Week 7: The Persian War: Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History, and Culture
Week 7: The Persian War: Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History, and Culture CLA 2110
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Date Created: 02/21/16
Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History and Culture Persian War Notes Based on PowerPoints/Class Lectures/Assigned Readings Herodotus (born in 484 BCE) is our main source for the Persian War • He is considered one of the first historians • He often mixed myth and history so it is hard to differentiate what is myth and what is fact • Wrote The Histories (450’s BC) o 9 books o Mythological: Rapes of Io, Eurpoa, Helen (reasons for tension); Amazons o Factual: Croesus, Peisistratus, Cleisthenes, Egypt, rise of Persians o For our use: Persian War against the Greeks § Battles of Marathon, Salamis, Thermopylae, etc. Persia really emerges in 550 BC Kings of Persia • Cyrus (the Great) o Ruled 559-530 BC § Established an autocratic government • Satraps: provincial overseers/governors o Cyrus will leave a satrap in charge of the area after he conquers an area and just let them be almost independent o Earth and water § Symbol of giving everything you have to the king § Established Persian Empire • Capital at Susa § Conquered Media (550 Bc) 9 years into his ruling § Defeated Croesus of Lydia (546 BC) Croesus of Lydia (ruled 560-547/6) • Conquers Greeks in Ionia o Vassal state (making them providences) • Encounter with cyrus and the Persians: 547/6 BC • “If Croesus crosses the river Halys, he will destroy a mighty empire.” – Delphic Oracle o Destroys his own empire • His funeral is a weird situation because one version is that he is on a pyre and he asks for help form Apollo and it rains and saves him or that Cyrus feels kinda bad and saves him. Back to the kings • Cyrus (cont) o conquers Babylon in 539 BC o Cyrus dies in 530 • Cambyses (ruled 530-522 BC) o Conquers Egypt • Darius I (ruled 522-486 BC) o Invasion of Thrace (510 BC) Meanwhile in Athens… • 510: Expulsion of Hippas o Hippas goes to the persians • 508: Reforms of Cleisthenes • 507: Envoys to Persia o Earth and Water mix up Back to Darius I: • Ruled 522-486 BC • Invasion of Thrace (510 BC) • Ionian revolt (499 BC) Ionian Revolt: 499 • Conflict: Rise of democracy in Greece vs. tyrants and satraps in Persia • Aristagoras, tyrant of Miletus o Restoration of aristocracy on Naxos o Goes to the Persians and gets them on board o Goes to Naxos and it fails o Histiaeus’s warning § Histiaeus is an advisor of Darius but also Aristagoras’s father in law § He warns Aristagoras that the Persians are after him and will attack o As a result…Resigns as tyrant but, rallies revolt against Persia § He goes to Sparta to ask for help and they say no because it would take too long (3 months) to go over there (if they leave the helots may attack) § He goes to Athens and appeals to them through their Ionian connection • Athens sends 20 ships (Triremes) • Eretria sends 5 • 498: Greeks take Sardis (and burn it) • 498: Persians defeat Ionians at Ephesus o Athens are out by 498 • 497-494: Back and forth combat • 494: Battle of Lade and sack of Miletus o Many people die o Women are captured o Children sold into slavery • In Athens: “The Sack of Miletus” by Phrynicus (A play) o “The whole theater burst into tears, and they fined him a thousand drachmas for reminding them of their misfortunes.” o Athens feels so guilty • 493: Persians crush the remaining rebels o Democracies allowed • “Master, remember the Athenians” o Darius is so mad at Athens because he sees it as a betrayal because they gave him “earth and water” so he has a slave say “remember the Athenians daily” All this leads to Darius’s campaign against the greeks (492-490 BC) Meanwhile in Athens: • Themistokles o (head) Archon in 493 o Democrat (Champions the demos) o Support of navy § Large ports § Merchant society § Empowers a lot of people to participate o Piraeus as main port of Athens o Great speaker • Miltiades o Athenian aristocrat o Family sided with Hippias § He tries to downplay that o Refugee from Ionian War § Still considered an Athenian o Elected military general (strategos) in 490 BC o Key player in battle of Marathon What about Persia? First campaign against Athens 492 BC • Mardonius: Persian general • On the way to attack there is a Storm at Mt. Athos o 300 ships destroyed o 20,000 men killed § They turned around § Lucky for Athens • 491: Persian messengers sent to Athens and Sparta, asking for earth and water (may not have happened) o They say no • Aegina submits, but Athens and Sparta intervene by taking hostages until Aegina obeys Darius I’s second campaign against the Greeks (490 BC) • Battle of Marathon (490 BC) • Persia o Persian military leaders: § Datis and Artaphernes o Bring a 15,000 army (horsemen, light infantry, archers) o The Immortals • Herodotus’ word (was it a mixup?) § Heavy infantry of 10,000 men(?) § Armed with: • Short spears • Swords or large daggers • Bow and arrow • Wicker shields • Round caps • Siege of Eretria o Remember how Eretria gave Aristagoras ships? Well the Persians were upset and destroyed Eretria on the way to get Athens • Bay of Marathon o The return of Hippias (who is advising the generals about Athens and where to go) • Pheidippides o Runs 150 miles to Sparta to ask them to fight o They say no because they need a full moon (Religious observance) o They still want to help though but they just want them to wait • Miltiades (leading general of Athens) o There is a divide in Athens: some want to wait and some want to fight o Miltiades convinces voters to vote to fight and is successful! o Athenians (10,000?) and Plataeans (1,000) o 11,000 vs. 26,000 Persians • Battle: o The Athenians confuse the Persians by running at them and separating their formation o Many Persians flee to ships • Result: o 192 Athenians dead o 6,400 Persians • Origin of the “marathon”: o Persia goes back to their ships to get to another spot in Athens so the soldiers run and beat the Persians there. Persia turns around • After the Battle of Marathon: o Darius spends three years preparing an army o 486 BC: § Revolt in Egypt § Darius dies; Xerxes (his son) becomes king Xerxes I: • Rules 486-465 BC • Leads one of the largest invasions of Greece • 485 BC: puts down revolt in Egypt • 484-480: Xerxes prepares to invade Greece • Bridge across Hellespont • Canal at Mt. Athos Meanwhile, in Athens… • 489 BC: Trial and death of Miltiades after battle at Paros • He dies in jail (a not so glorious manner) • 487-482 BC: • Ostracisms every year • Why now? Athens is very polarized • Rise of Themistocles • Why him? Great speaker, promotes the Navy, HELPS THE DEMOS! • 483 BC: Discovery of silver at Laurion • Themistocles wants to use half for navy and split the rest among everyone • 481 BC: Themistocles’ naval bill • Builds navy as quickly as they can 481 BC: Meeting at Corinth • 31 city states willing to oppose Persia • Not Thebes • “Hellenic Alliance” • Led by the Spartans • Because they led the Peloponnesian League • Athens naval power • Agree to fight at Thermopylae and Artemisium Xerxes campaign • Mardonius: Persian general • 180,000(ish) troops • Persians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Ionians, etc. • 1,200(ish) ships = 10x larger than Darius’ attack • Hellspot gets destroyed and Xerxes gets so upset he whips the sea 480 BC: Battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium • Thermopylae: Land battle o Doesn’t work out for the Greeks because so many events were happening! § Spartans had a religious festival § The Olympics were happening! The Battle of Artemisium • Greek fleet under Spartans • 127 Athenian • 40 Corinthian • 10 Lacedaemonian (Perioikoi) • 84 from other poleis = over 270 ships During battle: 100 ships lost • Persian Fleet • ~1200 (before storm #1) • ~800 (after storm #1, before splitting) • They decide to split to confuse them • ~600 (after storm #2) • During battle: 200 ships lost 480: Panic in Athens • Delphic Oracle warns Athens about an attack and says o “But a wall made of wood does farsighted Zeus to Tritogenes (Athena) grant alone and unravaged, to help you and your children” • What is this “Wooden Wall”? o Themistocles’ interpretation= go to ships o Others thought to stay behind the wooden walls of a temple (they were wrong and slaughtered) • Athens abandoned, destroyed • Destruction on the Acropolis • Olive tree of Athena (was burned but grew back- seen as a symbol) 480: Battle of Salamis: Greek fleet under Athenians (Themistokles) • 180 Athenian ships • 40 Corinthian ships • 30 Aeginetan ships • 16 Spartan ships • 110 ships from smaller city-states = 370 ships Persian fleet • Restoration of fleet after Artemisium? • Or 800? Themistocles and the slave • A slave is sent to trick Xerxes into attacking Athens by telling him that they are weak Queen Artemisia of Caria to Xerxes: • “If you do not hurry to fight at sea, but keep your ships here and stay near land, or even advance into the Peloponnese, then, my lord, you will easily accomplish what you had in mind on coming here.” • She knew what was up • She also fought so much better than the men and Xerxes was very impressed After Salamis • Persian fleet defeated • Greeks lose 40 ships • Persians lose 200-300 ships • Xerxes leaves Greece • Army stays under Mardonius • Persian army spends the winter in Thessaly • Invades Athens again in spring 479 • Spartans join forces, march into Attica for assistance 479: Battle of Plataea Greek forces lead by Spartans (Pausanias) • 10,000 Spartans • + 5,000 other Lacedaemonians • + 35,000 Helots • 8,000 Athenians • 5,000 Corinthians • 16,000 from smaller city-states =80,000 troops End: ~1,000 dead? Persian forces lead by Mardonius • 300,000?? 100,000? End: ~10,000 dead? 479: The Battle of Mycale Greek fleet and forces: • 40,000 men • 200? Ships Persian fleet and forces: • 60,000 men • 300 ships After Plataea and Mycale • In Persia: • Persians loses control of the Hellespont, Byzantium, Thrace, and Macedon • 14 years later Xerxes and his heir were killed in a coup • Artaxerxes I took the throne • In Greece: • 478/7: • Spartans leave from war against Persia • Suggestion to migrate the Ionian Greeks to mainland • Oath of Plataea • Athens determined to free the Greeks in Asia
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