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The Historical Novel In The Greek World: Xenophon'S Cyropaedia

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Chapter Summary

If one considers the defining features of the modern historical novel when examining Greek fictional prose, one does not find them in the "canonical" texts with the exception of a few passages in Chariton and the fragmentary novels. In the Cyropaedia, Xenophon describes the life of the older Cyrus, the founder of the Median-Persian Empire, from his boyhood to kingship. In the arrangement of his work, Xenophon follows the historical facts marginally and in a cursory manner. The historical novel is not an end in itself; the Cyropaedia is not a reconstructing historical novel, but rather parabolical. All dominant and sub-dominant elements of the genre of the novel in its historical form can be found in Xenophon's Cyropaedia. The love story which was established as a subordinate theme in the Cyropaedia, increasingly became the defining feature of the genre.

Keywords: Cyrus; Greek historical novel; love story; Xenophon's Cyropaedia

10.1163/ej.9789004175471.i-194.28
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004175471.i-194.28
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