Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII
Book II: epitome, pp. 57-121
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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