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Take the whole expedition together, and what was it but a patient endurance of cold winters and parching droughts; depths of rivers, rocks inaccessible to the winged fowl, amazing sights of strange wild beasts, savage diet, and lastly revolts and treasons of far-controlling potentates. As to what before the expedition befell me, it is well known that all Greece lay gasping and panting under the fatal effects of the Philippic wars. But then the Thebans, raising themselves upon their feet again after so desperate a fall, shook from their arms the dust of Chaeronea; with them also joined the Athenians, reaching forth their helping hands. The treacherous Macedonians, studying nothing but revenge, cast their eyes upon the sons of Aeropus; the Illyrians brake out into an open war; and the Scythians hung in equal balance, seeing their neighbors meditating new revolutions; while Persian gold, liberally scattered among the popular leaders of every city, put all Peloponnesus into motion. King Philip's treasuries were at that time empty, and besides he was in debt, as Onesicritus relates, two hundred talents. In the midst of so much pressing want and such menacing troubles, a youth but new past the age of childhood durst aspire to the conquest of Babylon and Susa, or rather project in his thoughts supreme dominion over all mankind; and all this, trusting only to the strength of thirty thousand foot and four thousand horse. For so many there were, by the account which Aristobulus gives; by the relation of King Ptolemy, there were five thousand horse; from both which Anaximenes varying musters up the foot to three and forty thousand, and the horse to five thousand five hundred. Now the glorious and magnificent sum which Fortune had raised up to supply the necessities of so great an expedition was no more than seventy talents, [p. 478] according to Aristobulus; or, as Duris records it, only thirty days' provision.
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