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Anabasis(48)

2006-09-07 20:51

  Book VII I x-chapter:V

  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 worthy[1]]. 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."

  [1] See above re previous Teres. The words "an ancient worthy" may possibly be an editor's or commentator's note.

  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 Neontichos[2]. 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.

  [2] 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.

  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-eating[3] 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 sea[4]. 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 miles[5] 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.

  [3] Or, "the Melinophagi."

  [4] 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.

  [5] Lit. "thirty stades." Selybria is about fourty-four miles from Byzantium, two-thirds of the way to Perinthus.

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