Cyropaedia by Xenophon Books 2 & 3


(C.1) Thus they talked together, and thus they journeyed on until they reached the frontier, and there a good omen met them: an eagle swept into view on the right, and went before them as though to lead the way, and they prayed the gods and heroes of the land to show them favour and grant them safe entry, and then they crossed the boundary. And when they were across, they prayed once more that the gods of Media might receive them graciously, and when they had done this they embraced each other, as father and son will, and Cambyses turned back to his own city, but Cyrus went forward again, to his uncle Cyaxares in the land of Media. (2) And when his journey was done and he was face to face with him and they had greeted each other as kinsmen may, then Cyaxares asked the prince how great an armament he had brought with him? And Cyrus answered, "I have 30,000 with me, men who have served with you before as mercenaries; and more are coming on behind, fresh troops, from the Peers of Persia."
"How many of those?" asked Cyaxares. (3) And Cyrus answered, "Their numbers will not please you, but remember these Peers of ours, though they are few, find it easy to rule the rest of the Persians, who are many. But now," he added, "have you any need of us at all? Perhaps it was only a false alarm that troubled you, and the enemy are not advancing?"
"Indeed they are," said the other, "and in full force."
(4) "How do you know?" asked Cyrus.
"Because," said he, "many deserters come to us, and all of them, in one fashion or another, tell the same tale."
"Then we must give battle?" said Cyrus.
"Needs must," Cyaxares replied.
"Well," answered Cyrus, "but you have not told me yet how great their power is, or our own either. I want to hear, if you can tell me, so that we may make our plans."
"Listen, then," said Cyaxares. (5) "Croesus the Lydian is coming, we hear, with 10,000 horse and more than 40,000 archers and targeteers. Artamas the governor of Greater Phrygia is bringing, they say, 8000 horse, and lancers and targeteers also, 40,000 strong. Then there is Aribaius the king of Cappadocia with 6000 horse and 30,000 archers and targeteers. And Aragdus the Arabian with 10,000 horse, a hundred chariots, and innumerable slingers. As for the Hellenes who dwell in Asia, it is not clear as yet whether they will send a following or not. But the Phrygians from the Hellespont, we are told, are mustering in the Caystrian plain under Gabaidus, 6000 horse and 40,000 targeteers. Word has been sent to the Carians, Cilicians, and Paphlagonians, but it is said they will not rise; the Lord of Assyria and Babylon will himself, I believe, bring not less than 20,000 horse, and I make no doubt as many as 200 chariots, and thousands upon thousands of men on foot; such at least has been his custom whenever he invaded us before."
(6) Cyrus answered: "Then you reckon the numbers of the enemy to be, in all, something like 60,000 horse and 200,000 archers and targeteers. And what do you take your own to be?"
"Well," he answered, "we ourselves can furnish over 10,000 horse and perhaps, considering the state of the country, as many as 60,000 archers and targeteers. And from our neighbours, the Armenians," he added, "we look to get 4000 horse and 20,000 foot."
"I see," said Cyrus, "you reckon our cavalry at less than a third of the enemy's, and our infantry at less than half."
(7) "Ah," said Cyaxares, "and perhaps you feel that the force you are bringing from Persia is very small?"
"We will consider that later on," answered Cyrus, "and see then if we require more men or not. Tell me first the methods of fighting that the different troops adopt."
"They are much the same for all," answered Cyaxares, "that is to say, their men and ours alike are armed with bows and javelins."
"Well," replied Cyrus, "if such arms are used, skirmishing at long range must be the order of the day." "True," said the other. (8) "And in that case," went on Cyrus, "the victory is in the hands of the larger force; for even if the same numbers fall on either side, the few would be exhausted long before the many." "If that be so," cried Cyaxares, "there is nothing left for us but to send to Persia, and make them see that if disaster falls on Media it will fall on Persia next, and beg them for a larger force." "Ah, but," said Cyrus, "you must remember that even if every single Persian were to come at once, we could not outnumber our enemies." (9) "But," said the other, "can you see anything else to be done?" "For my part," answered Cyrus, "if I could have my way, I would arm every Persian who is coming here in precisely the same fashion as our Peers at home, that is to say, with a corslet for the breast, a shield for the left arm, and a sword or battle-axe for the right hand. If you will give us these you will make it quite safe for us to close with the enemy, and our foes will find that flight is far pleasanter than defence. But we Persians," he added, "will deal with those who do stand firm, leaving the fugitives to you and to your cavalry, who must give them no time to rally and no time to escape."
(10) That was the counsel of Cyrus, and Cyaxares approved it. He thought no more of sending for a larger force, but set about preparing the equipment he had been asked for, and all was in readiness just about the time when the Peers arrived from Persia at the head of their own troops. (11) Then, so says the story, Cyrus called the Peers together and spoke to them as follows: "Men of Persia, my friends and comrades, when I looked at you first and saw the arms you bore and how you were all on fire to meet the enemy, hand to hand, and when I remembered that your squires are only equipped for fighting on the outskirts of the field, I confess my mind misgave me. Few and forlorn they will be, I said to myself, swallowed up in a host of enemies; no good can come of it. But to-day you are here, and your men behind you, stalwart and stout of limb, and to-morrow they shall have armour like our own. None could find fault with their thews and sinews, and as for their spirit, it is for us to see it does not fail. A leader must not only have a stout heart himself; he must see to it that his followers are as valiant as he."
(12) Thus Cyrus spoke, and the Peers were well satisfied at his words, feeling that on the day of battle they would have more to help them in the struggle. (13) And one of them said, "Perhaps it will seem strange if I ask Cyrus to speak in our stead to our fellow-combatants when they receive their arms, and yet I know well that the words of him who has the greatest power for weal or woe sink deepest into the listener's heart. His very gifts, though they should be less than the gifts of equals, are valued more. These new comrades of ours," he went on, "would rather be addressed by Cyrus himself than by us, and now that they are to take their place among the Peers their title will seem to them far more secure if it is given them by the king's own son and our general-in-chief. Not that we have not still our own duties left. We are bound to do our best in every way to rouse the spirit of our men. Shall we not gain ourselves by all they gain in valour?"
(14) So it came about that Cyrus had the new armour placed before him and summoned a general meeting of the Persian soldiery, and spoke to them as follows:
(15) "Men of Persia, born and bred in the same land as ourselves, whose limbs are as stout and as strong as our own, your hearts should be as brave. I know they are; and yet at home in the land of our fathers you did not share our rights; not that we drove you out ourselves, but you were banished by the compulsion that lay upon you to find your livelihood for yourselves. Now from this day forward, with heaven's help, it shall be my care to provide it for you; and now, if so you will, you have it in your power to take the armour that we wear ourselves, face the same perils and win the same honours, if so be you make any glorious deed your own. (16) In former days you were trained, like ourselves, in the use of bow and javelin, and if you were at all inferior to us in skill, that was not to be wondered at; you had not the same leisure for practice as we; but now in this new accoutrement we shall have no pre-eminence at all. Each of us will wear a corslet fitted to his breast and carry a shield on his left arm of the type to which we are all accustomed, and in his right hand a sabre or a battle-axe. With these we shall smite the enemy before us, and need have no fear that we shall miss the mark. (17) How can we differ from one another with these arms? There can be no difference except in daring. And daring you may foster in your hearts as much as we in ours. What greater right have we than you to love victory and follow after her, victory who wins for us and preserves to us all things that are beautiful and good? Why should you, any more than we, be found lacking in that power which takes the goods of weaklings and bestows them on the strong?"
(18) He ended: "Now you have heard all. There lie your weapons; let him who chooses take them up and write his name with the brigadier in the same roll as ours. And if a man prefers to remain a mercenary, let him do so; he carries the arms of a servant."
(19) Thus spoke Cyrus; and the Persians, every man of them, felt they would be ashamed for the rest of their days, and deservedly, if they drew back now, when they were offered equal honour in return for equal toil. One and all they inscribed their names and took up the new arms.
(20) And now in the interval, before the enemy were actually at hand, but while rumour said they were advancing, Cyrus took on himself a three-fold task: to bring the physical strength of his men to the highest pitch, to teach them tactics, and to rouse their spirit for martial deeds. (21) He asked Cyaxares for a body of assistants whose duty it should be to provide each of his soldiers with all they could possibly need, thus leaving the men themselves free for the art of war. He had learnt, he thought, that success, in whatever sphere, was only to be won by refusing to attempt a multitude of tasks and concentrating the mind on one.
Thus in the military training itself he gave up the practice with bow and javelin, leaving his men to perfect themselves in the use of sabre, shield, and corslet, accustoming them from the very first to the thought that they must close with the enemy, or confess themselves worthless as fellow-combatants; a harsh conclusion for those who knew that they were only protected in order to fight on behalf of their protectors. (22) And further, being convinced that wherever the feeling of emulation can be roused, there the eagerness to excel is greatest, he instituted competitions for everything in which he thought his soldiers should be trained. The private soldier was challenged to prove himself prompt to obey, anxious to work, eager for danger, and yet ever mindful of discipline, an expert in the science of war, an artist in the conduct of his arms, and a lover of honour in all things. The petty officer commanding a squad of five was not only to equal the leading private, he must also do what he could to bring his men to the same perfection; the captain of ten must do the same for his ten, and the company's captain for the company, while the commander of the whole regiment, himself above reproach, must take the utmost care with the officers under him so that they in their turn should see that their subordinates were perfect in all their duties. (23) For prizes, Cyrus announced that the brigadier in command of the finest regiment should be raised to the rank of general, the captain of the finest company should be made a brigadier, the captain of the finest squad of ten captain of a company, and the captain of the best five a captain of ten, while the best soldiers from the ranks should become captains of five themselves. Every one of these officers had the privilege of being served by those beneath him, and various other honours also, suited to their several grades, while ampler hopes were offered for any nobler exploits. (24) Finally prizes were announced to be won by a regiment or a company or a squad taken as a whole, by those who proved themselves most loyal to their leaders and most zealous in the practice of their duty. These prizes, of course, were such as to be suitable for men taken in the mass.
Such were the orders of the Persian leader, and such the exercises of the Persian troops. (25) For their quarters, he arranged that a separate shelter should be assigned to every brigadier, and that it should be large enough for the whole regiment he commanded; a regiment consisting of 100 men. Thus they were encamped by regiments, and in the mere fact of common quarters there was this advantage, Cyrus thought, for the coming struggle, that the men saw they were all treated alike, and therefore no one could pretend that he was slighted, and no one sink to the confession that he was a worse man than his neighbours when it came to facing the foe. Moreover the life in common would help the men to know each other, and it is only by such knowledge, as a rule, that a common conscience is engendered; those who live apart, unknowing and unknown, seem far more apt for mischief, like those who skulk in the dark. (26) Cyrus thought the common life would lead to the happiest results in the discipline of the regiments. By this system all the officers—brigadiers, company-captains, captains of the squads—could keep their men in as perfect order as if they were marching before them in single file. (27) Such precision in the ranks would do most to guard against disorder and re-establish order if ever it were broken; just as when timbers and stones have to be fitted together it is easy enough to put them into place, wherever they chance to lie, provided only that they are marked so as to leave no doubt where each belongs. (28) And finally, he felt, there was the fact that those who live together are the less likely to desert one another; even the wild animals, Cyrus knew, who are reared together suffer terribly from loneliness when they are severed from each other.
(29) There was a further matter, to which he gave much care; he wished no man to take his meal at morning or at night till he had sweated for it. He would lead the men out to hunt, or invent games for them, or if there was work to be done, he would so conduct it that they did not leave it without sweat. He believed this regimen gave them zest for their food, was good for their health, and increased their powers of toil; and the toil itself was a blessed means for making the men more gentle towards each other; just as horses that work together grow gentle, and will stand quietly side by side. Moreover the knowledge of having gone through a common training would increase tenfold the courage with which they met the foe.
(30) Cyrus had his own quarters built to hold all the guests he might think it well to entertain, and, as a rule, he would invite such of the brigadiers as the occasion seemed to call for, but sometimes he would send for the company-captains and the officers in command of the smaller squads, and even the private soldiers were summoned to his board, and from time to time a squad of five, or of ten, or an entire company, or even a whole regiment, or he would give a special invitation by way of honour to any one whom he knew had undertaken some work he had at heart himself. In every case there was no distinction whatever between the meats for himself and for his guests. (31) Further he always insisted that the army servants should share and share alike with the soldiers in everything, for he held that those who did such service for the army were as much to be honoured as heralds or ambassadors. They were bound, he said, to be loyal and intelligent, alive to all a soldier's needs, active, swift, unhesitating, and withal cool and imperturbable. Nor was that all; he was convinced that they ought also to possess those qualities which are thought to be peculiar to what we call "the better classes," and yet never despise their work, but feel that everything their commander laid upon them must be fit for them to do.
(C.2) It was the constant aim of Cyrus whenever he and his soldiers messed together, that the talk should be lively and full of grace, and at the same time do the listeners good. Thus one day he brought the conversation round to the following theme:—
"Do you think, gentlemen," said he, "that our new comrades appear somewhat deficient in certain respects simply because they have not been educated in the same fashion as ourselves? Or will they show themselves our equals in daily life and on the field of battle when the time comes to meet the foe?"
(2) Hystaspas took up the challenge:—"What sort of warriors they will prove I do not pretend to know, but this I do say, in private life some of them are cross-grained fellows enough. Only the other day," he went on, "Cyaxares sent a present of sacrificial meat to every regiment. There was flesh enough for three courses apiece or more, and the attendant had handed round the first, beginning with myself. So when he came in again, I told him to begin at the other end of the board, and serve the company in that order. (3) But I was greeted by a yell from the centre: one of these men who was sitting there bawled out, 'Equality indeed! There's not much of it here, if we who sit in the middle are never served first at all!' It nettled me that they should fancy themselves treated worse than we, so I called him up at once and made him sit beside me. And I am bound to say he obeyed that order with the most exemplary alacrity. But when the dish came round to us, we found, not unnaturally, since we were the last to be served, that only a few scraps were left. At this my man fell into the deepest dudgeon, and made no attempt to conceal it, muttering to himself, 'Just like my ill-luck! To be invited here just now and never before!' (4) I tried to comfort him. 'Never mind,' I said, 'presently the servant will begin again with us, and then you will help yourself first and you can take the biggest piece.' Just then the third course, and, as it proved, the last, came round, and so the poor fellow took his helping, but as he did so it struck him that the piece he had chosen first was too small, and he put it back, meaning to pick out another. But the carver, thinking he had changed his mind and did not want any more, passed on to the next man before he had time to secure his second slice. (5) At this our friend took his loss so hard that he only made matters worse: his third course was clean gone, and now in his rage and his bad luck he somehow managed to overset the gravy, which was all that remained to him. The captain next to us seeing how matters stood rubbed his hands with glee and went into peals of laughter. And," said Hystaspas, "I took refuge in a fit of coughing myself, for really I could not have controlled my laughter. There, Cyrus," said he, "that is a specimen of our new comrades, as nearly as I can draw his portrait."
(6) The description, as may be guessed, was greeted with shouts of laughter, and then another brigadier took up the word: "Well, Cyrus," said he, "our friend here has certainly met with an absolute boor: my own experience is somewhat different. You remember the admonitions you gave us when you dismissed the regiments, and how you bade each of us instruct his own men in the lessons we had learnt from you. Well, I, like the rest of us, went off at once and set about instructing one of the companies under me. I posted the captain in front with a fine young fellow behind him, and after them the others in the order I thought best; I took my stand facing them all, and waited, with my eyes fixed on the captain, until I thought the right moment had come, and then I gave the order to advance. (7) And what must my fine fellow do but get in front of the captain and march off ahead of the whole troop. I cried out, 'You, sir, what are you doing?' 'Advancing as you ordered.' 'I never ordered you to advance alone,' I retorted, 'the order was given to the whole company.' At which he turned right round and addressed the ranks: 'Don't you hear the officer abusing you? The orders are for all to advance!' Whereupon the rest of them marched right past their captain and up to me. (8) Of course the captain called them back, and they began to grumble and growl: 'Which of the two are we to obey? One tells us to advance, the other won't let us move.'
"Well, I had to take the whole matter very quietly and begin again from the beginning, posting the company as they were, and explaining that no one in the rear was to move until the front rank man led off: all they had to do was to follow the man in front. (9) As I was speaking, up came a friend of mine; he was going off to Persia, and had come to ask me for a letter I had written home. So I turned to the captain who happened to know where I had left the letter lying, and bade him fetch it for me. Off he ran, and off ran my young fellow at his heels, breast-plate, battle-axe, and all. The rest of the company thought they were bound to follow suit, joined in the race, and brought my letter back in style. That is how my company, you see, carries out your instructions to the full."
(10) He paused, and the listeners laughed to their hearts' content, as well as they might, over the triumphant entry of the letter under its armed escort. Then Cyrus spoke:
"Now heaven be praised! A fine set they are, these new friends of ours, a most rare race! So grateful are they for any little act of courtesy, you may win a hundred hearts by a dish of meat! And so docile, some of them must needs obey an order before they have understood it! For my part I can only pray to be blest with an army like them all."
(11) Thus he joined in the mirth, but he turned the laughter to the praise of his new recruits.
Then one of the company, a brigadier called Aglaïtadas, a somewhat sour-tempered man, turned to him and said:
"Cyrus, do you really think the tales they tell are true?"
"Certainly," he answered, "why should they say what is false?"
"Why," repeated the other, "simply to raise a laugh, and make a brag like the impostors that they are." (12) But Cyrus cut him short, "Hush! hush! You must not use such ugly names. Let me tell you what an impostor is. He is a man who claims to be wealthier or braver than he is in fact, and who undertakes what he can never carry out, and all this for the sake of gain. But he who contrives mirth for his friends, not for his own profit, or his hearers' loss, or to injure any man, surely, if we must needs give him a name, we ought to call him a man of taste and breeding and a messenger of wit."
(13) Such was the defence of Cyrus in behalf of the merrymakers. And the officer who had begun the jest turned to Aglaïtadas and said:
"Just think, my dear sir, if we had tried to make you weep! What fault you would have found with us! Suppose we had been like the ballad-singers and story-tellers who put in lamentable tales in the hope of reducing their audience to tears! What would you have said about us then? Why, even now, when you know we only wish to amuse you, not to make you suffer, you must needs hold us up to shame."
(14) "And is not the shame justified?" Aglaïtadas replied. "The man who sets himself to make his fellows laugh does far less for them than he who makes them weep. If you will but think, you will admit that what I say is true. It is through tears our fathers teach self-control unto their sons, and our tutors sound learning to their scholars, and the laws themselves lead the grown man to righteousness by putting him to sit in the place of penitence. But your mirth-makers, can you say they benefit the body or edify the soul? Can smiles make a man a better master or a better citizen? Can he learn economy or statesmanship from a grin?"
(15) But Hystaspas answered back:
"Take my advice, Aglaïtadas, pluck up heart and spend this precious gift of yours on your enemies: make them sit in the seat of the sorrowful, and fling away on us, your friends, that vile and worthless laughter. You must have an ample store of it in reserve: it cannot be said you have squandered it on yourself, or ever wasted a smile on friend or foreigner if you could help it. So you have no excuse to be niggardly now, and cannot refuse us a smile."
"I see," said Aglaïtadas, "you are trying to get a laugh out of me, are you not?"
But the brigadier interposed, "Then he is a fool for his pains, my friend: one might strike fire out of you, perhaps, but not a laugh, not a laugh."
(16) At this sally all the others shouted with glee, and even Aglaïtadas could not help himself: he smiled.
And Cyrus, seeing the sombre face light up said:
"Brigadier, you are very wrong to corrupt so virtuous a man, luring him to laughter, and that too when he is the sworn foe of gaiety."
So they talked and jested. (17) And then Chrysantas began on another theme.
(18) "Cyrus," he said, "and gentlemen all, I cannot help seeing that within our ranks are men of every kind, some better and some worse, and yet if anything is won every man will claim an equal share. Now to my mind nothing is more unfair than that the base man and the good should be held of equal account."
"Perhaps it would be best, gentlemen," said Cyrus in answer, "to bring the matter before the army in council and put it to them, whether, if God grant us success, we should let all share and share alike, or distribute the rewards and honours in proportion to the deserts of each."
(19) "But why," asked Chrysantas, "why discuss the point? Why not simply issue a general order that you intend to do this? Was not that enough in the case of the competitions?"
"Doubtless," Cyrus answered, "but this case is different. The troops, I take it, will feel that all they win by their services on the campaign should belong to them in common: but they hold that the actual command of the expedition was mine by right even before we left home, so that I was fully entitled, on their view, to appoint umpires and judges at my own will."
(20) "And do you really expect," asked Chrysantas, "that the mass of the army will pass a resolution giving up the right of all to an equal share in order that the best men should receive the most?"
"Yes, I do," said Cyrus, "partly because we shall be there to argue for that course, but chiefly because it would seem too base to deny that he who works the hardest and does most for the common good deserves the highest recompense. Even the worst of men must admit that the brave should gain the most."
(21) It was, however, as much for the sake of the Peers themselves as for any other reason that Cyrus wished the resolution to be passed. They would prove all the better men, he thought, if they too were to be judged by their deeds and rewarded accordingly. And this was the right moment, he felt, to raise the question and put it to the vote, now when the Peers were disposed to resent being put on a level with the common people. In the end it was agreed by all the company that the question should be raised, and that every one who claimed to call himself a man was bound to argue in its favour.
(22) And on that one of the brigadiers smiled to himself and said: "I know at least one son of the soil who will be ready to agree that the principle of share and share alike should not be followed everywhere."
"And who is he?" another asked.
"Well," said the first, "he is a member of our quarters, I can tell you that, and he is always hunting after the lion's share of every single thing."
"What? Of everything?" said a third. "Of work as well?" "Oh, no!" said the first, "you have caught me there. I was wrong to say so much, I must confess. When it comes to work, I must admit, he is quite ready to go short: he will give up his own share of that, without a murmur, to any man whatever."
(23) "For my part, gentlemen," said Cyrus, "I hold that all such idlers ought to be turned out of the army, that is, if we are ever to cultivate obedience and energy in our men. The bulk of our soldiers, I take it, are of the type to follow a given lead: they will seek after nobleness and valour if their leaders are valiant and noble, but after baseness if these are base. (24) And we know that only too often the worthless will find more friends than the good. Vice, passing lightly along her path of pleasure, wins the hearts of thousands with her gifts; but Virtue, toiling up the steep ascent, has little skill to snare the souls of men and draw them after her, when all the while their comrades are calling to them on the easy downward way. (25) It is true there are degrees, and where the evil springs only from sloth and lethargy, I look on the creatures as mere drones, only injuring the hive by what they cost: but there are others, backward in toil and forward in greed, and these are the captains in villainy: for not seldom can they show that rascality has its advantages. Such as they must be removed, cut out from among us, root and branch. (26) And I would not have you fill their places from our fellow-citizens alone, but, just as you choose your horses from the best stocks, wherever you find them, not limiting yourselves to the national breed, so you have all mankind before you, and you should choose those, and those only, who will increase your power and add to your honour. Let me clinch my argument by examples: no chariot can travel fast if the horses in the team are slow, or run straight if they will not be ruled; no house can stand firm if the household is evil: better empty walls than traitors who will bring it to the ground.
(27) "And be sure, my friends," he added, "the removal of the bad means a benefit beyond the sheer relief that they are taken away and will trouble us no more: those who are left and were ripe for contagion are purified, and those who were worthy will cleave to virtue all the closer when they see the dishonour that falls on wickedness."
(28) So Cyrus spoke, and his words won the praise of all his friends, and they set themselves to do as he advised.
But after that Cyrus began to jest again. His eye fell on a certain captain who had chosen for his comrade at the feast a great hairy lad, a veritable monster of ugliness, and Cyrus called to the captain by name: "How now, Sambulas? Have you adopted the Hellenic fashion too? And will you roam the world together, you and the lad who sits beside you, because there is none so fair as he?" "By heaven," answered Sambulas, "you are not far wrong. It is bliss to me to feast my eyes upon him." (29) At that all the guests turned and looked on the young man's face, but when they saw how ugly it was, they could not help laughing outright. "Heavens, Sambulas, tell us the valiant deed that knit your souls together! How has he drawn you to himself?" (30) "Listen then," he answered, "and I will tell you the whole truth. Every time I call him, morning, noon, or night, he comes to me; never yet has he excused himself, never been too busy to attend; and he comes at a run, he does not walk. Whatever I have bidden him do, he has always done it, and at the top of his speed. He has made all the petty captains under him the very models of industry; he shows them, not by word but deed, what they ought to be." (31) "And so," said another, "for all these virtues you give him, I take it, the kiss of kinship?" But the ugly lad broke out: "Not he! He has no great love for work. And to kiss me, if it came to that, would mean more effort than all his exercises."
(C.3) So the hours passed in the general's tent, from grave to gay, until at last the third libation was poured out, and the company bent in prayer to the gods—"Grant us all that is good"—and so broke up, and went away to sleep.
But the next day Cyrus assembled the soldiers in full conclave, and spoke to them: (2) "My men," he said, "my friends, the day of struggle is at hand, and the enemy are near. The prizes of victory, if victory is to be ours—and we must believe it will be ours, we must make it ours—the prizes of victory will be nothing short of the enemy himself and all that he possesses. And if the victory should be his, then, in like manner, all the goods of the vanquished must lie at the victor's feet. (3) Therefore I would have you take this to your hearts: wherever those who have joined together for war remember that unless each and every one of them play his part with zeal nothing good can follow; there we may look for glorious success. For there nothing that ought to be done will be left undone. But if each man thinks 'My neighbour will toil and fight, even though my own heart should fail and my own arm fall slack,' then, believe me, disaster is at the door for each and all alike, and no man shall escape. (4) Such is the ordinance of God: those who will not work out their own salvation he gives into the hands of other men to bear rule over them. And now I call on any man here," he added, "to stand up and say whether he believes that virtue will best be nourished among us if he who bears the greatest toil and takes the heaviest risk shall receive the highest honours. Or whether we should hold that cowardice makes no difference in the end, seeing that we all must share alike?"
(5) Thereupon Chrysantas of the Peers rose up. He was a man of understanding, but his bodily presence was weak. And now he spoke thus:
"I do not imagine, Cyrus, that you put this question with any belief that cowards ought really to receive the same share as the brave. No, you wished to make trial of us and see whether any man would dare to claim an equal part in all that his fellows win by their nobleness, though he never struck a single valiant stroke himself. (6) I myself," he continued, "am neither fleet of foot nor stout of limb, and for aught I can do with my body, I perceive that on the day of trial neither the first place nor the second can be mine, no, nor yet the hundredth, nor even, it may be, the thousandth. But this I know right well, that if our mighty men put forth all their strength, I too shall receive such portion of our blessings as I may deserve. But if the cowards sit at ease and the good and brave are out of heart, then I fear that I shall get a portion, a larger than I care to think, of something that is no blessing but a curse."
(7) And so spoke Chrysantas, and then Pheraulas stood up. He was a man of the people, but well known to Cyrus in the old days at home and well-beloved by him: no mean figure to look at, and in soul like a man of noble birth. Now he spoke as follows:
(8) "Cyrus, friends, and Persians, I hold to the belief that on this day we all start equal in that race where valour is the goal. I speak of what I see: we are trained on the same fare; we are held worthy of the same comradeship; we contend for the same rewards. All of us alike are told to obey our leaders, and he who obeys most frankly never fails to meet with honour at the hands of Cyrus. Valour is no longer the privilege of one class alone: it has become the fairest prize that can fall to the lot of any man. (9) And to-day a battle is before us where no man need teach us how to fight: we have the trick of it by nature, as a bull knows how to use his horns, or a horse his hoofs, or a dog his teeth, or a wild boar his tusks. The animals know well enough," he added, "when and where to guard themselves: they need no master to tell them that. (10) I myself, when I was a little lad, I knew by instinct how to shield myself from the blow I saw descending: if I had nothing else, I had my two fists, and used them with all my force against my foe: no one taught me how to do it, on the contrary they beat me if they saw me clench my fists. And a knife, I remember, I never could resist: I clutched the thing whenever I caught sight of it: not a soul showed me how to hold it, only nature herself, I do aver. I did it, not because I was taught to do it, but in spite of being forbidden, like many another thing to which nature drove me, in spite of my father and mother both. Yes, and I was never tired of hacking and hewing with my knife whenever I got the chance: it did not seem merely natural, like walking or running, it was positive joy. (11) Well, to-day we are to fight in this same simple fashion: energy, rather than skill, is called for, and glorious it will be to match ourselves against our friends, the Peers of Persia. And let us remember that the same prizes are offered to us all, but the stakes differ: our friends give up a life of honour, the sweetest life there can be, but we escape from years of toil and ignominy, and there can be no life worse than that. (12) And what fires me most of all, my friends, and sends me into the lists most gladly, is the thought that Cyrus will be our judge: one who will give no partial verdict. I call the gods to witness when I say that he loves a valiant man as he loves his own soul: I have seen him give such an one more than he ever keeps for himself. (13) And now," he added, "I know that our friends here pride themselves upon their breeding and what it has done for them. They have been brought up to endure hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, and yet they are aware that we too have been trained in the self-same school and by a better master than they: we were taught by Necessity, and there is no teacher so good, and none so strict. (14) How did our friends here learn their endurance? By bearing arms, weapons of war, tools that the wit of the whole human race has made as light as well could be: but Necessity drove us, my fellows and myself, to stagger under burdens so heavy that to-day, if I may speak for myself, these weapons of mine seem rather wings to lift me than weights to bear. (15) I for one am ready, Cyrus, to enter the lists, and, however I prove, I will ask from you no more than I deserve: I would have you believe this. And you," he added, turning to his fellows, "you, men of the people, I would have you plunge into the battle and match yourselves with these gentlemen-warriors: the fine fellows must meet us now, for this is the people's day."
(16) That is what Pheraulas said, and many rose to follow him and support his views. And it was resolved that each man should be honoured according to his deserts and that Cyrus should be the judge. So the matter ended, and all was well.
(17) Now Cyrus gave a banquet and a certain brigadier was the chief guest, and his regiment with him. Cyrus had marked the officer one day when he was drilling his men; he had drawn up the ranks in two divisions, opposite each other, ready for the charge. They were all wearing corslets and carrying light shields, but half were equipped with stout staves of fennel, and half were ordered to snatch up clods of earth and do what they could with these. (18) When all were ready, the officer gave the signal and the artillery began, not without effect: the missiles fell fast on shields and corslets, on thighs and greaves. But when they came to close quarters the men of the staves had their turn: they struck at thighs and hands and legs, or, if the adversary stooped and twisted, they belaboured back and shoulders, till they put the foe to utter rout, delivering their blows with shouts of laughter and the glee of boys. Then there was an exchange of weapons, and the other side had their revenge: they took the staves in their turn, and once more the staff triumphed over the clod. (19) Cyrus was full of admiration, partly at the inventiveness of the commander, partly at the discipline of the men; it was good to see the active exercise, and the gaiety of heart, and good to know that the upshot of the battle favoured those who fought in the Persian style. In every way he was pleased, and then and there he bade them all to dinner. But at the feast many of the guests wore bandages, some on their hands, others on their legs, and Cyrus saw it and asked what had befallen them. They told him they had been bruised by the clods. (20) "At close quarters?" said he, "or at long range?" "At long range," they answered, and all the club-bearers agreed that when it came to close quarters, they had the finest sport. But here those who had been carbonaded by that weapon broke in and protested loudly that it was anything but sport to be clubbed at short range, and in proof thereof they showed the weals on hand and neck and face. Thus they laughed at one another as soldiers will; and on the next day the whole plain was studded with combats of this type, and whenever the army had nothing more serious in hand, this sport was their delight.
(21) Another day Cyrus noticed a brigadier who was marching his regiment up from the river back to their quarters. They were advancing in single file on his left, and at the proper moment he ordered the second company to wheel round and draw up to the front alongside the first, and then the third, and then the fourth; and when the company-captains were all abreast, he passed the word along, "Companies in twos," and the captains-of-ten came into line; and then at the right moment he gave the order, "Companies in fours," and the captains of five wheeled round and came abreast, and when they reached the tent doors he called a halt, made them fall into single file once more, and marched the first company in first, and then the second at its heels, and the third and fourth behind them, and as he introduced them, he seated them at the table, keeping the order of their entry. What Cyrus commended was the quiet method of instruction and the care the officer showed, and it was for that he invited him and all his regiment to dinner in the royal tent.
(22) Now it chanced that another brigadier was among the guests, and he spoke up and said to Cyrus: "But will you never ask my men to dinner too? Day after day, morning and evening, whenever we come in for a meal we do just the same as they, and when the meal is over the hindmost man of the last company leads out his men with their fighting-order reversed, and the next company follows, led by their hindmost man, and then the third, and then the fourth: so that all of them, if they have to retire before an enemy, will know how to fall back in good order. And as soon as we are drawn up on the parade-ground we set off marching east, and I lead off with all my divisions behind me, in their regular order, waiting for my word. By-and-by we march west, and then the hindmost man of the last division leads the way, but they must still look to me for commands, though I am marching last: and thus they learn to obey with equal promptitude whether I am at the head or in the rear."
(23) "Do you mean to tell me," said Cyrus, "that this is a regular rule of yours?"
"Truly yes," he answered, "as regular as our meals, heaven help us!"
"Then I hereby invite you all to dinner, and for three good reasons; you practice your drill in both forms, you do this morning and evening both, and by your marching and counter-marching you train your bodies and benefit your souls. And since you do it all twice over every day, it is only fair to give you dinner twice."
(24) "Not twice in one day, I beg you!" said the officer, "unless you can furnish us with a second stomach apiece."
And so the conversation ended for the time. But the next day Cyrus was as good as his word. He had all the regiment to dinner; and the day after he invited them again: and when the other regiments knew of it they fell to doing as they did.
(C.4) Now it chanced one day as Cyrus was holding a review, a messenger came from Cyaxares to tell him that an embassy from India had just arrived, and to bid him return with all despatch.
"And I bring with me," said the messenger, "a suit of splendid apparel sent from Cyaxares himself: my lord wishes you to appear in all possible splendour, for the Indians will be there to see you."
(2) At that Cyrus commanded the brigadier of the first regiment to draw up to the front with his men behind him on the left in single file, and to pass the order on to the second, and so throughout the army. Officers and men were quick to obey; so that in a trice the whole force on the field was drawn up, one hundred deep and three hundred abreast, with their officers at the head. (3) When they were in position Cyrus bade them follow his lead and off they went at a good round pace. However the road leading to the royal quarters was too narrow to let them pass with so wide a front and Cyrus sent word along the line that the first detachment, one thousand strong, should follow as they were, and then the second, and so on to the last, and as he gave the command he led on without a pause and all the detachments followed in due order, one behind the other. (4) But to prevent mistakes he sent two gallopers up to the entrance with orders to explain what should be done in case the men were at a loss. And when they reached the gates, Cyrus told the leading brigadier to draw up his regiment round the palace, twelve deep, the front rank facing the building, and this command he was to pass on to the second, and the second to the third, and so on till the last. (5) And while they saw to this he went in to Cyaxares himself, wearing his simple Persian dress without a trace of pomp. Cyaxares was well pleased at his celerity, but troubled by the plainness of his attire, and said to him, "What is the meaning of this, Cyrus? How could you show yourself in this guise to the Indians? I wished you to appear in splendour: it would have done me honour for my sister's son to be seen in great magnificence."
(6) But Cyrus made answer: "Should I have done you more honour if I had put on a purple robe, and bracelets for my arms, and a necklace about my neck, and so presented myself at your call after long delay? Or as now, when to show you respect I obey you with this despatch and bring you so large and fine a force, although I wear no ornament but the dust and sweat of speed, and make no display unless it be to show you these men who are as obedient to you as I am myself." Such were the words of Cyrus, and Cyaxares felt that they were just, and so sent for the Indian ambassadors forthwith. (7) And when they entered they gave this message:—The king of the Indians bade them ask what was the cause of strife between the Assyrians and the Medes, "And when we have heard you," they said, "our king bids us betake ourselves to the Assyrian and put the same question to him, and in the end we are to tell you both that the king of the Indians, when he has enquired into the justice of the case, will uphold the cause of him who has been wronged."
(8) To this Cyaxares replied:
"Then take from me this answer: we do the Assyrian no wrong nor any injustice whatsoever. And now go and make inquiry of him, if you are so minded, and see what answer he will give."
Then Cyrus, who was standing by, asked Cyaxares, "May I too say what is in my mind?" "Say on," answered Cyaxares. Then Cyrus turned to the ambassadors: "Tell your master," he said, "unless Cyaxares is otherwise minded, that we are ready to do this: if the Assyrian lays any injustice to our charge we choose the king of the Indians himself to be our judge, and he shall decide between us."
(9) With that the embassy departed. And when they had gone out Cyrus turned to his uncle and began, "Cyaxares, when I came to you I had scant wealth of my own and of the little I brought with me only a fragment is left. I have spent it all on my soldiers. You may wonder at this," he added, "when it is you who have supported them, but, believe me, the money has not been wasted: it has all been spent on gifts and rewards to the soldiers who deserved it. (10) And I am sure," he added, "if we require good workers and good comrades in any task whatever, it is better and pleasanter to encourage them by kind speeches and kindly acts than to drive them by pains and penalties. And if it is for war that we need such trusty helpers, we can only win the men we want by every charm of word and grace of deed. For our true ally must be a friend and not a foe, one who can never envy the prosperity of his leader nor betray him in the day of disaster. (11) Such is my conviction, and such being so, I do not hide from myself the need of money. But to look to you for everything, when I know that you spend so much already, would be monstrous in my eyes. I only ask that we should take counsel together so as to prevent the failure of your funds. I am well aware that if you won great wealth, I should be able to help myself at need, especially if I used it for your own advantage. (12) Now I think you told me the other day that the king of Armenia has begun to despise you, because he hears we have an enemy, and therefore he will neither send you troops nor pay the tribute which is due." (13) "Yes," answered Cyaxares, "such are his tricks. And I cannot decide whether to march on him at once and try to subdue him by force, or let the matter be for the time, for fear of adding to the enemies we have." Then Cyrus asked, "Are his dwellings strongly fortified, or could they be attacked?" And Cyaxares answered, "The actual fortifications are not very strong: I took good care of that. But he has the hill-country to which he can retire, and there for the moment lie secure, knowing that he himself is safely out of reach, with everything that he can convoy thither; unless we are prepared to carry on a siege, as my father actually did."
(14) Thereupon Cyrus said, "Now if you are willing to send me with a moderate force of cavalry—I will not ask for many men—I believe, heaven helping me, I could compel him to send the troops and the tribute. And I even hope that in the future he may become a firmer friend that he is now." (15) And Cyaxares said: "I think myself they are more likely to listen to you than to me. I have been told that his sons were your companions in the chase when you were lads, and possibly old habits will return and they will come over to you. Once they were in our power, everything could be done as we desire." "Then," said Cyrus, "this plan of ours had better be kept secret, had it not?" "No doubt," answered Cyaxares. "In that way they would be more likely to fall into our hands, and if we attack them they would be taken unprepared."
(16) "Listen then," said Cyrus, "and see what you think of this. I have often hunted the marches between your country and Armenia with all my men, and sometimes I have taken horsemen with me from our comrades here." "I see," said Cyaxares, "and if you chose to do the like again it would seem only natural, but if your force was obviously larger than usual, suspicion would arise at once." (17) "But it is possible," said Cyrus, "to frame a pretext which would find credit with us and with them too, if any rumour reached them. We might give out that I intend to hold a splendid hunt and I might ask you openly for a troop of horse."
"Admirable!" said Cyaxares. "And I shall refuse to give you more than a certain number, my reason being that I wish to visit the outposts on the Syrian side. And as a matter of fact," he added, "I do wish to see them and put them in as strong a state as possible. Then, as soon as you have started with your men, and marched, let us say, for a couple of days, I could send you a good round number of horse and foot from my own detachment. And when you have them at your back, you could advance at once, and I will follow with the rest of my men as near you as I may, close enough to appear in time of need."
(18) Accordingly, Cyaxares proceeded to muster horse and foot for his own march, and sent provision-waggons forward to meet him on the road. Meanwhile Cyrus offered sacrifice for the success of his expedition and found an opportunity to ask Cyaxares for a troop of his junior cavalry. But Cyaxares would only spare a few, though many wished to go. Soon afterwards he started for the outposts himself with all his horse and foot, and then Cyrus found the omens favourable for his enterprise, and led his soldiers out as though he meant to hunt. (19) He was scarcely on his way when a hare started up at their feet, and an eagle, flying on the right, saw the creature as it fled, swooped down and struck it, bore it aloft in its talons to a cliff hard by, and did its will upon it there. The omen pleased Cyrus well, and he bowed in worship to Zeus the King, and said to his company, "This shall be a right noble hunt, my friends, if God so will."
(20) When he came to the borders he began the hunt in his usual way, the mass of horse and foot going on ahead in rows like reapers, beating out the game, with picked men posted at intervals to receive the animals and give them chase. And thus they took great numbers of boars and stags and antelopes and wild-asses: even to this day wild-asses are plentiful in those parts. (21) But when the chase was over, Cyrus had touched the frontier of the Armenian land, and there he made the evening meal. The next day he hunted till he reached the mountains which were his goal. And there he halted again and made the evening meal. At this point he knew that the army from Cyaxares was advancing, and he sent secretly to them and bade them keep about eight miles off, and take their evening meal where they were, since that would make for secrecy. And when their meal was over he told them to send their officers to him, and after supper he called his own brigadiers together and addressed them thus:
(22) "My friends, in old days the Armenian was a faithful ally and subject of Cyaxares, but now when he sees an enemy against us, he assumes contempt: he neither sends the troops nor pays the tribute. He is the game we have come to catch, if catch we can. And this, I think, is the way. You, Chrysantas," said he, "will sleep for a few hours, and then take half the Persians with you, make for the hill country, and seize the heights which we hear are his places of refuge when alarmed. I will give you guides. (23) The hills, they tell us, are covered with trees and scrub, so that we may hope you will escape unseen: still you might send a handful of scouts ahead of you, disguised as a band of robbers. If they should come across any Armenians they can either make them prisoners and prevent them from spreading the news, or at least scare them out of the way, so that they will not realise the whole of your force, and only take measures against a pack of thieves. (24) That is your task, Chrysantas, and now for mine. At break of day I shall take half the foot and all the cavalry and march along the level straight to the king's residence. If he resists, we must fight, if he retreats along the plain we must run him down, if he makes for the mountains, why then," said Cyrus, "it will be your business to see that none of your visitors escape. (25) Think of it as a hunt: we down below are the beaters rounding up the game, and you are the men at the nets: only bear in mind that the earths must all be stopped before the game is up, and the men at the traps must be hidden, or they will turn back the flying quarry. (26) One last word, Chrysantas: you must not behave now as I have known you do in your passion for the chase: you must not sit up the whole night long without a wink of sleep, you must let all your men have the modicum of rest that they cannot do without. (27) Nor must you—just because you scour the hills in the hunt without a guide, following the lead of the quarry and that alone, checking and changing course wherever it leads you—you must not now plunge into the wildest paths: you must tell your guides to take you by the easiest road unless it is much the longest. (28) In war, they say, the easiest way is the quickest. And once more, because you can race up a mountain yourself you are not to lead on your men at the double; suit your pace to the strength of all. (29) Indeed, it were no bad thing if some of your best and bravest were to fall behind here and there and cheer the laggards on: and it would quicken the pace of all, when the column has gone ahead, to see them racing back to their places past the marching files."
(30) Chrysantas listened, and his heart beat high at the trust reposed in him. He took the guides, and gave the necessary orders for those who were to march with him, and then he lay down to rest. And when all his men had had the sleep he thought sufficient he set out for the hills. (31) Day dawned, and Cyrus sent a messenger to the Armenian with these words: "Cyrus bids you see to it that you bring your tribute and troops without delay." "And if he asks you where Cyrus is, tell the truth and say I am on the frontier. And if he asks whether I am advancing myself, tell the truth again and say that you do not know. And if he enquires how many we are, bid him send some one with you to find out."
(32) Having so charged the messenger he sent him on forthwith, holding this to be more courteous than to attack without warning. Then he drew up his troops himself in the order best suited for marching, and, if necessary, for fighting, and so set forth. The soldiers had orders that not a soul was to be wronged, and if they met any Armenians they were to bid them to have no fear, but open a market wherever they wished, and sell meat or drink as they chose.
C1.5. Is this historical, i.e. quasi-historical? Are any of the names real or all invented to give verisimilitude?
C1.13. Any touch of the sycophancy of the future in it? As in modern Germany, a touch of that involved in the system of royalty.
C1.15. The raw material is good, but not worked up. Important for the conception of Hellenic democracy (cf. § 17). Daring, courage, virtue—there is no monopoly of these things.
C1.21. (Cf. below VIII. C2.5) Worthy of Adam Smith. Xenophon has bump of economy strongly developed; he resembles J. P.(*) in that respect. The economic methodism, the mosaic interbedding, the architectonic structure of it all, a part and parcel of Xenophon's genius. Was Alexander's army a highly-organised, spiritually and materially built-up, vitalised machine of this sort? What light does Arrian, that younger Xenophon, throw upon it?
(* "J. P." = John Percival, Bishop of Hereford (the writer of the Introduction to this volume), at the time the notes were written Headmaster of Clifton College.—F.M.S.)
C1.25. Camaraderie encouraged and developed through a sense of equality and fraternity, the life au grand jour in common, producing a common consciousness (cf. Comte and J. P.; Epaminondas and the Sacred Band at Thebes).
C2. Contrast of subject enlivening the style—light concrete as a foil to the last drier abstract detail. Humorous also, with a dramatising and development of the characters, Shakespeare-wise—Hystaspas, and the rest. Aglaïtadas, a type of educator we know well (cf. Eccles. "Cocker not a child"), grim, dry person with no sense of humour. Xenophon's own humour shines out.
C2.12. The term given to the two stories {eis tagathon}. T. E. B.(*) could do it, or Socrates, without dullness or seeming to preach. There is a crispness in the voice which is anti-pedantic.
(* "T. E. B." = T. E. Brown, the Manx poet, at that time a colleague of Mr. Dakyns at Clifton.—F.M.S.)
C2.19. Cyrus recognises the ideal principle of co-operation and collective ownership. Xenophon, Economist, ahead of the moderns.
C2.26. Xenophon's breadth of view: virtue is not confined to citizens, but we have the pick of the whole world. Cosmopolitan Hellenism.
C3.4. Xenophon's theory of rule (cf. Ruskin): a right, inalienable, God-bestowed, of the virtuous; subjection an inevitable consequence on lack of self-discipline.
C3.5, init. Is this a carelessness, or what? Chrysantas has been introduced before, but here he is described as if stepping on the stage for the first time. The sentence itself suggests the mould for the New Testament narrative.
C3.7. Pheraulas, and of him we shall hear much. A sharp contrast to Chrysantas, the Peer, with his pointed plebeian similes. His speech important again for Xenophon's sympathetic knowledge of children and also of the hard-working poor.
C3.10. How true to nature this. Cannot one see the little boy doubling his little fists, a knife in his pocket, possibly a ball of string?
C3.11. Is there a touch of flunkeyism in this? Not so; it is the clear-sighted scientific Greek, that is all.
C3.14. Very Scotch all this.
C3.21-22. Locus classicus for regimental marching tactics. Qy.: Are any of these tactical improvements by Xenophon himself?
C3.21. The "regiment" of a hundred men was divided into four "companies" of twenty-five, to each of these one company-captain and twenty-four men, viz.: twenty privates, two captains-of-ten, and two captains-of-five, the two captains of ten having also especial charge over the two remaining squads of five. A condensed diagram may make the little manoeuvre clear. An X represents one group of five plus its captain, either a captain-of-five or a captain-of-ten. A C represents a company-captain.
  First position—One long column. All in single file.

  Second position—Four columns. Single file for each company.

  Third position—Eight columns. Double files.

  Fourth position—Sixteen columns. Quadruple files.

    C      C   C       C     C          C       C
    X      X   X  ->  X X   X X  ->  X X X X X X X X
    X  ->  X   X      X X   X X
    X      X   X
    X      X   X
C4.15. Cyaxares means to kidnap them, doesn't he? That is not quite Cyrus' method. If so, it contrasts Cyaxares and Cyrus again.
C4.17. Cyaxares the old fox improves upon the plan.
C4.30, init. It is these touches which give the thrilling subjective feeling to the writings of Xenophon, or, rather, thus his nerves tingle, just as the external touches give a sense of objective health (e.g. above, C1.29).
C4.32. All this is entirely modern, never yet excelled, I imagine.


(C.1) Thus Cyrus made his preparations. But the Armenian, when he heard what the messenger had to say, was terror-stricken: he knew the wrong he had done in neglecting the tribute and withholding the troops, and, above all, he was afraid it would be discovered that he was beginning to put his palace in a fit state for defence. (2) Therefore, with much trepidation, he began to collect his own forces, and at the same time he sent his younger son Sabaris into the hills with the women, his own wife, and the wife of his elder son and his daughters, taking the best of their ornaments and furniture with them and an escort to be their guide. Meanwhile he despatched a party to discover what Cyrus was doing, and organised all the Armenian contingents as they came in. But it was not long before other messengers arrived, saying that Cyrus himself was actually at hand. (3) Then his courage forsook him; he dared not come to blows and he withdrew. As soon as the recruits saw this they took to their heels, each man bent on getting his own property safely out of the way. When Cyrus saw the plains full of them, racing and riding everywhere, he sent out messengers privately to explain that he had no quarrel with any who stayed quietly in their homes, but if he caught a man in flight, he warned them he would treat him as an enemy. Thus the greater part were persuaded to remain, though there were some who retreated with the king.
(4) But when the escort with the women came on the Persians in the mountain, they fled with cries of terror, and many of them were taken prisoners. In the end the young prince himself was captured, and the wife of the king, and his daughters, and his daughter-in-law, and all the goods they had with them. And when the king learnt what had happened, scarcely knowing where to turn, he fled to the summit of a certain hill. (5) Cyrus, when he saw it, surrounded the spot with his troops and sent word to Chrysantas, bidding him leave a force to guard the mountains and come down to him. So the mass of the army was collected under Cyrus, and then he sent a herald to the king with this enquiry:
"Son of Armenia, will you wait here and fight with hunger and thirst, or will you come down into the plain and fight it out with us?" But the Armenian answered that he wished to fight with neither. (6) Cyrus sent again and asked, "Why do you sit there, then, and refuse to come down?" "Because I know not what to do," answered the other. "It is simple enough," said Cyrus, "come down and take your trial." "And who shall try me?" asked the king. "He," answered Cyrus, "to whom God has given the power to treat you as he lists, without a trial at all."
Thereupon the Armenian came down, yielding to necessity, and Cyrus took him and all that he had and placed him in the centre of the camp, for all his forces were now at hand.
(7) Meanwhile Tigranes, the elder son of the king, was on his way home from a far country. In old days he had hunted with Cyrus and been his friend, and now, when he heard what had happened, he came forward just as he was; but when he saw his father and his mother, his brother and sisters, and his own wife all held as prisoners, he could not keep back the tears. (8) But Cyrus gave him no sign of friendship or courtesy, and only said, "You have come in time, you may be present now to hear your father tried." With that he summoned the leaders of the Persians and the Medes, and any Armenian of rank and dignity who was there, nor would he send away the women as they sat in covered carriages, but let them listen too. (9) When all was ready he began: "Son of Armenia, I would counsel you, in the first place, to speak the truth, so that at least you may stand free from what deserves the utmost hate: beyond all else, be assured, manifest lying checks the sympathy of man and man. Moreover," said he, "your own sons, your daughters, and your wife are well aware of all that you have done, and so are your own Armenians who are here: if they perceive that you say what is not true, they must surely feel that out of your own lips you condemn yourself to suffer the uttermost penalty when I learn the truth." "Nay," answered the king, "ask me whatever you will, and I will answer truly, come what come may." (10) "Answer then," said Cyrus, "did you once make war upon Astyages, my mother's father, and his Medes?" "I did," he answered. "And were you conquered by him, and did you agree to pay tribute and furnish troops whenever he required, and promise not to fortify your dwellings?" "Even so," he said. "Why is it, then, that to-day you have neither brought the tribute nor sent the troops, and are building forts?" "I set my heart on liberty: it seemed to me so fair a thing to be free myself and to leave freedom to my sons." (11) "And fair and good it is," said Cyrus, "to fight for freedom and choose death rather than slavery, but if a man is worsted in war or enslaved by any other means and then attempts to rid himself of his lord, tell me yourself, would you honour such a man as upright, and a doer of noble deeds, or would you, if you got him in your power, chastise him as a malefactor?" "I would chastise him," he answered, "since you drive me to the truth." (12) "Then answer me now, point by point," said Cyrus. "If you have an officer and he does wrong, do you suffer him to remain in office, or do you set up another in his stead?" "I set up another." "And if he have great riches, to you leave him all his wealth, or do you make him a beggar?" "I take away from him all that he has." "And if you found him deserting to your enemies, what would you do?" "I would kill him," he said: "why should I perish with a lie on my lips rather than speak the truth and die?"
(13) But at this his son rent his garments and dashed the tiara from his brows, and the women lifted up their voices in wailing and tore their cheeks, as though their father was dead already, and they themselves undone. But Cyrus bade them keep silence, and spoke again. "Son of Armenia, we have heard your own judgment in this case, and now tell us, what ought we to do?" But the king sat silent and perplexed, wondering whether he should bid Cyrus put him to death, or act in the teeth of the rule he had laid down for himself. (14) Then his son Tigranes turned to Cyrus and said, "Tell me, Cyrus, since my father sits in doubt, may I give counsel in his place and say what I think best for you?"
Now Cyrus remembered that, in the old hunting days, he had noticed a certain man of wisdom who went about with Tigranes and was much admired by him, and he was curious to know what the youth would say. So he readily agreed and bade him speak his mind.
(15) "In my view, then," said Tigranes, "if you approve of all that my father has said and done, certainly you ought to do as he did, but if you think he has done wrong, then you must not copy him."
"But surely," said Cyrus, "the best way to avoid copying the wrongdoer is to practise what is right?"
"True enough," answered the prince.
"Then on your own reasoning, I am bound to punish your father, if it is right to punish wrong."
"But would you wish your vengeance to do you harm instead of good?"
"Nay," said Cyrus, "for then my vengeance would fall upon myself."
(16) "Even so," said Tigranes, "and you will do yourself the greatest harm if you put your own subjects to death just when they are most valuable to you."
"Can they have any value," asked Cyrus, "when they are detected doing wrong?"
"Yes," answered Tigranes, "if that is when they turn to good and learn sobriety. For it is my belief, Cyrus, that without this virtue all others are in vain. What good will you get from a strong man or a brave if he lack sobriety, be he never so good a horseman, never so rich, never so powerful in the state? But with sobriety every friend is a friend in need and every servant a blessing."
(17) "I take your meaning," answered Cyrus; "your father, you would have me think, has been changed in this one day from a fool into a wise and sober-minded man?"
"Exactly," said the prince.
"Then you would call sober-mindedness a condition of our nature, such as pain, not a matter of reason that can be learnt? For certainly, if he who is to be sober-minded must learn wisdom first, he could not be converted from folly in a day."
(18) "Nay, but, Cyrus," said the prince, "surely you yourself have known one man at least who out of sheer folly has set himself to fight a stronger man than he, and on the day of defeat his senselessness has been cured. And surely you have known a city ere now that has marshalled her battalions against a rival state, but with defeat she changes suddenly and is willing to obey and not resist?"
(19) "But what defeat," said Cyrus, "can you find in your father's case to make you so sure that he has come to a sober mind?"
"A defeat," answered the young man, "of which he is well aware in the secret chambers of his soul. He set his heart on liberty, and he has found himself a slave as never before: he had designs that needed stealth and speed and force, and not one of them has he been able to carry through. With you he knows that design and fulfilment went hand in hand; when you wished to outwit him, outwit him you did, as though he had been blind and deaf and dazed; when stealth was needed, your stealth was such that the fortresses he thought his own you turned into traps for him; and your speed was such that you were upon him from miles away with all your armament before he found time to muster the forces at his command."
(20) "So you think," said Cyrus, "that merely to learn another is stronger than himself is defeat enough to bring a man to his senses?"
"I do," answered Tigranes, "and far more truly than mere defeat in battle. For he who is conquered by force may fancy that if he trains he can renew the war, and captured cities dream that with the help of allies they will fight again one day, but if we meet with men who are better than ourselves and whom we recognise to be so, we are ready to obey them of our own free will." (21) "You imagine then," said Cyrus, "that the bully and the tyrant cannot recognise the man of self-restraint, nor the thief the honest man, nor the liar the truth-speaker, nor the unjust man the upright? Has not your own father lied even now and broken his word with us, although he knew that we had faithfully observed every jot and tittle of the compact Astyages made?" (22) "Ah, but," replied the prince, "I do not pretend that the bare knowledge alone will bring a man to his senses, it cannot cure him unless he pays the penalty as my father pays it to-day." "But," answered Cyrus, "your father has suffered nothing at all so far: although he fears, I know, that the worst suffering may be his." (23) "Do you suppose then," asked Tigranes, "that anything can enslave a man more utterly than fear? Do you not know that even the men who are beaten with the iron rod of war, the heaviest rod in all the world, may still be ready to fight again, while the victims of terror cannot be brought to look their conquerors in the face, even when they try to comfort them?" "Then, you maintain," said Cyrus, "that fear will subdue a man more than suffering?" (24) "Yes," he answered, "and you of all men know that what I say is true: you know the despondency men feel in dread of banishment, or on the eve of battle facing defeat, or sailing the sea in peril of shipwreck—they cannot touch their food or take their rest because of their alarm: while it may often be that the exiles themselves, the conquered, or the enslaved, can eat and sleep better than men who have not known adversity. (25) Think of those panic-stricken creatures who through fear of capture and death have died before their day, have hurled themselves from cliffs, hanged themselves, or set the knife to their throats; so cruelly can fear, the prince of horrors, bind and subjugate the souls of men. And what, think you, does my father feel at this moment? He, whose fears are not for himself alone, but for us all, for his wife, and for his children." (26) And Cyrus said, "To-day and at this time, it may be with him as you say: but I still think that the same man may well be insolent in good fortune and cringing in defeat: let such an one go free again, and he will return to his arrogance and trouble us once more." (27) "I do not deny it, Cyrus," said the prince. "Our offences are such that you may well mistrust us: but you have it in your power to set garrisons in our land and hold our strong places and take what pledges you think best. And even so," he added, "you will not find that we fret against our chains, for we shall remember we have only ourselves to blame. Whereas, if you hand over the government to some who have not offended, they may either think that you mistrust them, and thus, although you are their benefactor, you cannot be their friend, or else in your anxiety not to rouse their enmity you may leave no check on their insolence, and in the end you will need to sober them even more than us." (28) "Nay, but by all the gods," cried Cyrus, "little joy should I ever take in those who served me from necessity alone. Only if I recognise some touch of friendship or goodwill in the help it is their duty to render, I could find it easier to forgive them all their faults than to accept the full discharge of service paid upon compulsion by those who hate me."
Then Tigranes answered, "You speak of friendship, but can you ever find elsewhere so great a friendship as you may find with us?" "Surely I can," he answered, "and with those who have never been my enemies, if I choose to be their benefactor as you would have me yours." (29) "But to-day, and now, can you find another man in the world whom you could benefit as you can benefit my father? Say you let a man live who has never done you wrong, will he be grateful for the boon? Say he need not lose his children and his wife, will he love you for that more than one who knows he well deserved the loss? Say he may not sit upon the throne of Armenia, will he suffer from that as we shall suffer? And is it not clear that the one who feels the pain of forfeiture the most will be the one most grateful for the granting of the gift? (30) And if you have it at all at heart to leave matters settled here, think for yourself, and see where tranquillity will lie when your back is turned. Will it be with the new dynasty, or with the old familiar house? And if you want as large a force as possible at your command, where will you find a man better fitted to test the muster-roll than the general who has used it time and again? If you need money, who will provide the ways and means better than he who knows and can command all the resources of the country? I warn you as a friend," he added, "that if you throw us aside you will do yourself more harm than ever my father could have done."
(31) Such were the pleadings of the prince, and Cyrus, as he listened, was overjoyed, for he felt he would accomplish to the full all he had promised Cyaxares; his own words came back to him, "I hope to make the Armenian a better friend than before."
Thereupon he turned to the king and said, "Son of Armenia, if I were indeed to hearken unto you and yours in this, tell me, how large an army would you send me and how much money for the war?"
(32) And the king replied, "The simplest answer I can make and the most straightforward is to tell you what my power is, and then you may take the men you choose, and leave the rest to garrison the country. And so with the money: it is only fair that you should know the whole of our wealth, and with that knowledge to guide you, you will take what you like and leave what you like." (33) And Cyrus said, "Tell me then, and tell me true: how great is your power and your wealth?" Whereupon the Armenian replied: "Our cavalry is 8000 strong and our infantry 40,000; and our wealth," said he, "if I include the treasures which my father left, amounts in silver to more than 3000 talents."
(34) And Cyrus, without more ado, said at once, "Of your whole armament you shall give me half, not more, since your neighbours the Chaldaeans are at war with you: but for the tribute, instead of the fifty talents which you paid before, you shall hand over twice as much to Cyaxares because you made default; and you will lend me another hundred for myself, and I hereby promise you, if God be bountiful, I will requite you for the loan with things of higher worth, or I will pay the money back in full, if I can; and if I cannot, you may blame me for want of ability, but not for want of will." (35) But the Armenian cried, "By all the gods, Cyrus, speak not so, or you will put me out of heart. I beg you to look on all I have as yours, what you leave behind as well as what you take away."
"So be it then," answered Cyrus, "and to ransom your wife, how much money would you give?" "All that I have," said he. "And for your sons?" "For them too, all that I have." "Good," answered Cyrus, "but is not that already twice as much as you possess? (36) And you, Tigranes," said he, "at what price would you redeem your bride?" Now the youth was but newly wedded, and his wife was beyond all things dear to him. "I would give my life," said he, "to save her from slavery." (37) "Take her then," said Cyrus, "she is yours. For I hold that she has never yet been made a prisoner, seeing that her husband never deserted us. And you, son of Armenia," said he, turning to the king, "you shall take home your wife and children, and pay no ransom for them, so that they shall not feel they come to you from slavery. But now," he added, "you shall stay and sup with us, and afterwards you shall go wherever you wish."
And so the Armenians stayed. (38) But when the company broke up after the evening meal, Cyrus asked Tigranes, "Tell me, where is that friend of yours who used to hunt with us, and whom, as it seemed to me, you admired so much?" "Do you not know," he said, "that my father put him to death?" "And why?" said Cyrus, "what fault did he find in him?" "He thought he corrupted me," said the youth; "and yet, I tell you, Cyrus, he was so gentle and so brave, so beautiful in soul, that when he came to die, he called me to him and said, 'Do not be angry with your father, Tigranes, for putting me to death. What he does is not done from malice, but from ignorance; and the sins of ignorance, I hold, are unintentional.'"
(39) And at that Cyrus could not but say: "Poor soul! I grieve for him." But the king spoke in his own defence: "Remember this, Cyrus, that the man who finds another with his wife kills him not simply because he believes that he has turned the woman to folly, but because he has robbed him of her love. Even so I was jealous of that man who seemed to put himself between my son and me and steal away his reverence." (40) "May the gods be merciful to us!" said Cyrus, "you did wrong, but your fault was human. And you, Tigranes," said he, turning to the son, "you must forgive your father."
And so they talked in all friendliness and kindliness, as befitted that time of reconciliation; and then the father and son mounted their carriages, with their dear ones beside them, and drove away rejoicing.
(41) But when they were home again, they all spoke of Cyrus, one praising his wisdom, another his endurance, a third the gentleness of his nature, and a fourth his stature and his beauty. Then Tigranes turned to his wife and asked, "Did Cyrus seem so beautiful in your eyes?" But she answered, "Ah, my lord, he was not the man I saw." "Who was it then?" asked Tigranes. "He," she answered, "who offered his own life to free me from slavery."
And so they took their delight together, as lovers will, after all their sufferings.
(42) But on the morrow the king of Armenia sent gifts of hospitality to Cyrus and all his army, and bade his own contingent make ready to march on the third day, and himself brought Cyrus twice the sum which he had named. But Cyrus would take no more than he had fixed, and gave the rest back to the king, only asking whether he or his son was to lead the force. And the father answered that it should be as Cyrus chose, but the son said, "I will not leave you, Cyrus, if I must carry the baggage to follow you." (43) And Cyrus laughed and said, "What will you take to let us tell your wife that you have become a baggage-bearer?" "She will not need to be told," he answered, "I mean to bring her with me, and she can see for herself all that her husband does." "Then it is high time," said Cyrus, "that you got your own baggage together now." "We will come," said he, "be sure of that, in good time, with whatever baggage my father gives."
So the soldiers were the guests of Armenia for the day, and rested for that night.
(C.2) But on the day following Cyrus took Tigranes and the best of the Median cavalry, with chosen followers of his own, and scoured the whole country to decide where he should build a fort. He halted on the top of a mountain-pass and asked Tigranes where the heights lay down which the Chaldaeans swept when they came to plunder. Tigranes showed him. Then Cyrus asked him if the mountains were quite uninhabited. "No, indeed," said the prince, "there are always men on the look-out, who signal to the others if they catch sight of anything." "And what do they do," he asked, "when they see the signal?" "They rush to the rescue," he said, "as quickly as they can." (2) Cyrus listened and looked, and he could see that large tracts lay desolate and untilled because of the war. That day they came back to camp and took their supper and slept. (3) But the next morning Tigranes presented himself with all his baggage in order and ready for the march, 4000 cavalry at his back, 10,000 bowmen, and as many targeteers. While they were marching up, Cyrus offered sacrifice, and finding that the victims were favourable, he called the leaders of the Persians together and the chief captains of the Medes and spoke to them thus:
(4) "My friends, there lie the Chaldaean hills. If we could seize them and set a garrison to hold the pass, we should compel them both, Chaldaeans and Armenians alike, to behave themselves discreetly. The victims are favourable; and to help a man in such a work as this there is no ally half so good as speed. If we scale the heights before the enemy have time to gather, we may take the position out of hand without a blow, and at most we shall only find a handful of weak and scattered forces to oppose us. (5) Steady speed is all I ask for, and surely I could ask for nothing easier or less dangerous. To arms then! The Medes will march on our left, half the Armenians on our right, and the rest in the van to lead the way, the cavalry in our rear, to cheer us on and push us forward and let none of us give way."
(6) With that Cyrus led the advance, the army in column behind him. As soon as the Chaldaeans saw them sweeping up from the plain, they signalled to their fellows till the heights re-echoed with answering shouts, and the tribesmen gathered on every side. Then Cyrus sent word along his lines, "Soldiers of Persia, they are signalling to us to make haste. If only we reach the top before them, all they can do will be in vain."
(7) Now the Chaldaeans were said to be the most warlike of all the tribes in that country, and each of them was armed with a shield and a brace of javelins. They fight for pay wherever they are needed, partly because they are warriors born, but partly through poverty; for their country is mountainous, and the fertile part of it small. (8) As Cyrus and his force drew near the head of the pass, Tigranes, who was marching at his side, said:
"Do you know, Cyrus, that before long we shall be in the thick of the fight ourselves? Our Armenians will never stand the charge." Cyrus answered that he was well aware of that, and immediately sent word that the Persians should be ready to give chase at once, "as soon as we see the Armenians decoying the enemy by feigning flight and drawing them within our reach."
(9) Thus they marched up with the Armenians in the van: and the Chaldaeans who had collected waited till they were almost on them, and then charged with a tremendous shout, as their custom was, and the Armenians, as was ever theirs, turned and ran. (10) But in the midst of the pursuit the Chaldaeans met new opponents streaming up the pass, armed with short swords, and some of them were cut to pieces at once before they could withdraw, while others were taken prisoners and the rest fled, and in a few moments the heights were won. From the top of the pass Cyrus and his staff looked down and saw below them the Chaldaean villages with fugitives pouring from the nearest houses. (11) Soon the rest of the army came up, and Cyrus ordered them all to take the morning meal. When it was over, and he had ascertained that the look-out was really in a strong position, and well supplied with water, he set about fortifying a post without more ado, and he bade Tigranes send to his father and bid him come at once with all the carpenters and stonemasons he could fetch, and while a messenger went off to the king Cyrus did all he could with what he had at hand.
(12) Meanwhile they brought up the prisoners, all of them bound in chains and some wounded. But Cyrus when he saw their plight ordered the chains to be struck off, and sent for surgeons to dress their wounds, and then he told them that he came neither to destroy them nor to war against them, but to make peace between them and the Armenians. "I know," he said, "before your pass was taken you did not wish for peace. Your own land was in safety and you could harry the Armenians: but you can see for yourselves how things stand to-day. (13) Accordingly I will let you all go back to your homes in freedom, and I will allow you and your fellows to take counsel together and choose whether you will have us for your enemies or your friends. If you decide on war, you had better not come here again without your weapons, but if you choose peace, come unarmed and welcome: it shall be my care to see that all is well with you, if you are my friends."
(14) And when the Chaldaeans heard that, they poured out praises and thanks, and then they turned homewards and departed.
Meanwhile the king, receiving the call of Cyrus, and hearing the business that was at hand, had gathered his workmen together and took what he thought necessary and came with all speed. (15) And when he caught sight of Cyrus, he cried: "Ah, my lord, blind mortals that we are! How little can we see of the future, and how much we take in hand to do! I set myself to win freedom and I made myself a slave, and now, when we were captured and said to ourselves that we were utterly undone, suddenly we find a safety we never had before. Those who troubled us are taken now, even as I would have them. (16) Be well assured, Cyrus," he added, "that I would have paid the sum you had from me over and over again simply to dislodge the Chaldaeans from these heights. The things of worth you promised me when you took the money have been paid in full already, and we discover that we are not your creditors, but deep in your debt for many kindnesses; and we shall be ashamed not to return them, or we should be base indeed, for try as we may, we shall never be able to requite in full so great a benefactor."
(17) Such thanks the Armenian gave.
Then the Chaldaeans came back, begging Cyrus to make peace with them. And Cyrus asked them: "Am I right in thinking that you desire peace to-day because you believe it will be safer for you than war, now that we hold these heights?"
And the Chaldaeans said that so it was. (18) "Well and good," said he. "And what if other benefits were gained by peace?" "We should be all the better pleased," said they. "Is there any other reason," he asked, "for your present poverty, except your lack of fertile soil?" They said that there was none. "Well then," Cyrus went on, "would you be willing to pay the same dues as the Armenians, if you were allowed to cultivate as much of their land as you desired?" And the Chaldaeans said they would, if only they could rely on being fairly treated. (19) "Now," said Cyrus, turning to the Armenian king, "would you like that land of yours which is now lying idle to be tilled and made productive, supposing the workers paid you the customary dues?" "I would, indeed," said the king, "so much so that I am ready to pay a large sum for it. It would mean a great increase to my revenue." (20) "And you, Chaldaeans," said Cyrus, "with your splendid mountains, would you let the Armenians use them for pasture if the graziers paid you what was fair?" "Surely yes," said the Chaldaeans, "it would mean much profit and no pains."
"Son of Armenia," said Cyrus, "would you take this land for grazing, if by paying a small sum to the Chaldaeans you got a far greater return yourself?"
"Right willingly," said he, "if I thought my flocks could feed in safety."
"And would they not be safe enough," suggested Cyrus, "if this pass were held for you?" To which the king agreed. (21) But the Chaldaeans cried, "Heaven help us! We could not till our own fields in safety, not to speak of theirs, if the Armenians held the pass." "True," answered Cyrus, "but how would it be if the pass were held for you?" "Ah, then," said they, "all would be well enough." "Heaven help us!" cried the Armenian in his turn, "all might be well enough for them, but it would be ill for us if these neighbours of ours recovered the post, especially now that it is fortified." (22) Then Cyrus said, "See, then, this is what I will do: I will hand over the pass to neither of you: we Persians will guard it ourselves, and if either of you injure the other, we will step in and side with the sufferers."
(23) Then both parties applauded the decision, and said that only thus could they establish a lasting peace, and on these terms they exchanged pledges, and a covenant was made that both nations alike were to be free and independent, but with common rights of marriage, and tillage, and pasturage, and help in time of war if either were attacked. (24) Thus the matter was concluded, and to this day the treaty holds between the Chaldaeans and Armenia.
Peace was no sooner made than both parties began building what they now considered their common fortress, working side by side and bringing up all that was needed. (25) And when evening fell, Cyrus summoned them all as fellow-guests to his board, saying that they were friends already. At the supper as they sat together, one of the Chaldaeans said to Cyrus that the mass of his nation would feel they had received all they could desire, "But there are men among us," he added, "who live as freebooters: they do not know how to labour in the field, and they could not learn, accustomed as they are from youth up to get their livelihood either by plundering for themselves or serving as mercenaries, often under the king of India, for he is a man of much wealth, but sometimes under Astyages." (26) Then Cyrus said: "Why should they not take service with me? I undertake to give them at least as much as they ever got elsewhere." The Chaldaeans readily agreed with him and prophesied that he would have many volunteers.
(27) So this matter was settled to the mind of all. But Cyrus, on hearing that the Chaldaeans were in the habit of going to India, remembered how Indian ambassadors had come to the Medes to spy out their affairs, and how they had gone on to their enemies—doubtless to do the same there—and he felt a wish that they should hear something of what he had achieved himself. (28) So he said to the company: "Son of Armenia, and men of the Chaldaeans, I have something to ask you. Tell me, if I were to send ambassadors to India, would you send some of your own folk with them to show them the way, and support them in gaining for us all that I desire? I still need more money if I am to pay all the wages, as I wish, in full, and give rewards and make presents to such of my soldiers as deserve them. It is for such things I need all the money I can get, for I believe them to be essential. It would be pleasanter for me not to draw on you, because I look on you already as my friends, but I should be glad to take from the Indian as much as he will give me. My messenger—the one for whom I ask guides and coadjutors—will go to the king and say: 'Son of India, my master has sent me to you, bidding me say that he has need of more money. He is expecting another army from Persia,' and indeed I do expect one," Cyrus added. "Then my messenger will proceed, 'If you can send my master all that you have at hand he will do his best, if God grant him success, that you should feel your kindness has not been ill-advised.' (30) That is what my emissary will say: and you must give such instructions to yours as you think fit yourselves. If I get money from the king, I shall have abundance at my disposal: if I fail, at least we shall owe him no gratitude, and as far as he is concerned we may look to our own interests alone."
(31) So Cyrus spoke, convinced that the ambassadors from Armenia and Chaldaea would speak of him as he desired all men might do. And then, as the hour was come, they broke up the meeting and took their rest.
(C.3) But on the next day Cyrus despatched his messenger with the instructions, and the Armenians and Chaldaeans sent their own ambassadors, choosing the men they thought would help Cyrus most and speak of his exploits in the most fitting terms. Cyrus put a strong garrison in the fort and stored it with supplies, and left an officer in command, a Mede, whose appointment, he thought, would gratify Cyaxares, and then he turned homewards, taking with him not only the troops he had brought, but the force the Armenians had furnished, and a picked body of Chaldaeans who considered themselves stronger than all the rest together. (2) And as he come down from the hills into the cultivated land, not one of the Armenians, man or woman, stayed indoors: with one accord they all went out to meet him, rejoicing that peace was made, and bringing him offerings from their best, driving before them the animals they valued most. The king himself was not ill-pleased at this, for he thought that Cyrus would take delight in the honour the people showed him. Last of all came the queen herself, with her daughters and her younger son, bearing many gifts, and among them the golden treasure that Cyrus had refused before. (3) But when he saw it he said: "Nay, you must not make me a mercenary and a benefactor for pay; take this treasure back and hie you home, but do not give it to your lord that he may bury it again; spend it on your son, and send him forth gloriously equipped for war, and with the residue buy yourself and for your husband and your children such precious things as shall endure, and bring joy and beauty into all your days. As for burying, let us only bury our bodies on the day when each must die."
(4) With that he rode away, the king and all his people escorting him, like a guard of honour, calling him their saviour, their benefactor, and their hero, and heaping praises on him until he had left the land. And the king sent with him a larger army than ever he had sent before, seeing that now he had peace at home. (5) Thus Cyrus took his departure, having gained not only the actual money he took away with him, but a far ampler store of wealth, won by his own graciousness, on which he could draw in time of need.
For the first night he encamped on the borders of Armenia, but the next day he sent an army and the money to Cyaxares, who was close at hand, as he had promised to be, while he himself took his pleasure in hunting wherever he could find the game, in company with Tigranes and the flower of the Persian force.
(6) And when he came back to Media he gave gifts of money to his chief officers, sufficient for each to reward their own subordinates, for he held to it that, if every one made his own division worthy of praise, all would be well with the army as a whole. He himself secured anything that he thought of value for the campaign, and divided it among the most meritorious, convinced that every gain to the army was an adornment to himself.
(7) At every distribution he would take occasion to address the officers and all whom he chose to honour in some such words as these: "My friends, the god of mirth must be with us to-day: we have found a source of plenty, and we have the wherewithal to honour whom we wish and as they may deserve. (8) Let us call to mind, all of us, the only way in which these blessings can be won. We shall find it is by toil, and watchfulness, and speed, and the resolve never to yield to our foes. After this pattern must we prove ourselves to be men, knowing that all high delights and all great joys are only gained by obedience and hardihood, and through pains endured and dangers confronted in their proper season."
(9) But presently, when Cyrus saw that his men were strong enough for all the work of war, and bold enough to meet their enemies with scorn, expert and skilful in the use of the weapons each man bore, and all of them perfect in obedience and discipline, the desire grew in his heart to be up and doing and achieve something against the foe. He knew well how often a general has found delay ruin his fairest armament. (10) He noticed, moreover, that in the eagerness of rivalry and the strain of competition many of the soldiers grew jealous of each other; and for this, if for no other reason, he desired to lead them into the enemy's country without delay, feeling that common dangers awaken comradeship among those who are fighting in a common cause, and then all such bickerings cease, and no man is galled by the splendour of his comrade's arms, or the passion of his desire for glory: envy is swallowed up in praise, and each competitor greets his rivals with delight as fellow-workers for the common good.
(11) Therefore Cyrus ordered his whole force to assemble under arms, and drew them up into battle-array, using all his skill to make the display a wonder of beauty and perfection. Then he summoned his chief officers, his generals, his brigadiers, and his company-captains. These men were not bound to be always in the ranks, and some were always free to wait on the commander-in-chief or carry orders along the lines without leaving the troops unofficered: for the captains-of-twelve and the captains-of-six stepped into the gaps, and absolute order was preserved. (12) So Cyrus assembled his staff and led them along the lines, pointing out the merits of the combined forces and the special strength of each, and thus he kindled in their hearts the passion for achievement, and then he bade them return to their regiments and repeat the lessons he had taught them, trying to implant in their own men the same desire for action, so that one and all might sally out in the best of heart; and the next morning they were to present themselves at Cyaxares' gates. (13) So the officers went away and did as he commanded, and the next morning at daybreak they assembled at the trysting-place, and Cyrus met them and came before Cyaxares and said to him:
"I know well that what I am about to say must often have been in your own mind, but you have shrunk from suggesting it yourself lest it seem that you were weary of supporting us. (14) Therefore since you must keep silence, let me speak for both of us. We are all agreed that since our preparations are complete we should not wait until the enemy invades our territory before we give him battle, nor loiter here in a friendly land, but attack him on his own ground with what speed we may. (15) For while we linger here, we injure your property in spite of ourselves, but once on the enemy's soil, we can damage his, and that with the best will in the world. (16) As things are, you must maintain us, and the cost is great; but once launched on foreign service, we can maintain ourselves, and at our foe's expense. (17) Possibly, if it were more dangerous to go forward than to stay here, the more cautious might seem the wiser plan. But whether we stay or whether we go, the enemy's numbers will be the same, and so will ours, whether we receive them here or join battle with them there. (18) Moreover, the spirit of our soldiers will be all the higher and all the bolder if they feel that they are marching against the foe and not cowering before him; and his alarm will be all the greater when he hears that we are not crouching at home in terror but coming out to meet him as soon as we have heard of his advance, eager to close at once, not holding back until our territory suffers, but prompt to seize the moment and ravage his own land first. (19) Indeed," he added, "if we do no more than quicken our own courage and his fears, I would reckon it a substantial gain, and count it so much the less danger for us and so much the more for him. My father never tires of telling me what I have heard you say yourself, and what all the world admits, that battles are decided more by the character of the troops than by their bodily strength."
(20) He ended, and Cyaxares answered:
"Cyrus, both you and all my Persian friends may feel sure that I find it no trouble to maintain you; do not imagine such a thing; but I agree with you that the time is ripe for an advance on the enemy's land."
"Then," said Cyrus, "since we are all of one mind, let us make our final preparations, and, if heaven will, let us set forth without delay."
(21) So they bade the soldiers prepare for the start, and Cyrus offered sacrifices to Zeus the Lord and to the other gods in due order, and prayed, "Look on us with favour, and be gracious to us; guide our army, stand beside us in the battle, aid us in council, help us in action, be the comrades of the brave." Also he called upon the Heroes of Media, who dwell in the land and guard it. (22) Then, when the signs were favourable and his army was mustered on the frontier, he felt that the moment had come, and with all good omens to support him, he invaded the enemy's land. And so soon as he had crossed the border he offered libations to the Earth and victims to the gods, and sought to win the favour of the Heroes who guard Assyria. And having so done, once more he sacrificed to Zeus, the god of his fathers, and was careful to reverence every other god who came before his mind.
(23) But when these duties were fulfilled, there was no further pause. He pushed his infantry on at once, a short day's march, and then encamped, while the cavalry made a swift descent and captured much spoil of every kind. For the future they had only to shift their camp from time to time, and they found supplies in abundance, and could ravage the enemy's land at their ease while waiting his approach. (24) Presently news came of his advance: he was said to be barely ten days' off, and at that Cyrus went to Cyaxares and said: "The hour has come, and we must face the enemy. Let it not seem to friend or foe that we fear the encounter: let us show them that we enjoy the fight."
(25) Cyaxares agreed, and they moved forward in good order, marching each day as far as appeared desirable. They were careful to take their evening meal by daylight, and at night they lit no fires in the camp: they made them in front of it, so that in case of attack they might see their assailants, while they themselves remained unseen. And often they lit other fires in their rear as well, to deceive the enemy; so that at times the Assyrian scouts actually fell in with the advance-guard, having fancied from the distance of the fires that they were still some way from the encampment.
(26) Meanwhile the Assyrians and their allies, as the two armies came into touch, halted, and threw up an entrenchment, just as all barbarian leaders do to-day, whenever they encamp, finding no difficulty in the work because of the vast numbers at their command, and knowing that cavalry may easily be thrown into confusion and become unmanageable, especially if they are barbarians. (27) The horses must be tethered at their stalls, and in case of attack a dozen difficulties arise: the soldier must loose his steed in the dark, bridle and saddle him, put on his own armour, mount, and then gallop through the camp, and this last it is quite impossible to do. Therefore the Assyrians, like all barbarians, throw up entrenchments round their position, and the mere fact of being inside a fastness leaves them, they consider, the choice of fighting at any moment they think fit. (28) So the two armies drew nearer and nearer, and when they were about four miles apart, the Assyrians proceeded to encamp in the manner described: their position was completely surrounded by a trench, but also perfectly visible, while Cyrus took all the cover he could find, screening himself behind villages and hillocks, in the conviction that the more sudden the disclosure of a hostile force the greater will be the enemy's alarm.
(29) During the first night neither army did more than post the customary guards before they went to sleep, and on the next day the king of Assyria, and Croesus, and their officers, still kept the troops within their lines. But Cyrus and Cyaxares drew up their men, prepared to fight if the enemy advanced.
Ere long it was plain that they would not venture out that day, and Cyaxares summoned Cyrus and his staff and said:
(30) "I think, gentlemen, it would be well for us to march up to the breastworks in our present order, and show them that we wish to fight. If we do so," he added, "and they refuse our challenge, it will increase the confidence of our own men, and the mere sight of our boldness will add to the enemy's alarm."
(31) So it seemed to Cyaxares, but Cyrus protested: "In the name of heaven, Cyaxares, let us do no such thing. By such an advance we should only reveal our numbers to them: they would watch us at their ease, conscious that they are safe from any danger, and when we retire without doing them any harm they will have another look at us and despise us because of our inferiority in numbers, and to-morrow they will come out much emboldened. (32) At present," he added, "they know that we are here, but they have not seen us, and you may be sure they do not despise us; they are asking what all this means, and they never cease discussing the problem; of that I am convinced. They ought not to see us until they sally out, and in that moment we ought to come to grips with them, thankful to have caught them as we have so long desired."
(33) So Cyrus spoke, and Cyaxares and the others were convinced, and waited. In the evening they took their meal, and posted their pickets and lit watch-fires in front of their outposts, and so turned to sleep. (34) But early the next morning Cyrus put a garland on his head and went out to offer sacrifice, and sent word to all the Peers of Persia to join him, wearing garlands like himself. And when the rite was over, he called them together and said: "Gentlemen, the soothsayers tell us, and I agree, that the gods announce by the signs in the victims that the battle is at hand, and they assure us of victory, they promise us salvation. (35) I should be ashamed to admonish you at such a season, or tell you how to bear yourselves: I do not forget that we have all been brought up in the same school, you have learnt the same lessons as I, and practised them day by day, and you might well instruct others. But you may not have noticed one point, and for this I would ask a hearing. (36) Our new comrades, the men we desire to make our peers—it may be well to remind them of the terms on which Cyaxares has kept us and of our daily discipline, the goal for which we asked their help, and the race in which they promised to be our friendly rivals. (37) Remind them also that this day will test the worth of every man. With learners late in life, we cannot wonder if now and then a prompter should be needed: it is much to be thankful for if they show themselves good men and true with the help of a reminder. (38) Moreover, while you help them you will be putting your own powers to the test. He who can give another strength at such a crisis may well have confidence in his own, whereas one who keeps his ideal to himself and is content with that, ought to remember that he is only half a man. (39) There is another reason," he added, "why I do not speak to them myself, but ask you to do so. I want them to try to please you: you are nearer to them than I, each of you to the men of his own division: and be well assured that if you show yourselves stout-hearted you will be teaching them courage, and others too, by deeds as well as words."
(40) With that Cyrus dismissed them, and bade them break their fast and make libation, and then take their places in the ranks, still wearing their garlands on their heads. As they went away he summoned the leaders of the rearguard and gave them his instructions:
(41) "Men of Persia, you have been made Peers and chosen for special duties, because we think you equal to the best in other matters, and wiser than most in virtue of your age. The post that you hold is every whit as honourable as theirs who form the front: from your position in the rear you can single out the gallant fighters, and your praise will make them outdo themselves in valour, while if any man should be tempted to give way, your eyes will be upon him and you will not suffer it. (42) Victory will mean even more to you than to the others, because of your age and the weight of your equipment. If the men in front call on you to follow, answer readily, and let them see that you can hold your own with them, shout back to them, and bid them lead on quicker still. And now," said he, "go back and take your breakfast, and then join your ranks with the rest, wearing your garlands on your heads."
(43) Thus Cyrus and his men made their preparations, and meanwhile the Assyrians on their side took their breakfast, and then sallied forth boldly and drew up in gallant order. It was the king himself who marshalled them, driving past in his chariot and encouraging his troops.
(44) "Men of Assyria," he said, "to-day you must show your valour. To-day you fight for your lives and your land, the land where you were born and the homes where you were bred, and for your wives and your children, and all the blessings that are yours. If you win, you will possess them all in safety as before, but if you lose, you must surrender them into the hands of your enemies. (45) Abide, therefore, and do battle as though you were enamoured of victory. It would be folly for her lovers to turn their backs to the foe, sightless, handless, helpless, and a fool is he who flies because he longs to live, for he must know that safety comes to those who conquer, but death to those who flee; and fools are they whose hearts are set on riches, but whose spirits are ready to admit defeat. It is the victor who preserves his own possessions and wins the property of those whom he overcomes: the conquered lose themselves and all they call their own."
(46) Thus spoke the king of Assyria.
But meanwhile Cyaxares sent to Cyrus saying that the moment for attack had come. "Although," he added, "there are as yet but few of them outside the trenches, by the time we have advanced there will be quite enough. Let us not wait until they outnumber us, but charge at once while we are satisfied we can master them easily."
(47) But Cyrus answered him, "Unless those we conquer are more than half their number, they are sure to say that we attacked when they were few, because we were afraid of their full force, and in their hearts they will not feel that they are beaten; and we shall have to fight another battle, when perhaps they will make a better plan than they have made to-day, delivering themselves into our hands one by one, to fight with as we choose."
(48) So the messengers took back his reply, but meanwhile Chrysantas and certain other Peers came to Cyrus bringing Assyrian deserters with them, and Cyrus, as a general would, questioned the fugitives about the enemy's doings, and they told him that the Assyrians were marching out in force and that the king himself had crossed the trenches and was marshalling his troops, addressing them in stirring words, as all the listeners said. (49) Then Chrysantas turned to Cyrus:
"What if you also were to summon our men, while there is yet time, and inspire them with your words?"
(50) But Cyrus answered:
"Do not be disturbed by the thought of the Assyrian's exhortations; there are no words so fine that they can turn cowards into brave men on the day of hearing, nor make good archers out of bad, nor doughty spearmen, nor skilful riders, no, nor even teach men to use their arms and legs if they have not learnt before."
(51) "But," replied Chrysantas, "could you not make the brave men braver still, and the good better?"
"What!" cried Cyrus, "can one solitary speech fill the hearer's soul on the selfsame day with honour and uprightness, guard him from all that is base, spur him to undergo, as he ought, for the sake of glory every toil and every danger, implant in him the faith that it is better to die sword in hand than to escape by flight? (52) If such thoughts are ever to be engraved in the hearts of men and there abide, we must begin with the laws, and frame them so that the righteous can count on a life of honour and liberty, while the bad have to face humiliation, suffering, and pain, and a life that is no life at all. (53) And then we ought to have tutors and governors to instruct and teach and train our citizens until the belief is engendered in their souls that the righteous and the honourable are the happiest of all men born, and the bad and the infamous the most miserable. This is what our men must feel if they are to show that their schooling can triumph over their terror of the foe. (54) Surely, if in the moment of onset, amid the clash of arms, at a time when lessons long learnt seem suddenly wiped away, it were possible for any speaker, by stringing a few fine sentiments together, to manufacture warriors out of hand, why, it would be the easiest thing in all the world to teach men the highest virtue man can know. (55) For my own part," he added, "I would not trust our new comrades yonder, whom we have trained ourselves, to stand firm this day unless they saw you at their side, to be examples unto them and to remind them if they forget. As for men who are utterly undisciplined, I should be astonished if any speech, however splendid, did one whit more to encourage valour in their hearts than a song well sung could do to make a musician of a man who had no music in his soul."
(56) But while they were speaking, Cyaxares sent again, saying that Cyrus did ill to loiter instead of advancing against the enemy with all speed. And Cyrus sent back word there and then by the messengers:
"Tell Cyaxares once more, that even now there are not as many before us as we need. And tell him this so that all may hear. But add that, if it so please him, I will advance at once."
(57) So saying and with one prayer to the gods, he led his troops into battle.
Once the advance began he quickened the pace, and his men followed in perfect order, steadily, swiftly, joyously, brimful of emulation, hardened by toil, trained by their long discipline, every man in the front a leader, and all of them alert. They had laid to heart the lesson of many a day that it was always safest and easiest to meet enemies at close quarters, especially archers, javelin-men, and cavalry. (58) While they were still out of range, Cyrus sent the watchword along the lines, "Zeus our help and Zeus our leader." And as soon as it was returned to him, he sounded the first notes of the battle-paean, and the men took up the hymn devoutly, in one mighty chorus. For at such times those who fear the gods have less fear of their fellow-men. (59) And when the chant was over, the Peers of Persia went forward side by side, radiant, high-bred, disciplined, a band of gallant comrades; they looked into each other's eyes, they called each other by name, with many a cheery cry, "Forward, friends, forward, gallant gentlemen!" And the rear-ranks heard the call, and sent back a ringing cheer, bidding the van lead on. The whole army of Cyrus was brimming with courage and zeal and strength and hardihood and comradeship and self-control; more terrible, I imagine, to an opponent than aught else could be. (60) On the Assyrian side, those in the van who fought from the chariots, as soon as the mass of the Persian force drew near, leapt back and drove to their own main body; but the archers, javelin-men, and slingers, let fly long before they were in range. (61) And as the Persians steadily advanced, stepping over the spent missiles, Cyrus called to his men:
"Forward now, bravest of the brave! Show us what your pace can be!"
They caught the word and passed it on, and in their eagerness and passion for the fray some of the leaders broke into a run, and the whole phalanx followed at their heels. (62) Cyrus himself gave up the regular march and dashed forward at their head, shouting:
"Brave men to the front! Who follows me? Who will lay the first Assyrian low?"
At this the men behind took up the shout till it rang through the field like a battle-cry: "Who follows? Brave men to the front!" (63) Thus the Persians closed. But the enemy could not hold their ground; they turned and fled to their entrenchments. (64) The Persians swept after them, many a warrior falling as they crowded in at the gates or tumbled into the trenches. For in the rout some of the chariots were carried into the fosse, and the Persians sprang down after them and slew man and horse where they fell. (65) Then the Median troopers, seeing how matters stood, charged the Assyrian cavalry, who swerved and broke before them, chased and slaughtered, horse and rider, by their conquerors. (66) Meanwhile the Assyrians within the camp, though they stood upon the breastworks, had neither wit nor power to draw bow or fling spear against the destroyers, dazed as they were by their panic and the horror of the sight. Then came the tidings that the Persians had cut their way through to the gates, and at that they fled from the breastworks. (67) The women, seeing the rout in the camp, fell to wailing and lamentations, running hither and thither in utter dismay, young maidens, and mothers with children in their arms, rending their garments and tearing their cheeks and crying on all they met, "Leave us not, save us, save your children and yourselves!" (68) Then the princes gathered the trustiest men and stood at the gates, fighting on the breastworks themselves, and urging their troops to make a stand. (69) Cyrus, seeing this, and fearing that if his handful of Persians forced their way into the camp they would be overborne by numbers, gave the order to fall back out of range. (70) Then was shown the perfect discipline of the Peers; at once they obeyed the order and passed it on at once. And when they were all out of range they halted and reformed their ranks, better than any chorus could have done, every man of them knowing exactly where he ought to be.
C1.6. Oriental in feeling; situation well realised. Hellenic = Oriental, also in part perhaps. Also, we know the Oriental through the medium of Greek to a great extent (cf. Greek Testament, and earlier still LXX.).
C1.8, init. Cf. Joseph and his brethren for this hardening of his heart.
C1.11. Hellenic political ethics = modern in this matter, apart from modern theory of nationalism, i.e. right of nations to exist free.
C1.12. Quite after the manner of an advocate in a Greek law-court, but also Oriental (cf. David and Nathan the seer).
C1.24. Fear of exile; autobiographical touch? Is anything passing through the mind of Xenophon? I dare say there is. (Xenophon was banished from his native city of Athens because of his friendship with Sparta and with Cyrus the Younger. See Works, Vol. I. p. xcix.)
C1.33, fin. 3000 talents. Something under £750,000.
C1.35. Cyrus drives home the conscience of indebtedness à la Portia v. Shylock. N.B.—Humorous also and an Oriental tinge.
C1.38. One can't help thinking of Socrates and the people of Athens here. If so, this is a quasi-apology for the Athenian bons pères de famillewho condemned Socrates. Beautiful story of the sophist teacher's last injunction to Tigranes.
C1.40-41. What smiles after tears! Like a sunny day succeeding clouds and blackness. A pretty story this, of the wife of Tigranes. Xenophon's women: this one, Pantheia, Croesus' wife, the wife of Ischomachus (Economist), the daughter of Gobryas.
C2.12. Archaeologically interesting. N.B.—Humanity towards wounded, Hellenic. Xenophon's own strategy in the Anabasis is probably the prototype.
C2.15. For Hellenic and Xenophontine religiousness. The incalculableness of human life: God fulfils himself in many unforeseen ways. N.B.—Irony also of the situation, since Cyrus doesn't intend the Armenian to triumph over the Chaldaean in the way he anticipates.
C2.20. Note how Socratically it is made to work itself out.
C3. Cyrus, the Archic Man, the "born ruler," is also the diplomatic man (cf., no doubt, Gladstone), a diplomacy based on organic economic sense and friendly-naturedness.
C3.10. Xenophon's theory of fraternity in action, all petty jealousies brushed aside.
(C3.11. The "captains-of-twelve" and the "captains-of-six" are the same officers as those called elsewhere "captains-of-ten" and "captains-of-five" (cf. above Bk. II. C2.21 note). The titles vary because sometimes the officers themselves are included in the squads and sometimes not.)
C3.19. Nice touch, quoting his father as an authority.
C3.40. With garlands, like the Spartans. Was it conceivably a Persian custom too?
C3.44. Assyrian's speech; not a bad one, though platitudinous. Xenophon's dramatic form is shown in the intellectual and emotional side of his characters, rather than by the diction in their mouths, is it not?
C3.51-52. Most important for Xenophon, Educationalist. Cyrus on the powerlessness of a speech to create valour in the soul of the untrained: there must be a physical, moral, and spiritual training there beforehand. The speech is in Xenophon's best earnest rhetorical style.
C3.57. The march into battle, vide Milton. A beautiful bit of word-painting.
C3.58. Cf. the Prussian army singing a hymn (in 1870).