Chapter 3

(1) Marching in this way, they reached the boundaries of Gobryas’ land on the fourth day. When he entered enemy territory, [Cyrus] stopped and brought into his own order the infantry and as many of the cavalry as he thought fine. He sent out the rest of the cavalry to make raids. He bade them kill all those in arms but bring to himself whatever other people and cattle they might capture. He bade also the Persians to join in the raids, and while many of them returned after having been thrown from their horses, many also brought back a great deal of booty. (2) When the booty was present, he summoned both the Peers and the rulers of the Medes and Hyrcanians, and he spoke as follows: “Men, friends, Gobryas has regaled us all with many good things. If, then, after selecting out what is customary for the gods and what is sufficient for the army, we should give the rest of the booty to him, would we not do something noble? Then it would be immediately evident that we try to be victorious also in doing good to those who do good.”

(3) When they heard this, all praised the proposal, all applauded it. One also spoke as follows: “Let us certainly do this, Cyrus, for it seems to me that Gobryas believes us to be beggars because we were not loaded with Darics when we came, and we do not drink from golden cups. If we do what you say, he would know that it is possible to be free even without gold.”19

(4) “Come then,” he said, “give to the Magi what belongs to the gods, select as much as is sufficient for the army, and summon Gobryas and give him the rest.” So after taking what was needed, they gave the rest to Gobryas.

(5) After this he went to Babylon, keeping the same order as when the battle was fought. When the Assyrians did not come out in opposition, Cyrus bade Gobryas to ride up and say that if the king wished to come out and fight for his country, even he himself would fight on his side, but that if he did not defend his country, necessity required obedience to its masters. (6) So Gobryas rode up where it was safe and said this, and the other sent out to him one who answered as follows: “Gobryas, your master says, ‘I do not regret that I killed your son, only that I did not kill you as well. But if you wish to do battle, come back in a month.20 We do not have the leisurenow, for we are still preparing.’”

(7) Gobryas said, “May you never stop having this regret! For it is clear that I have been causing you some pain since the time this regret took hold of you.”

(8) So Gobryas reported the remarks of the Assyrian, and on hearing them Cyrus had the army draw back. He summoned Gobryas and asked, “Tell me, did you not say that you thought the one who was castrated by the Assyrian would join us?”

“I think I know it well,” he said, “for he and I said many things openly to one another.”

(9) “Then when it seems fine to you, go to him. And arrange it first so that [only] you yourselves know what you say. When you are with him, if you know that he wishes to be a friend, you must contrive that it not be noticed that he is our friend, for one could not do more good things for friends in war in any other way than by seeming to be an enemy, nor could anyone harm enemies more in any other way than by seeming to be a friend.”

(10) “Indeed,” said Gobryas, “I know that Gadatas would even pay for the opportunity to do some great evil to the present king of the Assyrians. But we need to consider what he would be able to do.”

(11) “Tell me,” said Cyrus, “as regards the fort on the frontier of this country, the one you say was fortified to be a bulwark for it in the war against the Hyrcanians and the Sacians, do you think, if the eunuch came to it with a force, that he would be admitted into it by its commander?”

“Clearly,” said Gobryas, “if he arrived there unsuspected, as he now is.”

(12) “Would he be unsuspected if I should attack his lands as if I wished to take them, and if he should fight back vigorously? And if I should capture something from him and he in turn should capture from us some troops or even some messengers sent from me to the others you said were hostile to the Assyrian? And if when they were captured they would say that they were going for troops and ladders, in order to bring them to the fort? And if the eunuch would pretend that on hearing this he went [to the fort] because he wished to report it?”

(13) Gobryas said, “If things were like this, he would clearly admit him. He even would beg him to stay until you went away.”

“Then,” said Cyrus, “if he but once gets in, would he be able to bring the fortress over into our hands?”

(14) “It is quite likely at least,” said Gobryas, “if he takes care of the inside, and you make a strong assault from without.”

“Come, then,” he said, “try to explain and settle the matter, and then come back.21 Nor could you mention or show him greater signs of trust than what you yourself happen to have received from us.”

(15) After this Gobryas departed. The eunuch was glad to see him; he agreed to everything and settled what was necessary. After Gobryas reported back that the eunuch had strongly approved all the proposals, on the next day Cyrus attacked and Gadatas fought back. There was also a fortress that Cyrus took, one that Gadatas had indicated. (16) Cyrus sent messengers and indicated in advance which route they were to travel by. Gadatas let some of these escape, that they might bring troops and provide ladders,22 but he caught others. These he interrogated in the presence of many, and when he heard them say where they were going, he swiftly made preparations as if he were going to convey this message and marched off during the night. (17) In the end, he was trusted and entered the fortress as if he had come in aid. In the meantime he made what preparations he could with the fort’s commander, but when Cyrus came, he made collaborators of Cyrus’ captured messengers and took the fort. (18) When this happened and as soon as Gadatas the eunuch settled things inside, he went out to Cyrus, and prostrating himself in keeping with the custom, he said, “Joy to you, Cyrus.”

(19) “But I am already joyful,” he said, “for you, with [the help of] the gods, not only bid me to be joyful, but even compel me to be so. Rest assured that I place a high value on leaving this fortress friendly to my allies here. From you, Gadatas, the Assyrian has taken away the fathering of children, as it seems; however, he has not deprived you of being able to acquire friends. Be assured that you have made us friends by this deed and that we, if we are able, will try to stand by you in aid no worse than would children of your own, if you possessed them.” Thus he spoke.

(20) Having just perceived what had happened, the Hyrcanian then ran up to Cyrus, and taking his right hand said, “Cyrus, you who are so great a good to your friends, how much gratitude you make me owe to the gods because they led me to you!”

(21) “Come now,” said Cyrus, “take the fortress on account of which you greet me so joyfully, and dispose of it in such a way that it will be worth the most to your tribe, to the other allies, and especially to Gadatas here, who took it and gives it to us.”

(22) “Well then,” said the Hyrcanian, “when the Cadusians, Sacians, and my fellow citizens come, shall we invite him as well,23 so that all of us for whom it is fitting may deliberate in common about how we might use the fortress in the most advantageous way?”

(23) Cyrus applauded this suggestion. And when those concerned about the fortress got together, they determined that they would guard it in common, all those to whom it was good for it to be friendly. Thus, it would be a bulwark for them in war and be fortified against the Assyrians.

(24) After this event, the Cadusians, Sacians, and Hyrcanians campaigned with much more enthusiasm and in greater numbers. Hence an army of Cadusians was collected that numbered up to twenty thousand targeteers and four thousand cavalry, of Sacians up to ten thousand archers and two thousand mounted archers.24 The Hyrcanians sent along as many infantry troops as was in their power, and they filled up the ranks of their cavalry to two thousand. Previously, large numbers of their cavalry had been left at home, because both the Cadusians and the Sacians were enemies of the Assyrians. (25) For as long a time as Cyrus was occupied with the disposition of the fortress, many of the Assyrians in the country nearby brought in their horses, and many turned in their weapons, for they were already fearful of their neighbors all around.25

(26) Gadatas then came to Cyrus and said that his messengers heard that when the Assyrian learned about the fortress, he took it hard and was preparing to invade his land. “If you will allow me, Cyrus, I will try to save my forts; the rest is of less account.”

(27) And Cyrus said, “If you go now, when will you be home?”

And Gadatas said, “On the third day I will dine in our land.”

“But do you not think you will find the Assyrian already there?” he asked.

“I am sure of it,” he said, “for he will make haste while you still seem to be far away.”

(28) “On what day could I get there with my army?” asked Cyrus.

Gadatas said to this, “You have a large army, master, and you would not be able to arrive at my residence in less than six or seven days.”

“Then you go as quickly as possible,” said Cyrus, “and I will march as best I can.”

(29) So Gadatas left, and Cyrus summoned all the allies’ rulers. And it seemed that there were already many noble and good rulers on hand. Cyrus said this to them: (30) “Men, allies, Gadatas did things that seem to us all to be worth a great deal, and he did so before having experienced any good at our hands. It is now reported that the Assyrian will invade his land. Clearly he wishes to take vengeance on him, because he thinks he has been greatly harmed by him. Perhaps he also has in mind that if those who revolt to us suffer nothing bad from him, while those by his side perish at our hands, it is likely that soon no one will wish to be on his side. (31) Now then, men, we would seem to me to be doing something noble if we should enthusiastically give aid to Gadatas, a man who is our benefactor. And we would also be doing what is just by paying back his favor. But it seems to me that we would also be doing what is advantageous for ourselves. (32) If it should be plain to everyone that we try to win victory over those who do evil by doing more evil to them, and plain as well that we surpass our benefactors in good deeds, it is likely that thanks to such actions many will wish to be our friends and no one will desire to be our enemy. (33) But if we should seem to neglect Gadatas, then by the gods, with what arguments would we persuade anyone else to gratify us in anything? How could we dare to approve of ourselves? How would any of us be able to return Gadatas’ stare if we who are so many should be outdone in doing good by him, who is only one man and is in such a condition?” (34) Thus he spoke, and all together they strongly approved the proposed course of action.

“Come, then,” he said, “since it has been so decided by you too, let us each leave in the rear those most suited to march with the oxen and wagons. (35) Let Gobryas rule and guide them for us, for he has experience with the road and is competent also in other respects. We will march with the most capable horses and men, taking provisions for three days. To the extent that what we prepare is lighter and simpler, on the coming days we will have breakfast, have dinner, and sleep with greater pleasure. Now let us march in the following way: (36) You go first, Chrysantas, leading the troops in breastplates, and since the road is level and broad, keep all the captains in the front26 Let each company march in single file. We will march in both the quickest and safest way if we are collected together. (37) I bid those in breastplates to take the lead because this is the heaviest part of the army. When the heaviest part leads, it is necessary that all the swifter parts follow with ease. Whenever the quickest part leads at night, it is not surprising that armies are pulled apart, for the part put in front races off. (38) Behind these, let Artabazus lead the Persians’ targeteers and archers;27 behind these, Andamyas the Mede with the Medes’ infantry; behind these, Embas with the Armenians’ infantry; behind these, Artouchas with the Hyrcanians; behind these, Thambradas with the Sacians’ infantry; behind these, Datamas with the Cadusians. (39) Let all these also march with their captains in the front, their targeteers on the right, and their archers on the left of their own rectangular formation, for they are easiest to use when they march like this. (40) Behind these, let the baggage carriers follow everyone. Let their rulers be careful that they have prepared everything before they go to sleep, that they report with their gear to their assigned places at daybreak, and that they follow in good order. (41) Behind the baggage carriers, let Madatas the Persian lead the Persian cavalry, keeping the captains of the cavalry in the front. Let each cavalry captain lead his company in single file, like the infantry captains. (42) Behind these, let Rambacas the Mede likewise lead his cavalry. Behind these, you, Tigranes, lead your cavalry. And let each of the other cavalry captains lead those with whom he came to us. You Sacians march behind these. Let the Cadusians go last, just as they came. Alceuna, at least for the time being, lead and take care of all those in the back, and do not let anyone behind your cavalry. (43) Take care to march in silence, you rulers and all who are moderate, for in the night it is necessary to perceive things and get them done relying more on our ears than on our eyes. And being confused in the night is a matter of much greater consequence and is more difficult to compose than in the day. Silence must therefore be practiced and order guarded. (44) When you are going to get the troops up to march before dawn, you must make the night watches as numerous and as short as possible, so that loss of sleep does not become excessive and harm anyone on the march. When it is time to march, the signal must be given with the horn. (45) Each of you report on the road to Babylon with what you need, and as each starts his advance, let him pass the word to the one behind to follow.”

(46) They then set off for their tents, and as they were going they remarked to each other with what a good memory Cyrus called them by name as he gave commands to all those he was putting into order. (47) Now Cyrus was careful to do this, for it seemed to him to be amazing if each mere mechanic knows the names of the tools of his art, and a doctor knows the names of all the tools and drugs he uses, but a general should be so foolish as not to know the names of the leaders beneath him, and yet necessity compels him to use them as tools when he wishes to take something, guard something, inspire confidence, or cause fear. And if ever he should wish to honor someone, it seemed to him fitting to call him by name. (48) Those who think they are known by their ruler seemed to him both to have a greater yearning to be seen doing something noble and to be more inclined to refrain from doing anything shameful. (49) It also seemed to him to be foolish, when he wished something to get done, to give orders in the way that some masters do on their estates: “Someone go for water,” “Someone split wood.” (50) When orders are given like this, all seem to him to look at one another and no one to carry out the order, and all seem to be at fault and yet no one at fault (and so too ashamed and afraid), for each is at fault equally with many others. He himself therefore called by name everyone to whom he gave an order. (51) So this is how Cyrus judged these things.

The soldiers, however, after having dinner, posting guards, and preparing everything they needed, then went to bed. (52) At midnight, the signal was given with the horn. After saying to Chrysantas that he would wait on the road up ahead of the army, Cyrus departed with his personal aides. Chrysantas reported a short time later leading the troops with breastplates. (53) Giving him guides to show the way, Cyrus bade him march calmly, for all were not yet on the road. He positioned himself on the road, and as each soldier approached, he sent him ahead in order. Whoever was late he sent for. (54) When all were on the road, he sent some cavalry to Chrysantas to say, “All are already on the road, so now lead on more quickly.” (55) He himself calmly rode his horse to the front and contemplated the ranks. He rode to those whom he saw advancing in good order and in silence and asked them who they were, and when he was informed, he praised them. If he perceived any making a commotion, he looked into the cause and tried to quench the confusion.

(56) Only one thing has so far been left out about his precautions for the night, that he sent out in front of the entire army a small number of light-armed foot soldiers. These were in sight of Chrysantas and kept him in their sight. They listened, and also if they were in any other way able to perceive something, they signaled to Chrysantas whatever seemed opportune. There was a commander over these troops as well, and he kept them in order; and he signaled what was worthy of mention, but because he did not say what was not, he avoided being a burden. (57) So they marched in this way during the night. When it was day, because the Cadusians’ infantry was marching last, he left their cavalry at their side, in order that they not march without a cavalry escort. The rest of the cavalry he bade ride up to the front, because the enemy was also in front. This way, if anything should confront him, he might meet it and do battle with his strength in order, and if anything should be seen fleeing, he might pursue it with the utmost readiness. (58) There were always troops in order with him, some of whom were to go in pursuit and others who were to remain beside him, but he never allowed the general order to be broken.

(59) So this is how Cyrus led the army. He himself, however, did not stay in one place, but riding around from one place to another, he looked things over and he took care of anything needed. So this is how Cyrus’ troops marched.

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