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Let us pass over the early history of the Getæ, and occupy ourselves with their actual condition. Bœrebistas, one of the Getæ, having taken the command of his tribe, reanimated the men who were disheartened by frequent wars, and raised them to such a degree of training, sobriety, and a habit of obedience to orders, that he established a powerful dominion within a few years, and brought most of the neighbouring states into subjection to the Getæ. He at length became formidable even to the Romans, fearlessly crossing the Danube, and laying waste Thrace as far as Macedonia and Illyria; he also subdued the Kelts who live among the Thracians and Illyrians, and thoroughly annihilated the Boii who were subject to Critasirus and the Taurisci. In order to maintain the obedience of his subjects, he availed himself of the assistance of Decseneus a sorcerer,1 who had travelled in Egypt, and who, by predictions he had learnt to draw from certain natural signs, was enabled to assume the character of an oracle, and was almost held in the veneration of a god, as we have related when noticing Zamolxis.2 As an instance of their implicit obedience, we may relate that they were persuaded to root up their vines and live without wine. However, Bœrebistas was murdered in a sedition before the Romans sent an army against him. Those who succeeded to his government divided it into several states. Lately, when Augustus Cæsar sent an army against them, they were divided into five states, at another time they were four, for such divisions are but temporary in duration, and variable in their extent.

1 ἄνδα γόητα, one who used a kind of howling incantation while repeating spells.

2 See book vii. chap. iii. § 5, page 456.

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