What's In a Name/Xenophon

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What's In a Name/Xenophon

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:31 pm

Well, for the most part, thiis a Western Miltary and Martial Arts Forum.

Just the sheer weight of information regarding the Western or Pre-Constantine Martial history of Rome alone would bury any sane man.

Obviously, this is a daunting fact in the face of making the reading of such matters by students of Uechi-Ryu "fun" or interesting.

No matter.

Without going into the "Ten Thousand" of Xenophon I can report on a very minor riddle. What's with this name the Greeks saddled on their boy Xenophon?

At the time of the 'virtual' destruction of the "Athenian Empire' in the Peloponessian War by Sparta, unemployed Greek Soldiers of all states either languished, retired, or hired on to a money making group of mercenaries similar to the 'free companies' of the 100 year's War.

Although it was not and Empire technically but a 'domination' of a league of city states; the "Delian Leugue'; which was, first and foremost a commercial empire, Athens held the top seat.

Sparta "a xenophobic little state" whose Military might effectively saved Greece from Persian domination in the 5th Century BC, was not a "fit or lasting" leader for Hellas.

The riches of Athens prior to its fall, other than hard cash, were on exhibit in part in the Parthenon.

These riches would have dazzled even modern eyes. The foremost of these included, the 50 foot tall statue of Athena the Huntress by Phidias, the foremost sculptor of the Age.

As was the statue of Zeus, also by Phidias, the Statue of Athene was constructed from gently reforged Ivory pieces and Plates using a method that only Phidias himself may have mastered.

Just Taken by itself, the statue was priceless beyond reckoning.

One can assume that the statues of Athene and Zeus were dismantled and soldoff, I don't know by whom or when.

Nonetheless, in this time Greek Phalangites brought top money.

Persian 'emulations' of the hoplites and the Phalanx seemed ineffective.

Around 426 BC the Company of Xenophon hired out to the namesake of Cyrus the Great who was a contender for the Persian throne.

Although humbled by its disastrous Greek adventures Persia remained the foremost power of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Company of Xenophon marched to link with the forces of its paymaster Cyrus and, almost before they could get started in supporting the contender's venture, the various factions in the Greek force contended within themselves regarding the wisdom of marching to fight on the Euphrates so far from home. Not long after such matter were settled and at the culmonation of their long march inland the Great King Ataxerxes' killed Cyrus at a battle at Cunaxa deep in Asia Minor.

"---------reports sooned reached us that Cyrus, the very reason for our long march, and our hope for guidance and supplies on our return to Greece--had been killed. The Greeks had lost hardly a man in the battle but------we had lost our leader and benefactor" Michael Curtis Ford- "The Ten Thousand".

The Greeks, after another nasty internal power struggle of their own, determined that Xenophon was to be their leader (again and for the moment) and his plan to lead them back to the sea was the one for them.

For his troubles, which I hope to detail later, he earned, retained, won or was saddled with his name.

Xenophon literally meant to the Greeks: "sounded (phon(etics) 'like a foreigner (Xenos)."

No real explanation for this "moniker' has yet been even hinted at to me.

Obviously this riddle deserves a bit more attention.
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