But the narrative of Ctesias, to give it in a much-abbreviated form, is something as follows. After he had slain Artagerses, Cyrus rode against the king himself, and the king against him, both without a word. But Ariaeus, the friend of Cyrus, was beforehand in hurling his spear at the king, though he did not wound him. And the king, casting his spear at Cyrus, did not hit him, but struck and killed Satiphernes, a trusted friend of Cyrus and a man of noble birth.
But Cyrus threw his spear at the king and wounded him in the breast through the cuirass, so that the weapon sank in two fingers deep, and the king fell from his horse with the blow. Amid the ensuing confusion and flight of his immediate followers, the king rose to his feet, and with a few companions among whom also was Ctesias, took possession of a certain hill near by and remained there quietly; but Cyrus, enveloped by his enemies, was borne on a long distance by his spirited horse, and since it was now dark, his enemies did not recognize him and his friends could not find him.
But lifted up by his victory, and full of impetuosity and confidence, he rode on through his foes, crying out,
‘Clear the way, ye beggars!’ Thus he cried out many times, in Persian, and they cleared the way, and made him their obeisance. But the turban of Cyrus fell from his head, and a young Persian, Mithridates by name, running to his side, smote him with his spear in the temple, near the eye, not knowing who he was.
Much blood gushed from the wound, and Cyrus, stunned and giddy, fell to the ground. His horse escaped and wandered about the field, but the horse's saddle-cloth, which had slipped off, was captured by the attendant of the man who had struck Cyrus, and it was soaked with blood. Then, as Cyrus was slowly and with difficulty recovering from the blow, a few eunuchs who were at hand tried to put him upon another horse and bring him to a place of safety.
But since he was unable to ride and desired to go on his own feet, they supported him and led him along. His head was heavy and he reeled to and fro, but he thought he was victorious because he heard the fugitives saluting Cyrus as king and begging him to spare them. Meanwhile some Caunians—low and poverty-stricken men who followed the king's army to do menial service—chanced to join the party about Cyrus, supposing them to be friends. But when at last they perceived that the tunics over their breastplates were of a purple colour, whereas all the king's people wore white ones, they knew that they were enemies. Accordingly, one of them, not knowing who Cyrus was, ventured to smite him from behind with his spear. The vein in the ham of Cyrus was ruptured and he fell, and at the same time struck his wounded temple against a stone, and so died. Such is the story of Ctesias, in which, as with a blunt sword, he is long in killing Cyrus, but kills him at last.