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THE Persians, left 3 in Europe under the orders of Megaby-
zus, subdued the Perinthians b first of all the Hellespontines,
who were unwilling to submit to Darius, and had been before
roughly handled by the Paeonians. For the Paeonians c , who
inhabit upon the river Strymon, had been admonished by an
oracle to invade the Perinthians ; and if the Perinthians, when
encamped over against them, should call on them by name to
fight, then to engage ; jtherwise not. The Paeonians did as
they were instructed. The Perinthians having marched out,
encamped in the suburbs, and there a threefold single combat
took place according to a challenge ; for they matched a man
with a man, a horse with a horse, and a dog with a dog. The
Perinthians, being victorious in two of these duels, were so
full of joy, that they began to sing the Paean* 1 : the Paeonians
conjectured that this was the meaningof the oracle, and said
among themselves, " The prediction is now accomplished ;

" Herodotus here continues the history tended beyond mount Cercinus, because

of Darius, which he had interrupted at Doberus, which was called Paeonica, is

ch. 144. of the last book, in order to speak on the western bank of a river which falls

of Lybia. into the Echidorus. Larcher.

b Perinthus, otherwise called Hera- d The Paeon or Paean was a song of

clea, is on the shores of Propontis. which there were two kinds. The first

c Paeonia began on the north at mount was chaunted before the battle in honor

Scomius and extended towards the south, of Mars. The other after the victory in

between the mountains Cercinus and honor of Apollo. This hymn commenced

Pangeus. It also comprehended, at the with the words lo Paean. The allusion

south of Bisaltia, the Paeonic plain and of the word Paeon to the name of Paeo-

the lake Prasias. The greater part of the nians is obvious. Larcher.
country is east ot Strymon. It also ex-



" our work is next :" and immediately they fell upon the Pe-
rinthians as they were sinking the Paean, and were so com-
pletely superior, that they left but few of them.

II. In this manner the Perinthians were defeated by the
Paeonians : but against Megabyzus they behaved themselves
with valour in defence of their liberty ; and were oppressed
only by the numbers of the Persians. After the taking of
Perinthus, Megabyzus advanced with his army, and reduced
all the cities and nations of Thrace to the obedience of the
king. For Darius had commanded him to subdue the Thra-

III. This nation is the greatest 6 of any among men, except
the Indians : and in my opinion, if the Thracians were either
under the government of one person, or unanimous in their
counsels, they would be invincible, and by far the strongest
people of the world. But this is impracticable, and it is im-
possible for it ever to take place, and therefore they are
feeble. They go under several names, according to the places
they inhabit; but all observe the same customs, except the
Getas, the Trausi, and those who dwell above the Cres-

IV. I have already spoken of the customs of the Getae, who
pretend to be immortal. The Trausi differ in nothing from the
rest of the Thracians, except in the customs they observe with
regard to the birth of a child or the death of a person. When
a child is born f , his relations, sitting in a circle about him,
deplore his condition, on account of the evils he must fulfil,
since he has been born ; enumerating the various calamities
incident to mankind. But when a^man is dead, they inter
him with exultation and rejoicings, repeating the miseries he
has exchanged for a complete felicity.

V. Those who live above the Crestonaeans have each many

e Thucydides places them after the rue might have occupied the N.W. quar-

Scythians. See book ii. ch. 97. Pausa- ter of the modern Servia, Bosnia and

nius after the Celtae. Attic, i. 9. Croatia. Rennell, 44.

As this country is confined on the east f We find the same sentiment in a frag-

and south by the sea, and on the north ment of the Cresphontes of Euripides,

by the Danube, and as Macedonia and which is preserved by several authors,

Paeonia are mentioned by Herodotus as and translated in the following manner

distinct countries, the extent of Thrace, by Cicero Tuscul. i. 48.

even allowing it to extend intoDardania ,, AT

and Massia, must be much more circum- * J celebrantes,

scribed than the idea our author allows. . . ,. . . ,

It has, however, more extended limits in }?B> ubl esset allc l uis m lucem

his geography, than in succeeding au- US ' ..

thorf, and perhaps it might have includ- Human* vit* vanarepuntantes mala :

ed most of the space along the south of * ! UI S"**-" ^ ^^ *1**'

the Danube, between the Euxine and ? unc om , m amicos laude et lastmft ex '
Istria, meeting the borders of Macedonia,

Paeonia, &c. on the south ; and the Sigyn- See also Gray's Ode on Eton College.


wives ; when any of them dies, a great contest arises among
the wives, and violent interests among their friends, on this
point, which of them was most loved by the husband. In the
end, she who is adjudged to have merited that honour, having
received great commendations both from the men and women,
is killed upon the tomb s by the nearest of her relations, and
buried together with her husband ; the other wives consider
it as a great misfortune, for this is accounted to them as the
utmost disgrace.

VI. The rest of the Thracians sell their children to be car-
ried out of the country. They keep no watch over their
daughters ; but suffer them to entertain any men they like.
Nevertheless they keep their wives under a strict guard, and
purchase them of their relations at a great rate. To be
marked with punctures' 1 is accounted a sign of noble birth ; to
be without such marks, ignoble. Idleness' is esteemed most
honourable ; husbandry most dishonourable ; and to subsist
by war and rapine is thought glorious. These are the most
remarkable customs of this nation.

VII. They worship the following Gods only, Mars, Bac-
chus, and Diana. But their kings alone particularly venerate
Mercury ; they swear by his name alone, and pretend to be
descended from him.

VIII. The funerals of wealthy men are celebrated in this
manner. They expose the corpse to public view during three
days ; and after they have performed their lamentations, they
sacrifice all kinds of animals, and apply themselves to feast-
ing. Then they complete the rites of sepulture k , after having


8 This custom was also observed by kind in India,) how many points of re-

the Getae, (Steph. Byz.) At this day in semblance there are between what we

India, women burn themselves with the saw and the mode described by Herodo-

bodies of their husbands, which custom tus. Rennell, p. 46. See also p. 911, and

is very ancient. Diodorus Siculus men- seq.

tions it, (xix. 33, 34.) and aho Proper- h If Plutarch (de Sera num. vindict. p.

tius, Jib. iii. Eleg. xiii. Al. ix. ver. 19. 557.) may be credited, the Thracians in

. . , . . . . his time made these punctures on their

Et certamen habent leti, quae viva se- wiyes> tQ reyenge the eath of Qrpheus.

quatur jf ^^ ^ ^^ true reason jj j s remark-

Conjugium; pudor est non hcuisse ^ ^ what wag in its origin a pu _

mon. nishment, became afterwards a mark of

Ardent victnces, et flamm* pectora Qobility and an ornament . IjCt , cher ,

prffi en > 'An-yoc opposed to YT/C spvarjjf, sig-

Imponuntque suis ora perusta vins. nifies g l_. h ^ does not tgjL the fields.

Cicero also mentions the same fact. He went, as is presently explained, to

Tuscl. v. 27. war and plunder, &c. Valckenaer.

We may suppose that these Thracians, k 0airrw in Greek, sepelio in Latin ;

as well as the Getae, believed in the im- and hence sepultura are generic terms,

mortality of the soul, for what other mo- and express every way in which the last

tive could urge them to this sacrifice? duties are paid to the dead. Larcher

Larcher. brings a great number of examples to

We cannot help remarking, (having shew this,
oursejvea witnessed a sacrifice of this

B 2


burnt Mm or buried him in the earth ; and having thrown up
a mound of earth 1 over the grave, celebrate all manner of
games, in which the greatest rewards are adjudged to single
combat, on account of the estimation in which it is held. And
such are their funeral rites.

IX. Concerning the northern parts of this region, no man
can certainly affirm by what people they are possessed. But
those beyond the Danube appear to be desert and unbounded,
inhabited by no other men, that I have heard of, but the
Sigynnae m , who wear the Median habit, and have horses co-
vered over with shaggy hair, which is five digits long, they are
low of stature, and have short flat noses and are unable to
carry men ; yet they draw a chariot with exceeding swiftness,
and therefore the natives use chariots. Their confines extend
as far as the Veneti on the Adriatic. They affirm that they are
a colony of the Medes". But by what means that colony
came thither I cannot say ; though nothing be impossible
to happen in length of time . The Ligurians, who inhabit be-
yond Marseilles, call merchants, Siyynnce, and the Cyprians
call javelins p also by that name.

X. The Thracians say, that the parts which lie beyond the
Danube are full of bees, and on that account impassable.
But I think their assertion carries no appearance of truth,
because that animal cannot endure the cold; and I am inclined
to believe that the excessive frosts of the northern climates,
are the only cause why those countries are uninhabited. This
is what is related of these parts, of which Megabyzus reduced
all the maritime places to the obedience of Darius.

XI. No sooner was Darius arrived .t Sardis, after he had
repassed the Hellespont, than remembering the good offices

1 Over the place of burial of illustrious " them part of Thrace," which lay, how-
persons, they raised a kind of tumulus of ever, on the south, or Grecian side of the
earth. This is expressed by Virgil, " In- Danube ? Sigriia is a position in ancient
" gens adgeritur tumulo tellus." ^Eneid. geography, on the Adriatic, towards the
iii. ver. 63. Lurcher. ancient seats of the Veneti. Query, has

m The context, as it stands, appears it any connection with the Sigynna: of our
contradictory; for the Sigynnae are said author? Itetinell, p. 43, 44.
to lie beyond the Danube, and yet to ex- " When the Scythians subjugated part
tend almost to the Eneti on the Adriatic, of Asia, they were the cause of several
Now, he had been speaking of Thrace, colonies going from it, and among others
and of its northern part, concerning which one from the Assyrians, which trans-
nothing decisive had been ascertained ; planted itself into Asia Minor, and an-
and after this, he introduces the country, other from the Medes, which went to-
north of the Danube, as a vast and almost wards the Tanais and formed the nation
endless space; and says, that it is inha- of the Sauromatae. Diodorus Siculus ii.
bited by theSigymuf, who extend almost 43. Were the Sigynnae descended from
to the Adriatic. May it not be suspect- a branch of these Sauromataa I Lurcher.
ed.that the sentence respecting the coun- See also Sophocles. Ajax, v. 655.
try beyond the Danube is misplaced al- P This is also mentioned by Aristot.
together, and that the author intended to Poetic. 35.
say that " the Sigynnae inhabited the nor-


of Histiseus the Milesian, and the counsel of Goes of Mity-
lene, he sent for both those persons, and gave them the choice
of their recompence. Histiaeus, as being already tyrant of
Miletus, demanded no other dominion ; but asked for the
Edonian q Myrcinus, in order to build a city there. But Goes,
who was a private man, and possessed of no government, re-
quested the dominion of Mitylene. They easily obtained all
they desired, and then departed to take possession.

XII. About the same time it happened that Darius, having
witnessed a circumstance of the following kind, became de-
sirous of commanding Megabyzus to transplant the Paeonians
out of Europe into Asia. For Pigres and Mantyes, two Paeo-
nians, being desirous to become masters of Paeonia, came to
Sardis, after the return of Darius, accompanied by their sister,
who was a tall and beautiful person ; and having watched the
opportunity when Darius was sitting in public in the suburbs
of the Lydians, they dressed their sister in the best manner
they could, and sent her for water, carrying a pitcher on her
head r , leading a horse by a bridle hanging upon her arm, and
at the same time spinning thread. As she passed by Darius,
it excited his attention ; and because what she was doing was
altogether different from the customs of the Persians and
Lydiaus, and also of any other people in Asia, he ordered
some of his guards to observe what she would do with the
horse. The guards followed her, and when she came down
to the river, she watered the horse, and having filled her
pitcher, returned again by the same way, carrying the water
on her head, leading her horse, and turning her distaff.

XIII. Darius, surprised with the account they gave, and
with what he himself had seen, commanded her to be brought
into his presence ; where she was no sooner introduced, than
her brothers, who at no great distance had kept a look-out,
appeared likewise ; and when Darius asked of what country
she was, the young men made answer, that they were Paeoni-
ans, and that the maid was their sister. The king proceeding
to inquire, what sort of men the Paeonians were, in what part
of the world they lived, and upon what motive they them-
selves came to Sardis, received for answer, That they came
to put themselves under his protection ; that Paeonia and its
towns are 5 situate upon the river Strymon, not far from the

i Edonis is a small country of Thrace, r Nicholas Damascenus tells a similar

between mount Orbelus and the Stry- story of Alyattes king of Sardis, with re-

mon. A country called Phyllis lay to gard to a woman of Mysia in Thrace,

the north and on the south side, it ex- Excerpt, pag. 494, &c.

tended to the JEgean, and was nearly op- s The Paeonians of Appian (de Illyri-

posite to Thasus. Myrcinus was on the cis22.) are the Pannonians of the Latins.

Strymon, a little to the north of Novem- Wesseting.
viae or Amphipolis.


Hellespont ; and that the people are a colony of Teucrians,
from the city of Troy. When they had given account of these
particulars, Darius farther demanded, if all the women of that
country were as industrious as their sister ; and the Paeoni-
ans, who had contrived the whole design to no other end,
readily answered they were.

XIV. Upon which Darius writes letters to Megabyzus,
general of his forces in Thrace, requiring him to compel the
Paeonians to leave their country, and to bring them to him
with their wives and children. Immediately a messenger on
horseback proceeded with expedition to the Hellespont ; and
having passed it, delivered the letters to Megabyzus, who,
after he had read the contents, taking guides in Thrace, led
his army towards Paeonia.

XV. When the Paeonians heard that the Persians were
coming to invade them, they drew all their forces towards the
sea, thinking the Persians would attempt to enter that way,
and prepared to dispute their passage. But Megabyzus, un-
derstanding that the whole strength of Paeonia was in rea-
diness to receive him on that side, took his way, by the direc-
tion of his guides, towards the upper part of the country ; and
having escaped the notice of the Paeonians, came suddenly
on their towns and easily got possession of them, since they
were empty. The Paeonians no sooner heard that their cities
were taken, than they dispersed themselves ; and every man
returning home, the whole country submitted to the Persians.
And in this manner all those Paeonians, who were known by
the names of Siropaeonians and Paeoplse, together with the
people of those parts as far as the lake Prasias, were forcibly
removed from their ancient seats, and transported into Asia.

XVI. But those Paeonians who dwell near mount Pangaeus
and near the Doberes, Agrianae, arid Odomanti ; and those
next adjoining to the lake, were not at all conquered by Me-
gabyzus. Yet he attempted to subdue those, who live upon
the lake in dwellings contrived after this manner : long piles
are fixed 1 in the middle of the lake, upon which planks are
placed, which being joined by a narrow bridge to the land, is
the only way that leads to their habitations. These piles
were formerly erected at the common charge ; but afterwards
they made a law, to oblige all men, for every wife they should
marry, to fix three of them in the lake, and to cut the timber
upon mount Orbelus. On these planks every man has a hut,
with a trap-door opening through the planks, down to the wa-

4 Thcerkask, the capital of the Cossacks tranquil, and the Tanais is a very ra-
of the Don, is built in the same manner ; pid river, this construction is more won-
but as the waters of the lake Prasias are derful. Lurcher,


ter. They tie a string about the foot of their young children,
lest they should fall into the lake ; and feed their horses and
other labouring cattle with fish", which abound so much
there, that when a man has turned back his trap-door, he lets
down an empty basket by a cord into the lake, and, after wait-
ing a short time, draws it up full of fish. Of these they have
two kinds, called the Papraces and Tilones.

XVII. After Megabyzus had taken the cities of the Paeo-
nians, he dispatched seven Persians, who next to himself were
most illustrious in the army to Macedonia, with orders to re-
quire Amyntas to acknowledge king Darius by a present of
earth and water. From the lake Prasias* to Macedonia is a
very short distance. For, passing by a mine, which is near
that lake, and afterwards yielded a talent of silver every day
to Alexander, men ascend the mountain Dysorum ; and on the
other side, at the foot of the hill, enter into the territories of

XVIII. When the Persians arrived, they went to Amyn-
tas, and demanded earth and water in the name of Darius.
Amyntas not only promised y them what they required, but
received them for his guests ; and having prepared a magni-
ficent feast, entertained them with great kindness. After the
repast, the Persians, while pledging one another, said, " O
" Macedonian host, when we make a great feast in Persia, our
" manner is to bring in our concubines and young women to
" sit beside us ; and therefore, since you have received us
" kindly and have treated us with such magnificence, and of-
" fer to give to king Darius earth and water, we invite you
" to imitate our custom." Amyntas answered, " The manner
" of our country is quite different, for we keep our women
" separated from men ; nevertheless, because you are our
" masters, and require their attendance, we will do as you de-
" sire." Having finished these words, he sent for the women,
who, coming in as they were ordered, sat down in order oppo-
site to the Persians. But when they saw the women were

11 Torffaeus, in his history of Norway, town there was a lake or morass, which

{part i. lib. ii. 24.) informs us, that in is undoubtedly the lake Prasias. Mount

the cold and maritime parts of Europe, Dysorum is perhaps a branch of Pangeus,

cattle are fed with fish. Wesseling. or some insolated hill, probably near the

x It is the more difficult to determine plain of Sylea. M. D'Anville, without

the position of mount Dysorura and the any kind of authority, pretends that the

lake Prasias, since Herodotus is the only lake Bolbe is the lake Prasias. Lurcher.

ancient author who has spoken of them. ? 'ESifiov here signifies, se tradittirum

Opposite Thasus was the town of Datus, vel traders dirit. So in book ix. c. 109.

which was afterwards called Crenides In Appian also, Hist. Syriac. 29, SiSovg

and then Philippi, when Philip had gain- and oovvai have the same force as viri-

ed possession of it. Near this town there a-)(vilaQai, to offer, to promise, to engage,

were some very abundant gold-mines in fo gii e. Schweigh.
the hill of Bacchus. To the S.W. of this


very beautiful, the Persians told Amyntas that what had been
done was not very prudent, for it were better that the wo-
men should not have come at all, than that, when they had
come, they should not be placed beside them, but sit opposite
to them as a torment to their eyes 2 . Upon this Amyntas,
compelled by necessity, ordered the women to sit down by
the men ; which when they had done, the Persians, as having
drank rather too much, began to handle their breasts ; and
some one even attempted to kiss them.

XIX. These actions Amyntas saw with indignation ; yet
sat quiet, because he was very much afraid of the Persian
power. But his son Alexander, who was present, and ob-
served the same things, being a young man and inexperienced
in misfortune, was no longer able to endure their insolence ;
and therefore said to Amyntas, " Father, yield to your age ;
" and, leaving the company, retire to your rest. I will stay
" here, and furnish these guests with all things necessary."
Amyntas perceiving that Alexander had some rash design to
put in execution ; " Son," said he, " I pretty well discern by

' your words that you are inflamed with anger, and that you
' wish to dismiss me that you may attempt some new design.
' I charge you therefore to undertake nothing against these
' men, lest you cause our ruin ; but be contented to observe
their actions with patience ; and for my own part, I will
1 comply and retire."

XX. When Amyntas had made this request and had
retired, Alexander spoke to the Persians in these terms :
" Friends," said he, " these women are completely at your
" command ; you may lie with all, or as many of them as you
" please ; and therefore I desire you to declare your inten-
" tions with freedom ; for the time for retiring is fast ap-
" proaching, and I perceive that you are abundantly re-
" plenished with wine. Only permit them, if it is agreeable
" to you, to go out to bathe, and after that, expect their re-
" turn." The Persians assented to his proposal, and Alex-
ander sent away the women, as they came out, to their own
apartment ; and having dressed a like number of smoothfaced
young men in the habit of women, he furnished every one
with a poignard, and led them in to the Persians. " Persians,"
said he, as he led them in, " we believe that we have feasted
" you with every magnificence ; for we have given you not
" only all we had, but whatever we could procure : and,
" which is more than all the rest, we now freely give up to
" you our matrons and sisters, that you may be abundantly

1 Longinus (de Sublim. iv.) and the pression as frigid. Many learned men
greater part of critics censure this ex- have vindicated it.


" persuaded, we have paid you all the honours you deserve ;
" and also that at your return you may report to the king
" who sent you, that a Greek, the prince of Macedonia, gave
" you a good reception both at table and bed." Having thus
spoken, Alexander placed next every Persian a young Mace-
donian man, as if a woman, who immediately dispatched the
Persians, when they attempted to caress them.

XXI. This was the fate of these Persians, and of their
attendants, who, together with the chariots and all the bag-
gage, which was very considerable, presently disappeared.
After some time, great search was made by the Persians for
these men ; but Alexander by his prudence checked their
inquiry, by giving a considerable sum of money, and his
sister Gygea, to Bubares" a Persian, the chief of those who
were sent to search for those who were lost ; and by this
management the death of these Persians was suppressed and

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