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Anabasis

Page: 19

But as soon as the rout commenced, Cyrus's own six hundred themselves, in the ardour of pursuit, were scattered, with the exception of a handful who were left with Cyrus himself—chiefly his table companions, so-called. Left alone with these, he caught sight of the king, and the close throng about him. Unable longer to contain himself, with a cry, "I see the man," he rushed at him and dealt a blow at his chest, wounding him through the corselet. This, according to the statement of Ctesias the surgeon (5), who further states that he himself healed the wound. As Cyrus delivered the blow, some one struck him with a javelin under the eye severely; and in the struggle which then ensued between the king and Cyrus and those about them to protect one or other, we have the statement of Ctesias as to the number slain on the king's side, for he was by his side. On the other, Cyrus himself fell, and eight of his bravest companions lay on the top of him. The story says that Artapes, the trustiest among his wand-wearers, when he saw that Cyrus had fallen to the ground, leapt from his horse and threw his arms about him. Then, as one account says, the king bade one slay him as a worthy victim to his brother: others say that Artapates drew his scimitar and slew himself by his own hand. A golden scimitar it is true, he had; he wore also a collar and bracelets and the other ornaments such as the noblest Persians wear; for his kindliness and fidelity had won him honours at the hands of Cyrus.

 (5) "Ctesias, the son of Ctesiochus, was a physician of Cnidos.
    Seventeen years of his life were passed at the court of Persia,
    fourteen in the service of Darios, three in that of Artaxerxes; he
    returned to Greece in 398 B.C.," and "was employed by Artaxerxes
    in diplomatic services." See Mure; also Ch. Muller, for his life
    and works. He wrote (1) a history on Persian affairs in three
    parts—Assyrian, Median, Persian—with a chapter "On Tributes;"
    (2) a history of Indian affairs (written in the vein of Sir John
    Maundeville, Kt.); (3) a Periplus; (4) a treatise on Mountains;
    (5) a treatise on Rivers.





IX

So died Cyrus; a man the kingliest (1) and most worthy to rule of all the Persians who have lived since the elder Cyrus: according to the concurrent testimony of all who are reputed to have known him intimately. To begin from the beginning, when still a boy, and whilst being brought up with his brother and the other lads, his unrivalled excellence was recognised. For the sons of the noblest Persians, it must be known, are brought up, one and all, at the king's portals. Here lessons of sobriety and self-control may largely be laid to heart, while there is nothing base or ugly for eye or ear to feed upon. There is the daily spectacle ever before the boys of some receiving honour from the king, and again of others receiving dishonour; and the tale of all this is in their ears, so that from earliest boyhood they learn how to rule and to be ruled.

          

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