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Cyropaedia of Xenophon
The Life of Cyrus The Great

Book 2


Book 2, Section 1

[2.1.1] In such conversation they arrived at the Persian frontier. And when an eagle appeared upon their right and flew on ahead of them, they prayed to the gods and heroes who watch over the land of Persia to conduct them on with grace and favour, and then proceeded to cross the frontier. And when they had crossed, they prayed again to the tutelary gods of the Median land to receive them with grace and favour; and when they had finished their devotions, they embraced one another, as was natural, and the father went back again to Persia, while Cyrus went on to Cyaxares in Media.

[2.1.2] And when he arrived there, first they embraced one another, as was natural, and then Cyaxares asked Cyrus how large the army was that he was bringing."Thirty thousand," he answered, "of such as have come to you before as mercenaries; but others also, of the peers, who have never before left their country, are coming.""About how many?" asked Cyaxares.

[2.1.3] "The number," said Cyrus, "would give you no pleasure, if you were to hear it; but bear this in mind, that though the so-called peers are few, they easily rule the rest of the Persians, many though they be. But," he added, "are you in any need of them, or was it a false alarm, and are the enemy not coming?""Yes, by Zeus," said he, "they are coming and in great numbers, too."

[2.1.4] "How is this so certain?""Because," said he, "many have come from there, and though one tells the story one way and another another, they all say the same thing.""We shall have to fight those men, then?""Aye," said he; "we must of necessity.""Well then," said Cyrus, "won't you please tell me, if you know, how great the forces are that are coming against us; and tell me of our own as well, so that with full information about both we may lay our plans accordingly, how best to enter the conflict.""Listen then," said Cyaxares.

[2.1.5] "Croesus, the king of Lydia, is said to be coming at the head of 10,000 horsemen and more than 40,000 peltasts and bowmen. And they say that Artacamas, the king of Greater Phrygia, is coming at the head of 8000 horse and not fewer than 40,000 lancers and peltasts; and Aribaeus, the king of Cappadocia, has 6000 horse and not fewer than 30,000 bowmen and peltasts; while the Arabian, Aragdus, has about 10,000 horsemen, about 100 chariots of war, and a great host of slingers. As for the Greeks who dwell in Asia, however, no definite information is as yet received whether they are in the coalition or not. But the contingent from Phrygia on the Hellespont, under Gabaedus, has arrived at Cay+stru-Pedium, it is said, to the number of 6000 horse and 10,000 peltasts.The Carians, however, and Cilicians and Paphlagonians, they say, have not joined the expedition, although they have been invited to do so. But the Assyrians, both those from Babylon and those from the rest of Assyria, will bring, I think, not fewer than 20,000 horse and not fewer, I am sure, than 200 war-chariots, and a vast number of infantry, I suppose; at any rate, they used to have as many as that whenever they invaded our country."

[2.1.6] "You mean to say," said Cyrus, "that the enemy have 60,000 horse and more than 200,000 peltasts and bowmen. And at how many, pray, do you estimate the number of your own forces?""There are," said he, "of the Medes more than 10,000 horse; and the peltasts and bowmen might be, from a country like ours, some 60,000; while from our neighbours, the Armenians, we shall get 4000 horse and 20,000 foot.""That is to say," said Cyrus, "we have less than one-fourth as many horsemen as the enemy and about half as many foot-soldiers."

 [2.1.7] "Tell me, then," said Cyaxares, "do you not consider the Persian force small which you say you are bringing?""Yes," said Cyrus; "but we will consider later whether we need more men or not. Now tell me," he went on, "what each party's method of fighting is.""About the same with all," said Cyaxares; "for there are bowmen and spearmen both on their side and on ours.""Well then," said Cyrus, "as their arms are of that sort, we must fight at long range."

[2.1.8] "Yes," said Cyaxares, "that will be necessary.""In that case, then, the victory will be with the side that has the greater numbers; for the few would be wounded and killed off by the many sooner than the many by the few.""If that is so, Cyrus, then what better plan could any one think of than to send to Persia to inform them that if anything happens to the Medes, the danger will extend to the Persians, and at the same time to ask for a larger army?""Why," said Cyrus, "let me assure you that even though all the Persians were to come, we should not surpass the enemy in point of numbers."

 [2.1.9] "What better plan do you see than this?""If I were you," said Cyrus, "I should as quickly as possible have armour made for all the Persians who are coming here just like that of the so-called peers who are coming from our country--that is, a corselet to wear about the breast, a small shield upon the left arm, and a scimitar or sabre in the right hand. And if you provide these weapons, you will make it the safest procedure for us to fight at close quarters with the enemy, while for the enemy flight will prove preferable to standing their ground. And it is for us," he continued, "to range ourselves against those who hold their ground, while those of them who run away we propose to leave to you and the cavalry, that they may have no chance to stand their ground or to turn back."

[2.1.10] Thus Cyrus spoke. And to Cyaxares it seemed that he spoke to the point; and he no longer talked of sending for reinforcements, but he set about procuring the arms as suggested. And they were almost ready when the Persian peers came with the army from Persia.

 [2.1.11] Thereupon Cyrus is said to have called the peers together and said: "My friends: When I saw you thus equipped and ready in heart to grapple with the enemy in a hand-to-hand encounter, and when I observed that those Persians who follow you are so armed as to do their fighting standing as far off as possible, I wafraid lest, few in number and unaccompanied by others to support you, you might fall in with a large division of the enemy and come to some harm. Now then," said he, "you have brought with you men blameless in bodily strength; and they are to have arms like ours; but to steel their hearts is our task; for it is not the whole duty of an officer to show himself valiant, but he must also take care that his men be as valiant as possible."

[2.1.12] Thus he spoke. And they were all delighted, for they thought they were going into battle with more to support them. And one of them also spoke as follows: [2.1.13] "Now," he began, "it will perhaps sound strange if I advise Cyrus to say something on our behalf, when those who are to fight along with us receive their arms. But I venture the suggestion, for I know that when men have most power to do both good and ill, then their words also are the most likely to sink deep into the hearts of the hearers. And if such persons give presents, even though the gifts be of less worth than those given by equals, still the recipients value them more highly. And now," said he, "our Persian comrades will be more highly pleased to be exhorted by Cyrus than by us; and when they have taken their place among the peers they will feel that they hold this honour with more security because conferred by their prince and their general than if the same honour were bestowed by us. However, our co-operation must not be wanting, but in every way and by all means we must steel the hearts of our men. For the braver these men are, the more to our advantage it will be."

 [2.1.14] Accordingly, Cyrus had the arms brought in and arranged to view, and calling all the Persian soldiers together he spoke as follows: [2.1.15] "Fellow-citizens of Persia, you were born and bred upon the same soil as we; the bodies you have are no whit inferior to ours, and it is not likely that you have hearts in the least less brave than our own. In spite of this, in our own country you did not enjoy equal privileges with us, but because you were obliged to earn your own livelihood. Now, however, with the help of the gods, I shall see to it that you are provided with the necessaries of life; and you are permitted, if you wish, to receive arms like ours, to face the same danger as we, and, if any fair success crowns our enterprise, to be counted worthy of an equal share with us.

[2.1.16] "Now, up to this time you have been bowmen and lancers, and so have we; and if you were not quite our equals in the use of these arms, there is nothing surprising about that; for you had not the leisure to practise with them that we had. But with this equipment we shall have no advantage over you. In any case, every man will have a corselet fitted to his breast, upon his left arm a shield, such as we have all been accustomed to carry, and in his right hand a sabre or scimitar with which, you see, we must strike those opposed to us at such close range that we need not fear to miss our aim when we strike. [2.1.17] In this armour, then, how could any one of us have the advantage over another except in courage? And this it is proper for you to cherish in your hearts no less than we. For why is it more proper for us than for you to desire victory, which gains and keeps safe all things beautiful and all things good? And what reason is there that we, any more than you, should desire that superiority in arms which gives to the victors all the belongings of the vanquished?

[2.1.18] "You have heard all," he said in conclusion. "You see your arms; whosoever will, let him take them and have his name enrolled with the captain in the same companies with us. But whosoever is satisfied to be in the position of a mercenary, let him remain in the armour of the hired soldiery."Thus he spoke. [2.1.19] And when the Persians heard it, they thought that if they were unwilling to accept, when invited to share the same toils and enjoy the same rewards, they should deserve to live in want through all time. And so they were all enrolled and all took up the arms.

 [2.1.20] And while the enemy were said to be approaching but had not yet come, Cyrus tried to develop the physical strength of his men, to teach them tactics, and to steel their hearts for war.

[2.1.21] And first of all he received quartermasters from Cyaxares and commanded them to furnish ready made for each of the soldiers a liberal supply of everything that he needed. And when he had provided for this, he had left them nothing to do but to practise the arts of war, for he thought he had observed that those became best in any given thing who gave up paying attention to many things and devoted themselves to that alone. So, in the drill itself he relieved them of even the practice with bow and spear and left them only the drill with sword and shield and breastplate. And so he at once brought home to them the conviction that they must go into a hand-to-hand encounter with the enemy or else admit that as allies they were good for nothing. But such an admission is hard for those who know that they are being maintained for no other purpose than to fight for those who maintain them.

 [2.1.22] And as, in addition to this, he had further observed that people are much more willing to practise those things in which they have rivalry among themselves, he appointed contests for them in everything that he knew it was important for soldiers to practise. What he proposed was as follows: to the private soldier, that he show himself obedient to the officers, ready for hardship, eager for danger but subject to good discipline, familiar with the duties required of a soldier, neat in the care of his equipment, and ambitious about all such matters; to the corporal, that, besides being himself like the good private, he make his squad of five a model, as far as possible; to the sergeant, that he do likewise with his squad of ten, and the lieutenant with his platoon2; and to the captain, that he be unexceptionable himself and see to it that the officers under him get those whom they command to do their duty.

 [2.1.23] As rewards, moreover, he offered the following: in the case of captains, those who were thought to have got their companies into the best condition should be made colonels; of the lieutenants, those who were thought to have put their platoons into the best condition should be advanced to the rank of captains; of the sergeants, those who were the most meritorious should be promoted to the rank of lieutenant; in the same way, the best of the corporals should be promoted to the rank of sergeants; and finally of the privates, the best should be advanced to the rank of corporal. Moreover, all these officers not only had a right to claim the respect of their subordinates, but other distinctions also appropriate to each office followed in course. And to those who should deserve praise still greater hopes were held out, in case in time to come any greater good fortune should befall. [2.1.24] Besides, he offered prizes of victory to whole companies and to whole platoons and to squads of ten and of five likewise, if they showed themselves implicitly obedient to the officers and very ready in performing the afore mentioned duties. And the prizes of victory for these divisions were just such as were appropriate to groups of men.Such, then, were the competitions appointed, and the army began to train for them.

 [2.1.25] Then, he had tents made for them--in number, as many as there were captains; in size, large enough to accommodate each a company. A company, moreover, was composed of a hundred men. Accordingly, they lived in tents each company by itself; for Cyrus thought that in occupying tents together they had the following advantages for the coming conflict: They saw one another provided for in the same way, and there could be no possible pretext of unjust discrimination that could lead any one to allow himself to prove less brave than another in the face of the enemy. Andhe thought that if they tented together it would help them to get acquainted with one another. And in getting acquainted with one another, he thought, a feeling of considerateness was more likely to be engendered in them all, while those who are unacquainted seem somehow more indifferent--like people when they are in the dark.

[2.1.26] He thought also that their tenting together helped them not a little to gain a perfect acquaintance with their positions. For the captains had the companies under them in as perfect order as when a company was marching single file, and the lieutenants their platoons, and the sergeants and corporals their squads in the same way. [2.1.27] He thought, moreover, that such perfect acquaintance with their places in the line was exceedingly helpful both to prevent their being thrown into confusion and to restore order sooner in case they should be thrown into confusion; just as in the case of stones and timbers which must be fitted together, it is possible to fit them together readily, no matter in how great confusion they may chance to have been thrown down, if they have the guide-marks to make it plain in what place each of them belongs. [2.1.28] And finally, he thought that comradeship would be encouraged by their messing together and that they would be less likely to desert one another; for he had often observed that even animals that were fed together had a marvellous yearning for one another, if any one separated them.

 [2.1.29] Cyrus also took care that they should never come to luncheon or to dinner unless they had had a sweat. For he would get them into a sweat by taking them out hunting; or he would contrive such sports as would make them sweat; or again, if he happened to have some business or other to attend to, he so conducted it that they should not come back without having had a sweat. For this he considered conducive to their enjoying their meals, to their health, and to their being able to endure hardships, and he thought that hardships conduced to their being more reasonable toward one another, for even horses that work together stand more quietly together. At any rate, those who are conscious that they have been well drilled are certainly more courageous in the face of the enemy.

 [2.1.30] And for himself Cyrus had a tent made big enough to accommodate all whom he might invite to dinner. Now he usually invited as many of the captains as he thought proper, and sometimes also some of the lieutenants and sergeants and corporals; and occasionally he invited some of the privates, sometimes a squad of five together, or a squad of ten, or a platoon, or a whole company in a body. And he also used to invite individuals as a mark of honour, whenever he saw that they had done what he himself wished everybody to do. And the same dishes were always placed before those whom he invited to dinner as before himself.

 [2.1.31] The quartermasters in the army he always allowed an equal share of everything; for he thought that it was fair to show no less regard for the purveyors of the army stores than for heralds or ambassadors. And that was reasonable, for he held that they must be trustworthy, familiar with military affairs, and intelligent, and, in addition to that, energetic, quick, resolute, steady. And still further, Cyrus knew that the quartermasters also must have the qualities which those have who are considered most efficient and that they must train themselves not to refuse any service but to consider that it is their duty to perform whatever the general might require of them.

2,1,22,n2. The divisions of Cyrus's army were as follows: 5 men to a corporal's squad pempas); officer: corporal (pempadarchos); total men: 5. 2 corporals' squads to a 1 sergeant's squad dekas; officer: sergeant dekadarchos; total men: 10. 5 sergeants' squads to a platoon lochos; officer: lieutenant lochagos; total men: 50. 2 platoons to a company taxis; officer: captain taxiarchos; total men: 100. 10 companies to a 1 regiment chiliostus; officer: colonel chiliarchos; total men: 1,000. 10 regiments to a brigade muriostus; officer: general muriarchos); total men: 10,000.

Book 2, Section 2

 [2.2.1] Whenever Cyrus entertained company at dinner, he always took pains that the conversation introduced should be as entertaining as possible and that it should incite to good. On one occasion he opened the conversation as follows:"Tell me, men," said he, "do our new comrades seem to be any worse off than we because they have not been educated in the same way as we, or pray do you think that there will be no difference between us either in social intercourse or when we shall have to contend with the enemy?"

 [2.2.2] "Well," said Hystaspas in reply, "for my part, I cannot tell yet how they will appear in the face of the enemy. But in social intercourse, by the gods, some of them seem ill-mannered enough. The other day, at any rate," he explained, "Cyaxares had meat sent in to each company, and as it was passed around each one of us got three pieces or even more. And the first time round the cook began with me as he passed it around; but when he came in the second time to pass it, I bade him begin with the last and pass it arkund the other way. [2.2.3] Then one of the men sitting in the middle of the circle called out and said, `By Zeus, this is not fair at all--at any rate, if they are never going to begin with us here in the middle.' And when I heard that, I was vexed that any one should think that he had less than another and I called him to me at once. He obeyed, showing good discipline in this at least. But when that which was being passed came to us, only the smallest pieces were left, as one might expect, for we were the last to be served. Thereupon he was greatly vexed and said to himself: `Such luck! that I should happen to have been called here just now!' [2.2.4] `Well, never mind,' said I. `They will begin with us next time, and you, being first, will get the biggest piece.' And at that moment the cook began to pass around the third time what was left of the course; and the man helped himself; and then he thought the piece he had taken too small; so he put back the piece he had, with the intention of taking another. And the cook, thinking that he did not want any more to eat, went on passing it before he got his other piece. [2.2.5] Thereupon he took his mishap so to heart that he lost not only the meat he had taken but also what was still left of his sauce; for this last he upset somehow or other in the confusion of his vexation and anger over his hard luck. The lieutenant nearest us saw it and laughed and clapped his hands in amusement. And I," he added, "pretended to cough; for even I could not keep from laughing. Such is one man, Cyrus, that I present to you as one of our comrades."At this they laughed, of course.

 [2.2.6] But another of the captains said: "Our friend here, it seems, Cyrus, has fallen in with a very ill-mannered fellow. But as for me, when you had instructed us about the arrangement of the lines and dismissed us with orders each to teach his own company what we had learned from you, why then I went and proceeded to drill one platoon, just as the others also did. I assigned the lieutenant his place first and arranged next after him a young recruit, and the rest, as I thought proper. Then I took my stand out in front of them facing the platoon, and when it seemed to me to be the proper time, I gave the command to go ahead. [2.2.7] And that young recruit, mark you, stepped ahead--of the lieutenant and marched in front of him! And when I saw it, I said: `Fellow, what are you doing?' `I am going ahead, as you ordered,' said he. `Well,' said I, `I ordered not only you, but all to go ahead.' When he heard this, he turned about to his comrades and said: `Don't you hear him scolding? He orders us all to go ahead.' Then the men all ran past their lieutenant and came toward me. [2.2.8] But when the lieutenant ordered them back to their , they were indignant and said: `Pray, which one are we to obey? For now the one orders us to go ahead, and the other will not let us.' I took this good-naturedly, however, and when I had got them in position again, I gave instructions that no one of those behind should stir before the one in front led off, but that all should have their attention on this only--to follow the man in front. [2.2.9] But when a certain man who was about to start for Persia came up and asked me for the letter which I had written home, I bade the lieutenant run and fetch it, for he knew where it had been placed. So he started off on a run, and that young recruit followed, as he was, breastplate and sword; and then the whole fifty, seeing him run, ran after. And the men came back bringing the letter. So exactly, you see, does my company, at least, carry out all your orders."

[2.2.10] The rest, of course, laughed over the military escort of the letter, and Cyrus said: "O Zeus and all the gods! What sort of men we have then as our comrades; they are so easily won by kindness that we can make many of them our firm friends with even a little piece of meat; and they are so obedient that they obey even before the orders are given. I, for my part, do not know what sort of soldiers one could ask to have in preference to these!"

 [2.2.11] Thus Cyrus praised his soldiers, laughing at the same time. But one of his captains, Aglai+tadas by name, one of the most austere of men, happened to be in Cyrus's tent at the same time and he spoke somewhat as follows: "You don't mean to say, Cyrus, that you think what these fellows have been telling is true?""Well," said Cyrus, "what object could they have, pray, in telling a lie?""What object, indeed," said the other, "except that they wanted to raise a laugh; and so they tell these stories and try to humbug us."

[2.2.12] "Hush!" said Cyrus. "Don't call these men humbugs. For to me, the name `humbug' seems to apply to those who pretend that they are richer than they are or braver than they are, and to those who promise to do what they cannot do, and that, too, when it is evident that they do this only for the sake of getting something or making some gain. But those who invent stories to amuse their companions and not for their own gain nor at the expense of their hearers nor to the injury of any one, why should these men not be called `witty' and `entertaining' rather than `humbugs'?"

 [2.2.13] Thus Cyrus defended those who had furnished the fun, and the captain himself who had told the anecdote about his platoon said: "Verily, Aglai+tadas, you might find serious fault with us, if we tried to make you weep, like some authors who invent touching incidents in their poems and stories and try to move us to tears; but now, although you yourself know that we wish to entertain you and not to do you any harm at all, still you heap such reproaches upon us."

[2.2.14] "Aye, by Zeus," said Aglai+tadas, "and justly, too, since he that makes his friends laugh seems to me to do them much less service than he who makes them weep; and if you will look at it rightly, you, too, will find that I speak the truth. At any rate, fathers develop self-control in their sons by making them weep, and teachers impress good lessons upon their pupils in the same way, and the laws, too, turn the citizens to justice by making them weep. But could you say that those who make us laugh either do good to our bodies or make our minds any more fitted for the management of our private business or of the affairs of state?"

[2.2.15] Hereupon Hystaspas answered somewhat as follows: "If you will heed me, Aglai+tadas, you will freely expend this very valuable commodity upon your enemies and will try to set them to weeping; but upon us and your friends here you will please to lavish this cheap article, laughter. And you can, for I know you must have a great quantity of it stored up; for you have never spent it upon yourself nor do you ever afford any laughter for your friends or for your enemies if you can help it. So you have no excuse for begrudging us a laugh.""What!" said Aglai+tadas; "do you really think, Hystaspas, to get a laugh out of me?""Well, by Zeus," said the other captain, "he is a very foolish fellow, let me tell you, if he does; for I believe one might rub fire out of you more easily than provoke a laugh from you."

[2.2.16] At this, of course, the rest laughed; for they knew his character, and Aglai+tadas himself smiled at the sally. And Cyrus seeing him brighten up said: "It is not right, captain, for you to corrupt our most serious man by persuading him to laugh, and that, too," said he, "when he is such a foe to laughter."

[2.2.17] With that, the subject was dropt. But at this point Chrysantas spoke as follows.

 [2.2.18] "Cyrus," said he, "and all you here present, I observe, for my part, that some have come out with us who are of superior merit, others who are less deserving than we. Now, if we meet with success, these will all expect to have share and share alike. And yet I do not believe that anything in the world is more unfair than for the bad and good to be awarded equal shares.""Well, then, in the name of the gods, my men," Cyrus replied to this, "will it not be a very good thing for us to suggest to the army a debate on this question: shall we, in case God gives us any success to reward our toils, give to all an equal share or shall we take into consideration each man's services and bestow increased rewards upon him commensurate with them?"

[2.2.19] "And what is the use," said Chrysantas, "of starting a discussion concerning this matter? Why not rather announce that you propose to do thus and so? Pray, did you not announce the games and offer the prizes that way?""Yes, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "but this is not a parallel case. For what the men obtain by fighting, that, I suppose, they will consider their own common property; but the command of the army they still consider fairly to be mine, so that when I appoint the judges, I am sure they think I am within my rights."

 [2.2.20] "And do you really believe," said Chrysantas, "that the mass meeting would adopt a resolution that each one should not have an equal share, but that the best should have the preference both in honours and gifts?""Yes," said Cyrus, "I do, partly because we recommend it, and partly because it is mean to oppose a proposition that the one who suffers the most and does the most for the state should also receive the highest rewards. And I think," said he, "that even to the worst it will seem proper that the good should have the larger share."

[2.2.21] Now Cyrus wished for the sake of the peers themselves that this measure should pass; for he thought that even they themselves would be better, if they knew that they also should be judged by their works and should receive according to their deserts. And so it seemed to him to be the proper time to bring this matter to a vote now, while the peers also were questioning the commoners' claims to equality. Accordingly, those in the tenth agreed to submit the question to a discussion and they said that whoever thought himself to be a man ought to advocate it.

[2.2.22] But one of the captains said with a laugh: "Well, I know a man of the commoners, too, who will support the proposition not to have share and share alike in that indiscriminate fashion."Another asked him whom he meant; and he answered: "By Zeus, he is a messmate of ours, who in everything does his best to get the largest share.""What! the largest share of hard work, too?" asked another."No, by Zeus," said he; "not by any means; but here I have been caught in a falsehood. For my observation is that he very good-naturedly consents to have a smaller share of hard work and other things of that sort than anybody else.

 [2.2.23] Well, men," said Cyrus, "I am convinced that such fellows as this one of whom our friend has just been telling us must be weeded out of ranks, if we are to keep our army industrious and obedient. For it seems to me that the majority of the soldiers are the sort to follow wherever any one leads; and the good and noble, I think, try to lead only to what is good and noble, and the vicious to what is vicious. [2.2.24] And therefore the base oftentimes find a larger following of congenial spirits than the noble. For since vice makes her appeal through the pleasures of the moment, she has their assistance to persuade many to accept her views; but virtue, leading up hill, is not at all clever at attracting men at first sight and without reflection; and especially is this true, when there are others who call in the opposite direction, to what is downhill and easy.

[2.2.25] And so, when people are bad only because of laziness and indolence, I believe that they, like drones, damage their associates only by the cost of their keeping. But those who are poor companions in toil, and also extravagant and shameless in their desire for any advantage, these are likely also to lead others to what is vicious; for they are often able to demonstrate that vice does gain some advantage. And so we must weed out such men at any cost.

 [2.2.26] "Do not, however, endeavour to fill up their places in the ranks with your own countrymen only; but, just as in selecting a team you seek out not horses that are home-bred but those which are best, so also in the case of men, take them from all sources--whoever you think will be most likely to contribute to your strencth and to your honour. And I have the following illustrations to prove the worth of my suggestion: a chariot would never go fast, I am sure, if slow horses were attached to it, nor would it be serviceable if horses unfit for service were harnessed to it; nor yet could a house be well managed if it employed vicious servants, but it would suffer less from having no servants at all than from being kept in confusion by incapable servants.

[2.2.27] "Let me assure you of this, too, my friends," he added, "that the weeding out of the vicious will bring not only this advantage, that the vicious will be out of the way, but also among those who remain the ones that have already been infected with vice will be purged of it, while the virtuous seeing the vicious disgraced will cleave more eagerly to virtue."

 [2.2.28] With that he concluded; and all his friends agreed that what he said was true, and they began to act upon that principle.After that Cyrus began again to jest with them; for he had observed that one of the lieutenants had brought along as a guest and companion at table an exceedingly hairy and exceedingly ill-favoured man; and addressing the lieutenant by name he spoke as follows: "Well, Sambaulas," said he, "so you also have adopted the Greek fashion, have you, and take about with you everywhere this youngster who is now beside you, because he is so handsome?""Yes, by Zeus," said Sambaulas; "at all events I enjoy both his company and his looks."

[2.2.29] When his messmates heard this, they looked at the man; and when they saw that his countenance was exceedingly ugly, they all laughed. And one of them said: "In the name of the gods, Sambaulas, what has this fellow done to make such a hit with you?"

[2.2.30] "By Zeus, fellows," he answered, "I will tell you. Every time that I have called him, whether by day or by night, he has never made any excuse saying that `he had not time,' nor has he answered my call slowly, but always on a run. And as often as I have bidden him do anything, I have never seen him perform it without sweat; and besides, by showing them not by precept but by example what sort of men they ought to be, he has made his whole squad of ten just like himself."

[2.2.31] "And yet," said one of the men, "although he is such an excellent fellow, you don't kiss him as you do your relatives?"And the homely man answered this and said: "No, by Zeus, for he is not fond of hard work; for if he wished to kiss me, that would be an ample substitute for all his drill-work."

Book 2, Section 3

 [2.3.1] Things of this sort, both grave and gay, were said and done at the dinner party. And finally when they had made the third libation1 and prayed to the gods for their blessings, the party broke up, and they all went to bed. Then on the morrow, Cyrus called all his soldiers together and spoke as follows:

[2.3.2] "Friends, the conflict is at hand; for the enemy are approaching. As for the prizes of victory, if we are victorious--and we must assume that we shall be and work to that end--it is evident that the enemy and all that is theirs will belong to us. But, on the other hand, if we are defeated--in this case, too, all the possessions of the vanquished are invariably the prizes set for the victors. [2.3.3] Accordingly," said he, "you must realize that when men who are united as comrades in war are fully persuaded that nothing will come out as it should unless each individual man exerts himself, then many splendid achievements are speedily accomplished; for nothing that needs to be done is neglected. But when each one assumes that there will be some one else to do and to fight, even if he proves a weakling, let me assure you," said he, "that to such men, all alike, all that is grievous comes in a flood. [2.3.4] And God has ordained it in some such way as this: in the case of those who will not compel themselves to work out their own good, he assigns others to be their commanders. Now, therefore, let any one stand up and speak to this question before us, whether he thinks that valour would be more cultivated among us, if the one who will do and dare most is also to receive the greatest rewards, or if we know that it makes no difference whether a man be a coward or not, as we shall all share and share alike."

 [2.3.5] Hereupon Chrysantas, one of the peers, a man neither large nor powerful to look upon, but preminent in understanding, stood up and spoke: "Well, Cyrus," said he, "I think that you are introducing this discussion not because you think that the bad ought to have an equal share with the good, but because you wish to prove whether a single man will really be found who will care to let it be known that he thinks that, even if he himself does nothing good and noble, he should have an equal share of that which others win by their valour. [2.3.6] Now I," he went on, "am neither fleet of foot nor strong of arm, and I know that in view of what I shall accomplish by my bodily strength I should not be judged either the first or the second, or even, I suppose, the thousandth, and perhaps not even the ten thousandth. But on this point I am perfectly clear, that if those who are powerful men take matters vigorously in hand, I shall have as large a share of any good fortune that may come as I deserve. But if the bad do nothing and the good and strong lose heart, I am afraid," said he, "that I shall have a larger share than I wish of something other than good."

 [2.3.7] Thus spoke Chrysantas. And after him Pheraulas stood up, one of the Persian common ers, but a man who for some reason or other had from the beginning won Cyrus's confidence and affection; besides he was well-favoured in body and a gentleman at heart. His speech was as follows:

[2.3.8] "I think, Cyrus," said he, "and all you Persians here assembled, that we are all now starting on an equal footing in a contest of merit; for I observe that we are all taking the same bodily exercise, that we all have the same rations, that we are all considered worthy to move in the same society, and that the prizes are offered alike to all. For obedience to the officers has been enjoined equally upon us all, and whoever shows himself prompt to comply, I observe that he receives honour from Cyrus. Again, to be brave in the face of the enemy is not a thing to be expected of one and not of another, but it is considered far the noblest thing for all alike.

[2.3.9] "And now," he continued, "we havebeen initiated into a method of fighting, which, I observe, all men naturally understand, just as in the case of other creatures each understands some method of fighting which it has not learned from any other source than from instinct: for instance, the bull knows how to fight with his horns, the horse with his hoofs, the dog with his teeth, the boar with his tusks. And all know how to protect themselves, too, against that from which they most need protection, and that, too, though they have never gone to school to any teacher.

[2.3.10] As for myself, I have understood from my very childhood how to protect the spot where I thought I was likely to receive a blow; and if I had nothing else I put out my hands to hinder as well as I could the one who was trying to hit me. And this I did not from having been taught to do so, but even though I was beaten for that very act of putting out my hands. Furthermore, even when I was a little fellow I used to seize a sword wherever I saw one, although, I declare, I had never learned, except from instinct, even how to take hold of a sword. At any rate, I used to do this, even though they tried to keep me from it--and certainly they did not teach me so to do--just as I was impelled by nature to do certain other things which my father and mother tried to keep me away from. And, by Zeus, I used to hack with a sword everything that I could without being caught at it. For this was not only instinctive, like walking and running, but I thought it was fun in addition to its being natural.

[2.3.11] "Be that as it may," he went on, "since this method of fighting awaits us, which demands courage more than skill, why should we not gladly compete with the peers here? For the prizes proposed for excellence are equal, but we shall go into the trial not having at stake interests equal with theirs; for they have at stake a life of honour, which is the most happy of all, while we risk only a life of toil unhonoured, which I think is most burdensome.

[2.3.12] "And this, comrades, gives me the most courage for the competition with these gentlemen, that Cyrus is to be the judge; for he decides not with partiality, but (I swear it by the gods) I verily think that Cyrus loves no less than himself those whom he recognizes as valiant. At any rate, I observe that, whatever he has, he is much more pleased to give it to them than to keep it for himself. [2.3.13] And yet I know that these men pride themselves upon having been trained, as they say, to endure hunger and thirst and cold, but they do not know that in this we also have been trained by a better teacher than they have had; for in these branches there is no better teacher than necessity, which has given us exceedingly thorough instruction in them. [2.3.14] And they have been in training for hard labour by carrying weapons, which all men have so devised that they may be as easy as possible to bear; while we, on our part, have been obliged to walk and to run with heavy burdens, so that the carrying of arms now seems to me more like having wings than bearing a burden.

[2.3.15] "Let me inform you, therefore, Cyrus," said he, "that I, for one, shall not only enter this contest, but I shall also expect you to reward me according to my deserts, whatever I am, for better or worse. And you, my fellow-commoners," he concluded, "I recommend you to enter with alacrity into the competition with these gentlemen in this sort of warfare; for now they have been trapped in a contest with commoners."

[2.3.16] Thus Pheraulas spoke. And many others from both orders rose to speak in favour of the measure. They decided that each one should receive rewards according to his deserts, and that Cyrus should be the judge. Thus, then, the matter was satisfactorily settled.

 [2.3.17] And once Cyrus invited a captain and his whole company to dinner, because he had noticed him drawing up one half of the men of his company against the other half for a sham battle. Both sides had breastplates and on their left arms their shields; in the hands of the one side he placed stout cudgels, while he told the other side that they would have to pick up clods to throw.

[2.3.18] Now when they had taken their stand thus equipped, he gave the order to begin battle. Then those on the one side threw their clods, and some struck the breastplates and shields, others also struck the thighs and greaves of their opponents. But when they came into close quarters, those who had the cudgels struck the others--some upon the thighs, others upon the arms, others upon the shins; and as still others stooped to pick up clods, the cudgels came down upon their necks and backs. And finally, when the cudgel-bearers had put their opponents to flight, they pursued them laying on the blows amid shouts of laughter and merriment. And then again, changing about, the other side took the cudgels with the same result to their oppononts, who in turn threw clods.

[2.3.19] In this Cyrus admired both the captain's cleverness and the men's obedience, and he was pleased to see that they were at the same time having their practice and enjoying themselves and also because that side was victorious which was armed after the fashion of the Persians. Pleased with this he invited them to dinner; and in his tent, observing some of them wearing bandages--one around his leg, another around his arm--he asked them what the matter was; and they answered that they had been hit with the clods. [2.3.20] And he inquired further, whether it had happened when they were close together or far apart. And they said it was when they were far apart. But when they came to close quarters, it was capital fun--so the cudgel-bearers said; but those who had been thoroughly drubbed with the cudgels cried out that it did not seem any fun to them to be beaten at close quarters, and at the same time they showed the marks of the cudgels on their arms and their necks and some also on their faces. And then, as was natural, they laughed at one another.On the following day the whole plain was full of men following their example; and if they had nothing more important to do, they indulged in this sport.

 [2.3.21] And once he saw another captain leading his company up from the river left about in single file and ordering when he thought it was proper, the second division and then the third and the fourth to advance to the front; and when the lieutenants were in a row in front, he ordered each division to march up in double file. Thus the sergeants came to stand on the front line. Again, when he thought proper, he ordered the divisions to line up four abreast; in this formation, then, the corporals in their turn came to stand four abreast in each division; and when they arrived at the doors of the tent, he commanded them to fall into single file again, and in this order he led the first division into the tent; the second he ordered to fall in line behind the first and follow, and, giving orders in like manner to the third and fourth, he led them inside. And when he had thus led them all in, he gave them their places at dinner in the order in which they came in. Pleased with him for his gentleness of discipline and for his painstaking, Cyrus invited this company also with its captain to dinner.With another doubling up of ranks, they assume a front of sixteen men and a depth of six:Finally in these groups of six each, they are led, single file, in to dinner.

[2.3.22] Now there was present another captain who had been invited to the dinner and he said: "Cyrus, will you not invite my company to your tent? My company, too, does all this when we go to mess, and when the meal is finished the rear-guard leader of the last division leads that division out, keeping in the rear those whose place in the battle line is in front; then, next after them, the second rear-guard leader brings out the men of the second division, and the third and the fourth in like manner, in order that," he explained, "they may also know how to withdraw, if ever it is necessary to retreat before the enemy. And when we take our places on the parade-groun, I take the lead, when we march toward the east, and the first division of the company goes first, the second in its proper order, and then the third and the fourth and the squads of ten and five in each division, until I give the order for some change of formation; then," said he, "when we march toward the west, the rear-guard leader and the rear-guard lead off first. Still, even so, they have to look to me for the commands, though I march last, so that they may get into the habit of obeying just the same whether they follow or whether they lead."

[2.3.23] "Do you always do that way?" asked Cyrus."Yes, by Zeus," said he, "as often as we go to dinner.""Well then," said Cyrus, "I will invite you, because you give your lines practice both in coming and in going, by night and by day, and also because you give your bodies exercise by marching about, and improve your minds by instruction. Since, therefore, you do all this doubly, it is only fair that I should furnish you a double feast also."

[2.3.24] "No, by Zeus," said the captain, "at any rate not on the same day, unless you will furnish us with double stomachs as well."Thus they brought that dinner to a close. And on the following day Cyrus invited that company, as he had promised, and again the next day. And when the others heard about it, they all followed, in the future, the example of that company.

2,3,1,n1. Xenophon here introduces a Greek custom; the Persians poured no libations. But at the conclusion of a dinner, the Greeks poured three libations: the first, to the gods; the second, to the heroes; the third to Zeus, or to Hermes.

Book 2, Section 4

 [2.4.1] Once when Cyrus was holding a general review and parade of all his men under arms, a messenger came from Cyaxares saying that an embassy had arrived from India. "He therefore bids you come as soon as possible. Moreover," said the messenger, "I am bringing you a very beautiful robe from Cyaxares; for he expressed the wish that you appear as brilliant and splendid as possible when you come, for the Indians will see how you approach him."

[2.4.2] And when Cyrus heard this, he gave orders to the captain who was stationed first to take his stand at the head of the line, bringing up his company in single file and keeping himself to the right; he told him to transmit the same order to the second captain and to pass it on through all the lines. And they obeyed at once and passed the order on, and they all executed it promptly, and in a little while they were three hundred abreast on the front line, for that was the number of the captains, and a hundred men deep.

[2.4.3] And when they had got into their places, he ordered them to follow as he himself should lead. And at once he led them off at a double quick step. But when he became aware that the street leading to the king's headquarters was too narrow to admit all his men with such a front, he ordered the first regiment in their present order to follow him, the second to fall in behind the first, and so on through them all, while he himself led on without stopping to rest, and the other regiments followed, each the one before it.

 [2.4.4] And he sent also two adjutants to the entrance of the street, to tell what was to be done, if any one did not understand. And when they arrived at Cyaxares's doors, he ordered the first captain to draw up his company twelve deep, while the sergeants were to take their places on the front line about the king's headquarters. He bade him transmit the same orders to the second captain, and so on to all the rest; [2.4.5] and they proceeded to do so, while he presented himself before Cyaxares in his Persian dress, which was not at all showy. When Cyaxares saw him, he was pleased at his promptness but displeased with the plainness of his dress and said: "How is this, Cyrus? What do you mean by appearing thus before the Indians? Now I wished you to appear with as much magnificence as possible, for it would have been a mark of respect to me to have my sister's son appear in all possible grandeur."

 [2.4.6] "Should I be showing you more respect, Cyaxares," Cyrus made reply to this, "if I arrayed myself in purple and adorned myself with bracelets and put on a necklace and at my leisure obeyed your orders, than I have in obeying you with such dispatch and accompanied by so large and so efficient an army? And I have come myself adorned with sweat and marks of haste to honour you and I present the others likewise obedient to you."Thus Cyrus spoke, and Cyaxares recognizing that he was right summoned the Indians. [2.4.7] And when the Indians came in they said that the king of India had sent them with orders to ask on what ground the Medes and the Assyrians had declared war. "And he has ordered us," they said, "when we have heard your statement, to go also to the Assyrian and ask him the same question; and finally, he bade us say to both of you that the king of India declared that when he was weighed the merits of the case, he will side with the party wronged."

 [2.4.8] "Well, then," Cyaxares made reply to this, "let me tell you that we are not guilty of doing any wrong to the Assyrian; but go now, if you wish, and ask him what he has to say."Cyrus, who was present, asked Cyaxares, "May I also tell them what I think?" And Cyaxares bade him say on."Well then," said he, "if Cyaxares has no objection, tell the king of India that we propose, in case the Assyrian says he has been wronged by us, to choose the king of India himself to be our arbitrator."Upon hearing this, they went away. [2.4.9] And when they had gone out, Cyrus addressed Cyaxares as follows:"Cyaxares, I came from home without very much money of my own, and of what I had I have very little left. I have spent it," he said, "upon my soldiers. Now you wonder, perhaps, how I have spent it upon them, when you are maintaining them; but I want you to know that it has gone for nothing else than rewards and entertainments, whenever I am pleased with any of my soldiers. [2.4.10] For," said he, "in the case of all those whom one wishes to make efficient coadjutors in any enterprise of any sort whatsoever, it seems to me pleasanter to draw them on by kind words and kind services rather than by compulsion and force; but in the case of those whom one wishes to make enthusiastic followers in his plans of war, one must by all means try to capture them with kind words and kind offices. For those men who are to be trusty comrades, who will not envy their commander in his successes nor betray him in his adversity, must be his friends and not his enemies. [2.4.11] Accordingly, as I recognize this in advance, I think I need more money. However, it seems to me unreasonable for every one to be looking to you, who, I observe, are put to great expense; but I think that you and I should together lay plans that funds may never fail you. For if you have plenty, I am sure it would be possible for me to draw money whenever I needed it, especially if I should take it to spend for something that would be more to your advantage also.

 [2.4.12] "Now I remember hearing you say one day recently that the Armenian king despises you now, because he has heard that the enemy are coming against you, and that therefore he is neither sending troops nor paying the tribute which is due.""Yes, Cyrus," he answered; "that is just what he is doing; and so, for my part, I am in doubt whether it is better to proceed against him and try to enforce allegiance or to let him alone for the present, for fear we bring him also upon us as an enemy, in addition to the others."

[2.4.13] "But his residences," asked Cyrus, "are they all in fortified places or are perhaps some of them in places easy of approach?""His residences," answered Cyaxares, "are in places not very well fortified; I did not fail to attend to that. However, there are mountains where he could take refuge and for a time be safe from falling into our hands himself, and where he could insure the safety of whatever he could have carried up there s, unless some one should occupy the approaches and hold him in siege, as my father did."

[2.4.14] "Well," Cyrus then made answer, "if you would give me as many horsemen as you think reasonable and send me there, I think that with the help of the gods I could make him send the troops and pay the tribute to you. And besides, I hope that he will be made a better friend to us than he now is."

[2.4.15] "I also have hopes," Cyaxares replied, "that they would come to you sooner than to me; for I understand that some of his sons were among your companions in the chase; and so, perhaps, they would join you again. And if they should fall into your hands, everything would be accomplished as we wish.""Well then," said Cyrus, "do you think it good policy to have this plan of ours kept a secret?""Yes, indeed," said Cyaxares; "for then some of them would be more likely to fall into our hands, and besides, if one were to attack them, they would be taken unprepared."

 [2.4.16] "Listen then," said Cyrus, "and see if you think there is anything in what I say. Now I have often hunted with all my forces near the boundary between your country and the Armenians, and have even gone there with some horsemen from among my companions here.""And so," said Cyaxares, "if you were to do the same again, you would excite no suspicion; but if they should notice that your force was much larger than that with which you used to hunt, this would at once look suspicious."

[2.4.17] "But," said Cyrus, "it is possible to devise a pretext that will be credited both here and also there, if some one bring them word that I wish to institute a great hunt; and horsemen I should ask of you openly.""A very clever scheme!" said Cyaxares; "and I shall refuse to give you more than a reasonable number, on the ground that I wish to visit the outposts on the Assyrian border. And that will be no lie, for in reality," said he, "I do wish to go there and to make them as strong as possible. And when you have gone ahead with the forces you have and have already been hunting for two days, I will send you a sufficient number of the cavalry and infantry that are mustered with me, and you may take them and make an inroad at once. And I myself, with the rest of my forces, will try to be not far away from you, to make my appearance upon the scene, should occasion require it."

[2.4.18] Thereupon Cyaxares at once proceeded to get his cavalry and infantry together for visiting the outposts, and to send out wagon-loads of provisions on the road to the outposts. But Cyrus proceeded to offer sacrifice in behalf of his expedition, and at the same time he sent to Cyaxares and asked for some of his younger horsemen. But, although very many wished to go along, Cyaxares would not give him many.Now after Cyaxares with his forces of cavalry and infantry had already started off on the road to the outposts, Cyrus's sacrifice turned out favourable for proceeding against the Armenian. Accordingly, he led his men out equipped as if for hunting.

[2.4.19] And as he proceeded on his way, in the very first field a hare started up. And an eagle flying up from the east1 caught sight of the hare as it ran and swooping down struck it, seized it, and carried it up, then bore it away to a hill not far off and disposed of his prey at his pleasure. Then Cyrus, observing the omen, was delighted and did homage to Sovereign Zeus and said to those who were by: "Our hunt, comrades, please God, will be successful."

 [2.4.20] When they arrived at the frontier, he at once proceeded to hunt, as he used to do; and the most of his men, on foot and on horseback, were marching in a straight line before him, in order to start up the game as they approached. But the best of his foot and horse stood at intervals and lay in wait for what was started up, and pursued it in relays. And they took many boars, deer, antelope, and wild asses; for many wild asses breed in those regions even unto this day.

[2.4.21] And when he stopped hunting, he marched up to the Armenian border and dined; and on the following day, he went up to the mountains toward which he was aiming and hunted again. And when again he stopped, he sat down to dinner; but when he saw the army from Cyaxares approaching, he sent to them secretly and bade them take their dinner at a distance of about two parasangs, for he foresaw that this also would contribute to the secrecy of his design; but he ordered their commander to come to him when they had finished their dinner. Then, after dinner, he called together his captains; and when they had come he addressed them as follows:

 [2.4.22] "My friends, the Armenian king formerly was both an ally and a dependent of Cyaxares; but now since he has seen the enemy coming upon us, he is insolent and neither sends us his complement of soldiers nor pays his tribute. Now, therefore, he is the game we have come to catch, if we can. And here is the plan that I think we should pursue: do you, Chrysantas, when you have had as much rest as you reasonably need, take half of the Persians who are with us, and following the mountain road take possession of the heights to which they say he flees for refuge when anything alarms him. I will furnish you with guides.

 [2.4.23] Now they say that these mountains are thickly wooded, and so I have hopes of your not being seen. Nevertheless, suppose you send ahead of your army some active men, in the guise of brigands both as to numbers and accountrements; these, if they met any Armenians, would capture them and so prevent their spreading any reports; or, if they failed to capture them, they would frighten them away and so prevent their seeing the whole of your army, and would thus cause them to take precautions as against only a band of thieves. [2.4.24] Do you, then," said he, "do this; but I, at break of day, with half the infantry and all the cavalry, will proceed through the plain straight toward the capital. And if he resists, we shall have to fight, of course; and if he abandons the field, of course we shall have to chase him; but if he flees to the mountain, then it is your business not to let any one of those who come your way escape.

[2.4.25] And bear in mind that, just as in hunting, we shall be the ones beating out the game, you the man in charge of the nets. Remember this, then, that the runs must be blocked before the game starts; and those at the entrance to those runs must keep out of sight, if they are not to turn the animals aside as they come on. [2.4.26] However," he added, "do not in this case do as you sometimes do, Chrysantas, in your fondness for hunting: you often keep yourself busy all night without sleeping; but now you should let your men rest long enough, so that they may be able to resist drowsiness.

[2.4.27] "Again, do not, because you personally are accustomed to wander up and down the mountains without following human guides but running after the game wherever it leads you--do not now go into such dangerous and difficult places, but order your guides to lead you by the easiest road, unless it is much too long; for the easiest road is the shortest for an army.

[2.4.28] And do not lead your men at a run because you are used to running up mountains, but lead with moderate haste, that your army may be able to follow you easily. [2.4.29] And it is a good thing for some of the strongest and most zealous to fall back sometimes and encourage the rest; and when the column has passed by them, it is an incentive to all to hasten when these are seen running past them as they walk."

 [2.4.30] On hearing this, Chrysantas was elated with his commission from Cyrus; he took his guides and went away, and after giving what orders he thought necessary to those who were to go with him he went to rest. And when they had slept as long as he thought reasonable, he started for the mountains.

[2.4.31] And when it was day, Cyrus sent forward a messenger to the Armenian with instructions to speak to him as follows: "`King of Armenia, Cyrus bids you take steps as quickly as possible to deliver to him the tribute and the troops.' And if he asks where I am, tell the truth and say that I am at the frontier. And if he asks whether I also am coming in person, tell the truth in that case also and say that you do not know. But if he inquires how many men we are, bid him send some one along with you and find out."

[2.4.32] With such instructions he sent the messenger off, for he thought that this was a more friendly course than to march upon him without notice. And he himself set out with his army in the formation which he thought best adapted both for covering distance and for fighting if necessary. He ordered his soldiers to molest no one, and, if any one met any Armenians, to bid them have no fear but to say that if any one of them wished to sell food or drink, he should feel free to bring it wherever they were and open a market.

2,4,19,n1. aisios means, strictly speaking, "auspicious," "bringing (good) omens;" and good omens came from the east, the home of light.

 

continue with [ Book Three ]

 

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