The Cyropaedia (or Cyropedia) is a biography of Cyrus the Great, written in the early 4th century BC by the Athenian gentleman-soldier, and student of Socrates, Xenophon of Athens. The Latinized title Cyropaedia derives from Greek Kúrou paideía (Κύρου παιδεία), meaning "The Education of Cyrus". Aspects of it would become a model for medieval writers of the genre known as mirrors for princes. In substance, the Cyropaedia is "a political romance, describing the education of the ideal ruler: Although it is "generally agreed" that Xenophon "did not intend Cyropaedia as history", it remains unclear whether this work was intended to fit into any other classical genre known before. Its validity as a source of Achaemenid history has been repeatedly questioned, and numerous descriptions of events or persons have been determined to be in error. But it is not clear that the work was intended to be used this way.
Despite such doubts, it has been argued that Xenophon's Cyropaedia offers a glimpse of the character of Cyrus the Great of Achaemenid Persia. The source gives "an artist's portrait" of Cyrus as "the Ideal Ruler and the best form of Government", a description that "could not have been painted had there not been a credible memory of such a Cyrus". Xenophon (c. 431 – 355 BC) was not a contemporary of Cyrus (c. 580 – 530 BC) and it is likely that at least some of the information about Persia was based on events that occurred at the later Achaemenid court. Xenophon had been in Persia himself, as part of the "Ten Thousand" Greek soldiers who fought on the losing side in a Persian civil war, events which he recounted in his Anabasis. It is also possible that stories of the great King were recounted (and embellished) by court society and that these are the basis of Xenophon's text. The work was also frequently taken as a model for correct prose style in classical Attic Greek, mastery of which was part of the cultivation of learning and refinement among gentlemen in eighteenth century Europe and America. For example, Thomas Jefferson had two personal copies of the book in his library, possibly for this reason
The Cyropaedia: Book 1, Section 1 [1.1.1] The thought once occurred to us how many republics have been overthrown by people who preferred to live under any form of government other than a republican, and again, how many monarchies and how many oligarchies in times past have been abolished by the people. We reflected, moreover, how many of those individuals who have aspired to absolute power have either been deposed once for all and that right quickly; or if they have continued in power, no matter for how short a time, they are objects of wonder as having proved to be wise and happy men. Then, too, we had observed, we thought, that even in private homes some people who had rather more than the usual number of servants and some also who had only a very few were nevertheless, though nominally masters, quite unable to assert their authority over even those few.
[1.1.2] And in addition to this, we reflected that are the rulers of their horses, and that all who are called herdsmen might properly be regarded as the rulers of the animals over which they are placed in charge. Now we noticed, as we thought, that all these herds obeyed their keepers more readily than men obey their rulers. For the herds go wherever their keeper directs them and graze in those places to which he leads them and keep out of those from which he excludes them. They allow their keeper, moreover, to enjoy, just as he will, the profits that accrue from them. And then again, we have never known of a herd conspiring against its keeper, either to refuse obedience to him or to deny him the privilege of enjoying the profits that accrue. At the same time, herds are more intractable to strangers than to their rulers and those who derive profit from them. Men, however, conspire against none sooner than against those whom they see attempting to rule over them.
[1.1.3] Thus, as we meditated on this analogy, we were inclined to conclude that for man, as he is constituted, it is easier to rule over any and all other creatures than to rule over men. But when we reflected that, who reduced to obedience a vast number of men and cities and nations, we were then compelled to change our opinion and decide that to rule men might be a task neither impossible nor even difficult, if one should only go about it in an intelligent manner. At all events, we know that people obeyed Cyrus willingly, although some of them were distant from him a journey of many days, and others of many months; others, although they had never seen him, and still others who knew well that they never should see him. Nevertheless they were all willing to be his subjects.
[1.1.4] But all this is not so surprising after all, so very different was he from all other kings, both those who have inherited their thrones from their fathers and those who have gained their crowns by their own efforts; the Scythian king, for instance, would never be able to extend his rule over any other nation besides his own, although the Scythians are very numerous, but he would be well content if he could maintain himself in power over his own people; so the Thracian king with his Thracians, the Illyrian with his Illyrians, and so also all other nations, we are told. Those in Europe, at any rate, are said to be free and independent of one another even to this day. But Cyrus, finding the nations in Asia also independent in exactly the same way, started out with a little band of Persians and became the leader of the Medes by their full consent and of the Hyrcanians by theirs; he then conquered Syria, Assyria, Arabia, Cappadocia, both Phrygias, Lydia, Caria, Phoenicia, and Babylonia; he ruled also over Bactria, India, and Cilicia; and he was likewise king of the Sacians, Paphlagonians, Magadidae, and very many other nations, of which one could not even tell the names; he brought under his sway the Asiatic Greeks also; and, descending to the sea, he added both Cyprus and Egypt to his empire.
[1.1.5] He ruled over these nations, even though they did not speak the same language as he, nor one nation the same as another; for all that, he was able to cover so vast a region with the fear which he inspired, that he struck all men with terror and no one tried to withstand him; and he was able to awaken in all so lively a desire to please him, that they always wished to be guided by his will. Moreover, the tribes that he brought into subjection to himself were so many that it is a difficult matter even to travel to them all, in whatever direction one begin one's journey from the palace, whether toward the east or the west, toward the north or the south.
[1.1.6] Believing this man to be deserving of all admiration, we have therefore investigated who he was in his origin, what natural endowments he possessed, and what sort of education he had enjoyed, that he so greatly excelled in governing men. Accordingly, what we have found out or think we know concerning him we shall now endeavour to present.
Book 1, Section 2 [1.2.1] The father of Cyrus is said to have been Cambyses, king of the Persians: this Cambyses belonged to the stock of the Persidae, and the Persidae derive their name from Perseus. His mother, it is generally agreed, was Mandane; and this Mandane was the daughter of Astyages, sometime king of the Medes. And even to this day the barbarians tell in story and in song that Cyrus was most handsome in person, most generous of heart, most devoted to learning, and most ambitious, so that he endured all sorts of labour and faced all sorts of danger for the sake of praise.
[1.2.2] Such then were the natural endowments, physical and spiritual, that he is reputed to have had; but he was educated in conformity with the laws of the Persians; and these laws appear in their care for the common weal not to start from the same point as they do in most states. For most states permit every one to train his own children just as he will, and the older people themselves to live as they please; and then they command them not to steal and not to rob, not to break into anybody's house, not to strike a person whom they have no right to strike, not to commit adultery, not to disobey an officer, and so forth; and if a man transgress anyone one of these laws, they punish him.
[1.2.3] The Persian laws, however, begin at the beginning and take care that from the first their citizens shall not be of such a character as ever to desire anything improper or immoral; and the measures they take are as follows.They have their so-called "Free Square," where the royal palace and other government buildings are located. The hucksters with their wares, their cries, and their vulgarities are excluded from this and relegated to another part of the city, in order that their tumult may not intrude upon the orderly life of the cultured. [1.2.4] This square, enclosing the government buildings, is divided into four parts; one of these belongs to the boys, one to the youths, another to the men of mature years, and another to those who are past the age for military service. And the laws require them to come daily to their several quarters--the boys and the full-grown men at daybreak; but the elders may come at whatever time it suits each one's convenience, except that they must present themselves on certain specified days. But the youths pass the night also in light armour about the government buildings--all except those who are married; no inquiry is made for such, unless they be especially ordered in advance to be there, but it is not proper for them to be absent too often.
[1.2.5] Over each of these divisions there are twelve officers, for the Persians are divided into twelve tribes. To have charge of the boys, such are chosen from the ranks of the elders as seem likely to make out of the boys the best men; to have charge of the youths, such are chosen from ranks of the mature men as seem most likely on their part to develop the youths best; to preside over the mature men, those are selected who seem most likely to fit them best to execute the orders and requirements of the highest authorities2; and of the elders also chiefs are selected who act as overseers to see that those of this class also do their duty. And what duties are assigned to each age to perform we shall now set forth, that it may be better understood what pains the Persians take that their citizens may prove to be the very best.
[1.2.6] The boys go to school and spend their time in learning justice; and they say that they go there for this purpose, just as in our country they say that they go to learn to read and write. And their officers spend the greater part of the day in deciding cases for them. For, as a matter of course, boys also prefer charges against one another, just as men do, of theft, robbery, assault, cheating, slander, and other things that naturally come up; and when they discover any one committing any of these crimes, they punish him,
[1.2.7] and they punish also any one whom they find accusing another falsely. And they bring one another to trial also charged with an offence for which people hate one another most but go to law least, namely, that of ingratitude; and if they know that any one is able to return a favour and fails to do so, they punish him also severely. For they think that the ungrateful are likely to be most neglectful of their duty toward their gods, their parents, their country, and their friends; for it seems that shamelessness goes hand in hand with ingratitude; and it is that, we know, which leads the way to every moral wrong.
[1.2.8] They teach the boys self-control also; and it greatly conduces to their learning self-control that they see their elders also living temperately day by day. And they teach them likewise to obey the officers; and it greatly conduces to this also that they see their elders implicitly obeying their officers. And besides, they teach them self-restraint in eating and drinking; and it greatly conduces to this also that they see that their elders do not leave their post to satisfy their hunger until the officers dismiss them; and the same end is promoted by the fact that the boys do not eat with their mothers but with their teachers, from the time the officers so direct. Furthermore, they bring from home bread for their food, cress for a relish, and for drinking, if any one is thirsty, a cup to draw water from the river. Besides this, they learn to shoot and to throw the spear.This, then, is what the boys do until they are sixteen or seventeen years of age, and after this they are promoted from the class of boys and enrolled among the young men.
[1.2.9] Now the young men in their turn live as follows: for ten years after they are promoted from the class of boys they pass the nights, as we said before, about the government buildings. This they do for the sake of guarding the city and of developing their powers of self-control; for this time of life, it seems, demands the most watchful care. And during the day, too, they put themselves at the disposal of the authorities, if they are needed for any service to the state. Whenever it is necessary, they all remain about the public buildings. But when the king goes out hunting, he takes out half the garrison; and this he does many times a month. Those who go must take bow and arrows and, in addition to the quiver, a sabre or bill2 in its scabbard; they carry along also a light shield and two spears, on to throw, the other to use in case of necessity in a hand-to-hand encounter.
[1.2.10] They provide for such hunting out of the public treasury; and as the king is their leader in war, so he not only takes part in the hunt himself but sees to it that the others hunt, too. The state bears the expense of the hunting for the reason that the training it gives seems to be the best preparation for war itself. For it accustoms them to rise early in the morning and to endure both heat and cold, and it gives them practice in taking long tramps and runs, and they have to shoot or spear a wild beast whenever it comes in their way. And they must often whet their courage when one of the fierce beasts shows fight; for, of course, they must strike down the animal that comes to close quarters with them, and they must be on their guard against the one that threatens to attack them. In a word, it is not easy to find any quality required in war that is not required also in the chase.
[1.2.11] When they go out hunting they carry along a lunch,1 more in quantity than that of the boys, as is proper, but in other respects the same; but they would never think of lunching while they are busy with the chase. If, however, for some reason it is necessary to stay longer on account of the game or if for some other reason they wish to continue longer on the chase, then they make their dinner of this luncheon and hunt again on the following day until dinner time; and these two days they count as one, because they consume but one day's provisions. This they do to harden themselves, in order that, if ever it is necessary in war, they may be able to do the same. Those of this age have for relish the game that they kill; if they fail to kill any, then cresses. Now, if any one thinks that they do not enjoy eating, when they have only cresses with their bread, or that they do not enjoy drinking when they drink only water, let him remember how sweet barley bread and wheaten bread taste when one is hungry, and how sweet water is to drink when one is thirsty.
[1.2.12] The divisions remaining at home, in their turn, pass their time shooting with the bow and hurling the spear and practising all the other arts that they learned when they were boys, and they continually engage in contests of this kind with one another. And there are also public contests of this sort, for which prizes are offered; and whatever division has the greatest number of the most expert, the most manly, and the best disciplined young men, the citizens praise and honour not only its present chief officer but also the one who trained them when they were boys. And of the youths who remain behind, the authorities employ any that they may need, whether for garrison duty or for arresting criminals or for hunting down robbers, or for any other service that demands strength or dispatch.Such, then, is the occupation of the youths. And when they have completed their ten years, they are promoted and enrolled in the class of the mature men.
[1.2.13] And these, in turn, for twenty-five years after the time they are there enrolled, are occupied as follows. In the first place, like the youths, they are at the disposal of the authorities, if they are needed in the interest of the commonwealth in any service that requires men who have already attained discretion and are still strong in body. But if it is necessary to make a military expedition anywhere, those who have been thus educated take the field, no longer with bow and arrows, nor yet with spears, but with what are termed "weapons for close conflict"--a corselet about their breast, a round shield upon their left arm (such as Persians are represented with in art), and in their right hands a sabre or bill. From this division also all the magistrates are selected, except the teachers of the boys.And when they have completed the five-and-twenty years, they are, as one would expect, somewhat more than fifty years of age; and then they come out and take their places among those who really are, as they are called, the "elders."
[1.2.14] Now these elders, in their turn, no longer perform form military service outside their own country, but they remain at home and try all sorts of cases, both public and private. They try people indicted for capital offences also, and they elect all the officers. And if any one, either among the youths or among the mature men, fail in any one of the duties prescribed by law, the respective officers of thatdivision, or any one else who will, may enter complaint, and the elders, when they have heard the case, expel the guilty party; and the one who has been expelled spends the rest of his life degraded and disfranchised.
[1.2.15] Now, that the whole constitutional policy of the Persians may be more clearly set forth, I will go back a little; for now, in the light of what has already been said, it can be given in a very few words. It is said that the Persians number about one hundred and twenty thousand men2; and no one of these is by law excluded from holding offices and positions of honour, but all the Persians may send their children to the common schools of justice. Still, only those do send them who are in a position to maintain their children without work; and those who are not so situated do not. And only to such as are educated by the public teachers is it permitted to pass their young manhood in the class of the youths, while to those who have not completed this course of training it is not so permitted. And only to such among the youths as complete the course required by law is it permitted to join the class of mature men and to fill offices and places of distinction, while those who do not finish their course among the young men are not promoted to the class of the mature men. And again, those who finish their course among the mature men without blame become members of the class of elders. So, we see, the elders are made up to those who have enjoyed all honour and distinction. This is the policy by the observance of which they think that their citizens may become the best.
[1.2.16] There remains even unto this day evidence of their moderate fare and of their working off by exercise what they eat: for even to the present time it is a breach of decorum for a Persian to spit or to blow his nose or to appear afflicted with flatulence; it is a breach of decorum also to be seen going apart either to make water or for anything else of that kind. And this would not be possible for them, if they did not lead an abstemious life and throw off the moisture by hard work, so that it passes off in some other way.This, then, is what we have to say in regard to the Persians in general. Now, to fulfil the purpose with which our narrative was begun, we shall proceed to relate the history of Cyrus from his childhood on.
1,2,5,n2. I.e., a Council of Elders, under the presidency of the king.
1,2,9,n2. The oriental bill was a tool or weapon with a curved blade, shorter than a sabre and corresponding very closely to the Spanish-American machete.
1,2,11,n1. The Greeks ate but two meals a day: the first, ariston, toward midday, the other, deipnon, toward sun-down.
1,2,15,n2. This number is meant to include the nobility only, the so-called "peers" homotimoi, and not the total population of Persia.
Book 1, Section 3 [1.3.1] Such was the education that Cyrus received until he was twelve years old or a little more; and he showed himself superior to all the other boys of his age both in mastering his tasks quickly and in doing everything in a thorough and manly fashion. It was at this period of his life that Astyages sent for his daughter and her son; for he was eager to see him, as he had heard from time to time that the child was a handsome boy of rare promise. Accordingly, Mandane herself went to her father and took her son Cyrus with her.
[1.3.2] As soon as she arrived and Cyrus had recognized in Astyages his mother's father, being naturally an affectionate boy he at once kissed him, just as a person who had long lived with another and long loved him would do. Then he noticed that his grandfather was adorned with pencillings beneath his eyes, with rouge rubbed on his face, and with a wig of false hair--the common Median fashion. For all this is Median, and so are their purple tunics, and their mantles, the necklaces about their necks, and the bracelets on their wrists, while the Persians at home even to this day have much plainer clothing and a more frugal way of life. So, observing his grandfather's adornment and staring at him, he said: "Oh mother, how handsome my grandfather is!" And when his mother asked him which he thought more handsome, his father or his grandfather, Cyrus answered at once: "Of the Persians, mother, my father is much the handsomest; but of the Medes, as far as I have seen them either on the streets or at court, my grandfather here is the handsomest by far."
[1.3.3] Then his grandfather kissed him in return and gave him a beautiful dress to wear and, as a mark of royal favour, adorned him with necklaces and bracelets; and if he went out for a ride anywhere, he took the boy along upon a horse with a gold-studded bridle, just as he himself was accustomed to go. And as Cyrus was a boy fond of beautiful things and eager for distinction, he was pleased with his dress and greatly delighted at learning to ride; for in Persia, on account of its being difficult to breed horses and to practise horsemanship because it is a mountainous country, it was a very rare thing even to see a horse.
[1.3.4] And then again, when Astyages dined with his daughter and Cyrus, he set before him dainty side-dishes and all sorts of sauces and meats, for he wished the boy to enjoy his dinner as much as possible, in order that he might be less likely to feel homesick. And Cyrus, they say, observed: "How much trouble you have at your dinner, grandfather, if you have to reach out your hands to all these dishes and taste of all these different kinds of food!""Why so?" said Astyages. "Really now, don't you think this dinner much finer than your Persian dinners?""No, grandfather," Cyrus replied to this; "but the road to satiety is much more simple and direct in our country than with you; for bread and meat take us there; but you, though you make for the same goal as we, go wandering through many a maze, up and down, and only arrive at last at the point that we long since have reached."
[1.3.5] "But, my boy," said Astyages, "we do not object to this wandering about; and you also," he added, "if you taste, will see that it is pleasant.""But, grandfather," said Cyrus, "I observe that even you are disgusted with these viands.""And by what, pray, do you judge, my boy," asked Astyages, "that you say this?""Because," said he, "I observe that when you touch bread, you do not wipe your hand on anything; but when you touch any of these other things you at once cleanse your hand upon your napkin, as if you were exceedingly displeased that it had become soiled with them."
[1.3.6] "Well then, my boy," Astyages replied to this, "if that is your judgment, at least regale yourself with meat, that you may go back home a strong young man." And as he said this, he placed before him an abundance of meat of both wild and domestic animals.And when Cyrus saw that there was a great quantity of meat, he said: "And do you really mean to give me all this meat, grandfather, to dispose of as I please?""Yes, by Zeus," said he, "I do."
[1.3.7] Thereupon Cyrus took some of the meat and proceeded to distribute it among his grandfather's servants, saying to them in turn: "I give this to you, because you take so much pains to teach me to ride; to you, because you gave me a spear, for at present this is all I have to give; to you, because you serve my grandfather so well; and to you, because you are respectful to my mother." He kept on thus, while he was distributing all the meat that he had received.
[1.3.8] "But," said Astyages, "are you not going to give any to Sacas, my cupbearer, whom I like best of all?" Now Sacas, it seems, chanced to be a handsome fellow who had the office of introducing to Astyages those who had business with him and of keeping out those whom he thought it not expedient to admit.And Cyrus asked pertly, as a boy might do who was not yet at all shy, "Pray, grandfather, why do you like this fellow so much?"And Astyages replied with a jest: "Do you not see," said he, "how nicely and gracefully hpours the wine?" Now the cupbearers of those kings perform their office with fine airs; they pour in the wine with neatness and then present the goblet, conveying it with three fingers, and offer it in such a way as to place it most conveniently in the grasp of the one who is to drink.
[1.3.9] "Well, grandfather," said he, "bid Sacas give me the cup, that I also may deftly pour for you to drink and thus win your favour, if I can."And he bade him give it. And Cyrus took the cup and rinsed it out well, exactly as he had often seen Sacas do, and then he brought and presented the goblet to his grandfather, assuming an expression somehow so grave and important, that he made his mother and Astyages laugh heartily. And Cyrus himself also with a laugh sprang up into his grandfather's lap and kissing him said: "Ah, Sacas, you are done for; I shall turn you out of your office; for in other ways," said he, "I shall play the cupbearer better than you and besides I shall not drink up the wine myself."Now, it is a well known fact that the king's cupbearers, when they proffer the cup, draw off some of it with the ladle, pour it into their left hand, and swallow it down--so that, if they should put poison in, they may not profit by it.
[1.3.10] Thereupon Astyages said in jest: "And why, pray, Cyrus, did you imitate Sacas in everything else but did not sip any of the wine?""Because, by Zeus," said he, "I was afraid that poison had been mixed in the bowl. And I had reason to be afraid; for when you entertained your friends on your birthday, I discovered beyond a doubt that he had poured poison into your company's drink.""And how, pray," said he, "did you discover that, my son?""Because, by Zeus," said he, "I saw that you were unsteady both in mind and in body. For in the first place you yourselves kept doing what you never allow us boys to do; for instance, you kept shouting, all at the same time, and none of you heard anything that the others were saying; and you fell to singing, and in a most ridiculous manner at that, and though you did not hear the singer, you swore that he sang most excellently; and though each one of you kept telling stories of his own strength, yet if you stood up to dance, to say nothing of dancing in time, why, you could not even stand up straight. And all of you quite forgot--you, that you were king; and the rest, that you were their sovereign. It was then that I also for my part discovered, and for the first time, that what you were practising was your boasted `equal freedom of speech'; at any rate, never were any of you silent."
[1.3.11] "But, my boy," Astyages said, "does not your father get drunk, when he drinks?""No, by Zeus," said he."Well, how does he manage it?""He just quenches his thirst and thus suffers no further harm; for he has, I trow, grandfather, no Sacas to pour wine for him.""But why in the world, my son," said his mother, "are you so set against Sacas?""Because, by Zeus," Cyrus replied, "I don't like him; for oftentimes, when I am eager to run in to see my grandfather, this miserable scoundrel keeps me out. But," he added, "I beg of you, grandfather, allow me for just three days to rule over him.""And how would you rule over him?" said Astyages."I would stand at the door," Cyrus replied, "just as he does, and then when he wished to come in to luncheon, I would say, `You cannot interview the luncheon yet; for it is engaged with certain persons."And then when he came to dinner, I would say, `It is at the bath.' And if he were very eager to eat, I would say, `It is with the ladies.' And I would keep that up until I tormented him, just as he torments me by keeping me away from you."
[1.3.12] Such amusement he furnished them at dinner; and during the day, if he saw that his grandfather or his uncle needed anything, it was difficult for any one else to get ahead of him in supplying the need; for Cyrus was most happy to do them any service that he could.
[1.3.13] But when Mandane was making preparations to go back to her husband, Astyages asked her to leave Cyrus behind. And she answered that she desired to do her father's pleasure in everything, but she thought it hard to leave the boy behind against his will.Then Astyages said to Cyrus:
[1.3.14] "My boy, if you will stay with me, in the first place Sacas shall not control your admission to me, but it shall be in your power to come in to see me whenever you please, and I shall be the more obliged to you the oftener you come to me. And in the second place you shall use my horses and everything else you will; and when you go back home, you shall take with you any of them that you desire. And besides, at dinner you shall go whatever way you please to what seems to you to be temperance. And then, I present to you the animals that are now in the park and I will collect others of every description, and as soon as you learn to ride, you shall hunt and slay them with bow and spear, just as grown-up men do. I will also find some children to be your playfellows; and if you wish anything else, just mention it to me, and you shall not fail to receive it."
[1.3.15] When Astyages had said this, his mother asked Cyrus whether he wished to stay or go. And he did not hesitate but said at once that he wished to stay. And when he was asked again by his mother why he wished to stay, he is said to have answered: "Because at home, mother, I am and have the reputation of being the best of those of my years both in throwing the spear and in shooting with the bow; but here I know that I am inferior to my fellows in horsemanship. And let me tell you, mother," said he, "this vexes me exceedingly. But if you leave me here and I learn to ride, I think you will find, when I come back to Persia, that I shall easily surpass the boys over there who are good at exercises on foot, and when I come again to Media, I shall try to be a help to my grandfather by being the best of good horsemen."And his mother said,
[1.3.16] "My boy, how will you learn justice here, while your teachers are over there?""Why, mother," Cyrus answered, "that is one thing that I understand thoroughly.""How so?" said Mandane."Because," said he, "my teacher appointed me, on the ground that I was already thoroughly versed in justice, to decide cases for others also. And so, in one case," said he, "I once got a flogging for not deciding correctly.
[1.3.17] The case was like this: a big boy with a little tunic, finding a little boy with a big tunic on, took it off him and put his own tunic on him, while he himself put on the other's. So, when I tried their case, I decided that it was better for them both that each should keep the tunic that fitted him. And thereupon the master flogged me, saying that when I was a judge of a good fit, I should do as I had done; but when it was my duty to decide whose tunic it was, I had this question, he said, to consider--whose title was the rightful one; whether it was right that he who took it away by force should keep it, or that he who had had it made for himself or had bought it should own it. And since, he said, what is lawful is right and what is unlawful is wrong, he bade the judge always render his verdict on the side of the law. It is in this way, mother, you see, that I already have a thorough understanding of justice in all its bearings; and," he added, "if I do require anything more, my grandfather here will teach me that."
[1.3.18] "Yes, my son," said she; "but at your grandfather's court they do not recognize the same principles of justice as they do in Persia. For he has made himself master of everything in Media, but in Persia equality of rights is considered justice. And your father is the first one to do what is ordered by the State and to accept what is decreed, and his standard is not his will but the law. Mind, therefore, that you be not flogged within an inch of your life, when you come home, if you return with a knowledge acquired from your grandfather here of the principles noof kingship but of tyranny, one principle of which is that it is right for one to have more than all.""But your father, at least," said Cyrus, "is more shrewd at teaching people to have less than to have more, mother. Why, do you not see," he went on, "that he has taught all the Medes to have less than himself? So never fear that your father, at any rate, will turn either me or anybody else out trained under him to have too much."
Book 1, Section 4 [1.4.1] In this way Cyrus often chattered on. At last, however, his mother went away, but Cyrus remained behind and grew up in Media. Soon he had become so intimately associated with other boys of his own years that he was on easy terms with them. And soon he had won their father's hearts by visiting them and showing that he loved their sons; so that, if they desired any favour of the king, they bade their sons ask Cyrus to secure it for them. And Cyrus, because of his kindness of heart and his desire for popularity, made every effort to secure for the boys whatever they asked.
[1.4.2] And Astyages could not refuse any favour that Cyrus asked of him. And this was natural; for, when his grandfather fell sick, Cyrus never left him nor ceased to weep but plainly showed to all that he greatly feared that his grandfather might die. For even at night, if Astyages wanted anything, Cyrus was the first to discover it and with greater alacrity than any one else he would jump up to perform whatever service he thought would give him pleasure, so that he won Astyages's heart completely.
[1.4.3] He was, perhaps, too talkative, partly on account of his education, because he had always been required by his teacher to render an account of what he was doing and to obtain an account from others whenever he was judge; and partly also because of his natural curiosity, he was habitually putting many questions to those about him why things were thus and so; and because of his alertness of mind he readily answered questions that others put to him; so that from all these causes his talkativeness grew upon him. But it was not unpleasant; for just as in the body, in the case of those who have attained their growth although they are still young, there yet appears that freshness which betrays their lack of years, so also in Cyrus's case his talkativeness disclosed not impertinence but nai+vete/ and an affectionate disposition, so that one would be better pleased to hear still more from his lips than to sit by and have him keep silent.
[1.4.4] But as he advanced in stature and in years to the time of attaining youth's estate, he then came to use fewer words, his voice was more subdued, and he became so bashful that he actually blushed whenever he met his elders; and that puppy-like manner of breaking in upon anybody and everybody alike he no longer exhibited with so much forwardness. So he became more quiet, to be sure, but in social intercourse altogether charming. The boys liked him, too; for in all the contests in which those of the same age are wont often to engage with one another he did not challenge his mates to those in which he knew he was superior, but he proposed precisely those exercises in which he knew he was not their equal, saying that he would do better than they; and he would at once take the lead, jumping up upon the horses to contend on horseback either in archery or in throwing the spear, although he was not yet a good rider, and when he was beaten he laughed at himself most heartily.
[1.4.5] And as he did not shirk being beaten and take refuge in refusing to do that in which he was beaten, but persevered in attempting to do better next time, he speedily became the equal of his fellows in horsemanship and soon on account of his love for the sport he surpassed them; and before long he had exhausted the supply of animals in the park by hunting and shooting and killing them, so that Astyages was no longer able to collect animals for him. And when Cyrus saw that notwithstanding his desire to do so, the king was unable to provide him with many animals alive, he said to him: "Why should you take the trouble, grandfather, to get animals for me? If you will only send me out with my uncle to hunt, I shall consider that all the animals I see were bred for me."
[1.4.6] But though he was exceedingly eager to go out hunting, he could no longer coax for it as he used to do when he was a boy, but he became more diffident in his approaches. And in the very matter for which he found fault with Sacas before, namely that he would not admit him to his grandfather--he himself now became a Sacas unto himself; for he would not go in unless he saw that it was a proper time, and he asked Sacas by all means to let him know when it was convenient. And so Sacas now came to love him dearly, as did all the rest.
[1.4.7] However, when Astyages realized that he was exceedingly eager to hunt out in the wilds, he let him go out with his uncle and he sent along some older men on horseback to look after him, to keep him away from dangerous places and guard him against wild beasts, in case any should appear. Cyrus, therefore, eagerly inquired of those who attended him what animals one ought not to approach and what animals one might pursue without fear. And they told him that bears and boars and lions and leopards had killed many who came close to them, but that deer and gazelles and wild sheep and wild asses were harmless. And they said this also, that one must be on one's guard against dangerous places no less than against wild beasts; for many riders had been thrown over precipices, horses and all.
[1.4.8] All these lessons Cyrus eagerly learned. But when he saw a deer spring out from under cover, he forgot everything that he had heard and gave chase, seeing nothing but the direction in which it was making. And somehow his horse in taking a leap fell upon its knees and almost threw him over its head. However, Cyrus managed, with some difficulty, to keep his seat, and his horse got up. And when he came to level ground, he threw his spear and brought down the deer--a fine, large quarry. And he, of course, was greatly delighted; but the guards rode up and scolded him and told him into what danger he had gone and declared that they would tell of him. Now Cyrus stood there, for he had dismounted, and was vexed at being spoken to in this way. But when he heard a halloo, he sprang upon his horse like one possessed and when he saw a boar rushing straight toward him, he rode to meet him and aiming well he struck the boar between the eyes and brought him down.
[1.4.9] This time, however, his uncle also reproved him, for he had witnessed his foolhardiness. But for all his scolding, Cyrus nevertheless asked his permission to carry home and present to his grandfather all the game that he had taken himself. And his uncle, they say, replied: "But if he finds out that you have been giving chase, he will chide not only you but me also for allowing you to do so.""And if he choose," said Cyrus, "let him flog me, provided only I may give him the game. And you, uncle," said he, "may punish me in any way you please--only grant me this favour."And finally Cyaxares said, though with reluctance: "Do as you wish; for now it looks as if it were you who are our king."
[1.4.10] So Cyrus carried the animals in and gave them to his grandfather, saying that he had himself taken this game for him. As for the hunting spears, though he did not show them to him, he laid them down all blood-stained where he thought his grandfather would see them. And then Astyages said: "Well, my boy, I am glad to accept what you offer me; however, I do not need any of these things enough for you to risk your life for them.""Well then, grandfather," said Cyrus, "if you do not need them, please give them to me, that I may divide them among my boy friends.""All right, my boy," said Astyages, "take both this and of the rest of the game as much as you wish and give it to whom you will."
[1.4.11] So Cyrus recit and took it away and proceeded to distribute it among the boys, saying as he did so: "What tomfoolery it was, fellows, when we used to hunt the animals in the park. To me at least, it seems just like hunting animals that were tied up. For, in the first place, they were in a small space; besides, they were lean and mangy; and one of them was lame and another maimed. But the animals out on the mountains and the plains--how fine they looked, and large and sleek! And the deer leaped up skyward as if on wings, and the boars came charging at once, as they say brave men do in battle. And by reason of their bulk it was quite impossible to miss them. And to me at least," said he, "these seem really more beautiful, when dead, than those pent up creatures, when alive. But say," said he, "would not your fathers let you go out hunting, too?""Aye, and readily," they said, "if Astyages should give the word."
[1.4.12] "Whom, then, could we find to speak about it to Astyages?" said Cyrus."Why," said they, "who would be better able to to gain his consent than you yourself?""No, by Zeus," said he, "not I; I do not know what sort of fellow I have become; for I cannot speak to my grandfather or even look up at him any more, as I used to do. And if I keep on at this rate," said he, "I fear I shall become a mere dolt and ninny. But when I was a little fellow, I was thought ready enough to chatter.""That's bad news you're giving us," answered the boys, "if you are not going to be able to act for us in case of need, and we shall have to ask somebody else to do your part."
[1.4.13] And Cyrus was nettled at hearing this and went away without a word; and when he had summoned up his courage to make the venture, he went in, after he had laid his plans how he might with the least annoyance broach the subject to his grandfather and accomplish for himself and the other boys what they desired. Accordingly, he began as follows: "Tell me, grandfather," said he, "if one of your servants runs away and you catch him again, what will you do to him?""What else," said he, "but put him in chains and make him work?""But if he comes back again of his own accord, what will you do?""What," said he, "but flog him to prevent his doing it again, and then treat him as before?""It may be high time, then," said Cyrus, "for you to be making ready to flog me; for I am planning to run away from you and take my comrades out hunting.""You have done well to tell me in advance," said Astyages; "for now," he went on, "I forbid you to stir from the palace. For it would be a nice thing, if, for the sake of a few morsels of meat, I should play the careless herdsman and lose my daughter her son."
[1.4.14] When Cyrus heard this, he obeyed and stayed at home; he said nothing, but continued downcast and sulky. However, when Astyages saw that he was exceedingly disappointed, wishing to give him pleasure, he took him out to hunt; he had got the boys together, and a large number of men both on foot and on horseback, and when he had driven the wild animals out into country where riding was practicable, he instituted a great hunt. And as he was present himself, he gave the royal command that no one should throw a spear before Cyrus had his fill of hunting. But Cyrus would not permit him to interfere, but said: "If you wish me to enjoy the hunt, grandfather, let all my comrades give chase and strive to outdo one another, and each do his very best."
[1.4.15] Thereupon, Astyages gave his consent and from his position he watched them rushing in rivalry upon the beasts and vying eagerly with one another in giving chase and in throwing the spear. And he was pleased to see that Cyrus was unable to keep silence for delight, but, like a well-bred hound, gave tongue whenever he came near an animal and urged on each of his companions by name. And the king was delighted to see him laugh at one and praise another without the least bit of jealousy. At length, then, Astyages went home with a large amount of game; and he was so pleased with that chase, that thenceforth he always went out with Cyrus when it was possible, and he took along with him not only many others but, for Cyrus's sake, the boys as well.Thus Cyrus passed most of his time, contriving some pleasure and good for all, but responsible for nothing unpleasant to any one.
[1.4.16] But when Cyrus was about fifteen or sixteen years old, the son of the Assyrian king, on the eve of his marriage, desired in person to get the game for that occasion. Now, hearing that on the frontiers of Assyria and Media there was plenty of game that because of the war had not been hunted, he desired to go out thither. Accordingly, that he might hunt without danger, he took along a large force of cavalry and targeteers, who were to drive the game out of the thickets for him into country that was open and suitable for riding. And when he arrived where their frontier-forts and the garrison were, there he dined, planning to hunt early on the following day.
[1.4.17] And now when evening had come, the relief-corps for the former garrison came from the city, both horse and foot. He thought, therefore, that he had a large army at hand; for the two garrisons were there together and he himself had come with a large force of cavalry and infantry. Accordingly, he decided that it was best to make a foray into the Median territory and he thought that thus the exploit of the hunt would appear more brilliant and that the number of animals captured would be immense. And so, rising early, he led his army out; the infantry he left together at the frontier, while he himself, riding up with the horse to the outposts of the Medes, took his stand there with most of his bravest men about him, to prevent the Median guards from coming to the rescue against those who were scouring the country; and he sent out the proper men in divisions, some in one direction, some in another, to scour the country, with orders to capture whatever they came upon and bring it to him.So they were engaged in these operations.
[1.4.18] But when word was brought to Astyages that there were enemies in the country, he himself sallied forth to the frontier in person with his body-guard, and likewise his son with the knights that happened to be at hand marched out, while he gave directions to all the others also to come out to his assistance. But when they saw a large number of Assyrian troops drawn up and their cavalry standing still, the Medes also came to a halt.When Cyrus saw the rest marching out with all speed, he put on his armour then for the first time and started out, too; this was an opportunity that he had thought would never come--so eager was he to don his arms; and the armour that his grandfather had had made to order for him was very beautiful and fitted him well. Thus equipped he rode up on his horse. And though Astyages wondered at whose order he had come, he nevertheless told the lad to come and stay by his side.
[1.4.19] And when Cyrus saw many horsemen over against them, he asked: "Say, grandfather," said he, "are those men enemies who sit there quietly upon their horses?""Yes, indeed, they are," said he."Are those enemies, too," said Cyrus, "who are riding up and down?""Yes, they are enemies, too.""Well then, by Zeus, grandfather," said he, "at any rate, they are a sorry looking lot on a sorry lot of nags who are raiding our belongings. Why, some of us ought to charge upon them.""But don't you see, my son," said the king, "what a dense array of cavalry is standing there in line? If we charge upon those over there, these in turn will cut us off; while as for us, the main body of our forces has not yet come.""But if you stay here," said Cyrus, "and take up the reinforcements that are coming to join us, these fellows will be afraid and will not stir, while the raiders will drop their booty, just as soon as they see some of us charging on them."
[1.4.20] It seemed to Astyages that there was something in Cyrus's suggestion, when he said this. And whe wondered that the boy was so shrewd and wide-awake, he ordered his son to take a division of the cavalry and charge upon those who were carrying off the spoil. "And if," said he, "these others make a move against you, I will charge upon them, so that they will be forced to turn their attention to us."So then Cyaxares took some of the most powerful horses and men and advanced. And when Cyrus saw them starting, he rushed off and soon took the lead, while Cyaxares followed after, and the rest also were not left behind. And when the foragers saw them approaching, they straightway let go their booty and took to flight.
[1.4.21] But Cyrus and his followers tried to cut them off, and those whom they caught they at once struck down, Cyrus taking the lead; and they pursued hard after those who succeeded in getting past, and they did not give up but took some of them prisoners.As a well-bred but untrained hound rushes recklessly upon a boar, so Cyrus rushed on, with regard for nothing but to strike down every one he overtook and reckless of anything else.The enemy, however, when they saw their comrades hard pressed, advanced their column in the hope that the Medes would give up the pursuit on seeing them push forward.
[1.4.22] But none the more did Cyrus give over, but in his battle-joy he called to his uncle and continued the pursuit; and pressing on he put the enemy to headlong flight, and Cyaxares did not fail to follow, partly perhaps not to be shamed before his father; and the rest likewise followed, for under such circumstances they were more eager for the pursuit, even those who were not so very brave in the face of the enemy.But when Astyages saw them pursuing recklessly and the enemy advancing in good order to meet them, he was afraid that something might happen to his son and Cyrus, if they fell in disorder upon the enemy in readiness for battle, and straightway he advanced upon the foe.
[1.4.23] Now the enemy on their part, when they saw the Medes advance, halted, some with spears poised, others with bows drawn, expecting that the other side would also halt, as soon as they came within bow-shot, just as they were accustomed generally to do; for it was their habit to advance only so far against each other, when they came into closest quarters, and to skirmish with missiles, oftentimes till evening. But when they saw their comrades rushing in flight toward them, and Cyrus and his followers bearing down close upon them, and Astyages with his cavalry getting already within bow-shot, they broke and fled with all their might from the Medes who followed hard after them.The Medes caught up with many of them; and those whom they overtook they smote, both men and horses; and the fallen they slew. Nor did they stop, until they came up with the Assyrian infantry. Then, however, fearing lest some greater force might be lying in ambush, they came to a halt.
[1.4.24] Then Astyages marched back, greatly rejoicing over the victory of his cavalry but not knowing what to say of Cyrus; for though he realized that his grandson was responsible for the outcome, yet he recognized also that he was frenzied with daring. And of this there was further evidence; for, as the rest made their way homeward, he did nothing but ride around alone and gloat upon the slain, and only with difficulty did those who were detailed to do so succeed in dragging him away and taking him to Astyages; and as he came, he set his escort well before him, for he saw that his grandfather's face was angry because of his gloating upon them.
[1.4.25] Such was his life in Media; and Cyrus was not only on the tongues of all the rest both in story and in song, but Astyages also, while he had esteemed him before, was now highly delighted with him. And Cambyses, Cyrus's father, was pleased to learn this. But when he heard that Cyrus was already performing a man's deeds, he summoned him home to complete the regular curriculum in Persia. And Cyrus also, we are told, said then that he wished to go home, in order that his father might not feel any displeasure nor the state be disposed to criticise; and Astyages, too, thought it expedient to send him home.So he let him go and not only gave him the horses that he desired to take, but he packed up many other things for him because of his love for him and also because he cherished high hopes that his grandson would be a man able both to help his friends and to give trouble to his enemies. And everybody, both boys and men, young and old, and Astyages himself, escorted him on horseback as he went, and they say that there was no one who turned back without tears.
[1.4.26] And Cyrus also, it is said, departed very tearfully. And they say that he distributed as presents among his young friends many of the things that Astyages had given to him; and finally he took off the Median robe which he had on and gave it to one whom he loved very dearly. It is said, however, that those who received and accepted his presents carried them to Astyages, and Astyages received them and returned them to Cyrus; but Cyrus sent them back again to Media with this message: "If you wish me ever to come back to you again, grandfather, without having to be ashamed, permit those to whom I have given anything to keep it." And when Astyages heard this, he did as Cyrus's letter bade.
[1.4.27] Now, if we may relate a sentimental story, we are told that when Cyrus was going away and they were taking leave of one another, his kinsmen bade him good-bye, after the Persian custom, with a kiss upon his lips. And that custom has survived, for so the Persians do even to this day. Now a certain Median gentleman, very noble, had for some considerable time been struck with Cyrus's beauty, and when he saw the boy's kinsmen kissing him, he hung back. But when the rest were gone, he came up to Cyrus and said: "Am I the only one of your kinsmen, Cyrus, whom you do not recognize as such?""What," said Cyrus, "do you mean to say that you, too, are a kinsman?""Certainly," said he."That is the reason, then, it seems," said Cyrus, "why you used to stare at me; for if I am not mistaken, I have often noticed you doing so.""Yes," said he, "for though I was always desirous of coming to you, by the gods I was too bashful.""Well, you ought not to have been--at any rate, if you were my kinsman," said Cyrus; and at the same time he went up and kissed him.
[1.4.28] And when he had been given the kiss, the Mede asked: "Really, is it a custom in Persia to kiss one's kinsfolk?""Certainly," said he; "at least, when they see one another after a time of separation, or when they part from one another.""It may be time, then, for you to kiss me once again," said the Mede; "for, as you see, I am parting from you now."And so Cyrus kissed him good-bye again and went on his way. But they had not yet gone far, when the Mede came back with his horse in a lather. And when Cyrus saw him he said: "Why, how now? Did you forget something that you intended to say?""No, by Zeus," said he, "but I have come back after a time of separation.""By Zeus, cousin," said Cyrus, "a pretty short time.""Short, is it?" said the Mede; "don't you know, Cyrus," said he, "that even the time it takes me to wink seems an eternity to me, because during that time I do not see you, who are so handsome?"Then Cyrus laughed through his tears and bade him go and be of good cheer, for in a little while he would come back to them, so that he might soon look at him--without winking, if he chose.
Book 1, Section 5 [1.5.1] Now when Cyrus had returned, as before narrated, he is said to have spent one more year in the class of boys in Persia. And at first the boys were inclined to make fun of him, saying that he had come back after having learned to live a life of luxurious ease among the Medes. But when they saw him eating and drinking with no less relish than they themselves, and, if there ever was feasting at any celebration, freely giving away a part of his own share rather than asking for more; and wh, in addition to this, they saw him surpassing them in other things as well, then again his comrades began to have proper respect for him.And when he had passed through this discipline and had now entered the class of the youths, among these in turn he had the reputation of being the best both in attending to duty and in endurance, in respect toward his elders and in obedience to the officers.
[1.5.2] In the course of time Astyages died in Media, and Cyaxares, the son of Astyages and brother of Cyrus's mother, succeeded to the Median throne.At that time the king of Assyria had subjugated all Syria, a very large nation, and had made the king of Arabia his vassal; he already had Hyrcania under his dominion and was closely besetting Bactria. So he thought that if he should break the power of the Medes, he should easily obtain dominion over all the nations round about; for he considered the Medes the strongest of the neighbouring tribes.
[1.5.3] Accordingly, he sent around to all those under his sway and to Croesus, the king of Lydia, to the king of Cappadocia; to both Phrygias, to Paphlagonia, India, Caria, and Cilicia; and to a certain extent also he misrepresented the Medes and Persians, for he said that they were great, powerful nations, that they had intermarried with each other, and were united in common interests, and that unless some one attacked them first and broke their power, they would be likely to make war upon each one of the nations singly and subjugate them. Some, then, entered into an alliance with him because they actually believed what he said; others, because they were bribed with gifts and money, for he had great wealth.
[1.5.4] Now when Cyaxares heard of the plot and of the warlike preparations of the nations allied against him, without delay he made what counter preparations he could himself and also sent to Persia both to the general assembly and to his brother-in-law, Cambyses, who was king of Persia. And he sent word to Cyrus, too, asking him to try to come as commander of the men, in case the Persian state should send any troops. For Cyrus had by this time completed his ten years among the youths also and was now in the class of mature men.
[1.5.5] So Cyrus accepted the invitation, and the elders in council chose him commander of the expedition to Media. And they further permitted him to choose two hundred peers1 to accompany him, and to each one of the two hundred peers in turn they gave authority to choose four more, these also from the peers. That made a thousand. And each one of the thousand in their turn they bade choose in addition from the common people of the Persians ten targeteers, ten slingers, and ten bowmen. That made ten thousand bowmen, ten thousand targeteers, and ten thousand slingers--not counting the original thousand. So large was the army given to Cyrus.
[1.5.6] Now as soon as he was chosen, his first act was to consult the gods; and not till he had sacrificed and the omens were propitious, did he proceed to choose his two hundred men. And when these also had chosen each his four, he called them all together and then addressed them for the first time as follows:
[1.5.7] "My friends, I have chosen you not because I now see your worth for the first time, but because I have observed that from your boyhood on you have been zealously following out all that the state considers right and abstaining altogether from all that it regards as wrong. As for myself, I wish to make known to you why I have not hesitated to assume this office and why I have invited you to join me.
[1.5.8] "I have come to realize that our forefathers were no whit worse than we. At any rate, they also spent their time in practising what are considered the works of virtue. However, what they gained by being what they were, either for the commonwealth of the Persians or for themselves, I can by no means discover.
[1.5.9] And yet I think that no virtue is practised by men except with the aim that the good, by being such, may have something more than the bad; and I believe that those who abstain from present pleasures do this not that they may never enjoy themselves, but by this self-restraint they prepare themselves to have many times greater enjoyment in time to come. And those who are eager to become able speakers study oratory, not that they may never cease from speaking eloquently, but in the hope that by their eloquence they may persuade men and accomplish great good. And those also who practice military science undergo this labour, not that they may never cease from fighting, but because they think that by gaining proficiency in the arts of war they will secure great wealth and happiness and honour both for themselves and for their country.
[1.5.10] "But when men go through all this toil and then allow themselves to become old and feeble before they reap any fruit of their labours, they seem to me at least to be like a man who, anxious to become a good farmer, should sow and plant well but, when harvest time came, should permit his crop to fall back again to the ground ungathered. And again, if an athlete after long training and after getting himself in condition to win a victory should then persist in refusing to compete, not even he, I ween, would rightly be considered guiltless of folly.
[1.5.11] But, fellow-soldiers, let us not make this mistake; but, conscious that from our boyhood on we have practised what is good and honourable, let us go against the enemy, who, I am sure, are too untrained to contend against us. For those men are not yet valiant warriors, who, however skilful in the use of bow or spear and in horsemanship, are still found wanting if it is ever necessary to suffer hardship; such persons are mere tiros when it comes to hardships. Nor are those men valiant warriors, who are found wanting when it is necessary to keep awake; but these also are mere tiros in the face of sleep. Nor yet are those men valiant warriors, who have these qualifications but have not been taught how they ought to treat comrades and how to treat enemies, but it is evident that they also are unacquainted with the most important branches of education.
[1.5.12] "Now you, I take it, could make use of the night just as others do of the day; and you consider toil the guide to a happy life; hunger you use regularly as a sauce, and you endure drinking plain water more readily than lions do, while you have stored up in your souls that best of all possessions and the one most suitable to war: I mean, you enjoy praise more than anything else; and lovers of praise must for this reason gladly undergo every sort of hardship and every sort of danger.
[1.5.13] "Now if I say this concerning you while I believe the contrary to be true, I deceive myself utterly. For if any of these qualities shall fail to be forthcoming in you, the loss will fall on me. But I feel confident, you see, both from my own experience and from your good-will toward me and from the ignorance of the enemy that these sanguine hopes will not deceive me. So let us set out with good heart, since we are free from the suspicion of even seeming to aim unjustly at other men's possessions. For, as it is, the enemy are coming, aggressors in wrong, and our friends are calling us to their assistance. What, then, is more justifiable than to defend oneself, or what more noble than to assist one's friends?
[1.5.14] "This, moreover, will, I think, strengthen your confidence: I have not neglected the gods as we embark upon this expedition. For you have been with me enough to know that not only in great things but also in small I always try to begin with the approval of the gods."What more need I add?" he said in closing. "Choose you your men and get them together, and when you have made the necessary preparations come on to Media. As for myself, I will first return to my father and then go on ahead of you, to learn as soon as possible what the plans of the enemy are and to makewhat preparations I may require, in order that with God's help we may make as good a fight as possible."They, for their part, proceeded to do as he had said.
1,5,5,n1. The "peers," or "equals-in-honour," were so called because they enjoyed equality of rights in matters of education, politics, and offices of honour and distinction. See Index, s.v.
Book 1, Section 6 [1.6.1] Now, when Cyrus had gone home and prayed to ancestral Hestia, ancestral Zeus, and the rest of the gods, he set out upon his expedition; and his father also joined in escorting him on his way. And when they were out of the house, it is said to have thundered and lightened with happy auspices for him; and when this manifestation had been made, they proceeded, without taking any further auspices, in the conviction that no one would make void the signs of the supreme god.
[1.6.2] Then, as they went on, his father began to speak to Cyrus on this wise:"My son, it is evident both from the sacrifices and from the signs from the skies that the gods are sending you forth with their grace and favour; and you yourself must recognize it, for I had you taught this art on purpose that you might not have to learn the counsels of the gods through others as interpreters, but that you yourself, both seeing what is to be seen and hearing what is to be heard, might understand; for I would not have you at the mercy of the soothsayers, in case they should wish to deceive you by saying other things than those revealed by the gods; and furthermore, if ever you should be without a soothsayer, I would not have you in doubt as to what to make of the divine revelations, but by your soothsayer's art I would have you understand the counsels of the gods and obey them."
[1.6.3] "Aye, father," said Cyrus, "as you have taught me, I always try to take care, as far as I can, that the gods may be gracious unto us and willingly give us counsel; for I remember," said he, "having once heard you say that that man would be more likely to have power with the gods, even as with men, who did not fawn upon them when he was in adversity, but remembered the gods most of all when he was in the highest prosperity. And for one's friends also, you said, one ought always to show one's regard in precisely the same way."
[1.6.4] "Well, my son," said he, "and owing to that very regard do you not come to the gods with a better heart to pray, and do you not expect more confidently to obtain what you pray for, because you feel conscious of never having neglected them?""Yes, indeed, father," said he; "I feel toward the gods as if they were my friends."
[1.6.5] "To be sure," said his father; "and do you remember the conclusion which once we reached--that as people who know what the gods have granted fare better than those who do not; as people who work accomplish more than those who are idle; as people who are careful live more securely than those who are indifferent; so in this matter it seemed to us that those only who had made themselves what they ought to be had a right to ask for corresponding blessings from the gods?"
[1.6.6] "Yes, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "I do indeed remember hearing you say so, and all the more because I could not help but agree with what you said. For I know that you always used to say that those who had not learned to ride had no right to ask the gods to give them victory in a cavalry battle; and those who did not know how to shoot had no right to ask to excel in marksmanship those who did know how; and those who did not know how to steer had no right to pray that they might save ships by taking the helm; neither had those who did not sow at all any right to pray for a fine crop, nor those who were not watchful in war to ask for preservation; for all that is contrary to the ordinances of the gods. You said, moreover, that it was quite as likely that those who prayed for what was not right should fail of success with the gods as that those who asked for what was contrary to human law should be disappointed at the hands of men."
[1.6.7] "But, my son, have you forgotten the discussion you and I once had--that it was a great task and one worthy of a man, to do the best he could not only to prove himself a truly good and noble man but also to provide a good living both for himself and his household? And while this was a great task, still, to understand how to govern other people so that they might have all the necessaries of life in abundance and might all become what they ought to be, this seemed to us worthy of all admiration."
[1.6.8] "Yes, by Zeus, father," said he, "I do remember your saying this also; and I agreed with you, too, that it was an exceedingly difficult task to govern well; and now," said he, "I hold this same opinion still, when I consider the matter and think of the principles of governing. When I look at other people, however, and observe what sort of men those are who, in spite of their character, continue to rule over them, and what sort of opponents we are going to have, it seems to me an utter disgrace to show any respect for such as they are and not to wish to go to fight them. To begin with our own friends here," he continued, "I observe that the Medes consider it necessary for the one who governs them to surpass the governed in greater sumptuousness of fare, in the possession of more money in his palace, in longer hours of sleep, and in a more luxurious manner of life, in every respect, than the governed. But I think," he added, "that the ruler ought to surpass those under his rule not in self-indulgence, but in taking forethought and willingly undergoing toil."
[1.6.9] "But let me tell you, my boy," said the other, "there are some instances in which we must wrestle not against men but against actual facts, and it is not so easy to get the better of these without trouble. For instance, you doubtless know that if your army does not receive its rations, your authority will soon come to naught.""Yes, father," said he; "but Cyaxares says that he will furnish supplies for all who come from here, however many they be.""But, my son," said he, "do you mean to say that you are marching out trusting to the funds at the command of Cyaxares?""Yes, I do," said Cyrus."But say," said his father, "do you know how much he has?""No, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "I know nothing about it.""And do you nevertheless trust to these uncertainties? And do you not know that you will need many things and that he must now have many other expenses?""Yes," said Cyrus, "I do.""Well, then," said he, "if his resources fail or if he play you false on purpose, how will your army fare?""Evidently not very well; but father," said he, "if you have in mind any means that I might find at my own command for obtaining supplies, tell me about it, while we are still in a friendly country."
[1.6.10] "Do you ask me, my son," said he, "where you might yourself find means? Where might you better look to find the means of obtaining supplies than to the one who has an army? Now you are marching out from here with a force of infantry which you would not exchange, I am sure, for any other though many time as large; and you will have for cavalry to support you the Median horse, the best cavalry troops in the world. What nation, then, of those around do you suppose will refuse to serve you, both from the wish to do your side a favour, and for fear of suffering harm? And therefore in common with Cyaxares you should take care that you may never be without any of the things you need to have, and as a matter of habit, too, contrive some means of revenue. And above all I beg you to remember this: never postpone procuring supplies until want compels you to it; but when you have the greatest abundance, then take measures against want. And this is most expedient; for you will obtain more from those upon whom you make demands, if you do not seem to be in want, and besides you will thus be blameless in the eyes of your own soldiers; in this way, furthermore, you willcommand more respect from others also, and if you wish to do good or ill to any one with your forces, your soldiers will serve you better as long as they have what they need. And let me assure you that the words you say will have more more power to convince, when you can abundantly prove that you are in a position to do both good and ill."
[1.6.11] "Well, father," said he, "it seems to me that you are right in all you say, both on other grounds and also because not one of my soldiers will be grateful to me for that which according to the agreement he is to receive; for they know on what terms Cyaxares is having them brought as his allies. But whatever any one receives in addition to what has been agreed upon, that he will consider as a reward, and he will probably be grateful to the giver. But for a man to have an army with which he may do good to his friends and get help in return and try to punish his enemies, and for him then to neglect to make due provision for it, do you think," said he, "that this is in any way less disgraceful than for a man to have fields and labourers to work them and after all to let his land lie idle and unprofitable? But," he added, "I, at any rate, shall not fail to provide supplies for my men, whether in a friendly or in a hostile land--you may be certain of that."
[1.6.12] "Well then, my boy," said his father, "tell me, do you remember the other points which, we agreed, must not be neglected--eh?""Yes," said he, "I remember well when I came to you for money to pay to the man who professed to have taught me to be a general; and you, while you gave it me, asked a question something like this: `Of course,' you said, `the man to whom you are taking the pay has given you instruction in domestic economy as a part of the duties of a general, has he not? At any rate, the soldiers need provisions no whit less than the servants in your house.' And when I told you the truth and said that he had given me no instruction whatever in this subject, you asked me further whether he had said anything to me about health or strength, inasmuch as it would be requisite for the general to take thought for these matters as well as for the conduct of his campaign.
[1.6.13] And when I said `no' to this also, you asked me once more whether he had taught me any arts that would be the best helps in the business of war. And when I said `no' to this as well, you put this further question, whether he had put me through any training so that I might be able to inspire my soldiers with enthusiasm, adding that in every project enthusiasm or faintheartedness made all the difference in the world. And when I shook my head in response to this likewise, you questioned me again whether he had given me any lessons to teach me how best to secure obedience on the part of an army.
[1.6.14] And when this also appeared not to have been discussed at all, you finally asked me what in the world he had been teaching me that he professed to have been teaching me generalship. And thereupon I answered, `tactics.' And you laughed and went through it all, explaining point by point, as you asked of what conceivable use tactics could be to an army, without provisions and health, and of what use it could be without the knowledge of the arts invented for warfare and without obedience. And when you had made it clear to me that tactics was only a small part of generalship, I asked you if you could teach me any of those things, and you bade me go and talk with the men who were reputed to be masters of military science and find out how each one of those problems was to be met.
[1.6.15] Thereupon I joined myself to those who I heard were most proficient in those branches. And in regard to provisions--I was persuaded that what Cyaxares was to furnish us was enough if it should be forthcoming; and in regard to health--as I had always heard and observed that states that wished to be healthy elected a board of health, and also that generals for the sake of their soldiers took physicians out with them, so also when I was appointed to this position, I immediately took thought for this; and I think," he added, "that you will find that I have with me men eminent in the medical profession."Said his father in reply to this,
[1.6.16] "Yes, my son, but just as there are menders of torn garments, so also these physicians whom you mention heal us when we fall sick. But your responsibility for health will be a larger one than that: you must see to it that your army does not get sick at all.""And pray what course shall I take, father," said he, "that I may be able to accomplish that?""In the first place, if you are going to stay for some time in the same neighbourhood, you must not neglect to find a sanitary location for your camp; and with proper attention you can not fail in this. For people are continually talking about unhealthful localities and localities that are healthful; and you may find clear witnesses to either in the physique and complexion of the inhabitants; and in the second place, it is not enough to have regard to the localities only, but tell me what means you adopt to keep well yourself."
[1.6.17] "In the first place, by Zeus," said Cyrus, "I try never to eat too much, for that is oppressive; and in the second place, I work off by exercise what I have eaten, for by so doing health seems more likely to endure and strength to accrue.""That, then, my son," said he, "is the way in which you must take care of the rest also.""Yes, father," said he; "but will the soldiers find leisure for taking physical exercise?""Nay, by Zeus," said his father, "they not only can, but they actually must. For if an army is to do its duty, it is absolutely necessary that it never cease to contrive both evil for the enemy and good for itself. What a burden it is to support even one idle man! It is more burdensome still to support a whole household in idleness; but the worst burden of all is to support an army in idleness. For not only are the mouths in an army very numerous but the supplies they start with are exceedingly limited, and they use up most extravagantly whatever they get, so that an army must never be left idle."
[1.6.18] "Methinks you mean, father," said he, "that just as a lazy farmer is of no account, so also a lazy general is of no account at all.""But at any rate, as regards the energetic general," said his father, "I can vouch for it that, unless some god do cross him, he will keep his soldiers abundantly supplied with provisions and at the same time in the best physical condition.""Yes," said Cyrus; "but at all events, as to practice in the various warlike exercises, it seems to me, father, that by announcing contests in each one and offering prizes you would best secure practice in them, so that you would have everything prepared for use, whenever you might need it.""Quite right, my son," said he; "for if you do that you may be sure that you will see your companies performing their proper parts like trained sets of dancers."
[1.6.19] "In the next place," said Cyrus, "for putting enthusiasm into the soldiers nothing seems to be more effectual than the power of inspiring men with hopes.""Yes, my son," said he; "but that is just as if any one on a hunt should always call up his dogs with the call that he uses when he sees the quarry. For at first, to be sure, he will find them obeying him eagerly; but if he deceives them often, in the end they will not obey him when he calls, even though he really does see a wild beast. So it stands with respect to those hopes also. If any one too often raises false expectations of good things to come, eventually he can gain no credence, even when he holds forth well-grounded hopes. But, my son, you should refrain from saying what you are not perfectly sure of; by making certain others your mouthpiece, however, the desired end may be accomplished; but faith in your own words of encouragement you must keep sacred to the utmost to serve you in the greatest crises.""Yes, by Zeus, father," saCyrus; "I think you are right in what you say, and I like your idea better.
[1.6.20] And then in regard to keeping the soldiers in a state of obedience, I think, father, that I am not inexperienced in that direction; for you instructed me in obedience from my very childhood on, compelling me to obey you. Then you surrendered me to the charge of my teachers, and they pursued the same course; and when we were in the class of young men, the officer in charge paid especial attention to this same point; and most of the laws seem to me to teach these two things above all else, to govern and to be governed. And now, when I think of it, it seems to me that in all things the chief incentive to obedience lies in this: praise and honour for the obedient, punishment and dishonour for the disobedient."
[1.6.21] "This, my son, is the road to compulsory obedience, indeed, but there is another road, a short cut, to what is much better--namely, to willing obedience. For people are only too glad to obey the man who they believe takes wiser thought for their interests than they themselves do. And you might recognize that this is so in many instances but particularly in the case of the sick: how readily they call in those who are to prescribe what they must do; and at sea how cheerfully the passengers obey the captain; and how earnestly travellers desire not to get separated from those who they think are better acquainted with the road than they are. But when people think that they are going to get into trouble if they obey, they will neither yield very much for punishment nor will they be moved by gifts; for no one willingly accepts even a gift at the cost of trouble to himself."
[1.6.22] "You mean to say, father, that nothing is more effectual toward keeping one's men obedient than to seem to be wiser than they?""Yes," said he, "that is just what I mean.""And how, pray, father, could one most quickly acquire such a reputation for oneself?""There is no shorter road, my son," said he, "than really to be wise in those things in which you wish to seem to be wise; and when you examine concrete instances, you will realize that what I say is true. For example, if you wish to seem to be a good farmer when you are not, or a good rider, doctor, flute-player, or anything else that you are not, just think how many schemes you must invent to keep up your pretensions. And even if you should persuade any number of people to praise you, in order to give yourself a reputation, and if you should procure a fine outfit for each of your professions, you would soon be found to have practised deception; and not long after, when you were giving an exhibition of your skill, you would be shown up and convicted, too, as an impostor."
[1.6.23] "But how could one become really wise in foreseeing that which will prove to be useful?""Obviously, my son," said he, "by learning all that it is possible to acquire by learning, just as you learned tactics. But whatever it is not possible for man to learn, nor for human wisdom to foresee, that you may find out from the gods by the soothsayer's art, and thus prove yourself wiser than others; and if you know anything that it would be best to have done, you would show yourself wiser than others if you should exert yourself to get that done; for it is a mark of greater wisdom in a man to strive to secure what is needful than to neglect it."
[1.6.24] "Yes; but as to the love of one's subjects-- and this, it seems to me at least, is one of the most important questions--the same course that you would take if you wished to gain the affection of your friends leads also to that; that is, I think, you must show yourself to be their benefactor.""Yes, my son," said he; "it is a difficult matter, however, always to be in a position to do good to whom you will; but to show that you rejoice with them if any good befall them, that you sympathize with them if any ill betide, that you are eager to help them in times of distress, that you are anxious that they be not crossed in any way, and that you try to prevent their being crossed; it is in these respects somehow that you ought rather to go hand in hand with them.
[1.6.25] And in his campaigns also, if they fall in the summer time, the general must show that he can endure the heat of the sun better than his soldiers can, and that he can endure cold better than they if it be in winter; if the way lead through difficulties, that he can endure hardships better. All this contributes to his being loved by his men.""You mean to say, father," said he, "that in everything the general must show more endurance than his men.""Yes," said he, "that is just what I mean; however, never fear for that, my son; for bear in mind that the same toils do not affect the general and the private in the same way, though they have the same sort of bodies; but the honour of the general's position and the very consciousness that nothing he does escapes notice lighten the burdens for him."
[1.6.26] "But, father, when once your soldiers had supplies and were well and able to endure toils, and when they were practised in the arts of war and ambitious to prove themselves brave, and when they were more inclined to obey than to disobey, under such circumstances do you not think it would be wise to desire to engage the enemy at the very first opportunity?""Yes, by Zeus," said he; "at any rate, if I expected to gain some advantage by it; otherwise, for my part, the better I though myself to be and the better my followers, the more should I be on my guard, just as we try to keep other things also which we hold most precious in the greatest possible security."
[1.6.27] "But, father, what would be the best way to gain an advantage over the enemy?""By Zeus," said he, "this is no easy or simple question that you ask now, my son; but, let me tell you, the man who proposes to do that must be designing and cunning, wily and deceitful, a thief and a robber, overreaching the enemy at every point.""O Heracles, father," said Cyrus with a laugh, "what a man you say I must become!""Such, my son," he said, "that you would be at the same time the most righteous and law-abiding man in the world."
[1.6.28] "Why then, pray, did you use to teach us the opposite of this when we were boys and youths?""Aye, by Zeus," said he; "and so we would have you still towards your friends and fellow-citizens; but, that you might be able to hurt your enemies, do you not know that you all were learning many villainies?""No, indeed, father," said he; "not I, at any rate.""Why," said he, "did you learn to shoot, and why to throw the spear? Why did you learn to ensnare wild boars with nets and pitfalls, and deer with traps and toils? And why were you not used to confront lions and bears and leopards in a fair fight face to face instead of always trying to contend against them with some advantage on your side? Why, do you not know that all this is villainy and deceit and trickery and taking unfair advantage?"
[1.6.29] "Yes, by Zeus," said he, "toward wild animals however; but if I ever even seemed to wish to deceive a man, I know that I got a good beating for it.""Yes," said he; "for, methinks, we did not permit you to shoot at people nor to throw your spear at them; but we taught you to shoot at a mark, in order that you might not for the time at least do harm to your friends, but, in case there should ever be a war, that you might be able to aim well at men also. And we instructed you likewise to deceive and to take advantage, not in the case of men but of beasts, in order that you might not injure your friends by so doing, but, if there should ever be a war, that you might not be unpractised in these arts."
[1.6.30] "Well then, father," said he, "if indeed it is useful to understand both how to do good and how to do evil to men, we ought to have been taught both these branches in the case of men, too."
[1.6.31] "Yes, my son," said he; "it is said that in the time of our forefathers there was once a tof the boys who, it seems, used to teach them justice in the very way that you propose; to lie and not to lie, to cheat and not to cheat, to slander and not to slander, to take and not to take unfair advantage. And he drew the line between what one should do to one's friends and what to one's enemies. And what is more, he used to teach this: that it was right to deceive friends even, provided it were for a good end, and to steal the possessions of a friend for a good purpose.
[1.6.32] And in teaching these lessons he had also to train the boys to practise them upon one another, just as also in wrestling, the Greeks, they say, teach deception and train the boys to be able to practise it upon one another. When, therefore, some had in this way become expert both in deceiving successfully and in taking unfair advantage and perhaps also not inexpert in avarice, they did not refrain from trying to take an unfair advantage even of their friends.
[1.6.33] In consequence of that, therefore, an ordinance was passed which obtains even unto this day, simply to teach our boys, just as we teach our servants in their relations toward us, to tell the truth and not to deceive and not to take unfair advantage; and if they should act contrary to this law, the law requires their punishment, in order that, inured to such habits, they may become more refined members of society.
[1.6.34] But when they came to be as old as you are now, then it seemed to be safe to teach them that also which is lawful toward enemies; for it does not seem likely that you would break away and degenerate into savages after you had been brought up together in mutual respect. In the same way we do not discuss sexual matters in the presence of very young boys, lest in case lax discipline should give a free rein to their passions the young might indulge them to excess."
[1.6.35] "True, by Zeus," said he; "but seeing that I am late in learning about this art of taking advantage of others, do not neglect to teach me, father, if you can, how I may take advantage of the enemy.""Contrive, then," said he, "as far as is in your power, with your own men in good order to catch the enemy in disorder, with your own men armed to come upon them unarmed, and with your own men awake to surprise them sleeping, and then you will catch them in an unfavourable position while you yourself are in a strong position, when they are in sight to you and while you yourself are unseen."
[1.6.36] "And how, father," said he, "could one catch the enemy making such mistakes?""Why, my son," said he, "both you and the enemy must necessarily offer many such opportunities; for instance, you must both eat, and you must both sleep, and early in the morning you must almost all at the same time attend to the calls of nature, and you must make use of such roads as you find. All this you must observe, and you must be particularly watchful on the side where you know yourselves to be weaker, and you must attack the enemy above all in that quarter in which you see that they are most vulnerable."
[1.6.37] "And is it possible to take advantage in these ways only," said Cyrus, "or in other ways also?""Aye, far more in other ways, my son," said he; "for in these particulars all men, as a rule, take strict precautions; for they know that they must. But those whose business it is to deceive the enemy can catch them off their guard by inspiring them with over-confidence; and, by offering them the opportunity of pursuit, can get them into disorder; and, by leading them on into unfavourable ground by pretended flight, can there turn and attack them.
[1.6.38] However, my son," he continued, "since you are desirous of learning all these matters, you must not only utilize what you may learn from others, but you must yourself also be an inventor of stratagems against the enemy, just as musicians render not only those compositions which they have learned but try to compose others also that are new. Now if in music that which is new and fresh wins applause, new stratagems in warfare also win far greater applause, for such can deceive the enemy even more successfully.
[1.6.39] "And if you, my son," he went on, "should do nothing more than apply to your dealings with men the tricks that you used to practise so constantly in dealing with small game, do you not think that you would make a very considerable advance in the art of taking advantage of the enemy? For you used to get up in the coldest winter weather and go out before daylight to catch birds, and before the birds were astir you had your snares laid ready for them and the ground disturbed had been made exactly like the ground undisturbed; and your decoy birds had been so trained as to serve your purposes and to deceive the birds of the same species, while you yourself would lie in hiding so as to see them but not to be seen by them; and you had practised drawing your nets before the birds could escape.
[1.6.40] And again, to catch the hare--because he feeds in the night and hides in the daytime--you used to breed dogs that would find him out by the scent. And because he ran so fast, when he was found, you used to have other dogs trained to catch him by coursing. And in case he escaped even these, you used to find out the runs and the places where hares take refuge and may be caught, and there you would spread out your nets so as to be hardly visible, and the hare in his headlong flight would plunge into them and entangle himself. And lest he escape even from that, you used to station men to watch for what might happen and to pounce upon him suddenly from a place near by. And you yourself from behind shouting with a cry that kept right up with the hare would frighten him so that he would lose his wits and be taken; those in front, on the other hand, you had instructed to keep silent and made them lie concealed in ambush.
[1.6.41] "As I said before, then, if you would employ such schemes on men also, I am inclined to think that you would not come short of any enemy in the world. But if it is ever necessary--as it may well be--to join battle in the open field, in plain sight, with both armies in full array, why, in such a case, my son, the advantages that have been long since secured are of much avail; by that I mean, if your soldiers are physically in good training, if their hearts are well steeled and the arts of war well studied.
[1.6.42] Besides, you must remember well that all those from whom you expect obedience to you will, on their part, expect you to take thought for them. So never be careless, but think out at night what your men are to do for you when day comes, and in the daytime think out how the arrangements for the night may best be made.
[1.6.43] But how you ought to draw up an army in battle array, or how you ought to lead it by day or by night, by narrow ways or broad, over mountains or plains, or how you should pitch camp, or how station your sentinels by night or by day, or how you should advance against the enemy or retreat before them, or how you should lead past a hostile city, or how attack a fortification or withdraw from it, or how you should cross ravines or rivers, or how you should protect yourself against cavalry or spearmen or bowmen, and if the enemy should suddenly come in sight while you are leading on in column, how you should form and take your stand against them, and if they should come in sight from any other quarter than in front as you are marching in phalanx, how you should form and face them, or how any one might best find out the enemy's plans or how the enemy might be least likely to learn his--why should I tell you all these things? For what I, for my part, know, you have often heard; and if any one else had a reputation for understanding anything of that kind, you never neglected to get information from him, nor have you been uninstructed. I think, then, that you should turn this knowledge to account according to circumstances, as each item of it may appear serviceable to you.
[1.6.44] "Learn this les, too, from me, my son," said he; "it is the most important thing of all: never go into any danger either to yourself or to your army contrary to the omens or the auspices, and bear in mind that men choose lines of action by conjecture and do not know in the least from which of them success will come.
[1.6.45] But you may derive this lesson from the facts of history; for many, and men, too, who seemed most wise, have ere now persuaded states to take up arms against others, and the states thus persuaded to attack have been destroyed. And many have made many others great, both individuals and states; and when they have exalted them, they have suffered the most grievous wrongs at their hands. And many who might have treated people as friends and done them favours and received favours from them, have received their just deserts from these very people because they preferred to treat them like slaves rather than as friends. Many, too, not satisfied to live contentedly in the enjoyment of their own proper share, have lost even that which they had, because they have desired to be lords of everything; and many, when they have gained the much coveted wealth, have been ruined by it.
[1.6.46] So we see that mere human wisdom does not know how to choose what is best any more than if any one were to cast lots and do as the lot fell. But the gods, my son, the eternal gods, know all things, both what has been and what is and what shall come to pass as a result of each present or past event; and if men consult them, they reveal to those to whom they are propitious what they ought to do and what they ought not to do. But if they are not willing to give counsel to everybody, that is not surprising; for they are under no compulsion to care for any one unless they will." Book 2, Section 1 [2.1.1] In such conversation they arrived at the Persian frontier. And when an eagle appeared upon their right and flew on ahead of them, they prayed to the gods and heroes who watch over the land of Persia to conduct them on with grace and favour, and then proceeded to cross the frontier. And when they had crossed, they prayed again to the tutelary gods of the Median land to receive them with grace and favour; and when they had finished their devotions, they embraced one another, as was natural, and the father went back again to Persia, while Cyrus went on to Cyaxares in Media.
[2.1.2] And when he arrived there, first they embraced one another, as was natural, and then Cyaxares asked Cyrus how large the army was that he was bringing."Thirty thousand," he answered, "of such as have come to you before as mercenaries; but others also, of the peers, who have never before left their country, are coming.""About how many?" asked Cyaxares.
[2.1.3] "The number," said Cyrus, "would give you no pleasure, if you were to hear it; but bear this in mind, that though the so-called peers are few, they easily rule the rest of the Persians, many though they be. But," he added, "are you in any need of them, or was it a false alarm, and are the enemy not coming?""Yes, by Zeus," said he, "they are coming and in great numbers, too."
[2.1.4] "How is this so certain?""Because," said he, "many have come from there, and though one tells the story one way and another another, they all say the same thing.""We shall have to fight those men, then?""Aye," said he; "we must of necessity.""Well then," said Cyrus, "won't you please tell me, if you know, how great the forces are that are coming against us; and tell me of our own as well, so that with full information about both we may lay our plans accordingly, how best to enter the conflict.""Listen then," said Cyaxares.
[2.1.5] "Croesus, the king of Lydia, is said to be coming at the head of 10,000 horsemen and more than 40,000 peltasts and bowmen. And they say that Artacamas, the king of Greater Phrygia, is coming at the head of 8000 horse and not fewer than 40,000 lancers and peltasts; and Aribaeus, the king of Cappadocia, has 6000 horse and not fewer than 30,000 bowmen and peltasts; while the Arabian, Aragdus, has about 10,000 horsemen, about 100 chariots of war, and a great host of slingers. As for the Greeks who dwell in Asia, however, no definite information is as yet received whether they are in the coalition or not. But the contingent from Phrygia on the Hellespont, under Gabaedus, has arrived at Cay+stru-Pedium, it is said, to the number of 6000 horse and 10,000 peltasts.The Carians, however, and Cilicians and Paphlagonians, they say, have not joined the expedition, although they have been invited to do so. But the Assyrians, both those from Babylon and those from the rest of Assyria, will bring, I think, not fewer than 20,000 horse and not fewer, I am sure, than 200 war-chariots, and a vast number of infantry, I suppose; at any rate, they used to have as many as that whenever they invaded our country."
[2.1.6] "You mean to say," said Cyrus, "that the enemy have 60,000 horse and more than 200,000 peltasts and bowmen. And at how many, pray, do you estimate the number of your own forces?""There are," said he, "of the Medes more than 10,000 horse; and the peltasts and bowmen might be, from a country like ours, some 60,000; while from our neighbours, the Armenians, we shall get 4000 horse and 20,000 foot.""That is to say," said Cyrus, "we have less than one-fourth as many horsemen as the enemy and about half as many foot-soldiers."
[2.1.7] "Tell me, then," said Cyaxares, "do you not consider the Persian force small which you say you are bringing?""Yes," said Cyrus; "but we will consider later whether we need more men or not. Now tell me," he went on, "what each party's method of fighting is.""About the same with all," said Cyaxares; "for there are bowmen and spearmen both on their side and on ours.""Well then," said Cyrus, "as their arms are of that sort, we must fight at long range."
[2.1.8] "Yes," said Cyaxares, "that will be necessary.""In that case, then, the victory will be with the side that has the greater numbers; for the few would be wounded and killed off by the many sooner than the many by the few.""If that is so, Cyrus, then what better plan could any one think of than to send to Persia to inform them that if anything happens to the Medes, the danger will extend to the Persians, and at the same time to ask for a larger army?""Why," said Cyrus, "let me assure you that even though all the Persians were to come, we should not surpass the enemy in point of numbers."
[2.1.9] "What better plan do you see than this?""If I were you," said Cyrus, "I should as quickly as possible have armour made for all the Persians who are coming here just like that of the so-called peers who are coming from our country--that is, a corselet to wear about the breast, a small shield upon the left arm, and a scimitar or sabre in the right hand. And if you provide these weapons, you will make it the safest procedure for us to fight at close quarters with the enemy, while for the enemy flight will prove preferable to standing their ground. And it is for us," he continued, "to range ourselves against those who hold their ground, while those of them who run away we propose to leave to you and the cavalry, that they may have no chance to stand their ground or to turn back."
[2.1.10] Thus Cyrus spoke. And to Cyaxares it seemed that he spoke to the point; and he no longer talked of sending for reinforcements, but he set about procuring the arms as suggested. And they were almost ready when the Persian peers came with the army from Persia.
[2.1.11] Thereupon Cyrus is said to have called the peers together and said: "My friends: When I saw you thus equipped and ready in heart to grapple with the enemy in a hand-to-hand encounter, and when I observed that those Persians who follow you are so armed as to do their fighting standing as far off as possible, I wafraid lest, few in number and unaccompanied by others to support you, you might fall in with a large division of the enemy and come to some harm. Now then," said he, "you have brought with you men blameless in bodily strength; and they are to have arms like ours; but to steel their hearts is our task; for it is not the whole duty of an officer to show himself valiant, but he must also take care that his men be as valiant as possible."
[2.1.12] Thus he spoke. And they were all delighted, for they thought they were going into battle with more to support them. And one of them also spoke as follows:
[2.1.13] "Now," he began, "it will perhaps sound strange if I advise Cyrus to say something on our behalf, when those who are to fight along with us receive their arms. But I venture the suggestion, for I know that when men have most power to do both good and ill, then their words also are the most likely to sink deep into the hearts of the hearers. And if such persons give presents, even though the gifts be of less worth than those given by equals, still the recipients value them more highly. And now," said he, "our Persian comrades will be more highly pleased to be exhorted by Cyrus than by us; and when they have taken their place among the peers they will feel that they hold this honour with more security because conferred by their prince and their general than if the same honour were bestowed by us. However, our co-operation must not be wanting, but in every way and by all means we must steel the hearts of our men. For the braver these men are, the more to our advantage it will be."
[2.1.14] Accordingly, Cyrus had the arms brought in and arranged to view, and calling all the Persian soldiers together he spoke as follows:
[2.1.15] "Fellow-citizens of Persia, you were born and bred upon the same soil as we; the bodies you have are no whit inferior to ours, and it is not likely that you have hearts in the least less brave than our own. In spite of this, in our own country you did not enjoy equal privileges with us, but because you were obliged to earn your own livelihood. Now, however, with the help of the gods, I shall see to it that you are provided with the necessaries of life; and you are permitted, if you wish, to receive arms like ours, to face the same danger as we, and, if any fair success crowns our enterprise, to be counted worthy of an equal share with us.
[2.1.16] "Now, up to this time you have been bowmen and lancers, and so have we; and if you were not quite our equals in the use of these arms, there is nothing surprising about that; for you had not the leisure to practise with them that we had. But with this equipment we shall have no advantage over you. In any case, every man will have a corselet fitted to his breast, upon his left arm a shield, such as we have all been accustomed to carry, and in his right hand a sabre or scimitar with which, you see, we must strike those opposed to us at such close range that we need not fear to miss our aim when we strike.
[2.1.17] In this armour, then, how could any one of us have the advantage over another except in courage? And this it is proper for you to cherish in your hearts no less than we. For why is it more proper for us than for you to desire victory, which gains and keeps safe all things beautiful and all things good? And what reason is there that we, any more than you, should desire that superiority in arms which gives to the victors all the belongings of the vanquished?
[2.1.18] "You have heard all," he said in conclusion. "You see your arms; whosoever will, let him take them and have his name enrolled with the captain in the same companies with us. But whosoever is satisfied to be in the position of a mercenary, let him remain in the armour of the hired soldiery."Thus he spoke.
[2.1.19] And when the Persians heard it, they thought that if they were unwilling to accept, when invited to share the same toils and enjoy the same rewards, they should deserve to live in want through all time. And so they were all enrolled and all took up the arms.
[2.1.20] And while the enemy were said to be approaching but had not yet come, Cyrus tried to develop the physical strength of his men, to teach them tactics, and to steel their hearts for war.
[2.1.21] And first of all he received quartermasters from Cyaxares and commanded them to furnish ready made for each of the soldiers a liberal supply of everything that he needed. And when he had provided for this, he had left them nothing to do but to practise the arts of war, for he thought he had observed that those became best in any given thing who gave up paying attention to many things and devoted themselves to that alone. So, in the drill itself he relieved them of even the practice with bow and spear and left them only the drill with sword and shield and breastplate. And so he at once brought home to them the conviction that they must go into a hand-to-hand encounter with the enemy or else admit that as allies they were good for nothing. But such an admission is hard for those who know that they are being maintained for no other purpose than to fight for those who maintain them.
[2.1.22] And as, in addition to this, he had further observed that people are much more willing to practise those things in which they have rivalry among themselves, he appointed contests for them in everything that he knew it was important for soldiers to practise. What he proposed was as follows: to the private soldier, that he show himself obedient to the officers, ready for hardship, eager for danger but subject to good discipline, familiar with the duties required of a soldier, neat in the care of his equipment, and ambitious about all such matters; to the corporal, that, besides being himself like the good private, he make his squad of five a model, as far as possible; to the sergeant, that he do likewise with his squad of ten, and the lieutenant with his platoon2; and to the captain, that he be unexceptionable himself and see to it that the officers under him get those whom they command to do their duty.
[2.1.23] As rewards, moreover, he offered the following: in the case of captains, those who were thought to have got their companies into the best condition should be made colonels; of the lieutenants, those who were thought to have put their platoons into the best condition should be advanced to the rank of captains; of the sergeants, those who were the most meritorious should be promoted to the rank of lieutenant; in the same way, the best of the corporals should be promoted to the rank of sergeants; and finally of the privates, the best should be advanced to the rank of corporal. Moreover, all these officers not only had a right to claim the respect of their subordinates, but other distinctions also appropriate to each office followed in course. And to those who should deserve praise still greater hopes were held out, in case in time to come any greater good fortune should befall.
[2.1.24] Besides, he offered prizes of victory to whole companies and to whole platoons and to squads of ten and of five likewise, if they showed themselves implicitly obedient to the officers and very ready in performing the afore mentioned duties. And the prizes of victory for these divisions were just such as were appropriate to groups of men.Such, then, were the competitions appointed, and the army began to train for them.
[2.1.25] Then, he had tents made for them--in number, as many as there were captains; in size, large enough to accommodate each a company. A company, moreover, was composed of a hundred men. Accordingly, they lived in tents each company by itself; for Cyrus thought that in occupying tents together they had the following advantages for the coming conflict: They saw one another provided for in the same way, and there could be no possible pretext of unjust discrimination that could lead any one to allow himself to prove less brave than another in the face of the enemy. Andhe thought that if they tented together it would help them to get acquainted with one another. And in getting acquainted with one another, he thought, a feeling of considerateness was more likely to be engendered in them all, while those who are unacquainted seem somehow more indifferent--like people when they are in the dark.
[2.1.26] He thought also that their tenting together helped them not a little to gain a perfect acquaintance with their positions. For the captains had the companies under them in as perfect order as when a company was marching single file, and the lieutenants their platoons, and the sergeants and corporals their squads in the same way.
[2.1.27] He thought, moreover, that such perfect acquaintance with their places in the line was exceedingly helpful both to prevent their being thrown into confusion and to restore order sooner in case they should be thrown into confusion; just as in the case of stones and timbers which must be fitted together, it is possible to fit them together readily, no matter in how great confusion they may chance to have been thrown down, if they have the guide-marks to make it plain in what place each of them belongs.
[2.1.28] And finally, he thought that comradeship would be encouraged by their messing together and that they would be less likely to desert one another; for he had often observed that even animals that were fed together had a marvellous yearning for one another, if any one separated them.
[2.1.29] Cyrus also took care that they should never come to luncheon or to dinner unless they had had a sweat. For he would get them into a sweat by taking them out hunting; or he would contrive such sports as would make them sweat; or again, if he happened to have some business or other to attend to, he so conducted it that they should not come back without having had a sweat. For this he considered conducive to their enjoying their meals, to their health, and to their being able to endure hardships, and he thought that hardships conduced to their being more reasonable toward one another, for even horses that work together stand more quietly together. At any rate, those who are conscious that they have been well drilled are certainly more courageous in the face of the enemy.
[2.1.30] And for himself Cyrus had a tent made big enough to accommodate all whom he might invite to dinner. Now he usually invited as many of the captains as he thought proper, and sometimes also some of the lieutenants and sergeants and corporals; and occasionally he invited some of the privates, sometimes a squad of five together, or a squad of ten, or a platoon, or a whole company in a body. And he also used to invite individuals as a mark of honour, whenever he saw that they had done what he himself wished everybody to do. And the same dishes were always placed before those whom he invited to dinner as before himself.
[2.1.31] The quartermasters in the army he always allowed an equal share of everything; for he thought that it was fair to show no less regard for the purveyors of the army stores than for heralds or ambassadors. And that was reasonable, for he held that they must be trustworthy, familiar with military affairs, and intelligent, and, in addition to that, energetic, quick, resolute, steady. And still further, Cyrus knew that the quartermasters also must have the qualities which those have who are considered most efficient and that they must train themselves not to refuse any service but to consider that it is their duty to perform whatever the general might require of them.
2,1,22,n2. The divisions of Cyrus's army were as follows: 5 men to a corporal's squad pempas); officer: corporal (pempadarchos); total men: 5. 2 corporals' squads to a 1 sergeant's squad dekas; officer: sergeant dekadarchos; total men: 10. 5 sergeants' squads to a platoon lochos; officer: lieutenant lochagos; total men: 50. 2 platoons to a company taxis; officer: captain taxiarchos; total men: 100. 10 companies to a 1 regiment chiliostus; officer: colonel chiliarchos; total men: 1,000. 10 regiments to a brigade muriostus; officer: general muriarchos); total men: 10,000.
Book 2, Section 2 [2.2.1] Whenever Cyrus entertained company at dinner, he always took pains that the conversation introduced should be as entertaining as possible and that it should incite to good. On one occasion he opened the conversation as follows:"Tell me, men," said he, "do our new comrades seem to be any worse off than we because they have not been educated in the same way as we, or pray do you think that there will be no difference between us either in social intercourse or when we shall have to contend with the enemy?"
[2.2.2] "Well," said Hystaspas in reply, "for my part, I cannot tell yet how they will appear in the face of the enemy. But in social intercourse, by the gods, some of them seem ill-mannered enough. The other day, at any rate," he explained, "Cyaxares had meat sent in to each company, and as it was passed around each one of us got three pieces or even more. And the first time round the cook began with me as he passed it around; but when he came in the second time to pass it, I bade him begin with the last and pass it arkund the other way.
[2.2.3] Then one of the men sitting in the middle of the circle called out and said, `By Zeus, this is not fair at all--at any rate, if they are never going to begin with us here in the middle.' And when I heard that, I was vexed that any one should think that he had less than another and I called him to me at once. He obeyed, showing good discipline in this at least. But when that which was being passed came to us, only the smallest pieces were left, as one might expect, for we were the last to be served. Thereupon he was greatly vexed and said to himself: `Such luck! that I should happen to have been called here just now!'
[2.2.4] `Well, never mind,' said I. `They will begin with us next time, and you, being first, will get the biggest piece.' And at that moment the cook began to pass around the third time what was left of the course; and the man helped himself; and then he thought the piece he had taken too small; so he put back the piece he had, with the intention of taking another. And the cook, thinking that he did not want any more to eat, went on passing it before he got his other piece.
[2.2.5] Thereupon he took his mishap so to heart that he lost not only the meat he had taken but also what was still left of his sauce; for this last he upset somehow or other in the confusion of his vexation and anger over his hard luck. The lieutenant nearest us saw it and laughed and clapped his hands in amusement. And I," he added, "pretended to cough; for even I could not keep from laughing. Such is one man, Cyrus, that I present to you as one of our comrades."At this they laughed, of course.
[2.2.6] But another of the captains said: "Our friend here, it seems, Cyrus, has fallen in with a very ill-mannered fellow. But as for me, when you had instructed us about the arrangement of the lines and dismissed us with orders each to teach his own company what we had learned from you, why then I went and proceeded to drill one platoon, just as the others also did. I assigned the lieutenant his place first and arranged next after him a young recruit, and the rest, as I thought proper. Then I took my stand out in front of them facing the platoon, and when it seemed to me to be the proper time, I gave the command to go ahead.
[2.2.7] And that young recruit, mark you, stepped ahead--of the lieutenant and marched in front of him! And when I saw it, I said: `Fellow, what are you doing?' `I am going ahead, as you ordered,' said he. `Well,' said I, `I ordered not only you, but all to go ahead.' When he heard this, he turned about to his comrades and said: `Don't you hear him scolding? He orders us all to go ahead.' Then the men all ran past their lieutenant and came toward me.
[2.2.8] But when the lieutenant ordered them back to their , they were indignant and said: `Pray, which one are we to obey? For now the one orders us to go ahead, and the other will not let us.' I took this good-naturedly, however, and when I had got them in position again, I gave instructions that no one of those behind should stir before the one in front led off, but that all should have their attention on this only--to follow the man in front.
[2.2.9] But when a certain man who was about to start for Persia came up and asked me for the letter which I had written home, I bade the lieutenant run and fetch it, for he knew where it had been placed. So he started off on a run, and that young recruit followed, as he was, breastplate and sword; and then the whole fifty, seeing him run, ran after. And the men came back bringing the letter. So exactly, you see, does my company, at least, carry out all your orders."
[2.2.10] The rest, of course, laughed over the military escort of the letter, and Cyrus said: "O Zeus and all the gods! What sort of men we have then as our comrades; they are so easily won by kindness that we can make many of them our firm friends with even a little piece of meat; and they are so obedient that they obey even before the orders are given. I, for my part, do not know what sort of soldiers one could ask to have in preference to these!"
[2.2.11] Thus Cyrus praised his soldiers, laughing at the same time. But one of his captains, Aglai+tadas by name, one of the most austere of men, happened to be in Cyrus's tent at the same time and he spoke somewhat as follows: "You don't mean to say, Cyrus, that you think what these fellows have been telling is true?""Well," said Cyrus, "what object could they have, pray, in telling a lie?""What object, indeed," said the other, "except that they wanted to raise a laugh; and so they tell these stories and try to humbug us."
[2.2.12] "Hush!" said Cyrus. "Don't call these men humbugs. For to me, the name `humbug' seems to apply to those who pretend that they are richer than they are or braver than they are, and to those who promise to do what they cannot do, and that, too, when it is evident that they do this only for the sake of getting something or making some gain. But those who invent stories to amuse their companions and not for their own gain nor at the expense of their hearers nor to the injury of any one, why should these men not be called `witty' and `entertaining' rather than `humbugs'?"
[2.2.13] Thus Cyrus defended those who had furnished the fun, and the captain himself who had told the anecdote about his platoon said: "Verily, Aglai+tadas, you might find serious fault with us, if we tried to make you weep, like some authors who invent touching incidents in their poems and stories and try to move us to tears; but now, although you yourself know that we wish to entertain you and not to do you any harm at all, still you heap such reproaches upon us."
[2.2.14] "Aye, by Zeus," said Aglai+tadas, "and justly, too, since he that makes his friends laugh seems to me to do them much less service than he who makes them weep; and if you will look at it rightly, you, too, will find that I speak the truth. At any rate, fathers develop self-control in their sons by making them weep, and teachers impress good lessons upon their pupils in the same way, and the laws, too, turn the citizens to justice by making them weep. But could you say that those who make us laugh either do good to our bodies or make our minds any more fitted for the management of our private business or of the affairs of state?"
[2.2.15] Hereupon Hystaspas answered somewhat as follows: "If you will heed me, Aglai+tadas, you will freely expend this very valuable commodity upon your enemies and will try to set them to weeping; but upon us and your friends here you will please to lavish this cheap article, laughter. And you can, for I know you must have a great quantity of it stored up; for you have never spent it upon yourself nor do you ever afford any laughter for your friends or for your enemies if you can help it. So you have no excuse for begrudging us a laugh.""What!" said Aglai+tadas; "do you really think, Hystaspas, to get a laugh out of me?""Well, by Zeus," said the other captain, "he is a very foolish fellow, let me tell you, if he does; for I believe one might rub fire out of you more easily than provoke a laugh from you."
[2.2.16] At this, of course, the rest laughed; for they knew his character, and Aglai+tadas himself smiled at the sally. And Cyrus seeing him brighten up said: "It is not right, captain, for you to corrupt our most serious man by persuading him to laugh, and that, too," said he, "when he is such a foe to laughter."
[2.2.17] With that, the subject was dropt. But at this point Chrysantas spoke as follows.
[2.2.18] "Cyrus," said he, "and all you here present, I observe, for my part, that some have come out with us who are of superior merit, others who are less deserving than we. Now, if we meet with success, these will all expect to have share and share alike. And yet I do not believe that anything in the world is more unfair than for the bad and good to be awarded equal shares.""Well, then, in the name of the gods, my men," Cyrus replied to this, "will it not be a very good thing for us to suggest to the army a debate on this question: shall we, in case God gives us any success to reward our toils, give to all an equal share or shall we take into consideration each man's services and bestow increased rewards upon him commensurate with them?"
[2.2.19] "And what is the use," said Chrysantas, "of starting a discussion concerning this matter? Why not rather announce that you propose to do thus and so? Pray, did you not announce the games and offer the prizes that way?""Yes, by Zeus," said Cyrus; "but this is not a parallel case. For what the men obtain by fighting, that, I suppose, they will consider their own common property; but the command of the army they still consider fairly to be mine, so that when I appoint the judges, I am sure they think I am within my rights."
[2.2.20] "And do you really believe," said Chrysantas, "that the mass meeting would adopt a resolution that each one should not have an equal share, but that the best should have the preference both in honours and gifts?""Yes," said Cyrus, "I do, partly because we recommend it, and partly because it is mean to oppose a proposition that the one who suffers the most and does the most for the state should also receive the highest rewards. And I think," said he, "that even to the worst it will seem proper that the good should have the larger share."
[2.2.21] Now Cyrus wished for the sake of the peers themselves that this measure should pass; for he thought that even they themselves would be better, if they knew that they also should be judged by their works and should receive according to their deserts. And so it seemed to him to be the proper time to bring this matter to a vote now, while the peers also were questioning the commoners' claims to equality. Accordingly, those in the tenth agreed to submit the question to a discussion and they said that whoever thought himself to be a man ought to advocate it.
[2.2.22] But one of the captains said with a laugh: "Well, I know a man of the commoners, too, who will support the proposition not to have share and share alike in that indiscriminate fashion."Another asked him whom he meant; and he answered: "By Zeus, he is a messmate of ours, who in everything does his best to get the largest share.""What! the largest share of hard work, too?" asked another."No, by Zeus," said he; "not by any means; but here I have been caught in a falsehood. For my observation is that he very good-naturedly consents to have a smaller share of hard work and other things of that sort than anybody else.
[2.2.23] Well, men," said Cyrus, "I am convinced that such fellows as this one of whom our friend has just been telling us must be weeded out of ranks, if we are to keep our army industrious and obedient. For it seems to me that the majority of the soldiers are the sort to follow wherever any one leads; and the good and noble, I think, try to lead only to what is good and noble, and the vicious to what is vicious.
[2.2.24] And therefore the base oftentimes find a larger following of congenial spirits than the noble. For since vice makes her appeal through the pleasures of the moment, she has their assistance to persuade many to accept her views; but virtue, leading up hill, is not at all clever at attracting men at first sight and without reflection; and especially is this true, when there are others who call in the opposite direction, to what is downhill and easy.
[2.2.25] And so, when people are bad only because of laziness and indolence, I believe that they, like drones, damage their associates only by the cost of their keeping. But those who are poor companions in toil, and also extravagant and shameless in their desire for any advantage, these are likely also to lead others to what is vicious; for they are often able to demonstrate that vice does gain some advantage. And so we must weed out such men at any cost.
[2.2.26] "Do not, however, endeavour to fill up their places in the ranks with your own countrymen only; but, just as in selecting a team you seek out not horses that are home-bred but those which are best, so also in the case of men, take them from all sources--whoever you think will be most likely to contribute to your strencth and to your honour. And I have the following illustrations to prove the worth of my suggestion: a chariot would never go fast, I am sure, if slow horses were attached to it, nor would it be serviceable if horses unfit for service were harnessed to it; nor yet could a house be well managed if it employed vicious servants, but it would suffer less from having no servants at all than from being kept in confusion by incapable servants.
[2.2.27] "Let me assure you of this, too, my friends," he added, "that the weeding out of the vicious will bring not only this advantage, that the vicious will be out of the way, but also among those who remain the ones that have already been infected with vice will be purged of it, while the virtuous seeing the vicious disgraced will cleave more eagerly to virtue."
[2.2.28] With that he concluded; and all his friends agreed that what he said was true, and they began to act upon that principle.After that Cyrus began again to jest with them; for he had observed that one of the lieutenants had brought along as a guest and companion at table an exceedingly hairy and exceedingly ill-favoured man; and addressing the lieutenant by name he spoke as follows: "Well, Sambaulas," said he, "so you also have adopted the Greek fashion, have you, and take about with you everywhere this youngster who is now beside you, because he is so handsome?""Yes, by Zeus," said Sambaulas; "at all events I enjoy both his company and his looks."
[2.2.29] When his messmates heard this, they looked at the man; and when they saw that his countenance was exceedingly ugly, they all laughed. And one of them said: "In the name of the gods, Sambaulas, what has this fellow done to make such a hit with you?"
[2.2.30] "By Zeus, fellows," he answered, "I will tell you. Every time that I have called him, whether by day or by night, he has never made any excuse saying that `he had not time,' nor has he answered my call slowly, but always on a run. And as often as I have bidden him do anything, I have never seen him perform it without sweat; and besides, by showing them not by precept but by example what sort of men they ought to be, he has made his whole squad of ten just like himself."
[2.2.31] "And yet," said one of the men, "although he is such an excellent fellow, you don't kiss him as you do your relatives?"And the homely man answered this and said: "No, by Zeus, for he is not fond of hard work; for if he wished to kiss me, that would be an ample substitute for all his drill-work."
Book 2, Section 3 [2.3.1] Things of this sort, both grave and gay, were said and done at the dinner party. And finally when they had made the third libation1 and prayed to the gods for their blessings, the party broke up, and they all went to bed. Then on the morrow, Cyrus called all his soldiers together and spoke as follows:
[2.3.2] "Friends, the conflict is at hand; for the enemy are approaching. As for the prizes of victory, if we are victorious--and we must assume that we shall be and work to that end--it is evident that the enemy and all that is theirs will belong to us. But, on the other hand, if we are defeated--in this case, too, all the possessions of the vanquished are invariably the prizes set for the victors.
[2.3.3] Accordingly," said he, "you must realize that when men who are united as comrades in war are fully persuaded that nothing will come out as it should unless each individual man exerts himself, then many splendid achievements are speedily accomplished; for nothing that needs to be done is neglected. But when each one assumes that there will be some one else to do and to fight, even if he proves a weakling, let me assure you," said he, "that to such men, all alike, all that is grievous comes in a flood.
[2.3.4] And God has ordained it in some such way as this: in the case of those who will not compel themselves to work out their own good, he assigns others to be their commanders. Now, therefore, let any one stand up and speak to this question before us, whether he thinks that valour would be more cultivated among us, if the one who will do and dare most is also to receive the greatest rewards, or if we know that it makes no difference whether a man be a coward or not, as we shall all share and share alike."
[2.3.5] Hereupon Chrysantas, one of the peers, a man neither large nor powerful to look upon, but preminent in understanding, stood up and spoke: "Well, Cyrus," said he, "I think that you are introducing this discussion not because you think that the bad ought to have an equal share with the good, but because you wish to prove whether a single man will really be found who will care to let it be known that he thinks that, even if he himself does nothing good and noble, he should have an equal share of that which others win by their valour.
[2.3.6] Now I," he went on, "am neither fleet of foot nor strong of arm, and I know that in view of what I shall accomplish by my bodily strength I should not be judged either the first or the second, or even, I suppose, the thousandth, and perhaps not even the ten thousandth. But on this point I am perfectly clear, that if those who are powerful men take matters vigorously in hand, I shall have as large a share of any good fortune that may come as I deserve. But if the bad do nothing and the good and strong lose heart, I am afraid," said he, "that I shall have a larger share than I wish of something other than good."
[2.3.7] Thus spoke Chrysantas. And after him Pheraulas stood up, one of the Persian common ers, but a man who for some reason or other had from the beginning won Cyrus's confidence and affection; besides he was well-favoured in body and a gentleman at heart. His speech was as follows:
[2.3.8] "I think, Cyrus," said he, "and all you Persians here assembled, that we are all now starting on an equal footing in a contest of merit; for I observe that we are all taking the same bodily exercise, that we all have the same rations, that we are all considered worthy to move in the same society, and that the prizes are offered alike to all. For obedience to the officers has been enjoined equally upon us all, and whoever shows himself prompt to comply, I observe that he receives honour from Cyrus. Again, to be brave in the face of the enemy is not a thing to be expected of one and not of another, but it is considered far the noblest thing for all alike.
[2.3.9] "And now," he continued, "we havebeen initiated into a method of fighting, which, I observe, all men naturally understand, just as in the case of other creatures each understands some method of fighting which it has not learned from any other source than from instinct: for instance, the bull knows how to fight with his horns, the horse with his hoofs, the dog with his teeth, the boar with his tusks. And all know how to protect themselves, too, against that from which they most need protection, and that, too, though they have never gone to school to any teacher.
[2.3.10] As for myself, I have understood from my very childhood how to protect the spot where I thought I was likely to receive a blow; and if I had nothing else I put out my hands to hinder as well as I could the one who was trying to hit me. And this I did not from having been taught to do so, but even though I was beaten for that very act of putting out my hands. Furthermore, even when I was a little fellow I used to seize a sword wherever I saw one, although, I declare, I had never learned, except from instinct, even how to take hold of a sword. At any rate, I used to do this, even though they tried to keep me from it--and certainly they did not teach me so to do--just as I was impelled by nature to do certain other things which my father and mother tried to keep me away from. And, by Zeus, I used to hack with a sword everything that I could without being caught at it. For this was not only instinctive, like walking and running, but I thought it was fun in addition to its being natural.
[2.3.11] "Be that as it may," he went on, "since this method of fighting awaits us, which demands courage more than skill, why should we not gladly compete with the peers here? For the prizes proposed for excellence are equal, but we shall go into the trial not having at stake interests equal with theirs; for they have at stake a life of honour, which is the most happy of all, while we risk only a life of toil unhonoured, which I think is most burdensome.
[2.3.12] "And this, comrades, gives me the most courage for the competition with these gentlemen, that Cyrus is to be the judge; for he decides not with partiality, but (I swear it by the gods) I verily think that Cyrus loves no less than himself those whom he recognizes as valiant. At any rate, I observe that, whatever he has, he is much more pleased to give it to them than to keep it for himself.
[2.3.13] And yet I know that these men pride themselves upon having been trained, as they say, to endure hunger and thirst and cold, but they do not know that in this we also have been trained by a better teacher than they have had; for in these branches there is no better teacher than necessity, which has given us exceedingly thorough instruction in them.
[2.3.14] And they have been in training for hard labour by carrying weapons, which all men have so devised that they may be as easy as possible to bear; while we, on our part, have been obliged to walk and to run with heavy burdens, so that the carrying of arms now seems to me more like having wings than bearing a burden.
[2.3.15] "Let me inform you, therefore, Cyrus," said he, "that I, for one, shall not only enter this contest, but I shall also expect you to reward me according to my deserts, whatever I am, for better or worse. And you, my fellow-commoners," he concluded, "I recommend you to enter with alacrity into the competition with these gentlemen in this sort of warfare; for now they have been trapped in a contest with commoners."
[2.3.16] Thus Pheraulas spoke. And many others from both orders rose to speak in favour of the measure. They decided that each one should receive rewards according to his deserts, and that Cyrus should be the judge. Thus, then, the matter was satisfactorily settled.
[2.3.17] And once Cyrus invited a captain and his whole company to dinner, because he had noticed him drawing up one half of the men of his company against the other half for a sham battle. Both sides had breastplates and on their left arms their shields; in the hands of the one side he placed stout cudgels, while he told the other side that they would have to pick up clods to throw.
[2.3.18] Now when they had taken their stand thus equipped, he gave the order to begin battle. Then those on the one side threw their clods, and some struck the breastplates and shields, others also struck the thighs and greaves of their opponents. But when they came into close quarters, those who had the cudgels struck the others--some upon the thighs, others upon the arms, others upon the shins; and as still others stooped to pick up clods, the cudgels came down upon their necks and backs. And finally, when the cudgel-bearers had put their opponents to flight, they pursued them laying on the blows amid shouts of laughter and merriment. And then again, changing about, the other side took the cudgels with the same result to their oppononts, who in turn threw clods.
[2.3.19] In this Cyrus admired both the captain's cleverness and the men's obedience, and he was pleased to see that they were at the same time having their practice and enjoying themselves and also because that side was victorious which was armed after the fashion of the Persians. Pleased with this he invited them to dinner; and in his tent, observing some of them wearing bandages--one around his leg, another around his arm--he asked them what the matter was; and they answered that they had been hit with the clods.
[2.3.20] And he inquired further, whether it had happened when they were close together or far apart. And they said it was when they were far apart. But when they came to close quarters, it was capital fun--so the cudgel-bearers said; but those who had been thoroughly drubbed with the cudgels cried out that it did not seem any fun to them to be beaten at close quarters, and at the same time they showed the marks of the cudgels on their arms and their necks and some also on their faces. And then, as was natural, they laughed at one another.On the following day the whole plain was full of men following their example; and if they had nothing more important to do, they indulged in this sport.
[2.3.21] And once he saw another captain leading his company up from the river left about in single file and ordering when he thought it was proper, the second division and then the third and the fourth to advance to the front; and when the lieutenants were in a row in front, he ordered each division to march up in double file. Thus the sergeants came to stand on the front line. Again, when he thought proper, he ordered the divisions to line up four abreast; in this formation, then, the corporals in their turn came to stand four abreast in each division; and when they arrived at the doors of the tent, he commanded them to fall into single file again, and in this order he led the first division into the tent; the second he ordered to fall in line behind the first and follow, and, giving orders in like manner to the third and fourth, he led them inside. And when he had thus led them all in, he gave them their places at dinner in the order in which they came in. Pleased with him for his gentleness of discipline and for his painstaking, Cyrus invited this company also with its captain to dinner.With another doubling up of ranks, they assume a front of sixteen men and a depth of six:Finally in these groups of six each, they are led, single file, in to dinner.
[2.3.22] Now there was present another captain who had been invited to the dinner and he said: "Cyrus, will you not invite my company to your tent? My company, too, does all this when we go to mess, and when the meal is finished the rear-guard leader of the last division leads that division out, keeping in the rear those whose place in the battle line is in front; then, next after them, the second rear-guard leader brings out the men of the second division, and the third and the fourth in like manner, in order that," he explained, "they may also know how to withdraw, if ever it is necessary to retreat before the enemy. And when we take our places on the parade-groun, I take the lead, when we march toward the east, and the first division of the company goes first, the second in its proper order, and then the third and the fourth and the squads of ten and five in each division, until I give the order for some change of formation; then," said he, "when we march toward the west, the rear-guard leader and the rear-guard lead off first. Still, even so, they have to look to me for the commands, though I march last, so that they may get into the habit of obeying just the same whether they follow or whether they lead."
[2.3.23] "Do you always do that way?" asked Cyrus."Yes, by Zeus," said he, "as often as we go to dinner.""Well then," said Cyrus, "I will invite you, because you give your lines practice both in coming and in going, by night and by day, and also because you give your bodies exercise by marching about, and improve your minds by instruction. Since, therefore, you do all this doubly, it is only fair that I should furnish you a double feast also."
[2.3.24] "No, by Zeus," said the captain, "at any rate not on the same day, unless you will furnish us with double stomachs as well."Thus they brought that dinner to a close. And on the following day Cyrus invited that company, as he had promised, and again the next day. And when the others heard about it, they all followed, in the future, the example of that company.
2,3,1,n1. Xenophon here introduces a Greek custom; the Persians poured no libations. But at the conclusion of a dinner, the Greeks poured three libations: the first, to the gods; the second, to the heroes; the third to Zeus, or to Hermes.
Book 2, Section 4 [2.4.1] Once when Cyrus was holding a general review and parade of all his men under arms, a messenger came from Cyaxares saying that an embassy had arrived from India. "He therefore bids you come as soon as possible. Moreover," said the messenger, "I am bringing you a very beautiful robe from Cyaxares; for he expressed the wish that you appear as brilliant and splendid as possible when you come, for the Indians will see how you approach him."
[2.4.2] And when Cyrus heard this, he gave orders to the captain who was stationed first to take his stand at the head of the line, bringing up his company in single file and keeping himself to the right; he told him to transmit the same order to the second captain and to pass it on through all the lines. And they obeyed at once and passed the order on, and they all executed it promptly, and in a little while they were three hundred abreast on the front line, for that was the number of the captains, and a hundred men deep.
[2.4.3] And when they had got into their places, he ordered them to follow as he himself should lead. And at once he led them off at a double quick step. But when he became aware that the street leading to the king's headquarters was too narrow to admit all his men with such a front, he ordered the first regiment in their present order to follow him, the second to fall in behind the first, and so on through them all, while he himself led on without stopping to rest, and the other regiments followed, each the one before it.
[2.4.4] And he sent also two adjutants to the entrance of the street, to tell what was to be done, if any one did not understand. And when they arrived at Cyaxares's doors, he ordered the first captain to draw up his company twelve deep, while the sergeants were to take their places on the front line about the king's headquarters. He bade him transmit the same orders to the second captain, and so on to all the rest;
[2.4.5] and they proceeded to do so, while he presented himself before Cyaxares in his Persian dress, which was not at all showy. When Cyaxares saw him, he was pleased at his promptness but displeased with the plainness of his dress and said: "How is this, Cyrus? What do you mean by appearing thus before the Indians? Now I wished you to appear with as much magnificence as possible, for it would have been a mark of respect to me to have my sister's son appear in all possible grandeur."
[2.4.6] "Should I be showing you more respect, Cyaxares," Cyrus made reply to this, "if I arrayed myself in purple and adorned myself with bracelets and put on a necklace and at my leisure obeyed your orders, than I have in obeying you with such dispatch and accompanied by so large and so efficient an army? And I have come myself adorned with sweat and marks of haste to honour you and I present the others likewise obedient to you."Thus Cyrus spoke, and Cyaxares recognizing that he was right summoned the Indians.
[2.4.7] And when the Indians came in they said that the king of India had sent them with orders to ask on what ground the Medes and the Assyrians had declared war. "And he has ordered us," they said, "when we have heard your statement, to go also to the Assyrian and ask him the same question; and finally, he bade us say to both of you that the king of India declared that when he was weighed the merits of the case, he will side with the party wronged."
[2.4.8] "Well, then," Cyaxares made reply to this, "let me tell you that we are not guilty of doing any wrong to the Assyrian; but go now, if you wish, and ask him what he has to say."Cyrus, who was present, asked Cyaxares, "May I also tell them what I think?" And Cyaxares bade him say on."Well then," said he, "if Cyaxares has no objection, tell the king of India that we propose, in case the Assyrian says he has been wronged by us, to choose the king of India himself to be our arbitrator."Upon hearing this, they went away.
[2.4.9] And when they had gone out, Cyrus addressed Cyaxares as follows:"Cyaxares, I came from home without very much money of my own, and of what I had I have very little left. I have spent it," he said, "upon my soldiers. Now you wonder, perhaps, how I have spent it upon them, when you are maintaining them; but I want you to know that it has gone for nothing else than rewards and entertainments, whenever I am pleased with any of my soldiers.
[2.4.10] For," said he, "in the case of all those whom one wishes to make efficient coadjutors in any enterprise of any sort whatsoever, it seems to me pleasanter to draw them on by kind words and kind services rather than by compulsion and force; but in the case of those whom one wishes to make enthusiastic followers in his plans of war, one must by all means try to capture them with kind words and kind offices. For those men who are to be trusty comrades, who will not envy their commander in his successes nor betray him in his adversity, must be his friends and not his enemies.
[2.4.11] Accordingly, as I recognize this in advance, I think I need more money. However, it seems to me unreasonable for every one to be looking to you, who, I observe, are put to great expense; but I think that you and I should together lay plans that funds may never fail you. For if you have plenty, I am sure it would be possible for me to draw money whenever I needed it, especially if I should take it to spend for something that would be more to your advantage also.
[2.4.12] "Now I remember hearing you say one day recently that the Armenian king despises you now, because he has heard that the enemy are coming against you, and that therefore he is neither sending troops nor paying the tribute which is due.""Yes, Cyrus," he answered; "that is just what he is doing; and so, for my part, I am in doubt whether it is better to proceed against him and try to enforce allegiance or to let him alone for the present, for fear we bring him also upon us as an enemy, in addition to the others."
[2.4.13] "But his residences," asked Cyrus, "are they all in fortified places or are perhaps some of them in places easy of approach?""His residences," answered Cyaxares, "are in places not very well fortified; I did not fail to attend to that. However, there are mountains where he could take refuge and for a time be safe from falling into our hands himself, and where he could insure the safety of whatever he could have carried up there s, unless some one should occupy the approaches and hold him in siege, as my father did."
[2.4.14] "Well," Cyrus then made answer, "if you would give me as many horsemen as you think reasonable and send me there, I think that with the help of the gods I could make him send the troops and pay the tribute to you. And besides, I hope that he will be made a better friend to us than he now is."
[2.4.15] "I also have hopes," Cyaxares replied, "that they would come to you sooner than to me; for I understand that some of his sons were among your companions in the chase; and so, perhaps, they would join you again. And if they should fall into your hands, everything would be accomplished as we wish.""Well then," said Cyrus, "do you think it good policy to have this plan of ours kept a secret?""Yes, indeed," said Cyaxares; "for then some of them would be more likely to fall into our hands, and besides, if one were to attack them, they would be taken unprepared."
[2.4.16] "Listen then," said Cyrus, "and see if you think there is anything in what I say. Now I have often hunted with all my forces near the boundary between your country and the Armenians, and have even gone there with some horsemen from among my companions here.""And so," said Cyaxares, "if you were to do the same again, you would excite no suspicion; but if they should notice that your force was much larger than that with which you used to hunt, this would at once look suspicious."
[2.4.17] "But," said Cyrus, "it is possible to devise a pretext that will be credited both here and also there, if some one bring them word that I wish to institute a great hunt; and horsemen I should ask of you openly.""A very clever scheme!" said Cyaxares; "and I shall refuse to give you more than a reasonable number, on the ground that I wish to visit the outposts on the Assyrian border. And that will be no lie, for in reality," said he, "I do wish to go there and to make them as strong as possible. And when you have gone ahead with the forces you have and have already been hunting for two days, I will send you a sufficient number of the cavalry and infantry that are mustered with me, and you may take them and make an inroad at once. And I myself, with the rest of my forces, will try to be not far away from you, to make my appearance upon the scene, should occasion require it."
[2.4.18] Thereupon Cyaxares at once proceeded to get his cavalry and infantry together for visiting the outposts, and to send out wagon-loads of provisions on the road to the outposts. But Cyrus proceeded to offer sacrifice in behalf of his expedition, and at the same time he sent to Cyaxares and asked for some of his younger horsemen. But, although very many wished to go along, Cyaxares would not give him many.Now after Cyaxares with his forces of cavalry and infantry had already started off on the road to the outposts, Cyrus's sacrifice turned out favourable for proceeding against the Armenian. Accordingly, he led his men out equipped as if for hunting.
[2.4.19] And as he proceeded on his way, in the very first field a hare started up. And an eagle flying up from the east1 caught sight of the hare as it ran and swooping down struck it, seized it, and carried it up, then bore it away to a hill not far off and disposed of his prey at his pleasure. Then Cyrus, observing the omen, was delighted and did homage to Sovereign Zeus and said to those who were by: "Our hunt, comrades, please God, will be successful."
[2.4.20] When they arrived at the frontier, he at once proceeded to hunt, as he used to do; and the most of his men, on foot and on horseback, were marching in a straight line before him, in order to start up the game as they approached. But the best of his foot and horse stood at intervals and lay in wait for what was started up, and pursued it in relays. And they took many boars, deer, antelope, and wild asses; for many wild asses breed in those regions even unto this day.
[2.4.21] And when he stopped hunting, he marched up to the Armenian border and dined; and on the following day, he went up to the mountains toward which he was aiming and hunted again. And when again he stopped, he sat down to dinner; but when he saw the army from Cyaxares approaching, he sent to them secretly and bade them take their dinner at a distance of about two parasangs, for he foresaw that this also would contribute to the secrecy of his design; but he ordered their commander to come to him when they had finished their dinner. Then, after dinner, he called together his captains; and when they had come he addressed them as follows:
[2.4.22] "My friends, the Armenian king formerly was both an ally and a dependent of Cyaxares; but now since he has seen the enemy coming upon us, he is insolent and neither sends us his complement of soldiers nor pays his tribute. Now, therefore, he is the game we have come to catch, if we can. And here is the plan that I think we should pursue: do you, Chrysantas, when you have had as much rest as you reasonably need, take half of the Persians who are with us, and following the mountain road take possession of the heights to which they say he flees for refuge when anything alarms him. I will furnish you with guides.
[2.4.23] Now they say that these mountains are thickly wooded, and so I have hopes of your not being seen. Nevertheless, suppose you send ahead of your army some active men, in the guise of brigands both as to numbers and accountrements; these, if they met any Armenians, would capture them and so prevent their spreading any reports; or, if they failed to capture them, they would frighten them away and so prevent their seeing the whole of your army, and would thus cause them to take precautions as against only a band of thieves.
[2.4.24] Do you, then," said he, "do this; but I, at break of day, with half the infantry and all the cavalry, will proceed through the plain straight toward the capital. And if he resists, we shall have to fight, of course; and if he abandons the field, of course we shall have to chase him; but if he flees to the mountain, then it is your business not to let any one of those who come your way escape.
[2.4.25] And bear in mind that, just as in hunting, we shall be the ones beating out the game, you the man in charge of the nets. Remember this, then, that the runs must be blocked before the game starts; and those at the entrance to those runs must keep out of sight, if they are not to turn the animals aside as they come on.
[2.4.26] However," he added, "do not in this case do as you sometimes do, Chrysantas, in your fondness for hunting: you often keep yourself busy all night without sleeping; but now you should let your men rest long enough, so that they may be able to resist drowsiness.
[2.4.27] "Again, do not, because you personally are accustomed to wander up and down the mountains without following human guides but running after the game wherever it leads you--do not now go into such dangerous and difficult places, but order your guides to lead you by the easiest road, unless it is much too long; for the easiest road is the shortest for an army.
[2.4.28] And do not lead your men at a run because you are used to running up mountains, but lead with moderate haste, that your army may be able to follow you easily.
[2.4.29] And it is a good thing for some of the strongest and most zealous to fall back sometimes and encourage the rest; and when the column has passed by them, it is an incentive to all to hasten when these are seen running past them as they walk."
[2.4.30] On hearing this, Chrysantas was elated with his commission from Cyrus; he took his guides and went away, and after giving what orders he thought necessary to those who were to go with him he went to rest. And when they had slept as long as he thought reasonable, he started for the mountains.
[2.4.31] And when it was day, Cyrus sent forward a messenger to the Armenian with instructions to speak to him as follows: "`King of Armenia, Cyrus bids you take steps as quickly as possible to deliver to him the tribute and the troops.' And if he asks where I am, tell the truth and say that I am at the frontier. And if he asks whether I also am coming in person, tell the truth in that case also and say that you do not know. But if he inquires how many men we are, bid him send some one along with you and find out."
[2.4.32] With such instructions he sent the messenger off, for he thought that this was a more friendly course than to march upon him without notice. And he himself set out with his army in the formation which he thought best adapted both for covering distance and for fighting if necessary. He ordered his soldiers to molest no one, and, if any one met any Armenians, to bid them have no fear but to say that if any one of them wished to sell food or drink, he should feel free to bring it wherever they were and open a market.
2,4,19,n1. aisios means, strictly speaking, "auspicious," "bringing (good) omens;" and good omens came from the east, the home of light. ------ ...