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Anabasis

Page: 144

Xenophon, said: "If my eyes do not deceive me, sirs, there stands Heracleides, yonder, the man who received the property won by our toil, who took and sold it, and never gave back either to Seuthes or to us the proceeds of the sale, but kept the money to himself, like the thief he is. If we are wise, we will lay hold of him, for he is no Thracian, but a Hellene; and against Hellenes is the wrong he has committed."

When Heracleides heard these words, he was in great consternation; so he came to Seuthes and said: "If we are wise we will get away from here out of reach of these fellows." So they mounted their horses and were gone in a trice, galloping to their own camp. Subsequently Seuthes sent Abrozelmes, his private interpreter, to Xenophon, begging him to stay behind with one thousand heavy troops; and engaging duly to deliver to him the places on the seaboard, and the other things which he had promised; and then, as a great secret, he told him, that he had heard from Polynicus that if he once got into the clutches of the Lacedaemonians, Thibron was certain to put him to death. Similar messages kept coming to Xenophon by letter or otherwise from several quarters, warning him that he was calumniated, and had best be on his guard. Hearing which, he took two victims and sacrificed to Zeus the King: "Whether it were better and happier to stay with Seuthes on the terms proposed, or depart with the army?" The answer he received was, "Depart."





VII

After this, Seuthes removed his camp to some considerable distance; and the Hellenes took up their quarters in some villages, selecting those in which they could best supply their commissariat, on the road to the sea. Now these particular villages had been given by Seuthes to Medosades. Accordingly, when the latter saw his property in the villages being expended by the Hellenes, he was not over well pleased; and taking with him an Odrysian, a powerful person amongst those who had come down from the interior, and about thirty mounted troopers, he came and challenged Xenophon to come forth from the Hellenic host. He, taking some of the officers and others of a character to be relied upon, came forward. Then Medosades, addressing Xenophon, said: "You are doing wrong to pillage our villages; we give you fair warning—I, in behalf of Seuthes, and this man by my side, who comes from Medocus, the king up country—to begone out of the land. If you refuse, understand, we have no notion of handing it over to you; but if you injure our country we will retaliate upon you as foes."

Xenophon, hearing what they had to say, replied: "Such language addressed to us by you, of all people, is hard to answer. Yet for the sake of the young man with you, I will attempt to do so, that at least he may learn how different your nature is from ours. We," he continued, "before we were your friends, had the free run of this country, moving this way or that, as it took our fancy, pillaging and burning just as we chose; and you yourself, Medosades, whenever you came to us on an embassy, camped with us, without apprehension of any foe. As a tribe collectively you scarcely approached the country at all, or if you found yourselves in it, you bivouacked with your horses bitted and bridled, as being in the territory of your superiors. Presently you made friends with us, and, thanks to us, by God's help you have won this country, out of which to-day you seek to drive us; a country which we held by our own strength and gave to you. No hostile force, as you well know, was capable of expelling us. It might have been expected of you personally to speed us on our way with some gift, in return for the good we did you. Not so; even though our backs are turned to go, we are too slow in our movements for you. You will not suffer us to take up quarters even, if you can help it, and these words arouse no shame in you, either before the gods, or this Odrysian, in whose eyes to-day you are man of means, though until you cultivated our friendship you lived a robber's life, as you have told us. However, why do you address yourself to me? I am no longer in command. Our generals are the Lacedaemonians, to whom you and yours delivered the army for withdrawal; and that, without even inviting me to attend, you most marvellous of men, so that if I lost their favour when I brought you the troops, I might now win their gratitude by restoring them."

As soon as the Odrysian had heard this statement, he exclaimed: "For my part, Medosades, I sink under the earth for very shame at what I hear. If I had known the truth before, I would never have accompanied you. As it is, I return at once. Never would King Medocus applaud me, if I drove forth his benefactors." With these words, he mounted his horse and rode away, and with him the rest of his horsemen, except four or five. But Medosades, still vexed by the pillaging of the country, urged Xenophon to summon the two Lacedaemonians; and he, taking the pick of his men, came to Charminus and Polynicus and informed them that they were summoned by Medosades; probably they, like himself, would be warned to leave the country; "if so," he added, "you will be able to recover the pay which is owing to the army. You can say to them, that the army has requested you to assist in exacting their pay from Seuthes, whether he like it or not; that they have promised, as soon as they get this, cheerfully to follow you; that the demand seems to you to be only just, and that you have accordingly promised not to leave, until the soldiers have got their dues." The Lacedaemonians accepted the suggestion: they would apply these arguments and others the most forcible they could hit upon; and with the proper representatives of the army, they immediately set off.


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