There now remained in command of the army Neon the Asinaean, Phryniscus the Achaean, Philesius the Achaean, Xanthicles the Achaean, and Timasion the Dardanian, and they proceeded to some villages of the Thracians which were near Byzantium
and there encamped.
Now the generals were at variance in their views: Cleanor and Phryniscus wanted to lead the army to Seuthes, for he had been trying to persuade them to this course and had given one of them a horse and the other a woman; Neon wanted to go to the Chersonese
thinking that if the troops should fall under the control of the Lacedaemonians, he would be leader of the entire army; and Timasion was eager to cross back again to Asia
, for he thought that in this way he could accomplish his return home. As for the troops, to return home was what they also desired.
As time wore on, however, many of the soldiers either sold their arms up and down the country and set sail for home in any way they could, or else mingled with the people of the neighbouring Greek cities.
And Anaxibius was glad to hear the news that the army was breaking up; for the thought that if this process went on, Pharnabazus would be very greatly pleased.
While Anaxibius was on his homeward voyage from Byzantium
, he was met at Cyzicus
by Aristarchus, Cleander's successor as governor of Byzantium
; and it was reported that his own successor as admiral, Polus, had by this time all but reached the Hellespont
Anaxibius, then, charged Aristarchus to sell as slaves all the soldiers of Cyrus' army that he might find left behind at Byzantium
. As for Cleander, he had not sold one of them, but had even been caring for their sick out of pity and compelling the Byzantines to receive them in their houses; but the moment Aristarchus arrived he sold no fewer than four hundred.
When Anaxibius had coasted along to Parium, he sent to Pharnabazus, according to the terms of their agreement.2
As soon as Pharnabazus learned, however, that Aristarchus had come to Byzantium
as governor and that Anaxibius was no longer admiral, he paid no heed to Anaxibius, but set about making the same arrangement with Aristarchus in regard to Cyrus' army as he had had with Anaxibius.
Thereupon Anaxibius summoned Xenophon3
and urged him by all manner of means to set sail as quickly as possible and join the army, and not only to keep it together, but likewise to collect the greatest number he could of those who had become scattered from the main body, and then, after leading the entire force along the coast to Perinthus,4
to take it across to Asia
with all speed; he also gave him a thirty-oared warship and a letter, and sent with him a man who was to order the Perinthians to furnish Xenophon with horses and speed him on his way to the army as rapidly as possible. So Xenophon sailed across to Perinthus and then made his way to the army;
and the soldiers received him with pleasure, and were glad to follow his lead at once, with the idea of crossing over from Thrace
Meanwhile Seuthes, upon hearing of Xenophon's arrival, sent Medosades to him again by sea, and begged him to bring the army to him, offering any promise whereby he imagined he could persuade him. Xenophon replied that it was not possible for anything of this sort to come to pass, and upon receiving this answer Medosades departed.
As for the Greeks, when they reached Perinthus, Neon with about eight hundred men parted company with the others and took up a separate camp; but all the rest of the army were together in the same place, beside the wall of the Perinthians.
After this Xenophon proceeded to negotiate for ships, in order that they might cross over with all possible speed. But meantime Aristarchus, the governor at Byzantium
, arrived with two triremes and, having been persuaded to this course by Pharnabazus, not only forbade the shipmasters to carry the army across, but came to the camp and told the soldiers not to pass over into Asia
Xenophon replied, “Anaxibius so ordered, and sent me here for that purpose.” And Aristarchus retorted, “Anaxibius, mark you, is no longer admiral, and I am governor here; if I catch any one of you on the sea, I will sink him.” With these words he departed within the walls of Perinthus. On the next day he sent for the generals and captains of the army.
When they were already near the wall, some one brought word to Xenophon that if he went in he would be seized, and would either meet some ill fate then and there or else be delivered over to Pharnabazus. Upon hearing this he sent the rest on ahead, telling them that he was desirous himself of offering a certain sacrifice.
Then he went back and sacrificed to learn whether the gods permitted of his endeavouring to take the army to Seuthes. For he saw that it was not safe for them to try to cross over to Asia
when the man who intended to prevent their passage possessed triremes; on the other hand, it was not his desire that the army should go to the Chersonese
and find itself shut up and in sore need of everything in a place where it would be necessary to obey the resident governor and where the army would not obtain anything in the way of provisions.
While Xenophon was occupied with his sacrificing, the generals and captains returned from their visit to Aristarchus with word that he directed them to go away for the present, but to come back during the afternoon; at that report the design against Xenophon seemed to be even more manifest.
Since, therefore, the sacrifices appeared to be favourable, portending that he and the army might go to Seuthes in safety, Xenophon took Polycrates, the Athenian captain, and from each of the generals except Neon a man in whom each had confidence, and set off by night to visit Seuthes' army, sixty stadia away.
When they had got near it, he came upon watch-fires with no one about them. And at first he supposed that Seuthes had shifted his camp to some other place; but when he became aware of a general uproar and heard Seuthes' followers signalling to one another, he comprehended that the reason Seuthes had his watch-fires kindled in front of the pickets was in order that the pickets might remain unseen, in the darkness as they were, so that no one could tell either how many they were or where they were, while on the other hand people who were approaching could not escape notice, but would be visible in the light of the fires.
When he did see pickets, he sent forward the interpreter he chanced to have and bade them tell Seuthes that Xenophon had come and desired to meet with him. They asked whether he was an Athenian from the army.
And when Xenophon made reply that he was the man, they leaped up and hastened off; and a little afterwards about two hundred peltasts appeared, took Xenophon and his party, and proceeded to conduct them to Seuthes.
He was in a tower and well guarded, and all around the tower were horses ready bridled; for out of fear he gave his horses their fodder by day, and by night kept them ready bridled to guard himself with.
For there was a story that in time gone by Teres, an ancestor of Seuthes, being in this region with a large army, lost many of his troops and was robbed of his baggage train at the hands of the people of this neighbourhood; they were the Thynians, and were said to be the most warlike of all men, especially by night.
When the Greek party had drawn near, Seuthes directed Xenophon to come in, with any two men he might choose to bring with him. As soon as they were inside, they first greeted one another and drank healths after the Thracian fashion in horns of wine; and Seuthes had Medosades present also, the same man who went everywhere as his envoy.5
After that Xenophon began the speaking: “You sent to me, Seuthes, first at Calchedon, this man Medosades, with the request that I make every effort on your behalf to bring the army across from Asia
, and with the promise that if I should do this, you would treat me well—as Medosades here declared.”
After saying this, he asked Medosades whether this statement of the matter was a true one. He replied that it was. “Medosades here came to me a second time after I had crossed over from Parium to rejoin the army, and promised that if I should bring the army to you, you would not only treat me in all ways as a friend and a brother, but in particular would give me the places on the seacoast of which you hold possession.”
Hereupon he again asked Medosades whether this was what he said, and he again agreed that it was. “Come, now,” Xenophon went on, “tell Seuthes what answer I made you that first time at Calchedon.”
“You answered that the army was going to cross over to Byzantium
and there was no need, so far as that was concerned, of paying anything to you or any one else; you also stated that when you had got across, you were yourself to leave the army; and it turned out just as you said.”
“What then did I say,” Xenophon asked, “at the time when you came to me near Selymbria
?” “You said that the project was not possible, but that you were going to Perinthus and intended to cross over from there to Asia
“Well, then,” said Xenophon, “at this moment I am here myself, along with Phryniscus here, one of the generals, and Polycrates yonder, one of the captains, and outside are representatives of the other generals except Neon the Laconian, in each case the man most trusted by each general.
If you wish, therefore, to have the transaction better safeguarded, call them in also. Go and say to them, Polycrates, that I direct them to leave their arms behind, and do you yourself leave your sabre out there before coming back again.”
Upon hearing these words Seuthes said that he should not distrust any one who was an Athenian; for he knew, he said, that the Athenians were kinsmen6
of his, and he believed they were loyal friends. After this, when those who were to be present had come in, Xenophon began by asking Seuthes what use he wanted to make of the army.
Then Seuthes spoke as follows: “Maesades was my father, and his realm embraced the Melanditae, the Thynians, and the Tranipsae. Now when the affairs of the Odrysians fell into a bad state, my father was driven out of this country, and thereafter sickened and died, while I, the son, was brought up as an orphan at the court of Medocus, the present king.
When I became a young man, however, I could not endure to live with my eyes turned toward another's table; so I sat myself down on the same seat with Medocus as a suppliant and besought him to give me as many men as he could, in order that I might inflict whatever harm I could upon those who drove us out, and might live without turning my eyes toward his table.
Thereupon he gave me the men and the horses that you will see for yourselves as soon as day has come. And now I live with them, plundering my own ancestral land. But if you should join me, I think that with the aid of the gods I could easily recover my realm. It is this that I want.”
“What, then,” said Xenophon, “should you be able, in case we came, to give to the rank and file, to the captains, and to the generals? Tell us, so that these men here may carry back word.”
And Seuthes promised to give to each soldier a Cyzicene,7
to the captains twice as much, and to the generals four times as much; furthermore, as much land as they might wish, yokes of oxen, and a fortified place upon the seacoast.”
“But,” said Xenophon, “if we make this attempt8
and do not succeed, because of some intimidation on the part of the Lacedaemonians, will you receive into your country any one who may wish to leave the army and come to you?”
And he replied: “Nay, more than that, I will make you my brothers, table-companions, sharers to the uttermost in all that we may find ourselves able to acquire. And to you, Xenophon, I will also give my daughter, and if you have a daughter, I will buy her after the Thracian fashion; and I will give you for a residence Bisanthe
, the very fairest of all the places I have upon the seacoast.”