Page: 17(1) I.e. between 9 and 10 A.M.
The orders were carried out with alacrity; the ranks shaped themselves. Clearchus held the right wing resting on the Euphrates, Proxenus was next, and after him the rest, while Menon with his troops held the Hellenic left. Of the Asiatics, a body of Paphlagonian cavalry, one thousand strong, were posted beside Clearchus on the right, and with them stood the Hellenic peltasts. On the left was Ariaeus, Cyrus's second in command, and the rest of the barbarian host. Cyrus was with his bodyguard of cavalry about six hundred strong, all armed with corselets like Cyrus, and cuirasses and helmets; but not so Cyrus: he went into battle with head unhelmeted (2). So too all the horses with Cyrus wore forehead-pieces and breast-pieces, and the troopers carried short Hellenic swords.
(2) The MSS. add, "to expose oneself to the risks of war bareheaded is, it is said, a practice common to the Persians," which I regard as a commentator's note, if not an original marginal note of some early editor, possibly of the author himself. The "Cyropaedeia" is full of such comments, "pieces justificatives" inserted into the text.
It was now mid-day, and the enemy was not yet in sight; but with the approach of afternoon was seen dust like a white cloud, and after a considerable interval a black pall as it were spread far and high above the plain. As they came nearer, very soon was seen here and there a glint of bronze and spear-points; and the ranks could plainly be distinguished. On the left were troopers wearing white cuirasses. That is Tissaphernes in command, they said, and next to these a body of men bearing wicker-shields, and next again heavy-armed infantry, with long wooden shields reaching to the feet. These were the Egyptians, they said, and then other cavalry, other bowmen; all were in national divisions, each nation marching in densely-crowded squares. And all along their front was a line of chariots at considerable intervals from one another—the famous scythe-chariots, as they were named—having their scythes fitted to the axle-trees and stretching out slantwise, while others protruded under the chariot-seats, facing the ground, so as to cut through all they encountered. The design was to let them dash full speed into the ranks of the Hellenes and cut them through.
Curiously enough the anticipation of Cyrus, when at the council of war he admonished the Hellenes not to mind the shouting of the Asiatics, was not justified. Instead of shouting, they came on in deep silence, softly and slowly, with even tread. At this instant, Cyrus, riding past in person, accompanied by Pigres, his interpreter, and three or four others, called aloud to Clearchus to advance against the enemy's centre, for there the king was to be found: "And if we strike home at this point," he added, "our work is finished." Clearchus, though he could see the compact body at the centre, and had been told by Cyrus that the king lay outside the Hellenic left (for, owing to numerical superiority, the king, while holding his own centre, could well overlap Cyrus's extreme left), still hesitated to draw off his right wing from the river, for fear of being turned on both flanks; and he simply replied, assuring Cyrus that he would take care all went well.