Summary: The Education Of Cyrus

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Summary: The Education Of Cyrus

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Cyropaedia: The Education of Cyrus by XENOPHON read by Various Part 1/2 - Full Audio Book

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In turn it was a strong influence upon the most well-known but atypical of these, Machiavelli 's The Prince , which was an important influence in the rejection of medieval political thinking, and the development of modern politics. However, unlike most "mirrors of princes", whether or not the Cyropaedia was really intended to describe an ideal ruler is a subject of debate. In substance, the Cyropaedia is "a political romance, describing the education of the ideal ruler, trained to rule as a benevolent despot over his admiring and willing subjects. Although it is "generally agreed" that Xenophon "did not intend Cyropaedia as history", [2] it remains unclear whether this work was intended to fit into any other classical genre known before.

Its validity as a source of Achaemenid history has been repeatedly questioned, and numerous descriptions of events or persons have been determined to be in error. Despite such doubts, it has been argued that Xenophon's Cyropaedia offers a glimpse of the character of Cyrus the Great of Achaemenid Persia. The source gives "an artist's portrait" of Cyrus as "the Ideal Ruler and the best form of Government", a description that "could not have been painted had there not been a credible memory of such a Cyrus". Xenophon had been in Persia himself, as part of the " Ten Thousand " Greek soldiers who fought on the losing side in a Persian civil war, events which he recounted in his Anabasis. It is also possible that stories of the great King were recounted and embellished by court society and that these are the basis of Xenophon's text.

The book opens with the author stating that the work started as a reflection about what it is that makes people willingly obey some rulers and not others. Everywhere, the author observes, humans fail to obey their rulers; the one exception is Cyrus, king of the Persians, "who reduced to obedience a vast number of men and cities and nations". There then follows a list of the king's conquests, and the author seeks to understand why his subjects obeyed him "willingly".

The work narrates the king's entire life, and so only the first of the eight books concerns the "education of Cyrus" cyropaedia strictly speaking. This first book is devoted to Cyrus' descent, education and his stay at the court of his maternal grandfather, the Median dynast Astyages. It has been noted by scholars that Xenophon's description of Persian education in their pre-imperial time is strikingly unusual, and appears to be based upon the traditions of Sparta , the subject of Xenophon's own work the Constitution of the Lacedemonians. Books 2 through 7 cover Cyrus' life while still an important vassal of the Medes , on his career towards establishing the largest empire the world had known until that date.

It is in this main part of the work that the character Cyrus is often shown as an example of classical virtue, but is also at the same time often seen as using what would now be called Machiavellian tactics. In this version of events, Cyrus is a faithful vassal to the Medes, someone who initially helps them as a general to defend themselves from a much more powerful and assertive Babylonian empire, which was being ruled by the tyrannical son of a more respected king. He does this partly by carefully building up alliances with nations such as the Chaldeans , Hyrcanians , Cadusians , Saka , and Susians.

The remaining allies of Babylon included many nations of Asia Minor, as well as a corps of Egyptian infantry. By subtly comparing himself to Cyrus the Great, the Shah hoped to win popular support and remind Iranians of their heritage. The party was grossly expensive; quail eggs with pheasant and gilded caviar, and magnum bottles of Chateau Lafite were on the menu. She contends that the text of the Cyrus Cylinder is brief and, in official translations, lacks a formal affirmation of human rights.

Wright of Emory University believes that it paints too virtuous a picture of Cyrus the Great and glosses over the many bloody battles that he took part in during his conquest of Babylon. Unsupported Browser Detected. In The Education of Cyrus, Xenophon confronts the vexing problem of political instability by exploring the character and behavior of the ruler.

Impressive though his successes are, however, Cyrus is also examined in the larger human context, in which love, honor, greed, revenge, folly, piety, and the search for wisdom all have important parts to play. Wayne Ambler's prose captures the charm and drama of the work while also achieving great accuracy. His introduction, annotations, and glossary help the reader to appreciate both the engaging story itself and the volume's contributions to philosophy. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price.

Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art.

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