This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 All the rest of the mountain tribes of the Pisidians whom I have spoken of are divided into states governed by tyrants, and follow like the Cilicians a predatory mode of life. It is said that anciently some of the Leleges, a wandering people, were intermixed with them, and from the similarity of their habits and manners settled there. Selge1 had the rank of a city from the first when founded by tle Lacedæmonians, but at a still earlier period by Calchas. Latterly it has maintained its condition and flourished in consequence of its excellent constitution and government, so that at one time it had a population of 20,000 persons. The place deserves admiration from the advantages which nature has bestowed upon it. Among the summits of Taurus is a very fertile tract capable of maintaining many thousand inhabitants. Many spots produce the olive and excellent vines, and afford abundant pasture for animals of all kinds. Above and all around are forests containing trees of various sorts. The styrax is found here in great abundance, a tree not large but straight in its growth. Javelins, similar to those of the cornel tree, are made of the wood of this tree. There is bred in the trunk of the styrax tree, a worm, which eats through the timber to the surface, and throws out raspings like bran, or saw-dust, a heap of which is collected at the root. Afterwards a liquid distils which readily concretes into a mass like gum. A part of this liquid descends upon and mixes with the raspings at the root of the tree, and with earth; a portion of it acquires consistence on the surface of the mass, and remains pure. That portion which flows along the surface of the trunk of the tree, and concretes, is also pure. A mixture is made of the impure part, which is a combination of wood-dust and earth; this has more odour than the pure styrax, but is inferior to it in its other properties. This is not commonly known. It is used for incense in large quantities by superstitious worshippers of the gods. The Selgic iris2 also, and the unguent which is made from it, are in great esteem. There are few approaches about the city, and the mountainous country of the Selgeis, which abounds with precipices and ravines, formed among other rivers by the Eurymedon3 and the Cestrus,4 which descend from the Selgic mountains, and discharge themselves into the Pamphylian Sea. There are bridges on the roads. From the strength and security of their position the Selgeis were never at any time, nor on any single occasion, subject to any other people, but enjoyed unmolested the produce of their country, with the exception of that part situated below them in Pamphylia, and that within the Taurus, for which they were carrying on a continual warfare with the kings. Their position with respect to the Romans was that they possessed this tract on certain conditions. They sent ambassadors to Alexander and offered to receive his commands in the character of friends, but at present they are altogether subject to the Romans, and are included in what was formerly the kingdom of Amyntas.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.