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Introduction to Greek and Roman History Lecture 4 The Persian Wars and the myth of Athens.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Greek and Roman History Lecture 4 The Persian Wars and the myth of Athens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Greek and Roman History Lecture 4 The Persian Wars and the myth of Athens

2 Solon’s Laws: Meant to be read?? Writing & the Display of Laws

3 Harmodius and Aristogeiton Coin minted under Hippias

4 Democratic Athens

5 Ostraca And Athenian Gratitude Carving and the voting Process at Athens

6 The Persian empire at the time of the wars against Greece

7 Persian Splendour & Wealth Treasures from Oxus Silver Rhyton & Golden ‘Daric’ Coin

8 Persian Treasures from Oxus, Now at the British Museum: Bronze?Persian Rider Gold Griffin Bracelet Silver & Gold Drinking Cup

9 Agate Seal (found in Thebes) depicting Darius shooting a Lion. Cuneiform Text records, in 3 languages “Darius, the great king” Depiction of a Persian Seige, Description of the siege in Cuneiform below from Nineveh (currently at the British Museum

10 Mycale

11 The failed revolt of Aristagoras Hdt. V The first thing he did was relinquish his position as tyrant and convert Miletus to a theoretical state of equality before the law., so that the citizens of Miletus would voluntarily join in the rebellion. He then proceeded to do the same throughout Ionia. He expelled some tyrants from their states. […] And so the tyrants were deposed throughout the states. Once Aristagoras of Miletus had deposed the tyrants, he told the people in the various states to appoint military commanders, and then he set off as an envoy in a trireme for Lacedaemon, because he needed to find some powerful military support.

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15 The myth of the Marathonomachs Hdt. VI The Persians saw them running to attack and prepared to receive them, thinking the Athenians absolutely crazy, since they saw how few of them there were and that they ran up so fast without either cavalry or archers. [3] So the foreigners imagined, but when the Athenians all together fell upon the foreigners they fought in a way worthy of record. These are the first Hellenes whom we know of to use running against the enemy. They are also the first to endure looking at Median dress and men wearing it, for up until then just hearing the name of the Medes caused the Hellenes to panic.

16 Modern Monument at Thermopylae with Statue of Leonidas

17 Hdt. VII.212 It is said that during these assaults in the battle the king, as he watched, jumped up three times from the throne in fear for his army. This, then, is how the fighting progressed, and on the next day the barbarians fought no better. They joined battle supposing that their enemies, being so few, were now disabled by wounds and could no longer resist. [2] The Hellenes, however, stood ordered in ranks by nation, and each of them fought in turn, except the Phocians, who were posted on the mountain to guard the path. When the Persians found nothing different from what they saw the day before, they withdrew. Hdt. 228 There is an inscription written over these men, who were buried where they fell, and over those who died before the others went away, dismissed by Leonidas. It reads as follows: “Here four thousand from the Peloponnese once fought three million.” [2]That inscription is for them all, but the Spartans have their own: “Foreigner, go tell the Spartans that we lie here obedient to their commands.

18 Simonides’ epitaph for Thermopylae: Ὦ ξε ῖ ν', ἀ γγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅ τι τ ῇ δεκείμεθα, το ῖ ς κείνων ῥ ήμασι πειθόμενοι. ‘Stranger, go and to the Spartans tell, that here obedient to their laws, we fell’ Simonides’ epitaph for Thermopylae: Ὦ ξε ῖ ν', ἀ γγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅ τι τ ῇ δεκείμεθα, το ῖ ς κείνων ῥ ήμασι πειθόμενοι. ‘Stranger, go and to the Spartans tell, that here obedient to their laws, we fell’

19 The Pass at Thermopylae Numbers & Hyperbole: Persians: 4 million (?) Simonides (contemporary) 800,000 Ctesias 70, ,000 Modern Scholars Greeks: 3,000-4,300 Herodotous & Diodorus Siculus:

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21 Athens as a naval power Thuc. I.18.2 Ten years after [the battle of Marathon], the Barbarian came again with his great host against Hellas to enslave it. In the face of the great danger that threatened, the Lacedaemonians, because they were the most powerful, assumed the leadership of the Hellenes that joined in the war; and the Athenians, when the Persians came on, resolved to abandon their city, and packing up their goods embarked on their ships and so became sailors.

22 The Greek Trireme Construction, and Reconstructions: Ancient & Modern

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24 The Greek League Hdt. VII , 145 Among those who paid that tribute were the Thessalians, Dolopes, Enienes, Perrhaebians, Locrians, Magnesians, Melians, Achaeans of Phthia, Thebans, and all the Boeotians except the men of Thespiae and Plataea. [Against all of these the Greeks who declared war with the foreigner entered into a sworn agreement, which was this: that if they should be victorious, they would dedicate to the god of Delphi the possessions of all Greeks who had of free will surrendered themselves to the Persians. Such was the agreement sworn by the Greeks. The Greeks who were concerned about the general welfare of Hellas met in conference and exchanged guarantees. They resolved in debate to make an end of all their feuds and wars against each other, whatever the cause from which they arose; among others that were in course at that time, the greatest was the war between the Athenians and the Aeginetans. Hdt. VIII.1-2 The Greeks appointed to serve in the fleet were these: the Athenians furnished a hundred and twenty-seven ships; the Plataeans manned these ships with the Athenians, not that they had any knowledge of seamanship, but because of mere valor and zeal. The Corinthians furnished forty ships and the Megarians twenty; [2] the Chalcidians manned twenty, the Athenians furnishing the ships; the Aeginetans eighteen, the Sicyonians twelve, the Lacedaemonians ten, the Epidaurians eight, the Eretrians seven, the Troezenians five, the Styrians two, and the Ceans two, and two fifty- oared barks; the Opuntian Locrians brought seven fifty-oared barks to their aid. […]. [2] The Spartans, however, provided the admiral who had the chief command, Eurybiades, son of Euryclides, for the allies said that if the Laconian were not their leader, they would rather make an end of the fleet that was assembling than be led by the Athenians.

25 The sack of Athens Hdt. VIII In time a way out of their difficulties was revealed to the barbarians, since according to the oracle all the mainland of Attica had to become subject to the Persians. In front of the acropolis, and behind the gates and the ascent, was a place where no one was on guard, since no one thought any man could go up that way. Here some men climbed up, near the sacred precinct of Cecrops' daughter Aglaurus, although the place was a sheer cliff. When the Athenians saw that they had ascended to the acropolis, some threw themselves off the wall and were killed, and others fled into the chamber. The Persians who had come up first turned to the gates, opened them, and murdered the suppliants. When they had levelled everything, they plundered the sacred precinct and set fire to the entire acropolis.

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