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. Xenophon Anabasis  

Defeat of Ten Thousand Greek Mercenaries in Iran


 

Book 6 Section 1

[6.1.1] After this, while they delayed at Cotyora, some of the men lived by purchasing from the market1 and others by pillaging the territory of Paphlagonia. The Paphlagonians, however, were extremely clever in kidnapping the stragglers, and at night time they tried to inflict harm upon such of the Greeks as were quartered at some distance from the rest; consequently they and the Greeks were in a very hostile mood toward one another. [6.1.2] Then Corylas,1 who chanced at the time to be ruler of Paphlagonia, sent ambassadors to the Greeks, with horses and fine raiment, bearing word that Corylas was ready to do the Greeks no wrong and to suffer no wrong at their hands. [6.1.3] The generals replied that they would take counsel with the army on this matter, but meanwhile they received the ambassadors as their guests at dinner, inviting in also such of the other men in the army as seemed to them best entitled to an invitation. [6.1.4] By sacrificing some of the cattle they had captured and also other animals they provided an adequate feast, and they dined reclining upon couches and drank from cups made of horn which they found in the country.

[6.1.5] After they had made libations and sung the paean, two Thracians rose up first and began a dance in full armour to the music of a flute, leaping high and lightly and using their sabres; finally, one struck the other, as everybody thought, and the second man fell, in a rather skilful way. [6.1.6] And the Paphlagonians set up a cry. Then the first man despoiled the other of his arms and marched out singing the Sitalcas,1 while other Thracians carried off the fallen dancer, as though he were dead; in fact, he had not been hurt at all. [6.1.7] After this some Aenianians and Magnesians arose and danced under arms the so-called carpaea.1 [6.1.8] The manner of the dance was this: a man is sowing and driving a yoke of oxen, his arms laid at one side, and he turns about frequently as one in fear; a robber approaches; as soon as the sower sees him coming, he snatches up his arms, goes to meet him, and fights with him to save his oxen. The two men do all this in rhythm to the music of the flute. Finally, the robber binds the man and drives off the oxen; or sometimes the master of the oxen binds the robber, and then he yokes him alongside the oxen, his hands tied behind him, and drives off. [6.1.9] After this a Mysian came in carrying a light shield in each hand, and at one moment in his dance he would go through a pantomime as though two men were arrayed against him, again he would use his shields as though against one antagonist, and again he would whirl and throw somersaults while holding the shields in his hands, so that the spectacle was a fine one. [6.1.10] Lastly, he danced the Persian dance, clashing his shields together and crouching down and then rising up again; and all this he did, keeping time to the music of the flute. [6.1.11] After him the Mantineans and some of the other Arcadians arose, arrayed in the finest arms and accoutrements they could command, and marched in time to the accompaniment of a flute playing the martial rhythm and sang the paean and danced, just as the Arcadians do in their festal processions in honour of the gods. And the Paphlagonians, as they looked on, thought it most strange that all the dances were under arms. [6.1.12] Thereupon the Mysian, seeing how astounded they were, persuaded one of the Arcadians who had a dancing girl to let him bring her in, after dressing her up in the finest way he could and giving her a light shield. [6.1.13] And she danced the Pyrrhic1 with grace. Then there was great applause, and the Paphlagonians asked whether women also fought by their side. And the Greeks replied that these women were precisely the ones who put the King to flight from his camp. Such was the end of that evening.

[6.1.14] On the next day they introduced the ambassadors to the army, and the soldiers passed a resolution to do the Paphlagonians no wrong and to suffer no wrong at their hands. After this the ambassadors departed, and the Greeks, inasmuch as it seemed that vessels enough were at hand, embarked and sailed for a day and a night with a fair wind, keeping Paphlagonia on the left. [6.1.15] On the second day they reached Sinope, and came to anchor at Harmene, in the territory of Sinope. The Sinopeans dwell, indeed, in Paphlagonia, but are colonists of the Milesians. And they sent to the Greeks, as gifts of hospitality, three thousand medimni1 of barley meal and fifteen hundred jars of wine.

[6.1.16] Here Cheirisophus1 also came, with a man-of-w. And the soldiers expected that he had brought them something; in fact, however, he brought nothing, save the report that the admiral Anaxibius and the others commended them, and that Anaxibius promised that if they got outside the Euxine, they should have regular pay. [6.1.17] Here at Harmene the troops remained for five days.By this time, since it seemed that they were getting near Greece, the question came into their minds more than before how they might reach home with a little something in hand. [6.1.18] They came to the conclusion, therefore, that if they should choose one commander, that one man would be able to handle the army better, whether by night or day, than a number of commanders--that if there should be need of concealment, he would be better able to keep matters secret, or again, if there should be need of getting ahead of an adversary, he would be less likely to be too late; for, thought the soldiers, there would be no need of conferences of generals with one another, but the plan resolved upon by the one man would be carried through, whereas in the past the generals had acted in all matters in accordance with a majority vote.

[6.1.19] As they thought over these things they turned to Xenophon; the captains came to him and said that this was the opinion of the army, and each one of them, with manifestations of good will, urged him to undertake the command. [6.1.20] As for Xenophon, he was inclined on some accounts to accept the command, for he thought that if he did so the greater would be the honour he would enjoy among his friends and the greater his name when it should reach his city, while, furthermore, it might chance that he could be the means of accomplishing some good thing for the army. [6.1.21] Such considerations, then, roused in him an earnest desire to become sole commander. On the other hand, when he reflected that no man can see clearly how the future will turn out and that for this reason there was danger that he might even lose the reputation he had already won, he was doubtful.

[6.1.22] Quite unable as he was to decide the question, it seemed best to him to consult the gods; and he accordingly brought two victims to the altar and proceeded to offer sacrifice to King Zeus, the very god that the oracle at Delphi had prescribed for him;1 and it was likewise from this god, as he believed, that the dream2 came which he had at the time when he took the first steps toward assuming a share in the charge of the army. [6.1.23] Moreover, he recalled that when he was setting out from Ephesus to be introduced to Cyrus,1 an eagle screamed upon his right; it was sitting, however, and the soothsayer who was conducting him said that while the omen was one suited to the great rather than to an ordinary person, and while it betokened glory, it nevertheless portended suffering, for the reason that other birds are most apt to attack the eagle when it is sitting; still, he said, the omen did not betoken gain, for it is rather while the eagle is on the wing that it gets its food. [6.1.24] So it was, then, that Xenophon made sacrifice, and the god signified to him quite clearly that he should neither strive for the command nor accept it in case he should be chosen. Such was the issue of this matter.

[6.1.25] Then the army came together, and all the speakers urged that a single commander be chosen; when this had been resolved upon, they proceeded to nominate Xenophon. And when it seemed clear that they would elect him as soon as the question should be put to vote, he arose and spoke as follows:

[6.1.26] "I am happy, soldiers, since I am a human being, to be honoured by you, and I am grateful also, and I pray that the gods may grant me opportunity to be the means of bringing you some benefit; still, I think that for me to be preferred by you as commander when a Lacedaemonian is at hand, is not expedient for you,--for you would be less likely on this account to obtain any favour you might desire from the Lacedaemonians--and for myself, on the other hand, I believe it is not altogether safe. [6.1.27] For I see that the Lacedaemonians did not cease waging war upon my native state until they had made all her citizens acknowledge that the Lacedaemonians were their leaders also.1 [6.1.28] But just as soon as this acknowledgment had been made, they straightway ceased waging war and no longer continued to besiege the city. Now if I, being aware of these things, should seem to be trying to make their authority null and void wherever I could, I suspect that I might very speedily be brought back to reason on that point. [6.1.29] As to your own thought, that there would be less factiousness with one commander than with many, be well assured that if you choose another, you will not find me acting factiously,--for I believe that when a man engaged in war factiously opposes a commander, that man is factiously opposing his own safety; but if you choose me, I should not be surprised if you should find some one else feeling angry both with you and with myself."

[6.1.30] When he had thus spoken, a much larger number of people arose, saying that he ought to be commander. And Agasias the Stymphalian said that it was ridiculous if the situation was as Xenophon described it. "Will the Lacedaemonians also be angry," he said, "if guests at dinner come together and fail to choose a Lacedaemonian as master of the feast? For if the matter stands in that way, we are not free even to be captains, it would seem, because we are Arcadians." Thereupon the soldiers raised a shout, saying that Agasias was quite right.

[6.1.31] Then Xenophon, seeing that something more was needed, came forward and spoke again: "Well, soldiers," he said, "that you may understand the matter fully I swear to you by all the gods and goddesses that in very truth, so soon as I became aware of your intention, I offered sacrifices to learn whether it was best for you to entrust to me this command and for me to undertake it; and the gods gave me such signs in the sacrifices that even a layman could perceive that I must withhold myself from accepting the sole command."

[6.1.32] Under these circumstances, then, they chose Cheirisophus. And after being chosen Cheirisophus came forward and spoke as follows: "Well, soldiers, be sure of this, that I also should not have acted factiously if you had chosen another; as for Xenophon, however," he continued, "you did him a kindness by not choosing him; for even now Dexippus1 has already been falsely accusing him, as far as he could, to Anaxibius, even though I tried hard to silence him. He said he believed that Xenophon would rather share the command of Clearchus' army with Timasion, a Dardanian, than with himself, a Laconian. [6.1.33] "However," Cheirisophus went on, "since you have chosen me, I shall endeavour to render you whatever service I can. And do you make your preparations to put to sea to-morrow if it be sailing weather. The voyage will be to Heracleia; every one of us, therefore, must try to come to land there; and we shall take counsel about our further doings when we have arrived there."

Book 6 Section 2

 [6.2.1] On the next day they set sail from Sinope and voyaged for two days with a fair wind along the coast. And coursing along,1 [they saw Jason's Cape, where the Argo is said to have come to anchor, and the mouths of the rivers, first the Thermodon, then the Iris, third the Halys, and after that the Parthenius; and after they had passed this river]they arrived at Heracleia, a Greek city and a colony of the Megarians, situated in the territory of the Mariandynians. [6.2.2] And they came to anchor alongside the Acherusian Chersonese, where Heracles is said to have descended to Hades after the dog Cerberus, at a spot where they now show the marks of his descent, reaching to a depth of more than two stadia. [6.2.3] Here the Heracleots sent to the Greeks, as gifts of hospitality, three thousand medimni of barley meal, two thousand jars of wine, twenty cattle, and a hundred sheep. And in this place there flows through the plain a river named the Lycus, about two plethra in width.

[6.2.4] Then the soldiers gathered together andproceeded to take counsel about the remainder of the journey, that is, whether they had better go on from the Euxine by land or by sea. And Lycon the Achaean rose and said: "I am astonished, soldiers, that the generals do not endeavour to supply us with money to buy provisions; for our gifts of hospitality will not make three days' rations for the army; and there is no place," said he, "from which we can procure provisions before beginning our journey. I move, therefore, that we demand of the Heracleots not less than three thousand Cyzicenes"--1 [6.2.5] another man said, not less than ten thousand--"and that we choose ambassadors this very moment, while we are in session here, send them to the city, hear whatever report they may bring back, and take counsel in the light of that." [6.2.6] Thereupon they went to nominating ambassadors, first Cheirisophus, because he had been chosen commander, and some nominated Xenophon also. Both men, however, offered vigorous resistance; for both held the same view--that they ought not to coerce a friendly city of Greeks into giving what they did not offer of their own accord. [6.2.7] As these two seemed disinclined to act, they sent Lycon the Achaean, Callimachus the Parrhasian, and Agasias the Stymphalian. These men went and put before the Heracleots the resolutions adopted by the army; and Lycon, so the report ran, even added threats, in case they should refuse compliance. [6.2.8] After hearing the ambassadors, the Heracleots said that they would consider the matter; and immediately they set about gathering their property from the country and moved the market within the walls; meanwhile the gates had been closed and arms were to be seen upon the walls.

[6.2.9] Thereupon those who had brought about this agitation accused the generals of spoiling their undertaking; and the Arcadians and Achaeans proceeded to band themselves together, under the leadership particularly of Callimachus the Parrhasian and Lycon the Achaean. [6.2.10] Their words were to this effect, that it was shameful that Peloponnesians should be under the command of an Athenian and a Lacedaemonian who contributed no troops to the army, and that the hardships should fall to themselves and the gains to others, all despite the fact that the preservation of the army was their achievement; for it was, they said, the Arcadians and Achaeans who had achieved this result, and the rest of the army amounted to nothing (in truth more than half the army did consist of Arcadians and Achaeans); [6.2.11] if they were wise, therefore, they would band together by themselves, choose generals from their own number, make the journey by themselves, and try to get a little good out of it. [6.2.12] This course was resolved upon, and whatever Arcadians or Achaeans there were with Cheirisophus and Xenophon left these commanders and joined forces, and they chose ten generals from their own number, decreeing that these ten were to do whatever might be decided upon by vote of the majority. So it was that the supreme command of Cheirisophus came to an end then and there, on the sixth or seventh day from the day of his election.

[6.2.13] Xenophon, however, was desirous of making the journey in company with Cheirisophus, believing that this was a safer plan than for each of them to proceed independently; but Neon1 urged him to go by himself, for he had heard from Cheirisophus that Cleander, the Lacedaemonian governor at Byzantium, had said he was coming to Calpe Harbour with triremes; [6.2.14] it was Neon's purpose, then, that no one else should get a share in this opportunity, but that he himself and Cheirisophus and their soldiers should sail away upon the triremes, and this was the reason for his advice to Xenophon. As for Cheirisophus, he was so despondent over what had happened and, besides, felt such hatred toward the army for its action, that he allowed Neon to do whatever he chose. [6.2.15] For a time, indeed, Xenophon did try to get clear of the army and sail away home; but when he sacrificed to Heracles the Leader, consulting him as to whether it was better and more proper for him to continue the journey with such of the soldiers as had remained with him, or to be rid of them, the god indicated to him by the sacrifices that he should stay with them. [6.2.16] Thus the army was split into three parts: first, the Arcadians and Achaeans, more than four thousand in number, all hoplites; secondly, Cheirisophus' troops, to the number of fourteen hundred hoplites and seven hundred peltasts, the latter being Clearchus' Thracians; and thirdly, Xenophon's force, numbering seventeen hundred hoplites and three hundred peltasts; Xenophon alone, however, had horsemen, to the number of about forty.

[6.2.17] The Arcadians, managing to obtain ships from the Heracleots, set sail first, with the intention of making an unexpected descent upon the Bithynians and thus securing the greatest possible amount of booty; and they disembarked at Calpe Harbour, about midway of the Thracian coast. [6.2.18] But Cheirisophus went by land from the very beginning of his journey from the city of the Heracleots, travelling across country; when, however, he had entered Thrace, he proceeded along the coast, for the reason that he was ill. [6.2.19] Xenophon, finally, took ships, disembarked at the boundaries separating Thrace and the territory of Heracleia, and pursued his way through the back country.

Book 6 Section 3

 [6.3.2] The fortunes of the several divisions were as follows. The Arcadians after disembarking by night at Calpe Harbour proceeded to the first villages, about thirty stadia from the sea. When daylight came, each general led his own company against a village, except that where a village seemed unusually large, the generals combined two companies for the attack upon it. [6.3.3] They also fixed upon a hill as the place where all the troops were afterwards to gather; and since their onset was unexpected, they took many captives and were in a fair way to secure a large number of sheep. [6.3.4] The Thracians who escaped them, however, began to gather--and many had escaped, inasmuch as they were light troops as against hoplites, from the very hands of the Arcadians. When they had come together in a body, they first attacked the company under Smicres, one of the Arcadian generals, as it was already withdrawing to the appointed place with a great quantity of booty. [6.3.5] For a while the Greeks fought as they marched, but at the crossing of a gorge the Thracians put them to rout, and they killed not only Smicres himself, but the rest of the company to a man; in another of the companies belonging to the ten generals, the one commanded by Hegesander, they left only eight men alive, Hegesander himself being one of them.

[6.3.6] The other companies succeeded in getting together, some of them with difficulty, other without any difficulty; but the Thracians, having gained this success, kept shouting to one another and collecting their forces energetically during the night. At daybreak they proceeded to form their lines all round the hill where the Greeks were encamping, their troops consisting of horsemen in large numbers and peltasts, while still more were continually streaming together; [6.3.7] and they made attacks upon the hoplites without danger to themselves, inasmuch as the Greeks had neither bowman nor javelin-thrower nor horseman; so they would come running or riding up and throw their javelins, and when the Greeks charged upon them, they would easily get away; [6.3.8] and different parties kept attacking at different points. Hence on the one side many were being wounded, on the other side not a man; the result was, that the Greeks were not able to stir from the spot, and at last the Thracians were even cutting them off from their water supply. [6.3.9] When their embarrassment became serious, they opened negotiations for a truce; and on every other point an agreement had been reached, but the Thracians refused to give the hostages which the Greeks demanded, and in this particular there was a hitch. Such, then, was the situation of the Arcadians.

[6.3.10] As to Cheirisophus, he phis march in safety along the coast and arrived at Calpe Harbour.Xenophon, lastly, was proceeding through the back country when his horsemen, riding on in advance, chanced upon some old men who were journeying somewhere or other. When they were brought to Xenophon, he asked them whether they had heard of another army anywhere, a Greek army. [6.3.11] And they told him all that had happened, adding that at present the Greeks were being besieged upon a hill, with the Thracians in full force completely surrounding them. Then Xenophon kept these men under strict guard, in order that they might serve as guides wherever he might need to go; and after stationing watchers he called the troops together and spoke as follows: [6.3.12] "Fellow soldiers, some of the Arcadians have been killed and the remainder of them are being besieged upon a certain hill. Now it is my own belief that if they are to perish, there is no salvation for us either, the enemy being so numerous and made so confident by their success. [6.3.13] Therefore it is best for us to go to the rescue of these men with all speed, so that if they are still alive, we may have their aid in the fighting, instead of being left alone and alone facing the danger. [6.3.16] 1For there is no place to which we can ourselves steal away from here; for to go back to Heracleia," he said, "is a long journey, and it is a long journey through to Chrysopolis, and meanwhile the enemy are close at hand; to Calpe Harbour, where we presume Cheirisophus is, in case he has come through safely, is the shortest distance. But firstly, mark you, having arrived there we have neither ships wherein to sail away nor provisions for so much as a single day if we remain in the place; [6.3.17] and secondly, it is worse to have the blockaded force destroyed and take our chances in company with Cheirisophus' troops only, than to have these men saved and then unite all our forces and together strive for deliverance. We must set forth, then, prepared in our minds for either meeting to-day a glorious death or accomplishing a most noble deed in saving so many Greeks. [6.3.18] And it may be that the god is guiding events in this way, he who wills that those who talked boastfully, as though possessed of superior wisdom, should be brought low, and that we, who always begin with the gods,1 should be set in a place of higher honour than those boasters. And now you must keep in line and on the alert, so that you can carry out the orders that are given. [6.3.14] For the present, then, let us go forward as far as may seem consistent with our time for dining, and then encamp; and so long as we are on the march, let Timasion with the cavalry ride on in advance, keeping us in sight, and spy out what is ahead, in order that nothing may escape our attention."

[6.3.15] With these words he proceeded to lead the way. Furthermore, he sent out on the flanks and to the neighbouring heights some of the more active of the light-armed troops in order that they might signal to the army in case they should sight anything anywhere from any point of observation; and he directed them to burn everything they found that could be burned. [6.3.19] So the horsemen, scattering as widely as was proper, went to burning, the peltasts, making their way along the heights abreast of the main army, burned all they saw which was combustible, and the main army likewise burned anything they found that had been passed over; the result was, that the whole country seemed to be ablaze and the army seemed to be a large one. [6.3.20] When the time had come, they ascended a hill and encamped; from there they could see the campfires of the enemy, distant about forty stadia, and they kindled as many fires themselves as they could. [6.3.21] Immediately after they had dined, however, the order was given to extinguish every one of the fires. Then, after stationing guards, they slept the night through; and at daybreak they offered prayer to the gods, formed their lines for battle, and set forth at the fastest possible pace. [6.3.22] And Timasion and the horsemen, riding on ahead with the guides, found themselves without knowing it upon the hill where the Greeks had been besieged. They could see no army, however, either friendly or hostile (and this fact they reported back to Xenophon and the main body), but only some wretched old men and women and a few sheep and cattle that had been left behind. [6.3.23] At first they could only wonder what the thing was that had happened, but afterwards they managed to find out from the people who had been left behind that the Thracians had disappeared immediately after nightfall, and the Greeks also, they said, had gone; but whither, they did not know.

[6.3.24] Upon hearing this report Xenophon and his men packed up, as soon as they had breakfasted, and set forth, wishing as speedily as possible to join their comrades at Calpe Harbour. As they proceeded, they could see the track of the Arcadians and Achaeans along the road leading towards Calpe. When the two detachments came together, the men were delighted to see one another, and greeted one another like brothers. [6.3.25] And the Arcadians inquired of Xenophon's troops why they had put out their fires; "for we imagined at first," they said, "when we could no longer see your fires, that you meant to come against the enemy during the night; and the enemy likewise, so at least it seemed to us, feared this, and on that account departed; for it was at about that time that they went away. [6.3.26] But when you failed to arrive, although the requisite time had passed, we supposed that you had learned of our situation and, seized with fear, had stealthily made off toward the sea; and we thought it best not to be left behind. That was the reason, then, why we also proceeded hither."

Book 6 Section 4

 [6.4.1] During that day they bivouacked where they were, upon the beach by the harbour. Now this place which is called Calpe Harbour is situated in Thrace-in-Asia; and this portion of Thrace begins at the mouth of the Euxine and extends as far as Heracleia, being on the right as one sails into the Euxine. [6.4.2] It is a long day's journey for a trireme to row from Byzantium to Heracleia, and between the two places there is no other city, either friendly or Greek, only Bithynian Thracians; and they are said to abuse outrageously any Greeks they may find shipwrecked or may capture in any other way. [6.4.3] As for Calpe Harbour, it lies midway of the voyage between Heracleia and Byzantium and is a bit of land jutting out into the sea, the part of it which extends seaward being a precipitous mass of rock, not less than twenty fathoms high at its lowest point, and the isthmus which connects this head with the mainland being about four plethra in width; and the space to the seaward of the isthmus is large enough for ten thousand people to dwell in. [6.4.4] At the very foot of the rock there is a harbour whose beach faces toward the west, and an abundantly flowing spring of fresh water close to the shore of the sea and commanded by the headland. There is also a great deal of timber of various sorts, but an especially large amount of fine ship-timber, on the very shore of the sea. [6.4.5] The ridge extends back into the interior for about twenty stadia, and this stretch is deep-soiled and free from stones, while the land bordering the coast is thickly covered for a distance of more than twenty stadia with an abundance of heavy timber of all sorts. [6.4.6] The rest of the region is fair and extensive, and contains many inhabited villages; for the land produces barley, wheat, beans of all kinds, millet and sesame, a sufficient quantity of figs, an abundance of grapes which yield a good sweet wine, and in fact everything except olives.

[6.4.7] Such was the country thereabouts. The men took up quarters on the beach by the sea, refusing to encamp on the spot which might become a city; indeed, the fact of their coming to this place at all seemed to them the result of scheming on the part of some people who wished to found a city. [6.4.8] For most of the soldiers had sailed away from Greece to undertake thisservice for pay, not because their means were scanty, but because they knew by report of the noble character of Cyrus; some brought other men with them, some had even spent money of their own on the enterprise, while still another class had abandoned fathers and mothers, or had left children behind with the idea of getting money to bring back to them, all because they heard that the other people who served with Cyrus enjoyed abundant good fortune. Being men of this sort, therefore, they longed to return in safety to Greece.

[6.4.9] On the day after the reunion of the three divisions Xenophon offered sacrifice with a view to an expedition; for it was necessary to go out after provisions and, besides, he intended to bury the Arcadian dead. When the sacrifices proved favourable, the Arcadians also followed with the rest,1 and they buried the greater part of the dead just where they each had fallen; for they had already lain unburied five days, and it was not now possible to carry away the bodies; some that lay upon the roads, however, they did gather together and honour with as fine a burial as their means allowed, while for those they could not find, they erected a great cenotaph, and placed wreaths upon it. [6.4.10] After doing all this they returned to their camp, and then took dinner and went to bed. On the following day all the soldiers held a meeting, the chief movers in the matter being Agasias the Stymphalian, a captain, Hieronymus the Elean, also a captain, and some others from among the eldest of the Arcadians. [6.4.11] They passed a resolution that if any man from this time forth should suggest dividing the army, he should be punished with death, and further, that the army should return to the same organization which formerly obtained, and that the former generals should resume command. Now by this time Cheirisophus had died, from the effects of a medicine which he took for a fever;1 and his command passed to Neon the Asinaean.

[6.4.12] After this Xenophon rose and said: "Fellow soldiers, our journey, it seems, must be made by land, for we have no ships; and we must set out at once, for we have no provisions if we remain here. We, then," he continued, "will sacrifice, and you must prepare yourselves to fight if ever you did; for the enemy have renewed their courage." [6.4.13] Thereupon the generals proceeded to sacrifice, the soothsayer who was present being Arexion the Arcadian; for Silanus the Ambraciot had by this time stolen away,1 on a vessel which he hired at Heracleia. When they sacrificed, however, with a view to their departure, the victims would not prove favourable, [6.4.14] and they accordingly ceased their offerings for that day. Now some people had the effrontery to say that Xenophon, in his desire to found a city at this spot, had induced the soothsayer to declare that the sacrifices were not favourable for departure. [6.4.15] Consequently he made public proclamation that on the morrow any one who so chose might be present at the sacrifice, and if a man were a soothsayer, he sent him word to be at hand to participate in the inspection of the victims; so he made the offering in the immediate presence of many witnesses. [6.4.16] But though he sacrificed a second and a third time with a view to departure, the victims would not prove favourable. At that the soldiers were angry, for the provisions they brought with them had given out and there was not yet any market at hand.

[6.4.17] Therefore they held a meeting and Xenophon addressed them again. "Soldiers," he said, "as for setting out upon our journey, the sacrifices, as you see, do not yet prove favourable for that; but I am aware that you are in need of provisions; hence it seems to me that we must sacrifice in regard to this latter point alone." Then some one rose and said: [6.4.18] "There appears to be good reason why our sacrifices are not favourable; for as I heard from a man who chanced to arrive here yesterday on a ship, Cleander, the Lacedaemonian governor at Byzantium, is to come here with merchant vessels and men-of-war." [6.4.19] At that news all deemed it best to stay, but it was still necessary to go out after provisions. With this object in view Xenophon again sacrificed, going as far as three offerings, and the victims continued unfavourable. By this time people were even coming to Xenophon's tent and declaring that they had no provisions, but he said that he would not lead forth unless the sacrifices turned out favourable.

[6.4.20] On the next day he undertook to sacrifice again, and pretty nearly the entire army--for it was a matter of concern to every man--gathered about the place of sacrifice; but the victims had given out. Then the generals, while refusing to lead the men forth, called them together in assembly; [6.4.21] and Xenophon said: "It may be that the enemy are gathered together and that we must fight; if, then, we should leave our baggage in the strong place1 and set out prepared for battle, perhaps our sacrifices would be successful." [6.4.22] Upon hearing this, however, the soldiers cried out that it was not at all necessary to enter the place, but, rather, to offer sacrifice with all speed. Now they no longer had any sheep, but they bought a bullock that was yoked to a wagon and proceeded to sacrifice; and Xenophon requested Cleanor1 the Arcadian to give special attention to see if there was anything auspicious in this offering. But not even so did the omens prove favourable.

[6.4.23] Now Neon was general in place of Cheirisophus, and when he saw in what a terrible condition the soldiers were from want, he was desirous of doing them a kindness; so having found a certain Heracleot who claimed to know of villages near at hand from which it was possible to get provisions, he made proclamation that all who so wished were to go after provisions and that he would be their leader. There set out accordingly, with poles,1 wine-skins, bags, and other vessels, about two thousand men. [6.4.24] But when they had reached the villages and were scattering here and there for the purpose of securing plunder, they were attacked first of all by the horsemen of Pharnabazus;1 for they had come to the aid of the Bithynians, desiring in company with the Bithynians to prevent the Greeks, if they could, from entering Phrygia; these horsemen killed no fewer than five hundred of the soldiers, the rest fleeing for refuge to the heights. [6.4.25] After this one of the men who escaped brought back word to the camp of what had happened. And Xenophon, inasmuch as the sacrifices had not proved favourable on that day, took a bullock that was yoked to a wagon,--for there were no other sacrificial animals,--offered it up, and set out to the rescue, as did all the rest who were under thirty years of age, to the last man. [6.4.26] And they picked up the survivors and returned to the camp. By this time it was about sunset, and the Greeks were making preparations for dinner in a state of great despondency when suddenly through the thickets some of the Bithynians burst upon the outposts, killing some of them and pursuing the rest up to the camp. [6.4.27] An outcry was raised, and all the Greeks ran to their arms; still, it did not seem safe to undertake a pursuit or to move the camp during the night, seeing that the region was thickly overgrown; so they spent the night under arms, keeping plenty of sentinels on watch.

Book 6 Section 5

 [6.5.1] In this way they got through the night, but at daybreak the generals led the way to the strong place and the men followed, taking up their arms and baggage. Before breakfast time came, they proceeded to dig a trench across the way of approach1 to the place, and they backed it along its entire length with a palisade, leaving three gates. And now a vessel arrived from Heracleia, bringing barley meal, sacrificial victims, and wine.

[6.5.2] Xenophon arose early and sacrificed with a view to an expedition, and with the first offering the omens turned out favourable. Furthermore, just as the rites were nearing the end, the soothsayer, Arexion the Parrhasian, caught sight of an eagle in an auspicious quarter, and bade Xenophon lead o. [6.5.3] So they crossed the trench and grounded arms; then they made proclamation that after taking breakfast the troops were to march out under arms, while the camp-followers and captives were to be left behind where they were. [6.5.4] All the rest, then, proceeded to set forth, save only Neon; for it seemed best to leave him behind to keep guard over what was in the camp. But when his captains and soldiers began to abandon him, being ashamed not to follow along when the others were setting out, the generals left behind at the camp everybody who was over forty-five years of age.1 So these remained and the rest took up the march. [6.5.5] Before they had gone fifteen stadia they began to meet with dead bodies; and marching on until they had brought the rear of their column to a point opposite the first bodies which appeared, they proceeded to bury all that the column covered. [6.5.6] As soon as they had buried this first group, they marched forward and again brought the rear of the column into line with the first of the bodies which lay farther on, and then in the same way they buried all that the army covered. When, however, they had reached the road leading out of the villages, where the dead lay thick, they gathered them all together for burial.

[6.5.7] It was now past midday, and, still leading the army forward, they were engaged in getting provisions outside the villages--anything there was to be seen within the limits of their line--when suddenly they caught sight of the enemy passing over some hills which lay opposite them, his force consisting of horsemen in large numbers and foot soldiers, all in battle formation; in fact, it was Spithridates and Rhathines, who had been sent out with their army by Pharnabazus. [6.5.8] As soon as the enemy sighted the Greeks, they came to a halt, at a distance from the Greeks of about fifteen stadia. Hereupon Arexion, the soothsayer of the Greeks, immediately offered sacrifice, and at the first victim the omens proved favourable. Then Xenophon said: [6.5.9] "It seems to me, fellow generals, that we should station reserve companies behind our phalanx, so that we may have men to come to the aid of the phalanx if aid is needed at any point, and that the enemy, after they have fallen into disorder, may come upon troops that are in good order and fresh." All shared this opinion. [6.5.10] "Well, then," said Xenophon, "do you lead on toward our adversaries, in order that we may not be standing still now that we have been seen by the enemy and have seen them; and I will come along after arranging the hindmost companies in the way you have decided upon." [6.5.11] So while the others led on quietly, he detached the three hindmost battalions, consisting of two hundred men each, and turned the first one to the right with orders to follow after the phalanx at a distance of about a plethrum; this battalion was commanded by Samolas the Achaean; the second battalion he posted at the centre, to follow on in the same way; this one was under the command of Pyrrhias the Arcadian; and the last one he stationed upon the left, Phrasias the Athenian being in command of it.

[6.5.12] Now when, as they advanced, the men who were in the lead reached a large ravine, difficult to pass, they halted, in doubt as to whether they ought to cross the ravine; and they passed along word for generals and captains to come up to the front. [6.5.13] Then Xenophon, wondering what it was that was holding up the march and speedily hearing the summons, rode forward in all haste. As soon as the officers had come together, Sophaenetus, who was the eldest of the generals, said that it was not a question worth considering whether they ought to cross such a ravine as that.

[6.5.14] Xenophon rejoined, with much earnestness: "Well, gentlemen, you know that I have never yet introduced you to any danger that was a matter of choice; for as I see the situation, you do not stand in need of reputation for bravery, but of a safe return. [6.5.15] But the conditions at this moment are these: there is no possibility of our getting away from here without a battle; for if we do not advance upon the enemy ourselves, they will follow us when we undertake to retire and fall upon us. [6.5.16] Consider, then, whether it is better to go forward against these men with arms advanced, or with arms reversed to behold the enemy coming upon us from behind. [6.5.17] Yet you know that to retire before an enemy does not beseem any man of honour, while to be in pursuit creates courage even in cowards. For my part, at any rate, I should rather advance to the attack with half as many men than to retreat with twice as many. And as to those troops yonder, I know that if we advance upon them, you do not yourselves expect them to await our attack, while if we retire, we all know that they will have the courage to pursue us. [6.5.18] Again, to cross a difficult ravine and get it in your rear when you are about to fight, is not that an opportunity really worth seizing? For it is to the enemy that I should myself wish to have all roads seem easy--for their retreat; as for ourselves, we ought to learn from the very ground before us that there is no safety for us except in victory. [6.5.19] I do wonder, however, that any one regards this particular ravine as more dreadful than the rest of the country we have just marched through. For how is that plain to be recrossed unless we are victorious over the enemy's horsemen? how the mountains which we have passed through, if such a throng of peltasts are to be following at our heels? [6.5.20] Again, if we do reach the sea in safety, what a great ravine, one may say, is the Euxine! where we have neither ships to take us away nor food to subsist upon if we remain, while the sooner we reach there, the sooner we shall have to be off again in quest of provisions. [6.5.21] Well, then, it is better to fight to-day, with our breakfast already eaten, than to-morrow breakfastless. Gentlemen, our sacrificial victims were favourable, the bird-omens auspicious, the omens of the sacrifice most favourable; let us advance upon the enemy. These fellows, now that they have seen us at all, must not again get a pleasant dinner or encamp wherever they please."

[6.5.22] After that the captains bade him lead on, and no one spoke in opposition. So he led the way, after giving orders that every man should cross at whatever point along the ravine he chanced to be; for it seemed that in this way the army would get together on the further side more quickly than if they defiled along the bridge which was over the ravine. [6.5.23] When they had crossed, he went along the lines and said: "Soldiers, remember how many battles you have won, with the help of the gods, by coming to close quarters, remember what a fate they suffer who flee from the enemy, and bethink you of this, that we are at the doors of Greece. [6.5.24] Follow Heracles the Leader and summon one another on, calling each man by name. It will surely be sweet, through some manly and noble thing which one may say or do to-day, to keep himself in remembrance among those whom he wishes to remember him."

[6.5.25] Thus he spoke as he rode along, while at the same time he began to lead the troops on slowly in line of battle; and after they had got the peltasts into position on either flank, they took up the march against the enemy. The orders had been to keep their spears on the right shoulder until a signal should be given with the trumpet; then, lowering them for the attack, to follow on slowly, nobody to break into a run. And now the watchword was passed along, "Zeus Saviour, Heracles Leader." Meanwhile the enemy were standing their ground, thinking that the position they held was a good one. [6.5.26] When the Greeks were drawing near, the peltasts raised the battle-cry and proceeded to charge upon the enemy without waiting for any order; and the enemy rushed forward to meet them, both the horsemen and the mass of the Bithynians, and they put the peltasts to rout. [6.5.27] But when the phalanx of the hoplites kept moving on to meet them, marching rapidly, and at the same time the trumpet sounded, and they stup the paean and after that raised the battle-cry, and at the same moment couched their spears, then the enemy no longer awaited the attack, but took to flight. [6.5.28] Timasion and the cavalry pursued, and killed as many as they could, considering their own small numbers. Now the left wing of the enemy, opposite which the Greek cavalry were stationed, was dispersed at once, but the right, since it was not vigorously pursued, got together upon a hill. [6.5.29] As soon as the Greeks saw that they were standing their ground there, they deemed it the easiest and safest course to charge upon them immediately. They accordingly struck up the paean and moved upon them at once; and they stood no longer. Thereupon the peltasts pursued until the right wing was dispersed; but few of the enemy, however, were killed, for his cavalry, numerous as they were, inspired fear. [6.5.30] But when the Greeks saw the cavalry of Pharnabazus standing with ranks still unbroken, and the Bithynian horsemen gathering together to join this force and looking down from a hill at what was going on, although they were tired they nevertheless thought that they must make as stout an attack as they could upon these troops also, so that they should not be able to regain courage and get rested. Accordingly, they formed their lines and set forth. [6.5.31] Thereupon the enemy's horsemen fled down the slope just as if they were being pursued by horsemen;1 for a ravine was waiting to receive them, although the Greeks were not aware of the fact and hence turned aside from their pursuit before reaching it; for it was now late in the day. [6.5.32] So after returning to the spot where the first encounter took place and erecting a trophy, they set out on their way back to the sea at about sunset; and the distance to the camp was about sixty stadia.

Book 6 Section 6

 [6.6.1] After this the enemy occupied themselves with their own concerns, especially removing their slaves and property to the remotest point they could; meanwhile the Greeks were waiting for Cleander and the triremes and ships which were, presumably, coming, but every day they set forth with their baggage animals and slaves and fearlessly carried off wheat and barley, wine, beans, millet, and figs; for the country had all manner of good things, except olive oil. [6.6.2] Whenever the army remained in camp and rested, individuals were permitted to go out after plunder, and in that case kept what they got; but whenever the entire army set out, if an individual went off by himself and got anything, it was decreed to be public property. [6.6.3] And by this time there was an abundance of everything, for market products came in from the Greek cities on all sides, and people coasting past were glad to put in, since they heard that a city was being founded and that there was a harbour. [6.6.4] Even the hostile peoples who dwelt near by began now to send envoys to Xenophon--for they heard that he was the man who was making a city of the place--to ask what they must do in order to be his friends; and Xenophon would always show these envoys to the soldiers.

[6.6.5] Meanwhile Cleander arrived with two triremes, but not a single merchant ship. It so chanced that the army was out foraging when he arrived, while certain individuals had gone in quest of plunder to a different place in the mountains and had secured a large number of sheep; so fearing that they might be deprived of them,1 they told their story to Dexippus, the man who slipped away from Trapezus with the fifty-oared warship,2 and urged him to save their sheep for them, with the understanding that he was to get some of the sheep himself and give the rest back to them. [6.6.6] So he immediately proceeded to drive away the soldiers who were standing about and declaring that the animals were public property, and then he went and told Cleander that they were attempting robbery. Cleander directed him to bring the robber before him. [6.6.7] So he seized a man and tried to take him to Cleander, but Agasias, happening to meet them, rescued the man, for he was one of his company. Then the other soldiers who were at hand set to work to stone Dexippus, calling him "The traitor." And many of the sailors from the triremes got frightened and began to flee toward the sea, and Cleander also fled. [6.6.8] Xenophon, however, and the other generals tried to hold them back, and told Cleander that nothing was the matter, but that the resolution of the army was the reason for this incident taking place. [6.6.9] But Cleander, goaded on by Dexippus and angered on his own account also because he had been frightened, declared that he would sail away and issue a proclamation forbidding any city to receive them, on the ground that they were enemies. And at this time the Lacedaemonians1 held the hegemony over all the Greeks. [6.6.10] Upon this the affair seemed to the Greeks a bad business, and they begged Cleander not to carry out his intention. He replied that no other course would be taken unless they should deliver up the man who began the stoning and the one who rescued Dexippus' prisoner. [6.6.11] Now Agasias, whom he thus demanded, had been a friend of Xenophon's all through--which was the very reason why Dexippus was slandering him.After that the commanders, perplexed as they were, called a meeting of the army; and while some of them made light of Cleander, Xenophon thought that it was no trifling matter, and he arose and said: [6.6.12] "Fellow soldiers, it seems to me it is no trifling matter if Cleander is to go away with such an intention toward us as he has expressed. For the Greek cities are close by, the Lacedaemonians stand as the leaders of Greece, and they are able, nay, any single Lacedaemonian is able, to accomplish in the cities whatever he pleases. [6.6.13] Hence if this man shall begin by shutting us out of Byzantium, and then shall send word to the other governors not to receive us into their cities, on the ground that we are disobedient to the Lacedaemonians and lawless, and if, further, this report about us shall reach Anaxibius,1 the Lacedaemonian admiral, it will be difficult for us either to remain or to sail away; for at present the Lacedaemonians are supreme both on land and sea. [6.6.14] Now the rest of us must not be kept away from Greece for the sake of one or two men, but we must obey whatever order the Lacedaemonians may give us; for the cities from which we come likewise obey them. [6.6.15] For my own part, therefore,--for I hear that Dexippus is saying to Cleander that Agasias would not have done what he did if I had not given him the order,--for my own part, I say, I relieve both you and Agasias of the accusation if Agasias himself shall say that I was in any way responsible for this occurrence, and I pass judgment against myself, if I have taken the lead in stone-throwing or any other sort of violence, that I deserve to suffer the uttermost penalty, and I shall submit to the penalty. [6.6.16] And I maintain also that if he holds any one else responsible, that man ought to put himself in Cleander's hands for trial; for in that way you would stand relieved of the accusation. But as matters are now, it will be hard if we who expected to obtain both praise and honour in Greece, shall find instead that we are not even on an equality with the rest of the Greeks, but are shut out from their cities."

[6.6.17] After this Agasias rose and said: "Soldiers, I swear by the gods and goddesses that in very truth neither Xenophon nor any one else among you directed me to rescue the man; but when I saw a good man of my own company being led off by Dexippus, the one who betrayed you, as you know for yourselves, it seemed to me an outrage; and I rescued him, I admit it. [6.6.18] Now do not you deliver me up; but I will myself, as Xenophon proposes, put myself in Cleander's hands, so that he may try me and do with me whatever he may choose; do not for this cause make war upon the Lacedaemonians, but rather accomplish a safe return, each of you to the place where he wishes to go. I beg you, however, to choose some of your own number and send them with me to Cleander, so that I pass over anything, they may speak, and act too, on my behalf."

[6.6.19] Thereupon the army empowered him to choose whomever he wished and take them with him, and he chose the generals. After this Agasias set off to Cleander, and with him the generals and the man he had rescued. [6.6.20] And the generals said: "We have been sent to you, Cleander, by the army, and they ask you, in case you accuse them all, to bring them to trial yourself and deal with them as you please; or in case you accuse some one individual, or two or more, they demand of these men that they put themselves in your hands for trial. Therefore if you have any charge against any one of us, we are now here before you; if you have any charge against any one else, tell us; for no one who is ready to yield obedience to us will fail to present himself before you." [6.6.21] After this Agasias came forward and said: "I am the person, Cleander, who rescued this man here from Dexippus when he was leading him off, and who gave the order to strike Dexippus. [6.6.22] For I know that this soldier here is a good man, and I know also that Dexippus was chosen by the army to be commander of the fifty-oared warship which we begged for and obtained from the Trapezuntians on the understanding that with it we were to collect vessels whereon we might return in safety, and that this Dexippus slipped away from us, and betrayed the soldiers in whose company he had gained deliverance. [6.6.23] So we have robbed the Trapezuntians of their warship and are rascals in their estimation, all on account of this Dexippus; indeed, we have lost our very lives, so far as lay in this fellow's power; for he heard, just as we did, that it was impossible, returning by land, to cross the rivers and reach Greece in safety. [6.6.24] It was from that sort of a fellow, then, that I rescued his prisoner. Had it been you who were leading him off, or any one of your men, and not one of our runaways, be well assured that I should have done nothing of this kind. And believe that if you now put me to death, you are putting to death a good man for the sake of a coward and a scoundrel."

[6.6.25] Upon hearing these words Cleander said that he had no commendation for Dexippus if he had behaved in this way, but that he nevertheless thought that even if Dexippus were an utter scoundrel, he ought not to have suffered violence; "rather," he continued, "he should first have had a trial, just as you are yourselves asking in the present case, and should then have received his punishment. [6.6.26] For the moment, therefore, go away, leaving this man here with me, and when I issue the order, be present for the trial. And I bring no charge either against the army or any other person now that this man himself admits that he rescued the prisoner." [6.6.27] Then the one who had been rescued said: "For myself, Cleander, in case you really imagine that I was being led off for some wrong doing, I neither struck nor stoned anybody, but merely said that the sheep were public property. For a resolution had been passed by the soldiers that if any one should do any plundering on his own account when the entire army went out, what he secured was to be public property. [6.6.28] That was what I said, and thereupon this fellow seized me and proceeded to lead me off, in order that nobody might utter a word, but that he might save the booty for the plunderers in violation of the ordinance--and get his own share out of it." In reply to this Cleander said: "Well, since that is your statement, stay behind, so that we can take up your case also."

[6.6.29] After that Cleander and his party proceeded to breakfast; and Xenophon called a meeting of the army and advised the sending of a delegation to Cleander to intercede for the men. [6.6.30] Thereupon the troops resolved to send the generals and captains, Dracontius the Spartan, and such others as seemed fitted for the mission, and to request Cleander by all means to release the two men. [6.6.31] So Xenophon came before him and said: "You have the men, Cleander, and the army has submitted to you and allowed you to do what you pleased both with these men and with their entire body. But now they beg and entreat you to give them the two men, and not to put them to death; for many are the labours these two have performed for the army in the past. [6.6.32] Should they obtain this favour at your hands, they promise you in return that, if you wish to be their leader and if the gods are propitious, they will show you not only that they are orderly, but that they are able, with the help of the gods, while yielding obedience to their commander, to feel no fear of the enemy. [6.6.33] They make this further request of you, that when you have joined them and assumed command of them, you make trial both of Dexippus and of the rest of them to see how the two sorts of men compare, and then give to each his deserts." [6.6.34] Upon hearing these words Cleander replied: "Well, by the twin gods,1 my answer to you all will be speedy indeed. I give you the two men and I will myself join you, and if the gods so grant, I will lead you to Greece. These words of yours are decidedly the opposite of what I have been hearing about you from some people, namely, that you were trying to make the army disloyal to the Lacedaemonians."

[6.6.35] After this they thanked him and departed, taking the two men with them; and Cleander undertook sacrifices with a view to the journey and associated amicably with Xenophon, so that the two men struck up a friendship. Furthermore, when Cleander came to see for himself that the troops carried out their orders with good discipline, he was more than ever eager to become their commander. [6.6.36] When, however, although he continued his sacrifices over three days, the victims would not prove favourable, he called a meeting of the generals and said: "The victims do not prove favourable to me as the man to lead you onward; but it is not for you to be despondent on that account, since to you, as it seems, is given the office of delivering these soldiers. To the road, then! And we shall give you, when you have reached your journey's end, as splendid a reception as we can."

[6.6.37] Thereupon the soldiers voted to present to him the sheep that were public property, and he accepted them, but gave them back again to the troops. Then he sailed away. And the soldiers, after selling the corn they had gathered together and the other booty they had secured, set out on their march through the country of the Bithynians. [6.6.38] But when in following the direct road they failed to find any booty, to enable them to reach friendly territory with a little something in hand, they resolved to turn about and take the opposite direction for one day and night. By so doing they secured slaves and sheep in abundance; and on the sixth day they arrived at Chrysopolis, in Calchedonia, where they remained for seven days, selling their spoils.

 

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