Greek World At The End Of Its Oligarchic Glory Essay

2405 Words Nov 28th, 2016 10 Pages
Xenophon captures the Greek world at the end of its oligarchic glory. His work, affectionately referred as “fussy” highlights the essential pieces that brought the decline of the hoplite warfare and an end to its ethos. The definition of autonomia changed following the beginning of the fourth century B.C.E. The role of the citizens no longer encapsulated the wellbeing of the community, but rather their wellbeing through the community. The question of the day became “what can my polis do for me?”. Xenophon’s entire work depicts continuously without respite, but it also describes the war that raged inside each polis. The hoplite culture historically favors times of war, but it had also allowed for times of peace, times to enjoy the victories. Xenophon sweeps through the aftermath of the Peloponnesian war and provides first hand insight to the war that kept raging. Why was the war so unstoppable? Why, per Xenophon, were the Greeks as a culture unable to make peace? By analyzing the role of Autonomia, not only politically, but as it became a factor in the ethos of hoplite arete, and the longstanding presence of tyranny. Xenophon only mentions the terms autonomia and autonomy on few occasions and they are not in direct reference to the phenomena in the polis culture. H.F. Kitto’s remark that Xenophon “a very religious man, very sensible and practical, though perhaps a bit fussy” captures the nature of his work, and by the various moments that will be mentioned below, his own…

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