and the Scythians saw him
joining in the rite of Bacchus, they were exceedingly grieved at it,
and they went out and declared to the whole band that which they had
seen. 80. After this when Skyles was riding out again to his own
abode, the Scythians took his brother Octamasades for their leader,
who was a son of the daughter of Teres, and made insurrection against
Skyles. He then when he perceived that which was being done to his
hurt and for what reason it was being done, fled for refuge to Thrace;
and Octamasades being informed of this, proceeded to march upon
Thrace. So when he had arrived at the river Ister, the Thracians met
him; and as they were about to engage battle, Sitalkes sent a
messenger to Octamasades and said: "Why must we make trial of one
another in fight? Thou art my sister's son and thou hast in thy power
my brother. Do thou give him back to me, and I will deliver to thee
thy brother Skyles: and let us not either of us set our armies in
peril, either thou or I." Thus Sitalkes proposed to him by a herald;
for there was with Octamasades a brother of Sitalkes, who had gone
into exile for fear of him. And Octamasades agreed to this, and by
giving up his own mother's brother to Sitalkes he received his brother
Skyles in exchange: and Sitalkes when he received his brother led him
away as a prisoner, but Octamasades cut off the head of Skyles there
upon the spot. Thus do the Scythians carefully guard their own
customary observances, and such are the penalties which they inflict
upon those who acquire foreign customs besides their own.

81. How many the Scythians are I was not able to ascertain precisely,
but I heard various reports of the number: for reports say both that
they are very many in number and also that they are few, at least as
regards the true Scythians.[81] Thus far however they gave me evidence
of my own eyesight:--there is between the river Borysthenes and the
Hypanis a place called Exampaios, of which also I made mention
somewhat before this, saying that there was in it a spring of bitter
water, from which the water flows and makes the river Hypanis unfit to
drink. In this place there is set a bronze bowl, in size at least six
times as large as the mixing-bowl at the entrance of the Pontus, which
Pausanias the son of Cleombrotos dedicated: and for him who has never
seen that, I will make the matter clear by saying that the bowl in
Scythia holds easily six hundred amphors,[82] and the thickness of
this Scythian bowl is six fingers. This then the natives of the place
told me had been made of arrow-heads: for their king, they said, whose
name was Ariantas, wishing to know how many the Scythians were,
ordered all the Scythians to bring one arrow-head, each from his own
arrow, and whosoever should not bring one, he threatened with death.
So a great multitude of arrow-heads was brought, and he resolved to
make of them a memorial and to leave it behind him: from these then,
they said, he made this bronze bowl and dedicated it in this place
Exampaios. 82. This is what I heard about the number of the Scythians.
Now this land has no marvellous things except that it has rivers which
are by far larger and more numerous than those of any other land. One
thing however shall be mentioned which it has to show, and which is
worthy of wonder even besides the rivers and the greatness of the
plain, that is to say, they point out a footprint of Heracles in the
rock by the bank of the river Tyras, which in shape is like the mark
of a man's foot but in size is two cubits long. This then is such as I
have said; and I will go back now to the history which I was about to
tell at first.


83. While Dareios was preparing to go against the Scythians and was
sending messengers to appoint to some the furnishing of a land-army,
to others that of ships, and to others the bridging over of the
Thracian Bosphorus, Artabanos, the son of Hystaspes and brother of
Dareios, urged him by no means to make the march against the
Scythians, telling him how difficult the Scythians were to deal with.
Since however he did not persuade him, though he gave him good
counsel, he ceased to urge; and Dareios, when all his preparations had
been made, began to march his army forth from Susa. 84. Then one of
the Persians, Oiobazos, made request to Dareios that as he had three
sons and all were serving in the expedition, one might be left behind
for him: and Dareios said that as he was a friend and made a
reasonable request, he would leave behind all the sons. So Oiobazos
was greatly rejoiced, supposing that his sons had been freed from
service, but Dareios commanded those who had the charge of such things
to put to death all the sons of Oiobazos. 85. These then were left,
having been slain upon the spot where they were: and Dareios meanwhile
set forth from Susa and arrived at the place on the Bosphorus where
the bridge of ships had been made, in the territory of Chalcedon; and
there he embarked in a ship and sailed to the so-called Kyanean rocks,
which the Hellenes say formerly moved backwards and forwards; and
taking his seat at the temple[83] he gazed upon the Pontus, which is a
sight well worth seeing. Of all seas indeed it is the most marvellous
in its nature. The length of it is eleven thousand one hundred
furlongs,[84] and the breadth, where it is broadest, three thousand
three hundred: and of this great Sea the mouth is but four furlongs
broad, and the length of the mouth, that is of the neck of water which
is called Bosphorus, where, as I said, the bridge of ships had been
made, is not less than a hundred and twenty furlongs. This Bosphorus
extends to the Propontis; and the Propontis, being in breadth five
hundred furlongs and in length one thousand four hundred, has its
outlet into the Hellespont, which is but seven furlongs broad at the
narrowest place, though it is four hundred furlongs in length: and the
Hellespont runs out into that expanse of sea which is called the
Egean. 86. These measurements I have made as follows:--a ship
completes on an average in a long day a distance of seventy thousand
fathoms, and in a night sixty thousand. Now we know that to the river
Phasis from the mouth of the Sea (for it is here that the Pontus is
longest) is a voyage of nine days and eight nights, which amounts to
one hundred and eleven myriads[85] of fathoms; and these fathoms are
eleven thousand one hundred furlongs. Then from the land of the
Sindians to Themiskyra on the river Thermodon (for here is the
broadest part of the Pontus) it is a voyage of three days and two
nights, which amounts to thirty-three myriads[86] of fathoms or three
thousand three hundred furlongs. This Pontus then and also the
Bosphorus and the Hellespont have been measured by me thus, and their
nature is such as has been said: and this Pontus also has a lake which
has its outlet into it, which lake is not much less in size than the
Pontus itself, and it is called Maiotis and "Mother of the Pontus."

87. Dareios then having gazed upon the Pontus sailed back to the
bridge, of which Mandrocles a Samian had been chief constructor; and
having gazed upon the Bosphorus also, he set up two pillars[86a] by it
of white stone with characters cut upon them, on the one Assyrian and
on the other Hellenic, being the names of all the nations which he was
leading with him: and he was leading with him all over whom he was
ruler. The whole number of them without the naval force was reckoned
to be seventy myriads[87] including cavalry, and ships had been
gathered together to the number of six hundred. These pillars the
Byzantians conveyed to their city after the events of which I speak,
and used them for the altar of Artemis Orthosia, excepting one stone,
which was left standing by the side of the temple of Dionysos in
Byzantion, covered over with Assyrian characters. Now the place on the
Bosphorus where Dareios made his bridge is, as I conclude,[87a] midway
between Byzantion and the temple at the mouth of the Pontus. 88. After
this Dareios being pleased with the floating bridge rewarded the chief
constructor of it, Mandrocles the Samian, with gifts tenfold;[88] and
as an offering from these Mandrocles had a painting made of figures to
present the whole scene of the bridge over the Bosphorus and king
Dareios sitting in a prominent seat and his army crossing over; this
he caused to be painted and dedicated it as an offering in the temple
of Hera, with the following inscription:

"Bosphorus having bridged over, the straits fish-abounding, to Hera
MandrocleŰs dedicates this, of his work to record;
A crown on himself he set, and he brought to the Samians glory,
And for Dareios performed everything after his mind."

89. This memorial was made of him who constructed the bridge: and
Dareios, after he had rewarded Mandrocles with gifts, passed over into
Europe, having first commanded the Ionians to sail into the Pontus as
far as the river Ister, and when they arrived at the Ister, there to
wait for him, making a bridge meanwhile over the river; for the chief
of his naval force were the Ionians, the Aiolians and the
Hellespontians. So the fleet sailed through between the Kyanean rocks
and made straight for the Ister; and then they sailed up the river a
two days' voyage from the sea and proceeded to make a bridge across
the neck, as it were, of the river, where the mouths of the Ister part
off. Dareios meanwhile, having crossed the Bosphorus on the floating
bridge, was advancing through Thrace, and when he came to the sources
of the river Tearos he encamped for three days. 90. Now the Tearos is
said by those who dwell near it to be the best of all rivers, both in
other respects which tend to healing and especially for curing
diseases of the skin[89] both in men and in horses: and its springs
are thirty-eight in number, flowing all from the same rock, of which
some are cold and others warm. The way to them is of equal length from
the city of Heraion near Perinthos and from Apollonia upon the Euxine
Sea, that is to say two days' journey by each road. This Tearos runs
into the river Contadesdos and the Contadesdos into the Agrianes and
the Agrianes into the Hebros, which flows into the sea by the city of
Ainos. 91. Dareios then, having come to this river and having encamped
there, was pleased with the river and set up a pillar there also, with
an inscription as follows: "The head-springs of the river Tearos give
the best and fairest water of all rivers; and to them came leading an
army against the Scythians the best and fairest of all men, Dareios
the son of Hystaspes, of the Persians and of all the Continent king."
These were the words which were there written.

92. Dareios then set out from thence and came to another river whose
name is Artescos, which flows through the land of the Odrysians.
Having come to this river he did as follows:--he appointed a place for
his army and bade every man as he passed out by it place one stone in
this appointed place: and when the army had performed this, then he
marched away his army leaving behind great mounds of these stones. 93.
But before he came to the Ister he conquered first the Getai, who
believe in immortality: for the Thracians who occupy Salmydessos and
are settled above the cities of Apollonian and Mesambria, called the
Kyrmianai[90] and the Nipsaioi, delivered themselves over to Dareios
without fighting; but the Getai, who are the bravest and the most
upright in their dealings of all the Thracians, having betaken
themselves to obstinacy were forthwith subdued. 94. And their belief
in immortality is of this kind, that is to say, they hold that they do
not die, but that he who is killed goes to Salmoxis,[91] a
divinity,[92] whom some of them call Gebeleizis; and at intervals of
four years[93] they send one of themselves, whomsoever the lot may
select, as a messenger to Salmoxis, charging him with such requests as
they have to make on each occasion; and they send him thus:--certain
of them who are appointed for this have three javelins, and others
meanwhile take hold on both sides of him who is being sent to
Salmoxis, both by his hands and his feet, and first they swing him up,
then throw him into the air so as to fall upon the spear-points: and
if when he is pierced through he is killed, they think that the god is
favourable to them; but if he is not killed, they find fault with the
messenger himself, calling him a worthless man, and then having found
fault with him they send another: and they give him the charge
beforehand, while he is yet alive. These same Thracians also shoot
arrows up towards the sky when thunder and lightning come, and use
threats to the god, not believing that there exists any other god
except their own. 95. This Salmoxis I hear from the Hellenes who dwell
about the Hellespont and the Pontus, was a man, and he became a slave
in Samos, and was in fact a slave of Pythagoras the son of Mnesarchos.
Then having become free he gained great wealth, and afterwards
returned to his own land: and as the Thracians both live hardly and
are rather simple-minded, this Salmoxis, being acquainted with the
Ionian way of living and with manners more cultivated[94] than the
Thracians were used to see, since he had associated with Hellenes (and
not only that but with Pythagoras, not the least able philosopher[95]
of the Hellenes), prepared a banqueting-hall,[96] where he received
and feasted the chief men of the tribe and instructed them meanwhile
that neither he himself nor his guests nor their descendants in
succession after them would die; but that they would come to a place
where they would live for ever and have all things good. While he was
doing that which has been mentioned and was saying these things, he
was making for himself meanwhile a chamber under the ground; and when
his chamber was finished, he disappeared from among the Thracians and
went down into the underground chamber, where he continued to live for
three years: and they grieved for his loss and mourned for him as
dead. Then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and in
this way the things which Salmoxis said became credible to them. 96.
Thus they say that he did; but as to this matter and the chamber under
ground, I neither disbelieve it nor do I very strongly believe, but I
think that this Salmoxis lived many years before Pythagoras. However,
whether there ever lived a man Salmoxis, or whether he is simply a
native deity of the Getai, let us bid farewell to him now.

97. These, I say, having such manners as I have said, were subdued by
the Persians and accompanied the rest of the army: and when Dareios
and with him the land-army arrived at the Ister, then after all had
passed over, Dareios commanded the Ionians to break up the floating
bridge and to accompany him by land, as well as the rest of the troops
which were in the ships: and when the Ionians were just about to break
it up and to do that which he commanded, CoŰs the son of Erxander, who
was commander of the Mytilenians, said thus to Dareios, having first
inquired whether he was disposed to listen to an opinion from one who
desired to declare it: "O king, seeing that thou art about to march
upon a land where no cultivated ground will be seen nor any inhabited
town, do thou therefore let this bridge remain where it is, leaving to
guard it those same men who constructed it. Then, if we find the
Scythians and fare as we desire, we have a way of return; and also
even if we shall not be able to find them, at least our way of return
is secured: for that we should be worsted by the Scythians in fight I
never feared yet, but rather that we might not be able to find them,
and might suffer some disaster in wandering about. Perhaps some one
will say that in speaking thus I am speaking for my own advantage, in
order that I may remain behind; but in truth I am bringing forward, O
king, the opinion which I found best for thee, and I myself will
accompany thee and not be left behind." With this opinion Dareios was
very greatly pleased and made answer to him in these words: "Friend
from Lesbos, when I have returned safe to my house, be sure that thou
appear before me, in order that I may requite thee with good deeds for
good counsel." 98. Having thus said and having tied sixty knots in a
thong, he called the despots of the Ionians to speak with him and said
as follows: "Men of Ionia, know that I have given up the opinion which
I formerly declared with regard to the bridge; and do ye keep this
thong and do as I shall say:--so soon as ye shall have seen me go
forward against the Scythians, from that time begin, and untie a knot
on each day: and if within this time I am not here, and ye find that
the days marked by the knots have passed by, then sail away to your
own lands. Till then, since our resolve has thus been changed, guard
the floating bridge, showing all diligence to keep it safe and to
guard it. And thus acting, ye will do for me a very acceptable
service." Thus said Dareios and hastened on his march forwards.


99. Now in front of Scythia in the direction towards the sea[97] lies
Thrace; and where a bay is formed in this land, there begins Scythia,
into which the Ister flows out, the mouth of the river being turned
towards the South-East Wind. Beginning at the Ister then I am about to
describe the coast land of the true Scythia, with regard to
measurement. At once from the Ister begins this original land of
Scythia, and it lies towards the midday and the South Wind, extending
as far as the city called Carkinitis. After this the part which lies
on the coast of the same sea still, a country which is mountainous and
runs out in the direction of the Pontus, is occupied by the Tauric
race, as far as the peninsula which is called the "Rugged Chersonese";
and this extends to the sea which lies towards the East Wind: for two
sides of the Scythian boundaries lie along by the sea, one by the sea
on the South, and the other by that on the East, just as it is with
Attica: and in truth the Tauroi occupy a part of Scythia which has
much resemblance to Attica; it is as if in Attica another race and not
the Athenians occupied the hill region[98] of Sunion, supposing it to
project more at the point into the sea, that region namely which is
cut off by a line from Thoricos to Anaphlystos. Such I say, if we may
be allowed to compare small things such as this with great, is the
form of the Tauric land.[99] For him however who has not sailed along
this part of the coast of Attica I will make it clear by another
comparison:--it is as if in Iapygia another race and not the Iapygians
had cut off for themselves and were holding that extremity of the land
which is bounded by a line beginning at the harbour of Brentesion and
running to Taras. And in mentioning these two similar cases I am
suggesting many other things also to which the Tauric land has
resemblance. 100. After the Tauric land immediately come Scythians
again, occupying the parts above the Tauroi and the coasts of the
Eastern sea, that is to say the parts to the West of the Kimmerian
Bosphorus and of the Maiotian lake, as far as the river Tana´s, which
runs into the corner of this lake. In the upper parts which tend
inland Scythia is bounded (as we know)[100] by the Agathyrsians first,
beginning from the Ister, and then by the Neuroi, afterwards by the
Androphagoi, and lastly by the Melanchlainoi. 101. Scythia then being
looked upon as a four-sided figure with two of its sides bordered by
the sea, has its border lines equal to one another in each direction,
that which tends inland and that which runs along by the sea: for from
Ister to the Borysthenes is ten days' journey, and from the
Borysthenes to the Maiotian lake ten days' more; and the distance
inland to the Melanchlainoi, who are settled above the Scythians, is a
journey of twenty days. Now I have reckoned the day's journey at two
hundred furlongs:[101] and by this reckoning the cross lines of
Scythia[102] would be four thousand furlongs in length, and the
perpendiculars which tend inland would be the same number of furlongs.
Such is the size of this land.


102. The Scythians meanwhile having considered with themselves that
they were not able to repel the army of Dareios alone by a pitched
battle, proceeded to send messengers to those who dwelt near them: and
already the kings of these nations had come together and were taking
counsel with one another, since so great an army was marching towards
them. Now those who had come together were the kings of the Tauroi,
Agathyrsians, Neuroi, Androphagoi, Melanchlainoi, Gelonians, Budinoi
and Sauromatai. 103. Of these the Tauroi have the following customs:--
they sacrifice to the "Maiden" both ship-wrecked persons and also
those Hellenes whom they can capture by putting out to sea against
them;[103] and their manner of sacrifice is this:--when they have made
the first offering from the victim they strike his head with a club:
and some say that they push the body down from the top of the cliff
(for it is upon a cliff that the temple is placed) and set the head up
on a stake; but others, while agreeing as to the heads, say
nevertheless that the body is not pushed down from the top of the
cliff, but buried in the earth. This divinity to whom they sacrifice,
the Tauroi themselves say is Iphigeneia the daughter of Agamemnon.
Whatsoever enemies they have conquered they treat in this fashion:--
each man cuts off a head and bears it away to his house; then he
impales it on a long stake and sets it up above his house raised to a
great height, generally above the chimney; and they say that these are
suspended above as guards to preserve the whole house. This people has
its living by plunder and war. 104. The Agathyrsians are the most
luxurious of men and wear gold ornaments for the most part: also they
have promiscuous intercourse with their women, in order that they may
be brethren to one another and being all nearly related may not feel
envy or malice one against another. In their other customs they have
come to resemble the Thracians. 105. The Neuroi practise the Scythian
customs: and one generation before the expedition of Dareios it so
befell them that they were forced to quit their land altogether by
reason of serpents: for their land produced serpents in vast numbers,
and they fell upon them in still larger numbers from the desert
country above their borders; until at last being hard pressed they
left their own land and settled among the Budinoi. These men it would
seem are wizards; for it is said of them by the Scythians and by the
Hellenes who are settled in the Scythian land that once in every year
each of the Neuroi becomes a wolf for a few days and then returns
again to his original form. For my part I do not believe them when
they say this, but they say it nevertheless, and swear it moreover.
106. The Androphagoi have the most savage manners of all human beings,
and they neither acknowledge any rule of right nor observe any
customary law. They are nomads and wear clothing like that of the
Scythians, but have a language of their own; and alone of all these
nations they are man-eaters. 107. The Melanchlainoi wear all of them
black clothing, whence also they have their name; and they practise
the customs of the Scythians. 108. The Budinoi are a very great and
numerous race, and are all very blue-eyed and fair of skin: and in
their land is built a city of wood, the name of which is Gelonos, and
each side of the wall is thirty furlongs in length and lofty at the
same time, all being of wood; and the houses are of wood also and the
temples; for there are in it temples of Hellenic gods furnished after
Hellenic fashion with sacred images and altars and cells,[104] all of
wood; and they keep festivals every other year[105] to Dionysos and
celebrate the rites of Bacchus: for the Gelonians are originally
Hellenes, and they removed[106] from the trading stations on the coast
and settled among the Budinoi; and they use partly the Scythian
language and partly the Hellenic. The Budinoi however do not use the
same language as the Gelonians, nor is their manner of living the
same: 109, for the Budinoi are natives of the soil and a nomad people,
and alone of the nations in these parts feed on fir-cones;[107] but
the Gelonians are tillers of the ground and feed on corn and have
gardens, and resemble them not at all either in appearance or in
complexion of skin. However by the Hellenes the Budinoi also are
called Gelonians, not being rightly so called. Their land is all
thickly overgrown with forests of all kinds of trees, and in the
thickest forest there is a large and deep lake, and round it marshy
ground and reeds. In this are caught otters and beavers and certainly
other wild animals with square-shaped faces. The fur of these is sewn
as a fringe round their coats of skin, and the testicles are made use
of by them for curing diseases of the womb.

110. About the Sauromatai the following tale is told:--When the
Hellenes had fought with the Amazons,--now the Amazons are called by
the Scythians /Oiorpata/,[108] which name means in the Hellenic tongue
"slayers of men," for "man" they call /oior/, and /pata/ means "to
slay,"--then, as the story goes, the Hellenes, having conquered them
in the battle at the Thermodon, were sailing away and conveying with
them in three ships as many Amazons as they were able to take
prisoners. These in the open sea set upon the men and cast them out of
the ships; but they knew nothing about ships, nor how to use rudders
or sails or oars, and after they had cast out the men they were driven
about by wave and wind and came to that part of the Maiotian lake
where Cremnoi stands; now Cremnoi is in the land of the free
Scythians.[109] There the Amazons disembarked from their ships and
made their way into the country, and having met first with a troop of
horses feeding they seized them, and mounted upon these they plundered
the property of the Scythians. 111. The Scythians meanwhile were not
able to understand the matter, for they did not know either their
speech or their dress or the race to which they belonged, but were in
wonder as to whence they had come and thought that they were men, of
an age corresponding to their appearance: and finally they fought a
battle against them, and after the battle the Scythians got possession
of the bodies of the dead, and thus they discovered that they were
women. They took counsel therefore and resolved by no means to go on
trying to kill them, but to send against them the youngest men from
among themselves, making conjecture of the number so as to send just
as many men as there were women. These were told to encamp near them,
and do whatsoever they should do; if however the women should come
after them, they were not to fight but to retire before them, and when
the women stopped, they were to approach near and encamp. This plan
was adopted by the Scythians because they desired to have children
born from them. 112. The young men accordingly were sent out and did
that which had been commanded them: and when the Amazons perceived
that they had not come to do them any harm, they let them alone; and
the two camps approached nearer to one another every day: and the
young men, like the Amazons, had nothing except their arms and their
horses, and got their living, as the Amazons did, by hunting and by
taking booty. 113. Now the Amazons at midday used to scatter abroad
either one by one or by two together, dispersing to a distance from
one another to ease themselves; and the Scythians also having
perceived this did the same thing: and one of the Scythians came near
to one of those Amazons who were apart by themselves, and she did not
repulse him but allowed him to lie with her: and she could not speak
to him, for they did not understand one another's speech, but she made
signs to him with her hand to come on the following day to the same
place and to bring another with him, signifying to him that there
should be two of them, and that she would bring another with her. The
young man therefore, when he returned, reported this to the others;
and on the next day he came himself to the place and also brought
another, and he found the Amazon awaiting him with another in her
company. Then hearing this the rest of the young men also in their
turn tamed for themselves the remainder of the Amazons; 114, and after
this they joined their camps and lived together, each man having for
his wife her with whom he had had dealings at first; and the men were
not able to learn the speech of the women, but the women came to
comprehend that of the men. So when they understood one another, the
men spoke to the Amazons as follows: "We have parents and we have
possessions; now therefore let us no longer lead a life of this kind,
but let us go away to the main body of our people and dwell with them;
and we will have you for wives and no others." They however spoke thus
in reply: "We should not be able to live with your women, for we and
they have not the same customs. We shoot with bows and hurl javelins
and ride horses, but the works of women we never learnt; whereas your
women do none of these things which we said, but stay in the waggons
and work at the works of women, neither going out to the chase nor
anywhither else. We therefore should not be able to live in agreement
with them: but if ye desire to keep us for your wives and to be
thought honest men, go to your parents and obtain from them your share
of the goods, and then let us go and dwell by ourselves." 115. The
young men agreed and did this; and when they had obtained the share of
the goods which belonged to them and had returned back to the Amazons,
the women spoke to them as follows: "We are possessed by fear and
trembling to think that we must dwell in this place, having not only
separated you from your fathers, but also done great damage to your
land. Since then ye think it right to have us as your wives, do this
together with us,--come and let us remove from this land and pass over
the river Tana´s and there dwell." 116. The young men agreed to this
also, and they crossed over the Tana´s and made their way towards the
rising sun for three days' journey from Tana´s, and also towards the
North Wind for three days' journey from the Maiotian lake: and having
arrived at the place where they are now settled, they took up their
abode there: and from thenceforward the women of the Sauromatai
practise their ancient way of living, going out regularly on horseback
to the chase both in company with the men and apart from them, and
going regularly to war, and wearing the same dress as the men. 117.
And the Sauromatai make use of the Scythian tongue, speaking it
barbarously however from the first, since the Amazons did not learn it
thoroughly well. As regards marriages their rule is this, that no
maiden is married until she has slain a man of their enemies; and some
of them even grow old and die before they are married, because they
are not able to fulfil the requirement of the law.

118. To the kings of these nations then, which have been mentioned in
order, the messengers of the Scythians came, finding them gathered
together, and spoke declaring to them how the Persian king, after
having subdued all things to himself in the other continent, had laid
a bridge over the neck of the Bosphorus and had crossed over to that
continent, and having crossed over and subdued the Thracians, was
making a bridge over the river Ister, desiring to bring under his
power all these regions also. "Do ye therefore," they said, "by no
means stand aloof and allow us to be destroyed, but let us become all
of one mind and oppose him who is coming against us. If ye shall not
do so, we on our part shall either be forced by necessity to leave our
land, or we shall stay in it and make a treaty with the invader; for
what else can we do if ye are not willing to help us? and for you
after this[110] it will be in no respect easier; for the Persian has
come not at all less against you than against us, nor will it content
him to subdue us and abstain from you. And of the truth of that which
we say we will mention a strong evidence: if the Persian had been
making his expedition against us alone, because he desired to take
vengeance for the former servitude, he ought to have abstained from
all the rest and to have come at once to invade our land, and he would
thus have made it clear to all that he was marching to fight against
the Scythians and not against the rest. In fact however, ever since he
crossed over to this continent, he has compelled all who came in his
way to submit to him, and he holds under him now not only the other
Thracians but also the Getai, who are our nearest neighbours." 119.
When the Scythians proposed this, the kings who had come from the
various nations took counsel together, and their opinions were
divided. The kings of the Gelonians, of the Budinoi and of the
Sauromatai agreed together and accepted the proposal that they should
help the Scythians, but those of the Agathyrsians, Neuroi,
Androphagoi, Melanchlainoi and Tauroi returned answer to the Scythians
as follows: "If ye had not been the first to do wrong to the Persians
and to begin war, then we should have surely thought that ye were
speaking justly in asking for those things for which ye now ask, and
we should have yielded to your request and shared your fortunes. As it
is however, ye on the one hand made invasion without us into their
land, and bare rule over the Persians for so long a time as God
permitted you; and they in their turn, since the same God stirs them
up, are repaying you with the like. As for us however, neither at that
time did we do any wrong to these men nor now shall we attempt to do
any wrong to them unprovoked: if however the Persians shall come
against our land also, and do wrong first to us, we also shall refuse
to submit[111]: but until we shall see this, we shall remain by
ourselves, for we are of opinion that the Persians have come not
against us, but against those who were the authors of the wrong." 120.
When the Scythians heard this answer reported, they planned not to
fight a pitched battle openly, since these did not join them as
allies, but to retire before the Persians and to drive away their
cattle from before them, choking up with earth the wells and the
springs of water by which they passed and destroying the grass from
off the ground, having parted themselves for this into two bodies; and
they resolved that the Sauromatai should be added to one of their
divisions, namely that over which Scopasis was king, and that these
should move on, if the Persians turned in that direction, straight
towards the river Tana´s, retreating before him by the shore of the
Maiotian lake; and when the Persian marched back again, they should
come after and pursue him. This was one division of their kingdom,
appointed to go by the way which has been said; and the other two of
the kingdoms, the large one over which Idanthyrsos was king, and the
third of which Taxakis was king, were to join together in one, with
the Gelonians and the Budinoi added to them, and they also were to
retire before the Persians one day's march in front of them, going on
out of their way and doing that which had been planned. First they
were to move on straight for the countries which had refused to give
their alliance, in order that they might involve these also in the
war, and though these had not voluntarily undertaken the war with the
Persians, they were to involve them in it nevertheless against their
will; and after that they were to return to their own land and attack
the enemy, if it should seem good to them in council so to do.

121. Having formed this plan the Scythians went to meet the army of
Dareios, sending off the best of their horsemen before them as scouts;
but all[112] the waggons in which their children and their women lived
they sent on, and with them all their cattle (leaving only so much as
was sufficient to supply them with food), and charged them that they
should proceed continually towards the North Wind. These, I say, were
being carried on before: 122, but when the scouts who went in front of
the Scythians discovered the Persians distant about three days' march
from Ister, then the Scythians having discovered them continued to
pitch their camp one day's march in front, destroying utterly that
which grew from the ground: and when the Persians saw that the
horsemen of the Scythians had made their appearance, they came after
them following in their track, while the Scythians continually moved
on. After this, since they had directed their march towards the first
of the divisions, the Persians continued to pursue towards the East
and the river Tana´s; and when the Scythians crossed over the river
Tana´s, the Persians crossed over after them and continued still to
pursue, until they had passed quite through the land of the Sauromatai
and had come to that of the Budinoi. 123. Now so long as the Persians
were passing through Scythia and the land of the Sauromatai, they had
nothing to destroy, seeing that the land was bare,[113] but when they
invaded the land of the Budinoi, then they fell in with the wooden
wall, which had been deserted by the Budinoi and left wholly
unoccupied, and this they destroyed by fire. Having done so they
continued to follow on further in the tracks of the enemy, until they
had passed through the whole of this land and had arrived at the
desert. This desert region is occupied by no men, and it lies above
the land of the Budinoi, extending for a seven days' journey; and
above this desert dwell the Thyssagetai, and four large rivers flow
from them through the land of the Maiotians and run into that which is
called the Maiotian lake, their names being as follows,--Lycos, Oaros,
Tana´s, Syrgis.[114] 124. When therefore Dareios came to the desert
region, he ceased from his course and halted his army upon the river
Oaros. Having so done he began to build eight large fortifications at
equal distances from one another, that is to say about sixty furlongs,
of which the ruins still existed down to my time; and while he was
occupied in this, the Scythians whom he was pursuing came round by the
upper parts and returned back to Scythia. Accordingly, since these had
altogether disappeared and were no longer seen by the Persians at all,
Dareios left those fortifications half finished, and turning back
himself began to go towards the West, supposing that these were the
whole body of the Scythians and that they were flying towards the
West. 125. And marching his army as quickly as possible, when he came
to Scythia he met with the two divisions of the Scythians together,
and having fallen in with these he continued to pursue them, while
they retired out of his way one day's journey in advance: and as
Dareios did not cease to come after them, the Scythians according to
the plan which they had made continued to retire before him towards
the land of those who had refused to give their alliance, and first
towards that of the Melanchlainoi; and when Scythians and Persians
both together had invaded and disturbed these, the Scythians led the
way to the country of the Androphagoi; and when these had also been
disturbed, they proceeded to the land of the Neuroi; and while these
too were being disturbed, the Scythians went on retiring before the
enemy to the Agathyrsians. The Agathyrsians however, seeing that their
next neighbours also were flying from the Scythians and had been
disturbed, sent a herald before the Scythians invaded their land and
proclaimed to the Scythians not to set foot upon their confines,
warning them that if they should attempt to invade the country, they
would first have to fight with them. The Agathyrsians then having
given this warning came out in arms to their borders, meaning to drive
off those who were coming upon them; but the Melanchlainoi and
Androphagoi and Neuroi, when the Persians and Scythians together
invaded them, did not betake themselves to brave defence but forgot
their former threat[115] and fled in confusion ever further towards
the North to the desert region. The Scythians however, when the
Agathyrsians had warned them off, did not attempt any more to come to
these, but led the Persians from the country of the Neuroi back to
their own land.

126. Now as this went on for a long time and did not cease, Dareios
sent a horseman to Idanthyrsos king of the Scythians and said as
follows: "Thou most wondrous man, why dost thou fly for ever, when
thou mightest do of these two things one?--if thou thinkest thyself
able to make opposition to my power, stand thou still and cease from
wandering abroad, and fight; but if thou dost acknowledge thyself too
weak, cease then in that case also from thy course, and come to speech
with thy master, bringing to him gifts of earth and water." 127. To
this the king of the Scythians Idanthyrsos made answer thus: "My case,
O Persian, stands thus:--Never yet did I fly because I was afraid,
either before this time from any other man, or now from thee; nor have
I done anything different now from that which I was wont to do also in
time of peace: and as to the cause why I do not fight with thee at
once, this also I will declare to thee. We have neither cities nor
land sown with crops, about which we should fear lest they should be
captured or laid waste, and so join battle more speedily with you; but
if it be necessary by all means to come to this speedily, know that we
have sepulchres in which our fathers are buried; therefore come now,
find out these and attempt to destroy them, and ye shall know then
whether we shall fight with you for the sepulchres or whether we shall
not fight. Before that however, unless the motion comes upon us, we
shall not join battle with thee. About fighting let so much as has
been said suffice; but as to masters, I acknowledge none over me but
Zeus my ancestor and Hestia the queen of the Scythians. To thee then
in place of gifts of earth and water I shall send such things as it is
fitting that thou shouldest receive; and in return for thy saying that
thou art my master, for that I say, woe betide thee."[116] This is the
proverbial "saying of the Scythians."[117]

128. The herald then had departed to report this to Dareios; and the
kings of the Scythians, having heard mention of subjection to a
master, were filled with wrath. They sent accordingly the division
which was appointed to be joined with the Sauromatai, that division of
which Scopasis was in command, bidding them come to speech with the
Ionians, namely those who were guarding the bridge of the Ister, and
meanwhile they who were left behind resolved not to lead the Persians
wandering about any more, but to attack them constantly as they were
getting provisions. Therefore they observed the soldiers of Dareios as
they got provisions, and did that which they had determined: and the
cavalry of the Scythians always routed that of the enemy, but the
Persian horsemen as they fled fell back upon the men on foot, and
these would come up to their assistance; and meanwhile the Scythians
when they had driven in the cavalry turned back, fearing the men on
foot. Also by night the Scythians used to make similar attacks: 129,
and the thing which, strange to say, most helped the Persians and
hindered the Scythians in their attacks upon the camp of Dareios, I
will mention, namely the voice of the asses and the appearance of the
mules; for Scythia produces neither ass nor mule, as I have declared
before, nor is there at all in the Scythian country either ass or mule
on account of the cold. The asses accordingly by riotously braying
used to throw into confusion the cavalry of the Scythians; and often,
as they were in the middle of riding against the Persians, when the
horses heard the voice of the asses they turned back in confusion and
were possessed with wonder, pricking up their ears, because they had
never heard such a voice nor seen the form of the creature before.
130. So far then the Persians had the advantage for a small part of
the war.[118] But the Scythians, whenever they saw that the Persians
were disquieted, then in order that they might remain a longer time in
Scythia and in remaining might suffer by being in want of everything,
would leave some of their own cattle behind with the herdsmen, while
they themselves rode out of the way to another place, and the Persians
would come upon the cattle and take them, and having taken them they
were elated at what they had done. 131. As this happened often, at
length Dareios began to be in straits; and the kings of the Scythians
perceiving this sent a herald bearing as gifts to Dareios a bird and a
mouse and a frog and five arrows. The Persians accordingly asked the
bearer of the gifts as to the meaning of the gifts which were offered;
but he said that nothing more had been commanded to him but to give
them and get away as speedily as possible; and he bade the Persians
find out for themselves, if they had wisdom, that which the gifts were
meant to express. 132. Having heard this the Persians took counsel
with one another; and the opinion of Dareios was that the Scythians
were giving to him both themselves and also earth and water, making
his conjecture by this, namely that a mouse is produced in the earth
and feeds on the same produce of the earth as man, and a frog in the
water, while a bird has great resemblance to a horse;[119] and
moreover that in giving the arrows they were delivering up their own
might in battle. This was the opinion expressed by Dareios; but the
opinion of Gobryas, one of the seven men who killed the Magian, was at
variance with it, for he conjectured that the gifts expressed this:
"Unless ye become birds and fly up into the heaven, O Persians, or
become mice and sink down under the earth, or become frogs and leap
into the lakes, ye shall not return back home, but shall be smitten by
these arrows."

133. The Persians then, I say, were making conjecture of the gifts:
and meanwhile the single division of the Scythians, that which had
been appointed at first to keep guard along the Maiotian lake and then
to go to the Ister and come to speech with the Ionians, when they
arrived at the bridge spoke as follows: "Ionians, we have come
bringing you freedom, if at least ye are willing to listen to us; for
we are informed that Dareios gave you command to guard the bridge for
sixty days only, and then, if he had not arrived within that time, to
get you away to your own land. Now therefore, if ye do as we say, ye
will be without blame from his part and without blame also from ours:
stay the appointed days and then after that get you away." They then,
when the Ionians had engaged themselves to do this, hastened back
again by the quickest way: 134, and meanwhile, after the coming of the
gifts to Dareios, the Scythians who were left had arrayed themselves
against the Persians with both foot and horse, meaning to engage
battle. Now when the Scythians had been placed in battle-array, a hare
darted through them into the space between the two armies, and each
company of them, as they saw the hare, began to run after it. When the
Scythians were thus thrown into disorder and were raising loud cries,
Dareios asked what was this clamour arising from the enemy; and
hearing that they were running after the hare, he said to those men to
whom he was wont to say things at other times: "These men have very
slight regard for us, and I perceive now that Gobryas spoke rightly
about the Scythian gifts. Seeing then that now I myself too think that
things are so, we have need of good counsel, in order that our retreat
homewards may be safely made." To this replied Gobryas and said: "O
king, even by report I was almost assured of the difficulty of dealing
with these men; and when I came I learnt it still more thoroughly,
since I saw that they were mocking us. Now therefore my opinion is,
that as soon as night comes on, we kindle the camp-fires as we are
wont to do at other times also, and deceive with a false tale those of
our men who are weakest to endure hardships, and tie up all the asses
and get us away, before either the Scythians make for the Ister to
destroy the bridge or something be resolved by the Ionians which may
be our ruin." 135. Thus Gobryas advised; and after this, when night
came on, Dareios acted on this opinion. Those of his men who were
weakened by fatigue and whose loss was of least account, these he left
behind in the camp, and the asses also tied up: and for the following
reasons he left behind the asses and the weaker men of his army,--the
asses in order that they might make a noise which should be heard, and
the men really because of their weakness, but on a pretence stated
openly that he was about to attack the Scythians with the effective
part of the army, and that they meanwhile were to be defenders of the
camp. Having thus instructed those who were left behind, and having
kindled camp-fires, Dareios hastened by the quickest way towards the
Ister: and the asses, having no longer about them the usual
throng,[120] very much more for that reason caused their voice to be
heard;[121] so the Scythians, hearing the asses, supposed surely that
the Persians were remaining in their former place. 136. But when it
was day, those who were left behind perceived that they had been
betrayed by Dareios, and they held out their hands in submission to
the Scythians, telling them what their case was; and the Scythians,
when they heard this, joined together as quickly as possible, that is
to say the two combined divisions of the Scythians and the single
division, and also the Sauromatai,[122] Budinoi, and Gelonians, and
began to pursue the Persians, making straight for the Ister: but as
the Persian army for the most part consisted of men on foot, and was
not acquainted with the roads (the roads not being marked with
tracks), while the Scythian army consisted of horsemen and was
acquainted with the shortest cuts along the way, they missed one
another and the Scythians arrived at the bridge much before the
Persians. Then having learnt that the Persians had not yet arrived,
they said to the Ionians who were in the ships: "Ionians, the days of
your number are past, and ye are not acting uprightly in that ye yet
remain waiting: but as ye stayed before from fear, so now break up the
passage as quickly as ye may, and depart free and unhurt,[123] feeling
thankfulness both to the gods and to the Scythians: and him who was
formerly your master we will so convince, that he shall never again
march with an army upon any nation." 137. Upon this the Ionians took
counsel together; and Miltiades the Athenian on the one hand, who was
commander and despot of the men of the Chersonese in Hellespont, was
of opinion that they should follow the advice of the Scythians and set
Ionia free: but Histiaios the Milesian was of the opposite opinion to
this; for he said that at the present time it was by means of Dareios
that each one of them was ruling as despot over a city; and if the
power of Dareios should be destroyed, neither he himself would be able
to bear rule over the Milesians, nor would any other of them be able
to bear rule over any other city; for each of the cities would choose
to have popular rather than despotic rule. When Histiaios declared his
opinion thus, forthwith all turned to this opinion, whereas at the
first they were adopting that of Miltiades. 138. Now these were they
who gave the vote between the two opinions, and were men of
consequence in the eyes of the king,[124]--first the despots of the
Hellespontians, Daphnis of Abydos, Hippoclos of Lampsacos, Herophantos
of Parion, Metrodoros of Proconnesos, Aristagoras of Kyzicos, and
Ariston of Byzantion, these were those from the Hellespont; and from
Ionia, Strattis of Chios, Aiakes of Samos, Laodamas of Phocaia, and
Histiaios of Miletos, whose opinion had been proposed in opposition to
that of Miltiades; and of the Aiolians the only man of consequence
there present was Aristagoras of Kyme. 139. When these adopted the
opinion of Histiaios, they resolved to add to it deeds and words as
follows, namely to break up that part of the bridge which was on the
side towards the Scythians, to break it up, I say, for a distance
equal to the range of an arrow, both in order that they might be
thought to be doing something, though in fact they were doing nothing,
and for fear that the Scythians might make an attempt using force and
desiring to cross the Ister by the bridge: and in breaking up that
part of the bridge which was towards Scythia they resolved to say that
they would do all that which the Scythians desired. This they added to
the opinion proposed, and then Histiaios coming forth from among them
made answer to the Scythians as follows: "Scythians, ye are come
bringing good news, and it is a timely haste that ye make to bring it;
and ye on your part give us good guidance, while we on ours render to
you suitable service. For, as ye see, we are breaking up the passage,
and we shall show all zeal in our desire to be free: and while we are
breaking up the bridge, it is fitting that ye should be seeking for
those of whom ye speak, and when ye have found them, that ye should
take vengeance on them on behalf of us as well as of yourselves in
such manner as they deserve."

140. The Scythians then, believing for the second time that the
Ionians were speaking the truth, turned back to make search for the
Persians, but they missed altogether their line of march through the
land. Of this the Scythians themselves were the cause, since they had
destroyed the pastures for horses in that region and had choked up
with earth the springs of water; for if they had not done this, it
would have been possible for them easily, if they desired it, to
discover the Persians: but as it was, by those things wherein they
thought they had taken their measures best, they failed of success.
The Scythians then on their part were passing through those regions of
their own land where there was grass for the horses and springs of
water, and were seeking for the enemy there, thinking that they too
were taking a course in their retreat through such country as this;
while the Persians in fact marched keeping carefully to the track
which they had made before, and so they found the passage of the
river, though with difficulty:[125] and as they arrived by night and
found the bridge broken up, they were brought to the extreme of fear,
lest the Ionians should have deserted them. 141. Now there was with
Dareios an Egyptian who had a voice louder than that of any other man
on earth, and this man Dareios ordered to take his stand upon the bank
of the Ister and to call Histiaios of Miletos. He accordingly
proceeded to do so; and Histiaios, hearing the first hail, produced
all the ships to carry the army over and also put together the bridge.
142. Thus the Persians escaped, and the Scythians in their search
missed the Persians the second time also: and their judgment of the
Ionians is that on the one hand, if they be regarded as free men, they
are the most worthless and cowardly of all men, but on the other hand,
if regarded as slaves, they are the most attached to their master and
the least disposed to run away of all slaves. This is the reproach
which is cast against the Ionians by the Scythians.

143. Dareios then marching through Thrace arrived at Sestos in the
Chersonese; and from that place, he passed over himself in his ships
to Asia, but to command his army in Europe he left Megabazos a
Persian, to whom Dareios once gave honour by uttering in the land of
Persia[126] this saying:--Dareios was beginning to eat pomegranates,
and at once when he opened the first of them, Artabanos his brother
asked him of what he would desire to have as many as there were seeds
in the pomegranate: and Dareios said that he would desire to have men
like Megabazos as many as that in number, rather than to have Hellas
subject to him. In Persia, I say, he honoured him by saying these
words, and at this time he left him in command with eight myriads[127]
of his army. 144. This Megabazos uttered one saying whereby he left of
himself an imperishable memory with the peoples of Hellespont: for
being once at Byzantion he heard that the men of Calchedon had settled
in that region seventeen years before the Byzantians, and having heard
it he said that those of Calchedon at that time chanced to be blind;
for assuredly they would not have chosen the worse place, when they
might have settled in that which was better, if they had not been
blind. This Megabazos it was who was left in command at that time in
the land of the Hellespontians, and he proceeded to subdue all who did
not take the side of the Medes.


145. He then was doing thus; and at this very same time a great
expedition was being made also against Libya, on an occasion which I
shall relate when I have first related this which follows.--The
children's children of those who voyaged in the Argo, having been
driven forth by those Pelasgians who carried away at Brauron the women
of the Athenians,--having been driven forth I say by these from
Lemnos, had departed and sailed to Lacedemon, and sitting down on
Mount Ta getos they kindled a fire. The Lacedemonians seeing this sent
a messenger to inquire who they were and from whence; and they
answered the question of the messenger saying that they were Minyai
and children of heroes who sailed in the Argo, for[128] these, they
said, had put in to Lemnos and propagated the race of which they
sprang. The Lacedemonians having heard the story of the descent of the
Minyai, sent a second time and asked for what purpose they had come
into the country and were causing a fire to blaze. They said that they
had been cast out by the Pelasgians, and were come now to the land of
their fathers,[129] for most just it was that this should so be done;
and they said that their request was to be permitted to dwell with
these, having a share of civil rights and a portion allotted to them
of the land. And the Lacedemonians were content to receive the Minyai
upon the terms which they themselves desired, being most of all
impelled to do this by the fact that the sons of Tyndareus were
voyagers in the Argo. So having received the Minyai they gave them a
share of land and distributed them in the tribes; and they forthwith
made marriages, and gave in marriage to others the women whom they
brought with them from Lemnos. 146. However, when no very long time
had passed, the Minyai forthwith broke out into insolence, asking for
a share of the royal power and also doing other impious things:
therefore the Lacedemonians resolved to put them to death; and having
seized them they cast them into a prison. Now the Lacedemonians put to
death by night all those whom they put to death, but no man by day.
When therefore they were just about to kill them, the wives of the
Minyai, being native Spartans and daughters of the first citizens of
Sparta, entreated to be allowed to enter the prison and come to speech
every one with her own husband: and they let them pass in, not
supposing that any craft would be practised by them. They however,
when they had entered, delivered to their husbands all the garments
which they were wearing, and themselves received those of their
husbands: thus the Minyai having put on the women's clothes went forth
out of prison as women, and having escaped in this manner they went
again to Ta getos and sat down there. 147. Now at this very same time
Theras the son of Autesion, the son of Tisamenos, the son of
Thersander, the son of Polyneikes, was preparing to set forth from
Lacedemon to found a settlement. This Theras, who was of the race of
Cadmos, was mother's brother to the sons of Aristodemos, Eurysthenes
and Procles; and while these sons were yet children, Theras as their
guardian held the royal power in Sparta. When however his nephews were
grown and had taken the power into their hands, then Theras, being
grieved that he should be ruled by others after he had tasted of rule
himself, said that he would not remain in Lacedemon, but would sail
away to his kinsmen. Now there were in the island which is now called
Thera, but formerly was called Callista, descendants of Membliaros the
son of Poikiles, a Phenician: for Cadmos the son of Agenor in his
search for Europa put in to land at the island which is now called
Thera; and, whether it was that the country pleased him when he had
put to land, or whether he chose to do so for any other reason, he
left in this island, besides other Phenicians, Membliaros also, of his
own kinsmen. These occupied the island called Callista for eight
generations of men, before Theras came from Lacedemon. 148. To these
then, I say, Theras was preparing to set forth, taking with him people
from the tribes, and intending to settle together with those who have
been mentioned, not with any design to drive them out, but on the
contrary claiming them very strongly as kinfolk. And when the Minyai
after having escaped from the prison went and sat down on Ta getos,
Theras entreated of the Lacedemonians, as they were proposing to put
them to death, that no slaughter might take place, and at the same
time he engaged himself to take them forth out of the land. The
Lacedemonians having agreed to this proposal, he sailed away with
three thirty-oared galleys to the descendants of Membliaros, not
taking with him by any means all the Minyai, but a few only; for the
greater number of them turned towards the land of the Paroreatai and
Caucones, and having driven these out of their country, they parted
themselves into six divisions and founded in their territory the
following towns,--Lepreon, Makistos, Phrixai, Pyrgos, Epion, Nudion;
of these the Eleians sacked the greater number within my own lifetime.
The island meanwhile got its name of Thera after Theras[130] who led
the settlement. 149. And since his son said that he would not sail
with him, therefore he said that he would leave him behind as a sheep
among wolves; and in accordance with that saying this young man got
the name of Oiolycos,[131] and it chanced that this name prevailed
over his former name: then from Oiolycos was begotten Aigeus, after
whom are called the Aigeidai, a powerful clan[132] in Sparta: and the
men of this tribe, since their children did not live to grow up,
established by the suggestion of an oracle a temple to the Avenging
Deities[133] of La´os and îdipus, and after this the same thing was
continued[134] in Thera by the descendants of these men.

150. Up to this point of the story the Lacedemonians agree in their
report with the men of Thera; but in what is to come it is those of
Thera alone who report that it happened as follows. Grinnos[135] the
son of Aisanios, a descendant of the Theras who has been mentioned,
and king of the island of Thera, came to Delphi bringing the offering
of a hecatomb from his State; and there were accompanying him, besides
others of the citizens, also Battos the son of Polymnestos, who was by
descent of the family of Euphemos[136] of the race of the Minyai. Now
when Grinnos the king of the Theraians was consulting the Oracle about
other matters, the Pythian prophetess gave answer bidding him found a
city in Libya; and he made reply saying: "Lord,[137] I am by this time
somewhat old and heavy to stir, but do thou bid some one of these
younger ones do this." As he thus said he pointed towards Battos. So
far at that time: but afterwards when he had come away they were in
difficulty about the saying of the Oracle, neither having any
knowledge of Libya, in what part of the earth it was, nor venturing to
send a colony to the unknown. 151. Then after this for seven years
there was no rain in Thera, and in these years all the trees in their
island were withered up excepting one: and when the Theraians
consulted the Oracle, the Pythian prophetess alleged this matter of
colonising Libya to be the cause. As then they had no remedy for their
evil, they sent messengers to Crete, to find out whether any of the
Cretans or of the sojourners in Crete had ever come to Libya. These as
they wandered round about the country came also the city of Itanos,
and there they met with a fisher for purple named Corobios, who said
that he had been carried away by winds and had come to Libya, and in
Libya to the island of Platea. This man they persuaded by payment of
money and took him to Thera, and from Thera there set sail men to
explore, at first not many in number; and Corobios having guided them
to this same island of Platea, they left Corobios there, leaving
behind with him provisions for a certain number of months, and sailed
themselves as quickly as possible to make report about the island to
the men of Thera. 152. Since however these stayed away longer than the
time appointed, Corobios found himself destitute; and after this a
ship of Samos, of which the master was Colaios, while sailing to Egypt
was carried out of its course and came to this island of Platea; and
the Samians hearing from Corobios the whole story left him provisions
for a year. They themselves then put out to sea from the island and
sailed on, endeavouring to reach Egypt but carried away continually by
the East Wind; and as the wind did not cease to blow, they passed
through the Pillars of Heracles and came to Tartessos, guided by
divine providence. Now this trading-place was at that time untouched
by any, so that when these returned back home they made profit from
their cargo greater than any other Hellenes of whom we have certain
knowledge, with the exception at least of Sostratos the son of
Laodamas the Eginetan, for with him it is not possible for any other
man to contend. And the Samians set apart six talents, the tenth part
of their gains, and had a bronze vessel made like an Argolic mixing-
bowl with round it heads of griffins projecting in a row; and this
they dedicated as an offering in the temple of Hera, setting as
supports under it three colossal statues of bronze seven cubits in
height, resting upon their knees. By reason first of this deed great
friendship was formed by those of Kyrene and Thera with the Samians.
153. The Theraians meanwhile, when they arrived at Thera after having
left Corobios in the island, reported that they had colonised an
island on the coast of Libya: and the men of Thera resolved to send
one of every two brothers selected by lot and men besides taken from
all the regions of the island, which are seven in number; and further
that Battos should be both their leader and their king. Thus then they
sent forth two fifty-oared galleys to Platea.

154. This is the report of the Theraians; and for the remainder of the
account from this point onwards the Theraians are in agreement with
the men of Kyrene: from this point onwards, I say, since in what
concerns Battos the Kyrenians tell by no means the same tale as those
of Thera; for their account is this:--There is in Crete a city called
Ońxos[138] in which one Etearchos became king, who when he had a
daughter, whose mother was dead, named Phronime, took to wife another
woman notwithstanding. She having come in afterwards, thought fit to
be a stepmother to Phronime in deed as well as in name, giving her
evil treatment and devising everything possible to her hurt; and at
last she brings against her a charge of lewdness and persuades her
husband that the truth is so. He then being convinced by his wife,
devised an unholy deed against the daughter: for there was in Ońxos
one Themison, a merchant of Thera, whom Etearchos took to himself as a
guest-friend and caused him to swear that he would surely serve him in
whatsoever he should require: and when he had caused him to swear
this, he brought and delivered to him his daughter and bade him take
her away and cast her into the sea. Themison then was very greatly
vexed at the deceit practised in the matter of the oath, and he
dissolved his guest-friendship and did as follows, that is to say, he
received the girl and sailed away, and when he got out into the open
sea, to free himself from blame as regards the oath which Etearchos
had made him swear, he tied her on each side with ropes and let her
down into the sea, and then drew her up and came to Thera. 155. After
that, Polymnestos, a man of repute among the Theraians, received
Phronime from him and kept her as his concubine; and in course of time
there was born to him from her a son with an impediment in his voice
and lisping, to whom, as both Theraians and Kyrenians say, was given
the name Battos, but I think that some other name was then given,[139]
and he was named Battos instead of this after he came to Libya, taking
for himself this surname from the oracle which was given to him at
Delphi and from the rank which he had obtained; for the Libyans call a
king /battos/: and for this reason, I think, the Pythian prophetess in
her prophesying called him so, using the Libyan tongue, because she
knew that he would be a king in Libya. For when he had grown to be a
man, he came to Delphi to inquire about his voice; and when he asked,
the prophetess thus answered him:

"For a voice thou camest, O Battos, but thee lord Phťbus Apollo
Sendeth as settler forth to the Libyan land sheep-abounding,"

just as if she should say using the Hellenic tongue, "For a voice thou
camest, O king." He thus made answer: "Lord, I came to thee to inquire
concerning my voice, but thou answerest me other things which are not
possible, bidding me go as a settler to Libya; but with what power, or
with what force of men should I go?" Thus saying he did not at all
persuade her to give him any other reply; and as she was prophesying
to him again the same things as before, Battos departed while she was
yet speaking,[140] and went away to Thera. 156. After this there came
evil fortune both to himself and to the other men of Thera;[141] and
the Theraians, not understanding that which befell them, sent to
Delphi to inquire about the evils which they were suffering: and the
Pythian prophetess gave them reply that if they joined with Battos in
founding Kyrene in Libya, they would fare the better. After this the
Theraians sent Battos with two fifty-oared galleys; and these sailed
to Libya, and then came away back to Thera, for they did not know what
else to do: and the Theraians pelted them with missiles when they
endeavoured to land, and would not allow them to put to shore, but
bade them sail back again. They accordingly being compelled sailed
away back, and they made a settlement in an island lying near the
coast of Libya, called, as was said before, Platea. This island is
said to be of the same size as the now existing city of Kyrene.

157. In this they continued to dwell two years; but as they had no
prosperity, they left one of their number behind and all the rest
sailed away to Delphi, and having come to the Oracle they consulted
it, saying that they were dwelling in Libya and that, though they were
dwelling there, they fared none the better: and the Pythian prophetess
made answer to them thus:

"Better than I if thou knowest the Libyan land sheep-abounding,
Not having been there than I who have been, at thy wisdom I wonder."

Having heard this Battos and his companions sailed away back again;
for in fact the god would not let them off from the task of settlement
till they had come to Libya itself: and having arrived at the island
and taken up him whom they had left, they made a settlement in Libya
itself at a spot opposite the island, called Aziris, which is enclosed
by most fair woods on both sides and a river flows by it on one side.
158. In this spot they dwelt for six years; and in the seventh year
the Libyans persuaded them to leave it, making request and saying that
they would conduct them to a better region. So the Libyans led them
from that place making them start towards evening; and in order that
the Hellenes might not see the fairest of all the regions as they
passed through it, they led them past it by night, having calculated
the time of daylight: and this region is called Irasa. Then having
conducted them to the so-called spring of Apollo, they said,
"Hellenes, here is a fit place for you to dwell, for here the heaven
is pierced with holes."

159. Now during the lifetime of the first settler Battos, who reigned
forty years, and of his son Arkesilaos, who reigned sixteen years, the
Kyrenians continued to dwell there with the same number as[142] when
they first set forth to the colony; but in the time of the third king,
called Battos the Prosperous, the Pythian prophetess gave an oracle
wherein she urged the Hellenes in general to sail and join with the
Kyrenians in colonising Libya. For the Kyrenians invited them, giving
promise of a division of land; and the oracle which she uttered was as

"Who to the land much desirŔd, to Libya, afterwards cometh,
After the land be divided,[143] I say he shall some day repent it."

Then great numbers were gathered at Kyrene, and the Libyans who dwelt
round had much land cut off from their possessions; therefore they
with their king whose name was Adicran, as they were not only deprived
of their country but also were dealt with very insolently by the
Kyrenians, sent to Egypt and delivered themselves over to Apries king
of Egypt. He then having gathered a great army of Egyptians, sent it
against Kyrene; and the men of Kyrene marched out to the region of
Irasa and to the spring Theste,[144] and there both joined battle with
the Egyptians and defeated them in the battle: for since the Egyptians
had not before made trial of the Hellenes in fight and therefore
despised them, they were so slaughtered that but few of them returned
back to Egypt. In consequence of this and because they laid the blame
of it upon Apries, the Egyptians revolted from him.

160. This Battos had a son called Arkesilaos, who first when he became
king made a quarrel with his own brothers, until they finally departed
to another region of Libya, and making the venture for themselves
founded that city which was then and is now called Barca; and at the
same time as they founded this, they induced the Libyans to revolt
from the Kyrenians. After this, Arkesilaos made an expedition against
those Libyans who had received them and who had also revolted from
Kyrene, and the Libyans fearing him departed and fled towards the
Eastern tribes of Libyans: and Arkesilaos followed after them as they
fled, until he arrived in his pursuit at Leucon in Libya, and there
the Libyans resolved to attack him. Accordingly they engaged battle
and defeated the Kyrenians so utterly that seven thousand hoplites of
the Kyrenians fell there. After this disaster Arkesilaos, being sick
and having swallowed a potion, was strangled by his brother
Haliarchos,[145] and Haliarchos was killed treacherously by the wife
of Arkesilaos, whose name was Eryxo. 161. Then Battos the son of
Arkesilaos succeeded to the kingdom, who was lame and not sound in his
feet: and the Kyrenians with a view to the misfortune which had
befallen them sent men to Delphi to ask what form of rule they should
adopt, in order to live in the best way possible; and the Pythian
prophetess bade them take to themselves a reformer of their State from
Mantineia of the Arcadians. The men of Kyrene accordingly made
request, and those of Mantineia gave them the man of most repute among
their citizens, whose name was Demonax. This man therefore having come
to Kyrene and having ascertained all things exactly,[146] in the first
place caused them to have three tribes, distributing them thus:--one
division he made of the Theraians and their dependants,[147] another
of the Peloponnesians and Cretans, and a third of all the
islanders.[148] Then secondly for the king Battos he set apart domains
of land and priesthoods, but all the other powers which the kings used
to possess before, he assigned as of public right to the people.

162. During the reign of this Battos things continued to be thus, but
in the reign of his son Arkesilaos there arose much disturbance about
the offices of the State: for Arkesilaos son of Battos the Lame and of
Pheretime said that he would not suffer it to be according as the
Mantineian Demonax had arranged, but asked to have back the royal
rights of his forefathers. After this, stirring up strife he was
worsted and went as an exile to Samos, and his mother to Salamis in
Cyprus. Now at that time the ruler of Salamis was Euelthon, the same
who dedicated as an offering the censer at Delphi, a work well worth
seeing, which is placed in the treasury of the Corinthians. To him
having come, Pheretime asked him for an army to restore herself and
her son to Kyrene. Euelthon however was ready to give her anything
else rather than that; and she when she received that which he gave
her said that this too was a fair gift, but fairer still would be that
other gift of an army for which she was asking. As she kept saying
this to every thing which was given, at last Euelthon sent out to her
a present of a golden spindle and distaff, with wool also upon it: and
when Pheretime uttered again the same saying about this present,
Euelthon said that such things as this were given as gifts to women
and not an army. 163. Arkesilaos meanwhile, being in Samos, was
gathering every one together by a promise of dividing land; and while
a great host was being collected, Arkesilaos set out to Delphi to
inquire of the Oracle about returning from exile: and the Pythian
prophetess gave him this answer: "For four named Battos and four named
Arkesilaos, eight generations of men, Loxias grants to you to be kings
of Kyrene, but beyond this he counsels you not even to attempt it.
Thou however must keep quiet when thou hast come back to thy land; and
if thou findest the furnace full of jars, heat not the jars fiercely,
but let them go with a fair wind: if however thou heat the furnace
fiercely, enter not thou into the place flowed round by water; for if
thou dost thou shalt die, both thou and the bull which is fairer than
all the rest." 164. Thus the Pythian prophetess gave answer to
Arkesilaos; and he, having taken to him those in Samos, made his
return to Kyrene; and when he had got possession of the power, he did
not remember the saying of the Oracle but endeavoured to exact
penalties from those of the opposite faction for having driven him
out. Of these some escaped out of the country altogether, but some
Arkesilaos got into his power and sent them away to Cyprus to be put
to death. These were driven out of their course to Cnidos, and the men
of Cnidos rescued them and sent them away to Thera. Some others
however of the Kyrenians fled to a great tower belonging to Aglomachos
a private citizen, and Arkesilaos burnt them by piling up brushwood
round. Then after he had done the deed he perceived that the Oracle
meant this, in that the Pythian prophetess forbade him, if he found
the jars in the furnace, to heat them fiercely; and he voluntarily
kept away from the city of the Kyrenians, fearing the death which had
been prophesied by the Oracle and supposing that Kyrene was flowed
round by water.[149] Now he had to wife a kinswoman of his own, the
daughter of the king of Barca whose name was Alazeir: to him he came,
and men of Barca together with certain of the exiles from Kyrene,
perceiving him going about in the market-place, killed him, and also
besides him his father-in-law Alazeir. Arkesilaos accordingly, having
missed the meaning of the oracle, whether with his will or against his
will, fulfilled his own destiny.

165. His mother Pheretime meanwhile, so long as Arkesilaos having
worked evil for himself dwelt at Barca, herself held the royal power
of her son at Kyrene, both exercising his other rights and also
sitting in council: but when she heard that her son had been slain in
Barca, she departed and fled to Egypt: for she had on her side
services done for Cambyses the son of Cyrus by Arkesilaos, since this
was the Arkesilaos who had given over Kyrene to Cambyses and had laid
a tribute upon himself. Pheretime then having come to Egypt sat down
as a suppliant of Aryandes, bidding him help her, and alleging as a
reason that it was on account of his inclination to the side of the
Medes that her son had been slain. 166. Now this Aryandes had been
appointed ruler of the province of Egypt by Cambyses; and after the
time of these events he lost his life because he would measure himself
with Dareios. For having heard and seen that Dareios desired to leave
behind him as a memorial of himself a thing which had not been made by
any other king, he imitated him, until at last he received his reward:
for whereas Dareios refined gold and made it as pure as possible, and
of this caused coins to be struck, Aryandes, being ruler of Egypt, did
the same thing with silver; and even now the purest silver is that
which is called Aryandic. Dareios then having learnt that he was doing
this put him to death, bringing against him another charge of
attempting rebellion.

167. Now at the time of which I speak this Aryandes had compassion on
Pheretime and gave her all the troops that were in Egypt, both the
land and the sea forces, appointing Amasis a Maraphian to command the
land-army and Badres, of the race of the Pasargadai, to command the
fleet: but before he sent away the army, Aryandes despatched a herald
to Barca and asked who it was who had killed Arkesilaos; and the men
of Barca all took it upon themselves, for they said they suffered
formerly many great evils at his hands. Having heard this, Aryandes at
last sent away the army together with Pheretime. This charge then was
the pretext alleged; but in fact the army was being sent out (as I
believe) for the purpose of subduing Libya: for of the Libyans there
are many nations of nations of various kinds, and but few of them are
subject to the king, while the greater number paid no regard to


168. Now the Libyans have their dwelling as follows:--Beginning from
Egypt, first of the Libyans are settled the Adyrmachidai, who practise
for the most part the same customs as the Egyptians, but wear clothing
similar to that of the other Libyans. Their women wear a bronze
ring[150] upon each leg, and they have long hair on their heads, and
when they catch their lice, each one bites her own in retaliation and
then throws them away. These are the only people of the Lybians who do
this; and they alone display to the king their maidens when they are
about to be married, and whosoever of them proves to be pleasing to
the king is deflowered by him. These Adyrmachidai extend along the
coast from Egypt as far as the port which is called Plynos. 169. Next
after these come the Giligamai,[151] occupying the country towards the
West as far as the island of Aphrodisias. In the space within this
limit lies off the coast the island of Platea, where the Kyrenians
made their settlement; and on the coast of the mainland there is Port
Menelaos, and Aziris, where the Kyrenians used to dwell. From this
point begins the /silphion/[152] and it extends along the coast from
the island of Platea as far as the entrance of the Syrtis. This nation
practises customs nearly resembling those of the rest. 170. Next to
the Giligamai on the West are the Asbystai:[153] these dwell
above[154] Kyrene, and the Asbystai do not reach down the sea, for the
region along the sea is occupied by Kyrenians. These most of all the
Libyans are drivers of four-horse chariots, and in the greater number
of their customs they endeavour to imitate the Kyrenians. 171. Next
after the Asbystai on the West come the Auchisai: these dwell above
Barca and reach down to the sea by Euesperides: and in the middle of
the country of the Auchisai dwell the Bacales,[155] a small tribe, who
reach down to the sea by the city of Taucheira in the territory of
Barca: these practise the same customs as those above Kyrene. 172.
Next after these Auschisai towards the West come the Nasamonians, a
numerous race, who in the summer leave their flocks behind by the sea
and go up to the region of Augila to gather the fruit of the date-
palms, which grow in great numbers and very large and are all fruit-
bearing: these hunt the wingless locusts, and they dry them in the sun
and then pound them up, and after that they sprinkle them upon milk
and drink them. Their custom is for each man to have many wives, and
they make their intercourse with them common in nearly the same manner
as the Massagetai,[156] that is they set up a staff in front of the
door and so have intercourse. When a Nasamonian man marries his first
wife, the custom is for the bride on the first night to go through the
whole number of the guests having intercourse with them, and each man
when he has lain with her gives a gift, whatsoever he has brought with
him from his house. The forms of oath and of divination which they use
are as follows:--they swear by the men among themselves who are
reported to have been the most righteous and brave, by these, I say,
laying hands upon their tombs; and they divine by visiting the
sepulchral mounds of their ancestors and lying down to sleep upon them
after having prayed; and whatsoever thing the man sees in his dream,
this he accepts. They practise also the exchange of pledges in the
following manner, that is to say, one gives the other to drink from
his hand, and drinks himself from the hand of the other; and if they
have no liquid, they take of the dust from the ground and lick it.

173. Adjoining the Nasamonians is the country of the Psylloi. These
have perished utterly in the following manner:--The South Wind blowing
upon them dried up all their cisterns of water, and their land was
waterless, lying all within the Syrtis. They then having taken a
resolve by common consent, marched in arms against the South Wind (I
report that which is reported by the Libyans), and when they had
arrived at the sandy tract, the South Wind blew and buried them in the
sand. These then having utterly perished, the Nasamonians from that
time forward possess their land. 174. Above these towards the South
Wind in the region of wild beasts dwell the Garamantians,[157] who fly
from every man and avoid the company of all; and they neither possess
any weapon of war, nor know how to defend themselves against enemies.
175. These dwell above the Nasamonians; and next to the Nasamonians
along the sea coast towards the West come the Macai, who shave their
hair so as to leave tufts, letting the middle of their hair grow long,
but round this on all sides shaving it close to the skin; and for
fighting they carry shields made of ostrich skins. Through their land
the river Kinyps runs out into the sea, flowing from a hill called the
"Hill of the Charites." This Hill of the Charites is overgrown thickly
with wood, while the rest of Libya which has been spoken of before is
bare of trees; and the distance from the sea to this hill is two
hundred furlongs. 176. Next to these Macai are the Gindanes, whose
women wear each of them a number of anklets made of the skins of
animals, for the following reason, as it is said:--for every man who
has commerce with her she binds on an anklet, and the woman who has
most is esteemed the best, since she has been loved by the greatest
number of men. 177. In a peninsula which stands out into the sea from
the land of these Gindanes dwell the Lotophagoi, who live by eating
the fruit of the /lotos/ only. Now the fruit of the lotos is in size
like that of the mastich-tree, and in flavour[158] it resembles that
of the date-palm. Of this fruit the Lotophagoi even make for
themselves wine. 178. Next after the Lotophagoi along the sea-coast
are the Machlyans, who also make use of the lotos, but less than those
above mentioned. These extend to a great river named the river Triton,
and this runs out into a great lake called Tritonis, in which there is
an island named Phla. About this island they say there was an oracle
given to the Lacedemonians that they should make a settlement in it.
179. The following moreover is also told, namely that Jason, when the
Argo had been completed by him under Mount Pelion, put into it a
hecatomb and with it also[159] a tripod of bronze, and sailed round
Pelopponese, desiring to come to Delphi; and when in sailing he got
near Malea, a North Wind seized his ship and carried it off to Libya,
and before he caught sight of land he had come to be in the shoals of
the lake Tritonis. Then as he was at a loss how he should bring his
ship forth, the story goes that Triton appeared to him and bade Jason
give him the tripod, saying that he would show them the right course
and let them go away without hurt: and when Jason consented to it,
then Triton showed them the passage out between the shoals and set the
tripod in his own temple, after having first uttered a prophecy over
the tripod[160] and having declared to Jason and his company the whole
matter, namely that whensoever one of the descendants of those who
sailed with him in the Argo should carry away this tripod, then it was
determined by fate that a hundred cities of Hellenes should be
established about the lake Tritonis. Having heard this the native
Libyans concealed the tripod.

180. Next to these Machlyans are the Auseans. These and the Machlyans
dwell round the lake Tritonis, and the river Triton is the boundary
between them: and while the Machlyans grow their hair long at the back
of the head, the Auseans do so in front. At a yearly festival of
Athene their maidens take their stand in two parties and fight against
one another with stones and staves, and they say that in doing so they
are fulfilling the rites handed down by their fathers for the divinity
who was sprung from that land, whom we call Athene: and those of the
maidens who die of the wounds received they call "false-maidens." But
before they let them begin the fight they do this:--all join together
and equip the maiden who is judged to be the fairest on each occasion,
with a Corinthian helmet and with full Hellenic armour, and then
causing her to go up into a chariot they conduct her round the lake.
Now I cannot tell with what they equipped the maidens in old time,
before the Hellenes were settled near them; but I suppose that they
used to be equipped with Egyptian armour, for it is from Egypt that
both the shield and the helmet have come to the Hellenes, as I affirm.
They say moreover that Athene is the daughter of Poseidon and of the
lake Tritonis, and that she had some cause of complaint against her
father and therefore gave herself to Zeus, and Zeus made her his own
daughter. Such is the story which these tell; and they have their
intercourse with women in common, not marrying but having intercourse
like cattle: and when the child of any woman has grown big, he is
brought before a meeting of the men held within three months of that
time,[161] and whomsoever of the men the child resembles, his son he
is accounted to be.

181. Thus then have been mentioned those nomad Libyans who live along
the sea-coast: and above these inland is the region of Libya which has
wild beasts; and above the wild-beast region there stretches a raised
belt of sand, extending from Thebes of the Egyptians to the Pillars of
Heracles. In this belt at intervals of about ten days' journey there
are fragments of salt in great lumps forming hills, and at the top of
each hill there shoots up from the middle of the salt a spring of
water cold and sweet; and about the spring dwell men, at the furthest
limit towards the desert, and above the wild-beast region. First, at a
distance of ten days' journey from Thebes, are the Ammonians, whose
temple is derived from that of the Theban Zeus, for the image of Zeus
in Thebes also, as I have said before,[162] has the head of a ram.
These, as it chances, have also other water of a spring, which in the
early morning is warm; at the time when the market fills,[163] cooler;
when midday comes, it is quite cold, and then they water their
gardens; but as the day declines, it abates from its coldness, until
at last, when the sun sets, the water is warm; and it continues to
increase in heat still more until it reaches midnight, when it boils
and throws up bubbles; and when midnight passes, it becomes cooler
gradually till dawn of day. This spring is called the fountain of the

182. After the Ammonians, as you go on along the belt of sand, at an
interval again of ten days' journey there is a hill of salt like that
of the Ammonians, and a spring of water, with men dwelling about it;
and the name of this place is Augila. To this the Nasamonians come
year by year to gather the fruit of the date-palms. 183. From Augila
at a distance again of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt
and spring of water and a great number of fruit-bearing date-palms, as
there are also in the other places: and men dwell here who are called
the Garmantians, a very great nation, who carry earth to lay over the
salt and then sow crops. From this point is the shortest way to the
Lotophagoi, for from these it is a journey of thirty days to the
country of the Garmantians. Among them also are produced the cattle
which feed backwards; and they feed backwards for this reason, because
they have their horns bent down forwards, and therefore they walk
backwards as they feed; for forwards they cannot go, because the horns
run into the ground in front of them; but in nothing else do they
differ from other cattle except in this and in the thickness and
firmness to the touch[164] of their hide. These Garamantians of whom I
speak hunt the "Cave-dwelling"[165] Ethiopians with their four-horse
chariots, for the Cave-dwelling Ethiopians are the swiftest of foot of
all men about whom we hear report made: and the Cave-dwellers feed
upon serpents and lizards and such creeping things, and they use a
language which resembles no other, for in it they squeak just like

184. From the Garmantians at a distance again of ten days' journey
there is another hill of salt and spring of water, and men dwell round
it called Atarantians, who alone of all men about whom we know are
nameless; for while all taken together have the name Atarantians, each
separate man of them has no name given to him. These utter curses
against the Sun when he is at his height,[166] and moreover revile him
with all manner of foul terms, because he oppresses them by his
burning heat, both themselves and their land. After this at a distance
of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of
water, and men dwell round it. Near this salt hill is a mountain named
Atlas, which is small in circuit and rounded on every side; and so
exceedingly lofty is it said to be, that it is not possible to see its
summits, for clouds never leave them either in the summer or in the
winter. This the natives say is the pillar of the heaven. After this
mountain these men got their name, for they are called Atlantians; and
it is said that they neither eat anything that has life nor have any

185. As far as these Atlantians I am able to mention in order the
names of those who are settled in the belt of sand; but for the parts
beyond these I can do so no more. However, the belt extends as far as
the Pillars of Heracles and also in the parts outside them: and there
is a mine of salt in it at a distance of ten days' journey from the
Atlantians, and men dwelling there; and these all have their houses
built of the lumps of salt, since these parts of Libya which we have
now reached[167] are without rain; for if it rained, the walls being
made of salt would not be able to last: and the salt is dug up there
both white and purple in colour.[168] Above the sand-belt, in the
parts which are in the direction of the South Wind and towards the
interior of Libya, the country is uninhabited, without water and
without wild beasts, rainless and treeless, and there is no trace of
moisture in it.

186. I have said that from Egypt as far as the lake Tritonis Libyans
dwell who are nomads, eating flesh and drinking milk; and these do not
taste at all of the flesh of cows, for the same reason as the
Egyptians also abstain from it, nor do they keep swine. Moreover the
women of the Kyrenians too think it not right to eat cows' flesh,
because of the Egyptian Isis, and they even keep fasts and celebrate
festivals for her; and the women of Barca, in addition from cows'
flesh, do not taste of swine either. 187. Thus it is with these
matters: but in the region to the West of lake Tritonis the Libyans
cease to be nomads, and they do not practise the same customs, nor do
to their children anything like that which the nomads are wont to do;
for the nomad Libyans, whether all of them I cannot say for certain,
but many of them, do as follows:--when their children are four years
old, they burn with a greasy piece of sheep's wool the veins in the
crowns of their heads, and some of them burn the veins of the temples,
so that for all their lives to come the cold humour may not run down
from their heads and do them hurt: and for this reason it is (they
say) that they are so healthy; for the Libyans are in truth the most
healthy of all races concerning which we have knowledge, whether for
this reason or not I cannot say for certain, but the most healthy they
certainly are: and if, when they burn the children, a convulsion comes
on, they have found out a remedy for this; for they pour upon them the
water of a he-goat and so save them. I report that which is reported
by the Libyans themselves. 188. The following is the manner of
sacrifice which the nomads have:--they cut off a part of the animal's
ear as a first offering and throw it over the house,[169] and having
done this they twist its neck. They sacrifice only to the Sun and the
Moon; that is to say, to these all the Libyans sacrifice, but those
who dwell round the lake Tritonis sacrifice most of all to Athene, and
next to Triton and Poseidon. 189. It would appear also that the
Hellenes made the dress and the /aigis/ of the images of Athene after
the model of the Libyan women; for except that the dress of the Libyan
women is of leather, and the tassels which hang from their /aigis/ are
not formed of serpents but of leather thongs, in all other respects
Athene is dressed like them. Moreover the name too declares that the
dress of the figures of Pallas has come from Libya, for the Libyan
women wear over their other garments bare goat-skins (/aigeas/) with
tasselled fringes and coloured over with red madder, and from the name
of these goat-skins the Hellenes formed the name /aigis/. I think also
that in these regions first arose the practice of crying aloud during
the performance of sacred rites, for the Libyan women do this very
well.[170] The Hellenes learnt from the Libyans also the yoking
together of four horses. 190. The nomads bury those who die just in
the same manner as the Hellenes, except only the Nasamonians: these
bury bodies in a sitting posture, taking care at the moment when the
man expires to place him sitting and not to let him die lying down on
his back. They have dwellings composed of the stems of asphodel
entwined with rushes, and so made that they can be carried about. Such
are the customs followed by these tribes.

191. On the West of the river Triton next after the Auseans come
Libyans who are tillers of the soil, and whose custom it is to possess
fixed habitations; and they are called Maxyans. They grow their hair
long on the right side of their heads and cut it short upon the left,
and smear their bodies over with red ochre. These say that they are of
the men who came from Troy.

This country and the rest of Libya which is towards the West is both
much more frequented by wild beasts and much more thickly wooded than
the country of the nomads: for whereas the part of Libya which is
situated towards the East, where the nomads dwell, is low-lying and
sandy up to the river Triton, that which succeeds it towards the West,
the country of those who till the soil, is exceedingly mountainous and
thickly-wooded and full of wild beasts: for in the land of these are
found both the monstrous serpent and the lion and the elephant, and
bears and venomous snakes and horned asses, besides the dog-headed
men, and the headless men with their eyes set in their breasts (at
least so say the Libyans about them), and the wild men and wild women,
and a great multitude of other beasts which are not fabulous like
these.[171] 192. In the land of the nomads however there exist none of
these, but other animals as follows:--white-rump antelopes, gazelles,
buffaloes, asses, not the horned kind but others which go without
water (for in fact these never drink), oryes,[172] whose horns are
made into the sides of the Phenician lyre (this animal is in size
about equal to an ox), small foxes, hyenas, porcupines, wild rams,
wolves,[173] jackals, panthers, boryes, land-crocodiles about three
cubits in length and very much resembling lizards, ostriches, and
small snakes, each with one horn: these wild animals there are in this
country, as well as those which exist elsewhere, except the stag and
the wild-boar; but Libya has no stags nor wild boars at all. Also
there are in this country three kinds of mice, one is called the "two-
legged" mouse, another the /zegeris/ (a name which is Libyan and
signifies in the Hellenic tongue a "hill"), and a third the "prickly"
mouse.[174] There are also weasels produced in the /silphion/, which
are very like those of Tartessos. Such are the wild animals which the
land of the Libyans possesses, so far as we were able to discover by
inquiries extended as much as possible.

193. Next to the Maxyan Libyans are the Zauekes,[175] whose women
drive their chariots for them to war. 194. Next to these are the
Gyzantes,[176] among whom honey is made in great quantity by bees, but
in much greater quantity still it is said to be made by men, who work
at it as a trade. However that may be, these all smear themselves over
with red ochre and eat monkeys, which are produced in very great
numbers upon their mountains. 195. Opposite these, as the
Carthaginians say, there lies an island called Kyrauis, two hundred
furlongs in length but narrow, to which one may walk over from the
mainland; and it is full of olives and vines. In it they say there is
a pool, from which the native girls with birds' feathers smeared over
with pitch bring up gold-dust out of the mud. Whether this is really
so I do not know, but I write that which is reported; and nothing is
impossible,[177] for even in Zakynthos I saw myself pitch brought up
out of a pool of water. There are there several pools, and the largest
of them measures seventy feet each way and is two fathoms in depth.
Into this they plunge a pole with a myrtle-branch bound to it, and
then with the branch of the myrtle they bring up pitch, which has the
smell of asphalt, but in other respects it is superior to the pitch of
Pieria. This they pour into a pit dug near the pool; and when they
have collected a large quantity, then they pour it into the jars from
the pit: and whatever thing falls into the pool goes under ground and
reappears in the sea, which is distant about four furlongs from the
pool. Thus then the report about the island lying near the coast of
Libya is also probably enough true.

196. The Carthaginians say also this, namely that there is a place in
Libya and men dwelling there, outside the Pillars of Heracles, to whom
when they have come and have taken the merchandise forth from their
ships, they set it in order along the beach and embark again in their
ships, and after that they raise a smoke; and the natives of the
country seeing the smoke come to the sea, and then they lay down gold
as an equivalent for the merchandise and retire to a distance away
from the merchandise. The Carthaginians upon that disembark and
examine it, and if the gold is in their opinion sufficient for the
value of the merchandise, they take it up and go their way; but if
not, they embark again in their ships and sit there; and the others
approach and straightway add more gold to the former, until they
satisfy them: and they say that neither party wrongs the other; for
neither do the Carthaginians lay hands on the gold until it is made
equal to the value of their merchandise, nor do the others lay hands
on the merchandise until the Carthaginians have taken the gold.

197. These are the Libyan tribes whom we are able to name; and of
these the greater number neither now pay any regard to the king of the
Medes nor did they then. Thus much also I have to say about this land,
namely that it is occupied by four races and no more, so far as we
know; and of these races two are natives of the soil and the other two
not so; for the Libyans and the Ethiopians are natives, the one race
dwelling in the Northern parts of Libya and the other in the Southern,
while the Phenicians and the Hellenes are strangers.

198. I think moreover that (besides other things) in goodness of soil
Libya does not very greatly excel[178] as compared with Asia or
Europe, except only the region of Kinyps, for the same name is given
to the land as to the river. This region is equal to the best of lands
in bringing forth the fruit of Demeter,[179] nor does it at all
resemble the rest of Libya; for it has black soil and is watered by
springs, and neither has it fear of drought nor is it hurt by drinking
too abundantly of rain; for rain there is in this part of Libya. Of
the produce of the crops the same measures hold good here as for the
Babylonian land. And that is good land also which the Euesperites
occupy, for when it bears best it produces a hundred-fold, but the
land in the region of Kinyps produces sometimes as much as three-
hundred-fold. 199. Moreover the land of Kyrene, which is the highest
land of the part of Libya which is occupied by nomads, has within its
confines three seasons of harvest, at which we may marvel: for the
parts by the sea-coasts first have their fruits ripe for reaping and
for gathering the vintage; and when these have been gathered in, the
parts which lie above the sea-side places, those situated in the
middle, which they call the hills,[180] are ripe for the gathering in;
and as soon as this middle crop has been gathered in, that in the
highest part of the land comes to perfection and is ripe; so that by
the time the first crop has been eaten and drunk up, the last is just
coming in. Thus the harvest for the Kyrenians lasts eight months. Let
so much as has been said suffice for these things.


200. Now when the Persian helpers of Pheretime,[181] having been sent
from Egypt by Aryandes, had arrived at Barca, they laid siege to the
city, proposing to the inhabitants that they should give up those who
were guilty of the murder of Arkesilaos: but as all their people had

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