Xenophon of Athens, Cyropaedia

LCL 51: 2-3

Go To Section
Go To Section





1. Ἔννοιά ποθ᾿ ἡμῖν ἐγένετο ὅσαι δημοκρατίαι κατελύθησαν ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλως πως βουλομένων πολιτεύεσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ ἐν δημοκρατίᾳ, ὅσαι τ᾿ αὖ μοναρχίαι, ὅσαι τε ὀλιγαρχίαι ἀνῄρηνται ἤδη ὑπὸ δήμων, καὶ ὄσοι τυραννεῖν ἐπιχειρήσαντες οἱ μὲν αὐτῶν καὶ ταχὺ πάμπαν κατελύθησαν, οἱ δὲ κἂν ὁποσονοῦν χρόνον ἄρχοντες διαγένωνται, θαυμάζονται ὡς σοφοί τε καὶ εὐτυχεῖς ἄνδρες γεγενημένοι. πολλοὺς δ᾿ ἐδοκοῦμεν καταμεμαθηκέναι καὶ ἐν ἰδίοις οἴκοις τοὺς μὲν ἔχοντας καὶ πλείονας οἰκέτας, τοὺς δὲ καὶ πάνυ1 ὀλίγους, καὶ ὅμως οὐδὲ τοῖς ὀλίγοις τούτοις πάνυ τι δυναμένους χρῆσθαι πειθομένοις2 τοὺς δεσπότας.


Cyropaedia, I.

Xenophon’s Cyropaedia

Book I


1. The thought once occurred to us how many Preface; the instability of government republics have been overthrown by people who preferred to live under any form of government other than a republican, and again, how many monarchies and how many oligarchies in times past have been abolished by the people. We reflected, moreover, how many of those individuals who have aspired to absolute power have either been deposed once for all and that right quickly; or if they have continued in power, no matter for how short a time, they are objects of wonder as having proved to be wise and happy men. Then, too, we had observed, we thought, that even in private homes some people who had rather more than the usual number of servants and some also who had only a very few were nevertheless, though nominally masters, quite unable to assert their authority over even those few.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.xenophon_athens-cyropaedia.1914