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contiguous to it is a large lake, which the Lydians say is fed by perpetual springs, and it is called the Gygean lake. This may suffice for this subject.
94. The customs of the Lydians differ little from those of the Grecians, except that they prostitute their females. They are the first of all nations we know of that introduced the art of coining gold and silver; and they were the first retailers. The Lydians themselves say that the games which are now common to themselves and the Greeks were their invention; and they say they were invented about the time they sent a colony to Tyrrhenia, of all which they give the following account. During the reign of Atys, son of Manes, king of Lydia, a great scarcity of corn pervaded all Lydia : for some time the Lydians supported it with constancy ; but when they saw the evil still continuing, they sought for remedies, and some devised one thing, some another; and at that time the games of dice, hucklebones, ball, and all other kinds of games except draughts, were invented, for the Lydians do not claim the invention of this last; and having made these inventions to alleviate the famine, they employed them as follows: they used to play one whole day that they might not be in want of food; and on the next, they ate and abstained from play; thus they passed eighteen years, but when the evil did not abate, on the contrary became still more virulent, their king divided the whole people into two parts, and cast lots which should remain and which quit the country, and over that part whose lot it should be to stay he appointed himself king, and over that part which was to emigrate he appointed his own son, whose name was Tyrrhenus. Those to whose lot it fell to leave their country went down to Smyrna, built ships, and, having put all their movables which were of use on board, set sail in search of food and land, till, having passed by many nations, they reached the Ombrici, where they built towns, and dwell to this day. From being called Lydians, they changed their name to one after the king's son, who led them out; from him they gave themselves the appellation of Tyrrhenians. The Lydians then were reduced under the power
of the Persians. 95. My history hence proceeds to inquire who Cyrus was that overthrew the power of Croesus, and how the Persians became masters of Asia ; in which narration I shall fol
low those Persians who do not wish to magnify the actions of Cyrus, but to relate the plain truth, though I am aware that there are three other ways of relating Cyrus's history. After the Assyrians had ruled over Upper Asia five hundred and twenty years, the Medes first began to revolt from them; and they, it seems, in their struggle with the Assyrians for liberty, proved themselves brave men; and having shaken off the yoke, became free: afterward the other nations also did the same as the Medes. When all throughout the continent were independent, they were again reduced under a despotic government in the following manner.
96. There was among the Medes a man famous for wisdom, named Deioces, son of Phraortes. This Deioces, aiming at absolute power, had recourse to the following plan. The Medes were at that time distributed into villages, and Deioces, who was already highly esteemed in his own district, applied himself with great zeal to the exercise of justice; and this he did, since great lawlessness prevailed throughout the whole of Media, and he knew that injustice and justice are ever at variance. The Medes of the same village, observing his conduct, chose him for their judge ; and he, constantly keeping the sovereign power in view, showed himself upright and just. By this conduct he acquired no slight praise from his fellow-citizens, so much so that the inhabitants of other villages, hearing that Deioces was the only one who judged uprightly, having before met with unjust sentences, when they heard of him gladly came from all parts to Deioces, in order to submit their quarrels to his decision ; and at last they would commit the decision to no one else. 97. In the end, when the number of those who had recourse to him continually increased as men heard of the justice of his decisions, Deioces, seeing the whole devolved upon himself, would no longer occupy the seat where he used to sit to determine differences, and refused to act as judge any more, for that it was no advantage to him to neglect his own affairs, and spend the day in deciding the quarrels of others. Upon this, rapine and lawlessness growing far more frequent throughout the villages than before, the Medes called an assembly and consulted together about the present state of things, but, as I suspect, the partisans of Deioces spoke to the following purpose: “Since it is impossible for us to inhabit the country if we continue in our present condition, let us
constitute a king over us, and so the country will be governed by good laws, and we ourselves shall be able to attend to our business, nor be any longer driven from our homes by lawlessness.” By some such words they persuaded them to submit to a kingly government. 98. Upon their immediately putting the question whom they should appoint king, Deioces was unanimously preferred and commended; so that at last they agreed that he should be their king. But he required them to build him a palace suitable to the dignity of a king, and guards for the security of his person. The Medes accordingly did so; and built him a spacious and strong palace in the part of the country that he selected, and permitted him to choose guards for his person out of all the Medes. Being thus possessed of the power, he compelled the Medes to build one city, and having carefully adorned that, to pay less attention to the others. And as the Medes obeyed him in this also, he built lofty and strong walls, which now go under the name of Ecbatana, one placed in a circle within the other; and this fortification is so contrived that each circle was raised above the other by the height of the battlements only. The situation of the ground, rising by an easy ascent, was very favorable to the design. But that which was particularly attended to is, that there being seven circles altogether, the king's palace and the treasury are situated within the innermost of them. The largest of these walls is about equal in circumference to the city of Athens ; the battlements of the first circle are white, of the second black, of the third purple, of the fourth blue, of the fifth bright red. Thus the battlements of all the circles are painted with different colors; but the two last have their battlements plaited, the one with silver, the other with gold.
99. Deioces then built these fortifications for himself, and round his own palace; and he commanded the rest of the people to fix their habitations round the fortification; and when all the buildings were completed, he, for the first time, established the following regulations: that no man should be admitted to the king's presence, but every one should consult him by means of messengers, and that none should be permitted to see him; and, moreover, that it should be accounted
? For the Scripture account of Ecbatana, see Judith i. 1—4.
indecency for any to laugh or spit before him. He established such ceremony about his own person, for this reason, that those who were his equals, and who were brought up with him, and of no meaner family, nor inferior to him in manly qualities, might not, when they saw him, grieve and conspire against him ; but that he might appear to be of a different nature to them who did not see him. 100. When he had established these regulations, and settled himself in the tyranny, he was very severe in the distribution of justice. And the parties contending were obliged to send him their case in writing;.and he, having come to a decision on the cases so laid before him, sent them back again. This, then, was his plan in reference to matters of litigation; and all other things were regulated by him; so that, if he received information that any man had injured another, he would presently send for him, and punish him in proportion to his offense; and for this purpose he had spies and eaves-droppers in every part of his dominions.
101. Now Deioces collected the Medes into one nation, and ruled over that. The following are the tribes of the Medes: the Busæ, Parataceni, Struchates, Arizanti, Budii, and the Magi. Such are the tribes of the Medes. 102. Deioces had a son, Phraortes, who, when his father died, after a reign of fifty-three years, succeeded him in the kingdom ; but, having so succeeded, he was not content to rule over the Medes only, but, having made war on the Persians, he attacked them first, and reduced them under the dominion of the Medes. And afterward, being master of these two nations, both of them powerful, he subdued Asia, attacking one nation after another, till at last he invaded the Assyrians, who inhabited the city of Nineveh, and who had before been supreme, though at that time they were abandoned by their confederates (who had revolted), but who were otherwise in good condition : Phraortes then, having made war on them, perished with the greater part of his army, after he had reigned twenty-two years.
103. When Phraortes was dead, Cyaxares his son, grandson of Deioces, succeeded him. He is said to have been more warlike than his ancestors. He first divided the people of Asia into cohorts, and first divided them into spearmen, archers, and cavalry; whereas before they had been confusedly mixed together. It was he that fought with the Lydians,
when the day was turned into night, as they were fighting ; and who subjected the whole of Asia above the river Halys. He assembled the forces of all his subjects, and marched against Nineveh to avenge his father, and destroy that city. However, when he had obtained a victory over the Assyrians, and while he was besieging Nineveh, a great army of Scythians came upon him, under the conduct of their king Madyes, son of Protothyas. These Scythians had driven the Cimmerians out of Europe, and pursuing them into Asia, by that means entered the territories of the Medes. 104. The distance from the lake Mæotis to the river Phasis and to Colchis is a journey of thirty days to a well-girt man, but the route from Colchis to Media is not long, for there is only one nation, the Saspires, between them ; when one has passed over this, one finds one's self in Media. The Scythians, however, did not pass way,
but turned to the higher road by a much longer route, having Mount Caucasus on the right, and there the Medes, coming to an engagement with the Scythians, and being worsted in the battle, lost their dominion; but the Scythians became masters of all Asia. 105. From thence they proceeded to Egypt, and when they reached Palestine in Syria, Psammitichus, king of Egypt, having met them with presents and prayers, diverted them from advancing farther. In their return, however, they came to Ascalon, a city of Syria, and when most of them had marched through without doing any injury, some few, who were left behind, pillaged the temple of Celestial Venus. This temple, as I find by inquiry, is the most ancient of all the temples dedicated to this goddess; for that in Cyprus was built after this, as the Cyprians themselves confess; and that in Cythera was erected by Phænicians who came from the same part of Syria. However, the goddess inflicted on the Scythians who robbed her temple at Ascalon, and on all their posterity, a female disease; so that the Scythians confess that they are afflicted with it on this account, and those who visit Scythia may see in what a state they are whom the Scythians call Enarees. 106. For twenty-eight years, then, the Scythians governed Asia, and every thing was overthrown by their licentiousness and neglect ; for, besides the usual tribute, they exacted from 3 See chap. 74.
4 See chap. 72, n. 5 See B. IV. chap. 12, and B. VII. chap. 20.