Xenophon
(c.430-355BC)

Historian, soldier and essayist from Athens, Xenophon was educated by Plato and worked as a mercenary under Cyrus the Younger of Persia in his fight against his brother Artaterxes II.
Xenophon led the Greek force back to safety in a Greek colony when Cyrus was killed in the battle of Cunaxa in 401 BC. This force of "Ten Thousand" later joined the Spartans, who were fighting the Persian leaders in Asia Minor, something which eventually made Xenophon rich.
In 394 BC he joined the court of the Spartan king Agelisaus II, and was present at the Battle of Coronea the same year, where the Spartans defeated the Athenian and Theban armies. For this, Xenophon was convicted of treachury by the Athenians, and he was sentenced to banishment.
He was then given an estate in Elis by the Spartan government, but when the Thebans defeated the Spartans at the battle of Leuctra 13 years later, he was forced to leave his home.
The rest of is life he spent in Corinth. His son Gryllos was the one who killed Epaminondas in battle, only to die himself right after. Xenophon learnt the news while he was making a sacrifice to the gods. He took off his wreath in grief, but when he was told that his son had died killing Epaminondas he put the wreath on again and continued the sacrifice.
Xenophon wrote several important works, including a description of the five-month march of the mercenaries, a biography of Cyrus the Great, the Peloponnesian War and some philosophical works.


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