Page: 40

(3) For a less repulsive conception of Menon's character, however unhistorical, see Plato's "Meno," and Prof. Jowlett's Introduction, "Plato," vol. i. p. 265: "He is a Thessalian Alcibiades, rich and luxurious—a spoilt child of fortune."

As to certain obscure charges brought against his character, these may certainly be fabrications. I confine myself to the following facts, which are known to all. He was in the bloom of youth when he procured from Aristippus the command of his mercenaries; he had not yet lost that bloom when he became exceedingly intimate with Ariaeus, a barbarian, whose liking for fair young men was the explanation; and before he had grown a beard himself, he had contracted a similar relationship with a bearded favourite named Tharypas. When his fellow-generals were put to death on the plea that they had marched with Cyrus against the king, he alone, although he had shared their conduct, was exempted from their fate. But after their deaths the vengeance of the king fell upon him, and he was put to death, not like Clearchus and the others by what would appear to be the speediest of deaths—decapitation—but, as report says, he lived for a year in pain and disgrace and died the death of a felon.

Agias the Arcadian and Socrates the Achaean were both among the sufferers who were put to death. To the credit, be it said, of both, no one ever derided either as cowardly in war: no one ever had a fault to find with either on the score of friendship. They were both about thirty-five years of age.


 (In the preceding pages of the narrative will be found a full
account, not only of the doings of the Hellenes during the
advance of Cyrus till the date of the battle, but of the
incidents which befell them after Cyrus' death at the
commencement of the retreat, while in company with
Tissaphernes during the truce.)


After the generals had been seized, and the captains and soldiers who formed their escort had been killed, the Hellenes lay in deep perplexity—a prey to painful reflections. Here were they at the king's gates, and on every side environing them were many hostile cities and tribes of men. Who was there now to furnish them with a market? Separated from Hellas by more than a thousand miles, they had not even a guide to point the way. Impassable rivers lay athwart their homeward route, and hemmed them in. Betrayed even by the Asiatics, at whose side they had marched with Cyrus to the attack, they were left in isolation. Without a single mounted trooper to aid them in pursuit: was it not perfectly plain that if they won a battle, their enemies would escape to a man, but if they were beaten themselves, not one soul of them would survive?

Haunted by such thoughts, and with hearts full of despair, but few of them tasted food that evening; but few of them kindled even a fire, and many never came into camp at all that night, but took their rest where each chanced to be. They could not close their eyes for very pain and yearning after their fatherlands or their parents, the wife or child whom they never expected to look upon again. Such was the plight in which each and all tried to seek repose.