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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.


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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

30 review for Xenophon's Anabasis, Newly Tr., by a Member of the University of Oxford

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    The Persian Expedition (or The Anabasis, or The March Up Country) tells the story of an army of Greek mercenaries who ended up fighting for the losing side of a Persian civil war and must travel through hostile territory to return home. And this isn't a metter of just dialing up 10,000 Uber rides (besides, the surge fee would be enormous), they have to march through hundreds of miles of hostile territory with both natives and the Persian army seeking to block their way. They are completely on th The Persian Expedition (or The Anabasis, or The March Up Country) tells the story of an army of Greek mercenaries who ended up fighting for the losing side of a Persian civil war and must travel through hostile territory to return home. And this isn't a metter of just dialing up 10,000 Uber rides (besides, the surge fee would be enormous), they have to march through hundreds of miles of hostile territory with both natives and the Persian army seeking to block their way. They are completely on their own with no help on the way. It is, at the very least, a compelling story and has the benefit of actually happening. This was certainly an interesting reading experience. The writing style was definitely not of the modern world. A good chunk of it was devoted to explaining the movements of the Greek forces through hostile territory. As in They marched X leagues to this new area and chilled for a bit. then marched another Y leagues to a new area. There was much food and supplies to be acquired. There were also some extended paragraphs of people (not characters mind you, all these people actually existed) giving speeches, there was little to no dialogue and everything was stated in a very matter of fact manner. While similar to other period books I read in terms of the structure, however I thought the prose didn't reach the same elevated level History of the Peloponnesian War reached. One must keep in mind that this account comes to us from Xenophon, a Greek and eventual leader of the expedition. So we run the risk of leaning on this account too much since the source is rather biased. Xenophon comes off as a perfectly selfless and noble leader among men, almost too perfect. Everyone who opposes him is often shown as conniving and devious. Clearly salt should be taken when reading this account. It is also important to remember the people on the other side of the story. Here is this 10,000 man strong mercenary force traveling through a hostile land and basically living off of it and any stored supplies they can capture. They are basically heavily armed locusts with a lot of military experience and no compunction against harming "barbarian" people. I imagine the story from their victims gives a very different account. All in all this was an interesting read in so far as it gives a contemporary account of Greek culture and world view (for instance: the Greeks love sacrificing stuff to figure out the best course of action. there are even professional seers that travel with the army to interpret the results of the sacrifice. IT was like every other page it was time for another sacrifice). It was also a good illustration of just how decentralized everything was compared to modern nation states. Greek cities basically did their own thing even if they were bound (loosely) by a common culture. The Persian Empire was more a collection of kingdoms held in line by the central Persian authority's ability to punish or reward them, much different from even the Roman Empire. The past truly is a foreign country in many respects. So while I wouldn't recommend this book in terms a pure entertainment, it was an illuminating look into the time and is worthwhile on that account.

  2. 5 out of 5

    William2

    The book is an account of Prince Cyrus's attempt in 401 BCE to replace his brother Ataxerxes II on the Persian throne. The narrative moves at a nice clip though at the expense of detail. The Ten Thousand, as the Greek mercenaries are known, advance a thousand miles from Greek Sardis in Asia Minor to Babylon only to have Cyrus die in battle and leave them stranded. I am not a big reader of military histories. This subject interested me because I had liked Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian The book is an account of Prince Cyrus's attempt in 401 BCE to replace his brother Ataxerxes II on the Persian throne. The narrative moves at a nice clip though at the expense of detail. The Ten Thousand, as the Greek mercenaries are known, advance a thousand miles from Greek Sardis in Asia Minor to Babylon only to have Cyrus die in battle and leave them stranded. I am not a big reader of military histories. This subject interested me because I had liked Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War so much. This account is not as good as that. Thucydides sought something like journalistic objectivity in his account and he had a gift for detail. Xenophon lacks any such narrative balance or descriptive acumen. In fact, much of the last half of the book might be regarded as auto-hagiography (if there is such a thing) since Xenophon was (or considered himself to be) a major player in the action. After Cyrus's death the Greeks have to fight their way back home along a much longer route. Understandably, very few native peoples are happy to let an army of this size pass unmolested through their lands, especially when plunder is a necessary means of survival for the Greeks. Xenophon proceeds by way of travelogue interrupted now and then by biographies of those significant persons, usually generals, who are killed in action. Here you will find all the elements of a spirited adventure narrative: heroism, military battle, treachery, megalomania, sacking of villages, taking of prisoners, sacrifices to the gods and so on. Especially interesting too is the soothsaying by way of animal entrails. Chapter 1 Book 6 of this translation features a fascinating account of the various dances done during a respite by the soldiers who represent all regions of Greece. My favorite passage however comes late in the book when Xenophon has to control his unruly soldiers at Byzantium. The way he assuages their anger and then talks them out of sacking the Spartan-run city is a joy to read. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alp Turgut

    Kyros'un ağabeyi II. Artakserkes'le olan savaşında arkasına takılarak ona eşlik eden kitabın yazarı Xenophon ve önderliğindeki on binin (Hellen ordusu) geri dönüşünü sürükleyici ve destansı bir dille okuyucuya sunan "Anabasis: On Binler'in Dönüşü"nün (yaklaşık M.Ö. 370) Herodotus'un "Tarih"ine (yaklaşık M.Ö. 440) kıyasla daha az detay barındırması ve dilinin daha sade oluşu sebebiyle rahat okunabilen oldukça değerli bir tarihi eser olduğunu söylemeliyim. Özellikle Antik Yunan edebiyatını tamamla Kyros'un ağabeyi II. Artakserkes'le olan savaşında arkasına takılarak ona eşlik eden kitabın yazarı Xenophon ve önderliğindeki on binin (Hellen ordusu) geri dönüşünü sürükleyici ve destansı bir dille okuyucuya sunan "Anabasis: On Binler'in Dönüşü"nün (yaklaşık M.Ö. 370) Herodotus'un "Tarih"ine (yaklaşık M.Ö. 440) kıyasla daha az detay barındırması ve dilinin daha sade oluşu sebebiyle rahat okunabilen oldukça değerli bir tarihi eser olduğunu söylemeliyim. Özellikle Antik Yunan edebiyatını tamamlamak isteyenler için okunması gereken bir eser olan kitabın ilk iki bölümünün "Game of Thrones" serisine ilham kaynağı olduğu açıkça görülüyor. Her bölümü ayrı bir heyecan barındıran "Anabasis"in ikinci yarısı ise liderlik dersi niteliğinde. Xenophon'un tarih anlatırken bir yandan da felsefeye yer verdiği eserin okuyucuya tarihten daha fazlasını sunduğuna şüphe yok. 01.04.2016 Ankara Yolu, Türkiye Alp Turgut http://www.filmdoktoru.com/kitap-labo...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    Herodotus might have been the Father of History, but Xenophon was the cool, older brother. This one-time pupil of Socrates is one of those soldier/scholars who makes both intellectuals and warriors feel inadequate. 'The Persian Expedition' or 'March of the Ten Thousand' or 'Anabasis' (all depending on your version or translation) relates the story told by Xenophon of his experiences fighting with and leading the 10,000 Hellene mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger and the army's 3000+ mile marc Herodotus might have been the Father of History, but Xenophon was the cool, older brother. This one-time pupil of Socrates is one of those soldier/scholars who makes both intellectuals and warriors feel inadequate. 'The Persian Expedition' or 'March of the Ten Thousand' or 'Anabasis' (all depending on your version or translation) relates the story told by Xenophon of his experiences fighting with and leading the 10,000 Hellene mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger and the army's 3000+ mile march into Persian. This experience, which Will Durrant once called "one of the great adventures in human history," can be read as history, adventure story, leadership manual, or a real-life application of Socratic philosophy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    Xenophon has become a bit of a fascination of mine at the moment. I’ve started reading his Socratic Conversations – which I’ll review when I finish, but am finding remarkable – and then I found this as a talking book under the title The March of the Ten Thousand. I’ve just finished listening to this. Amazing story. A group of Greek mercenaries go off to raid, rape and pillage their way through Persia, when things go awry – seriously awry. All of the leaders are killed – one after being tortured Xenophon has become a bit of a fascination of mine at the moment. I’ve started reading his Socratic Conversations – which I’ll review when I finish, but am finding remarkable – and then I found this as a talking book under the title The March of the Ten Thousand. I’ve just finished listening to this. Amazing story. A group of Greek mercenaries go off to raid, rape and pillage their way through Persia, when things go awry – seriously awry. All of the leaders are killed – one after being tortured for a year – and the army of ten thousand are left with the Euphrates on one side and the king’s army on the other – and a very long way from home. This is in part a tale of privations – but only in part. There are interesting bits where he discusses the local customs of the peoples he comes across. Also interesting were the bits where he discusses, in a remarkably off-hand manner, torturing prisoners. The homosexuality of some of the soldiers made me think of all that trouble there was in the US army a while ago over just this issue. There is a point in this book where they decide they have to get rid of all superfluous baggage, but Xenophon notes that some soldiers still hid away some pretty boys and even some women. Even women? Who'd have thought! What I found most interesting though, was the discussions of sacrifices to see if the time was auspicious to take a particular action. It would be good to be able to think that people really didn’t believe in this nonsense, but it is utterly clear that people did believe. At the start he goes over to see his good friend Socrates to find out if he ought to go off to war and Socrates advises him to consult the Delphic Oracle – I mean, imagine! Socrates then criticises him for not asking the right question of the Oracle – and if anyone knows anything about questions, it is Socrates. What was perhaps most human about this was that the army was united under attack throughout its journey, but became fragmented once back on Greek soil (I mean territory). And the cause of the fragmentation? Well, naturally that other great divider of humanity – Nationality. If only one could wrap all of the world's holy books in all of the world's flags and drop them somewhere out of harms way – imagine! This was quite a boy’s own romp – not at all what I was expecting from a mate of Socrates’s. It perhaps suffers a little by being written by Xenophon and so he tends to give himself a remarkably good rap – but there are times when he goes on about his men only remembering the beatings and not remembering the praise … you know, it is funny how people are like that, totally lacking in gratitude.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Palmyrah

    The marched and fought their way right round Turkey! And a good chunk of Iraq, too! All the way from the Ionian coast to Mesopotamia — they got within fighting distance of Babylon – and then all the way back to the Bosporus (here's a map). They fought the Persians, the Kurds, the Armenians, the Thracians and anyone else who got in their way. And all they were doing was trying to get home. It took them fifteen months. There were ten thousand of them to begin with and eight thousand left at the end The marched and fought their way right round Turkey! And a good chunk of Iraq, too! All the way from the Ionian coast to Mesopotamia — they got within fighting distance of Babylon – and then all the way back to the Bosporus (here's a map). They fought the Persians, the Kurds, the Armenians, the Thracians and anyone else who got in their way. And all they were doing was trying to get home. It took them fifteen months. There were ten thousand of them to begin with and eight thousand left at the end. Some were killed in battle, some perished from cold in the high mountain passes, some died of treachery. And when they reached the relative safety of the Black Sea coast, they took to quarrelling amongst themselves. An absolutely amazing story—a combination of traveller's tale, adventure story, manual of military tactics and meditation on man's ingratitude. One of the great literary works of civilisation, the Anabasis is also a rattling good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Todd N

    Picked up at Moe’s on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley and read as a little break from Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and as a diversion from last week's various news stories that were bumming me out. Them nutty ancient Greeks have a way of cheering me up. Xenophon’s Anabasis was supposed to be one of the upcoming editions in the excellent Landmark Ancient Histories series, but there hasn’t been a new one of those in years. So when I saw a used Penguin edition for $6 I figured I could probably sl Picked up at Moe’s on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley and read as a little break from Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and as a diversion from last week's various news stories that were bumming me out. Them nutty ancient Greeks have a way of cheering me up. Xenophon’s Anabasis was supposed to be one of the upcoming editions in the excellent Landmark Ancient Histories series, but there hasn’t been a new one of those in years. So when I saw a used Penguin edition for $6 I figured I could probably slum my way through with only one janky map, some footnotes, and an introduction written in stilted prose with dumb Penguin-edition-introduction-esque words like ‘otiose.’ The Anabasis is sort like Kurdistan On Five Staters A Day mixed with Pulp Fiction. The plot is pretty simple, and I’m not going to consider these spoilers since they happened 2,000 years ago: Cyrus wants to kill his brother, the King of Persia, so he raises a secret army, including about 10,000 Greek mercenaries. Cyrus leads his army deep into Persia and manages to get himself killed in the first battle. After that the Persian part of the army sort of melts away, and the Greeks are left stranded deep in the heart of hostile Persian territory. This all happens fairly quickly, so most of the book is about The Ten Thousand (as they are called, even though that number starts to go down pretty quickly) hacking their way back to Greece, even though none are actually “home” by the time the book ends. In fact, the majority of the remaining part of the army are preparing to set sail to go fight the Persians again at the end. Because it's the Greeks, there is lots of warring followed by plenty of speechifying. Occasionally there is diplomacy. It's always interesting when Greeks meet up with non-Greeks, because you always learn something new about the Greeks, even if it's that they feel that some boys are just too darn pretty to put to death or that they don't care for dolphin fat unless it's mixed with water. When the Ten Thousand finally reach the Hellespont, things get a little confusing (at least for me they did). Sparta -- recently having won the Peloponnesian Wars -- was in control of the area, and wasn't super thrilled about having thousands upon thousands of hungry, horny, and battle-hardened troops idling around near an important city and port. Also, these same soldiers just tried to overthrow a huge, powerful Empire right next door, so even receiving them caused all kinds of diplomatic problems for Sparta. So the Ten Thousand, led by Xenophon, hang out in Thrace and spend the winter propping up a two-bit King. More warring; more speechifying. Finally Sparta decided (and I can't imagine it turned out well for them) to re-attack Persia. Xenophon wisely sells what meager possessions he has and scoots off to Greece. The book works on so many levels. I'm always up for a good battle description, and the sly Greeks and Persian tricks are always interesting to me. The way Xenophon maintains command and slips his way out of various situations is amusing, but one has to remember that he's the one telling the tale (and about 30 years after it happened I'm guessing). Xenophon is praised for his "unadorned style," but it is a bit jarring to read stuff like "some Greeks lost their noses and toes from frostbite" tossed off like an aside. That might be just a little too unadorned.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shyam

    The story Xenophon tells has been called the world's first great novel...a gripping narrative that builds up a single episode from the past into an exploration of the struggles and the values that shape human destiny." —Preface by Theodore K. Rabb __________ I really enjoyed this. Exciting, suspenseful, lots of action, an undertone of seriousness with examples of Socratic Reasoning from Xenophon. A great story. I think it would be a great for anyone who is looking for an entry into Greek History o The story Xenophon tells has been called the world's first great novel...a gripping narrative that builds up a single episode from the past into an exploration of the struggles and the values that shape human destiny." —Preface by Theodore K. Rabb __________ I really enjoyed this. Exciting, suspenseful, lots of action, an undertone of seriousness with examples of Socratic Reasoning from Xenophon. A great story. I think it would be a great for anyone who is looking for an entry into Greek History or before diving into Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon's Hellenica. __________ Thanks Mark for getting me to read this much, much sooner than I would have otherwise.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie G

    A modern re-titling could be "The Adventures of Xenophon." I've given this 5 stars because the book is unique. It tells the autobiographical tale of Xenophon, then a twenty-something Athenian, student of Socrates, who joined a grand military campaign of Cyrus, son of Darius. Keeping his intentions secret from his ever-growing body of troops, Cyrus's goal is to de-throne his brother, Artaxerxes II, King of Persia. As Cyrus and his army traverse vast territory and engage in various military exploi A modern re-titling could be "The Adventures of Xenophon." I've given this 5 stars because the book is unique. It tells the autobiographical tale of Xenophon, then a twenty-something Athenian, student of Socrates, who joined a grand military campaign of Cyrus, son of Darius. Keeping his intentions secret from his ever-growing body of troops, Cyrus's goal is to de-throne his brother, Artaxerxes II, King of Persia. As Cyrus and his army traverse vast territory and engage in various military exploits, the would-be usurper still manages to keep his intentions secret from his troops. Finally, once they're "deep in" over a long haul of marching and pillaging, the true intent of Cyrus becomes clear. The Persian satrap Tissaphernes has long suspected Cyrus's intentions and warns Artaxerxes. Accordingly, provisions have been made to thwart Cyrus. The rout is spectacular, Cyrus is killed, the troops are scattered. Leading the Hellenes to safety over many treacherous miles and through remarkably varied territory (snowy mountains, desert plains, etc.) falls in large part to the young Athenian Xenophon. This is the long retreat. This book is part travelogue: throughout their long trip home they encounter a variety of cultures, including "the most barbaric and outlandish of people" who entertained visitors with exhibitions of their "fatted children" covered in tattoos, "fed up on boiled chestnuts until they were as white as white can be." We read about the food and drink of various peoples: one group keeps "slices of dolphin . . . in narrow-necked jars, all properly salted and pickled." Near the end of the book, Xenophon's soldiers suffer frostbite after encountering a sudden onset of cold and are said to then understand why the Thracian soldiers wore long garments into war and fox fur caps that covered their ears. And so on. Three-quarters of the way in the book I began to tire of the military strategy details (if you can find a version of this book with maps and diagrams for the battles, I'd recommend that). The biggest takeaway is the wisdom of young Xenophon in successfully meeting incredible challenges, including, towards the end of the book, the attempted mutiny of some of his men who wrongly accuse him and seek his death. Highly observant, Xenophon is always ahead of those scheming against him. Xenophon finally completes his journey, and is so poor he is forced to sell his prized horse. That's before a dramatic turn of events, which I'll leave to the reader to discover. (Mini-spoiler: Xenophon gets his horse back).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bernard Norcott-mahany

    I figured it was about time that I finally read Xenophon's "Anabasis." When I was in HS, students studying Greek either learned enough Greek to do some Homer, more challenging, but more fun, or Xenophon, who has a limited vocabulary, focus and a plain style which makes him good for people learing basic Attic Greek. That said, I would have to class this with Caesar's "Gallic Wars," which do the same for Latin (as a Latin student, I was prepped to read Caesar). For Caesar, the choice of a limited I figured it was about time that I finally read Xenophon's "Anabasis." When I was in HS, students studying Greek either learned enough Greek to do some Homer, more challenging, but more fun, or Xenophon, who has a limited vocabulary, focus and a plain style which makes him good for people learing basic Attic Greek. That said, I would have to class this with Caesar's "Gallic Wars," which do the same for Latin (as a Latin student, I was prepped to read Caesar). For Caesar, the choice of a limited vocabulary and plain style was a rhetorical one. By casting his commentaries on the war in a plain style, he cast himself as a plain, no-nonsense kind of guy, not interested in big words and a florid style, but in stating the facts. Of course, this "no-spin" style of Caesar allowed him to cover up what could be considered in Rome as crimes. Caesar also was a proponent of trimming the Latin language towards plainness, and there was a philosophical debate on rhetoric going on at that time. Ultimately Caesar lost that fight (the middle style of Cicero and the Asiatic style of Seneca and later authors won the day). I'm not sure what Xenophon's purpose was in using this style. It may hide all sorts of embarrassment -- Xenophon was joining with Athens' traditional enemy, Sparta, in going to help Cyrus usurp the Persian throne (the "anabasis" of the title refers to the march up country to Cunaxa where the big battle was fought and where Cyrus and the Greeks lost), and then, in failing to do so. Taking a neutral style, Xenophon hides his own culpability in the expedition. It also tends to downplay his own heroism in extricating the Greeks from a difficult position (hundreds of miles inside enemy territory). Though there may have been rhetorical reasons for the very plain style, I think that it ends up turning what could be a ripping good yarn into a rather tedious statement. Think of Steven Wright reading the "Gettysburg Address." There were some exciting moments -- the battle of Cunaxa, e.g. and there are moments that are rather thoughtful (Xenophon's analysis of what made Cyrus a more suitable ruler than Artaxerxes), but I mainly recall, "then we traveled on foot for 50 miles until we came to the river ..." over and over again. I'm glad I read the book (another book off my bucket list), but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not interested in military history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    R.M.F Brown

    The greatest adventure story in history Little, if any proof of Socrates' life exists, reliant as we are on the writings of his two famous pupils: Plato and Xenophon, the former being revered as one of humanity's greatest thinkers, the latter remembered for his march home from Persia, the subject of which concerns this book. And yet, the Persian expedition, or The Anabasis to give it its proper title, is no mere tale of adventure, a plethora of such tales was readily available in a country (Greec The greatest adventure story in history Little, if any proof of Socrates' life exists, reliant as we are on the writings of his two famous pupils: Plato and Xenophon, the former being revered as one of humanity's greatest thinkers, the latter remembered for his march home from Persia, the subject of which concerns this book. And yet, the Persian expedition, or The Anabasis to give it its proper title, is no mere tale of adventure, a plethora of such tales was readily available in a country (Greece) that had just emerged from the Peloponnesian war. So what elevates this story above those of Xenophon's peers, some of whom accompanied him on this expedition, penning their own versions at a later date. The Persian expedition goes deeper than a tale of daring do. This tale, this story of a 'marching Republic,' of ten thousand men, can be seen as a direct response to Plato's Republic. Unable to match Plato's intellectual prowess, many have long suspected that Xenophon drew on a resource that Plato could never hope to match: his experience of life, and particular, his involvement in warfare and adventure, culminating in Xenophon practically inventing the genre of Biography, which we have long taken for granted. Cossetted as he was at home, Plato never experienced the heat of battle, the burdens of command, encounters with 'barbarian' peoples, or the sheer exultation of safety, culminating in the famous chant of "The Sea! The Sea!" It is this edge, this experience, that gives the Persian expedition its rich and vivid account of adventure, of warfare, and shines a light on the Greek themselves: their intrigue, their religious piety. At times, the bias can verge on the ridiculous, the sense of hindsight hanging heavily on the page, and yet, Xenophon asks the question that few of his peers would not or could not do: what is it to be Greek? It is this question on self-examination that weighs heavily through the text, a prose Odyssey. Part adventure, part philosophical discourse, part anthropology. The Persian Expedition, alongside Caesar's commentaries, have rightly been lauded as the high water marks of classical literature.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brad Hankinson

    After I read the Anabasis (the March Upcountry), I almost immediately began writing my first novel based on the events of the first dozen pages. Xenophon's prose is sweet, his story captivating and I highly recommend it for any reader.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nemo

    Anabasis (also rendered as The March of the Ten Thousand or The Persian Expedition) is a firsthand account of the Greeks' participation in Cyrus the Younger's revolt against his brother King Artaxerxes II, and their perilous return journey to the Black Sea after Cyrus' death in the Battle of Cunaxa. Xenophon highlights the myriads of challenges a general faces in leading an army and carrying out a successful campaign. In addition to providing for a large army, commanding their respect and obedien Anabasis (also rendered as The March of the Ten Thousand or The Persian Expedition) is a firsthand account of the Greeks' participation in Cyrus the Younger's revolt against his brother King Artaxerxes II, and their perilous return journey to the Black Sea after Cyrus' death in the Battle of Cunaxa. Xenophon highlights the myriads of challenges a general faces in leading an army and carrying out a successful campaign. In addition to providing for a large army, commanding their respect and obedience despite his own shortcomings, and motivating them for a common purpose, he has to contend against nature, such as inclement weather and unfamiliar terrain; against his enemies, their guerrilla and attrition warfare; against his own comrades, who attempt to usurp leadership for their own gain to the detriment of the army. As Xenophon has stated elsewhere, a statesman faces the same type of challenges in governing a nation. Ironically, just as a statesman would be maligned by the fickle public especially during national crisis, Xenophon was persecuted by his soldiers twice, almost to the point of death, after being praised by them for his selfless service and leadership. Ultimately, I think of Anabasis as an analogy of the journey of life, and the triumphant joy with which the Greeks cry out, "The Sea, The Sea!" awaits us all.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Xenophon is an ambitious 20ish man from a prominent family in Athens. He agrees to his friend Proxenus urging to fight for Prince Cyrus,younger brother of Artaxerxes II , the Persian king in 401 B.C.With the end of the Peloponnesian War and Sparta's victory over Athens.The impoverished Greeks look to the Persian Empire for loot.Cyrus doesn't tell his foreign mercenaries, the 10,000,that he wants to replace his brother as king.The Greeks were recruited to defeat local enemies and make money. When Xenophon is an ambitious 20ish man from a prominent family in Athens. He agrees to his friend Proxenus urging to fight for Prince Cyrus,younger brother of Artaxerxes II , the Persian king in 401 B.C.With the end of the Peloponnesian War and Sparta's victory over Athens.The impoverished Greeks look to the Persian Empire for loot.Cyrus doesn't tell his foreign mercenaries, the 10,000,that he wants to replace his brother as king.The Greeks were recruited to defeat local enemies and make money. When Cyrus is slain at the battle of Cunaxa, the foreigners have lost their reason for being in Persia.After the Greek generals are killed by treachery, no leaders either.Can they survive hostile tribes ,get passed wide rivers , over high mountains, overcome snowy weather and get back to Greece alive? New leaders are chosen and Xenophon becomes a general. The long marches continue, day after day, week after week ,month after month until they reach their native land with 6,000 left.But having little plunder ,the mercenaries return to the Persian Empire to get rich and fight in an local war, after all their soldiers!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    La favola dell'Anabasi. Calvino ha scritto..." l'Anabasi è il primo diario di guerra della letteratura occidentale...è il memoriale tecnico di un ufficiale, un giornale di viaggio con tutte le distanze e i punti di riferimento geografici... E' una rassegna di problemi diplomatici, logistici, strategici..." Per me l'Anabasi non è solo una minuziosa cronaca di guerra... è una favola della mia infanzia che mia madre raccontava mentre io restavo incantata ad ascoltare la storia ammantata di mistero d La favola dell'Anabasi. Calvino ha scritto..." l'Anabasi è il primo diario di guerra della letteratura occidentale...è il memoriale tecnico di un ufficiale, un giornale di viaggio con tutte le distanze e i punti di riferimento geografici... E' una rassegna di problemi diplomatici, logistici, strategici..." Per me l'Anabasi non è solo una minuziosa cronaca di guerra... è una favola della mia infanzia che mia madre raccontava mentre io restavo incantata ad ascoltare la storia ammantata di mistero di diecimila uomini che vagavano smarriti nel deserto, cercando la strada del ritorno......

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    Come cavolo fai a non dare 5 stelle a Senofonte? Se non come scrittore, almeno come guida nella ritirata dei Diecimila. E, soprattutto, come salvatore della gran parte di uomini allo sbando che altrimenti sarebbero tutti dovuti perire durante l'attraversamento di paesi sconosciuti e ostili. Il titolo completo in realtà è "l'Anabasi di Ciro", il giovane rampollo achemenide che raccolse diecimila e passa mercenari greci per usurpare il trono del fratello Artaserse. Ma la parte più avventurosa e tr Come cavolo fai a non dare 5 stelle a Senofonte? Se non come scrittore, almeno come guida nella ritirata dei Diecimila. E, soprattutto, come salvatore della gran parte di uomini allo sbando che altrimenti sarebbero tutti dovuti perire durante l'attraversamento di paesi sconosciuti e ostili. Il titolo completo in realtà è "l'Anabasi di Ciro", il giovane rampollo achemenide che raccolse diecimila e passa mercenari greci per usurpare il trono del fratello Artaserse. Ma la parte più avventurosa e tragica del libro, dopo la battaglia vittoriosa dei greci di Cunassa e la morte di Ciro, dopo l'assassinio a tradimento dello stato maggiore ellenico, è la ritirata dell'esercito mercenario. Ritenuto invincibile dai persiani che limitarono ad azioni di disturbo e non attaccarono se non gli sbandati, sperando che morissero tutti di fame, sete e febbre nelle aride pianure della Mesopotamia, l'esercito dei Diecimila, assottigliandosi sempre più, invece risaliva l'Assiria, il Kurdistan, fino ad entrare nell'Armenia, l'antico Urartu, stato vassallo degli Achemenidi. E' una ritirata in pieno inverno tra le montagne e la neve del'Armenia. I greci vestiti alla leggere patirono le pene dell'inferno. Una scia di morte e di sangue li seguiva. Attaccati, rispondevano e trucidavano le popolazioni montanare, procurandosi il vitto con il saccheggio. Infine l'arrivo al mare, il Ponto Eusino, alle colonie greche amiche, prima di tutte Trapezunte. La salvezza. In uno studio di Valerio Massimo Manfredi, una pubblicazione del 1986 (che si trova in Jaca Book al prezzo di 50 euri) dal titolo "La strada dei Diecimila. Topografia e geografia dell'Oriente di Senofonte", l'autore che per tre volte fece e studiò il percorso della ritirata, afferma che in realtà Senofonte omise deliberatamente la cronaca di due mesi, molto probabilmente perché sbagliò strada e perse per questo molti dei suoi uomini. Il fatto dovette incidere profondamente il suo animo causandogli forti sensi di colpa, per cui preferì rimuovere. Non biasimeremo certo Senofonte per aver sbagliato un tratto di strada. Ringraziamo invece VMM per la colta delucidazione e continuiamo ad ammirare Senofonte per le sue opere (tutte!, l'Anabasi di Ciro in primis), ma soprattutto per la sua riuscita ritirata, che per un pelo non si risolse in una tragica "ritirata di Russia".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Seyyah

    Hasan Ali Yücel'i bir kere daha minnetle anıyorum.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Данило Судин

    "Анабазис" було написано майже 2,5 тисячі років тому. Стиль мислення, спосіб викладу думок з того часу змінився, а тому згаданий твір, як здається на перший погляд, мав би бути лише історіографічною цінністю - важливим першоджерелом для істориків Античності. Проте таке враження є хибним. Звісно, "Анабазис" є історичним першоджерелом, але при його читанні про це згадуєш лише закривши книгу. Окрім інформації про народи Перської імперії, спосіб ведення бою греками, є один момент, який здається неймо "Анабазис" було написано майже 2,5 тисячі років тому. Стиль мислення, спосіб викладу думок з того часу змінився, а тому згаданий твір, як здається на перший погляд, мав би бути лише історіографічною цінністю - важливим першоджерелом для істориків Античності. Проте таке враження є хибним. Звісно, "Анабазис" є історичним першоджерелом, але при його читанні про це згадуєш лише закривши книгу. Окрім інформації про народи Перської імперії, спосіб ведення бою греками, є один момент, який здається неймовірним: понад рік 10 тисяч грецьких воїнів рухалися територією Персії, причому більшість часу - поза будь-яким контролем з боку перських військ. Можливо, мені не вдалося передати суть "Анабазису". Історія почалася з того, що Кір вирішив позбавити влади свого брата Артаксеркса ІІ, захопивши силою зброї трон. Для цього він набрав до свого війська грецьких найманців (які після тридцятилітньої Пеллопонеської війни не знали, куди себе діти). Але в першій же битві - Кір зазнав поразки, його соратники перейшли на бік Артаксеркса ІІ, а греки виявилися покинутими на милість царя. Оскільки битва відбулася в районі Вавилона, то греки, здавалось, опинилися в пастці: до Греції їм іти виключно по території Перської імперії, де їм ніхто не радий. Тим більше, що в греків не було провідників та провіанту. І ось понад рік грецькі найманці подорожують територією ворожої держави, правитель якої поклявся їх знищити. От тільки вже після кількох місяців переслідування, перська армія відступила, не завдавши відчутних втрат грекам. І далі 8 місяців греки рухаються у повному відриві від персів. Наголошу, що самі ж греки називали царем (просто царем, не вказуючи країни) лише правителя Перської імперії, вважаючи його наймогутнішим правителем світу. Отже, рік правитель наймогутнішої держави не здатен дати собі ради з 10 тисячами греків. В цьому плані "Анабазис" - гарна ілюстрація слабкості домодерних держав, які аж ніяк не нагадують державні системи сучасності. Втім, "Анабазис" цікавий не цим. Він написаний простим стилем очевидця, який пригадує події цього походу і викладає їх сухо і максимально об’єктивно. Відтак, читач має змогу зрозуміти спосіб мислення професійного військового. і цей стиль абсолютно відмінний від того, що зараз присутнє в масовій культурі. Стратеги (тобто воєначальники грецького війська) не надто воліють вступати в сутички з противником - хіба у випадку крайньої необхідності. Ксенофонт постійно згадує з прихованою втіхою: попри те, що січа була люта, загинуло всього двоє греків. Важливо розуміти, що "Анабазис" - це мемуари, а тому декілька років після описаних подій Ксенофонт пам’ятає, що загинуло саме двоє греків. Отже, кожен загиблий - це вже велика втрата. Це доволі несподівано, але логічно: хороший командир береже своїх людей. І цінує. Попри те, що "Анабазис" - це мемуари про похід греків, в ньому є і сюжетна інтрига: чи доберуться греки до батьківщини? Саме це спонукає читати цей твір. А також намагання зрозуміти: звідки брали сили ці вояки, за тисячі кілометрів від батьківщини, щоб боротися? Їхня сила волі вражає, а епізод, коли греки нарешті бачать море (а це означає, що вони скоро зможуть добутися Греції на кораблях) і вигукують "Thálatta, thálatta", тобто "Море, море" - дійсно вражає. Саме цією цитатою я і завершу. На п’ятий день вони прийшли до гори під назвою Фехес. Коли солдати авангарду вийшли на гору, вони зчинили великий крик. Почувши цей крик, Ксенофонт і солдати ар’єргарду подумали, що якісь вороги напали на еллінів спереду, тоді як жителі випаленої області загрожували їм ззаду, і солдати ар’єргарду, влаштувавши засідку, вбили кількох чоловік, а кількох взяли в полон, захопивши при цьому близько 29 плетених щитів, вкритих волячою невичиненою шкірою. Тим часом крик дужчав і ближчав, бо ж загони, які безперервно підходили, починали бігти до солдатів, які, не вгамовуючись, кричали, через що вигуки гучнішали, тому що людей, які їх підхоплювали, більшало. Відтак Ксенофонт збагнув, що діється щось важливіше. Він скочив на коня і в супроводі Лікія та вершників поквапився на поміч. Невдовзі вони почули, що солдати вигукують: "Море, море!" - і прикликають до себе інших. Тут усі побігли вперед, зокрема й ар’єргард, женучи туди ж в’ючну худобу і коней. Коли всі досягли вершини, вони кинулися обіймати один одного, стратегів і лохагів, плачучи на радощах. І водночас, з невідь чийого наказу, солдати понаносили каміння і звели великий курган.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bookcase Jim

    Anabasis is a Greek word for 'marching up' that has become synonymous with military retreat. Although it's a cracking tale of leadership and perseverance in the face of adversity, it's well worth the read for the sheer wealth of information on ancient customs and social mores. We have a tendency to think that ancient man was a sort of imbecile, but in truth, it's amazing how little we've changed -if at all. Sure we (mostly) don't pillage, trade in slaves, or arbitrarily put people to death anymor Anabasis is a Greek word for 'marching up' that has become synonymous with military retreat. Although it's a cracking tale of leadership and perseverance in the face of adversity, it's well worth the read for the sheer wealth of information on ancient customs and social mores. We have a tendency to think that ancient man was a sort of imbecile, but in truth, it's amazing how little we've changed -if at all. Sure we (mostly) don't pillage, trade in slaves, or arbitrarily put people to death anymore, but reading a first-hand account of the era and circumstances in which these were little more than facts of daily life, I found myself thinking things like, "naturally, those villages had to be burnt to the ground." Like I said, we've not really changed. Although we speak differently and pretend to know a whole lot, we have the very same basic traits, urges, and expectations out of life. In reading Xenophon's narrative, I found myself thinking how much harder -and more noble - it was to be a good leader and a civilized human being 2500 years ago than it is now. Xenophon's speeches are like something out of a leadership or management book, albeit without the buzzwords or hyperbole. I'll get into that shortly.. The story is simple. Cyrus the Younger enticed Greek mercenaries with the promise of fine payment and gifts without telling them, until the last moment, that they were hired to dethrone the king of Persia (Cyrus' brother). Although an apparently sneaky tactic, it paid off, and Xenophon goes into great detail over Cyrus' ability as a leader who is able to get the best out of his men due. Unfortunately Cyrus gets himself killed in the very first battle and this leaves the mercenaries in hostile territory very far from home. This is where Xenophon, as yet almost unmentioned, steps in after seeing the demoralized men and the predicament in which the army finds itself, delivers a speech that would've made Shakespeare tear up. "Now is your great opportunity." He tells remaining leaders, "The soldiers have their eyes fixed upon you...if, while it was peace, you had the advantage in wealth and position, so now, when it is war, you are expected to rise superior to the common herd--to think for them, to toil for them, whenever there be need...For without leaders nothing good or noble, to put it concisely, was ever wrought anywhere..." But how does one persuade 10,000 soldiers who are about to go on the run that 'everything will be okay'? "The thing is to get them to turn their thoughts to what they mean to do, instead of what they are likely to suffer. Do that and their spirits will revive wonderfully." And off they go, fighting armies and tribes that are nipping at their heels, scaling mountains (and fighting), crossing rivers (and fighting), and slogging through blizzards (and fighting). And also, of course, pillaging when necessary -because how else are they going to get provisions during their trek? Think about it. I'm probably making this sound like a five-star read, but clearly my rating reads only four. This is because while the above is true and I'd recommend it to anyone, it wasn't an easy read and it did tend to go on in parts. At times, descriptions are lacking - Xenophon's writing is very pragmatic, even technical in some respects. It was also annoying reading the names of ancient cities, people, and civilizations and having no point of reference unless you're constantly searching Wikipedia. There is also an insistence in describing distances in 'stages', 'parasangs', and sometimes, 'furlongs' which I rarely remembered how to convert into anything modern, and yet, out of the blue, one of the chapters ends with "this was at a distance of about seven miles". WTF, right. So, there you have it. One star worth of gripes, and four of timeless wisdom and fascinating story-telling. All in all, considering it's available for free in the public domain, Anabasis should be considered unmissable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    El

    Xenophon left Athens and joined an army of ten thousand Greeks led by Cyrus against the Persian king, Artaxerxes, brother of Cyrus. They succeed, but Cyrus is killed. Upon his death it is up to Xenophon to return the warriors from Babylon to Athens. These are his stories, both of the battles and the 'march up country' (aka, Anabasis). Xenophon's descriptions of the battles, the warriors, home lives, politics, etc. are all incredibly detailed. He speaks of himself in the third person, lending itse Xenophon left Athens and joined an army of ten thousand Greeks led by Cyrus against the Persian king, Artaxerxes, brother of Cyrus. They succeed, but Cyrus is killed. Upon his death it is up to Xenophon to return the warriors from Babylon to Athens. These are his stories, both of the battles and the 'march up country' (aka, Anabasis). Xenophon's descriptions of the battles, the warriors, home lives, politics, etc. are all incredibly detailed. He speaks of himself in the third person, lending itself to the oral storytelling genre.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    I finished Xenophon’s, The Persian Expedition. The work had been characterized to me in two ways: first, it was described as having been written in “easy” Greek, often used by British schoolboys as their primer when learning the Greek language, and whereas I did not read it in its original language I was nonetheless struck by its simple, indeed at times almost primitive, syntax, and I could not help but compare it with Caesar’s history, The Gallic Wars, often described in much the same way for e I finished Xenophon’s, The Persian Expedition. The work had been characterized to me in two ways: first, it was described as having been written in “easy” Greek, often used by British schoolboys as their primer when learning the Greek language, and whereas I did not read it in its original language I was nonetheless struck by its simple, indeed at times almost primitive, syntax, and I could not help but compare it with Caesar’s history, The Gallic Wars, often described in much the same way for elementary Latin students, a comparison that strongly favors the latter author, who writes much more elegantly and who never, unlike Xenophon, made me impatient to be done with his book; second, it was described as being unreliable as history, omitting much and distorting much when compared with other materials reflecting on the same events and period, and, having now finished the work, I would consider it to be more an apologia for Xenothon himself than an accurate depiction of what occurred. Nonetheless, it is a moderately entertaining story and my first detailed exposure to an adventure of which I had been aware but knew little about, and the book read quickly and easily.

  22. 4 out of 5

    CCAM&GZM

    Given the name of our blog, I would like to introduce a book truly legendary: Anabasis by Xenophon. Stay calm, it is not a book of philosophy or a Greek tragedy. It is a history book, but you can read it like an adventures one. An adventure that took place about 2400 years ago, but what adventure it was! A march full of struggles and all kinds of hardships through a hostile territory. A story worthy of ancient Greek heroes, bold action that amounts to those made by their predecessors decades bef Given the name of our blog, I would like to introduce a book truly legendary: Anabasis by Xenophon. Stay calm, it is not a book of philosophy or a Greek tragedy. It is a history book, but you can read it like an adventures one. An adventure that took place about 2400 years ago, but what adventure it was! A march full of struggles and all kinds of hardships through a hostile territory. A story worthy of ancient Greek heroes, bold action that amounts to those made by their predecessors decades before, at the Marathon, Thermopylae and Plateea. A few years before, I read Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s book, The Lost Army, a fiction novel, a retelling of the exploits of the 10,000 Greek mercenaries. Recently, I found at a second hand bookstore a copy of Xenophon and I had the unpleasant surprise to find that the 1964’s edition is the only one in our country. Sadly, but true. Historical? Around the year 404 BC Sparta wins the Peloponnesian war and establishes the 30 tyrannical regime in Athens. Greece was exhausted after a 30 year war, Athens had seen his empire collapsed and a lot of people chose to go wandering. In 403 BC the regime is overthrown, but the new leaders were not liked by Xenophon, a former soldier, student and admirer of Socrates, and for that he chooses the path of exile. Following the advice of a friend, he boards to take part in the expedition led by Cyrus the Persian prince. The stated goal of the expedition was to pacify the rebellious populations. Only after five months on the banks of the Euphrates, Xenophon and the other Greeks find the real purpose of their action. Cyrus wanted to dethrone his brother Artaxerxes II. How the real purpose doesn’t matter to much to them, because the Greeks were employed as mercenaries, they move forward encouraged by the Prince’s promises. The battle between the Persian army and Cyrus’s mixed army (his army was not composed exclusively of Greeks) takes place near Babylon at Cunaxa. Prince soar into battle with confidence, but fate did not favor him. He dies in battle, his troops are scattered, and his camp is ravaged and plundered. The Greek Expeditionary Corps has no problems, brooms all in its path. But for what good is that if Cyrus is dead and the original reason is lost? They remain victorious on the battlefield, but being a mercenary army with the original reason lost and with their employer disappeared, they no longer have other choice but to return. Easier said than done. With the camp destroyed, supplies lost, they realize they cannot return through the same places they came from, because their transition exhausted the cities that have been in their path and they will no longer find food there. Finding themselves in the middle of enemy territory in the middle of the Persian Empire, they decide to follow the river Tigris and move through Corduene and Armenia (now Turkey) to the Black Sea where there were Greek colonies. From this moment begins the great adventure of the 10,000. After a betrayal, the General Army Clearchus is captured along with several senior officers by the Persian satrap Tissaphernes and murdered. Xenophon and the other two are chosen by the soldiers to lead the army. Despite the lack of supplies, the Persian army’s harassment, the barbarian populations in territories where they went through, crossing the mountains in the winter, they prevail to reach with minimum loss to Trabzon (Trebizond) on the Black Sea coast. An extraordinary achievement, a success that many would have doubted. From here the route follows the western Greek colonies towards their home. But the adventure will not end here. They will put themselves into the service of Seuthes II of Thrace. After Sparta will change its foreign policy, which initially supported Cyrus, now it wants to free the Greeks from Asia Minor, where the satrap Tissaphernes started the retaliation against philospartans leaders. And again the mercenaries are called to battle, and Xenophon and his men put themselves into the service of Tibron the Spartan commander in the siege of Pergamum. Here the writer concludes the adventures of the 10,000. Of course, Xenophon did not say farewell to arms, and he participates in other battles, but not as a leader of his mercenaries. As a matter of fact, almost 70 years after these events, Alexander the Great will conquer the Persian Empire and he’ll wear the reputation of the hoplites to India. Don’t be worry, don’t treat the lines above as a spoiler. I just wanted to introduce to you the general historical picture. Many of the data are not included in the book and anyway you could find them with one click. Adventures experienced by our heroes are many more and more unexpected than you think. The story is divided into seven books, and the style is simple and concise. The author hasn’t followed a historical narrative or one filled with descriptions of military tactics, but one purely literary. The work is not loaded with subjective or personal notes, it’s a witness description of events. A curiosity is the title chose by Xenophon for the story – Anabasis - which in Greek means inward from the sea to inland. That because he describes specially the return of the 10,000 and a better title would have been Katabasis, which means “to shore, outwards”. I don’t know and I don’t feel I have the explanation of it. Worth it to read and if you fail to put your hand on it, you may be able to read the Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s novel: The Lost Army. It's a well written novel, and has that special author’s sensitivity. It’s a book that will make known the incredible adventure of the Xenophon and his 10,000 heroes in Asia Minor. Happy reading! Romanian Ținând cont de numele blogului nostru, aș vrea să vă prezint o carte cu adevărat de legendă: Anabasis, de Xenofon. Stați liniștiți, nu este o carte de filosofie sau vreo tragedie greacă. Este o carte de istorie, dar pe care o puteți citi și în cheia unei cărți de aventuri. O aventură ce a avut loc aproximativ acum 2400 de ani, însă ce aventură! Un marș plin de lupte și tot felul de privațiuni printr-un teritoriu ostil. O poveste demnă de vechii eroi greci, o acțiune îndrăzneață ce se ridică la nivelul celor realizate de înaintașii lor cu zeci de ani înainte la Marathon, Termopile sau Plateea. Citisem cu câțiva ani înainte cartea lui Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Armata Pierdută, un roman de ficțiune, o repovestire a faptelor de vitejie a celor 10.000 de mercenari greci. De curând, am găsit într-un anticariat cartea lui Xenofon și am avut neplăcuta surpriză să aflu că ediția din 1964 este singura ce a văzut lumina tiparului la noi în țară. Trist, dar acesta este cruntul adevăr. Cadrul istoric? În jurul anului 404 Î.H. Sparta câștigă războiul peloponesiac și instaurează regimul celor 30 de tirani în Atena. Grecia era sleită după un război de 30 de ani, Atena își văzuse imperiul destrămat, iar o mulțime de oameni aleseseră să plece în pribegie. În 403 Î.H. regimul este răsturnat, însă noii conducători nu erau pe placul lui Xenofon, un fost soldat, elev și admirator al lui Socrate, care alege calea exilului.Urmând sfatul unui prieten, se îmbarcă pentru a lua parte la expediția condusă de prințul persan Cirus. Scopul declarat al expediției era pacificarea unor populații rebele. Abia după cinci luni pe malurile Eufratului, Xenofon și ceilalți greci află scopul real al acțiunii lor. Cirus vroia să-l detroneze pe fratele său Artaxerxe al II-lea. Cum scopul nu conta prea mult pentru ei, grecii fiind angajați mercenari, pornesc mai departe încurajați de promisiunile prințului. Lupta între armata persană și armata mixtă (nu era o armată alcătuită exclusiv numai din greci) a lui Cirus are loc la Cunaxa, lângă Babilon. Prințul se avântă în luptă cu încredere, dar sorții nu îi sunt favorabili. El moare în luptă, trupele îi sunt împrăștiate, tabăra răvășită și prădată. Corpul expediționar grec nu are probleme, mătură tot în calea lui. Dar ce folos dacă Cirus este mort și motivul inițial este pierdut. Ei rămân învingători pe câmpul de bătălie, însă fiind o armată de mercenari nu mai au altceva de făcut decât să se întoarcă după ce angajatorul a dispărut. Ușor de zis, greu de făcut. Tabăra distrusă, proviziile pierdute, își dau seama că nu se pot întoarce prin aceleași locuri pe unde au venit deoarece trecerea lor a epuizat localitățile prin care au fost și nu vor mai găsi hrană. Găsindu-se în plin teritoriu inamic în mijlocul imperiului persan, se decid să urmeze cursul fluviului Tigru și să se îndrepte prin Carducia și Armenia (astăzi Turcia) către Marea Neagră unde erau colonii grecești. Din acest moment începe marea aventură a celor 10.000. În urma unei trădări, generalul armatei, Clearh, este capturat împreună cu mai mulți ofițeri superiori de către satrapul persan Tisaferne și asasinați. Xenofon și alți doi sunt aleși de către soldați să conducă armata. În ciuda lipsei proviziilor, al hărțuielii armatei persane, a populațiilor barbare din teritoriile pe unde au trecut, a traversării munților pe timp de iarnă ei reușesc să ajungă cu pierderi minime la Trabzon (Trapezunt) pe țărmul Mării Negre. O realizare extraordinară, un succes de care mulți s-ar fi îndoit. De aici urmează traseul coloniilor grecești către vest, spre patrie. Însă aventura nu se va sfârși aici. Ei se vor pune în solda lui Seuthes al II-lea al Traciei. După ce Sparta și-a schimbat politica externă, care l-a susținut inițial pe Cirus, acum aceasta dorește să-i elibereze pe grecii din Asia Mică, unde satrapul Tisaferne începuse represaliile împotriva conducătorilor filospartani. Și din nou mercenarii sunt chemați la luptă, iar Xenofon și oamenii săi se pun în slujba comandantului spartan Tibron în asediul Pergamului. Așa încheie scriitorul aventurile celor 10.000. Bineînțeles că Xenofon nu a spus adio armelor, el participând și în alte bătălii, dar nu la conducerea mercenarilor săi. Ca fapt divers, după aproape 70 de ani de la aceste întâmplări, Alexandru cel Mare va cuceri Persia și va purta renumele hopliților greci până în India. Nu vă îngrijorați, să nu tratați rândurile de mai sus ca pe un spoiler, am vrut doar să vă introduc în tabloul general istoric. Multe dintre date nu se regăsesc în carte şi oricum le-ați putea găsi cu un singur click. Peripețiile prin care au trecut eroii noştri sunt cu mult mai multe şi mai neaşteptate decât ați crede. Povestirea este împărțită în șapte cărți, stilul fiind unul simplu și concis. Autorul nu a urmărit o narațiune istorică sau una plină de descrieri de tactică militară, ci una pur literară. Lucrarea nu este una subiectivă sau încărcată de note personale, este descrierea unui martor al evenimentelor. O curiozitate este titlul pe care l-a ales Xenofon pentru povestire sa Anabasis care în greacă înseamnă spre interior, de la mare către interiorul teritoriului, dar deoarece el descrie mai mult întoarcerea lor, ar fi fost mai nimerit Katabasis, adică spre țărm, spre exterior. Nu știu și nici nu mă simt în măsură să vă pot explica asta. Merită să o citiți și dacă nu veți reuși să puneți mâna pe ea, poate veți reuși să citiți romanul lui Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Armata pierdută. Este un roman scris bine, cu acea sensibilitate specifică autorului, o carte ce vă va face cunoscută incredibila aventură a lui Xenofon și a celor 10.000 eroi ai săi în Asia. Lectură plăcută! GZM http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/2012...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    "please don't go away until you've heard me tell you the trouble I see just beginning to rear its ugly head in the army." In this ancient manuscript which has amazingly survived from 370BC, Xenophon details the enlistment and retreat of several thousand Greek mercenaries in The Expedition of Cyrus. Xenophon was an eye-witness and general during this campaign, but chooses to write the narrative in third person, which I found a really interesting decision. I found that the perspective made Xenophon "please don't go away until you've heard me tell you the trouble I see just beginning to rear its ugly head in the army." In this ancient manuscript which has amazingly survived from 370BC, Xenophon details the enlistment and retreat of several thousand Greek mercenaries in The Expedition of Cyrus. Xenophon was an eye-witness and general during this campaign, but chooses to write the narrative in third person, which I found a really interesting decision. I found that the perspective made Xenophon's long speeches and the congratulations he receives from the troops seem more natural, however, the details he gives about his dreams, his experience of the extreme cold in Armenia, and his despondency at being repeatedly let down by geust-friends make his personal authorship clear to a contemporary reader. Could this be the first instance of third-person point of view? It appears George R.R. Martin may have been 2,400 years too late to the party. The Greek mercenaries are fighting in Greek territories on the far side of the Black Sea when they are enlisted by fratricidal pretender for the Persian throne, Cyrus the younger. Despite immediately winning Xenophon's esteem (which has nothing to do with how much he was paying him, of course), Cyrus is unpopular with the Persian nobility and has to lie to his mercenaries to tempt them so far into the Asian interior that they end up hunting antelope (which were tasty, by the way) and ostriches (none of which they could catch). Cyrus is annihilated and dies on the battlefield, but the oblivious Greeks achieve a stupendous rout and then retire to sack some nearby villages. Refusing to surrender their weapons to Artaxerxes, the Greeks are followed around by Persian satraps before their generals are finally lured into a trap and murdered. The remaining Greeks rally under the leadership of Xenophon and Spartan Chirisophus and achieve a feat of great courage and determination to march through hostile territory until their pursuers can no longer follow them. I found that Xenophon's narrative, which persistently slandered the Persians for effeminate weakness without offering explanation for their vast success, rather pandering to the lowest element of Greek society. I did hope hope that this eye-witness account might offer more depth to the portrayal of the organised and sophisticated Persian military. Not that The Expedition of Cyrus wasn't full of brilliant observations. The alien terrain of the Greeks' retreat was a constant shock to them, triggering regressive and bizarre behaviours. Encountering snow for the first time, many men simply stopped marching in Armenian and sat down to die on the plateau. They fought against civilisations strikingly similar to their own such as Chalybians, whose armour and war-making was so parallel to that of the Greeks that without sigils, there were many mistaken woundings. Equally, they fought alongside many strange cultures such as the enigmatic Mossynoecians (literally "wooden-tower dwellers") who tattooed their sons with flowers and filled up on poisonous honey. They fight amongst themselves with puerile one-upmanship, such as Xenophon and Chirisophus berating each other for being thieves shortly after they've had a falling out. The constant banter about pretty young boys found in the villages they come across leant an air of the absurd to this serious and desperate military operation. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of homoeroticism, but I really admired the way this aspect of sexuality made no impact on the masculinity of the protagonists. I feel we are still behind this level of magnanimity in contemporary Western literature. Fun's over on the approach to the Greek cities of the Black Sea coast. "it is more painful to be publicly deposed from a throne than never to have occupied a throne at all." The mercenaries become increasingly fractious, there are petty disputes which act against the army's main interest, and there are countless incidents to needless violence against civilians who share their language and culture. Xenophon tries to cover this up with practical concerns for the company's supply of provisions, but there is little concern for the impoverished villages which are being raided for slaves, food, and in some cases burned to the ground all in the name of necessity. There is something politically inevitable about the decline in the army's principles as the journey continues towards a chaotic and ultimately destructive disbanding. It says a lot about human collectives in general, the transitory nature of motivation and gratitude. A lot to think about. The details in this narrative are fantastic and enlightening. I was amazed to see the use of paradeiso a word borrowed from Persian to describe a garden sanctuary, as the first incidence of the root word for paradise in Western literature. I was also seriously excited to find a reference to the mercenaries capturing a trade ship packed with scrolls - this is the very first reference to the large scale international trade in books! Other great details revealed in the notes included an usual acknowledgement of Greek sexual preference paiderastes to describe a man attracted to boys. Tim Rood's notes (shout out to St. Hugh's College Oxford) were a great addition to the experience of reading this memoir. The introduction was also very much insightful. I was impressed to read that the Greeks' epic retreat was a model for other far more recent military engagements and a source of morale in 20th century Europe. Having the political background, and some sobering information to counteract Xenophon's inherent hyperbole (1,200,000 Persian troops? Yeah right, Xenphon. Even your fellow Greek exaggerators put it more like 400,000!) was a great help and enhanced my enjoyment of the enforced epicness which permeates history and biography of this time. Very concise, and answered all my questions on the background of the text. Robin Waterfield's translation, however, I was less impressed with. Having recently read J.R.R. Tolkein's inspired translations of Anglosaxon Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I felt that Waterfield often resorted to idioms and clashingly contemporary phraseology which really took me out of the atmosphere. Minus 1 star. Harsh but fair. Overall, a great insight into the practicalities of an ancient military engagement told with a charming flair, even it is the most self-serving thing I have possible ever read. "The Greek army, creeping through the heights and fjords amid ambushes and attacks, no longer able to distinguish to what extend it as a victim or an oppressor ..."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul Haspel

    Persons reading Xenophon’s The Persian Expedition for epic battle action will get epic battle action. But there is much, much more for the careful reader in Xenophon’s account of how he led ten thousand mercenaries across Asia Minor and back to their Greek home. First, a word about the title. Many readers, particularly those who are familiar with classical history and culture, will probably know this book as the Anabasis. Okay, so the Iliad is the story of the war at Ilium (or Troy), while the Od Persons reading Xenophon’s The Persian Expedition for epic battle action will get epic battle action. But there is much, much more for the careful reader in Xenophon’s account of how he led ten thousand mercenaries across Asia Minor and back to their Greek home. First, a word about the title. Many readers, particularly those who are familiar with classical history and culture, will probably know this book as the Anabasis. Okay, so the Iliad is the story of the war at Ilium (or Troy), while the Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’ long voyage home from that war; now, what the heck is an Anabasis? The term translates roughly as “The March Up Country,” and I have seen the book published under that title; but as a title, The Persian Expedition is nothing if not accurate. And a hell of an expedition it was. In 401 B.C., Xenophon, a young nobleman of Athens, was among the leaders of 10,000 mercenaries who were, perhaps not too wisely, allowing themselves to become incorporated into the power politics of the Persian Empire. The mercenaries’ employer, Cyrus the Younger, sought to depose his brother, the emperor Artaxerxes, and take Artaxerxes' place upon the Persian throne. But Cyrus’ plans went permanently and irrevocably awry at the battle of Cunaxa: the good news – his army won the battle; the bad news – Cyrus himself was killed. The 29-year-old Xenophon was left among the leaders of an army of mercenaries, with hundreds of miles of hostile territory to cross before they could get home to Greece. After dealing with the treachery of the Persian leader Tissaphernes, Xenophon persuaded his fellow Greeks that they could make the march – “Whoever wants to see his own people again must remember to be a brave soldier: that is the only way of doing it. Whoever wants to keep alive must aim at victory” (p. 156) – and their long march to the sea began. Their march involved arduous treks through bitterly cold mountain passes – “Soldiers who had lost the use of their eyes through snow-blindness or whose toes had dropped off from frostbite were left behind” (p. 197) – as well as battles with a great many tribal nations of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), all of whose customs, weapons, and battle tactics Xenophon describes in detail. Xenophon writes in a direct, no-nonsense, soldierly style. Readers who savor the playful dialogues of Plato, or the intellectual intricacy of Aristotle’s orderly setting-forth of philosophical concepts, will find that Xenophon has no time for any of that sort of thing. His is a story of survival, and the style complements the story. The tone and style of the Anabasis reminded me of Julius Caesar’s Commentaries; reading of the Ten Thousand and the March to the Sea was, for me, much like reading about the conquest of Gaul, or the civil war with Pompey – bracingly uncomplicated. And, like Caesar, Xenophon knew that writing about oneself in the third person can make it seem quite objective when one is talking about one’s own good ideas and well-thought-out actions. The direct and uncomplicated style of The March Up Country is no doubt part of the reason why, as George Cawkwell of University College Oxford points out in a helpful foreword, it was a staple of the classical education of many and many an English schoolboy. In classrooms from Exeter to London to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, young lads looked ahead to translating this sentence: “So Xenophon mounted his horse and, taking Lycus and the cavalry with him, rode forward to give support, and, quite soon, they heard the soldiers shouting out ‘The sea! The sea!’ and passing the word down the column” (p. 211). Θαλάσσα! Θαλάσσα! Thalassa! Thalassa! The sea! The sea! One would think that dramatic moment would be the end of the story. It wasn’t, of course. When “The Greeks Catch Sight of the Sea” (the title of that chapter), there are still 140 pages of The Persian Expedition to go. Xenophon and his men are in Greek territory at that point, to be sure – among Greek-speaking people who share their language and culture. But they are 10,000 mercenaries, soldiers who fight for money – men who want something to eat and drink, and are no doubt also interested in finding, shall we say, companionship. Is it any wonder if the people of Black Sea city-states like Trapezus and Sinope are largely eager to send the Greeks on their way? The modern applicability of the Anabasis is considerable. For example, as many students of the American Civil War know, Union General William T. Sherman was an avid reader of classical literature. It is intriguing to wonder if Sherman’s own 1864 march across hostile Confederate territory – 250 miles, from Atlanta to the sea – may have been inspired by a reading of Xenophon. And if you’ve seen Walter Hill’s cult-film classic The Warriors (1979), with its New York City street gang having to fight its way through hostile territory, past a variety of rival gangs (each with its own wildly stylized uniforms and weapons), in a long struggle to get back safely to their Coney Island turf, then you’ve seen a film whose original inspiration, The March Up Country, was written 2400 years ago. With a helpful map that enables one to follow the entire long journey of Xenophon and his Ten Thousand, this Penguin Books edition of The Persian Expedition is a great addition for the libraries of classicists and armchair adventurers alike.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Theo

    It's my considered opinion as a Hellenist that Xenophon is boring, narrow-minded, a bad writer, and overly focused on minutiae. He's the worst. Cry αιαι! O women, for the loss of Potential.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Gripping, fascinating story of highly disciplined Greek hoplites stranded in hostile territory far from home who must regroup and force their way through Kurdish territory. After the famous 'The Sea! the Sea!' moment, however, the book was considerably less interesting - the army begins to fracture and strain under lack of supplies and lack of real leadership (author Xenophon notwithstanding). It was a quick read, and a very enlightening one for me. It also strikes a little bit of a chord with me Gripping, fascinating story of highly disciplined Greek hoplites stranded in hostile territory far from home who must regroup and force their way through Kurdish territory. After the famous 'The Sea! the Sea!' moment, however, the book was considerably less interesting - the army begins to fracture and strain under lack of supplies and lack of real leadership (author Xenophon notwithstanding). It was a quick read, and a very enlightening one for me. It also strikes a little bit of a chord with me - I occasionally reflect on the kind of education that educated men (and women, but lets face facts: mostly men) would've been subject to a hundred or so years ago. I wistfully imagine what kind of person I might be with years and years of studying Latin and Greek in the original might have made me into. I probably would have hated it. But read something written by an educated person from the 1800s or early 1900s and every bit of prose reads like a kind of forgotten poetry. The last century brought so very much technological advance, but at the end of it all I wonder whether we understand what it is to be human as well as somebody who had to read volumes upon volumes representing hundreds of years of human thought. I read recently that many universities are dropping Philosophy and Classics programs because of low enrollment because our generation in particular understands that education is only a means to employment, and Classics is no path to riches unless followed by Law. That makes me a bit sad - it's totally understandable of course, but a little piece of me wants everyone to be exposed to enough (eloquently written) Thought and Culture that they have a decent chance of improving the society we live in with their own Thoughts. Basically I'm just a crotchety old man that hates turning on the TV only to see another reality show pandering to the lowest common denominator and lowering the denominator even further in the process. RRrrgh. Oh, right. Book review. Yes: good book. Good enough that I'm picking up Herodotus' _The Histories_ next. It will probably only make me more wistful and crotchety.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    THE PERSIAN EXPEDITION. Xenophon. ***. This book, in the form of a diary – which many scholars think it was – tells of Xenophon’s takeover of a Greek army of about 10,000 troops and leading them on a retreat back to Greece. His promotion came as a result of the original leaders of the troops getting into a fight and killing each other. Lots of material here is very skimmable, telling of minor battles with a variety of tribes as the major force attempted to get back to their homeland. One of the p THE PERSIAN EXPEDITION. Xenophon. ***. This book, in the form of a diary – which many scholars think it was – tells of Xenophon’s takeover of a Greek army of about 10,000 troops and leading them on a retreat back to Greece. His promotion came as a result of the original leaders of the troops getting into a fight and killing each other. Lots of material here is very skimmable, telling of minor battles with a variety of tribes as the major force attempted to get back to their homeland. One of the parts of this story that everyone that I’ve talked with knows about is when the army makes it to the top of a mountain after several difficult campaigns through Armenia, and the relief at last when The Ten Thousand reach ‘…the sea, the sea.’ The best I can figure this out is that it is likely an inside joke with students who were taking Greek at school. I cannot find any other reference to it that makes any sense provided by the internet. If any of you has a clue, please let me know through the ‘comment’ section. The title of this translation by Rex Warner is “The Persian Expedition.” In other translations it is also known as the “Anabasis.” The word Anabasis, in Greek, means ‘the journey up.’ I felt as if I learned more about the Greek military organization of the times than I did about any particular series of battles. My history background on this period is sketchy, so that I would likely flunk any test. I can now talk about how the army was organized and how the average troops responded to and felt about their leaders. This is much more than I knew before.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Hughes

    I will be honest and say I didn’t quite enjoy this one, my first experience of Xenophon. I read the Oxford Classics Robin Waterfield translation. It was used during Victorian times as a must read for young school children and I can see the appeal - the exotic terrain, the underdog resilience, the longing for home. But I found it filled less with the language of heroic perseverance I was expecting and more with troop delegation - in which Xenophon conspicuously always seems to have the right answe I will be honest and say I didn’t quite enjoy this one, my first experience of Xenophon. I read the Oxford Classics Robin Waterfield translation. It was used during Victorian times as a must read for young school children and I can see the appeal - the exotic terrain, the underdog resilience, the longing for home. But I found it filled less with the language of heroic perseverance I was expecting and more with troop delegation - in which Xenophon conspicuously always seems to have the right answer. Almost certainly still worth a read for it’s effect on the imagery of Alexander’s campaigns (Think Arrian)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    An excellent read that has been up till now, sitting on my ever growing TBR pile. There are several interesting aspects of this book, not the least of which for me personally is reading it while sitting not far from where some of the events took place. I also found it fascinating that at least some of the fighting the Greek army took part in was a direct cause of not having the ability to get the local population to understand their intent, not being one of conquest, but simply moving through te An excellent read that has been up till now, sitting on my ever growing TBR pile. There are several interesting aspects of this book, not the least of which for me personally is reading it while sitting not far from where some of the events took place. I also found it fascinating that at least some of the fighting the Greek army took part in was a direct cause of not having the ability to get the local population to understand their intent, not being one of conquest, but simply moving through territory as quickly as possible to get back home. Meaning that many times local armies would be alarmed at such a large group of soldiers marching through their territory and so would form up to oppose them in an effort to get the Greeks to leave. But this would inevitably slow the Greeks progress through the land by requiring them to fight their way out of it. This meant that not only did the locals unnecessarily have their homes and villages burnt and plundered, but their armies destroyed as well. Had both sides been better able to grasp each others intentions much of the fighting could have been avoided all together. Another fascinating outcome was that by the end of the book the army never even dissolves but continues on fighting for one potentate or another.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alegría Buendía

    Comencé a leer Anábasis por recomendación de Italo Calvino en su libro ¿por qué leer a los clásicos? ; lo he terminado con pesar puesto que éste libro pertence a aquellos que no puede uno soltar de las manos y se devora febrilmente al mismo tiempo que no deseas que termine, y cuando esto finalmente sucede se teme no volver a encontrar una historia tan maravillosa. Cualquier cosa que diga sobre Jenofonte y su obra quedará bastante corta, así que citaré a otro grande a éste respecto: " El hombre p Comencé a leer Anábasis por recomendación de Italo Calvino en su libro ¿por qué leer a los clásicos? ; lo he terminado con pesar puesto que éste libro pertence a aquellos que no puede uno soltar de las manos y se devora febrilmente al mismo tiempo que no deseas que termine, y cuando esto finalmente sucede se teme no volver a encontrar una historia tan maravillosa. Cualquier cosa que diga sobre Jenofonte y su obra quedará bastante corta, así que citaré a otro grande a éste respecto: " El hombre puede verse reducido a ser una langosta y aplicar sin embargo a su situación de langosta un código de disciplina y de decoro -en una palabra, un *estilo* - y confesarse satisfecho, no discutir ni mucho ni poco el hecho de ser langosta sino sólo el mejor modo de serlo..." Italo Calvino, ¿por qué leer a los clásicos?"

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