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
[7.1.1] Cyrus Readies for Battle. So when they had prayed to the gods they went back to their posts; and while Cyrus and his staff were still engaged with the sacrifice, their attendants brought them meat and drink. And Cyrus remained standing just as he was and first offered to the gods a part and then began his breakfast, and kept giving a share of it also from time to time to any one who most needed it. And when he had poured a libation and prayed, he drank; and the rest, his staff-officers, followed his example. After that, he prayed to ancestral Zeus to be their guide and helper and then mounted his horse and bade his staff do the same.
[7.1.2] Now all Cyrus's staff were panoplied in armour the same as his: purple tunics, bronze corselets, bronze helmets with white plumes, and sabres; and each had a single spear with a shaft of cornel wood. Their horses were armed with frontlets, breast-pieces, and thigh-pieces of bronze; these served to protect the thighs of the rider as well. The arms of Cyrus differed from those of the rest in this only, that while the rest were overlaid with the ordinary gold colour, Cyrus's arms flashed like a mirror.
[7.1.3] Then, when he had mounted his horse and sat looking off in the direction he was to take, there was a clap of thunder on the right. "Almighty Zeus, we will follow thee," he cried, and started, with Chrysantas, the master of the horse, and the cavalry on the right, and on the left Arsamas and the infantry.
[7.1.4] And he gave orders to keep an eye upon his ensign and advance in even step. Now his ensign was a golden eagle with outspread wings mounted upon a long shaft. And this continues even unto this day as the ensign of the Persian king. Before they came in sight of the enemy, he halted the army as many as three times.
[7.1.5] Cyrus' Army Sights the Enemy. But when they had advanced about twenty stadia, then they began to get sight of the enemy's army coming on to meet them. And when they were all in sight of one another and the enemy became aware that they greatly outflanked the Persians on both sides, Croesus halted his centre--for otherwise it is impossible to execute a surrounding manoeuvre--and began to wheel the wings around to encompass the Persians, thus making his own lines on either flank in form like a gamma, so as to close in and attack on all three sides at once.
[7.1.6] But Cyrus, although he saw this movement, did not any the more recede but led on just as before. "Do you observe, Chrysantas, where the wings are drawing off to form their angle with the centre?" he asked, as he noticed at what a distance from the centre column on both sides they made their turning point, and how far they were pushing forward their wings in executing their flanking movement. "Indeed I do," answered Chrysantas, "and I am surprised, too; for it strikes me that they are drawing their wings a long way off from their centre." "Aye, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "and from ours, too."
[7.1.7] "What, pray, is the reason for that?" "Evidently because they are afraid their wings will get too close to us while their centre is still far away and that we shall thus close with them." "Then," said Chrysantas, "how will the one division be able to support the other, when they are so far apart?" "Well," answered Cyrus, "it is obvious that just as soon as the wings now advancing in column get directly opposite the flanks of our army, they will face about so as to form front and then advance upon us from all three sides simultaneously; for it is their intention to close in on us on all sides at once."
[7.1.8] "Well," said Chrysantas, "do you then think their plan a good one?" "Yes; to meet what they see. But in the face of what they do not see, it is even worse than if they were coming on in column. But do you, Arsamas," said he, "lead on your infantry slowly, just as you see me moving; and you, Chrysantas, follow along with the cavalry in an even line with him; meanwhile I shall go to the point where it seems to me most advantageous to open the battle; and at the same time, as I pass along, I will take observations and see how everything is with our side.
[7.1.9] "But when I reach the spot, and as soon as in our advance we are near enough together, I will begin the paean, and then do you press on. And the moment we come to close quarters with the enemy, you will perceive it, for there will be no little noise, I presume; and at the same moment Abradatas will charge with his chariots upon the enemy's lines--for so he will be instructed to do--and you must follow him, keeping as close as possible behind the chariots. For in this way we shall best throw the enemy into confusion and then fall upon them. And I also shall be there as soon as I can, please God, to join in the pursuit."
[7.1.10] When he had spoken these words, he passed along the lines the watchword, Zeus our Saviour and Guide, and rode on. And as he passed between the lines of chariots and heavy-armed infantry and bestowed a glance upon some of those in the lines, he would say: "What a pleasure it is, my friends, to look into your faces." And then again in the presence of others he would say: "I trust you remember, men, that in the present battle not only is to-day's victory at stake, but also the first victory you won and all our future success."
[7.1.11] Before still others, as he passed along, he would remark: "For all time to come, my men, we shall never have any more fault to find with the gods; for they have given us the opportunity of winning many blessings. So let us prove ourselves valiant men."
[7.1.12] Passing still others he said: "To what fairer common feast [Note: A "common feast," eranos, was a feast where all the participants contributed an equal share--a picnic. The eranos might also be a society or club in which all the members contributed equally to some public cause cf. Gahanbar.] could we ever invite each other, my men, than to this one? For now by showing ourselves brave men we may each contribute many good things for our mutual benefit."
[7.1.13] Passing others he would say: "I suppose that you understand, men, that pursuing, dealing blows and death, plunder, fame, freedom, power--all these are now held up as prizes for the victors; the cowardly, of course, have the reverse of all this. Whoever, therefore, cares for himself, let him fight with me; for I will never bring myself to do anything base or cowardly, if I can help it."
[7.1.14] But whenever he came past any of those who had fought under him before, he would say: "What need to say anything to you, my men? For you know how the brave celebrate a day in battle, and how cowards."
[7.1.15] And as he passed along and came to Abradatas, he stopped; and Abradatas, handing the reins to his groom, came toward him, and others also of those whose positions were near, both foot and chariot-drivers, ran up. And then to the company gathered about him Cyrus said: "Abradatas, God has approved your request that you and your men should take the front ranks among the allies. So now remember this, when presently it becomes necessary for you to enter the conflict, that Persians will not only be your witnesses but will also follow you and will not let you go into the conflict unsupported."
[7.1.16] "Well," answered Abradatas, "to me at least our part of the army seems to be all right; but I am anxious for the flanks; for I see the enemy's wings stretching out strong with chariots and troops of every description, while in the centre there is nothing opposed to our side except chariots; and so if I had not obtained this position by lot, I should, for my part, be ashamed of being here, so much the safest position do I think I occupy."
[7.1.17] "Well," said Cyrus, "if your part is all right, never fear for the others; for with the help of the gods I will clear those flanks of enemies for you. And do not you hurl yourself upon the opposing ranks, I adjure you, until you see in flight those whom you now fear." Cyrus indulged in such boastful speech only on the eve of battle; at other times he was never boastful at all; and he went on: "But when you see them in flight, then be sure that I am already at hand, and charge upon those fellows; for at that moment you will find your opponents most cowardly and your own men valiant.
[7.1.18] "But now, Abradatas, while you have time, by all means ride along your line of chariots and exhort your men to the charge, cheering them by your own looks and buoying them up with hopes. Furthermore, inspire them with a spirit of rivalry that you and your division may prove yourselves the best of the charioteers. And that will be worth while; for be assured that if we are successful to-day, all men in future will say that nothing is more profitable than valour." Abradatas accordingly mounted and drove along and did as Cyrus had suggested.
[7.1.19] And as Cyrus passed along again, he came to the left wing, where Hystaspas was with half the Persian cavalry; he called him and said: "Now, Hystaspas, you see some use for your speed; for now, if we can kill the enemy before they kill us, not one of us will perish."
[7.1.20] "Well," said Hystaspas laughing, "we will take care of those opposite us; assign those on the flank to another division, so that they also may have something to do." "Why," said Cyrus, "I am going on to them myself. But remember this, Hystaspas, no matter to which of us God gives the victory first, if afterwards anything is left of any part of the enemy, let us all engage any force that still continues the fight."
[7.1.21] Thus he spoke and passed on. And as he went along the flank, he came to the general in command of the chariots there and to him he said: "Yes, I am coming to help you; but when you see us charging on the extremity of the enemy's wing, then do you try at the same time to break through their lines; for you will be in a much securer position if you get clear through than if you are enclosed within their line."
[7.1.22] And as he passed on again and came behind the women's carriages, he ordered Artagerses and Pharnuchus with their respective regiments of infantry and cavalry to stay there. "But," said he, "when you see me charging against those opposite our right wing, do you also attack those opposite you. And you will be in a phalanx--the formation in which you would be strongest--and take the enemy on their flank, the position in which an army is weakest. And, as you see, their cavalry stands furthest out; so by all means send against them the brigade of camels, and be assured that even before the battle begins you will see the enemy in a ridiculous plight."
[7.1.23] When Cyrus had completed his round of the troops, he passed on to the right wing. And Croesus, thinking that the centre, which he commanded in person, was already nearer to the enemy than the wings that were spreading out beyond, gave a signal to his wings not to go out any further but to halt and face about. And when they had halted, and stood facing Cyrus's army, Croesus gave them the signal to advance against the foe.
[7.1.24] And so the three phalanxes advanced upon the army of Cyrus, one from in front, the other two against his wings, one from the right, the other from the left; in consequence, great fear came upon all his army. For just like a little tile set inside a large one, [Note: The point of Xenophon's simile is clear, when we recall the marble tiling of the temple roofs of his time.] Cyrus's army was encompassed by the enemy on every side, except the rear, with horsemen and hoplites, with targeteers and bowmen and chariots.
[7.1.25] Still, when Cyrus gave the command, they all turned and faced the enemy. And deep silence reigned on every hand because of their apprehension as to what was coming. Then, when it seemed to Cyrus to be just the right time, he began the paean and all the army joined in the chant.
[7.1.26] The Battle Begins. After it was finished, together they raised the battle-shout to Enyalius, and in that instant Cyrus dashed forward; and at once he hurled his cavalry upon the enemy's flank and in a moment he was engaged with them hand to hand. With a rapid movement the infantry followed him in good order and began to envelop the enemy on this side and on that, so that he had them at a great disadvantage; for he clashed with a phalanx against their flank; and as a result, the enemy soon were in headlong flight.
[7.1.27] As soon as Artagerses saw Cyrus in action, he delivered his attack on the enemy's left, putting forward the camels, as Cyrus had directed. But while the camels were still a great way off, the horses gave way before them; some took fright and ran away, others began to rear, while others plunged into one another; for such is the usual effect that camels produce upon horses.
[7.1.28] And Artagerses, with his men in order, fell upon them in their confusion; and at the same moment the chariots also charged on both the right and the left. And many in their flight from the chariots were slain by the cavalry following up their attack upon the flank, and many also trying to escape from the cavalry were caught by the chariots.
[7.1.29] And Abradatas also lost no more time, but shouting, "Now, friends, follow me," he swept forward, showing no mercy to his horses but drawing blood from them in streams with every stroke of the lash. And the rest of the chariot-drivers also rushed forward with him. And the opposing chariots at once broke into flight before them; some, as they fled, took up their dismounted [Note: Compare Xen. Cyrop. 3.3.60; Xen. Cyrop. 6.1.27] fighting men, others left theirs behind.
[7.1.30] But Abradatas plunged directly through them and hurled himself upon the Egyptian phalanx; and the nearest of those who were arrayed with him also joined in the charge. Now, it has been demonstrated on many other occasions that there is no stronger phalanx than that which is composed of comrades that are close friends; and it was shown to be true on this occasion. For it was only the personal friends and mess-mates of Abradatas who pressed home the charge with him, while the rest of the charioteers, when they saw that the Egyptians with their dense throng withstood them, turned aside after the fleeing chariots and pursued them.
[7.1.31] But in the place where Abradatas and his companions charged, the Egyptians could not make an opening for them because the men on either side of them stood firm; consequently, those of the enemy who stood upright were struck in the furious charge of the horses and overthrown, and those who fell were crushed to pieces by the horses and the wheels, they and their arms; and whatever was caught in the scythes--everything, arms and men, was horribly mangled.
[7.1.32] As in this indescribable confusion the wheels bounded over the heaps of every sort, Abradatas and others of those who went with him into the charge were thrown to the ground, and there, though they proved themselves men of valour, they were cut down and slain. Then the Persians, following up the attack at the point where Abradatas and his men had made their charge, made havoc of the enemy in their confusion; but where the Egyptians were still unharmed--and there were many such--they advanced to oppose the Persians.
[7.1.33] Here, then, was a dreadful conflict with spears and lances and swords. The Egyptians, however, had the advantage both in numbers and in weapons; for the spears that they use even unto this day are long and powerful, and their shields cover their bodies much more effectually than corselets and targets, and as they rest against the shoulder they are a help in shoving. So, locking their shields Together, they advanced and shoved.
[7.1.34] And because the Persians had to hold out their little shields clutched in their hands, they were unable to hold the line, but were forced back foot by foot, giving and taking blows, until they came up under cover of the moving towers. When they reached that point, the Egyptians in turn received a volley from the towers; and the forces in the extreme rear would not allow any retreat on the part of either archers or lancers, but with drawn swords they compelled them to shoot and hurl.
[7.1.35] Then there was a dreadful carnage, an awful din of arms and missiles of every sort, and a great tumult of men, as they called to one another for aid, or exhorted one another, or invoked the gods.
[7.1.36] At this juncture Cyrus came up in pursuit of the part that had been opposed to him; and when he saw that the Persians had been forced from their position, he was grieved; but as he realized that he could in no way check the enemy's progress more quickly than by marching around behind them, he ordered his men to follow him and rode around to the rear. There he fell upon the enemy as they faced the other way and smote them and slew many of them.
[7.1.37] And when the Egyptians became aware of their position they shouted out that the enemy was in their rear, and amidst the blows they faced about. And then they fought promiscuously both foot and horse; and a certain man, who had fallen under Cyrus's horse and was under the animal's heels, struck the horse in the belly with his sword. And the horse thus wounded plunged convulsively and threw Cyrus off.
[7.1.38] Then one might have realized how much it is worth to an officer to be loved by his men; for they all at once cried out and leaping forward they fought, shoved and were shoved, gave and received blows. And one of his aides-de-camp leaped down from his own horse and helped him mount upon it;
[7.1.39] and when Cyrus had mounted he saw that the Egyptians were now assailed on every side; for Hystaspas also and Chrysantas had now come up with the Persian cavalry. But he did not permit them yet to charge into the Egyptian phalanx, but bade them shoot and hurl from a distance. And when, as he rode round, he came to the engines, he decided to ascend one of the towers and take a view to see if anywhere any part of the enemy's forces were making a stand to fight.
[7.1.40] And when he had ascended the tower, he looked down upon the field full of horses and men and chariots, some fleeing, some pursuing, some victorious, other vanquished; but nowhere could he discover any division that was still standing its ground, except that of the Egyptians; and they, inasmuch as they found themselves in a desperate condition, formed in a complete circle and crouched behind their shields, so that only their weapons were visible; but they were no longer accomplishing anything, but were suffering very heavy loss.
[7.1.41] Egyptians Surrender. And Cyrus, filled with admiration for their conduct and moved to pity for them that men as brave as they were should be slain, drew off all those who were fighting around the ring and allowed no one to fight any more. Then he sent a herald to them to ask whether they all wished to die for those who had treacherously deserted them or to save their lives and at the same time be accounted brave men. "How could we save our lives," they answered, "and at the same time be accounted brave men?"
[7.1.42] "You can," Cyrus replied, "because we are witnesses that you are the only ones who stood your ground and were willing to fight." "Well," answered the Egyptians, "granting that, what can we do consistently with honour to save our lives?" "You could surrender your arms," Cyrus answered again, "and become friends of those who choose to save you, when it is in their power to destroy you."
[7.1.43] "And if we become your friends," they asked on hearing that, "how will you see fit to deal with us?" "I will do you favours and expect favours from you," answered Cyrus. "What sort of favours?" asked the Egyptians in turn. "As long as the war continues," Cyrus made answer to this, "I would give you larger pay than you were now receiving; and when peace is made, to those of you who care to stay with me I will give lands and cities and wives and servants."
[7.1.44] On hearing this, the Egyptians begged to be excused from taking part in any campaign against Croesus, for with him alone, they said, they were acquainted; all other stipulations they accepted, and gave and received pledges of good faith.
[7.1.45] And the Egyptians who then stayed in the country have continued loyal subjects to the king even unto this day; and Cyrus gave them cities, some in the interior, which even to this day are called Egyptian cities, and besides these Larissa and Cyllene near Cyme on the coast; and their descendants dwell there even unto this day. When he had accomplished this, it was already dark; and Cyrus led back his forces and encamped in Thymbrara.
[7.1.46] The Egyptians were the only ones of all the enemy that distinguished themselves in the battle, while of those under Cyrus the Persian cavalry seemed to be the most efficient. And therefore the equipment which Cyrus had then provided for his cavalry continues in use even to our own times.
[7.1.47] The scythe-bearing chariots also won extraordinary distinction, so that this military device also has been retained even to our day by each successive king.
[7.1.48] The camels, however, did nothing more than frighten the horses; their riders could neither kill any one nor be killed by any of the enemy's cavalry, for not a horse would come near them.
[7.1.49] What they did do seemed useful enough; but be that as it may, no gentleman is willing to keep a camel for riding or to practise for fighting in war upon one. And so they have again taken their proper position and do service among the pack-animals.
Book 7, Section 2
[7.2.1] The Enemy Flee. When Cyrus and his men had finished dinner and stationed guards, as was necessary, they went to rest. As for Croesus and his army, they fled straight towards Sardis, while the other contingents got away, each man as far as he could under cover of the night on his way toward home.
[7.2.2] When daylight came, Cyrus led his army straight on against Sardis. And as soon as he came up to the walls of the city, he set up his engines as if intending to assault it and made ready his scaling ladders.
[7.2.3] But though he did this, in the course of the following night he sent some Chaldaeans and Persians to climb up by what was considered the most precipitous side of the Sardian citadel. The way was shown them by a Persian who had been the slave of one of the guards of the acropolis and had discovered a way down to the river and up again by the same route.
[7.2.4] When it became known that the citadel was taken, all the Lydians immediately fled from the walls to whatever part of the city they could. And Cyrus at daybreak entered the city and gave orders that not a man of his should stir from his post.
[7.2.5] Croesus Surrenders. But Croesus shut himself up in his palace and called for Cyrus. Cyrus, however, left behind a guard to watch Croesus, while he himself drew off his army to the citadel now in his possession; for he saw that the Persians were holding guard over it, as it was their duty to do, but that the quarters of the Chaldaeans were deserted, for they had run down into the city to get plunder from the houses. He at once called their officers together and told them to leave his army with all speed.
[7.2.6] "For," said he, "I could not endure to see men who are guilty of insubordination better off than others. And let me tell you," he added, "that I was getting ready to make you Chaldaeans who have been helping in my campaigns objects of envy in the eyes of all other Chaldaeans; but, as it is, you need not be surprised if some one who is your superior in strength should fall in with you, even as you go away."
[7.2.7] When they heard this, the Chaldaeans were afraid; they besought him to lay aside his wrath and promised to give up their plunder. But he said he did not want it. "But," said he, "if you wish me to forget my displeasure, surrender all that you have taken to those who have not relaxed their guard of the citadel. For if the rest of the soldiers find out that those who have been obedient to orders are better off than the rest, everything will be as I wish."
[7.2.8] The Chaldaeans, accordingly, did as Cyrus bade; and the obedient received a large amount of spoil of every description. And Cyrus encamped his men in that part of the city where he deemed it most convenient, ordering them to stay in their quarters and take luncheon there.
[7.2.9] When he had attended to this, he ordered Croesus to be brought before him. And when Croesus saw Cyrus, he said: "I salute you, my sovereign lord; for fortune grants that henceforth you should bear this title and I address you by it."
[7.2.10] "And I you, Croesus; for we are both men. But, Croesus," he added, "would you be willing to give me a bit of advice?" "Aye, Cyrus," said he; "I wish I could find something of practical value to say to you. For that, I think, would prove good for me as well."
[7.2.11] "Listen, then, Croesus," said he. "I observe that my soldiers have gone through many toils and dangers and now are thinking that they are in possession of the richest city in Asia, next to Babylon; and I think that they deserve some reward. For I know that if they do not reap some fruit of their labours, I shall not be able to keep them in obedience very long. Now, I do not wish to abandon the city to them to plunder; for I believe that then the city would be destroyed, and I am sure that in the pillaging the worst men would get the largest share."
[7.2.12] "Well," said Croesus on hearing these words, "permit me to say to any Lydians that I meet that I have secured from you the promise not to permit any pillaging nor to allow the women and children to be carried off, and that I, in return for that, have given you my solemn promise that you should get from the Lydians of their own free will everything there is of beauty or value in Sardis.
[7.2.13] "For when they hear this, I am sure that whatever fair possession man or woman has will to come to you; and next year you will again find the city just as full of wealth as it is now; whereas, if you pillage it completely, you will find even the industrial arts utterly ruined; and they say that these are the fountain of wealth.
[7.2.14] "But when you have seen what is brought in, you will still have the privilege of deciding about plundering the city. And first of all," he went on, "send to my treasuries and let your guards obtain from my guards what is there." All this, accordingly, Cyrus agreed to have done as Croesus suggested.
[7.2.15] "But pray tell me, Croesus," he resumed, "what has come of your responses from the oracle at Delphi? For it is said that Apollo has received much service from you and that everything that you do is done in obedience to him."
[7.2.16] "I would it were so, Cyrus," he answered. "But as it is; I have from the very beginning behaved toward Apollo in a way contrary to all that he has advised." "How so?" asked Cyrus; "please explain; for your statement sounds very strange."
[7.2.17] "At first," he answered, "instead of asking the god for the particular favour I needed, I proceeded to put him to the test to see if he could tell the truth. And when even men, if they are gentlemen--to say nothing of a god--discover that they are mistrusted, they have no love for those who mistrust them.
[7.2.18] However, as he knew even about the gross absurdities I was engaged in, far as I was from Delphi, [Note: See Index, s.v. Croesus, note.] I then sent to him to inquire if I should have male issue.
[7.2.19] And at first he did not even answer me; but when I had at last propitiated him, as I thought, by sending many offerings of gold and many of silver and by sacrificing very many victims, then he did answer my question as to what I should do to have sons; and he said that I should have them.
[7.2.20] And I had; for not even in this did he speak falsely; but those that were born to me have been no joy to me. For the one has continued dumb until now, and the other, the better of the two, was killed in the flower of his youth. Then, overwhelmed by the afflictions I suffered in connection with my sons, I sent again and inquired of the god what I should do to pass the rest of my life most happily; and he answered me: 'Knowing thyself, O Croesus--thus shall you live and be happy.' [Note: There is a reference to the famous inscription on the temple at Delphi--gnôthi seauton.]
[7.2.21] "And when I heard this response, I was glad; for I thought that it was the easiest task in the world that he was laying upon me as the condition to happiness. For in the case of others, it is possible to know some; and some, one cannot know; but I thought that everybody knows who and what he himself is.
[7.2.22] "For the succeeding years, as long as I lived at peace, I had no complaint to make of my fortunes after the death of my son. But when I was persuaded by the Assyrian king to take the field against you, I fell into every sort of danger. However, I was saved without having suffered any harm. Here again I have no fault to find with the god. For when I recognized that I was not your match in battle, with his help I got off in safety, both I and my men.
[7.2.23] "And lately again, spoiled by the wealth I had and by those who were begging me to become their leader, by the gifts they gave me and by the people who flattered me, saying that if I would consent to take command they would all obey me and I should be the greatest of men--puffed up by such words, when all the princes round about chose me to be their leader in the war, I accepted the command, deeming myself fit to be the greatest; but, as it seems, I did not know myself.
[7.2.24] For I thought I was capable of carrying on war against you; but I was no match for you; for you are in the first place a scion of the gods and in the second place the descendant of an unbroken line of kings, and finally you have been practising virtue from your childhood on, while the first of my ancestors to wear a crown, I am told, was at the same time king and freedman. [Note: Gyges, the shepherd king of Lydia.] Therefore, as I was thus without knowledge, I have my just deserts.
[7.2.25] "But, Cyrus," said he, "I know myself now. But do you think Apollo's declaration still holds true, that if I know myself I shall be happy? I ask you this for the reason that under the present circumstances it seems to me you can judge best; for you are also in a position to fulfil it."
[7.2.26] "You must give me time to consider this, Croesus," Cyrus replied; "for when I think of your happiness hitherto, I am sorry for you, and I now restore to you your wife, whom you once had, your daughters (for I understand you have daughters), your friends, your servants, and the table that you and yours used to enjoy. But wars and battles I must forbid you."
[7.2.27] "In the name of Zeus," said Croesus, "pray do not trouble yourself further to answer me in regard to my happiness; for I assure you even now that if you do for me what you say you will, I, too, shall have and enjoy that life which others have always considered most blissful; and I have agreed with them."
[7.2.28] "And who is it," asked Cyrus, "that enjoys such a life of bliss?" "My wife, Cyrus," said he. "For she always shared equally with me my wealth and the luxuries and all the good cheer that it brought, but she had no share in the anxieties of securing it nor in war or battle. So, then, you seem to be putting me in the same position as I did her whom I loved more than all the world, so that I feel that I shall owe Apollo new thank-offerings."
[7.2.29] At hearing these words Cyrus wondered at his good spirits, and after that he always used to take Croesus with him wherever he went, whether, as may well have been, because he thought Croesus was of some service to him, or whether he considered that this was the safer course.
Book 7, Section 3
[7.3.1] Cyrus Learns of Abradatas' Death. Such was their interview, and then they went to rest. And on the following day Cyrus summoned his friends and the general officers of his army. He appointed some of them to take charge of the treasures and others he ordered first to select from the valuables that Croesus delivered such a portion for the gods as the magi should designate; the rest they should then take into their own charge and put in chests, and these they should pack upon the wagons; they should then divide the wagons by lot and convey them whithersoever they themselves might go; then, when the time came, the treasure should be divided, and each man should receive his share according to his deserts.
[7.3.2] The officers, accordingly, proceeded to follow his instructions. And when he had called to him certain of his aides who were present, Cyrus said: "Tell me, has any one of you seen Abradatas? For I wonder why, in view of the fact that he used often to come to us, he is now nowhere to be seen."
[7.3.3] "Sire," answered one of the aides, "he is no longer alive, but he fell in the battle as he hurled his chariot against the ranks of the Egyptians, while the rest, they say, all but himself and his companions, turned aside when they saw the dense host of the Egyptians.
[7.3.4] And even now his wife, I am told, has taken up his body for burial, placed it in the carriage in which she herself used to ride, and brought it to some place here by the River Pactolus.
[7.3.5] And his eunuchs and servants, so they say, are digging a grave upon a certain hill for his dead body. But his wife, they say, has decked her husband with what she possessed and now sits upon the ground, holding his head in her lap."
[7.3.6] Upon hearing this, Cyrus smote his thigh, mounted his horse at once, and rode with a regiment of cavalry to the scene of sorrow.
[7.3.7] He left orders for Gadatas and Gobryas to follow him with the most beautiful ornaments they could get for the man, who had fallen beloved and brave. And he ordered those who had in charge the herds that were taken with the army to bring both cattle and horses and many sheep besides to the place where they should hear that he was, that he might sacrifice them in honour of Abradatas.
[7.3.8] And when he saw the lady sitting upon the ground and the corpse lying there, he wept over his loss and said: "Alas, O brave and faithful soul, hast thou then gone and left us?" And with the words he clasped his hand, and the dead man's hand came away in his grasp; for the wrist had been severed by a sabre in the hands of an Egyptian.
[7.3.9] And Cyrus was still more deeply moved at seeing this; and the wife wept aloud; but taking the hand from Cyrus, she kissed it and fitted it on again as best she could and said:
[7.3.10] "The rest of his limbs also you will find in the same condition, Cyrus; but why should you see it? And I am in no small degree to blame that he has suffered so, and you, Cyrus, perhaps not less than I. For it was I that, in my folly, urged him to do his best to show himself a worthy friend to you; and as for him, I know that he never had a thought of what might happen to him, but only of what he could do to please you. And so," she said, "he has indeed died a blameless death, while I who urged him to it sit here alive!"
[7.3.11] For some time Cyrus wept in silence and then he said aloud: "Well, lady, he indeed has met the fairest of ends, for he has died in the very hour of victory; but do you accept these gifts from me"--for Gobryas and Gadatas had come with many beautiful ornaments--"and deck him with them. And then, let me assure you that in other ways also he shall not want for honours, but many hands shall rear to him a monument worthy of us, and sacrifice shall be made over it, such as will befit a man so valiant.
[7.3.12] "And you," he continued, "shall not be left friendless, but on account of your goodness and all your worth, I shall show you all honour; and besides, I will commend to you some one to escort you to the place where you yourself desire to go. Only let me know to whom you wish to be conducted."
[7.3.13] "Ah, Cyrus," Panthea answered, "do not fear; I shall never hide from you who it is to whom I wish to go."
[7.3.14] Panthea's Suicide. When he had said this, Cyrus went away, his heart full of pity for the woman, as he thought what a husband she had lost, and for the man, that he must leave such a wife and never see her more. The lady then desired the eunuchs to retire, "until," she said, "I have bewailed my husband here, as I desire." But her nurse she told to stay with her, and she charged her to cover her and her husband, when she, too, was dead, with the same cloak. The nurse, however, pleaded earnestly with her not to do so; but when her prayers proved of no avail and she saw her mistress becoming angered, she sat down and burst into tears. Panthea then drew out a dagger, with which she had provided herself long before, and plunged it into her heart, and laying her head upon her husband's bosom she breathed her last. Then the nurse wailed aloud and covered them both, even as Panthea had directed.
[7.3.15] When Cyrus heard what the woman had done, he was filled with dismay and hastened to the place to see if he could bring any help. And when the eunuchs, three in number, beheld what had occurred, they also, standing in the spot where she had ordered them to stand, drew their daggers and drove them into their own breasts. (And now even to this day, it is said, the monument of the eunuchs is still standing; and they say that the names of the husband and wife are inscribed in Assyrian letters upon the slab above; and below, it is said, are three slabs with the inscription the mace-bearers.) [Note: Staff-bearers--apparently court officials, bearing a "staff" of office; mentioned again 8.1.38; 8.3.15; Anab. 1.6.11.]
[7.3.16] And when Cyrus drew near to the place of sorrow he marvelled at the woman; and having made lament over her, he went his way. He also took care that they should find all due honours, and the monument reared over them was, as they say, exceeding great.
Book 7, Section 4
[7.4.1] Cyrus Consolidates His Hold of Asia Minor. Then the Carians fell into strife and civil war with one another; they were entrenched in strongholds, and both sides called upon Cyrus for assistance. So while Cyrus himself stayed in Sardis to make siege-engines and battering rams to demolish the walls of such as should refuse to submit, he entrusted an army to Adusius, a Persian who was not lacking in judgment generally and not unskilled in war, and who was besides a very courteous gentleman, and sent him into Caria; and the Cilicians and Cyprians also joined most heartily in this expedition.
[7.4.2] Because of their enthusiastic allegiance he never sent a Persian satrap to govern either the Cilicians or the Cyprians, but was always satisfied with their native princes. Tribute, however, he did receive from them, and whenever he needed forces he made a requisition upon them for troops.
[7.4.3] Adusius now set out for Caria at the head of his army; and there came to him representatives from both parties of the Carians, ready to receive him into their walls to the injury of the rival faction. But Adusius treated both sides alike: with whichever party he conferred, he said they were more in the right, but they must not let their opponents know that he and they had become friends, alleging that he would thus be more likely to fall upon those opponents unprepared. Moreover, he demanded from the Carians pledges of good faith and made them swear to receive him without treachery within their walls to the advantage of Cyrus and the Persians, and he himself consented to give his oath that he would without treachery enter their walls for the advantage of those who admitted him.
[7.4.4] And when he had done this, he made appointments with both parties for the same night--each party without the other's knowledge--and on that night he marched inside the walls and took possession of the strongholds of both. At day-break he took his stand with his army between the two and summoned the leaders of the two factions. And when they saw one another they were indignant, for they both thought they had been duped.
[7.4.5] Adusius, however, addressed them as follows: "Gentlemen, I gave you my oath that I would without treachery enter your walls for the advantage of those who admitted me. If, therefore, I destroy either party of you, I think that I have come in to the injury of the Carians; whereas, if I can secure peace for you and security for all to till the fields, I think I am here for your advantage. Now, therefore, from this day you must live together like friends, till your lands without fear of one another, and intermarry your children one party with the other; and if any one in defiance of these regulations attempts to make trouble, Cyrus, and we with him, will be that man's enemies."
[7.4.6] After that, the gates of the city were opened, the streets filled up with people passing to and fro, and the farms with labourers; they celebrated their festivals together, and peace and joy reigned everywhere.
[7.4.7] At this juncture messengers came to him from Cyrus to ask if he needed any more troops or engines; but Adusius answered that even the army he had with him was at the disposal of Cyrus to employ elsewhere. And with those words he started to lead back his army, leaving only garrisons upon the citadels. But the Carians pleaded with him to stay; and when he refused, they sent to Cyrus to petition him to send Adusius to be their satrap.
[7.4.8] Cyrus had meanwhile sent off Hystaspas in command of an expedition against the Phrygia that lies along the Hellespont. So when Adusius returned, he directed him to march on in the direction Hystaspas had taken, that they might submit to Hystaspas more readily when they heard that another army was on the way.
[7.4.9] Now the Greeks who dwelt by the sea gave many gifts and secured an agreement to the effect that while they should not receive the barbarians1 within their walls, they would yet pay tribute and serve under him in the field wherever Cyrus should direct.
[7.4.10] But the king of Phrygia made preparations to keep possession of his forts and not to submit, and he gave orders to that effect. When, however, his subordinate officers deserted and he was left alone, he finally surrendered to Hystaspas on condition that Cyrus should be his judge and arbiter. And Hystaspas, leaving strong garrisons of Persians upon the citadels, went back with his own army reinforced with many Phrygian horsemen and peltasts.
[7.4.11] Besides, Cyrus had given Adusius instructions to join Hystaspas and bring with them armed those Phrygians who had voluntarily taken their side, but to take their horses and arms away from those who had shown fight, and to make all such follow, armed with nothing but slings.
[7.4.12] Accordingly, they were thus engaged in executing these orders. But Cyrus, leaving behind a large garrison of foot-soldiers, started from Sardis in company with Croesus; and he took with him many wagons loaded with valuables of every sort. And Croesus also had come with an accurate inventory of what was in each wagon; and as he handed the lists to Cyrus he said: "From this, Cyrus, you may know who renders to you in full that of which he has charge and who does not."
[7.4.13] "Aye, Croesus," answered Cyrus; "you do well to take this precaution. As far as I am concerned, however, those shall have charge of the valuables who also deserve to own them; so that if they embezzle anything, they will be embezzling from what is their own." With these words, he gave the inventories to his friends and officers, that they might be able to tell who of the overseers delivered everything safe and who of them failed.
[7.4.14] He took with him also such of the Lydians as he saw taking a pride in the fine appearance of their arms and horses and chariots and trying to do everything that they thought would please him; these he permitted to retain their arms. But if he saw any following with bad grace, he turned their horses over to those Persians who had been the first to engage in his service; he had their arms burned, and these men, too, he required to follow with nothing but slings.
[7.4.15] And of those who had been made subjects he required all who were unarmed to practise with the sling, for he considered this weapon to be the one most fitting for a slave. For in conjunction with other forces there are occasions when the presence of slingers is of very effective assistance, but by themselves alone not all the slingers in the world could stand against a very few men who came into a hand-to-hand encounter with them with weapons suited for close combat.
[7.4.16] Cyrus Arrives at Babylon. On the way to Babylon he subdued Greater Phrygia and Cappadocia and reduced the Arabians to submission. From all these he secured armour for not less than forty thousand Persian horsemen, and many horses taken from the prisoners he distributed among all the divisions of his allies. And thus he arrived before Babylon with a great host of cavalry, and a great host of bowmen and spearmen, and a multitude of slingers that was beyond number.
Book 7, Section 5
[7.5.1] When Cyrus appeared before Babylon he stationed his whole force about the city and then rode around it himself in company with his friends and the staff-officers of the allies;
[7.5.2] but when he had taken a survey of the walls, he prepared to draw off his army from the city. But a deserter came out and told him that they were going to attack him as soon as he began to draw his army off. "For," the man went on, "your lines looked weak to those who observed them from the walls." And it was no wonder that they appeared so; for, encompassing walls of such extent,1 the lines necessarily had but little depth.
[7.5.3] On hearing this, therefore, Cyrus took his place with his body-guard in the centre of his army and gave orders that the hoplites should fold back the phalanx from the extremity of either wing and move toward each other behind the main body, which had been halted, until each of the extreme wings should meet in a line with him, that is, in the centre.
[7.5.4] By this manoeuvre the men that remained standing in their places were at once given more courage, for the depth of the line was thus doubled; and those who had fallen back were likewise rendered more courageous, for thus those troops which had been kept standing had now come to face the enemy, and not they. But when, as they marched in from both sides, the ends came together, they stood thus mutually strengthened--those who had shifted their position were supported by those in front of them, those in front by the men behind them.
[7.5.5] And when the phalanx was thus folded back, the front ranks and the rear were of necessity composed of the most valiant men and the poorest were drawn up between them. And this arrangement of the lines seemed well adapted both for fighting and for keeping the men from flight; and the cavalry and the light-armed troops upon the wings were in each case brought as much nearer to the commander as the phalanx was shorter when doubled.
[7.5.6] And when they had thus closed up, they retired backward as long as they were within range of the missiles from the wall; but when they were out of range, they would face about and go forward at first only a few steps and wheel to the left and stand facing the wall; and the further off they got, the less often did they thus wheel around; and when they seemed to be out of all danger, they marched off without stopping until they arrived at their tents.
[7.5.7] When they had encamped, Cyrus called together his staff-officers and said: "Friends and allies, we have viewed the city on every side. But I am sure I cannot see how any one could take by storm walls so massive and so high; but the more men there are in the city, the sooner they can, I think, be brought by famine to capitulate, seeing that they will not come out and fight. Therefore, unless you have some other method to suggest, I propose that we use this method of laying siege to those gentlemen."
[7.5.8] "But," said Chrysantas, "does not this river flow through the midst of the city? And it is more than two stadia in width." "Aye, by Zeus," said Gobryas, "and its depth is such that two men, one standing on the other's shoulders, would not reach the surface of the water, so that the city is better defended by the river than by its walls."
[7.5.9] "Chrysantas," Cyrus answered, "let us not trouble ourselves with that which is beyond our powers; but we must apportion the work among ourselves as quickly as possible, to each contingent its proper share, and dig a ditch as wide and as deep as possible, so that we may require only as many men on guard as are absolutely indispensable."
[7.5.10] Accordingly, he took measurements in a circle round about the city, leaving just enough room by the river for the erection of large towers, and began on either side of the city to dig an immense trench; and the earth from it they threw up on their own side of the ditch.
[7.5.11] First of all, he began to build towers by the river, laying his foundations with the trunks of date-palms not less than a hundred feet long--and they grow even taller than that. And they were good material for this purpose, for it is a well known fact that date-palms, when under heavy pressure, bend upward like the backs of pack-asses.
[7.5.12] These he used as "mud-sills," in order that, even if the river should break into his trench above, it might not carry his towers away. And he erected many other towers besides upon the breast-works of earth, so that he might have as many watch-towers as possible.
[7.5.13] Thus, then, his men were employed, while the enemy upon the walls laughed his siege-works to scorn, in the belief that they had provisions enough for more than twenty years. Upon hearing of this, Cyrus divided his army into twelve parts as if intending each part to be responsible for sentry duty during one month of each year;
[7.5.14] but the Babylonians, in their turn, when they heard of that, laughed much more scornfully still, at the thought of Phrygians and Lydians and Arabians and Cappadocians keeping guard against them, for they considered all these to be more friendly to them than to the Persians.
[7.5.15] At last the ditches were completed. Then, when he heard that a certain festival had come round in Babylon, during which all Babylon was accustomed to drink and revel all night long, Cyrus took a large number of men, just as soon as it was dark, and opened up the heads of the trenches at the river.
[7.5.16] As soon as that was done, the water flowed down through the ditches in the night, and the bed of the river, where it traversed the city, became passable for men.
[7.5.17] Cyrus Enters Babylon. When the problem of the river was thus solved, Cyrus gave orders to his Persian colonels, infantry and cavalry, to marshal their regiments two abreast and come to him, and the rest, the allies, to follow in their rear, drawn up as before.
[7.5.18] They came, according to orders, and he bade his aides, both foot and horse, get into the dry channel of the river and see if it was possible to march in the bed of the river.
[7.5.19] And when they brought back word that it was, he called together the generals of both infantry and cavalry and spoke as follows:
[7.5.20] "My friends," said he, "the river has made " way for us and given us an entrance into the city. Let us, therefore, enter in with dauntless hearts, fearing nothing and remembering that those against whom we are now to march are the same men that we have repeatedly defeated, and that, too, when they were all drawn up in battle line with their allies at their side, and when they were all wide awake and sober and fully armed;
[7.5.21] "Whereas now we are going to fall upon them at a time when many of them are asleep, many drunk, and none of them in battle array. And when they find out that we are inside the walls, in their panic fright they will be much more helpless still than they are now.
[7.5.22] "But if any one is apprehensive of that which is said to be a source of terror to those invading a city--namely, that the people may go up" on the house-tops and hurl down missiles right and left, you need not be in the least afraid of that; for if any do go up upon their houses, we have a god on our side, Hephaestus. And their porticoes are very inflammable, for the doors are made of palm-wood and covered with bituminous varnish which will burn like tinder;
[7.5.23] "While we, on our side, have plenty of pine-wood for torches, which will quickly produce a mighty conflagration; we have also plenty of pitch and tow, which will quickly spread the flames everywhere, so that those upon the house-tops must either quickly leave their posts or quickly be consumed.
[7.5.24] "But come, to arms! and with the help of the gods I will lead you on. And do you, Gadatas and Gobryas, show the streets, for you are familiar with them. And when we get inside the walls, lead us by the quickest route to the royal palace."
[7.5.25] "Aye," answered Gobryas and his staff, "in view of the revelry, it would not be at all surprising if the gates leading to the palace were open, for all the city is feasting this night. Still, we shall find a guard before the gates, for one is always posted there." "We must lose no time, then," said Cyrus. "Forward, that we may catch the men as unprepared as we can."
[7.5.26] When these words were spoken, they advanced. And of those they met on the way, some fell by their swords, some fled back into their houses, some shouted to them; and Gobryas and his men shouted back to them, as if they were fellow-revellers. They advanced as fast as they could and were soon at the palace.
[7.5.27] And Gobryas and Gadatas and their troops found the gates leading to the palace locked, and those who had been appointed to attack the guard fell upon them as they were drinking by a blazing fire, and without waiting they dealt with them as with foes.
[7.5.28] But, as a noise and tumult ensued, those within heard the uproar, and at the king's command to see what the matter was, some of them opened the gates and ran out.
[7.5.29] And when Gadatas and his men saw the gates open they dashed in in pursuit of the others as they fled back into the palace, and dealing blows right and left they came into the presence of the king; and they found him already risen with his dagger in his hand.
[7.5.30] And Gadatas and Gobryas and their followers overpowered him; and those about the king perished also, one where he had sought some shelter, another while running away, another while actually trying to defend himself with whatever he could.
[7.5.31] Cyrus then sent the companies of cavalry around through the streets and gave them orders to cut down all whom they found out of doors, while he directed those who understood Assyrian to proclaim to those in their houses that they should stay there, for if any one should be caught outside, he would be put to death.
[7.5.32] While they were thus occupied, Gadatas and Gobryas came up; and first of all they did homage to the gods, seeing that they had avenged themselves upon the wicked king, and then they kissed Cyrus's hands and his feet with many tears of joy.
[7.5.33] And when day dawned and those in possession of the citadels discovered that the city was taken and the king slain, they surrendered the citadels, too.
[7.5.34] And Cyrus at once took possession of the citadels and sent up to them guards and officers of the guards. As for the dead, he gave their relatives permission to bury them. He furthermore ordered the heralds to make proclamation that all Babylonians deliver up their arms; and he ordered that wherever arms should be found in any house, all the occupants should be put to the sword. So they delivered up their arms and Cyrus stored them in the citadels, so that they might be ready if he ever needed them for use.
[7.5.35] When all this was finished, he first called the magi and requested them, inasmuch as the city had been taken by the sword, to select sanctuaries and the first fruits of the booty for the gods. Next he distributed the private houses and official residences among those whom he considered to have had a share in what had been achieved; and he made the division in the way that had been decided upon--the best to the most meritorious. And if any one thought he had less than he should, he bade him come and explain his reasons for thinking so.
[7.5.36] He ordered the Babylonians, moreover, to go on tilling their lands, to pay their tribute, and to serve those to whom they had severally been assigned; and he directed the Persians who had shared in the expedition and as many of the allies as chose to remain with him to address those who had fallen to their share as a master would his servants.
[7.5.37] Cyrus Holds Audience at Babylon. After this, Cyrus conceived a desire to establish himself as he thought became a king, but he decided to do it with the approval of his friends, in such a way that his public appearances should be rare and solemn and yet excite as little jealousy as possible. So he adopted the following plan: at day-break he would take his station in a place that seemed to him to be adapted to the purpose and there receive all who had any matter to bring before him, give them an answer, and send them away.
[7.5.38] But when people learned that he was holding audience, they came in an unmanageable throng, and as they crowded up to get in there was no end of trickery and contention.
[7.5.39] And his attendants would admit them, making the best discrimination they could. But whenever any of his personal friends managed to push their way through the throng and catch his eye, Cyrus would stretch out his hand, draw them up to him, and say: "Just wait, friends, until we get rid of the crowd, and then we will enjoy each other's company quietly." So his friends would wait, but the throng would stream in greater and greater, so that evening would set in before he had leisure to share his friends' company.
[7.5.40] So Cyrus would say: "Gentlemen, it is now time to separate; come tomorrow morning; for I, too, have something to talk over with you." Upon hearing this, his friends gladly departed, running from his presence, for they had paid the penalty for ignoring all the wants of nature. Thus then they went to rest.
[7.5.41] On the following day, Cyrus went to the same place and long before his friends came, there was a much greater crowd of people standing there desiring audience with him. So Cyrus stationed a large circle of Persian lancers about him and gave orders that no one should be admitted except his friends and the officers of the Persians and the allies.
[7.5.42] And when they had come together, Cyrus addressed them as follows: "Friends and allies, we cannot possibly find any fault with the gods that all that we wished for so far has not been fulfilled. However, if great success is to have such consequences that a man is not to be able to have some leisure for himself nor time to enjoy himself with his friends, I am ready to bid farewell to that sort of happiness.
[7.5.43] For yesterday, too, you saw, of course, that although we began at dawn to give audience to those who came to see us, we did not get through before evening; and now you see that these others, who are here in greater numbers than came yesterday, will give us even more trouble.
[7.5.44] If, therefore, one is to sacrifice oneself to such affairs, I reckon that you will have but a small part in my society or I in yours; while in myself I know that I shall certainly have no part at all.
[7.5.45] "I see also," he went on, "still another absurd feature in all this: while my affection for you is, as you know, what it naturally ought to be, of these who stand about here I know few or none; and yet all these have made up their minds that if they can get ahead of you in crowding in, they will obtain what they wish from me before you can. Now what I expected all such to do, if any one wanted anything from me, was to get into favour with you as my friends and ask you for an introduction.
[7.5.46] "Perhaps some one may ask why I did not adopt this arrangement in the beginning instead of making myself accessible to all. It was, I answer, because I realized that the demands of war made it necessary for a commander not to be behind others in finding out what he ought to know nor in doing what it is expedient that he should do. And I thought generals who were seldom to be seen often neglected much that needed to be done.
[7.5.47] "But now that this most toilsome war is really over, it seems to me that I, too, am entitled to find some relaxation of spirit. So, while I am in doubt as to what I could do to harmonize our interests and those of the others for whom we must care, let any one who sees what is to the best advantage give me a word of counsel."
[7.5.48] Thus Cyrus spoke. After him Artabazus arose --the man who had once claimed to be his kinsman--and said: "I am very glad, Cyrus, that you have opened this discussion. For when you were still a lad, I was very anxious even from the first to be a friend of yours; but when I saw that I could be of no use to you, I shrank from approaching you.
[7.5.49] "But when you once happened to need even my services to publish among the Medes the concession obtained from Cyaxares, I reasoned that, if I gave you my earnest support in this, I then might be your intimate friend and talk with you as much as I pleased. Now that particular commission was executed in such a way as to call for your approval.
[7.5.50] "After that, the Hyrcanians were the first to become our friends, and at a time, too, when we were very hungry for allies, so that in our affection for them we all but carried them around in our arms. And after that, when the enemy's camp was taken, you did not have any time to concern yourself about me, I suppose, and I did not blame you.
[7.5.51] Next, Gobryas became our friend, and I was glad; and then Gadatas; and then it was hard work to get any share of your attention. When, however, both the Sacians and the Cadusians had become our allies, you must needs show them proper attention, for they also were attentive to you.
[7.5.52] "When we came back to the place from which we had started, I saw you busy with horses and chariots and engines, but I thought that as soon as you had leisure from these distractions you would have some time to think of me. Still, when the terrible news came that the whole world was assembling against us, I realized that that was a matter of paramount importance; but if it should turn out successfully, then at last I thought I might be sure that the intercourse between me and you would be unstinted.
[7.5.53] "And now we have won the great battle and have Sardis and Croesus in subjection; we have taken Babylon and subjugated everything; and yet yesterday, by Mithras, if I had not fought my way through the crowd with my fists, I vow I could not have got near you. However, when you took me by the hand and bade me stay by you, I was the object of all envious eyes, for having spent a whole day with you--without a thing to eat or drink.
[7.5.54] If, therefore, it can now be so arranged that we, who have proved ourselves most deserving, shall have the largest share of your company, well and good; if not, I am ready once again to make a proclamation in your name to the effect that all shall keep away from you, except us who have been your friends from the beginning."
[7.5.55] At this Cyrus laughed as did many others. Then Chrysantas, the Persian, rose and spoke as follows: "Well, Cyrus, it was hitherto quite proper for you to make yourself approachable, for the reasons you have yourself assigned and also because we were not the ones whose favour you most needed to win; for we were with you for our own sakes. But it was imperative for you in every way to win the affections of the multitude, so that they might consent to toil and risk their lives with us as gladly as possible.
[7.5.56] But now, seeing that you do not hold your power by this method alone but are in a position in still other ways to win the hearts of those whom it is of advantage for you to win, it is meet that you should now have a home. Else what enjoyment would you have of your power, if you alone were to have no hearth and home of your own? For there is no spot on earth more sacred, more sweet, or more dear than that. And finally," he said, "do you not think that we also should be ashamed to see you living in discomfort, out of doors, while we ourselves lived in houses and seemed to be better off than you?"
[7.5.57] When Chrysantas had finished his speech, many supported him in the same tenor. After that, Cyrus moved into the royal palace, and those who had charge of the treasures brought from Sardis delivered them there. And after he took possession, Cyrus sacrificed first to Hestia, then to sovereign Zeus, and then to any other god that the magi suggested.
[7.5.58] This done, he began at once to organize the rest of his court. And as he considered his own situation, that he was undertaking to hold sway over many people, and preparing to dwell in the greatest of all famous cities, and that that city was as hostile to him as a city could be to any man--as he reflected on this, he decided that he needed a body-guard.
[7.5.59] And as he realized that men are nowhere an easier prey to violence than when at meals or at wine, in the bath, or in bed and asleep, he looked around to see who were the most faithful men that he could have around him at such times; and he held that no man was ever faithful who loved any one else better than the one who needed his protection.
[7.5.60] Those, therefore, who had children or congenial wives or sweethearts, such he believed were by nature constrained to love them best. But as he observed that eunuchs were not susceptible to any such affections, he thought that they would esteem most highly those who were in the best position to make them rich and to stand by them, if ever they were wronged, and to place them in offices of honour; and no one, he thought, could surpass him in bestowing favours of that kind.
[7.5.61] Besides, inasmuch as eunuchs are objects of contempt to the rest of mankind, for this reason, if for no other, they need a master who will be their patron; for there is no man who would not think that he had a right to take advantage of a eunuch at every opportunity unless there were some higher power to prevent his doing so; but there is no reason why even a eunuch should not be superior to all others in fidelity to his master.
[7.5.62] But he did not admit what many might very easily be inclined to suppose, that eunuchs are weaklings; and he drew this conclusion also from the case of other animals: for instance, vicious horses, when gelded, stop biting and prancing about, to be sure, but are none the less fit for service in war; and bulls, when castrated, lose somewhat of their high spirit and unruliness but are not deprived of their strength or capacity for work. And in the same way dogs, when castrated, stop running away from their masters, but are no less useful for watching or hunting.
[7.5.63] And men, too, in the same way, become gentler when deprived of this desire, but not less careful of that which is entrusted to them; they are not made any less efficient horsemen, or any less skilful lancers, or less ambitious men.
[7.5.64] On the contrary, they showed both in times of war and in hunting that they still preserved in their souls a spirit of rivalry; and of their fidelity they gave the best proof upon the fall of their masters, for no one ever performed acts of greater fidelity in his master's misfortunes than eunuchs do.
[7.5.65] And if it is thought with some justice that they are inferior in bodily strength, yet on the field of battle steel makes the weak equal to the strong. Recognizing these facts, he selected eunuchs for every post of personal service to him, from the door-keepers up.
[7.5.66] But, as he deemed this guard insufficient in view of the multitude of those who bore him ill-will, he looked around to see whom he could find among the rest who would be the most trustworthy guards about the palace.
[7.5.67] Now he knew that the Persians on account of their poverty lived in the greatest privation at home and were accustomed to a life of the hardest toil, because their country was rugged and they had to work with their own hands; so he believed that they would especially welcome life with him.
[7.5.68] Accordingly, he took from among them ten thousand spearmen, who kept guard about the palace day and night, whenever he was in residence; but whenever he went away anywhere, they went along drawn up in order on either side of him.
[7.5.69] And since he considered that all Babylon, too, stood in need of adequate protection, whether he himself happened to be at home or abroad, he stationed there also an adequate garrison, and he arranged that the Babylonians should furnish the money for their wages, for it was his aim that this people should be as destitute of resources as possible, so that they might be as submissive and as easily restrained as possible.
[7.5.70] This guard that he then established about himself and in the city of Babylon is maintained on the same footing even to this day. And as he studied how his whole empire might be held together and at the same time enlarged, he reflected that these mercenaries were not so much better men than those he had made subject as they were inferior in number; and he realized that the brave men, who with the aid of the gods had brought him victory, must be kept together and that care must be exercised that they should not abandon their practice of virtue.
[7.5.71] But in order that he might not seem to be issuing orders to them, but that they also might of themselves recognize that this was the best course for them and so abide in virtue and cultivate it, he collected the peers and all who were men of influence, together with such as seemed to him most worthy sharers of his toil and its rewards;
[7.5.72] and when they had come together he addressed them as follows: "Friends and allies, thanks be above all to the gods that they have vouchsafed to us to obtain all that we thought we deserved. For now we are in possession of broad and fertile lands and of subjects to support us by tilling them; we have houses also and furniture in them.
[7.5.73] "And let not one of you think that in having these things he has what does not belong to him; for it is a law established for all time among all men that when a city is taken in war, the persons and the property of the inhabitants thereof belong to the captors. It will, therefore, be no injustice for you to keep what you have, but if you let them keep anything, it will be only out of generosity that you do not take it away.
[7.5.74] "As for the future, however, it is my judgment that if we turn to idleness and the luxurious self-indulgence of men of coarse natures, who count toil misery and living without toil happiness, we shall soon be of little account in our own eyes and shall soon lose all the blessings that we have.
[7.5.75] For, to have quitted yourselves once like valiant men does not, we know, assure the perpetuity of valour, unless you devote yourselves to it to the end; but, just as skill in other arts retrogrades if neglected, and as bodies, too, that were once in good condition change and deteriorate as soon as the owners relax into idleness, so also self-control and temperance and strength will take a backward turn to vice as soon as one ceases to cultivate them.
[7.5.76] Therefore, we dare not become careless nor give ourselves up to the enjoyment of the present moment; for, while I think it is a great thing to have won an empire, it is a still greater thing to preserve it after it has been won. For to win falls often to the lot of one who has shown nothing but daring; but to win and hold--that is no longer a possibility without the exercise of self-control, temperance, and unflagging care.
[7.5.77] "Recognizing all this, we ought to practise virtue even more than we did before we secured these advantages, for we may be sure that the more a man has, the more people will envy him and plot against him and become his enemies, particularly if, as in our case, he draws his wealth and service from unwilling hands. "We must, therefore, believe that the gods will be on our side; for we have not come unjustly into our possessions through plotting against others, but plotted against we have avenged ourselves.
[7.5.78] But that which is next in importance after the favour of the gods we must get for ourselves--namely, we must claim the right to rule over our subjects only on the ground that we are their betters. Now the conditions of heat and cold, food and drink, toil and rest, we must share even with our slaves. But though we share with them, we must above all try to show ourselves their betters in such matters;
[7.5.79] but the science and practice of war we need not share at all with those whom we wish to put in the position of workmen or tributaries to us, but we must maintain our superiority in these accomplishments, as we recognize in these the means to liberty and happiness that the gods have given to men. And just as we have taken their arms away from them, so surely must we never be without our own, for we know that the nearer to their arms men constantly are, the more completely at their command is their every wish.
[7.5.80] "But if any one is revolving in his mind any such questions as this--'of what earthly use it is to us to have attained to the goal of our ambitions if we still have to endure hunger and thirst, toil and care'--he must take this lesson to heart: that good things bring the greater pleasure, in proportion to the toil one undergoes beforehand to attain them; for toil gives a relish to good things; and nothing, however sumptuously prepared, could give pleasure unless a man get it when he needs it.
[7.5.81] "Now if God has helped us to obtain that which men most desire, and if any one will so order these results for himself that they shall give as great pleasure as possible, such a man will have this advantage over those who are not so well supplied with the means of living: when hungry he will enjoy the most dainty food, and when thirsty he will enjoy the finest drinks, and when in need of rest he will find it most refreshing.
[7.5.82] "Wherefore I maintain that we should now strain every nerve after manliness, so that we may enjoy our success in the best and most delightful manner and have no experience in that which is hardest of all. For failure to obtain good things is not so hard as the loss of them, when once obtained, is painful.
[7.5.83] "And think of this also: what excuse should we offer for allowing ourselves to become less deserving than before? That we are rulers? But, you know, it is not proper for the ruler to be worse than his subjects. Or that we seem to be more fortunate than before? Will any one then maintain that vice is the proper ornament for good fortune? Or shall we plead that since we have slaves, we will punish them, if they are bad?
[7.5.84] Why, what propriety is there in any one's punishing others for viciousness or indolence, when he himself is bad?" And think also on this: we have made arrangements to keep many men to guard our homes and our lives; and how would it be otherwise than base in us to think that we have a right to enjoy security protected by other men's spears, while we ourselves do not take up the spear for our own defence? And yet we must be fully aware that there is no such safeguard as for a man to be good and brave himself; this guard must be ever at our side. But if a man lack virtue, neither is it fitting that aught else be well with him.
[7.5.85] "What, then, do I propose that we should do, wherein practise virtue, and where apply the practice? I have nothing new to tell you, my men; but just as in Persia the peers spend their time at the government buildings, so here also we peers must practise the same things as we did there; you must be in your places and watch me to see if I continue to do what I ought, and I will watch to see the same in you, and whomsoever I see pursuing what is good and honourable, him will I honour.
[7.5.86] "And as for our boys, as many as shall be born to us, let us educate them here. For we ourselves shall be better, if we aim to set before the boys as good examples as we can in ourselves; and the boys could not easily turn out bad, even if they should wish to, if they neither see nor hear anything vicious but spend their days in good and noble pursuits."
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