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Hiero the Tyrant and Other Treatises (Penguin Classics) Paperback – August 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140455256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140455250
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,136,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Xenophon was an Athenian country gentleman born about 430 BC. He may have helped to publish Thucydides’ History, and certainly wrote his own Hellenica as a continuation of it. By his own (probably reliable) account he was a fine officer and outstanding leader, but his admiration for Sparta and devotion to Socrates, among other causes, led to his banishment. He was given an estate at Scillus and settled down to enjoy the life of a landed aristocrat, and it was during this period that he began to write histories, biographies, memoirs and specialist treatises. The defeat of Sparta in 371 forced him to move to Corinth where he probably lived for the rest of his life.
Robin Waterfield is a graduate of Manchester University and studied Greek philosphy at King's College, Cambridge. He is currently writing a major biography of Kahlil Gibran.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Xenophon is a clever classical writer. For him, there are two sorts of people: `those who work and those who live on the products of others' work.' Or, `a policy of not initiating unjust wars would enable us to punish our enemies far more quickly, because they would not find anyone to come and support their cause.'

While `Agesilaos' is a hagiography of a Spartan king, `a superman of self-restraint', an example of a perfect ruler, not a cruel tyrant;
and, `How to be a good cavalry commander' contains some good devices: a good commander should be better than his men in executing the tasks he ordered them to do, otherwise he is despised; or, `deceit is your most valuable asset in war'.
`Hiero the Tyrant' and `Ways and Means' are superb texts.

Hiero complains that a tyrant `spends all his time as if he has been condemned to death by the whole human race for his iniquity.' But, why doesn't he willingly give up his position? The answer is simple: `How could a tyrant ever raise enough money to pay back in full the people he stole from? How could he recompense all the people he put to death?' `I think that the only person who might profit by hanging himself is a tyrant.'!!
For Xenophon, what a tyrant should do is manage the State in the interest of the people, not of himself and his cronies, and enhance the power of his community, not of himself.

`Ways and Means' is an important text for two reasons. First, the all importance of peace: `The State's funds were enormously increased in times of peace and completely drained in times of war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mease on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this collection of Xenophon's works. It contains many of his smaller treatises (and many extraneous pieces) collected together in one volume. The translations are of course readable, and the introductions to each work are excellent. I absolutely give credit to Paul Carteledge in this matter; he knows his Spartans. My one complaint: endnotes instead of footnotes.
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