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Anabasis

Page: 102

(1) See the "Dict. of Antiq." 622 a. HYBREOS GRAPHE. In the case of common assaults as opposed to indecent assault, the prosecution seems to have been allowable only when the object of a wanton attack was a free person. Cf. Arist. "Rhet." ii. 24.

"A man was left behind from inability to proceed farther; I recognised the poor fellow sufficiently to see that he was one of ours, and I forced you, sir, to carry him to save his life. For if I am not much mistaken, the enemy were close at our heels?" The fellow assented to this. "Well then," said Xenophon, "after I had sent you forward, I overtook you again, as I came up with the rearguard; you were digging a trench with intent to bury the man; I pulled up and said something in commendation; as we stood by the poor fellow twitched his leg, and the bystanders all cried out, 'Why, the man's alive!' Your remark was: 'Alive or not as he likes, I am not going to carry him' Then I struck you. Yes! you are right, for it looked very much as if you knew him to be alive." "Well," said he, "was he any the less dead when I reported him to you?" "Nay," retorted Xenophon, "by the same token we shall all one day be dead, but that is no reason why meantime we should all be buried alive?" Then there was a general shout: "If Xenophon had given the fellow a few more blows, it might have been better." The others were now called upon to state the grounds on which they had been beaten in each case; but when they refused to get up, he proceeded to state them himself.

"I confess, sirs, to having struck certain men for failure in discipline. These were men who were quite content to owe their safety to us. Whilst the rest of the world marched on in rank and did whatever fighting had to be done, they preferred to leave the ranks, and rush forward to loot and enrich themselves at our expense. Now, if this conduct were to be the rule, general ruin would be the result. I do not deny that I have given blows to this man or the other who played the poltroon and refused to get up, helplessly abandoning himself to the enemy; and so I forced them to march on. For once in the severe wintry weather I myself happened to sit down for a long time, whilst waiting for a party who were getting their kit together, and I discovered how difficult it was to get up again and stretch one's legs. After this personal experience, whenever I saw any one else seated in slack and lazy mood, I tried to spur him on. The mere movement and effort to play the man caused warmth and moisture, whereas it was plain that sitting down and keeping quiet helped the blood to freeze and the toes to mortify, calamities which really befell several of the men, as you yourselves are aware.


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