aka: Anabasis, The Persian expedition, The Expedition of Cyrus
The Reading: Excellently done. Charlton Griffin is is prime form throughout this reading and conveys the tale flawlessly with a voice that confines perfectly to the dimensions of the setting; be they awesome or subdued in nature.
The Tale: A glorious epic of genuine human feats. Xenophon projects the march of this small city of 10,000 men across Asia minor into your mind and in front of your eyes. You are also made privy to the custom and psyche of an Athenian man of his time. Democracy and didactic reasoning is shown in practice throughout this tale and the mental images I envisioned while listening to this tale were vivid, easily conjured, and immensely entertaining.
I have always wanted toread this book but never found the time until I could take advantage of my automobile driving time with audible books. This was really worth it! The immediacy of the account made me feel like I was right there as it was happenning and I began to feel like I knew many of the characters personally, especially Xenophon but also Prince Cyrus. I thought the reader was a little harsh but gradually I got over it by picturing him as Xenophon as an old man telling the story of his great adventure, the march "upcountry".
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is a translation of Xenophon's book "Anabasis" of his 401 B.C. participation as a mercenary in the army of Cyrus. Cyrus hired Greek mercenary to add to his Persian army to fight his brother King Artaxerxes II of Persia for the throne. He told the Greek he was going against the Pisidians. Cyrus was killed at the Battle of Canaxa. The Ten Thousand mercenaries found themselves without leadership far from the sea, deep in hostile territory near the heart of Mesopotamia. Xenophan was elected as one of the leaders and they fought their way north through hostile country chased by the Persian Army to the Black Sea then to Greece. His book records the entire expedition and his speeches to the soldiers and his reasons for each of the action they told. Great lessons in leadership and tactics. If you enjoy history this is a must book. Alexander used the book as a guide through the area. The description of the land in 401 B.C. is great. Charlton Griffin did a great job reading the book and pronouncing all the words.
This was a really fun read. The narrative moved along at a good pace; it never felt slow or boring. It gives the reader an excellent insight into the mind of the ancient Greek--his sense of honor, his relationship with his gods, and his way of war. It was interesting to see how the traveling army interacted with different cultures that it met. The narrator was good, which is important. The music between books didn't really add anything of value. But this is highly recommended for history fans.
I'd known the basic story for years, but hearing Xenophon's personal account really brought it to life in a special way. I listened to this in my car on my long drive to & from work, so I often found myself rushing to my computer when I got home to look up what is known about the various peoples encountered along the army's march. Xenophon seems to have been a careful chronicler even if he did write about these events several years after their conclusion.
If I had a complaint it would be that, in listening to this story, I found myself wanting a cheat sheet & a map for all of the places visited.
Charlton Griffin is a good, scholarly sounding performer. He made me feel like it really was Xenophon doing the speaking.
Listen to this if you are even remotely interested in Ancient Greek culture.
I like history and Charlton Griffin's reading. It is also very interesting to hear an historical account written by someone who was actually there (Xenophon).
When after winning their part of the battle, but finding out that the battle in general was lost, they did not panic or surrender but maintained their formations and marched solidly out.
Xenophon, who narrates the story as a firsthand witness and participant.
Ten thousand men, through two thousand miles of enemies.
The story was by no means dry, but neither was it very exciting. I would say that it was on the positive side of interesting.
This engaging adventure story tells of Xenophon's return from Mesopotamia with his Greek mercenaries. The narrator gives an excellent performance.
There is a reason why Machiavelli and other modern political philosophers love Xenophon; he is the most modern of the ancients: Xenophon examines the nature of politics and war from the perspective of a man of action rather than from a Platonic idealistic view. That is not to say that the book lacks a philosophical perspective -- it is deeply philosophic -- just not idealistic. Rather than arguing for abstract theories of morality, Xenophon shows you war from the perspectives of those involved in it. He also examines the motives for war, retreat, peace, and the nature of loyality, justice, and the role of the Gods in war. He can be read for pure pleasure, and read for insights into politics and the nature of man, conflict, war, peace, and the nature of the philosopher's relationship to politics.
I bought this in a fit of enthusiasm after hearing the recommendation on The History of Rome podcast. It languished in my library for over a year before I finally decided to listen. I genuinely enjoyed the story, learned more than I expected about ancient Greece and much to my surprise, found it more engaging and accessible than I'd expected. Definitely worth checking out for anyone at all interested in ancient Greece or ancient warfare.
Few people are prepared to lead. Xenophon was and did. He led from a sense of obligation and not priviledge. To read this book is to take a masters level course in leadership.