Medes: ruined in history by chosing the Persians over the Greeks. They were land people.
Athens vs. Sparta: S build a wall. Athens on the north of the wall, they had no option. They had to
valiantly fight. Zerces fought Athens, they are the ones who saved Greece. They would have toppled the
country if they had not fought Persia.
Polis & ALL Greece defined by this war.
Herodotus refers to the war as a tragedy
Arrogance, hubris: Persia is punished by the just Greeks and Gods.
1 Persian invasion: 499BCE: Ionians (Asia Minor) first conquered by Cyrus, (then successor Darius), and
are under the rule of Persian monarch. They revolt for freedom, and send for help. Sparta refuses to
help. Athens do come to help. (kinship for their pan-hellenes). Once they get there, they keep going to
Sardis (capital of Libya) and they burn it to the ground. Eventually they are subdued and the Ionians are
recaptured. Darius prays to Zeus for the power to avenge against the Athenians. 9 years later. 490BCE
Darius peaces out over the Aegean to Marathon, Attica (26 miles from Athens). Athens freaks out.
Athens sends a messenger to Sparta (ran 240km in one day. Shows desperation, not truth exactly)
Sparta declines due to religious ceremony, impious to the gods to stop before full moon wains. Too late.
Athens has to chose, they are made of the land, they must protect it. Not allow it to be taken. They get
all pepped up and they fight for the mother land. They march out and meet the Persians at marathon.
1000:1against the Athenians. They are scared. 200 athenians dead, 5000 persians: Athenians win! Sparta
shows, sees they don’t need help and leave. “Marathonomicoi” (spelling) like titanomachy. Had a saintly
aura around them, they saved Greece from the Persians. Those who died were buried right on the battle
field, apparently a huge honour. It was likely not that darius wanted to take over Greece, but that he
wanted to show his power and terrify them, as punishment for razing Sardis. He heard they were weak
and unpopulace. Greeks think that it was a defining point between slavery and freedom.
Inbetween invasiosn: internal development between marathon and Athens. Needed to prepare for
future. Someone goes to Delphi for the God’s advice: oracle: wretched ones why are you sitting here?
Flee, the god ares will destroy you all. They try again: Athena can’t help you, Athens is fated to be
destroyed. Zeus grants that the wooden wall will not fail, it is your only source of hope. How are they to
interpret it? Build a wall? Plant a forest? Well, it meant ships, develop the fleet. They had discovered a
silver mine and had money, they were planning on dividing it up between the society but instead they
built a huge fleet to protect from Persia. They also built walls “the long walls” so they always have
control of the sea, they couldn’t be conquered by siege if the other army took them by land. Almost
made itself an island. They could always go to the water. From there on, Athens was always a great
power. It helped to develop the empire of Athens. They defended all the little islands between Persia
and attica so they were the foundation.
2 Persian invasion: 480BCE: Zerces: son of Darius: motivations for invading Greece:1. He wants to
conquer all of Europe. First take Greece to get the rest of Europe. 2. Competing with ancestors, father
lost to marathon in a great war, but expanded Persian rule into Africa and elsewhere; grandfather was cyrus, founder of Persia! He needs to live up to his father and his father’s father. Big shoes to fill.
(Basically, expand Persia and take Europe; and personal honour) he unfortunately shows monster
youthful arrogance. He is represented as a hot head, too much to prove which drives him to overreach.
No wisdom yet. Xerxes has a dream: “you must go to Greece” twice he dreams this and is told that if he
doesn’t dire consequences will follow. His uncle dresses up as him and the dream coming to him, he is
told that it is fated that Persia will go to Greece: interpretation is subjective. Dreams are from the gods, I
think that is tragic narrative, it is fated. The Persian gods give framework by which things have to follow
the tapestry. HUBRIS: arrogance (modern)/ + (acts of violence and insult against others which are very