were found in the regions great numbers of beehives which yielded valuable honey. But as many
as partook of it succumbed to a strange affliction; for those who ate it lost consciousness,
and falling on the ground were like dead men.
consumed the honey because of the pleasure its sweetness afforded, such a number had soon
fallen to the ground as if they had suffered a rout in war. Now during that day the army was
disheartened, terrified as it was at both the strange happening and the great number of the
unfortunates; but on the next day at about the same hour all came to themselves, gradually
recovered their senses, and rose up from the ground, and their physical state was like that of
men recovered after a dose of a drug.
When they had refreshed themselves for three days, they marched on to the Greek city
which is a
colony of the Sinopians and lies in the territory of the Colchians. Here they spent thirty
days, during which they were most magnificently entertained by the inhabitants; and they
offered sacrifices to Heracles and to Zeus the Deliverer and held a gymnastic contest at the
place at which, men say, the Argo put in with Jason and his men.
From here they dispatched Cheirisophus their commander to Byzantium to get transports
and triremes, since he claimed to be a friend of Anaxibius, the admiral of the Byzantians. The
Greeks sent him off on a light boat, and then, receiving from the Trapezians two small boats
equipped with oars, they plundered the neighbouring barbarians both by land and by sea.
Now for thirty days they waited for the return of
Cheirisophus, and when he still delayed and provisions for the troops were running low, they
set out from Trapezus and arrived on the third day at the Greek city of Cerasus, a colony of
the Sinopians. Here they spent some days and then came to the people of the Mosynoecians.
When the barbarians assembled against them, the Greeks
defeated them in battle, slaying great numbers of them. And when they fled for refuge to a
stronghold where they had their dwelling and which they defended with wooden towers seven
stories high, the Greeks launched successive assaults upon it and took it by storm. This
stronghold was the capitol of all the other walled communities and in it, in the loftiest part,
their king had his dwelling.
A custom, handed down from their
fathers, is followed that the king must remain for his entire life in the stronghold and from
it issue his commands to the people. This was the most barbarous nation, the soldiers said,
that they passed through: the men have intercourse with the women in the sight of all; the
children of the wealthiest are nourished on boiled nuts; and they are all from their youth
tattooed in various colours on both their back and breast. This territory they passed through
in eight days and the next country, called Tibarene, in three.