19. ΒΟΡΥΣΘΕΝΙΤΙΚΟΣ ΟΝ ΑΝΕΓΝΩ ΕΝ ΤΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΙΔΙ
1Ἐτύγχανον μὲν ἐπιδημῶν ἐν Βορυσθένει τὸ θέρος, ὡς τότε εἰσέπλευσα μετὰ τὴν φυγήν, βουλόμενος ἐλθεῖν, ἐὰν δύνωμαι, διὰ Σκυθῶν εἰς Γέτας, ὅπως θεάσωμαι τἀκεῖ πράγματα ὁποῖά ἐστι. καὶ δὴ καὶ περιεπάτουν περὶ πλήθουσαν ἀγορὰν παρὰ τὸν Ὕπανιν. ἡ γὰρ πόλις τὸ μὲν ὄνομα εἴληφεν ἀπὸ τοῦ Βορυσθένους διὰ τὸ κάλλος καὶ τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ ποταμοῦ, κεῖται δὲ πρὸς τῷ Ὑπάνιδι, ἥ τε νῦν καὶ ἡ πρότερον οὕτως ᾠκεῖτο, οὐ πολὺ ἄνωθεν τῆς Ἱππολάου καλουμένης 2ἄκρας ἐν τῷ κατ᾿ ἀντικρύ. τοῦτο δέ ἐστι τῆς χώρας ὀξὺ καὶ στερεὸν ὥσπερ ἔμβολον, περὶ ὃ συμπίπτουσιν οἱ ποταμοί. τὸ δὲ ἐντεῦθεν ἤδη λιμνάζουσι μέχρι θαλάττης ἐπὶ σταδίους σχεδόν τι διακοσίους· καὶ τὸ εὖρος οὐχ ἧττον ταύτῃ τῶν ποταμῶν. ἔστι δὲ αὐτοῦ τὸ μὲν πλέον τέναγος
The Thirty-Sixth, or Borysthenitic, Discourse, Which Dio Delivered in His Native Land
I happened to be visiting in Borysthenes1 during the summer, for I had sailed there then,2 after my exile, with the purpose of making my way, if possible, through Scythia to the Getan country, in order to observe conditions there. Well, one day toward noon I was strolling along the Hypanis. I should explain that, although the city has taken its name from the Borysthenes because of the beauty and the size of that river, the actual position, not only of the present city, but also of its predecessor, is on the bank of the Hypanis, not far above what is called Cape Hippolaüs,3 on the opposite shore. This part of the land, near where the two rivers meet, is as sharp and firm as the beak of a ship. But from there on these rivers form a marshy lake down to the sea for a distance of approximately two hundred stades; and the breadth of the two rivers in that district is not less than that. The fact is that most of that stretch
- 1Also called Olbia (Herodotus 4. 18, Strabo 7. 3. 17), an important trading-centre on the right bank of the Hypanis (Bug), about four miles above the junction with the Borysthenes (Dnieper).
- 2The word τότε presumably refers to τὸ θέρος; unfortunately we are not told which summer. Of course summer was the season best adapted to travel, and that may be the sole reason why Dio uses the phrase.
- 3Herodotus (4. 53) is the only other Greek to mention this cape.