Anabasis eBook

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

[1] See Dr. Kiepert, “Man.  Anc.  Geog. (Mr. G. A. Macmillan) iv. 47. 
    The Karduchians or Kurds belong by speech to the Iranian stock,
    forming in fact their farthest outpost to the west, little given
    to agriculture, but chiefly to the breeding of cattle.  Their name,
    pronounced Kardu by the ancient Syrians and Assyrians, Kordu by
    the Armenians (plural Kordukh), first appears in its narrower
    sense in western literature in the pages of the eye-witness
    Xenophon as {Kardoukhoi}.  Later writers knew of a small kingdom
    here at the time of the Roman occupation, ruled by native princes,
    who after Tigranes ii (about 80 B.C.) recognised the overlordship
    of the Armenian king.  Later it became a province of the Sassanid
    kingdom, and as such was in 297 A.D. handed over among the
    regiones transtigritanae to the Roman empire, but in 364 was again
    ceded to Persia.

After hearing these statements, the generals seated apart those who 17 claimed to have any special knowledge of the country in any direction; they put them to sit apart without making it clear which particular route they intended to take.  Finally the resolution to which they came was that they must force a passage through the hills into the territory of the Kurds; since, according to what their informants told them, when they had once passed these, they would find themselves in Armenia—­the rich and large territory governed by Orontas; and from Armenia, it would be easy to proceed in any direction whatever.  Thereupon they offered sacrifice, so as to be ready to start on the march as soon as the right moment appeared to have arrived.  Their chief fear was that the high pass over the mountains must be occupied in advance:  and a general order was issued, that after supper every one should get his kit together for starting, and repose, in readiness to follow as soon as the word of command was given.


[In the preceding portion of the narrative a full account is given of the incidents of the march up to the battle, and of the occurrences after the battle during the truce which was established between the king and the Hellenes, who marched up with Cyrus, and thirdly, of the fighting to which the Hellenes were exposed, after the king and Tissaphernes had broken the treaty, while a Persian army hung on their rear.  Having finally reached a point at which the Tigris was absolutely impassable owing to its depth and breadth, while there was no passage along the bank itself, and the Carduchian hills hung sheer over the river, the generals took the resolution above mentioned of forcing a passage through the mountains.  The information derived from the prisoners taken along the way led them to believe that once across the Carduchian mountains they would have the choice either of crossing the Tigris—­if they liked to do so—­at its sources in Armenia, or of going round them, if so they preferred.  Report further said that the sources of the Euphrates also were not far from those of the Tigris, and this is actually the case.  The advance into the country of the Carduchians was conducted with a view partly to secrecy, and partly to speed, so as to effect their entry before the enemy could occupy the passes.]

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