The prominent theme of Anabasis is about the journey of the Greek mercenaries confronting the “barbarian” world. Xenophon documented the leadership and military tactics among the Greeks mercenaries during their retreat to their homeland. According to Xenophon, leadership was the important element of success and unification in ancient Greek culture. Xenophon admires Cyrus’s bravery and his leadership to the Greek mercenaries, “most of the troops has set sail and undertaken this mercenary service not because they were hard up, but because they had heard of Cyrus’ magnanimity” (Xenophon 144). Not only did Xenophon think Cyrus is a good leader, but also the Greeks. Xenophon defined Cyrus, a great leader, as being respectful, obedient to the elders, skilled at handling horse and proficient in the military skills of archery and javelin, trustworthy and ...
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... from Greeks’ custom. Furthermore in Book Six, the Greeks were invited by the Paphlagonians to a banquet. In there, Xenophon depicted many different cultures’ dance and song. It is an unusual scene in Anabasis to have all the barbarians zealously sharing their own culture.
In conclusion, Xenophon not only studied the Greeks’ military tactics and leadership, but also closely observed other human cultures while they were marching on their journey. Xenophon is interested in the qualities of a good commander and he realized that having a good leader is the main component for the Greeks to overcome all the hardships. Religious ritual also influenced the Greeks throughout the march. Their generals made sacrifice and decisions depend on the favorable of the omen. Other local customs might seem aberrant from the Greeks’ custom, but Xenophon found them to be intriguing.
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