[In the earlier portion of the narrative will be found a detailed history of the fortunes of the Hellenes during their march up country with Cyrus down to the date of the battle; and, subsequently to his death, until they reached the Euxine; as also of all their doings in their efforts to escape from the Euxine, partly by land marches and partly under sail by sea, until they found themselves outside the mouth of the Black Sea (south of the Bosphorus) at Chrysopolis in Asia.]
At this point Pharnabazus, who was afraid that the army might undertake a campaign against his satrapy, sent to Anaxibius, the Spartan high admiral, who chanced to be in Byzantium, and begged him to convey the army out of Asia, undertaking to comply with his wishes in every respect. Anaxibius accordingly sent to summon the generals and officers to Byzantium, and promised that the soldiers should not lack pay for service, if they crossed the strait. The officers said that they would deliberate and return an answer. Xenophon individually informed them that he was about to quit the army at once, and was only anxious to set sail. Anaxibius pressed him not to be in so great a hurry: “Cross over with the rest,” he said, “and then it will be time enough to think about quitting the army.” This the other undertook to do.
Now Seuthes the Thracian sent Medosades and begged Xenophon to use his influence to get the army across. “Tell Xenophon, if he will do his best for me in this matter, he will not regret it.” Xenophon answered: “The army is in any case going to cross; so that, as far as that is concerned, Seuthes is under no obligation to me or to any one else; but as soon as it is once across, I personally shall be quit of it. Let Seuthes, therefore, as far as he may deem consistent with prudence, apply to those who are going to remain and will have a voice in affairs.”
After this the whole body of troops crossed to Byzantium. But Anaxibius, instead of proceeding to give pay, made proclamation that, “The soldiers were to take up their arms and baggage and go forth,” as if all he wished were to ascertain their numbers and bid them god-speed at the same moment. The soldiers were not well pleased at that, because they had no money to furnish themselves with provisions for the march; and they sluggishly set about getting their baggage together. Xenophon meanwhile, being on terms of intimacy with the governor, Cleander, came to pay his host a final visit, and bid him adieu, being on the point of setting sail. But the other protested; “Do not do so, or else,” said he, “you will be blamed, for even now certain people are disposed to hold you to account because the army is so slow in getting under weigh.” The other answered, “Nay, I am not to blame for that. It is the men themselves, who are in want of provisions; that is why they are out of heart at their exodus.” “All the same,” he replied, “I advise you to go out, as if you intended to march with them, and when you are well outside, it will be time enough to take yourself off.” “Well then,” said Xenophon, “we will go and arrange all this with Anaxibius.” They went and stated the case to the admiral, who insisted that they must do as he had said, and march out, bag and baggage, by the quickest road; and as an appendix to the former edict, he added, “Any one absenting himself from the review and the muster will have himself to blame for the consequences.” This was peremptory. So out marched, the generals first, and then the rest; and now, with the exception of here a man and there, they were all outside; it was a “clean sweep”; and Eteonicus stood posted near the gates, ready to close them, as soon as the men were fairly out, and to thrust in the bolt pin.
Then Anaxibius summoned the generals and captains, and addressed them: “Provisions you had better get from the Thracian villages; you will find plenty of barley, wheat, and other necessaries in them; and when you have got them, off with you to the Chersonese, where Cyniscus will take you into his service.” Some of the soldiers overheard what was said, or possibly one of the officers was the medium of communication; however it was, the news was handed on to the army. As to the generals, their immediate concern was to try and gain some information as to Seuthes: “Was he hostile or friendly? also, would they have to march through the Sacred mountain127, or round about through the middle of Thrace?”
While they were discussing these points, the soldiers snatched up their arms and made a rush full speed at the gates, with the intention of getting inside the fortification again. But Eteonicus and his men, seeing the heavy infantry coming up at a run promptly closed the gates and thrust in the bolt pin. Then the soldiers fell to battering the gates, exclaiming that it was iniquitous to thrust them forth in this fashion into the jaws of their enemies. “If you do not of your own accord open the gates,” they cried, “we will split them in half”; and another set rushed down to the sea, and so along the break-water and over the wall into the city; while a third set, consisting of those few who were still inside, having never left the city, seeing the affair at the gates, severed the bars with axes and flung the portals wide open; and the rest came pouring in.
Xenophon, seeing what was happening, was seized with alarm lest the army betake itself to pillage, and ills incurable be wrought to the city, to himself, and to the soldiers. Then he set off, and, plunging into the throng, was swept through the gates with the crowd. The Byzantines no sooner saw the soldiers forcibly rushing in than they left the open square, and fled, some to the shipping, others to their homes, while those already indoors came racing out, and some fell to dragging down their ships of war, hoping possibly to be safe on board these; while there was not a soul who doubted but that the city was taken, and that they were all undone. Eteonicus made a swift retreat to the citadel. Anaxibius ran down to the sea, and, getting on board a fisherman’s smack, sailed round to the acropolis, and at once sent off to fetch over the garrison troops from Chalcedon, since those already in the acropolis seemed hardly sufficient to keep the men in check.
The soldiers, catching sight of Xenophon, threw themselves upon him, crying: “Now, Xenophon, is the time to prove yourself a man. You have got a city, you have got triremes, you have got money, you have got men; today, if you only chose, you can do us a good turn, and we will make you a great man.” He replied: “Nay, I like what you say, and I will do it all; but if that is what you have set your hearts on, fall into rank and take up position at once.” This he said, wishing to quiet them, and so passed the order along the lines himself, while bidding the rest to do the same: “Take up position; stand easy.” But the men themselves, by a species of self-marshalling, fell into rank, and were soon formed, the heavy infantry eight deep, while the light infantry had run up to cover either wing. The Thracian Square, as it is called, is a fine site for manouvering, being bare of buildings and level. As soon as the arms were stacked and the men’s tempers cooled, Xenophon called a general meeting of the soldiers, and made the following speech:—
“Soldiers, I am not surprised at your wrath, or that you deem it monstrous treatment so to be cheated; but consider what will be the consequences if we gratify our indignation, and in return for such deception, avenge ourselves on the Lacedaemonians here present, and plunder an innocent city. We shall be declared enemies of the Lacedaemonians and their allies; and what sort of war that will be, we need not go far to conjecture. I take it, you have not forgotten some quite recent occurrences. We Athenians entered into war against the Lacedaemonians and their allies with a fleet consisting of not less than three hundred line-of-battle ships, including those in dock as well as those afloat. We had vast treasures stored up in the city, and a yearly income which, derived from home or foreign sources, amounted to no less than a thousand talents. Our empire included all the islands, and we were possessed of numerous cities both in Asia and in Europe. Amongst others, this very Byzantium, where we are now, was ours; and yet in the end we were vanquished, as you all very well know.
“What, must we anticipate, will now be our fate? The Lacedaemonians have not only their old allies, but the Athenians and those who were at that time allies of Athens are added to them. Tissaphernes and all the rest of the Asiatics on the seaboard are our foes, not to speak of our arch-enemy, the king himself, up yonder, whom we came to deprive of his empire, and to kill, if possible. I ask then, with all these banded together against us, is there any one so insensate as to imagine that we can survive the contest? For heaven’s sake, let us not go mad or loosely throw away our lives in war with our own native cities — nay, our own friends, our kith and our kin; for in one or other of the cities they are all included. Every city will march against us, and not unjustly, if, after refusing to hold one single barbarian city by right of conquest, we seize the first Hellenic city that we come to and make it a ruinous heap. For my part, my prayer is that before I see such things wrought by you, I, at any rate, may lie ten thousand fathoms under ground! My counsel to you, as Hellenes, is to try and obtain your just rights, through obedience to those who stand at the head of Hellas; and if so be that you fail in those demands, why, being more sinned against than sinning, need we rob ourselves of Hellas too? At present, I propose that we should send to Anaxibius and tell him that we have made an entrance into the city, not meditating violence, but merely to discover if he and his will show us any good; for if so, it is well; but of otherwise, at least we will let him see that he does not shut the door upon us as dupes and fools. We know the meaning of discipline; we turn our backs and go.”
This resolution was passed, and they sent Hieronymus an Eleian, with two others, Eurylochus an Arcadian and Philesius an Achaean, to deliver the message. So these set off on their errand. But while the soldiers were still seated in conclave, Coeratadas, of Thebes, arrived. He was a Theban not in exile, but with a taste for generalship, who made it his business to see if any city or nation were in need of his services. Thus, on the present occasion, he presented himself, and begged to state that he was ready to put himself at their head, and lead them into the Delta of Thrace128, as it is called, where they would find themselves in a land of plenty; but until they got there, he would provide them with meat and drink enough and to spare. While they were still listening to this tale, the return message from Anaxibius came. His answer was: “The discipline, they had spoken of, was not a thing they would regret; indeed he would report their behaviour to the authorities at home; and for himself, he would take advice and do the best he could for them.”
Thereupon the soldiers accepted Coeratadas as their general, and retired without the walls. Their new general undertook to present himself to the troops next day with sacrificial beasts and a soothsayer, with eatables also and drinkables for the army. Now, as soon as they were gone out, Anaxibius closed the gates and issued a proclamation to the effect that “any of the soldiers caught inside should be knocked down to the hammer and sold at once.” Next day, Coeratadas arrived with the victims and the soothsayer. A string of twenty bearers bearing barleymeal followed at his heels, succeeded by other twenty carrying wine, and three laden with a supply of olives, and two others carrying, the one about as much garlic as a single man could lift, and the other a similar load of onions. These various supplies he set down, apparently for distribution, and began to sacrifice.
Now Xenophon sent to Cleander, begging him to arrange matters so that he might be allowed to enter the walls, with a view to starting from Byzantium on his homeward voyage. Cleander came, and this is what he said: “I have come; but I was barely able to arrange what you want. Anaxibius insisted: ‘It was not convenient that Xenophon should be inside while the soldiers are close to the walls without; the Byzantines at sixes and sevens moreover; and no love lost between the one party of them and the other.’ Still, he ended by bidding you to come inside, if you were really minded to leave the town by sea with himself.” Accordingly Xenophon bade the soldiers good-bye, and returned with Cleander within the walls.
To return to Coeratadas. The first day he failed to get favourable signs at the sacrifice, and never a dole of rations did he make to the soldiers. On the second day the victims were standing ready near the altar, and so was Coeratadas, with chaplet crowned, all ready to sacrifice, when up comes Timasion the Dardanian, with Neon the Asinaean, and Cleanor of Orchomenus, forbidding Coeratadas to sacrifice: “He must understand there was an end to his generalship, unless he gave them provisions.” The other bade them measure out the supplies, “Pray, dole them out.” But when he found that he had a good deal short of a single day’s provisions for each man, he picked up his paraphernalia of sacrifice and withdrew. As to being general, he would have nothing more to say to it.
127 So the mountain-range is named which runs parallel to the Propontis (Sea of Marmora) from lat. 41 degrees N. circa to lat. 40 degrees 30’; from Bisanthe (Rhodosto) to the neck of the Chersonese (Gallipoli).
128 The exact locality, so called, is not known; doubtless it lay somewhere between Byzantium and Salmydessus, possibly at Declus (mod. Derkos); or possibly the narrow portion of Thrace between the Euxine, Bosphorus, and Propontis went by this name. See note in Pretor ad. loc., and “Dict. Geog.” “Thracia.”
Now these five were left — Neon the Asinaean, Phryniscus the Achaean, Philesius the Achaean, Xanthicles the Achaean, Timasion the Dardanian — at the head of the army, and they pushed on to some villages of the Thracians facing Byzantium, and there encamped. Now the generals could not agree. Cleanor and Phryniscus wished to march to join Seuthes, who had worked upon their feelings by presenting one with a horse and the other with a woman to wife. But Neon’s object was to come to the Chersonese: “When we are under the wing of the Lacedaemonians,” he thought, “I shall step to the front and command the whole army.”
Timasion’s one ambition was to cross back again into Asia, hoping to be reinstated at home and end his exile. The soldiers shared the wishes of the last general. But, as time dragged on, many of the men sold their arms at different places and set sail as best they could; others [actually gave away their arms, some here, some there, and129] became absorbed in the cities. One man rejoiced. This was Anaxibius, to whom the break-up of the army was a blessing. “That is the way,” he said to himself, “I can best gratify Pharnabazus.”
But Anaxibius, while prosecuting his voyage from Byzantium, was met at Cyzicus by Aristarchus, the new governor, who was to succeed Cleander at Byzantium; and report said that a new admiral, Polus, if he had not actually arrived, would presently reach the Hellespont and relieve Anaxibius. The latter sent a parting injunction to Aristarchus to be sure and sell all the Cyreian soldiers he could lay hands on still lingering in Byzantium; for Cleander had not sold a single man of them; on the contrary, he had made it his business to tend the sick and wounded, pitying them, and insisting on their being received in the houses. Aristarchus changed all that, and was no sooner arrived in Byzantium than he sold no less than four hundred of them. Meanwhile Anaxibius, on his coasting voyage, reached Parium, and, according to the terms of their agreement, he sent to Pharnabazus. But the latter, learning that Aristarchus was the new governor at Byzantim, and that Anixibius had ceased to be admiral, turned upon him a cold shoulder, and set out concocting the same measures concerning the Cyreian army with Aristarchus, as he had lately been at work upon with Anaxibius.
Anaxibius thereupon summoned Xenophon and bade him, by every manner of means, sail to the army with the utmost speed, and keep it together. “He was to collect the scattered fragments and march them down to Perinthus, and thence convey them across to Asia without loss of time.” And herewith he put a thirty-oared galley at his service, and gave him a letter of authority and an officer to accompany him, with an order to the Perinthians “to escort Xenophon without delay on horseback to the army.” So it was that Xenophon sailed across and eventually reached the army. The soldiers gave him a joyous welcome, and would have been only too glad to cross from Thrace into Asia under his leadership.
But Seuthes, hearing that Xenophon had arrived, sent Medosades again, by sea to meet him, and begged him to bring the army to him; and whatever he thought would make his speech persuasive, he was ready to promise him. But the other replied, that none of these things were open to him to do; and with this answer Medosades departed, and the Hellenes proceeded to Perinthus. Here on arrival Neon withdrew his troops and encamped apart, having about eight hundred men; while the remainder of the army lay in one place under the walls of Perinthus.
After this, Xenophon set himself to find vessels, so as to lose no time in crossing. But in the interval Aristarchus, the governor from Byzantium, arrived with a couple of war-ships, being moved to do so by Pharnabazus. To make doubly sure, he first forbade the skippers and shipmasters to carry the troops across, and then he visited the camp and informed the soldiers that their passage into Asia was forbidden. Xenophon replied that he was acting under the orders of Anaxibius, who had sent him thither for this express purpose; to which Aristarchus retorted, “For the matter of that, Anaxibius is no longer admiral, and I am governor in this quarter; if I catch any of you at sea, I will sink you.” With these remarks he retired within the walls of Perinthus.
Next day, he sent for the generals and officers of the army. They had already reached the fortification walls, when some one brought word to Xenophon that if he set foot inside, he would be seized, and either meet some ill fate there or more likely be delivered up to Pharnabazus. On hearing this Xenophon sent forward the rest of the party, but for himself pleaded that there was a sacrifice which he wished to offer. In this way he contrived to turn back and consult the victims, “Would the gods allow him to try and bring the army over to Seuthes?” On the one hand it was plain that the idea of crossing over to Asia in the face of this man with his ships of war, who meant to bar the passage, was too dangerous. Nor did he altogether like the notion of being blocked up in the Chersonese with an army in dire need of everything; where, besides being at the beck and call of the governor of the place, they would be debarred from the necessities of life.
While Xenophon was thus employed, the generals and officers came back with a message from Aristarchus, who had told them they might retire for the present, but in the afternoon he would expect them. The former suspicions of a plot had now ripened to a certainty. Xenophon meantime had ascertained that the victims were favourable to his project. He personally, and the army as a whole, might with safety proceed to Seuthes, they seemed to say. Accordingly, he took with him Polycrates, the Athenian captain, and from each of the generals, not including Neon, some one man whom they could in each case trust, and in the night they set off to visit the army of Seuthes, sixty furlongs distant.
As they approached, they came upon some deserted watch-fires, and their first impression was that Seuthes had shifted his position; but presently perceiving a confused sound (the voices of Seuthes’ people signalling to one another), the explanation dawned on him: Seuthes kept his watch-fires kindled in front of, instead of behind, his night pickets, in order that the outposts, being in the dark, might escape notice, their numbers and position thus being a mystery; whilst any party approaching from the outside, so far from escaping notice, would, through the glare of the fire, stand out conspicuously. Perceiving how matters stood, Xenophon sent forward his interpreter, who was one of the party, and bade him inform Seuthes that Xenophon was there and craved conference with him. The others asked if he were an Athenian from the army yonder, and no sooner had the interpreter replied, “Yes, the same,” than up they leapt and galloped off; and in less time than it takes to tell a couple of hundred peltasts had come up who seized and carried off Xenophon and those with him and brought them to Seuthes. The latter was in a tower right well guarded, and there were horses round it in a circle, standing all ready bitted and bridled; for his alarm was so great that he gave his horses their provender during the day130, and during the nights he kept watch and ward with the brutes thus bitted and bridled. It was stated in explanation that in old days an ancestor of his, named Teres, had been in this very country with a large army, several of whom he had lost at the hands of the native inhabitants, besides being robbed of his baggage train. The inhabitants of the country are Thynians, and they are reputed to be far the most warlike set of fighters — especially at night.
When they drew near, Seuthes bade Xenophon enter, and bring with him any two he might choose. As soon as they were inside, they first greeted one another warmly, and then, according to the Thracian custom, pledged themselves in bowls of wine. There was further present at the elbow of Seuthes, Medosades, who on all occasions acted as his ambassador-inchief. Xenophon took the initiative and spoke as follows: “You have sent to me, Seuthes, once and again. On the first occasion you sent Medosades yonder, to Chalcedon, and you begged me to use my influence in favour of the army crossing over from Asia. You promised me, in return for this conduct on my part, various kindnesses; at least that is what Medosades stated”; and before proceeding further he turned to Medosades and asked, “Is not that so?” The other assented. “Again, on a second occasion, the same Medosades came when I had crossed over from Parium to rejoin the army; and he promised me that if I would bring you the army, you would in various respects treat me as a friend and brother. He said especially with regard to certain seaboard places of which you are the owner and lord, that you were minded to make me a present of them.” At this point he again questioned Medosades, “Whether the words attributed to him were exact?” and Medosades once more fully assented. “Come now,” proceeded Xenophon, “recount what answer I made you, and first at Chalcedon.” “You answered that the army was, in any case, about to cross over to Byzantium; and as far as that went, there was no need to pay you or any one else anything; and for yourself, you added, that once across you were minded to leave the army, which thing came to pass even as you said.” “Well! what did I say,” he asked, “at your next visit, when you came to me in Selybria?” “You said that the proposal was impossible; you were all going to Perinthus to cross into Asia.” “Good,” said Xenophon, “and in spite of it all, at the present moment, here I am myself, and Phryniscus, one of my colleagues, and Polycrates yonder, a captain; and outside, to represent the other generals (all except Neon the Laconian), the trustiest men they could find to send. So that if you wish to give these transactions the seal of still greater security, you have nothing to do but to summon them also; and do you, Polycrates, go and say from me, that I bid them leave their arms outside, and you can leave your own sword outside before you enter with them on your return.”
When Seuthes had heard so far, he interposed: “I should never mistrust an Athenian, for we are relatives already131, I know; and the best of friends, I believe, we shall be.” After that, as soon as the right men entered, Xenophon first questioned Seuthes as to what use he intended to make of the army, and he replied as follows: “Maesades was my father; his sway extended over the Melanditae, the Thynians, and the Tranipsae. Then the affairs of the Odrysians took a bad turn, and my father was driven out of this country, and later on died himself of sickness, leaving me to be brought up as an orphan at the court of Medocus, the present king. But I, when I had grown to man’s estate, could not endure to live with my eyes fixed on another’s board. So I seated myself on the seat by him as a suppliant, and begged him to give me as many men as he could spare, that I might wreak what mischief I could on those who had driven us forth from our land; that thus I might cease to live in dependence upon another’s board, like a dog watching his master’s hand. In answer to my petition, he gave me the men and the horses which you will see at break of day, and nowadays I live with these, pillaging my own ancestral land. But if you would join me, I think, with the help of heaven, we might easily recover my empire. That is what I want of you.” “Well then,” said Xenophon, “supposing we came, what should you be able to give us? the soldiers, the officers, and the generals? Tell us that these witnesses may report your answer.” And he promised to give “to the common soldiers a cyzicene132, to a captain twice as much, and to a general four times as much, with as much land as ever they liked, some yoke of oxen, and a fortified place upon the seaboard.” “But now supposing,” said Xenophon, “we fail of success, in spite of our endeavours; suppose any intimidation on the part of the Lacedaemonians should arise; will you receive into your country any of us who may seek to find a refuge with you?” He answered: “Nay, not only so, but I shall look upon you as my brothers, entitled to share my seat, and the joint possessors of all the wealth which we may be able to acquire. And to you yourself, O Xenophon! I will give my daughter, and if you have a daughter, I will buy her in Thracian fashion; and I will give you Bisanthe as a dwelling-place, which is the fairest of all my possessions on the seaboard133.”
129 The MSS. give the words so rendered — oi de kai [didontes ta opla kata tous khorous], which some critics emend diadidontes, others bracket as suspected, others expunge.
130 I.e. “instead of letting them graze.”
131 Tradition said that the Thracians and Athenians were connected, through the marriage of a former prince Tereus (or Teres) with Procne, the daughter of Pandion. This old story, discredited by Thucydides, ii. 29, is referred to in Arist. “Birds,” 368 foll. The Birds are about to charge the two Athenian intruders, when Epops, king of the Birds, formerly Tereus, king of Thrace, but long ago transformed into a hoopoe, intercedes in behalf of two men, tes emes gunaikos onte suggene kai phuleta, “who are of my lady’s tribe and kin.” As a matter of history, the Athenians had in the year B.C. 431 made alliance with Sitalces, king of the Odrysians (the son of Teres, the first founder of their empire), and made his son, Sadocus, an Athenian citizen. Cf. Thuc. ib.; Arist. Acharnians, 141 foll.
132 A cyzicene monthly is to be understood.
133 Bisanthe, one of the Ionic colonies founded by Samos, with the Thracian name Rhaedestus (now Rodosto), strongly placed so as to command the entrance into the Sacred mountain.
After listening to these proposals, they gave and accepted pledges of good faith; and so the deputation rode off. Before day they were back again in camp, and severally rendered a report to those who sent them. At dawn Aristarchus again summoned the generals and officers, but the latter resolved to have done with the visit to Aristarchus, and to summon a meeting of the army. In full conclave the soldiers met, with the exception of Neon’s men, who remained about ten furlongs off. When they were met together Xenophon rose, and made the following announcement: “Men, Aristarchus with his ships of war hinders us from sailing where we fain would go; it is not even safe to set foot on board a vessel. But if he hinders us here, he hastens us there. ‘Be off to the Chersonese,’ says he, ‘force a passage through the Sacred mountain.’ If we master it and succeed in getting to that place, he has something in store for us. He promises that he will not sell you any more, as he did at Byzantium; you shall not be cheated again; you shall have pay; he will no longer, as now, suffer you to remain in want of provisions. That is his proposal. But Seuthes says that if you will go to him he will treat you well. What you have now to consider is, whether you will stay to debate this question, or leave its settlement till we have gone up into a land of provisions. If you ask me my opinion, it is this: Since here we have neither money to buy, nor leave to take without money what we need, why should we not go up into these villages where the right to help ourselves is conferred by might? There, unhampered by the want of bare necessaries, you can listen to what this man and the other wants of you and choose whichever sounds best. Let those,” he added, “who agree to this, hold up their hands.” They all held them up. “Retire then,” said he, “and get your kit together, and at the word of command, follow your leader.”
After this, Xenophon put himself at the head and the rest followed. Neon, indeed, and other agents from Aristarchus tried to turn them from their purpose, but to their persuasions they turned a deaf ear. They had not advanced much more than three miles, when Seuthes met them; and Xenophon, seeing him, bade him ride up. He wished to tell him what they felt to be conducive to their interests, and in the presence of as many witnesses as possible. As soon as he had approached, Xenophon said: “We are going where the troops will have enough to live upon; when we are there, we will listen to you and to the emissaries of the Laconian, and choose between you both whatever seems best. If then you will lead us where provisions are to be got in plenty, we shall feel indebted to you for your hospitality.” And Seuthes answered: “For the matter of that, I know many villages, close-packed and stocked with all kinds of provisions, just far enough off to give you a good appetite for your breakfasts.” “Lead on then!” said Xenophon. When they had reached the villages in the afternoon, the soldiers met, and Seuthes made the following speech: “My request to you, sirs, is that you will take the field with me, and my promise to you is that I will give every man of you a cyzicene, and to the officers and generals at the customary rate; besides this I will honour those who show special merit. Food and drink you shall get as now for yourselves from the country; but whatever is captured, I shall claim to have myself, so that by distribution of it I may provide you with pay. Let them flee, let them creep into hiding-places, we shall be able to pursue after them, we will track them out; or if they resist, along with you we will endeavour to subdue them to our hands.” Xenophon inquired: “And how far from the sea shall you expect the army to follow you?” “Nowhere more than seven days’ journey,” he answered, “and in many places less.”
After this, permission was given for all who wished to speak, and many spoke, but ever to one and the same tune: “What Seuthes said, was very right. It was winter, and for a man to sail home, even if he had the will to do so, was impossible. On the other hand, to continue long in a friendly country, where they must depend upon what they could purchase, was equally beyond their power. If they were to wear away time and support life in a hostile country, it was safer to do so with Seuthes than by themselves, not to speak of all these good things; but if they were going to get pay into the bargain, that indeed was a godsend.” To complete the proceedings, Xenophon said: “If any one opposes the measure, let him state his views; if not, let the officer put the proposition to the vote.” No one opposed; they put it to the vote, and the resolution was carried; and without loss of time, he informed Seuthes that they would take the field with him.
After this the troops messed in their separate divisions, but the generals and officers were invited by Seuthes to dinner at a neighbouring village which was in his possession. When they were at the doors, and on the point of stepping in to dinner, they were met by a certain Heracleides, of Maronea134. He came up to each guest, addressing himself particularly to those who, as he conjectured, ought to be able to make a present to Seuthes. He addressed himself first to some Parians who were there to arrange a friendship with Medocus, the king of the Odrysians, and were bearers of presents to the king and to his wife. Heracleides reminded them: “Medocus is up country twelve days’ journey from the sea; but Seuthes, now that he has got this army, will be lord on the sea-coast; as your neighbour, then, he is the man to do you good or do you ill. If you are wise, you will give him whatever he askes of you. On the whole, it will be laid out at better interest than if you have it to Medocus, who lives so far off.” That was his mode of persuasion in their case. Next he came to Timasion the Dardanian, who, some one had told him, was the happy possessor of certain goblets and oriental carpets. What he said to him was: “It is customary when people are invited to dinner by Seuthes for the guests to make him a present; now if he should become a great person in these parts, he will be able to restore you to your native land, or to make you a rich man here.” Such were the solicitations which he applied to each man in turn whom he accosted. Presently he came to Xenophon and said: “You are at once a citizen of no mean city, and with Seuthes also your own name is very great. Maybe you expect to obtain a fort or two in this country, just as others of your countrymen have done135, and territory. It is only right and proper therefore that you should honour Seuthes in the most magnificent style. Be sure, I give this advice out of pure friendliness, for I know that the greater the gift that you are ready to bestow on him, the better the treatment you will receive at his hands.” Xenophon, on hearing this, was in a sad dilemma, for he had brought with him, when he crossed from Parium, nothing but one boy and just enough to pay his travelling expenses.
As soon as the company, consisting of the most powerful Thracians there present, with the generals and captains of the Hellenes, and any embassy from a state which might be there, had arrived, they were seated in a circle, and the dinner was served. Thereupon three-legged stools were brought in and placed in front of the assembled guests. They were laden with pieces of meat, piled up, and there were huge leavened-loaves fastened on to the pieces of meat with long skewers. The tables, as a rule, were set beside the guests at intervals. That was the custom; and Seuthes set the fashion of the performance. He took up the loaves which lay by his side and broke them into little pieces, and then threw the fragments here to one and there to another as seemed to him good; and so with the meat likewise, leaving for himself the merest taste. Then the rest fell to following the fashion set them, those that is who had tables placed beside them.
Now there was an Arcadian, Arystas by name, a huge eater; he soon got tired of throwing the pieces about, and seized a good three-quarters loaf in his two hands, placed some pieces of meat upon his knees, and proceeded to discuss his dinner. Then beakers of wine were brought round, and every one partook in turn; but when the cupbearer came to Arystas and handed him the bowl, he looked up, and seeing that Xenophon had done eating: “Give it him,” quoth he, “he is more at leisure. I have something better to do at present.” Seuthes, hearing a remark, asked the cupbearer what was said, and the cupbearer, who knew how to talk Greek, explained. Then followed a peal of laughter.
When the drinking had advanced somewhat, in came a Thracian with a white horse, who snatched the brimming bowl and said: “Here’s a health to thee, O Seuthes! Let me present thee with this horse. Mounted on him, thou shalt capture whom thou choosest to pursue, or retiring from battle, thou shalt not dread the foe.” He was followed by one who brought in a boy, and presented him in proper style with “Here’s a health to thee, O Seuthes!” A third had “clothes for his wife.” Timasion, the Dardanian, pledged Seuthes, and presented a silver bowl136 and a carpet worth ten minae. Gnesippus, an Athenian, got up and said: “It was a good old custom, and a fine one too, that those who had, should give to the king for honour’s sake, but to those who had not, the king should give; whereby, my lord,” he added, “I too may one day have the wherewithal to give thee gifts and honour.” Xenophon the while was racking his brains what he was to do; he was not the happier because he was seated in the seat next Seuthes as a mark of honour; and Heracleides bade the cupbearer hand him the bowl. The wine had perhaps a little mounted to his head; he rose, and manfully seized the cup, and spoke: “I also, Seuthes, have to present you with myself and these my dear comrades to be your trusty friends, and not one of them against his will. They are more ready, one and all, still more than I, to be your friends. Here they are; they ask nothing from you in return, rather they are forward to labour in your behalf; it will be their pleasure to bear the brunt of battle in voluntary service. With them, God willing, you will gain vast territory; you will recover what was once your forefathers’; you will win for yourself new lands; and not lands only, but horses many, and of men a multitude, and many a fair dame besides. You will not need to seize upon them in robber fashion; it is your friends here who, of their own accord, shall take and bring them to you, they shall lay them at your feet as gifts.” Up got Seuthes and drained with him the cup, and with him sprinkled the last drops fraternally137.
At this stage entered musicians blowing upon horns such as they use for signal calls, and trumpeting on trumpets, made of raw oxhide, tunes and airs, like the music of the double-octave harp138. Seuthes himself got up and shouted, trolling forth a war song; then he sprang from his place and leapt about as though he would guard himself against a missile, in right nimble style. Then came in a set of clowns and jesters.
But when the sun began to set, the Hellenes rose from their seats. It was time, they said, to place the night sentinels and to pass the watchword; further, they begged of Seuthes to issue an order that none of the Thracians were to enter the Hellenic camp at night, “since between your Thracian foes and our Thracian friends there might be some confusion.” As they sallied forth, Seuthes rose to accompany them, like the soberest of men. When they were outside, he summoned the generals apart and said: “Sirs, our enemies are not aware as yet of our alliance. If, therefore, we attack them before they take precautions not to be caught, or are prepared to repel assault, we shall make a fine haul of captives and other stock.” The generals fully approved of these views, and bade him lead on. He answered: “Prepare and wait; as soon as the right time comes I will be with you. I shall pick up the peltasts and yourselves, and with the help of the gods, I will lead on.” “But consider one point,” urged Xenophon; “if we are to march by night, is not the Hellenic fashion best? When marching in the daytime that part of the army leads the van which seems best suited to the nature of the country to be traversed — heavy or light infantry, or cavalry; but by night our rule is that the slowest arm should take the lead. Thus we avoid the risk of being pulled to pieces: and it is not so easy for a man to give his neighbour the slip without intending, whereas the scattered fragments of an army are apt to fall foul of one another, and to cause damage or incur it in sheer ignorance.” To this Seuthes replied: “You reason well, and I will adopt your custom. I will furnish you with guides chosen from the oldest experts of the country, and I will myself follow with the cavalry in the rear; it will not take me long, if need be, to present myself at the front.” Then, for kinship’s sake, they chose “Athenaia139” as their watchword. With this, they turned and sought repose.
It was about midnight when Seuthes presented himself with his cavalry troopers armed with corselets, and his light infantry under arms. As soon as he had handed over to them the promised guides, the heavy infantry took the van, followed by the light troops in the centre, while the cavalry brought up the rear. At daybreak Seuthes rode up to the front. He complimented them on their method: so often had he himself, while marching by night with a mere handful of men, been separated with his cavalry from his infantry. “But now,” said he, “we find ourselves at dawn of day all happily together, just as we ought to be. Do you wait for me here,” he proceeded, “and recruit yourselves. I will take a look round and rejoin you.” So saying he took a certain path over hill and rode off. As soon as he had reached deep snow, he looked to see whether there were footprints of human beings leading forward or in the opposite direction; and having satisfied himself that the road was untrodden, back he came, exclaiming: “God willing, sirs, it will be all right; we shall fall on the fellows, before they know where they are. I will lead on with the cavalry; so that if we catch sight of any one, he shall not escape and give warning to the enemy. Do you follow, and if you are left behind, keep to the trail of the horses. Once on the other side of the mountains, we shall find ourselves in numerous thriving villages.”
By the middle of the day he had already gained the top of the pass and looked down upon the villages below. Back he came riding to the heavy infantry and said: “I will at once send off the cavalry into the plain below, and the peltasts too, to attack the villages. Do you follow with what speed you may, so that in case of resistance you may lend us your aid.” Hearing this, Xenophon dismounted, and the other asked: “Why do you dismount just when speed is the thing we want?” The other answered: “But you do not want me alone, I am sure. The hoplites will run all the quicker and more cheerily if I lead them on foot.”
Thereupon Seuthes went off, and Timasion with him, taking the Hellene squadron of something like forty troopers. Then Xenophon passed the order: the active young fellows up to thirty years of age from the different companies to the front; and off with these he went himself, bowling along140; while Cleanor led the other Hellenes. When they had reached the villages, Seuthes, with about thirty troopers, rode up, exclaiming: “Well, Xenophon, this is just what you said! the fellows are caught, but now look here. My cavalry have gone off unsupported; they are scattered in pursuit, one here, one there, and upon my word, I am more than half afraid the enemy will collect somewhere and do them a mischief. Some of us must remain in the villages, for they are swarming with human beings.” “Well then,” said Xenophon, “I will seize the heights with the men I have with me, and do you bid Cleanor extend his line along the level beside the villages.” When they had done so, there were enclosed — of captives for the slave market, one thousand; of cattle, two thousand; and of other small cattle, ten thousand. For the time being they took up quarters there.
134 A Greek colony in Thrace. Among Asiaticoâ€“Ionian colonies were Abdera, founded by Teos, and Maroneia, celebrated for its wine, founded by Chios about 540 B.C. — Kiepert, “Man. Anct. Geog.” viii. 182.
135 Notably Alcibiades, who possessed two or three such fortresses.
136 Or rather “saucer” (phiale).
137 For the Thracian custom, vide Suidas, s.v. kataskedazein.
138 Or, “magadis.” This is said to have been one of the most perfect instruments. It comprised two full octaves, the left hand playing the same notes as the right an octave lower. Guhl and Koner, p. 203, Engl. transl. See also “Dict. Antiq.” “Musica”; and Arist. “Polit.” xix. 18, Dia ti e dia pason sumphonia adetai mone; magasizousi gar tauten, allen de oudemian, i.e. “since no interval except the octave (dia pason) could be ‘magidised’ (the effect of any other is well known to be intolerable), therefore no other interval was employed at all.”
139 “Our Lady of Athens.”
140 etropkhaze, a favourite word with our author. Herodotus uses it; so does Aristot.; so also Polybius; but the Atticists condemn it, except of course in poetry.
But the next day Seuthes burnt the villages to the ground; he left not a single house, being minded to inspire terror in the rest of his enemies, and to show them what they also were to expect, if they refused obedience; and so he went back again. As to the booty, he sent off Heracliedes to Perinthus to dispose of it, with a view to future pay for the soldiers. But for himself he encamped with the Hellenes in the lowland country of the Thynians, the natives leaving the flats and betaking themselves in flight to the uplands.
There was deep snow, and cold so intense that the water brought in for dinner and the wine within the jars froze; and many of the Hellenes had their noses and ears frost-bitten. Now they came to understand why the Thracians wear fox-skin caps on their heads and about their ears; and why, on the same principle, they are frocked not only about the chest and bust but so as to cover the loins and thighs as well; and why on horseback they envelop themselves in long shawls which reach down to the feet, instead of the ordinary short rider’s cloak. Seuthes sent off some of the prisoners to the hills with a message to say that if they did not come down to their homes, and live quietly and obey him, he would burn down their villages and their corn, and leave them to perish with hunger. Thereupon down they came, women and children and the older men; the younger men preferred to quarter themselves in the villages on the skirts of the hills. On discovering this, Seuthes bade Xenophon take the youngest of the heavy infantry and join him on an expedition. They rose in the night, and by daybreak had reached the villages; but the majority of the inhabitants made good their escape, for the hills were close at hand. Those whom he did catch, Seuthes unsparingly shot down.
Now there was a certain Olynthian, named Episthenes; he was a great lover of boys, and seeing a handsome lad, just in the bloom of youth, and carrying a light shield, about to be slain, he ran up to Xenophon and supplicated him to rescue the fair youth. Xenophon went to Seuthes and begged him not to put the boy to death. He explained to him the disposition of Episthenes; how he had once enrolled a company, the only qualification required being that of personal beauty; and with these handsome young men at his side there were none so brave as he. Seuthes put the question, “Would you like to die on his behalf, Episthenes?” whereat the other stretched out his neck, and said, “Strike, if the boy bids you, and will thank his preserver.” Seuthes, turning to the boy, asked, “Shall I smite him instead of you?” The boy shook his head, imploring him to slay neither the one nor the other, whereupon Episthenes caught the lad in his arms, exclaiming, “It is time you did battle with me, Seuthes, for my boy; never will I yield him up,” and Seuthes laughed: “what must be must,” and so consented.
In these villages he decided that they must bivouac, so that the men on the mountains might be still further deprived of subsistence. Stealthily descending he himself found quarters in the plain; while Xenophon with his picked troops encamped in the highest village on the skirts of the hills,; and the rest of the Hellenes hard by, among the highland Thracians141, as they are called.
After this, not many days had idly slipt away before the Thracians from the mountains came down and wished to arrange with Seuthes for terms of truce and hostages. Simultaneously came Xenophon and informed Seuthes that they were camped in bad quarters, with the enemy next door; “it would be pleasanter too,” he added, “to bivouac in a strong position in the open, than under cover on the edge of destruction.” The other bade him take heart and pointed to some of their hostages, as much as to say “Look there!” Parties also from the mountaineers came down and pleaded with Xenophon himself, to help arrange a truce for them. This he agreed to do, bidding them to pluck up heart, and assuring them that they would meet with no mischief, if they yielded obedience to Seuthes. All their parleying, however, was, as it turned out, merely to get a closer inspection of things. This happened in the day, and in the following night the Thynians descended from the hill country and made an attack. In each case, the guide was the master of the house attacked; otherwise it would have taxed their powers to discover the houses in the dark, which, for the sake of their flocks and herds, were palisaded all round with great stockades. As soon as they had reached the doors of any particular house, the attack began, some hurling in their spears, others belabouring with their clubs, which they carried, it was said, for the purpose of knocking off the lance points from the shaft. Others were busy setting the place on fire; and they kept calling Xenophon by name: “Come out, Xenophon, and die like a man, or we will roast you alive inside.”
By this time too the flames were making their appearance through the roof, and Xenophon and his followers were within, with their coats of mail on, and big shields, swords, and helmets. Then Silanus, a Macistian142, a youth of some eighteen years, signalled on the trumpet; and in an instant, out they all leapt with their drawn swords, and the inmates of other quarters as well. The Thracians took to their heels, according to their custom, swinging their light shields round their backs. As they leapt over the stockade some were captured, hanging on the top with their shields caught in the palings; others missed the way out, and so were slain; and the Hellenes chased them hotly, till they were outside the village.
A party of Thynians turned back, and as the men ran past in bold relief against a blazing house, they let fly a volley of javelins, out of the darkness into the glare, and wounded two captains, Hieronymus, an Euodean143, and Theogenes, a Locrian. No one was killed, only the clothes and baggage of some of the men were consumed in the flames. Presently up came Seuthes to the rescue with seven troopers, the first to hand, and his Thracian trumpeteer by his side. Seeing that something had happened, he hastened to the rescue, and ever the while his bugler wound his horn, which music added terror to the foe. Arrived at length, he greeted them with outstretched hand, exclaiming, “I thought to find you all dead men.”
After that, Xenophon begged him to hand over the hostages to himself, and if so disposed, to join him on an expedition to the hills, or if not, to let him go alone. Accordingly the next day Seuthes delivered up the hostages. They were men already advanced in years, but the pick of the mountaineers, as they themselves gave out. Not merely did Seuthes do this, but he came himself, with his force at his back (and by this time he had treble his former force, for many of the Odrysians, hearing of his proceedings, came down to join in the campaign); and the Thynians, espying from the mountains the vast array of heavy infantry and light infantry and cavalry, rank upon rank, came down and supplicated him to make terms. “They were ready,” they professed, “to do all that he demanded; let him take pledges of their good faith.” So Seuthes summoned Xenophon and explained their proposals, adding that he should make no terms with them, if Xenophon wished to punish them for their night attack. The latter replied: “For my part, I should think their punishment is great enough already, if they are to be slaves instead of free men; still,” he added, “I advise you for the future to take as hostages those who are most capable of doing mischief, and to let the old men abide in peace at home.” So to a man they gave in their adhesion in that quarter of the country.
Crossing over in the direction of the Thracians above Byzantium, they reached the Delta, as it is called. Here they were no longer in the territory of the Maesades, but in the country of Teres the Odrysian [an ancient worthy144]. Here Heracleides met them with the proceeds of the spoil, and Seuthes picked out three pairs of mules (there were only three, the other teams being oxen); then he summoned Xenophon and bade him take them, and divide the rest between the generals and officers, to which Xenophon replied that for himself, he was content to receive his share another time, but added: “Make a present of these to my friends here, the generals who have served with me, and to the officers.” So of the pairs of mules Timasion the Dardanian received one, Cleanor the Orchomenian one, and Phryniscus the Achaean one. The teams of oxen were divided among the officers. Then Seuthes proceeded to remit pay due for the month already passed, but all he could give was the equivalent of twenty days. Heracleides insisted that this was all he had got by his trafficking. Whereupon Xenophon with some warmth exclaimed: “Upon my word, Heracleides, I do not think you care for Seuthes’ interest as you should. If you did, you have been at pains to bring back the full amount of the pay, even if you had had to raise a loan to do so, and, if by no other means, by selling the coat off your own back.”
What he said annoyed Heracleides, who was afraid of being ousted from the friendship of Seuthes, and from that day forward he did his best to calumniate Xenophon before Seuthes. The soldiers, on their side, laid the blame of course on Xenophon: “Where was their pay?” and Seuthes was vexed with him for persistently demanding it for them. Up to this date he had frequently referred to what he would do when he got to the seaboard again; how he intended to hand over to him Bisanthe, Ganos, and Neontichos145. But from this time forward he never mentioned one of them again. The slanderous tongue of Heracleides had whispered him:— it was not safe to hand over fortified towns to a man with a force at his back.
Consequently Xenophon fell to considering what he ought to do as regards marching any further up the country; and Heracleides introduced the other generals to Seuthes, urging them to say that they were quite as well able to lead the army as Xenophon, and promising them that within a day or two they should have full pay for two months, and he again implored them to continue the campaign with Seuthes. To which Timasion replied that for his part he would continue no campaign without Xenophon; not even if they were to give him pay for five months; and what Timasion said, Phryniscus and Cleanor repeated; the views of all three coincided.
Seuthes fell to upbraiding Heracleides in round terms. “Why had he not invited Xenophon with the others?” and presently they invited him, but by himself alone. He, perceiving the knavery of Heracleides, and that his object was to calumniate him with the other generals, presented himself; but at the same time he took care to bring all the generals and the officers. After their joint consent had been secured, they continued the campaign. Keeping the Pontus on their right, they passed through the millet-eating146 Thracians, as they are called, and reached Salmydessus. This is a point at which many trading vessels bound for the Black Sea run aground and are wrecked, owing to a sort of marshy ledge or sandbank which runs out for a considerable distance into the sea147. The Thracians, who dwell in these parts, have set up pillars as boundary marks, and each set of them has the pillage of its own flotsom and jetsom; for in old days, before they set up these landmarks, the wreckers, it is said, used freely to fall foul of and slay one another. Here was a rich treasure trove, of beds and boxes numberless, with a mass of written books, and all the various things which mariners carry in their wooden chests. Having reduced this district, they turned round and went back again. By this time the army of Seuthes had grown to be considerably larger than the Hellenic army; for on the one hand, the Odrysians flocked down in still larger numbers, and on the other, the tribes which gave in their adhesion from time to time were amalgamated with his armament. They got into quarters on the flat country above Selybria at about three miles148 distance from the sea. As to pay, not a penny was as yet forthcoming, and the soldiers were cruelly disaffected to Xenophon, whilst Seuthes, on his side, was no longer so friendlily disposed. If Xenophon ever wished to come face to face with him, want of leisure or some other difficulty always seemed to present itself.
144 See above re previous Teres. The words “an ancient worthy” may possibly be an editor’s or commentator’s note.
145 For Bisanthe see above. Ganos, a little lower down the coast, with Neontichos once belonged to Alcibiades, if we may believe Cornelius Nepos, “Alc.” vii. 4, and Plutarch, “Alc.” c. 36. See above.
146 Or, “the Melinophagi.”
147 See, for a description of this savage coast, Aesch. “Prom.” vinc. 726, etc. —
“trakheia pontou Salmudesia gnathos ekhthroxenos nautaisi, metruia neon.”
“The rugged Salmudesian jaw of the Black Sea,
Inhospitable to sailors, stepmother of ships.”
But the poet is at fault in his geography, since he connects “the Salmydesian jaw” with the Thermodon.
148 Lit. “thirty stades.” Selybria is about fourty-four miles from Byzantium, two-thirds of the way to Perinthus.
At this date, when nearly two months had already passed, an embassy arrived. These were two agents from Thibron — Charminus, a Lacedaemonian, and Polynicus. They were sent to say that the Lacedaemonians had resolved to open a campaign against Tissaphernes, and that Thibron, who had set sail to conduct the war, was anxious to avail himself of the troops. He could guarantee that each soldier should receive a daric a month as pay, the officers double pay, and the generals quadruple. The Lacedaemonian emissaries had no sooner arrived than Heracleides, having learnt that they had come in search of the Hellenic troops, goes off himself to Seuthes and says: “The best thing that could have happened; the Lacedaemonians want these troops and you have done with them, so that if you hand over the troops to them, you will do the Lacedaemonians a good turn and will cease to be bothered for pay any more. The country will be quit of them once and for ever.”
On hearing this Seuthes bade him introduce the emissaries. As soon as they had stated that the object of their coming was to treat for the Hellenic troops, he replied that he would willingly give them up, that his one desire was to be the friend and ally of Lacedaemon. So he invited them to partake of hospitality, and entertained them magnificently; but he did not invite Xenophon, nor indeed any of the other generals. Presently the Lacedaemonians asked: “What sort of man is Xenophon?” and Seuthes answered: “Not a bad fellow in most respects; but he is too much the soldiers’ friend; and that is why it goes ill with him.” They asked: “Does he play the popular leader?” and Heracleides answered: “Exactly so.” “Well then,” said they, “he will oppose our taking away the troops, will he not?” “To be sure he will,” said Heracleides; “but you have only to call a meeting of the whole body, and promise them pay, and little further heed will they pay to him; they will run off with you.” “How then are we to get them collected?” they asked. “Early tomorrow,” said Heracleides, “we will bring you to them; and I know,” he added once more, “as soon as they set eyes on you, they will flock to you with alacrity.” Thus the day ended.
The next day Seuthes and Heracleides brought the two Laconian agents to the army, and the troops were collected, and the agents made a statement as follows: “The Lacedaemonians have resolved on war with Tissaphernes, who did you so much wrong. By going with us therefore you will punish your enemy, and each of you will get a daric a month, the officers twice that sum, and the generals quadruple.” The soldiers lent willing ears, and up jumped one of the Arcadians at once, to find fault with Xenophon. Seuthes also was hard by, wishing to know what was going to happen. He stood within ear shot, and his interpreter by his side; not but what he could understand most of what was said in Greek himself. At this point the Arcadian spoke: “For the matter of that, Lacedaemonians, we should have been by your sides long ago, if Xenophon had not persuaded us and brought us hither. We have never ceased campaigning, night and day, the dismal winter through, but he reaps the fruit of our toils. Seuthes has enriched him privately, but deprives us of our honest earnings; so that, standing here as I do to address you first, all I can say is, that if I might see the fellow stoned to death as a penalty for all the long dance he has led us, I should feel I had got my pay in full, and no longer grudge the pains we have undergone.” The speaker was followed by another and then another in the same strain; and after that Xenophon made the following speech:—
“True is the old adage; there is nothing which mortal man may not expect to see. Here am I being accused by you today, just where my conscience tells me that I have displayed the greatest zeal on your behalf. Was I not actually on my road home when I turned back? Not, God knows, because I learned that you were in luck’s way, but because I heard that you were in sore straits, and I wished to help you, if in any way I could. I returned, and Seuthes yonder sent me messenger after messenger, and made me promise upon promise, if only I could persuade you to come to him. Yet, as you yourselves will bear me witness, I was not to be diverted. Instead of setting my hand to do that, I simply led you to a point from which, with least loss of time, I thought you could cross into Asia. This I believed was the best thing for you, and you I knew desired it.
“But when Aristarchus came with his ships of war and hindered our passage across, you will hardly quarrel with me for the step I then took in calling you together that we might advisedly consider our best course. Having heard both sides — first Aristarchus, who ordered you to march to the Chersonese, then Seuthes, who pleaded with you to undertake a campaign with himself — you all proposed to go with Seuthes; and you all gave your votes to that effect. What wrong did I commit in bringing you, whither you were eager to go? If, indeed, since the time when Seuthes began to tell lies and cheat us about the pay, I have supported him in this, you may justly find fault with me and hate me. But if I, who at first was most of all his friend, today am more than any one else at variance with him, how can I, who have chosen you and rejected Seuthes, in fairness be blamed by you for the very thing which has been the ground of quarrel between him and me? But you will tell me, perhaps, that I get from Seuthes what is by right yours, and that I deal subtly by you? But is it not clear that, if Seuthes has paid me anything, he has at any rate not done so with the intention of losing by what he gives me, whilst he is still your debtor? If he gave to me, he gave in order that, by a small gift to me, he might escape a larger payment to yourselves. But if that is what you really think has happened, you can render this whole scheme of ours null and void in an instant by exacting from him the money which is your due. It is clear, Seuthes will demand back from me whatever I have got from him, and he will have all the more right to do so, if I have failed to secure for him what he bargained for when I took his gifts. But indeed, I am far removed from enjoying what is yours, and I swear to you by all the gods and goddesses that I have not taken even what Seuthes promised me in private. He is present himself and listening, and he is aware in his own heart whether I swear falsely. And what will surprise you the more, I can swear besides, that I have not received even what the other generals have received, no, nor yet what some of the officers have received. But how so? why have I managed my affairs no better? I thought, sirs, the more I helped him to bear his poverty at the time, the more I should make him my friend in the day of his power. Whereas, it is just when I see the star of his good fortune rising, that I have come to divine the secret of his character.
“Some one may say, are you not ashamed to be so taken in like a fool? Yes, I should be ashamed, if it had been an open enemy who had so deceived me. But, to my mind, when friend cheats friend, a deeper stain attaches to the perpetrator than to the victim of deceit. Whatever precaution a man may take against his friend, that we took in full. We certainly gave him no pretext for refusing to pay us what he promised. We were perfectly upright in our dealings with him. We did not dawdle over his affairs, nor did we shrink from any work to which he challenged us.
“But you will say, I ought to have taken security of him at the time, so that had he fostered the wish, he might have lacked the ability to deceive. To meet that retort, I must beg you to listen to certain things, which I should never have said in his presence, except for your utter want of feeling towards me, or your extraordinary ingratitude. Try and recall the posture of your affairs, when I extricated you and brought you to Seuthes. Do you not recollect how at Perinthus Aristarchus shut the gates in your faces each time you offered to approach the town, and how you were driven to camp outside under the canopy of heaven? It was midwinter; you were thrown upon the resources of a market wherein few were the articles offered for sale, and scanty the wherewithal to purchase them. Yet stay in Thrace you must, for there were ships of war riding at anchor in the bay, ready to hinder your passage across; and what did that stay imply? It meant being in a hostile country, confronted by countless cavalry, legions of light infantry. And what had we? A heavy infantry force certainly, with which we could have dashed at villages in a body possibly, and seized a modicum of food at most; but as to pursuing the enemy with such a force as ours, or capturing men or cattle, the thing was out of the question; for when I rejoined you your original cavalry and light infantry divisions had disappeared. In such sore straits you lay!
“Supposing that, without making any demands for pay whatever, I had merely won for you the alliance of Seuthes — whose cavalry and light infantry were just what you needed — would you not have thought that I had planned very well for you? I presume, it was through your partnership with him and his that you were able to find such complete stores of corn in the villages, when the Thracians were driven to take to their heels in such hot haste, and you had so large a share of captives and cattle. Why! from the day on which his cavalry force was attached to us, we never set eyes on a single foeman in the field, though up to that date the enemy with his cavalry and his light infantry used undauntedly to hang on our heels, and effectually prevented us from scattering in small bodies and reaping a rich harvest of provisions. But if he who partly gave you this security has failed to pay in full the wages due to you therefrom, is not that a terrible misfortune? So monstrous indeed that you think I ought not to go forth alive149.
“But let me ask you, in what condition do you turn your backs on this land today? Have you not wintered here in the lap of plenty? Whatever you have got from Seuthes has been surplus gain. Your enemies have had to meet the bill of your expenses, whilst you led a merry round of existence, in which you have not once set eyes on the dead body of a comrade or lost one living man. Again, if you have achieved any, (or rather many) noble deeds against the Asiatic barbarian, you have them safe. And in addition to these today you have won for yourselves a second glory. You undertook a campaign against the European Thracians, and have mastered them. What I say then is, that these very matters which you make a ground of quarrel against myself, are rather blessings for which you ought to show gratitude to heaven.
“Thus far I have confined myself to your side of the matter. Bear with me, I beg you, while we examine mine. When I first essayed to part with you and journey homewards, I was doubly blest. From your lips I had won some praise, and, thanks to you, I had obtained glory from the rest of Hellas. I was trusted by the Lacedaemonians; else would they not have sent me back to you. Whereas today I turn to go, calumniated before the Lacedaemonians by yourselves, detested in your behalf by Seuthes, whom I meant so to benefit, by help of you, that I should find in him a refuge for myself and for my children, if children I might have, in after time. And you the while, for whose sake I have incurred so much hate, the hate of people far superior to me in strength, you, for whom I have not yet ceased to devise all the good I can, entertain such sentiments about me. Why? I am no renegade or runaway slave, you have got hold of. If you carry out what you say, be sure you will have done to death a man who has passed many a vigil in watching over you; who has shared with you many a toil and run many a risk in turn and out of turn; who, thanks to the gracious gods! has by your side set up full many a trophy over the barbarian; who, lastly, has strained every nerve in his body to protect you against yourselves. And so it is, that today you can move freely, where you choose, by sea or by land, and no one can say you nay; and you, on whom this large liberty dawns, who are sailing to a long desired goal, who are sought after by the greatest of military powers, who have pay in prospect, and for leaders these Lacedaemonians, our acknowledged chiefs: now is the appointed time, you think, to put me to a speedy death. But in the days of our difficulties it was very different, O ye men of marvellous memory! No! in those days you called me ‘father!’ and you promised you would bear me ever in mind, ‘your benefactor.’ Not so, however, not so ungracious are those who have come to you today; nor, if I mistake not, have you bettered yourselves in their eyes by your treatment of me.”
With these words he paused, and Charminus the Lacedaemonian got up and said: “Nay, by the Twins, you are wrong, surely, in your anger against this man; I myself can bear testimony in his favour. When Polynicus and I asked Seuthes, what sort of a man he was? Seuthes answered:— he had but one fault to find with him, that he was too much the soldiers’ friend, which also was the cause why things went wrong with him, whether as regards us Lacedaemonians or himself, Seuthes.”
Upon that Eurylochus of Lusia, an Arcadian, got up and said (addressing the two Lacedaemonians), “Yes, sirs; and what strikes me is that you cannot begin your generalship of us better than by exacting from Seuthes our pay. Whether he like it or no, let him pay in full; and do not take us away before.”
Polycrates the Athenian, who was put forward by Xenophon, said: “If my eyes do not deceive me, sirs, there stands Heracleides, yonder, the man who received the property won by our toil, who took and sold it, and never gave back either to Seuthes or to us the proceeds of the sale, but kept the money to himself, like the thief he is. If we are wise, we will lay hold of him, for he is no Thracian, but a Hellene; and against Hellenes is the wrong he has committed.”
When Heracleides heard these words, he was in great consternation; so he came to Seuthes and said: “If we are wise we will get away from here out of reach of these fellows.” So they mounted their horses and were gone in a trice, galloping to their own camp. Subsequently Seuthes sent Abrozelmes, his private interpreter, to Xenophon, begging him to stay behind with one thousand heavy troops; and engaging duly to deliver to him the places on the seaboard, and the other things which he had promised; and then, as a great secret, he told him, that he had heard from Polynicus that if he once got into the clutches of the Lacedaemonians, Thibron was certain to put him to death. Similar messages kept coming to Xenophon by letter or otherwise from several quarters, warning him that he was calumniated, and had best be on his guard. Hearing which, he took two victims and sacrificed to Zeus the King: “Whether it were better and happier to stay with Seuthes on the terms proposed, or depart with the army?” The answer he received was, “Depart.”
149 I.e. the fate of a scape-goat is too good for me.
After this, Seuthes removed his camp to some considerable distance; and the Hellenes took up their quarters in some villages, selecting those in which they could best supply their commissariat, on the road to the sea. Now these particular villages had been given by Seuthes to Medosades. Accordingly, when the latter saw his property in the villages being expended by the Hellenes, he was not over well pleased; and taking with him an Odrysian, a powerful person amongst those who had come down from the interior, and about thirty mounted troopers, he came and challenged Xenophon to come forth from the Hellenic host. He, taking some of the officers and others of a character to be relied upon, came forward. Then Medosades, addressing Xenophon, said: “You are doing wrong to pillage our villages; we give you fair warning — I, in behalf of Seuthes, and this man by my side, who comes from Medocus, the king up country — to begone out of the land. If you refuse, understand, we have no notion of handing it over to you; but if you injure our country we will retaliate upon you as foes.”
Xenophon, hearing what they had to say, replied: “Such language addressed to us by you, of all people, is hard to answer. Yet for the sake of the young man with you, I will attempt to do so, that at least he may learn how different your nature is from ours. We,” he continued, “before we were your friends, had the free run of this country, moving this way or that, as it took our fancy, pillaging and burning just as we chose; and you yourself, Medosades, whenever you came to us on an embassy, camped with us, without apprehension of any foe. As a tribe collectively you scarcely approached the country at all, or if you found yourselves in it, you bivouacked with your horses bitted and bridled, as being in the territory of your superiors. Presently you made friends with us, and, thanks to us, by God’s help you have won this country, out of which today you seek to drive us; a country which we held by our own strength and gave to you. No hostile force, as you well know, was capable of expelling us. It might have been expected of you personally to speed us on our way with some gift, in return for the good we did you. Not so; even though our backs are turned to go, we are too slow in our movements for you. You will not suffer us to take up quarters even, if you can help it, and these words arouse no shame in you, either before the gods, or this Odrysian, in whose eyes today you are man of means, though until you cultivated our friendship you lived a robber’s life, as you have told us. However, why do you address yourself to me? I am no longer in command. Our generals are the Lacedaemonians, to whom you and yours delivered the army for withdrawal; and that, without even inviting me to attend, you most marvellous of men, so that if I lost their favour when I brought you the troops, I might now win their gratitude by restoring them.”
As soon as the Odrysian had heard this statement, he exclaimed: “For my part, Medosades, I sink under the earth for very shame at what I hear. If I had known the truth before, I would never have accompanied you. As it is, I return at once. Never would King Medocus applaud me, if I drove forth his benefactors.” With these words, he mounted his horse and rode away, and with him the rest of his horsemen, except four or five. But Medosades, still vexed by the pillaging of the country, urged Xenophon to summon the two Lacedaemonians; and he, taking the pick of his men, came to Charminus and Polynicus and informed them that they were summoned by Medosades; probably they, like himself, would be warned to leave the country; “if so,” he added, “you will be able to recover the pay which is owing to the army. You can say to them, that the army has requested you to assist in exacting their pay from Seuthes, whether he like it or not; that they have promised, as soon as they get this, cheerfully to follow you; that the demand seems to you to be only just, and that you have accordingly promised not to leave, until the soldiers have got their dues.” The Lacedaemonians accepted the suggestion: they would apply these arguments and others the most forcible they could hit upon; and with the proper representatives of the army, they immediately set off.
On their arrival Charminus spoke: “If you have anything to say to us, Medosades, say it; but if not, we have something to say to you.” And Medosades submissively made answer: “I say,” said he, “and Seuthes says the same: we think we have a right to ask that those who have become our friends should not be ill-treated by you; whatever ill you do to them you really do to us, for they are a part of us.” “Good!” replied the Lacedaemonians, “and we intend to go away as soon as those who won for you the people and the territory in question have got their pay. Failing that, we are coming without further delay to assist them and to punish certain others who have broken their oaths and done them wrong. If it should turn out that you come under this head, when we come to exact justice, we shall begin with you.” Xenophon added: “Would you prefer, Medosades, to leave it to these people themselves, in whose country we are (your friends, since this is the designation you prefer), to decide by ballot, which of the two should leave the country, you or we?” To that proposal he shook his head, but he trusted the two Laconians might be induced to go to Seuthes about the pay, adding, “Seuthes, I am sure, will lend a willing ear;” or if they could not go, then he prayed them to send Xenophon with himself, promising to lend the latter all the aid in his power, and finally he begged them not to burn the villages. Accordingly they sent Xenophon, and with him a serviceable staff. Being arrived, he addressed Seuthes thus:—
“Seuthes, I am here to advance no claims, but to show you, if I can, how unjust it was on your part to be angered with me because I zealously demanded of you on behalf of the soldiers what you promised them. According to my belief, it was no less to your interest to deliver it up, than it was to theirs to receive it. I cannot forget that, next to the gods, it was they who raised you up to a conspicuous eminence, when they made you king of large territory and many men, a position in which you cannot escape notice, whether you do good or do evil. For a man so circumstanced, I regarded it as a great thing that he should avoid the suspicion even of ungrateful parting with his benefactors. It was a great thing, I thought, that you should be well spoken of by six thousand human beings; but the greatest thing of all, that you should in no wise discredit the sincerity of your own word. For what of the man who cannot be trusted? I see that the words of his mouth are but vain words, powerless, and unhonoured; but with him who is seen to regard truth, the case is otherwise. He can achieve by his words what another achieves by force. If he seeks to bring the foolish to their senses — his very frown, I perceive, has a more sobering effect than the chastisement inflicted by another. Or in negotiations the very promises of such an one are of equal weight with the gifts of another.
“Try and recall to mind in your own case, what advance of money you made to us to purchase our alliance. You know you did not advance one penny. It was simply confidence in the sincerity of your word which incited all these men to assist you in your campaign, and so to acquire for you an empire, worth many times more than thirty talents, which is all they now claim to receive. Here then, first of all, goes the credit which won for you your kingdom, sold for so mean a sum. Let me remind you of the great importance which you then attached to the acquisition of your present conquests. I am certain that to achieve what stands achieved today, you would willingly have foregone the gain of fifty times that paltry sum. To me it seems that to lose your present fortune were a more serious loss than never to have won it; since surely it is harder to be poor after being rich than never to have tasted wealth at all, and more painful to sink to the level of a subject, being a king, then never to have worn a crown.
“You cannot forget that your present vassals were not persuaded to become your subjects out of love for you, but by sheer force; and but for some restraining dread they would endeavour to be free again tomorrow. And how do you propose to stimulate their sense of awe, and keep them in good behaviour towards you? Shall they see our soldiers so disposed towards you that a word on your part would suffice to keep them now, or if necessary would bring them back again tomorrow? while others hearing from us a hundred stories in your praise, hasten to present themselves at your desire? Or will you drive them to conclude adversely, that through mistrust of what has happened now, no second set of soldiers will come to help you, for even these troops of ours are more their friends than yours? And indeed it was not because they fell short of us in numbers that they became your subjects, but from lack of proper leaders. There is a danger, therefore, now lest they should choose as their protectors some of us who regard ourselves as wronged by you, or even better men than us — the Lacedaemonians themselves; supposing our soldiers undertake to serve with more enthusiasm, if the debt you owe to them be first exacted; and the Lacedaemonians, who need their services, consent to this request. It is plain, at any rate, that the Thracians, now prostrate at your feet, would display far more enthusiasm in attacking, than in assisting you; for your mastery means their slavery, and your defeat their liberty.
“Again, the country is now yours, and from this time forward you have to make provision for what is yours; and how will you best secure it an immunity from ill? Either these soldiers receive their dues and go, leaving a legacy of peace behind, or they stay and occupy an enemy’s country, whilst you endeavour, by aid of a still larger army, to open a new campaign and turn them out; and your new troops will also need provisions. Or again, which will be the greater drain on your purse? to pay off your present debt, or, with that still owing, to bid for more troops, and of a better quality?
“Heracleides, as he used to prove to me, finds the sum excessive. But surely it is a far less serious thing for you to take and pay it back today than it would have been to pay the tithe of it, before we came to you; since the limit between less and more is no fixed number, but depends on the relative capacity of payer and recipient, and your yearly income now is larger than the whole property which you possessed in earlier days.
“Well, Seuthes, for myself these remarks are the expression of friendly forethought for a friend. They are expressed in the double hope that you may show yourself worthy of the good things which the gods have given you, and that my reputation may not be ruined with the army. For I must assure you that today, if I wished to injure a foe, I could not do so with this army. Nor again, if I wished to come and help you, should I be competent to the task; such is the disposition of the troops towards me. And yet I call you to witness, along with the gods who know, that never have I received anything from you on account of the soldiers. Never to this day have I, to my private gain, asked for what was theirs, nor even claimed the promises which were made to myself; and I swear to you, not even had you proposed to pay me my dues, would I have accepted them, unless the soldiers also had been going to receive theirs too; how could I? How shameful it would have been in me, so to have secured my own interests, whilst I disregarded the disastrous state of theirs, I being so honoured by them. Of course to the mind of Heracleides this is all silly talk; since the one great object is to keep money by whatever means. That is not my tenet, Seuthes. I believe that no fairer or brighter jewel can be given to a man, and most of all a prince, than the threefold grace of valour, justice, and generosity. He that possesses these is rich in the multitude of friends which surround him; rich also in the desire of others to be included in their number. While he prospers, he is surrounded by those who will rejoice with him in his joy; or if misfortune overtake him, he has no lack of sympathisers to give him help. However, if you have failed to learn from my deeds that I was, heart and soul, your friend; if my words are powerless to reveal the fact today, I would at least direct your attention to what the soldiers said; you were standing by and heard what those who sought to blame me said. They accused me to the Lacedaemonians, and the point of their indictment was that I set greater store by yourself than by the Lacedaemonians; but, as regards themselves, the charge was that I took more pains to secure the success of your interests than their own. They suggested that I had actually taken gifts from you. Was it, do you suppose, because they detected some ill-will in me towards you that they made the allegation? Was it not rather, that they had noticed my abundant zeal on your behalf?
“All men believe, I think, that a fund of kindly feeling is due to him from whom we accept gifts. But what is your behaviour? Before I had ministered to you in any way, or done you a single service, you welcomed me kindly with your eyes, your voice, your hospitality, and you could not sate yourself with promises of all the fine things that were to follow. But having once achieved your object, and become the great man you now are, as great indeed as I could make you, you can stand by and see me degraded among my own soldiers! Well, time will teach you — that I fully believe — to pay whatever seems to you right, and even without the lessons of that teacher you will hardly care to see whose who have spent themselves in benefiting you, become your accusers. Only, when you do pay your debt, I beg of you to use your best endeavour to right me with the soldiers. Leave me at least where you found me; that is all I ask.”
After listening to this appeal, Seuthes called down curses on him, whose fault it was, that the debt had not long ago been paid, and, if the general suspicion was correct, this was Heracleides. “For myself,” said Seuthes, “I never had any idea of robbing you of your just dues. I will repay.” Then Xenophon rejoined: “Since you are minded to pay, I only ask that you will do so through me, and will not suffer me on your account to hold a different position in the army from what I held when we joined you.” He replied: “As far as that goes, so far from holding a less honoured position among your own men on my account, if you will stay with me, keeping only a thousand heavy infantry, I will deliver to you the fortified places and everything I promised.” The other answered: “On these terms I may not accept them, only let us go free.” “Nay, but I know,” said Seuthes, “that it is safer for you to bide with me than to go away.” Then Xenophon again: “For your forethought I thank you, but I may not stay. Somewhere I may rise to honour, and that, be sure, shall redound to your gain also.” Thereupon Seuthes spoke: “Of silver I have but little; that little, however, I give to you, one talent; but of beeves I can give you six hundred head, and of sheep four thousand, and of slaves six score. These take, and the hostages besides, who wronged you, and begone.” Xenophon laughed and said: “But supposing these all together do not amount to the pay; for whom is the talent, shall I say? It is a little dangerous for myself, is it not? I think I had better be on the look-out for stones when I return. You heard the threats?”
So for the moment he stayed there, but the next day Seuthes gave up to them what he had promised, and sent an escort to drive the cattle. The soldiers at first maintained that Xenophon had gone to take up his abode with Seuthes, and to receive what he had been promised; so when they saw him they were pleased, and ran to meet him. And Xenophon, seeing Charminus and Polynicus, said: “Thanks to your intervention, this much has been saved for the army. My duty is to deliver this fraction over to your keeping; do you divide and distribute it to the soldiers.” Accordingly they took the property and appointed official vendors of the booty, and in the end incurred considerable blame. Xenophon held aloof. In fact it was no secret that he was making his preparations to return home, for as yet the vote of banishment had not been passed at Athens150. But the authorities in the camp came to him and begged him not to go away until he had conducted the army to its destination, and handed it over to Thibron.
150 I.e. “at this moment the vote of banishment had not been passed which would prevent his return to Athens.” The natural inference from these words is, I think, that the vote of banishment was presently passed, at any rate considerably earlier than the battle of Coronea in B.C. 394, five years and a half afterwards.
From this place they sailed across to Lampsacus, and here Xenophon was met by Eucleides the soothsayer, a Phliasian, the son of Cleagoras, who painted “the dreams151” in the Lycium. Eucleides congratulated Xenophon upon his safe return, and asked him how much gold he had got? and Xenophon had to confess: “Upon my word, I shall have barely enough to get home, unless I sell my horse, and what I have about my person.” The other could not credit the statement. Now when the Lampsacenes sent gifts of hospitality to Xenophon, and he was sacrificing to Apollo, he requested the presence of Eucleides; and the latter, seeing the victims, said: “Now I believe what you said about having no money. But I am certain,” he continued, “if it were ever to come, there is an obstacle in the way. If nothing else, you are that obstacle yourself.” Xenophon admitted the force of that remark. Then the other: “Zeus Meilichios152 is an obstacle to you, I am sure,” adding in another tone of voice, “have you tried sacrificing to that god, as I was wont to sacrifice and offer whole burnt offerings for you at home?” Xenophon replied that since he had been abroad, he had not sacrificed to that god. Accordingly Eucleides counselled him to sacrifice in the old customary way: he was sure that his fortune would improve. The next day Xenophon went on to Ophrynium and sacrificed, offering a holocaust of swine, after the custom of his family, and the signs which he obtained were favourable. That very day Bion and Nausicleides arrived laden with gifts for the army. These two were hospitably entertained by Xenophon, and were kind enough to repurchase the horse he had sold in Lampsacus for fifty darics; suspecting that he had parted with it out of need, and hearing that he was fond of the beast they restored it to him, refusing to be remunerated.
From that place they marched through the Troad, and, crossing Mount Ida, arrived at Antandrus, and then pushed along the seaboard of Mysia to the plain of Thebe153. Thence they made their way through Adramytium and Certonus154 by Atarneus, coming into the plain of the Caicus, and so reached Pergamus in Mysia.
Here Xenophon was hospitably entertained at the house of Hellas, the wife of Gongylus the Eretrian155, the mother of Gorgion and Gongylus. From her he learnt that Asidates, a Persian notable, was in the plain. “If you take thirty men and go by night, you will take him prisoner,” she said, “wife, children, money, and all; of money he has a store;” and to show them the way to these treasures, she sent her own cousin and Daphnagoras, whom she set great store by. So then Xenophon, with these two to assist, did sacrifice; and Basias, an Eleian, the soothsayer in attendance, said that the victims were as promising as could be, and the great man would be an easy prey. Accordingly, after dinner he set off, taking with him the officers who had been his staunchest friends and confidants throughout; as he wished to do them a good turn. A number of others came thrusting themselves on their company, to the number of six hundred, but the officers repelled them: “They had no notion of sharing their portion of the spoil,” they said, “just as though the property lay already at their feet.”
About midnight they arrived. The slaves occupying the precincts of the tower, with the mass of goods and chattles, slipped through their fingers, their sole anxiety being to capture Asidates and his belongings. So they brought their batteries to bear, but failing to take the tower by assault (since it was high and solid, and well supplied with ramparts, besides having a large body of warlike defenders), they endeavoured to undermine it. The wall was eight clay bricks thick, but by daybreak the passage was effected and the wall undermined. At the first gleam of light through the aperture, one of the defendants inside, with a large ox-spit, smote right through the thigh of the man nearest the hole, and the rest discharged their arrows so hotly that it was dangerous to come anywhere near the passage; and what with their shouting and kindling of beacon fires, a relief party at length arrived, consisting of Itabelius at the head of his force, and a body of Assyrian heavy infantry from Comania, and some Hyrcanian cavalry156, the latter also being mercenaries of the king. There were eighty of them, and another detachment of light troops, about eight hundred, and more from Parthenium, and more again from Apollonia and the neighbouring places, also cavalry.
It was now high time to consider how they were to beat a retreat. So seizing all the cattle and sheep to be had, with the slaves, they put them within a hollow square and proceed to drive them off. Not that they had a thought to give to the spoils now, but for precaution’s sake and for fear lest if they left the goods and chattels behind and made off, the retreat would rapidly degenerate into a stampede, the enemy growing bolder as the troops lost heart. For the present then they retired as if they meant to do battle for the spoils. As soon as Gongylus espied how few the Hellenes were and how large the attacking party, out he came himself, in spite of his mother, with his private force, wishing to share in the action. Another too joined in the rescue — Procles, from Halisarna and Teuthrania, a descendant of Damaratus. By this time Xenophon and his men were being sore pressed by the arrows and slingstones, though they marched in a curve so as to keep their shields facing the missiles, and even so, barely crossed the river Carcasus, nearly half of them wounded. Here it was that Agasias the Stymphalian, the captain, received his wound, while keeping up a steady unflagging fight against the enemy from beginning to end. And so they reached home in safety with about two hundred captives, and sheep enough for sacrifices.
The next day Xenophon sacrificed and led out the whole army under the cover of night, intending to pierce far into the heart of Lydia with a view to lulling to sleep the enemy’s alarm at his proxmity, and so in fact to put him off his guard. But Asidates, hearing that Xenophon had again sacrificed with the intention of another attack, and was approaching with his whole army, left his tower and took up quarters in some villages lying under the town of Parthenium. Here Xenophon’s party fell in with him, and took him prisoner, with his wife, his children, his horses, and all that he had; and so the promise of the earlier victims was literally fulfilled. After that they returned again to Pergamus, and here Xenophon might well thank God with a warm heart, for the Laconians, the officers, the other generals, and the soldiers as a body united to give him the pick of horses and cattle teams, and the rest; so that he was now in a position himself to do another a good turn.
Meanwhile Thibron arrived and received the troops which he incorporated with the rest of his Hellenic forces, and so proceeded to prosecute a war against Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus157.
151 Reading ta enupnia, or if ta entoikhia with Hug and others, translate “the wall-paintings” or the “frescoes.” Others think that a writing, not a painting, is referred to.
152 Zeus Meilichios, or the gentle one. See Thuc. i. 126. The festival of the Diasia at Athens was in honour of that god, or rather of Zeus under that aspect. Cf. Arist. “Clouds,” 408.
153 Thebe, a famous ancient town in Mysia, at the southern foot of Mt. Placius, which is often mentioned in Homer (“Il.” i. 366, vi. 397, xxii. 479, ii. 691). See “Dict. Geog.” s.v. The name Thebes pedion preserves the site. Cf. above Kaustrou pedion, and such modern names as “the Campagna” or “Piano di Sorrento.”
154 The site of Certonus is not ascertained. Some critics have conjectured that the name should be Cytonium, a place between Mysia and Lydia; and Hug, who reads Kutoniou, omits odeusantes par ‘Atanea, “they made their way by Atarneus,” as a gloss.
155 Cf. Thuc. i. 128; also “Hell.” III. i. 6.
156 The Hyrcanian cavalry play an important part in the “Cyropaedeia.” They are the Scirites of the Assyrian army who came over to Cyrus after the first battle. Their country is the fertile land touching the south-eastern corner of the Caspian. Cf. “Cyrop.” IV. ii. 8, where the author (or an editor) appends a note on the present status of the Hyrcanians.
157 The MSS. add: “The following is a list of the governors of the several territories of the king which were traversed by us during the expedition: Artimas, governor of Lydia; Artacamas, of Phrygia; Mithridates, of Lycaonia and Cappadocia; Syennesis, of Cilicia; Dernes, of Phoenicia and Arabia; Belesys, of Syria and Assyria; Rhoparas, of Babylon; Arbacus, of Media; Tiribazus, of the Phasians and Hesperites. Then some independent tribes — the Carduchians or Kurds, and Chalybes, and Chaldaeans, and Macrones, and Colchians, and Mossynoecians, and Coetians, and Tibarenians. Then Corylas, the governor of Paphlagonia; Pharnabazus, of the Bithynians; Seuthes, of the European Thracians. The entire journey, ascent and descent, consisted of two hundred and fifteen stages = one thousand one hundred and fifty-five parasangs = thirty-four thousand six hundred and fifty stades. Computed in time, the length of ascent and descent together amounted to one year and three months.” The annotator apparently computes the distance from Ephesus to Cotyora.
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