Xenophon's Hatred Toward Athens And Athenian Democracy

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Though few details are known about the life of Xenophon, his hatred toward Athens and Athenian democracy is one of the primary themes communicated throughout the body of Xenophon’s work. Born into an aristocratic family within a democratic society that placed commoners in an equal political position to the wealthy, Xenophon was part of a class of people who were “greatly dissatisfied…with the operation of democracy.” Even if he had not been born into an aristocratic social class that showed little support for the concept or the application of Athenian democracy, he would likely have arrived at the same conclusions upon hearing of the executions of many Athenian generals for which he expressed great sympathy for in his History of Greece. After biding his time in Athens during the third phase of the Peloponnesian War and likely serving in the cavalry during that time, in 401 BC, after the end of the War, Xenophon acquired a “taste for war …show more content…
For example, at one point, two generals desert Cyrus’ army while on their way to march against the King, and a rumor spreads throughout the remaining armies that Cyrus sent warships after the defectors; however, when he addresses the remaining generals, he states that he was “certainly not going to pursue them” lest people believe that he would punish anyone for “the good service they did for [him] in the past.” Moreover, in chapter 9 of book I, Xenophon essentially eulogizes Cyrus, commending him endlessly for his early accomplishments as a child in the Court, his commitment to always keeping his word, his fairness and also his strength of character, and even for the quality of his friendship. Xenophon finishes by saying that, based on what he had heard, “…there has never been anyone, Greek or foreigner, more generally

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