Xenophon’s Anabasis is a classic tale of high adventure. An army of 10,000 Greek warriors, far from home, find themselves in hostile territory, vastly outnumbered and in great peril. Their leader, Cyrus the Great, has been killed in battle along with a number of their other generals. They must undertake an unparalleled arduous trek and make a heroic fighting retreat to save themselves from certain death.
This story has regained popularity with each generation; in the more modern times, the story has been adapted into the Sol Yurik novel, The Warriors, as well as the movie version, and even the video game.
This true story, told by the man who became one of the leaders of the valiant band of warriors, was the stuff of legend. It is ingrained in the history of the Greeks as a cherished tale of overcoming hardship with courage and nearly superhuman endurance. Even Alexander the Great was said to have kept a copy of this book and to have often referred to it for inspiration.
Told in the third person, as were Caesar’s Commentaries, the style is simple, direct and unpretentious. Students of Greek Culture often find it a pleasure to read because of its uncomplicated style of writing in addition to being exciting story that accurately describes real people, places and times. This translation, by Professor H. G. Dakyns, retains the flavor of the original and includes embedded explanatory notes to help clarify references and unfamiliar geography.