Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc
Assyria called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. It existed as a state from as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East. A Semitic-speaking realm, Assyria was centred on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia; the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires in several periods. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Assyria reached the height of technological and cultural achievements for its time.
At its peak, the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911 to 609 BC stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean to Iran, from present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus to the Arabian Peninsula and eastern Libya. The name "Assyria" originates with the Assyrian state's original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC - one of a number of Akkadian-speaking city-states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders. From the late 24th century BC, the Assyrians became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from c. 2334 BC to 2154 BC. After the Assyrian Empire fell from power, the greater remaining part of Assyria formed a geopolitical region and province of other empires, although between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD a patchwork of small independent Assyrian kingdoms arose in the form of Assur, Osroene, Beth Nuhadra, Beth Garmai and Hatra.
The region of Assyria fell under the successive control of the Median Empire of 678 to 549 BC, the Achaemenid Empire of 550 to 330 BC, the Macedonian Empire, the Seleucid Empire of 312 to 63 BC, the Parthian Empire of 247 BC to 224 AD, the Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire of 224 to 651 AD. The Arab Islamic conquest of the area in the mid-seventh century dissolved Assyria as a single entity, after which the remnants of the Assyrian people became an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority in the Assyrian homeland, surviving there to this day as an indigenous people of the region. Assyria was sometimes known as Subartu and Azuhinum prior to the rise of the city-state of Ashur, after which it was Aššūrāyu, after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late seventh century AD variously as Achaemenid Assyria, referenced as Atouria, Ator and sometimes as Syria which etymologically derives from Assyria according to Strabo, Assyria and Asōristān. "Assyria" can refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered.
The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians. As Babylonia is called after the city of Babylon, Assyria means "land of Asshur"Etymologically, Assyria is connected to the name of Syria, with both being derived from the Akkadian Aššur. Theodor Nöldeke in 1881 was the first to give philological support to the assumption that Syria and Assyria have the same etymology, a suggestion going back to John Selden. A 21st-century discovery of the Çineköy inscription confirmed that Syria, being a Greek corruption of the name Assyria, is derived from the Assyrian term Aššūrāyu. In prehistoric times, the region, to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave; the earliest Neolithic sites in what will be Assyria were the Jarmo culture c. 7100 BC, the Halaf culture c. 6100 BC, the Hassuna culture c. 6000 BC.
The Akkadian-speaking people who would found Assyria appear to have entered Mesopotamia at some point during the latter 4th millennium BC intermingling with the earlier Sumerian-speaking population, who came from northern Mesopotamia, with Akkadian names appearing in written record from as early as the 29th century BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, a intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism; the influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere after the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC, although Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD, as did use of the Akkadian cuneiform.
The cities of A
Corduene was an ancient region located in south of Lake Van, present-day eastern Turkey. According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Gordyene is the ancient name of the region of Bohtan, it is mentioned as Beth Qardu in Syriac sources and is described as a small vassal state between Armenia and Persia in the mountainous area south of Lake Van in modern Turkey Corduene must be sought on the left bank of the Tigris. It has been cited as the country of the Carduchians, a fertile mountainous district, rich in pasturage; the Kingdom of Gordyene emerged from the declining Seleucid Empire and for most of its history, it was a province of the Roman Empire and acknowledged the sovereignty of Rome. From 189 to 90 BC, it enjoyed a period of independence; the people of Gordyene were known to have worshiped the Hurrian sky God Teshub. According to Arshak Safrastian, the Medes and Scythians mentioned in classical Greek literature existed only as preconceived notions. Equating the Carduchi with the Gutians, he adds that the moment the Ten Thousand began to skirt the lower slopes of the Hamrin Mountains, they were in contact with the tribes of Gutium which are presented here as Medes or Scythians.
A people called. They inhabited the mountains north of the Tigris in 401 BC, they were enemies to the king of Persia, as were the Greek mercenaries with Xenophon, but their response to thousands of armed and desperate strangers was hostile. They had no heavy troops who could face the battle-hardened hoplites, but they used longbows and slings and for the Greeks the "seven days spent in traversing the country of the Carduchians had been one long continuous battle, which had cost them more suffering than the whole of their troubles at the hands of the king and Tissaphernes put together."They have been mentioned as Gordi by Hecataeus of Miletus c. 520 BC. Targum, a Rabbinic source of Talmudic period assumes Mount Ararat to be located in Corduene, not in the heart of the Armenian Highland; this region is traditionally identified with the landing site in Deluge mythology. According to Aggadah, Noah landed in Corduene in Armenia; the early 3rd century BCE Babylonian writer Berossus was of the opinion that Xisthros landed with his ship in Corduene.
Josephus cited the evidence of Berossus as proof that the Flood was not a myth and mentioned that the remains of the Ark were still visible in the district of Carron identical with Korduene. In Nashim, the third order of Talmud, Rav Nahman bar Jacob has allowed proselytization of Kurds from Corduene. Jewish sources trace the origins of the people of Corduene to the marriage of Jinns of King Solomon with 500 beautiful Jewish women. According to the Greek historian and geographer Strabo, the region of Gorduene referred to the mountains between Diyarbakır and Muş, he recorded its main cities as Sareisa and Pinaca, considered its inhabitants as descendants of the ancient Carduchians. According to him, the inhabitants had an exceptional repute as master-builders and as experts in the construction of siege engines and for this reason Tigranes used them in such work. Ammianus Marcellinus visited this region while on a diplomatic visit to the satrap of Corduene. Eretrians who were exiled and deported by the Persians to Mesopotamia, were said to have taken up their dwelling in the region of Gordyene.
According to Strabo the Gordyaeans received their name from Gordys son of Triptolemus, who assisted in searching after Io, settled in Gordyaea district of Phrygia. Both Phraates III and Tigranes the Great laid claim to this province. However, it was conquered by the Roman troops under Pompey; the local population did not defend the Armenian rule since according to Plutarch, Tigranes had demolished their native cities and had forced them into exile in Tigranocerta. In 69 BC, the king of Corduene, was secretly planning for a revolt against Tigranes, he was negotiating with Appius Claudius for Roman help. However the plan was revealed and he was killed by Tigranes. After this, Lucullus raised a monument to Zarbienus and he took over the region of Corduene, he took part in the funeral of Zarbienus, offered royal robes and the spoils, called him his companion and confederate of the Romans. After Pompey's success in subjugating Armenia and part of Pontus, the Roman advance across the Euphrates, Phraates was anxious to have a truce with the Romans.
However, Pompey demanded back the territory of Corduene. He sent envoys, but after receiving no answer, he sent Afranius into the territory and occupied it without a battle; the Parthians who were found in possession were driven beyond the frontier and pursued as far as Arbela in Adiabene. According to an inscription dedicated to the temple of Venus, Pompey gave protection to the newly acquired territory of Gordyene. Tigran retained Nisibis, which Pompeius withheld from the Parthians. Gordyene belonged to Armenia for about 250 years. Districts of Cordyene under Armenian period were: Korduq, Kordiq Nerkin, Kordiq Verin, Kordiq Mijin, Aitvanq, Aigarq, Kartuniq, Albag. Corduene was conquered again by Diocletian in the 3rd century and the Roman presence in the region was formally recognized in a peace treaty signed between Diocletian
Clearchus of Sparta
Clearchus or Clearch, the son of Rhamphias, was a Spartan general and mercenary, noted for his service under Cyrus the Younger. Born about the middle of the 5th century BC, Clearchus was sent with a fleet to the Hellespont in 411 and became governor of Byzantium, of which town he was proxenus, his severity, made him unpopular, in his absence the gates were opened to the Athenian besieging army under Alcibiades. Subsequently, Clearchus returned to Sparta and appealed to the ephors, asking to be given a force to settle the political dissensions rife at Byzantium and to protect the city and the neighbouring Greek colonies from Thracian attacks, he was granted that force, but when the ephors learned that the citizens of Byzantium considered him a tyrant, they recalled him through a messenger that reached Clearchus while he was still in the Isthmus of Corinth. Clearchus ignored the messenger and proceeded to Byzantium, thus he was declared an outlaw by the ephors, he fought the Thracian tribes in the process gaining the unofficial support of the Greek cities that were thus relieved.
Clearchus, counting on his successes to gain him back the Spartan ephors' good graces, was disappointed in this expectation. When Cyrus learned that a Greek force in high fighting condition was so near Asia, he sent ambassadors with money asking Clearchus to help him claim the throne from his brother, the Persian Emperor Artaxerxes II Mnemon. Clearchus accepted not because of the money but because he knew that sooner or he would have to face his fellow Spartans since he was still considered an outlaw by the ephors, he left the command of the garrison of Byzantium to Helixus of Megara. In the "expedition of the ten thousand" undertaken by Cyrus to dethrone his brother Artaxerxes, Clearchus led the Peloponnesian delegation of the Army of the Ten Thousand, who formed the right wing of Cyrus's army at the battle of Cunaxa. On Cyrus's death Clearchus assumed the chief command and conducted the retreat until, being treacherously seized with his fellow-generals by the satrap of Sardis, Tissaphernes, he was handed over to Artaxerxes and executed at the royal court at Babylon.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Clearchus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. CLEARCHUS OF SPARTA — Encyclopaedia Iranica
Orontes I or Yervand I was an Armenian ruler of the Orontid Dynasty who ruled as satrap of the Achaemenid Empire between 401 BC – 344 BC. The Persian version of the name is Auruand, it is this was a special title given by the Persian king, though this seems to have become a hereditary title in that family. According to the Greek sources, Orontes was made Satrap of Matiene, he was called "Praefectus Armeniae" by Trogus. Orontes was given these Satrapies of Armenis in 401 BC for supporting the Persian king Artaxerxes II in the Battle of Cunaxa against Cyrus the Younger. After the Battle of Cunaxa, Orontes harassed the Ten Thousand as they attempted to return home and made their way through Armenia, it is he ruled from Armavir as the previous Satrap of Armenia, had ruled from there. He married the daughter of king Artaxerxes II by one of his concubines, he next appears in 381 BC as the army commander during the campaign to recapture Cyprus from its rebel leader, King Evagoras, whilst the navy was under the command of Tiribazus.
They managed to lay siege to the city of Salamis. It may be because of this that he was stripped of his satrapy and sent to the west of the Empire to become satrap of Mysia.. In 362 BC a great rebellion occurred in Anatolia, led by Satrap of Cappadocia; some sources say that it was Orontes, chosen by the rebels as their leader. However, Orontes stayed loyal to king Artaxerxes II and aided in the collapse of the rebellion, he wanted to rule Anatolia and Armenia alone. He captured the city of Pergamon and sent bribes to Athens, where a decree seeking an alliance records his name, he was able to fund these activities as he is recorded as having a personal fortune of 3,000 talents of silver. From around 362-361, Orontes is said to be "Satrap of Mysia", there is various proof of his activity in the region and around Pergamon. In 355 BC he rebelled against the new king of the Achaemenid Empire, Artaxerxes III, he still had possession of parts of western Anatolia. He fought a battle against the satrap of Daskyleion and minted his own coins in Ionia, such as the one displayed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
He handed back Pergamon to the king. The kings of the Kingdom of Commagene claimed descent from Orontes I and claimed Darius I of Persia as an ancestor, thanks to Orontes' marriage to Rhodogoune, daughter of Artaxerxes II, a direct descendent of king Darius I; some ancient Greek sources called Orontes a "Bactrian", though it was because his father, had been the Satrap of Bactria during the reign of King Artaxerxes II. Some sources suggest that Artasyrus was Artaxerxes II, who had seven known children and eleven children whose names are not known in Western historical records. During the Achaemenid Empire, Bactria was ruled by the heir to the throne. Xenophon's Anabasis mentions that the region near the river Centrites was defended by the Satrap of Armenia for Artaxerxes II and named Orontes son of Artasyrus who had Armenian contingents. Xenophon mentioned, his successor was Darius III and after Codomannus these Satrapies were ruled by Orontes II. Whether he was the same person as Tigranes but had adopted the name Orontes or that they were brothers is not known.
All the known coinage of Orontes is confined to the region of Mysia, was only found in cities from Lampsacus to Colophon Adramyteion and Kisthene in the area of Aeolis on the coast. Satrapy of Armenia
A javelin is a light spear designed to be thrown as a ranged weapon, but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is always thrown by hand, unlike the bow and arrow and slingshot, which shoot projectiles from a mechanism. However, devices do exist to assist the javelin thrower in achieving greater distance called spear-throwers. A warrior or soldier armed with one or more javelins is a javelineer; the word javelin comes from Middle English and it derives from Old French javelin, a diminutive of javelot, which meant spear. The word javelot originated from one of the Celtic languages. There is archaeological evidence that javelins and throwing sticks were in use by the last phase of the lower Paleolithic. Seven spear-like objects were found in a coal mine in the city of Germany. Stratigraphic dating indicates; the excavated items were between 1.83 and 2.25 metres long. They were manufactured with the maximum thickness and weight situated at the front end of the wooden shaft; the frontal centre of gravity suggests.
A fossilized horse shoulder blade with a projectile wound, dated to 500,000 years ago, was revealed in a gravel quarry in the village of Boxgrove, England. Studies suggested that the wound was caused by a javelin. In History of Ancient Egypt: Volume 1, George Rawlinson depicts the javelin as an offensive weapon used by the Ancient Egyptian military, it was lighter in weight than that used by other nations. He describes the Ancient Egyptian javelin's features: “It consisted of a long thin shaft, sometimes pointed, but armed with a head, either leaf-shaped, or like the head of a spear, or else four-sided, attached to the shaft by projections at the angles.”A strap or tasseled head was situated at the lower end of the javelin: it allowed the javelin thrower to recover his javelin after throwing it. Egyptian military trained from a young age in special military schools. Focusing on gymnastics to gain strength and endurance in childhood, they learned to throw the javelin – along with practicing archery and the battle-axe – when they grew older, before entering a specific regiment.
Javelins were carried by Egyptian light infantry, as a main weapon, as an alternative to a spear or a bow and arrow along with a shield. They carried a curved sword, a club or a hatchet as a side-arm. An important part in battles is assigned to javelin-men, “whose weapons seem to inflict death at every blow”. One or multiple javelins were sometimes carried by Egyptian war-chariots, in the quiver and/or the bow case. Beyond its military purpose, the javelin was also a hunting instrument, both to seek food and as a sport; the peltasts serving as skirmishers, were armed with several javelins with throwing straps to increase stand-off power. The peltasts hurled their javelins at the enemy's heavier troops, the hoplite phalanx, in order to break their lines so that their own army's hoplites could destroy the weakened enemy formation. In the battle of Lechaeum, the Athenian general Iphicrates took advantage of the fact that a Spartan hoplite phalanx operating near Corinth was moving in the open field without the protection of any missile-throwing troops.
He decided to ambush it with his force of peltasts. By launching repeated hit-and-run attacks against the Spartan formation and his men were able to wear the Spartans down routing them and killing just under half; this marked the first recorded occasion in ancient Greek military history in which a force made up of peltasts had defeated a force of hoplites. The thureophoroi and thorakitai, who replaced the peltasts, carried javelins in addition to a long thrusting spear and a short sword. Javelins were used as an effective hunting weapon, the strap adding enough power to take down large game. Javelins were used in the Ancient Olympics and other Panhellenic games, they were hurled in a certain direction and whoever hurled it the farthest, as long as it hit tip-first, won that game. In the ancient world javelins were thrown with the aid of a throwing string, or Amentum. In 387 BC, the Gauls invaded Italy, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Roman Republican army, sacked Rome. After this defeat, the Romans undertook a comprehensive reform of their army and changed the basic tactical formation from the Greek-style phalanx armed with the hasta spear and the clipeus round shield to a more flexible three-line formation.
The Hastati stood in the first line, the Principes in the second line and the Triarii at the third line. While the Triarii were still armed with the hasta, the Hastati and the Principes were rearmed with short swords and heavy javelins; each soldier from the Hastati and Principes lines carried two javelins. This heavy javelin, known as a Pilum, was about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank, about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long, with pyramidal head, secured to a wooden shaft; the iron shank was either socketed or, more widened to a flat tang. A pilum weighed between 2 and 5 pounds, with the versions produced during the Empire being somewhat lighter. Pictorial evidence suggests that some versions of the weapon were weighted with a lead ball at the base of the shank in order to increase penetrative power, but no archaeological specimens have been found. Recent experiments have shown pila to have a range of about 30 metres, although the effective range is only about 15 to 20 metres.
Pila were sometimes referred to as javelins. From the third century BC, the Roman le
The Ten Thousand was a force of mercenary units Greek, employed by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to wrest the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Their march to the Battle of Cunaxa and back to Greece was recorded by Xenophon in his work The Anabasis; the "ten thousand" marched inland and fought the Battle of Cunaxa and marched back to Greece during the years 401 BC to 399 BC. Xenophon stated in The Anabasis that the Greek heavy troops scattered their opposition twice during the battle. Only after the battle did they hear that Cyrus had been killed, making their victory irrelevant and the expedition a failure; the "ten thousand" were in the middle of a large empire with no food, no employer, no reliable friends. They offered to make their Persian ally Ariaeus king, but he refused on the grounds that he was not of royal blood and so would not find enough support among the Persians to succeed, they offered their services to Tissaphernes, a leading satrap of Artaxerxes, but he refused them, they refused to surrender to him.
Tissaphernes was left with a problem. He supplied them with food and, after a long wait, led them northwards for home, meanwhile detaching the Persian general Ariaeus and his light troops from their cause; the Greek senior officers accepted the invitation of Tissaphernes to a feast, where they were made prisoner, taken up to the king, decapitated. The Greeks elected new officers, among them Xenophon and set out to march northwards to the Black Sea through Corduene and Armenia. Xenophon and his men had to deal with volleys by a minor force of harassing Persian missile cavalry; every day, these cavalry, finding no opposition from the Ten Thousand, moved cautiously closer and closer. One night, Xenophon formed a body of archers and light cavalry; when the Persian cavalry arrived the next day, now firing within several yards, Xenophon unleashed his new cavalry in a shock charge, smashing into the stunned and confused enemy, killing many and routing the rest. Tissaphernes pursued Xenophon with a vast force, when the Greeks reached the wide and deep Great Zab River, it seemed they were surrounded.
However, Xenophon devised a plan: all goats, cows and donkeys were slaughtered and their bodies stuffed with hay, laid across the river and sewed up and covered with dirt so as not to be slippery. This created a bridge across; that Xenophon was able to acquire the means of feeding his force in the heart of a vast empire with a hostile population was astonishing. Dodge notes, "On this retreat was first shown the necessary, if cruel, means of arresting a pursuing enemy by the systematic devastation of the country traversed and the destruction of its villages to deprive him of food and shelter, and Xenophon is moreover the first who established in rear of the phalanx a reserve from which he could at will feed weak parts of his line. This was a superb first conception." The Ten Thousand made their way into the land of the Carduchians, a wild tribe inhabiting the mountains of modern southeastern Turkey. The Carduchians were "a war-loving race, who had never been conquered. Once the Great King had sent into their country an army of 120,000 men, to subdue them, but of all that great host not one had seen his home again."
The Ten Thousand made their way in and were fired at by stones and arrows for several days before they reached a defile where the main Carduchian host sat. In the Battle of the Carduchian Defile, Xenophon had 8,000 men feint at this host and marched the other 2,000 to a pass revealed by a prisoner under the cover of a rainstorm, "having made their way to the rear of the main pass, at daylight, under cover of the morning mist, they boldly pushed in upon the astonished Carducians; the blare of their many trumpets gave notice of their successful detour to Xenophon, as well as added to the confusion of the enemy. The main army at once joined in the attack from the valley side, the Carducians were driven from their stronghold." After heavy mountain fighting in which Xenophon showed the calm and patience needed for the situation, the Greeks made their way to the northern foothills of the mountains at the Centrites River, only to find a major Persian force blocking the route north. With the Carduchians surging toward the Greek rear, Xenophon again faced the threat of total destruction in battle.
Xenophon's scouts found another ford, but the Persians moved and blocked this as well. Xenophon, in a cunning tactic recapitulated by Robert E. Lee before the Seven Days Battle, sent a small force back toward the other ford, causing the anxious Persians to detach a major part of their force parallel. Xenophon stormed and overwhelmed the force at his ford, while the Greek detachment made a forced march to this bridgehead; this was among the first attacks in depth made, 23 years after Delium and 30 years before Epaminondas’ more famous use of it at Leuctra. Winter by now arrived as the Greeks marched through Armenia "absolutely unprovided with clothing suitable for such weather", inflicting more casualties than they suffered during a skillful ambush of a local satrap's force and the flanking of another force in this period. At a period when the Greeks were in desperate need of food, they decided upon attacking a wooden castle known to have had storage; the castle, was stationed on a hill surrounded by forest.
Xenophon ordered small parties of his men to appear on the hill