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Hellenica   By: (431 BC - 350? BC)

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By Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans, and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land and property in Scillus, where he lived for many years before having to move once more, to settle in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C.

The Hellenica is his chronicle of the history of the Hellenes from 411 to 359 B.C., starting as a continuation of Thucydides, and becoming his own brand of work from Book III onwards.


This was typed from Dakyns' series, "The Works of Xenophon," a four volume set. The complete list of Xenophon's works (though there is doubt about some of these) is:

Work Number of books

The Anabasis 7 The Hellenica 7 The Cyropaedia 8 The Memorabilia 4 The Symposium 1 The Economist 1 On Horsemanship 1 The Sportsman 1 The Cavalry General 1 The Apology 1 On Revenues 1 The Hiero 1 The Agesilaus 1 The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians 2

Text in brackets "{}" is my transliteration of Greek text into English using an Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table. The diacritical marks have been lost.




B.C. 411. To follow the order of events (1). A few days later Thymochares arrived from Athens with a few ships, when another sea fight between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians at once took place, in which the former, under the command of Agesandridas, gained the victory.

(1) Lit. "after these events"; but is hard to conjecture to what events the author refers. For the order of events and the connection between the closing chapter of Thuc. viii. 109, and the opening words of the "Hellenica," see introductory remarks above. The scene of this sea fight is, I think, the Hellespont.

Another short interval brings us to a morning in early winter, when Dorieus, the son of Diagoras, was entering the Hellespont with fourteen ships from Rhodes at break of day. The Athenian day watch descrying him, signalled to the generals, and they, with twenty sail, put out to sea to attack him. Dorieus made good his escape, and, as he shook himself free of the narrows, (2) ran his triremes aground off Rhoeteum. When the Athenians had come to close quarters, the fighting commenced, and was sustained at once from ships and shore, until at length the Athenians retired to their main camp at Madytus, having achieved nothing.

(2) Lit. "as he opened" {os enoige}. This is still a mariner's phrase in modern Greek, if I am rightly informed.

Meanwhile Mindarus, while sacrificing to Athena at Ilium, had observed the battle. He at once hastened to the sea, and getting his own triremes afloat, sailed out to pick up the ships with Dorieus. The Athenians on their side put out to meet him, and engaged him off Abydos. From early morning till the afternoon the fight was kept up close to the shore. (3) Victory and defeat hung still in even balance, when Alcibiades came sailing up with eighteen ships. Thereupon the Peloponnesians fled towards Abydos, where, however, Pharnabazus brought them timely assistance. (4) Mounted on horseback, he pushed forward into the sea as far as his horse would let him, doing battle himself, and encouraging his troopers and the infantry alike to play their parts... Continue reading book >>

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