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Essay by the late Professor Neal Wood, who gave me the manuscript in 1963. As far as I have found it was never published. I am typing it into the web site in honor of his many significant contributions to the history of political theory and his strong influence on my development of Machiavelli's conception of the relationship between the art of war and the army; and the political art and civic society. I was fortunate to participate in the year-long seminar on Machiavelli that Professor Wood conducted at Columbia University and comment for him (from my professional military perspective) on his preparation of a new edition of Machiavelli's Art of War in which his introduction is very important. Unfortunately, the last page of this manuscript, on which Dr. Wood elaborates on the parallels between Xenophon and Machiavelli, was lost. Please also refer to the essays on Machiavelli and on Xenophon in the Xenophon web site index.


- Xenophon deserves to be better known and more widely appreciated by students, scholars, and the reading public. The purpose of the following essay and selections is to indicate something of the intellectual originality of this ancient Greek soldier and country squire. (1) His importance in founding the theory of the art of war, often forgotten by laymen, is generally acknowledged by military specialists. But scholars have curiously neglected his pioneer achievement in the realm of political thought, and achievement arising from his military interests. He was the first western thinker to be deeply concerned with both military and political theory. One result of the dual concern was a momentous intellectual discovery: the idea of an army as a community to be founded and maintained by the general. Another closely related result was a unique preoccupation with leadership and the central political problem. Despite the radicalness of the approach, Xenophon remained faithful to the classical outlook of his contemporaries, Isocrates, Plato, Aristwotle, and Demonsthenes. In the future, however, thinkers like Machiavelli, by following the new direction suggested by Xenophon, were to create modern political science.


- My interest in Xenophon was first aroused while working on a forthcoming book on Machiavelli's political thought, research for which has been subsidized in part by a grant from Columbia University. I became convinced of the necessity of compiling such a volume as this after a stimulating discussion of Machiavelli at a dinner of the "Political Theorists" at Columbia University on June 24, 1962. The final form of the introductory essay owes much to the helpful criticism and comment of Herbert Deane of Columbia University and David Rapoport of the University of California, Los Angeles.


I -
Time, as if unsatisfied by the perpetual destruction of all men, must even obscure the records of the most fascinating among them. Such has been the fate of Xenophon, whose long life of over three score and ten years under three flags on two continents is largely a matter of informed conjecture and scholarly disputation. (2) What is known of his outlook and conduct has become practically synonymous with the highest Hellenic ideal of the gentleman. He was that rare combination of thought and action; warrior, sportsman, and farmer, who was able to write superbly on such of these activities. He was less successful in the Hellenica in recounting the history of his age, to which he made more than a minor contribution and in providing posterity in the Memorabilia with a portrait of Socrates. But these efforts in history and philosophy suffered not so much from his own intellectual mediocrity as from the fact that they were overshadowed by the incomparable work of Thucydides and Plato. Xenophon's life was a full one, touched briefly but with lasting affect by the inspiration of Socrates, a life that had triumphed heroically over man and nature in the epic trek through Asia Minor, that knew the passion of the chase, the peace of the countryside and the quiet contemplation of studious hours.


2 - The following biographical summary relies to a great extent upon Eduard Delebecq, Essai sur la vie da Xenophon (Paris: Klincksieck, 1957), 532 pp.; and Werner Jaeger, Paidaia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, translated by Gilbert Highet (New York: Oxford University Press, 1943), Vol. III, pp. 156-181. The introductions to the various volumes of the Loeb Library edition of Xenophon's works are useful, but tend to be outdated in the light of subsequent scholarship. There is little that is now of value in the more readily accessible articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.

And his was a full life in the sense that he had experienced personal tragedy as well as triumph, for his career was that of the wanderer, the exile, the bearer of arms against his patria, and his last graying years were spent in fruitlessly exhorting his countrymen to arise from their slough of corruption.
Xenophon like Plato was born of an aristocratic Athenian family, at about the same time as Plato, 427 or 426 B.C. Their famous contemporary, Isocrates, was somewhat older, and outlived both. Between Xenophon's birth and the beginning of his immortal journey in Asia (401 B.C.), he became acquainted with Socrates, although never one of his regular students, and undoubtly saw active military service as a cavalryman in the defense of his city during the last years of the Peloponnesian War. In early 401 B.C. an old family friend, the Boeotian soldier of fortune, Proxenus, who commanded a contingent of Greek mercenaries, invited Xenophon to be his companion and aide on the military expedition that Cyrus the Younger, Satrap of Asia Minor and brother of King Artaxerxes II of Persia, was organizing at Sardis, nominally for the purpose of conquering the long unsubdued Pisidians. Cyrus, very favorably impressed by the fighting ability of Greek infantry, was forming the largest army of Greek mercenaries ever before assembled, about 12,900, and 30,000 of his own native troops, largely cavalry and archers. Xenophon writes that he consulted Socrates, (3. Anabasis, III, i, 5-7) who cautioned him to seek the advice of Apollo at Delphi, fully realizing that it might be extremely imprudent for an Athenian to become too closely associated with Cyrus whose support of Sparta had contributed to ultimate Athenian defeat in the recent titanic thirty year struggle between the two cities. By nature, an adventurer impatient for action and youthfully unmindful of the future, Xenophon instead of asking Apollo whether he should go or not, simply inquired what gods he should worship in order that his journey might be successful.
Joining Proxenus at Sardis, Xenophon marched for six months with the army 1,500 miles to the Euphrates, where the real purpose of the campaign was revealed to be part of a carefully contrived plot of Cyrus to wrest the Persian throne from Artaxerxes. Too deeply involved to turn back, the Greeks took part in the battle against the monarch's forces at Cunaxa, sixty miles north of Babylon. With victory all but in his grasp, "Cyrus was killed, while rashly pressing forward to slay his brother. The Greeks, stranded in hostile territory without patron or guardian, and deserted by the rapidly disintegrating forces of their Persian allies, elected a seasoned Clearchus veteran, the Spartan Clearchus, to be their commander. however, Clearchus, Proxenus and the other Greek captains were treacherously murdered by the royal general, Tissaphernes, with whom they were negotiating. The Anabasis is the saga of the subsequent retreat homeward of "The Ten Thousand" under the leadership of the young, untried Xenophon, selected to replace Clearchus.
(4, A lucid and detailed account of The Ten Thousand is in H. W. Parks, Greek Greek Mercenary Soldiers: From the Earliest Times to the Battle of Ipsus, Clarendon Press, 1933, pp. 23-42.)
It was a trip of well over 2,000 miles by land and sea, accomplished in eighteen months northwards from Mesopotamia, through the alpine fastness of the fierce Kurdish tribesmen, to the eastern frontier of Armenia, across the river Araxes flowing into the Caspian Sea, and eventually westward to the modern Black Sea port of Trabson, from where they were able to proceed mainly by ship. Xenophon's baptism of command consisted of persistent harassment by marauding bands, first of Persians and then of Kurds, of the trials of arduous terrain, of the climatic extremes of desert and highland, of sickness, frost-bite, and snow-blindness, of the never ending problems of supply, of quarrel and conspiracy. Not least among Xenophon's achievements of generalship was the transformation of the inflexible Greek phalanx into a highly adaptable military instrument, employing such innovations as a reserve, light infantry tactics suitable for mountain warfare, and infantry approach formations anticipating modern practice.
After the return of the "Ten Thousand" in the early part of 399, Xenophon, banished by Athens as Socrates had feared, evidently remained in Asia ,where he married Philesia, sired two sons, Diodorus and Gryllus, and served Sparta in various military capacities. When in 396, to defend Spartan interests against the Persians under Tissaphernes, Agesilaus II, King of Sparta, personally led a large task force to Lydias, he was probably assisted by Xenophon, who became his close friend and great admirer, writing the well-known eulogy after his death in 360. Agesilaus, so we learn from the Hellenica, (5) decided to create large cavalry units in order to contend with the Persian horse on the great open plains to the east of the major Spartan base of Ephesus.
(5. Hellenica, III, iv, 15.).
It seems likely, although positive evidence is lacking, that Xenophon, because of his interest in cavalry and his experience in fending off the Persian attacks upon the rear-guard of "The Ten Thousand" retreating from Cunaxa, was involved in the training of the troops and the devising of tactics for the new enterprise. At any rate we do know that the Spartan cavalry proved itself in meeting the Persians, and won a substantial victory against the Thessalians in 394, under Agesilaus, (6) who was then back in Greece on his way to attack the Athenians and their allies at Corenea. Never before had a battle taken place between massed Greek cavalry formations (7), and for Agesilaus to defeat experienced masters of the craft like the Thessalians is tribute not only to his generalship, but also, if our speculation is correct, to the military prowess of Xenophon.


6. Hellenica, IV, iii, 3-9
7. J. F. C. Fuller, The Generalship of Alexander the Great, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1950), p. 42.)


Sometime following the Battle of Corenea in which Xenophon (at least according to Plutarch) fought under Agesilaus against his own city, he was honored by Sparta with the gift of an estate at Scillus in Elis, in the northwestern corner of the Peloponnesus. But it is improbable that Xenophon, undoubtedly engaged in military missions for his foster city over the next six or seven years, was able to enjoy immediately the life of a country squire.
Nearly two decades of retirement at Scillus were spent in supervising the estate, for Xenophon was keenly interested in agriculture and farm management as we know from the Oeconomicus, and, of course, there were his other two loves, riding and hunting. Here also he had ample leisure to reflect upon things past, to read and to write. Since the chronology of his writings is a matter of lively debate among scholars the best that can be done is to list the works that must have been commenced durig this period, if not before, mindful that very few, if any, were completed at this time: Cynegeticus (On Hunting): Constitution of the Lacedaemonians: Anabasis; Apology of Socrates; the first two books of the Memorabilia, a defense written to counter the anti-Socratic pamplet of the sophist, Polycrates, which appeared between 393 and 390; Oeconomicus (Estate Management); On Horsemanship; and Hellenica, a continuation of Thucydides' history down to the Battle of Mantinea (362 B. C.). War between Sparta and Elis in 371 necessitated Xenophon's giving up the idyllic life of Scillus. He moved to Corinth were he remained until permitted to return to his native city, between 365 and 360, a reconciliation facilitated by the alliance signed by a Athens and Sparta in 369. Reunion with Athens after an exile of over thirty five years seemed to release within Xenophon a reserve of creative energy enabling him to complete the works already begun and several important new ones: Symposium, Cyropaedia, Hiero, Agesilaus, Hipparchicus (On the Cavalry Commander), and Ways and Means. The last two were patriotic addresses to his fellow citizens urging particular reforms of the military and economy for a decaying city that was never able to approach her former greatness. Of the final days of Xenophon there is no trace. His epitaph and that of other great men of his city and his century might read: "To Athens he owed everything as he owed nothing."


Xenophon's reputation has suffered a very obvious decline since the last century. Although by the time Milton was guiding his nephews through the pages of the Anabasis and the Cyropaedia, Xenophon was becoming staple English schoolboy fare, today few Americans, except for college Greek students, trouble to read him. Even the Anabasis seems to have lost its former literary appeal. Primarily because of the meticulous researching of German scholarship, Xenophon is no longer considered a creditable source for the character or the intellect of Socrates. Upon scientific scrutiny the Hellenica has failed to pass muster as either good history or chronology. Sophisticates since the Abbe Fenelon generally apply the somewhat condescending descriptions "historical novel' or 'philosophical romance' to the Cyropaedia. In sum, the all too apparent contemporary verdict is one of a lack of intellectual profundity and creative invention.
Nowhere is the neglect of Xenophon more noticeable than in the history of political thought. This is not so much a matter of a decline of prestige as the fact that recognition has never been accorded. However high his reputation was until recent years, Xenophon was never ranked among the great political thinkers. Two widely read textbooks, Raymond G. Gettell's History of Political Thought (1924) and George H. Sabine's A History of Political Theory (1937), pay no heed to Xenophon. A more specialized volume, long judged something of a classic, Sir Ernest Barker's Greek Political Theory: Plato and His Predecessors (1918) attests to little of significance in Xenophon, allotting less than two pages to a discussion of his political thought (half the space given to Isocrates). Professor T. A. Sinclair, in A History of Greek Political Thought (1951), dismisses the Memorabilia as "not of much importance in political thought" and criticizes the Cyropaedia for being "so barren of thought and lacking in coherence." About the only recent sympathetic studies of Xenophon available to the English reader and relevant to the history of political thought are the opuscula of Professor Leo Strauss on the Hiero, and the late Werner Jaeger's valuable essay, "Xenophon; The Ideal Squire and Soldier", in the third volume of his Paidaia: The Ideals of Greek Culture. To the French we are greatly indebted for a recent revival of interest in Xenophon as a political thinker, in particular two excellent works; Les Idees politiques et sociales de Xenophon (1947) of M. Jean Luccioni, and the exhaustive and imaginative reconstruction by Professor Edouard Delabecque in his Erssi sur la via der Xenophon (1957).
Students and practitioners of military science, however, have always held Xenophon in high esteem. Ancient military writers refer to him with respect. Arrian, who called himself Xenophon and came to be known as "Xenophon the Younger" entitled his important history of Alexander, the Anabasis. The first modern military writer, Machiavelli, does not hesitate to acknowledge his debt to the Greek. The great reformation of the western European army in the seventeenth century was in no small part due to the revival of interest in the classical military writers, Xenophon, Polybius, Aelian Tacticus, Frontinus, and Vegetius. (8). Justus Lipsius, a profound influence upon the two European innovators, Maurice of Nassau, and Gustavus Adolphus was a translator of Xenophon (9)


8. See the provacative essay by David Rapoport, "The Soldier and the Civilian: Neo-Classical Theory," mimeographed paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, St. Louis, Mo., September 6-9, 1961, p. 11.
9. Ibid, p.6


In our own age Colonel Theodore A. Dodge writes:
Xenophon is the father of the system of retreat, the originator of all that appertains to the science of rear-guard fighting. He reduced its management to a perfect method. More originality in tactics has come from the Anabasis that from any other book. Every system of war looks to this as to the fountain-head when it comes to rearward movements. (10) The conclusion of Colonel J. M. Scannell's interesting article in The Army Quarterly is: "He proved himself great soldier and a consummate leader of men. He was the pupil of a great philosopher, and the master who taught our forefathers the Art of War." (11) These opinions are seconded by Colonel Oliver Lyman Spaulding who terms the Anabasis the earliest work on military history, (12) and concedes Xenophon to be the founder of military science. (13). The Cambridge historian, Mr. G. T. Griffith, suggests that "More signs of the inventive spirit were shown during the one year of the adventures of the Ten Thousand than in ten years of manoevers and fighting by the standing army of Jason or of the Phocians, (14) and M. Luccioni describes the Anabasis as a "kind of breviary of command." (15)


10. Theodore A. Dodge, Alexander (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1890) Vol. I, p. 105. Non-military men who write on the ancient art of war seem less favorably inclined toward Xenophon than do professional soldiers who are students of military history. For example, compare the works cited below by Scannell, by Spaulding, and by Fuller with the following; F. E. "Adcock, The Greek and Macedonian art of War (Berkeley and Los Angeles; University of California Press, 1962); H. W. Parke, op., cit., pp. 23-42; W. W. Tarn, Hellenistic Military and Naval Developments (Cambridge: University Press, 1930).
11. J. M. Scannell, "The Art of Command According to Xenophon." The Army Quarterly (Vol, IX, January, 1925), p. 365.
12. Oliver Lyman Spaulding, Pen and Sword in Greece and Rome (Princeton; Princeton University Press, 1937, p. 18.
13. Ibid., p. 14, and Spaulding, "Ancient Warfare; To the Death of Julius Caesar", Part I of Military Methods from the Earliest Times, edited by Oliver Lyman Spaulding, Hoffman Nickerson, and John Womack Wright with a Preface by General Tasker H. Bliss (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925), p. 7
14. G. T. Griffith, The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (Cambridge: University Press, 1935), p. 5.
15. Jean Luccioni, Les Idees politiques et sociales de Xenophon (Paris, Ophrys, 1947). p. 47.


Major General J. F. C Fuller refers to Xenophon as a "noted cavalry tactician" (16) and an expert on mountain warfare, (17) and gives the Cyropaedia its due by calling it "largely a text book on generalship." (18). Xenophon, according to Professor Delebecque's final evaluation, is " The ancestor of modern cavalry, the first theoretician of encircling tactics; he foresaw the advantages of the surprise attack like Pearl harbor, and the perils of gigantic expeditions like the campaigns in Russia." (19) Obviously Xenophon was not the only military commentator of his age. However, technical manuals, a fairly common genre by the late fifth century, if any were written on military subjects, have not survived. But Xenophon, perhaps, must still share honors as the founder of the theory of the art of war with Aeneas Tacticus, whose On the Defense of Fortified Positions, (ca. 357-356 B. C.) is the only extant military writing of his large corpus. Even if certain of the details of Book VII of the Hellenica, Book III of the Memorabilia, and the Hipparchicus are indebted to Aeneas, as suggested by Professor Delebecque, (20) one may still argue that Xenophon's most fundamental military ideas were conceived long before the publication of the treatise of Aeneas.
All of this, nevertheless, is a matter of speculation not central to our view that Xenophon was the first Greek to write extensively on both military and political theory. In view of the very basic role of war in the life of classical antiquity, (21) it is surprising to note that of the Hellenic "political thinkers" of the fifth and fourth centuries whose works have come down to us (Herodotus, Thucydides, Isocrates, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Demosthenes), Xenophon was alone in writing on military science and generalship. Herodotus, and Thucydides, of course, described in detail conspiracies, military expeditions and battles. From Thucydides, especially, a great deal can be learned about the ancient art of war, (22) yet his brilliance is not that of a military analyst. Despite Thucydides' incomparable superiority as a historian, Xenophon's description of military formations and operations is generally more detailed, more accurate and more lucid. (23)


16. Fuller, op., cit., p. 57.
17. Ibid., p. 241.
18. Ibid., p. 53. Spaulding in Pen and Sword also thinks that the Cyropaedia is more than a historical romance. He maintains; "So, to get the opportunity to discuss his military theories, he had to invent a new form of writings the result was the Cyropaedia. This is neither history nor biography, nor yet a historical novel; but shares in the characteristics of all, and it gives the writer the chance he sought." (p[. 34) And again in regard to the description of the battle plans of Cyrus against Croesus in Cyropaedia, VII, "Xenophon here is far ahead of his times. No Greek general before Alexander ever attempted such broadly planned maneuvers, or succeeded in getting such cooperation out of his various arms." (pp. 42-43)
19. Delebecque, op., cit., p. 504
20. Ibid., p. 430.
21. On the importance of war in Greek civilization see Adcock, op., cit., pp. 1-13; Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City: A study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome (New York: Doubleday Anchor, n.d), pp. 205-210; Viktor Ehrenberg, The Greek State (Oxford: Blackwell, 1960), pp. 80-82; Fuller, op., cit., pp. 16-18. The role of military training in Greek life is particularly emphasized by David Rapoport, "A Comparative Theory of Military and Political Types," in Changing Patterns of Military Politics, edited by Samuel P. Huntington (New York; The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962), pp. 80-82.
22. Thucydides' value in this respect is stressed by Adcock, op., cit., pp. 99-100.
23. Dodge, op., cit., Vol I, p. 137; Francis R. B. Godolphin in the introduction to his anthology, The Greek Historians: The Complete and unabridged Historical Works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Arrian (New York; Random House, 1941). Vol I, p xxxii; Spaulding, Pen and Sword, pp. 13,18. Major General J. F. C. Fuller, op., cit., relies much more upon Xenophon than upon Thucydides (contrary to Adcock) for the details of the ancient military art. His references to the former are pp. 18, 19,42, 44-45, 50n, 53, 57, 75,709, 148n, 241; to the later, pp. 18, 43, 47, 57. In this connection fn. 10, above.


Nor does Thucydides ever discuss the theory of the art of war and its implications for life as a whole. In Plato and Aristotle we discover little systematic discussion of the art of war, except qualified praise of the military virtues and extensive prescriptions for the military training of youth. The student invariably comes away from reading Plato with only a rather meager impression of the vital part played by war in the ancient world. Considering that Aristotle devoted the first of eight books of the Politics to economics (estate management), and wrote a treatise on rhetoric, two arts absolutely indispensable in the eyes of the educated Greek to the political art, his lack of attention to military science is puzzling, all the more so since he tutored the young warrior-prince destined to be one of the great masters of warfare. Admittedly specialists wrote on and taught the subject, like Xenophon and Aeneas Tacticus, and the sophists, Euthydamus and Dionysodous of Chios, (24) were also experts on rhetoric and economics. A lack of personal knowledge of war cannot excuse the neglect of military science because most of these men of letters, like all Greek citizens of the age, had born arms for their polis. One need only recall Alcibiades' eloquent description of the valorous behavior of his mess-mate, Socrates, on the campaign in Potidea, (25) or Laches' praise of Socrates' example in the retreat from Delium, (26) or Socrates' obvious pride in his own military conduct. (27) Therefore, although fused in classical practice, political and military considerations tended to be separated in classical theory, forming as it were 'two cultures' to use Sir Charles Snow's felicitous expression, with the political theorists from Plato to Cicero forming one culture, and the military writers from Aeneas Tacticus to Vegetius forming the other. Only Xenophon and perhaps Polybius, whose military treatises are unfortunately lost, participated in both cultures. To do justice to Xenophon's unique contribution to classical intellectual history the nature of the relationship between his military and his political ideas must be analyzed. The obvious place to begin is with what he knew best and excelled in, the military art. The distinctiveness of his thought upon the subject can be appreciated most adequately by comparison with the views of Plato and Aristotle.


24. Plato in Euthydemus, 271-273, mentions that Euthydamus and Dionysodous are skilled in the art of armored combat; Xenophon in Memorabilia,III, , refers to Dionysodorus as a teacher of generalship, and discusses the lessons he has given a young student, perhaps himself.
25 Plato, Symposium, 220-221.
26. Plato, Laches, 181.
27. Plato, Apology, 28,
28. G. P. Snow, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, the Rede lectures, 1959, (Cambridge: University Press, 1959). Sir Charles is referring not to classical times, but to the "gulf of mutual incomprehension' p. 4) existing between literary and scientific worlds today.


The attitude of Plato and Aristotle toward war may be summarized in terms of their idealistic moral condemnation of war, realistic acceptance of war as a necessary means of realizing a higher good, and their misleading classification of war as an acquisitive art. Plato's rejection of war on moral grounds is best illustrated by his remarks upon the causes of war. War, he affirms, results from all that is irrational in life. Men may quarrel because they differ as to what is just and unjust, (29) or because of the lusts of body and the need for money to satisfy these lusts. (30) With the growth of a luxurious society, the appetites increase and are contained only with the greatest difficulty. (31). The original territory of the polis will prove too small for the new demands for luxury, for the insatiable appetite for wealth, and for the unrestrained growth of population. Wars of an imperialistic nature seem to be the only means of satisfying the expanding demands of a luxurious society. And, naturally, a luxurious society will be threatened by internal strife arising from the concentration of excessive wealth in the hands of a few and the wide spread poverty of the many. (32). The consequence will be a condition in which tyrants attempt to seize power and foment war with neighboring cities in order to externalize domestic discontents and to create continual demand for their leadership. (33).


29. Euthyphro 7, I Alcibidades, 111,112.
30. Phaedo, 66.
31. The Republic, II, 373.
32. The Republic IV, 421-422.
33. The Republic, VIII, 567


War then is an important symptom of deep-rooted social malignancy. (34). Moreover, it is an activity as irrational as the matrix from which it springs, for the outcome of armed conflict is subject to the whims of fortune, and is never precisely calculable. (35). Plato renounces the extremely pessimistic view that all men live and must live in a state of perpetual war. (36). Peace is far superior to military victory just as a sound body is to be preferred to one that has been brought back to health by the purging of the physician. The glorification of war by the Spartan poet, Tyrtaeus, and of the military virtue of courage by Theognis are not acceptable to Plato. Courage is obviously important, although only as part of virtue, and not as the sole or highest virtue. Neither amusement nor learning of any value can be gained from waging of war. (37). Aristotle generally agrees with Plato in regard to the irrationality of the origins and nature of war. (38). Perhaps because warfare was so much a part of their lives, the Greek contemporaries of Plato and Aristotle shared their aversion to it, particularly after the thirty years holocaust between Athens and Sparta. (39). No longer individual sportive duels between antagonists, war had become a grim, organized, and ruinous affair.


34. All of Book VIII of The Republic can be considered an illustration of this precept.
35. The Republic, V 467.
36. Laws, I, 626-630. |
37. Laws, VIi, 803.
38. Politics, 1256b, 1334a.
39. Adcock, op., cit., 102, 9-11.


Even Isocrates, who called upon his fellow Greeks to unite behind the banner of Philip of Macedon for an invasion of Persia, advised that sovereign in 342 B. C. to conquer the good will and friendship of a people instead of their cities. (40)
However, Plato and Aristotle realistically accept war as a necessary evil that can be ignored only at the peril of extinction. In condemning cities whose sole purpose is war, (41) Sparta and Crete, for example, they nevertheless uphold preparations for defense and wars of defense and in their prescriptions for the rational organization of society they gave ample attention to military arrangements. Aristotle expresses the attitude of Plato when he maintains that training in war is of the utmost importance for the prevention of enslavement, (42) believing that an essential qualification of the political orator is a sound knowledge of war and national defense. (43). In their recommendations, both thinkers stipulate that war should always remain instrumental and never be an end in itself. Plato reasons that the art of war is a ministerial art, along with rhetoric and the administration of justice, all properly subordinated to and serving the sovereign art of politics (44). The political art determines what should and should not be done. Is force or persuasion to be used against a people? Is war or peace to be declared? Policy formulations, direction, and coordination are the functions of the royal art, while the ministerial arts are to execute its orders.


40. Isocrates, To Philip, 21.
41. Plato, Laws, I, 626; Aristotle, Politics, 1333b.
42. Politics, 1333b.
43. Rhetoric, 1359b-1360a.
44. Statesman, 304-305.


From a somewhat different perspective the art of war may be said to be a cooperative art in relation to the causal art of politics, in much the same way as the art of making spindles and combs is related to the actual fabrication of cloth. (45) Or the royal art vis-a-vis the art of war may be designated the art that uses what another art makes or acquires. (46). Finally, Plato insists that the royal art is qualitatively distinct from and higher than the practical and manual arts, such as the art of war, because of its intellectual nature. (47) At the very beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics, (48) Aristotle distinguishes between the purposes of various arts, suggesting a hierarchy of ends. The arts he mentions are medicine, shipbuilding, victory, and wealth. If each of these is a master art, then subordinate to each are lesser arts with lesser ends. For example we can start at the bottom of such a hierarchy as he indicates and ascend to the top: from bridle-making, to riding, to warfare, to the political art at the apex. As an end the military art is only a qualified good, a means to the good life which results from the happiness of living in association with friends. (49). The art of war, part of the vita activa, must be pursued in order to secure peace: without peace there can be no leisure so necessary for the supreme end. the vita contemplativa. (50)


45. Statesman, 281-282.
46. Euthydamus, 289-291.
47. Statesman, 258.
48. Nicomachean Ethics, 1094a-1094b; 1097b.
49. Politics, 13215a.
50. Politics, 1333a-1333b.


Because Plato and Aristotle misconstrue the art of war as an acquisitive art they seem to overlook one of its cardinal features. Plato identifies generalship with the art of hunting man. (51) Like the hunter the general captures the prey to be used by a superior art; in the one case, economics, in the other, politics. This major characteristic of the art of war is made quite explicit in a lengthy disquisition in the Sophist on the distinction between the acquisitive and the creative arts. (52). All the acquisitive arts are concerned with conquest by word or deed, or the prevention of such conquest, and not with the production of anything new, the field of the creative arts. Among the acquisitive arts are learning and congnition, trade, fighting, and hunting. Creative arts include agriculture, politics, shipbuilding, painting, sculpture, and poetry. Two kinds of acquisitive art are exchange and conquest by force of deed or word. In turn, conquest by force is accomplished by fighting or by hunting. Hunting of tame animals, i.e. man, is either by violence or persuasion. Piracy, kidnapping, tyranny and the art of war are violent types of hunting man; while the arts of the lawyer, the conversationalist, the sophist and the lover are the persuasive kinds of hunting man. Aristotle develops this idea of war as an acquisitive art by comparing it to economics (estate management).


50. Politics, 1333a-1333b.
51. Euthydamus, 289-291; also Laws, VII, 823-824.
52. Sophist, 219-223.


The acquisition of property differs from the management of property by providing what the other is to use. (53). Hence hunting, must be separated from economics, because the huntsman furnishes the estate manager with food and is subordinate to his supervision. In a comparable fashion the soldier supplies the polis with slaves; featherless bipeds are his prey. Economics and politics are moral arts because they deal with human relationships which should be rendered as excellent as possible. (54). The connection between economics and politics is concisely made by Plato in the Statesman when he draws the analogy between a small polis and a large estate, between king and estate manager. (55). Plato and Aristotle see no similarity between the art of war on the one hand, and politics and economics on the other. Neither hunting nor war is a moral art; they are not concerned with right or wrong, simply with mastery of violence, an activity that can never characterize the essence of statesmanship or stewardship. (56) The short coming of the approach of Plato and Aristotle to the art of war is their identification of it too closely with the huntsman's tracking and capture of his prey. By so doing the crucial managerial function of the general is completely neglected. If the hunting metaphor is to be used, then the general must be considered as a master huntsman leading a large party in the chase. He is the center of a friend-foe relationship. Against the foe, his prey, he must employ all the skills of deceit and violence.


53. Politics, 1256a-1256b.
54. Politics, 1359b.
55. Statesman, 259.
56. Politics, 1325b.


Toward the friend, the members of his hunting party, he must exert all the arts of persuasion and direction, if the foe is to be captured. Plato admits that war is a highly skilled art. (57) much more advanced than that of architecture, or that of making clothing and household furnishings. (58). Generalship is an empirical art dependent upon long experience and infinite attention to detail, (59) requiring the practical use of arithmetic and geometry, (60 and calling for great courage. (61). But Plato and Aristotle fail to examine the general's skill in commanding his troops, a skill comparable to the economic and political art.
Xenophon concurs with Plato and Aristotle that peace is preferable to war, and that military science is an instrument to be used by the royal art. Naturally, as a professional soldier, and one long associated with Sparta, he tends to give greater emphasis to the military virtues and to technical military maters, than his two contemporaries. In addition and more importantly he views all things from a military perspective. When it comes to the relationship between the art of war and the other arts, he repeats some of the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. The difference between the art if war and the art of politics is the difference between dealing with friend and foe. (62).


57. The Republic, XX, 374.
58. Protagoras, 322.
59. Philebus, 55-56.
60. The Republic, VII, 522.
61. Laws, I, 639-640.
62. Cyropaedia, I, vi, 26-41.


Life in the polis is concerned with friends and fellow-citizens; it calls for uprightness, honesty and justice in all human relationships, virtues that should be stressed in civic education. War on the contrary is a relationship between foes. Victory against the foe is the end. In such an activity one should never by choice meet the foe in equal terms, but always attempt to gain every advantage over him by using every kind of craft and stratagem. (63). An adversary in war is to be trusted like a beast of prey tracked by the huntsman. Consequently civic education should be supplemented by hunting, for although youth must not be taught to be deceitful toward their neighbors, they can certainly utilize in wartime what they learn from long training and experience in the chase. (64).
It is in Xenophon's lengthy descriptions of the ideal general and the nature of his art, the first in classical literature, that we find him radically departing from the views of Plato and Aristotle, and herein is his genius. Three such quotations are given below, each from a different work, (65) that illustrates his originality as a thinker:


63. Also see Hipparchicus, V.
64. For the civic value of hunting see Cynegeticus, XII-XIII, and Plato, Laws, VI, 763.
65. The quotations are from works in the chronological order suggested by Delebecque, op., cit., Chs 10-12. They span last years, from 365 to 355/54 B. C.


But your true cheat and prince of swindlers is he who can lure the enemy on and throw him off his guard, suffer himself to be pursued and get the pursuers into disorder, lead the foe into difficult ground and then attack him there. Indeed as an ardent student, you most not confine yourself to the lessons you have learned; you must show yourself a creator and discoverer, you must invent strategems against the foe; just as a real musician is not content with the mere elements of his art, but sets himself to compose new themes. and if in music it is the novel melody, the flower-like freshness, that wins popularity, still more in military matters it is the newest contrivance that stands the highest, for the simple reason that such will give you the best chance of outwitting your opponent. (66)
66. Cyropaedia, I, vi, 37-38 (Dakyns' translation).


But, after all, no man, however great his plastic skill, can hope to mould and shape a work of art to suit his fancy, unless the stuff on which he works be first prepared and made ready to obey the craftsman's will. Nor certainly where the raw material consists of men, will you succeed, unless, under God's blessing, these same men have been prepared and made ready to meet their officer in a friendly spirit. (67)
67. Hipparchicus, VI, 1 (Dakyns' translation).


Quotation: A general must be ready in furnishing the material of war: in providing the commissariat for his troops; quick in devices, he must be full of practical resource; nothing must escape his eye or tax his endurance; he must be shrewd and ready of wit, a combination at once of clemency and fierceness, of simplicity and of insidious craft; he must play the part of watchman, of robber; now prodigal as a spendthrift, and again close-fisted as a miser, the bounty of his munificence must be equalled by the narrowness of his greed; impregnable in defense, a very dare-devil in attack, these and many other qualities must he possess who is to make a good general and minister of war; they must come to him by gift of nature or through science. No doubt it is a grand thing also to be a tactician, since there is all the difference in the world between an army properly handled in the field and the same in disorder; just as stones and bricks, woodwork and tiles, tumbled together in a heap are of no use at all, but arrange them in a certain order - at bottom and atop materials which will not crumble or rot, such as stones and earthen tiles, and in the middle between the two put bricks and woodwork, with eye to architectural principle, and finally you get a valuable possession - to wit a dwelling-place. (68)
68. Memorabilia, III, i, 6-7 (Dakyns' translation).


These three passages comprise a mile stone in the history of social and political thought because each compares some aspect of the art of war to the creative activity of the three supreme fine arts of ancient Greece: the devising of new strategems against the enemy, to musical composition; the disciplining of an army, to the imposition of the sculptor's will upon his material; the tactical training of an army (ordering of troops in camp, in march, and in battle), to architecture. Together, the statements are an argument by a soldier against the commonly held "layman's" view, articulated by Plato and Aristotle, that military science is solely an acquisitive art, quite distinct from the creative or productive arts. Xenophon contends that the acquisitive aspect of war entails and innovating activity, and even more significantly that the vital role of the general is the creation and maintenance of an army that will be able to execute his commands. (69) With this discovery Xenophon can proceed to make comparisons between a military community and other forms of human association. (70). Perhaps his most interesting analogy, unheard of in contemporary literature, is that between the estate manager and the general. (71) Both are concerned with providing their subordinates with supplies, with the selection of the right man for the right job, with the safety and welfare of their charges, with winning their affection, gaining their obedience, and punishing and rewarding evil-doers and good-doers as the case may be.


69. A recent highly regarded practitioner of the art of war, Field Marshal the Viscount Slim of Burma, might be taking a leaf from Xenophon when he writes: "To watch a highly skilled, experienced, and resolute commander controlling a hard-fought battle is to see, not only a man triumphing over the highest mental and physical stresses, but an artist producing his effects in the most complicated and difficult of all the arts. See William J. Slim, Defeat Into Victory (New York: McKay, 1961), p. 371.
70. For a present-day discussion of the similarities between civil and military society see Rapoport, "The Soldier and the Civilian: Neo-Classical Themes, " pp. 1-2.
71. Memorabilia, III,iv.


Both must win friends and supporters, go about their business in an industrious and meticulous fashion, prudently planning their future course of action. While Plato and Aristotle compare estate management and statecraft, Xenophon dwells upon the similarity of generalship to both economics and politics, (72) reasoning that the chief difference between private and public affairs is one of quantity, not of kind. The ship, the estate, the army, and the polity, Xenophon fully realizes, are social organizations which are alike in that they are dependent upon the proper ordering of the relationships among the individuals who compose them for the sake of achieving specific ends. One essential factor, however, separates the activity of directing sailors, farmers, and soldiers from civil rule. In the first three the end of management can be easily defined and readily agreed upon: a safe voyage to the destination; agriculture productive of wealth; victory over the enemy. A theoretical treatment of these arts will center upon the means of gaining these ends. Not so is the theory of politics which in the ancient world concentrates upon the question of defining the ends of human activity. The great political debates of the philosophers of antiquity, the Sophists, Academics, Peripatetics, Cynics, Epicureans, and Stoics were over the nature of the highest human end: "justice," "happiness," the "good life".


72. M. Luccioni in his penetrating analysis, op., cit., pp. 44-46, stresses the importance of Xenophon's military experience on his general outlook. On p. 102 he refers to the assimilation of politics, economics and the art of war in Xenophon's thought, and on p. 103 to the fact that the identification of economics and politics is found in Plato, reflecting a common classical proclivity. But Luccioni fails to note that Xenophon was the first to extend this identification to include the art of war. Xenophon's "discovery" of the military community and the intellectual consequences of the discovery never seem to have been recognized before.


Any comment upon means was only incidental to and contingent upon the values of the philosopher. Given, for example, the description of ends and means in The Republic, the reader is never told except in the broadest outline how he as a man confronting other men can effect Plato's recommendations. Now if someone approaches political theory from an intensely practical interest in how to command an army and lead it to victory, or in how to manage a country estate and make it pay off, he may well tend to emphasize means rather than ends, to think of politics in terms of administration, the management of men, the struggle to achieve and secure power. (73) Xenophon does exactly this, approaching all fields of human endeavor from the standpoint of a soldier, a commander of men. Regardless of wether he is speaking of an estate or a polity, he thinks as a general of an army. To him the squire is essentially a general, the king is a general, and the central problem of each is that of the general, recruiting, training, marching his army and engaging the enemy in battle. (74) It is the problem of the techniques to be used to get men to do one's bidding, of exercising one's will over others, in short the problem of command and obedience. Each action and utterance of the leader is judged by the criterion of its usefulness in solving this problem. (75). Of course, Xenophon does not disregard values; from our knowledge of him he is the model of Greek gentleman.


73. Ibid., pp. 53-54, for a similar discussion of Xenophon's "practical approach."
74, Ibid., esp, pp. 53-59, 87, 104, for Luccioni's idea of Xenophon's general theory of the 'chief:"
75. Ibid, p. 49.,


But he accepts these values uncritically and focuses his intellectual talents upon what he deems to be the secret of success in public and private affairs, the knowledge of handling men or the art of command, necessary for success in polity, army, farm, household, even in love. (76) With Xenophon, then, begins what in modern jargon might be called the psychology of human relations. (77)
76. Memorabilia, III, iv, 12, Oeconomicus, XXI, 2.
77. Luccione, op., cit., p. 55, the "Chief" as psychologist.


According to Xenophon the foundations of obedience are compulsion, self-interest, and rational organization. Rules of behavior must be established and compliance to them expected of all. The leader exacts obedience in his followers through instilling fear among them by threat of punishment for incompetent and disloyal service and through rewarding good behavior. Animals are trained by punishment and reward, (78) an indispensable means also of exerting command among humans, whether by estate managers, military commanders, or civic rulers. (79) He who aspires to leadership, however, must employ the compulsion of punishment and reward in a discriminating fashion if he is to avoid the hatred and contempt of his associates. Clearchus, the Spartan commander serving Cyrus the Younger, who took pride in his severity, believing that soldiers should fear their superiors more than the enemy, lost a great many men through desertion. (80)


78. Oeconomicus, XIII,6.8.
79. Oeconomicus, IV, 7-11, IX, 14-15, XIV, 3-7; Memorabilia, III, iv, 8; Hiero, IX, 1-2; Cyropaedia, I, vi, 1-2, VIII, i, 16-20, 29.
80. Anabasis, II, vi, 9-14.


In contrast, Xenophon's friend, the Boeotian Proxenus, strove to win the love of his subordinates, and ended by being an object of contempt because instead of punishing wrongdoers, he merely withheld praise from them (81). Even if punishment and reward are applied circumspectly they certainly do not constitute a sufficient means of instituting and maintaining a discipline that is characterized by a spirited and determined loyalty. To achieve this, obedience must be given voluntarily rather than under compulsion, as Cambyses explains to his son. (82). Those who obey voluntarily do so because they realize that it is in their positive interest to do so.
The true test of the leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril (83) They will so act if their leader by his kindness and thoughtfulness, by his superior example, and by the incentives he provides, becomes an object of affection and admiration, and establishes a lasting conviction that it is to their advantage to obey. (84)


81. Anabasis, II, i, 20.
82. Cyropaedia,5.
83. Oeconomicus, IV, 18-19; XXI, 7.
84 Memorabilia, III, iii, 11-15.


In his all-important efforts to win the affection of his men, the leader of whatever kind, must treat them as friends, (86) a precept relevant, as Xenophon believes, even to the art of the courtesan who by adopting the manner of friendship can be assured of an ardent and idolizing clientele, continually contending for her favors. (87). All that the leader does must be a demonstration to his subordinates that he consistently is thinking of their welfare and working for their benefit. (88). The safety and security of his charges should be a matter of continual concern to the farmer, and to the cavalry commander directing an attack or retreat, superintending a camp or a march. (89). Good food and adequate housing are of supreme importance in the exercise of command. (90). Xenophon is the first to stress the crucial logistical role of supplying an army. (91) Highest priority must be given by the general to his soldiers' rations. No leader can afford to neglect the health and physical well being of his wards, seeing that they receive proper medical attention when needed. (92). Every dealing with his men must be marked by justice (93) and generosity. (94).


85. Memorabilia, III, iv, 9; Oeconomicus, XII, 5-7; Hipparchicus, VI, 1.
86. Hiero, I, 33; III.
87. Memorabilia, III, xi, 11-13.
88. Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 2; Hipparchicus, VI, 2. ;
89. Memorabilia, III, ii, 2-4; Hipparchicus, VI, 2.
90. Memorabilia, III, ii, 1-4; Hipparchicus, VI, 3.
91. Cyropaedia, I, vi, 9, 12. Note the commend of Major-General Fuller, op., cit., p. 53.
92. Oeconomicus, VII, 37; Hipparchicus, VI, 3; Cyropaedia, I, vi, 15; Vi, i, 23-25; VIII, ii, 24-25.
93. Oeconomicus, IX, 13-15, Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 27.
94. Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 7-23; Hiero, XX.


But affection for the leader will not be enough to strengthen discipline and morale unless his ability is acknowledged. Xenophon's "good leader" excels his men in their tasks. (95) By personal example he must convince them of his superiority. If he fully succeeds, his men, with love in their hearts, will follow him through thick and thin to the ends of the earth. Contempt and disrespect will be the penalty of his failure, especially if his excellence proves to be fraudulent. (96) The squire must set an example of painstaking and preserving care. 97) The cavalry commander must distinguish himself by his skill in riding and in arms, by his tactical mastery, by his courage and physical endurance. (98) Personal qualities of conduct and character are as necessary as expertise. King Agesilaus XX of Sparta was a model of industry and law abidingness, cheerful and dignified, leading a simple life of moderation. (99) Cyrus the Great, outstanding in his piety and justice, his honoring of obedience, and his temperance, was like a "living law" to his subjects. (100) He would always lead his nobles in the chase, offering them a high standard of the gentlemanly attainments to emulate. (101)


95. Cyropaedia, X, vi, 6.
96. Cyropaedia, X, vi, 22-25.
97. Oeconomicus, XII, 18-20.
98. Memorabilia, XXX, ii, 9-10; Hipparchicus, VI, 4-6; VIII, 21-22.
99. Agesilaus, V, 3; VII, 2.
100. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 22-23.
101. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 34-37.


Words without deeds to substantiate them are disastrous, but the powers of oratory and persuasion are extremely helpful to the leader when they serve as the proper setting for his acts. Oratory, used sparingly and at the right moment by the general or the statesman, will quiet the discontented and subdue the mutinous, lift men's flagging spirits, rally them in defeat, spur them to attack, dramatize their leader's prowess, and inspire them anew with the confidence that under his guidance everything is to be gained and little it to be lost. The willingness to obey and to do one's best can be effectively bolstered if the leader deliberately provokes the spirit of competition among his followers by a planned program of incentives offering suitable prizes for the winners. The farmer will see to it that his worthiest hired hands will receive clothing of finer quality then those whose work is not up to par. (103) In periods of preparation before extensive military campaigns while an army is being trained, new divisions are being formed and new tactics are being contrived, competitions can be held among the soldiers to increase their proficiency and morale. (104) A similar scheme may be employed to good purpose with a peacetime civilian population. Simonides urges Hiero to organize contests of all sorts between the different districts within his kingdom. (105) These rivalries would be designed not only to stimulate the military virtues, but also to promote fairness and industry in businesses and commerce, and to advance agricultural pursuits.


102. Memorabilia, XXX, iii, 11-15; Oeconomicus, XIII, 9-10; Hipparchicus, I, 24; VIII, 22.
103. Oeconomicus, XIII, 19-12.
104. Hellenica, XXX, iv, 16; Cyropaedia, XX, i, 22-24; Hipparchicus, I, 25-26.
105. Hiero, IX, 4-21.


Moreover, suggestions for civic improvement would be welcomed and rewarded according to their usefulness. Cyrus, realizing that to a great extent the military power of his empire rested upon a thriving populace living in economic abundance, takes pains to adopt comparable methods to raise agricultural production and the elan of his subjects. (106)
The main function of the rational organization of society as conceived by Xenophon is to facilitate good discipline and strong purposeful leadership. In a rational society the individual has no difficulty in recognizing the center of authority and his immediate superiors in the chain of command. He knows that the hierarchy of which he is a part and his particular station in it depends upon the principle of ability. The exact nature of his duties are privileges, what he can and cannot do with impunity, is quite clear to him. Hence, fact that he lives in such an orderly, stable, and predictable world gives him a sense of serenity and well-being resulting in a greater willingness to comply with the directives of the leader. From the standpoint of the leader, the more rationally organized the society over which he presides, the more effective his control and the more efficiently he is able to utilize the resources of the society for winning his goals. Xenophon exhibits a decided penchant for order and efficiency. He dearly loves the beauty and harmony of rational organization. (107). An untidy household in which implements and goods are stored in a haphazard fashion, and activities are conducted without attention to routine and exactness can be compared to a chorus whose singers and dancers lack well-drilled precision.


106. Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 26.
107 Oeconomicus, VIII.


Likewise to be condemned are an unruly mob supposed to function as an army, or an ill-managed ship. Everything and everybody must be in their place according to their function and that if needed they can be located readily and used without difficulty. System, method, and regularity are the premier qualities that the leader should give to the society he is molding.
If the ultimate of rational communities is the well-organized and well-commanded army, its form most nearly resembling the polity is the encampment. In his recommendations for a military encampment Xenophon begins a long tradition that includes Polybius, Vegetius, and Machiavelli, a tradition, inspired, perhaps, as much by the rational city planning of Hippodamus as the classical ideal of a harmonious urban order. (108). as by actual military practice. No matter where the camp is established its plan must be the same so that each soldier knows his place. (109) Encamping and decamping must always proceed in the same regular way. Orderliness is even more important in military society than in the household because war always brings the need to seize and capitalize upon unexpected opportunities as they arise. The rationale of the plan is based on defensive considerations. In case of attack the most easily mobilized troops are always on the outside creating a protective shield for types of troops taking longer to prepare for combat. In the center is the tent of the commander facing east, with the tents of his most trusted immediate associates, the accommodation for his body guard, servants, cooks, bakers, and his stables.


108. Aristotle, Politics, 1330b-1331b.
109 The detailed description of the camp of Cyrus is in Cyropaedia, VIII, v, 2-16.
(The description of the Roman camp by Polybius was real, based on standard practice which continued throughout the centuries and became the basis for many towns. J.S.)


Surrounding this central compound is the area for the cavalry and charioteers. To the north and south are the billets of the targeteers, and to the east and west those of the bowmen. The hoplites constitute the encircling outer wall, ready on instant notice to fend off any surprise attack. All officers fly distinctive banners so that they and their units may be easily located by the commanding officer. Each company of one hundred men lives and messes in a single tent, (110) an arrangement possessing several advantages for the maintenance of discipline and morale. No longer is there any excuse for inequality of performance in battle on the grounds that some are treated better in camp than others, for all men now see that they are treated alike. From this close association a real comradeship is likely to arise among the members of the company, substantially increasing their effectiveness as a combat unit. More considerate and mutually helpful behavior become the rule, a fraternal atmosphere in which desertions are less likely. Finally, each soldier grows more familiar with his fighting position in the field because the same order is kept in the tent, squads and platoons eating and sleeping together.
To Cyrus the Great, Xenophon ascribes the creation of an ideal civic community, one consciously patterned after the military model, (111) with authority centralized in the hands of the king, and a hierarchial chain of command. Unless excused by the crown, the nobles are required to be in attendance at court where they are always available for the performance of particular services, and can be kept under the watchful eye of the sovereign, (112)


110. Cyropaedia, II, i, 25-28.
111. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 13.
112. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 6.


State bureaucrats like tax collectors and paymasters, and the heads of household departments such as the royal estate keepers, superintendents of horses and hounds are select by the king. (113) More important is his responsibility of choosing the close associates and advisers upon whom he will depend in the future; the commanding officers of the armed forces, royal governors, and ambassadors. (114). Extreme care must be taken to appoint the most qualified man to each of the posts, a point stressed by Xenophon in his discussion of the general and the estate manager, (115) as well as the civic ruler.
Throughout the realm, greater excellence of work is assured because of the increasing specialization of function made possible by a highly developed urban life. In a remarkable passage that may be compared justifiably to Adam Smith's famous description of the division of labor in the manufacture of pins, Xenophon refers to the breakdown of operations in the fabrication of shoes, one man cutting out the parts, another assembling them and still another doing the stitching. (116) Even chefs, specializing in the various modes of preparing food, replace generalists in the royal kitchens. So as to be free from the petty details of administration and to enjoy the necessary leisure to devote to broad policies for the general welfare, Cyrus institutes a hierarchical civil service, each level with clearly defined functions and responsibility for the level immediately below, as in a military system of organization. (117)


113. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 9.
114. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 10-11.
115. Memorabilia, XXX, iv, 8; Cyropaedia, X, vi, 20.
116. Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 5-6.
117. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 13.


A civilian and military division of function is maintained in each province, were both the governor and the military commander are directly appointed by and responsible to Cyrus. If either officer observes any shortcoming in the behavior of the other he is required to report it immediately to his royal master. (118) Linking the whole kingdom together are post stations placed at convenient distances, which allow Cyrus to keep in constant touch with his subordinates, receiving intelligence and transmitting directives. (119).
All activities in a rational community are carefully prepared and planned, and their execution meticulously supervised, (120). The leader calculates the resources and reserves at his disposal and those of the forces opposed to him; he weighs the alternative courses of action and the consequences of each before a final choice of policy is made. Although to be successful, statesman, farmer, and lover must all engage in this kind of rational estimate, the ultimate in precise and thorough planning is for a well organized military operation. Through planning is the very essence of military science, (121)


118. Cyropaedia, VIII, vi, 1, 9; Oeconomicus, IV, 9-10.
119. Cyropaedia, VIII, vi, 17.
120. Memorabilia, III, iv, 11; 8; xi, 5-10; Oeconomicus, IX, 14; X, 10; 16-20; Hipparchicus, XXI, 2.
121. Cyropaedia, X, vi, 27-42; Hipparchicus, IV, 6; V, 9-15; VI, 4.


The commander must spend all his wakeful hours thinking how he will deceive and over come the enemy. Our first detailed record of the planning of an extensive military campaign by a master of the art of war is Xenophon's account, to which the entire sixth book of the Cyropaedia is allotted, of the preparations of Cyrus for the great battle in which he was to defeat the army of Croesus. The first thing to be attended to during the readying period is the security, health and provisioning of the army. Then spies are dispatched to gather information about the strength, disposition and intentions of the enemy. Siege engines are constructed for the purpose of destroying hostile forts. Cavalry units are strengthened and a corps of chariots created. Intensive training of all troops is begun, aided by contests among the troops to raise them to peak combat condition. The order of march and the supplying of the invading army, their food, drink, equipment, together with the nature of the service corps are worked out. Finally, on the basis of the intelligence that has been gathered and assessed, the tactics for the coming battle are discussed and formulated. To ensure a high degree of obedience, morale and operational efficiency in the preparation and execution of planning and in the day-to-day functioning of his organization, the leader can never relax and allow others to run the show. His presence must be felt everywhere, his vigilance must be never-flagging. Infinite pains and attention to detail usually make the differences between success and failure in civic affairs, on the battlefield, and in estate management. (122)


122. Oeconomicus, XX, 1-20.


The able leader examines personally as many arrangements as possible, and constantly scrutinizes the behavior of his associates and subordinates. While the most conscientious and energetic leader can himself only check a small proportion of the affairs of his organization, he can by example instill in his men a devotion to detail. (123) Cyrus makes frequent inspections and undertakes periodic progresses through his Kingdom. (124). What he is not able to investigate he delegates to circuit commissioners, officers who perform a function similar to the inspectors-general of a modern military establishment. Hence a community so organized and supervised as to decrease the element of the unpredictable, the haphazard and the arbitrary ,will measurably increase and secure the leader's control over his followers.
One can argue that all of Xenophon's precepts regarding the art of leadership are the result of his own intimate acquaintance with handling men; his march with The Ten Thousand, his service with the Spartan forces, and his management of the estate at Scillus. On the other hand many of his emphases have a definite Socratic flavor. (125) Whatever the source, belief in some of the Socratic teachings could very well have been reinforced by what Xenophon had learned from actual military experience. The concepts of rule by men of ability and of the rationally organized society in which each individual performs the function for which he is best suited might be lessons that the young Xenophon had first learned from his one-time teacher.


123. Oeconomicus, XII, 9-20.
124. Cyropaedia, VIII, vi, 16; Oeconomicus, IV, 6-8.
125. The Socratic origin of Xenophon's principles is stressed by Luccioni, op., cit., esp. pp. 47, 49, 50, 53-56; Scammell, op., cit., pp. 352-353.


In addition the view that friendship is a much more adequate and lasting foundation for the exercise of power than mere constraint is characteristically Socratic. Xenophon concludes the Oeconomicus (126) by stating that although much about the mastery of others can be taught and learned, it remains essentially a divine gift to those who have mastered themselves. Self-knowledge and the consequent self-discipline, at the heart of the philosophy of Socrates, are also central to Xenophon's conception of leadership. The leader must have a thorough understanding not only of his own capacities and how they may best be used to advantage, but also of his limitations and how they may most suitably be offset, remedied, or disguised. He must be able to keep under tight rein his sorrows, worries, fears, and doubts, and know how to feign the disposition which the occasion demands. He must assume many different roles, (127) and must be capable of estimating the effects of his acting upon the audience, calculating their mood, knowing when one role should be abandoned for another, and exactly how the role should be played at that particular moment.


126. Oeconomicus, XXI, 9-12. For a general discussion of self-command see Memorabilia, IV, v
127. Memorabilia, III, i, 6-7. So many of these qualities of leadership are illustrated in the numerous speeches of the Anabasis and Hellenica.


We haver seen that Xenophon is a perceptive and inventive thinker. Although he has long been recognized by military theoreticians as the father of their craft, intellectual historians have overlooked his highly original conception of the social nature of the army. This basic insight led to another, elementary theory of leadership, perhaps his most significant accomplishment, and one which surely entitles him to be called an ancestor of modern political science. Several aspects of the theory remain to be examined; law and society, kingship and tyranny, and the question of deception in human relationships. It is tempting to make certain assumptions about Xenophon's views upon the basis of what we know of the influence of his military experience upon his intellectual outlook. For instance, we might mistakenly suspect that he believes law to be the command of the leader, a suspicion seemingly confirmed by the absence of any comment upon the nature of law in both the Cyropaedia and the Hiero. Law, as a matter of fact is defined in the Memorabilia by Pericles as the command of the ruler even a tyrant, but he then immediately qualifies this definition at Alcibiades' insistence that violence rather than law exists when one is forced rather than persuaded to act in a particular way. (128) Xenophon, then, is not a legal positivist. He would define law as the rightful command of the stateman, the general, the ship's captain, and the estate manager. "Rightful" ultimately means adherence to commonly accepted moral principles of divine origin such as the worship and reverence to gods, honoring one's parents, the prohibition of marriage between parents and children, and the return of a good for a good. (129). The leader who disregards these principles is not a true leader.


128. Memorabilia, I, ii, 412-46.
129. Memorabilia, IV, 18-25. See Luccioni, op., cit., p 66.


He is if he heads civic society, a tyrant, not king, and his commands are not laws in the normative sense employed by Xenophon. (130). Yet if Xenophon is not a legal positivist, he would certainly never condone civil disobedience on the grounds that the command of the leader violates the natural law. Obedience to the law (apparently true of "just law" also) is the supreme civic virtue, and Sparta is the polity in which it has always been the most highly esteemed. (131). A major reason for Athens' deplorable civic condition is the decline in support for law and constituted authority. (132) That laws are repealed from time to time, Xenophon warns, cannot excuse disobedience before their repeal just as in the army during war, the fact that peace will eventually emerge does not excuse insubordination. (133) The law in the normative sense, therefore, is as just as the good. Conformity to the prescriptions will benefit the individual by enabling him to realize his inherent nature. (134) Although again it would be a misinterpretation to label Xenophon as a utilitarian, (135) as a military commander and country squire, he seems to identify the good with what is useful in achieving the ends of the military and the agricultural arts.


130. Memorabilia, III, ix, 10-15a.
131. Memorabilia, XV, iv, 13-17.
132 Memorabilia, XXX, v, 4-24. Compare with Plato, Laws, III, 698-701.
133. Memorabilia, XV, iv, 14.
134. For the identification of the just, the useful, the good and the legal see Memorabilia, XXX, ix, 4; XV, iv, 12-13; vi, 8.
135. Barker op., cit., p 107, calls Xenophon "something of a utilitarian" and the Xenophonic Socrates, "a respectable Benthamite,"


If a general consistently defeats the enemy, or the farmer's annual harvests increase his wealth substantially, the means they employ are good by their utility. However, the means of greatest utility in leading men are always inherently good. The successful leader by virtue of his success and the nature of his craft cannot have employed fundamentally vicious and evil methods in managing his men, since he must have aroused their enthusiastic support by winning their affection and respect. Xenophon's distinction between king and tyrant may best be explained by first recalling Aristotle's view upon the subject in the Politics. (136) Aristotle maintains the conventional classical distinction between kingship and tyranny, in respect to intention, origin, and behavior. Kings are motivated by a desire for the good; tyrants lust after personal wealth and aggrandizement. Kingship is instituted by consent;, tyranny, by force and fraud. Once in power the king will act as guardian and steward of the people; the tyrant will suppress and exploit them in order to satisfy his insatiable and uncontrollable lust. He will use every means to sow distrust among his subjects and to sap their strength and spirits; for example, by forbidding various essential forms of associational life; education, common meals and clubs. Any possible opposition to his regime will be prevented by the elimination of all outstanding men in the community, and by the reliance upon a secret police and a praetorian guard of foreign mercenaries. To fill his own pockets the people and their country will be ruthlessly impoverished.


136. Politics, 1914-1915b


As the fancy strikes him he will dishonor his subjects, particularly by violating the women. Naturally, this systematic despoiling produces the chief causes of the overthrow of tyrants, the hatred and contempt of the people. Aristotle suggests a second kind of tyranny by which this result can be avoided. The unconventional tyrant should appear to be a king, striving to benefit instead of looting his commonwealth. By acting in a manner exactly opposite to the ordinary tyrant, he will gain energetic and loyal supporters, his rule will be more durable, and he himself if not wholly good will neither be wholly bad. In contract to Aristotle, Xenophon pays no attention to the real motives of the leader. Whether the ruler has as his goals the general welfare or personal power is of little concern to him. Indeed, he appears to suggest in the Hiero that the desires for personal wealth and power can be better satisfied by being a king than a tyrant. Likewise, the way by which sovereignty is established is of no relevance go Xenophon. The question of legitimacy is never considered. To Xenophon the significant difference between king and tyrant is in their behavior, and the resulting relation with their subjects. Are we concerned with the underlying intentions of a general or with how he has secured his position? No, our interest is is in regard to his performance as a military commander. So Xenophon judges political leadership. Cyrus is a king because by his activities he has captured the imagination and won the devotion of his subjects. Hiero is a tyrant because he has alienated his subjects, who in their hatred and contempt, conspire to overthrow him. But Hiero can become a king, regardless of his intentions and the illegitimacy of his reign, if he exerts self-discipline and follows the policy of prudence recommended by Simonides, a policy, interestingly enough identical to that pursued by Cyrus. A Hiero can become a Cyrus. We know nothing of the real intentions of Cyrus. Nevertheless we do know that his empire was founded by military violence and guile. Who is Aristotle's unconventional tyrant but a reformed Hiero, and who is a reformed Hiero, but a kingly Cyrus. Xenophon's distinction between king and tyrant solely upon the basis of performance was one very explicit formulation of the then very popular idea of the possibility of creating a well-ordered polity by reforming a tyrant, an idea that had intrigued both Plato and Aristotle and their followers. The doctrine stated by Xenophon is potentially revolutionary since by implication it is an attack upon legitimacy and a defense of political activism. Authority, it radically suggests, need not rest upon legitimacy, but can be manufactured by an artful leader who seizes power; and most radical of all, the selfish and not the altruistic intentions of the leader may in the long run be the best guarantee of the general good. But these implications were never perceived by Xenophon.
In describing how a leader should act, Xenophon is ever mindful of the consequences of the action upon the followers. All behavior should be calculated to encourage them to advance whatever goals he may have in mind. Despite the insistence that in dealing with friends one must never resort to the same kind of trickery and deception employed against his enemies, (137) Xenophon quite clearly thinks that the able leader must often appear to be what he is not, and devise various artifices order to win and hold friends and allies.


137. Cyropaedia, I, vi, 27-28.


This is the advice that Socrates gives to the courtesan. Theodote. (138). She must cleverly enmesh her prospective friends by the web of her charm and personality in much the same way as the hunter's net entangles the prey of the chase. Ensnarement of the enemy in war and politics depends upon the ensnarement of friends. Oratory is one of the principal ways by which the leader ensnares his friends. (139) His words will have the greatest impact if used sparingly. He should address his followers only when a special effort is required or in a moment of crisis, as on the eve of battle or in retreat, and on other occasions the responsibility should be delegated to others. (140) A number of interesting ruses are suggested by Xenophon. In order to increase the affection of his followers and to become in their minds a symbol of benevolence, the ruler himself should confer awards and honors, the duties of chastisement and punishment being performed by his subordinates. (141) To insure the good will of his servants, Cyrus has them fed from his own table, as is the practice of ensuring the loyalty of dogs. (142) The lavishing of gifts upon his subjects serves the ruler in acquiring countless faithful "eyes and ears" throughout his realm, who will report any happenings that might be prejudicial to his interests. (143).


138. Memorabilia, III,xi.
139. Memorabilia, XXI, iii, 11-15.
140. Cyropaedia, I, vi, 19. 1r41. Hiero, IXd, 1-3.
142 Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 4.
143. Cyropaedia, VIII, ii, 7-23.


By far the most interesting of Xenophon's recommendations are those concerning the personal appearance and demeanor of the ruler and his entourage. The figure they present to the populace should be striking and majestic, calculated to inspire them with awe and devotion. (144). Clothing should be designed to conceal physical defects and give the impression of tallness and handsomeness. Additional aids in the creation of this public image are shoes that will increase one's height, and facial make-up. Cyrus always contrived to tower above his tall charioteer while riding in public. (145). Crude habits of deportment should be scrupulously avoided, every act characterized by calm, poise and dignity. (146) Deceptions of the kind described seem mild and innocuous enough, when we realize that they are used only to supplement ability, like a fine setting designed to enhance the affect of an already lustrous jewel. Yet they are important to note because of what Xenophon says on the matter in the Oeconomicus. (147) Ischomachus, who is Xenophon himself speaking, the country gentleman, expert in all the arts of agriculture and estate management, tells Socrates how one day his young bride attempting to make herself more attractive, appeared with face powdered and rouged, and wearing high-heeled shoes. Rather taken aback, he gently suggests that between husband and wife there is no need to employ deception. Such artifices can be used to deceive the outside world, but among intimates they serve no purpose for they are easily recognized for what they are.


144. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 40-41.
145. Cyropaedia, VIII, iii, 14.
146. Cyropaedia, VIII, i, 42.
147. Oeconomicus, X, 2-8.


Moreover, the user under these circumstances will suffer a loss of respect and esteem. Apparently, Xenophon believes that in regard to the use of deception and artifice three classes of people exist: intimates, friends (fellow citizens), and enemies. Toward our intimates no type of deception ordinarily should be employed; toward our friends, moderate deception for good purposes is justifiable; (148) toward our enemies any kind of fraud and trickery is permissible.
Xenophon's genius lies in his having conceived of civic society and the civic ruler after the model of the army and its general. Consequently, from his military perspective, he sees the central political problem as one of leadership, chiefly the exercise of command and in that exercise he emphasizes the role of force, affection, manipulation, deception, rational calculation and organization. By so doing Xenophon gives a new direction to political thought, not to be followed, however, until the modern era. But he is never so daring as to break with the commonly held classical values of justice, virtue, and reason. His civic ruler commands a society of friends or fellow-citizens, and behaves toward them as the enlightened ancient Greek would usually expect one to treat friends. So bound by the classical ethos, Xenophon could never envisage the more radical implications of the idea of a military analogy of society, although his original insight made such a perception possible in the future. We owe this accomplishment to a long-time student of Xenophon and the classical art of war, Niccolo Machiavelli. Numerous parallels can be drawn between the political thought of the two men. Both rely upon a military model, and both are almost completely concerned with leadership.


148. Cyropaedia, X, vi, 31.


But each conceives civic society in terms of a different dimension of the military model, although each by no means excludes the other dimension from his purview. Xenophon tends to see domestic politics in the image of the relation between the general and an army of friends; Machiavelli's standpoint is that of the relation between the general and his enemies. The difference between the two thinkers results from their divergent opinions in regard to human nature and basic social ties. Xenophon with Socratic optimism believes that man by nature is rational and good, and that he can realize his being in the harmony of a well-ordered association of friends. Machiavelli, a sort of pagan Augustinian, is convinced that man is essentially irrational and selfish, a power-seeker, who at best can only be restrained temporarily. The fundamental social condition, consequently is conflict; within the family, between families; within the city, between cities. Man has always and will always live in a state of perpetual tension and war with his neighbor. Artifice and invention (social, political, and legal arrangements) can do much to mitigate the asocial proclivities of mankind, but eventually the best ordered community, Rome, for example. will disintegrate under the constant pressure of human egoism and anarchism. At the most unexpected moment the dangerous "first nature" of man in destructive rampage may break through his "second nature", the circumvallation of convention. Civic society, therefore, according to Machiavelli, is not so much Xenophon' army of friends commanded by a general as it is a battleground upon which foes are ruthlessly and relentlessly contending for power. Although the burden of the Florentine's argument rests upon the idea of men as foes in civil society, he does not disregard the need for friends. Good friends he believes -------- (remainder lost)



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