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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 4: Melpomene [90]

90. Now the Tearos is said by those who dwell near it to be the best of all rivers, both in other respects which tend to healing and especially for curing diseases of the skin both in men and in horses: and its springs are thirty-eight in number, flowing all from the same rock, of which some are cold and others warm. The way to them is of equal length from the city of Heraion near Perinthos and from Apollonia upon the Euxine Sea, that is to say two days' journey by each road. This Tearos runs into the river Contadesdos and the Contadesdos into the Agrianes and the Agrianes into the Hebros, which flows into the sea by the city of Ainos. 90. [1] ὁ δὲ Τέαρος λέγεται ὑπὸ τῶν περιοίκων εἶναι ποταμῶν ἄριστος τὰ τε ἄλλα τὰ ἐς ἄκεσιν φέροντα καὶ δὴ καὶ ἀνδράσι καὶ ἵπποισι ψώρην ἀκέσασθαι. εἰσὶ δὲ αὐτοῦ αἱ πηγαὶ δυῶν δέουσαι τεσσεράκοντα, ἐκ πέτρης τῆς αὐτῆς ῥέουσαι, καὶ αἳ μὲν αὐτέων εἰσὶ ψυχραὶ αἳ δὲ θερμαί. [2] ὁδὸς δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτάς ἐστι ἴση ἐξ Ἡραίου τε πόλιος τῆς παρὰ Περίνθῳ καὶ ἐξ Ἀπολλωνίης τῆς ἐν τῷ Εὐξείνῳ πόντῳ, δυῶν ἡμερέων ἑκατέρη. ἐκδιδοῖ δὲ ὁ Τέαρος οὗτος ἐς τὸν Κοντάδεσδον ποταμόν, ὁ δὲ Κοντάδεσδος ἐς τὸν Ἀγριάνην, ὁ δὲ Ἀγριάνης ἐς τὸν Ἕβρον, ὁ δὲ ἐς θάλασσαν τὴν παρ᾽ Αἴνῳ πόλι.

91. Dareios then, having come to this river and having encamped there, was pleased with the river and set up a pillar there also, with an inscription as follows: "The head-springs of the river Tearos give the best and fairest water of all rivers; and to them came leading an army against the Scythians the best and fairest of all men, Dareios the son of Hystaspes, of the Persians and of all the Continent king." These were the words which were there written.

91. [1] ἐπὶ τοῦτον ὦν τὸν ποταμὸν ἀπικόμενος ὁ Δαρεῖος ὡς ἐστρατοπεδεύσατο, ἡσθεὶς τῷ ποταμῷ στήλην ἔστησε καὶ ἐνθαῦτα, γράμματα ἐγγράψας λέγοντα τάδε. [2] «Τεάρου ποταμοῦ κεφαλαὶ ὕδωρ ἄριστόν τε καὶ κάλλιστον παρέχονται πάντων ποταμῶν· καὶ ἐπ᾽ αὐτὰς ἀπίκετο ἐλαύνων ἐπὶ Σκύθας στρατὸν ἀνὴρ ἄριστος τε καὶ κάλλιστος πάντων ἀνθρώπων, Δαρεῖος ὁ Ὑστάσπεος, Περσέων τε καὶ πάσης τῆς ἠπείρου βασιλεύς.» ταῦτα δὲ ἐνθαῦτα ἐγράφη.

92. Dareios then set out from thence and came to another river whose name is Artescos, which flows through the land of the Odrysians. Having come to this river he did as follows:--he appointed a place for his army and bade every man as he passed out by it place one stone in this appointed place: and when the army had performed this, then he marched away his army leaving behind great mounds of these stones. 92. [1] Δαρεῖος δὲ ἐνθεῦτεν ὁρμηθεὶς ἀπίκετο ἐπ᾽ ἄλλον ποταμὸν τῷ οὔνομα Ἀρτησκός ἐστι, ὃς διὰ Ὀδρυσέων ῥέει. ἐπὶ τοῦτον δὴ τὸν ποταμὸν ἀπικόμενος ἐποίησε τοιόνδε· ἀποδέξας χωρίον τῇ στρατιῇ ἐκέλευε πάντα ἄνδρα λίθον ἕνα παρεξιόντα τιθέναι ἐς τὸ ἀποδεδεγμένον τοῦτο χωρίον. ὡς δὲ ταῦτα ἡ στρατιὴ ἐπετέλεσε, ἐνθαῦτα κολωνοὺς μεγάλους τῶν λίθων καταλιπὼν ἀπήλαυνε τὴν στρατιήν.

93. But before he came to the Ister he conquered first the Getai, who believe in immortality: for the Thracians who occupy Salmydessos and are settled above the cities of Apollonian and Mesambria, called the Kyrmianai and the Nipsaioi, delivered themselves over to Dareios without fighting; but the Getai, who are the bravest and the most upright in their dealings of all the Thracians, having betaken themselves to obstinacy were forthwith subdued. 93. [1] πρὶν δὲ ἀπικέσθαι ἐπὶ τὸν Ἴστρον, πρώτους αἱρέει Γέτας τοὺς ἀθανατίζοντας. οἱ μὲν γὰρ τὸν Σαλμυδησσὸν ἔχοντες Θρήικες καὶ ὑπὲρ Ἀπολλωνίης τε καὶ Μεσαμβρίης πόλιος οἰκημένοι, καλεύμενοι δὲ Κυρμιάναι καὶ Νιψαῖοι, ἀμαχητὶ σφέας αὐτοὺς παρέδοσαν Δαρείῳ· οἱ δὲ Γέται πρὸς ἀγνωμοσύνην τραπόμενοι αὐτίκα ἐδουλώθησαν, Θρηίκων ἐόντες ἀνδρηιότατοι καὶ δικαιότατοι.

94. And their belief in immortality is of this kind, that is to say, they hold that they do not die, but that he who is killed goes to Salmoxis, a divinity, whom some of them call Gebeleizis; and at intervals of four years they send one of themselves, whomsoever the lot may select, as a messenger to Salmoxis, charging him with such requests as they have to make on each occasion; and they send him thus:--certain of them who are appointed for this have three javelins, and others meanwhile take hold on both sides of him who is being sent to Salmoxis, both by his hands and his feet, and first they swing him up, then throw him into the air so as to fall upon the spear-points: and if when he is pierced through he is killed, they think that the god is favourable to them; but if he is not killed, they find fault with the messenger himself, calling him a worthless man, and then having found fault with him they send another: and they give him the charge beforehand, while he is yet alive. These same Thracians also shoot arrows up towards the sky when thunder and lightning come, and use threats to the god, not believing that there exists any other god except their own. 94. [1] ἀθανατίζουσι δὲ τόνδε τὸν τρόπον· οὔτε ἀποθνήσκειν ἑωυτοὺς νομίζουσι ἰέναι τε τὸν ἀπολλύμενον παρὰ Σάλμοξιν δαίμονα· οἳ δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν αὐτὸν τοῦτον ὀνομάζουσι Γεβελέιζιν· [2] διὰ πεντετηρίδος τε τὸν πάλῳ λαχόντα αἰεὶ σφέων αὐτῶν ἀποπέμπουσι ἄγγελον παρὰ τὸν Σάλμοξιν, ἐντελλόμενοι τῶν ἂν ἑκάστοτε δέωνται, πέμπουσι δὲ ὧδε· οἳ μὲν αὐτῶν ταχθέντες ἀκόντια τρία ἔχουσι, ἄλλοι δὲ διαλαβόντες τοῦ ἀποπεμπομένου παρὰ τὸν Σάλμοξιν τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας, ἀνακινήσαντες αὐτὸν μετέωρον ῥίπτουσι ἐς τὰς λόγχας. ἢν μὲν δὴ ἀποθάνῃ ἀναπαρείς, τοῖσι δὲ ἵλεος ὁ θεὸς δοκέει εἶναι· [3] ἢν δὲ μὴ ἀποθάνῃ, αἰτιῶνται αὐτὸν τὸν ἄγγελον, φάμενοί μιν ἄνδρα κακὸν εἶναι, αἰτιησάμενοι δὲ τοῦτον ἄλλον ἀποπέμπουσι· ἐντέλλονται δὲ ἔτι ζῶντι. [4] οὗτοι οἱ αὐτοὶ Θρήικες καὶ πρὸς βροντήν τε καὶ ἀστραπὴν τοξεύοντες ἄνω πρὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀπειλέουσι τῷ θεῷ, οὐδένα ἄλλον θεὸν νομίζοντες εἶναι εἰ μὴ τὸν σφέτερον.

95. This Salmoxis I hear from the Hellenes who dwell about the Hellespont and the Pontus, was a man, and he became a slave in Samos, and was in fact a slave of Pythagoras the son of Mnesarchos. Then having become free he gained great wealth, and afterwards returned to his own land: and as the Thracians both live hardly and are rather simple-minded, this Salmoxis, being acquainted with the Ionian way of living and with manners more cultivated than the Thracians were used to see, since he had associated with Hellenes (and not only that but with Pythagoras, not the least able philosopher of the Hellenes), prepared a banqueting-hall, where he received and feasted the chief men of the tribe and instructed them meanwhile that neither he himself nor his guests nor their descendants in succession after them would die; but that they would come to a place where they would live for ever and have all things good. While he was doing that which has been mentioned and was saying these things, he was making for himself meanwhile a chamber under the ground; and when his chamber was finished, he disappeared from among the Thracians and went down into the underground chamber, where he continued to live for three years: and they grieved for his loss and mourned for him as dead. Then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and in this way the things which Salmoxis said became credible to them. 95. [1] ὡς δὲ ἐγὼ πυνθάνομαι τῶν τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον οἰκεόντων Ἑλλήνων καὶ Πόντον, τὸν Σάλμοξιν τοῦτον ἐόντα ἄνθρωπον δουλεῦσαι ἐν Σάμῳ, δουλεῦσαι δὲ Πυθαγόρῃ τῷ Μνησάρχου, [2] ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ αὐτὸν γενόμενον ἐλεύθερον χρήματα κτήσασθαι μεγάλα, κτησάμενον δὲ ἀπελθεῖν ἐς τὴν ἑωυτοῦ. ἅτε δὲ κακοβίων τε ἐόντων τῶν Θρηίκων καὶ ὑπαφρονεστέρων, τὸν Σάλμοξιν τοῦτον ἐπιστάμενον δίαιτάν τε Ἰάδα καὶ ἤθεα βαθύτερα ἢ κατὰ Θρήικας, οἷα Ἕλλησι τε ὁμιλήσαντα καὶ Ἑλλήνων οὐ τῷ ἀσθενεστάτῳ σοφιστῇ Πυθαγόρη, [3] κατασκευάσασθαι ἀνδρεῶνα, ἐς τὸν πανδοκεύοντα τῶν ἀστῶν τοὺς πρώτους καὶ εὐωχέοντα ἀναδιδάσκειν ὡς οὔτε αὐτὸς οὔτε οἱ συμπόται αὐτοῦ οὔτε οἱ ἐκ τούτων αἰεὶ γινόμενοι ἀποθανέονται, ἀλλ᾽ ἥξουσι ἐς χῶρον τοῦτον ἵνα αἰεὶ περιεόντες ἕξουσι τὰ πάντα ἀγαθά. [4] ἐν ᾧ δὲ ἐποίεε τὰ καταλεχθέντα καὶ ἔλεγε ταῦτα, ἐν τούτῳ κατάγαιον οἴκημα ἐποιέετο. ὡς δέ οἱ παντελέως εἶχε τὸ οἴκημα, ἐκ μὲν τῶν Θρηίκων ἠφανίσθη, καταβὰς δὲ κάτω ἐς τὸ κατάγαιον οἴκημα διαιτᾶτο ἐπ᾽ ἔτεα τρία· [5] οἳ δὲ μιν ἐπόθεόν τε καὶ ἐπένθεον ὡς τεθνεῶτα. τετάρτω δὲ ἔτεϊ ἐφάνη τοῖσι Θρήιξι, καὶ οὕτω πιθανά σφι ἐγένετο τὰ ἔλεγε ὁ Σάλμοξις. ταῦτα φασί μιν ποιῆσαι.

96. Thus they say that he did; but as to this matter and the chamber under ground, I neither disbelieve it nor do I very strongly believe, but I think that this Salmoxis lived many years before Pythagoras. However, whether there ever lived a man Salmoxis, or whether he is simply a native deity of the Getai, let us bid farewell to him now.

96. [1] ἐγὼ δὲ περὶ μὲν τούτου καὶ τοῦ καταγαίου οἰκήματος οὔτε ἀπιστέω οὔτε ὦν πιστεύω τι λίην, δοκέω δὲ πολλοῖσι ἔτεσι πρότερον τὸν Σάλμοξιν τοῦτον γενέσθαι Πυθαγόρεω. [2] εἴτε δὲ ἐγένετό τις Σάλμοξις ἄνθρωπος, εἴτ᾽ ἐστὶ δαίμων τις Γέτῃσι οὗτος ἐπιχώριος, χαιρέτω. οὗτοι μὲν δὴ τρόπῳ τοιούτῳ χρεώμενοι ὡς ἐχειρώθησαν ὑπὸ Περσέων, εἵποντο τῷ ἄλλῳ στρατῷ. 

97. These, I say, having such manners as I have said, were subdued by the Persians and accompanied the rest of the army: and when Dareios and with him the land-army arrived at the Ister, then after all had passed over, Dareios commanded the Ionians to break up the floating bridge and to accompany him by land, as well as the rest of the troops which were in the ships: and when the Ionians were just about to break it up and to do that which he commanded, Coës the son of Erxander, who was commander of the Mytilenians, said thus to Dareios, having first inquired whether he was disposed to listen to an opinion from one who desired to declare it: "O king, seeing that thou art about to march upon a land where no cultivated ground will be seen nor any inhabited town, do thou therefore let this bridge remain where it is, leaving to guard it those same men who constructed it. Then, if we find the Scythians and fare as we desire, we have a way of return; and also even if we shall not be able to find them, at least our way of return is secured: for that we should be worsted by the Scythians in fight I never feared yet, but rather that we might not be able to find them, and might suffer some disaster in wandering about. Perhaps some one will say that in speaking thus I am speaking for my own advantage, in order that I may remain behind; but in truth I am bringing forward, O king, the opinion which I found best for thee, and I myself will accompany thee and not be left behind." With this opinion Dareios was very greatly pleased and made answer to him in these words: "Friend from Lesbos, when I have returned safe to my house, be sure that thou appear before me, in order that I may requite thee with good deeds for good counsel." 97. [1] Δαρεῖος δὲ ὡς ἀπίκετο καὶ ὁ πεζὸς ἅμ᾽ αὐτῷ στρατὸς ἐπὶ τὸν Ἴστρον, ἐνθαῦτα διαβάντων πάντων Δαρεῖος ἐκέλευσε τούς τε Ἴωνας τὴν σχεδίην λύσαντας ἕπεσθαι κατ᾽ ἤπειρον ἑωυτῷ καὶ τὸν ἐκ τῶν νεῶν στρατόν. [2] μελλόντων δὲ τῶν Ἰώνων λύειν καὶ ποιέειν τὰ κελευόμενα, Κώης ὁ Ἐρξάνδρου στρατηγὸς ἐὼν Μυτιληναίων ἔλεξε Δαρείῳ τάδε, πυθόμενος πρότερον εἰ οἱ φίλον εἴη γνώμην ἀποδέκεσθαι παρὰ τοῦ βουλομένου ἀποδείκνυσθαι. [3] «ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἐπὶ γῆν γὰρ μέλλεις στρατεύεσθαι τῆς οὔτε ἀρηρομένον φανήσεται οὐδὲν οὔτε πόλις οἰκεομένη· σύ νυν γέφυραν ταύτὴν ἔα κατὰ χώρην ἑστάναι, φυλάκους αὐτῆς λιπὼν τούτους οἵπερ μιν ἔζευξαν. [4] καὶ ἤν τε κατὰ νόον πρήξωμεν εὑρόντες Σκύθας, ἔστι ἄποδος ἡμῖν, ἤν τε καὶ μή σφεας εὑρεῖν δυνώμεθα, ἥ γε ἄποδος ἡμῖν ἀσφαλής· οὐ γὰρ ἔδεισά κω μὴ ἑσσωθέωμεν ὑπὸ Σκυθέων μάχῃ, ἁλλὰ μᾶλλον μὴ οὐ δυνάμενοι σφέας εὑρεῖν πάθωμεν τι ἀλώμενοι. [5] καὶ τάδε λέγειν φαίη τις ἄν με ἐμεωυτοῦ εἵνεκεν, ὡς καταμένω· ἐγὼ δὲ γνώμην μὲν τὴν εὕρισκον ἀρίστην σοί, βασιλεῦ, ἐς μέσον φέρω, αὐτὸς μέντοι ἕψομαί τοι καὶ οὐκ ἂν λειφθείην. [6] κάρτα τε ἥσθη τῇ γνώμῃ Δαρεῖος καὶ μιν ἀμείψατο τοῖσιδε. «ξεῖνε Λέσβιε, σωθέντος ἐμεῦ ὀπίσω ἐς οἶκον τὸν ἐμὸν ἐπιφάνηθί μοι πάντως, ἵνα σε ἀντὶ χρηστῆς συμβουλίης χρηστοῖσι ἔργοισι ἀμείψωμαι.»

98. Having thus said and having tied sixty knots in a thong, he called the despots of the Ionians to speak with him and said as follows: "Men of Ionia, know that I have given up the opinion which I formerly declared with regard to the bridge; and do ye keep this thong and do as I shall say:--so soon as ye shall have seen me go forward against the Scythians, from that time begin, and untie a knot on each day: and if within this time I am not here, and ye find that the days marked by the knots have passed by, then sail away to your own lands. Till then, since our resolve has thus been changed, guard the floating bridge, showing all diligence to keep it safe and to guard it. And thus acting, ye will do for me a very acceptable service." Thus said Dareios and hastened on his march forwards.

98. [1] ταῦτα δὲ εἴπας καὶ ἀπάψας ἅμματα ἑξήκοντα ἐν ἱμάντι καλέσας ἐς λόγους τοὺς Ἰώνων τυράννους ἔλεγε τάδε. [2] «ἄνδρες Ἴωνες, ἡ μὲν πρότερον γνώμη ἀποδεχθεῖσα ἐς τὴν γέφυραν μετείσθω μοι, ἔχοντες δὲ τὸν ἱμάντα τόνδε ποιέετε τάδε. ἐπεὰν ἐμὲ ἴδητε τάχιστα πορευόμενον ἐπὶ Σκύθας, ἀπὸ τούτου ἀρξάμενοι τοῦ χρόνου λύετε ἅμμα ἓν ἑκάστης ἡμέρης· ἢν δὲ ἐν τούτῳ τῷ χρόνῳ μὴ παρέω ἀλλὰ διεξέλθωσι ὑμῖν αἱ ἡμέραι τῶν ἁμμάτων, ἀποπλέετε ἐς τὴν ὑμετέρην αὐτῶν. [3] μέχρι δὲ τούτου, ἐπείτε οὕτω μετέδοξε, φυλάσσετε τὴν σχεδίην, πᾶσαν προθυμίην σωτηρίης τε καὶ φυλακῆς παρεχόμενοι. ταῦτα δὲ ποιεῦντες ἐμοὶ μεγάλως χαριεῖσθε.» Δαρεῖος μὲν ταῦτα εἴπας ἐς τὸ πρόσω ἐπείγετο. 

99. Now in front of Scythia in the direction towards the sea lies Thrace; and where a bay is formed in this land, there begins Scythia, into which the Ister flows out, the mouth of the river being turned towards the South-East Wind. Beginning at the Ister then I am about to describe the coast land of the true Scythia, with regard to measurement. At once from the Ister begins this original land of Scythia, and it lies towards the midday and the South Wind, extending as far as the city called Carkinitis. After this the part which lies on the coast of the same sea still, a country which is mountainous and runs out in the direction of the Pontus, is occupied by the Tauric race, as far as the peninsula which is called the "Rugged Chersonese"; and this extends to the sea which lies towards the East Wind: for two sides of the Scythian boundaries lie along by the sea, one by the sea on the South, and the other by that on the East, just as it is with Attica: and in truth the Tauroi occupy a part of Scythia which has much resemblance to Attica; it is as if in Attica another race and not the Athenians occupied the hill region of Sunion, supposing it to project more at the point into the sea, that region namely which is cut off by a line from Thoricos to Anaphlystos. Such I say, if we may be allowed to compare small things such as this with great, is the form of the Tauric land. For him however who has not sailed along this part of the coast of Attica I will make it clear by another comparison:--it is as if in Iapygia another race and not the Iapygians had cut off for themselves and were holding that extremity of the land which is bounded by a line beginning at the harbour of Brentesion and running to Taras. And in mentioning these two similar cases I am suggesting many other things also to which the Tauric land has resemblance. 99. [1] τῆς δὲ Σκυθικῆς γῆς ἡ Θρηίκη τὸ ἐς θάλασσαν πρόκειται· κόλπου δὲ ἀγομένου τῆς γῆς ταύτης, ἡ Σκυθική τε ἐκδέκεται καὶ ὁ Ἴστρος ἐκδιδοῖ ἐς αὐτήν, πρὸς εὗρον ἄνεμον τὸ στόμα τετραμμένος. [2] τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ Ἴστρου ἔρχομαι σημανέων τὸ πρὸς θάλασσαν αὐτῆς τῆς Σκυθικῆς χώρης ἐς μέτρησιν. ἀπὸ Ἴστρου αὕτη ἤδη ἡ ἀρχαίη Σκυθίη ἐστί, πρὸς μεσαμβρίην τε καὶ νότον ἄνεμον κειμένη, μέχρι πόλιος Καρκινίτιδος καλεομένης. [3] τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ ταύτης τὴν μὲν ἐπὶ θάλασσαν τὴν αὐτὴν φέρουσαν, ἐοῦσαν ὀρεινήν τε χώρην καὶ προκειμένην τὸ ἐς Πόντον, νέμεται τὸ Ταυρικὸν ἔθνος μέχρι χερσονήσου τῆς τρηχέης καλεομένης· αὕτη δὲ ἐς θάλασσαν τὴν πρὸς ἀπηλιώτην ἄνεμον κατήκει. [4] ἔστι γὰρ τῆς Σκυθικῆς τὰ δύο μέρεα τῶν οὔρων ἐς θάλασσαν φέροντα, τήν τε πρὸς μεσαμβρίην καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὴν ἠῶ, κατά περ τῆς Ἀττικῆς χώρης· καὶ παραπλήσια ταύτῃ καὶ οἱ Ταῦροι νέμονται τῆς Σκυθικῆς, ὡς εἰ τῆς Ἀττικῆς ἄλλο ἔθνος καὶ μὴ Ἀθηναῖοι νεμοίατο τὸν γουνὸν τὸν Σουνιακόν, μᾶλλον ἐς τὸν πόντον τὴν ἄκρην8 ἀνέχοντα, τὸν ἀπὸ Θορικοῦ μέχρι Ἀναφλύστου δήμου· [5] λέγω δὲ ὡς εἶναι ταῦτα σμικρὰ μεγάλοισι συμβάλλειν· τοιοῦτον ἡ Ταυρική ἐστι. ὃς δὲ τῆς Ἀττικῆς ταῦτα μὴ παραπέπλωκε, ἐγὼ δὲ ἄλλως δηλώσω· ὡς εἰ τῆς Ἰηπυγίης ἄλλο ἔθνος καὶ μὴ Ἰήπυγες ἀρξάμενοι ἐκ Βρεντεσίου λιμένος ἀποταμοίατο μέχρι Τάραντος καὶ νεμοίατο τὴν ἄκρην. δύο δὲ λέγων ταῦτα πολλὰ λέγω παρόμοια, τοῖσι ἄλλοισι ἔοικε ἡ Ταυρική.

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