Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
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5.4.34For while we were friends to the [Note] Assyrian king, my father's estate seemed to me the finest in the world; for it was so near to the mighty city of Babylon that we enjoyed all the advantages of a great city but could come back home and be rid of all its rush and worry. But now that we are his enemies, it is obvious that with your departure we ourselves and our whole house shall be the victims of plots; and I think we shall lead an utterly miserable life, for we shall have our enemies close at hand and see them stronger than ourselves.

5.4.35“Perhaps, then, some one might say: ‘And why, pray, did you not think of that before you revolted?’ Because, Cyrus, on account of the outrage I had suffered and my consequent resentment, my soul was not looking out consistently for the safest course but was pregnant with this thought, whether it would ever be in my power to get revenge upon that enemy of gods and men, who cherishes an implacable hatred not so much toward the man who does him wrong as toward the one whom he suspects of being better than himself. 5.4.36Therefore, since he is such a scoundrel himself, he will find no supporters but those who are worse scoundrels than himself. But if some one of them by any chance be found better than he, never fear, Cyrus, that you will have to fight that good man; but he will take care of him, scheming unceasingly until he has got rid of that man who is better than himself. But as for me, he will, I think, even with worthless fellows easily be strong enough to harass me.

5.4.37As Cyrus heard this, it seemed to him that Gadatas said something worthy of consideration; so he answered at once: “Pray then, Gadatas,” said he, “let us make the fortifications strong with garrisons and safe, that you may have confidence in their security, whenever you go into them; and then do you take the field with us yourself so that, if the gods continue on our side as they now are, he may be afraid of you, not you of him. And bring with you whatsoever of yours you like to look at or to have with you, and come. It seems to me, too, that you would be very useful to me, and I shall try to be the same to you, as far as I can.”

5.4.38On hearing this, Gadatas breathed more freely [Note] and said: “Could I get things ready before you go? For, you see, I should like to take my mother with me.”

“Yes, by Zeus,” he answered, “you will have plenty of time; for I will hold back until you say it is all right.”

5.4.39Accordingly, Gadatas went away in company with Cyrus and strengthened the forts with garrisons and then packed up everything that a great house might need for comfort. And he brought with him many of his own loved and trusted friends and many also of those whom he distrusted, compelling some to bring along their wives, others their brothers and sisters, in order that he might keep them under control, when bound by such ties.

5.4.40And from the first Cyrus kept Gadatas among those about him as he marched, to give him information in regard to roads and water, fodder and provisions, so that they might be able to camp where things were most abundant.

5.4.41And when, as he proceeded, he came in sight of the city of Babylon and it seemed to him that the road which he was following led close by the walls, he called Gobryas and Gadatas to him and asked if there were not another road, so that they need not march right by the wall.

5.4.42“Yes, sire,” answered Gobryas; “in fact, there are many roads; but I supposed that you would surely wish to march as near to the city as possible, in order to show him that your army is now large and imposing; for even when you had a smaller force, you came right up to the very walls and he saw that we had no great numbers. So now, even if he really is to some extent prepared (for he sent word to you that he was making preparations to fight you), I am sure that, when he sees your forces, his own will again seem to him extremely ill-prepared.”

5.4.43“You seem to be surprised, Gobryas,” said [Note] Cyrus in answer, “that I marched right up to the walls when I came with a much smaller army, whereas now with a larger force I am unwilling to march close up under the walls. 5.4.44But do not be surprised; for marching up to and marching by are not the same thing. For every one leads up in the order best for fighting [and the wise also retreat in the safest possible way, and not in the quickest], 5.4.45but an army must needs march by with the wagons in an extended line and with the rest of the baggage vans in a long train. And these must all be covered by soldiers, and the enemy must never see the baggage wagons unprotected by arms.



Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
<<Xen. Cyr. 5.4.26 Xen. Cyr. 5.4.38 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyr. 5.5.1

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