Logos eis Agēsilaon Basilea (Agesilaus, 1832)
Kyrou anabasis (Anabasis, 1623; also known as Expedition of Cyrus and The March Up Country)
Apologia Sōkratous (Apology of Socrates, 1762)
Kynēgetikos (also known as Cynegeticus; On Hunting, 1832)
Poroi (On Ways and Means, 1832)
Ellēnika (also known as Hellenica; History of the Affairs of Greece, 1685)
Hipparchikos (On the Cavalry General, 1832)
Peri hippikēs (The Art of Riding, 1584)
Apomnēmoneumata (Xenophon’s Memorable Things of Socrates, 1712; also known as Memorabilia of Socrates)
Oikonomikos (Xenophon’ Treatise of Household, 1532)
Lakedaimoniōn politeia (Polity of the Lacedaemonians, 1832; also known as Constitution of Sparta)
Hierēn ē tyrannikos (Hiero, 1713; also known as On Tyranny)
Symposion (Symposium, 1710; also known as The Banquet of Xenophon)
Kyrou paideia (The Cyropaedia: Or, Education of Cyrus, 1560-1567)
The Whole Works, 1832
Born in Athens about 431
It is as a writer that Xenophon is best known. He wrote history, romance, and essays of practical and moral import. His most famous work is the Anabasis, an account of the expedition of ten thousand mercenaries hired by Cyrus, the younger brother of King Artaxerxes, to win for himself the throne of Persia. Though Cyrus’s army defeated the king’s, Cyrus was killed. The Greek generals having been treacherously captured and slain, Xenophon found himself in command of the hazardous retreat of the mercenaries to Trebizond on the Black Sea. After making contact with the Spartan general Thibron, Xenophon turned the mercenaries over to him and remained in Asia with the Spartans for some years. The Anabasis is a thrilling adventure story, written in good, if somewhat uninspired, Greek.
In the History of the Affairs of Greece Xenophon completed the unfinished History of the Peloponnesian War of Thucydides and continued the history of Greek war and politics down to the battle of Mantinea in 362
Association with Socrates supplied the material and motive for several works: The Memorabilia of Socrates is a defense of Socrates, with illustrative anecdotes and many short dialogues between Socrates and his friends, usually on moral questions. Xenophon lacked Plato’s interest in speculative philosophy. The Apology of Socrates purports to explain why Socrates did not defend himself any better than he did. The Symposium consists of an imagined dinner party conversation at the house of Callias, with some serious philosophizing by Socrates. In general these works portray a more matter-of-fact Socrates than the protagonist of Plato’s dialogues but one probably no nearer the historical truth. Another dialogue, Xenophon’s Treatise of Household, between Socrates and Critobulos, sets forth Xenophon’s views on the management of an estate. It reflects the life at Scillus and is a valuable document for the economy of the period.
A work of a different sort, The Cyropaedia is a romanticized account of the youth and education of Cyrus the Great of Persia. It is intended to lay down the ideals of education for political leadership. It is unfavorably remarked on by Plato in the Republic (c. 388-368
Four technical treatises were also written by Xenophon: On the Cavalry General, on the duties of a cavalry commander; The Art of Riding (or On Horsemanship), an authoritative manual, the first of its kind to come down to us from antiquity; On Ways and Means, suggestions for improving the finances of Athens; and On Hunting, a treatise that includes, oddly enough, an attack on the Sophists. Xenophon was a man of affairs, with intelligence and wide interests, who wrote plainly and with a taste for platitude. His works reflect the attitudes of a Greek gentleman of his time.