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[15] This trench extended up through the plain for a distance of twelve parasangs, reaching to the wall of Media,1 [Here also are the canals, which flow from the Tigris river; they are four in number, each a plethrum wide and exceedingly deep, and grain-carrying ships ply in them; they empty into the Euphrates and are a parsang apart, and there are bridges over them.] and alongside the Euphrates there was a narrow passage, not more than about twenty feet in width, between the river and the trench;

1 Described by Xenophon in Xen. Anab. 2.4.12. It extended from the Euphrates north east to the Tigris, and was built by the Babylonians, apparently in the sixth century B.C., as a defence against the Medes. It is supposed that the southern part of the wall was now in ruins. Such a supposition serves to explain (1) the need of the King's trench, and (2) the fact that Xenophon does not describe the wall here, but only in Xen. Anab. 2.4.12.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 1.185
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BABYLO´NIA
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