The Art of Horsemanship and on the Cavalry General by Xenophon

Audiobook Details



Narrated By:

David Rintoul


2 hrs and 45 mins

File Type:


Release Date:


File Size:

227.82 MB

Audiobook Summary

Xenophon’s The Art of Horsemanship is a highly unusual text in the corpus of Classical Greek literature. It is a short survey on the various aspects of care for horses as seen by a highly experienced rider from the 5th century BCE. It is particularly notable because so many of its observations are relevant to the modern rider. Xenophon, friend of Socrates and professional soldier, is best known as the author Anabasis, the vivid account of a failed military expedition deep into Persia.

The Art of Horsemanship is very different in tone and content–a practical study from deep personal knowledge gained from working with horses, but none the less fascinating.

Xenophon considers what features and qualities to look for in a horse–among them broad chest, wide nostrils, prominent eye, supple knees, positive manner–and the sound of the hoof, which indicates good feet. (The ancient Greeks did not shoe their horses). There are even useful tips on approaching the horse to avoid conflict. He discusses training over different terrains and many other useful tips. The translator, Morris H. Morgan, provides extensive notes, not just on technical pointers such as mounting without stirrups or saddle, but also by comparing contemporary sculptures where artists took licence over reality. Furthermore, Morgan provides a fascinating essay The Greek Riding-Horse, which is an extended commentary on Xenophon. Also on this recording is Xenophon’s On The Cavalry General, a second treatise on horsemanship, but taking a different perspective.

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