During the part of their journey which took them along the southern shore of the Black Sea, the ten thousand Greek mercenaries, or ‘Cyreans’ as Xenophon calls them,1 halted for a while near the city of Cotyora, roughly halfway between Trapezus and Sinope. At this place, as he tells us, Xenophon had a remarkable vision:
at this time, as Xenophon saw the many hoplites of the Greeks, as he saw the many peltasts, bowmen, slingers and cavalry, and all made expertly capable through experience, as he saw them there on the shore of the Black Sea where so great a military force could not have been put together without considerable expense, it seemed to him to be a good idea to add land and power to Hellas by means of the soldiers founding a city. And it seemed to him that it would be a great city when he reckoned up the number of soldiers themselves as well as those who dwelt around the sea. And for the accomplishment of these things he held a sacrifice.