Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Anabasis by Xenophon

Part 4 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download Anabasis pdf
File size: 0.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

formerly, I wear a bolder front now than then, and I drink more wine,
yet I never strike a soul; no, for I see that you have reached smooth
water. When storm arises, and a great sea strikes the vessel
amidships, a mere shake of the head will make the look-out man furious
with the crew in the forecastle, or the helmsman with the men in the
stern sheets, for at such a crisis even a slight slip may ruin
everything. But I appeal to your own verdict, already recorded, in 21
proof that I was justified in striking these men. You stood by, sirs,
with swords, not voting tablets, in your hands, and it was in your
power to aid the fellows if you liked; but, to speak the honest truth,
you neither aided them nor did you join me in striking the disorderly.
In other words, you enabled any evilly-disposed person among them to
give rein to his wantonness by your passivity. For if you will be at
pains to investigate, you will find that those who were then most
cowardly are the ringleaders to-day in brutality and outrage.

"There is Boiscus the boxer, a Thessalian, what a battle he fought
then to escape carrying his shield! so tired was he, and to-day I am
told he has stripped several citizens of Cotyora of the clothes on
their backs. If then you are wise, you will treat this personage in a
way the contrary to that in which men treat dogs. A savage dog is tied
up on the day and loosed at night, but if you are wise you will tie
this fellow up at night and only let him loose in the day.

"But really," he added, "it does surprise me with what keenness you
remember and recount the times when I incurred the hatred of some one;
but some other occasions when I eased the burden of winter and storm
for any of you, or beat off an enemy, or helped to minister to you in
sickness and want, not a soul of you remembers these. Or when for any
noble deed done by any of you I praised the doer, and according to my
ability did honour to this brave man or that; these things have
slipped from your memories, and are clean forgotten. Yet it were
surely more noble, just, and holy, sweeter and kindlier to treasure
the memory of good rather than of evil."

He ended, and then one after another of the assembly got up and began
recalling incidents of the kind suggested, and things ended not so
unpleasantly after all.



After this, whilst waiting, they lived partly on supplies from the 1
market, partly on the fruit of raids into Paphlagonia. The
Paphlagonians, on their side, showed much skill in kidnapping
stragglers, wherever they could lay hands on them, and in the night
time tried to do mischief to those whose quarters were at a distance
from the camp. The result was that their relations to one another were
exceedingly hostile, so much so that Corylas, who was the chief of
Paphlagonia at that date, sent ambassadors to the Hellenes, bearing
horses and fine apparel, and charged with a proposal on the part of
Corylas to make terms with the Hellenes on the principle of mutual
forbearance from injuries. The generals replied that they would
consult with the army about the matter. Meanwhile they gave them a
hospitable reception, to which they invited certain members of the
army whose claims were obvious. They sacrificed some of the captive
cattle and other sacrificial beasts, and with these they furnished
forth a sufficiently festal entertainment, and reclining on their
truckle beds, fell to eating and drinking out of beakers made of horn
which they happened to find in the country.

But as soon as the libation was ended and they had sung the hymn, up
got first some Thracians, who performed a dance under arms to the
sound of a pipe, leaping high into the air with much nimbleness, and
brandishing their swords, till at last one man struck his fellow, and
every one thought he was really wounded, so skilfully and artistically 6
did he fall, and the Paphlagonians screamed out. Then he that gave the
blow stripped the other of his arms, and marched off chanting the
"Sitalcas[1]," whilst others of the Thracians bore off the other, who
lay as if dead, though he had not received even a scratch.

[1] I.e. the national Thracian hymn; for Sitalcas the king, a national
hero, see Thuc. ii. 29.

After this some Aenianians[2] and Magnesians got up and fell to
dancing the Carpaea, as it is called, under arms. This was the manner
of the dance: one man lays aside his arms and proceeds to drive a yoke
of oxen, and while he drives he sows, turning him about frequently, as
though he were afraid of something; up comes a cattle-lifter, and no
sooner does the ploughman catch sight of him afar, than he snatches up
his arms and confronts him. They fight in front of his team, and all
in rhythm to the sound of the pipe. At last the robber binds the
countryman and drives off the team. Or sometimes the cattle-driver
binds the robber, and then he puts him under the yoke beside the oxen,
with his two hands tied behind his back, and off he drives.

[2] The Aenianians, an Aeolian people inhabiting the upper valley of
the Sperchius (the ancient Phthia); their capital was Hypata.
These men belonged to the army collected by Menon, the Thessalian.
So, doubtless, did the Magnesians, another Aeolian tribe occupying
the mountainous coast district on the east of Thessaly. See
Kiepert's "Man. Anct. Geog." (Macmillan's tr.), chap. vi.. 161,

After this a Mysian came in with a light shield in either hand and
danced, at one time going through a pantomime, as if he were dealing
with two assailants at once; at another plying his shields as if to
face a single foe, and then again he would whirl about and throw
somersaults, keeping the shields in his hands, so that it was a
beautiful spectacle. Last of all he danced the Persian dance, clashing
the shields together, crouching down on one knee and springing up
again from earth; and all this he did in measured time to the sound of
the flute. After him the Mantineans stepped upon the stage, and some
other Arcadians also stood up; they had accoutred themselves in all
their warlike finery. They marched with measured tread, pipes playing,
to the tune of the 'warrior's march[3]'; the notes of the paean rose, 11
lightly their limbs moved in dance, as in solemn procession to the
holy gods. The Paphlagonians looked upon it as something truly strange
that all these dances should be under arms; and the Mysians, seeing
their astonishment persuaded one of the Arcadians who had got a
dancing girl to let him introduce her, which he did after dressing her
up magnificently and giving her a light shield. When, lithe of limb,
she danced the Pyrrhic[4], loud clapping followed; and the
Paphlagonians asked, "If these women fought by their side in battle?"
to which they answered, "To be sure, it was the women who routed the
great King, and drove him out of camp." So ended the night.

[3] See Plato, "Rep." 400 B, for this "war measure"; also Aristoph.
"Clouds," 653.

[4] For this famous dance, supposed to be of Doric (Cretan or Spartan)
origin, see Smith's "Dict. of Antiquities," "Saltatio"; also Guhl
and Koner, "The Life of the Greeks and Romans," Eng. tr.

But next day the generals introduced the embassy to the army, and the
soldiers passed a resolution in the sense proposed: between themselves
and the Paphlagonians there was to be a mutual abstinence from
injuries. After this the ambassadors went on their way, and the
Hellenes, as soon as it was thought that sufficient vessels had
arrived, went on board ship, and voyaged a day and a night with a fair
breeze, keeping Paphlagonia on their left. And on the following day,
arriving at Sinope, they came to moorings in the harbour of Harmene,
near Sinope[5]. The Sinopeans, though inhabitants of Paphlagonia, are
really colonists of the Milesians. They sent gifts of hospitality to
the Hellenes, three thousand measures of barley with fifteen hundred
jars of wine. At this place Cheirisophus rejoined them with a
man-of-war. The soldiers certainly expected that, having come, he
would have brought them something, but he brought them nothing, except
complimentary phrases, on the part of Anaxibius, the high admiral, and
the rest, who sent them their congratulations, coupled with a promise
on the part of Anaxibius that, as soon as they were outside the
Euxine, pay would be forthcoming.

[5] Harmene, a port of Sinope, between four and five miles (fifty
stades) west of that important city, itself a port town. See
Smith, "Dict. Geog.," "Sinope"; and Kiepert, op. cit. chap. iv.

At Harmene the army halted five days; and now that they seemed to be 17
so close to Hellas, the question how they were to reach home not
empty-handed presented itself more forcibly to their minds than
heretofore. The conclusion they came to was to appoint a single
general, since one man would be better able to handle the troops, by
night or by day, than was possible while the generalship was divided.
If secrecy were desirable, it would be easier to keep matters dark, or
if again expedition were an object, there would be less risk of
arriving a day too late, since mutual explanations would be avoided,
and whatever approved itself to the single judgement would at once be
carried into effect, whereas previously the generals had done
everything in obedience to the opinion of the majority.

With these ideas working in their minds, they turned to Xenophon, and
the officers came to him and told him that this was how the soldiers
viewed matters; and each of them, displaying a warmth of kindly
feeling, pressed him to accept the office. Xenophon partly would have
liked to do so, in the belief that by so doing he would win to himself
a higher repute in the esteem of his friends, and that his name would
be reported to the city written large; and by some stroke of fortune
he might even be the discoverer of some blessing to the army

These and the like considerations elated him; he had a strong desire
to hold the supreme command. But then again, as he turned the matter
over, the conviction deepened in his mind that the issue of the future
is to every man uncertain; and hence there was the risk of perhaps
losing such reputation has he had already acquired. He was in sore
straights, and, not knowing how to decide, it seemed best to him to
lay the matter before heaven. Accordingly, he led two victims to the
altar and made sacrifice to Zeus the King, for it was he and no other
who had been named by the oracle at Delphi, and his belief was that
the vision which he had beheld when he first essayed to undertake the
joint administration of the army was sent to him by that god. He also
recalled to mind a circumstance which befell him still earlier, when 23
setting out from Ephesus to associate himself with Cyrus[6];--how an
eagle screamed on his right hand from the east, and still remained
perched, and the soothsayer who was escorting him said that it was a
great and royal omen[7]; indicating glory and yet suffering; for the
punier race of birds only attack the eagle when seated. "Yet," added
he, "it bodes not gain in money; for the eagle seizes his food, not
when seated, but on the wing."

[6] Cf. "Cyrop." II. i. 1; an eagle appears to Cyrus on the frontiers
of Persia, when about to join his uncle Cyaxares, king of Media,
on his expedition against the Assyrian.

[7] It is important to note that the Greek word {oionos}, a solitary
or lone-flying bird, also means an omen. "It was a mighty bird and
a mighty omen."

Thus Xenophon sacrificed, and the god as plainly as might be gave him
a sign, neither to demand the generalship, nor, if chosen, to accept
the office. And that was how the matter stood when the army met, and
the proposal to elect a single leader was unanimous. After this
resolution was passed, they proposed Xenophon for election, and when
it seemed quite evident that they would elect him, if he put the
question to the vote, he got up and spoke as follows:--

"Sirs, I am but mortal, and must needs be happy to be honoured by you.
I thank you, and am grateful, and my prayer is that the gods may grant
me to be an instrument of blessing to you. Still, when I consider it
closer, thus, in the presence of a Lacedaemonian, to be preferred by
you as general, seems to me but ill conducive either to your interests
or to mine, since you will the less readily obtain from them hereafter
anything you may need, while for myself I look upon acceptance as even
somewhat dangerous. Do I not see and know with what persistence these
Lacedaemonians prosecuted the war till finally they forced our State
to acknowledge the leadership of Lacedaemon? This confession once
extorted from their antagonists, they ceased warring at once, and the
seige of the city was at an end. If, with these facts before my eyes,
I seem to be doing all I can to neutralise their high self-esteem, I
cannot escape the reflection that personally I may be taught wisdom by
a painful process. But with your own idea that under a single general
there will be less factiousness than when there were many, be assured 29
that in choosing some other than me you will not find me factious. I
hold that whosoever sets up factious opposition to his leader
factiously opposes his own safety. While if you determine to choose
me, I should not be surprised were that choice to entail upon you and
me the resentment of other people."

After those remarks on Xenophon's part, many more got up, one after
another, insisting on the propriety of his undertaking the command.
One of them, Agasias the Stymphalian, said: It was really ridiculous,
if things had come to this pass that the Lacedeamonians are to fly
into a rage because a number of friends have met together to dinner,
and omitted to choose a Lacedaemonian to sit at the head of the table.
"Really, if that is how matters stand," said he, "I do not see what
right we have to be officers even, we who are only Arcadians." That
sally brought down the plaudits of the assembly; and Xenophon, seeing
that something more was needed, stepped forward again and spoke,
"Pardon, sirs," he said, "let me make a clean breast of it. I swear to
you by all the gods and goddesses; verily and indeed, I no sooner
perceived your purpose, than I consulted the victims, whether it was
better for you to entrust this leadership to me, and for me to
undertake it, or the reverse. And the gods vouchsafed a sign to me so
plain that even a common man might understand it, and perceive that
from such sovereignty I must needs hold myself aloof."

Under these circumstances they chose Cheirisophus, who, after his
election, stepped forward and said: "Nay, sirs, be well assured of
this, that had you chosen some one else, I for my part should not have
set up factious opposition. As to Xenophon, I believe you have done
him a good turn by not appointing him; for even now Dexippus has gone
some way in traducing him to Anaxibius, as far as it lay in his power
to do so, and that, in spite of my attempts to silence him. What he
said was that he believed Xenophon would rather share the command of
Clearchus's army with Timasion, a Dardanian, than with himself, a
Laconian. But," continued Cheirisophus, "since your choice has fallen 33
upon me, I will make it my endeavour to do you all the good in my
power; so make your preparations to weigh anchor to-morrow; wind and
weather permitting, we will voyage to Heraclea; every one must
endeavour, therefore, to put in at that port; and for the rest we will
consult, when we are come thither."


The next day they weighed anchor and set sail from Harmene with a fair 1
breeze, two days' voyage along the coast. [As they coasted along they
came in sight of Jason's beach[1], where, as the story says, the ship
Argo came to moorings; and then the mouths of the rivers, first the
Thermodon, then the Iris, then the Halys, and next to it the
Parthenius.] Coasting past [the latter], they reached Heraclea[2], a
Hellenic city and a colony of the Megarians, situated in the territory
of the Mariandynians. So they came to achorage off the Acherusian
Chersonese, where Heracles[3] is said to have descended to bring up
the dog Cerberus, at a point where they still show the marks of his
descent, a deep cleft more than two furlongs down. Here the Heracleots
sent the Hellenes, as gifts of hospitality, three thousand measures of
barley and two thousand jars of wine, twenty beeves and one hundred
sheep. Through the flat country here flows the Lycus river, as it is
called, about two hundred feet in breadth.

[1] I have left this passage in the text, although it involves, at
first sight, a topographical error on the part of whoever wrote
it, and Hug and other commentators regard it as spurious. Jason's
beach (the modern Yasoun Bouroun) and the three first-named rivers
lie between Cotyora and Sinope. Possibly the author, or one of his
editors, somewhat loosely inserted a recapitulatory note
concerning the scenery of this coasting voyage at this point. "By
the way, I ought to have told you that as they coasted along,"

[2] One of the most powerful of commercial cities, distinguished as
Pontica (whence, in the middle ages, Penteraklia), now Eregli. It
was one of the older Greek settlements, and, like Kalchedon (to
give that town its proper name), a Megaro-Doric colony. See
Kiepert, op. cit. chap. iv. 62.

[3] According to another version of the legend Heracles went down to
bring up Cerberus, not here, but at Taenarum.

The soldiers held a meeting, and took counsel about the remainder of
the journey: should they make their exit from the Pontus by sea or by
land? and Lycon the Achaean got up and said: "I am astonished, sirs,
that the generals do not endeavour to provide us more efficiently with
provisions. These gifts of hospitality will not afford three days' 4
victuals for the army; nor do I see from what region we are to provide
ourselves as we march. My proposal, therefore, is to demand of the
Heracleots at least three thousand cyzicenes." Another speaker
suggested, "not less than ten thousand. Let us at once, before we
break up this meeting, send ambassadors to the city and ascertain
their answer to the demand and take counsel accordingly." Thereupon
they proceeded to put up as ambassadors, first and foremost
Cheirisophus, as he had been chosen general-in-chief; others also
named Xenophon.

But both Cheirisophus and Xenophon stoutly declined, maintaining both
alike that they could not compel a Hellenic city, actually friendly,
to give anything which they did not spontaneously offer. So, since
these two appeared to be backward, the soldiers sent Lycon the
Achaean, Callimachus the Parrhasian, and Agasias the Stymphalian.
These three went and announced the resolutions passed by the army.
Lycon, it was said, even went so far as to threaten certain
consequences in case they refused to comply. The Heracleots said they
would deliberate; and, without more ado, they got together their goods
and chattels from their farms and fields outside, and dismantled the
market outside and transferred it within, after which the gates were
closed, and arms appeared at the battlements of the walls.

At that check, the authors of these tumultuary measures fell to
accusing the generals, as if they had marred the proceeding; and the
Arcadians and Archaeans banded together, chiefly under the auspiecs of
the two ringleaders, Callimachus the Parrhasian and Lycon the Achaean.
The language they held was to this effect: It was outrageous that a
single Athenian and a Lacedaemonian, who had not contributed a soldier
to the expedition, should rule Peloponnesians; scandalous that they
themselves should bear the toils whilst others pocketed the spoils,
and that too though the preservation of the army was due to
themselves; for, as every one must admit, to the Arcadians and 10
Achaeans the credit of that achievement was due, and the rest of the
army went for nothing (which was indeed so far true that the Arcadians
and Achaeans did form numerically the larger half of the whole army).
What then did common sense suggest? Why, that they, the Arcadians and
Achaeans, should make common cause, choose generals for themselves
independently, continue the march, and try somewhat to better their
condition. This proposal was carried. All the Arcadians and Achaeans
who chanced to be with Cheirisophus left him and Xenophon, setting up
for themselves and choosing ten generals of their own. These ten, it
was decreed, were to put into effect such measures as approved
themselves to the majority. Thus the absolute authority vested in
Cheirisophus was terminated there and then, within less than a week of
his appointment.

Xenophon, however was minded to prosecute the journey in their
campany, thinking that this would be a safer plan than for each to
start on his own account. But Neon threw in his weight in favour of
separate action. "Every one for himself," he said, for he had heard
from Cheirisophus that Cleander, the Spartan governor-general at
Byzantium, talked of coming to Calpe Haven with some war vessels.
Neon's advice was due to his desire to secure a passage home in these
war vessels for themselves and their soldiers, without allowing any
one else to share in their good-fortune. As for Cheirisophus, he was
at once so out of heart at the turn things had taken, and soured with
the whole army, that he left it to his subordinate, Neon, to do just
what he liked. Xenophon, on his side, would still have been glad to be
quit of the expedition and sail home; but on offering sacrifice to
Heracles the Leader, and seeking advice, whether it were better and
more desirable to continue the march in charge of the soldiers who had
remained faithful, or to take his departure, the god indicated to him
by the victims that he should adopt the former course.

In this way the army was now split up into three divisions[4]. First,
the Arcadians and Achaeans, over four thousand five hundred men, all
heavy infantry. Secondly, Cheirisophus and his men, viz. one thousand 16
four hundred heavy infantry and the seven hundred peltasts, or
Clearchus's Thracians. Thirdly, Xenophon's division of one thousand
seven hundred heavy infantry, and three hundred peltasts; but then he
alone had the cavalry--about forty troopers.

[4] The total now amounted to 8640 and over.

The Arcadians, who had bargained with the Heracleots and got some
vessels from them, were the first to set sail; they hoped, by pouncing
suddenly on the Bithynians, to make as large a haul as possible. With
that object they disembarked at Calpe Haven[5], pretty nearly at the
middle point in Thrace. Cheirisophus setting off straight from
Heraclea, commenced a land march through the country; but having
entered into Thrace, he preferred to cling to the seaboard, health and
strength failing him. Xenophon, lastly, took vessels, and disembarking
on the confines of Thrace and the Heracleotid, pushed forward through
the heart of the country[6].

[5] The Haven of Calpe = Kirpe Liman or Karpe in the modern maps. The
name is interesting as being also the ancient name of the rock
fortress of Gibraltar.

[6] Some MSS. here read, "In the prior chapter will be found a
description of the manner in which the absolute command of
Cheirisophus was abruptly terminated and the army of the Hellenes
broken up. The sequel will show how each of these divisions
fared." The passage is probably one of those commentators' notes,
with which we are now familiar.


The Arcadians, disembarking under cover of night at Calpe Haven, 1
marched against the nearest villages about thirty furlongs from the
sea; and as soon as it was light, each of the ten generals led his
company to attack one village, or if the village were large, a couple
of companies advanced under their combined generals. They further
agreed upon a certain knoll, where they were all eventually to
assemble. So sudden was their attack that they seized a number of
captives and enclosed a multitude of small cattle. But the Thracians
who escaped began to collect again; for being light-armed troops they
had slipped in large numbers through the hands of the heavy infantry;
and now that they were got together they first attacked the company of
the Arcadian general, Smicres, who had done his work and was retiring
to the appointed meeting-place, driving along a large train of
captives and cattle. For a good while the Hellenes maintained a
running fight[1]; but at the passage of a gorge the enemy routed them, 5
slaying Smicres himself and those with him to a man. The fate of
another company under command of Hegesander, another of the ten, was
nearly as bad; only eight men escaped, Hegesander being one of them.
The remaining captains eventually met, some with somewhat to show for
their pains, others empty-handed.

[1] Lit. "marched and fought," as did the forlorn hope under Sir C.
Wilson making its way from Abu Klea to the Nile in Jan. 1885.

The Thracians, having achieved this success, kept up a continual
shouting and clatter of conversation to one another during the night;
but with day-dawn they marshalled themselves right round the knoll on
which the Hellenes were encamped--both cavalry in large numbers and
light-armed troops--while every minute the stream of new-comers grew
greater. Then they commenced an attack on the heavy infantry in all
security, for the Hellenes had not a single bowman, javelin-man, or
mounted trooper amongst them; while the enemy rushed forward on foot
or galloped up on horseback and let fly their javelins. It was vain to
attempt to retaliate, so lightly did they spring back and escape; and
ever the attack renewed itself from every point, so that on one side
man after man was wounded, on the other not a soul was touched; the
result being that they could not stir from their position, and the
Thracians ended by cutting them off even from their water. In their
despair they began to parley about a truce, and finally various
concessions were made and terms agreed to between them; but the
Thracians would not hear of giving hostages in answer to the demand of
the Hellenes; at that point the matter rested. So fared it with the

As to Cheirisophus, that general prosecuted his march along the 10
seaboard, and without check reached Calpe Haven. Xenophon advanced
through the heart of the country; and his cavalry pushing on in front,
came upon some old men pursuing their road somewither, who were
brought to him, and in answer to his question, whether they had caught
sight of another Hellenic army anywhere, told him all that had already
taken place, adding that at present they were being besieged upon a
knoll with all the Thracians in close circle round them. Thereupon he
kept the old men under strict guard to serve as guides in case of
need; next, having appointed outposts, he called a meeting of the
soldiers, and addressed them: "Soldiers, some of the Arcadians are
dead and the rest are being besieged upon a certain knoll. Now my own
belief is, that if they are to perish, with their deaths the seal is
set to our own fate: since we must reckon with an enemy at once
numerous and emboldened. Clearly our best course is to hasten to their
rescue, if haply we may find them still alive, and do battle by their
side rather than suffer isolation, confronting danger single-handed.

"Let us then at once push forward as far as may seem opportune till
supper-time, and then encamp. As long as we are marching, let
Timasion, with the cavalry, gallop on in front, but without losing
sight of us; and let him examine all closely in front, so that nothing
may escape our observation." (At the same time too, he sent out some
nimble fellows of the light-armed troops to the flanks and to the high
tops, who were to give a signal if they espied anything anywhere;
ordering them to burn everything inflammable which lay in their path.)
"As for ourselves," he continued, "we need not look to find cover in
any direction; for it is a long step back to Heraclea and a long leap
across to Chrysopolis, and the enemy is at the door. The shortest road
is to Calpe Haven, where we suppose Cheirisophus, if safe, to be; but
then, when we get there, at Calpe Haven there are no vessels for us to
sail away in; and if we stop here, we have not provisions for a single
day. Suppose the beleaguered Arcadians left to their fate, we shall
find it but a sorry alternative to run the gauntlet with
Cheirisophus's detachment alone; better to save them if we can, and 17
with united forces work out our deliverance in common. But if so, we
must set out with minds prepared, since to-day either a glorious death
awaits us or the achievement of a deed of noblest emprise in the
rescue of so many Hellene lives. Maybe it is God who leads us thus,
God who chooses to humble the proud boaster, boasting as though he
were exceedingly wise, but for us, the beginning of whose every act is
by heaven's grace, that same God reserves a higher grade of honour.
One duty I would recall to you, to apply your minds to the execution
of the orders with promptitude."

With these words he led the way. The cavalry, scattering as far in
advance as was prudent, wherever they set foot, set fire. The peltasts
moving parallel on the high ground were similarly employed, burning
everything combustible they could discover. While the main army,
wherever they came upon anything which had accidentally escaped,
completed the work, so that the whole country looked as if it were
ablaze; and the army might easily pass for a larger one. When the hour
had come, they turned aside to a knoll and took up quarters; and there
they espied the enemy's watch-fires. He was about forty furlongs
distant. On their side also they kindled as many watch-fires as
possible; but as soon as they had dined the order was passed to quench
all the fires. So during the night they posted guards and slept. But
at daybreak they offered prayers to the gods, and drawing up in order
of battle, began marching with what speed they might. Timasion and the
cavalry, who had the guides with them, and were moving on briskly in
front, found themselves without knowing it at the very knoll upon
which the Hellenes had been beleaguered. But no army could they
discover, whether of friend or foe; only some starveling old women and
men, with a few sheep and oxen which had been left behind. This news
they reproted to Xenophon and the main body. At first the marvel was
what had happened; but ere long they found out by inquiries from the
folk who had been left behind, that the Thracians had set off
immediately after sundown, and were gone; the Hellenes had waited till
morning before they made off, but in what direction, they could not 23

On hearing this, Xenophon's troops first breakfasted, and then getting
their kit together began their march, desiring to unite with the rest
at Calpe's Haven without loss of time. As they continued their march,
they came across the track of the Arcadians and Achaeans along the
road to Calpe, and both divisions arriving eventually at the same
place, were overjoyed to see one another again, and they embraced each
other like brothers. Then the Arcadians inquired of Xenophon's
officers--why they had quenched the watch-fires? "At first," said
they, "when we lost sight of your watch-fires, we expected you to
attack the enemy in the night; and the enemy, so at least we imagined,
must have been afraid of that and so set off. The time at any rate at
which they set off would correspond. But when the requisite time had
elapsed and you did not come, we concluded that you must have learnt
what was happening to us, and in terror had made a bolt for it to the
seaboard. We resolved not to be left behind by you; and that is how we
also came to march hither."


During this day they contented themselves with bivouacking there on 1
the beach at the harbour. The place which goes by the name of Calpe
Haven is in Asiatic Thrace, the name given to a region extending from
the mouth of the Euxine all the way to Heraclea, which lies on the
right hand as you sail into the Euxine. It is a long day's voyage for
a war-ship, using her three banks of oars, from Byzantium to Heraclea,
and between these two there is not a single Hellenic or friendly city,
but only these Bithynian Thracians, who have a bad reputation for the
savagery with which they treat any Hellenes cast ashore by shipwreck
or otherwise thrown into their power.

Now the haven of Calpe lies exactly midway, halving the voyage between
Byzantium and Heraclea. It is a long promontory running out into the
sea; the seaward portion being a rocky precipice, at no point less
than twenty fathons high; but on the landward side there is a neck 3
about four hundred feet wide; and the space inside the neck is capable
of accommodating ten thousand inhabitants, and there is a haven
immediately under the crag with a beach facing the west. Then there is
a copious spring of fresh water flowing on the very marge of the sea
commanded by the stronghold. Again, there is plenty of wood of various
sorts; but most plentiful of all, fine shipbuilding timber down to the
very edge of the sea. The upland stretches into the heart of the
country for twenty furlongs at least. It is good loamy soil, free from
stones. For a still greater distance the seaboard is thickly grown
with large timber trees of every description. The surrounding country
is beautiful and spacious, containing numerous well populated
villages. The soil produces barley and wheat, and pulse of all sorts,
millet and sesame, figs in ample supply, with numerous vines producing
sweet wines, and indeed everything else except olives. Such is the
character of the country.

The tents were pitched on the seaward-facing beach, the soldiers being
altogether averse to camping on ground which might so easily be
converted into a city. Indeed, their arrival at the place at all
seemed very like the crafty design of some persons who were minded to
form a city. The aversion was not unnatural, since the majority of the
soldiers had not left their homes on so long a voyage from scantiness
or subsistence, but attracted by the fame of Cyrus's virtues; some of
them bringing followers, while others had expended money on the
expedition. And amongst them was a third set who had run away from
fathers and mothers; while a different class had left children behind,
hoping to return to them with money or other gains. Other people with
Cyrus won great success, they were told[1]; why should it not be so
with them? Being persons then of this description, the one longing of
their hearts was to reach Hellas safely.

[1] I.e. "his society was itself a passport to good fortune."

It was on the day after their meeting that Xenophon sacrificed as a
preliminary to a military expedition; for it was needful to march out
in search of provisions, besides which he designed burying the dead. 9
As soon as the victims proved favourable they all setout, the
Arcadians following with the rest. The majority of the dead, who had
lain already five days, they buried just where they had fallen, in
groups; to remove their bodies now would have been impossible. Some
few, who lay off the roads, they got together and buried with what
splendour they could, considering the means in their power. Others
they could not find, and for these they erected a great cenotaph[2],
and covered it with wreaths. When it was all done, they returned home
to camp. At that time they supped, and went to rest.

[2] "Cenotaph", i.e. "an empty tomb." The word is interesting as
occuring only in Xenophon, until we come to the writers of the
common dialect. Compare "hyuscyamus," hogbean, our henbane, which
we also owe to Xenophon. "Oecon." i. 13, see Sauppe, "Lexil. Xen."

Next day there was a general meeting of the soldiers, collected
chiefly by Agasias the Stymphalian, a captain, and Hieronymus, an
Eleian, also a captain, and other seniors of the Arcadians; and they
passed a resolution that, for the future, whoever revived the idea of
breaking up the army should be punished by death. And the army, it was
decided, would now resume its old position under the command of its
former generals. Though Cheirisophus, indeed, had already died under
medical treatment for fever[3]; and Neon the Asinaean had taken his

[3] This I take to be the meaning of the words, which are necessarily
ambiguous, since {pharmakon}, "a drug," also means "poison." Did
Cheirisophus conceivably die of fever brought on by some poisonous
draught? or did he take poison whilst suffering from fever? or did
he die under treatment?

After these resolutions Xenophon got up and said: "Soldiers, the
journey must now, I presume, be conducted on foot; indeed, this is
clear, since we have no vessels; and we are driven to commence it at
once, for we have no provisions if we stop. We then," he continued,
"will sacrifice, and you must prepare yourselves to fight now, if
ever, for the spirit of the enemy has revived."

Thereupon the generals sacrificed, in the presence of the Arcadian
seer, Arexion; for Silanus the Ambraciot had chartered a vessel at
Heraclea and made his escape ere this. Sacrificing with a view to 13
departure, the victims proved unfavourable to them. Accordingly they
waited that day. Certain people were bold enough to say that Xenophon,
out of his desire to colonise the place, had persuaded the seer to say
that the victims were unfavourable to departure. Consequently he
proclaimed by herald next morning that any one who liked should be
present at the sacrifice; or if he were a seer he was bidden to be
present and help to inspect the victims. Then he sacrificed, and there
were numbers present; but though the sacrifice on the question of
departure was repeated as many as three times, the victims were
persistently unfavourable. Thereat the soldiers were in high dudgeon,
for the provisions they had brought with them had reached the lowest
ebb, and there was no market to be had.

Consequently there was another meeting, and Xenophon spoke again:
"Men," said he, "the victims are, as you may see for yourselves, not
yet favourable to the march; but meanwhile, I can see for myself that
you are in need of provisions; accordingly we must narrow the
sacrifice to the particular point." Some one got up and said:
"Naturally enough the victims are unfavourable, for, as I learnt from
some one on a vessel which arrived here yesterday by accident,
Cleander, the governor at Byzantium, intends coming here with ships
and men-of-war." Thereat they were all in favour of stopping; but they
must needs go out for provisions, and with this object he again
sacrificed three times, and the victims remained adverse. Things had
now reached such a pass that the men actually came to Xenophon's tent
to proclaim that they had no provisions. His sole answer was that he
would not lead them out till the victims were favourable.

So again the next day he sacrificed; and nearly the whole army, so
strong was the general anxiety, flocked round the victims; and now the
very victims themselves failed. So the generals, instead of leading
out the army, called the men together. Xenophon, as was incumbent on
him, spoke: "It is quite possible that the enemy are collected in a
body, and we shall have to fight. If we were to leave our baggage in
the strong place" (pointing overhead) "and sally forth prepared for
battle, the victims might favour us." But the soldiers, on hearing 22
this proposal, cried out, "No need to take us inside that place;
better sacrifice with all speed." Now sheep there were none any
longer. So they purchased oxen from under a wagon and sacrificed; and
Xenophon begged Cleanor the Arcadian to superintend the sacrifice on
his behalf, in case there might be some change now. But even so there
was no improvement.

Now Neon was general in place of Cheirisophus, and seeing the men
suffering so cruelly from want, he was willing to do them a good turn.
So he got hold of some Heracleot or other who said he knew of villages
close by from which they could get provisions, and proclaimed by
herald: "If any one liked to come out and get provisions, be it known
that he, Neon, would be their leader." So out came the men with
spears, and wine skins and sacks and other vessels--two thousand
strong in all. But when they had reached the villages and began to
scatter for the purpose of foraging, Pharnabazus's cavalry were the
first to fall upon them. They had come to the aid of the Bithynians,
wishing, if possible, in conjunction with the latter, to hinder the
Hellenes from entering Phrygia. These troopers killed no less than
five hundred of the men; the rest fled for the lives up into the hill

News of the catastrophe was presently brought into camp by one of
those who had escaped, and Xenophon, seeing that the victims had not
been favourable on that day, took a wagon bullock, in the absence of
other sacrificial beasts, offered it up, and started for the rescue,
he and the rest under thirty years of age to the last man. Thus they
picked up the remnant of Neon's party and returned to camp. It was now
about sunset; and the Hellenes in deep despondency were making their
evening meal, when all of a sudden, through bush and brake, a party of
Bithynians fell upon the pickets, cutting down some and chasing the
rest into camp. In the midst of screams and shouts the Hellenes ran to
their arms, one and all; yet to pursue or move the camp in the night
seemed hardly safe, for the ground was thickly grown with bush; all
they could do was to strengthen the outposts and keep watch under arms
the livelong night.


And so they spent the night, but with day-dawn the generals led the 1
way into the natural fastness, and the others picked up their arms and
baggage and followed the lead. Before the breakfast-hour arrived, they
had fenced off with a ditch the only side on which lay ingress into
the place, and had palisaded off the whole, leaving only three gates.
Anon a ship from Heraclea arrived bringing barleymeal, victim animals,
and wine.

Xenophon was up betimes, and made the usual offering before starting
on an expedition, and at the first victim the sacrifice was
favourable. Just as the sacrifice ended, the seer, Arexion the
Parrhasian, caught sight of an eagle, which boded well, and bade
Xenophon lead on. So they crossed the trench and grounded arms. Then
proclamation was made by herald for the soldiers to breakfast and
start on an expedition under arms; the mob of sutlers and the captured
slaves would be left in camp. Accordingly the mass of the troops set
out. Neon alone remained; for it seemed best to leave that general and
his men to guard the contents of the camp. But when the officers and
soldiers had left them in the lurch, they were so ashamed to stop in
camp while the rest marched out, that they too set out, leaving only
those above five-and-forty years of age.

These then stayed, while the rest set out on the march. Before they
had gone two miles, they stumbled upon dead bodies, and when they had
brought up the rear of the column in a line with the first bodies to
be seen, they began digging graves and burying all included in the
column from end to end. After burying the first batch, they advanced,
and again bringing the rear even with the first unburied bodies which
appeared, they buried in the same way all which the line of troops
included. Finally, reaching the road that led out of the villages
where the bodies lay thick together, they collected them and laid them
in a common grave.

It was now about midday, when pushing forward the troops up to the
villages without entering them, they proceeded to seize prvoisions,
laying hands on everything they could set eyes on under cover of their 7
lines; when suddenly they caught sight of the enemy cresting certain
hillocks in front of them, duly marshalled in line--a large body of
cavalry and infantry. It was Spithridates and Rhathines, sent by
Pharnabazus with their forec at their backs. As soon as the enemy
caught sight of the Hellenes, they stood still, about two miles
distant. Then Arexion the seer sacrificed, and at the first essay the
victims were favourable. Whereupon Xenophon addressed the other
generals: "I would advise, sirs, that we should detach one or more
flying columns to support our main attack, so that in case of need at
any point we may have reserves in readiness to assist our main body,
and the enemy, in the confusion of battle, may find himself attacking
the unbroken lines of troops not hitherto engaged." These views
approved themselves to all. "Do you then," said he, "lead on the
vanguard straight at the enemy. Do not let us stand parleying here,
now that we have caught sight of him and he of us. I will detach the
hindmost companies in the way we have decided upon and follow you."
After that they quietly advanced, and he, withdrawing the rear-rank
companies in three brigades consisting of a couple of hundred men
apiece, commissioned the first on the right to follow the main body at
the distance of a hundred feet. Samolas the Achaean was in command of
this brigade. The duty of the second, under the command of Pyrrhias
the Arcadian, was to follow in the centre. The last was posted on the
left, with Phrasias, an Athenian, in command. As they advanced, the
vanguard reached a large and difficult woody glen, and halted, not
knowing whether the obstacle needed to be crossed or not. They passed
down the word for the generals and officers to come forward to the
front. Xenophon, wondering what it was that stopped the march, and
presently hearing the above order passed along the ranks, rode up with
all speed. As soon as they were met, Sophaenetus, as the eldest
general, stated his opinion that the question, whether a gully of that
kind ought to be crossed or not, was not worth discussing. Xenophon,
with some ardour, retorted: "You know, sirs, I have not been in the
habit hitherto of introducing you to danger which you might avoid. It
is not your reputation for courage surely that is at stake, but your 14
safe return home. But now the matter stands thus: It is impossible to
retire from this point without a battle; if we do not advance against
the enemy ourselves, he will follow us as soon as we have turned our
backs and attack us. Consider, then; is it better to go and meet the
foe with arms advanced, or with arms reversed to watch him as he
assails us on our rear? You know this at any rate, that to retire
before an enemy has nothing glorious about it, whereas attack
engenders courage even in a coward. For my part, I would rather at any
time attack with half my men than retreat with twice the number. As to
these fellows, if we attack them, I am sure you do not really expect
them to await us; though, if we retreat, we know for certain they will
be emboldened to pursue us. Nay, if the result of crossing is to place
a difficult gully behind us when we are on the point of engaging,
surely that is an advantage worth seizing. At least, if it were left
to me, I would choose that everything should appear smooth and
passable to the enemy, which may invite retreat; but for ourselves we
may bless the ground which teaches us that except in victory we have
no deliverance. It astonishes me that any one should deem this
particular gully a whit more terrible than any of the other barriers
which we have successfully passed. How impassable was the plain, had
we failed to conquer their cavalry! how insurmountable the mountains
already traversed by us, with all their peltasts in hot pursuit at our
heels! Nay, when we have safely reached the sea, the Pontus will
present a somewhat formidable gully, when we have neither vessels to
convey us away nor corn to keep us alive whilst we stop. But we shall
no sooner be there than we must be off again to get provisions. Surely
it is better to fight to-day after a good breakfast than to-morrow on
an empty stomach. Sirs, the offerings are favourable to us, the omens
are propitious, the victims more than promising; let us attack the
enemy! Now that they have had a good look at us, these fellows must
not be allowed to enjoy their dinners or choose a camp at their own
sweet will."

After that the officers bade him lead on. None gainsaid, and he led
the way. His orders were to cross the gully, where each man chanced to 22
find himself. By this method, as it seemed to him, the troops would
more quickly mass themselves on the far side than was possible, if
they defiled along[1] the bridge which spanned the gully. But once
across he passed along the line and addressed the troops: "Sirs, call
to mind what by help of the gods you have already done. Bethink you of
the battles you have won at close quarters with the foe; of the fate
which awaits those who flee before their foes. Forget not that we
stand at the very doors of Hellas. Follow in the steps of Heracles,
our guide, and cheer each the other onwards by name. Sweet were it
surely by some brave and noble word or deed, spoken or done this day,
to leave the memory of oneself in the hearts of those one loves."

[1] Lit. "had they wound off thread by thread"; the metaphor is from
unwinding a ball of wool.

These words were spoken as he rode past, and simultaneously he began
leading on the troops in battle line; and, placing the peltasts on
either flank of the main body, they moved against the enemy. Along the
line the order had sped "to keep their spears at rest on the right
shoulder until the bugle signal; then lower them for the charge, slow
march, and even pace, no one to quicken into a run." Lastly, the
watchword was passed, "Zeus the Saviour, Heracles our Guide." The
enemy waited their approach, confident in the excellence of his
position; but as they drew closer the Hellene light troops, with a
loud alala! without waiting for the order, dashed against the foe. The
latter, on their side, came forward eagerly to meet the charge, both
the cavalry and the mass of the Bithynians; and these turned the
peltasts. But when with counter-wave the phalanx of the heavy infantry
rapidly advancing, faced them, and at the same time the bugle sounded,
and the battle hymn rose from all lips, and after this a loud cheer
rose, and at the same instant they couched their spears;--at this
conjuncture the enemy no longer welcomed them, but fled. Timasion with
his cavalry followed close, and, considering their scant numbers, they
did great execution. It was the left wing of the enemy, in a line with
which the Hellene cavalry were posted, that was so speedily scattered.
But the right, which was not so hotly pursued, collected upon a knoll; 28
and when the Hellenes saw them standing firm, it seemed the easiest
and least dangerous course to go against them at once. Raising the
battle hymn, they straightway fell upon them, but the others did not
await their coming. Thereupon the peltasts gave chase until the right
of the enemy was in its turn scattered, though with slight loss in
killed; for the enemy's cavalry was numerous and threatening.

But when the Hellenes saw the cavalry of Pharnabazus still standing in
compact order, and the Bithynian horsemen massing together as if to
join it, and like spectators gazing down from a knoll at the
occurrences below; though weary, they determined to attack the enemy
as best they could, and not suffer him to recover breath with reviving
courage. So they formed in compact line and advanced. Thereupon the
hostile cavalry turned and fled down the steep as swiftly as if they
had been pursued by cavalry. In fact they sought the shelter of a
gully, the existence of which was unknown to the Hellenes. The latter
accordingly turned aside too soon and gave up the chase, for it was
too late. Returning to the point where the first encounter took place
they erected a trophy, and went back to the sea about sunset. It was
something like seven miles to camp.


After this the enemy confined themselves to their own concerns, and 1
removed their households and property as far away as possible. The
Hellenes, on their side, were still awaiting the arrival of Cleander
with the ships of war and transports, which ought to be there soon. So
each day they went out with the baggage animals and slaves and
fearlessly brought in wheat and barley, wine and vegetables, millet
and figs; since the district produced all good things, the olive alone
excepted. When the army stayed in camp to rest, pillaging parties were
allowed to go out, and those who went out appropriated the spoils; but
when the whole army went out, if any one went off apart and seized 2
anything, it was voted to be public property. Ere long there was an
ample abundance of supplies of all sorts, for marketables arrived from
Hellenic cities on all sides, and marts were established. Mariners
coasting by, and hearing that a city was being founded and that there
was a harbour, were glad to put in. Even the hostile tribes dwelling
in the neighbourhood presently began to send envoys to Xenophon. It
was he who was forming the place into a city, as they understood, and
they would be glad to learn on what terms they might secure his
friendship. He made a point of introducing these visitors to the

Meanwhile Cleander arrived with two ships of war, but not a single
transport. At the moment of his arrival, as it happened, the army had
taken the field, and a separate party had gone off on a pillaging
expedition into the hills and had captured a number of small cattle.
In thir apprehension of being deprived of them, these same people
spoke to Dexippus (this was the same man who had made off from
Trapezus with the fifty-oared galley), and urged him to save their
sheep for them. "Take some for yourself," said they, "and give the
rest back to us." So, without more ado, he drove off the soldiers
standing near, who kept repeating that the spoil was public property.
Then off he went to Cleander. "Here is an attempt," said he, "at
robbery." Cleander bade him to bring up the culprit to him. Dexippus
seized on some one, and was for haling him to the Spartan governor.
Just then Agasias came across him and rescued the man, who was a
member of his company; and the rest of the soldiers present set to
work to stone Dexippus, calling him "traitor." Things looked so ill
that a number of the crew of the ships of war took fright and fled to
the sea, and with the rest Cleander himself. Xenophon and the other
generals tried to hold the men back, assuring Cleander that the affair
signified nothing at all, and that the origin of it was a decree pased
by the army. That was to blame, if anything. But Cleander, goaded by
Dexippus, and personally annoyed at the fright which he had
experienced, threatened to sail away and publish an interdict against
them, forbidding any city to receive them, as being public enemies. 9
For at this date the Lacedaemonians held sway over the whole Hellenic

Thereat the affair began to wear an ugly look, and the Hellenes begged
and implored Cleander to reconsider his intention. He replied that he
would be as good as his word, and that nothing should stop him, unless
the man who set the example of stoning, with the other who rescued the
prisoner, were given up to him. Now, one of the two whose persons were
thus demanded--Agasias--had been a friend to Xenophon throughout; and
that was just why Dexippus was all the more anxious to accuse him. In
their perplexity the generals summoned a full meeting of the soldiers,
and some speakers were disposed to make very light of Cleander and set
him at naught. But Xenophon took a more serious view of the matter; he
rose and addressed the meeting thus: "Soldiers, I cannot say that I
feel disposed to make light of this business, if Cleander be allowed
to go away, as he threatens to do, in his present temper towards us.
There are Hellenic cities close by; but then the Lacedaemonians are
the lords of Hellas, and they can, any one of them, carry out whatever
they like in the cities. If then the first thing this Lacedaemonian
does is to close the gates of Byzantium, and next to pass an order to
the other governors, city by city, not to receive us because we are a
set of lawless ruffians disloyal to the Lacedaemonians; and if,
further, this report of us should reach the ears of their admiral,
Anaxibius, to stay or to sail away will alike be difficult. Remember,
the Lacedaemonians at the present time are lords alike on land and on
sea. For the sake then of a single man, or for two men's sake, it is
not right that the rest of us should be debarred from Hellas; but
whatever they enjoin we must obey. Do not the cities which gave us
birth yield them obedience also? For my own part, inasmuch as
Dexippus, I believe, keeps telling Cleander that Agasias would never
have done this had not I, Xenophon, bidden him, I absolve you of all
complicity, and Agasias too, if Agasias himself states that I am in
any way a prime mover in this matter. If I have set the fashion of
stone-throwing or any other sort of violence I condemn myself--I say
that I deserve the extreme penalty, and I will submit to undergo it. I 15
further say that if any one else is accused, that man is bound to
surrender himself to Cleander for judgement, for by this means you
will be absolved entirely from the accusation. But as the matter now
stands, it is cruel that just when we were aspiring to win praise and
honour throughout Hellas, we are destined to sink below the level of
the rest of the world, banned from the Hellenic cities whose common
name we boast."

After him Agasias got up, and said, "I swear to you, sirs, by the gods
and goddesses, verily and indeed, neither Xenophon nor any one else
among you bade me rescue the man. I saw an honest man--one of my own
company--being taken up by Dexippus, the man who betrayed you, as you
know full well. That I could not endure; I rescued him, I admit the
fact. Do not you deliver me up. I will surrender myself, as Xenophon
suggests, to Cleander to pass what verdict on me he thinks right. Do
not, for the sake of such a matter, make foes of the Lacedaemonians;
rather God grant that[1] each of you may safely reach the goal of his
desire. Only do you choose from among yourselves and send with me to
Cleander those who, in case of any omission on my part, may by their
words and acts supply what is lacking." Thereupon the army granted him
to choose for himself whom he would have go with him and to go; and he
at once chose the generals. After this they all set off to
Cleander--Agasias and the generals and the man who had been rescued by
Agasias--and the generals spoke as follows: "The army has sent us to
you, Cleander, and this is their bidding: 'If you have fault to find
with all, they say, you ought to pass sentence on all, and do with
them what seems best; or if the charge is against one man or two, or
possibly several, what they expect of these people is to surrender
themselves to you for judgement.' Accordingly, if you lay anything to
the charge of us generals, here we stand at your bar. Or do you impute
the fault to some one not here? tell us whom. Short of flying in the
face of our authority, there is no one who will absent himself."

[1] Reading with the best MSS., {sozoisthe}. Agasias ends his sentence
with a prayer. Al. {sozesthe}, "act so that each," etc.

At this point Agasias stepped forward and said: "It was I, Cleander, 21
who rescued the man before you yonder from Dexippus, when the latter
was carrying him off, and it was I who gave the order to strike
Dexippus. My plea is that I know the prisoner to be an honest man. As
to Dexippus, I know that he was chosen by the army to command a
fifty-oared galley, which we had obtained by request from the men of
Trapezus for the express purpose of collecting vessels to carry us
safely home. But this same Dexippus betrayed his fellow-soldiers, with
whom he had been delivered from so many perils, and made off into
hiding like a runaway slave, whereby we have robbed the Trapezuntines
of their frigate, and must needs appear as knaves in their eyes for
this man's sake. As to ourselves, as far as he could, he has ruined
us; for, like the rest of us, he had heard how all but impossible it
was for us to retreat by foot across the rivers and to reach Hellas in
safety. That is the stamp of man whom I robbed of his prey. Now, had
it been you yourself who carried him off, or one of your emissaries,
or indeed any one short of a runaway from ourselves, be sure that I
should have acted far otherwise. Be assured that if you put me to
death at this time you are sacrificing a good, honest man for the sake
of a coward and a scamp."

When he had listened to these remarks, Cleander replied that if such
had been the conduct of Dexippus, he could not congratulate him. "But
still," he added, turning to the generals, "were Dexippus ever so
great a scamp he ought not to suffer violence; but in the language of
your own demand he was entitled to a fair trial, and so to obtain his
deserts. What I have to say at present therefore is: leave your friend
here and go your way, and when I give the order be present at the
trial. I have no further charge against the army or any one, since the
prisoner himself admits that he rescued the man." Then the man who had
been rescued said: "In behalf of myself, Cleander, if possibly you
think that I was being taken up for some misdeed, it is not so; I
neither struck nor shot; I merely said, 'The sheep are public
property;' for it was a resolution of the soldiers that whenever the
army went out as a body any booty privately obtained was to be public
property. That was all I said, and thereupon yonder fellow seized me 28
and began dragging me off. He wanted to stop our mouths, so that he
might have a share of the things himself, and keep the rest for these
buccaneers, contrary to the ordinance." In answer to that Cleander
said: "Very well, if that is your disposition you can stay behind too,
and we will take your case into consideration also."

Thereupon Cleander and his party proceeded to breakfast; but Xenophon
collected the army in assembly, and advised their sending a deputation
to Cleander to intercede in behalf of the men. Accordingly it was
resolved to send some generals and officers with Dracontius the
Spartan, and of the rest those who seemed best fitted to go. The
deputation was to request Cleander by all means to release the two
men. Accordingly Xenophon came and addressed him thus: "Cleander, you
have the men; the army has bowed to you and assented to do what you
wished with respect to these two members of their body and themselves
in general. But now they beg and pray you to give up these two men,
and not to put them to death. Many a good service have these two
wrought for our army in past days. Let them but obtain this from you,
and in return the army promises that, if you will put yourself at
their head and the gracious gods approve, they will show you how
orderly they are, how apt to obey their general, and, with heaven's
help, to face their foes unflinchingly. They make this further request
to you, that you will present yourself and take command of them and
make trial of them. 'Test us ourselves,' they say, 'and test Dexippus,
what each of us is like, and afterwards assign to each his due.'" When
Cleander heard these things, he answered: "Nay, by the twin gods, I
will answer you quickly enough. Here I make you a present of the two
men, and I will as you say present myself, and then, if the gods
vouchsafe, I will put myself at your head and lead you into Hellas.
Very different is your language from the tale I used to hear
concerning you from certain people, that you wanted to withdraw the
army from allegiance to the Lacedaemonians."

After this the deputation thanked him and retired, taking with them
the two men; then Cleander sacrificed as a preliminary to marching and
consorted friendlily with Xenophon, and the two struck up an alliance. 35
When the Spartan saw with what good discipline the men carried out
their orders, he was still more anxious to become their leader.
However, in spite of sacrifices repeated on three successive days, the
victims steadily remained unfavourable. So he summoned the generals
and said to them: "The victims smile not on me, they suffer me not to
lead you home; but be not out of heart at that. To you it is given, as
it would appear, to bring your men safe home. Forwards then, and for
our part, whenever you come yonder, we will bestow on you as warm a
welcome as we may."

Then the soldiers resolved to make him a present of the public cattle,
which he accepted, but again gave back to them. So he sailed away; but
the soldiers made division of the corn which they had collected and of
the other captured property, and commenced their homeward march
through the territory of the Bithynians.

At first they confined themselves to the main road; but not chancing
upon anything whereby they might reach a friendly territory with
something in their pockets for themselves, they resolved to turn sharp
round, and marched for one day and night in the opposite direction. By
this proceeding they captured many slaves and much small cattle; and
on the sixth day reached Chrysopolis in Chalcedonia[2]. Here they
halted seven days while they disposed of their booty by sale.

[2] The name should be written "Calchedonia." The false form drove out
the more correct, probably through a mispronunciation, based on a
wrong derivation, at some date long ago. The sites of Chrysopolis
and Calchedon correspond respectively to the modern Scutari and


[In the earlier portion of the narrative will be found a
detailed history of the fortunes of the Hellenes during their
march up country with Cyrus down to the date of the battle;
and, subsequently to his death, until they reached the Euxine;
as also of all their doings in their efforts to escape from
the Euxine, partly by land marches and partly under sail by
sea, until they found themselves outside the mouth of the
Black Sea (south of the Bosphorus) at Chrysopolis in Asia.]


At this point Pharnabazus, who was afraid that the army might 1
undertake a campaign against his satrapy, sent to Anaxibius, the
Spartan high admiral, who chanced to be in Byzantium, and begged him
to convey the army out of Asia, undertaking to comply with his wishes
in every respect. Anaxibius accordingly sent to summon the generals
and officers to Byzantium, and promised that the soldiers should not
lack pay for service, if they crossed the strait. The officers said
that they would deliberate and return an answer. Xenophon individually
informed them that he was about to quit the army at once, and was only
anxious to set sail. Anaxibius pressed him not to be in so great a
hurry: "Cross over with the rest," he said, "and then it will be time
enough to think about quitting the army." This the other undertook to

Now Seuthes the Thracian sent Medosades and begged Xenophon to use his
influence to get the army across. "Tell Xenophon, if he will do his
best for me in this matter, he will not regret it." Xenophon answered:
"The army is in any case going to cross; so that, as far as that is
concerned, Seuthes is under no obligation to me or to any one else; 6
but as soon as it is once across, I personally shall be quit of it.
Let Seuthes, therefore, as far as he may deem consistent with
prudence, apply to those who are going to remain and will have a voice
in affairs."

After this the whole body of troops crossed to Byzantium. But
Anaxibius, instead of proceeding to give pay, made proclamation that,
"The soldiers were to take up their arms and baggage and go forth," as
if all he wished were to ascertain their numbers and bid them
god-speed at the same moment. The soldiers were not well pleased at
that, because they had no money to furnish themselves with provisions
for the march; and they sluggishly set about getting their baggage
together. Xenophon meanwhile, being on terms of intimacy with the
governor, Cleander, came to pay his host a final visit, and bid him
adieu, being on the point of setting sail. But the other protested;
"Do not do so, or else," said he, "you will be blamed, for even now
certain people are disposed to hold you to account because the army is
so slow in getting under weigh." The other answered, "Nay, I am not to
blame for that. It is the men themselves, who are in want of
provisions; that is why they are out of heart at their exodus." "All
the same," he replied, "I advise you to go out, as if you intended to
march with them, and when you are well outside, it will be time enough
to take yourself off." "Well then," said Xenophon, "we will go and
arrange all this with Anaxibius." They went and stated the case to the
admiral, who insisted that they must do as he had said, and march out,
bag and baggage, by the quickest road; and as an appendix to the
former edict, he added, "Any one absenting himself from the review and
the muster will have himself to blame for the consequences." This was
peremptory. So out marched, the generals first, and then the rest; and
now, with the exception of here a man and there, they were all
outside; it was a "clean sweep"; and Eteonicus stood posted near the
gates, ready to close them, as soon as the men were fairly out, and to
thrust in the bolt pin.

Then Anaxibius summoned the generals and captains, and addressed them:
"Provisions you had better get from the Thracian villages; you will 13
find plenty of barley, wheat, and other necessaries in them; and when
you have got them, off with you to the Chersonese, where Cyniscus will
take you into his service." Some of the soldiers overheard what was
said, or possibly one of the officers was the medium of communication;
however it was, the news was handed on to the army. As to the
generals, their immediate concern was to try and gain some information
as to Seuthes: "Was he hostile or friendly? also, would they have to
march through the Sacred mountain[1], or round about through the
middle of Thrace?"

[1] So the mountain-range is named which runs parallel to the
Propontis (Sea of Marmora) from lat. 41 degress N. circa to lat.
40 degrees 30'; from Bisanthe (Rhodosto) to the neck of the
Chersonese (Gallipoli).

While they were discussing these points, the soldiers snatched up
their arms and made a rush full speed at the gates, with the intention
of getting inside the fortification again. But Eteonicus and his men,
seeing the heavy infantry coming up at a run promptly closed the gates
and thrust in the bolt pin. Then the soldiers fell to battering the
gates, exclaiming that it was iniquitous to thrust them forth in this
fashion into the jaws of their enemies. "If you do not of your own
accord open the gates," they cried, "we will split them in half"; and
another set rushed down to the sea, and so along the break-water and
over the wall into the city; while a third set, consisting of those
few who were still inside, having never left the city, seeing the
affair at the gates, severed the bars with axes and flung the portals
wide open; and the rest came pouring in.

Xenophon, seeing what was happening, was seized with alarm lest the
army betake itself to pillage, and ills incurable be wrought to the
city, to himself, and to the soldiers. Then he set off, and, plunging
into the throng, was swept through the gates with the crowd. The
Byzantines no sooner saw the soldiers forcibly rushing in than they
left the open square, and fled, some to the shipping, others to their
homes, while those already indoors came racing out, and some fell to
dragging down their ships of war, hoping possibly to be safe on board
these; while there was not a soul who doubted but that the city was 19
taken, and that they were all undone. Eteonicus made a swift retreat
to the citadel. Anaxibius ran down to the sea, and, getting on board a
fisherman's smack, sailed round to the acropolis, and at once sent off
to fetch over the garrison troops from Chalcedon, since those already
in the acropolis seemed hardly sufficient to keep the men in check.

The soldiers, catching sight of Xenophon, threw themselves upon him,
crying: "Now, Xenophon, is the time to prove yourself a man. You have
got a city, you have got triremes, you have got money, you have got
men; to-day, if you only chose, you can do us a good turn, and we will
make you a great man." He replied: "Nay, I like what you say, and I
will do it all; but if that is what you have set your hearts on, fall
into rank and take up position at once." This he said, wishing to
quiet them, and so passed the order along the lines himself, while
bidding the rest to do the same: "Take up position; stand easy." But
the men themselves, by a species of self-marshalling, fell into rank,
and were soon formed, the heavy infantry eight deep, while the light
infantry had run up to cover either wing. The Thracian Square, as it
is called, is a fine site for manouvering, being bare of buildings and
level. As soon as the arms were stacked and the men's tempers cooled,
Xenophon called a general meeting of the soldiers, and made the
following speech:--

"Soldiers, I am not surprised at your wrath, or that you deem it
monstrous treatment so to be cheated; but consider what will be the
consequences if we gratify our indignation, and in return for such
deception, avenge ourselves on the Lacedaemonians here present, and
plunder an innocent city. We shall be declared enemies of the
Lacedaemonians and their allies; and what sort of war that will be, we
need not go far to conjecture. I take it, you have not forgotten some
quite recent occurrences. We Athenians entered into war against the
Lacedaemonians and their allies with a fleet consisting of not less
than three hundred line-of-battle ships, including those in dock as
well as those afloat. We had vast treasures stored up in the city, and
a yearly income which, derived from home or foreign sources, amounted
to no less than a thousand talents. Our empire included all the 27
islands, and we were possessed of numerous cities both in Asia and in
Europe. Amongst others, this very Byzantium, where we are now, was
ours; and yet in the end we were vanquished, as you all very well

"What, must we anticipate, will now be our fate? The Lacedaemonians
have not only their old allies, but the Athenians and those who were
at that time allies of Athens are added to them. Tissaphernes and all
the rest of the Asiatics on the seaboard are our foes, not to speak of
our arch-enemy, the king himself, up yonder, whom we came to deprive
of his empire, and to kill, if possible. I ask then, with all these
banded together against us, is there any one so insensate as to
imagine that we can survive the contest? For heaven's sake, let us not
go mad or loosely throw away our lives in war with our own native
cities--nay, our own friends, our kith and our kin; for in one or
other of the cities they are all included. Every city will march
against us, and not unjustly, if, after refusing to hold one single
barbarian city by right of conquest, we seize the first Hellenic city
that we come to and make it a ruinous heap. For my part, my prayer is
that before I see such things wrought by you, I, at any rate, may lie
ten thousand fathoms under ground! My counsel to you, as Hellenes, is
to try and obtain your just rights, through obedience to those who
stand at the head of Hellas; and if so be that you fail in those
demands, why, being more sinned against than sinning, need we rob
ourselves of Hellas too? At present, I propose that we should send to
Anaxibius and tell him that we have made an entrance into the city,
not meditating violence, but merely to discover if he and his will
show us any good; for if so, it is well; but of otherwise, at least we
will let him see that he does not shut the door upon us as dupes and
fools. We know the meaning of discipline; we turn our backs and go."

This resolution was passed, and they sent Hieronymus an Eleian, with
two others, Eurylochus an Arcadian and Philesius an Achaean, to
deliver the message. So these set off on their errand. But while the
soldiers were still seated in conclave, Coeratadas, of Thebes, 33
arrived. He was a Theban not in exile, but with a taste for
generalship, who made it his business to see if any city or nation
were in need of his services. Thus, on the present occasion, he
presented himself, and begged to state that he was ready to put
himself at their head, and lead them into the Delta of Thrace[2], as
it is called, where they would find themselves in a land of plenty;
but until they got there, he would provide them with meat and drink
enough and to spare. While they were still listening to this tale, the
return message from Anaxibius came. His answer was: "The discipline,
they had spoken of, was not a thing they would regret; indeed he would
report their behaviour to the authorities at home; and for himself, he
would take advice and do the best he could for them."

[2] The exact locality, so called, is not known; doubtless it lay
somewhere between Byzantium and Salmydessus, possibly at Declus
(mod. Derkos); or possibly the narrow portion of Thrace between
the Euxine, Bosphorus, and Propontis went by this name. See note
in Pretor ad. loc., and "Dict. Geog." "Thracia."

Thereupon the soldiers accepted Coeratadas as their general, and
retired without the walls. Their new general undertook to present
himself to the troops next day with sacrificial beasts and a
soothsayer, with eatables also and drinkables for the army. Now, as
soon as they were gone out, Anaxibius closed the gates and issued a
proclamation to the effect that "any of the soldiers caught inside
should be knocked down to the hammer and sold at once." Next day,
Coeratadas arrived with the victims and the soothsayer. A string of
twenty bearers bearing barleymeal followed at his heels, succeeded by
other twenty carrying wine, and three laden with a supply of olives,
and two others carrying, the one about as much garlic as a single man
could lift, and the other a similar load of onions. These various
supplies he set down, apparently for distribution, and began to

Now Xenophon sent to Cleander, begging him to arrange matters so that
he might be allowed to enter the walls, with a view to starting from
Byzantium on his homeward voyage. Cleander came, and this is what he 39
said: "I have come; but I was barely able to arrange what you want.
Anaxibius insisted: 'It was not convenient that Xenophon should be
inside while the soldiers are close to the walls without; the
Byzantines at sixes and sevens moreover; and no love lost between the
one party of them and the other.' Still, he ended by bidding you to
come inside, if you were really minded to leave the town by sea with
himself." Accordingly Xenophon bade the soldiers good-bye, and
returned with Cleander within the walls.

To return to Coeratadas. The first day he failed to get favourable
signs at the sacrifice, and never a dole of rations did he make to the
soldiers. On the second day the victims were standing ready near the
altar, and so was Coeratadas, with chaplet crowned, all ready to
sacrifice, when up comes Timasion the Dardanian, with Neon the
Asinaean, and Cleanor of Orchomenus, forbidding Coeratadas to
sacrifice: "He must understand there was an end to his generalship,
unless he gave them provisions." The other bade them measure out the
supplies, "Pray, dole them out." But when he found that he had a good
deal short of a single day's provisions for each man, he picked up his
paraphernalia of sacrifice and withdrew. As to being general, he would
have nothing more to say to it.


Now these five were left--Neon the Asinaean, Phryniscus the Achaean, 1
Philesius the Achaean, Xanthicles the Achaean, Timasion the
Dardanian--at the head of the army, and they pushed on to some
villages of the Thracians facing Byzantium, and there encamped. Now
the generals could not agree. Cleanor and Phryniscus wished to march
to join Seuthes, who had worked upon their feelings by presenting one
with a horse and the other with a woman to wife. But Neon's object was
to come to the Chersonese: "When we are under the wing of the
Lacedaemonians," he thought, "I shall step to the front and command
the whole army."

Timasion's one ambition was to cross back again into Asia, hoping to
be reinstated at home and end his exile. The soldiers shared the
wishes of the last general. But, as time dragged on, many of the men
sold their arms at different places and set sail as best they could;
others [actually gave away their arms, some here, some there, and[1]] 3
became absorbed in the cities. One man rejoiced. This was Anaxibius,
to whom the break-up of the army was a blessing. "That is the way," he
said to himself, "I can best gratify Pharnabazus."

[1] The MSS. give the words so rendered--{oi de kai [didontes ta opla
kata tous khorous]}, which some critics emend {diadidontes},
others bracket as suspected, others expunge.

But Anaxibius, while prosecuting his voyage from Byzantium, was met at
Cyzicus by Aristarchus, the new governor, who was to succeed Cleander
at Byzantium; and report said that a new admiral, Polus, if he had not
actually arrived, would presently reach the Hellespont and relieve
Anaxibius. The latter sent a parting injunction to Aristarchus to be
sure and sell all the Cyreian soldiers he could lay hands on still
lingering in Byzantium; for Cleander had not sold a single man of
them; on the contrary, he had made it his business to tend the sick
and wounded, pitying them, and insisting on their being received in
the houses. Aristarchus changed all that, and was no sooner arrived in
Byzantium than he sold no less than four hundred of them. Meanwhile
Anaxibius, on his coasting voyage, reached Parium, and, according to
the terms of their agreement, he sent to Pharnabazus. But the latter,
learning that Aristarchus was the new governor at Byzantim, and that
Anixibius had ceased to be admiral, turned upon him a cold shoulder,
and set out concocting the same measures concerning the Cyreian army
with Aristarchus, as he had lately been at work upon with Anaxibius.

Anaxibius thereupon summoned Xenophon and bade him, by every manner of
means, sail to the army with the utmost speed, and keep it together.
"He was to collect the scattered fragments and march them down to
Perinthus, and thence convey them across to Asia without loss of
time." And herewith he put a thirty-oared galley at his srrvice, and
gave him a letter of authority and an officer to accompany him, with
an order to the Perinthians "to escort Xenophon without delay on
horseback to the army." So it was that Xenophon sailed across and
eventually reached the army. The soldiers gave him a joyous welcome,
and would have been only too glad to cross from Thrace into Asia under
his leadership.

But Seuthes, hearing that Xenophon had arrived, sent Medosades again, 10
by sea to meet him, and begged him to bring the army to him; and
whatever he thought would make his speech persuasive, he was ready to
promise him. But the other replied, that none of these things were
open to him to do; and with this answer Medosades departed, and the
Hellenes proceeded to Perinthus. Here on arrival Neon withdrew his
troops and encamped apart, having about eight hundred men; while the
remainder of the army lay in one place under the walls of Perinthus.

After this, Xenophon set himself to find vessels, so as to lose no
time in crossing. But in the interval Aristarchus, the governor from
Byzantium, arrived with a couple of war-ships, being moved to do so by
Pharnabazus. To make doubly sure, he first forbade the skippers and
shipmasters to carry the troops across, and then he visited the camp
and informed the soldiers that their passage into Asia was forbidden.
Xenophon replied that he was acting under the orders of Anaxibius, who
had sent him thither for this express purpose; to which Aristarchus
retorted, "For the matter of that, Anaxibius is no longer admiral, and
I am governor in this quarter; if I catch any of you at sea, I will
sink you." With these remarks he retired within the walls of

Next day, he sent for the generals and officers of the army. They had
already reached the fortification walls, when some one brought word to
Xenophon that if he set foot inside, he would be seized, and either
meet some ill fate there or more likely be delivered up to
Pharnabazus. On hearing this Xenophon sent forward the rest of the
party, but for himself pleaded that there was a sacrifice which he
wished to offer. In this way he contrived to turn back and consult the
victims, "Would the gods allow him to try and bring the army over to
Seuthes?" On the one hand it was plain that the idea of crossing over
to Asia in the face of this man with his ships of war, who meant to
bar the passage, was too dangerous. Nor did he altogether like the
notion of being blocked up in the Chersonese with an army in dire need
of everything; where, besides being at the beck and call of the 15
governor of the place, they would be debarred from the necessities of

While Xenophon was thus employed, the generals and officers came back
with a message from Aristarchus, who had told them they might retire
for the present, but in the afternoon he would expect them. The former
suspicions of a plot had now ripened to a certainty. Xenophon meantime
had ascertained that the victims were favourable to his project. He
personally, and the army as a whole, might with safety proceed to
Seuthes, they seemed to say. Accordingly, he took with him Polycrates,
the Athenian captain, and from each of the generals, not including
Neon, some one man whom they could in each case trust, and in the
night they set off to visit the army of Seuthes, sixty furlongs

As they approached, they came upon some deserted watch-fires, and
their first impression was that Seuthes had shifted his position; but
presently perceiving a confused sound (the voices of Seuthes' people
signalling to one another), the explanation dawned on him: Seuthes
kept his watch-fires kindled in front of, instead of behind, his night
pickets, in order that the outposts, being in the dark, might escape
notice, their numbers and position thus being a mystery; whilst any
party approaching from the outside, so far from escaping notice,
would, through the glare of the fire, stand out conspicuously.
Perceiving how matters stood, Xenophon sent forward his interpreter,
who was one of the party, and bade him inform Seuthes that Xenophon
was there and craved conference with him. The others asked if he were
an Athenian from the army yonder, and no sooner had the interpreter
replied, "Yes, the same," than up they leapt and galloped off; and in
less time than it takes to tell a couple of hundred peltasts had come
up who seized and carried off Xenophon and those with him and brought
them to Seuthes. The latter was in a tower right well guarded, and
there were horses round it in a circle, standing all ready bitted and
bridled; for his alarm was so great that he gave his horses their
provender during the day[2], and during the nights he kept watch and 21
ward with the brutes thus bitted and bridled. It was stated in
explanation that in old days an ancestor of his, named Teres, had been
in this very country with a large army, several of whom he had lost at
the hands of the native inhabitants, besides being robbed of his
baggage train. The inhabitants of the country are Thynians, and they
are reputed to be far the most warlike set of fighters--especially at

[2] I.e. "instead of letting them graze."

When they drew near, Seuthes bade Xenophon enter, and bring with him
any two he might choose. As soon as they were inside, they first
greeted one another warmly, and then, according to the Thracian
custom, pledged themselves in bowls of wine. There was further present
at the elbow of Seuthes, Medosades, who on all occasions acted as his
ambassador-in-chief. Xenophon took the initiative and spoke as
follows: "You have sent to me, Seuthes, once and again. On the first
occasion you sent Medosades yonder, to Chalcedon, and you begged me to
use my influence in favour of the army crossing over from Asia. You
promised me, in return for this conduct on my part, various
kindnesses; at least that is what Medosades stated"; and before
proceeding further he turned to Medosades and asked, "Is not that so?"
The other assented. "Again, on a second occasion, the same Medosades
came when I had crossed over from Parium to rejoin the army; and he
promised me that if I would bring you the army, you would in various
respects treat me as a friend and brother. He said especially with
regard to certain seaboard places of which you are the owner and lord,
that you were minded to make me a present of them." At this point he
again questioned Medosades, "Whether the words attributed to him were
exact?" and Medosades once more fully assented. "Come now," proceeded
Xenophon, "recount what answer I made you, and first at Chalcedon."
"You answered that the army was, in any case, about to cross over to
Byzantium; and as far as that went, there was no need to pay you or
any one else anything; and for yourself, you added, that once across
you were minded to leave the army, which thing came to pass even as
you said." "Well! what did I say," he asked, "at your next visit, when 28
you came to me in Selybria?" "You said that the proposal was
impossible; you were all going to Perinthus to cross into Asia."
"Good," said Xenophon, "and in spite of it all, at the present moment,
here I am myself, and Phryniscus, one of my colleagues, and Polycrates
yonder, a captain; and outside, to represent the other generals (all
except Neon the Laconian), the trustiest men they could find to send.
So that if you wish to give these transactions the seal of still
greater security, you have nothing to do but to summon them also; and
do you, Polycrates, go and say from me, that I bid them leave their
arms outside, and you can leave your own sword outside before you
enter with them on your return."

When Seuthes had heard so far, he interposed: "I should never mistrust
an Athenian, for we are relatives already[3], I know; and the best of
friends, I believe, we shall be." After that, as soon as the right men
entered, Xenophon first questioned Seuthes as to what use he intended
to make of the army, and he replied as follows: "Maesades was my
father; his sway extended over the Melanditae, the Thynians, and the
Tranipsae. Then the affairs of the Odrysians took a bad turn, and my
father was driven out of this country, and later on died himself of
sickness, leaving me to be brought up as an orphan at the court of
Medocus, the present king. But I, when I had grown to man's estate,
could not endure to live with my eyes fixed on another's board. So I
seated myself on the seat by him as a suppliant, and begged him to
give me as many men as he could spare, that I might wreak what
mischief I could on those who had driven us forth from our land; that
thus I might cease to live in dependence upon another's board, like a
dog watching his master's hand. In answer to my petition, he gave me 34
the men and the horses which you will see at break of day, and
nowadays I live with these, pillaging my own ancestral land. But if
you would join me, I think, with the help of heaven, we might easily
recover my empire. That is what I want of you." "Well then," said
Xenophon, "supposing we came, what should you be able to give us? the
soldiers, the officers, and the generals? Tell us that these witnesses
may report your answer." And he promised to give "to the common
soldiers a cyzicene[4], to a captain twice as much, and to a general
four times as much, with as much land as ever they liked, some yoke of
oxen, and a fortified place upon the seaboard." "But now supposing,"
said Xenophon, "we fail of success, in spite of our endeavours;
suppose any intimidation on the part of the Lacedaemonians should
arise; will you receive into your country any of us who may seek to
find a refuge with you?" He answered: "Nay, not only so, but I shall
look upon you as my brothers, entitled to share my seat, and the joint
possessors of all the wealth which we may be able to acquire. And to
you yourself, O Xenophon! I will give my daughter, and if you have a
daughter, I will buy her in Thracian fashion; and I will give you
Bisanthe as a dwelling-place, which is the fairest of all my
possessions on the seaboard[5]."

[3] Tradition said that the Thracians and Athenians were connected,
through the marriage of a former prince Tereus (or Teres) with
Procne, the daughter of Pandion. This old story, discredited by
Thucydides, ii. 29, is referred to in Arist. "Birds," 368 foll.
The Birds are about to charge the two Athenian intruders, when
Epops, king of the Birds, formerly Tereus, king of Thrace, but
long ago transformed into a hoopoe, intercedes in behalf of two
men, {tes emes gunaikos onte suggene kai phuleta}, "who are of my
lady's tribe and kin." As a matter of history, the Athenians had
in the year B.C. 431 made alliance with Sitalces, king of the
Odrysians (the son of Teres, the first founder of their empire),
and made his son, Sadocus, an Athenian citizen. Cf. Thuc. ib.;
Arist. Acharnians, 141 foll.

[4] A cyzicene monthly is to be understood.

[5] Bisanthe, one of the Ionic colonies founded by Samos, with the
Thracian name Rhaedestus (now Rodosto), strongly placed so as to
command the entrance into the Sacred mountain.


After listening to these proposals, they gave and accepted pledges of 1
good faith; and so the deputation rode off. Before day they were back
again in camp, and severally rendered a report to those who sent them.
At dawn Aristarchus again summoned the generals and officers, but the
latter resolved to have done with the visit to Aristarchus, and to
summon a meeting of the army. In full conclave the soldiers met, with
the exception of Neon's men, who remained about ten furlongs off. When
they were met together Xenophon rose, and made the following
announcement: "Men, Aristarchus with his ships of war hinders us from
sailing where we fain would go; it is not even safe to set foot on 3
board a vessel. But if he hinders us here, he hastens us there. 'Be
off to the Chersonese,' says he, 'force a passage through the Sacred
mountain.' If we master it and succeed in getting to that place, he
has something in store for us. He promises that he will not sell you
any more, as he did at Byzantium; you shall not be cheated again; you
shall have pay; he will no longer, as now, suffer you to remain in
want of provisions. That is his proposal. But Seuthes says that if you
will go to him he will treat you well. What you have now to consider
is, whether you will stay to debate this question, or leave its
settlement till we have gone up into a land of provisions. If you ask
me my opinion, it is this: Since here we have neither money to buy,
nor leave to take without money what we need, why should we not go up
into these villages where the right to help ourselves is conferred by
might? There, unhampered by the want of bare necessaries, you can
listen to what this man and the other wants of you and choose
whichever sounds best. Let those," he added, "who agree to this, hold
up their hands." They all held them up. "Retire then," said he, "and
get your kit together, and at the word of command, follow your

After this, Xenophon put himself at the head and the rest followed.
Neon, indeed, and other agents from Aristarchus tried to turn them
from their purpose, but to their persuasions they turned a deaf ear.
They had not advanced much more than three miles, when Seuthes met
them; and Xenophon, seeing him, bade him ride up. He wished to tell
him what they felt to be conducive to their interests, and in the
presence of as many witnesses as possible. As soon as he had
approached, Xenophon said: "We are going where the troops will have
enough to live upon; when we are there, we will listen to you and to
the emissaries of the Laconian, and choose between you both whatever
seems best. If then you will lead us where provisions are to be got in
plenty, we shall feel indebted to you for your hospitality." And
Seuthes answered: "For the matter of that, I know many villages,
close-packed and stocked with all kinds of provisions, just far enough 9
off to give you a good appetite for your breakfasts." "Lead on then!"
said Xenophon. When they had reached the villages in the afternoon,
the soldiers met, and Seuthes made the following speech: "My request
to you, sirs, is that you will take the field with me, and my promise
to you is that I will give every man of you a cyzicene, and to the
officers and generals at the customary rate; besides this I will
honour those who show special merit. Food and drink you shall get as
now for yourselves from the country; but whatever is captured, I shall
claim to have myself, so that by distribution of it I may provide you
with pay. Let them flee, let them creep into hiding-places, we shall
be able to pursue after them, we will track them out; or if they
resist, along with you we will endeavour to subdue them to our hands."
Xenophon inquired: "And how far from the sea shall you expect the army
to follow you?" "Nowhere more than seven days' journey," he answered,
"and in many places less."

After this, permission was given for all who wished to speak, and many
spoke, but ever to one and the same tune: "What Seuthes said, was very
right. It was winter, and for a man to sail home, even if he had the
will to do so, was impossible. On the other hand, to continue long in
a friendly country, where they must depend upon what they could
purchase, was equally beyond their power. If they were to wear away
time and support life in a hostile country, it was safer to do so with
Seuthes than by themselves, not to speak of all these good things; but
if they were going to get pay into the bargain, that indeed was a
godsend." To complete the proceedings, Xenophon said: "If any one
opposes the measure, let him state his views; if not, let the officer
put the proposition to the vote." No one opposed; they put it to the
vote, and the resolution was carried; and without loss of time, he
informed Seuthes that they would take the field with him.

After this the troops messed in their separate divisions, but the
generals and officers were invited by Seuthes to dinner at a
neighbouring village which was in his possession. When they were at
the doors, and on the point of stepping in to dinner, they were met by 16
a certain Heracleides, of Maronea[1]. He came up to each guest,
addressing himself particularly to those who, as he conjectured, ought
to be able to make a present to Seuthes. He addressed himself first to
some Parians who were there to arrange a friendship with Medocus, the
king of the Odrysians, and were bearers of presents to the king and to
his wife. Heracleides reminded them: "Medocus is up country twelve
days' journey from the sea; but Seuthes, now that he has got this
army, will be lord on the sea-coast; as your neighbour, then, he is
the man to do you good or do you ill. If you are wise, you will give
him whatever he askes of you. On the whole, it will be laid out at
better interest than if you have it to Medocus, who lives so far off."
That was his mode of persuasion in their case. Next he came to
Timasion the Dardanian, who, some one had told him, was the happy
possessor of certain goblets and oriental carpets. What he said to him
was: "It is customary when people are invited to dinner by Seuthes for
the guests to make him a present; now if he should become a great
person in these parts, he will be able to restore you to your native
land, or to make you a rich man here." Such were the solicitations
which he applied to each man in turn whom he accosted. Presently he
came to Xenophon and said: "You are at once a citizen of no mean city,
and with Seuthes also your own name is very great. Maybe you expect to
obtain a fort or two in this country, just as others of your
countrymen have done[2], and territory. It is only right and proper
therefore that you should honour Seuthes in the most magnificent
style. Be sure, I give this advice out of pure friendliness, for I
know that the greater the gift that you are ready to bestow on him,
the better the treatment you will receive at his hands." Xenophon, on
hearing this, was in a sad dilemma, for he had brought with him, when
he crossed from Parium, nothing but one boy and just enough to pay his
travelling expenses.

[1] A Greek colony in Thrace. Among Asiatico-Ionian colonies were
Abdera, founded by Teos, and Maroneia, celebrated for its wine,
founded by Chios about 540 B.C.--Kiepert, "Man. Anct. Geog." viii.

[2] Notably Alcibiades, who possessed two or three such fortresses.

As soon as the company, consisting of the most powerful Thracians 21
there present, with the generals and captains of the Hellenes, and any
embassy from a state which might be there, had arrived, they were
seated in a circle, and the dinner was served. Thereupon three-legged
stools were brought in and placed in front of the assembled guests.
They were laden with pieces of meat, piled up, and there were huge
leavened-loaves fastened on to the pieces of meat with long skewers.
The tables, as a rule, were set beside the guests at intervals. That
was the custom; and Seuthes set the fashion of the performance. He
took up the loaves which lay by his side and broke them into little
pieces, and then threw the fragments here to one and there to another
as seemed to him good; and so with the meat likewise, leaving for
himself the merest taste. Then the rest fell to following the fashion
set them, those that is who had tables placed beside them.

Now there was an Arcadian, Arystas by name, a huge eater; he soon got
tired of throwing the pieces about, and seized a good three-quarters
loaf in his two hands, placed some pieces of meat upon his knees, and
proceeded to discuss his dinner. Then beakers of wine were brought
round, and every one partook in turn; but when the cupbearer came to
Arystas and handed him the bowl, he looked up, and seeing that
Xenophon had done eating: "Give it him," quoth he, "he is more at
leisure. I have something better to do at present." Seuthes, hearing a
remark, asked the cupbearer what was said, and the cupbearer, who knew
how to talk Greek, explained. Then followed a peal of laughter.

When the drinking had advanced somewhat, in came a Thracian with a
white horse, who snatched the brimming bowl and said: "Here's a health
to thee, O Seuthes! Let me present thee with this horse. Mounted on
him, thou shalt capture whom thou choosest to pursue, or retiring from
battle, thou shalt not dread the foe." He was followed by one who
brought in a boy, and presented him in proper style with "Here's a
health to thee, O Seuthes!" A third had "clothes for his wife."
Timasion, the Dardanian, pledged Seuthes, and presented a silver
bowl[3] and a carpet worth ten minae. Gnesippus, an Athenian, got up 28
and said: "It was a good old custom, and a fine one too, that those
who had, should give to the king for honour's sake, but to those who
had not, the king should give; whereby, my lord," he added, "I too may
one day have the wherewithal to give thee gifts and honour." Xenophon
the while was racking his brains what he was to do; he was not the
happier because he was seated in the seat next Seuthes as a mark of
honour; and Heracleides bade the cupbearer hand him the bowl. The wine
had perhaps a little mounted to his head; he rose, and manfully seized
the cup, and spoke: "I also, Seuthes, have to present you with myself
and these my dear comrades to be your trusty friends, and not one of
them against his will. They are more ready, one and all, still more
than I, to be your friends. Here they are; they ask nothing from you
in return, rather they are forward to labour in your behalf; it will
be their pleasure to bear the brunt of battle in voluntary service.
With them, God willing, you will gain vast territory; you will recover
what was once your forefathers'; you will win for yourself new lands;
and not lands only, but horses many, and of men a multitude, and many
a fair dame besides. You will not need to seize upon them in robber
fashion; it is your friends here who, of their own accord, shall take
and bring them to you, they shall lay them at your feet as gifts." Up
got Seuthes and drained with him the cup, and with him sprinkled the
last drops fraternally[4].

[3] Or rather "saucer" ({phiale}).

[4] For the Thracian custom, vide Suidas, s.v. {kataskedazein}.

At this stage entered musicians blowing upon horns such as they use
for signal calls, and trumpeting on trumpets, made of raw oxhide,
tunes and airs, like the music of the double-octave harp[5]. Seuthes
himself got up and shouted, trolling forth a war song; then he sprang
from his place and leapt about as though he would guard himself
against a missile, in right nimble style. Then came in a set of clowns
and jesters.

[5] Or, "magadis." This is said to have been one of the most perfect
instruments. It comprised two full octaves, the left hand playing
the same notes as the right an octave lower. Guhl and Koner, p.
203, Engl. transl. See also "Dict. Antiq." "Musica"; and Arist.
"Polit." xix. 18, {Dia ti e dia pason sumphonia adetai mone;
magasizousi gar tauten, allen de oudemian}, i.e. "since no
interval except the octave ({dia pason}) could be 'magidised' (the
effect of any other is well known to be intolerable), therefore no
other interval was employed at all."

But when the sun began to set, the Hellenes rose from their seats. It 33
was time, they said, to place the night sentinels and to pass the
watchword; further, they begged of Seuthes to issue an order that none
of the Thracians were to enter the Hellenic camp at night, "since
between your Thracian foes and our Thracian friends there might be
some confusion." As they sallied forth, Seuthes rose to accompany
them, like the soberest of men. When they were outside, he summoned
the generals apart and said: "Sirs, our enemies are not aware as yet
of our alliance. If, therefore, we attack them before they take
precautions not to be caught, or are prepared to repel assault, we
shall make a fine haul of captives and other stock." The generals
fully approved of these views, and bade him lead on. He answered:
"Prepare and wait; as soon as the right time comes I will be with you.
I shall pick up the peltasts and yourselves, and with the help of the
gods, I will lead on." "But consider one point," urged Xenophon; "if
we are to march by night, is not the Hellenic fashion best? When
marching in the daytime that part of the army leads the van which
seems best suited to the nature of the country to be traversed--heavy
or light infantry, or cavalry; but by night our rule is that the
slowest arm should take the lead. Thus we avoid the risk of being
pulled to pieces: and it is not so easy for a man to give his
neighbour the slip without intending, whereas the scattered fragments
of an army are apt to fall foul of one another, and to cause damage or
incur it in sheer ignorance." To this Seuthes replied: "You reason
well, and I will adopt your custom. I will furnish you with guides
chosen from the oldest experts of the country, and I will myself
follow with the cavalry in the rear; it will not take me long, if need
be, to present myself at the front." Then, for kinship's sake, they
chose "Athenaia[6]" as their watchword. With this, they turned and
sought repose.

[6] "Our Lady of Athens."

It was about midnight when Seuthes presented himself with his cavalry
troopers armed with corselets, and his light infantry under arms. As 40
soon as he had handed over to them the promised guides, the heavy
infantry took the van, followed by the light troops in the centre,
while the cavalry brought up the rear. At daybreak Seuthes rode up to
the front. He complimented them on their method: so often had he
himself, while marching by night with a mere handful of men, been
separated with his cavalry from his infantry. "But now," said he, "we
find ourselves at dawn of day all happily together, just as we ought
to be. Do you wait for me here," he proceeded, "and recruit
yourselves. I will take a look round and rejoin you." So saying he
took a certain path over hill and rode off. As soon as he had reached
deep snow, he looked to see whether there were footprints of human
beings leading forward or in the opposite direction; and having
satisfied himself that the road was untrodden, back he came,
exclaiming: "God willing, sirs, it will be all right; we shall fall on
the fellows, before they know where they are. I will lead on with the
cavalry; so that if we catch sight of any one, he shall not escape and
give warning to the enemy. Do you follow, and if you are left behind,
keep to the trail of the horses. Once on the other side of the
mountains, we shall find ourselves in numerous thriving villages."

By the middle of the day he had already gained the top of the pass and
looked down upon the villages below. Back he came riding to the heavy
infantry and said: "I will at once send off the cavalry into the plain
below, and the peltasts too, to attack the villages. Do you follow
with what speed you may, so that in case of resistance you may lend us
your aid." Hearing this, Xenophon dismounted, and the other asked:
"Why do you dismount just when speed is the thing we want?" The other
answered: "But you do not want me alone, I am sure. The hoplites will
run all the quicker and more cheerily if I lead them on foot."

Thereupon Seuthes went off, and Timasion with him, taking the Hellene
squadron of something like forty troopers. Then Xenophon passed the
order: the active young fellows up to thirty years of age from the
different companies to the front; and off with these he went himself,
bowling along[7]; while Cleanor led the other Hellenes. When they had 46
reached the villages, Seuthes, with about thirty troopers, rode up,
exclaiming: "Well, Xenophon, this is just what you said! the fellows
are caught, but now look here. My cavalry have gone off unsupported;
they are scattered in pursuit, one here, one there, and upon my word,
I am more than half afraid the enemy will collect somewhere and do
them a mischief. Some of us must remain in the villages, for they are
swarming with human beings." "Well then," said Xenophon, "I will seize
the heights with the men I have with me, and do you bid Cleanor extend
his line along the level beside the villages." When they had done so,
there were enclosed--of captives for the slave market, one thousand;
of cattle, two thousand; and of other small cattle, ten thousand. For
the time being they took up quarters there.

[7] {etropkhaze}, a favourite word with our author. Herodotus uses it;
so does Aristot.; so also Polybius; but the Atticists condemn it,
except of course in poetry.


But the next day Seuthes burnt the villages to the ground; he left not 1
a single house, being minded to inspire terror in the rest of his
enemies, and to show them what they also were to expect, if they
refused obedience; and so he went back again. As to the booty, he sent
off Heracliedes to Perinthus to dispose of it, with a view to future
pay for the soldiers. But for himself he encamped with the Hellenes in
the lowland country of the Thynians, the natives leaving the flats and
betaking themselves in flight to the uplands.

There was deep snow, and cold so intense that the water brought in for
dinner and the wine within the jars froze; and many of the Hellenes
had their noses and ears frost-bitten. Now they came to understand why
the Thracians wear fox-skin caps on their heads and about their ears;
and why, on the same principle, they are frocked not only about the
chest and bust but so as to cover the loins and thighs as well; and
why on horseback they envelop themselves in long shawls which reach
down to the feet, instead of the ordinary short rider's cloak. Seuthes
sent off some of the prisoners to the hills with a message to say that
if they did not come down to their homes, and live quietly and obey
him, he would burn down their villages and their corn, and leave them 5
to perish with hunger. Thereupon down they came, women and children
and the older men; the younger men preferred to quarter themselves in
the villages on the skirts of the hills. On discovering this, Seuthes
bade Xenophon take the youngest of the heavy infantry and join him on
an expedition. They rose in the night, and by daybreak had reached the
villages; but the majority of the inhabitants made good their escape,
for the hills were close at hand. Those whom he did catch, Seuthes
unsparingly shot down.

Now there was a certain Olynthian, named Episthenes; he was a great
lover of boys, and seeing a handsome lad, just in the bloom of youth,
and carrying a light shield, about to be slain, he ran up to Xenophon
and supplicated him to rescue the fair youth. Xenophon went to Seuthes
and begged him not to put the boy to death. He explained to him the
disposition of Episthenes; how he had once enrolled a company, the
only qualification required being that of personal beauty; and with
these handsome young men at his side there were none so brave as he.
Seuthes put the question, "Would you like to die on his behalf,
Episthenes?" whereat the other stretched out his neck, and said,
"Strike, if the boy bids you, and will thank his preserver." Seuthes,
turning to the boy, asked, "Shall I smite him instead of you?" The boy
shook his head, imploring him to slay neither the one nor the other,
whereupon Episthenes caught the lad in his arms, exclaiming, "It is
time you did battle with me, Seuthes, for my boy; never will I yield
him up," and Seuthes laughed: "what must be must," and so consented.

In these villages he decided that they must bivouac, so that the men
on the mountains might be still further deprived of subsistence.
Stealthily descending he himself found quarters in the plain; while
Xenophon with his picked troops encamped in the highest village on the
skirts of the hills,; and the rest of the Hellenes hard by, among the
highland Thracians[1], as they are called.

[1] Cf. "Highlanders."

After this, not many days had idly slipt away before the Thracians
from the mountains came down and wished to arrange with Seuthes for 12
terms of truce and hostages. Simultaneously came Xenophon and informed
Seuthes that they were camped in bad quarters, with the enemy next
door; "it would be pleasanter too," he added, "to bivouac in a strong
position in the open, than under cover on the edge of destruction."
The other bade him take heart and pointed to some of their hostages,
as much as to say "Look there!" Parties also from the mountaineers
came down and pleaded with Xenophon himself, to help arrange a truce
for them. This he agreed to do, bidding them to pluck up heart, and
assuring them that they would meet with no mischief, if they yielded
obedience to Seuthes. All their parleying, however, was, as it turned
out, merely to get a closer inspection of things. This happened in the
day, and in the following night the Thynians descended from the hill
country and made an attack. In each case, the guide was the master of
the house attacked; otherwise it would have taxed their powers to
discover the houses in the dark, which, for the sake of their flocks
and herds, were palisaded all round with great stockades. As soon as
they had reached the doors of any particular house, the attack began,
some hurling in their spears, others belabouring with their clubs,
which they carried, it was said, for the purpose of knocking off the
lance points from the shaft. Others were busy setting the place on
fire; and they kept calling Xenophon by name: "Come out, Xenophon, and
die like a man, or we will roast you alive inside."

By this time too the flames were making their appearance through the
roof, and Xenophon and his followers were within, with their coats of
mail on, and big shields, swords, and helmets. Then Silanus, a
Macistian[2], a youth of some eighteen years, signalled on the
trumpet; and in an instant, out they all leapt with their drawn
swords, and the inmates of other quarters as well. The Thracians took
to their heels, according to their custom, swinging their light
shields round their backs. As they leapt over the stockade some were
captured, hanging on the top with their shields caught in the palings;
others missed the way out, and so were slain; and the Hellenes chased
them hotly, till they were outside the village.

[2] "Of Macistus," a town in the Triphylia near Scillus.

A party of Thynians turned back, and as the men ran past in bold 18
relief against a blazing house, they let fly a volley of javelins, out
of the darkness into the glare, and wounded two captains, Hieronymus,
an Euodean[3], and Theogenes, a Locrian. No one was killed, only the
clothes and baggage of some of the men were consumed in the flames.
Presently up came Seuthes to the rescue with seven troopers, the first
to hand, and his Thracian trumpeteer by his side. Seeing that
something had happened, he hastened to the rescue, and ever the while
his bugler wound his horn, which music added terror to the foe.
Arrived at length, he greeted them with outstretched hand, exclaiming,
"I thought to find you all dead men."

[3] If this is the same man as Hieronymus of Elis, who has been
mentioned two or three times already, possibly the word {Euodea}
points to some town or district of Elis; or perhaps the text is

After that, Xenophon begged him to hand over the hostages to himself,
and if so disposed, to join him on an expedition to the hills, or if
not, to let him go alone. Accordingly the next day Seuthes delivered
up the hostages. They were men already advanced in years, but the pick
of the mountaineers, as they themselves gave out. Not merely did
Seuthes do this, but he came himself, with his force at his back (and
by this time he had treble his former force, for many of the
Odrysians, hearing of his proceedings, came down to join in the
campaign); and the Thynians, espying from the mountains the vast array
of heavy infantry and light infantry and cavalry, rank upon rank, came
down and supplicated him to make terms. "They were ready," they
professed, "to do all that he demanded; let him take pledges of their
good faith." So Seuthes summoned Xenophon and explained their
proposals, adding that he should make no terms with them, if Xenophon
wished to punish them for their night attack. The latter replied: "For
my part, I should think their punishment is great enough already, if
they are to be slaves instead of free men; still," he added, "I advise
you for the future to take as hostages those who are most capable of
doing mischief, and to let the old men abide in peace at home." So to
a man they gave in their adhesion in that quarter of the country.

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest