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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Historiography is the documented process of written history and, therefore, any change to that process becomes critical to the historiographical timeline, thus sustaining everlasting value. Xenophon (c. 430 BCE-354 BCE), known for his writings on the Persian Wars, Cyrus the Great, and the March of the 10,000, single-handedly produced several changes to historical writing that altered the very essence of historical thought in a way that challenged even the roots of Herodotus and Thucydides. Xenophon stepped away from the influence of Thucydides to demonstrate a more independent, often philosophical, perspective. Through his development of biographies, Xenophon incorporated philosophy into writing often as a means to teach and defend his position. By doing so, Xenophon changed the view of history and political thinking simultaneously. He was not just viewing and/or interpreting history like those before him; he was living it, documenting it, and analyzing it through the lenses of his former philosophical teachings. Therefore, Xenophon was an important historian because he wrote about life, integrated philosophy into historiography, and thus altered historical writing and political thinking.

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