The Persian Expedition Reg. $49.95 On Sale $14.99 (70% Off)
Read by Pat Bottino
At the beginning of the fourth century B.C., a young Athenian saw his own city-the center of Greek culture and the greatest imperial power in the Mediterranean-completely defeated by Sparta and her allies. Many Athenians, including Xenophon himself, took this circumstance as a discredit to Athenian democracy, which had been combined with imperialism. The next age appeared to be the age of the individual, the expert, the leader-a period full of contradictions as the fundamentals of morality, patriotism and religion were sundered.
Yet the turmoil through which Xenophon lived supplied the foundations of European thought laid by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Like Xenophon, Athenians who had come under the influence of Socrates were actually pro-Spartan, admiring Spartan discipline and the aristocratic ideal. Eventually Xenophon was exiled from Athens, spending the last years of his life on a country estate given to him by the Spartans, hunting, writing and recalling in his books the great days of the Persian expedition, his ideals of kingliness as exemplified by Cyrus, his respect for all soldierly qualities, and his surprising admiration for Socrates-both for his piety and his intellectual dexterity.
Despite his pro-Spartan feelings, Xenophon was a true Athenian. In his speeches to the army of mercenaries can be found his humor, his delight in an exact analysis of a situation, his sensitive understanding of men-all of which qualities the Spartans sorely lacked.
1 1/2-hour cassettes
Original Price: $49.95