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
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
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.