Page: 53(1) Larissa, on the side of the modern Nimrud (the south-west corner, as is commonly supposed, of Nineveh). The name is said to mean "citadel," and is given to various Greek cities (of which several occur in Xenophon). (2) I.e. Cyrus the Great.
From this place they marched one stage of six parasangs to a great deserted fortress (which lay over against the city), and the name of that city was Mespila (3). The Medes once dwelt in it. The basement was made of polished stone full of shells; fifty feet was the breadth of it, and fifty feet the height; and on this basement was reared a wall of brick, the breadth whereof was fifty feet and the height thereof four hundred; and the circuit of the wall was six parasangs. Hither, as the story goes, Medea (4), the king's wife, betook herself in flight what time the Medes lost their empire at the hands of the Persians. To this city also the king of the Pesians laid siege, but could not take it either by length of days or strength of hand. But Zeus sent amazement on the inhabitants thereof, and so it was taken.
(3) Opposite Mosul, the north-west portion of the ancient Nineveh, about eighteen miles above Larissa. The circuit of Nineveh is said to have been about fifty-six miles. It was overthrown by Cyrus in B.C. 558. (4) The wife of Astyages, the last king of Media. Some think "the wall of Media" should be "Medea's wall," constructed in the period of Queen Nitocris, B.C. 560.
From this place they marched one stage—four parasangs. But, while still on this stage, Tissaphernes made his appearance. He had with him his own cavalry and a force belonging to Orontas, who had the king's daughter to wife; and there were, moreover, with them the Asiatics whom Cyrus had taken with him on his march up; together with those whom the king's brother had brought as a reinforcement to the king; besides those whom Tissaphernes himself had received as a gift from the king, so that the armament appeared to be very great. When they were close, he halted some of his regiments at the rear and wheeled others into position on either flank, but hesitated to attack, having no mind apparently to run any risks, and contenting himself with an order to his slingers to sling and his archers to shoot. But when the Rhodian slingers and the bowmen (5), posted at intervals, retaliated, and every shot told (for with the utmost pains to miss it would have been hard to do so under the circumstanecs), then Tissaphernes with all speed retired out of range, the other regiments following suit; and for the rest of the day the one party advanced and the other followed. But now the Asiatics had ceased to be dangerous with their sharpshooting. For the Rhodians could reach further than the Persian slingers, or, indeed, than most of the bowmen. The Persian bows are of great size, so that the Cretans found the arrows which were picked up serviceable, and persevered in using their enemies' arrows, and practised shooting with them, letting them fly upwards to a great height (6). There were also plenty of bowstrings found in the villages—and lead, which they turned to account for their slings. As a result of this day, then, the Hellenes chancing upon some villages had no sooner encamped than the barbarians fell back, having had distinctly the worst of it in the skirmishing.