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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 14: Xenophon (2) Bahasa Indonesia

The crowd couldn’t help but cry out: “This is amazing! Xenophon came to Persia by the order of Hades! And Davos have never seen Xenophon before, but he knew him through the oracle! This is Hades blessing us!!” The people began to sing the song of Hades.

Although Davos was surprised, but he thought it was just a coincidence. He pretended to follow everyone’s singing, and then said: “Even if there is the blessing of Hades, we also need to exert ourselves in order to pass the test and return to Greece safely.”

“Davos, you aren’t very confident about whether we can go home smoothly?” Xenophon looked at Davos. Xenophon believes in divine prophesies, omens in dreams, and prediction. It was precisely because he heard that Davos was favored by Hades and so he came over to find out. Because he believed that there must be some mysterious connection between him and Davos through Hades.

“I’m just an ordinary infantry, just like a frog in the well, I don’t understand the topmost situation. So it’s inevitable that I will be confused.” Davos said calmly: “You are a close friend of Proxenus, and the most outstanding student of Socrates. I hope you can tell us what kind of situation we are facing now, in order to relieve our confusion.”

Olivos wanted to say something, but Davos stopped him with his gaze.

Xenophon didn’t declined and said: “I think this time we should be able to return to Greece smoothly! Why?” Xenophon has a sense of responsibility because he came to Persia under the guidance of ‘God’. In the face of this possible disaster and when everyone was panicking, he thought that this was the reason why the gods let him come. Therefore, in the past few days, he was running back and forth in the camp to help Proxenus stabilize his troops.

At this time, he looked at the crowd and patiently said: “First, our hoplite is strong, while the Persian troops are weak. For decades since the Battle of Thermopylae, we have always steadily gained the upper hand in the battles between us Greeks and Persians. It was even more obviously shown in our previous battle against the Persian king, that our fierce attack directly resulted in their collapse. It can be seen that the Persian fear of our hoplite has penetrated into their blood. Although their cavalry is better than ours, but what is the use? The cavalry can only scout and harass, but they dare not fight us head-on, which won’t help improve their combat effectiveness.

“Yes, their cavalry are cowards!” Matonis shouted with great approval, and the face of Xenophon was a little embarassed.

“But the Persian cavalry’s javelin and arrows caused us a lot of trouble,“ Hielos reminded.

“But their cavalry, like their infantry, lacks the skill and courage to confront us head-on. It is impossible for them to shake our courage with bows and arrows. As long as we decide to retreat, they will never be able to stop us from leaving.” Xenophon confidently said it based on his knowledge of cavalry.

“Secondly, I heard the Persians say that their new king, Artaxerxes, was a gentle and timid guy since he was a child, which is why Cyrus the Younger dared to revolt. I heard that in the regions of Susa[1] and Persepolis, some friends of Cyrus the Younger began to respond and although Artaxerxes had fortunately killed Cyrus the Younger, he would never dare risk fighting us to death while his rear had not calmed down.

Third, our commander, Clearchus, is a very capable person. Although I am an Athenian and he is a Spartan, but I can’t deny that during the war between Athens and Sparta, he had caused Athens a lot of trouble, then he defeated the Thracians many times. And several leaders like Proxenus and Meno are also experienced commanders and they have good understanding of Persians due to having dealings with them all year round. The Persian commander-in-chief was Artaxerxes, the Persian king who had just became a king and had never commanded an army, and the general he relied on, Tissaphernes, was even defeated by us, they aren’t at all a match against several of our leaders!…”

Davos carefully listened to the story of Xenophon. Through Xenophon, he learned a lot about things that he didn’t know before. This time, he sincerely applauded: “What a wonderful speech! You really are worthy to be the disciple of Socrates!”

“Yeah! It is the man that Hades has guided! Your words gave us confidence!” Hielos said sincerely.

In the face of everyone’s praise, Xenophon’s looked calm, it was a common thing for him to persuade ordinary soldiers, his eyes fell on Davos and seems to want to see the unusualness of the “God’s favored” of Hades in the rumors.

“But you still forgot to say one thing.” Davos certainly can’t let the other person look down on himself, especially in front of his teammates: “Although Persia has a vast territory and has a large population, they can’t effectively governed it. Most areas are still autonomous, they have their own culture and religion, obeying the Persian rule requires only two things – paying taxes and serving in the military. The Persians believed only in themselves, so there were very few foreign officials in their army and court. If the foreigners could not integrate into Persia, they would not die for Persia. I think that’s one of the reasons why the Persian troops collapsed when they faced us.”

Xenophon savored what Davos said and recalled what he had seen along the way, which was very consistent. He was stunned, he apparently isn’t as well educated as a 19 year old young man who didn’t know a thing about Persia, he can only blame it on something like “God’s favored”! Xenophon can only comfort himself in this way: “You’re right! This is the illness of the dictatorship of the king! On the contrary, it is the superiority of Greek’s democracy, for we are fighting for ourselves!”

Superiority of democracy? Davos seemed to see the face of a country that self-proclaimed itself as the “Global Sheriff” in his previous life. He tried to cast aside his contempt, but was seen by the careful Xenophon: “Davos thinks I am wrong?”

“Xenophon, which period in Athens do you think was the most stable and prosperous in the past centuries?” Davos decided to use his previous life’s knowledge to shock this historical celebrity in front of him and impress him so that his name will spread to the top of the mercenary through him.

“The period when Pericles[2] is in power.” Xenophon answered without hesitation.

“You forgot to mention the reign of Peisistratos[3].” Davos reminded him: “It was under his rule that Athens had completely owned the Attica region and made the port of Piraeus prospered, and only then did Athens became another powerful city-state in Greece besides Sparta!”

“But…” Xenophon didn’t expect that Davos would mention Peisistratos, the Athenians were proud to live in the most democratic Greek city-state, and almost no one would talk about the dictator. He wanted to retort, but for a moment he doesn’t know what to say. After all, Xenophon, a highly educated and knowledgeable person, knows that Davos was telling the truth.

Davos seized the opportunity and continue to say: “You want to say, ‘But Athens was stronger under Pericles’, right? However, there are problems with the statement about Pericles’ Reign. How many years did Pericles serve as a strategos[4]? Thirty years! He has never been defeated in thirty years and has been elected as the Polemarchos[5] for many times! All the important domestic and foreign laws and decisions in Athens were proposed and formulated by him, which created the golden age of Athens. Isn’t it ironic that in order to prevent an autocratic democracy in Athens, the once a year Ostracism[6] method was invented. Is Peisistratos dictator? Is Pericles democratic?! Pericles is merely a more subtle and gentler than Peisistratos political means.

And what do you think happened to the superiority of democracy without Pericles? Athens with its richer financial resources, stronger navy and more allies than Sparta, has internal strife and struggle with each other, and the people of Athens are often unable to tell the truth and false apart, and are easily incited by the politicians. That’s why at the crucial moment of the expedition to Sicily, the most talented strategos of Athens, Alcibiades[7], was forced to defect. The strategoi who had just won a key sea battle in Arginusae[8] but failed to rescue the drowning soldiers in time due to a gale, was easily tried by the masses and even executed…these foolish acts of Athens are not uncommon in this long war with Sparta! This is what Athenians think as the perfect democracy?! It has consumed the strength it accumulated over the past hundred years in the constant internal friction!”

The ancient democratic system of Athens was a key point in the study of Davos in his previous life’s party school, because it was the origin of the modern Western political system, Davos still has fresh memories of it.

Author’s Note 1: Western historians doesn’t have a high evaluation of Xenophon. They think that Xenophon only has a shallow knowledge of history and philosophy, and his depth of research and understanding of history is not as deep as Thucydides and Herodotus, and his philosophical attainments aren’t as good as his classmate, Plato. Moreover, in his works, he believed in divine prophesies, dream omens and prediction, and often used his political preferences to select historical materials and judge historical facts, which was full of exaggeration. When I read his works, I also experience it. However, in any case, he left a lot of valuable first-hand information, so that the modern people can have a clearer understanding of that era, otherwise there will be no such novel that I have wrote today.

Author’s Note 2: After the Arginusae sea battle, among the generals that was tried by the people of Athens was the characters I wrote in my last novel – Pericles the Younger, the only son of Pericles and he also got executed.

[1] Susa was an ancient city of the Proto-Elamite, Elamite, First Persian Empire, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires of Iran, and one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East.

[2] Pericles was a prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator and general of Athens during its golden age – specifically the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars.

[3] Peisistratos was a ruler of ancient Athens during most of the period between 561 and 527 BC.

[4] Strategos = General.

[5] Polemarchos = Supreme Commander.

[6] Ostracism was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years.

[7] Alcibiades was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He played a major role in the second half of Peloponnesian War as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.

[8] Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. (interesting fact is that Pericles son, Pericles the Younger, was one of the generals that have been executed.)


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