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Melpomene   


Libya, Asia, and Europe as they have, for they are exceedingly
unequal. Europe extends the entire length of the other two, and for
breadth will not even (as I think) bear to be compared to them. As for
Libya, we know it to be washed on all sides by the sea, except where
it is attached to Asia. This discovery was first made by Necos, the
Egyptian king, who on desisting from the canal which he had begun
between the Nile and the Arabian gulf, sent to sea a number of ships
manned by Phoenicians, with orders to make for the Pillars of
Hercules, and return to Egypt through them, and by the
Mediterranean. The Phoenicians took their departure from Egypt by
way of the Erythraean sea, and so sailed into the southern ocean. When
autumn came, they went ashore, wherever they might happen to be, and
having sown a tract of land with corn, waited until the grain was
fit to cut. Having reaped it, they again set sail; and thus it came to
pass that two whole years went by, and it was not till the third
year that they doubled the Pillars of Hercules, and made good their
voyage home. On their return, they declared- I for my part do not
believe them, but perhaps others may- that in sailing round Libya they
had the sun upon their right hand. In this way was the extent of Libya
first discovered.
Next to these Phoenicians the Carthaginians, according to their
own accounts, made the voyage. For Sataspes, son of Teaspes the
Achaemenian, did not circumnavigate Libya, though he was sent to do
so; but, fearing the length and desolateness of the journey, he turned
back and left unaccomplished the task which had been set him by his
mother. This man had used violence towards a maiden, the daughter of
Zopyrus, son of Megabyzus, and King Xerxes was about to impale him for
the offence, when his mother, who was a sister of Darius, begged him
off, undertaking to punish his crime more heavily than the king
himself had designed. She would force him, she said, to sail round
Libya and return to Egypt by the Arabian gulf. Xerxes gave his
consent; and Sataspes went down to Egypt, and there got a ship and
crew, with which he set sail for the Pillars of Hercules. Having
passed the Straits, he doubled the Libyan headland, known as Cape
Soloeis, and proceeded southward. Following this course for many
months over a vast stretch of sea, and finding that more water than he
had crossed still lay ever before him, he put about, and came back
to Egypt. Thence proceeding to the court, he made report to Xerxes,
that at the farthest point to which he had reached, the coast was
occupied by a dwarfish race, who wore a dress made from the palm tree.
These people, whenever he landed, left their towns and fled away to
the mountains; his men, however, did them no wrong, only entering into
their cities and taking some of their cattle. The reason why he had
not sailed quite round Libya was, he said, because the ship stopped,
and would no go any further. Xerxes, however, did not accept this
account for true; and so Sataspes, as he had failed to accomplish
the task set him, was impaled by the king's orders in accordance
with the former sentence. One of his eunuchs, on hearing of his death,
ran away with a great portion of his wealth, and reached Samos,
where a certain Samian seized the whole. I know the man's name well,
but I shall willingly forget it here.
Of the greater part of Asia Darius was the discoverer. Wishing
to know where the Indus (which is the only river save one that
produces crocodiles) emptied itself into the sea, he sent a number
of men, on whose truthfulness he could rely, and among them Scylax
of Caryanda, to sail down the river. They started from the city of
Caspatyrus, in the region called Pactyica, and sailed down the
stream in an easterly direction to the sea. Here they turned westward,
and, after a voyage of thirty months, reached the place from which the
Egyptian king, of whom I spoke above, sent the Phoenicians to sail
round Libya. After this voyage was completed, Darius conquered the
Indians, and made use of the sea in those parts. Thus all Asia, except
the eastern portion, has been found to be similarly circumstanced with
Libya.

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