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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 113

111, the Satrians however never yet became obedient to any man, so far as we know, but they remain up to my time still free, alone of all the Thracians; for they dwell in lofty mountains, which are covered with forest of all kinds and with snow, and also they are very skilful in war. These are they who possess the Oracle of Dionysos; which Oracle is on their most lofty mountains. Of the Satrians those who act as prophets 103 of the temple are the Bessians; it is a prophetess 104 who utters the oracles, as at Delphi; and beyond this there is nothing further of a remarkable character. 105

112. Xerxes having passed over the land which has been spoken of, next after this passed the strongholds of the Pierians, of which the name of the one is Phagres and of the other Pergamos. By this way, I say, he made his march, going close by the walls of these, and keeping Mount Pangaion on the right hand, which is both great and lofty and in which are mines both of gold and of silver possessed by the Pierians and Odomantians, and especially by the Satrians.

113. Thus passing by the Paionians, Doberians and Paioplians, who dwell beyond Pangaion towards the North Wind, he went on Westwards, until at last he came to the river Strymon and the city of Eïon, of which, so long as he lived, Boges was commander, the same about whom I was speaking a short time back. This country about Mount Pangaion is called Phyllis, and it extends Westwards to the river Angites, which flows into the Strymon, and Southwards it stretches to the Strymon itself; and at this river the Magians sacrificed for good omens, slaying white horses.

114. Having done this and many other things in addition to this, as charms for the river, at the Nine Ways 106 in the land of the Edonians, they proceeded by the bridges, for they had found the Strymon already yoked with bridges; and being informed that this place was called the Nine Ways, they buried alive in it that number of boys and maidens, children of the natives of the place. Now burying alive is a Persian custom; for I am informed that Amestris also, the wife of Xerxes, when she had grown old, made return for her own life to the god who is said to be beneath the earth by burying twice seven children of Persians who were men of renown.

115. As the army proceeded on its march from the Strymon, it found after this a sea-beach stretching towards the setting of the sun, and passed by the Hellenic city, Argilos, which was there placed. This region and that which lies above it is called Bisaltia. Thence, keeping on the left hand the gulf which lies of Posideion, he went through the plain which is called the plain of Syleus, passing by Stageiros a Hellenic city, and so came to Acanthos, taking with him as he went each one of these tribes and also of those who dwell about Mount Pangaion, just as he did those whom I enumerated before, having the men who dwelt along the sea coast to serve in the ships and those who dwelt inland to accompany him on foot. This road by which Xerxes the king marched his army, the Thracians do not disturb nor sow crops over, but pay very great reverence to it down to my own time.


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