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Xenophon

Xenophon (circa 435-354 B.C.), one of the greatest prose-writers of ancient Greece, was born at Athens. In 401 B.C. he was induced by his friend Proxenus of Boeotia to join the expedition of the Persian prince Cyrus against his brother, Artaxerzes Memnon. After the battle of Cunaxa the Greek officers were murdered, and Xenophon received a military command. Eventually he found himself the leader of his ten thousand compatriots, who were endeavouring to make their way back to their native land. It was almost wholly owing to Xenophon's energy, courage, and military skill that this wild scheme was successfully accomplished, the Greeks arriving at the end of five months at Trapezus (Trebizond) on the Euxine, whence they made their way to Chrysopolis, opposite Byzantium. Owing to his Spartan sympathies Xenophon was declared a public enemy by the Athenians in or about 399 B.C. Three years later he attached himself to Agesilaus, King of Sparta, and became his devoted follower, accompanying him in all his campaigns down to 387, when he settled under Lacedaemonian protection at Scillus in Elis. The period of the Spartan supremacy was brought to a close by their defeat at Leuctra (371), and Xenophon was forced to flee from Elis.

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