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left to defend it. The Greeks, however, saved a portion of the baggage, while their countrymen continued pursuing the fugitives until they were thirty stadia distant. When informed of the plunder of their tents, they returned, put themselves once more in a posture of defence, and even offered to make another attack; but the natives again fled, leaving their wearied allies to sleep under arms upon the field they had so gallantly won, unrefreshed with food, and uncertain of the fate of their chief.
Morning brought them the news of their loss, and the intelligence that they were alone in the country of their enemies; for Ariæus, who commanded the Asiatics in Cyrus's army, and who fled on hearing of his death, declined the crown which the Greeks offered to win for him in place of the fallen prince, and soon after proved one of their worst foes.
The king, in the mean time, finding that to destroy this valiant band would be a task of much danger, attempted to effect his purpose by treachery, and accordingly sent persons to negotiate with them for delivering up their arms. This being indignantly refused, Tissaphernes came forward as their friend, to mediate, as he said, between them and his majesty for a safe conduct beyond his dominions; and, after considerable delay, during which food was provided for the Greeks according to the terms of truce, they moved across the country from Cunaxa, where the battle was fought, towards the Tigris. The exact position of that town is unknown; but it must doubtless have stood somewhere above the present Felugia, the ancient Ancobar or Macepracta, because, in the first place, after the fight, they passed through the Median Wall on their way to Sittace, which lay east of it. Now this wall ran from Macepracta, or Ancobar, or Sippara, to Opis or Samarra, at the confluence of the Tigris and Physcus. Secondly, there are no hills whatever in Babylonia below Felugia; and the one of which Xenophon speaks must have been higher up, and nearer to the Pylæ. We come to the same conclusion, when we reflect that the two large canals, which they crossed after passing the wall, must have been those which branched off below Felugia, and stretched towards the site of the present Bagdad and Ctesiphon.
Sittace, to which they next came, standing near the River Tigris, is probably to be looked for at Sheriat el
Beitha, above the large village of Kazemeen; this situation agreeing well with the distance from the river and from Opis, as it is given by Xenophon. Here the Greeks appear to have been needlessly apprehensive that they would not be permitted to pass the bridge of boats, but be hemmed in between the river and the canal, and destroyed by hunger or repeated attacks. Next morning, however, they experienced no interruption in passing the bridge, which consisted of thirty-seven boats or pontoons; and they afterward made four days' march to the Physcus, where stood Opis, a large and populous city. This Physcus is the Athem; and the ruins of Opis may be traced at present, near the junction of that river with the Tigris. Here the Greeks passed the former stream, 100 feet in breadth, by a bridge of which no vestige exists, and encountered an army marching to the king's assistance under one of his brothers.
From Opis, a march of thirty-five parasangs, performed in seven days, brought them opposite to Cænæ, a large city on the banks of the Tigris. Rennell supposes this to have been the Senn of Eastern geographers, which he places at the confluence of the lesser Zab with the Tigris. Of the former river, or Altun-su of the present day, Xenophon makes no mention. On the other hand, Cænæ cannot, as Kinneir suggests, be identified with Tecreet, that place being only between fifty and sixty miles above the Athem, instead of 120, at least, as indicated by the Grecian historian. At the Zabatus, which was 400 feet broad-and which, undoubtedly, was no other than the greater Zabthe army halted three days, which were passed in suspicious jealousy both by the Greeks and by the barbarians who accompanied them under Tissaphernes, the officer appointed by the king to provide for their wants. The result was a conference, in the course of which he convinced Clearchus, the Greek general, of his sincerity: a fatal conviction, which led to his own destruction; for, on the very morning after these solemn assurances, Clearchus himself, with four other leaders, twenty captains, and two hundred soldiers, having gone to the tent of the Persian for the purpose of refuting certain calumnies against the loyalty of the Greeks, the chiefs were seized and afterward executed by orders of the king, while the soldiers were cut to pieces by the barbarians.
Thus deprived of their officers, and fatally convinced of the hostile designs of the Persians, the Greeks flew to arms, on which immediately came forward Ariæus, Arteazus, Mithradates, and others, who attempted to excuse the transaction by imputing to Clearchus a violation of his oaths; adding, that the other generals were safe, and exhorting the army to surrender their weapons, which were, they said, the king's property. But the snare was too palpable. They upbraided Ariæus with his infamous treachery; challenged the Persians, as a proof of their sincerity, to send back to them Proxenus and Menon, whom they had declared to be alive; and refused indignantly to abandon their arms. The royal chiefs retired; and the Greeks, sad and dejected, passed the night in painful anxiety. Well it was for them that they had in their number some whose minds were more strongly nerved, and capable of exertion in the hour of danger; and one more especially, whose fortitude, energy, and judgment were fully equal to the fearful emergency in which they stood.
This leader was Xenophon, an experienced soldier of mature age, but only a volunteer, associated with Proxenus by the ties of friendship and hospitality. Unable, as may be well imagined, under such circumstances, to sleep soundly, he arose in consequence of a troubled dream. As soon as he awoke, the first thought that occurred to him was this: "Why do I lie here? the night wears away, and as soon as the day appears, it is probable the enemy will come and attack us; and if we fall under the power of the king, what can preserve us from being spectators of the most tragical sights, from suffering the most cruel torments, and from dying with the greatest ignominy? Yet no one makes preparation for defence, or takes any care about it; but here we lie, as if we were allowed to live in quiet. From what city, therefore, do I expect a general to perform these things? What age do I wait for? But, if I abandon myself to the enemy this day, I shall never live to see another."*
He accordingly arose, assembled the remaining captains of Proxenus's party, forcibly pointed out to them the perils of their situation, and offered either to take the command, or follow whomsoever they might appoint to lead them in
* Spelman's Xenophon, vol. i., p. 179.
this extremity. The consequence was an immediate feeling of confidence in Xenophon, and an entreaty that he would assume the direction of affairs. Before midnight, the whole remaining officers were assembled; and to them, at the request of an old captain, Hieronymus of Elis, he repeated all he had before said, and suggested what he thought advisable to be done in their position. The result was a confirmation of his appointment as general, and the nomination of other officers in the room of those they had lost. The night was passed in counsel; and by break of day the soldiers were informed of the resolution taken by the commanders, tendered their oaths, and received instructions. The morning found those who had lain down a prey to doubt and almost to despair, transformed into a resolute army, determined to defend themselves to the last extremity, and to make every sacrifice for the common welfare.
Another base attempt on the part of Mithradates, to entrap the Greeks by professions of friendship, was baffled by the prudence of the generals; and the very next afternoon saw them, after having burned all their carriages, tents, and superfluous baggage, across the Zabatus, unassailed, and marching in order of battle. Upon seeing this, the treacherous King of Pontus threw aside the mask, and appeared in the rear with some light-armed archers and slingers, approaching at first as a friend, but discharging his missiles at the Greeks, and retiring, while these dared not leave their ranks to pursue the flying enemy.
The loss thus sustained produced some anxiety; but the expedient suggested by Xenophon, of selecting the best Rhodian slingers, and forming a corps of light cavalry to drive off such assailants, restored confidence, and proved its wisdom by enabling them the very next day to inflict a severe chastisement on Mithradates, who accordingly left them, for the remainder of the march, unmolested. That night they reached Larissa, which the general describes as an uninhabited city, two parasangs in circuit, with walls twenty-five feet thick and 100 high, and built of bricks. Near it stood a pyramid of stone, 100 feet square and 200 in height. This station, which, as their two harassed marches were short, could not have been very far from the Zab, must almost certainly have been the same of which Mr. Rich describes the ruins under the name of Nimrod,
and which that gentleman supposes to have been the city mentioned by Xenophon. The pyramid observed by him, still 144 feet high, is doubtless the one that, in the days of the Anabasis, was probably revetted with stone masonwork, vestiges of which still remain at the western base. The name, indeed, is puzzling; and the only way to get rid of the difficulty is to suppose that this city occupied the site of the Nimrodian Resin, to which, as already suggested, the people of the country have prefixed the Arabic article Al. It is true that Ras ul Ain, formerly Ressaina, may, so far as analogy of sound can be admitted as proof, appear to have equal, if not superior, claims with Nimrod to identity with Resin, "which is between Nineveh and Caleh;" for some persons place Caleh at Hulwan, and others near Racca at Callinicum, at the confluence of the Euphrates and Khabour.
If the conjecture of Mr. Rich be well founded, there can be very little doubt that the ruins of Nineveh must stand for Mespila, in spite of dissimilarity of name. The march of six parasangs agrees exactly with the six caravan hours, or four of a horseman, given by him as its distance (or that of Mosul) from Nimrod; and there is neither city of ancient times, nor any other relics at this day, that can at all answer to the situation of Mespila. The plinth of polished stone, full of shells, fifty feet in breadth and height, and the brick wall 100 feet high and six parasangs in circuit, can apply to no other remains than those of Nineveh, which, at the era of the Anabasis, must still have been great and imposing. The haste of a perilous retreat will account for some inaccuracy of description, and possibly of name.
From Mespila they continued their way along the country on the left of the Tigris, occasionally harassed by the enemy, whom they always repulsed, until the sixth morning, when, passing over a hilly tract, they suffered from the slings and darts of the barbarians, who occupied the heights. They had already found it necessary to make a change in the order of march, more suitable to the nature of the country than the hollow square hitherto adopted; and, perceiving that they fought with the light-armed Persians at disadvantage, they made a start in the night, by which they threw their enemies so far in the rear as to be allowed to proceed three days without interruption. But