From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Xenophon (ca. 431 – 355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and an admirer of Socrates. He is known for his writings on the history of his own times, the sayings of Socrates, and the life of Greece.
List of works
Xenophon's writings, especially the Anabasis, are often read by beginning students of the Greek language. His Hellenica is a major primary source for events in Greece from 411 to 362 BC, and is considered to be the continuation of The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, going so far as to begin with the phrase "After that...". His Socratic writings, preserved complete, are the only surviving representatives of the genre of Sokratikoi logoi other than the dialogues of Plato.
Anabasis was the (loosely-adapted) basis for Sol Yurick's novel The Warriors, which was later adapted into a 1979 cult movie of the same name, and finally a Rockstar Games video game in 2005. Each re-imagining relocates Xenophon's narrative to the gang scene of New York. After a gang meeting ends with a murder, the falsely accused Warriors gang have to get home to Coney Island by traveling through territory controlled by hostile gangs who include The Lizzies (Sirens), The Baseball (Furies), The Orphans and The Turnbull A.C.s.
Historical and biographical works
- Anabasis (also: Xenophon: The Persian Expedition or Xenophon: The March Up Country)
Socratic works and dialogues
In addition, a short treatise on the Constitution of Athens exists that was once thought to be by Xenophon, but which was probably written when Xenophon was about five years old. This is found in manuscripts among the short works of Xenophon, as though he had written it also. The author, often called in English the "Old Oligarch", detests the democracy of Athens and the poorer classes, but he argues that the Periclean institutions are well designed for their deplorable purposes. Leo Strauss has argued that this work is in fact by Xenophon, whose ironic posing he believes has been utterly missed by contemporary scholarship.