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So much I can say of them from my own certain knowledge. But there are other matters concerning the dead which are secretly and obscurely told: how the dead bodies of Persians are not buried before they have been mangled by birds or dogs. That this is the way of the Magi, I know for certain; for they do not conceal the practice. But this is certain, that before the Persians bury the body in earth they embalm it in wax. These Magi are as unlike the priests of Egypt as they are unlike all other men: for the priests consider it sacrilege to kill anything that lives, except what they sacrifice; but the Magi kill with their own hands every creature, except dogs and men; they kill all alike, ants and snakes, creeping and flying things, and take great pride in it. Leaving this custom to be such as it has been from the first,Lit. “let matters stand concerning this custom as it was first instituted:” i.e., apparently, “let us be content with knowing that this custom is as it has been from it<