FRSEM-UA nnn, Xenophon
Professor Vincent Renzi
903c Silver Center
Office Hours: Mondays, 2:00–3:00 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:00–11:00 a.m.; and by appointment.
§001: Tuesdays 12:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. nnn Silver Center
Brilliant general, student of Socrates, renowned author
, Xenophon (c. 425–355 b.c.e.
) is the greatest ancient you’ve never heard of. His heroism leading the army of the Ten Thousand inspired the conquests of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. His political philosophy informed the thought of Cicero, Machiavelli, Franklin, and Jefferson. When knowledge of Greek was still required for admission to college, his fame was ubiquitous
, as his writings formed the basis of the pre-college curriculum. Readings, in English translation: Apology of Socrates, Symposium, Oeconomicus, Cyropaedia, Cavalry Commander, Anabasis,
and the film based on the latter, The Warriors
As a seminar designed for first-year students in the College of Arts and Science, this course has a number of complementary goals.
First, it is intended to be a formative social and intellectual introduction to your new life as an undergraduate student in the liberal arts. Together with your classmates and the others in your cohort, you will be learning what it means to join in the community of scholarship that is the University.
Second, we will pursue our studies in a liberal spirit, not for their practical utility (although Xenophon certainly has things to teach us about success as a military leader), but for what they reveal about the human condition and how they help us to imagine the higher possibilities of our human freedom.
Finally, the seminar is intended to introduce you to the methods of research in the humanities, and your major goal for the course will be to complete a substantial work of independent research. Together with the other reading and writing skills we will practice, the seminar should help hone the critical and analytic abilities you will need for success in your later studies and for your future lives and thoughtful individuals and engaged citizens.
You are expected to read each of the works listed below, to attend all class meetings
, to arrive at class promptly, and to participate actively and appropriately in class. In-class writing exercises and brief weekly homework assignments will also be required, as well as some supplemental reading. Each student will also make a seminar presentation on a selected reading or on their research project. Finally, you will be required to write three papers. The first two papers will be short papers (2–3 and 4–6 pages, respectively, typed, double-spaced). The final paper will be a substantial work of independent research 10–12 pages. All work will be graded as submitted, with no opportunity for revision
, and credit will be withheld for poor grammar and spelling.
In determining your grade, I will weigh your completion of the course requirements approximately as follows; bear in mind, however, that you are expected to complete every assignment in order to receive a passing grade for the class.
Class participation 10%
Seminar presentation 10%
Weekly homework assignments 15%
Papers (5%, 10%) 15%
Final Paper 50%
Note well that a failing grade may be assigned to any student with two absences from class. Late work and electronic submissions will not be accepted. Incompletes will be considered only in cases of documented medical emergency or other, comparably grave circumstances. In the event that you are for good reason unable to attend class, you are expected to contact me in advance (or as soon as is practicable) by telephone or e-mail.
A Note on Classroom Decorum
As a matter of courtesy to the instructor and to your fellow students, please arrive at class promptly, and, apart from emergencies
, please remain in the classroom for the duration of the session.
Please be sure to shut off your cellular telephone at the beginning of class.
Recording & Transcription
While you are encouraged to take notes in class, you may not make audio tapes or any other kind of recordings. Neither may you take or exchange class notes in return for remuneration. Violation of this policy will result in a failing grade for the course.
Use of laptop computers is also prohibited.
The following texts are required. The course pack is available for purchase from Unique Copies, 252 Greene Street. Book have been ordered through the N.Y.U. Book Center. Be certain to purchase exactly those listed below.
Flower, Michael. Xenophon’s Anabasis, or The Expedition of Cyrus.
Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature. New York: Oxford University Press
, 2012. I.S.B.N.: 978–0–19–518868–4.
Xenophon. The Anabasis of Cyrus,
translated and annotated by Wayne Ambler, with an introduction by Eric Buzzetti. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
, 2008. I.S.B.N: 978–0–8014–8999–0.
--------. The Education of Cyrus,
translated and annotated by Wayne Ambler. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. I.S.B.N: 0–8014–8750–1.
translated and annotated by Amy L. Bonnette, with an introduction by Christopher J. Bruell. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001. I.S.B.N.: 0–8014–8171–6.
--------. The Shorter Socratic Writings: Apology of Socrates to the Jury, Oeconomicus, and Symposium.
Robert C. Barlett, ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006. I.S.B.N.: 0–8014–7298–9.
Listed below is information for texts excerpted in the course pack and other recommended works.
Bruell, Christopher. “Xenophon.” Chapter in History of Political Philosophy,
third edition, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987): 90–117.
Diogenes Laertius. Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, with an English translation by R. D. Hicks. 2 volumes. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press, 1972. I.S.B.N.: 0–674–99203–2 (volume 1), 0–674–99204–0 (volume 2).
Gray, Vivienne J. The Framing of Socrates: The Literary Interpretation of Xenophon’s
Memorabilia. Hermes Einzelschriften
79. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998.
--------. Xenophon’s Mirror of Princes: Reading the Reflections.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
--------, ed. Xenophon.
Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Howland, Jacob. “Xenophon’s Philosophical Odyssey: On the Anabasis
and Plato’s Republic,
” American Political Science Review
94, 4 (December, 2000): 875–889.
Momigliano, Arnaldo. The Development of Greek Biography.
[1971.] Expanded edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Nails, Debra. The People of Plato: A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics.
Indianapolis: Hackett, 2002. I.S.B.N.: 0–87220–564–9.
Parker, Robert. “One Man’s Piety: The Religious Dimension of the Anabasis.
” Chapter 4 in The Long March: Xenophon and the Ten Thousand,
edited by Robin Lane Fox (New Haven: Yale University Press
, 2004): 131–153.
Strauss, Leo. Xenophon’s Socratic Discourse: An Interpretation of the Oeconomcus.
Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970. Reprinted at South Bend: St. Augustine Press, 1998.
--------. Xenophon’s Socrates.
[Commentaries on Memorabilia, Apology, Symposium.
] Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972. Reprinted at South Bend: St. Augustine Press, 1998.
Tatum. James. Xenophon’s Imperial Fiction: On the Education of Cyrus.
Princeton: Princeton University Press
Xenophon. Cavalry Commander.
In Hiero and Other Treatises,
translated by Robin Waterfield, with introductions and notes by Paul Cartledge. New York: Penguin Classics, 1997.
Walter Hill, director. Paramount Pictures
Schedule of Classes
Please complete the readings prior to the class at which they are first discussed. Be sure to bring the appropriate texts to class.
T 1/28: Introduction: Who is Xenophon? Diogenes Laertius, life of Xenophon.
T 2/4: Anabasis.
Flower, Anabasis. Paper I due.
T 2/11: Anabasis.
T 2/18: Anabasis.
Screening: The Warriors.
T 2/25: Cyropaedia.
Gray, Xenophon’s Mirror of Princes.
T 3/4: Cyropaedia.
Tatum, Xenophon’s Imperial Fiction.
T 3/11: Cyropaedia.
T 3/18: [Spring Break.]
T 3/25: Apology of Socrates. Oeconomicus. Paper II due.
T 4/1: Oeconomicus. Symposium.
T 4/8: Memorabilia.
Gray, The Framing of Socrates.
T 4/15: Memorabilia.
Grey, The Framing of Socrates.
T 4/22: Memorabilia.
T 4/29: Cavalry Commander.
T 5/6: Conclusion.
T 5/20: Final Paper Due.