This book tells the fascinating story of 'Thalatta! Thalatta!' ('The Sea! The Sea!'), the shout first uttered on a mountain in eastern Turkey by the famous Ten Thousand, the army of Greek mercenaries whose adventures in what are now Turkey, Syria and Iraq were described by the Athenian historian and philosopher Xenophon, himself a participant in their long march to the coast.
The shout of the Ten Thousand has had an extraordinary afterlife, playing a persistent part in the European and American cultural tradition over the last two hundred years. Here Tim Rood tells its story for the first time, taking in literary masterpieces by writers such as Heine, Shelley and Joyce, books of travel and adventure set in the Middle East and elsewhere, articles in Victorian periodicals, popular romantic novels, newspaper editorials at the time of the British evacuation from Dunkirk, a painting by the nineteenth-century artist Benjamin Robert Haydon, an unpublished radio play by Louis MacNeice, and a modern novel and film which transfer Xenophon's story to New York.
'In "The Sea! The Sea!" the British classical scholar Tim Rood has assembled a huge collection of ways in which Xenophon's words have, as he says, "twisted and played" in the modern imagination ... triumphant' - Peter Stothard, 'Wall Street Journal'. 'an unusual and fascinating book ... delightfully compelling' - Eric Ormsby, 'New York Sun'. 'so enjoyable to read ... takes an honourable place among studies of that perenially fascinating theme, the reinterpretation by the modern world of ancient Greece' - Tom Holland, Times Literary Supplement. 'There will be no reader, I confidently predict, who won't be taken aback at the sheer variety of Xenophon's heritage ... and who won't be delighted by the highways and byways of such a journey' - Simon Goldhill, Bryn Mawr Classical Review. 'a real tour de force of readable scholarship ... he tells a story that is excitingly enjoyable and displays ... the fruits of impressively wide and profound scholarship' - Anglo-Hellenic Review.