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62. And various tribes inhabit these districts, which, as I am hastening to other topics, I think superfluous to enumerate. But this is worth knowing, that among these tribes, which are almost unapproachablo on account of their excessive ferocity, there are some races of gentle and devout men, as the Jaxartæ and the Galactophagi, whom Homer mentions in his verses :

Γλακτοφάγων, 'Αβίωντι, δικαιοτάτων ανθρώπων. 63. Among the many rivers which flow through this land, either uniting at last with larger streams, or proceeding straight to tho sea, the most celebrated are the kæm. nus, the Jaxartes, and the Talicus. There are but three cities there of any note, Aspabota, Chauriana, and Saga.

04. Beyond the districts of the two Scythias, on the eastern sido, is a ring of mountains which surround Serica, a country considerable both for its extent and the fertility of its soil. This tribe on their western sido border on the Scythians, on the north and tho east they look towarıls snowy deserts ; towards the south they extend as far as India and the Ganges. The best known of its mountains ac Annib, Nazavicium, Asmira, Emodon, and Opurocarra.

65. T'ho plain, which descends very suddenly from the hills, and is of considerable extent, is watered by two famous rivers, the chardes and the Bautis, which is less rapid than the other. The character too of the differont districts is very varied. One is extensive and level, the other is on a gentlo slope, and therefore very fertilo in corn, and cattle, and trees.

66. The most fertilo part of the country is inhabited by various tribes, of which the Alitrophagi, the Annibi, thio Sisyges, and the Chardi lie to the north, exposed to the frost: towards tho east are the Rabanna, tho Asmiræ, and the Essodones, the most powerful of all, who are joined on the west by the Athagoræ, and the Aspacara; and on the routh by the Betw, who live on the highest slopes of the mountains. Though they have not many cities they have some of grent size and wealth ; the most beautiful and ro. nownod of which aro Asmira, Essedon, Asparata, and Sera. 07. Tho Seres themselves livo quietly, always avoid.

1 Il. xiii. 10.

ing arms and battles ; and as onse is pleasant to moderato and quiet men, they give troublo to none of their noighbours. Their climate is agreeable and healthy; the sky sereno, the breezes gentle and delicious. They have numbers of shining groves, the trees of which through continued watering produce a crop like the fleece of a sheep, which the natives make into a delicate wool, and spin into a kind of fine cloth, formerly confined to the use of the nobles, but now procurable by the lowest of the people without distinction.

68. Tho nntivos themselves aro tho most frugnl of men, cultivating a peaceful lifo, and shunning the society of othor mon. And when strangers cross their rivor to buy their cloth, or any other of their merchandise, they interchange no couversation, but settle the price of the articles wanted by nods and signs; and they are so moderate that, whilo selling their own produce, they never buy any foreign wares.

69. Beyond the Seres, towards the north, live the Ariani ; their land is intersected by a navigable river called the Arias, which forms a huge lake known by the same nomo. This district of Asia is full of towns, the most illustrious of which aru Bitaxa, Snrmatina, Sotera, Nisibis, and Alexandria, from which last down the river to the Caspian Sea is a distanco of fifteen hundred furlongs.

70. Close to their border, living on the slopes of tho mountains, are the Paropanisatæ, looking on the east towards India, and on the west towards Mount Caucasus. Their principal river is Ortogordomaris, which rises in Bactria. They have some cities, the principal being Agazaca, Kaulibus, and Ortopana, from which if you coast along the shore to the borders of Media which are nearest to the Caspian gatos, tho distanco is two thousand two hundred furlongs.

71. Next to them, among the hills, are the Drangiani, whose chief river is the Arabis, so called because it rises in Arabia ; and their two principal towns are Prophthasia and Aniaspe, both wealthy and well known.

72. Next to them is Arachosia, which on the right extends as far as India. It is abundantly watered by a river much smaller than the Indus, that greatest of rivers, which gives its name to the surrounding regions; in fact

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their river flows out of the Indus, and passes on till it forms tho marsh known as Arachotoscrono. Its leading cities are Alexandria, Arbaca, and Choaspa.

73. In the most inland districts of Persia is Gedrosia ; which on its right touches the frontier of India, and is fertilized by several rivers, of which the greatest is the Artabius. There the Barbitani mountains end, and from their lowest parts rise several rivers which fall into the Indus, losing their own names in the greatness of that superior stroam. They have several islands, and their principal cities aro Sedratyra and Gynwcon.

74. 'Wo neod not detail minutoly cvery portion of tho scacoast on the oxtromity of l’orsia, as it would load us into too long a digression. It will suffice to say that the sea which stretches from the Caspian mountains along the northern side to the straits above mentioned, is nine thonsand furlongs in extent; the southern frontior, from the mouth of the Nile to the beginning of Carmania, is fourteen thousand furlongs.

75. In these varied districts of different languages, the races of men are as different as the places. But to describe their persons and customs in general terms, they are nearly all slight in figure, swarthy or rather of a palo livid complexion ; fierce-looking, with goat-like eyes, and eyebrows arched in a semicircle and joined, with handsome beards, and long hair. They at all times, even at banquets and festivals, wear swords; a custom which that excellent author Thucydides tells us the Athenians were the first of the Greeks to lay aside.

76. They are generally amazingly addicted to amatory pleasures; each man scarcely contenting himself with a multitude of concubines : from unnatural vices they are freo. Each man marries many or few wives, as lo can afford thom, so that natural affection is lost among them because of the numerous objects of their licence. They are frugal in their banquets, avoiding immoderate indulgence and especially hard drinking, as they would the plague.

77. Nor, except at the king's table, have thoy any settled timo for dining, but cach man's stomach serves as his sun-dial; nor does any one eat after he is satisfied.

78. They are marvellously temperate and cautious, s:) that when sometimes marching among the gardens ani

vineyards of enemies, they neither desire nor touch anything, from fear of poison or witchcraft.

79. They perforin all the secret functions of naturo with the most scrupulous secrecy and modosty.

80. But they aro so looso in their gait, and movo with such corroot ciso and freedom, that you would think them efl'ominato, though thoy aro niost vigorous warriors; still they aro rather crafty than bold, and are most formi. dable at a distance. They abound in empty words, and speak wildly and fiercely; they talk big, are prond, unmanageable, and threatening alike in prosperity and adversity; they are cunning, arrogant, and cruel, exercising tho power of life and death over their slaves, and all low-boin plebeians. They flay men alive, both piecemeal, and by stripping off the whole skin. No servant while waiting on them, or standing at their table, may gapo, speak, or spit, so that their mouths are completely shut.

81. Their laws are remarkably severo; the most stringent are against ingratitudo and against deserters ; some too are abominable, inasmuch as for the crime of one man they condemn all his relations.

82. But as those only are appointed judges who are men of proved experienco and uprightness, and of such wisdom as to stand in no need of advice, they laugh at our custom of sometimes appointing mon of eloquence and skill in public jurisprudence as guidos to ignorant judges. Tho story that ono judge was compelled to sit on the skin of another, who had beon condemned for his injustice, is either an ancient fable, or else, if ever there was such a custom, it has become obsolete.

83. In military system and discipline, by continual exercises in the business of the camp, and the adoption of the various manquvres which they have learnt from us, they have become formidable even to the greatest armies ; they trust chiefly to the valour of their cavalry, in which all their nobles and rich men serve. Their infantry are armed like mirmillos,' and are as obedient as grooms; and they always follow the cavalry like a band condemned to everlasting slavery, never receiving either pay or gratuity. This nation, besides those whom it has permanently sub

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1 A kind of gladiator.

A 163.)
THEIR CUSTOMS

345 dued, has also compelled many others to go under the yoke ; so brave is it and so skilful in all warlike exercises, that it would be invinciblo were it not continually weakoned by civil and by foreign wars,

84. Most of them wcar garments brilliant with varions. colours, no completely enveloping the body_thinteren though they love

thio Lusoms and sides of their robes open so as to flutter in the wind, still from their shoes to their head no part of their person is exposed. After conqnering (ræsus and subduing Lydia, they learnt also to wear golden armlets and necklaces, and jewels, especially pearls, of which they had great quantities.

85. It only remains for me to my a few words abo:it tho origin of this stono. Among the Indians and Persians pearls are found in strong white sea-shells, being created at a regular time by the admixture of dew. For the shells, desiring as it wero a kind of copulation, open so as to receive moisturo from the nocturnal aspersion. Then becoming big they produce little pearls in triplets, or pairs, or unions, which are so called because the shells when scaled often produce only single pearls, which then are larger.

86. And a proof that this produce arises from and is nourished by somo nërial derivation rather than by any fattening power in the sea, is that the drops of morning dow when infused into them make the stones bright and round; while the evening dew makes them crooked and red, and sometimes spotted. They becomo either small or largo in proportion to the quality of the moisture which they imbibe, and other circumstances. When they are shaken, as is often the case by thunder, the shells either become empty, or produce only weak pearls, or such as novar come to maturity.

87. Fishing for them is difficult and dangerous, and this circumstance increases their value ; because, on account of the snares of the fishermen they are said to avoid the shoros most frequented by them, and hide around rocks which aro difficult of access and tho hiding places of Bharka.

88. We are not ignorant that the same species of jewel is also produced and collected in the remote parts of the British ana · thouch of an inferior volun

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