Anabasis eBook

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

As soon as the sacrifices were over, they handed over the hides of the beasts to Dracontius, and bade him lead the way to his racecourse.  He merely waved his hand and pointed to where they were standing, and said, “There, this ridge is just the place for running, anywhere, everywhere.”  “But how,” it was asked, “will they manage to wrestle on the hard scrubby ground?” “Oh! worse knocks for those who are thrown,” the president replied.  There was a mile race for boys, the majority being captive lads; and for the long race more than sixty Cretans competed; there was wrestling, boxing, and the pankration[7].  Altogether it was a beautiful spectacle.  There was a large number of entries, and the emulation, with their companions, male and female, 27 standing as spectators, was immense.  There was horse-racing also; the riders had to gallop down a steep incline to the sea, and then turn and come up again to the altar, and on the descent more than half rolled head over heels, and then back they came toiling up the tremendous steep, scarcely out of a walking pace.  Loud were the shouts, the laughter, and the cheers.

[7] The pankration combined both wrestling and boxing.


[In the preceding portion of the narrative a detailed account is given of all that the Hellenes did, and how they fared on the march up with Cyrus; and also of all that befell them on their march subsequently, until they reached the seaboard of the Euxine Sea, or Pontus, and the Hellenic city of Trapezus, where they duly offered the sacrifice for safe deliverance which they had vowed to offer as soon as they set foot on a friendly soil.]


After this they met and took counsel concerning the remainder of the 1 march.  The first speaker was Antileon of Thurii.  He rose and said:  “For my part, sirs, I am weary by this time of getting kit together and packing up for a start, of walking and running and carrying heavy arms, and of tramping along in line, or mounting guard, and doing battle.  The sole desire I now have is to cease from all these pains, and for the future, since here we have the sea before us, to sail on and on, ‘stretched out in sleep,’ like Odysseus, and so to find myself in Hellas.”  When they heard these remarks, the soldiers showed their approval with loud cries of “well said,” and then another spoke to the same effect, and then another, and indeed all present.  Then Cheirisophus got up and said:  “I have a friend, sirs, who, as good hap will have it, is now high admiral, Anaxibius.  If you like to send me to him, I think I can safely promise to return with some men-of-war and other vessels which will carry us.  All you have to do, if you are really minded to go home by sea, is to wait here till I come.  I will be back ere long.”  The soldiers were delighted at these words, and 4 voted that Cheirisophus should set sail on his mission without delay.

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Anabasis from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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