Xenophon. The First Four Books of Xenophon's Anabasis

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XENOPHON'S ANABASIS. The 1st Four Books.

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Parentage of Cyrus the Younger. After the death of his father he is

accused of plotting against his brother Artaxerxes, who imprisons

him, but releases him on the intercession of his mother, and sends

him back to his province, where he secretly collects forces, of

which a large proportion are from Greece, to make war on his


1. Of Darius[1] and Parysatis were born two sons,[2] the elder Artaxerxes,[3] and the younger Cyrus. After Darius had fallen sick, and suspected that the end of his life was approaching, he was desirous that both of his sons should attend him.

2. The elder then happened to be present; Cyrus he sent for from the province of which he had made him satrap. He had also appointed him commander of all the forces that muster in the plain of Castolus.[4]

Cyrus accordingly went up, taking with him Tissaphernes as a friend, and having also with him three hundred heavy-armed Greeks,[5] and Xenias of Parrhasia,[6] their captain.

3. But when Darius was dead, and Artaxerxes was placed upon the throne, Tissaphernes brought an accusation against Cyrus before his brother, saying that he was plotting against him. Artaxerxes was induced to give credit to it, and had Cyrus arrested, with the intention of putting him to death; but his mother, having begged his life, sent him back to his province.

4. When Cyrus had departed, after being thus in danger and disgrace, he began to consider by what means he might cease to be subject to his brother, and make himself king, if he could, in his stead. Parysatis, their mother, was well disposed towards Cyrus,[7] as she loved him better than Artaxerxes, who was on the throne. 5. Whatever messengers from the king[8] came to visit him, he let none of them go till he had inclined them to be friends to himself, rather than the monarch.[9] He also paid such attention to the Barbarians[10] that were with him, that they were in a condition to take the field, and well inclined towards himself. 6. His Greek force he collected as secretly as he could, that he might surprise the king as little prepared as possible.

He collected troops in the following manner. Whatever garrisons he had in his towns, he sent orders to the commanders of them to procure respectively as many Peloponnesians as they could, of the best class of soldiers, on pretence that Tissaphernes was forming designs upon those towns. For the cities of Ionia had formerly been, under the government of Tissaphernes, having been assigned to him by the king, but had at this time all revolted to Cyrus except Miletus. 7. Tissaphernes, discovering that the people of Miletus were forming a similar design, [to go over to Cyrus,[11]] put some of them to death, and sent others into banishment. Cyrus, receiving the exiles under his protection, and assembling an army, laid siege to Miletus by land and sea, and used every exertion to restore these exiles; and he had thus another pretext for augmenting the number of his forces. 8. He then sent to the king, and requested that, as he was his brother, these cities should be given to him rather than that Tissaphernes should govern them; and in this application his mother supported him. Thus the king had no suspicion of the plot against him, but supposed that Cyrus, from being at war with Tissaphernes, was spending the money upon troops; so that he was not at all concerned at the strife between them, especially as Cyrus remitted to him the tribute arising from the cities which Tissaphernes had had.

9. Another army was collected for him in the Chersonesus opposite Abydos, in the following method. Clearchus, a Lacedæmonian, happened to be in exile. Cyrus, having met with him, was struck with admiration for him, and made him a present of ten thousand darics.[12] Clearchus, on receiving the gold, raised, by means of it, a body of troops, and making excursions out of the Chersonesus, made war upon the Thracians that are situated above the Hellespont, and was of assistance to the Greeks; so that the towns on the Hellespont willingly contributed money for the support of his men. This too was a force thus secretly maintained for Cyrus.

10. Aristippus, also, a Thessalian, happened to be a guest-friend[13] of Cyrus, and, being pressed by an adverse faction at home, came to him, and asked him for two thousand mercenary troops, and three months' pay for them, representing that he would thus be enabled to overpower his enemies. Cyrus granted him four thousand, and six months' pay, desiring him not to terminate the strife until he should consult him. Thus another body of troops was clandestinely supported for him in Thessaly.

11. He then requested Proxenus a Boeotian, who was also his guest-friend, to join him with as many men as he could procure, stating that he intended to make war on the Pisidians, as they molested his territories. He also desired Sophænetus of Stymphalus,[14] and Socrates, an Achæan, both of them his guest-friends, to come to him, and bring as many men as possible, pretending that he was going to war with Tissaphernes on behalf of the Milesian exiles; and they acted as he wished.

[Footnote 1: Darius II., surnamed Nothus, who reigned from B. C. 423 to B. C. 404, the year in which Cyrus went up to Babylon.]

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