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Xenophon


Athenian author, historian and mercenary, who led the epic retreat of the Ten Thousand from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea coast.
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Xenophon
The most delightful of all music, that of your own praises.
Xenophon quotes
There is small risk a general will be regarded with contempt by those he leads, if, whatever he may have to preach, he shows himself best able to perform.
Xenophon
But if any other course, in any one's opinion, be better than this, let him, even though he be a private soldier, boldly give us his sentiments; for the safety, which we all seek, is a general concern.




Xenophon quotes
It is only for those to employ force who possess strength without judgment; but the well advised will have recourse to other means. Besides, he who pretends to carry his point by force hath need of many associates; but the man who can persuade knows that he is himself sufficient for the purpose; neither can such a one be supposed forward to shed blood; for, who is there would choose to destroy a fellow citizen rather than make a friend of him by mildness and persuasion?
Xenophon
Every one of you is the leader.
Xenophon quotes
As to what happened next, it is possible to maintain that the hand of heaven was involved, and also possible to say that when men are desperate no one can stand up to them.
Xenophon
Yet is it more honourable, and just, and upright, and pleasing, to treasure in the memory good acts than bad.
Xenophon quotes
If the campaign is in summer the general must show himself greedy for his share of the sun and the heat, and in winter for the cold and the frost, and in all labours for toil and fatigue. This will help to make him beloved of his followers.
Xenophon
It is common opinion among us in regard to beauty and wisdom that there is an honourable and a shameful way of bestowing them. For to offer one’s beauty for money to all comers is called prostitution; but we think it virtuous to become friendly with a lover who is known to be a man of honour. So is it with wisdom. Those who offer it to all comers for money are known as sophists, prostitutors of wisdom.
Xenophon
On making prisoners of our generals, they expected that we should perish from want of direction and order. It is incumbent, therefore, on our present commanders to be far more vigilant than our former ones, and on those under command to be far more orderly, and more obedient to their officers, at present than they were before…On the very day that such resolution is passed, they will see before them ten thousand Clearchuses instead of one.
Xenophon
That…is the road to the obedience of compulsion. But there is a shorter way to a nobler goal, the obedience of the will. When the interests of mankind are at stake, they will obey with joy the man whom they believe to be wiser than themselves. You may prove this on all sides: you may see how the sick man will beg the doctor to tell him what he ought to do, how a whole ship’s company will listen to the pilot.




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