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Title: The dialogues of the Cyropaedia
Author: Gera, Deborah Levine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3494 9220
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1987
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This thesis is an examination of the dialogues of Xenophon's Cyropaedia. Chapter I opens with a brief introduction to the Cyr. - its genre, date, epilogue and place in modern scholarship. The second half of the chapter is devoted to an overall survey of the work's dialogues. The dialogues are listed and divided into seven main categories; various formal features of the dialogues - their length, number of speakers, presence of an audience, dramatic background etc. - are noted. The second chapter deals with the "Socratic" or didactic dialogues of the Cyr. These conversations are first compared to Xenophon's actual Socratic dialogues, particularly those of the Memorabilia, and are shown to have several of the same characteristics: a leading didactic figure, discussion of ethical questions, the use of analogies and a series of brief questions and replies etc. A detailed commentary on the "Socratic" dialogues of the Cyr. follows; some of these dialogues are seen to be livelier and more dialectical than Xenophon's genuine Socratic conversations and his hero Cyrus is not always assigned the role of teacher. Symposium dialogues are the subject of the third chapter. These conversations are shown to have several features or themes in common, such as a blend of serious and light conversation, a discussion of poverty and wealth, a love interest and rivalry among the guests. The symposia of the Cyr. are compared to earlier literary symposia, including those of Plato and Xenophon, and some of the more Persian features of these parties are pointed out. Chapter IV deals with the novelle or colourful tales of the Cyr. - the stories of Croesus, Panthea, Gobryas and Gadatas. The characters and plots of these stories are found to have much in common with the novelle of Ctesias and Herodotus. Nonetheless, it is argued in a detailed commentary on these dialogues that Xenophon displays considerable skill and originality in the telling of these tales. The fifth chapter is a brief commentary on the remaining categories of dialogues: short or anecdotal conversations, negotiation, planning and information dialogues. These dialogues are compared to similar conversations in other works by Xenophon. Finally, there are three appendices. The first questions whether Cyrus is portrayed as an ideal hero even after the conquest of Babylon, and the second discusses the problem of Persian sources in the Cyr. The third appendix is a list of the speeches of the Cyr.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: In literature ; Dialogue in literature ; Kings and rulers in literature ; Political fiction, Greek ; History and criticism