Their remarkable success was due especially to the wily and decisive leadership of Xenophon himself, a student of Socrates who had joined the Ten Thousand and, after most of the Greek generals had been murdered, rallied the despondent Greeks, won a position of leadership, and guided them wisely through myriad obstacles.
In this new translation of the Anabasis, Wayne Ambler achieves a masterful combination of liveliness and a fidelity to the original uncommon in other versions. Accompanying Ambler's translation is a penetrating interpretive essay by Eric Buzzetti, one that shows Xenophon to be an author who wove a philosophic narrative into his dramatic tale. The translation and interpretive essay encourage renewed study of the Anabasis as a work of political philosophy. They also celebrate its high adventure and its hero's adroit decision-making under the most pressing circumstances.
These dialogues underscore the limitations of democratic relativism and emphasize the nature of philosophy or the free mind. Plato’s Apology of Socrates is both poetry and an act of reformation, justifying the life of philosophy, challenging the authority of the pagan gods and heroes, and introducing Socrates as a heroic and even divine figure. In contrast, Xenophon’s Socrates is not dialectical and otherworldly, but makes a different appeal for philosophy. From Xenophon emerges the heroic tradition of Plutarch with its reflections on the virtues and vices of great historical men.
Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato and Xenophon’s immediate audience.