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Persian Wars.docx

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McMaster University
Graeme Ward

Persian Wars 24/01/2013 1:58:00 PM th Persians have always been in greek histories since the 6 century Sources on Persians during war  literary o primarily Greek o Herodotus  Wrote about Persia, but was kind of biased by the Greeks  Retrospective evidence (art, archaeology) o Inscription of Behistum  All the different nations of them going to the Persian king Darius  Darius is the first king that the Greeks encounter Meet the Persians!  Indo-Europeon people o Modern Fars region o Related to Medes (Median Empire)  Afghanistan, Iraq, eastern turkey  One tribe for a much larger empire  Their rise is remarkable- faster than Athens, fatser than rome The Achaemenids  553 BCE: Persians overthrow Median Empire  Cyrus II (the great) o Seen as the good ruler (by non Persians) successful, etc.  Achaemenid Dynasty o Pasargadae  Capital city, can still find the tomb of Cyrus himself Achaemenid Timeline  Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE) o Annexation of Lydia (incl. Ionian cities); Babylon  Cambyses (530- 523) o Egypt o “Persian Debate” o he was though as insane, he was assassinated in his palace by controversies in his own family  Darius the Great (522- 486) o Bactria, Sogdiana, India, Thrace o Largest empire that the world has yet seen (1/3 of the worlds populous) Persian Army  Comprieses tropps from across the empire  Cavalry, archers o Herodotus: Persia boy taught three things…  Ride the horse  Always shoot straight  Speak the truth o The “Parthian shot”  Persians were so skilled that without stirrups and no saddle, they could turn around and shoot straight o Persians were horsemanship and archery  Immortals o 10 000 heavy infantry  they were picked Persians  They were called immortals because the number always stayed at 10 000  They were very diverse Imperial Administration under Darius  Satrapies (Provinces) o Civil-military administration o Satraps  Govern, Persian  They do what they wished, ran by their own devices as long as they were loyal to the king (paid the taxes)  Persians never tried to Persianise the kingdom, they let them do what they wanted  Respect local customs, languages, political organisation and religious beliefs o Earth and Water o You wish to be friends with Persia, they would demand two things, tokens of friendship and submission, earth and water  Other Reforms o “eyes and Ears of the King”  spy network, he has people all across the empire that give him intelligence o Royal Road  Brick road from western turkey all the way up to Persia, tying the empire together o Moves capital to Persepolis  “City of the Persians”  Greeks thought that nobody thinks that no one man should have so much power unless they were a god, Greek does not like monarchy  How to the Persians keep the Greeks relatively stable Ionian Cities  Puppet tyrants with Persian support o Miltiades (Philaid), Tyrant of Cheronese  Work with the Persians, help them from time to time, tyrants had a weird relationship with Persia s  Aristagoras of Miletos o Attempted to seize Naxos with Persian help  Goes to Persians and says they are interested in Naxos, Persians agree to give him man power and Persia wasted so much money and man power  Aristagoras was in trouble, so he turns sides, becomes a hero of Greek freedom o Seeks help from mainland Greece o Cleomenes of Sparta  Gave them a map of Persia and told them that they would have so much gold and so much power, Sparta says no, they have no interest in gold and they do not want to go so far from home o Athens and Eretria: 25 ships  They say yes to help, but they do not really give too much, but it is enough to start the revolt Ionian Revolt  499- 493 BCE  Initially successful o Burning of Sardis  Persian Naval superiority o Using the cities that he has conquered (the sea people) o He rised with the navy, greeks fall apart  494: Battle of Lade o Destruction of Miletos
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