Cyrus's deliberations led him to adopt the following plan, which he found best suited to his purpose. He wrote on a roll of parchment that Astyages had appointed him to command the Persian army; then he summoned an assembly of the Persians, opened the roll in their presence and read out what he had written. “And now, he added, I have an order for you: every man is to appear on parade with a billhook. ...” The order was obeyed. All the men assembled with their billhooks, and Cyrus's next command was before the day was out they should clear a certain piece of rough land full of thorn-bushes, about eighteen or twenty furlongs square. This too was done, whereupon Cyrus issued the further order that they should present themselves again on the following day, after having taken a bath. Meanwhile, Cyrus collected and slaughtered all his father's goats, sheep, and oxen in preparation for entertaining the whole Persian army at a banquet, together with the best wine and bread he could procure.
After the meal Cyrus asked them which they preferred yesterday's work or today's amusement; and they replied that it was indeed a far cry from the previous day's misery to their present pleasures. This was the answer which Cyrus wanted; he seized upon it at once and proceeded to lay bare what he had in mind. “Men of Persia,” he said, “listen to me: obey my orders, and you will be able to enjoy a thousand pleasures as good as this without ever turning your hands to menial labor; but, if you disobey, yesterday 's task will be the pattern of innumerable others you will be forced to perform. Take my advice and win your freedom. The man destined to undertake your liberation, and it is my belief that you are a match for the Medes in war as in everything else. It is the truth I tell you. Do not delay, but fling off the yoke of Astyages at once.”The Persians had long resented their subjection to the Medes. At last they had found a leader, and welcomed with enthusiasm the prospect of liberty.... On the present occasion the Persians under Cyrus rose against the Medes and from then onwards were masters of Asia.