Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
After the death of King Darius of Persia, his son Artaxerxes takes possession of the throne. Cyrus, the younger son, with the support of his mother, Parysatis, begins to build up an army to wrest control of Persia from his brother. By pretending to need troops to fight the Persian general Tissaphernes and the Pisidians, Cyrus acquires armies from the Peloponnese, the Chersonese (under the Spartan exile Clearchus), the Thessalians (under Aristippus), the Boeotians (under Proxenus), the Stymphalians (under Sophaenetus), and the Achaeans (under Socrates, the mercenary).
Cyrus marches from Sardis to Tarsus, gathering the elements of his army. At Tarsus the troops under Clearchus refuse to move forward, arguing that they were not hired to fight against the king. Clearchus deals with the mutiny by first enlisting the loyalty of the men to himself (by pretending he will stay with them and not with Cyrus) and then by supporting Cyrus’s claim that the enemy is not the king but Abrocomas, one of the king’s commanders.
By marches averaging fifteen miles a day Cyrus brings his army from Tarsus to Issus, the last city in Cilicia, where he is joined by ships from the Peloponnese. The march continues through the gates of Cilicia and Syria without opposition.
When Cyrus arrives at the city of Myriandrus, Xenias the Arcadian and Pasion the Megarian desert the army. Cyrus refuses to pursue or punish them, declaring that they served him well in...
(The entire section is 1571 words.)
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