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ately remounted their horses; and then all the Medes ranged themselves in the train of Cyaxares, according to the sign given them by Cyrus. The Persians followed Cyrus, and the men of each other nation their particular prince. When they arrived at the camp, they conducted Cyaxares to the tent prepared for him. He was presently visited by almost all the Medes, who came to salute him, and to bring him presents; some of their own accord, and others by Cyrus's direction. Cyaxares was extremely touched at this proceeding, and began to find, that Cyrus had not corrupted his subjects, and that the Medes had the same affection for him as before.
a Such was the success of Cyrus's first expedition against Croesus and the Babylonians. In the council, held the next day in the presence of Cyaxares, and all the officers, it was resolved to continue the war.
Not finding in Xenophon any date that precisely fixes the years wherein the several event she relates happened, I suppose with Usher, though Xenophon's relation does not seem to favour this notion, that between the two battles against Croesus and the Babylonians, several years passed, during which all necessary preparations were made on both sides for carrying on the important war which was begun; and within this interval I place the marriage of Cyrus.
Cyrus then about this time thought of making a tour into his own country, about six or seven years after his departure, at the head of the Persian army. Cyaxares on this occasion gave him a signal testimony of the value he had for his merit. Having no male issue, and but one daughter, he offered her in marriage to Cyrus, with an assurance of the kingdom of Media for her portion. Cyrus had a greatful sense of this advantageous offer, and expressed the warmest acknowledgments of it; but thought himself not at liberty to accept it, till he had gained the consent of his father and mother; leaving therein a rare example to all future ages of the respectful submission and entire dependence which all children ought to show to their parents on the like
a Cyrop. 1. vi. p. 148-151. b Ibid. 1. viii. p. 228, 229.
c Xenophon places this marriage after the taking of Babylon. But as Cyrus at that time was above 60 years of age, and the princess not much less, and as it is improbable, that either of them should wait till that age before they thought of matrimony, I thought proper to give this fact a more early date. Besides, at that rate, Cambyses would have been but seven years old when he came to the throne, and but 14 or 15 when he died; which cannot be reconciled with the expeditions he made into Egypt and Ethiopia. nor with the rest of his history. Perhaps Xenophon might date the taking of Babylon much earlier than we do; but I follow the chronology of archbishop Usher. I have also left out what is related in the Cyropædia, (I viii. p. 228 ) that from the time Cyrus was at the court of his grandfather Astyages, the young princess had said she would have no other husband than Cyrus. Her father Cyaxares was then but 13 years old.
occasion, of what age soever they be, or to whatever degree of power and greatness they may have arrived. Cyrus married this princess on his return from Persia.
When the marriage solemnity was over, Cyrus returned to his camp, and improved the time he had to spare, in securing his new conquests, and taking all proper measures with his allies, for accomplishing the great design he had formed.
a Foreseeing (says Xenophon) that the preparations for war might take up a great deal of time, he pitched his camp in a very convenient and healthy place, and fortified it extremely. He there kept his troops to the same discipline and exercise, as if the enemy had been always in sight.
They understood by deserters, and by the prisoners brought every day into the camp, that the king of Babylon was gone into Lydia, and had carried with him vast sums of gold and silver. The common soldiers immediately concluded that it was fear which made him remove his treasures. But Cyrus judged he had undertaken this journey only to raise up some new enemy against him; and therefore he laboured with indefatigable application in preparing for a second battle.
Above all things he applied himself to strengthen his Persian cavalry, and to have a great number of chariots of war, built after a new form, having found great inconveniencies in the old ones, the fashion of which came from Troy, and had continued in use till that time throughout all Asia.
In this interval, ambassadors arrived from the king of India, with a large sum of money for Cyrus, from the king their master, who had also ordered them to assure him, that he was very glad he had acquainted him with what he wanted; that he was willing to be his friend and ally; and, if he still wanted more money, he had nothing to do but to let him know; and that, in short, he had ordered his ambassadors to pay him the same absolute obedience, as to himself. Cyrus received these obliging offers with all possible dignity and gratitude. He treated the ambassadors with the utmost regard, and made them noble presents; and taking advantage of their good disposition, desired them to depute three of their own body to the enemy, as envoys from the king of India, on a pretence of proposing an alliance with the king of Assyria, but in fact to discover his designs, and give Cyrus an account of them. The Indians undertook this employment with joy, and acquitted themselves of it with great ability.
I do not recognize in this last circumstance the upright conduct and usual sincerity of Cyrus. Could he be ignorant
a Cyrop.l. vi. p. 151. b Ibid. 1. vi. p. 156, 157
that it was an open violation of the laws of nations to send spies to an enemy's court under the title of ambassadors; which is a character that will not suffer those invested with it to act so mean a part, or to be guilty of such treachery? Cyrus prepared for the approaching battle, like a man who had nothing but great projects in view. He not only took care of every thing that had been resolved in council, but took pleasure in exciting a noble emulation amongst his officers, who should have the finest arms, be the best mounted, fling a dart, or shoot an arrow the most dexterously, or who should undergo toil and fatigue with the greatest patience. This he brought about by taking them along with him a hunting, and by constantly rewarding those that distinguished themselves most. Wherever he perceived that the captains took particular care of their men he praised them publicly, and showed them all possible favour in order to encourage them. When he made them any feast, he never proposed any other diversions than military exercises, and always gave considerable prizes to the conquerors, by which means he excited an universal ardour throughout his army. In a word, he was a general, who, in repose as well as action, nay even in his pleasures, his meals, conversation and walks, had his thoughts entirely bent on promoting the service. It is by such methods a man becomes an able and complete warrior.
In the mean time, the Indian ambassadors, being returned from the enemy's camp, brought word, that Croesus was chosen generalissimo of their army; that all the kings and princes in their alliance had agreed to furnish the necessary sums of money for raising the troops; that the Thracians had already engaged themselves; that from Egypt a great succour was marching, consisting of 120,000 men; that another army was expected from Cyprus; that the Cilicians, the people of the two Phrygias, the Lycaonians, the Paphlagonians, Cappadocians, Arabians, and Phoenicians, were already arrived; that the Assyrians were likewise come up with the king of Babylon; that the Ionians, Æolians, and most part of the Greeks living in Asia, had been obliged to join them; that Croesus had likewise sent to the Lacedæmonians, to bring them into a treaty of alliance; that the army was assembled near the river Pactolus, from whence it was to advance to Thymbra, which was the place of rendezvous for all the troops. This relation was confirmed by the accounts brought in, both by the prisoners and the spies.
Cyrus's army was discouraged by this news.
a Cyrop, 1. vi. p. 157.
b Ibid. 1. vi. p. 158, c Ibid. 1. vi. p. 159.
prince having assembled his officers, and represented to them the infinite difference between the enemy's troops and theirs, soon dispelled their fears, and revived their courage.
a Cyrus had taken all proper measures, that his army should be provided with all necessaries; and had given orders, as well for their march, as for the battle he was preparing to give; in the doing of which he descended to an astonishing detail, which Xenophon relates at length, and which reached from the chief commanders down to the very lowest subaltern officers; for he knew very well, that upon such precautions the success of enterprises depends, which often miscarry through the neglect of the smallest circumstances; in the same manner, as it frequently happens, that the playing or movement of the greatest machines is stopped through the disorder of one single wheel, though never so small.
This prince knew all the officers of his army by their names; and making use of a low, but significant comparison, he used to say, "He thought it strange that an artíficer "should know the names of all his tools, and a general "should be so indifferent, as not to know the names of all "his captains, which are the instruments he must make use "of in all his enterprises and operations." Besides, he was persuaded, that such an attention had something in it more honourable for the officers, more engaging, and more proper to excite them to do their duty, as it naturally leads them to believe, they are both known and esteemed by their general.
When all the preparations were finished, Cyrus took. leave of Cyaxares, who staid in Media, with a third part of his troops, that the country might not be left entirely defenceless.
Cyrus, who well knew how advantageous it is always to make the enemy's country the seat of war, did not wait for the Babylonians coming to attack him in Media, but marched forwards to meet them in their territories, that he might both consume their forage by his troops, and disconcert their measures by his expedition, and the boldness of his undertaking. After a very long march he came up with the enemy at Thymbra, a city of Lydia, not far from Sardis, the capital of the country. They did not imagine that this prince, with half the number of forces they had, could think of coming to attack them in their own country; and they were strangely surprised to see him come, before they had time to lay up the provisions necessary for the subsistance of their numerous army, or to assemble all the forces they intended to bring into the field against him.
c Ibid. 1. vi. p. 160, 161,
a Cyrop p. 158-163. b Ibid. I. v. p. 131, 13%.
The Battle of Thymbra, between Cyrus and Cræsus.
THIS battle is one of the most considerable events in antiquity, since it decided the empire of Asia between the Assyrians of Babylon and the Persians. "It was this consideration that induced M. Freret, one of my brethren in the Academy of Belles Lettres, to examine it with a particular care and exactness; and the rather, because, as he observes, it is the first pitched battle, of which we have any full or particular account. I have assumed the privilege of making use of the labours and learning of other persons, but without robbing them of the glory, as also without denying myself the liberty of making such alterations as I judge necessary. I shall give a more ample and particular description of this battle, than I usually do of such matters, because Cyrus being looked upon as one of the greatest captains of antiquity, those of the military profession may be glad to trace him in all his steps through this important action: moreover, the manner in which the ancients made war and fought battles, is an essential part of their history.
In Cyrus's army the companies of foot consisted of 100 men each, exclusively of the captain. Each company was subdivided into four parts or platoons, which consisted of 24 men each, not including the person that commanded. Each of these divisions was again subdivided into two files consisting in consequence of twelve men. Every ten companies had a particular superior officer to command them, which sufficiently answers to what we call a colonel; and ten of those bodies again had another superior commander, which we may call a brigadier.
c I have already observed that Cyrus, when he first came at the head of the 30,000 Persians to the aid of his uncle Cyaxares, made a considerable change in the arms of his troops. Two thirds of them till then only made use of javelins, or bows, and consequently could only fight at a distance from the enemy. Instead of these, Cyrus armed the greatest part of them with cuirasses, bucklers, and swords, or battle axes; and left few of his soldiers in light armour.
d The Persians did not know at that time what it was to fight on horseback. Cyrus, who was convinced that nothing was of so great importance towards the gaining of a battle, as cavalry, was sensible of the great inconvenience he laboured under in that respect, and therefore took wise and early
a Vol VI. of the Memoirs of the Academy of Belles Lettres, p. 532.
dIbid. 1. iv. p. 99, 100, and 1. v. p. 138.