Plato's Statesman and Xenophon's Cyrus

In Gabriel Danzig, Donald Morrison & David M. Johnson (eds.), Plato and Xenophon: comparative studies. Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 510-543 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the political thought of Plato and Xenophon, by positioning both as post-Socratic political theorists. It seeks to show that Xenophon and Plato examine similar themes and participate in a shared discourse in their later political thought, and in particular, that Plato is responding to Xenophon, with the Statesman exploring similar themes to Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, which itself responds to sections of Plato’s Republic. Both writers explore the themes of the shepherd king and the kairos as attributes of the excellent leader, and both use temporality and political ontology to do so.

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Carol Atack
Cambridge University

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