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Anabasis by Xenophon

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Darius and Parysatis had two sons: the elder was named Artaxerxes, and 1
the younger Cyrus. Now, as Darius lay sick and felt that the end of
life drew near, he wished both his sons to be with him. The elder, as
it chanced, was already there, but Cyrus he must needs send for from
the province over which he had made him satrap, having appointed him
general moreover of all the forces that muster in the plain of the
Castolus. Thus Cyrus went up, taking with him Tissaphernes as his
friend, and accompanied also by a body of Hellenes, three hundred
heavy armed men, under the command of Xenias the Parrhasian[1].

[1] Parrhasia, a district and town in the south-west of Arcadia.

Now when Darius was dead, and Artaxerxes was established in the
kingdom, Tissaphernes brought slanderous accusations against Cyrus
before his brother, the king, of harbouring designs against him. And
Artaxerxes, listening to the words of Tissaphernes, laid hands upon
Cyrus, desiring to put him to death; but his mother made intercession
for him, and sent him back again in safety to his province. He then,
having so escaped through peril and dishonour, fell to considering,
not only how he might avoid ever again being in his brother's power,
but how, if possible, he might become king in his stead. Parysatis,
his mother, was his first resource; for she had more love for Cyrus
than for Artaxerxes upon his throne. Moreover Cyrus's behaviour
towards all who came to him from the king's court was such that, when
he sent them away again, they were better friends to himself than to 5
the king his brother. Nor did he neglect the barbarians in his own
service; but trained them, at once to be capable as warriors and
devoted adherents of himself. Lastly, he began collecting his Hellenic
armament, but with the utmost secrecy, so that he might take the king
as far as might be at unawares.

The manner in which he contrived the levying of the troops was as
follows: First, he sent orders to the commandants of garrisons in the
cities (so held by him), bidding them to get together as large a body
of picked Peloponnesian troops as they severally were able, on the
plea that Tissaphernes was plotting against their cities; and truly
these cities of Ionia had originally belonged to Tissaphernes, being
given to him by the king; but at this time, with the exception of
Miletus, they had all revolted to Cyrus. In Miletus, Tissaphernes,
having become aware of similar designs, had forestalled the
conspirators by putting some to death and banishing the remainder.
Cyrus, on his side, welcomed these fugitives, and having collected an
army, laid siege to Miletus by sea and land, endeavouring to reinstate
the exiles; and this gave him another pretext for collecting an
armament. At the same time he sent to the king, and claimed, as being
the king's brother, that these cities should be given to himself
rather than that Tissaphernes should continue to govern them; and in
furtherance of this end, the queen, his mother, co-operated with him,
so that the king not only failed to see the design against himself,
but concluded that Cyrus was spending his money on armaments in order
to make war on Tissaphernes. Nor did it pain him greatly to see the
two at war together, and the less so because Cyrus was careful to
remit the tribute due to the king from the cities which belonged to

A third army was being collected for him in the Chersonese, over
against Abydos, the origin of which was as follows: There was a
Lacedaemonian exile, named Clearchus, with whom Cyrus had become
associated. Cyrus admired the man, and made him a present of ten
thousand darics[2]. Clearchus took the gold, and with the money raised 9
an army, and using the Chersonese as his base of operations, set to
work to fight the Thracians north of the Hellespont, in the interests
of the Hellenes, and with such happy result that the Hellespontine
cities, of their own accord, were eager to contribute funds for the
support of his troops. In this way, again, an armament was being
secretly maintained for Cyrus.

[2] A Persian gold coin = 125.55 grains of gold.

Then there was the Thessalian Aristippus, Cyrus's friend[3], who,
under pressure of the rival political party at home, had come to Cyrus
and asked him for pay for two thousand mercenaries, to be continued
for three months, which would enable him, he said, to gain the upper
hand of his antagonists. Cyrus replied by presenting him with six
months' pay for four thousand mercenaries--only stipulating that
Aristippus should not come to terms with his antagonists without final
consultation with himself. In this way he secured to himself the
secret maintenance of a fourth armament.

[3] Lit. "guest-friend." Aristippus was, as we learn from the "Meno"
of Plato, a native of Larisa, of the family of the Aleuadae, and a
pupil of Gorgias. He was also a lover of Menon, whom he appears to
have sent on this expedition instead of himself.

Further, he bade Proxenus, a Boeotian, who was another friend, get
together as many men as possible, and join him in an expedition which
he meditated against the Pisidians[4], who were causing annoyance to
his territory. Similarly two other friends, Sophaenetus the
Stymphalian[5], and Socrates the Achaean, had orders to get together
as many men as possible and come to him, since he was on the point of
opening a campaign, along with Milesian exiles, against Tissaphernes.
These orders were duly carried out by the officers in question.

[4] Lit. "into the country of the Pisidians."

[5] Of Stymphalus in Arcadia.


But when the right moment seemed to him to have come, at which he 1
should begin his march into the interior, the pretext which he put
forward was his desire to expel the Pisidians utterly out of the
country; and he began collecting both his Asiatic and his Hellenic
armaments, avowedly against that people. From Sardis in each direction
his orders sped: to Clearchus, to join him there with the whole of his
army; to Aristippus, to come to terms with those at home, and to
despatch to him the troops in his employ; to Xenias the Arcadian, who
was acting as general-in-chief of the foreign troops in the cities, to
present himself with all the men available, excepting only those who
were actually needed to garrison the citadels. He next summoned the
troops at present engaged in the siege of Miletus, and called upon the
exiles to follow him on his intended expedition, promising them that
if he were successful in his object, he would not pause until he had
reinstated them in their native city. To this invitation they
hearkened gladly; they believed in him; and with their arms they
presented themselves at Sardis. So, too, Xenias arrived at Sardis with
the contingent from the cities, four thousand hoplites; Proxenus,
also, with fifteen hundred hoplites and five hundred light-armed
troops; Sophaenetus the Stymphalian, with one thousand hoplites;
Socrates the Achaean, with five hundred hoplites; while the Megarion
Pasion came with three hundred hoplites and three hundred peltasts[1].
This latter officer, as well as Socrates, belonged to the force
engaged against Miletus. These all joined him at Sardis.

[1] "Targeteers" armed with a light shield instead of the larger one
of the hoplite, or heavy infantry soldier. Iphicrates made great
use of this arm at a later date.

But Tissaphernes did not fail to note these proceedings. An equipment
so large pointed to something more than an invasion of Pisidia: so he
argued; and with what speed he might, he set off to the king, attended
by about five hundred horse. The king, on his side, had no sooner
heard from Tissaphernes of Cyrus's great armament, than he began to
make counter-preparations.

Thus Cyrus, with the troops which I have named, set out from Sardis,
and marched on and on through Lydia three stages, making
two-and-twenty parasangs[2], to the river Maeander. That river is two
hundred feet[3] broad, and was spanned by a bridge consisting of seven
boats. Crossing it, he marched through Phrygia a single stage, of
eight parasangs, to Colossae, an inhabited city[4], prosperous and 6
large. Here he remained seven days, and was joined by Menon the
Thessalian, who arrived with one thousand hoplites and five hundred
peltasts, Dolopes, Aenianes, and Olynthians. From this place he
marched three stages, twenty parasangs in all, to Celaenae, a populous
city of Phrygia, large and prosperous. Here Cyrus owned a palace and a
large park[5] full of wild beasts, which he used to hunt on horseback,
whenever he wished to give himself or his horses exercise. Through the
midst of the park flows the river Maeander, the sources of which are
within the palace buildings, and it flows through the city of
Celaenae. The great king also has a palace in Celaenae, a strong
place, on the sources of another river, the Marsyas, at the foot of
the acropolis. This river also flows through the city, discharging
itself into the Maeander, and is five-and-twenty feet broad. Here is
the place where Apollo is said to have flayed Marsyas, when he had
conquered him in the contest of skill. He hung up the skin of the
conquered man, in the cavern where the spring wells forth, and hence
the name of the river, Marsyas. It was on this site that Xerxes, as
tradition tells, built this very palace, as well as the citadel of
Celaenae itself, on his retreat from Hellas, after he had lost the
famous battle. Here Cyrus remained for thirty days, during which
Clearchus the Lacedaemonian arrived with one thousand hoplites and
eight hundred Thracian peltasts and two hundred Cretan archers. At the
same time, also, came Sosis the Syracusian with three thousand
hoplites, and Sophaenetus the Arcadian[6] with one thousand hoplites;
and here Cyrus held a review, and numbered his Hellenes in the park,
and found that they amounted in all to eleven thousand hoplites and
about two thousand peltasts.

[2] The Persian "farsang" = 30 stades, nearly 1 league, 3 1/2 statute
miles, though not of uniform value in all parts of Asia.

[3] "Two plethra": the plethron = about 101 English feet.

[4] Lit. "inhabited," many of the cities of Asia being then as now
deserted, but the suggestion is clearly at times "thickly
inhabited," "populous."

[5] Lit. "paradise," an oriental word = park or pleasure ground.

[6] Perhaps this should be Agias the Arcadian, as Mr. Macmichael
suggests. Sophaenetus has already been named above.

From this place he continued his march two stages--ten parasangs--to 10
the populous city of Peltae, where he remained three days; while
Xenias, the Arcadian, celebrated the Lycaea[7] with sacrifice, and
instituted games. The prizes were headbands of gold; and Cyrus himself
was a spectator of the contest. From this place the march was
continued two stages--twelve parasangs--to Ceramon-agora, a populous
city, the last on the confines of Mysia. Thence a march of three
stages--thirty parasangs--brought him to Caystru-pedion[8], a populous
city. Here Cyrus halted five days; and the soldiers, whose pay was now
more than three months in arrear, came several times to the palace
gates demanding their dues; while Cyrus put them off with fine words
and expectations, but could not conceal his vexation, for it was not
his fashion to stint payment, when he had the means. At this point
Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, the king of the Cilicians, arrived on a
visit to Cyrus; and it was said that Cyrus received a large gift of
money from the queen. At this date, at any rate, Cyrus gave the army
four months' pay. The queen was accompanied by a bodyguard of
Cilicians and Aspendians; and, if report speaks truly, Cyrus had
intimate relations with the queen.

[7] The Lycaea, an Arcadian festival in honour of Zeus {Arcaios}, akin
to the Roman Lupercalia, which was originally a shepherd festival,
the introduction of which the Romans ascribe to the Arcadian

[8] Lit. "plain of the Cayster," like Ceramon-agora, "the market of
the Ceramians" above, the name of a town.

From this place he marched two stages--ten parasangs--to Thymbrium, a
populous city. Here, by the side of the road, is the spring of Midas,
the king of Phrygia, as it is called, where Midas, as the story goes,
caught the satyr by drugging the spring with wine. From this place he
marched two stages--ten parasangs--to Tyriaeum, a populous city. Here
he halted three days; and the Cilician queen, according to the popular
account, begged Cyrus to exhibit his armament for her amusement. The
latter being only too glad to make such an exhibition, held a review
of the Hellenes and barbarians in the plain. He ordered the Hellenes
to draw up their lines and post themselves in their customary battle
order, each general marshalling his own battalion. Accordingly they
drew up four-deep. The right was held by Menon and those with him; the 15
left by Clearchus and his men; the centre by the remaining generals
with theirs. Cyrus first inspected the barbarians, who marched past in
troops of horses and companies of infantry. He then inspected the
Hellenes; driving past them in his chariot, with the queen in her
carriage. And they all had brass helmets and purple tunics, and
greaves, and their shields uncovered[9].

[9] I.e. ready for action, c.f. "bayonets fixed".

After he had driven past the whole body, he drew up his chariot in
front of the centre of the battle-line, and sent his interpreter
Pigres to the generals of the Hellenes, with orders to present arms
and to advance along the whole line. This order was repeated by the
generals to their men; and at the sound of the bugle, with shields
forward and spears in rest, they advanced to meet the enemy. The pace
quickened, and with a shout the soldiers spontaneously fell into a
run, making in the direction of the camp. Great was the panic of the
barbarians. The Cilician queen in her carriage turned and fled; the
sutlers in the marketing place left their wares and took to their
heels; and the Hellenes meanwhile came into camp with a roar of
laughter. What astounded the queen was the brilliancy and order of the
armament; but Cyrus was pleased to see the terror inspired by the
Hellenes in the hearts of the Asiatics.

From this place he marched on three stages--twenty parasangs--to
Iconium, the last city of Phrygia, where he remained three days.
Thence he marched through Lycaonia five stages--thirty parasangs. This
was hostile country, and he gave it over to the Hellenes to pillage.
At this point Cyrus sent back the Cilician queen to her own country by
the quickest route; and to escort her he sent the soldiers of Menon,
and Menon himself. With the rest of the troops he continued his march
through Cappadocia four stages--twenty-five parasangs--to Dana, a
populous city, large and flourishing. Here they halted three days,
within which interval Cyrus put to death, on a charge of conspiracy, a
Persian nobleman named Megaphernes, a wearer of the royal purple; and
along with him another high dignitary among his subordinate

From this place they endeavoured to force a passage into Cilicia. Now 21
the entrance was by an exceedingly steep cart-road, impracticable for
an army in face of a resisting force; and report said that Syennesis
was on the summit of the pass guarding the approach. Accordingly they
halted a day in the plain; but next day came a messenger informing
them that Syenesis had left the pass; doubtless, after perceiving that
Menon's army was already in Cilicia on his own side of the mountains;
and he had further been informed that ships of war, belonging to the
Lacedaemonians and to Cyrus himself, with Tamos on board as admiral,
were sailing round from Ionia to Cilicia. Whatever the reason might
be, Cyrus made his way up into the hills without let or hindrance, and
came in sight of the tents where the Cilicians were on guard. From
that point he descended gradually into a large and beautiful plain
country, well watered, and thickly covered with trees of all sorts and
vines. This plain produces sesame plentifully, as also panic and
millet and barley and wheat; and it is shut in on all sides by a steep
and lofty wall of mountains from sea to sea. Descending through this
plain country, he advanced four stages--twenty-five parasangs--to
Tarsus, a large and prosperous city of Cilicia. Here stood the palace
of Syennesis, the king of the country; and through the middle of the
city flows a river called the Cydnus, two hundred feet broad. They
found that the city had been deserted by its inhabitants, who had
betaken themselves, with Syennesis, to a strong place on the hills.
All had gone, except the tavern-keepers. The sea-board inhabitants of
Soli and Issi also remained. Now Epyaxa, Syennesis's queen, had
reached Tarsus five days in advance of Cyrus. During their passage
over the mountains into the plain, two companies of Menon's army were
lost. Some said they had been cut down by the Cilicians, while engaged
on some pillaging affair; another account was that they had been left
behind, and being unable to overtake the main body, or discover the
route, had gone astray and perished. However it was, they numbered one
hundred hoplites; and when the rest arrived, being in a fury at the
destruction of their fellow soldiers, they vented their spleen by
pillaging the city of Tarsus and the palace to boot. Now when Cyrus
had marched into the city, he sent for Syennesis to come to him; but 26
the latter replied that he had never yet put himself into the hands of
any one who was his superior, nor was he willing to accede to the
proposal of Cyrus now; until, in the end, his wife persuaded him, and
he accepted pledges of good faith. After this they met, and Syennesis
gave Cyrus large sums in aid of his army; while Cyrus presented him
with the customary royal gifts--to wit, a horse with a gold bit, a
necklace of gold, a gold bracelet, and a gold scimitar, a Persian
dress, and lastly, the exemption of his territory from further
pillage, with the privilege of taking back the slaves that had been
seized, wherever they might chance to come upon them.


At Tarsus Cyrus and his army halted for twenty days; the soldiers 1
refusing to advance further, since the suspicion ripened in their
minds, that the expedition was in reality directed against the king;
and as they insisted, they had not engaged their services for that
object. Clearchus set the example of trying to force his men to
continue their march; but he had no sooner started at the head of his
troops than they began to pelt him and his baggage train, and
Clearchus had a narrow escape of being stoned to death there and then.
Later on, when he perceived that force was useless, he summoned an
assembly of his own men; and for a long while he stood and wept, while
the men gazed in silent astonishment. At last he spoke as follows:
"Fellow soldiers, do not marvel that I am sorely distressed on account
of the present troubles. Cyrus has been no ordinary friend to me. When
I was in banishment he honoured me in various ways, and made me also a
present of ten thousand darics. These I accepted, but not to lay them
up for myself for private use; not to squander them in pleasure, but
to expend them on yourselves. And, first of all, I went to war with
the Thracians, and with you to aid, I wreaked vengeance on them in
behalf of Hellas; driving them out of the Chersonese, when they wanted
to deprive its Hellenic inhabitants of their lands. But as soon as
Cyrus summoned me, I took you with me and set out, so that, if my
benefactor had any need of me, I might requite him for the good
treatment I myself had received at his hands. . . . But since you are
not minded to continue the march with me, one of two things is left to 5
me to do; either I must renounce you for the sake of my friendship
with Cyrus, or I must go with you at the cost of deceiving him.
Whether I am about to do right or not, I cannot say, but I choose
yourselves; and, whatever betide, I mean to share your fate. Never
shall it be said of me by any one that, having led Greek troops
against the barbarians[1], I betrayed the Hellenes, and chose the
friendship of the barbarian. No! since you do not choose to obey and
follow me, I will follow after you. Whatever betide, I will share your
fate. I look upon you as my country, my friends, my allies; with you I
think I shall be honoured, wherever I be; without you I do not see how
I can help a friend or hurt a foe. My decision is taken. Wherever you
go, I go also."

[1] Lit. "into the country of the barbarian."

Such were his words. But the soldiers, not only his own, but the rest
also, when they heard what he said, and how he had scouted the idea of
going up to the great king's palace[2], expressed their approval; and
more than two thousand men deserted Xenias and Pasion, and took their
arms and baggage-train, and came and encamped with Clearchus. But
Cyrus, in despair and vexation at this turn of affairs, sent for
Clearchus. He refused to come; but, without the knowledge of the
soldiers, sent a message to Cyrus, bidding him keep a good heart, for
that all would arrange itself in the right way; and bade him keep on
sending for him, whilst he himself refused to go. After that he got
together his own men, with those who had joined him, and of the rest
any who chose to come, and spoke as follows: "Fellow soldiers, it is
clear that the relations of Cyrus to us are identical with ours to
him. We are no longer his soldiers, since we have ceased to follow
him; and he, on his side, is no longer our paymaster. He, however, no
doubt considers himself wronged by us; and though he goes on sending
for me, I cannot bring myself to go to him: for two reasons, chiefly
from a sense of shame, for I am forced to admit to myself that I have
altogether deceived him; but partly, too, because I am afraid of his
seizing me and inflicting a penalty on the wrongs which he conceives 11
that I have done him. In my opinion, then, this is no time for us to
go to sleep and forget all about ourselves, rather it is high time to
deliberate on our next move; and as long as we do remain here, we had
better bethink us how we are to abide in security; or, if we are
resolved to turn our backs at once, what will be the safest means of
retreat; and, further, how we are to procure supplies, for without
supplies there is no profit whatsoever in the general or the private
soldier. The man with whom we have to deal is an excellent friend to
his friends, but a very dangerous enemy to his foes. And he is backed
by a force of infantry and cavalry and ships such as we all alike very
well see and know, since we can hardly be said to have posted
ourselves at any great distance from him. If, then, any one has a
suggestion to make, now is the time to speak." With these words he

[2] Or "how he insisted that he was not going up."

Then various speakers stood up; some of their own motion to propound
their views; others inspired by Clearchus to dilate on the hopeless
difficulty of either staying, or going back without the goodwill of
Cyrus. One of these, in particular, with a make-believe of anxiety to
commence the homeward march without further pause, called upon them
instantly to choose other generals, if Clearchus were not himself
prepared to lead them back: "Let them at once purchase supplies" (the
market being in the heart of the Asiatic camp), "let them pack up
their baggage: let them," he added, "go to Cyrus and ask for some
ships in order to return by sea: if he refused to give them ships, let
them demand of him a guide to lead them back through a friendly
district; and if he would not so much as give them a guide, they could
but put themselves, without more ado, in marching order, and send on a
detachment to occupy the pass--before Cyrus and the Cilicians, whose
property," the speaker added, "we have so plentifully pillaged, can
anticipate us." Such were the remarks of that speaker; he was followed
by Clearchus, who merely said: "As to my acting personally as general
at this season, pray do not propose it: I can see numerous obstacles
to my doing so. Obedience, in the fullest, I can render to the man of 15
your choice, that is another matter: and you shall see and know that I
can play my part, under command, with the best of you."

After Clearchus another spokesman stood up, and proceeded to point out
the simplicity of the speaker, who proposed to ask for vessels, just
as if Cyrus were minded to renounce the expedition and sail back
again. "And let me further point out," he said, "what a simple-minded
notion it is to beg a guide of the very man whose designs we are
marring. If we can trust any guide whom Cyrus may vouchsafe to us, why
not order Cyrus at once to occupy the pass on our behoof? For my part,
I should think twice before I set foot on any ships that he might give
us, for fear lest he should sink them with his men-of-war; and I
should equally hesitate to follow any guide of his: he might lead us
into some place out of which we should find it impossible to escape. I
should much prefer, if I am to return home against the will of Cyrus
at all, to give him the slip, and so begone: which indeed is
impossible. But these schemes are simply nonsensical. My proposal is
that a deputation of fit persons, with Clearchus, should go to Cyrus:
let them go to Cyrus and ask him: what use he proposes to make of us?
and if the business is at all similar to that on which he once before
employed a body of foreigners--let us by all means follow: let us show
that we are the equals of those who accompanied him on his much up
formerly. But if the design should turn out to be of larger import
than the former one--involving more toil and more danger--we should
ask him, either to give us good reasons for following his lead, or
else consent to send us away into a friendly country. In this way,
whether we follow him, we shall do so as friends, and with heart and
soul, or whether we go back, we shall do so in security. The answer to
this shall be reported to us here, and when we have heard it, we will
advise as to our best course."

This resolution was carried, and they chose and sent a deputation with
Clearchus, who put to Cyrus the questions which had been agreed upon
by the army. Cyrus replied as follows: That he had received news that
Abrocomas, an enemy of his, was posted on the Euphrates, twelve stages 20
off; his object was to march against this aforesaid Abrocomas: and if
he were still there, he wished to inflict punishment on him, "or if he
be fled" (so the reply concluded), "we will there deliberate on the
best course." The deputation received the answer and reported it to
the soldiers. The suspicion that he was leading them against the king
was not dispelled; but it seemed best to follow him. They only
demanded an increase of pay, and Cyrus promised to give them half as
much again as they had hitherto received--that is to say, a daric and
a half a month to each man, instead of a daric. Was he really leading
them to attack the king? Not even at this moment was any one apprised
of the fact, at any rate in any open and public manner.


From this point he marched two stages--ten parasangs--to the river 1
Psarus, which is two hundred feet broad, and from the Psarus he
marched a single stage--five parasangs--to Issi, the last city in
Cilicia. It lies on the seaboard--a prosperous, large and flourishing
town. Here they halted three days, and here Cyrus was joined by his
fleet. There were thirty-five ships from Peloponnesus, with the
Lacedaemonian admiral Pythagoras on board. These had been piloted from
Ephesus by Tamos the Egyptian, who himself had another fleet of
twenty-five ships belonging to Cyrus. These had formed Tamos's
blockading squadron at Miletus, when that city sided with
Tissaphernes; he had also used them in other military services
rendered to Cyrus in his operations against that satrap. There was a
third officer on board the fleet, the Lacedaemonian Cheirisophus, who
had been sent for by Cyrus, and had brought with him seven hundred
hoplites, over whom he was to act as general in the service of Cyrus.
The fleet lay at anchor opposite Cyrus's tent. Here too another
reinforcement presented itself. This was a body of four hundred
hoplites, Hellenic mercenaries in the service of Abrocomas, who 3
deserted him for Cyrus, and joined in the campaign against the king.

From Issi, he marched a single stage--five parasangs--to the gates of
Cilicia and Syria. This was a double fortress: the inner and nearer
one, which protects Cilicia, was held by Syennesis and a garrison of
Cilicians; the outer and further one, protecting Syria, was reported
to be garrisoned by a body of the king's troops. Through the gap
between the two fortresses flows a river named the Carsus, which is a
hundred feet broad, and the whole space between was scarcely more than
six hundred yards. To force a passage here would be impossible, so
narrow was the pass itself, with the fortification walls stretching
down to the sea, and precipitous rocks above; while both fortresses
were furnished with gates. It was the existence of this pass which had
induced Cyrus to send for the fleet, so as to enable him to lead a
body of hoplites inside and outside the gates; and so to force a
passage through the enemy, if he were guarding the Syrian gate, as he
fully expected to find Abrocomas doing with a large army. This,
however, Abrocomas had not done; but as soon as he learnt that Cyrus
was in Cilicia, he had turned round and made his exit from Phoenicia,
to join the king with an army amounting, as report said, to three
hundred thousand men.

From this point Cyrus pursued his march, through Syria a single
stage--five parasangs--to Myriandus, a city inhabited by Phoenicians,
on the sea-coast. This was a commercial port, and numerous merchant
vessels were riding at anchor in the harbour. Here they halted seven
days, and here Xenias the Arcadian general, and Pasion the Megarian
got on board a trader, and having stowed away their most valuable
effects, set sail for home; most people explained the act as the
outcome of a fit of jealousy, because Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to
retain their men, who had deserted to him, in hopes of returning to
Hellas instead of marching against the king; when the two had so
vanished, a rumour spread that Cyrus was after them with some ships of
war, and some hoped the cowards might be caught, others pitied them,
if that should be their fate.

But Cyrus summoned the generals and addressed them: "Xenias and 8
Pasion," he said, "have taken leave of us; but they need not flatter
themselves that in so doing they have stolen into hiding. I know where
they are gone; nor will they owe their escape to speed; I have
men-of-war to capture their craft, if I like. But heaven help me! if I
mean to pursue them: never shall it be said of me, that I turn people
to account as long as they stay with me, but as soon as they are
minded to be off, I seize and maltreat them, and strip them of their
wealth. Not so! let them go with the consciousness that our behaviour
to them is better than theirs to us. And yet I have their children and
wives safe under lock and key in Tralles; but they shall not be
deprived even of these. They shall receive them back in return for
their former goodness to me." So he spoke, and the Hellenes, even
those who had been out of heart at the thought of marching up the
country, when they heard of the nobleness of Cyrus, were happier and
more eager to follow him on his path.

After this Cyrus marched onwards four stages--twenty parasangs--to the
river Chalus. That river is a hundred feet broad, and is stocked with
tame fish which the Syrians regard as gods, and will not suffer to be
injured--and so too the pigeons of the place. The villages in which
they encamped belonged to Parysatis, as part of her girdle money[1].
From this point he marched on five stages--thirty parasangs--to the
sources of the river Dardas, which is a hundred feet broad. Here stood
the palace of Belesys, the ruler of Syria, with its park--which was a
very large and beautiful one, and full of the products of all the
seasons in their course. But Cyrus cut down the park and burnt the
palace. Thence he marched on three stages--fifteen parasangs--to the
river Euphrates, which is nearly half a mile broad. A large and 11
flourishing city, named Thapsacus, stands on its banks. Here they
halted five days, and here Cyrus sent for the generals of the
Hellenes, and told them that the advance was now to be upon Babylon,
against the great king; he bade them communicate this information to
the soldiers and persuade them to follow. The generals called an
assembly, and announced the news to the soldiers. The latter were
indignant and angry with the generals, accusing them of having kept
secret what they had long known; and refused to go, unless such a
bribe of money were given them as had been given to their
predecessors, when they went up with Cyrus to the court of his father,
not as now to fight a battle, but on a peaceful errand--the visit of a
son to his father by invitation. The demand was reported to Cyrus by
the generals, and he undertook to give each man five silver minae as
soon as Babylon was reached, and their pay in full, until he had
safely conveyed them back to Ionia again. In this manner the Hellenic
force were persuaded--that is to say, the majority of them. Menon,
indeed, before it was clear what the rest of the soldiers would
do--whether, in fact they would follow Cyrus or not--collected his own
troops apart and made them the following speech; "Men," he said, "if
you will listen to me, there is a method by which, without risk or
toil, you may win the special favour of Cyrus beyond the rest of the
soldiers. You ask what it is I would have you to do? I will tell you.
Cyrus at this instant is begging the Hellenes to follow him to attack
the king. I say then: Cross the Euphrates at once, before it is clear
what answer the rest will make; if they vote in favour of following,
you will get the credit of having set the example, and Cyrus will be
grateful to you. He will look upon you as being the heartiest in his
cause; he will repay, as of all others he best knows how; while, if
the rest vote against crossing, we shall go back again; but as the
sole adherents, whose fidelity he can altogether trust, it is you whom
Cyrus will turn to account, as commandants of garrisons or captains of
companies. You need only ask him for whatever you want, and you will
get it from him, as being the friends of Cyrus.

[1] Cf. Plat. "Alcib." i. 123 B. "Why, I have been informed by a
credible person, who went up to the king (at Susa), that he passed
through a large tract of excellent land, extending for nearly a
day's journey, which the people of the country called the queen's
girdle, and another which they called her veil," etc. Olympiodorus
and the Scholiast both think that Plato here refers to Xenophon
and this passage of the "Anabasis." Grote thinks it very probable
that Plato had in his mind Xenophon (either his "Anabasis" or
personal communications with him).

The men heard and obeyed, and before the rest had given their answer,
they were already across. But when Cyrus perceived that Menon's troops 16
had crossed, he was well pleased, and he sent Glus to the division in
question, with this message: "Soldiers, accept my thanks at present;
eventually you shall thank me. I will see to that, or my name is not
Cyrus." The soldiers therefore could not but pray heartily for his
success; so high their hopes ran. But to Menon, it was said, he sent
gifts with lordly liberality. This done, Cyrus proceeded to cross; and
in his wake followed the rest of the armament to a man. As they
forded, never a man was wetted above the chest: nor ever until this
moment, said the men of Thapascus, had the river been so crossed on
foot, boats had always been required; but these, at the present time,
Abrocomas, in his desire to hinder Cyrus from crossing, had been at
pains to burn. Thus the passage was looked upon as a thing miraculous;
the river had manifestly retired before the face of Cyrus, like a
courtier bowing to his future king. From this place he continued his
march through Syria nine stages--fifty parasangs--and they reached the
river Araxes. Here were several villages full of corn and wine; in
which they halted three days, and provisioned the army.


Thence he marched on through Arabia, keeping the Euphrates on the 1
right, five desert stages--thirty-five parasangs. In this region the
ground was one long level plain, stretching far and wide like the sea,
full of absinth; whilst all the other vegetation, whether wood or
reed, was sweet scented like spice or sweet herb; there were no trees;
but there was wild game of all kinds--wild asses in greatest
abundance, with plenty of ostriches; besides these, there were
bustards and antelopes. These creatures were occasionally chased by
the cavalry. The asses, when pursued, would run forward a space, and
then stand still--their pace being much swifter than that of horses;
and as soon as the horses came close, they went through the same
performance. The only way to catch them was for the riders to post
themselves at intervals, and to hunt them in relays, as it were. The
flesh of those they captured was not unlike venison, only more tender.
No one was lucky enough to capture an ostrich. Some of the troopers
did give chase, but it had soon to be abandoned; for the bird, in its
effort to escape, speedily put a long interval between itself and its 3
pursuers; plying its legs at full speed, and using its wings the while
like a sail. The bustards were not so hard to catch when started
suddenly; for they only take short flights, like partridges, and are
soon tired. Their flesh is delicious.

As the army wended its way through this region, they reached the river
Mascas, which is one hundred feet in breadth. Here stood a big
deserted city called Corsote, almost literally environed by the
stream, which flows round it in a circle. Here they halted three days
and provisioned themselves. Thence they continued their march thirteen
desert stages--ninety parasangs--with the Euphrates still on their
right, until they reached the Gates. On these marches several of the
baggage animals perished of hunger, for there was neither grass nor
green herb, or tree of any sort; but the country throughout was
barren. The inhabitants make their living by quarrying millstones on
the river banks, which they work up and take to Babylon and sell,
purchasing corn in exchange for their goods. Corn failed the army, and
was not to be got for money, except in the Lydian market open in
Cyrus's Asiatic army; where a kapithe of wheat or barley cost four
shekels; the shekel being equal to seven and a half Attic obols,
whilst the kapithe is the equivalent of two Attic choeneces[1], dry
measure, so that the soldiers subsisted on meat alone for the whole
period. Some of the stages were very long, whenever they had to push
on to find water or fodder; and once they found themselves involved in
a narrow way, where the deep clay presented an obstacle to the
progress of the wagons. Cyrus, with the nobles about him, halted to
superintend the operation, and ordered Glus and Pigres to take a body
of barbarians and to help in extricating the wagons. As they seemed to
be slow about the business, he turned round angrily to the Persian
nobles and bade them lend a hand to force the wagons out. Then, if
ever, what goes to constitute one branch of good discipline, was to be
witnessed. Each of those addressed, just where he chanced to be 8
standing, threw off his purple cloak, and flung himself into the work
with as much eagerness as if it had been a charge for victory. Down a
steep hill side they flew, with their costly tunics and embroidered
trousers--some with the circlets round their necks, and bracelets on
their arms--in an instant, they had sprung into the miry clay, and in
less time than one could have conceived, they had landed the wagons
safe on terra firma.

[1] The choenix = about 1 quart (or, according to others, 1 1/2 pint).
It was the minimum allowance of corn for a man, say a slave, per
diem. The Spartan was allowed at the public table 2 choenices a

Altogether it was plain that Cyrus was bent on pressing on the march,
and averse to stoppages, except where he halted for the sake of
provisioning or some other necessary object; being convinced that the
more rapidly he advanced, the less prepared for battle would he find
the king; while the slower his own progress, the larger would be the
hostile army which he would find collected. Indeed, the attentive
observer could see, at a glance, that if the king's empire was strong
in its extent of territory and the number of inhabitants, that
strength is compensated by an inherent weakness, dependent upon the
length of roads and the inevitable dispersion of defensive forces,
where an invader insists upon pressing home the war by forced marches.

On the opposite side of the Euphrates to the point reached on one of
these desert stages, was a large and flourishing city named Charmande.
From this town the soldiers made purchases of provisions, crossing the
river on rafts, in the following fashion: They took the skins which
they used as tent coverings, and filled them with light grass; they
then compressed and stitched them tightly together by the ends, so
that the water might not touch the hay. On these they crossed and got
provisions: wine made from the date-nut, and millet or panic-corn, the
common staple of the country. Some dispute or other here occurred
between the soldiers of Menon and Clearchus, in which Clearchus
sentenced one of Menon's men, as the delinquent, and had him flogged.
The man went back to his own division and told them. Hearing what had
been done to their comrade, his fellows fretted and fumed, and were
highly incensed against Clearchus. The same day Clearchus visited the
passage of the river, and after inspecting the market there, was
returning with a few followers, on horseback, to his tent, and had to 12
pass through Menon's quarters. Cyrus had not yet come up, but was
riding up in the same direction. One of Menon's men, who was splitting
wood, caught sight of Clearchus as he rode past, and aimed a blow at
him with his axe. The aim took no effect; when another hurled a stone
at him, and a third, and then several, with shouts and hisses.
Clearchus made a rapid retreat to his own troops, and at once ordered
them to get under arms. He bade his hoplites remain in position with
their shields resting against their knees, while he, at the head of
his Thracians and horsemen, of which he had more than forty in his
army--Thracians for the most part--advanced against Menon's soldiers,
so that the latter, with Menon himself, were panic-stricken, and ran
to seize their arms; some even stood riveted to the spot, in
perplexity at the occurrence. Just then Proxenus came up from behind,
as chance would have it, with his division of hoplites, and without a
moment's hesitation marched into the open space between the rival
parties, and grounded arms; then he fell to begging Clearchus to
desist. The latter was not too well pleased to hear his trouble mildly
spoken of, when he had barely escaped being stoned to death; and he
bade Proxenus retire and leave the intervening space open. At this
juncture Cyrus arrived and inquired what was happening. There was no
time for hesitation. With his javelins firmly grasped in his hands he
galloped up--escorted by some of his faithful bodyguard, who were
present--and was soon in the midst, exclaiming: "Clearchus, Proxenus,
and you other Hellenes yonder, you know not what you do. As surely as
you come to blows with one another, our fate is sealed--this very day
I shall be cut to pieces, and so will you: your turn will follow close
on mine. Let our fortunes once take an evil turn, and these barbarians
whom you see around will be worse foes to us than those who are at
present serving the king." At these words Clearchus came to his
senses. Both parties paused from battle, and retired to their
quarters: order reigned.


As they advanced from this point (opposite Charmande), they came upon 1
the hoof-prints and dung of horses at frequent intervals. It looked
like the trail of some two thousand horses. Keeping ahead of the army,
these fellows burnt up the grass and everything else that was good for
use. Now there was a Persian, named Orontas; he was closely related to
the king by birth: and in matters pertaining to war reckoned among the
best of Persian warriors. Having formerly been at war with Cyrus, and
afterwards reconciled to him, he now made a conspiracy to destroy him.
he made a proposal to Cyrus: if Cyrus would furnish him with a
thousand horsemen, he would deal with these troopers, who were burning
down everything in front of them; he would lay an ambuscade and cut
them down, or he would capture a host of them alive; in any case, he
would put a stop to their agressiveness and burnings; he would see to
it that they did not ever get a chance of setting eyes on Cyrus's army
and reporting its advent to the king. The proposal seemed plausible to
Cyrus, who accordingly authorised Orontas to take a detachment from
each of the generals, and be gone. He, thinking that he had got his
horsemen ready to his hand, wrote a letter to the king, announcing
that he would ere long join him with as many troopers as he could
bring; he bade him, at the same time, instruct the royal cavalry to
welcome him as a friend. The letter further contained certain
reminders of his former friendship and fidelity. This despatch he
delivered into the hands of one who was a trusty messenger, as he
thought; but the bearer took and gave it to Cyrus. Cyrus read it.
Orontas was arrested. Then Cyrus summoned to his tent seven of the
noblest Persians among his personal attendants, and sent orders to the
Hellenic generals to bring up a body of hoplites. These troops were to
take up a position round his tent. This the generals did; bringing up
about three thousand hoplites. Clearchus was also invited inside, to
assist at the court-martial; a compliment due to the position he held
among the other generals, in the opinion not only of Cyrus, but also
of the rest of the court. When he came out, he reported the
circumstances of the trial (as to which, indeed, there was no mystery)
to his friends. He said that Cyrus opened the inquiry with these
words: "I have invited you hither, my friends, that I may take advice
with you, and carry out whatever, in the sight of God and man, it is
right for me to do, as concerning the man before you, Orontas. The 6
prisoner was, in the first instance, given to me by my father, to be
my faithful subject. In the next place, acting, to use his own words,
under the orders of my brother, and having hold of the acropolis of
Sardis, he went to war with me. I met war with war, and forced him to
think it more prudent to desist from war with me: whereupon we shook
hands, exchanging solemn pledges. After that," and at this point Cyrus
turned to Orontas, and addressed him personally--"after that, did I do
you any wrong?" Answer, "Never." Again another question: "Then later
on, having received, as you admit, no injury from me, did you revolt
to the Mysians and injure my territory, as far as in you lay?"--"I
did," was the reply. "Then, once more having discovered the limits of
your power, did you flee to the altar of Artemis, crying out that you
repented? and did you thus work upon my feelings, that we a second
time shook hands and made interchange of solemn pledges? Are these
things so?" Orontas again assented. "Then what injury have you
received from me," Cyrus asked, "that now for the third time, you have
been detected in a treasonous plot against me?"--"I must needs do so,"
he answered. Then Cyrus put one more question: "But the day may come,
may it not, when you will once again be hostile to my brother, and a
faithful friend to myself?" The other answered: "Even if I were, you
could never be brought to believe it, Cyrus."

At this point Cyrus turned to those who were present and said: "Such
has been the conduct of the prisoner in the past: such is his language
now. I now call upon you, and you first, Clearchus, to declare your
opinion--what think you?" And Clearchus answered: "My advice to you is
to put this man out of the way as soon as may be, so that we may be
saved the necessity of watching him, and have more leisure, as far as
he is concerned, to requite the services of those whose friendship is
sincere."--"To this opinion," he told us, "the rest of the court
adhered." After that, at the bidding of Cyrus, each of those present, 10
in turn, including the kinsmen of Orontas, took him by the girdle;
which is as much as to say, "Let him die the death," and then those
appointed led him out; and they who in old days were wont to do
obeisance to him, could not refrain, even at that moment, from bowing
down before him, albeit they knew he was being led forth to death.

After they had conducted him to the tent of Artapates, the trustiest
of Cyrus's wand-bearers, none set eyes upon him ever again, alive or
dead. No one, of his own knowledge, could declare the manner of his
death; though some conjectured one thing and some another. No tomb to
mark his resting-place, either then or since, was ever seen.


From this place Cyrus marched through Babylonia three stages--twelve 1
parasangs. Now, on the third stage, about midnight, Cyrus held a
review of the Hellenes and Asiatics in the plain, expecting that the
king would arrive the following day with his army to offer battle. He
gave orders to Clearchus to take command of the right wing, and to
Menon the Thessalian of the left, while he himself undertook to the
disposition of his own forces in person. After the review, with the
first approach of day, deserters from the great king arrived, bringing
Cyrus information about the royal army. Then Cyrus summoned the
generals and captains of the Hellenes, and held a council of war to
arrange the plan of battle. He took this opportunity also to address
the following words of compliment and encouragement to the meeting:
"Men of Hellas," he said, "it is certainly not from dearth of
barbarians to fight my battles that I put myself at your head as my
allies; but because I hold you to be better and stronger than many
barbarians. That is why I took you. See then that you prove yourselves
to be men worthy of the liberty which you possess, and which I envy
you. Liberty--it is a thing which, be well assured, I would choose in
preference to all my other possessions, multiplied many times. But I
would like you to know into what sort of struggle you are going: learn
its nature from one who knows. Their numbers are great, and they come
on with much noise; but if you can hold out against these two things,
I confess I am ashamed to think, what a sorry set of folk you will 4
find the inhabitants of this land to be. But you are men, and brave
you must be, being men: it is agreed; then if you wish to return home,
any of you, I undertake to send you back, in such sort that your
friends at home shall envy you; but I flatter myself I shall persuade
many of you to accept what I will offer you here, in lieu of what you
left at home."

Here Gaulites, a Samian exile, and a trusty friend of Cyrus, being
present, exclaimed: "Ay, Cyrus, but some say you can afford to make
large promises now, because you are in the crisis of impending danger;
but let matters go well with you, will you recollect? They shake their
heads. Indeed, some add that, even if you did recollect, and were ever
so willing, you would not be able to make good all your promises, and
repay." When Cyrus heard that, he answered: "You forget, sirs, my
father's empire stretches southwards to a region where men cannot
dwell by reason of the heat, and northwards to a region uninhabitable
through cold; but all the intervening space is mapped out in satrapies
belonging to my brother's friends: so that if the victory be ours, it
will be ours also to put our friends in possession in their room. On
the whole my fear is, not that I may not have enough to give to each
of my friends, but lest I may not have friends enough on whom to
bestow what I have to give, and to each of you Hellenes I will give a
crown of gold."

So they, when they heard these words, were once more elated than ever
themselves, and spread the good news among the rest outside. And there
came into his presence both the generals and some of the other
Hellenes also, claiming to know what they should have in the event of
victory; and Cyrus satisfied the expectations of each and all, and so
dismissed them. Now the advice and admonition of all who came into
conversation with him was, not to enter the battle himself, but to
post himself in rear of themselves; and at this season Clearchus put a
question to him: "But do you think that your brother will give battle 9
to you, Cyrus?" and Cyrus answered: "Not without a battle, be assured,
shall the prize be won; if he be the son of Darius and Parysatis, and
a brother of mine."

In the final arming for battle at this juncture, the numbers were as
follows: Of Hellenes there were ten thousand four hundred heavy
infantry with two thousand five hundred targeteers, while the
barbarians with Cyrus reached a total of one hundred thousand. He had
too about twenty scythe-chariots. The enemy's forces were reported to
number one million two hundred thousand, with two hundred
scythe-chariots, besides which he had six thousand cavalry under
Artagerses. These formed the immediate vanguard of the king himself.
The royal army was marshalled by four generals or field-marshals, each
in command of three hundred thousand men. Their names were Abrocomas,
Tissaphernes, Gobryas, and Arbaces. (But of this total not more than
nine hundred thousand were engaged in the battle, with one hundred and
fifty scythe-chariots; since Abrocomas, on his march from Phoenicia,
arrived five days too late for the battle.) Such was the information
brought to Cyrus by deserters who came in from the king's army before
the battle, and it was corroborated after the battle by those of the
enemy who were taken prisoners.

From this place Cyrus advanced one stage--three parasangs--with the
whole body of his troops, Hellenic and barbarian alike in order of
battle. He expected the king to give battle the same day, for in the
middle of this day's march a deep sunk trench was reached, thirty feet
broad, and eighteen feet deep. The trench was carried inland through
the plain, twelve parasang's distance, to the wall of Media[1]. [Here
are canals, flowing from the river Tigris; they are four in number,
each a hundred feet broad, and very deep, with corn ships plying upon 15
them; they empty themselves into the Euphrates, and are at intervals
of one parasang apart, and are spanned by bridges.]

[1] For "the wall of Media" see Grote, "Hist. of Greece," vol. ix. p.
87 and foll. note 1 (1st ed.), and various authorities there
quoted or referred to. The next passage enclosed in [] may
possibly be a commentator's or editor's note, but, on the whole, I
have thought it best to keep the words in the text instead of
relegating them, as heretofore, to a note. Perhaps some future
traveller may clear up all difficulties.

Between the Euphrates and the trench was a narrow passage, twenty feet
only in breadth. The trench itself had been constructed by the great
king upon hearing of Cyrus's approach, to serve as a line of defence.
Through this narrow passage then Cyrus and his army passed, and found
themselves safe inside the trench. So there was no battle to be fought
with the king that day; only there were numerous unmistakable traces
of horse and infantry in retreat. Here Cyrus summoned Silanus, his
Ambraciot soothsayer, and presented him with three thousand darics;
because eleven days back, when sacrificing, he had told him that the
king would not fight within ten days, and Cyrus had answered: "Well,
then, if he does not fight within that time, he will not fight at all;
and if your prophecy comes true, I promise you ten talents." So now,
that the ten days were passed, he presented him with the above sum.

But as the king had failed to hinder the passage of Cyrus's army at
the trench, Cyrus himself and the rest concluded that he must have
abandoned the idea of offering battle, so that next day Cyrus advanced
with less than his former caution. On the third day he was conducting
the march, seated in his carriage, with only a small body of troops
drawn up in front of him. The mass of the army was moving on in no
kind of order: the soldiers having consigned their heavy arms to be
carried in the wagons or on the backs of beasts.


It was already about full market time[1] and the halting-place at 1
which the army was to take up quarters was nearly reached, when
Pategyas, a Persian, a trusty member of Cyrus's personal staff, came
galloping up at full speed on his horse, which was bathed in sweat,
and to every one he met he shouted in Greek and Persian, as fast as he
could ejaculate the words: "The king is advancing with a large army
ready for battle." Then ensued a scene of wild confusion. The Hellenes
and all alike were expecting to be attacked on the instant, and before
they could form their lines. Cyrus sprang from his carriage and donned
his corselet; then leaping on to his charger's back, with the javelins
firmly clutched, he passed the order to the rest, to arm themselves
and fall into their several ranks.

[1] I.e. between 9 and 10 A.M.

The orders were carried out with alacrity; the ranks shaped
themselves. Clearchus held the right wing resting on the Euphrates,
Proxenus was next, and after him the rest, while Menon with his troops
held the Hellenic left. Of the Asiatics, a body of Paphlagonian
cavalry, one thousand strong, were posted beside Clearchus on the
right, and with them stood the Hellenic peltasts. On the left was
Ariaeus, Cyrus's second in command, and the rest of the barbarian
host. Cyrus was with his bodyguard of cavalry about six hundred
strong, all armed with corselets like Cyrus, and cuirasses and
helmets; but not so Cyrus: he went into battle with head
unhelmeted[2]. So too all the horses with Cyrus wore forehead-pieces
and breast-pieces, and the troopers carried short Hellenic swords.

[2] The MSS. add, "to expose oneself to the risks of war bareheaded
is, it is said, a practice common to the Persians," which I regard
as a commentator's note, if not an original marginal note of some
early editor, possibly of the author himself. The "Cyropaedeia" is
full of such comments, "pieces justificatives" inserted into the

It was now mid-day, and the enemy was not yet in sight; but with the
approach of afternoon was seen dust like a white cloud, and after a
considerable interval a black pall as it were spread far and high
above the plain. As they came nearer, very soon was seen here and
there a glint of bronze and spear-points; and the ranks could plainly
be distinguished. On the left were troopers wearing white cuirasses.
That is Tissaphernes in command, they said, and next to these a body
of men bearing wicker-shields, and next again heavy-armed infantry,
with long wooden shields reaching to the feet. These were the
Egyptians, they said, and then other cavalry, other bowmen; all were
in national divisions, each nation marching in densely-crowded 10
squares. And all along their front was a line of chariots at
considerable intervals from one another--the famous scythe-chariots,
as they were named--having their scythes fitted to the axle-trees and
stretching out slantwise, while others protruded under the
chariot-seats, facing the ground, so as to cut through all they
encountered. The design was to let them dash full speed into the ranks
of the Hellenes and cut them through.

Curiously enough the anticipation of Cyrus, when at the council of war
he admonished the Hellenes not to mind the shouting of the Asiatics,
was not justified. Instead of shouting, they came on in deep silence,
softly and slowly, with even tread. At this instant, Cyrus, riding
past in person, accompanied by Pigres, his interpreter, and three or
four others, called aloud to Clearchus to advance against the enemy's
centre, for there the king was to be found: "And if we strike home at
this point," he added, "our work is finished." Clearchus, though he
could see the compact body at the centre, and had been told by Cyrus
that the king lay outside the Hellenic left (for, owing to numerical
superiority, the king, while holding his own centre, could well
overlap Cyrus's extreme left), still hesitated to draw off his right
wing from the river, for fear of being turned on both flanks; and he
simply replied, assuring Cyrus that he would take care all went well.

At this time the barbarian army was evenly advancing, and the Hellenic
division was still riveted to the spot, completing its formation as
the various contingents came up. Cyrus, riding past at some distance
from the lines, glanced his eye first in one direction and then in the
other, so as to take a complete survey of friends and foes; when
Xenophon the Athenian, seeing him, rode up from the Hellenic quarter
to meet him, asking him whether he had any orders to give. Cyrus,
pulling up his horse, begged him to make the announcement generally
known that the omens from the victims, internal and external alike,
were good[3]. While he was still speaking, he heard a confused murmur 16
passing through the ranks, and asked what it meant. The other replied
that it was the watchword being passed down for the second time. Cyrus
wondered who had given the order, and asked what the watchword was. On
being told it was "Zeus our Saviour and Victory," he replied, "I
accept it; so let it be," and with that remark rode away to his own
position. And now the two battle lines were no more than three or four
furlongs apart, when the Hellenes began chanting the paean, and at the
same time advanced against the enemy.

[3] I.e. the omens from inspecting the innards of the victims, and the
omens from the acts and movements of the victims.

But with the forward movement a certain portion of the line curved
onwards in advance, with wave-like sinuosity, and the portion left
behind quickened to a run; and simultaneously a thrilling cry burst
from all lips, like that in honour of the war-god--eleleu! eleleu! and
the running became general. Some say they clashed their shields and
spears, thereby causing terror to the horses[4]; and before they had
got within arrowshot the barbarians swerved and took to flight. And
now the Hellenes gave chase with might and main, checked only by
shouts to one another not to race, but to keep their ranks. The
enemy's chariots, reft of their charioteers, swept onwards, some
through the enemy themselves, others past the Hellenes. They, as they
saw them coming, opened a gap and let them pass. One fellow, like some
dumbfoundered mortal on a racecourse, was caught by the heels, but
even he, they said, received no hurt, nor indeed, with the single
exception of some one on the left wing who was said to have been
wounded by an arrow, did any Hellene in this battle suffer a single

[4] Some critics regard this sentence as an editor's or commentator's

Cyrus, seeing the Hellene's conquering, as far as they at any rate
were concerned, and in hot pursuit, was well content; but in spite of
his joy and the salutations offered him at that moment by those about 21
him, as though he were already king, he was not led away to join in
the pursuit, but keeping his squadron of six hundred horsemen in cloe
order, waited and watched to see what the king himself would do. The
king, he knew, held the centre of the Persian army. Indeed it is the
fashion for the Asiatic monarch to occupy that position during action,
for this twofold reason: he holds the safest place, with his troops on
either side of him, while, if he has occasion to despatch any
necessary rider along the lines, his troops will receive the message
in half the time. The king accordingly on this occasion held the
centre of his army, but for all that, he was outside Cyrus's left
wing; and seeing that no one offered him battle in front, nor yet the
troops in front of him, he wheeled as if to encircle the enemy. It was
then that Cyrus, in apprehension lest the king might get round to the
rear and cut to pieces the Hellenic body, charged to meet him.
Attacking with his six hundred, he mastered the line of troops in
front of the king, and put to flight the six thousand, cutting down,
as is said, with his own hand their general, Artagerses.

But as soon as the rout commenced, Cyrus's own six hundred themselves,
in the ardour of pursuit, were scattered, with the exception of a
handful who were left with Cyrus himself--chiefly his table
companions, so-called. Left alone with these, he caught sight of the
king, and the close throng about him. Unable longer to contain
himself, with a cry, "I see the man," he rushed at him and dealt a
blow at his chest, wounding him through the corselet. This, according
to the statement of Ctesias the surgeon[5], who further states that he
himself healed the wound. As Cyrus delivered the blow, some one struck
him with a javelin under the eye severely; and in the struggle which
then ensued between the king and Cyrus and those about them to protect
one or other, we have the statement of Ctesias as to the number slain 27
on the king's side, for he was by his side. On the other, Cyrus
himself fell, and eight of his bravest companions lay on the top of
him. The story says that Artapes, the trustiest among his
wand-wearers, when he saw that Cyrus had fallen to the ground, leapt
from his horse and threw his arms about him. Then, as one account
says, the king bade one slay him as a worthy victim to his brother:
others say that Artapates drew his scimitar and slew himself by his
own hand. A golden scimitar it is true, he had; he wore also a collar
and bracelets and the other ornaments such as the noblest Persians
wear; for his kindliness and fidelity had won him honours at the hands
of Cyrus.

[5] "Ctesias, the son of Ctesiochus, was a physician of Cnidos.
Seventeen years of his life were passed at the court of Persia,
fourteen in the service of Darios, three in that of Artaxerxes; he
returned to Greece in 398 B.C.," and "was employed by Artaxerxes
in diplomatic services." See Mure; also Ch. Muller, for his life
and works. He wrote (1) a history on Persian affairs in three
parts--Assyrian, Median, Persian--with a chapter "On Tributes;"
(2) a history of Indian affairs (written in the vein of Sir John
Maundeville, Kt.); (3) a Periplus; (4) a treatise on Mountains;
(5) a treatise on Rivers.


So died Cyrus; a man the kingliest[1] and most worthy to rule of all 1
the Persians who have lived since the elder Cyrus: according to the
concurrent testimony of all who are reputed to have known him
intimately. To begin from the beginning, when still a boy, and whilst
being brought up with his brother and the other lads, his unrivalled
excellence was recognised. For the sons of the noblest Persians, it
must be known, are brought up, one and all, at the king's portals.
Here lessons of sobreity and self-control may largely be laid to
heart, while there is nothing base or ugly for eye or ear to feed
upon. There is the daily spectacle ever before the boys of some
receiving honour from the king, and again of others receiving
dishonour; and the tale of all this is in their ears, so that from
earliest boyhood they learn how to rule and to be ruled.

[1] The character now to be drawn is afterwards elaborated into the
Cyrus of the Cyropaedeia.

In this courtly training Cyrus earned a double reputation; first he
was held to be a paragon of modesty among his fellows, rendering an
obedience to his elders which exceeded that of many of his own
inferiors; and next he bore away the palm for skill in horsemanship
and for love of the animal itself. Nor less in matters of war, in the
use of the bow and the javelin, was he held by men in general to be at 5
once the aptest of learners and the most eager practiser. As soon as
his age permitted, the same pre-eminence showed itself in his fondness
for the chase, not without a certain appetite for perilous adventure
in facing the wild beasts themselves. Once a bear made a furious rush
at him[2], and without wincing he grappled with her, and was pulled
from his horse, receiving wounds the scars of which were visible
through life; but in the end he slew the creature, nor did he forget
him who first came to his aid, but made him enviable in the eyes of

[2] The elder Cyrus, when a boy, kills not a bear but a boar.

After he had been sent down by his father to be satrap of Lydia and
Great Phrygia and Cappadocia, and had been appointed general of the
forces, whose business it is to muster in the plain of the Castolus,
nothing was more noticeable in his conduct than the importance which
he attached to the faithful fulfilment of every treaty or compact or
undertaking entered into with others. He would tell no lies to any
one. Thus doubtless it was that he won the confidence alike of
individuals and of the communities entrusted to his care; or in case
of hostility, a treaty made with Cyrus was a guarantee sufficient to
the combatant that he would suffer nothing contrary to its terms.
Therefore, in the war with Tissaphernes, all the states of their own
accord chose Cyrus in lieu of Tissaphernes, except only the men of
Miletus, and these were only alienated through fear of him, because he
refused to abandon their exiled citizens; and his deeds and words bore
emphatic witness to his principle: even if they were weakened in
number or in fortune, he would never abandon those who had once become
his friends.

He made no secret of his endeavour to outdo his friends and his foes
alike in reciprocity of conduct. The prayer has been attributed to
him, "God grant I may live along enough to recompense my friends and
requite my foes with a strong arm." However this may be, no one, at
least in our days, ever drew together so ardent a following of
friends, eager to lay at his feet their money, their cities, their own
lives and persons; nor is it to be inferred from this that he suffered
the malefactor and the wrongdoer to laugh him to scorn; on the 13
contrary, these he punished most unflinchingly. It was no rare sight
to see on the well-trodden highways, men who had forfeited hand or
foot or eye; the result being that throughout the satrapy of Cyrus any
one, Hellene or barbarian, provided he were innocent, might fearlessly
travel wherever he pleased, and take with him whatever he felt
disposed. However, as all allowed, it was for the brave in war that he
reserved especial honour. To take the first instance to hand, he had a
war with the Pisidians and Mysians. Being himself at the head of an
expedition into those territories, he could observe those who
voluntarily encountered risks; these he made rulers of the territory
which he subjected, and afterwards honoured them with other gifts. So
that, if the good and brave were set on a pinnacle of fortune, cowards
were recognised as their natural slaves; and so it befell that Cyrus
never had lack of volunteers in any service of danger, whenever it was
expected that his eye would be upon them.

So again, wherever he might discover any one ready to distinguish
himself in the service of uprightness, his delight was to make this
man richer than those who seek for gain by unfair means. On the same
principle, his own administration was in all respects uprightly
conducted, and, in particular, he secured the services of an army
worthy of the name. Generals, and sabulterns alike, came to him from
across the seas, not merely to make money, but because they saw that
loyalty to Cyrus was a more profitable investment than so many pounds
a month. Let any man whatsoever render him willing service, such
enthusiasm was sure to win its reward. And so Cyrus could always
command the service of the best assistants, it was said, whatever the
work might be.

Or if he saw any skilful and just steward who furnished well the
country over which he ruled, and created revenues, so far from robbing
him at any time, to him who had, he delighted to give more. So that
toil was a pleasure, and gains were amassed with confidence, and least
of all from Cyrus would a man conceal the amount of his possessions,
seeing that he showed no jealousy of wealth openly avowed, but his 19
endeavour was rather to turn to account the riches of those who kept
them secret. Towards the friends he had made, whose kindliness he
knew, or whose fitness as fellow-workers with himself, in aught which
he might wish to carry out, he had tested, he showed himself in turn
an adept in the arts of courtesy. Just in proportion as he felt the
need of this friend or that to help him, so he tried to help each of
them in return in whatever seemed to be their heart's desire.

Many were the gifts bestowed on him, for many and diverse reasons; no
one man, perhaps, ever received more; no one, certainly, was ever more
ready to bestow them upon others, with an eye ever to the taste of
each, so as to gratify what he saw to be the individual requirement.
Many of these presents were sent to him to serve as personal
adornments of the body or for battle; and as touching these he would
say, "How am I to deck myself out in all these? to my mind a man's
chief ornament is the adornment of nobly-adorned friends." Indeed,
that he should triumph over his friends in the great matters of
welldoing is not surprising, seeing that he was much more powerful
than they, but that he should go beyond them in minute attentions, and
in an eager desire to give pleasure, seems to me, I must confess, more
admirable. Frequently when he had tasted some specially excellent
wine, he would send the half remaining flagon to some friend with a
message to say: "Cyrus says, this is the best wine he has tasted for a
long time, that is his excuse for sending it to you. He hopes you will
drink it up to-day with a choice party of friends." Or, perhaps, he
would send the remainder of a dish of geese, half loaves of bread, and
so forth, the bearer being instructed to say: "This is Cyrus's
favourite dish, he hopes you will taste it yourself." Or, perhaps,
there was a great dearth of provender, when, through the number of his
servants and his own careful forethought, he was enabled to get
supplies for himsefl; at such times he would send to his friends in
different parts, bidding them feed their horses on his hay, since it
would not do for the horses that carried his friends to go starving.
Then, on any long march or expedition, where the crowd of lookers-on 28
would be large, he would call his friends to him and entertain them
with serious talk, as much as to say, "These I delight to honour."

So that, for myself, and from all that I can hear, I should be
disposed to say that no one, Greek or barbarian, was ever so beloved.
In proof of this, I may cite the fact that, though Cyrus was the
king's vassal and slave, no one ever forsook him to join his master,
if I may except the attempt of Orontas, which was abortive. That man,
indeed, had to learn that Cyrus was closer to the heart of him on
whose fidelity he relied than he himself was. On the other hand, many
a man revolted from the king to Cyrus, after they went to war with one
another; nor were these nobodies, but rather persons high in the
king's affection; yet for all that, they believed that their virtues
would obtain a reward more adequate from Cyrus than from the king.
Another great proof at once of his own worth and of his capacity
rightly to discern all loyal, loving and firm friendship is afforded
by an incident which belongs to the last moment of his life. He was
slain, but fighting for his life beside him fell also every one of his
faithful bodyguard of friends and table-companions, with the sole
exception of Ariaeus, who was in command of the cavalry on the left,
and he no sooner perceived the fall of Cyrus than he betook himself to
flight, with the whole body of troops under his lead.


Then the head of Cyrus and his right hand were severed from the body. 1
But the king and those about him pursued and fell upon the Cyreian
camp, and the troops of Ariaeus no longer stood their ground, but fled
through their own camp back to the halting-place of the night
before--a distance of four parasangs, it was said. So the king and
those with him fell to ravaging right and left, and amongst other
spoil he captured the Phocaean woman, who was a concubine of Cyrus,
witty and beautiful, if fame speaks correctly. The Milesian, who was
the younger, was also seized by some of the king's men; but, letting
go her outer garment, she made good her escape to the Hellenes, who
had been left among the camp followers on guard. These fell at once 3
into line and put to the sword many of the pillagers, though they lost
some men themselves; they stuck to the place and succeeded in saving
not only that lady, but all else, whether chattels or human beings,
wich lay within their reach.

At this point the king and the Hellenes were something like three
miles apart; the one set were pursuing their opponents just as if
their conquest had been general; the others were pillaging as merrily
as if their victory were already universal. But when the Hellenes
learnt that the king and his troops were in the baggage camp; and the
king, on his side, was informed by Tissaphernes that the Hellenes were
victorious in their quarter of the field, and had gone forward in
pursuit, the effect was instantaneous. The king massed his troops and
formed into line. Clearchus summoned Proxenus, who was next him, and
debated whether to send a detachment or to go in a body to the camp to
save it.

Meanwhile the king was seen again advancing, as it seemed, from the
rear; and the Hellenes, turning right about, prepared to receive his
attack then and there. But instead of advancing upon them at that
point, he drew off, following the line by which he had passed earlier
in the day, outside the left wing of his opponent, and so picked up in
his passage those who had deserted to the Hellenes during the battle,
as also Tissaphernes and his division. The latter had not fled in the
first shock of the encounter; he had charged parallel to the line of
the Euphrates into the Greek peltasts, and through them. But charge as
he might, he did not lay low a single man. On the contrary, the
Hellenes made a gap to let them through, hacking them with their
swords and hurling their javelins as they passed. Episthenes of
Amphipolis was in command of the peltasts, and he showed himself a
sensible man, it was said. Thus it was that Tissaphernes, having got
through haphazard, with rather the worst of it, failed to wheel round
and return the way he came, but reaching the camp of the Hellenes, 8
there fell in with the king; and falling into order again, the two
divisions advanced side by side.

When they were parallel with the (original) left wing of the Hellenes,
fear seized the latter lest they might take them in flank and enfold
them on both sides and cut them down. In this apprehension they
determined to extend their line and place the river on their rear. But
while they deliberated, the king passed by and ranged his troops in
line to meet them, in exactly the same position in which he had
advanced to offer battle at the commencemet of the engagement. The
Hellenes, now seeing them in close proximity and in battle order, once
again raised the paean and began the attack with still greater
enthusiasm than before: and once again the barbarians did not wait to
receive them, but took to flight, even at a greater distance than
before. The Hellenes pressed the pursuit until they reached a certain
village, where they halted, for above the village rose a mound, on
which the king and his party rallied and reformed; they had no
infantry any longer, but the crest was crowded with cavalry, so that
it was impossible to discover what was happening. They did see, they
said, the royal standard, a kind of golden eagle, with wings extended,
perched on a bar of wood and raised upon a lance.

But as soon as the Hellenes again moved onwards, the hostile cavalry
at once left the hillock--not in a body any longer, but in
fragments--some streaming from one side, some from another; and the
crest was gradually stripped of its occupants, till at last the
company was gone. Accordingly, Clearchus did not ascend the crest, but
posting his army at its base, he sent Lycius of Syracuse and another
to the summit, with orders to inspect the condition of things on the
other side, and to report results. Lycius galloped up and
investigated, bringing back news that they were fleeing might and
main. Almost at that instant the sun sank beneath the horizon. There
the Hellenes halted; they grounded arms and rested, marvelling the
while that Cyrus was not anywhere to be seen, and that no messenger
had come from him. For they were in complete ignorance of his death,
and conjectured that either he had gone off in pursuit, or had pushed
forward to occupy some point. Left to themselves, they now
deliberated, whether they should stay where they were and have the
baggage train brought up, or should return to camp. They resolved to
return, and about supper time reached the tents. Such was the
conclusion of this day.

They found the larger portion of their property pillaged, eatables and
drinkables alike, not excepting the wagons laden with corn and wine,
which Cyrus had prepared in case of some extreme need overtaking the
expedition, to divide among the Hellenes. There were four hundred of
these wagons, it was said, and these had now been ransacked by the
king and his men; so that the greater number of the Hellenes went
supperless, having already gone without their breakfasts, since the
king had appeared before the usual halt for breakfast. Accordingly, in
no better plight than this they passed the night.


[In the previous book will be found a full account of the
method by which Cyrus collected a body of Greeks when
meditating an expedition against his brother Artaxerxes; as
also of various occurrences on the march up; of the battle
itself, and of the death of Cyrus; and lastly, a description
of the arrival of the Hellenes in camp after the battle, and
as to how they betook themselves to rest, none suspecting but
what they were altogether victorious and that Cyrus lived.]


With the break of day the generals met, and were surprised that Cyrus 1
should not have appeared himself, or at any rate have sent some one to
tell them what to do. Accordingly, they resolved to put what they had
together, to get under arms, and to push forward until they effected
junction with Cyrus. Just as they were on the point of starting, with
the rising sun came Procles the ruler of Teuthrania. He was a
descendant of Damaratus[1] the Laconian, and with him also came Glus
the son of Tamos. These two told them, first, that Cyrus was dead;
next, that Ariaeus had retreated with the rest of the barbarians to
the halting-place whence they had started at dawn on the previous day;
and wished to inform them that, if they were minded to come, he would
wait for this one day, but on the morrow he should return home again
to Ionia, whence he came.

[1] The Spartan king who was deposed in B.C. 491, whereupon he fled to
King Darius, and settled in south-western Mysia. See Herod. vi.
50, 61-70. We shall hear more of his descendant, Procles, the
ruler of Teuthrania, in the last chapter of this work.

When they heard these tidings, the generals were sorely distressed; so 4
too were the rest of the Hellenes when they were informed of it. Then
Clearchus spoke as follows: "Would that Cyrus were yet alive! But
since he is dead, take back this answer to Ariaeus, that we, at any
rate, have conquered the king; and, as you yourselves may see, there
is not a man left in the field to meet us. Indeed, had you not
arrived, we should ere this have begun our march upon the king. Now,
we can promise to Ariaeus that, if he will join us here, we will place
him on the king's throne. Surely to those who conquer empire
pertains." With these words he sent back the messengers and with them
he sent Cheirisophus the Laconian, and Menon the Thessalian. That was
what Menon himself wished, being, as he was, a friend and intimate of
Ariaeus, and bound by mutual ties of hospitality. So these set off,
and Clearchus waited for them.

The soldiers furnished themselves with food [and drink] as best they
might--falling back on the baggage animals, and cutting up oxen and
asses. There was no lack of firewood; they need only step forward a
few paces from the line where the battle was fought, and they would
find arrows to hand in abundance, which the Hellenes had forced the
deserters from the king to throw away. There were arrows and wicker
shields also, and the huge wooden shields of the Egyptians. There were
many targets also, and empty wagons left to be carried off. Here was a
store which they were not slow to make use of to cook their meat and
serve their meals that day.

It was now about full market hour[2] when heralds from the king and
Tissaphernes arrived. These were barbarians with one exception. This
was a certain Phalinus, a Hellene who lived at the court of
Tissaphernes, and was held in high esteem. He gave himself out to be a
connoisseur of tactics and the art of fighting with heavy arms. These
were the men who now came up, and having summoned the generals of the
Hellenes, they delivered themselves of the following message: "The
great king having won the victory and slain Cyrus, bids the Hellenes
to surrender their arms; to betake themselves to the gates of the
king's palace, and there obtain for themselves what terms they can."
That was what the heralds said, and the Hellenes listened with heavy 9
hearts; but Clearchus spoke, and his words were few; "Conquerors do
not, as a rule, give up their arms"; then turning to the others he
added, "I leave it to you, my fellow-generals, to make the best and
noblest answer, that ye may, to these gentlemen. I will rejoin you
presently." At the moment an official had summoned him to come and
look at the entrails which had been taken out, for, as it chanced, he
was engaged in sacrificing. As soon as he was gone, Cleanor the
Arcadian, by right of seniority, answered: "They would sooner die than
give up their arms." Then Proxenus the Theban said: "For my part, I
marvel if the king demands our arms as our master, or for the sake of
friendship merely, as presents. If as our master, why need he ask for
them rather than come and take them? But if he would fain wheedle us
out of them by fine speeches, he should tell us what the soldiers will
receive in turn for such kindness." In answer to him Phalinus said:
"The king claims to have conquered, because he has put Cyrus to death;
and who is there now to claim the kingdom as against himself? He
further flatters himself that you also are in his power, since he
holds you in the heart of his country, hemmed in by impassable rivers;
and he can at any moment bring against you a multitude so vast that
even if leave were given to rise and slay you could not kill them."
After him Theopompus[3] the Athenian spoke. "Phalinus," he said, "at
this instant, as you yourself can see, we have nothing left but our
arms and our valour. If we keep the former we imagine we can make use
of the latter; but if we deliver up our arms we shall presently be
robbed of our lives. Do not suppose then that we are going to give up
to you the only good things which we possess. We prefer to keep them;
and by their help we will do battle with you for the good things which
are yours." Phalinus laughed when he heard those words, and said: 13
"Spoken like a philosopher, my fine young man, and very pretty
reasoning too; yet, let me tell you, your wits are somewhat scattered
if you imagine that your valour will get the better of the king's
power." There were one or two others, it was said, who with a touch of
weakness in their tone or argument, made answer: "They had proved good
and trusty friends to Cyrus, and the king might find them no less
valuable. If he liked to be friends with them, he might turn them to
any use that pleased his fancy, say for a campaign against Egypt.
Their arms were at his service; they would help to lay that country at
his feet."

[2] 10 A.M.

[3] So the best MSS. Others read "Xenophon," which Kruger maintains to
be the true reading. He suggests that "Theopompus" may have crept
into the text from a marginal note of a scholiast, "Theopompus"
(the historian) "gives the remark to Proxenus."

Just then Clearchus returned, and wished to know what answer they had
given. The words were barely out of his mouth before Phalinus
interrupting, answered: "As for your friends here, one says one thing
and one another; will you please give us your opinion"; and he
replied: "The sight of you, Phalinus, caused me much pleasure; and not
only me, but all of us, I feel sure; for you are a Hellene even as we
are--every one of us whom you see before you. In our present plight we
would like to take you into our counsel as to what we had better do
touching your proposals. I beg you then solemnly, in the sight of
heaven--do you tender us such advice as you shall deem best and
worthiest, and such as shall bring you honour of after time, when it
will be said of you how once on a time Phalinus was sent by the great
king to bid certain Hellenes yield up their arms, and when they had
taken him into their counsel, he gave them such and such advice. You
know that whatever advice you do give us cannot fail to be reported in

Clearchus threw out these leading remarks in hopes that this man, who
was the ambassador from the king, might himself be led to advise them
not to give up their arms, in which case the Hellenes would be still
more sanguine and hopeful. But, contrary to his expectation, Phalinus
turned round and said: "I say that if you have one chance, one hope in
ten thousand to wage a war with the king successfully, do not give up
your arms. That is my advice. If, however, you have no chance of
escape without the king's consent, then I say save yourselves in the
only way you can." And Clearchus answered: "So, then, that is your 20
deliberate view? Well, this is our answer, take it back. We conceive
that in either case, whether we are expected to be friends with the
king, we shall be worth more as friends if we keep our arms than if we
yield them to another; or whether we are to go to war, we shall fight
better with them than without." And Phalinus said: "That answer we
will repeat; but the king bade me tell you this besides, 'Whilst you
remain here there is truce; but one step forward or one step back, the
truce ends; there is war.' Will you then please inform us as to that
point also? Are you minded to stop and keep truce, or is there to be
war? What answer shall I take from you?" And Clearchus replied: "Pray
answer that we hold precisely the same views on this point as the
king."--"How say you the same views?" asked Phalinus. Clearchus made
answer: "As long as we stay here there is truce, but a step forward or
a step backward, the truce ends; there is war." The other again asked:
"Peace or war, what answer shall I make?" Clearchus returned answer
once again in the same words: "Truce if we stop, but if we move
forwards or backwards war." But what he was minded really to do, that
he refused to make further manifest.


Phalinus and those that were with him turned and went. But the 1
messengers from Ariaeus, Procles and Cheirisophus came back. As to
Menon, he stayed behind with Ariaeus, They brought back this answer
from Ariaeus: "'There are many Persians,' he says, 'better than
himself who will not suffer him to sit upon the king's throne; but if
you are minded to go back with him, you must join him this very night,
otherwise he will set off himself to-morrow on the homeward route.'"
And Clearchus said: "It had best stand thus between us then. If we
come, well and good, be it as you propose; but if we do not come, do
whatsoever you think most conducive to your interests." And so he kept
these also in the dark as to his real intention.

After this, when the sun was already sinking, he summoned the generals
and officers, and made the following statement: "Sirs, I sacrificed
and found the victims unfavourable to an advance against the king.
After all, it is not so surprising perhaps, for, as I now learn,
between us and the king flows the river Tigris, navigable for big 3
vessels, and we could not possibly cross it without boats, and boats
we have none. On the other hand, to stop here is out of the question,
for there is no possibility of getting provisions. However, the
victims were quite agreeable to us joining the friends of Cyrus. This
is what we must do then. Let each go away and sup on whatever he has.
At the first sound of the bugle to turn in, get kit and baggage
together; at the second signal, place them on the baggage animals; and
at the third, fall in and follow the lead, with the baggage animals on
the inside protected by the river, and the troops outside." After
hearing the orders, the generals and officers retired, and did as they
were bid; and for the future Clearchus led, and the rest followed in
obedience to his orders, not that they had expressly chosen him, but
they saw that he alone had the sense and wisdom requisite in a
general, while the rest were inexperienced[1].

[1] The MSS. add the words, "The total distance of the route, taking
Ephesus in Ionia as the starting point up to the field of battle,
consisted of 93 stages, 535 parasangs, or 16,050 furlongs; from
the battle-field to Babylon (reckoned a three days' journey) would
have been another 360 stades," which may well be an editor's or
commentator's marginal note.

Here, under cover of the darkness which descended, the Thracian
Miltocythes, with forty horsemen and three hundred Thracian infantry,
deserted to the king; but the rest of the troops--Clearchus leading
and the rest following in accordance with the orders promulgated--took
their departure, and about midnight reached their first stage, having
come up with Ariaeus and his army. They grounded arms just as they
stood in rank, and the generals and officers of the Hellenes met in
the tent of Ariaeus. There they exchanged oaths--the Hellenes on the
one side and Ariaeus with his principal officers on the other--not to
betray one another, but to be true to each other as allies. The
Asiatics further solemnly pledged themselves by oath to lead the way
without treachery. The oaths were ratified by the sacrifice of a bull,
a wolf[2], a boar, and a ram over a shield. The Hellenes dipped a
sword, the barbarians a lance, into the blood of the victims.

[2] It is a question whether the words "a wolf" ought not to be

As soon as the pledge was taken, Clearchus spoke: "And now, Ariaeus,"
he said, "since you and we have one expedition in prospect, will you 10
tell us what you think about the route; shall we return the way we
came, or have you devised a better?" He answered: "To return the same
way is to perish to a man by hunger; for at this moment we have no
provisions whatsoever. During the seventeen last stages, even on our
way hither, we could extract nothing from the country; or, if there
was now and again anything, we passed over and utterly consumed it. At
this time our project is to take another and a longer journey
certainly, but we shall not be in straits for provisions. The earliest
stages must be very long, as long as we can make them; the object is
to put as large a space as possible between us and the royal army;
once we are two or three days' journey off, the danger is over. The
king will never overtake us. With a small army he will not dare to dog
our heels, and with a vast equipment he will lack the power to march
quickly. Perhaps he, too, may even find a scarcity of provisions.
There," said he, "you asked for my opinion, see, I have given it."

Here was a plan of the campaign, which was equivalent to a stampede:
helter-skelter they were to run away, or get into hiding somehow; but
fortune proved a better general. For as soon as it was day they
recommenced the journey, keeping the sun on their right, and
calculating that with the westering rays they would have reached
villages in the territory of Babylonia, and in this hope they were not
deceived. While it was yet afternoon, they thought they caught sight
of some of the enemy's cavalry; and those of the Hellenes who were not
in rank ran to their ranks; and Ariaeus, who was riding in a wagon to
nurse a wound, got down and donned his cuirass, the rest of his party
following his example. Whilst they were arming themselves, the scouts,
who had been sent forward, came back with the information that they
were not cavalry but baggage animals grazing. It was at once clear to
all that they must be somewhere in the neighbourhood of the king's
encampment. Smoke could actually be seen rising, evidently from
villages not far ahead. Clearchus hesitated to advance upon the enemy,
knowing that the troops were tired and hungry; and indeed it was
already late. On the other hand he had no mind either to swerve from
his route--guarding against any appearance of flight. Accordingly he 16
marched straight as an arrow, and with sunset entered the nearest
villages with his vanguard and took up quarters.

These villages had been thoroughly sacked and dismantled by the royal
army--down to the very woodwork and furniture of the houses. Still,
the vanguard contrived to take up their quarters in some sort of
fashion; but the rear division, coming up in the dark, had to bivouac
as best they could, one detachment after another; and a great noise
they made, with hue and cry to one another, so that the enemy could
hear them; and those in their immediate proximity actually took to
their heels, left their quarters, and decamped, as was plain enough
next morning, when not a beast was to be seen, nor sign of camp or
wreath of smoke anywhere in the neighbourhood. The king, as it would
appear, was himself quite taken aback by the advent of the army; as he
fully showed by his proceedings next day.

During the progress of this night the Hellenes had their turn of
scare--a panic seized them, and there was a noise and clatter, hardly
to be explained except by the visitation of some sudden terror. But
Clearchus had with him the Eleian Tolmides, the best herald of his
time; him he ordered to proclaim silence, and then to give out this
proclamation of the generals: "Whoever will give any information as to
who let an ass into the camp shall receive a talent of silver in
reward." On hearing this proclamation the soldiers made up their minds
that their fear was baseless, and their generals safe and sound. At
break of day Clearchus gave the order to the Hellenes to get under
arms in line of battle, and take up exactly the same position as they
held on the day of the battle.


And now comes the proof of what I stated above--that the king was 1
utterly taken aback by the sudden apparition of the army; only the day
before, he had sent and demanded the surrender of their arms--and now,
with the rising sun, came heralds sent by him to arrange a truce.
These, having reached the advanced guard, asked for the generals. The
guard reported their arrival; and Clearchus, who was busy inspecting
the ranks, sent back word to the heralds that they must await his
leisure. Having carefully arranged the troops so that from every side
they might present the appearance of a compact battle line without a 3
single unarmed man in sight, he summoned the ambassadors, and himself
went forward to meet them with the soldiers, who for choice
accoutrement and noble aspect were the flower of his force; a course
which he had invited the other generals also to adopt.

And now, being face to face with the ambassadors, he questioned them
as to what their wishes were. They replied that they had come to
arrange a truce, and were persons competent to carry proposals from
the king to the Hellenes and from the Hellenes to the king. He
returned answer to them: "Take back word then to your master, that we
need a battle first, for we have had no breakfast; and he will be a
brave man who will dare mention the word 'truce' to Hellenes without
providing them with breakfast." With this message the heralds rode
off, but were back again in no time, which was a proof that the king,
or some one appointed by him to transact the business, was hard by.
They reported that "the message seemed reasonable to the king; they
had now come bringing guides who, if a truce were arranged, would
conduct them where they would get provisions." Clearchus inquired
"whether the truce was offered to the individual men merely as they
went and came, or to all alike." "To all," they replied, "until the
king receives your final answer." When they had so spoken, Clearchus,
having removed the ambassadors, held a council; and it was resolved to
make a truce at once, and then quietly to go and secure provisions;
and Clearchus said: "I agree to the resolution; still I do not propose
to announce it at once, but to wile away time till the ambassadors
begin to fear that we have decided against the truce; though I
suspect," he added, "the same fear will be operative on the minds of
our soldiers also." As soon as the right moment seemed to have
arrived, he delivered his answer in favour of the truce, and bade the
ambassadors at once conduct them to the provisions.

So these led the way; and Clearchus, without relaxing precaution, in
spite of having secured a truce, marched after them with his army in
line and himself in command of the rearguard. Over and over again they
encountered trenches and conduits so full of water that they could not 10
be crossed without bridges; but they contrived well enough for these
by means of trunks of palm trees which had fallen, or which they cut
down for the occasion. And here Clearchus's system of superintendence
was a study in itself; as he stood with a spear in his left hand and a
stick in the other; and when it seemed to him there was any dawdling
among the parties told off to the work, he would pick out the right
man and down would come the stick; nor, at the same time, was he above
plunging into the mud and lending a hand himself, so that every one
else was forced for very shame to display equal alacrity. The men told
off for the business were the men of thirty years of age; but even the
elder men, when they saw the energy of Clearchus, could not resist
lending their aid also. What stimulated the haste of Clearchus was the
suspicion in his mind that these trenches were not, as a rule, so full
of water, since it was not the season to irrigate the plain; and he
fancied that the king had let the water on for the express purpose of
vividly presenting to the Hellenes the many dangers with which their
march was threatened at the very start.

Proceeding on their way they reached some villages, where their guides
indicated to them that they would find provisions. They were found to
contain plenty of corn, and wine made from palm dates, and an
acidulated beverage extracted by boiling from the same fruit. As to
the palm nuts or dates themselves, it was noticeable that the sort
which we are accustomed to see in Hellas were set aside for the
domestic servants; those put aside for the masters are picked
specimens, and are simply marvellous for their beauty and size,
looking like great golden lumps of amber; some specimens they dried
and preserved as sweetmeats. Sweet enough they were as an
accompaniment of wine, but apt to give headache. Here, too, for the
first time in their lives, the men tasted the brain[1] of the palm. No
one could help being struck by the beauty of this object, and the
peculiarity of its delicious flavour; but this, like the dried fruits,
was exceedingly apt to give headache. When this cabbage or brain has
been removed from the palm the whole tree withers from top to bottom.

[1] I.e. the cabbage-like crown.

In these villages they remained three days, and a deputation from the 17
great king arrived--Tissaphernes and the king's brother-in-law and
three other Persians--with a retinue of many slaves. As soon as the
generals of the Hellenes had presented themselves, Tissaphernes opened
the proceedings with the following speech, through the lips of an
interpreter: "Men of Hellas, I am your next-door neighbour in Hellas.
Therefore was it that I, when I saw into what a sea of troubles you
were fallen, regarded it as a godsend, if by any means I might obtain,
as a boon from the king, the privilege of bringing you back in safety
to your own country: and that, I take it, will earn me gratitude from
you and all Hellas. In this determination I preferred my request to
the king; I claimed it as a favour which was fairly my due; for was it
not I who first announced to him the hostile approach of Cyrus? who
supported that announcement by the aid I brought; who alone among the
officers confronted with the Hellenes in battle did not flee, but
charged right through and united my troops with the king inside your
camp, where he was arrived, having slain Cyrus; it was I, lastly, who
gave chase to the barbarians under Cyrus, with the help of those here
present with me at this moment, which are also among the trustiest
followers of our lord the king. Now, I counsel you to give a moderate
answer, so that it may be easier for me to carry out my design, if
haply I may obtain from him some good thing on your behalf."

Thereupon the Hellenes retired and took counsel. Then they answered,
and Clearchus was their spokesman: "We neither mustered as a body to
make war against the king, nor was our march conducted with that
object. But it was Cyrus, as you know, who invented many and divers
pretexts, that he might take you off your guard, and transport us
hither. Yet, after a while, when we saw that he was in sore straits,
we were ashamed in the sight of God and man to betray him, whom we had
permitted for so long a season to benefit us. But now that Cyrus is
dead, we set up no claim to his kingdom against the king himself;
there is neither person nor thing for the sake of which we would care 23
to injure the king's country; we would not choose to kill him if we
could, rather we would march straight home, if we were not molested;
but, God helping us, we will retaliate on all who injure us. On the
other hand, if any be found to benefit us, we do not mean to be
outdone in kindly deeds, as far as in us lies."

So he spoke, and Tissaphernes listened and replied: "That answer will
I take back to the king and bring you word from him again. Until I
come again, let the truce continue, and we will furnish you with a
market." All next day he did not come back, and the Hellenes were
troubled with anxieties, but on the third day he arrived with the news
that he had obtained from the king the boon he asked; he was permitted
to save the Hellenes, though there were many gainsayers who argued
that it was not seemly for the king to let those who had marched
against him depart in peace. And at last he said: "You may now, if you
like, take pledges from us, that we will make the countries through
which you pass friendly to you, and will lead you back without
treachery into Hellas, and will furnish you with a market; and
wherever you cannot purchase, we will permit you to take provisions
from the district. You, on your side, must swear that you will march
as through a friendly country, without damage--merely taking food and
drink wherever we fail to supply a market--or, if we afford a market,
you shall only obtain provisions by paying for them." This was agreed
to, and oaths and pledges exchanged between them--Tissaphernes and the
king's brother-in-law upon the one side, and the generals and officers
of the Hellenes on the other. After this Tissaphernes said: "And now I
go back to the king; as soon as I have transacted what I have a mind
to, I will come back, ready equipped, to lead you away to Hellas, and
to return myself to my own dominion."


After these things the Hellenes and Ariaeus waited for Tissaphernes, 1
being encamped close to one another: for more than twenty days they
waited, during which time there came visitors to Ariaeus, his brother
and other kinsfolk. To those under him came certain other Persians,
encouraging them and bearing pledges to some of them from the king
himself--that he would bear no grudge against them on account of the
part they bore in the expedition against him with Cyrus, or for aught
else of the things which were past. Whilst these overtures were being
made, Ariaeus and his friends gave manifest signs of paying less
attention to the Hellenes, so much so that, if for no other reason,
the majority of the latter were not well pleased, and they came to
Clearchus and the other generals, asking what they were waiting for.
"Do we not know full well," they said, "that the king would give a
great deal to destroy us, so that other Hellenes may take warning and
think twice before they march against the king. To-day it suits his
purpose to induce us to stop here, because his army is scattered; but
as soon as he has got together another armament, attack us most
certainly he will. How do we know he is not at this moment digging
away at trenches, or running up walls, to make our path impassable. It
is not to be supposed that he will desire us to return to Hellas with
a tale how a handful of men like ourselves beat the king at his own
gates, laughed him to scorn, and then came home again." Clearchus
replied: "I too am keenly aware of all this; but I reason thus: if we
turn our backs now, they will say, we mean war and are acting contrary
to the truce, and then what follows? First of all, no one will furnish
us with a market or means of providing ourselves with food. Next, we
shall have no one to guide us; moreover, such action on our part will
be a signal to Ariaeus to hold aloof from us, so that not a friend
will be left to us; even those who were formerly our friends will now
be numbered with our enemies. What other river, or rivers, we may find
we have to cross, I do not know; but this we know, to cross the
Euphrates in face of resistance is impossible. You see, in the event
of being driven to an engagement, we have no cavalry to help us, but
with the enemy it is the reverse--not only the most, but the best of
his troops are cavalry, so that if we are victorious, we shall kill no
one, but if we are defeated, not a man of us can escape. For my part,
I cannot see why the king, who has so many advantages on his side, if 7
he desires to destroy us, should swear oaths and tender solemn pledges
merely in order to perjure himself in the sight of heaven, to render
his word worthless and his credit discreditable the wide world over."
These arguments he propounded at length.

Meanwhile Tissaphernes came back, apparently ready to return home; he
had his own force with him, and so had Orontas, who was also present,
his. The latter brought, moreover, his bride with him, the king's
daughter, whom he had just wedded. The journey was now at length
fairly commenced. Tissaphernes led the way, and provided a market.
They advanced, and Ariaeus advanced too, at the head of Cyrus's
Asiatic troops, side by side with Tissaphernes and Orontas, and with
these two he also pitched his camp. The Hellenes, holding them in
suspicion, marched separately with the guides, and they encamped on
each occasion a parasang apart, or rather less; and both parties kept
watch upon each other as if they were enemies, which hardly tended to
lull suspicion; and sometimes, whilst foraging for wood and grass and
so forth on the same ground, blows were exchanged, which occasioned
further embitterments. Three stages they had accomplished ere they
reached the wall of Media, as it is called, and passed within it. It
was built of baked bricks laid upon bitumen. It was twenty feet broad
and a hundred feet high, and the length of it was said to be twenty
parasangs. It lies at no great distance from Babylon.

From this point they marched two stages--eight parasangs--and crossed
two canals, the first by a regular bridge, the other spanned by a
bridge of seven boats. These canals issued from the Tigris, and from
them a whole system of minor trenches was cut, leading over the
country, large ones to begin with, and then smaller and smaller, till
at last they become the merest runnels, like those in Hellas used for
watering millet fields. They reached the river Tigris. At this point
there was a large and thickly populated city named Sittace, at a 13
distance of fifteen furlongs from the river. The Hellenes accordingly
encamped by the side of that city, near a large and beautiful park,
which was thick with all sorts of trees.

The Asiatics had crossed the Tigris, but somehow were entirely hidden
from view. After supper, Proxenus and Xenophon were walking in front
of the place d'armes, when a man came up and demanded of the advanced
guard where he could find Proxenus or Clearchus. He did not ask for
Menon, and that too though he came from Ariaeus, who was Menon's
friend. As soon as Proxenus had said: "I am he, whom you seek," the
man replied: "I have been sent by Ariaeus and Artaozus, who have been
trusty friends to Cyrus in past days, and are your well-wishers. They
warn you to be on your guard, in case the barbarians attack you in the
night. There is a large body of troops in the neighbouring park. They
also warn you to send and occupy the bridge over the Tigris, since
Tissaphernes is minded to break it down in the night, if he can, so
that you may not cross, but be caught between the river and the
canal." On hearing this they took the man to Clearchus and acquainted
him with his statement. Clearchus, on his side, was much disturbed,
and indeed alarmed at the news. But a young fellow who was present[1],
struck with an idea, suggested that the two statements were
inconsistent; as to the contemplated attack and the proposed
destruction of the bridge. Clearly, the attacking party must either
conquer or be worsted: if they conquer, what need of their breaking
down the bridge? "Why! if there were half a dozen bridges," said he,
"we should not be any the more able to save ourselves by flight--there
would be no place to flee to; but, in the opposite case, suppose we
win, with the bridge broken down, it is they who will not be able to
save themselves by flight; and, what is worse for them, not a single
soul will be able to bring them succour from the other side, for all
their numbers, since the bridge will be broken down."

[1] Possibly Xenophon himself.

Clearchus listened to the reasoning, and then he asked the messenger,
"How large the country between the Tigris and the canal might be?" "A 21
large district," he replied, "and in it are villages and cities
numerous and large." Then it dawned upon them: the barbarians had sent
the man with subtlety, in fear lest the Hellenes should cut the bridge
and occupy the island territory, with the strong defences of the
Tigris on the one side and of the canal on the other; supplying
themselves with provisions from the country so included, large and
rich as it was, with no lack of hands to till it; in addition to
which, a harbour of refuge and asylum would be found for any one, who
was minded to do the king a mischief.

After this they retired to rest in peace, not, however, neglecting to
send a guard to occupy the bridge in spite of all, and there was no
attack from any quarter whatsoever; nor did any of the enemy's people
approach the bridges: so the guards were able to report next morning.
But as soon as it was morning, they proceeded to cross the bridge,
which consisted of thirty-seven vessels, and in so doing they used the
utmost precaution possible; for reports were brought by some of the
Hellenes with Tissaphernes that an attempt was to be made to attack
them while crossing. All this turned out to be false, though it is
true that while crossing they did catch sight of Glus watching, with
some others, to see if they crossed the river; but as soon as he had
satisfied himself on that point, he rode off and was gone.

From the river Tigris they advanced four stages--twenty parasangs--to
the river Physcus, which is a hundred feet broad and spanned by a
bridge. Here lay a large and populous city named Opis, close to which
the Hellenes were encountered by the natural brother of Cyrus and
Artaxerxes, who was leading a large army from Susa and Ecbatana to
assist the king. He halted his troops and watched the Helleens march
past. Clearchus led them in column two abreast: and from time to time
the vanguard came to a standstill, just so often and just so long the
effect repeated itself down to the hindmost man: halt! halt! halt!
along the whole line: so that even to the Hellenes themselves their
army seemed enormous; and the Persian was fairly astonished at the

From this place they marched through Media six desert stages--thirty 27
parasangs--to the villages of Parysatis, Cyrus's and the king's
mother. These Tissaphernes, in mockery of Cyrus, delivered over to the
Hellenes to plunder, except that the folk in them were not to be made
slaves. They contained much corn, cattle, and other property. From
this place they advanced four desert stages--twenty parasangs--keeping
the Tigris on the left. On the first of these stages, on the other
side of the river, lay a large city; it was a well-to-do place named
Caenae, from which the natives used to carry across loaves and cheeses
and wine on rafts made of skins.


After this they reached the river Zapatas[1], which is four hundred 1
feet broad, and here they halted three days. During the interval
suspicions were rife, though no act of treachery displayed itself.
Clearchus accordingly resolved to bring to an end these feelings of
mistrust, before they led to war. Consequently, he sent a messenger to
the Persian to say that he desired an interview with him; to which the
other readily consented. As soon as they were met, Clearchus spoke as
follows: "Tissaphernes," he said, "I do not forget that oaths have

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