Two notes on the battle of Cunaxa

John Shannahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Xenophon's account of the battle of Cunaxa, fought between Artaxerxes II and Cyrus the Younger in 401BC, a succinct description of the soldiers facing the Greeks is provided: there were Egyptians present, carrying wooden shields reaching to the feet. No other source mentions the presence of Egyptians. Nonetheless, they warrant attention. The following establishes the trustworthiness of Xenophon, his shield vocabulary, and the relation of his description to other evidence. The second note challenges Ehrhardt's thesis of the intentional retreat of Artaxerxes' left wing at the battle, published in this journal in 1994.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-81
Number of pages21
JournalAncient history bulletin
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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