(2915 words)
  • Kathleen Conn (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Born in Athens between 431 and 427 BCE, at the start of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (431 to 404 BCE), Xenophon lived a life as tumultuous and full of contrast as his written works. Having grown up during the most flagrant excesses of the Athenian democracy, he was an admirer of Sparta and a critic of rule by the demos. A cavalryman for Athens around 409, he later applied the principles of military command learned during brutal combat to history, biography, education, economics and philosophy. Having left Athens to fight with a mercenary army in Persia, he devoted himself to writing in the sublime style of Plato's Academy. He is the first extant prose writer who demonstrates a clear awareness of his own methods on a …

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Conn, Kathleen. "Xenophon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4824, accessed 10 October 2015.]