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Armenia (search for this): book 1, chapter 194
Babylon (Iraq) (search for this): book 1, chapter 194
I am going to indicate what seems to me to be the most marvellous thing in the country, next to the city itself. Their boats which ply the river and go to Babylon are all of skins, and round. They make these in Armenia, higher up the stream than Assyria. First they cut frames of willow, then they stretch hides over these for a covering, making as it were a hold; they neither broaden the stern nor narrow the prow, but the boat is round, like a shield. They then fill it with reeds and send it fl
large; the largest of them are of as much as five thousand talentsThe Attic talent = about 58 lbs. avoirdupois; the Aeginetan = about 82. burden. There is a live ass in each boat, or more than one in the larger.
So when they have floated down to Babylon and disposed of their cargo, they sell the framework of the boat and all the reeds; the hides are set on the backs of asses, which are then driven back to Armenia,
for it is not by any means possible to go upstream by water, because of the swif