« AnteriorContinuar »
vinces of Asia. The troops knew neither the occasion of the war, nor into what countries they were going. Cyrus had only caused it to be given out that he was carrying his arms against the Pisidians, who had infested his provinces by their incursions.
a Tissaphernes, rightly judging that all these preparations were too great for so insignificant an enterprise as against Pisidia, had set out post from Miletus to give the king an account of them. This news occasioned great trouble at court. Parysatis, the mother of Artaxerxes and Cyrus, was looked upon as the principal cause of this war; and all persons in her service and interest were suspected of holding intelligence with Cyrus. Statira especially, the reigning queen, reproached her incessantly in the most violent terms. “Where is now,” said she to her, that faith you have so often engaged for your son's behaviour ? Where those ardent
prayers you employed to preserve from death that con“spirator against his king and brother? It is your unhappy “ fondness that has kindled this war, and plunged us into an “ abyss of misfortunes." The antipathy and hatred of the two queens for each other were already very great, and still more inflamed by such warm reproaches. We shall see what the consequences were. Artaxerxes assembled a numerous army to receive his brother.
o Cyrus advanced continually by long marches. What troubled him most on the way was the pass of Cilicia, which was a narrow defile between very high and steep mountains that would admit no more than one carriage to pass at a time. Syennesis, king of the country, was preparing to dispute this pass with him, and would infallibly have succeeded, but for the diversion made by Tamos with his feet, in conjunction with that of the Lacedæmonians. To defend the coasts against the insults of the fleet, Syennesis abandoned that important post, which a small body of troops might have made good against the greatest army.
When they arrived at Tarsus, the Greeks refused to advance any farther, rightly suspecting that they were marching against the king, and loudly exclaiming that they had not entered into the service upon that condition. Clearchus, who commanded them, had occasion for all his address and ability to stifle this commotion in its birth. At first he made use of authority and force, but with very ill success, and desisted therefore from an open opposition to their sentiments : he even affected to enter into their views, and to support them with his approbation and credit. He declared publicly, that he would not separate himself from them, and advised them to depute persons to the prince, to know from his own mouth a Plut. in Artax. p. 1014.
6 Xenoph. I. 1. p. 248--261.. a It is not said where he commanded. It appears to be upon the Euphrates. He marched with 300,000 men to join the king's army, but did not arrive till
against whom they were to be led, that they might follow him voluntarily if they approved his measures: if not, that they might demand his permission to withdraw. By this artful evasion he appeased the tumult, and made them easy, and they chose him and some other officers for their deputies. Cyrus, whom he had secretly apprized of every thing, made answer, that he was going to attack « Abrocomas his enemy, who was encamped at twelve days march from thence upon the Euphrates. When this answer was repeated to them, though they plainly saw against whom they were going, they resolved to proceed, and only demanded an augmentation of their pay. Cyrus, instead of one darick ba month to each soldier, promised to give them one and a half.
Some time after, Cyrus was informed that two of the principal officers, upon account of a private quarrel with Clearchus, had deserted with part of their equipage on board a merchant ship. Many were of opinion, that it was proper to send two gallies after them ; which might be done with great ease ; and that when they were brought back, they should be made an example, by suffering death in sight of the whole army. Cyrus, convinced that favour, c was the most certain m’ans to attain affection, and that punishments, like violent remedies, ought never to be used but in extreme necessity, declared publicly that he would not suffer it to be said, that he had detained any one in his service by force, and added, that he would send them their wives and children, whom they had left as hostages in his hands.
An answer displaying so much wisdom and generosity had a surprising effect; and made even those his firm adherents, who were before inclined to retire. This is an excellent lesson for all who govern. There is in the mind of man a fund of natural generosity, which it is necessary to know and to put in play. Threats exasperate them, and chastisement makes them revolt, when endeavours are used to force them to do their duty against their will. d They desire a certain degree of confidence in their honour, and that the glory of discharging their duty through choice be left in their
power. To show that you believe men faithful, is often the best means to make them so.
Cyrus soon after declared, that he marched against Artaxerxes. Upon which some murmuring was heard at first,
6 The darick was worth 10 livres. c Beneficiis potius quam remediis ingenia experiri placuit. Plin. in Traj. d Nescio an plus moribus
conferet princeps, qui bonos esse patitur, quam qui cogit. Plin. ibid. Plerumque habita fides ipsam obligat fidem. Liv.
after the battle.
but it soon gave place to the expressions of joy and satisfaction, occasioned by that prince's magnificent promises to the army.
a As Cyrus advanced by long marches, he was informed from all parts, that the king did not intend to come directly to a battle, but had resolved to wait in the heart of Persia, till all his forces were assembled ; and that to stop his eneinies, he had ordered to be dug in the plains of Babylonia, a ditch of five fathoms broad, and three deep, extending the space of 12 parasangas, or leagues from the Euphrates to the wall of Media. Between the Euphrates and the fossé a way had been left of 20 feet in breadth, by which Cyrus passed with his whole army, which he had reviewed the day before. The king had neglected to dispute this pass with him, and suffered him to continue his march towards Babylon. It was Tiribasus, who made him resolve not to fly in such a manner before an enemy, against whom he had infinite advantages, as well from the number of his troops as the valour of his generals. He resolved therefore to advance against the enemy.
SECT. II. The battle of Cunaxa. The Greeks are victorious on their
side, Artaxerxes on his. Cyrus is killed.
c The place where the battle was fought, was called Cunaxa, about d 25 leagues from Babylon. The army of Cyrus consisted of 13,000 Greeks, 100,000 Barbarians, and 20 chariots armed with scythes. That of the enemy in horse and foot might amount to about 1,200,000 under four generals, Tissaphernes, Gobryas, Arbaces, and Abrocomas, without including 6000 chosen horse, that fought where the king was present, and never quitted his person. But Abrocomas, who had the command of 300,000 men, did not arrive till five days after the battle. In the king's army were only 150 chariots armed with scythes.
Cyrus believed, from the enemy's not having defended the pass at the fossé, that there would be no battle ; so that the next day the army marched with great negligence. But on the third, Cyrus being in his chariot, with few soldiers in their ranks before him, and the rest marching without any order, or having their arms carried for them, a horseman came in full speed, crying out as he passed, that the enemy approach& Plut. in Artax. p. 1014 Xenoph. l. i. p. 261–266.
Tlur parasanga is a road measure peculiar to the Persians monly 30 stadia, which made about a league and a hal: French. Some were
In the march of Lyrus's army I suppose the para sanga only 20 stadia, or one league, for reasons I shall give hereafter
< Xenoph, in Exped. Cyr. 1. 1. p. 263~-266. Diod. l. xiv, p. 253, 254. Pluta D. 1914-1017,
IC was com
froin 20 to 60 stadja
ed in order of battle. Upon this, great confusion ensued, from the apprehension that they should not have time to draw up the army. Cyrus, leaping from his chariot, put on his arms immediately, and getting on horseback with his javelin in luis hand, he gave orders universally to the troops to stand to their arms, and fall into their ranks ; which was executed with so much expedition, that the troops had not time to refresh themselves.
Cyrus posted upon his right 1000 Paphlagonian horse, supported by the Euphrates, and the light-armed infantry of the Greeks ; and next them, Clearchus, Proxenus, and the rest of the general officers to Menon, at the head of their several corps. The left wing, composed of Lydians, Phrygians, and other Asiatic nations, was commanded by Ariæus, who had 1000 horse. Cyrus placed himself in the centre, where the chosen troops of the Persians and other Barbarians were posted. He had around him 600 horsemen, armed at all points, as were their horses, with frontlets and breast-plates. The prince's head was uncovered, as were those of all the Persians, whose custom it was to give battle in that manner; the arms of all his people were red, and those of Artaxerxes were white.
A little before the onset, Clearchus advised Cyrus not to charge in person, but to cover himself in the rear of the Grecian battalions. “ What is it you say?" replied Cyrus. “ At the time I am endeavouring to make myself king, would
you have me show myself unworthy of being so " That wise and generous answer proves, that he knew the duty of a general,
especially on a day of battle. Had he withdrawn when his presence was most necessary, it would have argued his want of courage, and intimidated others. It is necessary, always however preserving the due distinction between the leader and the troops, that their danger should be common, and no one exempt from it ; lest the latter should be alarmed by a different conduct. Courage in an army depends upon example, upon the desire of being distinguished, the fear of dishonour, the incapacity of doing
otherwise than the rest, and the equality of danger. If Cyrus had retired, it would have either ruined, or greatly weakened, all these potent motives, by discouraging the officers as well as soldiers of his army. He thought, that being their general, it was incumbent upon him to discharge all the functions of that office, and to show himself worthy to be the leader and soul of such a number of valiant men, ready to shed their blood for his service.
It was now noon, and the enemy did not yet appear. But about three of the clock a great dust like a white cloud arose, followed soon after with a blackness that overspread
the whole plain; after which was seen the glittering of armour, lances, and standards. Tissaphernes commanded the left, which consisted of cavalry armed with white cuirasses, and of light-armed infantry; in the centre was the heavyarmed foot, a great part of which had bucklers made of wood, which covered the soldier entirely (these were Egyptians). The rest of the light-armed infantry and of the horse formed the right wing. The foot were drawn up by nations, with as much depth as front, and in that order composed square battallions. The king had posted himself in the main body with the flower of the whole army, and had 6000 horse for his guard, commanded by Artagerses. Though he was in the centre, he was beyond the left wing of Cyrus's army, so much did the front of his own exceed that of the enemy in extent. 150 chariots armed with scythes were placed in the front of the army at some distance from one another. The scythes were fixed to the axle downwards and aslant, so as to cut down, and overthrow all before them. As Cyrus
relied very much upon the valour and experience of the Greeks, he bade Clearchus, as soon as he had beaten the enemies in his front, to take care to incline to his left, and fall upon the centre, where the king was posted; the success of the battle depending upon that attack. But Clearchus, finding it very difficult to make his way through so great a body of troops, replied, that he need be in no pain, and that he would take care to do what was necessary.
The enemy in the meantime advanced slowly in good order. Cyrus marched in the space between the two armies, though nearest to his own, and considered both of them with great attention. Xenophon perceiving him, spurred directly up to him, to know whether he had any further orders to give. He called out to him, that the sacrifices were favourable, and that he should tell the troops so. He then hastened through the ranks to give his orders, and showed himself to the soldiers with such a joy and serenity in his countenance, as inspired them with new courage, and at the same time with an air of kindness and familiarity, that excited their zeal and affection. It is not easy to comprehend, what great effects are produced by a word, a kind air, or a look of a general, upon a day of action; and with what ardour a common man will rush into danger, when he believes himself not unknown to his general, and thinks his valour will oblige him.
Artaxerxes moved on continually, though with a slow pace, and without noise and confusion. That good order and exact discipline extremely surprised the Greeks, who expected to see much hurry and tumult in so great a multitude, and to hear confused cries, as Cyrus had foretold them.