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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 205

34. These I know do as I have said; and for those maidens from the Hyperboreans, who died in Delos, both the girls and the boys of the Delians cut off their hair: the former before marriage cut off a lock and having wound it round a spindle lay it upon the tomb (now the tomb is on the left hand as one goes into the temple of Artemis, and over it grows an olive-tree), and all the boys of the Delians wind some of their hair about a green shoot of some tree, and they also place it upon the tomb.

35. The maidens, I say, have this honour paid them by the dwellers in Delos: and the same people say that Arge and Opis also, being maidens, came to Delos, passing from the Hyperboreans by the same nations which have been mentioned, even before Hyperoche and Laodike. These last, they say, came bearing for Eileithuia the tribute which they had laid upon themselves for the speedy birth, 37 but Arge and Opis came with the divinities themselves, and other honours have been assigned to them by the people of Delos: for the women, they say, collect for them, naming them by their names in the hymn which Olen a man of Lykia composed in their honour; and both the natives of the other islands and the Ionians have learnt from them to sing hymns naming Opis and Arge and collecting:—now this Olen came from Lukia and composed also the other ancient hymns which are sung in Delos:—and moreover they say that when the thighs of the victim are consumed upon the altar, the ashes of them are used to cast upon the grave of Opis and Arge. Now their grave is behind the temple of Artemis, turned towards the East, close to the banqueting hall of the Keïeans.

36. Let this suffice which has been said of the Hyperboreans; for the tale of Abaris, who is reported to have been a Hyperborean, I do not tell, namely 3701 how he carried the arrow about all over the earth, eating no food. If however there are any Hyperboreans, it follows that there are also Hypernotians; and I laugh when I see that, though many before this have drawn maps of the Earth, yet no one has set the matter forth in an intelligent way; seeing that they draw Ocean flowing round the Earth, which is circular exactly as if drawn with compasses, and they make Asia equal in size to Europe. In a few words I shall declare the size of each division and of what nature it is as regards outline.

37. The Persians inhabit Asia 38 extending to the Southern Sea, which is called the Erythraian; and above these towards the North Wind dwell the Medes, and above the Medes the Saspeirians, and above the Saspeirians the Colchians, extending to the Northern Sea, into which the river Phasis runs. These four nations inhabit from sea to sea.

38. From them Westwards two peninsulas 39 stretch out from Asia into the sea, and these I will describe. The first peninsula on the one of its sides, that is the Northern, stretches along beginning from the Phasis and extending to the sea, going along the Pontus and the Hellespont as far as Sigeion in the land of Troy; and on the Southern side the same peninsula stretches from the Myriandrian gulf, which lies near Phenicia, in the direction of the sea as far as the headland Triopion; and in this peninsula dwell thirty races of men.


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