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δῆλα γὰρ δή. This passage naturally means ‘I should have seen this for myself, even if I had not been told’. The phrase δῶρον τ. π., however, is attributed by Arrian (Anab. v. 6—doubtfully) to Hecataeus; hence some see in it a proof that H. used the work of his predecessor as a guide-book; but cf. Introd. § 20.

The Greeks were quick to observe the action of rivers in forming deltas; cf. c. 10 and Thuc. ii. 102. H. is quite right that Egypt is alluvial deposit; this is true of the whole country up to the first cataract; but the process of silting up had taken far longer than he supposes (e.g. some place it at 74,000 years). The elevation of the ground is now very slow—only four inches in one hundred years.

ἐς τήν. The words mark off one part of Egypt, i.e. the Delta.

τὰ κατύπερθε . . . πλόου. This clause also refers to Αἴγυπτος, being roughly parallel to ἐς τὴν Ἕλληνες ν.; it marks off a second part of the country which is also ‘a gift of the river’. The construction is adverbial. Translate, ‘(this is true) with regard to the parts,’ &c.

τριῶν ἡμερέων: see 8. 3 n. for this limit.

ἔστι δὲ ἕτερον. This refers to the following sentence.


ἔτι καὶ ἡμέρης. H. calls a day's πλοῦς 540 (9. 1) or 700 stades (iv. 86); either of these figures is far too much here; a depth of eleven fathoms is reached some twelve or fifteen miles from the coast near Aboukir.

Both facts in § 2 are quoted to show the effect of the Nile on the coast, viz. the presence of alluvial mud and the small depth of water.

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    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.102
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