published on 27 April 2012
Imagine finding yourself and a group of thousands of fellow citizens stranded in the middle of a strange country, thousands of kilometres away from home. You have just lost your military leader in a battle. You have no provisions and little hope of finding any.
There are no maps available and none of you have knowledge as to what type of terrain lies ahead. To complicate matters, you are surrounded by the army of the King whose territory you came to conquer. You are badly outnumbered and you have no cavalry to support you.
This is exactly the situation in which the Ten Thousand found themselves in 401 B.C. The account of the courage and success of the Ten Thousand is told by Xenophon in his Anabasis. While much has been written in terms of literary criticism of Xenophon and his Anabasis, not much has been produced regarding the actual logistics of the retreat of the Ten Thousand. The purpose of this thesis is to address that lack by examining one aspect of the Anabasis, namely, the provisioning of the Ten Thousand.