J. K. Anderson, Xenophon. London, Bristol Classical Press, 2001. Pp. 206. ISBN 1-853996-19- X.UK£14.99.
Anderson's monograph, which is a reprint of his 1974 book, follows a basically chronological framework to Xenophon's life and works, treating him as representative of his own age. The book begins with a list of plates and maps, acknowledgements and a short, eight-page introduction in which Anderson evaluates the significance of the historical works of Xenophon.
The first three chapters are devoted to Xenophon's childhood, his youth, and his education in both military and technical arts, in philosophy and rhetoric, in religion and politics. Chapter 4 deals with the counter-revolution at Athens (Hell. 2.3f.). In the light of his detailed narration, we can see Xenophon's own beliefs and prejudices. Although there is no explicit mention of himself by name, the historian succeeds in describing his own personal actions. Chapter 5 concentrates on Xenophon's early historical works and his account of the last years of the Peloponnesian War. This account points out his access to Spartan information to supplement his own memories from an Athenian perspective, and his knowledge of the work of Thucydides with whom he shared social class and political outlook. Chapter 6 highlights the personality of Cyrus, his military activities and expedition. This expedition was also related by Diodorus, Isocrates and Ctesias, the personal physician of the King. Chapter 7 describes the Cyrus' march from Sardis to Babylon, in which Xenophon does not mention himself by name. This description enables him to express his admiration for Cyrus in whom he saw a model of kingship, and to outline his moral and intellectual qualities. Chapters 8 and 9 refer to the battle of Cunaxa and its aftermath. At the end of Chapter 8 Anderson compares Xenophon's description of the battle to Diodorus' (14.23.5-7); Chapter 9 sums up the consequences of the battle. Chapter 10 alludes to Xenophon's leadership and his duties as a general. He was concerned with giving orders, establishing his position as leader among his soldiers and showing that he deserved special privileges. Xenophon's intention was also to make himself accessible to his men at all times and to come to know their individual qualities. Chapter 11 describes the manners and customs of the different peoples in Asia and Xenophon's attitude to them. Chapters 12 and 13 deal with Xenophon's defection to the Spartan side, the story of Agesilaus' accession, the revolutionary conspiracy that threatened the beginning of his reign, his military campaign in Asia and Europe, and his friendship with the historian. The three last chapters (14, 15, and 16) are devoted to Xenophon's domestic life, his competence in hunting and horsemanship and the last years of his life.
In conclusion, this work emphasizes several aspects of the life of Xenophon and discloses several important facets of his work and actions. This study highlights Xenophon's historical output. The totality of his works constitutes an essential contribution to a more exact and well-rounded knowledge of significant historical events, including analyses of the personalities of several military men with whom Xenophon was in constant contact.