View Full Version : Anabasis IV - Xenophon

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05-27-2007, 12:46 AM

The passage effected, they fell into line about mid-day, and marched 1
through Armenian territory, one long plain with smooth rolling
hillocks, not less than five parasangs in distance; for owing to the
wars of this people with the Carduchians there were no villages near
the river. The village eventually reached was large, and possessed a
palace belonging to the satrap, and most of the houses were crowned
with turrets; provisions were plentiful.

From this village they marched two stages--ten parasangs--until they
had surmounted the sources of the river Tigris; and from this point
they marched three stages--fifteen parasangs--to the river Teleboas.
This was a fine stream, though not large, and there were many villages
about it. The district was named Western Armenia. The
lieutenant-governor of it was Tiribazus, the king's friend, and
whenever the latter paid a visit, he alone had the privilege of
mounting the king upon his horse. This officer rode up to the Hellenes
with a body of cavalry, and sending forward an interpreter, stated
that he desired a colloquy with the leaders. The generals resolved to 5
hear what he had to say; and advancing on their side to within
speaking distance, they demanded what he wanted. He replied that he
wished to make a treaty with them, in accordance with which he on his
side would abstain from injuring the Hellenes, if they would not burn
his houses, but merely take such provisions as they needed. This
proposal satisfied the generals, and a treaty was made on the terms

From this place they marched three stages--fifteen parasangs--through
plain country, Tiribazus the while keeping close behind with his own
forces more than a mile off. Presently they reached a palace with
villages clustered round about it, which were full of supplies in
great variety. But while they were encamping in the night, there was a
heavy fall of snow, and in the morning it was resolved to billet out
the different regiments, with their generals, throughout the villages.
There was no enemy in sight, and the proceeding seemed prudent, owing
to the quantity of snow. In these quarters they had for provisions all
the good things there are--sacrificial beasts, corn, old wines with an
exquisite bouqet, dried grapes, and vegetables of all sorts. But some
of the stragglers from the camp reported having seen an army, and the
blaze of many watchfires in the night. Accordingly the generals
concluded that it was not prudent to separate their quarters in this
way, and a resolution was passed to bring the troops together again.
After that they reunited, the more so that the weather promised to be
fine with a clear sky; but while they lay there in open quarters,
during the night down came so thick a fall of snow that it completely
covered up the stacks of arms and the men themselves lying down. It
cramped and crippled the baggage animals; and there was great
unreadiness to get up, so gently fell the snow as they lay there warm
and comfortable, and formed a blanket, except where it slipped off the
sleepers' shoulders; and it was not until Xenophon roused himself to
get up, and, without his cloak on[1], began to split wood, that
quickly first one and then another got up, and taking the log away 12
from him, fell to splitting. Thereat the rest followed suit, got up,
and began kindling fire and oiling their bodies, for there was a
scented unguent to be found there in abundance, which they used
instead of oil. It was made from pig's fat, sesame, bitter almonds,
and turpentine. There was a sweet oil also to be found, made of the
same ingredients.

[1] Or, as we should say, "in his shirt sleeves." Doubtless he lay
with his {imation} or cloak loosely wrapped round him; as he
sprang to his feet he would throw it off, or it would fall off,
and with the simple inner covering of the {khiton} to protect him,
and arms free, he fell to chopping the wood, only half clad.

After this it was resolved that they must again separate their
quarters and get under cover in the villages. At this news the
soldiers, with much joy and shouting, rushed upon the covered houses
and the provisions; but all who in their blind folly had set fire to
the houses when they left them before, now paid the penalty in the
poor quarters they got. From this place one night they sent off a
party under Democrates, a Temenite[2], up into the mountains, where
the stragglers reported having seen watchfires. The leader selected
was a man whose judgement might be depended upon to verify the truth
of the matter. With a happy gift to distinguish between fact and
fiction, he had often been successfully appealed to. He went and
reported that he had seen no watchfires, but he had got a man, whom he
brought back with him, carrying a Persian bow and quiver, and a
sagaris or battleaxe like those worn by the Amazons. When asked "from
what country he came," the prisoner answered that he was "a Persian,
and was going from the army of Tiribazus to get provisions." They next
asked him "how large the army was, and for what object it had been
collected." His answer was that "it consisted of Tiribazus at the head
of his own forces, and aided by some Chalybian and Taochian
mercenaries. Tiribazus had got it together," he added, "meaning to
attack the Hellenes on the high mountain pass, in a defile which was
the sole passage."

[2] Reading {Temeniten}, i.e. a native of Temenus, a district of
Syracuse; al. {Temniten}, i.e. from Temnus in the Aeolid; al.
{Temeniten}, i.e. from Temenum in the Argolid.

When the generals heard this news, they resolved to collect the
troops, and they set off at once, taking the prisoner to act as guide,
and leaving a garrison behind with Sophaenetus the Stymphalian in 19
command of those who remained in the camp. As soon as they had begun
to cross the hills, the light infantry, advancing in front and
catching sight of the camp, did not wait for the heavy infantry, but
with a loud shout rushed upon the enemy's entrenchment. The natives,
hearing the din and clatter, did not care to stop, but took rapidly to
their heels. But, for all their expedition, some of them were killed,
and as many as twenty horses were captured, with the tent of
Tiribazus, and its contents, silver-footed couches and goblets,
besides certain persons styling themselves the butlers and bakers. As
soon as the generals of the heavy infantry division had learnt the
news, they resolved to return to the camp with all speed, for fear of
an attack being made on the remnant left behind. The recall was
sounded and the retreat commenced; the camp was reached the same day.