Chapter 4

(1) When it was past midday, the Median and Hyrcanian cavalry came in, bringing both the horses and the men they had captured, for they did not kill those who surrendered their arms. (2) When they came in, Cyrus asked them first whether all his troops were safe. When they said they were, he next asked what they had done. They narrated what they did, and gave great accounts of how courageous they were in doing it. (3) He listened with pleasure to everything they wished to say, and then he praised them like this: “But it is clear that you were good men, for you appear taller, more noble, and more terrible to look upon than before.” (4) After this he asked them how far they rode and whether the land was inhabited. They said that they had ridden a long way, that it was all inhabited, and that it was full of sheep, goats, cattle, horses, grain, and everything good. (5) “We must be careful about two things,” he said, “that we be superior to those who have these things and that they themselves stay put, for an inhabited land is a very valuable possession, but land bereft of human beings becomes bereft of the good things as well. (6) I know that you killed those who put up a defense,” he said, “and you acted correctly, for this especially preserves a victory. You have led in as captives those who surrendered; if we release them, we would effect this advantage, as I say: (7) For first, we would not now need either to guard against them or guard over them, or even to feed them (for we will surely not kill them by starvation). Further, by releasing them, we will have more captives to use, (8) for if we control the land, all those who inhabit it will be our captives. When the others see that these are alive and have been released, they will be more inclined to stay put and to choose to obey rather than fight. I know that this is so. If anyone sees anything better, let him speak.” When they heard these things, they agreed to do them.

(9) So Cyrus called in the captives and spoke as follows: (10) “Men, because you obeyed, you just now saved your lives, and if you act like this also in the future, there will be nothing new for you, other than that the same person will not rule over you who did before. You will inhabit the same houses, work the same land, dwell together with the same wives, and rule over your own children, just as you do now. You will not, however, fight with us, or with anyone else. (11) But when someone is unjust to you, we will fight on your behalf. In order that no one even call upon you to go on campaign, bring us your weapons, for those who do bring them there will be peace, and we will hold to what we say without deceit. As for those who do not turn in their weapons of war, we will of course campaign against them. (12) If any of you shows that he comes to us in a friendly way, and that he does something for us or teaches us something, we will treat him as a benefactor and a friend, not as a slave. Bear this in mind yourselves, and report it to the others. (13) So if you wish to obey in these matters but others do not, lead us to them, so that you may rule over them, not they over you.” He said these things, and they prostrated themselves and promised that they would act accordingly.

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