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persian wars.docx

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Dimitri Nakassis

Darius and Xerxes  Egypt revolts in 486 BC  Darius dies in late 486 BC/485 BC  Xerxes assumes throne, subdues Egypt  Mardonius: cousin of Xerxes, son of Darius’ sister Xerxes’ army  Herodotus: o 1,700,000 Asian infantry o 80,000 Asian horse cavalry o 20,000 camel and charioteers o 1,207 triremes, 3,000 other ships  516,610 men in the navy o 120 Greek triremes  24,000 men o 300,000 European infantry o TOTAL: 2,641,610 men In the meantime…  Athens struck silver in Laurion (483/2 BC) o Aristides wanted to distribute 10 drachmas to each citizen o Themistocles (archon 493/2) convinced the assembly to spend the money building ships for the war against Aegina The build‐up to Thermopylae  An alliance is begun in 481 against the Persians (“Hellenic league”) o Sparta, Athens and Plataea, Thespiae, Corinth o 19 of 31 cities consist of Sparta and her allies o Oaths: no war (Athens v. Aegina, since 507) o Sparta provides generals for army and navy o Scouts to Asia o Envoys to Argos, Gelon (Syracuse), Corcyra, Crete  Thessaly and Thebes surrender Thessalians and Phocians  Herodotus: “if the Thessalians had supported the Greek cause, the Phocians would, I am sure, have collaborated with the Persians” Thermopylae: Leonidas  Leonidassent to Thermopylae with 7000 hoplites  Fleet (324 triremes, 180 from Athens) sent to Artemision  300 Spartiates, 500 from Tegea, 500 from Mantinea, 1,120 from Arcadia, 400 from Corinth  200 from Phlius, 80 from Mycenae, 700 from Thespiae, 400 from Thebes  PLUS: 1000 Phocians and more Opuntian Locrians Persian foot‐soldiers  “instead of the ordinary shields they had shields of wicker‐work, under which hung quivers; and they had short spears and large bows and arrows of reed, and moreover daggers hanging by the right thigh…” Battle of Artemision  333 v. 500 ships  3 days in August 480 BC  Persians try to encircle Greek fleet  Xerxes’ fleet “because of its size and numbers, was its own destroyer, for the ships fell foul of one another and became entangled.”  Draw, retreat to Salamis  Half of Athens’ ships disabled Salamis: result  200 Persian ships are sunk  Herodotus: Persians couldn’t swim and drowned  Xerxes leaves with the fleet  Mardonius stays behind with an army of 300,000 o winters in Thessaly  Greek generals decide not to pursue the Persian fleet  Xerxes offers terms to the Athenians  Mardonius sacks Athens in summer 479 Battle of Plataea (479 BC) The forces at Plataea  Sparta sends 45,000 men with Pausanias: o 5000 Spartiates o 5000 perioikoi o 35,000 helots  8000 Athenians, 3000 Megarians, 5000 Corinthians, 1500 Tegeans, and so on  38,700 hoplites and 71,300 light troops vs. 300,000 Persian troops + 50,000 Greek allies Aftermath  Persians retreat to their camp, where they are besieged and slaughtered  Herodotus says that only 43,000 (of 300,000) Persians survived the battle o Most killed at the Strymon by the Macedonians  159 Greek casualties (Spartans, Tegeans, Athenians) o Plutarch: 1,360 Greek casualties o Aristodemus the Coward  Allied forces march on Thebes Battle of Mykale (479 BC) Bronze serpent column, 479 BC  Text of the Serpent Column (479 BC)  By these the war was fought: o Lacedaemonians, Athenians, Corinthians, Tegeans, Sicyonians, Aeginetans, Megarians, Epidaurians, Erchomenians, Phleiasians, Troezenians, Hermionians, Tirynthians, Plataeans, Thespians, Styrians, Haleians, Potidaeans, Leucadians, Anactorians, Cynthians, Siphnians, Abraciots, Lepreans. “Hellenic” identity  “Persia gave the Greeks their identity, or the means for recognizing it” (Hornblower) o Aeschylus, The Persians(472 BC) o Herodotus (3rdquarter of 5thc BC) o Hippocratic Ai
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