One of the more important works of the ancient Greek writer, soldier, and historian Xenophon, "Hellenica" is essentially a history of Greek occurrences from 411 to 362 BCE. It continues a similar account begun by Thucydides to detail the events of the Peloponnesian War. Xenophon is the principal source for today's historians on the last seven years of this war, including the Battle of Mantineia, as well as the war's aftermath. Written during Xenophon's retirement on his estate in Sparta, "Hellenica" is thought to be a personal work, intended for his friends, who were likely participants of many of the battles and knew the main warriors, political leaders, and events of the time. Through his more personal approach, this friend of Socrates proves his excellence as a writer with his masterful exposition, as well as his considerable ability as a historian with his memory for detail and breadth of topics. Ultimately, the result is a window into a turbulent period in the history of Greece, giving even today's readers an intimate, eye-opening view into the lives of the ancients.
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