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Ephorus, in the fourth book of his history, the book entitled Europe (for he made the circuit1 of Europe as far as the Scythians), says towards the end that the modes of life both of the Sauromatae and of the other Scythians are unlike, for, whereas some are so cruel that they even eat human beings, others abstain from eating any living creature whatever. Now the other writers, he says, tell only about their savagery, because they know that the terrible and the marvellous are startling, but one should tell the opposite facts too and make them patterns of conduct, and he himself, therefore, will tell only about those who follow “most just” habits, for there are some of the Scythian Nomads who feed only on mare's milk,2 and excel all men in justice; and they are mentioned by the poets: by Homer, when he says that Zeus espies the land ““of the Galactophagi and Abii, men most just,”
3 and by Hesiod, in what is called his Circuit of the Earth,4 when he says that Phineus is carried by the Storm Winds ““to the land of the Galactophagi, who have their dwellings in wagons.”
5 Then Ephorus reasons out the cause as follows: since they are frugal in their ways of living and not money-getters, they not only are orderly towards one another, because they have all things in common, their wives, children, the whole of their kin and everything, but also remain invincible and unconquered by outsiders, because they have nothing to be enslaved for. And he cites Choerilus6 also, who, in his The Crossing of the Pontoon-Bridge which was constructed by Dareius,7 says, ““the sheep-tending Sacae, of Scythian stock; but they used to live in wheat-producing Asia; however, they were colonists from the Nomads, law-abiding people.”
8 And when he calls Anacharsis “wise,” Ephorus says that he belongs to this race, and that he was considered also one of Seven Wise Men because of his perfect self-control and good sense. And he goes on to tell the inventions of Anacharsis—the bellows, the two-fluked anchor and the potter's wheel. These things I tell knowing full well that Ephorus himself does not tell the whole truth about everything; and particularly in his account of Anacharsis (for how could the wheel be his invention, if Homer, who lived in earlier times, knew of it? “As when a potter his wheel that fits in his hands,”9 and so on); but as for those other things, I tell them because I wish to make my point clear that there actually was a common report, which was believed by the men of both early and of later times, that a part of the Nomads, I mean those who had settled the farthest away from the rest of mankind, were “galactophagi,” “abii,” and “most just,” and that they were not an invention of Homer.

1 In his description, not literally.

2 Cp. the similar statement in 7. 3. 7.

3 Hom. Il. 13.5

4 This poem seems to have comprised the third book of the Megalae Eoeae (now lost). See Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. “Hesiodus,” p. 1206.

5 Hes. Megalae Eoeae Fr. Book 3

6 Not, apparently, the tragic poet, contemporary of Aeschylus, but the epic poet of Samos (fl. towards the end of the fifth century B.C.), who wrote, among other poems, an epic poem (exact title uncertain) based on the Persian Wars. The Crossing of the Pontoon-Bridge was probably a sub-title of the epic. The same Choerilus is cited in 14. 5. 9.

7 In his campaign by Hdt. 4.83-93; See 7. 3. 15.

8 Choerilus Fr

9 Hom. Il. 18.600

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