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Document Details :
Title: X/Z. Pastiches avestiques dans la Cyropédie de Xénophon
Author(s): COURTIEU, Gilles
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 18 Date: 2019
For centuries, Xenophon’s Cyropaedia has proved a puzzling document, as the work’s literary genre is absolutely original and provokes questions about its relationship to (Persian) historical realities. My view is that the author had reliable information on Persian and even Zoroastrian facts and ideas, but turned them into fancies in order to be understood by his audience. Therefore, within a debate on education, for instance, one suddenly finds the story of a ‘teacher’ who lived in the time of the ancestors and instructed the children on good and evil. Normally, classicists tend to identify this enigmatic teacher as Lycurgus of Sparta, or else as some sophists known by Xenophon. Through a close examination of some Avestic texts, it is possible to suggest that his identity rather matches the mythical figure of Zarathustra, and the content of his message, at least, some parts of it.