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Historians also relate that the Indians worship Jupiter Ombrius (or, the Rainy), the river Ganges, and the indigenous deities of the country; that when the king washes his hair,1 a great feast is celebrated, and large presents are sent, each person displaying his wealth in competition with his neighbour.

They say, that some of the gold-digging myrmeces (ants) have wings; and that the rivers, like those of Iberia,2 bring down gold-dust.

In processions at their festivals, many elephants are in the train, adorned with gold and silver, numerous carriages drawn by four horses and by several pairs of oxen; then follows a body of attendants in full dress, (bearing) vessels of gold, large basins and goblets, an orguia3 in breadth, tables, chairs of state, drinking-cups, and lavers of Indian copper, most of which were set with precious stones, as emeralds, beryls, and Indian carbuncles; garments embroidered and interwoven with gold; wild beasts, as buffaloes,4 panthers, tame lions, and a multitude of birds of variegated plumage and of fine song.

Cleitarchus speaks of four-wheeled carriages bearing trees with large leaves, from which were suspended (in cages) different kinds of tame birds, among which the orion5 was said to possess the sweetest note, but the catreus6 was the most beautiful in appearance, and had the most variegated plumage. In shape it approached nearest to the peacock, but the rest of the description must be taken from Cleitarchus.

1 On the day of his birth, Herod. ix. 109.

2 Of Armenia.

3 About 6 feet.

4 The text is corrupt. Tzschucke's emendation is adopted, viz. βόνασοι. Groskurd translates the word by ‘hump-backed oxen,’ or zebus.

5 Ælian de Nat. Anima. xvii. 21.

6 Bird of paradise?

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