to condemn, because some other person has failed to keep


When they drew near, Seuthes bade Xenophon enter, and bring with him any two he might choose. As soon as they were inside, they first greeted one another warmly, and then, according to the Thracian custom, pledged themselves in bowls of wine. There was further present at the elbow of Seuthes, Medosades, who on all occasions acted as his ambassador-in-chief. Xenophon took the initiative and spoke as follows: "You have sent to me, Seuthes, once and again. On the first occasion you sent Medosades yonder, to Chalcedon, and you begged me to use my influence in favour of the army crossing over from Asia. You promised me, in return for this conduct on my part, various kindnesses; at least that is what Medosades stated"; and before proceeding further he turned to Medosades and asked, "Is not that so?" The other assented. "Again, on a second occasion, the same Medosades came when I had crossed over from Parium to rejoin the army; and he promised me that if I would bring you the army, you would in various respects treat me as a friend and brother. He said especially with regard to certain seaboard places of which you are the owner and lord, that you were minded to make me a present of them." At this point he again questioned Medosades, "Whether the words attributed to him were exact?" and Medosades once more fully assented. "Come now," proceeded Xenophon, "recount what answer I made you, and first at Chalcedon." "You answered that the army was, in any case, about to cross over to Byzantium; and as far as that went, there was no need to pay you or any one else anything; and for yourself, you added, that once across you were minded to leave the army, which thing came to pass even as you said." "Well! what did I say," he asked, "at your next visit, when 28 you came to me in Selybria?" "You said that the proposal was impossible; you were all going to Perinthus to cross into Asia." "Good," said Xenophon, "and in spite of it all, at the present moment, here I am myself, and Phryniscus, one of my colleagues, and Polycrates yonder, a captain; and outside, to represent the other generals (all except Neon the Laconian), the trustiest men they could find to send. So that if you wish to give these transactions the seal of still greater security, you have nothing to do but to summon them also; and do you, Polycrates, go and say from me, that I bid them leave their arms outside, and you can leave your own sword outside before you enter with them on your return."

to condemn, because some other person has failed to keep

When Seuthes had heard so far, he interposed: "I should never mistrust an Athenian, for we are relatives already[3], I know; and the best of friends, I believe, we shall be." After that, as soon as the right men entered, Xenophon first questioned Seuthes as to what use he intended to make of the army, and he replied as follows: "Maesades was my father; his sway extended over the Melanditae, the Thynians, and the Tranipsae. Then the affairs of the Odrysians took a bad turn, and my father was driven out of this country, and later on died himself of sickness, leaving me to be brought up as an orphan at the court of Medocus, the present king. But I, when I had grown to man's estate, could not endure to live with my eyes fixed on another's board. So I seated myself on the seat by him as a suppliant, and begged him to give me as many men as he could spare, that I might wreak what mischief I could on those who had driven us forth from our land; that thus I might cease to live in dependence upon another's board, like a dog watching his master's hand. In answer to my petition, he gave me 34 the men and the horses which you will see at break of day, and nowadays I live with these, pillaging my own ancestral land. But if you would join me, I think, with the help of heaven, we might easily recover my empire. That is what I want of you." "Well then," said Xenophon, "supposing we came, what should you be able to give us? the soldiers, the officers, and the generals? Tell us that these witnesses may report your answer." And he promised to give "to the common soldiers a cyzicene[4], to a captain twice as much, and to a general four times as much, with as much land as ever they liked, some yoke of oxen, and a fortified place upon the seaboard." "But now supposing," said Xenophon, "we fail of success, in spite of our endeavours; suppose any intimidation on the part of the Lacedaemonians should arise; will you receive into your country any of us who may seek to find a refuge with you?" He answered: "Nay, not only so, but I shall look upon you as my brothers, entitled to share my seat, and the joint possessors of all the wealth which we may be able to acquire. And to you yourself, O Xenophon! I will give my daughter, and if you have a daughter, I will buy her in Thracian fashion; and I will give you Bisanthe as a dwelling-place, which is the fairest of all my possessions on the seaboard[5]."

to condemn, because some other person has failed to keep

[3] Tradition said that the Thracians and Athenians were connected, through the marriage of a former prince Tereus (or Teres) with Procne, the daughter of Pandion. This old story, discredited by Thucydides, ii. 29, is referred to in Arist. "Birds," 368 foll. The Birds are about to charge the two Athenian intruders, when Epops, king of the Birds, formerly Tereus, king of Thrace, but long ago transformed into a hoopoe, intercedes in behalf of two men, { tes emes gunaikos onte suggene kai phuleta}, "who are of my lady's tribe and kin." As a matter of history, the Athenians had in the year B.C. 431 made alliance with Sitalces, king of the Odrysians (the son of Teres, the first founder of their empire), and made his son, Sadocus, an Athenian citizen. Cf. Thuc. ib.; Arist. Acharnians, 141 foll.

to condemn, because some other person has failed to keep

[4] A cyzicene monthly is to be understood.

[5] Bisanthe, one of the Ionic colonies founded by Samos, with the Thracian name Rhaedestus (now Rodosto), strongly placed so as to command the entrance into the Sacred mountain.

After listening to these proposals, they gave and accepted pledges of 1 good faith; and so the deputation rode off. Before day they were back again in camp, and severally rendered a report to those who sent them. At dawn Aristarchus again summoned the generals and officers, but the latter resolved to have done with the visit to Aristarchus, and to summon a meeting of the army. In full conclave the soldiers met, with the exception of Neon's men, who remained about ten furlongs off. When they were met together Xenophon rose, and made the following announcement: "Men, Aristarchus with his ships of war hinders us from sailing where we fain would go; it is not even safe to set foot on 3 board a vessel. But if he hinders us here, he hastens us there. 'Be off to the Chersonese,' says he, 'force a passage through the Sacred mountain.' If we master it and succeed in getting to that place, he has something in store for us. He promises that he will not sell you any more, as he did at Byzantium; you shall not be cheated again; you shall have pay; he will no longer, as now, suffer you to remain in want of provisions. That is his proposal. But Seuthes says that if you will go to him he will treat you well. What you have now to consider is, whether you will stay to debate this question, or leave its settlement till we have gone up into a land of provisions. If you ask me my opinion, it is this: Since here we have neither money to buy, nor leave to take without money what we need, why should we not go up into these villages where the right to help ourselves is conferred by might? There, unhampered by the want of bare necessaries, you can listen to what this man and the other wants of you and choose whichever sounds best. Let those," he added, "who agree to this, hold up their hands." They all held them up. "Retire then," said he, "and get your kit together, and at the word of command, follow your leader."

After this, Xenophon put himself at the head and the rest followed. Neon, indeed, and other agents from Aristarchus tried to turn them from their purpose, but to their persuasions they turned a deaf ear. They had not advanced much more than three miles, when Seuthes met them; and Xenophon, seeing him, bade him ride up. He wished to tell him what they felt to be conducive to their interests, and in the presence of as many witnesses as possible. As soon as he had approached, Xenophon said: "We are going where the troops will have enough to live upon; when we are there, we will listen to you and to the emissaries of the Laconian, and choose between you both whatever seems best. If then you will lead us where provisions are to be got in plenty, we shall feel indebted to you for your hospitality." And Seuthes answered: "For the matter of that, I know many villages, close-packed and stocked with all kinds of provisions, just far enough 9 off to give you a good appetite for your breakfasts." "Lead on then!" said Xenophon. When they had reached the villages in the afternoon, the soldiers met, and Seuthes made the following speech: "My request to you, sirs, is that you will take the field with me, and my promise to you is that I will give every man of you a cyzicene, and to the officers and generals at the customary rate; besides this I will honour those who show special merit. Food and drink you shall get as now for yourselves from the country; but whatever is captured, I shall claim to have myself, so that by distribution of it I may provide you with pay. Let them flee, let them creep into hiding-places, we shall be able to pursue after them, we will track them out; or if they resist, along with you we will endeavour to subdue them to our hands." Xenophon inquired: "And how far from the sea shall you expect the army to follow you?" "Nowhere more than seven days' journey," he answered, "and in many places less."

After this, permission was given for all who wished to speak, and many spoke, but ever to one and the same tune: "What Seuthes said, was very right. It was winter, and for a man to sail home, even if he had the will to do so, was impossible. On the other hand, to continue long in a friendly country, where they must depend upon what they could purchase, was equally beyond their power. If they were to wear away time and support life in a hostile country, it was safer to do so with Seuthes than by themselves, not to speak of all these good things; but if they were going to get pay into the bargain, that indeed was a godsend." To complete the proceedings, Xenophon said: "If any one opposes the measure, let him state his views; if not, let the officer put the proposition to the vote." No one opposed; they put it to the vote, and the resolution was carried; and without loss of time, he informed Seuthes that they would take the field with him.

Category of the article:powerchannel, click to enter>>