cais1.gif (153930 bytes)

CAIS Persian Text.gif (34162 bytes)

CAIS

The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies


 Persian Section.PNG (9914 bytes)


Home


About CAIS


Articles


Daily News


News Archive


Announcements


CAIS Seminars


Image Library


Copyright


Disclaimer


Submission


Search


Contact Us


Links


Facebook-Button.jpg (107165 bytes)




.Xenophon Anabasis

Defeat of Ten Thousand Greek Mercenaries in Iran


 

 

Introduction:

Xenophon's vivid eyewitness account of the expedition of the Ten Thousand Greek mercenaries who lost the war to Iranians under Cyrus the Younger.

 

Xenophon's Anabasis is an engrossing tale of remarkable adventures, as the Greeks retreated through inhospitable lands from the gates of Babylon back to the coast after Cyrus' death, also it is an invaluable source on Greek and Iranian military forces.

 

 

Book 1 Section 1

[1.1.1] Darius and Parysatis had two sons born to them, of whom the elder was Artaxerxes and the younger Cyrus.1 Now when Darius lay sick and suspected that the end of his life was near, he wished to have both his sons with him. [1.1.2] The elder, as it chanced, was with him already; but Cyrus he summoned from the province over which he had made him satrap, and he had also appointed him commander of all the forces that muster in the plain of Castolus.1 Cyrus accordingly went up2 to his father, taking with him Tissaphernes as a friend and accompanied by three hundred Greek hoplites,3 under the command of Xenias of Parrhasia.

[1.1.3] When Darius had died and Artaxerxes had become established as king, Tissaphernes falsely accused Cyrus to his brother of plotting against him. And Artaxerxes, believing the accusation, arrested Cyrus, with the intention of putting him to death; his mother, however, made intercession for him, and sent him back again to his province. [1.1.4] Now when Cyrus had thus returned, after his danger and disgrace, he set about planning that he might never again be in the power of his brother, but, if possible, might be king in his stead. He had, in the first place, the support of Parysatis, his mother, for she loved him better than the son who was king, Artaxerxes. [1.1.5] Again, when any of the King's court came to visit him, he treated them all in such a way that when he sent them back they were more devoted to him than to the King. He also took care that the people of his own province should be capable soldiers and should feel kindly toward him. [1.1.6] Lastly, as regards his Greek force, he proceeded to collect it with the utmost secrecy, so that he might take the King as completely unprepared as possible.It was in the following way, then, that he gathered this force: In the first place, he sent orders to the commanders of all the garrisons he had in the cities to enlist as many Peloponnesian soldiers of the best sort as they severally could, on the plea that Tissaphernes had designs upon their cities. For, in fact, the Ionian cities had originally belonged to Tissaphernes, by gift of the King,1 but at that time all of them except Miletus had revolted and gone over to Cyrus. [1.1.7] The people of Miletus also were planning to do the very same thing, namely, to go over to Cyrus, but Tissaphernes, finding out about it in time, put some of them to death and banished others. Cyrus thereupon took the exiles under his protection, collected an army, and laid siege to Miletus both by land and by sea, and endeavoured to restore the exiles to their city; and this, again, made him another pretext for gathering an army. [1.1.8] Meanwhile he sent to the King and urged, on the ground that he was his brother, that these Ionian cities should be given to him instead of remaining under the rule of Tissaphernes, and his mother co-operated with him in this. The result was that the King failed to perceive the plot against himself, but believed that Cyrus was spending money on his troops because he was at war with Tissaphernes. Consequently he was not at all displeased at their being at war, the less so because Cyrus regularly remitted to the King the tribute which came in from the cities he chanced to have that belonged to Tissaphernes.

[1.1.9] Still another army was being collected for him in the Chersonese which is opposite Abydus, in the following manner: Clearchus1 was a Lacedaemonian exile; Cyrus, making his acquaintance, came to admire him, and gave him ten thousand darics.2 And Clearchus, taking the gold, collected an army by means of this money, and using the Chersonese as a base of operations, proceeded to make war upon the Thracians who dwell beyond the Hellespont, thereby aiding the Greeks.3 Consequently, the Hellespontine cities of their own free will sent Clearchus contributions of money for the support of his troops. So it was that this army also was being secretly maintained for Cyrus.

[1.1.10] Again, Aristippus the Thessalian chanced to be a friend of Cyrus, and since he was hard pressed by his political opponents at home, he came to Cyrus and asked him for three months' pay for two thousand mercenaries, urging that in this way he should get the better of his opponents. And Cyrus gave him six months' pay for four thousand, and requested him not to come to terms with his opponents until he had consulted with him. Thus the army in Thessaly, again, was being secretly maintained for him.

[1.1.11] Furthermore, Cyrus directed Proxenus the Boeotian, who was a friend of his, to come to him with as many men as he could get, saying that he wished to undertake a campaign against the Pisidians, because, as he said, they were causing trouble to his province. He also directed Sophaenetus the Stymphalian and Socrates the Achaean, who were likewise friends of his, to come with as many men as they could get, saying that he intended to make war upon Tissaphernes with the aid of the Milesian exiles; and they proceeded to carry out his directions.

Book 1 Section 2

 [1.2.1] When he thought the time had come to begin his upward1 march, the pretext he offered was that he wished to drive the Pisidians out of his land entirely, and it was avowedly against them that he set about collecting both his Persian and his Greek troops. At that time he also sent word to Clearchus to come to him with the entire army which he had, and to Aristippus to effect a reconciliation with his adversaries at home and send him the army which he had; and he sent word to Xenias the Arcadian, who commanded for him the mercenary force in the cities,2 to come with his troops, leaving behind only so many as were necessary to garrison the citadels. [1.2.2] He likewise summoned the troops which were besieging Miletus, and urged the Milesian exiles to take the field with him, promising them that, if he should successfully accomplish the object for which he was taking the field, he would not stop until he had restored them to their homes. And they gladly obeyed--for they trusted him--and presented themselves, under arms, at Sardis.

[1.2.3] Xenias, then, arrived at Sardis with the troops from the cities, who were hoplites to the number of four thousand; Proxenus was there with hoplites to the number of fifteen hundred, and five hundred light-armed troops; Sophaenetus the Stymphalian with a thousand hoplites; Socrates the Achaean with about five hundred hoplites; and Pasion the Megarian arrived with three hundred hoplites and three hundred peltasts.1 The last-named, and Socrates also, belonged to the force that had been engaged in besieging Miletus. All these came to Cyrus at Sardis.

[1.2.4] Meanwhile Tissaphernes had taken note of these proceedings and come to the conclusion that Cyrus' preparations were too extensive to be against the Pisidians; he accordingly made his way to the King as quickly as he could, with about five hundred horsemen. [1.2.5] And when the King heard from Tissaphernes about Cyrus' array, he set about making counter-preparations.Cyrus was now setting forth from Sardis with the troops I have mentioned; and he marched through Lydia three stages,1 a distance of twenty-two parasangs,2 to the Maeander river. The width of this river was two plethra,3 and there was a bridge over it made of seven boats. [1.2.6] After crossing the Maeander he marched through Phrygia one stage, a distance of eight parasangs, to Colossae, an inhabited1 city, prosperous and large. There he remained seven days; and Menon2 the Thessalian arrived, with a thousand hoplites and five hundred peltasts, consisting of Dolopians, Aenianians, and Olynthians. [1.2.7] Thence he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, to Celaenae, an inhabited city of Phrygia, large and prosperous. There Cyrus had a palace and a large park full of wild animals, which he used to hunt on horseback whenever he wished to give himself and his horses exercise. Through the middle of this park flows the Maeander river; its sources are beneath the palace, and it flows through the city of Celaenae also. [1.2.8] There is likewise a palace of the Great King1 in Celaenae, sfortified and situated at the foot of the Acropolis over the sources of the Marsyas river; the Marsyas also flows through the city, and empties into the Maeander, and its width is twenty-five feet. It was here, according to the story, that Apollo flayed Marsyas,2 after having defeated him in a contest of musical skill; he hung up his skin in the cave from which the sources issue, and it is for this reason that the river is called Marsyas. [1.2.9] It was here also, report has it, that Xerxes, when he was on his retreat from Greece after losing the famous battle,1 built the palace just mentioned and likewise the citadel of Celaenae. Here Cyrus remained thirty days; and Clearchus, the Lacedaemonian exile, arrived, with a thousand hoplites, eight hundred Thracian peltasts, and two hundred Cretan bowmen. At the same time came also Sosis the Syracusan with three hundred hoplites and Agias the Arcadian with a thousand hoplites. And here Cyrus held a review and made an enumeration of the Greeks in the park, and they amounted all told to eleven thousand hoplites and about two thousand peltasts.2

[1.2.10] Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Peltae, an inhabited city. There he remained three days, during which time Xenias the Arcadian celebrated the Lycaean1 festival with sacrifice and held games; the prizes were golden strigils, and Cyrus himself was one of those who watched the games. Thence he marched two stages, twelve parasangs, to the inhabited city of Ceramon-agora,2 the last Phrygian city as one goes toward Mysia. [1.2.11] Thence he marched three stages, thirty parasangs, to Caystru-pedion,1 an inhabited city. There he remained five days. At this time he was owing the soldiers more than three months' pay, and they went again and again to his headquarters and demanded what was due them. He all the while expressed hopes, and was manifestly troubled; for it was not Cyrus' way to withhold payment when he had money. [1.2.12] At this juncture arrived Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, the king1 of the Cilicians, coming to visit Cyrus, and the story was that she gave him a large sum of money; at any rate, Cyrus paid the troops at that time four months' wages. The Cilician queen was attended by a body-guard of Cilicians and Aspendians; and people said that Cyrus had intimate relations with the queen.

[1.2.13] Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to the inhabited city of Thymbrium. There, alongside the road, was the so-called spring of Midas, the king of the Phrygians, at which Midas, according to the story, caught the satyr by mixing wine with the water of the spring.1 [1.2.14] Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Tyriaeum, an inhabited city. There he remained three days. And the Cilician queen, as the report ran, asked Cyrus to exhibit his army to her; such an exhibition was what he desired to make, and accordingly he held a review of the Greeks and the Persians on the plain. [1.2.15] He ordered the Greeks to form their lines and take their positions just as they were accustomed to do for battle, each general marshalling his own men. So they formed the line four deep, Menon and his troops occupying the right wing, Clearchus and his troops the left, and the other generals the centre. [1.2.16] Cyrus inspected the Persians first, and they marched past with their cavalry formed in troops and their infantry in companies; then he inspected the Greeks, driving past them in a chariot, the Cilician queen in a carriage. And the Greeks all had helmets of bronze, crimson tunics, and greaves, and carried their shields uncovered. [1.2.17] When he had driven past them all, he halted his chariot in front of the centre of the phalanx, and sending his interpreter Pigres to the generals of the Greeks, gave orders that the troops should advance arms and the phalanx move forward in a body. The generals transmitted these orders to the soldiers, and when the trumpet sounded, they advanced arms and charged. And then, as they went on faster and faster, at length with a shout the troops broke into a run of their own accord, in the direction of the camp. [1.2.18] As for the Persians, they were terribly frightened; the Cilician queen took to flight in her carriage, and the people in the market1 left their wares behind and took to their heels; while the Greeks with a roar of laughter came up to their camp. Now the Cilician queen was filled with admiration at beholding the brilliant appearance and the order of the Greek army; and Cyrus was delighted to see the terror with which the Greeks inspired the Persians.

[1.2.19] Thence he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, to Iconium, the last city of Phrygia. There he remained three days. Thence he marched through Lycaonia five stages, thirty parasangs. This country he gave over to the Greeks to plunder, on the ground that it was hostile territory.1 [1.2.20] From there Cyrus sent the Cilician queen back to Cilicia by the shortest route, and he sent some of Menon's troops to escort her, Menon himself commanding them. With the rest of the army Cyrus marched through Cappadocia four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Dana, an inhabited city, large and prosperous. There they remained three days; and during that time Cyrus put to death a Persian named Megaphernes, who was a wearer of the royal purple,1 and another dignitary among his subordinates, on the charge that they were plotting against him.

[1.2.21] From there they made ready to try to enter Cilicia. Now the entrance was by a wagon-road, exceedingly steep and impracticable for an army to pass if there was anybody to oppose it; and in fact, as report ran, Syennesis was upon the heights, guarding the entrance; therefore Cyrus remained for a day in the plain. On the following day, however, a messenger came with word that Syennesis had abandoned the heights, because he had learned that Menon's army was already in Cilicia, on his own side of the mountains, and because, further, he was getting reports that triremes belonging to the Lacedaemonians1 and to Cyrus himself were sailing around from Ionia to Cilicia under the command of Tamos. [1.2.22] At any rate1 Cyrus climbed the mountains without meeting any opposition, and saw the camp where the Cilicians had been keeping guard. Thence he descended to a large and beautiful plain, well-watered and full of trees of all sorts and vines; it produces an abundance of sesame, millet, panic, wheat, and barley, and it is surrounded on every side, from sea to sea, by a lofty and formidable range of mountains. [1.2.23] After descending he marched through this plain four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Tarsus,1 a large and prosperous city of Cilicia, where the palace of Syennesis, the king of the Cilicians, was situated; and through the middle of the city flows a river named the Cydnus, two plethra in width. [1.2.24] The inhabitants of this city had abandoned it and fled, with Syennesis, to a stronghold upon the mountains--all of them, at least, except the tavern-keepers; and there remained also those who dwelt on the sea-coast, in Soli and Issus.1

[1.2.25] Now Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, had reached Tarsus five days ahead of Cyrus, but in the course of her passage over the mountains to the plain two companies of Menon's army1 had been lost. Some said that they had been cut to pieces by the Cilicians while engaged in a bit of plundering; another story was that they had been left behind, and, unable to find the rest of the army or the roads, had thus wandered about and perished; at any rate, they numbered a hundred hoplites. [1.2.26] And when the rest of Menon's troops reached Tarsus, in their anger over the loss of their comrades they plundered thoroughly, not only the city, but also the palace that was in it. As for Cyrus, after he had marched into the city he more than once summoned Syennesis to his presence; but Syennesis said that he had never yet put himself in the hands of anyone who was more powerful than he was, and he would not now put himself in the hands of Cyrus until his wife had won him over and he had received pledges. [1.2.27] When the two men finally met one another, Syennesis gaCyrus a large sum of money for his army, while Cyrus gave him gifts which are regarded at court1 as tokens of honour--a horse with a gold-mounted bridle, a gold necklace and bracelets, a gold dagger and a Persian robe--promising him, further, that his land should not be plundered any more and that they might take back the slaves that had been seized in case they should chance upon them anywhere.

Book 1 Section 3

 [1.3.1] Cyrus and his army remained here at Tarsus twenty days, for the soldiers refused to go any farther; for they suspected by this time that they were going against the King, and they said they had not been hired for that. Clearchus was the first to try to force his men to go on, but they pelted him and his pack-animals with stones as often as they began to go forward. [1.3.2] At that time Clearchus narrowly escaped being stoned to death; but afterwards, when he realized that he could not accomplish anything by force, he called a meeting of his own troops. And first he stood and wept for a long time, while his men watched him in wonder and were silent; then he spoke as follows:

[1.3.3] "Fellow-soldiers, do not wonder that I am distressed at the present situation. For Cyrus became my friend and not only honoured me, an exile from my fatherland, in various ways, but gave me ten thousand darics. And I, receiving this money, did not lay it up for my own personal use or squander it in pleasure, but I proceeded to expend it on you. [1.3.4] First I went to war with the Thracians, and for the sake of Greece I inflicted punishment upon them with your aid, driving them out of the Chersonese when they wanted to deprive the Greeks who dwelt there of their land. Then when Cyrus' summons came, I took you with me and set out, in order that, if he had need of me, I might give him aid in return for the benefits I had received from him. [1.3.5] But you now do not wish to continue the march with me; so it seems that I must either desert you and continue to enjoy Cyrus' friendship, or prove false to him and remain with you. Whether I shall be doing what is right, I know not, but at any rate I shall choose you and with you shall suffer whatever I must. And never shall any man say that I, after leading Greeks into the land of the Persians, betrayed the Greeks and chose the friendship of the Persians; [1.3.6] nay, since you do not care to obey me, I shall follow with you and suffer whatever I must. For I consider that you are to me both fatherland and friends and allies; with you I think I shall be honoured wherever I may be, bereft of you I do not think I shall be able either to aid a friend or to ward off a foe. Be sure, therefore, that wherever you go, I shall go also."

[1.3.7] Such were his words. And the soldiers--not only his own men, but the rest also--when they heard that he said he would not go on to the King's capital, commended him; and more than two thousand of the troops under Xenias and Pasion took their arms and their baggage train and encamped with Clearchus. [1.3.8] But Cyrus, perplexed and distressed by this situation, sent repeatedly for Clearchus. Clearchus refused to go to him, but without the knowledge of the soldiers he sent a messenger and told him not to be discouraged, because, he said, this matter would be settled in the right way. He directed Cyrus, however, to keep on sending for him, though he himself, he said, would refuse to go.

[1.3.9] After this Clearchus gathered together his own soldiers, those who had come over to him, and any others who wanted to be present, and spoke as follows: "Fellow-soldiers, it is clear that the relation of Cyrus to us is precisely the same as ours to him; that is, we are no longer his soldiers, since we decline to follow him, and likewise he is no longer our paymaster. [1.3.10] I know, however, that he considers himself wronged by us. Therefore, although he keeps sending for me, I decline to go, chiefly, it is true, from a feeling of shame, because I am conscious that I have proved utterly false to him, but, besides that, from fear that he may seize me and inflict punishment upon me for the wrongs he thinks he has suffered at my hands. [1.3.11] In my opinion, therefore, it is no time for us to be sleeping or unconcerned about ourselves; we should rather be considering what course we ought to follow under the present circumstances. And so long as we remain here we must consider, I think, how we can remain most safely; or, again, if we count it best to depart at once, how we are to depart most safely and how we shall secure provisions--for without provisions neither general nor private is of any use. [1.3.12] And remember that while this Cyrus is a valuable friend when he is your friend, he is a most dangerous foe when he is your enemy; furthermore, he has an armament--infantry and cavalry and fleet--which we all alike see and know about; for I take it that our camp is not very far away from him. It is time, then, to propose whatever plan any one of you deems best." With these words he ceased speaking.

[1.3.13] Thereupon various speakers arose, some of their own accord to express the opinions they held, but others at the instigation of Clearchus to make clear the difficulty of either remaining or departing without the consent of Cyrus. [1.3.14] One man in particular, pretending to be in a hurry to proceed back to Greece with all speed, proposed that they should choose other generals as quickly as possible, in case Clearchus did not wish to lead them back; secondly, that they should buy provisions--the market was in the Persian army!--and pack up their baggage; then, to go to Cyrus and ask for vessels to sail away in; and if he would not give them vessels, to ask him for a guide to lead them homeward through a country that was friendly; and if he would not give them a guide, either, to form in line of battle with all speed and likewise to send a force to occupy the mountain heights in advance, in order that neither Cyrus nor the Cilicians should forestall them--"and we have in our possession," he said, "many of these Cilicians and much of their property that we have seized as plunder." Such were the words of this speaker.

[1.3.15] After him Clearchus said merely this: "Let no one among you speak of me as the man who is to hold this command, for I see many reasons why I should not do so; say rather that I shall obey to the best of my ability the man whom you choose, in order that you may know that I understand as well as any other person in the world how to be a subordinate also." [1.3.16] After he had spoken another man arose to point out the foolishness of the speaker who had urged them to ask for vessels, just as if Cyrus were going home again, and to point out also how foolish it was to ask for a guide "from this man whose enterprise we are ruining. Indeed, if we propose to trust the guide that Cyrus gives us, what is to hinder us from directing Cyrus also to occupy the heights for us in advance? [1.3.17] For my part, I should hesitate to embark on the vessels that he might give us, for fear of his sinking us with his war-ships, and I should be afraid to follow the guide that he might give, for fear of his leading us to a place from which it will not be possible to escape; my choice would be, in going off without Cyrus' consent, to go off without his knowledge--and that is not possible. [1.3.18] Now in my own opinion the plans just proposed are nonsense; rather, I think we should send to Cyrus men of the proper sort, along with Clearchus, to ask him what use he wishes to make of us; and if his enterprise is like the sort of one in which he employed mercenaries before,1 I think that we also should follow him and not be more cowardly than those who went up with him on the former occasion; [1.3.19] if, however, his enterprise is found to be greater and more laborious and more dangerous than the former one, we ought to demand that he should either offer sufficient persuasion1 and lead us on with him, or yield to our persuasion and let us go home in friendship; for in this way, if we should follow him, we shfollow as friends and zealous supporters, and if we should go back, we should go back in safety. I propose, further, that our representatives should report back to us whatever reply he may make, and that we after hearing it should deliberate about the matter."

[1.3.20] This plan was adopted, and they chose representatives and sent them with Clearchus; and they proceeded to put to Cyrus the questions resolved upon by the army. He replied that he had heard that Abrocomas, a foe of his, was at the Euphrates river, twelve stages distant. It was against him, therefore, he said, that he desired to march. And if he were there, he wished to inflict due punishment upon him; "but if he has fled," he continued, "we will deliberate about the matter then and there." [1.3.21] Upon hearing this reply the deputies reported it to the soldiers, and they, while suspecting that Cyrus was leading them against the King, nevertheless thought it best to follow him. They asked, however, for more pay, and Cyrus promised to give them all half as much again as they had been receiving before, namely, a daric and a half a month to each man instead of a daric; but as regards the suspicion that he was leading them against the King, no one heard it expressed even then--at any rate, not openly.

Book 1 Section 4

 [1.4.1] Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to the Psarus river, the width of which was three plethra. From there he marched one stage, five parasangs, to the Pyramus river, the width of which was a stadium.1 From there he marched two stages, fifteen parasangs, to Issus, the last city in Cilicia, a place situated on the sea, and large and prosperous. [1.4.2] There they remained three days; and the ships from Peloponnesus1 arrived to meet Cyrus, thirty-five in number, with Pythagoras the Lacedaemonian as admiral in command of them. They had been guided from Ephesus to Issus by Tamos the Egyptian, who was at the head of another fleet of twenty-five ships belonging to Cyrus--these latter being the ships with which Tamos had besieged Miletus, at the time when it was friendly to Tissaphernes,2 and had supported Cyrus in his war upon Tissaphernes. [1.4.3] Cheirisophus the Lacedaemonian also arrived with this fleet, coming in response to Cyrus' summons,1 together with seven hundred hoplites, over whom he continued to hold command in the army of Cyrus. And the ships lay at anchor alongside Cyrus' tent. It was at Issus also that the Greek mercenaries who had been in the service of Abrocomas--four hundred hoplites--joined Cyrus, after deserting Abrocomas, and so bore a share in his expedition against the King.

[1.4.4] Thence he marched one stage, five parasangs, to the Gates between Cilicia and Syria. These Gates consisted of two walls; the one on the hither, or Cilician, side was held by Syennesis and a garrison of Cilicians, while the one on the farther, the Syrian, side was reported to be guarded by a garrison of the King's troops. And in the space between these walls flows a river named the Carsus, a plethrum in width. The entire distance from one wall to the other was three stadia; and it was not possible to effect a passage by force, for the pass was narrow, the walls reached down to the sea, and above the pass were precipitous rocks, while, besides, there were towers upon both the walls. [1.4.5] It was because of this pass that Cyrus had sent for the fleet, in order that he might disembark hoplites between and beyond the walls and thus overpower the enemy if they should be keeping guard at the Syrian Gates--and that was precisely what Cyrus supposed Abrocomas would do, for he had a large army. Abrocomas, however, did not do so, but as soon as he heard that Cyrus was in Cilicia, he turned about in his journey from Phoenicia1 and marched off to join the King, with an army, so the report ran, of three hundred thousand men.

[1.4.6] Thence Cyrus marched one stage, five parasangs, to Myriandus, a city on the sea coast, inhabited by Phoenicians; it was a trading place, and many merchant ships were lying at anchor there. There he remained seven days; [1.4.7] and Xenias the Arcadian and Pasion the Megarian embarked upon a ship, put on board their most valuable effects, and sailed away; they were moved to do this, as most people thought, by a feeling of jealous pride, because their soldiers had gone over to Clearchus1 with the intention of going back to Greece again instead of proceeding against the King, and Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to keep them. After they had disappeared, a report went round that Cyrus was pursuing them with warships; and while some people prayed that they might be captured, because, as they said, they were cowards, yet others felt pity for them if they should be caught.

[1.4.8] Cyrus, however, called the generals together and said: "Xenias and Pasion have deserted us. But let them, nevertheless, know full well that they have not escaped from me--either by stealth, for I know in what direction they have gone, or by speed, for I have men-of-war with which I can overtake their craft. But for my part, I swear by the gods that I shall not pursue them, nor shall anyone say about me that I use a man so long as he is with me and then, when he wants to leave me, seize him and maltreat him and despoil him of his possessions. Nay, let them go, with the knowledge that their behaviour toward us is worse than ours toward them. To be sure, I have their wives and children under guard in Tralles,1 but I shall not deprive them of these, either, for they shall receive them back because of their former excellence in my service." [1.4.9] Such were his words; as for the Greeks, even those who had been somewhat despondent in regard to the upward march, when they heard of the magnanimity of Cyrus they continued on their way with greater satisfaction and eagerness.After this Cyrus marched four stages, twenty parasangs, to the Chalus river, which is a plethrum in width and full of large, tame fish; these fish the Syrians regarded as gods, and they would not allow anyone to harm them, or the doves, either.1 And the villages in which the troops encamped belonged to Parysatis, for they had been given her for girdle-money.2 [1.4.10] From there Cyrus marched five stages, thirty parasangs, to the sources of the Dardas river, the width of which is a plethrum. There was the palace of Belesys, the late ruler of Syria, and a very large and beautiful park containing all the products of the seasons. But Cyrus cut down the park and burned the palace. [1.4.11] Thence he marched three stages, fifteen parasangs, to the Euphrates river, the width of which was four stadia; and on the river was situated a large and prosperous city named Thapsacus. There he remained five days. And Cyrus summoned the generals of the Greeks and told them that the march was to be to Babylon, against the Great King; he directed them, accordingly, to explain this to the soldiers and try to persuade them to follow. [1.4.12] So the generals called an assembly and made this announcement; and the soldiers were angry with the generals, and said that they had known about this for a long time, but had been keeping it from the troops; furthermore, they refused to go on unless they were given money,1 as were the men who made the journey with Cyrus before,2 when he went to visit his father; they had received the donation, even though they marched, not to battle, but merely because Cyrus' father summoned him. [1.4.13] All these things the generals reported back to Cyrus, and he promised that he would give every man five minas1 in silver when they reached Babylon and their pay in full until he brought the Greeks back to Ionia again.2 By these promises the greater part of the Greek army was persuaded.But as for Menon, before it was clear what the rest of the soldiers would do, that is, whether they would follow Cyrus or not, he gathered together his own troops apart from the others and spoke as follows: [1.4.14] "Soldiers, if you will obey me, you will, without either danger or toil, be honoured by Cyrus above and beyond the rest of the troops. , then, do I direct you to do? At this moment Cyrus is begging the Greeks to follow him against the King; my own plan, then, is that you should cross the Euphrates river before it is clear what answer the rest of the Greeks will make to Cyrus. [1.4.15] For if they vote to follow him, it is you who will get the credit for that decision because you began the crossing, and Cyrus will not only feel grateful to you, regarding you as the most zealous in his cause, but he will return the favour--and he knows how to do that if any man does; on the other hand, if the rest vote not to follow him, we shall all go back together, but you, as the only ones who were obedient, are the men he will employ, not only for garrison duty,1 but for captaincies; and whatever else you may desire, I know that you, as friends of Cyrus, will secure from him." [1.4.16] Upon hearing these words the soldiers were persuaded, and made the crossing before the rest gave their answer. When Cyrus learned that they had crossed, he was delighted and sent Glus to the troops with this message: "Soldiers, to-day I commend you; but I shall see to it that you also shall have cause to commend me, else count me no longer Cyrus." [1.4.17] So Menon's troops cherished high hopes and prayed that he might be successful, while to Menon himself Cyrus was said to have sent magnificent gifts besides. After so doing Cyrus proceeded to cross the river, and the rest of the army followed him, to the last man. And in the crossing no one was wetted above the breast by the water. [1.4.18] The people of Thapsacus said that this river had never been passable on foot except at this time, but only by boats; and these Abrocomas had now burned, as he marched on ahead of Cyrus, in order to prevent him from crossing. It seemed, accordingly, that here was a divine intervention, and that the river had plainly retired before Cyrus because he was destined to be king.

[1.4.19] Thence he marched through Syria nine stages, fifty parasangs, and they arrived at the Araxes river. There they found many villages full of grain and wine, and there they remained for three days and provisioned the army.

Book 1 Section 5

 [1.5.1] Thence he marched through Arabia, keeping the Euphrates on the right, five stages through desert country, thirty-five parasangs. In this region the ground was an unbroken plain, as level as the sea, and full of wormwood; and whatever else there was on the plain by way of shrub or reed, was always fragrant, like spices; [1.5.2] trees there were none, but wild animals of all sorts, vast numbers of wild asses and many ostriches, besides bustards and gazelles. These animals were sometimes chased by the horsemen. As for the asses, whenever one chased them, they would run on ahead and stop--for they ran much faster than the horses--and then, when the horses came near, they would do the same thing again, and it was impossible to catch them unless the horsemen posted themselves at intervals and hunted them in relays. The flesh of those that were captured was like venison, but more tender. [1.5.3] But no ostrich was captured by anyone, and any horseman who chased one speedily desisted; for it would distance him at once in its flight, not merely plying its feet, but hoisting its wings and using them like a sail. The bustards, on the other hand, can be caught if one is quick in starting them up, for they fly only a short distance, like partridges, and soon tire; and their flesh was delicious.

[1.5.4] Marching on through this region they arrived at the Mascas river, which is a plethrum in width. There, in the desert, was a large city named Corsote, completely surrounded by the Mascas. [1.5.5] There they remained three days and provisioned the army. Thence Cyrus marched thirteen stages through desert country, ninety parasangs, keeping the Euphrates river on the right, and arrived at Pylae. In the course of these stages many of the baggage animals died of hunger, for there was no fodder and, in fact, no growing thing of any kind, but the land was absolutely bare; and the people who dwelt here made a living by quarrying mill-stones along the river banks, then fashioning them and taking them to Babylon, where they sold them and bought grain in exchange. [1.5.6] As for the troops, their supply of grain gave out, and it was not possible to buy any except in the Lydian1 market attached to the Persian army of Cyrus,2 at the price of four sigli for a capith of wheat flour or barley meal. The siglus is worth seven and one-half Attic obols, and the capith had the capacity of two Attic choenices.3 The soldiers therefore managed to subsist by eating meat.4 [1.5.7] And Cyrus sometimes made these stages through the desert very long, whenever he wanted to reach water or fresh fodder.Once in particular, when they came upon a narrow, muddy place which was hard for the wagons to get through, Cyrus halted with his train of nobles and dignitaries and ordered Glus and Pigres to take some of the Persian troops and help to pull the wagons out. [1.5.8] But it seemed to him that they took their time with the work; accordingly, as if in anger, he directed the Persian nobles who accompanied him to take a hand in hurrying on the wagons. And then one might have beheld a sample of good discipline: they each threw off their purple cloaks where they chanced to be standing, and rushed, as a man would run to win a victory, down a most exceedingly steep hill, wearing their costly tunics and coloured trousers, some of them, indeed, with necklaces around their necks and bracelets on their arms; and leaping at once, with all this finery, into the mud, they lifted the wagons high and dry and brought them out more quickly than one would have thought possible. [1.5.9] In general, it was clear that Cyrus was in haste throughout the whole journey and was making no delays, except where he halted to procure provisions or for some other necessary purpose; his thought was that the faster he went, the more unprepared the King would be to fight with him, while, on the other hand, the slower he went, the greater would be the army that was gathering for the King. Furthermore, one who observed closely could see at a glance that while the King's empire was strong in its extent of territory and number of inhabitants, it was weak by reason of the greatness of the distances and the scattered condition of its forces, in case one should be swift in making his attack upon it.

[1.5.10] Across the Euphrates river in the course of these desert marches was a large and prosperous city named Charmande, and here the soldiers made purchases of provisions, crossing the river on rafts in the following way: they took skins which they had for tent covers, filled them with hay, and then brought the edges together and sewed them up, so that the water could not touch the hay; on these they would cross and get provisions--wine made from the date of the palm tree and bread made of millet, for this grain was very abundant in the country.

[1.5.11] There one of Menon's soldiers and one of Clearchus' men had some dispute, and Clearchus, deciding that Menon's man was in the wrong, gave him a flogging. The man then went to his own army and told about it, and when his comrades heard of the matter, they took it hard and were exceedingly angry with Clearchus. [1.5.12] On the same day Clearchus, after going to the place where they crossed the river and there inspecting the market, was riding back to his own tent through Menon's army, having only a few men with him; and Cyrus had not yet arrived, but was still on the march toward the place; and one of Menon's soldiers who was splitting wood threw his axe at Clearchus when he saw him riding through the camp. Now this man missed him, but another threw a stone at him, and still another, and then, after an outcry had been raised, many. [1.5.13] Clearchus escaped to his own army and at once called his troops to arms; he ordered his hoplites to remain where they were, resting their shields against their knees,1 while he himself with the Thracians2 and the horsemen, of which he had in his army more than forty, most of them Thracians, advaupon Menon's troops; the result was that these and Menon himself were thoroughly frightened and ran to their arms, though there were some who stood stock-still, nonplussed by the situation. [1.5.14] But Proxenus--for he chanced to be now coming up, later than the others, with a battalion of hoplites following him--straightway led his troops into the space between the two parties, halted them under arms, and began to beg Clearchus not to proceed with his attack. Clearchus, however, was angry, because, when he had barely escaped being stoned to death, Proxenus was talking lightly of his grievance, and he ordered him to remove himself from between them. [1.5.15] At this moment Cyrus also came up and learned about the situation, and he immediately took his spears in his hands and, attended by such of his counsellors as were present, came riding into the intervening space and spoke as follows: [1.5.16] "Clearchus, and Proxenus, and all you other Greeks who are here, you know not what you are doing. For as certainly as you come to fighting with one another, you may be sure that on this very day I shall be instantly cut to pieces and yourselves not long after me; for once let ill fortune overtake us, and all these Persians whom you see will be more hostile to us than are those who stand with the King." [1.5.17] On hearing these words Clearchus came to his senses, and both parties ceased from their quarrel and returned to their quarters.

Book 1 Section 6

 [1.6.1] As they went on from there, they kept seeing tracks of horses and horses' dung. To all appearances it was the trail of about two thousand horses, and the horsemen as they proceeded were burning up fodder and everything else that was of any use. At this time Orontas, a Persian, who was related to the King by birth and was reckoned among the best of the Persians in matters of war, devised a plot against Cyrus--in fact, he had made war upon him before this, but had become his friend again. [1.6.2] He now said to Cyrus that if he would give him a thousand horsemen, he would either ambush and kill these horsemen who were burning ahead of him, or he would capture many of them alive and put a stop to their burning as they advanced; and he would see to it that they should never be able to behold Cyrus' army and get to the King with their report. When Cyrus heard this plan, it seemed to him to be an expedient one, and he directed Orontas to get a detachment from each one of the cavalry commanders. [1.6.3] Then Orontas, thinking that his horsemen were assured him, wrote a letter to the King saying that he would come to him with as many horsemen as he could get; and he urged the King to direct his own cavalry to receive him as a friend. The letter also contained reminders of his former friendship and fidelity. This letter he gave to a man whom he supposed to be faithful to him; but this man took it and gave it to Cyrus. [1.6.4] When Cyrus had read it, he had Orontas arrested, and summoned to his tent seven of the noblest Persians among his attendants, while he ordered the Greek generals to bring up hoplites and bid them station themselves under arms around his tent. And the generals obeyed the order, bringing with them about three thousand hoplites.

[1.6.5] Clearchus was also invited into the tent as a counsellor, for both Cyrus and the other Persians regarded him as the man who was honoured above the rest of the Greeks. And when he came out, he reported to his friends how Orontas' trial was conducted--for it was no secret. [1.6.6] He said that Cyrus began the conference in this way: "My friends, I have invited you here in order that I may consult with you and then take such action in the case of Orontas here as is right in the sight of gods and men. This man was given me at first by my father, to be my subject; then, at the bidding, as he himself said, of my brother, this man levied war upon me, holding the citadel of Sardis, and I, by the war I waged against him, made him count it best to cease from warring upon me, and I received and gave the hand-clasp of friendship. Since that," he said, "Orontas, have I done you any wrong?" [1.6.7] "No," Orontas answered. Cyrus went on questioning him: "Did you not afterwards, although, as you yourself admit, you had suffered no wrong at my hands, desert me for the Mysians, and do all the harm you could to my territory?" "Yes," said Orontas. "Did you not," Cyrus said, "when once more you had learned the slightness of your own power, go to the altar of Artemis and say you were sorry, and did you not, after prevailing upon me to pardon you, again give me pledges and receive pledges from me?" This also Orontas admitted. [1.6.8] "What wrong, then," said Cyrus, "have you suffered at my hands, that you now for the third time have been found plotting against me?" When Orontas replied, "None," Cyrus asked him: "Do you admit, then, that you have proved yourself a doer of wrong toward me?" "I cannot choose but do so," said Orontas. Thereupon Cyrus asked again: "Then could you henceforth prove yourself a foe to my brother and a faithful friend to me?" "Even if I should do so Cyrus," he replied, "you could never after this believe it of me." [1.6.9] Then Cyrus said to those who were present: "Such have been this man's deeds, such are now his words; and now, Clearchus, do you be the first of my counsellors to express the opinion you hold." And Clearchus said: "My advice is to put this man out of the way as speedily as possible, so that we may no longer have to be on our guard against the fellow, but may be left free, so far as concerns him, to requite with benefits these willing servants." [1.6.10] In this opinion Clearchus said that the others also concurred.After this, he said, at the bidding of Cyrus, every man of them arose, even Orontas' kinsmen, and took him by the girdle, as a sign that he was condemned to death; and then those to whom the duty was assigned led him out. And when the men who in former days were wont to do him homage saw him, they made their obeisance even then, although they knew that he was being led forth to death. [1.6.11] Now after he had been conducted into the tent of Artapates, the most faithful of Cyrus' chamberlains, from that moment no man ever saw Orontas living or dead, nor could anyone say from actual knowledge how he was put to death,--it was all conjectures, of one sort and another; and no grave of his was ever seen.

Book1 Section 7

 [1.7.1] From there Cyrus marched through Babylonia three stages, twelve parasangs. On the third stage he held a review of the Greeks and the Persians on the plain at about midnight; for he thought that at the next dawn the King would come with his army to do battle; and he ordered Clearchus to act as commander of the right wing and Menon of the left, while he himself marshalled his own troops. [1.7.2] On the morning following the review, at daybreak, there came deserters from the great King and brought reports to Cyrus about his army.At this time Cyrus called together the generals and captains of the Greeks, and not only took counsel with them as to how he should fight the battle, but, for his own part, exhorted and encouraged them as follows: [1.7.3] "Men of Greece, it is not because I have not Persians enough that I have brought you hither to fight for me; but because I believe that you are braver and stronger than many Persians, for this reason I took you also. Be sure, therefore, to be men worthy of the freedom you possess, upon the possession of which I congratulate you. For you may be certain that freedom is the thing I should choose in preference to all that I have and many times more. [1.7.4] And now, in order that you may know what sort of a contest it is into which you are going, I who do know will tell you. Our enemies have great numbers and they will come on with a great outcry; for the rest, however, if you can hold out against these things, I am ashamed, I assure you, to think what sorry fellows you will find the people of our country to be. But if you be men and if my undertaking turn out well, I shall make anyone among you who wishes to return home an object of envy to friends at home upon his return, while I shall cause many of you, I imagine, to choose life with me in preference to life at home."

[1.7.5] Hereupon Gaulites, a Samian exile who was there and was in the confidence of Cyrus, said: "And yet, Cyrus, there are those who say that your promises are big now because you are in such a critical situation--for the danger is upon you--but that if any good fortune befall, you will fail to remember them; and some say that even if you should remember and have the will, you would not have the means to make good all your promises." [1.7.6] Upon hearing these words Cyrus said: "Well, gentlemen, my father's realm extends toward the south to a region where men cannot dwell by reason of the heat, and to the north to a region where they cannot dwell by reason of the cold; and all that lies between these limits my brother's friends rule as satraps. [1.7.7] Now if we win the victory, we must put our friends in control of these provinces. I fear, therefore, not that I shall not have enough to give to each of my friends, if success attends us, but that I shall not have enough friends to give to. And as for you men of Greece, I shall give each one of you a wreath of gold besides." [1.7.8] When they heard these words, the officers were far more eager themselves and carried the news away with them to the other Greeks. Then some of the others also sought Cyrus' presence, demanding to know what they should have, in case of victory; and he satisfied the expectations of every one of them before dismissing them. [1.7.9] Now all alike who conversed with him urged him not to take part in the fighting, but to station himself in their rear. Taking this opportunity Clearchus asked Cyrus a question like this: "But do you think, Cyrus, that your brother will fight with you?" "Yes, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "if he is really a son of Darius and Parysatis and a brother of mine, I shall not win this realm without fighting for it."

[1.7.10] At this time, when the troops were marshalled under arms,1 the number of the Greeks was found to be ten thousand four hundred hoplites, and two thousand five hundred peltasts,2 while the number of the Persians under Cyrus was one hundred thousand and there were about twenty scythe-bearing chariots. [1.7.11] The enemy, it was reported, numbered one million two hundred thousand1 and had two hundred scythe-bearing chariots; besides, there was a troop of six thousand horsemen, under the command of Artagerses, which was stationed in front of the King himself. [1.7.12] And the King's army had four commanders, each at the head of three hundred thousand men, namely, Abrocomas, Tissaphernes, Gobryas, and Arbaces. But of the forces just enumerated only nine hundred thousand, with one hundred and fifty scythe-bearing chariots, were present at the battle; for Abrocomas, marching from Phoenicia, arrived five days too late for the engagement. [1.7.13] Such were the reports brought to Cyrus by those who deserted from the Great King before the battle, and after the battle identical reports were made by the prisoners taken thereafter.

[1.7.14] From there Cyrus marched one stage, three parasangs, with his whole army, Greek and Persian alike, drawn up in line of battle; for he supposed that on that day the King would come to an engagement; for about midway of this day's march there was a deep trench, five fathoms1 in width and three fathoms in depth. [1.7.15] This trench extended up through the plain for a distance of twelve parasangs, reaching to the wall of Media,1 [Here also are the canals, which flow from the Tigris river; they are four in number, each a plethrum wide and exceedingly deep, and grain-carrying ships ply in them; they empty into the Euphrates and are a parsang apart, and there are bridges over them.] and alongside the Euphrates there was a narrow passage, not more than about twenty feet in width, between the river and the trench; [1.7.16] and the trench1 had been constructed by the Great King as a means of defence when he learned that Cyrus was marching against him. Accordingly Cyrus and his army went through by the passage just mentioned, and so found themselves on the inner side of the trench. [1.7.17] Now on that day the King did not offer battle, but tracks of both horses and men in retreat were to be seen in great numbers. [1.7.18] Then Cyrus summoned Silanus, his Ambraciot soothsayer, and gave him three thousand darics; for on the eleventh day before this, while sacrificing, he had told Cyrus that the King would not fight within ten days, and Cyrus had said: "Then he will not fight at all, if he will not fight within ten days; however, if your prediction proves true, I promise you ten talents.1" So it was this money that he then paid over, the ten days having passed. [1.7.19] But since the King did not appear at the trench and try to prevent the passage of Cyrus' army, both Cyrus and the rest concluded that he had given up the idea of fighting. Hence on the following day Cyrus proceeded more carelessly; [1.7.20] and on the third day he was making the march seated in his chariot and with only a small body of troops drawn up in line in front of him, while the greater part of the army was proceeding in disorder and many of the soldiers' arms and accoutrements were being carried in wagons and on pack-animals.

Book 1 Section 8

 [1.8.1] It was now about full-market time1 and the stopping-place where Cyrus was intending to halt had been almost reached, when Pategyas, a trusty Persian of Cyrus' staff, came into sight, riding at full speed, with his horse in a sweat, and at once shouted out to everyone he met, in the Persian tongue and in Greek, that the King was approaching with a large army, all ready for battle. [1.8.2] Then ensued great confusion; for the thought of the Greeks, and of all the rest in fact, was that he would fall upon them immediately, while they were in disorder; [1.8.3] and Cyrus leaped down from his chariot, put on his breastplate, and then, mounting his horse, took his spears in his hands and passed the word to all the others to arm themselves and get into their places, every man of them. [1.8.4] Thereupon they proceeded in great haste to take their places, Clearchus occupying the right end of the Greek wing,1 close to the Euphrates river, Proxenus next to him, and the others beyond Proxenus, while Menon and his army took the left end of the Greek wing. [1.8.5] As for the Persians, Paphlagonian horsemen to the number of a thousand took station beside Clearchus on the right wing, as did the Greek peltasts, on the left was Ariaeus, Cyrus' lieutenant, with the rest of the Persian army, [1.8.6] and in the centre Cyrus and his horsemen, about six hundred in number. These troopers were armed with breastplates and thigh-pieces and, all of them except Cyrus, with helmets--Cyrus, however, went into the battle with his head unprotected. [In fact, it is said of the Persians in general that they venture all the perils of war with their heads unprotected.] [1.8.7] And all their horses [with Cyrus] had frontlets and breast-pieces; and the men carried, besides their other weapons, Greek sabres.

[1.8.8] And now it was midday, and the enemy were not yet in sight; but when afternoon was coming on, there was seen a rising dust, which appeared at first like a white cloud, but some time later like a kind of blackness in the plain, extending over a great distance. As the enemy came nearer and nearer, there were presently flashes of bronze here and there, and spears and the hostile ranks began to come into sight. [1.8.9] There were horsemen in white cuirasses on the left wing of the enemy, under the command, it was reported, of Tissaphernes; next to them were troops with wicker shields and, farther on, hoplites with wooden shields which reached to their feet, these latter being Egyptians, people said; and then more horsemen and more bowmen. All these troops were marching in national divisions, each nation in a solid square. [1.8.10] In front of them were the so-called scythe-bearing chariots, at some distance from one another; and the scythes they carried reached out sideways from taxles and were also set under the chariot bodies, pointing towards the ground, so as to cut to pieces whatever they met; the intention, then, was that they should drive into the ranks of the Greeks and cut the troops to pieces. [1.8.11] As for the statement, however, which Cyrus made when he called the Greeks together and urged them to hold out against the shouting of the Persians, he proved to be mistaken in this point; for they came on, not with shouting, but in the utmost silence and quietness, with equal step and slowly.

[1.8.12] At this moment Cyrus rode along the line, attended only by Pigres, his interpreter, and three or four others, and shouted to Clearchus to lead his army against the enemy's centre, for the reason that the King was stationed there; "and if," he said, "we are victorious there, our whole task is accomplished." [1.8.13] Clearchus, however, since he saw the compact body at the enemy's centre and heard from Cyrus that the King was beyond his left wing (for the King was so superior in numbers that, although occupying the centre of his own line, he was beyond Cyrus' left wing), was unwilling to draw the right wing away from the river, for fear that he might be turned on both flanks; and he told Cyrus, in reply, that he was taking care to make everything go well.

[1.8.14] At this critical time the King's army was advancing evenly, while the Greek force, still remaining in the same place, was forming its line from those who were still coming up. And Cyrus, riding along at some distance from his army, was taking a survey, looking in either direction, both at his enemies and his friends. [1.8.15] Then Xenophon,1 an Athenian, seeing him from the Greek army, approached so as to meet him and asked if he had any orders to give; and Cyrus pulled up his horse and bade Xenophon tell everybody that the sacrificial victims and omens were all favourable. [1.8.16] While saying this he heard a noise running through the ranks, and asked what the noise was. Xenophon replied that the watchword was now passing along for the second time.1 And Cyrus wondered who had given it out, and asked what the watchword was. Xenophon replied "Zeus Saviour and Victory." [1.8.17] And upon hearing this Cyrus said, "Well, I accept it, and so let it be." After he had said these words he rode back to his own position.At length the opposing lines were not three or four stadia apart, and then the Greeks struck up the paean and began to advance against the enemy. [1.8.18] And when, as they proceeded, a part of the phalanx billowed out, those who were thus left behind began to run; at the same moment they all set up the sort of war-cry which they raise to Enyalius,1 and all alike began running. It is also reported that some of them clashed their shields against their spears, thereby frightening the enemy's horses. [1.8.19] And before an arrow reached them, the Persians broke and fled. Thereupon the Greeks pursued with all their might, but shouted meanwhile to one another not to run at a headlong pace, but to keep their ranks in the pursuit. [1.8.20] As for the enemy's chariots, some of them plunged through the lines of their own troops, others, however, through the Greek lines, but without charioteers. And whenever the Greeks saw them coming, they would open a gap for their passage; one fellow, to be sure, was caught, like a befuddled man on a race-course, yet it was said that even he was not hurt in the least, nor, for that matter, did any other single man among the Greeks get any hurt whatever in this battle, save that some one on the left wing was reported to have been hit by an arrow.

[1.8.21] When Cyrus saw that the Greeks were victorious over the division opposite them and were in pursuit, although he was pleased and was already being saluted with homage as King by his attendants, he nevertheless was not induced to join the pursuit, but, keeping in close formation the six hundred horsemen of his troop, he was watching to see what the King would do. For he knew that the King held the centre of the Persian army; [1.8.22] in fact, all the generals of the Persians hold their own centre when they are in command, for they think that this is the safest position, namely, with their forces on either side of them, and also that if they want to pass along an order, the army will get it in half the time; [1.8.23] so in this instance the King held the centre of the army under his command, but still he found himself beyond the left wing of Cyrus. Since, then, there was no one in his front to give battle to him or to the troops drawn up before him, he proceeded to wheel round his line with the intention of encircling the enemy.

[1.8.24] Thereupon Cyrus, seized with fear lest he might get in the rear of the Greek troops and cut them to pieces, charged to meet him; and attacking with his six hundred, he was victorious over the forces stationed in front of the King and put to flight the six thousand,1 slaying with his own hand, it is said, their commander Artagerses. [1.8.25] But when they turned to flight, Cyrus' six hundred, setting out in pursuit, became scattered also, and only a very few were left about him, chiefly his so-called table companions. [1.8.26] While attended by these only, he caught sight of the King and the compact body around him; and on the instant he lost control of himself and, with the cry "I see the man," rushed upon him and struck him in the breast and wounded him through his breastplate--as Ctesias1 the physician says, adding also that he himself healed the wound.

[1.8.27] While Cyrus was delivering his stroke, however, some one hit him a hard blow under the eye with a javelin; and then followed a struggle between the King and Cyrus and the attendants who supported each of them. The number that fell on the King's side is stated by Ctesias, who was with him; on the other side, Cyrus himself was killed and eight of the noblest of his attendants lay dead upon him. [1.8.28] Of Artapates, the one among Cyrus' chamberlains who was his most faithful follower, it is told that when he saw Cyrus fallen, he leaped down from his horse and threw his arms about him. [1.8.29] And one report is that the King ordered someone to slay him upon the body of Cyrus, while others say that he drew his dagger and slew himself with his own hand; for he had a dagger of gold, and he also wore a necklace and bracelets and all the other ornaments that the noblest Persians wear; for he had been honoured by Cyrus because of his affection and fidelity.

Book 1 Section 9

 [1.9.1] In this way, then, Cyrus came to his end, a man who was the most kingly and the most worthy to rule of all the Persians who have been born since Cyrus the Elder, as all agree who are reputed to have known Cyrus intimately. [1.9.2] For firstly, while he was still a boy and was being educated with his brother and the other boys, he was regarded as the best of them all in all respects. [1.9.3] For all the sons of the noblest Persians are educated at the King's court. There one may learn discretion and self-control in full measure, and nothing that is base can be either heard or seen. [1.9.4] The boys have before their eyes the spectacle of men honoured by the King and of others dishonoured; they likewise hear of them; and so from earliest boyhood they are learning how to rule and how to submit to rule. [1.9.5] Here, then, Cyrus was reputed to be, in the first place, the most modest of his fellows, and even more obedient to his elders than were his inferiors in rank; secondly, the most devoted to horses and the most skilful in managing horses; he was also adjudged the most eager to learn, and the most diligent in practising, military accomplishments, alike the use of the bow and of the javelin. [1.9.6] Then, when he was of suitable age, he was the fondest of hunting and, more than that, the fondest of incurring danger in his pursuit of wild animals. On one occasion, when a bear charged upon him, he did not take to flight, but grappled with her and was dragged from his horse; he received some injuries, the scars of which he re, but in the end he killed the bear; and, furthermore, the man who was the first to come to his assistance he made an object of envy to many.

[1.9.7] Again, when he was sent down1 by his father to be satrap of Lydia, Greater Phrygia, and Cappadocia and was also appointed commander of all the troops whose duty it is to muster in the plain of Castolus, he showed, in the first place, that he counted it of the utmost importance, when he concluded a treaty or compact with anyone or made anyone any promise, under no circumstances to prove false to his word. [1.9.8] It was for this reason, then, that the cities trusted him and put themselves under his protection,1 and that individuals also trusted him; and if anyone had been an enemy, when Cyrus made a treaty with him he trusted that he would suffer no harm in violation of that treaty. [1.9.9] Consequently, when he came to hostilities with Tissaphernes, all the cities of their own accord chose Cyrus rather than Tissaphernes, with the exception of Miletus;1 and the reason why the Milesians feared him was, that he would not prove false to the exiles from their city. [1.9.10] For he showed repeatedly, by deed as well as by word, that he would never abandon them when once he had come to be their friend, not even if they should become still fewer in number and should meet with still worse misfortune.

[1.9.11] It was manifest also that whenever a man conferred any benefit upon Cyrus or did him any harm, he always strove to outdo him; in fact, some people used to report it as a prayer of his that he might live long enough to outdo both those who benefited and those who injured him, returning like for like. [1.9.12] Hence it was that he had a greater following than any other one man of our time of friends who eagerly desired to entrust to him both treasure and cities and their very bodies. [1.9.13] Yet, on the other hand, none could say that he permitted malefactors and wicked men to laugh at him; on the contrary, he was merciless to the last degree in punishing them, and one might often see along the travelled roads people who had lost feet or hands or eyes; thus in Cyrus' province it became possible for either Greek or Persian, provided he were guilty of no wrongdoing, to travel fearlessly wherever he wished, carrying with him whatever it was to his interest to have.

[1.9.14] But it was the brave in war, as all agree, whom he honoured especially. For example, he was once at war with the Pisidians and Mysians and commanded in person an expedition into their territories; and whomsoever in his army he found willing to meet dangers, these men he would not only appoint as rulers of the territory he was subduing, but would honour thereafter with other gifts also. [1.9.15] Thus the brave were seen to be most prosperous, while cowards were deemed fit to be their slaves. Consequently Cyrus had men in great abundance who were willing to meet danger wherever they thought that he would observe them. [1.9.16] As for uprightness, if a man showed that he desired to distinguish himself in that quality, Cyrus considered it all important to enable such an one to live in greater opulence than those who were greedy of unjust gain. [1.9.17] Hence he not only had many and various functions performed for him with fidelity, but, in particular, he secured the services of an army worthy of the name. For generals and captains who came overseas to serve him for the sake of money judged that loyal obedience to Cyrus was worth more to them than their mere monthly pay. [1.9.18] Again, so surely as a man performed with credit any service that he assigned him, Cyrus never let his zeal go unrewarded. In consequence, he was said to have gained the very best supporters for every undertaking.

[1.9.19] Furthermore, whenever he saw that a man was a skilful and just administrator, not only organizing well the country over which he ruled, but producing revenues, he would never deprive such a man of territory, but would always give him more besides. The result was that they toiled with pleasure and accumulated with confidence, and, more than that, no one would conceal from Cyrus the store which he had acquired; for it was clear that he did not envy those who were frankly and openly rich, but strove to make use of the possessions of such as tried to conceal their wealth.

[1.9.20] As to friends, all agree that he showed himself pre-eminent in his attentions to all the friends that he made and found devoted to him and adjudged to be competent co-workers in whatever he might be wishing to accomplish. [1.9.21] For, just as the precise object for which he thought he needed friends himself was that he might have co-workers, so he tried on his own part to be a most vigorous co-worker with his friends to secure that which he found each one of them desired. [1.9.22] Again, he received more gifts, I presume, than any other one man, and for many reasons; and surely he of all men distributed gifts most generously among his friends, with an eye to the tastes of each one and to whatever particular need he noted in each case. [1.9.23] As for all the gifts which people sent him to wear upon his person, whether intended for war or merely for show, it is reported that he said of them that his own person could not be adorned with all these things, but that in his opinion friends nobly adorned were a man's greatest ornament. [1.9.24] To be sure, the fact that he outdid his friends in the greatness of the benefits he conferred is nothing surprising, for the manifest reason that he had greater means than they; but that he surpassed them in solicitude and in eagerness to do favours, this in my opinion is more admirable. [1.9.25] For example, when Cyrus got some particularly good wine, he would often send the half-emptied jar to a friend with the message: "Cyrus says that he has not chanced upon better wine than this for a long time; so he sends it to you, and asks you to drink it up today in company with the friends you love best." [1.9.26] So he would often send halves of geese and of loaves and so forth, instructing the bearer to add the message: "Cyrus enjoyed this, and therefore wants you also to take a taste of it." [1.9.27] And wherever fodder was exceedingly scarce and he was able to get it for his own use because of the large number of his servants and because of his good planning, he would distribute this fodder among his friends and tell them to give it to the horses that carried their own bodies, that they might not be hungry while carrying his friends. [1.9.28] And whenever he was on the march and was likely to be seen by very many people, he would call his friends to him and engage them in earnest conversation, in order to show whom he honoured. Hence, as I at least conclude from what comes to my ears, no man, Greek or Persian, has ever been loved by a greater number of people. [1.9.29] Here is a fact to confirm that conclusion: although Cyrus was a slave,1 no one deserted him to join the King, save that Orontas attempted to do so (and he, mark you, speedily found out that the man he imagined was faithful to him, was more devoted to Cyrus than to him); on the other hand, many went over from the King to Cyrus after the two had become enemies (these being, moreover, the men who were most highly regarded by the King), because they thought that if they were deserving, they would gain a worthier reward with Cyrus than with the King. [1.9.30] Furthermore, what happened to Cyrus at the end of his life is a strong indication that he was a true man himself and that he knew how to judge those who were faithful, devoted, and constant. [1.9.31] When he died, namely, all his bodyguard of friends and table companions died fighting in his defence, with the exception of Ariaeus; he, it chanced, was stationed on the left wing at the head of the cavalry, and when he learned that Cyrus had fallen, he took to flight with the whole army that he commanded.

Book 1 Section 10

 [1.10.1] Then the head of Cyrus and his right hand were cut off. But the King, pursuing Ariaeus, burst into the camp of Cyrus; and Ariaeus and his men no longer stood their ground, butfled through their own camp to the stopping-place from which they had set out that morning, a distance, it was said, of four parasangs. [1.10.2] So the King and his troops proceeded to secure plunder of various sorts in abundance, while in particular he captured the Phocaean woman, Cyrus' concubine, who, by all accounts, was clever and beautiful. [1.10.3] The Milesian woman, however, the younger one, after being seized by the King's men made her escape, lightly clad, to some Greeks who had chanced to be standing guard amid the baggage train and, forming themselves in line against the enemy, had killed many of the plunderers, although some of their own number had been killed also; nevertheless, they did not take to flight, but they saved this woman and, furthermore, whatever else came within their lines, whether persons or property, they saved all alike.

[1.10.4] At this time the King and the Greeks were distant from one another about thirty stadia, the Greeks pursuing the troops in their front, in the belief that they were victorious over all the enemy, the King and his followers plundering, in the belief that they were all victorious already. [1.10.5] When, however, the Greeks learned that the King and his forces were in their baggage train, and the King, on the other hand, heard from Tissaphernes that the Greeks were victorious over the division opposite them and had gone on ahead in pursuit, then the King proceeded to gather his troops together and form them in line of battle, and Clearchus called Proxenus (for he was nearest him in the line) and took counsel with him as to whether they should send a detachment or go in full force to the camp, for the purpose of lending aid. [1.10.6] Meanwhile the Greeks saw the King advancing again, as it seemed, from their rear, and they accordingly countermarched and made ready to meet his attack in case he should advance in that direction1; the King, however, did not do so, but returned by the same route he had followed before, when he passed outside of Cyrus' left wing, and in his return picked up not only those who had deserted to the Greeks during the battle, but also Tissaphernes and his troops. [1.10.7] For Tissaphernes had not taken to flight in the first encounter, but had charged along the river through the Greek peltasts1; he did not kill anyone in his passage, but the Greeks, after opening a gap for his men, proceeded to deal blows and throw javelins upon them as they went through. The commander of the Greek peltasts was Episthenes of Amphipolis, and it was said that he proved himself a sagacious man. [1.10.8] At any rate, after Tissaphernes had thus come off with the worst of it, he did not wheel round again, but went on to the camp of the Greeks and there fell in with the King; so it was that, after forming their lines once more, they were proceeding together.

[1.10.9] When they were over against the left wing of the Greeks,1 the latter conceived the fear that they might advance against that wing and, by outflanking them on both sides, cut them to pieces; they thought it best, therefore, to draw the wing back and get the river in their rear.2 [1.10.10] But while they were taking counsel about this matter, the King had already changed his line of battle to the same form as theirs and brought it into position opposite them, just as when he had met them for battle the first time.1 And when the Greeks saw that the enemy were near them and in battle-order, they again struck up the paean and advanced to the attack much more eagerly than before; [1.10.11] and the Persians once again failed to await the attack, but took to flight when at a greater distance from the Greeks than they were the first time. [1.10.12] The Greeks pursued as far as a certain village, and there they halted; for above the village was a hill, upon which the King and his followers rallied; and they were not now foot-soldiers, but the hill was covered with horsemen, so that the Greeks could not perceive what was going on. They did see, they said, the royal standard, a kind of golden eagle on a shield, raised aloft upon a pole. [1.10.13] But when at this point also the Greeks resumed their forward movement, the horsemen at once proceeded to leave the hill; they did not keep together, however, as they went, but scattered in different directions; so the hill became gradually cleared of the horsemen, till at last they were all gone. [1.10.14] Clearchus, accordingly, did not lead the army up the hill, but halted at its foot and sent Lycius the Syracusan and another man to the summit, directing them to observe what was beyond the hill and report back to him. [1.10.15] And Lycius, after riding up and looking, brought back word that the enemy were in headlong flight. [1.10.16] At about this time the sun set.Then the Greeks halted, grounded arms, and proceeded to rest themselves. At the same time they wondered that Cyrus was nowhere to be seen and that no one else had come to them from him; for they did not know that he was dead, but conjectured that he had either gone off in pursuit or pushed on to occupy some point. [1.10.17] So they took counsel for themselves as to whether they should remain where they were and bring the baggage train thither, or return to their camp. The decision was to return, and they reached their tents about supper-time. [1.10.18] Such was the conclusion of this day. They found most of their property pillaged, in particular whatever there was to eat or drink, and as for the wagons loaded with flour and wine which Cyrus had provided in order that, if ever serious need should overtake the army, he might have supplies to distribute among the Greeks (and there were four hundred of these wagons, it was said), these also the King and his men had now pillaged. [1.10.19] The result was that most of the Greeks had no dinner; and they had had no breakfast, either, for the King had appeared before the time when the army was to halt for breakfast. Thus it was, then that they got through this night.

 

1,10,6,n1. The Greeks had advanced straight forward from their position on the right wing and the King straight forward from his centre (which was beyond the left wing of Cyrus' entire, i.e. Greek and Persian, army); hence the two had passed by one another at a considerable distance. The question now was, whether the King on his return march would move obliquely, so as to meet the Greeks, or would follow the same route by which he advanced, thus keeping clear of them again.

1,10,7,n1. See Xen. Anab. 1.8.4-5.

1,10,9,n1. At this point the fronts of the two armies--which were facing in opposite directions, and, further, each in the direction opposite to that which it took in the first encounter--were in approximately the same straight line. It should be noted that Xenophon means by "the left wing" of the Greeks that which had been the left wing in the original formation, but had now become the right.

1,10,9,n2. The Greek line was now, as in the beginning, at right angles to the Euphrates. The movement here described would (if executed) have made it parallel to the river, the latter serving as a defence in the rear.

1,10,10,n1. Xenophon seems to mean that the King now moved to the right until his flank (like that of the Greeks--see the preceding notes) rested upon the Euphrates. The two armies, therefore, were again squarely facing one another, though with positions relatively reversed (see note 2 above).

 

continue with [ Book Two ]

 

 

Top of Page

 


Page Keywords: Aryans, Achaemenian, Achaemenids, Hakhamanesh, Hakhamaneshian, Persians

my_Iran.jpg (13682 bytes)

"History is the Light on the Path to Future"

 

Persian_NOT_Farsi_by_Shapour_Suren-Pahlav_3D2.gif (177309 bytes)


 

Encyclopaedia Iranica


BIPS.jpg (15695 bytes)

The British Institute of Persian Studies


"Persepolis Reconstructed"

Persepolis_reconstructed2.jpg (36944 bytes)

Persepolis3D


The British Museum


The Royal

Asiatic Society


Persian_Gulf_Facebook.jpg (1935028 bytes)

The Persian Gulf

Facebook Page




Please use your "Back" button (top left) to return to the previous page

Copyright 1998-2015 The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)