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Xenophon's Anabasis

By: Xenophon

Anabasis is the most famous work of the Ancient Greek professional soldier and writer Xenophon. It narrates the expedition of a large army of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger to help him seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II, in 401 BC.

  • Cyrus makes preparations in order to take the throne from his brother.
  • Cyrus marches to take out the Pisidians and gains troops as he progresses through the provinces.
  • Word spreads that Cyrus might be moving against the king and the soldiers begin to question continuing onward.
  • Cyrus and his generals continue marching onward, now towards Babylon. Xenias and Pasion are seen as cowards for deserting Cyrus.
  • The soldiers face hardship with few provisions other than meat. Dissension arises after Clearchus has one of Menos's men flogged, which leads to escalating retaliation.
  • Orontas is put on trial for a treasonous plot against Cyrus.
  • Cyrus sizes up the situation for the coming battle against the king. Cyrus and his army pass safely through a trench constructed by the king.
  • The battle between Artaxerxes's royal army and Cyrus's army commences.
  • Xenophon describes a sort of eulogy after the death of Cyrus.
  • The king rallies his forces and attacks Cyrus's army again. Then Artaxerxes retreats to a mound where upon being confronted again by the Hellenes, he and his men retreat for the day.

Book Details



Original Language

Published In

370 BC






Xenophon of Athens was an Athenian-born military leader, philosopher, and historian. At the age of 30, Xenophon was elected a commander of one of the biggest Greek mercenary armies, the Ten Thousand,...

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