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It was then that a monstrous deed was done by the Thracian king of the Bisaltae and the Crestonian country. He had refused to be of his own free will Xerxes' slave, and fled to the mountains called Rhodope. He forbade his sons to go with the army to Hellas, but they took no account of that; they had always wanted to see the war, and they followed the Persians' march. For this reason, when all the six of them returned back scatheless, their father tore out their eyes.
Beginning with the Odrysians, he first called out the Thracian tribes subject to him between Mounts Haemus and Rhodope and the Euxine and Hellespont; next the Getae beyond Haemus, and the other hordes settled south of the Danube in the neighborhood of the Euxine, who, like the Getae, border on the Scythians and are armed in the same manner, being al
Bordering on the Triballi, also independent, were the Treres and
Tilataeans, who dwell to the north of Mount Scombrus and extend towards the
setting sun as far as the river Oskius.
This river rises in the same mountains as the Nestus and Hebrus, a wild and
extensive range connected with Rhodope.
Since it was now the time of festival, when all the Thracian matrons celebrate the rites of Bacchus—every third year thus— night then was in their secret; and at night the slopes of Rhodope resounded loud with clashing of shrill cymbals. So, at night the frantic queen of Tereus left her home and, clothed according to the well known rites of Bacchus, hurried to the wilderness. Her head was covered with the green vine leaves; and from her left side native deer skin hung; and on her shoulder rested a light spear.— so fashioned, the revengeful Procne rushed through the dark woods, attended by a host of screaming followers, and wild with rage, pretended it was Bacchus urged her forth. At last she reached the lonely building, where her sister, Philomela, was immured; and as she howled and shouted “Ee-woh-ee-e!”, She forced the massive doors; and having seized her sister, instantly concealed her face in ivy leaves, arrayed her in the trappings of Bacchanalian rites. When this was done, t
Not thus the tribes Of Scythia by the far Maeotic wave, Where turbid Ister whirls his yellow sands, And Rhodope stretched out beneath the pole Comes trending backward. There the herds they keep Close-pent in byres, nor any grass is seen Upon the plain, nor leaves upon the tree: But with snow-ridges and deep frost afar Heaped seven ells high the earth lies featureless: Still winter? still the north wind's icy breath! Nay, never sun disparts the shadows pale, Or as he rides the steep of heaven, or dips In ocean's fiery bath his plunging car. Quick ice-crusts curdle on the running stream, And iron-hooped wheels the water's back now bears, To broad wains opened, as erewhile to ships; Brass vessels oft asunder burst, and clothes Stiffen upon the wearers; juicy wines They cleave with axes; to one frozen mass Whole pools are turned; and on their untrimmed beards Stiff clings the jagged icicle. Meanwhile All heaven no less is filled with falling snow; The cattle perish: oxen's mighty frames S