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When Socratides was archon at Athens, the Romans elected four military tribunes with consular power, Quintus Servilius, Servius Cornelius, and Spurius Papirius. During their term of office King Artaxerxes sent an expedition against the Egyptians,2 who had revolted from Persia. The leaders of the army were Pharnabazus, commanding the barbarian contingent, and Iphicrates3 the Athenian, commanding the mercenaries, who numbered twenty thousand. Iphicrates, who had been summoned for the campaign by the King, was given the assignment because of his strategic skill. [2] After Pharnabazus had wasted several years making his preparations, Iphicrates, perceiving that though in talk he was clever, he was sluggish in action, frankly told him that he marvelled that anyone so quick in speech could be so dilatory in action. Pharnabazus replied that it was because he was master of his words but the King was master of his actions. [3] When the Persian army had assembled at the city of Ace4 it numbered two hundred thousand barbarians under the command of Pharnabazus and twenty thousand5 Greek mercenaries led by Iphicrates. The triremes numbered three hundred and the thirty-oared vessels two hundred. The number of those conveying food and other supplies was great. [4] At the beginning of the summer6 the King's generals broke camp with the entire army, and accompanied by the fleet sailing along the coast proceeded to Egypt. When they came near the Nile they found that the Egyptians had manifestly completed their preparations for the war. [5] For Pharnabazus marched slowly and had given plenty of time for the enemy to prepare. Indeed it is the usual custom for the Persian commanders, not being independent in the general conduct of war, to refer all matters to the King and await his replies concerning every detail.

1 374/3 B.C.

2 Other accounts: Nepos Iphicrates 2.4; Trogus Prologue to 10; Plut. Artaxerxes 24; Polyaenus 3.9.38, 56, 59.

3 See chap. 29.3-4 for Artaxerxes' request for the services of Iphicrates.

4 Later St. Jean d'Acre, or simply Acre.

5 12,000 in Nepos, l.c.

6 Spring 373 just before Nile flood (chap. 43.4). In the autumn Iphicrates was again in Athens where he was elected general (chap. 43.5-6).

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