Anabasis (Xenophon) - Cultural Influences

Cultural Influences

For an almost exact copy of this section, see Ten Thousand (Greek)#Cultural influences

Traditionally Anabasis is one of the first unabridged texts studied by students of classical Greek because of its clear and unadorned style; similar to Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico for Latin students. Coincidentally, they are both autobiographical tales of military adventure told in the third person.

The cry of Xenophon's soldiers when they meet the sea is mentioned by the narrator of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, when their expedition discovers an underground ocean. It is also the basis for the title of the Booker Prize-winning novel by Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea.

The cry of Xenophon's soldiers is also mentioned by Buck Mulligan in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, "Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother."

Andre Norton's 1955 science fiction novel Star Guard appears to have been the first speculative fiction transliteration of the Anabasis theme, in which a body of human mercenaries hired out of a future Terra to fight in a dynastic war among autochthons on a distant planet are betrayed in much the same way as were the Hellenic mercenaries of Xenophon's account, and left leaderless to negotiate and battle their way across hostile country to safety.

Themes from the Anabasis were used in Sol Yurick's novel The Warriors, which was later adapted into a 1979 cult movie of the same name, and finally a Rockstar Games video game in 2005. Each re-imagining relocates Xenophon's narrative to the gang scene of New York. In 2010, Tony Scott announced a remake of The Warriors, this time to be set in Los Angeles. The movie is scheduled for a 2011 release.

Paul Davies' novella Grace: A Story (Toronto: ECW Press, 1996) is a fantasy that details the progress of Xenophon's army through Armenia to Trabzon.

Michael Curtis Ford's 2001 novel The Ten Thousand is a fictional account of this group's exploits.

Harold Coyle's 1993 novel The Ten Thousand shows the bulk of the US Forces in modern Europe fighting their way across and out of Germany, instead of laying down their weapons, after the Germans steal nuclear weapons that are being removed from Ukraine. The operational concept for the novel was based on Xenophon's account of the Ten Thousand.

The 1996 David Drake novel Redliners draws on the March of the Ten Thousand for its inspiration, though the enemy of the novel is an adaptive jungle environment somewhat derivative of Harry Harrison's Deathworld stories.

Shane Brennan's In the Tracks of the Ten Thousand: A Journey on Foot through Turkey, Syria and Iraq (London: Robert Hale, 2005) is an account of his 2000 journey to re-trace the steps of the Ten Thousand.

Paul Kearney's 2008 novel The Ten Thousand is directly based on the historical events but transplants the action to a fictional fantasy world named Kuf, where ten thousand Macht mercenaries are hired to fight on the behalf of a prince trying to usurp the throne of the Assurian Empire. When he dies in battle, the Macht have to march home overland through hostile territory.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi's 2008 novel "The Lost Army" is a fictional account of Xenophon's march with the Ten Thousand.

John Ringo's 2008 novel "The Last Centurion" involves a similar anabasis from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, by US Army troops abandoned in Iran during a global catastrophe.

John Ringo and David Weber's "March Upcountry" series is a military SF story involving the march of a prince and his bodyguards across a hostile planet in order to return to their home world.

The 2005 Parkway Drive song, "Anasasis (Xenophontis)" from the album Killing with a Smile is a reference to the Anabasis text.

The 2006 Military science fiction series The Lost Fleet, by John G. Hemry (writing as Jack Campbell) combines the structure of the Anabasis with the myth of the King in the mountain. In the series, a space fleet is led home by a commander retrieved from hibernation, a hundred years after a battle that made him a revered historical and mythical figure.

T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was said to have read Anabasis during the 1916 Arab Revolt and that it influenced both his leadership during that time and his writing of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Read more about this topic:  Anabasis (Xenophon)

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