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 1 - Book 2 - Book 3 - Book 4 - Book 5 - Book 6 - Book 7 - Book 8
[5.1.1] Araspas & the wife of Abradatas of Susa. Such were their words and deeds. Then Cyrus ordered the men whom he knew to be Cyaxares's most intimate friends to divide among themselves the keeping of the king's portion of the booty. "And what you offer me," he added, "I accept with pleasure; but it shall always be at the service of any one of you who at any time is most in need of it." "If you please, then, Cyrus," said one of the Medes who was fond of music, "when I listened last evening to the music-girls whom you now have, I was entranced; and if you will give me one of them, I should, I think, be more happy to go to war with you than to stay at home." "Well," said Cyrus, "I will not only give her to you, but I believe that I am under greater obligation to you for your asking than you to me for receiving her; so thirsty am I to do you favours." So he that asked received her.
[5.1.2] Then Cyrus called to him Araspas, a Mede, who had been his friend from boyhood--the same one to whom he had given his Median robe when he laid it off as he was returning from Astyages's court to Persia--and bade him keep for him both the lady and the tent.
[5.1.3] Now this woman was the wife of Abradatas of Susa; and when the Assyrian camp was taken, her husband happened not to be there, having gone on an embassy to the king of Bactria; for the Assyrian king had sent him thither to negotiate an alliance, because he chanced to be a guest-friend of the Bactrian king. This, then, was the lady that Cyrus placed in the charge of Araspas, until such a time as he himself should take her.
[5.1.4] And when he received this commission Araspas asked: "And have you seen the lady, Cyrus, whom you give into my keeping?" said he. "No, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "not I." "But I have," said the other. "I saw her when we selected her for you. And when we went into her tent, upon my word, we did not at first distinguish her from the rest; for she sat upon the ground and all her handmaids sat around her. And she was dressed withal just like her servants; but when we looked round upon them all in our desire to make out which one was the mistress, at once her superiority to all the rest was evident, even though she sat veiled, with her head bowed to the earth.
[5.1.5] But when we bade her rise, all her attendants stood up with her, and then was she conspicuous among them both for her stature and for her nobility and her grace, even though she stood there in lowly garb. And she could not hide her tears as they fell, some down her dress, some even to her feet.
[5.1.6] Then, when the oldest man in our company said: 'Have no fear, lady; for though we understand that your husband also is a noble man, yet we are choosing you out for a man who, be assured, is not his inferior either in comeliness or intelligence or power, but, as we at least think, if there is any man in the world who deserves admiration, that man is Cyrus; and his you shall henceforth be.' Now when the lady heard that, she rent her outer garment from top to bottom and wept aloud; and her servants also cried aloud with her.
[5.1.7] "And then we had vision of most of her face and vision of her neck and arms. And let me tell you, Cyrus," said he, "it seemed to me, as it did to all the rest who saw her, that there never was so beautiful a woman of mortal birth in Asia. But," he added, "you must by all means see her for yourself."
[5.1.8] "No, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "and all the less, if she is as beautiful as you say." "Why so?" asked the young man. "Because," said he, "if now I have heard from you that she is beautiful and am inclined just by your account of her to go and gaze on her, when I have no time to spare, I am afraid that she will herself much more readily persuade me to come again to gaze on her. And in consequence of that I might sit there, in neglect of my duties, idly gazing upon her."
[5.1.9] "Why Cyrus," said the young man breaking into a laugh, "you do not think, do you, that human beauty is able to compel a man against his will to act contrary to his own best interests? Why," said he, "if that were a law of nature, it would compel us all alike.
[5.1.10] "Do you observe," said he, "how fire burns all alike? That is its nature. But of beautiful things we love some and some we do not; and one loves one, another another; for it is a matter of free will, and each one loves what he pleases. For example, a brother does not fall in love with his sister, but somebody else falls in love with her; neither does a father fall in love with his daughter, but somebody else does; for fear of God and the law of the land are sufficient to prevent such love.
[5.1.11] "But," he went on, "if a law should be passed forbidding those who did not eat to be hungry, those who did not drink to be thirsty, forbidding people to be cold in winter or hot in summer, no such law could ever bring men to obey its provisions, for they are so constituted by nature as to be subject to the control of such circumstances. But love is a matter of free will; at any rate, every one loves what suits his taste, as he does his clothes or shoes."
[5.1.12] "How then, pray," said Cyrus, "if falling in love is a matter of free will, is it not possible for any one to stop whenever he pleases? But I have seen people in tears of sorrow because of love and in slavery to the objects of their love, even though they believed before they fell in love that slavery is a great evil; I have seen them give those objects of their love many things that they could ill afford to part with; and I have seen people praying to be delivered from love just as from any other disease, and, for all that, unable to be delivered from it, but fettered by a stronger necessity than if they had been fettered with shackles of iron. At any rate, they surrender themselves to those they love to perform for them many services blindly. And yet, in spite of all their misery, they do not attempt to run away, but even watch their darlings to keep them from running away."
[5.1.13] "Yes," the young man answered; "there are some who do so; but such are wretched weaklings, and because of their slavery, I think, they constantly pray that they may die, because they are so unhappy; but, though there are ten thousand possible ways of getting rid of life, they do not get rid of it. And this very same sort attempt also to steal and do not keep their hands off other people's property; but when they commit robbery or theft, you see that you are the first to accuse the thief and the robber, because it was not necessary to steal, and you do not pardon him, but you punish him.
[5.1.14] "Now in this same way, the beautiful do not compel people to fall in love with them nor to desire that which they should not, but there are some miserable apologies for men who are slaves to all sorts of passions, I think, and then they blame love. But the high-minded and the good, though they also have a desire for money and good horses and beautiful women, have the power to let all that alone so as not to touch anything beyond the limit of what is right.
[5.1.15] "At any rate," he added, "I have seen this lady and though she seemed to me surpassingly beautiful, still I am here with you, I practise horsemanship, and I do everything else that it is my duty to do."
[5.1.16] "Aye, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "for you came away perhaps in less time than love takes, as its nature is, to get a man ensnared. For, you know, it is possible for a man to put his finger in the fire and not be burned at once, and wood does not burst at once into flame; still, for my part, I neither put my hand into the fire nor look upon the beautiful, if I can help it. And I advise you, too, Araspas," said he, "not to let your eyes linger upon the fair; for fire, to be sure, burns only those who touch it, but beauty insidiously kindles a fire even in those who gaze upon it from afar, so that they are inflamed with passion."
[5.1.17] "Never fear, Cyrus," said he, "even if I never cease to look upon her, I shall never be so overcome as to do anything that I ought not." "Your professions," said he, "are most excellent. Keep her then, as I bid you, and take good care of her; for this lady may perhaps be of very great service to us when the time comes."
[5.1.18] Araspas Falls in Love with Abradatas' wife. After this conversation, then, they separated. And as the young man found the lady so beautiful and at the same time came to know her goodness and nobility of character, as he attended her and thought he pleased her, and then also as he saw that she was not ungrateful but always took care by the hands of her own servants not only that he should find whatever he needed when he came in, but that, if he ever fell sick, he should suffer no lack of attention--in consequence of all this, he fell desperately in love with her; and what happened to him was perhaps not at all surprising. Thus matters began to take this turn.
[5.1.19] Cyrus Confirms His Alliances & Loyalties. Cyrus, however, wishing to have his Medes and allies stay with him voluntarily, called a meeting of all his staff-officers, and when they were come together he spoke as follows:
[5.1.20] "Men of Media and all here present, I am very sure that you came out with me, not because you desired to get money by it nor because you thought that in this you were doing Cyaxares a service; but it was to me that you wished to do this favour, and it was out of regard for me that you were willing to make the night-march and to brave dangers with me.
[5.1.21] "For this also I thank you--I should be in the wrong not to do so; but I do not think that I am as yet in a position to make you an adequate return, and this I am not ashamed to say. But let me assure you," said he, "that I should be ashamed to say 'if you will stay with me, I will make you a proper return;' for I think it would look as if I were saying it merely to make you more willing to stay with me. Instead of that, this is what I mean: even though you go back now in obedience to Cyaxares, still, if I achieve any success, I shall try so to act that you also will praise me.
[5.1.22] "For as to myself, I certainly am not going back, but I will be true to the oaths and the pledges which I gave the Hyrcanians, and I will never be caught playing them false; and I will also endeavour so to conduct myself that Gobryas, who is now offering us both his castle and his country and his forces, shall not repent his coming to us.
[5.1.23] "And above all, now that the gods are so manifestly blessing our efforts, I should fear to offend them, and I should be ashamed in their sight to go away without good reason and leave what they have bestowed. Thus, therefore, I propose to act," said he; "and do you also do as you judge to be best, and tell me what your decision is."
[5.1.24] Thus he spoke. And the first one to reply was the man who had once upon a time claimed to be a kinsman of Cyrus. "For my part, O my king," said he--"for to me you seem to be a born king no less than is the sovereign of the bees in a hive. For as the bees always willingly obey the queen-bee and not one of them deserts the place where she stays; and as not one fails to follow her if she goes anywhere else--so marvellous a yearning to be ruled by her is innate to them;
[5.1.25] "So also do men seem to me to be drawn by something like the same sort of instinct toward you. And of that we have proof; for when you started to return from our country to Persia, what man of the Medes either young or old failed to follow you, until Astyages made us turn back? And when you hastened to our aid from Persia, we saw that almost all your friends followed with you of their own free will. Again, when you wished to come out on this expedition, all the Medes volunteered to follow you.
[5.1.26] "And now, too, this is our feeling, so that with you we are not afraid even in the enemy's land, while without you we are afraid even to return home. Now the rest may tell for themselves what they mean to do. But as for me, Cyrus, I, with the men whom I command, will remain with you and endure the sight of you and tolerate your goodness to us."
[5.1.27] Following him, Tigranes spoke as follows: "Cyrus," said he, "you need never be surprised when I fail to speak. For my mind has been disciplined not to offer counsel but to do what you command."
[5.1.28] "Well, Medes," said the Hyrcanian king, "if you should go away now, I should say that it was the plot of the evil one to prevent your becoming exceedingly blest. For, in all common sense, who would turn away from the enemy when they are in flight, or refuse to take their arms when they surrender them, or their persons and property when they offer them--especially under such a leader as we have? For, I swear to you by all the gods, he seems to me happier in doing us kindnesses than in enriching himself."
[5.1.29] Following him, all the Medes spoke to this effect: "It is you, Cyrus, that have brought us out here, and when you think the time to return has come, lead us back with you." And when Cyrus heard that, he uttered this prayer: "Hear me, I beseech thee, O Zeus almighty, and grant that in service to them I may surpass the honour they show to me."
[5.1.30] Thereupon he commanded the rest to station guards and after that to do for themselves whatever they pleased; and the Persians he bade divide the tents among themselves--to the cavalry the ones appropriate to their use and to the infantry such as sufficed for their needs--and to arrange matters so that the commissaries in the tents should do all that was required of them, prepare everything necessary, and carry it to the quarters of the Persians, and have their horses groomed and fed, and that the Persians should have no duty other than to practise the arts of war. Thus they spent that day.
Book 5, Section 2
[5.2.1] Cyrus Rides to Visit Gobryas the Assyrian. Rising early the next morning they started-- Cyrus, on horseback, with those of the Persians who had been transformed into cavalrymen, to the number of about two thousand--to visit Gobryas. And those who carried the horsemen's shields and sabres followed behind them, to the same number; the rest of the army also proceeded in its proper divisions. He ordered the horsemen, each one, to inform their new squires that if any one of them should be seen behind the rear-guard or get in front of the van or be found on the flanks outside the line of march, he should be punished.
[5.2.2] Toward evening of the second day they arrived at Gobryas' castle; and they saw that the fortress was exceedingly strong and that everything was ready on the walls so that there might be most effective fighting from them. And they saw many cattle also and a great many sheep driven up under protection of the fortifications.
[5.2.3] Then Gobryas sent to Cyrus and bade him ride around and see where access was most easy and send in some of his trusted officers to examine what was inside and report back to him what they saw.
[5.2.4] So Cyrus, wishing, as a matter of fact, to see for himself whether the fort could be stormed in case Gobryas should prove false, rode round on every side and saw that it was everywhere too strong for any one to approach. And those whom he had sent in to Gobryas brought back the report that there were provisions enough inside to last the garrison, as it seemed to them, for a whole generation.
[5.2.5] Now Cyrus was pondering what all this meant, when Gobryas himself came out bringing with him all his followers; and some of them brought out with them wine and flour and barley-meal; others brought cattle, goats, sheep, swine, and all kinds of provisions--a plenty of everything for a dinner for Cyrus's whole army.
[5.2.6] And they whose business it was apportioned it and set about preparing the meal. And when all his men were outside, Gobryas bade Cyrus enter, in whatever way he thought he might enter most safely. So Cyrus sent in ahead of him some scouts and a part of his forces, and then with this precaution he went in himself. And when he had gone in, keeping the gates wide open, he called to him all his friends and the officers of the troops with him.
[5.2.7] And when they were inside, Gobryas brought out golden goblets, pitchers, and vases, all sorts of ornaments, an almost countless pile of darics, and all sorts of treasure in great quantities; and finally he brought out his daughter, a marvel of beauty and stature, but in mourning for her brother who was dead; and he said: "These treasures, Cyrus, I present to you, and this my daughter I entrust to you to make what disposal of her you may see fit. But we make our prayer to you, I, as I have done already, that you avenge my son, and she that you be the avenger of her brother."
[5.2.8] "Well," said Cyrus in reply to this, "I promised you even then that, assuming that you did not speak me false, I should do all in my power to avenge you; and now, when I see that you are truthful, my promise is already due; and I promise her likewise that with heaven's help I will fulfil my promise to the letter. "Now as to these treasures," said he, "I accept them, but I give them again to your daughter here and the man who shall marry her. But one gift of yours will I take as I leave you, in place of which not even all the wealth of Babylon (and that is enormous)--no, not even all the wealth of all the world would send me away more happy than with this gift from you."
[5.2.9] And Gobryas, wondering what he meant and suspecting that he meant his daughter, asked: "And what might that gift be, Cyrus?" "Gobryas," he replied, "it is this: I believe that there are many men who would not consent to be wicked or unjust or false, but they die before it is ever discovered what sort of men they are, simply because no one has ever seen fit to entrust them with great wealth or kingly power or mighty fortresses or lovely children;
[5.2.10] "But you have now placed in my hands your fortress and all sorts of wealth, your forces and your precious child, and have thus given me an opportunity of showing to all the world that I would not do an act of wickedness against a friend or do a wrong for the sake of gain or willingly prove false to a covenant.
[5.2.11] "And so long as I am an honest man and receive men's approbation as bearing this reputation, I assure you that I shall never forget this proof of your confidence but shall try to show you all fair honour in return.
[5.2.12] "And as for your daughter," he continued, "do not fear that you shall fail to find a husband worthy of her; for I have many noble friends; some one of them will marry her. But whether he will have as much money as you are ready to give me or even many times as much, I could not say. Let me tell you, however, that there are some of them who do not admire you one whit the more for the money you have to offer; but with me they are vying now and praying to all the gods that it may be granted them one day to prove that they are not less faithful to their friends than I, and that so long as they live they would never yield to their enemies, unless some god should cross them. But their virtue and their good name they would not barter for all your wealth and the wealth of the Assyrians and Syrians to boot. Such men, let me tell you, are sitting here."
[5.2.13] "By the gods, Cyrus," said Gobryas with a laugh, "please show me where they are, that I may ask you for one of them to be my son-in-law." "There will be no need of your getting that information from me," answered Cyrus; "but, if you will go with us, you will be able yourself to point each one of them out to somebody else."
[5.2.14] When he had thus spoken, he clasped Gobryas' right hand in his and rose to depart, taking with him all his followers. And though Gobryas urged him to dine in the castle, he declined, but dined in camp and took Gobryas with him as his guest.
[5.2.15] And as he reclined upon a mat of straw he asked this question: "Tell me, Gobryas, do you think you have more coverlets than each one of us?" "I am perfectly sure, by Zeus," the other answered, "that you have more coverlets and more couches, [Note: Costly coverlets and couches were a special feature of oriental luxury] and that your dwelling is much larger than mine; for you take heaven and earth for your dwelling, and you have as many couches as you can find resting-places on the ground, while you regard as your proper coverlets not wool that sheep produce, but whatever the mountains and plains bring forth."
[5.2.16] Thus, as Gobryas dined with them for the first time and saw the simplicity of the food set before them, he thought his own people more refined than they.
[5.2.17] Persian Temperance & Moderation. But he soon perceived the temperance of the soldiers who sat at meat with him; for no Persian of the educated class would allow it to appear that he was captivated with any kind of food or drink, either with his eyes gloating over it, or with his hands greedy to get it, or with his thoughts so engrossed by it as to fail to observe things that would attract his attention if he were not at meat; but just as good horsemen do not lose their self-command when on horseback but can ride along and at the same time see and hear and say whatever they should, so also the educated Persians think that at their meals they ought to show themselves sensible and temperate; and to become excited over food or drink seems to them altogether swinish and bestial.
[5.2.18] He noticed further about them that they asked one another such questions as people are more pleased to be asked than not, that they indulged in such banter as is more agreeable to hear than not; he observed how far their jests were removed from insult, how far they were from doing anything unbecoming, and how far from offending one another.
[5.2.19] But what seemed to him most extraordinary of all was that when on active service they did not think they ought to be served with a larger share than any one else of those who were going into the same dangers, but that they considered it the most sumptuous feast to make those who were to be their comrades in arms as efficient as possible.
[5.2.20] When Gobryas rose to go home, he is reported to have said: "I am no longer surprised, Cyrus, that while we possess more cups and clothing and gold than you, we ourselves are worth less than you are. For our whole thought is to have as much of those things as possible, while your whole thought seems to me to be that you may be yourselves as capable as possible."
[5.2.21] Thus he spoke; and Cyrus answered: "Please see to it, Gobryas, that you are here early in the morning with your cavalry under arms, so that we may see your forces, and then you shall lead us through your country so that we may know what we have to consider as belonging to our friends and what as belonging to our enemies."
[5.2.22] When they had thus spoken, they went away, each to his own proper task. When day dawned, Gobryas came with his cavalry and led the way. But Cyrus, as became a general, turned his thoughts not only upon the march, but at the same time, as he proceeded, he kept studying the situation to see whether it might be in any way possible to make the enemy weaker or his own side stronger.
[5.2.23] So he called Gobryas and the Hyrcanian king to him, for he supposed that they must know best what he thought he needed to learn, and said: "My dear friends, I think that I should be making no mistake to consult with you in regard to this war and to rely upon your trustworthiness. For I observe that you have greater need than I to see to it that the Assyrian shall not get the upper hand of us: if I am unsuccessful in this, I shall, perhaps, find some other place of refuge; whereas in your case, I see that if he gains the upper hand, all that you have passes into other hands.
[5.2.24] For, as for me, he is my enemy, not because he hates me, but because he imagines that it would be inimical to his interests for our nation to become great, and for that reason he is making war upon us; but you he actually hates, for he thinks that you have done him wrong. "To this they both answered in the same way, that he should proceed with what he had to say, for they recognized the truth of what he had said and knew that it was a matter of vital concern to them how things turned out in the future.
[5.2.25] Then he began as follows: "Tell me, then," said he, "does the Assyrian king believe that you are the only ones who are hostile to him, or do you know of any one else who is his enemy?" "Yes, by Zeus," said the Hyrcanian; "the Cadusians, a large and powerful nation, are most bitter enemies of his; and so are our neighbours, the Sacians, for they have suffered very severely at his hands; for he attempted to subjugate them just as he did us."
[5.2.26] "Well then," said he, "do you think that these two nations would like to join us in an attack upon the Assyrian?" "Yes," they answered, "and right eagerly, if they could find a way to combine their forces with ours." "And what is to hinder such a union of forces?" asked Cyrus. "The Assyrians," they answered, "the same nation, through whose country you are now marching."
[5.2.27] "But, Gobryas," said Cyrus, when he heard this, "do you not accuse this young fellow who has just come to the throne of cruel insolence of character?" "That judgment, I think," said Gobryas," is warranted by my experience with him." "Pray, are you the only man towards whom he has acted in this way," Cyrus asked, "or are there others also?"
[5.2.28] "Aye, by Zeus," said Gobryas; "there are others also. But why should I recount his acts of insolence toward the weak? For once when he and the son of a man much more powerful than I were drinking together, a young man who, like my son, was his comrade, he had him seized and castrated; and the occasion, so some people said, was simply because his concubine had praised his friend, remarking how handsome he was and felicitating the woman who should be his wife; but the king himself now maintains that it was because the man had made advances toward his concubine. And so now he is a eunuch, but he has come into the kingdom, for his father is dead."
[5.2.29] "Well then," said Cyrus, "do you think that he also would be glad to see us, if he thought we could help him?" "Think!" said Gobryas, "I am sure of it. But, Cyrus, it would be difficult to see him." "Why?" asked Cyrus. "Because, to effect a union of forces with him, one has to march along under the very walls of Babylon."
[5.2.30] "Why, pray," said the other, "is that so difficult?" "Because, by Zeus," said Gobryas, "I know that the forces that would come out of that city alone are many times as large as your own at present; and let me tell you that the Assyrians are now less inclined than heretofore to deliver up their arms and to bring in their horses to you for the very reason that to those of them who have seen your army it seemed a small one; and a rumour to this effect has now been widely spread abroad. And," he added, "I think we should do better to proceed cautiously."
[5.2.31] "I think you are right, Gobryas, in admonishing us to march with the utmost caution," Cyrus made answer upon hearing this suggestion from him. "But when I think of it, I cannot conceive of any safer procedure for us than to march directly upon Babylon, if that is where the main body of the enemy's forces is. For they are, as you say, numerous; and if they take courage, they will also, as I say, give us cause to fear them.
[5.2.32] "However, if they do not see us and get the idea that we are keeping out of sight because we are afraid of them, then, let me assure you, they will recover from the fear with which we inspired them; and the longer we keep out of their sight, the greater the courage that will spring up within them in place of that fear. But if we march upon them at once, we shall find many of them still in tears over those whom we have slain, many still wearing bandages on the wounds they received from us, and all still mindful of the daring of this army of ours and of their own flight and defeat.
[5.2.33] "And let me assure you, Gobryas," he continued, "that your large bodies of men, when they are inspired with confidence, display a spirit that is irresistible; but when once they are frightened, the greater their numbers are, the greater and more overpowering the panic that seizes them.
[5.2.34] "For it comes over them increased by the many faint-hearted words they hear and magnified by the many wretched figures and the many dejected and distorted countenances they see; and by reason of the large numbers it is not easy with a speech to quell the panic, nor by a charge against the enemy to inspire them with courage, nor by a retreat to rally their spirits; but the more you try to encourage them to bravery, in so much the greater peril do they think they are.
[5.2.35] "Again, by Zeus," said he, "let us consider precisely how this matter stands: if, in future, victory on the field of battle is to rest with that side which counts the greater numbers, you have good reason to fear for us and we really are in danger. If, however, battles are still to be decided by good fighting as they have been before, it would not be at all amiss for you to be bold and confident; for, please God, you will find far more men on our side who are eager to fight, than on theirs.
[5.2.36] "And to give yourself still more confidence, bethink you also of this: the enemy are much fewer now than they were before we defeated them, much weaker than when they fled before us; while we are bigger now since we have conquered and stronger since you have been added to us. For you must no longer undervalue your own men, now that they are with us; for be assured, Gobryas, that when they are with the victors, even those who follow the camp go along without a fear.
[5.2.37] "And do not forget this either, that the enemy may find us even now, if they will. And, let me assure you, we could in no possible way strike more terror into them when they do see us, than by marching upon them. As this, therefore, is my conviction, lead us straight on to Babylon."
Book 5, Section 3
[5.3.1] Cyrus Decides to March Towards Babylon & Beyond. As they thus proceeded, they arrived on the fourth day at the boundaries of Gobryas' domains. And as soon as Cyrus was in the enemy's country, he arranged in regular order under his own command the infantry and as much of the cavalry as seemed to him best. The rest of the cavalry he sent out to forage, with orders to kill those who were under arms but to bring every one else to him, as well as any cattle they might take. The Persians he ordered to join the foraging party. And many of them were thrown from their horses and came back, but many of them also came bringing a great quantity of plunder.
[5.3.2] When all the booty was brought in, he called the peers and the officers of the Medes and Hyrcanians together and addressed them as follows: "My friends, Gobryas has entertained us all with great munificence. So, if we should set apart the share of the spoil ordained for the gods and a portion sufficient for the army and give the rest to him, should we not be doing the right thing? For we should be giving immediate proof that we are trying to outdo those who do good to us, in the good we do to them."
[5.3.3] When they heard this they all signified their approval and applauded the proposition; and one of them also spoke as follows: "By all means, Cyrus," said he, "let us do that. And it would be a good stroke of policy, too; for it seems to me that Gobryas regards us as no better than a lot of beggars because we have not come here with our pockets full of darics and because we do not drink from golden goblets. And if we do this, then he would realize that it is possible for men to be gentlemen, even without gold."
[5.3.4] "Come then," said Cyrus, "turn over to the magi what belongs to the gods, set apart for the army its share, and then call Gobryas in and give the rest to him." So they set aside what was required and gave the rest to Gobryas.
[5.3.5] After this Cyrus renewed his march upon Babylon, with his army in the same order as when the battle was fought. But as the Assyrians did not march out to meet them, Cyrus ordered Gobryas to ride up and say: "If the king wishes to come out and fight for his country, I myself would join him and fight for him too; but if the king will not protect his country, then I must needs submit to the victors."
[5.3.6] Accordingly, Gobryas rode to a place where he could safely give his message; and the king sent out a messenger to deliver to Gobryas this reply: "This is your sovereign's response to you, Gobryas: 'I do not regret that I killed your son, but only that I did not kill you, too. And if you and your men wish to fight, come back a month from now. Just at present we have no time to fight, for we are still busy with our preparations.'"
[5.3.7] "I only hope that this regret of yours may never cease," Gobryas replied; "for it is evident that I have been something of a thorn in your flesh, ever since you began to feel it."
[5.3.8] Cyrus Marches to Form an Alliance with Gadatas. Gobryas returned with the Assyrian king's reply, and when Cyrus heard it he drew off his army; then summoning Gobryas he said to him: "Tell me, you were saying, were you not, that you thought that the prince who was castrated by the Assyrian would be on our side?" "Why, of course;" he replied, "I feel perfectly sure of it; for he and I have often talked together freely."
[5.3.9] "Well then, when you think best, go to him; but first of all be sure that you meet him alone and in secret; and when you have conferred with him, if you see that he wishes to be our friend, you must manage to keep his friendship a secret. For in time of war one could not in any way do more good to one's friends than by seeming to be their enemy, nor more harm to enemies than by seeming to be their friend."
[5.3.10] "Now mark my word," said Gobryas; "I am sure that Gadatas would even pay for the opportunity of doing the present Assyrian king some serious harm. But what harm he could do it is for us on our part to consider."
[5.3.11] Cyrus Strategizes to Capture an Assyrian Frontier Fort. "Now tell me this," said Cyrus, "in regard to the fort which stands upon the frontier of the country and which you say was built to serve as a base of operations against the Hyrcanians and the Sacians and an outwork to protect this country in time of war--do you think that the eunuch, if he went there with his army, would be admitted by the commandant?" "Yes; certainly he would," said Gobryas, "if he came to him as unsuspected as he now is."
[5.3.12] "Then," answered Cyrus, "if I should make an attack on his fortifications as if I wished to gain possession of them, while he defended himself with all his might; and if I should take something of his and he in turn should capture either some of our other men or some of the messengers I send to those who, you say, are enemies of the Assyrian king; and if these captives should say that they had come out to get an army and ladders to use against the fortress; and if then the eunuch, on hearing this, should pretend that he had come to give warning; under these conditions, he would be unsuspected."
[5.3.13] "Under such circumstances," answered Gobryas, "the commandant would certainly admit him--aye, and would beg him to remain there until you went away." "Well then," said Cyrus, "if he could but once get in, he would be in a position to put the fort in our hands?"
[5.3.14] "That is at all events probable," answered Gobryas, "if he were within, helping with the preparations, while you on the outside made a vigorous attack." "In that case," Cyrus replied, "go and try to explain these plans to him and win his cooperation and then return. And no better assurance of our good faith could you give him in word or deed than to show him what you happen to have received at our hands."
[5.3.15] Thereupon Gobryas went away; and when the eunuch saw him, he gladly concurred in all the plans and settled with him the things they were to do. So, when Gobryas reported back that all the proposals were heartily accepted by the eunuch, on the day following Cyrus made his attack and Gadatas his defence. And there was also a fort which Cyrus took, as Gadatas had indicated;
[5.3.16] While of the messengers whom Cyrus sent with instructions which way to go, some Gadatas allowed to escape to bring the troops and fetch the ladders; but some he took and straitly examined in the presence of many witnesses, and when he heard from them the purpose of their journey, he made ready at once and set out in the night as if to give the alarm.
[5.3.17] And the end was that he was trusted and entered the fort as an ally to defend it; and for a while he helped the commandant to the extent of his ability in making preparations; but when Cyrus came, he made himself master of the place, employing also as his assistants in seizing it those men of Cyrus' whom he had taken prisoners.
[5.3.18] When this was accomplished, the eunuch, after setting things in order within the fort, came out and did him obeisance according to the custom and said: "Joy be with you, Cyrus!"
[5.3.19] "So it is," said he; "for by the favour of the gods you not only bid me joy but even compel me to be joyful. For believe me, I consider it a great advantage to leave this place friendly to my allies in this country. From you, Gadatas," Cyrus went on, "the Assyrian has, it seems, taken away the power of begetting children, but at any rate he has not deprived you of the ability of acquiring friends. Let me assure you that by this deed you have made of us friends who will try, if we can, to stand by you and aid you no less efficiently than if we were your own children."
[5.3.20] Thus he spoke; and at this juncture the Hyrcanian king, who had just heard what had happened, ran up to Cyrus and taking his right hand said to him: "O what a blessing you are to your friends, Cyrus, and what a debt of gratitude to the gods you lay upon me, because they have brought me into association with you!"
[5.3.21] "Go then," said Cyrus, "take this fortress on account of which you congratulate me and so dispose of it that it may be of the most service to your people and to the rest of the allies, and especially," he added, "to Gadatas here, who gained possession of it and delivered it to us."
[5.3.22] Cadusians & Sacians Become Cyrus' Allies. "What then?" said the Hyrcanian. "When the Cadusians come and the Sacians and my people, are we to call in some of them also, that all of us who are concerned may consult together how we may use the fortress to the best advantage?"
[5.3.23] To this plan Cyrus gave assent. And when all those who were interested in the fort were gathered together, they decided that it should be occupied in common by those to whose advantage it was to have it in the hands of friends, so that it might be an outwork for them in time of war and a base of operations against the Assyrians.
[5.3.24] Because of this incident the Cadusians, Sacians, and Hyrcanians joined the expedition in greater numbers and with greatly increased zeal. And thereafter a new division was added to the army, consisting of Cadusians, about twenty thousand targeteers and about four thousand horsemen; of Sacians, about ten thousand bowmen and about two thousand mounted archers; while the Hyrcanians also sent as many more foot-soldiers as they could and filled up the ranks of their cavalry to the number of two thousand; for up to this time most of their cavalry had been left at home, because the Cadusians and the Sacians were enemies of the Assyrians.
[5.3.25] Now during the time that Cyrus was busy with the arrangements about the fortress, many of the Assyrians of the country round about surrendered their horses and many laid down their arms, because now they were afraid of all their neighbours.
[5.3.26] Gadatas Recieves Word the Assyrians are Marching Towards His Home Base. And after this, Gadatas came to Cyrus and said that messengers had come to him with the information that when the Assyrian king heard the facts about the fortress, he was exceedingly wroth and was preparing to invade his country. "If, then, you will permit me to go, Cyrus, I should try to save the fortified places; the rest is of less account."
[5.3.27] "If you start now," said Cyrus, "when shall you reach home?" "The day after to-morrow," answered Gadatas, "I shall dine in my own land." "But you do not think, do you, that you will find the Assyrian already there?" said Cyrus. "Nay, I am sure of it," he replied; "for he will make haste while he thinks you are still far away."
[5.3.28] "How many days," asked Cyrus, "do you think it would take me with my army to get there?" "Sire," Gadatas made reply, "your army now is large and you could not reach my residence in less than six or seven days." "Well," said Cyrus, "do you go as quickly as possible, and I will follow as best I can."
[5.3.29] Cyrus Follows Gadatas with His Army to Assist in Defence. So Gadatas went away, and Cyrus summoned all the officers of the allies, and there seemed to be there now many noble men and brave. In this assembly, then, Cyrus spoke as follows:
[5.3.30] "Friends and allies, Gadatas has done what seems a very valuable service to us all, and that, too, before receiving any favour whatsoever at our hands. And now comes the report that the Assyrian is going to invade his country, partly, as it seems plain, from a wish to punish him because he thinks Gadatas has done him a great wrong; and perhaps also he understands that if those who desert him for us do not suffer any harm at his hands, while those who follow him are destroyed by us, the chances are that very soon no one will be willing to stay with him.
[5.3.31] So now, my men, it seems to me that we should be doing what is fair, if we gave Gadatas, our benefactor, our heartiest assistance; and at the same time we should be doing only what is right in paying a debt of gratitude. But apart from that, it seems to me that we should be gaining an advantage for ourselves.
[5.3.32] For if we should show every one that we try to surpass in doing harm those who do us harm, and that we surpass in well-doing those who do well by us, the consequences of such conduct would be that many would wish to become our friends and not one would desire to be our enemy.
[5.3.33] "But should we decide to abandon Gadatas, with what arguments under heaven could we ever persuade any one else to do us a favour? How could we have the effrontery to approve our own conduct? And how could any one of us look Gadatas in the face, if, as numerous as we are, we should be surpassed in well-doing by one man and that one a man in such a plight as Gadatas is?"
[5.3.34] Thus he spoke, and all heartily agreed to do as he said. "Come then," he continued, "since you agree with these suggestions, and first, let us leave men in charge of the beasts of burden and the wagons, each division appointing such of their number as are best suited to go with them; and let Gobryas have command of them in our place and be their guide;
[5.3.35] For he is acquainted with the roads and in other ways is qualified for that task. As for us, let us proceed with the most able-bodied men and horses, taking with us three days' provisions. For the more lightly and simply equipped we go, the more we shall enjoy our luncheon and dinner and sleep in the days to follow.
[5.3.36] And now let us march in the following order: Chrysantas, do you lead in the van the men armed with breastplates, for the road is smooth and wide. Have all your captains in front, each company following in single file; for, massed together, we can march with the greatest speed and the greatest safety.
[5.3.37] And the reason why I direct the men armed with breastplates to lead the march is that they are the slowest portion of the army; and when the slowest lead, then all the more quickly moving troops can follow easily, as a matter of course. But when at night the light forces lead, it is not at all a strange thing for the line to be broken and a gap formed, for the vanguard outstrips the rear.
[5.3.38] "Next let Artabazus follow at the head of the Persian targeteers and bowmen; following him, Andamyas, the Mede, in command of the Median infantry; next, Embas with the Armenian infantry; then, Artuchas with the Hyrcanians; he will be followed by Thambradas at the head of the Sacian infantry force and Datamas with that of the Cadusians. [5.3.39] Let these all lead the way with their captains in front, the targeteers on the right and the archers on the left of their own squares; for, marching thus, they are more easily handled.
[5.3.40] Next to these the camp-followers of all the army are to follow; their officers should see to it that they have everything ready packed up before they sleep, and early in the morning let them be present with the baggage at the appointed place, ready to follow the march in proper order.
[5.3.41] "After the camp-followers let Madatas, the Persian, bring up the Persian cavalry; let him also arrange the cavalry captains in front, and let each captain lead his company in single file, just like the infantry officers.
[5.3.42] After them will come Rhambacas, the Mede, with his cavalry in the same order; after them you, Tigranes, with yours, and the rest of the cavalry officers, each with the forces with which he joined us. After them you Sacians are to fall in line; and last of all, just as they came, the Cadusians will bring up the rear; and you, Alceunas, who are their commander, for the present look out for all in the rear and do not allow any one to fall behind your horsemen.
[5.3.43] "Take care to march in silence, both officers and all who are wise; for in the night there is more need to use ears than eyes to secure information and to have things done. And to be thrown into confusion in the night is a much more serious matter than in the daytime and one more difficult to remedy.
[5.3.44] "Therefore let silence be maintained, and let the prescribed order be preserved." And the night watches, whenever you are to start off before daylight, must be made as short and as numerous as possible, so that want of sleep on account of doing sentinel duty may not be serious and exhaust the men for the march. And when the hour for starting comes, let the signal be given on the horn.
[5.3.45] And then do you all, with whatever is necessary, step out into the road to Babylon; and let each commander, as he gets his division in motion, pass the word to the man behind him to come on."
[5.3.46] Hereupon they went to their tents, and, as they went, they remarked to one another what a good memory Cyrus had and how he called every one by name as he assigned them their places and gave them their instructions.
[5.3.47] Now Cyrus made a study of this; for he thought it passing strange that, while every mechanic knows the names of the tools of his trade and the physician knows the names of all the instruments and medicines he uses, the general should be so foolish as not to know the names of the officers under him; and yet he must employ them as his instruments not only whenever he wishes to capture a place or defend one, but also whenever he wishes to inspire courage or fear. And whenever Cyrus wished to honour any one, it seemed to him proper to address him by name.
[5.3.48] Furthermore, it seemed to him that those who were conscious of being personally known to their general exerted themselves more to be seen doing something good and were more ready to abstain from doing anything bad.
[5.3.49] And when he wanted a thing done, he thought it foolish to give orders as do some masters in their homes: "Some one go get water!" "Some one split wood!"
[5.3.50] For when orders are given in that way, all, he thought, looked at one another and no one carried out the order; all were to blame, but no one felt shame or fear as he should, because he shared the blame with many. It was for this reason, therefore, that he himself spoke to every one by name to whom he had any command to give.
[5.3.51] Such, at least, was Cyrus's opinion about this matter. The soldiers, however, then went to dinner, stationed sentinels, packed up everything they needed, and went to bed.
[5.3.52] At midnight the signal horn sounded. Cyrus informed Chrysantas that he would wait for him on the road ahead of the army, took with him his aides-de-camp, and went on; and a short time afterward Chrysantas came up at the head of his heavy-armed soldiers.
[5.3.53] To him Cyrus turned over the guides and bade him advance leisurely, for the troops were not yet all on the way. He himself took his stand by the roadside, and as the troops came on he sent them forward in their order, and to those who were late he sent a messenger to bid them hasten.
[5.3.54] And when they were all on the road, he sent some horsemen to Chrysantas to say that they were now all on the way; "Now then, double quick!"
[5.3.55] He himself riding his horse leisurely along to the front inspected the ranks; and to those whom he saw marching along in silence and in good order he would ride up and inquire who they were, and when he was informed he would praise them. But if he saw any in confusion, he would inquire into the cause of it and try to quiet the disorder.
[5.3.56] Only one of his measures of precaution that night has been left unmentioned--namely, that he sent out in front of the main body of the army a few light-armed infantrymen to keep Chrysantas in sight and be kept in sight by him, to listen and gather information in whatever way they could, and report to Chrysantas what it seemed expedient that he should know. There was also an officer in command of them who kept them in order, and what was of importance he communicated to Chrysantas, but he did not trouble him by reporting what was immaterial.
[5.3.57] In this manner, therefore, they proceeded all night long; but when it became day, he left the cavalry of the Cadusians with their infantry (for these also were in the extreme rear), so that the latter might not be without the protection of cavalry; but the rest he ordered to ride up to the front, because the enemy were in front. He adopted this plan, in order that, if he happened to find any opposition, he might have his forces in fighting order to meet it, and that, if anything should be seen anywhere in flight, he might give chase with the utmost readiness.
[5.3.58] He always kept drawn up in order one body of troops who were to pursue and another who were to stay with him; but he never suffered his main line to be broken.
[5.3.59] Thus, then, Cyrus led his army; but he himself did not keep to the same position, but riding about, now here, now there, kept watch, and if they needed anything, he provided for it. Thus, then, Cyrus and his army were proceeding.
Book 5, Section 4
[5.4.1] Betrayal of Gadatas Now there was a certain man among the officers of Gadatas' cavalry who, when he saw that his prince had revolted from the Assyrian, concluded that if some misfortune were to overtake Gadatas, he might himself obtain from the Assyrian all his chief's wealth and power. With this in view, he sent one of his trusted friends to the Assyrian, instructing his messenger, in case he found the Assyrian army already in Gadatas' country, to tell their king that if he would lay an ambuscade, he would take Gadatas and his followers prisoners.
[5.4.2] He furthermore commissioned him to explain how small an army Gadatas had and to make it clear that Cyrus was not with him; he also pointed out the road by which Gadatas was likely to return; and, that he might find fuller credence, he instructed his own subordinates to surrender to the Assyrian king, together with all that was in it, the fortress which he himself happened to be holding in Gadatas' country. He promised besides that he would come himself when he had slain Gadatas, if he could, but that, if he failed in the attempt, at least he would in future be on the king's side.
[5.4.3] And the man who had been given this commission rode as fast as his horse could carry him; he came into the presence of the Assyrian king and made known the purpose of his coming. When the king heard it, he at once took possession of the fortress and with a large force of horse and chariots laid his ambuscade in a cluster of villages.
[5.4.4] Gadatas is Ambushed When Gadatas was not far from these villages, he sent some scouts on in advance to make a thorough search. And when the Assyrian was informed of the scouts' approach, he ordered two or three chariots and several horsemen to start up and gallop off as if they were affrighted and only a few in number. When the scouts saw that, they started in pursuit themselves and beckoned to Gadatas to come on. He, too, was deceived and started at full speed in pursuit. The Assyrians, in turn, when they thought Gadatas near enough to be taken, issued from their ambuscade.
[5.4.5] And when Gadatas and his men saw this, they began to flee, as was natural; and the enemy, as was also natural, started in pursuit. At this juncture, the man who was plotting against Gadatas struck a blow at him but failed to inflict a mortal wound; still he smote him on the shoulder and wounded him. When he had done this, he darted off to join the pursuing Assyrians; and when they recognized who he was, he took his place with them and urging his horse at full speed he joined with the king in the pursuit.
[5.4.6] Then those who had the slowest horses were evidently being overtaken by those who had the fleetest; and just as Gadatas' men were becoming quite exhausted, because they were already jaded and worn out by their march, they saw Cyrus coming up with his army, and one may imagine that they rushed up to them with delight, like men putting into port out of a storm.
[5.4.7] Cyrus Destroys the Ambushers. Betrayer is Killed At first Cyrus was surprised; but when he comprehended the situation, he continued, while the enemy were all riding against him, to lead his army in battle order against them. But the enemy, recognizing the real state of affairs, turned and fled. Thereupon Cyrus ordered those who had been detailed for that purpose to start in pursuit, while he himself followed as he thought expedient.
[5.4.8] Here chariots also were captured, some because the charioteers were thrown out, a part of them from wheeling around too sharply, others for other reasons, while some were intercepted by the cavalry and taken. And many men were slain, and among them the man who had wounded Gadatas.
[5.4.9] Of the Assyrian infantry, however, who happened to be besieging Gadatas' fortress, some fled to that fort which had been lost to Gadatas by betrayal, others had time to reach a large city of Assyria, in which the king himself with his horsemen and chariots also took refuge.
[5.4.10] Now when Cyrus finished his pursuit of the enemy, he returned to Gadatas' country; and after he had given instructions to those whose duty it was to take care of the spoil, he went at once to visit Gadatas and see how his wound was. But as he was going, he was met by Gadatas with his wound already bandaged. And Cyrus was delighted at seeing him and said: "Why, I was coming to see how you were."
[5.4.11] "And I, by the gods," said Gadatas, "was coming to gaze upon you again and see what you may look like, you who possess such a soul. For though I do not see what need you now have of my assistance, and though you made no promise to do this for me and have been put under no obligation whatever to me, at least no personal obligation, yet because you fancied that I had given some assistance to your friends, you have come so gallantly to my relief that at this moment, whereas by myself I am a lost man, by your goodness I am saved.
[5.4.12] "By the gods, Cyrus, if I were such a man as once I was and had children, I doubt if I could have had a child as kind to me as you have been; for I know that this present king of Assyria, like many another son that I have known, has caused his own father much more trouble than he can now cause you."
[5.4.13] "You fail to notice a much greater wonder, Gadatas, when you now express your wonder at me," Cyrus made reply. "And what is that, pray?" asked Gadatas. "That so many Persians have shown their interest in you," he answered, "and so many Medes and Hyrcanians, and all the Armenians, Sacians, and Cadusians here present."
[5.4.14] "O Zeus," said Gadatas in prayer, "I pray that the gods may grant many blessings to them and most of all to him who is responsible for their being so generous toward me. But, Cyrus, in order that we may entertain handsomely these men whom you have been praising, accept as gifts of friendship these trifles, such as I can give." At the same time he had a great many things brought out, so that any one who wished might sacrifice and that the whole army might be entertained in a manner worthy of their deeds of glory and the glorious issue.
[5.4.15] Cadusians Make a Foolish Raid The Cadusian prince had been guarding the rear and had no share in the pursuit; so, wishing to do something brilliant on his own account, he went off, without consulting Cyrus or saying anything to him, to make a foray into the country toward Babylon. And as the Cadusian cavalry were scattered, the Assyrian, returning from his city in which he had taken refuge, came suddenly upon them with his own army in battle array.
[5.4.16] And when he discovered that the Cadusians were alone, he made an attack, slew the commander of the Cadusians and many others, took some of their horses, and recovered the spoil which they happened to be carrying off. He also pursued them as far as he thought was safe and then turned back. So the survivors of the Cadusians arrived at the camp, the first of them towards evening.
[5.4.17] When Cyrus found out what had happened, he went out to meet them, and if he saw any one that was wounded he received him kindly and sent him on to Gadatas, that he might receive attention; the rest he helped into their tents and saw to it that they should have provisions, taking some of the Persian peers along to help him in looking after them. For under such circumstances, the good are ready to undertake extra labour.
[5.4.18] Still Cyrus was evidently very much distressed, so that, when the rest went to dinner at the usual hour, he with his aides and the surgeons did not go; for he would not wittingly leave any uncared for, but either looked after them in person, or, if he did not succeed in doing that, he showed his personal interest by sending some one to attend to them.
[5.4.19] Cyrus Avenges Gadusian Losses Thus they went to sleep that evening. At daybreak he made proclamation for all the Cadusians and the officers of the rest to assemble; and he addressed them as follows: "Friends and allies, that which has happened might happen to any man; for it is not at all strange, I think, for mortal man to err. Still it is worth our while to reap some benefit from this occurrence, the lesson never to detach from our main body a force weaker than the forces of the enemy.
[5.4.20] I do not mean by that that we should never go off, if circumstances require it, with a still smaller detachment than that with which the Cadusian prince went. But if an officer, when he starts on an expedition, communicates his intention to one that is able to bring help, he may possibly fall into a trap, but then it is equally possible for the one who remains behind to entrap the enemy and turn them away from the detached corps; or he may annoy the enemy in some other way and so secure safety for his friends; and thus even those who are at a distance will not be out of reach but will keep in touch with the main body. But the man who goes off without communicating his purpose is in the same situation, no matter where he is, as if he were carrying on a campaign alone.
[5.4.21] "But in return for this, we shall ere long, God willing, have our revenge on the enemy. So, as soon as you have had luncheon, I shall lead you to the place where this befell. There we shall not only bury the dead, but, God willing, on the very spot where the enemy think they have won a victory we will show them others better than they are. We shall at least let them have no satisfaction in looking even on the place where they slaughtered our allies. If they do not come out to meet us, we shall burn their villages and ravage their country, so that they may have no joy in viewing what they did to us but may be distressed at contemplating there their own misfortunes.
[5.4.22] "The rest of you, therefore, go to luncheon. But you, Cadusians, go first and elect from your own number according to your custom a new general, who shall look out for your interests with the help of the gods and of us, if you have any need of our help as well; and when you have made your choice, send the man you have elected to me."
[5.4.23] So they did as he bade. And when Cyrus led the army out, he assigned the man elected by the Cadusians his position and bade him lead his contingent near to himself, "in order," he said, "that we may, if we can, put new courage into your men." Thus, then, they proceeded; and when they came to the place, they buried the Cadusians and ravaged the country. And when they had done so they returned again into the land of Gadatas, bringing their supplies from the enemy's country.
[5.4.24] Cyrus Negotiates Safety of Farmers And when he reflected that those who had gone over to him would suffer severely, as they were in the vicinity of Babylon, if he were not always at hand, he ordered those of the enemy whom he released to tell the Assyrian king (he also sent a herald to bear the same message) that he was ready to leave in peace the labourers tilling the land and to do them no harm, provided the king, on his part, would be willing to allow those farmers who had transferred their allegiance to him to work their farms.
[5.4.25] "And yet," he had them say, "even if you are able to hinder them, you will hinder but few; for the country of those who have come over to me is small; while the land under your dominion that I should allow to be cultivated is extensive. Then, as to the harvesting of the crops, if there is war, the victor, I suppose, will do the reaping; but if there is peace, it is evident that you will do it. If, however, any of my adherents take up arms against you, or any of yours against me, upon such we will both execute vengeance according to our ability."
[5.4.26] This message he entrusted to the herald and sent him away. And when the Assyrians heard it, they did everything they could to persuade the king to accept the proposal, and to leave as little of the war as possible.
[5.4.27] The Assyrian king, moreover, whether because he was persuaded by his countrymen or whether he himself also wished it so, agreed to the proposal; so a covenant was made to the effect that the farmers should have peace, but the men under arms war.
[5.4.28] This concession Cyrus obtained for the farming classes. But as for the herds out grazing, he ordered his friends, if they wished, to drive them in and keep them in the territory under their own control; but the enemy's cattle they brought in as their legitimate prey from whatever quarter they could, so that the allies might be better pleased with the expedition. For the dangers were the same, even if they did not go foraging for provisions, while the burdens of war seemed lighter, if the army was to be fed at the enemy's cost.
[5.4.29] Cyrus Departs Via Babylon. Strenghtens Gadatas' Defences When Cyrus was making preparations to depart, Gadatas came to him and brought many gifts of every sort, as might be expected from a wealthy house, and, most important of all, he brought many horses that he had taken from horsemen of his own whom he had come to distrust on account of the conspiracy against him.
[5.4.30] When he came into Cyrus's presence he spoke as follows: "These gifts, Cyrus, I beg to offer you for the present; and do you accept them, if you have any use for them. But pray consider that everything else of mine is yours; for there is not and never can be a child of my own to whom I can leave my estates, but with my death our race and name must be altogether blotted out.
[5.4.31] "And by the gods, who see all things and hear all things, I swear to you, Cyrus, that it is not for anything wrong or base that I have said or done that I have suffered this affliction." As he uttered these words he burst into tears over his lot and could say no more.
[5.4.32] And Cyrus, as he listened, pitied him for his misfortune and answered him thus: "Your horses I accept; for I shall do you a service by giving them to men who are more loyal to you, it seems, than your own men who had them but now; and for myself, I shall the sooner increase my Persian cavalry to full ten thousand horse, as I have been eager this long time to do. But do you take these other things away and keep them until you see me in possession of wealth enough so that I shall not be outdone in requiting you. For if, as we part, you should give me larger gifts than you receive from me, by the gods, I do not see how I could possibly help being ashamed."
[5.4.33] "Well," said Gadatas in reply, "I can trust you for that; for I know your ways. Still, bethink you whether I am in a position to keep these things safe for you.
[5.4.34] "For while we were friends to the Assyrian king, my father's estate seemed to me the finest in the world; for it was so near to the mighty city of Babylon that we enjoyed all the advantages of a great city but could come back home and be rid of all its rush and worry. But now that we are his enemies, it is obvious that with your departure we ourselves and our whole house shall be the victims of plots; and I think we shall lead an utterly miserable life, for we shall have our enemies close at hand and see them stronger than ourselves.
[5.4.35] "Perhaps, then, some one might say: `And why, pray, did you not think of that before you revolted?' Because, Cyrus, on account of the outrage I had suffered and my consequent resentment, my soul was not looking out consistently for the safest course but was pregnant with this thought, whether it would ever be in my power to get revenge upon that enemy of gods and men, who cherishes an implacable hatred not so much toward the man who does him wrong as toward the one whom he suspects of being better than himself.
[5.4.36] "Therefore, since he is such a scoundrel himself, he will find no supporters but those who are worse scoundrels than himself. But if some one of them by any chance be found better than he, never fear, Cyrus, that you will have to fight that good man; but he will take care of him, scheming unceasingly until he has got rid of that man who is better than himself. But as for me, he will, I think, even with worthless fellows easily be strong enough to harass me.
[5.4.37] As Cyrus heard this, it seemed to him that Gadatas said something worthy of consideration; so he answered at once: "Pray then, Gadatas," said he, "let us make the fortifications strong with garrisons and safe, that you may have confidence in their security, whenever you go into them; and then do you take the field with us yourself so that, if the gods continue on our side as they now are, he may be afraid of you, not you of him. And bring with you whatsoever of yours you like to look at or to have with you, and come. It seems to me, too, that you would be very useful to me, and I shall try to be the same to you, as far as I can."
[5.4.38] On hearing this, Gadatas breathed more freely and said: "Could I get things ready before you go? For, you see, I should like to take my mother with me." "Yes, by Zeus," he answered, "you will have plenty of time; for I will hold back until you say it is all right."
[5.4.39] Accordingly, Gadatas went away in company with Cyrus and strengthened the forts with garrisons and then packed up everything that a great house might need for comfort. And he brought with him many of his own loved and trusted friends and many also of those whom he distrusted, compelling some to bring along their wives, others their brothers and sisters, in order that he might keep them under control, when bound by such ties.
[5.4.40] And from the first Cyrus kept Gadatas among those about him as he marched, to give him information in regard to roads and water, fodder and provisions, so that they might be able to camp where things were most abundant.
[5.4.41] And when, as he proceeded, he came in sight of the city of Babylon and it seemed to him that the road which he was following led close by the walls, he called Gobryas and Gadatas to him and asked if there were not another road, so that they need not march right by the wall.
[5.4.42] "Yes, sire," answered Gobryas; "in fact, there are many roads; but I supposed that you would surely wish to march as near to the city as possible, in order to show him that your army is now large and imposing; for even when you had a smaller force, you came right up to the very walls and he saw that we had no great numbers. So now, even if he really is to some extent prepared (for he sent word to you that he was making preparations to fight you), I am sure that, when he sees your forces, his own will again seem to him extremely ill-prepared."
[5.4.43] "You seem to be surprised, Gobryas," said Cyrus in answer, "that I marched right up to the walls when I came with a much smaller army, whereas now with a larger force I am unwilling to march close up under the walls.
[5.4.44] "But do not be surprised; for marching up to and marching by are not the same thing. For every one leads up in the order best for fighting [and the wise also retreat in the safest possible way, and not in the quickest],
[5.4.45] "But an army must needs march by with the wagons in an extended line and with the rest of the baggage vans in a long train. And these must all be covered by soldiers, and the enemy must never see the baggage wagons unprotected by arms.
[5.4.46] "When people march in this way, therefore, they necessarily have the fighting men drawn out in a thin, weak line. If, then, the enemy should ever decide to sally out in a compact body from their walls, on whichever part they came to close quarters they would close with much greater force than those have who are marching by.
[5.4.47] "Then, too, those who are marching in a long column must be a long distance from their supports, while the townspeople have but a short way to go to make a dash on a force near them and again retire.
[5.4.48] "On the other hand, if we march by at a distance from the walls not less than that at which we are now proceeding with our long extended line, they will have a view of our full numbers, to be sure, but behind the fringe of arms the whole host will look terrible.
[5.4.49] Be that as it may, if they should really make a sally at any point, we should see them a long way off and not be caught unprepared; or rather, I should say, friends, they will not so much as make the attempt when they have to go far from their walls, unless they judge that the whole of their force is superior to the whole of ours; for a retreat is a perilous thing for them."
[5.4.50] When he said this, those present agreed that what he said was right, and Gobryas led the way as he had directed. And as the army marched by the city, he constantly kept the part just passing the city the strongest, and so moved on.
[5.4.51] Cyrus Arrives at Media-Syria Border and Captures Three Forts Thus he continued his march and came in the usual number of days to the place on the boundaries between Media and Syria from which he had originally started. Of the three forts of the Syrians there, Cyrus in person assaulted one, the weakest, and took it by storm; of the other two, Cyrus, by intimidation, brought the garrison of the one to surrender, and Gadatas, by persuasion, that of the other.
Book 5, Section 5
[5.5.1] Cyrus Seeks a War Council with Cyaxares When this had been accomplished, he sent to Cyaxares and requested him to come to camp to hold a council of war concerning the disposition to be made of the forts which they had captured, and, after reviewing the army, to advise what steps he thought they ought to take next for the future conduct of the war. "But if he bids me," said he, "tell him that I would come and join camps with him."
[5.5.2] Accordingly, the messenger went away to deliver this message. Meanwhile Cyrus had given orders to bring out the tent of the Assyrian king which the Medes had selected for Cyaxares, to make it ready with all kinds of furnishings, and to conduct into the women's apartments of the tent the woman and with her music-girls, who had been selected for Cyaxares. And this was done.
[5.5.3] When the envoy to Cyaxares had delivered his message, Cyaxares gave it his attention and decided that it was better for the army to stay at the frontier. And there was the more reason, for the Persians whom Cyrus had sent for had come--forty thousand bowmen and peltasts.
[5.5.4] And as he saw that these were a severe drain on the Median land, it seemed to him more desirable to get rid of the present army than to admit another host. So when the officer in command of the reinforcements from Persia inquired of Cyaxares, in accordance with the instructions he had from Cyrus, whether he had any need of his army, he said "No"; and so this general went that same day at the head of his forces to Cyrus, for he heard that Cyrus was in that neighbourhood.
[5.5.5] On the following day Cyaxares set out with the Median cavalry who had stayed with him, and when Cyrus learned that he was approaching, he went out to meet him with the Persian cavalry, which was now a large body; he took with him also all the Median, Armenian, and Hyrcanian horse, and those of the rest of the allies who were the best mounted and best armed; all these he took with him by way of displaying his forces to Cyaxares.
[5.5.6] Cyaxares is Jealous of Cyrus' Accomplishments. But when Cyaxares saw many fine, valiant men in the company of Cyrus, while his own escort was small and of little worth, he thought it a thing dishonourable, and grief got hold of him. So when Cyrus dismounted from his horse and came up to him, intending to kiss him according to custom, Cyaxares dismounted from his horse but turned away. He refused to kiss him and could not conceal his tears.
[5.5.7] Thereupon Cyrus bade all the rest withdraw and wait. And he himself caught Cyaxares by the hand, led him to the shade of some palm-trees away from the road, ordered some Median rugs to be spread for him, and begged him to be seated; then sitting down beside him, he spoke as follows:
[5.5.8] "In the name of all the gods, uncle," said he, "tell me why you are angry with me; and what do you find wrong that you take it so amiss?" "Because, Cyrus," Cyaxares then made answer, "while I am supposed to be the scion of a royal father and of a line of ancestors who were kings of old as far back as the memory of man extends, and while I am called a king myself, still I see myself riding along with a mean and unworthy equipage, while you come before me great and magnificent in the eyes of my own retinue as well as the rest of your forces.
[5.5.9] "And this I think it a hard thing to suffer even at the enemy's hands and much harder, O Zeus, at the hands of those from whom I should least of all expect such treatment. For I think I should rather ten times sink into the earth than be seen so humiliated and see my own men disregarding me and laughing at me; for I am not ignorant of the fact not only that you are greater than I, but also that even my vassals come to meet me more powerful than I am myself and well enough equipped to do more harm to me than I can do to them."
[5.5.10] And as he said this he was still more violently overcome with weeping, so that he affected Cyrus, too, till his eyes filled with tears. But after pausing for a moment Cyrus answered him as follows: "Well, Cyaxares, in this you do not speak truly nor do you judge correctly, if you think that by my presence the Medes have been put in a position to do you harm;
[5.5.11] "But that you are angered and threaten them gives me no surprise. However, whether your anger against them is just or unjust, I will not stop to inquire; for I know that you would be offended to hear me speak in their defence. To me, however, it seems a serious error for a ruler to be angry with all his subjects at the same time; for, as a matter of course, threatening many makes many enemies, and being angry with all at the same time inspires them all with a common sense of wrong.
[5.5.12] "It was for this reason, let me assure you, that I did not let them come back without me, for I was afraid that in consequence of your anger something might happen for which we should all be sorry. With the help of the gods, therefore, you are secured against that by my presence. "As to your supposition that you have been wronged by me--I am exceedingly sorry, if, while I have been striving to the utmost of my ability to do as much good as possible to my friends, I seem after all to be accomplishing just the opposite.
[5.5.13] "But enough of this; let us not thus idly accuse one another; but, if possible, let us examine what sort of wrong it is that has come from me. I am ready to make you a proposal, the fairest that can be made between friends: if it appear that I have done you harm, I confess that I am in the wrong; but if it turn out that I have done you no harm and intended none, will you then on your part confess that you have suffered no wrong at my hands?"
[5.5.14] "Nay, I must," said he. "And if it is demonstrated that I have done you good and have been eager to do as much for you as I could, pray should I not deserve your praise rather than your blame?" "That is only fair," said he.
[5.5.15] "Come, then," said Cyrus, "and let us consider all that I have done, all my acts one by one; for so it will be most clearly seen what is good and what is bad.
[5.5.16] "And let us begin, if you think it far enough back, with my assuming this command. Now, you remember, when you learned that the enemy had gathered in great numbers and that they were starting against you and your country, you at once sent to the Persian state to ask for help and to me personally to ask me to try to come myself at the head of the forces, if any of the Persians should come. Did I not comply with your request, and did I not come to you leading for your service as many and as valiant men as I could?" "Yes," said he; "you certainly came."
[5.5.17] "Well then," he answered, "tell me first whether in this you impute to me any wrong against you or do you not rather count it a benefit towards you?" "Obviously," Cyaxares replied, "in that I see a benefit."
[5.5.18] "Good, then," answered Cyrus; "and when the enemy came and we had to do battle with them, did you then see me ever shirking toil or avoiding danger?" "No, by Zeus," said he; "I certainly did not."
[5.5.19] "Furthermore, when with the help of the gods the victory was ours and the enemy retreated, when I urged you to come in order that we might together pursue them, together take vengeance upon them, and together reap the fruits of victory if any rich spoil should fall to our lot--can you charge me with any selfish purpose in that?"
[5.5.20] To this Cyaxares said nothing. So Cyrus went on again: "Well, seeing that it suits you better to be silent than to reply to this question, tell me whether you thought you were wronged in any way because, when you did not think it safe to pursue, I excused you from a share in that peril and asked you to let some of your cavalry go with me. For if I did wrong also in asking that, and that, too, when I had previously given you my own services as an ally, that is yours to prove."
[5.5.21] And as Cyaxares again said nothing, Cyrus resumed: "Well, seeing that you do not choose to answer that either, please tell me then if I did you wrong in the next step I took: when you answered that you saw that the Medes were enjoying themselves and that you would not be willing to disturb their pleasures and oblige them to go off into dangers, then, far from being angry with you for that, I asked you again for a favour than which, as I knew, nothing was less for you to grant or easier for you to require of the Medes: I asked you, as you will remember, to allow any one who would to follow me. Was there anything unfair, think you, in that?
[5.5.22] "Well then, when I had obtained this concession from you, it amounted to nothing, unless I were to gain their consent. So I went to see if I could get their consent; and those whom I persuaded I took with me, by your permission, on my expedition. But if you think that deserving of blame, then, no matter what you may offer, one may not, it seems, accept it from you without blame.
[5.5.23] "Thus, then, we started; and does not every one know what we did when we were gone? Did we not capture the enemy's camp? Are not many of those who came against you slain? Aye, and of the enemy still alive many have been deprived of their arms; many others of their horses; moreover, the belongings of those who before were robbing you and carrying off your property you now see in the hands of your friends and being brought in, some for you, some for those who are under your dominion.
[5.5.24] "But what is most important and best of all, you see your own territory increasing, that of the enemy diminishing; you see the enemy's fortresses in your possession, and your own, which had before all fallen under the Assyrian's power, now restored again to you. Now, I do not know that I can say that I should like to learn whether any one of these results is a bad thing or whether any one is not a good thing for you, but at any rate I have no objection to listening to what you have to say. So tell me what your judgment on the question is."
[5.5.25] When he had thus spoken, Cyrus ceased, and Cyaxares answered as follows: "Well, Cyrus, I do not see how any one could say that what you have done is bad; but still, let me tell you, these services of yours are of such a nature that the more numerous they appear to be, the more they burden me.
[5.5.26] "For as to territory, I should rather extend yours by my power than see mine thus increased by you; for to you it brings glory to do this, but to me these same things somehow bring disgrace.
[5.5.27] "And as for money, it would be more agreeable for me to bestow it in this way upon you than to receive it from you under such circumstances as those under which you now offer it. For in being thus enriched by you, I feel even more wherein I am made poorer. And I think I should be less displeased to see my subjects actually wronged a little by you than to see, as I do, that they have received great benefits from you.
[5.5.28] But," he went on, "if it seems to you that it is unreasonable of me to take these things to heart, put yourself in my place and see in what light they appear to you. And tell me--if any one should pet your dogs, which you have been training for the protection of yourself and yours, and make them more familiar with himself than with you, would he please you with such petting?
[5.5.29] Or if that seems to you a belittling comparison, think on this: if any one were to tamper with the attendants that you kept for your body-guard and for service in war, and so dispose them that they would rather be his than yours, would you be grateful to him for such kindness?
[5.5.30] Again, let us take the object that men love most and most dearly cherish--suppose some one were to court your wife and make her love him more than yourself, would such kindness give you pleasure? Far from it, I think; for I am sure that he who should be guilty of such conduct would be doing you the greatest of all injuries.
[5.5.31] "But to quote an example most nearly akin to my own case--if any one should so treat the Persians whom you have brought here as to make them more glad to follow him than you, would you call him your friend? I think not; but you would consider him more of an enemy than if he were to slay many of them.
[5.5.32] "Or again, if you in your kindness of heart were to tell one of your friends to take whatever of yours he wanted, and if he, accepting your offer, should make off with everything he could and enrich himself with what belonged to you, while you had not even enough left for moderate use, could you consider such a one a blameless friend?
[5.5.33] "Well then, Cyrus, it seems to me that your treatment of me has been, if not that, at least something like that; for what you say is true: I told you to take those who wished to go with you, and off you went with my whole force and left me deserted. And now what you have taken with my forces you bring to me, forsooth, and with my own strength you increase my realm; and I, it seems, having no share in securing this good fortune, must submit like a mere woman to receive favours, and you are a hero in the eyes of all the world and especially of my subjects here, while I am not considered worthy of my crown.
[5.5.34] "Do you think that these are deeds of kindness, Cyrus? Let me tell you that if you had any regard for me, there is nothing of which you would be so careful not to rob me as my reputation and my honour. For what do I gain, if I have my realm extended wide and lose my own honour? For I was not made king of the Medes because I was more powerful than they all, but rather because they themselves accounted us to be in all things better than themselves."
[5.5.35] "By the gods, uncle," said Cyrus, interrupting him before he had finished speaking, "if I have ever done you any favour before, please do me now the favour that I beg of you: desist from blaming me for the present, and when you have proof from us how we feel toward you, if it then appears that what I have done was done for your benefit, return my greeting when I greet you and consider me your benefactor; but if it seems the other way, then blame me."
[5.5.36] Cyaxares and Cyrus Kiss Each Other. "Well," said Cyaxares, "perhaps you are right after all; I will do so." "Say then," said Cyrus, "may I kiss you, too?" "If you please," said the other. "And you will not turn away from me, as you did a little while ago?" "No," said he. So he kissed him.
[5.5.37] And when the Medes and the Persians and the rest saw that, for they were all concerned to see what the outcome would be, they were satisfied and glad. Then Cyrus and Cyaxares mounted their horses and led the way, and the Medes followed after Cyaxares (for Cyrus gave them a nod so to do), the Persians fell in behind Cyrus, and the rest behind them.
[5.5.38] Cyaxares is Made Comfortable & Receives Gifts. And when they came to the camp and had lodged Cyaxares in the tent that had been made ready for him, they who had been detailed to do so supplied him with what he needed;
[5.5.39] And as long as he had leisure before dinner, Cyaxares received calls from the Medes; some of them came of their own accord, but most of them went at the suggestion of Cyrus, taking presents with them--the one a handsome cup-bearer, another a fine cook, another a baker, another a musician, another a cup, another fine raiment; and every one of them, as a rule, presented him with at least one of the things that he had himself taken,
[5.5.40] so that Cyaxares changed his mind and realized that Cyrus was not alienating their affections from him and that the Medes were no less attentive to him than before.
[5.5.41] And when the hour for dinner came, Cyaxares summoned Cyrus and asked him, as he had not seen him for a long time, to dine with him. But Cyrus answered: "Please, Cyaxares, do not ask me. Do you not see that all these who are here are here at our instance? I should not be doing right, then, if I should let them get the impression that I was neglecting them and pursuing my own pleasure. For when soldiers think they are being neglected, the good ones become much more despondent and the bad much more presuming.
[5.5.42] "But do you now go to dinner, especially as you have come a long way; and if any come to pay their respects to you, do you greet them kindly and entertain them well, so that they may feel confidence toward you also. For my part, I must go and attend to those matters of which I have been speaking to you.
[5.5.43] "And tomorrow morning my staff-officers will come with me to your headquarters, in order that we may all consult with you about what we should do next. Do you then and there lay before us the question whether it seems best to continue the campaign or whether it is now time to disband the armies."
[5.5.44] Cyrus Seeks to Cement His Alliances. After this Cyaxares attended to his dinner, while Cyrus collected those of his friends who were most able to think and to co-operate with him when occasion demanded, and addressed them as follows: "My friends, with the help of the gods we have, you see, all that we prayed for at the first. For wherever we go, we are masters of the country. What is more, we see the enemy reduced, and ourselves increased in both numbers and strength.
[5.5.45] "Now, if the allies we have gained would only stay on with us, we should be able to accomplish much more both by force, when occasion calls for it, and by persuasion, when that is needed; and it is not my business a whit more than it is yours to see to it that as many of the allies as possible agree to stay;
[5.5.46] "but just as, when we are called upon to fight, the one who conquers the greatest number has the glory of being considered the most valorous, so also when we are called upon to use persuasion, he that converts the greatest number to our opinion would justly be accounted at once the most eloquent and the most efficient.
[5.5.47] "Do not, however, aim at displaying to us the arguments that you will address to each one of them, but set to work with the feeling that those who are persuaded by any one of you will show what they are by what they do.
[5.5.48] "Do you, therefore, see to this. And I, for my part, will try to see to it, as far as I can, that the soldiers are supplied with all that they need, while they are deliberating about going on with the campaign.".
» Book 6