Such was the conclusion of that day. On the following day the generals 1
summoned an assembly of the soldiers, when it was resolved to invite
the men of Sinope, and to take advice with them touching the remainder
of the journey. In the event of their having to continue it on foot,
the Sinopeans through their acquaintance with Paphlagonia would be
useful to them; while, if they had to go by sea, the services of the
same people would be at a premium; for who but they could furnish
ships sufficient for the army? Accordingly, they summoned their
ambassadors, and took counsel with them, begging them, on the strength
of the sacred ties which bind Hellenes to Hellenes, to inaugurate the
good reception they had spoken of, by present kindliness and their
best advice.

Hecatonymus rose and wished at once to offer an apology with regard to
what he had said about the possibility of making friends with the
Paphlagonians. "The words were not intended," he said, "to convey a
threat, as though they were minded to go to war with the Hellenes, but
as meaning rather: albeit we have it in our power to be friendly with
the barbarians, we will choose the Hellenes." Then, being urged to aid
them by some advice, with a pious ejaculation, he commenced: "If I
bestow upon you the best counsel I am able, God grant that blessings
in abundance may descend on me; but if the contrary, may evil betide 4
me! 'Sacred counsel[1],' as the saying goes--well, sirs, if ever the
saying held, it should hold I think to-day; when, if I be proved to
have given you good counsel, I shall not lack panegyrists, or if evil,
your imprecations will be many-tongued.

[1] Cf. Plato, "Theages," 122.

"As to trouble, I am quite aware, we shall have much more trouble if
you are conveyed by sea, for we must provide the vessels; whereas, if
you go by land, all the fighting will evolve on you. Still, let come
what may, it behoves me to state my views. I have an intimate
acquaintance with the country of the Paphlagonians and their power.
The country possesses the two features of hill and vale, that is to
say, the fairest plains and the highest mountains. To begin with the
mountains, I know the exact point at which you must make your entry.
It is precisely where the horns of a mountain tower over both sides of
the road. Let the merest handful of men occupy these and they can hold
the pass with ease; for when that is done not all the enemies in the
world could effect a passage. I could point out the whole with my
finger, if you like to send any one with me to the scene.

"So much for the mountain barrier. But the next thing I know is that
there are plains and a cavalry which the barbarians themselves hold to
be superior to the entire cavalry of the great king. Why, only the
other day these people refused to present themselves to the summons of
the king; their chief is too proud for that.

"But now, supposing you were able to seize the mountain barrier, by
stealth, or expedition, before the enemy could stop you; supposing
further, you were able to win an engagement in the plain against not
only their cavalry but their more than one hundred and twenty thousand
infantry--you will only find yourself face to face with rivers, a
series of them. First the Thermodon, three hundred feet broad, which I
take it will be difficult to pass, especially with a host of foes in
front and another following behind. Next comes the Iris river, three
hundred feet broad; and thirdly, the Halys, at least two furlongs
broad, which you could not possibly cross without vessels, and who is
going to supply you with vessels? In the same way too the Parthenius 9
is impassable, which you will reach if you cross the Halys. For my
part, then, I consider the land-journey, I will not say difficult, but
absolutely impossible for you. Whereas if you go by sea, you can coast
along from here to Sinope, and from Sinope to Heraclea. From Heraclea
onwards there is no difficulty, whether by land or by sea; for there
are plenty of vessels at Heraclea."

After he had finished his remarks, some of his hearers thought they
detected a certain bias in them. He would not have spoken so, but for
his friendship with Corylas, whose official representative he was.
Others guessed he had an itching palm, and that he was hoping to
receive a present for his "sacred advice." Others again suspected that
his object was to prevent their going by foot and doing some mischief
to the country of the Sinopeans. However that might be, the Hellenes
voted in favour of continuing the journey by sea. After this Xenophon
said: "Sinopeans, the army has chosen that method of procedure which
you advise, and thus the matter stands. If there are sure to be
vessels enough to make it impossible for a single man to be left
behind, go by sea we will; but if part of us are to be left while part
go by sea, we will not set foot on board the vessels. One fact we
plainly recognise, strength is everything to us. So long as we have
the mastery, we shall be able to protect ourselves and get provisions;
but if we are once caught at the mercy of our foes, it is plain, we
shall be reduced to slavery." On hearing this the ambassadors bade
them send an embassy, which they did, to wit, Callimachus the
Arcadian, and Ariston the Athenian, and Samolas the Achaean.

So these set off, but meanwhile a thought shaped itself in the mind of
Xenophon, as there before his eyes lay that vast army of Hellene
hoplites, and that other array of peltasts, archers, and slingers,
with cavalry to boot, and all in a state of thorough efficiency from
long practice, hardened veterans, and all collected in Pontus, where
to raise so large a force would cost a mint of money. Then the idea
dawned upon him: how noble an opportunity to acquire new territory and 15
power for Hellas, by the founding of a colony--a city of no mean size,
moreover, said he to himself, as he reckoned up their own numbers--and
besides themselves a population planted on the shores of Pontus.
Threupon he summoned Silanus the Ambraciot, the soothsayer of Cyrus
above mentioned, and before breathing a syllable to any of the
soldiers, he consulted the victims by sacrifice.

But Silanus, in apprehension lest these ideas might embody themselves,
and the army be permanently halted at some point or other, set a tale
going among the men, to the effect that Xenophon was minded to detain
the army and found a city in order to win himself a name and acquire
power, Silanus himself being minded to reach Hellas with all possible
speed, for the simple reason that he had still got the three thousand
darics presented to him by Cyrus on the occasion of the sacrifice when
he hit the truth so happily about the ten days. Silanus's story was
variously received, some few of the soldiers thinking it would be an
excellent thing to stay in that country; but the majority were
strongly averse. The next incident was that Timasion the Dardanian,
with Thorax the Boeotian, addressed themselves to some Heracleot and
Sinopean traders who had come to Cotyora, and told them that if they
did not find means to furnish the army with pay sufficient to keep
them in provisions on the homeward voyage, all that great force would
most likely settle down permanently in Pontus. "Xenophon has a pet
idea," they continued, "which he urges upon us. We are to wait until
the ships come, and then we are suddenly to turn round to the army and
say: 'Soldiers, we now see the straits we are in, unable to keep
ourselves in provisions on the return voyage, or to make our friends
at home a little present at the end of our journey. But if you like to
select some place on the inhabited seaboard of the Black Sea which may
take your fancy and there put in, this is open to you to do. Those who
like to go home, go; those who care to stay here, stay. You have got 20
vessels now, so that you can make a sudden pounce upon any point you

The merchants went off with this tale and reported it to every city
they came to in turn, nor did they go alone, but Timasion the
Dardanian sent a fellow-citizen of his own, Eurymachus, with the
Boeotian Thorax, to repeat the same story. So when it reached the ears
of the men of Sinope and the Heracleots, they sent to Timasion and
pressed him to accept of a gratuity, in return for which he was to
arrange for the departure of the troops. Timasion was only too glad to
hear this, and he took the opportunity when the soldiers were convened
in meeting to make the following remarks: "Soldiers," he said, "do not
set your thoughts on staying here; let Hellas, and Hellas only, be the
object of your affection, for I am told that certain persons have been
sacrificing on this very question, without saying a word to you. Now I
can promise you, if you once leave these waters, to furnish you with
regular monthly pay, dating from the first of the month, at the rate
of one cyzicene[2] a head per month. I will bring you to the Troad,
from which part I am an exile, and my own state is at your service.
They will receive me with open arms. I will be your guide personally,
and I will take you to plces where you will get plenty of money. I
know every corner of the Aeolid, and Phrygia, and the Troad, and
indeed the whole satrapy of Pharnabazus, partly because it is my
birthplace, partly from campaigns in that region with Clearchus and

[2] A cyzicene stater = twenty-eight silver drachmae of Attic money
B.C. 335, in the time of Demosthenes; but, like the daric, this
gold coin would fluctuate in value relatively to silver. It
contained more grains of gold than the daric.

[3] Of Dercylidas we hear more in the "Hellenica." In B.C. 411 he was
harmost at Abydos; in B.C. 399 he superseded Thimbron in Asia
Minor; and was himself superseded by Agesilaus in B.C. 396.

No sooner had he ceased than up got Thorax the Boeotian. This was a
man who had a standing battle with Xenophon about the generalship of
the army. What he said was that, if they once got fairly out of the
Euxine, there was the Chersonese, a beautiful and prosperous country,
where they could settle or not, as they chose. Those who liked could
stay; and those who liked could return to their homes; how ridiculous 25
then, when there was so much territory in Hellas and to spare, to be
poking about[4] in the land of the barbarian. "But until you find
yourselves there," he added, "I, no less than Timasion, can guarantee
you regular pay." This he said, knowing what promises had been made
Timasion by the men of Heraclea and Sinope to induce them to set sail.

[4] The word {masteuein} occurs above, and again below, and in other
writings of our author. It is probably Ionic or old Attic, and
occurs in poetry.

Meanwhile Xenophon held his peace. Then up got Philesius and Lycon,
two Achaeans: "It was monstrous," they said, "that Xenophon should be
privately persuading people to stop there, and consulting the victims
for that end, without letting the army into the secret, or breathing a
syllable in public about the matter." When it came to this, Xenophon
was forced to get up, and speak as follows: "Sirs, you are well aware
that my habit is to sacrifice at all times; whether in your own behalf
or my own, I strive in every thought, word, and deed to be directed as
is best for yourselves and for me. And in the present instance my sole
object was to learn whether it were better even so much as to broach
the subject, and so take action, or to have absolutely nothing to do
with the project. Now Silanus the soothsayer assured me by his answer
of what was the main point: 'the victims were favourable.' No doubt
Silanus knew that I was not unversed myself in his lore, as I have so
often assisted at the sacrifice; but he added that there were symptoms
in the victims of some guile or conspiracy against me. That was a
happy discovery on his part, seeing that he was himself conspiring at
the moment to traduce me before you; since it was he who set the tale
going that I had actually made up my mind to carry out these projects
without procuring your consent. Now, for my part, if I saw that you 30
were in any difficulties, I should set myself to discover how you
might capture a city, on the understanding of course that all who
wished might sail away at once, leaving those who did not wish, to
follow at a later date, with something perhaps in their pockets to
benefit their friends at home. Now, however, as I see that the men of
Heraclea and Sinope are to send you ships to assist you to sail away,
and more than one person guarantees to give you regular monthly pay,
it is, I admit, a rare chance to be safely piloted to the haven of our
hopes, and at the same time to receive pay for our preservation. For
myself I have done with that dream, and to those, who came to me to
urge these projects, my advice is to have done with them. In fact,
this is my view. As long as you stay together united as to-day, you
will command respect and procure provisions; for might certainly
exercises a right over what belongs to the weaker. But once broken up,
with your force split into bits, you will neither be able to get
subsistence, nor indeed will you get off without paying dearly for it.
In fact, my resolution coincides precisely with yours. It is that we
should set off for Hellas, and if any one stops behind, or is caught
deserting before the whole army is in safety, let him be judged as an
evil-doer. Pray let all who are in favour of this proposition hold up
their hands."

They all held them up; only Silanus began shouting and vainly striving
to maintain the right of departure for all who liked to depart. But
the soldiers would not suffer him, threatening him that if he were
himself caught attempting to run away they would inflict the aforesaid
penalty. After this, when the Heracleots learned that the departure by
sea was resolved upon, and that the measure itself emanated from
Xenophon, they sent the vessels indeed; but as to the money which they
had promised to Timasion and Thorax as pay for the soldiers, they were
not as good as their word, in fact they cheated them both. Thus the
two who had guaranteed regular monthly pay were utterly confounded,
and stood in terror of the soldiers. What they did then, was to take
to them the other generals to whom they had communicated their former
transactions (that is to say, all except Neon the Asniaean, who, as
lieutenant-general, was acting for Cheirisophus during his continued
absence). This done they came in a body to Xenophon and said that 36
their views were changed. As they had now got the ships, they thought
it best to sail to the Phasis, and seize the territory of the Phasians
(whose present king was a descendant of Aeetes[5]). Xenophon's reply
was curt:--Not one syllable would he have to say himself to the army
in this matter, "But," he added, "if you like, you can summon an
assembly and have your say." Thereupon Timasion the Dardanian set
forth as his opinion:--It were best to hold no parliament at present,
but first to go and conciliate, each of them, his own officers. Thus
they went away and proceeded to execute their plans.

[5] Aeetes is the patronym of the kings of Colchis from mythical times
onwards; e.g. Medea was the daughter of Aeetes.