At first Tisaphernes was afraid of Agesilaüs, and made a treaty in which he promised him to make the Greek cities free and independent of the King. Afterwards, however, when he was convinced that he had a sufficient force, he declared war, and Agesilaüs gladly accepted it.
For he had great expectations from his expedition, and he thought it would be a disgraceful thing if, whereas Xenophon and his Ten Thousand had penetrated to the sea, and vanquished the King just as often as they themselves desired, he, in command of the Lacedaemonians, who had the supremacy on sea and land, should perform no deed worthy of remembrance in the eyes of the Hellenes. At once, then, requiting the perjury of Tisaphernes with a righteous deception, he gave out word that he was going to lead his troops against Caria; but when the Barbarian had assembled his forces there, he set out and made an incursion into Phrygia.
He captured many cities and made himself master of boundless treasure, thus showing plainly to his friends that the violation of a treaty is contempt for the gods, but that in outwitting one's enemies there is not only justice, but also great glory, and profit mixed with pleasure. However, since he was inferior in cavalry and his sacrifices were unpropitious, he retired to Ephesus and began to get together a force of horsemen, commanding the well-to-do, in case they did not wish to perform military service themselves, to furnish instead every man a horse and rider.
There were many who chose this course, and so it came to pass that Agesilaüs quickly had a large force of warlike horsemen instead of worthless men-at-arms.
For those who did not wish to do military service hired those who did, and those who did not wish to serve as horsemen hired those who did. Indeed, Agesilaüs thought Agamemnon had done well in accepting a good mare and freeing a cowardly rich man from military service.
And once when, by his orders, his prisoners of war were stripped of their clothing and offered for sale by the venders of booty, their clothing found many purchasers, but their naked bodies, which were utterly white and delicate, owing to their effeminate habits, were ridiculed as useless and worthless. Then Agesilaüs, noticing, said:
‘These are the men with whom you fight, and these the things for which you fight.’