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Xenophon: Anabasis (Loeb Classical Library) (English and Greek Edition) Hardcover – January 29, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0674991019 ISBN-10: 067499101X Edition: Revised
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Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation)
Original Language: Greek
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Product Details

  • Series: Loeb Classical Library (Book 90)
  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Revised edition (December 30, 1998)
  • Language: English, Greek
  • ISBN-10: 067499101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674991019
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By J. Collins on December 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Xenophon wrote several books that survive: "A History of My Times" and "Cavalry Tactics" to name two, but the one he's most famous for, and arguably the best read is "Anabasis". A detailed accounting of moving 10,000 troops through hostile country, ulimately extracting them back to Greece. The fact that this is a "Classic" shouldn't put off any readers who've plodded through ancient literature. Xenophon wrote in an informal style, with much detail about the areas and peoples he encountered. It's almost as much travel story as a study in military leadership; but it IS ultimately a recounting of leadership under the most deadly conditions.
There are some timeless lessons here for military and civilian leaders. Xenophon fully explains his decisions (when he can), and ALWAYS asks for advice from other generals. This was critically important in an army of mercenaries whose loyalty was to themselves. Getting other leaders to "buy into" his decisions gave them a sense of empowerment (to use TQM jargon) and a stake in the outcome. He tries to be fair and cares for his troops-though he doesn't hesitate to risk lives if the mission calls for it. In battle he uses what might be termed asymmetric warfare: always pitting Greek strengths against enemy weaknesses; avoiding fighting the way his enemy fights best.
This is a great memoir of an amazing feat of arms and personal leadership. Highly recommended.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Boris Bangemann on May 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Xenophon's Anabasis is a classic tale of adventure, and a model of precise style on par with the more familiar works of Roman authors like Julius Caesar (De bello gallico) and Tacitus (Germania). Like Caesar, he uses simple, straightforward language, and the language reflects the character of the man who helped lead 10,000 Greek mercenaries through hostile territory: a man of clear values, determination, ambition, and a strong sense of honor. With Tacitus he shares an interest in odd details and in strange customs of foreign people: "a four days' march of sixty miles took him to the river Chalus, which was a hundred feet in breadth and full of large tame fish which the Syrians regarded as gods and would not allow anyone to harm them. (They think the same way about pigeons.)".
Xenophon's story has an immediacy and clarity that is truly amazing given the fact that he wrote it down 30 years after the events took place, and that we read it today, almost 2,400 years later. The Italian writer Italo Calvino captured the vivid yet factual tone of the Anabasis very nicely when he remarked that reading the book today "is the nearest thing to watching an old war documentary which is repeated every so often on television or on video." (Calvino's essay can be found in his collection of essays "Why Read the Classics?") Although the story is a never-ending succession of visual details and action, it is never boring. Xenophon writes succinctly, sprinkles small anecdotes, portraits of soldiers, speeches, and interesting details over the text, and peppers the story with exotic details.
Certain passages of the Anabasis reminded me of Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast". Especially in the way both authors employ visual images and celebrate the qualities of food.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on November 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Between the fall of the Athenian Empire and the rise of Alexander, many Greeks sought adventure and fortune as mercenaries. Cyrus of Persia attempted to usurp the throne with an army stiffened by 10,000 Greek mercenaries. The author found himself among that number. Cyrus went down to defeat and death at the Battle of Cunaxa, but one contingent of his army emerged victorious--The Ten Thousand. Alone and unsponsored, surrounded by enemies, and deep in the heart of Persia, The Ten Thousand began their fighting retreat to the sea and freedom. Along the way they met with battle, treachery, hardship, and death. Xenophon became one of their leaders, and eventually lived to write this stirring account of their exploits. The successful retreat of the Ten Thousand served as proof to Phillip of Macedon that a Greek army could conquer Persia, and he made his preparations for the invasion. Phillip's death forestalled his plans, but Alexander took up his father's project and the rest, as they say, is history. If there had been no Westward march by the Ten Thousand, there may have been no Eastward march by Alexander.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone with an interest in history, especially political or military history will enjoy this facinating story of a band of Greek soldiers traveling hundreds of miles on their way home through lands inhabited by hostile peoples, and pursued by a relentless enemy. The courage of the soldiers and the character of the officers who led and held them together are inspirational. The political manuvering is every bit as engrossing as the battles that are fought. This is an incredible true story that you won't want to put down. Xenophons skill as a leader of men is equalled by his skill as an author.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Milo and Otis fan on February 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although not as well known by the general populace as other great classics, Xenophon's Anabasis is both an exciting read and classic work of literature. Anabasis tells the tale of 10,000 Greek hoplites in western Persia (modern day Turkey and Iraq), and is a real page- turner. It provides valuable insight into hoplite warfare and the state of Greece and Persia during the time period in which the book was written (circa 400 B.C.).

Some knowledge of Greek warfare is required to fully appreciate Anabasis. Also, numerous Greek units of measurement are used throughout the book, but their modern equivalents can be found in footnotes in the book.

The Loeb edition is excellent, and the actual book is of the highest quality. An ancient Greek translation is provided, and hundreds of footnotes provide valuable information to today's reader.
P.S.- A helpful map is included.
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