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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Let’s Play Ball!” Sabermetrics and Three Game Changers in Cyrus’ Paradise

Thanks to the great work of the Duke University Digital Humanities team, especially Will Shaw, Cyrus’ Paradise has now entered the realm of data analysis, along the lines of the sabermetrics approach familiar to fans of Major League Baseball. Below I outline three “game changers” that will more carefully quantify–and thus celebrate–all that contributors to [...]

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Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and Persian Oral History: Part Three

See also the Blog Page for Parts One and Two Cyrus’ Peaceful Death The vast majority of classical authors concur that Cyrus died in battle against the Central Asian nomads living beyond the northeastern frontier of his empire. The Cyropaedia (8.7.2–28) goes against the grain by ascribing to the conqueror a peaceful death. The common [...]

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Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and Persian Oral History: Part Two

Cyrus’ Campaign to Armenia Given the nature of our information about Cyrus, great consideration is due to those events about which Herodotus, Ctesias, and Xenophon all agree. Xenophon’s account (2.4.18ff) of the punitive expedition that Cyrus led against the Armenians on behalf of the Medes thus deserves special attention. There is a consensus among the [...]

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Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and Persian Oral History: Part One

Synopsis: Xenophon’s Cyropaedia is a complicated work, but evidence exists that certain details are likely derived from one or more Iranian oral traditions distinct from those preserved in the works of other classical authors. Xenophon himself admits familiarity with Iranian oral traditions concerning Cyrus, and such traditions may underlie his accounts of Cyrus’ paternal lineage, [...]

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A Renaissance Cyrus

Xenophon’s Cyrus was a well-known and well-liked figure in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Two separate English translations of the Cyropaedia were undertaken between 1550 and 1650, the first by a lowly tutor William Barker (1552 and 1567) who describes himself as ‘a forlorn Scholar, not able to keep credit in learning’, but one who, by [...]

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The U.S. Founders and Cyrus the Great of Persia

The following post was originally delivered as a public lecture at the Smithsonian Institution Freer Sackler Galleries as “The Legacy of Cyrus the Great: Iran and Beyond” on 27 April 2013, in connection with American tour of Cyrus Cylinder, British Museum. #reception Look around you. Could anything be stranger than talking about ancient Persia in [...]

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Cyrus’ Prayer and the Game of Life

In this blog post, I will outline the basics of two concepts that have been helpful to me in understanding the Cyropaedia: first, the nature and purpose of a “control level” in narrative generally, and second, the control level in this work in its broadest outline. Future posts will look more specifically at Xenophon’s unique [...]

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A Beginning: Control Levels and the Communtary

In the months ahead, I will be reading, inquiring about, commenting and blogging on our site on a regular basis. This work will constitute the project for which the CHS has granted me a fellowship this year, and has two objectives: First, I will be attempting to document an important aspect of Xenophon’s narrative technique [...]

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Xenophon’s Cyropaedia in the 21st Century

Question: Outside of professional academia what is the place for Xenophon’s Cyropaedia in the 21st century culture? This fall (2012) the Center for Hellenic Studies through its Sunoikisis outreach program will be working with colleges and universities to teach an introductory Greek course with the specific goal of using Cyrus’ Paradise as a third semester [...]

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The Cyropaedia and later prose fictions

Question: If Cyropaedia is a long prose fiction (a novel), what types of novel does it resemble? The literary specialists here seem to agree that Cyropaedia has no exact parallels in surviving ancient literature. There has been some discussion of what genre Xenophon, or an ancient reader, might have assigned the text too. I have [...]

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