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date: 27 June 2022


, Greek historian


, Greek historian
  • C. J. Tuplin


Xenophon, son of Gryllus, from the Athenian *deme of Erchia, was born into a wealthy but politically inactive family around 430 bce. He presumably served in the cavalry (see hippeis (2) and (4)) and certainly (like other affluent young men) associated with *Socrates. This background did not encourage enthusiasm for democracy (see democracy, athenian). He apparently stayed in Athens under the *Thirty Tyrants and fought the democratic insurgents in the civil war (404–403). The political *amnesty of 403/2 theoretically protected him, and material in Hellenica and Memorabilia shows that (like *Plato(1)) he was critical of the Thirty, but insecurity was surely one reason why he accepted the suggestion of a Boeotian friend, Proxenus, to enrol as a *mercenary with *Cyrus(2). He was thus among the 10,000 Greeks involved in Cyrus' rebellion and defeat at *Cunaxa (401).


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Greek Literature

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