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 The Massagetæ signalized their bravery in the war with Cyrus, of which many writers have published accounts; we must get our information from them. Such particulars as the following are narrated respecting this nation; some tribes inhabit mountains, some plains, others live among marshes formed by the rivers, others on the islands among the marshes. The Araxes is said to be the river which is the chief cause of inundating the country; it is divided into various branches and discharges itself by many mouths into the other sea1 towards the north, but by one only into the Hyrcanian Gulf. The Massagetæ regard no other deity than the sun, and to his honour they sacrifice a horse. Each man marries only one wife, but they have intercourse with the wives of each other without any concealment. He who has intercourse with the wife of another man hangs up his quiver on a waggon, and lies with her openly. They account the best mode of death to be chopped up when they grow old with the flesh of sheep, and both to be devoured together. Those who die of' disease are cast out as impious, and only fit to be the prey of wild beasts; they are excellent horsemen, and also fight well on foot. They use bows, swords, breastplates, and sagares of brass, they wear golden belts, and turbans2 on their heads in battle. Their horses have bits of gold, and golden breastplates; they have no silver, iron in small quantity, but gold and brass in great plenty.
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