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8.

From there they sailed across to Lampsacus, where Xenophon was met by Eucleides, the Phliasian seer, son of the Cleagoras who painted the mural paintings in the Lyceum.1 Eucleides congratulated Xenophon upon his safe return, and asked him how much gold he had got. [2] He replied, swearing to the truth of his statement, that he would not have even enough money to pay his travelling expenses on the way home unless he should sell his horse and what he had about his person. And Eucleides would not believe him. [3] But when the Lampsacenes sent gifts of hospitality to Xenophon and he was sacrificing to Apollo, he gave Eucleides a place beside him; and when Eucleides saw the vitals of the victims, he said that he well believed that Xenophon had no money. “But I am sure,” he went on, “that even if money should ever be about to come to you, some obstacle always appears—if nothing else, your own self.” In this Xenophon agreed with him. [4] Then Eucleides said, “Yes, Zeus the Merciful is an obstacle in your way,” and asked whether he had yet sacrificed to him, “just as at home,” he continued, “where I was wont to offer the sacrifices for you, and with whole victims.” Xenophon replied that not since he left home had he sacrificed to that god.2 Eucleides, accordingly, advised him to sacrifice just as he used to do, and said that it would be to his advantage. [5] And the next day, upon coming to Ophrynium, Xenophon proceeded to sacrifice, offering whole victims of swine after the custom of his fathers, and he obtained favourable omens. [6] In fact, on that very day Bion and Nausicleides3 arrived with money to give to the army and were entertained by Xenophon, and they redeemed his horse, which he had sold at Lampsacus for fifty daries,—for they suspected that he had sold it for want of money, since they heard he was fond of the horse,—gave it back to him, and would not accept from him the price of it. [7]

From there they marched through the Troad and, crossing over Mount Ida, arrived first at Antandrus, and then, proceeding along the coast, reached the plain of Thebes. [8] Making their way from there through Adramyttium and Certonus, they came to the plain of the Caicus and so reached Pergamus, in Mysia.

Here Xenophon was entertained by Hellas, the wife of Gongylus4 the Eretrian and mother of Gorgion and Gongylus. [9] She told him that there was a Persian in the plain named Asidates, and said that if he should go by night with three hundred troops, he could capture this man, along with his wife and children and property, of which he had a great deal. And she sent as guides for this enterprise not only her own cousin, but also Daphnagoras, whom she regarded very highly. [10] Xenophon, accordingly, proceeded to sacrifice, keeping these two by his side. And Basias, the Elean seer who was present, said that the omens were extremely favourable for him and that the man was easy to capture. [11] So after dinner he set forth, taking with him the captains who were his closest friends and others who had proved themselves trustworthy throughout, in order that he might do them a good turn. But there joined him still others who forced themselves in, to the number of six hundred; and the captains tried to drive them away, so that they might not have to give them a share in the booty—just as though the property was already in hand. [12]

When they reached the place, about midnight, the slaves that were round about the tower and most of the animals ran away, the Greeks leaving them unheeded in order to capture Asidates himself and his belongings. [13] And when they found themselves unable to take the tower by storm (for it was high and large, and furnished with battlements and a considerable force of warlike defenders), they attempted to dig through the tower-wall. [14] Now the wall had a thickness of eight earthen bricks. At daybreak, however, a breach had been made; and just as soon as the light showed through, some one from within struck with an ox-spit clean through the thigh of the man who was nearest the hole; and from that time on they kept shooting out arrows and so made it unsafe even to pass by the place any more. [15] Then, as the result of their shouting and lighting of beacon fires, there came to their assistance Itamenes with his own force, and from Comania Assyrian hoplites and Hyrcanian horsemen—these also being mercenaries in the service of the King—to the number of eighty, as well as about eight hundred peltasts, and more from Parthenium, and more from Apollonia and from the near-by places, including horsemen. [16]

Then it was time to consider how the retreat was to be effected; so seizing all the cattle and sheep there were, as well as slaves, they got them inside of a hollow square and proceeded to drive them along with them, not because they were any longer giving thought to the matter of booty, but out of fear that the retreat might become a rout if they should go off and leave their booty behind, and that the enemy might become bolder and the soldiers more disheartened; while as it was, they were withdrawing like men ready to fight for their possessions. [17] But as soon as Gongylus saw that the Greeks were few and those who were attacking them many, he sallied forth himself, in spite of his mother, at the head of his own force, desiring to take part in the action; and Procles5 also came to the rescue, from Halisarna and Teuthrania, the descendant of Damaratus. [18] And Xenophon and his men, by this time sorely distressed by the arrows and sling-stones, and marching in a curved line in order to keep their shields facing the arrows, succeeded with difficulty in crossing the Carcasus river, almost half of their number wounded. [19] It was here that Agasias, the Stymphalian captain, was wounded, though he continued to fight all the time against the enemy. So they came out of it in safety, with about two hundred slaves and sheep enough for sacrificial victims. [20]

The next day Xenophon offered sacrifice, and then by night led forth the entire army with the intention of making as long a march as possible through Lydia, to the end that Asidates might not be fearful on account of their nearness, but be off his guard. [21] Asidates, however, hearing that Xenophon had sacrificed again with a view to attacking him and that he was to come with the entire army, left his tower and encamped in villages that lay below the town of Parthenium. [22] There Xenophon and his men fell in with him, and they captured him, his wife and children, his horses, and all that he had; and thus the omens of the earlier sacrifice proved true. [23] After that they came back again to Pergamus. And there Xenophon paid his greeting to the god; for the Laconians, the captains, the other generals, and the soldiers joined in arranging matters so that he got the pick of horses and teams of oxen and all the rest; the result was, that he was now able even to do a kindness to another. [24]

Meanwhile Thibron arrived and took over the army, and uniting it with the rest of his Greek forces, proceeded to wage war upon Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus. [25] 6[The governors of all the King's territories that we traversed were as follows: Artimas of Lydia, Artacamas of Phrygia, Mithradates of Lycaonia and Cappadocia, Syennesis of Cilicia, Dernes of Phoenicia and Arabia, Belesys of Syria and Assyria, Rhoparas of Babylon, Arbacas of Media, Tiribazus of the Phasians and Hesperites; then the Carduchians, Chalybians, Chaldaeans, Macronians, Colchians, Mossynoecians, Coetians, and Tibarenians, who were independent; and then Corylas governor of Paphlagonia, Pharnabazus of the Bithynians, and Seuthes of the Thracians in Europe. [26]

The length of the entire journey, upward and downward, was two hundred and fifteen stages, one thousand, one hundred and fifty parasangs, or thirty-four thousand, two hundred and fifty-five stadia; and the length in time, upward and downward, a year and three months.

1 The famous gymnasium at Athens.

2 i.e. Zeus in this particular one of his functions, as “the Merciful.” cp. Xen. Anab. 7.6.44.

3 Apparently officers sent by Thibron.

4 Whose ancestor (father?), according to Xen. Hell. 3.1.6, had been given four cities in this neighbourhood by Xerxes “because he espoused the Persian cause, being the only man among the Eretrians who did so, and was therefore banished.” cp. Xen. Anab. 2.1.3 and note.

5 The MSS. add the following statistical notes, which, like the summaries prefixed to the several books, must have been the contribution of a late editor.

6 The MSS. add the following statistical notes, which, like the summaries prefixed to the several books, must have been the contribution of a late editor.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 775
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides Book 1, 1.126
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