Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
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1.4.26And Cyrus also, it is said, departed very tearfully. And they say that he distributed as presents among his young friends many of the things that Astyages had given to him; and finally he took off the Median robe which he had on and gave it to one whom he loved very dearly. It is said, however, that those who received and accepted his presents carried them to Astyages, and Astyages received them and returned them to Cyrus; but Cyrus sent them back again to Media with this message: “If you wish me ever to come back to you again, grandfather, without having to be ashamed, permit those to whom I have given anything to keep it.” And when Astyages heard this, he did as Cyrus's letter bade.

1.4.27Now, if we may relate a sentimental story, we [Note] are told that when Cyrus was going away and they were taking leave of one another, his kinsmen bade him good-bye, after the Persian custom, with a kiss upon his lips. And that custom has survived, for so the Persians do even to this day. Now a certain Median gentleman, very noble, had for some considerable time been struck with Cyrus's beauty, and when he saw the boy's kinsmen kissing him, he hung back. But when the rest were gone, he came up to Cyrus and said: “Am I the only one of your kinsmen, Cyrus, whom you do not recognize as such?”

“What,” said Cyrus, “do you mean to say that you, too, are a kinsman?”

“Certainly,” said he.

“That is the reason, then, it seems,” said Cyrus, “why you used to stare at me; for if I am not mistaken, I have often noticed you doing so.”

“Yes,” said he, “for though I was always desirous of coming to you, by the gods I was too bashful.”

“Well, you ought not to have been—at any rate, if you were my kinsman,” said Cyrus; and at the same time he went up and kissed him.

1.4.28And when he had been given the kiss, the Mede asked: “Really, is it a custom in Persia to kiss one's kinsfolk?”

“Certainly,” said he; “at least, when they see one another after a time of separation, or when they part from one another.”

“It may be time, then, for you to kiss me once again,” said the Mede; “for, as you see, I am parting from you now.”

And so Cyrus kissed him good-bye again and went on his way. But they had not yet gone far, when the Mede came back with his horse in a lather. And when Cyrus saw him he said: “Why, how now? Did you forget something that you intended to say?”

“No, by Zeus,” said he, “but I have come back after a time of separation.”

“By Zeus, cousin,” said Cyrus, “a pretty short time.”

“Short, is it?” said the Mede; “don't you know, Cyrus,” said he, “that even the time it takes me to wink seems an eternity to me, because during that time I do not see you, who are so handsome?”

Then Cyrus laughed through his tears and bade him go and be of good cheer, for in a little while he would come back to them, so that he might soon look at him—without winking, if he chose.

ch. 5 1.5.1Now when Cyrus had returned, as before [Note] narrated, he is said to have spent one more year in the class of boys in Persia. And at first the boys were inclined to make fun of him, saying that he had come back after having learned to live a life of luxurious ease among the Medes. But when they saw him eating and drinking with no less relish than they themselves, and, if there ever was feasting at any celebration, freely giving away a part of his own share rather than asking for more; and when, in addition to this, they saw him surpassing them in other things as well, then again his comrades began to have proper respect for him.

And when he had passed through this discipline and had now entered the class of the youths, among these in turn he had the reputation of being the best both in attending to duty and in endurance, in respect toward his elders and in obedience to the officers.

1.5.2In the course of time Astyages died in Media, and Cyaxares, the son of Astyages and brother of Cyrus's mother, succeeded to the Median throne.

At that time the king of Assyria had subjugated [Note] all Syria, a very large nation, and had made the king of Arabia his vassal; he already had Hyrcania under his dominion and was closely besetting Bactria. So he thought that if he should break the power of the Medes, he should easily obtain dominion over all the nations round about; for he considered the Medes the strongest of the neighbouring tribes.



Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
<<Xen. Cyr. 1.4.23 Xen. Cyr. 1.4.28 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyr. 1.5.6

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