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05-27-2007, 12:50 AM
Anabasis V
Author: Xenophon
Translator: H.G. Dkyns


After this they met and took counsel concerning the remainder of the 1
march. The first speaker was Antileon of Thurii. He rose and said:
"For my part, sirs, I am weary by this time of getting kit together
and packing up for a start, of walking and running and carrying heavy
arms, and of tramping along in line, or mounting guard, and doing
battle. The sole desire I now have is to cease from all these pains,
and for the future, since here we have the sea before us, to sail on
and on, 'stretched out in sleep,' like Odysseus, and so to find myself
in Hellas." When they heard these remarks, the soldiers showed their
approval with loud cries of "well said," and then another spoke to the
same effect, and then another, and indeed all present. Then
Cheirisophus got up and said: "I have a friend, sirs, who, as good hap
will have it, is now high admiral, Anaxibius. If you like to send me
to him, I think I can safely promise to return with some men-of-war
and other vessels which will carry us. All you have to do, if you are
really minded to go home by sea, is to wait here till I come. I will
be back ere long." The soldiers were delighted at these words, and 4
voted that Cheirisophus should set sail on his mission without delay.

After him, Xenophon got up, and spoke as follows: "Cheirisophus, it is
agreed, sets out in search of vessels, and we are going to await him.
Let me tell you what, in my opinion, it is reasonable to do while we
are waiting. First of all, we must provide ourselves with necessaries
from hostile territory, for there is not a sufficient market, nor, if
there were, have we, with a few solitary exceptions, the means of
purchase. Now, the district is hostile, so that if you set off in
search of provisions without care and precaution, the chances are that
many of us will be lost. To meet this risk, I propose that we should
organise foraging parties to capture provisions, and, for the rest,
not roam about the country at random. The organisation of the matter
should be left to us." (The resolution was passed.) "Please listen to
another proposal;" he continued: "Some of you, no doubt, will be going
out to pillage. It will be best, I think, that whoever does so should
in each case before starting inform us of his intent, and in what
direction he means to go, so that we may know the exact number of
those who are out and of those who stop behind. Thus we shall be able
to help in preparing and starting the expedition where necessary; and
in case of aid or reinforcements being called for, we shall know in
what direction to proceed; or, again, if the attempt is to be
undertaken by raw or less expert hands, we may throw in the weight of
our experience and advice by endeavouring to discover the strength of
those whom they design to attack." This proposal was also carried.
"Here is another point," he continued, "to which I would draw your
attention. Our enemies will not lack leisure to make raids upon us:
nor is it unnatural, that they should lay plots for us; for we have
appropriated what is theirs; they are seated over us ever on the
watch. I propose then that we should have regular outposts round the
camp. If we take it in succession to do picket and outlook duty, the
enemy will be less able to harry us. And here is another point for
your observation; supposing we knew for certain that Cheirisophus must
return with a sufficient number of vessels, there would be no need of 10
the remark, but as that is still problematical, I propose that we
should try to get together vessels on the spot also. If he comes and
finds us already provided for here, we shall have more ships than we
need, that is all; while, if he fails to bring them, we shall have the
local supply to fall back upon. I see ships sailing past perpetually,
so we have only to ask the loan of some war-ships from the men of
Trapezus, and we can bring them into port, and safeguard them with
their rudders unshipped, until we have enough to carry us. By this
course I think we shall not fail of finding the means of transport
requisite." That resolution was also passed. He proceeded: "Consider
whether you think it equitable to support by means of a general fund
the ships' companies which we so impress, while they wait here for our
benefit, and to agree upon a fare, on the principle of repaying
kindnesses in kind." That too was passed. "Well then," said he, "in
case, after all, our endeavours should not be crowned with success,
and we find that we have not vessels enough, I propose that we should
enjoin on the cities along the seaboard the duty of constructing and
putting in order the roads, which we hear are impassable. They will be
only too glad to obey, no doubt, out of mere terror and their desire
to be rid of us."

This last proposal was met by loud cries and protestations against the
idea of going by land at all. So, perceiving their infatuation, he did
not put the question to the vote, but eventually persuaded the cities
voluntarily to construct roads by the suggestion, "If you get your
roads in good order, we shall all the sooner be gone." They further
got a fifty-oared galley from the Trapezuntines, and gave the command
of it to Dexippus, a Laconian, one of the perioeci[1]. This man
altogether neglected to collect vessels on the offing, but slunk off
himself, and vanished, ship and all, out of Pontus. Later on, however,
he paid the penalty of his misdeeds. He became involved in some
meddling and making in Thrace at the court of Seuthes, and was put to
death by the Laconian Nicander. They also got a thirty-oared galley,
the command of which was entrusted to Polycrates, an Athenian, and 16
that officer brought into harbour to the camp all the vessels he could
lay his hands on. If these were laden, they took out the freights and
appointed guards to keep an eye on their preservation, whilst they
used the ships themselves for transport service on the coast. While
matters stood at this point, the Hellenes used to make forays with
varying success; sometimes they captured prey and sometimes they
failed. On one occasion Cleanetus led his own and another company
against a strong position, and was killed himself, with many others of
his party.

[1] A native of the country parts of Laconia.