Tajiks Worldwide Community: CYROPAEDIA THE EDUCATION OF CYRUS by XENOPHON - Tajiks Worldwide Community

Jump to content

Toggle shoutbox Shoutbox

Parsistani Icon : (04 January 2016 - 10:02 PM) Someone here?
parwana Icon : (30 April 2014 - 05:21 PM) Posted Image
Parsistani Icon : (22 July 2013 - 04:02 AM) good morning :)
Gul agha Icon : (03 May 2013 - 04:29 PM) Sohrab, Tajikam doesn't only consist of a forum. We have two major sections in this website. One is in Persian which is updated frequently and the other is in Persian (Cyrillic). Additionally, the English page is still running and has a vast amount of information on Tajiks and Persians.
Gul agha Icon : (03 May 2013 - 04:27 PM) http://www.facebook.com/Tajikamsite
Sohrab Icon : (01 May 2013 - 06:31 AM) Tajikam on facebook?
SHA DOKHT Icon : (01 May 2013 - 12:12 AM) Like our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook...541604162529143
Sohrab Icon : (29 March 2013 - 08:31 AM) H again, I thought the site would be closed, but it's still running.
Gabaro_glt Icon : (26 March 2013 - 10:17 AM) Tajikistan was inhabited by the races of Cyrus the great (Sultan skindar Zulqarnain). The achmaniend dynasty ruled the entire region for several thousnd years.Cyrus the great's son cymbasis(Combchia)with forces migrated to Balkh ancient Bactaria or Bakhtar. Sultan Sumus the desecndant of Cyrus the great faught war against Alaxander of Macdonia in Bakhtar current tajikistan.
this ruling class was inhabited in the areas, like Balkh,fargana,alai,Tajikistan,badakhshan,Kabul,Takhar,Tashkorogan,Khutan,kashkar,Swat,Kashmir,Peshawar, hashtnager,Dir, Bajour,Gilgit,for serveral thaousand years.
Gabaro_glt Icon : (26 March 2013 - 10:16 AM) hellow
Gabaro_glt Icon : (26 March 2013 - 10:00 AM) Tajikistan was inhabited by the races of Cyrus the great (Sultan skindar Zulqarnain). The achmaniend dynasty ruled the entire region for several thousnd years.Cyrus the great's son cymbasis(Combchia)with forces migrated to Balkh ancient Bactaria or Bakhtar. Sultan Sumus the desecndant of Cyrus the great faught war against Alaxander of Macdonia in Bakhtar current tajikistan.
this ruling class was inhabited in the areas, like Balkh,fargana,alai,Tajikistan,badakhshan,Kabul,Takhar,Tashkorogan,Khutan,kashkar,Swat,Kashmir,Peshawar, hashtnager,Dir, Bajour,Gilgit,for serveral thaousand years.
Gabaro_glt Icon : (26 March 2013 - 09:46 AM) hellow
Gabaro_glt Icon : (25 March 2013 - 10:48 AM) Asssssssssalam o Alaikum
Gabaro_glt Icon : (22 March 2013 - 05:22 AM) I would like to here something from a tajik brother/sister living in Tajikstan
Gabaro_glt Icon : (22 March 2013 - 05:20 AM) I have traced my ancestors migrated from Panj and Balkh ancient
Gabaro_glt Icon : (22 March 2013 - 05:19 AM) I am desendant of Sultan behram Gabari Tajik living in GilGit pakistan
Gabaro_glt Icon : (22 March 2013 - 05:17 AM) Salam to all brothers
Parsistani Icon : (01 June 2012 - 10:48 AM) we are on facebook. Tajikam on facebook
Parsistani Icon : (01 June 2012 - 10:47 AM) salam guys.
Azim-khan Icon : (19 May 2012 - 11:19 AM) salom bachaho )
Resize Shouts Area

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

CYROPAEDIA THE EDUCATION OF CYRUS by XENOPHON Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:49 PM

BOOK II of VIII

[C.1] Thus they talked together, and thus they journeyed on until they reached the frontier, and there a good omen met them: an eagle swept into view on the right, and went before them as though to lead the way, and they prayed the gods and heroes of the land to show them favour and grant them safe entry, and then they crossed the boundary. And when they were across, they prayed once more that the gods of Media might receive them graciously, and when they had done this they embraced each other, as father and son will, and Cambyses turned back to his own city, but Cyrus went forward again, to his uncle Cyaxares in the land of Media. [2] And when his journey was done and he was face to face with him and they had greeted each other as kinsmen may, then Cyaxares asked the prince how great an armament he had brought with him? And Cyrus answered, “I have 30,000 with me, men who have served with you before as mercenaries; and more are coming on behind, fresh troops, from the Peers of Persia.”
“How many of those?” asked Cyaxares. [3] And Cyrus answered, “Their numbers will not please you, but remember these Peers of ours, though they are few, find it easy to rule the rest of the Persians, who are many. But now,” he added, “have you any need of us at all? Perhaps it was only a false alarm that troubled you, and the enemy are not advancing?”
“Indeed they are,” said the other, “and in full force.”
[4] “How do you know?” asked Cyrus.
“Because,” said he, “many deserters come to us, and all of them, in one fashion or another, tell the same tale.”
“Then we must give battle?” said Cyrus.
“Needs must,” Cyaxares replied.
“Well,” answered Cyrus, “but you have not told me yet how great their power is, or our own either. I want to hear, if you can tell me, so that we may make our plans.”
“Listen, then,” said Cyaxares. [5] “Croesus the Lydian is coming, we hear, with 10,000 horse and more than 40,000 archers and targeteers. Artamas the governor of Greater Phrygia is bringing, they say, 8000 horse, and lancers and targeteers also, 40,000 strong. Then there is Aribaius the king of Cappadocia with 6000 horse and 30,000 archers and targeteers. And Aragdus the Arabian with 10,000 horse, a hundred chariots, and innumerable slingers. As for the Hellenes who dwell in Asia, it is not clear as yet whether they will send a following or not. But the Phrygians from the Hellespont, we are told, are mustering in the Caystrian plain under Gabaidus, 6000 horse and 40,000 targeteers. Word has been sent to the Carians, Cilicians, and Paphlagonians, but it is said they will not rise; the Lord of Assyria and Babylon will himself, I believe, bring not less than 20,000 horse, and I make no doubt as many as 200 chariots, and thousands upon thousands of men on foot; such at least has been his custom whenever he invaded us before.”
[6] Cyrus answered: “Then you reckon the numbers of the enemy to be, in all, something like 60,000 horse and 200,000 archers and targeteers. And what do you take your own to be?”
“Well,” he answered, “we ourselves can furnish over 10,000 horse and perhaps, considering the state of the country, as many as 60,000 archers and targeteers. And from our neighbours, the Armenians,” he added, “we look to get 4000 horse and 20,000 foot.”
“I see,” said Cyrus, “you reckon our cavalry at less than a third of the enemy’s, and our infantry at less than half.”
[7] “Ah,” said Cyaxares, “and perhaps you feel that the force you are bringing from Persia is very small?”
“We will consider that later on,” answered Cyrus, “and see then if we require more men or not. Tell me first the methods of fighting that the different troops adopt.”
“They are much the same for all,” answered Cyaxares, “that is to say, their men and ours alike are armed with bows and javelins.”
“Well,” replied Cyrus, “if such arms are used, skirmishing at long range must be the order of the day.” “True,” said the other. [8] “And in that case,” went on Cyrus, “the victory is in the hands of the larger force; for even if the same numbers fall on either side, the few would be exhausted long before the many.” “If that be so,” cried Cyaxares, “there is nothing left for us but to send to Persia, and make them see that if disaster falls on Media it will fall on Persia next, and beg them for a larger force.” “Ah, but,” said Cyrus, “you must remember that even if every single Persian were to come at once, we could not outnumber our enemies.” [9] “But,” said the other, “can you see anything else to be done?” “For my part,” answered Cyrus, “if I could have my way, I would arm every Persian who is coming here in precisely the same fashion as our Peers at home, that is to say, with a corslet for the breast, a shield for the left arm, and a sword or battle-axe for the right hand. If you will give us these you will make it quite safe for us to close with the enemy, and our foes will find that flight is far pleasanter than defence. But we Persians,” he added, “will deal with those who do stand firm, leaving the fugitives to you and to your cavalry, who must give them no time to rally and no time to escape.”
[10] That was the counsel of Cyrus, and Cyaxares approved it. He thought no more of sending for a larger force, but set about preparing the equipment he had been asked for, and all was in readiness just about the time when the Peers arrived from Persia at the head of their own troops. [11] Then, so says the story, Cyrus called the Peers together and spoke to them as follows: “Men of Persia, my friends and comrades, when I looked at you first and saw the arms you bore and how you were all on fire to meet the enemy, hand to hand, and when I remembered that your squires are only equipped for fighting on the outskirts of the field, I confess my mind misgave me. Few and forlorn they will be, I said to myself, swallowed up in a host of enemies; no good can come of it. But to-day you are here, and your men behind you, stalwart and stout of limb, and to-morrow they shall have armour like our own. None could find fault with their thews and sinews, and as for their spirit, it is for us to see it does not fail. A leader must not only have a stout heart himself; he must see to it that his followers are as valiant as he.”
[12] Thus Cyrus spoke, and the Peers were well satisfied at his words, feeling that on the day of battle they would have more to help them in the struggle. [13] And one of them said, “Perhaps it will seem strange if I ask Cyrus to speak in our stead to our fellow-combatants when they receive their arms, and yet I know well that the words of him who has the greatest power for weal or woe sink deepest into the listener’s heart. His very gifts, though they should be less than the gifts of equals, are valued more. These new comrades of ours,” he went on, “would rather be addressed by Cyrus himself than by us, and now that they are to take their place among the Peers their title will seem to them far more secure if it is given them by the king’s own son and our general-in-chief. Not that we have not still our own duties left. We are bound to do our best in every way to rouse the spirit of our men. Shall we not gain ourselves by all they gain in valour?”
[14] So it came about that Cyrus had the new armour placed before him and summoned a general meeting of the Persian soldiery, and spoke to them as follows:
[15] “Men of Persia, born and bred in the same land as ourselves, whose limbs are as stout and as strong as our own, your hearts should be as brave. I know they are; and yet at home in the land of our fathers you did not share our rights; not that we drove you out ourselves, but you were banished by the compulsion that lay upon you to find your livelihood for yourselves. Now from this day forward, with heaven’s help, it shall be my care to provide it for you; and now, if so you will, you have it in your power to take the armour that we wear ourselves, face the same perils and win the same honours, if so be you make any glorious deed your own. [16] In former days you were trained, like ourselves, in the use of bow and javelin, and if you were at all inferior to us in skill, that was not to be wondered at; you had not the same leisure for practice as we; but now in this new accoutrement we shall have no pre-eminence at all. Each of us will wear a corslet fitted to his breast and carry a shield on his left arm of the type to which we are all accustomed, and in his right hand a sabre or a battle-axe. With these we shall smite the enemy before us, and need have no fear that we shall miss the mark. [17] How can we differ from one another with these arms? There can be no difference except in daring. And daring you may foster in your hearts as much as we in ours. What greater right have we than you to love victory and follow after her, victory who wins for us and preserves to us all things that are beautiful and good? Why should you, any more than we, be found lacking in that power which takes the goods of weaklings and bestows them on the strong?”
[18] He ended: “Now you have heard all. There lie your weapons; let him who chooses take them up and write his name with the brigadier in the same roll as ours. And if a man prefers to remain a mercenary, let him do so; he carries the arms of a servant.”
[19] Thus spoke Cyrus; and the Persians, every man of them, felt they would be ashamed for the rest of their days, and deservedly, if they drew back now, when they were offered equal honour in return for equal toil. One and all they inscribed their names and took up the new arms.
[20] And now in the interval, before the enemy were actually at hand, but while rumour said they were advancing, Cyrus took on himself a three-fold task: to bring the physical strength of his men to the highest pitch, to teach them tactics, and to rouse their spirit for martial deeds. [21] He asked Cyaxares for a body of assistants whose duty it should be to provide each of his soldiers with all they could possibly need, thus leaving the men themselves free for the art of war. He had learnt, he thought, that success, in whatever sphere, was only to be won by refusing to attempt a multitude of tasks and concentrating the mind on one.
Thus in the military training itself he gave up the practice with bow and javelin, leaving his men to perfect themselves in the use of sabre, shield, and corslet, accustoming them from the very first to the thought that they must close with the enemy, or confess themselves worthless as fellow-combatants; a harsh conclusion for those who knew that they were only protected in order to fight on behalf of their protectors. [22] And further, being convinced that wherever the feeling of emulation can be roused, there the eagerness to excel is greatest, he instituted competitions for everything in which he thought his soldiers should be trained. The private soldier was challenged to prove himself prompt to obey, anxious to work, eager for danger, and yet ever mindful of discipline, an expert in the science of war, an artist in the conduct of his arms, and a lover of honour in all things. The petty officer commanding a squad of five was not only to equal the leading private, he must also do what he could to bring his men to the same perfection; the captain of ten must do the same for his ten, and the company’s captain for the company, while the commander of the whole regiment, himself above reproach, must take the utmost care with the officers under him so that they in their turn should see that their subordinates were perfect in all their duties. [23] For prizes, Cyrus announced that the brigadier in command of the finest regiment should be raised to the rank of general, the captain of the finest company should be made a brigadier, the captain of the finest squad of ten captain of a company, and the captain of the best five a captain of ten, while the best soldiers from the ranks should become captains of five themselves. Every one of these officers had the privilege of being served by those beneath him, and various other honours also, suited to their several grades, while ampler hopes were offered for any nobler exploits. [24] Finally prizes were announced to be won by a regiment or a company or a squad taken as a whole, by those who proved themselves most loyal to their leaders and most zealous in the practice of their duty. These prizes, of course, were such as to be suitable for men taken in the mass.
Such were the orders of the Persian leader, and such the exercises of
the Persian troops. [25] For their quarters, he arranged that a
separate shelter should be assigned to every brigadier, and that it
should be large enough for the whole regiment he commanded; a regiment
consisting of 100 men. Thus they were encamped by regiments, and in
the mere fact of common quarters there was this advantage, Cyrus
thought, for the coming struggle, that the men saw they were all
treated alike, and therefore no one could pretend that he was
slighted, and no one sink to the confession that he was a worse man
than his neighbours when it came to facing the foe. Moreover the life
in common would help the men to know each other, and it is only by
such knowledge, as a rule, that a common conscience is engendered;
those who live apart, unknowing and unknown, seem far more apt for
mischief, like those who skulk in the dark. [26] Cyrus thought the
common life would lead to the happiest results in the discipline of
the regiments. By this system all the officers—brigadiers, company-
captains, captains of the squads—could keep their men in as perfect
order as if they were marching before them in single file. [27] Such
precision in the ranks would do most to guard against disorder and
re-establish order if ever it were broken; just as when timbers and
stones have to be fitted together it is easy enough to put them into place, wherever they chance to lie, provided only that they are marked so as to leave no doubt where each belongs. [28] And finally, he felt, there was the fact that those who live together are the less likely to desert one another; even the wild animals, Cyrus knew, who are reared together suffer terribly from loneliness when they are severed from each other.
[29] There was a further matter, to which he gave much care; he wished no man to take his meal at morning or at night till he had sweated for it. He would lead the men out to hunt, or invent games for them, or if there was work to be done, he would so conduct it that they did not leave it without sweat. He believed this regimen gave them zest for their food, was good for their health, and increased their powers of toil; and the toil itself was a blessed means for making the men more gentle towards each other; just as horses that work together grow gentle, and will stand quietly side by side. Moreover the knowledge of having gone through a common training would increase tenfold the courage with which they met the foe.
[30] Cyrus had his own quarters built to hold all the guests he might think it well to entertain, and, as a rule, he would invite such of the brigadiers as the occasion seemed to call for, but sometimes he would send for the company-captains and the officers in command of the smaller squads, and even the private soldiers were summoned to his board, and from time to time a squad of five, or of ten, or an entire company, or even a whole regiment, or he would give a special invitation by way of honour to any one whom he knew had undertaken some work he had at heart himself. In every case there was no distinction whatever between the meats for himself and for his guests. [31] Further he always insisted that the army servants should share and share alike with the soldiers in everything, for he held that those who did such service for the army were as much to be honoured as heralds or ambassadors. They were bound, he said, to be loyal and intelligent, alive to all a soldier’s needs, active, swift, unhesitating, and withal cool and imperturbable. Nor was that all; he was convinced that they ought also to possess those qualities which are thought to be peculiar to what we call “the better classes,” and yet never despise their work, but feel that everything their commander laid upon them must be fit for them to do.
[C.2] It was the constant aim of Cyrus whenever he and his soldiers messed together, that the talk should be lively and full of grace, and at the same time do the listeners good. Thus one day he brought the conversation round to the following theme:--
“Do you think, gentlemen,” said he, “that our new comrades appear somewhat deficient in certain respects simply because they have not been educated in the same fashion as ourselves? Or will they show themselves our equals in daily life and on the field of battle when the time comes to meet the foe?”
[2] Hystaspas took up the challenge:--“What sort of warriors they will prove I do not pretend to know, but this I do say, in private life some of them are cross-grained fellows enough. Only the other day,” he went on, “Cyaxares sent a present of sacrificial meat to every regiment. There was flesh enough for three courses apiece or more, and the attendant had handed round the first, beginning with myself. So when he came in again, I told him to begin at the other end of the board, and serve the company in that order. [3] But I was greeted by a yell from the centre: one of these men who was sitting there bawled out, ‘Equality indeed! There’s not much of it here, if we who sit in the middle are never served first at all!’ It nettled me that they should fancy themselves treated worse than we, so I called him up at once and made him sit beside me. And I am bound to say he obeyed that order with the most exemplary alacrity. But when the dish came round to us, we found, not unnaturally, since we were the last to be served, that only a few scraps were left. At this my man fell into the deepest dudgeon, and made no attempt to conceal it, muttering to himself, ‘Just like my ill-luck! To be invited here just now and never before!’ [4] I tried to comfort him. ‘Never mind,’ I said, ‘presently the servant will begin again with us, and then you will help yourself first and you can take the biggest piece.’ Just then the third course, and, as it proved, the last, came round, and so the poor fellow took his helping, but as he did so it struck him that the piece he had chosen first was too small, and he put it back, meaning to pick out another. But the carver, thinking he had changed his mind and did not want any more, passed on to the next man before he had time to secure his second slice. [5] At this our friend took his loss so hard that he only made matters worse: his third course was clean gone, and now in his rage and his bad luck he somehow managed to overset the gravy, which was all that remained to him. The captain next to us seeing how matters stood rubbed his hands with glee and went into peals of laughter. And,” said Hystaspas, “I took refuge in a fit of coughing myself, for really I could not have controlled my laughter. There, Cyrus,” said he, “that is a specimen of our new comrades, as nearly as I can draw his portrait.”
[6] The description, as may be guessed, was greeted with shouts of laughter, and then another brigadier took up the word: “Well, Cyrus,” said he, “our friend here has certainly met with an absolute boor: my own experience is somewhat different. You remember the admonitions you gave us when you dismissed the regiments, and how you bade each of us instruct his own men in the lessons we had learnt from you. Well, I, like the rest of us, went off at once and set about instructing one of the companies under me. I posted the captain in front with a fine young fellow behind him, and after them the others in the order I thought best; I took my stand facing them all, and waited, with my eyes fixed on the captain, until I thought the right moment had come, and then I gave the order to advance. [7] And what must my fine fellow do but get in front of the captain and march off ahead of the whole troop. I cried out, ‘You, sir, what are you doing?’ ‘Advancing as you ordered.’ ‘I never ordered you to advance alone,’ I retorted, ‘the order was given to the whole company.’ At which he turned right round and addressed the ranks: ‘Don’t you hear the officer abusing you? The orders are for all to advance!’ Whereupon the rest of them marched right past their captain and up to me. [8] Of course the captain called them back, and they began to grumble and growl: ‘Which of the two are we to obey? One tells us to advance, the other won’t let us move.’
“Well, I had to take the whole matter very quietly and begin again from the beginning, posting the company as they were, and explaining that no one in the rear was to move until the front rank man led off: all they had to do was to follow the man in front. [9] As I was speaking, up came a friend of mine; he was going off to Persia, and had come to ask me for a letter I had written home. So I turned to the captain who happened to know where I had left the letter lying, and bade him fetch it for me. Off he ran, and off ran my young fellow at his heels, breast-plate, battle-axe, and all. The rest of the company thought they were bound to follow suit, joined in the race, and brought my letter back in style. That is how my company, you see, carries out your instructions to the full.”
[10] He paused, and the listeners laughed to their hearts’ content, as well as they might, over the triumphant entry of the letter under its armed escort. Then Cyrus spoke:
“Now heaven be praised! A fine set they are, these new friends of ours, a most rare race! So grateful are they for any little act of courtesy, you may win a hundred hearts by a dish of meat! And so docile, some of them must needs obey an order before they have understood it! For my part I can only pray to be blest with an army like them all.”
[11] Thus he joined in the mirth, but he turned the laughter to the praise of his new recruits.
Then one of the company, a brigadier called Aglatadas, a somewhat sour-tempered man, turned to him and said:
“Cyrus, do you really think the tales they tell are true?”
“Certainly,” he answered, “why should they say what is false?”
“Why,” repeated the other, “simply to raise a laugh, and make a brag like the impostors that they are.” [12] But Cyrus cut him short, “Hush! hush! You must not use such ugly names. Let me tell you what an impostor is. He is a man who claims to be wealthier or braver than he is in fact, and who undertakes what he can never carry out, and all this for the sake of gain. But he who contrives mirth for his friends, not for his own profit, or his hearers’ loss, or to injure any man, surely, if we must needs give him a name, we ought to call him a man of taste and breeding and a messenger of wit.”
[13] Such was the defence of Cyrus in behalf of the merrymakers. And the officer who had begun the jest turned to Aglatadas and said:
“Just think, my dear sir, if we had tried to make you weep! What fault you would have found with us! Suppose we had been like the ballad-singers and story-tellers who put in lamentable tales in the hope of reducing their audience to tears! What would you have said about us then? Why, even now, when you know we only wish to amuse you, not to make you suffer, you must needs hold us up to shame.”
[14] “And is not the shame justified?” Aglatadas replied. “The man who sets himself to make his fellows laugh does far less for them than he who makes them weep. If you will but think, you will admit that what I say is true. It is through tears our fathers teach self-control unto their sons, and our tutors sound learning to their scholars, and the laws themselves lead the grown man to righteousness by putting him to sit in the place of penitence. But your mirth-makers, can you say they benefit the body or edify the soul? Can smiles make a man a better master or a better citizen? Can he learn economy or statesmanship from a grin?”
[15] But Hystaspas answered back:
“Take my advice, Aglatadas, pluck up heart and spend this precious gift of yours on your enemies: make them sit in the seat of the sorrowful, and fling away on us, your friends, that vile and worthless laughter. You must have an ample store of it in reserve: it cannot be said you have squandered it on yourself, or ever wasted a smile on friend or foreigner if you could help it. So you have no excuse to be niggardly now, and cannot refuse us a smile.”
“I see,” said Aglatadas, “you are trying to get a laugh out of me, are you not?”
But the brigadier interposed, “Then he is a fool for his pains, my friend: one might strike fire out of you, perhaps, but not a laugh, not a laugh.”
[16] At this sally all the others shouted with glee, and even Aglatadas could not help himself: he smiled.
And Cyrus, seeing the sombre face light up said:
“Brigadier, you are very wrong to corrupt so virtuous a man, luring him to laughter, and that too when he is the sworn foe of gaiety.”
So they talked and jested. [17] And then Chrysantas began on another theme.
[18] “Cyrus,” he said, “and gentlemen all, I cannot help seeing that within our ranks are men of every kind, some better and some worse, and yet if anything is won every man will claim an equal share. Now to my mind nothing is more unfair than that the base man and the good should be held of equal account.”
“Perhaps it would be best, gentlemen,” said Cyrus in answer, “to bring the matter before the army in council and put it to them, whether, if God grant us success, we should let all share and share alike, or distribute the rewards and honours in proportion to the deserts of each.”
[19] “But why,” asked Chrysantas, “why discuss the point? Why not simply issue a general order that you intend to do this? Was not that enough in the case of the competitions?”
“Doubtless,” Cyrus answered, “but this case is different. The troops, I take it, will feel that all they win by their services on the campaign should belong to them in common: but they hold that the actual command of the expedition was mine by right even before we left home, so that I was fully entitled, on their view, to appoint umpires and judges at my own will.”
[20] “And do you really expect,” asked Chrysantas, “that the mass of the army will pass a resolution giving up the right of all to an equal share in order that the best men should receive the most?”
“Yes, I do,” said Cyrus, “partly because we shall be there to argue for that course, but chiefly because it would seem too base to deny that he who works the hardest and does most for the common good deserves the highest recompense. Even the worst of men must admit that the brave should gain the most.”
[21] It was, however, as much for the sake of the Peers themselves as for any other reason that Cyrus wished the resolution to be passed. They would prove all the better men, he thought, if they too were to be judged by their deeds and rewarded accordingly. And this was the right moment, he felt, to raise the question and put it to the vote, now when the Peers were disposed to resent being put on a level with the common people. In the end it was agreed by all the company that the question should be raised, and that every one who claimed to call himself a man was bound to argue in its favour.
[22] And on that one of the brigadiers smiled to himself and said: “I know at least one son of the soil who will be ready to agree that the principle of share and share alike should not be followed everywhere.”
“And who is he?” another asked.
“Well,” said the first, “he is a member of our quarters, I can tell you that, and he is always hunting after the lion’s share of every single thing.”
“What? Of everything?” said a third. “Of work as well?” “Oh, no!” said the first, “you have caught me there. I was wrong to say so much, I must confess. When it comes to work, I must admit, he is quite ready to go short: he will give up his own share of that, without a murmur, to any man whatever.”
[23] “For my part, gentlemen,” said Cyrus, “I hold that all such idlers ought to be turned out of the army, that is, if we are ever to cultivate obedience and energy in our men. The bulk of our soldiers, I take it, are of the type to follow a given lead: they will seek after nobleness and valour if their leaders are valiant and noble, but after baseness if these are base. [24] And we know that only too often the worthless will find more friends than the good. Vice, passing lightly along her path of pleasure, wins the hearts of thousands with her gifts; but Virtue, toiling up the steep ascent, has little skill to snare the souls of men and draw them after her, when all the while their comrades are calling to them on the easy downward way. [25] It is true there are degrees, and where the evil springs only from sloth and lethargy, I look on the creatures as mere drones, only injuring the hive by what they cost: but there are others, backward in toil and forward in greed, and these are the captains in villainy: for not seldom can they show that rascality has its advantages. Such as they must be removed, cut out from among us, root and branch. [26] And I would not have you fill their places from our fellow-citizens alone, but, just as you choose your horses from the best stocks, wherever you find them, not limiting yourselves to the national breed, so you have all mankind before you, and you should choose those, and those only, who will increase your power and add to your honour. Let me clinch my argument by examples: no chariot can travel fast if the horses in the team are slow, or run straight if they will not be ruled; no house can stand firm if the household is evil: better empty walls than traitors who will bring it to the ground.
[27] “And be sure, my friends,” he added, “the removal of the bad means a benefit beyond the sheer relief that they are taken away and will trouble us no more: those who are left and were ripe for contagion are purified, and those who were worthy will cleave to virtue all the closer when they see the dishonour that falls on wickedness.”
[28] So Cyrus spoke, and his words won the praise of all his friends, and they set themselves to do as he advised.
But after that Cyrus began to jest again. His eye fell on a certain captain who had chosen for his comrade at the feast a great hairy lad, a veritable monster of ugliness, and Cyrus called to the captain by name: “How now, Sambulas? Have you adopted the Hellenic fashion too? And will you roam the world together, you and the lad who sits beside you, because there is none so fair as he?” “By heaven,” answered Sambulas, “you are not far wrong. It is bliss to me to feast my eyes upon him.” [29] At that all the guests turned and looked on the young man’s face, but when they saw how ugly it was, they could not help laughing outright. “Heavens, Sambulas, tell us the valiant deed that knit your souls together! How has he drawn you to himself?” [30] “Listen then,” he answered, “and I will tell you the whole truth. Every time I call him, morning, noon, or night, he comes to me; never yet has he excused himself, never been too busy to attend; and he comes at a run, he does not walk. Whatever I have bidden him do, he has always done it, and at the top of his speed. He has made all the petty captains under him the very models of industry; he shows them, not by word but deed, what they ought to be.” [31] “And so,” said another, “for all these virtues you give him, I take it, the kiss of kinship?” But the ugly lad broke out: “Not he! He has no great love for work. And to kiss me, if it came to that, would mean more effort than all his exercises.”
[C.3] So the hours passed in the general’s tent, from grave to gay, until at last the third libation was poured out, and the company bent in prayer to the gods—“Grant us all that is good”—and so broke up, and went away to sleep.
But the next day Cyrus assembled the soldiers in full conclave, and spoke to them: [2] “My men,” he said, “my friends, the day of struggle is at hand, and the enemy are near. The prizes of victory, if victory is to be ours—and we must believe it will be ours, we must make it ours—the prizes of victory will be nothing short of the enemy himself and all that he possesses. And if the victory should be his, then, in like manner, all the goods of the vanquished must lie at the victor’s feet. [3] Therefore I would have you take this to your hearts: wherever those who have joined together for war remember that unless each and every one of them play his part with zeal nothing good can follow; there we may look for glorious success. For there nothing that ought to be done will be left undone. But if each man thinks ‘My neighbour will toil and fight, even though my own heart should fail and my own arm fall slack,’ then, believe me, disaster is at the door for each and all alike, and no man shall escape. [4] Such is the ordinance of God: those who will not work out their own salvation he gives into the hands of other men to bear rule over them. And now I call on any man here,” he added, “to stand up and say whether he believes that virtue will best be nourished among us if he who bears the greatest toil and takes the heaviest risk shall receive the highest honours. Or whether we should hold that cowardice makes no difference in the end, seeing that we all must share alike?”
[5] Thereupon Chrysantas of the Peers rose up. He was a man of understanding, but his bodily presence was weak. And now he spoke thus:
“I do not imagine, Cyrus, that you put this question with any belief that cowards ought really to receive the same share as the brave. No, you wished to make trial of us and see whether any man would dare to claim an equal part in all that his fellows win by their nobleness, though he never struck a single valiant stroke himself. [6] I myself,” he continued, “am neither fleet of foot nor stout of limb, and for aught I can do with my body, I perceive that on the day of trial neither the first place nor the second can be mine, no, nor yet the hundredth, nor even, it may be, the thousandth. But this I know right well, that if our mighty men put forth all their strength, I too shall receive such portion of our blessings as I may deserve. But if the cowards sit at ease and the good and brave are out of heart, then I fear that I shall get a portion, a larger than I care to think, of something that is no blessing but a curse.”
[7] And so spoke Chrysantas, and then Pheraulas stood up. He was a man of the people, but well known to Cyrus in the old days at home and well-beloved by him: no mean figure to look at, and in soul like a man of noble birth. Now he spoke as follows:
[8] “Cyrus, friends, and Persians, I hold to the belief that on this day we all start equal in that race where valour is the goal. I speak of what I see: we are trained on the same fare; we are held worthy of the same comradeship; we contend for the same rewards. All of us alike are told to obey our leaders, and he who obeys most frankly never fails to meet with honour at the hands of Cyrus. Valour is no longer the privilege of one class alone: it has become the fairest prize that can fall to the lot of any man. [9] And to-day a battle is before us where no man need teach us how to fight: we have the trick of it by nature, as a bull knows how to use his horns, or a horse his hoofs, or a dog his teeth, or a wild boar his tusks. The animals know well enough,” he added, “when and where to guard themselves: they need no master to tell them that. [10] I myself, when I was a little lad, I knew by instinct how to shield myself from the blow I saw descending: if I had nothing else, I had my two fists, and used them with all my force against my foe: no one taught me how to do it, on the contrary they beat me if they saw me clench my fists. And a knife, I remember, I never could resist: I clutched the thing whenever I caught sight of it: not a soul showed me how to hold it, only nature herself, I do aver. I did it, not because I was taught to do it, but in spite of being forbidden, like many another thing to which nature drove me, in spite of my father and mother both. Yes, and I was never tired of hacking and hewing with my knife whenever I got the chance: it did not seem merely natural, like walking or running, it was positive joy. [11] Well, to-day we are to fight in this same simple fashion: energy, rather than skill, is called for, and glorious it will be to match ourselves against our friends, the Peers of Persia. And let us remember that the same prizes are offered to us all, but the stakes differ: our friends give up a life of honour, the sweetest life there can be, but we escape from years of toil and ignominy, and there can be no life worse than that. [12] And what fires me most of all, my friends, and sends me into the lists most gladly, is the thought that Cyrus will be our judge: one who will give no partial verdict. I call the gods to witness when I say that he loves a valiant man as he loves his own soul: I have seen him give such an one more than he ever keeps for himself. [13] And now,” he added, “I know that our friends here pride themselves upon their breeding and what it has done for them. They have been brought up to endure hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, and yet they are aware that we too have been trained in the self-same school and by a better master than they: we were taught by Necessity, and there is no teacher so good, and none so strict. [14] How did our friends here learn their endurance? By bearing arms, weapons of war, tools that the wit of the whole human race has made as light as well could be: but Necessity drove us, my fellows and myself, to stagger under burdens so heavy that to-day, if I may speak for myself, these weapons of mine seem rather wings to lift me than weights to bear. [15] I for one am ready, Cyrus, to enter the lists, and, however I prove, I will ask from you no more than I deserve: I would have you believe this. And you,” he added, turning to his fellows, “you, men of the people, I would have you plunge into the battle and match yourselves with these gentlemen-warriors: the fine fellows must meet us now, for this is the people’s day.”
[16] That is what Pheraulas said, and many rose to follow him and support his views. And it was resolved that each man should be honoured according to his deserts and that Cyrus should be the judge. So the matter ended, and all was well.
[17] Now Cyrus gave a banquet and a certain brigadier was the chief guest, and his regiment with him. Cyrus had marked the officer one day when he was drilling his men; he had drawn up the ranks in two divisions, opposite each other, ready for the charge. They were all wearing corslets and carrying light shields, but half were equipped with stout staves of fennel, and half were ordered to snatch up clods of earth and do what they could with these. [18] When all were ready, the officer gave the signal and the artillery began, not without effect: the missiles fell fast on shields and corslets, on thighs and greaves. But when they came to close quarters the men of the staves had their turn: they struck at thighs and hands and legs, or, if the adversary stooped and twisted, they belaboured back and shoulders, till they put the foe to utter rout, delivering their blows with shouts of laughter and the glee of boys. Then there was an exchange of weapons, and the other side had their revenge: they took the staves in their turn, and once more the staff triumphed over the clod. [19] Cyrus was full of admiration, partly at the inventiveness of the commander, partly at the discipline of the men; it was good to see the active exercise, and the gaiety of heart, and good to know that the upshot of the battle favoured those who fought in the Persian style. In every way he was pleased, and then and there he bade them all to dinner. But at the feast many of the guests wore bandages, some on their hands, others on their legs, and Cyrus saw it and asked what had befallen them. They told him they had been bruised by the clods. [20] “At close quarters?” said he, “or at long range?” “At long range,” they answered, and all the club-bearers agreed that when it came to close quarters, they had the finest sport. But here those who had been carbonaded by that weapon broke in and protested loudly that it was anything but sport to be clubbed at short range, and in proof thereof they showed the weals on hand and neck and face. Thus they laughed at one another as soldiers will; and on the next day the whole plain was studded with combats of this type, and whenever the army had nothing more serious in hand, this sport was their delight.
[21] Another day Cyrus noticed a brigadier who was marching his regiment up from the river back to their quarters. They were advancing in single file on his left, and at the proper moment he ordered the second company to wheel round and draw up to the front alongside the first, and then the third, and then the fourth; and when the company-captains were all abreast, he passed the word along, “Companies in twos,” and the captains-of-ten came into line; and then at the right moment he gave the order, “Companies in fours,” and the captains of five wheeled round and came abreast, and when they reached the tent doors he called a halt, made them fall into single file once more, and marched the first company in first, and then the second at its heels, and the third and fourth behind them, and as he introduced them, he seated them at the table, keeping the order of their entry. What Cyrus commended was the quiet method of instruction and the care the officer showed, and it was for that he invited him and all his regiment to dinner in the royal tent.
[22] Now it chanced that another brigadier was among the guests, and he spoke up and said to Cyrus: “But will you never ask my men to dinner too? Day after day, morning and evening, whenever we come in for a meal we do just the same as they, and when the meal is over the hindmost man of the last company leads out his men with their fighting-order reversed, and the next company follows, led by their hindmost man, and then the third, and then the fourth: so that all of them, if they have to retire before an enemy, will know how to fall back in good order. And as soon as we are drawn up on the parade-ground we set off marching east, and I lead off with all my divisions behind me, in their regular order, waiting for my word. By-and-by we march west, and then the hindmost man of the last division leads the way, but they must still look to me for commands, though I am marching last: and thus they learn to obey with equal promptitude whether I am at the head or in the rear.”
[23] “Do you mean to tell me,” said Cyrus, “that this is a regular rule of yours?”
“Truly yes,” he answered, “as regular as our meals, heaven help us!”
“Then I hereby invite you all to dinner, and for three good reasons; you practice your drill in both forms, you do this morning and evening both, and by your marching and counter-marching you train your bodies and benefit your souls. And since you do it all twice over every day, it is only fair to give you dinner twice.”
[24] “Not twice in one day, I beg you!” said the officer, “unless you can furnish us with a second stomach apiece.”
And so the conversation ended for the time. But the next day Cyrus was as good as his word. He had all the regiment to dinner; and the day after he invited them again: and when the other regiments knew of it they fell to doing as they did.
[C.4] Now it chanced one day as Cyrus was holding a review, a messenger came from Cyaxares to tell him that an embassy from India had just arrived, and to bid him return with all despatch.
“And I bring with me,” said the messenger, “a suit of splendid apparel sent from Cyaxares himself: my lord wishes you to appear in all possible splendour, for the Indians will be there to see you.”
[2] At that Cyrus commanded the brigadier of the first regiment to draw up to the front with his men behind him on the left in single file, and to pass the order on to the second, and so throughout the army. Officers and men were quick to obey; so that in a trice the whole force on the field was drawn up, one hundred deep and three hundred abreast, with their officers at the head. [3] When they were in position Cyrus bade them follow his lead and off they went at a good round pace. However the road leading to the royal quarters was too narrow to let them pass with so wide a front and Cyrus sent word along the line that the first detachment, one thousand strong, should follow as they were, and then the second, and so on to the last, and as he gave the command he led on without a pause and all the detachments followed in due order, one behind the other. [4] But to prevent mistakes he sent two gallopers up to the entrance with orders to explain what should be done in case the men were at a loss. And when they reached the gates, Cyrus told the leading brigadier to draw up his regiment round the palace, twelve deep, the front rank facing the building, and this command he was to pass on to the second, and the second to the third, and so on till the last. [5] And while they saw to this he went in to Cyaxares himself, wearing his simple Persian dress without a trace of pomp. Cyaxares was well pleased at his celerity, but troubled by the plainness of his attire, and said to him, “What is the meaning of this, Cyrus? How could you show yourself in this guise to the Indians? I wished you to appear in splendour: it would have done me honour for my sister’s son to be seen in great magnificence.”
[6] But Cyrus made answer: “Should I have done you more honour if I had put on a purple robe, and bracelets for my arms, and a necklace about my neck, and so presented myself at your call after long delay? Or as now, when to show you respect I obey you with this despatch and bring you so large and fine a force, although I wear no ornament but the dust and sweat of speed, and make no display unless it be to show you these men who are as obedient to you as I am myself.” Such were the words of Cyrus, and Cyaxares felt that they were just, and so sent for the Indian ambassadors forthwith. [7] And when they entered they gave this message:--The king of the Indians bade them ask what was the cause of strife between the Assyrians and the Medes, “And when we have heard you,” they said, “our king bids us betake ourselves to the Assyrian and put the same question to him, and in the end we are to tell you both that the king of the Indians, when he has enquired into the justice of the case, will uphold the cause of him who has been wronged.”
[8] To this Cyaxares replied:
“Then take from me this answer: we do the Assyrian no wrong nor any injustice whatsoever. And now go and make inquiry of him, if you are so minded, and see what answer he will give.”
Then Cyrus, who was standing by, asked Cyaxares, “May I too say what is in my mind?” “Say on,” answered Cyaxares. Then Cyrus turned to the ambassadors: “Tell your master,” he said, “unless Cyaxares is otherwise minded, that we are ready to do this: if the Assyrian lays any injustice to our charge we choose the king of the Indians himself to be our judge, and he shall decide between us.”
[9] With that the embassy departed. And when they had gone out Cyrus turned to his uncle and began, “Cyaxares, when I came to you I had scant wealth of my own and of the little I brought with me only a fragment is left. I have spent it all on my soldiers. You may wonder at this,” he added, “when it is you who have supported them, but, believe me, the money has not been wasted: it has all been spent on gifts and rewards to the soldiers who deserved it. [10] And I am sure,” he added, “if we require good workers and good comrades in any task whatever, it is better and pleasanter to encourage them by kind speeches and kindly acts than to drive them by pains and penalties. And if it is for war that we need such trusty helpers, we can only win the men we want by every charm of word and grace of deed. For our true ally must be a friend and not a foe, one who can never envy the prosperity of his leader nor betray him in the day of disaster. [11] Such is my conviction, and such being so, I do not hide from myself the need of money. But to look to you for everything, when I know that you spend so much already, would be monstrous in my eyes. I only ask that we should take counsel together so as to prevent the failure of your funds. I am well aware that if you won great wealth, I should be able to help myself at need, especially if I used it for your own advantage. [12] Now I think you told me the other day that the king of Armenia has begun to despise you, because he hears we have an enemy, and therefore he will neither send you troops nor pay the tribute which is due.” [13] “Yes,” answered Cyaxares, “such are his tricks. And I cannot decide whether to march on him at once and try to subdue him by force, or let the matter be for the time, for fear of adding to the enemies we have.” Then Cyrus asked, “Are his dwellings strongly fortified, or could they be attacked?” And Cyaxares answered, “The actual fortifications are not very strong: I took good care of that. But he has the hill-country to which he can retire, and there for the moment lie secure, knowing that he himself is safely out of reach, with everything that he can convoy thither; unless we are prepared to carry on a siege, as my father actually did.”
[14] Thereupon Cyrus said, “Now if you are willing to send me with a moderate force of cavalry—I will not ask for many men—I believe, heaven helping me, I could compel him to send the troops and the tribute. And I even hope that in the future he may become a firmer friend that he is now.” [15] And Cyaxares said: “I think myself they are more likely to listen to you than to me. I have been told that his sons were your companions in the chase when you were lads, and possibly old habits will return and they will come over to you. Once they were in our power, everything could be done as we desire.” “Then,” said Cyrus, “this plan of ours had better be kept secret, had it not?” “No doubt,” answered Cyaxares. “In that way they would be more likely to fall into our hands, and if we attack them they would be taken unprepared.”
[16] “Listen then,” said Cyrus, “and see what you think of this. I have often hunted the marches between your country and Armenia with all my men, and sometimes I have taken horsemen with me from our comrades here.” “I see,” said Cyaxares, “and if you chose to do the like again it would seem only natural, but if your force was obviously larger than usual, suspicion would arise at once.” [17] “But it is possible,” said Cyrus, “to frame a pretext which would find credit with us and with them too, if any rumour reached them. We might give out that I intend to hold a splendid hunt and I might ask you openly for a troop of horse.”
“Admirable!” said Cyaxares. “And I shall refuse to give you more than a certain number, my reason being that I wish to visit the outposts on the Syrian side. And as a matter of fact,” he added, “I do wish to see them and put them in as strong a state as possible. Then, as soon as you have started with your men, and marched, let us say, for a couple of days, I could send you a good round number of horse and foot from my own detachment. And when you have them at your back, you could advance at once, and I will follow with the rest of my men as near you as I may, close enough to appear in time of need.”
[18] Accordingly, Cyaxares proceeded to muster horse and foot for his own march, and sent provision-waggons forward to meet him on the road. Meanwhile Cyrus offered sacrifice for the success of his expedition and found an opportunity to ask Cyaxares for a troop of his junior cavalry. But Cyaxares would only spare a few, though many wished to go. Soon afterwards he started for the outposts himself with all his horse and foot, and then Cyrus found the omens favourable for his enterprise, and led his soldiers out as though he meant to hunt. [19] He was scarcely on his way when a hare started up at their feet, and an eagle, flying on the right, saw the creature as it fled, swooped down and struck it, bore it aloft in its talons to a cliff hard by, and did its will upon it there. The omen pleased Cyrus well, and he bowed in worship to Zeus the King, and said to his company, “This shall be a right noble hunt, my friends, if God so will.”
[20] When he came to the borders he began the hunt in his usual way, the mass of horse and foot going on ahead in rows like reapers, beating out the game, with picked men posted at intervals to receive the animals and give them chase. And thus they took great numbers of boars and stags and antelopes and wild-asses: even to this day wild-asses are plentiful in those parts. [21] But when the chase was over, Cyrus had touched the frontier of the Armenian land, and there he made the evening meal. The next day he hunted till he reached the mountains which were his goal. And there he halted again and made the evening meal. At this point he knew that the army from Cyaxares was advancing, and he sent secretly to them and bade them keep about eight miles off, and take their evening meal where they were, since that would make for secrecy. And when their meal was over he told them to send their officers to him, and after supper he called his own brigadiers together and addressed them thus:
[22] “My friends, in old days the Armenian was a faithful ally and subject of Cyaxares, but now when he sees an enemy against us, he assumes contempt: he neither sends the troops nor pays the tribute. He is the game we have come to catch, if catch we can. And this, I think, is the way. You, Chrysantas,” said he, “will sleep for a few hours, and then take half the Persians with you, make for the hill country, and seize the heights which we hear are his places of refuge when alarmed. I will give you guides. [23] The hills, they tell us, are covered with trees and scrub, so that we may hope you will escape unseen: still you might send a handful of scouts ahead of you, disguised as a band of robbers. If they should come across any Armenians they can either make them prisoners and prevent them from spreading the news, or at least scare them out of the way, so that they will not realise the whole of your force, and only take measures against a pack of thieves. [24] That is your task, Chrysantas, and now for mine. At break of day I shall take half the foot and all the cavalry and march along the level straight to the king’s residence. If he resists, we must fight, if he retreats along the plain we must run him down, if he makes for the mountains, why then,” said Cyrus, “it will be your business to see that none of your visitors escape. [25] Think of it as a hunt: we down below are the beaters rounding up the game, and you are the men at the nets: only bear in mind that the earths must all be stopped before the game is up, and the men at the traps must be hidden, or they will turn back the flying quarry. [26] One last word, Chrysantas: you must not behave now as I have known you do in your passion for the chase: you must not sit up the whole night long without a wink of sleep, you must let all your men have the modicum of rest that they cannot do without. [27] Nor must you—just because you scour the hills in the hunt without a guide, following the lead of the quarry and that alone, checking and changing course wherever it leads you—you must not now plunge into the wildest paths: you must tell your guides to take you by the easiest road unless it is much the longest. [28] In war, they say, the easiest way is the quickest. And once more, because you can race up a mountain yourself you are not to lead on your men at the double; suit your pace to the strength of all. [29] Indeed, it were no bad thing if some of your best and bravest were to fall behind here and there and cheer the laggards on: and it would quicken the pace of all, when the column has gone ahead, to see them racing back to their places past the marching files.”
[30] Chrysantas listened, and his heart beat high at the trust reposed in him. He took the guides, and gave the necessary orders for those who were to march with him, and then he lay down to rest. And when all his men had had the sleep he thought sufficient he set out for the hills. [31] Day dawned, and Cyrus sent a messenger to the Armenian with these words: “Cyrus bids you see to it that you bring your tribute and troops without delay.” “And if he asks you where Cyrus is, tell the truth and say I am on the frontier. And if he asks whether I am advancing myself, tell the truth again and say that you do not know. And if he enquires how many we are, bid him send some one with you to find out.”
[32] Having so charged the messenger he sent him on forthwith, holding this to be more courteous than to attack without warning. Then he drew up his troops himself in the order best suited for marching, and, if necessary, for fighting, and so set forth. The soldiers had orders that not a soul was to be wronged, and if they met any Armenians they were to bid them to have no fear, but open a market wherever they wished, and sell meat or drink as they chose.

NOTES
C1.5. Is this historical, i.e. /quasi/-historical? Are any of the names real or all invented to give verisimilitude?
C1.13. Any touch of the sycophancy of the future in it? As in modern Germany, a touch of that involved in the system of royalty.
C1.15. The raw material is good, but not worked up. Important for the conception of Hellenic democracy (cf. 17). Daring, courage, virtue— there is no monopoly of these things.
C1.21. (Cf. below VIII. C2.5) Worthy of Adam Smith. Xenophon has bump of economy strongly developed; he resembles J. P.[*] in that respect. The economic methodism, the mosaic interbedding, the architectonic structure of it all, a part and parcel of Xenophon’s genius. Was Alexander’s army a highly-organised, spiritually and materially built-up, vitalised machine of this sort? What light does Arrian, that younger Xenophon, throw upon it?
[* “J. P.” = John Percival, Bishop of Hereford (the writer of the Introduction to this volume), at the time the notes were written Headmaster of Clifton College.—F.M.S.]
C1.25. Camaraderie encouraged and developed through a sense of equality and fraternity, the life /au grand jour/ in common, producing a common consciousness (cf. Comte and J. P.; Epaminondas and the Sacred Band at Thebes).
C2. Contrast of subject enlivening the style—light concrete as a foil to the last drier abstract detail. Humorous also, with a dramatising and development of the characters, Shakespeare-wise—Hystaspas, and the rest. Aglatadas, a type of educator we know well (cf. Eccles. “Cocker not a child”), grim, dry person with no sense of humour.
Xenophon’s own humour shines out.
C2.12. The term given to the two stories {eis tagathon}. T. E. B.[*] could do it, or Socrates, without dullness or seeming to preach. There is a crispness in the voice which is anti-pedantic.
[* “T. E. B.” = T. E. Brown, the Manx poet, at that time a colleague of Mr. Dakyns at Clifton.—F.M.S.]
C2.19. Cyrus recognises the ideal principle of co-operation and collective ownership. Xenophon, Economist, ahead of the moderns.
C2.26. Xenophon’s breadth of view: virtue is not confined to citizens, but we have the pick of the whole world. Cosmopolitan Hellenism.
C3.4. Xenophon’s theory of rule (cf. Ruskin): a right, inalienable, God-bestowed, of the virtuous; subjection an inevitable consequence on lack of self-discipline.
C3.5, init. Is this a carelessness, or what? Chrysantas has been introduced before, but here he is described as if stepping on the stage for the first time. The sentence itself suggests the mould for the New Testament narrative.
C3.7. Pheraulas, and of him we shall hear much. A sharp contrast to Chrysantas, the Peer, with his pointed plebeian similes. His speech important again for Xenophon’s sympathetic knowledge of children and also of the hard-working poor.
C3.10. How true to nature this. Cannot one see the little boy doubling his little fists, a knife in his pocket, possibly a ball of string?
C3.11. Is there a touch of flunkeyism in this? Not so; it is the clear-sighted scientific Greek, that is all.
C3.14. Very Scotch all this.
C3.21-22. /Locus classicus/ for regimental marching tactics. Qy.: Are any of these tactical improvements by Xenophon himself?
[C3.21. The “regiment” of a hundred men was divided into four “companies” of twenty-five, to each of these one company-captain and twenty-four men, viz.: twenty privates, two captains-of-ten, and two captains-of-five, the two captains of ten having also especial charge over the two remaining squads of five. A condensed diagram may make the little manuvre clear. An X represents one group of five plus its captain, either a captain-of-five or a captain-of-ten. A C represents a company-captain.
First position—One long column. All in single file.
Second position—Four columns. Single file for each company.
Third position—Eight columns. Double files.
Fourth position—Sixteen columns. Quadruple files.
C C C C C C C
X X X -> X X X X -> X X X X X X X X
X -> X X X X X X
X X X
X X X
C
X
X
X
X]

C4.15. Cyaxares means to kidnap them, doesn’t he? That is not quite Cyrus’ method. If so, it contrasts Cyaxares and Cyrus again.
C4.17. Cyaxares the old fox improves upon the plan.
C4.30, init. It is these touches which give the thrilling subjective feeling to the writings of Xenophon, or, rather, thus his nerves tingle, just as the external touches give a sense of objective health (e.g. above, C1.29).
C4.32. All this is entirely modern, never yet excelled, I imagine.
0

#2 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:52 PM

BOOK III of VIII

[C.1] Thus Cyrus made his preparations. But the Armenian, when he heard what the messenger had to say, was terror-stricken: he knew the wrong he had done in neglecting the tribute and withholding the troops, and, above all, he was afraid it would be discovered that he was beginning to put his palace in a fit state for defence. [2] Therefore, with much trepidation, he began to collect his own forces, and at the same time he sent his younger son Sabaris into the hills with the women, his own wife, and the wife of his elder son and his daughters, taking the best of their ornaments and furniture with them and an escort to be their guide. Meanwhile he despatched a party to discover what Cyrus was doing, and organised all the Armenian contingents as they came in. But it was not long before other messengers arrived, saying that Cyrus himself was actually at hand. [3] Then his courage forsook him; he dared not come to blows and he withdrew. As soon as the recruits saw this they took to their heels, each man bent on getting his own property safely out of the way. When Cyrus saw the plains full of them, racing and riding everywhere, he sent out messengers privately to explain that he had no quarrel with any who stayed quietly in their homes, but if he caught a man in flight, he warned them he would treat him as an enemy. Thus the greater part were persuaded to remain, though there were some who retreated with the king.
[4] But when the escort with the women came on the Persians in the mountain, they fled with cries of terror, and many of them were taken prisoners. In the end the young prince himself was captured, and the wife of the king, and his daughters, and his daughter-in-law, and all the goods they had with them. And when the king learnt what had happened, scarcely knowing where to turn, he fled to the summit of a certain hill. [5] Cyrus, when he saw it, surrounded the spot with his troops and sent word to Chrysantas, bidding him leave a force to guard the mountains and come down to him. So the mass of the army was collected under Cyrus, and then he sent a herald to the king with this enquiry:
“Son of Armenia, will you wait here and fight with hunger and thirst, or will you come down into the plain and fight it out with us?” But the Armenian answered that he wished to fight with neither. [6] Cyrus sent again and asked, “Why do you sit there, then, and refuse to come down?” “Because I know not what to do,” answered the other. “It is simple enough,” said Cyrus, “come down and take your trial.” “And who shall try me?” asked the king. “He,” answered Cyrus, “to whom God has given the power to treat you as he lists, without a trial at all.”
Thereupon the Armenian came down, yielding to necessity, and Cyrus took him and all that he had and placed him in the centre of the camp, for all his forces were now at hand.
[7] Meanwhile Tigranes, the elder son of the king, was on his way home from a far country. In old days he had hunted with Cyrus and been his friend, and now, when he heard what had happened, he came forward just as he was; but when he saw his father and his mother, his brother and sisters, and his own wife all held as prisoners, he could not keep back the tears. [8] But Cyrus gave him no sign of friendship or courtesy, and only said, “You have come in time, you may be present now to hear your father tried.” With that he summoned the leaders of the Persians and the Medes, and any Armenian of rank and dignity who was there, nor would he send away the women as they sat in covered carriages, but let them listen too. [9] When all was ready he began:
“Son of Armenia, I would counsel you, in the first place, to speak the truth, so that at least you may stand free from what deserves the utmost hate: beyond all else, be assured, manifest lying checks the sympathy of man and man. Moreover,” said he, “your own sons, your daughters, and your wife are well aware of all that you have done, and so are your own Armenians who are here: if they perceive that you say what is not true, they must surely feel that out of your own lips you condemn yourself to suffer the uttermost penalty when I learn the truth.” “Nay,” answered the king, “ask me whatever you will, and I will answer truly, come what come may.” [10] “Answer then,” said Cyrus, “did you once make war upon Astyages, my mother’s father, and his Medes?” “I did,” he answered. “And were you conquered by him, and did you agree to pay tribute and furnish troops whenever he required, and promise not to fortify your dwellings?” “Even so,” he said. “Why is it, then, that to-day you have neither brought the tribute nor sent the troops, and are building forts?” “I set my heart on liberty: it seemed to me so fair a thing to be free myself and to leave freedom to my sons.” [11] “And fair and good it is,” said Cyrus, “to fight for freedom and choose death rather than slavery, but if a man is worsted in war or enslaved by any other means and then attempts to rid himself of his lord, tell me yourself, would you honour such a man as upright, and a doer of noble deeds, or would you, if you got him in your power, chastise him as a malefactor?” “I would chastise him,” he answered, “since you drive me to the truth.” [12] “Then answer me now, point by point,” said Cyrus. “If you have an officer and he does wrong, do you suffer him to remain in office, or do you set up another in his stead?” “I set up another.” “And if he have great riches, to you leave him all his wealth, or do you make him a beggar?” “I take away from him all that he has.” “And if you found him deserting to your enemies, what would you do?” “I would kill him,” he said: “why should I perish with a lie on my lips rather than speak the truth and die?”
[13] But at this his son rent his garments and dashed the tiara from his brows, and the women lifted up their voices in wailing and tore their cheeks, as though their father was dead already, and they themselves undone. But Cyrus bade them keep silence, and spoke again. “Son of Armenia, we have heard your own judgment in this case, and now tell us, what ought we to do?” But the king sat silent and perplexed, wondering whether he should bid Cyrus put him to death, or act in the teeth of the rule he had laid down for himself. [14] Then his son Tigranes turned to Cyrus and said, “Tell me, Cyrus, since my father sits in doubt, may I give counsel in his place and say what I think best for you?”
Now Cyrus remembered that, in the old hunting days, he had noticed a certain man of wisdom who went about with Tigranes and was much admired by him, and he was curious to know what the youth would say. So he readily agreed and bade him speak his mind.
[15] “In my view, then,” said Tigranes, “if you approve of all that my father has said and done, certainly you ought to do as he did, but if you think he has done wrong, then you must not copy him.”
“But surely,” said Cyrus, “the best way to avoid copying the wrongdoer is to practise what is right?”
“True enough,” answered the prince.
“Then on your own reasoning, I am bound to punish your father, if it is right to punish wrong.”
“But would you wish your vengeance to do you harm instead of good?”
“Nay,” said Cyrus, “for then my vengeance would fall upon myself.”
[16] “Even so,” said Tigranes, “and you will do yourself the greatest harm if you put your own subjects to death just when they are most valuable to you.”
“Can they have any value,” asked Cyrus, “when they are detected doing wrong?”
“Yes,” answered Tigranes, “if that is when they turn to good and learn sobriety. For it is my belief, Cyrus, that without this virtue all others are in vain. What good will you get from a strong man or a brave if he lack sobriety, be he never so good a horseman, never so rich, never so powerful in the state? But with sobriety every friend is a friend in need and every servant a blessing.”
[17] “I take your meaning,” answered Cyrus; “your father, you would have me think, has been changed in this one day from a fool into a wise and sober-minded man?”
“Exactly,” said the prince.
“Then you would call sober-mindedness a condition of our nature, such as pain, not a matter of reason that can be learnt? For certainly, if he who is to be sober-minded must learn wisdom first, he could not be converted from folly in a day.”
[18] “Nay, but, Cyrus,” said the prince, “surely you yourself have known one man at least who out of sheer folly has set himself to fight a stronger man than he, and on the day of defeat his senselessness has been cured. And surely you have known a city ere now that has marshalled her battalions against a rival state, but with defeat she changes suddenly and is willing to obey and not resist?”
[19] “But what defeat,” said Cyrus, “can you find in your father’s case to make you so sure that he has come to a sober mind?”
“A defeat,” answered the young man, “of which he is well aware in the secret chambers of his soul. He set his heart on liberty, and he has found himself a slave as never before: he had designs that needed stealth and speed and force, and not one of them has he been able to carry through. With you he knows that design and fulfilment went hand in hand; when you wished to outwit him, outwit him you did, as though he had been blind and deaf and dazed; when stealth was needed, your stealth was such that the fortresses he thought his own you turned into traps for him; and your speed was such that you were upon him from miles away with all your armament before he found time to muster the forces at his command.”
[20] “So you think,” said Cyrus, “that merely to learn another is stronger than himself is defeat enough to bring a man to his senses?”
“I do,” answered Tigranes, “and far more truly than mere defeat in battle. For he who is conquered by force may fancy that if he trains he can renew the war, and captured cities dream that with the help of allies they will fight again one day, but if we meet with men who are better than ourselves and whom we recognise to be so, we are ready to obey them of our own free will.” [21] “You imagine then,” said Cyrus, “that the bully and the tyrant cannot recognise the man of self-restraint, nor the thief the honest man, nor the liar the truth-speaker, nor the unjust man the upright? Has not your own father lied even now and broken his word with us, although he knew that we had faithfully observed every jot and tittle of the compact Astyages made?” [22] “Ah, but,” replied the prince, “I do not pretend that the bare knowledge alone will bring a man to his senses, it cannot cure him unless he pays the penalty as my father pays it to-day.” “But,” answered Cyrus, “your father has suffered nothing at all so far: although he fears, I know, that the worst suffering may be his.” [23] “Do you suppose then,” asked Tigranes, “that anything can enslave a man more utterly than fear? Do you not know that even the men who are beaten with the iron rod of war, the heaviest rod in all the world, may still be ready to fight again, while the victims of terror cannot be brought to look their conquerors in the face, even when they try to comfort them?” “Then, you maintain,” said Cyrus, “that fear will subdue a man more than suffering?” [24] “Yes,” he answered, “and you of all men know that what I say is true: you know the despondency men feel in dread of banishment, or on the eve of battle facing defeat, or sailing the sea in peril of shipwreck—they cannot touch their food or take their rest because of their alarm: while it may often be that the exiles themselves, the conquered, or the enslaved, can eat and sleep better than men who have not known adversity. [25] Think of those panic-stricken creatures who through fear of capture and death have died before their day, have hurled themselves from cliffs, hanged themselves, or set the knife to their throats; so cruelly can fear, the prince of horrors, bind and subjugate the souls of men. And what, think you, does my father feel at this moment? He, whose fears are not for himself alone, but for us all, for his wife, and for his children.” [26] And Cyrus said, “To-day and at this time, it may be with him as you say: but I still think that the same man may well be insolent in good fortune and cringing in defeat: let such an one go free again, and he will return to his arrogance and trouble us once more.” [27] “I do not deny it, Cyrus,” said the prince. “Our offences are such that you may well mistrust us: but you have it in your power to set garrisons in our land and hold our strong places and take what pledges you think best. And even so,” he added, “you will not find that we fret against our chains, for we shall remember we have only ourselves to blame. Whereas, if you hand over the government to some who have not offended, they may either think that you mistrust them, and thus, although you are their benefactor, you cannot be their friend, or else in your anxiety not to rouse their enmity you may leave no check on their insolence, and in the end you will need to sober them even more than us.” [28] “Nay, but by all the gods,” cried Cyrus, “little joy should I ever take in those who served me from necessity alone. Only if I recognise some touch of friendship or goodwill in the help it is their duty to render, I could find it easier to forgive them all their faults than to accept the full discharge of service paid upon compulsion by those who hate me.”
Then Tigranes answered, “You speak of friendship, but can you ever find elsewhere so great a friendship as you may find with us?” “Surely I can,” he answered, “and with those who have never been my enemies, if I choose to be their benefactor as you would have me yours.” [29] “But to-day, and now, can you find another man in the world whom you could benefit as you can benefit my father? Say you let a man live who has never done you wrong, will he be grateful for the boon? Say he need not lose his children and his wife, will he love you for that more than one who knows he well deserved the loss? Say he may not sit upon the throne of Armenia, will he suffer from that as we shall suffer? And is it not clear that the one who feels the pain of forfeiture the most will be the one most grateful for the granting of the gift? [30] And if you have it at all at heart to leave matters settled here, think for yourself, and see where tranquillity will lie when your back is turned. Will it be with the new dynasty, or with the old familiar house? And if you want as large a force as possible at your command, where will you find a man better fitted to test the muster-roll than the general who has used it time and again? If you need money, who will provide the ways and means better than he who knows and can command all the resources of the country? I warn you as a friend,” he added, “that if you throw us aside you will do yourself more harm than ever my father could have done.”
[31] Such were the pleadings of the prince, and Cyrus, as he listened, was overjoyed, for he felt he would accomplish to the full all he had promised Cyaxares; his own words came back to him, “I hope to make the Armenian a better friend than before.”
Thereupon he turned to the king and said, “Son of Armenia, if I were indeed to hearken unto you and yours in this, tell me, how large an army would you send me and how much money for the war?”
[32] And the king replied, “The simplest answer I can make and the most straightforward is to tell you what my power is, and then you may take the men you choose, and leave the rest to garrison the country. And so with the money: it is only fair that you should know the whole of our wealth, and with that knowledge to guide you, you will take what you like and leave what you like.” [33] And Cyrus said, “Tell me then, and tell me true: how great is your power and your wealth?” Whereupon the Armenian replied: “Our cavalry is 8000 strong and our infantry 40,000; and our wealth,” said he, “if I include the treasures which my father left, amounts in silver to more than 3000 talents.”
[34] And Cyrus, without more ado, said at once, “Of your whole armament you shall give me half, not more, since your neighbours the Chaldaeans are at war with you: but for the tribute, instead of the fifty talents which you paid before, you shall hand over twice as much to Cyaxares because you made default; and you will lend me another hundred for myself, and I hereby promise you, if God be bountiful, I will requite you for the loan with things of higher worth, or I will pay the money back in full, if I can; and if I cannot, you may blame me for want of ability, but not for want of will.” [35] But the Armenian cried, “By all the gods, Cyrus, speak not so, or you will put me out of heart. I beg you to look on all I have as yours, what you leave behind as well as what you take away.”
“So be it then,” answered Cyrus, “and to ransom your wife, how much money would you give?” “All that I have,” said he. “And for your sons?” “For them too, all that I have.” “Good,” answered Cyrus, “but is not that already twice as much as you possess? [36] And you, Tigranes,” said he, “at what price would you redeem your bride?” Now the youth was but newly wedded, and his wife was beyond all things dear to him. “I would give my life,” said he, “to save her from slavery.” [37] “Take her then,” said Cyrus, “she is yours. For I hold that she has never yet been made a prisoner, seeing that her husband never deserted us. And you, son of Armenia,” said he, turning to the king, “you shall take home your wife and children, and pay no ransom for them, so that they shall not feel they come to you from slavery. But now,” he added, “you shall stay and sup with us, and afterwards you shall go wherever you wish.”
And so the Armenians stayed. [38] But when the company broke up after the evening meal, Cyrus asked Tigranes, “Tell me, where is that friend of yours who used to hunt with us, and whom, as it seemed to me, you admired so much?” “Do you not know,” he said, “that my father put him to death?” “And why?” said Cyrus, “what fault did he find in him?” “He thought he corrupted me,” said the youth; “and yet, I tell you, Cyrus, he was so gentle and so brave, so beautiful in soul, that when he came to die, he called me to him and said, ‘Do not be angry with your father, Tigranes, for putting me to death. What he does is not done from malice, but from ignorance; and the sins of ignorance, I hold, are unintentional.’”
[39] And at that Cyrus could not but say: “Poor soul! I grieve for him.” But the king spoke in his own defence: “Remember this, Cyrus, that the man who finds another with his wife kills him not simply because he believes that he has turned the woman to folly, but because he has robbed him of her love. Even so I was jealous of that man who seemed to put himself between my son and me and steal away his reverence.” [40] “May the gods be merciful to us!” said Cyrus, “you did wrong, but your fault was human. And you, Tigranes,” said he, turning to the son, “you must forgive your father.”
And so they talked in all friendliness and kindliness, as befitted that time of reconciliation; and then the father and son mounted their carriages, with their dear ones beside them, and drove away rejoicing.
[41] But when they were home again, they all spoke of Cyrus, one praising his wisdom, another his endurance, a third the gentleness of his nature, and a fourth his stature and his beauty. Then Tigranes turned to his wife and asked, “Did Cyrus seem so beautiful in your eyes?” But she answered, “Ah, my lord, he was not the man I saw.” “Who was it then?” asked Tigranes. “He,” she answered, “who offered his own life to free me from slavery.”
And so they took their delight together, as lovers will, after all their sufferings.
[42] But on the morrow the king of Armenia sent gifts of hospitality to Cyrus and all his army, and bade his own contingent make ready to march on the third day, and himself brought Cyrus twice the sum which he had named. But Cyrus would take no more than he had fixed, and gave the rest back to the king, only asking whether he or his son was to lead the force. And the father answered that it should be as Cyrus chose, but the son said, “I will not leave you, Cyrus, if I must carry the baggage to follow you.” [43] And Cyrus laughed and said, “What will you take to let us tell your wife that you have become a baggage-bearer?” “She will not need to be told,” he answered, “I mean to bring her with me, and she can see for herself all that her husband does.” “Then it is high time,” said Cyrus, “that you got your own baggage together now.” “We will come,” said he, “be sure of that, in good time, with whatever baggage my father gives.”
So the soldiers were the guests of Armenia for the day, and rested for that night.
[C.2] But on the day following Cyrus took Tigranes and the best of the Median cavalry, with chosen followers of his own, and scoured the whole country to decide where he should build a fort. He halted on the top of a mountain-pass and asked Tigranes where the heights lay down which the Chaldaeans swept when they came to plunder. Tigranes showed him. Then Cyrus asked him if the mountains were quite uninhabited. “No, indeed,” said the prince, “there are always men on the look-out, who signal to the others if they catch sight of anything.” “And what do they do,” he asked, “when they see the signal?” “They rush to the rescue,” he said, “as quickly as they can.” [2] Cyrus listened and looked, and he could see that large tracts lay desolate and untilled because of the war. That day they came back to camp and took their supper and slept. [3] But the next morning Tigranes presented himself with all his baggage in order and ready for the march, 4000 cavalry at his back, 10,000 bowmen, and as many targeteers. While they were marching up, Cyrus offered sacrifice, and finding that the victims were favourable, he called the leaders of the Persians together and the chief captains of the Medes and spoke to them thus:
[4] “My friends, there lie the Chaldaean hills. If we could seize them and set a garrison to hold the pass, we should compel them both, Chaldaeans and Armenians alike, to behave themselves discreetly. The victims are favourable; and to help a man in such a work as this there is no ally half so good as speed. If we scale the heights before the enemy have time to gather, we may take the position out of hand without a blow, and at most we shall only find a handful of weak and scattered forces to oppose us. [5] Steady speed is all I ask for, and surely I could ask for nothing easier or less dangerous. To arms then! The Medes will march on our left, half the Armenians on our right, and the rest in the van to lead the way, the cavalry in our rear, to cheer us on and push us forward and let none of us give way.”
[6] With that Cyrus led the advance, the army in column behind him. As soon as the Chaldaeans saw them sweeping up from the plain, they signalled to their fellows till the heights re-echoed with answering shouts, and the tribesmen gathered on every side. Then Cyrus sent word along his lines, “Soldiers of Persia, they are signalling to us to make haste. If only we reach the top before them, all they can do will be in vain.”
[7] Now the Chaldaeans were said to be the most warlike of all the tribes in that country, and each of them was armed with a shield and a brace of javelins. They fight for pay wherever they are needed, partly because they are warriors born, but partly through poverty; for their country is mountainous, and the fertile part of it small. [8] As Cyrus and his force drew near the head of the pass, Tigranes, who was marching at his side, said:
“Do you know, Cyrus, that before long we shall be in the thick of the fight ourselves? Our Armenians will never stand the charge.” Cyrus answered that he was well aware of that, and immediately sent word that the Persians should be ready to give chase at once, “as soon as we see the Armenians decoying the enemy by feigning flight and drawing them within our reach.”
[9] Thus they marched up with the Armenians in the van: and the Chaldaeans who had collected waited till they were almost on them, and then charged with a tremendous shout, as their custom was, and the Armenians, as was ever theirs, turned and ran. [10] But in the midst of the pursuit the Chaldaeans met new opponents streaming up the pass, armed with short swords, and some of them were cut to pieces at once before they could withdraw, while others were taken prisoners and the rest fled, and in a few moments the heights were won. From the top of the pass Cyrus and his staff looked down and saw below them the Chaldaean villages with fugitives pouring from the nearest houses. [11] Soon the rest of the army came up, and Cyrus ordered them all to take the morning meal. When it was over, and he had ascertained that the look-out was really in a strong position, and well supplied with water, he set about fortifying a post without more ado, and he bade Tigranes send to his father and bid him come at once with all the carpenters and stonemasons he could fetch, and while a messenger went off to the king Cyrus did all he could with what he had at hand.
[12] Meanwhile they brought up the prisoners, all of them bound in chains and some wounded. But Cyrus when he saw their plight ordered the chains to be struck off, and sent for surgeons to dress their wounds, and then he told them that he came neither to destroy them nor to war against them, but to make peace between them and the Armenians. “I know,” he said, “before your pass was taken you did not wish for peace. Your own land was in safety and you could harry the Armenians: but you can see for yourselves how things stand to-day. [13] Accordingly I will let you all go back to your homes in freedom, and I will allow you and your fellows to take counsel together and choose whether you will have us for your enemies or your friends. If you decide on war, you had better not come here again without your weapons, but if you choose peace, come unarmed and welcome: it shall be my care to see that all is well with you, if you are my friends.”
[14] And when the Chaldaeans heard that, they poured out praises and thanks, and then they turned homewards and departed.
Meanwhile the king, receiving the call of Cyrus, and hearing the business that was at hand, had gathered his workmen together and took what he thought necessary and came with all speed. [15] And when he caught sight of Cyrus, he cried: “Ah, my lord, blind mortals that we are! How little can we see of the future, and how much we take in hand to do! I set myself to win freedom and I made myself a slave, and now, when we were captured and said to ourselves that we were utterly undone, suddenly we find a safety we never had before. Those who troubled us are taken now, even as I would have them. [16] Be well assured, Cyrus,” he added, “that I would have paid the sum you had from me over and over again simply to dislodge the Chaldaeans from these heights. The things of worth you promised me when you took the money have been paid in full already, and we discover that we are not your creditors, but deep in your debt for many kindnesses; and we shall be ashamed not to return them, or we should be base indeed, for try as we may, we shall never be able to requite in full so great a benefactor.”
[17] Such thanks the Armenian gave.
Then the Chaldaeans came back, begging Cyrus to make peace with them. And Cyrus asked them: “Am I right in thinking that you desire peace to-day because you believe it will be safer for you than war, now that we hold these heights?”
And the Chaldaeans said that so it was. [18] “Well and good,” said he. “And what if other benefits were gained by peace?” “We should be all the better pleased,” said they. “Is there any other reason,” he asked, “for your present poverty, except your lack of fertile soil?” They said that there was none. “Well then,” Cyrus went on, “would you be willing to pay the same dues as the Armenians, if you were allowed to cultivate as much of their land as you desired?” And the Chaldaeans said they would, if only they could rely on being fairly treated. [19] “Now,” said Cyrus, turning to the Armenian king, “would you like that land of yours which is now lying idle to be tilled and made productive, supposing the workers paid you the customary dues?” “I would, indeed,” said the king, “so much so that I am ready to pay a large sum for it. It would mean a great increase to my revenue.” [20] “And you, Chaldaeans,” said Cyrus, “with your splendid mountains, would you let the Armenians use them for pasture if the graziers paid you what was fair?” “Surely yes,” said the Chaldaeans, “it would mean much profit and no pains.”
“Son of Armenia,” said Cyrus, “would you take this land for grazing, if by paying a small sum to the Chaldaeans you got a far greater return yourself?”
“Right willingly,” said he, “if I thought my flocks could feed in safety.”
“And would they not be safe enough,” suggested Cyrus, “if this pass were held for you?” To which the king agreed. [21] But the Chaldaeans cried, “Heaven help us! We could not till our own fields in safety, not to speak of theirs, if the Armenians held the pass.” “True,” answered Cyrus, “but how would it be if the pass were held for you?” “Ah, then,” said they, “all would be well enough.” “Heaven help us!” cried the Armenian in his turn, “all might be well enough for them, but it would be ill for us if these neighbours of ours recovered the post, especially now that it is fortified.” [22] Then Cyrus said, “See, then, this is what I will do: I will hand over the pass to neither of you: we Persians will guard it ourselves, and if either of you injure the other, we will step in and side with the sufferers.”
[23] Then both parties applauded the decision, and said that only thus could they establish a lasting peace, and on these terms they exchanged pledges, and a covenant was made that both nations alike were to be free and independent, but with common rights of marriage, and tillage, and pasturage, and help in time of war if either were attacked. [24] Thus the matter was concluded, and to this day the treaty holds between the Chaldaeans and Armenia.
Peace was no sooner made than both parties began building what they now considered their common fortress, working side by side and bringing up all that was needed. [25] And when evening fell, Cyrus summoned them all as fellow-guests to his board, saying that they were friends already. At the supper as they sat together, one of the Chaldaeans said to Cyrus that the mass of his nation would feel they had received all they could desire, “But there are men among us,” he added, “who live as freebooters: they do not know how to labour in the field, and they could not learn, accustomed as they are from youth up to get their livelihood either by plundering for themselves or serving as mercenaries, often under the king of India, for he is a man of much wealth, but sometimes under Astyages.” [26] Then Cyrus said: “Why should they not take service with me? I undertake to give them at least as much as they ever got elsewhere.” The Chaldaeans readily agreed with him and prophesied that he would have many volunteers.
[27] So this matter was settled to the mind of all. But Cyrus, on hearing that the Chaldaeans were in the habit of going to India, remembered how Indian ambassadors had come to the Medes to spy out their affairs, and how they had gone on to their enemies—doubtless to do the same there—and he felt a wish that they should hear something of what he had achieved himself. [28] So he said to the company: “Son of Armenia, and men of the Chaldaeans, I have something to ask you. Tell me, if I were to send ambassadors to India, would you send some of your own folk with them to show them the way, and support them in gaining for us all that I desire? I still need more money if I am to pay all the wages, as I wish, in full, and give rewards and make presents to such of my soldiers as deserve them. It is for such things I need all the money I can get, for I believe them to be essential. It would be pleasanter for me not to draw on you, because I look on you already as my friends, but I should be glad to take from the Indian as much as he will give me. My messenger—the one for whom I ask guides and coadjutors—will go to the king and say: ‘Son of India, my master has sent me to you, bidding me say that he has need of more money. He is expecting another army from Persia,’ and indeed I do expect one,” Cyrus added. “Then my messenger will proceed, ‘If you can send my master all that you have at hand he will do his best, if God grant him success, that you should feel your kindness has not been ill-advised.’ [30] That is what my emissary will say: and you must give such instructions to yours as you think fit yourselves. If I get money from the king, I shall have abundance at my disposal: if I fail, at least we shall owe him no gratitude, and as far as he is concerned we may look to our own interests alone.”
[31] So Cyrus spoke, convinced that the ambassadors from Armenia and Chaldaea would speak of him as he desired all men might do. And then, as the hour was come, they broke up the meeting and took their rest.
[C.3] But on the next day Cyrus despatched his messenger with the instructions, and the Armenians and Chaldaeans sent their own ambassadors, choosing the men they thought would help Cyrus most and speak of his exploits in the most fitting terms. Cyrus put a strong garrison in the fort and stored it with supplies, and left an officer in command, a Mede, whose appointment, he thought, would gratify Cyaxares, and then he turned homewards, taking with him not only the troops he had brought, but the force the Armenians had furnished, and a picked body of Chaldaeans who considered themselves stronger than all the rest together. [2] And as he come down from the hills into the cultivated land, not one of the Armenians, man or woman, stayed indoors: with one accord they all went out to meet him, rejoicing that peace was made, and bringing him offerings from their best, driving before them the animals they valued most. The king himself was not ill-pleased at this, for he thought that Cyrus would take delight in the honour the people showed him. Last of all came the queen herself, with her daughters and her younger son, bearing many gifts, and among them the golden treasure that Cyrus had refused before. [3] But when he saw it he said: “Nay, you must not make me a mercenary and a benefactor for pay; take this treasure back and hie you home, but do not give it to your lord that he may bury it again; spend it on your son, and send him forth gloriously equipped for war, and with the residue buy yourself and for your husband and your children such precious things as shall endure, and bring joy and beauty into all your days. As for burying, let us only bury our bodies on the day when each must die.”
[4] With that he rode away, the king and all his people escorting him, like a guard of honour, calling him their saviour, their benefactor, and their hero, and heaping praises on him until he had left the land. And the king sent with him a larger army than ever he had sent before, seeing that now he had peace at home. [5] Thus Cyrus took his departure, having gained not only the actual money he took away with him, but a far ampler store of wealth, won by his own graciousness, on which he could draw in time of need.
For the first night he encamped on the borders of Armenia, but the next day he sent an army and the money to Cyaxares, who was close at hand, as he had promised to be, while he himself took his pleasure in hunting wherever he could find the game, in company with Tigranes and the flower of the Persian force.
[6] And when he came back to Media he gave gifts of money to his chief officers, sufficient for each to reward their own subordinates, for he held to it that, if every one made his own division worthy of praise, all would be well with the army as a whole. He himself secured anything that he thought of value for the campaign, and divided it among the most meritorious, convinced that every gain to the army was an adornment to himself.
[7] At every distribution he would take occasion to address the officers and all whom he chose to honour in some such words as these:
“My friends, the god of mirth must be with us to-day: we have found a source of plenty, and we have the wherewithal to honour whom we wish and as they may deserve. [8] Let us call to mind, all of us, the only way in which these blessings can be won. We shall find it is by toil, and watchfulness, and speed, and the resolve never to yield to our foes. After this pattern must we prove ourselves to be men, knowing that all high delights and all great joys are only gained by obedience and hardihood, and through pains endured and dangers confronted in their proper season.”
[9] But presently, when Cyrus saw that his men were strong enough for all the work of war, and bold enough to meet their enemies with scorn, expert and skilful in the use of the weapons each man bore, and all of them perfect in obedience and discipline, the desire grew in his heart to be up and doing and achieve something against the foe. He knew well how often a general has found delay ruin his fairest armament. [10] He noticed, moreover, that in the eagerness of rivalry and the strain of competition many of the soldiers grew jealous of each other; and for this, if for no other reason, he desired to lead them into the enemy’s country without delay, feeling that common dangers awaken comradeship among those who are fighting in a common cause, and then all such bickerings cease, and no man is galled by the splendour of his comrade’s arms, or the passion of his desire for glory: envy is swallowed up in praise, and each competitor greets his rivals with delight as fellow-workers for the common good.
[11] Therefore Cyrus ordered his whole force to assemble under arms, and drew them up into battle-array, using all his skill to make the display a wonder of beauty and perfection. Then he summoned his chief officers, his generals, his brigadiers, and his company-captains. These men were not bound to be always in the ranks, and some were always free to wait on the commander-in-chief or carry orders along the lines without leaving the troops unofficered: for the captains-of-twelve and the captains-of-six stepped into the gaps, and absolute order was preserved. [12] So Cyrus assembled his staff and led them along the lines, pointing out the merits of the combined forces and the special strength of each, and thus he kindled in their hearts the passion for achievement, and then he bade them return to their regiments and repeat the lessons he had taught them, trying to implant in their own men the same desire for action, so that one and all might sally out in the best of heart; and the next morning they were to present themselves at Cyaxares’ gates. [13] So the officers went away and did as he commanded, and the next morning at daybreak they assembled at the trysting-place, and Cyrus met them and came before Cyaxares and said to him:
“I know well that what I am about to say must often have been in your own mind, but you have shrunk from suggesting it yourself lest it seem that you were weary of supporting us. [14] Therefore since you must keep silence, let me speak for both of us. We are all agreed that since our preparations are complete we should not wait until the enemy invades our territory before we give him battle, nor loiter here in a friendly land, but attack him on his own ground with what speed we may. [15] For while we linger here, we injure your property in spite of ourselves, but once on the enemy’s soil, we can damage his, and that with the best will in the world. [16] As things are, you must maintain us, and the cost is great; but once launched on foreign service, we can maintain ourselves, and at our foe’s expense. [17] Possibly, if it were more dangerous to go forward than to stay here, the more cautious might seem the wiser plan. But whether we stay or whether we go, the enemy’s numbers will be the same, and so will ours, whether we receive them here or join battle with them there. [18] Moreover, the spirit of our soldiers will be all the higher and all the bolder if they feel that they are marching against the foe and not cowering before him; and his alarm will be all the greater when he hears that we are not crouching at home in terror but coming out to meet him as soon as we have heard of his advance, eager to close at once, not holding back until our territory suffers, but prompt to seize the moment and ravage his own land first. [19] Indeed,” he added, “if we do no more than quicken our own courage and his fears, I would reckon it a substantial gain, and count it so much the less danger for us and so much the more for him. My father never tires of telling me what I have heard you say yourself, and what all the world admits, that battles are decided more by the character of the troops than by their bodily strength.”
[20] He ended, and Cyaxares answered:
“Cyrus, both you and all my Persian friends may feel sure that I find it no trouble to maintain you; do not imagine such a thing; but I agree with you that the time is ripe for an advance on the enemy’s land.”
“Then,” said Cyrus, “since we are all of one mind, let us make our final preparations, and, if heaven will, let us set forth without delay.”
[21] So they bade the soldiers prepare for the start, and Cyrus offered sacrifices to Zeus the Lord and to the other gods in due order, and prayed, “Look on us with favour, and be gracious to us; guide our army, stand beside us in the battle, aid us in council, help us in action, be the comrades of the brave.” Also he called upon the Heroes of Media, who dwell in the land and guard it. [22] Then, when the signs were favourable and his army was mustered on the frontier, he felt that the moment had come, and with all good omens to support him, he invaded the enemy’s land. And so soon as he had crossed the border he offered libations to the Earth and victims to the gods, and sought to win the favour of the Heroes who guard Assyria. And having so done, once more he sacrificed to Zeus, the god of his fathers, and was careful to reverence every other god who came before his mind.
[23] But when these duties were fulfilled, there was no further pause. He pushed his infantry on at once, a short day’s march, and then encamped, while the cavalry made a swift descent and captured much spoil of every kind. For the future they had only to shift their camp from time to time, and they found supplies in abundance, and could ravage the enemy’s land at their ease while waiting his approach. [24] Presently news came of his advance: he was said to be barely ten days’ off, and at that Cyrus went to Cyaxares and said: “The hour has come, and we must face the enemy. Let it not seem to friend or foe that we fear the encounter: let us show them that we enjoy the fight.”
[25] Cyaxares agreed, and they moved forward in good order, marching each day as far as appeared desirable. They were careful to take their evening meal by daylight, and at night they lit no fires in the camp: they made them in front of it, so that in case of attack they might see their assailants, while they themselves remained unseen. And often they lit other fires in their rear as well, to deceive the enemy; so that at times the Assyrian scouts actually fell in with the advance-guard, having fancied from the distance of the fires that they were still some way from the encampment.
[26] Meanwhile the Assyrians and their allies, as the two armies came into touch, halted, and threw up an entrenchment, just as all barbarian leaders do to-day, whenever they encamp, finding no difficulty in the work because of the vast numbers at their command, and knowing that cavalry may easily be thrown into confusion and become unmanageable, especially if they are barbarians. [27] The horses must be tethered at their stalls, and in case of attack a dozen difficulties arise: the soldier must loose his steed in the dark, bridle and saddle him, put on his own armour, mount, and then gallop through the camp, and this last it is quite impossible to do. Therefore the Assyrians, like all barbarians, throw up entrenchments round their position, and the mere fact of being inside a fastness leaves them, they consider, the choice of fighting at any moment they think fit. [28] So the two armies drew nearer and nearer, and when they were about four miles apart, the Assyrians proceeded to encamp in the manner described: their position was completely surrounded by a trench, but also perfectly visible, while Cyrus took all the cover he could find, screening himself behind villages and hillocks, in the conviction that the more sudden the disclosure of a hostile force the greater will be the enemy’s alarm.
[29] During the first night neither army did more than post the customary guards before they went to sleep, and on the next day the king of Assyria, and Croesus, and their officers, still kept the troops within their lines. But Cyrus and Cyaxares drew up their men, prepared to fight if the enemy advanced.
Ere long it was plain that they would not venture out that day, and Cyaxares summoned Cyrus and his staff and said:
[30] “I think, gentlemen, it would be well for us to march up to the breastworks in our present order, and show them that we wish to fight. If we do so,” he added, “and they refuse our challenge, it will increase the confidence of our own men, and the mere sight of our boldness will add to the enemy’s alarm.”
[31] So it seemed to Cyaxares, but Cyrus protested: “In the name of heaven, Cyaxares, let us do no such thing. By such an advance we should only reveal our numbers to them: they would watch us at their ease, conscious that they are safe from any danger, and when we retire without doing them any harm they will have another look at us and despise us because of our inferiority in numbers, and to-morrow they will come out much emboldened. [32] At present,” he added, “they know that we are here, but they have not seen us, and you may be sure they do not despise us; they are asking what all this means, and they never cease discussing the problem; of that I am convinced. They ought not to see us until they sally out, and in that moment we ought to come to grips with them, thankful to have caught them as we have so long desired.”
[33] So Cyrus spoke, and Cyaxares and the others were convinced, and waited. In the evening they took their meal, and posted their pickets and lit watch-fires in front of their outposts, and so turned to sleep. [34] But early the next morning Cyrus put a garland on his head and went out to offer sacrifice, and sent word to all the Peers of Persia to join him, wearing garlands like himself. And when the rite was over, he called them together and said: “Gentlemen, the soothsayers tell us, and I agree, that the gods announce by the signs in the victims that the battle is at hand, and they assure us of victory, they promise us salvation. [35] I should be ashamed to admonish you at such a season, or tell you how to bear yourselves: I do not forget that we have all been brought up in the same school, you have learnt the same lessons as I, and practised them day by day, and you might well instruct others. But you may not have noticed one point, and for this I would ask a hearing. [36] Our new comrades, the men we desire to make our peers—it may be well to remind them of the terms on which Cyaxares has kept us and of our daily discipline, the goal for which we asked their help, and the race in which they promised to be our friendly rivals. [37] Remind them also that this day will test the worth of every man. With learners late in life, we cannot wonder if now and then a prompter should be needed: it is much to be thankful for if they show themselves good men and true with the help of a reminder. [38] Moreover, while you help them you will be putting your own powers to the test. He who can give another strength at such a crisis may well have confidence in his own, whereas one who keeps his ideal to himself and is content with that, ought to remember that he is only half a man. [39] There is another reason,” he added, “why I do not speak to them myself, but ask you to do so. I want them to try to please you: you are nearer to them than I, each of you to the men of his own division: and be well assured that if you show yourselves stout-hearted you will be teaching them courage, and others too, by deeds as well as words.”
[40] With that Cyrus dismissed them, and bade them break their fast and make libation, and then take their places in the ranks, still wearing their garlands on their heads. As they went away he summoned the leaders of the rearguard and gave them his instructions:
[41] “Men of Persia, you have been made Peers and chosen for special duties, because we think you equal to the best in other matters, and wiser than most in virtue of your age. The post that you hold is every whit as honourable as theirs who form the front: from your position in the rear you can single out the gallant fighters, and your praise will make them outdo themselves in valour, while if any man should be tempted to give way, your eyes will be upon him and you will not suffer it. [42] Victory will mean even more to you than to the others, because of your age and the weight of your equipment. If the men in front call on you to follow, answer readily, and let them see that you can hold your own with them, shout back to them, and bid them lead on quicker still. And now,” said he, “go back and take your breakfast, and then join your ranks with the rest, wearing your garlands on your heads.”
[43] Thus Cyrus and his men made their preparations, and meanwhile the Assyrians on their side took their breakfast, and then sallied forth boldly and drew up in gallant order. It was the king himself who marshalled them, driving past in his chariot and encouraging his troops.
[44] “Men of Assyria,” he said, “to-day you must show your valour. To-day you fight for your lives and your land, the land where you were born and the homes where you were bred, and for your wives and your children, and all the blessings that are yours. If you win, you will possess them all in safety as before, but if you lose, you must surrender them into the hands of your enemies. [45] Abide, therefore, and do battle as though you were enamoured of victory. It would be folly for her lovers to turn their backs to the foe, sightless, handless, helpless, and a fool is he who flies because he longs to live, for he must know that safety comes to those who conquer, but death to those who flee; and fools are they whose hearts are set on riches, but whose spirits are ready to admit defeat. It is the victor who preserves his own possessions and wins the property of those whom he overcomes: the conquered lose themselves and all they call their own.”
[46] Thus spoke the king of Assyria.
But meanwhile Cyaxares sent to Cyrus saying that the moment for attack had come. “Although,” he added, “there are as yet but few of them outside the trenches, by the time we have advanced there will be quite enough. Let us not wait until they outnumber us, but charge at once while we are satisfied we can master them easily.”
[47] But Cyrus answered him, “Unless those we conquer are more than half their number, they are sure to say that we attacked when they were few, because we were afraid of their full force, and in their hearts they will not feel that they are beaten; and we shall have to fight another battle, when perhaps they will make a better plan than they have made to-day, delivering themselves into our hands one by one, to fight with as we choose.”
[48] So the messengers took back his reply, but meanwhile Chrysantas and certain other Peers came to Cyrus bringing Assyrian deserters with them, and Cyrus, as a general would, questioned the fugitives about the enemy’s doings, and they told him that the Assyrians were marching out in force and that the king himself had crossed the trenches and was marshalling his troops, addressing them in stirring words, as all the listeners said. [49] Then Chrysantas turned to Cyrus:
“What if you also were to summon our men, while there is yet time, and inspire them with your words?”
[50] But Cyrus answered:
“Do not be disturbed by the thought of the Assyrian’s exhortations; there are no words so fine that they can turn cowards into brave men on the day of hearing, nor make good archers out of bad, nor doughty spearmen, nor skilful riders, no, nor even teach men to use their arms and legs if they have not learnt before.”
[51] “But,” replied Chrysantas, “could you not make the brave men braver still, and the good better?”
“What!” cried Cyrus, “can one solitary speech fill the hearer’s soul on the selfsame day with honour and uprightness, guard him from all that is base, spur him to undergo, as he ought, for the sake of glory every toil and every danger, implant in him the faith that it is better to die sword in hand than to escape by flight? [52] If such thoughts are ever to be engraved in the hearts of men and there abide, we must begin with the laws, and frame them so that the righteous can count on a life of honour and liberty, while the bad have to face humiliation, suffering, and pain, and a life that is no life at all. [53] And then we ought to have tutors and governors to instruct and teach and train our citizens until the belief is engendered in their souls that the righteous and the honourable are the happiest of all men born, and the bad and the infamous the most miserable. This is what our men must feel if they are to show that their schooling can triumph over their terror of the foe. [54] Surely, if in the moment of onset, amid the clash of arms, at a time when lessons long learnt seem suddenly wiped away, it were possible for any speaker, by stringing a few fine sentiments together, to manufacture warriors out of hand, why, it would be the easiest thing in all the world to teach men the highest virtue man can know. [55] For my own part,” he added, “I would not trust our new comrades yonder, whom we have trained ourselves, to stand firm this day unless they saw you at their side, to be examples unto them and to remind them if they forget. As for men who are utterly undisciplined, I should be astonished if any speech, however splendid, did one whit more to encourage valour in their hearts than a song well sung could do to make a musician of a man who had no music in his soul.”
[56] But while they were speaking, Cyaxares sent again, saying that Cyrus did ill to loiter instead of advancing against the enemy with all speed. And Cyrus sent back word there and then by the messengers:
“Tell Cyaxares once more, that even now there are not as many before us as we need. And tell him this so that all may hear. But add that, if it so please him, I will advance at once.”
[57] So saying and with one prayer to the gods, he led his troops into battle.
Once the advance began he quickened the pace, and his men followed in perfect order, steadily, swiftly, joyously, brimful of emulation, hardened by toil, trained by their long discipline, every man in the front a leader, and all of them alert. They had laid to heart the lesson of many a day that it was always safest and easiest to meet enemies at close quarters, especially archers, javelin-men, and cavalry. [58] While they were still out of range, Cyrus sent the watchword along the lines, “Zeus our help and Zeus our leader.” And as soon as it was returned to him, he sounded the first notes of the battle-paean, and the men took up the hymn devoutly, in one mighty chorus. For at such times those who fear the gods have less fear of their fellow-men. [59] And when the chant was over, the Peers of Persia went forward side by side, radiant, high-bred, disciplined, a band of gallant comrades; they looked into each other’s eyes, they called each other by name, with many a cheery cry, “Forward, friends, forward, gallant gentlemen!” And the rear-ranks heard the call, and sent back a ringing cheer, bidding the van lead on. The whole army of Cyrus was brimming with courage and zeal and strength and hardihood and comradeship and self-control; more terrible, I imagine, to an opponent than aught else could be. [60] On the Assyrian side, those in the van who fought from the chariots, as soon as the mass of the Persian force drew near, leapt back and drove to their own main body; but the archers, javelin-men, and slingers, let fly long before they were in range. [61] And as the Persians steadily advanced, stepping over the spent missiles, Cyrus called to his men:
“Forward now, bravest of the brave! Show us what your pace can be!”
They caught the word and passed it on, and in their eagerness and passion for the fray some of the leaders broke into a run, and the whole phalanx followed at their heels. [62] Cyrus himself gave up the regular march and dashed forward at their head, shouting:
“Brave men to the front! Who follows me? Who will lay the first Assyrian low?”
At this the men behind took up the shout till it rang through the field like a battle-cry: “Who follows? Brave men to the front!” [63] Thus the Persians closed. But the enemy could not hold their ground; they turned and fled to their entrenchments. [64] The Persians swept after them, many a warrior falling as they crowded in at the gates or tumbled into the trenches. For in the rout some of the chariots were carried into the fosse, and the Persians sprang down after them and slew man and horse where they fell. [65] Then the Median troopers, seeing how matters stood, charged the Assyrian cavalry, who swerved and broke before them, chased and slaughtered, horse and rider, by their conquerors. [66] Meanwhile the Assyrians within the camp, though they stood upon the breastworks, had neither wit nor power to draw bow or fling spear against the destroyers, dazed as they were by their panic and the horror of the sight. Then came the tidings that the Persians had cut their way through to the gates, and at that they fled from the breastworks. [67] The women, seeing the rout in the camp, fell to wailing and lamentations, running hither and thither in utter dismay, young maidens, and mothers with children in their arms, rending their garments and tearing their cheeks and crying on all they met, “Leave us not, save us, save your children and yourselves!” [68] Then the princes gathered the trustiest men and stood at the gates, fighting on the breastworks themselves, and urging their troops to make a stand. [69] Cyrus, seeing this, and fearing that if his handful of Persians forced their way into the camp they would be overborne by numbers, gave the order to fall back out of range. [70] Then was shown the perfect discipline of the Peers; at once they obeyed the order and passed it on at once. And when they were all out of range they halted and reformed their ranks, better than any chorus could have done, every man of them knowing exactly where he ought to be.

NOTES
C1.6. Oriental in feeling; situation well realised. Hellenic = Oriental, also in part perhaps. Also, we know the Oriental through the medium of Greek to a great extent (cf. Greek Testament, and earlier still LXX.).
C1.8, init. Cf. Joseph and his brethren for this hardening of his heart.
C1.11. Hellenic political ethics = modern in this matter, apart from modern theory of nationalism, i.e. right of nations to exist free.
C1.12. Quite after the manner of an advocate in a Greek law-court, but also Oriental (cf. David and Nathan the seer).
C1.24. Fear of exile; autobiographical touch? Is anything passing through the mind of Xenophon? I dare say there is. [Xenophon was banished from his native city of Athens because of his friendship with Sparta and with Cyrus the Younger. See Works, Vol. I. p. xcix.]
C1.33, fin. 3000 talents. Something under 750,000.
C1.35. Cyrus drives home the conscience of indebtedness / la/ Portia v. Shylock. N.B.—Humorous also and an Oriental tinge.
C1.38. One can’t help thinking of Socrates and the people of Athens here. If so, this is a quasi-apology for the Athenian /bons pres de famille/ who condemned Socrates. Beautiful story of the sophist teacher’s last injunction to Tigranes.
C1.40-41. What smiles after tears! Like a sunny day succeeding clouds and blackness. A pretty story this, of the wife of Tigranes. /Xenophon’s women:/ this one, Pantheia, Croesus’ wife, the wife of Ischomachus (/Economist/), the daughter of Gobryas.
C2.12. Archaeologically interesting. N.B.—Humanity towards wounded, Hellenic. Xenophon’s own strategy in the /Anabasis/ is probably the prototype.
C2.15. For Hellenic and Xenophontine religiousness. The incalculableness of human life: God fulfils himself in many unforeseen ways. N.B.—Irony also of the situation, since Cyrus doesn’t intend the Armenian to triumph over the Chaldaean in the way he anticipates.
C2.20. Note how Socratically it is made to work itself out.
C3. Cyrus, the Archic Man, the “born ruler,” is also the diplomatic man (cf., no doubt, Gladstone), a diplomacy based on organic economic sense and friendly-naturedness.
C3.10. Xenophon’s theory of fraternity in action, all petty jealousies brushed aside.
[C3.11. The “captains-of-twelve” and the “captains-of-six” are the same officers as those called elsewhere “captains-of-ten” and “captains-of-five” (cf. above Bk. II. C2.21 note). The titles vary because sometimes the officers themselves are included in the squads and sometimes not.]
C3.19. Nice touch, quoting his father as an authority.
C3.40. With garlands, like the Spartans. Was it conceivably a Persian custom too?
C3.44. Assyrian’s speech; not a bad one, though platitudinous. Xenophon’s dramatic form is shown in the intellectual and emotional side of his characters, rather than by the diction in their mouths, is it not?
C3.51-52. Most important for Xenophon, Educationalist. Cyrus on the powerlessness of a speech to create valour in the soul of the untrained: there must be a physical, moral, and spiritual training there beforehand. The speech is in Xenophon’s best earnest rhetorical style.
C3.57. The march into battle, /vide/ Milton. A beautiful bit of word-painting.
C3.58. Cf. the Prussian army singing a hymn [in 1870].
0

#3 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:54 PM

BOOK IV of VIII

[C.1] Cyrus waited, with his troops as they were, long enough to show that he was ready to do battle again if the enemy would come out; but as they did not stir he drew the soldiers off as far as he thought well, and there encamped. He had guards posted and scouts sent forward, and then he gathered his warriors round him and spoke to them as follows:
[2] “Men of Persia, first and foremost I thank the gods of heaven with all my soul and strength; and I know you render thanks with me, for we have won salvation and victory, and it is meet and right to thank the gods for all that comes to us. But in the next place I must praise you, one and all; it is through you all that this glorious work has been accomplished, and when I have learnt what each man’s part has been from those whose place it is to tell me, I will do my best to give each man his due, in word and deed. [3] But I need none to tell me the exploits of your brigadier Chrysantas; he was next to me in the battle and I could see that he bore himself as I believe you all have done. Moreover, at the very moment when I called on him to retire, he had just raised his sword to strike an Assyrian down, but he heard my voice, and at once he dropped his hand and did my bidding. He sent the word along the lines and led his division out of range before the enemy could lay one arrow to the string or let one javelin fly. Thus he brought himself and his men safely out of action, because he had learnt to obey. [4] But some of you, I see, are wounded, and when I hear at what moment they received their wounds I will pronounce my opinion on their deserts. Chrysantas I know already to be a true soldier and a man of sense, able to command because he is able to obey, and here and now I put him at the head of a thousand troops, nor shall I forget him on the day when God may please to give me other blessings. [5] There is one reminder I would make to all. Never let slip the lesson of this day’s encounter, and judge for yourselves whether it is cowardice or courage that saves a man in war, whether the fighters or the shirkers have the better chance, and what the joy is that victory can yield. To-day of all days you can decide, for you have made the trial and the result is fresh. [6] With such thoughts as these in your hearts you will grow braver and better still. And now you may rest in the consciousness that you are dear to God and have done your duty bravely and steadily, and so take your meal and make your libations and sing the paean and be ready for the watchword.”
So saying, Cyrus mounted his horse and galloped on to Cyaxares, and the two rejoiced together as victors will. And then, after a glance at matters there and an inquiry if aught were needed, he rode back to his own detachment. Then the evening meal was taken and the watches were posted and Cyrus slept with his men.
[8] Meanwhile the Assyrians, finding that their king was among the slain and almost all his nobles with him, fell into utter despair, and many of them deserted during the night. And at this fear crept over Croesus and the allies; they saw dangers on every side, and heaviest of all was the knowledge that the leading nation, the head of the whole expedition, had received a mortal blow. Nothing remained but to abandon the encampment under cover of night. [9] Day broke, and the camp was seen to be deserted, and Cyrus, without more ado, led his Persians within the entrenchments, where they found the stores that the enemy had left: herds of sheep and goats and kine, and long rows of waggons laden with good things. Cyaxares and his Medes followed, and all arms took their breakfast in the camp. [10] But when the meal was over, Cyrus summoned his brigadiers and said to them:
“Think what blessings we are flinging away now, spurning, as it were, the very gifts of heaven! So at least it seems to me. The enemy have given us the slip, as you see with your own eyes. Is it likely that men who forsook the shelter of their own fortress will ever face us in fair field on level ground? Will those who shrink from us before they put our prowess to the test ever withstand us now when we have overthrown and shattered them? They have lost their best and bravest, and will the cowards dare to give us battle?”
[11] At that one of his officers cried, “Why not pursue at once, if such triumphs are before us?”
And Cyrus answered, “Because we have not the horses. The stoutest of our enemies, those whom we must seize or slay, are mounted on steeds that could sweep past us like the wind. God helping us, we can put them to flight, but we cannot overtake them.”
[12] “Then,” said they, “why not go and lay the matter before Cyaxares?”
And he answered, “If so, you must all go with me, that Cyaxares may see it is the wish of all.”
So they all went together and spoke as they thought best. [13] Now Cyaxares felt, no doubt, a certain jealousy that the Persians should be the first to broach the matter, but he may also have felt that it was really wiser to run no further risks for the present; he had, moreover, abandoned himself to feasting and merrymaking, and he saw that most of his Medes were in like case. Whatever the reason, this was the answer he gave:
[14] “My good nephew, I have always heard and always seen that you Persians of all men think it your duty never to be insatiate in the pursuit of any pleasure; and I myself believe that the greater the joy the more important is self-restraint. Now what greater joy could there be than the good fortune which waits on us to-day? [15] When fortune comes to us, if we guard her with discretion, we may live to grow old in peace, but if we are insatiate, if we use and abuse our pleasures, chasing first one and then another, we may well fear lest that fate be ours which, the proverb tells us, falls on those mariners who cannot forgo their voyages in the pursuit of wealth, and one day the deep sea swallows them. Thus has many a warrior achieved one victory only to clutch at another and lose the first. [16] If indeed, our enemies who have fled were weaker than we, it might be safe enough to pursue them. But now, bethink you, how small a portion of them we have fought and conquered; the mass have had no part in the battle, and they, if we do not force them to fight, will take themselves off through sheer cowardice and sloth. As yet they know nothing of our powers or their own, but if they learn that to fly is as dangerous as to hold their ground, we run the risk of driving them to be brave in spite of themselves. [17] You may be sure they are just as anxious to save their wives and children as you can be to capture them. Take a lesson from hunting: the wild sow when she is sighted will scamper away with her young, though she be feeding with the herd; but if you attack her little ones she will never fly, even if she is all alone; she will turn on the hunters. [18] Yesterday the enemy shut themselves up in a fort, and then handed themselves over to us to choose how many we cared to fight. But if we meet them in open country, and they learn how to divide their forces and take us in front and flank and rear, I wonder how many pairs of eyes and hands each man of us would need! Finally,” he added, “I have no great wish myself to disturb my Medes in their enjoyment, and drive them out to further dangers.”
[19] Then Cyrus took him up: “Nay, I would not have you put pressure on any man; only let those who are willing follow me, and perhaps we shall come back with something for all of you to enjoy. The mass of the enemy we should not think of pursuing; indeed, how could we overtake them? But if we cut off any stragglers, we could clap hands on them and bring them back to you. [20] Remember,” he added, “when you sent for us, we came a long way to do you service; is it not fair that you should do us a kindness in return, and let us have something to take back with us for ourselves, and not stand here agape at all your treasures?”
[21] At that Cyaxares answered, “Ah, if any will follow you of their own free will, I can but be most grateful.”
“Send some one with me then,” said Cyrus, “from these trusty men of yours, to carry your commands.”
“Take whomever you like,” he answered, “and begone.”
[22] Now, as it chanced, among the officers present was the Mede who had claimed kinship with Cyrus long ago and won a kiss thereby. Cyrus pointed to him and said, “That man will do for me.” “He shall go with you then,” Cyaxares replied. And turning to the officer, “Tell your fellows,” he said, “that he who lists may follow Cyrus.” [23] Thus Cyrus chose his man and went forth. And when they were outside he said, “To-day you can show me if you spoke truth long ago when you told me that the sight of me was your joy.”
“If you say that,” said the Mede, “I will never leave you.”
“And will you not do your best,” added Cyrus, “to bring me others too?” “By the gods in heaven,” cried the Mede, “that I will, until you say in your turn that to see me is your joy.” Thereupon, with the authority of Cyaxares to support him, the officer went to the Medes and delivered with message with all diligence, adding that he for one would never forsake Cyrus, the bravest, noblest, and best of men, and a hero whose lineage was divine.
[C.2] While Cyrus was busied with these matters, by some strange chance two ambassadors arrived from the Hyrcanians. These people are neighbours of the Assyrians, and being few in number, they were held in subjection. But they seemed then, as they seem now, to live on horseback. Hence the Assyrians used them as the Lacedaemonians employ the Skirites, for every toil and every danger, without sparing them. In fact, at that very moment they had ordered them to furnish a rear-guard of a thousand men and more, so as to bear the brunt of any rear attack. [2] The Hyrcanians, as they were to be the hindmost, had put their waggons and families in the rear, for, like most of the tribes in Asia, they take their entire households with them on the march. [3] But when they thought of the sorry treatment they got from the Assyrians and when they saw the king fallen, the army worsted and a prey to panic, the allies disheartened and ready to desert, they judged it a fine moment to revolt themselves, if only the Medes and Persians would make common cause with them. So they sent an embassy to Cyrus, for after the late battle there was no name like his. [4] They told him what good cause they had to hate the Assyrians, and how if he was willing to attack them now, they themselves would be his allies and show him the way. At the same time they gave a full account of the enemy’s doings, being eager to get Cyrus on the road. [5] “Do you think,” said Cyrus, “we should overtake the Assyrians before they reach their fortresses? We look on it as a great misfortune,” he added, “that they ever slipped through our fingers and escaped.” (This he said, wishing to give his hearers as high an opinion as possible of himself and his friends.) [6] “You should certainly catch them,” they answered, “and that to-morrow, ere the day is old, if you gird up your loins: they move heavily because of their numbers and their train of waggons, and to-day, since they did not sleep last night, they have only gone a little way ahead, and are now encamped for the evening.”
[7] “Can you give us any guarantee,” said Cyrus, “that what you say is true?”
“We will give you hostages,” they said; “we will ride off at once and bring them back this very night. Only do you on your side call the gods to witness and give us the pledge of your own right hand, that we may give our people the assurance we have received from you ourselves.”
[8] Thereupon Cyrus gave them his pledge that if they would make good what they promised he would treat them as his true friends and faithful followers, of no less account than the Persians and the Medes. And to this day one may see Hyrcanians treated with trust and holding office on an equal footing with Persians and Medes of high distinction.
[9] Now Cyrus and his men took their supper and then while it was still daylight he led his army out, having made the two Hyrcanians wait so that they might go with them. The Persians, of course, were with him to a man, and Tigranes was there, with his own contingent, and the Median volunteers, who had joined for various reasons. [10] Some had been friends of Cyrus in boyhood, others had hunted with him and learnt to admire his character, others were grateful, feeling he had lifted a load of fear from them, others were flushed with hope, nothing doubting that great things were reserved for the man who had proved so brave and so fortunate already. Others remembered the time when he was brought up in Media, and were glad to return the kindnesses that he had shown them; many could recall the favours the boy had won for them from his grandfather through his sheer goodness of heart; and many, now that they had seen the Hyrcanians and heard say they were leading them to untold treasures, went out from simple love of gain. [11] So they sallied forth, the entire body of the Persians and all the Medes, except those who were quartered with Cyaxares: these stayed behind, and their men with them. But all the rest went out with radiant faces and eager hearts, not following him from constraint, but offering willing service in their gratitude. [12] So, as soon as they were well afield, Cyrus went to the Medes and thanked them, praying that the gods in their mercy might guide them all, and that he himself might have power given him to reward their zeal. He ended by saying that the infantry would lead the van, while they would follow with the cavalry, and whenever the column halted on the march they were to send him gallopers to receive his orders. [13] Then he bade the Hyrcanians lead the way, but they exclaimed, “What? Are you not going to wait until we bring the hostages? Then you could begin the march with pledges from us in return for yours.”
But he answered, as the story says, “If I am not mistaken, we hold the pledges now, in our own hearts and our own right hands. We believe that if you are true to us we can do you service, and if you play us false, you will not have us at your mercy; God willing, we shall hold you at ours. Nevertheless,” he added, “since you tell us your own folk follow in the Assyrian rear, point them out to us as soon as you set eyes upon them, that we may spare their lives.”
[14] When the Hyrcanians heard this they led the way as he ordered, marvelling at his strength of soul. Their own fear of the Assyrians, the Lydians, and their allies, had altogether gone; their dread now was lest Cyrus should regard themselves as mere dust in the balance, and count it of no importance whether they stayed with him or not.
[15] As night closed in on their march, the legend runs that a strange light shone out, far off in the sky, upon Cyrus and his host, filling them with awe of the heavenly powers and courage to meet the foe. Marching as they did, their loins girt and their pace swift, they covered a long stretch of road in little time, and with the half light of the morning they were close to the Hyrcanian rear-guard. [16] As soon as the guides saw it, they told Cyrus that these were their own men: they knew this, they added, from the number of their fires, and the fact that they were in the rear. [17] Therefore Cyrus sent one of the guides to them, bidding them come out at once, if they were friendly, with their right hands raised. And he sent one of his own men also to say, “According as you make your approach, so shall we Persians comport ourselves.”
Thus one of the two messengers stayed with Cyrus while the other rode up to his fellows. [18] Cyrus halted his army to watch what the tribe would do, and Tigranes and the Median officers rode along the ranks to ask for orders. Cyrus explained that the troops nearest to them were the Hyrcanians, and that one of the ambassadors had gone, and a Persian with him, to bid them come out at once, if they were friendly, with their right hands raised. “If they do so,” he added, “you must welcome them as they come, each of you at your post, and take them by the hand and encourage them, but if they draw sword or try to escape, you must make an example of them: not a man of them must be left.”
Such were his orders. [19] However, as soon as the Hyrcanians heard the message, they were overjoyed: springing to their steeds they galloped up to Cyrus, holding out their right hands as he had bidden. Then the Medes and Persians gave them the right hand of fellowship in return, and bade them be of courage. [20] And Cyrus spoke:
“Sons of the Hyrcanians, we have shown our trust in you already, and you must trust us in return. And now tell me, how far from here do the Assyrian headquarters lie, and their main body?” “About four miles hence,” they answered.
[21] “Forward then, my men,” said Cyrus, “Persians, Medes, and Hyrcanians. I have learnt already, you see, to call you friends and comrades. All of you must remember that the moment has come when, if hand falters or heart fails, we meet with utter disaster: our enemies know why we are here. But if we summon our strength and charge home, you shall see them caught like a pack of runaway slaves, some on their knees, others in full flight, and the rest unable to do even so much for themselves. They are beaten already, and they will see their conquerors fall on them before they dream of an approach, before their ranks are formed or their preparations made, and the sight will paralyse them. [22] If we wish to sleep and eat and live in peace and happiness from this time forth, let us not give them leisure to take counsel or arrange defence, or so much as see that we are men, and not a storm of shields and battle-axes and flashing swords, sweeping on them in one rain of blows. [23] You Hyrcanians must go in front of us as a screen, that we may lie behind you as long as may be. And as soon as I close with them, you must give me, each of you, a squadron of horse, to use in case of need while I am waiting at the camp. [24] I would advise the older men among you and the officers, to ride in close order, so that your ranks should not be broken, if you come across a compact body of the foe; let the younger men give chase, and do the killing; our safest plan to-day is to leave as few of the enemy alive as possible. [25] And if we conquer,” he added, “we must beware of what has overset the fortune of many a conqueror ere now, I mean the lust for plunder. The man who plunders is no longer a man, he is a machine for porterage, and all who list may treat him as a slave. [26] One thing we must bear in mind: nothing can bring such gain as victory; at one clutch the victor seizes all, men and women, and wealth, and territory. Therefore make it your one object to secure the victory; if he is conquered, the greatest plunderer is caught. One more word—remember, even in the heat of pursuit to rejoin me while it is still daylight, for when darkness has fallen we will not admit a soul within the lines.”
[27] With these words he sent them off to their appointed stations, bidding them repeat his instructions on the way to their own lieutenants, who were posted in front to receive the orders, and make each of them pass down the word to his own file of ten. Thereupon the advance began, the Hyrcanians leading off, Cyrus holding the centre himself, marching with his Persians, and the cavalry in the usual way, drawn up on either flank.
[28] As the day broke the enemy saw them for the first time: some simply stared at what was happening, others began to realise the truth, calling and shouting to each other, unfastening their horses, getting their goods together, tearing what they needed off the beasts of burden, and others arming themselves, harnessing their steeds, leaping to horse, others helping the women into their carriages, or seizing their valuables, some caught in the act of burying them, others, and by far the greatest number, in sheer headlong flight. Many and divers were their shifts, as one may well conceive, save only that not one man stood at bay: they perished without a blow. [29] Now Croesus, king of Lydia, seeing that it was summer-time, had sent his women on during the night, so that they might travel more pleasantly in the cool, and he himself had followed with his cavalry to escort them. [30] The Lord of Hellespontine Phrygia, it is said, had done the same. And these two, when they heard what was happening from the fugitives who overtook them, fled for their lives with the rest. [31] But it was otherwise with the kings of Cappadocia and Arabia; they had not gone far, and they stood their ground, but they had not even time to put on their corslets, and were cut down by the Hyrcanians. Indeed, the mass of those who fell were Assyrians and Arabians, for, being in their own country, they had taken no precautions on the march. [32] The victorious Medes and the Hyrcanians had their hands full with the chase, and meanwhile Cyrus made the cavalry who were left with him ride all round the camp and cut down any man who left it with weapons in his hands. Then he sent a herald to those who remained, bidding the horsemen and targeteers and archers come out on foot, with their weapons tied in bundles, and deliver them up to him, leaving their horses in their stalls: he who disobeyed should lose his head, and a cordon of Persian troops stood round with their swords drawn. [33] At that the weapons were brought at once, and flung down, and Cyrus had the whole pile burnt.
[34] Meanwhile he did not forget that his own troops had come without food or drink, that nothing could be done without provisions, and that to obtain these in the quickest way, it was necessary on every campaign to have some one to see that quarters were prepared and supplies ready for the men on their return. [35] It occurred to him it was more than likely that such officers, of all others, would be left behind in the Assyrian camp, because they would have been delayed by the packing.
Accordingly, he sent out a proclamation that all the stewards should present themselves before him, and if there was no such officer left, the oldest man in every tent must take his place; any one failing to obey would suffer the severest penalties. The stewards, following the example of their masters, obeyed at once. And when they came before him he ordered those who had more than two months’ rations in their quarters to sit down on the ground, and then those who had provisions for one month. [36] Thereupon very few were left standing. [37] Having thus got the information he needed, he spoke to them as follows:
“Gentlemen, if any of you dislike hard blows and desire gentle treatment at our hands, make it your business to provide twice as much meat and drink in every tent as you have been wont to do, with all things that are needed for a fine repast. The victors, whoever they are, will be here anon, and will expect an overflowing board. You may rest assured it will not be against your interests to give them a welcome they can approve.”
[38] At that the stewards went off at once and set to work with all zeal to carry out their instructions. Then Cyrus summoned his own officers and said to them:
“My friends, it is clear that we have it in our power, now that our allies’ backs are turned, to help ourselves to breakfast, and take our choice of the most delicate dishes and the rarest wines. But I scarcely think this would do us so much good as to show that we study the interest of our friends: the best of cheer will not give us half the strength we could draw from the zeal of loyal allies whose gratitude we had won. [39] If we forget those who are toiling for us now, pursuing our foes, slaying them, and fighting wherever they resist, if they see that we sit down to enjoy ourselves and devour our meal before we know how it goes with them, I fear we shall cut a sorry figure in their eyes, and our strength will turn to weakness through lack of friends. The true banquet for us is to study the wants of those who have run the risk and done the work, to see that they have all they need when they come home, a banquet that will give us richer delight than any gorging of the belly. [40] And remember, that even if the thought of them were not enough to shame us from it, in no case is this a moment for gluttony and drunkenness: the thing we set our minds to do is not yet done: everything is full of danger still, and calls for carefulness. We have enemies in this camp ten times more numerous than ourselves, and they are all at large: we need both to guard against them and to guard them, so that we may have servants to furnish us with supplies. Our cavalry are not yet back, and we must ask ourselves where they are and whether they mean to stay with us when they return. [41] Therefore, gentlemen, I would say, for the present let us above all be careful to avoid the food and drink that leads to slumber and stupefaction. [42] And there is another matter: this camp contains vast treasures, and I am well aware we have it in our power to pick and choose as much as we like for ourselves out of what belongs by right to all who helped in its capture. But it does not seem to me that grasping will be so lucrative as proving ourselves just toward our allies, and so binding them closer. [43] I go further:
I say that we should leave the distribution of the spoil to the Medes, the Hyrcanians, and Tigranes, and count it gain if they allot us the smaller share, for then they will be all the more willing to stay with us. [44] Selfishness now could only secure us riches for the moment, while to let these vanities go in order to obtain the very fount of wealth, that, I take it, will ensure for us and all whom we call ours a far more enduring gain. [45] Was it not,” he continued, “for this very reason that we trained ourselves at home to master the belly and its appetites, so that, if ever the need arose, we might turn our education to account? And where, I ask, shall we find a nobler opportunity than this, to show what we have learnt?”
[46] Such were his words and Hystaspas the Persian rose to support him, saying:
“Truly, Cyrus, it would be a monstrous thing if we could go fasting when we hunt, and keep from food so often and so long merely to lay some poor beast low, worth next to nothing, maybe, and yet, when a world of wealth is our quarry, let ourselves be baulked by one of those temptations which flee before the noble and rule the bad. Such conduct, methinks, would be little worthy of our race.”
[47] So Hystaspas spoke, and the rest approved him, one and all. Then Cyrus said:
“Come now, since we are all of one mind, each of you give me five of the trustiest fellows in his company, and let them go the rounds, and see how the supplies are furnished; let them praise the active servants, and where they see neglect, chastise them more severely than their own masters could.”
Thus they dealt with these matters.
[C.3] But it was not long before some of the Medes returned: one set had overtaken the waggons that had gone ahead, seized them and turned them back, and were now driving them to the camp, laden with all that an army could require, and others had captured the covered carriages in which the women rode, the wives of the Assyrian grandees or their concubines, whom they had taken with them because of their beauty. [2] Indeed, to this day the tribes of Asia never go on a campaign without their most precious property: they say they can fight better in the presence of their beloved, feeling they must defend their treasures, heart and soul. It may be so, but it may also be that the desire for pleasure is the cause.
[3] And when Cyrus saw the feats of arms that the Medes and the Hyrcanians had performed, he came near reproaching himself and those that were with him; the others, he felt, had risen with the time, had shown their strength and won their prizes, while he and his had stayed behind like sluggards. Indeed it was a sight to watch the victors riding home, driving their spoil before them, pointing it out with some display to Cyrus, and then dashing off again at once in search of more, according to the instructions they had received.
But though he ate out his heart with envy Cyrus was careful to set all their booty apart; and then he summoned his own officers again, and standing where they could all hear what he had to propose, he spoke as follows:
[4] “My friends, you would all agree, I take it, that if the spoils displayed to us now were our own to keep, wealth would be showered on every Persian in the land, and we ourselves, no doubt, through whom it was won, would receive the most. But what I do not see is how we are to get possession of such prizes unless we have cavalry of our own. [5] Consider the facts,” he continued, “we Persians have weapons with which, we hope, we can rout the enemy at close quarters: but when we do rout them, what sort of horsemen or archers or light-armed troops could ever be caught and killed, if we can only pursue them on foot? Why should they ever be afraid to dash up and harry us, when they know full well that they run no greater risk at our hands than if we were stumps in their orchards? [6] And if this be so, it is plain that the cavalry now with us consider every gain to be as much theirs as ours, and possibly even more, God wot! [7] At present things must be so: there is no help for it. But suppose we were to provide ourselves with as good a force as our friends, it must be pretty evident to all of us, I think, that we could then deal with the enemy by ourselves precisely as we do now with their help, and then perhaps we should find that they would carry their heads less high. It would be of less importance to us whether they chose to stay or go, we should be sufficient for ourselves without them. [8] So far then I expect that no one will disagree: if we could get a body of Persian cavalry it would make all the difference to us; but no doubt you feel the question is, how are we to get it? Well, let us consider first, suppose we decide to raise the force, exactly what we have to start with and what we need. [9] We certainly have hundreds of horses now captured in this camp, with their bridles and all their gear. Besides these, we have all the accoutrements for a mounted force, breast-plates to protect the trunk, and light spears to be flung or wielded at close quarters. What else do we need? It is plain we need men. [10] But that is just what we have already at our own command. For nothing is so much ours as our own selves. Only, some will say, we have not the necessary skill. No, of course not, and none of those who have it now had it either before they learnt to get it. Ah, you object, but they learnt when they were boys. [11] Maybe; but are boys more capable of learning what they are taught then grown men? Which are the better at heavy physical tasks, boys or men? [12] Besides, we, of all pupils, have advantages that neither boys nor other men possess: we have not to be taught the use of the bow as boys have, we are skilled in that already; nor yet the use of the javelin, we are versed in that; our time has not been taken up like other men’s with toiling on the land or labouring at some craft or managing household matters; we have not only had leisure for war, it has been our life. [13] Moreover, one cannot say of riding as of so many warlike exercises that it is useful but disagreeable. To ride a-horseback is surely pleasanter than to trudge a-foot? And as for speed—how pleasant to join a friend betimes whenever you wish, or come up with your quarry be it man or beast! And then, the ease and satisfaction of it! Whatever weapon the rider carries his horse must help to bear the load: ‘wear arms’ and ‘bear arms,’—they are the same thing on horseback. [14] But now, to meet the worst we can apprehend: suppose, before we are adepts, we are called upon to run some risk, and then find that we are neither infantry nor thoroughgoing cavalry? This may be a danger, but we can guard against it. We have it always in our power to turn into infantry again at a moment’s notice. I do not propose that by learning to ride we should unlearn the arts of men on foot.”
[15] Thus spoke Cyrus, and Chrysantas rose to support him, saying:
“For my part I cannot say I so much desire to be a horseman as flatter myself that once I can ride I shall be a sort of flying man. [16] At present when I race I am quiet content if, with a fair start, I can beat one of my rivals by the head, or when I sight my game I am happy if, by laying legs to the ground, I can get close enough to let fly javelin or arrow before he is clean out of range. But when once I am a horseman I shall be able to overhaul my man as far as I can see him, or come up with the beasts I chase and knock them over myself or else spear them as though they stood stock still, for when hunter and hunted are both of them racing, if they are only side by side, it is as good as though neither of them moved. [17] And the creature I have always envied,” he continued, “the centaur—if only he had the intelligence and forethought of a man, the adroit skill and the cunning hand, with the swiftness and strength of a horse, so as to overtake all that fled before him, and overthrow all that resisted— why, all these powers I shall collect and gather in my own person when once I am a rider. [18] Forethought I intend to keep with my human wits, my hands can wield my weapons, and my horse’s legs will follow up the foe, and my horse’s rush overthrow him. Only I shall not be tied and fettered to my steed, flesh of his flesh, and blood of his blood, like the old centaur. [19] And that I count a great improvement on the breed, far better than being united to the animal, body and soul. The old centaur, I imagine, must have been for ever in difficulties; as a horse, he could not use the wonderful inventions of man, and as a man, he could not enjoy the proper pleasures of a horse. [20] But I, if I learn to ride, once set me astride my horse, and I will do all that the centaur can, and yet, when I dismount, I can dress myself as a human being, and dine, and sleep in my bed, like the rest of my kind: in short, I shall be a jointed centaur that can be taken to pieces and put together again. [21] And I shall gain another point or so over the original beast: he, we know, had only two eyes to see with and two ears to hear with, but I shall watch with four eyes and with four ears I shall listen. You know, they tell us a horse can often see quicker than any man, and hear a sound before his master, and give him warning in some way. Have the goodness, therefore,” he added, “to write my name down among those who want to ride.”
[22] “And ours too,” they all cried, “ours too, in heaven’s name!”
Then Cyrus spoke: “Gentlemen, since we are all so well agreed, suppose we make it a rule that every one who receives a horse from me shall be considered to disgrace himself if he is seen trudging afoot, be his journey long or short?”
[23] Thus Cyrus put the question, and one and all assented; and hence it is that even to this day the custom is retained, and no Persian of the gentle class would willingly be seen anywhere on foot.
[C.4] In this debate their time was spent, and when it was past midday the Median cavalry and the Hyrcanians came galloping home, bringing in men and horses from the enemy, for they had spared all who surrendered their arms. [2] As they rode up the first inquiry of Cyrus was whether all of them were safe, and when they answered yes, he asked what they had achieved. And they told their exploits in detail, and how bravely they had borne themselves, magnifying it all. [3] Cyrus heard their story through with a pleasant smile, and praised them for their work. “I can see for myself,” he said, “that you have done gallant deeds. You seem to have grown taller and fairer and more terrible to look on than when we saw you last.”
[4] Then he made them tell him how far they had gone, and whether they had found the country inhabited. They said they had ridden a long way, and that the whole country was inhabited, and full of sheep and goats and cattle and horses, and rich in corn and every good thing.
[5] “Then there are two matters,” he said, “to which we must attend; first we must become masters of those who own all this, and next we must ensure that they do not run away. A well-populated country is a rich possession, but a deserted land will soon become a desert. [6] You have put the defenders to the sword, I know, and rightly—for that is the only safe road to victory; but you have brought in as prisoners those who laid down their arms. Now if we let these men go, I maintain we should do the very best thing for ourselves. [7] We gain two points; first, we need neither be on our guard against them nor mount guard over them nor find them victuals (and we do not propose to starve them, I presume), and in the next place, their release means more prisoners to-morrow. [8] For if we dominate the country all the inhabitants are ours, and if they see that these men are still alive and at large they will be more disposed to stay where they are, and prefer obedience to battle. That is my own view, but if any one sees a better course, let him point it out.”
[9] However, all his hearers approved the plan proposed. Thus it came to pass that Cyrus summoned the prisoners and said to them:
[10] “Gentlemen, you owe it to your own obedience this day that your lives are safe; and for the future if you continue in this conduct, no evil whatsoever shall befall you; true, you will not have the same ruler as before, but you will dwell in the same houses, you will cultivate the same land, you will live with your wives and govern your children as you do now. Moreover you will not have us to fight with, nor any one else. [11] On the contrary, if any wrong is done you, it is we who will fight on your behalf. And to prevent any one from ordering you to take the field, you will bring your arms to us and hand them over. Those who do this can count on peace and the faithful fulfilment of our promises; those who will not, must expect war, and that at once. [12] Further, if any man of you comes to us and shows a friendly spirit, giving us information and helping us in any way, we will treat him not as a servant, but as a friend and benefactor. This,” he added, “we wish you to understand yourselves and make known among your fellows. [13] And if it should appear that you yourselves are willing to comply but others hinder you, lead us against them, and you shall be their masters, not they yours.”
Such were his words; and they made obeisance and promised to do as he bade.
[C.5] And when they were gone, Cyrus turned to the Medes and the men of Armenia, and said, “It is high time, gentlemen, that we should dine, one and all of us; food and drink are prepared for you, the best we had skill to find. Send us, if you will, the half of the bread that has been baked; there is ample, I know, for both of us; but do not send any relish with it, nor any drink, we have quite enough at hand. [2] And do you,” he added, turning to the Hyrcanians, “conduct our friends to their quarters, the officers to the largest tents—you know where they are—and the rest where you think best. For yourselves, you may dine where you like; your quarters are intact, and you will find everything there prepared for you exactly as it is for the others. [3] All of you alike must understand that during the night we Persians will guard the camp outside, but you must keep an eye over what goes on within; and see that your arms are ready to hand; our messmates are not our friends as yet.”
[4] So the Medes and Tigranes with his men washed away the stains of battle, and put on the apparel that was laid out for them, and fell to dinner, and the horses had their provender too. They sent half the bread to the Persians but no relish with it and no wine, thinking that Cyrus and his men possessed a store, because he had said they had enough and to spare. But Cyrus meant the relish of hunger, and the draught from the running river. [5] Thus he regaled his Persians, and when the darkness fell he sent them out by fives and tens and ordered them to lie in ambush around the camp, so as to form a double guard, against attack from without, and absconders from within; any one attempting to make off with treasures would be caught in the act. And so it befell; for many tried to escape, and all of them were seized. [6] As for the treasures, Cyrus allowed the captors to keep them, but he had the absconders beheaded out of hand, so that for the future a thief by night was hardly to be found. Thus the Persians passed their time. [7] But the Medes drank and feasted and made music and took their fill of good cheer and all delights; there was plenty to serve their purpose, and work enough for those who did not sleep.
[8] Cyaxares, the king of the Medes, on the very night when Cyrus set forth, drank himself drunk in company with the officers in his own quarters to celebrate their good fortune. Hearing uproar all about him, he thought that the rest of the Medes must have stayed behind in the camp, except perhaps a few, but the fact was that their domestics, finding the masters gone, had fallen to drinking in fine style and were making a din to their hearts’ content, the more so that they had procured wine and dainties from the Assyrian camp. [9] But when it was broad day and no one knocked at the palace gate except the guests of last night’s revel, and when Cyaxares heard that the camp was deserted --the Medes gone, the cavalry gone—and when he went out and saw for himself that it was so, then he fumed with indignation against Cyrus and his own men, to think that they had gone off and left him in the lurch. It is said that without more ado, savage and mad with anger as he was, he ordered one of his staff to take his troopers and ride at once to Cyrus and his men, and there deliver this message:
[10] “I should never have dreamed that Cyrus could have acted towards me with such scant respect, or, if he could have thought of it, that the Medes could have borne to desert me in this way. And now, whether Cyrus will or no, I command the Medes to present themselves before me without delay.”
[11] Such was the message. But he who was to take it said, “And how shall I find them, my lord?”
“Why,” said Cyaxares, “as Cyrus and his men found those they went to seek.”
“I only asked,” continued the messenger, “because I was told that some Hyrcanians who had revolted from the enemy came here, and went off with him to act as guides.”
[12] When Cyaxares heard that, he was the more enraged to think that Cyrus had never told him, and the more urgent to have his Medes removed from him at once, and he summoned them home under fiercer threats than ever; threatening the officer as well if he failed to deliver the message in full force.
[13] So the emissary set off with his troopers, about one hundred strong, fervently regretting that he had not gone with Cyrus himself. On the way they took a turning which led them wrong, and they did not reach the Persians until they had chanced upon some of the Assyrians in retreat and forced them to be their guides, and so at last arrived, sighting the watch-fires about midnight. [14] But though they had got to the camp, the pickets, acting on the orders of Cyrus, would not let them in till dawn. With the first faint gleam of morning Cyrus summoned the Persian Priests, who are called Magians, and bade them choose the offerings due to the gods for the blessings they had vouchsafed. [15] And while they were about this, Cyrus called the Peers together and said to them:
“Gentlemen, God has put before us many blessings, but at present we Persians are but a scant company to keep them. If we fail to guard what we have toiled for, it will soon fall back into other hands, and if we leave some of our number to watch our gains, it will soon be seen that we have no strength in us. [16] I propose therefore that one of you should go home to Persia without loss of time, and explain what I need and bid them despatch an army forthwith, if they desire Persia to win the empire of Asia and the fruits thereof. [17] Do you,” said he, turning to one of the Peers, “do you, who are the eldest, go and repeat these words, and tell them that it shall be my care to provide for the soldiers they send me as soon as they are here. And as to what we have won—you have seen it yourself—keep nothing back, and ask my father how much I ought to send home for an offering to the gods, if I wish to act in honour and according to the law, and ask the magistrates how much is due to the commonwealth. And let them send commissioners to watch all that we do and answer all that we ask. So, sir,” he ended, “you will get your baggage together, and take your company with you as an escort. Fare you well.”
[18] With that message he turned to the Medes and at the same moment the messenger from Cyaxares presented himself, and in the midst of the whole assembly announced the anger of the king against Cyrus, and his threats against the Medes, and so bade the latter return home at once, even if Cyrus wished them to stay. [19] The Medes listened, but were silent; for they were sore bested; they could hardly disobey the summons, and yet they were afraid to go back after his threats, being all too well acquainted with the savage temper of their lord. [20] But Cyrus spoke:
“Herald,” said he, “and sons of the Medes, I am not surprised that Cyaxares, who saw the host of the enemy so lately, and knows so little of what we have done now, should tremble for us and for himself. But when he learns how many have fallen, and that all have been dispersed, his fears will vanish, and he will recognise that he is not deserted on this day of all days when his friends are destroying his foes. [21] Can we deserve blame for doing him a service? And that not even without his own consent? I am acting as I am, only after having gained his leave to take you out; it is not as though you had come to me in your own eagerness, and begged me to let you go, and so were here now; he himself ordered you out, those of you who did not find it a burthen. Therefore, I feel sure, his anger will melt in the sunshine of success, and, when his fears are gone, it will vanish too. [22] For the moment then,” he added, turning to the messenger, “you must recruit yourself; you have had a heavy task; and for ourselves,” said he, turning to the Persians, “since we are waiting for an enemy who will either offer us battle or render us submission, we must draw up in our finest style; the spectacle, perhaps, will bring us more than we could dare to hope. And do you,” he said, taking the Hyrcanian chieftain aside, “after you have told your officers to arm their men, come back and wait with me a moment.”
[23] So the Hyrcanian went and returned. Then Cyrus said to him, “Son of Hyrcania, it gives me pleasure to see that you show not only friendliness, but sagacity. It is clear that our interests are the same; the Assyrians are my foes as well as yours, only they hate you now even more bitterly than they hate me. [24] We must consult together and see that not one of our present allies turns his back on us, and we must do what we can to acquire more. You heard the Mede summon the cavalry to return, and if they go, we shall be left with nothing but infantry. [25] This is what we must do, you and I; we must make this messenger, who is sent to recall them, desirous to stay here himself. You must find him quarters where he will have a merry time and everything heart can wish, and I will offer him work which he will like far better than going back. And do you talk to him yourself, and dilate on all the wonders we expect for our friends if things go well. And when you have done this, come back again and tell me.”
[26] So the chieftain took the Mede away to his own quarters, and meanwhile the messenger from Persia presented himself equipped for the journey, and Cyrus bade him tell the Persians all that had happened, as it has been set out in this story, and then he gave him a letter to Cyaxares. “I would like to read you the very words,” he added, “so that what you say yourself may agree with it, in case you have questions asked you.”
[27] The letter ran as follows:--“Cyrus to Cyaxares, greeting. We do not admit that we have deserted you; for no one is deserted when he is being made the master of his enemies. Nor do we consider that we put you in jeopardy by our departure; on the contrary, the greater the distance between us the greater the security we claim to have won for you. [28] It is not the friend at a man’s elbow who serves him and puts him out of danger, but he who drives his enemies farthest and furthest away. [29] And I pray you to remember what I have done for you, and you for me, before you blame me. I brought you allies, not limiting myself to those you asked for, but pressing in every man that I could find; you allowed me while we were on friendly soil only to take those whom I could persuade to follow me, and now that I am in hostile territory you insist that they must all return; you do not leave it to their own choice. [30] Yesterday I felt that I owed both you and them a debt of gratitude, but to-day you drive me to forget your share, you make me wish to repay those, and those only, who followed me. [31] Not that I could bring myself to return you like for like; even now I am sending to Persia for more troops, and instructing all the men who come that, if you need them before we return, they must hold themselves at your service absolutely, to act not as they wish, but as you may care to use them. [32] In conclusion, I would advise you, though I am younger than yourself, not to take back with one hand what you give with the other, or else you will win hatred instead of gratitude; nor to use threats if you wish men to come to you speedily; nor to speak of being deserted when you threaten an army, unless you would teach them to despise you. [33] For ourselves, we will do our best to rejoin you as soon as we have concluded certain matters which we believe will prove a common blessing to yourself and us. Farewell.”
[34] “Deliver this,” said Cyrus, “to Cyaxares, and whatever questions he puts to you, answer in accordance with it. My injunctions to you about the Persians agree exactly with what is written here.” With that he gave him the letter and sent him off, bidding him remember that speed was of importance.
[35] Then he turned to review his troops, who were already fully armed, Medes, Hyrcanians, the men Tigranes had brought, and the whole body of the Persians. And already some of the neighbouring folk were coming up, to bring in their horses or hand over their arms. [36] The javelins were then piled in a heap as before and burnt at his command, after his troops had taken what they needed for themselves, but he bade the owners stay with their horses until they received fresh orders. This done, Cyrus called together the officers of the Hyrcanians and of the cavalry, and spoke as follows:
[37] “My friends and allies, you must not be surprised that I summon you so often. Our circumstances are so novel that much still needs adjustment, and we must expect difficulty until everything has found its place. [38] At present we have a mass of spoil, and prisoners set to guard it. But we do not ourselves know what belongs to each of us, nor could the guards say who the owners are: and thus it is impossible for them to be exact in their duties, since scarcely any of them know what these duties may be. [39] To amend this, you must divide the spoil. There will be no difficulty where a man has won a tent that is fully supplied with meat and drink, and servants to boot, bedding, apparel, and everything to make it a comfortable home; he has only to understand that this is now his private property, and he must look after it himself. But where the quarters are not furnished so well, there you must make it your business to supply what is lacking. [40] There will be more than enough for this; of that I am sure; the enemy had a stock of everything quite out of proportion to our scanty numbers. Moreover, certain treasurers have come to me, men who were in the service of the king of Assyria and other potentates, and according to what they tell me, they have a supply of gold coin, the produce of certain tributes they can name. [41] You will send out a proclamation that this deposit must be delivered up to you in your quarters; you must terrify those who fail to execute the order, and then you must distribute the money; the mounted men should have two shares apiece for the foot-soldier’s one; and you should keep the surplus, so that in case of need you may have wherewith to make your purchases. [42] With regard to the camp-market, proclamation must be made at once, forbidding any injustice; the hucksters must be allowed to sell the goods they have brought, and when these are disposed of they may bring more, so that the camp may be duly supplied.”
[43] So the proclamations were issued forthwith. But the Medes and the Hyrcanians asked Cyrus:
“How are we to distribute the spoil alone, without your men and yourself?”
[44] But Cyrus met question by question: “Do you really think, gentlemen, that we must all preside over every detail, each and all of us together? Can I never act for you, and you for me? I could scarcely conceive a surer way of creating trouble, or of reducing results. See,” said he, “I will take a case in point. [45] We Persians guarded this booty for you, and you believe that we guarded it well: now it is for you to distribute it, and we will trust you to be fair. [46] And there is another benefit that I should be glad to obtain for us all. You see what a number of horses we have got already, and more are being brought in. If they are left riderless we shall get no profit out of them; we shall only have the burden of looking after them. But if we set riders on them, we shall be quit of the trouble and add to our strength. [47] Now if you have other men in view, men whom you would choose before us to share the brunt of danger with you, by all means give these horses to them. But if you would rather have us fight at your side than any others, bestow them upon us. [48] To-day when you dashed ahead to meet danger all alone, great was our fear lest you might come to harm, and bitter our shame to think that where you were we were not. But if once we have horses, we can follow at your heels. [49] And if it is clear that we do more good so mounted, shoulder to shoulder with yourselves, we shall not fail in zeal; or if it appears better to support you on foot, why, to dismount is but the work of a moment, and you will have your infantry marching by your side at once, and we will find men to hold our horses for us.”
[50] To which they answered:
“In truth, Cyrus, we have not men for these horses ourselves, and even if we had them, we should not do anything against your wish. Take them, we beg you, and use them as you think best.”
[51] “I will,” said he, “and gladly, and may good fortune bless us all, you in your division of the spoil and us in our horsemanship. In the first place,” he added, “you will set apart for the gods whatever our priests prescribe, and after that you must select for Cyaxares what you think will please him most.”
[52] At that they laughed, and said they must choose him a bevy of fair women. “So let it be,” said Cyrus, “fair women, and anything else you please. And when you have chosen his share, the Hyrcanians must see to it that our friends among the Medes who followed us of their own free will shall have no cause to find fault with their own portion. [53] And the Medes on their side must show honour to the first allies we have won, and make them feel their decision was wise when they chose us for their friends. And be sure to give a share of everything to the messenger who came from Cyaxares and to his retinue; persuade him to stay on with us, say that I would like it, and that he could tell Cyaxares all the better how matters stood. [54] As for my Persians,” he added, “we shall be quite content with what is left over, after you are all provided for; we are not used to luxury, we were brought up in a very simple fashion, and I think you would laugh at us if you saw us tricked out in grand attire, just as I am sure you will when you see us seated on our horses, or, rather, rolling off them.”
[55] So they dispersed to make the distribution, in great mirth over the thought of the riding; and then Cyrus called his own officers and bade them take the horses and their gear, and the grooms with them, number them all, and then distribute them by lot in equal shares for each division. [56] Finally he sent out another proclamation, saying that if there was any slave among the Syrians, Assyrians, or Arabians who was a Mede, a Persian, a Bactrian, a Carian, a Cilician, or a Hellene, or a member of any other nation, and who had been forcibly enrolled, he was to come forward and declare himself. [57] And when they heard the herald, many came forward gladly, and out of their number Cyrus selected the strongest and fairest, and told them they were now free, and would be required to bear arms, with which he would furnish them, and as to necessaries, he would see himself that they were not stinted. [58] With that he brought them to the officers and had them enrolled forthwith, saying they were to be armed with shields and light swords, so as to follow the troopers, and were to receive supplies exactly as if they were his own Persians. The Persian officers themselves, wearing corslets and carrying lances, were for the future to appear on horseback, he himself setting the example, and each one was to appoint another of the Peers to lead the infantry for him.
[C.6] While they were concerned with these matters, an old Assyrian prince, Gobryas by name, presented himself before Cyrus, mounted on horseback and with a mounted retinue behind him, all of them armed as cavalry. The Persian officers who were appointed to receive the weapons bade them hand over their lances and have them burnt with the rest, but Gobryas said he wished to see Cyrus first. At that the adjutants led him in, but they made his escort stay where they were. [2] When the old man came before Cyrus, he addressed him at once, saying:
“My lord, I am an Assyrian by birth; I have a strong fortress in my territory, and I rule over a wide domain; I have cavalry at my command, two thousand three hundred of them, all of which I offered to the king of Assyria; and if ever he had a friend, that friend was I. But he has fallen at your hands, the gallant heart, and his son, who is my bitterest foe, reigns in his stead. Therefore I have come to you, a suppliant at your feet. I am ready to be your slave and your ally, and I implore you to be my avenger. You yourself will be a son to me, for I have no male children now. [3] He whom I had, my only son, he was beautiful and brave, my lord, and loved me and honoured me as a father rejoices to be loved. And this vile king—his father, my old master, had sent for my son, meaning to give him his own daughter in marriage; and I let my boy go, with high hopes and a proud heart, thinking that when I saw him again the king’s daughter would be his bride. And the prince, who is now king, invited him to the chase, and bade him do his best, for he thought himself far the finer horseman of the two. So they hunted together, side by side, as though they were friends, and suddenly a bear appeared, and the two of them gave chase, and the king’s son let fly his javelin, but alas! he missed his aim, and then my son threw—oh, that he never had!--and laid the creature low. [4] The prince was stung to the quick, though for the moment he kept his rancour hidden. But, soon after that, they roused a lion, and then he missed a second time—no unusual thing for him, I imagine—but my son’s spear went home, and he brought the beast down, and cried, ‘See, I have shot but twice, and killed each time!’ And at this the monster could not contain his jealousy; he snatched a spear from one of his followers and ran my son through the body, my only son, my darling, and took his life. [5] And I, unhappy that I am, I, who thought to welcome a bride-groom, carried home a corpse. I, who am old, buried my boy with the first down on his chin, my brave boy, my well-beloved. And his assassin acted as though it were an enemy that he had done to death. He never showed one sign of remorse, he never paid one tribute of honour to the dead, in atonement for his cruel deed. Yet his own father pitied me, and showed that he could share the burden of my grief. [6] Had he lived, my old master, I would never have come to you to do him harm; many a kindness have I received from him, and many a service have I done him. But now that his kingdom has descended to my boy’s murderer—I could never be loyal to that man, and he, I know, could never regard me as a friend. He knows too well how I feel towards him, and how, after my former splendour, I pass my days in mourning, growing old in loneliness and grief. [7] If you can receive me, if you can give me some hope of vengeance for my dear son, I think I should grow young again, I should not feel ashamed to live, and when I came to die I should not die in utter wretchedness.”
[8] So he spoke, and Cyrus answered:
“Gobryas, if your heart be set towards us as you say, I receive you as my suppliant, and I promise, God helping me, to avenge your son. But tell me,” he added, “if we do this for you, and if we suffer you to keep your stronghold, your land, your arms, and the power which you had, how will you serve us in return?”
[9] And the old man answered:
“My stronghold shall be yours, to live in as often as you come to me; the tribute which I used to pay to Assyria shall be paid to you; and whenever you march out to war, I will march at your side with the men from my own land. Moreover, I have a daughter, a well-beloved maiden, ripe for marriage; once I thought of bringing her up to be the bride of the man who is now king; but she besought me herself, with tears, not to give her to her brother’s murderer, and I have no mind to oppose her. And now I will put her in your hands, to deal with as I shall deal with you.”
[10] So it came to pass that Cyrus said, “On the faith that you have spoken truly and with true intent, I take your hand and I give you mine; let the gods be witness.”
And when this was done, Cyrus bade the old man depart in peace, without surrendering his arms, and then he asked him how far away he lived, “Since,” said he, “I am minded to visit you.” And Gobryas answered, “If you set off early to-morrow, the next day you may lodge with us.” [11] With that he took his own departure, leaving a guide for Cyrus.
Then the Medes presented themselves; they had set apart for the gods what the Persian Priests thought right, and had left it in their hands, and they had chosen for Cyrus the finest of all the tents, and a lady from Susa, of whom the story says that in all Asia there was never a woman so fair as she, and two singing-girls with her, the most skilful among the musicians. The second choice was for Cyaxares, and for themselves they had taken their fill of all they could need on the campaign, since there was abundance of everything. [12] The Hyrcanians had all they wanted too, and they made the messenger from Cyaxares share and share alike with them. The tents which were left over they delivered to Cyrus for his Persians; and the coined money they said should be divided as soon as it was all collected, and divided it was.

NOTES
C1.10. Two theories of hedonism: (1) Cyaxares’ “Economise the greatest joy when you have got it,” and by contrast (2) Cyrus’ roaming from joy to joy.
C1.22. Xenophon the Artist: the “kinsman” of Cyrus again, and the light by-play to enliven the severe history. The economic organising genius of Cyrus is also brought out.
C2.25. No looting, an order of the Duke of Wellington, Napier, Wolseley.
C2.32. Cf. modern times; humane orders, but strict.
C2.34. The question of commissariat. Would a modern force storm a camp without taking rations? I dare say they would.
C2.37. Notice the tone he adopts to these slaves; no bullying, but appealing to appetite and lower motives. This is doubtless Xenophontine and Hellenic.
C2.38. Important as illustrating the stern Spartan self-denial of the man and his followers. T
0

#4 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:55 PM

BOOK V of VI


[C.1] Such were the deeds they did and such the words they spoke. Then Cyrus bade them set a guard over the share chosen for Cyaxares, selecting those whom he knew were most attached to their lord, “And what you have given me,” he added, “I accept with pleasure, but I hold it at the service of those among you who would enjoy it the most.”
At that one of the Medes who was passionately fond of music said, “In truth, Cyrus, yesterday evening I listened to the singing-girls who are yours to-day, and if you could give me one of them, I would far rather be serving on this campaign than sitting at home.”
And Cyrus said, “Most gladly I will give her; she is yours. And I believe I am more grateful to you for asking than you can be to me for giving; I am so thirsty to gratify you all.”
So this suitor carried off his prize. [2] And then Cyrus called to his side Araspas the Mede, who had been his comrade in boyhood. It was he to whom Cyrus gave the Median cloak he was wearing when he went back to Persia from his grandfather’s court. Now he summoned him, and asked him to take care of the tent and the lady from Susa. [3] She was the wife of Abradatas, a Susian, and when the Assyrian army was captured it happened that her husband was away: his master had sent him on an embassy to Bactria to conclude an alliance there, for he was the friend and host of the Bactrian king. And now Cyrus asked Araspas to guard the captive lady until her husband could take her back himself. [4] To that Araspas replied, “Have you seen the lady whom you bid me guard?”
“No, indeed,” said Cyrus, “certainly I have not.”
“But I have,” rejoined the other, “I saw here when we chose her for you. When we came into the tent, we did not make her out at first, for she was seated on the ground with all her maidens round her, and she was clad in the same attire as her slaves, but when we looked at them all to discover the mistress, we soon saw that one outshone the others, although she was veiled and kept her eyes on the ground. [5] And when we bade her rise, all her women rose with her, and then we saw that she was marked out from them all by her height, and her noble bearing, and her grace, and the beauty that shone through her mean apparel. And, under her veil, we could see the big tear-drops trickling down her garments to her feet. [6] At that sight the eldest of us said, ‘Take comfort, lady, we know that your husband was beautiful and brave, but we have chosen you a man to-day who is no whit inferior to him in face or form or mind or power; Cyrus, we believe, is more to be admired than any soul on earth, and you shall be his from this day forward.’ But when the lady heard that, she rent the veil that covered her head and gave a pitiful cry, while her maidens lifted up their voice and wept with their mistress. [7] And thus we could see her face, and her neck, and her arms, and I tell you, Cyrus,” he added, “I myself, and all who looked on her, felt that there never was, and never had been, in broad Asia a mortal woman half so fair as she. Nay, but you must see her for yourself.”
[8] “Say, rather, I must not,” answered Cyrus, “if she be such as you describe.”
“And why not?” asked the young man.
“Because,” said he, “if the mere report of her beauty could persuade me to go and gaze on her to-day, when I have not a moment to spare, I fear she would win me back again and perhaps I should neglect all I have to do, and sit and gaze at her for ever.”
[9] At that the young man laughed outright and said:
“So you think, Cyrus, that the beauty of any human creature can compel a man to do wrong against his will? Surely if that were the nature of beauty, all men would feel its force alike. [10] See how fire burns all men equally; it is the nature of it so to do; but these flowers of beauty, one man loves them, and another loves them not, nor does every man love the same. For love is voluntary, and each man loves what he chooses to love. The brother is not enamoured of his own sister, nor the father of his own daughter; some other man must be the lover. Reverence and law are strong enough to break the heart of passion. [11] But if a law were passed saying, ‘Eat not, and thou shalt not starve; Drink not, and thou shalt not thirst; Let not cold bite thee in winter nor heat inflame thee in summer,’ I say there is no law that could compel us to obey; for it is our nature to be swayed by these forces. But love is voluntary; each man loves to himself alone, and according as he chooses, just as he chooses his cloak or his sandals.”
[12] “Then,” said Cyrus, “if love be voluntary, why cannot a man cease to love when he wishes? I have seen men in love,” said he, “who have wept for very agony, who were the very slaves of those they loved, though before the fever took them they thought slavery the worst of evils. I have seen them make gifts of what they ill could spare, I have seen them praying, yes, praying, to be rid of their passion, as though it were any other malady, and yet unable to shake it off; they were bound hand and foot by a chain of something stronger than iron. There they stood at the beck and call of their idols, and that without rhyme or reason; and yet, poor slaves, they make no attempt to run away, in spite of all they suffer; on the contrary, they mount guard over their tyrants, for fear these should escape.”
[13] But the young man spoke in answer: “True,” he said, “there are such men, but they are worthless scamps, and that is why, though they are always praying to die and be put out of their misery and though ten thousand avenues lie open by which to escape from life, they never take one of them. These are the very men who are prepared to steal and purloin the goods of others, and yet you know yourself, when they do it, you are the first to say stealing is not done under compulsion, and you blame the thief and the robber; you do not pity him, you punish him. [14] In the same way, beautiful creatures do not compel others to love them or pursue them when it is wrong, but these good-for-nothing scoundrels have no self-control, and then they lay the blame on love. But the nobler type of man, the true gentleman, beautiful and brave, though he desire gold and splendid horses and lovely women, can still abstain from each and all alike, and lay no finger on them against the law of honour. [15] Take my own case,” he added, “I have seen this lady myself, and passing fair I found her, and yet here I stand before you, and am still your trooper and can still perform my duty.”
[16] “I do not deny it,” said Cyrus; “probably you came away in time. Love takes a little while to seize and carry off his victim. A man may touch fire for a moment and not be burnt; a log will not kindle all at once; and yet for all that, I am not disposed to play with fire or look on beauty. You yourself, my friend, if you will follow my advice, will not let your own eyes linger there too long; burning fuel will only burn those who touch it, but beauty can fire the beholder from afar, until he is all aflame with love.”
[17] “Oh, fear me not, Cyrus,” answered he; “if I looked till the end of time I could not be made to do what ill befits a man.”
“A fair answer,” said Cyrus. “Guard her then, as I bid you, and be careful of her. This lady may be of service to us all one day.”
[18] With these words they parted. But afterwards, after the young man saw from day to day how marvellously fair the woman was, and how noble and gracious in herself, after he took care of her, and fancied that she was not insensible to what he did, after she set herself, through her attendants, to care for his wants and see that all things were ready for him when he came in, and that he should lack for nothing if ever he were sick, after all this, love entered his heart and took possession, and it may be there was nothing surprising in his fate. So at least it was.
[19] Meanwhile Cyrus, who was anxious that the Medes and the allies should stay with him of their own free choice, called a meeting of their leading men, and when they were come together he spoke as follows:
[20] “Sons of the Medes and gentlemen all, I am well aware it was not from need of money that you went out with me, nor yet in order to serve Cyaxares; you came for my sake. You marched with me by night, you ran into danger at my side, simply to do me honour. [21] Unless I were a miscreant, I could not but be grateful for such kindness. But I must confess that at present I lack the ability to make a fit requital. This I am not ashamed to tell you, but I would feel ashamed to add, ‘If you will stay with me, I will be sure to repay you,’ for that would look as though I spoke to bribe you into remaining. Therefore I will not say that; I will say instead, ‘Even if you listen to Cyaxares and go back to-day, I will still act so that you shall praise me, I will not forget you in the day of my good fortune.’ [22] For myself, I will never go back; I cannot, for I must confirm my oath to the Hyrcanians and the pledge I gave them; they are my friends and I shall never be found a traitor to them. Moreover, I am bound to Gobryas, who has offered us the use of his castle, his territory, and his power; and I would not have him repent that he came to me. [23] Last of all, and more than all, when the great gods have showered such blessings on us, I fear them and I reverence them too much to turn my back on all they have given us. This, then, is what I myself must do; it is for you to decide as you think best, and you will acquaint me with your decision.”
[24] So he spoke, and the first to answer was the Mede who had claimed kinship with Cyrus in the old days.
“Listen to me,” he said, “O king! For king I take you to be by right of nature; even as the king of the hive among the bees, whom all the bees obey and take for their leader of their own free will; where he stays they stay also, not one of them departs, and where he goes, not one of them fails to follow; so deep a desire is in them to be ruled by him. [25] Even thus, I believe, do our men feel towards you. Do you remember the day you left us to go home to Persia? Was there one of us, young or old, who did not follow you until Astyages turned us back? And later, when you returned to bring us aid, did we not see for ourselves how your friends poured after you? And again, when you had set your heart on this expedition, we know that the Medes flocked to your standard with one consent. [26] To-day we have learnt to feel that even in an enemy’s country we may be of good heart if you are with us, but, without you, we should be afraid even to return to our homes. The rest may speak for themselves, and tell you how they will act, but for myself, Cyrus, and for those under me, I say we will stand by you; we shall not grow weary of gazing at you, and we will continue to endure your benefits.”
[27] Thereupon Tigranes spoke:
“Do not wonder, Cyrus, if I am silent now. The soul within me is ready, not to offer counsel, but to do your bidding.” [28] And the Hyrcanian chieftain said, “For my part, if you Medes turn back to-day I shall say it was the work of some evil genius, who could not brook the fulfilment of your happiness. For no human heart could think of retiring when the foe is in flight, refusing to receive his sword when he surrenders it, rejecting him when he offers himself and all that he calls his own; above all, when we have a prince of men for our leader, one who, I swear it by the holy gods, takes delight to do us service, not to enrich himself.”
[29] Thereupon the Medes cried with one consent:
“It was you, Cyrus, who led us out, and it is you who must lead us home again, when the right moment comes.”
And when Cyrus heard that, he prayed aloud:
“O most mighty Zeus, I supplicate thee, suffer me to outdo these friends of mine in courtesy and kindly dealing.”
[30] Upon that he gave his orders. The rest of the army were to place their outposts and see to their own concerns, while the Persians took the tents allotted to them, and divided them among their cavalry and infantry, to suit the needs of either arm. Then they arranged for the stewards to wait on them in future, bring them all they needed, and keep their horses groomed, so that they themselves might be free for the work of war. Thus they spent that day.
[C.2] But on the morrow they set out for their march to Gobryas. Cyrus rode on horseback at the head of his new Persian cavalry, two thousand strong, with as many more behind them, carrying their shields and swords, and the rest of the army followed in due order. The cavalry were told to make their new attendants understand that they would be punished if they were caught falling behind the rear-guard, or riding in advance of the column, or straggling on either flank. [2] Towards evening of the second day the army found themselves before the castle of Gobryas, and they saw that the place was exceedingly strong and that all preparations had been made for the stoutest possible defence. They noticed also that great herds of cattle and endless flocks of sheep and goats had been driven up under the shelter of the castle walls. [3] Then Gobryas sent word to Cyrus, bidding him ride round and see where the place was easiest of approach, and meanwhile send his trustiest Persians to enter the fortress and bring him word what they found within. [4] Cyrus, who really wished to see if the citadel admitted of attack in case Gobryas proved false, rode all round the walls, and found they were too strong at every point. Presently the messengers who had gone in brought back word that there were supplies enough to last a whole generation and still not fail the garrison. [5] While Cyrus was wondering what this could mean, Gobryas himself came out, and all his men behind him, carrying wine and corn and barley, and driving oxen and goats and swine, enough to feast the entire host. [6] And his stewards fell to distributing the stores at once, and serving up a banquet. Then Gobryas invited Cyrus to enter the castle now that all the garrison had left it, using every precaution he might think wise; and Cyrus took him at his word, and sent in scouts and a strong detachment before he entered the palace himself. Once within, he had the gates thrown open and sent for all his own friends and officers. [7] And when they joined him, Gobryas had beakers of gold brought out, and pitchers, and goblets, and costly ornaments, and golden coins without end, and all manner of beautiful things, and last of all he sent for his own daughter, tall and fair, a marvel of beauty and stateliness, still wearing mourning for her brother. And her father said to Cyrus, “All these riches I bestow on you for a gift, and I put my daughter in your hands, to deal with as you think best. We are your suppliants; I but three days gone for my son, and she this day for her brother; we beseech you to avenge him.”
[8] And Cyrus made answer:
“I gave you my promise before that if you kept faith with me I would avenge you, so far as in me lay, and to-day I see the debt is due, and the promise I made to you I repeat to your daughter; God helping me, I will perform it. As for these costly gifts,” he added, “I accept them, and I give them for a dowry to your daughter, and to him who may win her hand in marriage. One gift only I will take with me when I go, but that is a thing so precious that if I changed it for all the wealth of Babylon or the whole world itself I could not go on my way with half so blithe a heart.”
[9] And Gobryas wondered what this rare thing could be, half suspecting it might be his daughter. “What is it, my lord?” said he. And Cyrus answered, “I will tell you. A man may hate injustice and impiety and lies, but if no one offers him vast wealth or unbridled power or impregnable fortresses or lovely children, he dies before he can show what manner of man he is. [10] But you have placed everything in my hands to-day, this mighty fortress, treasures of every kind, your own power, and a daughter most worthy to be won. And thus you have shown all men that I could not sin against my friend and my host, nor act unrighteously for the sake of wealth, nor break my plighted word of my own free will. [11] This is your gift, and, so long as I am a just man and known to be such, receiving the praise of my fellow-men, I will never forget it; I will strive to repay you with every honour I can give. [12] Doubt not,” he added, “but that you will find a husband worthy of your daughter. I have many a good man and true among my friends, and one of them will win her hand; but I could not say whether he will have less wealth, or more, than what you offer me. Only of one thing you may be certain; there are those among them who will not admire you one whit the more because of the splendour of your gifts; they will only envy me and supplicate the gods that one day it will be given to them to show that they too are loyal to their friends, that they too will never yield to their foes while life is in them, unless some god strike them down; that they too would never sacrifice virtue and fair renown for all the wealth you proffer and all the treasure of Syria and Assyria to boot. Such is the nature, believe me, of some who are seated here.”
[13] And Gobryas smiled. “By heaven, I wish you would point them out to me, and I would beg you to give me one of them to be my son-in-law.” And Cyrus said, “You will not need to learn their names from me; follow us, and you will be able to point them out yourself.”
[14] With these words he rose, clasped the hand of Gobryas, and went out, all his men behind him. And though Gobryas pressed him to stay and sup in the citadel, he would not, but took his supper in the camp and constrained Gobryas to take his meal with them. [15] And there, lying on a couch of leaves, he put this question to him, ‘Tell me, Gobryas, who has the largest store of coverlets, yourself, or each of us?” And the Assyrian answered, “You, I know, have more than I, more coverlets, more couches, and a far larger dwelling-place, for your home is earth and heaven, and every nook may be a couch, and for your coverlets you need not count the fleeces of your flocks, but the brushwood, and the herbage of hill and plain.”
[16] Nevertheless, when the meal began, it must be said that Gobryas, seeing the poverty of what was set before him, thought at first that his own men were far more open-handed than the Persians. [17] But his mood changed as he watched the grace and decorum of the company; and saw that not a single Persian who had been schooled would ever gape, or snatch at the viands, or let himself be so absorbed in eating that he could attend to nothing else; these men prided themselves on showing their good sense and their intelligence while they took their food, just as a perfect rider sits his horse with absolute composure, and can look and listen and talk to some purpose while he puts him through his paces. To be excited or flustered by meat and drink was in their eyes something altogether swinish and bestial. [18] Nor did Gobryas fail to notice that they only asked questions which were pleasant to answer, and only jested in a manner to please; all their mirth was as far from impertinence and malice as it was from vulgarity and unseemliness. [19] And what struck him most was their evident feeling that on a campaign, since the danger was the same for all, no one was entitled to a larger share than any of his comrades; on the contrary, it was thought the perfection of the feast to perfect the condition of those who were to share the fighting. [20] And thus when he rose to return home, the story runs that he said:
“I begin to understand, Cyrus, how it is that while we have more goblets and more gold, more apparel and more wealth than you, yet we ourselves are not worth as much. We are always trying to increase what we possess, but you seem to set your hearts on perfecting your own souls.”
[21] But Cyrus only answered:
“My friend, be here without fail to-morrow, and bring all your cavalry in full armour, so that we may see your power, and then lead us through your country and show us who are hostile and who are friendly.”
[22] Thus they parted for the time and each saw to his own concerns.
But when the day dawned Gobryas appeared with his cavalry and led the way. And Cyrus, as a born general would, not only supervised the march, but watched for any chance to weaken the enemy and add to his own strength. [23] With this in view, he summoned the Hyrcanian chief and Gobryas himself; for they were the two he thought most likely to give him the information that he needed.
“My friends,” said he, “I think I shall not err if I trust to your fidelity and consult you about the campaign. You, even more than I, are bound to see that the Assyrians do not overpower us. For myself, if I fail, there may well be some loophole of escape. But for you, if the king conquers, I see nothing but enmity on every side. [24] For, although he is my enemy, he bears me no malice, he only feels that it is against his interest for me to be powerful and therefore he attacks me. But you he hates with a bitter hatred, believing he is wronged by you.”
To this his companions answered that he must finish what he had to say; they were well aware of the facts, and had the deepest interest in the turn events might take.
[25] Thereupon Cyrus put his questions: “Does the king suppose that you alone are his enemies, or do you know of others who hate him too?” “Certainly we do,” replied the Hyrcanian, “the Cadousians are his bitterest foes, and they are both numerous and warlike. Then there are the Sakians, our neighbours, who have suffered severely at his hands, for he tried to subdue them as he subdued us.”
[26] “Then you think,” said Cyrus, “that they would be glad to attack him in our company?” “Much more than glad,” answered they; “if they could manage to join us.” “And what stands in their way?” asked he. “The Assyrians themselves,” said they, “the very people among whom you are marching now.” [27] At that Cyrus turned to Gobryas:
“And what of this lad who is now on the throne? Did you not charge him with unbridled insolence?”
“Even so,” replied Gobryas, “and I think he gave me cause.” “Tell me,” said Cyrus, “were you the only man he treated thus, or did others suffer too?”
[28] “Many others,” said Gobryas, “but some of them were weak, and why should I weary you with the insults they endured? I will tell you of a young man whose father was a much greater personage than I, and who was himself, like my own son, a friend and comrade of the prince. One day at a drinking-bout this monster had the youth seized and mutilated, and why? Some say simply because a paramour of his own had praised the boy’s beauty and said his bride was a woman to be envied. The king himself now asserts it was because he had tried to seduce his paramour. That young man, eunuch as he is, is now at the head of his province, for his father is dead.”
[29] “Well,” rejoined Cyrus, “I take it, you believe he would welcome us, if he thought we came to help him?” “I am more than sure of that,” said Gobryas, “but it is not so easy to set eyes on him.” “And why?” asked Cyrus. “Because if we are to join him at all, we must march right past Babylon itself.” [30] “And where is the difficulty in that?” said Cyrus. “Heaven help us!” cried Gobryas. “The city has only to open her gates, and she can send out an army ten thousand times as large as yours. That is why,” he added, “the Assyrians are less prompt than they were at bringing in their weapons and their horses, because those who have seen your army think it so very small, and their report has got about. So that in my opinion it would be better to advance with the utmost care.”
[31] Cyrus listened and replied.
“You do well, Gobryas, my friend, in urging as much care as possible. But I cannot myself see a safer route for us than the direct advance on Babylon, if Babylon is the centre of the enemy’s strength. They are numerous, you say, and if they are in good heart, we shall soon know it. [32] Now, if they cannot find us and imagine that we have disappeared from fear of them, you may take it as certain that they will be quit of the terror we have inspired. Courage will spring up in its place, and grow the greater the longer we lie hid. But if we march straight on then, we shall find them still mourning for the dead whom we have slain, still nursing the wounds we have inflicted, still trembling at the daring of our troops, still mindful of their own discomfiture and flight. [33] Gobryas,” he added, “be assured of this; men in the mass, when aflame with courage, are irresistible, and when their hearts fail them, the more numerous they are the worse the panic that seizes them. [34] It comes upon them magnified by a thousand lies, blanched by a thousand pallors, it gathers head from a thousand terror-stricken looks, until it grows so great that no orator can allay it by his words, no general arouse the old courage by a charge, or revive the old confidence by retreat; the more their leader cheers them on, the worse do the soldiers take their case to be. [35] Now by all means let us see exactly how things stand with us. If from henceforward victory must fall to those who can reckon the largest numbers, your fears for us are justified, and we are indeed in fearful danger; but if the old rule still holds, and battles are decided by the qualities of those who fight, then, I say, take heart and you will never fail. You will find far more stomach for the fight among our ranks than theirs. [36] And to hearten you the more, take note of this: our enemies are far fewer now than when we worsted them, far weaker than when they fled from us, while we are stronger because we are conquerors, and greater because fortune has been ours; yes, and actually more numerous because you and yours have joined us, for I would not have you hold your men too low, now that they are side by side with us. In the company of conquerors, Gobryas, the hearts of the followers beat high. [37] Nor should you forget,” he added, “that the enemy is well able to see us as it is, and the sight of us will certainly not be more alarming if we wait for him where we are than if we advance against him. That is my opinion, and now you must lead us straight for Babylon.”
[C.3] And so the march continued, and on the fourth day they found themselves at the limit of the territory over which Gobryas ruled. Since they were now in the enemy’s country Cyrus changed the disposition of his men, taking the infantry immediately under his own command, with sufficient cavalry to support them, and sending the rest of the mounted troops to scour the land. Their orders were to cut down every one with arms in his hands, and drive in the rest, with all the cattle they could find. The Persians were ordered to take part in this raid, and though many came home with nothing for their trouble but a toss from their horses, others brought back a goodly store of booty.
[2] When the spoil was all brought in, Cyrus summoned the officers of the Medes and the Hyrcanians, as well as his own peers, and spoke as follows:
“My friends, Gobryas has entertained us nobly; he has showered good things upon us. What say you then? After we have set aside the customary portion for the gods and a fair share for the army, shall we not give all the rest of the spoil to him? Would it not be a noble thing, a sign and symbol at the outset that we desire to outdo in well-doing those who do good to us?”
[3] At that all his hearers with one consent applauded, and a certain officer rose and said:
“By all means, Cyrus, let us do so. I myself cannot but feel that Gobryas must have thought us almost beggars because we were not laden with coins of gold and did not drink from golden goblets. But if we do this, he will understand that men may be free and liberal without the help of gold.”
[4] “Come then,” said Cyrus, “let us pay the priests our debt to heaven, select what the army requires, and then summon Gobryas and give the rest to him.”
So they took what they needed and gave all the rest to Gobryas.
[5] Forthwith Cyrus pressed on towards Babylon, his troops in battle order. But as the Assyrians did not come out to meet them, he bade Gobryas ride forward and deliver this message:
“If the king will come out to fight for his land, I, Gobryas, will fight for him, but, if he will not defend his own country, we must yield to the conquerors.”
[6] So Gobryas rode forward, just far enough to deliver the message in safety. And the king sent a messenger to answer him:
“Thy master says to thee: ‘It repents me, Gobryas, not that I slew thy son, but that I stayed my hand from slaying thee. And now if ye will do battle, come again on the thirtieth day from hence. We have no leisure now, our preparations are still on foot.’”
[7] And Gobryas made answer:
“It repents thee: may that repentance never cease! I have begun to make thee suffer, since the day repentance took hold on thee.”
[8] Then Gobryas brought back the words of the king to Cyrus, and Cyrus led his army off, and then he summoned Gobryas and said to him:
“Surely you told me that you thought the man who was made an eunuch by the king would be upon our side?”
“And I am sure he will,” answered Gobryas, “for we have spoken freely to each other many a time, he and I.” [9] “Then,” said Cyrus, “you must go to him when you think the right moment has come: and you must so act at first that only he and you may know what he intends, and when you are closeted with him, if you find he really wishes to be a friend, you must contrive that his friendship remain a secret: for in war a man can scarcely do his friends more good than by a semblance of hostility, or his enemies more harm than under the guise of friendship.” [10] “Aye,” answered Gobryas, “and I know that Gadatas would pay a great price to punish the king of Assyria. But it is for us to consider what he can best do.” [11] “Tell me now,” rejoined Cyrus, “you spoke of an outpost, built against the Hyrcanians and the Sakians, which was to protect Assyria in time of war,--could the eunuch be admitted there by the commandant if he came with a force at his back?” “Certainly he could,” said Gobryas, “if he were as free from suspicion as he is to-day.” [12] “And free he would be,” Cyrus went on, “if I were to attack his strongholds as though in earnest, and he were to repel me in force. I might capture some of his men, and he some of my soldiers, or some messengers sent by me to those you say are the enemies of Assyria, and these prisoners would let it be known that they were on their way to fetch an army with scaling-ladders to attack this fortress, and the eunuch, hearing their story, would pretend that he came to warn the commandant in time.” [13] “Undoubtedly,” said Gobryas, “if things went thus, the commandant would admit him; he would even beg him to stay there until you withdrew.”
“And then,” Cyrus continued, “once inside the walls, he could put the place into our hands?” [14] “We may suppose so,” said Gobryas. “He would be there to settle matters within, and you would be redoubling the pressure from without.”
“Then be off at once,” said Cyrus, “and do your best to teach him his part, and when you have arranged affairs, come back to me; and as for pledges of good faith, you could offer him none better than those you received from us yourself.”
[15] Then Gobryas made haste and was gone, and the eunuch welcomed him gladly; he agreed to everything and helped to arrange all that was needed. Presently Gobryas brought back word that he thought the eunuch had everything in readiness, and so, without more ado, Cyrus made his feigned attack on the following day, and was beaten off. [16] But on the other hand there was a fortress, indicated by Gadatas himself, that Cyrus took. The messengers Cyrus had sent out, telling them exactly where to go, fell into the hands of Gadatas: some were allowed to escape—their business was to fetch the troops and carry the scaling-ladders—but the rest were narrowly examined in the presence of many witnesses, and when Gadatas heard the object of their journey he got his equipment together and set out in the night at full speed to take the news. [17] In the end he made his way into the fortress, trusted and welcomed as a deliverer, and for a time he helped the commandant to the best of his ability. But as soon as Cyrus appeared he seized the place, aided by the Persian prisoners he had taken. [18] This done, and having set things in order within the fortress, Gadatas went out to Cyrus, bowed before him according to the custom of his land, and said, “Cyrus, may joy be yours!”
[19] “Joy is mine already,” answered he, “for you, God helping you, have brought it to me. You must know,” he added, “that I set great store by this fortress, and rejoice to leave it in the hands of my allies here. And for yourself, Gadatas,” he added, “if the Assyrian has robbed you of the ability to beget children, remember he has not stolen your power to win friends; you have made us yours, I tell you, by this deed, and we will stand by as faithfully as sons and grandsons of your own.”
[20] So Cyrus spoke. And at that instant the Hyrcanian chief, who had only just learnt what had happened, came running up to him, and seizing him by the hand cried out:
“O Cyrus, you godsend to your friends! How often you make me thank the gods for bringing me to you!”
[21] “Off with you, then,” said Cyrus, “and occupy this fortress for which you bless me so. Take it and make the best use of it you can, for your own nation, and for all our allies, and above all for Gadatas, our friend, who won it and surrenders it to us.”
[22] “Then,” said the chieftain, “as soon as the Cadousians arrive and the Sakians and my countrymen, we must, must we not? call a council of them all, so that we may consult together, and see how best to turn it to account.”
[23] Cyrus thought the proposal good, and when they met together it was decided to garrison the post with a common force, chosen from all who were concerned that it should remain friendly and be an outer balwark to overawe the Assyrians. [24] This heightened the enthusiasm of them all, Cadousians, Sakians, and Hyrcanians, and their levies rose high, until the Cadousians sent in 20,000 light infantry and 4000 cavalry, and the Sakians 11,000 bowmen, 10,000 on foot and 1000 mounted, while the Hyrcanians were free to despatch all their reserves of infantry and make up their horsemen to a couple of thousand strong, whereas previously the larger portion of their cavalry had been left at home to support the Cadousians and Sakians against Assyria.
[25] And while Cyrus was kept in the fortress, organising and arranging everything, many of the Assyrians from the country round brought in their horses and handed over their arms, being by this time in great dread of their neighbours.
[26] Soon after this Gadatas came to Cyrus and told him that messengers had come to say that the king of Assyria, learning what had happened to the fortress, was beside himself with anger, and was preparing to attack his territory. “If you, Cyrus,” said he, “will let me go now, I will try to save my fortresses: the rest is of less account.” [27] Cyrus said, “If you go now, when will you reach home?” And Gadatas answered, “On the third day from this I can sup in my own house.” “Do you think,” asked Cyrus, “that you will find the Assyrian already there?” “I am sure of it,” he answered, “for he will make haste while he thinks you are still far off.” [28] “And I,” said Cyrus, “when could I be there with my army?” But to this Gadatas made answer, “The army you have now, my lord, is very large, and you could not reach my home in less than six days or seven.” “Well,” Cyrus replied, “be off yourself: make all speed, and I will follow as best I can.”
[29] So Gadatas was gone, and Cyrus called together all the officers of the allies, and a great and goodly company they seemed, noble gentlemen, beautiful and brave. And Cyrus stood up among them all and said:
[30] “My allies and my friends, Gadatas has done deeds that we all feel worthy of high reward, and that too before ever he had received any benefit from us. The Assyrians, we hear, have now invaded his territory, to take vengeance for the monstrous injury they consider he has done them, and moreover, they doubtless argue that if those who revolt to us escape scot-free, while those who stand by them are cut to pieces, ere long they will not have a single supporter on their side. [31] To-day, gentlemen, we may do a gallant deed, if we rescue Gadatas, our friend and benefactor; and truly it is only just and right thus to repay gift for gift, and boon for boon. Moreover, as it seems to me, what we accomplish will be much to our own interest. [32] If all men see that we are ready to give blow for blow and sting for sting, while we outdo our benefactors in generous deeds, it is only natural that multitudes will long to be our friends, and no man care to be our foe. [33] Whereas, if it be thought that we left Gadatas in the lurch, how in heaven’s name shall we persuade another to show us any kindness? How shall we dare to think well of ourselves again? How shall one of us look Gadatas in the face, when all of us, so many and so strong, showed ourselves less generous than he, one single man and in so sore a plight?”
[34] Thus Cyrus spoke, and all of them assented right willingly, and said it must be done.
“Come then,” concluded Cyrus, “since you are all of one mind with me, let each of us choose an escort for our waggons and beasts of burden. [35] Let us leave them behind us, and put Gobryas at their head. He is acquainted with the roads, and for the rest he is a man of skill. But we ourselves will push on with our stoutest men and our strongest horses, taking provision for three days and no more: the lighter and cheaper our gear the more gaily shall we break our fast and take our supper and sleep on the road. [36] And now,” said he, “let us arrange the order of the march. You, Chrysantas, must lead the van with your cuirassiers, since the road is broad and smooth, and you must put your brigadiers in the first line, each regiment marching in file, for if we keep close order we shall travel all the quicker and be all the safer. [37] I put the cuirassiers in the front,” he added, “because they are our heaviest troops, and if the heaviest are leading, the lighter cannot find it hard to follow: whereas where the swiftest lead and the march is at night, it is no wonder if the column fall to pieces: the vanguard is always running away. [38] And behind the cuirassiers,” he went on, “Artabazas is to follow with the Persian targeteers and the bowmen, and behind them Andamyas the Mede with the Median infantry, and then Embas and the Armenian infantry, and then Artouchas with the Hyrcanians, and then Thambradas with the Sakian foot, and finally Datamas with the Cadousians. [39] All these officers will put their brigadiers in the first line, their targeteers on the right, and their bowmen on the left of their own squares: this is the order in which they will be of most use. [40] All the baggage-bearers are to follow in the rear: and their officers must see that they get everything together before they sleep, and present themselves betimes in the morning, with all their gear, and always keep good order on the march. [41] In support of the baggage-train,” he added, “there will be, first, Madatas the Persian with the Persian cavalry, and he too must put his brigadiers in the front, each regiment following in single file, as with the infantry. [42] Behind them Rambacas the Mede and his cavalry, in the same order, and then you, Tigranes, and yours, and after you the other cavalry leaders with the men they brought. The Sakians will follow you, and last of all will come the Cadousians, who were the last to join us, and you, Alkeunas, who are to command them, for the present you will take complete control of the rear, and allow no one to fall behind your men. [43] All of you alike, officers, and all who respect yourselves, must be most careful to march in silence. At night the ears, and not the eyes, are the channels of information and the guides for action, and at night any confusion is a far more serious matter than by day, and far more difficult to put right. For this reason silence must be studied and order absolutely maintained. [44] Whenever you mean to rise before daybreak, you must make the night-watches as short and as numerous as possible, so that no one may suffer on the march because of his long vigil before it; and when the hour for the start arrives the horn must be blown. [45] Gentlemen, I expect you all to present yourselves on the road to Babylon with everything you require, and as each detachment starts, let them pass down the word for those in the rear to follow.”
[46] So the officers went to their quarters, and as they went they talked of Cyrus, and what a marvellous memory he had, always naming each officer as he assigned him his post. [47] The fact was Cyrus took special pains over this: it struck him as odd that a mere mechanic could know the names of all his tools, and a physician the names of all his instruments, but a general be such a simpleton that he could not name his own officers, the very tools he had to depend on each time he wanted to seize a point or fortify a post or infuse courage or inspire terror. Moreover it seemed to him only courteous to address a man by name when he wished to honour him. [48] And he was sure that the man who feels he is personally known to his commander is more eager to be seen performing some noble feat of arms, and more careful to refrain from all that is unseemly and base. [49] Cyrus thought it would be quite foolish for him to give his orders in the style of certain householders: “Somebody fetch the water, some one split the wood.” [50] After a command of that kind, every one looks at every one else, and no one carries it out, every one is to blame, and no one is ashamed or afraid, because there are so many beside himself. Therefore Cyrus always named the officers whenever he gave an order.
[51] That, then, was his view of the matter. The army now took supper and posted their guards and got their necessaries together and went to rest. [52] And at midnight the horn was blown. Cyrus had told Chrysantas he would wait for him at a point on the road in advance of the troops, and therefore he went on in front himself with his own staff, and waited till Chrysantas appeared shortly afterwards at the head of his cuirassiers. [53] Then Cyrus put the guides under his command, and told him to march on, but to go slowly until he received a message, for all the troops were not yet on the road. This done, Cyrus took his stand on the line of march, and as each division came up, hurried it forward to its place, sending messengers meanwhile to summon those who were still behind. [54] When all had started, he despatched gallopers to Chrysantas to tell him that the whole army was now under way, and that he might lead on as quick as he could. [55] Then he galloped to the front himself, reined up, and quietly watched the ranks defile before him. Whenever a division advanced silently and in good order, he would ride up and ask their names and pay them compliments; and if he saw any sign of confusion he would inquire the reason and restore tranquillity. [56] One point remains to add in describing his care that night; he sent forward a small but picked body of infantry, active fellows all of them, in advance of the whole army. They were to keep Chrysantas in sight, and he was not to lose sight of them; they were to use their ears and all their wits, and report at once to Chrysantas if they thought there was any need. They had an officer to direct their movements, announce anything of importance, and not trouble about trifles.
[57] Thus they pressed forward through the night, and when day broke Cyrus ordered the mass of the cavalry to the front, the Cadousians alone remaining with their own infantry, who brought up the rear, and who were as much in need as others of cavalry support. But the rest of the horsemen he sent ahead because it was ahead that the enemy lay, and in case of resistance he was anxious to oppose them in battle-order, while if they fled he wished no time to be lost in following up the pursuit. [58] It was always arranged who were to give chase and who were to stay with himself: he never allowed the whole army to be broken up. [59] Thus Cyrus conducted the advance, but it is not to be thought that he kept to one particular spot; he was always galloping backwards and forwards, first at one point and then at another, supervising everything and supplying any defect as it arose. Thus Cyrus and his men marched forward.
[C.4] Now there was a certain officer in the cavalry with Gadatas, a man of power and influence, who, when he saw that his master had revolted from Assyria, thought to himself, “If anything should happen to him, I myself could get from the king all that he possessed.”
Accordingly he sent forward a man he could trust, with instructions that, if he found the Assyrian army already in the territory of Gadatas, he was to tell the king that he could capture Gadatas and all who were with him, if he thought fit to make an ambuscade. [2] And the messenger was also to say what force Gadatas had at his command and to announce that Cyrus was not with him. Moreover, the officer stated the road by which Gadatas was coming. Finally, to win the greater confidence, he sent word to his own dependents and bade them deliver up to the king of Assyria the castle which he himself commanded in the province, with all that it contained: he would come himself, he added, if possible, after he had slain Gadatas, and, even if he failed in that, he would always stand by the king.
[3] Now the emissary rode as hard as he could and came before the king and told his errand, and, hearing it, the king at once took over the castle and formed an ambuscade, with a large body of horse and many chariots, in a dense group of villages that lay upon the road. [4] Gadatas, when he came near the spot, sent scouts ahead to explore, and the king, as soon as he sighted them, ordered two or three of his chariots and a handful of horsemen to dash away as though in flight, giving the impression that they were few in number and panic-stricken. At this the scouting party swept after them, signalling to Gadatas, who also fell into the trap and gave himself up to the chase.
The Assyrians waited till the quarry was within their grasp and then sprang out from their ambuscade. [5] The men, with Gadatas, seeing what had happened, turned back and fled, as one might expect, with the Assyrians at their heels, while the officer who had planned it all stabbed Gadatas himself. He struck him in the shoulder, but the blow was not mortal. Thereupon the traitor fled to the pursuers, and when they found out who he was he galloped on with them, his horse at full stretch, side by side with the king. [6] Naturally the men with the slower horses were overtaken by the better mounted, and the fugitives, already wearied by their long journey, were at the last extremity when suddenly they caught sight of Cyrus advancing at the head of his army, and were swept into safety, as glad and thankful, we may well believe, as shipwrecked mariners into port.
[7] The first feeling of Cyrus was sheer astonishment, but he soon saw how matters stood. The whole force of the Assyrian cavalry was rolling on him, and he met it with his own army in perfect order, till the enemy, realising what had happened, turned and fled. Then Cyrus ordered his pursuing party to charge, while he followed more slowly at the pace he thought the safest. [8] The enemy were utterly routed: many of the chariots were taken, some had lost their charioteers, others were seized in the sudden change of front, others surrounded by the Persian cavalry. Right and left the conquerors cut down their foes, and among them fell the officer who had dealt the blow at Gadatas. [9] But of the Assyrian infantry, those who were besieging the fortress of Gadatas escaped to the stronghold that had revolted from him, or managed to reach an important city belonging to the king, where he himself, his horsemen, and his chariots had taken refuge.
[10] After this exploit Cyrus went on to the territory of Gadatas, and as soon as he had given orders to those who guarded the prisoners, he went himself to visit the eunuch and see how it was with him after his wound. Gadatas came out to meet him, his wound already bandaged. And Cyrus was gladdened and said, “I came myself to see how it was with you.” [11] “And I,” said Gadatas, “heaven be my witness, I came out to see how a man would look who had a soul like yours. I cannot tell what need you had of me, or what promise you ever gave me, to make you do as you have done. I had shown you no kindness for your private self: it was because you thought I had been of some little service to your friends, that you came to help me thus, and help me you did, from death to life. Left to myself I was lost. [12] By heaven above, I swear it, Cyrus, if I had been a father as I was born to be, God knows whether I could have found in the son of my loins so true a friend as you. I know of sons—this king of ours is such an one, who has caused his own father ten thousand times more trouble than ever he causes you.”
[13] And Cyrus made answer:
“You have overlooked a much more wonderful thing, Gadatas, to turn and wonder at me.”
“Nay,” said Gadatas, “what could that be?”
“That all these Persians,” he answered, “are so zealous in your behalf, and all these Medes and Hyrcanians, and every one of our allies, Armenians, Sakians, Cadousians.”
[14] Then Gadatas prayed aloud:
“O Father Zeus, may the gods heap blessings on them also, but above all on him who has made them what they are! And now, Cyrus, that I may entertain as they deserve these men you praise, take the gifts I bring you as their host, the best I have it in my power to bring.”
And with the word he brought out stores of every kind, enough for all to over sacrifice who listed; and the whole army was entertained in a manner worthy of their feat and their success.
[15] Meanwhile the Cadousians had been always in the rear, unable to share in the pursuit, and they longed to achieve some exploit of their own. So their chieftain, with never a word to Cyrus, led them forth alone, and raided the country towards Babylon. But, as soon as they were scattered the Assyrians came out from their city of refuge in good battle-order. [16] When they saw that the Cadousians were unsupported they attacked them, killing the leader himself and numbers of his men, capturing many of their horses and retaking the spoil they were in the act of driving away. The king pursued as far as he thought safe, and then turned back, and the Cadousians at last found safety in their own camp, though even the vanguard only reached it late in the afternoon. [17] When Cyrus saw what had happened he went out to meet them, succouring every wounded man and sending him off to Gadatas at once, to have his wounds dressed, while he helped to house the others in their quarters, and saw that they had all they needed, his Peers aiding him, for at such times noble natures will give help with all their hearts. [18] Still it was plain to see that he was sorely vexed, and when the hour for dinner came, and the others went away, he was still there on the ground with the attendants and the surgeons; not a soul would he leave uncared for if anything could be done: he either saw to it himself or sent for the proper aid.
[19] So for that night they rested. But with daybreak Cyrus sent out a herald and summoned a gathering of all the officers and the whole Cadousian army, and spoke as follows:
“My friends and allies, what has happened is only natural; for it is human nature to err, and I cannot find it astonishing. Still we may gain at least one advantage from what has occurred, if we learn that we must never cut off from our main body a detachment weaker than the force of the enemy. [20] I do not say that one is never to march anywhere, if necessary, with an even smaller fraction than the Cadousians had; but, before doing so you must communicate with some one able to bring up reinforcements, and then, though you may be trapped yourself, it is at least probable that your friends behind you may foil the foilers, and divert them from your own party: there are fifty ways in which one can embarrass the enemy and save one’s friends. Thus separation need not mean isolation, and union with the main force may still be kept, whereas if you sally forth without telling your plan, you are no better off than if you were alone in the field. [21] However, God willing, we shall take our revenge for this ere long; indeed, as soon as you have breakfasted, I will lead you out to the scene of yesterday’s skirmish, and there we will bury those who fell, and show our enemies that the very field where they thought themselves victorious is held by those who are stronger than they: they shall never look again with joy upon the spot where they slew our comrades. Or else, if they refuse to come out and meet us, we will burn their villages and harry all their land, so that in lieu of rejoicing at the sight of what they did to us, they shall gnash their teeth at the spectacle of their own disasters. [22] Go now,” said he, “the rest of you, and take your breakfast forthwith, but let the Cadousians first elect a leader in accordance with their own laws, and one who will guide them well and wisely, by the grace of God, and with our human help, if they should need it. And when you have chosen your leader, and had your breakfast, send him hither to me.”
[23] So they did as Cyrus bade them, and when he led the army out, he stationed their new general close to his own person, and told him to keep his detachment there, “So that you and I,” said he, “may rekindle the courage in their souls.”
In this order they marched out, and thus they buried the Cadousian dead and ravaged the country. Which done, they went back to the province of Gadatas, laden with supplies taken from the foe.
[24] Now Cyrus felt that those who had come over to his side and who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Babylon would be sure to suffer unless he were constantly there himself, and so he bade all the prisoners he set free take a message to the king, and he himself despatched a herald to say that he would leave all the tillers of the soil unmolested and unhurt if the Assyrian would let those who had come over to him continue their work in peace. [25] “And remember,” he added, “that even if you try to hinder my friends, it is only a few whom you could stop, whereas there is a vast territory of yours that I could allow to be cultivated. As for the crops,” he added, “if we have war, it will be the conqueror, I make no doubt, who will reap them, but if we have peace, it will be you. If, however, any of my people take up arms against you, or any of yours against me, we must, of course, each of us, defend ourselves as best we can.”
[26] With this message Cyrus despatched the herald, and when the Assyrians heard it, they urged the king to accept the proposal, and so limit the war as much as possible. [27] And he, whether influenced by his own people or because he desired it himself, consented to the terms. So an agreement was drawn up, proclaiming peace to the tillers of the soil and war to all who carried arms.
[28] Thus Cyrus arranged matters for the husbandmen, and he asked his own supporters among the drovers to bring their herds, if they liked, into his dominions and leave them there, while he treated the enemy’s cattle as booty wherever he could, so that his allies found attraction in the campaign. For the risk was no greater if they took what they needed, while the knowledge that they were living at the enemy’s expense certainly seemed to lighten the labour of the war.
[29] When the time came for Cyrus to go back, and the final preparations were being made, Gadatas brought him gifts of every kind, the produce of a vast estate, and among the cattle a drove of horses, taken from cavalry of his own, whom he distrusted owing to the late conspiracy. [30] And when he brought them he said, “Cyrus, this day I give you these for your own, and I would pray you to make such use of them as you think best, but I would have you remember that all else which I call mine is yours as well. For there is no son of mine, nor can there ever be, sprung from my own loins, to whom I may leave my wealth: when I die myself, my house must perish with me, my family and my name. [31] And I must suffer this, Cyrus, I swear to you by the great gods above us, who see all things and hear all things, though never by word or deed did I commit injustice or foulness of any kind.”
But here the words died on his lips; he burst into tears over his sorrows, and could say no more. [32] Cyrus was touched with pity at his suffering and said to him:
“Let me accept the horses, for in that I can help you, if I set loyal riders on them, men of a better mind, methinks, than those who had them before, and I myself can satisfy a wish that has long been mine, to bring my Persian cavalry up to ten thousand men. But take back, I pray you, all these other riches, and guard them safely against the time when you may find me able to vie with you in gifts. If I left you now so hugely in your debt, heaven help me if I could hold up my head again for very shame.”
[33] Thereto Gadatas made answer, “In all things I trust you, and will trust you, for I see your heart. But consider whether I am competent to guard all this myself. [34] While I was at peace with the king, the inheritance I had from my father was, it may be, the fairest in all the land: it was near that mighty Babylon, and all the good things that can be gathered from a great city fell into our laps, and yet from all the trouble of it, the noise and the bustle, we could be free at once by turning our backs and coming home here. But now that we are at war, the moment you have left us we are sure to be attacked, ourselves and all our wealth, and methinks we shall have a sorry life of it, our enemies at our elbow and far stronger than ourselves. [35] I seem to hear some one say, why did you not think of this before you revolted? But I answer, Cyrus, because the soul within me was stung beyond endurance by my wrongs; I could not sit and ponder the safest course, I was always brooding over one idea, always in travail of one dream, praying for the day of vengeance on the miscreant, the enemy of God and man, whose hatred never rested, once aroused, once he suspected a man, not of doing wrong, but of being better than himself. [36] And because he is a villain, he will always find, I know, worse villains that himself to aid him, but if one day a nobler rival should appear—have no concern, Cyrus, you will never need to do battle with such an one, yonder fiend would deal with him and never cease to plot against him until he had dragged him in the dust, only because he was the better man. And to work me trouble and disaster, he and his wicked tools will, I fear me, have strength enough and to spare.”
[37] Cyrus thought there was much in what he said, and he answered forthwith:
“Tell me, Gadatas, did we not put a stout garrison in your fortress, so as to make it safe for you whenever you needed it, and are you not taking the field with us now, so that, if the gods be on our side as they are to-day, that scoundrel may fear you, not you him? Go now, bring with you all you have that is sweet to look on and to love, and then join our march: you shall be, I am persuaded, of the utmost service to me, and I, so far as in me lies, will give you help for help.”
[38] When Gadatas heard that, he breathed again, and he said:
“Could I really be in time to make my preparations and be back before you leave? I would fain take my mother with me on the march.”
“Assuredly,” said Cyrus, “you will be in time: for I will wait until you say that all is ready.”
[39] So it came to pass that Gadatas went his way, and with the aid of Cyrus put a strong garrison in his fortress, and got together the wealth of his broad estates. And moreover he brought with him in his own retinue servants he could trust and in whom he took delight, as well as many others in whom he put no trust at all, and these he compelled to bring their wives with them, and their sisters, that so they might be bound to his service.
[40] Thus Gadatas went with Cyrus, and Cyrus kept him ever at his side, to show him the roads and the places for water and fodder and food, and lead them where there was most abundance.
[41] At last they came in sight of Babylon once more, and it seemed to Cyrus that the road they were following led under the very walls. Therefore he summoned Gobryas and Gadatas, and asked them if there was not another way, so that he need not pass so close to the ramparts. [42] “There are many other ways, my lord,” answered Gobryas, “but I thought you would certainly want to pass as near the city as possible, and display the size and splendour of your army to the king. I knew that when your force was weaker you advanced to his walls, and let him see us, few as we were, and I am persuaded that if he has made any preparation for battle now, as he said he would, when he sees the power you have brought with you, he will think once more that he is unprepared.”
[435] But Cyrus said:
“Does it seem strange to you, Gobryas, that when I had a far smaller army I took it right up to the enemy’s walls, and to-day when my force is greater I will not venture there? [44] You need not think it strange: to march up is not the same as to march past. Every leader will march up with his troops disposed in the best order for battle and a wise leader will draw them off so as to secure safety rather than sped. [45] But in marching past there is no means of avoiding long straggling lines of waggons, long strings of baggage-bearers, and all these must be screened by the fighting-force so as never to leave the baggage unprotected. [46] But this must mean a thin weak order for the fighting-men, and if the enemy choose to attack at any point with their full force, they can strike with far more weight than any of the troops available to meet them at the moment. [47] Again, the length of line means a long delay in bringing up relief, whereas the enemy have only a handsbreadth to cover as they rush out from the walls or retire. [48] But now, if we leave a distance between ourselves and them as wide as our line is long, not only with they realise our numbers plainly enough, but our veil of glittering armour will make the whole multitude more formidable in their eyes. [49] And, if they do attack us anywhere, we shall be able to foresee their advance a long way off and be quite prepared to give them welcome. But it is far more likely, gentlemen,” he added, “that they will not make the attempt, with all that ground to cover from the walls, unless they imagine that their whole force is superior to the whole of ours: they know that retreat will be difficult and dangerous.”
[50] So Cyrus spoke, and his listeners felt that he was right, and Gobryas led the army by the way that he advised. And as one detachment after another passed the city, Cyrus strengthened the protection for the rear and so withdrew in safety.
[51] Marching in this order, he came back at last to his first starting-point, on the frontier between Assyria and Media. Here he dealt with three Assyrian fortresses: one, the weakest, he attacked and took by force, while the garrisons of the other two, what with the eloquence of Gadatas and the terror inspired by Cyrus, were persuaded to surrender.
[C.5] And now that his expedition was completed, Cyrus sent to Cyaxares and urged him to come to the camp in order that they might decide best how to use the forts which they had taken, and perhaps Cyaxares, after reviewing the army, would advise him what the next move ought to be, or, Cyrus added to the messenger, “if he bids me, say I will come to him and take up my encampment there.” [2] So the emissary went off with the message, and meanwhile Cyrus gave orders that the Assyrian tent chosen for Cy
0

#5 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:57 PM

BOOK VI of VIII


[C.1] So the day ended, and they supped and went to rest. But early the next morning all the allies flocked to Cyaxares’ gates, and while Cyaxares dressed and adorned himself, hearing that a great multitude were waiting, Cyrus gave audience to the suitors his own friends had brought. First came the Cadousians, imploring him to stay, and then the Hyrcanians, and after them the Sakians, and then some one presented Gobryas, and Hystaspas brought in Gadatas the eunuch, whose entreaty was still the same. [2] At that Cyrus, who knew already that for many a day Gadatas had been half-dead with fear lest the army should be disbanded, laughed outright and said, “Ah, Gadatas, you cannot conceal it: you have been bribed by my friend Hystaspas to take this view.”
[3] But Gadatas lifted up his hands to heaven and swore most solemnly that Hystaspas had not influenced him.
“Nay,” said he, “it is because I know myself that, if you depart, I am ruined utterly. And therefore it was that I took it upon me to speak with Hystaspas myself, and ask him if he knew what was in your mind about the disbanding of the army.”
[4] And Cyrus said, “It would be unjust then, I suppose, to lay the blame on Hystaspas.” “Yes, Cyrus, most unjust,” said Hystaspas, “for I only said to Gadatas that it would be impossible for you to carry on the campaign, as your father wanted you home, and had sent for you.”
[5] “What?” cried Cyrus, “you dared to let that be known whether I wished it or not?”
“Certainly I did,” he answered, “for I can see that you are mad to be home in Persia, the cynosure of every eye, telling your father how you wrought this and accomplished that.”
“Well,” said Cyrus, “are you not longing to go home yourself?”
“No,” said the other. “I am not. Nor have I any intention of going:
here I shall stay and be general-in-chief until I make our friend Gadatas the lord and the Assyrian his slave.”
[6] Thus half in jest and half in earnest they played with one another, and meanwhile Cyaxares had finished adorning himself and came forth in great splendour and solemnity, and sat down on a Median throne. And when all were assembled and silence was proclaimed, Cyaxares said:
“My friends and allies, perhaps, since I am present and older than Cyrus, it is suitable that I should address you first. It appears to me that the moment has come to discuss one question before all others, the question whether we ought to go on with the campaign or disband the army. Be pleased,” he added, “to state your opinions on the matter.”
[7] Then the leader of the Hyrcanians stood up at once and said:
“Friends and allies, I hardly think that words are needed when facts themselves show us the path to take. All of us know that while we stand together we give our enemy more trouble than we get: but when we stood alone it was they who dealt with us as they liked best and we liked least.”
[8] Then the Cadousian followed.
“The less we talk,” said he, “about breaking-up and going home separately the better; separation has done us anything but good, it seems to me, even on the march. My men and I, at any rate, very soon paid the penalty for private excursions; as I dare say you have not forgotten.”
[9] Upon that Artabazus rode, the Mede who had claimed kinship with Cyrus in the old days.
“Cyaxares,” said he, “in one respect I differ from those who have spoken before me: they think we should stay here in order to go on with the campaign, but I think I am always on campaign at home. [10] I was for ever out on some expedition or other, because our people were being harried, or our fortresses threatened, and a world of trouble I had, what with fears within and fighting without, and all too at my own expense. As it is now, I occupy the enemy’s forts, my fear of them is gone, I make good cheer on their own good things, and I drink their own good wine. Since home means fighting and service here means feasting, I am not in favour myself,” said he, “of breaking up the company.”
[11] Then Gobryas spoke.
“Friends,” said he, “I have trusted Cyrus’ word and had no fault to find with him: what he promises that he performs: but if he leaves the country now, the Assyrian will be reprieved, he will never be punished for the wrongs he tried to inflict on you and did inflict on me: I shall be punished instead, because I have been your friend.”
[12] At that Cyrus rose at last and said:
“Gentlemen, I am well aware that the disbanding of our forces must mean the decrease of our power and the increase of theirs. If some of them have given up their weapons, they will soon procure others; if some have lost their horses, the loss will soon be made good; if some have fallen in battle, others, younger and stronger, will take their place. We need not be surprised if they are soon in a condition to cause us trouble again. [13] Why, then, did I ask Cyaxares to put the question to debate? Because, I answer, I am afraid of the future. I see opponents against us whom we cannot fight, if we conduct the campaign as we are doing now. [14] Winter is advancing against us, and though we may have shelter for ourselves we have nothing, heaven knows, for our horses and our servants and the great mass of our soldiery, without whom we cannot even think of a campaign. As to provisions, up to the limits of our advance and because of that advance they have been exhausted; and beyond that line, owing to the terror we inspire, the inhabitants will have stowed their supplies away in strong places where they can enjoy them and we cannot get them. [15] Where is the warrior, stout of heart and strong of will, who can wage war with cold and hunger? If our style of soldiering is to be only what it has been, I say we ought to disband at once of our own accord, and not wait to be driven from the field against our will by sheer lack of means. If we do wish to go forward, this is what we must do: we must detach from the enemy all the fortresses we can and secure all we can for our own: if this is done, the larger supply will be in the hands of those who can stow away the larger store, and the weaker will suffer siege. [16] At present we are like mariners on the ocean: they may sail on for ever, but the seas they have crossed are no more theirs than those that are still unsailed. But if we hold the fortresses, the enemy will find they are living in a hostile land, while we have halcyon weather. [17] Some of you may dread the thought of garrison duty far from home; if so, dispel your doubts. We Persians, who must, as it is, be exiles for the time, will undertake the positions that are nearest to the foe, while it will be for you to occupy the land on the marches between Assyria and yourselves and put it under tillage. [18] For, if we can hold his inner line, your peace will not be disturbed in the outlying parts: he will scarcely neglect the danger at his door to attack you out in the distance.”
[19] At this the whole assembly rose to express their eagerness and assent, and Cyaxares stood up with them. And both Gadatas and Gobryas offered to fortify a post if the allies wished, and thus provide two cities of refuge to start with.
[20] Finally Cyrus, thus assured of the general consent to his proposals, said, “If we really wish to carry out what we have set ourselves, we must prepare battering-rams and siege engines, and get together mechanics and builders for our own castles.” [21] Thereupon Cyaxares at once undertook to provide an engine at his own expense, Gadatas and Gobryas made themselves responsible for a second, Tigranes for a third, and Cyrus himself promised he would try to furnish two. [22] That done, every one set to work to find engineers and artisans and to collect material for the machines; and superintendents were appointed from those best qualified for the work.
[23] Now Cyrus was aware that all this would take some time, and therefore he encamped his troops in the healthiest spot he could find and the easiest to supply, strengthening, wherever necessary, the natural defences of the place, so that the detachment left in charge for the time should always be in complete security, even though he might be absent himself with the main body of his force. [24] Nor was this all; he questioned those who knew the country best, and, learning where he would be rewarded for his pains, he would lead his men out to forage, and thus procure as large supplies as possible, keep his soldiers in the best of health and strength, and fix their drill in their minds.
[25] So Cyrus spent his days, and meanwhile the deserters from Babylon and the prisoners who were captured all told the same story: they said that the king had gone off to Lydia, taking with him store of gold and silver, and riches and treasures of every kind. [26] The mass of the soldiers were convinced that he was storing his goods away from fear, but Cyrus knew that he must have gone to raise, if possible, an opponent who could face them, and therefore he pushed his preparations forward vigorously, feeling that another battle must be fought. He filled up the Persian cavalry to its full complement, getting the horses partly from the prisoners, partly from his own friends. There were two gifts he would never refuse, horses and good weapons. [27] He also procured chariots, taking them from the enemy or wherever he could find them. The old Trojan type of charioteering, still in use to this day among the Cyrenaeans, he abolished; before his time the Medes, the Syrians, the Arabians, and all Asiatics generally, used their chariots in the same way as the Cyrenaeans do now. [28] The fault of the system to his mind was that the very flower of the army, if the picked men were in the chariots, could only act at long range and so contribute little after all to the victory. Three hundred chariots meant twelve hundred horses and three hundred fighting-men, besides the charioteers, who would naturally be men above the common, in whom the warriors could place confidence: and that meant another three hundred debarred from injuring the enemy in any kind of way. [29] Such was the system he abolished in favour of the war-chariot proper, with strong wheels to resist the shock of collision, and long axles, on the principle that a broad base is the firmer, while the driver’s seat was changed into what might be called a turret, stoutly built of timber and reaching up to the elbow, leaving the driver room to manage the horses above the rim. The drivers themselves were all fully armed, only their eyes uncovered. [30] He had iron scythes about two feet long attached to the axles on either side, and others, under the tree, pointing to the ground, for use in a charge. Such was the type of chariot invented by Cyrus, and it is still in use to-day among the subjects of the Great King. Beside the chariots he had a large number of camels, collected from his friends or captured from the enemy. [31] Moreover, he decided to send a spy into Lydia to ascertain the movements of the king, and he thought that the right man for this purpose was Araspas, the officer in charge of the fair lady from Susa. Matters had gone ill with Araspas: he had fallen passionately in love with his prisoner, and been led to entreat her to be his paramour. [32] She had refused, faithful to her husband who was far away, for she loved him dearly, but she forbore to accuse Araspas to Cyrus, being unwilling to set friend at strife with friend. [33] But when at length Araspas, thinking it would help him in his desires, began to threaten her, saying that if she would not yield he would have his will of her by force, then in her dread of violence she could keep the matter hid no longer, and she sent her eunuch to Cyrus with orders to tell him everything. [34] And when Cyrus heard it he smiled over the man who had boasted that he was superior to love, and sent Artabazus back with the eunuch to tell Araspas that he must use no violence against such a woman, but if he could persuade her, he might do so. [35] But Artabazus, when he saw Araspas, rebuked him sternly, saying that the woman was a sacred trust, and his conduct disgraceful, impious, and wicked, till Araspas burst into tears of misery and shame, and was half dead at the thought of what Cyrus would do. [36] Learning this, Cyrus sent for him, saw him alone, and said to him face to face:
“Araspas, I know that you are afraid of me and in an agony of shame. Be comforted; we are told that the gods themselves are made subject to desire, and I could tell you what love has forced some men to undergo, men who seemed most lofty and most wise. Did I not pass sentence on myself, when I confessed I was too weak to consort with loveliness and remain unmoved? Indeed it is I who am most to blame in the matter, for I shut you up myself with this irresistible power.”
[37] But Araspas broke in on his words:
“Ah, Cyrus, you are ever the same, gentle and compassionate to human weaknesses. But all the rest of the world has no pity on me; they drown me in wretchedness. As soon as the tattlers got wind of my misfortune, all my enemies exulted, and my friends came to me, advising me to make away with myself for fear of you, because my iniquity was so great.”
[38] Then Cyrus said, “Now listen: this opinion about you may be the means by which you can do me a great kindness and your comrades a great service.” “Oh, that it were possible!” said Araspas, “for me ever to be of service to you!” [39] “Well,” said the other, “if you went to the enemy, feigning that you had fled from me, I think they would believe you.” “I am sure they would,” said Araspas, “I know even my own friends would think that of course I ran away.” [40] “Then you will come back to us,” Cyrus went on, “with full information about the enemy’s affairs; for, if I am right in my expectation, they will trust you and let you see all their plans, so that you need miss nothing of what we wish to know.” “I will be off this moment,” said Araspas; “it will be my best credential to have it thought I was just in time to escape punishment from you.”
[41] “Then you can really bring yourself to leave the beautiful Pantheia?”
“Yes, Cyrus,” he answered, “I can; for I see now that we have two souls. This is the lesson of philosophy that I have learnt from the wicked sophist Love. If we had but a single soul, how could she be at once evil and good? How could she be enamoured at once of nobleness and baseness, or at once desire and not desire one deed and the same? No, it is clear that we have two souls, and when the beautiful soul prevails, all fair things are wrought, and when the evil soul has the mastery, she lays her hand to shame and wickedness. But to-day my good soul conquers, because she has you to help her.”
[42] “Well,” said Cyrus, “if you have decided on going, it is thus you had better go. Thus you will win their confidence, and then you must tell them what we are doing, but in such a way as to hinder their own designs. It would hinder them, for example, if you said that we were preparing an attack on their territory at a point not yet decided; for this would check the concentration of their forces, each leader being most concerned for the safety of his own home. [43] Stay with them,” he added, “till the last moment possible: what they do when they are close at hand is just what is most important for us to know. Advise them how to dispose their forces in the way that really seems the best, for then, after you are gone and although it may be known that you are aware of their order, they will be forced to keep to it, they will not dare to change it, and should they do so at the last moment they will be thrown into confusion.”
[44] Thereupon Araspas took his leave, called together his trustiest attendants, said what he thought necessary for the occasion, and departed.
[45] Now Pantheia, when she heard that Araspas had fled, sent a messenger to Cyrus, saying:
“Grieve not, Cyrus, that Araspas has gone to join the foe: I will bring you a far trustier friend than he, if you will let me send for my husband, and I know he will bring with him all the power that he has. It is true that the old king was my husband’s friend, but he who reigns now tried to tear us two asunder, and my husband knows him for a tyrant and a miscreant, and would gladly be quit of him and take service with such a man as you.”
[46] When Cyrus heard that, he bade Pantheia send word to her husband, and she did so. Now when Abradatas saw the tokens from his wife, and learnt how matters stood, he was full of joy, and set out for Cyrus’ camp immediately, with a thousand horsemen in his train. And when he came to the Persian outposts he sent to Cyrus saying who he was, and Cyrus gave orders that he should be taken to Pantheia forthwith. [47] So husband and wife met again after hope had well-nigh vanished, and were in each other’s arms once more. And then Pantheia spoke of Cyrus, his nobleness, his honour, and the compassion he had shown her, and Abradatas cried:
“Tell me, tell me, how can I repay him all I owe him in your name and mine!” And she answered:
“So deal with him, my husband, as he has dealt with you.”
[48] And thus Abradatas went to Cyrus, and took him by the hand, and said:
“Cyrus, in return for the kindness you have shown us, I can say no more than this: I give myself to you, I will be your friend, your servant, and your ally: whatever you desire, I will help you to win, your fellow-worker always, so far as in me lies.”
[49] Then Cyrus answered:
“And I will take your gift: but for the moment you must leave me, and sup with your wife: another day you will let me play the host, and give you lodging with your friends and mine.”
[50] Afterwards Abradatas perceived how much Cyrus had at heart the scythe-bearing chariots and the cavalry and the war-horses with their armour, and he resolved to equip a hundred chariots for him out of his own cavalry force. [51] These he proposed to lead himself in a chariot of his own, four-poled and drawn by eight horses, all the eight protected by chest-plates of bronze. [52] So Abradatas set to work, and this four-poled chariot of his gave Cyrus the idea of making a car with eight poles, drawn by eight yoke of oxen, to carry the lowest compartment of the battering engines, which stood, with its wheels, about twenty-seven feet from the ground. [53] Cyrus felt that he had a series of such towers brought into the field at a fair pace they would be of immense service to him, and inflict as much damage on the enemy. The towers were built with galleries and parapets, and each of them could carry twenty men. [54] When the whole was put together he tested it and found that the eight yoke of oxen could draw the whole tower with the men more easily than one yoke by itself could manage the ordinary weight of baggage, which came to about five-and-twenty talents apiece, whereas the tower, build of planks about as thick as the boards for a stage, weighed less than fifteen for each yoke. [55] Thus, having satisfied himself that the attempt was perfectly possible, he arranged to take the towers into action, believing that in war selfishness meant salvation, justice, and happiness.
[C.2] About this time ambassadors came to Cyrus from India with gifts of courtesy and a message from their king, saying:
“I send you greeting, Cyrus, and I rejoice that you told me of your needs. I desire to be your friend and I offer you gifts; and if you have need of anything more, I bid you say the word, and it shall be yours. I have told my men to do whatever you command.”
[2] Then Cyrus answered:
“This, then, is my bidding: the rest of you shall stay where you have pitched your tents; you shall guard your treasures and live as you choose: but three of you shall go to the enemy and make believe that you have come to him about an alliance with your king, and thus you shall learn how matters stand, and all they say and all they do, and so bring me word again with speed. And if you serve me well in this, I shall owe you even more than I could owe you for these gifts. There are some spies who are no better than slaves, and have no skill to find out anything more than is known already, but there are men of another sort, men of your stamp, who can discover plans that are not yet disclosed.”
[3] The Indians listened gladly, and for the moment made themselves at home as the guests of Cyrus: but the next day they got ready and set off on their journey, promising to find out as much as they could of the enemy’s secrets and bring him word again with all possible speed.
[4] Meanwhile Cyrus continued his preparations for the war on a magnificent scale, like one who meant to accomplish no small achievement. Not only did he carry out all the resolutions of the allies, but he breathed a spirit of emulation into his own friends and followers, till each strove to outshine his fellows in arms and accoutrements, in horsemanship and spearmanship and archery, in endurance of toil and danger. [5] Cyrus would lead them out to the chase, and show especial honour to those who distinguished themselves in any way: he would whet the ambition of the officers by praising all who did their best to improve their men, and by gratifying them in every way he could. [6] At every sacrifice and festival he instituted games and contests in all martial exercises, and lavished prizes on the victors, till the whole army was filled with enthusiasm and confidence. [7] By this time Cyrus had almost everything in readiness for the campaign, except the battering-machines. The Persian cavalry was made up to its full number of ten thousand men, and the scythed chariots were complete, a hundred of his own, and a hundred that Abradatas of Susa had provided. [8] Beside these there were a hundred of the old Median chariots which Cyrus had persuaded Cyaxares to remodel on his own type, giving up the Trojan and Lydian style. The camels were ready also, each animal carrying a couple of mounted archers.
The bulk of the great army felt almost as though they had already conquered, and the enemy’s power was held of no account.
[9] While matters were thus, the Indians whom Cyrus had sent out returned with their report. Croesus had been chosen leader and general-in-chief; a resolution had been passed, calling on all the allied kings to bring up their entire forces, raise enormous sums for the war, and spend them in hiring mercenaries where they could and making presents where they must. [10] Large numbers of Thracians, armed with the short sword, had already been enrolled, and a body of Egyptians were coming by sea, amounting—so said the Indians—to 120,000 men, armed with long shields reaching to their feet, huge spears (such as they carry to this day), and sabres. Beside these, an army was expected from Cyprus, and there were already on the spot all the Cilicians, the men of both the Phrygias, of Lycaonia, Paphlagonia, and Cappadocia, the Arabians, the Phoenicians, and all the Assyrians under the king of Babylon. Moreover, the Ionians, and Aeolians, and indeed nearly all the Hellenic colonists on the coast were compelled to follow in the train of Croesus. [11] Croesus himself had already sent to Lacedaemon to propose an alliance with the Spartans. The armament was mustering on the banks of the Pactolus, and they were to push forward presently to Thymbrara (the place which is still the mustering-ground for all the Asiatic subjects of the Great King west of Syria), and orders had been issued to open a market there. This report agreed with the accounts given by the prisoners, for Cyrus was always at pains to gave men captured from whom he could get some information, and he would also send out spies disguised as runaway slaves.
[12] Such were the tidings, and when the army heard the news there was much anxiety and concern, as one may well suppose. The men went about their work with an unusual quietness, their faces clouded over, or gathered in knots and clusters everywhere, anxiously asking each other the news and discussing the report. [13] When Cyrus saw that fear was in the camp, he called a meeting of his generals, and indeed of all whose dejection might injure the cause and whose confidence assist it. Moreover, he sent word that any of the attendants, or any of the rank and file, who wished to hear what he had to say, would be allowed to come and listen. When they met, he spoke as follows:
[14] “My friends and allies, I make no secret of the reason I have called you here. It was because I saw that some of you, when the reports of the enemy reached us, looked like men who were panic-stricken. But I must say I am astonished that any of you should feel alarm because the enemy is mustering his forces, and not be reassured by remembering that our own is far larger than it was when we conquered him before, and far better provided, under heaven, with all we need. [15] I ask you how you would have felt, you who are afraid now, if you had been told that a force exactly like our own was marching upon us, if you had heard that men who had conquered us already were coming now, carrying in their hearts the victory they had won, if you knew that those who made short work then of all our bows and javelins were advancing again, and others with them, ten thousand times as many? [16] Suppose you heard that the very men who had routed our infantry once were coming on now equipt as before, but this time on horseback, scorning arms and javelins, each man armed with one stout spear, ready to charge home? [17] Suppose you heard of chariots, made on a new pattern, not to be kept motionless, standing, as hitherto, with their backs turned to the foe as if for flight, but with the horses shielded by armour, and the drivers sheltered by wooden walls and protected by breastplates and helmets, and the axles fitted with iron scythes so that they can charge straight into the ranks of the foe? [18] And suppose you heard that they have camels to ride on, each one of which would scare a hundred horses, and that they will bring up towers from which to help their own friends, and overwhelm us with volleys of darts so that we cannot fight them on level ground? [19] If this were what you had heard of the enemy, I as you, once again, you who are now so fearful what would you have done? You who turn pale when told that Croesus has been chosen commander-in-chief, Croesus who proved himself so much more cowardly than the Syrians, that when they were worsted in battle and fled, instead of helping them, his own allies, he took to his heels himself. [20] We are told, moreover, that the enemy himself does not feel equal to facing you alone, he is hiring others to fight for him better than he could for himself. I can only say, gentlemen, that if any individual considers our position as I describe it alarming or unfavourable, he had better leave us. Let him join our opponents, he will do us far more service there than here.”
[21] When Cyrus had ended, Chrysantas the Persian stood up and said:
“Cyrus, you must not wonder if the faces of some were clouded when they heard the news. The cloud was a sign of annoyance, not of fear. Just as if,” he went on, “a company were expecting breakfast immediately, and then were told there was some business that must be got through first, I do not suppose any of them would be particularly pleased. Here we were, saying to ourselves that our fortunes were made, and now we are informed there is still something to be done, and of course our countenances fell, not because we were afraid, but because we could have wished it all over and done with. [22] However, since it now appears that Syria is not to be the only prize—though there is much to be got in Syria, flocks and herds and corn and palm-trees yielding fruit—but Lydia as well, Lydia the land of wine and oil and fig-trees, Lydia, to whose shores the sea brings more good things than eyes can feast on, I say that once we realise this we can mope no longer, our spirits will rise apace, and we shall hasten to lay our hands on the Lydian wealth without delay.”
So he spoke, and the allies were well pleased at his words and gave him loud applause.
[23] “Truly, gentlemen,” said Cyrus, “as Chrysantas says, I think we ought to march without delay, if only to be beforehand with our foes, and reach their magazines before they do themselves; and besides, the quicker we are, the fewer resources we shall find with them. [24] That is how I put the matter, but if any one sees a safer or an easier way, let him instruct us.”
But many speakers followed, all urging an immediate march, without one speech in opposition, and so Cyrus took up the word again and said:
[25] “My friends and allies, God helping us, our hearts, our bodies, and our weapons have now been long prepared: all that remains is to get together what we need for ourselves and our animals on a march of at least twenty days. I reckon that the journey itself must take more than fifteen, and not a vestige of food shall we find from end to end. It has all been made away with, partly by ourselves, partly by our foes, so far as they could. [26] We must collect enough corn, without which one can neither fight nor live: and as for wine, every man must carry just so much as will accustom him to drink water: the greater part of the country will be absolutely devoid of wine, and the largest supply we could take with us would not hold out. [27] But to avoid too sudden a change and the sickness that might follow, this is what we must do. We must begin by taking water with our food: we can do this without any great change in our habits. [28] For every one who eats porridge has the oatmeal mixed with water, and every one who eats bread has the wheat soaked in water, and all boiled meat is prepared in water. We shall not miss the wine if we drink a little after the meal is done. [29] Then we must gradually lessen the amount, until we find that, without knowing it, we have become water-drinkers. Gradual change enables every creature to go through a complete conversion; and this is taught us by God, who leads us little by little out of winter until we can bear the blazing heat of summer, and out of heat back again into the depths of winter. So should we follow God, and take one step after another until we reach our goal. [30] What you might spend on heavy rugs and coverlets spend rather on food: any superfluity there will not be wasted: and you will not sleep less soundly for lack of bedclothes; if you do, I give you leave to blame me. But with clothing the case is different: a man can hardly have too much of that in sickness or in health. [31] And for seasoning you should take what is sharp and dry and salted, for such meats are more appetising and more satisfying. And since we may come into districts as yet unravaged where we may find growing corn, we ought to take handmills for grinding: these are the lightest machines for the purpose. [32] Nor must we forget to supply ourselves with medicines—they are small in bulk and, if need arises, invaluable. And we ought to have a large supply of straps—I wonder what is not fastened by a strap to man or horse? But straps wear out and get broken and then things are at a standstill unless there are spare ones to be had. [33] Some of you have learnt to shave spears, so that it would be as well not to forget a plane, and also to carry a rasp, for the man who sharpens a spearhead will sharpen his spirit too. He will feel ashamed to whet the edge and be a coward. And we must take plenty of timber for chariots and waggons; there is bound to be many a breakdown on the road. [34] Also we shall need the most necessary tools for repairs, since smiths and carpenters are not to be found at every turn, but there are few who cannot patch up a makeshift for the time. Then there should be a mattock and a shovel apiece for every waggon, and on every beast of burden a billhook and an axe, always useful to the owner and sometimes a boon to all. [35] The provisions must be seen to by the officers of the fighting-line; they must inspect the men under their command and see that nothing is omitted which any man requires; the omission would be felt by us all. Those of you who are in command of the baggage-train will inspect what I have ordered for the animals and insist upon every man being provided who is not already supplied. [36] You, gentlemen, who are in command of the road-makers, you have the lists of the soldiers I have disqualified from serving as javelin-men, bowmen, or slingers, and you will make the old javelin men march with axes for felling timber, the bowmen with mattocks, and the slingers with shovels. They will advance by squads in front of the waggons so that if there is any road-making to be done you may set to work at once, and in case of need I may know where to get the men I want. [37] I mean also to take a corps of smiths, carpenters, and cobblers, men of military age, provided with the proper tools, to supply any possible need. These men will not be in the fighting-line, but they will have a place assigned to them where they can be hired by any one who likes. [38] If any huckster wishes to follow the army with his wares, he may do so, but if caught selling anything during the fifteen days for which provisions have been ordered, he will be deprived of all his goods: after the fifteen days are done he may sell what he likes. Any merchant who offers us a well-stocked market will receive recompense and honour from the allies and myself. [39] And if any one needs an advance of money for trading, he must send me guarantors who will undertake that he will march with the army, and then he can draw on our funds. These are the general orders: and I will ask any of you who think that anything has been omitted to point it out to me. [40] You will now go back to your quarters and make your preparations, and while you do so I will offer sacrifice for our journey and when the signs are favourable we will give the signal. At that you must present yourselves, with everything I have ordered, at the appointed place, under your own officers. [41] And you, gentlemen,” said he, turning to the officers, “when your divisions are all in line, you will come to me in a body to receive your final orders.”
[C.3] With these instructions the army went to make their preparations while Cyrus offered sacrifice.
As soon as the victims were favourable, he set out with his force.
On the first day they encamped as near by as possible, so that anything left behind could easily be fetched and any omission readily supplied. [2] Cyaxares stayed in Media with a third of the Median troops in order not to leave their own country undefended. Cyrus himself pushed forward with all possible speed, keeping his cavalry in the van and constantly sending explorers and scouts ahead to some look-out. Behind the cavalry came the baggage, and on the plains he had long strings of waggons and beasts of burden, and the main army behind them, so that if any of the baggage-train fell back, the officers who caught them up would see that they did not lose their places in the march. [3] But where the road was narrower the fighting-men marched on either side with the baggage in the middle, and in case of any block it was the business of the soldiers on the spot to attend to the matter. As a rule, the different regiments would be marching alongside their own baggage, orders having been given that all members of the train should advance by regiments unless absolutely prevented. [4] To help matters the brigadier’s own body-servant led the way with an ensign known to his men, so that each regiment marched together, the men doing their best to keep up with their comrades. Thus there was no need to search for each other, everything was to hand, there was greater security, and the soldiers could get what they wanted more quickly.
[5] After some days the scouts ahead thought they could see people in the plain collecting fodder and timber, and then they made out beasts of burden, some grazing and others already laden, and as they scanned the distance they felt sure they could distinguish something that was either smoke rising or clouds of dust; and from all this they concluded that the enemy’s army was not far off. [6] Whereupon their commander despatched a messenger with the news to Cyrus, who sent back word that the scouts should stay where they were, on their look-out, and tell him if they saw anything more, while he ordered a squadron of cavalry to ride forward, and intercept, if they could, some of the men on the plain and so discover the actual state of affairs. [7] While the detachment carried out this order Cyrus halted the rest of his army to make such dispositions as he thought necessary before coming to close quarters. His first order was for the troops to take their breakfast: after breakfast they were to fall in and wait for the word of command. [8] When breakfast was over he sent for all the officers from the cavalry, the infantry, and the chariot brigade, and for the commanders of the battering engines and the baggage train, and they came to him. [9] Meanwhile the troop of horse had dashed into the plain, cut off some of the men, and now brought them in captive. The prisoners, on being questioned by Cyrus, said they belonged to the camp and had gone out to forage or cut wood and so had passed beyond their own pickets, for, owing to the size of their army, everything was scarce.
[10] “How far is your army from here?” asked Cyrus. “About seven miles,” said they. “Was there any talk about us down there?” said he. “We should think there was,” they answered; “it was all over the camp that you were coming.” “Ah,” said Cyrus, “I suppose they were glad to hear we were coming so soon?” (putting this question for his officers to hear the answer). “That they were not,” said the prisoners, “they were anything but glad; they were miserable.” [11] “And what are they doing now?” asked Cyrus. “Forming their line of battle,” answered they; “yesterday and the day before they did the same.”
“And their commander?” said Cyrus, “who is he?” “Croesus himself,” said they, “and with him a Greek, and also another man, a Mede, who is said to be a deserter from you.”
“Ah,” cried Cyrus, “is that so? Most mighty Zeus, may I deal with him as I wish!”
[12] Then he had the prisoners led away and turned to speak to his officers, but at this moment another scout appeared, saying that a large force of cavalry was in the plain. “We think,” he added, “that they are trying to get a sight of our army. For about thirty of them are riding ahead at a good round pace and they seem to be coming straight for our little company, perhaps to capture our look-out if they can, for there are only ten of us there.”
[13] At that Cyrus sent off a detachment from his own bodyguard, bidding them gallop up to the place, unseen by the enemy, and stay there motionless. “Wait,” he said, “until our own ten must leave the spot and then dash out on the thirty as they come up the hill. And to prevent any injury from the larger body, do you, Hystaspas,” said he, turning to the latter, “ride out with a thousand horse, and let them see you suddenly, face to face. But remember not to pursue them out of sight, come back as soon as you have secured our post. And if any of your opponents ride up with their right hands raised, welcome them as friends.”
[14] Accordingly Hystaspas went off and got under arms, while the bodyguard galloped to the spot. But before they reached the scouts, some one met them with his squires, the man who had been sent out as a spy, the guardian of the lady from Susa, Araspas himself. [15] When the news reached Cyrus, he sprang up from his seat, went to meet him himself, and clasped his hand, but the others, who of course knew nothing, were utterly dumbfounded, until Cyrus said:
“Gentlemen, the best of our friends has come back to us. It is high time that all men should know what he has done. It was not through any baseness, or any weakness, or any fear of me, that he left us; it was because I sent him to be my messenger, to learn the enemy’s doings and bring us word. [16] Araspas, I have not forgotten what I promised you, I will repay you, we will all repay you. For, gentlemen, it is only just that all of you should pay him honour. Good and true I call him who risked himself for our good, and took upon himself a reproach that was heavy to bear.”
[17] At that all crowded round Araspas and took him by the hand and made him welcome. Then Cyrus spoke again:
“Enough, my friends, Araspas has news for us, and it is time to hear it. Tell us your tale, Araspas, keep back nothing of the truth, and do not make out the power of the enemy less than it really is. It is far better that we should find it smaller than we looked for rather than strong beyond our expectations.” [18] “Well,” began Araspas, “in order to learn their numbers, I managed to be present at the marshalling of their troops.” “Then you can tell us,” said Cyrus, “not only their numbers but their disposition in the field.” “That I can,” answered Araspas, “and also how they propose to fight.” “Good,” said Cyrus, “but first let us hear their numbers in brief.” [19] “Well,” he answered, “they are drawn up thirty deep, infantry and cavalry alike, all except the Egyptians, and they cover about five miles; for I was at great pains,” he added, “to find out how much ground they occupied.”
[20] “And the Egyptians?” Cyrus said, “how are they drawn up? I noticed you said, ‘all except the Egyptians.’”
“The Egyptians,” he answered, “are drawn up in companies of ten thousand, under their own officers, a hundred deep, and a hundred broad: that, they insisted, was their usual formation at home. Croesus, however, was very loth to let them have their own way in this: he wished to outflank you as much as possible.” “Why?” Cyrus asked, “what was his object?” “To encircle you, I imagine, with his wings.” “He had better take care,” said Cyrus, “or his circle may find itself in the centre. [21] But now you have told us what we most needed to know, and you, gentlemen,” said he to the officers, “on leaving this meeting, you will look to your weapons and your harness. It often happens that the lack of some little thing makes man or horse or chariot useless. To-morrow morning early, while I am offering sacrifice, do you take your breakfast and give your steeds their provender, so that when the moment comes to strike you may not be found wanting. And then you, Araspas, must hold the right wing in the position it has now, and the rest of you who command a thousand men must do the same with your divisions: it is no time to be changing horses when the race is being run; and you will send word to the brigadiers and captains under you to draw up the phalanx with each company two deep.” (Now a company consisted of four-and-twenty men.)
[22] Then one of the officers, a captain of ten thousand, said:
“Do you think, Cyrus, that with so shallow a depth we can stand against their tremendous phalanx?”
“But do you suppose,” rejoined he, “that any phalanx so deep that the rear-ranks cannot close with the enemy could do much either for friend or foe? [23] I myself,” he added, “would rather this heavy infantry of theirs were drawn up, not a hundred, but ten thousand deep: we should have all the fewer to fight. Whereas with the depth that I propose, I believe we shall not waste a man: every part of our army will work with every other. [24] I will post the javelin-men behind the cuirassiers, and the archers behind them: it would be absurd to place in the van troops who admit that they are not made for hand-to-hand fighting; but with the cuirassiers thrown in front of them they will stand firm enough, and harass the enemy over the heads of our own men with their arrows and their darts. And every stroke that falls on the enemy means so much relief to our friends. [25] In the very rear of all I will post our reserve. A house is useless without a foundation as well as a roof, and our phalanx will be no use unless it has a rear-guard and a van, and both of them good. [26] You,” he added, “will draw up the ranks to suit these orders, and you who command the targeteers will follow with your companies in the same depth, and you who command the archers will follow the targeteers. [27] Gentlemen of the reserve, you will hold your men in the rear, and pass the word down to your own subordinates to watch the men in front, cheer on those who do their duty, threaten him who plays the coward, and if any man show signs of treachery, see that he dies the death. It is for those in the van to hearten those behind them by word and deed; it is for you, the reserve, to make the cowards dread you more than the foe. [28] You know your work, and you will do it. Euphratus,” he added, turning to the officer in command of the artillery, “see that the waggons with the towers keep as close to the phalanx as possible. [29] And you, Daouchus, bring up the whole of your baggage-train under cover of the towers and make your squires punish severely any man who breaks the line. [30] You, Carouchas, keep the women’s carriages close behind the baggage-train. This long line of followers should give an impression of vast numbers, allow our own men opportunity for ambuscades, and force the enemy, if he try to surround us, to widen his circuit, and the wider he makes it the weaker he will be. [31] That, then, is your business; and you, gentlemen, Artaozus and Artagersas, each of you take your thousand foot and guard the baggage. [32] And you, Pharnouchus and Asiadatas, neither of you must lead your thousand horse into the fighting-line, you must get them under arms by themselves behind the carriages: and then come to me with the other officers as fully-equipt as if you were to be the first to fight. [53] You, sir, who command the camel-corps will take up your post behind the carriages and look for further orders to Artagersas. [34] Officers of the war-chariots, you will draw lots among yourselves, and he on whom the lot falls will bring his hundred chariots in front of the fighting-line, while the other two centuries will support our flanks on the right and left.”
[35] Such were the dispositions made by Cyrus; but Abradatas, the lord of Susa, cried:
“Cyrus, let me, I pray you, volunteer for the post in front.”
[36] And Cyrus, struck with admiration for the man, took him by the hand, and turning to the Persians in command of the other centuries said:
“Perhaps, gentlemen, you will allow this?”
But they answered that it was hard to resign the post of honour, and so they all drew lots, and the lot fell on Abradatas, and his post was face to face with the Egyptians. Then the officers left the council and carried out the orders given, and took their evening meal and posted the pickets and went to rest.
[C.4] But early on the morrow Cyrus offered sacrifice, and meanwhile the rest of the army took their breakfast, and after the libation they armed themselves, a great and goodly company in bright tunics and splendid breastplates and shining helmets. All the horses had frontlets and chest-plates, the chargers had armour on their shoulders, and the chariot-horses on their flanks; so that the whole army flashed with bronze, and shone like a flower with scarlet. [2] The eight-horse chariot of Abradatas was a marvel of beauty and richness; and just as he was about to put on the linen corslet of his native land, Pantheia came, bringing him a golden breastplate and a helmet of gold, and armlets and broad bracelets for his wrists, and a full flowing purple tunic, and a hyacinth-coloured helmet-plume. All these she had made for him in secret, taking the measure of his armour without his knowledge. [3] And when he saw them, he gazed in wonder and said:
“Dear wife, and did you destroy your own jewels to make this armour for me?”
But she said, “No, my lord, at least not the richest of them all, for you shall be my loveliest jewel, when others see you as I see you now.”
As she spoke, she put the armour on him, but then, though she tried to hide it, the tears rolled down her cheeks.
[4] And truly, when Abradatas was arrayed in the new panoply, he, who had been fair enough to look upon before, was now a sight of splendour, noble and beautiful and free, as indeed his nature was. [5] He took the reins from the charioteer, and was about to set foot on the car, when Pantheia bade the bystanders withdraw, and said to him, “My own lord, little need to tell you what you know already, yet this I say, if any woman loved her husband more than her own soul, I am of her company. Why should I try to speak? Our lives say more than any words of mine. [6] And yet, feeling for you what you know, I swear to you by the love between us that I would rather go down to the grave beside you after a hero’s death than live on with you in shame. I have thought you worthy of the highest, and believed myself worthy to follow you. [7] And I bear in mind the great gratitude we owe to Cyrus, who, when I was his captive, chosen for his spoil, was too high-minded to treat me as a slave, or dishonour me as a free woman; he took me and saved me for you, as though I had been his brother’s wife. [8] And when Araspas, my warder, turned from him, I promised, if he would let me send for you, I would bring him a friend in the other’s place, far nobler and more faithful.”
[9] And as Pantheia spoke, Abradatas listened with rapture to her words, and when she ended, he laid his hand upon her head, and looking up to heaven he prayed aloud:
“O most mighty Zeus, make me worthy to be Pantheia’s husband, and the friend of Cyrus who showed us honour!”
[10] Then he opened the driver’s seat and mounted the car, and the driver shut the door, and Pantheia could not take him in her arms again, so she bent and kissed the chariot-box. Then the car rolled forward and she followed unseen till Abradatas turned and saw her and cried, “Be strong, Pantheia, be of a good heart! Farewell, and hie thee home!”
[11] Thereupon her chamberlains and her maidens took her and brought her back to her own carriage, and laid her down and drew the awning. But no man, of all who was there that day, splendid as Abradatas was in his chariot, had eyes to look on him until Pantheia had gone.
[12] Meanwhile Cyrus had found the victims favourable, and his army was already drawn up in the order he had fixed. He had scouts posted ahead, one behind the other, and then he called his officers together for his final words:
[13] “Gentlemen, my friends and allies, the sacred signs from heaven are as they were the day the gods gave us victory before, and I would call to your minds thoughts to bring you gladness and confidence for the fight. [14] You are far better trained than your enemies, you have lived together and worked together far longer than they, you have won victories together. What they have shared with one another has been defeat, and those who have not fought as yet feel they have traitors to right and left of them, while our recruits know that they enter battle in company with men who help their allies. [15] Those who trust each other will stand firm and fight without flinching, but when confidence has gone no man thinks of anything but flight. [16] Forward then, gentlemen, against the foe; drive our scythed chariots against their defenceless cars, let our armed cavalry charge their unprotected horse, and charge them home. [17] The mass of their infantry you have met before; and as for the Egyptians, they are armed in much the same way as they are marshalled; they carry shields too big to let them stir or see, they are drawn up a hundred deep, which will prevent all but the merest handful fighting. [18] If they count on forcing us back by their weigh, they must first withstand our steel and the charge of our cavalry. And if any of them do hold firm, how can they fight at once against cavalry, infantry, and turrets of artillery? For our men on the towers will be there to help us, they will smite the enemy until he flies instead of fighting. [19] If you think there is anything wanting, tell me now; God helping us, we will lack nothing. And if any man wishes to say anything, let him speak now; if not, go to the altar and there pray to the gods to whom we have sacrificed, and then fall in. [20] Let each man say to his own men what I have said to him, let him show the men he rules that he is fit to rule, let them see the fearlessness in his face, his bearing, and his words.”

NOTES
C1.9. Artabazus “the kinsman” named now for the first time, why?
C1.11. Cf. Anglic “his word”: a delicate appeal to a man of honour.
It suits G.’s character.
C1.14-15. Speech full of metaphor: winter stalking on, with hunter and frost attendant on either side; a stealthy, but august advance.
C1.16. A happy simile: /vide/ Book of Wisdom [c. 5, 10, “And as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water,” etc.].
C1.38. How a fault may be turned to account: Hellenic stool of repentance.
C1.41. Theory of two souls, to account for the yielding to base desires. It works, but is it not the theory of a man whose will is weak, as we say, or whose sympathetic nature has been developed at the expense of his self-regulative? There is another way of putting it in /Memorabilia/, Bk. I. c. ii., 19-28. Xenophon is not more a philosopher than a “philanthropist.” He is full of compassion for human weaknesses.
C1.44. Exit Araspas, to be baptised under this cloud of ignominy into the sunshine of recognised joyous serviceableness.
C1.45. We grow fonder than ever of Pantheia.
C1.50. Irony: the chariots that are to cost Abradatas his life hereafter. Is this tale “historic” at all? I mean, did Xenophon find or hear any such story current? What is the relation, if any, to it of Xenophon Ephesius, Antheia, and Abrocomas? [/Xenophon Ephesius/, a late writer of romances.] Had that writer any echo of the names in his head? What language are “Pantheia” and “Abradatas”?
C1.52. All very well, but the author hasn’t told us anything about the construction of these {mekhanai}, these battering engines, before, to prepare us for this. Is that a slip, or how explainable? I think he is betrayed into the description by reason of his interest in such strategic matters. The exp​ression is intelligible enough to any one who knows about engines, just as we might speak of the butt or the stanchion, or whatever it be.
C2.1-3. The Medians bring back the bread that was cast upon the waters. Cyrus turns this gain to new account. He sacrifices the present natural gain, i.e. the wealth, to the harder spiritual gain, viz., their positive as opposed to their merely negative alliance. Cyrus /is/ the archic man.
C2.4. I have a sort of idea, or feeling that here the writer takes up his pen afresh after a certain interval. C4-6 are a reduplication, not unnatural indeed, but /pro tanto/ tautological.
C2.7. Semi-historical basis. Prototype, when Agesilaus meditated the advance on Persia, just before his recall. [See /Hellenica/, III. iv., Works II. p. 29.]
C2.13 foll. The archic man can by a word of his mouth still the flutter and incipient heave of terror-stricken hearts.
C2.15-18. A review of the improvements amounting to a complete revolution in arms and attack effected by Cyrus. This is imagined as an ideal accompaniment to the archic man and conqueror. Xenophon nowadays on the relative advantages of the bayonet and the sword, cavalry and infantry, etc., would have been very interesting. Cf. a writer like Forbes.
[C2.19. “Syrians.” The word is used loosely, including the Assyrians and their kindred. See below C.22. “Syria” = Assyria and the adjacent country.]
C2.21, fin. Xenophon has more than once witnessed this clouding of the brow, the scowl or sulk of the less stalwart moral-fibred men (notably in /Hellenica/).
C2.26 ff. How to give up wine: the art in it. Now listen, all you blue-ribbonists! Xenophon, Hygienist.
C2.37. One would like to know how the price was regulated. Does any learned German know? Note the orderliness and economy of it all. Is it, as far as the army goes, novel in any respect, do you suppose, or only idealised Hellenic? Spartan?
C3.14. A slight (intentional?) aposiopesis. Did H. have to drive back the great cavalry division of the enemy?
C3.17. How quickly the archic man passes on! Cf. J. P.
C3.19. Notice the part given to the Egyptians to play. Why? (Agesilaus died on his last campaign in Egypt.)
C3.25. Is it dramatic to make Cyrus speak in this way as if he were lecturing a class on strategics?
C3.30. The advantage even of sutlers and women. This several-times-repeated remark surprises me. But no doubt the arrangement would give the enemy pause, and waste his time in out-flanking movements: viol tout, hgd. At Cunaxa, however, the Persian did get behind the Greek camp. No prototype there, then. [Xenophon, /Anabasis/, Bk. I. c. 10.]
C4.2. We are more and more enamoured of Pantheia.
C4.7. As delicate as any modern in the respect for wedded womanhood.
C4.13 ff. Notice how in this stirring and inspiriting speech Cyrus by dealing with the Egyptians (the only unknown quantity) strikes a new note and sets up a new motive, as it were, preparing us for the tragic struggle which is to come, which will cost Abradatas and other good men dear, not to speak of the brave Egyptians themselves (cf. Sudanese Arabs). Also note Xenophon’s enthusiasm in reference to the new arming and the odds of encounter between cavalry and infantry (cf. Napier, Forbes, etc.).
0

#6 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:00 PM

BOOK VII of VIII


[C.1] So they prayed to the gods and went to their place, and the squires brought food and drink to Cyrus and his staff as they stood round the sacrifice. And he took his breakfast where he stood, after making the due offering, sharing what he had with all who needed it, and he poured out the libation and prayed, and then drank, and his men with him.
Then he supplicated Zeus, the god of his fathers, to be his leader and helper in the fight, and so he mounted his horse and bade those about him follow. [2] All his squires were equipped as he was, with scarlet tunics, breastplates of bronze, and brazen helmets plumed with white, short swords, and a lance of cornel-wood apiece. Their horses had frontlets, chest-plates, and armour for their shoulders, all of bronze, and the shoulder-pieces served as leg-guards for the riders. In one thing only the arms of Cyrus differed from the rest: theirs was covered with a golden varnish and his flashed like a mirror. [3] As he sat on his steed, gazing into the distance, where he meant to go, a peal of thunder rang out on the right, and he cried, “We will follow thee, O Zeus most high!”
So he set forth with Chrysantas on his right at the head of cavalry and Arsamas on his left with infantry. [4] And the word went down the lines, “Eyes on the standard and steady marching.”
The standard was a golden eagle, with outspread wings, borne aloft on a long spear-shaft, and to this day such is the standard of the Persian king.
Before they came in full sight of the Assyrians Cyrus halted the army thrice. [5] And when they had gone about two miles or more, they began to see the enemy advancing. As soon as both armies were in full view of each other, and the Assyrians could see how much they outflanked the Persians on either side, Croesus halted, in order to prepare an encircling movement, and pushed out a column on the right wing and the left, so that the Persian forces might be attacked on every side at once.
[6] Cyrus saw it, but gave no sign of stopping; he led straight on as before. Meanwhile he noticed that the turning-point where the Assyrians had pushed out on either flank was an immense distance from their centre, and he said to Chrysantas:
“Do you see where they have fixed their angle?” “Yes, I do,” answered Chrysantas, “and I am surprised at it: it seems to me they are drawing their wings too far away from their centre.” “Just so,” said Cyrus, “and from ours too.” [7] “Why are they doing that?” asked the other. “Clearly,” said Cyrus, “they are afraid we shall attack, if their wings are in touch with us while their centre is still some way off.” “But,” went on Chrysantas, “how can they support each other at such a distance?” “Doubtless,” said Cyrus, “as soon as their wings are opposite our flanks, they will wheel round, and then advance at once on every side and so set us fighting everywhere at once.” [8] “Well,” said Chrysantas, “do you think the movement wise?” “Yes,” said Cyrus, “it is good enough in view of what they can see, but, in view of what they cannot, it is worse for them than if they had advanced in a single column. Do you,” he said, turning to Arsamas, “advance with your infantry, slowly, taking your pace from me, and do you, Chrysantas, march beside him with your cavalry, step for step. I will make for their angle myself, where I propose to join battle, first riding round the army to see how things are with all our men. [9] When I reach the point, and we are on the verge of action, I will raise the paean and then you must quicken your pace. You will know when we have closed with the enemy, the din will be loud enough. At the same moment Abradatas will dash out upon them: such will be his orders; your duty is to follow, keeping as close to the chariots as possible. Thus we shall fall on the enemy at the height of his confusion. And, God helping me, I shall be with you also, cutting my way through the rout by the quickest road I can.
[10] So he spoke, and sent the watchword down the lines, “Zeus our saviour, and Zeus our leader,” and went forward. As he passed between the chariots and the cuirassiers, he would say to some, “My men, the look on your faces rejoices my heart,” and to others, “You understand, gentlemen, that this battle is not for the victory of a day, but for all that we have won ere now, and for all our happiness to come.” [11]
And to others, “My friends, we can never reproach the gods again:
to-day they have put all blessings in our hands. [12] Let us show ourselves good men and true.” Or else, “Gentlemen, can we invite each other to a more glorious feast than this? This day all gallant hearts are bidden; this day they may feast their friends.” [13] Or again, “You know, I think, the prizes in this game: the victors pursue and smite and slay, and win wealth and fame and freedom and empire: the cowards lose them all. He who loves his own soul let him fight beside me: for I will have no disgrace.” [14] But if he met soldiers who had fought for him before, he only said, “To you, gentlemen, what need I say? You know the brave man’s part in battle, and the craven’s.” [15] And when he came to Abradatas, he halted, and Abradatas gave the reins to his charioteer and came up to him, and others gathered round from the infantry and the chariots, and Cyrus said:
“God has rewarded you, Abradatas, according to your prayer, you and yours. You hold the first rank among our friends. And you will not forget, when the moment for action comes, that those who watch you will be Persians, and those who follow you, and they will not let you bear the brunt alone.”
[16] And Abradatas answered:
“Even so, Cyrus; and with us here, methinks, all looks well enough:
but the state of our flanks troubles me: the enemy’s wings are strong and stretch far: he has chariots there, and every kind of arm as well, while we have nothing else with which to oppose him. So that for myself,” said he, “if I had not won by lot the post I hold, I should feel ashamed to be here in the safest place of all.”
[17] “Nay,” answered Cyrus, “if it is well with you, have no concern for the rest. God willing, I mean to relieve our flanks. But you yourself, I conjure you, do not attack until you see the rout of those detachments that you fear.”
So much of boasting did Cyrus allow himself on the eve of action, though he was the last man to boast at other times.
“When you see them routed,” he said, “you may take it that I am there, and then make your rush, for that is the moment when you will find the enemy weakest and your own men strongest. [18] And while there is time, Abradatas, be sure to drive along your front and prepare your men for the charge, kindle their courage by your looks, lift up their hearts by your hopes. Breathe a spirit of emulation into them, to make them prove themselves the flower of the chariot-force. Be assured if things go well with us all men will say nothing is so profitable as valour.”
[19] Accordingly Abradatas mounted his chariot and drove along the lines to do as Cyrus bade.
Meanwhile Cyrus went on to the left where Hystaspas was posted with half the Persian cavalry, and he called to him and said:
“Hystaspas, here is work to test your pace! If we are quick enough in cutting off their heads, none of us will be slaughtered first.”
[20] And Hystaspas answered with a laugh:
“Leave it to us! We’ll see to the men opposite. But set some one to deal with the fellows on our flank: it would be a pity for them to be idle.”
And Cyrus answered, “I am going to them myself. But remember, Hystaspas, to which ever of us God grants the victory, so long as a single foeman is on the field, attack we must, again and again, until the last has yielded.”
[21] With that he passed on, and as he came to the flank he went up to the officer in command of the chariots and said to him:
“Good, I intend to support you myself. And when you hear me fall on the wing, at that instant do your best to charge straight through your opponents; you will be far safer once outside their ranks than if you are caught half-way.”
[22] Then he went on to the rear and the carriages, where the two detachments were stationed, a thousand horse and a thousand foot, and told Artagersas and Pharnouchus, their leaders, to keep the men where they were.
“But when,” he added, “you see me close with the enemy on our right, then set upon those in front of you: take them in flank, where they are weakest, while you advance in line, at your full strength. Their lines, as you see, are closed by cavalry; hurl your camels at these, and you may be sure, even before the fighting begins, they will cut a comic figure.”
[23] Thus, with all his dispositions made, Cyrus rode round the head of his right. By this time Croesus, believing that the centre, where he himself was marching, must be nearer the enemy than the distant wings, had the signal raised for them to stop their advance, halt, and wheel round where they were. When they were in position opposite the Persian force, he signalled for them to charge, and thus three columns came at once against Cyrus, one facing his front and one on either flank. [24] A tremor ran through the whole army; it was completely enclosed, like a little brick laid within a large, with the forces of the enemy all round it, on every side except the rear, cavalry and heavy infantry, targeteers, archers, and chariots. [25] None the less, the instant Cyrus gave the word they swung round to confront the foe. There was deep silence through the ranks as they realised what they had to face, and then Cyrus, when the moment came, began the battle-hymn and it thundered through the host. [26] And as it died away the war-cry rang out unto the God of Battles, and Cyrus swooped forward at the head of his cavalry, straight for the enemy’s flank, and closed with them then and there, while the infantry behind him followed, swift and steady, wave on wave, sweeping out on either side, far out-flanking their opponents, for they attacked in line and the foe were in column, to the great gain of Cyrus. A short struggle, and the ranks broke and fled before him headlong. [27] Artagersas, seeing that Cyrus had got to work, made his own charge on the left, hurling his camels forward as Cyrus had advised. Even at a distance the horses could not face the camels: they seemed to go mad with fear, and galloped off in terror, rearing and falling foul of one another: such is the strange effect of camels upon horses. [28] So that Artagersas, his own troops well in hand, had easy work with the enemy’s bewildered masses. At the same moment the war-chariots dashed in, right and left, so that many, flying from the chariots, were cut down by the troopers, and many, flying from these, were caught by the chariots. [29] And now Abradatas could wait no longer. “Follow me, my friends,” he shouted, and drove straight at the enemy, lashing his good steeds forward till their flanks were bloody with the goad, the other charioteers racing hard behind him. The enemy’s chariots fled before them instantly, some not even waiting to take up their fighting-men. [30] But Abradatas drove on through them, straight into the main body of the Egyptians, his rush shared by his comrades on either hand. And then, what has often been shown elsewhere was shown here, namely, that of all strong formations the strongest is a band of friends. His brothers-in-arms and his mess-mates charged with him, but the others, when they saw that the solid ranks of the Egyptians stood firm, swung round and pursued the flying chariots. [31] Meanwhile Abradatas and his companions could make no further way: there was not a gap through the Egyptian lines on either hand, and they could but charge the single soldiers where they stood, overthrow them by the sheer weight of horse and car, and crush them and their arms beneath the hoofs and wheels. And where the scythes caught them, men and weapons were cut to shreds. [32] In the midst of indescribable confusion, the chariots rocking among the weltering mounds, Abradatas was thrown out and some of his comrades with him. There they stood, and fought like men, and there they were cut down and died. The Persians, pouring in after them, dealt slaughter and destruction where Abradatas and his men had charged and shaken the ranks, but elsewhere the Egyptians, who were still unscathed, and they were many, moved steadily on to meet them.
[33] There followed a desperate struggle with lance and spear and sword, and still the Egyptians had the advantage, because of their numbers and their weapons. Their spears were immensely stout and long, such as they carry to this day, and the huge shield not only gave more protection than corslet and buckler, but aided the thrust of the fighter, slung as it was from the shoulder.
[34] Shield locked into shield, they thrust their way forward; and the Persians could not drive them back, with their light bucklers borne on the forearm only. Step by step they gave ground, dealing blow for blow, till they came under cover of their own artillery. Then at last a second shower of blows fell on the Egyptians, while the reserves would allow no flight of the archers or the javelin-men: at the sword’s point they made them do their duty. [35] Thick was the slaughter, and loud the din of clashing weapons and whirring darts, and shouting warriors, cheering each other and calling on the gods.
[36] At this moment Cyrus appeared, cutting his way through his own opponents. To see the Persians thrust from their position was misery to him, but he knew he could check the enemy’s advance most quickly by galloping round to their rear, and thither he dashed, bidding his troops follow, and there they fell upon them and smote them as they were gazing ahead, and there they mowed them down.
[37] The Egyptians, seeing what had happened, cried out that the enemy had taken them in the rear, and wheeled round under a storm of blows. At this the confusion reached its height, cavalry and infantry struggling all together. An Egyptian fell under Cyrus’ horse, and as the hoofs struck him he stabbed the creature in the belly. The charger reared at the blow and Cyrus was thrown. [38] Then was seen what it is for a leader to be loved by his men. With a terrible cry the men dashed forward, conquering thrust with thrust and blow with blow. One of his squires leapt down and set Cyrus on his own charger. [39] And as Cyrus sprang on the horse he saw the Egyptians worsted everywhere. For by now Hystaspas was on the ground with his cavalry, and Chrysantas also. Still Cyrus would not allow them to charge the Egyptian phalanx: the archers and javelin-men were to play on them from outside. Then he made his way along the lines to the artillery, and there he mounted one of the towers to take a survey of the field, and see if any of the foe still held their ground and kept up the fight. [40] But he saw the plain one chaos of flying horses and men and chariots, pursuers and pursued, conquerors and conquered, and nowhere any who still stood firm, save only the Egyptians. These, in sore straits as they were, formed themselves into a circle behind a ring of steel, and sat down under cover of their enormous shields. They no longer attempted to act, but they suffered, and suffered heavily. [41] Cyrus, in admiration and pity, unwilling that men so brave should be done to death, drew off his soldiers who were fighting round them, and would not let another man lift sword.
Then he sent them a herald asking if they wished to be cut to pieces for the sake of those who had betrayed them, or save their lives and keep their reputation for gallantry? And they answered, “Is it possible that we can be saved and yet keep our reputation untarnished?” [42] And Cyrus said, “Surely yes, for we ourselves have seen that you alone have held your ground and been ready to fight.” “But even so,” said the Egyptians, “how can we act in honour if we save ourselves?”
“By betraying none of those at whose side you fought,” answered Cyrus:
“only surrender your arms to us, and become our friends, the friends of men who chose to save you when they might have destroyed you.” [43] “And if we become your friends,” said they, “how will you treat us?”
“As you treat us,” answered he, “and the treatment shall be good.”
“And what will that good treatment be?” they asked once more. “This,” said Cyrus: “better pay than you have had, so long as the war lasts, and when peace comes, if you choose to stay with me, lands and cities and women and servants.” [44] Then they asked him if he would excuse them from one duty, service against Croesus. Croesus, they said, was the only leader who knew them; for the rest, they were content to agree. And so they came to terms, and took and gave pledges of good faith. [45] Thus it came about that their descendants are to this day faithful subjects of the king, and Cyrus gave them cities, some in the interior, which are still called the cities of the Egyptians, beside Larissa and Kyllene and Kyme on the coast, still held by their descendants.
When this matter was arranged darkness had already fallen, and Cyrus drew off his army and encamped at Thymbrara.
[46] In this engagement the Egyptians alone among the enemy won themselves renown, and of the troops under Cyrus the Persian cavalry was held to have done the best, so much so that to this day they are still armed in the manner that Cyrus devised. [47] High praise also was given to the scythe-bearing chariots, and this engine of war is still employed by the reigning king. [48] As for the camels, all they did was to scare the horses; their riders could take no part in the slaughter, and were never touched themselves by the enemy’s cavalry. For not a horse would come near the camels. [49] It was a useful arm, certainly, but no gallant gentleman would dream of breeding camels for his own use or learning to fight on camel-back. And so they returned to their old position among the baggage-train.
[C.2] Then Cyrus and his men took their evening meal and posted their pickets and went to rest. But Croesus and his army fled in haste to Sardis, and the other tribes hurried away homewards under cover of night as fast and as far as they could. [2] When day broke Cyrus marched straight for Sardis, and when he came before the citadel he set up his engines as though for the assault and got out his ladders. But the following night he sent a scaling party of Persians and Chaldaeans to climb the fortifications at the steepest point. The guide was a Persian who had served as a slave to one of the garrison in the citadel, and who knew a way down to the river by which one could get up. [4] As soon as it became clear that the heights had been taken, all the Lydians without exception fled from the walls and hid wherever they could. At daybreak Cyrus entered the city and gave orders that not a man was to leave the ranks. [5] Croesus, who had shut himself up inside his palace, cried out on Cyrus, and Cyrus left a guard round the building while he himself went to inspect the captured citadel. Here he found the Persians keeping guard in perfect order, but the Chaldaean quarters were deserted, for the men had rushed down to pillage the town. Immediately he summoned their officers, and bade them leave his army at once. [6] “I could never endure,” he said, “to have undisciplined fellows seizing the best of everything. You know well enough,” he added, “all that was in store for you. I meant to make all who served with me the envy of their fellows; but now,” he said, “you cannot be surprised if you encounter some one stronger than yourselves on your way home.”
[7] Fear fell on the Chaldaeans at this, and they intreated him to lay aside his anger and vowed they would give back all the booty they had taken. He answered that he had no need of it himself. “But if,” he added, “you wish to appease me, you will hand it over to those who stayed and guarded the citadel. For if my soldiers see that discipline means reward, all will be well with us.”
[8] So the Chaldaeans did as he bade them, and the faithful and obedient received all manner of good things.
Then Cyrus made his troops encamp in the most convenient quarter of the town, and told them to stay at their posts and take their breakfast there. [9] That done, he gave orders that Croesus should be brought to him, and when he came into his presence, Croesus cried:
“Hail, Cyrus, my lord and master! Fate has given you that title from now henceforward, and thus must I salute you.”
[20] “All hail to you likewise,” answered Cyrus: “we are both of us men. And tell me now,” he continued, “would you be more willing to advise me as a friend?” “I should be more than glad,” said Croesus, “to do you any good. It would mean good for myself, I know.” [11] “Listen, then,” answered Cyrus: “I see that my soldiers have endured much toil and encountered many dangers, and now they are persuaded that they have taken the wealthiest city in all Asia, after Babylon. I would not have them cheated of their recompense, seeing that if they win nothing by their labour, I know not how I can keep them obedient to me for long. Yet I am unwilling to give them this city over to plunder. I believe it would be utterly destroyed, and moreover I know full well that in plunder the worst villains win the most.”
[12] To this Croesus answered, “Suffer me then to tell what Lydians I please that I have won your promise that the city shall not be sacked, nor their women and children made away with. [13] I promise you in return that my men will bring you willingly everything that is costly and beautiful in Sardis. If I can announce such terms, I am certain there is not one treasure belonging to man or woman that will not be yours to-morrow. Further, on this day year, the city will overflow once more with wealth and beauty. But if you sack it, you will destroy the crafts in its ruin, and they, we know, are the well-spring of all loveliness. [14] Howbeit, you need not decide at once, wait and see what is brought to you. Send first,” he added, “to my own treasuries, and let your guards take some of my own men with them.”
To all this Cyrus consented, and then he said:
[15] “And now, O Croesus, tell me one thing more. How did matters go between you and the oracle at Delphi? It is said that you did much reverence to Apollo and obeyed him in all things.”
[16] “I could wish it had been so,” said Croesus, “but, truth to say, from the beginning I have acted in all things against him.” “How can that be?” said Cyrus. “Explain it to me: for your words seem strange indeed.” [17] “Because,” he answered, “in the first place, instead of asking the god for all I wanted I must needs put him to the test, to see if he could speak the truth. This,” he added, “no man of honour could endure, let be the godhead. Those who are doubted cannot love their doubters. [18] And yet he stood the test; for though the things I did were strange, and I was many leagues from Delphi, he knew them all. And so I resolved to consult him about my children. [19] At first he would not so much as answer me, but I sent him many an offering, some of gold and some of silver, and I propitiated him, as I deemed, by countless sacrifices, and at last he answered me when I asked him what I must do that sons might be born to me. He said they should be born. [20] And so they were; in that he uttered no lie, but they brought me no joy. One of them was dumb his whole life long, and the noblest perished in the flower of his youth. And I, crushed by these sorrows, sent again to the god and asked him how I could live in happiness for the rest of my days, and he answered:
“’Know thyself, O Croesus, and happiness shall be thine.’
“And when I heard the oracle, I was comforted. [21] I said to myself, the god has laid the lightest of tasks upon me, and promised me happiness in return. Some of his neighbours a man may know and others not: but every one can know himself. [22] So I thought, and in truth so long as I was at peace I had no fault to find with my lot after my son’s death; but when the Assyrian persuaded me to march against you I encountered every danger. Yet I was saved, I came to no harm. Once again, therefore, I have no charge to bring against the god: when I /knew myself/ incapable of warring against you, he came to my help and saved mine and me. [23] But afterwards, intoxicated by my wealth, cajoled by those who begged me to be their leader, tempted by the gifts they showered on me, flattered by all who said that if I would but lead them they would obey me to a man, and that I would be the greatest ruler in all the world, and that all their kings had met together and chosen me for their champion in the war, I undertook the generalship as though I were born to be the monarch of the world, for I did not /know myself/. [24] I thought myself able to fight against you, you who are sprung from the seed of the gods, born of a royal line, trained in valour and virtue from your youth, while I—I believe that the first of my ancestors to reign won his freedom and his crown on the self-same day. For this dull ignorance of mine I see I am justly punished. [25] But now at last, O Cyrus,” he cried, “now I /know myself/. And tell me, do you think the god will still speak truth? Do you think that, knowing myself, I can be happy now? I ask you, because you of all men have it in your power to answer best. Happiness is yours to give.”
[26] Cyrus answered, “Give me time to deliberate, Croesus. I bear in mind your former happiness and I pity you. I give you back at once your wife and your daughters (for they tell me you have daughters), and your friends and your attendants; they are yours once more. And yours it is to sit at your own table as you used to live. But battles and wars I must put out of your power.”
[27] “Now by the gods above us,” cried Croesus, “you need take no further thought about your answer: if you will do for me what you say, I shall live the life that all men called the happiest of lives, and I knew that they were right.” [28] “And who,” said Cyrus, “who was it that lived that life of happiness?” “My own wife,” said Croesus; “she shared all my good things with me, my luxuries, my softest joys; but in the cares on which those joys were based, in war and battle and strife, she had no part or lot. Methinks, you will provide for me as I provided for her whom I loved beyond all others in the world, and I must needs send to Apollo again, and send thank-offerings.”
[29] And as Cyrus listened he marvelled at the man’s contentedness of soul, and for the future wherever he went he took Croesus with him, either because he thought he might be useful or perhaps because he felt it was safer so.
[C.3] So for that night they rested. But the next day Cyrus called his friends and generals together and told some to make an inventory of their treasures and others to receive all the wealth that Croesus brought in. First they were to set aside for the gods all that the Persian priests thought fit, and then store the rest in coffers, weight them, and pack them on waggons, distributing the waggons by lot to take with them on the march, so that they could receive their proper share at any convenient time. [2] So they set about the work.
Then Cyrus called some of his squires and said:
“Tell me, have any of you seen Abradatas? I wonder that he who used to come to me so often is nowhere to be found.”
[3] Then one of the squires made answer, “My lord, he is dead: he fell in the battle, charging straight into the Egyptian ranks: the rest, all but his own companions, swerved before their close array. [4] And now,” he added, “we hear that his wife has found his body and laid it in her own car, and has brought it here to the banks of the Pactolus. [5] Her chamberlains and her attendants are digging a grave for the dead man upon a hill, and she, they say, has put her fairest raiment on him and her jewels, and she is seated on the ground with his head upon her knees.”
[6] Then Cyrus smote his hand upon his thigh and leapt up and sprang to horse, galloping to the place of sorrow, with a thousand troopers at his back. [7] He bade Gadatas and Gobryas take what jewels they could find to honour the dear friend and brave warrior who had fallen, and follow with all speed: and he bade the keepers of the herds, the cattle, and the horses drive up their flocks wherever they heard he was, that he might sacrifice on the grave.
[8] But when he saw Pantheia seated on the ground and the dead man lying there, the tears ran down his cheeks and he cried:
“O noble and loyal spirit, have you gone from us?”
Then he took the dead man by the hand, but the hand came away with his own: it had been hacked by an Egyptian blade. [9] And when he saw that, his sorrow grew, and Pantheia sobbed aloud and took the hand from Cyrus and kissed it and laid it in its place, as best she could, and said:
[10] “It is all like that, Cyrus. But why should you see it?” And presently she said, “All this, I know, he suffered for my sake, and for yours too, Cyrus, perhaps as much. I was a fool: I urged him so to bear himself as became a faithful friend of yours, and he, I know, he never thought once of his own safety, but only of what he might do to show his gratitude. Now he has fallen, without a stain upon his valour: and I, who urged him, I live on to sit beside his grave.”
[11] And Cyrus wept silently for a while, and then he said:
“Lady, his end was the noblest and the fairest that could be: he died in the hour of victory. Take these gifts that I have brought and adorn him.”
For now Gobryas and Gadatas appeared with store of jewels and rich apparel. “He shall not lack for honour,” Cyrus said; “many hands will raise his monument: it shall be a royal one; and we will offer such sacrifice as befits a hero. [12] And you, lady,” he added, “you shall not be left desolate. I reverence your chastity and your nobleness, and I will give you a guardian to lead you withersoever you choose, if you will but tell me to whom you wish to go.”
[13] And Pantheia answered:
“Be at rest, Cyrus, I will not hide from you to whom I long to go.”
[14] Therewith Cyrus took his leave of her and went, pitying from his heart the woman who had lost so brave a husband, and the dead man in his grave, taken from so sweet a wife, never to see her more. Then Pantheia bade her chamberlains stand aside “until,” she said, “I have wept over him as I would.” But she made her nurse stay with her and she said:
“Nurse, when I am dead, cover us with the same cloak.” And the nurse entreated and besought her, but she could not move her, and when she saw that she did but vex her mistress, she sat down and wept in silence. Then Pantheia took the scimitar, that had been ready for her so long, and drew it across her throat, and dropped her head upon her husband’s breast and died. And the nurse cried bitterly, but she covered the two with one cloak as her mistress had bidden her.
[15] And when Cyrus heard what Pantheia had done he rushed out in horror to see if he could save her. And when the three chamberlains saw what had happened they drew their own scimitars and killed themselves, there where she had bidden them stand. [16, 17] And when Cyrus came to that place of sorrow, he looked with wonder and reverence on the woman, and wept for her and went his way and saw that all due honour was paid to those who lay there dead, and a mighty sepulchre was raised above them, mightier, men say, than had been seen in all the world before.
[C.4] After this the Carians, who were always at war and strife with one another, because their dwellings were fortified, sent to Cyrus and asked for aid. Cyrus himself was unwilling to leave Sardis, where he was having engines of artillery made and battering-rams to overthrow the walls of those who would not listen to him. But he sent Adousius, a Persian, in his place, a man of sound judgment and a stout soldier and withal a person of winning presence. He gave him an army; and the Cilicians and Cypriotes were very ready to serve under him. [2] That was why Cyrus never sent a Persian satrap to govern either Cilicia or Cyprus; he was always satisfied with the native kings; only he exacted tribute and levied troops whenever he needed them.
[3] So Adousius took his army and marched into Caria, where he was met by the men of both parties, ready to receive him inside their walls to the detriment of their opponents. Adousius treated each in exactly the same way, he told whichever side was pleading that he thought their case was just, but it was essential that the others should not realise he was their friend, “for thus, you perceive, I will take them unprepared whenever I attack.”
He insisted they should give him pledges of good faith, and the Carians had to swear they would receive him without fraud or guile within their walls and for the welfare of Cyrus and the Persians; and on his side he was willing to swear that he would enter without fraud or guile himself and for the welfare of those who received him. [4] Having imposed these terms on either party without the knowledge of the other, he fixed on the same night with both, entered the walls, and had the strongholds of both parties in his hands. At break of day he took his place in the midst with his army, and sent for the leading men on either side. Thus confronted with each other they were more than a little vexed, and both imagined they had been cheated. [5]
However, Adousius began:
“Gentlemen, I took an oath to you that I would enter your walls without fraud or guile and for the welfare of those who received me. Now if I am forced to destroy either of you, I am persuaded I shall have entered to the detriment of the Carians. But if I give you peace, so that you can till your lands in safety, I imagine I shall have come for your welfare. Therefore from this day forwards you must meet on friendly terms, cultivate your fields without fear, give your children to each other, and if any one offends against these laws, Cyrus and ourselves will be his enemies.”
[6] At that the city gates were flung wide open, the roads were filled with folk hurrying to one another, the fields were thronged with labourers. They held high festival together, and the land was full of peace and joyfulness.
[7] Meanwhile messengers came from Cyrus inquiring whether there was need for more troops or siege-engines, but Adousius answered, on the contrary his present force was at Cyrus’ service to employ elsewhere if he wished, and so drew off his army, only leaving a garrison in the citadels. Thereupon the Carians implored him to remain, and when he would not, they sent to Cyrus begging him to make Adousius their satrap.
[8] Meanwhile Cyrus had sent Hystaspas with an army into Phrygia on the Hellespont, and when Adousius came back he bade him follow, for the Phrygians would be more willing to obey Hystaspas if they heard that another army was advancing.
[9] Now the Hellenes on the seaboard offered many gifts and bargained not to receive the Asiatics within their walls, but only to pay tribute and serve wherever Cyrus commanded. [10] But the king of Phrygia made preparations to hold his fortresses and not yield, and sent out orders to that effect. However, when his lieutenants deserted him and he found himself all alone, he had to put himself in the hands of Hystaspas, and leave his fate to the judgment of Cyrus. Then Hystaspas stationed strong Persian garrisons in all the citadels, and departed, taking with him not only his own troops but many mounted men and targeteers from Phrygia. [11] And Cyrus sent word to Adousius to join Hystaspas, put himself at the head of those who had submitted and allow them to retain their arms, while those who showed a disposition to resist were to be deprived of their horses and their weapons and made to follow the army as slingers.
[12] While his lieutenants were thus employed, Cyrus set out from Sardis, leaving a large force of infantry to garrison the place, and taking Croesus with him, and a long train of waggons laden with riches of every kind. Croesus presented an accurate inventory of everything in each waggon, and said, as he delivered the scrolls:
“With these in your possession, Cyrus, you can tell whether your officers are handing over their freights in full or not.”
[13] And Cyrus answered:
“It was kindly done, Croesus, on your part, to take thought for this:
but I have arranged that the freights should be in charge of those who are entitled to them, so that if the men steal, they steal their own property.”
With these words he handed the documents to his friends and officers to serve as checks on their own stewards.
[14] Cyrus also took Lydians in his train; allowing some to carry arms, those, namely, who were at pains to keep their weapons in good order, and their horses and chariots, and who did their best to please him, but if they gave themselves ungracious airs, he took away their horses and bestowed them on the Persians who had served him from the beginning of the campaign, burnt their weapons, and forced them to follow the army as slingers. [15] Indeed, as a rule, he compelled all the subject population who had been disarmed to practise the use of the sling: it was, he considered, a weapon for slaves. No doubt there are occasions when a body of slingers, working with other detachments, can do excellent service, but, taken alone, not all the slingers in the world could face a mere handful armed with steel.
[16] Cyrus was marching to Babylon, but on his way he subdued the Phrygians of Greater Phrygia and the Cappadocians, and reduced the Arabians to subjection. These successes enabled him to increase his Persian cavalry till it was not far short of forty thousand men, and he had still horses left over to distribute among his allies at large.
At length he came before Babylon with an immense body of cavalry, archers, and javelin-men, beside slingers innumerable.
[C.5] When Cyrus reached the city he surrounded it entirely with his forces, and then rode round the walls himself, attended by his friends and the leading officers of the allies. [2] Having surveyed the fortifications, he prepared to lead off his troops, and at that moment a deserter came to inform him that the Assyrians intended to attack as soon as he began to withdraw, for they had inspected his forces from the walls and considered them very weak. This was not surprising, for the circuit of the city was so enormous that it was impossible to surround it without seriously thinning the lines. [3] When Cyrus heard of their intention, he took up his post in the centre of his troops with his own staff round him and sent orders to the infantry for the wings to double back on either side, marching past the stationary centre of the line, until they met in the rear exactly opposite himself. [4] Thus the men in front were immediately encouraged by the doubling of their depth, and those who retired were equally cheered, for they saw that the others would encounter the enemy first. The two wings being united, the power of the whole force was strengthened, those behind being protected by those in front and those in front supported by those behind. [5] When the phalanx was thus folded back on itself, both the front and the rear ranks were formed of picked men, a disposition that seemed calculated to encourage valour and check flight. On the flanks, the cavalry and the light infantry were drawn nearer and nearer to the commander as the line contracted. [6] When the whole phalanx was in close order, they fell back from the walls, slowly, facing the foe, until they were out of range; then they turned, marched a few paces, and then wheeled round again to the left, and halted, facing the walls, but the further they got the less often they paused, until, feeling themselves secure, they quickened their pace and went off in an uninterrupted march until they reached their quarters.
[7] When they were encamped, Cyrus called a council of his officers and said, “My friends and allies, we have surveyed the city on every side, and for my part I fail to see any possibility of taking by assault walls so lofty and so strong: on the other hand, the greater the population the more quickly must they yield to hunger, unless they come out to fight. If none of you have any other scheme to suggest, I propose that we reduce them by blockade.”
[8] Then Chrysantas spoke:
“Does not the river flow through the middle of the city, and it is not at least a quarter of a mile in width?”
“To be sure it is,” answered Gobryas, “and so deep that the water would cover two men, one standing on the other’s shoulders; in fact the city is even better protected by its river than by its walls.”
[9] At which Cyrus said, “Well, Chrysantas, we must forego what is beyond our power: but let us measure off at once the work for each of us, set to, and dig a trench as wide and as deep as we can, that we may need as few guards as possible.”
[10] Thereupon Cyrus took his measurements all round the city, and, leaving a space on either bank of the river large enough for a lofty tower, he had a gigantic trench dug from end to end of the wall, his men heaping up the earth on their own side. [11] Then he set to work to build his towers by the river. The foundations were of palm-trees, a hundred feet long and more—the palm-tree grows to a greater height than that, and under pressure it will curve upwards like the spine of an ass beneath a load. [12] He laid these foundations in order to give the impression that he meant to besiege the town, and was taking precautions so that the river, even if it found its way into his trench, should not carry off his towers. Then he had other towers built along the mound, so as to have as many guard-posts as possible. [13] Thus his army was employed, but the men within the walls laughed at his preparations, knowing they had supplies to last them more than twenty years. When Cyrus heard that, he divided his army into twelve, each division to keep guard for one month in the year. [14] At this the Babylonians laughed louder still, greatly pleased at the idea of being guarded by Phrygians and Lydians and Arabians and Cappadocians, all of whom, they thought, would be more friendly to themselves than to the Persians.
[15] However by this time the trenches were dug. And Cyrus heard that it was a time of high festival in Babylon when the citizens drink and make merry the whole night long. As soon as the darkness fell, he set his men to work. [16] The mouths of the trenches were opened, and during the night the water poured in, so that the river-bed formed a highway into the heart of the town.
[17] When the great stream had taken to its new channel, Cyrus ordered his Persian officers to bring up their thousands, horse and foot alike, each detachment drawn up two deep, the allies to follow in their old order. [18] They lined up immediately, and Cyrus made his own bodyguard descend into the dry channel first, to see if the bottom was firm enough for marching. [19] When they said it was, he called a council of all his generals and spoke as follows:
[20] “My friends, the river has stepped aside for us; he offers us a passage by his own high-road into Babylon. We must take heart and enter fearlessly, remembering that those against whom we are to march this night are the very men we have conquered before, and that too when they had their allies to help them, when they were awake, alert, and sober, armed to the teeth, and in their battle order. [21] To-night we go against them when some are asleep and some are drunk, and all are unprepared: and when they learn that we are within the walls, sheer astonishment will make them still more helpless than before. [22] If any of you are troubled by the thought of volleys from the roofs when the army enters the city, I bid you lay these fears aside: if our enemies do climb their roofs we have a god to help us, the god of Fire. Their porches are easily set aflame, for the doors are made of palm-wood and varnished with bitumen, the very food of fire. [23] And we shall come with the pine-torch to kindle it, and with pitch and tow to feed it. They will be forced to flee from their homes or be burnt to death. [24] Come, take your swords in your hand:
God helping me, I will lead you on. Do you,” he said, turning to Gadatas and Gobryas, “show us the streets, you know them; and once we are inside, lead us straight to the palace.”
[25] “So we will,” said Gobryas and his men, “and it would not surprise us to find the palace-gates unbarred, for this night the whole city is given over to revelry. Still, we are sure to find a guard, for one is always stationed there.”
“Then,” said Cyrus, “there is no time for lingering; we must be off at once and take them unprepared.”
[26] Thereupon they entered: and of those they met some were struck down and slain, and others fled into their houses, and some raised the hue and cry, but Gobryas and his friends covered the cry with their shouts, as though they were revellers themselves. And thus, making their way by the quickest route, they soon found themselves before the king’s palace. [27] Here the detachment under Gobryas and Gadatas found the gates closed, but the men appointed to attack the guards rushed on them as they lay drinking round a blazing fire, and closed with them then and there. [28] As the din grew louder and louder, those within became aware of the tumult, till, the king bidding them see what it meant, some of them opened the gates and ran out. [29] Gadatas and his men, seeing the gates swing wide, darted in, hard on the heels of the others who fled back again, and they chased them at the sword’s point into the presence of the king.
[30] They found him on his feet, with his drawn scimitar in his hand. By sheer weight of numbers they overwhelmed him: and not one of his retinue escaped, they were all cut down, some flying, others snatching up anything to serve as a shield and defending themselves as best they could. [31] Cyrus sent squadrons of cavalry down the different roads with orders to kill all they found in the street, while those who knew Assyrian were to warn the inhabitants to stay indoors under pain of death. [32] While they carried out these orders, Gobryas and Gadatas returned, and first they gave thanks to the gods and did obeisance because they had been suffered to take vengeance on their unrighteous king, and then they fell to kissing the hands and feet of Cyrus, shedding tears of joy and gratitude. [33] And when it was day and those who held the heights knew that the city was taken and the king slain, they were persuaded to surrender the citadel themselves. [34] Cyrus took it over forthwith, and sent in a commandant and a garrison, while he delivered the bodies of the fallen to their kinsfolk for burial, and bade his heralds make proclamation that all the citizens must deliver up their arms: wherever weapons were discovered in any house all the inmates would be put to death. So the arms were surrendered, and Cyrus had them placed in the citadel for use in case of need. [35] When all was done he summoned the Persian priests and told them the city was the captive of his spear and bade them set aside the first-fruits of the booty as an offering to the gods and mark out land for sacred demesnes. Then he distributed the houses and the public buildings to those whom he counted his partners in the exploit; and the distribution was on the principle accepted, the best prizes to the bravest men: and if any thought they had not received their deserts they were invited to come and tell him. [36] At the same time he issued a proclamation to the Babylonians, bidding them till the soil and pay the dues and render willing service to those under whose rule they were placed. As for his partners the Persians, and such of his allies as elected to remain with him, he gave them to understand they were to treat as subjects the captives they received.
[37] After this Cyrus felt that the time was come to assume the style and manner that became a king: and he wished this to be done with the goodwill and concurrence of his friends and in such a way that, without seeming ungracious, he might appear but seldom in public and always with a certain majesty. Therefore he devised the following scheme. At break of day he took his station at some convenient place, and received all who desired speech with him, and then dismissed them. [38] The people, when they heard that he gave audience, thronged to him in multitudes, and in the struggle to gain access there was much jostling and scheming and no little fighting. [39] His attendants did their best to divide the suitors, and introduce them in some order, and whenever any of his personal friends appeared, thrusting their way through the crowd, Cyrus would stretch out his hand and draw them to his side and say, “Wait, my friends, until we have finished with this crowd, and then we can talk at our ease.” So his friends would wait, but the multitude would pour on, growing greater and greater, until the evening would fall before there had been a moment’s leisure for his friends. [40] All that Cyrus could do then was to say, “Perhaps, gentlemen, it is a little late this evening and time that we broke up. Be sure to come early to-morrow. I am very anxious myself to speak with you.” With that his friends were only too glad to be dismissed, and made off without more ado. They had done penance enough, fasting and waiting and standing all day long. [41] So they would get to rest at last, but the next morning Cyrus was at the same spot and a much greater concourse of suitors round him than before, already assembled long before his friends arrived. Accordingly Cyrus had a cordon of Persian lancers stationed round him, and gave out that no one except his personal friends and the generals were to be allowed access, and as soon as they were admitted he said:
[42] “My friends, we cannot exclaim against the gods as though they had failed to fulfil our prayers. They have granted all we asked. But if success means that a man must forfeit his own leisure and the good company of all his friends, why, to that kind of happiness I would rather bid farewell. [43] Yesterday,” he added, “I make no doubt you observed yourselves that from early dawn till late evening I never ceased listening to petitioners, and to-day you see this crowd before us, larger still than yesterday’s, ready with business for me. [44] If this must be submitted to, I calculate that what you will get of me and I of you will be little enough, and what I shall get of myself will simply be nothing at all. Further,” he added, “I foresee another absurd consequence. [45] I, personally, have a feeling towards you which I need not state, but, of that audience yonder, scarcely one of them do I know at all, and yet they are all prepared to thrust themselves in front of you, transact their business, and get what they want out of me before any of you have a chance. I should have thought it more suitable myself that men of that class, if they wanted anything from me, should pay some court to you, my friends, in the hopes of an introduction. [46] Perhaps you will ask why I did not so arrange matters from the first, instead of always appearing in public. Because in war it is the first business of a commander not to be behindhand in knowing what ought to be done and seeing that it is done, and the general who is seldom seen is apt to let things slip. [47] But to-day, when war with its insatiable demands is over, I feel as if I had some claim myself to rest and refreshment. I am in some perplexity, however, as to how I can arrange matters so that all goes well, not only with you and me, but also with those whom we are bound to care for. Therefore I seek your advice and counsel, and I would be glad to learn from any of you the happiest solution.”
[48] Cyrus paused, and up rose Artabazus the Mede, who had claimed to be his kinsman, and said:
“You did well, Cyrus, to open this matter. Years ago, when you were still a boy, from the very first I longed to be your friend, but I saw you did not need me, and so I shrank from approaching you. [49] Then came a lucky moment when you did have need of me to be your good messenger among the Medes with the order from Cyaxares, and I said to myself that if I did the work well, if I really helped you, I might become your comrade and have the right to talk with you as often as I wished. [50] Well, the work was done, and done so as to win your praise. After that the Hyrcanians joined us, the first friends we made, when we were hungry and thirsty for allies, and we loved them so much we almost carried them about with us in our arms wherever we went. Then the enemy’s camp was taken, and I scarcely think you had the leisure to trouble your head with me—oh, I quite forgave you. [51] The next thing was that Gobryas became your friend, and I had to take my leave, and after him Gadatas, and by that time it was a real task to get hold of you. Then came the alliances with the Sakians, and the Cadousians, and no doubt you had to pay them court; if they danced attendance on you, you must dance attendance on them. [52] So that there I was, back again at my starting-point, and yet all the while, as I saw you busy with horses and chariots and artillery, I consoled myself by thinking, ‘when he is done with this he will have a little leisure for me.’ And then came the terrible news that the whole world was gathering in arms against us; I could not deny that these were important matters, but still I felt certain, if all went well, a time would come at last when you need not grudge me your company, and we should be together to my heart’s content, you and I. [53] Now, the day has come; we have conquered in the great battle; we have taken Sardis and Babylon; the world is at our feet, and yesterday, by Mithras! unless I had used my fists a hundred times, I swear I could never have got near you at all. Well, you grasped my hand and gave me greeting, and bade me wait beside you, and there I waited, the cynosure of every eye, the envy of every man, standing there all day long, without a scrap to eat or a drop to drink. [54] So now, if any way can be found by which we who have served you longest can get the most of you, well and good: but, if not, pray send me as your messenger once more, and this time I will tell them they can all leave you, except those who were your friends of old.”
[55] This appeal set them all laughing, Cyrus with the rest. Then Chrysantas the Persian stood up and spoke as follows:
“Formerly, Cyrus, it was natural and right that you should appear in public, for the reasons you have given us yourself, and also because we were not the folk you had to pay your court to. We did not need inviting: we were with you for our own sakes. It was necessary to win over the masses by every means, if they were to share our toils and our dangers willingly. [56] But now you have won them, and not them alone; you have it in your power to gain others, and the moment has come when you ought to have a house to yourself. What would your empire profit you if you alone were left without hearth or home? Man has nothing more sacred than his home, nothing sweeter, nothing more truly his. And do you not think,” he added, “that we ourselves would be ashamed if we saw you bearing the hardships of the camp while we sat at home by our own firesides? Should we not feel we had done you wrong, and taken advantage of you?”
[57] When Chrysantas had spoken thus, many others followed him, and all to the same effect. And so it came about that Cyrus entered the palace, and those in charge brought the treasures from Sardis thither, and handed them over. And Cyrus when he entered sacrificed to Hestia, the goddess of the Hearth, and to Zeus the Lord, and to any other gods named by the Persian priests.
[58] This done, he set himself to regulate the matters that remained. Thinking over his position, and the attempt he was making to govern an enormous multitude, preparing at the same time to take up his abode in the greatest of all famous cities, but yet a city that was as hostile to him as a city could be, pondering all this, he concluded that he could not dispense with a bodyguard for himself. [59] He knew well enough that a man can most easily be assassinated at his meals, or in his bath, or in bed, or when he is asleep, and he asked himself who were most to be trusted of those he had about him. A man, he believed, can never be loyal or trustworthy who is likely to love another more than the one who requires his guardianship. [60] He knew that men with children, or wives, or favourites in whom they delight, must needs love them most: while eunuchs, who are deprived of all such dear ones, would surely make most account of him who could enrich them, or help them if they were injured, or crown them with honour. And in the conferring of such benefits he was disposed to think he could outbid the world. [61] Moreover the eunuch, being degraded in the eyes of other men, is driven to seek the assistance of some lord and master. Without some such protection there is not a man in the world who would not think he had the right to over-reach a eunuch: while there was every reason to suppose that the eunuch would be the most faithful of all servants. [62] As for the customary notion that the eunuch must be weak and cowardly, Cyrus was not disposed to accept it. He studied the indications to be observed in animals: a vicious horse, if gelded, will cease to bite and be restive, but he will charge as gallantly as ever; a bull that has been cut will become less fierce and less intractable, but he will not lose his strength, he will be as good as ever for work; castration may cure a dog of deserting his master, but it will not ruin him as a watch-dog or spoil him for the chase. [63] So, too, with men; when cut off from this passion, they become gentler, no doubt, but not less quick to obey, not less daring as horsemen, not less skilful with the javelin, not less eager for honour. [64] In war and in the chase they show plainly enough that the fire of ambition is still burning in their hearts. And they have stood the last test of loyalty in the downfall of their masters. No men have shown more faithfulness than eunuchs when ruin has fallen on their lords. [65] In bodily strength, perhaps, the eunuchs seem to be lacking, but steel is a great leveller, and makes the weak man equal to the strong in war. Holding this in mind, Cyrus resolved that his personal attendants, from his doorkeepers onwards, should be eunuchs one and all.
[66] This guard, however, he felt was hardly sufficient against the multitude of enemies, and he asked himself whom he could choose among the rest. [67] He remembered how his Persians led the sorriest of lives at home owing to their poverty, working long and hard on the niggard soil, and he felt sure they were the men who would most value the life at his court. [68] Accordingly he selected ten thousand lancers from among them, to keep guard round the palace, night and day, whenever he was at home, and to march beside him whenever he went abroad. [69] Moreover, he felt that Babylon must always have an adequate garrison, whether he was in the country or not, and therefore he stationed a considerable body of troops in the city; and he bade the Babylonians provide their pay, his object being to make the citizens helpless, and therefore humble and submissive. [70] This royal guard that he established there, and the city guard for Babylon, survive to this day unaltered.
Lastly, as he pondered how the whole empire was to be kept together, and possibly another added to it, he felt convinced that his mercenaries did not make up for the smallness of their numbers by their superiority to the subject peoples. Therefore he must keep together those brave warriors, to whom with heaven’s help the victory was due, and he must take all care that they did not lose their valour, hardihood, and skill. [71] To avoid the appearance of dictating to them and to bring it about that they should see for themselves it was best to stay with him and remember their valour and their training, he called a council of the Peers and of the leading men who seemed to him most worthy of sharing their dangers and their rewards. [72] And when they were met he began:
“Gentlemen, my friends and allies, we owe the utmost thanks to the gods because they have given us what we believed that we deserved. We are masters to-day of a great country and a good; and those who till it will support us; we have houses of our own, and all the furniture that is in them is ours. [73] For you need not think that what you hold belongs to others. It is an eternal law the wide world over, that when a city is taken in war, the citizens, their persons, and all their property fall into the hands of the conquerors. It is not by injustice, therefore, that you hold what you have taken, rather it is through your own human kindness that the citizens are allowed to keep whatever they do retain.
[74] “Yet I foresee that if we betake ourselves to the life of indolence and luxury, the life of the degenerate who think that labour is the worst of evils and freedom from toil the height of happiness, the day will come, and speedily, when we shall be unworthy of ourselves, and with the loss of honour will come the loss of wealth. [75] Once to have been valiant is not enough; no man can keep his valour unless he watch over it to the end. As the arts decay through neglect, as the body, once healthy and alert, will grow weak through sloth and indolence, even so the powers of the spirit, temperance, self-control, and courage, if we grow slack in training, fall back once more to rottenness and death. [76] We must watch ourselves; we must not surrender to the sweetness of the day. It is a great work, methinks, to found an empire, but a far greater to keep it safe. To seize it may be the fruit of daring and daring only, but to hold it is impossible without self-restraint and self-command and endless care. [77] We must not forget this; we must train ourselves in virtue from now henceforward with even greater diligence than before we won this glory, remembering that the more a man possesses, the more there are to envy him, to plot against him, and be his enemies, above all when the wealth he wins and the services he receives are yielded by reluctant hands. But the gods, we need not doubt, will be upon our side; we have not triumphed through injustice; we were not the aggressors, it was we who were attacked and we avenged ourselves. [78] The gods are with us, I say; but next to that supreme support there is a defence we must provide out of our own powers alone; and that is the righteous claim to rule our subjects because we are better men than they. Needs must that we share with our slaves in heat and cold and food and drink and toil and slumber, and we must strive to prove our superiority even in such things as these, and first in these. [79] But in the science of war and the art of it we can admit no share; those whom we mean to make our labourers and our tributaries can have no part in that; we will set ourselves to defraud them there; we know that such exercises are the very tools of freedom and happiness, given by the gods to mortal men. We have taken their arms away from our slaves, and we must never lay our own aside, knowing well that the nearer the sword-hilt the closer the heart’s desire. So. Does any man ask himself what profit he has gained from the fulfilment of his dreams, if he must still endure, still undergo hunger and thirst and toil and trouble and care? Let him learn the lesson that a man’s enjoyment of all good things is in exact proportion to the pains he has undergone to gain them. Toil is the seasoning of delight; without desire and longing, no dish, however costly, could be sweet. [81] Yes, if some spirit were to set before us what men desire most, and we were left to add for ourselves that final touch of sweetness, I say that we could only gain above the poorest of the poor in so far as we could bring hunger for the most delicious foods, and thirst for the richest wines, and weariness to make us woo the deepest slumber. [82] Therefore, we must strain every nerve to win and to keep manhood and nobleness; so that we may gain that satisfaction which is the sweetest and the best, and be saved from the bitterest of sorrows; since to fail of good altogether is not so hard as to lose the good that has once been ours. [83] And let us ask ourselves
0

#7 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:01 PM

EPILOGUE

[C.8] Of all the powers in Asia, the kingdom of Cyrus showed itself to be the greatest and most glorious. On the east it was bounded by the Red Sea, on the north by the Euxine, on the west by Cyprus and Egypt, and on the south by Ethiopia. And yet the whole of this enormous empire was governed by the mind and will of a single man, Cyrus: his subjects he cared for and cherished as a father might care for his children, and they who came beneath his rule reverenced him like a father.
[2] But no sooner was he dead than his sons were at strife, cities and nations revolted, and all things began to decay. I can show that what I say is true, and first I will speak of their impiety. In the early days, I am aware, the king and those beneath him never failed to keep the oaths they had sworn and fulfil the promises they had given, even to the worst of criminals. [3] In fact, if such had not been their character and such their reputation, none of the Hellenic generals who marched up with the younger Cyrus could have felt the confidence they did: they would not have trusted a Persian any more than one trusts them to-day, now that their perfidy is known. As it was, they relied on their old reputation and put themselves in their power, and many were taken up to the king and there beheaded. And many of the Asiatics who served in the same war perished as they did, deluded by one promise or another.
[4] In other ways also the Persians have degenerated. Noble achievement in the old days was the avenue to fame: the man was honoured who risked his life for the king, or brought a city or nation beneath his sway. But now, if some Mithridates has betrayed his father Ariobarzanes, or some Reomithres has left his wife and children and the sons of his friend as hostages at the court of Egypt, and then has broken the most solemn of all pledges—it is they and their like who are loaded with the highest honours, if only they are thought to have gained some advantage for the king. [5] With such examples before them, all the Asiatics have turned to injustice and impiety. For what the leaders are, that, as a rule, will the men below them be. Thus has lawlessness increased and grown among them. [6] And injustice has grown, and thieving. Not only criminals, but men who are absolutely innocent are arrested and forced to pay fines for no reason whatsoever: to be known to have wealth is more dangerous than guilt, so that the rich do not care to have any dealings with the powerful, and dare not even risk appearing at the muster of the royal troops. [7] Therefore, when any man makes war on Persia, whoever he may be, he can roam up and down the country to his heart’s content without striking a blow, because they have forgotten the gods and are unjust to their fellow-men. In every way their hearts and minds are lower than in days gone by.
[8] Nor do they care for their bodies as they did of old. It was always their custom neither to spit nor blow the nose, only it is clear this was instituted not from concern for the humours of the body, but in order to strengthen themselves by toil and sweat. But nowadays, though this habit is still in vogue, to harden the body by exercise has quite gone out of fashion. [9] Again, from the first it was their rule only to take a single meal in the day, which left them free to give their time to business and exercise. The single meal is still the rule, but it commences at the earliest hour ever chosen for breakfast, and the eating and drinking goes on till the last moment which the latest reveller would choose for bed. [10] It was always forbidden to bring chamber-pots into the banquet-hall, but the reason lay in their belief that the right way to keep body and brain from weakness was to avoid drinking in excess. But to-day, though as in the old time no such vessels may be carried in, they drink so deep that they themselves are carried out, too weak to stand on their own legs. [11] It was a national custom from the first not to eat and drink on the march nor be seen satisfying the wants of nature, but nowadays, though they still abstain, they make each march so short that no man need wonder at their abstinence.
[12] In the old time they went out to hunt so often that the chase gave enough exercise and training for man and horse alike. But when the day came that Artaxerxes and all his court were the worse for wine, the old custom of the king leading the hunt in person began to pass away. And if any eager spirits hunted with their own followers it was easy to see the jealousy, and even the hatred, aroused by such superiority.
[13] It is still the habit to bring up the boys at the palace-gates, but fine horsemanship has disappeared, for there is no place where the lads can win applause by their skill. The old belief that the children of Persia would learn justice by hearing the judges decide the cases has been turned upside down: the children have only to use their eyes and they see that the verdict goes to the man with the longest purse. [14] Children in former times were taught the properties of plants in order to use the wholesome and avoid the harmful; but now they seem to learn it for the mere sake of doing harm: at any rate, there is no country where deaths from poison are so common. [15] And the Persian to-day is far more luxurious than he was in the time of Cyrus. Then they still clung to the Persian style of education and the Persian self-restraint, merely adopting the Median dress and a certain grace of life. But now the old Persian hardihood may perish for all they care, if only they preserve the softness of the Mede. [16] I might give instances of their luxury. They are not content with soft sheets and rugs for their beds, they must have carpets laid under the bed-posts to prevent any jarring from the floor. They have given up none of the cooked dishes invented in former days; on the contrary, they are always devising new ones, and condiments to boot: in fact, they keep men for the very purpose. [17] In the winter it is not enough to have the body covered, and the head and the feet, they must have warm sleeves as well and gloves for the hands: and in the summer they are not content with the shade from the trees or the rocks, they must have servants standing beside them with artificial screens. [18] To have an endless array of cups and goblets is their special pride: and if these are come by unjustly, and all the world knows it, why, there is nothing to blush for in that: injustice has grown too common among them, and ill-gotten gain. [19] Formerly no Persian was ever to be seen on foot, but the sole object of the custom was to make them perfect horsemen. Now they lay more rugs on their horses’ backs than on their own beds; it is not a firm seat they care for, but a soft saddle.
[20] As soldiers we may imagine how they have sunk below the ancient standard; in past times it was a national institution that the land-owner should furnish troopers from his own estate, and men were bound to go on active service, while the garrison troops in the country received regular pay; but now the Persian grandees have manufactured a new type of cavalry, who earn their pay as butlers and cooks and confectioners and cupbearers and bathmen and flunkeys to serve at table or remove the dishes, and serving-men to put their lords to bed and help them to rise, and perfumers to anoint them and rub them and make them beautiful. [21] In numbers they make a very splendid show, but they are no use for fighting; as may be seen by what actually takes place: an enemy can move about their country more freely than the inhabitants themselves. [22] It will be remembered that Cyrus put a stop to the old style of fighting at long range, and by arming men and horses with breastplates and giving each trooper a short spear he taught them to fight at close quarters. But nowadays they will fight in neither one style nor the other. [23] The infantry still carry the large shields, the battle-axes, and the swords, as if they meant to do battle as they did in Cyrus’ day. [24] But they will never close with the enemy. Nor do they use the scythe-bearing chariots as Cyrus intended. By the honours he gave he raised the dignity and improved the quality of his charioteers till he had a body of men who would charge right into the enemy’s ranks; but the generals of to-day, though they do not even know the charioteers by sight, flatter themselves that untrained men will serve their purpose quite as well as trained. [25] So the charioteers will dash off, but before they reach the enemy half the men have fallen from their boxes, and the others will jump out of their own accord, and the teams, left without their drivers, will do more harm to their friends than to their foes. [26] And since in their hearts the Persians of to-day are well aware what their fighting condition really is, they always give up the struggle, and now none of them will take the field at all without Hellenes to help them, whether they are fighting among themselves or whether Hellenes are in arms against them: even then it is a settled thing that they must have the aid of other Hellenes to face them.
[27] I venture to think I have shown the truth of the statement that I made. I asserted that the Persians of to-day and their allies are less religious than they were of old, less dutiful to their kindred, less just and righteous towards other men, and less valiant in war. And if any man doubts me, let him examine their actions for himself, and he will find full confirmation of all I say.

NOTES
C1. Xenophon puts into the mouth of Chrysantas his favourite theory of monarchism, the relationship strongly cemented by obedience and trust between subjects and king.
C1.4, med. On /willing/ service. This again is one of the best utterances in all Xenophon. It has a deep spiritual import.
C1.4, fin. He is thinking of Athens, perhaps. It is a choice: obey the ruler or knock under to foreign foes.
C1.8. Surely a remark of the author. It is an old inveterate thought of his: “the Master’s eye.” I feel the /old/ man at times.
C1.9-10. This side of the Persian state-machine strongly impressed the mind and imagination of Xenophon. Hence he works it into the treatise on economy as well as here. In fact his expansion of the Socratic reflections into the /Economist/ has to do, I believe, with these reflections on state economy.
C1.13. Hellenic aristocratic theory of existence. Leisure for the grand duties which devolve on the lords of mankind. It doesn’t seem to strike Xenophon that this rigid system of self-absorption in the higher selfhood of the social system might be destructive of individual life. Of course he would say, “No, it enlarges the individual life.”
C1.17-20. Seems to me to show Xenophon struggling with the hard parts of the later Persian system. The theory of Persian feudalism is too high-strung for these grand satraps, rulers of provinces as big as ordinary kingdoms. It tends to snap, and from the beginning did. The archic man has no charm to compel his followers to archic virtue. It is a negative {episteme} after all. Does Xenophon realise this, or is hgd. wrong?
C1.21. Cf. headmasters with preposters in a public school, based on the same system of high aims and duties corresponding to rights.
C1.23, init. Cf. Louis Napoleon in Browning’s poem [/Prince Hohensteil-Schwangau/].
C1.23, med. The Magians, the Persian order of priests. Yet we have heard of them throughout.
C1.27. A very true saying and very nice the feeling it gives us towards Xenophon. We think of him with his wife and his little sons and his friends and their friends.
C1.28. How true of women!
C1.33. A reduplication of the description in Bk. I., and also a summing-up of Xenophon’s own earthly paradise—quite Tennysonian.
C1.37. An important point or principle in Xenophon’s political theory --indeed the key and tone of it: no one has a right to command except by virtue of personal superiority.
C1.40 foll. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” The section, if, as I think it is, by Xenophon, throws light on the nature and composition of the book. The author isn’t so disengaged from “history” that he can set aside obviously integral parts of the Persian system traceable to Cyrus, or at any rate probably original, and their false-seeming and bamboozling mode of keeping up dignity has to be taken account of. It has its analogy in the admission of thaumaturgy on the part of religious teachers, and no doubt a good deal can be said for it. The archic man in low spirits, if he ever is so, has some need of bamboozling himself. Titles do give some moral support even nowadays to certain kinds of minds.
C1.46-48. The archic man’s dealings by those of his subjects who are apt to rule, the men of high thoughts and ambitions, with whom he must come into constant personal contact. With them the spiritual dominance alone will do. They shall be made to love him rather than themselves. (The only thing just here that jars is a sort of Machiavellian self-consciousness, resented in the archic man).
C1.46. A cumbrous disjointed sentence, but the thought of it is clear enough. Even Xenophon’s style breaks down when he tries to say in a breath more than he naturally can. Is it a sign of senility, or half-thought-out ideas, or what?
C2.2, fin. Does Xenophon feel the bathos of this, or is hdg. wrong and there is no bathos? It may be said that the sacramental and spiritual side is not in abeyance. Xenophon has to account for the “common board” and he has the Spartan Lycurgan “common board” to encourage him, so that imaginatively he provides this royal being with a sumptuous table at which thousands will share alike.
C2.3. How far was this a custom among Hellenes? It reveals a curious state of society, real or imaginary; but I suppose that at Rome in imperial days (cf. /panem et circenses/) the theory of meat and drink largesses being the best would hold.
C2.4, fin. The last remark is so silly (?) I am almost disposed to follow Lincke and admit interpolation. Yet on the whole I think it is the voice of the old man explaining in his Vicar-of-Wakefield style, to his admiring auditors, wife, children, and grandsons, I fancy, and slaves, the /raison d’tre/ of Persian dinner-largesse customs.
C2.6. Qy.: What was Xenophon’s manner of composing? The style here is loose, like that of a man talking. Perhaps he lectured and the amanuensis took down what he said.
C2.8. Ineptitudes. One does somewhat sniff an editor here, I think, but I am not sure. There’s a similar touch of ineptitude (senility, perhaps) in the /Memorabilia/, /ad fin/. On the other hand I can imagine Xenophon purring over this side of Orientalism quite naturally.
C2.12. This slipshod style, how accounted for? The most puzzling thing of all is the sort of mental confusion between Cyrus and the king in general.
C2.15-16. Thoroughly Xenophontine and Ruskinian and eternal.
C2.24. Here is the germ of benefit societies and clubs and insurances and hospitals. Xenophon probably learns it all from Ctesias, and others of the sort. Cyrus provides doctors and instruments and medicines and diet, in fact, all the requisites of a hospital, in his palace. Nor does he forget to be grateful to the doctors who cured the sick. [Ctesias, the Greek physician to the Persian king. See /Anabasis/, I. viii. Works, Vol. I. p. 108.]
C2.26 ff. Xenophon’s Machiavellianism. Does it work?
C2.17-28. It seems to me that all this is too elaborate for an interpolator: it smacks of Xenophon in his arm-chair, theorising and half-dreaming over his political philosophy.
C3.2. Prototype, a procession to Eleusis or elsewhere: the
Panathenaic, possibly. Xenophon’s sumptuous taste and love of bright colours.
C3.3, fin., C3.4. What a curious prototypic sound! Truly this is the very /modus/ of the evangelist’s type of sentence. His narrative must run in this mould.
C3.4, fin. This is the old Cyrus. It comes in touchingly here, this refrain of the old song, now an echo of the old life.
C3.14. Xenophon delights somewhat in this sort of scene. It is a turning-point, a veritable moral peripety, though the decisive step was taken long ago. What is Xenophon’s intention with regard to it? Has he any /parti pris/, for or against? Does he wish us to draw conclusions? Or does it correspond to a moral meeting of the waters in his own mind? Here love of Spartan simplicity, and there of splendour and regality and monarchism? He does not give a hint that the sapping of the system begins here, when the archic man ceases to depend on his own spiritual archic qualities and begins to eke out his dignity by artificial means and external shows of reverence.
C3.20. Is this worthy of the archic man? It is a method, no doubt, of {arkhe}, but has it any spiritual “last” in it? The incident of Dapharnes somewhat diverts our attention from the justice of the system in reference to the suitors. On the whole, I think Xenophon can’t get further. He is blinded and befogged by two things: (1) his (i.e. their) aristocratism, and again (2) his satisfaction in splendour and get-up, provided it is attached to moral greatness. We are in the same maze, I fancy. Jesus was not, nor is Walt Whitman.
C3.23. Cyrus is made to behave rather like the autocratic father of a goody story-book.
C3.25. Realistic and vivid detailing: our curiosity is satisfied. “Who has won?” we ask. “Oh, so-and-so, Smith.” Well, it’s something to know that Smith has won. Xenophon, the artist, ‘cutely introduces the Sakian to us. One scene takes up another, just as in real life. Quite soon we know a great deal more about this young man, a mere Sakian private soldier, who wins the race so easily on his splendid horse.
Cyrus and good fortune introduce him to the very man he is suited to:
viz. Pheraulas.
C3.37. Pheraulas’ boyhood has already been sketched by himself (II. C3.7), the active sturdy little youngster, snatching at a knife, and hacking away /con amore/. We know him well: Xenophon’s modernism comes out in these things. Here we have the old father, a heart of oak, like the old Acharnian in Aristophanes. One of the prettiest morsels in all Xenophon. Xenophon’s own father, is he there?
C3.47. The desire for “leisure” is as strong in Xenophon as in hgd. or S. T. I., I think. [S. T. Irwin, also a master at Clifton.]
C4.1. Why is the Hyrcanian never named? Is it conceivable that Xenophon shrinks from using a proper name except when he has some feeling for the sound of the language? (Sic. Sakians, Cadousians, Indians, etc.)
C4.4 The “mark” system again which Xenophon believes in, but hgd. not. Shows how he tried to foster competitiveness. It’s after all a belief in the central sun, a species of monarch-worship, logical and consistent enough.
C4.8. Xenophon reveals himself and the Hellenic feeling with regard to war and its use. The /pax Romana/ is anticipated in their minds.
C4.9. Hystaspas is rather like the sons of Zebedee or the elder brother of the Prodigal.
C4.12, fin. Looks rather like a Greek joke. But what is the joke?
C4.13-23. Broad type of joke, but not unhealthy or prurient. Prototype probably Agesilaus and the younger Cyrus at the supper-table, with just this touch of coarseness.
C4.32-36. This is = to the Comtist theory of the duties of capitalists, and is one of the noblest disquisitions in all Xenophon, {os g’ emoi dokei}. Cyrus’ theory is based on fraternal feeling among the /elite/ of the world, and that is the sole difference, a large one doubtless, and measures the gap between Xenophon and A. C. and our advance in Democracy.
C5.17. How far is this historical, i.e. semi-historical? I can’t help supposing that the commoner notion of a conquest of Media by Persia was current and familiar to Xenophon apart from any other account, which for his present purpose he chose to go upon and possibly believed in.
C5.18-20. Will Cyrus take her to wife, his old playmate? All this shows once more Xenophon’s love of children.
C5.23-25. The Persian Magna Charta, parallel to that between the Spartan king and the ephorate.
C6.1-3. (a) Satraps; to be counterpoised by ( B) military governors in the citadels, and © visitors living at court, but possessed of lands in the provinces. The object is, no doubt, to create a common interest between the nobles and the king which will keep the satrap in counterpoise.
C6.11. The Oriental feeling again.
C6.12, fin. One of the nicest (monarchical) remarks ever uttered.
C6.13. Marked Greek Testament parallel S. Joan. 13, 13. Surely the evangelist had read this at school: I mean, the Greek scribe who Hellenised the evangel.
C6.23. Free trade or favoured-nation principle and commercial treaty.
C7.10. Prototype: Socrates and his sons. Perhaps also Xenophon and his. One seems to hear his own voice addressing Gryllus.
C7.14. A very noble passage.
C7.27. That’s also nice: “Summon the Persians to rejoice with me at my joyous release;” a refined form of funeral festival—“nothing is here for tears”—nor have we, perhaps, arrived beyond it.
C7.28. His last remark is Xenophon-Hellenic, but less edifying; fortunately it is only the penultimate, for there is the final {khairete} [good-bye] and message to his wife. Why was she not present? I suppose she was at home in Babylon.
[C8. It has been doubted whether C8 is by Xenophon at all. C8.3, with its reference to the /Anabasis/, certainly looks as though it might have been written after his death. Some scholars have also thought the style unlike Xenophon’s, but it is clear from his marginal notes that Mr. Dakyns did not lean towards this view. To stress the degeneracy of the Persians is, no doubt, to make a curious comment on the institutions of “the born ruler,” but on the other hand the preceding chapter (C7) is full of grave warnings, and, throughout, Xenophon has been at pains to insist that everything depends on the continuous and united effort of the ruling classes towards virtue and self-control. Again, as Mr. Dakyns pointed out (in his /Sketch of Xenophon’s Life/, Works, Vol. I. p. cxxxvii.), the epilogue bears a marked analogy to the account of Spartan degeneracy in c. xiv. of the /Laconian Polity/ (see Vol. II. p. 322), a chapter he took to be genuine. On the whole, therefore, we may conclude that he would have considered this epilogue to be genuine also.—F.M.S.]




End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of Cyropaedia, by Xenophon
0

#8 User is offline   Ahhangar Icon

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
Group:
Members
Posts:
316
Joined:
03-February 08

Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:19 PM

Xenophon's Prince: Republic and Empire in the "Cyropaedia" (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature) (Hardcover)

Posted Image

GOOGLE BOOK LIMITED PREVIEW


Synopsis

For over two millennia, the Cyropaedia, an imaginative biography of the Persian king Cyrus the Great, was Xenophon's most popular work and considered his masterpiece. This study contributes to the recent rediscovery of the Cyropaedia and Xenophon, making intelligible the high esteem in which writers of the stature of Machiavelli held Xenophon's works and the importance of his place among classical authors. The ending of the Cyropaedia has presented a notoriously difficult puzzle for scholars. The bulk of the work seems to idealize the career of Cyrus, but the final chapter documents the swift and disastrous degeneration of the empire he founded. This conclusion seems to call his achievements into question. Nadon resolves this long-standing interpretive difficulty and demonstrates for the first time the overall coherence and unity of the Cyropaedia. He elucidates the Xenophontic critique of Cyrus contained within the whole of the work and unearths its analysis of the limitations of both republican and imperial politics. This provocative and original treatment of the Cyropaedia will be a definitive step in restoring the status of this important work. Nadon's lively, insightful study draws upon his deep knowledge and understanding of classical political theory and reveals in the Cyropaedia a subtlety and sophistication overlooked until now.


Review:

Christopher Nadon, Xenophon's Prince. Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2001.  Pp. xiii, 198.  ISBN 0-520-22404-3. 

Reviewed by John Dillery, University of Virginia (jdd4n@virginia.edu)
Word count: 2133 words


The Cyropaedia is a difficult text. As with so much of Xenophon's writing, it presents us with a number of puzzles. We simply do not have the answers to a number of basic questions: what kind of work is it; when was it written; for what purpose? As Grayson acutely observed some time ago, its notorious final chapter (8. 8) , the authenticity of which is sometimes doubted, is but one more case of a conclusion to a text of Xenophon that seems to undercut or cast doubt on the preceding narrative.1 Although much admired and read in antiquity as well as the Renaissance, until recently the work was little studied by classicists. This radically changed about a dozen years ago, when the first in a line of important studies appeared: James Tatum's Xenophon's Imperial Fiction (1989). Tatum's book was followed immediately by Bodil Due's The Cyropaedia. Xenophon's Aims and Methods (1989), and then a little later by Xenophon's Cyropaedia. Style, Genre, and Literary Technique (1993) by Deborah Levine Gera. Finally, most recently, Christian Mueller-Goldingen brought out his Habilitationsschrift, Untersuchungen zu Xenophons Kyrupädie (1995).2 Thus Christopher Nadon's book, Xenophon's Prince. Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia, joins a suddenly bustling, even crowded field.

Xenophon's Prince is very different from its immediate predecessors. The Xenophon that emerges from its pages is very much the Chicago Xenophon. This is no surprise. Nadon identifies himself as a student of the University of Chicago, dedicates the volume to Allan Bloom, and Leo Strauss is clearly an important guiding light throughout. The Chicago Xenophon is a writer of irony and innuendo; the surface of his narrative often conceals a covert message. The many apparent reversals found in several of his works lend support to such an interpretation. Indeed, viewed through a Straussian lens, these passages no longer seem anomalous, but rather are found to be connected to the entire texts in which they are situated. Although many have their reservations about this approach, it has real merit, namely that Xenophon is treated as a serious author with important views he wishes to communicate and that he did so without contradicting himself. Where many part company with those who follow this line of criticism is precisely over the question how subtle or ironic Xenophon could be. In its extreme form, this approach can seem deliberately contrarian: if Xenophon appears to others to have wanted to say 'x', he in fact was trying to say 'not-x'.3 Nadon has produced an analysis of the Cyr. that in many ways conforms to these strengths and limitations. His central point, that the picture we get of Cyrus is in fact uniformly that of an ambitious prince aiming at autocratic rule, is presented in three main chapters ('Republic', 'Transformation', 'Empire'), followed by two concluding ones ('Motives' and 'Xenophon's Intentions'). But he begins with a critical review of the books by Tatum, Due and Gera, though not in this order.4 Due is first faulted for providing a 'bland, if sunny characterization' of Cyrus, essentially on the grounds that her treatment is shallow and politically naïve (p.6). Nadon's main focus is on Tatum and Gera. He finds the launching point for his own discussion in what he sees as a major disagreement between the two: according to Nadon, while Tatum sees the last portion of Xenophon's text as showing a positive picture of Cyrus and empire, Gera argues that the negative character of Cyrus' imperial rule is suggested. Moreover, these critical stances are thought to be at odds with the rest of the discussions in which they are found. Nadon observes: 'the fact that where Tatum sees good, Gera sees bad, and where Gera sees good Tatum sees bad, suggests the possibility that Xenophon and his presentation of Cyrus are in fact consistent throughout the work, indeed, consistently "Machiavellian"' (13). Indeed, it is Machiavelli who rescues the Cyr. for us in Nadon's eyes, suggesting through his own apparently contradictory views as found in the Prince and Discourses that the text 'contain[s] a covert teaching' (20).

There are two points that need to be raised here. First, the justification Nadon constructs for his own discussion seems distinctly artificial, and is at points unfair. Not really a statio quaestionis, the opening section of his book creates the impression that the inspiration for his reading is not the Cyr. itself, but the reception of it. Furthermore, the books of both Tatum and Gera are in fact far more nuanced than Nadon's summaries of them; and Due's work is misrepresented. But, even were he right, these modern treatments ought not to serve as the starting point for discussion, but rather the Cyr. itself. Secondly, the very notion of a 'covert teaching' is highly problematic. I am aware that it is precisely here where opinions divide. But it seems to me that Nadon's methods in establishing this hidden message, as well as his insistence that it can be found throughout the Cyr., are questionable. And major problems seem connected to the message itself that Nadon advances for the Cyr.

The strength of Nadon's book lies in its recognition that, among other things, the Cyr. is a political treatise. So much is made clear by Xenophon's musings on government in the opening paragraphs. As I mentioned earlier, Nadon's main point is that a 'Machiavellian' Cyrus needs to be understood throughout the narrative. Where others have seen Cyrus' residence in Babylon (7.5.37ff.) as the beginning of his autocratic rule and thus also the beginning of Xenophon's negative shading of him,5 Nadon asserts that this characterization can be found throughout the Cyr., from the first book onward. Some of his readings are illuminating, and all are intelligently presented. However, I do not believe that the case he makes for the presence of the covert teaching in the first six, almost seven, books of the Cyr. is compelling. Nadon's handling of the dialogue between Cyrus and his father Cambyses (1.6) is representative of the problem. He treats this important section at length at the end of his book (164-78), in the chapter 'Xenophon's Intentions'. Nadon believes that while Cambyses encourages his son to be both a good man and a good ruler, Cyrus is really only interested in the latter project. This claim is first clearly articulated on the basis of remarks we see at the beginning of their conversation. Cambyses reminds Cyrus that while it was a fitting and good task ( ??? ??? ... ??? ??? ?? ... ??? ??) for a man to take care to be good and to look after his household, it was a wondrous thing ( ??? ? ??? ??) to know how to rule others. Cyrus responds by saying that the art of ruling was indeed an exceedingly difficult task ( ??? ? ??? ? ??? ... ??? ??, 1.6.7- 8) . Because Cyrus did not also speak of learning to be a good man, Nadon detects 'a real difference of opinion' between father and son (165): 'he does not share Cambyses' opinion as to the difficulty or importance of becoming "truly good and noble" himself'. I frankly do not see how the passage gives any warrant for Nadon to draw the conclusion he does. Cambyses has presented Cyrus with a pair of related ideas: being good oneself is difficult, but being a good ruler is remarkable. Cyrus responds to the thrust of the point: indeed, ruling well is very difficult. To my eyes at least, there is no sinister elision here of Cambyses' first remarks; learning to be a good person was not the point of what he was trying to impress upon his son. Much of the rest of Nadon's discussion of this crucial portion of the Cyr. is built on such casuistic reading.

Another major difficulty with Nadon's understanding of the 'covert teaching' of the Cyr. is its purpose. Asserting that the work was written 'when the Spartans exercised "hegemony over all of the Greeks"', he claims that the Lac. Pol. was intended to make clear the failure of Spartan society, the Hellenica the failure of Sparta's foreign policy, and the Cyr. 'how the attempt to overcome these difficulties by transforming an idealized Spartan republic into a full-fledged imperial power ultimately results in the "rebarbarization" of its citizens' (162-3). Although we do not know the precise date of the Cyr., most place it late in Xenophon's life, say in the mid 360s.6 By this time Sparta's hegemony was crumbling, and its weakness exposed, first by the defeat at Leuctra (in 371), and then by the subsequent invasions of the Peloponnese by the Thebans. Furthermore, Nadon's argument relies on the understanding that Persia is but a transparent stand-in for Sparta, a point that has some merit, but which has been shown to be significantly overstated, if not incorrect.7 And even within the framework of his own discussion, the connection to Sparta comes as something of a surprise; the linkage is not really justified by the discussion (in the index, the entry 'Sparta' lists only pages 30-32, 33, 161-63).

A central component of Nadon's analysis is the belief that passages of Xenophon's text 'interlock' (24), and in particular that these interlockings reveal significant discontinuities between speech and act (see, e.g., 40: this is called 'disclosure'). An example: although Cyrus would seem to have been reconciled to his uncle Cyaxares at 5.5.36-7, the 'true nature' of his attitude towards his relative and Media as a whole is revealed, 'if indirectly', in his bestowal of Media as a satrapy upon his son Tanaoxares reported much later in the text (8.7.11). Since 'satraps, we are elsewhere told, are sent to rule over conquered peoples (8.6.1)', we have proof that Cyrus had in mind all the time the cruel subjugation of his mother's homeland (100). This procedure is problematic in two ways. First, the contexts of the sections in question are different and are not taken into account; in particular 8.6.1, while indeed referring to 'the conquered peoples' (?? ??? ? ??? ? ??? ?? ??? ?), is really more about Cyrus' wish to control the satraps themselves, rather than the subject ??? ?. And secondly, a larger, historical issue: what else was Xenophon to call Media but a satrapy? As we know from Herodotus (most notably, Hdt. 3.92), indeed as is clear from Persian documents (e.g. DB I.12-17), Media was in fact a satrapy. This fact is unexceptional when seen from a historical point of view. Xenophon himself was quite aware of the satrapal system of governance, as we can tell from numerous passages from both the Hellenica and Anabasis. Yet, it is precisely a historian's view that we are missing in Nadon's treatment. To extract the sort of special meaning he sees in Media's status as a satrapy, and to apply it to a passage that is found pages before, does not seem justified (see Cyr. 1.1.4). This sort of argument based on an alleged 'interlocking' of passages is found throughout Xenophon's Prince. When Nadon attacks others for 'reductionist explanations' lacking textual support, as opposed to conclusions that are based 'on what [Xenophon] actually wrote' (162), the criticism seems more fitting at points for his own line of argument.

Other methodological difficulties have to do with linguistic issues. When Nadon explains that words in a translation of Xenophon have been emphasized by him with italics ('emphasis added' 34, 168), as though showing us a latent meaning in Xenophon's own text, this suggests an odd understanding of the status of the translation, indeed a distance from the original Greek. Other problems arise because of choices in translation or favored terms in the argument; so, for example, Greek politeia is frequently translated 'regime'. Not an impossible rendering I suppose, but one that is not offered by standard lexica (see LSJ s.v.).

As is by now no doubt clear, I have several reservations about Xenophon's Prince. I believe it is an intelligent book, and that it grapples with a real problem: is a unified reading of the Cyr. possible? In the end I often do not see the connections between passages that Nadon sees; I cannot believe that Xenophon was as subtle and ironic as Nadon's argument requires him to be. This is not to say that Xenophon was incapable of irony, understatement, and even commentary through omission. But it is a question of degree. And we should probably also not forget in all this that Xenophon could be a very straightforward, direct, and declarative author, and not just in those notorious 'palinodes' mentioned at the beginning of this review. Hellenica 5.3.7 or 5.4.1, or Mem. 1.1.20 especially come to mind. What is more, Xenophon could even endorse leadership that was, when needed, deceptive: Cyrus the Younger had to conceal his revolt from his brother Artaxerxes II and yet was a leader whom Xenophon obviously admired -- indeed, he was in his eyes the man most like his ancestor and namesake, Cyrus the Great (An. 1.9.1).

Notes:


1.  C.H. Grayson, 'Did Xenophon intend to write History', in The Ancient Historian and His Materials, B. Levick ed. (Farnborough 1975) 34-5: in addition to Cyr. 8.8, Hellenica 7.5.27, Anabasis 7.8., Lac. Pol. 14. Grayson was not the first to notice these apparently inconsistent passages but discusses well the fact that several of Xenophon's major works seem to have them.
2.  I have not seen the dissertations on the Cyr. by G. Hogg (Edinburgh 1996), or W.R. Newell (Yale 1981).
3.  For a recent critique of the approach see P. Cartledge, 'The Socratics' Sparta and Rousseau's', in Sparta. New Perspectives, S. Hodkinson and A. Powell eds. (London 1999) 320.
4.  Mueller-Goldingen is treated briefly in a footnote, 12 n.55.
5.  I am thinking esp. of Gera's splendid treatment. But see also V. Azoulay, 'Xénophon, le Roi et les Eunuques', Revue d'Histoire des Idées Politiques 11 (2000) 3-26, as well as his forthcoming paper in the proceedings from The World of Xenophon International Conference, held in July 1999 in Liverpool.
6.  Cf. Mueller-Goldingen 55.
7.  See, e.g., C. Tuplin, 'Xenophon, Sparta and the Cyropaedia', in The Shadow of Sparta, A. Powell and S. Hodkinson eds. (London and New York 1994) 127-81, a text cited by Nadon but not really refuted. Nadon's remarks about Tuplin and his alleged unrecorded debt to Strauss, 2 n.7, are grossly unfair.
0

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

2 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users