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Melpomene   


All this they did on account of their strong desire to obtain children
from so notable a race.
So the youths departed, and obeyed the orders which had been given
them. The Amazons soon found out that they had not come to do them any
harm; and so they on their part ceased to offer the Scythians any
molestation. And now day after day the camps approached nearer to
one another; both parties led the same life, neither having anything
but their arms and horses, so that they were forced to support
themselves by hunting and pillage.
At last an incident brought two of them together- the man easily
gained the good graces of the woman, who bade him by signs (for they
did not understand each other's language) to bring a friend the next
day to the spot where they had met- promising on her part to bring
with her another woman. He did so, and the woman kept her word. When
the rest of the youths heard what had taken place, they also sought
and gained the favour of the other Amazons.
The two camps were then joined in one, the Scythians living with
the Amazons as their wives; and the men were unable to learn the
tongue of the women, but the women soon caught up the tongue of the
men. When they could thus understand one another, the Scyths addressed
the Amazons in these words- "We have parents, and properties, let us
therefore give up this mode of life, and return to our nation, and
live with them. You shall be our wives there no less than here, and we
promise you to have no others." But the Amazons said- "We could not
live with your women- our customs are quite different from theirs.
To draw the bow, to hurl the javelin, to bestride the horse, these are
our arts of womanly employments we know nothing. Your women, on the
contrary, do none of these things; but stay at home in their
waggons, engaged in womanish tasks, and never go out to hunt, or to do
anything. We should never agree together. But if you truly wish to
keep us as your wives, and would conduct yourselves with strict
justice towards us, go you home to your parents, bid them give you
your inheritance, and then come back to us, and let us and you live
together by ourselves."
The youths approved of the advice, and followed it. They went
and got the portion of goods which fell to them, returned with it, and
rejoined their wives, who then addressed them in these words
following:- "We are ashamed, and afraid to live in the country where
we now are. Not only have we stolen you from your fathers, but we have
done great damage to Scythia by our ravages. As you like us for wives,
grant the request we make of you. Let us leave this country
together, and go and dwell beyond the Tanais." Again the youths
complied.
Crossing the Tanais they journeyed eastward a distance of three
days' march from that stream, and again northward a distance of
three days' march from the Palus Maeotis. Here they came to the
country where they now live, and took up their abode in it. The
women of the Sauromatae have continued from that day to the present to
observe their ancient customs, frequently hunting on horseback with
their husbands, sometimes even unaccompanied; in war taking the field;
and wearing the very same dress as the men.
The Sauromatae speak the language of Scythia, but have never
talked it correctly, because the Amazons learnt it imperfectly at
the first. Their marriage-law lays it down that no girl shall wed till
she has killed a man in battle. Sometimes it happens that a woman dies
unmarried at an advanced age, having never been able in her whole
lifetime to fulfil the condition.
The envoys of the Scythians, on being introduced into the presence
of the kings of these nations, who were assembled to deliberate,
made it known to them that the Persian, after subduing the whole of
the other continent, had thrown a bridge over the strait of the
Bosphorus, and crossed into the continent of Europe, where he had
reduced the Thracians, and was now making a bridge over the Ister, his
aim being to bring under his sway all Europe also. "Stand ye not aloof

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