The time came when it was no longer possible to capture provisions, 1
going and returning to the camp in one day. In consequence of this,
Xenophon took some guides from the Trapezuntines and led half the army
out against the Drilae, leaving the other half to guard the camp. That
was necessary, since the Colchians, who had been ousted from their
houses, were assembled thickly, and sat eyeing them from the heights
above; on the other hand the Trapezuntines, being friendly to the
native inhabitants, were not for leading the Hellenes to places where
it was easy to capture provisions. But against the Drilae, from whom
they personally suffered, they would lead them with enthusiasm, up
into mountainous and scarcely accessible fortresses, and against the
most warlike people of any in the Pontus.

But when the Hellenes had reached the uplands, the Drilae set fire to
all their fastnesses which they thought could be taken easily, and
beat a retreat; and except here and there a stray pig or bullock or
other animal which had escaped the fire there was nothing to capture;
but there was one fastness which served as their metropolis: into this
the different streams of people collected; round it ran a tremendously
deep ravine, and the approaches to the place were difficult. So the
light infantry ran forward five or six furlongs in advance of the
heavy infantry, and crossed the ravine; and seeing quantities of sheep
and other things, proceeded to attack the place. Close at their heels
followed a number of those who had set out on the foray armed with
spears, so that the storming party across the ravine amounted to more
than two thousand. But, finding that they could not take the place by 5
a coup-de-main, as there was a trench running round it, mounded up
some breadth, with a stockade on the top of the earthwork and a
close-packed row of wooden bastions, they made an attempt to run back,
but the enemy fell upon them from the rear. To get away by a sudden
rush was out of the question, since the descent from the fortress into
the ravine only admitted of moving in single file. Under the
circumstances they sent to Xenophon, who was in command of the heavy
infantry. The messenger came and delivered his message: "There is a
fastness choke full of all sorts of stores, but we cannot take it, it
is too strong; nor can we easily get away; the enemy rush out and
deliver battle, and the return is difficult."

On hearing this, Xenophon pushed forward his heavy infantry to the
edge of the ravine, and there ordered them to take up a position,
while he himself with the officers crossed over to determine whether
it were better to withdraw the party already across, or to bring over
the heavy infantry also, on the supposition that the fortress might be
taken. In favour of the latter opinion it was agreed that the retreat
must cost many lives, and the officers were further disposed to think,
they could take the place. Xenophon consented, relying on the victims,
for the seers had announced, that there would be a battle, but that
the result of the expedition would be good. So he sent the officers to
bring the heavy troops across, while he himself remained, having drawn
off all the light infantry and forbidden all sharp-shooting at long
range. As soon as the heavy infantry had arrived, he ordered each
captain to form his company, in whatever way he hoped to make it most
effective in the coming struggle. Side by side together they stood,
these captains, not for the first time to-day competitors for the
award of manly virtue. While they were thus employed, he--the
general--was engaged in passing down his order along the ranks of the
light infantry and archers respectively to march with the javelin on
its thong and the arrow to the string, ready at the word "shoot" to
discharge their missiles, while the light troops were to have their
wallets well stocked with slingstones; lastly, he despatched his 12
adjutants to see to the proper carrying out of these orders.

And now the preparations were complete: the officers and lieutenants
and all others claiming to be peers of these, were drawn up in their
several places. With a glance each was able to command the rest in the
crescent-like disposition which the ground invited. Presently the
notes of the battle hymn arose, the clarion spoke, and with a
thrilling cry in honour of the warrior-god, commenced a rush of the
heavy infantry at full speed under cover of a storm of missiles,
lances, arrows, bullets, but most of all stones hurled from the hand
with ceaseless pelt, while there were some who brought firebrands to
bear. Overwhelmed by this crowd of missiles, the enemy left their
stockades and their bastion towers, which gave Agasias the Stymphalian
and Philoxenus of Pellene a chance not to be missed; laying aside
their heavy arms, up they went in bare tunics only, and one hauled
another up, and meantime another had mounted, and the place was taken,
as they thought. Then the peltasts and light troops rushed in and
began snatching what each man could. Xenophon the while, posted at the
gates, kept back as many of the hoplites as he could, for there were
other enemies now visible on certain strong citadel heights; and after
a lapse of no long time a shout arose within, and the men came running
back, some still clutching what they had seized; and presently here
and there a wounded man; and mighty was the jostling about the
portals. To the questions which were put to them the outpouring
fugitives repeated the same story: there was a citadel within and
enemies in crowds were making savage sallies and beating the fellows

At that Xenophon ordered Tolmides the herald to proclaim: "Enter all
who are minded to capture aught." In poured the surging multitude, and
the counter-current of persons elbowing their passage in prevailed
over the stream of those who issued forth, until they beat back and
cooped up the enemy within the citadel again. So outside the citadel
everything was sacked and pillaged by the Hellenes, and the heavy
infantry took up their position, some about the stockades, others 19
along the road leading up to the citadel. Xenophon and the officers
meantime considered the possibility of taking the citadel, for if so,
their safety was assured; but if otherwise, it would be very difficult
to get away. As the result of their deliberations they agreed that the
place was impregnable. Then they began making preparations for the
retreat. Each set of men proceeded to pull down the palisading which
faced themselves; further, they sent away all who were useless or who
had enough to do to carry their burdens, with the mass of the heavy
infantry accompanying them; the officers in each case leaving behind
men whom they could severally depend on.

But as soon as they began to retreat, out rushed upon them from within
a host of fellows, armed with wicker shields and lances, greaves and
Paphlagonian helmets. Others might be seen scaling the houses on this
side and that of the road leading into the citadel. Even pursuit in
the direction of the citadel was dangerous, since the enemy kept
hurling down on them great beams from above, so that to stop and to
make off were alike dangerous, and night approaching was full of
terrors. But in the midst of their fighting and their despair some god
gave them a means of safety. All of a sudden, by whatsoever hand
ignited, a flame shot up; it came from a house on the right hand, and
as this gradually fell in, the people from the other houses on the
right took to their heels and fled.

Xenophon, laying this lesson of fortune to heart, gave orders to set
fire to the left-hand houses also, which being of wood burned quickly,
with the result that the occupants of these also took to flight. The
men immediately at their front were the sole annoyance now, and these
were safe to fall upon them as they made their exit and in their
descent. Here then the word was passed for all who were out of range
to bring up logs of wood and pile them between themselves and the
enemy, and when there was enough of these they set them on fire; they
also fired the houses along the trench-work itself, so as to occupy
the attention of the enemy. Thus they got off, though with difficulty,
and escaped from the place by putting a fire between them and the 27
enemy; and the whole city was burnt down, houses, turrets, stockading,
and everything belonging to it except the citadel.

Next day the Hellenes were bent on getting back with the provisions;
but as they dreaded the descent to Trapezus, which was precipitous and
narrow, they laid a false ambuscade, and a Mysian, called after the
name of his nation (Mysus)[1], took ten of the Cretans and halted in
some thick brushy ground, where he made a feint of endeavouring to
escape the notice of the enemy. The glint of their light shields,
which were of brass, now and again gleamed through the brushwood. The
enemy, seeing it all through the thicket, were confirmed in their
fears of an ambuscade. But the army meanwhile was quietly making its
descent; and when it appeared that they had crept down far enough, the
signal was given to the Mysian to flee as fast as he could, and he,
springing up, fled with his men. The rest of the party, that is the
Cretans, saying, "We are caught if we race," left the road and plunged
into a wood, and tumbling and rolling down the gullies were saved. The
Mysian, fleeing along the road, kept crying for assistance, which they
sent him, and picked him up wounded. The party of rescue now beat a
retreat themselves with their face to the foe, exposed to a shower of
missiles, to which some of the Cretan bowmen responded with their
arrows. In this way they all reached the camp in safety.

[1] Lit. "{Musos} (Mysus), a Mysian by birth, and {Musos} (Mysus) by