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After he had crossed the Araxes, he dreamed that night while sleeping in the country of the Massagetae that he saw the eldest of Hystapes' sons with wings on his shoulders, the one wing overshadowing Asia and the other Europe. Hystaspes son of Arsames was an Achaemenid, and Darius was the eldest of his sons, then about twenty years old; this Darius had been left behind in Persia, not yet being of an age to go on campaign. So when Cyrus awoke he considered his vision, and because it seemed to h
ereignty; and I will tell you how I know this for certain.
The gods care for me and show me beforehand all that is coming. Now then, I have seen in a dream in the past night your eldest son with wings on his shoulders, overshadowing Asia with the one and Europe with the other.
From this vision, there is no way that he is not plotting against me. Therefore hurry back to Persia, and see that when I come back after subjecting this country you bring your son before me to be questioned about this.”
If, then, our judgment of this is right, the Ionians are in error concerning Egypt; but if their opinion is right, then it is plain that they and the rest of the Greeks cannot reckon truly, when they divide the whole earth into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Libya; they must add to these a fourth part, the Delta of Egypt, if it belongs neither to Asia nor to Libya; for by their showing the Nile is not the river that separates Asia and Libya; the Nile divides at the apex of this Delta, so that this land must be between Asia and Libya.
He marched over the country doing this until he had crossed over from Asia to Europe and defeated the Scythians and Thracians. Thus far and no farther, I think, the Egyptian army went; for the pillars can be seen standing in their country, but in none beyond it. From there, he turned around and went back home; and when he came to the Phasis river, that King, Sesostris, may have detached some part of his army and left it there to live in the country (for I cannot speak with exact knowledge), or it may be that some of his soldiers grew weary of his wanderings, and stayed by the Phasis.
This was Darius' revenue from Asia and a few parts of Libya. But as time went on he drew tribute also from the islands and the dwellers in Europe, as far as Thessaly. The tribute is stored by the king in this fashion: he melts it down and pours it into earthen vessels; when the vessel is full he breaks the earthenware away, and when he needs money coins as much as serves his purpose.
These then are the most distant lands in Asia and Libya. But concerning those in Europe that are the farthest away towards evening, I cannot speak with assurance; for I do not believe that there is a river called by foreigners Eridanus issuing into the northern sea, where our amber is said to come from, nor do I have any knowledge of Tin Islands, where our tin is brought from. The very name Eridanus betrays itself as not a foreign but a Greek name, invented by some poet; nor for all my diligence; for I do not believe that there is a river called by foreigners Eridanus issuing into the northern sea, where our amber is said to come from, nor do I have any knowledge of Tin Islands, where our tin is brought from. The very name Eridanus betrays itself as not a foreign but a Greek name, invented by some poet; nor for all my diligence have I been able to learn from one who has seen it that there is a sea beyond Europe. All we know is that our tin and amber come from the most distant parts.