I can cheerfully say that this is the worst novel ever written. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who likes a laugh. I re-read several passages in astonishment at their awfulness. She has heard about adjectives and alliteration and uses the two devices endlessly. Unfortunately she hasn't heard of dialogue or characterisation. She also appears to lack a normal sense of right and wrong. Go on, treat yourself: download it.
A work unworthy of preservation. No doubt it’s only Xenophon’s name that has saved it from oblivion. I know he was friends with Agesileus but there’s no place for this outside the funeral service. If he had still been alive when it was written it would be nothing but unsophisticated propaganda.
Agesilaus doesn’t even sound like a competent commander. Either he’s gone off to fight in Asia and left an enemy at his back or he’s done a half-arsed job in Asia, of which nothing comes but death. No wonder he’s later passed over for command in the international force. Not due to his age, I think.
This is a great book. I really can't recommend it too highly. Not just an exciting story; also a fascinating insight into the ancient world.
Since this translation was published it has been shown, on the internal evidence, that Polity Athenians is not by Xenophon. They call the author pseudo-Xenophon or The Old Oligarch. And indeed, even I can see that the authors approach is noticeably different; Xenophon is clear and methodical in his structure but what we have here is a rant. The author is Tory Boy, complaining about the working class and expressing his outrage that it’s frowned upon to assault other peoples’ slaves in the street! You couldn’t make it up. Proof that human nature hasn’t changed and a fascinating insight into Athenian culture.
Polity Lacedaemonians is a fascinating picture of a disturbed and doomed society. Lycurgus is of particular interest. Today we might call him a cult leader, or a prophet. He actually got divine sanction for his laws.
Both works highly recommended.
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