[The preceding narrative has described all that the Greeks did on their upward march with Cyrus and on their journey to the shore of the Euxine Sea
, how they arrived at the Greek city of Trapezus
, and how they paid the thankofferings for deliverance which they had vowed to sacrifice at the place where they should first reach a friendly land.]
After this they gathered together and proceeded to take counsel in regard to the remainder of their journey; and the first man to get up was Leon of Thurii, who spoke as follows: “Well, I, for my part, gentlemen,” he said, “am tired by this time of packing up and walking and running and carrying my arms and being in line and standing guard and fighting, and what I long for now is to be rid of these toils, since we have the sea, and to sail the rest of the way, and so reach Greece
stretched out on my back, like Odysseus.”2
Upon hearing these words the soldiers shouted out that he was quite right; and another man said the same thing, and in fact all who rose to speak. Then Cheirisophus got up and spoke as follows:
“I have a friend Anaxibius, gentlemen, and he happens also to be Admiral.3
So if you will send me to him, I presume I can bring back with me ships of war and merchant vessels to carry us; for yourselves, if you really wish to go by sea, wait until I return; and I shall return speedily.” When they heard this, the soldiers were delighted, and voted that Cheirisophus should set sail with all speed.
After him Xenophon rose and spoke as follows: “Cheirisophus, then, is setting off after ships, and we are to stay here; I am going to speak, therefore, of all the things that it seems to me proper for us to be doing while we wait.
In the first place, we must obtain provisions from hostile territory, for we neither have an adequate market, nor have we, with some few exceptions, the means wherewith to buy; but the territory is hostile, and hence there is danger that many of you will perish if you set out after provisions carelessly and unguardedly.
Rather, it seems to me that you ought to get your provisions in foraging parties and not roam about at random, in order that you may be kept safe, and that we generals ought to have charge of this matter.” This proposal was adopted.
“Listen, then, to this further point. Some of you are to journey forth after plunder. Now I think it is best for the man who is going out to inform us of the fact and to tell us also whither he is going, in order that we may know the number of men who are going out and the number who are staying behind; then we can help, if need be, in making preparations, and if there be occasion to go to any one's assistance, we shall know whither we are to go with such assistance, and if a man who is without experience is making an attempt in any quarter, we can advise him by trying to ascertain the strength of those against whom he may be going.” This proposal also was adopted.
“Then,” he said, “consider this matter also. Our enemies have leisure for plundering and they are plotting against us—quite properly, seeing that we have appropriated what was theirs; and they are posted up above us. So it seems to me that we ought to have guards around our camp; supposing, then, that we take turns in standing guard and keeping watch, the enemy would be less able to harry us.
“Here is still another point to note. If we knew beyond doubt that Cheirisophus would bring back with him an adequate number of ships, there would be no need of what I am about to say; but since in fact that is uncertain, I think we should try to do our part by procuring ships here also. For if he does bring enough, then with those at hand here we shall have a more abundant supply to sail in, while if he does not, we shall use those which we have here.
Now I see ships sailing past frequently, and if we can get the Trapezuntians to give us men-of-war and so bring these ships into port and keep them under guard, unshipping their rudders meanwhile, until we get enough to carry us, perhaps we should not lack such means of transport as we need.” This proposal also was adopted.
“Again,” he said, “do you not think it reasonable that we should maintain from our common fund the sailors we thus bring into port for as long a time as they may be waiting for our sakes, and that we should agree upon a price for our passage, so that in conferring a benefit upon us they may also benefit themselves?” This proposal also was adopted.
“Now it seems to me,” he continued, “that if perchance this plan also shall fail to provide us with enough ships, we must turn to the roads, which we hear are difficult to travel, and direct the cities that are situated along the sea to repair them; for they will obey, not only from fear, but also from the desire to be rid of us.”
At this the soldiers set up a shout, saying that they did not want to go by land. And Xenophon, realizing their foolishness, did not put any proposal regarding this matter to vote, but persuaded the cities to repair the roads voluntarily, urging that they would be rid of the army the more quickly if the roads should be made easy to travel.
Furthermore, they got a fifty-oared warship from the Trapezuntians, and put it under the command of Dexippus, a Laconian perioecus.4
This fellow, however, paying no heed to the duty of collecting vessels, slipped away with his man-of-war and left the Euxine. He did indeed get his deserts afterwards; for while engaged in some intrigue at the court of Seuthes5
he was killed by Nicander the Laconian.
They also got a thirty-oared galley, and put it under the command of Polycrates the Athenian, who brought in to the camp all the merchant vessels that he captured. And they would unload the cargoes, in case the ships had any, and put them under guard, in order to keep these safe and to use the vessels themselves for transport service.
While these things were going on, the Greeks were making forays in quest of booty, and while some parties would secure it, others did not. And in one case, when Cleaenetus led forth his own company and another against a difficult stronghold, the commander himself was killed and many of his men besides.