As a young man he participated in the military expedition by Cyrus against Artaxerxes in B. Xenophon recorded the details of the expedition in a book called the Anabasis which means "The Expedition" or "The march up country".
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In the book, Xenophon recounts how Cyrus recruited ten thousand Greek mercenaries to help his campaign. Although they won against Artaxerxes in the battle of Cunaxa, Cyrus was killed, which meant that they were leaderless. Anabasis records how they appointed new leaders, one of whom was Xenophon.
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It also tells of the hardships they faced trying to return home confronted by enemy armies, dealing with adverse weather and a lack of food and supplies. The Hellenica, in seven books, is a continuation of the history of Thucydides, from the Peloponnesian War to the Theban supremacy, and employs the annalistic method and exhibits a pro-Spartan bias. The period covered stretches from the end of Thucydides B. There is some question about the division and completeness of the work.
The encomium to Agesilaus may have been composed shortly after the Spartan king's death in Written in the style of the rhetorician Gorgias, it is not carefully constructed. The Hipparchus, which is in two parts—one on memoranda and another on proposals for implementations—is a tract on the duties of a cavalry commander, addressed to one who is about to assume that position. The Cynegeticus is a curious medley on hunting, an enumeration of the pupils of Chiron, praise of the hunt, and an attack on the Sophists.
On Equitation, the oldest treatise on the subject, is authoritatively done and well written. Xenophon's philosophical writings fall into two subdivisions. The first, subject-or theme-oriented political science , education, economics , includes The Lacedaemonian Constitution, an unequal and careless account of Spartan political institutions, adulatory in tone, assigning their origin to Lycurgus, with whom Xenophon identifies his own ideas; and the Cyropaedia, in eight books, described as a political romance.
Using the history of the elder Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy, Xenophon presents the reader with a dull, monotonous, repetitious handbook of ideal kingly behavior with Cyrus as the model. Considered Xenophon's most polished work, the Cyropaedia clearly demonstrates his dislike of democratic constitutions and his preference for a Spartanlike constitution, with practical advice for military commanders, lively descriptions of battle, and suggestions for the education of good citizens.
The treatise On Revenues On Finance contains advice for the amelioration of the Athenian public treasury and also an argument for peace. The second philosophical subdivision is much more concerned with individuals and their ethical behavior, particularly with Socrates. The most famous of this group is undoubtedly The Memorabilia of Socrates, in four books. Reflecting his own practical mind, Xenophon here strives to defend his teacher against the charges of impiety and corruption of youth; he proceeds through a series of conversations to illustrate Socrates's moral teachings.
It is a limited picture of one side of the great philosopher, and a work whose historicity, construction, depth, credibility, and value have been subject to debate. The Apology of Socrates is a brief speech written to justify Socrates's weak defense of himself, and it claims to have recorded material from Hermogenes.
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Parts of it are found also in Plato. The Symposium is also useful for reconstructing the picture of Socrates. Its setting is the house of the rich Athenian Callias during a celebration of the victory of Autolycus at the Great Panathenaia in B.
The nature of love and friendship is the philosophical subject, and it is discussed with lightness and pleasantness, though Socrates's speech to Callias is pointedly serious. Plato may have written his Symposium as a corrective to Xenophon's. The Hieron, a dialogue between king Hiero of Syracuse and Simonides of Ceos, who paid a visit to Syracuse in , contrasts the lot of the ruler with that of a private person.
Which of them is happier is argued out in a way that must have been of particular interest to the Socratics. The Oeconomicusis considered a charming work that reflects Xenophon's life at Scillus, though it is a dialogue between Socrates and Critobulus on estate management and records a discussion on the subject between Socrates and Ischomachus.
Although Xenophon's works were admired in antiquity, he is not an author of high critical ability or of outstanding intellectual or moral caliber. His style was simple and straightforward. A man of action as well as a man of letters, he was a nonprofessional in many subjects but a master of military science.
More a popularizer and adapter of other people's works, he was not creative, profound, or even original. Nevertheless, he was a meticulous observer and a fair assessor of character, and his sympathies were broad and real.
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There have been numerous translations of Xenophon's works, but no recent books of a general nature on Xenophon. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. July 5, Retrieved July 05, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
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Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. He was one of the well-to-do young disciples of Socrates before leaving Athens to join the Greek force the Ten Thousand that was in the service of Cyrus the Younger of Persia. These troops served Cyrus at the disastrous battle of Cunaxa BC. When Cyrus was killed, the Ten Thousand were forced to flee or surrender to the Persians.
Biography - Xenophon
On their return to Greece, the king gave Xenophon a country estate near Olympia , where he started a career as a writer. His masterpiece is the fascinating account of Cyrus' expedition against king Artaxerxes, the Anabasis. The sea! Towards the end of his life, Spartan power collapsed Xenophon's son Gryllus was killed in action in the battle of Mantinea and the author was forced to move to Corinth.