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Melpomene   


region dwell the Cannibals, who are a people apart, much unlike the
Scythians. Above them the country becomes an utter desert; not a
single tribe, so far as we know, inhabits it.
Crossing the Panticapes, and proceeding eastward of the
Husbandmen, we come upon the wandering Scythians, who neither plough
nor sow. Their country, and the whole of this region, except Hylaea,
is quite bare of trees. They extend towards the east a distance of
fourteen' days' journey, occupying a tract which reaches to the
river Gerrhus.
On the opposite side of the Gerrhus is the Royal district, as it
is called: here dwells the largest and bravest of the Scythian tribes,
which looks upon all the other tribes in the light of slaves. Its
country reaches on the south to Taurica, on the east to the trench dug
by the sons of the blind slaves, the mart upon the Palus Maeotis,
called Cremni (the Cliffs), and in part to the river Tanais. North
of the country of the Royal Scythians are the Melanchaeni
(Black-Robes), a people of quite a different race from the
Scythians. Beyond them lie marshes and a region without inhabitants,
so far as our knowledge reaches.
When one crosses the Tanais, one is no longer in Scythia; the
first region on crossing is that of the Sauromatae, who, beginning
at the upper end of the Palus Maeotis, stretch northward a distance of
fifteen days' journey, inhabiting a country which is entirely bare
of trees, whether wild or cultivated. Above them, possessing the
second region, dwell the Budini, whose territory is thickly wooded
with trees of every kind.
Beyond the Budini, as one goes northward, first there is a desert,
seven days' journey across; after which, if one inclines somewhat to
the east, the Thyssagetae are reached, a numerous nation quite
distinct from any other, and living by the chase. Adjoining them,
and within the limits of the same region, are the people who bear
the name of Iyrcae; they also support themselves by hunting, which
they practise in the following manner. The hunter climbs a tree, the
whole country abounding in wood, and there sets himself in ambush;
he has a dog at hand, and a horse, trained to lie down upon its belly,
and thus make itself low; the hunter keeps watch, and when he sees his
game, lets fly an arrow; then mounting his horse, he gives the beast
chase, his dog following hard all the while. Beyond these people, a
little to the east, dwells a distinct tribe of Scyths, who revolted
once from the Royal Scythians, and migrated into these parts.
As far as their country, the tract of land whereof I have been
speaking is all a smooth plain, and the soil deep; beyond you enter on
a region which is rugged and stony. Passing over a great extent of
this rough country, you come to a people dwelling at the foot of lofty
mountains, who are said to be all- both men and women- bald from their
birth, to have flat noses, and very long chins. These people speak a
language of their own,. the dress which they wear is the same as the
Scythian. They live on the fruit of a certain tree, the name of
which is Ponticum; in size it is about equal to our fig-tree, and it
bears a fruit like a bean, with a stone inside. When the fruit is
ripe, they strain it through cloths; the juice which runs off is black
and thick, and is called by the natives "aschy." They lap this up with
their tongues, and also mix it with milk for a drink; while they
make the lees, which are solid, into cakes, and eat them instead of
meat; for they have but few sheep in their country, in which there
is no good pasturage. Each of them dwells under a tree, and they cover
the tree in winter with a cloth of thick white felt, but take off
the covering in the summer-time. No one harms these people, for they
are looked upon as sacred- they do not even possess any warlike
weapons. When their neighbours fall out, they make up the quarrel; and
when one flies to them for refuge, he is safe from all hurt. They
are called the Argippaeans.
Up to this point the territory of which we are speaking is very
completely explored, and all the nations between the coast and the

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