The Persian War
Defines Greeks as a whole
Paradoxal- defines Greeks as a whole yet various parts of Greece in division were
Darius + XerXes each polis has to make a decision on them.
Medize sub-group in the Persian empire
Going on to the Meeds/the Persians
Reasonable at the time but would have negative consequences for you after
Major Differences between Athens + Sparta
Sparta obvious but deliberate form of attack
Persia over land attack
Sparta would drag its enemy to the Peloponnese break them down in the narrow
passage barricading them.
Athens has to fight them by position
Book 7, Section 139
Herodotus : “If Athens…Persian King”
His view Athens was the one to save all of Greece (or they would have
Athenians knew this and used it to their advantage to exploit it when growing
their empire in 5 century.
Athens great military strength its navy!
People who rode the navy got the most prestige as a result = this brought glory to
Athens and the lower class (the demos)
The demos would demand more political sway as a result
History of Persian War- 490-480 BCE ( 490- Darius)
By Herodotus story line told us a Greek tragedy
Similar to Oedipus (i.e. tragedy)
Appeals to the audience
Gave meaning to the battle facts
i.e. moral narrative
499- Ionian Revolt
West of A.M. Greek inhabitants but under Persian rule; yet still Greek!
Doesn‟t last long (of course) b/c of Greek pride, values etc. = revolt
Ask for aid Sparta declines, Athens helps (a kinship present)
Athens burns down Sardis
Result : Darius holds a grudge over the burning on Athens
Marathon (26 miles from Athenian) – Persians invade!
Athenians had never actually seen a person (Athenian view point) but here they are.
Athens freaked out. Asked Sparta for help
They declined- „religious obligation‟ excuse
Thus, Athens decides to defend themselves (recall: ( ) funeral)
Athens out numbered 1000 to 1 (exaggerated but gives idea how large)
Terrified by invasion have no idea what to expect from Persians
Yet Athens drives Persians out!
Only 190 Athenians killed vs. 6400 Persians ( again exaggerated but notice the degree
Athens – idolized the MAROTHONOMAKHOI
Makhos fighter II warrior of the marathons
Athens greatest generation of the time
Freed Athens, freed Greece – best warriors!
Persian outlook Darius: Simply a show symbolic of the power was (sent a small
army not whole empire!)
For Athens: battle of patriotism Athens won‟t be slaves, bravery etc.
Sparta‟s excuse A convenient excuse for them.
Number issue not so factual but scale of Persians compared to Athens is true
Reason why Athens developed such a powerful navy war a result of the Persian
Athens had sent messenger to consult with Delphi:
Didn‟t like the first message
Second- wooden wall alone will not fail
Politician + theologian
Determine that the wooden wall were fleets!
Convinced Athens to build their fleets through the finding of silver at Laurium
Piracus (Athens port) 12 miles away from Athens.
Liability if one crossed them