Xenophon (430-355 BC) spent his formative years in Athens during the Peloponnesian War and was a disciple of Socrates. After the defeat of Athens, he fought as a mercenary, alongside other Greeks (known as the myrioi, “the Ten Thousand”), in Cyrus the Younger’s campaign against his own brother, King Artaxerxes of Persia. Xenophon led the myrioi on their long and perilous march back to Greece and later recounted the events in his Expedition of Cyrus (Anabasis). He was banished from Athens, probably because of his Spartan sympathies. A military leader and a man of letters, Xenophon left a rich oeuvre, popular over the ages for its simple and graceful style. His main historical work, Hellenica, picks up where Thucydides broke off (411 BC) and continues up to the end of the Theban hegemony (362 BC). Albeit far from an unbiased or full account, it remains a valuable source for that period of Greek history. Xenophon also wrote seminal works, including a dialogue on household economics (Oeconomicus), treatises on public finances (Ways and means) and government (Constitution of the Spartans, Hiero), Socratic works (Apology, Memorabilia, Symposium), biographies (Agesilaos) and others.
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