Now, when Clearchus and his fellow-generals had been completely deceived by Tissaphernes,1
and, contrary to solemn oaths, had been seized and sent up to the king in chains, Ctesias tells us that he was asked by Clearchus to provide him with a comb. Clearchus got the comb and dressed his hair, and being pleased at the service rendered, gave Ctesias his ring as a token of friendship which he might show to his kindred and friends in Sparta; and the device in the seal was a group of dancing Caryatides.
Moreover, as Ctesias says, the provisions sent to Clearchus were seized by the soldiers in captivity with him, who consumed them freely and gave only a small part of them to Clearchus. This hardship also Ctesias says he remedied, by getting more provisions sent to Clearchus, and a separate supply given to the soldiers; and these services he says he rendered and performed to please Parysatis, and at her suggestion.
He says further that a flitch of bacon was sent to Clearchus every day to supplement his rations, and that Clearchus earnestly advised him that he ought to bury a small knife in the meat and send it to him thus hidden away, and not allow his fate to be determined by the cruelty of the king; but he was afraid, and would not consent to do this. The king, Ctesias says, at the solicitation of his mother, agreed and swore not to kill Clearchus; but he was won back again by Stateira, and put all the generals to death except Menon.
It was because of this, Ctesias says, that Parysatis plotted against the life of Stateira and prepared the poison for her. But it is an unlikely story, and one that gives an absurd motive for her course, to say that Parysatis thus risked and wrought a dreadful deed because of Clearchus, and dared to kill the king's lawful wife, who was the mother by him of children reared for the throne.
Nay, it is quite evident that he adds this sensational detail out of regard for the memory of Clearchus. For he says that after the generals had been put to death, the rest of them were torn by dogs and birds, but that in the case of Clearchus, a blast of wind carried a great mass of earth and heaped it in a mound which covered his body; upon this some dates fell here and there, and in a short time a wonderful grove of trees sprang up and overshadowed the place, so that even the king was sorely repentant, believing that in Clearchus he had killed a man whom the gods loved.