Xenophon Cyropaedia

Xenophon's History of Cyrus


I. The thought once occurred to us how many1 republics have been overthrown by people who preferred to live under any form of government other than a republican, and again, how many monarchies and how many oligarchies in times past have been abolished by the people. We reflected, moreover, how many of those individuals who have aspired to absolute power have either been deposed once for all and that right quickly; or if they have continued in power, no matter for how short a time, they are objects of wonder as having proved to be wise and happy men. Then, too, we had observed, we thought, that even in private homes some people who had rather more than the usual number of servants and some also who had only a very few were nevertheless, though nominally masters, quite unable to assert their authority over even those few.

[2] And in addition to this, we reflected that2 cowherds are the rulers of their cattle, that grooms are the rulers of their horses, and that all who are called herdsmen might properly be regarded as the rulers of the animals over which they are placed in charge. Now we noticed, as we thought, that all these herds obeyed their keepers more readily than men obey their rulers. For the herds go wherever their keeper directs them and graze in those places to which he leads them and keep out of those from which he excludes them. They allow their keeper, moreover, to enjoy, just as he will, the profits that accrue from them. And then again, we have never known of a herd conspiring against its keeper, either to refuse obedience to him or to deny him the privilege of enjoying the profits that accrue. At the same time, herds are more intractable to strangers than to their rulers and those who derive profit from them. Men, however, conspire against none sooner than against those whom they see attempting to rule over them.

[3] Thus, as we meditated on this analogy, we were inclined to conclude that for man, as he is constituted, it is easier to rule over any and all other creatures than to rule over men. But when we reflected that3 there was one Cyrus, the Persian, who reduced to obedience a vast number of men and cities and nations, we were then compelled to change our opinion and decide that to rule men might be a task neither impossible nor even difficult, if one should only go about it in an intelligent manner. At all events, we know that people obeyed Cyrus willingly, although some of them were distant from him a journey of many days, and others of many months; others, although they had never seen him, and still others who knew well that they never should see him. Nevertheless they were all willing to be his subjects.

[4] But all this is not so surprising after all, so very different was he from all other kings, both those who have inherited their thrones from their fathers and those who have gained their crowns by their own efforts; the Scythian king, for instance, would never be able to extend his rule over any other nation besides his own, although the Scythians are very numerous, but he would be well content if he could maintain himself in power over his own people; so the Thracian king with his Thracians, the Illyrian with his Illyrians, and so also all other nations, we are told. Those in Europe, at any rate, are said to be free and independent of one another even to this day. But Cyrus, finding the nations in Asia also independent in exactly the same way, started out with a little band of Persians and became the leader of the Medes by their full consent and of the Hyrcanians4 by theirs; he then conquered Syria, Assyria, Arabia, Cappadocia, both Phrygias, Lydia, Caria, Phoenicia, and Babylonia; he ruled also over Bactria, India, and Cilicia; and he was likewise king of the Sacians, Paphlagonians, Magadidae, and very many other nations, of which one could not even tell the names; he brought under his sway the Asiatic Greeks also; and, descending to the sea, he added both Cyprus and Egypt to his empire.

[5] He ruled over these nations, even though they5 did not speak the same language as he, nor one nation the same as another; for all that, he was able to cover so vast a region with the fear which he inspired, that he struck all men with terror and no one tried to withstand him; and he was able to awaken in all so lively a desire to please him, that they always wished to be guided by his will. Moreover, the tribes that he brought into subjection to himself were so many that it is a difficult matter even to travel to them all, in whatever direction one begin one's journey from the palace, whether toward the east or the west, toward the north or the south.

[6] Believing this man to be deserving of all admiration, we have therefore investigated who he was in his origin, what natural endowments he possessed, and what sort of education he had enjoyed, that he so greatly excelled in governing men. Accordingly, what we have found out or think we know concerning him we shall now endeavour to present.


I. In such conversation they arrived at the Persian1 frontier. And when an eagle appeared upon their right and flew on ahead of them, they prayed to the gods and heroes who watch over the land of Persia to conduct them on with grace and favor, and then proceeded to cross the frontier. And when they had crossed, they prayed again to the tutelary gods of the Median land to receive them with grace and favour; and when they had finished their devotions, they embraced one another, as was natural, and the father went back again to Persia, while Cyrus went on to Cyaxares in Media.

[2] And when he arrived there, first they embraced2 one another, as was natural, and then Cyaxares asked Cyrus how large the army was that he was bringing.

"Thirty thousand," he answered, "of such as have come to you before as mercenaries; but others also, of the peers, who have never before left their country, are coming."

"About how many?" asked Cyaxares.

[3] "The number," said Cyrus, "would give you no pleasure, if you were to hear it; but bear this in mind, that though the so-called peers are few, they easily rule the rest of the Persians, many though they be. But," he added, "are you in any need of them, or was it a false alarm, and are the enemy not coming?"

"Yes, by Zeus," said he, "they are coming and in great numbers, too."

[4] "How is this so certain?"

"Because," said he, "many have come from there, and though one tells the story one way and another another, they all say the same thing."

"We shall have to fight those men, then?"

"Aye," said he; "we must of necessity."

"Well then," said Cyrus, "won't you please tell me, if you know, how great the forces are that are coming against us; and tell me of our own as well, so that with full information about both we may lay our plans accordingly, how best to enter the conflict."

"Listen then," said Cyaxares. [5] "Croesus, the3 king of Lydia, is said to be coming at the head of 10,000 horsemen and more than 40,000 peltasts and bowmen. And they say that Artacamas, the king of Greater Phrygia, is coming at the head of 8000 horse and not fewer than 40,000 lancers and peltasts; and Aribaeus, the king of Cappadocia, has 6000 horse and not fewer than 30,000 bowmen and peltasts; while the Arabian, Aragdus, has about 10,000 horsemen, about 100 chariots of war, and a great host of slingers. As for the Greeks who dwell in Asia, however, no definite information is as yet received whether they are in the coalition or not. But the contingent from Phrygia on the Hellespont, under Gabaedus, has arrived at Cay+stru-Pedium, it is said, to the number of 6000 horse and 10,000 peltasts.The Carians, however, and Cilicians and Paphlagonians, they say, have not joined the expedition, although they have been invited to do so. But the Assyrians, both those from Babylon and those from the rest of Assyria, will bring, I think, not fewer than 20,000 horse and not fewer, I am sure, than 200 war-chariots, and a vast number of infantry, I suppose; at any rate, they used to have as many as that whenever they invaded our country."

[6] "You mean to say," said Cyrus, "that the enemy have 60,000 horse and more than 200,000 peltasts and bowmen. And at how many, pray, do you estimate the number of your own forces?"

"There are," said he, "of the Medes more than 10,000 horse; and the peltasts and bowmen might be, from a country like ours, some 60,000; while from our neighbours, the Armenians, we shall get 4000 horse and 20,000 foot."

"That is to say," said Cyrus, "we have less than one-fourth as many horsemen as the enemy and about half as many foot-soldiers."

[7] "Tell me, then," said Cyaxares, "do you not consider the Persian force small which you say you are bringing?"

"Yes," said Cyrus; "but we will consider later4 whether we need more men or not. Now tell me," he went on, "what each party's method of fighting is."

"About the same with all," said Cyaxares; "for there are bowmen and spearmen both on their side and on ours."

"Well then," said Cyrus, "as their arms are of that sort, we must fight at long range."

[8] "Yes," said Cyaxares, "that will be necessary."

"In that case, then, the victory will be with the side that has the greater numbers; for the few would be wounded and killed off by the many sooner than the many by the few."

"If that is so, Cyrus, then what better plan could any one think of than to send to Persia to inform them that if anything happens to the Medes, the danger will extend to the Persians, and at the same time to ask for a larger army?"

"Why," said Cyrus, "let me assure you that even though all the Persians were to come, we should not surpass the enemy in point of numbers."

[9] "What better plan do you see than this?"

"If I were you," said Cyrus, "I should as quickly5 as possible have armour made for all the Persians who are coming here just like that of the so-called peers who are coming from our country--that is, a corselet to wear about the breast, a small shield upon the left arm, and a scimitar or sabre in the right hand. And if you provide these weapons, you will make it the safest procedure for us to fight at close quarters with the enemy, while for the enemy flight will prove preferable to standing their ground. And it is for us," he continued, "to range ourselves against those who hold their ground, while those of them who run away we propose to leave to you and the cavalry, that they may have no chance to stand their ground or to turn back."

[10] Thus Cyrus spoke. And to Cyaxares it seemed that he spoke to the point; and he no longer talked of sending for reinforcements, but he set about procuring the arms as suggested. And they were almost ready when the Persian peers came with the army from Persia.

[11] Thereupon Cyrus is said to have called the6 peers together and said: "My friends: When I saw you thus equipped and ready in heart to grapple with the enemy in a hand-to-hand encounter, and when I observed that those Persians who follow you are so armed as to do their fighting standing as far off as possible, I was afraid lest, few in number and unaccompanied by others to support you, you might fall in with a large division of the enemy and come to some harm. Now then," said he, "you have brought with you men blameless in bodily strength; and they are to have arms like ours; but to steel their hearts is our task; for it is not the whole duty of an officer to show himself valiant, but he must also take care that his men be as valiant as possible."

[12] Thus he spoke. And they were all delighted, for they thought they were going into battle with more to support them. And one of them also spoke as follows: [13] "Now," he began, "it will perhaps sound strange if I advise Cyrus to say something on our behalf, when those who are to fight along with us receive their arms. But I venture the suggestion, for I know that when men have most power to do both good and ill, then their words also are the most likely to sink deep into the hearts of the hearers. And if such persons give presents, even though the gifts be of less worth than those given by equals, still the recipients value them more highly. And now," said he, "our Persian comrades will be more highly pleased to be exhorted by Cyrus than by us; and when they have taken their place among the peers they will feel that they hold this honour with more security because conferred by their prince and their general than if the same honour were bestowed by us. However, our co-operation must not be wanting, but in every way and by all means we must steel the hearts of our men. For the braver these men are, the more to our advantage it will be."

[14] Accordingly, Cyrus had the arms brought in and arranged to view, and calling all the Persian soldiers together he spoke as follows: [15] "Fellow-citizens7 of Persia, you were born and bred upon the same soil as we; the bodies you have are no whit inferior to ours, and it is not likely that you have hearts in the least less brave than our own. In spite of this, in our own country you did not enjoy equal privileges with us, but because you were obliged to earn your own livelihood. Now, however, with the help of the gods, I shall see to it that you are provided with the necessaries of life; and you are permitted, if you wish, to receive arms like ours, to face the same danger as we, and, if any fair success crowns our enterprise, to be counted worthy of an equal share with us.

[16] "Now, up to this time you have been bowmen and lancers, and so have we; and if you were not quite our equals in the use of these arms, there is nothing surprising about that; for you had not the leisure to practise with them that we had. But with this equipment we shall have no advantage over you. In any case, every man will have a corselet fitted to his breast, upon his left arm a shield, such as we have all been accustomed to carry, and in his right hand a sabre or scimitar with which, you see, we must strike those opposed to us at such close range that we need not fear to miss our aim when we strike. [17] In this armour, then, how could any one of us have the advantage over another except in courage? And this it is proper for you to cherish in your hearts no less than we. For why is it more proper for us than for you to desire victory, which gains and keeps safe all things beautiful and all things good? And what reason is there that we, any more than you, should desire that superiority in arms which gives to the victors all the belongings of the vanquished?

[18] "You have heard all," he said in conclusion. "You see your arms; whosoever will, let him take them and have his name enrolled with the captain in the same companies with us. But whosoever is satisfied to be in the position of a mercenary, let him remain in the armour of the hired soldiery.

Thus he spoke. [19] And when the Persians heard8 it, they thought that if they were unwilling to accept, when invited to share the same toils and enjoy the same rewards, they should deserve to live in want through all time. And so they were all enrolled and all took up the arms.

[20] And while the enemy were said to be9 approaching but had not yet come, Cyrus tried to develop the physical strength of his men, to teach them tactics, and to steel their hearts for war.

[21] And first of all he received quartermasters from Cyaxares and commanded them to furnish ready made for each of the soldiers a liberal supply of everything that he needed. And when he had provided for this, he had left them nothing to do but to practise the arts of war, for he thought he had observed that those became best in any given thing who gave up paying attention to many things and devoted themselves to that alone. So, in the drill itself he relieved them of even the practice with bow and spear and left them only the drill with sword and shield and breastplate. And so he at once brought home to them the conviction that they must go into a hand-to-hand encounter with the enemy or else admit that as allies they were good for nothing. But such an admission is hard for those who know that they are being maintained for no other purpose than to fight for those who maintain them.

[22] And as, in addition to this, he had further10 observed that people are much more willing to practise those things in which they have rivalry among themselves, he appointed contests for them in everything that he knew it was important for soldiers to practise. What he proposed was as follows: to the private soldier, that he show himself obedient to the officers, ready for hardship, eager for danger but subject to good discipline, familiar with the duties required of a soldier, neat in the care of his equipment, and ambitious about all such matters; to the corporal, that, besides being himself like the good private, he make his squad of five a model, as far as possible; to the sergeant, that he do likewise with his squad of ten, and the lieutenant with his platoon11 ; and to the captain, that he be unexceptionable himself and see to it that the officers under him get those whom they command to do their duty.

[23] As rewards, moreover, he offered the following:12 in the case of captains, those who were thought to have got their companies into the best condition should be made colonels; of the lieutenants, those who were thought to have put their platoons into the best condition should be advanced to the rank of captains; of the sergeants, those who were the most meritorious should be promoted to the rank of lieutenant; in the same way, the best of the corporals should be promoted to the rank of sergeants; and finally of the privates, the best should be advanced to the rank of corporal. Moreover, all these officers not only had a right to claim the respect of their subordinates, but other distinctions also appropriate to each office followed in course. And to those who should deserve praise still greater hopes were held out, in case in time to come any greater good fortune should befall. [24] Besides, he offered prizes of victory to whole companies and to whole platoons and to squads of ten and of five likewise, if they showed themselves implicitly obedient to the officers and very ready in performing the afore mentioned duties. And the prizes of victory for these divisions were just such as were appropriate to groups of men.

Such, then, were the competitions appointed, and the army began to train for them.

[25] Then, he had tents made for them--in number,13 as many as there were captains; in size, large enough to accommodate each a company. A company, moreover, was composed of a hundred men. Accordingly, they lived in tents each company by itself; for Cyrus thought that in occupying tents together they had the following advantages for the coming conflict: They saw one another provided for in the same way, and there could be no possible pretext of unjust discrimination that could lead any one to allow himself to prove less brave than another in the face of the enemy. And he thought that if they tented together it would help them to get acquainted with one another. And in getting acquainted with one another, he thought, a feeling of considerateness was more likely to be engendered in them all, while those who are unacquainted seem somehow more indifferent--like people when they are in the dark.

[26] He thought also that their tenting together helped them not a little to gain a perfect acquaintance with their positions. For the captains had the companies under them in as perfect order as when a company was marching single file, and the lieutenants their platoons, and the sergeants and corporals their squads in the same way. [27] He thought, moreover, that such perfect acquaintance with their places in the line was exceedingly helpful both to prevent their being thrown into confusion and to restore order sooner in case they should be thrown into confusion; just as in the case of stones and timbers which must be fitted together, it is possible to fit them together readily, no matter in how great confusion they may chance to have been thrown down, if they have the guide-marks to make it plain in what place each of them belongs. [28] And finally, he thought that comradeship would be encouraged by their messing together and that they would be less likely to desert one another; for he had often observed that even animals that were fed together had a marvellous yearning for one another, if any one separated them.

[29] Cyrus also took care that they should never14 come to luncheon or to dinner unless they had had a sweat. For he would get them into a sweat by taking them out hunting; or he would contrive such sports as would make them sweat; or again, if he happened to have some business or other to attend to, he so conducted it that they should not come back without having had a sweat. For this he considered conducive to their enjoying their meals, to their health, and to their being able to endure hardships, and he thought that hardships conduced to their being more reasonable toward one another, for even horses that work together stand more quietly together. At any rate, those who are conscious that they have been well drilled are certainly more courageous in the face of the enemy.

[30] And for himself Cyrus had a tent made big15 enough to accommodate all whom he might invite to dinner. Now he usually invited as many of the captains as he thought proper, and sometimes also some of the lieutenants and sergeants and corporals; and occasionally he invited some of the privates, sometimes a squad of five together, or a squad of ten, or a platoon, or a whole company in a body. And he also used to invite individuals as a mark of honour, whenever he saw that they had done what he himself wished everybody to do. And the same dishes were always placed before those whom he invited to dinner as before himself.

[31] The quartermasters in the army he always16 allowed an equal share of everything; for he thought that it was fair to show no less regard for the purveyors of the army stores than for heralds or ambassadors. And that was reasonable, for he held that they must be trustworthy, familiar with military affairs, and intelligent, and, in addition to that, energetic, quick, resolute, steady. And still further, Cyrus knew that the quartermasters also must have the qualities which those have who are considered most efficient and that they must train themselves not to refuse any service but to consider that it is their duty to perform whatever the general might require of them.

1 Cyrus arrives in Media

2 Cyrus and Cyaxares discuss the situation

3 The probable number of the opposing forces

4 Their method of warfare

5 Proposed reorganization of the Persian commoners

6 Cyrus announces to the peers the proposed change

7 Cyrus announces the proposed reorganization to the commoners

8 The commoners accept

9 Preliminary drill

10 Competitive drill

11 The divisions of Cyrus's army were as follows: 5 men to a corporal's squad pempas); officer: corporal (pempadarchos); total men: 5. 2 corporals' squads to a 1 sergeant's squad dekas; officer: sergeant dekadarchos; total men: 10. 5 sergeants' squads to a platoon lochos; officer: lieutenant lochagos; total men: 50. 2 platoons to a company taxis; officer: captain taxiarchos; total men: 100. 10 companies to a 1 regiment chiliostus; officer: colonel chiliarchos; total men: 1,000. 10 regiments to a brigade muriostus; officer: general muriarchos); total men: 10,000.

BOOK III I. Cyrus was thus employed; but when the1 Armenian king heard from the envoy the message of Cyrus, he was alarmed, for he knew that he was doing wrong in witholding the tribute due and in failing to send the troops, and he was afraid most of all because he saw that he was sure to be detected in the act of beginning to build his palace in such a way as to render it strong enough for armed resistance.

[2] Disturbed by the consciousness of all these faults, he sent around and collected his forces, and at the same time he sent away to the mountains his younger son, Sabaris, and the women, both his queen and his son's wife, and his daughters. And he sent along with them his most valuable jewels and chattels and gave them an escort. At the same time he sent scouts to spy out what Cyrus was doing, while he went on assigning positions in his service to the Armenians as they came in to him. Presently still others arrived with the news that the man himself was quite near. [3] Then he no longer had the courage to join battle with him but retreated. When the Armenians saw him act thus, they dispersed at once, each to his own possessions, wishing to get their belongings out of the way.

And when Cyrus saw the plain full of men running about and driving away, he sent secretly to say that he had no quarrel with any who remained; but he declared that if he caught any one trying to get away, he should treat him as an enemy. Accordingly, the most of them remained, but some retreated with the king.

[4] Now as those with the women in charge went2 forward they came upon the forces in the mountain. At once they raised a cry and as they tried to escape many of them were caught. And finally the young prince and the wives and daughters were captured and all the treasure that happened to be in the train.

When the king himself learned what was going on, he was in a quandary which way to turn and took refuge upon a certain hill. [5] And when Cyrus saw3 this he surrounded the hill with the troops he had with him and sent orders to Chrysantas to leave a guard upon the mountains and come. Thus Cyrus's army was being brought together.

Then he sent a herald to the Armenian to ask him the following question: "Tell me, king of Armenia," he said, "whether you prefer to remain there and fight against hunger and thirst, or to come down into the plain and fight it out with us?"

The Armenian answered that he had no wish to fight against either. [6] Again Cyrus sent to him and asked: "Why then do you sit there and refuse to come down?"

"Because," he answered, "I am in a quandary what to do."

"But," said Cyrus, "there is no occasion whatever for that; for you are free to come down for trial."

"And who," said he, "will be my judge?"

"He, to be sure, to whom God has given the power to deal with you as he will, even without a trial."

Then the Armenian, recognizing the exigency of his case, came down. And Cyrus received both the king and all that belonged to him into the midst and set his camp round them, for by this time he had all his forces together.

[7] Now at this juncture Tigranes, the king's elder son, returned from a journey abroad. He it was who had been Cyrus's companion once on a hunt; and when he heard what had occurred, he came at once, just as he was, to Cyrus. And when he saw his father and mother and brothers and sisters and his own wife all made prisoners, he wept, as might be expected.

[8] But Cyrus, when he looked upon him, showed him no token of friendship, but merely remarked: "You have come just in time to attend your father's trial."

And immediately he called together the officers of4 both the Medes and the Persians and all the Armenian nobles who were present. And the women who were there in their carriages he did not exclude but permitted them to attend.

[9] When everything was in order, he began his examination: "King of Armenia," said he, "I advise you in the first place in this trial to tell the truth, that you may be guiltless of that offence which is hated more cordially than any other. For let me assure you that being caught in a barefaced lie stands most seriously in the way of a man's receiving any mercy. In the next place," said he, "your children and your wives here and also the Armenians present are cognizant of everything that you have done; and if they hear you telling anything else than the facts, they will think that you are actually condemning your own self to suffer the extreme penalty, if ever I discover the truth."

"Well, Cyrus," said he, "ask what you will, and be assured that I will tell the truth, let happen what will as a result of it."

[10] "Tell me then," said the other, "did you ever have a war with Astyages, my mother's father, and with the rest of the Medes?"

"Yes," he answered, "I did."

"And when you were conquered by him, did you agree to pay tribute and to join his army, wherever he should command you to go, and to own no forts?"

"Those are the facts."

"Why, then, have you now failed to pay the tribute and to send the troops, and why have you been building forts?"

"I longed for liberty; for it seemed to me to be a glorious thing both to be free myself and to bequeath liberty to my children."

[11] "You are right," said Cyrus; "it is a noble thing to fight that one may never be in danger of becoming a slave. But if any one has been conquered in war or in any other way reduced to servitude and is then caught attempting to rob his masters of himself, are you the first man to reward him as an honest man and one who does right, or do you punish him as a malefactor if you catch him?"

"I punish him," said he; "for you will not let me5 tell a lie."

[12] "Answer each of these questions explicitly then," said Cyrus; "if any one happens to be an officer under you and does wrong, do you permit him to continue in office or do you put another in his place?"

"I put another in his place."

"And what if he has great possessions--do you allow him to continue rich, or do you make him poor?"

"I confiscate all that he may happen to possess," said he.

"And if you find out that he is trying to desert to the enemy, what do you do?"

"I put him to death," said he; "I may as well confess, for why should I convict myself of lying and be put him to death for that, instead of telling the truth?"

[13] Then his son, when he heard this, stripped off his turban and rent his garments, and the women cried aloud and tore their cheeks, as if it were all over with their father and they were already lost. But Cyrus bade them be silent and said: "Very well, king of Armenia; so that is your idea of justice; in accordance with it, then, what do you advise us to do?"

Then the Armenian was silent, for he was in a quandary whether to advise Cyrus to put him to death or to propose to him a course opposite to that which he admitted he himself always took. [14] But6 his son Tigranes put a question to Cyrus, saying: "Tell me, Cyrus, since my father seems to be in doubt, may I advise you in regard to him what I think the best course for you?"

Now Cyrus had observed when Tigranes used to go hunting with him that there was a certain philosopher with him who was an object of admiration to Tigranes; consequently he was very eager to hear what he would say. So he bade him express his opinion with confidence.

[15] "Well," said Tigranes, "if you approve either of my father's theory or his practice, then I advise you by all means to imitate him. But if you think he has done wrong throughout, I advise you not to imitate him."

"Well then," said Cyrus, "if I should do what is right, I should surely not be imitating the one who does wrong."

"That is true," said he.

"Then, according to your reasoning, your father must be punished, if indeed it is right that the one who does wrong should be punished."

"Which do you think is better for you, Cyrus, to mete out your punishments to your benefit or to your own injury?"

"In the latter case, at least," said he, "I should be punishing myself."

[16] "Aye, but you would be doing yourself a great injury," said Tigranes, "if you should put your friends to death just at the time when it was of the greatest advantage to you to have them."

"How," said Cyrus, "could men be of the greatest advantage to me just at the time when they were caught doing wrong?"

"They would be, I think, if at that time they7 should become discreet. For it seems to me to be true, Cyrus," said he, "that without discretion there is no advantage at all in any other virtue; for what," he continued, "could one do with a strong man or a brave man, or what with a rich man or a man of power in the state if he lacked discretion? But every friend is useful and every servant good, if he be endowed with discretion."

[17] "Do you mean to say, then," Cyrus answered, "that in one day's time your father has become discreet when he was indiscreet before?"

"Yes," said he, "I do, indeed."

"By that you mean to say that discretion is an affection of the soul, as sorrow is, and not an acquisition.8 For I do not suppose that a man could instantly pass from being indiscreet to being discreet, if indeed the one who is to be discreet must first have become wise."

[18] "What, have you never observed, Cyrus," said he, "that when a man indiscreetly ventures to fight a stronger man than himself and has been worsted, he is instantly cured of his indiscretion toward that particular man? And again," he continued, "have you never seen how when one state is in arms against another it is at once willing, when defeated, to submit to the victor instead of continuing the fight?"

[19] "To what defeat of your father's do you refer," said Cyrus, "that you are so confident that he has been brought to discretion by it?"

"Why that, by Zeus," Tigranes answered, "which9 he is conscious of having sustained, inasmuch as when he aimed at securing liberty he has become more of a slave than ever, and as he has not been able to accomplish a single thing of all that he thought he should effect by secrecy or by surprise or by actual force. And he knows that when you desired to outwit him, you did it as effectually as one could do who set out to deceive men blind or deaf or deprived of all their senses; and when you thought you ought to act secretly, you acted with such secrecy that the fortified places which he thought he had provided for his own safety you had secretly turned into prisons for him in advance. And so much did you surpass him in dispatch, that you came from a distance with a large army before he could muster the forces he had at home."

[20] "Well," said Cyrus, "do you really think that such a defeat is adequate to make men discreet--I mean, when they find out that others are their superiors?"

"Yes," said Tigranes, "much more than when they are defeated in combat. For the one who is overcome by strength sometimes conceives the idea that, if he trains his body, he may renew the combat. Even cities too, when captured, think that by taking on new allies they might renew the fight. But if people are convinced that others are superior to themselves, they are often ready even without compulsion to submit to them."

[21] "You seem to think," said the other, "that the insolent do not recognize those more discreet than they, that thieves do not recognize the truthful, and wrong-doers those who do right. Do you not know," he continued, "that even now your father has played false and has not kept his agreement with us, although he knew that we have not been violating any of the agreements made by Astyages?"

[22] "Yes; but neither do I mean that simply recognizing their superiors makes people discreet, unless they are punished by those superiors, as my father now is."

"But," said Cyrus, "your father has not yet suffered the least harm; but he is afraid, to be sure, that he will suffer the worst."

[23] "Do you think, then," said Tigranes, "that10 anything breaks a man's spirit sooner than object fear? Do you not know that those who are beaten with the sword, which is considered the most potent instrument of correction, are nevertheless ready to fight the same enemy again; but when people really fear anyone very much, then they cannot look him in the face, even when he tries to cheer them?"

"You mean to say," said he, "that fear is a heavier punishment to men than real correction."

[24] "And you," said he, "know that what I say is true; for you are aware that, on the one hand, those who are afraid that they are to be exiled from their native land, and those who on the eve of battle are afraid that they shall be defeated, and those who fear slavery or bondage, all such can neither eat nor sleep for fear; whereas those who are already in exile or already defeated or already in slavery can sometimes eat and sleep better than those enjoying a happier lot. [25] And from the following considerations it is still clearer what a burden fear is: some, for fear that they will be caught and put to death, in terror take their own lives before their time--some by hurling themselves over a precipice, other by hanging themselves, others by cutting their own throats; so does fear crush down the soul more than all other terrors. As for my father," he added, "in what a state of mind do you think he is? For he is in dread not only for himself, but also for me, for his wife, and for all of his children."

[26] "Well," answered Cyrus, "it is not at all unlikely, I suppose, that he is for the moment in such a state of mind. However, it seems to me that we expect of a man who is insolent in success and abject in failure that, when set on his feet once more, he will again wax arrogant and again cause more trouble."

[27] "Well, by Zeus, Cyrus," said he, "our wrong-doing11 does, no doubt, give you cause to distrust us; but you may build forts in our country and occupy the strongholds already built and take whatever else you wish as security. And yet," he added, "you will not find us very much aggrieved by your doing so; for we shall remember that we are to blame for it all. But if you hand over our government to some one of those who have done no wrong and yet show that you distrust them, see to it lest they regard you as no friend, in spite of your favours to them. But if again, on your guard against incurring their hatred, you fail to place a check upon them to keep them from rebellion, see to it lest you need to bring them to discretion even more than you did in our case just now."

[28] "Nay, by the gods," said he, "I do not think I should like to employ servants that I knew served me only from compulsion. But if I had servants who I thought assisted me, as in duty bound, out of goodwill and friendship toward me, I think I should be better satisfied with them when they did wrong than with others who disliked me, when they performed all their tasks faithfully but from compulsion."

To this Tigranes replied: "From whom could you ever get such friendship as you now can from us?"

"From those, I presume," said he, "who have never been my enemies, if I would do them such favours as you now bid me do you."

[29] "But, Cyrus," said he, "as things now are,12 could you find any one to whom you could do as great favours as you can to my father? For example, if you grant any one of those who have done you no wrong his life, what gratitude do you think he will feel toward you for that? And again, who will love you for not depriving him of his wife and children more than he who thinks that it would serve him right to lose them? And do you know of any one who would be more grieved than we, not to have the throne of Armenia? Well, then," he added, "it is evident that he who would be most grieved not to be king, would also be most grateful for receiving the throne."

[30] And it you care at all to leave matters here in as little confusion as possible when you go away, consider whether you think the country would be more tranquil under the beginning of a new administration than if the one we are used to should continue. And if you care to take with you as large an army as possible, who do you think would be in a better position to organize the troops properly than he who has often employed them? And if you need money also, who do you think could supply it better than he who knows and commands all the sources of supply? My good Cyrus," he added, "beware lest in casting us aside you do yourself a greater injury than any harm my father has been able to do you."

Thus he spoke. [31] And Cyrus was more than pleased at hearing him, for he thought that everything that he had promised Cyaxares to do was in course of accomplishment; for he remembered having told him that he would make the Armenian more his friend than he was before.

"Tell me, king of Armenia," he therefore asked,13 "if I yield to you in this matter, how large an army will you send with me and how much money will you contribute to the war?"

[32] "I have nothing to propose more simple or more fair, Cyrus," the Armenian replied to this, "than for me to show you all the forces I have and for you, when you have seen them, to take as many as you see fit, leaving the rest here to protect the country. And in the same way in regard to the money, it is proper for me to show you all that I have, and for you to decide for yourself and take as much as you please and to leave as much as you please."

[33] "Come then," said Cyrus, "tell me how large your forces are and how much money you have."

"Well," the Armenian then answered, "there are about eight thousand cavalry and about forty thousand infantry. And the property," said he, "including the treasures that my father left me, amounts, when reduced to cash, to more than three thousand talents."

[34] And without hesitation, Cyrus replied: "Send14 with me then," said he, "only half the army, since your neighbours, the Chaldaeans, are at war with you. And of the money, instead of the fifty talents which you used to pay as tribute, pay Cyaxares double that sum because you are in arrears with your payments. And lend me personally a hundred more," said he; "and I promise you that if God prospers me, I will in return for your loan either do you other favours worth more than that amount or at least pay you back the money, if I can; but if I cannot, I may seem insolvent, I suppose, but I should not justly be accounted dishonest."

[35] "For heaven's sake, Cyrus," said the Armenian, "do not talk that way. If you do, you will make me lose heart. But consider," said he, "that what you leave here is no less yours than what you take away."

"Very well," said Cyrus; "now how much money would you give to get your wife back?"

"As much as I could," said he.

"And how much to get your children?"

"For these also," said he, "as much as I could."

"Well then," said Cyrus, "that makes already twice as much as you have. [36] And you, Tigranes," said he, "tell me how much you would pay to get your wife back?"

Now it happened that he was newly married and loved his wife very dearly.

"I would give my life, Cyrus," said he, "to keep her from slavery."

[37] "Well then," said he, "take her back; she is15 your own. For I, for my part, do not consider that she has been made a prisoner of war at all, since you never ran away from us. And you too, king of Armenia, may take back your wife and children without paying any ransom for them, that they may know that they return to you free men and women. And now," said he, "stay and have dinner with us; and when you have dined you may drive away wherever you have a mind to go." So they stayed.

[38] And after dinner, as the party was breaking up,16 Cyrus asked: "Tell me, Tigranes, where is the man who used to hunt with us? You seemed to admire him very much."

"Ah," he replied, "did not my father here have him put to death?"

"What wrong did he find him doing?"

"He said that he was corrupting me. And yet, Cyrus," said he, "he was so noble and so good that when he was about to be put to death, he called me to him and said: "˜Be not angry with your father, Tigranes, for putting me to death; for he does it, not from any spirit of malice, but from ignorance, and when men do wrong from ignorance, I believe they do it quite against their will."

[39] "Poor man!" Cyrus exclaimed on hearing this.

Here the Armenian king interrupted: "Do not men who discover strangers in intercourse with their wives kill them, not on the ground that they make their wives more inclined to folly, but in the belief that they alienate from them their wives' affections--for this reason they treat them as enemies. So I was jealous of him because I thought that he made my son regard him more highly than he did me."

[40] "Well, by the gods, king of Armenia," said Cyrus, "your sin seems human; and you, Tigranes, must forgive your father."

Then when they had thus conversed and showed their friendly feelings toward one another, as was natural after a reconciliation, they entered their carriages and drove away with their wives, happy.

[41] And when they got home they talked, one of17 Cyrus's wisdom, another of his strength, another of his gentleness, and still another of his beauty and his commanding presence.

Then Tigranes asked his wife: "Tell me, my Armenian princess," said he, "did you, too, think Cyrus handsome?"

"Why, by Zeus," said she, "I did not look at him."

"At whom, then?" asked Tigranes.

"At him, by Zeus, who said that he would give his life to keep me from servitude."

Then as might be expected after such experiences, they went to rest together.

[42] And on the following day the Armenian king sent guest-presents to Cyrus and all his army, and he commanded those of his men who were to take the field to present themselves on the third day; and he paid Cyrus double the sum of money that he had named. But Cyrus accepted only the amount specified and returned the rest. Then he asked which of the two was to go in command of the forces, the king himself or his son. They both answered at the same instant, the father saying: "Whichever you command"; and the son: "I will never leave you,18 Cyrus, not even if I have to accompany you as a camp-follower."

[43] And Cyrus, laughing, said: "How much would you take to have your wife told that you were a camp-follower?"

"Why," said he, "she will not need to be told anything about it; for I shall take her with me, so that she will be in a position to see whatever I do."

"Then," said he, "it may be high time for you to be getting your things together."

"Be sure," said he, "that we shall be here with everything brought together that my father gives us."

And when the soldiers had received their presents they went to bed.

1 The Armenians hear of Cyrus's approach

2 Chrysantas captures the train of fugitives

3 The king entrapped

4 The court martial of the king

5 The king convicts himself

6 Tigranes pleads his father's case

7 The acquisition of discretion

8 Xenophon makes Cyrus apparently accept the Socratic doctrine that wisdom and the other virtues are matters for learning, the results of study and practice--not a mood, like sorrow, anger, or any other emotion.

9 How the king of Armenia learned discretion

10 Fear of harm worse than the reality

11 Tigranes discusses plans for adjustment

12 He argues for the continuance of his father's reign

13 Cyrus takes a conciliatory attitude

14 His demands

15 His generosity

16 A Socrates in Armenia

17 Armenian appreciation of Cyrus

18 Tigranes joins Cyrus's army


I. Cyrus remained there for a while with his army1 and showed that they were ready to do battle, if any one should come out. But as no one did come out against him, he withdrew as far as he thought proper and encamped. And when he had stationed his outposts and sent out his scouts, he called together his own men, took his place in their midst, and addressed them as follows:

[2] "Fellow-citizens of Persia, first of all I praise the2 gods with all my soul; and so, I believe, do all of you; for we not only have won a victory, but our lives have been spared. We ought, therefore, to render to the gods thank-offerings of whatsoever we have. And I here and now commend you as a body, for you have all contributed to this glorious achievement; but as for the deserts of each of you individually, I shall try by word and deed to give every man his due reward, when I have ascertained from proper sources what credit each one deserves. [3] But as to3 Captain Chrysantas, who fought next to me, I have no need to make enquiry from others, for I myself know how gallant his conduct was; in everything else he did just as I think all of you also did; but when I gave the word to retreat and called to him by name, even though he had his sword raised to smite down an enemy he obeyed me at once and refrained from what he was on the point of doing and proceeded to carry out my order; not only did he himself retreat but he also with instant promptness passed the word on to the others; and so he succeeded in getting his division out of range before the enemy discovered that we were retreating or drew their bows or let fly their javelins. And thus by his obedience he is unharmed himself and he has kept his men unharmed. [4] But others," said he, "I see wounded; and when I have enquired at what moment of the engagement they received their wounds, I will then express my opinion concerning them. But Chrysantas, as a mighty man of war, prudent and fitted to command and to obey--him I now promote to a colonelship. And when God shall vouchsafe some further blessing, then, too, I shall not forget him.

[5] "I wish also to leave this thought with all of4 you," he went on: "never cease to bear in mind what you have just seen in this day's battle, so that you may always judge in your own hearts whether courage is more likely to save men's lives than running away, and whether it is easier for those to withdraw who wish to fight than for those who are unwilling, and what sort of pleasure victory brings; for you can best judge of these matters now when you have experience of them and while the event is of so recent occurrence. [6] And if you would always keep this in mind, you would be more valiant men.

"Now go to dinner, as men beloved of God and brave and wise; pour libations to the gods, raise the song of victory, and at the same time be on the lookout for orders that may come."

[7] When he had said this, he mounted his horse and rode away to Cyaxares. They exchanged congratulations, as was fitting, and after Cyrus had taken note of matters there and asked if there were anything he could do, he rode back to his own army. Then he and his followers dined, stationed their pickets duly, and went to rest.

[8] The Assyrians, on the other hand, inasmuch as5 they had lost their general and with him nearly all their best men, were all disheartened, and many of them even ran away from the camp in the course of the night. And when Croesus and the rest of their allies saw this, they too lost heart; for the whole situation was desperate; but what caused the greatest despondency in all was the fact that the leading contingent of the army had become thoroughly demoralized. Thus dispirited, then, they quitted their camp and departed under cover of the night. [9] And when it became day and the enemy's camp was found to be forsaken of men, Cyrus at once led his Persians first across the entrenchments. And many sheep and many cattle and many wagons packed full of good things had been left behind by the enemy. Directly after this, Cyaxares also and all his Medes crossed over and had breakfast there. [10] And when they had breakfasted, Cyrus called together his captains and spoke as follows:

"What good things, fellow-soldiers, and how great, have we let slip, it seems, while the gods were delivering them into our hands! Why, you see with your own eyes that the enemy have run away from us; when people behind fortifications abandon them and flee, how would any one expect them to stand and fight, if they met us in a fair and open field? And if they did not stand their ground when they were yet unacquainted with us, how would they withstand us now, when they have been defeated and have suffered heavy loss at our hands? And when their bravest men have been slain, how would their more cowardly be willing to fight us?"

[11] "Why not pursue them as swiftly as possible,"6 said one of the men; "now that the good things we have let slip are so manifest to us?"

"Because," he replied, "we have not horses enough; for the best of the enemy, those whom it were most desirable either to capture or to kill, are riding off on horseback. With the help of the gods we were able to put them to flight, but we are not able to pursue and overtake them."

[12] "Then why do you not go and tell Cyaxares this?" said they.

"Come with me, then, all of you," he answered, "so that he may know that we are all agreed upon this point."

Thereupon they all followed and submitted such arguments as they thought calculated to gain their object.

[13] Now Cyaxares seemed to feel some little jealousy because the proposal came from them; at the same time, perhaps, he did not care to risk another engagement; then, too, he rather wished to stay where he was, for it happened that he was busily engaged in making merry himself, and he saw that many of the other Medes were doing the same. However that may be, he spoke as follows:7

[14] "Well, Cyrus, I know from what I see and hear that you Persians are more careful than other people not to incline to the least intemperance in any kind of pleasure. But it seems to me that it is much better to be moderate in the greatest pleasure than to be moderate in lesser pleasures; and what brings to man greater pleasure than success, such as has now been granted us?

[15] "If, therefore [when we are successful], we follow up our success with moderation, we might, perhaps, be able to grow old in happiness unalloyed with danger. But if we enjoy it intemperately and try to pursue first one success and then another, see to it that we do not share the same fate that they say many have suffered upon the sea, that is, because of their success they have not been willing to give up seafaring, and so they have been lost; and many others, when they have gained a victory, have aimed at another and so have lost even what they gained by the first. [16] And that is the way with us; for if it were because they were inferior to us in numbers that the enemy are fleeing from us, perhaps it might be safe for us actually to pursue this lesser army. But, as it is, reflect with what a mere fraction of their numbers we, with all our forces, have fought and won, while the rest of theirs have not tasted of battle; and if we do not compel them to fight, they will remain unacquainted with our strength and with their own, and they will go away because of their ignorance and cowardice. But if they discover that they are in no less danger if they go away than if they remain in the field, beware lest we compel them to be valiant even against their will. [17] And let me assure you that you are not more eager to capture their women and children than they are to save them. And bethink you that even wild swine flee with their young, when they are discovered, no matter how great their numbers may be; but if any one tries to catch one of the young, the old one, even if she happens to be the only one, does not think of flight but rushes upon the man who is trying to effect the capture. [18] And now, when they had shut themselves up in their fortifications, they allowed us to manage things so as to fight as many at a time as we pleased. But if we go against them in an open plain and they learn to meet us in separate detachments, some in front of us (as even now), some on either flank, and some in our rear, see to it that we do not each one of us stand in need of many hands and many eyes. And besides," said he, "now that I see the Medes making merry, I should not like to rout them out and compel them to go into danger."

[19] "Nay," said Cyrus in reply; "please do not8 place anybody under compulsion; but allow those who will volunteer to follow me, and perhaps we may come back bringing to you and each of your friends here something for you all to make merry with. For the main body of the enemy we certainly shall not even pursue; for how could we ever overtake them? But if we find any detachment of their army straggling or left behind, we shall bring them to you. [20] And remember," he added, "that we also, when you asked us, came a long journey to do you a favour; and it is therefore only fair that you should do us a favour in return, so that we may not have to go home empty-handed nor always be looking to your treasury here for support."

[21] "Very well," said Cyaxares then; "if indeed9 any one will volunteer to follow you, I for my part should be really grateful to you."

"Well, then," said he, "send with me some one of these notables in positions of trust to announce your commands."

"Take any of them you wish," said the other, "and go."

[22] Now it happened that the man who had once10 pretended to be a kinsman of his and had got a kiss from him was present there. Cyrus, therefore, said at once: "This man will do."

"Let him follow you, then," said Cyaxares. "And do you," he added to Artabazus, "say that whoever will may go with Cyrus."

[23] So then he took the man and went away. And when they had come out, Cyrus said: "Now then, you shall prove if you spoke the truth when you said that you liked to look at me."

"If you talk that way," said the Mede, "I shall never leave you."

"Will you do your best, then, to bring others also with you?" asked Cyrus.

"Yes, by Zeus," he answered with an oath, "to such an extent that I shall make you also glad to look at me."

[24] Then, as he had his commission from Cyaxares also, he not only gave his message to the Medes with enthusiasm, but he added that, for his part, he himself would never leave the noblest and best of men, and what was more than all, a man descended from the gods.

1 Cyrus withdraws

2 His address to his troops

3 Chrysantas promoted

4 The lessons of the battle

5 The Assyrians decamp

6 Pursuit proposed

7 Cyaxares replies

8 Cyrus answers his uncle's objections

9 Cyaxares accepts Cyrus's proposal

10 I. iv. 27-28


I. Such were their words and deeds. Then Cyrus ordered the men whom he knew to be Cyaxares's most intimate friends to divide among themselves the keeping of the king's portion of the booty. "And1 what you offer me," he added, "I accept with pleasure; but it shall always be at the service of any one of you who at any time is most in need of it."

"If you please, then, Cyrus," said one of the Medes who was fond of music, "when I listened last evening to the music-girls whom you now have, I was entranced; and if you will give me one of them, I should, I think, be more happy to go to war with you than to stay at home."

"Well," said Cyrus, "I will not only give her to you, but I believe that I am under greater obligation to you for your asking than you to me for receiving her; so thirsty am I to do you favours."

So he that asked received her.

[2] Then Cyrus called to him Araspas, a Mede, who had been his friend from boyhood--the same one to2 whom he had given his Median robe when he laid it off as he was returning from Astyages's court to Persia--and bade him keep for him both the lady and the tent. [3] Now this woman was the wife of Abradatas of Susa; and when the Assyrian camp was taken, her husband happened not to be there, having gone on an embassy to the king of Bactria; for the Assyrian king had sent him thither to negotiate an alliance, because he chanced to be a guest-friend of the Bactrian king. This, then, was the lady that Cyrus placed in the charge of Araspas, until such a time as he himself should take her. [4] And when he received this commission Araspas asked: "And3 have you seen the lady, Cyrus, whom you give into my keeping?" said he.

"No, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "not I."

"But I have," said the other. "I saw her when we selected her for you. And when we went into her tent, upon my word, we did not at first distinguish her from the rest; for she sat upon the ground and all her handmaids sat around her. And she was dressed withal just like her servants; but when we looked round upon them all in our desire to make out which one was the mistress, at once her superiority to all the rest was evident, even though she sat veiled, with her head bowed to the earth. [5] But when we bade her rise, all her attendants stood up with her, and then was she conspicuous among them both for her stature and for her nobility and her grace, even though she stood there in lowly garb. And she could not hide her tears as they fell, some down her dress, some even to her feet. [6] Then, when the oldest man in our company said: "˜Have no fear, lady; for though we understand that your husband also is a noble man, yet we are choosing you out for a man who, be assured, is not his inferior either in comeliness or intelligence or power, but, as we at least think, if there is any man in the world who deserves admiration, that man is Cyrus; and his you shall henceforth be.' Now when the lady heard that, she rent her outer garment from top to bottom and wept aloud; and her servants also cried aloud with her.

[7] "And then we had vision of most of her face and vision of her neck and arms. And let me tell you, Cyrus," said he, "it seemed to me, as it did to all the rest who saw her, that there never was so beautiful a woman of mortal birth in Asia. But," he added, "you must by all means see her for yourself."

[8] "No, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "and all the less,4 if she is as beautiful as you say."

"Why so?" asked the young man.

"Because," said he, "if now I have heard from you that she is beautiful and am inclined just by your account of her to go and gaze on her, when I have no time to spare, I am afraid that she will herself much more readily persuade me to come again to gaze on her. And in consequence of that I might sit there, in neglect of my duties, idly gazing upon her."

[9] "Why Cyrus," said the young man breaking5 into a laugh, "you do not think, do you, that human beauty is able to compel a man against his will to act contrary to his own best interests? Why," said he, "if that were a law of nature, it would compel us all alike. [10] Do you observe," said he, "how fire burns all alike? That is its nature. But of beautiful things we love some and some we do not; and one loves one, another another; for it is a matter of free will, and each one loves what he pleases. For example, a brother does not fall in love with his sister, but somebody else falls in love with her; neither does a father fall in love with his daughter, but somebody else does; for fear of God and the law of the land are sufficient to prevent such love. [11] But," he went on, "if a law should be passed forbidding those who did not eat to be hungry, those who did not drink to be thirsty, forbidding people to be cold in winter or hot in summer, no such law could ever bring men to obey its provisions, for they are so constituted by nature as to be subject to the control of such circumstances. But love is a matter of free will; at any rate, every one loves what suits his taste, as he does his clothes or shoes."

[12] "How then, pray," said Cyrus, "if falling in6 love is a matter of free will, is it not possible for any one to stop whenever he pleases? But I have seen people in tears of sorrow because of love and in slavery to the objects of their love, even though they believed before they fell in love that slavery is a great evil; I have seen them give those objects of their love many things that they could ill afford to part with; and I have seen people praying to be delivered from love just as from any other disease, and, for all that, unable to be delivered from it, but fettered by a stronger necessity than if they had been fettered with shackles of iron. At any rate, they surrender themselves to those they love to perform for them many services blindly. And yet, in spite of all their misery, they do not attempt to run away, but even watch their darlings to keep them from running away."

[13] "Yes," the young man answered; "there are7 some who do so; but such are wretched weaklings, and because of their slavery, I think, they constantly pray that they may die, because they are so unhappy; but, though there are ten thousand possible ways of getting rid of life, they do not get rid of it. And this very same sort attempt also to steal and do not keep their hands off other people's property; but when they commit robbery or theft, you see that you are the first to accuse the thief and the robber, because it was not necessary to steal, and you do not pardon him, but you punish him. [14] Now in this same way, the beautiful do not compel people to fall in love with them nor to desire that which they should not, but there are some miserable apologies for men who are slaves to all sorts of passions, I think, and then they blame love. But the high-minded and the good, though they also have a desire for money and good horses and beautiful women, have the power to let all that alone so as not to touch anything beyond the limit of what is right. [15] At any rate," he added, "I have seen this lady and though she seemed to me surpassingly beautiful, still I am here with you, I practise horsemanship, and I do everything else that it is my duty to do."

[16] "Aye, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "for you came away perhaps in less time than love takes, as its nature is, to get a man ensnared. For, you know, it is possible for a man to put his finger in the fire and not be burned at once, and wood does not burst at once into flame; still, for my part, I neither put my hand into the fire nor look upon the beautiful, if I can help it. And I advise you, too, Araspas," said he, "not to let your eyes linger upon the fair; for fire, to be sure, burns only those who touch it, but beauty insidiously kindles a fire even in those who gaze upon it from afar, so that they are inflamed with passion."

[17] "Never fear, Cyrus," said he, "even if I never cease to look upon her, I shall never be so overcome as to do anything that I ought not."

"Your professions," said he, "are most excellent. Keep her then, as I bid you, and take good care of her; for this lady may perhaps be of very great service to us when the time comes."

[18] After this conversation, then, they separated.8

And as the young man found the lady so beautiful and at the same time came to know her goodness and nobility of character, as he attended her and thought he pleased her, and then also as he saw that she was not ungrateful but always took care by the hands of her own servants not only that he should find whatever he needed when he came in, but that, if he ever fell sick, he should suffer no lack of attention--in consequence of all this, he fell desperately in love with her; and what happened to him was perhaps not at all surprising. Thus matters began to take this turn.

[19] Cyrus, however, wishing to have his Medes9 and allies stay with him voluntarily, called a meeting of all his staff-officers, and when they were come together he spoke as follows: [20] "Men of Media and all here present, I am very sure that you came out with me, not because you desired to get money by it nor because you thought that in this you were doing Cyaxares a service; but it was to me that you wished to do this favour, and it was out of regard for me that you were willing to make the night-march and to brave dangers with me. [21] For this also I thank you--I should be in the wrong not to do so; but I do not think that I am as yet in a position to make you an adequate return, and this I am not ashamed to say. But let me assure you," said he, "that I should be ashamed to say "˜if you will stay with me, I will make you a proper return;"™ for I think it would look as if I were saying it merely to make you more willing to stay with me. Instead of that, this is what I mean: even though you go back now in obedience to Cyaxares, still, if I achieve any success, I shall try so to act that you also will praise me. [22] For as to myself, I certainly am not going back, but I will be true to the oaths and the pledges which I gave the Hyrcanians, and I will never be caught playing them false; and I will also endeavour so to conduct myself that Gobryas, who is now offering us both his castle and his country and his forces, shall not repent his coming to us. [23] And above all, now that the gods are so manifestly blessing our efforts, I should fear to offend them, and I should be ashamed in their sight to go away without good reason and leave what they have bestowed. Thus, therefore, I propose to act," said he; "and do you also do as you judge to be best, and tell me what your decision is."

[24] Thus he spoke. And the first one to reply was10 the man who had once upon a time claimed to be a kinsman of Cyrus. "For my part, O my king," said he--"for to me you seem to be a born king no less than is the sovereign of the bees in a hive. For as the bees always willingly obey the queen-bee and not one of them deserts the place where she stays; and as not one fails to follow her if she goes anywhere else--so marvellous a yearning to be ruled by her is innate to them; [25] so also do men seem to me to be drawn by something like the same sort of instinct toward you. And of that we have proof; for when you started to return from our country to11 Persia, what man of the Medes either young or old failed to follow you, until Astyages made us turn back? And when you hastened to our aid from Persia, we saw that almost all your friends followed with you of their own free will. Again, when you wished to come out on this expedition, all the Medes volunteered to follow you. [26] And now, too, this is our feeling, so that with you we are not afraid even in the enemy's land, while without you we are afraid even to return home. Now the rest may tell for themselves what they mean to do. But as for me, Cyrus, I, with the men whom I command, will remain with you and endure the sight of you and tolerate your goodness to us."

[27] Following him, Tigranes spoke as follows: "Cyrus," said he, "you need never be surprised when I fail to speak. For my mind has been disciplined not to offer counsel but to do what you command."

[28] "Well, Medes," said the Hyrcanian king, "if you should go away now, I should say that it was the plot of the evil one to prevent your becoming exceedingly blest. For, in all common sense, who would turn away from the enemy when they are in flight, or refuse to take their arms when they surrender them, or their persons and property when they offer them--especially under such a leader as we have? For, I swear to you by all the gods, he seems to me happier in doing us kindnesses than in enriching himself."

[29] Following him, all the Medes spoke to this12 effect: "It is you, Cyrus, that have brought us out here, and when you think the time to return has come, lead us back with you."

And when Cyrus heard that, he uttered this prayer: "Hear me, I beseech thee, O Zeus almighty, and grant that in service to them I may surpass the honour they show to me."

[30] Thereupon he commanded the rest to station guards and after that to do for themselves whatever they pleased; and the Persians he bade divide the tents among themselves--to the cavalry the ones appropriate to their use and to the infantry such as sufficed for their needs--and to arrange matters so that the commissaries in the tents should do all that was required of them, prepare everything necessary, and carry it to the quarters of the Persians, and have their horses groomed and fed, and that the Persians should have no duty other than to practise the arts of war.

Thus they spent that day.

1 Cyrus's disposal of his prizes

2 I. iv. 26

3 Araspas describes Panthea

4 Cyrus declines to visit her

5 Araspas maintains that love is a matter of will

6 Cyrus maintains that it is a kind of slavery

7 Araspas claims that only the weakling is enslaved

8 He falls in love

9 Cyrus calls upon the Medes to answer Cyaxares

10 Artabazus leads the movement to stay I. iv. 27-28

11 I. iv. 25-28

12 The whole Median contingent stays with Cyrus


I. After spending that day in the manner described, they dined and went to rest. Early on the following morning all the allies came to Cyaxares's headquarters. So while Cyaxares was attiring himself (for he heard that there was a large concourse of people at his doors), various friends were presenting the allies to Cyrus. One1 group brought the Cadusians, who begged him to stay; another, the Hyrcanians; some one brought forward the Sacians, and some one else, Gobryas; Hystaspas presented Gadatas, the eunuch, and he also begged Cyrus to remain. [2] Then Cyrus, though he realized that Gadatas had for some time been frightened almost to death for fear the army should be disbanded, laughing said: "It is clear, Gadatas, that Hystaspas here has been instigating you to the ideas that you have been expressing." [3] And Gadatas lifting up his hands toward heaven declared on his oath that he had not been influenced by Hystaspas to entertain those feelings. "But I know," said he, "that if you and your men go away, it is all over with me. For this reason, I introduced the subject with him of my own accord, asking him if he knew what it was your intention to do with reference to disbanding the army."

[4] "I was wrong, then, as it seems," said Cyrus, "in accusing our friend Hystaspas."

"Aye, by Zeus, Cyrus, you were indeed," said Hystaspas. "For I was only remarking to our friend Gadatas that it was not possible for you to go on with the campaign; for I told him that your father was sending for you."

[5] "What do you mean?" said Cyrus. "Did you dare to let that get out, whether I would or no?"

"Yes, by Zeus," he answered; "for I observe that you are exceedingly anxious to go around in Persia the cynosure of all eyes, and to parade before your father the way you have managed everything here."

"And do not you wish to go home yourself?" asked Cyrus.

"No, by Zeus," said Hystaspas; "and I am not going either; but I shall stay here and be general, until I have made our friend Gadatas master of the Assyrian."

[6] Thus half-seriously did they jest with one another.

Meantime, Cyaxares came out in gorgeous attire2 and seated himself on a Median throne. And when all whose presence was required had assembled and silence prevailed, Cyaxares addressed them as follows: "Friends and allies, since I happen to be here and am older than Cyrus, it is perhaps proper for me to open the conference. To begin with, this seems to me to be an opportune time for us to discuss the question whether it is desirable to continue our campaign longer or at once to disband the armies. Any one, therefore, may express his opinion in regard to this question."

[7] Thereupon the Hyrcanian was the first to speak: "Friends and comrades, I, for my part, cannot see what is the use of words, when the facts themselves point out the best course to follow. For we all know that when we are together, we do the enemy more harm than they do us; whereas as long as we were apart, they treated us as was most agreeable to them and most disagreeable to us."

[8] After him the Cadusian spoke: "Why," said he, "should we talk about going back home and being separated from one another, since not even in the field, so it seems, is it well for us to get separated? At any rate, we not long ago went off on an expedition apart from your main body and paid for it, as you also know."

[9] After him Artabazus, the one who once claimed3 to be a kinsman of Cyrus, made the following speech: "In one point, Cyaxares, I beg to differ from the previous speakers: they say that we must stay here and carry on the war; but I say that it was when I was at home that I was carrying on wars. [10] And I say truly; for I often had to go to the rescue when our property was being carried off; and when our fortresses were threatened, I often had trouble to defend them; I lived in constant fear and was kept continually on guard. And I fared thus at my own expense. But now we are in possession of their forts; I am in fear of them no longer; I revel in the good things of the enemy and drink what is theirs. Therefore, as life at home was warfare, while life here is a feast, I do not care to have this festal gathering break up."

[11] After him Gobryas spoke: "Friends and comrades, up to the present time I have only praise for Cyrus's faithfulness; for he has not proved untrue in anything that he has promised. But if he leaves the country now, it is evident that the Assyrian will take new heart without having to pay any penalty for the wrongs he has attempted to do us all and for those which he has done me; and I, in my turn, shall pay to him the penalty for having been your friend."

[12] Last of all Cyrus spoke: "I, too, am not unaware,4 my friends, that if we disband the army, our own situation would become weaker, while the enemy will again gather force. For as many of them as have been deprived of their arms will soon have new ones made, and as many as have been deprived of their horses will soon again procure others, while in place of those who have been killed others will have grown to young manhood to take their places. And so it will not be at all surprising, if in a very short time they are able again to give us trouble.

[13] "Why then do you suppose I suggested to Cyaxares to bring up the question of disbanding the army? Let me tell you; it was because I feared for the future; for I see foes advancing against us that we shall never be able to cope with, if we go on campaigning in our present fashion. [14] For winter5 is coming, you know; and even granting that we have shelter for ourselves, still, by Zeus, there will be none for our horses or for our attendants or for the rank and file of the army; and without them we could not carry on the war. The provisions, whereever we have gone, we have consumed; and where we have not gone, the people out of fear of us have conveyed them into their strongholds, so that they have them themselves, and we cannot get them.

[15] Who then is so valiant and so strong that he can prosecute a war while battling against hunger and cold? If, therefore, we propose to go on with the war as we have been doing, I maintain that we ought of our own free will to disband the army, rather than against our will to be driven out of the country by lack of means. But if we wish to go on with the war, this I say we must do: we must try as6 quickly as we may to get possession of as many as possible of their forts and build for ourselves as many as we can. For, if this is done, that side will have more provisions which is able to get and store up more, and those will be in a state of siege who are weaker. [16] As we are, we are not at all different from those who sail the seas: they keep on sailing continually, but they leave the waters over which they have sailed no more their own than those over which they have not sailed. But if we get fortresses, these will alienate the country from the enemy while everything will be smooth sailing for us.

[17] "But perhaps some of you may fear that you will possibly have to do garrison duty far from your own country. You need have no hesitation on that score. For since we are far from home in any event, we will take it upon ourselves to do the garrison duty for you in the places nearest to the enemy; but those parts of Assyria which are on your own borders--do you take possession of them and cultivate them. [18] For if we can safely guard what is near the enemy, you will enjoy a plenitude of peace in possession of the regions far away from them; for they, I trow, will not be able to neglect those who are close to them, while they lay schemes against those who are far away."

[19] After these speeches all the rest, and Cyaxares7 with them, stood up and declared that they would be glad to co-operate with him in these plans. And Gadatas and Gobryas said that if the allies would permit them, they would each of them build a fortress, so that the allies should have these also on their side.

[20] Accordingly, when Cyrus saw that all were ready to do whatever he suggested, he finally said: "Well then, if we wish to put into execution what we say we ought to do, we should as soon as possible procure siege-engines to demolish the enemy's forts, and builders to erect strong towers for our own defence."

[21] Hereupon Cyaxares promised to have an8 engine made at his own expense and to put it at their disposal, Gadatas and Gobryas promised another, and Tigranes a third; Cyrus said that he would himself try to furnish two. [22] When this had been agreed upon, they set to work to procure engine-builders and to furnish whatever was needed for the construction of the engines; and they put in charge of it men whom they considered most competent to attend to this work.

[23] Since Cyrus realized that a long time would be required for the execution of these designs, he encamped with his army in a place which he thought was most healthful and most readily accessible for conveying there everything that was necessary. And wherever any point needed further strengthening, he made provision that those who from time to time remained there should be in safety, even if he should be encamped at a distance with the main body of his forces. [24] But in addition to this, he made constant inquiry of those whom he thought likely to know about the country from what parts of it the army might get supplies as plentifully as possible and kept leading his men out on foraging expeditions; this he did partly that he might get supplies for the army in as great abundance as possible, partly that they might become inured to labour through these expeditions and might thus be in better health and strength, and partly that by such marches they might be enabled to keep their respective positions in mind.

[25] Thus, then, Cyrus was occupied.

From Babylon a report was now brought by9 deserters and confirmed by his prisoners of war, that the Assyrian king had gone off in the direction of Lydia with many talents of gold and silver and with other treasures and jewels of every sort. [26] So it became general talk among the rank and file of the soldiers that he was already conveying his treasures to a place of safety because he was afraid. But Cyrus, recognizing that he had gone for the purpose of forming, if he could, a coalition against him, made vigorous counter preparation in the expectation that he would have to fight again. And so he set10 about bringing to its full complement the Persian cavalry, for which he obtained horses, some requisitioned from the captives, and a certain number also presented to him by his friends; for he accepted such gifts from every one and never refused anything, whether any one offered him a fine weapon or a horse.

[27] Besides, with the chariots taken from the11 enemy and with whatever others he could get he equipped a corps of chariots of his own. The method of managing a chariot employed of old at Troy and that in vogue among the Cyrenaeans even unto this day he abolished; for in previous times people in Media and in Syria and in Arabia, and all the people in Asia used the chariot just as the Cyrenaeans now do. [28] But it seemed to him that inasmuch as the best men were mounted on the chariots, that part which might have been the chief strength of the army acted only the part of skirmishers and did not contribute anything of importance to the victory. For three hundred chariots call for three hundred combatants and require twelve hundred horses. And the fighting men must of course have as drivers the men in whom they have most confidence, that is, the best men to be had. That makes three hundred more, who do not do the enemy the least harm. [29] So he abolished this method of handling chariots, and in place of it he had chariots of war constructed with strong wheels, so that they might not easily be broken, and with long axles; for anything broad is less likely to be overturned. The box for the driver he constructed out of strong timbers in the form of a turret; and this rose in height to the drivers' elbows, so that they could manage the horses by reaching over the top of the box; and, besides, he covered the drivers with mail, all except their eyes. [30] On both sides of the wheels, moreover, he attached to the axles steel scythes about two cubits long and beneath the axles other scythes pointing down toward the ground; this was so arranged with the intention of hurling the chariots into the midst of the enemy. And as Cyrus constructed them at that time, such even to this day are the chariots in use in the king's dominions.

He also had a large number of camels, some collected from among his friends and some taken in war, all brought together. [31] Thus these plans were being put into execution.

Now, he wished to send some one as a spy into Lydia to find out what the Assyrian was doing, and it seemed to him that Araspas, the guardian of the beautiful woman, was the proper person to go on this mission. Now Araspas's case had taken a turn like12 this: he had fallen in love with the lady and could not resist the impulse to approach her with amorous proposals. [32] But she repulsed his advances and was true to her husband, although he was far away; for she loved him devotedly. Still, she did not accuse Araspas to Cyrus, for she shrank from making trouble between friends. [33] But when Araspas, thinking that he should thus further the attainment of his desires, threatened the woman that he would use force if she would not submit willingly, then in fear of outrage the lady no longer kept it secret but13 sent her eunuch to Cyrus with instructions to tell him the whole story. [34] When Cyrus heard it he laughed outright at the man who had claimed to be superior to the passion of love; and he sent Artabazus back with the eunuch and bade him warn Araspas not to lay violent hands upon such a woman; but if he could win her consent, he himself would interpose no objection. [35] So, when Artabazus came to Araspas, he rebuked him severely, saying that the woman had been given to him in trust; and he dwelt upon his ungodliness, sinfulness, and sensuality, until Araspas shed bitter tears of contrition and was overwhelmed with shame and frightened to death lest Cyrus should punish him. [36] So, when Cyrus learned of this he sent for him14 and had a talk with him in private. "I see, Araspas," said he, "that you are afraid of me and terribly overcome with shame. Do not feel that way, pray; for I have heard say that even gods are victims of love; and as for mortals, I know what even some who are considered very discreet have suffered from love. And I had too poor an opinion of myself to suppose that I should have the strength of will to be thrown in contact with beauty and be indifferent to it. Besides, I am myself responsible for your condition, for it was I that shut you up with this irresistible creature." [37] "Aye, Cyrus," said Araspas, interrupting him, "you are in this, just as in everything else, gentle and forgiving of human errors. Other men make me ready to sink with my shame; for ever since the report of my fall got out, my enemies have been exulting over me, while my friends come to me and advise me to keep out of the way, for fear that you punish me for committing so great a wrong." [38] "Let me tell you then, Araspas," said Cyrus, "that by reason of this very report which people have heard in regard to you, you are in a position to do me a very great favour and to be of great assistance to our allies."

"Would that some occasion might arise," answered Araspas, "in which I could be of service to you." [39] "If, then," said the other, "under pretence15 that you were fleeing from me you would go over into the enemy's country, I believe they would trust you."

"Aye, by Zeus," said Araspas, "and I know that even with my friends I could start the story that I was running away from you." [40] "Then you would return to us," said he, "with full information about the enemy's condition and plans. And I suppose that because of their trusting you they would make you a participant in their discussions and counsels, so that not a single thing that we wish to know would be hidden from you."

"Depend upon it," said he, "I will start at once; and one of the circumstances that will gain my story credence will be the appearance that I have run away because I was likely to be punished by you." [41] "And will you be able to give up the beautiful Panthea?" asked Cyrus.

"Yes, Cyrus," said he; "for I evidently have two16 souls. I have now worked out this doctrine of philosophy in the school of that crooked sophist, Eros. For if the soul is one, it is not both good and bad at the same time, neither can it at the same time desire the right and the wrong, nor at the same time both will and not will to do the same things; but it is obvious that there are two souls, and when the good one prevails, what is right is done; but when the bad one gains the ascendency, what is wrong is attempted. And now, since she has taken you to be her ally, it is the good soul that has gained the mastery, and that completely." [42] "Well then," answered Cyrus, "if you also have decided to go, this is what you must do so as to gain the more credence with them: tell them all17 about our affairs, but frame your account in such a way that your information will be the greatest possible hindrance to the success of their plans. And it would be a hindrance, if you should represent that we were making ready to invade their country at some point; for upon hearing this, they would be less likely to gather in full force, as each man would be afraid for his own possessions at home. [43] And stay with them as long as possible; for the most valuable information we can have will be in regard to what they are doing when they have come nearest to us. And advise them also to marshal themselves in whatever order seems best; for when you come away, it will be necessary for them to retain this order, even though they think you are familiar with it. For they will be slow to change it, and, if on the spur of the moment they make a change anywhere, they will be thrown into confusion."

[44] Then Araspas withdrew; he got together the most trusted of his attendants, told some of his friends such things as he thought would contribute to the success of his scheme, and was gone.

[45] When Panthea learned that Araspas had gone18 away, she sent word to Cyrus, saying: "Do not be distressed, Cyrus, that Araspas has gone over to the enemy; for if you will allow me to send to my husband, I can guarantee you that a much more faithful friend will come to you than Araspas was. And what is more, I know that he will come to you with as many troops as he can bring. For while the father of the present king was his friend, this present king once even attempted to separate me from my husband. Inasmuch, therefore, as he considers the king an insolent scoundrel, I am sure that he would be glad to transfer his allegiance to such a man as you."

[46] When Cyrus heard that, he bade her send word to her husband; and she did so. And when Abradatas read the cipher message sent by his wife and was informed how matters stood otherwise, he joyfully proceeded with about a thousand horse to join Cyrus. When he came up to the Persian sentries, he sent to Cyrus to let him know who it was; and Cyrus gave orders to take him at once to his wife.

[47] And when Abradatas and his wife saw each other they embraced each other with joy, as was natural, considering they had not expected ever to meet again. Thereafter Panthea told of Cyrus's piety and self-restraint and of his compassion for her.

"Tell me, Panthea," said Abradatas when he heard19 this, "what can I do to pay the debt of gratitude that you and I owe to Cyrus?"

"What else, pray," said Panthea, "than to try to be to him what he has been to you?"

[48] Later Abradatas went to Cyrus. When he saw him he took his right hand in his and said: "In return for the kindnesses you have done us, Cyrus, I do not know what more to say than that I offer myself to you to be your friend, your servant, your ally. And in whatsoever enterprise I see you engage, I shall try to co-operate with you to the very best of my ability."

[49] "And I accept your offer," said Cyrus. "And now I will take leave of you and let you go to dinner with your wife. Some other time you will be expected to dine at my headquarters with your friends and mine."

[50] After this, as Abradatas observed that Cyrus was busily engaged with the scythe-bearing chariots and the mailed horses and riders, he tried to contribute from his own cavalry as many as a hundred chariots like them; and he made ready to lead them in person upon his chariot. [51] He had the harnessing of his own chariot, moreover, arranged with four poles and eight horses abreast; [and his wife, Panthea, with here own money had a golden corselet made for him and a helmet and armlet of gold;] and he had the horses of his chariot equipped with armour of solid bronze.

[52] Such was the work of Abradatas; and when Cyrus saw his chariot with four poles, he conceived the idea that it was possible to make one even with eight poles, so as to move with eight yoke of oxen the lowest story of his movable towers; including the wheels, this portion was about three fathoms high from the ground. [53] Moreover, when such towers were taken along with each division of the army, it seemed to him that they were a great help to his own phalanx and would occasion great loss to the ranks of the enemy. And on the different stories he constructed galleries also and battlements; and on each tower he stationed twenty men.

[54] Now when all the appurtenances of his towers were put together, he made an experiment of their draught; and the eight yoke of oxen drew the tower with the men upon it more easily than each individual yoke could draw its usual load of baggage; for the load of baggage was about twenty-five talents20 to the yoke; whereas the weight of the tower, on which the timbers were as thick as those of the tragic stage, together with the twenty men and their arms amounted to less than fifteen talents to each yoke of oxen.

[55] Inasmuch, therefore, as he found that the hauling of the towers was easy, he made ready to take them with the army, for he thought that seizing an advantage in time of war was at once safety and justice and happiness.

1 The allies beg Cyrus to stay

2 The conference on the continuance of the war

3 I. iv. 27-28

4 Cyrus closes the debate

5 The battle against cold and hunger

6 Fortified posts in the enemy's country

7 The unanimous decision for war

8 Measures for strength and health

9 The king leaves Babylon

10 Cyrus increases his cavalry

11 Cyrus introduces a corps of chariots of war

12 Araspas and Panthea

13 She appeals to Cyrus

14 Cyrus discusses with Araspas his fall

15 Cyrus sends him as a spy

16 Doctrine of the duality of the soul

17 Cyrus's final instructions to Araspas

18 Panthea sends for Abradatas

19 Abradatas makes common cause with Cyrus

20 That is, about 1400 pounds; the Attic talent is equivalent to 55 3/4 pounds avoirdupois.


I. So when they had prayed to the gods they1 went back to their posts; and while Cyrus and his staff were still engaged with the sacrifice, their attendants brought them meat and drink. And Cyrus remained standing just as he was and first offered to the gods a part and then began his breakfast, and kept giving a share of it also from time to time to any one who most needed it. And when he had poured a libation and prayed, he drank; and the rest, his staff-officers, followed his example. After that, he prayed to ancestral Zeus to be their guide and helper and then mounted his horse and bade his staff do the same. [2] Now all Cyrus's staff were panoplied in armour the same as his: purple tunics, bronze corselets, bronze helmets with white plumes, and sabres; and each had a single spear with a shaft of cornel wood. Their horses were armed with frontlets, breast-pieces, and thigh-pieces of bronze; these served to protect the thighs of the rider as well. The arms of Cyrus differed from those of the rest in this only, that while the rest were overlaid with the ordinary gold colour, Cyrus's arms flashed like a mirror.

[3] Then, when he had mounted his horse and sat2 looking off in the direction he was to take, there was a clap of thunder on the right. "Almighty Zeus, we will follow thee," he cried, and started, with Chrysantas, the master of the horse, and the cavalry on the right, and on the left Arsamas and the infantry. [4] And he gave orders to keep an eye upon his ensign and advance in even step. Now his ensign was a golden eagle with outspread wings mounted upon a long shaft. And this continues even unto this day as the ensign of the Persian king.

Before they came in sight of the enemy, he halted the army as many as three times. [5] But when they had advanced about twenty stadia, then they began to get sight of the enemy's army coming on to meet them. And when they were all in sight of3 one another and the enemy became aware that they greatly outflanked the Persians on both sides, Croesus halted his centre--for otherwise it is impossible to execute a surrounding manoeuvre--and began to wheel the wings around to encompass the Persians, thus making his own lines on either flank in form like a gamma, so as to close in and attack on all three sides at once. [6] But Cyrus, although he saw this movement, did not any the more recede but led on just as before.

"Do you observe, Chrysantas, where the wings are drawing off to form their angle with the centre?" he asked, as he noticed at what a distance from the centre column on both sides they made their turning point, and how far they were pushing forward their wings in executing their flanking movement.

"Indeed I do," answered Chrysantas, "and I am surprised, too; for it strikes me that they are drawing their wings a long way off from their centre."

"Aye, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "and from ours, too."

[7] "What, pray, is the reason for that?"

"Evidently because they are afraid their wings will get too close to us while their centre is still far away and that we shall thus close with them."

"Then," said Chrysantas, "how will the one division be able to support the other, when they are so far apart?"

"Well," answered Cyrus, "it is obvious that just as soon as the wings now advancing in column get directly opposite the flanks of our army, they will face about so as to form front and then advance upon us from all three sides simultaneously; for it is their intention to close in on us on all sides at once."

[8] "Well," said Chrysantas, "do you then think their plan a good one?"

"Yes; to meet what they see. But in the face of what they do not see, it is even worse than if they were coming on in column. But do you, Arsamas,"4 said he, "lead on your infantry slowly, just as you see me moving; and you, Chrysantas, follow along with the cavalry in an even line with him; meanwhile I shall go to the point where it seems to me most advantageous to open the battle; and at the same time, as I pass along, I will take observations and see how everything is with our side. [9] But when I reach the spot, and as soon as in our advance we are near enough together, I will begin the paean, and then do you press on. And the moment we come to close quarters with the enemy, you will perceive it, for there will be no little noise, I presume; and at the same moment Abradatas will charge with his chariots upon the enemy's lines--for so he will be instructed to do--and you must follow him, keeping as close as possible behind the chariots. For in this way we shall best throw the enemy into confusion and then fall upon them. And I also shall be there as soon as I can, please God, to join in the pursuit."

[10] When he had spoken these words, he passed5 along the lines the watchword, Zeus our Saviour and Guide, and rode on. And as he passed between the lines of chariots and heavy-armed infantry and bestowed a glance upon some of those in the lines, he would say: "What a pleasure it is, my friends, to look into your faces." And then again in the presence of others he would say: "I trust you remember, men, that in the present battle not only is to-day's victory at stake, but also the first victory you won and all our future success." [11] Before still others, as he passed along, he would remark: "For all time to come, my men, we shall never have any more fault to find with the gods; for they have given us the opportunity of winning many blessings. So let us prove ourselves valiant men." [12] Passing still others he said: "To what fairer common feast6 could we ever invite each other, my men, than to this one? For now by showing ourselves brave men we may each contribute many good things for our mutual benefit." [13] Passing others he would say: "I suppose that you understand, men, that pursuing, dealing blows and death, plunder, fame, freedom, power--all these are now held up as prizes for the victors; the cowardly, of course, have the reverse of all this. Whoever, therefore, cares for himself, let him fight with me; for I will never bring myself to do anything base or cowardly, if I can help it." [14] But whenever he came past any of those who had fought under him before, he would say: "What need to say anything to you, my men? For you know how the brave celebrate a day in battle, and how cowards."

[15] And as he passed along and came to Abradatas, he stopped; and Abradatas, handing the reins to his groom, came toward him, and others also of those whose positions were near, both foot and chariot-drivers, ran up. And then to the company gathered about him Cyrus said: "Abradatas, God has approved7 your request that you and your men should take the front ranks among the allies. So now remember this, when presently it becomes necessary for you to enter the conflict, that Persians will not only be your witnesses but will also follow you and will not let you go into the conflict unsupported."

[16] "Well," answered Abradatas, "to me at least our part of the army seems to be all right; but I am anxious for the flanks; for I see the enemy's wings stretching out strong with chariots and troops of every description, while in the centre there is nothing opposed to our side except chariots; and so if I had not obtained this position by lot, I should, for my part, be ashamed of being here, so much the safest position do I think I occupy."

[17] "Well," said Cyrus, "if your part is all right,8 never fear for the others; for with the help of the gods I will clear those flanks of enemies for you. And do not you hurl yourself upon the opposing ranks, I adjure you, until you see in flight those whom you now fear." Cyrus indulged in such boastful speech only on the eve of battle; at other times he was never boastful at all; and he went on: "But when you see them in flight, then be sure that I am already at hand, and charge upon those fellows; for at that moment you will find your opponents most cowardly and your own men valiant.

[18] "But now, Abradatas, while you have time, by all means ride along your line of chariots and exhort your men to the charge, cheering them by your own looks and buoying them up with hopes. Furthermore, inspire them with a spirit of rivalry that you and your division may prove yourselves the best of the charioteers. And that will be worth while; for be assured that if we are successful to-day, all men in future will say that nothing is more profitable than valour."

Abradatas accordingly mounted and drove along and did as Cyrus had suggested.

[19] And as Cyrus passed along again, he came to9 the left wing, where Hystaspas was with half the Persian cavalry; he called him and said: "Now, Hystaspas, you see some use for your speed; for now, if we can kill the enemy before they kill us, not one of us will perish."

[20] "Well," said Hystaspas laughing, "we will take care of those opposite us; assign those on the flank to another division, so that they also may have something to do."

"Why," said Cyrus, "I am going on to them myself. But remember this, Hystaspas, no matter to which of us God gives the victory first, if afterwards anything is left of any part of the enemy, let us all engage any force that still continues the fight."

[21] Thus he spoke and passed on. And as he10 went along the flank, he came to the general in command of the chariots there and to him he said: "Yes, I am coming to help you; but when you see us charging on the extremity of the enemy's wing, then do you try at the same time to break through their lines; for you will be in a much securer position if you get clear through than if you are enclosed within their line."

[22] And as he passed on again and came behind11 the women's carriages, he ordered Artagerses and Pharnuchus with their respective regiments of infantry and cavalry to stay there. "But," said he, "when you see me charging against those opposite our right wing, do you also attack those opposite you. And you will be in a phalanx--the formation in which you would be strongest--and take the enemy on their flank, the position in which an army is weakest. And, as you see, their cavalry stands furthest out; so by all means send against them the brigade of camels, and be assured that even before the battle begins you will see the enemy in a ridiculous plight."

[23] When Cyrus had completed his round of the12 troops, he passed on to the right wing. And Croesus, thinking that the centre, which he commanded in person, was already nearer to the enemy than the wings that were spreading out beyond, gave a signal to his wings not to go out any further but to halt and face about. And when they had halted, and stood facing Cyrus's army, Croesus gave them the signal to advance against the foe. [24] And so the three phalanxes advanced upon the army of Cyrus, one from in front, the other two against his wings, one from the right, the other from the left; in consequence, great fear came upon all his army. For just like a little tile set inside a large one,13 Cyrus's army was encompassed by the enemy on every side, except the rear, with horsemen and hoplites, with targeteers and bowmen and chariots. [25] Still, when Cyrus gave the command, they all turned and faced the enemy. And deep silence reigned on every hand because of their apprehension as to what was coming. Then, when it seemed to Cyrus to be just the right time, he began the paean and all the army joined in the chant. [26] After it was finished, together they14 raised the battle-shout to Enyalius, and in that instant Cyrus dashed forward; and at once he hurled his cavalry upon the enemy's flank and in a moment he was engaged with them hand to hand. With a rapid movement the infantry followed him in good order and began to envelop the enemy on this side and on that, so that he had them at a great disadvantage; for he clashed with a phalanx against their flank; and as a result, the enemy soon were in headlong flight.

[27] As soon as Artagerses saw Cyrus in action,15 he delivered his attack on the enemy's left, putting forward the camels, as Cyrus had directed. But while the camels were still a great way off, the horses gave way before them; some took fright and ran away, others began to rear, while others plunged into one another; for such is the usual effect that camels produce upon horses. [28] And Artagerses, with his men in order, fell upon them in their confusion; and at the same moment the chariots also charged on both the right and the left. And many in their flight from the chariots were slain by the cavalry following up their attack upon the flank, and many also trying to escape from the cavalry were caught by the chariots.

[29] And Abradatas also lost no more time, but16 shouting, "Now, friends, follow me," he swept forward, showing no mercy to his horses but drawing blood from them in streams with every stroke of the lash. And the rest of the chariot-drivers also rushed forward with him. And the opposing chariots at once broke into flight before them; some, as they fled, took up their dismounted17 fighting men, others left theirs behind.

[30] But Abradatas plunged directly through them and hurled himself upon the Egyptian phalanx; and the nearest of those who were arrayed with him also joined in the charge. Now, it has been demonstrated on many other occasions that there is no stronger phalanx than that which is composed of comrades that are close friends; and it was shown to be true on this occasion. For it was only the personal friends and mess-mates of Abradatas who pressed home the charge with him, while the rest of the charioteers, when they saw that the Egyptians with their dense throng withstood them, turned aside after the fleeing chariots and pursued them. [31] But in the place where Abradatas and his companions charged, the Egyptians could not make an opening for them because the men on either side of them stood firm; consequently, those of the enemy who stood upright were struck in the furious charge of the horses and overthrown, and those who fell were crushed to pieces by the horses and the wheels, they and their arms; and whatever was caught in the scythes--everything, arms and men, was horribly mangled.

[32] As in this indescribable confusion the wheels bounded over the heaps of every sort, Abradatas and others of those who went with him into the charge were thrown to the ground, and there, though they proved themselves men of valour, they were cut down and slain.

Then the Persians, following up the attack at the18 point where Abradatas and his men had made their charge, made havoc of the enemy in their confusion; but where the Egyptians were still unharmed--and there were many such--they advanced to oppose the Persians. [33] Here, then, was a dreadful conflict with spears and lances and swords. The Egyptians, however, had the advantage both in numbers and in weapons; for the spears that they use even unto this day are long and powerful, and their shields cover their bodies much more effectually than corselets and targets, and as they rest against the shoulder they are a help in shoving. So, locking their shields Together, they advanced and showed. [34] And because the Persians had to hold out their little shields clutched in their hands, they were unable to hold the line, but were forced back foot by foot, giving and taking blows, until they came up under cover of the moving towers. When they reached that point, the Egyptians in turn received a volley from the towers; and the forces in the extreme rear would not allow any retreat on the part of either archers or lancers, but with drawn swords they compelled them to shoot and hurl. [35] Then there was a dreadful carnage, an awful din of arms and missiles of every sort, and a great tumult of men, as they called to one another for aid, or exhorted one another, or invoked the gods.

[36] At this juncture Cyrus came up in pursuit of19 the part that had been opposed to him; and when he saw that the Persians had been forced from their position, he was grieved; but as he realized that he could in no way check the enemy's progress more quickly than by marching around behind them, he ordered his men to follow him and rode around to the rear. There he fell upon the enemy as they faced the other way and smote them and slew many of them. [37] And when the Egyptians became aware of their position they shouted out that the enemy was in their rear, and amidst the blows they faced about. And then they fought promiscuously both foot and horse; and a certain man, who had fallen under Cyrus's horse and was under the animal's heels, struck the horse in the belly with his sword. And the horse thus wounded plunged convulsively and threw Cyrus off. [38] Then one might have realized how much it is worth to an officer to be loved by his men; for they all at once cried out and leaping forward they fought, shoved and were shoved, gave and received blows. And one of his aides-de-camp leaped down from his own horse and helped him mount upon it; [39] and when Cyrus had mounted he saw that the Egyptians were now assailed on every side; for Hystaspas also and Chrysantas had now come up with the Persian cavalry. But he did not permit them yet to charge into the Egyptian phalanx, but bade them shoot and hurl from a distance.

And when, as he rode round, he came to the20 engines, he decided to ascend one of the towers and take a view to see if anywhere any part of the enemy's forces were making a stand to fight. [40] And when he had ascended the tower, he looked down upon the field full of horses and men and chariots, some fleeing, some pursuing, some victorious, other vanquished; but nowhere could he discover any division that was still standing its ground, except that of the Egyptians; and they, inasmuch as they found themselves in a desperate condition, formed in a complete circle and crouched behind their shields, so that only their weapons were visible; but they were no longer accomplishing anything, but were suffering very heavy loss.

[41] And Cyrus, filled with admiration for their21 conduct and moved to pity for them that men as brave as they were should be slain, drew off all those who were fighting around the ring and allowed no one to fight any more. Then he sent a herald to them to ask whether they all wished to die for those who had treacherously deserted them or to save their lives and at the same time be accounted brave men.

"How could we save our lives," they answered, "and at the same time be accounted brave men?"

[42] "You can," Cyrus replied, "because we are witnesses that you are the only ones who stood your ground and were willing to fight."

"Well," answered the Egyptians, "granting that, what can we do consistently with honour to save our lives?"

"You could surrender your arms," Cyrus answered again, "and become friends of those who choose to save you, when it is in their power to destroy you."

[43] "And if we become your friends," they asked on hearing that, "how will you see fit to deal with us?"

"I will do you favours and expect favours from you," answered Cyrus.

"What sort of favours?" asked the Egyptians in turn.

"As long as the war continues," Cyrus made22 answer to this, "I would give you larger pay than you were now receiving; and when peace is made, to those of you who care to stay with me I will give lands and cities and wives and servants."

[44] On hearing this, the Egyptians begged to be excused from taking part in any campaign against Croesus, for with him alone, they said, they were acquainted; all other stipulations they accepted, and gave and received pledges of good faith.

[45] And the Egyptians who then stayed in the country have continued loyal subjects to the king even unto this day; and Cyrus gave them cities, some in the interior, which even to this day are called Egyptian cities, and besides these Larissa and Cyllene near Cyme on the coast; and their descendants dwell there even unto this day.

When he had accomplished this, it was already dark; and Cyrus led back his forces and encamped in Thymbrara.

[46] The Egyptians were the only ones of all the23 enemy that distinguished themselves in the battle, while of those under Cyrus the Persian cavalry seemed to be the most efficient. And therefore the equipment which Cyrus had then provided for his cavalry continues in use even to our own times.

[47] The scythe-bearing chariots also won extraordinary distinction, so that this military device also has been retained even to our day by each successive king.

[48] The camels, however, did nothing more than frighten the horses; their riders could neither kill any one nor be killed by any of the enemy's cavalry, for not a horse would come near them.

[49] What they did do seemed useful enough; but be that as it may, no gentleman is willing to keep a camel for riding or to practise for fighting in war upon one. And so they have again taken their proper position and do service among the pack-animals.

1 Cyrus makes ready for the advance

2 His army moves forward

3 Croesus begins his flanking movement

4 Cyrus gives orders how to meet it

5 He encourages his men

6 A "common feast," eranos, was a feast where all the participants contributed an equal share--a picnic. The eranos might also be a society or club in which all the members contributed equally to some public cause.

7 His last interview with Abradatas

8 His confidence in the outcome

9 He exhorts other officers: (1) Hystaspas,

10 (2) the commander of the chariots,

11 (3) Pheraulas and Artagerses

12 Croesus orders his attack;

13 The point of Xenophon's simile is clear, when we recall the marble tiling of the temple roofs of his time.

14 but Cyrus anticipates him on the right,

15 Artagerses on the left

16 Abradatas charges to his death

17 Compare Xen. Cyrop. 3.3.60; Xen. Cyrop. 6.1.27

18 The Persians charge the Egyptian phalanx

19 Cyrus falls upon their rear

20 Cyrus surveys the field from a movable tower

21 He spares the Egyptians

22 and wins their allegiance

23 Observations on the battle


I. Such was Cyrus's address; and after him1 Chrysantas rose and spoke as follows: "Well, gentlemen, I have noticed often enough before now that a good ruler is not at all different from a good father. For as fathers provide for their children so that they may never be in want of the good things of life, so Cyrus seems to me now to be giving us counsel how we may best continue in prosperity. But there is one thing that he has not stated so clearly, it seems to me, as he should have done, and that I will try to present to any who do not know about it. [2] Bethink you, then, of this: what city that is hostile could be taken or what city that is friendly could be preserved by soldiers who are insubordinate? What army of disobedient men could gain a victory? How could men be more easily defeated in battle than when they begin to think each of his own individual safety? And what possible success could be achieved by such as do not obey their superiors? What state could be administered according to its laws, or what private establishments could be maintained, and how could ships arrive at their destination?

[3] "And as for us, how have we secured the good things we now have, except by obedience to our commander? For by that course we always quickly reached our required destination, whether by day or by night, and following our commander in close array we were invincible, and we left half done none of the tasks committed to us. If, therefore, obedience to one's commander is, as it seems, the first essential to achieving success, then you may be sure that this same course is the first essential to ensuring its permanence.

[4] "Heretofore, you know, many of us had no2 command but were under command; but now all of you here are so situated that you have command, some of larger, some of smaller divisions. Therefore, as you yourselves will expect to exercise authority over those under your command, so let us also give our obedience to those whom it is our duty to obey. And we must distinguish ourselves from slaves in this way, that, whereas slaves serve their masters against their wills, we, if indeed we claim to be free, must do of our own free will all that seems to be of the first importance. And you will find that among states, even when the government is not a monarchy, that state which most readily obeys its officers is least likely to be compelled to submit to its enemies.

[5] "Let us, therefore, present ourselves before3 our ruler's headquarters yonder, as Cyrus bids; let us devote ourselves to those pursuits by which we shall best be able to hold fast to that which we ought, and let us offer ourselves for whatever service Cyrus may need us for. And this trust will not be abused, for we may be sure that Cyrus will never be able to find anything in which he can employ us for his own advantage and not equally for ours; for we have common interests and we have common enemies."

[6] When Chrysantas had finished this address,4 many others also both of the Persians and the allies rose to support him. They passed a resolution that the nobles should always be in attendance at court and be in readiness for whatever service Cyrus wished until he should dismiss them. And as they then resolved, so even unto this day those who are the subjects of the great king in Asia continue to do--they are constantly in attendance at the court of their princes. [7] And the institutions which Cyrus inaugurated as a means of securing the kingdom permanently to himself and the/ Persians, as has been set forth in the foregoing narrative, these the succeeding kings have preserved unchanged even to this day. [8] And it is the same with these as with everything else: whenever the officer in charge is better, the administration of the institution is purer; but when he is worse, the administration is more corrupt.Accordingly, the nobles came to Cyrus's court with their horses and their spears, for so it had been decreed by the best of those who with him had made the conquest of the kingdom.

[9] Cyrus next appointed officers to have charge of5 the various departments; for example, tax-collectors, paymasters, boards of public works, keepers of his estates, and stewards of his commissary department. He appointed also as superintendents of his horses and hounds those who he thought would keep these creatures in a condition most efficient for his use.

[10] But he did not in the same way leave to others the precaution of seeing that those whom he thought he ought to have as his associates in establishing the permanence of his success should be the ablest men available, but he considered that this responsibility was his own. For he knew that if ever there should be occasion for fighting, he would then have to select from their number men to stand beside and behind him, men in whose company also he would have to meet the greatest dangers; from their number likewise he knew that he would have to appoint his captains both of foot and of horse.

[11] Besides, if generals should be needed where he himself could not be, he knew that they would have to be commissioned from among that same number. And he knew that he must employ some of these to be governors and satraps of cities or of whole nations, and that he must send others on embassies--an office which he considered of the very first importance for obtaining without war whatever he might want.

[12] If, therefore, those by whom the most6 numerous and most important affairs of state were to be transacted were not what they ought to be, he thought that his government would be a failure. But if they were all that they ought to be, he believed that everything would succeed. In this conviction, therefore, he took upon himself this charge; and he determined that the same practice of virtue should be his as well. For he thought that it was not possible for him to incite others to good and noble deeds, if he were not himself such as he ought to be.

[13] When he had arrived at this conclusion, he thought, first of all, that he needed leisure if he were to be able to confine his attention to affairs of paramount importance. He decided, then, that it was out of the question for him to neglect the revenues, for he foresaw that there would necessarily be enormous expenses connected with a vast empire; and on the other hand, he knew that for him to be constantly engaged in giving his personal attention to his manifold possessions would leave him with no time to care for the welfare of the whole realm.

[14] As he thus pondered how the business of7 administration might be successfully conducted and how he still might have the desired leisure, he somehow happened to think of his military organization: in general, the sergeants care for the ten men under them, the lieutenants for the sergeants, the colonels for the lieutenants, the generals for the colonels, and thus no one is uncared for, even though there be many brigades; and when the commander-in-chief wishes to do anything with his army, it is sufficient for him to issue his commands only to his brigadier-generals. [15] On this same model, then, Cyrus centralized the administrative functions also. And so it was possible for him, by communicating with only a few officers, to have no part of his administration uncared for. In this way he now enjoyed more leisure than one who has care of a single household or a single ship.

When he had thus organized his own functions in the government, he instructed those about him to follow the same plan of organization.

[16] In this way, then, he secured leisure for himself and for his ministers; and then he began to take measures that his associates in power should be such as they ought to be. In the first place, if any of those who were able to live by the labours of others failed to attend at court, he made inquiry after them; for he thought that those who came would not be willing to do anything dishonourable or immoral, partly because they were in the presence of their sovereign and partly also because they knew that, whatever they did, they would be under the eyes of the best men there; whereas, in the case of those who did not, come he believed that they absented themselves because they were guilty of some form of intemperance or injustice or neglect of duty.

[17] We will describe first, therefore, the manner8 in which he obliged all such to come; he would direct some one of the best friends he had at court to seize some of the property of the man who did not present himself and to declare that he was taking only what was his own. So, whenever this happened, those who lost their effects would come to him to complain that they had been wronged. [18] Cyrus, however, would not be at leisure for a long time to give such men a hearing, and when he did give them a hearing he would postpone the trial for a long time. By so doing he thought he would accustom them to pay their court and that he would thus excite less ill-feeling than he would if he compelled them to come by imposing penalties.

[19] That was one of his methods of training them to attend. Another was to give those who did attend the easiest and the most profitable employment; and another was never to distribute any favours among those who failed to attend. [20] But the surest way of compulsion was this: if a man paid no attention to any of these three methods, he would take away all that he had and give it to some one else who he thought would present himself when he was wanted; and thus he would get a useful friend in exchange for a useless one. And the king to-day likewise makes inquiries if any one absents himself whose duty it is to be present.

[21] Thus, then, he dealt with those who failed9 to attend at court. But in those who did present themselves he believed that he could in no way more effectively inspire a desire for the beautiful and the good than by endeavouring, as their sovereign, to set before his subjects a perfect model of virtue in his own person. [22] For he thought he perceived that men are made better through even the written law, while the good ruler he regarded as a law with eyes for men, because he is able not only to give commandments but also to see the transgressor and punish him.

[23] In this conviction, he showed himself in the10 first place more devout in his worship of the gods, now that he was more fortunate; and then for the first time the college of magi was instituted... and he never failed to sing hymns to the gods at daybreak and to sacrifice daily to whatsoever deities the magi directed. [24] Thus the institutions established by him at that time have continued in force with each successive king even to this day. In this respect, therefore, the rest of the Persians also imitated him from the first; for they believed that they would be more sure of good fortune if they revered the gods just as he did who was their sovereign and the most fortunate of all; and they thought also that in doing this they would please Cyrus. [25] And Cyrus considered that the piety of his friends was a good thing for him, too; for he reasoned as they do who prefer, when embarking on a voyage, to set sail with pious companions rather than with those who are believed to have committed some impiety. And besides, he reasoned that if all his associates were god-fearing men, they would be less inclined to commit crime against one another or against himself, for he considered himself their benefactor; [26] and if he made it plain how important he11 held it to be to wrong no one of his friends or allies, and if he always paid scrupulous regard to what was upright, others also, he thought, would be more likely to abstain from improper gains and to endeavour to make their way by upright methods. [27] And he12 thought that he should be more likely to inspire in all respect for others, if he himself were seen to show such respect for all as not to say or do anything improper. [28] And that this would be the result he concluded from the following observation: people have more respect for those who have such respect for others than they have for those who have not; they show it toward even those whom they do not fear--to say nothing of what they would show toward their kings; and women also whom they see showing respect for others they are more inclined to look upon in turn with respect.

[29] And again, obedience he thought would be13 most deeply impressed upon his attendants, if he showed that he honoured those who unhesitatingly obeyed more than those who thought they exhibited the greatest and most elaborate virtues. And thus he continued throughout to judge and to act.

[30] And by making his own self-control an example,14 he disposed all to practise that virtue more diligently. For when the weaker members of society see that one who is in a position where he may indulge himself to excess is still under self-control, they naturally strive all the more not to be found guilty of any excessive indulgence. [31] <Moreover, he distinguished between considerateness and self-control in this way: the considerate are those who avoid what is offensive when seen; the self-controlled avoid that which is offensive, even when unseen.> [32] And he thought that temperance could be best inculcated, if he showed that he himself was never carried away from the pursuit of the good by any pleasures of the moment, but that he was willing to labour first for the attainment of refined pleasures.

[33] To sum up, then, by setting such an example Cyrus secured at court great correctness of conduct on the part of his subordinates, who gave precedence to their superiors; and thus he also secured from them a great degree of respect and politeness toward one another. And among them you would never have detected any one raising his voice in anger or giving vent to his delight in boisterous laughter; but on seeing them you would have judged that they were in truth making a noble life their aim.

[34] Such was what they did and such what they15 witnessed day by day at court. With a view to training in the arts of war, Cyrus used to take out hunting those who he thought ought to have such practice, for he held that this was altogether the best training in military science and also the truest in horsemanship. [35] For it is the exercise best adapted to give riders a firm seat in all sorts of places, because they have to pursue the animals wherever they may run; and it is also the best exercise to make them active on horseback because of their rivalry and eagerness to get the game. [36] By this same exercise, too, he was best able to accustom his associates to temperance and the endurance of hardship, to heat and cold, to hunger and thirst. And even to this day the king and the rest that make up his retinue continue to engage in the same sport.

[37] From all that has been said, therefore, it is evident that he believed that no one had any right to rule who was not better than his subjects; and it is evident, too, that in thus drilling those about him he himself got his own best training both in temperance and in the arts and pursuits of war. [38] For he not only used to take the others out hunting, whenever there was no need of his staying at home, but even when there was some need of his staying at home, he would himself hunt the animals that were kept in the parks. And he never dined without first having got himself into a sweat, nor would he have any food given to his horses without their having first been duly exercised; and to these hunts he would invite also the mace-bearers in attendance upon him. [39] The result of all this constant training was that16 he and his associates greatly excelled in all manly exercises. Such an example did he furnish by his own personal conduct.

And besides this, he used to reward with gifts and positions of authority and seats of honour and all sorts of preferment others whom he saw devoting themselves most eagerly to the attainment of excellence; and thus he inspired in all an earnest ambition, each striving to appear as deserving as he could in the eyes of Cyrus.

[40] We think, furthermore, that we have observed17 in Cyrus that he held the opinion that a ruler ought to excel his subjects not only in point of being actually better than they, but that he ought also to cast a sort of spell upon them. At any rate, he chose to wear the Median dress himself and persuaded his associates also to adopt it; for he thought that if any one had any personal defect, that dress would help to conceal it, and that it made the wearer look very tall and very handsome. [41] For they have shoes of such a form that without being detected the wearer can easily put something into the soles so as to make him look taller than he is. He encouraged also the fashion of pencilling the eyes, that they might seem more lustrous than they are, and of using cosmetics to make the complexion look better than nature made it.

[42] He trained his associates also not to spit or to wipe the nose in public, and not to turn round to look at anything, as being men who wondered at nothing. All this he thought contributed, in some measure, to their appearing to their subjects men who could not lightly be despised.

[43] Those, therefore, who he thought ought to be18 in authority he thus prepared in his own school by careful training as well as by the respect which he commanded as their leader; those, on the other hand, whom he was training to be servants he did not encourage to practise any of the exercises of freemen; neither did he allow them to own weapons; but he took care that they should not suffer any deprivation in food or drink on account of the exercises in which they served the freemen. [44] And he managed it in this way: whenever they were to drive the animals down into the plains for the horsemen, he allowed those of the lower classes, but none of the freemen, to take food with them on the hunt; and whenever there was an expedition to make, he would lead the serving men to water, just as he did the beasts of burden. And again, when it was time for luncheon, he would wait for them until they could get something to eat, so that they should not get so ravenously hungry. And so this class also called him "father," just as the nobles did, for he provided for them well <so that they might spend all their lives as slaves, without a protest>.

[45] Thus he secured for the whole Persian empire19 the necessary stability; and as for himself, he was perfectly confident that there was no danger of his suffering aught at the hands of those whom he had subdued. And the ground of his confidence was this--that he believed them to be powerless and he saw that they were unorganized; and besides that, not one of them came near him either by night or by day. [46] But there were some whom he considered very powerful and whom he saw well armed and well organized; and some of them, he knew, had cavalry under their command, others infantry; and he was aware that many of them had the assurance to think that they were competent to rule; and these not only came in very close touch with his guards but many of them came frequently in contact with Cyrus himself, and this was unavoidable if he was to make any use of them--this, then, was the quarter from which there was the greatest danger that something might happen to him in any one of many ways.

[47] So, as he cast about in his mind how to remove any danger that might arise from them also, he rejected the thought of disarming them and making them incapable of war; for he decided that that would be unjust, and besides he thought that this would be destruction to his empire. On the other hand, he believed that to refuse to admit them to his presence or to show that he mistrusted them would lead at once to hostilities. [48] But better than any of these ways, he recognized that there was one course that would be at once the most honourable and the most conducive to his own personal security, and that was, if possible, to make those powerful nobles better friends to himself than to one another. We shall, therefore, attempt to explain the method that he seems to have taken to gain their friendship.

1 Chrysantas emphasizes the importance of discipline

2 and the need of obedience to Cyrus

3 Duty of attendance at court

4 Policies adopted

5 Cyrus appoints many officers

6 The importance of wise appointments

7 He models his civil service after the army

8 How he enforced the discipline

9 Cyrus resolves to be a model in

10 (1) religion,

11 (2) uprightness,

12 (3) considerateness,

13 (4) obedience,

14 (5) temperance

15 The chase as a means of discipline

16 Excellence encouraged

17 He adopts the Median costume

18 His policy toward the servant class

19 His personal security