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Publisher's Summary

Translated by W. E. D. Rouse, The March of the Ten Thousand is one of the most admired and widely read pieces of ancient literature to come down to us. Xenophon employs a very simple, straightforward style to describe what is probably the most exciting military adventure ever undertaken. When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his feckless sibling in 401 B.C., he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 hoplites as the core of his rebellious force. Xenophon, who seeks the advice of Socrates before joining, is among the common soldiers. Inexorably, Cyrus and his huge army march southward 1,500 miles from the coast of Ionia all the way to Babylon, and there give battle to Artaxerxes, the Great King. Although the battle is soon decided in favor of Cyrus, the would-be usurper is killed while in pursuit of the king. Meanwhile, the Greeks are victorious on their part of the battlefield and await the return of Cyrus and his instructions.

By the next morning, they realize that Cyrus is dead and that his allies have melted away in the night, leaving them alone trapped behind enemy lines within a few miles of the Persian capital. And only a few miles distant lies an enormous Persian army with vengeance in mind. Despair deepens when the Greek officer corps is treacherously murdered during peace talks. Alone, leaderless and hopelessly outnumbered, the Greeks nevertheless elect new officers.

Xenophon steps into the pages of history with his magnificent rallying speeches and selfless acts of courage. Follow one of history's most spirited bands of soldiers as they fight and maneuver their way through 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries. It is an epic of courage, faith and democratic principle.

Copyright © Audio Connoisseur 2003

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  • Overall
  • Benedict
  • San Francisco, US, Canada
  • 04-13-04

An intelligent leader

I felt a sense of exhileration after I finished this book from the sense of having learned something about how to speak and act as a leader of men, plus I got a great sense of the history of that time.

Although it is his own account of military matters he was involved in, he sounds like one of the great leaders of all time, as well as one of the most decent. I think every soldier should read this book to understand a little bit about what a leader needs to tell his people to motivate them when their morale is waning, or to prepare them for battle.

Also, I think a great many politicians could stand to listen to this book to grasp how to talk simply and directly to people about very important matters. Xenophon leads by example and moral force rather than as a brute, and is an example of a worthy leader for our own time.

As an aside, while Xenophon was retreating from problems with the Persians who were invading the Middle East, Xenophon was attacked by the Kurds (even back then!).

This book was exceedingly well read by Charlton Griffin, by the way.

I strongly recommend this book for its own sake and for its accessibility and value to modern readers.

Ben

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 02-27-13

One of the great adventures in human history

Herodotus might have been the Father of History, but Xenophon was the cool, older brother. This one-time pupil of Socrates is one of those soldier/scholars who makes both intellectuals and warriors feel inadequate. 'The Persian Expedition' or 'The March of the Ten Thousand' or 'Anabasis' (all depending on your version or translation) relates the story told by Xenophon of his experiences fighting with and leading the 10,000 Hellene mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger and the army's 3000+ mile march into Persian.

This experience, which Will Durrant once called "one of the great adventures in human history," can be read as history, adventure story, leadership manual, or a real-life application of Socratic philosophy.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Rodger
  • West Memphis, AR, USA
  • 08-20-05

energizing!

I absolutely loved this book! Xenophon is an excellent writer and the narrator is outstanding.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

War is not inhuman; war is essentially human

There is no substitute for hearing the actual story of a person who lived 2400 years ago. If you take this into account, you will excuse the fact that sometimes the story is hard to follow. We all know that war has been a dominate feature of human history, but this story really brings home the fact that war is an integral part of being human ? so far at least. Not a pleasant revelation.
It is hard to imagine that Xenophon was as far-sighted, intelligent, modest and selfless as he portrays himself, although perhaps he was. If so, then he might well have been an even greater person then he reports, because he would probably have omitted many of his selfless acts.
If you like ancient history, then you will like this recording.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kola
  • AucklandNew Zealand
  • 06-04-09

Simply a must

This book was the first Ancient history audiobook I ever downloaded from here and it completely opened my eyes to how interesting and captivating an audiobook of a beautifully written, insightful (you get a real feeling for Xenophon the man) book could be. I've since downloaded many other classics from here, but none so far has matched this book. I'm really happy I've had a chance to "read" this book, a book that I probably would never have picked off a library shelf.
...and my 6 year old daughter loves the fact that Xenophon and the Greeks complained about having to go and see the Persian king "without breakfast"

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book once you get going

This is a translation of the original work, and as such it takes a while to get used to the differences in literary style between ancient Athenian and modern texts. The first 30 minutes are the toughest with line after line of unknown places and names. After that however, the book really begins to pull you in. Xenophon, the writer is a classic example of inspiring leadership and character. The text gives you a great insight into the daily lives of the Greek mercenaries and the role of the Greek warriors in ancient times. Thoroughly enjoyable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Exciting!

This was such an amazing story! I could hardly wait to take another road trip so that I could hear it again. It's a shame that such an wondrous story is lost to the majority of the public....and it's true. I hear it referenced by other philospher's and realize it was quite a feat. This is a story that needs to be spread. Would make a great movie!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan
  • ST PAUL, MN, USA
  • 07-18-04

Excellently Read, Great Story

This story is read with clairty and excitement. You quickly learn why the story influenced Alexander the Great and all ancient military commanders. An army against all odds bravely retreating through hostile territory. It combines the heroicism of battle and inhumanity violent raids against helpless countryside people. A book that makes you admire war and how we should avoid it at all costs.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • OREM, UT, United States
  • 12-14-10

Excellent insight on leadership

I found this book on accident when I found out it was the inspiration for "The Warriors". I debated on whether to download it but it has become one of my favorite books. The reader who wants an engaging story will not be dissapointed. However the true brilliance of this book lies in how Xenophon shows great use of reason and leadership in the face of extreme trials. If anyone is a project manager or has any interest in being a good leader this book is more useful than The Art of War.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent story in a powerful voice

Highly recommend this version of Xenophon's Anabasis. The chosen translation is sensible, the narrator's voice is deep and involving, and above all, the story is gripping and full of adventures. Occasionally, consulting a map online or a looking for a list of characters might be helpful, but that does not hinder at all the enjoyment of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • R
  • 08-12-11

Boys Own Adventure

It's a shame that more people don't know about Xenophon and his 10,000 Greek mercenaries. The story of their march into the heart of the Persian empire, there to see first the death of their ambitious employer and then the betrayal and murder of their leaders, followed by their retreats on foot through Persia and Armenia, Asia Minor and Thrace is one of the great adventure stories of all time.

Charlton Griffin is an odd narrator. I've found his 'plummy' accent and occasional very odd pronunciations to be a bit of a distraction on some audiobooks but it seems to work well on this one. The book has a first person narrative and the occasional oddnesses of Mr Griffin's speech lends the tale a strange remoteness which seems appropriate for a story that has come down to us from antiquity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaspal
  • 04-12-17

Great story. Let down by the narration

What was one of the most memorable moments of The March of the Ten Thousand?

The impact of the weather on the troops, particularly the cold.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Bizarre pronunciation and pacing. At one point I honestly wondered if this was some kind of computer generated voice. It sounds like an American trying to do a posh British accent and his pacing sometimes made it harder for me to follow the story. When I contrast this with (say) the narration of Herodotus (also on audible) it is like chalk and cheese.

Any additional comments?

Really interesting to get a first person account of ancient events.

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  • Mr Simon W D Borland
  • 03-27-17

A worthwhile classic, and thoroughly enjoyable.

i liked it very much. Finally i have heard the full story if Xenophon and his brave, careless, curious, wild, greedy, mean but forgiving 10,000 men and their epic journey if survival.

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  • marc milton-talbot
  • 01-30-15

Interesting subject

Interesting subject read well by the narrator except for the annoying pronunciation of "officers" as "awwficers:irritating because the word came up frequently being about an army.I must say it's hard to believe that I listened to over seven hours of it.A good sign I think.Better listened to than actually reading it, I feel,especially for this ancient literature.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful