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

Herodotus Book 4: Melpomene [190]

190. The nomads bury those who die just in the same manner as the Hellenes, except only the Nasamonians: these bury bodies in a sitting posture, taking care at the moment when the man expires to place him sitting and not to let him die lying down on his back. They have dwellings composed of the stems of asphodel entwined with rushes, and so made that they can be carried about. Such are the customs followed by these tribes.

190. [1] θάπτουσι δὲ τοὺς ἀποθνήσκοντας οἱ νομάδες κατά περ οἱ Ἕλληνες, πλὴν Νασαμώνων· οὗτοι δε κατημένους θάπτουσι, φυλάσσοντες, ἐπεὰν ἀπιῇ τὴν ψυχήν, ὅκως μιν κατίσουσι μηδὲ ὕπτιος ἀποθανέεται. οἰκήματα δὲ σύμπηκτα ἐξ ἀνθερίκων ἐνειρμένων περὶ σχοίνους ἐστί, καὶ ταῦτα περιφορητά. νόμοισι μὲν τοιούτοισι οὗτοι χρέωνται. 

191. On the West of the river Triton next after the Auseans come Libyans who are tillers of the soil, and whose custom it is to possess fixed habitations; and they are called Maxyans. They grow their hair long on the right side of their heads and cut it short upon the left, and smear their bodies over with red ochre. These say that they are of the men who came from Troy.

This country and the rest of Libya which is towards the West is both much more frequented by wild beasts and much more thickly wooded than the country of the nomads: for whereas the part of Libya which is situated towards the East, where the nomads dwell, is low-lying and sandy up to the river Triton, that which succeeds it towards the West, the country of those who till the soil, is exceedingly mountainous and thickly-wooded and full of wild beasts: for in the land of these are found both the monstrous serpent and the lion and the elephant, and bears and venomous snakes and horned asses, besides the dog-headed men, and the headless men with their eyes set in their breasts (at least so say the Libyans about them), and the wild men and wild women, and a great multitude of other beasts which are not fabulous like these.

191. [1] τὸ δὲ πρὸς ἑσπέρης τοῦ Τρίτωνος ποταμοῦ Αὐσέων ἔχονται ἀροτῆρες ἤδη Λίβυες καὶ οἰκίας νομίζοντες ἐκτῆσθαι, τοῖσι οὔνομα κέεται Μάξυες. οἳ τὰ ἐπὶ δεξιὰ τῶν κεφαλέων κομόωσι, τὰ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ κείρουσι, τὸ δὲ σῶμα χρίονται μίλτῳ. φασὶ δὲ οὗτοι εἶναι τῶν ἐκ Τροίης ἀνδρῶν. [2] ἡ δὲ χώρη αὕτη τε καὶ ἡ λοιπὴ τῆς Λιβύης ἡ πρὸς ἑσπέρην πολλῷ θηριωδεστέρη τε καὶ δασυτέρη ἐστὶ τῆς τῶν νομάδων χώρης. [3] ἡ μὲν γὰρ δὴ πρὸς τὴν ἠῶ τῆς Λιβύης, τὴν οἱ νομάδες νέμουσι, ἐστὶ ταπεινή τε καὶ ψαμμώδης μέχρι τοῦ Τρίτωνος ποταμοῦ, ἡ δὲ ἀπὸ τούτου τὸ πρὸς ἑσπέρην ἡ τῶν ἀροτήρων ὀρεινή τε κάρτα καὶ δασέα καὶ θηριώδης· [4] καὶ γὰρ οἱ ὄφιες οἱ ὑπερμεγάθεες καὶ οἱ λέοντες κατὰ τούτους εἰσὶ καὶ οἱ ἐλέφαντές τε καὶ ἄρκτοι καὶ ἀσπίδες τε καὶ ὄνοι οἱ τὰ κέρεα ἔχοντες καὶ οἱ κυνοκέφαλοι καὶ οἱ ἀκέφαλοι οἱ ἐν τοῖσι στήθεσι τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες, ὡς δὴ λέγονταί γε ὑπὸ Λιβύων, καὶ οἱ ἄγριοι ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες ἄγριαι, καὶ ἄλλα πλήθεϊ πολλὰ θηρία ἀκατάψευστα.

192. In the land of the nomads however there exist none of these, but other animals as follows:--white-rump antelopes, gazelles, buffaloes, asses, not the horned kind but others which go without water (for in fact these never drink), oryes, whose horns are made into the sides of the Phenician lyre (this animal is in size about equal to an ox), small foxes, hyenas, porcupines, wild rams, wolves, jackals, panthers, boryes, land-crocodiles about three cubits in length and very much resembling lizards, ostriches, and small snakes, each with one horn: these wild animals there are in this country, as well as those which exist elsewhere, except the stag and the wild-boar; but Libya has no stags nor wild boars at all. Also there are in this country three kinds of mice, one is called the "two- legged" mouse, another the zegeris (a name which is Libyan and signifies in the Hellenic tongue a "hill"), and a third the "prickly" mouse. There are also weasels produced in the silphion, which are very like those of Tartessos. Such are the wild animals which the land of the Libyans possesses, so far as we were able to discover by inquiries extended as much as possible.

192. [1] κατὰ τοὺς νομάδας δὲ ἐστὶ τούτων οὐδέν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλα τοιάδε, πύγαργοι καὶ ζορκάδες καὶ βουβάλιες καὶ ὄνοι, οὐκ οἱ τὰ κέρεα ἔχοντες ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλοι ἄποτοι (οὐ γὰρ δὴ πίνουσι), καὶ ὄρυες, τῶν τὰ κέρεα τοῖσι φοίνιξι οἱ πήχεες ποιεῦνται (μέγαθος δὲ τὸ θηρίον τοῦτο κατὰ βοῦν ἐστι), [2] καὶ βασσάρια καὶ ὕαιναι καὶ ὕστριχες καὶ κριοὶ ἄγριοι καὶ δίκτυες καὶ θῶες καὶ πάνθηρες καὶ βόρυες, καὶ κροκόδειλοι ὅσον τε τριπήχεες χερσαῖοι, τῇσι σαύρῃσι ἐμφερέστατοι, καὶ στρουθοὶ κατάγαιοι, καὶ ὄφιες μικροί, κέρας ἓν ἕκαστος ἔχοντες· ταῦτά τε δὴ αὐτόθι ἐστὶ θηρία καὶ τά περ τῇ ἄλλη, πλὴν ἐλάφου τε καὶ ὑὸς ἀγρίου· ἔλαφος δὲ καὶ ὗς ἄγριος ἐν Λιβύῃ πάμπαν οὐκ ἔστι. [3] μυῶν δὲ γένεα τριξὰ αὐτόθι ἔστι· οἳ μὲν δίποδες καλέονται, οἳ δὲ ζεγέριες (τὸ δὲ οὔνομα τοῦτο ἐστὶ μὲν Λιβυστικόν, δύναται δὲ κατ᾽ Ἑλλάδα γλῶσσαν βουνοί), οἳ δὲ ἐχινέες. εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ γαλαῖ ἐν τῷ σιλφίῳ γινόμεναι τῇσι Ταρτησσίῃσι ὁμοιόταται. τοσαῦτα μέν νυν θηρία ἡ τῶν νομάδων Λιβύων γῆ ἔχει, ὅσον ἡμεῖς ἱστορέοντες ἐπὶ μακρότατον οἷοί τε ἐγενόμεθα ἐξικέσθαι.

193. Next to the Maxyan Libyans are the Zauekes, whose women drive their chariots for them to war. 193. [1] Μαξύων δὲ Λιβύων Ζαύηκες ἔχονται, τοῖσι αἱ γυναῖκες ἡνιοχεῦσι τὰ ἅρματα ἐς τὸν πόλεμον.

194. Next to these are the Gyzantes, among whom honey is made in great quantity by bees, but in much greater quantity still it is said to be made by men, who work at it as a trade. However that may be, these all smear themselves over with red ochre and eat monkeys, which are produced in very great numbers upon their mountains. 194. [1] τούτων δὲ Γύζαντες ἔχονται, ἐν τοῖσι μέλι πολλὸν μὲν μέλισσαι κατεργάζονται, πολλῷ δ᾽ ἔτι πλέον λέγεται δημιοεργοὺς ἄνδρας ποιέειν. μιλτοῦνται δ᾽ ὦν πάντες οὗτοι καὶ πιθηκοφαγέουσι. οἳ δὲ σφι ἄφθονοι ὅσοι ἐν τοῖσι ὄρεσι γίνονται.

195. Opposite these, as the Carthaginians say, there lies an island called Kyrauis, two hundred furlongs in length but narrow, to which one may walk over from the mainland; and it is full of olives and vines. In it they say there is a pool, from which the native girls with birds' feathers smeared over with pitch bring up gold-dust out of the mud. Whether this is really so I do not know, but I write that which is reported; and nothing is impossible, for even in Zakynthos I saw myself pitch brought up out of a pool of water. There are there several pools, and the largest of them measures seventy feet each way and is two fathoms in depth. Into this they plunge a pole with a myrtle-branch bound to it, and then with the branch of the myrtle they bring up pitch, which has the smell of asphalt, but in other respects it is superior to the pitch of Pieria. This they pour into a pit dug near the pool; and when they have collected a large quantity, then they pour it into the jars from the pit: and whatever thing falls into the pool goes under ground and reappears in the sea, which is distant about four furlongs from the pool. Thus then the report about the island lying near the coast of Libya is also probably enough true.

195. [1] κατὰ τούτους δὲ λέγουσι Καρχηδόνιοι κεῖσθαι νῆσον τῇ οὔνομα εἶναι Κύραυιν, μῆκος μὲν διηκοσίων σταδίων, πλάτος δὲ στεινήν, διαβατὸν ἐκ τῆς ἠπείρου, ἐλαιέων τε μεστὴν καὶ ἀμπέλων. [2] λίμνην δὲ ἐν αὐτῇ εἶναι, ἐκ τῆς αἱ παρθένοι τῶν ἐπιχωρίων πτεροῖσι ὀρνίθων κεχριμένοισι πίσσῃ ἐκ τῆς ἰλύος ψῆγμα ἀναφέρουσι χρυσοῦ. ταῦτα εἰ μὲν ἔστι ἀληθέως οὐκ οἶδα, τὰ δὲ λέγεται γράφω· εἴη δ᾽ ἂν πᾶν, ὅκου καὶ ἐν Ζακύνθῳ ἐκ λίμνης καὶ ὕδατος πίσσαν ἀναφερομένην αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ὥρων. [3] εἰσὶ μὲν καὶ πλεῦνες αἱ λίμναι αὐτόθι, ἡ δ᾽ ὦν μεγίστη αὐτέων ἑβδομήκοντα ποδῶν πάντῃ, βάθος δὲ διόργυιος ἐστί· ἐς ταύτην κοντὸν κατιεῖσι ἐπ᾽ ἄκρῳ μυρσίνην προσδήσαντες καὶ ἔπειτα ἀναφέρουσι τῇ μυρσίνῃ πίσσαν, ὀδμὴν μὲν ἔχουσαν ἀσφάλτου, τὰ δ᾽ ἄλλα τῆς Πιερικῆς πίσσης ἀμείνω. ἐσχέουσι δὲ ἐς λάκκον ὀρωρυγμένον ἀγχοῦ τῆς λίμνης. ἐπεὰν δὲ ἀθροίσωσι συχνήν, οὕτω ἐς τοὺς ἀμφορέας ἐκ τοῦ λάκκου καταχέουσι. [4] ὁ τι δ᾽ ἂν ἐσπέσῃ ἐς τὴν λίμνην, ὑπὸ γῆν ἰὸν ἀναφαίνεται ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· ἣ δὲ ἀπέχει ὡς τέσσερα στάδια ἀπὸ τῆς λίμνης. οὕτω ὦν καὶ τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς νήσου τῆς ἐπὶ Λιβύῃ κειμένης οἰκότα ἐστὶ ἀληθείῃ.

196. The Carthaginians say also this, namely that there is a place in Libya and men dwelling there, outside the Pillars of Heracles, to whom when they have come and have taken the merchandise forth from their ships, they set it in order along the beach and embark again in their ships, and after that they raise a smoke; and the natives of the country seeing the smoke come to the sea, and then they lay down gold as an equivalent for the merchandise and retire to a distance away from the merchandise. The Carthaginians upon that disembark and examine it, and if the gold is in their opinion sufficient for the value of the merchandise, they take it up and go their way; but if not, they embark again in their ships and sit there; and the others approach and straightway add more gold to the former, until they satisfy them: and they say that neither party wrongs the other; for neither do the Carthaginians lay hands on the gold until it is made equal to the value of their merchandise, nor do the others lay hands on the merchandise until the Carthaginians have taken the gold.

196. [1] λέγουσι δὲ καὶ τάδε Καρχηδόνιοι. εἶναι τῆς Λιβύης χῶρόν τε καὶ ἀνθρώπους ἔξω Πρακλέων στηλέων κατοικημένους· ἐς τοὺς ἐπεὰν ἀπίκωνται καὶ ἐξέλωνται τὰ φορτία, θέντες αὐτὰ ἐπεξῆς παρὰ τὴν κυματωγήν, ἐσβάντες ἐς τὰ πλοῖα τύφειν καπνόν. τοὺς δ᾽ ἐπιχωρίους ἰδομένους τὸν καπνὸν ἰέναι ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ἔπειτα ἀντὶ τῶν φορτίων χρυσὸν τιθέναι καὶ ἐξαναχωρέειν πρόσω ἀπὸ τῶν φορτίων. [2] τοὺς δὲ Καρχηδονίους ἐκβάντας σκέπτεσθαι, καὶ ἢν μὲν φαίνηταί σφι ἄξιος ὁ χρυσὸς τῶν φορτίων, ἀνελόμενοι ἀπαλλάσσονται, ἢν δὲ μὴ ἄξιος, ἐσβάντες ὀπίσω ἐς τὰ πλοῖα κατέαται· οἱ δὲ προσελθόντες ἄλλον πρὸς ὦν ἔθηκαν χρυσόν, ἐς οὗ ἂν πείθωσι. ἀδικέειν δὲ οὐδετέρους. [3] οὔτε γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦ χρυσοῦ ἅπτεσθαι πρὶν ἄν σφι ἀπισωθῇ τῇ ἀξίῃ τῶν φορτίων, οὔτ᾽ ἐκείνους τῶν φορτίων ἅπτεσθαι πρότερον ἢ αὐτοὶ τὸ χρυσίον λάβωσι. 

197. These are the Libyan tribes whom we are able to name; and of these the greater number neither now pay any regard to the king of the Medes nor did they then. Thus much also I have to say about this land, namely that it is occupied by four races and no more, so far as we know; and of these races two are natives of the soil and the other two not so; for the Libyans and the Ethiopians are natives, the one race dwelling in the Northern parts of Libya and the other in the Southern, while the Phenicians and the Hellenes are strangers.

197. [1] οὗτοι μὲν εἶσὶ τοὺς ἡμεῖς ἔχομεν Λιβύων ὀνομάσαι, καὶ τούτων οἱ πολλοὶ βασιλέος τοῦ Μήδων οὔτε τι νῦν οὔτε τότε ἐφόρτιζον οὐδέν. [2] τοσόνδε δὲ ἔτι ἔχω εἰπεῖν περὶ τῆς χώρης ταύτης, ὅτι τέσσερα ἔθνεα νέμεται αὐτὴν καὶ οὐ πλέω τούτων, ὅσον ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν, καὶ τὰ μὲν δύο αὐτόχθονα τῶν ἐθνέων τὰ δὲ δύο οὔ, Λίβυες μὲν καὶ Αἰθίοπες αὐτόχθονες, οἳ μὲν τὰ πρὸς βορέω οἳ δὲ τὰ πρὸς νότου τῆς Λιβύης οἰκέοντες, Φοίνικες δὲ καὶ Ἕλληνες ἐπήλυδες.

198. I think moreover that (besides other things) in goodness of soil Libya does not very greatly excel as compared with Asia or Europe, except only the region of Kinyps, for the same name is given to the land as to the river. This region is equal to the best of lands in bringing forth the fruit of Demeter, nor does it at all resemble the rest of Libya; for it has black soil and is watered by springs, and neither has it fear of drought nor is it hurt by drinking too abundantly of rain; for rain there is in this part of Libya. Of the produce of the crops the same measures hold good here as for the Babylonian land. And that is good land also which the Euesperites occupy, for when it bears best it produces a hundred-fold, but the land in the region of Kinyps produces sometimes as much as three- hundred-fold. 198. [1] δοκέει δέ μοι οὐδ᾽ ἀρετὴν εἶναι τις ἡ Λιβύη σπουδαίη ὥστε ἢ Ἀσίῃ ἢ Εὐρώπῃ παραβληθῆναι, πλὴν Κίνυπος μούνης· τὸ γὰρ δὴ αὐτὸ οὔνομα ἡ γῆ τῷ ποταμῷ ἔχει. [2] αὕτη δὲ ὁμοίη τῇ ἀρίστῃ γέων Δήμητρος καρπὸν ἐκφέρειν οὐδὲ ἔοικε οὐδὲν τῇ ἄλλῃ Λιβύῃ. μελάγγαιός τε γὰρ ἐστὶ καὶ ἔπυδρος πίδαξι, καὶ οὔτε αὐχμοῦ φροντίζουσα οὐδὲν οὔτε ὄμβρον πλέω πιοῦσα δεδήληται. ὕεται γὰρ δὴ ταῦτα τῆς Λιβύης. τῶν δὲ ἐκφορίων τοῦ καρποῦ ταὐτὰ μέτρα τῇ Βαβυλωνίῃ γῇ κατίσταται. ἀγαθὴ δὲ γῆ καὶ τὴν Εὐεσπερῖται νέμονται· [3] ἐπ᾽ ἑκατοστὰ γάρ, ἐπεὰν αὐτὴ ἑωυτῆς ἄριστα ἐνείκῃ, ἐκφέρει, ἣ δὲ ἐν τῆ Κίνυπι ἐπὶ τριηκόσια.

199. Moreover the land of Kyrene, which is the highest land of the part of Libya which is occupied by nomads, has within its confines three seasons of harvest, at which we may marvel: for the parts by the sea-coasts first have their fruits ripe for reaping and for gathering the vintage; and when these have been gathered in, the parts which lie above the sea-side places, those situated in the middle, which they call the hills, are ripe for the gathering in; and as soon as this middle crop has been gathered in, that in the highest part of the land comes to perfection and is ripe; so that by the time the first crop has been eaten and drunk up, the last is just coming in. Thus the harvest for the Kyrenians lasts eight months. Let so much as has been said suffice for these things.

199. [1] ἔχει δὲ καὶ ἡ Κυρηναίη χώρη, ἐοῦσα ὑψηλοτάτη ταύτης τῆς Λιβύης τὴν οἱ νομάδες νέμονται, τρεῖς ὥρας ἐν ἑωυτῇ ἀξίας θώματος. πρῶτα μὲν γὰρ τὰ παραθαλάσσια τῶν καρπῶν ὀργᾷ ἀμᾶσθαι τε καὶ τρυγᾶσθαι· τούτων τε δὴ συγκεκομισμένων τὰ ὑπὲρ τῶν θαλασσιδίων χώρων τὰ μέσα ὀργᾷ συγκομίζεσθαι, τὰ βουνοὺς καλέουσι· [2] συγκεκόμισται τε οὗτος ὁ μέσος καρπὸς καὶ ὁ ἐν τῇ κατυπερτάτῃ τῆς γῆς πεπαίνεταί τε καὶ ὀργᾷ, ὥστε ἐκπέποται τε καὶ καταβέβρωται ὁ πρῶτος καρπὸς καὶ ὁ τελευταῖος συμπαραγίνεται. οὕτω ἐπ᾽ ὀκτὼ μῆνας Κυρηναίους ὀπώρη ἐπέχει. ταῦτα μέν νυν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον εἰρήσθω. 

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