Hellenica (Xenophon)/Book 4/Chapter 1

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B.C. 395. 1With the fall of the year Agesilaus reached Phrygia--the Phrygia of Pharnabazus--and proceeded to burn and harry the district. City after city was taken, some by force and some by voluntary surrender. 2To a proposal of Spithridates to lead him into Paphlagonia,[1] where he would introduce the king of the country to him in conference and obtain his alliance, he readily acceded. It was a long-cherished ambition of Agesilaus to alienate some one of the subject nations from the Persian monarch, and he pushed forward eagerly.

3On his arrival in Paphlagonia, King Otys[2] came, and an alliance was made. (The fact was, he had been summoned by the king to Susa and had not gone up.) More than that, through the persuasion of Spithridates he left behind as a parting gift to Agesilaus one thousand cavalry and a couple of thousand peltasts. 4Agesilaus was anxious in some way to show his gratitude to Spithridates for such help, and spoke as follows:--"Tell me," he said to Spithridates, "would you not like to give your daughter to King Otys?" "Much more would I like to give her," he answered, "than he to take her--I an outcast wanderer, and he lord of a vast territory and forces." Nothing more was said at the time about the marriage; 5but when Otys was on the point of departure and came to bid farewell, Agesilaus, having taken care that Spithridates should be out of the way, in the presence of the Thirty broached the subject:[3] 6"Can you tell me, Otys, to what sort of family Spithridates belongs?" "To one of the noblest in Persia," replied the king. Agesilaus: "Have you observed how beautiful his son is?" Otys: "To be sure; last evening I was supping with him." Agesilaus: "And they tell me his daughter is yet more beautiful." 7Otys: "That may well be; beautiful she is." Agesilaus: "For my part, as you have proved so good a friend to us, I should like to advise you to take this girl to wife. Not only is she very beautiful--and what more should a husband ask for?--but her father is of noble family, and has a force at his back large enough to retaliate on Pharnabazus for an injury. He has made the satrap, as you see, a fugitive and a vagabond in his own vast territory. 8I need not tell you," he added, "that a man who can so chastise an enemy is well able to benefit a friend; 9and of this be assured: by such an alliance you will gain not the connection of Spithridates alone, but of myself and the Lacedaemonians, and, as we are the leaders of Hellas, of the rest of Hellas also. And what a wedding yours will be! Were ever nuptials celebrated on so grand a scale before? Was ever bride led home by such an escort of cavalry and light-armed troops and heavy infantry, as shall escort your wife home to your palace?" 10Otys asked: "Is Spithridates of one mind with you in this proposal?" and Agesilaus answered: "In good sooth he did not bid me make it for him. And for my own part in the matter, though it is, I admit, a rare pleasure to requite an enemy, yet I had far rather at any time discover some good fortune for my friends." 11Otys: "Why not ask if your project pleases Spithridates too?" Then Agesilaus, turning to Herippidas and the rest of the Thirty, bade them go to Spithridates; "and give him such good instruction," he added, "that he shall wish what we wish." The Thirty rose and retired to administer their lesson. 12But they seemed to tarry a long time, and Agesilaus asked: "What say you, King Otys--shall we summon him hither ourselves? You, I feel certain, are better able to persuade him than the whole Thirty put together." Thereupon Agesilaus summoned Spithridates and the others. 13As they came forward, Herippidas promptly delivered himself thus: "I spare you the details, Agesilaus. To make a long story short, Spithridates says, 'He will be glad to do whatever pleases you.'" 14Then Agesilaus, turning first to one and then to the other: "What pleases me," said he, "is that you should wed a daughter--and you a wife--so happily.[4] But," he added, "I do not see how we can well bring home the bride by land till spring." "No, not by land," the suitor answered, "but you might, if you chose, conduct her home at once by sea." 15Thereupon they exchanged pledges to ratify the compact; and so sent Otys rejoicing on his way.

Agesilaus, who had not failed to note the king's impatience, at once fitted out a ship of war and gave orders to Callias, a Lacedaemonian, to escort the maiden to her new home; after which he himself began his march on Dascylium. Here was the palace of Pharnabazus. It lay in the midst of abundant supplies. Here, too, were most fair hunting grounds, offering the hunter choice between enclosed parks[5] and a wide expanse of field and fell; 16and all around there flowed a river full of fish of every sort; and for the sportsman versed in fowling, winged game in abundance.

In these quarters the Spartan king passed the winter, collecting supplies for the army either on the spot or by a system of forage. 17On one of these occasions the troops, who had grown reckless and scornful of the enemy through long immunity from attack, whilst engaged in collecting supplies were scattered over the flat country, when Pharnabazus fell upon them with two scythe-chariots and about four hundred horse. 18Seeing him thus advancing, the Hellenes ran together, mustering possibly seven hundred men. The Persian did not hesitate, but placing his chariots in front, supported by himself and the cavalry, he gave the command to charge. 19The scythe-chariots charged and scattered the compact mass, and speedily the cavalry had laid low in the dust about a hundred men, while the rest retreated hastily, under cover of Agesilaus and his hoplites, who were fortunately near.

20It was the third or fourth day after this that Spithridates made a discovery: Pharnabazus lay encamped in Caue, a large village not more than eighteen miles[6] away. 21This news he lost no time in reporting to Herippidas. The latter, who was longing for some brilliant explout, begged Agesilaus to furnish him with two thousand hoplites, an equal number of peltasts, and some cavalry--the latter to consist of the horsemen of Spithridates, the Paphlagonians, and as many Hellene troopers as he might perchance persuade to follow him. 22Having got the promise of them from Agesilaus, he proceeded to take the auspices. Towards late afternoon he obtained favourable omens and broke off the sacrifice. Thereupon he ordered the troops to get their evening meal, after which they were to present themselves in front of the camp. But by the time darkness had closed in, not one half of them had come out. 23To abandon the project was to call down the ridicule of the rest of the Thirty. So he set out with the force to hand, 24and about daylight, falling on the camp of Pharnabazus, put many of his advanced guard of Mysians to the sword. The men themselves made good their escape in different directions, but the camp was taken, and with it divers goblets and other gear such as a man like Pharnabazus would have, not to speak of much baggage and many baggage animals. 25It was the dread of being surrounded and besieged, if he should establish himself for long at any one spot, which induced Pharnabazus to flee in gipsy fashion from point to point over the country, carefully obliterating his encampments. 26Now as the Paphlagonians and Spithridates brought back the captured property, they were met by Herippidas with his brigadiers and captains, who stopped them and[7] relieved them of all they had; the object being to have as large a list as possible of captures to deliver over to the officers who superintended the sale of booty.[8] 27This treatment the Asiatics found intolerable. They deemed themselves at once injured and insulted, got their kit together in the night, and made off in the direction of Sardis to join Ariaeus without mistrust, seeing that he too had revolted and gone to war with the king. 28On Agesilaus himself no heavier blow fell during the whole campaign than the desertion of Spithridates and Megabates and the Paphlagonians.

29Now there was a certain man of Cyzicus, Apollophanes by name; he was an old friend of Pharnabazus, and at this time had become a friend also of Agesilaus.[9] This man informed Agesilaus that he thought he could bring about a meeting between him and Pharnabazus, which might tend to friendship; 30and having so got ear of him, he obtained pledges of good faith between his two friends, and presented himself with Pharnabazus at the trysting-place, where Agesilaus with the Thirty around him awaited their coming, reclined upon a grassy sward. Pharnabazus presently arrived clad in costliest apparel; but just as his attendants were about to spread at his feet the carpets on which the Persians delicately seat themselves, he was touched with a sense of shame at his own luxury in sight of the simplicity of Agesilaus, and he also without further ceremony seated himself on the bare ground. 31And first the two bade one another hail, and then Pharnabazus stretched out his right hand and Agesilaus his to meet him, and the conversation began. Pharnabazus, as the elder of the two, spoke first. 32"Agesilaus," he said, "and all you Lacedaemonians here present, while you were at war with the Athenians I was your friend and ally; it was I who furnished the wealth that made your navy strong on sea; on land I fought on horseback by your side, and pursued your enemies into the sea.[10] As to duplicity like that of Tissaphernes, I challenge you to accuse me of having played you false by word or deed. 33Such have I ever been; and in return how am I treated by yourselves to-day?--in such sort that I cannot even sup in my own country unless, like the wild animals, I pick up the scraps you chance to leave. The beautiful palaces which my father left me as an heirloom, the parks[11] full of trees and beasts of the chase in which my heart rejoiced, lie before my eyes hacked to pieces, burnt to ashes. Maybe I do not comprehend the first principles of justice and holiness; do you then explain to me how all this resembles the conduct of men who know how to repay a simple debt of gratitude." 34He ceased, and the Thirty were ashamed before him and kept silence.[12]

At length, after some pause, Agesilaus spoke. "I think you are aware," he said, "Pharnabazus, that within the states of Hellas the folk of one community contract relations of friendship and hospitality with one another;[13] but if these states should go to war, then each man will side with his fatherland, and friend will find himself pitted against friend in the field of battle, and, if it so betide, the one may even deal the other his death-blow. So too we to-day, being at war with your sovereign lord the king, must needs regard as our enemy all that he calls his; not but that with yourself personally we should esteem it our high fortune to be friends. 35If indeed it were merely an exchange of service--were you asked to give up your lord the king and to take us as your masters in his stead, I could not so advise you; 36but the fact is, by joining with us it is in your power to-day to bow your head to no man, to call no man master, to reap the produce of your own domain in freedom--freedom, which to my mind is more precious than all riches. Not that we bid you to become a beggar for the sake of freedom, but rather to use our friendship to increase not the king's authority, but your own, by subduing those who are your fellow- slaves to-day, and who to-morrow shall be your willing subjects. Well, then, freedom given and wealth added--what more would you desire to fill the cup of happiness to overflowing?" 37Pharnabazus replied: "Shall I tell you plainly what I will do?" "That were but kind and courteous on your part," he answered. "Thus it stands with me, then," said Pharnabazus. "If the king should send another general, and if he should wish to rank me under this new man's orders, I, for my part, am willing to accept your friendship and alliance; but if he offers me the supreme command--why, then, I plainly tell you, there is a certain something in the very name ambition which whispers me that I shall war against you to the best of my ability."[14] 38When he heard that, Agesilaus seized the satrap's hand, exclaiming: "Ah, best of mortals, may the day arrive which sends us such a friend! Of one thing rest assured. This instant I leave your territory with what haste I may, and for the future--even in case of war--as long as we can find foes elsewhere our hands shall hold aloof from you and yours."

39And with these words he broke up the meeting. Pharnabazus mounted his horse and rode away, but his son by Parapita, who was still in the bloom of youth, lingered behind; then, running up to Agesilaus, he exclaimed: "See, I choose you as my friend." "And I accept you," replied the king. "Remember, then," the lad answered, and with the word presented the beautiful javelin in his hand to Agesilaus, who received it, and unclasping a splendid trapping[15] which his secretary, Idaeus, had round the neck of his charger, he gave it in return to the youth; whereupon the boy leapt on his horse's back and galloped after his father.[16] 40At a later date, during the absence of Pharnabazus abroad, this same youth, the son of Parapita, was deprived of the government by his brother and driven into exile. Then Agesilaus took great interest in him, and as he had a strong attachment to the son of Eualces, an Athenian, Agesilaus did all he could to have this friend of his, who was the tallest of the boys, admitted to the two hundred yards race at Olympia.

B.C. 394. 41But to return to the actual moment. Agesilaus was as good as his word, and at once marched out of the territory of Pharnabazus. The season verged on spring. Reaching the plain of Thebe,[17] he encamped in the neighbourhood of the temple of Artemis of Astyra,[18] and there employed himself in collecting troops from every side, in addition to those which he already had, so as to form a complete armament. These preparations were pressed forward with a view to penetrating as far as possible into the interior. He was persuaded that every tribe or nation placed in his rear might be considered as alienated from the king.

  1. See Hartman ("An. Xen." p. 339), who suggests {Otun auto} for {sun auto}.
  2. See "Ages." iii. 4, where he is called Cotys.
  3. I.e. "Spartan counsellors."
  4. Or, "and may the wedding be blest!"
  5. Lit. "paradises." See "Anab." I. ii. 7; "Cyrop." I. iv. 11.
  6. Lit. "one hundred and sixty stades."
  7. Or, "captains posted to intercept them, who relieved . . ." See "Anab." IV. i. 14.
  8. See "Pol. Lac." xiii. 11, for these officers.
  9. "Ages." v. 4; Plut. "Ages." xi. (Clough, iv. p. 14).
  10. See "Hell." I. i. 6.
  11. Lit. "paradises."
  12. Theopompus of Chios, the historian (b. B.C. 378, fl. B.C. 333), "in the eleventh book [of his {Suntazis Ellenikon}] borrowed Xenophon's lively account of the interview between Agesilaus and Pharnabazus (Apollonius apud Euseb. B, "Praep. Evang." p. 465)." See "Hist. Lit. of Anc. Gr.," Muller and Donaldson, ii. p. 380.
  13. Or, add, "we call them guest friends."
  14. Or, "so subtle a force, it seems, is the love of honour that." Grote, "H. G." ix. 386; cf. Herod. iii. 57 for "ambition," {philotimia}.
  15. {phalara}, bosses of gold, silver, or other metals, cast or chased, with some appropriate device in relief, which were worn as an ornamental trapping for horses, affixed to the head-stall or to a throat-collar, or to a martingale over the chest.--Rich's "Companion to Lat. Dict. and Greek Lex.," s.v.
  16. See Grote, ix. 387; Plut. "Ages." xiv. (Clough, iv. 15); "Ages." iii. 5. The incident is idealised in the "Cyrop." I. iv. 26 foll. See "Lyra Heroica": CXXV. A Ballad of East and West--the incident of the "turqoise-studded rein."
  17. "Anab." VII. viii. 7.
  18. Vide Strab. xiii. 606, 613. Seventy stades from Thebe.