Diodorus Siculus, Library 1-7

Diodorus Siculus's Library Bks 1-7, translated by Charles Henry Oldfather (1887-1954), from the Loeb Classical Library edition of 1933, a text asserted to be in the public domain, nobly digitized by E. Thayer at LacusCurtius. This text has 2222 tagged references to 415 ancient places.
CTS URN: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0060.tlg001; Wikidata ID: Q672803;     [Open Greek text in new tab]

§ 1.1.1  It is fitting that all men should ever accord great gratitude to those writers who have composed universal histories, since they have aspired to help by their individual labours human society as a whole; for by offering a schooling, which entails no danger, in what is advantageous they prove their readers, through such a presentation of events, with a most excellent kind of experience. 2 For although the learning which is acquired by experience in each separate case, with all the attendant toils and dangers, does indeed enable a man to discern in each instance where utility lies — and this is the reason why the most widely experienced of our heroes suffered great misfortunes before he
Of many men the cities saw and learned
Their thoughts;—
yet the understanding of the failures and successes of other men, which is acquired by the study of history, affords a schooling that is free from actual experience of ills. 3 Furthermore, it has been the aspiration of these writers to marshal all men, who, although united one to another by their kinship, are yet separated by space and time, into one and the same orderly body. And such historians have therein shown themselves to be, as it were, ministers of Divine Providence. For just as Providence, having brought the orderly arrangement of the visible stars and the natures of men together into one common relationship, continually directs their courses through all eternity, apportioning to each that which falls to it by the direction of fate, so likewise the historians, in recording the common affairs of the inhabited world as though they were those of a single state, have made of their treatises a single reckoning of past events and a common clearing-house of knowledge concerning them. 4 For it is an excellent thing to be able to use the ignorant mistakes of others as warning examples for the correction of error, and, when we confront the varied vicissitudes of life, instead of having to investigate what is being done now, to be able to imitate the successes which have been achieved in the past. Certainly all men prefer in their counsels the oldest men to those who are younger, because of the experience which has accrued to the former through the lapse of time; be it is a fact that such experience is in so far surpassed by the understanding which is gained from history, as history excels, we know, in the multitude of facts at its disposal. For this reason one may hold that the acquisition of a knowledge of history is of the greatest utility for every conceivable circumstance of life. 5 For it endows the young with the wisdom of the aged, while for the old it multiplies the experience which they already possess; citizens in private station it qualifies for leadership, and the leaders it incites, through the immortality of the glory which it confers, to undertake the noblest deeds; soldiers, again, it makes more ready to face dangers in defence of their country because of the public encomiums which they will receive after death, and wicked men it turns aside from their impulse towards evil through the everlasting opprobrium to which it will condemn them.

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§ 1.2.1  In general, then, it is because of that commemoration of goodly deeds which history accords men that some of them have be induced to become the founders of cities, that others have been led to introduce laws which encompass man's social life with security, and that many have aspired to discover new sciences and arts in order to benefit the race of men. And since complete happiness can be attained only through the combination of all these activities, the foremost meed of praise must be awarded to that which more than any other thing is the cause of them, that is, to history. 2 For we must look upon it as constituting the guardian of the high achievements of illustrious men, the witness which testifies to the evil deeds of the wicked, and the benefactor of the entire human race. For if it be true that the myths which are related about Hades, in spite of the fact that their subject-matter is fictitious, contribute greatly to fostering piety and justice among men, how much more must we assume that history, the prophetess of truth, she who is, as it were, the mother-city of philosophy as a whole, is still more potent to equip men's characters for noble living! 3 For all men, by reason of the frailty of our nature, live but an infinitesimal portion of eternity and are dead throughout all subsequent time; and while in the case of those who in their lifetime have done nothing worthy of note, everything which has pertained to them in life also perishes when their bodies die, yet in the case of those who by their virtue have achieved fame, their deeds are remembered for evermore, since they are heralded abroad by history's voice most divine.

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§ 1.2.4  Now it is an excellent thing, methinks, as all men of understanding must agree, to receive in exchange for mortal labours an immortal fame. In the case of Heracles, for instance, it is generally agreed that during the whole time which he spent among men he submitted to great and continuous labours and perils willingly, in order that he might confer benefits upon the race of men and thereby gain immortality; and likewise in the case of other great and good men, some have attained to heroic honours and others to honours equal to the divine, and all have been thought to be worthy of great praise, since history immortalizes their achievements. 5 For whereas all other memorials abide but a brief time, yet the power of history, which extends over the whole inhabited world, possesses in time, which brings ruin upon all things else, a custodian which ensures its perpetual transmission to posterity.
History also contributes to the power of speech, and a nobler thing than that may not easily be found. 6 For it is this that makes the Greeks superior to the barbarians, and the educated to the uneducated, and, furthermore, it is by means of speech alone that one man is able to gain ascendancy over the many; and, in general, the impression made by every measure that is proposed corresponds to the power of the speaker who presents it, and we describe great and human men as worthy of speech, as though therein they had won the highest prize of excellence. 7 And when speech is resolved into its several kinds, we find that, whereas poetry is more pleasing than profitable, and codes of law punish but do not instruct, and similarly, all the other kinds either contribute nothing to happiness or else contain a harmful element mingled with the beneficial, while some of them actually pervert the truth, history alone, since in it word and fact are in perfect agreement, embraces in its narration all the other qualities as well as that are useful; 8 for it is ever to be seen urging men to justice, denouncing those who are evil, lauding the good, laying up, in a word, for its readers a mighty store of experience.

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§ 1.3.1  Consequently we, observing that writers of history are accorded a merited approbation, were led to feel a like enthusiasm for the subject. But when we turned our attention to the historians before our time, although we approved their purpose without reservation, yet we were far from feeling that their treatises had been composed so as to contribute to human welfare as much as might have been the case. 2 For although the profit which history affords its readers lies in its embracing a vast number and variety of circumstances, yet most writers have recorded no more than isolated wars waged by a single nation or a single state, and but few have undertaken, beginning with the earliest times and coming down to their own day, to record the events connected with all peoples; and of the latter, some have not attached to the several events their own proper dates, and others have passed over the deeds of barbarian peoples; and some, again, have rejected the ancient legends because of the difficulties involved in their treatment, while others have failed to complete the plan to which they had set their hand, their lives having been cut short by fate. And of those who have undertaken this account of all peoples not one has continued his history beyond the Macedonian period. 3 For while some have closed their accounts with the deeds of Philip, others with those of Alexander, and some with the Diadochi or the Epigoni, yet, despite the number and importance of the events subsequent to these and extending even to our own lifetime which have been left neglected, no historian has essayed to treat of them within the compass of a single narrative, because of the magnitude of the undertaking. 4 For this reason, since both the dates of the events and the events themselves lie scattered about in numerous treatises and in divers authors, the knowledge of them becomes difficult for the mind to encompass and for the memory to retain.

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§ 1.3.5  Consequently, after we had examined the composition of each of these authors' works, we resolved to write a history after a plan which might yield to its readers the greatest benefit and at the same time incommode them the least. 6 For if a man should begin with the most ancient times and record to the best of his ability the affairs of the entire world down to his own day, so far as they have been handed down to memory, as though they were the affairs of some single city, he would obviously have to undertake an immense labour, yet he would have composed a treatise of the utmost value to those who are studiously inclined. 7 For from such a treatise every man will be able readily to take what is of use for his special purpose, drawing as it were from a great fountain. 8 The reason for this is that, in the first place, it is not easy for those who propose to go through the writings of so many historians to procure the books which come to be needed, and, in the second place, that, because the works vary so widely and are so numerous, the recovery of past events becomes extremely difficult of comprehension and of attainment; whereas, on the other hand, the treatise which keeps within the limits of a single narrative and contains a connected account of events facilitates the reading and contains such recovery of the past in a form that is perfectly easy to follow. In general, a history of this nature must be held to surpass all others to the same degree as the whole is more useful than the part and continuity than discontinuity, and, again, as an event whose date has been accurately determined is more useful than one of which it is not known in what period it happened.

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§ 1.4.1  And so we, appreciating that an undertaking of this nature, while most useful, would yet require much labour and time, have been engaged upon it for thirty years, and with much hardship and many dangers we have visited a large portion of both Asia and Europe that we might see with our own eyes all the most important regions and as many others as possible; for many errors have been committed through ignorance of the sites, not only by the common run of historians, but even by some of the highest reputation. 2 As for the resources which have availed us in this undertaking, they have been, first and foremost, that enthusiasm for the work which enables every man to bring to completion the task which seems impossible, and, in the second place, the abundant supply which Rome affords of the materials pertaining to the proposed study. 3 For the supremacy of this city, a supremacy so powerful that it extends to the bounds of the inhabited world, has provided us in the course of our long residence there with copious resources in the most accessible form. 4 For since the city of our origin was Agyrium in Sicily, and by reason of our contact with the Romans in that island we had gained a wide acquaintance with their language, we have acquired an accurate knowledge of all the events connected with this empire from the records which have been carefully preserved among them over a long period of time. 5 Now we have begun our history with the legends of both Greeks and barbarians, after having first investigated to the best of our ability the accounts which each people records of its earliest times.

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§ 1.4.6  Since my undertaking is now completed, although the volumes are as yet unpublished, I wish to present a brief preliminary outline of the work as a whole. Our first six Books embrace the events and legends previous to the Trojan War, the first three setting forth the antiquities of the barbarians, and the next three almost exclusively those of the Greeks; in the following eleven we have written a universal history of events from the Trojan War to the death of Alexander; 7 and in the succeeding twenty-three Books we have given an orderly account of all subsequent events down to the beginning of the war between the Romans and the Celts, in the course of which the commander, Gaius Julius Caesar, who has been deified because of his deeds, subdued the most numerous and most warlike tribes of the Celts, and advanced the Roman Empire as far as the British Isles. The first events of this war occurred in the first year of the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad, when Herodes was archon [60/59 BCE] at Athens.

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§ 1.5.1  As for the periods included in this work, we do not attempt to fix with any strictness the limits of those before the Trojan War, because no trustworthy chronological table covering them has come into our hands: but from the Trojan War we follow Apollodorus of Athens in setting the interval from then to the Return of the Heracleidae as eighty years, from then to the First Olympiad three hundred and twenty-eight years, reckoning the dates by the reigns of the kings of Lacedaemon, and from the First Olympiad to the beginning of the Celtic war, which we have made the end of our history, seven hundred and thirty years; so that our whole treatise of forty Books embraces eleven hundred and thirty-eight years, exclusive of the periods which embrace the events before the Trojan War.

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§ 1.5.2  We have given at the outset this precise outline, since we desire to inform our readers about the project as a whole, and at the same time to deter those who are accustomed to make their books by compilation, from mutilating works of which they are not the authors. And throughout our entire history it is to be hoped that what we have done well may not be the object of envy, and that the matters wherein our knowledge is defective may receive correction at the hands of more able historians.

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§ 1.5.3  Now that we have set forth the plan and purpose of our undertaking we shall attempt to make good our promise of such a treatise.

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§ 1.6.1  Concerning the various conceptions of the gods formed by those who were the first to introduce the worship of the deity, and concerning the myths which are told about each of the immortals, although we shall refrain from setting forth the most part in detail, since such a procedure would require a long account, yet whatever on these subjects we may feel to be pertinent to the several parts of our proposed history we shall present in a summary fashion, that nothing which is worth hearing may be found missing. 2 Concerning, however, every race of men, and all events that have taken place in the known parts of the inhabited world, we shall give an accurate account, so far as that is possible in the case of things that happened so long ago, beginning with the earliest times. 3 Now as regards the first origin of mankind two opinions have arisen among the best authorities both on nature and on history. One group, which takes the position that the universe did not come into being and will not decay, has declared that the race of men also has existed from eternity, there having never been a time when men were first begotten; the other group, however, which hold that the universe came into being and will decay, has declared that, like it, men had their first origin at a definite time.

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§ 1.7.1  When in the beginning, as their account runs, the universe was being formed, both heaven and earth were indistinguishable in appearance, since their elements were intermingled: then, when their bodies separated from one another, the universe took on in all its parts the ordered form in which it is now seen; the air set up a continual motion, and the fiery element in it gathered into the highest regions, since anything of such a nature moves upward by reason of its lightness (and it is for this reason that the sun and the multitude of other stars became involved in the universal whirl); while all that was mud-like and thick and contained an admixture of moisture sank because of its weight into one place; 2 and as this continually turned about upon itself and became compressed, out of the wet it formed the sea, and out of what was firmer, the land, which was like potter's clay and entirely soft. 3 But as the sun's fire shone upon the land, it first of all became firm, and then, since its surface was in a ferment because of the warmth, portions of the wet swelled up in masses in many places, and in these pustules covered with delicate membranes made their appearance. Such a phenomenon can be seen even yet in swamps and marshy places whenever, the ground having become cold, the air suddenly and without any gradual change becomes intensely warm. 4 And while the wet was being impregnated with life by reason of the warmth in the manner described, by night the living things forthwith received their nourishment from the mist that fell from the enveloping air, and by day were made solid by the intense heat; and finally, when the embryos had attained their full development and the membranes had been thoroughly heated and broken open, there was produced every form of animal life. 5 Of these, such as had partaken of the most warmth set off to the higher regions, having become winged, and such as retained an earthy consistency came to be numbered in the class of creeping things and of the other land animals, while those whose composition partook the most of the wet element gathered into the region congenial to them, receiving the name of water animals. 6 And since the earth constantly grew more solid through the action of the sun's fire and of the winds, it was finally no longer able to generate any of the larger animals, but each kind of living creatures was now begotten by breeding with one another.

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§ 1.7.7  And apparently Euripides also, who was a pupil of Anaxagoras the natural philosopher, is not opposed to this account of the nature of the universe, for in his Melanippe he writes as follows:
'Tis thus that the heav'n and earth were once one form;
But since the two were sundered each from each,
They now beget and bring to life all things,
The trees and birds, the beasts, the spawn of sea,
And race of mortals.

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§ 1.8.1  Concerning the first generation of the universe this is the account which we have received. But the first men to be born, he says, led an undisciplined and bestial life, setting out one by one to secure their sustenance and taking for their food both the tenderest herbs and the fruits of wild trees. Then, 2 since they were attacked by the wild beasts, they came to each other's aid, being instructed by expediency, and when gathered together in this way by reason of their fear, they gradually came to recognize their mutual characteristics. 3 And though the sounds which they made were at first unintelligible and indistinct, yet gradually they came to give articulation to their speech, and by agreeing with one another upon symbols for each thing which presented itself to them, made known among themselves the significance which was to be attached to each term. 4 But since groups of this kind arose over every part of the inhabited world, not all men had the same language, inasmuch as every group organized the elements of its speech by mere chance. This is the explanation of the present existence of every conceivable kind of language, and, furthermore, out of these first groups to be formed came all the original nations of the world.

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§ 1.8.5  Now the first men, since none of the things useful for life had yet been discovered, led a wretched existence, having no clothing to cover them, knowing not the use of dwelling and fire, and also being totally ignorant of cultivated food. 6 For since they also even neglected the harvesting of the wild food, they laid by no store of its fruits against their needs; consequently large numbers of them perished in the winters because of the cold and the lack of food. 7 Little by little, however, experience taught them both to take to the caves in winter and to store such fruits as could be preserved. 8 And when they had become acquainted with fire and other useful things, the arts also and whatever else is capable of furthering man's social life were gradually discovered. 9 Indeed, speaking generally, in all things it was necessity itself that became man's teacher, supplying in appropriate fashion instruction in every matter to a creature which was well endowed by nature and had, as its assistants for every purpose, hands and speech and sagacity of mind. 10 And as regards the first origin of men and their earliest manner of life we shall be satisfied with what has been said, since we would keep due proportion in our account.

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§ 1.9.1  But as regards all the events which have been handed down to memory and took place in the known regions of the inhabited world, we shall now undertake to give a full account of them. 2 Now as to who were the first kings we are in no position to speak on our own authority, nor do we give assent to those historians who profess to know; for it is impossible that the discovery of writing was of so early a date as to have been contemporary with the first kings. But if a man should concede even this last point, it still seems evident that writers of history are as a class a quite recent appearance in the life of mankind. 3 Again, with respect to the antiquity of the human race, not only do Greeks put forth their claims but many of the barbarians as well, all holding that it is they who were autochthonous and the first of all men to discover the things which are of use in life, and that it was the events in their own history which were the earliest to have been held worthy of record. 4 So far as we are concerned, however, we shall not make the attempt to determine with precision the antiquity of each nation or what is the race whose nations are prior in point of time to the rest and by how many years, but we shall record summarily, keeping due proportion in our account, what each nation has to say concerning its antiquity and the early events in its history. 5 The first peoples which we shall discuss will be the barbarians, not that we consider them to be earlier than the Greeks, as Ephorus has said, but because we wish to set forth most of the facts about them at the outset, in order that we may not, by beginning with the various accounts given by the Greeks, have to interpolate in the different narrations of their early history any event connected with another people. 6 And since Egypt is the country where mythology places the origin of the gods, where the earliest observations of the stars are said to have been made, and where, furthermore, many noteworthy deeds of great men are recorded, we shall begin our history with the events connected with Egypt.

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§ 1.10.1  Now the Egyptians have an account like this: When in the beginning the universe came into being, men first came into existence in Egypt, both because of the favourable climate of the land and because of the nature of the Nile. For this stream, since it produces much life and provides a spontaneous supply of food, easily supports whatever living things have been engendered; for both the root of the reed and the lotus, as well as the Egyptian bean and corsaeon, as it is called, and many other similar plants, supply the race of men with nourishment all ready for use. 2 As proof that animal life appeared first of all in their land they would offer the fact that even at the present day the soil of the Thebaid at certain times generates mice in such numbers and of such size as to astonish all who have witnessed the phenomenon; for some of them are fully formed as far as the breast and front feet and are able to move, while the rest of the body is unformed, the clod of earth still retaining its natural character. 3 And from this fact it is manifest that, when the world was first taking shape, the land of Egypt could better than any other have been the place where mankind came into being because of the well-tempered nature of its soil; for even at the present time, while the soil of no other country generates any such things, in it alone certain living creatures may be seen coming into being in a marvellous fashion.

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§ 1.10.4  In general, he says that if in the flood which occurred in the time of Deucalion most living things were destroyed, it is probable that the inhabitants of southern Egypt survived rather than any others, since their country is rainless for the most part; or if, as some maintain, the destruction of living things was complete and the earth then brought forth again new forms of animals, nevertheless, even on such a supposition the first genesis of living things fittingly attaches to this country. 5 For when the moisture from the abundant rains, which fell among other peoples, was mingled with the intense heat which prevails in Egypt itself, it is reasonable to suppose that the air became very well tempered for the first generation of all living things. 6 Indeed, even in our day during the inundations of Egypt the generation of forms of animal life can clearly be seen taking place in the pools which remain the longest; 7 for, whenever the river has begun to recede and the sun has thoroughly dried the surface of the slime, living animals, he says, take shape, some of them fully formed, but some only half so and still actually united with the very earth.

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§ 1.11.1  Now the men of Egypt, he says, when ages ago they came into existence, as they looked up at the firmament and were struck with both awe and wonder at the nature of the universe, conceived that two gods were both eternal and first, namely, the sun and the moon, whom they called respectively Osiris and Isis, these appellations having in each case been based upon a certain meaning in them. 2 For when the names are translated into Greek Osiris means many-eyed, and properly so; for in shedding his rays in every direction he surveys with many eyes, as it were, all land and sea. And the words of the poet are also in agreement with this conception when he says:
The sun, who sees all things and hears all things.

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§ 1.11.3  And of the ancient Greek writers of mythology some give to Osiris the name Dionysus or, with a slight change in form, Sirius. One of them, Eumolpus, in his Bacchic Hymn speaks of
Our Dionysus, shining like a star,
With fiery eye in ev'ry ray;
while Orpheus says:
And this is why men call him Shining One
And Dionysus.

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§ 1.11.4  Some say that Osiris is also represented with the cloak of fawn-skin about his shoulders as imitating the sky spangled with the stars. As for Isis, when translated the word means ancient, the name having been given her because her birth was from everlasting and ancient. And they put horns on her head both because of the appearance which she has to the eye when the moon is crescent-shaped, and because among the Egyptians a cow is held sacred to her.

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§ 1.11.5  These two gods, they hold, regulate the entire universe, giving both nourishment and increase to all things by means of a system of three seasons which complete the full cycle through an unobservable movement, these being spring and summer and winter; and these seasons, though in nature most opposed to one another, complete the cycle of the year in the fullest harmony. Moreover, practically all the physical matter which is essential to the generation of all things is furnished by these gods, the sun contributing the fiery element and the spirit, the moon the wet and the dry, and both together the air; and it is through these elements that all things are engendered and nourished. 6 And so it is out of the sun and moon that the whole physical body of the universe is made complete; and as for the five parts just named of these bodies — the spirit, the fire, the dry, as well as the wet, and, lastly, the air-like — just as in the case of a man we enumerate head and hands and feet and the other parts, so in the same way the body of the universe is composed in its entirety of these parts.

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§ 1.12.1  Each of these parts they regard as a god and to each of them the first men in Egypt to use articulate speech gave a distinct name appropriate to its nature. 2 Now the spirit they called, as we translate their expression, Zeus, and since he was the source of the spirit of life in animals they considered him to be in a sense the father of all things. And they say that the most renowned of the Greek poets also agrees with this when he speaks of this god as
The father of men and of gods.

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§ 1.12.3  The fire they called Hephaestus, as it is translated, holding him to be a great god and one who contributes much both to the birth and full development of all things. 4 The earth, again, they looked upon as a kind of vessel which holds all growing things and so gave it the name mother; and in like manner the Greeks also call it Demeter, the word having been slightly changed in the course of time; for in olden times they called her Ge Meter (Earth Mother), to which Orpheus bears witness when he speaks of
Earth the Mother of all, Demeter giver of wealth.

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§ 1.12.5  And the wet, according to them, was called by the men of old Oceane, which, when translated, means Fostering-mother, though some of the Greeks have taken it to be Oceanus, in connection with whom the poet also speaks of
Oceanus source of gods and mother Tethys.

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§ 1.12.6  For the Egyptians consider Oceanus to be their river Nile, on which also their gods were born; since, they say, Egypt is the only country in the whole inhabited world where there are many cities which were founded by the first gods, such as Zeus, Helius, Hermes, Apollo, Pan, Eileithyia, and many more.

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§ 1.12.7  The air, they say, they called Athena, as the name is translated, and they considered her to be the daughter of Zeus and conceived of her as a virgin, because of fact that the air is by its nature uncorrupted and occupies the highest part of the entire universe; for the latter reason also the myth arose that she was born from the head of Zeus. Another name given her was Tritogeneia (Thrice-born), because her nature changes three times in the course of the year, in the spring, summer, and winter. They add that she is also called Glaucopis (Blue-eyed), not because she has blue eyes, as some Greeks have held — a silly explanation, indeed — but because the air has a bluish cast.

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§ 1.12.9  These five deities, they say, visit all the inhabited world, revealing themselves to men in the form of sacred animals, and at times even appearing in the guise of men or in other shapes; nor is this a fabulous thing, but possible, if these are in very truth the gods who give life to all things. 10 And also the poet, who visited Egypt and became acquainted with such accounts as these from the lips of the priests, in some place in his writings sets forth as actual fact what has been said:
The gods, in strangers' form from alien lands,
Frequent the cities of men in ev'ry guise,
Observing their insolence and lawful ways.
Now so far as the celestial gods are concerned whose genesis is from eternity, this is the account given by the Egyptians.

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§ 1.13.1  And besides these there are other gods, they say, who were terrestrial, having once been mortals, but who, by reason of their sagacity and the good services which they rendered to all men, attained immortality, some of them having even been kings in Egypt. 2 Their names, when translated, are in some cases the same as those of the celestial gods, while others have a distinct appellation, such as Helius, Cronus, and Rhea, and also the Zeus who is called Ammon by some, and besides these Hera and Hephaestus, also Hestia, and, finally, Hermes. Helius was the first king of the Egyptians, his name being the same as that of the heavenly star. 3 Some of the priests, however, say that Hephaestus was their first king, since he was the discoverer of fire and received the rule because of this service to mankind; for once, when a tree on the mountains had been struck by lightning and the forest near by was ablaze, Hephaestus went up to it, for it was winter-time, and greatly enjoyed the heat; as the fire died down he kept adding fuel to it, and while keeping the fire going in this way he invited the rest of mankind to enjoy the advantage which came from it. 4 Then Cronus became the ruler, and upon marrying his sister Rhea he begat Osiris and Isis, according to some writers of mythology, but, according to the majority, Zeus and Hera, whose high achievements gave them dominion over the entire universe. From these last were sprung five gods, one born on each of the five days which the Egyptians intercalate; the names of these children were Osiris and Isis, and also Typhon, Apollo, and Aphrodite; 5 and Osiris when translated is Dionysus, and Isis is more similar to Demeter than to any other goddess; and after Osiris married Isis and succeeded to the kingship he did many things of service to the social life of man.

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§ 1.14.1  Osiris was the first, they record, to make mankind give up cannibalism; for after Isis had discovered the fruit of both wheat and barley which grew wild over the land along with the other plants but was still unknown to man, and Osiris had also devised the cultivation of these fruits, all men were glad to change their food, both because of the pleasing nature of the newly-discovered grains and because it seemed to their advantage to refrain from their butchery of one another. 2 As proof of the discovery of these fruits they offer the following ancient custom which they still observe: Even yet at harvest time the people make a dedication of the first heads of the grain to be cut, and standing beside the sheaf beat themselves and call upon Isis, by this act rendering honour to the goddess for the fruits which she discovered, at the season when she first did this. 3 Moreover in some cities, during the Festival of Isis as well, stalks of wheat and barley are carried among the other objects in the procession, as a memorial of what the goddess so ingeniously discovered at the beginning. Isis also established laws, they say, in accordance with which the people regularly dispense justice to one another and are led to refrain through fear of punishment from illegal violence and insolence; 4 and it is for this reason also that the early Greeks gave Demeter the name Thesmophorus, acknowledging in this way that she had first established their laws.

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§ 1.15.1  Osiris, they say, founded in the Egyptian Thebaid a city with a hundred gates, which the men of his day named after his mother, though later generations called it Diospolis, and some named it Thebes. 2 There is no agreement, however, as to when this city was founded, not only among the historians, but even among the priests of Egypt themselves; for many writers say that Thebes was not founded by Osiris, but many years later by a certain king of whom we shall give a detailed account in connection with his period. 3 Osiris, they add, also built a sanctuary to his parents, Zeus and Hera, which was famous both for its size and its costliness in general, and two golden temples to Zeus, the larger one to him as god of heaven, the smaller one to him as former king and father of the Egyptians, in which role he is called by some Ammon. 4 He also made golden chapels for the rest of the gods mentioned above, allotting honours to each of them and appointing priests to have charge over these. Special esteem at the court of Osiris and Isis was also accorded to those who should invent any of the arts or devise any useful process; 5 consequently, since copper and gold mines had been discovered in the Thebaid, they fashioned implements with which they killed the wild beasts and worked the soil, and thus in eager rivalry brought the country under cultivation, and they made images of the gods and magnificent golden chapels for their worship.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.15.6  Osiris, they say, was also interested in agriculture and was reared in Nysa, a city of Arabia Felix near Egypt, being a son of Zeus; and the name which he bears among the Greeks is derived both from his father and from the birthplace, since he is called Dionysus. 7 Mention is also made of Nysa by the poet in his Hymns, to the effect that it was in the vicinity of Egypt, when he says:
There is a certain Nysa, mountain high,
With forests thick, in Phoenice afar,
Close to Aegyptus' streams.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.15.8  And the discovery of the vine, they say, was made by him near Nysa, and that, having further devised the proper treatment of its fruit, he was the first to drink wine and taught mankind at large the culture of the vine and the use of wine, as well as the way to harvest the grape and to store wine. 9 The one most highly honoured by him was Hermes, who was endowed with unusual ingenuity for devising things capable of improving the social life of man.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.16.1  It was by Hermes, for instance, according to them, that the common language of mankind was first further articulated, and that many objects which were still nameless received an appellation, that the alphabet was invented, and that ordinances regarding the honours and offerings due to the gods were duly established; he was the first also to observe the orderly arrangement of the stars and the harmony of the musical sounds and their nature, to establish a wrestling school, and to give thought to the rhythmical movement of the human body and its proper development. He also made a lyre and gave it three strings, imitating the seasons of the year; for he adopted three tones, a high, a low, and a medium; the high from the summer, the low from the winter, and the medium from the spring. 2 The Greeks also were taught by him how to expound (hermeneia) their thoughts, and it was for this reason that he was given the name Hermes. In a word, Osiris, taking him for his priestly scribe, communicated with him on every matter and used his counsel above that of all others. The olive tree also, they claim, was his discovery, not Athena's, as the Greeks say.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.17.1  Of Osiris they say that, being of a beneficent turn of mind, and eager for glory, he gathered together a great army, with the intention of visiting all the inhabited earth and teaching the race of men how to cultivate the vine and sow wheat and barley; 2 for he supposed that if he made men give up their savagery and adopt a gentle manner of life he would receive immortal honours because of the magnitude of his benefactions. And this did in fact take place, since not only the men of his time who received his gift, but all succeeding generations as well, because of the delight which they take in the foods which were discovered, have honoured those who introduced them as gods most illustrious.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.17.3  Now after Osiris had established the affairs of Egypt and turned the supreme power over to Isis his wife, they say that he placed Hermes at her side as counsellor because his prudence raised him above the king's other friends, and as general of all the land under his sway he left Heracles, who was both his kinsman and renowned for his valour and physical strength, while as governors he appointed Busiris over those parts of Egypt which lie towards Phoenicia and border upon the sea and Antaeus over those adjoining Ethiopia and Libya; then he himself left Egypt with his army to make his campaign, taking in his company also his brother, whom the Greeks call Apollo. 4 And it was Apollo, they say, who discovered the laurel, a garland of which all men place about the head of this god above all others. The discovery of ivy is also attributed to Osiris by the Egyptians and made sacred to this god, just as the Greeks also do in the case of Dionysus. 5 And in the Egyptian language, they say, the ivy is called the plant of Osiris and for purposes of dedication is preferred to the vine, since the latter sheds its leaves while the former ever remains green; the same rule, moreover, the ancients have followed in the case of other plants also which are perennially green, ascribing, for instance, the myrtle to Aphrodite and the laurel to Apollo.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.18.1  Now Osiris was accompanied on his campaign, as the Egyptian account goes, by his two sons Anubis and Macedon, who were distinguished for their valour. Both of them carried the most notable accoutrements of war, taken from certain animals whose character was not unlike the boldness of the men, Anubis wearing a dog's skin and Macedon the fore-parts of a wolf; and it is for this reason that these animals are held in honour among the Egyptians. 2 He also took Pan along on his campaign, who is held in special honour by the Egyptians; for the inhabitants of the land have not only set up statues of him at every sanctuary but have also named a city after him in the Thebaid, called by the natives Chemmo, which when translated means City of Pan. In his company were also men who were experienced in agriculture, such as Maron in the cultivation of the vine, and Triptolemus in the sowing of grain and in every step in the harvesting of it. 3 And when all his preparations had been completed Osiris made a vow to the gods that he would let his hair grow until his return to Egypt and then made his way through Ethiopia; and this is the reason why this custom with regard to their hair was observed among the Egyptians until recent times, and why those who journeyed abroad let their hair grow until their return home.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.18.4  While he was in Ethiopia, their account continues, the Satyr people were brought to him, who, they say, have hair upon their loins. For Osiris was laughter-loving and fond of music and the dance; consequently he took with him a multitude of musicians, among whom were nine maidens who could sing and were trained in the other arts, these maidens being those who among the Greeks are called the Muses; and their leader (hegetes), as the account goes, was Apollo, who was for that reason also given the name Musegetes. 5 As for the Satyrs, they were taken along in the campaign because they were proficient in dancing and singing and every kind of relaxation and pastime; for Osiris was not warlike, nor did he have to organize pitched battles or engagements, since every people received him as a god because of his benefactions. 6 In Ethiopia he instructed the inhabitants in agriculture and founded some notable cities, and then left behind him men to govern the country and collect the tribute.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.19.1  While Osiris and his army were thus employed, the Nile, they say, at the time of the rising of Sirius, which is the season when the river is usually at flood, breaking out of its banks inundated a large section of Egypt and covered especially that part where Prometheus was governor; and since practically everything in this district was destroyed, Prometheus was so grieved that he was on the point of quitting life wilfully. 2 Because its water sweeps down so swiftly and with such violence the river was given the name Aetus; but Heracles, being ever intent upon great enterprises and eager for the reputation of a manly spirit, speedily stopped the flood at its breach and turned the river back into its former course. 3 Consequently certain of the Greek poets worked the incident into a myth, to the effect that Heracles had killed the eagle which was devouring the liver of Prometheus. 4 The river in the earliest period bore the name Oceane, which in Greek is Oceanus; then because of this flood, they say, it was called Aetus, and still later it was known as Aegyptus after a former king of the land. And the poet also adds his testimony to this when he writes:
On the river Aegyptus my curved ships I stayed.
For it is at Thonis, as it is called, which in early times was the trading-port of Egypt, that the river empties into the sea. Its last name and that which the river now bears it received from the former king Nileus.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.19.5  Now when Osiris arrived at the borders of Ethiopia, he curbed the river by dykes on both banks, so that at flood-time it might not form stagnant pools over the land to its detriment, but that the flood-water might be let upon the countryside, in a gentle flow as it might be needed, through gates which he had built. 6 After this he continued his march through Arabia along the shore of the Red Sea as far as India and the limits of the inhabited world. 7 He also founded not a few cities in India, one of which he named Nysa, wishing to leave there a memorial of that city in Egypt where he had been reared. He also planted ivy in the Indian Nysa, and throughout India and those countries which border upon it the plant to this day is still to be found only in this region. 8 And many other signs of his stay he left in that country, which have led the Indians of a later time to lay claim to the god and say that he was by birth a native of India.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.20.1  Osiris also took an interest in hunting elephants, and everywhere left behind him inscribed pillars telling of his campaign. And he visited all the other nations of Asia as well and crossed into Europe at the Hellespont. 2 In Thrace he slew Lycurgus, the king of the barbarians, who opposed his undertaking, and Maron, who was now old, he left there to supervise the culture of the plants which he introduced into that land and caused him to found a city to bear his name, which he called Maroneia. 3 Macedon his son, moreover, he left as king of Macedonia, which was named after him, while to Triptolemus he assigned the care of agriculture in Attica. Finally, Osiris in this way visited all the inhabited world and advanced community life by the introduction of the fruits which are most easily cultivated. 4 And if any country did not admit of the growing of vine he introduced the drink prepared from barley, which is little inferior to wine in aroma and strength. 5 On his return to Egypt he brought with him the very greatest presents from every quarter and by reason of the magnitude of his benefactions received the gift of immortality with the approval of all men and honour equal to that offered to the gods of heaven. 6 After this he passed from the midst of men into the company of the gods and received from Isis and Hermes sacrifices and every other highest honour. These also instituted rites for him and introduced many things of a mystic nature, magnifying in this way the power of the god.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.21.1  Although the priests of Osiris had from the earliest times received the account of his death as a matter not to be divulged, in the course of years it came about that through some of their number this hidden knowledge was published to the many. 2 This is the story as they give it: When Osiris was ruling over Egypt as its lawful king, he was murdered by his brother Typhon, a violent and impious man; Typhon then divided the body of the slain man into twenty-six piecesa and gave one portion to each of the band of murderers, since he wanted all of them to share in the pollution and felt that in this way he would have in them steadfast supporters and defenders of his rule. 3 But Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, avenged his murder with the aid of her son Horus, and after slaying Typhon and his accomplices became queen over Egypt. 4 The struggle between them took place on the banks of the Nile near the village now known as Antaeus, which, they say, lies on the Arabian side of the river and derives its name from that of Antaeus, a contemporary of Osiris, who was punished by Heracles. 5 Now Isis recovered all the pieces of the body except the privates, and wishing that the burial-place of her husband should remain secret and yet be honoured by all the inhabitants of Egypt, she fulfilled her purpose in somewhat the following manner. Over each piece of the body, as the account goes, she fashioned out of spices and wax a human figure about the size of Osiris; 6 then summoning the priests group by group, she required all of them an oath that they would reveal to no one the trust which she was going to confide to them, and taking each group of them apart privately she said that she was consigning to them alone the burial of the body, and after reminding them of the benefactions of Osiris she exhorted them to bury his body in their own district and pay honours to him as to a god, and to consecrate to him also some one that they might choose of the animals native to their district, pay it while living the honours which they had formerly rendered to Osiris, and upon its death accord it the same kind of funeral as they had given to him. 7 And since Isis wished to induce the priests to render these honours by the incentive of their own profit also, she gave them the third part of the country to defray the cost of the worship and service of the gods. 8 And the priests, it is said, being mindful of the benefactions of Osiris and eager to please the queen who was petitioning them, and incited as well by their own profit, did everything just as Isis had suggested. 9 It is for this reason that even to this day each group of priests supposes that Osiris lies buried in their district, pays honours to the animals which were originally consecrated to him, and, when these die, renews in the funeral rites for them the mourning for Osiris. 10 The consecration to Osiris, however, of the sacred bulls, which are given the names Apis and Mnevis, and worship of them as gods were introduced generally among all the Egyptians, 11 since these animals had, more than any others, rendered aid to those who discovered the fruit of the grain, in connection with both the sowing of the seed and with every agricultural labour from which mankind profits.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.22.1  Isis, they say, after the death of Osiris took a vow never to marry another man, and passed the remainder of her life reigning over the land with complete respect for the law and surpassing all sovereigns in benefactions to her subjects. 2 And like her husband she also, when she passed from among men, received immortal honours and was buried near Memphis, where her shrine is pointed out to this day in the sacred precinct of Hephaestus. 3 According to some writers, however, the bodies of these two gods rest, not in Memphis, but on the border between Egypt and Ethiopia, on the island in the Nile which lies near the city which is called Philae, but is referred to because of this burial as the Holy Field. 4 In proof of this they point to remains which still survive on this island, both to the tomb constructed for Osiris, which is honoured in common by all the priests of Egypt, and to the three hundred and sixty libation bowls which are placed around it; 5 for the priests appointed over these bowls fill them each day with milk, singing all the while a dirge in which they call upon the names of these gods. 6 It is for this reason that travellers are not allowed to set foot on this island. And all the inhabitants of the Thebaid, which is the oldest portion of Egypt, hold it to be the strongest oath when a man swears by Osiris who lieth in Philae.
Now the parts of the body of Osiris which were found were honoured with burial, they say, in the manner described above, but the privates, according to them, were thrown by Typhon into the Nile because no one of his accomplices was willing to take them. Yet Isis thought them as worthy of divine honours as the other parts, for, fashioning a likeness of them, she set it up in the sanctuaries, commanded that it be honoured, and made it the object of the highest regard and reverence in the rites and sacrifices accorded to the god. 7 Consequently the Greeks too, inasmuch as they received from Egypt the celebrations of the orgies and the festivals connected with Dionysus, honour this member in both the mysteries and the initiatory rites and sacrifices of this god, giving it the name phallus.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.23.1  The number of years from Osiris and Isis, they say, to the reign of Alexander, who founded the city which bears his name in Egypt, is over ten thousand, but, according to other writers, a little less than twenty-three thousand. 2 And those who say that the god was born of Semele and Zeus in Boeotian Thebes are, according to the priests, simply inventing the tale. For they say that Orpheus, upon visiting Egypt and participating in the initiation and mysteries of Dionysus, adopted them and as a favour to the descendants of Cadmus, since he was kindly disposed to them and received honours at their hands, transferred the birth of the god to Thebes; and the common people, partly out of ignorance and partly out of their desire to have the god thought to be a Greek, eagerly accepted his initiatory rites and mysteries. 3 What led Orpheus to transfer the birth and rites of the god, they say, was something like this.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.23.4  Cadmus, who was a citizen of Egyptian Thebes, begat several children, of whom one was Semele; she was violated by an unknown person, became pregnant, and after seven months gave birth to a child whose appearance was such as the Egyptians hold had been that of Osiris. Now such a child is not usually brought into the world alive, either because it is contrary to the will of the gods or because the law of nature does not admit of it. 5 But when Cadmus found out what had taken place, having at the same time a reply from an oracle commanding him to observe the laws of his fathers, he both gilded the infant and paid it the appropriate sacrifices, on the ground that there had been a sort of epiphany of Osiris among men. 6 The fatherhood of the child he attributed to Zeus, in this way magnifying Osiris and averting slander from his violated daughter; and this is the reason why the tale was given out among the Greeks to the effect that Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, was the mother of Osiris by Zeus. Now at a later time Orpheus, who was held in high regard among the Greeks for his singing, initiatory rites, and instructions on things divine, was entertained as a guest by the descendants of Cadmus and accorded unusual honours in Thebes. 7 And since he had become conversant with the teachings of the Egyptians about the gods, he transferred the birth of the ancient Osiris to more recent times, and, out of regard for the descendants of Cadmus, instituted a new initiation, in the ritual of which the initiates were given the account that Dionysus had been born of Semele and Zeus. And the people observed these initiatory rites, partly because they were deceived through their ignorance, partly because they were attracted to them by the trustworthiness of Orpheus and his reputation in such matters, and most of all because they were glad to receive the god as a Greek, which, as has been said, is what he was considered to be. 8 Later, after the writers of myths and poets had taken over this account of his ancestry, the theatres became filled with it and among following generations faith in the story grew stubborn and immutable.
In general, they say, the Greeks appropriate to themselves the most renowned of both Egyptian heroes and gods, and so also the colonies sent out by them.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.24.1  Heracles, for instance, was by birth an Egyptian, who by virtue of his manly vigour visited a large part of the inhabited world and set up his pillar in Libya; 2 and their proofs of this assertion they endeavour to draw from the Greeks themselves. For inasmuch as it is generally accepted that Heracles fought on the side of the Olympian gods in their war against the Giants, they say that it in no way accords with the age of the earth for the Giants to have been born in the period when, as the Greeks, Heracles lived, which was a generation before the Trojan War, but rather at the time, as their own account gives it, when mankind first appeared on the earth; for from the latter time to the present the Egyptians reckon more than ten thousand years, but from the Trojan War less than twelve hundred. 3 Likewise, both the club and the lion's skin are appropriate to their ancient Heracles, because in those days arms had not yet been invented, and men defended themselves against their enemies with clubs of wood and used the hides of animals for defensive armour. They also designate him as the son of Zeus, but about the identity of his mother they say that they know nothing. 4 The son of Alcmene, who was born more than ten thousand years later and was called Alcaeus at birth, in later life became known instead as Heracles, not because he gained glory (kleos) by the aid of Hera, as Matris says, but because, having avowed the same principles as the ancient Heracles, he inherited that one's fame and name as well.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.24.5  The account of the Egyptians agrees also with the tradition which has been handed down among the Greeks since very early times, to the effect that Heracles cleared the earth of wild beasts, a story which is in no way suitable for man who lived in approximately the period of the Trojan War, when most parts of the inhabited world had already been reclaimed from their wild state by agriculture and cities and the multitude of men settled everywhere over the land. 6 Accordingly this reclamation of the land suits better a man who lived in early times, when men were still held in subjection by the vast numbers of wild beasts, a state of affairs which was especially true in the case of Egypt, the upper part of which is to this day desert and infested with wild beasts. 7 Indeed it is reasonable to suppose that the first concern of Heracles was for this country as his birthplace, and that, after he had cleared the land of wild beasts, he presented it to the peasants, and for this benefaction was accorded divine honours. 8 And they say that Perseus also was born in Egypt, and that the origin of Isis is transferred by the Greeks to Argos in the myth which tells of that Io who was changed into a heifer.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.25.1  In general, there is great disagreement over these gods. For the same goddess is called by some Isis, by others Demeter, by others Thesmophorus, by others Selene, by others Hera, while still others apply to her all these names. 2 Osiris has been given the name Sarapis by some, Dionysus by others, Pluto by others, by others, Zeus by some, and many have considered Pan to be the same god; and some say that Sarapis is the god whom the Greeks call Pluto. As for Isis, the Egyptians say that she was the discoverer of many health-giving drugs and was greatly versed in the science of healing; 3 consequently, now that she has attained immortality, she finds her greatest delight in the healing of mankind and gives aid in their slee to those who call upon her, plainly manifesting both her very presence and her beneficence towards men who ask her help. 4 In proof of this, as they say, they advance not legends, as the Greeks do, but manifest facts; for practically the entire inhabited world is their witness, in that it eagerly contributes to the honours of Isis because she manifests herself in healings. 5 For standing above the sick in their sleep she gives them aid for their diseases and works remarkable cures upon such as submit themselves to her; and many who have been despaired of by their physicians because of the difficult nature of their malady are restored to health by her, while numbers who have altogether lost the use of their eyes or of some other part of their body, whenever they turn for help to this goddess, are restored to their previous condition. 6 Furthermore, she discovered also the drug which gives immortality, by means of which she not only raised from the dead her son Horus, who had been the object of plots on the part of Titans and had been found dead under the water, giving him his soul again, but also made him immortal. 7 And it appears that Horus was the last of the gods to be king after his father Osiris departed from among men. Moreover, they say that the name Horus, when translated, is Apollo, and that, having been instructed by his mother Isis in both medicine and divination, he is now a benefactor of the race of men through his oracular responses and his healings.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.26.1  The priests of the Egyptians, reckoning the time from the reign of Helius to the crossing of Alexander into Asia, say that it was in round numbers twenty-three thousand years. 2 And, as their legends say, the most ancient of the gods ruled more than twelve hundred years and the later ones not less than three hundred. 3 But since this great number of years surpasses belief, some men would maintain that in early times, before the movement of the sun had as yet been recognized, it was customary to reckon the year by the lunar cycle. 4 Consequently, since the year consisted of thirty days, it was not impossible that some men lived twelve hundred years; for in our own time, when our year consists of twelve months, not a few men live over one hundred years. 5 A similar explanation they also give regarding those who are supposed to have reigned for three hundred years; for at their time, namely, the year was composed of the four months which comprise the seasons of each year, that is, spring, summer, and winter; and it is for this reason that among some of the Greeks the years are called seasons (horoi) and that their yearly records are given the name horographs.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.26.6  Furthermore, the Egyptians relate in their myths that in the time of Isis there were certain creatures of many bodies, who are called by the Greeks Giants, but by themselves . . ., these being the men who are represented on their sanctuaries in monstrous form and as being cudgelled by Osiris. 7 Now some say that they were born of the earth at the time when the genesis of living things from the earth was still recent, while some hold that they were only men of unusual physical strength who achieved many deeds and for this reason were described in the myths as of many bodies. 8 But it is generally agreed that when they stirred up war against Zeus and Osiris they were all destroyed.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.27.1  The Egyptians also made a law, they say, contrary to the general custom of mankind, permitting men to marry their sisters, this being due to the success attained by Isis in this respect; for she had married her brother Osiris, and upon his death, having taken a vow never to marry another man, she both avenged the murder of her husband and reigned all her days over the land with complete respect for the laws, and, in a word, became the cause of more and greater blessings to all men than any other. 2 It is for these reasons, in fact, that it was ordained that the queen should have greater power and honour than the king and that among private persons the wife should enjoy authority over her husband, the husbands agreeing in the marriage contract that they will be obedient in all things to their wives.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.27.3  Now I am not unaware that some historians give the following account of Isis and Osiris: The tombs of these gods lie in Nysa in Arabia, and for this reason Dionysus is also called Nysaeus. And in that place there stands also a stele of each of the gods bearing an inscription in hieroglyphs. 4 On the stele of Isis it runs: I am Isis, the queen of every land, she who was instructed of Hermes, and whatsoever laws I have established, these can no man make void. I am the eldest daughter of the youngest god Cronus; I am the wife and sister of the king Osiris; I am she who first discovered fruits for mankind; I am the mother of Horus the king; I am she who riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of the Dog; by me was the city of Bubastus built. Farewell, farewell, O Egypt that nurtured me. 5 And on the stele of Osiris the inscription is said to run: My father is Cronus, the youngest of all the gods, and I am Osiris the king, who campaigned over every country as far as the uninhabited regions of India and the lands to the north, even to the sources of the river Ister, and again to the remaining parts of the world as far as Oceanus. I am the eldest son of Cronus, and being sprung from a fair and noble egg I was begotten a seed of kindred birth to Day. There is no region of the inhabited world to which I have not come, dispensing to all men the things of which I was the discoverer. 6 So much of the inscriptions on the stelae can be read, they say, but the rest of the writing, which was of greater extent, has been destroyed by time. However this may be, varying accounts of the burial of these gods are found in most writers by reason of the fact that the priests, having received the exact facts about these matters as a secret not to be divulged, are unwilling to give out the truth to the public, on the ground that perils overhang any men who disclose to the common crowd the secret knowledge about these gods.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.28.1  Now the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of colonies were spread from Egypt over all the inhabited world. To Babylon, for instance, colonists were led by Belus, who was held to be the son of Poseidon and Libya; and after establishing himself on the Euphrates river he appointed priests, called Chaldaeans by the Babylonians, who were exempt from taxation and free from every kind of service to the state, as are the priests of Egypt; and they also make observations of the stars, following the example of the Egyptian priests, physicists, and astrologers. 2 They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country; 3 and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children, the custom having been brought over from Egypt. 4 Even the Athenians, they say, are colonists from Sais in Egypt, and they undertake to offer proofs of such a relationship; for the Athenians are the only Greeks who call their city Asty, a name brought over from the city Asty in Egypt. Furthermore, their body politic had the same classification and division of the people as found in Egypt, where the citizens have been divided into three orders: 5 the first Athenian class consisted of the eupatrids, as they were called, being those who were such as had received the best education and were held worthy of the highest honour, as is the case with the priests of Egypt; the second was that of the geomoroi, who were expected to possess arms and to serve in defence of the state, like those in Egypt who are known as husbandmen and supply the warriors; and the last class was reckoned to be that of the demiurgoi, who practise the mechanical arts and render only the most menial services to the state, this class among the Egyptians having a similar function.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.28.6  Moreover, certain of the rulers of Athens were originally Egyptians, they say. Petes, for instance, the father of that Menestheus who took part in the expedition against Troy, having clearly been an Egyptian, later obtained citizenship at Athens and the kingship. . . . 7 He was of double form, and yet the Athenians are unable from their own point of view to give the true explanation of this nature of his, although it is patent to all that it was because of his double citizenship, Greek and barbarian, that he was held to be of double form, that is, part animal and part man.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.29.1  In the same way, they continue, Erechtheus also, who was by birth an Egyptian, became king of Athens, and in proof of this they offer the following considerations. Once when there was a great drought, as is generally agreed, which extended over practically all the inhabited earth except Egypt because of the peculiar character of that country, and there followed a destruction both of crops and of men in great numbers, Erechtheus, through his racial connection with Egypt, brought from there to Athens a great supply of grain, and in return those who had enjoyed this aid made their benefactor king. 2 After he had secured the throne he instituted the initiatory rites of Demeter in Eleusis and established the mysteries, transferring their ritual from Egypt. And the tradition that an advent of the goddess into Attica also took place at that time is reasonable, since it was then that the fruits which are named after her were brought to Athens, and this is why it was thought that the discovery of the seed had been made again, as though Demeter had bestowed the gift. 3 And the Athenians on their part agree that it was in the reign of Erechtheus, when a lack of rain had wiped out the crops, that Demeter came to them with the gift of grain. Furthermore, the initiatory rites and mysteries of this goddess were instituted at Eleusis at that time. 4 And their sacrifices as well as their ancient ceremonies are observed by the Athenians in the same way as by the Egyptians; for the Eumolpidae were derived from the priests of Egypt and the Ceryces from the pastophoroi. They are also the only Greeks who swear by Isis, and they closely resemble the Egyptians in both their appearance and manners. 5 By many other statements like these, spoken more out of a love for glory than with regard for the truth, as I see the matter, they claim Athens as a colony of theirs because of the fame of that city.
In general, the Egyptians say that their ancestors sent forth numerous colonies to many parts of the inhabited world, the pre-eminence of their former kings and their excessive population; 6 but since they offer no precise proof whatsoever for these statements, and since no historian worthy of credence testifies in their support, we have not thought that their accounts merited recording.
So far as the ideas of the Egyptians about the gods are concerned, let what we have said suffice, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account, but with regard to the land, the Nile, and everything else worth hearing about we shall endeavour, in each case, to give the several facts in summary.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.30.1  [tr. Booth] And now we shall endeavour to treat distinctly of the country itself, and the river Nile, and other things worthy of remark. The land of Egypt almost lies wholly to the south, and is naturally fortified, and the most pleasant country of any of the kingdoms round about it. For on the west it is defended by the deserts of Libya, full of wild beasts, running out a vast way in length; where the passage is both difficult, and extremely hazardous, through want of water and other provision. On the south it is environed with the cataracts of the Nile, and the mountains adjoining. For from the country of the Troglodites, and the higher parts of Ethiopia, for the space of five thousand and five hundred furlongs, there is no passing either by land or water, without such a measure of provision as a king himself could only be furnished with. Those parts towards the east, are partly secured by the river, and partly surrounded by the deserts and by the marshes called the Barathra. For there is a lake between Coele-Syria and Egypt, very narrow, but exceeding deep, even to a wonder, two hundred furlongs in length, called Serbon: if any through ignorance approach it, they are lost irrecoverably; for the channel being very narrow, like a swadling-band, and compassed round with vast heaps of sand, great quantities of it are cast into the lake, by the continued southern winds, which so cover the surface of the water, and make it to the view so like unto dry land, that it cannot possibly be distinguished; and therefore many, unacquainted with the nature of the place, by missing their way, have been there swallowed up, together with whole armies. For the sand being trod upon, sinks down and gives way by degrees, and like a malicious cheat, deludes and decoys them that come upon it, till too late, when they see the mischief they are likely to fall into, they begin to support and help one another, but without any possibility either of returning back, or escaping certain ruin; for, sinking into the gulf, they are neither able to swim (the mud preventing all motion of the body) nor in a capacity to wade out, having nothing firm to support them for that purpose; for sand and water being mixed together, the nature of both is thereby so changed, that there is neither fording, nor passing over it by boats. Being brought therefore to this pass, without the least possibility of help to be afforded them, they go together with the sand to the bottom of the gulf, at the very brink of the bog; and so the place, agreeable to its nature, is called Barathrum.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.31.1  Having spoken of the three boundaries of Egypt, by which it is distinguished from the rest of the continent, we now proceed to the next. The fourth side is nearly surrounded with a vast sea, without any harbours, being a very long and tedious voyage, and very difficult to find any place of landing. For from Parcetonium in Africa, to Joppa in Coele Syria, for the space almost of five thousand furlongs, there is not one safe harbour to be found, except Pharus. Then again all along the coasts of Egypt, the sea is full of rocks and sands, not discernible by mariners unacquainted with the places; so that when they look upon themselves as safe, and to have escaped the danger of the seas, and make with great joy to land (wanting skill to steer aright) they are on a sudden and unexpectedly shipwrecked. Others inconsiderately, because they cannot see the land, in regard it lies so low, are carried either into the bogs, or to the deserts. And in this manner is Egypt naturally guarded on every side. It is of a long form or shape; that part that lies along to the sea coast stretches forth itself in length two thousand furlongs; but to the south it runs almost six thousand furlongs. It was antiently the most populous country in the world, and at this day not inferior to any. It was formerly full of famous towns, and had in it above eighteen thousand cities, as is to be seen registered in their sacred records: and in the time of Ptolemy Lagus, there were reckoned above three thousand, which remain still to this day. Once they say in a general account taken of all the inhabitants, they amounted to seven millions; and at this time are not less than three millions of people. And therefore they say that their kings by the help of such a multitude, left behind them in their great and wonderful works, eternal monuments of their state and grandeur; which we shall by and by distinctly treat of; but at present we shall speak of the nature of the Nile, and of the property of the soil.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.32.1  The Nile runs from the south towards the north from spring-heads hitherto unknown, for they are in the utmost borders of Ethiopia, where, by reason of the vast deserts, and extremity of heat, there is no coming. It is the greatest of all other rivers, and runs through many countries, and therefore has many large turnings and windings, sometimes making its way to the east and Arabia, and then again to the west and Libya. For it runs down from the mountains of Ethiopia, till it empties itself into the sea, at least twelve thousand furlongs, accounting the several windings it makes in the way. In its course it makes many islands; amongst many others in Ethiopia, one remarkable for its greatness, called Meroe, two-and-twenty furlongs broad. But, in the lower places, its swelling waves grow narrower, and the current divides itself into two channels towards the continents that lie on either side the island. One of the currents bends towards Africa, and is at length swallowed up in a bed of sand of an incredible depth: the other makes its course towards Arabia, on the other side, and falls into deep guts and vast bogs, inhabited round by divers nations; entering at last into Egypt, it keeps no direct course, but turns and winds here and there in some places ten furlongs in breadth, in others less, sometimes running towards the east, then to the west, and sometimes back again to the south. For mountains stand on both sides the river, and take up a large tract of ground; and the river, forcing itself with great violence against strait and narrow precipices, the water is driven back, and flows over the neighbouring fields; and after it has run a considerable way towards the south, it returns at length to its natural course. And though this river is thus remarkable above all others, yet this is especially observable in it, that its stream runs calm and smooth, without any violent surges, or tempestuous waves, except at the cataracts; a place of ten furlongs being so called, running down in a precipice, in a strait and narrow passage amongst steep rocks; the whole is a rugged shelvy gulf, where there lie many great stones, like huge rocks. The water dashing violently against these rocks, is beaten back, and rebounds the contrary way, by which are made wonderful whirlpools, and by the repeated influx, the whole place is covered with froth and foam, to the no small amazement of the beholders: for the river there runs down with as quick and violent a current, as an arrow out of a bow. Sometimes it happens that (these rocks, and the whole gulf being covered with the vast quantity of the waters of the Nile) some ships, driven with contrary winds, are hurried down the cataract, but there is no possibility of sailing up against it, the force of the stream baffling all the art of man. There are many cataracts of this kind, but the greatest is that in the confines of Ethiopia and Egypt.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.33.1  How the river Nile makes several islands near Ethiopia (amongst which Meroe is the chief) is before declared. In this island is a famous city of the same name, which Cambyses built, and called it after the name of his mother Meroe. This island is said to be of the shape of a shield, and for greatness exceeding all the rest of the islands in those parts, being three thousand furlongs in length, and a thousand in breadth, having in it many cities, of which Meroe is the noblest. The island is surrounded towards the coasts of Libya with vast heaps of sand, all along close to the river, and towards Arabia run along steep rocky mountains. It is said there are in it mines of gold, silver, iron, and brass, a great number of ebony trees, and all sorts of precious stones. To conclude, there are so many islands made by this river, that it is scarcely credible. For besides those islands in that part of Egypt called Delta, there are (they say) seven hundred, some of which the Ethiopians inhabit, and sow with millet; others are so pestered with serpents, baboons, and all kinds of hurtful beasts, that it is dangerous to come into them.
The river Nile, parting itself into several channels in Egypt, makes that part called Delta, so called from the shape resembling that Greek letter. The two sides of this Delta are fashioned by the two extreme branches of the river; the foot of this letter is the sea, where the seven mouths of the Nile disgorge themselves. For there are seven places called mouths, through which it empties itself into the ocean. The first, lying to the most eastward channel, is at Pelusium, called Pelusaicum; the second Taniticum; the third Mendisium; the fourth Phatniticum; the fifth Sebenyticum; the sixth Bolbitinum, and the last Canopicum or Herculeum, as some call it. There are some other mouths made by art, of which it is not material to write. At every of the mouths is a city built on either side of the river, defended with strong guards and bridges on each bank. From Pelusaicum as far as to the Arabian gulf, and the Red Sea, is a canal cut out. Necos the son of Psameticus, was the first that began this work, and after him Darius the Persian carried it on, but left it unfinished, being told by some that if be cut it through the isthmus, all Egypt would be drowned, for that the Red Sea lay higher than Egypt. The last attempt was made by Ptolemy the second, who cut a sluice across the isthmus in a more convenient place, which he opened when he had a mind to sail down that way, and then presently after shut up again; which contrivance proved very useful and serviceable. The river which runs through this cut is called Ptolemy, after the name of the maker. Where it falls into the sea, there is a city built called Arsinoe.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.34.1  The Delta is of the shape of Sicily: both sides are seven hundred and fifty furlongs in length, and the foot which lies along the sea coast, is thirteen hundred furlongs. This island has in it many dikes and sluices cut by art, and is the most sweet and pleasantest part of Egypt; for being enriched and watered by the river, it produces all sorts of grain and other fruits; and by the yearly overflowing of the river, the face of the ground is still continually renewed, and the inhabitants have an easy way to water it by means of a certain engine, invented by Archimedes the Syracusan, which from its form is called Choclia. And whereas the Nile flows gently over it, it brings along with it much soil, which resting in low and hollow grounds, makes very rich marshes. For in these places grow roots of several tastes and savours, and fruits and herbs of a singular nature and quality, which are very useful both to the poor, and those that are sick; for they do not only afford plentifully in every place things for food, but all other things necessary and useful for the life of man. There grows in great plenty Lotus, of which the Egyptians make bread for the nourishment of man's body. Here is likewise produced in plenty Ciborium, called the Egyptian bean. Here are divers sorts of trees, amongst which those called Persica, whose fruit is of wonderful sweetness: this plant was brought out of Ethiopia by the Persians, when Cambyses conquered these places. The sycamore (or Egyptian fig-tree); some of them bear mulberries, others a fruit like unto figs, and bear all the year long; so that a man may satisfy his hunger at any time. After the falling of the waters of the river, they gather the fruits called Bates, which, for their sweet and delightful taste, are at entertainments served up at last course as delicious desserts. The Egyptians make a drink of barley, called Zythus, for smell and sweetness of taste not much inferior to wine. They make a liquor like oil for the feeding of their lamps, of the juice of a plant which they call Cici. There are many other plants which grow in Egypt of admirable use, which would be too tedious here to enumerate.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.35.1  The river Nile breeds many creatures of several forms and shapes, amongst which, two are especially remarkable, the crocodile and the horse, as they are called: amongst these, the crocodile of the least creature becomes the greatest; for it lays an egg much of the bigness of that of a goose, and after the young is hatched, it grows to the length of sixteen cubits, and lives to the age of a man: it wants a tongue, but has a body naturally armed in a wonderful manner. For its skin is covered all over with scales of an extraordinary hardness; many sharp teeth are ranged on both sides its jaws, and two of them are much bigger than the rest. This monster does not only devour men, but other creatures that come near the river. His bites are sharp and destructive, and with his claws he tears his prey cruelly in pieces, and what wounds he makes, no medicine or application can heal. The Egyptians formerly caught these monsters with hooks, baited with raw flesh; but of later times, they have used to take them with strong nets like fishes: sometimes they strike them on the head with forks of iron, and so kill them. There is an infinite multitude of these creatures in the river and the neighbouring pools, in regard they are great breeders, and are seldom killed: for the crocodile is adored as a god by some of the inhabitants; and for strangers to hunt and destroy them is to no purpose, for their flesh is not eatable. But nature has provided relief against the increase of this destructive monster; for the ichneumon, as it is called (of the bigness of a little dog), running up and down near the water side, breaks all the eggs laid by this beast, wherever he finds them; and that which is most to be admired is, that he does this not for food or any other advantage, but out of a natural instinct for the mere benefit of mankind. The beast called the River Horse, is five cubits long, four-footed, and cloven-hoofed like to an ox. He has three teeth or tushes on either side his jaw, appearing outwards larger than those of a wild boar; as to his ears, tail, and his neighing, he is like a horse. The whole bulk of his body is not much unlike an elephant; his skin is firmer and thicker almost than any other beast. He lives both on land and in water; in the day time he lies at the bottom of the river, and in the night time comes to land, and feeds upon grass and corn. If this beast were so fruitful as to bring forth young every year, he would undo the husbandman, and destroy a great part of the corn of Egypt. He is likewise by the help of many hands often caught, being struck with instruments of iron; for, when he is found, they hem him round with their boats, and those on board wound him with forked instruments of iron, cast at him like so many darts; and having strong ropes to the irons, they fix them in him; they let him go till he loses his blood, and he then dies. His flesh is extraordinary hard, and of ill digestion. There is nothing in his inner parts that can be eaten, neither his bowels, nor any other of his entrails.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.36.1  Besides these before mentioned, the Nile abounds with multitudes of all sorts of fish: not only such as are taken fresh to supply the inhabitant's at hand, but an innumerable number likewise which they salt to send abroad. To conclude, no river in the world is more beneficial and serviceable to mankind than the Nile. Its inundation begins at the summer solstice, and increases till the equinoctial in autumn; during which time, he brings in along with him new soil, and waters as well the tilled and improved ground, as that which lies waste and untilled, as long as it pleases the husbandman; for the water flowing gently and by degrees, they easily divert its course, by casting up small banks of earth; and then, by opening a passage for it, as easily turn it over their land again, if they see it needful. It is so very advantageous to the inhabitants, and done with so little pains, that most of the country people turn in their cattle into the sowed ground to eat, and tread down the corn, and four or five months after, they reap it. Some lightly run over the surface of the earth with a plow, after the water is fallen, and gain a mighty crop without any great cost or pains: but husbandry amongst all other nations, is very laborious and chargeable, only the Egyptians gather their fruits with little cost or labour. That part of the country likewise where vines are planted, after this watering by the Nile, yields a most plentiful vintage. The fields that after the inundation are pastured by their flocks, yield them this advantage, that the sheep yean twice in a year, and are shorn as often. This increase of the Nile is wonderful to beholders, and altogether incredible to them that only hear the report; for when other rivers about the solstice fall and grow lower all summer long, this begins to increase, and continues to rise every day, till it comes to that height that it overflows almost all Egypt; and on the contrary, in the same manner, in the winter solstice, it falls by degrees till it wholly returns into its proper channel. And in regard the land of Egypt lies low and champaign; the towns, cities, and country villages, that are built upon rising ground, (cast up by art), look like the islands of the Cyclades. Many of the cattle sometimes are by the river intercepted, and so are drowned; but those that fly to the higher grounds are preserved. During the time of the inundation, the cattle are kept in the country towns and small cottages, where they have food and fodder before laid up and prepared for them. But the common people, now at liberty from all employments in the field, indulge themselves in idleness, feasting every day, and giving themselves up to all sorts of sports and pleasures. Yet out of fear of the inundation, a watch-tower is built in Memphis, by the kings of Egypt, where those who are employed to take care of this concern, observing to what height the river rises, send letters from one city to another, acquainting them how many cubits and fingers the river rises, and when it begins to decrease; and so the people, coming to understand the fall of the waters, are freed from their fears, and all presently have a foresight what plenty of corn they are like to have; and this observation has been registered from time to time by the Egyptians for many generations.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.37.1  There are great controversies concerning the reasons of the overflowing of the Nile, and many, both philosophers and historians, have endeavoured to declare the causes of it, which we shall distinctly relate, neither making too long a digression, nor omitting that which is so much banded and controverted. Of the increase and springheads of the Nile, and of its emptying itself at length into the Sea, and other properties peculiar to this river above all others, though it be the greatest in the world, yet some authors have not dared to say the least thing: some who have attempted to give their reasons, have been very wide from the mark. For as for Hellanicus, Cadmus, Hecataeus, and such like ancient authors, they have told little but frothy stories, and mere fables. Herodotus, above all other writers, very industrious, and well acquainted with general history, made it his business to find out the causes of these things; but what he says is, notwithstanding, very doubtful, and some things seem to be repugnant and contradictory one to another. Thucydides and Xenophon, who have the reputation of faithful historians, never so much as touch upon the description of any place in Egypt. But Ephorus and Theopompus, though they are very earnest in this matter, yet they have not in the least discovered the truth. But it was through ignorance of the places, and not through negligence, that they were all led into error. For anciently, none of the Grecians, till the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, ever went into Ethiopia, or so much as to the utmost bounds of Egypt. For those places were never frequented by travellers, they were so hazardous, till that king marched with a Grecian army into those parts, and so made a more perfect discovery of the country. No writer hitherto has pretended that he himself ever saw, or heard of any one else that affirmed, he had seen the spring-heads of the Nile: all, therefore, amounting to no more than opinion and conjecture, the priests of Egypt affirm that it comes from the ocean, which flows round the whole earth. But nothing that they say is upon any solid grounds, and they resolve doubts by things that are more doubtful; and to prove what they say, they bring arguments that have need to be proved themselves. But the Troglodites (otherwise called Molgii), whom the scorching heat forced to remove from the higher parts into those lower places, say, that there are some signs, whence a man may rationally conclude, that the river Nile rises from streams which run from many fountains or spring-heads, and meet at last in one channel, and therefore to be the most fruitful and richest river of any that is known in the world. The inhabitants of the Isle of Meroe (who are most to be credited upon this account), are far from inventing so much as any probable arguments; and though they live near to the place in controversy, are so far from giving any certain account of this matter, that they call the Nile, Astapus; which, in the Greek language, signifies water that issues out of a place of darkness; so that they give a name to the river, to denote their ignorance of the place from whence it springs. But that seems the truest reason to me, that looks to be furthest from fiction and studied contrivance. Yet I am not ignorant, that Herodotus who bounds Libya both on the east and west, with this river, ascribes the exact knowledge of it to the Africans, called Nasamones, and says, that the Nile rises from a certain lake, and runs through a large tract of ground, down all along through Ethiopia: but, neither are the sayings of the Africans in this behalf, (as not altogether agreeable to truth), nor the affirmation of the writer, (who proves not what he says), to be of absolute credit.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.38.1  But enough concerning the spring-heads and course of the Nile: let us now venture to treat of the causes of the risings of this river. Thales, who is reckoned one of the seven wise men of Greece, is of opinion, that the Etesian winds that beat fiercely upon the mouth of the river, give a check and stop to the current, and so hinder it from falling into the sea, upon which the river swelling, and its channel filled with water, at length overflows the country of Egypt, which lies flat and low. Though this seems a plausible reason, yet it may be easily disproved: for if it were true what he says, then all the rivers which run into the sea against the Etesian winds, would overflow in like manner; which being never known in any other part of the world, some other reason, and more agreeable to truth, must of necessity be sought for. Anaxagoras the philosopher, ascribes the cause to the melting of the snow in Ethiopia, whom the poet Euripides (who was his scholar) follows, saying thus:
The pleasant streams of th' river Nile forsakes,
Which flowing from the Negro's parched land.
Swells big when th' melting snow to th' river takes,
Comes falling down, and overflows the strand.
Neither is it any hard task to confute this opinion, since it is apparent to all, that by reason of the parching heats, there is no snow in Ethiopia at that time of the year. For in these countries there is not the least sign either of frost, cold, or any other effect of winter, especially at the time of the overflowing of the Nile; and suppose there be abundance of snow in the higher parts of Ethiopia, yet what is affirmed, is certainly false; for every river that is swelled with snow, fumes up in cold fogs, and thickens the air; but about the Nile only, above all other rivers, neither mists gather, nor are there any cold breezes, nor is the air gross and thick. Herodotus says, that the Nile is such in its own nature, as it seems to be in the time of its increase; for that in winter, when the sun moves to the south, and runs its daily course directly over Africa, it exhales so much water out of the Nile, that it decreases against nature; and in summer, when the sun returns to the north, the rivers of Greece, and the rivers of all other northern countries, fall and decrease; and therefore, that it is not so strange for the Nile about summer time to increase, and in winter to fall and grow lower. But to this it may be answered, that if the sun exhale so much moisture out of the Nile in winter time, it would do the like in other rivers in Africa, and so they must fall as well as the Nile, which no where happens throughout all Africa; and therefore, this author's reason is frivolous; for the rivers of Greece rise not in the winter, by reason of the remoteness of the sun, but by reason of the great rains that fall at that time.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.39.1  Democritus the Abderite says, that the northern countries, and not those towards the south, (as Anaxagoras and Euripides say), are subject to snow; for that it is clear and evident to everybody, that in the northern parts, drifts and heaps of snow lie congealed at the time of the winter solstice; but in summer, the ice being melted by the heat of the sun, the land becomes very wet, which causes many thick mists to appear upon the hills, from the vapours rising from the earth. These vapours, he says, are driven about by the Etesian winds, till they fall upon the highest mountains, which are, (as he affirms, in Ethiopia), and by the violent impression they make upon the tops of these mountains, great storms and showers of rain are occasioned, which, about the time of the Etesian winds, cause the river to rise. But if any will diligently observe the time and season of the year when this falls out, he may easily answer this argument; for the Nile begins to swell at the time of the summer solstice, when there are no Etesian winds; and after the autumnal equinox, when those winds are past, it falls again. Inasmuch, therefore, as certain experience to the contrary, answers all arguments, be they ever so probable, the man's diligence and ingenuity is to be commended; but his affirmations and opinions are by no means to be relied upon. And I wave this, that it is evident that the Etesian winds come as often from the west, as from the north. For not only the north-east winds, called Aparctie, but those of the north-west, called Argeste, go under the name of the Etesian winds. And whereas he affirms, that the greatest mountains are in Ethiopia, as it wants proof; so likewise, all grounds for credit and belief, as is evident from the thing itself. Ephorus, who gives the last account of the thing, endeavours to ascertain the reason, but seems not to find out the truth. The whole land of Egypt (says he) is cast up from the river, and the soil is of a loose and spongy nature, and has in it many large cliffs and hollow places, wherein are abundance of water, which in the winter time is frozen up, and in the summer issues out on every side, like sweat from the pores, which occasions the river Nile to rise. This writer does not only betray his own ignorance of the nature of places in Egypt, that he never saw them himself, but likewise, that he never was rightly informed by any that was acquainted with them. For if the overflowing of the Nile should proceed from Egypt itself, it could not flow above the land of Egypt, where it passes through rock and mountainous places. For, as it takes its course through Ethiopia for above the space of six thousand furlongs, it is at its full height before ever it reach Egypt; and therefore, if the river Nile lie lower than the caverns of congested earth, those clefts and hollow places must be above, towards the superficies of the earth, in which it is impossible so much water should be contained. And if the river lie higher than those spongy caverns, it is not possible that from hollow places, much lower than the river, the water should rise higher than the river. Lastly, who can imagine that waters issuing out of holes and hollow parts of the earth, should raise the river to such a height, as to overflow almost all the land of Egypt? But I let pass this vain imagination of casting up the soil, and lodging of waters in the bowels of the earth, being so easily to be confuted. The river Meander hath cast up a great tract of land in Asia, whereas, at the time of the rising of the Nile, nothing of that kind in the least can be seen. In the same manner the river Achelous in Acarnania, and Cephisos in Boeotia, which runs down from Phocis, have cast up great quantities of earth, by both which the writer is convicted of falsity: and indeed no man is to expect any certainty from Ephorus, who may be palpably discerned not to make it his business in many things to declare the truth.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.40.1  The philosophers indeed in Memphis have urged strong reasons for the increase of the Nile, which are hard to be confuted; and though they are improbable, yet many agree to them. For they divide the earth into three parts, one of which is that wherein we inhabit; another quite contrary to these places in the seasons of the year; the third lying between these two, which they say is uninhabitable by reason of the scorching heat of the sun; and therefore, if the Nile should overflow in the winter time, it would be clear and evident, that its source would arise out of our zone, because then we have the most rain: but on the contrary, being that it rises in summer, it is very probable that in the country opposite to us it is winter time, where then there is much rain, and that those floods of water are brought down thence to us: and therefore that none can ever find out the head-springs of the Nile, because the river has its course through the opposite zone; which is uninhabited. And the exceeding sweetness of the water, they say, is the confirmation of this opinion; for passing through the torrid zone, the water is boiled, and therefore this river is sweeter than any other in the world; for heat does naturally dulcorate water. But this reason is easily refuted; for it is plainly impossible that the river should rise to that height, and come down to us from the opposite zone; especially if it be granted that the earth is round. But if any yet shall be so obstinate as to affirm it is so as the philosophers have said, I must in short say, it is against, and contrary to the laws of nature. For, as they hold opinions which in the nature of the things can hardly be disproved, and place an inhabitable part of the world between us and them that are opposite to us, they conclude, that by this device, they have made it impossible, and out of the reach of the wit of man to confute them. But it is but just and equal, that those who affirm any thing positively, should prove what they say, either by good authority or strength of reason. How comes it about that only the river Nile should come down to us from the other opposite zone? Have we not other rivers that this maybe as well applied to? As to the causes alleged for the sweetness of the water, they are absurd: for if the water be boiled with the parching heat, and thereupon becomes sweet, it would have no productive quality, either of fish or other kinds of creatures and beasts: for all water whose nature is changed by fire, is altogether incapable to breed any living thing; and therefore as the nature of the Nile contradicts this decoction and boiling of the water, we conclude that the causes alleged of its increase are false.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.41.1  The opinion of Oinopides of Chios is this: the waters (says he) that are under the earth in summer time, are cold, and warm in the winter, as we see by experience in deep wells; for in a sharp winter they are the least cold, but in summer they are the coldest of any other time; and therefore, saith he, there is good reason that the Nile in the winter should grow low and contracted, because the heat in the bowels of the earth exhales much of the water, which cannot be supplied, in regard no rains fall in Egypt. But in summer time, when the waters that lie deep in the earth are no longer exhaled, then the channel of the river, according to the order of nature, fills without any obstruction. But to this it may be answered, that many rivers in Africa, whose mouths lie parallel with this river, and run the like course, yet overflow not like the Nile. For on the contrary they rise in winter, and fall in summer, which clearly evinces his falsity, who endeavours with a shew of reason to oppose the truth. But to the true cause, Agatharchides of Cnidus comes nearest. For he says, that in the mountainous parts of Ethiopia, there are yearly continual rains from the summer solstice to the equinox in autumn, and therefore there is just cause for the Nile to below in the winter, which then flows only from its own natural spring-heads, and to overflow in summer through the abundance of rains. And though none hitherto have been able to give a reason for these inundations, yet he says his opinion is not altogether to be rejected; for there are many things that are contrary to the rules of nature, for which none are able to give any substantial reason. That which happens in some parts of Asia, he says, gives some confirmation to his opinion. For in the confines of Scythia, near Mount Caucasus, after the winter is over, he affirms, that abundance of snow falls every year for many days together: and that in the northern parts of India, at certain times, there falls abundance of hail, and of an incredible bigness: and that near the river Hydaspes, in summer time, it rains continually; and the same happens in Ethiopia for many days together; and that this disorder of the air whirling about, occasions many storms of rain in places near adjoining; and that therefore it is no wonder if the mountainous parts of Ethiopia, which lies much higher than Egypt, are soaked with continual rains, wherewith the river being filled, overflows; especially since the natural inhabitants of the place affirm, that thus it is in their country. And though these things now related, are in their nature contrary to those in our own climate, yet we are not for that reason to disbelieve them. For with us the south wind is cloudy and boisterous, whereas in Ethiopia it is calm and clear; and that the north winds in Europe are fierce and violent, but in those regions low and almost insensible.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.42.1  The First Book of Diodorus being divided because of its length into two volumes, the first contains the preface of the whole treatise and the accounts given by the Egyptians of the genesis of the world and the first forming of the universe; then he tells of the gods who founded cities in Egypt and named them after themselves, of the first men and the earliest manner of life, of the honour paid to the immortals and the building of their temples to them, then of the topography of Egypt and the marvels related about the river Nile, and also of the causes of its flooding and the opinions thereupon of the historians and the philosophers as well as the refutation of each writer. 2 In this volume we shall discuss the topics which come next in order after the foregoing. We shall begin with the first kings of Egypt and set forth their individual deeds down to King Amasis, after we have first described in summary fashion the most ancient manner of life in Egypt.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.43.1  As for their means of living in primitive times, the Egyptians, they say, in the earliest period got their food from herbs and the stalks and roots of the plants which grew in the marshes, making trial of each one of them by tasting it, and the first one eaten by them and the most favoured was that called Agrostis, because it excelled the others in sweetness and supplied sufficient nutriment for the human body; 2 for they observed that this plant was attractive to the cattle and quickly increased their bulk. Because of this fact the natives, in remembrance of the usefulness of this plant, to this day, when approaching the gods, hold some of it in their hands as they pray to them; for they believe that man is a creature of swamp and marsh, basing this conclusion on the smoothness of his skin and his physical constitution, as well as on the fact that he requires a wet rather than a dry diet. 3 A second way by which the Egyptians subsisted was, they say, by the eating of fish, of which the river provided a great abundance, especially at the time when it receded after its flood and dried up. 4 They also ate the flesh of some of the pasturing animals, using for clothing the skins of the beasts that were eaten, and their dwellings they built out of reeds. And traces of these customs still remain among the herdsmen of Egypt, all of whom, they say, have no other dwelling up to this time than one of reeds, considering that with this they are well enough provided for. 5 After subsisting in this manner over a long period of time they finally turned to the edible fruits of the earth, among which may be included the bread made from the lotus. The discovery of these is attributed by some to Isis, but by others to one of their early kings called Menas. 6 The priests, however, have the story that the discoverer of the branches of learning and of the arts was Hermes, but that it was their kings who discovered such things as are necessary for existence; and that this was the reason why the kingship in early times was bestowed, not upon the sons of their former rulers, but upon such as conferred the greatest and most numerous benefits upon the peoples, whether it be that the inhabitants in this way sought to provoke their kings to useful service for the benefit of all, or that they have in very truth received an account to this effect in their sacred writings.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.44.1  Some of them give the story that at first gods and heroes ruled Egypt for a little less than eighteen thousand years, the last of the gods to rule being Horus, the son of Isis; and mortals have been kings over their country, they say, for a little less than five thousand years down to the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad, the time when we visited Egypt and the king was Ptolemy, who took the name of The New Dionysus. 2 For most of this period the rule was held by native kings, and for a small part of it by Ethiopians, Persians, and Macedonians. Near four Ethiopians held the throne, not consecutively but with intervals between, for a little less than thirty-six years in all; 3 and the Persians, after their king Cambyses had subdued the nation by arms, ruled for one hundred and thirty-five years, including the periods of revolt on the part of the Egyptians which they raised because they were unable to endure the harshness of their dominion and their lack of respect for the native gods. 4 Last of all the Macedonians and their dynasty held rule for two hundred and seventy-six years. For the rest of the time all the kings of the land were natives, four hundred and seventy of them being men and five women. About all of them the priests had records which were regularly handed down in their sacred books to each successive priest from early times, giving the stature of each of the former kings, a description of his character, and what he had done during his reign; as for us, however, it would be a long task to write of each of them severally, and superfluous also, seeing that most of the material included is of no profit. 5 Consequently we shall undertake to recount briefly only the most important of the facts which deserve a place in history.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.45.1  After the gods the first king of Egypt, according to the priests, was Menas, who taught the people to worship gods and offer sacrifices, and also to supply themselves with tables and couches and to use costly bedding, and, in a word, introduced luxury and an extravagant manner of life. 2 For this reason when, many generations later, Tnephachthus, the father of Bocchoris the wise, was king and, while on a campaign in Arabia, ran short of supplies because the country was desert and rough, we are told that he was obliged to go without food for one day and then to live on quite simple fare at the home of some ordinary folk in private station, and that he, enjoying the experience exceedingly, denounced luxury and pronounced a curse on the king who had first taught the people their extravagant way of living; and so deeply did he take to heart the change which had taken place in the people's habits of eating, drinking, and sleeping, that he inscribed his curse in hieroglyphs on the temple of Zeus in Thebes; and this, in fact, appears to be the chief reason why the fame of Menas and his honours did not persist into later ages. 3 And it is said that the descendants of this king, fifty-two in number all told, ruled in unbroken succession more than a thousand and forty years, but that in their reigns nothing occurred that was worthy of record.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.45.4  Subsequently, when Busiris became king and his descendants in turn, eight in name, the last of the line, who bore the same name as the first, founded, they say, the city which the Egyptians call Diospolis the Great, though the Greeks call it Thebes. Now the circuit of it he made one hundred and forty stades, and he adorned it in marvellous fashion with great buildings and remarkable temples and dedicatory monuments of every other kind; 5 in the same way he caused the houses of private citizens to be constructed in some cases four stories high, in others five, and in general made it the most prosperous city, not only of Egypt, but of the whole world. 6 And since, by reason of the city's pre-eminent wealth and power, its fame has been spread abroad to every region, even the poet, we are told, has mentioned it when he says:
Nay, not for all the wealth
Of Thebes in Egypt, where in ev'ry hall
There lieth treasure vast; a hundred are
Her gates, and warriors by each issue forth
Two hundred, each of them with car and steeds.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.45.7  Some, however, tell us that it was not one hundred gates (pylai) which the city had, but rather many great propylaea of its sanctuaries, and that it was from these that the title hundred-gated was given it, that is, having many gateways. Yet twenty thousand chariots did in truth, we are told, pass out from it to war; for there were once scattered along the river from Memphis to the Thebes which is over against Libya one hundred post-stations, each one having accommodation for two hundred horses, whose foundations are pointed out even to this day.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.46.1  Not only this king, we have been informed, but also many of the later rulers devoted their attention to the development of the city. For no city under the sun has ever been so adorned by votive offerings, made of silver and gold and ivory, in such number and of such size, by such a multitude of colossal statues, and, finally, by obelisks made of single blocks of stone. 2 Of four sanctuaries erected there the oldest is a source of wonder for both its beauty and size, having a circuit of thirteen stades, a height of forty-five cubits, and walls twenty-four feet thick. 3 In keeping with this magnificence was also the embellishment of the votive offerings in it, marvellous for the money spent and exquisitely wrought as to workmanship. 4 Now the buildings survived down to rather recent times, but the silver and gold and costly works of ivory and rare stone were carried off by the Persians when Cambyses burned the sanctuaries of Egypt; and it was at this time, they say, that the Persians, by transferring all this wealth to Asia and taking artisans along from Egypt, constructed their famous palaces in Persepolis and Susa and throughout Media. 5 So great was the wealth of Egypt at that period, they declare, that from the remnants left in the course of the sack and after the burning the treasure which was collected little by little was found to be worth more than three hundred talents of gold and no less than two thousand three hundred talents of silver. 6 There are also in this city, they say, remarkable tombs of the early kings and of their successors, which leave to those who aspire to similar magnificence no opportunity to outdo them.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.46.7  Now the priests said that in their records they find forty-seven tombs of kings; but down to the time of Ptolemy son of Lagus, they say, only fifteen remained, most of which had been destroyed at the time we visited those regions, in the One Hundred and Eightieth Olympiad. 8 Not only do the priests of Egypt give these facts from their records, but many also of the Greeks who visited Thebes in the time of Ptolemy son of Lagus and composed histories of Egypt, one of whom was Hecataeus, agree with what we have said.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.47.1  Ten stades from the first tombs, he says, in which, according to tradition, are buried the concubines of Zeus, stands a monument of the king known as Osymandyas. At its entrance there is a pylon, constructed of variegated stone, two plethra in breadth and forty-five cubits high; 2 passing through this one enters a rectangular peristyle, built of stone, four plethra long on each side; it is supported, in place of pillars, by monolithic figures sixteen cubits high, wrought in the ancient manner as to shape; and the entire ceiling, which is two fathoms wide, consists of a single stone, which is highly decorated with stars on a blue field. Beyond this peristyle there is yet another entrance and pylon, in every respect like the one mentioned before, save that it is more richly wrought with every manner of relief; 3 beside the entrance are three statues, each of a single block of black stone from Syene, of which one, that is seated, is the largest of any in Egypt, the foot measuring over seven cubits, while the other two at the knees of this, the one on the right and the other on the left, daughter and mother respectively, are smaller than the one first mentioned. 4 And it is not merely for its size that this work merits approbation, but it is also marvellous by reason of its artistic quality and excellent because of the nature of the stone, since in a block of so great a size there is not a single crack or blemish to be seen. The inscription upon it runs: King of Kings am I, Osymandyas. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works. 5 There is also another statue of his mother standing alone, a monolith twenty cubits high, and it has three diadems on its head, signifying that she was both daughter and wife and mother of a king.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.47.6  Beyond the pylon, he says, there is a peristyle more remarkable than the former one; in it there are all manner of reliefs depicting the war which the king waged against those Bactrians who had revolted; against these he had made a campaign with four hundred thousand foot-soldiers and twenty thousand cavalry, the whole army having been divided into four divisions, all of which were under the command of sons of the king.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.48.1  On the first wall the king, he says, is represented in the act of besieging a walled city which is surrounded by a river, and of leading the attack against opposing troops; he is accompanied by a lion, which is aiding him with terrifying effect. Of those who have explained the scene some have said that in very truth a tame lion which the king kept accompanied him in the perils of battle and put the enemy to rout by his fierce onset; but others have maintained that the king, who was exceedingly brave and desirous of praising himself in a vulgar way, was trying to portray his own bold spirit in the figure of a lion. 2 On the second wall, he adds, are wrought the captives as they are being led away by the king; they are without their privates and their hands, which apparently signifies that they were effeminate in spirit and had no hands when it came to the dread business of warfare. 3 The third wall carries every manner of relief and excellent paintings, which portray the king performing a sacrifice of oxen and celebrating a triumph after the war. 4 In the centre of the peristyle there had been constructed of the most beautiful stone an altar, open to the sky, both excellent in its workmanship and marvellous because of its size. 5 By the last wall are two monolithic seated statues, twenty-seven cubits high, beside which are set three entrances from the peristyle; and by way of these entrances one comes into a hall whose roof was supported by pillars, constructed in the style of an odeum, and measuring two plethra on each side. 6 In this hall there are many wooden statues representing parties in litigation, whose eyes are fixed upon the judges who decide their cases; and these, in turn, are shown in relief on one of the walls, to the number of thirty and without any hands, and in their midst the chief justice, with a figure of Truth hanging from his neck and holding his eyes closed, and at his side a great number of books. And these figures show by their attitude that the judges shall receive no gift and that the chief justice shall have his eyes upon the truth alone.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.49.1  Next to these courts, he says, is an ambulatory crowded with buildings of every kind, in which there are representations of the foods that are sweetest to the taste, of every variety. 2 Here are to be found reliefs in which the king, adorned in colours, is represented as offering to the god the gold and silver which he received each year from the silver and gold mines of all Egypt; and an inscription below gives also the total amount, which, summed up according to its value in silver, is thirty-two million minas. 3 Next comes the sacred library, which bears the inscription Healing-place of the Soul, and contiguous to this building are statues of all the gods of Egypt, to each of whom the king in like manner makes the offering appropriate to him, as though he were submitting proof before Osiris and his assessors in the underworld that to the end of his days he had lived a life of piety and justice towards both men and gods. 4 Next to the library and separated from it by a party wall is an exquisitely constructed hall, which contains a table with couches for twenty and statues of Zeus and Hera as well as of the king; here, it would seem, the body of the king is also buried. 5 In a circle about this building are many chambers which contain excellent paintings of all the animals which are held sacred in Egypt. There is an ascent leading through these chambers to the tomb as a whole. At the top of this ascent there is a circular border of gold crowning the monument, three hundred and sixty-five cubits in circumference and one cubit thick; upon this the days of the year are inscribed, one in each cubit of length, and by each day the risings and settings of the stars as nature ordains them and the signs indicating the effects which the Egyptian astrologers hold that they produce. This border, they said, had been plundered by Cambyses and the Persians when he conquered Egypt.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.49.6  Such, they say, was the tomb of Osymandyas the king, which is considered far to have excelled all others, not only in the amount of money lavished upon it, but also in the ingenuity shown by the artificers.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.50.1  The Thebans say that they are the earliest of all men and the first people among whom philosophy and the exact science of the stars were discovered, since their country enables them to observe more distinctly than others the rising and settings of the stars. 2 Peculiar to them also is their ordering of the months and years. For they do not reckon the days by the moon, but by the sun, making their month of thirty days, and they add five and a quarter days to the twelve months and in this way fill out the cycle of the year. But they do not intercalate months or subtract days, as most of the Greeks do. They appear to have made careful observations of the eclipses both of the sun and of the moon, and predict them, foretelling without error all the events which actually occur.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.50.3  Of the descendants of this king, the eighth, known as Uchoreus, founded Memphis, the most renowned city of Egypt. For he chose the most favourable spot in all the land, where the Nile divides into several branches to form the Delta, as it is called from its shape; and the result was that the city, excellently situated as it was at the gates of the Delta, continually controlled the commerce passing into upper Egypt. 4 Now he gave the city a circumference of one hundred and fifty stades, and made it remarkably strong and adapted to its purpose by works of the following nature. 5 Since the Nile flowed around the city and covered it at the time of inundation, he threw out a huge mound of earth on the south to serve as a barrier against the swelling of the river and also as a citadel against the attacks of enemies by land; and all around the other sides he dug a large and deep lake, which, by taking up the force of the river and occupying all the space about the city except where the mound had been thrown up, gave it remarkable strength. 6 And so happily did the founder of the city reckon upon the suitableness of the site that practically all subsequent kings left Thebes and established both their palaces and official residences here. Consequently from this time Thebes began to wane and Memphis to increase, until the time of Alexander the king; for after he had founded the city on the sea which bears his name, all the kings of Egypt after him concentrated their interest on the development of it. 7 Some adorned it with magnificent palaces, some with docks and harbours, and others with further notable dedications and buildings, to such an extent that it is generally reckoned the first or second city of the inhabited world. But a detailed description of this city we shall set forth in the appropriate period.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.51.1  The founder of Memphis, after constructing the mound and the lake, erected a palace, which, while not inferior to those of other nations, yet was no match for the grandeur of design and love of the beautiful shown by the kings who preceded him. 2 For the inhabitants of Egypt consider the period of this life to be of no account whatever, but place the greatest value on the time after death when they will be remembered for their virtue, and while they give the name of lodgings to the dwellings of the living, thus intimating that we dwell in them but a brief time, they call the tombs of the dead eternal homes, since the dead spend endless eternity in Hades; consequently they give less thought to the furnishings of their houses, but on the manner of their burials they do not forgo any excess of zeal.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.51.3  The aforementioned city was named, according to some, after the daughter of the king who founded it. They tell the story that she was loved by the river Nile, who had assumed the form of a bull, and gave birth to Egyptus, a man famous among the natives for his virtue, from whom the entire land received its name. 4 For upon succeeding to the throne he showed himself to be a kindly king, just, and, in a word, upright in all matters and so, since he was held by all to merit great approbation because of his goodwill, he received the honour mentioned.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.51.5  Twelve generations after the king just named, Moeris succeeded to the throne of Egypt and built in Memphis itself the north propylaea, which far surpasses the others in magnificence, while ten schoeni above the city he excavated a lake which was remarkable for its utility and an undertaking of incredible magnitude. 6 For its circumference, they say, is three thousand six hundred stades and its depth in most parts fifty fathoms; what man, accordingly, in trying to estimate the magnitude of the work, would not reasonably inquire how many myriads of men labouring for how many years were required for its completion? 7 And as for the utility of this lake and its contribution to the welfare of all the inhabitants of Egypt, as well as for the ingenuity of the king, no man may praise them highly enough to do justice to the truth.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.52.1  For since the Nile did not rise to a fixed height every year and yet the fruitfulness of the country depended on the constancy of the flood-level, he excavated the lake to receive the excess water, in order that the river might not, by an excessive volume of flow, immoderately flood the land and form marshes and pools, nor, by failing to rise to the proper height, ruin the harvests by the lack of water. 2 He also dug a canal, eighty stades long and three plethra wide, from the river to the lake, and by this canal, sometimes turning the river into the lake and sometimes shutting it off again, he furnished the farmers with an opportune supply of water, opening and closing the entrance by a skilful device and yet at considerable expense; for it cost no less than fifty talents if a man wanted to open or close this work. 3 The lake has continued to serve well the needs of the Egyptians down to our time, and bears the name of its builder, being called to this day the Lake of Moeris. 4 Now the king in excavating it left a spot in the centre, where he built a tomb and two pyramids, a stade in height, one for himself and the other for his wife, on the tops of which he placed stone statues seated upon thrones, thinking that by these monuments he would leave behind him an imperishable commemoration of his good deeds. 5 The income accruing from the fish taken from the lake he gave to his wife for her unguents and general embellishment, the value of the catch amounting to a talent of silver daily; 6 for there are twenty-two different kinds of fish in the lake, they say, and they are caught in such abundance that the people engaged in salting them, though exceedingly many, can scarcely keep up with their task.
Now this is the account which the Egyptians give of Moeris.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.53.1  Sesoosis, they say, who became king seven generations later, performed more renowned and greater deeds than did any of his predecessors. And since, with regard to this king, not only are the Greek writers at variance with one another but also among the Egyptians the priests and the poets who sing his praises give conflicting stories, we for our part shall endeavour to give the most probable account and that which most nearly agrees with the monuments still standing in the land. 2 Now at the birth of Sesoosis his father did a thing worthy of a great man and a king: Gathering together from over all Egypt the male children which had been born on the same day and assigning them nurses and guardians, he prescribed the same training and education for them all, on the theory that those who had been reared in the closest companionship and had enjoyed the same frank relationship would be most loyal and as fellow-combatants in the wars most brave. 3 He amply provided for their every need and then trained the youths by unremitting exercises and hardships; for no one of them was allowed to have anything to eat unless he had first run one hundred and eighty stades. 4 Consequently upon attaining to manhood they were all veritable athletes of robustness of body, and in spirit qualified for leadership and endurance because of the training which they had received in the most excellent pursuits.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.53.5  First of all Sesoosis, his companions also accompanying him, was sent by his father with an army into Arabia, where he was subjected to the laborious training of hunting wild animals and, after hardening himself to the privations of thirst and hunger, conquered the entire nation of the Arabs, which had never been enslaved before his day; 6 and then, on being sent to the regions to the west, he subdued the larger part of Libya, though in years still no more than a youth. 7 And when he ascended the throne upon the death of his father, being filled with confidence by reason of his earlier exploits he undertook to conquer the inhabited earth. 8 There are those who say that he was urged to acquire empire over the whole world by his own daughter Athyrtis, who, according to some, was far more intelligent than any of her day and showed her father that the campaign would be an easy one, while according to others she had the gift of prophecy and knew beforehand, by means both of sacrifices and the practice of sleeping in sanctuaries, as well as from the signs which appear in the heavens, what would take place in the future. 9 Some have also written that, at the birth of Sesoosis, his father had thought that Hephaestus had appeared to him in a dream and told him that the son who had been born would rule over the whole civilized world; 10 and that for this reason, therefore, his father collected the children of the same age as his son and granted them a royal training, thus preparing them beforehand for an attack upon the whole world, and that his son, upon attaining manhood, trusting in the prediction of the god was led to undertake this campaign.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.54.1  In preparation for this undertaking he first of all confirmed the goodwill of all the Egyptians towards himself, feeling it to be necessary, if he were to bring his plan to a successful end, that his soldiers on the campaign should be ready to die for their leaders, and that those left behind in their native lands should not rise in revolt. 2 He therefore showed kindnesses to everyone by all means at his disposal, winning over some by presents of money, others by gifts of land, and others by remission of penalties, and the entire people he attached to himself by his friendly intercourse and kindly ways; for he set free unharmed everyone who was held for some crime against the king and cancelled the obligations of those who were in prison for debt, there being a great multitude in the gaols. 3 And dividing the entire land into thirty-six parts which the Egyptians call nomes, he set over each a nomarch, who should superintend the collection of the royal revenues and administer all the affairs of his division. 4 He then chose out the strongest of the men and formed an army worthy of the greatness of his undertaking; for he enlisted six hundred thousand foot-soldiers, twenty-four thousand cavalry, and twenty-seven thousand war chariots. 5 In command of the several divisions of his troops he set his companions, who were by this time inured to warfare, had striven for a reputation for valour from their youth, and cherished with a brotherly love both their king and one another, the number of them being over seventeen hundred. 6 And upon all these commanders he bestowed allotments of the best land in Egypt, in order that, enjoying sufficient income and lacking nothing, they might sedulously practise the art of war.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.55.1  After he had made ready his army he marched first of all against the Ethiopians who dwell south of Egypt, and after conquering them he forced that people to pay a tribute in ebony, gold and the tusks of elephants. 2 Then he sent out a fleet of four hundred ships into the Red Sea, being the first Egyptian to build warships, and not only took possession of the islands in those waters, but also subdued the coast of the mainland as far as India, while he himself made his way by land with his army and subdued all Asia. 3 Not only did he, in fact, visit the territory which was afterwards won by Alexander of Macedon, but also certain peoples into whose country Alexander did not cross. 4 For he even passed over the river Ganges and visited all of India as far as the ocean, as well as the tribes of the Scythians as far as the river Tanais, which divides Europe from Asia; and it was at this time, they say, that some of the Egyptians, having been left behind near the Lake Maeotis, founded the nation of the Colchi. 5 And the proof which they offer of the Egyptian origin of this nation is the fact that the Colchi practise circumcision even as the Egyptians do, the custom continuing among the colonists sent out from Egypt as it also did in the case of the Jews.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.55.6  In the same way he brought all the rest of Asia into subjection as well as most of the Cyclades islands. And after he had crossed into Europe and was on his way through the whole length of Thrace he nearly lost his army through lack of food and the difficult nature of the land. 7 Consequently he fixed the limits of his expedition in Thrace, and set up stelae in many parts of the regions which he had acquired; and these carried the following inscription in the Egyptian writing which is called sacred: This land the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Sesoosis, subdued with his own arms. 8 And he fashioned the stele with a representation, in case the enemy people were warlike, of the privy parts of a man, but in case they were abject and cowardly, of those of a woman, holding that the quality of the spirit of each people would be set forth most clearly to succeeding generations by the dominant member of the body. 9 And in some places he also erected a stone statue of himself, armed with bow and arrows and a spear, in height four cubits and four palms, which was indeed his own stature. 10 He dealt gently with all conquered peoples and, after concluding his campaign in nine years, commanded the nations to bring presents each year to Egypt according to their ability, while he himself, assembling a multitude of captives which has never been surpassed and a mass of other booty, returned to his country, having accomplished the greatest deeds of any king of Egypt to his day. 11 All the sanctuaries of Egypt, moreover, he adorned with notable votive offerings and spoils, and honoured with gifts according to his merits every soldier who had distinguished himself for bravery. 12 And in general, as a result of this campaign not only did the army, which had bravely shared in the deeds of the king and had gathered great wealth, make a brilliant homeward journey, but it also came to pass that all Egypt was filled to overflowing with benefits of every kind.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.56.1  Sesoosis now relieved his peoples of the labours of war and granted to the comrades who had bravely shared in his deeds a care-free life in the enjoyment of the good things which they had won, while he himself, being ambitious for glory and intent upon everlasting fame, constructed works which were great and marvellous in their conception as well as in the lavishness with which their cost was provided, winning in this way immortal glory for himself and for the Egyptians security combined with ease for all time. 2 For beginning with the gods first, he built in each city of Egypt a sanctuary to the god who was held in special reverence by its inhabitants. On these labours he used no Egyptians, but constructed them all by the hands of his captives alone; and for this reason he placed an inscription on every sanctuary that no native had toiled upon it. 3 And it is said that the captives brought from Babylonia revolted from the king, being unable to endure the hardships entailed by his works; and they, seizing a strong position on the banks of the river, maintained a warfare against the Egyptians and ravaged the neighbouring territory, but finally, on being granted an amnesty, they established a colony on the spot, which they also named Babylon after their native land. 4 For a similar reason, they say, the city of Troia likewise, which even to this day exists on the bank of the Nile, received its name: for Menelaus, on his voyage from Ilium with a great number of captives, crossed over into Egypt; and the Trojans, revolting from him, seized a certain place and maintained a warfare until he granted them safety and freedom, whereupon they founded a city, to which they gave the name of their native land. 5 I am not unaware that regarding the cities named above Ctesias of Cnidus has given a different account, saying that some of those who had come into Egypt with Semiramis founded them, calling them after their native lands. 6 But on such matters as these it is not easy to set forth the precise truth, and yet the disagreements among historians must be considered worthy of record, in order that the reader may be able to decide upon the truth without prejudice.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.57.1  Now Sesoosis threw up many great mounds of earth and moved to them such cities as happened to be situated on ground that was not naturally elevated, in order that at the time of the flooding of the river both the inhabitants and their herds might have a safe place of retreat. 2 And over the entire land from Memphis to the sea he dug frequent canals leading from the river, his purpose being that the people might carry out the harvesting of their crops quickly and easily, and that, through the constant intercourse of the peasants with one another, every district might enjoy both an easy livelihood and a great abundance of all things which minister to man's enjoyment. The greatest result of this work, however, was that he made the country secure and difficult of access against attacks by enemies; 3 for practically all the best part of Egypt, which before this time had been easy of passage for horses and carts, has from that time on been very difficult for an enemy to invade by reason of the great number of canals leading from the river. 4 He also fortified with a wall the side of Egypt which faces east, as a defence against inroads from Syria and Arabia; the wall extended through the desert from Pelusium to Heliopolis, and its length was some fifteen hundred stades. 5 Moreover, he also built a ship of cedar wood, which was two hundred and eighty cubits long and plated on the exterior with gold and on the interior with silver. This ship he presented as a votive offering to the god who is held in special reverence in Thebes, as well as two obelisks of hard stone one hundred and twenty cubits high, upon which he inscribed the magnitude of his army, the multitude of his revenues, and the number of the peoples he had subdued; also in Memphis in the sanctuary of Hephaestus he dedicated monolithic statues of himself and of his wife, thirty cubits high, and of his sons, twenty cubits high, the occasion of their erection being as follows. 6 When Sesoosis had returned to Egypt after his great campaign and was tarrying at Pelusium, his brother, who was entertaining Sesoosis and his wife and children, plotted against them; for when they had fallen asleep after the drinking he piled great quantities of dry rushes, which he had kept in readiness for some time, around the tent in the night and set them afire. 7 When the fire suddenly blazed up, those who had been assigned to wait upon the king came to his aid in a churlish fashion, as would men heavy with wine, but Sesoosis, raising both hands to the heavens with a prayer to the gods for the preservation of his children and wife, dashed out safe through the flames. 8 For this unexpected escape he honoured the rest of the gods with votive offerings, as stated above, and Hephaestus most of all, on the ground that it was by his intervention that he had been saved.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.58.1  Although many great deeds have been credited to Sesoosis, his magnificence seems best to have been shown in the treatment which he accorded to the foreign potentates when he went forth from his palace. 2 The kings whom he had allowed to continue their rule over the peoples which he had subdued and all others who had received from him the most important positions of command would present themselves in Egypt at specified times, bringing him gifts, and the king would welcome them and in all other matters show them honour and special preferment; but whenever he intended to visit a temple or city he would remove the horses from his four-horse chariot and in their place yoke the kings and other potentates, taking them four at a time, in this way showing to all men, as he thought, that, having conquered the mightiest of other kings and those most renowned for their excellence, he now had no one who could compete with him for the prize of excellence. 3 This king is thought to have surpassed all former rulers in power and military exploits, and also in the magnitude and number of the votive offerings and public works which he built in Egypt. And after a reign of thirty-three years he deliberately took his own life, his eyesight having failed him; and this act won for him the admiration not only of the priests of Egypt but of the other inhabitants as well, for it was thought that he had caused the end of his life to comport with the loftiness of spirit shown in his achievements.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.58.4  So great became the fame of this king and so enduring through the ages that when, many generations later, Egypt fell under the power of the Persians and Darius, the father of Xerxes, was bent upon placing a statue of himself in Memphis before that of Sesoosis, the chief priest opposed it in a speech which he made in an assembly of the priests, to the effect that Darius had not yet surpassed the deeds of Sesoosis; and the king was far from being angered, but, on the contrary, being pleased at his frankness of speech, said that he would strive not to be found behind that ruler in any point when he had attained his years, and asked them to base their judgment upon the deeds of each at the same age, for that was the fairest test of their excellence.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.58.5  As regards Sesoosis, then, we shall rest content with what has been said.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.59.1  But his son, succeeding to the throne and assuming his father's appellation, did not accomplish a single thing in war or otherwise worthy of mention, though he did have a singular experience. 2 He lost his sight, either because he shared in his father's bodily constitution or, as some fictitiously relate, because of his impiety towards the river, since once when caught in a storm upon it he had hurled a spear into the rushing current. Forced by this ill fortune to turn to the gods for aid, he strove over a long period to propitiate the deity by numerous sacrifices and honours, but received no consideration. 3 But in the tenth year an oracular command was given to him to do honour to the god in Heliopolis and bathe his face in the urine of a woman who had never known any other man than her husband. Thereupon he began with his own wife and made trial of many, but found not one that was chaste save a certain gardener's wife, whom he married as soon as he was recovered. All the other women he burned alive in a certain village to which the Egyptians because of this incident gave the name Holy Field; 4 and to the god in Heliopolis, out of gratitude for his benefaction, he dedicated, in accordance with the injunction of the oracle, two monolithic obelisks, eight cubits wide and one hundred high.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.60.1  After this king a long line of successors on the throne accomplished no deed worth recording. But Amasis, who became king many generations later, ruled the masses of the people with great harshness; many he punished unjustly, great numbers he deprived of their possessions, and towards all his conduct was without exception contemptuous and arrogant. 2 Now for a time his victims bore up under this, being unable in any way to protect themselves against those of greater power; but when Actisanes, the king of the Ethiopians, led an army against Amasis, their hatred seized the opportunity and most of the Egyptians revolted. 3 As a consequence, since he was easily overcome, Egypt fell under the rule of the Ethiopians. But Actisanes carried his good fortune as a man should and conducted himself in a kindly manner towards his subjects. 4 For instance, he had his own manner of dealing with thieves, neither putting to death such as were liable to that punishment, nor letting them go with no punishment at all; 5 for after he had gathered together out of the whole land those who were charged with some crime and had held a thoroughly fair examination of their cases, he took all who had been judged guilty, and, cutting off their noses, settled them in a colony on the edge of the desert, founding the city which was called Rhinocolura after the lot of its inhabitants.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.60.6  This city, which lies on the border between Egypt and Syria not far from the sea-coast, is wanting in practically everything which is necessary for man's existence; 7 for it is surrounded by land which is full of brine, while within the walls there is but a small supply of water from wells, and this is impure and very bitter to the taste. 8 But he settled them in this country in order that, in case they continued to practise their original manner of life, they might not prey upon innocent people, and also that they might not pass unrecognized as they mingled with the rest of mankind. 9 And yet, despite the fact that they had been cast out into a desert country which lacked practically every useful thing, they contrived a way of living appropriate to the dearth about them, since nature forced them to devise every possible means to combat their destitution. 10 For instance, by cutting down reeds in the neighbourhood and splitting them, they made long nets, which they set up along the beach for a distance of many stades and hunted quails; for these are driven in large coveys from the open sea, and in hunting them they caught a sufficient number to provide themselves with food.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.61.1  After the death of this king the Egyptians regained the control of their government and placed on the throne a native king, Mendes, whom some call Marrus. 2 So far as war is concerned this ruler did not accomplish anything at all, but he did build himself a tomb known as the Labyrinth, which was not so remarkable for its size as it was impossible to imitate in respect to its ingenious design; for a man who enters it cannot easily find his way out, unless he gets a guide who is thoroughly acquainted with the structure. 3 And some say that Daedalus, visiting Egypt and admiring the skill shown in the building, also constructed for Minos, the king of Crete, a labyrinth like the one in Egypt, in which was kept, as the myth relates, the beast called Minotaur. 4 However, the labyrinth in Crete has entirely disappeared, whether it be that some ruler razed it to the ground or that time effaced the work, but the one in Egypt has stood intact in its entire structure down to our lifetime.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.62.1  After the death of this king there were no rulers for five generations, and then a man of obscure origin was chosen king, whom the Egyptians call Cetes, but who among the Greeks is thought to be that Proteus who lived at the time of the war about Ilium. 2 Some tradition records that this Proteus was experienced in the knowledge of the winds and that he would change his body, sometimes into the form of different animals, sometimes into a tree or fire or something else, and it so happens that the account which the priests give of Cetes is in agreement with that tradition. 3 For, according to the priests, from the close association which the king constantly maintained with the astrologers, he had gained experience in such matters, and from a custom which has been passed down among the kings of Egypt has arisen the myths current among the Greeks about the way Proteus changed his shape. 4 For it was a practice among the rulers of Egypt to wear upon their heads the forepart of a lion, or bull, or snake as symbols of their rule; at times also trees or fire, and in some cases they even carried on their heads large bunches of fragrant herbs for incense, these last serving to enhance their comeliness and at the same time to fill all other men with fear and religious awe.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.62.5  On the death of Proteus his son Remphis succeeded to the throne. This ruler spent his whole life looking after the revenues and amassing riches from every source, and because of his niggardly and miserly character spent nothing either on votive offerings to the gods or on benefactions to the inhabitants. Consequently, since he had been not so much a king as only an efficient steward, in the place of a fame based upon virtue he left a treasure larger than that of any king before him; for according to tradition he amassed some four hundred thousand talents of silver and gold.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.63.1  After Remphis died, kings succeeded to the throne for seven generations who were confirmed sluggards and devoted only to indulgence and luxury. Consequently, in the priestly records, no costly building of theirs nor any deed worthy of historical record is handed down in connection with them, except in the case of one ruler, Nileus, from whom the river came to be named the Nile, though formerly called Aegyptus. This ruler constructed a very great number of canals at opportune places and in many ways showed himself eager to increase the usefulness of the Nile, and therefore became the cause of the present appellation of the river.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.63.2  The eighth king, Chemmis of Memphis, ruled fifty years and constructed the largest of the three pyramids, which are numbered among the seven wonders of the world. 3 These pyramids, which are situated on the side of Egypt which is towards Libya, are one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis and forty-five from the Nile, and by the immensity of their structures and the skill shown in their execution they fill the beholder with wonder and astonishment. 4 For the largest is in the form of a square and has a base length on each side of seven plethra and a height of over six plethra; it also gradually tapers to the top, where each side is six cubits long. 5 The entire construction is of hard stone, which is difficult to work but lasts for ever; for though no fewer than a thousand years have elapsed, as they say, to our lifetime, or, as some writers have it, more than three thousand four hundred, the stones remain to this day still preserving their original position and the entire structure undecayed. 6 It is said that the stone was conveyed over a great distance from Arabia and that the construction was effected by means of mounds, since cranes had not yet been invented at that time; 7 and the most remarkable thing in the account is that, though the constructions were on such a great scale and the country round about them consists of nothing but sand, not a trace remains either of any mound or of the dressing of the stones, so that they do not have the appearance of being the slow handiwork of men but look like a sudden creation, as though they had been made by some god and set down bodily in the surrounding sand. 8 Certain Egyptians would make a marvel out of these things, saying that, inasmuch as the mounds were built of salt and saltpetre, when the river was let in it melted them down and completely effaced them without the intervention of man's hand. 9 However, there is not a word of truth in this, but the entire material for the mounds, raised as they were by the labour of many hands, was returned by the same means to the place from which it came; for three hundred and sixty thousand men, as they say, were employed on the undertaking, and the whole structure was scarcely completed in twenty years.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.64.1  Upon the death of this king his brother Cephren succeeded to the throne and ruled fifty-six years; but some say that it was not the brother of Chemmis, but his son, named Chabryes, who took the throne. 2 All writers, however, agree that it was the next ruler who, emulating the example of his predecessor, built the second pyramid, which was the equal of the one just mentioned in the skill displayed in its execution but far behind it in size, since its base length on each side is only a stade. 3 And an inscription on the larger pyramid gives the sum of money expended on it, since the writing sets forth that on vegetables and purgatives for the workmen there were paid out over sixteen hundred talents. 4 The smaller bears no inscription but has steps cut into one side. And though the two kings built the pyramids to serve as their tombs, in the event neither of them was buried in them; 5 for the multitudes, because of the hardships which they had endured in the building of them and the many cruel and violent acts of these kings, were filled with anger against those who had caused their sufferings and openly threatened to tear their bodies asunder and cast them in despite out of the tombs. 6 Consequently each ruler when dying enjoined upon his kinsmen to bury his body secretly in an unmarked place.
After these rulers Mycerinus, to whom some give the name Mencherinus, a son of the builder of the first pyramid, became king. 7 He undertook the construction of a third pyramid, but died before the entire structure had been completed. The base length of each side he made three plethra, and for fifteen courses he built the walls of black stone like that found about Thebes, but the rest of it he filled out with stone like that found in the other pyramids. 8 In size this structure falls behind those mentioned above, but far surpasses them in the skill displayed in its execution and the great cost of the stone; and on the north side of the pyramid is an inscription stating that its builder was Mycerinus. 9 This ruler, they say, out of indignation at the cruelty of his predecessors aspired to live an honourable life and one devoted to the welfare of his subjects; and he continually did many other things which might best help to evoke the goodwill of the people towards himself, and more especially, when he gave audiences, he spent a great amount of money, giving presents to such honest men as he thought had not fared in the courts of law as they deserved.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.64.10  There are also three more pyramids, each of which is one plethrum long on each side and in general construction is like the others save in size; and these pyramids, they say, were built by the three kings named above for their wives.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.64.11  It is generally agreed that these monuments far surpass all other constructions in Egypt, not only in their massiveness and cost but also in the skill displayed by their builders. 12 And they say that the architects of the monuments are more deserving of admiration than the kings who furnished the means for their execution; for in bringing their plans to completion the former called upon their individual souls and their zeal for honour, but the latter only used the wealth which they had inherited and the grievous toil of other men. 13 But with regard to the pyramids there is no complete agreement among either the inhabitants of the country or the historians; for according to some the kings mentioned above were the builders, according to others they were different kings; for instance, it is said that Armaeus built the largest, Amosis the second, and Inaros the third. 14 And this last pyramid, some say, is the tomb of the courtesan Rhodopis, for some of the nomarchs became her lovers, as the account goes, and out of their passion for her carried the building through to completion as a joint undertaking.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.65.1  After the kings mentioned above Bocchoris succeeded to the throne, a man who was altogether contemptible in personal appearance but in sagacity far surpassed all former kings. 2 Much later Egypt was ruled by Sabaco, who was by birth an Ethiopian and yet in piety and uprightness far surpassed his predecessors. 3 A proof of his goodness may be found in his abolition of the severest one of the customary penalties (I refer to the taking of life); 4 for instead of executing the condemned he put them in chains at forced labour for the cities, and by their services constructed many dykes and dug out not a few well-placed canals; for he held that in this way he had reduced for those who were being chastised the severity of their punishment, while for the cities he had procured, in exchange for useless penalties, something of great utility. 5 And the excessiveness of his piety may be inferred from a vision which he had in a dream and his consequent abdication of the throne. 6 For he thought that the god of Thebes told him while he slept that he would not be able to reign over Egypt in happiness or for any great length of time, unless he should cut the bodies of all the priests in twain and accompanied by his retinue pass through the very midst of them. 7 And when this dream came again and again, he summoned the priests from all over the land and told them that by his presence in the country he was offending the god; for were that not the case such a command would not be given to him in his sleep. 8 And so he would rather, he continued, departing pure of all defilement from the land, deliver his life to destiny than offend the Lord, stain his own life by an impious slaughter, and reign over Egypt. And in the end he returned the kingdom to the Egyptians and retired again to Ethiopia.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.66.1  There being no head of the government in Egypt for two years, and the masses betaking themselves to tumults and the killing of one another, the twelve most important leaders formed a solemn league among themselves, and after they had met together for counsel in Memphis and had drawn up agreements setting forth their mutual goodwill and loyalty they proclaimed themselves kings. 2 After they had reigned in accordance with their oaths and promises and had maintained their mutual concord for a period of fifteen years, they set about to construct a common tomb for themselves, their thought being that, just as in their lifetime they had cherished a cordial regard for one another and enjoyed equal honours, so also after their death their bodies would all rest in one place and the memorial which they had erected would hold in one embrace the glory of those buried within. 3 Being full of zeal for this undertaking they eagerly strove to surpass all preceding rulers in the magnitude of their structure. For selecting a site at the entrance to Lake Moeris in Libya they constructed their tomb of the finest stone, and they made it in form a square but in magnitude a stade in length on each side; and in the carvings and, indeed, in all the workmanship they left nothing wherein succeeding rulers could excel them. 4 For as a man passed through the enclosing wall he found himself in a court surrounded by columns, forty on each side, and the roof of the court consisted of a single stone, which was worked into coffers and adorned with excellent paintings. 5 This court also contained memorials of the native district of each king and of the temples and sacrificial rites therein, artistically portrayed in most beautiful paintings. 6 And in general, the kings are said to have made the plan of their tomb on such an expensive and enormous scale that, had they not died before the execution of their purpose, they would have left no possibility for others to surpass them, so far as the construction of monuments is concerned.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.66.7  After these kings had reigned over Egypt for fifteen years it came to pass that the sovereignty devolved upon one man for the following reasons. 8 Psammetichus of Sais, who was one of the twelve kings and in charge of the regions lying along the sea, furnished wares for all merchants and especially for the Phoenicians and the Greeks; 9 and since in this manner he disposed of the products of his own district at a profit and exchanged them for those of other peoples, he was not only possessed of great wealth but also enjoyed friendly relations with peoples and rulers. 10 And this was the reason, they say, why the other kings became envious and opened war against him. Some of the early historians, however, tell this fanciful story: The generals had received an oracle to the effect that the first one of their number to pour a libation from a bronze bowl to the god in Memphis should rule over all Egypt, and when one of the priests brought out of the temple eleven golden bowls, Psammetichus took off his helmet and poured the libation from it. 11 Now his colleagues, although suspecting his act, were not yet ready to put him to death, but drove him instead from public life, with orders that he should spend his days in the marshes along the sea. 12 Whether they fell out for this reason or because of the envy which, as mentioned above, they felt towards him, at any rate Psammetichus, calling mercenaries from Caria and Ionia, overcame the others in a pitched battle near the city called Momemphis, and of the kings who opposed him some were slain in the battle and some were driven out into Libya and were no longer able to dispute with him for the throne.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.67.1  After Psammetichus had established his authority over the entire kingdom he built for the god in Memphis the east propylon and the enclosure about the temple, supporting it with colossi twelve cubits high in place of pillars; and among the mercenaries he distributed notable gifts over and above their promised pay, gave them the region called The Camps to dwell in, and apportioned to them much land in the region lying a little up the river from the Pelusiac mouth; they being subsequently removed thence by Amasis, who reigned many years later, and settled by him in Memphis. 2 And since Psammetichus had established his rule with the aid of the mercenaries, he henceforth entrusted these before others with the administration of his empire and regularly maintained large mercenary forces. 3 Once in connection with a campaign in Syria, when he was giving the mercenaries a more honourable place in his order of battle by putting them on the right wing and showing the native troops less honour by assigning them the position on the left wing of the phalanx, the Egyptians, angered by this slight and being over two hundred thousand strong, revolted and set out for Ethiopia, having determined to win for themselves a country of their own. 4 The king at first sent some of his generals to make excuse for the dishonour done to them, but since no heed was paid to these he set out in person after them by boat, accompanied by his friends. 5 And when they still continued their march along the Nile and were about to cross the boundary of Egypt, he besought them to change their purpose and reminded them of their temples, their homeland, and of their wives and children. 6 But they, all crying aloud and striking their spears against their shields, declared that so long as they had weapons in their hands they would easily find homelands; and lifting their garments and pointing to their genitals they said that so long as they had those they would never be in want either of wives or of children. 7 After such a display of high courage and of utter disdain for what among other men is regarded as of the greatest consequence, they seized the best part of Ethiopia, and after apportioning much land among themselves they made their home there.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.67.8  Although Psammetichus was greatly grieved over these things, he put in order the affairs of Egypt, looked after the royal revenues, and then formed alliances with both Athens and certain other Greek states. 9 He also regularly treated with kindness any foreigners who sojourned in Egypt of their own free will, and was so great an admirer of the Hellenes that he gave his sons a Greek education; and, speaking generally, he was the first Egyptian king to open to other nations the trading-places throughout the rest of Egypt and to offer a large measure of security to strangers from across the seas. 10 For his predecessors in power had consistently closed Egypt to strangers, either killing or enslaving any who touched its shores. 11 Indeed, it was because of the objection to strangers on the part of the people that the impiety of Busiris became a byword among the Greeks, although this impiety was not actually such as it was described, but was made into a fictitious myth because of the exceptional disrespect of the Egyptians for ordinary customs.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.68.1  Four generations after Psammetichus, Apries was king for twenty-two years. He made a campaign with strong land and sea forces against Cyprus and Phoenicia, took Sidon by storm, and so terrified the other cities of Phoenicia that he secured their submission; he also defeated the Phoenicians and Cyprians in a great sea-battle and returned to Egypt with much booty. 2 After this he sent a strong native force against Cyrene and Barce and, when the larger part of it was lost, the survivors became estranged from him; for they felt that he had organized the expedition with a view to its destruction in order that his rule over the rest of the Egyptians might be more secure, and so they revolted. 3 The man sent by the king to treat with them, one Amasis, a prominent Egyptian, paid no attention to the orders given him to effect a reconciliation, but, on the contrary, increased their estrangement, joined their revolt, and was himself chosen king. 4 When a little later all the rest of the native Egyptians also went over to Amasis, the king was in such straits that he was forced to flee for safety to the mercenaries, who numbered some thirty thousand men. 5 A pitched battle accordingly took place near the village of Maria and the Egyptians prevailed in the struggle; Apries fell alive into the hands of the enemy and was strangled to death, and Amasis, arranging the affairs of the kingdom in whatever manner seemed to him best, ruled over the Egyptians in accordance with the laws and was held in great favour. 6 He also reduced the cities of Cyprus and adorned many temples with noteworthy votive offerings. After a reign of fifty-five years he ended his days at the time when Cambyses, the king of the Persians, attacked Egypt, in the third year of the Sixty-third Olympiad, that in which Parmenides of Camarina won the stadion.[525 BCE]

Event Date: -525 GR

§ 1.69.1  Now that we have discussed sufficiently the deeds of the kings of Egypt from the very earliest times down to the death of Amasis, we shall record the other events in their proper chronological setting; 2 but at this point we shall give a summary account of the customs of Egypt, both those which are especially strange and those which can be of most value to our readers. For many of the customs obtained in ancient days among the Egyptians have not only been accepted by the present inhabitants but have aroused no little admiration among the Greeks; 3 and for that reason those men who have won the greatest repute in intellectual things have been eager to visit Egypt in order to acquaint themselves with its laws and institutions, which they considered to be worthy of note. 4 For despite the fact that for the reasons mentioned above strangers found it difficult in early times to enter the country, it was nevertheless eagerly visited by Orpheus and the poet Homer in the earliest times and in later times by many others, such as Pythagoras of Samos and Solon the lawgiver. 5 Now it is maintained by the Egyptians that it was they who first discovered writing and the observation of the stars, who also discovered the basic principles of geometry and most of the arts, and established the best laws. 6 And the best proof of all this, they say, lies in the fact that Egypt for more than four thousand seven hundred years was ruled over by kings of whom the majority were native Egyptians, and that the land was the most prosperous of the whole inhabited world; for these things could never have been true of any people which did not enjoy most excellent customs and laws and the institutions which promote culture of every kind. 7 Now as for the stories invented by Herodotus and certain writers on Egyptian affairs, who deliberately preferred to the truth the telling of marvellous tales and the invention of myths for the delectation of their readers, these we shall omit, and we shall set forth only what appears in the written records of the priests of Egypt and has passed our careful scrutiny.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.70.1  In the first place, then, the life which the kings of the Egyptians lived was not like that of other men who enjoy autocratic power and do in all matters exactly as they please without being held to account, but all their acts were regulated by prescriptions set forth in laws, not only their administrative acts, but also those that had to do with the way in which they spent their time from day to day, and with the food which they ate. 2 In the matter of their servants, for instance, not one was a slave, such as had been acquired by purchase or born in the home, but all were sons of the most distinguished priests, over twenty years old and the best educated of their fellow-countrymen, in order that the king, by virtue of his having the noblest men to care for his person and to attend him throughout both day and night, might follow no low practices; for no ruler advances far along the road of evil until he has those about him who will minister to his passions. 3 And the hours of both the day and night were laid out according to a plan, and at the specified hours it was absolutely required of the king that he should do what the laws stipulated and not what he thought best. 4 For instance, in the morning, as soon as he was awake, he first of all had to receive the letters which had been sent from all sides, the purpose being that he might be able to despatch all administrative business and perform every act properly, being thus accurately informed about everything that was being done throughout his kingdom. Then, after he had bathed and bedecked his body with rich garments and the insignia of his office, he had to sacrifice to the gods.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.70.5  When the victims had been brought to the altar it was the custom for the high priest to stand near the king, with the common people of Egypt gathered around, and pray in a loud voice that health and all the other good things of life be given the king if he maintains justice towards his subjects. 6 And an open confession had also to be made of each and every virtue of the king, the priest saying that towards the gods he was piously disposed and towards men most kindly; for he was self-controlled and just and magnanimous, truthful, and generous with his possessions, and, in a word, superior to every desire, and that he punished crimes less severely than they deserved and rendered to his benefactors a gratitude exceeding the benefaction. 7 And after reciting much more in a similar vein he concluded his prayer with a curse concerning things done in error, exempting the king from all blame therefor and asking that both the evil consequences and the punishment should fall upon those who served him and had taught him evil things. 8 All this he would do, partly to lead the king to fear the gods and live a life pleasing to them, and partly to accustom him to a proper manner of conduct, not by sharp admonitions, but through praises that were agreeable and most conductive to virtue. 9 After this, when the king had performed the divination from the entrails of a calf and had found the omens good, the sacred scribe read before the assemblage from out of the sacred books some of the edifying counsels and deeds of their most distinguished men, in order that he who held the supreme leadership should first contemplate in his mind the most excellent general principles and then turn to the prescribed administration of the several functions. 10 For there was a set time not only for his holding audiences or rendering judgments, but even for his taking a walk, bathing, and sleeping with his wife, and, in a word, for every act of his life. 11 And it was the custom for the kings to partake of delicate food, eating no other meat than veal and duck, and drinking only a prescribed amount of wine, which was not enough to make them unreasonably surfeited or drunken. 12 And, speaking generally, their whole diet was ordered with such continence that it had the appearance of having been drawn up, not by a lawgiver, but by the most skilled of their physicians, with only their health in view.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.71.1  Strange as it may appear that the king did not have the entire control of his daily fare, far more remarkable still was the fact that kings were not allowed to render any legal decision or transact any business at random or to punish anyone through malice or in anger or for any other unjust reason, but only in accordance with the established laws relative to each offence. 2 And in following the dictates of custom in these matters, so far were they from being indignant or taking offence in their souls, that, on the contrary, they actually held that they led a most happy life; 3 for they believed that all other men, in thoughtlessly following their natural passions, commit many acts which bring them injuries and perils, and that oftentimes some who realize that they are about to commit a sin nevertheless do base acts when overpowered by love or hatred or some other passion, while they, on the other hand, by virtue of their having cultivated a manner of life which had been chosen before all others by the most prudent of all men, fell into the fewest mistakes. 4 And since the kings followed so righteous a course in dealing with their subjects, the people manifested a goodwill towards their rulers which surpassed even the affection they had for their own kinsmen; for not only the order of the priests but, in short, all the inhabitants of Egypt were less concerned for their wives and children and their other cherished possessions than for the safety of their kings. 5 Consequently, during most of the time covered by the reigns of the kings of whom we have a record, they maintained an orderly civil government and continued to enjoy a most felicitous life, so long as the system of laws described was in force; and, more than that, they conquered more nations and achieved greater wealth than any other people, and adorned their lands with monuments and buildings never to be surpassed, and their cities with costly dedications of every description.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.72.1  Again, the Egyptian ceremonies which followed upon the death of a king afforded no small proof of the goodwill of the people towards their rulers; for the fact that the honour which they paid was to one who was insensible of it constituted an authentic testimony to its sincerity. 2 For when any king died all the inhabitants of Egypt united in mourning for him, rending their garments, closing the temples, stopping the sacrifices, and celebrating no festivals for seventy-two days; and plastering their heads with mud and wrapping strips of linen cloth below their breasts, women as well as men went about in groups of two or three hundred, and twice each day, reciting the dirge in a rhythmic chant, they sang the praises of the deceased, recalling his virtues; nor would they eat the flesh of any living thing or food prepared from wheat, and they abstained from wine and luxury of any sort. 3 And no one would ever have seen fit to make use of baths or unguents or soft bedding, nay more, would not even have dared to indulge in sexual pleasures, but every Egyptian grieved and mourned during those seventy-two days as if it were his own beloved child that had died. 4 But during this interval they had made splendid preparations for the burial, and on the last day, placing the coffin containing the body before the entrance to the tomb, they set up, as custom prescribed, a tribunal to sit in judgment upon the deeds done by the deceased during his life. 5 And when permission had been given to anyone who so wished to lay complaint against him, the priests praised all his noble deeds one after another, and the common people who had gathered in myriads to the funeral, listening to them, shouted their approval if the king had led a worthy life, 6 but if he had not, they raised a clamour of protest. And in fact many kings have been deprived of the public burial customarily accorded them because of the opposition of the people; the result was, consequently, that the successive kings practised justice, not merely for the reasons just mentioned, but also because of their fear of the despite which would be shown their body after death and of eternal obloquy.
Of the customs, then, touching the early kings these are the most important.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.73.1  And since Egypt as a whole is divided into several parts which in Greek are called nomes, over each of these a nomarch is appointed who is charged with both the oversight and care of all its affairs. 2 Furthermore, the entire country is divided into three parts, the first of which is held by the order of the priests, which is accorded the greatest veneration by the inhabitants both because these men have charge of the worship of the gods and because by virtue of their education they bring to bear a higher intelligence than others. 3 With the income from these holdings of land they perform all the sacrifices throughout Egypt, maintain their assistants, and minister to their own needs; for it has always been held that the honours paid to the gods should never be changed, but should ever be performed by the same men and in the same manner, and that those who deliberate on behalf of all should not lack the necessities of life. 4 For, speaking generally, the priests are the first to deliberate upon the most important matters and are always at the king's side, sometimes as his assistants, sometimes to propose measures and give instructions, and they also, by their knowledge of astrology and of divination, forecast future events, and read to the king, out of the record of acts preserved in their sacred books, those which can be of assistance. 5 For it is not the case with the Egyptians as it is with the Greeks, that a single man or a single woman takes over the priesthood, but many are engaged in the sacrifices and honours paid the gods and pass on to their descendants the same rule of life. They also pay no taxes of any kind, and in repute and in power are second after the king.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.73.6  The second part of the country has been taken over by the kings for their revenues, out of which they pay the cost of their wars, support the splendour of their court, and reward with fitting gifts any who have distinguished themselves; and they do not swamp the private citizens by taxation, since their income from these revenues gives them a great plenty.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.73.7  The last part is held by the warriors, as they are called, who are subject to call for all military duties, the purpose being that those who hazard their lives may be most loyal to the country because of such allotment of land and thus may eagerly face the perils of war. 8 For it would be absurd to entrust the safety of the entire nation to these men and yet have them possess in the country no property to fight for valuable enough to arouse their ardour. But the most important consideration is the fact that, if they are well-to-do, they will readily beget children and thus so increase the population that the country will not need to call in any mercenary troops. 9 And since their calling, like that of the priests, is hereditary, the warriors are incited to bravery by the distinguished records of their fathers and, inasmuch as they become zealous students of warfare from their boyhood up, they turn out to be invincible by reason of their daring and skill.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.74.1  There are three other classes of free citizens, namely, the herdsmen, the husbandmen, and the artisans. Now the husbandmen rent on moderate terms the arable land held by the king and the priests and the warriors, and spend their entire time in tilling the soil; and since from very infancy they are brought up in connection with the various tasks of farming, they are far more experienced in such matters than the husbandmen of any other nation; 2 for of all mankind they acquire the most exact knowledge of the nature of the soil, the use of water in irrigation, the times of sowing and reaping, and the harvesting of crops in general, some details of which they have learned from the observations of their ancestors and others in the school of their own experience. 3 And what has been said applies equally well to the herdsmen, who receive the care of animals from their fathers as if by a law of inheritance, and follow a pastoral life all the days of their existence. 4 They have received, it is true, much from their ancestors relative to the best care and feeding of grazing animals, but to this they add not a little by reason of their own interest in such matters; and the most astonishing fact is that, by reason of their unusual application to such matters, the men who have charge of poultry and geese, in addition to producing them in the natural way known to all mankind, raise them by their own hands, by virtue of a skill peculiar to them, in numbers beyond telling; 5 for they do not use the birds for hatching the eggs, but, in effecting this themselves artificially by their own wit and skill in an astounding manner, they are not surpassed by the operations of nature.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.74.6  Furthermore, one may see that the crafts also among the Egyptians are very diligently cultivated and brought to their proper development; for they are the only people where all the craftsmen are forbidden to follow any other occupation or belong to any other class of citizens than those stipulated by the laws and handed down to them from their parents, the result being that neither ill-will towards a teacher nor political distractions nor any other thing interferes with their interest in their work. 7 For whereas among all other peoples it can be observed that the artisans are distracted in mind by many things, and through the desire to advance themselves do not stick exclusively to their own occupation; for some try their hands at agriculture, some dabble in trade, and some cling to two or three crafts, and in states having a democratic form of government vast numbers of them, trooping to the meetings of the Assembly, ruin the work of the government, while they make a profit for themselves at the expense of others who pay them their wage, yet among the Egyptians if any artisan should take part in public affairs or pursue several crafts he is severely punished.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.74.8  Such, then, were the divisions of the citizens, maintained by the early inhabitants of Egypt, and their devotion to their own class which they inherited from their ancestors.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.75.1  In their administration of justice the Egyptians also showed no merely casual interest, holding that the decisions of the courts exercise the greatest influence upon community life, and this in each of their two aspects. 2 For it was evident to them that if the offenders against the law should be punished and the injured parties should be afforded succour there would be an ideal correction of wrongdoing; but if, on the other hand, the fear which wrongdoers have of the judgments of the courts should be brought to naught by bribery or favour, they saw that the break-up of community life would follow. 3 Consequently, by appointing the best men from the most important cities as judges over the whole land they did not fall short of the end which they had in mind. For from Heliopolis and Thebes and Memphis they used to choose ten judges from each, and this court was regarded as in no way inferior to that composed of the Areopagites at Athens or of the Elders at Sparta. 4 And when the thirty assembled they chose the best one of their number and made him chief justice, and in his stead the city sent another judge. Allowances to provide for their needs were supplied by the king, to the judges sufficient for their maintenance, and many times as much to the chief justice. 5 The latter regularly wore suspended from his neck by a golden chain a small image made of precious stones, which they called Truth; the hearings of the pleas commenced whenever the chief justice put on the image of Truth. 6 The entire body of the laws was written down in eight volumes which lay before the judges, and the custom was that the accuser should present in writing the particulars of his complaint, namely, the charge, how the thing happened, and the amount of injury or damage done, whereupon the defendant would take the document submitted by his opponents in the suit and reply in writing to each charge, to the effect either that he did not commit the deed, or, if he did, that he was not guilty of wrongdoing, or, if he was guilty of wrongdoing, that he should receive a lighter penalty. 7 After that, the law required that the accuser should reply to this in writing and that the defendant should offer a rebuttal. And after both parties had twice presented their statements in writing to the judges, it was the duty of the thirty at once to declare their opinions among themselves and of the chief justice to place the image of Truth upon one or the other of the two pleas which had been presented.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.76.1  This was the manner, as their account goes, in which the Egyptians conducted all court proceedings, since they believed that if the advocates were allowed to speak they would greatly becloud the justice of a case; for they knew that the clever devices of orators, the cunning witchery of their delivery, and the tears of the accused would influence many to overlook the severity of the laws and the strictness of truth; 2 at any rate they were aware that men who are highly respected as judges are often carried away by the eloquence of the advocates, either because they are deceived, or because they are won over by the speaker's charm, or because the emotion of pity has been aroused in them; but by having the parties to a suit present their pleas in writing, it was their opinion that the judgments would be strict, only the bare facts being taken into account. 3 For in that case there would be the least chance that gifted speakers would have an advantage over the slower, or the well-practised over the inexperienced, or the audacious liars over those who were truth-loving and restrained in character, but all would get their just dues on an equal footing, since by the provision of the laws ample time is taken, on the one hand by the disputants for the examination of the arguments of the other side, and, on the other hand, by the judges for the comparison of the allegations of both parties.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.77.1  Since we have spoken of their legislation, we feel that it will not be foreign to the plan of our history to present such laws of the Egyptians as were especially old or took on an extraordinary form, or, in general, can be of help to lovers of reading. 2 Now in the first place, their penalty for perjurers was death, on the ground that such men are guilty of the two greatest transgressions — being impious towards the gods and overthrowing the mightiest pledge known among men. 3 Again, if a man, walking on a road in Egypt, saw a person being killed or, in a word, suffering any kind of violence and did not come to his aid if able to do so, he had to die; and if he was truly prevented from aiding the person because of inability, he was in any case required to lodge information against the bandits and to bring an act against their lawless act; and in case he failed to do this as the law required, it was required that he be scourged with a fixed number of stripes and be deprived of every kind of food for three days. 4 Those who brought false accusations against others had to suffer the penalty that would have been meted out to the accused persons had they been adjudged guilty. 5 All Egyptians were also severally required to submit to the magistrates a written declaration of the sources of their livelihood, and any man making a false declaration or gaining an unlawful means of livelihood had to pay the death penalty. And it is said that Solon, after his visit to Egypt, brought this law to Athens. 6 If anyone intentionally killed a free man or a slave the laws enjoined that he be put to death; for they, in the first place, wished that it should not be through the accidental differences in men's condition in life but through the principles governing their actions that all men should be restrained from evil deeds, and, on the other hand, they sought to accustom mankind, through such consideration for slaves, to refrain all the more from committing any offence whatever against freemen.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.77.7  In the case of parents who had slain their children, though the laws did not prescribe death, yet the offenders had to hold the dead body in their arms for three successive days and nights, under the surveillance of a state guard; for it was not considered just to deprive of life those who had given life to their children, but rather by a warning which brought with it pain and repentance to turn them from such deeds. 8 But for children who had killed their parents they reserved an extraordinary punishment; for it was required that those found guilty of this crime should have pieces of flesh about the size of a finger cut out of their bodies with sharp reeds and then be put on a bed of thorns and burned alive; for they held that to take by violence the life of those who had given them life was the greatest crime possible to man. 9 Pregnant women who had been condemned to death were not executed until they had been delivered. The same law has also been enacted by many Greek states, since they held it entirely unjust that the innocent should suffer the same punishment as the guilty, that a penalty should be exacted of two for only one transgression, and, further, that, since the crime had been actuated by an evil intention, a being as yet without intelligence should receive the same correction, and, what is the most important consideration, that in view of the fact that the guilty had been laid at the door of the pregnant mother it was by no means proper that the child, who belongs to the father as well as to the mother, should be despatched; 10 for a man may properly consider judges who spare the life of a murderer to be no worse than other judges who destroy that which is guilty of no crime whatsoever.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.77.11  Now of the laws dealing with murder these are those which are thought to have been the most successful.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.78.1  Among their other laws one, which concerned military affairs, made the punishment of deserters or of any who disobeyed the command of their leaders, not death, but the uttermost disgrace; 2 but if later on such men wiped out their disgrace by a display of manly courage, they were restored to their former freedom of speech. Thus the lawgiver at the same time made disgrace a more terrible punishment than death, in order to accustom all the people to consider dishonour the greatest of evils, and he also believed that, while dead men would never be of value to society, men who had been disgraced would do many a good deed through their desire to regain freedom of speech. In the case of those who had disclosed military secrets to the enemy the law prescribed that their tongues should be cut out, while in the case of counterfeiters or falsifiers of measures and weights or imitators of seals, and of official scribes who made false entries or erased items, and of any who adduced false documents, it ordered that both their hands should be cut off, to the end that the offender, being punished in respect of those members of his body that were the instruments of his wrongdoing, should himself keep until death his irreparable misfortune, and at the same time, by serving as a warning example to others, should turn them from the commission of similar offences.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.78.4  Severe also were their laws touching women. For if a man had violated a free married woman, they stipulated that he be emasculated, considering that such a person by a single unlawful act had been guilty of the three greatest crimes, assault, abduction, and confusion of offspring; 5 but if a man committed adultery with the woman's consent, the laws ordered that the man should receive a thousand blows with the rod, and that the woman should have her nose cut off, on the ground that a woman who tricks herself out with an eye to forbidden licence should be deprived of that which contributes most to a woman's comeliness.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.79.1  Their laws governing contracts they attribute to Bocchoris. These prescribe that men who had borrowed money without signing a bond, if they denied the indebtedness, might take an oath to that effect and be cleared of the obligation. The purpose, was, in the first place, that men might stand in awe of the gods by attributing great importance to oaths, 2 for, since it is manifest that the man who has repeatedly taken such an oath will in the end lose the confidence which others had in him, everyone will consider it a matter of the utmost concern not to have recourse to the oath lest he forfeit his credit. In the second place, the lawgiver assumed that by basing confidence entirely upon a man's sense of honour he would incite all men to be virtuous in character, in order that they might not be talked about as being unworthy of confidence; and, furthermore, he held it to be unjust that men who had been trusted with a loan without an oath should not be trusted when they gave their oath regarding the same transaction. And whoever lent money along with a written bond was forbidden to do more than double the principal from interest.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.79.3  In the case of debtors the lawgiver ruled that the repayment of loans could be exacted only from a man's estate, and under no condition did he allow the debtor's person to be subject to seizure, holding that whereas property should belong to those who had amassed it or had received it from some earlier holder by way of a gift, the bodies of citizens should belong to the state, to the end that the state might avail itself of the services which its citizens owed it, in times of both war and peace. For it would be absurd, he felt, that a soldier, at the moment perhaps when he was setting forth to fight for his fatherland, should be haled to prison by his creditor for an unpaid loan, and that the greed of private citizens should in this way endanger the safety of all. 4 And it appears that Solon took this law also to Athens, calling it a disburdenment, when he absolved all the citizens of the loans, secured by their persons, which they owed. 5 But certain individuals find fault, and not without reason, with the majority of the Greek lawgivers, who forbade the taking of weapons and ploughs and other quite indispensable things as security for loans, but nevertheless allowed the men who would use these implements to be subject to imprisonments.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.80.1  The Egyptian law dealing with thieves was also a very peculiar one. For it bade any who chose to follow this occupation to enter their names with the Chief of the Thieves and by agreement to bring to him immediately the stolen articles, while any who had been robbed filed with him in like manner a list of all the missing articles, stating the place, the day, and the hour of the loss. 2 And since by this method all lost articles were readily found, the owner who had lost anything had only to pay one-fourth of its value in order to recover just what belonged to him. For as it was impossible to keep all mankind from stealing, the lawgiver devised a scheme whereby every article lost would be recovered upon payment of a small ransom.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.80.3  In accordance with the marriage-customs of the Egyptians the priests have but one wife, but any other man takes as many as he may determine; and the Egyptians are required to raise all their children in order to increase the population, on the ground that large numbers are the greatest factor in increasing the prosperity of both country and cities. Nor do they hold any child a bastard, even though he was born of a slave mother; 4 for they have taken the general position that the father is the sole author of procreation and that the mother only supplies the fetus with nourishment and a place to live, and they call the trees which bear fruit male and those which do not female, exactly opposite to the Greek usage. 5 They feed their children in a sort of happy-go-lucky fashion that in its inexpensiveness quite surpasses belief; for they serve them with stews made of any stuff that is ready to hand and cheap, and give them such stalks of the byblos plant as can be roasted in the coals, and the roots and stems of marsh plants, either raw or boiled or baked. 6 And since most of the children are reared without shoes or clothing because of the mildness of the climate of the country, the entire expense incurred by the parents of a child until it comes to maturity is not more than twenty drachmas. These are the leading reasons why Egypt has such an extraordinarily large population, and it is because of this fact that she possesses a vast number of great monuments.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.81.1  In the education of their sons the priests teach them two kinds of writing, that which is called sacred and that which is used in the more general instruction. Geometry and arithmetic are given special attention. 2 For the river, by changing the face of the country each year in manifold ways, gives rise to many and varied disputes between neighbours over their boundary lines, and these disputes cannot be easily tested out with any exactness unless a geometer works out the truth scientifically by the application of his experience. 3 And arithmetic is serviceable with reference to the business affairs connected with making a living and also in applying the principles of geometry, and likewise is of no small assistance to students of astrology as well. 4 For the positions and arrangements of the stars as well as their motions have always been the subject of careful observation among the Egyptians, if anywhere in the world; they have preserved to this day the records concerning each of these stars over an incredible number of years, this subject of study having been zealously preserved among them from ancient times, and they have also observed with the utmost avidity the motions and orbits and stoppings of the planets, as well as the influences of each one on the generation of all living things — the good or the evil effects, namely, of which they are the cause. 5 And while they are often successful in predicting to men the events which are going to befall them in the course of their lives, not infrequently they foretell destructions of the crops or, on the other hand, abundant yields, and pestilences that are to attack men or beasts, and as a result of their long observations they have prior knowledge of earthquakes and floods, of the risings of the comets, and of all things which the ordinary man looks upon as beyond all finding out. 6 And according to them the Chaldaeans of Babylon, being colonists from Egypt, enjoy the fame which they have for their astrology because they learned that science from the priests of Egypt.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.81.7  As to the general mass of the Egyptians, they are instructed from their childhood by their fathers or kinsmen in the practices proper to each manner of life as previously described by us; but as for reading and writing, the Egyptians at large give their children only a superficial instruction in them, and not all do this, but for the most part only those who are engaged in the crafts. In wrestling and music, however, it is not customary among them to receive any instruction at all; for they hold that from the daily exercises in wrestling their young men will gain, not health, but a vigour that is only temporary and in fact quite dangerous, while they consider music to be not only useless but even harmful, since it makes the spirits of the listeners effeminate.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.82.1  In order to prevent sicknesses they look after the health of their bodies by means of drenches, fastings, and emetics, sometimes every day and sometimes at intervals of three or four days. 2 For they say that the larger part of the food taken into the body is superfluous and that it is from this superfluous part that diseases are engendered; consequently the treatment just mentioned, by removing the beginnings of disease, would be most likely to produce health. 3 On their military campaigns and their journeys in the country they all receive treatment without the payment of any private fee; for the physicians draw their support from public funds and administer their treatments in accordance with a written law which was composed in ancient times by many famous physicians. If they follow the rules of this law as they read them in the sacred book and yet are unable to save their patient, they are absolved from any charge and go unpunished; but if they go contrary to the law's prescriptions in any respect, they must submit to a trial with death as the penalty, the lawgiver holding that but few physicians would ever show themselves wiser than the mode of treatment which had been closely followed for a long period and had been originally prescribed by the ablest practitioners.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.83.1  As regards the consecration of animals in Egypt, the practice naturally appears to many to be extraordinary and worthy of investigation. For the Egyptian venerate certain animals exceedingly, not only during their lifetime but even after their death, such as cats, ichneumons and dogs, and, again, hawks and the birds which they call ibis, as well as wolves and crocodiles and a number of other animals of that kind, and the reasons for such worship we shall undertake to set forth, after we have first spoken briefly about the animals themselves.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.83.2  In the first place, for each kind of animal that is accorded this worship there has been consecrated a portion of land which returns a revenue sufficient for their care and sustenance; moreover, the Egyptians make vows to certain gods on behalf of their children who have been delivered from an illness, in which case they shave off their hair and weigh it against silver or gold, and then give the money to the attendants of the animals mentioned. 3 These cut up flesh for the hawks and calling them with a loud cry toss it up to them, as they swoop by, until they catch it, while for the cats and ichneumons they break up bread into milk and calling them with a clucking sound set it before them, or else they cut up fish caught in the Nile and feed the flesh to them raw; and in like manner each of the other kinds of animals is provided with the appropriate food. 4 And as for the various services which these animals require, the Egyptians not only do not try to avoid them or feel ashamed to be seen by the crowds as they perform them, but on the contrary, in the belief that they are engaged in the most serious rites of divine worship, they assume airs of importance, and wearing special insignia make the rounds of the cities and the countryside. And since it can be seen from afar in the service of what animals they engaged, all who meet them fall down before them and render them honour.

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§ 1.83.5  When one of these animals dies they wrap it in fine linen and then, wailing and beating their breasts, carry it off to be embalmed; and after it has been treated with cedar oil and such spices as have the quality of imparting a pleasant odour and of preserving the body for a long time, they lay it away in a consecrated tomb. 6 And whoever intentionally kills one of these animals is put to death, unless it be a cat or an ibis that he kills; but if he kills one of these, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he is certainly put to death, for the common people gather in crowds and deal with the perpetrator most cruelly, sometimes doing this without waiting for a trial. 7 And because of their fear of such a punishment any who have caught sight of one of these animals lying dead withdraw to a great distance and shout with lamentations and protestations that they found the animal already dead. 8 So deeply implanted also in the hearts of the common people is their superstitious regard for these animals and so unalterable are the emotions cherished by every man regarding the honour due to them that once, at the time when Ptolemy their king had not as yet been given by the Romans the appellation of friend and the people were exercising all zeal in courting the favour of the embassy from Italy which was then visiting Egypt and, in their fear, were intent upon giving no cause for complaint or war, when one of the Romans killed a cat and the multitude rushed in a crowd to his house, neither the officials sent by the king to beg the man off nor the fear of Rome which all the people felt were enough to save the man from punishment, even though his act had been an accident. 9 And this incident we relate, not from hearsay, but we saw it with our own eyes on the occasion of the visit we made to Egypt.

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§ 1.84.1  But if what has been said seems to many incredible and like a fanciful tale, what is to follow will appear far more extraordinary. Once, they say, when the inhabitants of Egypt were being hard pressed by a famine, many in their need laid hands upon their fellows, yet not a single man was even accused of having partaken of the sacred animals. 2 Furthermore, whenever a dog is found dead in any house, every inmate of it shaves his entire body and goes into mourning, and what is more astonishing than this, if any wine or grain or any other thing necessary to life happens to be stored in the building where one of these animals has expired, they would never think of using it thereafter for any purpose. 3 And if they happen to be making a military expedition in another country, they ransom the captive cats and hawks and bring them back to Egypt, and this they do sometimes even when their supply of money for the journey is running short. 4 As for ceremonies connected with the Apis of Memphis, the Mnevis of Heliopolis and the goat of Mendes, as well as with the crocodile of the Lake of Moeris, the lion kept in Leontopolis), as it is called, and many other ceremonies like them, they could easily be described, but the writer would scarcely be believed by any who had not actually witnessed them. 5 For these animals are kept in sacred enclosures and cared for by many men of distinction who offer them the most expensive fare; for they provide, with unfailing regularity, the finest wheaten flour or wheat-groats seethed in milk, every kind of sweetmeat made with honey, and the meat of ducks, either boiled or baked, while for the carnivorous animals birds are caught and thrown to them in abundance, and, in general, great care is given that they have an expensive fare. 6 They are continually bathing the animals in warm water, anointing them with the most precious ointments, and burning before them every kind of fragrant incense; they furnish them with the most expensive coverlets and with splendid jewellery, and exercise the greatest care that they shall enjoy sexual intercourse according to the demands of nature; furthermore, with every animal they keep the most beautiful females of the same genus, which they call his concubines and attend to at the cost of heavy expense and assiduous service. 7 When any animal dies they mourn for it as deeply as do those who have lost a beloved child, and bury it in a manner not in keeping with their ability but going far beyond the value of their estates. 8 For instance, after the death of Alexander and just subsequently to the taking over of Egypt by Ptolemy the son of Lagus, it happened that the Apis in Memphis died of old age; and the man who was charged with the care of him spent on his burial not only the whole of the very large sum which had been provided for the animal's maintenance, but also borrowed in addition fifty talents of silver from Ptolemy. And even in our own day some of the keepers of these animals have spent on their burial not less than one hundred talents.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.85.1  There should be added to what has been said what still remains to be told concerning the ceremonies connected with the sacred bull called Apis. After he has died and has received a magnificent burial, the priests who are charged with this duty seek out a young bull which has on its body markings similar to those of its predecessor; 2 and when it has been found the people cease their mourning and the priests who have the care of it first take the young bull to Nilopolis, where it is kept forty days, and then, putting it on a state barge fitted out with a gilded cabin, conduct it as a god to the sanctuary of Hephaestus at Memphis. 3 During these forty days only women may look at it; these stand facing it and pulling up their garments show their genitals, but henceforth they are forever prevented from coming into the presence of this god. 4 Some explain the origin of the honour accorded this bull in this way, saying that at the death of Osiris his soul passed into this animal, and therefore up to this day has always passed into its successors at the times of the manifestation of Osiris; 5 but some say that when Osiris died at the hands of Typhon Isis collected the members of his body and put them in an ox (bous), made of wood covered over with fine linen, and because of this the city was called Bousiris. Many other stories are told about the Apis, but we feel that it would be a long task to recount all the details regarding them.

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§ 1.86.1  Since all the practices of the Egyptians in their worship of animals are astonishing and beyond belief, they occasion much difficulty for those who would seek out their origins and causes. 2 Now their priests have on this subject a teaching which may not be divulged, as we have already stated in connection with their accounts of the gods, but the majority of the Egyptians give the following three causes, the first of which belongs entirely to the realm of fable and is in keeping with the simplicity of primitive times. 3 They say, namely, that the gods who came into existence in the beginning, being few in number and overpowered by the multitude and the lawlessness of earth-born men, took on the forms of certain animals, and in this way saved themselves from the savagery and violence of mankind; but afterwards, when they had established their power over all things in the universe, out of gratitude to the animals which had been responsible for their salvation at the outset, they made sacred those kinds whose form they had assumed, and instructed mankind to maintain them in a costly fashion while living and to bury them at death.

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§ 1.86.4  The second cause which they give is this — that the early Egyptians, after having been defeated by their neighbours in many battles because of the lack of order in their army, conceived the idea of carrying standards before the several divisions. 5 Consequently, they say, the commanders fashioned figures of the animals which they now worship and carried them fixed on lances, and by this device every man knew where his place was in the array. And since the good order resulting therefrom greatly contributed to victory, they thought that the animals had been responsible for their deliverance; and so the people, wishing to show their gratitude to them, established the custom of not killing any one of the animals whose likeness had been fashioned at that time, but of rendering to them, as objects of worship, the care and honour which we have previously described.

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§ 1.87.1  The third cause which they adduce in connection with the dispute in question is the service which each one of these animals renders for the benefit of community life and of mankind. 2 The cow, for example, bears workers and ploughs the lighter soil; the sheep lamb twice in the year and provide by their wool both protection for the body and its decorous covering, while by their milk and cheese they furnish food that is both appetizing and abundant. Again, the dog is useful both for the hunt and for man's protection, and this is why they represent the god whom they call Anubis with a dog's head, showing in this way that he was the bodyguard of Osiris and Isis. 3 There are some, however, who explain that dogs guided Isis during her search for Osiris and protected her from wild beasts and wayfarers, and that they helped her in her search, because of the affection they bore for her, by baying; and this is the reason why at the Festival of Isis the procession is led by dogs, those who introduced the rite showing forth in this way the kindly service rendered by this animal of old. 4 The cat is likewise useful against asps with their deadly bite and the other reptiles that sting, while the ichneumon keeps a look-out for the newly-laid seed of the crocodile and crushes the eggs left by the female, doing this carefully and zealously even though it receives no benefit from the act. 5 Were this not done, the river would have become impassable because of the multitude of beasts that would be born. And the crocodiles themselves are also killed by this animal in an astonishing and quite incredible manner; for the ichneumons roll themselves over and over in the mud, and when the crocodiles go to sleep on the land with their mouths open they jump down their mouths into the centre of their body; then, rapidly gnawing through the bowels, they get out unscathed themselves and at the same time kill their victims instantly. 6 And of the sacred birds the ibis is useful as a protector against the snakes, the locusts, and the caterpillars, and the hawk against the scorpions, horned serpents, and the small animals of noxious bite which cause the greatest destruction of men. 7 But some maintain that the hawk is honoured because it is used as a bird of omen by the soothsayers in predicting to the Egyptians events which are to come. 8 Others, however, say that in primitive times a hawk brought to the priests in Thebes a book wrapped about with a purple band, which contained written directions concerning the worship of gods and the honours due to them; and it is for this reason, they add, that the sacred scribes wear on their heads a purple band and the wing of a hawk. 9 The eagle also is honoured by the Thebans because it is believed to be a royal animal and worthy of Zeus.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.88.1  They have deified the goat, just as the Greeks are said to have honoured Priapus, because of the generative member; for this animal has a very great propensity for copulation, and it is fitting that honour be shown to that member of the body which is the cause of generation, being, as it were, the primal author of all animal life. 2 And, in general, not only the Egyptians but not a few other peoples as well have in the rites they observe treated the male member as sacred, on the ground that it is the cause of the generation of all creatures; and the priests in Egypt who have inherited their priestly offices from their fathers are initiated first into the mysteries of this god. 3 And both the Pans and the Satyrs, they say, are worshipped by men for the same reason; and this is why most peoples set up in their sacred places statues of them showing the phallus erect and resembling a goat's in nature, since according to tradition this animal is most efficient in copulation; consequently, by representing these creatures in such fashion, the dedicants are returning thanks to them for their own numerous offspring.

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§ 1.88.4  The sacred bulls — I refer to the Apis and the Mnevis — are honoured like the gods, as Osiris commanded, both because of their use in farming and also because the fame of those who discovered the fruits of the earth is handed down by the labours of these animals to succeeding generations for all time. Red oxen, however, may be sacrificed, because it is thought that this was the colour of Typhon, who plotted against Osiris and was then punished by Isis for the death of her husband. 5 Men also, if they were of the same colour as Typhon, were sacrificed, they say, in ancient times by the kings at the tomb of Osiris; however, only a few Egyptians are now found red in colour, and but the majority of such are non-Egyptians, and this is why the story spread among the Greeks of the slaying of foreigners by Busiris, although Busiris was not the name of the king but of the tomb of Osiris, which is called that in the language of the land.

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§ 1.88.6  The wolves are honoured, they say, because their nature is so much like that of dogs, for the natures of these two animals are little different from each other and hence offspring is produced by their interbreeding. But the Egyptians offer another explanation for the honour accorded this animal, although it pertains more to the realm of myth; for they say that in early times when Isis, aided by her son Horus, was about to commence her struggle with Typhon, Osiris came from Hades to help his son and his wife, having taken on the guise of wolf; and so, upon the death of Typhon, his conquerors commanded men to honour the animal upon whose appearance victory followed. 7 But some say that once, when the Ethiopians had marched against Egypt, a great number of bands of wolves (lykoi) gathered together and drove the invaders out of the country, pursuing them beyond the city named Elephantine; and therefore that nome was given the name Lycopolite and these animals were granted the honour in question.

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§ 1.89.1  It remains for us to speak of the deification of crocodiles, a subject regarding which most men are entirely at a loss to explain how, when these beasts eat the flesh of men, it ever became the law to honour like the gods creatures of the most revolting habits. 2 Their reply is, that the security of the country is ensured, not only by the river, but to a much greater degree by the crocodiles in it; that for this reason the robbers that infest both Arabia and Libya do not dare to swim across the Nile, because they fear the beasts, whose number is very great; and that this would never have been the case if war were continually being waged against the animals and they had been utterly destroyed by hunters dragging the river with nets. 3 But still another account is given of these beasts. For some say that once one of the early kings whose name was Menas, being pursued by his own dogs, came in his flight to the Lake of Moeris, as it is called, where, strange as it may seem, a crocodile took him on his back and carried him to the other side. Wishing to show his gratitude to the beast for saving him, he founded a city near the place and named it City of the Crocodiles; and he commanded the natives of the region to worship these animals as gods and dedicated the lake to them for their sustenance; and in that place he also constructed his own tomb, erecting a pyramid with four sides, and built the Labyrinth which is admired by many.

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§ 1.89.4  A similar diversity of customs exists, according to their accounts, with regard to everything else, but it would be a long task to set forth the details concerning them. That they have adopted these customs for themselves because of the advantage accruing therefrom to their life is clear to all from the fact that there are those among them who will not touch many particular kinds of food. Some, for instance, abstain entirely from lentils, others from beans, and some from cheese or onions or certain other foods, there being many kinds of food in Egypt, showing in this way that men must be taught to deny themselves things that are useful, and that if all ate of everything the supply of no article of consumption would hold out. 5 But some adduce other causes and say that, since under the early kings the multitude were often revolting and conspiring against their rulers, one of the kings who was especially wise divided the land into a number of parts and commanded the inhabitants of each to revere a certain animal or else not to eat a certain food, his thought being that, with each group of people revering what was honoured among themselves but despising what was sacred to all the rest, all the inhabitants of Egypt would never be able to be of one mind. 6 And this purpose, they declare, is clear from the results; for every group of people is at odds with its neighbours, being offended at their violations of the customs mentioned above.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.90.1  Some advance some such reason as the following for their deification of the animals. When men, they say, first ceased living like the beasts and gathered into groups, at the outset they kept devouring each other and warring among themselves, the more powerful ever prevailing over the weaker; but later those who were deficient in strength, taught by expediency, grouped together and took for the device upon their standard one of the animals which was later made sacred; then, when those who were from time to time in fear flocked to this symbol, an organized body was formed which was not to be despised by any who attacked it. 2 And when everybody else did the same thing, the whole people came to be divided into organized bodies, and in the case of each the animal which had been responsible for its safety was accorded honours like those belonging to the gods, as having rendered to them the greatest service possible; and this is why to this day the several groups of the Egyptians differ from each other in that each group honours the animals which it originally made sacred.
In general, they say, the Egyptians surpass all other peoples in showing gratitude for every benefaction, since they hold that the return of gratitude to benefactors is a very great resource in life; for it is clear that all men will want to bestow their benefactions preferably upon those who they see will most honourably treasure up the favours they bestow. 3 And it is apparently on these grounds that the Egyptians prostrate themselves before their kings and honour them as being in truth very gods, holding, on the one hand, that it was not without the influence of some divine providence that these men have attained to the supreme power, and feeling, also, that such as have the will and the strength to confer the greatest benefactions share in the divine nature.

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§ 1.90.4  Now if we have dwelt over-long on the topic of the sacred animals, we have at least thoroughly considered those customs of the Egyptians that men most marvel at.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.91.1  But not least will a man marvel at the peculiarity of the customs of the Egyptians when he learns of their usages with respect to the dead. For whenever anyone dies among them, all his relatives and friends, plastering their heads with mud, roam about the city lamenting, until the body receives burial. Nay more, during that time they indulge in neither baths, nor wine, nor in any other food worth mentioning, nor do they put on bright clothing. 2 There are three classes of burial, the most expensive, the medium, and the most humble. And if the first is used the cost, they say, is a talent of silver, if the second, twenty minae, and if the last, the expense is, they say, very little indeed. 3 Now the men who treat the bodies are skilled artisans who have received this professional knowledge as a family tradition; and these lay before the relatives of the deceased a price-list of every item connected with the burial, and ask them in what manner they wish the body to be treated. 4 When an agreement has been reached on every detail and they have taken the body, they turn it over to men who have been assigned to the service and have become inured to it. The first is the scribe, as he is called, who, when the body has been laid on the ground, circumscribes on the left flank the extent of the incision; then the one called the slitter cuts the flesh, as the law commands, with an Ethiopian stone and at once takes to flight on the run, while those present set out after him, pelting him with stones, heaping curses on him, and trying, as it were, to turn the profanation on his head; for in their eyes everyone is an object of general hatred who applies violence to the body of a man of the same tribe or wounds him or, in general, does him any harm.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.91.5  The men called embalmers, however, are considered worthy of every honour and consideration, associating with the priests and even coming and going in the temples without hindrance, as being undefiled. When they have gathered to treat the body after it has been slit open, one of them thrusts his hand through the opening in the corpse into the trunk and extracts everything but the kidneys and heart, and another one cleanses each of the viscera, washing them in palm wine and spices. 6 And in general, they carefully dress the whole body for over thirty days, first with cedar oil and certain other preparations, and then with myrrh, cinnamon, and such spices as have the faculty not only of preserving it for a long time but also of giving it a fragrant odour. And after treating the body they return it to the relatives of the deceased, every member of it having been so preserved intact that even the hair on the eyelids and brows remains, the entire appearance of the body is unchanged, and the cast of its shape is recognizable. 7 This explains why many Egyptians keep the bodies of their ancestors in costly chambers and gaze face to face upon those who died many generations before their own birth, so that, as they look upon the stature and proportions and the features of the countenance of each, they experience a strange enjoyment, as though they had lived with those on whom they gaze.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.92.1  When the body is ready to be buried the family announces the day of interment to the judges and to the relatives and friends of the deceased, and solemnly affirms that he who has just passed away — giving his name — is about to cross the lake. 2 Then, when the judges, forty-two in number, have assembled and have taken seats in a hemicycle which has been built across the lake, the baris is launched, which has been prepared in advance by men especially engaged in that service, and which is in the charge of the boatman whom the Egyptians in their language charon. 3 For this reason they insist that Orpheus, having visited Egypt in ancient times and witnessed this custom, merely invented his account of Hades, in part reproducing this practice and in part inventing on his own account; but this point we shall discuss more fully a little later. 4 At any rate, after the baris has been launched into the lake but before the coffin containing the body is set in it, the law gives permission to anyone who wishes to arraign the dead person. Now if anyone presents himself and makes a charge, and shows that the dead man had led an evil life, the judges announce the decision to all and the body is denied the customary burial; but if it shall appear that the accuser has made an unjust charge he is severely punished. 5 When no accuser appears or the one who presents himself is discovered to be a slanderer, the relatives put their mourning aside and laud the deceased. And of his ancestry, indeed, they say nothing, as the Greeks do, since they hold that all Egyptians are equally well born, but after recounting his training and education from childhood, they describe his righteousness and justice after he attained to manhood, also his self-control and his other virtues, and call upon the gods of the lower world to receive him into the company of the righteous; and the multitude shouts its assent and extorts the glory of the deceased, as of one who is about to spend eternity in Hades among the righteous. 6 Those who have private sepulchres lay the body in a vault reserved for it, but those who possess none construct a new chamber in their own home, and stand the coffin upright against the firmest wall. Any also who are forbidden burial because of the accusations brought against them or because their bodies have been made security for a loan they lay away in their own homes; and it sometimes happens that their sons's sons, when they have become prosperous and paid off the debt or cleared them of the charges, give them later a magnificent funeral.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.93.1  It is a most sacred duty, in the eyes of the Egyptians, that they should be seen to honour their parents or ancestors all the more after they have passed to their eternal home. Another custom of theirs is to put up the bodies of their deceased parents as security for a loan; and failure to repay such debts is attended with the deepest disgrace as well as with deprivation of burial at death. 2 And a person may well admire the men who established these customs, because they strove to inculcate in the inhabitants, as far as was possible, virtuousness and excellence of character, by means not only of their converse with the living but also of their burial and affectionate care of the dead. 3 For the Greeks have handed down their beliefs in such matters — in the honour paid to the righteous and the punishment of the wicked — by means of fanciful tales and discredited legends; consequently these accounts not only cannot avail to spur their people on to the best life, but, on the contrary, being scoffed at by worthless men, are received with contempt. 4 But among the Egyptians, since these matters do not belong to the realm of myth but men see with their own eyes that punishment is meted out to the wicked and honour to the good, every day of their lives both the wicked and the good are reminded of their obligations and in this way the greatest and most profitable amendment of men's characters is effected. And the best laws, in my opinion, must be held to be, not those by which men become most prosperous, but those by which they become most virtuous in character and best fitted for citizenship.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.94.1  We must speak also of the lawgivers who have arisen in Egypt and who instituted customs unusual and strange. After the establishment of settled life in Egypt in early times, which took place, according to the mythical account, in the period of the gods and heroes, the first, they say, to persuade the multitudes to use written laws was Mneves, a man not only great of soul but also in his life the most public-spirited of all lawgivers whose names are recorded. According to the tradition he claimed that Hermes had given the laws to him, with the assurance that they would be the cause of great blessings, just as among the Greeks, they say, Minos did in Crete and Lycurgus among the Lacedaemonians, the former saying that he received his laws from Zeus and the latter his from Apollo. 2 Also among several other peoples tradition says that this kind of a device was used and was the cause of much good to such as believed it. Thus it is recorded that among the Arians Zathraustes claimed that the Good Spirit gave him his laws, among the people known as the Getae who represent themselves to be immortal Zalmoxis asserted the same of their common goddess Hestia, and among the Jews Moyses referred his laws to the god who is invoked as Iao. They all did this either because they believed that a conception which would help humanity was marvellous and wholly divine, or because they held that the common crowd would be more likely to obey the laws if their gaze were directed towards the majesty and power of those to whom their laws were ascribed.c

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§ 1.94.3  A second lawgiver, according to the Egyptians, was Sasychis, a man of unusual understanding. He made sundry additions to the existing laws and, in particular, laid down with the greatest precision the rites to be used in honouring the gods, and he was the inventor of geometry and taught his countrymen both to speculate about the stars and to observe them. 4 A third one, they tell us, was the king Sesoosis, who not only performed the most renowned deeds in war of any king of Egypt but also organized the rules governing the warrior class and, in conformity with these, set in order all the regulations that have to do with military campaigns. 5 A fourth lawgiver, they say, was the king Bocchoris, a wise sort of a man and conspicuous for his craftiness. He drew up all the regulations which governed the kings and gave precision to the laws on contracts; and so wise was he in his judicial decisions as well, that many of his judgments are remembered for their excellence even to our day. And they add that he was very weak in body, and that by disposition he was the most avaricious of all their kings.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.95.1  After Bocchoris, they say, their king Amasis gave attention to the laws, who, according to their accounts, drew up the rules governing the nomarchs and the entire administration of Egypt. And tradition describes him as exceedingly wise and in disposition virtuous and just, for which reasons the Egyptians invested him with the kingship, although he was not of the royal line. 2 They say also that the citizens of Elis, when they were giving their attention to the Olympic Games, sent an embassy to him to ask how they could be conducted with the greatest fairness, and that he replied, Provided no man of Elis participates. 3 And though Polycrates, the ruler of the Samians, had been on terms of friendship with him, when he began oppressing both citizens and such foreigners as put in at Samos, it is said that Amasis at first sent an embassy to him and urged him to moderation; and when no attention was paid to this, he wrote a letter in which he broke up the relations of friendship and hospitality that had existed between them; for he did not wish, as he said, to be plunged into grief in a short while, knowing right well as he did that misfortune is near at hand for the ruler who maintains a tyranny in such fashion. And he was admired, they say, among the Greeks both because of his virtuous character and because his words to Polycrates were speedily fulfilled.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.95.4  A sixth man to concern himself with the laws of the Egyptians, it is said, was Darius the father of Xerxes; for he was incensed at the lawlessness which his predecessor, Cambyses, had shown in the treatment of the sanctuaries of Egypt, and aspired to live a life of virtue and of piety towards the gods. 5 Indeed he associated with the priests of Egypt themselves, and took part with them in the study of theology and of the events recorded in their sacred books; and when he learned from these books about the greatness of soul of the ancient kings and about their goodwill towards their subjects he imitated their manner of life. For this reason he was the object of such great honour that he alone of all the kings was addressed as a god by the Egyptians in his lifetime, while at his death he was accorded equal honours with the ancient kings of Egypt who had ruled in strictest accord with the laws.

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§ 1.95.6  The system, then, of law used throughout the land was the work, they say, of the men just named, and gained a renown that spread among other peoples everywhere; but in later times, they say, many institutions which were regarded as good were changed, after the Macedonians had conquered and destroyed once and for all the kingship of the native line.

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§ 1.96.1  But now that we have examined these matters, we must enumerate what Greeks, who have won fame for their wisdom and learning, visited Egypt in ancient times, in order to become acquainted with its customs and learning. 2 For the priests of Egypt recount from the records of their sacred books that they were visited in early times by Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampus, and Daedalus, also by the poet Homer and Lycurgus of Sparta, later by Solon of Athens and the philosopher Plato, and that there also came Pythagoras of Samos and the mathematician Eudoxus, as well as Democritus of Abdera and Oenopides of Chios. 3 As evidence for the visits of all these men they point in some cases to their statues and in others to places or buildings which bear their names, and they offer proofs from the branch of learning which each one of these men pursued, arguing that all the things for which they were admired among the Greeks were transferred from Egypt.

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§ 1.96.4  Orpheus, for instance, brought from Egypt most of his mystic ceremonies, the orgiastic rites that accompanied his wanderings, and his fabulous account of his experiences in Hades. 5 For the rite of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus and that of Isis very similar to that of Demeter, the names alone having been interchanged; and the punishments in Hades of the unrighteous, the Fields of the Righteous, and the fantastic conceptions, current among the many, which are figments of the imagination — all these were introduced by Orpheus in imitation of the Egyptian funeral customs. 6 Hermes, for instance, the Conductor of Souls, according to the ancient Egyptian custom, brings up the body of the Apis to a certain point and then gives it over to one who wears the mask of Cerberus. And after Orpheus had introduced this notion among the Greeks, Homer followed it when he wrote:
Cyllenian Hermes then did summon forth
The suitors's souls, holding his wand in hand.
And again a little further on he says:
They passed Oceanus' streams, the Gleaming Rock,
The Portals of the Sun, the Land of Dreams;
And now they reached the Meadow of Asphodel,
Where dwell the Souls, the shades of men outworn.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.96.7  Now he calls the river Oceanus because in their language the Egyptians speak of the Nile as Oceanus; the Portals of the Sun (Heliopulai) is his name for the city of Heliopolis; and Meadows, the mythical dwelling of the dead, is his term for the place near the lake which is called Acherousia, which is near Memphis, and around it are fairest meadows, of a marsh-land and lotus and reeds. The same explanation also serves for the statement that the dwelling of the dead is in these regions, since the most and the largest tombs of the Egyptians are situated there, the dead being ferried across both the river and Lake Acherousia and their bodies laid in the vaults situated there.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.96.8  The other myths about Hades, current among the Greeks, also agree with the customs which are practised even now in Egypt. For the boat which receives the bodies is called baris, and the passenger's fee is given to the boatman, who in the Egyptian tongue is called charon. 9 And near these regions, they say, are also the Shades, which is a temple of Hecate, and portals of Cocytus and Lethe, which are covered at intervals with bands of bronze. There are, moreover, other portals, namely, those of Truth, and near them stands a headless statue of Justice.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 1.97.1  Many other things as well, of which mythology tells, are still to be found among the Egyptians, the name being still preserved and the customs actually being practised. 2 In the city of Acanthi, for instance, across the Nile in the direction of Libya one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis, there is a perforated jar to which three hundred and sixty priests, one each day, bring water from the Nile; 3 and not far from there the actual performance of the myth of Ocnus is to be seen in one of their festivals, where a single man is weaving at one end of a long rope and many others beyond him are unravelling it. 4 Melampus also, they say, brought from Egypt the rites which the Greeks celebrate in the name of Dionysus, the myths about Cronus and the War with the Titans, and, in a word, the account of the things which happened to the gods. 5 Daedalus, they relate, copied the maze of the Labyrinth which stands to our day and was built, according to some, by Mendes, but according to others, by king Marrus, many years before the reign of Minos. 6 And the proportions of the ancient statues of Egypt are the same as in those made by Daedalus among the Greeks. The very beautiful propylon of the temple of Hephaestus in Memphis was also built by Daedalus, who became an object of admiration and was granted a statue of himself in wood, which was made by his own hands and set up in this temple; furthermore, he was accorded great fame because of his genius and, after making many discoveries, was granted divine honours; for on one of the islands off Memphis there stands even to this day a temple of Daedalus, which is honoured by the people of that region.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.97.7  And as proof of the presence of Homer in Egypt they adduce various pieces of evidence, and especially the healing drink which brings forgetfulness of all past evils, which was given by Helen to Telemachus in the home of Menelaus. For it is manifest that the poet had acquired exact knowledge of the nepenthic drug which he says Helen brought from Egyptian Thebes, given her by Polydamna the wife of Thon; for, they allege, even to this day the women of this city use this powerful remedy, and in ancient times, they say, a drug to cure anger and sorrow was discovered exclusively among the women of Diospolis; but Thebes and Diospolis, they add, are the same city. 8 Again, Aphrodite is called golden by the natives in accordance with an old tradition, and near the city which is called Momemphis there is a plain of golden Aphrodite. 9 Likewise, the myths which are related about the dalliance of Zeus and Hera and of their journey to Ethiopia he also got from Egypt; for each year among the Egyptians the shrine of Zeus is carried across the river into Libya and then brought back some days later, as if the god were arriving from Ethiopia; and as for the dalliance of these deities, in their festal gatherings the priests carry the shrines of both to an elevation that has been strewn with flowers of every description.

Event Date: -700 GR

§ 1.98.1  Lycurgus also and Plato and Solon, they say, incorporated many Egyptian customs into their own legislation. 2 And Pythagoras learned from Egyptians his teachings about the gods, his geometrical propositions and theory of numbers, as well as the transmigration of the soul into every living thing. 3 Democritus also, as they assert, spent five years among them and was instructed in many matters relating to astrology. Oenopides likewise passed some time with the priests and astrologers and learned among other things about the orbit of the sun, that it has an oblique course and moves in a direction opposite to that of the other stars. 4 Like the others, Eudoxus studied astrology with them and acquired a notable fame for the great amount of useful knowledge which he disseminated among the Greeks.

Event Date: -600 GR

§ 1.98.5  Also of the ancient sculptors the most renowned sojourned among them, namely, Telecles and Theodorus, the sons of Rhoecus, who executed for the people of Samos the wooden statue of the Pythian Apollo. 6 For one half of the statue, as the account is given, was worked by Telecles in Samos, and the other half was finished by his brother Theodorus at Ephesus; and when the two parts were brought together they fitted so perfectly that the whole work had the appearance of having been done by one man. This method of working is practised nowhere among the Greeks, but is followed generally among the Egyptians. 7 For with them the symmetrical proportions of the statues are not fixed in accordance with the appearance they present to the artist's eye, as is done among the Greeks, but as soon as they lay out the stones and, after apportioning them, are ready to work on them, at that stage they take the proportions, from the smallest parts to the largest; 8 for, dividing the structure of the entire body into twenty-one parts and one-fourth in addition, they express in this way the complete figure in its symmetrical proportions. Consequently, so soon as the artisans agree as to the size of the statue, they separate and proceed to turn out the various sizes assigned to them, in the same way that they correspond, and they do it so accurately that the peculiarity of their system excites amazement. 9 And the wooden statue in Samos, in conformity with the ingenious method of the Egyptians, was cut into two parts from the top of the head down to the private parts and the statue was divided in the middle, each part exactly matching the other at every point. And they say that this statue is for the most part rather similar to those of Egypt, as having the arms stretched stiffly down the sides and the legs separated in a stride.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 1.98.10  Now regarding Egypt, the events which history records and the things that deserve to be mentioned, this account is sufficient; and we shall present in the next Book, in keeping with our profession at the beginning of this Book, the events and legendary accounts next in order, beginning with the part played by the Assyrians in Asia.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.1.1  Book 2
The preceding Book, being the first of the whole work, embraces the facts which concern Egypt, among which are included both the myths related by the Egyptians about their gods and about the nature of the Nile, and the other marvels which are told about this river, as well as a description of the land of Egypt and the acts of each of their ancient kings. Next in order came the structures known as the pyramids, which are listed among the seven wonders of the world. 2 After that we discussed such matters connected with the laws and the courts of law, and also with the animals which are considered sacred among the Egyptians, as excite admiration and wonder, also their customs with respect to the dead, and then named such Greeks as were noted for their learning, who, upon visiting Egypt and being instructed in many useful things, thereupon transferred them to Greece. 3 And in this present Book we shall set forth the events which took place in Asia in the ancient period, beginning with the time when the Assyrians were the dominant power.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.1.4  In the earliest age, then, the kings of Asia were native-born, and in connection with them no memory is preserved of either a notable deed or a personal name. The first to be handed down by tradition to history and memory for us as one who achieved great deeds is Ninus, king of the Assyrians, and of him we shall now endeavour to give a detailed account. For being by nature a warlike man and emulous of valour, he supplied the strongest of the young men with arms, and by training them for a considerable time he accustomed them to every hardship and all the dangers of war. 5 And when now he had collected a notable army, he formed an alliance with Ariaeus, the king of Arabia, a country which in those times seems to have abounded in brave men. Now, in general, this nation is one which loves freedom and under no circumstances submits to a foreign ruler; consequently neither the kings of the Persians at a later time nor those of the Macedonians, though the most powerful of their day, were ever able to enslave this nation. 6 For Arabia is, in general, a difficult country for a foreign army to campaign in, part of it being desert and part of it waterless and supplied at intervals with wells which are hidden and known only to the natives. 7 Ninus, however, the king of the Assyrians, taking along the ruler of the Arabians as an ally, made a campaign with a great army against the Babylonians whose country bordered upon his — in those times the present city of Babylon had not yet been founded, but there were other notable cities in Babylonia — and after easily subduing the inhabitants of that region because of their inexperience in the dangers of war, he laid upon them the yearly payment of fixed tributes, but the king of the conquered, whom he took captive along with his children, he put to death. 8 Then, invading Armenia in great force and laying waste some of its cities, he struck terror into the inhabitants; consequently their king Barzanes, realizing that he was no match for him in battle, met him with many presents and announced that he would obey his every command. 9 But Ninus treated him with great magnanimity, and agreed that he should not only continue to rule over Armenia but should also, as his friend, furnish a contingent and supplies for the Assyrian army. And as his power continually increased, he made a campaign against Media. 10 And the king of this country, Pharnus, meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his soldiers, and himself, being taken captive along with his seven sons and wife, was crucified.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.2.1  Since the undertakings of Ninus were prospering in this way, he was seized with a powerful desire to subdue all of Asia that lies between the Tanais and the Nile; for, as a general thing, when men enjoy good fortune, the steady current of their success prompts in them the desire for more. Consequently he made one of his friends satrap of Media, while he himself set about the task of subduing the nations of Asia, and within a period of seventeen years he became master of them all except the Indians and Bactrians. 2 Now no historian has recorded the battles with each nation or the number of all the peoples conquered, but we shall undertake to run over briefly the most important nations, as given in the account of Ctesias of Cnidus.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.2.3  Of the lands which lie on the sea and of the others which border on these, Ninus subdued Egypt and Phoenicia, then Coele-Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, and also Caria, Phrygia, and Lydia; moreover, he brought under his sway the Troad, Phrygia on the Hellespont, Propontis, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and all the barbarian nations who inhabit the shores of the Pontus as far as the Tanais; he also made himself lord of the lands of the Cadusii, Tapyri, Hyrcanii, Drangi, of the Derbici, Carmanii, Choromnaei, and of the Borcanii, and Parthyaei; and he invaded both Persis and Susiana and Caspiana, as it is called, which is entered by exceedingly narrow passes, known for that reason as the Caspian Gates. 4 Many other lesser nations he also brought under his rule, about whom it would be a long task to speak. But since Bactriana was difficult to invade and contained multitudes of warlike men, after much toil and labour in vain he deferred to a later time the war against the Bactriani, and leading his forces back into Assyria selected a place excellently situated for the founding of a great city.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.3.1  For having accomplished deeds more notable than those of any king before him, he was eager to found a city of such magnitude, that not only would it be the largest of any which then existed in the whole inhabited world, but also that no other ruler of a later time should, if he undertook such a task, find it easy to surpass him. 2 Accordingly, after honouring the king of the Arabians with gifts and rich spoils from his wars, he dismissed him and his contingent to return to their own country and then, gathering his forces from every quarter and all the necessary material, he founded on the Euphrates river a city which was well fortified with walls, giving it the form of a rectangle. The longer sides of the city were each one hundred and fifty stades in length, and the shorter ninety. 3 And so, since the total circuit comprised four hundred and eighty stades, he was not disappointed in his hope, since a city its equal, in respect to either the length of its circuit or the magnificence of its walls, was never founded by any man after his time. For the wall had a height of one hundred feet and its width was sufficient for three chariots abreast to drive upon; and the sum total of its towers was one thousand five hundred, and their height was two hundred feet. 4 He settled in it both Assyrians, who constituted the majority of the population and had the greatest power, and any who wished to come from all other nations. And to the city he gave his own name, Ninus, and he included within the territory of its colonists a large part of the neighbouring country.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.4.1  Since after the founding of this city Ninus made a campaign against Bactriana, where he married Semiramis, the most renowned of all women of whom we have any record, it is necessary first of all to tell how she rose from a lowly fortune to such fame.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.4.2  Now there is in Syria a city known as Ascalon, and not far from it a large and deep lake, full of fish. On its shore is a precinct of a famous goddess whom the Syrians call Derceto; and this goddess has the head of a woman but all the rest of her body is that of a fish, the reason being something like this. 3 The story as given by the most learned of the inhabitants of the region is as follows: Aphrodite, being offended with this goddess, inspired in her a violent passion for a certain handsome youth among her votaries; and Derceto gave herself to the Syrian and bore a daughter, but then, filled with shame of her sinful deed, she killed the youth and exposed the child in a rocky desert region, while as for herself, from shame and grief she threw herself into the lake and was changed as to the form of her body into a fish; and it is for this reason that the Syrians to this day abstain from this animal and honour their fish as gods. 4 But about the region where the babe was exposed a great multitude of doves had their nests, and by them the child was nurtured in an astounding and miraculous manner; for some of the doves kept the body of the babe warm on all sides by covering it with their wings, while others, when they observed that the cowherds and other keepers were absent from the nearby steadings, brought milk therefrom in their beaks and fed the babe by putting it drop by drop between its lips. 5 And when the child was a year old and in need of more solid nourishment, the doves, pecking off bits from the cheeses, supplied it with sufficient nourishment. Now when the keepers returned and saw that the cheeses had been nibbled about the edges, they were astonished at the strange happening; they accordingly kept a look-out, and on discovering the cause found the infant, which was of surpassing beauty. 6 At once, then, bringing it to their steadings they turned it over to the keeper of the royal herds, whose name was Simmas; and Simmas, being childless, gave every care to the rearing of the girl, as his own daughter, and called her Semiramis, a name slightly altered from the word which, in the language of the Syrians, means doves, birds which since that time all the inhabitants of Syria have continued to honour as goddesses.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.5.1  Such, then, is in substance the story that is told about the birth of Semiramis. And when she had already come to the age of marriage and far surpassed all the other maidens in beauty, an officer was sent from the king's court to inspect the royal herds; his name was Onnes, and he stood first among the members of the king's council and had been appointed governor over all Syria. He stopped with Simmas, and on seeing Semiramis was captivated by her beauty; consequently he earnestly entreated Simmas to give him the maiden in lawful marriage and took her off to Ninus, where he married her and begat two sons, Hyapates and Hydaspes. 2 And since the other qualities of Semiramis were in keeping with the beauty of her countenance, it turned out that her husband became completely enslaved by her, and since he would do nothing without her advice he prospered in everything.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.5.3  It was at just this time that the king, now that he had completed the founding of the city which bore his name, undertook his campaign against the Bactrians. And since he was well aware of the great number and the valour of these men, and realized that the country had many places which because of their strength could not be approached by an enemy, he enrolled a great host of soldiers from all the negotiations under his sway; for as he had come off badly in his earlier campaign, he was resolved on appearing before Bactriana with a force many times as large as theirs. 4 Accordingly, after the army had been assembled from every source, it numbered, as Ctesias has stated in his history, one million seven hundred thousand foot-soldiers, two hundred and ten thousand cavalry, and slightly less than ten thousand six hundred scythe-bearing chariots.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.5.5  Now at first hearing the great size of the army is incredible, but it will not seem at all impossible to any who consider the great extent of Asia and the vast numbers of the peoples who inhabit it. For if a man, disregarding the campaign of Darius against the Scythians with eight hundred thousand men and the crossing made by Xerxes against Greece with a host beyond number, should consider the events which have taken place in Europe only yesterday or the day before, he would the more quickly come to regard the statement as credible. 6 In Sicily, for instance, Dionysius led forth on his campaigns from the single city of the Syracusans one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers and twelve thousand cavalry, and from a single harbour four hundred warships, some of which were quadriremes and quinqueremes; 7 and the Romans, a little before the time of Hannibal, foreseeing the magnitude of the war, enrolled all the men in Italy who were fit for military service, both citizens and allies, and the total sum of them fell only a little short of one million; and yet as regards the number of inhabitants a man would not compare all Italy with a single one of the nations of Asia. Let these facts, then, be a sufficient reply on our part to those who try to estimate the populations of the nations of Asia in ancient times on the strength of inferences drawn from the desolation which at the present time prevails in its cities.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.6.1  Now Ninus in his campaign against Bactriana with so large a force was compelled, because access to the country was difficult and passes were narrow, to advance his army in divisions. 2 For the country of Bactriana, though there were many large cities for the people to dwell in, had one which was the most famous, this being the city containing the royal palace; it was called Bactra, and in size and in the strength of its acropolis was by far the first of them all. The king of the country, Oxyartes, had enrolled all the men of military age, and they had been gathered to the number of four hundred thousand. 3 So taking this force with him and meeting the enemy at the passes, he allowed a division of the army of Ninus to enter the country; and when he thought that a sufficient number of the enemy had debouched into the plain he drew out his own forces in battle-order. A fierce struggle then ensued in which the Bactrians put the Assyrians to flight, and pursuing them as far as the mountains which overlooked the field, killed about one hundred thousand of the enemy. 4 But later, when the whole Assyrian force entered their country, the Bactrians, overpowered by the multitude of them, withdrew city by city, each group intending to defend its own homeland. And so Ninus easily subdued all the other cities, but Bactra, because of its strength and the equipment for war which it contained, he was unable to take by storm.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.6.5  But when the siege was proving a long affair the husband of Semiramis, who was enamoured of his wife and was making the campaign with the king, sent for the woman. And she, endowed as she was with understanding, daring, and all the other qualities which contribute to distinction, seized the opportunity to display her native ability. 6 First of all, then, since she was about to set out upon a journey of many days, she devised a garb which made it impossible to distinguish whether the wearer of it was a man or a woman. This dress was well adapted to her needs, as regards both her travelling in the heat, for protecting the colour of her skin, and her convenience in doing whatever she might wish to do, since it was quite pliable and suitable to a young person, and, in a word was so attractive that in later times the Medes, who were then dominant in Asia, always wore the garb of Semiramis, as did the Persians after them. 7 Now when Semiramis arrived in Bactriana and observed the progress of the siege, she noted that it was on the plains and at positions which were easily assailed that attacks were being made, but that no one ever assaulted the acropolis because of its strong position, and that its defender had left their posts there and were coming to aid of those who were hard pressed on the walls below. 8 Consequently, taking with her such soldiers as were accustomed to clambering up rocky heights, and making her way with them up through a certain difficult ravine, she seized a part of the acropolis and gave a signal to those who were besieging the wall down in the plain. Thereupon the defenders of the city, struck with terror at the seizure of the height, left the walls and abandoned all hope of saving themselves.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.6.9  When the city had been taken in this way, the king, marvelling at the ability of the woman, at first honoured her with great gifts, and later, becoming infatuated with her because of her beauty, tried to persuade her husband to yield her to him of his own accord, offering in return for this favour to give him his own daughter Sosane to wife. 10 But when the man took his offer with ill grace, Ninus threatened to put out his eyes unless he at once accede to his commands. And Onnes, partly out of fear of the king's threats and partly out of his passion for his wife, fell into a kind of frenzy and madness, put a rope about his neck, and hanged himself. Such, then, were the circumstances whereby Semiramis attained the position of queen.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.7.1  Ninus secured the treasures of Bactra, which contained a great amount of both gold and silver, and after settling the affairs of Bactriana disbanded his forces. After this he begat by Semiramis a son Ninyas, and then died, leaving his wife as queen. Semiramis buried Ninus in the precinct of the palace and erected over his tomb a very large mound, nine stades high and ten wide, as Ctesias says. 2 Consequently, since the city lay on a plain along the Euphrates, the mound was visible for a distance of many stades, like an acropolis; and this mound stands, they say, even to this day, though Ninus was razed to the ground by the Medes when they destroyed the empire of the Assyrians.
Semiramis, whose nature made her eager for great exploits and ambitious to surpass the fame of her predecessor on the throne, set her mind upon founding a city in Babylonia, and after securing the architects of all the world and skilled artisans and making all the other necessary preparations, she gathered together from her entire kingdom two million men to complete the work. 3 Taking the Euphrates river into the centre she threw about the city a wall with great towers set at frequent intervals, the wall being three hundred and sixty stades in circumference, as Ctesias of Cnidus says, but according to the account of Cleitarchus and certain of those who at a later time crossed into Asia with Alexander, three hundred and sixty-five stades; and these latter add that it was her desire to make the number of stades the same as the days in the year. 4 Making baked bricks fast in bitumen she built a wall with a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms, but, as some later writers have recorded, of fifty cubits, and wide enough for more than two chariots abreast to drive upon; and the towers numbered two hundred and fifty, their height and width corresponding to the massive scale of the wall. 5 Now it need occasion no wonder that, considering the great length of the circuit wall, Semiramis constructed a small number of towers; for since over a long distance the city was surrounded by swamps, she decided not to build towers along that space, the swamps offering a sufficient natural defence. And all along between the dwellings and the walls a road was left two plethra wide.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.8.1  In order to expedite the building of these constructions she apportioned a stade to each of her friends, furnishing sufficient material for their task and directing them to complete their work within a year. 2 And when they had finished these assignments with great speed she gratefully accepted their zeal, but she took for herself the construction of a bridge five stades long at the narrowest point of the river, skilfully sinking the piers, which stood twelve feet apart, into its bed. And the stones, which were set firmly together, she bonded with iron cramps, and the joints of the cramps she filled by pouring in lead. Again, before the piers on the side which would receive the current she constructed cutwaters whose sides were rounded to turn off the water and which gradually diminished to the width of the pier, in order that the sharp points of the cutwaters might divide the impetus of the stream, while the rounded sides, yielding to its force, might soften the violence of the river. 3 This bridge, then, floored as it was with beams of cedar and cypress and with palm logs of exceptional size and having a width of thirty feet, is considered to have been inferior in technical skill to none of the works of Semiramis. And on each side of the river she built an expensive quay of about the same width as the walls and one hundred and sixty stades long.
Semiramis also built two palaces on the very banks of the river, one at each end of the bridge, her intention being that from them she might be able both to look down over the entire city and to hold the keys, as it were, to its most important sections. 4 And since the Euphrates river passed through the centre of Babylon and flowed in a southerly direction, one palace faced the rising and the other the setting sun, and both had been constructed on a lavish scale. For in the case of the one which faced west she made the length of its first or outer circuit wall sixty stades, fortifying it with lofty walls, which had been built at great cost and were of burned brick. And within this she built a second, circular in form, in the bricks of which, before they were baked, wild animals of every kind had been engraved, and by the ingenious use of colours these figures reproduced the actual appearance of the animals themselves; 5 this circuit wall had a length of forty stades, a width of three hundred bricks, and a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms; the height of the towers, however, was seventy fathoms. 6 And she built within these two yet a third circuit wall, which enclosed an acropolis whose circumference was twenty stades in length, but the height and width of the structure surpassed the dimensions of the middle circuit wall. On both the towers and the walls there were again animals of every kind, ingeniously executed by the use of colours as well as by the realistic imitation of the several types; and the whole had been made to represent a hunt, complete in every detail, of all sorts of wild animals, and their size was more than four cubits. Among the animals, moreover, Semiramis had also been portrayed, on horseback and in the act of hurling a javelin at a leopard, and nearby was her husband Ninus, in the act of thrusting his spear into a lion at close quarters. 7 In this wall she also set triple gates, two of which were of bronze and were opened by a mechanical device.
Now this palace far surpassed in both size and details of execution the one on the other bank of the river. For the circuit wall of the latter, made of burned brick, was only thirty stades long, and instead of the ingenious portrayal of animals it had bronze statues of Ninus and Semiramis and their officers, and one also of Zeus, whom the Babylonians call Belus; and on it were also portrayed both battle-scenes and hunts of every kind, which filled those who gazed thereon with varied emotions of pleasure.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.9.1  After this Semiramis picked out the lowest spot in Babylonia and built a square reservoir, which was three hundred stades long on each side; it was constructed of baked brick and bitumen, and had a depth of thirty-five feet. 2 Then, diverting the river into it, she built an underground passage-way from one palace to the other; and making it of burned brick, she coated the vaulted chambers on both sides with hot bitumen until she had made the thickness of this coating four cubits. The side walls of the passage-way were twenty bricks thick and twelve feet high, exclusive of the barrel-vault, and the width of the passage-way was fifteen feet. 3 And after this construction had been finished in only seven days she let the river back again into its old channel, and so, since the stream flowed above the passage-way, Semiramis was able to go across from one palace to the other without passing over the river. At each end of the passage-way she also set bronze gates which stood until the time of the Persian rule.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.9.4  After this she built in the centre of the city a temple of Zeus whom, as we have said, the Babylonians call Belus. Now since with regard to this temple the historians are at variance, and since time has caused the structure to fall into ruins, it is impossible to give the exact facts concerning it. But all agree that it was exceedingly high, and that in it the Chaldaeans made their observations of the stars, whose risings and settings could be accurately observed by reason of the height of the structure. 5 Now the entire building was ingeniously constructed at great expense of bitumen and brick, and at the top of the ascent Semiramis set up three statues of hammered gold, of Zeus, Hera, and Rhea. Of these statues that of Zeus represented him erect and striding forward, and, being forty feet high, weighed a thousand Babylonian talents; that of Rhea showed her seated on a golden throne and was of the same weight as that of Zeus; and at her knees stood two lions, while near by were huge serpents of silver, each one weighing thirty talents. 6 The statue of Hera was also standing, weighing eight hundred talents, and in her right hand she held a snake by the head and in her left a sceptre studded with precious stones. 7 A table for all three statues, made of hammered gold, stood before them, forty feet long, fifteen wide, and weighing five hundred talents. Upon it rested two drinking-cups, weighing thirty talents. 8 And there were censers as well, also two in number but weighing each three hundred talents, and also three gold mixing bowls, of which the one belonging to Zeus weighed twelve hundred Babylonian talents and the other two six hundred each. 9 But all these were later carried off as spoil by the kings of the Persians, while as for the palaces and the other buildings, time has either entirely effaced them or left them in ruins; and in fact of Babylon itself but a small part is inhabited at this time, and most of the area within its walls is given over to agriculture.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.10.1  There was also, because the acropolis, the Hanging Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by Semiramis, but by a later Syrian king to please one of his concubines; for she, they say, being a Persian by race and longing for the meadows of her mountains, asked the king to imitate, through the artifice of a planted garden, the distinctive landscape of Persia. 2 The park extended four plethra on each side, and since the approach to the garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier, the appearance of the whole resembled that of a theatre. 3 When the ascending terraces had been built, there had been constructed beneath them galleries which carried the entire weight of the planted garden and rose little by little one above the other along the approach; and the uppermost gallery, which was fifty cubits high, bore the highest surface of the park, which was made level with the circuit wall of the battlements of the city. 4 Furthermore, the walls, which had been constructed at great expense, were twenty-two feet thick, while the passage-way between each two walls was ten feet wide. The roofs of the galleries were covered over with beams of stone sixteen feet long, inclusive of the overlap, and four feet wide. 5 The roof above these beams had first a layer of reeds laid in great quantities of bitumen, over this two courses of baked brick bonded by cement, and as a third layer a covering of lead, to the end that the moisture from the soil might not penetrate beneath. On all this again earth had been piled to a depth sufficient for the roots of the largest trees; and the ground, which was levelled off, was thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size or any other charm, could give pleasure to beholder. 6 And since the galleries, each projecting beyond another, all received the light, they contained many royal lodgings of every description; and there was one gallery which contained openings leading from the topmost surface and machines for supplying the garden with water, the machines raising the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it being done. Now this park, as I have said, was a later construction.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.11.1  Semiramis founded other cities also along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in which she established trading-places for the merchants who brought goods from Media, Paraetacene, and all the neighbouring region. For the Euphrates and Tigris, the most notable, one may say, of all the rivers of Asia after the Nile and Ganges, have their sources in the mountains of Armenia and are two thousand five hundred stades apart at their origin, 2 and after flowing through Media and Paraetacene they enter Mesopotamia, which they enclose between them, thus giving this name to the country. After this they pass through Babylonia and empty into the Red Sea. 3 Moreover, since they are great streams and traverse a spacious territory they offer many advantages to men who follow a merchant trade; and it is due to this fact that the regions along their banks are filled with prosperous trading-places which contribute greatly to the fame of Babylonia.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.11.4  Semiramis quarried out a stone from the mountains of Armenia which was one hundred and thirty feet long and twenty-five feet wide and thick; 5 and this she hauled by means of many multitudes of yokes of mules and oxen to the river and there loaded it on a raft, on which she brought it down the stream to Babylonia; she then set it up beside the most famous street, an astonishing sight to all who passed by. And this stone is called by some an obelisk from its shape, and they number it among the seven wonders of the world.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.12.1  Although the sights to be seen in Babylonia are many and singular, not the least wonderful is the enormous amount of bitumen which the country produces; so great is the supply of this that it not only suffices for their buildings, which are numerous and large, but the common people also, gathering at the place, draw it out without any restriction, and drying it burn it in place of wood. 2 And countless as is the multitude of men who draw it out, the amount remains undiminished, as if derived from some immense source. Moreover, near this source there is a vent-hole, of no great size but of remarkable potency. For it emits a heavy sulphurous vapour which brings death to all living creatures that approach it, and they meet with an end swift and strange; for after being subjected for a time to the retention of the breath they are killed, as though the expulsion of the breath were being prevented by the force which has attacked the processes of respiration; and immediately the body swells and blows up, particularly in the region about the lungs. 3 And there is also across the river a lake whose edge offers solid footing, and if any man, unacquainted with it, enters it he swims for a short time, but as he advances towards the centre he is dragged down as though by a certain force; and when he begins to help himself and makes up his mind to turn back to shore again, though he struggles to extricate himself, it appears as if he were being hauled back by something else; and he becomes benumbed, first in his feet, then in his legs as far as the groin, and finally, overcome by numbness in his whole body, he is carried to the bottom, and a little later is cast up dead.
Now concerning the wonders of Babylonia let what has been said suffice.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.13.1  After Semiramis had made an end of her building operations she set forth in the direction of Media with a great force. And when she had arrived at the mountain known as Bagistanus, she encamped near it and laid out a park, which had a circumference of twelve stades and, being situated in the plain, contained a great spring by means of which her plantings could be irrigated. 2 The Bagistanus mountain is sacred to Zeus and on the side facing the park has sheer cliffs which rise to a height of seventeen stades. The lowest part of these she smoothed off and engraved thereon a likeness of herself with a hundred spearmen at her side. And she also put this inscription on the cliff in Syrian letters: Semiramis, with the pack-saddles of the beasts of burden in her army, built up a mound from the plain and thereby climbed this precipice, even to this very ridge.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.13.3  Setting forth from that place and arriving at the city of Chauon in Media, she noticed on a certain high plateau a rock both of striking height and mass. Accordingly, she laid out there another park of great size, putting the rock in the middle of it, and on the rock she erected, to satisfy her taste for luxury, some very costly buildings from which she used to look down both upon her plantings in the park and on the whole army encamped on the plain. 4 In this place she passed a long time and enjoyed to the full every device that contributed to luxury; she was unwilling, however, to contract a lawful marriage, being afraid that she might be deprived of her supreme position, but choosing out the most handsome of the soldiers she consorted with them and then made away with all who had lain with her.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.13.5  After this she advanced in the direction of Ecbatana and arrived at the mountain called Zarcaeus; and since this extended many stades and was full of cliffs and chasms it rendered the journey round a long one. And so she became ambitious both to leave an immortal monument of herself and at the same time to shorten her way; consequently she cut through the cliffs, filled up the low places, and thus at great expense built a short road, which to this day is called the road of Semiramis. 6 Upon arriving at Ecbatana, a city which lies in the plain, she built in it an expensive palace and in every other way gave rather exceptional attention to the region. For since the city had no water supply and there was no spring in its vicinity, she made the whole of it well watered by bringing to it with much hardship and expense an abundance of the purest water. 7 For at a distance from Ecbatana of about twelve stades is a mountain, which is called Orontes and is unusual for its ruggedness and enormous height, since the ascent, straight to its summit, is twenty-five stades. And since a great lake, which emptied into a river, lay on the other side, she made a cutting through the base of this mountain. 8 The tunnel was fifteen feet wide and forty feet high; and through it she brought in the river which flowed from the lake, and filled the city with water. Now this is what she did in Media.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.14.1  After this she visited Persis and every other country over which she ruled throughout Asia. Everywhere she cut through the mountains and the precipitous cliffs and constructed expensive roads, while on the plains she made mounds, sometimes constructing them as tombs for those of her generals who died, and sometimes founding cities on their tops. 2 And it was also her custom, whenever she made camp, to build little mounds, upon which setting her tent she could look down upon all the encampment. As a consequence many of the works she built throughout Asia remain to this day and are called Works of Semiramis.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.14.3  After this she visited all Egypt, and after subduing most of Libya she went also to the oracle of Ammon to inquire of the god regarding her own end. And the account runs that the answer was given her that she would disappear from among men and receive undying honour among some of the peoples of Asia, and that this would take place when her son Ninyas should conspire against her. 4 Then upon her return from these regions she visited most of Ethiopia, subduing it as she went and inspecting the wonders of the land. For in that country, they say, there is a lake, square in form, with a perimeter of some hundred and sixty feet, and its water is like cinnabar in colour and the odour of it is exceedingly sweet, not unlike that of old wine; moreover, it has a remarkable power; for whoever has drunk of it, they say, falls into a frenzy and accuses himself of every sin which he had formerly committed in secret. However, a man may not readily agree with those who tell such things.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.15.1  In the burial of their dead the inhabitants of Ethiopia follow customs peculiar to themselves; for after they have embalmed the body and have poured a heavy coat of glass over it they stand it on a pillar, so that the body of the dead man is visible through the glass to those who pass by. This is the statement of Herodotus. 2 But Ctesias of Cnidus, declaring that Herodotus is inventing a tale, gives for his part this account. The body is indeed embalmed, but glass is not poured about the naked bodies, for they would be burned and so completely disfigured that they could no longer preserve their likeness. 3 For this reason they fashion a hollow statue of gold and when the corpse has been put into this they pour the glass over the statue, and the figure, prepared in this way, is then placed at the tomb, and the gold, fashioned as it is to resemble the deceased, is seen through the glass. 4 Now the rich among them are buried in this wise, he says, but those who leave a smaller estate receive a silver statue, and the poor one made of earthenware; as for the glass, there is enough of it for everyone, since it occurs in great abundance in Ethiopia and is quite current among the inhabitants. 5 With regard to the custom prevailing among the Ethiopians and the other features of their country we shall a little later set forth those that are the most important and deserving of record, at which time we shall also recount their early deeds and their mythology.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.16.1  But after Semiramis had put in order the affairs of Ethiopia and Egypt she returned with her force to Bactra in Asia. And since she had great forces and had been at peace for some time she became eager to achieve some brilliant exploit in war. 2 And when she was informed that the Indian nation was the largest one in the world and likewise possessed both the most extensive and the fairest country, she purposed to make a campaign into India. Stabrobates at that time was king of the country and had a multitude of soldiers without number; and many elephants were also at his disposal, fitted out in an exceedingly splendid fashion with such things as would strike terror in war. 3 For India is a land of unusual beauty, and since it is traversed by many rivers it is supplied with water over its whole area and yields two harvests each year; consequently it has such an abundance of the necessities of life that at all times it favours its inhabitants with a bounteous enjoyment of them. And it is said that because of the favourable climate in those parts the country has never experienced a famine or a destruction of crops. 4 It also has an unbelievable number of elephants, which both in courage and in strength of body far surpass those of Libya, and likewise gold, silver, iron, and copper; furthermore, within its borders are to be found great quantities of precious stones of every kind and of practically all other things which contribute to luxury and wealth.
When Semiramis had received a detailed account of these facts she was led to begin her war against the Indians, although she had been done no injury by them. 5 And realizing that she needed an exceedingly great force in addition to what she had she despatched messengers to all the satrapies, commanding the governors to enrol the bravest of the young men and setting their quota in accordance with the size of each nation; and she further ordered them all to make new suits of armour and to be at hand, brilliantly equipped in every other respect, at Bactra on the third year thereafter. 6 She also summoned shipwrights from Phoenicia, Syria, Cyprus, and the rest of the lands along the sea, and shipping thither an abundance of timber she ordered them to build river boats which could be taken to pieces. 7 For the Indus river, by reason of its being the largest in that region and the boundary of her kingdom, required many boats, some for the passage across and others from which to defend the former from the Indians; and since there was no timber near the river the boats had to be brought from Bactriana by land.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.16.8  Observing that she was greatly inferior because of her lack of elephants, Semiramis conceived the plan of making dummies like these animals, in the hope that the Indians would be struck with terror because of their belief that no elephants ever existed at all apart from those found in India. 9 Accordingly she chose out three hundred thousand black oxen and distributed their meat among her artisans and the men who had been assigned to the task of making the figures, but the hides she sewed together and stuffed with straw, and thus made dummies, copying in every detail the natural appearance of these animals. Each dummy had within it a man to take care of it and a camel and, when it was moved by the latter, to those who saw it from a distance it looked like an actual animal. 10 And the artisans who were engaged in making these dummies for her worked at their task in a certain court which had been surrounded by a wall and had gates which were carefully guarded, so that no worker within could pass out no one from outside could come in to them. This she did in order that no one from the outside might see what was taking place and that no report about the dummies might escape to the Indians.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.17.1  When the boats and the beasts had been prepared in the two allotted years, on the third she summoned her forces from everywhere to Bactriana. And the multitude of the army which was assembled, as Ctesias of Cnidus has recorded, was three million foot-soldiers, two hundred thousand cavalry, and one hundred thousand chariots. 2 There were also men mounted on camels, carrying swords four cubits long, as many in number as the chariots. And river boats which could be taken apart she built to the number of two thousand, and she had collected camels to carry the vessels overland. Camels also bore the dummies of the elephants, as has been mentioned; and the soldiers, by bringing their horses up to these camels, accustomed them not to fear the savage nature of the beasts. 3 A similar thing was also done many years later by Perseus, the king of the Macedonians, before his decisive conflict with the Romans who had elephants from Libya. But neither in his case did it turn out that the zeal and ingenuity displayed in such matters had any effect on the conflict, nor in that of Semiramis, as will be shown more precisely in our further account.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.17.4  When Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, heard of the immensity of the forces mentioned and of the exceedingly great preparations which had been made for the war, he was anxious to surpass Semiramis in every respect. 5 First of all, then, he made four thousand river boats out of reeds; for along its rivers and marshy places India produces a great abundance of reeds, so large in diameter that a man cannot easily put his arms about them; and it is said, furthermore, that ships built of these are exceedingly serviceable, since this wood does not rot. 6 Moreover, he gave great care to the preparation of his arms and by visiting all India gathered a far greater force than that which had been collected by Semiramis. 7 Furthermore, holding a hunt of the wild elephants and multiplying many times the number already at his disposal, he fitted them all out splendidly with such things as would strike terror in war; 8 and the consequence was that when they advanced to the attack the multitude of them as well as the towers upon their backs made them appear like a thing beyond the power of human nature to understand.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.18.1  When he had made all his preparations for the war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who was already on the road, accusing her of being the aggressor in the war although she had been injured in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after saying many slanderous things against her as being a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he threatened her with crucifixion when he had defeated her. 2 Semiramis, however, on reading his letter dismissed his statements with laughter and remarked, It will be in deeds that the Indian will make trial of my valour. And when her advance brought her with her force to the Indus river she found the boats of the enemy ready for battle. 3 Consequently she on her side, hastily putting together her boats and manning them with her best marines, joined battle on the river, while the foot-soldiers which were drawn up along the banks also participated eagerly in the contest. 4 The struggle raged for a long time and both sides fought spiritedly, but finally Semiramis was victorious and destroyed about a thousand of the boats, taking also not a few men prisoners. 5 Elated now by her victory, she reduced to slavery the islands in the river and the cities on them and gathered in more than one hundred thousand captives.
After these events the king of the Indians withdrew his force from the river, giving the appearance of retreating in fear but actually with the intention of enticing the enemy to cross the river. 6 Thereupon Semiramis, now that her undertakings were prosperous as she wished, spanned the river with a costly and large bridge, by means of which she got all her forces across; and then she left sixty thousand men to guard the pontoon bridge, while with the rest of her army she advanced in pursuit of the Indians, the dummy elephants leading the way in order that the king's spies might report to the king the multitude of these animals in her army. 7 Nor was she deceived in this hope; on the contrary, when those who had been despatched to spy her out reported to the Indians the multitude of elephants among the enemy, they were all at a loss to discover from where such a multitude of beasts as accompanied her could have come. 8 However, the deception did not remain a secret for long; for some of Semiramis' troops were caught neglecting their night watches in the camp, and these, in fear of the consequent punishment, deserted to the enemy and pointed out to them their mistake regarding the nature of the elephants. Encouraged by this information, the king of the Indians, after informing his army about the dummies, set his forces in array and turned about to face the Assyrians.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.19.1  Semiramis likewise marshalled her forces, and as the two armies neared each other Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, despatched his cavalry and chariots far in advance of the main body. 2 But the queen stoutly withstood the attack of the cavalry, and since the elephants which she had fabricated had been stationed at equal intervals in front of the main body of troops, it came about that the horses of the Indians shied at them. 3 For whereas at a distance the dummies looked like the actual animals with which the horses of the Indians were acquainted and therefore charged upon them boldly enough, yet on nearer contact the odour which reached the horses was unfamiliar, and then the other differences, which taken all together were very great, threw them into utter confusion. Consequently some of the Indians were thrown to the ground, while others, whence their horses would not obey the rein, were carried with their mounts pell-mell into the midst of the enemy. 4 Then Semiramis, who was in the battle with a select band of soldiers, made skilful use of her advantage and put the Indians to flight. But although these fled towards the battle-line, King Stabrobates, undismayed, advanced the ranks of his foot-soldiers, keeping the elephants in front, while he himself, taking his position on the right wing and fighting from the most powerful of the beasts, charged in terrifying fashion upon the queen, whom chance had placed opposite him. 5 And since the rest of the elephants followed his example, the army of Semiramis withstood but a short time the attack of the beasts; for the animals, by virtue of their extraordinary courage and the confidence which they felt in their power, easily destroyed everyone who tried to withstand them 6 Consequently there was a great slaughter, which was effected in various ways, some being trampled beneath their feet, others ripped up by their tusks, and a number tossed into the air by their trunks. And since a great multitude of corpses lay piled one upon the other and the danger aroused terrible consternation and fear in those who witnessed the sight, not a man had the courage to hold his position any longer.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.19.7  Now when the entire multitude turned in flight the king of the Indians pressed his attack upon Semiramis herself. And first he let fly an arrow and struck her on the arm, and then with his javelin he pierced the back of the queen, but only with a glancing blow; and since for this reason Semiramis was not seriously injured she rode swiftly away, the pursuing beast being much inferior in speed. 8 But since all were fleeing to the pontoon bridge and so great a multitude was forcing its way into a single narrow space, some of the queen's soldiers perished by being trampled upon by one another and by cavalry and foot-soldiers being thrown together in unnatural confusion, and when the Indians pressed hard upon them a violent crowding took place on the bridge because their terror, so that many were pushed to either side of the bridge and fell into the river. 9 As for Semiramis, when the largest part of the survivors of the battle had found safety by putting the river behind them, she cut the fastenings which held the bridge together; and when these were loosened the pontoon bridge, having been broken apart at many points and bearing great numbers of pursuing Indians, was carried down in haphazard fashion by the violence of the current and caused the death of many of the Indians, but for Semiramis it was the means of complete safety, the enemy now being prevented from crossing over against her. 10 After these events the king of the Indians remained inactive, since heavenly omens appeared to him which his seers interpreted to mean that he must not cross the river, and Semiramis, after exchanging prisoners, made her way back to Bactra with the loss of two-thirds of her force.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.20.1  Some time later her son Ninyas conspired against her through the agency of a certain eunuch; and remembering the prophecy given her by Ammon, she did not punish the conspirator, but, on the contrary, after turning the kingdom over to him and commanding the governors to obey him, she at once disappeared, as if she were going to be translated to the gods as the oracle had predicted. 2 Some, making a myth of it, say that she turned into a dove and flew off in the company of many birds which alighted on her dwelling, and this, they say, is the reason why the Assyrians worship the dove as a god, thus deifying Semiramis. Be that as it may, this woman, after having been queen over all Asia with the exception of India, passed away in the manner mentioned above, having lived sixty-two years and having reigned forty-two.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.20.3  Such, then, is the account that Ctesias of Cnidus has given about Semiramis; but Athenaeus and certain other historians say that she was a comely courtesan and because of her beauty was loved by the king of the Assyrians. 4 Now at first she was accorded only a moderate acceptance in the palace, but later, when she had been proclaimed a lawful wife, she persuaded the king to yield the royal prerogatives to her for a period of five days. 5 And Semiramis, upon receiving the sceptre and the regal garb, on the first day held high festival and gave a magnificent banquet, at which she persuaded the commanders of the military forces and all the greatest dignitaries to co-operate with her; and on the second day, while the people and the most notable citizens were paying her their respects as queen, she arrested her husband and put him in prison; and since she was by nature a woman of great designs and bold as well, she seized the throne and remaining queen until old age accomplished many great things. Such, then, are the conflicting accounts which may be found in the historians regarding the career of Semiramis.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.21.1  After her death Ninyas, the son of Ninus and Semiramis, succeeded to the throne and had a peaceful reign, since he in no wise emulated his mother's fondness for war and her adventurous spirit. 2 For in the first place, he spent all his time in the palace, seen by no one but his concubines and the eunuchs who attended him, and devoted his life to luxury and idleness and the consistent avoidance of any suffering or anxiety, holding the end and aim of a happy reign to be the enjoyment of every kind of pleasure without restraint. 3 Moreover, having in view the safety of his crown and the fear he felt with reference to his subjects, he used to summon each year a fixed number of soldiers and a general from each nation and to keep the army, 4 which had been gathered in this way from all his subject peoples, outside his capital, appointing as commander of each nation one of the most trustworthy men in his service; and at the end of the year he would summon from his peoples a second equal number of soldiers and dismiss the former to their countries. 5 The result of this device was that all those subject to his rule were filled with awe, seeing at all times a great host encamped in the open and punishment ready to fall on any who rebelled or would not yield obedience. 6 This annual change of the soldiers was devised by him in order that, before the generals and all the other commanders of the army should become well acquainted with each other, every man of them would have been separated from the rest and have gone back to his own country; for long service in the field both gives the commanders experience in the arts of war and fills them with arrogance, and, above all, it offers great opportunities for rebellion and for plotting against their rulers. 7 And the fact that he was seen by no one outside the palace made everyone ignorant of the luxury of his manner of life, and through their fear of him, as of an unseen god, each man dared not show disrespect of him even in word. So by appointing generals, satraps, financial officers, and judges for each nation and arranging all other matters as he felt at any time to be to his advantage, he remained for his lifetime in the city of Ninus.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.21.8  The rest of the kings also followed his example, son succeeding father upon the throne, and reigned for thirty generations down to Sardanapallus; for it was under this ruler that the Empire of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years, as Ctesias of Cnidus says in his Second Book.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.22.1  There is no special need of giving all the names of the kings and the number of years which each of them reigned because nothing was done by them which merits mentioning. For the only event which has been recorded is the despatch by the Assyrians to the Trojans of an allied force, which was under the command of Memnon the son of Tithonus. 2 For when Teutamus, they say, was ruler of Asia, being the twentieth in succession from Ninyas the son of Semiramis, the Greeks made an expedition against Troy with Agamemnon, at a time when the Assyrians had controlled Asia for more than a thousand years. And Priam, who was king of the Troad and a vassal of the king of the Assyrians, being hard pressed by the war, sent an embassy to the king requesting aid; and Teutamus despatched ten thousand Ethiopians and a like number of the men of Susiana along with two hundred chariots, having appointed as general Memnon the son of Tithonus. 3 Now Tithonus, who was at that time general of Persis, was the most highly esteemed of the governors at the king's court, and Memnon, who was in the bloom of manhood, was distinguished both for his bravery and for his nobility of spirit. He also built the palace in the upper city of Susa which stood until the time of the Persian Empire and was called after him Memnonian; moreover, he constructed through the country a public highway which bears the name Memnonian to this time. 4 But the Ethiopians who border upon Egypt dispute this, maintaining that this man was a native of their country, and they point out an ancient palace which to this day, they say, bears the name Memnonian. 5 At any rate, the account runs that Memnon went to the aid of the Trojans with twenty thousand foot-soldiers and two hundred chariots; and he was admired for his bravery and slew many Greeks in the fighting, but was finally ambushed by the Thessalians and slain; whereupon the Ethiopians recovered his body, burned the corpse, and took the bones back to Tithonus. Such is the account concerning Memnon that is given in the royal records, according to what the barbarians say.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.23.1  Sardanapallus, the thirtieth in succession from Ninus, who founded the empire, and the last king of the Assyrians, outdid all his predecessors in luxury and sluggishness. For not to mention the fact that he was not seen by any man residing outside the palace, he lived the life of a woman, and spending his days in the company of his concubines and spinning purple garments and working the softest of wool, he had assumed the feminine garb and so covered his face and indeed his entire body with whitening cosmetics and the other unguents used by courtesans, that he rendered it more delicate than that of any luxury-loving woman. 2 He also took care to make even his voice to be like a woman's, and at his carousals not only to indulge regularly in those drinks and viands which could offer the greatest pleasure, but also to pursue the delights of love with men as well as women; for he practised sexual indulgence of both kinds without restraint, showing not the least concern for the disgrace attending such conduct. 3 To such an excess did he go of luxury and of the most shameless sensual pleasure and in temperance, that he composed a funeral dirge for himself and commanded his successors upon the throne to inscribe it upon his tomb after his death; it was composed by him in a foreign language but was afterwards translated by a Greek as follows:
Knowing full well that thou wert mortal born,
Thy heart lift up, take thy delight in feast;
When dead no pleasure more is thine. Thus I,
Who once o'er mighty Ninus ruled, am naught
But dust. Yet these are mine which gave me joy
In life — the food I ate, my wantonness,
And love's delights. But all those other things
Men deem felicities are left behind.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.23.4  Because he was a man of this character, not only did he end his own life in a disgraceful manner, but he caused the total destruction of the Assyrian Empire, which had endured longer than any other known to history.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.24.1  The facts are these: A certain Arbaces, a Mede by race, and conspicuous for his bravery and nobility of spirit, was the general of the contingent of Medes which was sent each year to Ninus. And having made the acquaintance during this service of the general of the Babylonians, he was urged by him to overthrow the empire of the Assyrians. 2 Now this man's name was Belesys, and he was the most distinguished of those priests whom the Babylonians call Chaldaeans. And since as a consequence he had the fullest experience of astrology and divination, he was wont to foretell the future unerringly to the people in general; therefore, being greatly admired for this gift, he also predicted to the general of the Medes, who was his friend, that it was certainly fated for him to be king over all the territory which was then held by Sardanapallus. 3 Arbaces, commending the man, promised to give him the satrapy of Babylonia when the affair should be consummated, and for his part, like a man elated by a message from some god, both entered into a league with the commanders of the other nations and assiduously invited them all to banquets and social gatherings, establishing thereby a friendship with each of them. 4 He was resolved also to see the king face to face and to observe his whole manner of life. Consequently he gave one of the eunuchs a golden bowl as a present and gained admittance to Sardanapallus; and when he had observed at close hand both his luxuriousness and his love of effeminate pursuits and practices, he despised the king as worthy of no consideration and was led all the more to cling to the hopes which had been held out to him by the Chaldaean. 5 And the conclusion of the matter was that he formed a conspiracy with Belesys, whereby he should himself move the Medes and Persians to revolt while the latter should persuade the Babylonians to join the undertaking and should secure the help of the commander of the Arabs, who was his friend, for the attempt to secure the supreme control.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.24.6  When the year's time of their service in the king's army had passed and, another force having arrived to replace them, the relieved men had been dismissed as usual to their homes, thereupon Arbaces persuaded the Medes to attack the Assyrian kingdom and the Persians to join in the conspiracy, on the condition of receiving their freedom. Belesys too in similar fashion both persuaded the Babylonians to strike for their freedom, and sending an embassy to Arabia, won over the commander of the people of that country, a friend of his who exchanged hospitality with him, to join in the attack. 7 And after a year's time all these leaders gathered a multitude of soldiers and came with all their forces to Ninus, ostensibly bringing up replacements, as was the custom, but in fact with the intention of destroying the empire of the Assyrians. 8 Now when these four nations had gathered into one place the whole number of them amounted to four hundred thousand men, and when they had assembled into one camp they took counsel together concerning the best plan to pursue.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.25.1  As for Sardanapallus, so soon as he became aware of the revolt, he led forth against the rebels the contingents which had come from the rest of the nations. And at first, when battle was joined on the plain, those who were making the revolt were defeated, and after heavy losses were pursued to a mountain which was seventy stades distant from Ninus; 2 but afterwards, when they came down again into the plain and were preparing for battle, Sardanapallus marshalled his army against them and despatched heralds to the camp of the enemy to make this proclamation: Sardanapallus will give two hundred talents of gold to anyone who slays Arbaces the Mede, and will make a present of twice that amount to anyone who delivers him up alive and will also appoint him governor over Media. 3 Likewise he promised to reward any who would either slay Belesys the Babylonian or take him alive. But since no man paid any attention to the proclamation, he joined battle, slew many of the rebels, and pursued the remainder of the multitude into their encampment in the mountains.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.25.4  Arbaces, having lost heart because of these defeats, now convened a meeting of his friends and called upon them to consider what should be done. 5 Now the majority said that they should retire to their respective countries, seize strong positions, and so far as possible prepare there whatever else would be useful for the war; but Belesys the Babylonian, by maintaining that the gods were promising them by signs that with labours and hardship they would bring their enterprise to a successful end, and encouraging them in every other way as much as he could, persuaded them all to remain to face further perils. 6 So there was a third battle, and again the king was victorious, captured the camp of the rebels, and pursued the defeated foe as far as the boundaries of Babylonia; and it also happened that Arbaces himself, who had fought most brilliantly and had slain many Assyrians, was wounded. 7 And now that the rebels had suffered defeats so decisive following one upon the other, their commanders, abandoning all hope of victory, were preparing to disperse each to his own country. 8 But Belesys, who had passed a sleepless night in the open and had devoted himself to the observation of the stars, said to those who had lost hope in their cause, If you will wait five days help will come of its own accord, and there will be a mighty change to the opposite in the whole situation; for from my long study of the stars I see the gods foretelling this to us. And he appealed to them to wait that many days and test his own skill and the good will of the gods.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.26.1  So after they had all been called back and had waited the stipulated time, there came a messenger with the news that a force which had been despatched from Bactriana to the king was near at hand, advancing with all speed. 2 Arbaces, accordingly, decided to go to meet their generals by the shortest route, taking along the best and most agile of his troops, so that, in case they should be unable to persuade the Bactrians by arguments to join in the revolt, they might resort to arms to force them to share with them in the same hopes. 3 But the outcome was that the new-comers gladly listened to the call to freedom, first the commanders and then the entire force, and they all encamped in the same place.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.26.4  It happened at this very time that the king of the Assyrians, who was unaware of the defection of the Bactrians and had become elated over his past successes, turned to indulgence and divided among his soldiers for a feast animals and great quantities of both wine and all other provisions. Consequently, since the whole army was carousing, Arbaces, learning from some deserters of the relaxation and drunkenness in the camp of the enemy, made his attack upon it unexpectedly in the night. 5 And as it was an assault of organized men upon disorganized and of ready men upon unprepared, they won possession of the camp, and after slaying many of the soldiers pursued the rest of them as far as the city. 6 After this the king named for the chief command Galaemenes, his wife's brother, and gave his own attention to the affairs within the city. But the rebels, drawing up their forces in the plain before the city, overcame the Assyrians in two battles, and they not only slew Galaemenes, but of the opposing forces they cut down some in their flight, while others, who had been shut out from entering the city and forced to leap into the Euphrates river, they destroyed almost to a man. 7 So great was the multitude of the slain that the water of the stream, mingled with the blood, was changed in colour over a considerable distance. Furthermore, now that the king was shut up in the city and besieged there, many of the nations revolted, going over in each case to the side of liberty.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.26.8  Sardanapallus, realizing that his entire kingdom was in the greatest danger, sent his three sons and two daughters together with much of his treasure to Paphlagonia to the governor Cotta, who was the most loyal of his subjects, while he himself, despatching letter-carriers to all his subjects, summoned forces and made preparations for the siege. 9 Now there was a prophecy which had come down to him from his ancestors: No enemy will ever take Ninus by storm unless the river shall first become the city's enemy. Assuming, therefore, that this would never be, he held out in hope, his thought being to endure the siege and await the troops which would be sent from his subjects.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.27.1  The rebels, elated at their successes, pressed the siege, but because of the strength of the walls they were unable to do any harm to the men in the city; for neither engines for throwing stones, nor shelters for sappers, nor battering-rams devised to overthrow walls had as yet been invented at that time. Moreover, the inhabitants of the city had a great abundance of all provisions, since the king had taken thought on that score. Consequently the siege dragged on, and for two years they pressed their attack, making assaults on the walls and preventing inhabitants of the city from going out into the country; but in the third year, after there had been heavy and continuous rains, it came to pass that the Euphrates, running very full, both inundated a portion of the city and broke down the walls for a distance of twenty stades. 2 At this the king, believing that the oracle had been fulfilled and that the river had plainly become the city's enemy, abandoned hope of saving himself. And in order that he might not fall into the hands of the enemy, he built an enormous pyre in his palace, heaped upon it all his gold and silver as well as every article of the royal wardrobe, and then, shutting his concubines and eunuchs in the room which had been built in the middle of the pyre, he consigned both them and himself and his palace to the flames. 3 The rebels, on learning of the death of Sardanapallus, took the city by forcing an entrance where the wall had fallen, and clothing Arbaces in the royal garb saluted him as king and put in his hands the supreme authority.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.28.1  Thereupon, after the new king had distributed among the generals who had aided him in the struggle gifts corresponding to their several deserts, and as he was appointing satraps over the nations, Belesys the Babylonian, who had foretold to Arbaces that he would be king of Asia, coming to him, reminded him of his good services, and asked that he be given the governorship of Babylonia, as had been promised at the outset. 2 He also explained that when their cause was endangered he had made a vow to Belus that, if Sardanapallus were defeated and his palace went up in flames, he would bring its ashes to Babylon, and depositing them near the river and the sacred precinct of the god he would construct a mound which, for all who sailed down the Euphrates, would stand as an eternal memorial of the man who had overthrown the rule of the Assyrians. 3 This request he made because he had learned from a certain eunuch, who had made his escape and come to Belesys and was kept hidden by him, of the facts regarding the silver and gold. 4 Now since Arbaces knew nothing of this, by reason of the fact that all the inmates of the palace had been burned along with the king, he allowed him both to carry the ashes away and to hold be able without the payment of tribute. Thereupon Belesys procured boats and at once sent off to Babylon along with the ashes practically all the silver and gold; and the king, having been informed of the act which Belesys had been caught perpetrating, appointed as judges the generals who had served with him in the war. 5 And when the accused acknowledged his guilt, the court sentenced him to death, but the king, being a magnanimous man and wishing to make his rule at the outset known for clemency, both freed Belesys from the danger threatening him and allowed him to keep the silver and gold which he had carried off; likewise, he did not even take from him the governorship over Babylon which had originally been given to him, saying that his former services were greater than his subsequent misdeeds. 6 When this act of clemency was noised about, he won no ordinary loyalty on the part of his subjects as well as renown among the nations, all judging that a man who had conducted himself in this wise towards wrongdoers was worthy of the kingship. 7 Arbaces, however, showing clemency towards the inhabitants of the city, settled them in villages and returned to each man his personal possessions, but the city he levelled to the ground. Then the silver and gold, amounting to many talents, which had been left in the pyre, he collected and took off to Ecbatana in Media.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.28.8  So the empire of the Assyrians, which had endured from the time of Ninus through thirty generations, for more than one thousand three hundred years, was destroyed by the Medes in the manner described above.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.29.1  But to us it seems not inappropriate to speak briefly of the Chaldaeans of Babylon and of their antiquity, that we may omit nothing which is worthy of record. 2 Now the Chaldaeans, belonging as they do to the most ancient inhabitants of Babylonia, have about the same position among the divisions of the state as that occupied by the priests of Egypt; for being assigned to the service of the gods they spend their entire life in study, their greatest renown being in the field of astrology. But they occupy themselves largely with soothsaying as well, making predictions about future events, and in some cases by purifications, in others by sacrifices, and in others by some other charms they attempt to effect the averting of evil things and the fulfilment of the good. 3 They are also skilled in soothsaying by the flight of birds, and they give out interpretations of both dreams and portents. They also show marked ability in making divinations from the observation of the entrails of animals, deeming that in this branch they are eminently successful.
The training which they receive in all these matters is not the same as that of the Greeks who follow such practices. 4 For among the Chaldaeans the scientific study of these subjects is passed down in the family, and son takes it over from father, being relieved of all other services in the state. Since, therefore, they have their parents for teachers, they not only are taught everything ungrudgingly but also at the same time they give heed to the precepts of their teachers with a most unwavering trust. Furthermore, since they are bred in these teachings from childhood up, they attain a great skill in them, both because of the ease with which youth is taught and because of the great amount of time which is devoted to this study.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.29.5  Among the Greeks, on the contrary, the student who takes up a large number of subjects without preparation turns to the higher studies only quite late, and then, after labouring upon them to some extent, gives them up, being distracted by the necessity of earning a livelihood; and but a few here and there really strip for the higher studies and continue in the pursuit of them as profit-making business, and these are always trying to make innovations in connection with the most important doctrines instead of following in the path of their predecessors. 6 The result of this is that the barbarians, by sticking to the same things always, keep a firm hold on every detail, while the Greeks, on the other hand, aiming at the profit to be made out of the business, keep founding new schools and, wrangling with each other over the most important matters of speculation, bring it about that their pupils hold conflicting views, and that their minds, vacillating throughout their lives and unable to believe at all with firm conviction, simply wander in confusion. It is at any rate true that, if a man were to examine carefully the most famous schools of the philosophers, he would find them differing from one another to the uttermost degree and maintaining opposite opinions regarding the most fundamental tenets.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.30.1  Now, as the Chaldaeans say, the world is by its nature eternal, and neither had a first beginning nor will at a later time suffer destruction; furthermore, both the disposition and the orderly arrangement of the universe have come about by virtue of a divine providence, and today whatever takes place in the heavens is in every instance brought to pass, not at haphazard nor by virtue of any spontaneous action, but by some fixed and firmly determined divine decision. 2 And since they have observed the stars over a long period of time and have noted both the movements and the influences of each of them with greater precision than any other men, they foretell to mankind many things that will take place in the future. 3 But above all in importance, they say, is the study of the influence of the five stars known as planets, which they call Interpreters when speaking of them as a group, but if referring to them singly, the one named Cronus by the Greeks, which is the most conspicuous and presages more events and such as are of greater importance than the others, they call the star of Helius, whereas the other four they designate as the stars of Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, and Zeus, as do our astrologers. 4 The reason why they call them Interpreters is that whereas all the other stars are fixed and follow a singular circuit in a regular course, these alone, by virtue of following each its own course, point out future events, thus interpreting to mankind the design of the gods. For sometimes by their risings, sometimes by their settings, and again by their colour, the Chaldaeans say, they give signs of coming events to such as are willing to observe them closely; 5 for at one time they show forth mighty storms of winds, at another excessive rains or heat, at times the appearance of comets, also eclipses of both sun and moon, and earthquakes, and in a word all the conditions which owe their origin to the atmosphere and work both benefits and harm, not only to whole peoples or regions, but also to kings and to persons of private station.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.30.6  Under the course in which these planets move are situated, according to them, thirty stars, which they designate as counselling gods; of these one half oversee the regions above the earth and the other half those beneath the earth, having under their purview the affairs of mankind and likewise those of the heavens; and every ten days one of the stars above is sent as a messenger, so to speak, to the stars below, and again in like manner one of the stars below the earth to those above, and this movement of theirs is fixed and determined by means of an orbit which is unchanging for ever. 7 Twelve of these gods, they say, hold chief authority, and to each of these the Chaldaeans assign a month and one of the signs of the zodiac, as they are called. And through the midst of these signs, they say, both the sun and moon and the five planets make their course, the sun completing his cycle in a year and the moon traversing her circuit in a month.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.31.1  Each of the planets, according to them, has its own particular course, and its velocities and periods of time are subject to change and variation. These stars it is which exert the greatest influence for both good and evil upon the nativity of men; and it is chiefly from the nature of these planets and the study of them that they know what is in store for mankind. 2 And they have made predictions, they say, not only to numerous other kings, but also to Alexander, who defeated Darius, and to Antigonus and Seleucus Nicator who afterwards became kings, and in all their prophecies they are thought to have hit the truth. But of these things we shall write in detail on a more appropriate occasion. 3 Moreover, they also foretell to men in private station what will befall them, and with such accuracy that those who have made trial of them marvel at the feat and believe that it transcends the power of man.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.31.4  Beyond the circle of the zodiac they designate twenty-four other stars, of which one half, they say, are situated in the northern parts and one half in the southern, and of these those which are visible they assign to the world of the living, allow those which are invisible they regard as being adjacent to the dead, and so they call them Judges of the Universe. 5 And under all the stars hitherto mentioned the moon, according to them, takes her way, being nearest the earth because of her weight and completing her course in a very brief period of time, not by reason of her great velocity, but because her orbit is so short. 6 They also agree with the Greeks in saying that her light is reflected and that her eclipses are due to the shadow of the earth. Regarding the eclipse of the sun, however, they offer the weakest kind of explanation, and do not presume to predict it or to define the times of its occurrence with any precision. 7 Again, in connection with the earth they make assertions entirely peculiar to themselves, saying that it is shaped like a boat and hollow, and they offer many plausible arguments about both the earth and all other bodies in the firmament, a full discussion of which we feel would be alien to our history. 8 This point, however, a man may fittingly maintain, that the Chaldaeans have of all men the greatest grasp of astrology, and that they bestowed the greatest diligence upon the study of it. 9 But as to the number of years which, according to their statements, the order of the Chaldaeans has spent on the study of the bodies of the universe, a man can scarcely believe them; for they reckon that, down to Alexander's crossing over into Asia, it has been four hundred and seventy-three thousand years, since they began in early times to make their observations of the stars.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.31.10  So far as the Chaldaeans are concerned we shall be satisfied with what has been said, that we may not wander too far from the matter proper to our history; and now that we have given an account of the destruction of the kingdom of the Assyrians by the Medes we shall return to the point at which we digressed.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.32.1  Since the earliest writers of history are at variance concerning the mighty empire of the Medes, we feel that it is incumbent upon those who would write the history of events with a love for truth to set forth side by side the different accounts of the historians. 2 Now Herodotus, who lived in the time of Xerxes, gives this account: After the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, were administered in a democratic fashion; finally, however, after many years a man distinguished for his justice, named Cyaxares, was chosen king among the Medes. 3 He was the first to try to attach to himself the neighbouring peoples and became for the Medes the founder of their universal empire; and after him his descendants extended the kingdom by continually adding a great deal of the adjoining country, until the reign of Astyages worth was conquered by Cyrus and the Persians. We have for the present given only the most important of these events in summary and shall later give a detailed account of them one by one when we come to the periods in which they fall; for it was in the second year of the Seventeenth Olympiad, according to Herodotus, that Cyaxares was chosen king by the Medes.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 2.32.4  Ctesias of Cnidus, on the other hand, lived during the time when Cyrus made his expedition against Artaxerxes his brother, and having been made prisoner and then retained by Artaxerxes because of his medical knowledge, he enjoyed a position of honour with him for seventeen years. Now Ctesias says that from the royal records, in which the Persians in accordance with a certain law of theirs kept an account of their ancient affairs, he carefully investigated the facts about each king, and when he had composed his history he published it to the Greeks. 5 This, then, is his account: After the destruction of the Assyrian Empire the Medes were the chief power in Asia under their king Arbaces, who conquered Sardanapallus, as has been told before. 6 And when he had reigned twenty-eight years his son Maudaces succeeded to the throne and reigned over Asia fifty years. After him Sosarmus ruled for thirty years, Artycas for fifty, the king known as Arbianes for twenty-two, and Artaeus for forty years.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.33.1  During the reign of Artaeus a great war broke out between the Medes and the Cadusii, for the following reasons. Parsondes, a Persian, a man renowned for his valour and intelligence and every other virtue, was both a friend of the king's and the most influential of the members of the royal council. 2 Feeling himself aggrieved by the king in a certain decision, he fled with three thousand foot-soldiers and a thousand horsemen to the Cadusii, to one of whom, the most influential man in those parts, he had given his sister in marriage. 3 And now that he had become a rebel, he persuaded the entire people to vindicate their freedom and was chosen general because of his valour. Then, learning that a great force was being gathered against him, he armed the whole nation of the Cadusii and pitched his camp before the passes leading into the country, having a force of no less than two hundred thousand men all told. 4 And although the king Artaeus advanced against him with eight hundred thousand soldiers, Parsondes defeated him in battle and slew more than fifty thousand of his followers, and drove the rest of the army out of the country of the Cadusii. And for this exploit he was so admired by the people of the land that he was chosen king, and he plundered Media without ceasing and laid waste every district of the country. 5 And after he had attained great fame and was about to die of old age, he called to his side his successor to the throne and required of him an oath that the Cadusii should never put an end to their enmity towards the Medes, adding that, if peace were ever made with them, it meant the destruction of his line and of the whole race of the Cadusii. 6 These, then, were the reasons why the Cadusii were always inveterate enemies of the Medes, and had never been subjected to the Median kings up to the time when Cyrus transferred the Empire of the Medes to the Persians.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.34.1  After the death of Artaeus, Ctesias continues, Artynes ruled over the Medes for twenty-two years, and Astibaras for forty. During the reign of the latter the Parthians revolted from the Medes and entrusted both their country and their city to the hands of the Sacae. 2 This led to a war between the Sacae and the Medes, which lasted many years, and after no small number of battles and the loss of many lives on both sides, they finally agreed to peace on the following terms, that the Parthians should be subject to the Medes, but that both peoples should retain their former possessions and be friends and allies for ever.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.34.3  At that time the Sacae were ruled by a woman named Zarina, who was devoted to warfare and was in daring and efficiency by far the foremost of the women of the Sacae. Now this people, in general, have courageous women who share with their husbands the dangers of war, but she, it is said, was the most conspicuous of them all for her beauty and remarkable as well in respect to both her designs and whatever she undertook. 4 For she subdued such of the neighbouring barbarian peoples as had become proud because of their boldness and were trying to enslave the people of the Sacae, and into much of her own realm she introduced civilized life, founded not a few cities, and, in a word, made the life of her people happier. 5 Consequently her countrymen after her death, in gratitude for her benefactions and in remembrance of her virtues, built her a tomb which was far the largest of any in their land; for they erected a triangular pyramid, making the length of each side three stades and the height one stade, and bringing it to a point at the top; and on the tomb they also placed a colossal gilded statue of her and accorded her the honours belonging to heroes, and all the other honours they bestowed upon her were more magnificent than those which had fallen to the lot of her ancestors.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.34.6  When, Ctesias continues, Astibaras, the king of the Medes, died of old age in Ecbatana, his son Aspandas, whom the Greeks call Astyages, succeeded to the throne. And when he had been defeated by Cyrus the Persian, the kingdom passed to the Persians. Of them we shall give a detailed and exact account at the proper time.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.34.7  Concerning the kingdoms of the Assyrians and of the Medes, and concerning the disagreement in the accounts of the historians, we consider that enough has been said; now we shall discuss India and then, in turn, recount the legends of that land.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.35.1  Now India is four-sided in shape and the side which faces east and that which faces south are embraced by the Great Sea, while that which faces north is separated by the Emodus range of mountains from that part of Scythia which is inhabited by the Scythians known as the Sacae; and the fourth side, which is turned towards the west, is marked off by the river known as the Indus, which is the largest of all streams after the Nile. 2 As for its magnitude, India as a whole, they say, extends from east to west twenty-eight thousand stades, and from north to south thirty-two thousand. And because it is of such magnitude, it is believed to take in a great extent of the sun's course in summer than any other part of the world, and in many places at the Cape of India the gnomons of sundials may be seen which do not cast a shadow, while at night the Bears are not visible; in the most southerly parts not even Arcturus can be seen, and indeed in that region, they say, the shadows fall towards the south.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.35.3  Now India has many lofty mountains that abound in fruit trees of every variety, and many large and fertile plains, which are remarkable for their beauty and are supplied with water by a multitude of rivers. The larger part of the country is well watered and for this reason yields two crops each year; and it abounds in all kinds of animals, remarkable for their great size and strength, land animals as well as birds. 4 It also breeds elephants both in the greatest numbers and of the largest size, providing them with sustenance in abundance, and it is because of this food that the elephants of this land are much more powerful than those produced in Libya; consequently large numbers of them are made captive by the Indians and trained for warfare, and it is found that they play a great part in turning the scale to victory.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.36.1  The same is true of the inhabitants also, the abundant supply of food making them of unusual height and bulk of body; and another result is that they are skilled in the arts, since they breathe a pure air and drink water of the finest quality. 2 And the earth, in addition to producing every fruit which admits of cultivation, also contains rich underground veins of every kind of ore; for there are found in it much silver and gold, not a little copper and iron, and tin also and whatever else is suitable for adornment, necessity, and the trappings of war. 3 In addition to the grain of Demeter there grows throughout India much millet, which is irrigated by the abundance of running water supplied by the rivers, pulse in large quantities and of superior quality, rice also and the plant called bosporos, and in addition to these many more plants which are useful for food; and most of these are native to the country. It also yields not a few other edible fruits, that are able to sustain animal life, but to write about them would be a long task.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.36.4  This is the reason, they say, why a famine has never visited India or, in general, any scarcity of what is suitable for gentle fare. For since there are two rainy seasons in the country each year, during the winter rains the sowing is made of the wheat crop as among other peoples, while in the second, which comes at the summer solstice, it is the general practice to plant the rice and bosporos, as well as sesame and millet; and in most years the Indians are successful in both crops, and they never lose everything, since the fruit of one or the other sowing comes to maturity. 5 The fruits also which flourish wild and the roots which grow in the marshy places, by reason of their remarkable sweetness, provide the people with a great abundance of food. For practically all the plains of India enjoy the sweet moisture from the rivers and from the rains which come with astonishing regularity, in a kind of fixed cycle, every year in the summer, since warm showers fall in abundance from the enveloping atmosphere and the heat ripens the roots in the marshes, especially those of the tall reeds. 6 Furthermore, the customs of the Indians contribute towards there never being any lack of food among them; for whereas in the case of all the rest of mankind their enemies ravage the land and cause it to remain uncultivated, yet among the Indians the workers of the soil are let alone as sacred and inviolable, and such of them as labour near the battle-lines have no feeling of the dangers. 7 For although both parties to the war kill one another in their hostilities, yet they leave uninjured those who are engaged in tilling the soil, considering that they are the common benefactors of all, nor do they burn the lands of their opponents or cut down their orchards.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.37.1  The land of the Indians has also many large navigable rivers which have their sources in the mountains lying to the north and then flow through the level country; and not a few of these unite and empty into the river known as the Ganges. 2 This river, which is thirty stades in width, flows from north to south and empties into the ocean, forming the boundary towards the east of the tribe of the Gandaridae, which possesses the greatest number of elephants and the largest in size. 3 Consequently no foreign king has ever subdued this country, all alien nations being fearful of both the multitude and the strength of the beasts. In fact even Alexander of Macedon, although he had subdued all Asia, refrained from making war upon the Gandaridae alone of all peoples; for when he had arrived at the Ganges river with his entire army, after his conquest of the rest of the Indians, upon learning that the Gandaridae had four thousand elephants equipped for war he gave up his campaign against them.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.37.4  The river which is nearly the equal of the Ganges and is called the Indus rises like the Ganges in the north, but as it empties into the ocean forms a boundary of India; and in its course through an expanse of level plain it receives not a few navigable rivers, the most notable being the Hypanis, Hydaspes, and Acesinus. 5 And in addition to these three rivers a vast number of others of every description traverse the country and bring it about that the land is planted in many gardens and crops of every description. Now for the multitude of rivers and the exceptional supply of water the philosophers and students of nature among them advance the following cause: 6 The countries which surround India, they say, such as Scythia, Bactria, and Ariana, are higher than India, and so it is reasonable to assume that the waters which come together from every side into the country lying below them, gradually cause the regions to become soaked and to generate a multitude of rivers. 7 And a peculiar thing happens in the case of one of the rivers of India, known as the Silla, which flows from a spring of the same name; for it is the only river in the world possessing the characteristic that nothing cast into it floats, but that everything, strange to say, sinks to the bottom.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.38.1  Now India as a whole, being of a vast extent, is inhabited, as we are told, by many other peoples of every description, and not one of them had its first origin in a foreign land, but all of them are thought to be autochthonous; it never receives any colony from abroad nor has it ever sent one to any other people. 2 According to their myths the earliest human beings used for food the fruits of the earth which grew wild, and for clothing the skins of the native animals, as was done by the Greeks. Similarly too the discovery of the several arts and of all other things which are useful for life was made gradually, necessity itself showing the way to a creature which was well endowed by nature and had, as its assistants for every purpose, hands and speech and sagacity of mind.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.38.3  The most learned men among the Indians recount a myth which it may be appropriate to set forth in brief form. This, then, is what they say: In the earliest times, when the inhabitants of their land were still dwelling in scattered clan-villages, Dionysus came to them from the regions to the west of them with a notable army; and he traversed all India, since there was as yet no notable city which would have been able to oppose him. 4 But when an oppressive heat came and the soldiers of Dionysus were being consumed by a pestilential sickness, this leader, who was conspicuous for his wisdom, led his army out of the plains into the hill-country; here, where cool breezes blew and the spring waters flowed pure at their very sources, the army got rid of its sickness. The name of this region of the hill-country, where Dionysus relieved his forces of the sickness, is Meros; and it is because of this fact that the Greeks have handed down to posterity in their account of this god the story that Dionysus was nourished in a thigh (meros).

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.38.5  After this he took in hand the storing of the fruits and shared this knowledge with the Indians, and he communicated to them the discovery of wine and of all the other things useful for life. Furthermore, he became the founder of notable cities by gathering the villages together in well-situated regions, and he both taught them to honour the deity and introduced laws and courts; and, in brief, since he had been the introducer of many good works he was regarded as a god and received immortal honours. 6 They also recount that he carried along with his army a great number of women, and that when he joined battle in his wars he used the sounds of drums and cymbals, since the trumpet had not yet been discovered. And after he had reigned over all India for fifty-two years he died of old age. His sons, who succeeded to the sovereignty, passed the rule on successively to their descendants; but finally, many generations later, their sovereignty was dissolved and the cities received a democratic form of government.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.39.1  As for Dionysus, then, and his descendants, such is the myth as it is related by the inhabitants of the hill-country of India. And with regard to Heracles they say that he was born among them and they assign to him, in common with the Greeks, both the club and the lion's skin. 2 Moreover, as their account tells us, he was far superior to all other men in strength of body and in courage, and cleared both land and sea of their wild beasts. And marrying several wives, he begot many sons, but only one daughter; and when his sons attained to manhood, dividing all India into as many parts as he had male children, he appointed all his sons kings, and rearing his single daughter he appointed her also a queen. 3 Likewise, he became the founder of not a few cities, the most renowned and largest of which he called Palibothra. In this city he also constructed a costly palace and settled a multitude of inhabitants, and he fortified it with remarkable ditches which were filled with water from the river. 4 And when Heracles passed from among men he received immortal honour, but his descendants, though they held the kingship during many generations and accomplished notable deeds, made no campaign beyond their own frontiers and despatched no colony to any other people. But many years later most of the cities had received a democratic form of government, although among certain tribes the kingship endured until the time when Alexander crossed over into Asia.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.39.5  As for the customs of the Indians which are peculiar to them, a man may consider one which was drawn up by their ancient wise men to be the most worthy of admiration; for the law has ordained that under no circumstances shall anyone among them be a slave, but that all shall be free and respect the principle of equality in all persons. For those, they think, who have learned neither to domineer over others nor to subject themselves to others will enjoy a manner of life best suited to all circumstances; since it is silly to make laws on the basis of equality for all persons, and yet to establish inequalities in social intercourse.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.40.1  The whole multitude of the Indians is divided into seven castes, the first of which is formed of the order of the philosophers, which in number is smaller than the rest of the castes, but in dignity ranks first. For being exempt from any service to the state the philosophers are neither the masters nor the servants of the others. 2 But they are called upon by the private citizens both to offer the sacrifices which are required in their lifetime and to perform the rites for the dead, as having proved themselves to be most dear to the gods and as being especially experienced in the matters that relate to the underworld, and for this service they receive both notable gifts and honours. Moreover, they furnish great services to the whole body of the Indians, since they are invited at the beginning of the year to the Great Synod and foretell to the multitude droughts and rains, as well as the favourable blowing of winds, and epidemics, and whatever else can be of aid to their auditors. 3 For both the common folk and the king, by learning in advance what is going to take place, store up from time to time that of which there will be a shortage and prepare beforehand from time to time anything that will be needed. And the philosopher who has erred in his predictions is subjected to no other punishment than obloquy and keeps silence for the remainder of his life.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.40.4  The second caste is that of the farmers, who, it would appear, are far more numerous than the rest. These, being exempt from war duties and every other service to the state, devote their entire time to labour in the fields; and no enemy, coming upon a farmer in the country, would think of doing him injury, but they look upon the farmers as common benefactors and therefore refrain from every injury to them. 5 Consequently the land, remaining as it does unravaged and being laden with fruits, provides the inhabitants with a great supply of provisions. And the farmers spend their lives upon the land with their children and wives and refrain entirely from coming down into the city. For the land they pay rent to the kind, since all India is royal land and no man of private station is permitted to possess any ground; and apart from the rental they pay a fourth part into the royal treasury.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.40.6  The third division is that of the neatherds and shepherds, and, in general, of all the herdsmen who do not dwell in a city or village but spend their lives in tents; and these men are also hunters and rid the country of both birds and wild beasts. And since they are practised in this calling and follow it with zest they are bringing India under cultivation, although it still abounds in many wild beasts and birds of every kind, which eat up the seeds sown by the farmers.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.41.1  The fourth caste is that of the artisans; of these some are armourers and some fabricate for the farmers or certain others the things useful for the services they perform. And they are not only exempt from paying taxes but they even receive rations from the royal treasury.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.41.2  The fifth caste is that of the military, which is at hand in case of war; they are second in point of number and indulge to the fullest in relaxation and pastimes in the periods of peace. And the maintenance of the whole multitude of the soldiers and of the horses and elephants for use in war is met out of the royal treasury.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.41.3  The sixth caste is that of the inspectors. These men inquire into and inspect everything that is going on throughout India, and report back to the kings or, in case the state to which they are attached has no king, to the magistrates.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.41.4  The seventh caste is that of the deliberators and chancellors, whose concern is with the decisions which affect the common welfare. In point of number this group is the smallest, but in nobility of birth and wisdom the most worthy of admiration; for from their body are drawn the advisers for the kings and the administrators of the affairs of state and the judges of disputes, and, speaking generally, they take their leaders and magistrates from among these men.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.41.5  Such in general terms are the groups into which the body politic of the Indians is divided. Furthermore, no one is allowed to marry a person of another caste or to follow another calling or trade, as, for instance, that one who is a soldier should become a farmer, or an artisan should become a philosopher.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.42.1  The country of the Indians also possesses a vast number of enormous elephants, which far surpass all others both in strength and size. Nor does this animal cover the female in a peculiar manner, as some say, but in the same way as horses and all other four-footed beasts; and their period of gestation is in some cases sixteen months at the least and in other cases eighteen months at the most. 2 They bring forth, like horses, but one young for the most part, and the females suckle their young for six years. The span of life for most of them is about that of men who attain the greatest age, though some which have reached the highest age have lived two hundred years.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.42.3  There are among the Indians also magistrates appointed for foreigners who take care that no foreigner shall be wronged; moreover, should any foreigner fall sick they bring him a physician and care for him in every other way, and if he dies they bury him and even turn over such property as he has to his relatives. 4 Again, their judges examine accurately matters of dispute and proceed rigorously against such as are guilty of wrongdoing. As for India, then, and its antiquities we shall be satisfied with what has been said.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.43.1  But now, in turn, we shall discuss the Scythians who inhabit the country bordering upon India. This people originally possessed little territory, but later, as they gradually increased in power, they seized much territory by reason of their deeds of might and their bravery and advanced their nation to great leadership and renown. 2 At first, then, they dwelt on the Araxes river, altogether few in number and despised because of their lack of renown; but since one of their early kings was warlike and of unusual skill as a general they acquired territory, in the mountains as far as the Caucasus, and in the steppes along the ocean and Lake Maeotis and the rest of that country as far as the Tanais river.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.43.3  At a later time, as the Scythians recount the myth, there was born among them a maiden sprung from the earth; the upper parts of her body as far as her waist were those of a woman, but the lower parts were those of a snake. With her Zeus lay begat a son whose name was Scythes. This son became more famous than any who had preceded him and called the folk Scythians after his own name. Now among the descendants of this king there were two brothers who were distinguished for their valour, the one named Palus and the other Napes. 4 And since these two performed renowned deeds and divided the kingship between them, some of the people were called Pali after one of them and some Napae after the other. But some time later the descendants of these kings, because of their unusual valour and skill as generals, subdued much of the territory beyond the Tanais river as far as Thrace, and advancing with their armies to the other side they extended their power as far as the Nile in Egypt. 5 And after enslaving many great peoples which lay between the Thracians and the Egyptians they advanced the empire of the Scythians on the one side as far as the ocean to the east, and on the other side to the Caspian Sea and Lake Maeotis; for this people increased to great strength and had notable kings, one of whom gave his name to the Sacae, another to the Massagetae, another to the Arimaspi, and several other tribes received their names in like manner. 6 It was by these kings that many of the conquered peoples were removed to other homes, and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed of Assyrians and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and Pontus, and the other was drawn from Media and planted along the Tanais, its people receiving the name Sauromatae. 7 Many years later this people became powerful and ravaged a large part of Scythia, and destroying utterly all whom they subdued they turned most of the land into a desert.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.44.1  After these events there came in Scythia a period of revolutions, in which the sovereigns were women endowed with exceptional valour. For among these peoples the women train for war just as do the men and in acts of manly valour are in no wise inferior to the men. Consequently distinguished women have been the authors of many great deeds, not in Scythia alone, but also in the territory bordering upon it. 2 For instance, when Cyrus the king of the Persians, the mightiest ruler of his day, made a campaign with a vast army into Scythia, the queen of the Scythians not only cut the army of the Persians to pieces but she even took Cyrus prisoner and crucified him; and the nation of the Amazons, after it was once organized, was so distinguished for its manly prowess that it not only overran much of the neighbouring territory but even subdued a large part of Europe and Asia. 3 But for our part, since we have mentioned the Amazons, we feel that it is not foreign to our purpose to discuss them, even though what we shall say will be so marvellous that it will resemble a tale from mythology.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.45.1  Now in the country along the Thermodon river, as the account goes, the sovereignty was in the hands of a people among whom the women held the supreme power, and its women performed the services of war just as did the men. Of these women one, who possessed the royal authority, was remarkable for her prowess in war and her bodily strength, and gathering together an army of women she drilled it in the use of arms and subdued in war some of the neighbouring peoples. 2 And since her valour and fame increased, she made war upon people after people of neighbouring lands, and as the tide of her fortune continued favourable, she was so filled with pride that she gave herself the appellation of Daughter of Ares; but to the men she assigned the spinning of wool and such other domestic duties as belong to women. Laws were also established by her, by virtue of which she led forth the women to the contests of war, but upon the men she fastened humiliation and slavery. 3 And as for their children, they mutilated both the legs and the arms of the males, incapacitating them in this way for the demands of war, and in the case of the females they seared the right breast that it might not project when their bodies matured and be in the way; and it is for this reason that the nation of the Amazons received the appellation it bears. 4 In general, this queen was remarkable for her intelligence and ability as a general, and she founded a great city named Themiscyra at the mouth of the Thermodon river and built there a famous palace; furthermore, in her campaigns she devoted much attention to military discipline and at the outset subdued all her neighbours as far as the Tanais river. 5 And this queen, they say, accomplished the deeds which have been mentioned, and fighting brilliantly in a certain battle she ended her life heroically.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.46.1  The daughter of this queen, the account continues, on succeeding to the throne emulated the excellence of her mother, and even surpassed her in some particular deeds. For instance, she exercised in the chase the maidens from their earliest girlhood and drilled them daily in the arts of war, and she also established magnificent festivals both to Ares and to the Artemis who is called Tauropolus. 2 Then she campaigned against the territory lying beyond the Tanais and subdued all the peoples one after another as far as Thrace; and returning to her native land with much booty she built magnificent shrines to the deities mentioned above, and by reason of her kindly rule over her subjects received from them the greatest approbation. She also campaigned on the other side and subdued a large part of Asia and extended her power as far as Syria.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.46.3  After the death of this queen, as their account continues, women of her family, succeeding to the queenship from time to time, ruled with distinction and advanced the nation of the Amazons in both power and fame. And many generations after these events, when the excellence of these women had been noised abroad through the whole inhabited world, they say that Heracles, the son of Alcmene and Zeus, was assigned by Eurystheus the Labour of securing the girdle of Hippolyte the Amazon. 4 Consequently he embarked on this campaign, and coming off victorious in a great battle he not only cut to pieces the army of the Amazons but also, after taking captive Hippolyte together with her girdle, completely crushed this nation. Consequently the neighbouring barbarians, despising the weakness of this people and remembering against them their past injuries, waged continuous wars against the nation to such a degree that they left in existence not even the name of the race of the Amazons. 5 For a few years after the campaign of Heracles against them, they say, during the time of the Trojan War, Penthesileia, the queen of the surviving Amazons, who was a daughter of Ares and had slain one of her kindred, fled from her native land because of the sacrilege. And fighting as an ally of the Trojans after the death of Hector she slew many of the Greeks, and after gaining distinction in the struggle she ended her life heroically at the hands of Achilles. 6 Now they say that Penthesileia was the last of the Amazons to win distinction for bravery and that for the future the race diminished more and more and then lost all its strength; consequently in later times, whenever any writers recount their prowess, men consider the ancient stories about the Amazons to be fictitious tales.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.47.1  Now for our part, since we have seen fit to make mention of the regions of Asia which lie to the north, we feel that it will not be foreign to our purpose to discuss the legendary accounts of the Hyperboreans. Of those who have written about the ancient myths, Hecataeus and certain others say that in the regions beyond the land of the Celts there lies in the ocean an island no smaller than Sicily. This island, the account continues, is situated in the north and is inhabited by the Hyperboreans, who are called by that name because their home is beyond the point whence the north wind (Boreas) blows; and the island is both fertile and productive of every crop, and since it has an unusually temperate climate it produces two harvests each year. 2 Moreover, the following legend is told concerning it: Leto was born on this island, and for that reason Apollo is honoured among them above all other gods; and the inhabitants are looked upon as priests of Apollo, after a manner, since daily they praise this god continuously in song and honour him exceedingly. And there is also on the island both a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is spherical in shape. 3 Furthermore, a city is there which is sacred to this god, and the majority of its inhabitants are players on the cithara; and these continually play on this instrument in the temple and sing hymns of praise to the god, glorifying his deeds.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.47.4  The Hyperboreans also have a language, we informed, which is peculiar to them, and are most friendly disposed towards the Greeks, and especially towards the Athenians and the Delians, who have inherited this good-will from most ancient times. The myth also relates that certain Greeks visited the Hyperboreans and left behind them there costly votive offerings bearing inscriptions in Greek letters. 5 And in the same way Abaris, a Hyperborean, came to Greece in ancient times and renewed the good-will and kinship of his people to the Delians. They say also that the moon, as viewed from this island, appears to be but a little distance from the earth and to have upon it prominences, like those of the earth, which are visible to the eye. 6 The account is also given that the god visits the island every nineteen years, the period in which the return of the stars to the same place in the heavens is accomplished; and for this reason the nineteen-year period is called by the Greeks the year of Meton. At the time of this appearance of the god he both plays on the cithara and dances continuously the night through from the vernal equinox until the rising of the Pleiades, expressing in this manner his delight in his successes. And the kings of this city and the supervisors of the sacred precinct are called Boreadae, since they are descendants of Boreas, and the succession to these positions is always kept in their family.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.48.1  But now that we have examined these matters we shall turn our account to the other parts of Asia which have not yet been described, and more especially to Arabia. This land is situated between Syria and Egypt, and is divided among many peoples of diverse characteristics. Now the eastern parts are inhabited by Arabs, who bear the name of Nabataeans and range over a country which is partly desert and partly waterless, though a small section of it is fruitful. 2 And they lead a life of brigandage, and overrunning a large part of the neighbouring territory they pillage it, being difficult to overcome in war. For in the waterless region, as it is called, they have dug wells at convenient intervals and have kept the knowledge of them hidden from the peoples of all other nations, and so they retreat in a body into this region out of danger. 3 For since they themselves know about the places of hidden water and open them up, they have for their use drinking water in abundance; but such other peoples as pursue them, being in want of a watering-place by reason of their ignorance of the wells, in some cases perish because of the lack of water and in other cases regain their native land in safety only with difficulty and after suffering many ills. 4 Consequently the Arabs who inhabit this country, being difficult to overcome in war, remain always unenslaved; furthermore, they never at any time accept a man of another country as their over-lord and continuous to maintain their liberty unimpaired. 5 Consequently neither the Assyrians of old, nor the kings of the Medes and Persians, nor yet those of the Macedonians have been able to enslave them, and although they led many great forces against them, they never brought their attempts to a successful conclusion.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.48.6  There is also in the land of the Nabataeans a rock, which is exceedingly strong since it has but one approach, and using this ascent they mount it a few at a time and thus store their possessions in safety. And a large lake is also there which produces asphalt in abundance, and from it they derive not a little revenue. 7 It has a length of about five hundred stades and a width of about sixty, and its water is so ill-smelling and so very bitter that it cannot support fish or any of the other animals which commonly live in water. And although great rivers of remarkable sweetness empty into it, the lake gets the better of them by reason of its evil smell, and from its centre it spouts forth once a year a great mass of asphalt, which sometimes extends for more than three plethra, and sometimes for only two; and when this occurs the barbarians who live about the lake usually call the larger flow a bull and to the smaller one they give the name calf. 8 Since the asphalt floats on the surface of the lake, to those who view it from a distance it takes the appearance of an island. And the fact is that the emission of the asphalt is made known to the natives twenty days before it takes place; for to a distance of many stades around the lake the odour, borne on the wind, assails them, and every piece of silver and gold and brass in the locality loses it characteristic lustre. But this returns again as soon as all the asphalt has been spouted forth; and the region round about, by reason of its being exposed to fire and to the evil odours, renders the bodies of the inhabitants susceptible to disease and makes the people very short-lived. 9 Yet the land is good for the growing of palms, wherever it happens to be traversed by rivers with usable water or to be supplied with springs which can irrigate it. And there is also found in these regions in a certain valley the balsam tree, as it is called, from which they receive a substantial revenue, since this tree is found nowhere else in the inhabited world and the use of it for medicinal purposes is most highly valued by physicians.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.49.1  That part of Arabia which borders upon the waterless and desert country is so different from it that, because both of the multitude of fruits which grow therein and of its other good things, it has been called Arabia Felix. 2 For the reed and the rush and every other growth that has a spicy scent are produced in great abundance, as is also, speaking generally, every kind of fragrant substance which is derived from leaves, and the land is distinguished in its several parts by the varied odours of the gums which drip from them; for myrrh and that frankincense which is most dear to the gods and is exported throughout the entire inhabited world are produced in the farthest parts of this land. 3 And kostos and cassia and cinnamon and all other plants of this nature grow there in fields and thickets of such depth that what all other peoples sparingly place upon the altars of the gods is actually used by them as fuel under their pots, and what is found among all other peoples in small specimens there supplies material for the mattresses of the servants in their homes. Moreover, the cinnamon, as it is called, which is exceptionally useful, and resin of the pine, and the terebinth, are produced in these regions in great abundance and of sweet odour. 4 And in the mountains grow not only silver fir and pine in abundance, but also cedar and the Phoenician cedar in abundance and boraton, as it is called. There are also many other kinds of fruit-bearing plants of sweet odour, which yield sap and fragrances most pleasing to such as approach them. Indeed the very earth itself is by its nature full of a vapour which is like sweet incense. 5 Consequently, in certain regions of Arabia, when the earth is dug up, there are discovered veins of sweet odour, in the working of which quarries of extraordinary magnitude are formed; and from these they gather stones and build their houses. And as for their houses, whenever rain drops from the enveloping atmosphere, that part which is melted down by the moisture flows into the joints of the stones and hardening there makes the walls solid throughout.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.50.1  There is also mined in Arabia the gold called fireless, which is not smelted from ores, as is done among all other peoples, but is dug out directly from the earth; it is found in nuggets about the size of chestnuts, and is so fiery-red in colour that when it is used by artisans as a setting for the most precious gems it makes the fairest of adornments. There is also in the land such a multitude of herds that many tribes which have chosen a nomad life are able to fare right well, experiencing no want of grain but being provided for in abundance by their herds. That part of the country which borders upon Syria breeds a multitude of fierce wild beasts; for the lions and leopards there are far more numerous and larger and superior in ferocity as compared with those of Libya, and in addition to these there are the Babylonian tigers, as they are called. 3 And it produces animals which are of double form and mingled in their natures, to which belong the struthocameli, which, as their name implies, embrace in their form the compound of a bird and of a camel. For in size they are like a newly-born camel, but their heads bristle with fine hair, and their eyes are large and black, indistinguishable in general appearance and colour from those of the camel. 4 It is also long-necked and has a beak which is very short and contracted to a sharp point. And since it his wings with feathers which are covered with a fine hair, and is supported upon two legs and on feet with cloven hoofs, it has the appearance of a land animal as well as of a bird. 5 But being unable by reason of its weight to raise itself in the air and to fly, it swiftly skims over the land, and when pursued by hunters on horseback with its feet it hurls stones as from a sling upon its pursuers, and with such force that they often receive severe wounds. 6 And whenever it is overtaken and surrounded, it hides its head in a bush or some such shelter, not, as some men suppose, because of its folly and stupidity of spirit, as if it thought that since it could not see the others it could not itself be seen by others either, but because its head is the weakest part of its body it seeks a shelter for it in order to save its life; 7 for Nature is an excellent instructor of all animals for the preservation not only of their own lives but also of their offspring, since by planting in them an innate love of life she leads successive generations into an eternal cycle of continued existence.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.51.1  The camelopards, as they are called, represent the mixing of the two animals which are included in the name given to it. For in size they are smaller than the camel and have shorter necks, but in the head and the arrangement of the eyes they are formed very much like a leopard; and although they have a hump on the back like the camel, yet with respect to colour and hair they are like leopards; likewise in the possession of a long tail they imitate the nature of this wild beast. 2 There are also bred tragelaphoi (goat-stags) and bubali and many other varieties of animals which are of double form and combine in one body the natures of creatures most widely different, about all of which it would be a long task to write in detail. 3 For it would seem that the land which lies to the south breathes in a great deal of the sun's strength, which is the greatest source of life, and that, for that reason, it generates breeds of beautiful animals in great number and of varied colour; 4 and that for the same reason there are produced in Egypt both the crocodiles and the river-horses, in Ethiopia and in the desert of Libya a multitude of elephants and of reptiles of every variety and of all other wild beasts and of serpents, which differ from one another in size and ferocity, and likewise in India the elephants of exceptional bulk and number and ferocity.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.52.1  In these countries are generated not only animals which differ from one another in form because of the helpful influence and strength of the sun, but also outcroppings of every kind of precious stone which are unusual in colour and resplendent in brilliancy. 2 For the rock-crystals, so we are informed, are composed of pure water which has been hardened, not by the action of cold, but by the influence of a divine fire, and for this reason they are never subject to corruption and take on many hues when they are breathed upon. 3 For instance smaragdi and beryllia, as they are called, which are found in the shafts of the copper mines, receive their colour by having been dipped and bound together in a bath of sulphur, and the chrysoliths, they say, which are produced by a smoky exhalation due to the heat of the sun, thereby get the colour they have. 4 For this reason what is called false gold, we are told, is fabricated by mortal fire, made by man, by dipping the rock crystals into it. And as for the natural qualities of the dark-red stones, it is the influence of the light, as it is compressed to a greater or less degree in them when they are hardening, which, they say, accounts for their differences. 5 In like manner, it is reported, the different kinds of birds get their colouring, some kinds appearing to the eye as pure red, other kinds marked with colours of every variety one after the other; for some birds are flaming red in appearance, others saffron yellow, some emerald green, and many of the colour of gold when they turn towards the light, and, in brief, hues are produced in great variety and difficult to describe; and this same thing can be seen taking place in the case of the rainbow in the heavens by reason of the light of the sun. 6 And it is from these facts that the students of nature draw their arguments when they affirm that the variety of colouring that is put forth by the things which we have mentioned above was caused by the heat coincident with their creation which dyed them, the sun, which is the source of life, assisting in the production of each several kind. 7 And it is generally true, they continue, that of the differences in the hues of the flowers and of the varied colours of the earth the sun is the cause and creator; and the arts of mortal men, imitating the working of the sun in the physical world, impart colouring and varied hues to every object, having been instructed in this by nature. 8 For the colours, they continue, are produced by the light, and likewise the odours of the fruits and the distinctive quality of their juices, the different sizes of the animals and their several forms, and the peculiarities which the earth shows, all are generated by the heat of the sun which imparts its warmth to a fertile land and to water endowed with the generative power and thus becomes the creator of each separate thing as it is. 9 Consequently, neither white marble of Paros nor any other stone which men admire can be compared with the precious stones of Arabia, since their whiteness is most brilliant, their weight the heaviest, and their smoothness leaves no room for other stones to surpass them. And the cause of the peculiar nature of the several parts of the country is, as I have told, the influence of the sun, which has hardened it by its heat, compressed it by its dryness, and made it resplendent by its light.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.53.1  Hence it is that the race of birds also, having received the most warmth, became flying creatures because of their lightness, and of varied colour because of the influence of the sun, this being especially true in the lands which lie close to the sun. 2 Babylonia, for instance, produces a multitude of peacocks which have blossomed out with colours of every kind, and the farthest parts of Syria produce parrots and purple coots and guinea-fowls and other kinds of animals of distinctive colouring and of every combination of hues. 3 And the same reasoning applies also to all the other countries of the earth which lie in a similar climate, such as India and the Red Sea and Ethiopia and certain parts of Libya. 4 But the eastern part, being more fertile, breeds nobler and larger animals; and as for the rest of Libya, each animal is produced in form and characteristics corresponding to the quality of the soil.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.53.5  Likewise as regards trees, the palms of Libya bear dry and small fruit, but in Coele-Syria dates called caryoti are produced which excel as to both sweetness and size and also as to their juices. 6 But dates much larger than these can be seen growing in Arabia and Babylonia, six fingers in size and in colour either yellow like the quince, or dark red, or in some cases tending to purple, so that at the same time they both delight the eye and gratify the taste. 7 The trunk of the palm stretches high in the air and its surface is smooth all over as far as its crown. But though they all have a tuft of foliage at the top, yet the arrangement of the foliage varies; for in some cases the fronds spread out in a complete circle and from the centre the trunk sends up, as if from out its broken bark, the fruit in a cluster like grapes, in other cases the foliage at the crown droops down on only one side so that it produces the appearance of a lamp from which the flame flares out, and occasionally they have their fronds bent down on both sides and by this double arrangement of the branches show a crown of foliage all about the trunk, thus presenting a picturesque appearance.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.54.1  That part of Arabia as a whole which lies to the south is called Felix, but the interior part is ranged over by a multitude of Arabians who are nomads and have chosen a tent life. These raise great flocks of animals and make their camps in plains of immeasurable extent. 2 The region which lies between this part and Arabia Felix is desert and waterless, as has been stated; and the parts of Arabia which lie to the west are broken by sandy deserts spacious as the air in magnitude, through which those who journey must, even as voyagers upon the seas, direct their course by indications obtained from the Bears. 3 The remaining part of Arabia, which lies towards Syria, contains a multitude of farmers and merchants of every kind, who by a seasonable exchange of merchandise make good the lack of certain wares in both countries by supplying useful things which they possess in abundance. 4 That Arabia which lies along the ocean is situated above Arabia Felix, and since it is traversed by many great rivers, many regions in it are converted into stagnant pools and into vast stretches of great swamps. 5 And with the water which is brought to them from the rivers and that which comes with the summer rains they irrigate a large part of the country and get two crops yearly. This region also breeds herds of elephants and other monstrous land animals, and animals of double shape which have developed peculiar forms; and in addition to these it abounds in domestic animals of every kind, especially in cattle and in the sheep with large and fat tails.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.54.6  This land also breeds camels in very great numbers and of most different kinds, both the hairless and the shaggy, and those which have two humps, one behind the other, along their spines and hence are called dituloi. Some of these provide milk and are eaten for meat, and so provide the inhabitants with a great abundance of this food, and others, which are trained to carry burdens on their backs, can carry some ten medimni of wheat and bear up five men lying outstretched upon a couch. Others which have short legs and are slender in build are dromedaries and can go at full stretch a day's journey of a very great distance, especially in the trips which they make through the waterless and desert region. 7 And also in their wars the same animals carry into battle two bowmen who ride back to back to each other, one of them keeping off enemies who come on them from in front, the other those who pursue in the rear.
With regard, then, to Arabia and the products of that land, even if we have written at too great length, we have at any rate reported many things to delight lovers of reading.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.55.1  But with regard to the island which has been discovered in the ocean to the south and the marvellous tales told concerning it, we shall now endeavour to give a brief account, after we have first set forth accurately the causes which led to its discovery. 2 There was a certain Iambulus who from his boyhood up had been devoted to the pursuit of education, and after the death of his father, who had been a merchant, he also gave himself to that calling; and while journeying inland to the spice-bearing region of Arabia he and his companions on the trip were taken captive by some robbers. Now at first he and one of his fellow-captives were appointed to be herdsmen, but later he and his companion were made captive by certain Ethiopians and led off to the coast of Ethiopia. 3 They were kidnapped in order that, being of an alien people, they might effect the purification of the land. For among the Ethiopians who lived in that place there was a custom, which had been handed down from ancient times, and had been ratified by oracles of the gods, over a period of twenty generations or six hundred years, the generation being reckoned at thirty years; and at the time when the purification by means of the two men was to take place, a boat had been built for them sufficient in size and strong enough to withstand the storms at sea, one which could easily be manned by two men; and then loading it with food enough to maintain two men for six months and putting them on board they commanded them to set out to sea as the oracle had ordered. 4 Furthermore, they commanded them to steer towards the south; for, they were told, they would come to a happy island and to men of honourable character, and among them they would lead a blessed existence. And in like manner, they stated, their own people, in case the men whom they sent forth should arrive safely at the island, would enjoy peace and a happy life in every respect throughout six hundred years; but if, dismayed at the extent of the sea, they should turn back on their course they would, as impious men and destroyers of the entire nation, suffer the severest penalties. 5 Accordingly, the Ethiopians, they say, held a great festal assembly by the sea, and after offering costly sacrifices they crowned with flowers the men who were to seek out the island and effect the purification of the nation and then sent them forth. 6 And these men, after having sailed over a vast sea and been tossed about four months by storms, were carried to the island about which they had been informed beforehand; it was round in shape and had a circumference of about five thousand stades.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.56.1  But when they were now drawing near to the island, the account proceeds, some of the natives met them and drew their boat to land; and the inhabitants of the island, thronging together, were astonished at the arrival of the strangers, but they treated them honourably and shared with them the necessities of life which their country afforded. 2 The dwellers upon this island differ greatly both in the characteristics of their bodies and in their manners from the men in our part of the inhabited world; for they are all nearly alike in the shape of their bodies and are over four cubits in height, but the bones of the body have the ability to bend to a certain extent and then straighten out again, like the sinewy parts. 3 They are also exceedingly tender in respect to their bodies and yet more vigorous than is the case among us; for when they have seized any object in their hands no man can extract it from the grasp of their fingers. There is absolutely no hair on any part of their bodies except on the head, eyebrows and eyelids, and on the chin, but the other parts of the body are so smooth that not even the least down can be seen on them. 4 They are also remarkably beautiful and well-proportioned in the outline of the body. The openings of their ears are much more spacious than ours and growths have developed that serve as valves, so to speak, to close them. 5 And they have a peculiarity in regard to the tongue, partly the work of nature and congenital with them and partly intentionally brought about by artifice; among them, namely, the tongue is double for a certain distance, but they divide the inner portions still further, with the result that it becomes a double tongue as far as the base. 6 Consequently they are very versatile as to the sounds they can utter, since they imitate not only every articulate language used by man but also the varied chatterings of the birds, and, in general, they reproduce any peculiarity of sounds. And the most remarkable thing of all is that at one and the same time they can converse perfectly with two persons who fall in with them, both answering questions and discoursing pertinently on the circumstances of the moment; for with one division of the tongue they can converse with the one person, and likewise with the other talk with the second.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.56.7  Their climate is most temperate, we are told, considering that they live at the equator, and they suffer neither from heat nor from cold. Moreover, the fruits in their island ripen throughout the entire year, even as the poet writes,
Here pear on pear grows old, and apple close
On apple, yea, and clustered grapes on grapes,
And fig on fig.
And with them the day is always the same length as the night, and at midday no shadow is cast of any object because the sun is in the zenith.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.57.1  These islanders, they go on to say, live in groups which are based on kinship and on political organizations, no more than four hundred kinsmen being gathered together in this way; and the members spend their time in the meadows, the land supplying them with many things for sustenance; for by reason of the fertility of the island and the mildness of the climate, food-stuffs are produced of themselves in greater quantity than is sufficient for their needs. 2 For instance, a reed grows there in abundance, and bears a fruit in great plenty that is very similar to the white vetch. Now when they have gathered this they steep it in warm water until it has become the size of a pigeon's egg; then after they have crushed it and rubbed it skilfully with their hands, they mould it into loaves, which are baked and eaten, and they are of surprising sweetness. 3 There are also in the island, they say, abundant springs of water, the warm springs serving well for bathing and the relief of fatigue, the cold excelling in sweetness and possessing the power to contribute to good health. Moreover, the inhabitants give attention to every branch of learning and especially to astrology; 4 and they use letters which, according to the value of the sounds they represent, are twenty-eight in number, but the characters are only seven, each one of which can be formed in four different ways. Nor do they write their lines horizontally, as we do, but from the top to the bottom perpendicularly. And the inhabitants, they tell us, are extremely long-lived, living even to the age of one hundred and fifty years, and experiencing for the most part no illness. 5 Anyone also among them who has become crippled or suffers, in general, from any physical infirmity is forced by them, in accordance with an inexorable law, to remove himself from life. And there is also a law among them that they should live only for a stipulated number of years, and that at the completion of this period they should make away with themselves of their own accord, by a strange manner of death; for there grows among them a plant of a peculiar nature, and whenever a man lies down upon it, imperceptibly and gently he falls asleep and dies.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.58.1  They do not marry, we are told, but possess their children in common, and maintaining the children who are born as if they belonged to all, they love them equally; and while the children are infants those who suckle the babes often change them around in order that not even the mothers may know their own offspring. Consequently, since there is no rivalry among them, they never experience civil disorders and they never cease placing the highest value upon internal harmony.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.58.2  There are also animals among them, we are told, which are small in size but the object of wonder by reason of the nature of their bodies and the potency of their blood; for they are round in form and very similar to tortoises, but they are marked on the surface by two diagonal yellow stripes, at each end of which they have an eye and a mouth; 3 consequently, though seeing with four eyes and using as many mouths, yet it gathers its food into one gullet, and down this its nourishment is swallowed and all flows together into one stomach; and in like manner its other organs and all its inner parts are single. It also has beneath it all around its body many feet, by means of which it can move in whatever direction it pleases. 4 And the blood of this animal, they say, has a marvellous potency; for it immediately glues on to its place any living member that has been severed; even if a hand or the like should happen to have been cut off, by the use of this blood it is glued on again, provided that the cut is fresh, and the same thing is true of such other parts of the body as are not connected with the regions which are vital and sustain the person's life. 5 Each group of the inhabitants also keeps a bird of great size and of a nature peculiar to itself, by means of which a test is made of the infant children to learn what their spiritual disposition is; for they place them upon the birds, and such of them as are able to endure the flight through the air as the birds take wing they rear, but such as become nauseated and filled with consternation they cast out, as not likely either to live many years and being, besides, of no account because of their dispositions.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.58.6  In each group the oldest man regularly exercises the leadership, just as if he were a kind of king, and is obeyed by all the members; and when the first such ruler makes an end of his life in accordance with the law upon the completion of his one hundred and fiftieth year, the next oldest succeeds to the leadership. 7 The sea about the island has strong currents and is subject to great flooding and ebbing of the tides and is sweet in taste. And as for the stars of our heavens, the Bears and many more, we are informed, are not visible at all. The number of these islands was seven, and they are very much the same in size and at about equal distances from one another, and all follow the same customs and laws.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.59.1  Although all the inhabitants enjoy an abundant provision of everything from what grows of itself in these islands, yet they do not indulge in the enjoyment of this abundance without restraint, but they practise simplicity and take for their food only what suffices for their needs. Meat and whatever else is roasted or boiled in water are prepared by them, but all the other dishes ingeniously concocted by professional cooks, such as sauces and the various kinds of seasonings, they have no notion whatsoever. 2 And they worship as gods that which encompasses all things and the sun, and, in general, all the heavenly bodies. Fishes of every kind in great numbers are caught by them by sundry devices and not a few birds. 3 There is also found among them an abundance of fruit trees growing wild, and olive trees and vines grow there, from which they make both olive oil and wine in abundance. Snakes also, we are told, which are of immense size and yet do no harm to the inhabitants, have a meat which is edible and exceedingly sweet. 4 And their clothing they make themselves from a certain reed which contains in the centre a downy substance that is bright to the eye and soft, which they gather and mingle with crushed sea-shells and thus make remarkable garments of a purple hue. As for the animals of the islands, their natures are peculiar and so amazing as to defy credence.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.59.5  All the details of their diet, we are told, follow a prescribed arrangement, since they do not all take their food at the same time nor is it always the same; but it has been ordained that on certain fixed days they shall eat at one time fish, at another time fowl, sometimes the flesh of land animals, and sometimes olives and the most simple side-dishes. 6 They also take turns in ministering to the needs of one another, some of them fishing, others working at the crafts, others occupying themselves in other useful tasks, and still others, with the exception of those who have come to old age, performing the services of the group in a definite cycle. 7 And at the festivals and feasts which are held among them, there are both pronounced and sung in honour of the gods hymns and spoken laudations, and especially in honour of the sun, after whom they name both the islands and themselves.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.59.8  They inter their dead at the time when the tide is at the ebb, burying them in the sand along the beach, the result being that at flood-tide the place has fresh sand heaped upon it. The reeds, they say, from which the fruit for their nourishment is derived, being a span in thickness increase at the times of full-moon and again decrease proportionately as it wanes. 9 And the water of the warm springs, being sweet and health-giving, maintains its heat and never becomes cold, save when it is mixed with cold water or wine.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 2.60.1  After remaining among this people for seven years, the account continues, Iambulus and his companion were ejected against their will, as being malefactors and as having been educated to evil habits. Consequently, after they had again fitted out their little boat they were compelled to take their leave, and when they had stored up provisions in it they continued their voyage for more than four months. Then they were shipwrecked upon a sandy and marshy region of India; 2 and his companion lost his life in the surf, but Iambulus, having found his way to a certain village, was then brought by the natives into the presence of the king at Palibothra, a city which was distant a journey of many days from the sea. 3 And since the king was friendly to the Greeks and devoted to learning he considered Iambulus worthy of cordial welcome; and at length, upon receiving a permission of safe-conduct, he passed over first of all into Persia and later arrived safe in Greece.
Now Iambulus felt that these matters deserved to be written down, and he added to his account not a few facts about India, facts of which all other men were ignorant at that time. But for our part, since we have fulfilled the promise made at the beginning of this Book, we shall bring it to a conclusion at this point.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.1.1  Book III
Of the two preceding Books the First embraces the deeds in Egypt of the early kings and the accounts, as found in their myths, of the gods of the Egyptians; there is also a discussion of the Nile and of the products of the land, and also of its animals, which are of every kind, and a description of the topography of Egypt, of the customs prevailing among its inhabitants, and of its courts of law. 2 The Second Book embraces the deeds performed by the Assyrians in Asia in early times, connected with which are both the birth and the rise to power of Semiramis, in the course of which she founded Babylon and many other cities and made a campaign against India with great forces; and after this is an account of the Chaldaeans and of their practice of observing the stars, of Arabia and the marvels of that land, of the kingdom of the Scythians, of the Amazons, and finally of the Hyperboreans. In this present Book we shall add the matters which are connected with what I have already narrated, 3 and shall describe the Ethiopians and the Libyans and the people known as the Atlantians.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.2.1  Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the first of all men and the proofs of this statement, they say, are manifest. For that they did not come into their land as immigrants from abroad but were natives of it and so justly bear the name of autochthones is, they maintain, conceded by practically all men; furthermore, that those who dwell beneath the noon-day sun were, in all likelihood, the first to be generated by the earth, is clear to all; since, inasmuch as it was the warmth of the sun which, at the generation of the universe, dried up the earth when it was still wet and impregnated it with life, it is reasonable to suppose that the region which was nearest the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures. 2 And they say that they were the first to be taught to honour the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals and the other rites by which men honour the deity; and that in consequence their piety has been published abroad among all men, and it is generally held that the sacrifices practised among the Ethiopians are those which are the most pleasing to heaven. 3 As witness to this they call upon the poet who is perhaps the oldest and certainly the most venerated among the Greeks; for in the Iliad he represents both Zeus and the rest of the gods with him as absent on a visit to Ethiopia to share in the sacrifices and the banquet which were given annually by the Ethiopians for all the gods together:
For Zeus had yesterday to Ocean's bounds
Set forth to feast with Ethiop's faultless men,
And he was followed there by all the gods.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.2.4  And they state that, by reason of their piety towards the deity, they manifestly enjoy the favour of the gods, inasmuch as they have never experienced the rule of an invader from abroad; for from all time they have enjoyed a state of freedom and of peace one with another, and although many and powerful rulers have made war upon them, not one of these has succeeded in his undertaking.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.3.1  Cambyses, for instance, they say, who made war upon them with a great force, both lost all his army and was himself exposed to the greatest peril; Semiramis also, who through the magnitude of her undertakings and achievements has become renowned, after advancing a short distance into Ethiopia gave up her campaign against the whole nation; and Heracles and Dionysus, although they visited all the inhabited earth, failed to subdue the Ethiopians alone who dwell above Egypt, both because of the piety of these men and because of the insurmountable difficulties involved in the attempt.
They say also that the Egyptians are colonists sent out by the Ethiopians, Osiris having been the leader of the colony. 2 For, speaking generally, what is now Egypt, they maintain, was not land but sea when in the beginning the universe was being formed; afterwards, however, as the Nile during the times of its inundation carried down the mud from Ethiopia, land was gradually built up from the deposit. Also the statement that all the land of the Egyptians is alluvial silt deposited by the river receives the clearest proof, in their opinion, from what takes place at the outlets of the Nile; 3 for as each year new mud is continually gathered together at the mouths of the river, the sea is observed being thrust back by the deposited silt and the land receiving the increase. And the larger part of the customs of the Egyptians are, they hold, Ethiopian, the colonists still preserving their ancient manners. 4 For instance, the belief that their kings are gods, the very special attention which they pay to their burials, and many other matters of a similar nature are Ethiopian practices, while the shapes of their statues and the forms of their letters are Ethiopian; 5 for of the two kinds of writing which the Egyptians have, that which is known as popular (demotic) is learned by everyone, while that which is called sacred is understood only by the priests of the Egyptians, who learn it from their fathers as one of the things which are not divulged, but among the Ethiopians everyone uses these forms of letters. 6 Furthermore, the orders of the priests, they maintain, have much the same position among both peoples; for all are clean who are engaged in the service of the gods, keeping themselves shaven, like the Egyptian priests, and having the same dress and form of staff, which is shaped like a plough and is carried by their kings, who wear high felt hats which end in a knob at the top and are circled by the serpents which they call asps; and this symbol appears to carry the thought that it will be the lot of those who shall dare to attack the king to encounter death-carrying stings. 7 Many other things are also told by them concerning their own antiquity and the colony which they sent out that became the Egyptians, but about this there is no special need of our writing anything.

Event Date: -550 GR

§ 3.4.1  We must now speak about the Ethiopian writing which is called hieroglyphic among the Egyptians, in order that we may omit nothing in our discussion of their antiquities. Now it is found that the forms of their letters take the shape of animals of every kind, and of the members of the human body, and of implements and especially carpenters' tools; for their writing does not express the intended concept by means of syllables joined one to another, but by means of the significance of the objects which have been copied and by its figurative meaning which has been impressed upon the memory by practice. 2 For instance, they draw the picture of a hawk, a crocodile, a snake, and of the members of the human body — an eye, a hand, a face, and the like. Now the hawk signifies to them everything which happens swiftly, since this animal is practically the swiftest of winged creatures. And the concept portrayed is then transferred, by the appropriate metaphorical transfer, to all swift things and to everything to which swiftness is appropriate, very much as if they had been named. 3 And the crocodile is a symbol of all that is evil, and the eye is the warder of justice and the guardian of the entire body. And as for the members of the body, the right hand with fingers extended signifies a procuring of livelihood, and the left with the fingers closed, a keeping and guarding of property. 4 The same way of reasoning applies also to the remaining characters, which represent parts of the body and implements and all other things; for by paying close attention to the significance which is inherent in each object and by training their minds through drill and exercise of the memory over a long period, they read from habit everything which has been written.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.5.1  As for the customs of the Ethiopians, not a few of them are thought to differ greatly from those of the rest of mankind, this being especially true of those which concern the selection of their kings. The priests, for instance, first choose out the noblest men from their own number, and whichever one from this group the god may select, as he is borne about in a procession in accordance with a certain practice of theirs, him the multitude take for their king; and straightway it both worships and honours him like a god, believing that the sovereignty has been entrusted to him by Divine Providence. 2 And the king who has been thus chosen both follows a regimen which has been fixed in accordance with the laws and performs all his other deeds in accordance with the ancestral custom, according neither favour nor punishment to anyone contrary to the usage which has been approved among them from the beginning. It is also a custom of theirs that the king shall put no one of his subjects to death, not even if a man shall have been condemned to death and is considered deserving of punishment, but that he shall send to the transgressor one of his attendants bearing a token of death; and the guilty person, on seeing the warning, immediately retires to his home and removes himself from life. Moreover, for a man to flee from his own into a neighbouring country and thus by moving away from his native land to pay the penalty of his transgression, as is the custom among the Greeks, is permissible under no circumstances. 3 Consequently, they say, when a man to whom the token of death had been sent by the king once undertook to flee from Ethiopia, and his mother, on learning of this, bound his neck about with her girdle, he dared not so much as raise his hands against her in any way but submitted to be strangled until he died, that he might not leave a greater disgrace to his kinsmen.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.6.1  Of all their customs the most astonishing is that which obtains in connection with the death of their kings. For the priests at Meroe who spend their time in the worship of the gods and the rites which do them honour, being the greatest and most powerful order, whenever the idea comes to them, dispatch a messenger to the king with orders that he die. 2 For the gods, they add, have revealed this to them, and it must be that the command of the immortals should in no wise be disregarded by one of mortal frame. And this order they accompany with other arguments, such as are accepted by a simple-minded nature, which has been bred in a custom that is both ancient and difficult to eradicate and which knows no argument that can be set in opposition to commands enforced by no compulsion. 3 Now in former times the kings would obey the priests, having been overcome, not by arms nor by force, but because their reasoning powers had been put under a constraint by their very superstition; but during the reign of the second Ptolemy the king of the Ethiopians, Ergamenes, who had had a Greek education and had studied philosophy, was the first to have the courage to disdain the command. 4 For assuming a spirit which became the position of a king he entered with his soldiers into the unapproachable place where stood, as it turned out, the golden shrine of the Ethiopians, put the priests to the sword, and after abolishing this custom thereafter ordered affairs after his own will.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.7.1  As for the custom touching the friends of the king, strange as it is, it persists, they said, down to our own time. For the Ethiopians have the custom, they say, that if their king has been maimed in some part of his body through any cause whatever, all his companions suffer the same loss of their own choice; because they consider that it would be a disgraceful thing if, when the king had been maimed in his leg, his friends should be sound of limb, and if in their goings forth from the palace they should not all follow the king limping as he did; 2 for it would be strange that steadfast friendship should share sorrow and grief and bear equally all other things both good and evil, but should have no part in the suffering of the body. They say also that it is customary for the comrades of the kings even to die with them of their own accord and that such a death is an honourable one and a proof of true friendship. 3 And it is for this reason, they add, that a conspiracy against the king is not easily raised among the Ethiopians, all his friends being equally concerned both for his safety and their own. These, then, are the customs which prevail among the Ethiopians who dwell in their capital and those who inhabit both the island of Meroe and the land adjoining Egypt.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.8.1  But there are also a great many other tribes of the Ethiopians, some of them dwelling in the land lying on both banks of the Nile and on the islands in the river, others inhabiting the neighbouring country of Arabia, and still others residing in the interior of Libya. 2 The majority of them, and especially those who dwell along the river, are black in colour and have flat noses and woolly hair. As for their spirit they are entirely savage and display the nature of a wild beast, not so much, however, in their temper as in their ways of living; for they are squalid all over their bodies, they keep their nails very long like the wild beasts, and are as far removed as possible from human kindness to one another; 3 and speaking as they do with a shrill voice and cultivating none of the practices of civilized life as these are found among the rest of mankind, they present a striking contrast when considered in the light of our own customs.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.8.4  As for their arms, some of them use shields of raw ox-hide and short spears, others javelins without a slinging-thong and sometimes bows of wood, four cubits in length, with which they shoot by putting their foot against them, and after their arrows are exhausted they finish the fight with wooden clubs. They also arm their women, setting an age limit for their service, and most of these observe the custom of wearing a bronze ring in the lip. 5 As for clothing, certain of them wear none whatsoever, going naked all their life long and making for themselves of whatever comes to hand a rude protection from the heat alone; others, cutting off the tails and the ends of the hides of their sheep, cover their loins with them, putting the tail before them to screen, after a manner, the shameful part; and some make use of the skins of their domestic animals, while there are those who cover their bodies as far as the waist with shirts, which they weave of hair, since their sheep do not produce wool by reason of the peculiar nature of the land. 6 For food some gather the fruits which are generated in their waters and which grow wild in both the lakes and marshy places, certain of them pluck off the foliage of a very tender kind of tree, with which they also cover their bodies in the midday and cool them in this way, some sow sesame and lotus, and there are those who are nourished by the most tender roots of the reeds. Not a few of them are also well trained in the use of the bow and bring down with good aim many birds, with which they satisfy their physical needs; but the greater number live for their entire life on the meat and milk and cheese of their herds.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.9.1  With regard to the gods, the Ethiopians who dwell above Meroe entertain two opinions: they believe that some of them, such as the sun and the moon and the universe as a whole, have a nature which is eternal and imperishable, but others of them, they think, share a mortal nature and have come to receive immortal honours because of their virtue and the benefactions which they have bestowed upon all mankind; 2 for instance, they revere Isis and Pan, and also Heracles and Zeus, considering that these deities in particular have been benefactors of the race of men. But a few of the Ethiopians do not believe in the existence of any gods at all; consequently at the rising of the sun they utter imprecations against it as being most hostile to them, and flee to the marshes of those parts.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.9.3  Different also from those of other peoples are the customs they observe with respect to their dead; for some dispose of them by casting them into the river, thinking this to be the best burial; others, after pouring glass about the bodies, keep them in their houses, since they feel that the countenances of the dead should not be unknown to their kinsmen and that those who are united by ties of blood should not forget their near relations; and some put them in coffins made of baked clay and bury them in the ground in a ring about their temples, and they consider that the oath taken by them is the strongest possible.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.9.4  The kingship some of them bestow upon the most comely, believing both supreme power and comeliness to be gifts of fortune, while others entrust the rule to the most careful keepers of cattle, as being the only men who would give the best thought to their subjects; some assign this honour to the wealthiest, since they feel that these alone can come to the aid of the masses because they have the means ready at hand; and there are those who choose for their kings men of unusual valour, judging that the most efficient in war are alone worthy to receive the meed of honour.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.10.1  In that part of the country which lies along the Nile in Libya there is a section which is remarkable for its beauty; for it bears food in great abundance and of every variety and provides convenient places of retreat in its marshes where one finds protection against the excessive heat; consequently this region is a bone of contention between the Libyans and the Ethiopians, who wage unceasing warfare with each other for its possession. 2 It is also a gathering-place for a multitude of elephants from the country lying above it because, as some say, the pasturage is abundant and sweet; for marvellous marshes stretch along the banks of the river and in them grows food in great plenty and of every kind. 3 Consequently, whenever they taste of the rush and the reed, they remain there because of the sweetness of the food and destroy the means of subsistence of the human beings; and because of this the inhabitants are compelled to flee from these regions, and to live as nomads and dwellers in tents — in a word, to fix the bounds of their country by their advantage. 4 The herds of the wild beasts which we have mentioned leave the interior of the country because of the lack of food, since every growing thing in the ground quickly dries up; for as a result of the excessive heat and the lack of water from springs and rivers it comes to pass that the plants for food are rough and scanty.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.10.5  There are also, as some say, in the country of the wild beasts, as it is called, serpents which are marvellous for their size and multitude; these attack the elephants at the water-holes, pit their strength against them, and winding themselves in coils about their legs continue squeezing them tighter and tighter in their bands until at last the beasts, covered with foam, fall to the ground from their weight. Thereupon the serpents gather and devour the flesh of the fallen elephant, overcoming the beast with ease because it moves only with difficulty. 6 But since it still remains a puzzle why, in pursuit of their accustomed food, they do not follow the elephants into the region along the river, which I have mentioned, they say that the serpents of such great size avoid the level part of the country and continually make their homes at the foot of mountains in ravines which are suitable to their length and in deep caves; consequently they never leave the regions which are suitable to them and to which they are accustomed, Nature herself being the instructor of all the animals in such matters.
As for the Ethiopians, then, and their land, this is as much as we have to say.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.11.1  Concerning the historians, we must distinguish among them, to the effect that many have composed works on both Egypt and Ethiopia, of whom some have given credence to false report and others have invented many tales out of their own minds for the delectation of their readers, and so may justly be distrusted. 2 For example, Agatharchides of Cnidus in the second Book of his work on Asia, and the compiler of geographies, Artemidorus of Ephesus, in his eighth Book, and certain others whose homes were in Egypt, have recounted most of what I have set forth above and are, on the contrary, accurate in all they have written. 3 Since, to bear witness ourselves, during the time of our visit to Egypt, we associated with many of its priests and conversed with not a few ambassadors from Ethiopia as well who were then in Egypt; and after inquiring carefully of them about each matter and testing the stories of the historians, we have composed our account so as to accord with the opinions on which they most fully agree.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.11.4  Now as for the Ethiopians who dwell in the west, we shall be satisfied with what has been said, and we shall discuss in turn the peoples who live to the South and about the Red Sea. However, we feel that it is appropriate first to tell of the working of the gold as it is carried on in these regions.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.12.1  At the extremity of Egypt and in the contiguous territory of both Arabia and Ethiopia there lies a region which contains many large gold mines, where the gold is secured in great quantities with much suffering and at great expense. For the earth is naturally black and contains seams and veins of a marble which is unusually white and in brilliancy surpasses everything else which shines brightly by its nature, and here the overseers of the labour in the mines work recover the gold with the aid of a multitude of workers. 2 For the kings of Egypt gather together and condemn to the mining of the gold such as have been found guilty of some crime and captives of war, as well as those who have been accused unjustly and thrown into prison because of their anger, and not only such persons but occasionally all their relatives as well, by this means not only inflicting punishment upon those found guilty but also securing at the same time great revenues from their labours. 3 And those who have been condemned in this way — and they are a great multitude and are all bound in chains — work at their task unceasingly both by day and throughout the entire night, enjoying no respite and being carefully cut off from any means of escape; since guards of foreign soldiers who speak a language different from theirs stand watch over them, so that not a man, either by conversation or by some contact of a friendly nature, is able to corrupt one of his keepers. 4 The gold-bearing earth which is hardest they first burn with a hot fire, and when they have crumbled it in this way they continue the working of it by hand; and the soft rock which can yield to moderate effort is crushed with a sledge by myriads of unfortunate wretches. 5 And the entire operations are in charge of a skilled worker who distinguishes the stone and points it out to the labourers; and of those who are assigned to this unfortunate task the physically strongest break the quartz-rock with iron hammers, applying no skill to the task, but only force, and cutting tunnels through the stone, not in a straight line but wherever the seam of gleaming rock may lead. 6 Now these men, working in darkness as they do because of the bending and winding of the passages, carry lamps bound on their foreheads; and since much of the time they change the position of their bodies to follow the particular character of the stone they throw the blocks, as they cut them out, on the ground; and at this task they labour without ceasing beneath the sternness and blows of an overseer.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.13.1  The boys there who have not yet come to maturity, entering through the tunnels into the galleries formed by the removal of the rock, laboriously gather up the rock as it is cast down piece by piece and carry it out into the open to the place outside the entrance. Then those who are above thirty years of age take this quarried stone from them and with iron pestles pound a specified amount of it in stone mortars, until they have worked it down to the size of a vetch. 2 Thereupon the women and older men receive from them the rock of this size and cast it into mills of which a number stand there in a row, and taking their places in groups of two or three at the spoke or handle of each mill they grind it until they have worked down the amount given them to the consistency of the finest flour. And since no opportunity is afforded any of them to care for his body and they have no garment to cover their shame, no man can look upon unfortunate wretches without feeling pity for them because of the exceeding hardships they suffer. 3 For no leniency or respite of any kind is given to any man who is sick, or maimed, or aged, or in the case of a woman for her weakness, but all without exception are compelled by blows to persevere in their labours, until through ill-treatment they die in the midst of their tortures. Consequently the poor unfortunates believe, because their punishment is so excessively severe, that the future will always be more terrible than the present and therefore look forward to death as more to be desired than life.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.14.1  In the last steps the skilled workmen receive the stone which has been ground to powder and take it off for its complete and final working; for they rub the marble which has been worked down upon a broad board which is slightly inclined, pouring water over it all the while; whereupon the earthy matter in it, melted away by the action of the water, runs down the inclined board, while that which contains the gold remains on the wood because of its weight. 2 And repeating this a number of times, they first of all rub it gently with their hands, and then lightly pressing it with sponges of loose texture they remove in this way whatever is porous and earthy, until there remains only the pure gold-dust. 3 Then at last other skilled workmen take what has been recovered and put it by fixed measure and weight into earthen jars, mixing with it a lump of lead proportionate to the mass, lumps of salt and a little tin, and adding thereto barley bran; thereupon they put on it a close-fitting lid, and smearing it over carefully with mud they bake it in a kiln for five successive days and as many nights; 4 and at the end of this period, when they have let the jars cool off, of the other matter they find no remains in the jars, but the gold they recover in pure form, there being but little waste. This working of the gold, as it is carried on at the farthermost borders of Egypt, is effected through all the extensive labours here described; 5 for Nature herself, in my opinion, makes it clear that whereas the production of gold is laborious, the guarding of it is difficult, the zest for it is very great, and that its use is half-way between pleasure and pain.
Now the discovery of these mines is very ancient, having been made by the early kings. 6 But we shall undertake to discuss the peoples which inhabit the coast of the Arabian Gulf and that of the Trogodytes and the part of Ethiopia that faces the noon-day sun and the south wind.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.15.1  The first people we shall mention are the Ichthyophagi who inhabit the coast which extends from Carmania and Gedrosia to the farthest limits of the arm of the sea which is found at the Arabian Gulf, which extends inland an unbelievable distance and is enclosed at its mouth by two continents, on the one side by Arabia Felix and on the other by the land of the Trogodytes. 2 As for these barbarians, certain of them go about entirely naked and have the women and children in common like their flocks and herds, and since they recognize only the physical perception of pleasure and pain they take no thought of things which are disgraceful and those which are honourable. 3 They have their dwellings not far from the sea along the rocky shores, where there are not only deep valleys but also jagged ravines and very narrow channels which Nature has divided by means of winding side-branches. These branches being by their nature suited to their need, the natives close up the passages and outlets with heaps of great stones, and by means of these, as if with nets, they carry on the catching of the fish. 4 For whenever the flood-tide of the sea sweeps violently over the land, which happens twice daily and usually about the third and ninth hour, the sea covers in its flood all the rocky shore and together with the huge and violent billow carries to the land an incredible multitude of fish of every kind, which at first remain along the coast, wandering in search of food among the sheltered spots and hollow places; but whenever the time of ebb comes, the water flows off little by little through the heaps of rocks and ravines, but the fish are left behind in the hollow places. 5 At this moment the multitude of the natives with their children and women gather, as if at a single word of command, at the rocky shores. And the barbarians, dividing into several companies, rush in bands each to its respective place with a hideous shouting, as if they had come unexpectedly upon some prey. 6 Thereupon the women and children, seizing the smaller fish which are near the shore, throw them on the land, and the men of bodily vigour lay hands upon the fish which are hard to overcome because of their size; for there are driven out of the deep creatures of enormous size, not only sea-scorpions and sea-eels and dogfish, but also seals and many other kinds which are strange both in appearance and in name. 7 These animals they subdue without the assistance of any skilful device of weapons but by piercing them through with sharp goathorns and by gashing them with the jagged rocks; for necessity teaches Nature everything, as Nature, in her own fashion, by seizing upon the opportunities which lie at hand adapts herself to their hoped-for utilization.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.16.1  Whenever they have collected a multitude of all kinds of fish they carry off their catch and bake the whole of it upon the rocks which are inclined towards the south. And since these stones are red-hot because of the very great heat, they leave the fish there for only a short time and then turn them over, and then, picking them up bodily by the tail, they shake them. 2 And the meat, which has become tender by reason of the warmth, falls away, but backbones are cast into a single spot and form a great heap, being collected for a certain use of which we shall speak a little later. Then placing the meat upon a smooth stone they carefully tread upon it for a sufficient length of time and mix with it the fruit of the Christ's thorn; 3 for when this has been thoroughly worked into the meat the whole of it becomes a glutinous mass, and it would appear that this takes the place among them of a relish. Finally, when this has been well trodden, they mould it into little oblong bricks and place them in the sun; and after these have become thoroughly dry they sit down and feast upon them, eating not according to any measure or weight but according to every man's own wish, inasmuch as they make their physical desire the bounds of their indulgence. 4 For they have at all times stores which are unfailing and ready for use, as though Poseidon had assumed the task of Demeter.
But at times a tidal wave of such size rolls in from the sea upon the land, a violent wave that for many days submerges the rocky shores, that no one can approach those regions. 5 Consequently, being short of food at such times, they at first gather the mussels, which are of so great a size that some of them are found that weigh four minas; that is, they break their shells by throwing huge stones at them and then eat the meat raw, its taste resembling somewhat that of oysters. 6 And whenever it comes to pass that the ocean is high for a considerable period because of the continued winds, and the impossibility of coping with that state of affairs prevents them from making their usual catch of fish, they turn, as has been said, to the mussels. But if the food from the mussels fails them, they have recourse to the heap of backbones; 7 that is, they select from this heap such backbones as are succulent and fresh and take them apart joint by joint, and then they grind some at once with their teeth, though the hard ones they first crush with rocks and thus prepare them before they eat them, their level of life being much the same as that of the wild beasts which make their homes in dens.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.17.1  Now as for dry food they get an abundance of it in the manner described, but their use of wet food is astonishing and quite incredible. For they devote themselves assiduously for four days to the sea-food they have caught, the whole tribe feasting upon it merrily while entertaining one another with inarticulate songs; and furthermore, they lie at this time with any women they happen to meet in order to beget children, being relieved of every concern because their food is easily secured and ready at hand. 2 But on the fifth day the whole tribe hurries off in search of drink to the foothills of the mountains, where there are springs of sweet water at which the pastoral folk water their flocks and herds. 3 And their journey thither is like that of herds of cattle, all of them uttering a cry which produces, not articulate speech, but merely a confused roaring. As for their children, the women carry the babies continually in their arms, but the fathers do this after they have been separated from their milk, while those above five years of age lead the way accompanied by their parents, playing as they go and full of joy, as though they were setting out for pleasure of the sweetest kind. 4 For the nature of this people, being as yet unperverted, considers the satisfying of their need to be the greatest possible good, desiring in addition none of the imported pleasures. And so soon as they arrive at the watering-places of the pastoral folk and have their bellies filled with the water, they return, scarcely able to move because of the weight of it. 5 On that day they taste no food, but everyone lies gorged and scarcely able to breathe, quite like a drunken man. The next day, however, they turn again to the eating of the fish; and their way of living follows a cycle after this fashion throughout their lives.
Now the inhabitants of the coast inside the Straits lead the kind of life which has been described, and by reason of the simplicity of their food they rarely are subject to attacks of disease, although they are far shorter-lived than the inhabitants of our part of the world.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.18.1  But as for the inhabitants of the coast outside the gulf, we find that their life is far more astonishing than that of the people just described, it being as though their nature never suffers from thirst and is insensible to pain. For although they have been banished by fortune from the inhabited regions into the desert, they fare quite well from their catch of the fish, but wet food they do not require. 2 For since they eat the fish while it is yet juicy and not far removed from the raw state, they are so far from requiring wet food that they have not even a notion of drinking. And they are content with that food which was originally allotted to them by fortune, considering that the mere elimination of that pain which arises from want (of food) is happiness.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.18.3  But the most surprising thing of all is, that in lack of sensibility they surpass all men, and to such a degree that what is recounted of them is scarcely credible. And yet many merchants of Egypt, who sail, as is their practice, through the Red Sea down to this day and have often sailed as far as the land of the Ichthyophagi, agree in their accounts with what we have said about the human beings who are insensible to pain. 4 The third Ptolemy also, who was passionately fond of hunting the elephants which are found in that region, sent one of his friends named Simmias to spy out the land; and he, setting out with suitable supplies, made, as the historian Agatharchides of Cnidus asserts, a thorough investigation of the nations lying along the coast. Now he says that the nation of the insensible Ethiopians makes no use whatsoever of drink and that their nature does not require it for the reasons given above. 5 And as a general thing, he relates, they have no intercourse with other nations nor does the foreign appearance of people who approach their shores have any effect upon the natives, but looking at them intently they show no emotion and their expressions remain unaltered, as if there were no one present. Indeed when a man drew his sword and brandished it at them they did not turn to flight, nor, if they were subjected to insult or even to blows, would they show irritation, and the majority were not moved to anger in sympathy with the victims of such treatment; on the contrary, when at times children or women were butchered before their eyes they remained insensible in their attitudes, displaying no sign of anger or, on the other hand, of pity. 6 In short, they remained unmoved in the face of the most appalling horrors, looking steadfastly at what was taking place and nodding their heads at each incident. Consequently, they say, they speak no language, but by movements of the hands which describe each object they point out everything they need. 7 And the most marvellous fact of all is that seals live with these tribes and catch the fish for themselves in a manner similar to that employed by the human beings. Likewise with respect to their lairs and the safety of their offspring these two kinds of beings place the greatest faith in one another; for the association with animals of a different species continues without any wrongdoing and with peace and complete observance of propriety. Now this manner of life, strange as it is, has been observed by these tribes from very early times, whether it has been fashioned by habit over the long space of time or by a need imposed by necessity because of stress of circumstances.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.19.1  As for their dwelling-places, those used by these tribes are not all similar, but they inhabit homes modified to suit the peculiar nature of their surroundings. For instance, certain of them make their home in caves which open preferably towards the north and in which they cool themselves, thanks to the deep shade and also to the breezes which blow about them; since those which face the south, having as they do a temperature like that of an oven, cannot be approached by human beings because of the excessive heat. 2 But others who can find no caves facing the north collect the ribs of the whales which are cast up by the sea; and then, since there is a great abundance of these ribs, they interweave them from either side, the curve outwards and leaning towards each other, and then weave fresh seaweed through them. Accordingly, when this vaulted structure is covered over, in it they gain relief from the heat when it is most intense, the necessity imposed by Nature suggesting to them a skill in which they were self-taught.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.19.3  A third method by which the Ichthyophagi find a dwelling for themselves is as follows. Olive trees grow about these regions in very great numbers and their roots are washed by the sea, but they bear thick foliage and a fruit which resembles the sweet chestnut. 4 These trees they interlace, forming in this way a continuous shade, and live in tents of this peculiar kind; for passing their days as they do on land and in the water at the same time, they lead a pleasurable life, since they avoid the sun by means of the shade cast by the branches and offset the natural heat of the regions with the continual washing of the waves against them, giving their bodies comfort and ease by the pleasant breezes which blow about them.
We must speak also about the fourth kind of habitation. 5 From time immemorial there has been heaped up a quantity of seaweed of tremendous proportions, resembling a mountain, and this has been so compacted by the unceasing pounding of the waves that it has become hard and intermingled with sand. Accordingly, the natives dig in these heaps tunnels the height of a man, leaving the upper portion for a roof, and in the lower part they construct passage-ways connected with each other by borings. As they cool themselves in these tunnels they free themselves from all troubles, and leaping forth from them at the times when the waves pour over the shore they busy themselves with the catching of the fish; then, when the ebb-tide sets in, they flee back together into these same passage-ways to feast upon their catch. 6 Their dead, moreover, they bury by leaving the bodies just as they are cast out at the ebb of the tide, and then when the flood-tide sets in they cast the bodies into the sea. Consequently, by making their own interment a nutriment of the fish, they have a life which follows in singular fashion a continuous cycle throughout all eternity.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.20.1  One tribe of the Ichthyophagi has dwellings so peculiar that they constitute a great puzzle to men who take a pride in investigating such matters; for certain of them make their home among precipitous crags which these men could not possibly have approached at the outset, since from above there overhangs a lofty rock, sheer at every point, while on the sides unapproachable cliffs shut off entrance, and on the remaining face the sea hems them in, which cannot be passed through on foot, and they do not use rafts at all, while of boats such as we have they have no notion. 2 Such being the puzzle concerning them, the only solution left to us is that they are autochthonous, and that they experienced no beginning of the race they originally sprang from, but existed always from the beginning of time, as certain natural philosophers have declared to be true of all the phenomena of nature. 3 But since the knowledge of such matters is unattainable by us, nothing prevents those who have the most to say about them from knowing the least, inasmuch as, while plausibility may persuade the hearing, it by no means discovers the truth.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.21.1  We must speak also about the Chelonophagi, as they are called, and the nature of their entire manner of life. There are islands in the ocean, which lie near the land, many in number, but small in size and low-lying, and bearing no food either cultivated or wild. Because these islands are so near to one another no waves occur among them, since the surf breaks upon the outermost islands, and so a great multitude of sea-turtles tarry in these regions, resorting thither from all directions to gain the protection afforded by the calm. 2 These animals spend the nights in deep water busied with their search for food, but during the days they resort to the sea which lies between the islands and sleep on the surface with their upper shells towards the sun, giving to the eye an appearance like that of overturned boats; for they are of extraordinary magnitude and not smaller than the smallest fishing skiffs. 3 And the barbarians who inhabit the islands seize the occasion and swim quietly out to the turtles; and when they have come near the turtle on both sides, those on the one side push down upon it while those on the other side lift it up, until the animal is turned over on its back. 4 Then the men, taking hold on both sides, steer the entire bulk of the creature, to prevent it from turning over and making its escape into the deep water by swimming with the means with which Nature has endowed it, and one man with a long rope, fastening it to its tail, swims towards the land, and drawing the turtle along after him he hauls it to the land, those who had first attacked it assisting him in bringing it in. 5 And when they have got the turtles upon the shore of their island, all the inside meat they bake slightly for a short time in the sun and then feast upon it, but the upper shells, which are shaped like a boat, they use both for sailing over to the mainland, as they do in order to get water, and for their dwellings, by setting them right side up on elevations, so that it would appear that Nature, by a single act of favour, had bestowed upon these peoples the satisfaction of many needs; for the same gift constitutes for them food, vessel, house and ship.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.21.6  Not far distant from these people the coast is inhabited by barbarians who lead an irregular life. For they depend for their food upon the whales which are cast up by the land, at times enjoying an abundance of food because of the great size of the beasts which they discover, but at times, when interruptions of the supply occur, they suffer greatly from the shortage; and when the latter is the case they are forced by the scarcity of food to gnaw the cartilages of old bones and the parts which grow from the ends of the ribs.
As for the Ichthyophagi, then this is the number of their tribes and such, speaking summarily, are the ways in which they live.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.22.1  But the coast of Babylonia borders on a land which is civilized and well planted and there is such a multitude of fish for the natives that the men who catch them are unable readily to keep ahead of the abundance of them. 2 For along the beaches they set reeds close to one another and interwoven, so that their appearance is like that of a net which has been set up along the edge of the sea. And throughout the entire construction there are doors which are fixed close together and resemble basket-work in the way they are woven, but are furnished with hinges that easily yield to movements of the water in either direction. These doors are opened by the waves as they roll towards the shore at the time of flood-tide, and are closed at ebb-tide as they surge back. 3 Consequently it comes about that every day, when the sea is at flood-tide, the fish are carried in from the deep water with the tide and pass inside through the doors, but when the sea recedes they are unable to pass with the water through the interwoven reeds. As a result it is possible at times to see beside the ocean heaps being formed of gasping fish, which are being picked up unceasingly by those who have been appointed to this work, who have from their catch subsistence in abundance as well as large revenues. 4 And some of the inhabitants of these parts, because the country is both like a plain and low-lying, dig wide ditches leading from the sea over a distance of many stades to their private estates, and setting wicker gates at their openings they open these when the flood-tide is coming inland and close them when the tide changes to the opposite direction. Then, inasmuch as the sea pours out through the interstices of the gate but the fish are held back in the ditches, they have a controlled store of fish and can take of them as many as they choose and at whatever time they please.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.23.1  Now that we have discussed the peoples who dwell on the coast from Babylonia to the Arabian Gulf, we shall describe the nations who live next to them. For in the Ethiopia which lies above Egypt there dwells beside the river Asa the nation of the Rhizophagi. For the barbarians here dig up the roots of the reeds which grow in the neighbouring marshes and then thoroughly wash them; and after they have made them clean they crush them with stones until the stuff is without lumps and glutinous; and then, moulding it into balls as large as can be held in the hand, they bake it in the sun and on this as their food they live all their life long. 2 Enjoying as they do the unfailing abundance of this food and living ever at peace with one another, they are nevertheless preyed upon by a multitude of lions; for since the air about them is fiery hot, lions come out of the desert to them in search of shade and in some cases in pursuit of the smaller animals. Consequently it comes to pass that when the Ethiopians come out of the marshy lands they are eaten by these beasts; for they are unable to withstand the might of the lions, since they have no help in the form of weapons, and indeed in the end the race of them would have been utterly destroyed had not Nature provided them with an aid which acts entirely of itself. 3 For at the time of the rising of the dog-star, whenever a calm unexpectedly comes on, there swarms to these regions such a multitude of mosquitoes, surpassing in vigour those that are known to us, that while the human beings find refuge in the marshy pools and suffer no hurt, all the lions flee from those regions, since they not only suffer from their stings but are at the same time terrified by the sound of their humming.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.24.1  Next to these people are the Hylophagi and the Spermatophagi, as they are called. The latter gather the fruit as it falls in great abundance from the trees in the summer season and so find their nourishment without labour, but during the rest of the year they subsist upon the most tender part of the plant which grows in the shady glens; for this plant, being naturally stiff and having a stem like the bounias, as we call it, supplies the lack of the necessary food. 2 The Hylophagi, however, setting out with children and wives in search of food, climb the trees and subsist off the tender branches. And this climbing of theirs even to the topmost branches they perform so well as a result of their continued practice that a man can scarcely believe what they do; indeed they leap from one tree to another like birds and make their way up the weakest branches without experiencing dangers. 3 For being in body unusually slender and light, whenever their feet slip they catch hold instead with their hands, and if they happen to fall from a height they suffer no hurt by reason of their light weight; and every juicy branch they chew so thoroughly with their teeth that their stomachs easily digest them. 4 These men go naked all their life, and since they consort with their women in common they likewise look upon their offspring as the common children of all. They fight with one another for the possession of certain places, arming themselves with clubs, with which they also keep off enemies, and they dismember whomsoever they have overcome. Most of them die from becoming exhausted by hunger, when cataracts form upon their eyes and the body is deprived of the necessary use of this organ of sense.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.25.1  The next part of the country of the Ethiopians is occupied by the Cynegi, as they are called, who are moderate in number and lead a life in keeping with their name. For since their country is infested by wild beasts and is utterly worthless, and has few streams of spring water, they sleep in the trees from fear of the wild beasts, but early in the morning, repairing with their weapons to the pools of water, they secrete themselves in the woods and keep watch from their positions in the trees. 2 And at the time when the heat becomes intense, wild oxen and leopards and a multitude of every other kind of beast come to drink, and because of the excessive heat and their great thirst they greedily quaff the water until they are gorged, whereupon the Ethiopians, the animals having become sluggish and scarcely able to move, leap down from the trees, and by the use of clubs hardened in the fire and of stones and arrows easily kill them. 3 They hunt in this way in companies and feed upon the flesh of their prey, and although now and then they are themselves slain by the strongest animals, yet for the most part they master by their cunning the superior strength of the beasts. 4 And if at any time they find lack of animals in their hunt they soak the skins of some which they had taken at former times and then hold them over a low fire; and when they have singed off the hair they divide the hides among themselves, and on such fare as has been forced upon them they satisfy their want. Their boys they train in shooting at a mark and give food only to those who hit it. Consequently, when they come to manhood, they are marvellously skilled in marksmanship, being most excellently instructed by the pangs of hunger.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.26.1  Far distant from this country towards the parts to the west are Ethiopians known as Elephant-fighters, hunters also. For dwelling as they do in regions close together, they carefully observe the places where the elephants enter and their favourite resorts, watching them from the tallest trees; and when they are in herds they do not set upon them, since they would have no hope of success, but they lay hands on them as they go about singly, attacking them in an astonishingly daring manner. 2 For as the beast in its wandering comes near the tree in which the watcher happens to be hidden, the moment it is passing the spot he seizes its tail with his hands and plants his feet against its left flank; he has hanging from his shoulders an axe, light enough to that a blow may be struck with one hand and yet exceedingly sharp, and seizing this in his right hand he hamstrings the elephant's right leg, raining blows upon it and maintaining the position of his own body with his left hand. And they bring an astonishing swiftness to bear upon the task, since there is a contest between the two of them for their very lives; for all that is left to the hunter is either to get the better of the animal or to die himself, the situation not admitting another conclusion. 3 As for the beast which has been hamstrung, sometimes being unable to turn about because it is hard for it to move and sinking down on the place where it has been hurt, it falls to the ground and causes the death of the Ethiopian along with its own, and sometimes squeezing the man against a rock or tree it crushes him with its weight until it has killed him. 4 In some cases, however, the elephant in the extremity of its suffering is far from thinking of turning on its attacker, but flees across the plain until the man who has set his feet upon it, striking on the same place with his axe, has severed the tendons and paralysed the beast. And as soon as the beast has fallen they run together in companies, and cutting the flesh off the hind-quarters of the elephant while it is still alive they hold a feast.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.27.1  But some of the natives who dwell near by hunt the elephants without exposing themselves to dangers, overcoming their strength by cunning. For it is the habit of this animal, whenever it has had its fill of grazing, to lie down to sleep, the manner in which it does this being different from that of all other four-footed animals; 2 for it cannot bring its whole bulk to the ground by bending its knees, but leans against a tree and thus gets the rest which comes from sleep.a Consequently the tree, by reason of the frequent leaning against it by the animal, becomes both rubbed and covered with mud, and the place about it, furthermore, shows both tracks and many signs, whereby the Ethiopians who search for such traces discover where the elephants take their rest. 3 Accordingly, when they come upon such a tree, they saw it near the ground until it requires only a little push to make it fall; thereupon, after removing the traces of their own presence, they quickly depart in anticipation of the approach of the animal, and towards evening the elephant, filled with food, comes to his accustomed haunt. But as soon as he leans against the tree with his entire weight he at once rolls to the ground along with the tree, and after his fall he remains there lying on his back the night through, since the nature of his body is not fashioned for rising. 4 Then the Ethiopians who have sawn the tree gather at dawn, and when they have slain the beast without danger to themselves they pitch their tents at the place and remain there until they have consumed the fallen animal.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.28.1  The parts west of these tribes are inhabited by Ethiopians who are called Simi, but those towards the south are held by the tribe of the Struthophagi. 2 For there is found among them a kind of bird having a nature which is mingled with that of the land animal, and this explains the compound name it bears. This animal is not inferior in size to the largest deer and has been fashioned by Nature with a long neck and a round body, which is covered with feathers. Its head is weak and small, but it has powerful thighs and legs and its foot is cloven. 3 It is unable to fly in the air because of its weight, but it runs more swiftly than any other animal, barely touching the earth with the tips of its feet; and especially when it raises its wings adown the blasts of the wind it makes off like a ship under full sail; and it defends itself against its pursuers by means of its feet, hurling, as if from a sling, in an astonishing manner, stones as large as can be held in the hand. 4 But when it is pursued at a time of calm, its wings quickly collapse, it is unable to make use of the advantages given it by nature, and being easily overtaken it is made captive. 5 And since these animals abound in the land in multitude beyond telling, the barbarians devise every manner of scheme whereby to take them; moreover, since they are easily caught in large numbers, their meat is used for food and their skins for clothing and bedding. 6 But being constantly warred upon by the Ethiopians known as Simi, they are in daily peril from their attackers, and they use as defensive weapons the horns of gazelles; these horns, being large and sharp, are of great service and are found in abundance throughout the land by reason of the multitude of the animals which carry them.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.29.1  A short distance from this tribe on the edge of the desert dwell the Acridophagi, men who are smaller than the rest, lean of body, and exceeding dark. For among them in the spring season strong west and south-west winds drive out of the desert a multitude beyond telling of locusts, of great and unusual size and with wings of an ugly, dirty colour. From these locusts they have food in abundance all their life long, catching them in a manner peculiar to themselves. For along the border of their land over many stades there extends a ravine of considerable depth and width; this they fill with wood from the forests, which is found in plenty in their land; and then, when the winds blow which we have mentioned and the clouds of the locusts approach, they divide among themselves the whole extent of the ravine and set fire to the brush in it. 3 And since a great volume of pungent smoke rises, the locusts, as they fly over the ravine, are choked by the pungency of the smoke and fall to the ground after they have flown through it only a short space, and as the destruction of them continues over several days, great heaps of them are raised up; moreover, since the land contains a great amount of brine, all the people bring this to the heaps, after they have been gathered together, soak them to an appropriate degree with the brine and thus both give the locusts a palatable taste and make their storage free from rot and lasting for a long time. 4 Accordingly, the food of this people, at the moment and thereafter, consists of these animals; for they possess no herds nor do they live near the sea nor do they have at hand any other resources; and light in body and very swift of foot as they are, they are also altogether short-lived, the oldest among them not exceeding forty years of age.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.29.5  As for the manner in which they end their lives, not only is it astounding but extremely pitiful. For when old age draws near there breed in their bodies winged lice, which not only have an unusual form but are also savage and altogether loathsome in aspect. 6 The affliction begins on the belly and the breast and in a short time spreads over the whole body. And the person so affected is at first irritated by a kind of itching and insists on scratching himself a bit, the disease at this point offering a satisfaction combined with pain; but after this stage the animals, which have been continuously engendered more and more in the body, break out to the surface and there is a heavy discharge of a thin humour, the sting of which is quite unbearable. 7 Consequently the man who is in the grip of the disease lacerates himself with his nails the more violently, groaning and moaning deeply. And as his hands tear at his body, such a multitude of the vermin pours forth that those who try to pick them off accomplish nothing, since they issue forth one after another, as from a kind of vessel that is pierced throughout with holes. And so these wretches end their lives in a dissolution of the body after this manner, a miserable fate, meeting with such a sudden reversal of fortune either by reason of the peculiar character of their food or because of the climate.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.30.1  Along the borders of this people there stretches a country great in size and rich in its varied pasturage; but it is without inhabitants and altogether impossible for man to enter; not that it has from the first never known the race of men, but in later times, as a result of an unseasonable abundance of rain, it brought forth a multitude of venomous spiders and scorpions. 2 For, as historians relate, so great a multitude of these animals came to abound that, although at the outset the human beings dwelling there united in killing the natural enemy, yet, because the multitude of them was not to be overcome and their bites brought swift death to their victims, they renounced both their ancestral land and mode of life and fled from these regions. Nor is there any occasion to be surprised at this statement or to distrust it, since we have learned through trustworthy history of many things more astonishing than this which have taken place throughout all the inhabited world. 3 In Italy, for instance, such a multitude of field-mice was generated in the plains that they drove certain people out of their native country; in Media birds, which came to abound beyond telling and made away with the seeds sown by the inhabitants, compelled them to remove into regions held by another people; and in the case of the Autariatae, as they are called, frogs were originally generated in the clouds, and when they fell upon the people in place of the customary rain, they forced them to leave their native homes and to flee for safety to the place where they now dwell. 4 And who indeed has not read in history, in connection with the Labours which Heracles performed in order to win his immortality, the account of the one Labour in the course of which he drove out of the Stymphalian Lake the multitude of birds which had come to abound in it? Moreover, in Libya certain cities have become depopulated because a multitude of lions came out of the desert against them.
Let these instances, then, suffice in reply to those who adopt a sceptical attitude towards histories because they recount what is astonishing; and now we shall in turn pass on to what follows the subjects we have been treating.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.31.1  The borders of the parts to the south are inhabited by men whom the Greeks call Cynamolgi, but who are known in the language of the barbarians who live near them as Agrii. They wear great beards and maintain packs of savage dogs which serve to meet the needs of their life. 2 For from the time of the beginning of the summer solstice until mid-winter, Indian cattle, in a multitude beyond telling, resort to their country, the reason for this being uncertain; for no man knows whether they are in flight because they are being attacked by a great number of carnivorous beasts, or because they are leaving their own regions by reason of a lack of food, or because of some other reversal of fortune which Nature, that engenders all astonishing things, devises, but which the mind of the race of men cannot comprehend. 3 However, since they have not the strength of themselves to get the better of the multitude of the cattle, they let the dogs loose on them, and hunting them by means of the dogs they overcome a very great number of the animals; and as for the beasts which they have taken, some of them they eat while fresh and some they pack down with salt and store up. Many also of the other animals they hunt, thanks to the courage of their dogs, and so maintain themselves by the eating of flesh.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.31.4  Now the most distant tribes of those peoples who live to the south have indeed the forms of men but their life is that of the beasts; however, it remains for us to discuss two peoples, the Ethiopians and the Trogodytes. But about the Ethiopians we have written in other connections, and so we shall now speak of the Trogodytes.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.32.1  The Trogodytes, we may state, are called Nomads by the Greeks, and living as they do a nomadic life off their flocks, each group of them has its tyrant, and their women, like their children, they hold in common, with the single exception of the wife of the tyrant; but if any man goes in to this woman the ruler exacts of him a fine of a specified number of sheep. 2 At the time of the etesian winds, when there are heavy rains in their country, they live off blood and milk which they mix together and seethe for a short while. But after this season the pasturage is withered by the excessive heat, and they retreat into the marshy places and fight with each other for the pasturage of the land. 3 They eat the older animals of the flocks and such as are growing sick and maintain themselves on them at all times. Consequently they give the name of parents to no human being, but rather to a bull and a cow, and also to a ram and a sheep; these they call their fathers or their mothers, by reason of the fact that they ever secure their daily food from them, and not from those who had begotten them. And as a drink the common people make use of juice from the plant Christ's-thorn, but for the rulers there is prepared from a certain flower a beverage like the vilest of our sweet new wines. Following after their herds and flocks they move about from one land of the another, avoiding any stay in the same regions. 4 And they are all naked as to their bodies except for the loins, which they cover with skins; moreover, all the Trogodytes are circumcised like the Egyptians with the exception of those who, because of what they have experienced, are called colobi; for these alone of all who live inside the Straits have in infancy all that part cut completely off with the razor which among other peoples merely suffers circumcision.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.33.1  As for the arms of the Trogodytes, those who bear the name of Megabari have round shields covered with raw ox-hide and a club with iron knobs, but the rest of them have bows and arrows and lances. Again, the burials practised by them differ entirely from all others; 2 for after binding the bodies of the dead with withes of Christ's-thorn they tie the neck to the legs, and then placing the corpse upon a mound they cast at it stones as large as can be held in the hand, making merry the while, until they have built up a heap of stones and have hidden the bodies from sight; and finally they set up a goat's horn on the heap and separate, having shown no fellow-feeling for the dead. 3 And they fight with one another, not, as the Greeks do, for possession of land or because of some alleged misdeeds, but for pasturage as it comes up at one time and another. In their quarrels they at first hurl stones at each other, until some are wounded, and the rest of the time they resort to the struggle with bows and arrows. And it is but a moment before many are dead, since they are accurate shooters by reason of their practice in archery and the object at which they are aiming is bare of protective armour. 4 The fighting is terminated by the older women, who rush into the fray and offer themselves as a protection to the fighters, and are the object of respect; for it is a custom with these people that they shall in no wise strike one of these women, and so at their appearance they cease shooting. 5 Those who can no longer accompany the flocks by reason of old age bind the tail of an ox about their own necks and so put an end to their lives of their own free will; and if a man postpones his death, anyone who wishes has the authority to fasten the noose about his neck, as an act of good-will, and, after admonishing the man, to take his life. 6 Likewise it is a custom of theirs to remove from life those who have become maimed or are in the grip of incurable diseases; for they consider it to be the greatest disgrace for a man to cling to life when he is unable to accomplish anything worth living for. Consequently, a man can see every Trogodyte sound in body and of vigorous age, since no one of them lives beyond sixty years.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.33.7  But we have said enough about the Trogodytes; and if anyone of our readers shall distrust our histories because of what is strange and astonishing in the different manners of life which we have described, when he has considered and compared the climate of Scythia and that of the Trogodyte country and has observed the differences between them, he will not distrust what has been here related.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.34.1  So great, for instance, is the contrast between our climate and the climates which we have described that the difference, when considered in detail, surpasses belief. 2 For example, there are countries where, because of the excessive cold, the greatest rivers are frozen over, the ice sustaining the crossing of armies and the passage of heavily laden wagons, the wine and all other juices freeze so that they must be cut with knives, yea, what is more wonderful still, the extremities of human beings fall off when rubbed by the clothing, their eyes are blinded, fire furnishes no protection, even bronze statues are cracked open, and at certain seasons, they say, the clouds are so thick that in those regions there is neither lightning nor thunder; and many other things, more astonishing than these, come to pass, which are unbelievable to such as are ignorant of them, but cannot be endured by any who have actually experienced them. 3 But on the farthermost bounds of Egypt and the Trogodyte country, because of the excessive heat from the sun at midday, men who are standing side by side are unable even to see one another by reason of the thickness of the air as it is condensed, and no one can walk about without foot-gear, since blisters appear at once on any who go barefoot. 4 And as for drink, unless it is ready to hand to satisfy the need of it, they speedily perish, since the heat swiftly exhausts the natural moistures in the body. Moreover, whenever any man puts any food into a bronze vessel along with water and sets it in the sun, it quickly boils without fire or wood. 5 Nevertheless, the inhabitants of both the lands which we have mentioned, far from desiring to escape from the excessive evils which befall them, actually, on the contrary, give up their lives of their own accord simply to avoid being compelled to make trial of a different fare and manner of life. 6 Thus it is that every country to which a man has grown accustomed holds a kind of spell of its own over him, and the length of time which he has spent there from infancy overcomes the hardship which he suffers from its climate. 7 And yet countries so different in both ways are separated by no great interval of space. For from Lake Maeotis, near which certain Scythians dwell, living in the midst of frost and excessive cold, many sailors of merchant vessels, running before a favourable wind, have made Rhodes in ten days, from which they have reached Alexandria in four, and from that city many men, sailing by way of the Nile, have reached Ethiopia in ten, so that from the cold parts of the inhabited world to its warmest parts the sailing time is not more than twenty-four days, if the journey is made without a break. 8 Consequently, the difference in climates in a slight interval being so great, it is nothing surprising that both the fare and the manners of life as well as the bodies of the inhabitants should be very different from such as prevail among us.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.1  And now that we have discussed the principal facts concerning the nations and the manners of life which men consider astonishing, we shall speak in turn of the wild animals of the countries which we are considering. 2 There is an animal, for instance, which is called, from its characteristic, rhinoceros; in courage and strength it is similar to the elephant but not so high, and it has the toughest hide known and a colour like box-wood. At the tip of its nostrils it carries a horn which may be described as snub and in hardness is like iron. 3 Since it is ever contesting with the elephant about pasturage it sharpens its horn on stones, and when it opens the fight with this animal it slips under its belly and rips open the flesh with its horn as with a sword. By adopting this kind of fighting it drains the blood of the beasts and kills many of them. But if the elephant has avoided the attempt of the rhinoceros to get under his belly and has seized it beforehand with his trunk, he easily overcomes it by goring it with its tusks and making use of its superior strength.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.4  There are also sphinxes in both the Trogodyte country and Ethiopia, and in shape they are not unlike those depicted in art save that they are more shaggy of hair, and since they have dispositions that are gentle and rather inclined towards cunning they yield also to systematic training.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.5  The animals which bear the name cynocephali are in body like misshapen men, and they make a sound like the whimpering of human beings. These animals are very wild and quite untamable, and their eyebrows give them a rather surly expression. A most peculiar characteristic of the female is that it carries the womb on the outside of its body during its entire existence.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.6  The animal called the cepus has received its name from the beautiful and pleasing grace which characterizes its entire body, and it has a head like that of a lion, but the rest of its body is like that of a panther, save in respect to its size, in which it resembles a gazelle.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.7  But of all the animals named the carnivorous bull is the wildest and altogether the hardest to overcome. For in bulk he is larger than the domestic bulls, in swiftness of foot he is not inferior to a horse, and his mouth open clear back to the ears. His colour is a fiery red, his eyes are more piercing than those of a lion and shine at night, and his horns enjoy a distinctive property; for at all other times he moves them like his ears, but when fighting he holds them rigid. The direction of growth of his hair is contrary to that of all other animals. 8 He is, again, a remarkable beast in both boldness and strength, since he attacks the boldest animals and finds his food in devouring the flesh of his victims. He also destroys the flocks of the inhabitants and engages in terrible combats with whole bands of the shepherds and packs of dogs. 9 Rumour has it that their skin cannot be pierced; at any rate, though many men have tried to capture them, no man has ever brought one under subjection. If he has fallen into a pit or been captured by some other ruse he becomes choked with rage, and in no case does he ever exchange his freedom for the care which men would accord to him in domestication. It is with reason, therefore, that the Trogodytes hold this wild beast to be the strongest of all, since Nature has endowed it with the prowess of a lion, the speed of a horse, and the might of a bull, and since it is not subdued by the native strength of iron which is the greatest known.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.35.10  The animal which the Ethiopians call the crocottas has a nature which is a mixture of that of a dog and that of a wolf, but in ferocity it is more to be feared than either of them, and with respect to its teeth it surpasses all animals; for every bone, no matter how huge in size, it easily crushes, and whatever it has gulped down its stomach digests in an astonishing manner. And among those who recount marvellous lies about this beast there are some who relate that it imitates the speech of men, but for our part they do not win our credence.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.36.1  As for snakes, those peoples which dwell near the country which is desert and infested by beasts say that there is every kind of them, of a magnitude surpassing belief. For when certain writers state that they have seen some one hundred cubits long, it may justly be assumed, not only by us but by everybody else, that they are telling a falsehood; indeed they add to this tale, which is utterly distrusted, things far more astonishing, when they say that, since the country is flat like a plain, whenever the largest of these beasts coil themselves up, they make, by the coils which have been wound in circles and rest one upon another, elevations which seen from a distance resemble a hill. 2 Now a man may not readily agree as to the magnitude of the beasts of which we have just spoken; but we shall describe the largest beasts which have actually been seen and were brought to Alexandria in certain well-made receptacles, and shall add a detailed description of the manner in which they were captured.
The second Ptolemy, who was passionately fond of the hunting of elephants and gave great rewards to those who succeeded in capturing against odds the most valiant of these beasts, expending on this hobby great sums of money, not only collected great herds of war-elephants, but also brought to the knowledge of the Greeks other kinds of animals which had never before been seen and were objects of amazement. 4 Consequently certain of the hunters, observing the princely generosity of the king in the matter of the rewards he gave, rounding up a considerable number decided to hazard their lives and to capture one of the huge snakes and bring it alive to Ptolemy at Alexandria. 5 Great and astonishing as was the undertaking, fortune aided their designs and crowned their attempt with the success which it deserved. For they spied one of the snakes, thirty cubits long, as it loitered near the pools in which the water collects; here it maintained for most of the time its coiled body motionless, but at the appearance of an animal which came down to the spot to quench its thirst it would suddenly uncoil itself, seize the animal in its jaws, and so entwine in its coil the body of the creature which had come into view that it could in no wise escape its doom. And so, since the beast was long and slender and sluggish in nature, hoping that they could master it with nooses and ropes, they approached it with confidence the first time, having ready to hand everything which they might need; 6 but as they drew near it they constantly grew more and more terrified as they gazed upon its fiery eye and its tongue darting out in every direction, caught the hideous sound made by the roughness of its scales as it made its way through the trees and brushed against them, and noted the extraordinary size of its teeth, and the astonishing height of its heap of coils. 7 Consequently, after they had driven the colour from their cheeks through fear, with cowardly trembling they cast the nooses about its tail; but the beast, the moment the rope touched its body, whirled around with so mighty a hissing as to frighten them out of their wits, and raising itself into the air above the head of the foremost man it seized him in its mouth and ate his flesh while he still lived, and the second it caught from a distance with a coil as it fled, drew him to itself, and winding itself about him began squeezing his belly with its tightening bond; and as for all the rest, stricken with terror they sought their safety in flight.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.37.1  Nevertheless, the hunters did not give up their attempt to capture the beast, the favour expected of the king and his reward outweighing the dangers which they had come to know full well as the result of their experiment, and by ingenuity and craft they did subdue that which was by force well-nigh invincible, devising a kind of contrivance like the following:— They fashioned a circular thing woven of reeds closely set together, in general shape resembling a fisherman's creel and in size and capacity capable of holding the bulk of the beast. 2 Then, when they had reconnoitred its hole and observed the time when it went forth to feed and returned again, so soon as it had set out to prey upon the other animals, as was its custom, they stopped the opening of its old hole with large stones and earth, and digging an underground cavity near its lair they set the woven net in it and placed the mouth of the net opposite the opening, so that it was in this way all ready for the beast to enter. 3 Against the return of the animal they had made ready archers and slingers and many horsemen, as well as trumpeters and all the other apparatus needed, and as the beast drew near it raised its neck in air higher than the horsemen. Now the company of men who had assembled for the hunt did not dare to draw near it, being warned by the mishaps which had befallen them on the former occasion, but shooting at it from afar, and with many hands aiming at a single target, and a large one at that, they kept hitting it, and when the horsemen appeared and the multitude of bold fighting-dogs, and then again when the trumpets blared, they got the animal terrified. Consequently, when it retreated to its accustomed lair, they closed in upon it, but only so far as not to arouse it still more. 4 And when it came near the opening which had been stopped up, the whole throng, acting together, raised a mighty din with their arms and thus increased its confusion and fear because of the crowds which put in their appearance and of the trumpets. But the beast could not find the opening and so, terrified at the advance of the hunters, fled for refuge into the mouth of the net which had been prepared near by. 5 And when the woven net began to be filled up as the snake uncoiled itself, some of the hunters anticipated its movements by leaping forward, and before the snake could turn about to face the entrance they closed and fastened with ropes the mouth, which was long and had been shrewdly devised with such swiftness of operation in mind; then they hauled out the woven net and putting rollers under it drew it up into the air. 6 But the beast, enclosed as it was in a straitened place, kept sending forth an unnatural and terrible hissing and tried to pull down with its teeth the reeds which enveloped it, and by twisting itself in every direction created the expectation in the minds of the men who were carrying it that it would leap out of the contrivance which enveloped it. Consequently, in terror, they set the snake down on the ground, and by jabbing it about tail they diverted the attention of the beast from its work of tearing with its teeth to its sensation of pain in the parts which hurt.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.37.7  When they had brought the snake to Alexandria they presented it to the king, an astonishing sight which those cannot credit who have merely heard the tale. And by depriving the beast of its food they wore down its spirit and little by little tamed it, so that the domestication of it became a thing of wonder. 8 As for Ptolemy, he distributed among the hunters the merited rewards, and kept and fed the snake, which had now been tamed and afforded the greatest and most astonishing sight for the strangers who visited his kingdom. 9 Consequently, in view of the fact that a snake of so great a size has been exposed to the public gaze, it is not fair to doubt the word of the Ethiopians or to assume that the report which they circulated far and wide was a mere fiction. For they state that there are to be seen in their country snakes so great in size that they not only eat both oxen and bulls and other animals of equal bulk, but even join issue in battle with the elephants, and by intertwining their coil about the elephants' legs they prevent the natural movement of them and by rearing their necks above their trunks they put their heads directly opposite the eyes of the elephants, and sending forth, by reason of the fiery nature of their eyes, brilliant flashes like lightning, they first blind their sight and then throw them to the ground and devour of the flesh of their conquered foes.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.38.1  But now that we have examined with sufficient care Ethiopia and the Trogodyte country and the territory adjoining them, as far as the region which is uninhabited because of the excessive heat, and, beside these, the coast of the Red Sea and the Atlantic which stretches towards the south, we shall give an account of the part which still remains — and I refer to the Arabian Gulf — drawing in part upon the royal records preserved in Alexandria, and in part upon what we have learned from men who have seen it with their own eyes. 2 For this section of the inhabited world and that about the British Isles and the far north have by no means come to be included in the common knowledge of men. But as for the parts of the inhabited world which lie to the far north and border on the area which is uninhabited because of the cold, we shall discuss them when we record the deeds of Gaius Caesar; 3 for he it was who extended the Roman Empire the farthest into those parts and brought it about that all the area which had formerly been unknown came to be included in a narrative of history; 4 but the Arabian Gulf, as it is called, opens into the ocean which lies to the south, and its innermost recess, which stretches over a distance of very many stades in length, is enclosed by the farthermost borders of Arabia and the Trogodyte country. Its width at the mouth and at the innermost recess is about sixteen stades, but from the harbour of Panormus to the opposite mainland is a day's run for a warship. And its greatest width is at the Tyrcaeus mountain and Macaria, an island out at sea, the mainlands there being out of sight of each other. But from this point the width steadily decreases more and more and continually tapers as far as the entrance. 5 And as a man sails along the coast he comes in many places upon long islands with narrow passages between them, where the current rises full and strong. Such, then, is the setting, in general terms, of this gulf. But for our part, we shall make our beginning with the farthest regions of the innermost recess and then sail along its two sides past the mainlands, in connection with which we shall describe what is peculiar to them and most deserving of discussion; and first of all we shall take the right side, the coast of which is inhabited by tribes of the Trogodytes as far inland as the desert.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.39.1  In the course of the journey, then, from the city of Arsinoe along the right mainland, in many places numerous streams, which have a bitter salty taste, drop from the cliffs into the sea. And after a man has passed these waters, above a great plain there towers a mountain whose colour is like ruddle and blinds the sight of any who gaze steadfastly upon it for some time. Moreover, at the edge of the skirts of the mountain there lies a harbour, known as Aphrodite's Harbour, which has a winding entrance. 2 Above this harbour are situated three islands, two of which abound in olive trees and are thickly shaded, while one falls short of the other two in respect of the number of these trees but contains a multitude of the birds called Meleagrides. 3 Next there is a very large gulf which is called Acathartus, and by it is an exceedingly long peninsula, over the narrow neck of which men transport their ships to the opposite sea. 4 And as a man coasts along these regions he comes to an island which lies at a distance out in the open sea and stretches for a length of eighty stades; the name of it is Ophiodes and it was formerly full of fearful serpents of every variety, which was in fact the reason why it received this name, but in later times the kings at Alexandria have laboured so diligently on the reclaiming of it that not one of the animals which were formerly there is any longer to be seen on the island.
However, we should not pass over the reason why the kings showed diligence in the reclamation of the island. For there is found on it the topaz, as it is called, which is a pleasing transparent stone, similar to glass, and of a marvellous golden hue. 6 Consequently no unauthorized person may set foot upon the island and it is closely guarded, every man who has approached it being put to death by the guards who are stationed there. And the latter are few in number and lead a miserable existence. For in order to prevent any stone being stolen, not a single boat is left on the island; furthermore, any who sail by pass along it at a distance because of their fear of the king; and the provisions which are brought to it are quickly exhausted and there are absolutely no other provisions in the land. 7 Consequently, whenever only a little food is left, all the inhabitants of the village sit down and await the arrival of the ship of those who are bringing the provisions, and when these are delayed they are reduced to their last hopes. 8 And the stone we have mentioned, being found in the rock, is not discernible during the day because of the stifling heat, since it is overcome by the brilliance of the sun, but when night falls it shines in the dark and is visible from afar, in whatever place it may be. 9 The guards on the island divide these places by lot among themselves and stand watch over them, and when the stone shines they put around it, to mark the place, a vessel corresponding in size to the chunk of stone which gives out the light; and when day comes and they go their rounds they cut out the area which has been so marked and turn it over to men who are able by reason of their craftsmanship to polish it properly.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.40.1  After sailing past these regions one finds that the coast is inhabited by many nations of Ichthyophagi and many nomadic Trogodytes. Then there appear mountains of all manner of peculiarities until one comes to the Harbour of Soteria, as it is called, which gained this name from the first Greek sailors who found safety there. 2 From this region onwards the gulf begins to become contracted and to curve toward Arabia. And here it is found that the nature of the country and of the sea has altered by reason of the peculiar characteristic of the region; 3 for the mainland appears to be low as seen from the sea, no elevation rising above it, and the sea, which runs to shoals, is found to have a depth of no more than three fathoms, while in colour it is altogether green. The reason for this is, they say, not because the water is naturally of that colour, but because of the mass of seaweed and tangle which shows from under water. 4 For ships, then, which are equipped with oars the place is suitable enough, since it rolls along no wave from a great distance and affords, furthermore, fishing in the greatest abundance; but the ships which carry the elephants, being of deep draft because of their weight and heavy by reason of their equipment, bring upon their crews great and terrible dangers. 5 For running as they do under full sail and often times being driven during the night before the force of the winds, sometimes they will strike against rocks and be wrecked or sometimes run aground on slightly submerged spits. The sailors are unable to go over the sides of the ship because the water is deeper than a man's height, and when in their efforts to rescue their vessel by means of their punting-poles they accomplish nothing, they jettison everything except their provisions; but if even by this course they do not succeed in effecting an escape, they fall into great perplexity by reason of the fact that they can make out neither an island nor a promontory nor another ship near at hand; — for the region is altogether inhospitable and only at rare intervals do men cross it in ships. 6 And to add to these evils the waves within a moment's time cast up such a mass of sand against the body of the ship and heap it up in so incredible a fashion that it soon piles up a mound round about the place and binds the vessel, as if of set purpose, to the solid land.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.40.7  Now the men who have suffered this mishap, at the outset bewail their lot with moderation in the face of a deaf wilderness, having as yet not entirely abandoned hope of ultimate salvation; for oftentimes the swell of the flood-tide has intervened for men in such a plight and raised the ship aloft, and suddenly appearing, as might a deus ex machina, has brought succour to men in the extremity of peril. But when such god-sent aid has not been vouchsafed to them and their food fails, then the strong cast the weaker into the sea in order that for the few left the remaining necessities of life may last a greater number of days. But finally, when they have blotted out of their minds all their hopes, these perish by a more miserable fate than those who had died before; for whereas the latter in a moment's time returned to Nature the spirit which she had given them, these parcelled out their death into many separate hardships before they finally, suffering long-protracted tortures, were granted the end of life. 8 As for the ships which have been stripped of their crews in this pitiable fashion, there they remain for many years, like a group of cenotaphs, embedded on every side in a heap of sand, their masts and yard-arms si standing aloft, and they move those who behold them from afar to pity and sympathy for the men who have perished. For it is the king's command to leave in place such evidences of disasters that they may give notice to sailors of the region which works to their destruction. 9 And among the Ichthyophagi who dwell near by has been handed down a tale which has preserved the account received from their forefathers, that once, when there was a great receding of the sea, the entire area of the gulf which has what may be roughly described as the green appearance became land, and that, after the sea had receded to the opposite parts and the solid ground in the depths of it had emerged to view, a mighty flood came back upon it again and returned the body of water to its former place.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.41.1  The voyage along the coast, as one leaves these regions, from Ptolemais as far as the Promontories of the Tauri we have already mentioned, when we told of Ptolemy's hunting of the elephants; and from the Tauri the coast swings to the east, and at the time of the summer solstice the shadows fall to the south, opposite to what is true with us, at about the second hour of the day. 2 The country also has rivers, which flow from the Psebaean mountains, as they are called. Moreover, it is checkered by great plains as well, which bear mallows, cress, and palms, all of unbelievable size; and it also brings forth fruits of every description, which have an insipid taste and are unknown among us. 3 That part which stretches towards the interior is full of elephants and wild bulls and lions and many other powerful wild beasts of every description. The passage by sea is broken up by islands which, though they bear no cultivated fruit, support varieties of birds which are peculiar to them and marvellous to look upon. 4 After this place the sea is quite deep and produces all kinds of sea-monsters of astonishing size, which, however, offer no harm to men unless one by accident falls upon their back-fins; for they are unable to pursue the sailors, since when they rise from the sea their eyes are blinded by the brilliance of the sun. These, then, are the farthest known parts of the Trogodyte country, and are circumscribed by the ranges which go by the name of Psebaean.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.42.1  But we shall now take up the other side, namely, the opposite shore which forms the coast of Arabia, and shall describe it, beginning with the innermost recess. This bears the name Poseideion, since an altar was erected here to Poseidon Pelagius by that Ariston who was dispatched by Ptolemy to investigate the coast of Arabia as far as the ocean. Directly after the innermost recess is a region along the sea which is especially honoured by the natives because of the advantage which accrues from it to them. It is called the Palm-grove and contains a multitude of trees of this kind which are exceedingly fruitful and contribute in an unusual degree to enjoyment and luxury. 3 But all the country round about is lacking in springs of water and is fiery hot because it slopes to the south; accordingly, it was a natural thing that the barbarians made sacred the place which was full of trees and, lying as it did in the midst of a region utterly desolate, supplied their food. And indeed not a few springs and streams of water gush forth there, which do not yield to snow in coldness; and these make the land on both sides of them green and altogether pleasing. 4 Moreover, an altar is there built of hard stone and very old in years, bearing an inscription in ancient letters of an unknown tongue. The oversight of the sacred precinct is in the care of a man and a woman who hold the sacred office for life. The inhabitants of the place are long-lived and have their beds in the trees because of their fear of the wild beasts.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.42.5  After sailing past the Palm-grove one comes to an island off a promontory of the mainland which bears the name Island of Phocae from the animals which make their home there; for so great a multitude of these beasts spend their time in these regions as to astonish those who behold them. And the promontory which stretches out in front of the island lies over against Petra, as it is called, and Palestine; for to this country, as it is reported, both the Gerrhaeans and Minaeans convey from Upper Arabia, as it is called, both the frankincense and the other aromatic wares.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.43.1  The coast which comes next was originally inhabited by the Maranitae, and then by the Garindanes who were their neighbours. The latter secured the country somewhat in this fashion: In the above-mentioned Palm-grove a festival was celebrated every four years, to which the neighbouring peoples thronged from all sides, both to sacrifice to the gods of the sacred precinct hecatombs of well-fed camels and also to carry back to their native lands some of the water of this place, since the tradition prevailed that this drink gave health to such as partook of it. 2 When for these reasons, then, the Maranitae gathered to the festival, the Garindanes, putting to the sword those who had been left behind in the country, and lying in ambush for those who were returning from the festival, utterly destroyed the tribe, and after stripping the country of its inhabitants they divided among themselves the plains, which were fruitful and supplied abundant pasture for their herds and flocks. 3 This coast has few harbours and is divided by many large mountains, by reason of which it shows every shade of colour and affords a marvellous spectacle to those who sail past it.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.43.4  After one has sailed past this country the Laeanites Gulf comes next, about which are many inhabited villages of Arabs who are known as Nabataeans. This tribe occupies a large part of the coast and not a little of the country which stretches inland, and it has a people numerous beyond telling and flocks and herds in multitude beyond belief. 5 Now in ancient times these men observed justice and were content with the food which they received from their flocks, but later, after the kings in Alexandria had made the ways of the sea navigable for the merchants, these Arabs not only attacked the shipwrecked, but fitting out pirate ships preyed upon the voyagers, imitating in their practices the savage and lawless ways of the Tauri of the Pontus; some time afterward, however, they were caught on the high seas by some quadriremes and punished as they deserved.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.43.6  Beyond these regions there is a level and well-watered stretch of land which produces, by reason of springs which flow through its whole extent, dog's-tooth grass, lucerne, and lotus as tall as a man. And because of the abundance and excellent quality of the pasturage, not only does it support every manner of flocks and herds in multitude beyond telling, but also wild camels, deer, and gazelles. 7 And against the multitude of animals which are nourished in that place there gather in from the desert bands of lions and wolves and leopards, against which the herdsmen must perforce battle both day and night to protect their charges; and in this way the land's good fortune becomes a cause of misfortune for its inhabitants, seeing that it is generally Nature's way to dispense to men along with good things what is hurtful as well.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.44.1  Next after these plains as one skirts the coast comes a gulf of extraordinary nature. It runs, namely, to a point deep into the land, extends in length a distance of some five hundred stades, and shut in as it is by crags which are of wondrous size, its mouth is winding and hard to get out of; for a rock which extends into the sea obstructs its entrance and so it is impossible for a ship either to sail into or out of the gulf. 2 Furthermore, at times when the current rushes in and there are frequent shiftings of the winds, the surf, beating upon the rocky beach, roars and rages all about the projecting rock. The inhabitants of the land about the gulf, who are known as Banizomenes, find their food by hunting the land animals and eating their meat. And a temple has been set up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.44.3  Next there are three islands which lie off the coast just described and provide numerous harbours. The first of these, history relates, is sacred to Isis and is uninhabited, and on it are stone foundations of ancient dwellings and stelae which are inscribed with letters in a barbarian tongue; the other two islands are likewise uninhabited and all three are covered thick with olive trees which differ from those we have. 4 Beyond these islands there extends for about a thousand stades a coast which is precipitous and difficult for ships to sail past; for there is neither harbour beneath the cliffs nor roadstead where sailors may anchor, and no natural breakwater which affords shelter in emergency for mariners in distress. And parallel to the coast here runs a mountain range at whose summit are rocks which are sheer and of a terrifying height, and at its base are sharp undersea ledges in many places and behind them are ravines which are eaten away underneath and turn this way and that. 5 And since these ravines are connected by passages with one another and the sea is deep, the surf, as it at one time rushes in and at another time retreats, gives forth a sound resembling a mighty crash of thunder. At one place the surf, as it breaks upon huge rocks, rocks leaps on high and causes an astonishing mass of foam, at another it is swallowed up within the caverns and creates such a terrifying agitation of the waters that men who unwittingly draw near these places are so frightened that they die, as it were, a first death.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.44.6  This coast, then, is inhabited by Arabs who are called Thamudeni; but the coast next to it is bounded by a very large gulf, off which lie scattered islands which are in appearance very much like the islands called the Echinades. After this coast there come sand dunes, of infinite extent in both length and width and black in colour. 7 Beyond them a neck of land is to be seen and a harbour, the fairest of any which have come to be included in history, called Charmuthas. For behind an extraordinary natural breakwater which slants towards the west there lies a gulf which not only is marvellous in its form but far surpasses all others in the advantages it offers; for a thickly wooded mountain stretches along it, enclosing it on all sides in a ring one hundred stades long; its entrance is two plethra wide, and it provides a harbour undisturbed by the waves sufficient for two thousand vessels. 8 Furthermore, it is exceptionally well supplied with water, since a river, larger than ordinary, empties into it, and it contains in its centre an island which is abundantly watered and capable of supporting gardens. In general, it resembles most closely the harbour of Carthage, which is known as Cothon, of the advantages of which we shall endeavour to give a detailed discussion in connection with the appropriate time. And a multitude of fish gather from the open sea into the harbour both because of the calm which prevails there and because of the sweetness of the waters which flow into it.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.45.1  After these places, as a man skirts the coast, five mountains rise on high separated one from another, and their peaks taper into breast-shaped tips of stone which give them an appearance like that of the pyramids of Egypt. 2 Then comes a circular gulf guarded on every side by great promontories, and midway on a line drawn across it rises a trapezium-shaped hill on which three temples, remarkable for their height, have been erected to gods, which indeed are unknown to the Greeks, but are accorded unusual honour by the natives. 3 After this there is a stretch of dank coast, traversed at intervals by streams of sweet water from springs; on it there is a mountain which bears the name Chabinus and is heavily covered with thickets of every kind of tree. The land which adjoins the mountainous country is inhabited by the Arabs known as Debae. 4 They are breeders of camels and make use of the services of this animal in connection with the most important needs of their life; for instance, they fight against their enemies from their backs, employ them for the conveyance of their wares and thus easily accomplish all their business, drink their milk and in this way get their food from them, and traverse their entire country riding upon their racing camels. 5 And down the centre of their country runs a river which carries down such an amount of what is gold dust to all appearance that the mud glitters all over as it is carried out at its mouth. The natives of the region are entirely without experience in the working of the gold, but they are hospitable to strangers, not, however, to everyone who arrives among them, but only to Boeotians and Peloponnesians, the reason for this being the ancient friendship shown by Heracles for the tribe, a friendship which, they relate, has come down to them in the form of a myth as a heritage from their ancestors.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.45.6  The land which comes next is inhabited by Alilaei and Gasandi, Arab peoples, and is not fiery hot, like the neighbouring territories, but is often overspread by mild and thick clouds, from which come heavy showers and timely storms that make the summer season temperate. The land produces everything and is exceptionally fertile, but it does not receive the cultivation of which it would admit because of the lack of experience of the folk. 7 Gold they discover in underground galleries which have been formed by nature and gather in abundance not that which has been fused into a mass out of gold-dust, but the virgin gold, which is called, from its condition when found, unfired gold. And as for size the smallest nugget found is about as large as the stone offruit, and the largest not much smaller than a royal nut. 8 This gold they wear about both their wrists and necks, perforating it and alternating it with transparent stones. And since this precious metal abounds in their land, whereas there is a scarcity of copper and iron, they exchange it with merchants for equal parts of the latter wares.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.46.1  Beyond this people are the Carbae, as they are called, and beyond these the Sabaeans, who are the most numerous of the tribes of the Arabians. They inhabit that part of the country known as Arabia the Blest, which produces most of the things which are held dear among us and nurtures flocks and herds of every kind in multitude beyond telling. And a natural sweet odour pervades the entire land because practically all the things which excel in fragrance grow there unceasingly. 2 Along the coast, for instance, grow balsam, as called, and cassia and a certain other herb possessing a nature peculiar to itself; for when fresh it is most pleasing and delightful to the eye, but when kept for a time it suddenly fades to nothing. 3 And throughout the interior of land there are thick forests, in which are great trees which yield frankincense and myrrh, as well as palms and reeds, cinnamon trees and every other kind which possesses a sweet odour as these have; for it is impossible to enumerate both the peculiar properties and natures of each one severally because of the great volume and the exceptional richness of the fragrance as it is gathered from each and all. 4 For a divine thing and beyond the power of words to describe seems the fragrance which greets the nostrils and stirs the senses of everyone. Indeed, even though those who sail along this coast may be far from the land, that does not deprive them of a portion of the enjoyment which this fragrance affords; for in the summer season, when the wind is blowing off shore, one finds that the sweet odours exhaled by the myrrh-bearing and other aromatic trees penetrate to the near-by parts of the sea; and the reason is that the essence of the sweet-smelling herbs is not, as with us, kept laid away until it has become old and stale, but its potency is in the full bloom of its strength and fresh, and penetrates to the most delicate parts of the sense of smell. 5 And since the breeze carries the emanation of the most fragrant plants, to the voyagers who approach the coast there is wafted a blending of perfumes, delightful and potent, and healthful withal and exotic, composed as it is of the best of them, seeing that the product of the trees has not been minced into bits and so has exhaled its own special strength, nor yet lies stored away in vessels made of a different substance, but taken at the very prime of its freshness and while its divine nature keeps the shoot pure and undefiled. Consequently those who partake of the unique fragrance feel that they are enjoying the ambrosia of which the myths relate, being unable, because of the superlative sweetness of the perfume, to find any other name that would be fitting and worthy of it.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.47.1  Nevertheless, fortune has not invested the inhabitants of this land with a felicity which is perfect and leaves no room for envy, but with such great gifts she has coupled what is harmful and may serve as a warning to such men as are wont to despise the gods because of the unbroken succession of their blessings. 2 For in the most fragrant forests is a multitude of snakes, the colour of which is dark-red, their length a span, and their bites altogether incurable; they bite by leaping upon their victim, and as they spring on high they leave a stain of blood upon his skin. 3 And there is also something peculiar to the natives which happens in the case of those whose bodies have become weakened by a protracted illness. For when the body has become permeated by an undiluted and pungent substance and the combination of foreign bodies settles in a porous area, an enfeebled condition ensues which is difficult to cure: consequently at the side of men afflicted in this way they burn asphalt and the beard of a goat, combatting the excessively sweet odour by that from substances of the opposite nature. Indeed the good, when it is measured out in respect of quantity and order, is for human beings an aid and delight, but when it fails of due proportion and proper time the gift which it bestows is unprofitable.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.47.4  The chief city of this tribe is called by them Sabae and is built upon a mountain. The kings of this city succeed to the throne by descent and the people accord to them honours mingled with good and ill. For though they have the appearance of leading a happy life, in that they impose commands upon all and are not accountable for their deeds, yet they are considered unfortunate, inasmuch as it is unlawful for them ever to leave the palace, and if they do so they are stoned to death, in accordance with a certain ancient oracle, by the common crowd. 5 This tribe surpasses not only the neighbouring Arabs but also all other men in wealth and in their several extravagancies besides. For in the exchange and sale of their wares they, of all men who carry on trade for the sake of the silver they receive in exchange, obtain the highest price in return for things of the smallest weight. 6 Consequently, since they have never for ages suffered the ravages of war because of their secluded position, and since an abundance of both gold and silver abounds in the country, especially in Sabae, where the royal palace is situated, they have embossed goblets of every description, made of silver and gold, couches and tripods with silver feet, and every other furnishing of incredible costliness, and halls encircled by large columns, some of them gilded, and others having silver figures on the capitals. 7 Their ceilings and doors they have partitioned by means of panels and coffers made of gold, set with precious stones and placed close together, and have thus made the structure of their houses in every part marvellous for its costliness; for some parts they have constructed of silver and gold, others of ivory and that most showy precious stones or of whatever else men esteem most highly. 8 For the fact is that these people have enjoyed their felicity unshaken since ages past because they have been entire strangers to those whose own covetousness leads them to feel that another man's wealth is their own godsend. The sea in these parts looks to be white in colour, so that the beholder marvels at the surprising phenomenon and at the same time seeks for its cause. 9 And there are prosperous islands near by, containing unwalled cities, all the herds of which are white in colour, while no female has any horn whatsoever. These islands are visited by sailors from every part and especially from Potana, the city which Alexander founded on the Indus river, when he wished to have a naval station on the shore of the ocean.
Now as regards Arabia the Blest and its inhabitants we shall be satisfied with what has been said.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.48.1  But we must not omit to mention the strange phenomena which are seen in the heavens in these regions. The most marvellous is that which, according to accounts we have, has to do with the constellation of the Great Bear and occasions the greatest perplexity among navigators. What they relate is that, beginning with the month which the Athenians call Maemacterion, not one of the seven stars of the Great Bear is seen until the first watch, in Poseideon none until second, and in the following months they gradually drop out of the sight of navigators. 2 As for the other heavenly bodies, the planets, as they are called, are, in the case of some, larger than they appear with us, and in the case of others their risings and settings are also not the same; and the sun does not, as with us, send forth its light shortly in advance of its actual rising, but while the darkness of night still continues, it suddenly and contrary to all expectation appears and sends forth its light. 3 Because of this there is no daylight in those regions before the sun has become visible, and when out of the midst of the sea, as they say, it comes into view, it resembles a fiery red ball of charcoal which discharges huge sparks, and its shape does not look like a cone, as is the impression we have of it, but it has the shape of a column which has the appearance of being slightly thicker at the top; and furthermore it does not shine or send out rays before the first hour, appearing as a fire that gives forth no light in the darkness; but at the beginning of the second hour it takes on the form of a round shield and sends forth a light which is exceptionally bright and fiery. 4 But at its setting the opposite manifestations take place with respect to it; for it seems to observers to be lighting up the whole universe with a strange kind of ray for not less than two or, as Agatharchides of Cnidus has recorded, for three hours. And in the opinion of the natives this is the most pleasant period, when the heat is steadily lessening because of the setting of the sun.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.48.5  As regards the winds, the west, the south-west, also the north-west and the east blow as in the other parts of the world; but in Ethiopia the south winds neither blow nor are known at all, although in the Trogodyte country and Arabia they so exceptionally hot that they set the forests on fire and cause the bodies of those who take refuge in the shade of their huts to collapse through weakness. The north wind, however, may justly be considered the most favourable of all, since it reaches into every region of the inhabited earth and is ever cool.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.49.1  But now that we have examined these matters, it will be appropriate to discuss the Libyans who dwell near Egypt and the country which borders upon them. The parts about Cyrene and the Syrtes as well as the interior of the mainland in these regions are inhabited by four tribes of Libyans; of these the Nasamones, as they are called, dwell in the parts to the south, the Auschisae in those to the west, the Marmaridae occupy the narrow strip between Egypt and Cyrene and come down to the coast, and the Macae, who are more numerous than their fellow Libyans, dwell in the regions about the Syrtis. 2 Now of the Libyans whom we have just mentioned those are farmers who possess land which is able to produce abundant crops, while those are nomads who get their sustenance from the flocks and herds which they maintain; and both of these groups have kings and lead a life which is not entirely savage or different from that of civilized men. The third group, however, obeying no king and taking no account or even thought of justice, makes robbery its constant practice, and attacking unexpectedly from out of the desert it seizes whatever it has happened upon and quickly withdraws to the place from which it had set out. 3 All the Libyans of this third group lead a life like that of the wild beasts, spending their days under the open sky and practising the savage in their mode of life; for they have nothing to do with civilized food or clothing, but cover their bodies with the skins of goats. Their leaders have no cities whatsoever, but only towers near the sources of water, and into these they bring and store away the excess of their booty. Of the peoples who are their subjects they annually exact an oath of obedience to their authority, and to any who have submitted to them they extend their protection as being allies, and such as take no heed of them they first condemn to death and then make war upon them as robbers. 4 Their weapons are appropriate to both the country and their mode of life; for since they are light of body and inhabit a country which is for the most part a level plain, they face the dangers which beset them armed with three spears and stones in leather bags; and they carry neither sword nor helmet nor any other armour, since their aim is to excel in agility both in pursuit and again in withdrawal. 5 Consequently they are expert in running and hurling stones, having brought to full development by practice and habit the advantages accorded them by nature. And, speaking generally, they observe neither justice nor good faith in any respect in dealing with peoples of alien race.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.50.1  That part of the country which lies near the city of Cyrene has a deep soil and bears products of many kinds; for not only does it produce wheat, but it also possesses large vineyards and olive orchards and native forests, and rivers which are of great utility; but the area which extends beyond its southern border where nitre is found, being uncultivated and lacking springs of water, is in appearance like a sea; and in addition to its showing no variety of landscape it is surrounded by desert land, the desert which lies beyond ending in a region from which egress is difficult. 2 Consequently not even a bird is to be seen there nor any four-footed animal except the gazelle and the ox, nor indeed any plant or anything that delights the eye, since the land which stretches into the interior contains nearly continuous dunes throughout its length. And greatly as it is lacking in the things which pertain to civilized life, to the same degree does it abound in snakes of every manner of appearance and size, and especially in those which men call cerastes, the stings of which are mortal and their colour is like sand; 3 and since for this reason they look like the ground on which they lie, few men discern them and the greater number tread on them unwittingly and meet with unexpected perils. Moreover, the account runs that in ancient times these snakes once invaded a large part of that section of Egypt which lies below this desert and rendered it uninhabitable.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.50.4  And both in this arid land and in Libya which lies beyond the Syrtis there takes place a marvellous thing. For at certain times, and especially when there is no wind, shapes are seen gathering in the sky which assume the forms of animals of every kind; and some of these remain fixed, but others begin to move, sometimes retreating before a man and at other times pursuing him, and in every case, since they are of monstrous size, they strike such as have never experienced them with wondrous dismay and terror. 5 For when the shape which are pursuing overtake the persons they envelop their bodies, causing a chilling and shivering sensation, so that strangers who are unfamiliar with them are overcome with fear, although the natives, who have often met with such things, pay no attention to the phenomenon.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.51.1  Now incredible though this effect may seem and like a fanciful tale, yet certain physical philosophers attempt to set forth the causes of it somewhat as follows: 2 The winds, they say, either blow in this land not at all or else are altogether sluggish and without vigour; and often there prevails in the air a calm and wondrous lack of movement, because of the fact that neither wooded vales nor thickly-shaded glens lie near it nor are there any elevations that make hills; furthermore, these regions lack large rivers and, in general, the whole territory round about, being barren of plants, gives forth no vapour. Yet it is all these things which are wont, they explain, to generate beginnings, as it were, and gatherings of air-currents. 3 Consequently, when so stifling an atmosphere extends over the arid land the phenomenon which we observe taking place now and then with respect to the clouds on humid days, when every kind of shape is formed, occurs likewise in Libya, they tell us, the air as it condenses assuming manifold shapes. Now this air is driven along by the weak and sluggish breezes, rising aloft and making quivering motions and impinging upon other bodies of similar character, but when a calm succeeds, it then descends towards the earth by reason of its weight and in the shape which it may chance to have assumed, whereupon, there being nothing to dissipate it, the air clings to such living creatures as accidentally come to be in the way. 4 As for the movements which these shapes make in both directions, these, they say, indicate no volition on their part, since it is impossible that voluntary flight or pursuit should reside in a soulless thing. And yet the living creatures are, unknown to themselves, responsible for this movement through the air; for, if they advance, they push up by their violent motion the air which lies beneath them, and this is the reason why the image which has been formed retreats before them and gives the impression of fleeing; whereas if the living creatures withdraw, they follow in the opposite direction, the cause having been reversed, since that which is empty and rarefied draws the shapes towards itself. 5 Consequently it has the appearance of pursuing men who withdraw before it, for the image is drawn to the empty space and rushes forward in a mass under the influence of the backward motion of the living creature; and as for those who flee, it is quite reasonable that, whether they turn about or stand still, their bodies should feel the light touch of the image which follows them; and this is broken in pieces as it strikes upon the solid object, and as it pours itself out in all directions it chills the bodies of all with whom it comes in contact.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.52.1  But now that we have examined these matters it will be fitting, in connection with the regions we have mentioned, to discuss the account which history records of the Amazons who were in Libya in ancient times. For the majority of mankind believe that the only Amazons were those who are reported to have dwelt in the neighbourhood of the Thermodon river on the Pontus; but the truth is otherwise, since the Amazons of Libya were much earlier in point of time and accomplished notable deeds. 2 Now we are not unaware that to many who read this account the history of this people will appear to be a thing unheard of and entirely strange; for since the race of these Amazons disappeared entirely many generations before the Trojan War, whereas the women about the Thermodon river were in their full vigour a little before that time, it is not without reason that the later people, who were also better known, should have inherited the fame of the earlier, who are entirely unknown to most men because of the lapse of time. 3 For our part, however, since we find that many early poets and historians, and not a few of the later ones as well, have made mention of them, we shall endeavour to recount their deeds in summary, following the account of Dionysius, who composed a narrative about the Argonauts and Dionysus, and also about many other things which took place in the most ancient times.

Event Date: -100 GR

§ 3.52.4  Now there have been in Libya a number of races of women who were warlike and greatly admired for their manly vigour; for instance, tradition tells us of the race of the Gorgons, against whom, as the account is given, Perseus made war, a race distinguished for its valour; for the fact that it was the son of Zeus, the mightiest Greek of his day, who accomplished the campaign against these women, and that this was his greatest Labour may be taken by any man as proof of both the pre-eminence and the power of the women we have mentioned. Furthermore, the manly prowess of those of whom we are now about to write presupposes an amazing pre-eminence when compared with the nature of the women of our day.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.53.1  We are told, namely, that there was once on the western parts of Libya, on the bounds of the inhabited world, a race which was ruled by women and followed a manner of life unlike that which prevails among us. For it was the custom among them that the women should practise the arts of war and be required to serve in the army for a fixed period, during which time they maintained their virginity; then, when the years of their service in the field had expired, they went in to the men for the procreation of children, but they kept in their hands the administration of the magistracies and of all the affairs of the state. 2 The men, however, like our married women, spent their days about the house, carrying out the orders which were given them by their wives; and they took no part in military campaigns or in office or in the exercise of free citizenship in the affairs of the community by virtue of which they might become presumptuous and rise up against the women. 3 When their children were born the babies were turned over to the men, who brought them up on milk and such cooked foods as were appropriate to the age of the infants; and if it happened that a girl was born, its breasts were seared that they might not develop at the time of maturity; for they thought that the breasts, as they stood out from the body, were no small hindrance in warfare; and in fact it is because they have been deprived of their breasts that they are called by the Greeks Amazons.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.53.4  As mythology relates, their home was on an island which, because it was in the west, was called Hespera, and it lay in the marsh Tritonis. This marsh was near the ocean which surrounds the earth and received its name from a certain river Triton which emptied into it; and this marsh was also near Ethiopia and that mountain by the shore of the ocean which is the highest of those in the vicinity and impinges upon the ocean and is called by the Greeks Atlas. 5 The island mentioned above was of great size and full of fruit-bearing trees of every kind, from which the natives secured their food. It contained also a multitude of flocks and herds, namely, of goats and sheep, from which possessors received milk and meat for their sustenance; but grain the nation used not at all because the use of this fruit of the earth had not yet been discovered among them.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.53.6  The Amazons, then, the account continues, being a race superior in valour and eager for war, first of all subdued all the cities on the island except the one called Mene, which was considered to be sacred and was inhabited by Ethiopian Ichthyophagi, and was also subject to great eruptions of fire and possessed a multitude of the precious stones which the Greeks call anthrax, sardion, and smaragdos; and after this they subdued many of the neighbouring Libyans and nomad tribes, and founded within the marsh Tritonis a great city which they named Cherronesus after its shape.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.54.1  Setting out from the city of Cherronesus, the account continues, the Amazons embarked upon great ventures, a longing having come over them to invade many part of the inhabited world. The first people against whom they advanced, according to the tale, was the Atlantians, the most civilized men among the inhabitants of those regions, who dwelt in a prosperous country and possessed great cities; it was among them, we are told, that mythology places the birth of the gods, in the regions which lie along the shore of the ocean, in this respect agreeing with those among the Greeks who relate legends, and about this we shall speak in detail a little later.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.54.2  Now the queen of the Amazons, Myrina, collected, it is said, an army of thirty thousand foot-soldiers and three thousand cavalry, since they favoured to an unusual degree the use of cavalry in their wars. 3 For protective devices they used the skins of large snakes, since Libya contains such animals of incredible size, and for offensive weapons, swords and lances; they also used bows and arrows, with which they struck not only when facing the enemy but also when in flight, by shooting backwards at their pursuers with good effect. 4 Upon entering the land of the Atlantians they defeated in a pitched battle the inhabitants of the city of Cerne, as it is called, and making their way inside the walls along with the fleeing enemy, they got the city into their hands; and desiring to strike terror into the neighbouring peoples they treated the captives savagely, put to the sword the men from the youth upward, led into slavery the children and women, and razed the city. 5 But when the terrible fate of the inhabitants of Cerne became known among their fellow tribesmen, it is related that the Atlantians, struck with terror, surrendered their cities on terms of capitulation and announced that they would do whatever should be commanded them, and that the queen Myrina, bearing herself honourably towards the Atlantians, both established friendship with them and founded a city to bear her name in place of the city which had been razed; and in it she settled both the captives and any native who so desired. 6 Whereupon the Atlantians presented her with magnificent presents and by public decree voted to her notable honours, and she in return accepted their courtesy and in addition promised that she would show kindness to their nation. 7 And since the natives were often being warred upon by the Gorgons, as they were named, a folk which resided upon their borders, and in general had that people lying in wait to injure them, Myrina, they say, was asked by the Atlantians to invade the land of the afore-mentioned Gorgons. But when the Gorgons drew up their forces to resist them a mighty battle took place in which the Amazons, gaining the upper hand, slew great numbers of their opponents and took no fewer than three thousand prisoners; and since the rest had fled for refuge into a certain wooded region, Myrina undertook to set fire to the timber, being eager to destroy the race utterly, but when she found that she was unable to succeed in her attempt she retired to the borders of her country.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.55.1  Now as the Amazons, they go on to say, relaxed their watch during the night because of their success, the captive women, falling upon them and drawing the swords of those who thought they were conquerors, slew many of them; in the end, however, the multitude poured in about them from every side and the prisoners fighting bravely were butchered one and all. 2 Myrina accorded a funeral to her fallen comrades on three pyres and raised up three great heaps of earth as tombs, which are called to this day Amazon Mounds. 3 But the Gorgons, grown strong again in later days, were subdued a second time by Perseus, the son of Zeus, when Medusa was queen over them; and in the end both they and the race of the Amazons were entirely destroyed by Heracles, when he visited the regions to the west and set up his Pillars in Libya, since he felt that it would ill accord with his resolve to be the benefactor of the whole race of mankind if he should suffer any nations to be under the rule of women. The story is also told that the marsh disappeared from sight in the course of an earthquake, when those parts of it which lay towards the ocean were torn asunder.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.55.4  As for Myrina, the account continues, she visited the larger part of Libya, and passing over into Egypt she struck a treaty of friendship with Horus, the son of Isis, who was king of Egypt at that time, and then, after making war to the end upon the Arabians and slaying many of them, she subdued Syria; but when the Cilicians came out with presents to meet her and agreed to obey her commands, she left those free who yielded to her of their free will and for this reason these are called to this day the Free Cilicians. 5 She also conquered in war the races in the region of the Taurus, peoples of outstanding courage, and descended through Greater Phrygia to the sea; and then she won over the land lying along the coast and fixed the bounds of her campaign at the Caicus River. 6 And selecting in the territory which she had won by arms sites well suited for the founding of cities, she built a considerable number of them and founded one which bore her own name, but the others she named after the women who held the most important commands, such as Cyme, Pitana, and Priene.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.55.7  These, then, are the cities she settled along the sea, but others, and a larger number, she planted in the regions stretching towards the interior. She seized also some of the islands, and Lesbos in particular, on which she founded the city of Mitylene, which was named after her sister who took part in the campaign. 8 After that, while subduing some of the rest of the islands, she was caught in a storm, and after she had offered up prayers for her safety to the Mother of the Gods, she was carried to one of the uninhabited islands; this island, in obedience to a vision which she beheld in her dreams, she made sacred to this goddess, and set up altars there and offered magnificent sacrifices. She also gave it the name of Samothrace, which means, when translated into Greek, sacred island, although some historians say that it was formerly called Samos and was then given the name of Samothrace by Thracians who at one time dwelt on it. 9 However, after the Amazons had returned to the continent, the myth relates, the Mother of the Gods, well pleased with the island, settled in it certain other people, and also her own sons, who are known by the name of Corybantes — who their father was is handed down in their rites as a matter not to be divulged; and she established the mysteries which are now celebrated on the island and ordained by law that the sacred area should enjoy the right of sanctuary.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.55.10  In these times, they go on to say, Mopsus the Thracian, who had been exiled by Lycurgus, the king of the Thracians, invaded the land of the Amazons with an army composed of fellow-exiles, and with Mopsus on the campaign was also Sipylus the Scythian, who had likewise been exiled from that part of Scythia which borders upon Thrace. 11 There was a pitched battle, Sipylus and Mopsus gained the upper hand, and Myrina, the queen of the Amazons, and the larger part of the rest of her army were slain. In the course of the years, as the Thracians continued to be victorious in their battles, the surviving Amazons finally withdrew again into Libya. And such was the end, as the myth relates, of the campaign which the Amazons of Libya made.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.56.1  But since we have made mention of the Atlantians, we believe that it will not be inappropriate in this place to recount what their myths relate about the genesis of the gods, in view of the fact that it does not differ greatly from the myths of the Greeks. 2 Now the Atlantians, dwelling as they do in the regions on the edge of the ocean and inhabiting a fertile territory, are reputed far to excel their neighbours in reverence towards the gods and the humanity they showed in their dealings with strangers, and the gods, they say, were born among them. And their account, they maintain, is in agreement with that of the most renowned of the Greek poets when he represents Hera as saying:
For I go to see the ends of the bountiful earth,
Oceanus source of the gods and Tethys divine
Their mother.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.56.3  This is the account given in their myth: Their first king was Uranus, and he gathered the human beings, who dwelt in scattered habitations, within the shelter of a walled city and caused his subjects to cease from their lawless ways and their bestial manner of living, discovering for them the uses of cultivated fruits, how to store them up, and not a few other things which are of benefit to man; and he also subdued the larger part of the inhabited earth, in particular the regions to the west and the north. 4 And since he was a careful observer of the stars he foretold many things which would take place throughout the world; and for the common people he introduced the year on the basis of the movement of the sun and the months on that of the moon, and instructed them in the seasons which recur year after year. 5 Consequently the masses of the people, being ignorant of the eternal arrangement of the stars and marvelling at the events which were taking place as he had predicted, conceived that the man who taught such things partook of the nature of the gods, and after he had passed from among men they accorded him immortal honours, both because of his benefactions and because of his knowledge of the stars and then they transferred his name to the firmament of heaven, both because they thought that he had been so intimately acquainted with the risings and the settings of the stars and with whatever else took place in the firmament, and because they would surpass his benefactions by the magnitude of the honours which they would show him, in that for all subsequent time they proclaimed him to be the king of the universe.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.57.1  To Uranus, the myth continues, were born forty-five sons from a number of wives, and, of these, eighteen, it is said, were by Titaea, each of them bearing a distinct name, but all of them as a group were called, after their mother, Titans. 2 Titaea, because she was prudent and had brought about many good deeds for the peoples, was deified after her death by those whom she had helped and her name was changed to Ge. To Uranus were also born daughters, the two eldest of whom were by far the most renowned above all the others and were called Basileia and Rhea, whom some also named Pandora. 3 Of these daughters Basileia, who was the eldest and far excelled the others in both prudence and understanding, reared all her brothers, showing them collectively a mother's kindness; consequently she was given the appellation of Great Mother; and after her father had been translated from among men into the circle of the gods, with the approval of the masses and of her brothers she succeeded to the royal dignity, though she was still a maiden and because of her exceedingly great chastity had been unwilling to unite in marriage with any man. But later, because of her desire to leave sons who should succeed to the throne, she united in marriage with Hyperion, one of her brothers, for whom she had the greatest affection. 4 And when there were born to her two children, Helius and Selene, who were greatly admired for both their beauty and their chastity, the brothers of Basileia, they say, being envious of her because of her happy issue of children and fearing that Hyperion would divert the royal power to himself, committed an utterly impious deed; 5 for entering into a conspiracy among themselves they put Hyperion to the sword, and casting Helius, who was still in years a child, into the Eridanus river, drowned him. When this crime came to light, Selene, who loved her brother very greatly, threw herself down from the roof, but as for his mother, while seeking his body along the river, her strength left her and falling into a swoon she beheld a vision in which she thought that Helius stood over her and urged her not to mourn the death of her children; for, he said, the Titans would meet the punishment which they deserve, while he and his sister would be transformed, by some divine providence, into immortal natures, since that which had formerly been called the holy fire in the heavens would be called by men Helius (the sun) and that addressed as mene would be called Selene (the moon). 6 When she was aroused from the swoon she recounted to the common crowd both the dream and the misfortunes which had befallen her, asking that they render to the dead honours like those accorded to the gods and asserting that no man should thereafter touch her body. 7 And after this she became frenzied, and seizing such of her daughter's playthings as could make a noise, she began to wander over the land, with her hair hanging free, inspired by the noise of the kettledrums and cymbals, so that those who saw her were struck with astonishment. 8 And all men were filled with pity at her misfortune and some were clinging to her body, when there came a mighty storm and continuous crashes of thunder and lightning; and in the midst of this Basileia passed from sight, whereupon the crowds of people, amazed at this reversal of fortune, transferred the names and the honours of Helius and Selene to the stars of the sky, and as for their mother, they considered her to be a goddess and erected altars to her, and imitating the incidents of her life by the pounding of the kettledrums and the clash of the cymbals they rendered unto her in this way sacrifices and all other honours.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.58.1  However, an account is handed down also that this goddess was born in Phrygia. For the natives of that country have the following myth: In ancient times Meion became king of Phrygia and Lydia; and marrying Dindyme he begat an infant daughter, but being unwilling to rear her he exposed her on the mountain which was called Cybelus. There, in accordance with some divine providence, both the leopards and some of the other especially ferocious wild beasts offered their nipples to the child and so gave it nourishment, 2 and some women who were tending the flocks in that place witnessed the happening, and being astonished at the strange event took up the babe and called her Cybele after the name of the place. The child, as she grew up, excelled in both beauty and virtue and also came to be admired for her intelligence; for she was the first to devise the pipe of many reeds and to invent cymbals and kettledrums with which to accompany the games and the dance, and in addition she taught how to heal the sicknesses of both flocks and little children by means of rites of purification; 3 in consequence, since the babes were saved from death by her spells and were generally taken up in her arms, her devotion to them and affection for them led all the people to speak of her as the mother of the mountain. The man who associated with her and loved her more than anyone else, they say, was Marsyas the physician, who was admired for his intelligence and chastity; and a proof of his intelligence they find in the fact that he imitated the sounds made by the pipe of many reeds and carried all its notes over into the flute, and as an indication of his chastity they cite his abstinence from sexual pleasures until the day of his death.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.58.4  Now Cybele, the myth records, having arrived at full womanhood, came to love a certain native youth who was known as Attis, but at a later time received the appellation Papas; with him she consorted secretly and became with child, and at about the same time her parents recognized her as their child.

Event Date: -1000 GR

§ 3.59.1  Consequently she was brought up into the palace, and her father welcomed her at the outset under the impression that she was a virgin, but later, when he learned of her seduction, he put to death her nurses and Attis as well and cast their bodies forth to lie unburied; whereupon Cybele, they say, because of her love for the youth and grief over the nurses, became frenzied and rushed out of the palace into the countryside. And crying aloud and beating upon a kettledrum she visited every country alone, with hair hanging free, and Marsyas, out of pity for her plight, voluntarily followed her and accompanied her in her wanderings because of the love which he had formerly borne her. 2 When they came to Dionysus in the city of Nysa they found there Apollo, who was being accorded high favour because of the lyre, which, they say, Hermes invented, though Apollo was the first to play it fittingly; and when Marsyas strove with Apollo in a contest of skill and the Nysaeans had been appointed judges, the first time Apollo played upon the lyre without accompanying it with his voice, while Marsyas, striking up upon his pipes, amazed the ears of his hearers by their strange music and in their opinion far excelled, by reason of his melody, the first contestant. 3 But since they had agreed to take turn about in displaying their skill to the judges, Apollo, they say, added, this second time, his voice in harmony with the music of the lyre, whereby he gained greater approval than that which had formerly been accorded to the pipes. Marsyas, however, was enraged and tried to prove to the hearers that he was losing the contest in defiance of every principle of justice; for, he argued, it should be a comparison of skill and not of voice, and only by such a test was it possible to judge between the harmony and music of the lyre and of the pipes; and furthermore, it was unjust that two skills should be compared in combination against but one. Apollo, however, as the myth relates, replied that he was in no sense taking any unfair advantage of the other; 4 in fact, when Marsyas blew into his pipes he was doing almost the same thing as himself; consequently the rule should be made either that they should both be accorded this equal privilege of combining their skills, or that neither of them should use his mouth in the contest but should display his special skill by the use only of his hands. 5 When the hearers decided that Apollo presented the more just argument, their skills were again compared; Marsyas was defeated, and Apollo, who had become somewhat embittered by the quarrel, flayed the defeated man alive. But quickly repenting and being distressed at what he had done, he broke the strings of the lyre and destroyed the harmony of sounds which he had discovered. 6 The harmony of the strings, however, was rediscovered, when the Muses added later the middle string, Linus the string struck with the forefinger, and Orpheus and Thamyras the lowest string and the one next to it. And Apollo, they say, laid away both the lyre and the pipes as a votive offering in the cave of Dionysus, and becoming enamoured of Cybele joined in her wanderings as far as the land of the Hyperboreans.

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§ 3.59.7  But, the myth goes on to say, a pestilence fell upon human beings throughout Phrygia and the land ceased to bear fruit, and when the unfortunate people inquired of the god how they might rid themselves of their ills he commanded them, it is said, to bury the body of Attis and to honour Cybele as a goddess. Consequently the physicians, since the body had disappeared in the course of time, made an image of the youth, before which they sang dirges and by means of honours in keeping with his suffering propitiated the wrath of him who had been wronged; and these rites they continue to perform down to our own lifetime. 8 As for Cybele, in ancient times they erected altars and performed sacrifices to her yearly; and later they built for her a costly temple in Pisinus of Phrygia, and established honours and sacrifices of the greatest magnificence, Midas their king taking part in all these works out of his devotion to beauty; and beside the statue of the goddess they set up panthers and lions, since it was the common opinion that she had first been nursed by these animals.
Such, then, are the myths which are told about Mother of the God both among the Phrygians and by the Atlantians who dwell on the coast of the ocean.

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§ 3.60.1  After the death of Hyperion, the myth relates, the kingdom was divided among the sons of Uranus, the most renowned of whom were Atlas and Cronus. Of these sons Atlas received as his part the regions on the coast of the ocean, and he not only gave the name of Atlantians to his peoples but likewise called the greatest mountain in the land Atlas. 2 They also say that he perfected the science of astrology and was the first to publish to mankind the doctrine of the sphere; and it was for this reason that the idea was held that the entire heavens were supported upon the shoulders of Atlas, the myth darkly hinting in this way at his discovery and description of the sphere. There were born to him a number of sons, one of whom was distinguished above the others for his piety, justice to his subjects, and love of mankind, his name being Hesperus. 3 This king, having once climbed to the peak of Mount Atlas, was suddenly snatched away by mighty winds while he was making his observations of the stars, and never was seen again; and because of the virtuous life he had lived and their pity for his sad fate the multitudes accorded to him immortal honours and called the brightest of the stars of heaven after him.

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§ 3.60.4  Atlas, the myth goes on to relate, also had seven daughters, who as a group were called Atlantides after their father, but their individual names were Maea, Electra, Taygete, Sterope, Merope, Halcyone, and the last Celaeno. These daughters lay with the most renowned heroes and gods and thus became the first ancestors of the larger part of the race of human beings, giving birth to those who, because of their high achievements, came to be called gods and heroes; Maea the eldest, for instance, lay with Zeus and bore Hermes, who was the discoverer of many things for the use of mankind; similarly the other Atlantides also gave birth to renowned children, who became the founders in some instances of nations in other cases of cities. 5 Consequently, not only among certain barbarians but among the Greeks as well, the great majority of the most ancient heroes trace their descent back to the Atlantides. These daughters were also distinguished for their chastity and after their death attained to immortal honour among men, by whom they were both enthroned in the heavens and endowed with the appellation of Pleiades. The Atlantides were also called nymphs because the natives of that land addressed their women by the common appellation of nymph.

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§ 3.61.1  Cronus, the brother of Atlas, the myth continues, who was a man notorious for his impiety and greed, married his sister Rhea, by whom he begat that Zeus who was later called the Olympian. But there had been also another Zeus, the brother of Uranus and a king of Crete, who, however, was far less famous than the Zeus who was born at a later time. 2 Now the latter was king over the entire world, whereas the earlier Zeus, who was lord of the above-mentioned island, begat ten sons who were given the name of Curetes; and the island he named after his wife Idaea, and on it he died and was buried, and the place which received his grave is pointed out to our day. 3 The Cretans, however, have a myth which does not agree with the story given above, and we shall give a detailed account of it when we speak of Crete. Cronus, they say, was lord of Sicily and Libya, and Italy as well, and, in a word, established his kingdom over the regions to the west; and everywhere he occupied with garrisons the commanding hills and the strongholds of the regions, this being the reason why both throughout Sicily and the parts which incline towards the west many of the lofty places are called to this day after him Cronia.

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§ 3.61.4  Zeus, however, the son of Cronus, emulated a manner of life the opposite of that led by his father, and since he showed himself honourable and friendly to all, the masses addressed him as father. As for his succession to the kingly power, some say that his father yielded it to him of his own accord, but others state that he was chosen as king by the masses because of the hatred they bore towards his father, and that when Cronus made war against him with the aid of the Titans, Zeus overcame him in battle, and on gaining supreme power visited all the inhabited world, conferring benefactions upon the race of men. 5 He was pre-eminent also in bodily strength and in all the other qualities of virtue and for this reason quickly became master of the entire world. And in general he showed all zeal to punish impious and wicked men and to show kindness to the masses. 6 In return for all this, after he had passed from among men he was given the name of Zen, because he was the cause of right living among men, and those who had received his favours showed him honour by enthroning him in the heavens, all men eagerly acclaiming him as god and lord for ever of the whole universe.
These, then, are in summary the facts regarding the teachings of the Atlantians about the gods.

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§ 3.62.1  But since we have previously made mention, in connection with our discussion of Egypt, of the birth of Dionysus and of his deeds as they are preserved in the local histories of that country, we are of the opinion that it is appropriate in this place to add the myths about this god which are current among the Greeks. 2 But since the early composers of myths and the early poets who have written about Dionysus do not agree with one another and have committed to writing many monstrous tales, it is a difficult undertaking to give a clear account of the birth and deeds of this god. For some have handed down the story that there was but one Dionysus, others that there were three, and there are those who state that there was never any birth of him in human form whatsoever, and think that the word Dionysus means only the gift of wine (oinou dosis). 3 For this reason we shall endeavour to run over briefly only the main facts as they are given by each writer.
Those authors, then, who use the phenomena of nature to explain this god and call the fruit of the vine Dionysus speak like this: The earth brought forth of itself the vine at the same time with the other plants and it was not originally planted by some man who discovered it. 4 And they allege as proof of this fact that to this day vines grow wild in many regions and bear fruit quite similar to that of plants which are tended by the experienced hand of man.

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§ 3.62.5  Furthermore, the early men have given Dionysus the name of Dimetor, reckoning it as a single and first birth when the plant is set in the ground and begins to grow, and as a second birth when it becomes laden with fruit and ripens its clusters, the god, therefore, being considered as having been born once from the earth and again from the vine. 6 And though the writers of myths have handed down the account of a third birth as well, at which, as they say, the Sons of Gaia tore to pieces the god, who was a son of Zeus and Demeter, and boiled him, but his members were brought together again by Demeter and he experienced a new birth as if for the first time, such accounts as this they trace back to certain causes found in nature. 7 For he is considered to be the son of Zeus and Demeter, they hold, by reason of the fact that the vine gets its growth both from the earth and from rains and so bears as its fruit the wine which is pressed out from the clusters of grapes; and the statement that he was torn to pieces, while yet a youth, by the earth-born signifies the harvesting of the fruit by the labourers, and the boiling of his members has been worked into a myth by reason of the fact that most men boil the wine and then mix it, thereby improving its natural aroma and quality. Again, the account of his members, which the earth-born treated with despite, being brought together again and restored to their former natural state, shows forth that the vine, which has been stripped of its fruit and pruned at the yearly seasons, is restored by the earth to the high level of fruitfulness which it had before. For, in general, the ancient poets and writers of myths spoke of Demeter as Ge Meter (Earth Mother). 8 And with these stories the teachings agree which are set forth in the Orphic poems and are introduced into their rites, but it is not lawful to recount them in detail to the uninitiated.

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§ 3.62.9  In the same manner the account that Dionysus was born of Semele they trace back to natural beginnings, offering the explanation that Thuone was the name which the ancients gave to the earth, and that this goddess received the appellation Semele because the worship and honour paid to her was dignified (semne), and she was called Thuone because of the sacrifices (thusiai) and burnt offerings (thuelai) which were offered (thuomenai) to her. 10 Furthermore, the tradition that Dionysus was born twice of Zeus arises from the belief that these fruits also perished in common with all other plants in the flood at the time of Deucalion, and that when they sprang up again after the Deluge it was as if there had been a second epiphany of the god among men, and so the myth was created that the god had been born again from the thigh of Zeus. However this may be, those who explain the name Dionysus as signifying the use and importance of the discovery of wine recount such a myth regarding him.

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§ 3.63.1  Those mythographers, however, who represent the god as having a human form ascribe to him, with one accord, the discovery and cultivation of the vine and all the operations of the making of wine, although they disagree on whether there was a single Dionysus or several. 2 Some, for instance, who assert that he who taught how to make wine and to gather the fruits of the trees, as they are called, he who led an army over all the inhabited world, and he who introduced the mysteries and rites and Bacchic revelries were one and the same person; but there are others, as I have said, who conceive that there were three persons, at separate periods, and to each of these they ascribe deeds which were peculiarly his own.

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§ 3.63.3  This, then, is their account: The most ancient Dionysus was an Indian, and since his country, because of the excellent climate, produced the vine in abundance without cultivation, he was the first to press out the clusters of grapes and to devise the use of wine as a natural product, likewise to give the proper care to the figs and other fruits which grow upon trees, and, speaking generally, to devise whatever pertains to the harvesting and storing of these fruits. The same Dionysus is, furthermore, said to have worn a long beard, the reason for the report being that it is the custom among the Indians to give great care, until their death, to the raising of a beard. 4 Now this Dionysus visited with an army all the inhabited world and gave instruction both as to the culture of the vine and the crushing of the clusters in the wine-vats (lenoi), which is the reason why the god was named Lenaeus. Likewise, he allowed all people to share in his other discoveries, and when he passed from among men he received immortal honour at the hands of those who had received his benefactions. 5 Furthermore, there are pointed out among the Indians even to this day the place where it came to pass that the god was born, as well as cities which bear his name in the language of the natives; and many other notable testimonials to his birth among the Indians still survive, but it would be a long task to write of them.

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§ 3.64.1  The second Dionysus, the writers of myths relate, was born to Zeus by Persephone, though some say it was Demeter. He is represented by them as the first man to have yoked oxen to the plough, human beings before that time having prepared the ground by hand. Many other things also, which are useful for agriculture, were skilfully devised by him, whereby the masses were relieved of their great distress; 2 and in return for this those whom he had benefited accorded to him honours and sacrifices like those offered to the gods, since all men were eager, because of the magnitude of his service to them, to accord to him immortality. And as a special symbol and token the painters and sculptors represented him with horns, at the same time making manifest thereby the other nature of Dionysus and also showing forth the magnitude of the service which he had devised for the farmers by his invention of the plough.

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§ 3.64.3  The third Dionysus, they say, was born in Boeotian Thebes of Zeus and Semele, the daughter of Cadmus. The myth runs as follows: Zeus had become enamoured of Semele and often, lured by her beauty, had consorted with her, but Hera, being jealous and anxious to punish the girl, assumed the form of one of the women who was an intimate of Semele's and led her on to her ruin; 4 for she suggested to her that Zeus should lie with her while having the same majesty and honour in his outward appearance as when he took Hera to his arms. Consequently Zeus, at the request of Semele that she be shown the same honours as Hera, appeared to her accompanied by thunder and lightning, but Semele, unable to endure the majesty of his grandeur, died and brought forth the babe before the appointed time. 5 This babe Zeus quickly took and hid in his thigh, and afterwards, when the period which nature prescribed for the child's birth had completed its growth, he brought it to Nysa in Arabia. 6 There the boy was reared by nymphs and was given the name Dionysus after his father (Dios) and after the place (Nysa); and since he grew to be of unusual beauty he at first spent his time at dances and with bands of women and in every kind of luxury and amusement, and after that, forming the women into an army and arming them with thyrsi, he made a campaign over all the inhabited world. 7 He also instructed all men who were pious and cultivated a life of justice in the knowledge of his rites and initiated them into his mysteries, and, furthermore, in every place he held great festive assemblages and celebrated musical contests; and, in a word, he composed the quarrels between the nations and cities and created concord and deep peace where there had existed civil strifes and wars.

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§ 3.65.1  Now since the presence of the god, the myth goes on to say, became noised abroad in every region, and the report spread that he was treating all men honourably and contributing greatly to the refinement of man's social life, the whole populace everywhere thronged to meet him and welcomed him with great joy. 2 There were a few, however, who, out of disdain and impiety, looked down upon him and kept saying that he was leading the Bacchantes about with him because of his incontinence and was introducing the rites and the mysteries that he might thereby seduce the wives of other men, but such persons were punished by him right speedily. 3 For in some cases he made use of the superior power which attended his divine nature and punished the impious, either striking them with madness or causing them while still living to be torn limb from limb by the hands of the women; in other cases he destroyed such as opposed him by a military device which took them by surprise. For he distributed to the women, instead of the thyrsi, lances whose tips of iron were covered with ivy leaves; consequently, when the kings in their ignorance and for this reason were unprepared, he attacked them when they did not expect it and slew them with the spears. 4 Among those who were punished by him, the most renowned, they say, were Pentheus among the Greeks, Myrrhanus the king of the Indians, and Lycurgus among the Thracians. For the myth relates that when Dionysus was on the point of leading his force over from Asia into Europe, he concluded a treaty of friendship with Lycurgus, who was king of that part of Thrace which lies upon the Hellespont. Now when he had led the first of the Bacchantes over into a friendly land, as he thought, Lycurgus issued orders to his soldiers to fall upon them by night and to slay both Dionysus and all the Maenads, and Dionysus, learning of the plot from a man of the country who was called Charops, was struck with dismay, because his army was on the other side of the Hellespont and only a mere handful of his friends had crossed over with him. 5 Consequently he sailed across secretly to his army, and then Lycurgus, they say, falling upon the Maenads in the city known as Nysium, slew them all, but Dionysus, bringing his forces over, conquered the Thracians in a battle, and taking Lycurgus alive put out his eyes and inflicted upon him every kind of outrage, and then crucified him. 6 Thereupon, out of gratitude to Charops for the aid the man had rendered him, Dionysus made over to him the kingdom of the Thracians and instructed him in the secret rites connected with the initiations; and Oeagrus, the son of Charops, then took over both the kingdom and the initiatory rites which were handed down in the mysteries, the rites which afterwards Orpheus, the son of Oeagrus, who was the superior of all men in natural gifts and education, learned from his father; Orpheus also made many changes in the practices and for that reason the rites which had been established by Dionysus were also called Orphic.

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§ 3.65.7  But some of the poets, one of whom is Antimachus, state that Lycurgus was king, not of Thrace, but of Arabia, and that the attack upon Dionysus and the Bacchantes was made at the Nysa which is in Arabia. However this may be, Dionysus, they say, punished the impious but treated all other men honourably, and then made his return journey from India to Thebes upon an elephant. 8 The entire time consumed in the journey was three years, and it is for this reason, they say, that the Greeks hold his festival every other year.a The myth also relates that he gathered a great mass of booty, such as would result from such a campaign, and that he was the first of all men to make his return to his native country in a triumph.

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§ 3.66.1  Now these accounts of the birth of Dionysus are generally agreed upon by the ancient writers; but rival claims are raised by not a few Greek cities to having been the place of his birth. The peoples of Elis and Naxos, for instance, and the inhabitants of Eleutherae and Teos and several other peoples, state that he was born in their cities. 2 The Teans advance as proof that the god was born among them the fact that, even to this day, at fixed times in their city a fountain of wine, of unusually sweet fragrance, flows of its own accord from the earth; and as for the peoples of the other cities, they in some cases point out a plot of land which is sacred to Dionysus, in other cases shrines and sacred precincts which have been consecrated to him from ancient times. 3 But, speaking generally, since the god has left behind him in many places over the inhabited world evidences of his personal favour and presence, it is not surprising that in each case the people should think that Dionysus had had a peculiar relationship to both their city and country. And testimony to our opinion is also offered by the poet in his Hymns, when he speaks of those who lay claim to the birthplace of Dionysus and, in that connection, represents him as being born in the Nysa which is in Arabia:

Some Dracanum, wind-swept Icarus some,
Some Naxos, Zeus-born one, or Alpheius' stream
Deep-eddied, call the spot where Semele
Bore thee, Eiraphiotes, unto Zeus
Who takes delight in thunder; others still
Would place thy birth, O Lord, in Thebes. 'Tis false;
The sire of men and gods brought thee to light,
Unknown to white-armed Hera, far from men.
There is a certain Nysa, mountain high,
With forests thick, in Phoenice afar,
Close to Aegyptus' streams.
I am not unaware that also those inhabitants of Libya who dwell on the shore of the ocean lay claim to the birthplace of the god, and point out that Nysa and all the stories which the myths record are found among themselves, and many witnesses to this statement, they say, remain in the land down to our own lifetime; and I also know that many of the ancient Greek writers of myths and poets, and not a few of the later historians as well, agree with this in their accounts. 5 Consequently, in order not to omit anything which history records about Dionysus, we shall present in summary what is told by the Libyans and those Greek historians whose writings are in accord with these and with that Dionysius who composed an account out of the ancient fabulous tales. 6 For this writer has composed an account of Dionysus and the Amazons, as well as of the Argonauts and the events connected with the Trojan War and many other matters, in which he cites the versions of the ancient writers, both the composers of myths and the poets.

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§ 3.67.1  This, then, is the account of Dionysius: Among the Greeks Linus was the first to discover the different rhythms and song, and when Cadmus brought from Phoenicia the letters, as they are called, Linus was again the first to transfer them into the Greek language, to give a name to each character, and to fix its shape. Now the letters, as a group, are called Phoenician because they were brought to the Greeks from the Phoenicians, but as single letters the Pelasgians were the first to make use of the transferred characters and so they were called Pelasgic. 2 Linus also, who was admired because of his poetry and singing, had many pupils and three of greatest renown, Heracles, Thamyras, and Orpheus. Of these three Heracles, who was learning to play the lyre, was unable to appreciate what was taught him because of his sluggishness of soul, and once when he had been punished with rods by Linus he became violently angry and killed his teacher with a blow of the lyre. 3 Thamyras, however, who possessed unusual natural ability, perfected the art of music and claimed that in the excellence of song his voice was more beautiful than the voices of the Muses. Whereupon the goddesses, angered at him, took from him his gift of music and maimed the man, even as Homer also bears witness when he writes:
There met the Muses Thamyris of Thrace
And made an end of his song;
and again:
But him, enraged, they maimed, and from him took
The gift of song divine and made him quite
Forget his harping.

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§ 3.67.4  About Orpheus, the third pupil, we shall give a detailed account when we come to treat of his deeds.
Now Linus, they say, composed an account in the Pelasgic letters of the deeds of the first Dionysus and of the other mythical legends and left them among his memoirs. 5 And in the same manner use was made of these Pelasgic letters by Orpheus and Pronapides who was the teacher of Homer and a gifted writer of songs; and also by Thymoetes, the son of Thymoetes, the son of Laomedon, who lived at the same time as Orpheus, wandered over many regions of the inhabited world, and penetrated to the western part of Libya as far as the ocean. He also visited Nysa, where the ancient natives of the city relate that Dionysus was reared there, and, after he had learned from the Nysaeans of the deeds of this god one and all, he composed the Phrygian poem, as it is called, wherein he made use of the archaic manner both of speech and of letters.

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§ 3.68.1  Dionysius, then, continues his account as follows: Ammon, the king of that part of Libya, married a daughter of Uranus who was called Rhea and was a sister of Cronus and the other Titans. And once when Ammon was going about his kingdom, near the Ceraunian Mountains, as they are called, he came upon a maiden of unusual beauty whose name was Amaltheia. 2 And becoming enamoured of her he lay with the maiden and begat a son of marvellous beauty as well as bodily vigour, and Amaltheia herself he appointed mistress of all the region round about, which was shaped like the horn of a bull and for this reason was known as Hesperoukeras; and the region, because of the excellent quality of the land, abounds in every variety of the vine and all other trees which bear cultivated fruits. 3 When the woman whom we have just mentioned took over the supreme power the country was named after her Amaltheias Keras; consequently the men of later times, for the reason which we have just given, likewise call any especially fertile bit of ground which abounds in fruits of every kind Amaltheia's Horn.

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§ 3.68.4  Now Ammon, fearing the jealousy of Rhea, concealed the affair and brought the boy secretly to a certain city called Nysa, which was at a great distance from those parts. 5 This city lies on a certain island which is surrounded by the river Triton and is precipitous on all sides save at one place where there is a narrow pass which bears the name Nysaean Gates. The land of the island is rich, is traversed at intervals by pleasant meadows and watered by abundant streams from springs, and possesses every kind of fruit-bearing tree and the wild vine in abundance, which for the most part grows up trees. 6 The whole region, moreover, has a fresh and pure air and is furthermore exceedingly healthful; and for this reason its inhabitants are the longest lived of any in those parts. The entrance into the island is like a glen at its beginning, being thickly shaded by lofty trees growing close together, so that the sun never shines at all through the close-set branches but only the radiance of its light may be seen.

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§ 3.69.1  Everywhere along the lanes, the account continues, springs of water gush forth of exceeding sweetness, making the place most pleasant to those who desire to tarry there. Further in there is a cave, circular in shape and of marvellous size and beauty. For above and all about it rises a crag of immense height, formed of rocks of different colours; for the rocks lie in bands and send forth a bright gleam, some like that purple which comes from the sea, some bluish and others like every other kind of brilliant hue, the result being that there is not a colour to be seen among men which is not visible in that place. 2 Before the entrance grow marvellous trees, some fruit-bearing, others evergreen, and all of them fashioned by nature for no other end than to delight the eye; and in them nest every kind of bird of pleasing colour and most charming song. Consequently the whole place is meet for a god, not merely in its aspect but in its sound as well, since the sweet tones which nature teaches are always superior to the song which is devised by art. 3 When one has passed the entrance the cave is seen to widen out and to be lighted all about by the rays of the sun, and all kinds of flowering plants grow there, especially the cassia and every other kind which has the power to preserve its fragrance throughout the year; and in it are also to be seen several couches of nymphs, formed of every manner of flower, made not by hand but by the light touch of Nature herself, in manner meet for a god. 4 Moreover, throughout the whole place round about not a flower or leaf is to be seen which has fallen. Consequently those who gaze upon this spot find not only its aspect delightful but also its fragrance most pleasant.

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§ 3.70.1  Now to this cave, the account runs, Ammon came and brought the child and gave him into the care of Nysa, one of the daughters of Aristaeus; and he appointed Aristaeus to be the guardian of the child, he being a man who excelled in understanding, and in self-control, and in all learning. 2 The duty of protecting the boy against the plottings of his stepmother Rhea he assigned to Athena, who a short while before had been born of the earth and had been found beside the river Triton, from which she had been called Tritonis. 3 And according to the myth this goddess, choosing to spend all her days in maidenhood, excelled in virtue and invented most of the crafts, since she was exceedingly ready of wit; she cultivated also the arts of war, and since she excelled in courage and in bodily strength she performed many other deeds worthy of memory and slew the Aegis, as it was called, a certain frightful monster which was a difficult antagonist to overcome. 4 For it was sprung from the earth and in accordance with its nature breathed forth terrible flames of fire from its mouth, and its first appearance it made about Phrygia and burned up the land, which to this day is called Burned Phrygia; and after that it ravaged unceasingly the lands about the Taurus mountains and burned up the forests extending from that region as far as India. Thereupon, returning again towards the sea round about Phoenicia, it sent up in flames the forests on Mt. Lebanon, and making its way through Egypt it passed over Libya to the regions of the west and at the end of its wanderings fell upon the forests about Ceraunia. 5 And since the country round about was going up in flames and the inhabitants in some cases were being destroyed and in others were leaving their native countries in their terror and removing to distant regions, Athena, they say, overcoming the monster partly through her intelligence and partly through her courage and bodily strength, slew it, and covering her breast with its hide bore this about with her, both as a covering and protection for her body against later dangers, and as a memorial of her valour and of her well-merited fame. 6 Ge (Earth), however, the mother of the monster, was enraged and sent up the Giants, as they are called, to fight against the gods; but they were destroyed at a later time by Zeus, Athena and Dionysus and the rest of the gods taking part in the conflict on the side of Zeus.

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§ 3.70.7  Dionysus, however, being reared according to the account in Nysa and instructed in the best pursuits, became not only conspicuous for his beauty and bodily strength, but skilful also in the arts and quick to make every useful invention. 8 For while still a boy he discovered both the nature and use of wine, in that he pressed out the clusters of grapes of the vine while it still grew wild, and such ripe fruits as could be dried and stored away to advantage, and how each one of them should be planted and cared for was likewise a discovery of his; also it was his desire to share the discoveries which he had made with the race of men, in the hope that by reason of the magnitude of his benefactions he would be accorded immortal honours.

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§ 3.71.1  When the valour and fame of Dionysus became spread abroad, Rhea, it is said, angered at Ammon, strongly desired to get Dionysus into her power; but being unable to carry out her design she forsook Ammon and, departing to her brothers, the Titans, married Cronus her brother. 2 Cronus, then, upon the solicitation of Rhea, made war with the aid of the Titans upon Ammon, and in the pitched battle which followed Cronus gained the upper hand, whereas Ammon, who was hard pressed by lack of supplies, fled to Crete, and marrying there Crete, the daughter of one of the Curetes who were the kings at that time, gained the sovereignty over those regions, and to the island, which before that time had been called Idaea, he gave the name Crete after his wife. 3 As for Cronus, the myth relates, after his victory he ruled harshly over these regions which had formerly been Ammon's, and set out with a great force against Nysa and Dionysus. Now Dionysus, on learning both of the reverses suffered by his father and of the uprising of the Titans against himself, gathered soldiers from Nysa, two hundred of whom were foster-brothers of his and were distinguished for their courage and their loyalty to him; and to these he added from neighbouring peoples both the Libyans and the Amazons, regarding the latter of whom we have already observedb that it is reputed that they were distinguished for their courage and first of all campaigned beyond the borders of their country and subdued with arms a large part of the inhabited world. 4 These women, they say, were urged on to the alliance especially by Athena, because their zeal for their ideal of life was like her own, seeing that the Amazons clung tenaciously to manly courage and virginity. The force was divided into two parts, the men having Dionysus as their general and the women being under the command of Athena, and coming with their army upon the Titans they joined battle. The struggle having proved sharp and many having fallen on both sides, Cronus finally was wounded and victory lay with Dionysus, who had distinguished himself in the battle. 5 Thereupon the Titans fled to the regions which had once been possessed by Ammon, and Dionysus gathered up a multitude of captives and returned to Nysa. Here, drawing up his force in arms about the prisoners, he brought a formal accusation against the Titans and gave them every reason to suspect that he was going to execute the captives. But when he got them free from the charges and allowed them to make their choice either to join him in his campaign or to go scot free, they all chose to join him, and because their lives had been spared contrary to their expectation they venerated him like a god. 6 Dionysus, then, taking the captives singly and giving them a libation (sponde) of wine, required of all of them an oath that they would join in the campaign without treachery and fight manfully until death; consequently, these captives being the first to be designated as freed under a truce (hypospondoi), men of later times, imitating the ceremony which had been performed at that time, speak of the truces in wars as spondai.

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§ 3.72.1  Now when Dionysus was on the point of setting out against Cronus and his force was already passing out of Nysa, his guardian Aristaeus, the myth relates, offered a sacrifice and so was the first man to sacrifice to him as to a god. And companions of his on the campaign, they say, were also the most nobly born of the Nysaeans, those, namely, who bear the name Seileni. 2 For the first man of all, they say, to be king of Nysa was Seilenus, but his ancestry was unknown to all men because of its antiquity. This man had a tail at the lower part of his back and his descendants also regularly carried this distinguishing mark because of their participation in his nature.
Dionysus, then, set out with his army, and after passing through a great extent of waterless land, no small portion of which was desert and infested with wild beasts, he encamped beside a city of Libya named Zabirna. 3 Near this city an earth-born monster called Campe, which was destroying many of the natives, was slain by him, whereby he won great fame among the natives for valour. Over the monster which he had killed he also erected an enormous mound, wishing to leave behind him an immortal memorial of his personal bravery, and this mound remained until comparatively recent times. 4 Then Dionysus advanced against the Titans, maintaining strict discipline on his journeyings, treating all the inhabitants kindly, and, in a word, making it clear that his campaign was for the purpose of punishing the impious and of conferring benefits upon the entire human race. The Libyans, admiring his strict discipline and high-mindedness, provided his followers with supplies in abundance and joined in the campaign with the greatest eagerness.

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§ 3.72.5  As the army approached the city of the Ammonians, Cronus, who had been defeated in a pitched battle before the walls, set fire to the city in the night, intending to destroy utterly the ancestral palace of Dionysus, and himself taking with him his wife Rhea and some of his friends who had aided him in the struggle, he stole unobserved out of the city. Dionysus, however, showed no such a temper as this; for though he took both Cronus and Rhea captive, not only did he waive the charges against them because of his kinship to them, but he entreated them for the future to maintain both the good-will and the position of parents towards him and to live in a common home with him, held in honour above all others. 6 Rhea, accordingly, loved him like a son for all the rest of her life, but the good-will of Cronus was a pretence. And about this time there was born to both of these a son who was called Zeus, and he was honoured greatly by Dionysus and at a later time, because of his high achievements, was made king over all.

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§ 3.73.1  Since the Libyans had said to Dionysus before the battle that, at the time when Ammon had been driven from the kingdom, he had prophesied to the inhabitants that at an appointed time his son Dionysus would come, and that he would recover his father's kingdom and, after becoming master of all the inhabited world, would be looked upon as a god, Dionysus, believing him to have been a true prophet, established there the oracle of his father, rebuilt the city and ordained honours to him as to a god, and appointed men to have charge of the oracle. Tradition also has recorded that the head of Ammon was shaped like that of a ram, since as his device he had worn a helmet of that form in his campaigns. 2 But there are some writers of myths who recount that in very truth there were little horns on both sides of his temples and that therefore Dionysus also, being Ammon's son, had the same aspect as his father and so the tradition has been handed down to succeeding generations of mankind that this god had horns.

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§ 3.73.3  However this may be, after Dionysus had built the city and established the oracle he first of all, they say, inquired of the god with regard to his expedition, and he received from his father the reply that, if he showed himself a benefactor of mankind, he would receive the reward of immortality. 4 Consequently, elated in spirit at this prophecy, he first of all directed his campaign against Egypt and as king of the country he set up Zeus, the son of Cronus and Rhea, though he was still but a boy in years. And at his side as guardian he placed Olympus, by whom Zeus had been instructed and after whom he came to be called Olympian, when he had attained pre-eminence in high achievements. 5 As for Dionysus, he taught the Egyptians, it is said, both the cultivation of the vine and how to use and to store both wine and the fruits which are gathered from trees, as well as all others. And since a good report of him was spread abroad everywhere, no man opposed him as if he were an enemy, but all rendered him eager obedience and honoured him like a god with panegyrics and sacrifices. 6 In like manner as in Egypt, they say, he visited the inhabited world, bringing the land under cultivation by means of the plantings which he made and conferring benefactions upon the people for all time by bestowing upon them great and valuable gifts. For this reason it comes about that, although not all men are of one belief with one another concerning the honours which they accord to the other gods, in the case of Dionysus alone we may almost say that they are in complete agreement in testifying to his immortality; for there is no man among Greeks or barbarians who does not share in the gift and favour which this god dispenses, nay, even those who possess a country which has become a wilderness or altogether unsuited to the cultivation of the vine learned from him how to prepared from barley a drink which is little inferior to wine in aroma.

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§ 3.73.7  Now Dionysus, they say, as he was marching out of India to the sea, learned that all the Titans had assembled their united forces together and had crossed over to Crete to attack Ammon. Already Zeus had passed over from Egypt to the aid of Ammon and a great war had arisen on the island, and forthwith Dionysus and Athena and certain others who had been considered to be gods rushed over in a body to Crete. 8 In a great battle which followed Dionysus was victorious and slew all the Titans. And when after this Ammon and Dionysus exchanged their mortal nature for immortality, Zeus, they say, became king of the entire world, since the Titans had been punished and there was no one whose impiety would make him bold enough to dispute with him for the supreme power.

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§ 3.74.1  As for the first Dionysus, the son of Ammon and Amaltheia, these, then, are the deeds he accomplished as the Libyans recount the history of them; the second Dionysus, as men say, who was born to Zeus by Io, the daughter of Inachus, became king of Egypt and appointed the initiatory rites of that land; and the third and last was sprung from Zeus and Semele and became, among the Greeks, the rival of the first two. 2 Imitating the principles of both the others he led an army over all the inhabited world and left behind him not a few pillars to mark the bounds of his campaign; the land he also brought under cultivation by means of the plantings which he made, and he selected women to be his soldiers, as the ancient Dionysus had done in the case of the Amazons. He went beyond the others in developing the orgiastic practices, and as regards the rites of initiation, he improved some of them, and others he introduced for the first time. 3 But since in the long passage of time the former discoverers had become unknown to the majority of men, this last Dionysus fell heir to both the plan of life and the fame of his predecessors of the same name. And this Dionysus is not the only one to whom has happened that which we have related, but in later times Heracles likewise experienced the same fortune. 4 For there had been two persons of an earlier period who had borne the same name, the most ancient Heracles who, according to the myths, had been born in Egypt, had subdued with arms a large part of the inhabited world, and had set up the pillar which is in Libya, and the second, who was one of the Idaean Dactyls of Crete and a wizard with some knowledge of generalship, was the founder of the Olympic Games; but third and last, who was born of Alcmene and Zeus a short time before the Trojan War, visited a large part of the inhabited world while he was serving Eurystheus and carrying out his commands. 5 And after he had successfully completed all the Labours he also set up the pillar which is in Europe, but because he bore the same name as the other two and pursued the same plan of life as did they, in the course of time and upon his death he inherited the exploits of the more ancient persons of the name, as if there had been in all the previous ages but one Heracles.

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§ 3.74.6  To support the view that there were several of the name Dionysus the effort is made to cite, along with the other proofs, the battle waged against the Titans. For since all men agree that Dionysus fought on the side of Zeus in his war against the Titans, it will not do at all, they argue, to date the generations of the Titans in the time when Semele lived or to declare that Cadmus, the son of Agenor, was older than the gods of Olympus.
Such, then, is the myth which the Libyans recount concerning Dionysus; but for our part, now that we have brought to an end the plan which we announced at the beginning, we shall close the third Book at this point.

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§ 4.1.1  I am not unaware of the fact that those who compile the narratives of ancient mythology labour under many disadvantages in their composition. For, in the first place, the antiquity of the events they have to record, since it makes record difficult, is a cause of much perplexity to those who would compose an account of them; and again, inasmuch as any pronouncement they may make of the dates of events does not admit of the strictest kind of proof or disproof, a feeling of contempt for the narration is aroused in the mind of those who read it; furthermore, the variety and the multitude of the heroes, demi-gods, and men in general whose genealogies must be set down make their recital a difficult thing to achieve; but the greatest and most disconcerting obstacle of all consists in the fact that those who have recorded the deeds and myths of the earliest times are in disagreement among themselves. 2 For these reasons the writers of greatest reputation among the later historians have stood aloof from the narration of the ancient mythology because of its difficulty, and have undertaken to record only the more recent events.

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§ 4.1.3  Ephorus of Cyme, for instance, a pupil of Isocrates, when he undertook to write his universal history, passed over the tales of the old mythology and commenced his history with a narration of the events which took place after the Return of the Heracleidae. Likewise Callisthenes and Theopompus, who were contemporaries of Ephorus, held aloof from the old myths. 4 We, however, holding the opposite opinion to theirs, have shouldered the labour which such a record involves and have expended all the care within our power upon the ancient legends. For very great and most numerous deeds have been performed by the heroes and demi-gods and by many good men likewise, who, because of the benefits they conferred which have been shared by all men, have been honoured by succeeding generations with sacrifices which in some cases are like those offered to the gods, in other cases like such as are paid to heroes, and of one and all the appropriate praises have been sung by the voice of history for all time.

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§ 4.1.5  Now in the three preceding Books we have recorded the deeds of mythological times which are found among other nations and what their histories relate about the gods, also the topography of the land in every case and the wild beasts and other animals which are found among them, and, speaking generally, we have described everything which was worthy of mention and was marvellous to relate; and in the present Book we shall set forth what the Greeks in their histories of the ancient periods tell about their most renowned heroes and demi-gods and, in general, about all who have performed any notable exploit in war, and likewise about such also as in time of peace have made some useful discovery or enacted some good law contributing to man's social life. 6 And we shall begin with Dionysus because he not only belongs to a very ancient time but also conferred very great benefactions upon the race of men. We have stated in the previous Books that certain barbarian peoples claim for themselves the birthplace of this god. The Egyptians, for example, say that the god who among them bears the name Osiris is the one whom the Greeks call Dionysus. 7 And this god, as their myths relate, visited all the inhabited world, was the discoverer of wine, taught mankind how to cultivate the vine, and because of this benefaction of his received the gift of immortality with the approval of all. But the Indians likewise declare that this god was born among them, and that after he had ingeniously discovered how to cultivate the vine he shared the benefit which wine imparts with human beings throughout the inhabited world. But for our part, since we have spoken of these matters in detail, we shall at this point recount what the Greeks have to say about this god.

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§ 4.2.1  The Greek account of Dionysus runs like this: Cadmus, the son of Agenor, was sent forth from Phoenicia by the king to seek out Europe, under orders either to bring him the maiden or never to come back to Phoenicia. After Cadmus had traversed a wide territory without being able to find her, he despaired of ever returning to his home; and when he had arrived in Boeotia, in obedience to the oracle which he had received he founded the city of Thebes. Here he made his home and marrying Harmonia, the daughter of Aphrodite, he begat by her Semele, Ino, Autonoe, Agave, and Polydorus. 2 Semele was loved by Zeus because of her beauty, but since he had his intercourse with her secretly and without speech she thought that the god despised her; consequently she made the request of him that he come to her embraces in the same manner as in his approaches to Hera.

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§ 4.2.3  Accordingly, Zeus visited her in a way befitting a god, accompanied by thunder and lightning, revealing himself to her as he embraced her; but Semele, who was pregnant and unable to endure the majesty of the divine presence, brought forth the babe untimely and was herself slain by the fire. Thereupon Zeus, taking up the child, handed it over to the care of Hermes, and ordered him to take it to the cave in Nysa, which lay between Phoenicia and the Nile, where he should deliver it to the nymphs that they should rear it and with great solicitude bestow upon it the best of care. 4 Consequently, since Dionysus was reared in Nysa, he received the name he bears from Zeus and Nysa. 5 And Homer bears witness to this in his Hymns, when he says: There is a certain Nysa, mountain high, With forests thick, in Phoenice afar, Close to Egyptus' streams.

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§ 4.2.5  After he had received his rearing by the nymphs in Nysa, they say, he made the discovery of wine and taught mankind how to cultivate the vine. And as he visited the inhabited world almost in its entirety, he brought much land under cultivation and in return for this received most high honours at the hands of all men. He also discovered the drink made out of barley and called by some zythos, the bouquet of which is not much inferior to that of wine. The preparation of this drink he taught to those peoples whose country was unsuited to the cultivation of the vine. 6 He also led about with himself an army composed not only of men but of women as well, and punished such men as were unjust and impious. In Boeotia, out of gratitude to the land of his birth, he freed all the cities and founded a city whose name signified independence, which he called Eleutherae.

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§ 4.3.1  Then he made a campaign into India, whence he returned to Boeotia in the third year, bringing with him a notable quantity of booty, and he was the first man ever to celebrate a triumph seated on an Indian elephant. 2 And the Boeotians and other Greeks and the Thracians, in memory of the campaign in India, have established sacrifices every other year to Dionysus, and believe that at that time the god reveals himself to human beings.

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§ 4.3.3  Consequently in many Greek cities every other year Bacchic bands of women gather, and it is lawful for the maidens to carry the thyrsus and to join in the frenzied revelry, crying out Euai! and honouring the god; while the matrons, forming in groups, offer sacrifices to the god and celebrate his mysteries and, in general, extol with hymns the presence of Dionysus, in this manner acting the part of the Maenads who, as history records, were of old the companions of the god. 4 He also punished here and there throughout all the inhabited world many men who were thought to be impious, the most renowned among the number being Pentheus and Lycurgus. And since the discovery of wine and the gift of it to human beings were the source of such great satisfaction to them, both because of the pleasure which derives from the drinking of it and because of the greater vigour which comes to the bodies of those who partake of it, it is the custom, they say, when unmixed wine is served during a meal to greet it with the words, To the Good Deity! but when the cup is passed around after the meal diluted with water, to cry out, To Zeus Saviour! For the drinking of unmixed wine results in a state of madness, but when it is mixed with the rain from Zeus the delight and pleasure continue, but the ill effect of madness and stupor is avoided.

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§ 4.3.5  And, in general, the myths relate that the gods who receive the greatest approval at the hands of human beings are those who excelled in their benefactions by reason of their discovery of good things, namely, Dionysus and Demeter, the former because he was the discoverer of the most pleasing drink, the latter because she gave to the race of men the most excellent of the dry foods.

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§ 4.4.1  Some writers of myths, however, relate that there was a second Dionysus who was much earlier in time than the one we have just mentioned. For according to them there was born of Zeus and Persephone a Dionysus who is called by some Sabazius and whose birth and sacrifices and honours are celebrated at night and in secret, because of the disgrace resulting from the intercourse of the sexes. 2 They state also that he excelled in sagacity and was the first to attempt the yoking of oxen and by their aid to effect the sowing of the seed, this being the reason why they also represent him as wearing a horn. But the Dionysus who was born of Semele in more recent times, they say, was a man who was effeminate in body and altogether delicate; in beauty, however, he far excelled all other men and was addicted to indulgence in the delights of love, and on his campaigns he led about with himself a multitude of women who were armed with lances which were shaped like thyrsi.

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§ 4.4.3  They say also that when he went abroad he was accompanied by the Muses, who were maidens that had received an unusually excellent education, and that by their songs and dancing and other talents in which they had been instructed these maidens delighted the heart of the god. They also add that he was accompanied on his campaigns by a personal attendant and caretaker, Seilenus, who was his adviser and instructor in the most excellent pursuits and contributed greatly to the high achievements and fame of Dionysus. 4 And in the battles which took place during his wars he arrayed himself in arms suitable for war and in the skins of panthers, but in assemblages and at festive gatherings in time of peace he wore garments which were bright-coloured and luxurious in their effeminacy. Furthermore, in order to ward off the headaches which every man gets from drinking too much wine he bound about his head, they report, a band (mitra), which was the reason for his receiving the name Mitrephorus; and it was this head-band, they say, that in later times led to the introduction of the diadem for kings.

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§ 4.4.5  He was also called Dimetor, they relate, because the two Dionysi were born of one father, but of two mothers. The younger one also inherited the deeds of the older, and so the men of later times, being unaware of the truth and being deceived because of the identity of their names thought there had been but one Dionysus. 6 The narthex is also associated with Dionysus for the following reason. When wine was first discovered, the mixing of water with it had not as yet been devised and the wine was drunk unmixed; but when friends gathered together and enjoyed good cheer, the revellers, filling themselves to abundance with the unmixed wine, became like madmen and used their wooden staves to strike one another. 7 Consequently, since some of them were wounded and some died of wounds inflicted in vital spots, Dionysus was offended at such happenings, and though he did not decide that they should refrain from drinking the unmixed wine in abundance, because the drink gave such pleasure, he ordered them hereafter to carry a narthex and not a wooden staff.

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§ 4.5.1  Many epithets, so we are informed, have been given him by men, who have found the occasions from which they arose in the practices and customs which have become associated with him. So, for instance, he has been called Baccheius from Bacchic bands of women who accompanied him, Lenaeus from the custom of treading the clusters of grapes in a wine-tub (lenos), and Bromius from the thunder (bromos) which attended his birth; likewise for a similar reason he has been called Pyrigenes (Born-of Fire). 2 Thriambus is a name that has been given him, they say, because he was the first of those of whom we have a record to have celebrated a triumph (thriambos) upon entering his native land after his campaign, this having been done when he returned from India with great booty. It is on a similar basis that the other appellations or epithets have been given to him, but we feel that it would be a long task to tell of them and inappropriate to the history which we are writing. He was thought to have two forms, men say, because there were two Dionysi, the ancient one having a long beard because all men in early times wore long beards, the younger one being youthful and effeminate and young, as we have mentioned before.

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§ 4.5.3  Certain writers say, however, that it was because men who become drunk get into two states, being either joyous or sullen, that the god has been called two-formed. Satyrs also, it is reported, were carried about by him in his company and afforded the god greatest delight and pleasure in connection with their dancings and their goat-songs. 4 And, in general, the Muses who bestowed benefits and delights through the advantages which their education gave them, and the Satyrs by the use of the devices which contribute to mirth, made the life of Dionysus happy and agreeable. There is general agreement also, they say, that he was the inventor of thymelic contests, and that he introduced places where the spectators could witness the shows and organized musical concerts; furthermore, he freed from any forced contribution to the state those who had cultivated any sort of musical skill during his campaigns, and it is for these reasons that later generations have formed musical associations of the artists of Dionysus and have relieved of taxes the followers of this profession. As for Dionysus and the myths which are related about him we shall rest content with what has been said, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account.

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§ 4.6.1  We shall at this point discuss Priapus and the myths related about him, realizing that an account of him is appropriate in connection with the history of Dionysus. Now the ancients record in their myths that Priapus was the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite and they present a plausible argument for this lineage; for men when under the influence of wine find the members of their bodies tense and inclined to the pleasures of love. 2 But certain writers say that when the ancients wished to speak in their myths of the sexual organ of males they called it Priapus. Some, however, relate that the generative member, since it is the cause of the reproduction of human beings and of their continued existence through all time, became the object of immortal honour.

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§ 4.6.3  But Egyptians in their myths about Priapus say that in ancient times the Titans formed a conspiracy against Osiris and slew him, and then, taking his body and dividing it into equal parts among themselves, they slipped them secretly out of the house, but this organ alone they threw into the river, since no one of them was willing to take it with him. But Isis tracked down the murder of her husband, and after slaying the Titans and fashioning the several pieces of his body into the shape of a human figure, she gave them to the priests with orders that they pay Osiris the honours of a god, but since the only member she was unable to recover was the organ of sex she commanded them to pay to it the honours of a god and to set it up in their temples in an erect position. Now this is the myth about the birth of Priapus and the honour paid to him, as it is given by the ancient Egyptians. 4 This god is also called by some Ithyphallus, by others Tychon. Honours are accorded him not only in the city, in the temples, but also throughout the countryside, where men set up his statue to watch over their vineyards and gardens, and introduce him as one who punishes any who cast a spell over some fair thing which they possess. And in the sacred rites, not only of Dionysus but of practically all other gods as well, this god receives honour to some extent, being introduced in the sacrifices to the accompaniment of laughter and sport.

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§ 4.6.5  A birth like that of Priapus is ascribed by some writers of myths to Hermaphroditus, as he has been called, who was born of Hermes and Aphrodite and received a name which is a combination of those of both his parents. Some say that this Hermaphroditus is a god and appears at certain times among men, and that he is born with a physical body which is a combination of that of a man and that of a woman, in that he has a body which is beautiful and delicate like that of a woman, but has the masculine quality and vigour of a man. But there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do have the quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good. But let this be enough for us on such matters.

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§ 4.7.1  As for the Muses, since we have referred to them in connection with the deeds of Dionysus, it may be appropriate to give the facts about them in summary. For the majority of the writers of myths and those who enjoy the greatest reputation say that they were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne; but a few poets, among whose number is Alcman, state that they were daughters of Uranus and Ge. 2 Writers similarly disagree also concerning the number of the Muses; for some say that they are three, and others that they are nine, but the number nine has prevailed since it rests upon the authority of the most distinguished men, such as Homer and Hesiod and others like them. Homer, for instance, writes: The Muses, nine in all, replying each To each with voices sweet; and Hesiod even gives their names when he writes: Cleio, Euterpe, and Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore and Erato, and Polymnia, Urania, Calliope too, of them all the most comely.

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§ 4.7.3  To each of the Muses men assign her special aptitude for one of the branches of the liberal arts, such as poetry, song, pantomimic dancing, the round dance with music, the study of the stars, and the other liberal arts. They are also believed to be virgins, as most writers of myths say, because men consider that the high attainment which is reached through education is pure and uncontaminated. 4 Men have given the Muses their name from the word muein, which signifies the teaching of those things which are noble and expedient and are not known by the uneducated. For the name of each Muse, they say, men have found a reason appropriate to her: Cleio is so named because the praise which poets sing in their encomia bestows great glory (kleos) upon those who are praised; Euterpe, because she gives to those who hear her sing delight (terpein) in the blessings which education bestows; Thaleia, because men whose praises have been sung in poems flourish (thallein) through long periods of time; Melpomene, from the chanting (melodia) by which she charms the souls of her listeners; Terpsichore, because she delights (terpein) her disciples with the good things which come from education; Erato, because she makes those who are instructed by her men who are desired and worthy to be loved; Polymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she bring distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame; Urania, because men who have been instructed of her she raises aloft to heaven (ouranos), for it is a fact that imagination and the power of thought lift men's souls to heavenly heights; Calliope, because of her beautiful (kale) voice (ops), that is, by reason of the exceeding beauty of her language she wins the approbation of her auditors. But since we have spoken sufficiently on these matters we shall turn our discussion to the deeds of Heracles.

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§ 4.8.1  I am not unaware that many difficulties beset those who undertake to give an account of the ancient myths, and especially is this true with respect to the myths about Heracles. For as regards the magnitude of the deeds which he accomplished it is generally agreed that Heracles has been handed down as one who surpassed all men of whom memory from the beginning of time has brought down an account; consequently it is a difficult attainment to report each one of his deeds in a worthy manner and to present a record which shall be on a level with labours so great, the magnitude of which won for him the prize of immortality. 2 Furthermore, since in the eyes of many men the very early age and astonishing nature of the facts which are related make the myths incredible, a writer is under the necessity either of omitting the greatest deeds and so detracting somewhat from the fame of the god, or of recounting them all and in so doing making the history of them incredible.

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§ 4.8.3  For some readers set up an unfair standard and require in the accounts of the ancient myths the same exactness as in the events of our own time, and using their own life as a standard they pass judgment on those deeds the magnitude of which throw them open to doubt, and estimate the might of Heracles by the weakness of the men of our day, with the result that the exceeding magnitude of his deeds makes the account of them incredible. 4 For, speaking generally, when the histories of myths are concerned, a man should by no means scrutinize the truth with so sharp an eye. In the theatres, for instance, though we are persuaded there have existed no Centaurs who are composed of two different kinds of bodies nor any Geryones with three bodies, we yet look with favour upon such products of the myth as these, and by our applause we enhance the honour of the god.

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§ 4.8.5  And strange it would be that Heracles, while yet among mortal men, should by his own labours have brought under cultivation the inhabited world, and that human beings should nevertheless forget the benefactions which he rendered them generally and slander the commendation he receives for the noblest deeds, and strange that our ancestors should have unanimously accorded immortality to him because of his exceedingly great attainments, and that we should nevertheless fail to cherish and maintain for the god the pious devotion which has been handed down to us from our fathers. However, we shall leave such considerations and relate his deeds from the beginning, basing our account on those of the most ancient poets and writers of myths.

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§ 4.9.1  This, then, is the story as it has been given us: Perseus was the son of Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, and Zeus. Now Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus, lay with him and bore Electryon, and then Eurydice, the daughter of Pelops, married him and gave birth to Alcmene, who in turn was wooed by Zeus, who deceived her, and bore Heracles. 2 Consequently the sources of his descent, in their entirety, lead back, as is claimed, through both his parents to the greatest of the gods, in the manner we have shown. The prowess which was found in him was not only to be seen in his deeds, but was also recognized even before his birth. For when Zeus lay with Alcmene he made the night three times its normal length and by the magnitude of the time expended on the procreation he presaged the exceptional might of the child which would be begotten.

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§ 4.9.3  And, in general, he did not effect this union from the desire of love, as he did in the case of other women, but rather only for the sake of procreation. Consequently, desiring to give legality to his embraces, he did not choose to offer violence to Alcmene, and yet he could not hope to persuade her because of her chastity; and so, deciding to use deception, he deceived Alcmene by assuming in every respect the shape of Amphitryon. 4 When the natural time of pregnancy had passed, Zeus, whose mind was fixed upon the birth of Heracles, announced in advance in the presence of all the gods that it was his intention to make the child who should be born that day king over the descendants of Perseus; whereupon Hera, who was filled with jealousy, using as her helper Eileithyia her daughter, checked the birth-pains of Alcmene and brought Eurystheus forth to the light before his full time.

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§ 4.9.5  Zeus, however, though he had been outgeneralled, wished both to fulfill his promise and to take thought for the future fame of Heracles; consequently, they say, he persuaded Hera to agree that Eurystheus should be king as he had promised, but that Heracles should serve Eurystheus and perform twelve Labours, these to be whatever Eurystheus should prescribe, and that after he had done so he should receive the gift of immortality. 6 After Alcmene had brought forth the babe, fearful of Hera's jealousy she exposed it at a place which to this time is called after him the Field of Heracles. Now at this very time Athena, approaching the spot in the company of Hera and being amazed at the natural vigour of the child, persuaded Hera to offer it the breast. But when the boy tugged upon her breast with greater violence than would be expected at his age, Hera was unable to endure the pain and cast the babe from her, whereupon Athena took it to its mother and urged her to rear it. 7 And anyone may well be surprised at the unexpected turn of the affair; for the mother whose duty it was to love her own offspring was trying to destroy it, while she who cherished towards it a stepmother's hatred, in ignorance saved the life of one who was her natural enemy.

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§ 4.10.1  After this Hera sent two serpents to destroy the babe, but the boy, instead of being terrified, gripped the neck of a serpent in each hand and strangled them both. Consequently the inhabitants of Argos, on learning of what had taken place, gave him the name Heracles because he had gained glory (kleos) by the aid of Hera, although he had formerly been called Alcaeus. Other children are given their names by their parents, this one alone gained his name by his valour. 2 After this time Amphitryon was banished from Tiryns and changed his residence to Thebes; and Heracles, in his rearing and education and especially in the thorough instruction which he received in physical exercises, came to be the first by far in bodily strength among all the rest and famed for nobility of spirit. Indeed, while he was still a youth in age he first of all restored the freedom of Thebes, returning in this way to the city, as though it were the place of his birth, the gratitude which he owed it.

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§ 4.10.3  For though the Thebans had been made subject to Erginus, the king of the Minyans, and were paying him a fixed yearly tribute, Heracles was not dismayed at the superior power of these overlords but had the courage to accomplish a deed of fame. Indeed, when the agents of the Minyans appeared to require the tribute and were insolent in their exactions, Heracles mutilated them and then expelled them from the city. 4 Erginus then demanded that the guilty party be handed over to him, and Creon, the king of the Thebans, dismayed at the great power of Erginus, was prepared to deliver the man who was responsible for the crime complained of. Heracles, however, persuading the young men of his age to strike for the freedom of their fatherland, took out of the temples the suits of armour which had been affixed to their walls, dedicated to the gods by their forefathers as spoil from their wars; for there was not to be found in the city any arms in the hands of a private citizen, the Minyans having stripped the city of its arms in order that the inhabitants of Thebes might not entertain any thought of revolting from them.

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§ 4.10.5  And when Heracles learned that Erginus, the king of the Minyans, was advancing with troops against the city he went out to meet him in a certain narrow place, whereby he rendered the multitude of the hostile force of no avail, killed Erginus himself, and slew practically all the men who had accompanied him. Then appearing unawares before the city of the Orchomenians and slipping in at their gates he both burned the palace of the Minyans and razed the city to the ground. 6 After this deed had been noised about throughout the whole of Greece and all men were filled with wonder at the unexpected happening, Creon the king, admiring the high achievement of the young man, united his daughter Megara in marriage to him and entrusted him with the affairs of the city as though he were his lawful son; but Eurystheus, who was ruler of Argolis, viewing with suspicion the growing power of Heracles, summoned him to his side and commanded him to perform Labours. 7 And when Heracles ignored the summons Zeus despatched word to him to enter the service of Eurystheus; whereupon Heracles journeyed to Delphi, and on inquiring of the god regarding the matter he received a reply which stated that the gods had decided that he should perform twelve Labours at the command of Eurystheus and that upon their conclusion he should receive the gift of immortality.

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§ 4.11.1  At such a turn of affairs Heracles fell into despondency of no ordinary kind; for he felt that servitude to an inferior was a thing which his high achievements did not deserve, and yet he saw that it would be hurtful to himself and impossible not to obey Zeus, who was his father as well. While he was thus greatly at a loss, Hera sent upon him a frenzy, and in his vexation of soul he fell into a madness. As the affliction grew on him he lost his mind and tried to slay Iolaus, and when Iolaus made his escape but his own children by Megara were near by, he shot his bow and killed them under the impression that they were enemies of his. 2 When he finally recovered from his madness and recognized the mistake he had made through a misapprehension, he was plunged in grief over the magnitude of the calamity. And while all extended him sympathy and joined in his grief, for a long whole he stayed inactive at home, avoiding any association or meeting with men; at last, however, time assuaged his grief, and making up his mind to undergo the dangers he made his appearance at the court of Eurystheus.

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§ 4.11.3  The first Labour which he undertook was the slaying of the lion in Nemea. This was a beast of enormous size, which could not be wounded by iron or bronze or stone and required the compulsion of the human hand for his subduing. It passed the larger part of its time between Mycenae and Nemea, in the neighbourhood of a mountain which was called Tretus from a peculiarity which it possessed; for it had a cleft at its base which extended clean through it and in which the beast was accustomed to lurk. 4 Heracles came to the region and attacked the lion, and when the beast retreated into the cleft, after closing up the other opening he followed in after it and grappled with it, and winding his arms about its neck choked it to death. The skin of the lion he put about himself, and since he could cover his whole body with it because of its great size, he had in it a protection against the perils which were to follow.

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§ 4.11.5  The second Labour which he undertook was the slaying of the Lernaean hydra, springing from whose single body were fashioned a hundred necks, each bearing the head of a serpent. And when one head was cut off, the place where it was severed put forth two others; for this reason it was considered to be invincible, and with good reason, since the part of it which was subdued sent forth a two-fold assistance in its place. 6 Against a thing so difficult to manage as this Heracles devised an ingenious scheme and commanded Iolaus to sear with a burning brand the part which had been severed, in order to check the flow of the blood. So when he had subdued the animal by this means he dipped the heads of his arrows in the venom, in order that when the missile should be shot the wound which the point made might be incurable.

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§ 4.12.1  The third Command which he received was the bringing back alive of the Erymanthian boar which lived on Mount Lampeia in Arcadia. This Command was thought to be exceedingly difficult, since it required of the man who fought such a beast that he possess such a superiority over it as to catch precisely the proper moment in the very heat of the encounter. For should he let it loose while it still retained its strength he would be in danger from its tushes, and should he attack it more violently than was proper, then he would have killed it and so the Labour would remain unfulfilled. 2 However, when it came to the struggle he kept so careful an eye on the proper balance that he brought back the boar alive to Eurystheus; and when the king saw him carrying the boar on his shoulders, he was terrified and hid himself in a bronze vessel.

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§ 4.12.3  About the time that Heracles was performing these Labours, there was a struggle between him and the Centaurs, as they are called, the reason being as follows. Pholus was a Centaur, from whom the neighbouring mountain came to be called Pholoe, and receiving Heracles with the courtesies due to a guest he opened for him a jar of wine which had been buried in the earth. This jar, the writers of myths relate, had of old been left with a certain Centaur by Dionysus, who had given him orders only to open it when Heracles should come to that place. And so, four generations after that time, when Heracles was being entertained as a guest, Pholus recalled the orders of Dionysus. 4 Now when the jar had been opened and the sweet odour of the wine, because of its great age and strength, came to the Centaurs dwelling near there, it came to pass that they were driven mad; consequently they rushed in a body to the dwelling of Pholus and set about plundering him of the wine in a terrifying manner.

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§ 4.12.5  At this Pholus hid himself in fear, but Heracles, to their surprise, grappled with those who were employing such violence. He had indeed to struggle with beings who were gods on their mother's side, who possessed the swiftness of horses, who had the strength of two bodies, and enjoyed in addition the experience and wisdom of men. The Centaurs advanced upon him, some with pine trees which they had plucked up together with the roots, others with great rocks, some with burning firebrands, and still others with axes such as are used to slaughter oxen. 6 But he withstood them without sign of fear and maintained a battle which was worthy of his former exploits. The Centaurs were aided in their struggle by their mother Nephele, who sent down a heavy rain, by which she gave no trouble to those who had four legs, but for him who was supported upon two made the footing slippery. Despite all this Heracles maintained an astonishing struggle with those who enjoyed such advantages as these, slew the larger part of them, and forced the survivors to flee. 7 Of the Centaurs which were killed the most renowned were Daphnis, Argeius, Amphion, also Hippotion, Oreius, Isoples, Melanchaetes, and Thereus, Doupon, and Phrixus. As for those who escaped the peril by flight, every one of them later received a fitting punishment: Homadus, for instance, was killed in Arcadia when he was attempting to violate Alcyone, the sister of Eurystheus. And for this feat it came to pass that Heracles was marvelled at exceedingly; for though he had private grounds for hating his enemy, yet because he pitied her who was being outraged, he determined to be superior to others in humanity. 8 A peculiar thing also happened in the case of him who was called Pholus, the friend of Heracles. While he was burying the fallen Centaurs, since they were his kindred, and was extracting an arrow from one of them, he was wounded by the barb, and since the wound could not be healed he came to his death. Heracles gave him a magnificent funeral and buried him at the foot of the mountain, which serves better than a gravestone to preserve his glory; for Pholoe makes known the identity of the buried man by bearing his name and no inscription is needed. Likewise Heracles unwittingly by a shot from