Category Archives: The Greeks

How Xenophon Saved His Army

“So—is this the end?” Xenophon asked himself. “You asked for it and now you got it.” He was lying in a tent in the middle of the Persian Empire. He was with a batallion of Greek mercenaries, though he was … Continue reading

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How Did They Lift Those Stones?

The Egyptians had to construct ramps and pull the blocks up with ropes and brute force. But the Greeks invented the lifting tongs, the block and tackle, and this ingenious wedge device: the Holivela Holivela Most people have never seen … Continue reading

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He Founded Rome

What is this? Who is that burly guy and why is he carrying an old man? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gian_Lorenzo_Bernini_cat01.jpg–photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The burly guy is Aeneas, the legendary founder of Rome; and he’s caring … Continue reading

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Spartan Wit

Spartan wit was famous.   Laconic (Laconia was another word for Sparta) means short, pithy, to the point. Plutarch, the old Greek historian,  gives some examples: Once a Spartan king was watching a show with a sword-swallower.  “That’s easily done here … Continue reading

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Your Time to Be a Hero 4

The army of Greek mercenaries was armed now and ready to march.  Xenophon had been thinking about its formation. “We’ve always marched ahead of our baggage train,” he told the officers, “and it holds us back.   Sometimes the vanguard goes … Continue reading

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Your Time to Be a Hero 2

“I can’t sleep,” Xenophon said to the officers, “and I know you can’t either.” Their generals were all gone. The Persian king had sworn a truce and invited them to his camp to talk, then cut them down. Now, without … Continue reading

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