Historical Figure
Nationality: Athens (later Sparta)
Date of Birth: c. 431 BC
Date of Death: 354 BC
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Polytheism
Occupation: Author of Non-Fiction, mercenary, soldier, student
Turtledove Appearances:
"The Daimon"
POD: 415 BCE
Type of Appearance: Direct
Xenophon (ca. 431-354 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and an admirer of Socrates. He took great care to preserve much of Socrates wisdom. Xenophon was exiled from Athens to Sparta, where he died after several years of Spartan patronage.

Xenophon is remembered for his role as a mercenary in the employ of the Persian politician, Cyrus the Younger, on an expedition to depose Cyrus' brother, Artaxerxes II. The expedition was a disaster; their leaders were killed in short order, forcing the mercenaries, known as the Ten Thousand, to march through hostile territory to the Black Sea.

Literary CommentEdit

The march of the Ten Thousand is referenced in several Harry Turtledove works. A notable example can be found in Opening Atlantis: Nouveau Redon: Victor Radcliff, while on his march to the sea during the French and Spanish War, compares his predicament to Xenophon's.

Xenophon in "The Daimon"Edit

Xenophon was against Sokrates' decision to join Alkibiades' expedition to Sicily, claiming that the most vocal opponent, Kritias, spoke for most of the group. Sokrates deflected Xenophon by wondering how any man could speak for another.[1]


  1. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 145-146, HC.

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