Nevertheless, restless and factious men thought that affairs demanded Cyrus, a man who had a brilliant spirit, surpassing skill in war, and great love for his friends; and that the magnitude of the empire required a king of lofty purpose and ambition.
Accordingly, Cyrus relied quite as much upon the people of the interior as upon those of his own province and command, when he began the war. He also wrote to the Lacedaemonians, inviting them to aid him and send him men, and promising that he would give to those who came, if they were footmen, horses; if they were horsemen, chariots and pairs; if they had farms, he would give them villages; if they had villages, cities; and the pay of the soldiers should not be counted, but measured out.
Moreover, along with much high-sounding talk about himself, he said he carried a sturdier heart than his brother, was more of a philosopher, better versed in the wisdom of the Magi, and could drink and carry more wine than he. His brother, he said, was too effeminate and cowardly either to sit his horse in a hunt, or his throne in a time of peril. The Lacedaemonians, accordingly, sent a dispatch-roll to Clearchus ordering him to give Cyrus every assistance.1
So Cyrus marched up against the king with a large force of Barbarians and nearly thirteen thousand Greek mercenaries,2
alleging one pretext after another for his expedition. But the real object of it was not long concealed, for Tissaphernes went in person to the king and informed him of it. Then there was a great commotion at the court, Parysatis being most blamed for the war, and her friends undergoing suspicion and accusation.
And above all was she vexed by Stateira, who was greatly distressed at the war, and kept crying:
‘Where now are those pledges of thine? And where are the entreaties by which thou didst rescue the man who had plotted against the life of his brother, only to involve us in war and calamity?’ Therefore Parysatis hated Stateira, and being naturally of a harsh temper and savage in her wrath and resentment, she plotted to kill her.
Deinon says that her plot was carried out during the war. Ctesias, however, says that it was accomplished afterwards, and neither is it likely that he was ignorant of the time since he was at the scene of action, nor had he any occasion, in his narrative of the deed, to change the time of it on purpose, however often his story turns aside from the truth into fable and romance. I shall therefore give the event the place which he has assigned to it.3