Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
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7.3.5In fact, it is said that a certain man of the Getae, Zamolxis by name, had been a slave to Pythagoras, and had learned some things about the heavenly bodies from him, [Note] as also certain other things from the Egyptians, for in his wanderings he had gone even as far as Egypt; and when he came on back to his home-land he was eagerly courted by the rulers and the people of the tribe, because he could make predictions from the celestial signs; and at last he persuaded the king to take him as a partner in the government, on the ground that he was competent to report the will of the gods; and although at the outset he was only made a priest of the god who was most honored in their country, yet afterwards he was even addressed as god, and having taken possession of a certain cavernous place that was inaccessible to anyone else he spent his life there, only rarely meeting with any people outside except the king and his own attendants; and the king cooperated with him, because he saw that the people paid much more attention to himself than before, in the belief that the decrees which he promulgated were in accordance with the counsel of the gods. This custom persisted even down to our own time, because some man of that character was always to be found, who, though in fact only a counsellor to the king, was called god among the Getae. And the people took up the notion that the mountain [Note] was sacred and they so call it, but its name is Cogaeonum, [Note] like that of the river which flows past it. So, too, at the time when Byrebistas, [Note] against whom already [Note] the Deified Caesar had prepared to make an expedition, was reigning over the Getae, the office in question was held by Decaeneus, and somehow or other the Pythagorean doctrine of abstention from eating any living thing still survived as taught by Zamolxis.

7.3.6Now although such difficulties as these might fairly be raised concerning what is found in the text of Homer about the Mysians and the “proud Hippemolgi,” yet what Apollodorus states in the preface to the Second Book of his work On Ships [Note] can by no means be asserted; for he approves the declaration of Eratosthenes, that although both Homer and the other early authors knew the Greek places, they were decidedly unacquainted with those that were far away, since they had no experience either in making long journeys by land or in making voyages by sea. And in support of this Apollodorus says that Homer calls Aulis “rocky” [Note] (and so it is), and Eteonus “place of many ridges,” [Note] and Thisbe “haunt of doves,” [Note] and Haliartus “grassy,” [Note] but, he says, neither Homer nor the others knew the places that were far away. At any rate, he says, although about forty rivers now into the Pontus, Homer mentions not a single one of those that are the most famous, as, for example, the Ister, the Tanaïs, the Borysthenes, the Hypanis, the Phasis, the Thermodon, the Halys; [Note] and, besides, he does not mention the Scythians, but invents certain “proud Hippemolgi” and “Galactophagi” and “Abii”; and as for the Paphlagonians of the interior, he reports what he has learned from those who have approached the regions afoot, but he is ignorant of the seaboard, [Note] and naturally so, for at that time this sea was not navigable, and was called Axine [Note] because of its wintry storms and the ferocity of the tribes that lived around it, and particularly the Scythians, in that they sacrificed strangers, ate their flesh, and used their skulls as drinking-cups; but later it was called “Euxine,” [Note] when the Ionians founded cities on the seaboard. And, likewise, Homer is also ignorant of the facts about Egypt and Libya, as, for example, about the risings of the Nile and the silting up of the sea, [Note] things which he nowhere mentions; neither does he mention the isthmus between the Erythraean [Note] and the Egyptian [Note] Seas, nor the regions of Arabia and Ethiopia and the ocean, unless one should give heed to Zeno the philosopher when he writes, “And I came to the Ethiopians and Sidonians and Arabians.”
[Note] [Note] But this ignorance in Homer's case is not amazing, for those who have lived later than he have been ignorant of many things and have invented marvellous tales: Hesiod, when he speaks of “men who are half-dog,” [Note] of “long-headed men,” and of “Pygmies”; and Alcman, when he speaks of “web footed men”; and Aeschylus, when he speaks of “dog-headed men,” of “men with eyes in their breasts”, and of “one-eyed men” (in his Prometheus it is said [Note]); and a host of other tales. From these men he proceeds against the historians who speak of the “Rhipaean Mountains,” [Note] and of “Mt. Ogyium,” [Note] and of the settlement of the Gorgons and Hesperides, and of the “Land of Meropis” [Note] in Theopompus, [Note] and the “City of Cimmeris” in Hecataeus, [Note] and the “Land of Panchaea” [Note] in Euhemerus, [Note] and in Aristotle “the river-stones, which are formed of sand but are melted by the rains.” [Note] And in Libya, Apollodorus continues, there is a “City of Dionysus” which it is impossible for the same man ever to find twice. He censures also those who speak of the Homeric wanderings of Odysseus as having been in the neighborhood of Sicily; for in that case, says he, one should go on and say that, although the wanderings took place there, the poet, for the sake of mythology, placed them out in Oceanus. [Note] And, he adds, the writers in general can be pardoned, but Callimachus [Note] cannot be pardoned at all, because he makes a pretence of being a scholar; [Note] for he calls Gaudos [Note] the “Isle of Calypso” and Corcyra “Scheria.” And others he charges with falsifying about “Gerena,” [Note] and “Aeacesium,” [Note] and “Demus” [Note] in Ithaca, and about “Pelethronium” [Note] in Pelion, and about Glaucopium [Note] in Athens. To these criticisms Apollodorus adds some petty ones of like sort and then stops, but he borrowed most of them from Eratosthenes, and as I have remarked before [Note] they are wrong. For while one must concede to Eratosthenes and Apollodorus that the later writers have shown themselves better acquainted with such matters than the men of early times, yet to proceed beyond all moderation as they do, and particularly in the case of Homer, is a thing for which, as it seems to me, one might justly rebuke them and make the reverse statement: that where they are ignorant themselves, there they reproach the poet with ignorance. However, what remains to be said on this subject meets with appropriate mention in my detailed descriptions of the several countries, [Note] as also in my general description. [Note]



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
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