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 Except the mountainous tract of the Chersonesus on the sea-coast, extending as far as Theodosia, all the rest consist of plains, the soil of which is rich, and remarkably fertile in corn. It yields thirty-fold, when turned up by the most ordinary implements of husbandry. The tribute paid to Mithridates by the inhabitants, including that from the neighbourhood of Sindace in Asia, amounted to 180,000 medimni of corn, and 200 talents of silver. The Greeks in former times imported from this country corn, and the cured fish of Palus Mæotis. Leucon is said to have sent to the Athenians 2,100,000 medimni of corn from Theodosia.1 The name of Georgi, or husbandmen, was appropriately given to these people, to distinguish them from the nations situated above them, who are nomades, and live upon the flesh of horses and other animals, on cheese of mares' milk, milk, and sour milk. The latter, prepared in a peculiar manner, is a delicacy.2 Hence the poet designates all the nations in that quarter as Galactophagi, milk-eaters. The nomades are more disposed to war than to robbery. The occasion of their contests was to enforce the payment of tribute. They permit those to have land who are willing to cultivate it. In return for the use of the land, they are satisfied with receiving a settled and moderate tribute, not such as will furnish superfluities, but the daily necessaries of life. If this tribute is not paid, the nomades declare war. Hence the poet calls these people both just, and miserable, (Abii,)3 for if the tribute is regularly paid, they do not have recourse to war. Payment is not made by those, who have confidence in their ability to repel attacks with ease, and to prevent the incursion of their enemies. This course was pursued, as Hypsicrates relates, by Ansander, who fortified on the isthmus of the Chersonesus, at the Palus Mæotis, a space of 360 stadia, and erected towers at the distance of every 10 stadia.4 The Georgi (husbandmen) are considered to be more civilized and mild in their manners than the other tribes in this quarter, but they are addicted to gain. They navigate the sea, and do not abstain from piracy, nor from similar acts of injustice and rapacity.
1 The amount is enormous, if it refers to the quantity of corn shipped in a single year. Neither manuscripts nor translations afford any various reading. The abbreviator, however, instead of 2,100,000, (μυριάδας μεδίμνων διακοσίας καί δέκα, gives 150,000 (μεδίμνους μυπιαδασιε.） But instead of correcting Strabo by his abbreviator, it is more probable that the text of the latter should be changed to 2,100,000, or even to 2,150,000 (μυπιαδας σιε.). Brequigny, by an oversight, or because he thought proper to change the μυπιαδας of the text to χιλιαδας, translates 210,000 medimni. However it may be, we know from Demosthenes, that this same prince of the Bosporus mentioned by Strabo, sent annually to Athens 400,000 medimni of corn, a quantity far below that mentioned in the text. To reconcile these authors, Mr. Wolf supposes that we ought to understand by 2,100,000 medimni of corn, the shipment made in the year of the great famine, which occurred in the 105th Olympiad, (about 360 B. C.,) and of which Demosthenes speaks in a manner to give us to understand, that the quantity sent that year by Leucon greatly exceeded that of former years. A very probable conjecture. F. T. The medimnus was about 1 1/2 bushel.
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