c. 430 BCE (?) - c. 354(?) BCE
Xenophon was a soldier, mercenary and author. He was born into an aristocratic family near Athens, and he was and a pupil of Socrates. He joined an army of mercenaries recruited by Cyrus the Younger, the younger brother of Artaxerxes II and son of Darius II. Cyrus intended to lead this army from Asia Minor tp Persia in order to gain the throne of Persia. The armies of Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II met in the Battle of Cunaxa, and Cyrus was soundly defeated and killed as were his generals. The surviving mercenaries elected Xenophon as their leader and returned to Greece via the Black Sea. On their return, the Xenophon and his band were recruited by the Spartans, enemies of Athens, a move that led to Xenophon's exile from Athens. Sparta gave him land and property in Scillus, where he lived before moving to Corinth.
Additional online text at:
Cyropaedia: Education of Cyrus I by Xenophon
Translated by Walter Miller
- Book 2
- Book 3
- Book 4
- Book 5
- Book 6
- Book 7
- Book 8
[3.1.1] Armenian Response to Cyrus' Message. Cyrus was thus employed; but when the Armenian king heard from the envoy the message of Cyrus, he was alarmed, for he knew that he was doing wrong in withholding the tribute due and in failing to send the troops, and he was afraid most of all because he saw that he was sure to be detected in the act of beginning to build his palace in such a way as to render it strong enough for armed resistance.
[3.1.2] Disturbed by the consciousness of all these faults, he sent around and collected his forces, and at the same time he sent away to the mountains his younger son, Sabaris, and the women, both his queen and his son's wife, and his daughters. And he sent along with them his most valuable jewels and chattels and gave them an escort. At the same time he sent scouts to spy out what Cyrus was doing, while he went on assigning positions in his service to the Armenians as they came in to him. Presently still others arrived with the news that the man himself was quite near.
[3.1.3] Armenians Flee in Disarray. Then he no longer had the courage to join battle with him but retreated. When the Armenians saw him act thus, they dispersed at once, each to his own possessions, wishing to get their belongings out of the way. And when Cyrus saw the plain full of men running about and driving away, he sent secretly to say that he had no quarrel with any who remained; but he declared that if he caught any one trying to get away, he should treat him as an enemy. Accordingly, the most of them remained, but some retreated with the king.
[3.1.4] Capture of the Armenian Royal Family & Treasure. Now as those with the women in charge went forward they came upon the forces in the mountain. At once they raised a cry and as they tried to escape many of them were caught. And finally the young prince and the wives and daughters were captured and all the treasure that happened to be in the train. When the king himself learned what was going on, he was in a quandary which way to turn and took refuge upon a certain hill.
[3.1.5] And when Cyrus saw this he surrounded the hill with the troops he had with him and sent orders to Chrysantas to leave a guard upon the mountains and come. Thus Cyrus's army was being brought together. Then he sent a herald to the Armenian to ask him the following question: "Tell me, king of Armenia," he said, "whether you prefer to remain there and fight against hunger and thirst, or to come down into the plain and fight it out with us?" The Armenian answered that he had no wish to fight against either.
[3.1.6] Cyrus Negotiates Armenian King's Surrender. Again Cyrus sent to him and asked: "Why then do you sit there and refuse to come down?" "Because," he answered, "I am in a quandary what to do." "But," said Cyrus, "there is no occasion whatever for that; for you are free to come down for trial." "And who," said he, "will be my judge?" "He, to be sure, to whom God has given the power to deal with you as he will, even without a trial." Then the Armenian, recognizing the exigency of his case, came down. And Cyrus received both the king and all that belonged to him into the midst and set his camp round them, for by this time he had all his forces together.
[3.1.7] Now at this juncture Tigranes, the king's elder son, returned from a journey abroad. He it was who had been Cyrus's companion once on a hunt; and when he heard what had occurred, he came at once, just as he was, to Cyrus. And when he saw his father and mother and brothers and sisters and his own wife all made prisoners, he wept, as might be expected.
[3.1.8] But Cyrus, when he looked upon him, showed him no token of friendship, but merely remarked: "You have come just in time to attend your father's trial." And immediately he called together the officers of both the Medes and the Persians and all the Armenian nobles who were present. And the women who were there in their carriages he did not exclude but permitted them to attend.
[3.1.9] Armenian King's Trial. Truth Paramount for Cyrus. When everything was in order, he began his examination: "King of Armenia," said he, "I advise you in the first place in this trial to tell the truth, that you may be guiltless of that offence which is hated more cordially than any other. For let me assure you that being caught in a barefaced lie stands most seriously in the way of a man's receiving any mercy. In the next place," said he, "your children and your wives here and also the Armenians present are cognizant of everything that you have done; and if they hear you telling anything else than the facts, they will think that you are actually condemning your own self to suffer the extreme penalty, if ever I discover the truth." "Well, Cyrus," said he, "ask what you will, and be assured that I will tell the truth, let happen what will as a result of it."
[3.1.10] "Tell me then," said the other, "did you ever have a war with Astyages, my mother's father, and with the rest of the Medes?" "Yes," he answered, "I did." "And when you were conquered by him, did you agree to pay tribute and to join his army, wherever he should command you to go, and to own no forts?" "Those are the facts." "Why, then, have you now failed to pay the tribute and to send the troops, and why have you been building forts?" "I longed for liberty; for it seemed to me to be a glorious thing both to be free myself and to bequeath liberty to my children."
[3.1.11] "You are right," said Cyrus; "it is a noble thing to fight that one may never be in danger of becoming a slave. But if any one has been conquered in war or in any other way reduced to servitude and is then caught attempting to rob his masters of himself, are you the first man to reward him as an honest man and one who does right, or do you punish him as a malefactor if you catch him?" " I punish him," said he; "for you will not let me tell a lie."
[3.1.12] "Answer each of these questions explicitly then," said Cyrus; "if any one happens to be an officer under you and does wrong, do you permit him to continue in office or do you put another in his place?" "I put another in his place." "And what if he has great possessions--do you allow him to continue rich, or do you make him poor?" "I confiscate all that he may happen to possess," said he. "And if you find out that he is trying to desert to the enemy, what do you do?" "I put him to death," said he; "I may as well confess, for why should I convict myself of lying and be put him to death for that, instead of telling the truth?"
[3.1.13] Then his son, when he heard this, stripped off his turban and rent his garments, and the women cried aloud and tore their cheeks, as if it were all over with their father and they were already lost. But Cyrus bade them be silent and said: "Very well, king of Armenia; so that is your idea of justice; in accordance with it, then, what do you advise us to do?" Then the Armenian was silent, for he was in a quandary whether to advise Cyrus to put him to death or to propose to him a course opposite to that which he admitted he himself always took.
[3.1.14] Tigranes, the Armenian King's Son Pleads His Father's Case. But Tigranes, said: "Tell me, Cyrus, since my father seems to be in doubt, may I advise you in regard to him what I think the best course for you?" Now Cyrus had observed when Tigranes used to go hunting with him that there was a certain philosopher with him who was an object of admiration to Tigranes; consequently he was very eager to hear what he would say. So he bade him express his opinion with confidence.
[3.1.15] "Well," said Tigranes, "if you approve either of my father's theory or his practice, then I advise you by all means to imitate him. But if you think he has done wrong throughout, I advise you not to imitate him." "Well then," said Cyrus, "if I should do what is right, I should surely not be imitating the one who does wrong." "That is true," said he. "Then, according to your reasoning, your father must be punished, if indeed it is right that the one who does wrong should be punished." "Which do you think is better for you, Cyrus, to mete out your punishments to your benefit or to your own injury?" "In the latter case, at least," said he, "I should be punishing myself."
[3.1.16] "Aye, but you would be doing yourself a great injury," said Tigranes, "if you should put your friends to death just at the time when it was of the greatest advantage to you to have them." "How," said Cyrus, "could men be of the greatest advantage to me just at the time when they were caught doing wrong?" "They would be, I think, if at that time they should become discreet. For it seems to me to be true, Cyrus," said he, "that without discretion there is no advantage at all in any other virtue; for what," he continued, "could one do with a strong man or a brave man, or what with a rich man or a man of power in the state if he lacked discretion? But every friend is useful and every servant good, if he be endowed with discretion."
[3.1.17] "Do you mean to say, then," Cyrus answered, "that in one day's time your father has become discreet when he was indiscreet before?" "Yes," said he, "I do, indeed." "By that you mean to say that discretion is an affection of the soul, as sorrow is, and not an acquisition. [Note: I.e. wisdom and the other virtues are matters for learning, the results of study and practice--not a mood, like sorrow, anger, or any other emotion.] For I do not suppose that a man could instantly pass from being indiscreet to being discreet, if indeed the one who is to be discreet must first have become wise."
[3.1.18] "What, have you never observed, Cyrus," said he, "that when a man indiscreetly ventures to fight a stronger man than himself and has been worsted, he is instantly cured of his indiscretion toward that particular man? And again," he continued, "have you never seen how when one state is in arms against another it is at once willing, when defeated, to submit to the victor instead of continuing the fight?"
[3.1.19] "To what defeat of your father's do you refer," said Cyrus, "that you are so confident that he has been brought to discretion by it?" "Why that, by Zeus," Tigranes answered, "which he is conscious of having sustained, inasmuch as when he aimed at securing liberty he has become more of a slave than ever, and as he has not been able to accomplish a single thing of all that he thought he should effect by secrecy or by surprise or by actual force. And he knows that when you desired to outwit him, you did it as effectually as one could do who set out to deceive men blind or deaf or deprived of all their senses; and when you thought you ought to act secretly, you acted with such secrecy that the fortified places which he thought he had provided for his own safety you had secretly turned into prisons for him in advance. And so much did you surpass him in dispatch, that you came from a distance with a large army before he could muster the forces he had at home."
[3.1.20] "Well," said Cyrus, "do you really think that such a defeat is adequate to make men discreet--I mean, when they find out that others are their superiors?" "Yes," said Tigranes, "much more than when they are defeated in combat. For the one who is overcome by strength sometimes conceives the idea that, if he trains his body, he may renew the combat. Even cities too, when captured, think that by taking on new allies they might renew the fight. But if people are convinced that others are superior to themselves, they are often ready even without compulsion to submit to them."
[3.1.21] "You seem to think," said the other, "that the insolent do not recognize those more discreet than they, that thieves do not recognize the truthful, and wrong-doers those who do right. Do you not know," he continued, "that even now your father has played false and has not kept his agreement with us, although he knew that we have not been violating any of the agreements made by Astyages?"
[3.1.22] "Yes; but neither do I mean that simply recognizing their superiors makes people discreet, unless they are punished by those superiors, as my father now is." "But," said Cyrus, "your father has not yet suffered the least harm; but he is afraid, to be sure, that he will suffer the worst."
[3.1.23] "Do you think, then," said Tigranes, "that anything breaks a man's spirit sooner than object fear? Do you not know that those who are beaten with the sword, which is considered the most potent instrument of correction, are nevertheless ready to fight the same enemy again; but when people really fear anyone very much, then they cannot look him in the face, even when he tries to cheer them?" "You mean to say," said he, "that fear is a heavier punishment to men than real correction."
[3.1.24] "And you," said he, "know that what I say is true; for you are aware that, on the one hand, those who are afraid that they are to be exiled from their native land, and those who on the eve of battle are afraid that they shall be defeated, and those who fear slavery or bondage, all such can neither eat nor sleep for fear; whereas those who are already in exile or already defeated or already in slavery can sometimes eat and sleep better than those enjoying a happier lot.
[3.1.25] "And from the following considerations it is still clearer what a burden fear is: some, for fear that they will be caught and put to death, in terror take their own lives before their time--some by hurling themselves over a precipice, other by hanging themselves, others by cutting their own throats; so does fear crush down the soul more than all other terrors. As for my father," he added, "in what a state of mind do you think he is? For he is in dread not only for himself, but also for me, for his wife, and for all of his children."
[3.1.26] "Well," answered Cyrus, "it is not at all unlikely, I suppose, that he is for the moment in such a state of mind. However, it seems to me that we expect of a man who is insolent in success and abject in failure that, when set on his feet once more, he will again wax arrogant and again cause more trouble."
[3.1.27] "Well, by Zeus, Cyrus," said he, "our wrong-doing does, no doubt, give you cause to distrust us; but you may build forts in our country and occupy the strongholds already built and take whatever else you wish as security. And yet," he added, "you will not find us very much aggrieved by your doing so; for we shall remember that we are to blame for it all. But if you hand over our government to some one of those who have done no wrong and yet show that you distrust them, see to it lest they regard you as no friend, in spite of your favours to them. But if again, on your guard against incurring their hatred, you fail to place a check upon them to keep them from rebellion, see to it lest you need to bring them to discretion even more than you did in our case just now."
[3.1.28] "Nay, by the gods," said he, "I do not think I should like to employ servants that I knew served me only from compulsion. But if I had servants who I thought assisted me, as in duty bound, out of goodwill and friendship toward me, I think I should be better satisfied with them when they did wrong than with others who disliked me, when they performed all their tasks faithfully but from compulsion." To this Tigranes replied: "From whom could you ever get such friendship as you now can from us?" "From those, I presume," said he, "who have never been my enemies, if I would do them such favours as you now bid me do you."
[3.1.29] "But, Cyrus," said he, "as things now are, could you find any one to whom you could do as great favours as you can to my father? For example, if you grant any one of those who have done you no wrong his life, what gratitude do you think he will feel toward you for that? And again, who will love you for not depriving him of his wife and children more than he who thinks that it would serve him right to lose them? And do you know of any one who would be more grieved than we, not to have the throne of Armenia? Well, then," he added, "it is evident that he who would be most grieved not to be king, would also be most grateful for receiving the throne."
[3.1.30] And it you care at all to leave matters here in as little confusion as possible when you go away, consider whether you think the country would be more tranquil under the beginning of a new administration than if the one we are used to should continue. And if you care to take with you as large an army as possible, who do you think would be in a better position to organize the troops properly than he who has often employed them? And if you need money also, who do you think could supply it better than he who knows and commands all the sources of supply? My good Cyrus," he added, "beware lest in casting us aside you do yourself a greater injury than any harm my father has been able to do you." Thus he spoke.
[3.1.31] Cyrus Renders His Judgment & Decides to Spare the Armenian King. And Cyrus was more than pleased at hearing him, for he thought that everything that he had promised Cyaxares to do was in course of accomplishment; for he remembered having told him that he would make the Armenian more his friend than he was before. "Tell me, king of Armenia," he therefore asked, "if I yield to you in this matter, how large an army will you send with me and how much money will you contribute to the war?"
[3.1.32] "I have nothing to propose more simple or more fair, Cyrus," the Armenian replied to this, "than for me to show you all the forces I have and for you, when you have seen them, to take as many as you see fit, leaving the rest here to protect the country. And in the same way in regard to the money, it is proper for me to show you all that I have, and for you to decide for yourself and take as much as you please and to leave as much as you please."
[3.1.33] "Come then," said Cyrus, "tell me how large your forces are and how much money you have." "Well," the Armenian then answered, "there are about eight thousand cavalry and about forty thousand infantry. And the property," said he, "including the treasures that my father left me, amounts, when reduced to cash, to more than three thousand talents."
[3.1.34] And without hesitation, Cyrus replied: "Send with me then," said he, "only half the army, since your neighbours, the Chaldaeans*, are at war with you. And of the money, instead of the fifty talents which you used to pay as tribute, pay Cyaxares double that sum because you are in arrears with your payments. And lend me personally a hundred more," said he; "and I promise you that if God prospers me, I will in return for your loan either do you other favours worth more than that amount or at least pay you back the money, if I can; but if I cannot, I may seem insolvent, I suppose, but I should not justly be accounted dishonest."
[*Note: Chaldea is a country that lay far south at the Tigris-Euphrates delta. The country described further below is a mountainous neighbour of the Armenians and since Media lay to Armenia's south or southeast, the more likely candidates are Urartu to the southwest-west or some northern neighbour.]
[3.1.35] "For heaven's sake, Cyrus," said the Armenian, "do not talk that way. If you do, you will make me lose heart. But consider," said he, "that what you leave here is no less yours than what you take away." "Very well," said Cyrus; "now how much money would you give to get your wife back?" "As much as I could," said he. "And how much to get your children?" "For these also," said he, "as much as I could." "Well then," said Cyrus, "that makes already twice as much as you have..
[3.1.36] And you, Tigranes," said he, "tell me how much you would pay to get your wife back?" Now it happened that he was newly married and loved his wife very dearly." I would give my life, Cyrus," said he, "to keep her from slavery."
[3.1.37] "Well then," said he, "take her back; she is your own. For I, for my part, do not consider that she has been made a prisoner of war at all, since you never ran away from us. And you too, king of Armenia, may take back your wife and children without paying any ransom for them, that they may know that they return to you free men and women. And now," said he, "stay and have dinner with us; and when you have dined you may drive away wherever you have a mind to go." So they stayed.
[3.1.38] And after dinner, as the party was breaking up, Cyrus asked: "Tell me, Tigranes, where is the man who used to hunt with us? You seemed to admire him very much." "Ah," he replied, "did not my father here have him put to death?" "What wrong did he find him doing?" "He said that he was corrupting me. And yet, Cyrus," said he, "he was so noble and so good that when he was about to be put to death, he called me to him and said: `Be not angry with your father, Tigranes, for putting me to death; for he does it, not from any spirit of malice, but from ignorance, and when men do wrong from ignorance, I believe they do it quite against their will."
[3.1.39] "Poor man!" Cyrus exclaimed on hearing this. Here the Armenian king interrupted: "Do not men who discover strangers in intercourse with their wives kill them, not on the ground that they make their wives more inclined to folly, but in the belief that they alienate from them their wives' affections--for this reason they treat them as enemies. So I was jealous of him because I thought that he made my son regard him more highly than he did me."
[3.1.40] The Armenian Royal Family Depart Happy. "Well, by the gods, king of Armenia," said Cyrus, "your sin seems human; and you, Tigranes, must forgive your father. "Then when they had thus conversed and showed their friendly feelings toward one another, as was natural after a reconciliation, they entered their carriages and drove away with their wives, happy.
[3.1.41] Cyrus Wins the Admiration & Loyalty of the Armenians. And when they got home they talked, one of Cyrus's wisdom, another of his strength, another of his gentleness, and still another of his beauty and his commanding presence. Then Tigranes asked his wife: "Tell me, my Armenian princess," said he, "did you, too, think Cyrus handsome?" "Why, by Zeus," said she, "I did not look at him." "At whom, then?" asked Tigranes. "At him, by Zeus, who said that he would give his life to keep me from servitude." Then as might be expected after such experiences, they went to rest together.
[3.1.42] And on the following day the Armenian king sent guest-presents to Cyrus and all his army, and he commanded those of his men who were to take the field to present themselves on the third day; and he paid Cyrus double the sum of money that he had named. But Cyrus accepted only the amount specified and returned the rest. Then he asked which of the two was to go in command of the forces, the king himself or his son. They both answered at the same instant, the father saying: "Whichever you command"; and the son: "I will never leave you, Cyrus, not even if I have to accompany you as a camp-follower."
[3.1.43] And Cyrus, laughing, said: "How much would you take to have your wife told that you were a camp-follower?" "Why," said he, "she will not need to be told anything about it; for I shall take her with me, so that she will be in a position to see whatever I do." "Then," said he, "it may be high time for you to be getting your things together." "Be sure," said he, "that we shall be here with everything brought together that my father gives us." And when the soldiers had received their presents they went to bed.
Book 3, Section 2
[3.2.1] Cyrus Surveys How He Can Help the Armenians Defend Themselves From Chaldaean* Raids. On the morrow Cyrus took with him Tigranes, the best of the Median horsemen, and as many of his own friends as he thought proper, and rode around to inspect the country with a view to finding a place in which to build a fort. And when he had come to a certain eminence he asked Tigranes which were the mountains from which the Chaldaeans were accustomed to descend to make forays into the country. And Tigranes pointed them out. And again he asked: "And are these mountains now unoccupied?" "No, by Zeus," said he; "but they always have scouts up there who signal to the rest whatever they see." "Then," said he, "what do they do, when they receive the signals?" "They run out to the heights to help," said he, "each as best he can."
[*Note: As noted earlier, Chaldea is a country that lay far south at the Tigris-Euphrates delta. The country described here is a mountainous neighbour of the Armenians, and since Media lay to Armenia's south or southeast, the more likely candidates are Urartu to the southwest-west or some northern neighbour.]
[3.2.2] Such was the account to which Cyrus listened; and as he looked he observed that a large portion of the Armenians' country was deserted and uncultivated as a result of the war. And then they went back to camp and after they had dined they went to rest.
[3.2.3] On the following day Tigranes presented himself with his baggage all ready for the start; and under his command were assembled about four thousand horsemen and about ten thousand bowmen and as many peltasts besides. While they had been coming together, Cyrus had been sacrificing; and when his sacrifice gave favourable omens, he called a meeting of the officers of the Persians and of the Medes.
[3.2.4] Cyrus Decides to Capture the Chaldaean Heights. And when they were come together, he spoke as follows: "My friends, these mountains which we see belong to Chaldaea; but if we should seize them and have a fort of our own built upon the summit, both parties--the Armenians, I mean, and the Chaldaeans--would have to behave with discretion toward us. Now, the sacrifices give us favourable omens; but, for the execution of our plan, nothing would be so strong an ally to human zeal as dispatch. For if we get up there before the enemy have time to come together, we may gain possession of the heights altogether without a battle, or we may at least find enemies few in number and without strength.
[3.2.5] "Of the tasks before us, therefore, none is easier or less fraught with danger," said he, "than now bravely to endure the strain of haste. Therefore, to arms! And...you, Medes, march on our left; and you, Armenians, half keep to our right and half lead on in front; while you, cavalrymen, shall follow behind, to encourage and push us on upward; and if any one is inclined to show weakness, do not allow it."
[3.2.6] With this command Cyrus brought his companies to ploy into column and took his place at their head. And when the Chaldaeans realized that the movement was directed toward the heights, they immediately gave the signal to their people, called to one another to assemble, and began to come together. And Cyrus gave command: "Fellow-Persians, they are signalling us to hasten; for if we get up there first, the enemy's efforts will be of no avail."
[3.2.7] Now the Chaldaeans carried each a wicker shield and two spears, and they were said to be the most warlike of the peoples in that region. They also serve for hire when any one wants them, for they are fond of war and poor of purse; for their country is mountainous and only a small part of it is productive.
[3.2.8] But when Cyrus and his men were getting nearer to the heights, Tigranes, who was marching with Cyrus, said: "Do you know, Cyrus, that we ourselves shall have to do the fighting, and in a very few moments? For the Armenians, I am sure, will never sustain the enemy's attack." Cyrus answered that he knew that and gave the command to the Persians to make ready, as it would be necessary in a moment to give chase, as soon as the Armenians by pretending flight should decoy the enemy into close quarters.
[3.2.9] So the Armenians led on. And when they came near, the Chaldaeans already there raised the battle cry, according to their custom, and charged upon them. And the Armenians, according to their custom, failed to sustain the charge.
[3.2.10] But when the Chaldaeans in pursuit saw before them the swordsmen rushing up against them, some came near and were cut down at once, others fled, and some others of their number were taken prisoners; and soon the heights were taken. And when Cyrus and his men were in possession of the heights, they looked down on the dwellings of the Chaldaeans and saw the people fleeing from their homes near by.
[3.2.11] Then when the soldiers were all together, Cyrus bade his men take luncheon; and when they had lunched and he had discovered that the place where the scouts had their posts of observation was strong and well supplied with water, he at once proceeded to build a fort there. He also bade Tigranes send for his father and bid him come with all the carpenters and masons that he had. So a messenger was off to bring the Armenian king, but Cyrus proceeded to build the wall with the men he had at hand.
[3.2.12] Cyrus Set the Chaldaean Prisioners Free with Options for Peace or War. At this juncture they brought to Cyrus the prisoners in chains and also some that had been wounded. And when he saw them he at once ordered that the fetters be taken off, and he sent for surgeons and bade them attend to the wounded men. And then he told the Chaldaeans that he had come with no wish to destroy them and with no desire to make war, but because he wished to make peace between the Armenians and the Chaldaeans. "Now I know that before the heights were taken you had no wish at all for peace, for everything of yours was secure, while you carried off and plundered the property of the Armenians; but now see in what a predicament you are!
[3.2.13] Now I am going to let you who have been captured go home and consult with the rest of the Chaldaeans whether you wish to have war with us or to be our friends. And if you choose war, do not come this way again without weapons, if you are wise; but if you decide that you desire peace, come without arms. I shall see to it that you have no cause to complain, if you become our friends."
[3.2.14] And when the Chaldaeans heard this, they commended Cyrus highly, shook hands with him heartily, and departed for home. Now, when the king of Armenia received Cyrus's summons and heard of his plans, he came to Cyrus as quickly as he could with the carpenters and all that he thought was necessary.
[3.2.15] And when he saw Cyrus, he said: "How little of the future, Cyrus, we mortals can foresee, and yet how much we try to accomplish. Why, just now, when I was striving to secure liberty, I became more a slave than ever before; and when we were taken prisoners, we then thought our destruction certain, but we now find that we are saved as never before. For those who never ceased to do us no end of injury I now behold in just the condition that I desired.
[3.2.16] "And believe me, Cyrus," said he, "when I say that to have driven the Chaldaeans from these heights I would have given many times as much money as you now have from me; and the benefit that you promised to do us, when you received the money, you have already conferred so fully that we obviously now owe you a new debt of gratitude besides; and we on our part, if we have not lost all self-respect, should be ashamed if we did not repay it to you.'
[3.2.17] Thus the Armenian king spoke. Now the Chaldaeans had come back with the request that Cyrus should make peace with them. And Cyrus asked them: "Is this the reason that you, Chaldaeans, now desire peace, because you think, that since we are in possession of these heights, you could live in greater security if we had peace than if we were at war?" The Chaldaeans assented.
[3.2.18] "And what," said he, "if still other blessings should accrue to you as a result of the proposed peace?" "We should be still more pleased," they answered. "Well," said he, "do you think that you are now poor for any other reason than because you have so little fertile land?" In this also they agreed with him. "Well then," said Cyrus, "would you avail yourselves of the permission to till as much Armenian land as you wish on condition that you paid in full just as much rental as other tenants in Armenia do?" "Yes," said the Chaldaeans, "if we could be sure of not being molested."
[3.2.19] "Tell me, King of Armenia," said he, "would you be willing that that land of yours which now lies uncultivated should be cultivated, if those who cultivate it would pay you the usual rental?" The Armenian answered that he would give a great deal to have it so; for in this way his revenues would be greatly increased.
[3.2.20] "And tell me, Chaldaeans," said he, "seeing that you have fine mountains, would you be willing to let the Armenians pasture their herds there, if the herdsmen would pay you what is fair? "The Chaldaeans said they would; for they would get large profits by it, without any labour on their own part. "And you, King of Armenia," said he, "would you be willing to rent their pasture lands, if by letting the Chaldaeans have a little profit you were to get much greater profit for yourself?" "Why, of course," said he, "if I thought I could pasture my cattle there in security." "Well then," said he, "could you pasture them there in security, if these heights were in the possession of your friends?" "Yes," said the Armenian.
[3.2.21] "But, by Zeus," said the Chaldaeans, "we could not even work our own farms in security, to say nothing of theirs, if they were to have possession of the heights." "But," said Cyrus, "suppose on the other hand that the heights were in the possession of your friends?" "In that case," they answered, "we should be all right." "But, by Zeus," said the Armenian, "we, on our part, should not be all right, if they are again to get possession of the heights, especially now that they have been fortified."
[3.2.22] "This then," said Cyrus, "is what I shall do: I shall not give possession of the heights to either of you, but we shall keep a garrison there ourselves; and if either of you does wrong, we shall side with the injured party."
[3.2.23] And when they heard this proposal, both sides gave it their approval and said that only in this way could the peace be effective; and upon these conditions they interchanged assurances of friendship, and agreed that each party should be independent of the other, that there should be the right of intermarriage and of mutual tillage and pasturage in each other's territory, and that there should be a defensive alliance, in case any one should injure either party.
[3.2.24] Such, then, was the agreement entered into at that time; and to this day the covenants which were then made between the Chaldaeans and the king of Armenia still continue in force. And when the treaty was made, they both together began with enthusiasm at once to build the fort for their common protection, and then together they stocked it with provisions.
[3.2.25] When evening was drawing on, he entertained both sides, now made friends, as his guests at dinner. And while the party was in progress, one of the Chaldaeans said that to all the rest of them this state of affairs was desirable; but there were some of the Chaldaeans, so they said, who lived by plundering and would not know how to farm and could not, for they were used to making their living by the business of war; for they were always making raids or serving as mercenaries; they were often in the service of the Indian king (and he paid well, they said, for he was a very wealthy man) and often in the service of Astyages.
[3.2.26] "Then why do they not enter my service now?" asked Cyrus; "I will pay as much as any one ever did." They assented and said that the volunteers would be many.
[3.2.27] These terms were thus agreed upon; and when Cyrus heard that the Chaldaeans made frequent trips to the Indian king, remembering that representatives from him had once come to Media to investigate conditions there and had then visited the enemy to inquire into theirs also, he wished to have him learn what he had done.
[3.2.28] Cyrus Decides to Send an Envoy to the King of India. Accordingly, he began to speak as follows: "King of Armenia," said he, "and you Chaldaeans, tell me--if I should now send one of my men to the Indian king, would you send along some of yours to conduct him on the way and to co-operate with him in getting what I want from the king of India? Now I should like to have more money, in order to be in a position both to pay generous wages when I ought, and to honour with rewards those of my fellow-soldiers who deserve it; and the reason why I wish to have a generous a supply of money as possible is that I expect to need it, and I shall be glad to spare yours; for I now count you among my friends; but from the Indian king I should be glad to accept a contribution, if he would offer it.
[3.2.29] "Now, when the messenger, to whom I am asking you to furnish guides and co-workers, arrives there, he will speak on this wise: 'King of India, Cyrus has sent me to you; he says that he needs more funds, for he is expecting another army from his home in Persia'--and that is true," said he, "for I am expecting one--'if, therefore, you will send him as much as you conveniently can, he says that if God will give him good success, he will try to make you think that you were well advised in doing him this favour.'
[3.2.30] "This my envoy will say. Now, in your turn, give your representatives such instructions as you think expedient for you. And if we get anything thing from him, we shall have more abundant funds to use; and if we do not, we shall know that we owe him no thanks, but may, as far as he is concerned, settle everything with a view to our own interests."
[3.2.31] Thus Cyrus spoke; and he believed that those of the Armenians and Chaldaeans who were to go would say such things of him as he desired all men to say and to hear of him. And then, when it was time, the banquet came to an end, and they went to rest.
Book 3, Section 3
[3.3.1] On the following day Cyrus gave the envoy the commission of which he had spoken and sent him on his way; and the Armenian king and the Chaldeans sent along those who they thought would be most competent to co-operate and to say what was appropriate concerning Cyrus. Then he manned the fort with a competent garrison, supplied it with all things necessary, and left in command a Mede who he thought would be most acceptable to Cyaxares; and then he departed, taking with him not only the army which he had brought with him but also the reinforcements that he had received from the Armenians, and about four thousand Chaldaeans, who considered themselves actually better than all the rest put together.
[3.3.2] Cyrus Returns to Media Hailed as a Hero & Benefactor. And when he came down into the inhabited part of the country, not one of the Armenians remained indoors, but all, both men and women, in their joy at the restoration of peace, came forth to meet him, each one carrying or bringing whatever he had of value. And their king did not disapprove, for he thought that Cyrus would thus be all the better pleased at receiving honour from all. And finally also the queen with her daughters and her younger son came up to him bringing not only the money which before Cyrus had refused to take, but other gifts as well.
[3.3.3] And when he saw it Cyrus said: "You shall not make me go about doing good for pay! No, good queen; take back home with you this money which you bring; and do not give it to the king again to bury, but with it get your son as fine an outfit as possible and send him to the army; and with what is left get both for yourself and your husband, your daughters and your sons, anything the possession of which will enable you to adorn yourselves more handsomely and spend your days more happily. But let it suffice," he added, "to bury in the earth only our bodies, when the end shall come to each."
[3.3.4] Thus he spoke and rode past her. And the king of Armenia escorted him on his way, as did all the rest of the people, proclaiming him again and again their benefactor, their valiant hero. And this they continued to do until he had quitted their borders. And as there was now peace at home, the king increased the contingent of troops that he sent with him.
[3.3.5] Thus Cyrus departed, not only enriched with the ready money that he had received, but also having secured by his conduct far larger funds in reserve, to draw upon in time of need. That night he encamped upon the frontier, and the next day he sent the army and the money to Cyaxares; for he was near by, as he had promised to be. But Cyrus himself went hunting with Tigranes and the best of his Persians, wherever they came across game, and he was delighted with the sport.
[3.3.6] Now when he came back to Media he gave to each of his captains as much of the money as he thought sufficient, so that they in turn might be able to reward any of the men under them with whose conduct they were pleased; for he thought that if each one made his division worthy of commendation, he would find the whole army in fine condition. And whenever he himself saw anywhere anything calculated to improve his army, he always procured it and distributed it in presents from time to time among the most deserving; for he thought that everything that his army had that was beautiful and fine was an adornment to himself.
[3.3.7] And when he was about to distribute a portion of what he had received, he took his place in the midst of the captains, lieutenants, and all whom he was about to reward, and spoke to this effect: "My friends, there seems now to be a kind of gladness in our hearts, both because some degree of prosperity has come to us and because we have the means of rewarding those whom we will and of receiving rewards, each according to his deserts.
[3.3.8] But let us be sure to remember to what kind of conduct these blessings are due; for if you will consider, you will find that it is this--watching when occasion demanded, undergoing toil, making due haste, and never yielding to the enemy. Accordingly, we must in future also be brave men, knowing that obedience, perseverance, and the endurance of toil and danger at the critical time bring the great pleasures and the great blessings."
[3.3.9] Cyrus Decides to Take the Initiative & Battle to the Enemy. Cyrus now saw that his soldiers were in good physical condition to endure the fatigue of military service, that their hearts were disposed to regard the enemy with contempt, that they were skilled each in the exercise adapted to his kind of armour, and that they were all well disciplined to obey the officers; accordingly, he was eager to undertake some move against the enemy at once, for he knew that generals often find some even of their best laid plans brought to naught through delay.
[3.3.10] And he further observed that, because they were so eager to excel in those exercises in which they vied with one another, many of the soldiers were even jealous of one another; for this reason also he wished to lead them into the enemy's country as soon as possible. For he knew that common dangers make comrades kindly disposed toward one another, and that in the midst of such dangers there is no jealousy of those who wear decorations on their armour or of those who are striving for glory; on the contrary, soldiers praise and love their fellows even more, because they recognize in them co-workers for the common good.
[3.3.11] Accordingly, he first completely armed his forces and marshalled them in the best and most imposing order possible; then he called together the generals, colonels, captains, and lieutenants; for these had been exempted from enrolment in the lines of the regular battalions; and even when it was necessary for any of them to report to the commander-in-chief or to transmit any order, no part of the army was left without a commanding officer, for the sergeants and corporals kept in proper order the divisions from which the superior officers had gone.
[3.3.12] And when the staff-officers [Note: hoi epikairioi are literally "the most timely," "the most important," "the chief officers." It is consistently rendered by "staff-officers" in this translation, though the word may be applied to all who are in authority, whether military or civil.] had come together, he conducted them along the ranks, showed them in what good order everything was and pointed out to them the special strength of each contingent of the auxiliaries. And when he had filled them with an eager desire for immediate action, he bade them them go to their own several divisions and tell their men what he had told them and try to inspire in them all a desire to begin the campaign, for he wished them all to start out in the best of spirits; and early in the morning they were to meet him at Cyaxares' gates.
[3.3.13] Cyrus Seeks Cyaxares Consent to Invade Assyria. Thereupon they all went their way and proceeded so to do. At daybreak on the following day the staff-officers presented themselves at the gates of the king. So Cyrus went in with them to Cyaxares and began to speak as follows: "I am sure, Cyaxares," said he, "that you have this long time been thinking no less than we of the proposition that I am going to lay before you; but perhaps you hesitate to broach the subject for fear it should be thought that you speak of an expedition from here because you are embarrassed at having to maintain us.
[3.3.14] "Therefore, since you do not say anything, I will speak both for you and for ourselves. We are all agreed that, inasmuch as we are quite ready, it is best not to sit down here in a friendly country and wait till the enemy have invaded your territory before we begin to fight, but to go as quickly as possible into the enemy's country.
[3.3.15] "For now, while we are in your country, we do your people's property much injury quite against our will; but if we go into the enemy's country, we shall do injury to theirs with all our hearts.
[3.3.16] "In the second place, you support us now at great expense; whereas, if we take the field, we shall get our support from the enemy's country.
[3.3.17] "And then again, if we were likely to be in any greater danger there than here, we should, perhaps, have to choose the safer course. But their numbers will be the same, whether we wait here or whether we go and meet them in their own territory. And our numbers in the fight will be just the same, whether we engage them as they come hither or whether we go against them to join battle.
[3.3.18] "We shall, however, find the courage of our soldiers much better and stronger, if we assume the offensive and show that we are not unwilling to face the foe; and they will be much more afraid of us, when they hear that we do not sit down at home and cower in fear of them, but that, when we hear that they are coming, we advance to meet them to join battle as soon as possible, and do not wait until our country is ravaged, but take the initiative and devastate theirs.
[3.3.19] "And surely," he added, "if we make them more afraid and ourselves more courageous, I think it would be a great gain to us and it would, as I reckon it, lessen the danger under such circumstances for us and increase it for the enemy. And my father always says, and so do you, and all the rest agree, that battles are decided more by men's souls than by the strength of their bodies."
[3.3.20] Thus he spoke; and Cyaxares answered: "Do not let yourselves imagine, Cyrus and the rest of you Persians, that I am embarrassed at having to support you. As for invading the enemy's country at once, however, I too consider that the better plan from every point of view." "Well then," said Cyrus, "since we are agreed, let us make ready and, as soon as ever the gods give us their sanction, let us march out without a moment's delay."
[3.3.21] Cyrus Marches on Assyria. Hereupon they gave the soldiers the word to make ready to break camp. And Cyrus proceeded to sacrifice first to Sovereign Zeus and then to the rest of the gods; and he besought them to lead his army with their grace and favour and to be their mighty defenders and helpers and counsellors for the common good.
[3.3.22] And he called also upon the heroes who dwelt in Media and were its guardians. And when the sacrifice was found to be favourable and his army was assembled at the frontier, then amid favourable auspices he crossed into the enemy's country. And as soon as he had crossed the boundary, he again made propitiatory offerings to Earth with libations and sought with sacrifices to win the favour of the gods and heroes that dwelt in Assyria. And when he had done this he sacrificed again to Zeus, the god of his fathers; and of the other divinities that were brought to his attention he neglected not one.
[3.3.23] And when these rites were duly performed, they at once led the infantry forward a short distance and pitched camp, while with the cavalry they made a raid and got possession of a large quantity of every sort of booty. And thenceforward they shifted their camp from time to time, kept provisions supplied in abundance, and ravaged the country, while they awaited the enemy's approach.
[3.3.24] And when rumours came that the enemy were advancing and no longer ten days' march away, then Cyrus said: "Now, Cyaxares, is the time for us to go to meet them and not to let either the enemy or our own men suppose that we fail to advance against them out of fear, but let us make it clear that we are not going to fight against our will."
[3.3.25] As Cyaxares agreed to this, they advanced in battle order each day as far as they thought proper. Their dinner they always prepared by day-light, and at night they never lighted a fire in camp. They did, however, keep fires burning in front of the camp, in order that if any one approached in the dark, they might see him by the light of the fire but not be seen. And frequently also they kept fires burning in the rear of the camp for the purpose of deceiving the enemy; and so sometimes the enemy's scouts fell into the hands of the pickets; for because the fires were behind, they supposed themselves to be still far in front of the camp.
[3.3.26] Then, when the two armies were near each other, the Assyrians and their allies drew a ditch around their camp, as even to this day the barbarian kings do whenever they go into camp; and they throw up such entrenchments with ease because of the multitude of hands at their command. They take this precaution because they know that cavalry troops--especially barbarian cavalry--are at night prone to confusion and hard to manage.
[3.3.27] For they keep their horses hobbled at the mangers, and if any enemy should make an attack, it is a difficult task to loose the horses in the darkness, it is difficult to bridle them, difficult to saddle them, difficult to put on a coat of mail, and utterly impossible to mount and ride through camp. For all these reasons and also because they think that if they are behind fortifications they are in a position to choose their time for fighting, the Assyrians and the rest of the barbarians throw up breastworks.
[3.3.28] With such tactics the armies were approaching each other; but when, as they advanced, they were only about a parasang apart, the Assyrians encamped in the manner described in a place surrounded, indeed, by a ditch, but open to view. Cyrus, on the other hand, encamped in a place as much out of sight as possible, keeping under cover behind the hills and villages, for he thought that if all one's equipment for war flashes suddenly into view, it inspires more terror in the enemy. And that night each side stationed advance guards, as was proper, and went to rest.
[3.3.29] And on the following day the Assyrian king and Croesus and the other commanders let their troops rest within the entrenchments; but Cyrus and Cyaxares awaited them in battle array, ready to fight if the enemy should come on. But when it was evident that the enemy would not come out from behind their breastworks nor accept battle that day, Cyaxares called Cyrus and the staff officers besides and spoke as follows:
[3.3.30] "Men," said he, "I propose to march up to those fellows' breastworks, drawn up just as we are now, and show them that we are eager to fight. For," said he, "if we do that and they do not come out against us, our men will come back to camp more full of courage, and the enemy seeing our daring will be more frightened."
[3.3.31] Such was his proposal. But Cyrus said: "No, by the gods, Cyaxares, let us not do that; never! For if we march out and show ourselves, as you suggest, the enemy will see us marching up but will have no fear, for they know that they are secure against any injury; and when we withdraw without having accomplished anything, they will furthermore see that our numbers are inferior to their own and despise us; and to-morrow they will come out with much stouter hearts. [3.3.32] But as matters stand now," said he, "as they know that we are here but do not see us, you may be sure that they do not despise us but inquire anxiously what in the world this means, and I am positive that they are talking about us all the time. But when they come out, then we must show ourselves and at once engage them hand to hand, when we shall have them where we have long since been wishing to have them."
[3.3.33] When Cyrus had thus spoken, Cyaxares and the rest agreed with him. And then, when they had dined and stationed their sentinels and lighted many fires in front of the outposts, they went to rest.
[3.3.34] On the Day of Battle Both Leaders Prepare Their Troops Early on the following day Cyrus crowned himself with a garland and prepared to sacrifice, and sent word to the rest of the peers to attend the service with chaplets on their heads. And when the sacrifice was concluded, Cyrus called them together and said: "Men, the gods announce, as the soothsayers say and also as I interpret it, that there is to be a battle; through the omens of the sacrifice they grant us victory and promise us no loss.
[3.3.35] "Now I should be ashamed indeed to suggest to you how you ought to conduct yourselves at such a time; for I know that you understand what you have to do, that you have practised it, and have been continually hearing of it just as I have, so that you might properly even teach others. But if you happen not to have had this other matter called to your attention, listen.
[3.3.36] "Those whom we recently took as our comrades and whom we are trying to make like ourselves--these men we must remind of the conditions on which we have been maintained by Cyaxares, what we have been in training for, why we have invited them to join us, and what it is in which they said they would gladly be our rivals.
[3.3.37] "And remind them also that this day will prove what each one is worth. For when people are late in learning anything, it is not surprising that some of them actually need a monitor; and we may be content if they manage even with the help of a suggestion to prove themselves valiant.
[3.3.38] "And in doing this, you will at the same time be getting a proof of yourselves also. For he who on such an occasion can make others more valiant would naturally also gain the consciousness that he is himself a thoroughly valiant man; he, on the other hand, who keeps all to himself the admonition to such conduct and rests satisfied with that might properly consider himself but half valiant.
[3.3.39] "The reason why I do not speak to them but bid you do so is that so they may try to please you, for you are in touch with them, each in his own division. And remember this, that if in their eyes you prove yourselves courageous, you will teach not only your comrades but many others also, not by precept merely but by example, to be courageous."
[3.3.40] In concluding, he told them to go with their chaplets on and take luncheon and when they had poured the libation to go, still wearing the chaplets, to their posts. And when they had gone away, he called in the officers of the rear-guard and gave them the following instructions:
[3.3.41] "Men of Persia, you also have now taken your places among the peers, and you have been selected for your positions because you are considered in every way equal to the bravest, and by virtue of your years even more discreet than they. And so you occupy a place not at all less honourable than that of our front-rank men. For as you are behind, you can observe those who are vand by exhorting them make them still more valiant; and if any one should be inclined to hang back and you should see it, you would not permit it.
[3.3.42] "And because of your years and because of the weight of your armour it is more to your advantage than to any others' that we should be victorious. And if those in front call to you and bid you follow, obey them and see that you be not outdone by them even in this respect but give them a counter cheer to lead on faster against the enemy. Now go and get your luncheon and then go with your chaplets on your heads with the others to your posts."
[3.3.43] Thus Cyrus and his men were occupied; and the Assyrians, when they had lunched, came out boldly and bravely drew up in line. And the king in person rode along in his chariot and marshalled the lines and exhorted them as follows:
[3.3.44] "Men of Assyria, now is the time for you to be brave men; for the struggle now impending is one for your lives, for the land in which you were born, for the homes in which you were bred, for your wives and children and all the blessings you enjoy. For if you are victorious, you will have possession of all that, as before; but if you are defeated, be well assured that you will surrender it all to the enemy.
[3.3.45] "Therefore, as you desire victory, stand and fight; for it would be folly for men who desire to win a battle to turn their backs and offer to the enemy the side of their body that is without eyes or hands or weapons; and any one who wishes to live would be a fool if he tried to run away, when he knows that it is the victors who save their lives, while those who try to run away are more likely to meet their death than those who stand their ground. And if any one desires wealth, he also is foolish if he submits to defeat. For who does not know that the victors not only save what is their own but take in addition the property of the vanquished, while the vanquished throw both themselves and all they have away?" Thus the Assyrian was occupied;
[3.3.46] and Cyaxares sent to Cyrus to say that now was the time to advance upon the enemy. "For," said he, "although those outside the fortifications are as yet but few, they will become many while we are advancing; let us therefore not wait until their numbers are more than our own, but let us go while yet we think we could defeat them easily."
[3.3.47] "But, Cyaxares," Cyrus answered, "if it is not more than half of them that are defeated, you may rest assured that they will say that we attacked only a few because we were afraid of their main body, and they will maintain that they have not been defeated; the result will be that you will find another battle necessary; and then they may perhaps plan better than they have now in delivering themselves so completely to our disposal that we may fight as many or as few of them as we please."
[3.3.48] The messengers received this answer and were gone. And at this juncture Chrysantas, the Persian, and certain other peers came up with some deserters. And Cyrus, as a matter of course, asked the deserters what was going on among the enemy; and they said that the troops were already coming out under arms and that the king was out in person marshalling them and addressing them with many earnest words of exhortation as they came out in succession. So, they said, those reported who heard him.
[3.3.49] "How would it do, Cyrus," Chrysantas then asked, "for you to get your men together, too, while yet you may, and exhort them, and see if you also might make your soldiers better men."
[3.3.50] "Do not let the exhortations of the Assyrian trouble you in the least, Chrysantas," Cyrus answered; "for no speech of admonition can be so fine that it will all at once make those who hear it good men if they are not good already; it would surely not make archers good if they had not had previous practice in shooting; neither could it make lancers good, nor horsemen; it cannot even make men able to endure bodily labour, unless they have been trained to it before."
[3.3.51] "But, Cyrus," answered Chrysantas, "it is really enough if you make their souls better with your words of exhortation." "Do you really think," returned Cyrus, "that one word spoken could all at once fill with a sense of honour the souls of those who hear, or keep them from actions that would be wrong, and convince them that for the sake of praise they must undergo every toil and every danger? Could it impress the idea indelibly upon their minds that it is better to die in battle than to save one's life by running away?
[3.3.52] "And," he continued, "if such sentiments are to be imprinted on men's hearts and to be abiding, is it not necessary in the first place that laws be already in existence such that by them a life of freedom and honour shall be provided for the good, but that upon the bad shall be imposed a life of humiliation and misery which would not be worth living?
[3.3.53] "And then again, I think, there must be, in addition to the laws, teachers and officers to show them the right way, to teach them and accustom them to do as they are taught, until it becomes a part of their nature to consider the good and honourable men as really the most happy, and to look upon the bad and the disreputable as the most wretched of all people. For such ought to be the feelings of those who are going to show the victory of training over fear in the presence of the enemy.
[3.3.54] "But if, when soldiers are about to go armed into battle, when many forget even the lessons oft learned of old, if then any one by an oratorical flourish can then and there make men warlike, it would be the easiest thing under heaven both to learn and to teach the greatest virtue in the world.
[3.3.55] "For even in the case of those whom we have kept and trained among ourselves, I, for my part, should not trust even them to be steadfast, if I did not see you also before me, who will be an example to them of what they ought to be and who will be able to prompt them if they forget anything. But I should be surprised, Chrysantas, if a word well spoken would help those wholly untrained in excellence to the attainment of manly worth any more than a song well sung would help those untrained in music to high attainments in music."
[3.3.56] Thus they conversed. And again Cyaxares sent to Cyrus to say that he was making a serious mistake to delay instead of leading as soon as possible against the enemy. And then Cyrus answered the messengers saying: "Very well; but I want him to know that there are not yet as many of them outside the breastworks as we ought to have; and tell him this in the presence of all. Nevertheless, since he thinks best, I will lead on at once."
[3.3.57] When he had said this, he prayed to the gods and led out his army. And as soon as he began to advance, he led on at a double-quick pace and they followed in good order, for they understood marching in line and had practised it; moreover, they followed courageously, because they were in eager rivalry with one another and because their bodies were in thorough training and because the front-rank men were all officers; and they followed gladly, because they were intelligent men; for they had become convinced by long instruction that the easiest and safest way was to meet the enemy hand to hand--especially if that enemy were made up of bowmen, spearmen, and cavalry.
[3.3.58] While they were still out of range, Cyrus passed the watchword, Zeus our Helper and our Guide. And when the watchword came back and was delivered again to him, Cyrus himself began the usual paean, and they all devoutly joined with a loud voice in the singing, for in the performance of such service the God-fearing have less fear of men.
[3.3.59] The Battle Begins. And when the paean was ended, the peers marched on cheerily, well-disciplined, looking toward one another, calling by name to comrades beside them and behind them, and often saying: "On, friends," "On, brave fellows;" thus they encouraged one another to the charge. And those behind, hearing them, in their turn cheered the front line to lead them bravely on. So Cyrus's army was filled with enthusiasm, ambition, strength, courage, exhortation, self-control, obedience; and this, I think, is the most formidable thing an enemy has to face.
[3.3.60] But when the main body of the Persians began to get close to them, those of the Assyrians who dismounted from their chariots and fought in front of their army remounted their chariots and gradually drew back to their own main body, while the bowmen, spearmen, and slingers let fly their missiles long before they could reach the enemy.
[3.3.61] And when the Persians, charging on, set foot upon the missiles that had been discharged, Cyrus shouted, "Bravest of men, now let each press on and distinguish himself and pass the word to the others to come on faster." And they passed it on; and under the impulse of their enthusiasm, courage, and eagerness to close with the enemy some broke into a run, and the whole phalanx also followed at a run.
[3.3.62] And even Cyrus himself, forgetting to proceed at a walk, led them on at a run and shouted as he ran: "Who will follow? Who is brave? Who will be the first to lay low his man?" And those who heard him shouted with the same words, and the cry passed through all the ranks as he had started it: "Who will follow? Who is brave?"
[3.3.63] In such spirit the Persians rushed to the encounter, and the enemy could not longer stand their ground but turned and fled back into their entrenchments.
[3.3.64] And the Persians on their part, following them up to the gates, mowed many of them down as they were pushing and shoving one another; and upon some who fell into the ditches they leaped down and slew them, both men and horses; for some of the chariots were forced in their flight to plunge into the ditches.
[3.3.65] And when the Median cavalry saw this, they also charged upon the enemy's cavalry; but the latter gave way, like the rest. Then followed a pursuit of horses and men and slaughter of both.
[3.3.66] And those of the Assyrians inside the fort who stood upon the rampart of the breastworks neither had the presence of mind to shoot arrows or hurl spears at the enemy who were mowing down their ranks, nor had they the strength to do so because of the awful spectacle and their own panic fear. And presently, discovering that some of the Persians had cut their way through to the gates in the embankment, they turned away even from the inner rampart of the breastworks.
[3.3.67] And the women of the Assyrians and their allies, seeing the men in flight even inside the camp, raised a cry and ran panic-stricken, both those who had children and the younger women as well, while they rent their garments, tore their cheeks, and begged all whom they met not to run away and leave them but to defend both them and their children and themselves as well.
[3.3.68] Then even the kings themselves with their most trusty followers took their stand at the gates, mounted upon the ramparts, and both fought in person and encouraged the rest to fight.
[3.3.69] But when Cyrus realized what was going on, he feared lest his men, even if they did force their way in, might be worsted by superior numbers, for his own men were but few; so he gave orders to retreat still facing the foe, until they were out of range.
[3.3.70] Then one might have seen the ideal discipline of the peers; for they themselves obeyed at once and at once passed on the word to the rest. And when they were out of range, they halted in their regular positions, for they knew much more accurately than a chorus, each the spot where he should stand.
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