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Xenophon’s own historical past used to be unprecedented for its blend of Socratic schooling and the workout of army management in a time of concern. His writings supply an intellectually and morally constant reaction to his instances and to the problem of moral yet potent management, they usually play a different function in defining our feel of the post-Athenian-Empire Greek international. contemporary Xenophontic scholarship has proven the final fact of those claims. the present quantity won't purely strengthen them but in addition give a contribution to larger realizing of a voice that's neither easily ironic nor easily ingenuous and of a view of the area that's knowledgeable through an engagement with background.

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Extra info for Xenophon: Ethical Principles and Historical Enquiry

Sample text

They exist to re-validate a superficially discredited figure by taking us back to the world as it was before things went wrong (the Socratic ‘Golden Age’) and lodging the paradigm in that world. Similarly right from the outset, whatever the reasonableness of the argument for inspecting Cyrus’ history as a way of understanding leadership qualities and the evident relative ‘distance’ of the object of study, Greek readers could see that they were being invited to assign positive value to a Persian.

In whatever manner this was circulated or delivered, orally or as a pamphlet, it presents a 24 See Dorion, at p. 460. 18 fiona hobden and christopher tuplin coherent (if not necessarily realizable) programme for reform. One perspective on the text is provided by Thomas Figueira (chapter 21), for whom it serves, along with Oeconomicus and passages in Cyropaedia VIII and Memorabilia, as proof that Xenophon could consciously speak in terms that are recognizable to the modern economist: he encourages craft-specialization, estate improvement and investment, intensive exploitation of resources, the pursuit of commercial advantage and the manipulation of supply and demand—and all on the assumption that there is such a thing as entrepreneurial initiative.

Still, it says something about Xenophon that this is his chosen mode of response to pre-existing trial literature. And it remains his chosen mode. 1–2 sits somewhere between historical analysis (inasmuch as it starts from a historical question about why something happened) and forensic defence (inasmuch as the discussion is couched as a refutation of the charges brought against Socrates, not a balanced consideration of pros and cons). 1) that follows in the rest of the work puts the totality of Memorabilia well out of the way of mere forensic defence—the weight here and in Socratica as a whole (and not only Xenophontic ones) was on evoking Socrates at work, not fighting and refighting a court-room battle that he himself had been scarcely interested in fighting—but it does not conflict with the historiographical claim.

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