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Cyrus is forced to stay twenty days at Tarsus by a mutiny of the Greek soldiers, who, suspecting that they were led against the king, refuse to go farther, and offer violence to Clearchus, who endeavours to force them to proceed. But being told by Cyrus that the expedition is directed against Abrocomas, and promised an increase of pay, they agree to continue their march.
1. Here Cyrus and the army remained twenty days; for the soldiers refused to proceed farther, as they now began to suspect that they were marching against the king, and said that they had not been hired for this purpose. Clearchus, first of all, endeavoured to compel his soldiers to proceed; but, as soon as he began to advance, they pelted him and his baggage-cattle with stones. 2. Clearchus, indeed, on this occasion, had a narrow escape of being stoned to death. At length, when he saw that he should not be able to proceed by force, he called a meeting of his soldiers; and at first, standing before them, he continued for some time to shed tears, while they, looking on, were struck with wonder, and remained silent. He then addressed them to this effect:
3. "Wonder not, soldiers, that I feel distressed at the present occurrences; for Cyrus engaged himself to me by ties of hospitality, and honoured me, when I was an exile from my country, both with other marks of esteem, and by presenting me with ten thousand darics. On receiving this money, I did not treasure it up for my own use, or squander it in luxury, but spent it upon you. 4. First of all, I made war upon the Thracians, and, in the cause of Greece, and with your assistance, took vengeance upon them by expelling them from the Chersonesus, when they would have taken the country from its Grecian colonists. When Cyrus summoned me, I set out to join him, taking you with me, that if he had need of my aid, I might do him service in return for the benefits that I had received from him. 5. But since you are unwilling to accompany him on this expedition, I am under the obligation, either, by deserting you, to preserve the friendship of Cyrus, or, by proving false to him, to adhere to you. Whether I shall do right, I do not know; but I shall give you the preference, and will undergo with you whatever may be necessary. Nor shall any one ever say, that, after leading Greeks into a country of Barbarians, I deserted the Greeks, and adopted, in preference, the friendship of the Barbarians.
6. "Since, however, you decline to obey me, or to follow me, I will go with you, and submit to whatever may be destined for us. For I look upon you to be at once my country, my friends, and my fellow-soldiers, and consider that with you I shall be respected, wherever I may be: but that, if separated from you, I shall be unable either to afford assistance to a friend, or to avenge myself upon an enemy. Feel assured, therefore, that I am resolved to accompany you wherever you go."
7. Thus he spoke; and the soldiers, as well those under his own command as the others, on hearing these assurances, applauded him for saying that he would not march against the king; and more than two thousand of the troops of Xenias and Pasion, taking with them their arms and baggage, went and encamped under Clearchus.
8. Cyrus, perplexed and grieved at these occurrences, sent for Clearchus; who, however, would not go, but sending a messenger to Cyrus without the knowledge of the soldiers, bade him be of good courage, as these matters would be arranged to his satisfaction. He also desired Cyrus to send for him again, but, when Cyrus had done so, he again declined to go. 9. Afterwards, having assembled his own soldiers, and those who had recently gone over to him, and any of the rest that wished to be present, he spoke to the following effect:
"It is evident, soldiers, that the situation of Cyrus with regard to us is the same as ours with regard to him; for we are no longer his soldiers, since we refuse to follow him, nor is he any longer our paymaster. 10. That he considers himself wronged by us, however, I am well aware; so that, even when he sends for me, I am unwilling to go to him, principally from feeling shame, because I am conscious of having been in all respects false to him; and in addition, from being afraid, that, when he has me in his power, he may take vengeance on me for the matters in which he conceives that he has been injured. 11. This, therefore, seems to me to be no time for us to sleep, or to neglect our own safety; but, on the contrary, to consider what we must do under these circumstances. As long as we remain here, it seems necessary to consider how we may best remain with safety; or, if we determine upon going at once, how we may depart with the greatest security, and how we may obtain provisions; for without these, the general and the private soldier are alike inefficient. 12. Cyrus is indeed a most valuable friend to those to whom he is a friend, but a most violent enemy to those to whom he is an enemy. He has forces, too, both infantry and cavalry, as well as a naval power, as we all alike see and know; for we seem to me to be encamped at no great distance from him. It is therefore full time to say whatever any one thinks to be best." Having spoken thus, he made a pause.
13. Upon this, several rose to speak; some, of their own accord, to express what they thought; others, previously instructed by Clearchus, to point out what difficulty there would be, either in remaining or departing, without the consent of Cyrus. 14. One of these, pretending to be eager to proceed with all possible haste to Greece, proposed that they should choose other commanders without delay, if Clearchus were unwilling to conduct them back; that they should purchase provisions, as there was a market in the Barbarian camp, and pack up their baggage; that they should go to Cyrus, and ask him to furnish them with ships, in which they might sail home; and, if he should not grant them, that they should beg of him a guide, to conduct them back through such parts of the country as were friendly towards them. But if he would not even allow them a guide, that they should, without delay, form themselves in warlike order, and send a detachment to take possession of the heights, in order that neither Cyrus nor the Cilicians, ("of whom," said he, "we have many prisoners, and much money that we have taken,") may be the first to occupy them. Such were the suggestions that he offered; but after him Clearchus spoke as follows:
15. "Let no one of you mention me, as likely to undertake this command; for I see many reasons why I ought not to do so; but be assured, that whatever person you may elect, I shall pay the greatest possible deference to him, that you may see that I know how to obey as well as any other man."
16. After him another arose, who pointed out the folly of him who advised them to ask for ships, just as if Cyrus were not about to sail back, and who showed, too, how foolish it would be to request a guide of the very person "whose plans," said he, "we are frustrating. And," he added, "if we should trust the guide that Cyrus might assign us, what will hinder Cyrus from giving orders to occupy the heights before we reach them? 17. For my own part, I should be reluctant to embark in any vessel that he might grant us, lest he should send us and the galleys to the bottom together; I should also be afraid to follow any guide that he may appoint, lest he should conduct us into places, from whence there would be no means of escape; and I had rather, if I depart without the consent of Cyrus, depart without his knowledge; but this is impossible. 18. I say then that such proposals are absurdities; and my advice is, that certain persons, such as are fit for the task, should accompany Clearchus to Cyrus, and ask him in what service he wishes to employ us; and if the undertaking be similar to that in which he before employed foreign troops, that we too should follow him, and not appear more cowardly than those who previously went up with him. 19. But if the present design seem greater and more difficult and more perilous than the former, that they should ask him, in that case, either to induce us to accompany him by persuasion, or, yielding himself to our persuasions, to give us a passage to a friendly country; for thus, if we accompany him, we shall accompany him as friends and zealous supporters, and if we leave him, we shall depart in safety; that they then report to us what answer he makes to this application; and that we, having heard his reply, take measures in accordance with it."
20. These suggestions were approved; and, having chosen certain persons, they sent them with Clearchus to ask Cyrus the questions agreed upon by the army. Cyrus answered, that he had heard that Abrocomas, an enemy of his, was on the banks of the Euphrates, twelve days' march distant; and it was against him, he said, that he wished to march; and if Abrocomas should be there, he said that he longed to take due vengeance on him; but if he should retreat, "we will consider there," he added, "how to proceed."
21. The delegates, having heard this answer, reported it to the soldiers, who had still a suspicion that he was leading them against the king, but nevertheless resolved to accompany him. They then asked for an increase of pay, and Cyrus promised to give them all half as much again as they received before, that is to say, instead of a daric, three half-darics a month for every soldier. But no one heard there, at least publicly, that he was leading them against the king.
The army reaches Issi, the last city in Cilicia, at which the fleet then arrives. Cyrus proceeds into Syria, where two of the Greek captains, Xenias and Pasion, desert the expedition; the good feeling of Cyrus, in forbearing to pursue them, renders the other Greeks more willing to accompany him. He arrives at Thapsacus on the Euphrates, where he discloses the real object of his expedition to the Greek troops, who express discontent, but are induced by fresh promises, and the example of Menon, to cross the river.
1. Hence he proceeded, two days' march, a distance of ten parasangs, to the river Psarus, the breadth of which was three plethra. He then went forward, one day's march, five parasangs, to the river Pyramus, the breadth of which is a stadium. Hence he advanced in two days' march, a distance of fifteen parasangs, to Issi, the last city in Cilicia, situate upon the sea-coast, a populous, large, and rich place.
2. Here Cyrus remained three days, in which time the ships from Peloponnesus, thirty-five in number, arrived, Pythagoras the Lacedæmonian being their commander. But Tamos, an Egyptian, had conducted the fleet from Ephesus, who had also with him five-and-twenty other ships, belonging to Cyrus, with which he had blockaded Miletus when it was in the interest of Tissaphernes, and had fought against him on behalf of Cyrus. 3. In these vessels came also Cheirisophus the Lacedæmonian, who had been sent for by Cyrus, and who had with him seven hundred heavy-armed troops, which he commanded as part of the army of Cyrus. The ships were moored opposite Cyrus's tent. Here, too, the Greek mercenaries, who were in the pay of Abrocomas, four hundred heavy-armed men, deserted him and came over to Cyrus, and joined in the expedition against the king.
4. Hence he proceeded, one day's march, five parasangs, to the Gates of Cilicia and Syria. These were two fortresses; of the part within them, towards Cilicia, Syennesis and a guard of Cilicians had the charge; the part without, towards Syria, a garrison of the king's soldiers was reported to occupy. Between the two runs a river, called Carsus, a plethrum in breadth. The whole space between the fortresses was three stadia; and it was impossible to pass it by force; for the passage was very narrow, the walls reached down to the sea, and above were inaccessible rocks. At each of the fortresses were gates. 5. It was on account of this passage that Cyrus had sent for the fleet, that he might disembark heavy-armed troops within and without the Gates, who might force a passage through the enemy, if they still kept guard at the Syrian gates; a post which he expected Abrocomas would hold, as he had under his command a numerous army. Abrocomas however did not attempt this; but, when he heard that Cyrus was in Cilicia, retreated out of Phœnicia, and proceeded to join the king, having with him, as was said, three hundred thousand men.
6. Hence he proceeded through Syria, one day's march, five parasangs, to Myriandrus, a city near the sea, inhabited by Phœnicians; this place was a public mart, and many merchant-vessels lay at anchor there. 7. Here they remained seven days; and here Xenias the Arcadian captain, and Pasion the Megarean, embarking in a vessel, and putting on board their most valuable effects, sailed away; being actuated, as most thought, by motives of jealousy, because Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to retain under his command their soldiers, who had seceded to Clearchus in the expectation of returning to Greece, and not of marching against the king. Upon their disappearance, a rumour pervaded the army that Cyrus would pursue them with ships of war; and some wished that they might be taken, as having acted perfidiously; while others pitied their fate, if they should be caught.
8. But Cyrus, calling together the captains, said to them, "Xenias and Pasion have left us: but let them be well assured, that they have not fled clandestinely; for I know which way they are gone; nor have they escaped beyond my reach; for I have triremes that would overtake their vessel. But, by the gods, I shall certainly not pursue them; nor shall any one say, that as long as a man remains with me, I make use of his services, but that, when he desires to leave me, I seize and ill-treat his person, and despoil him of his property. But let them go, with the consciousness that they have acted a worse part towards us than we towards them. I have, indeed, their children and wives under guard at Tralles; but not even of them shall they be deprived, but shall receive them back in consideration of their former service to me." 9. Thus Cyrus spoke; and the Greeks, even such as had been previously disinclined to the expedition, when they heard of the noble conduct of Cyrus, accompanied him with greater pleasure and alacrity.
After these occurrences, Cyrus proceeded four days' march, a distance of twenty parasangs, to the river Chalus, which is a plethrum in breadth, and full of large tame fish, which the Syrians looked upon as gods, and allowed no one to hurt either them or the pigeons. The villages, in which they fixed their quarters, belonged to Parysatis, having been given her for her girdle.
10. Thence he advanced, five days' march, a distance of thirty parasangs, to the source of the river Dardes, which is a plethrum in breadth. Here was the palace of Belesys, the governor of Syria, and a very large and beautiful garden, containing all that the seasons produce. But Cyrus laid it waste, and burned the palace.
11. Hence he proceeded, three days' march, a distance of fifteen parasangs, to the river Euphrates, which is there four stadia in breadth, and on which is situated a large and rich city, named Thapsacus. The army remained there five days; and Cyrus sent for the Greek captains, and told them, that his march was directed to Babylon, against the Great King; and he desired them to make this announcement to the soldiers, and to persuade them to accompany him.
12. The leaders, assembling their troops, communicated this information to them; and the soldiers expressed themselves much displeased with their officers, and said that they had long known this, but concealed it; and they refused to go, unless such a donative was granted them, as had been given to those who had before gone up with Cyrus to his father, and that, too, when they did not go to fight, but merely attended Cyrus when his father summoned him. 13. This state of things the generals reported to Cyrus; who in consequence promised to give every man five minæ of silver, when they should arrive at Babylon, and their full pay besides, until he should bring back the Greeks to Ionia again. The greatest part of the Grecian force was thus prevailed upon to accompany him. But before it was certain what the other soldiers would do, whether they would accompany Cyrus or not, Menon assembled his own troops apart from the rest, and spoke as follows: