But when I considered the institutions of the Spartans, I wondered no longer.. The level of detail with which Xenophon describes Thimbron's campaign in Hellenica suggests first hand knowledge. Here, we will see his biography and his most important works, paying special attention to his masterpiece Anabasis. His output was formally varied—the main categories were long historical or ostensibly historical narratives, Socratic texts, and short technical, biographical, or political treatises—but these had common features, as enumerated below. Xenophon was one of the men selected to replace five generals seized and executed by the Persians. ... Xenophon's Socrates on Political Ambition and Political Philosophy Benjamin Lorch Abstract: This essay investigates Xenophon's claim in the Memorabilia that political ambition is a qualification for the study of political philosophy, through an 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 …  Although Xenophon seems to prefer oligarchy, or at least the aristocracy, especially in light of his associations with Sparta, none of his works puts a major focus on attacking democracy. Also, after the war he created a new law office ( Clemens p.7 ). The truce between the Greeks and the Persons was fragile and in 397 BC Dercylidas' force matched with Tissaphernes' and Pharnabazus' force near Ephesus, but did not engage in battle. 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. Updates? O’Flannery, Jennifer. "Xenophon’s (The Education of Cyrus) and Ideal Leadership Lessons for Modern Public Administration." The mercenaries, known as the Ten Thousand, found themselves without leadership far from the sea, deep in hostile territory near the heart of Mesopotamia, with a hostile population and armies to deal with. A short treatise on the Constitution of the Athenians exists that was once thought to be by Xenophon, but which was probably written when Xenophon was about five years old. Author of. More originality in tactics has come from the Anabasis than from any dozen other books. The blare of their many trumpets gave notice of their successful detour to Xenophon, as well as added to the confusion of the enemy. Senator Xenophon has described the state of South Australian politics as "a triumph of low expectations". Prior to waging war against Artaxerxes, Cyrus proposed that the enemy was the Pisidians, and so the Greeks were unaware that they were to battle against the larger army of King Artaxerxes II (Anabasis 1.1.8–11). As Johnson asserts, this passage decries imperial meritocracy and corruption, for the homotīmoi now had to sychophantize to the emperor for positions and honours; from this point they were referred to as entīmoi, no longer of the "same honours" but having to be "in" to get the honour. The main army at once joined in the attack from the valley side, and the Carducians were driven from their stronghold. Xenophon wrote the Cyropaedia to outline his political and moral philosophy.  Tissaphernes pursued Xenophon with a vast force, and when the Greeks reached the wide and deep Great Zab River, it seemed they were surrounded. In Xenophon, unlike Plato, there is no divide between philosophical dialectic and the mere rhetoric of politics. Xenophon relates that at this time the Medes were the strongest of the kingdoms that opposed the Babylonians (1.5.2). 2012. This created a bridge across which Xenophon led his men before the Persians could get to them. 11 Cf. It was also a time of political difficulties. 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. Johnson, D. M. 2005. They then made their way westward back to Greek territory via Chrysopolis (Anabasis 6.3.16). " The Ten Thousand made their way in and were fired at by stones and arrows for several days before they reached a defile where the main Carduchian host sat. In particular, Xenophon and Plato are concerned with the failures of Socrates to defend himself. Xenophon's Anabasis recounts adventures of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand in service of Cyrus the Younger, Cyrus's failed campaign to claim the Persian throne from Artaxerxes II of Persia, and the return of Greek mercenaries after Cyrus's death in the Battle of Cunaxa. This work aspires to be a contribution to classical scholarship since it attempts to: (1) shed further light on the literary character of Xenophon’s oeuvre; (2) offer new interpretation of passages and themes; and (3) put emphasis on passages that scholars have not pointed out and which offer important insights to the thought of Xenophon. 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. 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. Xenophon does have a long track record of tenacious representation of the disenfranchised, the voiceless, the apparently lost causes. Omissions? Xenophon likely followed Agesilaus' march to Sparta in 394 BC and finished his military journey after seven years. Whether his service to Sparta caused or reflected his formal exile from Athens remains a matter of some dispute, but exiled he certainly was. This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 12:40. In Greece, the fifth century B.C. The claim that his exile was formally repealed is another case in point, but his Hipparchicus (Cavalry Commander) and Vectigalia (Ways and Means) suggest that Xenophon had a sympathetic interest in Athens’s fortunes, and rapprochement is reflected in his sons’ service in the Athenian cavalry at the second Battle of Mantinea (362). Xenophon is best known for his historical works. "Xenophon's Developing Historiography". Personally invited by Proxenus of Beotia (Anabasis 3.1.9), one of the captains in Cyrus's mercenary army, Xenophon sailed to Ephesus to meet Cyrus the Younger and participate in Cyrus's military campaign against Tissaphernes, the Persian satrap of Ionia. Johnson reads even more deeply into the centaur label. Xenophon was a student of Socrates, and their personal relationship is evident through a conversation between the two in Xenophon’s Anabasis. In his contribution “Xenophon’s Intertextual Socrates,” Johnson fights a rather quixotic (dare we say?) 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. In section 4.3 of the Cyropaedia Cyrus makes clear his desire to institute cavalry. 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. His days were likely spent in relative leisure here, and he wrote these treatises about the sorts of activities he spent time on. The new member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, celebrates with Nick Xenophon at the post-election party at the Palace Nova Cinema in Adelaide. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. (In Anabasis, Book V, there is a well-known description of this sacred estate and of the annual quasi-civic festival celebrated there.) “Nick Xenophon who in 2007 cut and run from the South Australian Parliament just 18 months into an eight-year term saying that state politics was largely irrelevant and all … "Irony and the Narrator in Xenophon's Anabasis", in, Dodge, Theodore Ayrault. Nick Xenophon’s decision to return to state politics is a potential political earthquake. Although empire emerges in this case, this is also a sequence of events associated with democracy. He fought with the Spartans and was exiled from Athens before settling in Corinth. Xenophon, an Athenian, was born in 431 B.C. When a Greek coalition, including Athens, rebelled against Spartan hegemony in mainland Greece, Xenophon fought (at Coronea in 394) for Sparta. Once the Great King had sent into their country an army of 120,000 men, to subdue them, but of all that great host not one had ever seen his home again. The oracle answered his question and told him which gods to pray and sacrifice to. They elected new leaders, including Xenophon himself. 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). His output includes the earliest or earliest surviving examples of the short nonmedical treatise and of autobiographical narrative (Anabasis). Aside from classical specialists perhaps few today know of Xenophon. Longmans, Green and Co.: 1912.  Xenophon uses this interpretation as justification for Socrates’ arrogant stance and conventional failure.  The Persians negotiated a temporary truce and the Greek army retired for a winter camp at Byzantium.  In a further analysis of the centaur model, Cyrus is likened to a centaur such as Chiron, a noble example from an ignoble race. 133, No. The former is set during the trial of Socrates, essentially defending Socrates’ loss and death, while the latter explains his moral principles and that he was not a corrupter of the youth. Centaurs were often thought of as creatures of ill repute, which makes even Cyrus’ own advisors wary of the label. When the Persian cavalry arrived the next day, now firing within several yards, Xenophon suddenly unleashed his new cavalry in a shock charge, smashing into the stunned and confused enemy, killing many and routing the rest. 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. As the military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge wrote, "the centuries since have devised nothing to surpass the genius of this warrior". Public Administration Quarterly. When the stones were almost exhausted, the soldiers raced one another over the exposed part of the road", storming the fortress, which, with most of the garrison now neutralized, barely put up a fight.  The Persian hardiness and austerity is combined with the luxuriousness of the Medes, two qualities that cannot coexist. " Herodotus contradicts Xenophon at several other points, most notably in the matter of Cyrus’s relationship with the Median Kingdom. 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. 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. 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. We find the etymological origins of two key terms in the title of thisarticle, “political” and “philosophy”, inancient Greek: the former originally pertaining to the polisor city-state; the latter being the practice of a particular kind ofinquiry conceived literally as the “love of wisdom”(philosophia). Historians have asked whether Xenophon's portrait of Cyrus was accurate or if Xenophon imbued Cyrus with events from Xenophon's own life. Xenophon ordered his men to deploy the line extremely thin so as to overlap the enemy, keeping a strong reserve. And again, Xenophon was not present at the trial of Socrates, having been on campaign in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. As a contribution to the study of empire and imperial ambition, the present study considers the greatest analysis—Xenophon's The Education of Cyrus —of one of the greatest empires of antiquity—the Persian. Xenophon's scouts quickly found another ford, but the Persians moved and blocked this as well. Xenophon’s works includes a selection of Socratic dialogues; these writings are completely preserved. 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. Politics . However, certain works of Xenophon, in particular the Cyropaedia, seem to show his oligarchic politics. His ethical system contained little that jars in modern terms; but in today’s cynical world, the apparent ingenuousness of its expression strikes some as by turns bland and irritating. He did this by endowing a fictional version of the boyhood of Cyrus the Great, founder of the first Persian Empire, with the qualities of what Xenophon considered the ideal ruler. Classical Greek philosopher, historian, and soldier, Relations between Medes and Persians in the, Dodge, Theodore Ayrault. although according to Herodotus and the current consensus the Medians had been made "slaves" of the Persians several years previously. The persistence and skill of the Greek soldiers were used by proponents of Panhellenism as proof that the Persians were vulnerable. Located in the fertile plain known as “Mesogeia” (literally “middle earth”) and overlooked by the beautiful mountains Hymettus and Penteli, Erchia was about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the bustling center of Athens–about a three hour walk or one hour brisk horseback ride. Xenophon asserts that Socrates dealt with his prosecution in an exceedingly arrogant manner, or at least was perceived to have spoken arrogantly. Under Dercylidas' proposal, the Persians abandon claims to independent Greek cities in Ionia and the Spartans withdraw the army leaving Spartan governors in the Greek cities. The two writers seem more concerned about answering questions that arose after the trial than about the actual charges. In 394 BC, Agesilaus' army returns to Greece taking the route of the Persian invasion eighty years earlier and fights in the Battle of Coronea. The Spartans wrote nothing about themselves, or if they did it is lost. Xenophon was born during the early years of the Peloponnesian War, in the outlying deme of Athens called Erchia. 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). These ideas were transmitted beyond theconfines of the classical polis as the Greek city-states cameunder the suzerainty of larger kingdoms after an initial Macedonianconquest at the end of the fourth century B.C; those kingd… Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. was a time of cultural splendor. This historical-fiction serves as a forum for Xenophon to subtly display his political inclinations. Xenophon’s life history before 401 is scantily recorded; at that time, prompted by a Boeotian friend, he left postwar Athens, joined the Greek mercenary army of the Achaemenian prince Cyrus the Younger, and became involved in Cyrus’s rebellion against his brother, the Persian king Artaxerxes II. 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. The author, often called in English the "Old Oligarch" or Pseudo-Xenophon, detests the democracy of Athens and the poorer classes, but he argues that the Periclean institutions are well designed for their deplorable purposes. The Cyropaedia relates instead that Astyages died and was succeeded by his son Cyaxares II, the maternal uncle of Cyrus (1.5.2). Some historians believe that he also made a trip to Sicily during this period. Xenophon does not describe seeing the sea; instead he describes, first, his gradual realization that a commotion up ahead is caused by the shouts of those who have seen the sea and, second, the scenes of celebration as men embrace with tears and laughter, build a huge cairn of stones, and shower gifts upon their local guide. Fourth, charges of ingenuousness have been partly fueled by Xenophon’s style. Socrates - Socrates - Plato: Plato, unlike Xenophon, is generally regarded as a philosopher of the highest order of originality and depth. Xenophon of Athens (430-c.354 BCE) was a contemporary of Plato and a fellow student of Socrates. Xenophon received an estate in Scillus where he spent the next twenty three years. The Persian army retreated to Tralles and the Greeks to Leucophrys. This places Socrates in a higher moral position than his prosecutors, a typical Platonic example of absolving "Socrates from blame in every conceivable way. Mikalson , J. , Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy ( Oxford , 2010 ), 168 : ‘Not to sacrifice to [the gods] is an act of ‘‘lack of respect’’, which indicates that one does not believe they exist.’ Nevertheless, much of Xenophon's Socratic writing, especially Apology, concerns that very trial and the defence Socrates put forward. 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. " 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.". Dodge notes, "On this retreat also was first shown the necessary, if cruel, means of arresting a pursuing enemy by the systematic devastation of the country traversed and the destruction of its villages to deprive him of food and shelter. Their works have been studied by countless scholars over the generations; but rarely have they been brought into direct contact, outside of … 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). 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. Other archaeological evidence supporting Xenophon’s picture of a confederation of Medes and Persians, rather than a subjugation of the Medes by the Persians, comes from the bas-reliefs in the stairway at Persepolis. ... Waite is best served by a Xenophon candidate stepping up," he said. "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." Rahn, Peter J. Therefore you are at once able to judge for yourselves the reason why were are not at fault now, although we were then.". "Martin Hamilton-Smith has made an outstanding contribution to South Australia during his four years in Cabinet," the Premier said. The consensus is that Cyrus’s career is best outlined in the Histories of Herodotus. He certainly used his mercenary booty to buy land and erect a small-scale copy of Artemis’s famous temple at Ephesus. Xenophon displays Cyrus as a lofty, temperate man. The castle, however, was stationed on a hill surrounded by forest.  Detailed accounts of events in Hellenica suggest that Xenophon personally witnessed the Return of Alcibiades in 407 BC, the Trial of the Generals in 406 BC, and the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants in 403 BC. 281–321. No general ever possessed a grander moral ascendant over his men. 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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Plato and Xenophon are the two students of Socrates whose works have come down to us in their entirety. 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. In 396 BC, the newly appointed Spartan king, Agesilaus arrives to Ephesus and assumes the command of the army from Dercylidas. By this example Xenophon sought to show that empires lacked stability and could only be maintained by a person of remarkable prowess, such as Cyrus. His Anabasis (“Upcountry March”) in particular was highly regarded in antiquity and had a strong influence on Latin literature. Both the Apology and the Memorabilia defend Socrates’ character and teachings. Despite effective fighting by the Greeks, Cyrus was killed in the battle (Anabasis 1.8.27–1.9.1). At the time of his own death, Xenophon’s standing—as author of a considerable oeuvre and hero of an adventure nearly five decades old but ideologically vivid in a Greek world defined by its relationship to Persia—had never been higher. Nick Xenophon is well known in Australia, having entered the Senate in 2007, and before that the South Australian Legislature in 1997, previously practising law. He reduced its management to a perfect method. Although the Anabasis narrative stops at this point and further details are lacking, he clearly became closely involved with senior Spartans, notably (after 396) King Agesilaus II. Xenophon says that Socrates made his students more dialectical and more capable of ruling in one fell swoop ( Mem. 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. 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