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THE Persians, left in Europe by Darius under the command of Megabazus, subdued the Perinthians first of the Hellespontines, who were unwilling to submit to Darius, and had been before roughly handled by the Pæonians. For the Pæonians from the Strymon, an oracle having admonished them to invade the Perinthians, and if the Perinthians, when encamped over against them, should challenge them, shouting to them by name, then to attack, but if they should not shout out to them, not to attack; the Pæonians did accordingly. The Perinthians having encamped opposite to them in the suburbs, a threefold single combat there took place according to a challenge ; for they matched a man with a man, a horse with a horse, and a dog with a dog. But the Perinthians being victorious in two of these combats, when through excess of joy they sang the Pæon, the Pæonians conjectured that this was the meaning of the oracle, and said among themselves : "Now surely the oracle must be accomplished ; now it is our part to act.” Thus the Pæonians attacked the Perinthians as they were singing the Pæon, and gained a complete victory, and left but few of them alive. 2. Such, then, had formerly been the achievements of the Pæonians ; but at that time, though the Perinthians proved themselves valiant in defence of their liberty, the Persians and Megabazus overcame them by numbers. When Perinthus was subdued, Megabazus marched his army through Thrace, subjecting to the king every city and every nation of those dwelling in that country; for this command had been given him by Darius, to subdue Thrace. 3. The nation of the Thracians is the greatest of any among men, except at least the Indians ; and if they were governed by one man, or acted in concert, they would, in my opinion, be invincible, and by far the most powerful of all nations. But as this is impracticable, and it is impossible that they should ever be united, they are therefore weak. They have various names, according to their respective regions, but all observe similar customs in every respect, except the Getæ, the Trausi, and those who dwell above the Crestonæans. 4. Of these, what are the customs of the Getæ, who pretend to be immortal, I have already described. The Trausi, in all other respects, observe the same usages as the rest of the Thracians ; but with regard to one born amongst them, or that dies, they do as follows. The relations, seating themselves round one that is newly born, bewail him, deploring the many evils he must needs fulfil, since he has been born ; enumerating the various sufferings incident to mankind : but one that dies they bury in the earth, making merry and rejoicing, recounting the many evils from which being released, he is now in perfect bliss. 5. Those above the Crestonæans do as follows : each man has several wives ; when therefore any of them dies, a great contest arises among the wives, and violent disputes among their friends, on this point, which of them was most loved by the husband. She who is adjudged to have been so, and is so honoured, having been extolled both by men and women, is slain on the tomb by her own nearest relative, and when slain is buried with her husband ; the others deem this a great misfortune, for this is the utmost disgrace to them. 6. There is moreover this custom among the rest of the Thracians, they sell their children for exportation. They keep no watch over their unmarried daughters, but suffer them to have intercourse with what men they choose. But they keep a strict watch over their wives, and purchase them from their parents at high prices. To be marked with punctures is accounted a sign of noble birth ; to be without punctures, ignoble. To be idle is most honourable ; but to be a tiller of the soil, most dishonourable ; to live by war and rapine is most glorious. These are the most remarkable of their customs. 7. They worship the following gods only, Mars, Bacchus, and Diana. But their kings, to the exception of the other citizens, reverence Mercury most
1 See B. IV. chap. 144.
of all the gods ; they swear by him only, and say that they are themselves sprung from Mercury. 8. The funerals of the wealthy among them are celebrated in this manner. They expose the corpse during three days; and having slain all kinds of victims, they feast, having first made lamentation. Then they bury them, having first burnt them, or at all events placing them under ground; then having thrown up a mound, they celebrate all kinds of games, in which the greatest rewards are adjudged to single combat, according to the estimation in which they are held. Such are the funeral rites of the Thracians.
9. To the north of this region no one is able to say with certainty who are the people that inhabit it. But beyond the Ister appears to be a desert and interminable tract: the only men that I am able to hear of as dwelling beyond the Ister are those called Sigynnæ, who wear the Medic dress: their horses are shaggy all over the body, to five fingers in depth of hair ; they are small, flat-nosed, and unable to carry men ; but when yoked to chariots they are very fleet, therefore the natives drive chariots. Their confines extend as far as the Eneti on the Adriatic: and they say that they are a colony of Medes. How they can have been a colony of the Medes I cannot comprehend; but any thing may happen in course of time. Now, the Ligyes, who live above Massilia, call traders Sigynne, and the Cyprians give that name to spears.
10. The Thracians say, bees occupy the parts beyond the Ister, and by reason of them it is impossible to penetrate farther; to me, however, in saying this they appear to say what is improbable, for these creatures are known to be impatient of cold; but the regions beneath the Bear seem to be uninhabited by reason of the cold. Such is the account given of this country. Megabazus, then, subjected its maritime parts to the Persians.
11. Darius, as soon as he had crossed the Hellespont and reached Sardis, remembered the good offices of Histiæus the Milesian, and the advice of Coes the Mitylenian. Having therefore sent for them to Sardis, he gave them their choice of a recompence. Histiæus, as being already tyrant of Miletus, desired no other government in addition ; but asked for Myrcinus of Edonia, wishing to build a city there. But Coes, as not being a tyrant, but a private citizen, asked for the government of Mitylene. When their requests were granted to both of them, they betook themselves to the places they had chosen. 12. It happened that Darius, having witnessed a circumstance of the following kind, was desirous of commanding Megabazus to seize the Pæonians and transplant them out of Europe into Asia. Pigres and Mantyes were Pæonians, who, when Darius had crossed over into Asia, being desirous to rule over the Pæonians, came to Sardis, bringing with them their sister, who was tall and beautiful: and having watched the opportunity when Darius was seated in public in the suburb of the Lydians, they did as follows. Having dressed their sister in the best manner they could, they sent her for water, carrying a pitcher on her head, leading a horse on her arm, and spinning flax. As the woman passed by, it attracted the attention of Darius, for what she was doing was neither according to the Persian or Lydian customs, nor of any other people in Asia ; when, therefore, it attracted his attention, he sent some of his body-guard, bidding them observe what the woman would do with the horse. The guards accordingly followed her, and she, when she came to the river, watered the horse ; and having watered it, and filled her pitcher, returned by the same way, carrying the water on her head, leading the horse on her arm, and turning her spindle. 13. Darius, surprised at what he heard from the spies, and at what he himself had seen, commanded them to bring her into his presence; and when she was brought, her brothers also made their appearance, who were keeping a lookout some where not far off : and when Darius asked of what country she was, the young men said, that they were Pæonians, and that she was their sister. He then inquired, “Who are the Pæonians, in what part of the world do they live, and for what purpose have they come to Sardis ?" They told him that “they had come to deliver themselves up to him, and that Pæonia was situated on the river Strymon, and the Strymon was not far from the Hellespont; and that they were a colony of Teucrians, from Troy." They then mentioned these several particulars; and he asked, “If all the women of that country were so industrious :" they readily answered, that such was the case ; for they had formed their plan for this very purpose.
14. Thereupon Darius writes letters to Megabazus, whom he had left general in Thrace, commanding him to remove the Pæonians from their abodes, and to bring to him themselves,
their children, and their wives. A horseman immediately hastened to the Hellespont with the message ; and having crossed over, delivered the letter to Megabazus ; but he, having read it, and taken guides from Thrace, marched against Pæonia. 15. The Pæonians, having heard that the Persians were coming against them, assembled, and drew out their forces towards the sea, thinking that the Persians would attempt to enter and attack them in that direction : the Pæonians, accordingly, were prepared to repel the army of Megabazus at its first onset. But the Persians, understanding that the Pæonians had assembled and were guarding the approaches on the coast, having guides, went the upper road ; and having escaped the notice of the Pæonians, came suddenly on their towns, which were destitute of inhabitants, and as they fell upon them when empty, they easily got possession of them. But the Pæonians, as soon as they heard that their cities were taken, immediately dispersed themselves, and repaired each to his own home, and gave themselves up to the Persians. Thus the Siropæonians and Pæoplæ, and those tribes of Pæonians as far as the lake Prasias, were removed from their abodes, and transported into Asia. 16. But those around Mount Pangæus and near the Doberes, the Agrianæ, Odomanti, and those who inhabit Lake Prasias itself, were not at all subdued by Megabazus. Yet he attempted to conquer those who live upon the lake in dwellings contrived after this manner : planks fitted on lofty piles are placed in the middle of the lake, with a narrow entrance from the main land by a single bridge These piles that support the planks all the citizens anciently placed there at the common charge ; but afterwards they established a law to the following effect: whenever a man marries, for each wife he sinks three piles, bringing wood from a mountain called Orbelus :- but every man has several wives. They live in the following manner; every man has a hut on the planks, in which he dwells, with a trap-door closely fitted in the planks, and leading down to the lake. They tie the young children with a cord round the foot, fearing lest they should fall into the lake beneath. To their horses and beasts of burden they give fish for fodder; of which there is such an abundance, that when a man has opened his trap-door, he lets down an empty basket by a cord into the lake, and, after waiting a short time, draws it up full of fish. They have two kinds of