CLAA01 Oct. 11, 2012
Herodotus: ca. 485-430
Born in Halicarnassus
Wrote of the Greco-Persian Wars in his work (and only surviving/known work) The
Is known to be inaccurate and fanciful in his retellings
Wrote of Greeks (those who spoke Greek) and barbarians (those who spoke other
Cyrus the Great: r. 559-530 BCE
Persian king. Grandson of Cyrus I and son of Cambyses I
Expanded his empire and it became the largest of that time
Conquered Median, Lydian, and Neo-Babylonian Empires in order to make his
The grandfather of Cyrus the Great dreamt that Cyrus would eventually
overthrow him so he sentenced the baby to death (leaving him in the
mountains?). He was rescued by a slave lady, sometimes referred to as a dog
Was succeeded by his son Cambyses II, after Cyrus’ death in one of his campaigns
Egypt, Nubia, and Cyrenaica were added to the empire by Cambyses II
His daughter would marry Darius and give birth to Xerxes
There was a sort of alliance with Sparta because their community was respected and
they were considered equal to Persia. Athens, comparatively, was disliked because of
their foreign policy and civil war, which Persia supported but Athens ended up not
needing their support.
Darius: 522-486 CLAA01 Oct. 11, 2012
Was the emperor at the time of Persia’s greatest strength and largest territory.
The Behitsun Inscription
Provides a brief autobiography of Darius
Describes his successful campaigns and his wish for
vengeance against Athens
Ionian Revolt: 499-493 BCE
First major conflict between Greece and Persia, first phase of
the Greco-Persian Wars
Aristagoras (tyrant of Miletus at the time) led attacks against the Persians. Incited Iona
(a city that had been under Persian rule) into a revolt against Darius.
He did not ask for Sparta’s help is this revolt because they were too far from
Athens, on the other hand, had recently become a democracy, with the support
of the Persians (which they did not end up needing, in the end). However, the city
no longer wanted to be under Persian control so they supported the Ionian Revolt
They captured the town of Sardis and burnt it down.
Darius wanted revenge against Athens for their support of the Revolt
The Ionians were defeated at the Battle of Lade
Eretria was another supporter of the Ionians in the Revolt.
Darius gained vengeance against them by capturing and destroying their city
Marathon: 490 BCE
Was a retaliation of the Ionian Revolt by Darius against Athens
The Athenians marched to meet the Persians at the town of Marathon. They initially
held off the original invasion, resulting in a five day stalemate.
Militidiades, an Athenian general, convinced the Athenian army to attack the Persian
They were successful and those who fought in the battle,
on the Athenian side, were given great respect when they
returned home CLAA01