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Nations, Neighboring with Turks

An Universal History,from the Earliest Account of Time. Volume XX. Book IV. The History of the Turks,Tartars,and Moguls. London,1748


  • …every nation must, in many respects, be the best qualified to write their own history. For, however superior to them in genius,learning, and politeness, some foreigners may be; yet it is natural to suppose, that none can be thoroughly versed in traditions relating to the first plantation of any country, several of which are undoubtedly founded on truth, or be so well acquainted with the ancient state of it, as the natives themselves. Besides, the Greek and Roman writers had very  inadequate ideas of the nation we are here considering. As for Persian and Arab historians, they have committed several gross mistakes in relation to the Tartarian affairs. Nor can some of these be correcutedby any writer, however learned, judicious, and impartial, he may be, but a Mogul or Tartar historian.
  •  Our author Abu’l Ghazi Bahadur Khan differs greatly in some points from the Persian historians, of which the limits we have here prescribed ourselves will not permit us to give many instances. The Persian historians make Tur, the founder of the Turkish nation, to have been a son of one their first monarchs, and represent the Tartar princes as often overcome and made tributary by their heroes; which runs counter to what has been advanced by our Tartar historian. The Persian writers consider Afrasiab king of Turkestan as a great hero, and conqueror of Persia ; whereas, according to the Khan of KhowarazmAfrasiap Khan was at the head only of an inferior monarchy, and is not placed in the line of Mogul or Tartarian emperors. But all such differences as these must be ascribed to the enmity, the spirit of jealousy and emulation, always subsisting between the Persian and Tartar nations, which determined their historians to endeavour constantly to raise the glory of the one at the disadvantage of the other. Nor is any thing more common than such a conduct among the historians of rival nations in other and politer parts of the world. For which reason we have here taken little notice of what the Persian writers have related concerning the Tartarian affairs, except when they confirm what has been related by our royal author.
  •  For, according to that venerable historian [ Herodotus – noted by Ed.]Deioces was Mede, lived from the beginning in Mediaand was at last elevated to the Median throne by the suffrages of his countrymen. And that the Persians were a nation distinct from, and independent upon, the Medes, during the whole reign of Deioces, appears most clearly from the same excellent author. For he informs us, that PhraortesDeioces’s son, brought the Persians under subjection to the Medes; which amounts to a plain implication, that the Medes and Persians were two independent nations at that prince’s accession.
  • That there was anciently a very large province in the Greater Armenia called Ararat,we are informed by Moses Chorenensis. Mount Ararat was in this province, as well as the royal city of Valarsapata, which at present goes under the name of Erivan. That the land of Ararat was in the neighborhood of Assyria and Babylon, may be clearly evinced from Scripture. [Ancient Assyria spans some parts of four modern countries: In Syria it extends west to the Euphrates river; in Turkey it extends north to Harran, Edessa, Diyarbakir, and Lake Van; in Iran it extends east to Lake Urmi, and in Iraq it extends to about 100 miles south of Kirkuk. Ancient Babylon was located in present day Iraq.- noted by Ed.]
  •  Nay, the Armenians, at this day, call the Gordyæan  mountains Ararat, Arasad, Arar, etc. and Onkelos, Jonathan, the Syriac and Arabic versions, etc.  render the original the Gordyæan mountains.

The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, Volume 23, London, 1815


  • Berosns, a Chaldean historian, who, according to Rollin, lived 300 years before the Christian era, alludes to the ark in the following words :—“ They say that there are some remainders of this vessel to be seen upon the mountains of- the Cordyaeons, in Armenia, to this day… called Cordyaeon, from the inhabitants, who were the Curds; and are generally called Cordydi‘, or Gordydi‘, by Greek and Latin writers. The more general name is the Gordian Mountains. Cellarius, in his Ancient Geography, calls them Gordiaei. The Onkelos, Syriac, and Arabic versions render the original words of Moses, the Gordydian MountainsIt seems, that by the Gordianthey mean that range of mountains which separate Armenia from Mesopotamia; and by Ararat, some particularly high mountain connected with that ranges -—Josephus calls it Apobalerion, which is purely a Greek word, signifying the place of descent. Epiphanius, as quoted by Junius and Tremellius, gives it the same name.

    An Armenian merchant showing the goods to a Turkish Khan.   

    A History of All Nations, From the Earliest Periods To the Present Time ; Or, Universal History In Which the History of Every Nation, Ancient and Modern, Is Separately Given. by S.G. Goodrich, London, 1854

  • The Armenians are scattered, like the Jews, in various countries…The Armenians are chiefly known, at the present day, not as nation having home and country of their own, but as scattered race — citizens of the world. This is so far from surprising, that one cannot read the history of Armenia without wondering that any trace of its ancient inhabitants remains. At an early date, they were carried or driven to Mesopotamia and Cilicia. In later times, the Turkish conquest caused many of them to emigrate to Constantinople. Shah Abbas, as we have seen, forcibly removed many thousands to PersiaThe Saracens and Greekswhile contending for the possession of Armenia, took away multitudes of captives. Toghrul Beg and Timour carried thousands into unknown regions. The Mamelukes removed sixty thousand Armenians to Egyptand it is known that the Persians, in every war — even in the last with Russia — carried away their captives into servitude. In addition to these causes of depopulation, multitudes have, at various periods, been induced, by oppression at home, to seek voluntarily an asylum in distant countries. The Armenianstherefore, are found not only in almost every part of Turkey and Persia, but in India, Russia, Polandand many other parts of Europe. Thousands migrate, every year, from their native mountains to the large cities of Turkey, where they practise, for years, the humble occupations of porters and water-carriers; but, almost invariably, they or their children work their way into the ranks of trade. Some begin with the calling of a mechanic, ascending gradually to that of a merchant, and finally the more able or fortunate reaching the dignity of a banker—which is the highest summit of their ambition.

  • While the Armenianswho remain at home, live in semi barbarous manner, those who emigrate to other countries become exceedingly intelligent, and thoroughly skilled in every kind of knowledge and accomplishment necessary to the success of their commercial projects. Herodotus deduces their origin from the Phrygians …

  •  It is to be observed that the Greeks and Romans had a low opinion of the Armenians, believing them to be destitute of patriotism, and indifferent to liberty or political freedom. They appear never to have been very cultivated people.
  • Astyagesking of Media, subjected Armenia to his dominion in the sixth century before Christ Subsequently, Armenia became province of the Persian empire, and was governed by satraps till the time of Alexander the Great, when it fell, with the other Persian provinces, under the Macedonian rule. The Seleucidae included it in their dominion till the time of Antiochus the Greatwhen the two prefects of ArmeniaZadriades and Artarias revolted, and made themselves independent. By seizing on some of the adjacent provinces, they so far enlarged their territory that two separate kingdoms were formed here, named Armenia Major and Armenia Minorthe latter lying west of the Euphrates. This division was made 187 B. C. chasm ensues in Armenian history, during which we can learn little, except that the Armenians waged an unsuccessful war with Parthia : at the conclusion of the war, Tigranes, a prince of Armenia, was delivered up as hostage to the ParthiansThe crown of Armenia Minor was bestowed by Pompey on Deiolarus, tetrarch of Galatia, as reward for services rendered to Rome in the Mithridatic war. This prince lived on terms of the strictest friendship with Cicero, Cato, Brutus, Pompey, Lucullusand other eminent RomansPompey declared that he was the only ally of the republic on whom any dependence could be placed. Armenia Major continued under its native kings till the reign of the emperor Trajan, when it was made province of the empire. Ardeshir [ A Turkic name, consisting of two Turkic words:  Ar →Ər  ‘a man, a male, a human being’ + Deshir ‘puncturing’, meaning ‘a man who punctures his enemies’ – noted by Ed.]the first of the Sassanian kings of Persia, subjected Armenia to his dominions, (A.D. 232.) The country remained under the Persian rule till Dertad, or Tiridatessurvivor of the Arsacide family, with the support of a Roman army, expelled the Persians and reestablished the independence of the kingdom. Early in the fourth century, the king and many of the nobility were converted to Christianity. This added to the hostile feeling which already existed between the Armenians and Persiansand new wars ensued between these two nations.

    An army of the latter people [ the Saracens – noted by Ed.], under the command of Buga [ A Turkic word, meaning ‘a bull’ – noted by Ed.], conquered Armenia, A. D. 855. Many of the principal noblemen were transported to Bagdadand forced to become converts to Mahometanism… Ashdod, gained the favor of the khalif, who made him king of Armenia in 859. He became the founder of the Bagratide dynasty, which continued to occupy the throne till A. D. 1080. In the eleventh century, Armenia became an object of contention between the Byzantine empire and the Seljukian TurksThe northern provinces were conquered by these invaders, and the southern by the Koordsthe remainder of the kingdom became a dependency of the emperor of Constantinople. When the Bagratide dynasty was overthrown, Rupenrelative of the last king, fled, with his family, into Phrygiaand established an Armenian principality in the mountains of Taurus, north of CiliciaThe Greek empire was its constant enemy.

  •   The Mongolian Tartars, under Zingis Khan, in their invading progress from their distant home on the north of the Chinese wall, drove westward the different hordes of Turks who occupied the regions adjacent to the Caspian Sea. These spread themselves over Armenia in the thirteenth century, subjecting its inhabitants to the combined evils of war and religious persecution. The Mongolians who followed were cruel as conquerors and oppressive as governors; but their extortions were diminished by visit of the Armenian king of Cilicia to their distant master, and a temporary tranquillity was restored to Armenia by the personal presence of the Khan Hulaku, who, in 1256, transferred the head-quarters of the Mongolian power from the desert to the beautiful city of Maragha, in Aderbijan [ modern day Azerbaijan Republic – noted by Ed.], on the Armenian frontier, and changed the encampment of a nomadic horde into civilized and enlightened court.Toward the end of the fourteenth century, the Tartar conqueror Timour swept away the miserable remnants of the house of Zingisand his armies repeatedly traced their bloody tracks across the mountains of Armenia. But this mighty conqueror left behind him no efficient rulers, and the Turkoman tribes soon effaced the footsteps of the last of the Mongolians. For nearly century, the sultans of Egypt occasionally, in league with the Turks of Iconium, made incursions into Cilicia, destroying its cities, and carrying its inhabitants into captivity, till finally the Armenian kingdom was overthrown, (A. D. 1375,) and Cilicia was made province of Egypt. For long time, the Turks and Persians shared the whole of Armenia between them. Shah Abbas of Persia [ a Turkman by ethnicity – noted by Ed.] was one of the most unfeeling of the barbarous devastators of this country. That he might defend his frontiers against the Turks, he coolly determined to draw through Armenia broad intrenchment of perfect desert. Its unfortunate inhabitants, after seeing their houses, and every vestige of cultivation and of home, disappear, were collected in the plain of Araratand driven, like cattle, to Persia. Husbands and wives, parents and children, were separated, and multitudes were drowned in crossing rivers. Fifty thousand were established as colony in an unhealthy region, where disease soon swept most of them away. Within few years, Russia has extended her borders in the direction of Armeniaand, by her successful wars with Persia and Turkey, she has been enabled to establish her authority over considerable portion of this country. Armenia, at this time, may therefore be regarded as partitioned between Russia, Persiaand Turkey.

  • An Armenian merchant differs materially from Greek. As in his national character there is more sense and less wit, so in his trade there is more respectability and less fraud. Not that he is an honest man; for cheating, among the expatriated Armenians, is universal, and is regarded only as an authorized art of trade. They admit it, indeed, to be immoral; but they say, ” Are we in convent, that we should be able to live without it?” Their disposition to monopolize is exceedingly overbearing. rich merchant will, if possible, crush every one whose trade interferes with his. It is, indeed, the character of the nation to be peculiarly intolerant of competition. The history of their civil broils, when they had a political existence, and the enormities to which their ecclesiastical rivalries now frequently lead, justify the remark, that when the bad passions of an Armenian are fully roused, there is no deed too base or dark for him to perform.
  •  In the early ages of history, the Armenians appear to have been rude and barbarous. When writing was first introduced among them, the Assyrian, Greekand Persian alphabets were successively employed to record their transactions; and it was not till the fifth century after Christ that an Armenian, named Mesrobes, invented, to express accurately the sounds of their language, that alphabet which his countrymen still employ.
  • They [ Armenians – noted by Ed.] are much addicted to excess in liquor, and it is said that an Armenian priest will drink ten bottles of wine at feast. The style of architecture  throughout the country is rude. Among the mountains, the houses are all under ground, and lighted only by an opening at the top, through which the snow falls. The furniture is equally wretched. basket, plastered with mud and cow-dung, serves the  purpose of a meal-tub.
  • The condition of females in Armenia is very degraded. They are regarded as inferiors by the other sex, and are disposed of in marriage by their parents without any consideration of their inclinations. wife is rather servant than a companion to her husband. An Armenian woman in the interior of the country  is thus described by traveller: “Our host’s wife, like most of the women in the mountains, was unveiled. But her chin, in the usual style, was swaddled in an enormous muffler, reaching to her nose, and a white cloth, passing over from her forehead, flowed down on her shoulders behind. She spoke not loud word from the time we entered the house. If occasion required her to address person too distant for very low whisper to be heard, her little daughter stood by her side, and, listening to her whispers, expressed her wishes aloud…”


Larcher’s Notes on Herodotus. Historical and Critical Comments on the History of Herodotus. Volume 2. London, 1844


  •  If the Phrygians are a modern people, as I have before contended, it will follow that the Armenianswho, according to Herodotuswere a colony of Phrygians, are much more so. But I have used the term only comparatively, and with reference to the Egyptians, whose antiquity is very remote. It may be that the Bryges passed from Europe into Asia, in very remote times, either from the restlessness incidental to people inhabiting a climate little favoured by nature, or owing to some revolution, of which, at the present day, we are ignorant. Established in Asia, they changed their name to that of Phryges; and when the country they inhabited became too populous, they sent forth colonies. And it was then, according to Herodotusthat they sent one to Armenia. Stephanus of Byzantium, under the word ‘ Armenia,’ says likewise, that the Armenians came from Phrygia, and that their language greatly resembled that of the Phrygians.

  • But we shall perhaps do better to refer to Mar Ibas Cathina, a Syrian author, who flourished about 130 years before our era. This writer, who had been recommended by Valasarces, king of Armenia, to Arsaces, king of the Parthians, the conqueror of Antiochus Sidetes, had access’ to the royal archives, and brought back to this prince a history of Armenia from the earliest times, written in the Chaldean language, and translated into Greek by order of Alexander the Great. This history makes no mention of a Phrygian colony, but that Hai’cus, who is considered as the father and the founder of the Armenians‘, passed with his partisans from Babylonia into the country which has been since called Armenia, where his successors reigned down to Aramus, his sixteenth descendant, who gave to his people the name of Arameans, or Armeniansand to the country, that of Armenia. Josephus is of the same opinion. “From Aramus,” says he, “came the Armenians, whom the Greeks call Syrians.” This Aramus was, according to Moses Chorenensis, contemporary with Abraham. To these authorities may be added that of Strabo*. “The Armeniansthe Syrians, and the Arabians,” says he, “have considerable affinity in their language, in their manner of living, and in the characteristic form of the body, more especially in those districts which border on each other . . . The Assyrians, the Arianians, and the Arameans (Armenians), have a resemblance not only to one another, but to the Mesopotamians. We may also say that there is some affinity in their names; for those whom we call Syrians, are by the Syrians called Armenians and Arameans.”
  • M. Schroeder, however, thinks that this resemblance in the terms of the Syrian, Arabic, and Armenian languages, mentioned by Strabo, applies only to modern times (by modern times, it is presumed he means those of Strabo); and he asserts that the ancient language of the Armenians was very different from those of the Syrians and of the Arabs. If this be the case, which we can scarcely doubt when avouched by so learned a man, it may be that the Armenians were a Phrygian colony, as Herodotus says. This opinion is supported likewise, as I have before observed, by the remark of Stephanus of Byzantium, that the Phrygian language had a considerable affinity with the Armenian.

The History of Herodotus. By Herodotus. Volume 1. 

Translated from the Greek by Isaac Littlebury. The 3rd edition. London, 1737.


  • If you permit, the Persians, who are poor, and by nature insolent, to plunder and possess great riches; you may expect that those who enrich themselves most, will be most ready to rebel.
  • The Persians are divided into many tribes, of which those that Cyrus summon’d and persuaded to revolt are the principal, and influence all the rest. They are the Arteates, the Persians, the Pesargades [Πασαργάδαι – Ed.], the Meraphians [Μαράφιοι – Ed.], and the Masians [Μάσπιοι – Ed.]. But of all these, the Pesargades are esteem’d the most brave, and comprehend the Achæmenian [Ἀχαιμενίδαι – Ed.] family, of which the kings of Persia are descended. The rest are, the Panthelians [ Πανθιαλαῖοι – Ed.], the Derusians [Δηρουσιαῖοι – Ed.], and the Germanians [Γερμάνιοι – Ed.], who are all husbandmen; but the Daians [Δάοι – Ed.], the Mardians [Μάρδοι – Ed.], the Dropicians [Δροπικοὶ – Ed.], and the Sagartians [Σαγάρτιοι – Ed.] are keepers of cattle.
  • The customs which I have observ’d among the Persians are these.  When a Persian resolves to sacrifice, he builds no altar, kindles, no fire, makes no libation, nor uses either flutes, fillets, or consecrated flower; but wearing a tiara garnish’d chiefly with myrtle on his head, leads the victim to a clean piece of ground, and invokes the God. He that offers is not permitted to pray for himself alone; but as he is a member of the nation, is oblig’d to pray for the rosperity of all the Persians, and in particular for the King. When he has cut the victim into small pieces, and boil’d the flesh, he lays it on a bed of tender grass, especially trefoil; and after all things are thus dispos’d, one of the Mages standing up sings an Ode concerning the original of the Gods, which, they say, has the force of a charm; and without one of these they are not permitted to facrifice. After this, he that offer’d having continued a short time in the place, carries away and disposes of the flesh as he thinks fit.
  • The Persians drink wine in abundance; but may not vomit or make water before any man… When they meet one another in the way, men may easily know their condition and quality. For if they are equals, they salute with a kiss on the mouth: If one be a little inferior to the other, they kiss on the cheek; but if he be of a much lower rank, he prostrates himself before the other. They give the greatest honour to their nearest neighbours, less to such as are more remote, and least of all to those who live at the greatest distance; esteeming themselves much more worthy in every thing than the rest of men, and others to participate of virtue only in proportion to the nearness of their situation – always accounting those the worst and most base, who inhabit farthest from them.
  • During the empire of the Medes, each nation had a gradual superiority..  which example the Persians imitated, when increasing in power, they obtain’d the dominion, with the government of provinces. No nation has ever been more ready to admit foreign customs. They wear the habit of the Medes; which they think more becoming than their own; and in war they use the Ægyptian Cuirass. They are desirous to enjoy all kinds of pleasure they here mention’d, and have learnt from the Grecians to make love to boys. The virgins they take for their wives are many; but their concubines are far more numerous.
  • But, as their customs relating to the dead are more conceal’d and not so manifest…The Persians cover the body with a sufficient quantity of wax, and aftewards lay it in the ground.
  • Astyages the son of Cyaxares, succeeding him in the kingdom, had a daughter nam’d Mandane; and having dreamt she made so great a quantity of water, as not only fill’d his capital city, but overflow’d all Asia, he consulted the interpreters of dreams among the Mages; and by their explanation was cast into such a dread of the event, that seeing his daughter of sufficient age, he resolv’d not to marry her to a Mede, worthy of her bed; but chose a Persian for her husband, nam’d Cambyses, descended of a good family, of a peaceful disposition, and one he thought inferior to a Mede even of moderate condition. Within the space of a year after he had married Mandane to Cambyses, he had another dream; in which he seem’d to see a vine shooting from the bowels of his daughter, and extending its branches over all Asia. This he also communicated to the interpreters, and having heard their answer, sent to Persia for his daughter, who was then big with child [ future king of PersiaCyrus  – noted by Ed ]; and upon her arrival put her under a guard, resolving to destroy whatever should be born of her.
  • Cyrus [The name of Persian king Cyrus, who was half-Mede and half-Persian is of Turkic origin. Cyrus ↔ Κύρου ↔ Kuros → Kür ‘ bold, audacious, fearless’ – noted by Ed.]... grew very desirous to conquer the Massagetes, who are accounted a great and valiant people. …but at length the Massagetes had the victory, most of the Persian army being cut in pieces, and Cyrus himself kill’d in the place, after he had reign’d twenty nine years. Tomyris [ a queen of the Massagetes – noted by Ed.] found the body of Cyrus, among the slain; and having cut off the head, threw it into a vessel fill’d with human blood, which she had purposely prepared; saying, in an insulting manner: ” Thou didst, indeed, treacherously surprize and destroy my son; but I, who survive, and am thy conqueror, will now  make good my word, and give thee blood  enough.” Such was the end of Cyrus
  • Where the Persians [Πέρσῃσι – Ed.] live stretches all the way to the southern sea, called the Red Sea; above them to the north are the Medes [The Medes were countrymen and citizens of Media, situated at the territory of modern Azerbaijan Republic. – noted by Ed.], and above the Medes the Saspires [Evident Turkic word Saspiri ↔ Σασπείρων → Sas → Sәs  ‘a voice, sound’ +   Pir → Bir   ‘one’, meaning ‘ a people of one voice’ – noted by Ed.], and above the Saspires the Colchians [present day Georgians, living in Republic of Georgia – noted by Ed.], who reach the northern sea, into which the river Phasis issues. These are four nations that live between one sea and the other. [Here the southern sea, or Red Sea is the Indian Ocean, while the northern one is the Black Sea. – noted by Ed.]

  • And I have many good reasons to believe, that the Ægyptians did not borrow this name [Hercules – noted by Ed.] from the Grecians; but rather the Grecians, and especially those who gave it to the son of Amphitryon, from the Ægyptians: principally, because Amphitryon and Alcmena, father and mother to the Grecian Hercules, were both of Ægyptian descent. But however this be, Hercules is one of the ancient Gods of the Ægyptians who say, that seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis, the number of their Gods, which had been eight, was increas’d to twelve, and that Hercules was accounted one of these. Concerning which things, being desirous to know with certainty as much as might be discover’d, I sail’d to Tyre [ Compare Tyre ↔Τύρον →Tur→ Turk -noted by Ed.] in Phœnicia, because I had heard there was a temple dedicated to Hercules. That temple I saw, enrich’d with many magnificent donations, and among others with two pillars, one of fine gold, the other made of a smaragdus, which shines by night in a surprizing manner. Conversing with the priests of this God, and inquiring how long this temple had been built, I found these also to differ from the Grecians. For they assur’d me that the temple was built at the same time with the city, and that two thousand three hundred years were already past since the foundation of Tyre. In this city I saw another temple dedicated to Hercules by the name of Thasian; and when I arriv’d in Thasus, I found there also a Temple of the same God, built by those Phœnicians, who founded that city during the expedition they made in search of Europa which was five generations before Hercules the son of Amphitryon appear’d in Greece… But I am of opinion that Melampus was instructed in the ceremonies of Bacchus chiefly by Cadmus the Tyrian, and those Phœnicians who accompanied him to that country, which now goes under the name of Bœotia. And indeed the names of almost all the Grecian Gods were originally deriv’d from the Ægyptians; as I found, after I had heard that they were introduc’d by barbarous nations.
  • …but the inhabitants of Colchis [present day Georgians, living in Republic of Georgia – noted by Ed.] seem to me of Ægyptian extraction; which I collected rather from my own experience, than the information of others. And tho’ upon inquiry I found more evident marks of this relation among the Colchians than in Ægypt; yet the Ægyptians say they believe them to be descended from a part of the army of Sesoftris; which I think probable, because their complexion is swarthy, and their hair frizled, tho’ no certain proof; for others are so likewise. But that which weighs most with me is, that the Colchians, Ægyptians, and Æthiopians are the only nations of the world, who from time immemorial have been circumcis’d. As the other Syrians, who possess the countries adjacent to the river Tbermodon and Parthenon, with their neighbours the Macronians, confess they very lately learn’d the same custom from the Colchians.
  • One thing more I shall mention, in which the Colchians [Κόλχους – Ed.] resemble the Ægyptians. They alone of all people work their thread after the manner of Ægypt; and the same way of living, as well as the same language, is common to both nations; tho’ the Grecians call the thread they import from Colchis, by the name of Sardonian, and that which comes from Ægypt by the proper name of the country.
  • And therefore from the establishment of these taxes, and other things of like nature, the Persians say Darius was a mere trader, Cambyses a master, and Cyrus [Κῦρος – Ed.] a father to the country. For Darius made profit of everything; Cambyses was morose and haughty; but Cyrus was mild, and always contriving to render the people happy.
  • After a long and difficult passage from hence [Scythia – Ed.], arriving at the foot of very high mountains, men discover a certain people, who naturally, both men and women, are bald from their infancy. They have short retorted noses, and great chins; speak a peculiar language, wear the Scythian habit, and feed upon the fruit of a tree, which they call ‘Ponticon‘ [ποντικὸν – Ed.], equal to the fig-tree in bigness, and bearing fruit with a kernel of the shape of a bean. When this fruit is ripe, they put it into a press, and squeeze out a thick and black liquor, call’d ‘Aschy‘ [ἄσχυ -Ed.], which they suck, and drink mingled with milk ; making cakes of the sediment, to serve instead of other food. For they have few cattle in these parts, because they are not industrious. They sleep in the winter under trees, which are cover’d with a strong white cloth  in the summer without any other covering than the tree. No man offers violence to this people, for they are accounted sacred, and have no warlike weapon among them. They determine the differences that arise among their neighbours ; and whoever flies thither for refuge, is permitted to live unmolested. This bald people goes by the name of Argippæans.[Ἀργιππαῖοι – Ed.]
  • We certainly know that the Issedonians [Ἰσσηδόνες – Ed.] inhabit to the eastward of this bald nation…The Issedonians are said to observe these customs. When a man’s father dies, all his relations bring him sheep; which, when they have sacrific’d, and divided into pieces, they likewise cut the body of his dead parent into like portions, and having mingled all this flesh together, sit down to feast. Then taking off the hair, and cleansing the head, they gild the skull, and annually celebrate magnificent Sacrifices to this relic. Every son performs these funeral rites to his father, as a Grecian solemnizes the day of his nativity. They add farther,that this nation is likewise accounted just, and that the women are not inferior in fortitude to the men.
  • …I must not omit to mention my surprise, that no mules are ingender’d in all the territories of Elis [Ἠλείῃ – Ed.], tho’ the climate be no way distemper’d with cold, nor any visible cause of this defect appear. The Eleans [Ἠλεῖοι – Ed.] pretend they are under the force of a charm in this particular…
  • But the Delians [Δήλιοι – Ed.] say much more about the Hyperboreans [Ὑπερβορέων – Ed.], affirming that their sacred things were transmitted to Scythia wrapp’d in a bundle of wheat straw, and from the Scythians gradually advanc’d thro’ the bordering nations till they penetrated very far westward, and were receiv’d in Adria [Ἀδρίην – Ed.]. That from hence they travell’d towards the south, and that the Dodonæans [Δωδωναίους – Ed.]were the first of all the Grecians who admitted them. That by this way they descended to the gulf of Metis [Μηλιέα – Ed.] ; pass’d into Eubœz [Εὔβοιαν – Ed.], and from thence thro’ various cities to Carystus [Καρύστου – Ed.]. That they were not introduc’d among the Andrians [Ἄνδρον – Ed.] ; but that the Carystians [Καρυστίους – Ed.] transported them to Tenus [Τῆνον – Ed.], and the Tenians [Τηνίους – Ed.] to Delos [Δῆλον – Ed.]. In this manner the Delians say they receiv’d these rites.

  • The Ionians [Ἰώνων -Ed.], and Asiatic Magnesians [Μαγνήτων -Ed.], with the Æolians [Αἰολέων -Ed.], Carians [Καρῶν – Ed], Lycians [Λυκίων – Ed.], Melyans [Μιλυέων – Ed.], and Pamphylians [Παμφύλων – Ed.], were appointed to pay a tribute of four hundred talents in silver, and compos’d the first Satrapy.

  • The Mysians [Μυσῶν – Ed.], Lydians [Λυδῶν – Ed.], Alysonians [Λασονίων – Ed.], Cabalians [Καβαλέων – Ed.], and Hygenians [Ὑτεννέων, or Hytennians -Ed.], were the second, and paid five hundred talents of silver.
  • The countries that lie on the right hand of those who sail thro’ the Hellespont, together with the Phrygians [Φρυγῶν – Ed.], Asiatic Thracians [Θρηίκων – Ed.], Paphlagonians [Παφλαγόνων -Ed.], Mariandenians [Μαριανδυνῶν – Ed.] and Syrians [ Συρίων – Ed.], paid three hundred and sixty talents, and made up the third government.
  • The Cilicians [Κιλίκων -Ed.] were the fourth; and furnish’d Darius [Δαρείῳ -Ed.] with three hundred and sixty white horses…
  • Susa [Σούσων – Ed.] and the rest of the Cissians [Κισσίων -Ed.] were the eighth, and contributed three hundred. A thousand talents of silver, and five hundred young eunuchs, were furnish’d yearly by the city of Babylon, and other parts of Assyria. This was the ninth Division.
  • The City of Pactya [Πακτυϊκῆς -Ed.] with the Armenians [Ἀρμενίων -Ed.], and other neighboring parts down to the Euxine sea, made the thirteenth government, and was order’d to pay four hundred talents.
  • The Mosehians [Properly, Moschoi ↔ Μόσχοισι – Ed.], Tibarenians [Τιβαρηνοῖσι – Ed.], Macronians [Μάκρωσι -Ed.], Mosinæcians [ Μοσσυνοίκοισι -Ed.], and Mardians [ In original Greek, it is  Μαρσὶ ↔ Marsi – Ed.], were enjoyned to pay three hundred talents, and compos’d the nineteenth Satrapy.
  • The Indians [Ἰνδῶν -Ed.] were the twentieth; and as they are more numerous than any other people we know, the tribute charg’d upon them was proportionably great. For they were oblig’d to bring in yearly three hundred and sixty talents of gold.
  • All the nations that border on the Euxin Sea, are extremely ignorant, except the Scythians,against whom Darius was preparing to make war. And we have nothing to say touching the wisdom of any of those people, nor ever heard of any learned man among them, Anacharsis [Ἀναχάρσιος – Ed.] and other Scythians only excepted.

  • And having taken due care to establish his power, he [Darius,the king of Persia – noted by Ed.] order’d a statue of stone to be erected, representing a man sitting on horseback, and bearing this inscription: “Darius the son of Hystaspes obtain’d the kingdom of Persia by the vigour of his horse   (here the name of the horse was read) and by the art of Oebares, master of his stables.”  Having done this, he divided his dominions into twenty provinces, or satrapies, and constituted a governour in each division. Then he appointed the tribute, which every nation should be oblig’d to pay into his treasury…
  • The Phrygians, as the Macedonians say, were called Briges as long as they were Europeans and lived as neighbors of the Macedonians; but when they moved over into Asia, they changed their name to Phrygians at the same time as they changed their place of residence. The Armenians were equipped like the Phrygians, being indeed colonists of the Phrygians. [ Φρυγῶν in Greek – noted by Ed.]
  • The Medes were in the old time called by everybody Arians [Ἄρειοι – Ed.], but when Medea, the Colchian, came from Athens to the country of the Arians, they too changed their name ( to Medes. Medea was Jason’s jealous wife, the tragic heroine of Euripides’ Medea.) That is the story the Medes tell of themselves.
  • The Greeks call these people Syrians, but the barbarians call them Assyrians.
  • In the olden times the Greeks called these people (the Persians) Cephenes, but by themselves and their neighbors they were known as Artaei. But then Perseus, son of Danae and Zeus, came to Cepheus, son of Belus, and took to wife his daughter, Andromeda, there was born to him a son to whom he gave the name Perses. He left him there in his grandfather’s kingdom, for Cepheus had no male issue; it is from this Perses that the Persians took their name.
  • These Pamphylians are descended from those Greeks who scattered from Troy with Amphilochus and Calchas.
  • The Lycians came originally from Crete and were called Termilae, but they have their name from Lycus, son of Pandion, a man of Athens.
  • But I heard other things too in Memphis, when I conversed with the priests of Hephaestus….that the Egyptians were the first of mankind to invent the year and to make twelve divisions of the seasons for it. These authorities also say that the Egyptians were the first to use the names of the twelve gods, and that the Greeks took these from them, and that the Egyptians were the first to assign altars and images and temples to the gods and to carve figures on stone.Most of these things they showed me by clear proof. They said that the first king of Egypt was Min – the first, that is, who was human.
  • The first of the evil deeds he [Cambyses – a Persian king, son of Cyrus – noted by Ed.] did was to do away with his brother Smerdis ( who was his full brother) whom he had sent away from Egypt to Persia out of envy.So to Persia he sent Prexaspes, who was among the Persians the man he trusted most, to kill Smerdis….The second was the murder of his sister, who had followed him into Egypt and with whom he lived; she was,too,a full sister of his,and he came to marry her in the following way…Cambyses fell in love with one of his sisters and afterwards wanted to marry her….he summoned and questioned the royal judges… . The royal judges are a picked body of men among the Persians, who hold office till death or till some injustice is detected in them…So they did not break the law through fear of Cambyses, but, so as not to destroy themselves while protecting the law, they discovered another law, which would serve to help one who desired to live with his sister. At that time Cambyses married the one he was in love with; but some little time after, he had another sister too. It was the you get of these two who followed him into Egypt and whom he killed.
  • As it was,however, from the moment of the colonization of Corcyra [In original Greek, it is Kerkura ↔Κέρκυραν: Ker ↔ Gör ‘see’ + Kyr ‘destroy’. Modern day Kérkyra, it was named after the fortress overlooking the city. – noted by Ed.] by Corinth, the two states had been at enmity with one another despite their kinship.
  • Cambyses felt that the wound was mortal and asked what was the name of this city. They told him “Ekbatana“. [In original Greek, it is Agbatana. Compare to Lekbatan, a region near city of Baku in modern Azerbaijan Republic. Consists of two Turkic words: Lök ‘ a child of camel’ + Batan ‘sinking’ – noted by Ed.] Now, there had been given him an oracle from the city of Buto [Compare to a Turkic word: Buta ‘an almond-shaped ornament with a sharp-curved upper end’ – noted by Ed.] that he would end his life in Ekbatana. He,of course,thought that he would die an old man in the Median Ecbatana, where all his concerns were; but the oracle had meant, as it now showed, the Ecbatana in Syria.
  • From the Pactyic country and Armenia and the neighboring parts, as far as the Euxine Sea, there came 400 talents. This was the thirteen province. [ Pactyic country was located in the north of India. – noted by Ed.]
  • Other Indians dwell near the town of Caspatyrus and the Pactyic country, north of the rest of India; these live like the Bactrians
  • When Cambyses, son of Cyrus, made was on Egypt…At this time Darius was a bodyguard of Cambyses and not yet a man of great account.


Herodotus map, No Armenia

 The World Map by Herodotus, BC 440. ( Click on it to see a larger image)


  • The Neurians observe the customs of Scythia and one generation before the expedition of Darius, were driven out of their country by serpents. For besides those that were bred in their own territories, a much greater number came down from the deserts, and so insested them, that they were compelled to abandon their habitations, and retire among the Budians. These men attempt to be magicians; and the Scythians, with the Grecians who inhabit in Scythia, say, that all the Neurians once every year are transform’d into wolves for a few days, and then resume their former shape. But I am not persuaded to believe this, tho’ they affirm their assertion with oaths.

  • The Androphages live in a more savage manner than any other nation; having no publick distribution of justice, nor establish’d laws. They apply themselves to the breeding of cattle; cloath themselves like the Scythians, and speak a peculiar language.
  • The Melanchlænians wear no other garments than black, and had their name from that custom. These follow the usages of Scythia; but are the only people of all those countries, who feed upon human flesh.
  • For the Gelonians were originally Grecians; who transplanted themselves from the trading ports of Greece, and settled among the Budians where they use a language compos’d of the Scythian and Grecian tongues. But the Budians differ from the Gelonians in speech, and in their manner of living. For being original inhabitants of the country, they apply themselves to the keeping of cattle; and are the only people of these parts who eat lice, whereas the Gelonians till the land, feed upon corn, cultivate gardens and are utterly unlike the Budians both in mien and complexion; tho’ the Grecians without ground call the Budians by the name of the Gelonians. Their country abounds in trees of all kinds; and in that part, where they grow in greatest numbers, lies a deep and spacious lake, surrounded by a morass cover’d with reeds. In this place, otters, beavers, and other animals of a square visage, are frequently taken. Their skins sewed together serve for garments…
  •  For of the Libyan nations which are many and differing in their customs, few were subject to Darius, and the far greater part despised his power. To begin with those who inhabit next to the Egyptians.

  • The Adrymachides are the first people we find; and for the most part observe the usages of Egypt. Only they cloath in the Libyan habit. Their wives wear a chain of brass on each leg; dress in their hair, and if they happen to find a louse, kill it with their teeth, in revenge of the bite they received; and then spit it out again. In the observation of one custom they are singular; being the only people of all Libya, who bring their virgins before marriage into the king’s presence, that if he like any one above the rest, he may lie with her. This country extends from the borders of Egypt to the port of Plynus.
  • Westward of this nation the Gigames are seated, and possess the country down to the island Aphrodisia. In the midst of their coast the island of Platæa is situated, which was inhabited by the Cyrenæans; and the lake of Agenelas, with the city of Aziris, built likewise by the same people, are on the continent. At this place the territories of Silphium begin, and extend from that island of Platæa to the Chops of the Syrtis. This people in their customs resemble the rest of the Libyans.
  • The Asbystes are are next adjoyning to the Gigames, and inhabit a country lying to the westward above Cyrene. They possess no part of the coast; because the Cyrenæans are masters of ali the maritime places. They are no less, but rather more experienced than the rest of the Libyans in mounting their chariots; and for the most part endeavour to imitate the manners of the Cyrenæans.
  • The Auschises are seated to the westward of the Asbystes, in a region situate above Barca, and extending to the sea by the country of Euesperides. In the midst of the Auschises, the Cabases inhabit a small territory, reaching to Tauchira, a maritime city of Barca. Both these observe the same customs with those who dwell above Cyrene
  • The next country to the westward of the Auschises is possess’d by the Nasamones, a very numerous people. In summer they leave their cattle on the coast, and go up to the plains of Ægyla, in order to gather the fruit of the palm trees; which abound in that place, and are all bearers without exception. There they take grass hoppers, which having dried in the sun they grind, and infusing them in milk, compose a liquor for their drink. Every man by the custom of the country has divers wives; which he uses, like the Massagetes; in public, after he has set up his staff for a mark. And when they marry, the bride goes the first night to all the invited guests; and after they have lain with her, they make her a present, which every one brings from home to that end. In their solemn oaths and divinations they observe the following manner. When they swear, they lay their hands on the sepulchers of those, who are generally esteem’d to have been the most just and excellent persons among them. And when they would divine, they go to the tombs of their ancestors, and after certain prayers, they lye down to sleep; and ground their predictions upon the dreams they have at those Times. In pledging their faith to each other, they mutually present a cup of liquor; and if they have none, the parties take up some dust from the ground, which they put into their mouths.
  • The Psyllians are the next adjacent people to the Nasamones, and were destroy’d in this manner. All their country lying within the Syrtis, is destitute of springs; and when the south wind had dried up all their reserves of water, they consulted together, and determin’d to make war against that wind (I only repeat what the Libyans say ) and after they were arriv’d at the sands, the south wind blowing hard buried them alive, and the Nasamones took possession of their habitations,.
  • The country that lies above the Nasamones is inhabited by the Garamantees, who avoid the sight and society of all other men; possessing no military weapon, nor daring to defend themselves. But in the maritime places situated to the westward, they have the Maces for their neighbors, who shave their heads quite round, only leaving a lock of hair growing in the middle of the crown. And when they make war, they wear the skin of ostriches instead of armor.
  • Next in situation are the Gindanes, whose wives the Libyans say, wear as many borders on their coats as they have had men. And she who has the most of those borders, is most esteem’d because she has had the greatest number of lovers.
  • The Promontory that advances from this country to the sea, is possess’d by the Lotophages, who live altogether upon the fruit of the lotus, which is of equal bigness of that of the mastic berry; but exceedingly sweet like the date. The inhabitants make wine of this fruit.
  • Ten days more bring a man to another pillar of salt, with an eruption of water and palm trees covering the adjacent lands, as in the places above-mentioned. This country is inhabited by a populous nation; known by the name of the Garamantes, who after they have laid fresh earth upon the salt, sow their corn in that ground. These Garamantes are accustom’d to sit in chariots, and hunt the Ethiopian troglodytes who are reported to be swifter of foot than any other nation in the world. They feed upon serpents and lizards, with many other kinds of reptiles and their speech resembles the shreeking of a bat, rather than the language of men.

  • At the distance of about ten days journey from the Garamantes, is seen another mound of salt, with a fountain issuing out of the summit. The adjacent parts are inhabited by the Atlantes, who are the only people, we know destitute of a particular name. For that of Atlantes is the common appellation of all the Libyans in conjunction, and not given to any distinct nation, this only excepted. This people curse the sun as it passes over their heads; pursuing him with the vilest reproaches; because he consumes both the men and the country with his scorching heat.
  •  In the neighborhood of this place mount Atlas is situated; circular in form and slender in circumference; but of so great a height, that his head is always invisible, being ever surrounded with clouds, both in summer and winter; and therefore by the inhabitants call’d the Pillar of Heaven. From hence these men derive their name, and are call’d Atlantes. They neither eat the flesh of any animal, nor are ever interrupted in their sleep by dreams.
  •  From Egypt to the lake Tritonis, the Libyans are breeders of cattle, eat flesh and drink milk, but abstain from the flesh of cows, no less than the Egyptians, and will not keep swine. Nay, among the women of Cyrene, to strike a cow is accounted a crime because they celebrate the fasts and festivals of the Egyptian Isis. Neither will the Barcæan women taste the flesh either of a hog, or of a cow. The Libyans who inhabit to the westward of the lake Tritonis are not keepers of cattle and differ from the customs of those that are, one especially relating to children. For many of those who live upon pasturage, tho’ I cannot affirm the same of all, are accustom’d, when their children attain to the age of four years, to cauterise their veins, either on the crown or temples, with an application of sheep’s wool in the grease. To the End that, during all the time of their lives, they may never be offended by pituitous defluxions from the head. This, they say, is the cause of the perfect health they enjoy. And indeed the Libyans of all the nations we know, are the most healthy, but whether from this or any other cause, I shall not determine. If any of their children faint under the operation, they recover again by a sprinkling of goat’s urine which is a remedy of their own invention.  For the Libyan women wear a mantle of tanned goat skins, dyed in red and fringed, over the rest of their garments. From these skins the Grecians gave the name of Ægis to Minerva’s shield. And I am inclined to think that the songs of lamentation, which are sung in temples, had the same original; because they are commonly us’d by the women of Libya, and gracefully performed. The Grecians likewise learn’d from the Libyans, the manner of guiding their chariots with four horses ranged in front. All the nomads inter the dead like the Grecians, except the Nasamones who observe the time when the sick person is ready to expire, and then place him in a sitting posture, that he may not die with his face upward. Their houses are made of shrubs compacted with rushes, and portable.
  • Next adjoyning to the Maxyes, the Zaveces are situated, whose wives drive their chariots in war.
  • And after them the country of the Zygantes, where abundance of honey is made by bees; and they say, a much greater quantity by the artifice of men. All these paint themselves with vermilion, and eat monkeys, which are bred there in great numbers, especially in the hills.
  • For the Northern coast of Libya, from Ægypt to the promontory of Solois, where Libya terminates, is inhabited by Libyans of various nations, except those parts alone, which are possess’d by the Grecians and Phœnicians. Above this coast, and the maritime places, which are well peopled, the next country is abandon’d to beasts of prey; and all beyond that is destitute of water, covered with sands, and utterly desolate.
  • At the end of these forty days, they go on board another vessel, and arrive in about twelve more at the great city of Meroe, which is accounted the capital of all Ethiopia…This people is call’d by the name of Asmak, which in the languge of Greece signifies “Those that stand at the left land of the king”. Their ancestors were Egyptians; and being in number two hundred and forty thousand military men, revolted to the Ethiopians
  • The Ægyptians are circumcis’d in their secret parts, which all other men leave as they are form’d by nature; those only excepted who have learnt this custom from them. The Men wear two garments, the women but one. They fasten the ropes and hooks to the inside of the sails, and all other nations to the outside. When the Grecians write or calculate with counters, they carry the hand from the left to the right; but the Ægyptians on the contrary, from the right to the left. And yet pretend in doing so that their line tends to the right and ours to the left. They have two sorts of letters, one of which they call sacred and the other vulgar. They are of all mankind the most excessive worshippers of the gods and use these ceremonies. They drink in cups of brass, which they scour every day …They wear garments of linen fresh washed, taking singular care to have them always clean, and are circumcis’d principally for the sake of cleanliness, which they esteem more than ornament. The Priests shave all parts of the body once in three days; lest lice or any other impurity should be found about those who officiate in the service of the gods.

  •  For this cause the Ægyptians represent Jupiter by an image wearing the head of a ram, in which they have been imitated by the Ammonians, who are a colony of Ægyptians and Æthiopians, speaking a language compos’d of words taken from both those nations; and, as I conjecture, have given themselves the name of Ammonians, because Jupiter is by the Ægyptians call’d Ammon.
  •  These Phocæans were the first of all the Grecians who undertook long voyages, and discover’d the coasts of AdriaTyrrheniaIberia, and Tartesus. They made their expeditions in gallies of fifty oars, and us’d no ships of a rounder form.
  • But because in that time they [The Phocæans – noted by Ed.] had ravag’d the territories of all their neighbours, the Tyrrhenians and Carthaginians combin’d together to make war against them, each nation with sixty ships. The Phocæans on their part fitted out their fleet, consisting in all of sixty sail also; and coming up with the enemy in the sea of Sardinia, fought and conquer’d, but obtain’d a Cadmæan victory. For forty of their own ships were sunk; and all the rest having lost their Prows, were utterly disabled. After this action, returning to Alalia, they put their wives and children on board again, with as much of their goods as they could carry off, and leaving Cyrnus, sailed to Rhegium. Of those Phocæans that lost their ships in the fight, many fell into the hands of the Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians, who at their landing stoned them to death in the territory of Agylla.
  • The Caunians, as I conjecture, are originally of the country they inhabit, tho’ they say their ancestors came from Crete. But whether they have accommodated their language to that of the Carians, or the Carians have form’d their speech by the Caunian, I cannot determine with certainty. In their customs and manners the Caunians resemble no other nation, not even the Carians… They anciently worshipp’d the gods of other nations; but afterwards changing their opinion, and resolving to have no other than their own national deities, they all arm’d themselves, and in a petulant manner brandishing their spears in the air, march’d up to the mountains of Calinda, crying as they went, that they were expelling the foreign gods out of their country.
  • The Lycians [Λύκιοι – Ed.] derive their original from Crete, which in ancient time was entirely in the possession of barbarians. But Sarpedon and Minos, the sons of Europa, contending for the kingdom; Sarpedon being defeated by Minos, was driven out of the island with all his partizans, and landing in Asia, settled in Milyas; for that was the ancient name of the country which the Lycians now inhabit, though the Milyans [Μιλύαι – Ed.] were then call’d Solymi [Σόλυμοι – Ed.]. During the reign of Sarpedon they went by the name they brought with them into Asia; and in our time are by their neighbours call’d Termilians [Τερμίλαι – Ed.]. But when Lycus, the son of Pandion was compelled by his brother Ægeus to quit Athens, he fled to Sarpedon at Termite, and from him the people began to be named Lycians. Their customs are, for the most part, deriv’d from the Cretans and Carians, but they have one peculiar to themselves, in which they differ from all other nations. For they take their names from their mothers, and not from their fathers; so that if any one be ask’d who he is, and of what family, he recounts his maternal genealogy, in the female line. Besides, if a free-born woman marry a servant, her children enjoy the full privilege of citizens; but should a man of ever-so high dignity marry a foreigner or a concubine, his children would be uncapable of any honor.
  •  But the Pedaseans [Πηδασέες – Ed.] inhabiting a midland country situate above Halicarnastus, were the only people of Caria that oppos’d Harpagus with vigour. For retiring to a mountain call’d Lyda, they fortified and defended themselves valiantly, and were not subdued without great difficulty.


The History of Herodotus. By Herodotus. Volume 2.

Translated from the Greek by Isaac Littlebury. The 3rd edition. London, 1737.


  • After the taking of Perinthus, Megabyzus advanc’d with his army, and reduc’d all the cities and nations of Thrace to the obedience of the king. For Darius had commanded him to subdue the Thracians. This nation is the greatest of any among men, except the Indians. And in my opinion, if the Thracians were either under the government of one person, or unanimous in their counsels, they would be invincible, and the strongest people of the world. But because this is extremely difficult, or rather impossible, they are of little strength. They go under several names, according to the places they inhabit; but all observe the same customs, except the Getesthe Trauses, and the Crestoneans, who are seated in the uppermost parts.
  •  The Trauses differ in nothing from the rest of the Thraciansexcept in the manners observ’d at the times of their nativity and death. When a child is born, his relations fitting in a circle about him, deplore his condition, on account of the evils he must suffer in the course of life; enumerating the various calamities incident to mankind. But when a man is dead, they inter him with exultation and rejoicings, repeating the miseries he has exchang’d for a compleat felicity. 

  •   Among the Crestoneans who inhabit the highest part of Thrace [Θρηίκης -Ed], every man has many wives; and at his death all these women, strongly supported by their several friends, contend fiercely, who shall be accounted to have been most dear to the husband. In the end, she who is adjudg’d to have merited that honour, having receiv’d great commendations both from the men and women, is kill’d upon the grave by the nearest of her relations, and buried together with the man, which is a great mortification to the rest, because accounted the utmost disgrace. The rest of the Thracians sell their children for transportation: and take no care of their daughters; but suffer them to entertain as many men as they like. Nevertheless, they keep their wives under a strict guard, and purchase them of their relations at a great rate. To be mark’d on the forehead is honourable; and a man without such marks is accounted ignoble. Idleness is esteem’d decent; nusbandry unbecoming; and to subsist by war and rapine is thought glorious. These are the most considerable customs of this nation. For their gods, they worship only MarsBacchus, and Diana. But their kings, besides the national deities, adore Hermes with great religion, swearing by his name alone, and pretending to be descended from him. The funerals of eminent persons are celebrated in this manner. They expose the corps to public view during three days; and after they have perform’d their lamentations, they sacrifice all kinds of animals, and apply themselves to feasting. Then they either burn, or bury the body in the ground. And having thrown up a mound of earth over the grave, celebrate all manner of agonistical exercises round the place, appointing the greatest prizes for those who fight single combats.
  • Then pinpointing to the description of the Earth, which he brought with him, engrav’d on a plate: “Next to these Ionians, said he, the Lydians inhabit a fertile country, abounding in silver. And on the confines of Lydia, these Phrygians are plac’d to the eastward, more rich in cattle, and living in greater affluence than any other people I know. Adjoining to these are the Cappadocians, by us call’d Syrians; and beyond them, the Cilicians whose country extends to that sea in which the island of Cyprus is situated… Next to the Cilicians, are these Armenians, who possess great numbers of cattle; and after them the Matienians, beyond whose territories lies this province of Cissia, in which Susa is built upon the river Choaspes. In this place the great king resides, and his vast treasures are here deposited.
  • The Cappadocians, by the Grecians call’d Syrians, were subject to the Medes before the establishment of the Persian power; and in the time of this war were under the dominion of Cyrus. For the kingdoms of Media and Lydia are separated by the river Halys, which descending from the mountains of Armenia, passes thro’ Cilicia; and leaving the Matienians on the right and the Phrygians on the left hand, tends to the northward, and divides the Syrians of Cappadocia from the Paphlagonians; the former inhabiting on the right, and the latter on the left of that stream. In this manner, the river Halys divides almost all the lower Asia, from the Cyprian to the Euxin sea, which is in length as much as a strong man can travel over in five days.
  • A river call’d Euphrates, separates Cilicia from Armenia ; and is not passable except in boats. Armenia contains fifteen of these inns, with one fort, and fifty six parasanges and a half in the way over. Four rivers run thro this country; and men are necessitated to pass all these in boats. The first is the Tigris. The second and third have the same name, tho’ they are different rivers, flowing from different sources. For the first of these rises in Armenia, and the latter in Matiene. The fourth is call’d the Gyndes, which was formerly cut by Cyrus into three hundred and sixty channels. [Herodotus explicitly indicated here and in the previous excerpt that Armenia was located in Asia Minor, neighboring with the territories of modern Iran, Iraq and Turkey, unlike current location of Armenia in the southern Caucasus, bordering with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and IranArmenia is shown both on the map and stated in the text by Herodotus as one entity – no Greater or Smaller Armenia.- noted by Ed.]

Persian Empire

The Map of Persian Empire by Herodotus, BC 440. ( Click on it to see a larger image)


  •  The Gephyræans, from whom those who kill’d Hipparchus were descended, derive their original from the Eretrians, as they themselves say. But I am more certainly inform’d, that they are the posterity of those Phœnicians, who arriving in Bœotia with Cadmus, were appointed by Lot to inhabit the district of TanagraThe Cadmeans were first expell’d by the Argians; and these Gephyræans being afterwards ejected by the Bœotians, betook themselves to the Athenians; who admitted them into the number of their citizens, under certain conditions and limitations, which are not necessary to be mention’d. These Phœnicians who came with Cadmus and the Gephyræans, their descendants, inhabiting this region, introduced many kinds of discipline into Greece, and particularly letters, which, as I conceive, were not known among the Grecians before that time. The first letters they used were entirely Phœnician; but in succeeding ages they were gradually alter’d both in sound and figure; and the lonians who inhabited the greatest part of the country round about, having learnt these letters from the Phœnicians, made use of them with some small alteration, and gave out that they ought to go under the name of Phœnician letters; as reason requir’d, because they had been introdue’d by the Phœnicians. Besides, the Ionians, from ancient time, have given the name of paper to the skins of goats and sheep, which they then us’d instead of paper, as many of the barbarians do to this day. [ These books made from skin were called Bybloi in Greek, from which the word Bible is derived. – noted by Ed.]
  • But Darius, after the Phœnicians had put Metiochus, the son of Miltiades into his hands, was so far from doing him any hurt, that on the contrary he conferr’d great benefits upon him. For he presented him with a house and lands, and gave him a Persian wife, by whom he had children of honorable esteem among the Persians. [In David Greene’s translation, Herodotus says “For he gave the boy a house and possessions and a Persian wife, by whom he had children, and they were reckoned as Persians“.  Herodotus has a tendency to use the name of the nation in two meanings: as a political unity that covers people of several nations under one name, such as Persians here as ‘citizens of Persia‘ , and in the other meaning –  people sharing a common racial origin. – noted by Ed.]
  • There is, somehow, some warning given in advance when great evils are about to fall on either city-state or nation. [Another example of distinguishing the nation politically and ethnically by Herodotus.- noted by Ed.]
  • And certainly the names of these three [ Persian – noted by Ed.] kings are rightly explain’d by the Grecians: for in our language Darius signifies ‘a violent master’, Xerxes – ‘a martial man’, and Artaxerxes –  ‘a mighty warrior’. [ The translation by David Greene : ” In Greek, the name Darius means the Doer, Xerxes means the Warrior, and Artaxerxes means the Great Warrior. noted by Ed.]
  • And tho’ Darius had express’d great Indignation against the Eretrians before the reduction of that place, and charg’d them with the guilt of beginning the war; yet finding they were now his prisoners, and entirely in his power, he did them no other hurt, than to send them to inhabit a station belonging to himself in the region of Cissia , and going by the name of Anderica,.. In this country Darius plac’d the Eretrians, who still continue to inhabit the same region, and have preserved their ancient language to our time.
  • In the first place, the Persians wearing a tiara on the head, so thick as to be accounted impenetrable; and on the body a coat of mail, wrought with iron to the likeness of the scales of a fish and adorned with sleeves of various colors. Their thighs were not undefended, and instead of a shield, they carried a target of cane strongly compacted  which served also to cover their quiver. Their javelins were short, their bows long, their arrows were made of cane, and their swords hung down from a belt on the right side. They were commanded by Otanes, the father of Amestrls, the wife of Xerxes.
  • In ancient times, the Persians were by the Grecians called Cephenes [Κηφῆνες – noted by Ed.], and by themselves and nearest neighbours, Artæans. [Ἀρταῖοι – noted by Ed.] But Perseus Περσεὺς – noted by Ed. ], the son of Jupiter and Danae, coming to Cepheus, the son of Belus, married his daughter Andromeda, and by her had a son, whom he named Perseus [Πέρσην – noted by Ed.], and afterwards left with Cepheus, because he had no male child. And from him they took the name of Persians.
  • The Cissians appearing in every thing like the Persians, except only that they wore mitres on their heads, were led by Anephes, the son of Otanes.
  • The Assyrians had helmets of brass to cover their heads, contriv’d in so strange a fashion, as is not easy to be described. Every one had a buckler, a javelin, and a short sword after the manner of the Ægyptians with a pectoral made of flax and a truncheon of wood, pointed with iron. By the Grecians they are call’d Syrians and by the barbarians – Assyrians. Among these the Chaldæans were accounted, and Otaspes, the son of Artachaus was their leader.
  • The Bactrians had turbans on their heads, not unlike those of the Medes and carried bows, made of cane after the manner of their country, with a kind of javelin very short.
  • The Indians cover’d with a casaque of wood, and carrying a bow and arrows of cane, pointed with iron, were commanded by Pharnazathres, the son of Artabates.
  • The Arabians wore a girdle over a surcoat call’d ‘zeira’ and in the right hand carried a crooked bow of great length.
  • The Æthiopians were cover’d with the skins of lions and leopards, and arm’d with bows full four cubits long, made of the branches of the palm tree, with arrows of cane proportionable, and pointed, instead of iron, with a sharp stone, of that sort they use for seals. They had also javelins, pointed with goats horns, sharpen’d like the end of a lance, and truncheons armed with iron. When they are about to engage in battle, they paint one half of their bodies with white plaster, and the other half with vermilion. The Arabians, and those Æthiopians, who inhabit above Ægypt, were commanded by Arsames, the son of Darius by Artystona, the daughter of Cyrus, whose image Darius caused to be made of solid gold, because he lov’d her more than all his other wives.
  • But the Æthiopians, who inhabit more easterly (for Xerxes had of both sorts in his army) march’d with the Indians, noway unlike the others, except only in the sound of their voice and in their hair. For the Oriental Æthiopians have long streight hair. But the hair of the Lybian Æthiopians is more curl’d than that of any other people. The arms and habit of the Asiatic Æthiopians were almost the same with those of the Indians. But instead of a helmet, they wore the skin of a horse’s head, stripe off with the ears and mane and contrived in such a manner, that the mane might serve for a crest , while the ears appear’d erected on the head of the man. They were also defended by a buckler, which they cover’d with the skins of cranes.
  • The Libyans had coats made of leather, carried a pointed lance hardened at one end by the fire, and were under the conduct of Masanges, the son of Aorizus.
  • The Paphlagonians wore helmets, compos’d of divers pieces, quilted together; they had a buckler and javelins of a moderate size, with darts and a short Sword. On their feet, they wore shoes after the manner of their country, reaching up to the middle of the leg.
  • The Ligyans, the Matienians and the Mariandynians with those Syrians, who by the Persians are called Cappadocians, were armed and clothed as the Paphlagonians.
  • The Phrygians [ Φρύγες – noted by Ed.] carried arms little differing from those of the Paphlagonians. This people, if we may believe the Macedonians, went under the name of Brygians [ Βρίγες – noted by Ed.], during all the time they inhabited in Europe within the territories of Macedonia ; but upon their arrival in Asia, chang’d their name with their country, and have ever since been call’d Phrygians. The Armenians [Ἀρμένιοι – noted by Ed.], being a colony of the Phrygians, appear’d in the same accoutrements; and both these nations were commanded by Artochmes, who had married a daughter of Darius.
  • The Thracians  [Θρήικες – noted by Ed.] cover’d their heads with a cap made of the skins of foxes, and their bodies with a vest, and surcoat of various colors. They had buskins tied with thongs above the ankle and a small buckler made in the form of a half-moon, with javelins and a short dagger. They have gone under the name of Bithynians ever since they arriv’d in Asia ; and if we may believe their own report, were formerly call’d Strymonians, from the River Strymon where they inhabited, and from whence they were expell’d by the Mysians and by the Teucrians. Those Thracians, who in Asia retain’d their original name, were commanded by Bargafaces, the son of Artabanus. They carried a small buckler, composed of untanned hides, with two Lycian javelins, and a helmet of brass, having the ears and horns of an ox of the same metal. They wore a crest at the top of their helmet, and their legs were cover’d with Phœnician cloth. They have an oracle of Mars in their country.
  • The Meonian Cabelians, who are also call’d Lasinians, had the same arms and clothing with the Cilicians
  • The Mylians carried short lances, and were cloth’d in a garment buckled together. Some of them had Lycian bows, and a cap, composed of skins. All these were commanded by Badres, the son of Hystanes.
  • The Moschians had a helmet of wood with a little buckler and javelins of a like proportion, but deeply pointed.
  • The Tiberenians, Macronians and Mosynoecians were arm’d as the Moschians, who with the Tiberenians march’d under the conduct of Ariomardus, the son of Darius by Parmys, the daughter of Smerdis, the son of Cyrus. But the Macronians and Mosynœcians were led by Artaictes , the son of Cherasmis and governor of Sestus on the Hellespont.
  •  The Marians wore a cap strongly quilted, after the manner of their country, and carried javelins with a little shield cover’d with skins.
  • The Colchians had a helmet of wood, with a buckler made of untanned hides, a short lance and a cutting sword.
  • The people that inhabit the islands of the Red Sea, to which the king usually sends the persons he resolves to banish, were cloth’d and arm’d like the Medes, and led by Mardontes, the son of Bagæus, who was kill’d two years after at the battle of Mycale. [ A different translation of this passage is given by David Greene: “The island nations that came from the Red Sea, and the people of the islands where the Great King settles those called Exiles [ βασιλεύς – noted by ed.], wore clothes and carried arms most like those of the Medes. The commander of these islanders was Mardontes, son of Bagaeus, who died in battle at Mycale the year after this, when he was a general on the Persian side”. – noted by Ed.]
  • The Sagartians who are breeders of cattle, of Persian extraction and language ; but arm’d and cloth’d in a manner participating both of the Persian and Pactyan fashion, furnish’d eight thousand horsemen to this expedition. They had no weapon either of iron or brass, except a short sword; carrying only a kind of net made of cord, instead of all other arms and exposing their persons in war, without any other defence. When they approach the enemy, they throw their net, and having taken either a man or a horse, they easily dispatch whatever is so intangled. In this manner they behave themselves in fight; and being accounted Persians, were drawn up in the same body.
  • The Phœnicians and Syrians who inhabit Palestine, furnished three hundred ships, with men arm’d in this manner. On their heads they wore helmets, nearly resembling those of the Grecians and on their breast a pectoral of quilted flax. They carried javelins and a round shield, without any boss on the center. These Phoenicians, as they say of themselves, were anciently seated on the Red Sea; and afterwards leaving their habitations, went and settled in the maritime parts of Syria  which, with all the country extending down to Ægypt, go under the name of Palestine.
  • The Egyptians sent two hundred ships for their part. Their men had a cap strongly quilted, a convex buckler with a great boss; javelins proper for for a sea fight, and bills of the largest size. The more ordinary sort wore a corset, and were arm’d with a great cutting sword.
  • The Cyprians brought a hundred and fifty ships, and appear’d in this manner. Their kings wore mitres on their heads, and the rest were cloth’d in vests and arm’d like the Grecians. The people of Cyprus, if we may believe their own report, are descended of divers nations – some deriving themselves from Salamis and the Athenians; and others from Arcadia, from Cythnus, from Phœnicia ; and some from the Æthiopians.
  • The Cilicians furnish’d a hundred ships. They wore a cap made after the manner of their country and instead ot a shield, had a buckler of the smallest size, cover’d with untanned hides. They were clothed in a woolen vest, and every one earned two javelins, with a sword not unlike that of the Ægyptians. The Cilicians were antiently called Hypachæans, and took the name they now have, from Cilix, the son of Agenor, a Phœnician.
  • The Pamphylians, who are descended from those that returned from Troy with Amphilochus and Calchas, furnished thirty ships, and were armed after the manner of Grecians.
  • The Lycians appear’d in fifty ships. Their shoulders were covered with the skins or goats, their legs with boots and upon their heads they wore a cap adorn’d with a crest of feathers. They were arm’d with a corslet and carried a bow of cornil, with arrows of cane ‘, they had also a falchion, with darts and a short sword. They derive their original from Crete, and were formerly called Termilians. But receiv’d the name of Lycians from Lycus, the son of Pandion, an Athenian.
  • But above all I admire Artemisia, who being left a widow, and having taken upon her the administration of her son’s kingdom during his minority, expos’d her person in this expedition against Greece  not constraint by any necessity, but only to show her generosity and valour. She was the daughter of Lygdamis, and derived her original by the father’s side from Halicarnassus, and from Crete by the mother. The Halicarnassians, the Coans, the Nisyrians, and the Calydnians were under her dominion; and she join’d the fleet of Xerxes with five ships of war, better than any of the rest, except those of the Sidonians. In a word, her foresight was so great, that of all the confederates she gave the most prudent counsel to the king. As for the People, which, as I said before, were under her government, they are originally Dorians. For the Halicarnassians are a Epidaurians.
  • In his march from Doriscus, he pass’d by the Samothracian cities; the last and most westwardly of which, is call’d Mesambria, situated at a small distance from Stryma, a city of the Thasians. Between these two places runs the river Lissus ; which not having water enough for Xerxes and his army, was entirely exhausted. This country was anciently known by the name of Galatea, and is now call’d Briantica ; but of right belongs to the Ciconians.
  • Thus leaving the Grecian cities of that coast on the left hand, he [Xerxes – noted by Ed.] march’d through the countries of Thrace that belong to the Pætians, the Ciconians, the Bistonians, the Sapæans, the Dersæans, the Hedonians, and to the Satrians. As many of these as are situate near the sea, attended him with their ships; and those who inhabited the inland parts, were all oblig’d to follow the army by land, except the Satrians. This people, if we are rightly inform’d, never had a master ; and among all the Thracians, have singly continued free to this day. They inhabit a mountainous country, cover’d with woods and snow. They are valiant in war, and have an oracle of Bacchus in the highest part of their hills…. Having pass’d these countries, he advanc’d to Niphagra and Pergamus, cities of the Pierians, leaving Pangaus on the right hand, which is a great and high mountain, abounding in mines of gold and silver, possessed by the Pierians Odomantians; and especially by the Satrians. Then pasting thro’ the territories of the Pæonians, the Doberes, and the Pæoplians, who inhabit to the north, beyond mount Pangœus, he bent his march westward, till he arriv’d at Eion on the river Strymon …
  • The country that lies about the mountain Pangœus is called Phillis; on the west side, extending to the river Angites, which falls into Strymon; and on the south, to the Strymon itself.
  • But being inform’d that this place was call’d by the name of the Nine Ways, they [ Persians – noted by Ed.] took nine of the sons and daughters of the inhabitants, and buried them alive, as the manner of the Persians is. And I have heard that Amestris, the wife of Xerxes, having attained to a considerable age, caused fourteen children of the best families in Persia to be interred alive, for a sacrifice of thanks to that god, who, they say, is beneath the earth.
  • The army having left the river Strymon, pass’d by a Grecian City call’d Argilus, which is situated to the westward, on the sea coast, and, with the country that lies above it, goes under the name of Bisaltia. Then leaving the bay, where the temple of Neptune is built, on the left hand, they march’d through the plain of Syleus, and passing by Stagyrus, a Grecian city, arrived at Acanthus,  accompanied by the forces of the Pangæans, and of all the other nations…
  • In the meantime the heralds, who had been sent to Greece, return’d to Xerxes – some with earth and water, and others without. The nations that presented those elements, in compliance with his demands, were, the Thessalians, the Dolopians, the Enieniarts, the Peraebians, the Locrians, the Magnetians, the Melians, the Achaians, the Pthiotians, and the Thebans, with all the rest of the Bœotians, except the Thespians and the Platæans.
  • Xerxes sent no heralds either to Athens or Sparta to demand earth and water because they had formerly so ill receiv’d those who had been employ’d thither on the same message by Darius ; having thrown some into wells and others into deep pits, bidding them carry earth and water to the king from those places.
  • … before Xerxes began to advance with his army against the Grecians, he sent a herald to Argos with a message conceived in these terms: “Men of Argos, we are well inform’d, that Perses, one of our progenitors, “was son to Perseus, the son of Danaœ, by Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus ; and therefore as we derive our original from you, “we ought not to lead an army against the the country of our fathers, nor should you appear in arms against us, to gratify other men; “but rather choosing to enjoy the benefit of peace, continue quiet in your own habitations,  which if you do, and I succeed according to my expectation, no people shall have a greater part in my esteem, than you.” The Argians not a little pleased with this message, kept the thing private…
  • Gelon, under color of defending the rights of Euclides and Oleander, the sons of Hippocrates, against their subjects, who would no longer obey, defeated the Geleans; and having excluded the young men, possessed himself of the tyranny. After this success, undertaking to restore some Syracusians, who were call’d Gamorians, and had been expell’d by the populace and by their own servants, call’d Cyllirians; he conducted them from Casmene to Syracuse, where the populace, upon his arrival, put him into possession of that city. … He besieg’d the Megareans, who had settled in Sicily, and having obliged them to surrender their city, he contented himself to remove the most wealthy of the inhabitants to Syracuse, and conferred the same privileges on them also…
  • …in all the wars made by Hippocrates against the Callipolitans, the Naxians, the Zanclæans, the Leontins, and the Syracusians, besides divers barbarian nations, Gelon signaliz’d himself by the glory of his actions; and was so successful, that all those people, except the Syracusians, fell into the power of Hippocrates.
  • Sicania, which is now called Sicily
  • …all the people of Crete, except the Polichnitans and the Ptæsians, undertook an expedition to Sicania with a numerous fleet, and during five years, besieg’d the city of Camkus, which is now in the possession of the Acragantins… finding themselves unable to take the place, or to continue the siege, because their numbers were much diminished by famine, they reimbarked their men, and passing the coast of Japygia, were forced ashore by a violent storm, that seeing their ships dashed in pieces, and all hope of returning to Crete cut off, they settled in that place; and having built the city of Hyria, took the name of Messapian Japygians; and of islanders, became inhabitants of the continent.
  • The Thracians, Pæonians, Eordians, Bottiæans, Chalcidians, Brygians, Pierians, Macedonians, Peræbians, Enians,Dolopians, Magnesians, and Achaians, together with those who inhabit the maritime parts of Thrace, sent such a number of land forces, as, in my opinion, were not less than three hundred thousand.
  • The Lacedemonians furnished eleven ships, the Corinthians the same number they had at Artemisium, the Sicyonians fifteen, the Epidaurians ten, the Troezenians five, and the Hermionians three. All these, except the last, were of Dorian or Macedonian original, anciently transplanted from Erineus, Pindus, and Dryopis. The Hermionians indeed are of Dryopian extraction, but they were ejected by Hercules and the Melians out of that country which is now called Doris.  All the Athenians alone furnished one hundred and eighty ships; for the Platæans were not with them at the battle of Salamis, by this accident.
  •  The Megareans appeared with the same number of ships they had at Artemisium ; the Ambracians furnished seven, and the Leucadians, who are Dorians, of Corinthian extraction, three. [ By calling Leucadians Dorians of Corinthian extraction, Herodotus underlies the fact that this nation is Dorian by citizenry and Corinthian by ethnicity. – noted by Ed.]
  •  The Æginetes are Dorians, descended from Epidaurus, and their island was formerly known by the name of Oenone.
  • Next to these, the Chalcideans appear’d with twenty sail, being the same they had at Artemisium ; and the Eretrians with seven: both these nations are Ionians.
  • The Chians, who are likewise Ionians, and descended from the Athenians, came with the same number they had before.
  • The Naxians brought in four ships, though they had been sent by their principals to join the Medes with the rest of the islanders; but flighting their orders, they chose to side with the Grecians, chiefly by the persuasion of Democritus, an eminent citizen of Naxus, and their commander in chief. The Naxians also are Ionians, and derive their blood from the Athenians.
  • The Styreans came in with the same ships they had at Artemisium, and the Cynthians with one ship of war, and a galley of fifty oars. Both these people are Dryopians.
  • The Seriphians, the Siphnians, and the Melians took part with the Grecians likewise, having already distinguished themselves from all the rest of the islanders, by refusing earth and water to the barbarian. All these nations are situated between the river Acheron and the Thesprotians, who inhabiting beyond Ambracia and Leucadia, came to this expedition from a greater distance than the rest.
  • But of all the people that inhabit the countries above the Thesprotians, the Crotonians, originally of Achaia, came singly to succour Greece in this time of danger, and brought in one ship of war, commanded by Phyallus, who had thrice been victorious in the Pythian exercises.
  • The Melians, who are descended from the Lacedemonians, furnished two; and the Siphnians, with the Seriphians, both Ionians, of Athenian original, two more. So that the whole number of these ships, without accounting the gallies, amounted to three hundred and seventy eight.
  • Peloponnesus is inhabited by seven nations, two of which are the Arcadians and the Cynurians, who being originally of that country, have always dwelt in the same places they now possess. After these, the Achaians, who, thoough they never abandoned Peloponnesus, yet left their ancient seat, and settled themselves in another. The remaining four are strangers, and consist of Dorians, Ætolians,Dryopians, and Lemnians. The cities of the Dorians are many and of great fame. The Ætolians have only Elis. The Dryopians, Hermione and Asina, situated near Cardamysa, a city of Laconia ; and the Lemnians are masters of all the places that lie at the foot of the mountains. Among these, the Cynurians alone appear to have been Ionians; but were accounted Dorians after they fell under the power of the Argians, as were also the Orneates and their neighbours.
  • The Pedaseans inhabit above Halicarnassus ; and ’tis said, that when any calamity is, within a certain time, to fall upon themselves, and all those who live about their city, a great beard shoots from the chin of Minerva’s priestess; which prodigy has been seen twice in that place.
  • After this, Mardonius being informed by a second message, that the Grecian forces were assembled at the Isthmus, returned back by the way of Decelia, having for his guides certain persons sent to him by the Bœotians from the country adjoining to the river Asopus. They conducted him first to Sphendale, then to Tanagra, where he passed the night, and the next day to Colon, a place belonging to the Thebans.
  • His camp extended from Erythrœa to the country of the Platæans, by the way of Hysia, stretching along the river Asopus
  • Next to themselves the Lacedemonians placed the Tegeans, consisting of fifteen hundred men, partly to do them honour, and partly in consideration of their valour. After these, five thousand Corinthians ; who by the permission of Pausanias, had three hundred Potidæans of Pallene, join’d with them. Next in order stood six hundred Arcadians, of Orchomenus, three thousand Trœzenians, and two hundred men from Leprion. After these, four hundred Mycenians and Tyrinthians; one thousand Phliasians, three hundred Hermionians, six hundred Eretrians and Styrians, four hundred Chalcideans, five hundred Ambracians, eight hundred Leucadians and Anactorians, two hundred Paleans of Cephalonia, five hundred from Ægina, three thousand Megareans, six hundred Platæans; and last of all, but in a post of principal honour, eight thousand Athenians took their station at the head of the left, conducted by Aristides, the son of Lysimachus.
  • Next to the Persians he placed the Medes, fronting the Corinthians, the Potidæans, the Orchomenians, and the Sicyonians. After these, he posted the Bactrians, opposite to the Epidaurians, Trœzenians, Lepreates, Tyrinthians, Mycenians, and Phliasians. The Indians had the next station to the Bactrians, over against the Hermionians, Eretrians, Styrians, and Chalcideans. Contiguous to the Indians, Mardonius placed the Saces, facing towards the Ambracians, Anactorians, Leucadians, Paleans, and Æginetes. But after the Saces, and opposite to the Athenians, Platæans, and Megareans, he rang’d the Bœotians, the Locrians, the Melians, the Thessalians, and the thousand Phoceans I mention’d before ; for only some of the Phoceans were in the party of the Medes… The Macedonians, with the forces of the countries adjoining to Thessaly, were added to those who faced the front of the Athenians. And these are the names of all the most considerable and illustrious nations, which Mardonius drew up, in order of battle. Yet they were mixed with men of other countries, Phrygians, Thracians, Mysians, Pæonians, Ethiopians, and others. They had also among them some Hermotybians and Calasirians of Ægypt, distinguished by the sword they wore, and singly fit for war of all the Ægyptians.


Hudud al-Alam – The Regions of the World. 

( A Persian Geography 372 A.H. – 982 A.D.)

Compiled in year of 982 and translated by V. Minorsky. 1937. London.

  • In the province of Jazira there are separate mountains. The one, called Judi, is the mountain on which Noah’s ark came aground. the other, called the Mountain of Mardin, is situated near Nisibin.