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Syllabus HIEU 124 – Summer Session II 2022
Instructor: Kevin Westerfeld
Office Hours: Monday 2:00-3:30 PM and by appointment
Contact: kwesterfeld@ucsd.edu
Office Hour: Friday Noon-1:30 PM at the Art of Espresso Coffee Cart located next to the
Mandeville Center, or by appointment.
Course Description: This course traces the social, cultural, and political developments of the
multiethnic empire that emerged in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests, from the rise of
Macedon in the 360s BCE to Cleopatra’s death in 30 BCE. The course will primarily make use
of original sources, occasionally supplemented by secondary scholarship. All of the assigned
readings will be available as scans on Canvas. There are no assigned texts to purchase for this
● Final (30%) The Final will be a 3-hour exam that will be available on Canvas starting at
8AM on September 2nd. It will consist of a short answer section as well as two longer
essay sections, and will be a comprehensive exam covering all the material for the course.
● Weekly Writing Assignments (40%) Weeks 1 – 4 there will be a short (500 – 600
words) writing assignment due by 5pm every Saturday. Each of these assignments will
give you an opportunity to engage with the information covered in that week in a way
that is tailored to the main issues discussed in those materials. For example, in week 1
you will write a treaty in which you propose an alliance with another Greek city. In week
2 you will write a journal entry in the person of one of Alexander’s Macedonian soldiers,
and so on. These assignments will give you the chance to engage with the materials from
a number of possible perspectives. There will be detailed instructions for each
assignment posted in the module for that week on Canvas.
● Weekly Quizzes (20%) The Weekly Quizzes will be available for 24 hours beginning at
noon Wednesdays during the summer session. There will be 5 quizzes in total, and you
can drop the one with the lowest grade. They will consist of five questions each taken
from the materials assigned that week, and you will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz
once you start it. The point of the quizzes is to give you an opportunity to demonstrate a
familiarity with the assigned readings, and to provide an alternative assessment-method
to the timed essay-based examinations of the final, and the different writing assignments.
● Participation (10%) Participation will be determined by attendance and engagement in
the lectures. Engagement consists of actively responding to the questions that are posed
during the lectures, or by participating in any discussion that arises from those. I don’t
expect you to answer every question. Rather, contributing to the discussions when you
have an appropriate insight, or a relevant question is sufficient.
● Late Policy: For the weekly writing assignments, any paper that is turned in late will
have two points per day deducted from the total possible points for that assignment (10).
Because the lowest quiz will be dropped and will not count toward your grade, late
quizzes won’t be accepted. If you miss one of the quizzes, that will be the one you drop.
● Short Presentation (extra credit) If you would like to earn two extra credit points you
may make a short presentation to the class on a relevant topic at some point during the
quarter. These presentations should be around 5, but no more than 10 minutes on a
subject that you will research, and that is related to what we’ve been studying through the
course. If you are interested in giving one of these presentations, please contact me at
your earliest convenience, but no later than the end of week three so that I can schedule
you into the lecture.
● COVID Policy: If you are ill and unable to attend lecture, please reach out to me at your
earliest convenience to let me know. All COVID related policies for this course are in
line with UCSD Campus COVID policies. The lectures will be podcast, and should be
available at podcast.ucsd.edu shortly after the lecture ends. This will allow you to keep
up with the material while you are out.
Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism will earn the student an automatic failing grade in the
course. The case will also be forwarded to the appropriate administrators for disciplinary
action. Plagiarism — A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, words, or statements of
another person without appropriate acknowledgment. A student must give credit to the
originality of others and acknowledge an indebtedness whenever he or she does any of the
● Quotes OR paraphrases another person’s actual words, either oral or written;
● Uses another person’s idea, opinion, or theory; or
● Borrows facts, statistics, or other material, unless it is common knowledge.
In general you should follow these guidelines unless you are instructed otherwise:
Complete all academic assignments by yourself.
Don’t use any aids during an exam.
Acknowledge and cite source material in your papers or assignments.
Don’t copy another student’s assignment, in part or in total, and submit it as your own
● Don’t purchase help or assignment completion from anyone (and no, buying it does not
make it “yours”)
● Don’t copy your online quiz or assignment answers from the internet or from anyone.
Course Schedule: (subject to change as needed)
Week One: (August 1st – August 6th) The Struggle for Hegemony and The Rise of Macedon
Assigned readings – Xenophon Anabasis Book 1; Xenophon Hellencia Book 3.4.1 – 3.5.25, 4.1.1
– 5.1.36 , 5.2.25 – 5.2.36 ; Isocrates To Philip ; Demosthenes First Philippic
Recommended Reading (not required): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm. “The Peloponnesian War and Its
Aftermath.” A Companion to the Classical Greek World (2006): 526-543. ; LaForse, Bruce. “The
Greek World 371-336.” A Companion to Classical Greece (2006): 544-560.
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: The Freedom of the Greeks
Lecture 3: The Shifting Struggle for Hegemony
Lecture 4: Philip and the Rise of Macedon
First Weekly Quiz will open at noon on Wednesday August 3rd and close at noon Thursday
August 4th
First writing assignment will be due by 5:00 PM Saturday August , 6th
Week Two: (August 7th – 13th) The Greatness of Alexander
Assigned Reading: Romm, James, ed. Alexander the Great: Selections from Arrian, Diodorus,
Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius. Hackett Publishing, 2005.
Recommended Reading (not required): Heckel, Waldemar. “The Conquests of Alexander the
Great.” A Companion to the Classical Greek World (2006): 560-588.
Lecture 5: Alexander Settles Greece and Invades Asia
Lecture 6: The Campaigns in Asia
Lecture 7: Alexander Runs Out of Worlds
Lecture 8: The Shadow of Alexander
Second Weekly Quiz will open at noon on Wednesday August 10th and close at noon Thursday
August 11th
Second writing assignment will be due by 5:00 PM Saturday August, 13th
Week Three: (August 14th – 20th) The Successor Kingdoms
Assigned Readings: Plutarch, Demetrius ; Plutarch, Agis ; Polybius, Histories 5.34 – 5.39 ;
Thompson, D. B. “The Ptolemies and Egypt.” A Companion to the Hellenistic World. Oxford
(2003) 105-20. ; Johnson, Carl G. “Ptolemy V and the Rosetta Decree: The Egyptianization of
the Ptolemaic Kingshop.” Ancient Society 26 (1995): 145-55 ; Austin, Michel. “The Seleukids
and Asia.” A Companion to the Hellenistic World (2003) 121-133.
Austin: 28, 43, 45, 57, 58, 70, 166, 170, 292, 300
Lecture 9: The Lamian War and the Wars of the Diadochoi
Lecture 10: Ptolemaic Egypt
Lecture 11: The Seleucids
Lecture 12: The Antigonids and mainland Greece
Third Weekly Quiz will open at noon on Wednesday August 17th and close at noon Thursday
August 18th
Third writing assignment will be due by 5:00 PM Saturday August, 20th
Week Four: (August 21st – 27th) The Intellectual Empire
Assigned Readings: Kosmetatou, Elizabeth. The Attalids of Pergamon. A companion to the
Hellenistic world (2003) 159-74. ; Lecuyot, Guy. “Ai Khanoum, between east and west: A
composite architecture.” In The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World, pp. 539-552. ;
Thonemann, Peter. The Hellenistic World: using coins as sources. Cambridge University Press,
2015. P.145-68 ; Ma, John. “Peer polity interaction in the Hellenistic age.” Past & Present 180
(2003): 9-39.
Austin 27, 103 – 107, 115, 116, 120, 130, 186, 188, 203
Recommended Reading (not required) Stewart, Andrew. Art in the Hellenistic World: An
Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 2014. pp. 44-86.
Lecture 13: Pergamon and Bactria
Lecture 14: Kingship and Benefaction
Lecture 15: The Social and Economic Conditions
Lecture 16: Zeitgeist
Fourth Weekly Quiz will open at noon on Wednesday August 24th and close at noon Thursday
August 25th
Fourth writing assignment will be due by 5:00 PM Saturday August, 27th
Week Five: (August 28th – September 2nd) Rome Becomes the Hegemon
Assigned Readings: Plutarch Pyrrhus ; Polybius Histories 2.37 – 2.71 , 5.101 – 105 , 7.9 – 14 , 8.8
– 8.12 , 18.1 – 8.12 , 18.28 – 18.46 , 21.11 – 21.15 , 34.14;
Austin 77, 82, 87, 92, 99, 100
Recommended Reading (not required): Allen, Joel. The Roman Republic and the Hellenistic
Mediterranean: From Alexander to Caesar. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
Lecture 17: The Rise of Rome and Pyrrhus of Epirus
Lecture 18: Macedon and the Leagues of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Lecture 19: The Freedom of the Greeks – Again
Lecture 20: Actium and the End of the Hellenistic Age
Final Weekly Quiz will open at noon on Wednesday August 31st and close at noon Thursday
September 1st
There is no writing assignment due this week
Final Exam Friday September 2nd 8:00 – 11:00 AM
Chapter Title: BOOK I
Chapter Author(s): Xenophon
Book Title: The Anabasis of Cyrus
Book Author(s): Xenophon
Published by: Cornell University Press
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt7zb6s.6
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
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Chapter 1
To Darius and Parysatis were born two sons, the older Artaxerxes
and the younger Cyrus.1 When Darius fell sick and suspected the
end of his life to be near, he wished both sons to be at his side. (2)a
Now the older happened to be present, but Cyrus he summoned
from the province over which he had made him satrap;b he had also
appointed him general of all the troops that assemble on the plain of
Castolus.2 So Cyrus ascendedc from the coast, taking Tissaphernes
as a friend,3 and he ascended with three hundred Greek hoplites,d
with Xenias the Parrhasian as their commander.4 (3) When Darius
had died and Artaxerxes was settled in the kingship, Tissaphernes
slandered Cyrus to his brother, saying that he was plotting against
him.5 And he believed this and had Cyrus seized, so that he might
put him to death. Their mother, however, interceded and sent him
back again to his province.
(4) After he departed, having been in danger and dishonored, Cyrus
began planning how he would avoid being subject to his brother ever
again but rather, if he were able, would rule as King instead of him.
These parenthetical numbers are those of the Hude edition’s Greek text.
A satrap was the governor of a province of the Persian Empire.
c The verb cognate with the title of the work, anabainō, is generally translated as
d A hoplite was a heavily armed infantry soldier.
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42 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
Parysatis, their mother, was on the side of Cyrus, for she loved him
more than the ruling King, Artaxerxes. (5) And, as for those who
came to him from the King,6 Cyrus would make them all such that
they became friends more to himself than to the King, and then he
would send them back. Of the barbarianse with him, he took care
that they would be capable of making war and would also be well
disposed to him. (6) He went about assembling his Greek force as
secretly as he could, in order that he might catch the King as unprepared as possible.
This is how he carried out this collection of troops: he passed the
word to the garrison commanders of all the garrisons he had in the
cities to secure men from the Peloponnese as numerous and as good
as possible, on the grounds that Tissaphernes was plotting against
their cities.7 For the Ionian cities had anciently belonged to Tissaphernes, having been given to him by the King, but at that time they
all had revolted to Cyrus, except for Miletus. (7) In Miletus, Tissaphernes perceived in advance those who were planning to do the
same―to revolt to Cyrus―and he killed some of them and banished
others. But Cyrus took up the exiles and brought an army together,
and besieged Miletus by both land and sea, and he was trying to
restore the exiles. And this, then, was another of his pretexts for assembling an army. (8) He sent to the King and claimed that, since he
was his brother, these cities should be given to him rather than be
ruled by Tissaphernes, and his mother assisted him on this. As a result, the King did not perceive the plot against himself but believed
that Cyrus was spending on armies because he was at war with Tissaphernes. As a result, he was not the least bit vexed that they were
at war, for Cyrus also sent to the King the tribute that arose from the
cities of Tissaphernes that he happened to hold.
(9) Another army was being collected for him in the Chersonese, opposite Abydus, in the following manner.f Clearchus was a Lacedaemonian exile. After having associated with him, Cyrus came to admire
him and gave him ten thousand darics.g Taking the gold, he collected
an army with these funds and, setting out from the Chersonese,
A barbarian was any non-Greek.
See Geograpical Note and Map 2.
g See Glossary: Units of Value.
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Book I Chapter 2
[ 43
made war on the Thracians who dwelt above the Hellespont; and he
was benefiting the Greeks. As a result, the cities on the Hellespont
voluntarily contributed money to him for the maintenance of his soldiers. This army also was thus being nurtured for him without being
(10) Aristippus the Thessalian happened to be a guest-friend of
his;h and being hard-pressed by members of a rival faction at home,
he went to Cyrus and asked him for two thousand foreign troops and
for three months’ wages, on the grounds that in this way he would
prevail over the rival faction. Cyrus gave him four thousand troops
and six months’ wages and asked him not to come to terms with his
rivals until he had again deliberated with him. Thus also this army in
Thessaly was being nurtured for him without being detected.
(11) He bade Proxenus the Boeotian, who was a guest-friend of
his, get as many men as possible and report to him, on the grounds
that he wished to campaign against the Pisidians, since these Pisidians were making problems for his country. He bade Sophaenetus
the Stymphalian and Socrates the Achaean, these also being guestfriends of his, get as many men as possible and to come, indicating
that together with the Milesian exiles he would be making war on
Tissaphernes. And these acted accordingly.
Chapter 2
When it seemed to him time to march upcountry, he used the pretext that he wished to expel the Pisidians from his land altogether,
and it was ostensibly against them that he gathered together both
his barbarian and his Greek force. He then also ordered both that
Clearchus report there with whatever army he had and that Aristippus reconcile with those at home and send him the army he had.
Xenias the Arcadian, who led the mercenary force in the cities for
him, he ordered to come with all his troops, except a number sufficient to guard the acropolis of each city. (2) He summoned also those
who were besieging Miletus, and he bade the exiles campaign with
See Glossary: Guest-Friend.
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44 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
him, promising that if he accomplished nobly the object of his campaign, he would not cease until he restored them to their homes.i
They obeyed with pleasure, for they trusted him; and they reported
to Sardis with their weapons.j (3) Xenias arrived in Sardis with up to
four thousand hoplites from the cities; Proxenus was present with
one thousand five hundred hoplites and five hundred light-armed
troops; Sophaenetus the Stymphalian with one thousand hoplites;
Socrates the Achaean with about five hundred hoplites; and Pasion
the Megarian arrived with three hundred hoplites and three hundred peltasts.k Both he and Socrates were among those who had
been campaigning over Miletus.
(4) So these arrived in Sardis for Cyrus. But observing this and
holding the preparation to be too great for one against the Pisidians,
Tissaphernes went to the King as quickly as he could with about
five hundred cavalry troops.l (5) And when the King heard from
Tissaphernes of Cyrus’s expedition, he began making counterpreparations. Cyrus set out from Sardis with those I mentioned, and he
marched three stages, twenty-two parasangs, through Lydia to
the Maeander River. Its width was two plethra, and over it was a
bridge of seven boats bound together.m (6) Crossing this, he marched
through Phrygia, one stage, eight parasangs, to Colossae, a city inhabited, prosperous, and large.n Here he remained seven days. And
Menon the Thessalian arrived with one thousand hoplites and five
hundred peltasts, Dolopians, Aenianians, and Olynthians.8
(7) From here he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, into
Celaenae, a city of Phrygia, inhabited, large, and prosperous. Here
Cyrus had a royal residence and hunting ground stocked with wild
animals, which he would hunt on horseback whenever he wished to
exercise both himself and his horses.o Through the middle of the park
flows the Maeander River, whose sources were under the palace. It
flows also through the city of Celaenae. (8) There is also a palace
See Glossary: Noble.
See Glossary: Trust.
k A peltast was a lightly armed infantry soldier.
l See Glossary: Horseman.
m A stage was one day’s march; a parasang was a bit more than three miles; a plethron
was a bit less than one hundred feet.
n See Glossary: Happy.
o See Glossary: Royal Hunting Ground, Royal Residence.
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Book I Chapter 2
[ 45
of the Great King in Celaenae, fortified, at the foot of the acropolis,
at the springs that are the sources of the Marsyas River. It too flows
through the city, and it empties into the Maeander. The width of the
Marsyas River is twenty-five feet. Here Apollo is said to have flayed
Marsyas, having defeated him after he had challenged his wisdom,
and to have hung his skin in the cave where the sources [of the river]
are.9 On account of this, the river is called the Marsyas. (9) Here Xerxes is said to have built both this palace and the acropolis of Celaenae, when he was retreating from Greece after his defeat in the
battle.10 Here Cyrus remained thirty days, and Clearchus the Lacedaemonian exile arrived with one thousand hoplites, eight hundred
Thracian peltasts, and two hundred Cretan archers. At the same time
Sosis the Syracusan also reported with three hundred hoplites, as did
Sophaenetus the Arcadian with one thousand hoplites.11 Here Cyrus
held a review in the park and counted the Greeks; and there were
eleven thousand Greek hoplites, five hundred peltasts, and five hundred light-armed troops, two hundred Cretans, eight hundred Thracians. In all, they numbered thirteen thousand.
(10) From here he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Peltae,
an inhabited city. He remained there three days. During this time
Xenias the Arcadian celebrated the Lycaea with sacrificesp and held
an [athletic] contest, and the prizes were golden strigils.12 Even Cyrus
watched the [athletic] contest.
From here he marched two stages, twelve parasangs, to Ceramon
Agora, an inhabited city, the farthest in the direction of the territory
of Mysia. (11) From here he marched three stages, thirty parasangs,
to Pedion Cayster, an inhabited city. He remained there five days.
He owed his soldiers more than three months’ wages, and they often
went to his headquarters and demanded it. He continually expressed
his hopes, and he was clearly distressed; for it was not in keeping
with the character of Cyrus not to give them their pay, if he had it.
(12) Here Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, King of the Cilicians, came
to Cyrus; and it was said that she gave Cyrus a great deal of money.
In any case, Cyrus did then pay four months’ wages to the army. The
Cilician queen had a bodyguard of Cilicians and Aspendians, and it
was said that Cyrus had intercourse with the Cilician [queen].
See Glossary: Sacred, Sacrifices, Omens.
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46 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
(13) From here he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Thymbrium, an inhabited city. Here beside the road was the so-called
spring of Midas, king of the Phrygians, at which it is said that Midas
hunted the satyr, mixing the spring’s water with wine.13
(14) From here he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to Tyriaeum, an inhabited city. There he remained three days. And the Cilician queen is said to have asked Cyrus to display his army to her. So
he, wishing to display it, held a review of Greeks and barbarians on
the plain. (15) He bade the Greeks deploy themselves and take their
places for battle, following their own custom, and bade each put
his own troops in order.q So they deployed at four deep. Menon and
those with him had the right side, Clearchus and those with him the
left, and the other generals the center. (16) Cyrus first reviewed the
barbarians, who were passing by deployed in troops and companies.14 Then, passing by in a chariot with the Cilician in her carriage,
he reviewed the Greeks. They all had bronze helmets, purple tunics,
greaves, and shields that had had their covers removed. (17) When
he had passed by all of them, he stopped his chariot in front of the
middle of the phalanx,r sent Pigres the interpreter to the Greek generals, and ordered them to advance the entire phalanx with weapons
facing forward; and they passed this order to their soldiers. When
the trumpet sounded, they advanced with weapons forward. After
this, advancing faster and faster of their own accord and with a
shout, the soldiers began to run toward the camp; (18) and there was
great fear among the barbarians, as both the Cilician [queen] fled in
her carriage and those in the market fled, leaving their wares behind.
The Greeks arrived at the camp in laughter; the Cilician [queen] was
filled with wonder, having seen the splendor and order of the army;
and Cyrus was pleased, having seen such fear in the barbarians provoked by the Greeks.
(19) From here he marched three stages, twenty parasangs, to Iconium, the last city of Phrygia. There he remained three days. From
here he marched five stages, thirty parasangs, through Lycaonia.
He turned this country over to the Greeks to be plundered, on the
grounds that it was hostile. (20) From here Cyrus sent the Cilician
See Glossary: Custom.
A phalanx was a formation of heavily armed infantry soldiers.
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Book I Chapter 2
[ 47
[queen] off to Cilicia by the quickest road, and along with her he sent
soldiers that Menon had, as well as Menon himself. Cyrus marched
with the others through Cappadocia, four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Dana, a city inhabited, large, and prosperous. There he
remained three days. At this time Cyrus executed Megaphernes, a
Persian man, a wearer of the royal purple, and a certain other of his
subordinates, a powerful one, charging them with plotting against
(21) From here he attempted to invade Cilicia. The approach was
a wagon road, exceedingly steep and, if anyone opposed, impossible
for an army to enter on. Syennesis was said to be on the heights,
guarding the approach, so Cyrus remained a day on the plain. On
the next day a messenger arrived saying that Syennesis had left the
heights because he had perceived that the army of Menon was already in Cilicia, beyond the mountains, and because he had heard
that Tamos was sailing from Ionia to Cilicia with triremes of the
Lacedaemonians and of Cyrus himself.s (22) So Cyrus then ascended
the mountains, since no one opposed it, and he saw the tents where
the Cilicians were on guard. From here he went down onto the plain,
which was vast and beautiful, well watered, and full of all sorts of
trees and vines. It brought forth a great deal of sesame, millet, panicum, wheat, and barley; and a high and protecting mountain range
surrounded it on all sides, from sea to sea. (23) Going down across
this plain, he marched four stages, twenty-five parasangs, to Tarsus,
a large and prosperous city of Cilicia, where Syennesis, the king of
the Cilicians, had his palace. Through the middle of the city flowed a
river named the Cydnus, two plethra in width. (24) The inhabitants
of this city, except those with shops, left with Syennesis for a fortified place in the mountains; those inhabiting the seacoast, in Soli and
Issus, also remained. (25) Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, arrived in
Tarsus five days before Cyrus.
During the crossing of the mountains to the plain, two companies
of Menon’s army perished. Some said that they had been cut down
by the Cilicians while taking some plunder; others said that they had
perished while wandering about, having been left behind and not
being able to find either the rest of the army or the roads. They were
A trireme was a Greek warship.
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48 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
one hundred hoplites. (26) When the others arrived, angry over the
loss of their fellow soldiers, they plundered Tarsus, both the city and
the palace that was in it.
Now Cyrus, when he marched into the city, sent for Syennesis to
come to him, but the latter said that he had never before put himself
in the hands of anyone stronger than himself, nor was he then willing to come to Cyrus―until his wife persuaded him, and he received
pledges.t (27) After this, when they were together with each other,
Syennesis gave Cyrus a great deal of money for his army, while
Cyrus gave him gifts which are believed to be honors from a king:
a horse with a golden bridle, a golden necklace, bracelets, a golden
dagger, a Persian robe; and Cyrus said that his land would no longer
be plundered and that he could take back the captives that had been
taken as plunder, if they anywhere chanced upon them.
Chapter 3
Here Cyrus and his army remained twenty days, for the soldiers
said that they would go no farther, for they now suspected that
they were going against the King. They said that they were not paid
for this. At first Clearchus tried to use force to get his own soldiers
to go on, but they threw stones at both him and his pack animals,
whenever they began to go forward. (2) Clearchus at this point narrowly escaped being stoned to death. Later, when he realized that
he would not be able to use force, he summoned an assembly of his
own troops. First he stood and wept for a long time, and when they
saw him, they were filled with wonder and fell silent.
Then he spoke as follows: (3) “Men and soldiers, do not wonder
that I am troubled by our present affairs. For Cyrus became my guestfriend, and when I was in exile from my fatherland he both honored
me in other respects and gave me ten thousand darics. On receiving these, I did not deposit them for my private use or squander
them on pleasures: I spent them on you. (4) First I made war against
the Thracians, and with you I took vengeance on them on behalf
See Glossary: Trust.
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Book I Chapter 3
[ 49
of Greece and drove them from the Chersonese, for they wished to
take away this land from the Greeks who inhabited it. When Cyrus
called, I marched with you, so that if he needed anything, I might
benefit him in return for the good things I experienced at his hands.
(5) Since you do not wish to march along, it becomes necessary for
me either to betray you and make use of Cyrus’s friendship, or to
play false with him and be with you. Whether I will be doing what is
just, I do not know, but I will at any rate choose you, and I will suffer
with you whatever may be necessary. And no one will ever say that
I was leading the Greeks against the barbarians and then that I betrayed the Greeks and chose the friendship of the barbarians; (6) but
since you are not willing to obey me or to follow, I will follow along
with you and will suffer whatever may be needed. For I believe that
to me you are fatherland, friends, and allies, and with you I think
that I would be honored wherever I may be, but separated from you
I think I would not be sufficient either to benefit a friend or to defend
against an enemy. Hold firm to this judgment, then, that wherever
you go, I will go also.”
(7) Thus he spoke. The soldiers, both his own and the others who
heard this, praised him because he said he would not proceed against
the King. More than two thousand troops of Xenias and Pasion
took their weapons and their baggage and camped with Clearchus.
(8) Cyrus, being at a loss and distressed at these events, sent for
Clearchus.u He was not willing to come, however, but unknown to
the soldiers he sent a messenger and told Cyrus to take heart, for the
matter would be settled as it needed to be. But he directed Cyrus to
send for him, although he said that he himself would not come.
(9) After this, he assembled his own soldiers, those who had come
over to him, and anyone else who wished, and he spoke as follows:
“Men and soldiers, it is clear that Cyrus’s position in relation to us is
just as ours is in relation to him. For neither are we his soldiers any
longer, since we are not following him, nor will he pay our wages
any longer. However, that he believes he has been treated unjustly
by us, I know. (10) Consequently, even if he sends for me, I am not
willing to go; my shame is greatest, because I am aware that I have
deceived him in everything, but I am also afraid that he might take
See Glossary: At a loss.
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
me and punish me for the injustices he believes he has suffered at
my hands. (11) Thus it seems to me not to be the time for us to sleep
or to neglect ourselves but to take council as to what we must do in
these circumstances. And for as long as we remain here, it seems to
me we must consider how we will remain as safely as possible, and
if it is now decided that we should leave, how we may leave as safely
as possible, and how we will have provisions.v For without these, no
benefit derives from either a general or a private person. (12) That
man is worth a great deal as a friend to whomever he is a friend,
and he is also a most harsh enemy to whomever he is hostile; and
he has a force―infantry, cavalry, and naval―which we all alike see
and know. For, as it seems to me, we are not seated so very far from
it. Consequently, it is time for anyone to say whatever he judges to
be best.”
(13) Having said this, he ceased. After this, some stood up spontaneously to express their judgment, and others, whom he had
prompted to do so, showed the extreme difficulty of either remaining or going, without the approving judgment of Cyrus. (14) Pretending to be in a hurry to proceed to Greece as quickly as possible,
one proposed choosing other generals as quickly as possible, if
Clearchus did not wish to lead them back; and as for provisions, that
they should buy them at the market (the market was in the midst of
the barbarian army) and pack up; then, that they should go and ask
Cyrus for ships so they might sail back; and if he did not grant them
ships, to ask Cyrus for a guide who would lead them back through
friendly territory; and if he did not grant them a guide, to form into
order as quickly as possible and to send troops to seize the heights
in advance, in order that neither Cyrus nor the Cilicians take them
first, “for from these Cilicians we seized and now possess many people and much property.” This one said such things. (15) After him,
Clearchus spoke only so much: “Let no one of you say that I shall be
general of this command, for I see many [reasons] why I must not
do this. Say rather that no matter what man you choose, I shall obey
him as much as I can, so you may see that I know how to be ruled as
well as any human being.”w
See Glossary: Decide.
See Glossary: Human Being.
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Book I Chapter 3
[ 51
(16) After him another stood up, showing the folly of the one who
bade them ask for ships, as if Cyrus were making his expedition in
reverse, and showing that it was “folly to ask for a guide from him
whose undertaking we are ruining. And if we are going to trust the
guide whom Cyrus grants us, why should we not also bid Cyrus
seize the heights in advance for our sake? (17) I would hesitate to
embark on the ships he might give us, lest he sink us with these very
triremes, and I would be afraid to follow the guide he might give,
lest he lead us to a place from which it will not be possible to leave.
Since Cyrus is unwilling for us to leave, I would wish to go without his noticing it, which is not possible. (18) But I assert that this
is nonsense. It seems to me that men should go to Cyrus―suitable
ones, along with Clearchus―to ask him in what he wishes to use us.
And if the action is of a similar sort to his previous use of foreign
troops,16 we too should follow and not be worse than those who ascended with him previously. (19) If the action appears greater than
the previous one, and more laborious and dangerous as well, we
expect that he should either persuade us before he leads us on or
be persuaded by us and dismiss us in friendship. For in this way, if
we follow as his friends, we would also follow more eagerly, and
if we go away, we would go away safely. Whatever he says to this
should be reported here, and we, after listening, should deliberate
about it.”
(20) This was decided, and after choosing men, they sent them
with Clearchus, and they asked Cyrus the questions that had been
decided upon by the army. He answered that he heard that Abrocomas, a man who was his enemy, was at the Euphrates River,
twelve stages distant.17 It was against him that he said he wished
to go. And if he should be there, he said that he desired to punish him, “but if he should have fled, we will deliberate about this
there.” (21) After hearing this, the elected deputies reported to the
soldiers. There was for some the suspicion that he was leading
them against the King, but it was nevertheless decided to follow.
They asked also about their wage, and Cyrus promised to give all
of them half again as much as they received previously, three halfdarics per month for each soldier instead of a single one. Not even
at this point did anyone hear, openly at least, that he was leading
them against the King.
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
Chapter 4
From here he marched two stages, ten parasangs, to the Psarus
River, whose width was three plethra. From here he marched one
stage, five parasangs, to the Pyramus River, whose width was one stadion. From here he marched two stages, fifteen parasangs, to Issus,
the farthest city of Cilicia, on the sea, inhabited, large, and prosperous.
(2) Here they remained three days. And the thirty-five ships from the
Peloponnese arrived for Cyrus, and Pythagoras, a Lacedaemonian,
was admiral over them.18 Tamos, an Egyptian, had led them from
Ephesus, along with twenty-five other ships of Cyrus. He had been
besieging Ephesus with them, when it was friendly to Tissaphernes, and he had joined Cyrus in making war on it. (3) Cheirisophus
the Lacedaemonian, who had been sent for by Cyrus, also arrived
with the ships, with seven hundred hoplites. He remained the general over these, under Cyrus. The ships were moored beside Cyrus’s
tent. Here also the Greek mercenaries from Abrocomas, after revolting from him, arrived for Cyrus; they were four hundred hoplites,
and they joined the campaign against the King. (4) From here he
marched one stage, five parasangs, to the “gates” between Cilicia
and Syria. These were two walls, and Syennesis and a Cilician garrison held the inner one, the one toward Cilicia, but a garrison of the
King was said to guard the one toward Syria. Between these flows a
river named the Carsus, a plethrum in width. The whole distance between the walls was three stadia. And it was not possible to go across
by force. For the passage was narrow, and the walls reached down
to the sea, and overhanging it were sheer rocks; gates had been set
in both walls. (5) It was on account of this passage that Cyrus had
sent for the ships, that he might disembark hoplites both inside and
outside the gates and get through by using force against the enemy,
if they defended the Syrian gates. Cyrus thought that Abrocomas
would do this very thing, since he had a large army. Abrocomas did
not do this, however, but when he heard that Cyrus was in Cilicia,
he turned from Phoenicia and marched back to the King’s side with,
as was said, an army of three hundred thousand.
(6) From here Cyrus marched through Syria one stage, five parasangs, to Myriandus, a city inhabited by Phoenicians and on the
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Book I Chapter 4
[ 53
sea. It was a place for trade, and many merchant ships were moored
there. He remained there seven days. (7) Xenias the Arcadian general
and Pasion the Megarian embarked on a boat, put on it their most
valuable things, and sailed away. They did so, as it seemed to most,
out of wounded honor, because Cyrus had allowed Clearchus to retain their soldiers, those who had gone over to him with the intention of going back to Greece again, not against the King. After they
had disappeared, word went around that Cyrus was pursuing them
with triremes. And some prayed that they be taken, on the grounds
that they were cowards, and others pitied them if they should be
(8) After calling the generals together, Cyrus said, “Xenias and Pasion have left us, but let them know well that they have neither run
away in secret, for I know where they have gone, nor escaped my
reach, for I have triremes with which to take their boat. But, by the
gods, I will not pursue them, nor will anyone say that I make use
of someone as long as he is present but when he wishes to go away,
I seize them, treat them badly, and rob their property. But let them
go in the knowledge that they are acting worse to us than we are
to them. And yet I do have their children and wives under guard at
Tralles. Still, they shall be deprived not even of these, but they shall
take them back because of their former virtue toward me.”
(9) He said this; and if any of the Greeks were dispirited about
the ascent, upon hearing of Cyrus’s virtue, they followed along with
greater pleasure and more eagerly.
After these things, Cyrus marched four stages, twenty parasangs,
to the Chalus River, which was a plethrum in width, full of large
and tame fish, which the Syrians believed to be gods and allowed
no one to harm,19 and not the doves either. The villages in which
they camped belonged to Parysatis, having been given for her livelihood.20
(10) From here he marched five stages, thirty parasangs, to the
sources of the Dardas River, whose width was a plethrum. Here was
the palace of Belesys, who was ruler of Syria, and a large and beautiful park, with all that the seasons bring forth. But Cyrus cut it down
and burned down the palace.
(11) From here he marched three stages, fifteen parasangs, to
the Euphrates River, which was four stadia in width. And there is
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
inhabited there a large and prosperous city, called Thapsacus. Here
they remained five days; and Cyrus, after sending for the generals
of the Greeks, said that their route would be to Babylon, against the
Great King. And he bade them tell this to their soldiers and persuade
them to follow. (12) They held an assembly and reported this, and
the soldiers became angry with the generals. They said the generals had known this for a long time but had hidden it, and they said
that they would not go forward unless someone should give them
money, just as was done in the case of those who had ascended with
Cyrus to his father on a previous occasion, and who did not go to do
battle but upon the summons of Cyrus’s father.21
(13) The generals reported this to Cyrus, and he promised to give
to each man five mina of silver when they arrived in Babylon, and
he promised as well the full wage until he brought the Greeks back
to Ionia again. The greater part of the Greek army was persuaded
in this way, but Menon―before it was clear what the other soldiers
would do, whether they would follow Cyrus or not―gathered his
own army apart from the others and he spoke as follows: (14) “Men,
if you are persuaded by me, you will be honored by Cyrus more than
the other soldiers, even without facing dangers or working hard.
What, then, do I bid you do? Cyrus now needs the Greeks to follow
him against the King. Now I say you must cross the Euphrates River
before it is clear what the other Greeks will answer to Cyrus. (15) For
if they vote to follow, you will seem to be the causes, for you have
begun the crossing, and Cyrus will both be grateful to you as having
been the most eager, and he will also return the favor. And if any
one knows how to do this, he does. If on the other hand the others
vote against it, we all will go back again, but it is you he will treat
as the most trusted, both for garrison duty and for captaincies, since
you alone were obedient; and I know that you will obtain whatever
else you need from Cyrus, as a friend.”
(16) On hearing this, they were persuaded, and they crossed before
the others answered. When Cyrus perceived that they had crossed,
he both was pleased and, sending Glus to their army, said, “Men,
I praise you now, but I will take care to see to it that you too will
praise me, or no longer believe me to be Cyrus.” (17) So being filled
with great hopes, the soldiers prayed that he enjoy good fortune, but
to Menon it is said that he also sent magnificent gifts. After doing
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Book I Chapter 5
[ 55
this, he began to cross, and the rest of the army followed him―all of
it. While crossing the river, no one got wet above the breast by the
river. (18) Those of Thapsacus said that this river was never before
crossed on foot, except then, but only in boats―which then Abrocomas had burned, as he went on ahead, so that Cyrus might not cross.
It seemed, then, that it was something divine and that clearly the
river had made way for Cyrus, as to one who was going to be King.
(19) From here he marched through Syria, nine stages, fifty parasangs. And they arrived at the Araxes River. Here there were many
villages, filled with grain and wine. Here they remained three days,
and procured provisions.
Chapter 5
From here he marched five desolate stages, thirty-five parasangs,
through Arabia, keeping the Euphrates River on the right.22 In
this place the earth was entirely a plain, level like the sea and full
of wormwood. And if there were any other shrubs or reeds, they
were all fragrant like spices. (2) There was not a single tree but all
sorts of wild animals: a great number of wild asses, many large ostriches, and bustards and antelopes as well. The horsemen sometimes chased these wild animals. Now the asses, whenever someone
gave chase, would run ahead and stand still, for they ran much faster
than the horses. And again, when the horses would approach, they
would do the same thing; and it was not possible to catch them, unless the horsemen divided themselves and hunted in relays. The
meat of those they captured was similar to that of deer, but more
tender. (3) But no one caught an ostrich, and those horsemen who
did give chase would stop quite soon. For it would get far ahead in
its escape, partly with its feet by running and partly with its wings,
raising them and using them like a sail. The bustards, on the other
hand, it is possible to catch if one starts them suddenly, for they fly
only a short distance, like partridges, and they tire quickly. Their
meat was most pleasant.
(4) Passing through this land, they arrived at the Mascas River, a
plethrum in width. Here was a large deserted city, whose name was
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
Corsote, and it was encircled by the Mascas. Here they remained
three days and procured provisions. (5) From here he marched
thirteen desolate stages, ninety parasangs, keeping the Euphrates
River on the right, and he arrived at Pylae.23 In these stages many
of the baggage animals perished of hunger, for there was no fodder
nor any tree besides, but the land was altogether bare. Digging and
fashioning millstones from along the river, the inhabitants lived
by taking them to Babylon, selling them, and buying grain in return. (6) As for the army, their grain gave out, and it was not possible to buy any except in the Lydian market in Cyrus’s barbarian
contingent, at four sigli for a capith of wheat flour or barley meal.
The siglus has the value of seven and one-half Attic obols, and the
capith contained two Attic choenices.24 Thus the soldiers subsisted
by eating meat.
(7) Among these stages he marched some very long ones, when he
wished to reach either water or fodder. And once in particular, when
a narrow and muddy place appeared, hard for his wagons to get
across, Cyrus stopped with the best and most privileged25 around
him, and he ordered Glus and Pigres to take some of the barbarian
army and join in bringing the wagons across. (8) But when it seemed
to him that they did so at their leisure, as if in anger he ordered the
best of the Persians around him to join in hastening the wagons onward. Here, then, it was possible to observe some portion of their
good order. For throwing down their purple robes wherever each
chanced to be standing, they hurled themselves, just as one might
run for victory, down a very steep hill, with their very expensive
tunics and multicolored trousers, and some even with necklaces
around their necks and bracelets around their wrists. Leaping at
once into the mud with these on, they lifted the wagons out into the
air more swiftly than one might have thought possible.
(9) Upon the whole, then, it was clear that Cyrus was in haste during the entire journey and was not wasting time, except where he
stopped for the sake of procuring provisions or for some other necessity. He believed that to the extent he could go faster, the more
unprepared the King would be when he attacked, and to the extent
he went with more leisure, the greater would be the army gathering
for the King. And it was possible for anyone who paid attention to
the King’s empire to see that it was strong in its extent of territory
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Book I Chapter 5
[ 57
and number of people, but weak in the length of its roads and the
separation of its forces, if someone should make war quickly.
(10) On the other side of the Euphrates River during these desolate
stages was a city prosperous and large, named Charmande. From it
the soldiers purchased provisions, crossing over on rafts in the following way: they filled skins which they had as shelter coverings with
light fodder, and then they brought them together and sewed them, so
that the water would not touch the dry stuffing. On these they crossed
over and took their provisions, both wine made from the date of the
palm tree and bread made of millet, for this was very abundant in the
(11) Here Menon’s soldiers and those of Clearchus fell into a dispute over something, and Clearchus decided that a soldier of Menon’s was unjust and beat him; and he returned to his own army and
spoke about it. When the soldiers heard, they became harsh and severely angry with Clearchus. (12) On the same day, Clearchus went
to the river crossing and there inspected the market, and was riding
back to his own tent through Menon’s army with a few of his own
troops with him. Cyrus had not yet arrived but was still marching
there; and some one of Menon’s soldiers who was splitting wood,
when he saw Clearchus passing through the camp, threw his axe at
him. Now this one missed him, but another threw a stone at him, and
then another, and then, with an outcry having been raised, many did
so. (13) He fled to his own army and immediately called them to
arms. Now the hoplites he ordered to remain there, with their shields
placed against their knees, but he himself―with the Thracians and
the more than forty horsemen who were with him in the army (who
were mostly Thracians)26―marched against those of Menon, with
the result that they were struck with fear, as was Menon himself,
and they ran to arms. But some also stood still, being at a loss over
the matter. (14) Now Proxenus, who happened to be coming up later,
with a company of hoplites following, immediately led them into
the middle of both armies and halted under arms, and he implored
Clearchus not to do what he was doing. Clearchus became severely
angry, however, because while he had nearly been stoned to death,
Proxenus spoke of his experience in mild terms; so Clearchus ordered him to get out of the middle. (15) At this point Cyrus came up
and inquired into the matter. He immediately took his javelins into
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
his hands, and riding with those of his trusted troops who were present, he arrived in the middle and spoke as follows: (16) “Clearchus
and Proxenus and other Greeks who are present, you do not know
what you are doing; for if you begin a battle with each other, believe
on this day that I will have been cut to pieces, and you not much later
than I. For if our affairs go badly, all these barbarians whom you see
here will become even more hostile to us than are those who are with
the King.” (17) Hearing this, Clearchus came to himself. And both
sides having ceased, they put their arms in their places.
Chapter 6
As they went forward from here, tracks of horses and dung kept
appearing. The trail, they supposed, was from about two thousand
horses. As these horsemen went forward they were burning fodder
and anything else useful. So Orontes,27 a Persian man who was both a
relative by birth to the King and said to be among the best of the Persians in things related to war, plotted against Cyrus, against whom
he had previously made war, though he was later reconciled. (2) He
said to Cyrus that if he would give him one thousand horsemen, he
would either lay an ambush and kill the horsemen who were burning things ahead of them, or he would take many of them alive and
prevent them from burning as they advanced; he would manage it so
that they would never be able to see Cyrus’s army and make a report
to the King. On hearing this, it seemed beneficial to Cyrus, and he
bade him take a part of his contingent from each of the leaders.
(3) Believing these horsemen of his were ready, Orontes wrote a
letter to the King, saying that he would come with as many horsemen as he could, and he thus directed him to tell his own horsemen
to receive him as a friend. Also included in the letter were reminders
of his previous friendship and fidelity. This letter he then gave to a
man worthy of trust, or so he thought; but the latter took it and gave
it to Cyrus. (4) Having read it, Cyrus arrested Orontes and called
into his tent the seven best of the Persians about him, and he ordered
the Greek generals to bring up their hoplites and have them station
themselves under arms around his tent. And they did this, bringing
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Book I Chapter 6
[ 59
up about three thousand hoplites. (5) Clearchus, however, he also
called inside as a counselor, for of the Greeks he seemed foremost in
honor both to him and to the others. When he came out, he reported
how the trial of Orontes went, for it was not forbidden.
(6) He said that Cyrus began his speech like this: “I call you, men
and friends, in order that by deliberating with you about what is just,
in the eyes both of gods and of human beings, I will do it regarding
Orontes here. First of all, my father gave him to me to be my subject.
Then, being ordered by my brother, as he himself says, he made war
against me and held the acropolis of Sardis. And by fighting against
him, I made it seem best to him to stop making war against me, and we
shook hands.28 And after these things,” he said, “Orontes, is there any
way I was unjust to you?” He answered that there was not. (7) Again
Cyrus asked, “Then did you later, even though you had been done
no injustice by me, as you yourself agree, revolt to the Mysians and
harm my territory to the extent that it was in your power to do so?”
Orontes said he did. “Then did you not,” Cyrus said, “when you
had again come to know your own power, go to the altar of Artemis, say that you repented, and, after persuading me, give me signs
of trust and receive them from me?” To this too Orontes agreed.
(8) “So having suffered what injustice at my hands have you now
for the third time come to light plotting against me?” After Orontes
said that he had suffered no injustice, Cyrus asked him, “Then do
you agree that you have been unjust toward me?” “It is necessary,”
said Orontes. After this Cyrus asked again: “Then could you still become an enemy to my brother, and a trusted friend to me?” And he
answered, “Not even if I were to become such, Cyrus, could I ever
still seem such to you, at least.”
(9) To this, Cyrus said to those who were present, “Such things the
man has done, and such as well does he say. Now you, Clearchus,
be first among these in disclosing whatever judgment seems good
to you.” Clearchus said this: “I counsel you to put this man out of
the way as quickly as possible, so that there is no longer any need
to keep guarding him, but instead there will be leisure for us―
as far as he is concerned―to do good to these who are willingly
(10) He said that the others joined in this judgment as well. After
this, when Cyrus bade it, they grasped Orontes by the belt, indicating
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
a decision for death, all of them having stood up, even his relatives.
Then those to whom it had been ordered led him out. When those
who had previously prostrated themselves before him saw him,
even then did they prostrate themselves again, even though they
knew that he was being led to his death. (11) After he was borne
into the tent of Artapates, the most trusted of Cyrus’s mace bearers,
no one ever again saw him either living or dead, nor did anyone who
knew ever say how he died. Some supposed it to have been in one
way, others in another. No tomb of his ever appeared.
Chapter 7
From here he marched through Babylonia three stages, twelve
parasangs. On the third stage Cyrus made a review of the Greeks
and of the barbarians, on the plain at about midnight. For it seemed
to him that on the coming dawn, the King would arrive with his
army to do battle. And he ordered Clearchus to lead the right wing,
Menon the Thessalian the left, and he himself put his own troops in
order. (2) After the review, as day was breaking, deserters from the
Great King began arriving and reporting to Cyrus about the King’s
army. And Cyrus, calling the generals and the captains of the Greeks
together, deliberated about how he should fight the battle, and he
himself exhorted them, encouraging them as follows: (3) “Men of
Greece, I have led you forth as allies not because I am lacking in
human beings, in barbarians, but because I believe that you are better and stronger than many barbarians, and because of this I have
brought you too. So, then, be men worthy of the freedom which you
have acquired and for which I consider you happy. For know well
that I would choose freedom in exchange for all that I have and many
times as much as well.29 (4) But in order that you too may know to
what sort of contest you are going, I who know will teach you. Now
their numbers are great, and they will come on with a great shout;
but if you hold out against these [causes of fear], I think, moreover,
I will even be ashamed that you will come to know what sort of
human beings those of this our land are. If you are men and show
daring,30 I will make anyone of you who wishes to go back an object
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Book I Chapter 7
[ 61
of envy for those back home, but I think I will make many of you
choose things here by my side instead of those at home.”
(5) Here Gaulites, a Samian exile who was present and was in
Cyrus’s trust, said, “And yet, Cyrus, some say that you are promising
much now because you are in a situation with danger approaching, but if anything turns out well, that you will fail to remember;
and others say that even if you should remember and wish to, you
would not have the power to pay back as much as you are promising.” (6) On hearing this, Cyrus said, “Well, men, my father’s empire
extends to the south to the point that people are not capable of living because of the heat, and to the north to the point that they cannot because of the cold; and all that lies between these extremes my
brother’s friends preside over as satraps. (7) If we win the victory, we
will need to put you, our friends, in control of these. As a result, I do
not fear that I may not have enough to give to each of my friends, if
things go well, but that I may not have sufficient friends to whom to
give. And to each of you Greeks I will also give a golden crown.”
(8) And on hearing all this, they were much more eager themselves,
and they also reported it to others. Then both the generals and some
of the other Greeks went to him, expecting that they should know
what they would get, if they should conquer. And he dismissed them
only after he filled all their minds [with hopes].
(9) All those who were speaking with him kept urging him not to
join the fight but to station himself behind them. On this occasion
Clearchus asked Cyrus something like this: “Do you think, Cyrus,
that your brother will do battle with you?” “Yes, by Zeus,” said
Cyrus. “If he is indeed the son of Darius and Parysatis, and a brother
of mine, I will not take all this without a fight.”
(10) Now here, as they stood under arms, the number of Greeks
with shields was ten thousand four hundred, of peltasts two thousand five hundred, and of barbarians with Cyrus one hundred
thousand, and about twenty scythe-bearing chariots. (11) The
enemy was said to be one million two hundred thousand, and two
hundred scythe-bearing chariots. There were also six thousand
horsemen, over whom Artagerses ruled. These were stationed in
front of the King himself. (12) Over the King’s army there were four
rulers, generals and leaders―Abrocomas, Tissaphernes, Gobryas,
and Arbaces―each with three hundred thousand troops. But of
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
these, nine hundred thousand were present in the battle, with one
hundred fifty scythe-bearing chariots. Abrocomas was late for the
battle by five days, marching from Phoenicia. (13) These things
were reported to Cyrus by those deserting from the enemy, from
the Great King, before the battle; and after the battle, those of the
enemy who were captured later reported the same. (14) From here
Cyrus marched one stage, three parasangs, with his whole army,
both Greek and barbarian, in order together. For he thought that
on this day the King would do battle, for at the middle of this stage
there was a deep trench that had been dug, five fathoms in width
and three fathoms in depth.31 (15) This trench stretched up through
the plain as far as twelve parasangs, as far as the wall of Media.32
There the canals flow from the Tigris River; there are four, each a
plethrum in width and extremely deep, and grain-carrying boats
sail on them. They empty into the Euphrates, and each is distant
from the next by a parasang, and there are bridges over them. Beside the Euphrates there was a narrow passage between the river
and the trench, about twenty feet in width. (16) The Great King
made this trench in lieu of a defensive wall when he learned that
Cyrus was marching toward him. Through this passage, then,
both Cyrus and his army went, and they arrived on the inside of
the trench. (17) Now on this day, the King did not fight, but many
tracks of horses and people in retreat were visible. (18) Here Cyrus
summoned Silanus the Ambraciot soothsayer and gave him two
thousand darics;33 he did so because on the eleventh day previous,
after sacrificing, he said to him that the King would not fight within
ten days. And Cyrus said, “Then he will not fight at all, if he will
not fight within these ten days. But if you should be speaking the
truth, I promise you ten talents.” This gold he gave him, when the
ten days had gone by. (19) When the King did not hinder Cyrus’s
army from crossing at the trench, it seemed both to Cyrus and to
the others that he had given up the thought of fighting. As a consequence, on the following day Cyrus advanced more carelessly.
(20) On the third day he was making his advance both sitting in his
chariot and with only a few troops in order in front of him, while
the greater part of his army was advancing in disorder, and many
of their weapons were being carried for the soldiers on wagons and
pack animals.
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Book I Chapter 8
[ 63
Chapter 8
And it was already about the time the market gets full, and the
place he was going to stop was near, when Pategyas, a trusted Persian man among those close to Cyrus, came into sight riding at top
speed with his horse in a sweat, and he immediately shouted to all
he happened upon, in both the barbarian and the Greek tongue,34
that the King was approaching with a vast army, prepared for battle.
(2) Then indeed much confusion ensued, for it seemed to the Greeks,
and indeed to all, that he would fall on them at once in their disorder.
(3) And Cyrus, leaping down from his chariot, put on his breastplate
and, getting up on his horse, took his javelins in his hands; and he
made announcements to all the others to arm fully and to take their
positions, each in his own place in the order. (4) And then they indeed took their positions in great haste, Clearchus having the right
wing, toward the Euphrates River, with Proxenus next, and others
after him. Menon and his army held the left wing of the Greek force.
(5) Of the barbarian force, up to one thousand Paphlagonian horsemen took their positions beside Clearchus on the right, as did the
Greek force of peltasts, and on the left was Ariaeus, Cyrus’s lieutenant general, and the rest of the barbarian forces. (6) And Cyrus and
his horsemen, as many as six hundred, were themselves armed with
breastplates, with thigh-pieces, and―all of them except Cyrus―
with helmets. Cyrus went into the battle with his head bare. And it is
said that also other Persians run all the risks of war with their heads
bare. (7) All the horses with Cyrus had armor on their foreheads and
breastplates, and the horsemen also had Greek sabers.
(8) It was already midday, and yet the enemy troops were not yet
in evidence. But when it was afternoon, raised dust was becoming
visible, like a white cloud, and some time later a sort of blackness
on the plain, extending over a great distance. And as soon as they
got closer, bronze began to flash, and both the spearheads and the
companies came into view. (9) There were horsemen in white breastplates on the left of the enemy, and Tissaphernes was said to be their
ruler.35 Next to these were troops with wicker shields and, next,
hoplites with wooden shields reaching to their feet (and these were
said to be Egyptians); and then there were still other horsemen and
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64 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
other bowmen. All these were marching according to their nation,
each nation in a square filled with people. (10) And in front of them
were chariots, spread out considerably from each other, the so-called
scythe-bearing chariots. These had scythes extending out from the
axles to the side and from the chariot boxes looking down toward
the earth, so as to cut to pieces whatever they chanced upon. And the
design was that these would drive into, and cut to pieces, the ranks
of the Greeks.
(11) As for what Cyrus had said when he called the Greeks together and exhorted them to endure the shouting of the barbarians,
however, in this he was deceived. For it was not with shouting that
they were coming forward but as silently as possible, and with calm,
with an even step and slowly.
(12) At this point Cyrus himself rode by with Pigres the interpreter and three or four others and shouted to Clearchus to lead his
army against the enemies’ center, because the King was there. “And
if we are victorious in this,” he said, “everything will have been accomplished for us.” (13) In spite of this, because he saw the center to
be a compact mass and heard from Cyrus that the King was beyond
the left wing of the Greeks (for so far was the King superior in numbers that even though he held his own center, he was beyond Cyrus’s
left), Clearchus was not willing to draw the right wing away from
the river, fearing that he might be encircled on both sides; and he answered Cyrus that he would take care that things went well. (14) At
this critical moment, the barbarian army kept even in their advance,
while the Greek, still remaining in the same place, was forming its
order from those who were still coming up.
And Cyrus, riding by not very close to his army, was gazing, looking off at each side, at both his enemies and his friends. (15) Seeing
him from the Greek contingent, Xenophon, an Athenian, rode up so
as to meet him and asked if he had any announcement to make. And
he, halting his horse, said―and ordered him to tell everybody else―
that the sacrifices were propitious and the victims were propitious.
(16) While saying this, he heard a commotion running through the
ranks, and he asked what this commotion was. Clearchus said that
the watchword was already passing along for the second time.36 And
he wondered who had announced it, and he asked what the watchword was. He answered, “Zeus Savior and Victory.” (17) On hearing
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Book I Chapter 8
[ 65
this, Cyrus said, “But I accept it, and let it be so.” After he had said
these things, he rode back to his own position. And the phalanxes
were separated from each other by only three or four stadia when
the Greeks both sang the paean and began to go against the enemy.
(18) And when, as they advanced, a part of the phalanx surged
forward, the part left behind began to run fast; at the same time they
all shouted a war cry of the sort they raise to Enyalius, and all started
to run.37 Some say that they beat their shields against their spears, to
induce fear in the horses. (19) But before a bowshot reached them,
the barbarians wheeled away and fled. And now the Greeks were
pursuing with all their might but were shouting to one another not
to run fast but to follow in order. (20) Regarding the chariots, some of
them were carried along through the lines of the enemies themselves,
others through the Greeks, but empty of charioteers. And when they
saw them coming, they would stand aside. There was someone who
was brought down, like one caught on a racecourse, panic-stricken.
They said that not even he suffered anything, nor did any other of the
Greeks suffer anything in this battle, except someone on the left wing
was said to have been hit by a bowshot. (21) Now although pleased
on seeing the Greeks being victorious over the part against them and
giving pursuit, and although those around him were already prostrating themselves before him as King, Cyrus was nevertheless not
led to go in pursuit; but keeping the order of six hundred horsemen
in close array with himself, he paid attention to what the King would
do, for he knew that he held the center of the Persian army. (22) And
all those who rule barbarians hold the center of their troops when
they lead them, believing that in this way they are in the safest place,
if their strength is on both sides of them, and also that if they should
need to announce something, the army would hear it in half the time.
(23) Accordingly, although he then held the center of his own army,
the King was nevertheless beyond Cyrus’s left wing. Since, then, no
one opposite him was giving battle to him or to those of his troops set
in order in front of him, he began to wheel round as if for an encirclement. (24) Then Cyrus, fearing that he might cut down the Greek
force by getting in their rear, rode against him. Assaulting with his
six hundred, he was victorious over those deployed in front of the
King, and he turned their six thousand to flight. And it is said that he
himself killed Artagerses, their ruler, with his own hand. (25) When
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
this rout of the enemy occurred, Cyrus’s six hundred became scattered as they set out in pursuit, except for a very few who were left
around him, mostly those called his “tablemates.” (26) While he was
with these, he saw the King and the compact group around him; and
he immediately ceased to hold back, but saying, “I see the man,” he
rushed at him, struck him in the chest, and wounded him through his
breastplate, as Ctesias the doctor says, who also says that he himself
treated the wound. (27) As Cyrus struck him, someone hit [Cyrus]
violently under the eye with a javelin; and then they did battle, the
King and Cyrus and those about them, on behalf of each. How many
died of those about the King was reported by Ctesias, who was with
him; on the other side, Cyrus himself died, and the eight best of his
staff lay dead upon him. (28) When he saw that Cyrus had fallen,
Artapates, the most trusted of those who served him as macebearers,
is said to have leaped down from his horse and embraced him. (29)
Some say that the King ordered someone to slay him on Cyrus; others say that he drew his dagger and slew himself, for he had a golden
one. And he wore a necklace, bracelets, and other adornments, just
as the best Persians, for he had been honored by Cyrus because of his
goodwill and fidelity.
Chapter 9
Thus then did Cyrus end his life, a man who, of all the Persians
born since Cyrus the Elder, was both most kingly and most worthy
to rule, as is agreed by all those reputed to have had direct experience of Cyrus. (2) For first, when still a boy, when he was being educated with his brother and with the other boys, he was believed to be
the best of all at everything. (3) For all the boys of the best Persians
are educated at the gates of the King. There one might learn moderation to a great degree, and it is not possible either to hear or to see
anything shameful. (4) The boys observe those who are honored by
the King, and they hear of them, as also with the others who are dishonored, so that directly from the time they are boys, they are learning how both to rule and to be ruled. (5) Here, then, Cyrus seemed to
be, in the first place, both the most respectful among his age-mates
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Book I Chapter 9
[ 67
and to obey his elders even more than his inferiors did. Next, he was
the most loving of horses, and he managed them best. And of the
deeds pertaining to war, and of both bowmanship and spear throwing, they judged him to be most loving of learning and most diligent
in their practice. (6) And when it became suitable for his age, he was
both most loving of the hunt and, indeed, most loving of running
risks in pursuit of wild animals. Once, even with a she-bear charging him, he did not flee but falling in with her was dragged from his
horse, and though he suffered some wounds and had visible scars
from these, he killed her in the end; and the one who helped him first
he made blessedly happy in the eyes of many.
(7) When he was sent down by his father as satrap of Lydia, Greater
Phrygia, and Cappadocia, and was also appointed as general of all
on whom it was incumbent to muster in the plain of Castolus, he
showed for himself first that he considered it to be of the utmost
importance―if he made a treaty with someone, if he made an agreement with someone, or if he promised something to someone―not
to be false in any respect. (8) And therefore the cities that turned to
him trusted him, and men trusted him. When Cyrus made a treaty,
even if someone was an enemy, he trusted that he would not suffer
anything contrary to the treaty. (9) Accordingly, when he made war
against Tissaphernes, all the cities voluntarily chose Cyrus instead of
Tissaphernes, except the Milesians, and these were afraid of him because he was not willing to abandon their exiles; (10) for he showed
by deed, and also said, that he would never abandon them, when
once he had become their friend, not even if they should be reduced
in number and not even if they should fare even worse. (11) If anyone ever did anything good or bad to him, he visibly tried to win
victory [in this competition]. Some reported that he had a prayer in
which he would pray to live long enough to win victory in requiting
both those who benefited and those who harmed him. (12) Hence, in
fact, the very greatest number desired to give up to him―and to this
man alone of those of our time―their money, their cities, and their
own bodies.
(13) Nor yet could anyone say that he allowed malefactors and the
unjust to laugh, but he punished them most unsparingly of all. Along
the well-traveled roads it was often possible to see people deprived
of their feet, hands, and eyes. Consequently, it became possible in
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
Cyrus’s realm for both a Greek and a barbarian, if he did no injustice, to travel without fear wherever he might wish, while having
with him whatever suited him. (14) On those in particular, however,
who were good at war, it was agreed that he bestowed honor to an
exceptional degree. At first his war was with the Pisidians and the
Mysians. Campaigning in person against these lands, then, whomever he saw willing to run risks he made them rulers over the land
he subdued and then honored them with other gifts, (15) so that the
good appeared most happy, and the bad were considered worthy to
be their slaves. There was therefore a great abundance of those willing to run risks for him, wherever one might think that Cyrus would
perceive it.
(16) As for justice, if anyone wishing to display it became manifest
to him, Cyrus considered it all-important to make them richer than
those who were greedy for gain from injustice. (17) Hence, in fact,
many other things were handled justly for him, and he also made
use of a true army. For his generals and captains, who sailed to him
for the sake of money, came to know that to obey Cyrus nobly produced more gain than their wage each month.38 (18) Moreover, if
anyone served him nobly when he gave an order, he never allowed
any such zeal to go without gratitude. Cyrus was therefore said to
have had the best assistants for every task. (19) If ever he saw someone who was a clever and just manager,39 both providing well for
the country over which he ruled and producing revenue, he never
took anything away but always gave him more. Consequently, they
worked with pleasure and acquired with confidence, and, moreover,
whatever anyone acquired, he least hid from Cyrus, for Cyrus manifestly did not envy those who were openly rich but did try to use the
money of those who concealed it.
(20) And as for friends―as many as he made, knew to be welldisposed, and judged to be capable coworkers in whatever he happened to wish to accomplish―he is agreed by all to have been the
very best at taking care of them. (21) For the very same [reason] that
he himself thought that he needed friends, namely, so that he might
have coworkers, he himself also tried accordingly to be the best coworker for his friends to achieve whatever he perceived each to desire.
(22) And as for gifts, I think, he received the most, at least for one
man, and for many [reasons]; and these he most of all would give
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Book I Chapter 9
[ 69
out to his friends, while considering the disposition of each of them
and what he saw each to need the most. (23) And regarding all the
things anyone sent to him to adorn his body, whether for war or for
beautification, they say Cyrus said of them that his own body could
not be adorned with all of them, and that he believed the greatest
adornment for a man was friends who were beautifully adorned.
(24) As for conquering his friends in the doing of benefits, it is not
to be wondered at, since he was also more powerful; but as for outdoing his friends in caring and in being eager to gratify them, this
seems to me more admirable. (25) Cyrus often sent half-empty jars
when he found a wine that was particularly pleasant, saying that not
for a long time indeed had he chanced upon a wine more pleasant
that this one. “He therefore sends this to you and he asks that you
drink it today with the friends you hold dearest.” (26) And often
he would send halves of geese, of loaves of bread, and other such
things, and would order the bearer to say, “Cyrus took pleasure in
these things, so he wishes you too to taste of them.” (27) And whenever fodder was very scarce, while he himself was able to provide
it on account of his many assistants and on account of his care, he
would send it around and bid that his friends give this fodder to
the horses that were bearing their bodies, “that they might not carry
his very own friends while being hungry.” (28) And if ever he were
passing where large numbers were going to see him, he would call
his friends over and engage them in earnest conversation, in order to
show whom he honored. Thus from what I hear, I, at least, judge that
no one, Greek or Barbarian, has come to be loved by more.40
(29) A sign of this is as follows: although he was a slave, no one deserted from Cyrus to join the King―except that Orontes attempted
it.41 But the person Orontes thought to be trustworthy to himself, he
very quickly found to have been more friendly to Cyrus than to himself. On the other hand, many deserted from the King to Cyrus when
they became enemies to each other, and these moreover were those
who were most cherished by him, believing that if they were good,x
they would obtain more deserved honor with Cyrus than with the
King. (30) What happened at the end of his life is also a great sign
both that he himself was good and that he was capable of judging
See Glossary: Good and Bad.
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The Anabasis of Cyrus
correctly those who were trustworthy, well disposed, and steadfast.
(31) For when Cyrus died, all those near him who were his friends
and table companions died fighting on his behalf, except Ariaeus; for
he happened to have been stationed on the left, as ruler of the cavalry. When he learned that Cyrus had fallen, he fled with the whole
army he led.
Chapter 10
Here, then, the head of Cyrus was cut off, and his right hand as
well. But the King and those with him fell, in their pursuit, upon
the Cyrean camp; and those with Ariaeus no longer stood fast but
fled through their own camp to the stopping place whence they had
set out previously. This was said to have been a distance of four
parasangs. (2) The King and those with him both plundered other
things in great amounts and took the Phocaean woman, Cyrus’s concubine, the one who was said to be wise and beautiful. (3) As for
the Milesian woman, the younger one, when she was captured by
those with the King, she fled undressed to the Greeks in the baggage train who happened to have weapons. After falling into order,
they killed many of those who were pillaging, but some of them also
were killed. They nevertheless did not flee, but they saved her; and
whatever else was within their lines, both possessions and people,
they saved all this.
(4) At this point the King and the Greeks were separated from each
other by about thirty stadia: the latter pursuing those who were opposite them, in the belief that they were enjoying victory over all;
the former pillaging, in the belief that they all had already won the
victory. (5) But when the Greeks perceived that the King with his
army was in their baggage train, and the King in turn heard from
Tissaphernes that the Greeks had been victorious over the line opposed to them and that they had gone forward in pursuit, then the
King gathered these things and put his own troops in order;42 and
Clearchus called Proxenus, for he was the nearest, and deliberated
about whether they should send some or whether all should go in
order to bring aid to the camp. (6) Meanwhile, it was clear that the
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Book I Chapter 10
[ 71
King was advancing again, from behind them as it seemed. So the
Greeks turned and began to prepare, expecting that he was coming
in this direction and that they would stand up to him. But the King
did not lead his troops in this direction but led them back by the
way he had come, beyond the left wing, taking up those who had
deserted during the battle to the Greeks as well as Tissaphernes and
those who were with him. (7) For Tissaphernes had not fled in the
first meeting, but he drove through the Greek peltasts along the
river. He killed no one in his drive, for the Greeks stood apart and
pelted them and threw their javelins. Episthenes the Amphipolitan
was the commander of the peltasts, and he was said to have been
prudent. (8) So since he had received the worst of it, Tissaphernes
did not turn back again; but after arriving at the camp of the Greeks,
he there happened upon the King, and forming up together again,
they marched.
(9) When they were on the left wing of the Greeks, the Greeks were
afraid that they would attack that wing and, folding around them on
both sides, would cut them down. So it seemed best to them to fold
back this wing and put the river behind them. (10) While they were
deliberating about this, the King passed by and positioned his phalanx in opposition to theirs, in the same arrangement as when at first
he had come to do battle. When the Greeks saw that they were near
and in order, again they sang the paean and attacked much more
eagerly than they had before. (11) And again the barbarians did not
stand up to them, but they started fleeing from farther away than
they had before. And they pursued them as far as a certain village.
Here the Greeks stopped. (12) For above the village was a hill, on
which those for the King had turned [to face them]. No longer were
they infantry, but the hill was full of horsemen, so that the Greeks did
not know what was being done. They said that they saw the insignia
of the King, a sort of golden eagle on a wooden shield, with its wings
spread. (13) When the Greeks advanced even here, the horsemen
indeed left the hill, no longer collected but different ones in different
directions. The hill became bare of horsemen. Finally, all indeed had
departed. (14) Now Clearchus did not go up on the hill, but stopping
the army beneath it he sent Lycius the Syracusan and one other to the
hill and bade them observe the things beyond the hill and report back
what they were. (15) And Lycius drove and, after seeing, reported
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72 ]
The Anabasis of Cyrus
back that they were in headlong flight. This occurred nearly as the
sun began to set.
(16) Here the Greeks halted, put down their weapons, and rested.
And at the same time they marveled that Cyrus was nowhere to be
seen, nor did anyone else come from him; for they did not know that
he had died, but they supposed that he had gone in pursuit or had
gone forward in order to seize something. (17) And they themselves
deliberated about whether to remain there and bring their provisions
forward or go back to camp. So they decided to go back. And they
arrived at their tents about suppertime. (18) Now this was how this
day ended. They found most of their possessions to have been plundered, both their other things and especially if there was any food
or drink. And as for the wagons that were full of barley and wine,
which Cyrus had provided in order that if ever the army should be
in severe need, he might make distributions to the Greeks―for there
were said to have been about four hundred such wagons―also these,
then, had been pillaged by those with the King. (19) Consequently,
most of the Greeks were without dinner. They had also gone without
breakfast, for before they had stopped for breakfast, the King had
appeared. So they passed the night like this.
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Book Title: Demosthenes, Speeches 1-17
Published by: University of Texas Press
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7560/726772.11
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Demosthenes, Speeches 1-17
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The First Philippic marks a turning point in Demosthenes’ political career: although he had made a glancing reference to Philip
in an (arguably) earlier speech (15.24), this is the first speech in
which he directly addresses the danger to Athens arising from the
growth of Macedonian power. From now on, all his surviving deliberative speeches are characterized by ancient critics as “Philippics,” that is, as speeches concerned with policy towards Philip.¹
Dionysius of Halicarnassus dates the speech to 352/1, but his
testimony is not entirely straightforward,² and the question of its
¹ See Harding 2006: 244: Demosthenes “became a one-issue politician
in 351 with the First Philippic” (at any rate, so far as the surviving speeches
are concerned). We know four of the deliberative speeches (Dem. 4, 6, 9,
and 10) as Philippics, but ancient critics also regarded Dem. 1–3, 5, [7], 8, and
11 as “Philippic.”
² Dionysius (First Letter to Ammaeus 4) identifies the speech not by its title or opening words, as is his usual practice, but by its content (“a speech
before the people on the dispatch of the mercenary force and the squadron
of ten triremes of exiles [generally emended to “ten swift triremes] to Macedonia”). Later in the same work, however, he mentions a speech, which he
calls the “fifth Philippic,” on “the protection of the islanders and the cities
of the Hellespont,” and gives as its opening words the first words of 30. Th is
latter speech he dates to 347/6 (10). It appears therefore that he regarded 4.1–
29 as a separate speech, delivered in 352/1. His division of the single speech
that we know as the First Philippic into two shorter speeches is not found
elsewhere and is regarded by scholars as mistaken.
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date continues to be debated.³ One important passage for dating the speech is 17, where Demosthenes refers to Philip’s “sudden campaigns to Thermopylae and the Chersonese and Olynthus” (cf. 41). The events to which he refers are as follows. First is
Philip’s march southwards in summer 352, after his victory over
the Phocians at the battle of the Crocus Field, towards the strategically vital pass of Thermopylae, where he was thwarted by an
Athenian expeditionary force that had occupied the site.⁴ Second
is his expedition to eastern Thrace in autumn 352 (though some
scholars have argued that this occurred in 351: see 3.4n).⁵ Third
is an early incursion into the territory of the Chalcidic League
in northern Greece, perhaps on his return from Thrace.⁶ Other
references in the speech—to Philip’s raids on Athenian territory
and shipping (34), to his letter to the Euboeans (37), and to his
operations in Illyria (48)—are not closely dateable, although the
Illyrian campaign probably occurred in early 351 (see 1.13n). The
speech also refers to rumors that Philip is ill or dead (11); it is clear
from the sequence of events reported at Dem. 3.4–5 that these
rumors were circulating at some point before the dispatch from
Athens of a force commanded by Charidemus in September 351.
In short, a date in late 352/1, that is, summer 351, is possible, but
we cannot exclude the possibility that Dionysius is mistaken and
that the speech belongs in the following Athenian year, 351/0.⁷
³ See most recently MacDowell 2009: 211–213.
⁴ Demosthenes describes this as taking place “recently” or “the other
day” (prōēn; 17), but this adverb is too imprecise in its range of meaning to
allow any conclusions to be drawn about the date of this speech.
⁵ In the Third Olynthiac of 349/8 Demosthenes refers to Philip’s seizure of
a place in Thrace in November “two or three years ago” (3.4), which would
be consistent with either date.
⁶ The suggestion that the reference is to the campaign of 349/8, and has
been interpolated into a speech of 352/1, is now rightly rejected. At the same
time, the casualness of the reference to Olynthus at 17 rules out the possibility that the speech as a whole belongs as late as 349/8, when that city was
at war with Philip. See the Introduction to Dem. 1–3 for relations between
Philip and Olynthus in the late 350s.
⁷ See Lane Fox 1997: 195–199.
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70 demosthenes
If the exact circumstances that gave rise to the speech are debatable, its general context is abundantly clear. Although Philip
had been at war with Athens since his seizure of Amphipolis in
357, and had wrested control of a number of cities on the north
Aegean coast to which Athens laid claim, two events opened Demosthenes’ eyes to the threat that he posed to Athens. The first
was his victory at the Battle of the Crocus Field in 352 and his
subsequent thrust southwards towards the pass of Thermopylae.
The second was his campaign in Thrace in 352/1 and specifically
his advance as far east as Fort Heraeum. This brought him dangerously close to the Chersonese and the Hellespont and to the
sea route between the Aegean and the Black Sea on which Athens
depended for much of its food imports.
The core of this speech is a detailed proposal for military preparations that will allow Athens to deal effectively with Philip.
Demosthenes argues for the creation of two separate forces. The
first is to be a standing force of fifty triremes, crewed by citizens,
which will be able to respond rapidly to any new campaign by
Philip (16–18). The second is a permanent force, mainly of mercenaries but with a citizen component, and with only ten triremes,
to engage continuously with Philip in the north Aegean (19–22).
Demosthenes also discusses the funding of this second force (28–
29). It is a clear indication of Athens’ financial weakness that he
proposes to provide only subsistence money, with no pay, and expects the troops to make good the shortfall from plunder (but
without harming any of Athens’ allies!).
The early part of the speech encourages the Athenians not to
despair at Philip’s apparent strength but to match the resolution
that he has shown. After setting out his proposal, Demosthenes
turns to criticize the Athenians for their laxness in the waging of
war: they take more care for the smooth running of religious festivals than for taking prompt military action (35–37), and they react to Philip’s actions rather than take the initiative, and do so
too slowly (38–41). A recurrent demand, repeated in several of his
later speeches, is that the Athenians must serve in person, to keep
an eye on their generals and ensure that the war is prosecuted energetically, rather than rely on mercenaries (24–25, 44–47). Demosthenes, here as elsewhere, attributes Athens’ lack of success
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4. first philippic
against Philip to a failure of will on the part of its citizens, rather
than a pragmatic reluctance to expend their limited resources on
military operations that were unlikely to substantially weaken
Philip’s power.
There are texts of this speech with commentaries by Sandys 1910
and (very fully) Wooten 2008 and a translation with commentary
by Ellis and Milns 1970.
4. first philippic
[1] If some new matter were the topic of discussion, men of
Athens, I would have waited until most of the regular speakers
had given their opinion, and if anything they said pleased me, I
would have kept quiet; only if it did not would I have ventured to
state my own opinion.⁸ But since we are dealing with matters that
these men have often addressed on previous occasions, I think
that I can reasonably be forgiven for standing up to speak first.
For if they had given the necessary advice in the past, there would
be no need for you to be deliberating now.
[2] First, men of Athens, you must not despair at the present
situation, even if it seems dreadful. For its worst aspect in the past
holds out our best hope for the future. What am I referring to?
To the fact, men of Athens, that our situation has deteriorated so
badly while you have been doing none of the things you needed
to do. For if our situation were so poor when you had been doing
all that you should, there would be no hope of improving matters. [3] Next, you must consider, whether you hear it from others or remember it from personal knowledge, how powerful the
Spartans once were, not long ago, and how well and appropriately you acted, in keeping with the reputation of the city, and endured war against them for the sake of justice.⁹ Why do I mention this? To make you see, men of Athens, and understand that
⁸ It was conventional for more senior politicians to speak first in the
⁹ Athens fought Sparta both in the Corinthian War of 395–386 and in
collaboration with Thebes in the 370s.
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nothing frightens you when you are on your guard, but that if
you are contemptuous, nothing is as you might wish, using as
my examples the Spartans’ strength then, which you defeated by
applying your intelligence to the situation, and this man’s arrogance now, which alarms us because we fail to attend to any of
the things that we should. [4] And if any of you, men of Athens,
thinks that Philip is hard to wage war against, considering the
size of the forces at his disposal and our city’s loss of all its possess…
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