r over his own people; so the Thracian king with his Thracians, the Illyrian with his Illyrians, and so also all other nations, we are told. Those in Europe, at any rate, are said to be free and independent of one another even to this day. But Cyrus, finding the nations in Asia also independent in exactly the same way, started out with a little band of Persians and became the leader of the Medes by their full consent and of the HyrcaniansThe extent of his kingdom by theirs; he then conquered Syria, Assyria, Arabia, Cappadocia, both Phrygias, Lydia, Caria, Phoenicia, and Babylonia; he ruled also over Bactria, India, and Cilicia; and he was likewise king of the Sacians, Paphlagonians, Magadidae, and very many other nations, of which one could not even tell the names; he brought under his sway the Asiatic Greeks also; and, descending to the sea, he added both Cyprus and Egypt to his empire.
He ruled over these nations, even though theyThe secret of his power did not speak the same langua
t for him.And when he had passed through this discipline and had now entered the class of the youths, among these in turn he had the reputation of being the best both in attending to duty and in endurance, in respect toward his elders and in obedience to the officers.
In the course of time Astyages died in Media, and Cyaxares, the son of Astyages and brother of Cyrus's mother, succeeded to the Median throne.At that time the king of Assyria had subjugatedAssyria's plans for world conquest all Syria, a very large nation, and had made the king of Arabia his vassal; he already had Hyrcania under his dominion and was closely besetting Bactria. So he thought that if he should break the power of the Medes, he should easily obtain dominion over all the nations round about; for he considered the Medes the strongest of the neighbouring tribes.
Accordingly, he sent around to all those under his sway and to Croesus, the king of Lydia, to the king of Cappadocia; to both Phrygias, to Paphlagonia, I
lly make a sally at any point, we should see them a long way off and not be caught unprepared; or rather, I should say, friends, they will not so much as make the attempt when they have to go far from their walls, unless they judge that the whole of their force is superior to the whole of ours; for a retreat is a perilous thing for them.”
When he said this, those present agreed that what he said was right, and Gobryas led the way as he had directed. And as the army marched by the city, he constantly kept the part just passing the city the strongest, and so moved on.
Thus he continued his march and came in theCyrus captures three forts usual number of days to the place on the boundaries between Media and Syria from which he had originally started. Of the three forts of the Syrians there, Cyrus in person assaulted one, the weakest, and took it by storm; of the other two, Cyrus, by intimidation, brought the garrison of the one to surrender, and Gadatas, by persuasion, that of the other
ed to him by his friends; for he accepted such gifts from every one and never refused anything, whether any one offered him a fine weapon or a horse.
Besides, with the chariots taken from theCyrus introduces a corps of chariots of war enemy and with whatever others he could get he equipped a corps of chariots of his own. The method of managing a chariot employed of old at Troy and that in vogue among the Cyrenaeans even unto this day he abolished; for in previous times people in Media and in Syria and in Arabia, and all the people in Asia used the chariot just as the Cyrenaeans now do.
But it seemed to him that inasmuch as the best men were mounted on the chariots, that part which might have been the chief strength of the army acted only the part of skirmishers and did not contribute anything of importance to the victory. For three hundred chariots call for three hundred combatants and require twelve hundred horses. And the fighting men must of course have as drivers the men in whom t
and waiting to sit down to luncheon, that there is some work that they must do before they may eat, not one, I venture to say, would be pleased to hear it. So we also, thinking we were just on the point of getting rich, all put on a disconsolate look when we heard that there was some work left over which we must do; and it was not because we were frightened, but because we wished that this, too, were already accomplished.
“But our disappointment is past, seeing that we are to contend not for Syria only, where there is an abundance of grain and flocks and date-palms, but for Lydia as well; for in that land there is an abundance of wine and figs and olive oil, and its shores are washed by the sea; and over its waters more good things are brought than any one has ever seen—when we think of that,” said he, “we are no longer vexed, but our courage rises to the highest point, with desire to come all the more quickly into the enjoyment of these good things in Lydia also.”Thus he spoke; an
rers to have it led away for him wherever he should direct. And to those who saw it it seemed to be a mark of great honour, and as a consequence of that event many more people paid court to that man.
So, when they came to the sanctuaries, theyThe sacrifice and the races performed the sacrifice to Zeus and made a holocaust of the bulls; then they gave the horses to the flames in honour of the Sun; next they did sacrifice to the Earth, as the magi directed, and lastly to the tutelary heroes of Syria.
And after that, as the locality seemed adapted to the purpose, he pointed out a goal about five stadia distant and commanded the riders, nation by nation, to put their horses at full speed toward it. Accordingly, he himself rode with the Persians and came in far ahead of the rest, for he had given especial attention to horsemanship. Among the Medes, Artabazus won the race, for the horse he had was a gift from Cyrus; among the Assyrians who had revolted to him, Gadatas secured the first plac
e of everything, in order to attend to it as quickly as possible.
Now, when the year had gone round, heCyrus completes his conquests collected his army together at Babylon, containing, it is said, about one hundred and twenty thousand horse, about two thousand scythe-bearing chariots and about six hundred thousand foot.
And when these had been made ready for him, he started out on that expedition on which he is said to have subjugated all the nations that fill the earth from where one leaves Syria even to the Indian Ocean. His next expedition is said to have gone to Egypt and to have subjugated that country also.
From that time on his empire was bounded on the east by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Black Sea, on the west by Cyprus and Egypt, and on the south by Ethiopia. The extremes of his empire are uninhabitable, on the one side because of the heat, on another because of the cold, on another because of too much water, and on the fourth because of too little.
Cyrus himself ma