Do you choose to remain where you are in the “spirit

time:2023-11-30 02:30:39 source:Forget Your Life author:theory

[1] Larissa, on the side of the modern Nimrud (the south-west corner, as is commonly supposed, of Nineveh). The name is said to mean "citadel," and is given to various Greek cities (of which several occur in Xenophon).

Do you choose to remain where you are in the “spirit

From this place they marched one stage of six parasangs to a great deserted fortress [which lay over against the city], and the name of that city was Mespila[3]. The Medes once dwelt in it. The basement was 10 made of polished stone full of shells; fifty feet was the breadth of it, and fifty feet the height; and on this basement was reared a wall of brick, the breadth whereof was fifty feet and the height thereof four hundred; and the circuit of the wall was six parasangs. Hither, as the story goes, Medea[4], the king's wife, betook herself in flight what time the Medes lost their empire at the hands of the Persians. To this city also the king of the Pesians laid siege, but could not take it either by length of days or strength of hand. But Zeus sent amazement on the inhabitants thereof, and so it was taken.

Do you choose to remain where you are in the “spirit

[3] Opposite Mosul, the north-west portion of the ancient Nineveh, about eighteen miles above Larissa. The circuit of Nineveh is said to have been about fifty-six miles. It was overthrown by Cyrus in B.C. 558.

Do you choose to remain where you are in the “spirit

[4] The wife of Astyages, the last king of Media. Some think "the wall of Media" should be "Medea's wall," constructed in the period of Queen Nitocris, B.C. 560.

From this place they marched one stage--four parasangs. But, while still on this stage, Tissaphernes made his appearance. He had with him his own cavalry and a force belonging to Orontas, who had the king's daughter to wife; and there were, moreover, with them the Asiatics whom Cyrus had taken with him on his march up; together with those whom the king's brother had brought as a reinforcement to the king; besides those whom Tissaphernes himself had received as a gift from the king, so that the armament appeared to be very great. When they were close, he halted some of his regiments at the rear and wheeled others into position on either flank, but hesitated to attack, having no mind apparently to run any risks, and contenting himself with an order to his slingers to sling and his archers to shoot. But when the Rhodian slingers and the bowmen[5], posted at intervals, retaliated, and every shot told (for with the utmost pains to miss it would have been hard to do so under the circumstanecs), then Tissaphernes with all speed retired out of range, the other regiments following suit; and for the rest of the day the one party advanced and the other followed. But now the Asiatics had ceased to be dangerous with their sharpshooting. For the Rhodians could reach further than the Persian 16 slingers, or, indeed, than most of the bowmen. The Persian bows are of great size, so that the Cretans found the arrows which were picked up serviceable, and persevered in using their enemies' arrows, and practised shooting with them, letting them fly upwards to a great height[6]. There were also plenty of bowstrings found in the villages--and lead, which they turned to account for their slings. As a result of this day, then, the Hellenes chancing upon some villages had no sooner encamped than the barbarians fell back, having had distinctly the worst of it in the skirmishing.

[5] The best MSS read { Skuthai}, Scythians; if this is correct, it is only the technical name for "archers." Cf. Arrian, "Tact." ii. 13. The police at Athens were technically so called, as being composed of Scythian slaves. Cf. Aristoph. "Thesm." 1017.

[6] I.e., in practising, in order to get the maximum range they let fly the arrows, not horizontally, but up into the air. Sir W. Raleigh (Hist. of the World, III. x. 8) says that Xenophon "trained his archers to short compass, who had been accustomed to the point blank," but this is surely not Xenophon's meaning.

The next day was a day of inaction: they halted and took in supplies, as there was much corn in the villages; but on the day following, the march was continued through the plain (of the Tigris), and Tissaphernes still hung on their skirts with his skirmishers. And now it was that the Hellenes discovered the defect of marching in a square with an enemy following. As a matter of necessity, whenever the wings of an army so disposed draw together, either where a road narrows, or hills close in, or a bridge has to be crossed, the heavy infantry cannot help being squeezed out of their ranks, and march with difficulty, partly from actual pressure, and partly from the general confusion that ensues. Or, supposing the wings are again extended, the troops have hardly recovered from their former distress before they are pulled asunder, and there is a wide space between the wings, and the men concerned lose confidence in themselves, especially with an enemy close behind. What happened, when a bridge had to be crossed or other passage effected, was, that each unit of the force pressed on in anxiety to get over first, and at these moments it was easy for the enemy to make an attack. The generals accordingly, having recognsied the defect, set about curing it. To do so, they made six lochi, or divisions of a hundred men apiece, each of which had its own set of captains and under-officers in command of half and quarter companies. 21 It was the duty of these new companies, during a march, whenever the flanks needed to close in, to fall back to the rear, so as to disencumber the wings. This they did by wheeling clear of them. When the sides of the oblong again extended, they filled up the interstices, if the gap were narrow, by columns of companies, if broader, by columns of half-companies, or, if broader still, by columns of quarter-companies, so that the space between was always filled up. If again it were necessary to effect a passage by bridge or otherwise, there was no confusion, the several companies crossing in turns; or, if the occasion arose to form in line of battle, these companies came up to the front and fell in[7].


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