previous next


As an exercise of the body they prefer friction in various ways, but particularly by making use of smooth sticks of ebony, which they pass over the surface of the body.

Their sepulchres are plain, and the tumuli of earth low.

In contrast to their parsimony in other things, they indulge in ornament. They wear dresses worked with gold and precious stones, and flowered (variegated) robes, and are attended by persons following them with umbrellas; for as they highly esteem beauty, everything is attended to, which can improve their looks.

They respect alike truth and virtue; therefore they do not assign any privilege to the old, unless they possess superior wisdom.

They marry many wives, who are purchased from their parents, and give in exchange for them a yoke of oxen. Some marry wives to possess obedient attendants, others with a view to pleasure and numerous offspring, and the wives prostitute themselves, unless chastity is enforced by compulsion.

No one wears a garland when sacrificing, or burning incense, or pouring out a libation. They do not stab, but strangle the victim, that nothing mutilated, but that which is entire, may be offered to the Deity.

A person convicted of bearing false testimony suffers a mutilation of his extremities. He who has maimed another not only undergoes in return the loss of the same limb, but his hand also is cut off. If he has caused a workman to lose his hand or his eye, he is put to death.

Megasthenes says, that none of the Indians employ slaves. But, according to Onesicritus, this is peculiar to the people in the territory of Musicanus. He speaks of this as an excellent rule, and mentions many others to be found in that country, as the effects of a government by good laws.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (7 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: