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III. HEBRUS.

HEBRUS is a river of Thrace, deriving its former name of Rhombus from the many gulfs and whirlpools in the water.

Cassander, king of that region, having married Crotonice, had by her a son whom he named Hebrus. But then being divorced from his first wife, he married Damasippe, the daughter of Atrax, and brought her home over his son's head; with whom the mother-in-law falling in love, invited him by letters to her embraces. But he, avoiding his mother-in-law as a Fury, gave himself over to the sport of hunting. On the other side the impious woman, missing her purpose, belied the chaste youth, and accused him of attempting to ravish her. Upon this Cassander, raging with jealousy, flew to the wood in a wild fury, and with his sword drawn pursued his son, as one that treacherously sought to defile his father's bed. Upon which the son, finding he could no way escape his father's wrath, threw himself into the river Rhombus, which was afterwards called Hebrus from the name of the young man;—as Timotheus testifies in his Eleventh Book of Rivers.

Near to this river lies the mountain Pangaeus, so called upon this occasion. Pangaeus, the son of Mars and Critobule, [p. 481] by a mistake lay with his own daughter; which perplexed him to that degree that he fled to the Carmanian mountain, where, overwhelmed with a sorrow that he could not master, he drew his sword and slew himself. Whence, by the providence of the Gods, the place was called Pangaeus.

In the river before mentioned, grows an herb not much unlike to origanumn; the tops of which the Thracians cropping off burn upon a fire, and after they are filled with the fruits of Ceres, they hold their heads over the smoke, and snuff it up into their nostrils, letting it go down their throats, till at last they fall into a profound sleep.

Also upon the mountain Pangaeus grows an herb, which is called the harp upon this occasion. The women that tore Orpheus in pieces cast his limbs into the river Hebrus; and his head being changed, the whole body was turned into the shape of a dragon. But as for his harp, such was the will of Apollo, it remained in the same form. And from the streaming blood grew up the herb which was called the harp; which, during the solemnity of the sacrifices to Bacchus, sends forth a sound like that of an harp when played upon. At which time the natives, being covered with the skins of young hinds and waving their thyrsuses in their hands, sing a hymn, of which these are part of the words,

When wisdom all in vain must be,
Then be not wise at all;—

as Clitonymus reports, in his Third Book of Thracian Relations.

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