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When they had accomplished the crossing, they formed in line of battle about midday and marched through Armenia, over entirely level country and gently sloping hills, not less than five parasangs; for there were no villages near the river because of the wars between the Armenians and Carduchians. [2] The village which they finally reached was a large one and had a palace for the satrap, while most of the houses were surmounted by turrets; and provisions were plentiful. [3] From there they marched two stages, ten parasangs, until they passed the headwaters of the Tigris river. From there they marched three stages, fifteen parasangs, to the Teleboas river. This was a beautiful river, though not a large one, and there were many villages about it. [4] This region was called Western Armenia. Its lieutenant-governor1 was Tiribazus, who had proved himself a friend to the King and, so often as he was present, was the only man permitted to help the King mount his horse. [5] He rode up to the Greeks with a body of horsemen, and sending forward an interpreter, said that he wished to confer with their commanders. The generals decided to hear what he had to say, and, after approaching within hearing distance, they asked him what he wanted. [6] He replied that he wished to conclude a treaty with these conditions, that he on his side would not harm the Greeks, and that they should not burn the houses, but might take all the provisions they needed. This proposition was accepted by the generals, and they concluded a treaty on these terms. [7]

From there they marched three stages, fifteen parasangs, through level country, Tiribazus and his command following along at a distance of about ten stadia from them; and they reached a palace with many villages round about it full of provisions in abundance. [8] While they were in camp there, there was a heavy fall of snow2 during the night, and in the morning they decided to quarter the several divisions of the army, with their commanders, in the different villages; for there was no enemy within sight, and the plan seemed to be a safe one by reason of the great quantity of snow. [9] There they had all possible good things in the way of supplies—animals for sacrifice, grain, old wines with a fine bouquet, dried grapes, and beans of all sorts. But some men who straggled away from their quarters reported that they saw in the night the gleam of a great many fires. [10] The generals accordingly decided that it was unsafe to have their divisions in separate quarters, and that they must bring all the troops together again; so they came together, especially as the storm seemed to be clearing up. [11] But there came such a tremendous fall of snow while they were bivouacked there that it completely covered both the arms and the men as they slept, besides hampering the baggage animals; and everybody was very reluctant to get up, for as the men lay there the snow that had fallen upon them—in case it did not slip off—was a source of warmth. [12] But once Xenophon had mustered the courage to get up without his cloak and set about splitting wood, another man also speedily got up, took the axe away from him, and went on with the splitting. Thereupon still others got up and proceeded to build fires and anoint themselves; [13] for they found ointment there in abundance which they used in place of olive oil—made of pork fat, sesame, bitter almonds, or turpentine. They found also a fragrant oil made out of these same ingredients. [14]

After this it was deemed necessary to distribute the troops again to quarters in the houses of the several villages. Then followed plenty of joyful shouting as the men went back to their houses and provisions, and all those who just before had wantonly burned the houses they were leaving, paid the penalty by getting poor quarters. [15] After this they sent Democrates of Temnus with a body of troops during the night to the mountains where the stragglers said they had seen the fires; for this Democrates enjoyed the reputation of having made accurate reports in many previous cases of the same sort, describing what were facts as facts and what were fictions as fictions. [16] Upon his return he stated that he had not seen the fires; he had captured, however, and brought back with him a man with a Persian bow and quiver and a battleaxe of the same sort that Amazons carry. [17] When this man was asked from what country he came, he said he was a Persian and was on his way from the camp of Tiribazus to get provisions. They asked him how large Tiribazus' army was and for what purpose it had been gathered. [18] He replied that it was Tiribazus with his own forces and Chalybian and Taochian mercenaries, and that he had made his preparations with the idea of taking a position upon the mountain pass, in the defile through which ran the only road, and there attacking the Greeks. [19]

When the generals heard these statements, they resolved to bring the troops together into a camp; then, after leaving a garrison and Sophaenetus the Stymphalian as general in command of those who stayed behind, they set out at once, with the captured man as guide. [20] As soon as they had begun to cross the mountains, the peltasts, pushing on ahead and descrying the enemy's camp, did not wait for the hoplites, but raised a shout and charged upon the camp. [21] When the barbarians heard the uproar, they did not wait to offer resistance, but took to flight; nevertheless, some of them were killed, about twenty horses were captured, and likewise Tiribazus' tent, with silver-footed couches in it, and drinking cups, and people who said they were his bakers and his cup-bearers. [22] As soon as the generals of the hoplites learned of these results, they deemed it best to go back as speedily as possible to their own camp, lest some attack might be made upon those they had left behind. So they immediately sounded the recall with the trumpet and set out on the return journey, arriving at their camp on the same day.

1 Subordinate to the satrap of all Armenia, Orontas. See Xen. Anab. 4.3.4, and note thereon.

2 It was now late in November.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 652
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    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 4.3.4
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