<<<
>>>

Anabasis

Page: 99

"These things took place on the day on which we started to come hither on foot; while some of those who were to go by sea were still at Cerasus, not having as yet weighed anchor. After this, according to what the Cerasuntines state, there arrived three inhabitants of the place which had been attacked; three elderly men, seeking an interview with our public assembly. Not finding us, they addressed themselves to the men of Cerasus, and told them, they were astonished that we should have thought it right to attack them; however, when, as the Cerasuntines assert, they had assured them that the occurrence was not authorised by public consent, they were pleased, and proposed to sail here, not only to state to us what had occurred, but to offer that those who were interested should take up and bury the bodies of the slain.

"But among the Hellenes still at Cerasus were some of those who had escaped. They found out in which direction the barbarians were minded to go, and not only had the face themselves to pelt them with stones, but vociferously encouraged their neighbours to do the same. The three men—ambassadors, mark you—were slain, stoned to death. After this occurrence, the men of Cerasus came to us and reported the affair, and we generals, on being informed, were annoyed at what had taken place, and took counsel with the Cerasuntines how the dead bodies of the Hellenes might be buried. While seated in conclave outside the camp, we suddenly were aware of a great hubbub. We heard cries: 'Cut them down!' 'Shoot them!' 'Stone them!' and presently we caught sight of a mass of people racing towards us with stones in their hands, and others picking them up. The Cerasuntines, naturally enough, considering the incident they had lately witnessed, retired in terror to their vessels, and, upon my word, some of us did not feel too comfortable. All I could do was to go to them and inquire what it all meant. Some of them had not the slightest notion, although they had stones in their hands, but chancing on some one who was better informed, I was told by him that 'the clerks of the market were treating the army most scandalously.' Just then some one got sight of the market clerk, Zelarchus, making his way off towards the sea, and lifted up his voice aloud, and the rest responding to the cry as if a wild boar or a stag had been started, they rushed upon him.

"The Cerasuntines, seeing a rush in their direction, thought that, without a doubt, it was directed against themselves, and fled with all speed and threw themselves into the sea, in which proceeding they were imitated by some few of our own men, and all who did not know how to swim were drowned. But now, what do you think of their case, these men of Cerasus? They had done no wrong. They were simply afraid that some madness had seized us, like that to which dogs are liable.


<<<
>>>