IT is now almost a century since Rapp cited, 1 among Greek texts relating to Persian customs and beliefs, the charming tale of Zariadres and Odatis, preserved for us by Athenaeus on the authority of Chares of Mytilene.2 The story is in brief as follows: Hystaspes and his younger brother Zariadres were said by the people of their land to be born of Aphrodite and Adonis. Hystaspes ruled Media and the lands below it, Zariadres the region above the Caspian Gates up to the Tanais. Beyond the Tanals lived the Marathi, ruled by Omartes, whose daughter Odatis was the most beautiful woman in Asia.3 Odatis dreamt of Zariadres, and loved him; and he too loved Odatis through dreams. He sought her vainly in marriage, for her father did not wish to give her to a stranger. Soon after, Omartes held a marriage-feast attended by his own kinsmen and nobles, and bade Odatis give a cup of wine to him whom she wished to marry. Zariadres, forewarned by Odatis, came in full haste across the Tanals, accompanied only by his charioteer, and entered the hall in Scythian dress as, weeping, Odatis slowly filled the cup. She recognized him with joy, and he carried her off. This tale, Chares states, was greatly esteemed by the barbarians of Asia, who painted scenes from it on the walls of temples, palaces, and even private houses, the nobles often giving the name of Odatis to their own daughters.