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Persian Wars Jan 22.docx

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Victoria Wohl

CLA160 January 22, 2014 The Persian Wars Persian Wars 490-480 BCE • Tension between panhellenism and the individual poleis • Differences between Sparta andAthens come forth during Persian wars • Greece defining itself against Persia • Persia was ruled by a single ruler • Greeks said that the Persians were slaves to their king and not autonomous like the Greeks • Viewed the Greeks as feminine • After the Persian wars, the Greeks looked at the Persians like they were barbarians • Persians and Greeks defined themselves against each other The Eurymedon Vase • Greeks defeated the Persians for the final time • One side you see a Persian in a spotted unitard in a strange position • Then on the other side there’s a man holding his penis • “I am Eurymedon. I stand bent over” • The Persians aren’t real men • The Greeks are dominant and real men Herodotus • mid 5 century BCE • Ethnography and history • Explaining who these Persians are, all the different subgroups, how they came together • What motivated the Persian empire to attack Greece • Open minded in his ethnography • Persians rule this vast territory and they are trying to add Greece to this vast territory • Interweaves ethnography and history • You have to understand the cultural differences in order to understand the war itself (why they fought, what the battle meant to each party) • Places a strong emphasis on first person accounts Persian Wars • 499 BCE Ionian Revolt o Asia minor in Ionia o Greek cultures inAsia minor for centuries (since dark ages) o These people came under the power of the Persian king Darius o They don’t like being ruled by foreigners o Ionian Greeks sent to mainland Greece for help o Failure, Ionian’s were eventually resubdued o Darius swore revenge • Differences between Sparta andAthens o Sparta’s reputation of being conservative and cautious o Athenians are excited for war • Greek perspective, fundamental difference that Persians are slave-ish, whereas Greeks value their freedom • Darius sets out to conquer Greece – 490 BCE First Persian War o Sails across theAegean and lands right north ofAthens in Marathon o Persian’s show up outside ofAthens, the Greeks freak out o They send a messenger to Sparta for help o Spartans say no because they are in the middle of a religious festival o Athenians, young poleis, who had never been tested on a force of this side o They didn’t know what to do o Battle of Marathon – 5 million Persians o Greeks were hugely outnumbered 600-1 o Persians are vast and wealthy o Tomb ofAeschylus- only wants people to remember that he fought at
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