Such was Cyrus's address; and after him1
Chrysantas rose and spoke as follows: “Well, gentlemen, I have noticed often enough before now that a good ruler is not at all different from a good father. For as fathers provide for their children so that they may never be in want of the good things of life, so Cyrus seems to me now to be giving us counsel how we may best continue in prosperity. But there is one thing that he has not stated so clearly, it seems to me, as he should have done, and that I will try to present to any who do not know about it.
Bethink you, then, of this: what city that is hostile could be taken or what city that is friendly could be preserved by soldiers who are insubordinate? What army of disobedient men could gain a victory? How could men be more easily defeated in battle than when they begin to think each of his own individual safety? And what possible success could be achieved by such as do not obey their superiors? What state could be administered according to its laws, or what private establishments could be maintained, and how could ships arrive at their destination?
“And as for us, how have we secured the good things we now have, except by obedience to our commander? For by that course we always quickly reached our required destination, whether by day or by night, and following our commander in close array we were invincible, and we left half done none of the tasks committed to us. If, therefore, obedience to one's commander is, as it seems, the first essential to achieving success, then you may be sure that this same course is the first essential to ensuring its permanence.
“Heretofore, you know, many of us had no2
command but were under command; but now all of you here are so situated that you have command, some of larger, some of smaller divisions. Therefore, as you yourselves will expect to exercise authority over those under your command, so let us also give our obedience to those whom it is our duty to obey. And we must distinguish ourselves from slaves in this way, that, whereas slaves serve their masters against their wills, we, if indeed we claim to be free, must do of our own free will all that seems to be of the first importance. And you will find that among states, even when the government is not a monarchy, that state which most readily obeys its officers is least likely to be compelled to submit to its enemies.
“Let us, therefore, present ourselves before3
our ruler's headquarters yonder, as Cyrus bids; let us devote ourselves to those pursuits by which we shall best be able to hold fast to that which we ought, and let us offer ourselves for whatever service Cyrus may need us for. And this trust will not be abused, for we may be sure that Cyrus will never be able to find anything in which he can employ us for his own advantage and not equally for ours; for we have common interests and we have common enemies.”
When Chrysantas had finished this address,4
many others also both of the Persians and the allies rose to support him. They passed a resolution that the nobles should always be in attendance at court and be in readiness for whatever service Cyrus wished until he should dismiss them. And as they then resolved, so even unto this day those who are the subjects of the great king in Asia
continue to do—they are constantly in attendance at the court of their princes.
And the institutions which Cyrus inaugurated as a means of securing the kingdom permanently to himself and the/ Persians, as has been set forth in the foregoing narrative, these the succeeding kings have preserved unchanged even to this day.
And it is the same with these as with everything else: whenever the officer in charge is better, the administration of the institution is purer; but when he is worse, the administration is more corrupt.Accordingly, the nobles came to Cyrus's court with their horses and their spears, for so it had been decreed by the best of those who with him had made the conquest of the kingdom.
Cyrus next appointed officers to have charge of5
the various departments; for example, tax-collectors, paymasters, boards of public works, keepers of his estates, and stewards of his commissary department. He appointed also as superintendents of his horses and hounds those who he thought would keep these creatures in a condition most efficient for his use.
But he did not in the same way leave to others the precaution of seeing that those whom he thought he ought to have as his associates in establishing the permanence of his success should be the ablest men available, but he considered that this responsibility was his own. For he knew that if ever there should be occasion for fighting, he would then have to select from their number men to stand beside and behind him, men in whose company also he would have to meet the greatest dangers; from their number likewise he knew that he would have to appoint his captains both of foot and of horse.
Besides, if generals should be needed where he himself could not be, he knew that they would have to be commissioned from among that same number. And he knew that he must employ some of these to be governors and satraps of cities or of whole nations, and that he must send others on embassies—an office which he considered of the very first importance for obtaining without war whatever he might want.
If, therefore, those by whom the most6
numerous and most important affairs of state were to be transacted were not what they ought to be, he thought that his government would be a failure. But if they were all that they ought to be, he believed that everything would succeed. In this conviction, therefore, he took upon himself this charge; and he determined that the same practice of virtue should be his as well. For he thought that it was not possible for him to incite others to good and noble deeds, if he were not himself such as he ought to be.
When he had arrived at this conclusion, he thought, first of all, that he needed leisure if he were to be able to confine his attention to affairs of paramount importance. He decided, then, that it was out of the question for him to neglect the revenues, for he foresaw that there would necessarily be enormous expenses connected with a vast empire; and on the other hand, he knew that for him to be constantly engaged in giving his personal attention to his manifold possessions would leave him with no time to care for the welfare of the whole realm.
As he thus pondered how the business of7
administration might be successfully conducted and how he still might have the desired leisure, he somehow happened to think of his military organization: in general, the sergeants care for the ten men under them, the lieutenants for the sergeants, the colonels for the lieutenants, the generals for the colonels, and thus no one is uncared for, even though there be many brigades; and when the commander-in-chief wishes to do anything with his army, it is sufficient for him to issue his commands only to his brigadier-generals.
On this same model, then, Cyrus centralized the administrative functions also. And so it was possible for him, by communicating with only a few officers, to have no part of his administration uncared for. In this way he now enjoyed more leisure than one who has care of a single household or a single ship.
When he had thus organized his own functions in the government, he instructed those about him to follow the same plan of organization.
In this way, then, he secured leisure for himself and for his ministers; and then he began to take measures that his associates in power should be such as they ought to be. In the first place, if any of those who were able to live by the labours of others failed to attend at court, he made inquiry after them; for he thought that those who came would not be willing to do anything dishonourable or immoral, partly because they were in the presence of their sovereign and partly also because they knew that, whatever they did, they would be under the eyes of the best men there; whereas, in the case of those who did not, come he believed that they absented themselves because they were guilty of some form of intemperance or injustice or neglect of duty.
We will describe first, therefore, the manner8
in which he obliged all such to come; he would direct some one of the best friends he had at court to seize some of the property of the man who did not present himself and to declare that he was taking only what was his own. So, whenever this happened, those who lost their effects would come to him to complain that they had been wronged.
Cyrus, however, would not be at leisure for a long time to give such men a hearing, and when he did give them a hearing he would postpone the trial for a long time. By so doing he thought he would accustom them to pay their court and that he would thus excite less ill-feeling than he would if he compelled them to come by imposing penalties.
That was one of his methods of training them to attend. Another was to give those who did attend the easiest and the most profitable employment; and another was never to distribute any favours among those who failed to attend.
But the surest way of compulsion was this: if a man paid no attention to any of these three methods, he would take away all that he had and give it to some one else who he thought would present himself when he was wanted; and thus he would get a useful friend in exchange for a useless one. And the king to-day likewise makes inquiries if any one absents himself whose duty it is to be present.
Thus, then, he dealt with those who failed9
to attend at court. But in those who did present themselves he believed that he could in no way more effectively inspire a desire for the beautiful and the good than by endeavouring, as their sovereign, to set before his subjects a perfect model of virtue in his own person.
For he thought he perceived that men are made better through even the written law, while the good ruler he regarded as a law with eyes for men, because he is able not only to give commandments but also to see the transgressor and punish him.
In this conviction, he showed himself in the10
first place more devout in his worship of the gods, now that he was more fortunate; and then for the first time the college of magi was instituted... and he never failed to sing hymns to the gods at daybreak and to sacrifice daily to whatsoever deities the magi directed.
Thus the institutions established by him at that time have continued in force with each successive king even to this day. In this respect, therefore, the rest of the Persians also imitated him from the first; for they believed that they would be more sure of good fortune if they revered the gods just as he did who was their sovereign and the most fortunate of all; and they thought also that in doing this they would please Cyrus.
And Cyrus considered that the piety of his friends was a good thing for him, too; for he reasoned as they do who prefer, when embarking on a voyage, to set sail with pious companions rather than with those who are believed to have committed some impiety. And besides, he reasoned that if all his associates were god-fearing men, they would be less inclined to commit crime against one another or against himself, for he considered himself their benefactor;
and if he made it plain how important he11
held it to be to wrong no one of his friends or allies, and if he always paid scrupulous regard to what was upright, others also, he thought, would be more likely to abstain from improper gains and to endeavour to make their way by upright methods.
thought that he should be more likely to inspire in all respect for others, if he himself were seen to show such respect for all as not to say or do anything improper.
And that this would be the result he concluded from the following observation: people have more respect for those who have such respect for others than they have for those who have not; they show it toward even those whom they do not fear—to say nothing of what they would show toward their kings; and women also whom they see showing respect for others they are more inclined to look upon in turn with respect.
And again, obedience he thought would be13
most deeply impressed upon his attendants, if he showed that he honoured those who unhesitatingly obeyed more than those who thought they exhibited the greatest and most elaborate virtues. And thus he continued throughout to judge and to act.
And by making his own self-control an example,14
he disposed all to practise that virtue more diligently. For when the weaker members of society see that one who is in a position where he may indulge himself to excess is still under self-control, they naturally strive all the more not to be found guilty of any excessive indulgence.
<Moreover, he distinguished between considerateness and self-control in this way: the considerate are those who avoid what is offensive when seen; the self-controlled avoid that which is offensive, even when unseen.>
And he thought that temperance could be best inculcated, if he showed that he himself was never carried away from the pursuit of the good by any pleasures of the moment, but that he was willing to labour first for the attainment of refined pleasures.
To sum up, then, by setting such an example Cyrus secured at court great correctness of conduct on the part of his subordinates, who gave precedence to their superiors; and thus he also secured from them a great degree of respect and politeness toward one another. And among them you would never have detected any one raising his voice in anger or giving vent to his delight in boisterous laughter; but on seeing them you would have judged that they were in truth making a noble life their aim.
Such was what they did and such what they15
witnessed day by day at court. With a view to training in the arts of war, Cyrus used to take out hunting those who he thought ought to have such practice, for he held that this was altogether the best training in military science and also the truest in horsemanship.
For it is the exercise best adapted to give riders a firm seat in all sorts of places, because they have to pursue the animals wherever they may run; and it is also the best exercise to make them active on horseback because of their rivalry and eagerness to get the game.
By this same exercise, too, he was best able to accustom his associates to temperance and the endurance of hardship, to heat and cold, to hunger and thirst. And even to this day the king and the rest that make up his retinue continue to engage in the same sport.
From all that has been said, therefore, it is evident that he believed that no one had any right to rule who was not better than his subjects; and it is evident, too, that in thus drilling those about him he himself got his own best training both in temperance and in the arts and pursuits of war.
For he not only used to take the others out hunting, whenever there was no need of his staying at home, but even when there was some need of his staying at home, he would himself hunt the animals that were kept in the parks. And he never dined without first having got himself into a sweat, nor would he have any food given to his horses without their having first been duly exercised; and to these hunts he would invite also the mace-bearers in attendance upon him.
The result of all this constant training was that16
he and his associates greatly excelled in all manly exercises. Such an example did he furnish by his own personal conduct.
And besides this, he used to reward with gifts and positions of authority and seats of honour and all sorts of preferment others whom he saw devoting themselves most eagerly to the attainment of excellence; and thus he inspired in all an earnest ambition, each striving to appear as deserving as he could in the eyes of Cyrus.
We think, furthermore, that we have observed17
in Cyrus that he held the opinion that a ruler ought to excel his subjects not only in point of being actually better than they, but that he ought also to cast a sort of spell upon them. At any rate, he chose to wear the Median dress himself and persuaded his associates also to adopt it; for he thought that if any one had any personal defect, that dress would help to conceal it, and that it made the wearer look very tall and very handsome.
For they have shoes of such a form that without being detected the wearer can easily put something into the soles so as to make him look taller than he is. He encouraged also the fashion of pencilling the eyes, that they might seem more lustrous than they are, and of using cosmetics to make the complexion look better than nature made it.
He trained his associates also not to spit or to wipe the nose in public, and not to turn round to look at anything, as being men who wondered at nothing. All this he thought contributed, in some measure, to their appearing to their subjects men who could not lightly be despised.
Those, therefore, who he thought ought to be18
in authority he thus prepared in his own school by careful training as well as by the respect which he commanded as their leader; those, on the other hand, whom he was training to be servants he did not encourage to practise any of the exercises of freemen; neither did he allow them to own weapons; but he took care that they should not suffer any deprivation in food or drink on account of the exercises in which they served the freemen.
And he managed it in this way: whenever they were to drive the animals down into the plains for the horsemen, he allowed those of the lower classes, but none of the freemen, to take food with them on the hunt; and whenever there was an expedition to make, he would lead the serving men to water, just as he did the beasts of burden. And again, when it was time for luncheon, he would wait for them until they could get something to eat, so that they should not get so ravenously hungry. And so this class also called him “father,” just as the nobles did, for he provided for them well <so that they might spend all their lives as slaves, without a protest>.
Thus he secured for the whole Persian empire19
the necessary stability; and as for himself, he was perfectly confident that there was no danger of his suffering aught at the hands of those whom he had subdued. And the ground of his confidence was this—that he believed them to be powerless and he saw that they were unorganized; and besides that, not one of them came near him either by night or by day.
But there were some whom he considered very powerful and whom he saw well armed and well organized; and some of them, he knew, had cavalry under their command, others infantry; and he was aware that many of them had the assurance to think that they were competent to rule; and these not only came in very close touch with his guards but many of them came frequently in contact with Cyrus himself, and this was unavoidable if he was to make any use of them—this, then, was the quarter from which there was the greatest danger that something might happen to him in any one of many ways.
So, as he cast about in his mind how to remove any danger that might arise from them also, he rejected the thought of disarming them and making them incapable of war; for he decided that that would be unjust, and besides he thought that this would be destruction to his empire. On the other hand, he believed that to refuse to admit them to his presence or to show that he mistrusted them would lead at once to hostilities.
But better than any of these ways, he recognized that there was one course that would be at once the most honourable and the most conducive to his own personal security, and that was, if possible, to make those powerful nobles better friends to himself than to one another. We shall, therefore, attempt to explain the method that he seems to have taken to gain their friendship.