Clearchus called together both the generals and commanders and took counsel with them
on the situation. While they were discussing it, there came ambassadors from the King, the
chief of whom was a man of Greece, Phalynus by name, who was a Zacynthian. They were introduced
to the gathering and spoke as follows: "King Artaxerxes says: Since I have defeated and slain
Cyrus, do you surrender your arms, come to my doors, and seek how you may appease me and gain
To these words each general gave a reply much
like that which Leonides made when he was guarding the Pass of Thermopylae, and Xerxes sent
messengers ordering him to lay down his arms.1
For Leonides at that time instructed the messengers to report
to the King: "We believe that if we become friends of Xerxes, we shall be better allies if we
keep our arms, and if we are forced to wage war against him, we shall fight the better if we
When Clearchus had made a somewhat similar reply
to the message, Proxenus the Theban said, "As things now stand, we have lost practically
everything else, and all that is left to us is our valour and our arms. It is my opinion,
therefore, that if we guard our arms, our valour also will be useful to us, but if we give them
up, then not even our valour will be of any help to us." Consequently he gave them this message
to the King: "If you are plotting some evil against us, with our arms we will fight against you
for your own possessions."
We are told that also Sophilus, one
of the commanders, said, "I am surprised at the words of the King; for if he believes that he
is stronger than the Greeks, let him come with his army and take our arms away from us; but if
he wishes to use persuasion, let him say what favour of equal worth he will grant us in
exchange for them."
After these speakers Socrates the Achaean
said, "The King is certainly acting toward us in a most astounding fashion; for what he wishes
to take from us he requires at once, while what will be given us in return he commands us to
request of him at a later time. In a word, if it is in ignorance of who are the victors that he
orders us to obey his command as though we had been defeated, let him come with his numerous
host and find out on whose side the victory lies; but if, knowing well enough that we are the
victors, he uses lying words, how shall we trust his later promises?"
After the messengers had received these replies, they
departed; and Clearchus marched to the stopping-place whither the troops had retired who had
escaped from the battle. When the entire force had gathered in the same place, they counselled
together how they should make their way back to the sea and what route they should take.
Now it was agreed that they should not return by the same way
they had come, since much of it was waste country where they could not expect provisions to be
available with a hostile army on their heels. They resolved, therefore, to make toward
Paphlagonia, and set out in that direction with the army, proceeding at a leisurely pace, since
they gathered provisions as they marched.