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PART 20

XX. I will give clear testimony to their moistness. The majority of the Scythians, all that are Nomads, you will find have their shoulders cauterized, as well as their arms, wrists, breast, hips and loins, simply because of the moistness and softness of their constitution. For owing to their moistness and flabbiness they have not the strength either to draw a bow or to throw a javelin from the shoulder. But when they have been cauterized the excess of moisture

[p. 125] dries up from their joints, and their bodies become more braced, more nourished and better articulated. Their bodies grow relaxed and squat, firstly because, unlike the Egyptians, they do not use swaddling clothes, of which they have not the habit,1 for the sake of their riding, that they may sit a horse well ; secondly, through their sedentary lives. For the boys, until they can ride, sit the greater part of the time in the wagon, and because of the migrations and wanderings rarely walk on foot ; while the girls are wonderfully flabby and torpid in physique. The Scythians are a ruddy race because of the cold, not through any fierceness in the sun's heat. It is the cold that burns their white skin and turns it ruddy.

1 This is a literal translation of the text, but see the footnote on the opposite page.

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