Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
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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. 8.1.48But better than any of these ways, he recognized that there was one course that would be at once the most honourable and the most conducive to his own personal security, and that was, if possible, to make those powerful nobles better friends to himself than to one another. We shall, therefore, attempt to explain the method that he seems to have taken to gain their friendship.

ch. 2 8.2.1In the first place, then, he showed at all times [Note] as great kindness of heart as he could; for he believed that just as it is not easy to love those who seem to hate us, or to cherish good-will toward those who bear us ill-will, in the same way those who are known to love and to cherish good-will could not be hated by those who believe themselves loved.

8.2.2During the time, therefore, when he was not yet quite able to do favours through gifts of money, he tried to win the love of those about him by taking forethought for them and labouring for them and showing that he rejoiced with them in their good fortune and sympathized with them in their mishaps; and after he found himself in a position to do favours with money, he seems to us to have recognized [Note] from the start that there is no kindness which men can show one another, with the same amount of expenditure, more acceptable than sharing meat and drink with them.

Xenophon, Cyropaedia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyr.].
<<Xen. Cyr. 8.1.29 Xen. Cyr. 8.1.44 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyr. 8.2.5

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