Xenophon

Xenophon: Oeconomicus

800px-Woman_spinning_MAR_Palermo_NI2149The Oeconomicus (Greek: Οἰκονομικός) by Xenophon is a work about management of the household or oikos, the original root of our modern term, economics.

The bulk of the dialogue consists of a discussion between Socrates and the wealthy farmer Ischomachus, as recounted by Socrates in a framing introduction to Critobolous, son of Crito. Ischomachus' account of his relationship with his wife has been a frequent topic in modern debates about Greek social attitudes.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: Oeconomicus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Xenophon's Minor Works, translated by John Selby Watson. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 168 Xenophon IV Memorabilia Oeconomicus Symposium Apologia. Loeb edition, Greek text with English translations by E.C. Marchant and O.J Todd. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation. HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: Oeconomicus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text. HTML and other formats.

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Xenophon: The Spartan Constitution

Lycurgus of Sparta, by Merry-Joseph Blondel. Wikimedia CommonsThe Spartan Constitution or Constitution of the Lacedaemonians (Greek: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία, Latin: De republica Lacedaemoniorum) by Xenophon is the most comprehensive extant account of Spartan institutions. As an oligarchically-inclined exile from Athens, who had fought alongside Spartan generals in the Persian Expedition, and later against Athens at the battle of Coronea, Xenophon was a well-placed and highly sympathetic observer of Spartan customs.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians by Xenophon. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L183 - Xenophon -- Scripta Minora: Hiero. Agesilaus. Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. Ways and Means. Cavalry Commander. Art of Horsemanship. On Hunting. Constitution of the Athenians. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also available from the Internet Archive.

Perseus: Greek text (Oxford, 1920). English text translated by E. C. Marchant, G. W. Bowersock (1925).

Wikisource: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία - Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Xenophon. Melvyn Bragg with Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Simon Goldhill.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Xenophon.

Leo Strauss Center: Xenophon, Winter 1963 - audio of lectures on works including The Spartan Constitution.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Xenophon: Hellenica, Anabasis, Agesilaus.

Aristotle: The Politics, The Athenian Constitution

Plutarch: Parallel Lives - includes lives of a number of Spartan statesmen: Lycurgus, Lysander, Agesilaus, Agis and Cleomenes.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Xenophon: Memorabilia

The Memorabilia (Greek: Ἀπομνημονεύματα, Apomnemoneumata) is a work by Xenophon, containing his reminiscences of Socrates. Unlike his Apology, and that of Plato, it is not intended as an account of Socrates' defence at his trial, although it does attempt to refute the charges put forward on that occasion.

Xenophon is one of only three writers to present contemporary accounts of Socrates, along with Plato and Aristophanes. His view of Socrates has certain features in common with that of later philosophical schools such as the Stoics and Skeptics.

The Memorabilia at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de, .ca.

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Memorabilia, multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: L 168 Xenophon IV Memorabilia Oeconomicus Symposium Apologia. Loeb edition, Greek text with English translations by E.C. Marchant and O.J Todd. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Greek text (Clarendon, 1921). English text, translated by E.C. Marchant (Heinemann, 1923). HTML and XML format.

University of Adelaide: Memorabilia, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Απομνημονεύματα (Ξενοφών). Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Xenophon. Melvyn Bragg with Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Simon Goldhill.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Socrates without Plato: the Accounts of Aristophanes and Xenophon - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Xenophon.

Leo Strauss Center: Xenophon, Oeconomicus and Memorabilia (St. John’s College Annapolis), 1969-70. Audio recordings of Strauss's lectures.

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law: I.F. Stone Breaks the Socrates Story. 1979 New York Times Magazine interview.

Wikipedia: Memorabilia (Xenophon).

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Xenophon: Apology, Symposium.

Plato: Apology.

Aristophanes: The Clouds - along with Xenophon and Plato, this play is the only other surviving contemporary account of Socrates.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Xenophon: Cyropaedia

The Cyropaedia (Greek: Κύρου παιδεία 'The Education of Cyrus') is a work by Xenophon, which presents an account of the education of the Persian king Cyrus the Great, in order to address the question of why people obey some rulers and not others.

Although Xenophon had some experience of the Persian Empire as a result of the expedition chronicled in the Anabasis, it is not clear how far his picture of Cyrus is intended as historical. As an idealized vision of the proper education of a ruler, the work had a formative influence on the literary genre known as 'mirrors for princes'.

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Free online texts

Cyrus' Paradise: The World's first online commentary on an ancient text. Greek text with crowdsourced English commentary.

Loebulus. L051 - Xenophon -- Cyropaedia I: Books 1-4. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L052 - Xenophon -- Cyropaedia II: Books 5-8. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Gutenberg: Cyropaedia - The Education of Cyrus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Greek text (Oxford, 1910). English text, translated by Walter Miller (1914). HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Κύρου Παιδεία, Greek text. Multiple formats.

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Xenophon: Hiero

Hiero (Greek: Ἱέρων, Hiéron) is a dialogue by Xenophon, in which the principal characters are Hieron I, tyrant of Syracuse, and the poet Simonides.  Hieron explains the dangers of a tyrant's position compared to that of a private citizen, while Simonides argues that a tyrant can achieve happiness by ruling well.

The dialogue was the subject of a significant debate between the twentieth century philosophers Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve. 

Hiero at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de.ca.

Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Hiero, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L183 - Xenophon -- Scripta Minora: Hiero. Agesilaus. Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. Ways and Means. Cavalry Commander. Art of Horsemanship. On Hunting. Constitution of the Athenians. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text, (Clarendon, 1920). English text, translated by E.C. Marchant and H.G. Bowersock (Heinemann, 1925). HTML and TXT formats.

University of Adelaide: Hiero, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Hiero, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Downloads via Book Creator.

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Xenophon: Symposium

The Symposium (Greek: Συμπόσιον) of Xenophon, is a dialogue set at an Athenian dinner party attended by Socrates.  The work is not of the same philosophical depth as Plato's dialogue of the same name and theme, but it may be a more realistic depiction of the intellectual atmosphere among the aristocracy of classical Athens. The dramatis personae include a number of historical figures such as Antisthenes, the founder of the Cynic school of philosophy and Charmides, the central character of another socratic dialogue by Plato.

Xenophon's Symposium at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de, .ca.

Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: The Symposium. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L090 - Xenophon -- Anabasis, Books 4-7. Symposium and Apology. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Clarendon, 1921). English text (Heinemann, 1979). HTML and TXT formats.

Wikisource: Symposion, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Downloads via Book Creator.

University of Adelaide: Symposium. English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Other resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Xenophon. Melvyn Bragg with Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and Simon Goldhill.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Socrates without Plato: the Accounts of Aristophanes and Xenophon - podcast.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Xenophon.

Wikipedia: Symposium (Xenophon).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Xenophon: Memorabilia, Apology.

Plato: Symposium.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Xenophon: Apology

The Apology (Greek: Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους πρὸς τοὺς Δικαστάς) of Xenophon is an account of Socrates' defence at his trial in 399 BC. There are some differences of emphasis with Plato's dialogue of the same name, the only other extant account of the trial.

Xenophon's Apology at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de, .ca.

Free online Texts

Gutenberg: The Apology. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L090 - Xenophon -- Anabasis, Books 4-7. Symposium and Apology. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Clarendon, 1921). English text (Heinemann, 1979). HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: The Apology of Xenophon, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Απολογία Σωκράτους (Ξενοφών) - Greek text (Clarendon, 1921). Apology, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Downloads via Book Creator.

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Xenophon: Agesilaus

Butler1851GreecePelopThe Agesilaus (Greek: Ἀγησίλαος) is an account of the life of King Agesilaus II of Sparta by Xenophon, one of the earliest examples of biographical writing.

Xenophon had been exiled from his native Athens after fighting alongside Agesilaus and the Spartans at Coronea in 394 BC. Along with his Constitution of the Laecedaemonians, The Agesilaus provides strong illustration of Xenophon's pro-Spartan leanings.

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Free Online Texts

Internet Archive: Xenophon's Agesilaus; with syntax rules and references, notes and indices. Greek text, edited by R.W. Taylor (1880).

Gutenberg: Agesilaus. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L183 - Xenophon -- Scripta Minora: Hiero. Agesilaus. Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. Ways and Means. Cavalry Commander. Art of Horsemanship. On Hunting. Constitution of the Athenians. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Clarendon, 1920). English text, translated by E.C. Marchant, G.W. Bowersock (Heinemann, 1925). HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: Agesilaus, translated by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Agesilaus, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Downloads via Book Creator.

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Xenophon: Anabasis

The Persian Empire in 490 BC, from the Department of History - United States Military AcademyThe Anabasis (sometimes translated 'ascent' or 'going up country') of Xenophon describes his role in the March of the Ten Thousand, Greek mercenaries recruited to support the campaign of Cyrus the Younger to seize the Persian throne from his brother Artaxerxes. Following the death of Cyrus at the battle of Cunaxa, and the murder of the Greek leaders, Xenophon led the survivors on an epic journey from Mesopotamia to the safety of the Greek cities on the Black Sea.

Xenophon's account may have influenced Alexander's later conquest of the Persian Empire. As a tale of adventure, it has often been used as introductory text for students of ancient Greek. Like Caesar's Gallic War, which has played a similar role for Latin, its military focus may not suit everyone. Readers using the Anabasis to learn Greek may find it useful to go through Jeff Rydberg-Cox's tutorial at the link below in conjunction with the Perseus or Loeb editions.

The Anabasis at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Anabasis, translated by H.G. Dakyns.

Loebulus. L089 - Xenophon -- Hellenica, Books 6 and 7. Anabasis, Books 1-3. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Loebulus. L090 - Xenophon -- Anabasis, Books 4-7. Symposium and Apology. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Oxford, 1904). English translation (Brownson, 1922). Online texts.

Wikisource: Anabasis, English translation by B. Jowett. Downloads via Book Creator.

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Xenophon: Hellenica


Greece_362The Hellenica is Xenophon's account of Greek history modeled on Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. It begins where Thucydides breaks off in 411 BC, during the final years of the war, and follows events down to the Battle of Mantinea in 362 BC. Although generally considered inferior to Thucydides, the Hellenica is an important source for the period it covers.

The Hellenica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online and downloadable texts

Gutenberg: Hellenica, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L088 - Xenophon -- Hellenica, Books 1-5. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Loebulus. L089 - Xenophon -- Hellenica, Books 6 and 7. Anabasis, Books 1-3. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Hellenica. Greek text (Oxford, 1900). English translation (Brownson, 1921). Online texts.

Wikisource: Hellenica, English translation by H.G. Dakyns. Downloads via Book Creator.

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