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Anabasis

Page: 113

Now the haven of Calpe lies exactly midway, halving the voyage between Byzantium and Heraclea. It is a long promontory running out into the sea; the seaward portion being a rocky precipice, at no point less than twenty fathoms high; but on the landward side there is a neck about four hundred feet wide; and the space inside the neck is capable of accommodating ten thousand inhabitants, and there is a haven immediately under the crag with a beach facing the west. Then there is a copious spring of fresh water flowing on the very marge of the sea commanded by the stronghold. Again, there is plenty of wood of various sorts; but most plentiful of all, fine shipbuilding timber down to the very edge of the sea. The upland stretches into the heart of the country for twenty furlongs at least. It is good loamy soil, free from stones. For a still greater distance the seaboard is thickly grown with large timber trees of every description. The surrounding country is beautiful and spacious, containing numerous well populated villages. The soil produces barley and wheat, and pulse of all sorts, millet and sesame, figs in ample supply, with numerous vines producing sweet wines, and indeed everything else except olives. Such is the character of the country.

The tents were pitched on the seaward-facing beach, the soldiers being altogether averse to camping on ground which might so easily be converted into a city. Indeed, their arrival at the place at all seemed very like the crafty design of some persons who were minded to form a city. The aversion was not unnatural, since the majority of the soldiers had not left their homes on so long a voyage from scantiness or subsistence, but attracted by the fame of Cyrus's virtues; some of them bringing followers, while others had expended money on the expedition. And amongst them was a third set who had run away from fathers and mothers; while a different class had left children behind, hoping to return to them with money or other gains. Other people with Cyrus won great success, they were told (1); why should it not be so with them? Being persons then of this description, the one longing of their hearts was to reach Hellas safely.

 (1) I.e. "his society was itself a passport to good fortune."

It was on the day after their meeting that Xenophon sacrificed as a preliminary to a military expedition; for it was needful to march out in search of provisions, besides which he designed burying the dead. As soon as the victims proved favourable they all setout, the Arcadians following with the rest. The majority of the dead, who had lain already five days, they buried just where they had fallen, in groups; to remove their bodies now would have been impossible. Some few, who lay off the roads, they got together and buried with what splendour they could, considering the means in their power. Others they could not find, and for these they erected a great cenotaph (2), and covered it with wreaths. When it was all done, they returned home to camp. At that time they supped, and went to rest.

          

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