Books I should have read by now #94: The Anabasis

“Xenophon… wrote the Anabasis, which tells the story of how he and a bunch of Greek mercenaries got stuck and had to fight all the way across Turkey to get home to Greece. They argue the whole time about what to do, and Xenophon wins every argument, and all his plans always work perfectly. I think of it as the first great political fantasy novel…”
page 319 of Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

wikipedia adds…

Besides military history, the Anabasis has found use as a tool for the teaching of classical philosophy; the principles of leadership and government exhibited by the army can be seen as exemplifying Socratic philosophy.


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2 Responses to Books I should have read by now #94: The Anabasis

  1. anonemiss says:

    You should read it. It has some great nuggets of gold: democracy vs. autocracy, what sports and games meant to the ancient Hellenes, heavy infantry vs massed peasants, etc.

    I always imagined a film version would start with foots walking on snow (from the walkers point of view) when a faint shout is heard: “The sea! The sea!” the walker lifts his eyes and start running past marching men until he comes to the edge and sees the sea, then the camera turns and shows the face of Xenophon. The screen goes black and the title is shown: The March of the Ten Thousands.

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