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From their teaching he learned as much as he could grasp of the laws regulating the movements of the earth and the stars, and of the pure sacrificial rites. Of what he had learned he communicated something to the understanding of the Magi, which they, along with the art of divining the future, hand on from generation to generation to later times. And it was sin to approach an altar, or touch a sacrificial victim, before one of the Magi, with a set form of prayer, poured the preliminary libations. But they gradually increased in number and became a strong clan, with a name of their own; they possessed country residences, which were protected by no great walls, and they were allowed to live in accordance with their own laws, and through respect for religion were held in high esteem.

If a missile is smeared with this oil and shot somewhat slowly from a loosened bow for it is extinguished by a swift flight , wherever it lands it burns persistently; and if one tries to put it out with water, he makes it burn the more fiercely, and it can be quelled in no other way than by throwing dust upon it.


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Those who are skilled in such matters take oil of general use, mix it with a certain herb, and let it stand for a long time and thicken, until it gets magic power from the material. To this last, a great and beautiful river, the elder Cyrus, that lovable king, when he was hastening on his way to seize the realms of the Scythians, gave that name in place of its older one, because it is valiant, as he himself also was said to be, and forcing its way with the exercise of great power, as he did, flows into the Caspian Sea.

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For many rivers flow through it into the above-mentioned gulf, the greatest of which are the Batradites, Rogomanius, Brisoana, and Bagrada. But only three islands are to be seen there: Tabiana, Fara, and Alexandria. Their land is cut by the omits the article. For those who depart from this life by a natural death they assail with insults, as degenerate and cowardly. The most prominent among them is Turgana, on which there is said to be a great temple of Serapis. There are also cities which, though few in number, are very rich in all that contributes to the maintenance and enjoyment of life.

Conspicuous among them are Carmana, mother city of them all, Portospana, Alexandria, and Hermupolis. They also have some strong cities, among lesser towns; two are on the sea, Socanda and Saramanna, and others inland, Asmurna, Sale, and, better known than these, Hyrcana. And although the greater part of their soil, from dearth of water, is a desert, they nevertheless have some towns; but Iasonion, Antiochia, and Nigaea are better known than the others. Of these, the Artamis and Zariaspes first unite as well as the Ochus and Orgomanes, and when joined they increase the mighty flow of the Oxus with their combined waters.

These streams rush headlong over mountains and valleys into a level plain and form a lake, Oxia by name, which is both long and broad. Here among other towns Alexandria, Cyreschata, and the metropolis, Drepsa, are famous. It is overhung by the mountains Ascanimia and Comedus, along the base of which and through a village, which they call Lithinos Pyrgos, a very long road extends, which is the route taken by the traders who journey from time to time to the land of the Seres.

These, as if living in a nook of the world, and brought up in solitude, are widely scattered, and are accustomed to common and poor food. It is necessary only to know, that among these nations, which because of the extreme roughness of their land are almost inaccessible, there are some mild and kindly folk, such as the Iaxartae and the Galactophagi, whom the bard Homer mentions in this verse: "Of the Galactophagi and Abii, righteous men.

But there are only three cities which the region is known to have, namely, Aspabota, Chauriana, and Saga.

King and Emperor (Hammer and the Cross/Harry Harrison)

On the west they are bounded by the Scythians, and on the north and the east they extend to a snowclad waste; on the south they reach India and the Ganges. The nature of the various tracts is unlike, being now open and flat and now descending in gentle slopes; and therefore the land overflows in grain, flocks and orchards. Towards the rising sun are the Rabannae, Asmira, and the Essedones, the most famed of all; close to them, on the west, are the Athagorae, and the Aspacarae.

In the south are the Baetae, dwelling on the slopes of high mountains. Their climate is agreeable and healthful, the sky is clear, the winds gentle and very pleasant. There is an abundance of well-lighted woods, the trees of which produce a substance which they work with frequent sprinkling, like a kind of fleece; then from the wool-like material, mixed with water, they draw out very fine threads, spin the yarn, and make sericum, formerly for the use of the nobility, but nowadays available even to the lowest without any distinction.

And when strangers, in order to buy threads or anything else, cross the river, their wares are laid out and with no exchange of words their value is estimated by the eye alone; and they are so abstemious, that they hand over their own products without themselves getting any foreign ware in return. Moreover, this same Aria has many cities, among which the following are renowned: Vitaxa Sarmatina, Sotira, Nisibis, and Alexandria, from which the voyage to the Caspian Sea is reckoned as fifteen hundred stadia.


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  • From a much smaller river, flowing out from the mighty Indus, from which the whole region takes its name, Arachosia receives an abundance of water; this river forms a lake, called Arachotoscrene. But here, too, there are famous cities, in addition to islands; but Ratira and Gynaecon limen are more highly esteemed than the rest.

    All of them without exception, even at banquets and on festal days, appear girt with swords; an old Greek custom which, according to the trustworthy testimony of Thucydides, the Athenians were the first to abandon. They are given to empty words, and talk madly and extravagantly. They are boastful, harsh and offensive, threatening in adversity and prosperity alike, crafty, haughty, cruel, claiming the power of life and death over slaves and commons.

    The whole throng of them always follows in the rear, as if doomed to perpetual slavery, without ever being supported by pay or gifts. To the use of golden armlets and neck-chains, gems, and especially pearls, of which they possess a great number, they first became accustomed after their victory over Lydia and Croesus. For at that time they desire, as it were, a kind of copulation, and by often opening and shutting quickly they take in moisture by sprinkling with moonlight.

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    Thereby becoming pregnant, they each bear two or three small pearls, or else uniones , so called because the shell-fish, when opened, sometimes yield only one pearl, but in that case they are of greater size. The people omitted some words and read: "Felix, Iulianus, Augustus," implying that Augustus i. Julian would follow Felix and Count Julianus to the grave. Florus, I. See Suet. These give a general idea of the scorpion and the ram, although they do not contain all the features of Ammianus' description.

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    The arrow is drawn back by a cord fastened to the ropes on the rollers. When the catch is released, these ropes drive out the arrow. Thayer's Note: According to current science and slow-motion photography, the ancients were right. The descriptions of Diod. In general, see Cic. Ennius, Ann. The expression libri fulgurales seems to occur only here and in Cic.

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    The siege lasted, with interruptions, for thirteen years. Unable to defend his fleet against this awesome weapon, Shef travels East in search of new wisdom. His quest leads him to the lavish court of the Muslim Caliph and, ultimately, to the secret hiding place of the Holy Grail. Make Room! OverDrive uses cookies and similar technologies to improve your experience, monitor our performance, and understand overall usage trends for OverDrive services including OverDrive websites and apps. We use this information to create a better experience for all users.

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    Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes. Please enable cookies in your browser to get the full Trove experience. Skip to content Skip to search. Harrison, Harry, Physical Description p. Published New York, N. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 3 of 6.

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    Author Harrison, Harry, Other Authors Holm, John. Edition 1st ed. Series The hammer and the cross ; 3 Harrison, Harry, Hammer and the cross ; book 3. Subjects Middle Ages -- Fiction.


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