| [p. 117]
must be desert, owing to their enemies and to their
so that even if a naturally brave and
spirited man is born his temper is changed by their
institutions. Whereof I can give a clear proof.
All the inhabitants of Asia, whether Greek or
non-Greek, who are not ruled by despots, but are
independent, toiling for their own advantage, are
the most warlike of all men. For it is for their
own sakes that they run their risks, and in their
own persons do they receive the prizes of their
valour as likewise the penalty of their cowardice.
You will find that Asiatics also differ from one
another, some being superior, others inferior. The
reason for this, as I have said above, is the changes
of the seasons.
|Or, reading ἡμεροῦσθαι τὴν ὀργὴν ὑπό τε ἀπολεμίων κ.τ.λ.,
"the temper of men like these must be gentle, because they
are unwarlike and inactive."|
XVII. Such is the condition of the inhabitants
of Asia. And in Europe is a Scythian race, dwelling
round Lake Maeotis, which differs from the other
races. Their name is Sauromatae. Their women,
so long as they are virgins, ride, shoot, throw the
javelin while mounted, and fight with their enemies.
They do not lay aside their virginity until they have
killed three of their enemies, and they do not marry
before they have performed the traditional sacred
rites. A woman who takes to herself a husband no
longer rides, unless she is compelled to do so by
a general expedition. They have no right breast ;
for while they are yet babies their mothers make