As they thus proceeded, they arrived on the1
fourth day at the boundaries of Gobryas's domains. And as soon as Cyrus was in the enemy's country, he arranged in regular order under his own command the infantry and as much of the cavalry as seemed to him best. The rest of the cavalry he sent out to forage, with orders to kill those who were under arms but to bring every one else to him, as well as any cattle they might take. The Persians he ordered to join the foraging party. And many of them were thrown from their horses and came back, but many of them also came bringing a great quantity of plunder.
When all the booty was brought in, he called the peers and the officers of the Medes and Hyrcanians together and addressed them as follows: “My friends, Gobryas has entertained us all with great munificence. So, if we should set apart the share of the spoil ordained for the gods and a portion sufficient for the army and give the rest to him, should we not be doing the right thing? For we should be giving immediate proof that we are trying to outdo those who do good to us, in the good we do to them.”
When they heard this they all signified their approval and applauded the proposition; and one of them also spoke as follows: “By all means, Cyrus,” said he, “let us do that. And it would be a good stroke of policy, too; for it seems to me that Gobryas regards us as no better than a lot of beggars because we have not come here with our pockets full of darics and because we do not drink from golden goblets. And if we do this, then he would realize that it is possible for men to be gentlemen, even without gold.”
“Come then,” said Cyrus, “turn over to the magi what belongs to the gods, set apart for the army its share, and then call Gobryas in and give the rest to him.”
So they set aside what was required and gave the rest to Gobryas.
After this Cyrus renewed his march upon2 Babylon
, with his army in the same order as when the battle was fought. But as the Assyrians did not march out to meet them, Cyrus ordered Gobryas to ride up and say: “If the king wishes to come out and fight for his country, I myself would join him and fight for him too; but if the king will not protect his country, then I must needs submit to the victors.”
Accordingly, Gobryas rode to a place where he could safely give his message; and the king sent out a messenger to deliver to Gobryas this reply: “This is your sovereign's response to you, Gobryas: ‘I do not regret that I killed your son, but only that I did not kill you, too. And if you and your men wish to fight, come back a month from now. Just at present we have no time to fight, for we are still busy with our preparations.’”
“I only hope that this regret of yours may never cease,” Gobryas replied; “for it is evident that I have been something of a thorn in your flesh, ever since you began to feel it.”
Gobryas returned with the Assyrian king's reply, and when Cyrus heard it he drew off his army; then summoning Gobryas he said to him: “Tell me, you were saying, were you not, that you thought that the prince who was castrated by the Assyrian would be on our side?”
“Why, of course;” he replied, “I feel perfectly sure of it; for he and I have often talked together freely.”
“Well then, when you think best, go to him;3
but first of all be sure that you meet him alone and in secret; and when you have conferred with him, if you see that he wishes to be our friend, you must manage to keep his friendship a secret. For in time of war one could not in any way do more good to one's friends than by seeming to be their enemy, nor more harm to enemies than by seeming to be their friend.”
“Now mark my word,” said Gobryas; “I am sure that Gadatas would even pay for the opportunity of doing the present Assyrian king some serious harm. But what harm he could do it is for us on our part to consider.”
“Now tell me this,” said Cyrus, “in regard to the fort which stands upon the frontier of the country and which you say was built to serve as a base of operations against the Hyrcanians and the Sacians and an outwork to protect this country in time of war—do you think that the eunuch, if he went there with his army, would be admitted by the commandant?”
“Yes; certainly he would,” said Gobryas, “if he came to him as unsuspected as he now is.”
“Then,” answered Cyrus, “if I should make an attack on his fortifications as if I wished to gain possession of them, while he defended himself with all his might; and if I should take something of his and he in turn should capture either some of our other men or some of the messengers I send to those who, you say, are enemies of the Assyrian king; and if these captives should say that they had come out to get an army and ladders to use against the fortress; and if then the eunuch, on hearing this, should pretend that he had come to give warning; under these conditions, he would be unsuspected.”
“Under such circumstances,” answered Gobryas, “the commandant would certainly admit him—aye, and would beg him to remain there until you went away.”
“Well then,” said Cyrus, “if he could but once get in, he would be in a position to put the fort in our hands?”
“That is at all events probable,” answered Gobryas, “if he were within, helping with the preparations, while you on the outside made a vigorous attack.”
“In that case,” Cyrus replied, “go and try to explain these plans to him and win his coo+peration and then return. And no better assurance of our good faith could you give him in word or deed than to show him what you happen to have received at our hands.”
Thereupon Gobryas went away; and when4
the eunuch saw him, he gladly concurred in all the plans and settled with him the things they were to do.
So, when Gobryas reported back that all the proposals were heartily accepted by the eunuch, on the day following Cyrus made his attack and Gadatas his defence. And there was also a fort which Cyrus took, as Gadatas had indicated;
while of the messengers whom Cyrus sent with instructions which way to go, some Gadatas allowed to escape to bring the troops and fetch the ladders; but some he took and straitly examined in the presence of many witnesses, and when he heard from them the purpose of their journey, he made ready at once and set out in the night as if to give the alarm.
And the end was that he was trusted and entered the fort as an ally to defend it; and for a while he helped the commandant to the extent of his ability in making preparations; but when Cyrus came, he made himself master of the place, employing also as5
his assistants in seizing it those men of Cyrus's whom he had taken prisoners.
When this was accomplished, the eunuch, after setting things in order within the fort, came out and did him obeisance according to the custom and said: “Joy be with you, Cyrus!”
“So it is,” said he; “for by the favour of the gods you not only bid me joy but even compel me to be joyful. For believe me, I consider it a great advantage to leave this place friendly to my allies in this country. From you, Gadatas,” Cyrus went on, “the Assyrian has, it seems, taken away the power of begetting children, but at any rate he has not deprived you of the ability of acquiring friends. Let me assure you that by this deed you have made of us friends who will try, if we can, to stand by you and aid you no less efficiently than if we were your own children.”
Thus he spoke; and at this juncture the Hyrcanian king, who had just heard what had happened, ran up to Cyrus and taking his right hand said to him: “O what a blessing you are to your friends, Cyrus, and what a debt of gratitude to the gods you lay upon me, because they have brought me into association with you!”
“Go then,” said Cyrus, “take this fortress on6
account of which you congratulate me and so dispose of it that it may be of the most service to your people and to the rest of the allies, and especially,” he added, “to Gadatas here, who gained possession of it and delivered it to us.”
“What then?” said the Hyrcanian. “When the Cadusians come and the Sacians and my people, are we to call in some of them also, that all of us who are concerned may consult together how we may use the fortress to the best advantage?”
To this plan Cyrus gave assent. And when all those who were interested in the fort were gathered together, they decided that it should be occupied in common by those to whose advantage it was to have it in the hands of friends, so that it might be an outwork for them in time of war and a base of operations against the Assyrians.
Because of this incident the Cadusians, Sacians, and Hyrcanians joined the expedition in greater numbers and with greatly increased zeal. And thereafter a new division was added to the army, consisting of Cadusians, about twenty thousand targeteers and about four thousand horsemen; of Sacians, about ten thousand bowmen and about two thousand mounted archers; while the Hyrcanians also sent as many more foot-soldiers as they could and filled up the ranks of their cavalry to the number of two thousand; for up to this time most of their cavalry had been left at home, because the Cadusians and the Sacians were enemies of the Assyrians.
Now during the time that Cyrus was busy with the arrangements about the fortress, many of the Assyrians of the country round about surrendered their horses and many laid down their arms, because now they were afraid of all their neighbours.
And after this, Gadatas came to Cyrus and7
said that messengers had come to him with the information that when the Assyrian king heard the facts about the fortress, he was exceedingly wroth and was preparing to invade his country. “If, then, you will permit me to go, Cyrus, I should try to save the fortified places; the rest is of less account.”
“If you start now,” said Cyrus, “when shall you reach home?”
“The day after to-morrow,” answered Gadatas, “I shall dine in my own land.”
“But you do not think, do you, that you will find the Assyrian already there?” said Cyrus.
“Nay, I am sure of it,” he replied; “for he will make haste while he thinks you are still far away.”
“How many days,” asked Cyrus, “do you think it would take me with my army to get there?”
“Sire,” Gadatas made reply, “your army now is large and you could not reach my residence in less than six or seven days.”
“Well,” said Cyrus, “do you go as quickly as possible, and I will follow as best I can.”
So Gadatas went away, and Cyrus summoned all the officers of the allies, and there seemed to be there now many noble men and brave. In this assembly, then, Cyrus spoke as follows:
“Friends and allies, Gadatas has done what8
seems a very valuable service to us all, and that, too, before receiving any favour whatsoever at our hands. And now comes the report that the Assyrian is going to invade his country, partly, as it seems plain, from a wish to punish him because he thinks Gadatas has done him a great wrong; and perhaps also he understands that if those who desert him for us do not suffer any harm at his hands, while those who follow him are destroyed by us, the chances are that very soon no one will be willing to stay with him.
now, my men, it seems to me that we should be doing what is fair, if we gave Gadatas, our benefactor, our heartiest assistance; and at the same time we should be doing only what is right in paying a debt of gratitude. But apart from that, it seems to me that we should be gaining an advantage for ourselves.
For if we should show every one that we try to surpass in doing harm those who do us harm, and that we surpass in well-doing those who do well by us, the consequences of such conduct would be that many would wish to become our friends and not one would desire to be our enemy.
“But should we decide to abandon Gadatas, with what arguments under heaven could we ever persuade any one else to do us a favour? How could we have the effrontery to approve our own conduct? And how could any one of us look Gadatas in the face, if, as numerous as we are, we should be surpassed in well-doing by one man and that one a man in such a plight as Gadatas is?”
Thus he spoke, and all heartily agreed to do10
as he said.
“Come then,” he continued, “since you agree with these suggestions, and first, let us leave men in charge of the beasts of burden and the wagons, each division appointing such of their number as are best suited to go with them; and let Gobryas have11
command of them in our place and be their guide;
For he is acquainted with the roads and in other ways is qualified for that task. As for us, let us proceed with the most able-bodied men and horses, taking with us three days' provisions. For the more lightly and simply equipped we go, the more we shall enjoy our luncheon and dinner and sleep in the days to follow.
And now let us march in the following order: Chrysantas, do you lead in the van the men armed with breastplates, for the road is smooth and wide. Have all your captains in front, each company following in single file; for, massed together, we can march with the greatest speed and the greatest safety.
And the reason why I direct the men armed with breastplates to lead the march is that they are the slowest portion of the army; and when the slowest lead, then all the more quickly moving troops can follow easily, as a matter of course. But when at night the light forces lead, it is not at all a strange thing for the line to be broken and a gap formed, for the vanguard outstrips the rear.
“Next let Artabazus follow at the head of the Persian targeteers and bowmen; following him, Andamyas, the Mede
, in command of the Median infantry; next, Embas with the Armenian infantry; then, Artuchas with the Hyrcanians; he will be followed by Thambradas at the head of the Sacian infantry force and Datamas with that of the Cadusians.
Let these all lead the way with their captains in front, the targeteers on the right and the archers on the left of their own squares; for, marching thus, they are more easily handled.
Next to these the camp-followers of all the army are to follow; their officers should see to it that they have everything ready packed up before they sleep, and early in the morning let them be present with the baggage at the appointed place, ready to follow the march in proper order.
“After the camp-followers let Madatas, the Persian, bring up the Persian cavalry; let him also arrange the cavalry captains in front, and let each captain lead his company in single file, just like the infantry officers.
After them will come Rhambacas, the Mede
, with his cavalry in the same order; after them you, Tigranes, with yours, and the rest of the cavalry officers, each with the forces with which he joined us. After them you Sacians are to fall in line; and last of all, just as they came, the Cadusians will bring up the rear; and you, Alceunas, who are their commander, for the present look out for all in the rear and do not allow any one to fall behind your horsemen.
“Take care to march in silence, both officers and all who are wise; for in the night there is more need to use ears than eyes to secure information and to have things done. And to be thrown into confusion in the night is a much more serious matter than in the daytime and one more difficult to remedy.
Therefore let silence be maintained, and let the prescribed order be preserved.
“And the night watches, whenever you are to start off before daylight, must be made as short and as numerous as possible, so that want of sleep on account of doing sentinel duty may not be serious and exhaust the men for the march. And when the hour for starting comes, let the signal be given on the horn.
And then do you all, with whatever is necessary, step out into the road to Babylon
; and let each commander, as he gets his division in motion, pass the word to the man behind him to come on.”
Hereupon they went to their tents, and, as12
they went, they remarked to one another what a good memory Cyrus had and how he called every one by name as he assigned them their places and gave them their instructions.
Now Cyrus made a study of this; for he thought it passing strange that, while every mechanic knows the names of the tools of his trade and the physician knows the names of all the instruments and medicines he uses, the general should be so foolish as not to know the names of the officers under him; and yet he must employ them as his instruments not only whenever he wishes to capture a place or defend one, but also whenever he wishes to inspire courage or fear. And whenever Cyrus wished to honour any one, it seemed to him proper to address him by name.
Furthermore, it seemed to him that those who were conscious of being personally known to their general exerted themselves more to be seen doing something good and were more ready to abstain from doing anything bad.
And when he wanted a thing done, he thought it foolish to give orders as do some masters in their homes: “Some one go get water!” “Some one split wood!”
For when orders are given in that way, all, he thought, looked at one another and no one carried out the order; all were to blame, but no one felt shame or fear as he should, because he shared the blame with many. It was for this reason, therefore, that he himself spoke to every one by name to whom he had any command to give.
Such, at least, was Cyrus's opinion about this matter.
The soldiers, however, then went to dinner, stationed sentinels, packed up everything they needed, and went to bed.
At midnight the signal horn13
sounded. Cyrus informed Chrysantas that he would wait for him on the road ahead of the army, took with him his aides-de-camp, and went on; and a short time afterward Chrysantas came up at the head of his heavy-armed soldiers.
To him Cyrus turned over the guides and bade him advance leisurely, for the troops were not yet all on the way. He himself took his stand by the roadside, and as the troops came on he sent them forward in their order, and to those who were late he sent a messenger to bid them hasten.
And when they were all on the road, he sent some horsemen to Chrysantas to say that they were now all on the way; “Now then, double quick!”
He himself riding his horse leisurely along to the front inspected the ranks; and to those whom he saw marching along in silence and in good order he would ride up and inquire who they were, and when he was informed he would praise them. But if he saw any in confusion, he would inquire into the cause of it and try to quiet the disorder.
Only one of his measures of precaution that night has been left unmentioned—namely, that he sent out in front of the main body of the army a few light-armed infantrymen to keep Chrysantas in sight and be kept in sight by him, to listen and gather information in whatever way they could, and report to Chrysantas what it seemed expedient that he should know. There was also an officer in command of them who kept them in order, and what was of importance he communicated to Chrysantas, but he did not trouble him by reporting what was immaterial.
In this manner, therefore, they proceeded all14
night long; but when it became day, he left the cavalry of the Cadusians with their infantry (for these also were in the extreme rear), so that the latter might not be without the protection of cavalry; but the rest he ordered to ride up to the front, because the enemy were in front. He adopted this plan, in order that, if he happened to find any opposition, he might have his forces in fighting order to meet it, and that, if anything should be seen anywhere in flight, he might give chase with the utmost readiness.
He always kept drawn up in order one body of troops who were to pursue and another who were to stay with him; but he never suffered his main line to be broken.
Thus, then, Cyrus led his army; but he himself did not keep to the same position, but riding about, now here, now there, kept watch, and if they needed anything, he provided for it.
Thus, then, Cyrus and his army were proceeding.