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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 4: Melpomene [70]

70. In the following manner the Scythians make oaths to whomsoever they make them:--they pour wine into a great earthenware cup and mingle with it blood of those who are taking the oath to one another, either making a prick with an awl or cutting with a dagger a little way into their body, and then they dip into the cup a sword and arrows and a battle-axe and a javelin; and having done this, they invoke many curses on the breaker of the oath, and afterwards they drink it off, both they who are making the oath and the most honourable of their company.

70. [1] ὅρκια δὲ ποιεῦνται Σκύθαι ὧδε πρὸς τοὺς ἂν ποιέωνται· ἐς κύλικα μεγάλην κεραμίνην οἶνον ἐγχέαντες αἷμα συμμίσγουσι τῶν τὸ ὅρκιον ταμνομένων, τύψαντες ὑπέατι ἡ ἐπιταμόντες μαχαίρῃ σμικρὸν τοῦ σώματος, καὶ ἔπειτα ἀποβάψαντες ἐς τὴν κύλικα ἀκινάκην καὶ ὀιστοὺς καὶ σάγαριν καὶ ἀκόντιον· ἐπεὰν δὲ ταῦτα ποιήσωσι, κατεύχονται πολλὰ καὶ ἔπειτα ἀποπίνουσι αὐτοί τε οἱ τὸ ὅρκιον ποιεύμενοι καὶ τῶν ἑπομένων οἱ πλείστου ἄξιοι. 

71. The burial-place of the kings is in the land of the Gerrians, the place up to which the Borysthenes is navigable. In this place, when their king has died, they make a large square excavation in the earth; and when they have made this ready, they take up the corpse (the body being covered over with wax and the belly ripped up and cleansed, and then sewn together again, after it has been filled with kyperos cut up and spices and parsley-seed and anise), and they convey it in a waggon to another nation. Then those who receive the corpse thus conveyed to them do the same as the Royal Scythians, that is they cut off a part of their ear and shave their hair round about and cut themselves all over the arms and tear their forehead and nose and pass arrows through their left hand. Thence they convey in the waggon the corpse of the king to another of the nations over whom they rule; and they to whom they came before accompany them: and when they have gone round to all conveying the corpse, then they are in the land of the Gerrians, who have their settlements furthest away of all the nations over whom they rule, and they have reached the spot where the burial place is. After that, having placed the corpse in the tomb upon a bed of leaves, they stick spears along on this side and that of the corpse and stretch pieces of wood over them, and then they cover the place in with matting. Then they strangle and bury in the remaining space of the tomb one of the king's mistresses, his cup-bearer, his cook, his horse-keeper, his attendant, and his bearer of messages, and also horses, and a first portion of all things else, and cups of gold; for silver they do not use at all, nor yet bronze. Having thus done they all join together to pile up a great mound, vying with one another and zealously endeavouring to make it as large as possible. 71. [1] ταφαὶ δὲ τῶν βασιλέων ἐν Γέρροισι εἰσὶ ἐς ὃ ὁ Βορυσθένης ἐστὶ προσπλωτός· ἐνθαῦτα, ἐπεάν σφι ἀποθάνῃ ὁ βασιλεύς, ὄρυγμα γῆς μέγα ὀρύσσουσι τετράγωνον, ἕτοιμον δὲ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες ἀναλαμβάνουσι τὸν νεκρόν, κατακεκηρωμένον μὲν τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ νηδὺν ἀνασχισθεῖσαν καὶ καθαρθεῖσαν, πλέην κυπέρου κεκομμένου καὶ θυμιήματος καὶ σελίνου σπέρματος καὶ ἀννήσου, συνερραμμένην ὀπίσω, καὶ κομίζουσι ἐν ἁμάξῃ ἐς ἄλλο ἔθνος. [2] οἳ δὲ ἂν παραδέξωνται κομισθέντα τὸν νεκρόν, ποιεῦσι τά περ οἱ βασιλήιοι Σκύθαι· τοῦ ὠτὸς ἀποτάμνονται, τρίχας περικείρονται, βραχίονας περιτάμνονται, μέτωπον καὶ ῥῖνα καταμύσσονται, διὰ τῆς ἀριστερῆς χειρὸς ὀιστοὺς διαβυνέονται. [3] ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ κομίζουσι ἐν τῇ ἀμάξῃ τοῦ βασιλέος τὸν νέκυν ἐς ἄλλο ἔθνος τῶν ἄρχουσι· οἳ δέ σφι ἕπονται ἐς τοὺς πρότερον ἦλθον. ἐπεὰν δὲ πάντας περιέλθωσι τὸν νέκυν κομίζοντες, ἔν τε Γέρροισι ἔσχατα κατοικημένοισι εἰσὶ τῶν ἐθνέων τῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ ἐν τῇσι ταφῇσι. [4] καὶ ἔπειτα, ἐπεὰν θέωσι τὸν νέκυν ἐν τῇσι θήκῃσι ἐπὶ στιβάδος, παραπήξαντες αἰχμὰς ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν τοῦ νεκροῦ ξύλα ὑπερτείνουσι καὶ ἔπειτα ῥιψὶ καταστεγάζουσι, ἐν δὲ τῇ λοιπῇ εὐρυχωρίῃ τῆς θήκης τῶν παλλακέων τε μίαν ἀποπνίξαντες θάπτουσι καὶ τὸν οἰνοχόον καὶ μάγειρον καὶ ἱπποκόμον καὶ διήκονον καὶ ἀγγελιηφόρον καὶ ἵππους καὶ τῶν ἄλλων πάντων ἀπαρχὰς καὶ φιάλας χρυσέας· ἀργύρῳ δὲ οὐδὲν οὐδὲ χαλκῷ χρέωνται. [5] ταῦτα δὲ ποιήσαντες χοῦσι πάντες χῶμα μέγα, ἁμιλλώμενοι καὶ προθυμεόμενοι ὡς μέγιστον ποιῆσαι.

72. Afterwards, when the year comes round again, they do as follows:-- they take the most capable of the remaining servants,--and these are native Scythians, for those serve him whom the king himself commands to do so, and his servants are not bought for money,--of these attendants then they strangle fifty and also fifty of the finest horses; and when they have taken out their bowels and cleansed the belly, they fill it with chaff and sew it together again. Then they set the half of a wheel upon two stakes with the hollow side upwards, and the other half of the wheel upon other two stakes, and in this manner they fix a number of these; and after this they run thick stakes through the length of the horses as far as the necks, and they mount them upon the wheels; and the front pieces of wheel support the shoulders of the horses, while those behind bear up their bellies, going by the side of the thighs; and both front and hind legs hang in the air. On the horses they put bridles and bits, and stretch the bridles tight in front of them and then tie them up to pegs: and of the fifty young men who have been strangled they mount each one upon his horse, having first run a straight stake through each body along by the spine up to the neck; and a part of this stake projects below, which they fasten into a socket made in the other stake that runs through the horse. Having set horsemen such as I have described in a circle round the tomb, they then ride away. 72. [1] ἐνιαυτοῦ δὲ περιφερομένου αὖτις ποιεῦσι τοιόνδε· λαβόντες τῶν λοιπῶν θεραπόντων τοὺς ἐπιτηδεοτάτους (οἳ δὲ εἰσὶ Σκύθαι ἐγγενέες· οὗτοι γὰρ θεραπεύουσι τοὺς ἂν αὐτὸς ὁ βασιλεὺς κελεύσῃ ἀργυρώνητοι δὲ οὐκ εἰσί σφι θεράποντες), [2] τούτων ὦν τῶν διηκόνων ἐπεὰν ἀποπνίξωσι πεντήκοντα καὶ ἵππους τοὺς καλλίστους πεντήκοντα, ἐξελόντες αὐτῶν τὴν κοιλίην καὶ καθήραντες ἐμπιπλᾶσι ἀχύρων καὶ συρράπτουσι. [3] ἁψῖδος δὲ ἥμισυ ἐπὶ δύο ξύλα στήσαντες ὕπτιον καὶ τὸ ἕτερον ἥμισυ τῆς ἁψῖδος ἐπ᾽ ἕτερα δύο, καταπήξαντες τρόπῳ τοιούτῳ πολλὰ ταῦτα, ἔπειτα τῶν ἵππων κατὰ τὰ μήκεα ξύλα παχέα διελάσαντες μέχρι τῶν τραχήλων ἀναβιβάζουσι αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὰς ἁψῖδας· [4] τῶν δὲ αἱ μὲν πρότεραι ἀψῖδες ὑπέχουσι τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἵππων, αἱ δὲ ὄπισθε παρὰ τοὺς μηροὺς τὰς γαστέρας ὑπολαμβάνουσι· σκέλεα δὲ ἀμφότερα κατακρέμαται μετέωρα. χαλινοὺς δὲ καὶ στόμια ἐμβαλόντες ἐς τοὺς ἵππους κατατείνουσι ἐς τὸ πρόσθε αὐτῶν καὶ ἔπειτα ἐκ πασσάλων δέουσι. [5] τῶν δὲ δὴ νεηνίσκων τῶν ἀποπεπνιγμένων τῶν πεντήκοντα ἕνα ἕκαστον ἀναβιβάζουσι ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον, ὧδε ἀναβιβάζοντες, ἐπεὰν νεκροῦ ἑκάστου παρὰ τὴν ἄκανθαν ξύλον ὀρθὸν διελάσωσι μέχρι τοῦ τραχήλου· κάτωθεν δὲ ὑπερέχει τοῦ ξύλου τούτου τὸ ἐς τόρμον πηγνύουσι τοῦ ἑτέρου ξύλου τοῦ διὰ τοῦ ἵππου. ἐπιστήσαντες δὲ κύκλῳ τὸ σῆμα ἱππέας τοιούτους ἀπελαύνουσι.

73. Thus they bury their kings; but as for the other Scythians, when they die their nearest relations carry them round laid in waggons to their friends in succession; and of them each one when he receives the body entertains those who accompany it, and before the corpse they serve up of all things about the same quantity as before the others. Thus private persons are carried about for forty days, and then they are buried: and after burying them the Scythians cleanse themselves in the following way:--they soap their heads and wash them well, and then, for their body, they set up three stakes leaning towards one another and about them they stretch woollen felt coverings, and when they have closed them as much as possible they throw stones heated red-hot into a basin placed in the middle of the stakes and the felt coverings. 73. [1] οὕτω μὲν τοὺς βασιλέας θάπτουσι· τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους Σκύθας, ἐπεὰν ἀποθάνωσι, περιάγουσι οἱ ἀγχοτάτω προσήκοντες κατὰ τοὺς φίλους ἐν ἀμάξῃσι κειμένους. τῶν δὲ ἕκαστος ὑποδεκόμενος εὐωχέει τοὺς ἑπομένους, καὶ τῷ νεκρῷ ἁπάντων παραπλησίως παρατίθησι ὅσα τοῖσι ἄλλοισι. ἡμέρας δὲ τεσσεράκοντα οὕτω οἱ ἰδιῶται περιάγονται, ἔπειτα θάπτονται. [2] θάψαντες δὲ οἱ Σκύψαι καθαίρονται τρόπῳ τοιῷδε. σμησάμενοι τὰς κεφαλὰς καὶ ἐκπλυνάμενοι ποιεῦσι περὶ τὸ σῶμα τάδε ἐπεὰν ξύλα στήσωσι τρία ἐς ἄλληλα κεκλιμένα, περὶ ταῦτα πίλους εἰρινέους περιτείνουσι, συμφράξαντες δὲ ὡς μάλιστα λίθους ἐκ πυρὸς διαφανέας ἐσβάλλουσι ἐς σκάφην κειμένην ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ξύλων τε καὶ τῶν πίλων.

74. Now they have hemp growing in their land, which is very like flax except in thickness and in height, for in these respects the hemp is much superior. This grows both of itself and with cultivation; and of it the Thracians even make garments, which are very like those made of flaxen thread, so that he who was not specially conversant with it would not be able to decide whether the garments were of flax or of hemp; and he who had not before seen stuff woven of hemp would suppose that the garment was made of flax. 74. [1] ἔστι δέ σφι κάνναβις φυομένη ἐν τῇ χώρῃ πλὴν παχύτητος καὶ μεγάθεος τῷ λίνῳ ἐμφερεστάτη· ταύτῃ δὲ πολλῷ ὑπερφέρει ἡ κάνναβις. αὕτη καὶ αὐτομάτη καὶ σπειρομένη φύεται, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς Θρήικες μὲν καὶ εἵματα ποιεῦνται τοῖσι λινέοισι ὁμοιότατα· οὐδ᾽ ἄν, ὅστις μὴ κάρτα τρίβων εἴη αὐτῆς, διαγνοίη λίνου ἢ καννάβιος ἐστί· ὃς δὲ μὴ εἶδε κω τὴν κανναβίδα, λίνεον δοκήσει εἶναι τὸ εἷμα.

75. The Scythians then take the seed of this hemp and creep under the felt coverings, and then they throw the seed upon the stones which have been heated red-hot: and it burns like incense and produces a vapour so think that no vapour-bath in Hellas would surpass it: and the Scythians being delighted with the vapour-bath howl like wolves. This is to them instead of washing, for in fact they do not wash their bodies at all in water. Their women however pound with a rough stone the wood of the cypress and cedar and frankincense tree, pouring in water with it, and then with this pounded stuff, which is thick, they plaster over all their body and also their face; and not only does a sweet smell attach to them by reason of this, but also when they take off the plaster on the next day, their skin is clean and shining.

75. [1] ταύτης ὦν οἱ Σκύθαι τῆς καννάβιος τὸ σπέρμα ἐπεὰν λάβωσι, ὑποδύνουσι ὑπὸ τοὺς πίλους, καὶ ἔπειτα ἐπιβάλλουσι τὸ σπέρμα ἐπὶ τοὺς διαφανέας λίθους τῷ πυρί· τὸ δὲ θυμιᾶται ἐπιβαλλόμενον καὶ ἀτμίδα παρέχεται τοσαύτην ὥστε Ἑλληνικὴ οὐδεμία ἄν μιν πυρίη ἀποκρατήσειε. [2] οἱ δὲ Σκύθαι ἀγάμενοι τῇ πυρίῃ ὠρύονται. τοῦτό σφι ἀντὶ λουτροῦ ἐστι. οὐ γὰρ δὴ λούονται ὕδατι τὸ παράπαν τὸ σῶμα. [3] αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν ὕδωρ παραχέουσαι κατασώχουσι περὶ λίθον τρηχὺν τῆς κυπαρίσσου καὶ κέδρου καὶ λιβάνου ξύλου, καὶ ἔπειτα τὸ κατασωχόμενον τοῦτο παχὺ ἐὸν καταπλάσσονται πᾶν τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὸ πρόσωπον· καὶ ἅμα μὲν εὐωδίη σφέας ἀπὸ τούτου ἴσχει, ἅμα δὲ ἀπαιρέουσαι τῇ δευτέρη ἡμέρῃ τὴν καταπλαστὺν γίνονται καθαραὶ καὶ λαμπραί. 

76. This nation also is very averse to adopting strange customs, rejecting even those of other tribes among themselves, but especially those of the Hellenes, as the history of Anacharsis and also afterwards of Skyles proved. For as to Anacharsis first, when he was returning to the abodes of the Scythians, after having visited many lands and displayed in them much wisdom, as he sailed through the Hellespont he put in to Kyzicos: and since he found the people of Kyzicos celebrating a festival very magnificently in honour of the Mother of the gods, Anacharsis vowed to the Mother that if he should return safe and sound to his own land, he would both sacrifice to her with the same rites as he saw the men of Kyzicos do, and also hold a night festival. So when he came to Scythia he went down into the region called Hylaia (this is along by the side of the racecourse of Achilles and is quite full, as it happens, of trees of all kinds),-- into this, I say, Anacharsis went down, and proceeded to perform all the ceremonies of the festival in honour of the goddess, with a kettle-drum and with images hung about himself. And one of the Scythians perceived him doing this and declared it to Saulios the king; and the king came himself also, and when he saw Anacharsis doing this, he shot him with an arrow and killed him. Accordingly at the present time if one asks about Anacharsis, the Scythians say that they do not know him, and for this reason, because he went out of his own country to Hellas and adopted foreign customs. And as I heard from Tymnes the steward of Ariapeithes, he was the uncle on the father's side of Idanthyrsos king of the Scythians, and the son of Gnuros, the son of Lycos, the son of Spargapeithes. If then Anacharsis was of this house, let him know that he died by the hand of his brother, for Idanthyrsos was the son of Saulios, and Saulios was he who killed Anacharsis. 76. [1] ξεινικοῖσι δὲ νομαίοισι καὶ οὗτοι φεύγουσι αἰνῶς χρᾶσθαι, μήτε τεῶν ἄλλων, Ἑλληνικοῖσι δὲ καὶ ἥκιστα, ὡς διέδεξαν Ἀνάχαρσις τε καὶ δεύτερα αὖτις Σκύλης. [2] τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ Ἀνάχαρσις ἐπείτε γῆν πολλὴν θεωρήσας καὶ ἀποδεξάμενος κατ᾽ αὐτὴν σοφίην πολλὴν ἐκομίζετο ἐς ἤθεα τὰ Σκυθέων, πλέων δι᾽ Ἑλλησπόντου προσίσχει ἐς Κύζικον. [3] καὶ εὗρε γὰρ τῇ μητρὶ τῶν θεῶν ἀνάγοντας τοὺς Κυζικηνοὺς ὁρτὴν μεγαλοπρεπέως κάρτα, εὔξατο τῇ μητρὶ ὁ Ἀνάχαρσις, ἢν σῶς καὶ ὑγιὴς ἀπονοστήσῃ ἐς ἑωυτοῦ, θύσειν τε κατὰ ταὐτὰ κατὰ ὥρα τοὺς Κυζικηνοὺς ποιεῦντας καὶ παννυχίδα στήσειν. [4] ὡς δὲ ἀπίκετο ἐς τὴν Σκυθικήν καταδὺς ἐς τὴν καλεομένην Ὑλαίην (ἡ δ᾽ ἔστι μὲν παρὰ τὸν Ἀχιλλήιον δρόμον, τυγχάνει δὲ πᾶσα ἐοῦσα δενδρέων παντοίων πλέη), ἐς ταύτην δὴ καταδὺς ὁ Ἀνάχαρσις τὴν ὁρτὴν ἐπετέλεε πᾶσαν τῇ θεῷ, τύμπανον τε ἔχων καὶ ἐκδησάμενος ἀγάλματα. [5] καὶ τῶν τις Σκυθέων καταφρασθεὶς αὐτὸν ταῦτα ποιεῦντα ἐσήμηνε τῷ βασιλέι Σαυλίω· ὁ δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπικόμενος ὡς εἶδε τὸν Ἀνάχαρσιν ποιεῦντα ταῦτα, τοξεύσας αὐτὸν ἀπέκτεινε. καὶ νῦν ἤν τις εἴρηται περὶ Ἀναχάρσιος, οὐ φασί μιν Σκύθαι γινώσκειν, διὰ τοῦτο ὅτι ἐξεδήμησέ τε ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ ξεινικοῖσι ἔθεσι διεχρήσατο. [6] ὡς δ᾽ ἐγὼ ἤκουσα Τύμνεω τοῦ Ἀριαπείθεος ἐπιτρόπου, εἶναι αὐτὸν Ἰδανθύρσου τοῦ Σκυθέων βασιλέος πάτρων, παῖδα δὲ εἶναι Γνούρου τοῦ Λύκου τοῦ Σπαργαπείθεος. εἰ ὦν ταύτης ἦν τῆς οἰκίης ὁ Ἀνάχαρσις, ἴστω ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ ἀποθανών· Ἰδάνθυρσος γὰρ ἦν παῖς Σαυλίου, Σαύλιος δὲ ἦν ὁ ἀποκτείνας Ἀνάχαρσιν.

77. However I have heard also another story, told by the Peloponnesians, that Anacharsis was sent out by the king of the Scythians, and so made himself a disciple of Hellas; and that when he returned back he said to him that had sent him forth, that the Hellenes were all busied about every kind of cleverness except the Lacedemonians; but these alone knew how to exchange speech sensibly. This story however has been invented without any ground by the Hellenes themselves; and however that may be, the man was slain in the way that was related above.

77. [1] καίτοι τινὰ ἤδη ἤκουσα λόγον ἄλλον ὑπὸ Πελοποννησίων λεγόμενον, ὡς ὑπὸ τοῦ Σκυθέων βασιλέος Ἀνάχαρσις ἀποπεμφθεὶς τῆς Ἑλλάδος μαθητὴς γένοιτο, ὀπίσω τε ἀπονοστήσας φαίη πρὸς τὸν ἀποπέμψαντα Ἕλληνας πάντας ἀσχόλους εἶναι ἐς πᾶσαν σοφίην πλὴν Λακεδαιμονίων, τούτοισι δὲ εἶναι μούνοισι σωφρόνως δοῦναι τε καὶ δέξασθαι λόγον. [2] ἀλλ᾽ οὗτος μὲν ὁ λόγος ἄλλως πέπλασται ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν Ἑλλήνων, ὁ δ᾽ ὧν ἀνὴρ ὥσπερ πρότερον εἰρέθη διεφθάρη. οὗτος μέν νυν οὕτω δὴ ἔπρηξε διὰ ξεινικά τε νόμαια καὶ Ἑλληνικὰς ὁμιλίας.

78. This man then fared thus badly by reason of foreign customs and communication with Hellenes; and very many years afterwards Skyles the son of Ariapeithes suffered nearly the same fate as he. For Ariapeithes the king of the Scythians with other sons had Skyles born to him: and he was born of a woman who was of Istria, and certainly not a native of Scythia; and this mother taught him the language and letters of Hellas. Afterwards in course of time Ariapeithes was brought to his end by treachery at the hands of Spargapeithes the king of the Agathyrsians, and Skyles succeeded to the kingdom; and he took not only that but also the wife of his father, whose name was Opoia: this Opoia was a native Scythian and from her was born Oricos to Ariapeithes. Now when Skyles was king of the Scythians, he was by no means satisfied with the Scythian manner of life, but was much more inclined towards Hellenic ways because of the training with which he had been brought up, and he used to do somewhat as follows:--When he came with the Scythians in arms to the city of the Borysthenites (now these Borysthenites say that they are of Miletos),--when Skyles came to these, he would leave his band in the suburbs of the city and go himself within the walls and close the gates. After that he would lay aside his Scythian equipments and take Hellenic garments, and wearing them he would go about in the market-place with no guards or any other man accompanying him (and they watched the gates meanwhile, that none of the Scythians might see him wearing this dress): and while in other respects too he adopted Hellenic manners of life, he used also to perform worship to the gods according to the customs of the Hellenes. Then having stayed a month or more than that, he would put on the Scythian dress and depart. This he did many times, and he both built for himself a house in Borysthenes and also took to it a woman of the place as his wife. 78. [1] πολλοῖσι δὲ κάρτα ἔτεσι ὕστερον Σκύλης ὁ Ἀριαπείθεος ἔπαθε παραπλήσια τούτῳ. Ἀριαπείθεϊ γὰρ τῷ Σκυθέων βασιλέι γίνεται μετ᾽ ἄλλων παίδων Σκύλης· ἐξ Ἰστριηνῆς δὲ γυναικὸς οὗτος γίνεται καὶ οὐδαμῶς ἐγχωρίης· τὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὕτη γλῶσσάν τε Ἑλλάδα καὶ γράμματα ἐδίδαξε. [2] μετὰ δὲ χρόνῳ ὕστερον Ἀριαπείθης μὲν τελευτᾷ δόλῳ ὑπὸ Σπαργαπείθεος τοῦ Ἀγαθύρσων βασιλέος, Σκύλης δὲ τήν τε βασιληίην παρέλαβε καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ πατρός, τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Ὀποίη· ἦν δὲ αὕτη ἡ Ὀποίη ἀστή, ἐξ ἧς ἦν Ὄρικος Ἀριαπείθεϊ παῖς. [3] βασιλεύων δὲ Σκυθέων ὁ Σκύλης διαίτῃ οὐδαμῶς ἠρέσκετο Σκυψικῇ, ἀλλὰ πολλὸν πρὸς τὰ Ἑλληνικὰ μᾶλλον τετραμμένος ἦν ἀπὸ παιδεύσιος τῆς ἐπεπαίδευτο, ἐποίεέ τε τοιοῦτο· εὖτε ἀγάγοι τὴν στρατιὴν τὴν Σκυθέων ἐς τὸ Βορυσθενειτέων ἄστυ (οἱ δὲ Βορυσθενεῖ̈ται οὗτοι λέγουσι σφέας αὐτοὺς εἶναι Μιλησίους), ἐς τούτους ὅκως ἔλθοι ὁ Σκύλης, τὴν μὲν στρατιὴν καταλίπεσκε ἐν τῷ προαστείῳ, [4] αὐτὸς δὲ ὅκως ἔλθοι ἐς τὸ τεῖχος καὶ τὰς πύλας ἐγκλῄσειε, τὴν στολὴν ἀποθέμενος τὴν Σκυθικὴν λάβεσκε ἂν Ἑλληνίδα ἐσθῆτα, ἔχων δ᾽ ἂν ταύτην ἠγόραζε οὔτε δορυφόρων ἑπομένων οὔτε ἄλλου οὐδενός· τὰς δὲ πύλας ἐφύλασσον, μή τίς μιν Σκυθέων ἴδοι ἔχοντα ταύτην τὴν στολήν· καὶ τά τε ἄλλα ἐχρᾶτο διαίτη Ἑλληνικῇ καὶ θεοῖσι ἱρὰ ἐποίεε κατὰ νόμους τοὺς Ἑλλήνων. [5] ὅτε δὲ διατρίψειε μῆνα ἡ πλέον τούτου, ἀπαλλάσσετο ἐνδὺς τὴν Σκυθικὴν στολήν. ταῦτα ποιέεσκε πολλάκις καὶ οἰκία τε ἐδείματο ἐν Βορυσθένεϊ καὶ γυναῖκα ἔγημε ἐς αὐτὰ ἐπιχωρίην.

79. Since however it was fated that evil should happen to him, it happened by an occasion of this kind:--he formed a desire to be initiated in the rites of Bacchus-Dionysos, and as he was just about to receive the initiation, there happened a very great portent. He had in the city of the Borysthenites a house of great size and built with large expense, of which also I made mention a little before this, and round it were placed sphinxes and griffins of white stone: on this house Zeus caused a bolt to fall; and the house was altogether burnt down, but Skyles none the less for this completed his initiation. Now the Scythians make the rites of Bacchus a reproach against the Hellenes, for they say that it is not fitting to invent a god like this, who impels men to frenzy. So when Skyles had been initiated into the rites of Bacchus, one of the Borysthenites went off to the Scythians and said: "Whereas ye laugh at us, O Scythians, because we perform the rite of Bacchus and because the god seizes us, now this divinity has seized also your king; and he is both joining in the rite of Bacchus and maddened by the influence of the god. And if ye disbelieve me, follow and I will show you." The chief men of the Scythians followed him, and the Borysthenite led them secretly into the town and set them upon a tower. So when Skyles passed by with the company of revellers, and the Scythians saw him joining in the rite of Bacchus, they were exceedingly grieved at it, and they went out and declared to the whole band that which they had seen. 79. [1] ἐπείτε δὲ ἔδεέ οἱ κακῶς γενέσθαι, ἐγίνετο ἀπὸ προφάσιος τοιῆσδε. ἐπεθύμησε Διονύσῳ Βακχείῳ τελεσθῆναι· μέλλοντι δέ οἱ ἐς χεῖρας ἄγεσθαι τὴν τελετὴν ἐγένετο φάσμα μέγιστον. [2] ἦν οἱ ἐν Βορυσθενεϊτέων τῇ πόλι οἰκίης μεγάλης καὶ πολυτελέος περιβολή, τῆς καὶ ὀλίγῳ τι πρότερον τούτων μνήμην εἶχον, τὴν πέριξ λευκοῦ λίθου σφίγγες τε καὶ γρῦπες ἕστασαν· ἐς ταύτην ὁ θεὸς ἐνέσκηψε βέλος. καὶ ἣ μὲν κατεκάη πᾶσα, Σκύλης δὲ οὐδὲν τούτου εἵνεκα ἧσσον ἐπετέλεσε τὴν τελετήν. [3] Σκύθαι δὲ τοῦ βακχεύειν πέρι Ἕλλησι ὀνειδίζουσι· οὐ γὰρ φασὶ οἰκὸς εἶναι θεὸν ἐξευρίσκειν τοῦτον ὅστις μαίνεσθαι ἐνάγει ἀνθρώπους. [4] ἐπείτε δὲ ἐτελέσθη τῷ Βακχείῳ ὁ Σκύλης, διεπρήστευσε τῶν τις Βορυσθενειτέων πρὸς τοὺς Σκύθας λέγων «ἡμῖν γὰρ καταγελᾶτε, ὦ Σκύθαι, ὅτι βακχεύομεν καὶ ἡμέας ὁ θεὸς λαμβάνει· νῦν οὗτος ὁ δαίμων καὶ τὸν ὑμέτερον βασιλέα λελάβηκε, καὶ βακχεύει τε καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ μαίνεται. εἰ δέ μοι ἀπιστέετε, ἕπεσθε, καὶ ὑμῖν ἐγὼ δέξω.» [5] εἵποντο τῶν Σκύθεων οἱ προεστεῶτες, καὶ αὐτοὺς ἀναγαγὼν ὁ Βορυσθενεΐτης λάθρῃ ἐπὶ πύργον κατεῖσε. ἐπείτε δὲ παρήιε σὺν τῷ θιάσῳ ὁ Σκύλης καὶ εἶδόν μιν βακχεύοντα οἱ Σκύθαι, κάρτα συμφορὴν μεγάλην ἐποιήσαντο, ἐξελθόντες δὲ ἐσήμαινον πάσῃ τῇ στρατιῇ τὰ ἴδοιεν.

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