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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

Book II: epitome,   pp. 57-121


Page 120

Euripides, and some others of the tragic poets.  And Anaxa- 
goras says that this is the sole origin of all that fulness; but 
Euripides goes further, and describes the exact place where 
this melting of the snow takes place; for in his play called 
"Archelaus " he speaks thus:- 
Danaus, the noble sire of fifty daughters, 
Leaving the Nile, the fairest stream on earth, 
Fill'd by the summer of the Althiop land, 
The negro's home, when the deep snow does melt, 
And o'er the land the Sun his chariot drives. 
And in the "Helen " he says something similar 
These are the beauteous virgain streams of Nile 
Which in the place of rain bedew the plain 
Of Egypt when the white snow melts on th' hills. 
And AEschylus says- 
I know its history, and love to praise 
The race of the MEthiop land, where mighty Nile 
Rolls down his seven streams the country through, 
When the spring winds bring down the heavy waters; 
What time the sun shining along that land 
Dissolves the mountain snow; and the whole land 
Of flourishing Egypt, fill'd with th' holy stream, 
Sends forth the vital ears of corn of Ceres. 
89. And Callisthenes the historian argues against what I 
quoted just now as stated by Anaxagoras and Euripides: and 
he, too, declares his own opinion,-that as there is much very 
heavy and continued rain in Ethiopia about the time of the 
rising of the Dogstar, and from that period till the rising of 
Arcturus, and as the Etesian winds blow at about the same 
time, (for these are the winds which he says have the greatest 
tendency to bring the clouds over IEthiopia,) when the clouds 
fall upon the mountains in that region, a vast quantity of 
water bursts forth, in consequence of which the Nile rises. 
But Democritus says that about the winter solstice there are 
heavy falls of snow in the countries around the north; but 
that when the sun changes its course, at the summer solstice, 
the snow being melted and evaporated by the warmth, clouds 
are formed, and then the Etesian gales catch hold of them, and 
drive them towards the south; and when these clouds are all 
driven together towards -,Ethiopia and Libya, a mighty rain 
ensues, and the water from that flows down the mountains 
and fills the Nile. This, then, is the cause which Democritus 
alleges for this fulness of the Nile. 
90. But Euthymenes the Massiliote says, speaking of his 
120 
[EPIT. B. II. 
ITHE DEIPNOSOPHISTS. 


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