XIX. Belisarius, seeing that Nisibis very well fortified, and without any hope to take it, hurried to move on, so that a sudden invasion of harm to the enemy. (2) Therefore, starring with the camp, he and all the host moved forward. Having a one-day journey, they were near the fortifications, which the Persians call Sisavranon . (3) There has been a lot of people, and its garrison were eight selected Persian horsemen, led by the noble husband was named Vliskham. (4) camped near the fortress, the Romans started its siege. However, during the assault they were driven back and suffered heavy losses in the battle. (5) For the walls were very strong, and reflect the barbarians attacked with great courage. Therefore Belisarius, having collected all his military leaders, said the following: (6) "Muzhi- bosses! Experience has taught us many wars in difficult circumstances, to anticipate their consequences and be able to avoid the danger by choosing the best solution. (7) Do you understand why, as dangerous for the troops to advance on the enemy's ground, leaving in his rear a lot of fortifications protected by the same set of warlike people. (8) It is in such a position had to prove to us now. If we go forward, the enemy, and from here, and from the city of Nisibis would secretly follow us, and that it is likely to cause us trouble in places suitable for ambushes, and all sorts of other wiles. (9) If, however, and other troops will fall to meet us and take us into the battle, then we necessarily have to deal with those, and others, and thus suffer from them irreparable harm. Needless to say already that, if this happens, and we fail to fight, we will not have no way to continue to return to the Roman land. (10) Let no one would be so that we are because of unreasonable haste themselves allowed to take off the armor [once killed] and their zeal have harmed the cause of the Romans. Unreasonable bravery leads to destruction, and reasonable caution always brings salvation to those who adhere to it. (11) So, let's stay here and try to take this fortress, and Aref to send his men in Assyria. (12) For the Saracens by nature unable to storm the walls, and no people more fit than they were for plunder and devastation. (13) Along with them, the invasion will be attended by some of the most combat-ready soldiers so that they, in the event that does not meet any resistance, caused the greatest possible damage to those on whom to attack, and if the same will meet some resist the enemy, we could easily escape, retreating to us. (14) We took and God willing, this fortress, with all troops crossed the Tigris and then, without fear, that we will face in the rear is any danger, and already knowing well how things in Assyria. "
John McCracken: Works from 1963-2011
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