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PART 22

XXII. Moreover, the great majority among the Scythians become impotent, do women's work, live like women and converse accordingly. Such men they call Anaries. Now the natives put the blame on to Heaven, and respect and worship these creatures, each fearing for himself. I too think that these diseases are divine, and so are all others, no one being more divine or more human than any other ; all are alike, and all divine. Each of them has a nature of its own, and none arises without its natural cause. How, in my opinion, this disease arises I will explain. The habit of riding causes swellings at the joints,1 because they are always astride their horses ; in severe cases follow lameness and sores on the hips. They cure themselves in the following way. At the beginning of the disease they cut the vein behind each ear. When the blood has ceased to flow faintness comes over them and they sleep. Afterwards they get up, some cured and some not. Now, in my opinion, by this treatment the seed is destroyed. For by the side of the ear are veins, to

[p. 129] cut which causes impotence, and I believe that these are the veins which they cut. After this treatment, when the Scythians approach a woman but cannot have intercourse, at first they take no notice and think no more about it. But when two, three or even more attempts are attended with no better success, thinking that they have sinned against Heaven they attribute thereto the cause, and put on women's clothes, holding that they have lost their manhood. So they play the woman, and with the women do the same work as women do.

This affliction affects the rich Scythians because of their riding, not the lower classes but the upper, who possess the most strength ; the poor, who do not ride, suffer less. But, if we suppose this disease to be more divine than any other, it ought to have attacked, not the highest and richest classes only of the Scythians, but all classes equally--or rather the poor especially, if indeed the gods are pleased to receive from men respect and worship, and repay these with favours. For naturally the rich, having great wealth, make many sacrifices to the gods, and offer many votive offerings, and honour them, all of which things the poor, owing to their poverty, are less able to do ; besides, they blame the gods for not giving them wealth, so that the penalties for such sins are likely to be paid by the poor rather than by the rich. But the truth is, as I said above, these affections are neither more nor less divine than any others, and all and each are natural. Such a disease arises

[p. 131] among the Scythians for such a reason as I have stated, and other men too are equally liable to it, for wherever men ride very much and very frequently, there the majority are attacked by swellings at the joints, sciatica and gout, and are sexually very weak. These complaints come upon the Scythians, and they are the most impotent of men, for the reasons I have given, and also because they always wear trousers and spend most of their time on their horses, so that they do not handle the parts, but owing to cold and fatigue forget about sexual passion, losing their virility before any impulse is felt.

1 For this difficult word see Littré V. 320 and VIII. xxxix foll.

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