Xenophon and the Graces of Power. A Greek Guide to Political Manipulation.
by Vincent Azoulay. Translated by Angela Krieger
ISBN-13 9781910589694 ISBN-10 1910589691, hardback, 440pp, 2018 GB £65
 

One of classical Greece’s most worldly and lucid writers, Xenophon across his many works gave a restless criticism of power: democratic, oligarchic and autocratic. From military campaigns (in which he took part), through the great powers of his day (Sparta, Persia, Athens) to modes of control within the household, he observed intimately and often with partisan passion.


In this work a leading French Hellenist, Vincent Azoulay, analyses across Xenophon’s diverse texts the techniques by which the Greek writer recommends that leaders should manipulate. Through gifts and personal allure, though mystique, dazzling appearance, exemplary behaviour, strategic absences – and occasional terror, Xenophon analyses ways in which a powerful few might triumphantly replace the erratic democracies and selfindulgent oligarchies of his day.


First published in French (in 2004) to international acclaim, this book is here translated for the first time, revised and updated.