Friday, November 30, 2012

Herodotus’ “Histories” of the Persian Wars (very liberally ‘translaparaphrased’): Book I section 76

76 Croesus thus crossing the river with his army came to a part of Cappadocia called Pteria. This is not only the strongest part of the country, but lay closest to the city of Sinope on the Euxine Sea. Here he set up camp and began to destroy farms. He took Pteria, enslaved the inhabitants, and took all the surrounding areas, driving out the Syrians, even though they had caused him no harm.

Cyrus, meanwhile both mustered his army , and drew additional forces from those who dwelt in places on his way, as he made his way to meet Croesus in battle. Before he began the march though, in an effort to peel the Ionians away from Croesus, he sent heralds, but to no avail. They were not persuaded.

Once Cyrus had arrived, and both armies were positioned they made trial of each other looking to gage strengths and weaknesses. This went on in the Pterian countryside. Battle lasted through the day, the sides disengaging at nightfall. Many died. Neither army gained an advantage; such was the state of affairs between the two forces.