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Cyropaedia of Xenophon
The Life of Cyrus The Great

Book 6


 

Book 6, Section 1

 [6.1.1] After spending that day in the manner described, they dined and went to rest. Early on the following morning all the allies came to Cyaxares's headquarters. So while Cyaxares was attiring himself (for he heard that there was a large concourse of people at his doors), various friends were presenting the allies to Cyrus. One group brought the Cadusians, who begged him to stay; another, the Hyrcanians; some one brought forward the Sacians, and some one else, Gobryas; Hystaspas presented Gadatas, the eunuch, and he also begged Cyrus to remain. [6.1.2] Then Cyrus, though he realized that Gadatas had for some time been frightened almost to death for fear the army should be disbanded, laughing said: "It is clear, Gadatas, that Hystaspas here has been instigating you to the ideas that you have been expressing." [6.1.3] And Gadatas lifting up his hands toward heaven declared on his oath that he had not been influenced by Hystaspas to entertain those feelings. "But I know," said he, "that if you and your men go away, it is all over with me. For this reason, I introduced the subject with him of my own accord, asking him if he knew what it was your intention to do with reference to disbanding the army."

[6.1.4] "I was wrong, then, as it seems," said Cyrus, "in accusing our friend Hystaspas.""Aye, by Zeus, Cyrus, you were indeed," said Hystaspas. "For I was only remarking to our friend Gadatas that it was not possible for you to go on with the campaign; for I told him that your father was sending for you."

[6.1.5] "What do you mean?" said Cyrus. "Did you dare to let that get out, whether I would or no?""Yes, by Zeus," he answered; "for I observe that you are exceedingly anxious to go around in Persia the cynosure of all eyes, and to parade before your father the way you have managed everything here.""And do not you wish to go home yourself?" asked Cyrus."No, by Zeus," said Hystaspas; "and I not going either; but I shall stay here and be general, until I have made our friend Gadatas master of the Assyrian."

[6.1.6] Thus half-seriously did they jest with one another.Meantime, Cyaxares came out in gorgeous attire and seated himself on a Median throne. And when all whose presence was required had assembled and silence prevailed, Cyaxares addressed them as follows: "Friends and allies, since I happen to be here and am older than Cyrus, it is perhaps proper for me to open the conference. To begin with, this seems to me to be an opportune time for us to discuss the question whether it is desirable to continue our campaign longer or at once to disband the armies. Any one, therefore, may express his opinion in regard to this question."

[6.1.7] Thereupon the Hyrcanian was the first to speak: "Friends and comrades, I, for my part, cannot see what is the use of words, when the facts themselves point out the best course to follow. For we all know that when we are together, we do the enemy more harm than they do us; whereas as long as we were apart, they treated us as was most agreeable to them and most disagreeable to us."

[6.1.8] After him the Cadusian spoke: "Why," said he, "should we talk about going back home and being separated from one another, since not even in the field, so it seems, is it well for us to get separated? At any rate, we not long ago went off on an expedition apart from your main body and paid for it, as you also know."

[6.1.9] After him Artabazus, the one who once claimed to be a kinsman of Cyrus, made the following speech: "In one point, Cyaxares, I beg to differ from the previous speakers: they say that we must stay here and carry on the war; but I say that it was when I was at home that I was carrying on wars. [6.1.10] And I say truly; for I often had to go to the rescue when our property was being carried off; and when our fortresses were threatened, I often had trouble to defend them; I lived in constant fear and was kept continually on guard. And I fared thus at my own expense. But now we are in possession of their forts; I am in fear of them no longer; I revel in the good things of the enemy and drink what is theirs. Therefore, as life at home was warfare, while life here is a feast, I do not care to have this festal gathering break up."

[6.1.11] After him Gobryas spoke: "Friends and comrades, up to the present time I have only praise for Cyrus's faithfulness; for he has not proved untrue in anything that he has promised. But if he leaves the country now, it is evident that the Assyrian will take new heart without having to pay any penalty for the wrongs he has attempted to do us all and for those which he has done me; and I, in my turn, shall pay to him the penalty for having been your friend."

[6.1.12] Last of all Cyrus spoke: "I, too, am not unaware, my friends, that if we disband the army, our own situation would become weaker, while the enemy will again gather force. For as many of them as have been deprived of their arms will soon have new ones made, and as many as have been deprived of their horses will soon again procure others, while in place of those who have been killed others will have grown to young manhood to take their places. And so it will not be at all surprising, if in a very short time they are able again to give us trouble.

[6.1.13] "Why then do you suppose I suggested to Cyaxares to bring up the question of disbanding the army? Let me tell you; it was because I feared for the future; for I see foes advancing against us that we shall never be able to cope with, if we go on campaigning in our present fashion. [6.1.14] For winter is coming, you know; and even granting that we have shelter for ourselves, still, by Zeus, there will be none for our horses or for our attendants or for the rank and file of the army; and without them we could not carry on the war. The provisions, whereever we have gone, we have consumed; and where we have not gone, the people out of fear of us have conveyed them into their strongholds, so that they have them themselves, and we cannot get them.

[6.1.15] Who then is so valiant and so strong that he can prosecute a war while battling against hunger and cold? If, therefore, we propose to go on with the war as we have been doing, I maintain that we ought of our own free will to disband the army, rather than against our will to be driven out of the country by lack of means. But if we wish to go on with the war, this I say we must do: we must try as quickly as we may to get possession of as many as possible of their forts and build for ourselves as many as we can. For, if this is done, that side will have more provisions which is able to get and store up more, and those will be in a state of siege who are weaker. [6.1.16] As we are, we are not at all different from those who sail the seas: they keep on sailing continually, but they leave the waters over which they have sailed no more their own than those over which they have not sailed. But if we get fortresses, these will alienate the country from the enemy while everything will be smooth sailing for us.

[6.1.17] "But perhaps some of you may fear that you will possibly have to do garrison duty far from your own country. You need have no hesitation on that score. For since we are far from home in any event, we will take it upon ourselves to do the garrison duty for you in the places nearest to the enemy; but those parts of Assyria which are on your own borders--do you take possession of them and cultivate them. [6.1.18] For if we can safely guard what is near the enemy, you will enjoy a plenitude of peace in possession of the regions far away from them; for they, I trow, will not be able to neglect those who are close to them, while they lay schemes against those who are far away."

[6.1.19] After these speeches all the rest, and Cyaxares with them, stood up and declared that they would be glad to co-operate with him in these plans. And Gadatas and Gobryas said that if the allies would permit them, they would each of them build a fortress, so that the allies should have these also on their side.

[6.1.20] Accordingly, when Cyrus saw that all were ready to do whatever he suggested, he finally said: "Well then, if we wish to put into execution what we say we ought to do, we should as soon as possible procure siege-engines to demolish the enemy's forts, and builders to erect strong towers for our own defence."

[6.1.21] Hereupon Cyaxares promised to have an engine made at his own expense and to put it at their disposal, Gadatas and Gobryas promised another, and Tigranes a third; Cyrus said that he would himself try to furnish two. [6.1.22] When this had been agreed upon, they set to work to procure engine-builders and to furnish whatever was needed for the construction of the engines; and they put in charge of it men whom they considered most competent to attend to this work.

[6.1.23] Since Cyrus realized that a long time would be required for the execution of these designs, he encamped with his army in a place which he thought was most healthful and most readily accessible for conveying there everything that was necessary. And wherever any point needed further strengthening, he made provision that those who from time to time remained there should be in safety, even if he should be encamped at a distance with the main body of his forces. [6.1.24] But in addition to this, he made constant inquiry of those whom he thought likely to know about the country from what parts of it the army might get supplies as plentifully as possible and kept leading his men out on foraging expeditions; this he did partly that he might get supplies for the army in as great abundance as possible, partly that they might become inured to labour through these expeditions and might thus be in better health and strength, and partly that by such marches they might be enabled to keep their resppositions in mind.

[6.1.25] Thus, then, Cyrus was occupied.From Babylon a report was now brought by deserters and confirmed by his prisoners of war, that the Assyrian king had gone off in the direction of Lydia with many talents of gold and silver and with other treasures and jewels of every sort. [6.1.26] So it became general talk among the rank and file of the soldiers that he was already conveying his treasures to a place of safety because he was afraid. But Cyrus, recognizing that he had gone for the purpose of forming, if he could, a coalition against him, made vigorous counter preparation in the expectation that he would have to fight again. And so he set about bringing to its full complement the Persian cavalry, for which he obtained horses, some requisitioned from the captives, and a certain number also presented to him by his friends; for he accepted such gifts from every one and never refused anything, whether any one offered him a fine weapon or a horse.

[6.1.27] Besides, with the chariots taken from the enemy and with whatever others he could get he equipped a corps of chariots of his own. The method of managing a chariot employed of old at Troy and that in vogue among the Cyrenaeans even unto this day he abolished; for in previous times people in Media and in Syria and in Arabia, and all the people in Asia used the chariot just as the Cyrenaeans now do. [6.1.28] But it seemed to him that inasmuch as the best men were mounted on the chariots, that part which might have been the chief strength of the army acted only the part of skirmishers and did not contribute anything of importance to the victory. For three hundred chariots call for three hundred combatants and require twelve hundred horses. And the fighting men must of course have as drivers the men in whom they have most confidence, that is, the best men to be had. That makes three hundred more, who do not do the enemy the least harm. [6.1.29] So he abolished this method of handling chariots, and in place of it he had chariots of war constructed with strong wheels, so that they might not easily be broken, and with long axles; for anything broad is less likely to be overturned. The box for the driver he constructed out of strong timbers in the form of a turret; and this rose in height to the drivers' elbows, so that they could manage the horses by reaching over the top of the box; and, besides, he covered the drivers with mail, all except their eyes. [6.1.30] On both sides of the wheels, moreover, he attached to the axles steel scythes about two cubits long and beneath the axles other scythes pointing down toward the ground; this was so arranged with the intention of hurling the chariots into the midst of the enemy. And as Cyrus constructed them at that time, such even to this day are the chariots in use in the king's dominions.He also had a large number of camels, some collected from among his friends and some taken in war, all brought together. [6.1.31] Thus these plans were being put into execution.Now, he wished to send some one as a spy into Lydia to find out what the Assyrian was doing, and it seemed to him that Araspas, the guardian of the beautiful woman, was the proper person to go on this mission. Now Araspas's case had taken a turn like this: he had fallen in love with the lady and could not resist the impulse to approach her with amorous proposals. [6.1.32] But she repulsed his advances and was true to her husband, although he was far away; for she loved him devotedly. Still, she did not accuse Araspas to Cyrus, for she shrank from making trouble between friends. [6.1.33] But when Araspas, thinking that he should thus further the attainment of his desires, threatened the woman that he would use force if she would not submit willingly, then in fear of outrage the lady no longer kept it secret but sent her eunuch to Cyrus with instructions to tell him the whole story. [6.1.34] When Cyrus heard it he laughed outright at the man who had claimed to be superior to the passion of love; and he sent Artabazus back with the eunuch and bade him warn Araspas not to lay violent hands upon such a woman; but if he could win her consent, he himself would interpose no objection. [6.1.35] So, when Artabazus came to Araspas, he rebuked him severely, saying that the woman had been given to him in trust; and he dwelt upon his ungodliness, sinfulness, and sensuality, until Araspas shed bitter tears of contrition and was overwhelmed with shame and frightened to death lest Cyrus should punish him. [6.1.36] So, when Cyrus learned of this he sent for him and had a talk with him in private. "I see, Araspas," said he, "that you are afraid of me and terribly overcome with shame. Do not feel that way, pray; for I have heard say that even gods are victims of love; and as for mortals, I know what even some who are considered very discreet have suffered from love. And I had too poor an opinion of myself to suppose that I should have the strength of will to be thrown in contact with beauty and be indifferent to it. Besides, I am myself responsible for your condition, for it was I that shut you up with this irresistible creature." [6.1.37] "Aye, Cyrus," said Araspas, interrupting him, "you are in this, just as in everything else, gentle and forgiving of human errors. Other men make me ready to sink with my shame; for ever since the report of my fall got out, my enemies have been exulting over me, while my friends come to me and advise me to keep out of the way, for fear that you punish me for committing so great a wrong." [6.1.38] "Let me tell you then, Araspas," said Cyrus, "that by reason of this very report which people have heard in regard to you, you are in a position to do me a very great favour and to be of great assistance to our allies.""Would that some occasion might arise," answered Araspas, "in which I could be of service to you." [6.1.39] "If, then," said the other, "under pretence that you were fleeing from me you would go over into the enemy's country, I believe they would trust you.""Aye, by Zeus," said Araspas, "and I know that even with my friends I could start the story that I was running away from you." [6.1.40] "Then you would return to us," said he, "with full information about the enemy's condition and plans. And I suppose that because of their trusting you they would make you a participant in their discussions and counsels, so that not a single thing that we wish to know would be hidden from you.""Depend upon it," said he, "I will start at once; and one of the circumstances that will gain my story credence will be the appearance that I have run away because I was likely to be punished by you." [6.1.41] "And will you be able to give up the beautiful Panthea?" asked Cyrus."Yes, Cyrus," said he; "for I evidently have two souls. I have now worked out this doctrine of philosophy in the school of that crooked sophist, Eros. For if the soul is one, it is not both good and bad at the same time, neither can it at the same time desire the right and the wrong, nor at the same time both will and not will to do the same things; but it is obvious that there are two souls, and when the good one prevails, what is right is done; but when the bad one gains the ascendency, what is wrong is attempted. And now, since she has taken you to be her ally, it is the good soul that has gained the mastery, and that completely." [6.1.42] "Well then," answered Cyrus, "if you also have decided to go, this is what you must do so as to gain the more credence with them: tell them all about our affairs, but frame your account in such a way that your information will be the greatest possible hindrance to the success of their plans. And it would be a hindrance, if you should represent that we were making ready to invade their country at some point; for upon hearing this, they would be less likelto gather in full force, as each man would be afraid for his own possessions at home. [6.1.43] And stay with them as long as possible; for the most valuable information we can have will be in regard to what they are doing when they have come nearest to us. And advise them also to marshal themselves in whatever order seems best; for when you come away, it will be necessary for them to retain this order, even though they think you are familiar with it. For they will be slow to change it, and, if on the spur of the moment they make a change anywhere, they will be thrown into confusion."

[6.1.44] Then Araspas withdrew; he got together the most trusted of his attendants, told some of his friends such things as he thought would contribute to the success of his scheme, and was gone.

[6.1.45] When Panthea learned that Araspas had gone away, she sent word to Cyrus, saying: "Do not be distressed, Cyrus, that Araspas has gone over to the enemy; for if you will allow me to send to my husband, I can guarantee you that a much more faithful friend will come to you than Araspas was. And what is more, I know that he will come to you with as many troops as he can bring. For while the father of the present king was his friend, this present king once even attempted to separate me from my husband. Inasmuch, therefore, as he considers the king an insolent scoundrel, I am sure that he would be glad to transfer his allegiance to such a man as you."

[6.1.46] When Cyrus heard that, he bade her send word to her husband; and she did so. And when Abradatas read the cipher message sent by his wife and was informed how matters stood otherwise, he joyfully proceeded with about a thousand horse to join Cyrus. When he came up to the Persian sentries, he sent to Cyrus to let him know who it was; and Cyrus gave orders to take him at once to his wife.

[6.1.47] And when Abradatas and his wife saw each other they embraced each other with joy, as was natural, considering they had not expected ever to meet again. Thereafter Panthea told of Cyrus's piety and self-restraint and of his compassion for her."Tell me, Panthea," said Abradatas when he heard this, "what can I do to pay the debt of gratitude that you and I owe to Cyrus?""What else, pray," said Panthea, "than to try to be to him what he has been to you?"

[6.1.48] Later Abradatas went to Cyrus. When he saw him he took his right hand in his and said: "In return for the kindnesses you have done us, Cyrus, I do not know what more to say than that I offer myself to you to be your friend, your servant, your ally. And in whatsoever enterprise I see you engage, I shall try to co-operate with you to the very best of my ability."

[6.1.49] "And I accept your offer," said Cyrus. "And now I will take leave of you and let you go to dinner with your wife. Some other time you will be expected to dine at my headquarters with your friends and mine."

[6.1.50] After this, as Abradatas observed that Cyrus was busily engaged with the scythe-bearing chariots and the mailed horses and riders, he tried to contribute from his own cavalry as many as a hundred chariots like them; and he made ready to lead them in person upon his chariot. [6.1.51] He had the harnessing of his own chariot, moreover, arranged with four poles and eight horses abreast; [and his wife, Panthea, with here own money had a golden corselet made for him and a helmet and armlet of gold;] and he had the horses of his chariot equipped with armour of solid bronze.

[6.1.52] Such was the work of Abradatas; and when Cyrus saw his chariot with four poles, he conceived the idea that it was possible to make one even with eight poles, so as to move with eight yoke of oxen the lowest story of his movable towers; including the wheels, this portion was about three fathoms high from the ground. [6.1.53] Moreover, when such towers were taken along with each division of the army, it seemed to him that they were a great help to his own phalanx and would occasion great loss to the ranks of the enemy. And on the different stories he constructed galleries also and battlements; and on each tower he stationed twenty men.

[6.1.54] Now when all the appurtenances of his towers were put together, he made an experiment of their draught; and the eight yoke of oxen drew the tower with the men upon it more easily than each individual yoke could draw its usual load of baggage; for the load of baggage was about twenty-five talents1 to the yoke; whereas the weight of the tower, on which the timbers were as thick as those of the tragic stage, together with the twenty men and their arms amounted to less than fifteen talents to each yoke of oxen.

[6.1.55] Inasmuch, therefore, as he found that the hauling of the towers was easy, he made ready to take them with the army, for he thought that seizing an advantage in time of war was at once safety and justice and happiness.

6,1,54,n1. That is, about 1400 pounds; the Attic talent is equivalent to 55 3/4 pounds avoirdupois.

Book 6, Section 2

 [6.2.1] At this juncture, representatives from the Indian king arrived with money; they announced also that the Indian king sent him the following message: "I am glad, Cyrus, that you let me know what you needed. I desire to be your friend, and I am sending you the money, and if you need more, send for it. Moreover, my representatives have been instructed to do whatever you ask."

[6.2.2] "Well then," said Cyrus, when he heard this, "I ask some of you to remain where you have been assigned quarters and keep guard of this money and live as best pleases you, while three of you will please go to the enemy on pretence of having been sent by the king of India to make an alliance between them and him; and when you have learned how things stand there, what they are doing and proposing to do, bring word of it as soon as possible to me and to your king. And if you perform this service acceptably, I shall be even more grateful to you for that than I am for your bringing the money with which you have come. And this is service which you are eminently fitted to perform; for spies disguised as slaves can give information of nothing more in their reports than what every one knows; whereas men in your capacity often discover even what is being planned."

[6.2.3] The Indians were naturally pleased to hear this, and when they had been entertained by Cyrus, they made ready and set out on the following day with the solemn promise that when they had learned as much as they could they would return from the enemy's side with all possible dispatch.

[6.2.4] The rest of his preparations for war Cyrus now continued on a magnificent scale, for he was planning no mean enterprise; and he provided not only for that which his allies had agreed upon but he also inspired his friends to rivalry among themselves, in order that each complement might strive to show its men the best armed soldiers, the most skilled horsemen, the best marksmen with spear or bow, and the most industrious workers. [6.2.5] And, as a means of accomplishing this, he took them out to hunt and rewarded those who were in each particular most efficient. Furthermore, those officers who, he saw, were eager to have their own soldiers most efficient he spurred on with praise and with whatever favours he could bestow. [6.2.6] And then, too, whenever he performed a sacrifice or celebrated a festival, he instituted in connection with it contests in all those events in which people train as a discipline for war, and to the victors he offered splendid prizes; and the whole camp was in the best of spirits.

[6.2.7] Cyrus now had almost everything ready that he wished to have for his expedition except the engines of war. For the ranks of his Persian horse were now filled up to the number of ten thousand, the scythe-bearing chariots that he himself had had constructed had now reached the full number of one hundred, and those which Abradatas of Susa had undertaken to secure like those of Cyrus had also reached the full number of one hundredmore.

[6.2.8] And Cyrus had persuaded Cyaxares to transform the Median chariots also from the Trojan and Libyan type to this same style, and these amounted to another full hundred. For the camel corps, bowmen were detailed, two upon each camel. Thus the rank and file of the army generally cherished the feeling that the victory was already perfectly assured and that the enemy's side was as nothing.

[6.2.9] While they were in this state of mind, the Indians that Cyrus had sent as spies to the enemy's camp returned with the report that Croesus had been chosen field-marshal and commander-in-chief of all the enemy's hosts, that all the allied kings had decided to join him with their entire forces, to contribute vast sums of money, and to expend them in hiring what soldiers they could and in giving presents to those whom they were under obligations to reward. [6.2.10] They reported also that many Thracian swordsmen had already been hired and that Egyptians were under sail to join them, and they gave the number as one hundred and twenty thousand men armed with shields that came to their feet, with huge spears, such as they carry even to this day, and with sabres. Besides these, there was also the Cyprian army. The Cilicians were all present already, they said, as were also the contingents from both Phrygias, Lycaonia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, Arabia, and Phoenicia; the Assyrians were there under the king of Babylon; the Ionians also and the Aeolians and almost all the Greek colonists in Asia had been compelled to join Croesus, and Croesus had even sent to Lacedaemon to negotiate an alliance. [6.2.11] This army, they said, was being mustered at the River Pactolus, but it was their intention to advance to Thymbrara, where even to-day is the rendezvous of the king's barbarians from the interior. And a general call had been issued to bring provisions to market there.The prisoners also told practically the same story as the Indian spies; for this was another thing that Cyrus always looked out for--that prisoners should be taken, from whom he was likely to gain some intelligence. And he used also to send out spies disguised as slaves to pretend that they were deserters from him.

[6.2.12] When Cyrus's army heard this report, they were disturbed, as was natural; they went about more subdued than had been their wont, they gathered in groups, and every corner was full of people discussing the situation and asking one another's opinion.

[6.2.13] When Cyrus perceived that a panic was spreading through his army, he called together the officers of the different divisions and all others whose despondency he thought might cause injury and whose enthusiasm would be a help. And he sent word to his aides-de-camp that if any one else of the armed soldiers wished to attend the meeting and listen to the speeches, they should not hinder him. And when they had come together, he addressed them as follows:

[6.2.14] "Friends and allies, I have called you together because I observed that when this news came from the enemy, some of you looked as if you were frightened. Now it seems strange to me that any of you should really be afraid because the enemy are mustering; but when you see that we are mustered in much larger numbers than we had when we defeated them and that we are now, thank heaven, much better equipped than we were then--it is strange that when you see this you are not filled with courage!

[6.2.15] "What in the name of heaven, pray, would you who are now afraid have done, if the situation were reversed and some one told you that these forces that we have now were coming against us? And what, if you heard, in the first place, that those who had defeated us before were coming again, their hearts full of the victory they then gained; and, in the second place, that those who before made short work of the skirmishing lines of bowmen and spearmen were now coming and others like them many times their number; [6.2.16] and, in the third place, that, equipped in the same armour in which they were armed when their infantry defeated our infantry, they have cavalry now coming to meet our cavalry; that they have rejected the bow and the javelin, and that each man has adopted one heavy lance and is resolved to ride up and fight hand to hand? [6.2.17] And again, what would you have done, if you heard that chariots are coming which are not, as before, to stand still facing back as if for flight, but that the horses harnessed to the chariots are covered with mail, while the drivers stand in wooden towers and the parts of their body not defended by the towers are completely panoplied in breast-plates and helmets; and that scythes of steel have been fitted to the axles, and that it is the intention to drive these also into the ranks of the enemy? [6.2.18] Or again, if you heard that they have camels on which they will ride up to us, and a hundred horses could not endure the sight of any one of them? And again, that they are coming with towers, from which they will protect their comrades and by throwing missiles hinder us from fighting in a fair field? [6.2.19] If any one reported to you that this was the condition of things among the enemy, what would you, who are now so frightened, have done, seeing that you were terrified when the report came that Croesus had been elected commander-in-chief of the enemy--Croesus, who was a worse coward than the Syrians; for the Syrians fled because they were defeated in the battle, whereas Croesus, instead of standing by his allies, beat a hasty retreat when he saw that they were defeated? [6.2.20] And finally, you see, the report is brought that the enemy do not feel that they are strong enough to fight us by themselves, but are hiring others in the hope that these will fight for them more valiantly than they can for themselves. However, if there are any to whom the situation over there--such as it is--seems formidable, while our own condition seems contemptible, I say, men, that we ought to send them over to the enemy, for they would be much more useful to us over there than in our ranks."

[6.2.21] When Cyrus had finished his speech, Chrysantas, the Persian, arose and spoke as follows: "Do not wonder, Cyrus, that some looked disconsolate when they heard the report; for it was not from fear that they felt this, but from vexation--just as, if it should be announced, when people are ready and waiting to sit down to luncheon, that there is some work that they must do before they may eat, not one, I venture to say, would be pleased to hear it. So we also, thinking we were just on the point of getting rich, all put on a disconsolate look when we heard that there was some work left over which we must do; and it was not because we were frightened, but because we wished that this, too, were already accomplished.

[6.2.22] "But our disappointment is past, seeing that we are to contend not for Syria only, where there is an abundance of grain and flocks and date-palms, but for Lydia as well; for in that land there is an abundance of wine and figs and olive oil, and its shores are washed by the sea; and over its waters more good things are brought than any one has ever seen--when we think of that," said he, "we are no longer vexed, but our courage rises to the highest point, with desire to come all the more quickly into the enjoyment of these good things in Lydia also."Thus he spoke; and the allies were all pleased with his speech and applauded.

[6.2.23] "And indeed, my friends," said Cyrus, "I propose that we move against them as soon as possible, in the first place that we may reach the place where their supplies are being collected, before they do, if we can; and in the second place, because the faster we march the less perfected we shall find their arrangements and the greater we shall find their deficiencies. [6.2.24] This, then, is my proposal; but if any one thinks that any other course would be safer or easier for us, lehim inform us."Many supported him, saying that it was expedient to proceed as soon as possible against the enemy, and no one opposed his plan; so Cyrus began to speak as follows:

[6.2.25] "Friends and allies, our souls and bodies and the arms that we shall have to use have, with God's help, long since been made ready. And now for the march we must get together for ourselves and for the animals that we use provisions for not less than twenty days; for in reckoning it up, I find that there will be more than fifteen days' journey in which we shall find no provisions at all; for everything there has been made away with: the enemy took all that they could, and we have taken the rest. [6.2.26] Accordingly, we must put up and carry with us food enough; for without this we should be unable either to fight or to live. As for wine, each one ought to take along only enough to last till we accustom ourselves to drinking water; for the greater part of the march will be through a country where there is no wine, and for that all the wine we can carry will not suffice, even if we take along a very great quantity. [6.2.27] That we may not, therefore, fall a prey to sickness when we suddenly find ourselves deprived of wine, we must take this course: let us now begin at once to drink water at our meals, for by so doing we shall not greatly change our manner of living. [6.2.28] For whoever eats barley bread always eats meal that has been kneaded up with water, and whoever eats wheaten bread eats of a loaf that was mixed with water; and everything boiled is prepared with water in very liberal quantities. So, if after the meal we drink some wine, our soul will lack nothing and find refreshment. [6.2.29] But later on we must also gradually diminish the amount taken after dinner, until unconsciously we have become teetotalers. For gradual transition helps any nature to bear changes. Why, God teaches us that, by leading us gradually from winter to endure the burning heat of summer, and from the heat of summer to the rigours of winter; and we should imitate Him and reach the end we would attain by accustoming ourselves beforehand.

[6.2.30] "For your heavy blankets you may substitute an equal weight of provisions; for excess of provisions will not be useless. And do not be afraid that you will not sleep soundly for want of your blankets; if you do not, I will take the blame. However, if any one has a generous supply of clothing with him, that will be of good service to him whether he be well or ill.

[6.2.31] "For meats, we must pack up and take along only such as are sharp, pungent, salty; for these not only stimulate the appetite but also afford the most lasting nourishment. And when we come out into a country that has not been plundered, where we are at once likely to find grain again, we must then have hand-mills ready made with which to prepare food, for these are the lightest of the implements used in making bread.

[6.2.32] "Again, we must take with us the things that sick people need; for the weight they add is very small and, if we have a case of sickness, they will be very necessary."We must also have plenty of straps; for nearly everything that men and horses have is fastened on with straps, and when these wear out or break, everything must come to a standstill, unless one has some extra ones."And it will be a good thing for the man who has been taught how to smooth down a spear-shaft not to forget a rasp; and it will be well to bring along a file too; [6.2.33] for he that whets his spear whets his courage, in a way, at the same time; for a man must be overcome with shame to be whetting his spear and yet feel himself a coward."We must also have a good supply of lumber for the chariots and the wagons, for from constant use many parts necessarily become defective. We must have also the most indispensable tools for all these purposes; [6.2.34] for we shall not find mechanics everywhere, and almost any one can make what will serve for a day. Besides these, we must have a shovel and mattock for every wagon, and for each pack-animal an axe and a sickle; for these are useful to each one individually and often serviceable for the common good as well.

[6.2.35] "As to what is needed for the commissariat, you officers of the armed soldiers must make inquiry of the men under you, for we must not overlook anything of this sort that any one may need; for it is we that shall feel the want of it, if it is lacking. In reference to what I order for the pack-animals, you officers of the baggage-train must inquire into the matter, and if any man is not properly provided, require him to procure what is lacking.

[6.2.36] "You superintendents of the engineering corps have here from me a list of the spearmen, the archers, and the slingers, whose names have been stricken from the roster. You must require those of them who were spearmen to carry on the march a woodcutter's axe, those who were bowmen a mattock, and those who were slingers a shovel. With these tools they are to march in squads ahead of the wagons, so that, in case there is any need of road-building, you may get to work without delay, and so that, if I require their services, I may know where to find them when the time comes.

[6.2.37] "And finally I shall take along those of an age for military service who are smiths and carpenters and cobblers, in order that, if anything is wanted in the army in the line of their trades also, we may not suffer for lack of it. And they shall be relieved of assignments to duty under arms, but they shall occupy the position assigned to them and there ply their trades for pay at the order of whoever wishes their services.

[6.2.38] "And any merchant who wishes to accompany us, seeking a market for his wares, may do so; but if he is caught trying to sell anything within the number of days for which the troops are ordered to furnish their own provisions, he shall have all his goods confiscated. But when those days are past, he may sell as he pleases. And the man who seems to offer the largest stock of goods shall receive rewards and preferment both from the allies and from myself. [6.2.39] And if any merchant thinks he needs more money for the purchase of supplies, let him bring me vouchers for his respectability and identity, and sureties as a pledge that he is really going with the army, and he shall receive a certain amount from the fund we have."These are the directions I have to give in advance. If any one thinks of anything else that we need, let him inform me of it.

[6.2.40] "Now do you go and make ready, and I will sacrifice for a blessing upon our start; and when the omens from the gods are favourable, we shall give the signal, and all must come equipped with what has been prescribed and join their own commanders at the place appointed. [6.2.41] And all of you officers, when you have made ready each his own division, come to me that you may acquaint yourselves with your several positions."

Book 6, Section 3

 [6.3.1] When they heard this they began to make ready for the march, and Cyrus proceeded to sacrifice; and when the omens of the sacrifice were favourable, he set out with the army. On the first day he left the position he had occupied and encamped again as near as convenient to it. This he did, in order that, in case any one had forgotten anything, he might go back after it; and if any one discovered that he needed anything, he might still procure it.

[6.3.2] Cyaxares, however, remained behind with one third of the Medes, so as not to leave the home country unprotected, while Cyrus, with the cavalry at the head of the line, marched as rapidly as possible; but he never failed to send patrols ahead, and scouts up to the heights commanding the widest view before them. After these he arranged the baggage train, and where the country was flat he arranged many lines of waand pack-animals abreast; the phalanx followed next, and if any part of the baggage train lagged behind, such of the officers as happened to be at hand took care that they and their men should not be retarded in their advance. [6.3.3] But when the road was narrower, the soldiers put the baggage in between their lines and marched on either side of it; and if they met with any hindrance, those of the soldiers who were near the place took the matter in hand. For the most part, the companies marched with their own baggage next to them; for the baggage captains had orders to go along with their own respective companies unless something unavoidable should prevent it. [6.3.4] And the baggage man of each captain went ahead bearing an ensign that was known to the men of his own company. They were thus enabled to march close together, and they were extremely careful, each of his own property, that nothing should be left behind. As they maintained this order, it was never necessary for them to look for one another, and at the same time everything was kept close at hand and in greater safety, and the soldiers always obtained more promptly anything that was wanted.

[6.3.5] Now the scouts who went forward thought they saw men getting fodder and fuel on the plain; and they also saw beasts of burden, some loaded with other supplies of that sort and others grazing. Then, as they looked further on into the distance, they thought that they detected smoke or a cloud of dust rising up. From all these evidences they pretty well recognised that the army of the enemy was somewhere in the neighbourhood. [6.3.6] Accordingly, the officer in command of the scouts at once sent a man to report the news to Cyrus; and when he heard it he ordered them to remain at their look-out place and send him reports from time to time of whatever they saw that was new. Moreover, he sent forward a company of cavalry with orders to try to capture some of the men moving up and down the plain, in order that he might learn more definitely the real state of affairs. Accordingly, those who received these orders proceeded to execute them.

[6.3.7] He himself halted the rest of the army there, so that they might make what preparations he considered necessary before they were in too close quarters. And he gave the word to take luncheon first and then to remain at their posts and be on the watch for orders. [6.3.8] So, when they had eaten, he summoned together the commanders of the cavalry, the infantry, and the chariot corps, and also the officers in charge of the engines, of the baggage train, and of the wagons, and they came. [6.3.9] And those who made the raid into the plain had captured some people and now brought them in; and the prisoners, when cross-questioned by Cyrus, said that they were from the camp and had come out after fodder, passing out beyond their advanced guards, while others had gone after fuel; for by reason of the vast numbers of their army, everything was scarce. [6.3.10] On hearing this, Cyrus asked: "How far from here is your army?""About two parasangs," they replied."Was there any talk about us over there?" Cyrus then asked."Yes, by Zeus," they answered, "a great deal, and to the effect that you were already close upon us in your advance.""Tell me, then," said Cyrus, "were they glad when they heard we were coming?" This question he asked for the benefit of the bystanders."No, by Zeus," they answered; "they were not glad in the least, but were rather very much troubled."

[6.3.11] "And what are they doing now?" asked Cyrus."They are being marshalled in battle array," they answered; "and yesterday and the day before they were doing the same.""And the marshal," said Cyrus, "who is he?""Croesus himself," they replied, "and with him a Greek and some one else--a Mede; the latter, however, was said to be a deserter from your side.""Grant, O Zeus almighty," said Cyrus, "that it be mine to get hold of him, as I desire!"

[6.3.12] Then he ordered the prisoners to be led away, and turned to the bystanders as if to say something. But at that moment another messenger came from the captain of the scouts with word that a large body of cavalry was within sight on the plain. "And we presume," he added, "that they are coming with the intention of reconnoitring the army here. And we have good reasons for the suspicion, for at a considerable distance in advance of this company about thirty other horsemen are riding forward; as a matter of fact, they are riding in the direction of our party, aiming perhaps, if possible, to get possession of our look-out point; and we who are holding this particular point are only ten in number."

[6.3.13] So Cyrus ordered a detachment of the horsemen who formed his body-guard to ride up to the foot of the place of look-out and to remain quiet there out of sight of the enemy. "But," he added, "when our ten leave the look-out place, rush up and attack the enemy as they come up it. But that the horsemen of the large battalion may not bring you to grief, do you, Hystaspas," said he to that officer, "take your regiment of cavalry, go out against them, and show yourself over against the enemy's battalion. But do not by any means allow yourself to pursue into places that you do not know, but when you have made sure that the look-out stations remain in your possession, come back. And if any ride toward you, holding up their right hands, receive them as friends."

[6.3.14] Accordingly, Hystaspas went away and donned his armour; the men from Cyrus's body-guard rode off at once, as he had ordered. And just within the picket line there met them, with his attendants, the man who had been sent some time since as a spy, the guardian of the lady of Susa. [6.3.15] So when Cyrus heard this, he sprang up from his seat, went to meet him, and welcomed him cordially; and the rest, knowing nothing of the facts, were naturally astonished at his actions until Cyrus said: "My friends, here has come a man most loyal; for now all the world must know at once what he has done. He went away not because his disgrace was too great for him to bear, nor because he feared my displeasure, but because I sent him to discover for us the exact condition of the enemy and to report to us the true state of affairs. [6.3.16] And now, Araspas, I have not forgotten what I promised you, and I will fulfil it, and all these men shall help me; for it is only right, my friends, that you also should all honour him as a valiant man. For, for our general good, he has risked his life and borne the stigma that was put upon him."

[6.3.17] Then all embraced Araspas and gave him a hearty welcome. But Cyrus, remarking that there had been enough of that, added, "Tell us, Araspas, what it is of the first importance for us to know; and do not detract anything from the truth nor underrate the real strength of the enemy. For it is better for us to think it greater and find it less than to hear that it is less and find it really more formidable."

[6.3.18] "Aye," said Araspas, "but I did take steps to get the most accurate information about the size of their army; for I was present in person and helped to draw it up in battle order.""And so," said Cyrus, "you are acquainted not only with their numbers but also with their order of battle.""Yes, by Zeus," answered Araspas, "I am; and I know also how they are planning to conduct the battle.""Good," said Cyrus; "still, tell us first, in round numbers, how many of them there are."

[6.3.19] "Well," he replied, "with the exception of the Egyptians, they are all drawn up thirty deep, both foot and horse, and their front extends about forty stadia; for I took especial pains to find out how much space they covered."2

[6.3.20] "And how are the Egyptians drawn up?" asked Cyrus; "for you said `with the exception of the Egyptians.'""The brigadier-generals drew them up--each one ten thousand men, a hundred square; for this, they said, was their manner of arranging their order of battle at home. And Croeconsented to their being so drawn up, but very reluctantly, for he wished to outflank your army as much as possible.""And what is his object in doing that, pray?" asked Cyrus."In order, by Zeus," he replied, "to surround you with the part that extends beyond your line.""Well," said Cyrus, "they may have an opportunity to find out whether the surrounders may not be surrounded. [6.3.21] Now we have heard from you what it is of the first importance for us to learn. And you, my men, must carry out the following programme: when you leave me, look at once to your own accoutrement and that of your horses; for often, for want of a trifle, man or horse or chariot becomes useless. And early to-morrow morning, during the time that I shall be sacrificing, first you must all breakfast, both men and horses, so that we may not fail in anything that it may be of importance for us to do in any exigency."And then do you, Arsamas," said he,..."and you <Chrysantas> take charge of the right wing, as you always have done, and the rest of you brigadier-generals take the posts you now have. When the race is on, it is not the time for any chariot to change horses. So instruct your captains and lieutenants to form a line with each separate platoon two deep." <Now each platoon contained twenty-four men.>

[6.3.22] "And do you think, Cyrus," said one of the generals, "that drawn up with lines so shallow we shall be a match for so deep a phalanx?""When phalanxes are too deep to reach the enemy with weapons," answered Cyrus, "how do you think they can either hurt their enemy or help their friends? [6.3.23] For my part, I would rather have these hoplites who are arranged in columns a hundred deep drawn up ten thousand deep; for in that case we should have very few to fight against. According to the depth that I shall give my line of battle, I think I shall bring the entire line into action and make it everywhere mutually helpful. [6.3.24] I shall bring up the spearmen immediately behind the heavy-armed troops, and the bowmen immediately behind the spearmen; for why should any one put in the front ranks those who themselves acknowledge that they could never withstand the shock of battle in a hand-to-hand encounter? But with the heavy-armed troops as a shield in front of them, they will stand their ground; and the one division with their spears, the other with their arrows will rain destruction upon the enemy, over the heads of all the lines in front. And whatever harm any one does to the enemy, in all this he obviously lightens the task of his comrades. [6.3.25] Behind all the rest I shall station the so-called rear-guard of veteran reserves. For just as a house, without a strong foundation or without the things that make a roof, is good for nothing, so likewise a phalanx is good for nothing, unless both front and rear are composed of valiant men.

[6.3.26] "Do you, therefore, take your positions as I direct, and you also, the officers of the light-armed troops, bring up your platoons immediately behind them, and you, the officers of the archery, fall in, in the same way, directly behind the light-armed troops.

[6.3.27] "Now you, the commander of the rear-guard, as you are behind all the rest with your men, issue orders to your own division that each man watch those immediately in front of him, encourage those who are doing their duty, threaten violently those who lag behind, and punish with death any one who turns his back with traitorous intent. For it is the duty of the men in the front ranks with word and deed to encourage those who follow them, while it is your business, who occupy the rear, to inspire the cowardly with greater fear than the enemy does.

[6.3.28] "That is what you have to attend to. Now you, Euphratas, who are commander of the division in charge of the engines, manage to have the teams that draw the towers follow as close as possible behind the phalanx. [6.3.29] And you, Dau+chus, who have command of the baggage-train, bring up all your division of the army next after the towers, and let your adjutants punish severely those who advance or fall behind further than is expedient.

[6.3.30] "And you, Carduchus, who have charge of the carriages which convey the women, bring them up in the rear next after the baggage-train. For, if all this follows, it will give an impression of numbers and will afford us an opportunity for an ambuscade; and if the enemy try to surround us, they will have to make a wider circuit; and the greater the circuit they have to make, the weaker they must necessarily make their line.

[6.3.31] "That is your course to pursue. But do you, Artaozus and Artagerses, have each of you a regiment of your infantry behind the carriages. [6.3.32] And you, Pharnuchus and Asiadatas, keep each of you the regiment of cavalry under your command out of the main line and take your stand by yourselves behind the carriages, and then come to me with the rest of the officers. You must be just as fully ready, though in the rear, as if you were to be the first to have to join battle.

[6.3.33] "And you, the commander of the men on camels, take your position also behind the women's carriages and do whatever Artagerses commands you.

[6.3.34] "And finally, do you officers of the chariot forces cast lots, and let the one to whose lot it falls bring up his hundred chariots in front of the main line; of the other two hundred, one shall take its place in line upon the right flank of the army, the other on the left, and follow the phalanx each in single file."

[6.3.35] Thus did Cyrus plan his order of battle.But Abradatas, the king of Susa, said: "I will gladly volunteer to hold for you the post immediately in front of the enemy's phalanx, Cyrus, unless you have some better plan."

[6.3.36] And Cyrus admired his spirit and clasped his hand, and turning to the Persians in command of the other chariots he asked: "Do you consent to this?" But they answered that it was inconsistent with their idea of honour to yield the place to him; accordingly, he had them cast lots; and Abradatas was assigned by lot to the place for which he had volunteered, and took his place over against the Egyptians.

[6.3.37] This done, they went away, and when they had attended to the details of all that I have mentioned, they went to dinner; and then they stationed their pickets and went to bed.

6,3,19,n2. The stadium is 600 feet; the ancient soldier was normally allowed 3 feet. That makes a front of 200 men per stadium, 8,000 for the entire front. That means, as they stood 30 deep, 240,000 in the army, and with the Egyptians 360,000.

Book 6, Section 4

 [6.4.1] Early on the following day Cyrus was sacrificing, and the rest of the army, after breakfasting and pouring libations, proceeded to array themselves with many fine tunics and corselets and helms. And they armed their horses also with frontlets and breastplates; the saddle-horses also they armed with thigh-pieces and the chariot teams with side-armour. And so the whole army flashed with bronze and was resplendent in purple.

[6.4.2] And Abradatas's chariot with its four poles and eight horses was adorned most handsomely; and when he came to put on his linen corselet, such as they used in his country, Panthea brought him one of gold, also a helmet, arm-pieces, broad bracelets for his wrists--all of gold--and a purple tunic that hung down in folds to his feet, and a helmet-plume of hyacinth dye. All these she had had made without her husband's knowledge, taking the measure for them from his armour. [6.4.3] And when he saw them he was astonished and turning to Panthea, he asked: "Tell me, wife, you did not break your own jewels to pieces, did you, to have this armour made for me?""No, by Zeus," answered Panthea, "at any rate, not my most precious jewel; for you, if you appear to others as you seem to me, shall be my noblest jewel."With these words, she began to put the armour on him, and though she trto conceal them, the tears stole down her cheeks.

[6.4.4] And when Abradatas was armed in his panoply he looked most handsome and noble, for he had been favoured by nature and, even unadorned, was well worth looking at; and taking the reins from his groom he was now making ready to mount his chariot. [6.4.5] But at this moment Panthea bade all who stood near to retire and then she said: "Abradatas, if ever any woman loved her husband more than her own life, I think you know that I, too, am such a one. Why, then, should I tell of these things one by one? For I think that my conduct has given you better proof of it than any words I now might say. [6.4.6] Still, with the affection that you know I have for you, I swear to you by my love for you and yours for me that, of a truth, I would far rather go down into the earth with you, if you approve yourself a gallant soldier, than live disgraced with one disgraced: so worthy of the noblest lot have I deemed both you and myself. [6.4.7] And to Cyrus I think we owe a very large debt of gratitude, because, when I was his prisoner and allotted to him, he did not choose to keep me either as his slave or as a freewoman under a dishonourable name, but took me and kept me for you as one would a brother's wife. [6.4.8] And then, too, when Araspas, who had been charged with my keeping, deserted him, I promised him that if he would let me send to you, a far better and truer friend than Araspas would come to him, in you."

[6.4.9] Thus she spoke; and Abradatas, touched by her words, laid his hand upon her head and lifting up his eyes toward heaven prayed, saying: "Grant me, I pray, almighty Zeus, that I may show myself a husband worthy of Panthea and a friend worthy of Cyrus, who has shown us honour."As he said this, he mounted his car by the doors in the chariot-box. [6.4.10] And when he had entered and the groom closed the box, Panthea, not knowing how else she could now kiss him good-bye, touched her lips to the chariot-box. And then at once his chariot rolled away, but she followed after, unknown to him, until Abradatas turned round and saw her and said: "Have a brave heart, Panthea, and farewell! And now go back."

[6.4.11] Then the eunuchs and maid-servants took her and conducted her to her carriage, where they bade her recline, and hid her completely from view with the hood of the carriage. And the people, beautiful as was the sight of Abradatas and his chariat, had no eyes for him, until Panthea was gone.

[6.4.12] Now when Cyrus found the omens from his sacrifice favourable, and when his army was arranged as he had instructed, he had posts of observation occupied, one in advance of another, and then called his generals together and addressed them as follows: [6.4.13] "Friends and allies, the gods have sent us omens from the sacrifice just like those we had when they gave the former victory into our hands. So I wish to remind you of some things which, if you will remember them, I think will make you go into battle with much stouter hearts. [6.4.14] On the one hand, you have received much better training in the arts of war than the enemy, you have lived together and drilled together in the same place for a much longer time now than they, and together you have won a victory; most of the enemy, on the other hand, have together suffered defeat. Some on both sides, however, were not in the battle; among these our enemies know that they have traitors by their sides, while you who are with us know that you are doing battle in company with those who are glad to stand by their comrades. [6.4.15] And it is a matter of course that those who trust one another will stand their ground and fight with one heart and mind, and that those who distrust each other will necessarily be scheming, each how he may get out of the way as quickly as possible.

[6.4.16] "Therefore, my men, let us go against the enemy, to fight in a hand-to-hand encounter, with our chariots armed, against theirs unarmed; and our horses and riders in like manner armed, against theirs unarmed. [6.4.17] The infantry that you will fight against, you have fought before--all but the Egyptians; and they are armed and drawn up alike badly; for with those big shields which they have they cannot do anything or see anything; and drawn up a hundred deep, it is clear that they will hinder one another from fighting--all except a few. [6.4.18] But if they believe that by rushing they will rush us off the field, they will first have to sustain the charge of horses and of steel driven upon them by the force of horses; and if any of them should hold his ground, how will he be able to fight at the same time against cavalry and phalanxes and towers? And that he will have to do, for those upon our towers will come to our aid and raining their missiles upon the enemy will drive them to distraction rather than to fighting.

[6.4.19] "Still, if you think we need anything more, tell me; for with the help of the gods, we shall lack for nothing. So, if any one wishes to make any remarks, let him speak. If not, do you go to the place of sacrifice and pray to the gods to whom we have sacrificed and then go back to your posts. [6.4.20] And each one of you remind his own men of what I have called to your attention, and let each man prove to those whom he commands that he is himself worthy of command, by showing himself fearless in his bearing, in his countenance, and in his words."

 

continue in [ Book Seven ]

 

 

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