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When this year was over, Euthycritus became archon at Athens and at Rome Lucius Platius and Lucius Papirius became consuls. The one hundred and thirteenth Olympic Games were held.2 In this year Alexander marched against the so-called Paropanisadae, [2] whose country lies in the extreme north; it is snow-covered and not easily approached by other tribes because of the extreme cold. The most of it is a plain and woodless, and divided up among many villages.3 [3] These contain houses with roofs of tile drawn up at the top into a peaked vault.4 In the middle of each roof an aperture is left through which smoke escapes, and since the building is enclosed all around the people find ample protection against the weather. [4] Because of the depth of the snow, they spend the most of the year indoors, having their own supplies at hand. They heap up soil about vines and fruit trees, and leave it so for the winter season, removing the earth again at the time of budding. [5] The landscape nowhere shows any verdure or cultivation; all is white and dazzling because of the snow and the ice which form in it. No bird, therefore, alights there nor does any animal pass, and all parts of the country are unvisited and inaccessible.5 [6]

The king, nevertheless, in spite of all those obstacles confronting the army, exercised the customary boldness and hardihood of the Macedonians and surmounted the difficulties of the region. [7] Many of the soldiers and of the camp followers became exhausted and were left behind. Some too because of the glare of the snow and the hard brilliance of the reflected light lost their sight. [8] Nothing could be seen clearly from a distance. It was only as the villages were revealed by their smoke that the Macedonians discovered where the dwellings were, even when they were standing right on top of them. By this method the villages were taken and the soldiers recovered from their hardships amidst a plenty of provisions. Before long the king made himself master of all the population.6

1 328/7 B.C.

2 Euthycritus was archon at Athens from July of 328 to June of 327 B.C. The Roman consuls of 330 B.C. were L. Papirius Crassus and L. Plautius Venno (Broughton, 1.143). The Olympic Games were those of July 328. Diodorus neglected to name the winner of the foot race, who was Cliton of Macedonia, according to Eusebius, Chronikon. By now, Diodorus's chronology is seriously off; it can have been no later than the autumn of 330 B.C., "at the setting of the Pleiades" (Strabo 15.2.10).

3 Curtius 7.3.5-18; Justin 12.5.9; Arrian. 3.28.4-7. This country is the highland of Afghanistan, cold in the winter, but neither in the north nor a plain. According to Aristobulus (Arrian. 3.28.6), nothing grew there except terebinth and asafoetida.

4 Curtius's description of these buildings (Curtius 7.3.8-9) is clearer. He compares the roofs to the keels of ships. The houses were partly underground (Plut. De Fortuna aut Virtute Alexandri 2.9.340e).

5 Curtius 7.3.10-11, also, mentions burying the plants to protect them and the absence of animals and birds.

6 Alexander wintered there in 330/29 (Strabo 15.2.10).

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