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.
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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
[8.1.1] How the Administration of Cyrus was Formed. Such was Cyrus's address; and after him Chrysantas rose and spoke as follows: "Well, gentlemen, I have noticed often enough before now that a good ruler is not at all different from a good father. For as fathers provide for their children so that they may never be in want of the good things of life, so Cyrus seems to me now to be giving us counsel how we may best continue in prosperity. But there is one thing that he has not stated so clearly, it seems to me, as he should have done, and that I will try to present to any who do not know about it.
[8.1.2] "Bethink you, then, of this: what city that is hostile could be taken or what city that is friendly could be preserved by soldiers who are insubordinate? What army of disobedient men could gain a victory? How could men be more easily defeated in battle than when they begin to think each of his own individual safety? And what possible success could be achieved by such as do not obey their superiors? What state could be administered according to its laws, or what private establishments could be maintained, and how could ships arrive at their destination?
[8.1.3] "And as for us, how have we secured the good things we now have, except by obedience to our commander? For by that course we always quickly reached our required destination, whether by day or by night, and following our commander in close array we were invincible, and we left half done none of the tasks committed to us. If, therefore, obedience to one's commander is, as it seems, the first essential to achieving success, then you may be sure that this same course is the first essential to ensuring its permanence.
[8.1.4] "Heretofore, you know, many of us had no command but were under command; but now all of you here are so situated that you have command, some of larger, some of smaller divisions. Therefore, as you yourselves will expect to exercise authority over those under your command, so let us also give our obedience to those whom it is our duty to obey. And we must distinguish ourselves from slaves in this way, that, whereas slaves serve their masters against their wills, we, if indeed we claim to be free, must do of our own free will all that seems to be of the first importance. And you will find that among states, even when the government is not a monarchy, that state which most readily obeys its officers is least likely to be compelled to submit to its enemies.
[8.1.5] Cyrus' Court. "Let us, therefore, present ourselves before our ruler's headquarters yonder, as Cyrus bids; let us devote ourselves to those pursuits by which we shall best be able to hold fast to that which we ought, and let us offer ourselves for whatever service Cyrus may need us for. And this trust will not be abused, for we may be sure that Cyrus will never be able to find anything in which he can employ us for his own advantage and not equally for ours; for we have common interests and we have common enemies."
[8.1.6] When Chrysantas had finished this address, many others also both of the Persians and the allies rose to support him. They passed a resolution that the nobles should always be in attendance at court and be in readiness for whatever service Cyrus wished until he should dismiss them. And as they then resolved, so even unto this day those who are the subjects of the great king in Asia continue to do--they are constantly in attendance at the court of their princes.
[8.1.7] Cyrus' Institutions. And the institutions which Cyrus inaugurated as a means of securing the kingdom permanently to himself and the/ Persians, as has been set forth in the foregoing narrative, these the succeeding kings have preserved unchanged even to this day.
[8.1.8] And it is the same with these as with everything else: whenever the officer in charge is better, the administration of the institution is purer; but when he is worse, the administration is more corrupt. Accordingly, the nobles came to Cyrus's court with their horses and their spears, for so it had been decreed by the best of those who with him had made the conquest of the kingdom.
[8.1.9] Cyrus next appointed officers to have charge of the various departments; for example, tax-collectors, paymasters, boards of public works, keepers of his estates, and stewards of his commissary department. He appointed also as superintendents of his horses and hounds those who he thought would keep these creatures in a condition most efficient for his use.
[8.1.10] But he did not in the same way leave to others the precaution of seeing that those whom he thought he ought to have as his associates in establishing the permanence of his success should be the ablest men available, but he considered that this responsibility was his own. For he knew that if ever there should be occasion for fighting, he would then have to select from their number men to stand beside and behind him, men in whose company also he would have to meet the greatest dangers; from their number likewise he knew that he would have to appoint his captains both of foot and of horse.
[8.1.11] Besides, if generals should be needed where he himself could not be, he knew that they would have to be commissioned from among that same number. And he knew that he must employ some of these to be governor and satraps of cities or of whole nations, and that he must send others on embassies--an office which he considered of the very first importance for obtaining without war whatever he might want.
[8.1.12] If, therefore, those by whom the most numerous and most important affairs of state were to be transacted were not what they ought to be, he thought that his government would be a failure. But if they were all that they ought to be, he believed that everything would succeed. In this conviction, therefore, he took upon himself this charge; and he determined that the same practice of virtue should be his as well. For he thought that it was not possible for him to incite others to good and noble deeds, if he were not himself such as he ought to be.
[8.1.13] When he had arrived at this conclusion, he thought, first of all, that he needed leisure if he were to be able to confine his attention to affairs of paramount importance. He decided, then, that it was out of the question for him to neglect the revenues, for he foresaw that there would necessarily be enormous expenses connected with a vast empire;
Delegation of Responsibility & Authority. and on the other hand, he knew that for him to be constantly engaged in giving his personal attention to his manifold possessions would leave him with no time to care for the welfare of the whole realm.
[8.1.14] As he thus pondered how the business of administration might be successfully conducted and how he still might have the desired leisure, he somehow happened to think of his military organization: in general, the sergeants care for the ten men under them, the lieutenants for the sergeants, the colonels for the lieutenants, the generals for the colonels, and thus no one is uncared for, even though there be many brigades; and when the commander-in-chief wishes to do anything with his army, it is sufficient for him to issue his commands only to his brigadier-generals.
[8.1.15] On this same model, then, Cyrus centralized the administrative functions also. And so it was possible for him, by communicating with only a few officers, to have no part of his administration uncared for. In this way he now enjoyed more leisure than one who has care of a single household or a single ship. When he had thus organized his own functions in the government, he instructed those about him to follow the same plan of organization.
[8.1.16] In this way, then, he secured leisure for himself and for his ministers;
Accountability of Ministers at Court. and then he began to take measures that his associates in power should be such as they ought to be. In the first place, if any of those who were able to live by the labours of others failed to attend at court, he made inquiry after them; for he thought that those who came would not be willing to do anything dishonourable or immoral, partly because they were in the presence of their sovereign and partly also because they knew that, whatever they did, they would be under the eyes of the best men there; whereas, in the case of those who did not come, he believed that they absented themselves because they were guilty of some form of intemperance or injustice or neglect of duty.
[8.1.17] We will describe first, therefore, the manner in which he obliged all such to come; he would direct some one of the best friends he had at court to seize some of the property of the man who did not present himself and to declare that he was taking only what was his own. So, whenever this happened, those who lost their effects would come to him to complain that they had been wronged.
[8.1.18] Cyrus, however, would not be at leisure for a long time to give such men a hearing, and when he did give them a hearing he would postpone the trial for a long time. By so doing he thought he would accustom them to pay their court and that he would thus excite less ill-feeling than he would if he compelled them to come by imposing penalties.
[8.1.19] That was one of his methods of training them to attend. Another was to give those who did attend the easiest and the most profitable employment; and another was never to distribute any favours among those who failed to attend.
[8.1.20] But the surest way of compulsion was this: if a man paid no attention to any of these three methods, he would take away all that he had and give it to some one else who he thought would present himself when he was wanted; and thus he would get a useful friend in exchange for a useless one. And the king to-day likewise makes inquiries if any one absents himself whose duty it is to be present.
[8.1.21] Thus, then, he dealt with those who failed to attend at court. But in those who did present themselves he believed that he could in no way more effectively inspire a desire for the beautiful and the good than by endeavouring, as their sovereign, to set before his subjects a perfect model of virtue in his own person.
[8.1.22] For he thought he perceived that men are made better through even the written law, while the good ruler he regarded as a law with eyes for men, because he is able not only to give commandments but also to see the transgressor and punish him.
[8.1.23] College of the Magi. In this conviction, he showed himself in the first place more devout in his worship of the gods, now that he was more fortunate; and then for the first time the college of magi was instituted... and he never failed to sing hymns to the gods at daybreak and to sacrifice daily to whatsoever deities the magi directed.
[8.1.24] Thus the institutions established by him at that time have continued in force with each successive king even to this day. In this respect, therefore, the rest of the Persians also imitated him from the first; for they believed that they would be more sure of good fortune if they revered the gods just as he did who was their sovereign and the most fortunate of all; and they thought also that in doing this they would please Cyrus.
[8.1.25] Court Character Standards. And Cyrus considered that the piety of his friends was a good thing for him, too; for he reasoned as they do who prefer, when embarking on a voyage, to set sail with pious companions rather than with those who are believed to have committed some impiety. And besides, he reasoned that if all his associates were god-fearing men, they would be less inclined to commit crime against one another or against himself, for he considered himself their benefactor;
[8.1.26] and if he made it plain how important he held it to be to wrong no one of his friends or allies, and if he always paid scrupulous regard to what was upright, others also, he thought, would be more likely to abstain from improper gains and to endeavour to make their way by upright methods.
[8.1.27] Leading By Example. And he thought that he should be more likely to inspire in all respect for others, if he himself were seen to show such respect for all as not to say or do anything improper.
[8.1.28] And that this would be the result he concluded from the following observation: people have more respect for those who have such respect for others than they have for those who have not; they show it toward even those whom they do not fear--to say nothing of what they would show toward their kings; and women also whom they see showing respect for others they are more inclined to look upon in turn with respect.
[8.1.29] And again, obedience he thought would be most deeply impressed upon his attendants, if he showed that he honoured those who unhesitatingly obeyed more than those who thought they exhibited the greatest and most elaborate virtues. And thus he continued throughout to judge and to act.
[8.1.30] Self-Control & Moderation. And by making his own self-control an example, he disposed all to practise that virtue more diligently. For when the weaker members of society see that one who is in a position where he may indulge himself to excess is still under self-control, they naturally strive all the more not to be found guilty of any excessive indulgence.
[8.1.31] Moreover, he distinguished between considerateness and self-control in this way: the considerate are those who avoid what is offensive when seen; the self-controlled avoid that which is offensive, even when unseen.
[8.1.32] And he thought that temperance could be best inculcated, if he showed that he himself was never carried away from the pursuit of the good by any pleasures of the moment, but that he was willing to labour first for the attainment of refined pleasures.
[8.1.33] Correct Conduct. To sum up, then, by setting such an example Cyrus secured at court great correctness of conduct on the part of his subordinates, who gave precedence to their superiors; and thus he also secured from them a great degree of respect and politeness toward one another. And among them you would never have detected any one raising his voice in anger or giving vent to his delight in boisterous laughter; but on seeing them you would have judged that they were in truth making a noble life their aim.
[8.1.34] Hunting as Training. Such was what they did and such what they witnessed day by day at court. With a view to training in the arts of war, Cyrus used to take out hunting those who he thought ought to have such practice, for he held that this was altogether the best training in military science and also the truest in horsemanship.
[8.1.35] For it is the exercise best adapted to give riders a firm seat in all sorts of places, because they have to pursue the animals wherever they may run; and it is also the best exercise to make them active on horseback because of their rivalry and eagerness to get the game.
[8.1.36] Endurance. By this same exercise, too, he was best able to accustom his associates to temperance and the endurance of hardship, to heat and cold, to hunger and thirst. And even to this day the king and the rest that make up his retinue continue to engage in the same sport.
[8.1.37] A Cut Above. From all that has been said, therefore, it is evident that he believed that no one had any right to rule who was not better than his subjects; and it is evident, too, that in thus drilling those about him he himself got his own best training both in temperance and in the arts and pursuits of war.
[8.1.38] Exercise, Diet & Health. For he not only used to take the others out hunting, whenever there was no need of his staying at home, but even when there was some need of his staying at home, he would himself hunt the animals that were kept in the parks. And he never dined without first having got himself into a sweat, nor would he have any food given to his horses without their having first been duly exercised; and to these hunts he would invite also the mace-bearers in attendance upon him.
[8.1.39] Pursuit of Excellence. The result of all this constant training was that he and his associates greatly excelled in all manly exercises. Such an example did he furnish by his own personal conduct. And besides this, he used to reward with gifts and positions of authority and seats of honour and all sorts of preferment others whom he saw devoting themselves most eagerly to the attainment of excellence; and thus he inspired in all an earnest ambition, each striving to appear as deserving as he could in the eyes of Cyrus.
[8.1.40] We think, furthermore, that we have observed in Cyrus that he held the opinion that a ruler ought to excel his subjects not only in point of being actually better than they, but that he ought also to cast a sort of spell upon them.
Clothing. At any rate, he chose to wear the Median dress himself and persuaded his associates also to adopt it; for he thought that if any one had any personal defect, that dress would help to conceal it, and that it made the wearer look very tall and very handsome.
[8.1.41] For they have shoes of such a form that without being detected the wearer can easily put something into the soles so as to make him look taller than he is. He encouraged also the fashion of pencilling the eyes, that they might seem more lustrous than they are, and of using cosmetics to make the complexion look better than nature made it.
[8.1.42] He trained his associates also not to spit or to wipe the nose in public, and not to turn round to look at anything, as being men who wondered at nothing. All this he thought contributed, in some measure, to their appearing to their subjects men who could not lightly be despised.
[8.1.43] Training. Those, therefore, who he thought ought to be in authority he thus prepared in his own school by careful training as well as by the respect which he commanded as their leader; those, on the other hand, whom he was training to be servants he did not encourage to practise any of the exercises of freemen; neither did he allow them to own weapons; but he took care that they should not suffer any deprivation in food or drink on account of the exercises in which they served the freemen.
[8.1.44] And he managed it in this way: whenever they were to drive the animals down into the plains for the horsemen, he allowed those of the lower classes, but none of the freemen, to take food with them on the hunt; and whenever there was an expedition to make, he would lead the serving men to water, just as he did the beasts of burden. And again, when it was time for luncheon, he would wait for them until they could get something to eat, so that they should not get so ravenously hungry. And so this class also called him "father," just as the nobles did, for he provided for them well (so that they might spend all their lives as slaves, without a protest).
[8.1.45] Cyrus Secures Stability of the Persian Empire. Thus he secured for the whole Persian empire the necessary stability; and as for himself, he was perfectly confident that there was no danger of his suffering aught at the hands of those whom he had subdued. And the ground of his confidence was this--that he believed them to be powerless and he saw that they were unorganized; and besides that, not one of them came near him either by night or by day.
[8.1.46] Security. But there were some whom he considered very powerful and whom he saw well armed and well organized; and some of them, he knew, had cavalry under their command, others infantry; and he was aware that many of them had the assurance to think that they were competent to rule; and these not only came in very close touch with his guards but many of them came frequently in contact with Cyrus himself, and this was unavoidable if he was to make any use of them--this, then, was the quarter from which there was the greatest danger that something might happen to him in any one of many ways.
[8.1.47] So, as he cast about in his mind how to remove any danger that might arise from them also, he rejected the thought of disarming them and making them incapable of war; for he decided that that would be unjust, and besides he thought that this would be destructive to his empire. On the other hand, he believed that to refuse to admit them to his presence or to show that he mistrusted them would lead at once to hostilities.
[8.1.48] But better than any of these ways, he recognized that there was one course that would be at once the most honourable and the most conducive to his own personal security, and that was, if possible, to make those powerful nobles better friends to himself than to one another. We shall, therefore, attempt to explain the method that he seems to have taken to gain their friendship.
Book 8, Section 2
[8.2.1] Engendering Goodwill. In the first place, then, he showed at all times as great kindness of heart as he could; for he believed that just as it is not easy to love those who seem to hate us, or to cherish good-will toward those who bear us ill-will, in the same way those who are known to love and to cherish good-will could not be hated by those who believe themselves loved.
[8.2.2] During the time, therefore, when he was not yet quite able to do favours through gifts of money, he tried to win the love of those about him by taking forethought for them and labouring for them and showing that he rejoiced with them in their good fortune and sympathized with them in their mishaps; and after he found himself in a position to do favours with money, he seems to us to have recognized from the start that there is no kindness which men can show one another, with the same amount of expenditure, more acceptable than sharing meat and drink with them.
[8.2.3] In this belief, he first of all arranged that there should be placed upon his own table a quantity of food, like that of which he himself regularly partook, sufficient for a very large number of people; and all of that which was served to him, except what he and his companions at table consumed, he distributed among those of his friends to whom he wished to send remembrances or good wishes. And he used to send such presents around to those also whose services on garrison duty or in attendance upon him or in any other way met with his approval; in this way he let them see that he did not fail to observe their wish to please him.
[8.2.4] He used also to honour with presents from his table any one of his servants whom he took occasion to commend; and he had all of his servants' food served from his own table, for he thought that this would implant in them a certain amount of good-will, just as it does in dogs. And if he wished to have any one of his friends courted by the multitude, to such a one he would send presents from his table. And that device proved effective; for even to this day everybody pays more diligent court to those to whom they see things sent from the royal table; for they think that such persons must be in high favour and in a position to secure for them anything they may want. Moreover, it is not for these reasons only that that which is sent by the king gives delight, but the food that is sent from the king's board really is much superior in the gratification also that it gives.
[8.2.5] General & Specialized Skills. That this, however, should be so is no marvel. For just as all other arts are developed to superior excellence in large cities, in that same way the food at the king's palace is also elaborately prepared with superior excellence. For in small towns the same workman makes chairs and doors and ploughs and tables, and often this same artisan builds houses, and even so he is thankful if he can only find employment enough to support him. And it is, of course, impossible for a man of many trades to be proficient in all of them. In large cities, on the other hand, inasmuch as many people have demands to make upon each branch of industry, one trade alone, and very often even less than a whole trade, is enough to support a man: one man, for instance, makes shoes for men, and another for women; and there are places even where one man earns a living by only stitching shoes, another by cutting them out, another by sewing the uppers together, while there is another who performs none of these operations but only assembles the parts. It follows, therefore, as a matter of course, that he who devotes himself to a very highly specialized line of work is bound to do it in the best possible manner.
[8.2.6] Exactly the same thing holds true also in reference to the kitchen: in any establishment where one and the same man arranges the dining couches, lays the table, bakes the bread, prepares now one sort of dish and now another, he must necessarily have things go as they may; but where it is all one man can do to stew meats and another to roast them, for one man to boil fish and another to bake them, for another to make bread and not every sort at that, but where it suffices if he makes one kind that has a high reputation--everything that is prepared in such a kitchen will, I think, necessarily be worked out with superior excellence.
[8.2.7] Gifts. Accordingly, Cyrus far surpassed all others in the art of making much of his friends by gifts of food. And how he far surpassed in every other way of courting favour, I will now explain. Though he far exceeded all other men in the amount of the revenues he received, yet he excelled still more in the quantity of presents he made. It was Cyrus, therefore, who began the practice of lavish giving, and among the kings it continues even to this day.
[8.2.8] For who has richer friends to show than the Persian king? Who is there that is known to adorn his friends with more beautiful robes than does the king? Whose gifts are so readily recognized as some of those which the king gives, such as bracelets, necklaces, and horses with gold-studded bridles? For, as everybody knows, no one over there is allowed to have such things except those to whom the king has given them.
[8.2.9] And of whom else is it said that by the munificence of his gifts he makes himself preferred above even brothers and parents and children? Who else was ever in a position like the Persian king to punish enemies who were distant a journey of many months? And who, besides Cyrus, ever gained an empire by conquest and even to his death was called "father" by the people he had subdued? For that name obviously belongs to a benefactor rather than to a despoiler.
[8.2.10] The King's Eyes & Ears. Moreover, we have discovered that he acquired the so-called "king's eyes" and "king's ears" in no other way than by bestowing presents and honours; for by rewarding liberally those who reported to him whatever it was to his interest to hear, he prompted many men to make it their business to use their eyes and ears to spy out what they could report to the king to his advantage.
[8.2.11] As a natural result of this, many "eyes" and many "ears" were ascribed to the king. But if any one thinks that the king selected one man to be his "eye," he is wrong; for one only would see and one would hear but little; and it would have amounted to ordering all the rest to pay no attention, if one only had been appointed to see and hear. Besides, if people knew that a certain man was the "eye," they would know that they must beware of him. But such is not the case; for the king listens to anybody who may claim to have heard or seen anything worthy of attention.
[8.2.12] And thus the saying comes about, "The king has many ears and many eyes"; and people are everywhere afraid to say anything to the discredit of the king, just as if he himself were listening; or to do anything to harm him, just as if he were present. Not only, therefore, would no one have ventured to say anything derogatory of Cyrus to any one else, but every one conducted himself at all times just as if those who were within hearing were so many eyes and ears of the king. I do not know what better reason any one could assign for this attitude toward him on the part of people generally than that it was his policy to do large favours in return for small ones.
[8.2.13] That he, the richest man of all, should excel in the munificence of his presents is not surprising; but for him, the king, to exceed all others in thoughtful attention to his friends and in care for them, that is more remarkable; and it is said to have been no secret that there was nothing wherein he would have been so much ashamed of being outdone as in attention to his friends.
[8.2.14] Good Shepherd. People quote a remark of his to the effect that the duties of a good shepherd and of a good king were very much alike; a good shepherd ought, while deriving benefit from his flocks, to make them happy (so far as sheep can be said to have happiness), and in the same way a king ought to make his people and his cities happy, if he would derive benefits from them. Seeing that he held this theory, it is not at all surprising that he was ambitious to surpass all other men in attention to his friends.
[8.2.15] And, among other proofs, Cyrus is said to have given Croesus one splendid practical demonstration of the correctness of this theory, when the latter warned him that by giving so much away he would make himself poor, whereas he was in a position to lay up in his house more treasures of gold than any other man. "And how much gold, pray," Cyrus is said to have asked, "do you think I should have by this time, if I had been amassing it, as you propose, ever since I have been in power?"
[8.2.16] Croesus named some large sum. "Well, then, Croesus," said Cyrus in reply, "send along with Hystaspas here a man in whom you have most confidence. And you, Hystaspas," said he to him, "go the round of my friends and tell them that I need money for a certain enterprise; for, in truth, I do need more. And bid them write down the amount they could each let me have, and affix their seals to each subscription, and give it to Croesus's messenger to deliver here."
[8.2.17] And when he had written down what he had said, he sealed the letter and gave it to Hystaspas to carry to his friends. And he included in it also a request that they all receive Hystaspas as his friend. And when he had made the round and Croesus's messenger had brought in the subscriptions, Hystaspas said: "King Cyrus, you should treat me also henceforth as a rich man; for, thanks to your letter, I have come back with a great number of presents."
[8.2.18] "Even in this man, Croesus," said Cyrus, "we have one treasure-house already. But as for the rest of my friends, look over the list, and add up the amounts, and see how much money is ready for me, if I need any for my use." Then Croesus is said to have added it up and to have found that there was many times as much subscribed as he had told Cyrus he should have in his treasury by this time, if he had been amassing it.
[8.2.19] And when this became apparent, Cyrus is said to have remarked: "Do you observe, Croesus, that I, too, have my treasures? But you are proposing to me to get them together and hoard them in my palace, to put hired watchmen in charge of everything and to trust to them, and on account of those hoards to be envied and hated. I, on the other hand, believe that if I make my friends rich I shall have treasures in them and at the same time more trusty watchers both of my person and of our common fortunes than any hired guards I could put in charge.
[8.2.20] "And one more thing I must tell you: even I cannot eradicate from myself that passion for wealth which the gods have put into the human soul and by which they have made us all poor alike, but I, too, am as insatiate of wealth as other people are.
[8.2.21] "However, I think I am different from most people, in that others, when they have acquired more than a sufficiency, bury some of their treasure and allow some to decay, and some they weary themselves with counting, measuring, weighing, airing, and watching; and though they have so much at home, they never eat more than they can hold, for they would burst if they did, and they never wear more than they can carry, for they would be suffocated if they did; they only find their superfluous treasure a burden.
[8.2.22] "But I follow the leading of the gods and am always grasping after more. But when I have obtained what I see is more than enough for my needs, I use it to satisfy the wants of my friends; and by enriching men and doing them kindnesses I win with my superfluous wealth their friendship and loyalty, and from that I reap as my reward security and good fame--possessions that never decay or do injury from overloading the recipient; but the more one has of good fame, the greater and more attractive and lighter to bear it becomes, and often, too, it makes those who bear it lighter of heart.
[8.2.23] Can Wealth Buy Happiness? "And let me tell you, Croesus," he continued, "I do not consider those the happiest who have the most and keep guard of the most; for if that were so, those would be the happiest who keep guard on the city walls, for they keep guard of everything in the city. But the one who can honestly acquire the most and use the most to noble ends, him I count most happy." And it was evident that he practised what he preached.
[8.2.24] Planning for Retirement & Times of Sickness. Besides this, he had observed that most people in days of health and strength make preparations that they may have the necessaries of life, and they lay up for themselves what will serve to supply the wants of healthy people; but he saw that they made no provision at all for such things as would be serviceable in case of sickness. He resolved, therefore, to work out these problems, and to that end he spared no expense to collect about him the very best physicians and surgeons and all the instruments and drugs and articles of food and drink that any one of them said would be useful--there were none of these things that he did not procure and keep in store at his palace.
[8.2.25] Health & Medical Aid. And whenever any one fell sick in whose recovery he was interested, he would visit him and provide for him whatever was needed. And he was grateful to the physicians also, whenever any of them took any of his medical stores and with them effected a cure.
[8.2.26] Practice in Excellence. These and many other such arts he employed in order to hold the first place in the affections of those by whom he wished to be beloved. And the games, in which Cyrus used to announce contests and to offer prizes from a desire to inspire in his people a spirit of emulation in what was beautiful and good--these games also brought him praise, because his aim was to secure practice in excellence. But these contests also stirred up contentions and jealousies among the nobles.
[8.2.27] Justice & the Selection of Judges. Besides this, Cyrus had made a regulation that was practically a law, that, in any matter that required adjudication, whether it was a civil action or a contest for a prize, those who asked for such adjudication must concur in the choice of judges. It was, therefore, a matter of course that each of the contestants aimed to secure the most influential men as judges and such as were most friendly to himself. The one who did not win was always jealous of those who did, and disliked those of the judges who did not vote in his favour; on the other hand, the one who did win claimed that he had won by virtue of the justice of his cause, and so he thought he owed no thanks to anybody.
[8.2.28] Personal Politics. And those also who wished to hold the first place in the affections of Cyrus were jealous of one another, just like other people (even in republics), so that in most cases the one would have wished to get the other out of the way sooner than to join with him in any work to their mutual interest. Thus it has been shown how he contrived that the most influential citizens should love him more than they did each other.
Book 8, Section 3
[8.3.1] Travelling in State. Next we shall describe how Cyrus for the first time drove forth in state from his palace; and that is in place here, for the magnificence of his appearance in state seems to us to have been one of the arts that he devised to make his government command respect. Accordingly, before he started out, he called to him those of the Persians and of the allies who held office, and distributed Median robes among them (and this was the first time that the Persians put on the Median robe); and as he distributed them he said that he wished to proceed in state to the sanctuaries that had been selected for the gods, and to offer sacrifice there with his friends.
[8.3.2] "Come, therefore, to court before sunrise, dressed in these robes," said he, "and form in line as Pheraulas, the Persian, shall direct in my name; and when I lead the way, follow me in the order assigned to you. But if any one of you thinks that some other way would be better than that in which we shall now proceed, let him inform me as soon as we return, for everything must be arranged as you think best and most becoming."
[8.3.3] And when he had distributed among the noblest the most beautiful garments, he brought out other Median robes, for he had had a great many made, with no stint of purple or sable or red or scarlet or crimson cloaks. He apportioned to each one of his officers his proper share of them, and he bade them adorn their friends with them, "just as I," said he, "have been adorning you."
[8.3.4] "And you, Cyrus," asked one of those present, "when will you adorn yourself?" "Why, do I not seem to you to be adorned myself when I adorn you?" he answered. "Be sure that if I can treat you, my friends, properly, I shall look well, no matter what sort of dress I happen to have on."
[8.3.5] So they went away, sent for their friends, and adorned them with the robes. Now Cyrus believed Pheraulas, that man of the common people, to be intelligent, to have an eye for beauty and order, and to be not indisposed to please him; (this was the same Pheraulas who had once supported his proposal that each man should be honoured in accordance with his merit;) so he called him in and with him planned how to arrange the procession in a manner that should prove most splendid in the eyes of his loyal friends and most intimidating to those who were disaffected.
[8.3.6] And when after careful study they agreed on the arrangement, he bade Pheraulas see that the procession take place on the morrow exactly as they had decided was best. "And I have issued orders," said he, "that everybody shall obey you in regard to the ordering of the procession; but, in order that they may the more readily follow your directions, take these tunics here and give them to the officers of the lancers, and these cavalry mantles here to the commanders of the horse; and give the officers of the chariot forces also these other tunics." So he took them and carried them away.
[8.3.7] And when the officers one after another saw him, they would say: "You must be a great man, Pheraulas, seeing that you are to command even us what we must do." "No, by Zeus," Pheraulas would answer; "not only not that, so it seems, but I am even to be one of the porters; at any rate, I am now carrying these two mantles here, the one for you, the other for some one else. You, however, shall have your choice."
[8.3.8] With that, of course, the man who was receiving the mantle would at once forget about his jealousy and presently be asking his advice which one to choose. And he would give his advice as to which one was better and say: "If you betray that I have given you your choice, you will find me a different sort of servant the next time I come to serve." And when Pheraulas had distributed everything as he had been instructed to do, he at once began to arrange for the procession that it might be as splendid as possible in every detail.
[8.3.9] When the next day dawned, everything was in order before sunrise; rows of soldiers stood on this side of the street and on that, just as even to this day the Persians stand, where the king is to pass; and within these lines no one may enter except those who hold positions of honour. And policemen with whips in their hands were stationed there, who struck any one who tried to crowd in. First in order, in front of the gates stood about four thousand lancers, four deep, and two thousand on either side the gates.
[8.3.10] And all the cavalry-men had alighted and stood there beside their horses, and they all had their hands thrust through the sleeves of their doublets, [Note: The Persians were obliged, in the presence of the king, to thrust their hands inside the sleeves of their doublets in token of their submission to royalty: moreover, with the hands thus withdrawn, no act of violence was possible. Cyrus, the Younger, is said to have had two of his kinsmen executed for their failure to observe this regulation. Xen. Hell. 2.1.8] just as they do even to this day when the king sees them. The Persians stood on the right side of the street, the others, the allies, on the left, and the chariots were arranged in the same way, half on either side.
[8.3.11] Then, when the palace gates were thrown open, there were led out at the head of the procession four abreast some exceptionally handsome bulls for Zeus and for the other gods as the magi directed; for the Persians think that they ought much more scrupulously to be guided by those whose profession is with things divine than they are by those in other professions.
[8.3.12] Next after the bulls came horses, a sacrifice for the Sun; and after them came a chariot sacred to Zeus; it was drawn by white horses and with a yoke of gold and wreathed with garlands; and next, for the Sun, a chariot drawn by white horses and wreathed with garlands like the other. After that came a third chariot with horses covered with purple trappings, and behind it followed men carrying fire on a great altar.
[8.3.13] Next after these Cyrus himself upon a chariot appeared in the gates wearing his tiara upright, a purple tunic shot with white (no one but the king may wear such a one), trousers of scarlet dye about his legs, and a mantle all of purple. He had also a fillet about his tiara, and his kinsmen also had the same mark of distinction, and they retain it even now.
[8.3.14] His hands he kept outside his sleeves. [Note: The Persians were obliged, in the presence of the king, to thrust their hands inside the sleeves of their doublets in token of their submission to royalty: moreover, with the hands thus withdrawn, no act of violence was possible. Cyrus, the Younger, is said to have had two of his kinsmen executed for their failure to observe this regulation. Xen. Hell. 2.1.8] With him rode a charioteer, who was tall, but neither in reality nor in appearance so tall as he; at all events, Cyrus looked much taller. And when they saw him, they all prostrated themselves before him, either because some had been instructed to begin this act of homage, or because they were overcome by the splendour of his presence, or because Cyrus appeared so great and so goodly to look upon; at any rate, no one of the Persians had ever prostrated himself before Cyrus before.
[8.3.15] Then, when Cyrus's chariot had come forth, the four thousand lancers took the lead, and the two thousand fell in line on either side of his chariot; and his mace-bearers, about three hundred in number, followed next in gala attire, mounted, and equipped with their customary javelins.
[8.3.16] Next-came Cyrus's private stud of horses, about two hundred in all, led along with gold-mounted bridles and covered over with embroidered housings. Behind these came two thousand spearmen, and after them the original ten thousand Persian cavalry, drawn up in a square with a hundred on each side; and Chrysantas was in command of them.
[8.3.17] Behind them came ten thousand other Persian horsemen arranged in the same way with Hystaspas in command, and after them ten thousand more in the same formation with Datamas as their commander; following them, as many more with Gadatas in command.
[8.3.18] And then followed in succession the cavalry of the Medes, Armenians, Hyrcanians, Cadusians, and Sacians; and behind the cavalry came the chariots ranged four abreast, and Artabatas, a Persian, had command of them.
[8.3.19] And as he proceeded, a great throng of people followed outside the lines with petitions to present to Cyrus, one about one matter, another about another. So he sent to them some of his mace-bearers, who followed, three on either side of his chariot, for the express purpose of carrying messages for him; and he bade them say that if any one wanted anything of him, he should make his wish known to some one of his cavalry officers and they, he said, would inform him. So the people at once fell back and made their way along the lines of cavalry, each considering what officer he should approach.
[8.3.20] From time to time Cyrus would send some one to call to him one by one those of his friends whom he wished to have most courted by the people, and would say to them: "If any one of the people following the procession tries to bring anything to your attention, if you do not think he has anything worth while to say, pay no attention to him; but if any one seems to you to ask what is fair, come and tell me, so that we may consult together and grant the petition."
[8.3.21] And whenever he sent such summons, the men would ride up at full speed to answer it, thereby magnifying the majesty of Cyrus's authority and at the same time showing their eagerness to obey. There was but one exception: a certain Dai+phernes, a fellow rather boorish in his manners, thought that he would show more independence if he did not obey at once.
[8.3.22] Cyrus noticed this; and so, before Dai+phernes came and talked with him, he sent one of his mace-bearers privately to say that he had no more need of him; and he did not send for him again.
[8.3.23] But when a man who was summoned later than Dai+phernes rode up to him sooner than he, Cyrus gave him one of the horses that were being led in the procession and gave orders to one of the macebearers to have it led away for him wherever he should direct. And to those who saw it it seemed to be a mark of great honour, and as a consequence of that event many more people paid court to that man.
[8.3.24] So, when they came to the sanctuaries, they performed the sacrifice to Zeus and made a holocaust of the bulls; then they gave the horses to the flames in honour of the Sun; next they did sacrifice to the Earth, as the magi directed, and lastly to the tutelary heroes of Syria.
[8.3.25] And after that, as the locality seemed adapted to the purpose, he pointed out a goal about five stadia distant and commanded the riders, nation by nation, to put their horses at full speed toward it. Accordingly, he himself rode with the Persians and came in far ahead of the rest, for he had given especial attention to horsemanship. Among the Medes, Artabazus won the race, for the horse he had was a gift from Cyrus; among the Assyrians who had revolted to him, Gadatas secured the first place; among the Armenians, Tigranes; and among the Hyrcanians, the son of the master of the horse; but among the Sacians a certain private soldier with his horse actually outdistanced the rest by nearly half the course.
[8.3.26] A kingdom for a Horse?. The Sacian & Pheraulas. Thereupon Cyrus is said to have asked the young man if he would take a kingdom for his horse. "No," answered he; "I would not take a kingdom for him, but I would take the chance of laying up a store of gratitude with a brave man."
[8.3.27] "Aye," said Cyrus, "and I will show you where you could not fail to hit a brave man, even if you throw with your eyes shut." "All right, then," said the Sacian; "show me; and I will throw this clod here." And with that he picked one up.
[8.3.28] And Cyrus pointed out to him the place where most of his friends were. And the other, shutting his eyes, let fly with the clod and hit Pheraulas as he was riding by; for Pheraulas happened to be carrying some message under orders from Cyrus. But though he was hit, he did not so much as turn around but went on to attend to his commission.
[8.3.29] The Sacian opened his eyes and asked whom he had hit. "None of those here, by Zeus," said Cyrus. "Well, surely it was not one of those who are not here," said the youth. "Yes, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "it was; you hit that man who is riding so fast along the line of chariots yonder." "And why does he not even turn around?" said the youth.
[8.3.30] "Because he is crazy, I should think," answered Cyrus. On hearing this, the young man went to find out who it was. And he found Pheraulas with his chin covered with dirt and blood, for the blood had flowed from his nose where he had been struck; and when he came up to him he asked him if he had been hit.
[8.3.31] "As you see," he answered. "Well then," said the other, "I will make you a present of this horse." "What for?" asked Pheraulas. Then the Sacian related the circumstances and finally said: "And in my opinion, at least, I have not failed to hit a brave man."
[8.3.32] "But you would give him to a richer man than I, if you were wise," answered Pheraulas. "Still, even as it is, I will accept him. And I pray the gods, who have caused me to receive your blow, to grant me to see that you never regret your gift to me. And now," said he, "mount my horse and ride away; I will join you presently." Thus they made the exchange. Of the Cadusians, Rhathines was the winner.
[8.3.33] The chariots also he allowed to race by divisions; to all the winners he gave cups and cattle, so that they might sacrifice and have a banquet. He himself, then, took the ox as his prize, but his share of the cups he gave to Pheraulas because he thought that that officer, as grand marshal, had managed the procession from the palace admirably.
[8.3.34] The procession of the king, therefore, as thus instituted by Cyrus, continues even so unto this day, except that the victims are omitted when the king does not offer sacrifice. When it was all over, they went back to the city to their lodgings--those to whom houses had been given, to their homes; those who had none, to their company's quarters.
[8.3.35] Pheraulas invited to his house the Sacian also, who had given him his horse, and entertained his new friend there and made bountiful provision for him in every way; and when they had dined, he filled up the cups that he had received from Cyrus, drank to his health, and then gave him the cups.
[8.3.36] And when the Sacian saw the many beautiful coverlets, the many beautiful pieces of furniture, and the large number of servants, he said: "Pray tell me, Pheraulas, were you a rich man at home, too?"
[8.3.37] "Rich, indeed!" answered Pheraulas; "nay rather, as everybody knows, one of those who lived by the labour of their hands. To be sure, my father, who supported us by hard labour and close economy on his own part, managed to give me the education of the boys; but when I became a young man, he could not support me in idleness, and so he took me off to the farm and put me to work.
[8.3.38] And there, as long as he lived, I, in turn, supported him by digging and planting a very little plot of ground. It was really not such a very bad plot of ground, but, on the contrary, the most honest; for all the seed that it received it returned fairly and honestly, and yet with no very great amount of interest. And sometimes, in a fit of generosity, it would even return to me twice as much as it received. Thus, then, I used to live at home; but now everything that you see has been given to me by Cyrus."
[8.3.39] "What a happy fellow you must be," said the Sacian, "for every reason, but particularly because from being poor you have become rich. For you must enjoy your riches much more, I think, for the very reason that it was only after being hungry for wealth that you became rich."
[8.3.40] "Why, do you actually suppose, my Sacian friend," answered Pheraulas, "that the more I own, the more happily I live? You are not aware," he went on, "that it gives me not one whit more pleasure to eat and drink and sleep now than it did when I was poor. My only gain from having so much is that I am obliged to take care of more, distribute more to others, and have the trouble of looking after more than I used to have.
[8.3.41] For now many domestics look to me for food, many for drink, and many for clothes, while some need doctors; and one comes to me with a tale about sheep attacked by wolves, or of oxen killed by falling over a precipice, or to say that some disease has broken out among the cattle. And so it looks to me," said Pheraulas, "as if I had more trouble now through possessing much than I used to have from possessing little."
[8.3.42] "But still, by Zeus," said the Sacian, "when everything is going well, you must at the sight of so many blessings be many times as happy as I." "The pleasure that the possession of wealth gives, my good Sacian," said Pheraulas, "is not nearly so great as the pain that is caused by its loss. And you shall be convinced that what I say is true: for not one of those who are rich is made sleepless for joy, but of those who lose anything you will not see one who is able to sleep for grief."
[8.3.43] "Not so, by Zeus," said the Sacian; "but of those who get anything not one could you see who gets a wink of sleep for very joy."
[8.3.44] "True," said the other; "for, you see, if having were as pleasant as getting, the rich would be incomparably happier than the poor. But, you see, my good Sacian, it is also a matter of course that he who has much should also spend much both in the service of the gods and for his friends and for the strangers within his gates. Let me assure you, therefore, that any one who takes inordinate pleasure in the possession of money is also inordinately distressed at having to part with it."
[8.3.45] "Aye, by Zeus," answered the Sacian; "but I am not one of that sort; my idea of happiness is both to have much and also to spend much."
[8.3.46] "In the name of the gods, then," said Pheraulas, "please make yourself happy at once and make me happy too! Take all this and own it and use it as you wish. And as for me, you need do no more than keep me as a guest--aye, even more sparingly than a guest, for I shall be content to share whatever you have."
[8.3.47] "You are joking," said the Sacian. But Pheraulas assured him with an oath that he was really in earnest in what he proposed. "And I will get you other favours besides from Cyrus, my Sacian--exemption from attending at court and from serving in the field; you may just stay at home with your wealth. I will attend to those other duties for you as well as for myself; and if I secure anything more of value either through my attendance upon Cyrus or from some campaign, I will bring it to you, so that you may have still more wealth at your command. Only deliver me from this care. For if you will relieve me of its burden, I think you will do a great service also to Cyrus as well as to myself."
[8.3.48] When they had thus talked things over together, they came to an agreement according to this last suggestion and proceeded to act upon it. And the one thought that he had been made a happy man because he had command of great riches, while the other considered himself most blessed because he was to have a steward who would give him leisure to do only whatever was pleasant to him.
[8.3.49] Now, Pheraulas was naturally a "good fellow," and nothing seemed to him so pleasant or so useful as to serve other people. For he held man to be the best and most grateful of all creatures, since he saw that when people are praised by any one they are very glad to praise him in turn; and when any one does them a favour, they try to do him one in return; when they recognize that any one is kindly disposed toward them they return his good-will; and when they know that any one loves them they cannot dislike him; and he noticed especially that they strive more earnestly than any other creature to return the loving care of parents both during their parents' lifetime and after their death; whereas all other creatures, he knew, were both more thankless and more unfeeling than man.
[8.3.50] And so Pheraulas was greatly delighted to think that he could be rid of the care of all his worldly goods and devote himself to his friends; and the Sacian, on his part, was delighted to think that he was to have much and enjoy much. And the Sacian loved Pheraulas because he was always bringing him something more; and Pheraulas loved the Sacian because he was willing to take charge of everything; and though the Sacian had continually more in his charge, none the more did he trouble Pheraulas about it. Thus these two continued to live.
Book 8, Section 4
[8.4.1] Place of Honour When Dining with Cyrus. When Cyrus had sacrificed and was celebrating his victory with a banquet, he invited in those of his friends who showed that they were most desirous of magnifying his rule and of honouring him most loyally. He invited with them Artabazus the Mede, Tigranes the Armenian, Gobryas, and the commander of the Hyrcanian horse.
[8.4.2] Now Gadatas was the chief of the mace-bearers, and the whole household was managed as he directed. Whenever guests dined with Cyrus, Gadatas did not even take his seat, but attended upon them. But when they were by themselves, he would dine with Cyrus, for Cyrus enjoyed his company. And in return for his services he received many valuable presents from Cyrus himself and, through Cyrus's influence, from others also.
[8.4.3] So when invited guests came to dinner, he did not assign them their seats at random, but he seated on Cyrus's left the one for whom he had the highest regard, for the left side was more readily exposed to treacherous designs than the right; and the one who was second in esteem he seated on his right, the third again on the left, the fourth on the right, and so on, if there were more.
[8.4.4] For he thought it a good plan to show publicly how much regard he had for each one, because where people feel that the one who merits most will neither have his praise proclaimed nor receive a prize, there is no emulation among them; but where the most deserving is seen to receive the most preferment, there all are seen to contend most eagerly for the first place.
[8.4.5] Accordingly, Cyrus thus made public recognition of those who stood first in his esteem, beginning even with the places they took when sitting or standing in his company. He did not, however, assign the appointed place permanently, but he made it a rule that by noble deeds any one might advance to a more honoured seat, and that if any one should conduct himself ill he should go back to one less honoured. And Cyrus felt it a discredit to himself, if the one who sat in the seat of highest honour was not also seen to receive the greatest number of good things at his hands. And we observe, furthermore, that this custom introduced in the time of Cyrus continues in force even to our own times.
[8.4.6] Now, when they were at dinner, it struck Gobryas as not at all surprising that there was a great abundance of everything upon the table of a man who ruled over wide domains; but what did excite his wonder was that Cyrus, who enjoyed so great good fortune, should never consume by himself any delicacy that he might receive, but took pains to ask his guests to share it, and that he often saw him send even to some of his friends who were not there something that he happened to like very much himself.
[8.4.7] And so when the dinner was over and Cyrus had sent around to others all that was left from the meal--and there was a great deal left--Gobryas could not help remarking: "Well, Cyrus, I used to think that you surpassed all other men in that you were the greatest general; and now, I swear by the gods, you seem actually to excel even more in kindness than in generalship."
[8.4.8] "Aye, by Zeus," answered Cyrus; "and what is more, I assure you that I take much more pleasure in showing forth my deeds of kindness than ever I did in my deeds of generalship." "How so?" asked Gobryas. "Because," said he, "in the one field, one must necessarily do harm to men; in the other, only good."
[8.4.9] Later, when they were drinking after their meal, Hystaspas asked: "Pray, Cyrus, would you be displeased with me, if I were to ask you something that I wish to know from you?" "Why, no; by the gods, no," he answered; "on the contrary, I should be displeased with you if I found that you refrained from asking something that you wished to ask." "Tell me, then," said the other, "did I ever fail to come when you sent for me?" "Hush!" [Note: The Greek says: "Speak words of good omen"--i.e., preserve auspicious silence.] said Cyrus. "Or, obeying, did I ever obey reluctantly?" "No; nor that." "Or did I ever fail to do your bidding in anything?" "I make no such accusation," answered Cyrus. "And is there anything I did that you found me doing otherwise than eagerly or cheerfully?" "That, least of all," answered Cyrus.
[8.4.10] "Then why, in heaven's name, Cyrus," he said, "did you put Chrysantas down for a more honourable place than mine?" "Am I really to tell you?" asked Cyrus. "By all means," answered Hystaspas. "And you, on your part, will not be angry with me when you hear the truth?"
[8.4.11] "Nay rather," said he, "I shall be more than glad, if I find that I am not being slighted." "Well then," said Cyrus, "in the first place, Chrysantas here did not wait to be sent for, but presented himself for our service even before he was called; and in the second place, he has always done not only what was ordered but all that he himself saw was better for us to have done. Again, whenever it was necessary to send some communication to the allies, he would give me advice as to what he thought proper for me to say; and whenever he saw that I wished the allies to know about something, but that I felt some hesitation in saying anything about myself, he would always make it known to them, giving it as his own opinion. And so, in these matters at least, what reason is there why he should not be of more use to me even than I am myself? And finally, he always insists that what he has is enough for him, while he is manifestly always on the lookout for some new acquisition that would be of advantage to me, and takes much more pleasure and joy in my good fortune than I do myself."
[8.4.12] "By Hera," said Hystaspas in reply, "I am glad at any rate that I asked you this question, Cyrus." "Why so, pray?" asked Cyrus. "Because I too shall try to do as he does," said he. "Only I am not sure about one thing--I do not know how I could show that I rejoice at your good fortune. Am I to clap my hands or laugh or what must I do?" "You must dance the Persian dance," [Note: What the "Persian dance" was is not known; hence we miss the whole point of the joke. Obviously, however it was a dance with many gesticulations. At all events, Artabazus introduces his jest about the dance only to cut short the maudlin talk of Hystaspas.] suggested Artabazus. At this, of course, there was a laugh.
[8.4.13] Cyrus the Matchmaker. But, as the banquet proceeded, Cyrus put this question to Gobryas: "Tell me, Gobryas," said he, "would you be more ready to consent now to give your daughter to one of my friends here than you were when first you joined us?" "Well," answered Gobryas, "shall I also tell the truth?" "Aye, by Zeus," answered Cyrus; "surely no question calls for a falsehood." "Well, then," he replied, "I should consent much more readily now, I assure you." "And would you mind telling us why?" asked Cyrus. "Certainly not." "Tell us, then,"
[8.4.14] "Because, while at that time I saw them bear toils and dangers with cheerfulness, now I see them bear their good fortune with self-control. And to me, Cyrus, it seems harder to find a man who can bear good fortune well than one who can bear misfortune well; for it is the former that engenders arrogance in most men; it is the latter that inspires in all men self-control."
[8.4.15] "Hystaspas, did you hear that saying of Gobryas?" asked Cyrus. "Yes, by Zeus," he answered; "and if he has many such things to say, he will find me a suitor for his daughter's hand much sooner than he would if he should exhibit to me a great number of goblets."
[8.4.16] "I promise you," said Gobryas, "that I have a great number of such saws written down, and I will not begrudge them to you, if you get my daughter to be your wife. But as to the goblets," said he, "inasmuch as you do not seem to appreciate them, I rather think I shall give them to Chrysantas here, since he also has usurped your place at table."
[8.4.17] "And what is more, Hystaspas--yes, and you others here," said Cyrus, "if you will let me know whenever any one of you is proposing to marry, you will discover what manner of assistant I, too, shall be to you."
[8.4.18] "And if any one has a daughter to give in marriage," said Gobryas, "to whom is he to apply?" "To me," said Cyrus; "for I am exceedingly skilled in that art." "What art?" asked Chrysantas.
[8.4.19] "In knowing what sort of match would suit each one of you." "Tell me, then, for heaven's sake," said Chrysantas, "what sort of wife you think would suit me best."
[8.4.20] "In the first place," said he, "she must be small; for you are small yourself; and if you marry a tall woman and wish to kiss her when she is standing up straight, you will have to jump for it, like a puppy." "You are quite right in that provision for me," said he; "and I should never get my kiss, for I am no jumper at all."
[8.4.21] "And in the next place," Cyrus went on, "a snub-nosed woman would suit you admirably." "Why so?" "Because," was the answer, "your own nose is so hooked; and hookedness, I assure you, would be the very proper mate for snubbiness." "Do you mean to say also," said the other, "that a supperless wife would suit one who has had a good dinner, like me now?" "Aye, by Zeus," answered Cyrus; "for the stomach of one who has eaten heartily bows out, but that of one who has not eaten bows in."
[8.4.22] "Then, in heaven's name," said Chrysantas, "could you tell us what sort of wife would suit a frigid king?" [Note: On the principle of opposites just described, the man who is psuchros "frigid," "cold-blooded" should have a wife who is thermę. In 23 psuchros is used in another sense--"frigid" or "dull" in his humour.] At this, of course, Cyrus burst out laughing, as did also all the rest.
[8.4.23] "I envy you for that, Cyrus," said Hystaspas while they were still laughing, "more than for anything else in your kingdom." "Envy me for what?" asked Cyrus. "Why, that, frigid as you are, you can still make us laugh." "Well," said Cyrus, "and would you not give a great deal to have made these jokes and to have them reported to the lady with whom you wish to have the reputation of being a witty fellow?" Thus, then, these pleasantries were exchanged.
[8.4.24] After this he brought out some articles of feminine adornment for Tigranes and bade him give them to his wife, because she had so bravely accompanied her husband throughout the campaigns; to Artabazus he gave a golden goblet and to the Hyrcanian a horse and many other beautiful presents. "And you, Gobryas," he said, "I will present with a husband for your daughter."
[8.4.25] "You will please present him with me, then, will you not," said Hystaspas, "that so I may get the collection of proverbs?" "Ah, but have you property enough to match the girl's fortune?" asked Cyrus. "Yes, by Zeus," he answered, "and several times over." "And where is this property of yours?" asked Cyrus. "Right there," said he, "in your chair; for you are a friend of mine." "I am satisfied," said Gobryas; and at once stretching out his right hand he added: "Give him to me, Cyrus; I will accept him."
[8.4.26] And Cyrus took Hystaspas by the right hand and placed it in the hand of Gobryas, and he received it. And then Cyrus gave Hystaspas many splendid gifts to send to the young lady. But Chrysantas he drew to himself and kissed him.
[8.4.27] "By Zeus, Cyrus," cried Artabazus, "the cup which you have given me is not of the same gold as the present you have given Chrysantas!" "Well," said he, "I will give you the same gift." "When?" asked the other. "Thirty years from now," was the answer. "I shall wait for it, then," said he, "and not die before I get it; so be getting ready." And thus that banquet came to an end. And as they rose to depart, Cyrus also rose and escorted them to the doors.
[8.4.28] Cyrus Send Allies Home. On the following day he dismissed to their several homes all those who had volunteered to be his allies, except such as wished to settle near him. To those who stayed he gave houses and lands which even to this day are in the possession of their descendants; these, moreover, were mostly Medes and Hyrcanians. And to those who went home he gave many presents and sent both officers and privates well contented on their way.
[8.4.29] Cyrus Rewards His Soldiers & Discloses His Wealth. Next he divided also among his own soldiers the spoil that he had obtained at Sardis. To the generals and to his own aides-de-camp he gave the choicest portions--to each, according to his merit--and then distributed the rest; and in assigning to the generals their proper portions he left it to their discretion to distribute it as he had distributed to them.
[8.4.30] And they apportioned all the rest, each officer examining into the merits of his subordinate officers; and what was left to the last, the corporals, inquiring into the merits of the private soldiers under their command, gave to each according to his deserts. And so all were in receipt of their fair share.
[8.4.31] And when they had received what was then given them, some spoke concerning Cyrus in this vein: "He must be keeping an abundance himself, one would think, seeing that he has given so much to each one of us." "Abundance, indeed!" some others would say; "Cyrus is not of the sort to make money for himself; he takes more pleasure in giving than in keeping."
[8.4.32] And when Cyrus heard of these remarks and opinions about himself, he called together his friends and all his staff-officers and addressed them as follows: "My friends, I have in my time seen fellows who wished to have the reputation of possessing more than they had, for they supposed that they would thus be thought fine gentlemen; but to me," said he, "it seems that such persons bring upon themselves the very reverse of what they wish. For if any man enjoy the reputation of having great wealth and do not appear to help his friends in a manner worthy of his abundance--that, it seems to me at least, fixes upon him the stigma of being a mean sort. [Note: eleutherios and aneleutheria have both a double meaning: (1) of free or mean extraction, and (2) of free (liberal) or miserly character.]
[8.4.33] "On the other hand," he continued, "there are some who wish to keep it a secret how much they do possess. It seems to me, then, that these also are mean toward their friends. For oftentimes their friends are in need and, because they are ignorant of the truth, they say nothing to their comrades about their difficulties, and really suffer want.
[8.4.34] "To me, however," he went on, "it seems the most straightforward way for a man to let the extent of his means be known and to strive in proportion to them to show himself a gentleman. And so I wish to show you all that I have, as far as it is possible for you to see, and to give you an account of it, in so far as it is impossible for you to see it."
[8.4.35] With these words, he showed them many splendid possessions and gave them an account of those that were so stored away as not to be easily viewed. And in conclusion he said:
[8.4.36] "All this, my friends, you must consider mine no more than your own; for I have been collecting it, not that I might spend it all myself or use it up all alone (for I could not), but that I might on every occasion be able to reward any one of you who does something meritorious, and also that, if any one of you thinks he needs something, he might come to me and get whatever he happens to want." Such was his speech.
Book 8, Section 5
[8.5.1] Cyrus Leaves Babylon for Persia. When it seemed to him that affairs in Babylon were sufficiently well organized for him to absent himself from the city, he began to make preparations for his journey to Persia and issued instructions to the others accordingly. And as soon as he had got together in sufficient quantity, as he believed, everything that he thought he should need, he started at once.
[8.5.2] We will relate here in how orderly a manner his train packed up, large though it was, and how quickly they reached the place where they were due. For wherever the great king encamps, all his retinue follow him to the field with their tents, whether in summer or in winter.
[8.5.3] Camp Organization. At the very beginning Cyrus made this rule, that his tent should be pitched facing the east; and then he determined, first, how far from the royal pavilion the spearmen of his guard should have their tent; next he assigned a place on the right for the bakers, on the left for the cooks, on the right for the horses, and on the left for the rest of the pack-animals And everything else was so organized that every one knew his own place in camp--both its size and its location.
[8.5.4] And when they come to pack up again, every one gets together the things that it is his business to use and others in turn pack them upon the animals, so that the baggage-men all come at the same time to the things they were appointed to transport, and all at the same time pack the things upon their several animals. Thus the amount of time needed for striking a single tent suffices for all.
[8.5.5] The unpacking also is managed in this same manner; and in order to have all the necessaries ready at the right time, each one has assigned to him likewise the part that he is to do. In this way the time required for doing any one part is sufficient for getting all the provisions ready.
[8.5.6] And just as the servants in charge of the provisions had each his proper place, so also his soldiers had when they encamped the places suitable to each sort of troops; they knew their places, too, and so all found them without the slightest friction.
[8.5.7] For Cyrus considered orderliness to be a good thing to practise in the management of a household also; for whenever any one wants a thing, he then knows where he must go to find it; but he believed that orderliness in all the departments of an army was a much better thing, inasmuch as the chances of a successful stroke in war come and go more quickly and the losses occasioned by those who are behindhand in military matters are more serious. He also saw that the advantages gained in war by prompt attention to duty were most important. It was for this reason, therefore, that he took especial pains to secure this sort of orderliness.
[8.5.8] Accordingly, he himself first took up his position in the middle of the camp in the belief that this situation was the most secure. Then came his most trusty followers, just as he was accustomed to have them about him at home, and next to them in a circle he had his horsemen and charioteers;
[8.5.9] for those troops also, he thought, need a secure position, because when they are in camp they do not have ready at hand any of the arms with which they fight, but need considerable time to arm, if they are to render effective service.
[8.5.10] To the right and left from him and the cavalry was the place for the targeteers; before and behind him and the cavalry, the place for the bowmen.
[8.5.11] The hoplites and those armed with the large shields he arranged around all the rest like a wall, so that those who could best hold their ground might, by being in front of them, make it possible for the cavalry to arm in safety, if it should be necessary.
[8.5.12] Moreover, he had the peltasts and the bowmen sleep on their arms, like the hoplites, in order that, if there should be occasion to go into action even at night, they might be ready for it. And just as the hoplites were prepared to do battle if any one came within arm's reach of them, so these troops also were to be ready to let fly their lances and arrows over the heads of the hoplites, if any one attacked.
[8.5.13] And all the officers had banners over their tents; and just as in the cities well-informed officials know the residences of most of the inhabitants and especially those of the most prominent citizens, so also in camp the aides under Cyrus were acquainted with the location of the various officers and were familiar with the banner of each one; and so if Cyrus wanted one of his officers, they did not have to search for him but would run to him by the shortest way.
[8.5.14] And as every division was so well distinguished, it was much more easy to see where good order prevailed and where commands were not being executed. Therefore, as things were arranged, he believed that if any enemy were to attack him either by night or by day, the attacking party would fall into his camp as into an ambuscade.
[8.5.15] He believed also that tactics did not consist solely in being able easily to extend one's line or increase its depth, or to change it from a long column into a phalanx, or without error to change the front by a counter march according as the enemy came up on the right or the left or behind; [note: "We learn from Aelian (Tact. 27) that this was either a countermarch by files (kata xula), in which the wings only changed places, or a countermarch by companies (kata lochous or stichous) when the whole line turned and the rearguard marched in front, so that there was a change of front as well as of wings. The object of the last-named movement was to put tous kratistous [the best men] forward." (Holden.)] but he considered it also a part of good tactics to break up one's army into several divisions whenever occasion demanded, and to place each division, too, where it would do the most good, and to make speed when it was necessary to reach a place before the enemy--all these and other such qualifications were essential, he believed, to a skilful tactician, and he devoted himself to them all alike.
[8.5.16] And so on his marches he always proceeded giving out his orders with a view to existing circumstances; but in camp his arrangements were made, for the most part, as has been described.
[8.5.17] Cyrus Visits Cyaxares in Media. As they continued their march and came near to Media, Cyrus turned aside to visit Cyaxares. And when they had exchanged greetings, the first thing Cyrus told Cyaxares was that a palace had been selected for him in Babylon, and official headquarters, so that he might occupy a residence of his own whenever he came there; and then he also gave him many splendid presents.
[8.5.18] Cyaxares Offers Daughter in Marriage and Media as Dowry. Cyaxares accepted them and then introduced to him his daughter, who brought him a golden crown and bracelets and a necklace and the most beautiful Median robe that could be found.
[8.5.19] As the princess placed the crown on Cyrus's head, Cyaxares said, "And the maiden herself, my own daughter, I offer you as well, Cyrus, to be your wife. Your father married my father's daughter, whose son you are. This is she whom you used often to pet when you came to visit us when you were a boy. And whenever anybody asked her whom she was going to marry, she would say 'Cyrus.' And with her I offer you all Media as a dowry, for I have no legitimate male issue."
[8.5.20] Thus he spoke, and Cyrus answered: "Well, Cyaxares, I heartily approve of your family and your daughter and your gifts. And I desire, with the approval of my father and mother, to accept your offer." Thus Cyrus answered; but still he made the young lady presents of everything that he thought would please Cyaxares as well as herself. And when he had done so, he proceeded on his way to Persia.
[8.5.21] Cyrus Arrives at Persia. And when, as he continued his journey, he came to the boundaries of Persia, he left the main body of his army there, while he went on with his friends to the capital; and he took along animals enough for all the Persians to sacrifice and make a feast, and brought with him such gifts as were appropriate for his father and mother and his friends besides and such as were suitable for the authorities and the elders and all the peers. And he gave presents also to all the Persians, men and women, such as even to this day the great king bestows whenever he comes to Persia.
[8.5.22] Then Cambyses assembled the Persian elders and the highest of the chief magistrates; he called in Cyrus also and then addressed them as follows: "Toward you, my Persian friends, I cherish, as is natural, feelings of good-will, for I am your king; and no less toward you, Cyrus, for you are my son. It is right, therefore, that I should declare frankly to you what I think I recognize to be for the good of both.
[8.5.23] "In the past you advanced the fortunes of Cyrus by giving him an army and placing him in command of it. And at its head Cyrus has with the help of the gods given you, Persians, a good report among all men and made you honoured throughout all Asia. Of those who went with him on his campaigns he has enriched the most deserving and to the commoners he has given wages and support; and by establishing a Persian cavalry force he has made the Persians masters also of the plains.
[8.5.24] "If, therefore, you continue to be of the same mind also in the future, you will be the cause of much good to each other. But, Cyrus, if you on your part become puffed up by your present successes and attempt to govern the Persians as you do those other nations, with a view to self-aggrandizement, or if you, fellow-citizens, become jealous of his power and attempt to depose him from his sovereignty, be sure that you will hinder one another from receiving much good.
[8.5.25] "And that this may not befall you, but the good, it seems best to me for you to perform a common sacrifice and to make a covenant, first calling the gods to witness. You, Cyrus, on your part, must covenant that if any one sets hostile foot in Persia or attempts to subvert the Persian constitution, you will come to her aid with all your strength; and you, Persians, on your part, are to covenant that if any one attempts to put an end to Cyrus's sovereignty or if any one of his subjects attempts to revolt, you will come to your own rescue as well as Cyrus' in whatsoever way he may call upon you.
[8.5.26] "As long as I live, the Persian throne continues to be mine own. But when I am dead, it will, of course, pass to Cyrus if he survives me. And as often as he comes to Persia, it should be a sacred custom with you that he sacrifice on your behalf even as I do now. And when he is away, it might be well for you, I think, that that one of our family who seems to you the most worthy should perform that sacred office."
[8.5.27] When Cambyses had finished speaking, Cyrus and the Persian magistrates accepted his proposal. And as they then covenanted, with the gods as their witnesses, so the Persians and their king still continue to this day to act toward one another. And when this had all been completed, Cyrus took his departure.
[8.5.28] Cyrus Weds. When, on his way back, he came to Media, Cyrus wedded the daughter of Cyaxares, for he had obtained the consent of his father and mother. And to this day people still tell of her wonderful beauty. (But some historians say that he married his mother's sister. But that maid must certainly have been a very old maid.) And when he was married he at once departed with his bride for Babylon.
Book 8, Section 6
[8.6.1] Cyrus Returns to Babylon & Appoints Satraps. When he arrived in Babylon, he decided to send out satraps to govern the nations he had subdued. But the commanders of the garrisons in the citadels and the colonels in command of the guards throughout the country he wished to be responsible to no one but himself. This provision he made with the purpose that if any of the satraps, on the strength of the wealth or the men at their command, should break out into open insolence or attempt to refuse obedience, they might at once find opposition in their province.
[8.6.2] In the wish, therefore, to secure this result, he resolved first to call together his chief officers and inform them in advance, so that when they went they might know on what understanding they were going; for he believed that if he did so, they would take it more kindly; whereas he thought that they might take it ill, if any of them discovered the conditions after being installed as satraps, for then they would think that this policy had been adopted from distrust of them personally.
[8.6.3] And so he called them together and spoke as follows: "My friends, we have in the subjugated states garrisons with their officers, whom we left behind there at the time; and when I came away I left them with orders not to trouble themselves with any business other than to hold the forts. These, therefore, I will not remove from their positions, for they have carried out my instructions faithfully; but I have decided to send satraps there, besides, to govern the people, receive the tribute, pay the militia, and attend to any other business that needs attention.
[8.6.4] "I have further decided that any of you who remain here, and to whom I may occasionally give the trouble of going on business for me to those nations, shall have lands and houses there; so that they may have tribute paid to them here and, whenever they go there, they may lodge in residences of their own."
[8.6.5] Thus he spoke, and to many of his friends he gave houses and servants in the various states which he had subdued. And even to this day those properties, some in one land, some in another, continue in the possession of the descendants of those who then received them, while the owners themselves reside at court.
[8.6.6] "And then," Cyrus resumed, "we must take care that those who go as satraps to such countries shall be men of the right sort, who will bear in mind to send back here what there is good and desirable in their several provinces, in order that we also who remain here may have a share of the good things that are to be found everywhere. And that will be no more than fair; for if any danger threatens anywhere, it is we who shall have to ward it off."
[8.6.7] With these words he concluded his address on that occasion; and then he chose out from the number of his friends those whom he saw eager to go on the conditions named and who seemed to him best qualified, and sent them as satraps to the following countries: Megabyzus to Arabia, Artabatas to Cappadocia, Artacamas to Phrygia Major, Chrysantas to Lydia and Ionia, Adusius to Caria (it was he for whom the Carians had petitioned), and Pharnuchus to Aeolia and Phrygia on the Hellespont.
[8.6.8] He sent out no Persians as satraps over Cilicia or Cyprus or Paphlagonia, because these he thought joined his expedition against Babylon voluntarily; he did, however, require even these nations to pay tribute.
[8.6.9] As Cyrus then organized the service, so is it even to this day: the garrisons upon the citadels are immediately under the king's control, and the colonels in command of the garrisons receive their appointment from the king and are enrolled upon the king's list.
[8.6.10] And he gave orders to all the satraps he sent out to imitate him in everything that they saw him do: they were, in the first place, to organize companies of cavalry and charioteers from the Persians who went with them and from the allies; to require as many as received lands and palaces to attend at the satrap's court and exercising proper self-restraint to put themselves at his disposal in whatever he demanded; to have the boys that were born to them educated at the local court, just as was done at the royal court; and to take the retinue at his gates out hunting and to exercise himself and them in the arts of war.
[8.6.11] "And whoever I find has the largest number of chariots to show and the largest number of the most efficient horsemen in proportion to his power," Cyrus added, "him will I honour as a valuable ally and as a valuable fellow-protector of the sovereignty of the Persians and myself. And with you also, just as with me, let the most deserving be set in the most honourable seats; and let your table, like mine, feed first your own household and then, too, be bountifully arrayed so as to give a share to your friends and to confer some distinction day by day upon any one who does some noble act.
[8.6.12] "Have parks, too, and keep wild animals in them; and do not have your food served you unless you have first taken exercise, nor have fodder given to your horses unless they have been exercised. For I should not be able with merely human strength single-handed to ensure the permanence of the fortunes of all of you; but as I must be valiant and have those about me valiant, in order to help you; so you likewise must be valiant yourselves and have those about you valiant, in order to be my allies.
[8.6.13] "Please observe also that among all the directions I am now giving you, I give no orders to slaves. I try to do myself everything that I say you ought to do. And even as I bid you follow my example, so do you also instruct those whom you appoint to office to follow yours."
[8.6.14] And as Cyrus then effected his organization, even so unto this day all the garrisons under the king are kept up, and all the courts of the governors are attended with service in the same way; so all households, great and small, are managed; and by all men in authority the most deserving of their guests are given preference with seats of honour; all the official journeying are conducted on the same plan and all the political business is centralized in a few heads of departments.
[8.6.15] When he had told them how they should proceed to carry out his instructions, he gave each one a force of soldiers and sent them off; and he directed them all to make preparations, with the expectation that there would be an expedition the next year and a review of the men, arms, horses, and chariots.
[8.6.16] We have noticed also that this regulation is still in force, whether it was instituted by Cyrus, as they affirm, or not: year by year a man makes the circuit of the provinces with an army, to help any satrap that may need help, to humble any one that may be growing rebellious, and to adjust matters if any one is careless about seeing the taxes paid or protecting the inhabitants, or to see that the land is kept under cultivation, or if any one is neglectful of anything else that he has been ordered to attend to; but if he cannot set it right, it is his business to report it to the king, and he, when he hears of it, takes measures in regard to the offender. And those of whom the report often goes out that "the king's son is coming," or "the king's brother" or "the king's eye," these belong to the circuit commissioners; though sometimes they do not put in an appearance at all, for each of them turns back, wherever he may be, when the king commands.
[8.6.17] Express Courier Riders. We have observed still another device of Cyrus to cope with the magnitude of his empire; by means of this institution he would speedily discover the condition of affairs, no matter how far distant they might be from him: he experimented to find out how great a distance a horse could cover in a day when ridden hard but so as not to break down, and then he erected post-stations at just such distances and equipped them with horses and men to take care of them; at each one of the stations he had the proper official appointed to receive the letters that were delivered and to forward them on, to take in the exhausted horses and riders and send on fresh ones.
[8.6.18] They say, moreover, that sometimes this express does not stop all night, but the night-messengers succeed the day-messengers in relays, and when that is the case, this express, some say, gets over the ground faster than the cranes. If their story is not literally true, it is at all events undeniable that this is the fastest overland travelling on earth; and it is a fine thing to have immediate intelligence of everything, in order to attend to it as quickly as possible.
[8.6.19] Cyrus Extends His Empire. Now, when the year had gone round, he collected his army together at Babylon, containing, it is said, about one hundred and twenty thousand horse, about two thousand scythe-bearing chariots and about six hundred thousand foot.
[8.6.20] And when these had been made ready for him, he started out on that expedition on which he is said to have subjugated all the nations that fill the earth from where one leaves Syria even to the Indian Ocean. His next expedition is said to have gone to Egypt and to have subjugated that country also.
[8.6.21] From that time on his empire was bounded on the east by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Black Sea, on the west by Cyprus and Egypt, and on the south by Ethiopia. The extremes of his empire are uninhabitable, on the one side because of the heat, on another because of the cold, on another because of too much water, and on the fourth because of too little.
[8.6.22] Cyrus' Three Capitals. Cyrus himself made his home in the centre of his domain, and in the winter season he spent seven months in Babylon, for there the climate is warm; in the spring he spent three months in Susa, and in the height of summer two months in Ecbatana. By so doing, they say, he enjoyed the warmth and coolness of perpetual spring-time.
[8.6.23] People, moreover, were so devoted to him that those of every nation thought they did themselves an injury if they did not send to Cyrus the most valuable productions of their country, whether the fruits of the earth, or animals bred there, or manufactures of their own arts; and every city did the same. And every private individual thought he should become a rich man if he should do something to please Cyrus. And his theory was correct; for Cyrus would always accept that of which the givers had an abundance, and he would give in return that of which he saw that they were in want.
Book 8, Section 7
[8.7.1] Cyrus' Death. When his life was far spent amid such achievements and Cyrus was now a very old man, he came back for the seventh time in his reign to Persia. His father and his mother were in the course of nature long since dead; so Cyrus performed the customary sacrifice and led the Persians in their national dance and distributed presents among them all, as had been his custom.
[8.7.2] As he slept in the palace, he saw a vision: a figure of more than human majesty appeared to him in a dream and said: "Make ready,2 Cyrus; for thou shalt soon depart to the gods." When the vision was past, he awoke and seemed almost to know that the end of his life was at hand.
[8.7.3] Accordingly, he at once took victims and offered sacrifice in the high places to ancestral Zeus, to Helius, and to the rest of the gods, even as the Persians are wont to make sacrifice; and as he sacrificed, he prayed, saying: "O ancestral Zeus and Helius and all the gods, accept these offerings as tokens of gratitude for help in achieving many glorious enterprises; for in omens in the sacrifice, in signs from heaven, in the flight of birds, and in ominous words, ye ever showed me what I ought to do and what I ought not to do. And I render heartfelt thanks to you that I have never failed to recognize your fostering care and never in my successes entertained proud thoughts transcending human bounds. And I beseech of you that ye will now also grant prosperity and happiness to my children, my wife, my friends, and my country, and to me myself an end befitting the life that ye have given me."
[8.7.4] Then after he had concluded his rites and come home, he thought he would be glad to rest and so lay down; and when the hour came, those whose office it was came in and bade him go to his bath. But he told them that he was resting happily. And then again, when the hour came, those whose office it was set dinner before him. But his soul had no desire for food, but he seemed thirsty and drank with pleasure.
[8.7.5] And when the same thing befell him on the next day and the day after that, he summoned his sons; for they had accompanied him, as it chanced, and were still in Persia. He summoned also his friends and the Persian magistrates; and when they were all come, he began to speak as follows:
[8.7.6] "My sons, and all you my friends about me, the end of my life is now at hand; I am quite sure of this for many reasons; and when I am dead, you must always speak and act in regard to me as of one blessed of fortune. For when I was a boy, I think I plucked all the fruits that among boys count for the best; when I became a youth, I enjoyed what is accounted best among young men; and when I became a mature man, I had the best that men can have. And as time went on, it seemed to me that I recognized that my own strength was always increasing with my years, so that I never found my old age growing any more feeble than my youth had been; and, so far as I know, there is nothing that I ever attempted or desired and yet failed to secure.
[8.7.7] "Moreover, I have lived to see my friends made prosperous and happy through my efforts and my enemies reduced by me to subjection; and my country, which once played no great part in Asia, I now leave honoured above all. Of all my conquests, there is not once that I have not maintained. Throughout the past I have fared even as I have wished; but a fear that was ever at my side, lest in the time to come I might see or hear or experience something unpleasant, would not let me become overweeningly proud or extravagantly happy.
[8.7.8] "But now, if I die, I leave you, my sons, whom the gods have given me, to survive me, and I leave my friends and country happy;
[8.7.9] "and so why should I not be justly accounted blessed and enjoy an immortality of fame? But I must also declare my will about the disposition of my throne, that the succession may not become a matter of dispute and cause you trouble. Now, I love you both alike, my sons; but precedence in counsel and leadership in everything that may be thought expedient, that I commit to the first born, who naturally has a wider experience.
[8.7.10] I, too, was thus trained by my country and yours to give precedence to my elders--not merely to brothers but to all fellow-citizens--on the street, in the matter of seats, and in speaking; and so from the beginning, my children, I have been training you also to honour your elders above yourselves and to be honoured above those who are younger. Take what I say, therefore, as that which is approved by time, by custom, and by the law.
[8.7.11] "So you, Cambyses, shall have the throne, the gift of the gods and of myself, in so far as it is mine to give. To you, Tanaoxares, I give the satrapy of Media, Armenia, and, in addition to those two, Cadusia. And in giving you this office, I consider that I leave to your older brother greater power and the title of king, while to you I leave a happiness disturbed by fewer cares;
[8.7.12] "for I cannot see what human pleasure you will lack; on the contrary, everything that is thought to bring pleasure to man will be yours. But to set one's heart on more difficult undertakings, to be cumbered with many cares, and to be able to find no rest, because spurred on by emulation of what I have done, to lay plots and to be plotted against, all that must necessarily go hand in hand with royal power more than with your station; and, let me assure you, it brings many interruptions to happiness.
[8.7.13] "As for you, Cambyses, you must also know that it is not this golden sceptre that maintains your empire; but faithful friends are a monarch's truest and surest sceptre. But do not think that man is naturally faithful; else all men would find the same persons faithful, just as all find the other properties of nature the same. But every one must create for himself faithfulness in his friends; and the winning of such friends comes in no wise by compulsion, but by kindness.
[8.7.14] "If, then, you shall endeavour to make others also fellow-guardians of your sovereignty, make a beginning nowhere sooner than with him who is of the same blood with yourself. Fellow-citizens, you know, stand nearer than foreigners do, and messmates nearer than those who eat elsewhere; but those who are sprung from the same seed, nursed by the same mother, reared in the same home, loved by the same parents, and who address the same persons as father and mother, how are they not the closest of all?
[8.7.15] "Do not you two, therefore, ever make of no effect those blessings whereby the gods have led the way to knitting close the bonds between brothers, but do you build at once upon that foundation still other works of love; and thus the love between you will always be a love that no other men can ever surpass. Surely he that has forethought for his brother is taking care for himself; for to whom else is a brother's greatness more of an honour than to a brother? And who else will be honoured by the power of a great man so much as that man's brother? And if a man's brother is a great man, whom will any one so much fear to injure as that man's brother?
[8.7.16] "Therefore, Tanaoxares, let no one more readily than yourself yield obedience to your brother or more zealously support him. For his fortunes, good or ill, will touch no one more closely than yourself. And bear this also in mind: whom could you favour in the hope of getting more from him than from your brother? Where could you lend help and get in return a surer ally than you would find in him? Whom would it be a more shameful thing for you not to love than your own brother? And who is there in all the world whom it would be a more noble thing to prefer in honour than your brother? It is only a brother, you know, Cambyses, whom, if he holds the first place of love in his brother's heart, the envy of others cannot reach.
[8.7.17] "Nay by our fathers' gods I implore you, my sons, honour one another, if you care at all to give me pleasure. For assuredly, this one thing, so it seems to me, you do not know clearly, that I shall have no further being when I have finished this earthly life; for not even in this life have you seen my soul, but you have detected its existence by what it accomplished.
[8.7.18] "Have you never yet observed what terror the souls of those who have been foully dealt with strike into the hearts of those who have shed their blood, and what avenging deities they send upon the track of the wicked? And do you think that the honours paid to the dead would continue, if their souls had no part in any of them?
[8.7.19] "I am sure I do not; nor yet, my sons, have I ever convinced myself of this--that only as long as it is contained in a mortal body is the soul alive, but when it has been freed from it, is dead; for I see that it is the soul that endues mortal bodies with life, as long as it is in them.
[8.7.20] "Neither have I been able to convince myself of this--that the soul will want intelligence just when it is separated from this unintelligent body; but when the spirit is set free, pure and untrammelled by matter, then it is likely to be most intelligent. And when man is resolved into his primal elements, it is clear that every part returns to kindred matter, except the soul; that alone cannot be seen, either when present or when departing.
[8.7.21] "Consider again," he continued, "that there is nothing in the world more nearly akin to death than is sleep; and the soul of man at just such times is revealed in its most divine aspect and at such times, too, it looks forward into the future; for then, it seems, it is most untrammelled by the bonds of the flesh.
[8.7.22] "Now if this is true, as I think it is, and if the soul does leave the body, then do what I request of you and show reverence for my soul. But if it is not so, and if the soul remains in the body and dies with it, then at least fear the gods, eternal, all-seeing, omnipotent, who keep this ordered universe together, unimpaired, ageless, unerring, indescribable in its beauty and its grandeur; and never allow yourselves to do or purpose anything wicked or unholy.
[8.7.23] "Next to the gods, however, show respect also to all the race of men as they continue in perpetual succession; for the gods, do not hide you away in darkness, but your works must ever live on in the sight of all men; and if they are pure and untainted with unrighteousness, they will make your power manifest among all mankind. But if you conceive any unrighteous schemes against each other, you will forfeit in the eyes of all men your right to be trusted. For no one would be able any longer to trust you--not even if he very much desired to do so--if he saw either of you wronging that one who has the first claim to the other's love.
[8.7.24] "Now, if I am giving you sufficient instructions as to what manner of men you ought to be one towards the other--well and good; if not, then you must learn it from the history of the past, for this is the best source of instruction. For, as a rule, parents have always been friends to their children, brothers to their brothers; but ere now some of them have been at enmity one with another. Whichever, therefore, of these two courses you shall find to have been profitable, choose that, and you would counsel well.
[8.7.25] "But of this, perhaps, enough. Now as to my body, when I am dead, my sons, lay it away neither in gold nor in silver nor in anything else, but commit it to the earth as soon as may be. For what is more blessed than to be united with the earth, which brings forth and nourishes all things beautiful and all things good? I have always been a friend to man, and I think I should gladly now become a part of that which does him so much good.
[8.7.26] "But I must conclude," he said; "for my soul seems to me to be slipping away from those parts of my body, from which, as it appears, it is wont to begin its departure. So if any one wishes to take my hand or desires to look into my face while I yet live, let him come near; but after I have covered myself over, I beg of you, my children, let no one look upon my body, not even yourselves.
[8.7.27] "Invite, however, all the Persians and our allies to my burial, to joy with me in that I shall henceforth be in security such that no evil can ever again come nigh me, whether I shall be in the divine presence or whether I shall no longer have any being; and to all those who come show all the courtesies that are usual in honour of a man that has been blessed of fortune, and then dismiss them.
[8.7.28] "Remember also this last word of mine," he said: "if you do good to your friends, you will also be able to punish your enemies. And now farewell, my children, and say farewell to your mother as from me. And to all my friends, both present and absent, I bid farewell." After these words, he shook hands with them all, covered himself over, and so died.
Book 8, Section 8
[8.8.1] That Cyrus's empire was the greatest and most glorious of all the kingdoms in Asia--of that it may be its own witness. For it was bounded on the east by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Black Sea, on the west by Cyprus and Egypt, and on the south by Ethiopia. And although it was of such magnitude, it was governed by the single will of Cyrus; and he honoured his subjects and cared for them as if they were his own children; and they, on their part, reverenced Cyrus as a father.
[8.8.2] Dissention & Injustice After Cyrus' Death. Still, as soon as Cyrus was dead, his children at once fell into dissension, states and nations began to revolt, and everything began to deteriorate. And that what I say is the truth, I will prove, beginning with the Persians' attitude toward religion. I know, for example, that in early times the kings and their officers, in their dealings with even the worst offenders, would abide by an oath that they might have given, and be true to any pledge they might have made.
[8.8.3] For had they not had such a character for honour, and had they not been true to their reputation, not a man would have trusted them, just as not a single person any longer trusts them, now that their lack of character is notorious; and the generals of the Greeks who joined the expedition of Cyrus the Younger would not have had such confidence in them even on that occasion. But, as it was, trusting in the previous reputation of the Persian kings, they placed themselves in the king's power, were led into his presence, and had their heads cut off. And many also of the barbarians who joined that expedition went to their doom, some deluded by one promise, others by another.
[8.8.4] But at the present time they are still worse, as the following will show: if, for example, any one in the olden times risked his life for the king, or if any one reduced a state or a nation to submission to him, or effected anything else of good or glory for him, such an one received honour and preferment; now, on the other hand, if any one seems to bring some advantage to the king by evil-doing, whether as Mithradates did, by betraying his own father Ariobarzanes, or as a certain Rheomithres did, in violating his most sacred oaths and leaving his wife and children and the children of his friends behind as hostages in the power of the king of Egypt1--such are the ones who now have the highest honours heaped upon them.
[8.8.5] Witnessing such a state of morality, all the inhabitants of Asia have been turned to wickedness and wrong-doing. For, whatever the character of the rulers is, such also that of the people under them for the most part becomes. In this respect they are now even more unprincipled than before.
[8.8.6] In money matters, too, they are more dishonest in this particular: they arrest not merely those who have committed many offences, but even those who have done no wrong, and against all justice compel them to pay fines; and so those who are supposed to be rich are kept in a state of terror no less than those who have committed many crimes, and they are no more willing than malefactors are to come into close relations with their superiors in power; in fact, they do not even venture to enlist in the royal army.
[8.8.7] Accordingly, owing to their impiety toward the gods and their iniquity toward man, any one who is engaged in war with them can, if he desire, range up and down their country without having to strike a blow. Their principles in so far, therefore, are in every respect worse now than they were in antiquity.
[8.8.8] In the next place, as I will now show, they do not care for their physical strength as they used to do. For example, it used to be their custom neither to spit nor to blow the nose. It is obvious that they observed this custom not for the sake of saving the moisture in the body, but from the wish to harden the body by labour and perspiration. But now the custom of refraining from spitting or blowing the nose still continues, but they never give themselves the trouble to work off the moisture in some other direction.
[8.8.9] In former times it was their custom also to eat but once in the day, so that they might devote the whole day to business and hard work. Now, to be sure, the custom of eating but once a day still prevails, but they begin to eat at the hour when those who breakfast earliest begin their morning meal, and they keep on eating and drinking until the hour when those who stay up latest go to bed.
[8.8.10] They had also the custom of not bringing pots into their banquets, evidently because they thought that if one did not drink to excess, both mind and body would be less uncertain. So even now the custom of not bringing in the pots still obtains, but they drink so much that, instead of carrying anything in, they are themselves carried out when they are no longer able to stand straight enough to walk out.
[8.8.11] Again, this also was a native custom of theirs, neither to eat nor drink while on a march, nor yet to be seen doing any of the necessary consequences of eating or drinking. Even yet that same abstinence prevails, but they make their journeys so short that no one would be surprised at their ability to resist those calls of nature.
[8.8.12] Again, in times past they used to go out hunting so often that the hunts afforded sufficient exercise for both men and horses. But since Artaxerxes and his court became the victims of wine, they have neither gone out themselves in the old way nor taken the others out hunting; on the contrary, if any one often went hunting with his friends out of sheer love for physical exertion, the courtiers would not hide their jealousy and would hate him as presuming to be a better man than they.
[8.8.13] Again, it is still the custom for the boys to be educated at court; but instruction and practice in horsemanship have died out, because there are no occasions on which they may give an exhibition and win distinction for skill. And while anciently the boys used there to hear cases at law justly decided and so to learn justice, as they believed--that also has been entirely reversed; for now they see all too clearly that whichever party gives the larger bribe wins the case.
[8.8.14] The boys of that time used also to learn the properties of the products of the earth, so as to avail themselves of the useful ones and keep away from those that were harmful. But now it looks as if they learned them only in order to do as much harm as possible; at any rate, there is no place where more people die or lose their lives from poisons than there.
[8.8.15] Furthermore, they are much more effeminate now than they were in Cyrus' day. For at that time they still adhered to the old discipline and the old abstinence that they received from the Persians, but adopted the Median garb and Median luxury; now, on the contrary, they are allowing the rigour of the Persians to die out, while they keep up the effeminacy of the Medes.
[8.8.16] I should like to explain their effeminacy more in detail. In the first place, they are not satisfied with only having their couches upholstered with down, but they actually set the posts of their beds upon carpets, so that the floor may offer no resistance, but that the carpets may yield. Again, whatever sorts of bread and pastry for the table had been discovered before, none of all those have fallen into disuse, but they keep on always inventing something new besides; and it is the same way with meats; for in both branches of cookery they actually have artists to invent new dishes.
[8.8.17] Again, in winter they are not satisfied with having clothing on their heads and bodies and legs, but they must have also sleeves thickly lined to the very tips of their fingers, and gloves besides. In summer, on the other hand, they are not satisfied with the shade afforded by the trees and rocks, but amid these they have people stand by them to provide artificial shade.
[8.8.18] They take great pride also in having as many cups as possible; but they are not ashamed if it transpire that they came by them by dishonest means, for dishonesty and sordid love of gain have greatly increased among them.
[8.8.19] Furthermore, it was of old a national custom not to be seen going anywhere on foot; and that was for no other purpose than to make themselves as knightly as possible. But now they have more coverings upon their horses than upon their beds, for they do not care so much for knighthood as for a soft seat.
[8.8.20] And so is it not to be expected that in military prowess they should be wholly inferior to what they used to be? In times past it was their national custom that those who held lands should furnish cavalrymen from their possessions and that these, in case of war, should also take the field, while those who performed outpost duty in defence of the country received pay for their services. But now the rulers make knights out of their porters, bakers, cooks, cup-bearers, bath-room attendants, butlers, waiters, chamberlains who assist them in retiring at night and in rising in the morning, and beauty-doctors who pencil their eyes and rouge their cheeks for them and otherwise beautify them; these are the sort that they make into knights to serve for pay for them.
[8.8.21] From such recruits, therefore, a host is obtained, but they are of no use in war; and that is clear from actual occurrences: for enemies may range up and down their land with less hindrance than friends.
[8.8.22] For Cyrus had abolished skirmishing at a distance, had armed both horses and men with breastplates, had put a javelin into each man's hand, and had introduced the method of fighting hand to hand. But now they neither skirmish at a distance any longer, nor yet do they fight in a hand-to-hand engagement.
[8.8.23] The infantry still have their wicker shields and bills and sabres, just as those had who set the battle in array in the times of Cyrus; but not even they are willing to come into a hand-to-hand conflict.
[8.8.24] Neither do they employ the scythed chariot any longer for the purpose for which Cyrus had it made. For he advanced the charioteers to honour and made them objects of admiration and so had men who were ready to hurl themselves against even a heavy-armed line. The officers of the present day, however, do not so much as know the men in the chariots, and they think that untrained drivers will be just as serviceable to them as trained charioteers.
[8.8.25] Such untrained men do indeed charge, but before they penetrate the enemy's lines some of them are unintentionally thrown out, some of them jump out on purpose, and so the teams without drivers often create more havoc on their own side than on the enemy's.
[8.8.26] However, inasmuch as even they understand what sort of material for war they have, they abandon the effort; and no one ever goes to war any more without the help of Greek mercenaries, be it when they are at war with one another or when the Greeks make war upon them; but even against Greeks they recognize that they can conduct their wars only with the assistance of Greeks.
[8.8.27] I think now that I have accomplished the task that I set before myself. For I maintain that I have proved that the Persians of the present day and those living in their dependencies are less reverent toward the gods, less dutiful to their relatives, less upright in their dealings with all men, and less brave in war than they were of old. But if any one should entertain an opinion contrary to my own, let him examine their deeds and he will find that these testify to the truth of my statements.
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