Xenophon is my newspaper

“Literature is news that stays news” – Ezra Pound

Xenophon has been my ‘newspaper’ for the last couple of months.

I hope your reading so far has been great.  As you know our next conference call is on Monday Feb 22.  I am sending out individual requests for some of you to take on a Study Guide question to comment on during our next call.  Look for my email request in the next day or so.  The rest of you keep on reading and send out your observations, comments or questions to us via the group email.  I am getting to enjoy Xenophon more and more as I get deeper into his work.  How about you?


17. February 2010 by Arrian
Categories: Commentary, Xenophon | Tags: | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. <p>My Fellow Xenophonistas,<br><br>Couple of quick thoughts. I agree with other comments that Xen. is a little harder to warm up to than, say, Thucydides. I will have to give it a another read through before our call next week. That said, I found the trial/defense of the Athenian Generals (end of Book 1) was as gripping as other histories and Alcibiades always spices things up (when the going gets tough, he sails to his own castle in the Chersonese for crying out loud!). I also think Xen. Slips in a little moral editorializing the same way other historians do. For example, 1.6.12-18, where Kallikratidas declares that “not one of the Hellenes would be enslaved if he had anything to do with it..”. Of course, he then sells the “Athenians who made up the garrison and all the prisoners who were slaves.”<br><br>Lysander and the beginning of Book 2 are also pretty gripping in my opinion. I look forward to the discussions. One other note: I learned a trick from Mark Casey (I think) when we were reading Herodotus. If you’re really interested in tracking a character like Alcibiades or Agesilaos, go to the VERY detailed Index. We started this with Croesus, King of Lydia, who was so protean in the Histories. The Index is so detailed that you can just about read the entries as a story and follow the character development. For that matter, read the entries under alliances/allies if you want to see what a wicked web they wove. This edition also has the awesome, short bios in Appendix M, but I still recommend you peruse the Index. It really helped me/us understand Croesus’s complexities and I see the same thing unfolding here. Thank goodness for the Bob Strassler and the Landmarks. Really, if there were a Pulitzer for presenting difficult texts to general audiences, he and the Landmark team would win it.<br><br>I have not had time to look at the other, fragmentary histories in Appendices O and P. Anybody else?<br><br>Cheers and happy reading!<br><br>Tim<br></p>