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Now as far as the land of these bald men, we have full knowledge of the country and the nations on the near side of them; for some of the Scythians make their way to them, from whom it is easy to get knowledge, and from some of the Greeks, too, from the Borysthenes port and the other ports of Pontus; such Scythians as visit them transact their business with seven interpreters and in seven languages.
The land where the Persians live extends to the southern sea which is called Red; beyond these to the north are the Medes, and beyond the Medes the Saspires, and beyond the Saspires the Colchians, whose country extends to the northern seaHere, the Black Sea; in Hdt. 4.42, the “northern sea” is the Mediterranean. into which the Phasis river flows; so these four nations live between the one sea and the othe
But west of this region two peninsulas stretch out from it into the sea, which I will now describe. On the north side one of the peninsulas begins at the Phasis and stretches seaward along the Pontus and the Hellespont, as far as Sigeum in the Troad; on the south side, the same peninsula has a seacoast beginning at the Myriandric gulf that is near Phoenicia, and stretching seaward as far as the Triopian headland. On this peninsula live thirty nations.
Nowhere are men so ignorant as in the lands by the Euxine Pontus (excluding the Scythian nation) into which Darius led his army. For we cannot show that any nation within the region of the Pontus has any cleverness, nor do we know of (overlooking the Scythian nation and Anacharsis) any notable man born there. But the Scythian racPontus (excluding the Scythian nation) into which Darius led his army. For we cannot show that any nation within the region of the Pontus has any cleverness, nor do we know of (overlooking the Scythian nation and Anacharsis) any notable man born there. But the Scythian race has made the cleverest discovery that we know in what is the most important of all human affairs; I do not praise the Scythians in all respects, but in this, the most important: that they have contrived that no one who attacks them can escape, and no one can catch them if they do not want to be found. For when men have no establPontus has any cleverness, nor do we know of (overlooking the Scythian nation and Anacharsis) any notable man born there. But the Scythian race has made the cleverest discovery that we know in what is the most important of all human affairs; I do not praise the Scythians in all respects, but in this, the most important: that they have contrived that no one who attacks them can escape, and no one can catch them if they do not want to be found. For when men have no established cities or forts, but are all nomads and mounted archers, not living by tilling the soil but by raising cattle and carrying their dwellings on wagons, how can they not be invincible and unapproachable?
But Darius, when he came to that place in his march from Susa where the Bosporus was bridged in the territory of Calchedon, went aboard ship and sailed to the Dark RocksRocks (the “Wandering” or “Clashing” Rocks of Greek legend) off the northern end of the Bosporus. (as they are called), which the Greeks say formerly moved; there, he sat on a headland and viewed the Pontus, a marvellous sight. For it is the most wonderful sea of all. Its length is eleven thousand one hundred stades, and its breadth three thousand three hundred stades at the place where it is widest.Herodotus is wrong. The Black Sea is 720 miles long (about 6280 stades), and, at the point of Herodotus' measurement, about 270 miles broad; its greatest breadth is 380 miles. His estimates for the Propontis and Hellespont are also in excess, though not by much; the Bosporus is a little longer than he says, but its breadth is correctly given. The channel at the entrance of this sea is four stades across; the narrow neck of
After having viewed the Pontus, Darius sailed back to the bridge, whose architect was Mandrocles of Samos; and when he had viewed the Bosporus also, he set up two pillars of white marble by it, engraving on the one in Assyrian and on the other in Greek characters the names of all the nations that were in his army: all the nations subject to him. The full census of these, over and above the fleet, was seven hundred thousand men, including horsemen, and the number of ships assembled was six hundred. These pillars were afterward carried by the Byzantines into their city and there used to build the altar of OrthosianA deity worshipped especially at Sparta; the meaning of the epithet is uncertain. Artemis, except for one column covered with Assyrian writing that was left beside the temple of Dionysus at Byzantium. Now if my reckoning is correct, the place where king Darius bridged the Bosporus was midway between Byzantium and the temple at the entrance of the sea.
Darius, after rewarding Mandrocles, crossed over to Europe; he had told the Ionians to sail into the Pontus as far as the Ister river, and when they got to the Ister, to wait there for him, bridging the river meanwhile; for the fleet was led by Ionians and Aeolians and men of the Hellespont. So the fleet passed between the Dark Rocks and sailed straight for the Ister and, after a two days' voyage up the river from the sea, set about bridging the narrow channel of the river where its various mouths separate. But Darius, passing over the Bosporus on the floating bridge of ships, journeyed through Thrace to the sources of the Tearus river, where he camped for three days.
The Tearus is said by those living on it to be the best river of all for purposes of healing, especially for healing mange in men and horses. Its springs are thirty-eight in number, some cold and some hot, all flowing from the same rock. There are two roads to the place, one from the town of Heraeum near Perinthus, one from Apollonia on the Euxine sea; each is a two days' journey. This Tearus is a tributary of the Contadesdus river, and that of the Agrianes, and that of the Hebrus, which empties into the sea near the city of Aenus.