Literapedia Book Notes for

Anabasis: The Persian Expedition by Xenophon

(Translation by H.G. Dakyns)

Characters


  • Darius (Book I: Chapter 1)— King/Father of Artaxerxes and Cyrus.
  • Parysatis (Book I: Chapter 1)— Mother of Artaxerxes and Cyrus.
  • Artaxerxes (Book I: Chapter 1)— First son of Darius who takes over as king after his father’s death.
  • Cyrus (Book I: Chapter 1)— Second son of Darius who plots to take the throne from his brother.
  • Tissaphernes (Book I: Chapter 1)— Initially friends with Cyrus, he betrays Cyrus to gain favor from the king and later becomes a general of the king’s forces.
  • Xenias the Parrhasian (Book I: Chapter 1)— Commander of the Hellenes who accompany Cyrus to see his dying father and who later deserts Cyrus to the king.
  • Clearachus the Laconian (Book I: Chapter 1)— A Lacedaemonian exile with whom Cyrus befriends.
  • Aristippus the Thessalian (Book I: Chapter 1)— Asks Cyrus for funding to get the upper hand on Aristippus’s antagonists.
  • Proxenus the Boeotian (Book I: Chapter 1)— Friend of Cyrus who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army.
  • Sophaenetus the Stymphalian (Book I: Chapter 1)— Friend of Cyrus who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army.
  • Socrates the Achaean (Book I: Chapter 1)— Friend of Cyrus who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army.
  • Pasion the Megarian (Book I: Chapter 1)— Friend of Cyrus who later deserts to the king.
  • Menon the Thessalian (Book I: Chapter 2)— Sent in Aristippus’s stead to aid Cyrus and who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army.
  • Sosis the Syracusian (Book I: Chapter 2)— Takes his troops to aid Cyrus during his march who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army.
  • Sophaenetus the Arcadian (Book I: Chapter 2)— Aids Cyrus with troops on his march and who becomes a general in Cyrus’s army. This could also possibly be Agias the Arcadian.
  • Epyaxa (Book I: Chapter 2)— Wife of Syennesis, king of the Cilicians, who gives Cyrus a gift of money.
  • Syennesis (Book I: Chapter 2)— King of the Cilicians.
  • Pigres (Book I: Chapter 2)— Interpreter for Cyrus and the generals of the Hellenes.
  • Megaphernes (Book I: Chapter 2)— Convicted as a conspirator by Cyrus in Dana.
  • Tamos (Book I: Chapter 2)— Admiral of Cyrus’s fleet of ships bound for Cilicia.
  • Pythagoras the Lacedaemonian (Book I: Chapter 4)— Admiral of the fleet that joins with Cyrus in Issi.
  • Cheirisophus the Lacedaemonian (Book I: Chapter 4)— Sent for by Cyrus who becomes the general of seven hundred hoplites in the service of Cyrus.
  • Abrocomas (Book I: Chapter 4)— Loses four hundred Hellenic mercenaries to Cyrus’s campaign against the king and later becomes a general of the king’s forces.
  • Glus (Book I: Chapter 4)— Messenger of Cyrus to Menon after Menon sends his troops across the Euphrates. Son of Tamos.
  • Orontas (Book I: Chapter 6)— Tries to take some of the soldiers from Cyrus’s army and defect to the king. He is found out and put on trial for treason.
  • Artapates (Book I: Chapter 6)— The most trusted of Cyrus’s wand-bearers.
  • Gaulites (Book I: Chapter 7)— Samian exile who is a trusted friend of Cyrus.
  • Artagerses (Book I: Chapter 7)— Commander of six thousand cavalry and 200 scythe-chariots under Artaxerxes.
  • Gobryas (Book I: Chapter 7)— One of the four generals of the king’s royal army.
  • Arbaces (Book I: Chapter 7)— One of the four generals of the king’s royal army.
  • Silanus (Book I: Chapter 7)— Cyrus’s Ambraciot soothsayer who correctly foresees no military opposition to Cyrus for ten straight days.
  • Pategyas (Book I: Chapter 8)— Persian who relays the information that the king has an army ready to confront Cyrus.
  • Ariaeus (Book I: Chapter 8)— Cyrus’s second-in-command for the battle.
  • Xenophon the Athenian (Book I: Chapter 8)— Teller of this story and leader of the Hellenes after Cyrus and Clearchus’s deaths.
  • Ctesias (Book I: Chapter 8)— Surgeon who treats Artaxerxes’s injury from his brother.
  • Episthenes (Book I: Chapter 10)— Commanded the peltasts during the skirmish.
  • Lycius the Athenian (Book I: Chapter 10)— Sent to check the position of the enemy after their apparent retreat from Cyrus’s army. Son of Polystratus.
  • Procles (Book II: Chapter 1)— Ruler of Teuthrania who brings the bad news of Cyrus’s death.
  • Phalinus (Book II: Chapter 1)— Hellene who is from the court of Tissaphernes and considers himself a skilled warrior.
  • Cleanor the Arcadian (Book II: Chapter 1)— The first to speak in favor of not relinquishing their weapons to the king.
  • Proxenus the Theban (Book II: Chapter 1)— The second to speak in favor of not relinquishing their weapons to the king.
  • Theopompus the Athenian (Book II: Chapter 1)— The fourth to speak in favor of not relinquishing their weapons to the king. This could also possibly be Xenophon the Athenian again.
  • Miltocythes the Thracian (Book II: Chapter 2)— Takes forty horsemen and three hundred Thracian soldiers when he deserts to the king.
  • Tolmides the Eleian (Book II: Chapter 2)— Known as the best herald of his time.
  • Artaozus (Book II: Chapter 4)— One of Cyrus’s most faithful friends.
  • Mithridates (Book II: Chapter 5)— One of Cyrus’s most faithful friends.
  • Agias the Arcadian (Book II: Chapter 5)— General in Cyrus's army.
  • Nicarchus the Arcadian (Book II: Chapter 5)— Soldier who warns the rest of the Hellenes of the oncoming assault from Tissaphernes.
  • Cleanor the Orchomenian (Book II: Chapter 5)— The spokesman of the Hellenes.
  • Gorgias of Leontini (Book II: Chapter 6)— Clearchus owes him a fee for being taught by Gorgias.
  • Tharypas (Book II: Chapter 6)— Has a relationship with Ariaeus.
  • Apollo (Book III: Chapter 1)— God to which Xenophon consults to inquire which gods to pray and sacrifice to in order to gain safe journey homeward.
  • Socrates the oracle (Book III: Chapter 1)— Scolds Xenophon for not asking the gods if Xenophon should go on this journey or not.
  • Apollonides (Book III: Chapter 1)— Steps forward with the idea to mediate with the king about a way for them to return home safely.
  • Agasias the Stymhpalian (Book III: Chapter 1)— Points out that Apollonides is connected to neither Boeotia nor Hella.
  • Hieronymous the Eleian (Book III: Chapter 1)— The eldest of Proxenus’s captains.
  • Timasion the Dardanian (Book III: Chapter 1)— Takes the position of general over Clearchus’s troops.
  • Xanthicles the Achaean (Book III: Chapter 1)— Takes the position of general over Socrates’s troops.
  • Philesius the Achaean (Book III: Chapter 1)— Takes the position of general over Agias’s troops.
  • Mithridates (Book III: Chapter 3)— Asks the Hellenes what they are going to do after the defeat of their generals.
  • Cloenymus the Laconian (Book IV: Chapter 1)— Shot in the ribs by the Carduchians.
  • Basias the Arcadian (Book IV: Chapter 1)— Shot through the head by the Carduchians.
  • Aristonymus of Methydrium (Book IV: Chapter 1)— One of the volunteers to take a different route to surprise the Carduchians.
  • Callimachus of Parrhasia (Book IV: Chapter 1)— One of the volunteers to take a different route to surprise the Carduchians.
  • Aristeas the Chian (Book IV: Chapter 1)— One of the volunteers to take a different route to surprise the Carduchians.
  • Cephisodorus the Athenian (Book IV: Chapter 2)— Put in charge to hold the ridge after the Hellenes capture it from the Carduchians.
  • Amphicrates the Athenian (Book IV: Chapter 2)— Put in charge to hold the ridge after the Hellenes capture it from the Carduchians.
  • Archagoras the Argive exile (Book IV: Chapter 2)— Put in charge to hold the ridge after the Hellenes capture it from the Carduchians.
  • Eurylochus of Lusia (Book IV: Chapter 2)— Shields Xenophon as they retreat from the Carduchians.
  • Stratocles the Cretan (Book IV: Chapter 2)— Commander of the Cretan archers.
  • Artuchas (Book IV: Chapter 3)— Sends troops to meet the Hellenes when they come down from the mountains and try to cross into Armenia.
  • Aeschines the Arcarnanian (Book IV: Chapter 3)— Commander of a light infantry division under Cheirisophus.
  • Tiribazus (Book IV: Chapter IV)— Lieutenant-governor of Western Armenia and friend of the king.
  • Democrates the Temenite (Book IV: Chapter 4)— Leader of the party that captures the soldier of Tirbazus’s army.
  • Polycrates the Athenian (Book IV: Chapter 5)— Asks for a leave of absence and stumbles upon the headman of the village and his tribute to the king.
  • Episthenes of Amphipolis (Book IV: Chapter 6)— He is entrusted with the son of the headman and becomes good friends with the child.
  • Nicomachus the Oetean (Book IV: Chapter 6)— Commander of a division of light infantry who goes up to take control of a mountain held by the enemy.
  • Aenaes the Stymphalian (Book IV: Chapter 7)— Killed by a Taochian who was throwing himself off the crags and takes Aeneas with him when Aeneas tries to stop him.
  • Dracontius the Spartan (Book IV: Chapter 8)— He is banished from his home for unintentionally slaying another boy with his dagger.
  • Antileon of Thurii (Book V: Chapter 1)— The first speaker at the consul about the last part of the march.
  • Dexippes the Laconian (Book V: Chapter 1)— Commander of the fifty-oared galley that steals away from the rest of the troops.
  • Nicander the Laconian (Book V: Chapter 1)— Puts Dexippes to death in Thrace.
  • Cleanetus (Book V: Chapter 1)— Dies while commanding a foray with two companies of troops.
  • Philoxenus of Pellene (Book V: Chapter 2)— Goes with Agasias the Stymphalian to jump over the fortifications of the Drilae fortress.
  • Agesilaus (Book V: Chapter 3)— Leaves with Xenophon on the march into Boeotia.
  • Megabyzus (Book V: Chapter 3)— The sacristan of the goddess Artemis.
  • Timesitheus the Trapezuntine (Book V: Chapter 4)— The Consul to the Mossynoecians.
  • Hecatonymus (Book V: Chapter 5)— Acts as the spokesman for the ambassadors from Sinope
  • Ariston the Athenian (Book V: Chapter 6)— Part of the embassy sent by Xenophon with the ambassadors of Sinope.
  • Samolas the Achaean (Book V: Chapter 6)— Part of the embassy sent by Xenophon with the ambassadors of Sinope.
  • Thorax the Boeotian (Book V: Chapter 6)— Tells Sinopean traders that if they do not furnish the army well, the army will be forced to stay in Pontus.
  • Eurymachus (Book V: Chapter 6)— Sent by Timasion to spread the rumor of the Hellenes staying in Pontus.
  • Lycon the Achaean (Book V: Chapter 6)— Stands up with Philesius and contests the idea of stopping short of returning to Hella.
  • Clearetus (Book V: Chapter 7)— He learns of where the Cerasuntines sell large cattle and goods to the Hellenes.
  • Corylas (Book VI: Chapter 1)— The chief of the Paphlagonians
  • Anaxibius the Spartan (Book VI: Chapter 1)— The high admiral of the Hellenic fleet of ships.
  • Smicres the Arcadian (Book VI: Chapter 3)— One of the ten generals appointed to command the faction that went to Calpe Haven.
  • Hegesander (Book VI: Chapter 3)— One of the ten generals appointed to command the faction that went to Calpe Haven.
  • Arexion the Arcadian (Book VI: Chapter 4)— The Seer whom Xenophon consults after Silanus the Ambraciot left.
  • Cleander the Lacedaemonian (Book VI: Chapter 4)— The governor of Byzantium.
  • Pharnabazus (Book VI: Chapter 4)— Commander of the cavalry who comes to the aid of the Bithynians.
  • Pyrrhias the Arcadian (Book VI: Chapter 5)— Commander of the second rear-rank companies during the battle with Pharnabazus.
  • Phrasias the Athenian (Book VI: Chapter 5)— Commander of the second rear-rank companies during the battle with Pharnabazus.
  • Seuthes the Thracian (Book VII: Chapter 1)— Begs for Xenophon to mobilize his army into his territory.
  • Medosades (Book VII: Chapter 1)— Messenger of Seuthes the Thracian
  • Eteonicus (Book VII: Chapter 1)— Gatekeeper in the city of Byzantium
  • Cyniscus (Book VII: Chapter 1)— The commander whom the soldiers would be sent to once they reached Chersonese after Xenophon leaves for home.
  • Coeratadas the Theban (Book VII: Chapter 1)— Wanted to lend his services as general to the Hellenes. Offered the soldiers meat and drink and victim animals.
  • Aristarchus (Book VII: Chapter 2)— The new governor who succeeded Cleander in governing Byzantium.
  • Polus (Book VII: Chapter 2)— The new high admiral who succeeded Anaxibius.
  • Phryniscus (Book VII: Chapter 2)— One of Xenophon’s colleagues.
  • Maesades (Book VII: Chapter 2)— Father of Seuthes the Thracian. Driven to exile from the Odrysians.
  • Medocus (Book VII: Chapter 2)— The king of the Odrysians.
  • Heracleides (Book VII: Chapter 3)— Solicits from the Hellenes presents for Seuthes the Thracian.
  • Arystas the Arcadian (Book VII: Chapter 3)— A large eater in the Hellenes army.
  • Gnesippus the Athenian (Book VII: Chapter 3)— Makes a speech about being given wealth to later give away gifts since some people did not have the ability to give a present to Seuthes the Thracian.
  • Episthenes the Olynthian (Book VII: Chapter 4)— Saved a youth from being slain by Seuthes the Thracian.
  • Hieronymus the Euodean (Book VII: Chapter 4)— Wounded by a volley of javelins loosed by a party of Thynians.
  • Theogenes the Locrian (Book VII: Chapter 4)— Wounded by a volley of javelins loosed by a party of Thynians.
  • Teres the Odrysian (Book VII: Chapter 5)— Ruler of the Delta.
  • Thibron (Book VII: Chapter 6)— The Commander of the new offensive against Tissaphernes.
  • Charminus the Lacedaemonian (Book VII: Chapter 6)— One of the Lacedaemonian agents sent to recruit soldiers to help fight Tissaphernes.
  • Polynicus the Lacedaemonian (Book VII: Chapter 6)— One of the Lacedaemonian agents sent to recruit soldiers to help fight Tissaphernes.
  • Abrozelmes (Book VII: Chapter 6)— Seuthes’s private interpreter.
  • Eucleides the Phliasian (Book VII: Chapter 8)— A soothsayer who congratulates Xenophon on his safe return home.
  • Bion (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Arrives with gifts for the army after they return home.
  • Nausicleides (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Arrives with gifts for the army after they return home.
  • The wife of Gongylus the Eretian (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Entertained Xenophon at her house after his return. Mother of Gorgion and Gongylus.
  • Asidates (Book VII: Chapter 8)— A Persian notable who Xenophon is sent to take prisoner after his return home.
  • Daphneaoras (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Sent to guide Xenophon to where Asidates held his treasures.
  • Basias the Eleian (Book VII: Chapter 8)— A soothsayer who tells of a favorable outcome from the capture of Asidates.
  • Itabelius (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Leader of the forces under Asidates.
  • Gongylus (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Joined in the battle between Xenophon and Asidates to help Xenophon.
  • Procles (Book VII: Chapter 8)— Joined in the battle between Xenophon and Asidates to help Xenophon.

Chapter Summaries


Book I


  1. Cyrus makes preparations in order to take the throne from his brother.
  2. Cyrus marches to take out the Pisidians and gains troops as he progresses through the provinces.
  3. Word spreads that Cyrus might be moving against the king and the soldiers begin to question continuing onward.
  4. Cyrus and his generals continue marching onward, now towards Babylon. Xenias and Pasion are seen as cowards for deserting Cyrus.
  5. The soldiers face hardship with few provisions other than meat. Dissention arises after Clearchus has one of Menos’s men flogged, which leads to escalating retaliation.
  6. Orontas is put on trial for a treasonous plot against Cyrus.
  7. Cyrus sizes up the situation for the coming battle against the king. Cyrus and his army pass safely through a trench constructed by the king.
  8. The battle between Artaxerxes’s royal army and Cyrus’s army commences.
  9. Xenophon describes a sort of eulogy after the passing of Cyrus.
  10. The king rallies his forces and attacks Cyrus’s army again. Then Artaxerxes retreats to a mound where upon being confronted again by the Hellenes, he and his men retreat for the day.

Book II


  1. The army finds out about Cyrus’s death and heralds are sent to meet the army and ask for them to relinquish their weapons to the king.
  2. The generals of Cyrus’s army and the officers of the Hellenes join forces to better their chances for returning home. The Hellenes are frightened by something in the night, which turns out to be nothing at all.
  3. The king asks for a truce and Clearchus asks for breakfast after establishing one. Clearchus says to Tissaphernes that the Hellenes only followed Cyrus’s orders when they were attacking the king’s authority.
  4. The Hellenes wait for Tissaphernes to return so they can leave. Tissaphernes comes with his troops and the Hellenes suspect they will be betrayed as they progress homeward.
  5. Clearchus trusts Tissaphernes enough to send generals, captains and some soldiers to his camp. This turns out to be a trap and Clearchus is killed and the generals do not return to the Hellenes’s camp.
  6. All of the captured generals are decapitated and Xenophon describes their pasts and personalities.

Book III


  1. None of the Hellenes can sleep for fear of not returning home alive. Apollonides tries to persuade the Hellenes to go to the king to ask for a pardon.
  2. Xenophon tells the Hellenes to get rid of all but the necessities in order to travel homeward more efficiently.
  3. After crossing the river Zapatas, the Hellenes are attacked by Mithridates and the Hellenes find that they need better long-ranged weaponry.
  4. Tissaphernes comes after the Hellenes with a large contingency of troops at his disposal. The Hellenes succeed in securing the summit first.
  5. The generals question their prisoners about the surrounding area and decide which direction to go after having reached the Tigris.

Book IV


  1. The Hellenes travel through the land of the Carduchians and lose two warriors when Cheirisophus does not slow for Xenophon on rearguard.
  2. The Hellenes progress slowly through the mountains with the Carduchians making it difficult to pass through the area. There is a struggle for gaining control of the knolls and hilltops.
  3. Despaired, the Hellenes do not know what to do with Carduchians closing in from behind and a deep river with a new enemy lying ahead of them until Xenophon has a dream.
  4. There is a heavy snowfall in Armenia and Tiribazus is following the Hellenes through his territory with a formidable army.
  5. The Hellenes face hardships in the snow. They are later overjoyed by the hospitality received in a village.
  6. The Hellenes confront an enemy in a mountain pass and Xenophon suggests taking control of the mountain before traveling up the pass.
  7. The Hellenes have a hard time overtaking the Taochian fortress. The soldiers finally catch a glimpse of the sea.
  8. Reaching a populous Hellenic city, the soldiers take a long rest and compete in a competition against each other for fun and recreation.

Book V


  1. The soldiers decide to send Cheirisophus back to Hella to return with ships to take them back home.
  2. The Hellenes are guided by the Trapezuntines to gain provisions from the Drilae.
  3. Those sick and over the age of forty are sent back on ships to Hella. Xenophon speaks of the temple he constructed to Artemis in Scillus.
  4. The Hellenes become allies with the Mossynoecians and agree to fight their foes together in order to pass through the territory.
  5. Xenophon persuades the ambassadors of Sinope into having good relations with the Hellenes.
  6. Taking the advice of Hecatonymus, the Hellenes take the sea route to reach Hella.
  7. Slander is spread about Xenophon and his speech in defense of his honesty to the soldiers results in prosecutions of certain soldiers.
  8. Xenophon talks his way out of receiving punishment for beating a soldier.

Book VI


  1. The Hellenes make a deal with the Paphlagonians to cease fighting. Xenophon feels he should not be the leader on the last part of the trip.
  2. The army breaks up into three factions and Xenophon leads his troops back to Hella.
  3. Xenophon hears of the situation the Arcadians and Achaeans are in and rushes with his troops to their aid.
  4. The Hellenes do not find the victims in their favor and cannot proceed nor find provisions until the signs change in their favor.
  5. Xenophon advises the troops to attack their enemies now instead of waiting for the enemy to pursue them when they retreat to camp.
  6. Agasias is to be put on trial before Cleander for ordering Dexippus to be stoned after Agasias rescues one of his own from false accusation.

Book VII


  1. The Hellenes muscle their way back into the city after learning of their planned expedition to Chersonese. Coeratadas’ leadership falls through when he fails to give out enough rations for one day.
  2. Xenophon returns at the request of Anaxibius to the army after taking leave from the Hellenes for home.
  3. Xenophon works together with Seuthes to gain provisions for the Hellenes while Seuthes pays them for gaining land for his control.
  4. Seuthes travels through the countryside burning villages and taking more territory with the Hellenes.
  5. Heracleides fails to come up with the full month’s pay for the work done by the Hellenes. The blames is put on Xenophon.
  6. Xenophon speaks on the charges brought against him about not giving sufficient pay to the soldiers.
  7. Medosades gains control of the land the Hellenes helped to conquer and he threatens violence if the Hellenes don’t cease pillaging his lands.
  8. Xenophon finally returns home only to find he is wanted to help capture Asidates, which according to the soothsayer, Basias, should be easy.

Book Note Creator


Andrew Rankin, '08