Killing the King: Cyrus' Attack on his brother in Anabasis, and its reception in Cyropaedia

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Abstract

This paper investigates Xenophon's mode of apologetics in presenting the story of Cyrus in Anabasis and its reception by him in Cyropaedia. I focus on the central crime of Cyrus' expedition, the effort to kill Cyrus' brother, the king of Persia, arguing that Xenophon adopts two strategies in Anabasis: on the one hand, he seeks to downplay the act and to distract the reader from thinking about it; on the other hand, he offers direct and indirect justifications for Cyrus' actions. In Cyropaedia, Xenophon is able to express his discomfort with the behaviour of the younger Cyrus more freely because he does not speak about it directly. I compare Xenophon's apologetics for Cyrus with his apologetics for Socrates, and, in the appendix, comment on the verb diaballo.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXenophon's Anabasis and its Reception
Publisherde Gruyter
Pages43-62
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783110793437
ISBN (Print)9783110793482
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

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