to experience your spirit being larger than that, being

time:2023-11-30 03:31:11 source:Forget Your Life author:map

After this the whole Hellenic force united, and took up their quarters there in numerous beautiful dwellings, with an ample store of provisions, for there was wine so plentiful that they had it in cemented cisterns. Xenophon and Cheirisophus arranged to recover the dead, and in return restored the guide; afterwards they did everything for the dead, according to the means at their disposal, with the customary honours paid to good men.

to experience your spirit being larger than that, being

Next day they set off without a guide; and the enemy, by keeping up a continuous battle and occupying in advance every narrow place, obstructed passage after passage. Accordingly, whenever the van was obstructed, Xenophon, from behind, made a dash up the hills and broke the barricade, and freed the vanguard by endeavouring to get above the obstructing enemy. Whenever the rear was the point attacked, Cheirisophus, in the same way, made a detour, and by endeavouring to mount higher than the barricaders, freed the passage for the rear rank; and in this way, turn and turn about, they rescued each other, and paid unflinching attention to their mutual needs. At times it happened that, the relief party having mounted, encountered considerable annoyance in their descent from the barbarians, who were so agile that they allowed them to come up quite close, before they turned back, and still escaped, partly no doubt because the only weapons they had to carry were bows and slings.

to experience your spirit being larger than that, being

They were, moreover, excellent archers, using bows nearly three cubits long and arrows more than two cubits. When discharging the arrow, they draw the string by getting a purchase with the left foot planted 28 forward on the lower end of the bow. The arrows pierced through shield and cuirass, and the Hellenes, when they got hold of them, used them as javelins, fitting them to their thongs. In these districts the Cretans were highly serviceable. They were under the command of Stratocles, a Cretan.

to experience your spirit being larger than that, being

During this day they bivouacked in the villages which lie above the 1 plain of the river Centrites[1], which is about two hundred feet broad. It is the frontier river between Armenia and the country of the Carduchians. Here the Hellenes recruited themselves, and the sight of the plain filled them with joy, for the river was but six or seven furlongs distant from the mountains of the Carduchians. For the moment then they bivouacked right happily; they had their provisions, they had also many memories of the labours that were now passed; seeing that the last seven days spent in traversing the country of the Carduchians had been one long continuous battle, which had cost them more suffering than the whole of their troubles at the hands of the king and Tissaphernes put together. As though they were truly quit of them for ever, they laid their heads to rest in sweet content.

But with the morrow's dawn they espied horsemen at a certain point across the river, armed cap-a-pie, as if they meant to dispute the passage. Infantry, too, drawn up in line upon the banks above the cavalry, threatened to prevent them debouchng into Armenia. These troops were Armenian and Mardian and Chaldaean mercenaries belonging to Orontas and Artuchas. The last of the three, the Chaldaeans, were said to be a free and brave set of people. They were armed with long wicker shields and lances. The banks before named on which they were drawn up were a hundred yards or more distant from the river, and the single road which was visible was one leading upwards and looking like a regular artificially constructed highway. At this point the Hellenes endeavoured to cross, but on their making the attempt the water proved 6 to be more than breast-deep, and the river bed was rough with great slippery stones, and as to holding their arms in the water, it was out of the question--the stream swept them away--or if they tried to carry them over the head, the body was left exposed to the arrows and other missiles; accordingly they turned back and encamped there by the bank of the river.

At the point where they had themselves been last night, up on the mountains, they could see the Carduchians collected in large numbers and under arms. A shadow of deep despair again descended on their souls, whichever way they turned their eyes--in front lay the river so difficult to ford; over, on the other side, a new enemy threatening to bar the passage; on the hills behind, the Carduchians ready to fall upon their rear should they once again attempt to cross. Thus for this day and night they halted, sunk in perplexity. But Xenophon had a dream. In his sleep he thought that he was bound in fetters, but these, of their own accord, fell from off him, so that he was loosed, and could stretch his legs as freely as he wished[2]. So at the first glimpse of daylight he came to Cheirisophus and told him that he had hopes that all things would go well, and related to him his dream.

[2] It is impossible to give the true sense and humour of the passage in English, depending, as it does, on the double meaning of { diabainein} (1) to cross (a river), (2) to stride or straddle (of the legs). The army is unable to cross the Centrites; Xenophon dreams that he is fettered, but the chains drop off his legs and he is able to stride as freely as ever; next morning the two young men come to him with the story how they have found themselves able to walk cross the river instead of having to swim it. It is obvious to Xenophon that the dream is sent from Heaven.

The other was well pleased, and with the first faint gleam of dawn the generals all were present and did sacrifice; and the victims were favourable in the first essay. Retiring from the sacrifice, the generals and officers issued an order to the troops to take their breakfasts; and while Xenophon was taking his, two young men came running up to him, for every one knew that, breakfasting or supping, he was always accessible, or that even if asleep any one was welcome to awaken him who had anything to say bearing on the business of war. 10 What the two young men had at this time to say was that they had been collecting brushwood for fire, and had presently espied on the opposite side, in among some rocks which came down to the river's brink, an old man and some women and little girls depositing, as it would appear, bags of clothes in a cavernous rock. When they saw them, it struck them that it was safe to cross; in any case the enemy's cavalry could not approach at this point. So they stripped naked, expecting to have to swim for it, and with their long knives in their hands began crossing, but going forward crossed without being wet up to the fork. Once across they captured the clothes, and came back again.


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