Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Xenophon of Athens

XENOPHON OF ATHENS (Greek, c. 430-355/354 BCE)

For most of us, Socrates = Plato. But Xenophon was another primary source for the words and actions of the Philosopher. A military leader, historian, and philosopher himself, he recounted several Socratic dialogues, and a chronicle of the trial of Socrates in 399 BCE. For two millennia, Xenophon was mainly thought of as a philosopher, but today he is recognized more for his works of history, especially his continuation of the work of Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War. (Though born in Athens, Xenophon was associated with Sparta, rival of Athens and her primary opponent in the Peloponnesian War.) His writing style was direct and eloquent, placing him in the first ranks of writers in antiquity.

  • The Romans said "the Graces themselves seem to have molded his style and the goddess of persuasion sat upon his lips."


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