Aeneas Tacticus 24.





24. Of Passwords

1. In giving the password, if your force includes men of different cities or nationalities, take care not to give a word whose meaning can be equally well expressed by another word, as for instance Dioscuri and Tyndaridae, where the two different words mean the same; 2. or again Ares and Enyalius, Athena and Pallas, sword [xiphos] and cutlass [encheiridion], lamp and light, and similar expressions which are hard to remember because of the different usages in every nation [ethnos], and are a source of danger if a dialect form instead of one generally familiar is issued as the password. 3. Thus when mixed mercenary troops or allies of different nationalities form part of your force, such passwords should be avoided.
I will give as an instance what happened in Aeolis to Charidemus of Oreus, after he had captured the town of Ilion by the following stratagem. 4. The governor of Ilion had a slave who constantly went out to steal, especially at night, when he used to go out and return again each time with the results of the night’s work. 5. After a time Charidemus found this out, made the slave’s acquaintance, and came to a secret understanding whereby he induced him to go out as if to steal on a specified night: he was to go out during the night with a horse, so that the gates might be opened for him on his return, instead of his entering by the passage (or wicket), as he usually did. 6. When he arrived outside, he interviewed Charidemus and chose from his force about thirty mercenaries, armed with breastplates, daggers, shields, and close-fitting helmets. 7. These he led off in the dark, in shabby clothing and with their arms concealed, making them look like prisoners, and brought them into the town along with some women and children, also dressed as prisoners, the gates being opened to let the horse pass through. 8. No sooner had they entered than they set to work, slew the sentinel, behaved as mercenaries usually do, and succeeded in occupying the gates, at which troops at once arrived and seized the citadel; for Charidemus was close at hand. 9. Afterwards Charidemus himself entered with the main body, 10 but took care at the same time to place a detachment in ambush, suspecting that a force would be sent to recapture the city, as was indeed the case. For on hearing the news, Athenodorus of Imbros, who with his army was at no great distance, tried at once to send help. 11. He, too, was a shrewd man and also had his suspicions about an ambush: so he avoided the route to Ilion on which the ambush was placed, took another road in the dark without being seen, and arrived at the city gates. 12. Then some of his men slipped into the city, passing amid the confusion for members of Charidemus’ army. 13. But before any more could enter, they were discovered by means of the password, and some were driven out, others slain at the gates; for the relieving force gave the password as ‘Tyndaridae’, while Charidemus’ password was really ‘Dioscuri’. 14. This, and nothing else, saved Ilion from being at once recaptured by Athenodorus the same night.
The passwords given should therefore be easy to remember, and as nearly related as possible to the business in hand: 15. for instance, for a foray ‘Artemis the Huntress’; for secret exploits ‘Hermes the cunning’; in case of an assault ‘Heracles’; for open attacks ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’; and so on as far as possible, using words that will be intelligible to all. 16. Iphicrates used even to say that rounds and sentries should not have the same password, but that a different one should be assigned to each: for instance, the man challenged would answer ‘Zeus the Saviour’ (if this happened to be the word), and the reply of the challenger might be ‘Poseidon’. This would minimise the risk of disasters arising from the betrayal of a password to the enemy.
17. In case the guards get separated, arrange in advance for them to communicate by whistling: for this will convey nothing to those who do not know it, whether they are Hellenes or Barbarians. 18. But look after your dogs: otherwise, when they hear the whistle, they may cause trouble. Whistling was used to collect the troops at Thebes during the recapture of the Cadmeia, when they got separated and did not know one another in the dark.
19. Rounds and patrols should both demand the password: it is no use for only one to do so. For an enemy might challenge just as well as a man going the rounds.




24. Συνθημάτων

1. Παραδιδόντα δὲ συνθήματα δεῖ προνοεῖν, ἐὰν τύχῃ τὸ στράτευμα μιγάδες ὄντες ἀπὸ πόλεων ἢ ἐθνῶν, ὅπως μή, ἂν παρέχῃ τὸ ἓν εἶδος δύο ὀνόματα, ἀμφιβόλως παραδοθήσεται, οἷον τάδε, Διόσκουροι Τυνδαρίδαι, περὶ ἑνὸς εἴδεος δύο ὀνόματα οὐ τὰ αὐτά: 2. καὶ ἄλλοτε δὲ Ἄρης Ἐνυάλιος, Ἀθηνᾶ Παλλάς, ξίφος ἐγχειρίδιον, λαμπὰς φῶς, καὶ ἄλλα ὁμότροπα τούτοις, ἅπερ δυσμνημόνευτά ἐστιν παρὰ τὰ νομιζόμενα ἑκάστῳ ἔθνει τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ βλάβην φέρει, ἐὰν κατὰ γλῶσσάν τις παραγγέλλῃ μᾶλλον ἢ κοινόν τι ἅπασιν. 3. ἐν μιγάσι δ̓ οὖν ξένοις οὐ δεῖ τὰ τοιαῦτα παραγγέλλειν, οὐδὲ ἐν ἔθνεσι συμμάχοις.
οἷον Χαριδήμῳ Ὠρείτῃ περὶ τὴν Αἰολίδα συνέβη, καταλαβόντι Ἴλιον τρόπῳ τοιῷδε. 4. τῷ ἄρχοντι τοῦ Ἰλίου ἦν οἰκέτης ἐκπορευόμενος ἐπὶ λείαν ἀεί, καὶ μάλιστα ἐν ταῖς νυξὶν ἐξεπορεύετο καὶ εἰσεπορεύετο εἰσάγων τὰ ἀγρευθέντα ἑκάστοτε. 5. ἐν δὲ τῷ χρόνῳ τούτῳ καταμαθὼν ὁ Χαρίδημος ταῦτα πράσσοντα οἰκειοῦται, καὶ εἰς λόγους κρυφαίους ἀφικόμενος διομολογεῖται, καὶ ἔπεισεν αὐτὸν ἐκπορευθῆναι ἐν ῥητῇ νυκτὶ ὡς ἐπὶ λείαν: μεθ̓ ἵππου δὲ ἐκέλευσεν αὐτὸν ἐξελθεῖν ἐν τῇ νυκτί, ἵνα αἱ πύλαι αὐτῷ ἀνοιχθεῖεν, ἀλλὰ μὴ κατὰ τὴν διάδυσιν ἢ τὴν ἐκτομάδα πυλίδα ὥσπερ εἰώθει, εἰσέλθοι. 6. γενόμενος δ̓ ἔξω καὶ διαλεχθεὶς τῷ Χαριδήμῳ ἔλαβεν παῤ αὐτῶν ξένους ὡς τριάκοντα τεθωρακισμένους καὶ ἔχοντας ἐγχειρίδια καὶ ὅπλα καὶ περικεφαλαίας κρυφαίας. 7. ὡς ἀπήγαγέν τε οὖν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ἐν ἐσθῆτι φαύλῃ καὶ ἔκρυψε τὰ ὅπλα, καὶ ὁμοιώσας αἰχμαλώτοις, μετ̓ ἄλλων γυναικῶν καὶ παιδαρίων, καὶ τούτων ὡς αἰχμαλώτων, εἰσεπορεύετο ἀνοιχθεισῶν αὐτῷ τῶν πυλῶν διὰ τὸν ἵππον. 8. ὅπου δὴ εὐθὺς οἱ εἰσελθόντες ἔργου εἴχοντο τὸν τε πυλωρὸν ἀποκτείναντες καὶ εἰς ἄλλας ξένας πράξεις ὁρμήσαντες, καὶ τῶν πυλῶν ἐγκρατεῖς ὄντες, ἐφ̓ ἃς εὐθύς, οὐ πόρρω ὄντος τοῦ Χαριδήμου, παρῆσαν τάξεις καὶ κατέλαβον τὸ πόλισμα. 9. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτὸς εἰσεπορεύθη μετὰ πάσης τῆς δυνάμεως. ἅμα δὲ τούτοις καὶ τοιόνδ̓ ἔπραξεν. 10. τοῦ στρατεύματός τινι μέρει ἐνέδρας ἐποιήσατο, προνοήσας ὅτι παρέσοιτο βοήθεια ἐπὶ τὸ χωρίον. ὅπερ συνέβη: εὐθὺς γὰρ αἰσθόμενος Ἀθηνόδωρος Ἴμβριος, ὢν οὐ πόρρω μετὰ στρατεύματος, ἐπειρᾶτο βοηθεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ χωρίον. 11. ἔτυχε δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀγχίνως πάλιν ἀνθυποπτεύσας, καὶ οὐ τὰς ἐνεδρευομένας ὁδοὺς ἐπορεύθη πρὸς τὸ Ἴλιον, ἀλλὰ ἄλλας πορευθεὶς ἔλαθέν τε ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ καὶ ἦλθεν πρὸς τὰς πύλας. 12. καὶ ἔλαθόν τινες συνεισελθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἐν τῷ θορύβῳ, ὡς τοῦ Χαριδήμου ὄντες στρατεύματος. 13. ἔπειτα πρὸ τοῦ πλείονας εἰσελθεῖν ἐγνώσθησαν τῷ συνθήματι, καὶ οἱ μὲν ἐξέπεσον αὐτῶν, οἱ δὲ καὶ περὶ τὰς πύλας διεφθάρησαν: τοῖς μὲν γὰρ ἦν τὸ σύνθημα Τυνδαρίδαι, τοῦ δὲ Διόσκουροι. 14. καὶ παρὰ τοῦτο ἐγένετο τὴν πόλιν μὴ ἀντικαταληφθῆναι παραχρῆμα ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀθηνοδώρου ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτί.
παραγγέλλειν οὖν χρὴ τὰ συνθήματα εὐμνημόνευτά τε καὶ ὡς μάλιστα ἀδελφὰ ταῖς μελλούσαις πράξεσι γίγνεσθαι, οἷον τάδε. 15. ἐπὶ μὲν ἄγραν πορευομένοις Ἄρτεμιν Ἀγροτέραν, ἐπὶ δὲ κλοπήν τινα πράξεων Ἑρμῆν Δόλιον, ἐπὶ δὲ βιασμὸν Ἡρακλέα, τοῖς δὲ φανεροῖς ἐγχειρήμασιν Ἥλιον καὶ Σελήνην, καὶ ὡς μάλιστα ὁμότροπα τούτοις καὶ κοινότατα πᾶσιν. 16. Ἰφικράτης δὲ οὐδὲ τὸ αὐτὸ σύνθημα ἐκέλευεν τὸν περίοδόν τε καὶ φύλακα ἔχειν, ἀλλὰ ἕτερον ἑτέρῳ δεδόσθαι, ἵνα ὁ μὲν τὸ πρῶτον ἐρωτηθεὶς ἀποκρίνηται Ζεὺς Σωτήρ, ἐὰν τοῦτο ἔχων τύχῃ, ὁ δ̓ ἀντερωτηθεὶς Ποσειδῶν. οὕτω γὰρ ἂν ἥκιστα σφάλλοιντο ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων καὶ ἐξαυτομολοῖτο τὸ σύνθημα.
17. πλάνης δὲ γενομένης τοῖς φύλαξιν ἀπ̓ ἀλλήλων συριγμῷ χρῆσθαι πρὸς αὑτούς, τοῦτον δὲ προσυγκεῖσθαι: πλὴν γὰρ τῷ εἰδότι ἄγνωστος τοῖς ἄλλοις ἔσται, ἐάν τε Ἕλληνες ἐάν τε βάρβαροι ὦσιν. 18. προενθυμεῖν δὲ τῶν κυνῶν, μὴ διὰ τὸν συριγμὸν ἀσύμφορον ἐξ αὐτῶν ᾖ. ἐχρήσαντο δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν Θήβαις ὅτε τὴν Καδμείαν καταλαβόντες ἐσκεδάσθησαν νυκτὸς καὶ ἠγνόησαν ἀλλήλους, πρὸς συριγμὸν δὲ συνελέγοντο.
19. τὰ δὲ συνθήματα ἐρωτᾶσθαι κοινῶς τοῖς τε περιοδεύουσι καὶ προφύλαξιν: οὐδὲν γὰρ προσήκει τὸν ἕτερον ἐρωτᾶν. ὡς γὰρ περίοδος καὶ πολέμιος ἂν ἐρωτῴη.

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created 04/07/2017 - updated 04/07/2017