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THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, Volume 1 by Herodotus

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taken a share in the guilt, they did not accept the proposals. Then
they besieged Barca for nine months, both digging underground passages
which led to the wall and making vigorous attacks upon it. Now the
passages dug were discovered by a worker of bronze with a shield
covered over with bronze, who had thought of a plan as follows:--
carrying it round within the wall he applied it to the ground in the
city, and whereas the other places to which he applied it were
noiseless, at those places where digging was going on the bronze of
the shield gave a sound; and the men of Barca would make a countermine
there and slay the Persians who were digging mines. This then was
discovered as I have said, and the attacks were repulsed by the men of
Barca. 201. Then as they were suffering hardship for a long time and
many were falling on both sides, and especially on that of the
Persians, Amasis the commander of the land-army contrived as follows:
--perceiving that the Barcaians were not to be conquered by force but
might be conquered by guile, he dug by night a broad trench and over
it he laid timber of no great strength, and brought earth and laid it
above on the top of the timber, making it level with the rest of the
ground: then at daybreak he invited the men of Barca to a parley; and
they gladly consented, and at last they agreed to make a treaty: and
the treaty they made with one another was taken over the hidden
trench, namely that so long as this earth should continue to be as it
was, so long the oath should remain firm, and that the men of Barca
should promise to pay tribute of due amount to the king, and the
Persians should do no further violence to the men of Barca.[182] After
the oath the men of Barca trusting to these engagements both went
forth themselves from their city and let any who desired it of the
enemy pass within their walls, having opened all the gates; but the
Persians first broke down the concealed bridge and then began to run
inside the city wall. And the reason why they broke down the bridge
which they had made was that they might keep their goats, since they
had sworn to the men of Barca that the oath should remain firm
continually for so long time as the earth should remain as it then
was, but after that they had broken it down, the oath no longer
remained firm. 202. Now the most guilty of the Barcaians, when they
were delivered to her by the Persians, Pheretime impaled in a ring
round about the wall; and she cut off the breasts of their wives and
set the wall round with these also in order: but the rest of the men
of Barca she bade the Persians carry off as spoil, except so many of
them as were of the house of Battos and not sharers in the guilt of
the murder; and to these Pheretime gave the city in charge.

203. So the Persians having made slaves of the rest of the Barcaians
departed to go back: and when they appeared at the gates of the city
of Kyrene, the Kyrenians let them go through their town in order to
avoid neglect of some oracle. Then as the army was going through,
Badres the commander of the fleet urged that they should capture the
city, but Amasis the commander of the land-army would not consent to
it; for he said that they had been sent against no other city of the
Hellenes except Barca. When however they had passed through and were
encamping on the hill of Zeus Lycaios, they repented of not having
taken possession of Kyrene; and they endeavoured again to pass into
it, but the men of Kyrene would not allow them. Then upon the
Persians, although no one fought against them, there fell a sudden
panic, and they ran away for about sixty furlongs and then encamped.
And when the camp had been placed here, there came to it a messenger
from Aryandes summoning them back; so the Persians asked the Kyrenians
to give them provisions for their march and obtained their request;
and having received these, they departed to go to Egypt. After this
the Libyans took them up,[183] and killed for the sake of their
clothes and equipment those of them who at any time were left or
straggled behind, until at last they came to Egypt.

204. This army of the Persians reached Euesperides, and this was their
furthest point in Libya: and those of the Barcaians whom they had
reduced to slavery they removed again from Egypt and brought them to
the king, and king Dareios gave them a village in the land of Bactria
in which to make a settlement. To this village they gave the name of
Barca, and it still continued to be inhabited by them even down to my
own time, in the land of Bactria.

205. Pheretime however did not bring her life happily to an end any
more than they: for as soon as she had returned from Libya to Egypt
after having avenged herself on the Barcaians, she died an evil death,
having become suddenly full of worms while yet alive: for, as it
seems, too severe punishments inflicted by men prove displeasing[184]
to the gods. Such and so great was the punishment inflicted by
Pheretime the wife of Battos on the men of Barca.


[1] Some enterprises had been entrusted to others, e.g. the attack on
Samos; but this had not been the case with the capture of Babylon,
therefore some Editors have proposed corrections, e.g. {au tou}
(Schweighäuser), and {autika} (Stein).

[2] See i. 106.

[3] {tes ano 'Asies}: this means Eastern Asia as distinguished from
the coasts of Asia Minor; see i. 103 and 177.

[4] {katapausantes}: the expression is awkward if meant to be
equivalent to {kai katepausan}, but it is hardly improved by the
alteration to {katapausontes}. Perhaps the clause is out of place.

[5] {ponos}.

[6] {peristixantes}: so the two best MSS.; others have {peristesantes}
or {peristexantes}. The word {peristixantes} would be from
{peristikho}, equivalent to {peristikhizo}, and is acknowledged in
this sense by Hesychius.

[7] The connexion is not clear either at the beginning of the chapter
or here. This clause would seem to be a repetition of that at the
beginning of the chapter, and that which comes between should be
an explanation of the reason why the slaves are blinded. As it
stands, however, we can only refer it to the clause which follows,
{ou gar arotai eisi alla nomades}, and even so there is no real
solution of the difficulty, for it is not explained why nomads
should have blinded slaves. Perhaps the best resource is to
suppose that some part of the explanation, in connexion with the
manner of dealing with the milk, has been lost.

[8] {te per}: a conjectural emendation for {e per}, "which is a very
great lake."

[9] {epi touton arkhonton}: the word {arkhonton} is omitted in some
MSS. and by some Editors.

[10] {sagarin}.

[11] {tous basileious}: so Wesseling. The MSS. have {tous basileas},
"the kings," which may perhaps be used here as equivalent to {tous
basileious}: some Editors, including Stein, adopt the conjecture
{tou basileos}, "from the youngest of them who, was king, those
who," etc.

[12] {tou basileos}: some Editors read by conjecture {Skolotou
basileos}, "after their king Scolotos."

[12a] {katazonnumenon}: or {kata tade zonnumenon}, "girded in this

[13] {mekhanesasthai ten metera Skuthe}: the better MSS. read
{mekhanasthai} and {Skuthen}: the meaning seems doubtful, and some
Editors would omit the clause as an interpolation.

[14] {pros pollous deomenon}: the better MSS. read {pro pollou
deomena}. The passage has been emended in various ways, e.g. {pros
pollous deoi menontas} (Buttmann), {pros pollous menontas}
(Bredow), {pro spodou deomenon} (Stein).

[15] {poiesas}: some authorities have {eipas}.

[16] Italy means for Herodotus only the Southern part of the

[17] {diekosioisi}: so the best authorities; others have

[18] {'Italioteon}, i.e. Hellenic settlers in Italy.

[19] {to agalmati to 'Apollonos}: {agalma} is used for anything
dedicated to a god, most commonly the sacred image.

[20] {katuperthe}: "above," i.e. beyond them towards the North.
Similarly when dealing with Libya the writer uses the same word of
those further from the coast towards the South; see ch. 174.

[21] {en autoisi toisi epesi poieon}: "even in the verses which he
composed," in which he might be expected as a poet to go somewhat
beyond the literal truth.

[22] Or, "Alizonians."

[23] {'Olbiopolitas}.

[24] See ch. 101, where the day's journey is reckoned at 200 stades
(23 English miles).

[25] The meaning of {eremos} here is not waste and barren land, but
land without settled inhabitants.

[26] i.e. "Man-eaters."

[27] This is the reading of the MSS., but it is not consistent with
the distance given in ch. 101, nor with the actual facts: some
Editors therefore read "four" instead of "fourteen."

[28] i.e. "Cliffs."

[29] i.e. "Black-cloaks."

[30] {'Argippaioi}: it is not certain that this is the form which
ought to be read here: Latin writers make the name "Arimphaei,"
and in some MSS. it is given here as {'Orgempaioi}.

[31] {agalmati}.

[32] {ta genesia}.

[33] Or, "violent."

[34] Od. iv. 85.

[35] {e phuonta phuein mogis}.

[36] {prosthekas}, "additions."

[37] i.e. of Apollo and Artemis.

[37a] Omitting {legon}.

[38] The word "Asia" is not contained in the MSS. and need not be
inserted in the text, but it is implied, if not expressed; see
chap. 41.

[39] {aktai}.

[40] {ou legousa ei me nomo}.

[41] i.e. 100,000 fathoms, equivalent to 1000 stades; see ii. 6, note

[42] {oude sumballein axie}.

[43] ii. 158.

[43a] {brota}: some MSS. have {probata} "cattle."

[44] {omoia parekhomene}: the construction is confused, but the
meaning is that all but the Eastern parts are known to be
surrounded by sea.

[45] {logion}: some MSS. have {logimon}, "of reputation."

[46] Stein reads {eisi de} for {eisi de}, and punctuates so that the
meaning is, "it has become the greatest of all rivers in the
following manner:--besides other rivers which flow into it, those
which especially make it great are as follows."

[47] {pente men oi}: this perhaps requires emendation, but the
corrections proposed are hardly satisfactory, e.g. {pente megaloi}
or {pente monoi}.

[48] Or "Skios": called by Thucydides "Oskios" (ii. 96).

[49] {eti}: most of the MSS. give {esti}, which is adopted by some

[50] "Sacred Ways."

[51] {Gerreon}: in some MSS. {Gerrou}, "the region called Gerros."

[52] {tesserakonta}: some Editors have altered this number, but
without authority or sufficient reason.

[53] {di eremou}: see note 25 on ch. 18. The region here spoken of is
that between the Gerrians and the agricultural Scythians.

[53a] {es touto elos}: i.e. the Dneiper-Liman. (The Medicean and
Florentine MSS. read {es to elos}, not {es to telos}, as hitherto

[54] {eon embolon tes khores}.

[55] {Metros}: i.e. the Mother of the gods, Kybele, cp. ch. 76; some
less good authorities have {Demetros}.

[56] {reei de}: most MSS. have {reei men gar}.

[57] Or, "Apia."

[58] Or, "Goitosyros."

[59] The MSS. have also "Arippasa" and "Artimpasa."

[60] The authorities have also "Thagimasa" and "Thamimasidas."

[61] {ton arkheion}: some read by conjecture {en to arkheio}, "at the
seat of government," or "in the public place."

[62] {eson t' epi stadious treis}.

[63] {upo ton kheimonon}.

[64] {akinakes}.

[65] {agalma}: see note 19 on ch. 15.

[66] {kata per baitas}.

[67] Or, "and put them together in one bundle."

[68] See i. 105.

[69] {kuperou}: it is not clear what plant is meant.

[70] i.e. for this purpose. The general use of bronze is attested by
ch. 81.

[71] {ode anabibazontes, epean k.t.l}: the reference of {ode} is
directly to the clause {epean----trakhelou}, though in sense it
refers equally to the following, {katothen de k.t.l}. Some Editors
punctuate thus, {ode anabibazontes epean} and omit {de} after
{katothen}, making the reference of {ode} to the latter clause

[72] {oruontai}, as in iii. 117, but here they howl for pleasure.

[73] Like the Egyptians for example, cp. ii. 91.

[74] {mete ge on allelon}: the MSS. have {me ti ge on allelon}. Most
Editors read {allon} for {allelon} and alter the other words in
various ways ({me toi ge on, me toigaron} etc.), taking {me} as in
{me oti} (/ne dicam aliorum/). The reading which I have adopted is
based on that of Stein, who reads {mete teon allon} and quotes
vii. 142, {oute ge alloisi 'Ellenon oudamoisi, umin de de kai dia
panton ekista}. With {allon} the meaning is, "rejecting those of
other nations and especially those of the Hellenes." For the use
of {me} after {pheugein} cp. ii. 91.

[75] Or, according to some MSS., "as they proved in the case of
Anacharsis and afterwards of Skyles."

[76] {gen pollen}.

[77] {epitropou}.

[78] {peplastai}: some authorities give {pepaistai}, "has been
invented as a jest."

[79] {es kheiras agesthai}.

[79a] {o theos}.

[80] {diepresteuse}: this or {epresteuse} is the reading of most of
the MSS. The meaning is uncertain, since the word does not occur
elsewhere. Stein suggests that it may mean "scoffed (at the
Scythians)." Various conjectures have been tried, e.g.
{diedresteuse}, {diedrepeteuse}, etc.

[81] {os Skuthas einai}: cp. ii. 8. Some (e.g. Dindorf and Bähr)
translate "considering that they are Scythians," i.e. for a nation
so famous and so widely extended.

[82] i.e. about 5300 gallons.

[83] {epi to iro}: the MSS. mostly have {epi iro}, and Stein adopts
the conjecture {epi rio}, "on a projecting point." The temple
would be that of {Zeus ourios} mentioned in ch. 87. (In the
Medicean MS. the omitted {i} is inserted above the line /before/
the {r}, not directly over it, as represented by Stein, and the
accent is not omitted.)

[84] {stadioi}, and so throughout.

[85] i.e. 1,110,000.

[86] i.e. 330,000.

[86a] {stelas}, i.e. "square blocks"; so also in ch. 91.

[87] i.e. 700,000.

[87a] {os emoi dokeei sumballomeno}, "putting the evidence together".

[88] {pasi deka}: probably a loose expression like {ta panta muria},
iii. 74.

[89] {psoren}, "mange."

[90] Or (less probably) "Skyrmiadai."

[91] {Salmoxin}: some inferior MSS. have {Zalmoxin}, or {Zamolxin},
and the spelling in other writers varies between these forms.

[92] {daimona}, sometimes used for deified men as distinguished from
gods, cp. ch. 103.

[93] {dia penteteridos}.

[94] {bathutera}.

[95] {ou to asthenestato sophiste}. No depreciation seems to be
intended here.

[96] {andreona}.

[97] i.e. the Mediterranean: or the passage may mean simply, "Thrace
runs out further into the sea than Scythia."

[98] {gounon}.

[99] More literally, "I say this, so far as it is allowed to compare,
etc. Such is the form of the Tauric land."

[100] {ede}. The Agathyrsians however have not been mentioned before
in this connection.

[101] {stadia}.

[102] {tes Skuthikes ta epikarsia}, i.e. the lines running from West
to East.

[103] {epanakhthentes}: so the Medicean MS. and another: the rest have
{epanakhthentas}. Some Editors read by conjecture
{apeneikhthentas}, "cast away on their coast."

[104] {neoisi}.

[105] {trieteridas}.

[106] Or, "were driven out."

[107] {phtheirotrageousi}.

[108] Or, "/Aiorpata/," and "/aior/" below.

[109] i.e. the Royal Scythians: see ch. 20.

[110] {epi touto}, the reading of the Aldine edition. The MSS. have
{epi touto}. Stein suggests {dia touto}.

[111] {ou peisometha}: some MSS. read {ouk oisometha}. Editors have
emended by conjecture in various ways, e.g. {ou periopsometha},
"we shall not allow it"; {oi epoisometha} or {oi epeisometha}, "we
shall go out to attack him"; {aposometha}, "we shall repel him."

[112] {paras}, or {pasai}, belonging to {gunaikes}.

[113] {khersou}, "dry."

[114] Perhaps the same as the "Hyrgis" mentioned in ch. 57. Some
Editors read "Hyrgis" in this passage.

[115] See ch. 119.

[116] {klaiein lego}.

[117] {touto esti e apo Skutheon resis}: this refers to the last
words, {klaiein lego}. Most Editors have doubts about the
genuineness of the sentence, regarding it a marginal gloss which
has crept into the text; but perhaps without sufficient reason.

[118] Or, "with some slight effect on the course of the war."

[119] See i. 216.

[120] {eremothentes tou omilou}.

[121] {iesan tes phones}.

[122] {e mia kai Sauromatai}: some Editors read {e meta Sauromateon}.
The MSS. give {e mia Sauromatai} (some {Sauromateon}). Stein
inserts {kai}.

[123] {khairontes eleutheroi}.

[124] The list includes only those who voted in favour of the proposal
of Histiaios (i.e. Miltiades is not included in it): hence perhaps
Stein is right in suggesting some change in the text, e.g. {oi
diapherontes te ten psephon basileos kai eontes logou pleistou}.
The absence of the name of Coës is remarked by several
commentators, who forget that he had accompanied Dareios: see ch.

[125] Or, "and even so they found the passage of the river with

[126] {en Persesi}.

[127] i.e. 80,000.

[128] {gar}: some MSS. read {de}; so Stein and other Editors.

[129] i.e. Castor and Polydeukes the sons of Tyndareus, who were among
the Argonauts.

[130] {Phera} (genitive).

[131] From {ois} "sheep" and {lukos} "wolf" ({oin en lukoisi}).

[132] {phule}, the word being here apparently used loosely.

[133] {'Erinuon}.

[134] {meta touto upemeine touto touto}: some Editors mark a lacuna
after {upemeine}, or supply some words like {sunebe de}: "after
this the children survived, and the same thing happened also in
Thera, etc."

[135] Or, "Grinos."

[136] {Euphemides}: the MSS. have {Euthumides}: the correction is from
Pindar, Pyth. iv. 455.

[137] {onax}, the usual form of address to Apollo; so in ch. 155.

[138] Or, "Axos."

[139] i.e. Aristoteles, Pind. Pyth. v. 87.

[140] {metaxu apolipon}.

[141] Or, "it happened both to himself and to the other men of Thera
according to their former evil fortune"; but this would presuppose
the truth of the story told in ch. 151, and {paligkotos} may mean
simply "adverse" or "hostile."

[142] {eontes tosoutoi osoi k.t.l.} They could hardly have failed to
increase in number, but no new settlers had been added.

[143] {usteron elthe gas anadaiomenes}, "too late for the division of

[144] Or, "Thestis."

[145] The MSS. give also "Aliarchos" and "Learchos."

[146] {mathon ekasta}.

[147] {ton terioikon}: i.e. conquered Libyans.

[148] {nesioteon panton}: i.e. the natives of the Cyclades, cp. vi.

[149] {amphirruton ten Kurenen einai}: some Editors read by conjecture
{ten amphirruton Kurenen einai} (or {Kurenen ten amph, einai}),
"that Kyrene was the place flowed round by water."

[150] {pselion}.

[151] Or, "Giligammai."

[152] i.e. the plant so called, figured on the coins of Kyrene and

[153] Or, "Asbytai."

[154] i.e. further from the coast, so {katuperthe}, ch. 174 etc., cp.
ch. 16.

[155] Or "Cabales."

[156] See i. 216.

[157] Distinct from the people of the same name mentioned in ch. 183:
those here mentioned are called "Gamphasantes" by Pliny.

[158] {glukuteta}, "sweetness."

[159] {allen te ekatomben kai de kai}.

[160] {epithespisanta to tripodi}, which can hardly mean "prophesied
sitting upon the tripod."

[161] Lit. "the men come together regularly to one place within three
months," which seems to mean that meetings are held every three
months, before one of which the child is brought.

[162] See ii. 42.

[163] i.e. in the middle of the morning.

[164] {tripsin}: the "feel" to the touch: hence it might mean either
hardness or softness according to the context.

[165] {troglodutas}: "Troglodytes."

[166] {uperballonti}: "when his heat is greatest."

[167] {ede}.

[168] Or "red."

[169] {domon}: Reiske reads {omon} by conjecture, "over his shoulder."

[170] Or (according to some MSS.), "practise this much and do it

[171] {akatapseusta}. Several Editors have adopted the conjecture
{katapseusta}, "other fabulous beasts."

[172] {orues}: perhaps for {oruges} from {orux}, a kind of antelope.

[173] {diktues}: the meaning is uncertain.

[174] {ekhinees}, "urchins."

[175] Or "Zabykes."

[176] Or "Zygantes."

[177] {eie d' an pan}: cp. v. 9. Some translate, "and this might well
be so."

[178] {oud' areten einai tis e Libue spoudaie}.

[179] i.e. corn; cp. i. 193.

[180] {bounous}.

[181] See ch. 167.

[182] {meden allo neokhmoun kata Barkaious}: cp. v. 19.

[183] {paralabontes}.

[184] {epiphthonoi}.

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