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Cyropaedia of Xenophon
The Life of Cyrus The Great

Book 4 


Book 4, Section 1

 [4.1.1] Cyrus remained there for a while with his army and showed that they were ready to do battle, if any one should come out. But as no one did come out against him, he withdrew as far as he thought proper and encamped. And when he had stationed his outposts and sent out his scouts, he called together his own men, took his place in their midst, and addressed them as follows:

[4.1.2] "Fellow-citizens of Persia, first of all I praise the gods with all my soul; and so, I believe, do all of you; for we not only have won a victory, but our lives have been spared. We ought, therefore, to render to the gods thank-offerings of whatsoever we have. And I here and now commend you as a body, for you have all contributed to this glorious achievement; but as for the deserts of each of you individually, I shall try by word and deed to give every man his due reward, when I have ascertained from proper sources what credit each one deserves. [4.1.3] But as to Captain Chrysantas, who fought next to me, I have no need to make enquiry from others, for I myself know how gallant his conduct was; in everything else he did just as I think all of you also did; but when I gave the word to retreat and called to him by name, even though he had his sword raised to smite down an enemy he obeyed me at once and refrained from what he was on the point of doing and proceeded to carry out my order; not only did he himself retreat but he also with instant promptness passed the word on to the others; and so he succeeded in getting his division out of range before the enemy discovered that we were retreating or drew their bows or let fly their javelins. And thus by his obedience he is unharmed himself and he has kept his men unharmed. [4.1.4] But others," said he, "I see wounded; and when I have enquired at what moment of the engagement they received their wounds, I will then express my opinion concerning them. But Chrysantas, as a mighty man of war, prudent and fitted to command and to obey--him I now promote to a colonelship. And when God shall vouchsafe some further blessing, then, too, I shall not forget him.

 [4.1.5] "I wish also to leave this thought with all of you," he went on: "never cease to bear in mind what you have just seen in this day's battle, so that you may always judge in your own hearts whether courage is more likely to save men's lives than running away, and whether it is easier for those to withdraw who wish to fight than for those who are unwilling, and what sort of pleasure victory brings; for you can best judge of these matters now when you have experience of them and while the event is of so recent occurrence. [4.1.6] And if you would always keep this in mind, you would be more valiant men."Now go to dinner, as men beloved of God and brave and wise; pour libations to the gods, raise the song of victory, and at the same time be on the lookout for orders that may come."

[4.1.7] When he had said this, he mounted his horse and rode away to Cyaxares. They exchanged congratulations, as was fitting, and after Cyrus had taken note of matters there and asked if there were anything he could do, he rode back to his own army. Then he and his followers dined, stationed their pickets duly, and went to rest.

[4.1.8] The Assyrians, on the other hand, inasmuch as they had lost their general and with him nearly all their best men, were all disheartened, and many of them even ran away from the camp in the course of the night. And when Croesus and the rest of their allies saw this, they too lost heart; for the whole situation was desperate; but what caused the greatest despondency in all was the fact that the leading contingent of the army had become thoroughly demoralized. Thus dispirited, then, they quitted their camp and departed under cover of the night. [4.1.9] And when it became day and the enemy's camp was found to be forsaken of men, Cyrus at once led hPersians first across the entrenchments. And many sheep and many cattle and many wagons packed full of good things had been left behind by the enemy. Directly after this, Cyaxares also and all his Medes crossed over and had breakfast there. [4.1.10] And when they had breakfasted, Cyrus called together his captains and spoke as follows:"What good things, fellow-soldiers, and how great, have we let slip, it seems, while the gods were delivering them into our hands! Why, you see with your own eyes that the enemy have run away from us; when people behind fortifications abandon them and flee, how would any one expect them to stand and fight, if they met us in a fair and open field? And if they did not stand their ground when they were yet unacquainted with us, how would they withstand us now, when they have been defeated and have suffered heavy loss at our hands? And when their bravest men have been slain, how would their more cowardly be willing to fight us?"

[4.1.11] "Why not pursue them as swiftly as possible," said one of the men; "now that the good things we have let slip are so manifest to us?""Because," he replied, "we have not horses enough; for the best of the enemy, those whom it were most desirable either to capture or to kill, are riding off on horseback. With the help of the gods we were able to put them to flight, but we are not able to pursue and overtake them."

[4.1.12] "Then why do you not go and tell Cyaxares this?" said they."Come with me, then, all of you," he answered, "so that he may know that we are all agreed upon this point."Thereupon they all followed and submitted such arguments as they thought calculated to gain their object.

[4.1.13] Now Cyaxares seemed to feel some little jealousy because the proposal came from them; at the same time, perhaps, he did not care to risk another engagement; then, too, he rather wished to stay where he was, for it happened that he was busily engaged in making merry himself, and he saw that many of the other Medes were doing the same. However that may be, he spoke as follows:

 [4.1.14] "Well, Cyrus, I know from what I see and hear that you Persians are more careful than other people not to incline to the least intemperance in any kind of pleasure. But it seems to me that it is much better to be moderate in the greatest pleasure than to be moderate in lesser pleasures; and what brings to man greater pleasure than success, such as has now been granted us?

[4.1.15] "If, therefore [when we are successful], we follow up our success with moderation, we might, perhaps, be able to grow old in happiness unalloyed with danger. But if we enjoy it intemperately and try to pursue first one success and then another, see to it that we do not share the same fate that they say many have suffered upon the sea, that is, because of their success they have not been willing to give up seafaring, and so they have been lost; and many others, when they have gained a victory, have aimed at another and so have lost even what they gained by the first. [4.1.16] And that is the way with us; for if it were because they were inferior to us in numbers that the enemy are fleeing from us, perhaps it might be safe for us actually to pursue this lesser army. But, as it is, reflect with what a mere fraction of their numbers we, with all our forces, have fought and won, while the rest of theirs have not tasted of battle; and if we do not compel them to fight, they will remain unacquainted with our strength and with their own, and they will go away because of their ignorance and cowardice. But if they discover that they are in no less danger if they go away than if they remain in the field, beware lest we compel them to be valiant even against their will. [4.1.17] And let me assure you that you are not more eager to capture their women and children than they are to save them. And bethink you that even wild swine flee with their young, when they are discovered, no matter how great their numbers may be; but if any one tries to catch one of the young, the old one, even if she happens to be the only one, does not think of flight but rushes upon the man who is trying to effect the capture. [4.1.18] And now, when they had shut themselves up in their fortifications, they allowed us to manage things so as to fight as many at a time as we pleased. But if we go against them in an open plain and they learn to meet us in separate detachments, some in front of us (as even now), some on either flank, and some in our rear, see to it that we do not each one of us stand in need of many hands and many eyes. And besides," said he, "now that I see the Medes making merry, I should not like to rout them out and compel them to go into danger."

[4.1.19] "Nay," said Cyrus in reply; "please do not place anybody under compulsion; but allow those who will volunteer to follow me, and perhaps we may come back bringing to you and each of your friends here something for you all to make merry with. For the main body of the enemy we certainly shall not even pursue; for how could we ever overtake them? But if we find any detachment of their army straggling or left behind, we shall bring them to you. [4.1.20] And remember," he added, "that we also, when you asked us, came a long journey to do you a favour; and it is therefore only fair that you should do us a favour in return, so that we may not have to go home empty-handed nor always be looking to your treasury here for support."

[4.1.21] "Very well," said Cyaxares then; "if indeed any one will volunteer to follow you, I for my part should be really grateful to you.""Well, then," said he, "send with me some one of these notables in positions of trust to announce your commands.""Take any of them you wish," said the other, "and go."

[4.1.22] Now it happened that the man who had once pretended to be a kinsman of his and had got a kiss from him was present there. Cyrus, therefore, said at once: "This man will do.""Let him follow you, then," said Cyaxares. "And do you," he added to Artabazus, "say that whoever will may go with Cyrus."

[4.1.23] So then he took the man and went away. And when they had come out, Cyrus said: "Now then, you shall prove if you spoke the truth when you said that you liked to look at me.""If you talk that way," said the Mede, "I shall never leave you.""Will you do your best, then, to bring others also with you?" asked Cyrus."Yes, by Zeus," he answered with an oath, "to such an extent that I shall make you also glad to look at me."

[4.1.24] Then, as he had his commission from Cyaxares also, he not only gave his message to the Medes with enthusiasm, but he added that, for his part, he himself would never leave the noblest and best of men, and what was more than all, a man descended from the gods.

Book 4, Section 2

 [4.2.1] While Cyrus was thus occupied, messengers came as if providentially from the Hyrcanians. Now the Hyrcanians are neighbours of the Assyrians; they are not a large nation; and for that reason they also were subjects of the Assyrians. Even then they had a reputation for being good horsemen, and they have that reputation still. For this reason the Assyrians used to employ them as the Spartans do the Sciritae, sparing them neither in hardships nor in dangers. And on that particular occasion they were ordered to bring up the rear (they were cavalrymen about a thousand strong), in order that, if any danger should threaten from behind, they might have to bear the brunt of it instead of the Assyrians. [4.2.2] But as the Hyrcanians were to march in the very rear, they had their wagons also and their families in the rear. For, as we know, most of the Asiatic peoples take the field accompanied by their entire households. So in this particular campaign, the Hyrcanians had taken the field thus attended.

[4.2.3] But as they reflected how they were being treated by the Assyrians, that the Assyrian monarch was now slain and the army defeated, that there was great panic throughout the ranks, and that the allies were disand deserting--as they thought over these conditions, they decided that now was a good opportunity to revolt, if Cyrus and his followers would join them in an attack. So they sent envoys to Cyrus; for in consequence of the battle his name had been very greatly magnified. [4.2.4] And those who were sent told Cyrus that they had good reason to hate the Assyrians and that now, if he would proceed against them, they would be his allies and his guides as well. And at the same time they also gave him an account of the enemy's plight, for they wished above all things to incite him to push the campaign.

[4.2.5] "Do you really think," Cyrus enquired, "that we could still overtake them before they reach their strongholds? For we," he added, "consider it hard luck that they have run away from us when we were not watching." Now he said this to make them think as highly as possible of his troops.

[4.2.6] They answered that if Cyrus and his army would start out at daybreak in light marching order, he would come up with them the next day: for because their numbers were so vast and so encumbered with baggage, the enemy were marching slowly. "And besides," they said, "as they had no sleep last night, they have gone ahead only a little way and are now encamped."

[4.2.7] "Have you, then, any surety to give us," Cyrus asked, "to prove that what you say is true?""Yes," they answered, "we are ready to ride away and bring you hostages this very night. Only do you also give us assurance in the name of the gods and give us your right hand, that we may give to the rest of our people, too, the same assurance that we receive from you."

[4.2.8] Thereupon he gave them his solemn promise that, if they should make good their statements, he would treat them as his true friends, so that they should count for no less in his esteem than the Persians or the Medes. And even to this day one may see the Hyrcanians holding positions of trust and authority, just like those of the Persians and Medes who are thought to be deserving.

[4.2.9] When they had dined, he led out his army while it was still daylight, and he bade the Hyrcanians wait for him that they might go together. Now the Persians, as was to be expected, came out to a man to go with him, and Tigranes came with his army; [4.2.10] while of the Medes some came out because as boys they had been friends of Cyrus when he was a boy, others because they liked his ways when they had been with him on the chase, others because they were grateful to him for freeing them, as they thought, from great impending danger, and still others because they cherished the hope that as he seemed to be a man of ability he would one day be exceedingly successful and exceedingly great besides; others wished to requite him for some service he had done for them while he was growing up in Media; many, too, owed to his kindness of heart many a favour at the hands of his grandfather; and many, when they saw the Hyrcanians and when the report spread that these would lead them to rich plunder, came out (apart from other motives) for the sake of getting some gain.

[4.2.11] The result was that almost all came out--even the Medes, except those who happened to be feasting in the same tent with Cyaxares; these and their subordinates remained behind. But all the rest hastened out cheerily and enthusiastically, for they came not from compulsion but of their own free will and out of gratitude.

[4.2.12] And when they were out of the camp, he went first to the Medes and praised them and prayed the gods above all things graciously to lead them and his own men, and he prayed also that he himself might be enabled to reward them for this zeal of theirs. In concluding, he stated that the infantry should go first, and he ordered the Medes to follow with their cavalry. And wherever they were to rest or halt from their march, he enjoined it upon them that some of their number should always come to him, that they might know the need of the hour.

[4.2.13] Then he ordered the Hyrcanians to lead the way."What!" they exclaimed, "are you not going to wait until we bring the hostages, that you also may have a guarantee of our good faith before you proceed?""No," he is said to have answered; "for I consider that we have the guarantee in our own hearts and hands. For it is with these, I think, that we are in a position to do you a service, if you speak the truth; but if you are trying to deceive us, we think that, as things are, we shall not be in your power, but rather, if the gods will, you shall be in ours. And hark you, men of Hyrcania," said he, "as you say that your people are bringing up the enemy's rear, inform us, as soon as you see them, that they are yours, that we may do them no harm."

[4.2.14] When the Hyrcanians heard this, they led the way, as he ordered. They wondered at his magnanimity; and they no longer had any fear of either the Assyrians or the Lydians or their allies, but they feared only lest he should think that it was not of the slightest moment whether they joined him or not.

[4.2.15] As they proceeded, night came on, and it is said that a light from heaven shone forth upon Cyrus and his army, so that they were all filled with awe at the miracle but with courage to meet the enemy. And as they were proceeding in light marching order with all dispatch, they naturally covered a great distance, and in the morning twilight they drew near to the army of the Hyrcanians. [4.2.16] And when the messengers recognized the fact, they reported to Cyrus that these were their own people; for they said that they recognized them both by the fact that they were in the rear and by the number of their fires.

[4.2.17] Upon hearing this report he sent one of the two messengers to them with orders to say that if they were friends, they should come to meet him with their right hands raised. And he sent along also one of his own men and ordered him to tell the Hyrcanians that he and his army would govern their conduct according to the way in which they should see the Hyrcanians behave. And thus it came to pass that one of the messengers remained with Cyrus, while the other rode away to the Hyrcanians.

[4.2.18] While Cyrus was watching to see what the Hyrcanians were going to do, he haltedd his army. and Tigranes and the officers of the Medes rode up to him and asked what they should do. And he said to them: "What you see there not far away is the Hyrcanian army; and one of their envoys has gone to them, and one of our men with him, to tell them all, if they are our friends, to come to meet us with their right hands upraised. Now, if they do so, give to them the right hand of fellowship, each of you to the man opposite himself, and at the same time bid them welcome. But if they raise a weapon or attempt to run away, we must lose no time in trying not to leave a single one of these first alive."

[4.2.19] Such were his commands. And the Hyrcanians were delighted when they heard the report of the envoys, and leaping upon their horses they came at once with right hands upraised, as directed, and the Medes and Persians gave the right hand of fellowship and bade them welcome.

[4.2.20] "Men of Hyrcania," Cyrus said presently, "we trust you now, as you see; and you also ought to feel the same way toward us. But tell us first how far it is from here to the headquarters of the enemy and the main body of their army.""Not much more than a parasang," they answered.

[4.2.21] "Come on, then, Persians and Medes," Cyrus cried; "and you Hyrcanians--for now I speak with you also as confederates and allies--you must know that we are in a position where we shall meet with nothing but disaster if we betray a lack of courage; for the enemy know what we have come for. But if we go into the attack upon the enemy with might and main and with stout hearts, you will see right soon that, just like a lot of slaves caught in an atto run away, some of them will beg for mercy, others will try to escape, others still will not even have presence of mind to do either. For they will see us before they have recovered from their first defeat, and they will find themselves caught neither thinking of our coming, nor drawn up in line, nor prepared to fight. [4.2.22] If, therefore, we wish from this time forth to eat well, to sleep soundly, and to live comfortably, let us not give them time either to take counsel or to provide any defence for themselves, or even to recognize at all that we are human beings; but let them think that nothing but shields, swords, bills, and blows have descended upon them.

[4.2.23] "And you, Hyrcanians," said he, "spread yourselves out in the van and march before us, in order that only your arms may be seen and that our presence here may be concealed as long as possible. And when I come up with the enemy's army, then leave with me, each of you, a division of cavalry for me to use while I remain near their camp. [4.2.24] But you, officers and men of years, march together in close order, if you are wise, so that if you fall in with any compact body you may never be forced back; and leave the pursuit to the younger men, and let them kill all they can; for this is the safest measure--to leave now as few of the enemy alive as possible.

[4.2.25] "And if we win the battle," he continued, "we must be on our guard against an error which has lost the day for many in the hour of victory--turning aside to plunder. For the man who does this is no longer a soldier but a camp-follower; and any one who will is free to treat him as a slave.

[4.2.26] "You should realize this also, that nothing is more enriching than victory. For the victor has swept together all the spoil at once, the men and the women, the wealth and all the lands. Therefore have an eye to this alone--that we may conserve our victory; for even the plunderer himself is in the enemy's power if he is conquered. And remember even in the heat of pursuit to come back to me while it is yet daylight; for after nightfall we shall not admit another man."

[4.2.27] When he had said this he sent them away to their several companies with orders to issue, as they marched, the same directions each to his own corporals (for the corporals were in the front so as to hear); and they were to bid the corporals each one to announce it to his squad.Then the Hyrcanians led the way while he himself with his Persians occupied the centre as they marched. The cavalry he arranged, as was natural, on either flank.

[4.2.28] And when daylight came, some of the enemy wondered at what they saw, some realized at once what it meant, some began to spread the news, some to cry out, some proceeded to untie the horses, some to pack up, others to toss the armour off the pack-animals, still others to arm themselves, while some were leaping upon their horses, some bridling them, others helping the women into the wagons, and others were snatching up their most valuable possessions to save them; still others were caught in the act of burying theirs, while the most of them sought refuge in precipitate flight. We may imagine that they were doing many other things also--all sorts of other things--except that no one offered to resist, but they perished without striking a blow.

[4.2.29] As it was summer, Croesus, the king of Lydia, had had his women sent on by night in carriages, that they might proceed more comfortably in the cool of the night, and he himself was following after with his cavalry. [4.2.30] And the Phrygian king, the ruler of Phrygia on the Hellespont, they say, did the same. And when they saw the fugitives who were overtaking them, they enquired of them what was happening, and then they also took to flight as fast as they could go.

[4.2.31] But the king of Cappadocia and the Arabian king, as they were still near by and stood their ground though unarmed, were cut down by the Hyrcanians. But the majority of the slain were Assyrians and Arabians. For as these were in their own country, they were very leisurely about getting away.

[4.2.32] Now the Medes and Hyrcanians, as they pursued, committed such acts as men might be expected to commit in the hour of victory. But Cyrus ordered the horsemen who had been left with him to ride around the camp and to kill any that they saw coming out under arms; while to those who remained inside he issued a proclamation that as many of the enemy's soldiers as were cavalrymen or targeteers or bowmen should bring out their weapons tied in bundles and deliver them up, but should leave their horses at their tents. Whoever failed to do so should soon lose his head. Now Cyrus's men stood in line around them, sabre in hand. [4.2.33] Accordingly, those who had the weapons carried them to one place, where he directed, and threw them down, and men whom he had appointed for the purpose burned them.

[4.2.34] Now Cyrus recollected that they had come with neither food nor drink, and without these it was not possible to prosecute a campaign or to do anything else. And as he was considering how to procure the best possible supplies with the greatest possible dispatch, it occurred to him that all those who take the field must have some one to take care of the tent and to have food prepared for the soldiers when they came in. [4.2.35] So he concluded that of all people these were the ones most likely to have been caught in the camp, because they would have been busy packing up. Accordingly, he issued a proclamation for all the commissaries to come to him; but if a commissary officer should be lacking anywhere, the oldest man from that tent should come. And to any one who should dare to disobey he threatened direst punishment. But when they saw their masters obeying, they also obeyed at once. And when they had come, he first ordered those of them to sit down who had more than two months' supply of provisions in their tents. [4.2.36] And when he had noted them, he gave the same order to those who had one month's supply. Hereupon nearly all sat down. [4.2.37] And when he had this information he addressed them as follows:"Now then, my men," said he, "if any of you have a dislike for trouble and wish that you might receive kind treatment at our hands, be sure to see to it that there be twice as much food and drink prepared in each tent as you used to get ready every day for your masters and their servants; and get everything else ready that belongs to a good meal; for whichever side is victorious, they will very soon be here and they will expect to find plenty of every sort of provisions. Let me assure you, then, that it would be to your advantage to entertain those men handsomely."

[4.2.38] When they heard this, they proceeded with great alacrity to carry out his directions, while he called together his captains and spoke as follows: "I realize, friends, that it is possible for us now to take luncheon first, while our comrades are away, and to enjoy the choicest food and drink. But I do not think that it would be of more advantage to us to eat this luncheon than it would to show ourselves thoughtful for our comrades; neither do I think that this feasting would add as much to our strength as we should gain if we could make our allies devoted to us. [4.2.39] But if we show ourselves to be so neglectful of them that we are found to have broken our fast even before we know how they are faring, while they are pursuing and slaying our enemies and fighting any one that opposes them, let us beware lest we be disgraced in their eyes and lest we find ourselves crippled by the loss of our allies. If, on the other hand, we take care that those who are bearing the danger and the toil shall have what they need when they come back, a banquet of this sort would, in my opinion, give us more pleasure than any immediate gratification of our appetites. [4.2.40] And remember," said he, "that even if we weunder no obligation to show them every consideration, even so it is not proper for us as yet to sate ourselves with food or drink; for not yet have we accomplished what we wish, but, on the contrary, everything is now at a crisis and requires care. For we have enemies in camp many times our own number, and that, too, under no confinement. We not only must keep watch against them but we must keep watch over them, so that we may have people to look after our provisions. Besides, our cavalry are gone, making us anxious to know where they are and whether they will stay with us if they do come back.

[4.2.41] "And so, my men," said he, "it seems to me that we should take only such meat and such drink as one would suppose to be least likely to overcome us with sleep and foolishness.

[4.2.42] "Besides, there is also a vast amount of treasure in the camp, and I am not ignorant of the fact that it is possible for us to appropriate to ourselves as much of it as we please, though it belongs just as much to those who helped us to get it. But I do not think it would bring us greater gain to take it than it would to show that we mean to be fair and square, and by such dealing to secure greater affection from them than we have already. [4.2.43] And so it seems best to me to entrust the division of the treasure to the Medes and Hyrcanians and Tigranes when they come; and if they apportion to us the smaller share, I think we should account it our gain; for because of what they gain, they will be the more glad to stay with us. [4.2.44] For to secure a present advantage would give us but short-lived riches. But to sacrifice this and obtain the source from which real wealth flows, that, as I see it, could put us and all of ours in possession of a perennial fountain of wealth.

[4.2.45] "And if I am not mistaken, we used to train ourselves at home, too, to control our appetites and to abstain from unseasonable gain with this in view, that, if occasion should ever demand it, we might be able to employ our powers of self-control to our advantage. And I fail to see where we could give proof of our training on a more important occasion than the present."

[4.2.46] Thus he spoke; and Hystaspas, one of the Persian peers, supported him in the following speech: "Why, yes, Cyrus; on the chase we often hold out without a thing to eat, in order to get our hands on some beast, perhaps one worth very little; and it would be strange indeed now, when the quarry we are trying to secure is a world of wealth, if we should for a moment allow those passions to stand in our way which are bad men's masters but good men's servants. I think, if we did so, we should be doing what does not befit us."

[4.2.47] Such was Hystaspas's speech, and all the rest agreed with it. Then Cyrus said: "Come then, since we are of one mind on this point, send each of you five of the most reliable men from his platoon. Let them go about and praise all those whom they see preparing provisions; and let them punish more unsparingly than if they were their masters those whom they see neglectful."Accordingly, they set about doing so.

Book 4, Section 3

 [4.3.1] Now a part of the Medes were already bringing in the wagons which had been hurried forward and which they had overtaken and turned back packed full of what an army needs; others were bringing in the carriages that conveyed the most high-born women, not only wedded wives but also concubines, who on account of their beauty had been brought along; these also they captured and brought in.

[4.3.2] For even unto this day all who go to war in Asia take with them to the field what they prize most highly; for they say that they would do battle the more valiantly, if all that they hold dearest were there; for these, they say, they must do their best to protect. This may, perhaps, be true; but perhaps also they follow this custom for their own sensual gratification.

[4.3.3] When Cyrus saw what the Medes and Hyrcanians were doing, he poured reproach, as it were, upon himself and his men, because during this time the others seemed to be surpassing them in strenuous activity and gaining something by it, too, while he and his men remained in a position where there was little or nothing to do. And it did seem so; for when the horsemen brought in and showed to Cyrus what they brought, they rode away again in pursuit of the others; for, they said, they had been instructed by their officers so to do.Though Cyrus was naturally nettled at this, still he assigned a place to the spoil. And again he called his captains together and standing where they would all be sure to hear his words of counsel, he spoke as follows: [4.3.4] "Friends, we all appreciate, I am sure, that if we could but make our own the good fortune that is now dawning upon us, great blessings would come to all the Persians and above all, as is reasonable, to us by whom they are secured. But I fail to see how we are to establish a valid claim to the spoil if we cannot gain it by our own strength; and this we cannot do, unless the Persians have cavalry of their own. [4.3.5] Just think of it," he went on; "we Persians have arms with which, it seems, we go into close quarters and put the enemy to flight; and then when we have routed them, how could we without horses capture or kill horsemen or bowmen or targeteers in their flight? And what bowmen or spearmen or horsemen would be afraid to come up and inflict loss upon us, when they are perfectly sure that they are in no more danger of being harmed by us than by the trees growing yonder? [4.3.6] And if this is so, is it not evident that the horsemen who are now with us consider that everything that has fallen into our hands is theirs no less than ours, and perhaps, by Zeus, even more so? [4.3.7] As things are now, therefore, this is necessarily the case. But suppose we acquired a body of cavalry not interior to theirs, is it not patent to us all that we should be able even without them to do to the enemy what we are now doing with their aid, and that we should find them then less presumptuous toward us? For whenever they chose to remain or to go away, we should care less, if we were sufficient unto ourselves without them. Well and good. [4.3.8] No one, I think, would gain-say me in this statement, that it makes all the difference in the world whether the Persians have their own cavalry or not. But perhaps you are wondering how this may be accomplished. Well then, supposing that we wished to organize a division of cavalry, had we not better consider our resources and our deficiencies? [4.3.9] Here, then, in camp are numbers of horses which we have taken and reins which they obey, and everything else that horses must have before you can use them. Yes, and more, all that a horseman must use we have--breastplates as defensive armour for the body and spears which we may use either to hurl or to thrust. [4.3.10] What then remains? Obviously we must have men. Now these above all other things we have; for nothing is so fully ours as we ourselves are our own."But perhaps some one will say that we do not know how to ride. No, by Zeus; and no one of these who now know how to ride did know before he learned. But, some one may say, they learned when they were boys. [4.3.11] And are boys more clever in learning what is explained to them and what is shown them than are men? And which are better able with bodily strength to put into practice what they have learned, boys or men? [4.3.12] Again, we have more time for learning than either boys or other men; for we have not, like boys, to learn to shoot, for we know how already; or to throw the spear, for we understand that, too. No; nor yet again are we so situated as other men, some of whom are kept busy with their farming, some with their trades, and some with other domestic labours, while we not only have time for military operations, but they are forced upon us. [4.3.13] And this is not like many other branches of military disci, useful but laborious; nay, when it comes to marching, is not riding more pleasant than tramping along on one's own two feet? And when speed is required, is it not delightful quickly to reach a friend's side, if need be, and quickly to overtake a man or an animal, if occasion should require one to give chase? And is this not convenient, that the horse should help you to carry whatever accoutrement you must take along? Surely, to have and to carry are not quite the same thing.

[4.3.14] "What one might have most of all to fear, however, is that in case it is necessary for us to go into action on horseback before we have thoroughly mastered this task, we shall then be no longer infantrymen and not yet competent cavalrymen. But not even this is an insurmountable difficulty; for whenever we wish, we may at once fight on foot; for in learning to ride we shall not be unlearning any of our infantry tactics."

[4.3.15] Thus Cyrus spoke; and Chrysantas seconded him in the following speech: "I, for one, am so eager to learn horsemanship, that I think that if I become a horseman I shall be a man on wings. [4.3.16] For as we are now, I, at least, am satisfied, when I have an even start in running a race with any man, if I can beat him only by a head; and when I see an animal running along, I am satisfied if I can get a good aim quickly enough to shoot him or spear him before he gets very far away. But if I become a horseman I shall be able to overtake a man though he is as far off as I can see him; and I shall be able to pursue animals and overtake them and either strike them down from close at hand or spear them as if they were standing still; [and they seem so, for though both be moving rapidly, yet, if they are near to one another, they are as if standing still.]

[4.3.17] Now the creature that I have envied most is, I think, the Centaur (if any such being ever existed), able to reason with a man's intelligence and to manufacture with his hands what he needed, while he possessed the fleetness and strength of a horse so as to overtake whatever ran before him and to knock down whatever stood in his way. Well, all his advantages I combine in myself by becoming a horseman. [4.3.18] At any rate, I shall be able to take forethought for everything with my human mind, I shall carry my weapons with my hands, I shall pursue with my horse and overthrow my opponent by the rush of my steed, but I shall not be bound fast to him in one growth, like the Centaurs. [4.3.19] Indeed, my state will be better than being grown together in one piece; for, in my opinion at least, the Centaurs must have had difficulty in making use of many of the good things invented for man; and how could they have enjoyed many of the comforts natural to the horse? [4.3.20] But if I learn to ride, I shall, when I am on horseback, do everything as the Centaur does, of course; but when I dismount, I shall dine and dress myself and sleep like other human beings; and so what else shall I be than a Centaur that can be taken apart and put together again?

[4.3.21] "And then," he added, "I shall have the advantage of the Centaur in this, too, that he used to see with but two eyes and hear with but two ears, while I shall gather evidence with four eyes and learn through four ears; for they say that a horse actually sees many things with his eyes before his rider does and makes them known to him, and that he hears many things with his ears before his rider does and gives him intimation of them. Put me down, therefore," said he, "as one of those who are more than eager to become cavalrymen.""Aye, by Zeus," said all the rest, "and us too."

[4.3.22] "How would it do, then," Cyrus asked, "since we are all so very well agreed upon this matter, if we should make a rule for ourselves that it be considered improper for any one of us whom I provide with a horse to be seen going anywhere on foot, whether the distance he has to go be long or short, so that people may think that we are really Centaurs?"

[4.3.23] He put the question thus and they all voted aye. And so from that time even to this day, the Persians follow that practice, and no Persian gentleman would be seen going anywhere on foot, if he could help it.Such were their discussions on this occasion.

Book 4, Section 4

 [4.4.1] And when it was past midday, the Median and Hyrcanian horsemen came in, bringing both horses and men that they had taken. For they had spared the lives of all who had surrendered their arms.

[4.4.2] And when they had ridden up, Cyrus asked them first whether his men were all safe. And when they answered this in the affirmative, he asked how they had fared. And they narrated to him what they had accomplished and proudly told how gallantly they had behaved in every particular. [4.4.3] And he listened with pleasure to all they wished to tell him, and then he praised them in these words:"It is quite evident that you have conducted yourselves as brave men; and any one can see it, for you appear taller and handsomer and more terrible to look upon than heretofore."

[4.4.4] Then he enquired of them further how far they had ridden and whether the country was inhabited. And they replied, first, that they had ridden a long way, and second, that all the country was inhabited and that it was full of sheep and goats, cattle and horses, grain and all sorts of produce.

[4.4.5] "There are two things," said he, "that it were well for us to look out for: that we make ourselves masters of those who own this property, and that they stay where they are. For an inhabited country is a very valuable possession, but a land destitute of people becomes likewise destitute of produce.

[4.4.6] Those, therefore, who tried to keep you off, you slew, I know; and you did right. For this is the best way to conserve the fruits of victory. But those who surrendered you have brought as prisoners of war. Now, if we should let them go, we should, I think, do what would be in itself an advantage.

[4.4.7] For, in the first place, we should not have to keep watch against them nor should we have to keep watch over them, nor yet to furnish them with food; for, of course, we do not mean to let them starve to death; and in the second place, if we let them go, we shall have more prisoners of war than if we do not. [4.4.8] For, if we are masters of the country, all they that dwell therein will be our prisoners of war; and the rest, when they see these alive and set at liberty, will stay in their places and choose to submit rather than to fight. This, then, is my proposition; but if any one else sees a better plan, let him speak."But when they heard his proposal they agreed to adopt it.

[4.4.9] Accordingly, Cyrus called the prisoners together and spoke as follows: [4.4.10] "My men," said he, "you have now saved your lives by your submission; and in the future also, if you continue to be obedient, no change whatever shall come to you except that you shall not have the same ruler over you as before; but you shall dwell in the same houses and work the same farms; you shall live with the same wives and have control of your children just as now. [4.4.11] But you shall not have to fight either us or any one else; but when any one injures you, we will fight for you; and that no one may even ask military service of you, bring your arms to us. And those that bring them shall have peace, and what we promise shall be done without guile. But as many as fail to deliver up their weapons of war, against these we ourselves shall take the field immediately. [4.4.12] But if any one of you comes to us in a friendly way and shows that he is dealing fairly with us and giving us information, we shall treat him as our benefactor and friend and not as a slave. Accept these assurances for yourselves, and convey them to the rest also. [4.4.13] But if," said he "while, you are willing to accept these terms of submission, some others are not, do you lead us against them that you may be their masters annot they yours."Thus he spoke and they did obeisance and promised to do what he directed.

Book 4, Section 5

 [4.5.1] When they were gone, Cyrus said: "Medes and Armenians, it is now high time for us all to go to dinner; and everything necessary has been prepared for you to the best of our ability. Go, then, and send to us half of the bread that has been baked--enough has been made for all; but do not send us any meat nor anything to drink; for enough has been provided for us at our own quarters.

[4.5.2] "And you, Hyrcanians," he said to these, "lead them to their several tents--the officers to the largest (you know which they are), and the rest as you think best. And you yourselves also may dine where it best pleases you. For your own tents also are safe and sound, and there also the same provision has been made as for these.

[4.5.3] "And all of you may be assured of this, that we shall keep the night-watches for you outside the camp, but do you look out for what may happen in the tents and have your arms stacked conveniently; for the men in the tents are not yet our friends."

[4.5.4] Then the Medes and Tigranes and his men bathed, changed their clothes (for they were provided with a change), and went to dinner. Their horses also were provided for.Of the bread, half was sent to the Persians; but neither meat for relish nor wine was sent, for they thought that Cyrus and his men had those articles left in abundance. But what Cyrus meant was that hunger was their relish and that they could drink from the river that flowed by.

[4.5.5] Accordingly, when Cyrus had seen that the Persians had their dinner, he sent many of them out, when it was dark, in squads of five and ten, with orders to lie in hiding round about the camp; for he thought that they would serve as sentinels, in case any one should come to attack from the outside, and at the same time that they would catch any one who tried to run away with his possessions. And it turned out so; for many did try to run away, and many were caught. [4.5.6] And Cyrus permitted those who effected the capture to keep the spoil, but the men he bade them slay; and so after that you could not easily have found, had you tried, any one attempting to get away by night.

[4.5.7] Thus, then, the Persians employed their time; by the Medes, but the Medes drank and revelled and listened to the music of the flute and indulged themselves to the full with all sorts of merry-making. For many things that contribute to pleasure had been captured, so that those who stayed awake were at no loss for something to do.

[4.5.8] Now the night in which Cyrus had marched out, Cyaxares, the king of the Medes, and his messmates got drunk in celebration of their success; and he supposed that the rest of the Medes were all in camp except a few, for he heard a great racket. For inasmuch as their masters had gone off, the servants of the Medes were drinking and carousing without restraint, especially as they had taken from the Assyrian army wine and many other supplies.

[4.5.9] But when it was day and no one came to his headquarters except those who had been dining with him, and when he heard that the camp was forsaken by the Medes and the cavalry, and when he discovered on going out that such was really the case, then he fumed and raged against both Cyrus and the Medes because they had gone off and left him deserted. And straightway, in keeping with his reputation for being violent and unreasonable, he ordered one of those present to take his own cavalry corps and proceed at topmost speed to Cyrus's army and deliver the following message:

[4.5.10] "I should think that even you, Cyrus, would not have shown such want of consideration toward me; and if Cyrus were so minded, I should think that at least you Medes would not have consented to leave me thus deserted. And now, if Cyrus will, let him come with you; if not, do you at least return to me as speedily as possible."

[4.5.11] Such was his message. But he to whom he gave the marching order said: "And how shall I find them, your majesty?""How," he answered, "did Cyrus and those with him find those against whom they went?""Why," said the man, "by Zeus, I am told that some Hyrcanians who had deserted from the enemy came hither and went away as his guides."

[4.5.12] Upon hearing this, Cyaxares was much more angry than ever with Cyrus for not even having told him that, and he sent off in greater haste to recall the Medes, for he hoped to strip him of his forces; and with even more violent threats than before, he ordered the Medes to return. And he threatened the messenger also if he did not deliver his message in all its emphasis.

[4.5.13] Accordingly, the officer assigned to this duty set out with his cavalry, about a hundred in number, vexed with himself for not having gone along with Cyrus when he went. And as they proceeded on their journey, they were misled by a certain by-path and so lost their way and did not reach the army of their friends, until they fell in with some deserters from the Assyrians and compelled them to act as their guides. And so they came in sight of the camp-fires sometime about midnight. [4.5.14] And when they came up to the camp, the sentinels, following the instructions of Cyrus, refused to admit them before daylight.Now at peep of day the first thing that Cyrus did was to call the magi and bid them select the gifts ordained for the gods in acknowledgment of such success; [4.5.15] and they proceeded to attend to this, while he called the peers together and said: "Friends, God holds out before us many blessings. But we Persians are, under the present circumstances, too few to avail ourselves of them. For if we fail to guard what we win, it will again become the property of others; and if we leave some of our own men to guard what falls into our possession, it will very soon be found out that we have no strength.

[4.5.16] Accordingly, I have decided that one of you should go with all speed to Persia, present my message and ask them to send reinforcements with the utmost dispatch, if the Persians desire to have control of Asia and the revenues accruing therefrom. [4.5.17] Do you, therefore, go, for you are the senior officer, and when you arrive tell them this; and say also that for whatever soldiers they send I will provide maintenance after they come. Conceal from them nothing in regard to what we have, and you see for yourself what there is. And what portion of these spoils honour and the law require that I should send to Persia--in regard to what is due the gods, ask my father; in regard to what is due to the State, ask the authorities. And let them send men also to observe what we do and to answer our questions. And you," said he, "make ready and take your own platoon to escort you."

[4.5.18] After this he called in the Medes also and at the same moment the messenger from Cyaxares presented himself and in the presence of all reported his king's anger against Cyrus and his threats against the Medes; and at the last he said that Cyaxares ordered the Medes to return, even if Cyrus wished to stay.

[4.5.19] On hearing the messenger, therefore, the Medes were silent, for they were at a loss how they could disobey him when he summoned them, and they asked themselves in fear how they could obey him when he threatened so, especially as they had had experience of his fury. [4.5.20] But Cyrus said: "Well, Sir Messenger and you Medes, inasmuch as Cyaxares saw in our first encounter that the enemy were numerous and as he does not know how we have been faring, I am not at all surprised that he is concerned for us and for himself. But when he discovers that many of the enemy have been slain and all have been routed, in the first place he will banish his fears and in the second place he will realize that he is not deserted now, when his friends are annihilating his enemies.

[4.5.21] "But further, how do we deserve any blame, since we have been doing hgood service and have not been doing even that on our own motion? But I, for my part, first got his consent to march out and take you with me; while you did not ask whether you might join the expedition and you are not here now because you desired to make such an expedition, but because you were ordered by him to make it--whoever of you was not averse to it. This wrath, therefore, I am quite sure, will be assuaged by our successes and will be gone with the passing of his fear.

[4.5.22] "Now, therefore, Sir Messenger," said he, "take some rest, for you must be fatigued, and since we are expecting the enemy to come either to surrender, or possibly to fight, let us, fellow-Persians, get into line in as good order as possible; for if we present such as appearance, it is likely that we shall better promote the accomplishment of what we desire. And you, king of Hyrcania, be pleased to order the commanders of your forces to get them under arms, and then attend me here."

[4.5.23] And when the Hyrcanian had done so and returned, Cyrus said: "I am delighted, king of Hyrcania, to see that you not only show me your friendship by your presence, but also that you evidently possess good judgment. And now it is evident that our interests are identical. For the Assyrians are enemies to me, and now they are still more hostile to you than to me. [4.5.24] Under these circumstances, we must both take counsel that none of the allies now present shall desert us, and also that, if we can, we may secure other allies besides. Now you heard the Mede recalling the cavalry; and if they go away, we only, the infantry, shall be left.

[4.5.25] Accordingly, it is necessary for you and for me to do all we can to make this man also who is recalling them desire to remain with us himself. Do you, therefore, find and assign to him a tent where he will have the best kind of a time, with everything he wants; while I, for my part, will try to assign him some post that he himself would rather fill than go away. And do you have a talk with him and tell him what wealth we have hopes that all our friends will obtain, if we are successful in this; and when you have done this, come back again to me."

[4.5.26] Accordingly, the Hyrcanian took the Mede and went away to a tent. And then the officer who was going to leave for Persia presented himself ready to start. And Cyrus commissioned him to tell the Persians what has been set forth in the foregoing narrative and also to deliver a letter to Cyaxares. "Now," said he, "I wish to read my message to you also, that you may understand its contents and confirm the facts, if he asks you anything in reference to them."Now the contents of the letter ran as follows:

[4.5.27] "My Dear Cyaxares:We have not left you deserted; for no one is deserted by his friends at a time when he is conquering his enemies. We do not even think that we have brought you into any danger through our departure; but we maintain that the farther away we are, the greater the security we provide for you.

[4.5.28] For it is not those who sit down nearest to their friends that provide them with the greatest security; but it is those who drive the enemy farthest away that help their friends most effectually out of danger.

[4.5.29] "And consider how I have acted toward you and how you have acted toward me, and yet in spite of all, you are finding fault with me. At all events, I brought you allies--not merely as many as you persuaded to come, but as many as ever I had it in my power to bring; whereas you gave to me, when I was on friendly soil, as many as I could persuade to join me, and now when I am in the enemy's territory you are recalling not merely those who may be willing to leave me, but all my men.

[4.5.30] Indeed, I thought at that time that I was under obligation both to you and to your men; but now you are acting so as to force me to leave you out of consideration and to try to devote all my gratitude to those who have followed me.

[4.5.31] "However, I cannot on my part treat you in the same spirit as you treat me, but at this very moment I am sending to Persia for reinforcements, with directions that as many as shall come to join me shall be at your service, if you need them for anything before we return, not as they may be pleased to serve, but as you may wish to employ them.

[4.5.32] "Furthermore, although I am a younger man than you, let me advise you not to take back what you have once given, lest ill-will be your due instead of gratitude, nor to summon with threats those whom you would have come to you quickly; and again let me advise you not to employ threats against large numbers, while at the same time you assert that you are deserted, for fear you teach them to pay no attention to you.

[4.5.33] "We shall try, however, to come to you just as soon as we have accomplished what we think it would be a common benefit to you and to us to have done.Farewell.Cyrus."

[4.5.34] "Deliver this to him and whatever he asks you in regard to these matters, answer him in keeping with what is written. And you can do this with perfect truth, for my instructions to you in regard to the Persians correspond exactly with what is written in my letter."Thus he spoke to him and giving him the letter sent him away, adding the injunction that he should make haste as one who knows that it is important to be back again promptly.

[4.5.35] At this moment he observed that all--both the Medes and the Hyrcanians and Tigranes's men--were already under arms, and the Persians also stood under arms. And some of the natives from near by were already delivering up horses and arms.

[4.5.36] And the javelins he commanded them to throw down in the same place as in the former instance, and they whose task this was burned all that they did not themselves need. But as for the horses, he commanded those who brought them to keep them and wait until he sent them word. Then he called in the officers of the cavalry and of the Hyrcanians and spoke as follows:

[4.5.37] "Friends and allies, do not wonder that I call you together so often. For our present situation is novel, and many things about it are in an unorganized condition; and whatever lacks organization must necessarily always cause us trouble until it is reduced to order.

[4.5.38] "We now have much spoil that we have taken, and men besides. But, as we do not know how much of it belongs to each one of us, and as the captives do not know who are their several masters, it is consequently impossible to see very many of them attending to their duty, for almost all are in doubt as to what they are expected to do. [4.5.39] In order, therefore, that this may not go on so, divide the spoil; and whoever has been assigned a tent with plenty of food and drink and people to serve him, and bedding and clothing and other things with which a soldier's tent should be furnished so as to be comfortable--in such a case nothing more need be added, except that he who has received it should be given to understand that he must take care of it as his own. But if any one has got into quarters that lack something, do you make a note of it and supply the want. [4.5.40] And I am sure that what is left over will be considerable, for the enemy had more of everything than is required by our numbers. Furthermore, the treasurers, both of the Assyrian king and of the other monarchs, have come to me to report that they have gold coin in their possession, by which they referred to certain payments of tribute.

[4.5.41] Notify them, therefore, to deliver all this also to you, wherever you have your headquarters. And give that man reason to fear who shall not do as you command. And do you take the money and pay it out to the cavalry and infantry in the proportion of two to one, in order that you may all have the wherewithal to buy whatever you still may need.

[4.5.42] "Further," he added, "let the herald proclaim that no one shall interfere with the market in the camp, but that the hucksters may swhat each of them has for sale and, when they have disposed of that, get in a new stock, that our camp may be supplied."

[4.5.43] And they proceeded at once to issue the proclamation. But the Medes and Hyrcanians asked: "How could we divide this spoil without help from you and your men?"

[4.5.44] And Cyrus in turn answered their question as follows: "Why, my good men, do you really suppose that we must all be present to oversee everything that has to be done, and that I shall not be competent in case of need to do anything on your behalf, nor you again on ours? How else could we make more trouble and accomplish less than in this way? [4.5.45] No," said he; "you must look to it, for we have kept it for you and you must have confidence in us that we have kept it well; now for your part, do you divide it, and we shall have the same confidence in your dividing it fairly. [4.5.46] And there is something more that we, on our part, shall try to gain for the common advantage. For here, you observe, first of all, how many horses we have right now, and more are being brought in. If we leave them without riders, they will be of no use to us but will only give us the trouble of looking after them; but if we put riders upon them, we shall at the same time be rid of the trouble and add strength to ourselves. [4.5.47] If, therefore, you have others to whom you would rather give them and with whom you would rather go into danger, if need should be, than with us, offer them the horses. If, however, you should wish to have us as your comrades in preference to others, give them to us. [4.5.48] And I have good reasons for asking; for just now when you rode on into danger without us, you filled us with apprehension lest something should happen to you and made us very much ashamed because we were not at your side. But if we get the horses, we shall follow you next time. [4.5.49] And if it seems that we are of more use to you by fighting with you on horseback, in that case we shall not fail for want of courage. But if it seems that by turning footmen again we could assist to better advantage, it will be open to us to dismount and at once stand by you as foot soldiers; and as for the horses, we shall manage to find some one to whom we may entrust them."

[4.5.50] Thus he spoke, and they made answer: "Well, Cyrus, we have no men whom we could mount upon these horses; and if we had, we should not choose to make any other disposition of them, since this is what you desire. So now," they added, "take them and do as you think best."

[4.5.51] "Well," said he, "I accept them; may good fortune attend our turning into horsemen and your dividing the common spoils. In the first place, set apart for the gods whatever the magi direct, as they interpret the will of the gods. Next select for Cyaxares also whatever you think would be most acceptable to him."

[4.5.52] They laughed and said that they would have to choose women for him."Choose women then," said he, "and whatever else you please. And when you have made your choice for him, then do you Hyrcanians do all you can to see that all those who volunteered to follow me have no cause to complain.

[4.5.53] "And do you Medes, in your turn, show honour to those who first became our allies, that they may think that they have been well advised in becoming our friends. And allot his proper share of everything to the envoy who came from Cyaxares and to those who attended him; and invite him also to stay on with us (and give him to understand that this is my pleasure also), so that he may know better the true state of things and report the facts to Cyaxares concerning each particular. [4.5.54] As for the Persians with me," he said, "what is left after you are amply provided for will suffice for us; for we have not been reared in any sort of luxury, but altogether in rustic fashion, so that you would perhaps laugh at us, if anything gorgeous were to be put upon us, even as we shall, I know, furnish you no little cause for laughter when we are seated upon our horses, and, I presume," he added, "when we fall off upon the ground."

[4.5.55] Hereupon they proceeded to the division of the spoil, laughing heartily at his joke about the Persian horsemanship, while he called his captains and ordered them to take the horses and the grooms and the trappings of the horses, and to count them off and divide them by lot so that they should each have an equal share for each company.

[4.5.56] And again Cyrus ordered proclamation to be made that if there were any one from Media or Persia or Bactria or Caria or Greece or anywhere else forced into service as a slave in the army of the Assyrians or Syrians or Arabians, he should show himself. [4.5.57] And when they heard the herald's proclamation, many came forward gladly. And he selected the finest looking of them and told them that they should be made free, but that they would have to act as carriers of any arms given them to carry; and for their sustenance he himself, he said, would make provision.

[4.5.58] And so he led them at once to his captains and presented them, bidding his men give them their shields and swords without belts, that they might carry them and follow after the horses. Furthermore, he bade his captains draw rations for them just as for the Persians under him. The Persians, moreover, he bade always ride on horseback with their corselets and lances, and he himself set the example of doing so. He also instructed each one of the newly-mounted officers to appoint some other peer to take his place of command over the infantry of the peers.

Book 4, Section 6

 [4.6.1] Thus, then, they were occupied. Meanwhile Gobryas, an Assyrian, a man well advanced in years, came up on horseback with a cavalry escort; and they all carried cavalry weapons. And those who were assigned to the duty of receiving the weapons ordered them to surrender their spears, that they might burn them as they had done with the rest. But Gobryas said that he wished to see Cyrus first. Then the officers left the rest of the horsemen there, but Gobryas they conducted to Cyrus. [4.6.2] And when he saw Cyrus, he spoke as follows:"Sire, I am by birth an Assyrian; I have also a castle, and wide are the domains which I govern. I have also about a thousand horse which I used to put at the disposal of the Assyrian king, and I used to be his most devoted friend. But since he has been slain by you, excellent man that he was, and since his son, who is my worst enemy, has succeeded to his crown, I have come to you and fall a suppliant at your feet. I offer myself to be your vassal and ally and ask that you will be my avenger; and thus, in the only way I may, I make you my son, for I have no male child more. [4.6.3] For he who was my son, my only son, a beautiful and brave young man, Sire, and one who loved me and paid me the filial reverence that would make a father happy--1 him this present king-- when the old king, the father of the present ruler, invited my son to his court purposing to give him his daughter in marriage--and I let him go; for I was proud that, as I flattered myself, I should see my son wedded to the king's daughter--then, I say, the man who is now king invited him to go hunting with him and gave him permission to do his best in the chase, for he thought that he himself was a much better rider than my son. And my boy went hunting with him as his friend, and when a bear came out, they both gave chase and the present ruler let fly his javelin but missed. Oh! would to God he had not! Then my son threw (as he should not have done) and brought down the bear.

[4.6.4] And then that man was vexed, to be sure, as it proved, but covered his jealousy in darkness. But when again a lion appeared, he missed again. There was nothing remarkable in that, so far as I can see; but again a second time my son hit his mark and killed the lion and cried, `Have I not thrown twicin succession and brought an animal down each time!' Then that villain no longer restrained his jealous wrath but, snatching a spear from one of the attendants, smote him in the breast--my son, my only, well-loved son--and took away his life. [4.6.5] And I, unhappy I, received back a corpse instead of a bridegroom, and, old man that I am, I buried with the first down upon his cheeks my best, my well-beloved son. But the murderer, as if he had slain an enemy, has never shown any repentance, nor has he, to make amends for his wicked deed, ever deigned to show any honour to him beneath the earth. His father, however, expressed his sorrow for me and showed that he sympathized with me in my affliction. [4.6.6] And so, if he were living, I should never have come to you in a way to do him harm; for I have received many kindnesses at his hands and I have done him many services. But since the sceptre has passed on to the murderer of my son, I could never be loyal to him and I am sure that he would never regard me as a friend. For he knows how I feel toward him and how dark my life now is, though once it was so bright; for now i am forsaken and am spending my old age in sorrow.

[4.6.7] "If, therefore, you will receive me and I may find some hope of getting with your help some vengeance for my dear son, I think that I should find my youth again and, if I live, I should no longer live in shame; and if I die, I think that I should die without a regret."

[4.6.8] Thus he spoke; and Cyrus answered: "Well, Gobryas, if you prove that you really mean all that you say to us, I not only receive you as a suppliant, but promise you with the help of the gods to avenge the murder of your son. But tell me," said he, "if we do this for you and let you keep your castle and your province and the power which you had before, what service will you do us in return for that?"

[4.6.9] "The castle," he answered, "I will give you for your quarters when you come; the tribute of the province, which before I used to pay to him, I will pay to you; and whithersoever you march I will march with you at the head of the forces of my province. Besides," said he, "I have a daughter, a maiden well-beloved and already ripe for marriage. I used once to think that I was rearing her to be the bride of the present king. But now my daughter herself has besought me with many tears not to give her to her brother's murderer; and I am so resolved myself. And now I leave it to you to deal with her as I shall prove to deal with you."

[4.6.10] "According as what you have said is true," Cyrus then made answer, "I give you my right hand and take yours. The gods be our witnesses."When this was done he bade Gobryas go and keep his arms; he also asked him how far it was to his place, for he meant to go there. And he said: "If you start to-morrow early in the morning, you would spend the night of the second day with us."

[4.6.11] With these words he was gone, leaving a guide behind. And then the Medes came in, after they had delivered to the magi what the magi had directed them to set apart for the gods. And they had selected for Cyrus the most splendid tent and the lady of Susa, who was said to be the most beautiful woman in Asia, and two of the most accomplished music-girls; and afterward they had selected for Cyaxares the next best. They had also supplied themselves with such other things as they needed, so that they might continue the campaign in want of nothing; for there was an abundance of everything.

[4.6.12] And the Hyrcanians also took what they wanted; and they made the messenger from Cyaxares share alike with them. And all the tents that were left over they delivered to Cyrus for the use of his Persians. The coin they said they would divide, as soon as it was all collected; and this they did.

4,6,3,n1. 1.The grief-stricken father's recital is broken with sobs; the sentences begun are never finished.

continue in [ Book Five ]

 

 

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