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Anabasis

Page: 22

So that, for myself, and from all that I can hear, I should be disposed to say that no one, Greek or barbarian, was ever so beloved. In proof of this, I may cite the fact that, though Cyrus was the king's vassal and slave, no one ever forsook him to join his master, if I may except the attempt of Orontas, which was abortive. That man, indeed, had to learn that Cyrus was closer to the heart of him on whose fidelity he relied than he himself was. On the other hand, many a man revolted from the king to Cyrus, after they went to war with one another; nor were these nobodies, but rather persons high in the king's affection; yet for all that, they believed that their virtues would obtain a reward more adequate from Cyrus than from the king. Another great proof at once of his own worth and of his capacity rightly to discern all loyal, loving and firm friendship is afforded by an incident which belongs to the last moment of his life. He was slain, but fighting for his life beside him fell also every one of his faithful bodyguard of friends and table-companions, with the sole exception of Ariaeus, who was in command of the cavalry on the left, and he no sooner perceived the fall of Cyrus than he betook himself to flight, with the whole body of troops under his lead.





X

Then the head of Cyrus and his right hand were severed from the body. But the king and those about him pursued and fell upon the Cyreian camp, and the troops of Ariaeus no longer stood their ground, but fled through their own camp back to the halting-place of the night before—a distance of four parasangs, it was said. So the king and those with him fell to ravaging right and left, and amongst other spoil he captured the Phocaean woman, who was a concubine of Cyrus, witty and beautiful, if fame speaks correctly. The Milesian, who was the younger, was also seized by some of the king's men; but, letting go her outer garment, she made good her escape to the Hellenes, who had been left among the camp followers on guard. These fell at once into line and put to the sword many of the pillagers, though they lost some men themselves; they stuck to the place and succeeded in saving not only that lady, but all else, whether chattels or human beings, which lay within their reach.

At this point the king and the Hellenes were something like three miles apart; the one set were pursuing their opponents just as if their conquest had been general; the others were pillaging as merrily as if their victory were already universal. But when the Hellenes learnt that the king and his troops were in the baggage camp; and the king, on his side, was informed by Tissaphernes that the Hellenes were victorious in their quarter of the field, and had gone forward in pursuit, the effect was instantaneous. The king massed his troops and formed into line. Clearchus summoned Proxenus, who was next him, and debated whether to send a detachment or to go in a body to the camp to save it.


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