15+ quotes from The Persian Expedition by Xenophon

Quotes from The Persian Expedition

Xenophon ·  375 pages

Rating: (5.2K votes)


“Men, the enemy troops you can see are all that stands between us and the place we have for so long been determined to reach. We must find a way to eat them alive!”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“When, in the course of their march, they came upon a friendly population, these would entertain them with exhibitions of fatted children belonging to the wealthy classes, fed up on boiled chestnuts until they were as white as white can be, of skin plump and delicate, and very nearly as broad as they were long, with their backs variegated and their breasts tattooed with patterns of all sorts of flowers. They sought after the women in the Hellenic army, and would fain have laid with them openly in broad daylight, for that was their custom. The whole community, male and female alike, were fair-complexioned and white-skinned. It was agreed that this was the most barbaric and outlandish people that they had passed through on the whole expedition, and the furthest removed from the Hellenic customs, doing in a crowd precisely what other people would prefer to do in solitude, and when alone behaving exactly as others would behave in company, talking to themselves and laughing at their own expense, standing still and then again capering about, wherever they might chance to be, without rhyme or reason, as if their sole business were to show off to the rest of the world.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“it is no disgrace but honourable rather to steal, except such things as the law forbids;”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“He had put on the best-looking uniform that he could, thinking that...victory deserved the best-looking armour.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“When, lithe of limb, she danced the Pyrrhic, loud clapping followed; and the Paphlagonians asked, "If these women fought by their side in battle?" to which they answered, "To be sure, it was the women who routed the great King, and drove him out of camp." So ended the night.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“You know, I need hardly remind you, it is not numbers or strength that gives victory in war; but, heaven helping them, to one or other of two combatants it is given to dash with stouter hearts to meet the foe, and such onset, in nine cases out of ten, those others refuse to meet.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“of the pass guarding the approach. Accordingly they halted a day in the plain; but next day came a messenger informing them that Syenesis had left the pass;”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“Here stood the palace of Syennesis, the king of the country; and through the middle of the city flows a river called the Cydnus, two hundred feet broad.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“Παρύσατις μὲν δὴ ἡ μήτηρ ὑπῆρχε τῷ Κύρῳ, φιλοῦσα αὐτὸν μᾶλλον ἢ τὸν βασιλεύοντα Ἀρταξέρξην.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“Some one may say, are you not ashamed to be so taken in like a fool? Yes, I should be ashamed, if it had been an open enemy who had so deceived me. But, to my mind, when friend cheats friend, a deeper stain attaches to the perpetrator than to the victim of deceit.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“I do not see how one who is an enemy of the gods can run fast enough away, nor where he can flee to escape, nor what darkness could cover him, nor how he could find a position strong enough for refuge. For all things in all places are subject to the gods, and the power of the gods extends equally over everything.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“Sirs, call to mind what by help of the gods you have already done. Bethink you of the battles you have won at close quarters with the foe; of the fate which awaits those who flee before their foes. Forget not that we stand at the very doors of Hellas. Follow in the steps of Heracles, our guide, and cheer each the other onwards by name. Sweet were it surely by some brave and noble word or deed, spoken or done this day, to leave the memory of oneself in the hearts of those one loves.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“I am certain that to achieve what stands achieved to-day, you would willingly have foregone the gain of fifty times that paltry sum. To me it seems that to lose your present fortune were a more serious loss than never to have won it; since surely it is harder to be poor after being rich than never to have tasted wealth at all, and more painful to sink to the level of a subject, being a king, then never to have worn a crown.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“In heaven's name, let us not wait for other people to come to us and call upon us to do great deeds. Let us instead be the first to summon the rest to a path of honor.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


“Separated from Hellas by more than a thousand miles, they had not even a guide to point the way.”
― Xenophon, quote from The Persian Expedition


About the author

Xenophon
Born place: Athens, Greece
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