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Herodotus

ἐπεὰν φυσητῆρας λάβωσι ὀστεΐνους αὐλοῖσι προσεμφερεστάτους, τούτους ἐσθέντες ἐς τῶν θηλέων ἵππων τὰ ἄρθρα φυσῶσι τοῖσι στόμασι, ἄλλοι δὲ ἄλλων φυσώντων ἀμέλγουσι. φασὶ δὲ τοῦδε εἵνεκα τοῦτο ποιέειν· τὰς φλέβας τε πίμπλασθαι φυσωμένας τῆς ἵππου καὶ τὸ οὖθαρ κατίεσθαι. ἐπεὰν δὲ ἀμέλξωσι τὸ γάλα, ἐσχέαντες ἐς ξύλινα ἀγγήια κοῖλα καὶ περιστίξαντες κατὰ τὰ ἀγγήια τοὺς τυφλοὺς δονέουσι τὸ γάλα, καὶ τὸ μὲν αὐτοῦ ἐπιστάμενον ἀπαρύσαντες ἡγεῦνται εἶναι τιμιώτερον, τὸ δ᾿ ὑπιστάμενον ἧσσον τοῦ ἑτέρου. τούτων μὲν εἵνεκα ἅπαντα τὸν ἂν λάβωσι οἱ Σκύθαι ἐκτυφλοῦσι· οὐ γὰρ ἀρόται εἰσὶ ἀλλὰ νομάδες.

3. Ἐκ τούτων δὴ ὦν σφι τῶν δούλων καὶ τῶν γυναικῶν ἐτράφη νεότης· οἳ ἐπείτε ἔμαθον τὴν σφετέρην γένεσιν, ἠντιοῦντο αὐτοῖσι κατιοῦσι ἐκ τῶν Μήδων. καὶ πρῶτα μὲν τὴν χώρην ἀπετάμοντο, τάφρον ὀρυξάμενοι εὐρέαν κατατείνουσαν ἐκ τῶν Ταυρικῶν ὀρέων ἐς τὴν Μαιῆτιν λίμνην, τῇ περ ἐστὶ μεγίστη· μετὰ δὲ πειρωμένοισι ἐσβάλλειν τοῖσι Σκύθῃσι ἀντικατιζόμενοι ἐμάχοντο. γινομένης δὲ μάχης πολλάκις καὶ οὐ δυναμένων οὐδὲν πλέον ἔχειν τῶν Σκυθέων τῇ μάχῃ, εἷς αὐτῶν ἔλεξε τάδε. “Οἷα ποιεῦμεν, ἄνδρες Σκύθαι· δούλοισι τοῖσι ἡμετέροισι μαχόμενοι αὐτοί τε κτεινόμενοι ἐλάσσονες γινόμεθα καὶ ἐκείνους κτείνοντες ἐλασσόνων τὸ λοιπὸν ἄρξομεν. νῦν ὦν

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Book IV

the way of their getting it: taking pipes of bone very like flutes, they thrust these into the secret parts of the mares and blow into them, some blowing and others milking. By what they say, their reason for so doing is that the blowing makes the mare’s veins to swell and her udder to be let down. When milking is done, they pour the milk into deep wooden buckets, and make their slaves to stand about the buckets and shake the milk; the surface part of it they draw off, and this they most value; what lies at the bottom is less esteemed. It is for this cause that the Scythians blind all prisoners whom they take; for they are not tillers of the soil, but wandering graziers.

3. So it came about that a younger race grew up, born of these slaves and the women; and when the youths learnt of their lineage, they came out to do battle with the Scythians in their return from Media. First they barred the way to their country by digging a wide trench from the Tauric mountains to the broadest part of the Maeetian lake1; and presently when the Scythians tried to force a passage they encamped over against them and met them in battle. Many fights there were, and the Scythians could gain no advantage thereby; at last one of them said, “Men of Scythia, see what we are about! We are fighting our own slaves; they slay us, and we grow fewer; we slay them, and thereafter shall have fewer slaves. Now therefore

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.herodotus-persian_wars.1920