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ἐκ τούτων . . . τῶν δούλων. The idea of a slave-born class becoming dangerous is common in Greek history; cf. vi. 138 (at Lemnos) and Arist. Pol. v. 7. 2, 1306 b, the Partheniae at Sparta, who (Her. Pont., F. H. G. ii. 220, fr. 26; flor. circ. 390 B. C.) were born of Spartan women during the absence of the Spartans in the First Messenian War, presumably of Helot fathers, though Her. Pont. does not say so.
τάφρον. This trench extends from the Tauric Mountains to the P. Maeotis; as H. was quite ignorant of the shape of the Crimea (cf. 99 n.), he conceives it (20. 1) as running north and south, and as the eastern boundary of the ‘Royal Scyths’. Bähr quotes evidence of the remains of a trench in the east of the Crimea, from near Theodosia to the Sea of Azov (cf. also Klio, iv. 183). Some have seen in the story a confused account of the ‘Putrid Sea’, the western arm of the Sea of Azov. It may be noted that ‘the trench’ plays no part in the actual struggle between the Scyths and their slaves. This ‘trench’ must not be confused with the cutting across the Isthmus of Perekop, which still existed in the Middle Ages.
Οἷα ποιεῦμεν. The whole story is evidently a Greek fiction to illustrate the proper way of controlling slaves.
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