In the Tracks of the Ten Thousand: A Journey on Foot Through Turkey, Syria and Iraq
In spring 401 BC mercenaries from Greece began landing on the shores of Asia Minor. They were heading inland for the city of Sardis where a Persian prince, Cyrus the Younger, was organizing an expedition. The men believed they were going to subdue a troublesome tribe of the interior, but their commander had a far more daring and ambitious plan in mind. The story of the Greeks' epic adventure was later told by the Athenian writer Xenophon. Using his celebrated text, The Anabasis, Shane Brennan sets out to retrace the army's route, and to discover what remains of the world Xenophon described 2,500 years ago. His journey in the footsteps of the army takes him across modern Turkey, Syria and Iraq. As with Cyrus' men, the further he progresses, the more difficult the adventure becomes. In the remote desert of western Iraq he is variously taken by villagers to be a downed American pilot, a British soldier, and a Mossad agent. Taking inspiration from the Greeks before him, however, he presses on towards Babylon, the intended destination of Cyrus. This is Shane Brennan's memorable account of a truly remarkable journey.
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Abdullah afternoon Ainsworth al-Bab Aleppo Anabasis Anatolia ancient Antalya Arab army arrived Artaxerxes asked Athens Ba'ath Ba'ath Party Babylon Baghdad Bahar bank called centre Charmande crossed Cyrus desert desk distance door early east Euphrates expedition eyes face Father Nadheer floor followed front Gates Greeks hand head highway hill hoplites Iraq Iraqi Jezirah journey Jubbah Kelainai Kemal Kilikian kilometres King Klearkhos Konya looked Maeander Maiad Mesopotamia metres Mohammed morning mountains night pack parasangs party Parysatis passed Persian Phrygia plain Proxenos returned river road route Saddam Hussein Sardis Sarmada satrap seemed shamag Shamia side soldiers Spartan stage stay stopped street Syria Tahreer Tarsus Taurus Thabet Thapsakos things thought tion Tissaphernes told took town track trees Turkish Turks turned valley village waiting walking walls Xenophon