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The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika

by Xenophon, Robert B. Strassler (Editor)

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The Landmark presentation is as superb here as for their editions of Herodotus and Thucydides. The 4-star rating (instead of 5) is purely for the original work, which is not nearly as interesting as the earlier works. Still, it's one of the rare early histories available. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Aug 28, 2012 |
This is the third release in the impressive Landmark series from Robert Strassler and once again this is a notable contribution. The work, Hellenica (Ἑλληνικά), is an important work of the Greek writer Xenophon and one of the principal sources for the final seven years of the Peloponnesian War not covered by Thucydides, and the war's aftermath. The appendices are extremely helpful and illustrative of the most important issues in the the Hellenika; in addition, the maps and supplemental materials are first-rate.

Xenophon (Ancient Greek Ξενοφῶν, Xenophōn; c. 430 – 354 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates. He is known for his writings on the history of his own times, the 4th century BC, preserving the sayings of Socrates, and descriptions of life in ancient Greece and the Persian Empire. Xenophon's writings, especially the Anabasis, are often read by beginning students of the Greek language. His Hellenica is a major primary source for events in Greece from 411 to 362 BC, and is considered to be the continuation of the History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, going so far as to begin with the phrase "Following these events...". The Hellenica recounts the last seven years of the Peloponnesian war, as well as its aftermath. His Socratic writings, preserved complete, along with the dialogues of Plato, are the only surviving representatives of the genre of Sokratikoi logoi.

Socratic dialogue (Greek: Σωκρατικὸς λόγος or Σωκρατικὸς διάλογος) is a genre of prose literary works developed in Greece at the turn of the fourth century BC, preserved today in the dialogues of Plato and the Socratic works of Xenophon - either dramatic or narrative - in which characters discuss moral and philosophical problems, illustrating a version of the Socratic method. Socrates is often the main character.

Xeonophon's works include:

Historical and biographical works

Anabasis (also: The Persian Expedition or The March Up Country or The Expedition of Cyrus)
Cyropaedia (also: The Education of Cyrus)
Hellenica
Agesilaus

Socratic works and dialogues

Memorabilia
Oeconomicus
Symposium
Apology
Hiero

Short treatises

On Horsemanship
The Cavalry General
Hunting with Dogs
Ways and Means
Constitution of Sparta
1 vote gmicksmith | Feb 12, 2012 |
Showing 2 of 2
The handsome new Landmark Xenophon’s “Hellenika,” ought to restore [Xenophon’s] standing as a serious historian of the ancient world, and not just as an obscure pop-culture reference. Its editor, Robert Strassler, once again applies a formula that worked with great success for both Herodotus and Thucydides: he issues beautifully produced volumes that have the weight of authority but are free of the burdens of academic texts. Filled with attractive maps and illustrations, they are a pleasure to behold. . . .

What does emerge in John Marincola’s translation is a clear-eyed view of war, a recognition of both its necessity and brutality. There is almost something of an ancient Hemingway in Xenophon’s hypnotically plain descriptions of battle (at least as they are rendered here), such as the story of Corinthian exiles battling against Spartan forces: “Some of them climbed up the steps to the top of the wall, from which they threw themselves down and were killed, while others, being pushed together around the steps, were struck and killed there.” . . .

The Hellenika is often messy: Athens and Sparta are the primary players, but Corinth and Thebes constantly jump into the fray, and Persia, Sparta’s sometime ally, is always lurking at the periphery. All this can be confusing, and one of the more impressive things about the Landmark edition is how much it tries—and succeeds—in making the texts of ancient Greece accessible to contemporary audiences.

The extensive footnotes are both informative and readable: one explains how the Long Walls of Athens protected the city against a naval siege; another details an intricate drinking game, kottabos, played at the kinds of symposia Socrates frequented. Side notes, meanwhile, offer a running plot summary, in case the casual reader neglects to follow, say, the hostilities between Agesilaos and Phleious. The maps generously sprinkled across these pages are uniformly clear, showing both battle maneuvers and shifting geopolitical alliances. And the appendix is a veritable treasure trove of secondary material: essays on everything from “Units of Distance, Currency, and Capacity” to pithy biographical entries and rival accounts of the Peloponnesian War by later historians like Diodorus Siculus.

The Landmark Xenophon is no beach read, but it doesn’t try to be. Instead, it hews to a neat and careful line between serious scholarship and accessible, general-interest reading. A marathon read from front cover to back would constitute a first-rate education in classical history.
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Xenophonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strassler, Robert B.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375422552, Hardcover)

From the editor of the widely praised The Landmark Thucydides and The Landmark Herodotus, here is a new edition of Xenophon’s Hellenika, the primary source for the events of the final seven years and aftermath of the Peloponnesian War.

Hellenika covers the years between 411 and 362 B.C.E., a particularly dramatic period during which the alliances among Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Persia were in constant flux. Together with the volumes of Herodotus and Thucydides, it completes an ancient narrative of the military and political history of classical Greece.

Xenophon was an Athenian who participated in the expedition of Cyrus the Younger against Cyrus’ brother, the Perisan King Artaxerces II. Later Xenophon joined the Spartan army and hence was exiled from Athens. In addition to the Hellenika, a number of his essays have survived, including one on his memories of his teacher, Socrates.

Beautifully illustrated, heavily annotated, and filled with detailed, clear maps, this edition gives us a new, authoritative, and completely accessible translation by John Marincola, an comprehensive introduction by David Thomas, sixteen appendices written by leading classics scholars, and an extensive timeline/chronology to clarify this otherwise confusing period. Unlike any other edition of the Hellenika, it also includes the relevant texts of Diodorus Siculus and the Oxyrhynchus Historian, with explanatory footnotes and a table that correlates passages of the three works, which is perhaps crucial to an assessment of Xenophon’s reliability and quality as a historian.

Like the two Landmark editions that precede it, The Landmark Xenophon’s Hellenika is the most readable and comprehensive edition available of an essential history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:43 -0400)

"Covering the years between 411 and 362 B.C.E., a particularly dramatic period during which the alliances among Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Persia, and other states were in constant flux ... Beautifully illustrated, heavily annotated, and filled with detailed, clear maps, this edition gives us a new, authoritative, and completely accessible translation by John Marincola, and a comprehensive introduction by David Thomas. This is also the only edition of Xenophon's Hellennika that contains relevant passages from the contemporary histories of Ephorus/Diodorus Siculus and the Oxyrhynchus Historian, two sources whos accounts sometime confirm and sometime refute that of Xenophon. With sixteen appendixes written by some of today's top scholars, including Paul Cartledge, Peter Krentz, Christopher Tuplin, and P.J. Rhodes. "The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika" is the most readable and comprehensive edition available of an essential history"--Back cover.… (more)

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