Saucy and Scandalous Tales from the Histories of Herodotus – 2: The Character of the Persians.
No race is so ready to adopt foreign ways as the Persian…Pleasures, too, of all sorts they are quick to indulge when they get to know about them – a notable instance is pederasty, which they learned from the Greeks. Every man has a number of wives, and a much greater number of mistresses. After prowess in fighting, the chief proof of manliness is to be the father of a large family of boys.
The period of a boy’s education is between the ages of five and twenty, and they are taught three things only: to ride, to use the bow and to speak the truth…They consider telling lies more disgraceful than anything else and, next to that, owing money.
The Persians are very fond of wine, and no one is allowed to vomit or relieve himself in the presence of another person.
If an important decision is to be made, they discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house in which the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.
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