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Melpomene   


beheaded Scylas upon the spot. Thus rigidly do the Scythians
maintain their own customs, and thus severely do they punish such as
adopt foreign usages.
What the population of Scythia is I was not able to learn with
certainty; the accounts which I received varied from one another. I
heard from some that they were very numerous indeed; others made their
numbers but scanty for such a nation as the Scyths. Thus much,
however, I witnessed with my own eyes. There is a tract called
Exampaeus between the Borysthenes and the Hypanis. I made some mention
of it in a former place, where I spoke of the bitter stream which
rising there flows into the Hypanis, and renders the water of that
river undrinkable. Here then stands a brazen bowl, six times as big as
that at the entrance of the Euxine, which Pausanias, the son of
Cleombrotus, set up. Such as have never seen that vessel may
understand me better if I say that the Scythian bowl holds with ease
six hundred amphorae, and is of the thickness of six fingers' breadth.
The natives gave me the following account of the manner in which it
was made. One of their kings, by name Ariantas, wishing to know the
number of his subjects, ordered them all to bring him, on pain of
death, the point off one of their arrows. They obeyed; and he
collected thereby a vast heap of arrow-heads, which he resolved to
form into a memorial that might go down to posterity. Accordingly he
made of them this bowl, and dedicated it at Exampaeus. This was all
that I could learn concerning the number of the Scythians.
The country has no marvels except its rivers, which are larger and
more numerous than those of any other land. These, and the vastness of
the great plain, are worthy of note, and one thing besides, which I am
about to mention. They show a footmark of Hercules, impressed on a
rock, in shape like the print of a man's foot, but two cubits in
length. It is in the neighbourhood of the Tyras. Having described
this, I return to the subject on which I originally proposed to
discourse.
The preparations of Darius against the Scythians had begun,
messengers had been despatched on all sides with the king's
commands, some being required to furnish troops, others to supply
ships, others again to bridge the Thracian Bosphorus, when
Artabanus, son of Hystaspes and brother of Darius, entreated the
king to desist from his expedition, urging on him the great difficulty
of attacking Scythia. Good, however, as the advice of Artabanus was,
it failed to persuade Darius. He therefore ceased his reasonings;
and Darius, when his preparations were complete, led his army forth
from Susa.
It was then that a certain Persian, by name Oeobazus, the father
of three sons, all of whom were to accompany the army, came and prayed
the king that he would allow one of his sons to remain with him.
Darius made answer, as if he regarded him in the light of a friend who
had urged a moderate request, "that he would allow them all to
remain." Oeobazus was overjoyed, expecting that all his children would
be excused from serving; the king, however, bade his attendants take
the three sons of Oeobazus and forthwith put them to death. Thus
they were all left behind, but not till they had been deprived of
life.
When Darius, on his march from Susa, reached the territory of
Chalcedon on the shores of the Bosphorus, where the bridge had been
made, he took ship and sailed thence to the Cyanean islands, which,
according to the Greeks, once floated. He took his seat also in the
temple and surveyed the Pontus, which is indeed well worthy of
consideration. There is not in the world any other sea so wonderful:
it extends in length eleven thousand one hundred furlongs, and its
breadth, at the widest part, is three thousand three hundred. The
mouth is but four furlongs wide; and this strait, called the
Bosphorus, and across which the bridge of Darius had been thrown, is a
hundred and twenty furlongs in length, reaching from the Euxine to the
Propontis. The Propontis is five hundred furlongs across, and fourteen

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