Xenophon Quotes

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Xenophon of Athens was a military leader, philosopher, and historian who was elected as commander of a Greek mercenary army at a young age of 30. His writings have been a good reference for modern day historians since they depict classical Greece in detail. Some of the popular books written by Xenophon include Anabasis, Hellenica, Cyropaedia, Memorabilia, Symposium, On Horsemanship, The Arts of Leadership and War as well as many others.

Here are some best Xenophon quotes on the art of leadership, war, horsemanship, spartans and many other interesting topics of life:

Best Xenophon Quotes

Best Xenophon Quotes

1. I am a stranger in all countries. -Xenophon

2. Anything forced is not beautiful. -Xenophon

3. The sweetest of all sounds is praise. -Xenophon

4. In the Face of Danger, Be Eager, Not Intimidated. -Xenophon

5. Moderation in all things healthful; total abstinence from all things harmful. -Xenophon

6. Battles are decided more by the morale of the troops than by their bodily strength. -Xenophon

7. People often say what is right and do what is wrong; but nobody can be in the wrong if he is doing what is right. -Xenophon

8. He who marries a beautiful woman in hopes of being happy with her knows not but that even she herself may be the cause of all his uneasiness. -Xenophon

9. Men, the enemy troops you can see are all that stands between us and the place we have for so long been determined to reach. We must find a way to eat them alive! -Xenophon

10. You are well aware that it is not numbers or strength that bring the victories in war. No, it is when one side goes against the enemy with the gods’ gift of a stronger morale that their adversaries, as a rule, cannot withstand them. I have noticed this point too, my friends, that in soldiering the people whose one aim is to keep alive usually find a wretched and dishonorable death, while the people who, realizing that death is the common lot of all men, make it their endeavor to die with honor, somehow seem more often to reach old age and to have a happier life when they are alive. These are facts which you too should realize (our situation demands it) and should show that you yourselves are brave men and should call on the rest to do likewise.

Xenophon

11. Brevity is the soul of command. -Xenophon

12. The man who doesn’t know his own ability is ignorant of himself. -Xenophon

13. Battles are decided more by the morale of the troops than by their bodily strength. -Xenophon

14. Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not. -Xenophon

15. Most people, when they are set upon looking into other people’s affairs, never turn to examine themselves. -Xenophon

16. If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation. -Xenophon

17. No human being will ever know the truth, for even if they happened to say it by chance, they would not know they had done so. -Xenophon

18. What am I lying here for?…We are lying here as though we had a chance of enjoying a quiet time…Am I waiting until I become a little older? -Xenophon

19. A man may hate cruelty and lies, but if he’s never given an opportunity to show what he’s made of, no one will remember him when he dies. -Xenophon

20. For as they who use no bodily exercises are awkward and unwieldy in the actions of the body, so they who exercise not their minds are incapable of the noble actions of the mind, and have not courage enough to undertake anything worthy of praise, nor command enough over themselves to abstain from things that are forbid. -Xenophon

Xenophon: The Arts Of Leadership And War Quotes

Xenophon The Arts Of Leadership And War Quotes

21. Self-confidence should always ride side by side with a strong sense of humility. -Xenophon

22. Most of us are always trying to increase our wealth, but you and your officers seem far more concerned with perfecting your souls. -Xenophon

23. Success always calls for greater generosity—though most people, lost in the darkness of their own egos, treat it as an occasion for greater greed. -Xenophon

24. The suffering of the leader is always lightened by his glory. As much as possible, you must let others share in your glory, so that they never lose heart. -Xenophon

25. Wherever magistrates were appointed from among those who complied with the injunctions of the laws, Socrates considered the government to be an aristocracy. -Xenophon

26. There is a deep—and usually frustrated—desire in the heart of everyone to act with benevolence rather than selfishness, and one fine instance of generosity can inspire dozens more. -Xenophon

27. An impostor is a man who claims more wealth and courage than he actually possesses. He’s a man who begins what he can never finish. On the other hand, those who can make their friends laugh are men of good taste. -Xenophon

28. I deeply believe that leaders, whatever their profession, are wrong to allow distinctions of rank to flourish within their organizations. Living together on equal terms helps people develop deeper bonds and creates a common conscience. -Xenophon

29. Leaders must always set the highest standard. In a summer campaign, leaders must always endure their share of the sun and the heat and, in winter, the cold and the frost. In all labors, leaders must prove tireless if they want to enjoy the trust of their followers. -Xenophon

30. There is small risk a general will be regarded with contempt by those he leads, if, whatever he may have to preach, he shows himself best able to perform.

Xenophon

31. Success should never breed complacency. -Xenophon

32. And even as you’re working to ensure the health of your army, you must remember to take care of your own. -Xenophon

33. Misleaders are slow to work hard but quick to act on greed. They convince their men that dishonest behavior leads to great wealth. -Xenophon

34. A man may hate cruelty and lies, but if he’s never given an opportunity to show what he’s made of, no one will remember him when he dies. -Xenophon

35. There was something in me that would not rest until I fulfilled a grand destiny. Thus I created an empire in my thoughts long before I began to win an empire in reality. -Xenophon

36. Truly, men often fail to understand their own weaknesses,” I said neutrally, “and their lack of self-knowledge can bring terrible disasters down on their own heads. -Xenophon

37. What angers me are all those kings who are fabled for the heaps of gold in their coffers, and their freedom from trouble and pain. I have a different vision. I say that the true leader shuns luxury and ease. Once in power, he should want to work harder than ever. -Xenophon

38. In my experience, men who respond to good fortune with modesty and kindness are harder to find than those who face adversity with courage. For in the very nature of things, success tends to create pride and blindness in the hearts of men, while suffering teaches them to be patient and strong. -Xenophon

39. I made my people understand the crucial difference between modesty and self-control. The modest person, I told them, will do nothing blameworthy in the light of day, but a true paragon of self-control—which we all should strive to be—avoids unworthy actions even in the deepest secrecy of his private life. -Xenophon

40. Remember the lessons of history. Remember how often whole peoples have allowed themselves to be persuaded to go to war by ‘wise’ men—and then been utterly destroyed by the very enemy they agreed to attack! Remember how many statesmen have helped raise new leadership to power—and then been overthrown by their own protégés! Remember how often leaders have chosen to treat their friends like slaves—and then perished in the revolutions caused by their idiotic methods! How many powerful men have craved to dominate the world—and by overreaching have lost everything they once possessed! -Xenophon

Xenophon: The Art of Horsemanship Quotes

Xenophon The Art of Horsemanship Quotes

41. A horse is a thing of beauty… none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor. -Xenophon

42. When a horse wants to display himself…he lifts his neck up high and flexes his poll haughtily, and picks his legs up freely, and keeps his tail up. -Xenophon

43. When a horse wants to display himself…he lifts his neck up high and flexes his poll haughtily, and picks his legs up freely, and keeps his tail up.

Xenophon

44. To quote a dictum of Simon, what a horse does under compulsion he does blindly, and his performance is no more beautiful than would be that of a ballet-dancer taught by whip and goad. -Xenophon

45. If you wish to be thought a good estate manager, or a good horseman, or a good physician, or a good flute player without really being one, just imagine all the tricks you have to invent just to keep up appearances. You might succeed at first, but in the end you’re going to be exposed as an impostor. -Xenophon

Xenophon Quotes On Spartans

Xenophon Quotes On Spartans

46. An honorable death is preferable to a dishonorable life…. At Lacedaemon everyone would be ashamed to allow a coward into the same tent as himself, or allow him to be his opponent in a match at wrestling. -Xenophon

47. He [Lycurgus] taught the children from a desire to render them more dexterous in securing provisions, and better qualified for warfare. -Xenophon

48. He taught the children from a desire to render them more dexterous in securing provisions, and better qualified for warfare.

Xenophon

49. An old man should introduce to his wife whatever man in the prime of life he admired for his bodily and mental qualities, so that she might have children by him. -Xenophon

50. He [Lycurgus] took from the men the liberty of marrying when each of them pleased, and appointed that they should contract marriages only when they were in full bodily vigor, deeming this injunction also conducive to producing excellent offspring. -Xenophon