Anabasis eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 284 pages of information about Anabasis.

On hearing this, Xenophon’s troops first breakfasted, and then getting their kit together began their march, desiring to unite with the rest at Calpe’s Haven without loss of time.  As they continued their march, they came across the track of the Arcadians and Achaeans along the road to Calpe, and both divisions arriving eventually at the same place, were overjoyed to see one another again, and they embraced each other like brothers.  Then the Arcadians inquired of Xenophon’s officers—­why they had quenched the watch-fires?  “At first,” said they, “when we lost sight of your watch-fires, we expected you to attack the enemy in the night; and the enemy, so at least we imagined, must have been afraid of that and so set off.  The time at any rate at which they set off would correspond.  But when the requisite time had elapsed and you did not come, we concluded that you must have learnt what was happening to us, and in terror had made a bolt for it to the seaboard.  We resolved not to be left behind by you; and that is how we also came to march hither.”

IV

During this day they contented themselves with bivouacking there on 1 the beach at the harbour.  The place which goes by the name of Calpe Haven is in Asiatic Thrace, the name given to a region extending from the mouth of the Euxine all the way to Heraclea, which lies on the right hand as you sail into the Euxine.  It is a long day’s voyage for a war-ship, using her three banks of oars, from Byzantium to Heraclea, and between these two there is not a single Hellenic or friendly city, but only these Bithynian Thracians, who have a bad reputation for the savagery with which they treat any Hellenes cast ashore by shipwreck or otherwise thrown into their power.

Now the haven of Calpe lies exactly midway, halving the voyage between Byzantium and Heraclea.  It is a long promontory running out into the sea; the seaward portion being a rocky precipice, at no point less than twenty fathoms high; but on the landward side there is a neck 3 about four hundred feet wide; and the space inside the neck is capable of accommodating ten thousand inhabitants, and there is a haven immediately under the crag with a beach facing the west.  Then there is a copious spring of fresh water flowing on the very marge of the sea commanded by the stronghold.  Again, there is plenty of wood of various sorts; but most plentiful of all, fine shipbuilding timber down to the very edge of the sea.  The upland stretches into the heart of the country for twenty furlongs at least.  It is good loamy soil, free from stones.  For a still greater distance the seaboard is thickly grown with large timber trees of every description.  The surrounding country is beautiful and spacious, containing numerous well populated villages.  The soil produces barley and wheat, and pulse of all sorts, millet and sesame, figs in ample supply, with numerous vines producing sweet wines, and indeed everything else except olives.  Such is the character of the country.

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Anabasis from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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