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About the Author

Xenophon's life and personality is better known to us, perhaps, than that of any other Greek who lived before Alexander the Great. Much of his considerable output of historical writing and essays is frankly or implicitly autobiographical. He reveals himself as one of those many Athenians and other show more Greeks who turned to autocratic political models, including admiration of Persia, after the excesses of the Athenian democracy led to disaster in the Peloponnesian War. He also reveals himself as much more than a literary man and a critic of his times. A gentleman adventurer and something of a professional soldier, he followed in turn the philosopher Socrates, the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger, and the Spartan king Agesilaus, all of whom he wrote about with an air of close personal knowledge. His works include the autobiographical Anabasis, an account of his service with a mercenary Greek army that marched from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea after the defeat and death of the younger Cyrus. It provides the most detailed single perspective on the military practices and military mentality of Xenophon's age. His Hellenica, by contrast, is an impersonal continuation to the end of the Peloponnesian War of the work of Thucydides and a patchy memoir that concentrates on Sparta's fortunes until the definitive end of its power in 362 b.c. Xenophon's other major works are the Cyropaedia and the rambling Socratic dialogues known as the Memorabilia. The Cyropaedia is a fictional idealization of the career of Cyrus the Great, the only great conqueror known to the Greeks before Alexander. Often regarded merely as a novel, it is a species of a priori historical reconstruction. A retrojection of the military science and political values of the day into a largely unknown Persia of the past, it is intended to explain Cyrus's success on rational principles. The Memorabilia and the Socratic Apology that comes down with them contain nothing of philosophical value but are thought by some scholars to offer a possible corrective to Plato's altogether too Platonic Socrates. Xenophon had a conventional and second-rate mind, but he is a valuable resource because of his mediocrity. He enables us to make contact with an ordinary intellect from a world that often seems dominated by geniuses. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Xenophon

The Anabasis [in translation] (0370) — Author — 2,306 copies
A History of My Times (0355) — Author — 807 copies
Anabasis [Ancient Greek] (1887) 398 copies
Memorabilia (0371) 372 copies
Cyropaedia [in translation] (0370) 347 copies
The Art of Horsemanship (0355) 143 copies
Symposium (1888) 66 copies
Socratic discourses (1927) 60 copies
Oeconomicus [Ancient Greek] (1949) 52 copies
Xenophontis Opera omnia (1900) 39 copies
Cyropaedia [Ancient Greek] (1919) 30 copies
Complete works (1845) 27 copies
Obres socràtiques menors (1924) 27 copies
The Economist [translation] (0360) 24 copies
Historia Graeca (2004) 16 copies
Minor Works (Greek) (1999) 14 copies
Agesilaus (0360) 11 copies
Anábasis. Libro primero (1988) 9 copies
Opere 8 copies
Le Tavole di Licurgo (1985) 8 copies
Anábasis (1996) 8 copies
The Cavalry General (0350) 8 copies
L'Anabase. Le banquet (1967) 8 copies
The Apology (0385) 6 copies
Oeuvres completes, tome 3 (1967) 6 copies
Records de Sòcrates (1929) 6 copies
Mémorables (2015) 5 copies
Anábasis y obras menores (2007) 5 copies
Anabasi - Elleniche (2012) 5 copies
On Revenues (0355) 5 copies
Ciropèdia, Vol. II, III (1933) 4 copies
Ierone, o Della tirannide (2011) 4 copies
Apology and Memorabilia (2019) 3 copies
La tirannide 3 copies
Elleniche/Anabasi (1996) 3 copies
The Sportsman (2004) 3 copies
Het diner (2019) 2 copies
Apologia de Socrates (2005) 2 copies
Memories of socrates (2023) 2 copies
Sokrates (1966) 2 copies
Expeditio Cyri 2 copies
HELENICAS (2015) 2 copies
Opera Omnia 2 copies
Hellenika I-II.3.10 (1993) 2 copies
Hellenica; books I-II (1899) 2 copies
Cyropaedia II 2 copies
Stories From Xenophon (1992) 2 copies
Ledarskap 1 copy
Senofonte 1 copy
Cineg©·tic 1 copy
Opuscles 1 copy
Onnia 1 copy
La caccia 1 copy
Ierone 1 copy
yunan tarihi (1999) 1 copy
Οικονομικός (1997) 1 copy
Banquet (1996) 1 copy
Efesíaques 1 copy
Opuscles 1 copy
Cinegètic 1 copy
Hipparchikos 1 copy
Xenophon 1 copy
Econômico, 1 copy
Works III 1 copy
Xenophon's Minor Works (2016) 1 copy
Hellenica 1 copy
Oeconomicus (2012) 1 copy
Opuscula V 1 copy
Xenophon Symposium (1880) 1 copy
Memorias 1 copy
Das Gastmahl. (1957) 1 copy
Operum 1 copy
Paardrijden 1 copy
HELLÉNIQUES (2018) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Portable Greek Historians (1959) — Contributor — 541 copies
The Penguin Book of War (1999) — Contributor — 442 copies
Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time (1942) — Contributor — 283 copies
On Tyranny (1963) — some editions — 269 copies
Greek Civilization and Character (1924) — Contributor — 147 copies
Classic Travel Stories (1994) — Contributor — 63 copies
Komt een Griek bij de dokter humor in de oudheid (2007) — Contributor — 25 copies
Selections from Greek Historians (1878) — Contributor — 10 copies
Griekse geschiedschrijvers (1951) — Contributor — 6 copies


Common Knowledge



As presented by Xenophon, Socrates is a man who knows he is the smartest guy in the room but disguises it from those who don’t know him well. When asked at the symposium to join in telling the party what he is best at or proudest of, Socrates answers, not philosophy, but pimping, by which he seems to mean introducing people to one another. He always has more than one item on his agenda. When he discusses farming in the Oeconomicus, he is interested not only in how to run a farm but also in the nature of what it means to be a gentleman and the nature of goodness.
His interrogators seldom understand his irony. In the Apology, when he is asked why he chooses death over some of the other punishments he might ask for, he says that he wants to die before he has to put up with the pains of old age. Kill me now because old age sucks is not a serious argument, but Socrates is the only one in the room who seems to know that.
Bisexual eroticism also stands out in Xenophon’s version of the Symposium. Most of the guests, including Socrates, seem equally turned on by boys and girls, but in the end, everyone except Socrates goes home to play with their wives and girlfriends. Socrates is not anxious to go home to Xantippe, his difficult wife. He heads out into the night alone.
I wish I had read these pieces when I first encountered Socrates in Plato.
… (more)
Tom-e | Nov 15, 2023 |
The Ancient Greek term anabasis is ambiguous enough that translators often let it stand. Here are some possibilities: march up country, ascent, and literally, expedition up from. In translating Xenophon’s title, Wayne Ambler opts for The Anabasis of Cyrus, which does not clear up the issue.
Xenophon, a military leader, historian, and friend of Socrates, left Athens to join a Spartan mercenary expedition to aid Cyrus the Younger in his effort to overthrow his brother Artaxerxes. Xenophon took command after Cyrus was killed and the Greek leaders were assassinated. With his force of 10,000 hoplites, he fought his way from Babylon to the Black Sea and through Turkey,
Xenophon appears as a character in the narrative. In chronicling his journey, he describes the leadership styles of his enemies and allies. He led from the front and used argument and consensus more often than threats of force to keep his troops in line.
After the death of Cyrus, the Greek army often lived off the land; you would not have wanted to be a villager in their path. In the mountains, villagers jumped from cliffs to avoid them. Xenophon reports with equal coolness, acts of courage, nobility, and brutality.
The Anabasis is a landmark work of military history that deserves to be read alongside those of Thucydides, Caesar, and Herodotus.
… (more)
Tom-e | 49 other reviews | Sep 21, 2023 |
markm2315 | 49 other reviews | Jul 1, 2023 |
adancingstar | 2 other reviews | Sep 29, 2022 |



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