James Talboys Wheeler.

The life and travels of Herodotus in the fifth century : before Christ: an imaginary biography founded on fact, illustrative of the history, manners, religion, literature, arts, and social condition of the Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Scythians, and other ancient nations, in th online

. (page 1 of 39)
Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerThe life and travels of Herodotus in the fifth century : before Christ: an imaginary biography founded on fact, illustrative of the history, manners, religion, literature, arts, and social condition of the Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Scythians, and other ancient nations, in th → online text (page 1 of 39)
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J



THE

LIFE AND TRAVELS

OF

HERODOTUS

IN THE

FIFTH CENTURY BEFORE CHRIST:

AN IMAGINARY BIOGRAPHY FOUNDED ON FACT,

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE

HISTORY, MANNERS, RELIGION, LITERATURE, ARTS, AND SOCIAL CONDITION

OF THE GREEKS, EGYPTIANS, PERSIANS, BABYLONIANS, HEBREWS,

SCYTHIANS, AND OTHER ANCIENT NATIONS, IN THE

DAYS OF PERICLES AND NEHEMIAH.



J. TALBOYS WHEELER, F.R.G.S.

AUTHOR OF "THE GEOGRAPHY OF HEIiODOTl i»," ETC.



IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. II.



LONDON:
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS.

1855.



London :

A. and G. A. Spottiswoode,

New-street-Square.



» 5 ,,

^

i<&-



CONTENTS



THE SECOND VOLUME.



CHAPTER XXV.

SCYTHIA, B.C. 459.



Scythians of Southern Russia and the Crimea. — Their Mongolian
Origin. — The great Grass Steppe of Southern Russia. — Anciently
occupied by the Cimmerians. — Migration of the Scythians to the
Grass Steppe. — Pursue the Cimmerians into Asia. — Obtain the
Rule in Upper Asia. — Return to the Grass Steppe. — Fight their
Slaves with Horsewhips. — Herodotus lodges in Olbia. — First Im-
pressions of the Scythians. — Timnes, the Scythian Commissioner. —
Nomade Life. — Scythian Religion. — Mode of sacrificing. — Human
Sacrifices to the Sword of Ares. — Ferocious War Customs of the
Scythians. — Mode of divining. — Punishment of False Soothsayers.
— Funeral Rites. — Royal Barrows. — Intoxicating Smoke. — Blood-
thirsty Tauri of the Crimea - Pa^e 1



CHAP. XXVI.

SCYTHIA (CONTINUED), B.C. 459.

Severity of the Scythian Winter. — Herodotus removes to Byzantium.
— Scythian Prejudice against Foreign Customs. — Story of Ana-
charsis the Scythian, who was put to death for celebrating the
Orgies of Cybele. — Story of Scylas, who was put to death for
celebrating the Orgies of Dionysus. — Scythian Myth concerning
their own Origin. — Story of Targitaus. — Greek Tradition of the
Origin of the Scythians. — Story of Heracles and his Serpent Wife.
—Story of the Invasion of Scythia by Darius Hystaspis, and the
terrible Retreat - - - - - - 17

a 2



IV CONTENTS OF

CHAP. XXV1T.

NATIONS BORDERING ON SCYTHIA, B.C. 459.

Population of Scythia. — Story of the huge Brazen Cauldron made of
Arrow Heads. — Rich Savages of Transylvania. — Wolf-men occu-
pying Poland. — Cannibals in Central Russia. — Strange Story of
the Scythians and Amazons : settlement of their Descendants in
Astracan and the Country of the Don Cossacks. — Savage Tribes of
the Caucasus. — Caravan Route between the Black Sea and Siberia
and the Khirgis Steppe. — Otter and Beaver Hunters. — Strange
Wooden City of Gelonus. — Hunters of the Ural. — Traditionary
Account of the Calmucks. — People who always ate their Parents.
— Massagetae of the Khirgis Steppe. — Strange Manners. — Expe-
dition of Cyrus the Great against the Massagetae.— Dim Geogra-
phical Traditions - - - Page 34

CHAP. XXVIII.

ATHENS, B.C. 458.

Herodotus lands at the Piraeus. — The great Dionysia. — Joyous Cele-
bration of the Festival. — The Procession of Bacchanals. — Hero-
dotus falls suddenly in Love. — His Thoughts upon the Subject. —
Banquet in the House of Euphorion. — Tragedies to be performed
in the great Stone Theatre of Dionysus. — Athenian Tragedies. —
The Oresteia of iEschylus. — Origin and Character of the ancient
Greek Drama. — Theatrical Machines. — Character of the Actors
and Choruses. — Structure and Arrangement of the ancient Theatre.
— Mode of Performance. — Herodotus's Studies in the ancient
Drama - - - ■ - - -48



CHAP. XXIX.

ATHENIAN THEATRE, B.C. 458.

Gathering of the Athenian People to the great Stone Theatre of
Dionysus.— Prices of Admission. — No Playbills required. — Tri-
logy of the Oresteia founded on the Legends connected with the
House of Atreus at Mycenae.— Story of Agamemnon and Clytaem-
nestra.— Arrangement of the Oresteia. — Development of the Plot.
— Detailed Description of the Performance of the Three Tragedies,
Agamemnon, Choephorce, and Eumenides - - - 60



THE SECOND VOLUME.



CHAP. XXX.



Conclusion of the Performances in the Theatre. — Satirical Drama of
Proteus. — Impression upon Herodotus. — Festival of the great
Panathenasa. — Character of the Festivities. — The Lampadephoria,
or Torch Race. — Origin of the Torch Race. — Schemes of Eupho-
rion in reference to Herodotus. — Grand Procession from the
Cerameicus to the Acropolis. — Herodotus desires Initiation into
the Eleusinian Mysteries. — Preparations at the Lesser Eleusinia. —
Temple Legend of Demeter and Persephone, and the Origin of the
Mysteries at Eleusis. — Meaning of the Legend.— Solemnities of the
Great Eleusinia. — Procession along the Sacred Way. — Awful
Ceremonies of Initiation. — Untimely Levity - Page 79



CHAP. XXXI.

GREEK RELIGION. ATHENS, B.C. 458.

Changes in the Religious Ideas and Belief of the ancient Greeks
between the Times of Hesiod and Herodotus, b.c. 750 — 458. —
Review of the Orthodox Faith as laid down by Hesiod. — Ideas of
Hesiod concerning the Origin of the Human Race. — The Golden
Race. — The Silver Race. — The Brazen Race. — The Heroic Race.
— The Iron Race. — The Ideas of Hesiod concerning a Future
State. — Modifications of the Hesiodic Ideas in the Time of Hero-
dotus. — Changes produced by the Mysteries of Eleusis. — Changes
produced by the Orgies of Dionysus and Cybele. — The Teachings
of Pythagoras. — The Orphic Societies. — Legendary Account of
Orpheus. — Worship of Dionysus-Zagreus. — Higher and more
hopeful Views of Death. — Age of Orphic Literature. — Orphic
Theogony. — Difference between the Hesiodic and the Orphic
Ideas. — Legend of Dionysus-Zagreus. — General Reformation
throughout the ancient Heathen World in the Sixth Century



CHAP. XXXII.

ATHENS AND CYRENE, B.C. 458 — 457.

Herodotus's Melancholy. — Preparations for a Voyage to Egypt. —
A startling Discovery connected with Herodotus's Love Affair. —
Embarkation — Voyage to Crete.— A Storm.— A Difliculty con-
nected with the Wine Skins. — Herodotus's Appearance in the

a 3



VI CONTENTS OF

Character of a Chthonian Deity. — Fair Weather. — Arrival at
Cyrene. — Natural Beauties of the Country. — Mythic Traditions
connected with the Colonisation of Cyrene. — Minyans descended
from the Argonaut Sailors and Lemnian Ladies. — Atrocities at
Lemnos. — Minyans settled at Sparta. — Colonisation of Thera. —
Therasan Tradition of the Colonisation of Cyrene. — Cyrensean
Tradition - - - - - Page 116



CHAP. XXXIII.

EGYPT, B.C. 457 — 455.

Voyage from Cyrene to Egypt. — Geography of Egypt. — Inundation
of the Nile. — Appearance of the Egyptians. — Dress and Usages. —
Troubles in Egypt occasioned by the Revolt of Inarus. — Athenians
and Egyptians under Inarus capitulate to the Persians. — Hero-
dotus winters at Naucratis, the Trading City. — Sais. — Temple of
Neith, and Palace and Burial-place of the Pharaohs. — Rock
Chamber. — Tomb of Osiris. — Festival of Burning Lamps. — Buto.
— Temple of Horus, on a Floating Island. — Busiris. — Papremis. —
Extraordinary Ceremonies in the Temple of Typhon. — Bubastis. —
Beautiful Temple of Pasht. — Festival of the Goddess. — Heliopolis.
— Story of King Pheron. — Picture and Story of the Phoenix. —
Physical Geography of the Delta. — Canals. — Egyptian Castes. —
Food of the Egyptians. — Art of Medicine. — Antique Customs. —
Ancient Dirge called Maneros. — Mournings for the Dead. — Em-
balming. — Egyptian Writing - - - - 135



CHAP. XXXIV.

EGYPT, B.C. 455.

Voyage from Naucratis to Memphis. — Tradition of the Foundation
of Memphis. — Magnificent Temple of Pthah. — Propylgea and Court
for Apis. — Statue of King Sethon and a Mouse. — Pyramids of
Gizeh. — Ancient History of Egypt.— Annals of Manetho. — Stories
of the Priests of Pthah. — Feat of Nitocris. — Conquests of Sesos-
tris. — Traditions of his Reign. — Extraordinary Story of the Trea-
sure-Chamber of Rampsinitus. — A Game at Dice in Hades. —
Stories of the Pyramid Kings. — Account of Cheops and Descrip-
tion of his Pyramid. — Pyramids of Chephren and Mycerinus. —
Story of Mycerinus's Daughter. — Singular Oracle concerning his
Death. — Appearance of the Pyramids in the Time of Herodotus. —
Mummy Case and Bones of Mycerinus in the British Museum. —
Pyramid of Bricks - 156



THE SECOND VOLUME. Vll

CHAP. XXXV.

HISTORY OF EGYPT, ANTE 455 B.C.

History of the Kings of Egypt connected with the Kings of Judah
and Israel. — Shishak. — Story of Sabacon of the Dynasty of Tir-
haka. — Priest-King Sethon. — Invasion of Sennacherib. — Con-
nexions with the Court of Hezekiah. — Story of the Government of
Twelve Kings. — Psaminitichus. — Pharaoh-Necho. — Circumnavi-
gation of Africa. — Defeat and Death of King Josiah. — Xecho de-
feated by Nebuchadnezzar. — Reign of Apries, the Pharaoh-
Hophra of Scripture. — Deposed by Amasis. — Anecdotes of the
merry Reign of Amasis. — Traditionary Accounts of the Causes of
the Persian Invasion. — Story of Phanes. — Conquest of E<rypt by
Cambyses. — Pathetic Story. — Mad Acts of Cambyses. — Failure of
his Three Expeditions. — Appearance of Apis. — Death of Cambyses.
—After History of Egypt - Page 175

CHAP. XXXVI.

UPPER EGYPT, B.C. 454.

Voyage up the Nile to Thebes. — Egyptian River Craft. — Lake
Mceris. — The Labyrinth. — Present Remains of the Labyrinth. —
Imposing Appearance of Thebes. — Herodotus's Initiation into the
Mysteries of Osiris and Isis. — Religious Character of the Egyptians.
— Egyptian Deities. — AVorship of Osiris. — Doctrine of the Trans-
migration and Immortality of Souls. — Connexion between Osiris
and Dionysus-Zagreus, and between Isis and the Chthonian Deme-
ter. — Story told by the Priestesses of Zeus at Dodona. — Hero-
dotus' fixed Opinions of the Gods. — Absurd Mistakes of the
Greeks. — Real Antiquity of the Gods. — Egyptian Worship of
Animals. — Colleges for their Support. — Sacred Crocodiles. —
Sneering of the Greeks, and sublime prophetical Denunciations of
Holy Writ. — Egyptian Religion a Corruption of the pure Worship
of God 195



CHAP. XXXVII.

ETHIOPIA, ARABIA, AMD PHOENICIA, B.C. 454.

Voyage from Thebes to Elephantine. — Herodotus's Inquiries con-
cerning the Inundation of the Nile. — Theory which referred it to
the Etesian Winds. — Theory which referred it to Melted Snow. —



Vlll CONTENTS OF

Theory which referred it to the River Ocean. — Theory of Hero-
dotus, that it was caused by the North Winds, which blew the Sun
towards the South. — Real Cause. — Absurd Story of the Registrar
at Sais. — Inquiries about Ethiopia. — Geography. — Upper Course
of the Nile. — Traditions concerning the Ethiopians. — Envoys sent
by Cambyses. — Golden Fetters. — Table of the Sun. — Crystal
Sepulchres. — Crocodiles. — Mode of Catching them. — Nile supposed
to be like the Danube. — Ancient Expedition of five Nasamonians
through the Sahara Desert to Timbuctoo. — Herodotus's Return
Voyage to Memphis. — Religious Doubts. — Herodotus proceeds to
Tyre in Phoenicia. — The Philistines. — Desert of Arabia Petrsea. —
Strange Story of the Conveyance of Water over the Desert. — The
Jews of Palestine. — The Phoenicians or Canaanites. — Commercial
Enterprise of the Sidonians and Tyrians. — Hiram and Jezebel. —
History of Tyre. — Appearance of the City. — Temple of Melcarth,
the Heracles of the Greeks and Baal of the Hebrews. — Antiquity
of the God - - - Page 216



CHAP. XXXVIII.

HALICARNASSUS, B.C. 453.

Herodotus's Return to Halicarnassus. — State of Political Affairs. —
Projected Marriage of Herodotus with Phaedra. — Opposition of
Herodotus. — Anxiety of his Mother Dryo. — Awful Discovery. —
Herodotus becomes reconciled to Circumstances. — Interview with
Artemisia. — A new House. — A Betrothal. — Character of Greek
Lovers. — Preliminary Sacrifices. — A Greek Wedding - 236



CHAP. XXXIX.

HALICARNASSUS, B.C. 453 — 448. LYDIAN HISTORY, ANTE 448 B.C.

Five Years of Happiness. — Death of Pisindelis. — Preparations for a
Journey to Susa. — Herodotus proceeds to Sardis. — Lydian His-
tory. — Conquests of Croesus. — Story of Bias — Visit of Solon at
the Lydian Court. — Who is the Happiest of Mankind? — Story of
Tellus. — |Story of Cleobis and Bion. — Wisdom of Solon. — Croesus
Afflicted by the Avenging Nemesis. — Purification of Adrastus. —
Loss of his Son Atys. — Prepares for War against Cyrus and the
Persians. — Croesus consults the Oracles. — Story of the Present
sent by the Spartans. — Anecdote of AlcniEeon. — His Golden Ap-
pearance before Croesus. — War against Persia. — Advice of San-
danis. — Prodigy of Serpents. — Sardis taken by Cyrus. — Overthrow
of the Lydian Power. — Story of Croesus and his Dumb Son. —



THE SECOND VOLUME. IX

Croesus saved by Apollo from being sacrificed to the Gods. — His
Advice to Cyrus. — Reproaches the Oracle at Delphi — Discovers
his Error. — After Life of Croesus - Page 248



CHAP. XL.

SARDIS AND BABYLON, B.C. 448 447.

How the Lydians became luxurious. — Lydian Revolt from Cyrus. —
Advice of Croesus. — Warlike Spirit of Lydia effectually destroyed.
— Story of the Arrest of Pactyas. — Story of Aristodicus and the
Oracle of Branchidae. — Description of Sardis. — Customs of the
Lydians. — Their Inventions. — Immense Tumulus of Alyattes. —
Monument of Sesostris. — Royal Road to Susa. — Persian System
of Post. — Voyage down the River Euphrates to Babylon. — Sin-
gular Make of the Armenian Boats. — Wonderful Harvests of
Babylonia. — Magnificence and Luxury of Babylon. — Appearance
of the City and People. — Stupendous Walls and Brazen Gates. —
Moveable Bridges over the Euphrates. — Royal Palace of Xebu-
chadnezzar. — Immense Temple of Belus. — Birs Ximroud. —
Tower of Babel. — Sepulchre of Nitocris. — Singular Matrimonial
Auctions - -..._ 271



CHAP. XLI.

ASSYRIAN, BABYLONIAN, AND MEDIAN HISTORY, ANTE B.C. 550.

Character of the great Asiatic Empires. — The old Assyrian Empire.

— Mission of Jonah, b.c 862. — Funeral Pile of Sardanapalus. —
Nineveh taken by Arbaces the Mede and Belesis the Babylonian,
about b.c 820. — Second Assyrian Empire under the Medo-Assy-
rian Dynasty of Arbacidse. — Pul, Tiglath-Pileser, Shalmaneser
and Sennacherib. — Destruction of the Second Assyrian Empire by
the Medes, b.c 606. — History of Babylon. — Xabonassar, Mero-
dach Baladan, and Xebuchadnezzar. — History of Media. — Repub-
lican Government of Judgeships. — Establishment of the Monarchy
by Deioces, b.c 711. — Building of Ecbatana. — Court Ceremonial.

— Phraortes, b.c 647. — Cyaxares, b.c 625 — Expels the Scy-
thians — Takes Xineveh. — Astyages, b.c 585. — History and Con-
dition of the Persian Highlanders. — Story of the Marriage of
Mandane, the Median Princess, with Cambyses, the Persian Chief-
tain. — Dreams of Astyages. — Attempt to assassinate the Infant
Cyrus. — Romantic Story of his Preservation. — Discovery made
by Astyages. — His Revenge. — Popularity of Cyrus in Persia.—
Letter from Harpagus. — Cyrus excites the Persian Chiefs to
revolt. — Defeat of Astyages, and Establishment of the Medo-
Perslan Empire by Cyrus, b.c 550 - 288



X CONTENTS OF

CHAP. XLII.

HISTORY OF PERSIA, B.C. 550 523.

Conquests of Cyrus. — Story of the Piper and the Fishes. — Subju-
gation of the Asiatic Greeks. — Expedition against Belshazzar,
King of Babylon. — Siege and Capture of Babylon. — Edict of
Cyrus for the Restoration of the Jews, b.c 536. — Cambyses, b.c
530. — Revolt of the Median Magians. — Ancient Idolatry. — The
Sabaean or Image Worship. — The Magian or Fire Worship. —
Doctrines of Zoroaster the Reformer. — Heretical Practices of the
Median Magians. — Contest between the Heretical Party of Magians
and the Reformed Party of Zoroaster. — Cyrus the Persian, the
Leader of the Reformed Party. — Cambyses, a zealous Persecutor
of the Median Heretics. — Story of Smerdis, the Brother of Cam-
byses. — Revolt of the Medes under Smerdis the Magian. — Cam-
byses leaves Egypt for Susa. — His Last Words. — Death of Ecba-
tana in Syria, b.c 523 - Page 306



CHAP. XLIII.

HISTORY OF PERSIA, B.C. 523 — 447.

Reign of Smerdis the Magian. — Discovery of the Imposture. — Con-
spiracy of the Seven. — Energy of Darius Hystaspis. — Last Speech
and Suicide of Prexaspes. — Smerdis and his Brother slain. —
Massacre of the Magians. — Accession of Darius to the Persian
Throne, b.c. 523. — Subversion of the Magian Heresy. — Religious
Toleration. — Babylonian Revolt. — Nineteen Months' Siege. —
Desperate Scheme of Zopyrus. — Babylon taken by Darius. —
Empire of Darius. — Greece. — Story of the Greek Surgeon, Demo-
cedes of Crotona. — His extraordinary Adventures.— Residence at
Susa. — Intrigues to be sent to Greece as a Spy. — Escapes to Cro-
tona.— Ionian Revolt, b.c. 503-498. — Battle of Marathon, b.c.4 90.
— Preparations for a grand Expedition against Greece. — Dispute
concerning the Succession. — Death of Darius, b.c. 485. — Accession
of Xerxes. — Leads an immense Army against Greece. — Appear-
ance of the Host during the March. — Tears of Xerxes. — Failure
of the Expedition.— Death of Xerxes, b.c. 465. — Accession of
Artaxerxes Lonsrimanus - 323



CHAP. XLIV.

SUSA AND PERSEPOLIS, B.C. 447 446.

Herodotus reaches Susa.— Situation of Pasargada and Persepolis.
Garden and Parklike Scenery. — Present Remains of Persepolis.



THE SECOXD VOLUME. XI

Herodotus proceeds to Persepolis. — Magnificent Edifices. — De-
scription of the Palaces of Persepolis. — Terraces and Steps. —
AYinged Bulls. — Arrow-head Inscription. — Birthday of Artaxerxes.
— Sacrifices to the Rising Sun. — Hall of Xerxes. — Appearance of
King Artaxerxes. — Birthday Presents. — Royal Banquet. — Hero-
dotus receives a Median Dress. — Audience with the Great King in
the Hall of Hundred Columns. — Herodotus accompanies his Mis-
sion. — Manners and Customs of the Persians. — Respect for Valour.
— Story of Artayntes. — Education of Boys.— Punishment of Un-
just Judges. — Increasing Luxury of the Persians. — Religious
Rites and Ceremonies. — Magian Practices. — Funerals. — Descrip-
tion of the Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargada. — Persian Ideas of the
Soul after Death. — Resurrection of the Dead - Page 344



CHAP. XLV.

SUSA AND JERUSALEM, B.C. 446 — 445.

Herodotus's Interviews with Nehemiah. — State of the Hebrew Na-
tion.— Caravans of Zerubbabel and Ezra. — Character of Nehemiah.
— Curiosity of Herodotus concerning the Hebrew People. — Dis-
course of Nehemiah. — Hebrew Religion and Hebrew History. —
Story of Queen Esther and Haman the Amalekite. — Herodotus
accompanies Nehemiah to Jerusalem. — Lebanon, Hermon, and
Tabor. — River Jordan. — Condition of the Inhabitants of Jeru-
salem.— Herodotus proceeds over Jerusalem. — Description of the
City. — Thoughts of Herodotus. — Meditations of Nehemiah on the
Desolation of Jerusalem. — Prophetical Glimpses of the Future 362

CHAP. XLVI.

HALICARNASSUS, B.C. 445—444.

Herodotus returns to Halicarnassus. — Pestilence. — Fears of the
Avenging Nemesis. — Sorrow and Affliction. — State of Political
Affairs at Halicarnassus. — Herodotus returns to Political Life. —
Writes to the Persian Satrap. — Character of Lygdamis, the Tyrant
of Halicarnassus.— Herodotus's Interview with him. — Anxious
Thoughts. — Strange Recognition. — Effects of Bribery. — A Revo-
lution. — Jealousy of Factions. — Attempted Assassination. — Hero-
dotus leaves Halicarnassus for ever - 383



CHAP. XL VII.

THURIUM, B.C. 443 — 427.

Herodotus's Retirement at Thurium. — His Meditations upon the
Past. — Envy of the Gods. — Compiles his great History of the



Xll CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.

Persian War. — Epic Character of the History. — Scope and Con-
tents of the History. — Herodotus the Homer of History. — A
Second Marriage - - - Page 398



CHAP. XL VIII.

ATHENS, B.C. 427.

Herodotus determines to pay a last Visit to Athens. — The Establish-
ment of the Athenian Empire. — Athens in all her Glory. — Hospi-
tality of old Captain Phylarchus. — Pleasant Discourse. — Marvellous
Representations of the Gods of Hellas. — Genius of Phidias. — The
Odeium. — The Theatre. — Sophocles. — Aristophanes. — The Acro-
polis. — Temple of Wingless Victory. — The Propylaea. — Bronze
Statue of Athena Promachos. — The Parthenon. — Statue of Athena
Parthenos of Gold and Ivory. — The Erechtheium. — A Dream 411



CHAP. XLIX.

CONCLUSION.

Herodotus' s Return to Thurium. — Egyptian Linens and Babylonian
Cottons. — Evening Readings. — Character of Herodotus's Listeners.
— Old Age and its Infirmities. — Death. — Funeral Ceremonies. —
Funeral Orations - - - 424



LIFE AND TRAVELS



OF



HERODOTUS,



CHAPTER XXV.

SCYTHIA, B.C. 459.

SCYTHIANS OF SOUTHERN RUSSIA AND THE CRIMEA — THEIR MONGOLIAN
ORIGIN. — THE GREAT GRASS STEPPE OF SOUTHERN RUSSIA. — ANCIENTLY
OCCUPIED BY THE CIMMERIANS. — MIGRATION OF THE SCYTHIANS TO
THE GRASS STEPPE. — PURSUE THE CIMMERIANS INTO ASIA. — OBTAIN
THE RULE IN UPPER ASIA. — RETURN TO THE GRASS STEPPE. — FIGHT
THEIR SLAVES WITH HORSEWHIPS. — HERODOTUS LODGES IN OLBIA. —
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE SCYTHIANS. — TIMNES, THE SCYTHIAN COM-
MISSIONER. — NOMADE LIFE. — SCYTHIAN RELIGION. — MODE OF SACRI-
FICING. — HUMAN SACRIFICES TO THE SWORD OF ARES. — FEROCIOUS
WAR CUSTOMS OF THE SCYTHIANS. — MODE OF DIVINING. — PUNISHMENT
OF FALSE SOOTHSAYERS. — FUNERAL RITES. — ROYAL BARROWS. — IN-
TOXICATING SMOKE. — BLOODTHIRSTY TAURI OF THE CRIMEA.

In the time of Herodotus, the whole of that extensive
territory of Southern Russia, which stretches from the
mouths of the Danube eastward to the Sea of Azoff and
river Don, was inhabited by a race of Mongol Tartars,
known to the Greek world by the name of Scythians.
The form and features of the Scythian people would have
been sufficient to denote their Mongolian origin. The
thick and flat flesh which covered and disguised the forms
of their muscles and bones, their round faces and skulls,

VOL. II. B



2 SCYTHIA, B.C. 459.

and the peculiar cut of their eyes, would have convinced
the most casual observer that they belonged to the same
stock as the wild hordes of Tartars who still wander
through the vast steppes of Northern and Central Asia ;
whilst their filthy habits, their drunkenness, their tents
of felt, and their nomade lives, spent chiefly on horseback,
would have fully confirmed the impression which the
first glance could scarcely have failed to awaken.

The country itself may be described as a grass steppe,
supplying good pasture for cattle and horses, and in its
eastern quarter producing excellent wheat and all kinds
of grain, together with great quantities of flax and hemp.
It was, therefore, admirably adapted to the habits and
requirements of a Tartar race. But the circumstances
which led to that great Tartar migration from the rich pas-
tures round the Sea of Aral to the Grass Steppe on the
northern shore of the Euxine could not fail to excite the
curiosity of the early philosophic traveller. The national
traditions, however, which the Scythians themselves pre-
served, and those which prevailed amongst the Greek
colonists on the shores of the Black Sea, were generally
rejected by the more acute critics of olden time ; and
though we shall have occasion to produce them as speci-
mens of ancient historic myths, yet we would more par-



Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerThe life and travels of Herodotus in the fifth century : before Christ: an imaginary biography founded on fact, illustrative of the history, manners, religion, literature, arts, and social condition of the Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, Hebrews, Scythians, and other ancient nations, in th → online text (page 1 of 39)