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instead of before Greeks in Greek arenas?” Damis says that he was so overcome by this reasoning that he was ashamed of what he had said, and asked pardon of Apollonius for his presumption in so advising and urging him, without due regard for his character. But Apollonius, stopping him, said: "Never mind! I did not mean to reprove you by speaking so to you, but to make my position clear to you."

36. When a eunuch came to summon him to the king's audience he returned the answer: "I will come as soon as my religious rites have been duly performed;" and accordingly after completing his offerings and prayers he proceeded to the palace, attracting everyone's notice by his appearance. On his entrance the king said: “I grant you ten gifts, for I think you such a man as never yet came here out of Greece.” Apollonius replied: “I do not refuse all of them, O King, for I will gladly accept one gift more pleasing to me than many times ten others.” Thereupon he recounted the history of the Eretrians, beginning with Datis, and went on: “I ask then that these poor people be not driven from their lands and their ridge, and that they may have undisturbed possession of that area which Darius allotted to them; for it is not right that after being dragged from their fatherland they should not be left in possession of even the wretched patch of ground which was granted to them in exchange." The king nodded assent, saying: "Until today those Eretrians have been foes to me and to my predecessors, for they began the war originally, and they have been disregarded in the hope that all their tribe would disappear. Henceforward they are on the list of my friends, and I will set over them as a satrap a good man, who will protect their rights in the land. But why do you not accept the other nine gifts ?” Apollonius answered: "Because I have not yet made any friends here, O King." And on the king asking if he needed nothing for himself, he replied: "Yes, dried fruits and bread, which to me are sweet and wholesome fare.”


At this point in the conversation a confused clamor of eunuchs and women was heard in the palace, for a eunuch had been taken lying with one of the royal concubines and acting like an adulterer, wherefore the custodians of the harem were dragging him out by the hair, as the king's slaves in disgrace are usually treated. When the chief eunuch reported to the king that he had noticed for some time an undue familiarity of the culprit with that woman, and had warned him not to speak with her, nor touch her neck or her hand, nor pay any more attention to her than to any of the other women, but that now he had been caught lying with her and trying to play the man, Apollonius looked at Damis to remind him that this settled the question between them whether or not even eunuchs could feel the tender passion. But the king said to those standing near: “It would be a shame, gentlemen, if when Apollonius is with us we should undertake to decide a question of morals, without referring it to him. What punishment then, Apollonius, do you require this criminal to undergo?" "What else but that he should live on?" was the unexpected answer of Apollonius. The king flushing up said: “Does not the wretch who has crept thus into my bed deserve the penalty of death many times over?” Apollonius replied: "I did not suggest any leniency for him, O King, but the punishment of a lingering death. For if he drags out a miserable existence, longing for impossibilities, he will care for neither food nor drink, nor for those shows which you and your household take delight in; and he will start from sleep with palpitating heart, an affliction to which those in love are especially subject. What disease could waste him like that, or what starvation could so gnaw at his vitals? Unless he clings to life at every cost he will beg the boon of death from you, or will kill himself, for never will he cease to curse this day on which he has not been allowed to die quickly.” Such was the wise and moderate opinion of Apollonius, and in accordance with it the king ordered that the eunuch might live.

38. Soon after, when the king was planning a hunt in the parks in which lions, bears and leopards are preserved by those barbarians, he invited Apollonius to take part in it, but he replied: "O King, have you forgotten that I do not even attend your sacrifices? Besides, it is no pleasure for me to lie in wait for beasts harassed by beaters, and fenced in so that they cannot protect themselves in their own way.”

Again, when the king sought his advice how to strengthen and secure his throne, he replied: "By bestowing honors on many, and trust on few."

On another occasion the prefect of Syria had sent envoys to the king relative to two villages near Zeugma, I think, which he claimed had once belonged to Antiochus and Seleucus, and that therefore they had come under his own jurisdiction, as the representative of the Roman Empire, the successor of those monarchs; and he complained that though the neighboring Armenians and Arabs left those towns in peace, the king of Babylon had overstepped the boundaries of his already ample dominions, to drain those villages by taxes as if they belonged to him instead of to Rome. After causing the envoys to withdraw out of hearing, the king said to Apollonius: “The fact is that those kings they mention granted these villages to my ancestors as places in which to maintain in captivity the wild beasts which are caught in our country and taken to them across the Euphrates. Now these people are ignoring that grant, and are grasping at new and unfair pretexts. What do you think is the purpose of this embassy ?” Apollonius replied: "It'strikes me as being fair and reasonable, O King, if that purpose is to obtain from you an amicable surrender of villages situated on their own side of the river, which they could take anyway, whether you are willing or not.” He went on to say that it would not do to quarrel with the Roman Empire for the sake of those villages which were more insignificant than many owned by commoners, or even to be provoked into war with it over weighty issues.

Again, when the king had fallen ill, Apollonius sat by him and discoursed concerning the soul with such power and inspiration that the king took courage and said to those present: “Apollonius has relieved me of anxiety about my kingdom before this, and now he has relieved my fear of death."

39. When the king showed him that covered way laid under the Euphrates, and asked him what he thought of such a miracle, Apollonius cooled his enthusiasm for the marvelous by saying: "The real miracle, O King, would be for you to wade such a deep and impassable river." Then the king exhibited to him the walls of Ecbatana, which he called the abode of the gods. Apollonius said: "I am sure that it is not the abode of gods, O King, and whether it is even an abode for men is doubtful. The city where the Spartans live is built without any walls at all.” After holding court among the towns the king boasted to Apollonius that he had devoted two days to hearing one case, but the Master remarked: "You were very slow in finding where justice lay." At another time, when large remittances of revenue had been received from the provinces, the king opened his treasury to him and exhibited the gold in it, thinking to excite in him some envy; but without being at all impressed by what he saw, Apollonius said: "All this is wealth to you, O King, but to me it is only chaff.” Then the king asked: "What ought I to do, to make a wise use of it?” and he answered: “Do not hoard it, but employ it, for you are a king.”

40. Having had many such colloquies with the king, whom he found disposed to follow his advice; and moreover having seen all he wished of the Magi, the Master said: "Come now, Damis, let us continue our journey to the Indians. Those who land among the Lotus-eaters lose their wish for home by that food, and although we are not fond of any of the products of this country, we are lingering here longer than we should." "I certainly think so too,” said Damis, "but I have been keeping track of the time you divined from that lioness, and waiting for it to elapse, which has not quite happened yet. We have spent only a year and four months here. Would it be propitious for us to go away directly?” The Master replied: "The king will not let us go before the end of the eight months, Damis, for you see how hospitable he is, and too good to rule barbarians.”


As they were determined to go, the king at last consented to their departure, and Apollonius, reminding him of the gifts which he had refused to accept until he had made friends in that country, said: “O best of kings, I have so far paid nothing to my host, and I am also under obligation to the Magi. Please therefore be mindful of them, and for my sake show favor to those wise men, who moreover are most devoted to your interests.” Greatly delighted by this request, the king said: “Tomorrow I will show you that they have become of enviable condition, and highly rewarded. Now although you want nothing for yourself which I can give you, at least let these men" (pointing to Damis and their attendants) "receive from me money, and whatever else they wish.” When they also declined to accept any gifts, the Master said: "You see, O King, how many hands I have, and that they are all alike!" "At least you will take a guide for the journey, and camels to ride,” said the king, “for the distance is too great to travel on foot.” “Be it so, O King,” said Apollonius, "for they tell me that the journey cannot be made except by riding those animals, which will keep in good condition if they feed at long intervals, when forage is scarce. I suppose they must carry water too, stored in leather bags as if it was wine." "You have to pass through a three days' stretch of country where no water can be found,” said the king, "but after that rivers and springs abound. The best route is by way of the Caucasus, for that region will furnish ample supply of all you need, and besides it is in friendly relations with us." On the king asking what present he would bring back to him from India, the Master replied: "A welcome gift, O King; for if my companionship with those Sages shall have made me wiser, I shall come back to you better than I am now.” At this the king embraced him, saying: “Only come back to me, for that will be gift enough!”




1. In early summer they set out on their journey from Babylon riding on camels, with a guide and a man to care for the camels, and by the king's munificence they were well supplied with all requisites. The region through which they went was productive and the villagers received them hospitably, for the leading camel bore a disc of gold between its eyes, to show all whom they met that the king was sending forth one of his friends.

2. As they drew nearer the Caucasus Damis says that the earth itself seemed to breathe out a sweeter fragrance. We give this name of Caucasus to the mountains beginning at the Taurus range and extending through Armenia and Cilicia to Pamphylia and Mycale, as far as the sea where the Carians dwell, which point should be considered as the end of the Caucasus, and not its beginning, as some call it. The height of the ridge at Mycale is not very great, but the topmost peaks of Caucasus rise so high that one would think they might cleave the sun. Between the Caucasus proper and the further range of Taurus all Scythia is enclosed, from the boundary of India to the Mæotis and the east shore of the Black sea, a distance of about 20,000 stadia, all of which great tract of land is shut in by this elbow of the Caucasus. That the Taurus chain in our own land stretches beyond Armenia was for some time in doubt, but the fact that leopards have been caught in the incense-bearing region of Pamphylia, to my own knowledge, confirms the fact; for leopards delight in incense and follow up its scent from a great distance from Armenia through the hills in search of the drops of styrax gum, when the wind blows from that quarter, and the sap is exuding from the trees. It is said that a leopardess was once caught in Pamphylia having a gold collar around its neck inscribed in Armenian characters: “Arsaces the king to the Nysian god.” At that time Arsaces was king of Armenia, and he probably, on seeing what a fine beast she was, had dedicated her to Bacchus, who was called Nysian from the city of Nysa in India, not only by the Indians, but by all the peoples of the East. After some taming she had submitted to patting and stroking, until she became excited by the coming of spring, which is the

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