« PreviousContinue »
rogatives of his ancestors; and thereupon having raised a sedition, he was defeated, and fled to Samos; and his mother fled to Salamis, in Cyprus. At that time Euelthon bore rule over Salamis, the same who dedicated the curious censer at Delphi, which is deposited in the treasury of the Corinthians, Pheretime, having come to him, asked for an army, which should reinstate them in Cyrene; but Euelthon would give her anything rather than an army; but she, accepting what was given, said, “This indeed is handsome, but it would be still more handsome to give the army I asked for": this she said at every present that was made. At last, Euelthon sent her a golden spindle and distaff, and some wool was on it; and when Pheretime again made the same speech, Euelthon said that women should be presented with such things, and not with armies. In the meantime Arcesilaus, continuing at Samos, collected men of all classes, by a promise of a division of lands; and when a large army was collected, Arcesilaus set out to Delphi to consult the oracle concerning his return; and the Pythian gave him the following answer: “Apollo grants you to reign over Cyrene during the time of four Battuses and four Arcesilauses, eight generations of men; he advises you, however, not to attempt any more than this. Do you therefore be quiet and return home; and if you find a furnace full of amphoræ, do not bake the amphoræ, but send them away with a favourable wind. But if you heat the furnace, enter not into a place surrounded with water; otherwise you will perish yourself, and the most beautiful bull.” The Pythian gave this answer to Arcesilaus; but he, having taken with him the men from Samos, returned to Cyrene; and having recovered the mastery, forgot the oracle, and exacted vengeance of the adverse party for his own exile; so that some of them abandoned their country altogether; and others Arcesilaus seized and sent to Cyprus to be put to death: now these last, being carried to their country, the Cnidians rescued, and sent away to Thera. Some others of the Cyrenæans, who had taken refuge in a large private tower, belonging to Aglomachus, Arcesilaus surrounded with wood and burned. After this was done, understanding that this was the meaning of the oracle, that the Pythian forbade him, when he found amphoræ in a furnace, to bake them, he of his own accord withdrew from the city of the Cyrenæans, dreading the predicted death, and supposing that Cyrene was the place surrounded with water. He had a wife who was his own kinswoman, and daughter to the King of the Barcæans, whose name was Alazir; to him he retired : and the Barcæans, and
some of the exiles from Cyrene, having discovered him in the public place, killed him, and moreover his father-in-law Alazir. Thus Arcesilaus, whether wilfully or otherwise, disobeying the oracle, accomplished his own destiny.
While Arcesilaus was living at Barce, working out his own destruction, his mother Pheretime held the honours of her son at Cyrene, both exercising his other functions and taking her seat in the council; but when she heard that her son had been put to death at Barce she fled to Egypt; for Arcesilaus had performed some services for Cambyses, son of Cyrus, for it was this Arcesilaus who gave Cyrene to Cambyses, and imposed a tribute on himself. Pheretime having arrived in Egypt, seated herself as a suppliant of Aryandes, entreating him to avenge her, alleging as a pretext that her son had died in consequence of his attachment to the Medes. Aryandes had been appointed governor of Egypt by Cambyses; he in succeeding time was put to death for attempting to make himself equal with Darius. For having been informed that Darius desired to leave such a memorial of himself as had been accomplished by no other king, he imitated him until he received the reward of his presumption. For Darius, having refined gold to the utmost perfection, coined money; and Aryandes, governor of Egypt, made the same in silver; now this Aryandian silver is the purest. But Darius, when informed that he had done this, brought another charge against him, that he designed to rebel, and put him to death. At that time, however, this Aryandes, taking compassion on Pheretime, gave her all the forces of Egypt, both army and navy; and he appointed Amasis, a Maraphian, commander of the army; and of the fleet, Badres, a Pasargadian by birth. But before he despatched the forces he sent a herald to Barce to inquire who it was that had slain Arcesilaus. All the Barcæans took it upon themselves, for that they had suffered many injuries at his hands. And when Aryandes received their answer he despatched the army with Pheretime. Now this cause was only a pretext for his proceeding; but, in my opinion, the expedition was undertaken with the intention of subduing the Libyans. For there are many and various nations of Libyans, and some few of them were subject to the king, but the greater part paid no regard to Darius.
The Libyans dwell as follows: Beginning from Egypt, the Adrymachidæ are the first of the Libyans we meet with : they for the most part observe the usages of Egypt, but they wear the same dress as the other Libyans. The women wear a chain of brass on each leg; they let their hair grow long, and when they catch vermin, each bites those from her own person, and then throws them away; these alone of the Libyans do this: and they alone exhibit to the king their virgins who are about to marry; and should any one be agreeable to the king, she is deflowered by him. These Adrymachidæ reach from Egypt to the harbour named Plunus. Next to these are the Giligammæ, who occupy the country westward as far as the island Aphrodisias. Midway on this coast the island of Platea is situated, which the Cyrenæans colonized, and on the continent is the port of Menelaus, with Aziris, which the Cyrenæeans inhabited. At this place the plant Silphium is first found, and extends from the island of Platea to the mouth of the Syrtis. These people use nearly the same customs as the others. The Asbystæ adjoin the Giligammæ westward; they inhabit the country above Cyrene, but the Asbystæ do not reach to the sea; for the Cyrenæans occupy the sea-coast. They drive four-horsed chariots more than any of the Libyans, and endeavour to imitate most of the customs of the Cyrenæans. The Auschisæ adjoin the Asbystæ westward; these are situated above Barce, extending to the sea near the Euesperides. In the midst of the territory of the Auschisæ the Cabales, a small nation, dwell, extending to Tauchira, a city of Barcæa. They observe the same customs as those who dwell above Cyrene. The Nasamones, a very numerous people, adjoin these Auschisæ westward. In summer they leave their cattle on the coast, and go up to the region of Augila, in order to gather the fruit of the palm trees, which grow in great numbers and of a large size, and are all productive. When they have caught locusts they dry them in the sun, reduce them to powder, and, sprinkling them in milk, drink them. Every man, by the custom of the country, has several wives, and they have intercourse with them in common; and much the same as the Massagetæ, they have intercourse when they have set up a staff before them. When a Nasamonian marries, it is the custom for the bride on the first night to lie with all the guests in turn, and each, when he has had intercourse with her, gives her some present which he has brought from home. In their oaths and divinations they observe the following custom : they swear, laying their hands on the sepulchres of those who are generally esteemed to have been the most just and excellent persons among them: and they divine, going to the tombs of their ancestors, and after having prayed, they lie down to sleep, and whatever dream they have, this they avail themselves of. In pledging their faith they observe the following method: each party gives the other to drink out of his hand, and drinks in turn from the other's hand; and if they have no liquid, they take up some dust from the ground and lick it.
The Psylli border on the Nasamonians; these perished in the following manner: The south wind blowing upon them dried up all their water tanks, and the whole country within the Syrtis was dry; they therefore, having consulted together, with one consent determined to make war against that wind (I only repeat what the Libyans say); and when they arrived at the sands, the south wind blowing covered them over: and when they had perished the Nasamonians took possession of their territory. Above these to the north, in a country abounding with wild beasts, live the Garamantes, who avoid all men and the society of any others: they do not possess any warlike weapon, nor do they know how to defend themselves. These, then, live above the Nasamonians; and the Macæ adjoin them on the sea-coast westward; these shave their heads so as to leave a tuft, and allowing the middle hair to grow, they shave both sides close to the skin; in war they wear the skins of ostriches for defensive armour. The river Cinyps, flowing through their country from a hill called the Graces, discharges itself into the sea. This hill of the Graces is thickly covered with trees, though all the rest of Libya above mentioned is bare. From the sea to this hill is a distance of two hundred stades. The Gindanes adjoin these Macæ; their women wear bands of leather around their ankles, each several on the following account, as is said: she binds round a band for every man that has intercourse with her; and she who has the most is most esteemed, as being loved by the greatest number of men. The Lotophagi occupy the coast that projects to the sea in front of these Gindanes; they subsist only on the fruit of the lotus; and the fruit of the lotus is equal in size to the mastic berry, and in sweetness it resembles the fruit of the palm tree. The Lotophagi make wine also from this fruit.
The Machlyes, who also use the lotus, but in a less degree than those before mentioned, adjoin the Lotophagi on the sea-coast. They extend as far as a large river called Triton; and this river discharges itself into the great lake Tritonis: and in it is an island named Phla. They say that the Lacedæmonians were commanded by an oracle to colonize this island. The following story is also told: That Jason, when the Argo was finished building at the foot of Mount Pelion, having put a hecatomb on board, and moreover a brazen tripod, sailed round the Peloponnesus, purposing to go to Delphi; and as he was sailing off Malea, a north wind caught him and drove him to Libya; and before he could discern the land he found himself in the shallows of the lake Tritonis: and as he was in doubt how to extricate his ship, the story goes that a Triton appeared to him, and bade Jason give him the tripod, promising that he would both show them the passage and conduct them away in safety. When Jason consented, the Triton thereupon showed them the passage out of the shallows, and placed the tripod in his own temple; then pronouncing an oracle from the tripod, he declared to Jason and his companions all that should happen, that when one of the descendants of those who sailed with him in the Argo should carry away the tripod, then it was fated that a hundred Grecian cities should be built about the lake Tritonis; the neighbouring nations of the Libyans, when they heard this concealed the tripod. The Auses adjoin these Machlyes; they, as well as the Machlyes, dwell round the lake Tritonis, and the Triton forms the boundary between them. The Machlyes let the hair grow on the back of the head, and the Auses on the front. At the annual festival of Minerva, their virgins, dividing themselves into two companies, fight together with stones and staves, affirming that they perform the ancient rites to their native goddess, whom we call Minerva : and those of the virgins who die from their wounds they call false virgins. But before they leave off fighting they do as follows: With one consent they on each occasion deck the virgin that excels in beauty with a Corinthian helmet and a suit of Grecian armour, and having placed her in a chariot, conduct her round the lake. In what way they formerly decorated the virgins before the Grecians settled in their neighbourhood I am unable to say; but I conjecture that they were decked in Egyptian armour, for I am of opinion that the shield and helmet were brought from Egypt into Greece. They say that Minerva is the daughter of Neptune and the lake Tritonis; and that she being for some reason offended with her father, gave herself to Jupiter, and that Jupiter adopted her as his own daughter: this they say. They have promiscuous intercourse with the women, and do not cohabit and associate like beasts. The men meet together every third month, and when a woman has a child grown up, he is considered to be the son of that man whom he most resembles.