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Anabasis(11)

2006-09-07 20:41

  Book II I x-chapter:I

  [In the previous book will be found a full account of the method by which Cyrus collected a body of Greeks when meditating an expedition against his brother Artaxerxes; as also of various occurrences on the march up; of the battle itself, and of the death of Cyrus; and lastly, a description of the arrival of the Hellenes in camp after the battle, and as to how they betook themselves to rest, none suspecting but what they were altogether victorious and that Cyrus lived.]

  With the break of day the generals met, and were surprised that Cyrus should not have appeared himself, or at any rate have sent some one to tell them what to do. Accordingly, they resolved to put what they had together, to get under arms, and to push forward until they effected junction with Cyrus. Just as they were on the point of starting, with the rising sun came Procles the ruler of Teuthrania. He was a descendant of Damaratus[1] the Laconian, and with him also came Glus the son of Tamos. These two told them, first, that Cyrus was dead; next, that Ariaeus had retreated with the rest of the barbarians to the halting-place whence they had started at dawn on the previous day; and wished to inform them that, if they were minded to come, he would wait for this one day, but on the morrow he should return home again to Ionia, whence he came.

  [1] The Spartan king who was deposed in B.C. 491, whereupon he fled to King Darius, and settled in south-western Mysia. See Herod. vi. 50, 61-70. We shall hear more of his descendant, Procles, the ruler of Teuthrania, in the last chapter of this work.

  When they heard these tidings, the generals were sorely distressed; so too were the rest of the Hellenes when they were informed of it. Then Clearchus spoke as follows: "Would that Cyrus were yet alive! But since he is dead, take back this answer to Ariaeus, that we, at any rate, have conquered the king; and, as you yourselves may see, there is not a man left in the field to meet us. Indeed, had you not arrived, we should ere this have begun our march upon the king. Now, we can promise to Ariaeus that, if he will join us here, we will place him on the king's throne. Surely to those who conquer empire pertains." With these words he sent back the messengers and with them he sent Cheirisophus the Laconian, and Menon the Thessalian. That was what Menon himself wished, being, as he was, a friend and intimate of Ariaeus, and bound by mutual ties of hospitality. So these set off, and Clearchus waited for them.

  The soldiers furnished themselves with food [and drink] as best they might——falling back on the baggage animals, and cutting up oxen and asses. There was no lack of firewood; they need only step forward a few paces from the line where the battle was fought, and they would find arrows to hand in abundance, which the Hellenes had forced the deserters from the king to throw away. There were arrows and wicker shields also, and the huge wooden shields of the Egyptians. There were many targets also, and empty wagons left to be carried off. Here was a store which they were not slow to make use of to cook their meat and serve their meals that day.

  It was now about full market hour[2] when heralds from the king and Tissaphernes arrived. These were barbarians with one exception. This was a certain Phalinus, a Hellene who lived at the court of Tissaphernes, and was held in high esteem. He gave himself out to be a connoisseur of tactics and the art of fighting with heavy arms. These were the men who now came up, and having summoned the generals of the Hellenes, they delivered themselves of the following message: "The great king having won the victory and slain Cyrus, bids the Hellenes to surrender their arms; to betake themselves to the gates of the king's palace, and there obtain for themselves what terms they can." That was what the heralds said, and the Hellenes listened with heavy hearts; but Clearchus spoke, and his words were few; "Conquerors do not, as a rule, give up their arms"; then turning to the others he added, "I leave it to you, my fellow-generals, to make the best and noblest answer, that ye may, to these gentlemen. I will rejoin you presently." At the moment an official had summoned him to come and look at the entrails which had been taken out, for, as it chanced, he was engaged in sacrificing. As soon as he was gone, Cleanor the Arcadian, by right of seniority, answered: "They would sooner die than give up their arms." Then Proxenus the Theban said: "For my part, I marvel if the king demands our arms as our master, or for the sake of friendship merely, as presents. If as our master, why need he ask for them rather than come and take them? But if he would fain wheedle us out of them by fine speeches, he should tell us what the soldiers will receive in turn for such kindness." In answer to him Phalinus said: "The king claims to have conquered, because he has put Cyrus to death; and who is there now to claim the kingdom as against himself? He further flatters himself that you also are in his power, since he holds you in the heart of his country, hemmed in by impassable rivers; and he can at any moment bring against you a multitude so vast that even if leave were given to rise and slay you could not kill them." After him Theopompus[3] the Athenian spoke. "Phalinus," he said, "at this instant, as you yourself can see, we have nothing left but our arms and our valour. If we keep the former we imagine we can make use of the latter; but if we deliver up our arms we shall presently be robbed of our lives. Do not suppose then that we are going to give up to you the only good things which we possess. We prefer to keep them; and by their help we will do battle with you for the good things which are yours." Phalinus laughed when he heard those words, and said: "Spoken like a philosopher, my fine young man, and very pretty reasoning too; yet, let me tell you, your wits are somewhat scattered if you imagine that your valour will get the better of the king's power." There were one or two others, it was said, who with a touch of weakness in their tone or argument, made answer: "They had proved good and trusty friends to Cyrus, and the king might find them no less valuable. If he liked to be friends with them, he might turn them to any use that pleased his fancy, say for a campaign against Egypt. Their arms were at his service; they would help to lay that country at his feet."

  [2] 10 A.M.

  [3] So the best MSS. Others read "Xenophon," which Kruger maintains to be the true reading. He suggests that "Theopompus" may have crept into the text from a marginal note of a scholiast, "Theopompus" (the historian) "gives the remark to Proxenus."

  Just then Clearchus returned, and wished to know what answer they had given. The words were barely out of his mouth before Phalinus interrupting, answered: "As for your friends here, one says one thing and one another; will you please give us your opinion"; and he replied: "The sight of you, Phalinus, caused me much pleasure; and not only me, but all of us, I feel sure; for you are a Hellene even as we are——every one of us whom you see before you. In our present plight we would like to take you into our counsel as to what we had better do touching your proposals. I beg you then solemnly, in the sight of heaven——do you tender us such advice as you shall deem best and worthiest, and such as shall bring you honour of after time, when it will be said of you how once on a time Phalinus was sent by the great king to bid certain Hellenes yield up their arms, and when they had taken him into their counsel, he gave them such and such advice. You know that whatever advice you do give us cannot fail to be reported in Hellas."

  Clearchus threw out these leading remarks in hopes that this man, who was the ambassador from the king, might himself be led to advise them not to give up their arms, in which case the Hellenes would be still more sanguine and hopeful. But, contrary to his expectation, Phalinus turned round and said: "I say that if you have one chance, one hope in ten thousand to wage a war with the king successfully, do not give up your arms. That is my advice. If, however, you have no chance of escape without the king's consent, then I say save yourselves in the only way you can." And Clearchus answered: "So, then, that is your deliberate view? Well, this is our answer, take it back. We conceive that in either case, whether we are expected to be friends with the king, we shall be worth more as friends if we keep our arms than if we yield them to another; or whether we are to go to war, we shall fight better with them than without." And Phalinus said: "That answer we will repeat; but the king bade me tell you this besides, 'Whilst you remain here there is truce; but one step forward or one step back, the truce ends; there is war.' Will you then please inform us as to that point also? Are you minded to stop and keep truce, or is there to be war? What answer shall I take from you?" And Clearchus replied: "Pray answer that we hold precisely the same views on this point as the king."——"How say you the same views?" asked Phalinus. Clearchus made answer: "As long as we stay here there is truce, but a step forward or a step backward, the truce ends; there is war." The other again asked: "Peace or war, what answer shall I make?" Clearchus returned answer once again in the same words: "Truce if we stop, but if we move forwards or backwards war." But what he was minded really to do, that he refused to make further manifest.

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