The ephors, with nothing more to gain from Persia, and inspired with contempt for the Persian armies—contempt created by the expedition of the Ten Thousand—readily listened to the overtures, and sent a considerable force into Asia, under Thimbron. He had poor success, and was recalled, and Dereyllidas was sent in his stead.
The Lacedæmonians had just declared war against Tissaphernês and Pharnabazus; sending Thimbron into Asia to commence military operations.
And first having an army under the conduct of Thimbron, then under Dercyllidas, but doing nothing memorable, they at last committed the war to the management of their king Agesilaus, who, when he had arrived with his men in Asia, as soon as he had landed them, fell actively to work, and got himself great renown. He defeated Tisaphernes in a pitched battle, and set many cities in revolt.
In the spring of B.C. 399, Thimbron, the Lacedaemonian commander, arrived at Pergamus, and the remainder of the Ten Thousand Greeks became incorporated with his army. Xenophon now returned to Athens, where he must have arrived shortly after the execution of his master Socrates.
They then became extremely anxious to transport the Cyreians across to Asia, which their governor Aristarchus had hitherto prohibited and to take them into permanent pay; for which purpose two Lacedæmonians, Charmînus and Polynîkus, were commissioned by Thimbron to offer to the army the same pay as he had promised, though not paid, by Seuthês; and as had been originally paid by Cyrus.
We may add what he himself ought to have added, considering the accusations which he had before put forth that neither had he any reason to complain of the ingratitude of the army. Xenophon takes leave of the army. Conclusion. As soon as Thimbron arrived with his own forces, and the Cyreians became a part of his army, Xenophon took his leave of them.
The intended invasion of Alexander seemed to them a matter of no great moment to be classed with expeditions like those of Thimbron and Agesilaus, not to need, as it really did, to be placed in a category of its own. Accordingly, they made no efforts to dispute the passage of the Hellespont, or to oppose the landing of the expedition on the Asiatic shore.
When the army, now reduced by losses and dispersions, to 6000 men, was prepared to cross into Asia, Xenophon was desirous of going back to Athens, but was persuaded to remain with them until the junction with Thimbron. He was at this time so poor, having scarcely enough to pay for his journey home, that he was obliged to sell his horse at Lampsakus, the Asiatic town where the army landed.
A considerable Lacedaemonian force under Thimbron was despatched to their assistance, and which, as related in the preceding chapter, was joined by the remnant of the Greeks who had served under Cyrus. Thimbron, however, proved so inefficient a commander, that he was superseded at the end of 399 or beginning of 398 B.C., and Dercyllidas appointed in his place.
Tiribasus, however, was not sustained by the Persian court, which remained hostile to Sparta. Struthas, a Persian general, was sent into Ionia, to act more vigorously against the Lacedæmonians. He gained a victory, B.C. 390, over the Spartan forces, commanded by Thimbron, who was slain.