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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

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