Historian, soldier, huntsman, economist, farmer, philosopher and author, Xenophon is one of the most versatile yet most accessible of the classical Greeks. Born at the start of the Peloponnesian War in Athens, he joined the outer circle of Socrates' young admirers and wrote affectionately of his mentor in a manner which contrasts strongly with that of Plato. In his "Hellenika" he composed a history of his own times beginning at the point where Thucydides broke off and taking the story down to 403 BC. In 401 he joined the Greek mercenary force abetting Cyrus' ill-fated coup against king Ataxerxes of Persia and, when their commanders were treacherously murdered, he led the Greek survivors out of Asia Minor through what is now Northern Iraq, Kurdistan and Armenia; his "Anabasis" relates one of the most remarkable true adventure stories to come out of the ancient world. Later he retired to the Peloponnese, where he farmed and wrote on a wide variety of topics - the Spartan constitution, horsemanship, domestic management and various forms of biography amongst them.Anderson's monograph follows a basically chronological framework for Xenohophon's life and works, treating him essentially as a representative of his own age, of its attitudes and its preoccupations. The book is illustrated by a collection of plates, and presents a readily accessible account of its subject for scholars, students and general readers.
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