And now the thirty messengers came riding up with joy and exultation in their faces, announcing to the king his unexpected good fortune. Presently, too, he was encouraged by the number of men who flocked back to him and formed in battle array, and so he came down from the hill under the light of many torches.
And after he had halted at the dead body of Cyrus, and its right hand and head had been cut off (in accordance with a law of the Persians), he ordered the head to be brought to him; and grasping it by the hair, which was long and bushy, he showed it to those who were still wavering and disposed to fly. These were amazed, and made obeisance to the king, so that very soon seventy thousand men were about him and marched back with him to their camp.
He had marched out to the battle, as Ctesias says, with four hundred thousand men. But Deinon and Xenophon say that the army which fought under him was much larger. As to the number of his dead, Ctesias says that it was reported to Artaxerxes as nine thousand, but that he himself thought the slain no fewer than twenty thousand. This matter, then, is in dispute. But it is certainly a glaring falsehood on the part of Ctesias to say that he was sent to the Greeks along with Phalinus the Zacynthian and certain others.
For Xenophon knew that Ctesias was in attendance upon the king, since he makes mention of him and had evidently read his works; if, then, Ctesias had come to the Greeks and served as an interpreter in so momentous a colloquy, Xenophon would not have left him nameless and named only Phalinus the Zacynthian.1
The truth is that Ctesias, being prodigiously ambitious, as it would seem, and none the less partial to Sparta and to Clearchus, always allows considerable space in his narrative for himself, and there he will say many fine things about Clearchus and Sparta.