Chapter XXIV.—Different Customs of Different Countries.
“In the regions of Britain several men have one wife; in Parthia many women have one husband; and each part of the world adheres to its own manners and institutions. None of the Amazons have husbands, but, like animals, they go out from their own territories once a year about the vernal equinox, and live with the men of the neighbouring nation, observing a sort of solemnity the while, and when they have conceived by them they return; and if they bring forth a male child, they cast him away, and rear only females. Now, since the birth of all is at one season, it is absurd to suppose that in the case of males Mars is at the time in equal portions with Saturn, but never in the Genesis of females; and that they have not Mercury placed with Venus in his own houses, so as to produce either painters, or sculptors, or money-changers; or in the houses of Venus, so that perfumers, or singers, or poets might be produced. Among the Saracens, and Upper Libyans, and Moors, and the dwellers about the mouths of the ocean, and also in the remote districts of Germany, and among the Sarmatians and Scythians, and all the nations who dwell in the regions of the Pontic shore, and in the island Chrysea, there is never found a money-changer, nor a sculptor, nor a painter, nor an architect, nor a geometrician, nor a tragedian, nor a poet. Therefore the influence of Mercury and Venus must be wanting among them.