Xenophon, Greek historian and philosophical essayist. Early in life he came under the influence of Socrates, but an active life had more attraction for him. In 401 B.C., being invited by his friend Proxenus to join the expedition of the younger Cyrus against his brother, Artaxerxes II. of Persia, he at once accepted the offer. It held out the prospect of riches and honour, while he was little likely to find favour in democratic Athens, where the knights were regarded with suspicion as having supported the Thirty. Of the expedition itself he has given a full and detailed account in his Anabasis, or the "Up-Country March."
On his return to Greece Xenophon served under Agesilaus, king of Sparta, at that time the chief power in the Greek world. With his native Athens and its general policy and institutions he was not in sympathy. At Coroneia (394) he fought with the Spartans against the Athenians and Thebans, for which his fellow-citizens decreed his banishment. The Spartans provided a home for him at Scillus in Elis, about two miles from Olympia; there he settled down to indulge his tastes for sport and literature. After Sparta's crushing defeat at Leuctra (371), Xenophon was driven from his home by the people of Elis, and eventually made his home in Corinth, where he died some time after 355 B.C.
Xenophon is one of the most important historians of Greece. His best known work, The Anabasis tells the story of the Battle of Cunaxa, and the ensuing retreat of the ten thousand. However, he is also one of the most important historians of his age. His works Hellenica and Agesilaus takes up the history of Greece during the later years of the Peloponnesian War and covers the period 411 to 362 B.C. Another major work, Cyropaedia tells the legendary story of the life of Cyrus the Great. In addition to these works, he wrote several books about Socrates, including Symposium and Apology. He also wrote various tracks on horses, hunting, cavalry, and the Spartan government.
—Adapted from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.
|Student of Socrates.|
|Fought for Athens at Battle of Arginusae.|
|Battle of Cunaxa.|
|Led the 10,000 missionaries on the retreat to the Black Sea.|
|Served as a mercenary for a Thracian chief who was battling Tissaphernes.|
|Fought for Sparta at the Battle of Coronea. Exiled from Athens.|
|Settled done at Scillus (near Elis) to write histories.|
|Completed his master work, The Anabasis.|
|Battle of Leuctra crushed Sparta's power.|
|Died in Corinth.|
|Herodotus and Xenophon in||Cyrus the Great by Jacob Abbott|
|Cyrus the Younger in||Callias—The Fall of Athens by Alfred J. Church|
|The Diary in||Callias—The Fall of Athens by Alfred J. Church|
|Defeat of Cyrus in||The Story of the Greeks by H. A. Guerber|
|Xenophon in||Famous Men of Greece by John H. Haaren and A. B. Poland|
|March of the Ten Thousand in||The Story of Greece by Mary Macgregor|
|Retreat of the Ten Thousand in||Historical Tales: Greek by Charles Morris|
|The Retreat of the Ten Thousand in||Stories of the Ancient Greeks by Charles D. Shaw|
|Retreat of the Ten Thousand in||On the Shores of the Great Sea by M. B. Synge|
|When Sparta Ruled in||The Story of the Greek People by Eva March Tappan|
|Xenophon in||The Retreat of the Ten Thousand by Frances Younghusband|
The Greeks after Cunaxa
in Greatest Nations - Greece
Xenophon and the Ten Thousand Hail the Sea
in Greatest Nations - Greece
The Sea! The Sea!'
in Stories of the Ancient Greeks
|First moral philosopher, immortalized by Plato.|
|Plotted to kill his brother Artaxerxes, and assume the Persian throne.|
|Spartan mercenary who commanded the 'Ten Thousand' Greeks at Cunaxa. Treacherously killed by Tissaphernes.|
|Persian Satrap of Asia Minor during Peloponnesian War. Allied with Sparta.|
|Leader of Sparta after the Peloponnesian War. Campaigned in Asia Minor and warred with Thebes.|