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Xenophon

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Chapter Summary

Xenophon’s Socratic works report instructive conversations between Socrates and various interlocutors on the authority of an unnamed narrator who was either present himself or heard the reports of others. Like the Platonic dialogues, therefore, they are not concerned with transmitting a complete narrative of Socrates’ life, but with the presentation of paradigmatic episodes. Analysis of Xenophon’s narrative art has become increasingly sophisticated in the last decades. The exemplary conversations investigated in this chapter are not, of course, as unified a narrative as the Cyropaedia, but they do suggest Xenophon’s broad interest in constructing experimental narratives that combine features of several genres: sōkratikoi logoi, instructional literature, the biographical or anecdotal ‘pamphlet’, and history.

Keywords: Cyropaedia; Socrates; Xenophon

10.1163/ej.9789004165069.i-542.139
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