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[5] It is said, indeed, that the Oxus itself also has a very soft water, which gives sleekness to the skin of those who bathe in it. However, that Alexander was marvellously pleased is clear from what he writes to Antipater, where he speaks of this as one of the greatest omens vouchsafed to him from Heaven. The seers, however, held that the omen foreshadowed an expedition which would be glorious, but difficult and toilsome; for oil, they said, was given to men by Heaven as an aid to toil.

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