Ethnographic Interests of Xenophon Essay

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Xenophon, the son of Athenian wealthy family, was exiled because of his assistance for the enemies of Athenians. He claimed that he was yearning for a thrilling adventure; as a result, he decided to join Cyrus’s expedition against his brother Artaxerxes, the Persian King along with the Greek mercenaries. Though Anabasis is more about the record of the Greeks’’ struggle and hardship during their retreat in the hostile territory, Xenophon writes Anabasis as his interest of ethnography. Ethnography is a study of human cultures. It aims to describe the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans. Xenophon has recorded the Greeks and the local customs of the friendly and hostile forces such as dance, food, …show more content…
Xenophon analyzed each of the generals’ behavior as a commander. Not like Cyrus who is the best commander he had ever met, Xenophon has identified the good and flaws of the five generals. The Greek general, Clearchus was a good commander because of his devotion to warfare and his restriction on an army’s discipline; however, his sternness and his unaffectionate feelings caused many of his men deserted him. Proxenus of Boeotia had a good quality of praising his men when they did well, but not to those who did wrong, and yet he failed to arouse his soldiers with respect or fear since they regarded him as easy to manipulate. Lastly, Meno of Thessaly was the worst example of all generals because he would achieve his goals with perjury, lies and deceit. Xenophon had focused primarily on the qualities as a leader. Interestingly, he studied them very well that he seems to establish a standard for what leadership ought to be. After Xenophon elected to be one of the generals of the Greek armies, he later took advantages from these guidelines that he discovered and successfully aided them through the countless battles and hardships. For example, One thing he learned from Clearchus that “discipline makes for survival and lack of discipline has often in the past been responsible for loss of life” (Xenophon 60). Also, Xenophon demonstrates the importance of bravery after

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