Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
<<Xen. Cyr. 8.1.25 Xen. Cyr. 8.1.40 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyr. 8.2.4

8.1.35For it is the exercise best adapted to give riders a firm seat in all sorts of places, because they have to pursue the animals wherever they may run; and it is also the best exercise to make them active on horseback because of their rivalry and eagerness to get the game. 8.1.36By this same exercise, too, he was best able to accustom his associates to temperance and the endurance of hardship, to heat and cold, to hunger and thirst. And even to this day the king and the rest that make up his retinue continue to engage in the same sport.

8.1.37From all that has been said, therefore, it is evident that he believed that no one had any right to rule who was not better than his subjects; and it is evident, too, that in thus drilling those about him he himself got his own best training both in temperance and in the arts and pursuits of war. 8.1.38For he not only used to take the others out hunting, whenever there was no need of his staying at home, but even when there was some need of his staying at home, he would himself hunt the animals that were kept in the parks. And he never dined without first having got himself into a sweat, nor would he have any food given to his horses without their having first been duly exercised; and to these hunts he would invite also the mace-bearers in attendance upon him. 8.1.39The result of all this constant training was that [Note] he and his associates greatly excelled in all manly exercises. Such an example did he furnish by his own personal conduct.

And besides this, he used to reward with gifts and positions of authority and seats of honour and all sorts of preferment others whom he saw devoting themselves most eagerly to the attainment of excellence; and thus he inspired in all an earnest ambition, each striving to appear as deserving as he could in the eyes of Cyrus.

8.1.40We think, furthermore, that we have observed [Note] in Cyrus that he held the opinion that a ruler ought to excel his subjects not only in point of being actually better than they, but that he ought also to cast a sort of spell upon them. At any rate, he chose to wear the Median dress himself and persuaded his associates also to adopt it; for he thought that if any one had any personal defect, that dress would help to conceal it, and that it made the wearer look very tall and very handsome. 8.1.41For they have shoes of such a form that without being detected the wearer can easily put something into the soles so as to make him look taller than he is. He encouraged also the fashion of pencilling the eyes, that they might seem more lustrous than they are, and of using cosmetics to make the complexion look better than nature made it.

8.1.42He trained his associates also not to spit or to wipe the nose in public, and not to turn round to look at anything, as being men who wondered at nothing. All this he thought contributed, in some measure, to their appearing to their subjects men who could not lightly be despised.

8.1.43Those, therefore, who he thought ought to be [Note] in authority he thus prepared in his own school by careful training as well as by the respect which he commanded as their leader; those, on the other hand, whom he was training to be servants he did not encourage to practise any of the exercises of freemen; neither did he allow them to own weapons; but he took care that they should not suffer any deprivation in food or drink on account of the exercises in which they served the freemen. 8.1.44And he managed it in this way: whenever they were to drive the animals down into the plains for the horsemen, he allowed those of the lower classes, but none of the freemen, to take food with them on the hunt; and whenever there was an expedition to make, he would lead the serving men to water, just as he did the beasts of burden. And again, when it was time for luncheon, he would wait for them until they could get something to eat, so that they should not get so ravenously hungry. And so this class also called him “father,” just as the nobles did, for he provided for them well <so that they might spend all their lives as slaves, without a protest>.

8.1.45Thus he secured for the whole Persian empire [Note] the necessary stability; and as for himself, he was perfectly confident that there was no danger of his suffering aught at the hands of those whom he had subdued. And the ground of his confidence was this—that he believed them to be powerless and he saw that they were unorganized; and besides that, not one of them came near him either by night or by day. 8.1.46But there were some whom he considered very powerful and whom he saw well armed and well organized; and some of them, he knew, had cavalry under their command, others infantry; and he was aware that many of them had the assurance to think that they were competent to rule; and these not only came in very close touch with his guards but many of them came frequently in contact with Cyrus himself, and this was unavoidable if he was to make any use of them—this, then, was the quarter from which there was the greatest danger that something might happen to him in any one of many ways.

8.1.47So, as he cast about in his mind how to remove any danger that might arise from them also, he rejected the thought of disarming them and making them incapable of war; for he decided that that would be unjust, and besides he thought that this would be destruction to his empire. On the other hand, he believed that to refuse to admit them to his presence or to show that he mistrusted them would lead at once to hostilities.



Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
<<Xen. Cyr. 8.1.25 Xen. Cyr. 8.1.40 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyr. 8.2.4

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