aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Xenophon, Anabasis 4.3.8-9

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In Xenophon’s account of his own adventures taking part in the ‘march inland’ of the famous Ten Thousand he even records his dreams. At this point the Greeks are having trouble working out how to cross a river.

ταύτην μὲν οὖν τὴν ἡμέραν καὶ νύκτα ἔμειναν ἐν πολλῇ ἀπορίᾳ ὄντες. Ξενοφῶν δὲ ὄναρ εἶδεν· ἔδοξεν ἐν πέδαις δεδέσθαι, αὗται δὲ αὐτῷ αὐτόμαται περιρρυῆναι, ὥστε λυθῆναι καὶ διαβαίνειν ὁπόσον ἐβούλετο. ἐπεὶ δὲ ὄρθρος ἦν, ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸν Χειρίσοφον καὶ λέγει ὅτι ἐλπίδας ἔχει καλῶς ἔσεσθαι, καὶ διηγεῖται αὐτῷ τὸ ὄναρ. ὁ δὲ ἥδετό τε καὶ ὡς τάχιστα ἕως ὑπέφαινεν ἐθύοντο πάντες παρόντες οἱ στρατηγοί. καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ καλὰ ἦν εὐθὺς ἐπὶ τοῦ πρώτου, καὶ ἀπιόντες ἀπὸ τῶν ἱερῶν οἱ στρατηγοὶ καὶ λοχαγοὶ παρήγγελλον τῇ στρατιᾷ ἀριστοποιεῖσθαι.

That day and night they stayed there, in a state of great bafflement. But Xenophon had a dream: he thought he was bound in fetters, and that they fell off spontaneously, so that he was unbound and could walk across to wherever he wanted. At dawn he went to Cheirisophus. Xenophon said he had hopes that all would be well and told him the dream. Cheirisophus was pleased and as soon as day began to break all the generals were at hand and made sacrifices. From the very first one the omens were favourable. When the generals and captains left after the sacrifices they ordered the army to take breakfast.

Written by aleatorclassicus

May 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Xenophon

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