Xenophon

Hiero the Tyrant and Other Treatises
  • Hiero the Tyrant and Other Treatises

    • Xenophon

    • Paul Cartledge (Introducer)

    • Robin A H Waterfield (Translator)

    One of Socrates' Athenian disciples in his youth, Xenophon (c. 498-354 bc) fought as a mercenary commander in Cyrus the Younger's campaign to seize the Persian throne, and later wrote a wide range of works on history, politics and philosophy. These six treatises offer his informed insights into the nature of leadership. In the dialogue between the poet Simonides and Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse, Xenophon provides a consummate consideration of the burdens of being an absolute dictator and the superior happiness of the private man. Elsewhere, his biography of King Agesilaus II of Sparta depicts the author's patron as a model of piety, justice, courage and wisdom, while other texts consider the essential qualities of the cavalry commander, analyse the skills of the horseman and the hunter, and advance a bold economic plan for democratic Athens.

Xenophon was an Athenian gentleman born in the early 420s BC. He was a fine officer and leader for Athens, but his support of Socrates led to his banishment. He lived under the protection of Sparta on an estate near Olympia, where he began to write his histories and memoirs. Rex Warner was a Professor at the University of Connecticut. He taught in Egypt and England and was Director of the British Institute in Athens. He died in 1986. George Cawkwell is a Fellow Emeritus of University College, Oxford. He has specialised in the history of Greece from the sixth to the fourth century BC.