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Anabasis

Page: 97

They all held them up; only Silanus began shouting and vainly striving to maintain the right of departure for all who liked to depart. But the soldiers would not suffer him, threatening him that if he were himself caught attempting to run away they would inflict the aforesaid penalty. After this, when the Heracleots learned that the departure by sea was resolved upon, and that the measure itself emanated from Xenophon, they sent the vessels indeed; but as to the money which they had promised to Timasion and Thorax as pay for the soldiers, they were not as good as their word, in fact they cheated them both. Thus the two who had guaranteed regular monthly pay were utterly confounded, and stood in terror of the soldiers. What they did then, was to take to them the other generals to whom they had communicated their former transactions (that is to say, all except Neon the Asniaean, who, as lieutenant-general, was acting for Cheirisophus during his continued absence). This done they came in a body to Xenophon and said that their views were changed. As they had now got the ships, they thought it best to sail to the Phasis, and seize the territory of the Phasians (whose present king was a descendant of Aeetes (5)). Xenophon's reply was curt:—Not one syllable would he have to say himself to the army in this matter, "But," he added, "if you like, you can summon an assembly and have your say." Thereupon Timasion the Dardanian set forth as his opinion:—It were best to hold no parliament at present, but first to go and conciliate, each of them, his own officers. Thus they went away and proceeded to execute their plans.

 (5) Aeetes is the patronym of the kings of Colchis from mythical times
    onwards; e.g. Medea was the daughter of Aeetes.





VII

Presently the soldiers came to learn what was in course of agitation, and Neon gave out that Xenophon had persuaded the other generals to adopt his views, and had a plan to cheat the soldiers and take them back to the Phasis. The soldiers were highly indignant; meetings were held; little groups gathered ominously; and there seemed an alarming probability that they would repeat the violence with which they had lately treated the heralds of the Colchians and the clerks of the market; when all who did not save themselves by jumping into the sea were stoned to death. So Xenophon, seeing what a storm was brewing, resolved to anticipate matters so far as to summon a meeting of the men without delay, and thus prevent their collecting of their own accord, and he ordered the herald to announce an assembly. The voice of the herald was no sooner heard than they rushed with great readiness to the place of meeting. Then Xenophon, without accusing the generals of having come to him, made the following speech: "I hear that a charge is brought against me. It is I apparently who am going to cheat you and carry you off to Phasis. I beg you by all that is holy to listen to me; and if there be found any guilt in me, let me not leave this place till I have paid the penalty of my misdoing; but if my accusers are found guilty, treat them as they deserve. I presume, sirs, you know where the sun rises and where he sets, and that he who would go to Hellas must needs journey towards the sunset; whereas he who seeks the land of the barbarian must contrariwise fix his face towards the dawn. Now is that a point in which a man might hope to cheat you? Could any one make you believe that the sun rises here and sets there, or that he sets here and rises there? And doubtless you know this too, that it is Boreas, the north wind, who bears the mariner out of Pontus towards Hellas, and the south wind inwards towards the Phasis, whence the saying—

               

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