Authorship Analysis of Xenophon's Cyropaedia

6 Nov 2017  ·  Anjalie Field ·

In the past several decades, many authorship attribution studies have used computational methods to determine the authors of disputed texts. Disputed authorship is a common problem in Classics, since little information about ancient documents has survived the centuries. Many scholars have questioned the authenticity of the final chapter of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, a 4th century B.C. historical text. In this study, we use N-grams frequency vectors with a cosine similarity function and word frequency vectors with Naive Bayes Classifiers (NBC) and Support Vector Machines (SVM) to analyze the authorship of the Cyropaedia. Although the N-gram analysis shows that the epilogue of the Cyropaedia differs slightly from the rest of the work, comparing the analysis of Xenophon with analyses of Aristotle and Plato suggests that this difference is not significant. Both NBC and SVM analyses of word frequencies show that the final chapter of the Cyropaedia is closely related to the other chapters of the Cyropaedia. Therefore, this analysis suggests that the disputed chapter was written by Xenophon. This information can help scholars better understand the Cyropaedia and also demonstrates the usefulness of applying modern authorship analysis techniques to classical literature.

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