Page: 93Thereupon the ambassadors showed very plainly their annoyance with Hecatonymus, on account of the style of his remarks, and one of them stept forward to explain that their intention in coming was not at all to raise a war, but on the contrary to demonstrate their friendliness. "And if you come to Sinope itself," the speaker continued, "we will welcome you there with gifts of hospitality. Meanwhile we will enjoin upon the citizens of this place to give you what they can; for we can see that every word of what you say is true." Thereupon the Cotyorites sent gifts of hospitality, and the generals of the Hellenes entertained the ambassadors of the Sinopeans. Many and friendly were the topics of conversation; freely flowed the talk on things in general; and, in particular, both parties were able to make inquiries and satisfy their curiosity concerning the remaining portion of the march.
Such was the conclusion of that day. On the following day the generals summoned an assembly of the soldiers, when it was resolved to invite the men of Sinope, and to take advice with them touching the remainder of the journey. In the event of their having to continue it on foot, the Sinopeans through their acquaintance with Paphlagonia would be useful to them; while, if they had to go by sea, the services of the same people would be at a premium; for who but they could furnish ships sufficient for the army? Accordingly, they summoned their ambassadors, and took counsel with them, begging them, on the strength of the sacred ties which bind Hellenes to Hellenes, to inaugurate the good reception they had spoken of, by present kindliness and their best advice.
Hecatonymus rose and wished at once to offer an apology with regard to what he had said about the possibility of making friends with the Paphlagonians. "The words were not intended," he said, "to convey a threat, as though they were minded to go to war with the Hellenes, but as meaning rather: albeit we have it in our power to be friendly with the barbarians, we will choose the Hellenes." Then, being urged to aid them by some advice, with a pious ejaculation, he commenced: "If I bestow upon you the best counsel I am able, God grant that blessings in abundance may descend on me; but if the contrary, may evil betide me! 'Sacred counsel (1),' as the saying goes—well, sirs, if ever the saying held, it should hold I think to-day; when, if I be proved to have given you good counsel, I shall not lack panegyrists, or if evil, your imprecations will be many-tongued.
(1) Cf. Plato, "Theages," 122.
"As to trouble, I am quite aware, we shall have much more trouble if you are conveyed by sea, for we must provide the vessels; whereas, if you go by land, all the fighting will evolve on you. Still, let come what may, it behoves me to state my views. I have an intimate acquaintance with the country of the Paphlagonians and their power. The country possesses the two features of hill and vale, that is to say, the fairest plains and the highest mountains. To begin with the mountains, I know the exact point at which you must make your entry. It is precisely where the horns of a mountain tower over both sides of the road. Let the merest handful of men occupy these and they can hold the pass with ease; for when that is done not all the enemies in the world could effect a passage. I could point out the whole with my finger, if you like to send any one with me to the scene.