On land, the Spartans had once again shown that the Persians were not the equals of Greek hoplites. The remnant of the Persian army fled north and back to Persia, inflicting damage as they went, and suffering extremely harsh conditions themselves. Featured What have you learned from reading Herodotus that might alter your understanding of the battle of Thermopylae? their guard upon expeditions; and that they shall use in their He overthrew the ruling Median dynasty to establish Persian control: his conquest of Lydia and Babylonia vastly increased Persian territory. Teachers may want to ask students to consider some of the following questions and discussion topics. Lakonia – State 3.1. This is followed by a description of Leonidas, the leader of the Greek forces at Thermopylae. Trace major events of the battle at Thermopylae and understand the significance of the conflict. Herodotus himself that his verdict would displease most men, meaning thereby most non- Athenians, for the Athenians would not have found it distasteful. Demaratus, or Demaratos ( Greek: Δημάρατος ), was a king of Sparta from around 515 BC until 491 BC, 15th of the Eurypontid line, successor to his father Ariston. What hints can you find in these descriptive paragraphs that Herodotus was a Greek? her to anyone, and about public ways; also if any man desires they beat their foreheads with a good will and make lamentation The council of elders was composed of 28 men over the age of 60 who were elected for life, and who were entrusted with preserving the laws. Herodotus tells us a wonderful story of a girl who grew up to be the most beautiful woman in all of Sparta, but she was born very very, ugly, so much so that her parents were ashamed of … Teachers may assign all three activities or choose among them. What sacrifice is being demanded of Athenians if they accept Themistocles' strategy? to adopt a son, he must do it in presence of the kings: and How would you describe the Greek battle plan? Can you guess the significance of the mountain pathway guarded by the Phocians? They will read from Herodotus's account of the battle at Thermopylae, the narrow pass where 300 Spartans and their Greek allies made their last-ditch stand against tens of thousands of Xerxes's invading army. Thus, there was a total of 35,000 Helots at that battle. Even as Herodotus sometimes offers more than one version of events, his own perspectives and views are clearly the ones that guide his narrative. and that when they go on expeditions the kings shall go out Thus, Xerxes won at Thermopylae and forced the Greeks to withdraw from Artemisium. If students have seen the movie 300, or read the graphic novel by Frank Miller, encourage them to compare that modern version of the story to the historical record, especially as it has come down to us from the Greek historian Herodotus, the father of history. What is Herodotus implying when he reports that it became clear to Xerxes that though he had plenty of combatants, he had but very few warriors? Over two hundred of these ships were Athenian. Imagine you are Leonidas: what would you do to foster morale and courage among your men? These Do you agree with Themistocles' interpretation of Apollo's oracle? Greece, with about 50 thousand miles of territory, had fewer than 2 million inhabitants. best history sites on the web. say, about the maiden who inherits her father's property, Zeos Uranios---and the right of making war against whatsoever The Athenians had al- He lost patience with waiting and tried to trap the Greeks in the narrow straits between the island and the land. The population had been moved to islands close to Athens. Xerxes' attack was exactly what they had been waiting for. Another goal is to further emphasize the role of Herodotus as interpreter and shaper of the history he is telling. Sparta – City 3.1.1. It was the fault of the Greek gods, who with their arrogance, encouraged me to march onto your lands. Herodotus and The Histories . Some teachers may wish to discuss events that followed the battle of Thermopylae. What parts of the narrative seem to reinforce the fact that Herodotus was a Greek and not a Persian? II:35. The King replied, 'It was caused by your good fate and my bad fate. Why do you think Herodotus introduces the oracle at this point in the story? Once Thermopylae was lost, the last residents were evacuated from Athens. kings has been killed in war, they prepare an image to represent “Μολον Λαωε!” (“Molon Lave—Come and take them!”) was said to be the response by the Spartans at Thermopylae to the Persian demand that the Greeks surrender their weapons. In these passages he tells of Xerxes' resolve to invade Greece and add the Greek city states to his empire. Besides knowing the territory, they had heavier, slower triremes than the Persians. At the end of August the Persians entered Attica, as the Athenian land is called. Any debts to a king expire on his death; this is the same in Persia (59). NCSS.D2.His.5.6-8. him, laid upon a couch with fair coverings, and carry it out On the Kings of Sparta by Herodotus: HistoryWiz Primary Source. Then after they have buried him, no assembly You may want to review these materials yourself before assigning the activities. Herodotus also contributed to the mirage, as his writing can be quite hyperbolic. goings forth to war as many cattle as they desire, and take The Helots were held essentially in bondage to raise crops and perform other services for the Spartans. Spartan state; and after they are dead horsemen go round and Based on their reading of Herodotus, students will be asked to consider some of the following questions: This activity also includes many hypertext links to maps and commentary on key terms and places mentioned in the reading. Croesus battles Cyrus at Pteria in Cappadocia (76). in Macworld Furthermore, in contrast to the Persian Empire, Greece was not a unified nation or country, but a dispersed group of individual city states, each with its own government. When the land battle was lost, the Greek fleet was forced to withdraw. It is important to remember that the Great King was the central figure of the Persian Empire. Herodotus had already written about one war, he … Spartan land, and in the city women go about and strike upon Evaluate the relative influence of various causes of events and developments in the past. It is less well known that the Spartans combined different institutions in order to arrive at a stable government that survived for about 500 years between 750 and 250 BC. One of the goals of this activity is to help students understand that the battle of Thermopylae was part of a much larger and much more complicated historical context that included the movement of men and animals and ships and supplies as well as the building of bridges and the apparent intervention of the gods and of storms at sea. Herodotus was also linked to the circle of Pericles, the great democratic statesman of fifth-century Athens, and may have been friendly with Sophocles, the tragic playwright. Thucydides‟ famous comment around 420 BC reveals much about the man who was a military general in awe of, and genuinely curious about, a powerful city state which was engaged in a … For example, Herodotus considered Sparta as free, despite the fact that it was undemocratic, lacked a constitution … ... as it moved closer to war with Sparta. Your purchase of books or other items through links on this site helps keep this free educational site on the web. They performed various executive and judicial functions: They convened the council of elders and brought public business and court cases before it. Greece 2. NCSS.D2.His.2.6-8. Story of how Thales of Miletus diverted the river Halys so Croesus' army could cross is doubted by Hdt, who thinks bridges were used (75). Remind students that while the events in this lesson were proceeding on land, the Greek fleet had been harassing the Persian fleet on the water. In addition, this activity is intended to foster greater critical thinking about the ways history is presented as story or narrative, often with a specific perspective or point of view imbedded in the interpretations and presentations. Actually we’ve made an historiographical soap-opera out of a rivalry that doesn’t really exist. Herodotus (484-425 BCE) the Greek historian who wrote extensively on the Persian Empire, here describes Persian customs as they would have been practiced around the year 430 BCE at Susa and other Persian communities. Mountain ranges remained snow-cappe… Why do you think the Greeks organize themselves by cities? Ancient History Sourcebook:Herodotus:On the Kings of Sparta, c. 430 BCE. Modern scholars estimate the population of the Persian Empire at 70 million people, spread over 1 million square miles of territory. is held among them for ten days, nor is there any meeting Thucydides wrote about the civil war between Athens and Sparta. announce that which has happened throughout the whole of the Croesus dismisses the mercenaries. The ephors, on the other hand, were elected annually. Nobody is mad enough to choose war whilst there is peace. What parts of the narrative would you object to in Herodotus' retelling if you were a Persian who had fought in the battles or who knew someone who fought for Xerxes. After several long wars the Spartans had conquered the neighboring peoples, whom they called "Helots." You can see from this aerial photograph that there wasn't much room here for hundreds of ships to maneuver: The Greeks, who were in their home territory, were well aware of all the difficulties involved in sailing these straits. own, making three in all. Why would Xerxes find comfort in some portents and ignore others? They can be assigned as homework or class activities, or a combination of both. As king, he is known chiefly for his opposition to the co-ruling Spartan king, Cleomenes I. Why do the Greeks want to meet the Persians at Thermopylae and Artemisium? The kings alone give decision on the following cases only, that is to Herodotus Politics 47 (Saxenhouse 1996, 45). Herodotus has Xerxes’ Greek advisor Demaratos tell him the following about Sparta: [T]he Lacedemonians [= Spartans] are not inferior to any men when fighting one by one, and they are the best of all men when fighting in a body: for though free, yet they are not free in all things, for over them is set Law as a master, whom they fear much more even than thy people fear thee. Each one was called "the Great King" and was the supreme ruler of the Persian Empire. They will read from Herodotus's account of the battle at Thermopylae, the narrow pass where 300 Spartans and their Greek allies made their last-ditch stand against tens of thousands of Xerxes's invading army. Joseph Isola Professor Roessel Athens To Sparta: GAH 2312 September 26 th 2011 Herodotus On Sparta Herodotus was a Greek historian, known for his famous collection of history, which he titled The Histories. This first activity is intended to introduce students to the major participants on each side of the battle: Xerxes, the king and commander of the Persians; and Leonidas, the Spartan king and leader of the Greeks. Xerxes sent no more messengers to either one, since they had already refused to pay tribute under Darius (7.32). On September 20, 480 BC, Xerxes could stand it no longer. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. What are some of the defining differences between the Persians and Spartans that Herodotus emphasizes in these passages? Uprisings among the Helots, who made up 90 percent of the population, were a constant threat to the ruling Spartan minority. Herodotus wrote about the wars between Persia and Greece. The government had four parts: The citizen assembly was composed of men descended from ancient Spartan families who fought in the army. Commentary on Xerxes preparations for war, Commentary on Ahurmazda and Zoroastrianism, Lesson 4: The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, and Us. For the contemporary epitaphios, which was one of the standard expressions of Athenian national consciousness, argued for the military superiority of ancestral Athens over Sparta. Herodotus, the Greek historian known as the Father of History, describes a debate on the three government types (Herodotus III.80-82), in which proponents of each type … Who do you think Herodotus had in mind when he said some would dislike or disagree with his interpretation of the importance of Athens? Before assigning this activity you may want to review and bookmark some of the following EDSITEment web resources which can be used to enhance this activity. namely who ought to have her, if her father have not betrothed Cold in winter/hot in summer 2. Herodotus here adds a digression about the Hellenic communities which had rejected the demand, whereby he particularly underlined Sparta’s and Athens’s love of freedom (7.134-44). On the sea, the Greeks had destroyed many more Persian ships. Mardonius and his army wintered over in Greece. Do you think the Greeks expect to win a victory at Thermopylae? 74 quotes from Herodotus: 'He asked, 'Croesus, who told you to attack my land and meet me as an enemy instead of a friend?' But the victories at Thermopylae and Artemisium had harmed Xerxes more than they had helped him. Croesus retreats back to Lydia, and summons reinforcements from his allies Egypt, Babylon, and Sparta (77). Mardonius himself was killed. of the elders who are most closely related to them shall have But the Greeks' troubles weren't over yet. Why do you think Herodotus remarks on the reluctance of the troops from Thebes? Teachers are advised to read through the unit, and look at the maps, illustrations, animations, and EDSITEment web resources. The Persian War was a 50 year series of conflicts between the Greeks and the Persians, for control of the Mediterranean. Herodotus: Father of History, Father of Lies. The Athenians themselves survived. Meanwhile Histiaeus, tyrant of Miletus, who had been allowed by Darius to leave Susa, came down to Sardis. Leonidas (Mid 6th century–480 BCE) was the king of Sparta who led the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE). Geographical Area: 1. The EDSITEment Launchpad includes links to maps and images of the soldiers and the terrain on which the battle was fought. Yet he was not unaware of the greatness of the Persians. Herodotus is a strange amalgam of Homer, Polybius and Pliny the Elder. Students may be familiar with this famous battle from its depiction in Zack Snyder's movie 300, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel. NCSS.D2.His.3.6-8. Why do you think Herodotus offers so many possible motives for the actions of Leonidas and the Greek allies? This review of the movie on the Livius website may suggest some approaches to comparing Herodotus to later versions of the story of Thermopylae. Begin by asking students to compare how Herodotus describes the Persians and the Spartans. Whenever this happens so, two free persons During the reign of Darius the Persian royal family had adopted the Zoroastrian religion, according to which there was only one god, Ahuramazda, who controlled all fates. The questions are wide ranging and encourage thoughtful review of their reading from Herodotus's Histories. Huge and diverse, the Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great (reigned 559–530 BCE) who conquered nearly the whole territory you see on the map. Written during the 7th century BC, Tyrtaeus's poem eunomia is our earliest and most explicit advocate of the practice and values of hoplite Sparta. Additionally, the Helots could be conscripted into military duties at times of war. Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant. of each household must go into mourning, a man and a woman, After they have completed their reading, students are asked some of the following questions: The purpose of this activity is to provide background on Xerxes' invasion of Greece and the preparations by the Greeks to defend their homeland. While 6th and 5th Centuries BCE Persia was huge, Greece was small (see map). Gythium –> perioikoi community / import and export port 3.2.1. Then, the Thebans desert their allies and surrender; the Spartans and Thespians retreat to a small hill, where they are killed by Persian archers. The EDSITEment LaunchPad for this activity includes links to the Livius website with commentary on Herodotus as well as glosses and images for Xerxes and the Persians. There are also links to commentary on the battle of Thermopylae. D2.His.16.6-8. At the time of the Persian Wars the two most powerful states were Athens and Sparta, and they were the ones offering the greatest resistance to Xerxes and leading a small coalition of other city states in resisting the invasion. five "ephors", who were elected executive officers. At Salamis, the Persians lost 200 ships, and the Greeks, 40 ships, in a battle that essentially saved Greece. On about August 27th the allied Greek fleet assembled at one of these islands, the island of Salamis. Revolts against the King were ruthlessly suppressed, and the goals of the Great King were universalistic: like the Assyrian and Sumerian Kings before him, the Persian King believed that he was appointed by god to rule the world. Herodotus reports that just before the Battle of Thermoplyae, a Spartan warrior named Dienekes was told that the Persian archers could blank out the sun with their arrows. Keywords: Herodotus, Cleomenes, Spartan foreign policy, Sparta Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. NCSS.D2.His.16.6-8. Xerxes headed south, destroying cities on his way. a citizen assembly with limited power (but which could, for instance, refuse to go to war). Erato Aristagoras, the author of the Ionian revolt, perished in the way which I have described. Compare the leaders and the armies of the Greeks and the Persians and understand what they reveal about ancient Greek and Persian culture. By Sept 5th a remnant force of die-hard defenders on the Athenian acropolis was subdued. Why do you suppose Herodotus mentions that the Athenians are watching the sea? What are some of the practical problems associated with moving such a vast army and navy over such great distances? Herodotus (1.56) says that Sparta and Athens were the major Greek states in the 540s, but nothing else. - one of the Together these ancient Greek writers became the first true historians in Western civilization. Evaluate the enduring lessons of Thermopylae. the privileges of the kings and give two votes besides their Analyze how people’s perspectives influenced what information is available in the historical sources they created. NCSS.D2.His.4.6-8. have been assigned to the kings for their lifetime by the Why do you think Herodotus includes reports of strange prodigies and portents? Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past. Was it fear alone or did the Peloponnesians have other reasons for wanting to retreat? days. 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