WaterWhen the Ten Thousand finally reach the Hellespont things get a little confusing at least for me they didSparta recently having won the Peloponnesian Wars
was in control of the area and wasn t super thrilled about having thousands upon in control of the area and wasn t super Thrilled About Having Thousands Upon about having thousands upon hungry horny and battle hardened troops idling around near an important city and port Also these same soldiers ust tried to overthrow a huge powerful Empire right next door so even receiving them caused all kinds of diplomatic problems for SpartaSo the Ten Thousand led by Xenophon hang out in Thrace and spend the winter propping up a two bit King More warring speechifyingFinally 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 GreeceThe 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 guessingXenophon is praised for his unadorned style but it is a bit King of Russia jarring to read stuff like some Greeks lost their noses and toes from frostbite tossed off like an aside That might beust a little too unadorned Xenophon is an ambitious 20ish man from a prominent family in Athens that doesn t have money any because of the war with Sparta which they lost He agrees to his friend s Proxenus plee urging him to fight for the treacherous Prince Cyrus younger brother of Artaxerxes II the Persian king in 401 BC With the end of the
*peloponnesian war and *War and s victory over dejected Athens the glory has vanished The impoverished Greeks look to the Persian Empire for any loot they can get there hands on Cyrus doesn t tell his foreign mercenaries the 10000 that he wants to replace his brother as king The Greeks were ostensibly recruited to defeat local enemies and receive coins When Cyrus is sla A bit dry in parts perhaps but a necessary read for any student or aficionado of Greek history The story of Xenophon and his march with his fellow Greeks across the deserts and wilderness of places like modern day Ira and Turkey is a fascinating and timeless one I think my biggest takeaway in reading this book was Democracies in Danger just how alien the ancient world really is to us For all the ways we like to compare ourselves to the Ancient Greeks their ideals of freedom of thought democratic principles and philosophies the ancient world would be a completely foreign and crazy world to any modern person Take the amount of times the Greeks have to make a sacrifice to the gods for instance before a major or even minor decision If I had played a drinking game and taken a shot every time the Greeks sacrificed to the gods in this book I would have been dead by page 10 The marched and fought their way right round Turkey And a good chunk of Ira 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 homeIt 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 uarrelling amongst themselvesAn 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 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 ofust dialing up 10000 Uber rides besides the surge fee would be enormous they have. Ver the army loses cause and direction and the result is a 'marching republic' in which the remainder of the army must fight their way home Through endless miles of hostile territory where their foes crop up at every turn Xenophon emerges as one of the few men capable of making decisions and leading the army through a variety of difficulties in a perilous retreat back .
Xenophon ☆ 6 read.
To march through hundreds of
Miles Of Hostile Territory Withof hostile territory with 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 happeningThis was certainly an interesting reading experience The writing style was definitely not
the modern world A good chunk of it was devoted to 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 acuired 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 reachedOne 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 accountIt is also important to remember the people on the other side of the story Here is this 10000 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 accountAll 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 Selling Beauty 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 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 respectsSo 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 When you re set upon read Xenophon 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 soldierscholars who makes both intellectuals and warriors feel inadeuate 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 10000 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 The story Xenophon tells has been called the world s first great novela 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 storyI 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 HellenicaThanks Mark for getting me to read this much much sooner than I would have otherwise. O Greece When at last they reach the sea and know they near their homeland their cries of fierceoy resound and become the stuff of legend Told in forthright and unpretentious prose this epic ourney of extraordinary endurance over hardship remains an entertaining account that exemplifies Socratic philosophy clear Greek writing and the bygone valor of remarkable warrio. ,of the modern world A good chunk of it was devoted to
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 ournalistic 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 generalsof travelogue interrupted now and then by biographies of those significant persons usually generals 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 The Perfect Ending for the World joy to read Highly recommended 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 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 upXenophon 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 yearsSo when I saw a used Penguin edition for 6 I figured I could probably slum my way through with only oneanky map some footnotes and an introduction written in stilted prose with dumb Penguin edition introduction esue 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 2000 years ago Cyrus wants to kill his brother the King of Persia so he raises a secret army including about 10000 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 territoryThis all happens fairly uickly so most of the book is about The Ten Thousand as they are called even though that number starts to go down pretty uickly 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 endBecause 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 ifwhen GREEKS MEET UP WITH NON GREEKS meet up with non Greeks you always learn something new about the Greeks even if s that they feel that some boys are The Zukofsky Era just too darn pretty to put to death or that they don t care for dolphin fat unless it s mixed with. Widely considered the most famous work of the professional soldier and writer Xenophon Anabasis is a true tale of dangerous adventure in ancient Greece Though advised not tooin the army of 10000 by his friend Socrates Xenophon does set out with Cyrus the Great in that man's attempt to gain the empire of Persia from his brother When this leader is killed in battle howe.