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Anabasis(43)

2006-09-07 20:49

  Book VI I x-chapter:VI

  After this the enemy confined themselves to their own concerns, and removed their households and property as far away as possible. The Hellenes, on their side, were still awaiting the arrival of Cleander with the ships of war and transports, which ought to be there soon. So each day they went out with the baggage animals and slaves and fearlessly brought in wheat and barley, wine and vegetables, millet and figs; since the district produced all good things, the olive alone excepted. When the army stayed in camp to rest, pillaging parties were allowed to go out, and those who went out appropriated the spoils; but when the whole army went out, if any one went off apart and seized anything, it was voted to be public property. Ere long there was an ample abundance of supplies of all sorts, for marketables arrived from Hellenic cities on all sides, and marts were established. Mariners coasting by, and hearing that a city was being founded and that there was a harbour, were glad to put in. Even the hostile tribes dwelling in the neighbourhood presently began to send envoys to Xenophon. It was he who was forming the place into a city, as they understood, and they would be glad to learn on what terms they might secure his friendship. He made a point of introducing these visitors to the soldiers.

  Meanwhile Cleander arrived with two ships of war, but not a single transport. At the moment of his arrival, as it happened, the army had taken the field, and a separate party had gone off on a pillaging expedition into the hills and had captured a number of small cattle. In thir apprehension of being deprived of them, these same people spoke to Dexippus (this was the same man who had made off from Trapezus with the fifty-oared galley), and urged him to save their sheep for them. "Take some for yourself," said they, "and give the rest back to us." So, without more ado, he drove off the soldiers standing near, who kept repeating that the spoil was public property. Then off he went to Cleander. "Here is an attempt," said he, "at robbery." Cleander bade him to bring up the culprit to him. Dexippus seized on some one, and was for haling him to the Spartan governor. Just then Agasias came across him and rescued the man, who was a member of his company; and the rest of the soldiers present set to work to stone Dexippus, calling him "traitor." Things looked so ill that a number of the crew of the ships of war took fright and fled to the sea, and with the rest Cleander himself. Xenophon and the other generals tried to hold the men back, assuring Cleander that the affair signified nothing at all, and that the origin of it was a decree pased by the army. That was to blame, if anything. But Cleander, goaded by Dexippus, and personally annoyed at the fright which he had experienced, threatened to sail away and publish an interdict against them, forbidding any city to receive them, as being public enemies. For at this date the Lacedaemonians held sway over the whole Hellenic world.

  Thereat the affair began to wear an ugly look, and the Hellenes begged and implored Cleander to reconsider his intention. He replied that he would be as good as his word, and that nothing should stop him, unless the man who set the example of stoning, with the other who rescued the prisoner, were given up to him. Now, one of the two whose persons were thus demanded——Agasias——had been a friend to Xenophon throughout; and that was just why Dexippus was all the more anxious to accuse him. In their perplexity the generals summoned a full meeting of the soldiers, and some speakers were disposed to make very light of Cleander and set him at naught. But Xenophon took a more serious view of the matter; he rose and addressed the meeting thus: "Soldiers, I cannot say that I feel disposed to make light of this business, if Cleander be allowed to go away, as he threatens to do, in his present temper towards us. There are Hellenic cities close by; but then the Lacedaemonians are the lords of Hellas, and they can, any one of them, carry out whatever they like in the cities. If then the first thing this Lacedaemonian does is to close the gates of Byzantium, and next to pass an order to the other governors, city by city, not to receive us because we are a set of lawless ruffians disloyal to the Lacedaemonians; and if, further, this report of us should reach the ears of their admiral, Anaxibius, to stay or to sail away will alike be difficult. Remember, the Lacedaemonians at the present time are lords alike on land and on sea. For the sake then of a single man, or for two men's sake, it is not right that the rest of us should be debarred from Hellas; but whatever they enjoin we must obey. Do not the cities which gave us birth yield them obedience also? For my own part, inasmuch as Dexippus, I believe, keeps telling Cleander that Agasias would never have done this had not I, Xenophon, bidden him, I absolve you of all complicity, and Agasias too, if Agasias himself states that I am in any way a prime mover in this matter. If I have set the fashion of stone-throwing or any other sort of violence I condemn myself——I say that I deserve the extreme penalty, and I will submit to undergo it. I further say that if any one else is accused, that man is bound to surrender himself to Cleander for judgement, for by this means you will be absolved entirely from the accusation. But as the matter now stands, it is cruel that just when we were aspiring to win praise and honour throughout Hellas, we are destined to sink below the level of the rest of the world, banned from the Hellenic cities whose common name we boast."

  After him Agasias got up, and said, "I swear to you, sirs, by the gods and goddesses, verily and indeed, neither Xenophon nor any one else among you bade me rescue the man. I saw an honest man——one of my own company——being taken up by Dexippus, the man who betrayed you, as you know full well. That I could not endure; I rescued him, I admit the fact. Do not you deliver me up. I will surrender myself, as Xenophon suggests, to Cleander to pass what verdict on me he thinks right. Do not, for the sake of such a matter, make foes of the Lacedaemonians; rather God grant that[1] each of you may safely reach the goal of his desire. Only do you choose from among yourselves and send with me to Cleander those who, in case of any omission on my part, may by their words and acts supply what is lacking." Thereupon the army granted him to choose for himself whom he would have go with him and to go; and he at once chose the generals. After this they all set off to Cleander——Agasias and the generals and the man who had been rescued by Agasias——and the generals spoke as follows: "The army has sent us to you, Cleander, and this is their bidding: 'If you have fault to find with all, they say, you ought to pass sentence on all, and do with them what seems best; or if the charge is against one man or two, or possibly several, what they expect of these people is to surrender themselves to you for judgement.' Accordingly, if you lay anything to the charge of us generals, here we stand at your bar. Or do you impute the fault to some one not here? tell us whom. Short of flying in the face of our authority, there is no one who will absent himself."

  [1] Reading with the best MSS., {sozoisthe}. Agasias ends his sentence with a prayer. Al. {sozesthe}, "act so that each," etc.

  At this point Agasias stepped forward and said: "It was I, Cleander, who rescued the man before you yonder from Dexippus, when the latter was carrying him off, and it was I who gave the order to strike Dexippus. My plea is that I know the prisoner to be an honest man. As to Dexippus, I know that he was chosen by the army to command a fifty-oared galley, which we had obtained by request from the men of Trapezus for the express purpose of collecting vessels to carry us safely home. But this same Dexippus betrayed his fellow-soldiers, with whom he had been delivered from so many perils, and made off into hiding like a runaway slave, whereby we have robbed the Trapezuntines of their frigate, and must needs appear as knaves in their eyes for this man's sake. As to ourselves, as far as he could, he has ruined us; for, like the rest of us, he had heard how all but impossible it was for us to retreat by foot across the rivers and to reach Hellas in safety. That is the stamp of man whom I robbed of his prey. Now, had it been you yourself who carried him off, or one of your emissaries, or indeed any one short of a runaway from ourselves, be sure that I should have acted far otherwise. Be assured that if you put me to death at this time you are sacrificing a good, honest man for the sake of a coward and a scamp."

  When he had listened to these remarks, Cleander replied that if such had been the conduct of Dexippus, he could not congratulate him. "But still," he added, turning to the generals, "were Dexippus ever so great a scamp he ought not to suffer violence; but in the language of your own demand he was entitled to a fair trial, and so to obtain his deserts. What I have to say at present therefore is: leave your friend here and go your way, and when I give the order be present at the trial. I have no further charge against the army or any one, since the prisoner himself admits that he rescued the man." Then the man who had been rescued said: "In behalf of myself, Cleander, if possibly you think that I was being taken up for some misdeed, it is not so; I neither struck nor shot; I merely said, 'The sheep are public property;' for it was a resolution of the soldiers that whenever the army went out as a body any booty privately obtained was to be public property. That was all I said, and thereupon yonder fellow seized me and began dragging me off. He wanted to stop our mouths, so that he might have a share of the things himself, and keep the rest for these buccaneers, contrary to the ordinance." In answer to that Cleander said: "Very well, if that is your disposition you can stay behind too, and we will take your case into consideration also."

  Thereupon Cleander and his party proceeded to breakfast; but Xenophon collected the army in assembly, and advised their sending a deputation to Cleander to intercede in behalf of the men. Accordingly it was resolved to send some generals and officers with Dracontius the Spartan, and of the rest those who seemed best fitted to go. The deputation was to request Cleander by all means to release the two men. Accordingly Xenophon came and addressed him thus: "Cleander, you have the men; the army has bowed to you and assented to do what you wished with respect to these two members of their body and themselves in general. But now they beg and pray you to give up these two men, and not to put them to death. Many a good service have these two wrought for our army in past days. Let them but obtain this from you, and in return the army promises that, if you will put yourself at their head and the gracious gods approve, they will show you how orderly they are, how apt to obey their general, and, with heaven's help, to face their foes unflinchingly. They make this further request to you, that you will present yourself and take command of them and make trial of them. 'Test us ourselves,' they say, 'and test Dexippus, what each of us is like, and afterwards assign to each his due.'" When Cleander heard these things, he answered: "Nay, by the twin gods, I will answer you quickly enough. Here I make you a present of the two men, and I will as you say present myself, and then, if the gods vouchsafe, I will put myself at your head and lead you into Hellas. Very different is your language from the tale I used to hear concerning you from certain people, that you wanted to withdraw the army from allegiance to the Lacedaemonians."

  After this the deputation thanked him and retired, taking with them the two men; then Cleander sacrificed as a preliminary to marching and consorted friendlily with Xenophon, and the two struck up an alliance. When the Spartan saw with what good discipline the men carried out their orders, he was still more anxious to become their leader. However, in spite of sacrifices repeated on three successive days, the victims steadily remained unfavourable. So he summoned the generals and said to them: "The victims smile not on me, they suffer me not to lead you home; but be not out of heart at that. To you it is given, as it would appear, to bring your men safe home. Forwards then, and for our part, whenever you come yonder, we will bestow on you as warm a welcome as we may."

  Then the soldiers resolved to make him a present of the public cattle, which he accepted, but again gave back to them. So he sailed away; but the soldiers made division of the corn which they had collected and of the other captured property, and commenced their homeward march through the territory of the Bithynians.

  At first they confined themselves to the main road; but not chancing upon anything whereby they might reach a friendly territory with something in their pockets for themselves, they resolved to turn sharp round, and marched for one day and night in the opposite direction. By this proceeding they captured many slaves and much small cattle; and on the sixth day reached Chrysopolis in Chalcedonia[2]. Here they halted seven days while they disposed of their booty by sale.

  [2] The name should be written "Calchedonia." The false form drove out the more correct, probably through a mispronunciation, based on a wrong derivation, at some date long ago. The sites of Chrysopolis and Calchedon correspond respectively to the modern Scutari and Kadikoi.

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