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The Sportsman   By: (431 BC - 350? BC)

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First Page:

THE SPORTSMAN

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 Sportsman is a manual on hunting hares, deer and wild boar, including the topics of dogs, and the benefits of hunting for the young.

PREPARER'S NOTE

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.

ON HUNTING

A Sportsman's Manual

Commonly Called CYNEGETICUS

I

To the gods themselves is due the discovery, to Apollo and Artemis, patrons of the chase and protectors of the hound. (1) As a guerdon they bestowed it upon Cheiron, (2) by reason of his uprightness, and he took it and was glad, and turned the gift to good account. At his feet sat many a disciple, to whom he taught the mystery of hunting and of chivalry (3) to wit, Cephalus, Asclepius, Melanion, Nestor, Amphiaraus, Peleus, Telamon, Meleager, Theseus and Hippolytus, Palamedes, Odysseus, Menestheus, Diomed, Castor and Polydeuces, Machaon and Podaleirius, Antilochus, Aeneas and Achilles: of whom each in his turn was honoured by the gods. And let none marvel that of these the greater part, albeit well pleasing to the gods, nevertheless were subject to death which is the way of nature, (4) but their fame has grown nor yet that their prime of manhood so far differed. The lifetime of Cheiron sufficed for all his scholars; the fact being that Zeus and Cheiron were brethren, sons of the same father but of different mothers Zeus of Rhea, and Cheiron of the nymph Nais; (5) and so it is that, though older than all of them, he died not before he had taught the youngest to wit, the boy Achilles. (6)

(1) Or, "This thing is the invention of no mortal man, but of Apollo and Artemis, to whom belong hunting and dogs." For the style of exordium L. Dind. cf (Ps.) Dion. "Art. rhet." ad in.; Galen, "Isagog." ad in.; Alex. Aphrodis. "Probl." 2 proem.

(2) The wisest and "justest of all the centaurs," Hom. "Il." xi. 831. See Kingsley, "The Heroes," p. 84.

(3) Or, "the discipline of the hunting field and other noble lore."

(4) Lit. "since that is nature, but the praise of them grew greatly."

(5) According to others, Philyra. Pind. "Pyth." iii. 1, {ethelon Kheirona ke Philuridan}; cf. "Pyth." vi. 22; "Nem." iii. 43.

(6) See Paus. iii. 18. 12.

Thanks to the careful heed they paid to dogs and things pertaining to the chase, thanks also to the other training of their boyhood, all these greatly excelled, and on the score of virtue were admired... Continue reading book >>




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