Anabasis eBook

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

But as soon as they had supped and night had fallen, the party under orders set off and occupied the mountain, while the main body rested where they were.  Now as soon as the enemy perceived that the mountain was taken, they banished all thought of sleep, and kept many watch-fires blazing throughout the night.  But at break of day Cheirisophus offered sacrifice, and began advancing along the road, while the detachment which held the mountain advanced pari passu by the high ground.  The larger mass of the enemy, on his side, remained still on the mountain-pass, but a section of them turned to confront the detachment on the heights.  Before the main bodies had time to draw together, the detachment on the height came to close quarters, and the Hellenes were victorious and gave chase.  Meanwhile the light division of the Hellenes, issuing from the plain, were rapidly advancing against the serried lines of the enemy, whilst Cheirisophus followed up with his heavy infantry at quick march.  But the enemy on the road 25 no sooner saw their higher division being worsted than they fled, and some few of them were slain, and a vast number of wicker shields were taken, which the Hellenes hacked to pieces with their short swords and rendered useless.  So when they had reached the summit of the pass, they sacrificed and set up a trophy, and descending into the plain, reached villages abounding in good things of every kind.

VII

After this they marched into the country of the Taochians five 1 stages—­thirty parasangs—­and provisions failed; for the Taochians lived in strong places, into which they had carried up all their stores.  Now when the army arrived before one of these strong places—­a mere fortress, without city or houses, into which a motley crowd of men and women and numerous flocks and herds were gathered—­Cheirisophus attacked at once.  When the first regiment fell back tired, a second advanced, and again a third, for it was impossible to surround the place in full force, as it was encircled by a river.  Presently Xenophon came up with the rearguard, consisting of both light and heavy infantry, whereupon Cheirisophus halted him with the words:  “In the nick of time you have come; we must take this place, for the troops have no provisions, unless we take it.”  Thereupon they consulted together, and to Xenophon’s inquiry, “What it was which hindered their simply walking in?” Cheirisophus replied, “There is just this one narrow approach which you see, but when we attempt to pass it by they roll down volleys of stones from yonder overhanging crag,” pointing up, “and this is the state in which you find yourself, if you chance to be caught;” and he pointed to some poor fellows with their legs or ribs crushed to bits.  “But when they have expended their ammunition,” said Xenophon, “there is nothing else, is there, to hinder our passing?  Certainly, except yonder handful of fellows, there

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Anabasis from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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