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was compelled to drink the blood of a bull, and died immediately. Such then was his end. 16. Cambyses proceeded from Memphis to the city of Sais, purposing to do what he did effect; for when he entered the palace of Amasis, he presently commanded the dead body of Amasis to be brought out of the sepulchre; and when this was done he gave orders to scourge it, to pull off the hair, to prick it, and to abuse it in every possible manner. But when they were wearied with this employment, (for the dead body, since it was embalmed, resisted, and did not at all fall in pieces,) Cambyses gave orders to burn it, commanding what is impious. For the Persians consider fire to be a god ; therefore to burn the dead is on no account allowed by either nation; not by the Persians, for the reason above-mentioned, for they say it is not right to offer to a god the dead body of a man; and by the Egyptians fire is held to be a living beast, and that it devours everything it can lay hold of, and when it is glutted with food it expires with what it has consumed; therefore it is their law, on no account to give a dead body to wild beasts, and for that reason they embalm them, that they may not lie and be eaten by worms. Cambyses, therefore, commanded a thing repugnant to the customs of both nations. However, as the Egyptians say, it was not Amasis that was thus treated, but some other Egyptian of the same stature as Amasis whom the Persians insulted, thinking they insulted Amasis. For they say, that Amasis, having been informed by an oracle of what should happen to him after death, in order to remedy the impending evil, buried the body of this very man who was scourged, near the door of his own sepulchre," and charged his son to deposit his own in the remotest part of the vault. Now, these commands of Amasis, touching his own burial, and this man, appear to me never to have been given, but the Egyptians falsely boast of them. 17. After this, Cambyses planned three several expeditions f one against the Carthaginians, another against the Ammonians, and a third against the Macrobian Ethiopians, who inhabit that part of Libya which lies upon the South Sea. And in forming his plans he determined to send a naval force against the Carthaginians, and against the Ammonians a detachment of his land forces; and against the Ethiopians, spies in the first instance, who were to see the table of the sun, which was said to exist among the Ethiopians, and besides to explore other things, and to cover their design they were to carry presents to the king. 18. The table of the sun is said to be of the following description: there is a meadow in the suburbs filled with the cooked flesh of all sorts of quadrupeds; in this the several magistrates of the city, for some purpose, place the flesh at night, and in the day-time whoever chooses comes and feasts on it. The inhabitants say that the earth itself, from time to time, produces these things. Such is the description given of what is called the table of the sun. 19. When Cambyses had determined to send the spies, he immediately sent to Elephantine for some of the Ichthyophagi, who understood the Ethiopian language ; and while they were fetching these, he commanded the naval force to sail against Carthage. But the Phoenicians refused to obey, for that they were bound by solemn oaths, and that they should act impiously if they made war against their own descendants. As the Phoenicians would not go, the rest were not fit for such an enterprise: thus, therefore, the Carthaginians escaped slavery at the hands of the Persians. For Cambyses did not think it right to employ force towards the Phoenicians, because they had voluntarily submitted to the Persians, and the whole naval force depended on them. The Cyprians too, having given themselves up to the Persians, joined the expedition against Egypt. 20. When the Ichthyophagi came to Cambyses from Elephantine, he despatched them to the Ethiopians, having instructed them what to say, carrying presents, consisting of a purple cloak, a golden necklace, bracelets, an alabaster box of ointment, and a cask of palm wine. These Ethiopians, to whom Cambyses sent, are said to be the tallest and handsomest of all men ; and they say that they have customs different from those of other nations, and especially the following, with regard to the regal power; for they confer the sovereignty upon the man whom they consider to be of the largest stature, and to possess strength proportionable to his size. 21. When therefore the Ichthyophagi arrived among this people, they gave the presents to the king, and addressed him as follows: “Cambyses, king of the Persians, desirous of becoming your friend and ally, has sent us, bidding us confer with you, and he presents you with these gifts, which are such as he himself most delights in.” But the Ethiopian, knowing that they came as spies, spoke thus to them : “Neither has the king of the Persians sent you with presents to me, because he valued my alliance; nor do you speak the truth ; for ye are come as spies of my kingdom. Nor is he a just man; for if he were just, he would not desire any other territory than his own ; nor would he reduce people into servitude who have done him no injury. However, give him this bow, and say these words to him : “The king of the Ethiopians advises the king of the Persians, when the Persians can thus easily draw a bow of this size, then to make war on the Macrobian Ethiopians with more numerous forces; but until that time let him thank the gods, who have not inspired the sons of the Ethiopians with a desire of adding another land to their own.” 22. Having spoken thus and unstrung the bow, he delivered it to the comers. Then taking up the purple cloak, he asked what it was, and how made ; and when the Ichthyophagi told him the truth respecting the purple, and the manner of dyeing, he said that the men are deceptive, and their garments are deceptive also. Next he inquired about the necklace and bracelets, and when the Ichthyophagi explained to him their use as ornaments, the king laughing, and supposing them to be fetters, said that they have stronger fetters than these. Thirdly, he inquired about the ointment; and when they told him about its composition and use, he made the same remark as he had on the cloak. But when he came to the wine, and inquired how it was made, being very much delighted with the draught, he further asked what food the king made use of, and what was the longest age to which a Persian lived. They answered, that he fed on bread, describing the nature of wheat; and that the longest period of the life of a Persian was eighty years. Upon this the Ethiopian said, that he was not at all surprised if men who fed on dung lived so few years; and they would not be able to live so many years, if they did not refresh themselves with this beverage, showing the wine to the Ichthyophagi : for in this he admitted they were surpassed by the Persians. 23. The Ichthyophagi inquiring in turn of the king concerning the life and diet of the Ethiopians, he said, that most of them attained to a hundred and twenty years, and some even exceeded that term, and that their food was boiled flesh, and their drink milk. And when the spies expressed their astonishment at the number of years, he led them to a fountain, by washing in which they became more sleek, as if it had been of oil, and an odour proceeded from it as of violets. The water of this fountain, the spies said, is so weak, that nothing is able to float upon it, neither wood, nor such things as are lighter than wood; but every thing sinks to the bottom. If this water is truly such as it is said to be, it may be they are long-lived by reason of the abundant use of it. Leaving this fountain, he conducted them to the common prison, where all were fettered with golden chains; for among these Ethiopians brass is the most rare and precious of all metals. After having viewed the prison, they next visited that which is called the table of the sun. 24. After this, they visited last of all their sepulchres, which are said to be prepared from crystal in the following manner. When they have dried the body, either as the Egyptians do, or in some other way, they plaster it all over with gypsum, and paint it, making it as much as possible resemble real life; they then put round it a hollow column made of crystal, which they dig up in abundance, and is easily wrought. The body being in the middle of the column is plainly seen, nor does it emit an unpleasant smell, nor is it in any way offensive: and it is all visible" as the body itself. The nearest relations keep the column in their houses for a year, offering to it the first-fruits of all, and performing sacrifices; after that time they carry it out and place it some where near the city. 25. The spies, having seen every thing, returned home; and when they had reported all that had passed, Cambyses, being greatly enraged, immediately marched against the Ethiopians, without making any provision for the subsistence of his army, or once considering that he was going to carry his arms to the remotest parts of the world; but as a madman, and not in possession of his senses, as soon as he heard the report of the Icthyophagi, he set out on his march, ordering the Greeks who were present to stay behind, and taking with him all his land forces. When the army reached Thebes, he * The Egyptian mummies could only be seen in front, the back being detached about fifty thousand men, and ordered them to reduce the Ammonians to slavery, and to burn the oracular temple of Jupiter, while he with the rest of his army marched against the Ethiopians. But before the army had passed over a fifth part of the way, all the provisions" that they had were exhausted, and after the provisions, the beasts of burden were eaten and likewise failed. Now if Cambyses, when he learnt this, had altered his purpose, and had led back his army, even after his first error, he would have proved himself to be a wise man. But now, without any reflection, he still continued advancing. The soldiers, as long as they could gather any from the earth, supported life by eating herbs; but when they reached the sands, some of them had recourse to a horrid expedient, for taking one man in ten by lot, they devoured him : when Cambyses heard this, shocked at their eating one another, he abandoned his expedition against the Ethiopians, marched back and reached Thebes, after losing a great part from his army. From Thebes he went down to Memphis, and suffered the Greeks to sail away. Thus ended the expedition against the Ethiopians. 26. Those who had been sent on the expedition against the Ammonians, after having set out from Thebes, marched under the conduct of guides, and are known to have reached the city Oasis, which is inhabited by Samians, said to be of the AEschrionian tribe; and they are distant seven days' march from Thebes, across the sands. This country in the Greek language is called the Island of the Blessed. It is said then that the army reached this country; but afterwards none, except the Ammonians and those who have heard their report, are able to give any account of them; for they neither reached the Ammonians, nor returned back. But the Ammonians make the following report: when they had advanced from this Oasis towards them across the sands, and were about half-way between them and Oasis, as they were taking dinner, a strong and vehement south wind blew, and carrying with it heaps of sand, covered them over, and in this manner they disappeared. The Ammonians say that such was the fate of this army. 27. When Cambyses arrived at Memphis, Apis, whom the * The Greek is oritiow #xéueva. This expression is very common in
* See Book II. ch. 169. n
covered by a box or coffin; the Ethiopian bodies could be seen all round, as the column of glass was transparent.