From this point he marched two stages--ten parasangs--to the river 1
Psarus, which is two hundred feet broad, and from the Psarus he
marched a single stage--five parasangs--to Issi, the last city in
Cilicia. It lies on the seaboard--a prosperous, large and flourishing
town. Here they halted three days, and here Cyrus was joined by his
fleet. There were thirty-five ships from Peloponnesus, with the
Lacedaemonian admiral Pythagoras on board. These had been piloted from
Ephesus by Tamos the Egyptian, who himself had another fleet of
twenty-five ships belonging to Cyrus. These had formed Tamos's
blockading squadron at Miletus, when that city sided with
Tissaphernes; he had also used them in other military services
rendered to Cyrus in his operations against that satrap. There was a
third officer on board the fleet, the Lacedaemonian Cheirisophus, who
had been sent for by Cyrus, and had brought with him seven hundred
hoplites, over whom he was to act as general in the service of Cyrus.
The fleet lay at anchor opposite Cyrus's tent. Here too another
reinforcement presented itself. This was a body of four hundred
hoplites, Hellenic mercenaries in the service of Abrocomas, who 3
deserted him for Cyrus, and joined in the campaign against the king.

From Issi, he marched a single stage--five parasangs--to the gates of
Cilicia and Syria. This was a double fortress: the inner and nearer
one, which protects Cilicia, was held by Syennesis and a garrison of
Cilicians; the outer and further one, protecting Syria, was reported
to be garrisoned by a body of the king's troops. Through the gap
between the two fortresses flows a river named the Carsus, which is a
hundred feet broad, and the whole space between was scarcely more than
six hundred yards. To force a passage here would be impossible, so
narrow was the pass itself, with the fortification walls stretching
down to the sea, and precipitous rocks above; while both fortresses
were furnished with gates. It was the existence of this pass which had
induced Cyrus to send for the fleet, so as to enable him to lead a
body of hoplites inside and outside the gates; and so to force a
passage through the enemy, if he were guarding the Syrian gate, as he
fully expected to find Abrocomas doing with a large army. This,
however, Abrocomas had not done; but as soon as he learnt that Cyrus
was in Cilicia, he had turned round and made his exit from Phoenicia,
to join the king with an army amounting, as report said, to three
hundred thousand men.

From this point Cyrus pursued his march, through Syria a single
stage--five parasangs--to Myriandus, a city inhabited by Phoenicians,
on the sea-coast. This was a commercial port, and numerous merchant
vessels were riding at anchor in the harbour. Here they halted seven
days, and here Xenias the Arcadian general, and Pasion the Megarian
got on board a trader, and having stowed away their most valuable
effects, set sail for home; most people explained the act as the
outcome of a fit of jealousy, because Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to
retain their men, who had deserted to him, in hopes of returning to
Hellas instead of marching against the king; when the two had so
vanished, a rumour spread that Cyrus was after them with some ships of
war, and some hoped the cowards might be caught, others pitied them,
if that should be their fate.

But Cyrus summoned the generals and addressed them: "Xenias and 8
Pasion," he said, "have taken leave of us; but they need not flatter
themselves that in so doing they have stolen into hiding. I know where
they are gone; nor will they owe their escape to speed; I have
men-of-war to capture their craft, if I like. But heaven help me! if I
mean to pursue them: never shall it be said of me, that I turn people
to account as long as they stay with me, but as soon as they are
minded to be off, I seize and maltreat them, and strip them of their
wealth. Not so! let them go with the consciousness that our behaviour
to them is better than theirs to us. And yet I have their children and
wives safe under lock and key in Tralles; but they shall not be
deprived even of these. They shall receive them back in return for
their former goodness to me." So he spoke, and the Hellenes, even
those who had been out of heart at the thought of marching up the
country, when they heard of the nobleness of Cyrus, were happier and
more eager to follow him on his path.

After this Cyrus marched onwards four stages--twenty parasangs--to the
river Chalus. That river is a hundred feet broad, and is stocked with
tame fish which the Syrians regard as gods, and will not suffer to be
injured--and so too the pigeons of the place. The villages in which
they encamped belonged to Parysatis, as part of her girdle money[1].
From this point he marched on five stages--thirty parasangs--to the
sources of the river Dardas, which is a hundred feet broad. Here stood
the palace of Belesys, the ruler of Syria, with its park--which was a
very large and beautiful one, and full of the products of all the
seasons in their course. But Cyrus cut down the park and burnt the
palace. Thence he marched on three stages--fifteen parasangs--to the
river Euphrates, which is nearly half a mile broad. A large and 11
flourishing city, named Thapsacus, stands on its banks. Here they
halted five days, and here Cyrus sent for the generals of the
Hellenes, and told them that the advance was now to be upon Babylon,
against the great king; he bade them communicate this information to
the soldiers and persuade them to follow. The generals called an
assembly, and announced the news to the soldiers. The latter were
indignant and angry with the generals, accusing them of having kept
secret what they had long known; and refused to go, unless such a
bribe of money were given them as had been given to their
predecessors, when they went up with Cyrus to the court of his father,
not as now to fight a battle, but on a peaceful errand--the visit of a
son to his father by invitation. The demand was reported to Cyrus by
the generals, and he undertook to give each man five silver minae as
soon as Babylon was reached, and their pay in full, until he had
safely conveyed them back to Ionia again. In this manner the Hellenic
force were persuaded--that is to say, the majority of them. Menon,
indeed, before it was clear what the rest of the soldiers would
do--whether, in fact they would follow Cyrus or not--collected his own
troops apart and made them the following speech; "Men," he said, "if
you will listen to me, there is a method by which, without risk or
toil, you may win the special favour of Cyrus beyond the rest of the
soldiers. You ask what it is I would have you to do? I will tell you.
Cyrus at this instant is begging the Hellenes to follow him to attack
the king. I say then: Cross the Euphrates at once, before it is clear
what answer the rest will make; if they vote in favour of following,
you will get the credit of having set the example, and Cyrus will be
grateful to you. He will look upon you as being the heartiest in his
cause; he will repay, as of all others he best knows how; while, if
the rest vote against crossing, we shall go back again; but as the
sole adherents, whose fidelity he can altogether trust, it is you whom
Cyrus will turn to account, as commandants of garrisons or captains of
companies. You need only ask him for whatever you want, and you will
get it from him, as being the friends of Cyrus.

[1] Cf. Plat. "Alcib." i. 123 B. "Why, I have been informed by a
credible person, who went up to the king (at Susa), that he passed
through a large tract of excellent land, extending for nearly a
day's journey, which the people of the country called the queen's
girdle, and another which they called her veil," etc. Olympiodorus
and the Scholiast both think that Plato here refers to Xenophon
and this passage of the "Anabasis." Grote thinks it very probable
that Plato had in his mind Xenophon (either his "Anabasis" or
personal communications with him).

The men heard and obeyed, and before the rest had given their answer,
they were already across. But when Cyrus perceived that Menon's troops 16
had crossed, he was well pleased, and he sent Glus to the division in
question, with this message: "Soldiers, accept my thanks at present;
eventually you shall thank me. I will see to that, or my name is not
Cyrus." The soldiers therefore could not but pray heartily for his
success; so high their hopes ran. But to Menon, it was said, he sent
gifts with lordly liberality. This done, Cyrus proceeded to cross; and
in his wake followed the rest of the armament to a man. As they
forded, never a man was wetted above the chest: nor ever until this
moment, said the men of Thapascus, had the river been so crossed on
foot, boats had always been required; but these, at the present time,
Abrocomas, in his desire to hinder Cyrus from crossing, had been at
pains to burn. Thus the passage was looked upon as a thing miraculous;
the river had manifestly retired before the face of Cyrus, like a
courtier bowing to his future king. From this place he continued his
march through Syria nine stages--fifty parasangs--and they reached the
river Araxes. Here were several villages full of corn and wine; in
which they halted three days, and provisioned the army.