Today's Featured Biography
There is no figure in Greek history more familiar to us than this famous Athenian. There are passages in his life known to every schoolboy; we possess all the books he ever wrote; we know therefore his opinions upon all the important questions of life, religion, ethics, politics, manners, education, as well as upon finance and military tactics, not to speak of social intercourse and sport. And yet his early youth and late age are hidden from us. Like the models of Greek eloquence, which begin with tame obviousness, rise into dignity, fire, pathos, and then close softly, without sounding peroration, so Xenophon comes upon us, an educated young man, looking out for something to do; we lose him in the autumn of his life, when he was driven from the fair retreat which the old man had hoped would be his final resting-place. During seven years of his early manhood we find him in the middle of all the most stirring events in the Greek world. For thirty years later (394-62 b.c.), we hear him from his retired country-seat recording contemporary history, telling the adventures of his youth, from the fascinations of the ragged Socrates to the fascinations of the magnificent Cyrus, preaching the lessons of his varied life. Then came the bitter loss of his brave son, killed in the van at Mantinea. According to good authority he only survived this blow a couple of years. But even then he appears to have found distraction from his grief by a dry tract upon the Attic revenue. Such is the gen...
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