Friday, April 17, 2020


The Anabasis

T.R. Glover (1869-1943), "The Anabasis," From Pericles to Philip, 2nd ed. (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1918), pp. 235-266 (at 236):
For the whole book is alive, and it is the Greek spirit within it that makes it live. Every chapter of it is a page from Greek life and illustrates for us how a Greek looked at the world, how he touched it, entered into it, and mastered it, and what every fresh contact meant. Mountain and river, city and sea, the vast spaces of Asia — and all the variety of the foreigner, from the Persian prince to the primitive savage of the highlands — and all the action and reaction of the multitudinous Greek mind, friction, co-operation, friendship, peril shared and the common enjoyment of adventure, and the great sense of deliverance and triumph — all these things, varieties of human experience that have never failed to stir the spirit and make the heart beat, as age after age men have known them in one form or another — they fill the pages of Xenophon, all living and interpreted in a dialect simple, strong and true, intelligible at once to any man who has any understanding for simplicity and truth.
Id. (at 266, footnote omitted):
If I have to offer an apology for a chapter on a book so obvious as the Anabasis, it is a simple one. It was the first book in Greek prose that I ever read — painfully and slowly a chapter or two was crawled through, and then the book was abandoned for years. Many of my readers will perhaps have the same dreary memory of it. And then after years I found out what a good story it was, and came to see how at point after point it is not merely interesting, but illuminative — one of the very clearest and strongest interpretations of Greek life ever written.

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