Born in the latter half of the fifth century B.C. near Athens, Xenophon enjoyed the best of educational and social advantages and for a time was a pupil and friend of Socrates. In 401 B.C., however, he was led by promises of adventure and fortune to join the ill-fated expedition of Cyrus against his brother, Artaxerxes the Second of Persia. After Cyrus lost his life and the other officers were murdered, Xenophon became one of the leading spirits of the army, eventually exacting revenge on the Persians, then retiring to Scillus, in Elis, to a life of sporting and literary activity. It was there that he composed the Anabasis, or "Up-Country March," a painstaking but brightly written account of the expedition and his life as a Greek soldier that has endured through the ages.
A clearly written historical and literary introduction, copious notes to the text, and a complete vocabulary make this book invaluable to beginning and advanced students alike.