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Hellenica  By  cover art

Hellenica

By: Xenophon
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
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Publisher's Summary

The Hellenica is Xenophon’s continuation of Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War, literally resuming from where the previous author’s history was abruptly left unfinished and narrating the events of the final seven years of the conflict and the war’s aftermath. Some historians consider the Hellenica to be a personal work, written by Xenophon in retirement on his Spartan estate, and intended primarily for circulation among his friends, who would have known the main protagonists and events, having most likely participated in them. 

Xenophon’s account starts in 411 BC, the year where Thucydides breaks off, and ends in 362 BC, the year of the Battle of Mantineia. The work is of vital importance as a primary historical source and is celebrated for its clarity of style, as found in most of Xenophon’s extant works. Listeners are advised to familiarize themselves with the events of the Peloponnesian War before beginning this work, especially the work of Thucydides.

This production uses the English translation of Carleton L. Brownson.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audio Connoisseur
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Hellenica

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A read no history lover should do without!

I found it to be one of the easiest reads for an ancient source. Additionally, coming from a soldier's point of view, it mafe the stories come alive.

4 people found this helpful

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good listen

listening to this makes me feel like I am was in the exclusive pvt chat that must have been xenophons entourage

3 people found this helpful

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Well done

The pronunciation is good, as far as I can tell. This version is just the translated ancient text without any notes.

Xenophon aspired to ideals of Greek excellence. He was a soldier, historian, and philosopher. In Hellenica, he tried to finish what Thucydides started— literally beginning where that great historian left us hanging. We don’t see the author himself in this narrative. For his story about burning bridges behind himself on the way to Persia, look at the Anabasis. Instead, we get battles and politics. Almost nobody regards Xenophon as being superior to Thucydides, but his is an essential source for the Peloponnesian war as well.

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Good Title, but Challenging to Follow

Imo, this title has a difficult time standing on its own and probably was never intended to do that. You should really read Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War immediately preceding this. Without it, the material will have far less context. For me, I enjoyed Thucydides and Anabasis much more than this title as it was more challenging to follow the characters and events. Also, not a big fan of the narration. It felt like Masterpiece Theater.

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some wars go nowhere

struggled to finish. very full battles with endless treaties and other garbage. you get the sense that the Greeks were mental cases trying to relive the glory of Troy. sorry to the author.

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Uninteresting content

Hellenica has been my least-favorite ancient text to listen to so far. narrator is amazing as always! content just seemed to summarize things without having the usual profound quotes or interesting events.