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Hipparchicus is the name usually given to Ἱππαρχικός, Hipparchikós, one of the two treatises on horsemanship by the Athenian historian and soldier Xenophon (c. 430 – 354 BC). Other common titles for this work include The cavalry commander and The cavalry general. The other work by Xenophon on horsemanship is Περὶ ἱππικῆς, Perì hippikēs, usually translated as On horsemanship, De equis alendis or The Art of Horsemanship. The title De re equestri may refer to either one of the two works.

Hipparchicus deals mainly with the duties of the cavalry commander (hipparchus), while On horsemanship deals with the selection, care and training of horses in general.


Written in about 350 BC, the treatises of Xenophon were considered the earliest extant works on horsemanship in any literature until the publication by Bedřich Hrozný in 1931 of a Hittite text, that by Kikkuli of the Mitanni Kingdom,[1] which dates from about 1360 BC. A treatise on horsemanship by Pliny the Elder is believed lost, as was that by Simon of Athens, which is twice mentioned by Xenophon in On horsemanship.[2] Some fragments of Simon's treatise survive, however;[3] they were published by Ruehl[4] in 1912.[5]

Early editions[edit]

The first printed edition of Hipparchicus is that in the complete edition of Xenophon of 1516 from the Giunti press:[6]

  • Begin. Ταδε ̓ενεστιν ̓εν τͅηδε τͅη βιβλͅω· Ξενοφωντος Κυρου Παιδειας βιβλια ηʹ ... Hæc in hoc libro continentur. X. Cyri pedias libri VIII. Anabaseos libri VII.; ... apomnemoneumaton; ... venatoria; ... de re equestri; ... de equis alendis; lacedæmonum resp.; ... atheniensium resp.; ... œconomica; ... hieron.; ... symposium; ... de græcorum gestis libri VII. [With dedication by E. Boninus] (editio princeps). Florentiæ: In ædibus P. Juntæ, 1516

The earliest printing in Greek in England may be:[7]

  • Ξ. Λογος περι Ἱππικης. Ἱππαρχικος. Κυνηγετικος. Accessere veterum testimonia de X. (Edited by H. Aldrich.)Ἐκ Θεατρου ἐν Ὀξονιᾳ, ᾳχζγ [Oxford: Clarendon Press 1693]


  1. ^ Sarton, George (1993). Ancient science through the golden age of Greece (facsimile of 1952 ed.). Courier Dover Publications. p. 457. Retrieved July 2011. 
  2. ^ Berenger, Richard (1771). The history and art of horsemanship. London: T. Davies and T. Cadell.  p.2
  3. ^ Sestili, Antonio (2006). L'equitazione nella Grecia antica : i trattati equestri di Senofonte e i frammenti di Simone (in Italian). Scandicci (Firenze): Firenze Atheneum. ISBN 978-88-7255-293-3. Equitation in Ancient Greece: the equestrian treatise of Xenophon and the fragments of Simon 
  4. ^ Ruehl, Franz (1910, 1912). Xenophontis Scripta Minora. Fasciculus prior, Oeconomicum, Convivium, Hieronem, Agesilaum, Apologiam Socratis continens. Post Ludovicum Dindorf edidit Th. Thalheim; Fasciculus posterior opuscula politica, equestria, venatica continens ... Edidit F. Ruehl. Accedunt Simonis De re equestri quae supersunt. (2 volumes). Leipzig: Teubner.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ McCabe, Anne Elena (2007). A Byzantine encyclopaedia of horse medicine: the sources, compilation, and transmission of the Hippiatrica (1st ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927755-1. 
  6. ^ Bandini, Angelo Maria (1791). De Florentina luntarum typographia eiusque censoribus ex qua Graeci, Latini, Tusci scriptores ope codicum manuscriptorum a viris clarissimis pristinae integritati restituti in lucem prodierunt; Accedunt excerpta uberrima praefationum libris singulis praemissarum. Lucae: Franciscus Bonsignorus. 
  7. ^ Brunet, Jacques-Charles (1820). Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livres (in French). Paris: L'Auteur. Retrieved July 2011. 


Translations include:

  • (various translators) The whole works of Xenophon London: Jones & Co. 1832, pp. 717–728 (full text)

External links[edit]