Anabasis eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 339 pages of information about Anabasis.

[5] “Ctesias, the son of Ctesiochus, was a physician of Cnidos. 
    Seventeen years of his life were passed at the court of Persia,
    fourteen in the service of Darios, three in that of Artaxerxes; he
    returned to Greece in 398 B.C.,” and “was employed by Artaxerxes
    in diplomatic services.”  See Mure; also Ch.  Muller, for his life
    and works.  He wrote (1) a history on Persian affairs in three
    parts—­Assyrian, Median, Persian—­with a chapter “On Tributes;”
    (2) a history of Indian affairs (written in the vein of Sir John
    Maundeville, Kt.); (3) a Periplus; (4) a treatise on Mountains;
    (5) a treatise on Rivers.


So died Cyrus; a man the kingliest[1] and most worthy to rule of all 1 the Persians who have lived since the elder Cyrus:  according to the concurrent testimony of all who are reputed to have known him intimately.  To begin from the beginning, when still a boy, and whilst being brought up with his brother and the other lads, his unrivalled excellence was recognised.  For the sons of the noblest Persians, it must be known, are brought up, one and all, at the king’s portals.  Here lessons of sobriety and self-control may largely be laid to heart, while there is nothing base or ugly for eye or ear to feed upon.  There is the daily spectacle ever before the boys of some receiving honour from the king, and again of others receiving dishonour; and the tale of all this is in their ears, so that from earliest boyhood they learn how to rule and to be ruled.

[1] The character now to be drawn is afterwards elaborated into the
    Cyrus of the Cyropaedeia.

In this courtly training Cyrus earned a double reputation; first he was held to be a paragon of modesty among his fellows, rendering an obedience to his elders which exceeded that of many of his own inferiors; and next he bore away the palm for skill in horsemanship and for love of the animal itself.  Nor less in matters of war, in the use of the bow and the javelin, was he held by men in general to be at 5 once the aptest of learners and the most eager practiser.  As soon as his age permitted, the same pre-eminence showed itself in his fondness for the chase, not without a certain appetite for perilous adventure in facing the wild beasts themselves.  Once a bear made a furious rush at him[2], and without wincing he grappled with her, and was pulled from his horse, receiving wounds the scars of which were visible through life; but in the end he slew the creature, nor did he forget him who first came to his aid, but made him enviable in the eyes of many.

[2] The elder Cyrus, when a boy, kills not a bear but a boar.

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