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Classical studies The Persians The Histories: Classical Studies – Essay Writing

Internal Code: MAS5670

Classical studies The Persians The Histories


The immediate aftermath of the Persian Wars – Democratic Athens – Focuses on the events of the Battle of Salamis (480 BCE). – First performed in Athens in 472 BCE. – Aeschylus tried to replicate Persian customs in his play. Hence the Chorus bows to their kings, the metre has been designed to mimic Persian speech. Lines 694-696 – Only focuses on events that occurred around 480 BCE, so only presents the values and ideas of the society at that time. – Only presents the viewpoint of the Persians.

Herodotus was from Halicarnassus, but travelled widely – Pentecontaetia. This is the term used torefer to the period in Ancient Greek history between the defeat of the second Persian invasion of Greece at Plataea in 479 BCE and the beginning of the Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE. The term originated with a scholiast on Thucydides, who used it in their description of the period. The Pentecontaetia was marked by the rise of Athens as the dominant state in the Greek world and by the rise of Athenian democracy. – The Age of Pericles. – Herodotus traces back the start of the conflict to before the Trojan War. Book 1 – Therefore, The Histories goes back to Mycenaean times and records all the conflicts between the Persians and Greeks up to the 5th century BCE. – Presents both perspectives from the conflict.

The Persian invasion led by Xerxes is revenge for the Athenians burning Sardis. – Xerxes’ pride in his abilities and his hubris is portrayed as a contributing factor to the Persian defeat. Lines 723-726 – The Persians pray to the same gods as the Athenians, but the gods do not take an active role in the conflict. Their involvement is more around people praying to them for protection. Aeschylus focuses on the human involvement in the conflict.

Herodotus believes the whole conflict between the Persians and the Greeks was revenge for the abduction of two Greek women and two Persian women. He shows how each conflict often started as one side taking revenge for what the opposing side had previously done. Book 1 – Xerxes and Mardonius are shown to be very proud of their achievements, even when they are not that glorious, while the Greeks exhibit pride when they ought to be proud of their accomplishments. Book 8 – The oracle at Delphi is frequently consulted in the conflict, so the god Apollo has an ‘active’ role in the
outcome of the conflict in the sense that he provides advice to the mortals who need his help.

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