The Expedition of Cyrus
'Men, the enemy troops you can see are all that stands between us and the place we have for so long been determined to reach. We must find a way to eat them alive!' The Expedition of Cyrus tells the story of the march of the Ten Thousand. The exploits of this famous army of Greek mercenaries in modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq were described by one of their leaders, the Athenian historian and philosopher Xenophon. They were recruited at the end of the fifth century BC by a young Persian prince, Cyrus, who rose in revolt against his brother, the king of Persia. After Cyrus' death, the army was left stranded in the desert of Mesopotamia, a thousand miles from home. Their long march, across mountains and plateaux to the sight of 'The sea! The sea!', and back to the fringes of the Greek world, is the most exciting adventure story to survive from the ancient world. Xenophon's gripping narrative offers a unique insight into the character of a Greek army struggling to survive in an alien world. It is also the most sustained eyewitness account of the landscape of the vast and wealthy Persian empire.
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Xenophon's Retreat: Greece, Persia, and the End of the Golden Age
Limited preview - 2006