The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, , at sacred-texts.com
|110. This frankincense then is obtained thus by the Arabians; and cassia is obtained as follows:-- they bind up in cows'-hide and other kinds of skins all their body and their face except only the eyes, and then go to get the cassia. This grows in a pool not very deep, and round the pool and in it lodge, it seems, winged beasts nearly resembling bats, and they squeak horribly and are courageous in fight. These they must keep off from their eyes, and so cut the cassia.
| 110.  τὸν μὲν δὴ λιβανωτὸν τοῦτον οὕτω κτῶνται Ἀράβιοι, τὴν δὲ κασίην ὧδε. ἐπεὰν καταδήσωνται βύρσῃσι καὶ δέρμασι ἄλλοισι πᾶν τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὸ πρόσωπον πλὴν αὐτῶν τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν, ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὴν κασίην· ἣ δὲ ἐν λίμνῃ φύεται οὐ βαθέῃ, περὶ δὲ αὐτὴν καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ αὐλίζεταί κου θηρία πτερωτά, τῇσι νυκτερίσι προσείκελα μάλιστα, καὶ τέτριγε δεινόν, καὶ ἐς ἀλκὴν ἄλκιμα· τὰ δεῖ ἀπαμυνομένους ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν οὕτω δρέπειν τὴν κασίην.
|111. Cinnamon they collect in a yet more marvellous manner than this: for where it grows and what land produces it they are not able to tell, except only that some say (and it is a probable account) that it grows in those regions where Dionysos was brought up; and they say that large birds carry those dried sticks which we have learnt from the Phenicians to call cinnamon, carry them, I say, to nests which are made of clay and stuck on to precipitous sides of mountains, which man can find no means of scaling. With regard to this then the Arabians practise the following contrivance:-- they divide up the limbs of the oxen and asses that die and of their other beasts of burden, into pieces as large as convenient, and convey them to these places, and when they have laid them down not far from the nests, they withdraw to a distance from them: and the birds fly down and carry the limbs of the beasts of burden off to their nests; and these are not able to bear them, but break down and fall to the earth; and the men come up to them and collect the cinnamon. Thus cinnamon is collected and comes from this nation to the other countries of the world.
| 111.  τὸ δὲ δὴ κινάμωμον ἔτι τούτων θωμαστότερον συλλέγουσι. ὅκου μὲν γὰρ γίνεται καὶ ἥτις μιν γῆ ἡ τρέφουσα ἐστί, οὐκ ἔχουσι εἰπεῖν, πλὴν ὅτι λόγῳ οἰκότι χρεώμενοι ἐν τοῖσιδε χωρίοισι φασὶ τινὲς αὐτὸ φύεσθαι ἐν τοῖσι ὁ Διόνυσος ἐτράφη·  ὄρνιθας δὲ λέγουσι μεγάλας φορέειν ταῦτα τὰ κάρφεα τὰ ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ Φοινίκων μαθόντες κινάμωμον καλέομεν, φορέειν δὲ τὰς ὄρνιθας ἐς νεοσσιὰς προσπεπλασμένας ἐκ πηλοῦ πρὸς ἀποκρήμνοισι ὄρεσι, ἔνθα πρόσβασιν ἀνθρώπῳ οὐδεμίαν εἶναι.  πρὸς ὦν δὴ ταῦτα τοὺς Ἀραβίους σοφίζεσθαι τάδε· βοῶν τε καὶ ὄνων τῶν ἀπογινομένων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὑποζυγίων τὰ μέλεα διαταμόντας ὡς μέγιστα κομίζειν ἐς ταῦτα τὰ χωρία, καί σφεα θέντας ἀγχοῦ τῶν νεοσσιέων ἀπαλλάσσεσθαι ἑκὰς αὐτέων· τὰς δὲ ὄρνιθας καταπετομένας τὰ μέλεα τῶν ὑποζυγίων ἀναφορέειν ἐπὶ τὰς νεοσσιάς, τὰς δὲ οὐ δυναμένας ἴσχειν καταρρήγνυσθαι ἐπὶ γῆν, τοὺς δὲ ἐπιόντας συλλέγειν. οὕτω μὲν τὸ κινάμωμον συλλεγόμενον ἐκ τούτων ἀπικνέεσθαι ἐς τὰς ἄλλας χώρας.
|112. Gum-mastich however, which the Arabians call ladanon, comes in a still more extraordinary manner; for though it is the most sweet-scented of all things, it comes in the most evil- scented thing, since it is found in the beards of he-goats, produced there like resin from wood: this is of use for the making of many perfumes, and the Arabians use it more than anything else as incense.
| 112.  τὸ δὲ δὴ λήδανον, τὸ καλέουσι Ἀράβιοι λάδανον, ἔτι τούτου θωμασιώτερον γίνεται· ἐν γὰρ δυσοδμοτάτῳ γινόμενον εὐωδέστατον ἐστί· τῶν γὰρ αἰγῶν τῶν τράγων ἐν τοῖσι πώγωσι εὑρίσκεται ἐγγινόμενον οἷον γλοιὸς ἀπὸ τῆς ὕλης. χρήσιμον δ᾽ ἐς πολλὰ τῶν μύρων ἐστί, θυμιῶσί τε μάλιστα τοῦτο Ἀράβιοι.
| 113. Let what we have said suffice with regard to spices; and from the land of Arabia there blows a scent of them most marvellously sweet. They have also two kinds of sheep which are worthy of admiration and are not found in any other land: the one kind has the tail long, not less than three cubits in length; and if one should allow these to drag these after them, they would have sores from their tails being worn away against the ground; but as it is, every one of the shepherds knows enough of carpentering to make little cars, which they tie under the tails, fastening the tail of each animal to a separate little car. The other kind of sheep has the tail broad, even as much as a cubit in breadth.
| 113.  τοσαῦτα μὲν θυωμάτων πέρι εἰρήσθω, ἀπόζει δὲ τῆς χώρης τῆς Ἀραβίης θεσπέσιον ὡς ἡδύ. δύο δὲ γένεα ὀίων σφι ἐστὶ θώματος ἄξια, τὰ οὐδαμόθι ἑτέρωθι ἐστί. τὸ μὲν αὐτῶν ἕτερον ἔχει τὰς οὐρὰς μακράς, τριῶν πηχέων οὐκ ἐλάσσονας, τὰς εἴ τις ἐπείη σφι ἐπέλκειν, ἕλκεα ἂν ἔχοιεν ἀνατριβομενέων πρὸς τῇ γῇ τῶν οὐρέων·  νῦν δ᾽ ἅπας τις τῶν ποιμένων ἐπίσταται ξυλουργέειν ἐς τοσοῦτο· ἁμαξίδας γὰρ ποιεῦντες ὑποδέουσι αὐτὰς τῇσι οὐρῇσι, ἑνὸς ἑκάστου κτήνεος τὴν οὐρὴν ἐπὶ ἁμαξίδα ἑκάστην καταδέοντες. τὸ δὲ ἕτερον γένος τῶν ὀίων τὰς οὐρὰς πλατέας φορέουσι καὶ ἐπὶ πῆχυν πλάτος.
| 114. As one passes beyond the place of the midday, the Ethiopian land is that which extends furthest of all inhabited lands towards the sunset. This produces both gold in abundance and huge elephants and trees of all kinds growing wild and ebony, and men who are of all men the tallest, the most beautiful and the most long-lived.
| 114.  ἀποκλινομένης δὲ μεσαμβρίης παρήκει πρὸς δύνοντα ἥλιον ἡ Αἰθιοπίη χώρη ἐσχάτη τῶν οἰκεομενέων· αὕτη δὲ χρυσόν τε φέρει πολλὸν καὶ ἐλέφαντας ἀμφιλαφέας καὶ δένδρεα πάντα ἄγρια καὶ ἔβενον καὶ ἄνδρας μεγίστους καὶ καλλίστους καὶ μακροβιωτάτους.
|115. These are the extremities in Asia and in Libya; but as to the extremities of Europe towards the West, I am not able to speak with certainty: for neither do I accept the tale that there is a river called in Barbarian tongue Eridanos, flowing into the sea which lies towards the North Wind, whence it is said that amber comes; nor do I know of the real existence of "Tin Islands" from which tin comes to us: for first the name Eridanos itself declares that it is Hellenic and that it does not belong to a Barbarian speech, but was invented by some poet; and secondly I am not able to hear from any one who has been an eye-witness, though I took pains to discover this, that there is a sea on the other side of Europe. However that may be, tin and amber certainly come to us from the extremity of Europe.
| 115.  αὗται μέν νυν ἔν τε τῇ Ἀσίῃ ἐσχατιαί εἰσι καὶ ἐν τῇ Λιβύῃ. περὶ δὲ τῶν ἐν τῇ Εὐρώπῃ τῶν πρὸς ἑσπέρην ἐσχατιέων ἔχω μὲν οὐκ ἀτρεκέως λέγειν· οὔτε γὰρ ἔγωγε ἐνδέκομαι Ἠριδανὸν καλέεσθαι πρὸς βαρβάρων ποταμὸν ἐκδιδόντα ἐς θάλασσαν τὴν πρὸς βορέην ἄνεμον, ἀπ᾽ ὅτευ τὸ ἤλεκτρον φοιτᾶν λόγος ἐστί, οὔτε νήσους οἶδα Κασσιτερίδας ἐούσας, ἐκ τῶν ὁ κασσίτερος ἡμῖν φοιτᾷ.  τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ὁ Ἠριδανὸς αὐτὸ κατηγορέει τὸ οὔνομα ὡς ἔστι Ἑλληνικὸν καὶ οὐ βάρβαρον, ὑπὸ ποιητέω δὲ τινὸς ποιηθέν· τοῦτο δὲ οὐδενὸς αὐτόπτεω γενομένου δύναμαι ἀκοῦσαι, τοῦτο μελετῶν, ὅκως θάλασσα ἐστὶ τὰ ἐπέκεινα Εὐρώπης. ἐξ ἐσχάτης δ᾽ ὦν ὁ κασσίτερος ἡμῖν φοιτᾷ καὶ τὸ ἤλεκτρον.
| 116. Then again towards the North of Europe, there is evidently a quantity of gold by far larger than in any other land: as to how it is got, here again I am not able to say for certain, but it is said to be carried off from the griffins by Arimaspians, a one-eyed race of men. But I do not believe this tale either, that nature produces one-eyed men which in all other respects are like other men. However, it would seem that the extremities which bound the rest of the world on every side and enclose it in the midst, possess the things which by us are thought to be the most beautiful and the most rare.
| 116.  πρὸς δὲ ἄρκτου τῆς Εὐρώπης πολλῷ τι πλεῖστος χρυσὸς φαίνεται ἐών· ὅκως μὲν γινόμενος, οὐκ ἔχω οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀτρεκέως εἶπαι, λέγεται δὲ ὑπὲκ τῶν γρυπῶν ἁρπάζειν Ἀριμασποὺς ἄνδρας μουνοφθάλμους.  πείθομαι δὲ οὐδὲ τοῦτο ὅκως μουνόφθαλμοι ἄνδρες φύονται, φύσιν ἔχοντες τὴν ἄλλην ὁμοίην τοῖσι ἄλλοισι ἀνθρώποισι·  αἱ δὲ ὦν ἐσχατιαὶ οἴκασι, περικληίουσαι τὴν ἄλλην χώρην καὶ ἐντὸς ἀπέργουσαι, τὰ κάλλιστα δοκέοντα ἡμῖν εἶναι καὶ σπανιώτατα ἔχειν αὗται.
| 117. Now there is a plain in Asia bounded by mountains on all sides, and through the mountains there are five clefts. This plain belonged once to the Chorasmians, and it lies on the borders of the Chorasmians themselves, the Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sarangians, and Thamanaians; but from the time that the Persians began to bear rule it belongs to the king. From this enclosing mountain of which I speak there flows a great river, and its name is Akes. This formerly watered the lands of these nations which have been mentioned, being divided into five streams and conducted through a separate cleft in the mountains to each separate nation; but from the time that they have come to be under the Persians they have suffered as follows:--the king built up the clefts in the mountains and set gates at each cleft; and so, since the water has been shut off from its outlet, the plain within the mountains is made into a sea, because the river runs into it and has no way out in any direction. Those therefore who in former times had been wont to make use of the water, not being able now to make use of it are in great trouble: for during the winter they have rain from heaven, as also other men have, but in the summer they desire to use the water when they sow millet and sesame seed. So then, the water not being granted to them, they come to the Persians both themselves and their wives, and standing at the gates of the king's court they cry and howl; and the king orders that for those who need it most, the gates which lead to their land shall be opened; and when their land has become satiated with drinking in the water, these gates are closed, and he orders the gates to be opened for others, that is to say those most needing it of the rest who remain: and, as I have heard, he exacts large sums of money for opening them, besides the regular tribute.
| 117.  ἔστι δὲ πεδίον ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ περικεκληιμένον ὄρεϊ πάντοθεν, διασφάγες δὲ τοῦ ὄρεος εἰσὶ πέντε. τοῦτο τὸ πεδίον ἦν μὲν κοτὲ Χορασμίων, ἐν οὔροισι ἐὸν Χορασμίων τε αὐτῶν καὶ Ὑρκανίων καὶ Πάρθων καὶ Σαραγγέων καὶ Θαμαναίων, ἐπείτε δὲ Πέρσαι ἔχουσι τὸ κράτος, ἐστὶ τοῦ βασιλέος.  ἐκ δὴ ὦν τοῦ περικληίοντος ὄρεος τούτου ῥέει ποταμὸς μέγας, οὔνομα δέ οἱ ἐστὶ Ἄκης. οὗτος πρότερον μὲν ἄρδεσκε διαλελαμμένος πενταχοῦ τούτων τῶν εἰρημένων τὰς χώρας, διὰ διασφάγος ἀγόμενος ἑκάστης ἑκάστοισι· ἐπείτε δὲ ὑπὸ τῷ Πέρσῃ εἰσί, πεπόνθασι τοιόνδε·  τὰς διασφάγας τῶν ὀρέων ἐνδείμας ὁ βασιλεὺς πύλας ἐπ᾽ ἑκάστῃ διασφάγι ἔστησε· ἀποκεκληιμένου δὲ τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς ἐξόδου τὸ πεδίον τὸ ἐντὸς τῶν ὀρέων πέλαγος γίνεται, ἐνδιδόντος μὲν τοῦ ποταμοῦ, ἔχοντος δὲ οὐδαμῇ ἐξήλυσιν.  οὗτοι ὦν οἵ περ ἔμπροσθε ἐώθεσαν χρᾶσθαι τῷ ὕδατι, οὐκ ἔχοντες αὐτῷ χρᾶσθαι συμφορῇ μεγάλῃ διαχρέωνται. τὸν μὲν γὰρ χειμῶνα ὕει σφι ὁ θεὸς ὥσπερ καὶ τοῖσι ἄλλοισι ἀνθρώποισι, τοῦ δὲ θέρεος σπείροντες μελίνην καὶ σήσαμον χρηίσκονται τῷ ὕδατι.  ἐπεὰν ὦν μηδέν σφι παραδιδῶται τοῦ ὕδατος, ἐλθόντες ἐς τοὺς Πέρσας αὐτοί τε καὶ γυναῖκες, στάντες κατὰ τὰς θύρας τοῦ βασιλέος βοῶσι ὠρυόμενοι, ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς τοῖσι δεομένοισι αὐτῶν μάλιστα ἐντέλλεται ἀνοίγειν τὰς πύλας τὰς ἐς τοῦτο φερούσας.  ἐπεὰν δὲ διάκορος ἡ γῆ σφεων γένηται πίνουσα τὸ ὕδωρ, αὗται μὲν αἱ πύλαι ἀποκληίονται, ἄλλας δ᾽ ἐντέλλεται ἀνοίγειν ἄλλοισι τοῖσι δεομένοισι μάλιστα τῶν λοιπῶν. ὡς δ᾽ ἐγὼ οἶδα ἀκούσας, χρήματα μεγάλα πρησσόμενος ἀνοίγει πάρεξ τοῦ φόρου. ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ἔχει οὕτω.
|118. Thus it is with these matters: but of the seven men who had risen against the Magian, it happened to one, namely Intaphrenes, to be put to death immediately after their insurrection for an outrage which I shall relate. He desired to enter into the king's palace and confer with the king; for the law was in fact so, that those who had risen up against the Magian were permitted to go in to the king's presence without any one to announce them, unless the king happened to be lying with his wife. Accordingly Intaphrenes did not think it fit that any one should announce his coming; but as he was one of the seven, he desired to enter. The gatekeeper however and the bearer of messages endeavoured to prevent him, saying that the king was lying with his wife: but Intaphrenes believing that they were not speaking the truth, drew his sword and cut off their ears and their noses, and stringing these upon his horse's bridle he tied them round their necks and so let them go.
| 118.  τῶν δὲ τῷ Μάγῳ ἐπαναστάντων ἑπτὰ ἀνδρῶν, ἕνα αὐτῶν Ἰνταφρένεα κατέλαβε ὑβρίσαντα τάδε ἀποθανεῖν αὐτίκα μετὰ τὴν ἐπανάστασιν. ἤθελε ἐς τὰ βασιλήια ἐσελθὼν χρηματίσασθαι τῷ βασιλέι· καὶ γὰρ δὴ καὶ ὁ νόμος οὕτω εἶχε, τοῖσι ἐπαναστᾶσι τῷ Μάγῳ ἔσοδον εἶναι παρὰ βασιλέα ἄνευ ἀγγέλου, ἢν μὴ γυναικὶ τυγχάνῃ μισγόμενος βασιλεύς.  οὔκων δὴ Ἰνταφρένης ἐδικαίου οὐδένα οἱ ἐσαγγεῖλαι, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι ἦν τῶν ἑπτά, ἐσιέναι ἤθελε. ὁ δὲ πυλουρὸς καὶ ὁ ἀγγελιηφόρος οὐ περιώρων, φάμενοι τὸν βασιλέα γυναικὶ μίσγεσθαι. ὁ δὲ Ἰνταφρένης δοκέων σφέας ψεύδεα λέγειν ποιέει τοιάδε· σπασάμενος τὸν ἀκινάκεα ἀποτάμνει αὐτῶν τά τε ὦτα καὶ τὰς ῥῖνας, καὶ ἀνείρας περὶ τὸν χαλινὸν τοῦ ἵππου περὶ τοὺς αὐχένας σφέων ἔδησε, καὶ ἀπῆκε.
| 119. Upon this they showed themselves to the king and told the cause for which they had suffered this; and Dareios, fearing that the six might have done this by common design, sent for each one separately and made trial of his inclinations, as to whether he approved of that which had been done: and when he was fully assured that Intaphrenes had not done this in combination with them, he took both Intaphrenes himself and his sons and all his kinsmen, being much disposed to believe that he was plotting insurrection against him with the help of his relations; and having seized them he put them in bonds as for execution. Then the wife of Intaphrenes, coming constantly to the doors of the king's court, wept and bewailed herself; and by doing this continually after the same manner she moved Dareios to pity her. Accordingly he sent a messenger and said to her: "Woman, king Dareios grants to thee to save from death one of thy kinsmen who are lying in bonds, whomsoever thou desirest of them all." She then, having considered with herself, answered thus: "If in truth the king grants me the life of one, I choose of them all my brother." Dareios being informed of this, and marvelling at her speech, sent and addressed her thus: "Woman, the king asks thee what was in thy mind, that thou didst leave thy husband and thy children to die, and didst choose thy brother to survive, seeing that he is surely less near to thee in blood than thy children, and less dear to thee than thy husband." She made answer: "O king, I might, if heaven willed, have another husband and other children, if I should lose these; but another brother I could by no means have, seeing that my father and my mother are no longer alive. This was in my mind when I said those words." To Dareios then it seemed that the woman had spoken well, and he let go not only him for whose life she asked, but also the eldest of her sons because he was pleased with her: but all the others he slew. One therefore of the seven had perished immediately in the manner which has been related.
| 119.  οἳ δὲ τῷ βασιλέι δεικνύουσι ἑωυτοὺς καὶ τὴν αἰτίην εἶπον δι᾽ ἣν πεπονθότες εἴησαν. Δαρεῖος δὲ ἀρρωδήσας μὴ κοινῷ λόγῳ οἱ ἓξ πεποιηκότες ἔωσι ταῦτα, μεταπεμπόμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον ἀπεπειρᾶτο γνώμης, εἰ συνέπαινοι εἰσὶ τῷ πεποιημένῳ.  ἐπείτε δὲ ἐξέμαθε ὡς οὐ σὺν κείνοισι εἴη ταῦτα πεποιηκώς, ἔλαβε αὐτόν τε τὸν Ἰνταφρένεα καὶ τοὺς παῖδας αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς οἰκηίους πάντας, ἐλπίδας πολλὰς ἔχων μετὰ τῶν συγγενέων μιν ἐπιβουλεύειν οἱ ἐπανάστασιν, συλλαβὼν δὲ σφέας ἔδησε τὴν ἐπὶ θανάτῳ.  ἡ δὲ γυνὴ τοῦ Ἰνταφρένεος φοιτῶσα ἐπὶ τὰς θύρας τοῦ βασιλέος κλαίεσκε ἂν καὶ ὀδυρέσκετο· ποιεῦσα δὲ αἰεὶ τὠυτὸ τοῦτο τὸν Δαρεῖον ἔπεισε οἰκτεῖραί μιν. πέμψας δὲ ἄγγελον ἔλεγε τάδε· «ὦ γύναι, βασιλεύς τοι Δαρεῖος διδοῖ ἕνα τῶν δεδεμένων οἰκηίων ῥύσασθαι τὸν βούλεαι ἐκ πάντων.»  ἣ δὲ βουλευσαμένη ὑπεκρίνετο τάδε· «εἰ μὲν δή μοι διδοῖ βασιλεὺς ἑνὸς τὴν ψυχήν, αἱρέομαι ἐκ πάντων τὸν ἀδελφεόν.»  πυθόμενος δὲ Δαρεῖος ταῦτα καὶ θωμάσας τὸν λόγον, πέμψας ἠγόρευε «ὦ γύναι, εἰρωτᾷ σε βασιλεύς, τίνα ἔχουσα γνώμην, τὸν ἄνδρα τε καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἐγκαταλιποῦσα, τὸν ἀδελφεὸν εἵλευ περιεῖναί τοι, ὃς καὶ ἀλλοτριώτερός τοι τῶν παίδων καὶ ἧσσον κεχαρισμένος τοῦ ἀνδρός ἐστι.»  ἣ δ᾽ ἀμείβετο τοῖσιδε. «ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἀνὴρ μέν μοι ἂν ἄλλος γένοιτο, εἰ δαίμων ἐθέλοι, καὶ τέκνα ἄλλα, εἰ ταῦτα ἀποβάλοιμι· πατρὸς δὲ καὶ μητρὸς οὐκέτι μευ ζωόντων ἀδελφεὸς ἂν ἄλλος οὐδενὶ τρόπῳ γένοιτο. ταύτῃ τῇ γνώμῃ χρεωμένη ἔλεξα ταῦτα.»  εὖ τε δὴ ἔδοξε τῷ Δαρείῳ εἰπεῖν ἡ γυνή, καί οἱ ἀπῆκε τοῦτόν τε τὸν παραιτέετο καὶ τῶν παίδων τὸν πρεσβύτατον, ἡσθεὶς αὐτῇ, τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους ἀπέκτεινε πάντας. τῶν μὲν δὴ ἑπτὰ εἷς αὐτίκα τρόπῳ τῷ εἰρημένῳ ἀπολώλεε.