Cyropaedia: The Education of Cyrusby Xenophon, Henry Graham Dakyns (Translator)
Cyrus spent much of his life undertaking military campaigns, conquering various dominions for the Achaemenid Empire which he founded. Owing to the military prowess and command of strategy possessed by Cyrus the Great, his/b>/i>
The Cyropaedia is Xenophon's partly fictionalized biography of Cyrus the Great, a great king and general of the ancient world.
Cyrus spent much of his life undertaking military campaigns, conquering various dominions for the Achaemenid Empire which he founded. Owing to the military prowess and command of strategy possessed by Cyrus the Great, his empire became one of the largest the world had ever seen during the 6th century BC.
The conquests of Cyrus took him to Greece, Turkey, the Caucasus and the Middle East. Defeating army after army, it was through Cyrus's substantial use of foreign mercenaries to bolster his ranks that he and the Greek Xenophon made contact. Xenophon himself was educated and literate - uncommon for a fighting hand at the time - and soon distinguished himself in the ranks as a sharp and capable tactician.
For this, Xenophon was in perfect position to chronicle the various adventures and exploits which comprised the life of his supreme commander. Personally interested in political theory, it is thus that this book chronicles the military achievements of Cyrus in the context of alliances and internationalism. We are shown a man who is benevolent and considerate of his subjects, but capable of cunning manipulation when circumstances presented themselves.
Although this biography generally leans more toward the political and military exploits of Cyrus, there is considerable attention paid to the civic achievements and personal ideals of the great leader. Between established facts are various legendary or dramatized accounts of battles which Xenophon had not himself witnessed.
From when it was published in 370 B.C., the Cyropaedia received great praise from a variety of philosophers, historians and scholars who viewed it as a shining light of classical writing. Its incisive political theorizing inspired the Roman statesman Cicero, the historian Tacitus, and - during the Italian Renaissance - the political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli.
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Cyrus the Great was a very interesting man. I learned alot from this book. Recommended.