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When he thought the time had come to begin his upward1 march, the pretext he offered was that he wished to drive the Pisidians out of his land entirely, and it was avowedly against them that he set about collecting both his barbarian and his Greek troops. At that time he also sent word to Clearchus to come to him with the entire army which he had, and to Aristippus to effect a reconciliation with his adversaries at home and send him the army which he had; and he sent word to Xenias the Arcadian, who commanded for him the mercenary force in the cities,2 to come with his troops, leaving behind only so many as were necessary to garrison the citadels. [2] He likewise summoned the troops which were besieging Miletus, and urged the Milesian exiles to take the field with him, promising them that, if he should successfully accomplish the object for which he was taking the field, he would not stop until he had restored them to their homes. And they gladly obeyed—for they trusted him—and presented themselves, under arms, at Sardis. [3]

Xenias, then, arrived at Sardis with the troops from the cities, who were hoplites to the number of four thousand; Proxenus was there with hoplites to the number of fifteen hundred, and five hundred light-armed troops; Sophaenetus the Stymphalian with a thousand hoplites; Socrates the Achaean with about five hundred hoplites; and Pasion the Megarian arrived with three hundred hoplites and three hundred peltasts.3 The last-named, and Socrates also, belonged to the force that had been engaged in besieging Miletus. All these came to Cyrus at Sardis. [4]

Meanwhile Tissaphernes had taken note of these proceedings and come to the conclusion that Cyrus' preparations were too extensive to be against the Pisidians; he accordingly made his way to the King as quickly as he could, with about five hundred horsemen. [5] And when the King heard from Tissaphernes about Cyrus' array, he set about making counter-preparations.

Cyrus was now setting forth from Sardis with the troops I have mentioned; and he marched through Lydia three stages,4 a distance of twenty-two parasangs,5 to the Maeander river. The width of this river was two plethra,6 and there was a bridge over it made of seven boats. [6] After crossing the Maeander he marched through Phrygia one stage, a distance of eight parasangs, to Colossae, an inhabited7 city, prosperous and large. There he remained seven days; and Menon8 the Thessalian arrived, with a thousand hoplites and five hundred peltasts, consisting of Dolopians, Aenianians, and Olynthians. [7] Thence he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, to Celaenae, an inhabited city of Phrygia, large and prosperous. There Cyrus had a palace and a large park full of wild animals, which he used to hunt on horseback whenever he wished to give himself and his horses exercise. Through the middle of this park flows the Maeander river; its sources are beneath the palace, and it flows through the city of Celaenae also. [8] There is likewise a palace of the Great King9 in Celaenae, strongly fortified and situated at the foot of the Acropolis over the sources of the Marsyas river; the Marsyas also flows through the city, and empties into the Maeander, and its width is twenty-five feet. It was here, according to the story, that Apollo flayed Marsyas,10 after having defeated him in a contest of musical skill; he hung up his skin in the cave from which the sources issue, and it is for this reason that the river is called Marsyas. [9] It was here also, report has it, that Xerxes, when he was on his retreat from Greece after losing the famous battle,11 built the palace just mentioned and likewise the citadel of Celaenae. Here Cyrus remained thirty days; and Clearchus, the Lacedaemonian exile, arrived, with a thousand hoplites, eight hundred Thracian peltasts, and two hundred Cretan bowmen. At the same time came also Sosis the Syracusan with three hundred hoplites and Agias the Arcadian with a thousand hoplites. And here Cyrus held a review and made an enumeration of the Greeks in the park, and they amounted all told to eleven thousand hoplites and about two thousand peltasts.12 [10]

Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Peltae, an inhabited city. There he remained three days, during which time Xenias the Arcadian celebrated the Lycaean13 festival with sacrifice and held games; the prizes were golden strigils, and Cyrus himself was one of those who watched the games. Thence he marched two stages, twelve parasangs, to the inhabited city of Ceramon-agora,14 the last Phrygian city as one goes toward Mysia. [11] Thence he marched three stages, thirty parasangs, to Caystru-pedion,15 an inhabited city. There he remained five days. At this time he was owing the soldiers more than three months' pay, and they went again and again to his headquarters and demanded what was due them. He all the while expressed hopes, and was manifestly troubled; for it was not Cyrus' way to withhold payment when he had money. [12] At this juncture arrived Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, the king16 of the Cilicians, coming to visit Cyrus, and the story was that she gave him a large sum of money; at any rate, Cyrus paid the troops at that time four months' wages. The Cilician queen was attended by a body-guard of Cilicians and Aspendians; and people said that Cyrus had intimate relations with the queen. [13]

Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to the inhabited city of Thymbrium. There, alongside the road, was the so-called spring of Midas, the king of the Phrygians, at which Midas, according to the story, caught the satyr by mixing wine with the water of the spring.17 [14] Thence he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Tyriaeum, an inhabited city. There he remained three days. And the Cilician queen, as the report ran, asked Cyrus to exhibit his army to her; such an exhibition was what he desired to make, and accordingly he held a review of the Greeks and the barbarians on the plain. [15] He ordered the Greeks to form their lines and take their positions just as they were accustomed to do for battle, each general marshalling his own men. So they formed the line four deep, Menon and his troops occupying the right wing, Clearchus and his troops the left, and the other generals the centre. [16] Cyrus inspected the barbarians first, and they marched past with their cavalry formed in troops and their infantry in companies; then he inspected the Greeks, driving past them in a chariot, the Cilician queen in a carriage. And the Greeks all had helmets of bronze, crimson tunics, and greaves, and carried their shields uncovered. [17] When he had driven past them all, he halted his chariot in front of the centre of the phalanx, and sending his interpreter Pigres to the generals of the Greeks, gave orders that the troops should advance arms and the phalanx move forward in a body. The generals transmitted these orders to the soldiers, and when the trumpet sounded, they advanced arms and charged. And then, as they went on faster and faster, at length with a shout the troops broke into a run of their own accord, in the direction of the camp. [18] As for the barbarians, they were terribly frightened; the Cilician queen took to flight in her carriage, and the people in the market18 left their wares behind and took to their heels; while the Greeks with a roar of laughter came up to their camp. Now the Cilician queen was filled with admiration at beholding the brilliant appearance and the order of the Greek army; and Cyrus was delighted to see the terror with which the Greeks inspired the barbarians. [19]

Thence he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, to Iconium, the last city of Phrygia. There he remained three days. Thence he marched through Lycaonia five stages, thirty parasangs. This country he gave over to the Greeks to plunder, on the ground that it was hostile territory.19 [20] From there Cyrus sent the Cilician queen back to Cilicia by the shortest route, and he sent some of Menon's troops to escort her, Menon himself commanding them. With the rest of the army Cyrus marched through Cappadocia four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Dana, an inhabited city, large and prosperous. There they remained three days; and during that time Cyrus put to death a Persian named Megaphernes, who was a wearer of the royal purple,20 and another dignitary among his subordinates, on the charge that they were plotting against him. [21]

From there they made ready to try to enter Cilicia. Now the entrance was by a wagon-road, exceedingly steep and impracticable for an army to pass if there was anybody to oppose it; and in fact, as report ran, Syennesis was upon the heights, guarding the entrance; therefore Cyrus remained for a day in the plain. On the following day, however, a messenger came with word that Syennesis had abandoned the heights, because he had learned that Menon's army was already in Cilicia, on his own side of the mountains, and because, further, he was getting reports that triremes belonging to the Lacedaemonians21 and to Cyrus himself were sailing around from Ionia to Cilicia under the command of Tamos. [22] At any rate22 Cyrus climbed the mountains without meeting any opposition, and saw the camp where the Cilicians had been keeping guard. Thence he descended to a large and beautiful plain, well-watered and full of trees of all sorts and vines; it produces an abundance of sesame, millet, panic, wheat, and barley, and it is surrounded on every side, from sea to sea, by a lofty and formidable range of mountains. [23] After descending he marched through this plain four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Tarsus,23 a large and prosperous city of Cilicia, where the palace of Syennesis, the king of the Cilicians, was situated; and through the middle of the city flows a river named the Cydnus, two plethra in width. [24] The inhabitants of this city had abandoned it and fled, with Syennesis, to a stronghold upon the mountains—all of them, at least, except the tavern-keepers; and there remained also those who dwelt on the sea-coast, in Soli and Issus.24 [25]

Now Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, had reached Tarsus five days ahead of Cyrus, but in the course of her passage over the mountains to the plain two companies of Menon's army25 had been lost. Some said that they had been cut to pieces by the Cilicians while engaged in a bit of plundering; another story was that they had been left behind, and, unable to find the rest of the army or the roads, had thus wandered about and perished; at any rate, they numbered a hundred hoplites. [26] And when the rest of Menon's troops reached Tarsus, in their anger over the loss of their comrades they plundered thoroughly, not only the city, but also the palace that was in it. As for Cyrus, after he had marched into the city he more than once summoned Syennesis to his presence; but Syennesis said that he had never yet put himself in the hands of anyone who was more powerful than he was, and he would not now put himself in the hands of Cyrus until his wife had won him over and he had received pledges. [27] When the two men finally met one another, Syennesis gave Cyrus a large sum of money for his army, while Cyrus gave him gifts which are regarded at court26 as tokens of honour—a horse with a gold-mounted bridle, a gold necklace and bracelets, a gold dagger and a Persian robe—promising him, further, that his land should not be plundered any more and that they might take back the slaves that had been seized in case they should chance upon them anywhere.

1 See Introd. p. vii, note 1.

2 See Xen. Anab. 1.1.6.

3 Peltasts differed from ordinary light-armed troops (cp. γυμνῆτας above) only in the fact that they carried a small, light shield, the πέλπη—whence their name.

4 σταθμός = lit. a stopping-place, hence a day's journey.

5 A Persian measure of distance, equivalent to 30 Greek stadia, or about 3.3 English miles.

6 The plethrum = about 97 English feet.

7 Many of the cities of Asia were then, as now, deserted.

8 Who had been sent by Aristippus (see 1 above).

9 A title often given by the Greeks to the king of Persia.

10 Marsyas, a Phrygian satyr, was so proud of his skill with the flute that he presumed to challenge Apollo, god of music and master of the lyre. The myth appears to be a record of the supersession of the flute by the lyre in Greek favour.

11 viz. of Salamis, in 480 B.C.

12 Here used in the general sense, i.e. to include all kinds of light-armed troops; cp. note on 3 above. Xenophon here uses round numbers. The exact totals, according to the figures previously given, are 10,600 hoplites and 2,300 light-armed troops.

13 In honour of Lycaean Zeus, i.e. Zeus of Mt. Lycaeus, in Arcadia.

14 Or Tilemarket.

15 Or Ca sterfield.

16 “King” in name, but in fact a dependent of the king of Persia. Syennesis was seeking, as the narrative indicates, to keep on good terms with both Cyrus and Artaxerxes, secretly aiding the former, while still making a show of resistance (see 21 below) to his march.

17 This story is less familiar than its sequel, viz. that for his kindly treatment of the satyr (Silenus) Midas was granted by Dionysus the fulfilment of any request he might make; he requested that all he touched should turn to gold, and so died of hunger.

18 Greek troops were not supplied with rations in the modern way, but bought their provisions from day to day from sutlers who accompanied the army. The commander's duty ended with “providing a market” (ἀγορὰν παρέχειν).

19 In leaving Phrygia Cyrus was passing beyond the limits of his own satrapy. Introd. p. viii.

20 A title of honour at the Persian court.

21 Cyrus had asked the Lacedaemonians “to show themselves as good friends to him as he had been to them in their war against Athens” (Xen. Hell. 2.1.1). The aid they now rendered (see also Xen. Anab. 1.4.2-3) was in response to that request.

22 i.e. whether or not the reasons just given were the true ones.

23 The birth-place of the apostle Paul.

24 Famous as the scene of one of the most important victories of Alexander the Great (333 B.C.).

25 cp. 20, above.

26 i.e. such gifts as could be bestowed only by the Persian king. Cyrus is already assuming royal prerogatives.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 838
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 5.52
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 9.107
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    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.1.6
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.4.2
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