Question 5 Talking Points

5.) Where do we see examples of leaders seizing the kairos (window of opportunity). How does a leader recognize the kairos and what are the advantages of these situations?

Kairos: opportunity; the opportune moment; window of opportunity (in battle especially).


  • ·         Gain honor, respect and victory.
  • ·         Trusted by troops and/or citizenry as responsible and successful leader.

Think about this: How realistic is Xenophon in portraying Cyrus seizing the kairos vs. Tatum in Always I Am Caesar?

  • Alexander seized the kairos when Bucephalus was deemed a dangerous horse. Alexander saw that Bucephalus was only afraid of his shadow, and that he was an amazing horse. Alexander displayed tolme (daring), philokindunia (physical risk) and attentiveness to detail to his father and comrades by betting a lot of money on his ability to ride Bucephalus.
    • Alexander refuses to fight a weak enemy, believes the kairos is best served when the enemy is strong.
    •  Alexander took advantage of his father’s assassination and used his new seat of authority to spread his power.
  • Caesar seized the opportune moment in the grand funeral rites he gave to his Aunt Julia. Since she was descended from the Marcii Reges (lineage of Kings), and from the Julii (descended from gods), Caesar made significant note of this during the funeral in front of the Roman public to emphasize his greatness and sense of divinity. He held a similarly extravagant funeral for his wife, Cornelia, as well.
    • The Temple Venus Genetrix was built by Caesar and dedicated to his quadruple victories at Gaul. All Romans were believed to have been descended from Venus, but the Julii claimed to be of purest and most direct descent. Caesar seized the opportunity to build a beautiful temple, in honor of Venus, that locked him into history as one of the greatest and most divine and pure rulers of the world.
  • Cyrus as having embarked in battle at the perfect time, each time.
    • Per his father’s recommendation, Cyrus believes that the most advantageous kairos in battle is when the enemy is at their strongest (and sooner before later, no hesitation).  



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