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PART 12

XII. So much for the changes of the seasons. Now I intend to compare Asia1 and Europe, and to show how they differ in every respect, and how the nations of the one differ entirely in physique from those of the other. It would take too long to describe them all, so I will set forth my views about the most important and the greatest differences. I hold that Asia differs very widely from Europe in the

[p. 107] nature of all its inhabitants and of all its vegetation. For everything in Asia grows to far greater beauty and size ; the one region is less wild than the other, the character of the inhabitants is milder and more gentle. The cause of this is the temperate climate, because it lies towards the east midway between the risings2 of the sun, and farther away than is Europe from the cold. Growth and freedom from wildness are most fostered when nothing is forcibly predominant, but equality in every respect prevails. Asia, however, is not everywhere uniform ; the region, however, situated midway between the heat and the cold is very fruitful, very wooded and very mild ; it has splendid water, whether from rain or from springs. While it is not burnt up with the heat nor dried up by drought and want of water, it is not oppressed with cold, nor yet damp and wet with excessive rains and snow. Here the harvests are likely to be plentiful, both those from seed and those which the earth bestows of her own accord, the fruit of which men use, turning wild to cultivated and transplanting them to a suitable soil. The cattle too reared there are likely to flourish, and especially to bring forth the sturdiest young and rear them to be very fine creatures.3 The men will be well nourished, of very fine physique and very tall, differing from one another but little either in physique or stature. This region, both in character and in the mildness of its seasons, might fairly be said to bear a close resemblance to spring

[p. 109] Courage, endurance, industry and high spirit could not arise in such conditions either among the natives or among immigrants,4 but pleasure must be supreme . . .5 wherefore in the beasts they are of many shapes.

1 That is, Asia Minor.

2 That is, the winter rising and the summer rising.

3 Or, if πυκν́οτατα and κ́αλλιδτα be adverbs, "they are very prolifio and the best of mothers."

4 The writer is thinking of Asiatic natives and the Greek colonists on the coast of Asia Minor.

5 There is a gap in the text here dealing with the Egyptians and Libyans.

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