Page: 91It was agreed that this was the most barbaric and outlandish people that they had passed through on the whole expedition, and the furthest removed from the Hellenic customs, doing in a crowd precisely what other people would prefer to do in solitude, and when alone behaving exactly as others would behave in company, talking to themselves and laughing at their own expense, standing still and then again capering about, wherever they might chance to be, without rhyme or reason, as if their sole business were to show off to the rest of the world.
Through this country, friendly or hostile as the chance might be, the Hellenes marched, eight stages in all, and reached the Chalybes. These were a people few in number, and subject to the Mossynoecians. Their livelihood was for the most part derived from mining and forging iron.
Thence they came to the Tibarenians. The country of the Tibarenians was far more level, and their fortresses lay on the seaboard and were less strong, whether by art or nature. The generals wanted to attack these places, so that the army might get some pickings, and they would not accept the gifts of hospitality which came in from the Tibarenians, but bidding them wait till they had taken counsel, they proceeded to offer sacrifice. After several abortive attempts, the seers at last pronounced an opinion that the gods in no wise countenanced war. Then they accepted the gifts of hospitality, and marching through what was now recognised as a friendly country, in two days reached Cotyora, a Hellenic city, and a colony of Sinope, albeit situated in the territory of the Tibarenians (1).
(1) The MSS. here read, "Up to this point the expedition was conducted on land, and the distance traversed on foot from the battle-field near Babylon down to Cotyora amounted to one hundred and twenty-two stages—that is to say, six hundred and twenty parasangs, or eighteen thousand stades, or if measured in time, an eight months' march." The words are probably the note of some editor or commentator, though it is quite likely that the author himself may have gone through such calculations and even have inserted them as a note to his text.
Here they halted forty-five days, during which they first of all sacrificed to the gods, and instituted processions, each set of the Hellenes according to their several tribes, with gymnastic contests. Provisions they got in meanwhile, partly from Paphlagonia, partly from the estates of the Cotyorites, for the latter would neither provide them a market nor receive their sick within their walls.
Meanwhile ambassadors arrived from Sinope, full of fears, not only for the Cotyorites and their city, which belonged to Sinope, and brought in tribute, but also for the territory which, as they had heard, was being pillaged. Accordingly they came to the camp and made a speech. Hecatonymus, who was reported to be a clever orator, acted as their spokesman: "Soldiers," he said, "the city of the Sinopeans has sent us to offer you, as Hellenes, our compliments and congratulations on your victories over the barbarians; and next, to express our joyful satisfaction that you have surmounted all those terrible sufferings of which we have heard, and have reached this place in safety. As Hellenes we claim to receive at your hands, as fellow-Hellenes, kindness and not harm. We have certainly not ourselves set you an example heretofore of evil treatment. Now the Cotyorites are our colonists. It was we who gave them this country to dwell in, having taken it from the barbarians; for which reason also they, with the men of Cerasus and Trapezus, pay us an appointed tribute. So that, whatever mischief you inflict on the men of Cotyora, the city of Sinope takes as personal to herself. At the present time we hear that you have made forcible entry into their city, some of you, and are quartered in the houses, besides taking forcibly from the Cotyorite estates whatever you need, by hook and by crook. Now against these things we enter protest. If you mean to go on so doing, you will drive us to make friends with Corylas and the Paphlagonians, or any one else we can find."