Xenophon's Anabasis, or the Expedition of Cyrus

Xenophon's Anabasis, or the Expedition of Cyrus

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Xenophon's Anabasis, or The Expedition of Cyrus, is one of the most exciting historical narratives-as well as the most important autobiographical work-to have survived from ancient Greece. It tells the story of Cyrus, a young and charismatic Persian prince, who in 401 BC enlisted more than ten thousand Greek mercenaries in an attempt to seize the vast Persian empire for himself. Cyrus was killed in a great battle, most of the Greek commanders subsequently fell victim to treachery, and an Athenian aristocrat by the name of Xenophon found himself in the unexpected position of taking charge and leading the Greeks from the vicinity of Babylon in modern Iraq back to the Greek cities in Turkey. This book both places the Anabasis in its historical and literary context and, by employing a variety of critical methods, opens up for the reader different ways of interpreting its major themes. Interrelated chapters investigate Xenophon's self-representation as a model leader, his possible didactic and apologetic purposes for writing, the generic expectations of his contemporary audience, the factual accuracy of the Anabasis, and the ways in which the gods are depicted as intervening in human affairs. This book unveils the literary artistry and narrative strategies that have gone into shaping one of the greatest survival stories of all time.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.28 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0195188683
  • 9780195188684
  • 342,137

Review quote

Sparkles on every page with apposite and often novel interpretations that shed light where there was darkness. ... It is a model of its kind: a generous, thoughtful, and deeply insightful interpretation of an ancient text, and one that is clear and well written. Bryn Mawr Classical Review In this stimulating volume Michael Flower provides a comprehensive approach to Xenophon's Anabasis that greatly enhances our understanding of its narrative art and historical reliability. It is by far the most intelligent and thoughtful analysis of the Anabasis now available. ... Flower gives us the basics, but he also airs the controversies and makes illuminating suggestions about them for even the most expert among us. There is a strong streak of originality in his analysis, which sets off his detailed knowledge of the scholarship of others. Classical Philologyshow more

About Michael A. Flower

Michael A. Flower is a Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Classics at Princeton University.show more

Table of contents

Contents ; Editors' Foreword ; Map ; Preface ; Introduction ; 1. The Anabasis in Context ; 2. Xenophon as Author, Narrator, and Agent ; 3. Let It be Fact and Let It be Fiction? ; 4. Style and the Shaping of Narrative ; 5. Xenophon Takes Command ; 6. Xenophon on Trial ; 7. Reading the Anabasis ; 8. The Hand of God Artfully Placed ; Bibliography ; Prominent Persons ; General Index ; Index Locorumshow more