Strabo, Geography

LCL 50: 114-115

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σίτου· ἐπεσιτίζοντο δὲ ἐκ τῆς Ἀκυιτανίας χαλεπῶς διὰ τὰς δυσχωρίας. τῆς δ᾿ ἀπονοίας καὶ τοῦτο λέγεται τῆς Καντάβρων, ὅτι ἁλόντες τινές, ἀναπεπηγότες ἐπὶ τῶν σταυρῶν, ἐπαιώνιζον. τὰ μὲν οὖν τοιαῦτα τῶν ἠθῶν ἀγριότητός τινος παραδείγματ᾿ ἂν εἴη· τὰ δὲ τοιαῦτα ἧττον μὲν ἴσως πολιτικά, οὐ θηριώδη δέ, οἷον τὸ παρὰ τοῖς Καντάβροις τοὺς ἄνδρας διδόναι ταῖς γυναιξὶ προῖκα, τὸ τὰς θυγατέρας κληρονόμους ἀπολείπεσθαι, τούς τε ἀδελφοὺς ὑπὸ τούτων ἐκδίδοσθαι γυναιξίν. ἔχει γάρ τινα γυναικοκρατίαν. τοῦτο δ᾿ οὐ πάνυ πολιτικόν. Ἰβηρικὸν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἐν ἔθει παρατίθεσθαι τοξικόν, ὃ συντιθέασιν ἐκ βοτάνης σελίνῳ προσομοίας ἄπονον, ὥστ᾿ ἔχειν ἐν ἑτοίμῳ πρὸς τὰ ἀβούλητα, καὶ τὸ κατασπένδειν αὑτούς, οἷς ἂν προσθῶνται, ὥστε ἀποθνήσκειν αὐτοὺς ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν.


Geography, 3.4

get supplies out of Aquitania on account of the rough roads. As for the insensibility1 of the Cantabrians, this instance is also told, namely, that when some captive Cantabrians had been nailed on their crosses they proceeded to sing their paean of victory. Now such traits as these would indicate a certain savageness; and yet there are other things which, although not marks of civilisation perhaps, are not brutish; for instance, it is the custom among the Cantabrians for the husbands to give dowries to their wives, for the daughters to be left as heirs, and the brothers to be married off by their sisters. The custom involves, in fact, a sort of womanrule—but this is not at all a mark of civilisation. It is also an Iberian custom habitually to keep at hand a poison, which is made by them out of an herb that is nearly like parsley and painless,2 so as to have it in readiness for any untoward eventuality; and it is an Iberian custom, too, to devote their lives to whomever they attach themselves, even to the point of dying for them.3

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.strabo-geography.1917