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97. The empire of the Odrysae measured by the coast-line reaches from the city of Abdera to the1 mouth of the Ister in the Euxine. The voyage round can be made by a merchant vessel, if the wind is favourable the whole way, at the quickest in four days and as many nights. Or an expeditious traveller going by land from Abdera to the mouth of the Ister, if he takes the shortest route, will accomplish the journey in eleven days. [2] Such was the extent of the Odrysian empire towards the sea: up the country the land journey from Byzantium to the Laeaeans and to the Strymon, this being the longest line which can be drawn from the sea into the interior, may be accomplished by an expeditious traveller in thirteen days. [3] The tribute which was collected from the Hellenic cities and from all the barbarous nations in the reign of Seuthes, the successor of Sitalces, under whom the amount was greatest, was valued at about four hundred talents of coined money2, reckoning only gold and silver. Presents of gold and silver equal in value to the tribute, besides stuffs embroidered or plain and other articles, were also brought, not only to the king himself, but to the inferior chiefs and nobles of the Odrysae. [4] For their custom was the opposite of that which prevailed in the Persian kingdom; they were more ready to receive than to give; and he who asked and was refused was not so much discredited as he who refused when he was asked. The same custom prevailed among the other Thracians in a less degree, but among the Odrysae, who were richer, more extensively; nothing could be done without presents. [5] By these means the kingdom became very powerful, and in revenue and general prosperity exceeded all the nations of Europe which lie between the Ionian Sea and the Euxine; in the size and strength of their army being second only, though far inferior, to the Scythians. [6] For if the Scythians were united, there is no nation which could compare with them, or would be capable of resisting them3; I do not say in Europe, but even in Asia—not that they are at all on a level with other nations in sense, or in that intelligence which uses to advantage the ordinary means of life.

1 Extent and wealth of the Odrysian empire.

2 £800,00.

3 Cp. Herod. 4.46.

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