Anabasis eBook

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

At this point Cyrus turned to those who were present and said:  “Such has been the conduct of the prisoner in the past:  such is his language now.  I now call upon you, and you first, Clearchus, to declare your opinion—­what think you?” And Clearchus answered:  “My advice to you is to put this man out of the way as soon as may be, so that we may be saved the necessity of watching him, and have more leisure, as far as he is concerned, to requite the services of those whose friendship is sincere.”—­“To this opinion,” he told us, “the rest of the court adhered.”  After that, at the bidding of Cyrus, each of those present, 10 in turn, including the kinsmen of Orontas, took him by the girdle; which is as much as to say, “Let him die the death,” and then those appointed led him out; and they who in old days were wont to do obeisance to him, could not refrain, even at that moment, from bowing down before him, albeit they knew he was being led forth to death.

After they had conducted him to the tent of Artapates, the trustiest of Cyrus’s wand-bearers, none set eyes upon him ever again, alive or dead.  No one, of his own knowledge, could declare the manner of his death; though some conjectured one thing and some another.  No tomb to mark his resting-place, either then or since, was ever seen.

VII

From this place Cyrus marched through Babylonia three stages—­twelve 1 parasangs.  Now, on the third stage, about midnight, Cyrus held a review of the Hellenes and Asiatics in the plain, expecting that the king would arrive the following day with his army to offer battle.  He gave orders to Clearchus to take command of the right wing, and to Menon the Thessalian of the left, while he himself undertook to the disposition of his own forces in person.  After the review, with the first approach of day, deserters from the great king arrived, bringing Cyrus information about the royal army.  Then Cyrus summoned the generals and captains of the Hellenes, and held a council of war to arrange the plan of battle.  He took this opportunity also to address the following words of compliment and encouragement to the meeting:  “Men of Hellas,” he said, “it is certainly not from dearth of barbarians to fight my battles that I put myself at your head as my allies; but because I hold you to be better and stronger than many barbarians.  That is why I took you.  See then that you prove yourselves to be men worthy of the liberty which you possess, and which I envy you.  Liberty—­it is a thing which, be well assured, I would choose in preference to all my other possessions, multiplied many times.  But I would like you to know into what sort of struggle you are going:  learn its nature from one who knows.  Their numbers are great, and they come on with much noise; but if you can hold out against these two things, I confess I am ashamed to think, what a sorry set of folk you will 4 find the inhabitants of this land to be.  But you are men, and brave you must be, being men:  it is agreed; then if you wish to return home, any of you, I undertake to send you back, in such sort that your friends at home shall envy you; but I flatter myself I shall persuade many of you to accept what I will offer you here, in lieu of what you left at home.”

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Anabasis from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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