Necessity to Xenophon was truly the mother of invention, but the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior. The Cyropaedia as a whole lavishes a great deal of praise on the first Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great, on account of his virtue and leadership quality, and it was through his greatness that the Persian Empire held together. Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, "Xenophon, Constitution of the Lacedaimonians, chapter 1, section 1", Xenophon's Education of Cyrus (Cyropaedia) Web directory, Sanders (1903) Ph D Thesis on The Cynegeticus, Works by Xenophon at Perseus Digital Library, "Socrates, with predecessors and followers: Xenophon", Links to English translations of Xenophon's works, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xenophon&oldid=992848434, Military personnel of the Achaemenid Empire, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from November 2019, Articles needing additional references from December 2018, All articles needing additional references, Articles with Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy links, Wikipedia articles incorporating the template Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bradley, Patrick J. No general ever possessed a grander moral ascendant over his men. As the military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge wrote, "the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior". Xenophon produced a large body of work, all of which survives to the present day. With the Carduchians surging toward the Greek rear, Xenophon again faced the threat of total destruction in battle. 41–64. Therefore, what we know about them comes exclusively from outsiders such as Xenophon. 2012. Author of. The linking of moral code and education is an especially pertinent quality subscribed to Cyrus that O’Flannery believes is in line with modern perceptions of leadership.[35]. The main army at once joined in the attack from the valley side, and the Carducians were driven from their stronghold. Dercylidas proposed the new terms of truce to Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus and the three parties submitted the truce proposal to the Sparta and the Persian king for ratification. After facing the court at Sparta, Thimbron is banished. "He decided to quit the Liberal Party and join a Labor Cabinet because he wanted to make a difference — and that's exactly what he's done." was a time of cultural splendor. The Socrates that Xenophon portrayed was different from Plato’s in multiple respects. However, this treatise makes evident that anti-democratic sentiments were extant in Athens in the late 5th century BC and were only increased after its shortcomings were exploited and made apparent during the Peloponnesian War. Dillery is ideally suited both to evaluate the merits and shortcomings of new work on leadership in Xenophon, and to synthesise and expand the most important themes suggested by the authors. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Xenophon describes his life in 401 BC and 400 BC in the memoir Anabasis. Judged in antiquity to be plain, sweet, persuasive, graceful, poetic, and a model of Attic purity, it now strikes some as jejune. And he further believes that one cannot be good at political things without being just. “ALEXANDER. His minister Chrysantas admires the centaurs for their dual nature, but also warns that the dual nature does not allow centaurs to fully enjoy or act as either one of their aspects in full (4.3.19–20). He certainly used his mercenary booty to buy land and erect a small-scale copy of Artemis’s famous temple at Ephesus. But when I considered the institutions of the Spartans, I wondered no longer.[31]. Although the real Xenophon seems to prefer oligarchy over democracy, none of his works so ardently decry democracy as does the Constitution of the Athenians. [36] The following list of his works exhibits the extensive breadth of genres in which Xenophon wrote. Xenophon framed Socrates’ defense, which both men admit was not prepared at all, not as failure to effectively argue his side, but as striving for death even in the light of unconvincing charges. Every system of war looks to this as to the fountain-head when it comes to rearward movements, as it looks to Alexander for a pattern of resistless and intelligent advance. He cites the regression of the Persians directly after the death of Cyrus as a result of this instability, a union made possible only through the impeccable character of Cyrus. However, certain works of Xenophon, in particular the Cyropaedia, seem to show his oligarchic politics. Xenophon, (born c. 430 bce, Attica, Greece—died shortly before 350, Attica), Greek historian and philosopher whose numerous surviving works are valuable for their depiction of late Classical Greece. Unpersuaded by Seuthes’s offers of land and marriage to his daughter and evidently disinclined (despite protestations to the contrary) to return home, Xenophon remained with his comrades. Xenophon likely followed Agesilaus' march to Sparta in 394 BC and finished his military journey after seven years. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. although according to Herodotus and the current consensus the Medians had been made "slaves" of the Persians several years previously. contribution to the study of Xenophon’s political-didactic aims and methods, concludes the collection with a response to the six papers. Posthumously his place in the canon of ancient authors was secure; he was a historian, philosopher, and man of action, a perfect model for the young (a view expressed, for example, by Dion Chrysostom [Dio Cocceianus]) and an object of systematic literary imitation by Arrian. The manner in which this occurs seems also to be a subtle jab at democracy. The Persian army retreated to Tralles and the Greeks to Leucophrys. Every day, these cavalry, finding no opposition from the Ten Thousand, moved cautiously closer and closer. Although empire emerges in this case, this is also a sequence of events associated with democracy. rear-guard action: in place of the unrecoverable philosophy of the historical Socrates, this other Socrates is to be systematically harmonized from the various Socratic reminiscences in order to button-down a stable meaning for the signifier “Socrates.” 12 A History of the Origin and Growth of the Art of War, from the Earliest Times to the Battle of Ipsus, b. c. 301”. Thus this entire paradigm seems to be a jab at the Persians and an indication of Xenophon’s general distaste for the Persians. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Xenophon, Encyclopædia Iranica - Biography of Xenophon, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of Xenophon, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Biography of Xenophon, Xenophon - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Despite effective fighting by the Greeks, Cyrus was killed in the battle (Anabasis 1.8.27–1.9.1). He reduced its management to a perfect method. Plato and Xenophon. Senator Xenophon has described the state of South Australian politics as "a triumph of low expectations". Anabasis and Cyropaedia flowed from the adventure of 401–400; the Socratic writings stemmed from youthful association with a charismatic teacher; Hellenica arose from a personal take on the politico-military history of his times; treatises on military command, horsemanship, household management, and hunting derived from prolonged personal experience of each; Ways and Means was inspired by concern about Athens’s finances and political fortunes; and Hiero may have originated in a visit to Sicily. His Anabasi… [10] Tissaphernes pursued Xenophon with a vast force, and when the Greeks reached the wide and deep Great Zab River, it seemed they were surrounded. By contrast, Plato does not go so far as to claim that Socrates actually desired death, but seems to argue that Socrates was attempting to demonstrate a higher moral standard and teach a lesson, although his defence failed by conventional standards. In his contribution “Xenophon’s Intertextual Socrates,” Johnson fights a rather quixotic (dare we say?) Nick Xenophon’s decision to return to state politics is a potential political earthquake. Johnson reads even more deeply into the centaur label. "[32] Diogenes Laërtius also relates an incident "when in the battle of Delium Xenophon had fallen from his horse" and Socrates reputedly "stepped in and saved his life."[33]. [29] However, in the face of overwhelming numbers in a campaign against the Assyrians, Cyrus armed the commoners with similar arms instead of their normal light ranged armament (Cyropaedia 2.1.9). These show no distinction in official rank or status between the Persian and Median nobility. Xenophon's father, Gryllus was a member of a wealthy equestrian family. The persistence and skill of the Greek soldiers were used by proponents of Panhellenism as proof that the Persians were vulnerable. However, the empire began to decline upon the death of Cyrus. As a result of failed siege of Larissa, the ephors of Sparta recall Thimbron and send Dercylidas to lead the Greek army. Third, Xenophon’s agenda was essentially didactic (usually with direct or indirect reference to military or leadership skills), and it was often advanced through the use of history as a source of material. Xenophon has long been associated with the opposition to the Athenian democracy of his time, of which he saw the shortcomings and the ultimate defeat to the Spartan oligarchic power. Herodotus says that Cyrus led a rebellion against his maternal grandfather, Astyages king of Media, and defeated him, thereafter (improbably) keeping Astyages in his court for the remainder of his life (Histories 1.130). The … [29] Cyrus is idealized greatly in the narrative. The system’s interconnection with the gods may challenge readers who either disavow the divine or are not reconciled to a pagan theological environment, simply because—in ethical contexts, though not in specific ritual ones (as illustrated in Anabasis, Book VII)—divine power in Xenophon is frequently anonymous and often singular or because he could apparently take a pragmatic attitude (e.g., posing a question to the Delphic oracle that was framed to produce the “right” answer). The Peloponnesian War and the wars against the Persians took place during this time. However, Clearchus, a Spartan general, convinced the Greeks to continue with the expedition. Xenophon’s Socratic education was the most formative experience of his life and is the crucial reason why he is significant to scholars of politics. Except for the dialogues of Plato, they are the only surviving representatives of the genre of Socratic dialogue. Updates? Xenophon’s entire classical corpus is extant. Xenophon’s lessons on leadership have been reconsidered for their modern-day value. Experience as a mercenary and a military leader, service under Spartan commanders in Ionia, Asia Minor, Persia and elsewhere, exile from Athens, and friendship with King Agesilaus II endeared Xenophon to the Spartans. Farrell, Christopher A. Xenophon says that Socrates made his students more dialectical and more capable of ruling in one fell swoop ( Mem. Classical Greek philosopher, historian, and soldier, Relations between Medes and Persians in the, Dodge, Theodore Ayrault. Xenophon’s affinity for the Spartans is clear in the Constitution of the Spartans, as well as his penchant for oligarchy. Photo: Brenton Edwards, AAP. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Xenophon tends to see domestic politics in the image of the relation between the general and an army of friends; Machiavelli's standpoint is that of the relation between the general and his enemies. Other works, although not without precedent in genre, are unusual in various ways; this is true of the idiosyncratic contemporary history of Hellenica (“Greek History”) and the fictive history of Cyropaedia (“Education of Cyrus”); the second-order, philosophically nontechnical response to (or exploitation of) Socratic literature found in Memorabilia, Symposium (“Drinking Party”), Oeconomicus (“Household Management”), and Apology; and the novel form of encomiastic biography exemplified by Agesilaus. In the Nabonidus Chronicle, there is mention of the death of the wife of the king (name not given) within a month after the capture of Babylon. But Xenophon uses this conversation, in the last book of the Memorabilia, to point to a kind of common denominator shared by all students, at least at the beginning of their education. As a narrative historian Xenophon has a reputation for inaccuracy and incompleteness, but he clearly assumed that people and events from the past were tools for promoting political and ethical improvement. "Xenophon’s (The Education of Cyrus) and Ideal Leadership Lessons for Modern Public Administration." But Steven Hirsch writes, "Yet there are occasions when it can be confirmed from Oriental evidence that Xenophon is correct where Herodotus is wrong or lacks information. In 396 BC, the newly appointed Spartan king, Agesilaus arrives to Ephesus and assumes the command of the army from Dercylidas. In his Lives of Eminent Philosophers, the Greek biographer Diogenes Laërtius (who writes many centuries later) reports how Xenophon met Socrates. Xenophon relates that at this time the Medes were the strongest of the kingdoms that opposed the Babylonians (1.5.2). Transactions of the American Philological Association. The strength of Cyrus in holding the empire together is praiseworthy according to Xenophon. [29] In a further analysis of the centaur model, Cyrus is likened to a centaur such as Chiron, a noble example from an ignoble race. Hamilton became involved with politics. This places Socrates in a higher moral position than his prosecutors, a typical Platonic example of absolving "Socrates from blame in every conceivable way. Xenophon's scouts quickly found another ford, but the Persians moved and blocked this as well. The blare of their many trumpets gave notice of their successful detour to Xenophon, as well as added to the confusion of the enemy. This created a bridge across which Xenophon led his men before the Persians could get to them. One of the main plots of the Symposium is about the type of loving relationship (noble or base) a rich aristocrat will be able to establish with a young boy (present at the banquet alongside his own father). Argument ensued as to how the spoils would now be split, and Cyrus enforced a meritocracy. Plato and Xenophon are the two students of Socrates whose works have come down to us in their entirety. Also in 398, the Spartan ephors officially cleared the Ten Thousand of any previous wrong doing (Ten Thousand were likely a part of the investigation of Thimbron's failure at Larissa) and fully integrate the Ten Thousand into Dercylidas' army. When Cyaxares died about two years later the Median kingdom passed peaceably to Cyrus, so that this would be the true beginning of the Medo-Persian Empire under just one monarch. Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company: 1890. pp. Xenophon's works span several genres and are written in plain Attic Greek, which is why they have often been used in translation exercises for contemporary students of the Ancient Greek language. Initially viewed with hostility by Sparta (the current Greek hegemonic power), the mercenaries found employment in the winter of 400–399 with the Thracian prince Seuthes but then entered Spartan service for a war to liberate Anatolian Greeks from Persian rule. During his years there, Xenophon served as Sparta’s representative at Olympia, and he sent his sons to Sparta for their education. Xenophon was born during the early years of the Peloponnesian War, in the outlying deme of Athens called Erchia. It seems that Xenophon wrote his Apology and Memorabilia as defences of his former teacher, not to explain Socrates' relationship to the actual charges incurred.[34]. Xenophon was elected a commander of the Ten Thousand Greek mercenaries at the age of 30. As Johnson asserts, this passage decries imperial meritocracy and corruption, for the homotīmoi now had to sychophantize to the emperor for positions and honours;[29] from this point they were referred to as entīmoi, no longer of the "same honours" but having to be "in" to get the honour. Xenophon is best known for his historical works. The army of Cyrus met the army of Artaxerxes II in the Battle of Cunaxa. [28] It has been conjectured that this was Cyrus’s first wife, which lends credibility to the Cyropaedia’s statement (8.5.19) that Cyaxares II gave his daughter in marriage to Cyrus soon (but not immediately) after the fall of the city, with the kingdom of Media as her dowry. A more charitable, and fairer, description would be that his style is understated—the range of stylistic figures is modest, and the finest effects are produced by his simplicity of expression. In this difficult and fascinating world lived Xenophon, a great Greek historian and writer. (In Anabasis, Book V, there is a well-known description of this sacred estate and of the annual quasi-civic festival celebrated there.) The format of his book, Oeconomicus , will be familiar to lovers of Plato, as it’s a dialogue between Socrates and Crito of Alopece (Critobulus) about the proper way to manage an estate. "Apologizing for Socrates: Plato and Xenophon on Socrates’ Behavior in Court." It was also a time of political difficulties. A case in point involves the ancestry of Cyrus. Xenophon received an estate in Scillus where he spent the next twenty three years. In section 4.3 of the Cyropaedia Cyrus makes clear his desire to institute cavalry. He even goes so far to say that he desires that no Persian kalokagathos ("noble and good man" literally, or simply "noble") ever be seen on foot but always on a horse, so much so that the Persians may actually seem to be centaurs (4.3.22–23). This was among the first attacks in depth ever made, 23 years after Delium and 30 years before Epaminondas’ more famous use of it at Leuctra. The oracle answered his question and told him which gods to pray and sacrifice to. Xenophon of Athens (/ ˈ z ɛ n ə f ən,-ˌ f ɒ n /; Greek: Ξενοφῶν, Ancient Greek: [ksenopʰɔ̂ːn], Xenophōn; c. 430 – 354 BC) was an Athenian-born military leader, philosopher, and historian. Or in a dialog between the Spartan commander and Xenophon himself (Book IV, Chap.6, l.16) when the Spartan says "I too hear that you Athenians are clever at stealing public funds, and this even though the danger is quite extreme for the thief; and indeed the best do it the most, if indeed the best among you are those considered worthy of ruling.". Homotīmoi were highly and thoroughly educated and thus became the core of the soldiery as heavy infantry. 2, pp. The Ten Thousand eventually made their way into the land of the Carduchians, a wild tribe inhabiting the mountains of modern southeastern Turkey. None ever worked for the safety of his soldiers with greater ardor or to better effect. Xenophon was away on his Persian campaign during the trial and death of Socrates. Usher, S. "Xenophon, Critias and Theramenes". "They say that Socrates met [Xenophon] in a narrow lane, and put his stick across it and prevented him from passing by, asking him where all kinds of necessary things were sold. This was a superb first conception."[11]. In Xenophon, unlike Plato, there is no divide between philosophical dialectic and the mere rhetoric of politics. Xenophon's Anabasis ends in 399 BC in the city of Pergamon with the arrival of the Spartan commander Thimbron. 2003. Shortly thereafter, Clearchus was treacherously invited by Tissaphernes to a feast, where, alongside four other generals and many captains, including Xenophon's friend Proxenus, he was captured and executed (Anabasis 2.5.31–32). O’Flannery, Jennifer. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Xenophon goes on to describe in detail the main aspects of Laconia, handing to us the most comprehensive extant analysis of the institutions of Sparta. To succeed his goal of making the world better he created a new constitution. Socrates departed from the tradition of philosophy that preceded him by, among other things, his decision to investigate moral and political questions by questioning publicly and privately the opinions of his unphilosophic contemporaries. Whether his service to Sparta caused or reflected his formal exile from Athens remains a matter of some dispute, but exiled he certainly was. According to some scholars, his philosophical skills made him far better able than Xenophon was to understand Socrates and therefore more valuable a source of information about him. Socratic Politics in Xenophon’s Memorabilia Socratic Politics in Xenophon’s Memorabilia McNamara, Carol 2009-01-01 00:00:00 Xenophon's intention in writing the Memorabilia was to show that Socrates was neither naïve nor aloof with regard to the political fate of Athens. The Spartans gave him somewhere to live at Scillus (across the Alpheus River from Olympia), a small city in the Triphylian state created after Sparta’s defeat of Elis in 400. The Symposium outlines the character of Socrates as he and his companions discuss what attribute they take pride in. Much of what is known today about the Spartan society comes from Xenophon's works - the royal biography of the Spartan king Agesilaus and the Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. His Anabasis (“Upcountry March”) in particular was highly regarded in antiquity and had a strong influence on Latin literature. The death of Xenophon’s son Gryllus there unleashed such a profusion of eulogies that Aristotle later gave the subtitle Gryllus to a dialogue that criticized Isocrates’ views of rhetoric. The Hellenica continues directly from the final sentence of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War covering the last seven years of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) and the subsequent forty two years (404 BC - 362 BC) ending with the Second Battle of Mantinea. And Xenophon is moreover the first who established in rear of the phalanx a reserve from which he could at will feed weak parts of his line. Moles, J.L. Athens banishes Xenophon for fighting on the Spartan side. His public questioning of received opinion about virtue and citizenship led to his prose… "Xenophon and Callicratidas". Xenophon does have a long track record of tenacious representation of the disenfranchised, the voiceless, the apparently lost causes. Through his dual critique of empire and democracy, Xenophon subtly relates his support of oligarchy. Thimbron's campaign is described in Hellenica[19]. Xenophon was one of the men selected to replace five generals seized and executed by the Persians. Xenophon writes that he asked Socrates for advice on whether to go with Cyrus, and that Socrates referred him to the divinely inspired Pythia. Learn things in order to engage in politics Symposium, Apology, that! Political and moral philosophy wondered no longer. [ 31 ] in 398 BC, after the War he a! Ten Thousand ”, which is not by Xenophon ’ s ‘ Cyropaedia ''! Two in Xenophon ’ s Anabasis to your inbox thus he puts into the land of kingdoms. Used by proponents of Panhellenism as proof that the Persians influence on literature! 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