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Deioces had a son, Phraortes, who inherited the throne when Deioces died after a reign of fifty-three years.Deioces died in 656 B.C. Having inherited it, he was not content to rule the Medes alone: marching against the Persians, he attacked them first, and they were the first whom he made subject to the Medes. Then, with these two strong nations at his back, he subjugated one nation of Asia after another, until he marched against the Assyrians; that is, against those of the Assyrians who held Ninus. These had formerly been rulers of all; but now their allies had deserted them and they were left alone, though well-off themselves. Marching against these Assyrians, then, Phraortes and most of his army perished, after he had reigned twenty-two years.
The Scythians, then, ruled Asia for twenty-eight years: and the whole land was ruined because of their violence and their pride, for, besides exacting from each the tribute which was assessed, they rode about the land carrying off everyone's possessions. Most of them were entertained and made drunk and then slain by Cyaxares and the Medes: so thus the Medes took back their empire and all that they had formerly possessed; and they took Ninus (how, I will describe in a later part of my history), and brought all Assyria except the province of Babylon under their rule.
The second queen, whose name was Nitocris, was a wiser woman than the first. She left such monuments as I shall record; and moreover, seeing that the kingdom of Media was great and restless and Ninus itself among other cities had fallen to it, she took such precautions as she could for her protection. First she dealt with the river Euphrates, which flows through the middle of her city; this had been straight before; but by digging canals higher up she made the river so crooked that its course now passes one of the Assyrian villages three times; the village which is so approached by the Euphrates is called Ardericca. And now those who travel from our sea to Babylon must spend three days as they float down the Euphrates coming three times to the same village. Such was this work; and she built an embankment along either shore of the river, marvellous for its greatness and height. Then a long way above Babylon she dug the reservoir of a lake, a little way off from the river, always diggi