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.Xenophon Anabasis  

Defeat of Ten Thousand Greek Mercenaries in Iran


 

Book 5 Section 1

 [5.1.1] 1[The preceding narrative has described all that the Greeks did on their upward march with Cyrus and on their journey to the shore of the Euxine Sea, how they arrived at the Greek city of Trapezus, and how they paid the thankofferings for deliverance which they had vowed to sacrifice at the place where they should first reach a friendly land.]

[5.1.2] After this they gathered together and proceeded to take counsel in regard to the remainder of their journey; and the first man to get up was Leon of Thurii, who spoke as follows: "Well, I, for my part, gentlemen," he said, "am tired by this time of packing up and walking and running and carrying my arms and being in line and standing guard and fighting, and what I long for now is to be rid of these toils, since we have the sea, and to sail the rest of the way, and so reach Greece stretched out on my back, like Odysseus."1 [5.1.3] Upon hearing these words the soldiers shouted out that he was quite right; and another man said the same thing, and in fact all who rose to speak. Then Cheirisophus got up and spoke as follows: [5.1.4] "I have a friend Anaxibius, gentlemen, and he happens also to be Admiral.1 So if you will send me to him, I presume I can bring back with me ships of war and merchant vessels to carry us; for yourselves, if you really wish to go by sea, wait until I return; and I shall return speedily." When they heard this, the soldiers were delighted, and voted that Cheirisophus should set sail with all speed.

[5.1.5] After him Xenophon rose and spoke as follows: "Cheirisophus, then, is setting off after ships, and we are to stay here; I am going to speak, therefore, of all the things that it seems to me proper for us to be doing while we wait. [5.1.6] In the first place, we must obtain provisions from hostile territory, for we neither have an adequate market, nor have we, with some few exceptions, the means wherewith to buy; but the territory is hostile, and hence there is danger that many of you will perish if you set out after provisions carelessly and unguardedly. [5.1.7] Rather, it seems to me that you ought to get your provisions in foraging parties and not roam about at random, in order that you may be kept safe, and that we generals ought to have charge of this matter." This proposal was adopted.

[5.1.8] "Listen, then, to this further point. Some of you are to journey forth after plunder. Now I think it is best for the man who is going out to inform us of the fact and to tell us also whither he is going, in order that we may know the number of men who are going out and the number who are staying behind; then we can help, if need be, in making preparations, and if there be occasion to go to any one's assistance, we shall know whither we are to go with such assistance, and if a man who is without experience is making an attempt in any quarter, we can advise him by trying to ascertain the strength of those against whom he may be going." This proposal also was adopted.

[5.1.9] "Then," he said, "consider this matter also. Our enemies have leisure for plundering and they are plotting against us--quite properly, seeing that we have appropriated what was theirs; and they are posted up above us. So it seems to me that we ought to have guards around our camp; supposing, then, that we take turns in standing guard and keeping watch, the enemy would be less able to harry us.

[5.1.10] "Here is still another point to note. If we knew beyond doubt that Cheirisophus would bring back with him an adequate number of ships, there would be no need of what I am about to say; but since in facthat is uncertain, I think we should try to do our part by procuring ships here also. For if he does bring enough, then with those at hand here we shall have a more abundant supply to sail in, while if he does not, we shall use those which we have here. [5.1.11] Now I see ships sailing past frequently, and if we can get the Trapezuntians to give us men-of-war and so bring these ships into port and keep them under guard, unshipping their rudders meanwhile, until we get enough to carry us, perhaps we should not lack such means of transport as we need." This proposal also was adopted.

[5.1.12] "Again," he said, "do you not think it reasonable that we should maintain from our common fund the sailors we thus bring into port for as long a time as they may be waiting for our sakes, and that we should agree upon a price for our passage, so that in conferring a benefit upon us they may also benefit themselves?" This proposal also was adopted.

[5.1.13] "Now it seems to me," he continued, "that if perchance this plan also shall fail to provide us with enough ships, we must turn to the roads, which we hear are difficult to travel, and direct the cities that are situated along the sea to repair them; for they will obey, not only from fear, but also from the desire to be rid of us."

[5.1.14] At this the soldiers set up a shout, saying that they did not want to go by land. And Xenophon, realizing their foolishness, did not put any proposal regarding this matter to vote, but persuaded the cities to repair the roads voluntarily, urging that they would be rid of the army the more quickly if the roads should be made easy to travel. [5.1.15] Furthermore, they got a fifty-oared warship from the Trapezuntians, and put it under the command of Dexippus, a Laconian perioecus.1 This fellow, however, paying no heed to the duty of collecting vessels, slipped away with his man-of-war and left the Euxine. He did indeed get his deserts afterwards; for while engaged in some intrigue at the court of Seuthes2 in Thrace he was killed by Nicander the Laconian. [5.1.16] They also got a thirty-oared galley, and put it under the command of Polycrates the Athenian, who brought in to the camp all the merchant vessels that he captured. And they would unload the cargoes, in case the ships had any, and put them under guard, in order to keep these safe and to use the vessels themselves for transport service. [5.1.17] While these things were going on, the Greeks were making forays in quest of booty, and while some parties would secure it, others did not. And in one case, when Cleaenetus led forth his own company and another against a difficult stronghold, the commander himself was killed and many of his men besides.

Book 5 Section 2

 [5.2.1] The time came when it was no longer possible to obtain provisions and return to the camp on the same day. Then Xenophon took some Trapezuntians for guides and led forth half the army to the country of the Drilae, leaving the other half behind to guard the camp--because the Colchians, since they had been driven out of their houses, were now gathered together in one great body and had taken a position on the heights above the camp. [5.2.2] For the Trapezuntians would not lead the Greeks to districts from which provisions could be secured easily, because they were friendly to the people of those districts; but they were eager to lead them into the territory of the Drilae, at whose hands they were continually suffering losses, though their country was mountainous and difficult to traverse and its inhabitants the most warlike of all that dwell upon the Euxine.

[5.2.3] When the Greeks had reached the highlands, the Drilae set fire to such of their strongholds as seemed to them easy to capture, and fell back; and the Greeks could secure nothing except an occasional pig or ox or other animal that had escaped the fire. There was one stronghold, however, which was their metropolis, and into this they had all streamed. Around it was an exceedingly deep ravine, and the approaches to the place were difficult. [5.2.4] Now the peltasts, who had run five or six stadia ahead of the hoplites, crossed this ravine and, seeing quantities of sheep and other property, essayed an attack upon the stronghold; in their train there followed a considerable number of spearmen who had set out after provisions, so that the party that crossed the ravine amounted to more than a thousand men. [5.2.5] But when they found themselves unable with all their fighting to capture the place (for there was a wide trench around it, backed by a rampart, and upon the rampart palisades had been set and wooden towers constructed at frequent intervals), their next move was to try to withdraw; and then the enemy pressed hard upon them. [5.2.6] To get away by running proved impossible, inasmuch as the descent from the stronghold to the ravine only allowed them to go in single file, and they accordingly sent a messenger to Xenophon, who was at the head of the hoplites. The messenger came and reported: [5.2.7] "There is a stronghold full of all kinds of stores. We cannot capture it, for it is strong; and we cannot easily get away, for the defenders rush out and attack us, and the road that leads back is a difficult one."

[5.2.8] Upon hearing this message Xenophon led on to the ravine, ordered the hoplites to halt there under arms, and himself crossed over with the captains and looked about to see whether it was better to withdraw the troops that had already crossed, or to lead over the hoplites also, on the presumption that the stronghold could be captured. [5.2.9] The withdrawal, it seemed clear, could not be accomplished without the loss of many lives, while the capture of the place, in the opinion of the captains, was feasible, and Xenophon fell in with their opinion, in reliance upon his sacrifices; for the seers had declared that while there would be fighting to do, the issue of the expedition would be fortunate. [5.2.10] Accordingly he sent the captains to bring over the hoplites, while he himself remained on the further side, having drawn back the entire body of peltasts and forbidding any one to shoot at long range. [5.2.11] Upon the arrival of the hoplites he ordered each of the captains to form his company in the way he thought it would fight most effectively; for near one another were the captains who had all the time been vieing with one another in valour. [5.2.12] This order they proceeded to carry out, and meanwhile Xenophon passed word to all the peltasts to advance with hand on the thong, so that they could discharge their javelins when the signal should be given, to the bowmen to have their arrows upon the string, ready to shoot upon the signal, and to the slingers to have their bags full of stones; and he despatched the proper persons to look after all these things.

[5.2.13] When all preparations had been made and the captains, lieutenants, and those among the men who claimed to be not inferior to them in bravery were all grouped together in the line1 and, moreover, watching one another (for the line was crescent-shaped, to conform with the position they were attacking), [5.2.14] then they struck up the paean and the trumpet sounded, and then, at the same moment, they raised the war cry to Enyalius, the hoplites charged forward on the run, and the missiles began to fly all together--spears, arrows, sling-stones, and very many stones thrown by hand, while some of the men employed firebrands also. [5.2.15] By reason of the quantity of the missiles the enemy abandoned both their ramparts and their towers, so that Agasias the Stymphalian, putting aside his arms and clad only in his tunic, climbed up, then pulled up another man, and meanwhile another had made the climb, so that the capture of the stronghold was accomplished, as it seemed.

[5.2.16] Thereupon the peltasts and the light troops rushed in and proceeded to snatch whatever plunder they severally could; but Xenophon, taking his stand at the gates, kept out as many as he could of the hoplites, for the reason that other enemies were coming into view upon certain strong heights. [5.2.17] After no long interval a shout within and men came pouring forth in flight, some carrying with them what they had seized, then soon a number of men that were wounded; and there was a deal of pushing about the gates. When those who were tumbling out were questioned, they said that there was a citadel within, that the enemy were numerous, and that they had sallied forth and were dealing blows upon the men inside. [5.2.18] Then Xenophon ordered Tolmides the herald to proclaim that whoever wanted to get any plunder should go in. At that many proceeded to rush into the gates, and the crowd that was pushing in overcame the crowd that was tumbling out and shut up the enemy again in their citadel. [5.2.19] So everything outside the citadel was seized and carried off by the Greeks, and the hoplites took up their position, some about the ramparts, others along the road leading up to the citadel. [5.2.20] Meanwhile Xenophon and the captains were looking to see whether it was possible to capture the citadel, for in that case their safety was secured, while otherwise they thought it would be very difficult to effect their withdrawal; but the upshot of their consideration was, that the place was quite impregnable.

[5.2.21] Then they made preparations for the withdrawal: they tore down the palisades, each division taking those on its own front, and sent off the men who were unfit for service or were carrying burdens, and likewise the greater part of the hoplites, the captains keeping behind only those troops that they each relied upon. [5.2.22] But the moment they began to retire, there rushed out upon them from within a great crowd of men armed with wicker shields, spears, greaves, and Paphlagonian helmets, while others set about climbing to the tops of the houses that were on either side of the road leading up to the citadel. [5.2.23] The result was that even a pursuit in the direction of the gates that led into the citadel was unsafe; for they would hurl down great logs from above, so that it was difficult either to remain or to retire. And the approach of night was also a cause for fear.

[5.2.24] In the midst of their fighting and perplexity some god gave to the Greeks a means of salvation. For of a sudden one of the houses on the right, set on fire by somebody or other, broke into a blaze; and as it began to fall in, there began a general flight from the other houses on the right side of the road. [5.2.25] The moment Xenophon grasped this lesson which chance had given him, he gave orders to set fire to the houses on the left also, which were of wood and so fell to burning very quickly. The result was that the people in these houses likewise took to flight. [5.2.26] It was only the enemy in their front who were now left to trouble the Greeks and manifestly intended to attack them as they passed out and down the hill. At this stage Xenophon sent out orders that all who chanced to be out of range of the missiles should set about bringing up logs and put them in the open space between their own forces and the enemy. As soon as enough logs had been collected, they set fire to them; and meanwhile they set fire also to the houses which were close along the palisade, so that the enemy's attention might be occupied with these. [5.2.27] It was in this way that they effected, with difficulty, their withdrawal from the stronghold, by putting fire between themselves and the enemy. And the whole city was burned down, houses, towers, palisades, and everything else except the citadel.

[5.2.28] On the next day the Greeks were for returning to camp with their provisions. But inasmuch as they feared the descent to Trapezus (for the way was steep and narrow), they laid a sham ambuscade: [5.2.29] a man of Mysia, who likewise bore the name of Mysus,1 took ten of the Cretans, stayed behind in a bit of undergrowth, and pretended to be trying to keep out of sight of the enemy; but their shields, which were of bronze, would now and then gleam through the bushes. [5.2.30] So the enemy, catching glimpses of these proceedings, were fearful that it was an ambuscade; and meanwhile the Greek army was making its descent. When it seemed that they had got down far enough, a signal was given to the Mysian to flee at the top of his speed, and he and his companions arose and took to flight. [5.2.31] The Cretans of the party (finding, as they said, that they were like to be overtaken in the running) plunged out of the road into the woods, and by tumbling down through the ravines made their escape, [5.2.32] but the Mysian held to the road in his flight and kept shouting for help; and they did go to his aid, and picked him up wounded. Then the rescuers in their turn proceeded to retreat, faces to the front, while the enemy kept throwing missiles at them and some of the Cretans replied with their arrows. In this way they all reached the camp safe and sound.

Book 5 Section 3

 [5.3.1] And now, seeing that Cheirisophus was not returned1 that they had not an adequate number of ships,2 and that it was no longer possible to get provisions, they resolved to depart by land. On board the ships they embarked the sick, those who were more than forty years of age, the women and children, and all the baggage which they did not need to keep with them. They put aboard also Philesius and Sophaenetus, the eldest of the generals, and bade them take charge of the enterprise; [5.3.2] then the rest took up the march, the road having been already constructed.1 And on the third day of their journey they reached Cerasus, a Greek city on the sea, being a colony planted by the Sinopeans in the territory of Colchis. [5.3.3] There they remained ten days; and the troops were reviewed under arms and numbered, and there proved to be eight thousand six hundred men.1 So many were left alive. The rest had perished at the hands of the enemy or in the snow, a few also by disease.

[5.3.4] There, also, they divided the money received from the sale of the booty. And the tithe, which they set apart for Apollo and for Artemis of the Ephesians, was distributed among the generals, each taking his portion to keep safely for the gods; and the portion that fell to Cheirisophus was given to Neon the Asinaean. [5.3.5] As for Xenophon, he caused a votive offering to be made out of Apollo's share of his portion and dedicated it in the treasury of the Athenians at Delphi, inscribing upon it his own name and that of Proxenus, who was killed with Clearchus;1 for Proxenus was his friend.2 [5.3.6] The share which belonged to Artemis of the Ephesians he left behind, at the time when he was returning from Asia with Agesilaus to take part in the campaign against Boeotia,1 in charge of Megabyzus, the sacristan of Artemis, for the reason that his own journey seemed likely to be a dangerous one; and his instructions were that in case he should escape with his life, the money was to be returned to him, but in case any ill should befall him, Megabyzus was to cause to be made and dedicated to Artemis whatever offering he thought would please the goddess.

[5.3.7] In the time of Xenophon's exile1 and while he was living at Scillus, near Olympia, where he had been established as a colonist by the Lacedaemonians, Megabyzus came to Olympia to attend the games and returned to him his deposit. Upon receiving it Xenophon bought a plot of ground for the goddess in a place which Apollo's oracle appointed. [5.3.8] As it chanced, there flowed through the plot a river named Selinus; and at Ephesus likewise a Selinus river flows past the temple of Artemis. In both streams, moreover, there are fish and mussels, while in the plot at Scillus there is hunting of all manner of beasts of the chase. [5.3.9] Here Xenophon built an altar and a temple with the sacred money, and from that time forth he would every year take the tithe of the products of the land in their season and offer sacrifice to the goddess, all the citizens and the men and women of the neighbourhood taking part in the festival. And the goddess would provide for the banqueters barley meal and loaves of bread, wine and sweetmeats, and a portion of the sacrificial victims from the sacred herd as well as of the victims takenin the chase. [5.3.10] For Xenophon's sons and the sons of the other citizens used to have a hunting expedition at the time of the festival, and any grown men who so wished would join them; and they captured their game partly from the sacred precinct itself and partly from Mount Pholoe--boars and gazelles and stags.

[5.3.11] The place is situated on the road which leads from Lacedaemon to Olympia, and is about twenty stadia from the temple of Zeus at Olympia. Within the sacred precinct there is meadowland and treecovered hills, suited for the rearing of swine, goats, cattle and horses, so that even the draught animals which bring people to the festival have their feast also. [5.3.12] Immediately surrounding the temple is a grove of cultivated trees, producing all sorts of dessert fruits in their season. The temple itself is like the one at Ephesus, although small as compared with great, and the image of the goddess, although cypress wood as compared with gold, is like the Ephesian image. [5.3.13] Beside the temple stands a tablet with this inscription:

The place is sacred to Artemis. He who holds it and enjoys its fruits must offer the tithe every year in sacrifice, and from the remainder must keep the temple in repair. If any one leaves these things undone, the goddess will look to it.

Book 5 Section 4

 [5.4.1] Leaving Cerasus, the people who had thus far been conveyed by sea1 went on as before, while the rest continued their journey by land. [5.4.2] When they reached the boundary of the Mossynoecians,1 they sent to them Timesitheus the Trapezuntian, who was official representative of the Mossynoecians at Trapezus, and asked whether in marching through their country they were to regard it as friendly or hostile. The Mossynoecians replied that they would not permit them to pass through; [5.4.3] for they trusted in their strongholds. Then Timesitheus told the Greeks that the Mossynoecians who dwelt farther on were hostile to these people, and it was decided to summon them and see whether they wanted to conclude an alliance; so Timesitheus was sent to them, and brought back with him their chiefs. [5.4.4] When they arrived, these chiefs of the Mossynoecians and the generals of the Greeks met together; [5.4.5] and Xenophon spoke as follows, Timesitheus acting as interpreter: "Mossynoecians, we desire to make our way to Greece in safety by land, for we have no ships; but these people, who, as we hear, are your enemies, are trying to block our passage. [5.4.6] If you wish, therefore, it is within your power to secure us as allies, to exact vengeance for any wrong these people have ever done you, and to make them henceforth your subjects. [5.4.7] But if you dismiss us with a refusal, where, bethink you, could you ever again secure so large a force to help fight your battles?" [5.4.8] To these words the chief of the Mossynoecians replied that they desired this arrangement and accepted the alliance. [5.4.9] "Well, then," said Xenophon, "what use will you want to make of us if we become your allies, and what assistance will you, in your turn, be able to render us in the matter of our passage through this territory?" [5.4.10] They replied: "We are able to invade this land of your enemies and ours from the opposite side, and to send to you here not only ships, but men who will aid you in the fighting and will guide you on your way."

[5.4.11] After confirming this agreement by giving and receiving pledges they departed. The next day they returned, bringing with them three hundred canoes, each made out of a single log and each containing three men, two of whom disembarked and fell into line under arms, while the third remained in the canoe. [5.4.12] Then the second group took their canoes and sailed back again, and those who stayed behind marshalled themselves in the following way. They took position in lines of about a hundred each, like choral dancers ranged opposite one another, all of them with wicker shields covered with white, shaggy ox-hide and like an ivy leaf in shape, and each man holding in his right hand a lance about six cubits long, with a spearhead at one end1 and a round ball at the butt end of the shaft. [5.4.13] They wore short tunics which did not reach their knees and were as thick as a linen bag for bedclothes, and upon their heads leathern helmets just such as the Paphlagonian helmets, with a tuft in the middle very like a tiara in shape; and they had also iron battle-axes. [5.4.14] After they had formed their lines one of them led off, and the rest after him, every man of them, fell into a rhythmic march and song, and passing through the battalions and through the quarters of the Greeks they went straight on against the enemy, toward a stronghold which seemed to be especially assailable. [5.4.15] It was situated in front of the city which is called by them Metropolis and contains the chief citadel of the Mossynoecians. In fact, it was for the possession of this citadel that the war was going on; for those who at any time held it were deemed to be masters of all the other Mossynoecians, and they said that the present occupants did not hold it by right, but that it was common property and they had seized it in order to gain a selfish advantage.

[5.4.16] The attacking party was followed by some of the Greeks, not under orders from their generals, but seeking plunder. As they approached, the enemy for a time kept quiet; but when they had got near the stronghold, they sallied forth and put them to flight, killing a considerable number of the barbarians and some of the Greeks who had gone up the hill with them, and pursuing the rest until they saw the Greeks coming to the rescue; [5.4.17] then they turned and fell back, and after cutting off the heads of the dead men displayed them to the Greeks and to their own enemies, at the same time dancing to a kind of strain which they sang. [5.4.18] And the Greeks were exceedingly angry, not only because the enemy had been made bolder, but because the Greeks who went to the attack with the barbarians had taken to flight, though in very considerable numbers--a thing which they had never done before in the course of the expedition.

[5.4.19] Then Xenophon called the Greeks together and said: "Fellow-soldiers, do not by any means lose heart on account of what has happened; for be sure that a good thing also has happened, no less important than the evil thing. [5.4.20] In the first place, you know that those who are to guide us are really enemies to the people whose enemies we also are compelled to be; secondly, and touching our own men, those among them who took little thought of the battle formation we use and got the idea that they could accomplish the same results in company with the barbarians as they could with us, have paid the penalty,--another time they will be less likely to leave our ordered lines. [5.4.21] But you must make ready to prove to our friends among the barbarians that you are better men than they, and to show the enemy that they are not going to fight against the same sort of men now as the disorderly mass they met before."

[5.4.22] It was thus that the Greeks spent that day; but on the next, after obtaining favourable omens from their sacrifices, they took breakfast, formed the companies in column, and began the march, with the barbarians in the same formation posted on the left, the bowmen distributed in the spaces between the companies, and the van of the hoplites a little farther back. [5.4.23] For the enemy had some nimble troops who kept running down the hill and pelting the Greeks with stones, and these fellows were held back by the bowmen and peltasts. The rest of the Greek army, proceeding at a walk, advanced first against the stronghold from which the barbarians and those with them had been put to flight on the preceding day; for it was there that the enemy were now drawn up to oppose them. [5.4.24] The barbarians did, indeed, meet the attack of the peltasts and engaged them in battle, but when the hoplites got near them, they turned to flight. The peltasts at once made after them and pursued them up the hill to the city, while the hoplites followed along, keeping their lines. [5.4.25] When they were at the top and near the houses of Metropolis, at that moment all the troops of the enemy massed together and did battle; they hurled their lances, and with other spears which they had, so thick and long that a man could only carry them with difficulty, tried to defend themselves in hand to hand fighting. [5.4.26] As the Greeks, however, refused to give way, but kept pushing on to close quarters, the barbarians took to flight from that point also, every man of them abandoning the fortress. Their king in his wooden tower built upon the citadel, whom all the people jointly maintain and guard in his abiding place there, refused to come forth, as did also the commander of the stronghold1 which had been captured earlier, so they were burned up where they were, along with their towers.

[5.4.27] In plundering the strongholds the Greeks found in the houses ancestral stores, as the Mossynoecians described them, of heaped up loaves, while the new corn was laid away with the straw, the most of it being spelt. [5.4.28] They also found slices of dolphin salted away in jars, and in other vessels dolphin blubber, which the Mossynoecians used in the same way as the Greeks use olive oil; [5.4.29] and on the upper floors of the houses there were large quantities of flat nuts, without any divisions.1 Out of these nuts, by boiling them and baking them into loaves, they made the bread which they used most. The Greeks also found wine, which by reason of its harshness appeared to be sharp when taken unmixed, but mixed with water was fragrant and delicious.

[5.4.30] When they had breakfasted there, the Greeks took up their onward march, after handing over the fortress to the Mossynoecians who had helped them in the fighting. As for the other strongholds which they passed by, belonging to those who sided with the enemy, the most accessible were in some cases abandoned by their occupants, in other cases surrendered voluntarily. [5.4.31] The greater part of these places were of the following description: The towns were eighty stadia distant from one another, some more, and some less; but the inhabitants could hear one another shouting from one town to the next, such heights and valleys there were in the country. [5.4.32] And when the Greeks, as they proceeded, were among the friendly Mossynoecians, they would exhibit to them fattened children of the wealthy inhabitants, who had been nourished on boiled nuts and were soft and white to an extraordinary degree, and pretty nearly equal in length and breadth, with their backs adorned with many colours and their fore parts all tattooed with flower patterns. [5.4.33] These Mossynoecians wanted also to have intercourse openly with the women who accompanied the Greeks, for that was their own fashion. And all of them were white, the men and the women alike. [5.4.34] They were set down by the Greeks who served through the expedition, as the most uncivilized people whose country they traversed, the furthest removed from Greek customs. For they habitually did in public the things that other people would do only in private, and when they were alone they would behave just as if they were in the company of others, talking to themselves, laughing at themselves, and dancing in whatever spot they chanced to be, as though they were giving an exhibition to others.

Book 5 Section 5

 [5.5.1] Through this country, both the hostile and the friendly portions of it, the Greeks marched eight stages, reaching then the land of the Chalybians.1 These people were few in number and subject to the Mossynoecians, and most of them gained their livelihood from working in iron. [5.5.2] Next they reached the country of the Tibarenians, which was much more level and had fortresses upon the seacoast that were less strong. The generals were desirous of attacking these fortresses, so as to get a little something for the army, and accordingly they would not accept the gifts of hospitality which came from the Tibarenians, but, directing them to wait until they should take counsel, proceeded to offer sacrifices. [5.5.3] After many victims had been sacrificed all the seers finally declared the opinion that the gods in no wise permitted war. So then the generals accepted the gifts of hospitality, and proceeding as through a friendly country for two days, they arrived at Cotyora, a Greek city and a colony of the Sinopeans, situated in the territory of the Tibarenians.

[5.5.4] 1[As far as this point the army travelled by land. The length in distance of the downward journey, from the battlefield near Babylon to Cotyora, was one hundred and twenty-two stages, six hundred and twenty parasangs, or eighteen thousand, six hundred stadia; and in time, eight months.] [5.5.5] There they remained forty-five days. During this time they first of all sacrificed to the gods, and all the several groups of the Greeks, nation by nation, instituted festal processions and athletic contests. [5.5.6] As for provisions, they got them partly from Paphlagonia and partly from the estates of the Cotyorites; for the latter would not provide them with a market, nor would they receive their sick within the walls of the city.

[5.5.7] Meanwhile ambassadors came from Sinope, full of fears not only for the city of the Cotyorites (for it belonged to them and its inhabitants paid them tribute), but also for its territory, because they heard it was being laid waste. And coming to the Greek camp they spoke as follows, Hecatonymus, who was regarded as a clever orator, being their spokesman: [5.5.8] "Soldiers," he said, "the city of the Sinopeans has sent us, first, to applaud you as Greeks who stand victors over barbarians, and, secondly, to congratulate you that you have made your way through many dreadful troubles, as we have heard, in safety to this place. [5.5.9] Now we claim, being ourselves Greeks, to receive from you, who are Greeks also, good treatment and no ill; for we, on our side, have never set the example by doing you any manner of harm. [5.5.10] These Cotyorites are our colonists, and it was we who gave over to them this land, after we had taken it away from barbarians; therefore they pay us a stated tribute, as do the people of Cerasus and Trapezus; hence whatever harm you may do to these Cotyorites, the city of the Sinopeans regards as done to itself. [5.5.11] At present we hear, firstly, that you have made your way into the city by force, some of you, and are quartered in the houses, and, secondly, that you are taking from the estates by force whatever you may need without asking leave. [5.5.12] Now these things we do not deem proper; and if you continue to do them, you force us to make friends with Corylas1 and the Paphlagonians and whomever else we can."

[5.5.13] In reply to these words Xenophon, on behalf of the soldiers, rose and said: "For ourselves, men of Sinope, we have come back well content to have saved our bodies and our arms; for it was not possible at one and the same time to gather plunder and to fight with the enemy. [5.5.14] As to our doings now, since we have reached Greek cities, we got our provisions in Trapezus by purchase, for the Trapezuntians provided us a market, and in return for the honours they bestowed upon us and the gifts of hospitality they gave the army, we paid them like honours; if any of the barbarians were their friends, we kept our hands off them, while upon their enemies, against whom they would themselves lead us, we wrought all the harm we could. [5.5.15] Ask them what sort of people they found us to be; for the men are here present whom the city of Trapezus, out of friendship, sent with us as guides. [5.5.16] On the other hand, wherever we come, whether it be to a barbarian or to a Greek land, and have no market at which to buy, we take provisions, not out of wantonness, but from necessity. [5.5.17] The Carduchians, for example, and the Taochians and Chaldaeans were not subjects of the King and were exceedingly formidable, yet, even so, we made enemies of them because of this necessity of taking provisions, inasmuch as they would not provide a market. [5.5.18] The Macronians, however,provided us as good a market as they could, and we therefore regarded them as friends, barbarians though they were, and took by force not a thing that belonged to them.

[5.5.19] "As for the Cotyorites, whom you claim as yours, if we have taken anything that belonged to them, they are themselves to blame; for they did not behave toward us as friends, but shut their gates and would neither admit us within nor send a market without; and they alleged that the governor set over them by you was responsible for this conduct. [5.5.20] In regard to your statement about people making their way into the city by force and being quartered there, we asked them to receive our sick into their houses; but when they refused to open their gates, we went in at a point where the place of itself received us; and we have done no deed of force save only that our sick are quartered in the houses, paying their own expenses, and that we are guarding the gates, in order that our sick may not be in the power of your governor, but that it may be in our power to get them back when we so wish. [5.5.21] The rest of us, as you see, are quartered in the open in our regular formation, all ready, in case one does us a kindness, to return the like, or if it is an injury, to return that.

[5.5.22] "As to the threat you uttered, that if you thought best you would enlist Corylas and the Paphlagonians as allies against us, we on our side are quite ready to make war with you both if it be necessary; for we have made war ere now with others who were many times your numbers. But if we think best to make a friend of the Paphlagonian-- [5.5.23] and we hear that he has a desire for your city and strongholds on the coast--we shall try to prove ourselves his friends by aiding him to accomplish his desires."

[5.5.24] Hereupon Hecatonymus' fellow-ambassadors made it very clear that they were angry with him for the words he had spoken, and one of them took the floor and said that they had not come to make war, but to show that they were friends. "And if you come," he continued, "to the city of the Sinopeans, we shall receive you there with gifts of hospitality, and now we shall direct the people of this city to give you what they can; for we see that all you say is true." [5.5.25] After this the Cotyorites sent gifts of hospitality, and the generals of the Greeks entertained the ambassadors of the Sinopeans, and they had a great deal of friendly conversation with one another on general matters, while in particular they made such inquiries as each party wished in regard to the rest of the journey.

Book 5 Section 6

 [5.6.1] Such was the end of that day. On the next the generals called an assembly of the soldiers, and they decided to invite the Sinopeans to join them in deliberating about the rest of their journey. For if they should have to proceed by land, it seemed that the Sinopeans would be useful to them, by virtue of their acquaintance with Paphlagonia; and if they were to go by sea, there was still need, they thought, of the Sinopeans, inasmuch as they were the only people who could provide ships enough for the army. [5.6.2] They accordingly invited the ambassadors in and proceeded to take counsel with them, asking them, as Greeks dealing with Greeks, to make a beginning of their kindly reception by showing friendliness and offering the best advice.

[5.6.3] Then Hecatonymus rose and, in the first place, defended himself in the matter of his remark that they would make a friend of the Paphlagonian, by saying that he did not mean that his own people would make war upon the Greeks, but rather that despite the opportunity they had to be friends of the barbarians they would choose the Greeks instead. But when they told him to proceed to give some advice, he began with a prayer to the gods as follows: [5.6.4] "If I should give the advice which in my judgment is best, may many blessings come to me; otherwise, the opposite. For what men term `sacred counsel'1 seems verily to be my portion; since to-day if I be found to have given good counsel, there will be many to praise me, but if it be ill, there will be many among you to curse me. [5.6.5] Now I know that we shall have far more trouble if you are conveyed by sea, for upon us will fall the duty of providing the ships; while if you journey by land, upon you will fall the task of doing the fighting. [5.6.6] Nevertheless, I must say what I believe; for I am acquainted with both the country of the Paphlagonians and their power. Their country possesses these two things, the fairest plains and the loftiest mountains. [5.6.7] And, in the first place, I know at once where you must make your entry: there is no place save where the peaks of the mountains rise high on either side of the road; holding these peaks a mere handful of men could command the pass, and if they are so held, not all the men in the world could effect a passage. All this I could even point out if you should care to send some one to the spot with me. [5.6.8] Secondly, I know that they have plains and a cavalry which the barbarians themselves regard as superior to the whole of the King's cavalry. Indeed, only now these Paphlagonians have failed to present themselves when the King summoned them, for their ruler is too proud to obey.

[5.6.9] "If you should, after all, find yourselves able not only to seize the mountains, whether by stealth or by anticipating the enemy, but also on the plain to conquer in battle both their cavalry and their more than one hundred and twenty thousand infantry, you will come to the rivers. First is the Thermodon, three plethra in width, which I fancy would be difficult to cross, especially with great numbers of the enemy in front and great numbers following behind; second, the Iris, likewise three plethra wide; third, the Halys, not less than two stadia in width, which you could not cross without boats--and who will there be to supply you with boats?--and similarly impassable is the Parthenius also, to which you would come if you should get across the Halys.

[5.6.10] "For my part, therefore, I believe that this journey is not merely difficult for you, but a thing of utter impossibility. If you go by sea, however, you can coast along from here to Sinope, and from Sinope to Heracleia; and from Heracleia on there is no difficulty either by land or by water, for there are ships in abundance at Heracleia."

[5.6.11] When he had thus spoken, some of his hearers were suspicious that he spoke as he did out of friendship for Corylas, for he was his official representative at Sinope; others imagined that he even had the idea of obtaining gifts on account of this advice; while still others suspected that the real purpose of his speech was to prevent the Greeks from going by land and so doing some harm to the territory of the Sinopeans. At any rate, however, the Greeks voted to make the journey by sea. [5.6.12] After this Xenophon said: "Men of Sinope, my troops have chosen the route which you advise; but the matter stands in this way: if there are to be ships enough so that not so much as one man will be left behind here, we shall set sail; but if the plan should be to let some of us stay behind and others sail, we shall not set foot on the ships. [5.6.13] For we know that wherever we hold the upper hand, we should be able both to keep ourselves safe and to obtain provisions; but let us once get caught where we are weaker than the enemy, and it is perfectly clear that we shall be in the position of slaves." Upon hearing these words the Sinopeans told them to send ambassadors. [5.6.14] And they sent Callimachus the Arcadian, Ariston the Athenian, and Samolas the Achaean. These men accordingly set out.

[5.6.15] At this time, as Xenophon's eyes rested upon a great body of Greek hoplites, and likewise upon a great body of peltasts, bowmen, slingers, and horsemen also, all of them now exceedingly efficient through constant service and all there in Pontus,1 where so large a force could not have been gathered by any slight outlay of money, it seemed to him that it was a fine thing to gain additional territory and power for Greece by founding a city. [5.6.16] It become a great city, he thought, as he reckoned up their own numbers and the peoples who dwelt around the Euxine. And with a view to this project, before speaking about it to any of the soldiers, he offered sacrifices, summoning for that purpose Silanus the Ambraciot, who had been the soothsayer of Cyrus. [5.6.17] Silanus, however, fearing that this thing might come to pass and that the army might settle down somewhere, carried forth to the troops a report that Xenophon wanted them to settle down, so that he could found a city and win for himself a name and power. [5.6.18] As for Silanus, his own desire was to reach Greece as quickly as possible; for the three thousand darics, which he had received from Cyrus at the time when he sacrificed for him and had told the truth about the ten days,1 he had brought safely through.

[5.6.19] When the soldiers heard this report, some of them thought it was best to settle down, but the majority thought otherwise. And Timasion the Dardanian and Thorax the Boeotian said to some Heracleot and Sinopean merchants who were there, that if they did not provide pay for the troops so that they would have provisions for the voyage from Cotyora, there would be danger of that great force remaining in Pontus. "For Xenophon," they went on, "wishes and is urging that as soon as the ships come, we should then say all of a sudden to the army: [5.6.20] `Soldiers, now we see that you are without means either to supply yourselves with provisions on the homeward voyage, or to do anything for your people at home when you have got back there; but if you wish to pick out some spot in the country that lies round about the Euxine and put to shore wherever you may wish--he who so desires to go back home and he who so desires to stay behind--here are your ships, so that you could make a sudden attack at whatever point you may wish.'"

[5.6.21] Upon hearing this statement the merchants carried it back to their cities; and along with them Timasion the Dardanian sent Eurymachus the Dardanian and Thorax the Boeotian to tell the same story. When the Sinopeans and Heracleots heard it, they sent to Timasion and urged him to take in charge, for a fee, the matter of getting the army to sail away. [5.6.22] He received this proposal gladly, and when the soldiers were gathered in assembly addressed them as follows: "You ought not, soldiers, to set your thoughts on remaining here, nor to esteem anything more highly than Greece. But I hear that certain people are offering sacrifices over this matter, with not so much as a word to you. [5.6.23] Now I promise, in case you set sail from here, to provide you with pay from the first of the month at the rate of a Cyzicene1 per month to each man; and I will take you to Troas, the place from which I am an exile, and my city will be at your service; for they will receive me willingly. [5.6.24] Then I myself will lead you to places from which you will get an abundance of wealth. I am acquainted with Aeolis, Phrygia, Troas, and the entire province of Pharnabazus,1 partly because I come from that region, and partly because I have campaigned there with Clearchus and Dercylidas."2

[5.6.25] Next rose Thorax the Boeotian, who was at odds with Xenophon over the generalship of the army, and said that once they got out of the Euxine they would have the Chersonese, a fair and prosperous country, where any one who so desired might dwell, while any who did not desire to do this, might return home. It was ridiculous, he said, when there was plenty of fertile land in Greece, to be hunting for it in the domain of the barbarians. [5.6.26] "And until you reach that spot," he continued, "I also, like Timasion, promise you regular pay." All this he said with full knowledge of what the Heracleots and the Sinopeans were promising Timasion for getting the army to sail away. Xenophon meanwhile was silent.

[5.6.27] Then Philesius and Lycon the Achaeans rose and said that it was outrageous for Xenophon to be privately urging people to settle down and sacrificing with a view to that plan, while publicly saying not a word about the matter. Thus Xenophon was compelled to rise and speak as follows: [5.6.28] "I offer, soldiers, as you see, all the sacrifices I can both on your behalf and my own in order that I may perchance say and think and do such things as will be fairest and best both for you and me. And in the present case I was sacrificing for guidance on this point only, whether it was better to begin to speak before you and to act regarding this project, or not to touch the matter at all. [5.6.29] Now Silanus, the soothsayer, answered me in respect to the main issue that the omens were favourable (for he knew well enough that I was not unacquainted with divination, from being always present at the sacrifices); but he said that there appeared in the omens a kind of fraud and plot against me, manifestly because he knew that he was himself plotting to traduce me before you. For he spread abroad the report that I was intending to do these things at once, without getting your consent. [5.6.30] Now if I saw that you were without resources, I should be looking about for a plan by which you might get possession of a city, with the provision that afterwards he who chose might sail back home at once, while he who did not wish to go at once might return after he had accumulated enough to bestow a little something upon his people at home. [5.6.31] But since, in fact, I see that the Heracleots and Sinopeans are sending you the ships in which to sail away, and that men are promising you pay from the first of the month, it seems to me it is a fine thing to be carried safely where we want to go and at the same time to receive pay for our preservation; therefore I renounce that other project for myself, and I say, to all those who have come to me and expressed the view that it ought to be carried out, that they also should renounce it.

[5.6.32] "For I hold this opinion: standing together and in force, as you are now, I think you will be held in honour and will have provisions, for in strength lies the opportunity to wrest away the possessions of the weaker; but let yourselves get separated and your force broken up into small parts, and you would neither be able to obtain food to live on nor would you come off unharmed. [5.6.33] I think, therefore, just as you do, that we should set out for Greece, and that if it does come to pass that any man is caught deserting before the entire army is in a place of safety, he should be brought to trial as a wrong-doer. And whoever is of this opinion," he continued, "let him raise his hand." Up went every hand.

[5.6.34] Silanus, however, began shouting, and attempted to say that it was fair for any one who so chose to leave the army. But the soldiers would not allow him to speak, and they threatened him that as surely as they caught him running away, they would inflict due punishment upon him. [5.6.35] After that, when the Heracleots learned that it had been voted to sail away, and that Xenophon himself had put the question to vote, they did send the ships, but in the matter of the money they had promised to Timasion and Thorax they turned out to be deceivers. [5.6.36] Consequently the men who had promised the pay were panic-stricken, and stood in fear of the army. They therefore took with them the other generals to whom they had communicated their earlier doings--namely, all the generals except Neon the Asinaean, who was acting as lieutenant for Cheirisophus because Cheirisophus had not yet returned--and came to Xenophon, with the message that they had changed their minds and thought it was best to sail to the Phasis, inasmuch as there were ships at hand, and seize the land of the Phasians. [5.6.37] Their king, as it chanced, was a grandson of Aeetes. Xenophon replied that he would not say a word to the army about this plan; "but," he went on, "gather the men together and speak to them yourselves, if you wish." Then Timasion the Dardanian declared it as his opinion that they should not hold an assembly, but that each general should first endeavour to persuade his own captains. So they went awaand set about doing this.

Book 5 Section 7

 [5.7.1] The soldiers, accordingly, learned by inquiry that this plan was being agitated. And Neon said that Xenophon had won over the other generals and was intending to deceive the soldiers and lead them back to the Phasis. [5.7.2] Upon hearing these words the soldiers were exceedingly angry; meetings were held, groups of them collected, and it was greatly to be feared that they would do the sort of things they had done to the heralds of the Colchians and the market clerks.1 [5.7.3] When Xenophon became aware of the situation, he decided to call an assembly of the men as speedily as possible and not to allow them to gather of their own accord; so he directed the herald to call an assembly. [5.7.4] And as soon as the soldiers heard the herald, they rushed together with the utmost readiness. Then Xenophon, without mentioning against the generals the matter of their visit to him, spoke as follows:

[5.7.5] "I hear, soldiers, that some one is bringing a charge against me, namely, that I am going to deceive you and lead you to the Phasis. In the name of the gods, then, give ear to my words, and if it appears that I am guilty of wrong, I ought not to leave this spot without paying the penalty; but if it appears to you that my accusers are guilty of wrong, they ought to be dealt with in such manner as they deserve. [5.7.6] You doubtless know," he continued, "where the sun rises and where it sets; likewise, that if a man is to go to Greece, he must journey toward the west, while if he wishes to go to the lands of the barbarians, he must travel in the opposite direction, that is, toward the east. Now is there any one who could deceive you in this matter, by maintaining that the place where the sun rises is the one where it sets and the place where it sets is the one where it rises? [5.7.7] Again, you surely know this also, that the north wind carries one out of the Euxine to Greece, while the south wind carries you within, to the Phasis--indeed, the saying is, `When the north wind doth blow, fair voyaging to Greece.' In this matter, again, is it possible that any one could deceive you into embarking when the south wind is blowing? [5.7.8] But I am going to put you aboard, you may say, when it is calm. Well, I shall be sailing on one ship, you on a hundred at least. How, then, could I either force you to voyage along with me if you did not choose, or deceive you into following my lead? [5.7.9] But suppose you have been deceived and bewitched by me and we have come to the Phasis; we accordingly disembark upon the shore; you will perceive, likely enough, that you are not in Greece; and I, who have done the deceiving, will be one lone man, while you, the deceived, will be close to ten thousand, with arms in your hands. Then how could a man bring down punishment upon himself more surely than by planning in that way for himself and for you?

[5.7.10] "Nay, these are the stories of foolish men, jealous of me because I enjoy honour at your hands. And yet they should not in fairness feel such jealousy; for whom among them do I hinder either from saying any good word he can before you, or from fighting if he will in your behalf and his own, or from being watchful in his care for your safety? Well, then, do I stand in any one's way when you are choosing commanders? I yield, let him be commander; only let it be shown that he renders you good service. [5.7.11] For my part, however, what I have said on these points seems to me sufficient; but if any one among you imagines either that he could be deceived himself by such tales, or could deceive another by these tales, let him speak and explain. [5.7.12] And when you have had enough of this, do not go away until you have heard what manner of evil I see beginning to show itself in the army; for if it comes upon us and proves to be as serious as it now shows signs of being, it is time for us to be taking counsel for ourselves, in order that we may not stand revealed as most wicked and base men, both in the sight of gods and mankind, of friends and enemies."

[5.7.13] Upon hearing these words the soldiers fell to wondering what the thing was, and they bade Xenophon go on. So he began again: "You know, perhaps, that in the mountains there were barbarian strongholds, friendly to the Cerasuntians, from which people would come down and sell you cattle and other things which they had, and also, I believe, some of you went to the nearest of these strongholds and did some buying and came back again. [5.7.14] Clearetus the captain, learning that this place was not only small, but also unguarded, for the reason that its inhabitants deemed themselves friendly, set forth against them by night with the idea of plundering the place, and without a word to any one of us. [5.7.15] It was his intention, in case he should capture this stronghold, not to come back again to the army, but to embark on a vessel upon which his messmates chanced to be sailing along the coast, to put aboard whatever plunder he might secure, and sailing out of the Euxine to go away. Indeed, as I now learn, his messmates on the vessel had concluded an agreement with him to this effect. [5.7.16] He accordingly summoned all the men he could persuade, and set out at their head to march against the stronghold. While he was still on the march, however, the break of day surprised him, and the people of the place gathered together and, by throwing missiles and dealing blows from strong positions, killed Clearetus and a good many of his followers, although some of them did make their way back to Cerasus. [5.7.17] All this happened on the day when we were setting forth to come hither by land; and some of those who were going by sea were still at Cerasus, not having as yet set sail."After this, as the Cerasuntians say, there arrived at Cerasus three of the inhabitants of the stronghold, all elderly men, desiring to come before our general assembly. [5.7.18] But since they did not find us, they addressed themselves to the Cerasuntians, saying that they wondered why we had seen fit to make an attack upon them. When, however, the Cerasuntians replied, so their statement ran, that it was not by public authority that the affair took place, the envoys were pleased, and were intending to sail hither in order to tell us what had happened, and to urge that we should ourselves take and bury the bodies of our dead. [5.7.19] Now it chanced that some of the Greeks who had escaped were still at Cerasus; and when they learned whither the barbarians were going, they committed the shamelessness of not only attacking them with stones themselves, but urging others to do the same. And the men were killed, these three, who were ambassadors--stoned to death.

[5.7.20] "When this had taken place, the Cerasuntians came to us and told us of the affair; and we generals, upon hearing the story, were distressed at what had happened, and we proceeded to take counsel with the Cerasuntians as to how the bodies of the Greek dead might be buried. [5.7.21] While we were in session outside the camp, we suddenly heard a great uproar and shouts of `Strike! strike! pelt! pelt!' and in a moment we saw a crowd of men rushing toward us with stones in their hands and others picking up stones. [5.7.22] And the Cerasuntians, having witnessed, mark you, the affair in their own city, were naturally terrified, and hurried back toward their ships. For that matter, by Zeus, there were some of our own number who were terrified. [5.7.23] I went up to the men, however, and asked what the trouble was. Some of them did not know at all, but nevertheless they had stones in their hands. When I did come upon a man who knew, he told me that the market-clerks were treating the army most outrageously. [5.7.24] At this moment some one saw the market-clerk, Zelarchus, retreating toward the sea, and set up a shout; and when the rest heard it, they rushed upon him as though a wild boar or a stag had been sighted. [5.7.25] And now the Cerasuntians, seeing this rush in their neighbourhood and believing it was undoubtedly directed against themselves, took to running in their flight andthrew themselves into the sea. Some of our own men also plunged in with them, and any who did not chance to know how to swim were drowned. [5.7.26] Now what think you about these Cerasuntians? They had done no wrong, but they were afraid that a kind of madness, such as attacks dogs, had seized upon us."Now if these doings are to go on in this way, observe what the situation of your army will be. [5.7.27] You, the general body, will not have it in your power either to undertake war upon whom you please or to bring war to an end, but any individual who wishes will be leading an army to gain any end he may desire. And if people come to you as ambassadors, desiring peace or anything else, any who choose will kill them and prevent you from hearing the words of those who come to confer with you. [5.7.28] Furthermore, the men whom you as a body may choose for commanders will be of no account, but whoever may choose himself general and will raise the cry `Pelt, pelt,' that man will have the power to slay either commander or private, any one of you he pleases, without a trial, provided--as indeed it came about in the present case--there are people who will obey him. [5.7.29] Consider the sort of things these self-chosen generals have actually accomplished for you. Take Zelarchus, the market-clerk: supposing he has done you wrong, he has sailed off without paying you the penalty; supposing he is not guilty, he has fled from the army out of fear that he might be slain unjustly and without a trial. [5.7.30] Take those who stoned to death the ambassadors: they have accomplished this result, that you alone of all the Greeks cannot go to Cerasus safely unless you arrive there with a strong force; and as for the dead whom previously the very men who killed them proposed burying, the result accomplished is, that now it is not safe to pick up their bodies even for one who carries a herald's staff. For who will care to go as herald when he has the blood of heralds upon his hands? So we requested the Cerasuntians to bury them.

[5.7.31] "Now if these things are right, do you so resolve, in order that, with the understanding that such deeds are to be done, a man may establish his own private guard and may endeavour to hold possession of the strong places overhanging him on the right when he encamps. [5.7.32] If, however, you think that such deeds are those of wild beasts and not of human beings, look about for some means of stopping them; otherwise, how, in the name of Zeus, shall we offer glad sacrifices to the gods when we are doing impious deeds, or how shall we fight with enemies if we are slaying one another? [5.7.33] And what friendly city will receive us when it sees so great lawlessness amongst us? Who will dare to supply us a market if in matters of the greatest import we show ourselves guilty of such offences? And in that land1 where we are always fancying that we shall obtain praise from every one, who will praise us if we are men of this sort? For we ourselves, I am quite sure, should say that people who perform such deeds are scoundrels."

[5.7.34] Hereupon all rose and proposed that the men who began this affair should be duly punished, and that henceforth no one should be again permitted to make a beginning of lawlessness; but if any should so begin, they were to be put on trial for their lives; and the generals were to bring all offenders to trial, and trials were likewise to be held in the matter of any other offences which any one had committed since the time when Cyrus was killed; and they appointed the captains to serve as a jury. [5.7.35] Further, upon the recommendation of Xenophon, and by the advice of the soothsayers, it was resolved to purify the army. So the rites of purification were performed.

Book 5 Section 8

 [5.8.1] It was likewise resolved that the generals should undergo an inquiry with reference to their past conduct. When they presented their statements, Philesius and Xanthicles were condemned, for their careless guarding of the merchantmen's cargoes,1 to pay the loss incurred, namely, twenty minas, and Sophaenetus, for neglect of duty in the office to which he had been chosen,2 was fined ten minas.Accusations were also made against Xenophon by certain men who claimed that he had beaten them, and so brought the charge of wanton assault. [5.8.2] Xenophon bade the first man who spoke to state where it was that he had struck him. He replied, "In the place where we were perishing with cold and there was an enormous amount of snow." [5.8.3] And Xenophon said, "Well, really, with weather of the sort you describe and provisions used up and no chance even to get a smell of wine, when many of us were becoming exhausted with hardships and the enemy were at our heels, if at such a time as that I wantonly abused you, I admit that I am more wanton even than the ass, which, because of its wantonness, so the saying runs, is not subject to fatigue. Nevertheless, do tell us," he said, "for what reason you were struck. [5.8.4] Did I ask you for something, and then strike you because you would not give it to me? Did I demand something back? Was it in a fight over a favourite? Was it an act of drunken violence?" [5.8.5] When the man replied that it was none of these things, Xenophon asked him if he was a hoplite. He said no. Was he a peltast, then? No, not that either, he said, but he had been detailed by his messmates, although he was a free man, to drive a mule. [5.8.6] At that Xenophon recognized him, and asked: "Are you the fellow who carried the sick man?" "Yes, by Zeus," he replied, "for you forced me to do so; and you scattered my messmates' baggage all about." [5.8.7] "Why, the scattering," said Xenophon, "was after this fashion: I distributed it among others to carry and directed them to bring it back to me, and when I got it back, I returned the whole of it to you intact when you, for your part, had shown me the sick man. But listen, all of you," he continued, "and hear how the affair happened; for the story is worth hearing.

[5.8.8] "A man was being left behind because he was unable to keep going any longer. I was acquainted with the man only so far as to know that he was one of our number, and I forced you, sir, to carry him in order that he might not perish; for, as I remember, the enemy were following after us." To that the fellow agreed. [5.8.9] "Well," Xenophon continued, "after I had sent you on ahead, I overtook you again, as I came along with the rearguard, and found you digging a hole to bury the man in, and I stopped and commended you. [5.8.10] But when, as we were standing by, the man drew up his leg, all of us cried out, `The man is alive'; and you said, `Let him be alive just as much as he pleases, I, for my part, am not going to carry him.' Then I struck you; your story is true; for it looked to me as if you knew that he was alive." [5.8.11] "Well, what of that," the fellow said; "didn't he die all the same after I had shown him to you?" "Why," said Xenophon, "all of us are likewise going to die; but should we on that account be buried alive?"

[5.8.12] As for this fellow, everybody cried out that Xenophon had given him fewer blows than he deserved. Then he directed the rest to state the reason why each one of them had been struck. [5.8.13] When they failed to rise, he went on himself: "I admit, soldiers, that I have indeed struck men for neglect of discipline, the men who were content to be kept safe by you who marched in due order and fought wherever there was need, while they themselves would leave the ranks and run on ahead in the desire to secure plunder and to enjoy an advantage over you. For if all of us had behaved in this way, all of us alike would have perished. [5.8.14] Again, when a man behaved like a weakling and refused to get up, preferring to leave himself a prey to the enemy, I did indeed strike him and use violence to compel him to go on. For once during the severe weather I myself remained seated for quite a long time, waiting for some people who were packing up, and I discovered that it was hard work to get up and stretch my legs. [5.8.15] Having tested the matter, then, in my own case, I used that to drive on any other man whom I might see sitting down and shirking; for getting into motion and acting like a man produced a certain amount of warmth and suppleness, while sitting and keeping quiet tended, as I saw, to make the blood freeze and the toes rot off, just the misfortunes which many people suffered, as you know for yourselves. [5.8.16] In still another case, the man, perhaps, who fell behind somewhere out of indolence and prevented both you in the van and us in the rear from going on, I struck such a one with the fist in order that the enemy might not strike him with the lance. [5.8.17] Indeed, that is the reason why these people, having been saved, now have it in their power to obtain satisfaction for whatever they suffered unjustly at my hands. But if they had fallen into the hands of the enemy, what suffering would they have experienced so great that they would now be asking to obtain satisfaction for it?1

[5.8.18] "My defence," he continued, "is simple: if it was for his good that I punished any one, I think I should render the sort of account that parents render to sons and teachers to pupils; for that matter, surgeons also burn and cut patients for their good; [5.8.19] but if you believe it was out of wantonness that I did these things, take note that now, by the blessing of the gods, I am more confident than I was then and that I am bolder now than then and drink more wine, but nevertheless I strike no man--for the reason that I see you are in calm waters. [5.8.20] But when it is stormy weather and a high sea is running, do you not observe that even for a mere nod the lookout gets angry with the people at the prow and the helmsman angry with the people at the stern? For in such a situation even small blunders are enough to ruin everything. [5.8.21] But you rendered judgment yourselves that I was justified in striking those men; for you stood by, with swords, not ballots, in your hands, and it was within your power to come to their aid if you chose; but, by Zeus, you would neither give those people aid nor would you join with me in striking such as violated discipline. [5.8.22] Consequently you gave the bad among them freedom to act wantonly by thus letting them alone."For I think, if you care to look into the matter, you will find it is the very same men who were then most cowardly that are now most wanton. [5.8.23] At any rate, Boiscus the boxer, of Thessaly, then fought hard to escape carrying his shield, on the plea that he was tired, but now, as I hear, he has already stripped off the clothes of many Cotyorites. [5.8.24] If you are wise, therefore, you will do to this fellow the opposite of what people do to dogs; for dogs that are savage are tied up by day and let loose by night, but this fellow, if you are wise, you will tie up by night and let loose by day.

[5.8.25] "But really," he continued, "I am surprised that if ever I incurred the ill-will of any one among you, you remember that and are not silent about it, while if I protected any one from the cold, or warded off an enemy from him, or helped to provide something for him when he was sick or in want, these acts, on the other hand, are not remembered by anybody; nor, again, if I praised a man for a deed well done, or honoured according to my ability a man who was brave, do you remember any of these things. [5.8.26] Yet surely it is more honourable and fair, more righteous and gracious to remember good deeds than evil."Then people began getting up and recalling past incidents, and in the end all was pleasant.

 

continue with [ Book Six ]

 

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