<<<
>>>

The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 28

79. Cyrus, however, so soon as Croesus marched away after the battle which had been fought in Pteria, having learnt that Croesus meant after he had marched away to disband his army, took counsel with himself and concluded that it was good for him to march as quickly as possible to Sardis, before the power of the Lydians should be again gathered together. So when he had resolved upon this, he did it without delay: for he marched his army into Lydia with such speed that he was himself the first to announce his coming to Croesus. Then Croesus, although he had come to a great strait, since his affairs had fallen out altogether contrary to his own expectation, yet proceeded to lead forth the Lydians into battle. Now there was at this time no nation in Asia more courageous or more stout in battle than the Lydian; and they fought on horseback carrying long spears, the men being excellent in horsemanship.

80. So when the armies had met in that plain which is in front of the city of Sardis,—a plain wide and open, through which flow rivers (and especially the river Hyllos) all rushing down to join the largest called Hermos, which flows from the mountain sacred to the Mother surnamed "of Dindymos" 95 and runs out into the sea by the city of Phocaia,—then Cyrus, when he saw the Lydians being arrayed for battle, fearing their horsemen, did on the suggestion of Harpagos a Mede as follows:—all the camels which were in the train of his army carrying provisions and baggage he gathered together, and he took off their burdens and set men upon them provided with the equipment of cavalry: and having thus furnished them forth he appointed them to go in front of the rest of the army towards the horsemen of Croesus; and after the camel-troop he ordered the infantry to follow; and behind the infantry he placed his whole force of cavalry. Then when all his men had been placed in their several positions, he charged them to spare none of the other Lydians, slaying all who might come in their way, but Croesus himself they were not to slay, not even if he should make resistance when he was captured. Such was his charge: and he set the camels opposite the horsemen for this reason,—because the horse has a fear of the camel and cannot endure either to see his form or to scent his smell: for this reason then the trick had been devised, in order that the cavalry of Croesus might be useless, that very force wherewith the Lydian king was expecting most to shine. And as they were coming together to the battle, so soon as the horses scented the camels and saw them they turned away back, and the hopes of Croesus were at once brought to nought. The Lydians however for their part did not upon that act as cowards, but when they perceived what was coming to pass they leapt from their horses and fought with the Persians on foot. At length, however, when many had fallen on either side, the Lydians turned to flight; and having been driven within the wall of their fortress they were besieged by the Persians.


<<<
>>>