The March of the Ten Thousand

  • by Xenophon
  • Narrated by Charlton Griffin
  • 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Translated by W. E. D. Rouse, The March of the Ten Thousand is one of the most admired and widely read pieces of ancient literature to come down to us. Xenophon employs a very simple, straightforward style to describe what is probably the most exciting military adventure ever undertaken. When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his feckless sibling in 401 B.C., he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 hoplites as the core of his rebellious force. Xenophon, who seeks the advice of Socrates before joining, is among the common soldiers. Inexorably, Cyrus and his huge army march southward 1,500 miles from the coast of Ionia all the way to Babylon, and there give battle to Artaxerxes, the Great King. Although the battle is soon decided in favor of Cyrus, the would-be usurper is killed while in pursuit of the king. Meanwhile, the Greeks are victorious on their part of the battlefield and await the return of Cyrus and his instructions.By the next morning, they realize that Cyrus is dead and that his allies have melted away in the night, leaving them alone trapped behind enemy lines within a few miles of the Persian capital. And only a few miles distant lies an enormous Persian army with vengeance in mind. Despair deepens when the Greek officer corps is treacherously murdered during peace talks. Alone, leaderless and hopelessly outnumbered, the Greeks nevertheless elect new officers.Xenophon steps into the pages of history with his magnificent rallying speeches and selfless acts of courage. Follow one of history's most spirited bands of soldiers as they fight and maneuver their way through 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries. It is an epic of courage, faith and democratic principle.


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Customer Reviews

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One of the great adventures in human history

Herodotus might have been the Father of History, but Xenophon was the cool, older brother. This one-time pupil of Socrates is one of those soldier/scholars who makes both intellectuals and warriors feel inadequate. 'The Persian Expedition' or 'The March of the Ten Thousand' or 'Anabasis' (all depending on your version or translation) relates the story told by Xenophon of his experiences fighting with and leading the 10,000 Hellene mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger and the army's 3000+ mile march into Persian.

This experience, which Will Durrant once called "one of the great adventures in human history," can be read as history, adventure story, leadership manual, or a real-life application of Socratic philosophy.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

An intelligent leader

I felt a sense of exhileration after I finished this book from the sense of having learned something about how to speak and act as a leader of men, plus I got a great sense of the history of that time.

Although it is his own account of military matters he was involved in, he sounds like one of the great leaders of all time, as well as one of the most decent. I think every soldier should read this book to understand a little bit about what a leader needs to tell his people to motivate them when their morale is waning, or to prepare them for battle.

Also, I think a great many politicians could stand to listen to this book to grasp how to talk simply and directly to people about very important matters. Xenophon leads by example and moral force rather than as a brute, and is an example of a worthy leader for our own time.

As an aside, while Xenophon was retreating from problems with the Persians who were invading the Middle East, Xenophon was attacked by the Kurds (even back then!).

This book was exceedingly well read by Charlton Griffin, by the way.

I strongly recommend this book for its own sake and for its accessibility and value to modern readers.


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- Benedict

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2003
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur