As Cyrus proceeded on his march, rumours and reports kept coming to his ears that the king had decided not to give battle at once, and was not desirous of coming to close quarters with him, but rather of waiting in Persia until his forces should assemble there from all parts. For he had run a trench, ten fathoms in width and as many in depth, four hundred furlongs through the plain; and yet he allowed Cyrus to cross this and to come within a short distance of Babylon itself.1
And it was Teribazus, as we are told, who first plucked up courage to tell the king that he ought not to shun a battle, nor to retire from Media and Babylon, as well as Susa, and hide himself in Persia, when he had a force many times as numerous as that of the enemy, and countless satraps and generals who surpassed Cyrus in wisdom and military skill. The king therefore determined to fight the issue out as soon as possible.
So, to begin with, by his sudden appearance with an army of nine hundred thousand men in brilliant array, he so terrified and confounded the enemy, who were marching along in loose order and without arms because of their boldness and contempt for the king, that Cyrus could with difficulty bring them into battle array amid much tumult and shouting; and again, by leading his forces up slowly and in silence, he filled the Greeks with amazement at his good discipline, since they had expected in so vast a host random shouting, and leaping, with great confusion and dissipation of their lines.
Besides this, he did well to draw up in front of his own line, and over against the Greeks, the mightiest of his scythe-bearing chariots, in order that by the force of their charge they might cut to pieces the ranks of the Greeks before they had come to close quarters.