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345 PERSIA.-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

already been narrated. The subsequent history of the great king is a part of the history

of his times, and will be presented in the following narrative.

The conquest of Ecbatana by Cyrus was accepted by the Medes as a matter of course. The

young prince was already a favorite with a majority of the Median nobles. They who in

matters of religion longed for a return to the simple faith of the fathers, hailed him as

a deliverer from national apostasy. He was, moreover, a grandson of the recent king, and

might, therefore, be regarded almost as the rightful heir to the throne. Every circum-

stance favored the peaceable assumption by him of all the rights and prerogatives hitherto

belonging to the kings of Media. Such was the ready acquiescence in the new order of the

peoples beyond the Zagros.

To the Assyrians the change was only a change of masters. TO them it imported nothing that

a Persian rather than a Mede should inherit whatever was left of the glory of Nineveh and

Calah. So they accepted the substitution of one dynasty for another without any effort on

their part to regain their lost independence. In looking around the horizon,, Cyrus could

discover but one quarter from which to anticipate the coming of danger. This was in the

extreme North-west. In this connection, the tripartite division of Western Asia by

Cyaxares, Nabopolassar, and the king of Lydia will be readily recalled. After the

accession of Cyrus, it was this kingdom of Lydia which appeared to him the only power of

which he had occasion to be apprehensive. It was, therefore, to this remote country

between the Halys and the Aegean to which the Persian king first turned his attention. At

this time the Lydian monarch was CROESUS, who, as we have already seen-in order to

anticipate the movements of his foe-hastily sent an embassy to the king of Babylonia,

inviting his cooperation against the Persian. How that invitation was accepted and became

the ground for the subsequent invasion of Lower Mesopotamia and the overthrow of Babylon,

has already been narrated. In this place we have to do only

with the conquest of Lydia by the Persians.

Croesus was not averse to the war. His father had for a long time withstood the assaults

of the Medes led by Cyaxares, and had finally, after the skies were so ominously veiled at

the Battle of the Eclipse, secured an honorable and advantageous alliance by intermarriage

between his own house and that of Ecbatana. Croesus had as little cause as his father to

dread disaster in a contest with the Iranians from beyond the mountains. And so, without

waiting to receive active aid or even assurances of aid from the Babylonians, he flung

himself into a war with Cyrus.

The Lydian king made great preparations for the conflict. In addition to the resources of

his own kingdom-then by far the most powerful and opulent in Asia Minor-he secured an

alliance with Pharaoh Amasis of Egypt, and also with the oligarchy of Sparta. Thus

fortified with enormous wealth and with the support of several of the most powerful states

of the West, to say nothing of expected aid from Nabonadius of Babylon, he felt himself

strong enough to confront even the conqueror of the Medes.

Cyrus began his work by diplomacy. Knowing that Lydia had but recently subdued many of the

small states between the Halys and the Aegean, and learning that a large per cent of the

people of those states were of Greek descent and therefore of dispositions exceedingly

averse to despotic rule, he sent emissaries among them to test their loyalty to the Lydian

king, and, if possible, to foment insurrections. At this time, however, the Ionian Greeks,

who were engaged m commerce by land and sea, were not especially galled by the rule of the

easy-going Croesus, and perceiving that war meant min to merchants, thought it not wise to

break their allegiance, and so the agents of Cyrus returned to their master with no

results.

The Persian was not discouraged. Throwing aside all expedients, he put himself at the head

of his army and advanced rapidly to the west. Taking the circuitous route from

Mesopotamia, he came by way of Erzerum into that part of Northern Cappa-