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Rahe Source: The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 101, No. 1 (Spring, 1980), pp. 79-96 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/294177 . Accessed: 15/08/2013 12:28
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See also H.3-4). 1 On the composition and nature of Cyrus' mercenary army. however. why Cyrus so esteemed Greek hoplites (1. Henry Blyth.4-11) that they formed the core of his army. and one of my anonymous reviewers for helpful advice.19. they had proven to be of value on the Greek mainland-but the Greeks of Asia had never been able to stand up for long to the forces of Cyrus the Great and Darius I. Shalom Perlman. I would like to thank Williamson Murray.42 on Thu. 21. he took with him a force of more than ten thousand Greek hoplites (Xen.THE MILITARY SITUATION IN WESTERN ASIA ON THE EVE OF CUNAXA* In the Spring of 401.9.00 ? 1980 by The Johns Hopkins University Press This content downloaded from 65. Roy. "The Ten Thousand. W.2. 7. "The Mercenaries of Cyrus. there were few well-trained and disciplined contingents of spearmen in the empire-and even the Immortals * While working on this article. Greek Mercenary Soldiers (Oxford 1933) 23-42.10.7. I The Persians had always been short of first-class heavy infantry. Parke. when Cyrus the Younger began his march up-country from Asia Minor towards Babylon to challenge his elder brother's right to the Persian throne. It is worth considering whether there had been a revolution in military tactics sometime thereafter rendering the younger Cyrus' employment of his Greek mercenaries expedient.1).6). Diod. see J.2.14-18) and from his extraordinarily deferential treatment of their principal commander Clearchus (1. in the Persian Wars.1 It is evident from Cyrus' use of these Greek mercenaries to intimidate their barbarian comrades-in-arms (Xen. 14." RSA 6-7 (1976-1977) 241-84. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . American Journal of Philology Vol. 1.6.88." Historia 16 (1967) 287-323. 1.88. It is not clear. They were no doubt less likely to desert to his brother than his barbarian troops (1. I received helpful support from the Cornell University Humanities Faculty Research Grants Committee.7. and. 101 Pp. An. Apart from the royal bodyguard of Ten Thousand Immortals. An. 79-96 0002-9475/80/1011-0079 $01.
Rostovtzeff [New Haven 1929] I 16-18 and Figure 4) with those depicted in Bovon. 1. short spears.R. Cameron.1. 3) Figures 2. to those of their subjects-does seem to be substantially in accord with the archaeological record. "New Aspects of Persepolitan Studies. 94-95. daggers. 0.80 PAU L A. Shapur Shahbazi. 136-37. The larger. Xen. S. Gow. A. rectangular shields nearly equalled in height and barely exceeded in breadth the human frame.8. G. "The Persian Satrapies and Related Matters. These could stand inde2 For the organization of the Persian army into separate corps of spearmen. Frozen Tombs of Siberia (Berkeley 1970) 219-21 with Plate 144. Anne Bovon. 87. 63-65." JHS 48 (1928) 156-57. V. Baur and M. 1. V. or the Arms of the Ancient Persians illustrated from Iranian Sources.4. 4 Cf. to rob them of the kinetic energy they needed if they were to do great harm.S. 56-59. see Hdt. (supra n. Hdt. Persepolis I (Chicago 1953) Plates 19. and those described by Xenophon (An. 50-52. An. the latter should be preferred-but neglects to note the degree to which alleged contradictions may be a consequence of scholarly misinterpretation of the Near Eastern evidence: see G. 3 Cf.103. 10. This content downloaded from 65. 22. 61. Similar shields. I. 7. "Notes on the Persae of Aeschylus." TAPA 108  1-9) has recently called into question Herodotus' reliability as a source of information regarding Persia.88.S.4 The leather seems to have been adequate to stop the arrows of enemy bowmen or. slashing swords. bowmen. Armed variously with bows. 19-20. C. Erich Friedrich Schmidt.3 the Great King's footsoldiers could normally defeat his barbarian foes. "Herodotus VII. 4. See Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko. Bruno Schroder "Zu Mikons Gemalde der Marathonschlacht in der Stoa Poikile.2 This dearth of first-class heavy infantry apparently did not pose any grave problems for the Persians. Herodotus' description of the arms and armor of the Persians-as opposed. RAHE lacked the equipment and coordination which made the hoplite phalanx so formidable. 5. Their wicker shields seem to have been constructed of sticks threaded through a wet sheet of leather.1 with A. at least. He correctly argues that.22.88. P.42 on Thu. F.12). and cavalry." JNES 32 (1973) 47-56 and A. have been found by Soviet scholars in the Pazyryk valley near the Chinese and Mongolian borders of the U. They were evidently standard equipment in much of Asia." JDAI 26 (1911) 281-88. dated to the Achaemenid period." Classical Studies in Honour of Henry Drisler (New York 1894) 94-125." Gymnasium 85 (1978) 487-500. 83-84. Williams Jackson." BCH 87 (1963) 579-602. Kimball Armayor ("Herodotus' Catalogues of the Persian Empire in the Light of the Monuments and the Greek Literary Tradition. In any case. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .7. the shield found at Dura-Europos in 1928 (The Excavations at DuraEuropos. 14. 120. ed.61. perhaps. where there is a contradiction between Herodotus' testimony and the Near Eastern evidence. and shields of wicker. "La Representation des Guerriers Perses et la Notion de Barbare dans la IreMoitie du Ve Siecle. 151. These sticks ran vertically and gave the shield its firmness and solidity.
the Persian archers could loose their volleys upon their opponents. and even the smaller 5 Hdt.6 Blyth's hypothesis similarly makes sense of the capacity of Pausanias' Lacedaemonian troops at Plataea to endure for some time a shower of Persian arrows (9.3. The hoplite's thrusting spear was substantially longer than that of his Persian counterpart. we must suppose that Persian archers could penetrate Greek hoplite shields. they possessed a decisive advantage. K. 102 with Bovon (supra n. For a discussion and bibliography. the heavy infantry could close with spear and slashing sword.42 on Thu. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .61-63). 6.C. 14.): An Interdisciplinary Inquiry (University of Reading 1977) 31-205. see Walter Donlan and James Thompson. The Effectiveness of Greek Armour Against Arrows in the Persian War (490-479 B. 19-20. By the late fifth century. 9. The slashing sword was of little use against the lance. and it also accounts for the tactics employed by Xenophon against the forces of Mithridates after Cunaxa (An.61.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 81 pendently and could be grouped together to form a palisade. If Henry Blyth is correct in his analysis of the kinetic energy which the Persian infantry bow could impart to arrows. but only at very close range. but had not yet closed with the enemy. 3) 595-96 and Figures 2. "The Charge at Marathon Again. It seems reasonable to suppose that the hoplites broke into a run when the rain of arrows began to take their toll.5 And. the Ten Thousand had little protection other than their hoplite shields. This content downloaded from 65. Cyrus' hoplites were more vulnerable than Miltiades' had been: against arrows and javelins. 3. 6 Many scholars doubt whether Athenian hoplites could have run eight stades and still have effectively engaged the enemy. Blyth is persuaded that the bronze armor of the Greeks was even more effective in protecting the areas it covered." CJ 71 (1976) 339-43.88. 7 Philip Henry Blyth.7 Once the Greeks had reached the enemy ranks. 40-42. These tactics were not effective against Greeks arranged in closed formation and armed with thrusting spears and overlapping hoplite shields. Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon (Berkeley 1970) 20-37. the hoplites were vulnerable only for the period in which they were within close range. Anderson.112): as Miltiades no doubt knew.88. The palisade could stop arrows." CW 72 (1979) 419-20. hoplites seem generally to have given up the heavy metal corslet and helmet for the lighter tunic and felt pilos: see J. From behind this protective wall.6-20). 99. but not men. "The Charge at Marathon: Herodotus 6. This explains why the Athenians at Marathon charged at a run (Hdt. when the enemy was thrown into confusion.112.
15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 6. it did not lose its kinetic energy. K. 456-59) and perhaps the Lydians (Hdt. Ebeling ("Die Riistung eines babylonischen Panzerreiters nach einem Vertrage aus der Zeit Darius II. 9. spear.2. and shock cavalry equipped with spears and sabres.13-14. Persian footsoldiers were inferior to Greek infantry. Suidas s. 10For the various sorts of Persian cavalry. An. Ancient Greek Horsemanship [Berkeley 1961] Plates 3-6." HeQ I perse sur un monument lycien. 7) 37. of the Art of War I [Westport 1975] 111-18). 72829. RAHE wicker shield carried by the Great King's heavy infantry was inadequate as a protective device against it: the hoplite could reach his opponent before his opponent reached him. 3.v. see Hdt. J.211.2. Cf.61.9 Of course. and Mycale (9.12-73 with Hans Delbruck.82 PAUL A.8 As Aeschylus observed.2). 427. knights armed with bow.13. 4-5. K. it was a struggle of spear against arrow.84 (with 61. 1.49. Xen.4.4. HF 157-64. 52-57.42 on Thu.88.109-15. Cyr. Xweo (9.8.1. 7. History.3-63. the Persian footsoldiers rarely fought alone. E. see Hdt. Anderson. i .1. Thermopylae (Hdt. See infra n. 147-49. 9 Cf. 432-33.2). "The Development of Roman Mailed Cavalry. 278. Hell.J-rrr). 85-86.207-33). An. 46. 1. 442-45. Anderson. 239-40 (see also 25-32.41." Syria 41 (1964) 195-212. (supra n.2." ZA 50  203-13) fails to recognize Gadal-Iama's function." JRS 57  161-63 with Plate IX: J. For control of their realm's vast plains and steppes. For the relative length of Persian and Greek spears. J.79. Anderson. Aeschylus Pers. 7. The Persians appear to have been imitators of the Assyrians (John W.8. 816-17) with Hdt.1.23. 402-403. 9. Xen.88.5 (esp. "Notes on Some Points in Xenophon's JHS 80 (1960) 7-8 with Paul Bernard. "Une piece d'armure hnrLXr. Nep. 7.1). 8 This content downloaded from 65. 7. 49. 30 and context: because he neglects the Herodotean evidence for Persian horse archers (9.8. The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands II [New York 1963] 382-87. and he could almost certainly plunge his heavy spear right through the flimsy wicker shield with full force into the man behind. 8. The Persian spears depicted on the Persepolis and Dieulafoy reliefs are slightly longer than their bearers are tall. Plataea Milt.3) in matters of horsemanship. 450-53. 6.94-105): when deprived of effective cavalry support. 61. See also Eur. 7. and sabre could defeat by a process of attrition even the Roman legions-the best of the ancient world's massed infantrywhen they lacked an auxiliary cavalry force adequate to protect the army's flanks and to keep the enemy's mounted arThe spear was superior to the arrow in one important respect: in perforating and penetrating protective gear.376. Cvr. The Achaemenid Kings did not learn the lesson of Marathon (Hdt. the Achaemenids depended less on their archers and charioteers than on their cavalry-the last including horse archers capable of firing volley after volley as they circled the enemy. 188-205. K. knights in light armor who hurled javelins into the enemy ranks. 1. Yigael Yadin. Eadie.?' In the open terrain of Asia. estimates that the Greeks' spears were seven to eight feet in length. 416-17..
88. He could use an independent force of peltasts and hoplites to charge when the enemy approached. Polyaen. there was only one expedient: the hoplite commander had to find a way to keep them out of range. A cavalry assault at that point could turn the flank. in the Asian heartland. Thuc. 4. when supplied with the lighter Persian arrows.71. there were ways for infantry to counter. 6.3. W. Thuc. run out of ammunition-and.6-11).5. however. the peltasts and hoplites were of little use against horse archers and mounted javelin hurlers. but this special force was itself vulnerable to the cavalrymen's weapons. At the right end of the phalanx stood a soldier whose entire right side was exposed. Cretan archers.29. 272-77. and the peltasts and hoplites would tire well before the enemy horse (3. See also Xen. 9) I 53-58. 5. Unfortunately. if not defeat shock cavalry. 1.3. Tarn. 4.9-11). The hoplite shield protected its bearer's left side and the right side of the man to his left.13-17). see John Keegan. An imaginative Greek commander could station a corps of peltasts on the left and right flanks to blunt the enemy charge. Hellenistic Naval and Military Developments (Cambridge 1930) 89-91. 10. For the difference between Greek and Roman infantry.6-20.9.96. 17-33. 12 This content downloaded from 65.7-8. 3. Similarly.2.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 83 chers and spear-throwers out of range.3. see Delbriick (supra n. a Greek general could post hoplite reserves near the flanks as reinforcements (6. The Face of Battle (New York 1976) 97-98. Against these horsemen.11 The comparatively primitive Greek phalanx-lacking the independent maniples which gave the Roman army its flexibility-was still more vulnerable. But these light-armed troops would eventually.13 n Plut. could also play a role (3. 5.8. Crass. the Parthian general Surenas employed camels to carry reserve arrows: W.5.88.12 Of course. 7. 2. These could presumably wheel about to meet a calvary thrust head on. their mounted Persian opponents were in a far better position to replenish their stock of arrows and javelins. An. These agile footsoldiers could dodge the oncoming horses and harrass and sometimes even wound or kill their riders with sword and javelin (Xen.11-18. rout the army's right wing. An. It made more sense to employ Rhodian slingers. who could use lead bullets rather than rocks and outdistance thereby the Persians. and send a ripple through the infantry formation which might disrupt it altogether.16. if hard pressed. For the ripple effect.42 on Thu. The manner in which cavalry could turn the tide is illustrated by Hdt.19). 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .5-6.3. 13 In later times.
At this time. Best. G. See Anderson. Xenophon nowhere describes the weaponry of the Assyrian 'hoplites' (An. Xenophon calls all heavy infantry hoplites. they could stand up neither to cavalry (Xen.3.84 PAUL A. E. 15.23-24). 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 108-110) has shown. 2. In the Cyropaedia.3) carried long spears and wooden shields roughly comparable to the weapons of the Greek hoplites. Cyr.14 If. 7.8. has noted. 7. See also Hdt.16 Calvary could normally serve only an ancillary function-picking off stray hoplites who had left the phalanx to ravage or seek sustenance. 14) 124.11.5. much of the countryside was too rugged for the unshod horses of antiquity.89. Polyaen. Thracian Peltasts and Their Influence on Greek Warfare (Groningen 1969). and other light-armed troops who wandered on to level ground. 15As J.23). Ancient Greek Horsemanship 89-92. the Persian 'hoplites' are distinguished from light-armed troops as OwQaxop6QoL (6. P. see H.3.33-34. 86-89. The Greek and Macedonian Art of War (Berkeley 1957) 48. the Persians were still deficient in heavy infantry. Hipparch.88. 7) 115-19.3-6. On the increasing use of peltasts in coordination with hoplites in the fifth century and thereafter." AJA 84 (1980). and the introduction of the peltast phalanx was a Greek and Macedonian innovation.32-33. 4. Gugel. 16 Xen. The peltast revolution contributed little to the advance in the art of war that made Cyrus' venture possible. 54) nor to the hoplite phalanx.1. As Best (op. For their use at Cunaxa. peltasts played a far larger role in warfare in the hills and mountains than on the level ground. This content downloaded from 65. Hell. Of those he so designates.2) can be cited to the contrary.10. 5). G. Hdt. 9. in Boeotia. 4. archers. On their own in open country. An. see J. They carried wicker shields (yeQQa)and not oa:ribc? (7. "Die Aufstellung von Kyros' Heer in der Schlacht von Kunaxa (zu Xen.5. it was probably because it had not in the past been required to defend their realm. routing those peltasts. to a lesser degree. Eq. In the long run.2].3. 7. RAHE Even with the addition of fifty horsemen. 42-45 [to be read with Polyaen. not peltasts. Iphicrates' peltasts needed the protection afforded by Callias' hoplite phalanx when the younger Spartan hoplites sallied forth to drive them away. 1. 1. Xenophon's Ten Thousand found retreat in the face of half-hearted Persian harrassment difficult (3. a hoplite army unsupported by a strong cavalry force would be helpless in much of Asia. Except in Thessaly and.39-40. 8.4.3-5.42 on Thu. cit.). 2. 5. 16. Hell. 1.15 The situation was different in mainland Greece.9.1.8. The Great King had more than enough light-armed troops of his own. (supra n. P. in the late fifth century. cf. 8. only the Great King's Egyptian troops (An. See my article "The Annihilation of the Sacred Band at Chaeronea.88. Greek hoplites were the picked troops of fourth century Persia. Adcock.1.19ff. Best.3." Gymnasium 78 (1971) 241-43.5. F. and 14 See Anderson (supra n.2.15). 8.13. 6. and Chabrias used hoplites. Neither Iphicrates' famous defeat of the Spartan mora (Xen.33-34.11-17) nor Chabrias' feat in facing down Agesilaus (Diod. 4.
but probably not in action. when armed with the sarissa. It is difficult to see how one could keep the butt end of a spear against the thigh of a fast moving horse.1.3. except in time of siege or during a campaign of attrition. M. This is open to objection on a number of grounds. 13.2. 16) 48-53.15) in support of the view that the cataphract of Roman times overcame the difficulty posed by the lack of stirrups by supporting the shaft of his lance on a loop attached to the charger's neck and by resting the butt end against the horse's thigh so that the animal's weight drove it home and he was not dislodged in the process. 7. the 17 Adcock (supra n. "An Ancient Armored Force.2. depict the manner in which the lance was transported by cataphracts on the march. 6. carried it in the right hand: see Bernard Andreae. If one succeeded in doing so and rammed the lance home. An.8.) claims that the lance was tied to (not against) the horse's thigh by a loop. cit. 66. but even there the shock it delivers is more often psychological than physical. Das Alexandermosaik aus Pompeji (Recklinghausen 1977) Plates 5. Encumbered with a corselet of scale armor and poised precariously atop his steed. Rattenbury.4.6." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 26 (1972) 273-91 with plates." CR 56 (1942) 113-16. It has been suggested to me that his description may.6-8.4. Shock cavalry can be effective in flank attack.3-126.96.36.199 but would not have enabled them to penetrate the phalanx. 70. cites Heliodorus (Aethiopica 9. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .73.2. H. the horseman kept his seat only through the pressure of his knees. In this respect.2. Spear.111.18-19).64. 11. Alexander's cavalry. Any apparatus designed to use the horse's weight to drive home a lance must be rigged up so that the horse's shoulders bear the burden. 3. 81. The effectiveness of ancient shock cavalry was severely hampered by the lack of stirrups. Bivar. Rattenbury's suggestion receives no support from the study of the representations of heavy lancers in action-which show them wielding the lances with both hands: see A.1. 44. The addition of the stirrup would have given the cavalrymen a firmer seat and would have allowed them to couch lances in the fashion of the medieval knights. 18 R. "Cavalry Equipment and Tactics on the Euphrates Frontier.88.42 on Thu. 4. 96.88. 21.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 85 running down or protecting the retreating members of a broken phalanx." AJA 81 (1977) 323-39. 23-25. 84. 78. one would probably cripple the horse in the process.17 This could be extremely important-but. One can easily illustrate these uses of cavalry from Thucydides: 1. 5. Markle III.1. and Related Armor. He will have been in serious danger of being unhorsed whenever he delivered a blow with his sabre or came within reach of an enemy soldier (Xen. 68. it was rarely decisive. 98.6. "The Macedonian Sarissa. in fact. D. The hindquarters are too fragile for the task.1. Minor M. It is worth noting that Heliodorus (loc. This native of Emesa may well have seen cataphracts. This content downloaded from 65.
the pair of automatons did not collapse until directly above the bayonets of the front rank. Polyaen.18-19 seems to presuppose equine timidity. they opened a gap through which a wedge. In 1812. 439-63. 12) 94-97. 262-72. however. continuing the charge for several paces. of the regiment followed. 1. 12] 94-97. and its rider with it. The locus classicus is Hans Delbruck.31-32. Oman (supra n. This content downloaded from 65. RAHE dramatic success of the British square at Waterloo is decisive: no horse that has not gone berserk will gallop into a solid mass of men. at Garcia Henandez.3-4.2. of Bannockburn. A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages2 (London 1924) I 149-67.88. and of Nancy. of Granson.14. In the latter battle. cannot hope to charge through the phalanx. It came about because one of the dragoon horses. 7. Geschichte der Kriegskunst III (Berlin 1907) 152-59.21 Only when a shower of missiles. though evidently superior to the cavalry accompanying the Athenian force." Xen. An. Field Marshall Fedor von Bock's Dragoons of the King's German Legion did break through a soldily formed square of French infantrymen.111.1 where it is taken for granted that the Thessalian cavalry.22 This simple point of animal behavior needs emphasis. or smash through a wall of shields. Procop. 21) II 84-100 with 73-84. Ancient historians have taken cognizance of the capacity of the 19Keegan (supra n. 153-59) of equine behavior. one of the rarest occurrences in contemporary warfare. These battle descriptions need revision in light of Keegan's recent discussion ([supra n. It was the failure to use horse artillery at Waterloo that rendered the French cavalry ineffective: Keegan (supra n. indeed. 153-59. a phalanx of spearmen can easily withstand a cavalry charge. 4. Carrying these down. moving on a true course and at some speed. 111-23. 3. of Morat. 20This is well illustrated for ancient times by Hdt. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . can the horsemen swoop down and skewer or hack away at the scattered footsoldiers.88. See also Thuc. helps to explain why the event had no counterpart at Waterloowas. As Keegan (154-55) puts it. or a frontal assault by infantry has disrupted the formation and destroyed its cohesiveness.86 PAUL A. charge into a nest of spears. 22 It is particularly instructive to compare Bannockburn with Falkirk: cf. Hans Delbruck.8. Goth. of Courtrai. The same can be said of William the Conqueror's victory at Hastings: I 149-67. 4. II 84-100. 21 See Charles Oman.42 on Thu.128.2-3. 630-59. The dead horse had done what living flesh and blood could not. The exception proves the rule.20 This is the lesson of Hastings. an attack on an exposed flank. and then the remainder. Die Perserkriege und die Burgunderkriege (Berlin 1887) 169251. Edward I's employment of his archers made all the difference. was killed in mid-stride.19 If properly trained and deployed in terrain preventing attack on its flanks. act as a giant projectile to batter a hole in the face of the square. 12) 159. "What happened on that occasion.
if any psychological effect on his horse. and 86 B. for the date of the stirrup's appearance.C. Medieval Technology and Social Change [Oxford 1962] 1-38 with P. the Greeks put less emphasis on it. Anderson. 7. 13) 53-54. Mounted Shock Combat. their horsemen. 88. See supra n." AJA 82 (1978) 488-91 with Rahe (supra n.26 It is in light of all of this that we should consider the attitude of the Greeks with respect to cavalry. 23 This content downloaded from 65.196. 16) 50-51. the evidence does not support the notion that the Sacred Band was shattered by a cavalry charge. Hammond. 18]): massed infantry stood up to medieval cavalry in a great many battles. This fundamental error led one prominent student of the subject to suppose that the cataphract of later times could charge right into the phalanx.C. As J. Anderson has pointed out (Ancient Greek Horsemanship 218 n. the Stirrup. A. Sawyer's critical review. see Bivar [supra n. Ancient Greek Horsemanship 15-39. They can have had little. 18) reports that they died in their ranks.88. 26 In exaggerating the technical advance marked by the introduction of the stirrup. In European Greece.27 Tarn (supra n. Ogilvy.C. ill-equipped and less agile. Bernard S. and with J. Series in Language and Literature 10  1-13. H. Having less use for cavalry than the peoples of Asia." University of Colorado Studies. 24 Tarn (supra n. 18) 338-39. 27 Anderson. political and social consequences which it did not have (cf." Klio 31 (1938) 215. Bachrach. but places a similar emphasis on equipment. 13) 73. "The Two Battles of Chaeronea (338 B. 14). See Hdt. L. is more cautious. and Feudalism. Plutarch (Pel. 64).). 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Adcock.42 on Thu. "Charles Martel. a competent general could almost always find a position for his troops that would shield the flanks of his phalanx from cavalry assault. Adcock (supra n.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 87 unbroken phalanx to fend off a cavalry assault. 25 Cf. Markle (supra n. N. (supra n. "The Stirrup and Feudalism." Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 7  49-75.88.25 These and other later advances in military technology may have given the cavalryman greater confidence. Lynn White attributes to it military. K. P & P 24  90-95. 62-66. G. To the best of my knowledge.23 but they have generally assumed that this was due to a deficiency in equipment. 140-54. D. "The Use of the Sarissa by Philip and Alexander of Macedon.24 It has lead another historian recently to argue that the Macedonian cavalry-deployed in a wedge-shaped formation and armed with the sarissa-cut right through the Theban Sacred Band at Chaeronea in 338 B. 21 and context. 16) 50-51. none of the ancient historians who have discussed the tactics used by infantry in fending off cavalry has drawn attention to the behavior of the horse. Their horses were smaller and less strong than those of the barbarians to the East. Ancient Greek Horsemanship 128-30.
called in the Athenians. The pre-eminent Persian general during the reigns of Xerxes I and Artaxerxes I was the satrap of Syria Megabyzus. Protected from flank attack and from missiles projected by enemy horsemen.88 PAUL A. and killed their satrap the King's uncle Achaemenes. Megabyzus fled from the court to Syria with the remaining Athenians and launched a rebellion. Megabyzus' promise was not honored. bottling up Athens' fleet in the Delta. was one of the five marshals in command of the Persian army on its march into Greece two years later. but it is not hard to guess. the heavy infantry of Greece could not be stopped. Artaxerxes commissioned Megabyzus to restore order. Western Asia's satraps normally employed Greek mercenaries as a This content downloaded from 65. Artaxerxes finally gave way to the entreaties of his embittered mother and allowed her to execute the rebel leader and fifty of the Athenians. Photius nowhere states that Megabyzus owed his victories to Greek hoplites. Megabyzus inflicted severe defeats on two Persian armies before negotiating a reconciliation with Artaxerxes. coordinating the infantry of the West with the cavalry of the East. married Xerxes' libidinous daughter Amytis. it could be decisive in Asia. This Megabyzus crushed the rebellion of Babylon in 482.88. There. Hellenic soldiers of fortune were nothing new in the Eastern Mediterranean. His honor besmirched. and played a decisive role in installing Artaxerxes on the Achaemenid throne when Xerxes was assassinated in 465. In his epitome of Ctesias' account of the revolt. In the 450s.88. but it is reasonable to speculate that this was so. In 449. The addition of firstclass cavalry would make little difference in mainland Greece. Artaxerxes' mother Amestris seems to have been particularly fond of her brother-in-law Achaemenes and was enraged when he was killed. RAHE It was perhaps inevitable that someone sooner or later think of combining the best of both worlds. when the Egyptians revolted. and finally securing the surrender of the rebel leader and his Greek allies on promise of safe conduct. It is not certain who first matched Greek hoplites with barbarian cavalry. defeating the Egyptians.42 on Thu. He did just that. Like the Saite Pharoahs of Egypt before them. five years after the capitulation. the grandson of the likenamed confederate of Darius I. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . even an adequate cavalry contingent could afford hoplites the cover which the terrain provided them in Europe.
ML No. 121. Darius II's general Artasyras finally succeeded in putting down Artyphios' revolt only by bribing the rebel's Greek mercenaries. Parke. long familiarity with Greek practices. Vesp. The mercenaries taken when the city fell turned out to be Peloponnesians. 12. Diod.2-117. Artyphios. the satrap of Lydia. mentions Megabyzus and alludes to Artyphios and Pissouthnes as foreshadowing Cyrus. 1. 2. He was certainly bolder and perhaps inspired by greater ambition than Megabyzus.19. Ar. 283. Diod. was employing Greek mercenaries by the time of the Samian rebellion in 440 (Thuc.88. Pers. 7. Artyphios twice defeated the king's army. 51-52. and Pissouthnes.115. the Carian stronghold of Pissouthnes' bastard son and Athens' ally Amorges. Thuc.2-4. 24-28. 77. 4. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but he was apparently not an innovator in battlefield tactics. see ML No. Per. Cyr. This content downloaded from 65. Like his father. 156-60. 153. 8. 178-82.6-75. 1) 23.3.28 The historical record is more substantial for the rebellions of Megabyzus' son Artyphios and Lydia's satrap Pissouthnes three decades later: they both substituted Greek hoplites for Persian infantry and did so to great effect. M. 109-110.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 89 supplement to the feudal levy of their provinces.27-28. It is hard to see how a satrap with the limited resources of his province could otherwise prove so formidable to the King.26). 161-69.43.26. 11. 7. Pers. For Egypt's Saite Pharoahs.3. Thuc. 10-13. and it took the Spartan intervention in the eastern Aegean to enable him to stamp out the last embers of rebellion by capturing lasus. 8. Megabyzus had all that was required to make this advance in the art of war-a genius for things military. Schol. 10. 29 Ctes.8. 81-82.104. Pissouthnes.26.1-7. (supra n.8. 8. PCPhS Suppl. 8. 112.70. Greece and Egypt in the Archaic Age. 4. Hdt.88. See Xen.82. 1. Hdt. Tissaphernes found it necessary to deal with Pissouthnes in similar fashion. 2 (1970) 15-22.4.74. Cf. 22-43. His predecessors had demonstrated that the armies of the 28 Hdt 3. Ctes. 12.42 on Thu. The evidence suggests that Cyrus' rebellion was part of a larger pattern.28.152-54. and close ties with Athens which controlled the seas through which he would need to transport the hoplites from the European mainland to Syria's distant shores. Plut.29 It is a measure of the importance of the advance in the art of war marked by the employment of these hoplites that the Great King himself was soon to be dependent upon Greek mercenaries for his security (Xen. M. Austin.2. 3.2-3. 55). Cyr.4-5. but says nothing about the importance of the use of Greek hoplites in conjunction with Asiatic cavalry.
the Murasu firm dominated the local economy. however. when Cyrus marched to Cunaxa. was limited by their inability fully to dispose of their land: the King's law allowed the creditor to seize the crops. As a consequence of the added burden. draft animals. By the time of Darius II.88. It rented land. farming equipment. RAHE Great King were vulnerable to attack by a force made up of Greek hoplites and barbarian cavalry. the feudal system had deteriorated. What encouraged him to do so deserves investigation.42 on Thu. the native entrepreneur to whom the colonist leased his land and the banker from whom he borrowed were probably the same man. the military situation was complicated by one other important fact: at least in Mesopotamia and presumably elsewhere as well. the Achaemenid monarchs had originally settled their military colonists on tracts of about seventy acres-more than ample. some of his vassals were living on one-fifteenth of the original allotment. and Cyrus merely emulated their example. By Darius II's reign.90 PAUL A. That allotment was still expected to support a single trooper and. He departed from their practice apparently only in marching on the empire's heartland. if leased to a native entrepreneur. and canals from the King. these tracts had been divided and subdivided again and again over time among the descendants of the original colonists. In the neighborhood of Nippur. In the absence of a law of primogeniture. the feudal gentry. the King's army was in a state of decay. Their ability to borrow. but not the fief. and the use of the canals to the local peas- This content downloaded from 65.88. and the military colonists. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It leased land from the great magnates. to provide the means to pay the fixed annual assessment: nothing had changed except the number of mouths to feed. In that region. the military colonists had to borrow in bad times in order to pay the royal duty. II In 401. to provide for the well-being and equipment of a member of one of the various divisions of the royal army. in good and bad year alike. This can best be seen in the cuneiform records of Babylonia. In practice.
421 when Darius II mustered some of his troops at Uruk. marketed the produce. This is evident from a cuneiform document dated to January. for the charioteer to keep his steeds under control and his vehicle upright. When the royal summons came. you now hold because my father once adopted your father. In the economy as a whole. and paid in silver the royal duty on the land it leased and the rent due the landowners and the King. two iron spears and a mina of silver for provisions and I will fulfill the service-duties which weigh on our lands. Without constant drill. Horse Land. It was not easy for the archer to hit the mark. Among those called up was a Jew whose father had been forced to adopt one of the Murasu in order to cover his debts. with it. This content downloaded from 65. the Horse Land of my father. a buckler. but. a helmet. So give me a horse with a groom and harness. It is an indication of the straits they were in that some found the means to evade the law against the sale or exchange of Bow Land.88. the King's soldiers were useless.42 on Thu. an iron attachment for my buckler. Impoverishment could and did deprive many military colonists of the leisure and equipment necessary for regular practice. mediating between the bureaucracy through which the King raised his revenues and the feudal system which provided him with his army. part of his land was transferred to the firm.88. 120 arrows of two sorts.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 91 ants. In the best of times. this arrangement probably served the King very well-but the lack of a law of primogeniture had the effect over time of upsetting the delicate balance struck between the public purse and the royal army to the detriment of the latter. a caparison of iron. and Chariot Land. the heirs struck a deal: In the joy of his heart. for the cavalryman-particularly in an age before the invention of the stirrup-to execute complicated maneuvers without losing his seat. a leather breastplate. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . native entrepreneurs such as the Murasu served an essential function. went partial responsibility for providing the King with a cavalryman. When the father died. The firm collected rent in dates and perhaps barley at harvest time. Gadal-Iama the Jew has spoken thus to the son of Murasu: the planted and ploughed fields.
31 Stolper (supra n.30 Gadal-Iama was probably not typical of the military colonists. 55-62. 30) I 158-215. Hell. 3. but not full title.' Beitrdge zur Achaimenidengeschichte.10-11. RAHE The fact that Gadal-Iama had no horse of his own tells us all that we need to know about his competence as a horse archer and mounted spearman. 18 (1972) 15-58. Muhammad A. From the beginning. "Le Fief dans la Babylonie Achemenide. 98-106. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . See. Guillaume Cardascia. The best discussion of this document and of the crisis of Persian feudalism in general is Cardascia. Most if not all of the mortgages records found in the Murasu archives can be taken as evidence of forfeiture. See also his Les Archives di Murasu 7-8. farm equipment. the record of the mortgage was destroyed. 423. relatively expensive. 158-215." University of California Publications in Semitic Philology 9 (1928) 269-77. 30 This content downloaded from 65. 140-41. 82-83." Recueils de la Societe Jeanl Bodin 1 (1958) 55-88.3' The agricultural surplus which had been put to such uses in the sixth century Museum of Anthropology of the University of California No. In normal circumstances. "An Agreement Between a Babylonian Feudal Lord and his Retainer in the Reign of Darius II. Xen. "Achaemenid Babylonia. I 39-55. 514-18. Historia Einzel. op. For the role played by the Murasu. especially. If he failed to meet the terms of the agreement. and water.92 PAUL A.4." Festschrift fiir Wilhelm Eilers (Wiesbaden 1967) 37-42.4. 155-60. 9-68: first published by Henry Frederick Lutz. cit.42 on Thu. The proximity of this twomonth period to the time when Darius II is thought to have been mobilizing his forces for the struggle with Sogdianus is suggestive: if Matthew Stolper is correct.88. 5. and the extremely high incidence of mortgages issued in May and June. Les Archives du Murasu [Paris 1951] 179-82). and never paid off is symptomatic of a crisis. Situations similar to that of Gadal-Iama pop up elsewhere: cf. when a local landowner mortgaged his property and subsequently paid off the debt. 61-79. Fox. "Die Lehensbeziehungen in Babylonien unter den ersten Achameniden. but the degree to which they also found themselves in great difficulty is strikingly evident from a close examination of the Murasu archives. 527-28. "Politische und wirtschaftliche Geschichte.15." Ancient Mesopotamia: Socio-Economic History (Moscow 1969) 296-311. 6. 126-30. the deck was stacked in favor of the entrepreneur. 29 n. I have adopted the English translation of Robin Lane Fox (Alexander the Great [London 1975] 159: cf.88. Matthew W. Stolper's Management and Politics in Later Achaemenid Babylonia (University of Michigan 1974) is indispensable. the military colonists in the neighborhood of Nippur apparently had to borrow substantial sums in order to equip themselves. Dandamayev. Land appears to have been relatively cheap and draft animals. 118-20. the firm retained the document and seized control of his land.
it made perfect sense for Cyrus discreetly to amass a Greek hoplite army (Xen. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . III The consequences of the revolution in military tactics effected by the satraps of Western Asia and of the partial disintegration of the feudal system in Mesopotamia can hardly have escaped the notice of Cyrus: the vulnerability of the King's army had been demonstrated often enough in the past. Parker and Waldo H. 423-the months when there was a high incidence of mortgages in the Nippur area. 71. 48: cf. the eclipse of 21 March 424 recorded at 52.192). to make a mad dash for his brother's richest province (Hdt. Babylonian Chronology [Providence 1956] 18) indicates that Darius was not sufficiently in control of his own base of operations to mount an attack against Sogdianus until March. Thus.1. A Historical Commentary on Thucydides III (Oxford 1956) 505]. 1. 12. An. 423 at the earliest.50 [n.88.58) which confirms the reading of the text of the British Museum Tablet. Unfortunately. At least in Babylonia. 30) thought it possible to place Artaxerxes' death quite late in 424 where its presence would enable the interregnum to include the critical months. we will have to choose between Stolper's hypothesis and Ctesias' figures. 45.1: Arnold Gomme. 8. an interregnum of eight months separated Artaxerxes I's death and Darius II's elimination of the usurper Sogdianus. By a simple emendation of British Museum No. 33342-which indicates that Artaxerxes was dead and that Darius was already recognized at Babylon as King on 16 August 424-Stolper (I 187 n. and it may well be the case that eight months separated his death and Darius' announcement of his claim to the throne-but the evidence from the region just to the South of Babylon (Richard A. it is important that the interregnum include May and June. after joining it with a corps of barbarian calvary. Dubberstein. It is in light of this fact that we must judge Cyrus' decision to march on the empire's heartland. According to Ctesias (Pers. a decay in the economic foundations of Persia's military strength had accompanied the advances in the art of war made by the satraps of Western Asia. Unless we are to abandon both Thucydides' statement and the actual text of the cuneiform tablet.6-2.42 on Thu. Apart from the royal Stolper (I 176-78 with notes) does not come fully to grips with the chronological difficulties posed by his hypothesis. Whether the interregnum includes these months depends upon the dating of Artaxerxes' death. 1.1. Diod.1 who seems to have rounded Ctesias' figures).64.5) and. This content downloaded from 65.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 93 was nonexistent late in the fifth.b. I see no reason not to prefer the former: Artaxerxes seems to have died in the winter of 425/4. For Stolper. he neglected the Thucydidean evidence (4.88.
Cyrus could occupy Babylonia and employ its vast resources in preparing an army adequate for the struggle to come. Diod. even then.22. the very size of Persia's land empire was a great source of weakness: it was extremely difficult for the Great King to collect a large army on short notice. Cyrus' father Darius II seems to have done just that in the late 420s when Sogdianus' murder of Artaxerxes I's legitimate son Xerxes II opened the way for him to seize the crown. Artoxares journeyed to meet him from Armenia. If the King held back and waited for aid from the East. 1.3.32 In the end. The failure of Cyrus' venture should not. And. might be able to achieve local superiority in the Tigris and Euphrates valley.14-8. 1.88.1 = Ephorus FGH 70 F208. Lewis. Cyr.69). 34 Cf. This meant that Cyrus.2.11. 14.5. Artaxerxes II marched out and suppressed the rebellion by killing his younger brother at Cunaxa. If Pharnabazus had not warned Artaxerxes of his brother's plans long before they came to fruition. 14. however.94 PAUL A. Art. Cf. Diod. 33 Diod.5. Xen. RAHE garrison at Babylon (Xen. the local levy in southas ern Mesopotamia was clearly of little value-and.34 it is 32 Ctes. 1. the outcome could easily have been different.29).42 on Thu. 7-12.22-24.88. This content downloaded from 65. Plut. Cyrus might well have reached Babylon before his brother. Darius may have been in his satrapy of Hyrcania when Artaxerxes I died and Xerxes II was murdered by Sogdianus. Babylon is the obvious meeting place and happens to be the locale in which Darius is first attested in the Near Eastern records (British Museum No. probably from Egypt. 14. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .1 = Ephorus FGH 70 F70. 2. 33342: see David M. Arsames. 58. whatever one makes of the surviving accounts of the battle. Pers.33 the Great King might not have been able to gather an army at Ecbatana large enough to take on Cyrus (Diod.7. 14.19). Sparta and Persia [Leiden 1977] 70-79). 44-48. An.1-2).4-5. of course. Of Darius' two principal allies. If he was fortunate. An. with a well-prepared surprise attack. the King would come to meet him with the Ten Thousand Immortals and the local forces of Babylonia.22. Pers. That might allow Cyrus to end the struggle with a single battle. if Cyrus had not blundered into battle in circumstances of Artaxerxes' choosing (1.9) points out. cause us to dismiss it as ill-advised. 7. Xenophon (An. Indeed. If Tissaphernes had not fled from Asia Minor to inform Artaxerxes that Cyrus was on the march (Xen.7-8 with Ctes.
" JHS 83 (1963) 1-26. Anderson. 14-15. Within five years of Cyrus' departure from Ionia. 7. D. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .6-7.3. see J. 11 [Bartoletti].23-32). Xen. 2. "The Battle of Sardis in 395 B. 36 Cf. 4. he very quickly learned how to rout Tissaphernes' cavalry in open country with a combination of horsemen. after discovering the degree to which the inadequacy of his cavalry hindered operations in Asia Minor.6-4. For the general superiority of Thessalian cavalry to the horsemen of other Greek cities. 23-32. See also G. one should consult R. Hipparch. 7) 302 n. Cawkwell's brief discussion in Xenophon. the pre-eminent horsemen of classical Greece.3s One must wonder whether Xenophon was Agesilaus' tutor in the coordinated use of infantry and cavalry.C. L. Hell.196. 154-55. The Oxyrhynchus historian (Hell.3. and peltasts-and. Cyrus merely imitated the rebels of an earlier generation. This content downloaded from 65. Agesilaus was at Aulis.THE EVE OF CUNAXA 95 clear that Cyrus very nearly killed his brother-which was the purpose of the entire exercise. parading as a modern Agamemnon and gathering a hoplite army to challenge Persia's hegemony in Asia Minor. 9.3-4). Ages. 35 Xen.3-9. 14. Anderson.80) gives a different account of Agesilaus' defeat of Tissapheres. Agesilaus put all of his considerable energy into correcting the fault. hoplites. 3.16. 3. Agesilaus' eastern mercenaries seem to have contributed decisively to an improvement of the Spartan cavalry (Xen.4. there was no longer need for such instruction. For a defence of Xenophon and references to the secondary literature on this battle. See Anderson (supra n.2-4.2-5.5.88. in exposing the weakness of Persia to Western eyes. Diod.6) with those employed by Agesilaus (Hell. In coordinating Persian cavalry and Greek mercenaries. Oxy. 1.42 on Thu. 11-24. Xenophon (London 1974) 98-112. he had built up a cavalry force of his own capable of defeating on their own ground even the Thessalians.20-24. K." CSCA 7 (1974) 27-53. According to Xenophon. Johannes Kromayer. Antike Schlachtfelder (Berlin 1924-1931) IV 222-42 with J. "Xenophon and the Wall of Media. 3. he emulated his father. in marching on Babylon. Ages. 1.4. K. Hell. But. The historical record suggests that this Spartan king recognized Persia's vulnerability before perceiving its principal source. The Persian Expedition (Harmondsworth 1972) 38-43. the tactics devised by Xenophon for the Ten Thousand (An. Xenophon 152. Barnett. see Hdt.88. 27. 7. On topographical matters. But.36 By the time of Alexander. by the time he returned to Europe.. Cyrus did something far more important: he set an example which the enemies of the Achaemenids were to follow.
12).37 PAUL A.42 on Thu.9.88. 6. This content downloaded from 65. RAHE Polybius (3." See Lys.88. 15 Aug 2013 12:28:41 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Hell. 137.8-19. 86-105. 119-32.6) may be exaggerating when he contends that the experience of the Ten Thousand was the cause (aitia) of the Macedonian conquest of Persia. RAHE CORNELL UNIVERSITY 37 Like Jason of Pherae (Xen. Isoc.5-9.11. 139.133-66. 3. 16. 33. 2.2-5.96 PAUL A. 154. 9.1. but he is surely not far from the truth. Ep. most of the Greeks knew "by what sort of force-both that which marched up with Cyrus and that with Agesilaus-the King was brought into extremities. 4. 5.
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