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Melpomene   


every Neurian once a year becomes a wolf for a few days, at the end of
which time he is restored to his proper shape. Not that I believe
this, but they constantly affirm it to be true, and are even ready
to back their assertion with an oath.
The manners of the Androphagi are more savage than those of any
other race. They neither observe justice, nor are governed, by any
laws. They are nomads, and their dress is Scythian; but the language
which they speak is peculiar to themselves. Unlike any other nation in
these parts, they are cannibals.
The Melanchaeni wear, all of them, black cloaks, and from this
derive the name which they bear. Their customs are Scythic.
The Budini are a large and powerful nation: they have all deep
blue eyes, and bright red hair. There is a city in their territory,
called Gelonus, which is surrounded with a lofty wall, thirty furlongs
each way, built entirely of wood. All the houses in the place and
all the temples are of the same material. Here are temples built in
honour of the Grecian gods, and adorned after the Greek fashion with
images, altars, and shrines, all in wood. There is even a festival,
held every third year in honour of Bacchus, at which the natives
fall into the Bacchic fury. For the fact is that the Geloni were
anciently Greeks, who, being driven out of the factories along the
coast, fled to the Budini and took up their abode with them. They
still speak a language half Greek, half Scythian.
The Budini, however, do not speak the same language as the Geloni,
nor is their mode of life the same. They are the aboriginal people
of the country, and are nomads; unlike any of the neighbouring
races, they eat lice. The Geloni on the contrary, are tillers of the
soil, eat bread, have gardens, and both in shape and complexion are
quite different from the Budini. The Greeks notwithstanding call these
latter Geloni; but it is a mistake to give them the name. Their
country is thickly planted with trees of all manner of kinds. In the
very woodiest part is a broad deep lake, surrounded by marshy ground
with reeds growing on it. Here otters are caught, and beavers, with
another sort of animal which has a square face. With the skins of this
last the natives border their capotes: and they also get from them a
remedy, which is of virtue in diseases of the womb.
It is reported of the Sauromatae, that when the Greeks fought with
the Amazons, whom the Scythians call Oior-pata or "man-slayers," as it
may be rendered, Oior being Scythic for "man," and pata for "to slay"-
It is reported, I say, that the Greeks after gaining the battle of the
Thermodon, put to sea, taking with them on board three of their
vessels all the Amazons whom they had made prisoners; and that these
women upon the voyage rose up against the crews, and massacred them to
a man. As however they were quite strange to ships, and did not know
how to use either rudder, sails, or oars, they were carried, after the
death of the men, where the winds and the waves listed. At last they
reached the shores of the Palus Maeotis and came to a place called
Cremni or "the Cliffs," which is in the country of the free Scythians.
Here they went ashore, and proceeded by land towards the inhabited
regions; the first herd of horses which they fell in with they seized,
and mounting upon their backs, fell to plundering the Scythian
territory.
The Scyths could not tell what to make of the attack upon them-
the dress, the language, the nation itself, were alike unknown
whence the enemy had come even, was a marvel. Imagining, however, that
they were all men of about the same age, they went out against them,
and fought a battle. Some of the bodies of the slain fell into their
hands, whereby they discovered the truth. Hereupon they deliberated,
and made a resolve to kill no more of them, but to send against them a
detachment of their youngest men, as near as they could guess equal to
the women in number, with orders to encamp in their neighbourhood, and
do as they saw them do- when the Amazons advanced against them, they
were to retire, and avoid a fight- when they halted, the young men
were to approach and pitch their camp near the camp of the enemy.

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