This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Those however who lived before our time, and more especially those who lived near to the times of Homer, were such as he describes them, and so they were esteemed to be by the Greeks. Take for instance what Herodotus relates concerning the king1 of the Scythians, against whom Darius waged war, and especially the answer he sent [to the messen- ger of Darius]. Take again what Chrysippus relates of the kings of the Bosphorus, [Satyrus2 and] Leuco. The letters of the Persians are full of the sincerity I have described; so likewise are the memorials of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Indians. It was on this account that both Anacharsis and Abaris, and certain others of the same class, gained so great a reputation among the Greeks; for we may well believe they displayed their national characteristics of affability of manner, simplicity, and love of justice. But what occasion is there for me to speak of such as belonged to the times of old? for Alexander [the Great], the son of Philip, in his campaign against the Thracians beyond Mount Hæmus,3 is said to have penetrated as far as this in an incursion into the country of the Triballi, and observed that they occupied the territory as far as the Danube and the island Peuce,4 which is in it, and that the Getæ possessed the country beyond that river; however, he was unable to pass into the island for want of a sufficient number of ships, and because Syrmus, the king of the Triballi, who had taken refuge in that place, resisted the undertaking: but Alexander crossed over into the country of the Getæ and took their city, after which he returned home in haste, carrying with him presents from those nations, and also from Syrmus. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, relates that in this campaign the Kelts who dwell on the Adriatic5 came to Alexander for the purpose of making a treaty of friendship and mutual hospitality, and that the king received them in a friendly way, and asked them, while drinking, what might be the chief object of their dread, supposing that they would say it was he; but that they replied, it was no man, only they felt some alarm lest the heavens should on some occasion or other fall on them, but that they valued the friendship of such a man as him above every thing. These examples sufficiently manifest the open sincerity of the barbarians, both of the one who would not suffer Alexander to land on the island, but nevertheless sent presents and concluded a treaty of friendship with him, and also of those who asserted that they feared no man, but that they valued the friendship of great men above every price. In like manner Dromichætes, who was king of the Getæ in the times of the successors of Alexander, having taken captive Lysimachus, who had come to wage war against him, showed him his poverty and that of his people, and likewise their great frugality, bade him not to make war on such, but rather seek them as friends; after which he received him as a guest, made a treaty of friendship, and suffered him to depart.6 [*And Plato, in his Republic,7 considers that the neighbourhood of the sea ought to be shunned as being productive of vice, and that those who would enjoy a well-governed city, should plant it very far from the sea, and not near it.8]
1 He was called Idanthyrsus. See Herodotus, book iv. chap. 127.
2 Satyrus is supplied by Koray. See also chapter iv. of this book, § 4, and book xi. chap. ii. § 7. Groskurd refers also to Diodorus, book xiv. 93, and says that Leuco was the son of Satyrus.
3 The mountains in the north of Thrace still bear the name of Emineh- Dag, or Mount Emineh, at their eastern point; but the western portion is called the Balkan.
4 Piczina, at the embouchure of the Danube, between Babadag and Ismail.
5 A note in the French translation says, these were the Carni and the Iapodes, who having followed Sigovesus, in the reign of the elder Tar- quin, had taken up their abode in the neighbourhood of the Adriatic; and refers to the Examen Critique des Anciens Historiens d' Alexandre, by M. de Sainte Croix, page 855.
6 Diodorus Siculus, in Excerpt. Peiresc. pag. 257; Memnon apud Photium, cod. 214, cap. 6; and Plutarch, in Demetrio, § 39 and 52, confirm what Strabo says here of the manner in which Dromichætes treated Lysimachus.
7 This is not in Plato's Republic, but in his fourth book of Laws.
8 This passage, if it is the writing of Strabo, and not the marginal note of some learned reader, should doubtless be transferred back to the end of § 7 of this chapter.
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.