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reconciling them, but by giving orders that they should carry it in their turns.
From hence he got, the fourth day to Maracanda, a very considerable city, and capital of Sogdiana, which he took ; and after leaving a considerable garrison there, he burned and laid waste all the plains.
There came an embassy to him from the * Abian Scythians, who from the death of Cyrus had lived free and independent : these submitted to Alexander. They were considered as the most equitable of all the barbarians, never making war but to defend themselves; and the liberty established among them, and which they no ways abused, removed all distinction, and equalled the meanest among them with the greatest. A love of poverty and justice was their peculiar characteristic, and enabled them to live happy together without wanting either kings or laws. Alexander received them kindly, and sent one of his chief courtiers to take a view of their country, and even of the Scythians who inhabit beyond the Cimmerian Bosphorus.
He had marked out a spot of ground proper for building a city on the river laxarthes, in order to curb the nations he had already conquered, and those he intended to subdue. But this design was retarded by the rebellion of the Sogdians, which was soon after followed by that of the Bactrians. Alex. ander dispatched Spitamenes, who had delivered
up Bessus into his hands, believing him a very fit person to bring
them back to their allegiance ; but he himself had been chiefy in. strumental in this insurrection. The king, greatly surprised at this treachery, was determined to take vengeance of him in the most signal mamer. He then marched to Cyropolis
, and besieged it. This was
last city of the Persian empire, and had been built by Cyrus, after whose name it was called. At the same time he sent Craterus, with two more of his general officers, to besiege the city of the Memaceni
, to whom 50 troopers were sent, to desire them to sue for Alexander's clemency. These met with a very kind recep tion at first, but in the night time were all cut to pieces. Alexander had resolved to spare Cyropolis, purely for the sake of Cyrus ; for, of all the monarchs who had reigned over these nations, there were none he admired more than this king and Semiramis
, because they had surpassed all the rest in courage and glorious actions. very advantageous conditions to the besieged, but they were so blindly
obstinate as to reject them, and that even with pride and insolence ; upon which he stormed their citys
* Abii Scytha,
He therefore offered
abandoning the plunder of it to his soldiers, and razed it to the very foundations. From hence he went to the other city which Craterus was besieging. No place ever made a more vigorous defence; for Alexander lost his best soldiers before it, and was himself exposed to very great danger, a stone striking him with so much violence on the head, that it deprived him of his senses. The whole army indeed thought him dead, which threw them into tears; but this prince, whom no danger or disappointment could depress, pushed on the siege with greater vigour than before, the instant he recovered, without staying till his wound was healed, anger adding fresh fuel to his natural ardour. Having therefore caused the wall to be sapped, he made a large breach in it, and entered the city, which he burned to the ground, and put all the inhabitants to the sword. Several other cities niet with the same fate. This was a third rebellion of the Sogdians, who would not be quiet, though Alexander had pardoned them twice before. They lost above 120,000 men in these different sieges. The king afterwards sent Men. edemus with 3000 foot and 800 horse to Maracanda, whence Spitamenęs had drove the Macedonian garrison, and shut himself up there.
With regard to himself, he returned back and encamped on the laxarthes, where he surrounded with walls the whole spot of ground which his army had covered, and built a city on it, containing 60 furlongs in circumference,* which he also called Alexandrią; having before built several of that same. He caused the workmen to make such dispatch, that in less than twenty days the ramparts were raised, and the houses built; and indeed there was a great emulation among the soldiers who should get his work done soonest, every one of them having had his portion allotted him: and, to people his new city, he ransomed all the prisoners he could meet with, settled several Macedonians there who were worn out in the service, and permitted many natives of the country, at their own request, to inhabit it.
But the kings of those Scythians who live on the other side of the laxarthes, seeing that this city, built on the river, was a kind of yoke to them, they sent a great body of soldiers to demolish it, and to drive the Macedonians to a great dis. tance. Alexander, who had no design of attacking the Sey. thians, finding them make several incursions, even in his sight, in a very insolent manner, was very much perplexed ; especially when advice was brought him at the same time, that a body of troops he had ordered to Maracanda, had
been all, a very few excepted, cut to pieces. Such a number of obstacles would have discouraged any one but Alex, ander' ; for the Sogdians had taken up arms, and the Bactrians also ; his army was harrassed by the Scythians ; he himself was brought so low, that he was not able to stand upright, to mount on horseback, to speak to his forces, or give a single order. To increase his affliction, he found his army no ways inclined to attempt the passage of the river in sight of the enemy, who were drawn up in battle-array, Tho'king continued in the utmost perplexity all night long; however, his courage surmounted all things. Being told that the auspices were not propitious, he forced the soothsayers to substitute favourable ones in their stead. The day begin. ning to break, he put on his coat of mail, and showed him. self to the soldiers, who had not seen him since the last wound he had received. These held their king in such high veneration, that only his presence immediately removed all their fears, so that they shed tears of joy, and went unanimously and paid him their respects ; entreating him to lead them against the enemy, against whom they before had refused to march. They worked so hard at the rafts or floats, that in three days time they had made 12,000; and also pre. pared a great number of skins for that purpose.
As every thing was ready for the march, several Scythi, an ambassadors arrived, to the number of 20, according to the custom of their country, who all rode through the camp, desiring to speak with the king Alexander having sent for them into his tent, desired theni to sit down. They gazed attentively upon him a long time, without speaking a single word, being very probably surprised (as they formed a judg. ment of men from their air and stature) to find that his did not answer the high idea they entertained of him from his fame. The eldest of the ambassadors inade this speech, which, as Quintus Curtius relates it, is pretty long; however, as it is very curious, I shall present my readers with the greatest part of it.
“ Had the gods given thee a body proportionable to thy « ambition, the whole universe would have been too little 66 for thee. With one hand thou wouldst touch the east, K and with the other the west ; and not satisfied with this, 6 thou wouldest follow the sun, and know where he hides « himself. Such as thou ilrt, thou yet aspirest after what " it will be impossible for thee' to attain. Thou crossest
over from Europe into Asia ; and when thou shalt have « subdued all the race of men, thou then wilt make war “ against rivers, forests, and wild beasts. Dost thou not
know, that tall trees are many years a-growing, but
*may be töre up in an hout's time ; that the lion serves "-sometimes for food to the smallest birds ; that iron, thoughi < gol very hard, is consumed by rust; in a word, that there * is nothing so strong which may not be destroyed by the 16 weakest thing?
" What have we to do with thee? We never set foot " in thy country. May not those who inhabited woods, be " allowed to live without knowing who thou art, and whence
thou camest ? We will neither command over, nor sub« mit to any man. And that thou mayest be sensible what " kind of people the Scythians áre, know, that we receive "ed from heaven, as a rich present, a yoke of oxen, a 5 ploughshare, a dart, a javelin, and a cup. These we * make use of, both with our friends, and against our en, $emies. To bur friends we give corn, which we procure by the labour of our oxen : with them we offer wine to the gods in our ctip: and with regard to our enemies, we combat them at a distance with our arrows, and "near at hand with our javelins." It was with these we
formerly conquered the most warlike nations, subtived most powerful kings, laid waste all 'Asia, and opened ourselves a way into the heart of Egypt.“
« But thou, who boastést 'thy coming to extirpate robe * bers, thou thyself art the greatest robber upon earth, * Thou hast plunklered all nationis thou overcamest. Thou * hast possessed thyself of Lydia, Invaded Syria, Persia, * and Bactriuna; thou art forming a design to march as " far as India, and now thou comest hither to seize upon
our herds' of cattle. The great possessions thou hast,
only make thee covet more eagerly what thou hast 11o. "Dost thou not see how long the Bactrians have checked " thy progress? Whilst thou art subduing these, the Sog. Widians revolt, and victory 'is to thee only the occasion of
« Pass but the laxarthes, and thou wilt bebola the great * extent of our plains. It will be in vain for thee to pur. "sue the Scythians, and I defy thee ever to overtake them.
Our poverty will be more active than thy army, laden * with the spoils of so many nations ; and, when thoa shalt * fanicy us at a great distance, thou wilt see us rush sud.
denly upon thy camp; for we pursue and fly from our
* This is to be understood of the famous irruption of the Scychi. ats who advanced as far as Egype, and pofleffed themselves of Upper A fia for 28 years." See the fecond volume of this work, in the hiftory of the AlTyrians have not followeil Q. Curtias literally io this place, his scofe being protey auth embarraflet,
\ enemies with equal speed. I am informed that the Greeks “speak jestingly of the Scythian solitudes, and that they
are even become a proverb ; but we are fonder of our
deserts than of thy great cities and fruitful plains. Let “me observe to thee, that fortune is slippery ; hold her « fast therefore, for fear she should escape thee, Put a $ curb to thy felicity, if thou desiresti to continue in pos.
session of it. "If thou art a god, thou oughtest to do good to mortals, and not deprive them of their possessions : if thou
art a mere man, reflect always on what thou art. They 6 whom thou shalt not molest will be thy true friends ;
the strongest friendships being contracted between equals ; . and they are esteemed equals, who have not tried their “strength against each ather); but do not imagine that
those wham thou conquerest can love thee ;1 for there is no such thing as, friendship between a master and his "slave, and a forced peace is soon followed by a war.
“To conclude, do not fancy that the Scythians will “ take an oath in their concluding an alliance. The only
oath, among them, is to keep their word without swear. ing. Such cautions as these do indeed become Greeks,
who sign their treaties, and call upon the gods to wit"ness them; byt, with regard to us, our religion consists
in being sincere, and in keeping the promises, we have
made. That man who is not ashamed to break his word " with men, is not ashamed of deceiving the gods; and « of what use could friends be to thee whom thou could.
est not trust ? Consider that we will guard both Europe and Asia for thee. We extend, as far as Thrace, and we are told that this country is contiguous to Macedonia. The river Iaxarthes only divides us from Bactriana. Thus we are, thy neighbours on both sides. Consider, therefore, whether thou wilt have us for friends or enemies."
The barbarian spoke thus : To whom the king made a very short answer," that he would take advantage both
of his own good fortune, and of their counsel ;, of his good fortune, by still continuing to rely upon it ; and of their counsel, by not attempting any thing l'ashly." Have ing dismissed the ambassadors, his army embarked on the rafts, which by this time were got ready. In the front,
* Jurando gratiam Scychas fapcire ne credideris ; colendo fidem jurant, Græcorum ista cauțio est, qui acta consignant et deos invo cant ; nos religionem in ipsa fide novimus. Qui non repereacur homincs, fallunt deos.dl Curta