Leaders Managing Negative Emotions: The Episode Between Cyrus and Cyaxares in Xenophon&#8217;s <span class="hi-italic">Cyropaedia</span>

Leaders Managing Negative Emotions: The Episode Between Cyrus and Cyaxares in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia

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Abstract

In the Cyropaedia, Xenophon (431–354 B.C.) recounts the life and deeds of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire (600–530 B.C.). Throughout this work Cyrus is depicted as an extremely ambitious and talented man, who manages to rule the Persians and many other nations with their consent. The theme of leadership and emotional intelligence is particularly apt in this context, since Xenophon provides valuable information not only about Cyrus’ emotions, but also about how he handles the emotions of his followers, allies, enemies, and rivals.

This case study focuses on a famous episode of the Cyropaedia, the encounter between the Persian prince, Cyrus, and his uncle, the Median King Cyaxares (5.5). The Median King expresses his discontent towards his nephew because the latter succeeded ...

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