III
 

I come at length to certain duties which devolve upon the general of cavalry himself in person: and first and foremost, it concerns him to obtain the favour of the gods by sacrifices in behalf of the state cavalry; and in the next place to make the great procession at the festivals a spectacle worth seeing; and further, with regard to all those public shows demanded by the state, wherever held,[1] whether in the grounds of the Acadamy or the Lyceum, at Phaleron or within the hippodrome, it is his business as commander of the knights to see that every pageant of the sort is splendidly exhibited.

But these, again, are memoranda.[2] To the question how the several features of the pageant shall receive their due impress of beauty, I will now address myself.

And first to speak of the Processions.[3] These will, I think, be rendered most acceptable to Heaven and to earth's spectators were the riders to ride round the Agora and temples, commencing from the Hermae, and pay honour to the sacred beings, each in turn, whose shrines and statues are there congregated. (Thus in the great Dionysia[4] the choruses embrace their gracious service to the other gods and to the Twelve with circling dance.[5]) When the circuit is completed, and the riders are back again in front of the Hermae, it would add, I think, to the beauty of the scene[6] if at this point they formed in companies of tribes, and giving their horses rein, swept forward at the gallop to the Eleusinion. Nor must I omit to note the right position of the lance, to lessen as far as possible the risk of mutual interference.[7] Each trooper should hold his lance straight between the ears of his charger, which in proportion to the distinctness given to the weapon will rouse terror, and at the same time create a vague idea of multitudinousness.[8]

As soon as they have ceased from the charge at full gallop, the pace should at once be changed; and now, with footing slow, let them retrace their course back to the temples. In this way every detail characteristic of knightly pageantry[9] will have been displayed to the delight of god and man. That our knights are not accustomed to these actual evolutions, I am well aware; but I also recognise the fact that the performances are good and beautiful and will give pleasure to spectators. I do not fail to note, moreover, that novel feats of horsemanship have before now been performed by our knights, when their commanders have had the ability to get their wishes readily complied with.

But now, let us suppose it is the occasion of the march-past,[10] in the grounds of the Lyceum, before the javelin-throwing. The scene would gain in beauty if the tribal squadrons were to ride in line of columns[11] as if for battle, in two divisions, five squadrons in the one and five in the other, with the hipparch and the phylarchs at their head, in such formation as to allow the whole breadth of the racecourse to be filled. Then, as soon as they have gained the top[12] of the incline, which leads down to the theatre opposite, it would, I think, be obviously useful here to show the skill with which your troopers can gallop down a steep incline[13] with as broad a front as the nature of the ground permits. I am quite clear that your troopers, if they can trust their own skill in galloping, will take kindly to such an exhibition; while as certainly, if unpractised, they must look to it that the enemy does not give them a lesson in the art some day, perforce.

To come to the test manouvres.[14] The order in which the men will ride with showiest effect on these occasions has been already noted.[15] As far as the leader is himself concerned, and presuming he is mounted on a powerful horse, I would suggest that he should each time ride round on the outer flank; in which case he will himself be kept perpetually moving at a canter, and those with him, as they become the wheeling flank, will, by turns, fall into the same pace, with this result: the spectacle presented to the senate will be that of an ever rapidly moving stream of cavaliers; and the horses having, each in turn, the opportunity to recover breath, will not be overdone.

On occasions when the display takes place in the hippodrome,[16] the best arrangement would be, in the first place, that the troops should fill the entire space with extended front, so forcing out the mob of people from the centre;[17] and secondly, that in the sham fight[18] which ensues, the tribal squadrons, swiftly pursuing and retiring, should gallop right across and through each other, the two hipparchs at their head, each with five squadrons under him. Consider the effect of such a spectacle: the grim advance of rival squadrons front to front; the charge; the solemn pause as, having swept across the hippodrome, they stand once more confronting one another; and then the trumpet sounds, whereat a second and yet swifter hostile advance, how fine the effect!--and once again they are at the halt; and once again the trumpet sounds, and for the third time, at the swiftest pace of all, they make a final charge across the field, before dismissal; after which they come to a halt en masse, in battle order; and, as now customary,[19] ride up to salute the senate, and disband. These evolutions will at once approve themselves, I think, not only for their novelty, but for their resemblacne to real warfare. The notion that the hipparch is to ride at a slower pace than his phylarchs, and to handle his horse precisely in their style, seems to me below the dignity of the office.

When the cavalry parade takes place on the hard-trodden[20] ground of the Academy, I have the following advice to give. To avoid being jolted off his horse at any moment, the trooper should, in charging, lean well back,[21] and to prevent his charger stumbling, he should while wheeling hold his head well up, but along a straight stretch he should force the pace. Thus the spectacle presented to the senate will combine the elements of beauty and of safety.

[1] Cf. Theophr. "Ch." vii. (Jebb ad loc. p. 204, n. 25).

[2] Read {tauta men alla upomnemata}, or if with Pantazid. {apla}, trans. "these are simply memoranda."

[3] {tas pompas}. See A. Martin, op. cit. 147, 160.

[4] Celebrated in March (Elaphebolion).

[5] Or, "by dancing roundelays in honour of the gods, especially The Twelve"; and as to the Twelve cf. Aristoph. "Knights," 235, "Birds," 95; Plat. "Laws," 654; Paus. i. 3. 3; 40. 3; viii. 25. 3; Plut. "Nic." 13; Lycurg. 198.

[6] Or, "it would be a beautiful sequel to the proceedings, in my opinion, if at this point they formed in squadron column, and giving rein to their chargers, swept forward at full gallop to the Eleusinion." See Leake, op. cit. i. 296.

[7] Lit. "nor will I omit how the lances shall as little as possible overlap one another."

[8] Lit. "Every trooper should be at pains to keep his lance straight between the ears of his charger, if these weapons are to be distinct and terror-striking, and at the same time to appear numerous."

[9] Lit. "everything that may be performed on a mounted horse." Possibly, as Cobet suggests, {kala} has dropped out. See "Horsemanship," xi. 3, 6.

[10] {dielaunosin en Lukeio}. See A. Martin, op. cit. 196; cf. Arist. "Peace," 356.

[11] Or, as we might say, "in regimental order," "with the commanding officer in front and their respective squadron-leaders"; and for the Lyceum see "Hell." I. i. 33; II. iv. 27.

[12] Lit. "the apex of the confronting theatre."

[13] See "Horsemanship," viii. 6; "Anab." IV. viii. 28.

[14] {dokimasiais}, reviews and inspections. See A. Martin, op. cit. p. 333.

[15] Where? Some think in a lost passage of the work (see Courier, p. 111, n. 1); or is the reference to ch. ii. above? and is the scene of the {dokimasiai} Phaleron? There is no further refernece to {ta Phaleroi}. Cf. S. 1, above. See Aristot. "Ath. Pol." 49 (now the locus classicus on the subject), and Dr. Sandys ad loc. The scene is represented on a patera from Orvieto, now in the Berlin Museum, reproduced and fully described in "The Art of Horsemanship by Xenophon," translated, with chapters on the Greek Riding-Horse, and with notes, by Morris H. Morgan, p. 76.

[16] In the hippodrome near Munychia, I suppose.

[17] Lit. ". . . it would be beautiful to form with extended front, so as to fill the hippodrome with horses and drive out the people from the central space, beautiful to . . ." The new feature of the review would seem to have been the introduction of a sham fight in three parts, down to the customary advance of the whole corps, {epi phalaggos}. Cf. Virg. "Aen." v. 545 foll. But see Martin, op. cit. 197.

[18] Lit. "the anthippasia."

[19] "As is your custom." See "Mem." III. iii. 6.

[20] Cf. Thuc. vii. 27.

[21] See "Horsemanship," vii. 17.