dwellings outside the circuit of the walls. When the town was
finished, he proceeded to arrange the ceremonial. He allowed no one to
have direct access to the person of the king, but made all
communication pass through the hands of messengers, and forbade the
king to be seen by his subjects. He also made it an offence for any
one whatsoever to laugh or spit in the royal presence. This
ceremonial, of which he was the first inventor, Deioces established
for his own security, fearing that his compeers, who were brought up
together with him, and were of as good family as he, and no whit
inferior to him in manly qualities, if they saw him frequently would
be pained at the sight, and would therefore be likely to conspire
against him; whereas if they did not see him, they would think him
quite a different sort of being from themselves.
After completing these arrangements, and firmly settling himself
upon the throne, Deioces continued to administer justice with the same
strictness as before. Causes were stated in writing, and sent in to
the king, who passed his judgment upon the contents, and transmitted
his decisions to the parties concerned: besides which he had spies and
eavesdroppers in all parts of his dominions, and if he heard of any
act of oppression, he sent for the guilty party, and awarded him the
punishment meet for his offence.
Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, and ruled over
them alone. Now these are the tribes of which they consist: the Busae,
the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi.
Having reigned three-and-fifty years, Deioces was at his death
succeeded by his son Phraortes. This prince, not satisfied with a
dominion which did not extend beyond the single nation of the Medes,
began by attacking the Persians; and marching an army into their
country, brought them under the Median yoke before any other people.
After this success, being now at the head of two nations, both of them
powerful, he proceeded to conquer Asia, overrunning province after
province. At last he engaged in war with the Assyrians- those
Assyrians, I mean, to whom Nineveh belonged, who were formerly the
lords of Asia. At present they stood alone by the revolt and desertion
of their allies, yet still their internal condition was as flourishing
as ever. Phraortes attacked them, but perished in the expedition
with the greater part of his army, after having reigned over the Medes
On the death of Phraortes his son Cyaxares ascended the throne. Of
him it is reported that he was still more war-like than any of his
ancestors, and that he was the first who gave organisation to an
Asiatic army, dividing the troops into companies, and forming distinct
bodies of the spearmen, the archers, and the cavalry, who before his
time had been mingled in one mass, and confused together. He it was
who fought against the Lydians on the occasion when the day was
changed suddenly into night, and who brought under his dominion the
whole of Asia beyond the Halys. This prince, collecting together all
the nations which owned his sway, marched against Nineveh, resolved to
avenge his father, and cherishing a hope that he might succeed in
taking the town. A battle was fought, in which the Assyrians
suffered a defeat, and Cyaxares had already begun the siege of the
place, when a numerous horde of Scyths, under their king Madyes, son
of Prtotohyes, burst into Asia in pursuit of the Cimmerians whom
they had driven out of Europe, and entered the Median territory.
The distance from the Palus Maeotis to the river Phasis and the
Colchians is thirty days' journey for a lightly-equipped traveller.
From Colchis to cross into Media does not take long- there is only a
single intervening nation, the Saspirians, passing whom you find
yourself in Media. This however was not the road followed by the
Scythians, who turned out of the straight course, and took the upper
route, which is much longer, keeping the Caucasus upon their right.
The Scythians, having thus invaded Media, were opposed by the Medes,
who gave them battle, but, being defeated, lost their empire. The
Scythians became masters of Asia.