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Being Greek

Henry Day: Up Country with Xenophon, 2 November 2006

The Long March: Xenophon and the Ten Thousand 
by Robin Lane Fox.
Yale, 351 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 300 10403 0
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The Expedition of Cyrus 
by Xenophon, translated by Robin Waterfield.
Oxford, 231 pp., £8.99, September 2005, 0 19 282430 9
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Xenophon’s Retreat: Greece, Persia and the End of the Golden Age 
by Robin Waterfield.
Faber, 248 pp., £17.99, November 2006, 0 571 22383 4
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The Sea! The Sea! The Shout of the Ten Thousand in the Modern Imagination 
by Tim Rood.
Duckworth, 272 pp., £12.99, August 2006, 0 7156 3571 9
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... the ‘clearness of style and modesty of temper’ he found in the Anabasis, a judgment that Robin Waterfield’s new translation doesn’t traduce. Xenophon’s relatively simple sentences, preference for the vivid present tense, and use of third-person narration inevitably invite comparison with that other great classical war reporter, Julius ...

Greek Hearts and Diadems

James Romm: Antigonid Rule, 18 November 2021

The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks 
by Robin Waterfield.
Oxford, 277 pp., £21.99, September 2021, 978 0 19 885301 5
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... if no one today knows quite what ‘Gonatas’ meant (‘knock knees’ is one plausible theory). Robin Waterfield wisely takes the city states of European Greece as the backdrop for Antigonus’ life and the arena where his influence was principally felt. The Making of a King is only in part a biography of Antigonus. It also details the ...

I have gorgeous hair

Emily Wilson: Epictetus says relax, 1 June 2023

The Complete Works: Handbook, Discourses and Fragments 
by Epictetus, translated by Robin Waterfield.
Chicago, 460 pp., £44, October 2022, 978 0 226 76933 2
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... we cannot. For Epictetus, nothing is up to us except our own purpose, attitude or ‘will’, as Robin Waterfield translates it (the Greek is prohairesis): ‘wealth, health, status – these things aren’t up to us.’ Rhetorically, it’s no coincidence that these lists of unimportant things – there are many of them in the teachings of Epictetus ...

I am a false alarm

Robert Irwin: Khalil Gibran, 3 September 1998

Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet 
by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins.
One World, 372 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 1 85168 177 9
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Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran 
by Robin Waterfield.
Allen Lane, 366 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 7139 9209 3
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... and managed to be soupily soulful and vaguely prophetic in both languages. He also painted – Robin Waterfield’s biography is good on the recurring features of his art, including its ‘vague ectoplasmic figures, often female’ and the ‘veil of mist as a symbol for the dim access the normal human mind has to higher worlds’. Most of Gibran’s ...

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