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date: 31 January 2023



  • John F. Lazenby


A small town on the *Euphrates near Bagdhad, where *Cyrus (2), younger son of *Darius II of Persia, was defeated and killed by his elder brother, *Artaxerxes (3) II, in 401 bce. The battle is chiefly interesting for the ease with which Cyrus’ Greek *mercenaries, on his right, defeated Artaxerxes’ left, with the loss of only one man. *Xenophon (1), who was serving among the Greeks, has left us a vivid description of their charge at the double, shouting their war-cry—‘Eleleu’—and some clashing their spears on their shields to frighten the enemy horses (An. 1. 8. 17–20). Even after Cyrus himself had been killed and the rest of his army had fled, the Greeks still managed to rout the remainder of Artaxerxes’ army, in a second attack. It was after this battle, and the subsequent treacherous capture of their commanders, that the Greeks began the long march home which is the main subject of Xenophon's Anabasis.


  • Near East

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