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Croesus, mistaking the meaning of the oracle, invaded Cappadocia, expecting to destroy Cyrus and the Persian power. But while he was preparing to march against the Persians, a certain Lydian, who was already held to be a wise man, and who, from the advice which he now gave, won a great name among the Lydians, advised him as follows (his name was Sandanis): “O King, you are getting ready to march against men who wear trousers of leather and whose complete wardrobe is of leather, and who eat not what they like but what they have; for their land is stony. Further, they do not use wine, but drink water, have no figs to eat, or anything else that is good. Now if you conquer them, of what will you deprive them, since they have nothing? But if on the other hand you are conquered, then look how many good things you will lose; for once they have tasted of our blessings they will cling so tightly to them that nothing will pry them away. For myself, then, I thank the gods that they do not put it
The reasons for Croesus' expedition against Cappadocia were these: he desired to gain territory in addition to his own, and (these were the chief causes) he trusted the oracle and wished to avenge Astyages on Cyrus; for Cyrus, son of Cambyses, had conquered Astyages and held him in subjection. Now Astyages, son of Cyaxares and the king of Media, was Croesus' brother-in-law: and this is how he came to be so. A tribe of wandering Scythians separated itself from the rest, and escaped into Median territory. This was then ruled by Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, son of Deioces. Cyaxares at first treated the Scythians kindly, as suppliants for his mercy; and, as he had a high regard for them, he entrusted boys to their tutelage to be taught their language and the skill of archery. As time went on, it happened that the Scythians, who were accustomed to go hunting and always to bring something back, once had taken nothing, and when they returned empty-handed, Cyaxares treated them very roughly an
Passing over with his army, Croesus then came to the part of Cappadocia called Pteria (it is the strongest part of this country and lies on the line of the city of Sinope on the Euxine sea), where he encamped and devastated the farms of the Syrians; and he took and enslaved the city of the Pterians, and took all the places around it also, and drove the Syrians from their homes, though they had done him no harm. Cyrus, mustering his army, advanced to oppose Croesus, gathering to him all those who lived along the way. But before beginning his march, he sent heralds to the Ionians to try to draw them away from Croesus. The Ionians would not be prevailed on; but when Cyrus arrived and encamped face to face with Croesus, there in the Pterian country the armies had a trial of strength. The fighting was fierce, many on both sides fell, and at nightfall they disengaged with neither side victorious. The two sides contended thus.
Now the nature of this road“The royal road from Sardis to Susa is far older than the Persian empire,” say How and Wells. Evidence points to the existence of a Hittite capital in Cappadocia, to connect which with Sardis on the one hand and Assyria on the other was the purpose of the road. is as I will show. All along it are the king's road stations and very good resting places, and the whole of it passes through country that is inhabited and safe. Its course through Lydia and Phrygia is of the l
h of twenty stages, and ninety-four and a half parasangs.
Next after Phrygia it comes to the river Halys, where there is both a defile which must be passed before the river can be crossed and a great fortress to guard it. After the passage into Cappadocia, the road in that land as far as the borders of Cilicia is of twenty-eight stages and one hundred and four parasangs. On this frontier you must ride through two defiles and pass two fortresses.
Ride past these, and you will have a journey throu
While these worked at their appointed task, all the land force had been mustered and was marching with Xerxes to Sardis, setting forth from Critalla in Cappadocia, which was the place appointed for gathering all the army that was to march with Xerxes himself by land. Now which of his governors received the promised gifts from the king for bringing the best-equipped army, I cannot say; I do not even know if the matter was ever determined. When they had crossed the river Halys and entered Phrygia, they marched through that country to Celaenae,This implies a considerable divergence to the south from the “Royal road,” for which see Hdt. 5.52. Xerxes here turns south to avoid the difficult route through the Hermes valley, probably; cp. How and Wells, ad loc. where rises the source of the river Maeander and of another river no smaller, which is called Cataractes; it rises right in the market-place of Celaenae and issues into the Maeander. The skin of Marsyas the Silenus also hangs there; th