Little did Xenophon The Athenian know what his influence on history would be when he was recording his greatest works that the likes of Alexander The Great would use Anabasis to draw inspiration for his incursions into Asia. Indeed, the Alexander The Great biographer Robin Lane Fox was quoted as saying this of him; "No Macedonian had ever seen so far into Asia and only one Greek general had described it; Xenophon The Athenian, who led the ten thousand Greeks through Mesopotamia". Anabasis was the story of Cyrus the Persian who recruited 10,000 Greek mercenaries to fight for the Persian throne only to see the campaign fizzle out after the battle of Cunaxa in Babylon (401 BC). Although they won the battle, Cyrus was killed in the process thus rendering the military expedition rudderless in its ultimate goal. Xenophon was elected a general and he led the army through a series of battles back to the safety of Ancient Greece. Although Anabasis is considered his most famous work, there were many others like Cyropaedia that influenced the highly successful Roman general Scipio Aemilianus. Even into the 21st century his works are highly appraised for their historical significance picturing a window in time to his era in Ancient Greece. It wasn't just his writing that was inspirational as he was good for a one liner also, so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Xenophon quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Xenophon
- Born: 431 BC, Erchia, Ancient Greece
- Died: 355 BC, Athens, Ancient Greece
- Occupation: Soldier, philosopher and historian
- Major works: The Anabasis which consists of seven books is the story of the Greek mercenaries who aided Cyrus in his attempt to seize the Persian throne
- Other important works: Agesilaus, Cyropaedia, Hellenica, Memorabilia and Polity of the Lacedaemonians
- Historical importance: Aside from Plato, he is the next major source of information on the dialogues of Socrates
- Legacy: A large body of his work has survived making him a key historical figure of learning for his era
- Moniker: Xenophon Of Athens and The Attic Muse
- Trivia: Everything the modern world now knows about Sparta can be traced back to the pen of this ancient Greek scribe and of a few other outsiders of Sparta whose writing about them has been preserved
- Quotes about Xenophon: The Greek sophist and historian Eunapius said of him; "Alexander the Great would not have become great if there had been no Xenophon"
"It is only for those to employ force who possess strength without judgment; But the well advised will have recourse to other means"
"It is possible to maintain that the hand of heaven was involved, and also possible to say that when men are desperate no one can stand up to them"
"Socrates gave a lifetime to the outpouring of his substance in the shape of the greatest benefits bestowed on all who cared to receive them"
"When the interests of mankind are at stake, they will obey with joy the man whom they believe to be wiser than themselves"
"Yet is it more honourable, and just, and upright, and pleasing, to treasure in the memory good acts than bad"
"Excess of grief for the dead is madness; For it is an injury to the living and the dead know it not"
"Where the teacher is not pleasing to the pupil, there is no education"
"He who eats with most pleasure is he who least requires sauce"
"The most delightful of all music, that of your own praises"
"Every one of you is the leader"