Battle of Plataea
The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, the previous year the Persian invasion force, led by the Persian king in person, had scored victories at the battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium and conquered Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica. However, at the ensuing Battle of Salamis, the Allied Greek navy had won an unlikely but decisive victory, Xerxes retreated with much of his army, leaving his general Mardonius to finish off the Greeks the following year. In the summer of 479 BC the Greeks assembled a huge army, the Persians retreated to Boeotia and built a fortified camp near Plataea. The Greeks, refused to be drawn into the prime cavalry terrain around the Persian camp, while attempting a retreat after their supply lines were disrupted, the Greek battle line fragmented. Thinking the Greeks in full retreat, Mardonius ordered his forces to pursue them, a large portion of the Persian army was trapped in its camp and slaughtered.
The destruction of this army, and the remnants of the Persian navy allegedly on the day at the Battle of Mycale. After Plataea and Mycale the Greek allies would take the offensive against the Persians, the Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499–494 BC. The Persian Empire was still young and prone to revolts by its subject peoples. Moreover, Darius was an usurper and had to spend considerable time putting down revolts against his rule, the Ionian Revolt threatened the integrity of his empire, and he thus vowed to punish those involved. Darius saw the opportunity to expand his empire into the world of Ancient Greece. An amphibious task force was sent out under Datis and Artaphernes in 490 BC, using Delos as an intermediate base at, successfully sacking Karystos and Eretria. However, at the ensuing Battle of Marathon, the Athenians won a remarkable victory, Darius therefore began raising a huge new army with which he meant to completely subjugate Greece.
However, he died before the invasion could begin, the throne of Persia passed to his son Xerxes I, who quickly restarted the preparations for the invasion of Greece, including building two pontoon bridges across the Hellespont. In 481 BC, Xerxes sent ambassadors around Greece asking for earth and water as a gesture of their submission, support thus began to coalesce around these two leading states. A congress of city states met at Corinth in the autumn of 481 BC. This was remarkable for the disjointed Greek world, especially many of the city-states in attendance were still technically at war with each other. The Allies initially adopted a strategy of blocking land and sea approaches to southern Greece, the massively outnumbered Greek army held Thermopylae for three days before being outflanked by the Persians, who used a little-known mountain path
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War, which was fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League. It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian historian who happened to serve as an Athenian general during the war and his account of the conflict is widely considered to be a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. The History is divided into eight books, analyses of the History generally occur in one of two camps. On the one hand, some view the work as an objective. Thucydides is considered to be one of the fathers of Western history. Thucydides makes use of speeches in order to elaborate on the event in question. While the inclusion of long first-person speeches is somewhat alien to modern historical method and these include addresses given to troops by their generals before battles and numerous political speeches, both by Athenian and Spartan leaders, as well as debates between various parties. Of the speeches, the most famous is the funeral oration of Pericles, Thucydides undoubtedly heard some of these speeches himself while for others he relied on eyewitness accounts.
Some of the speeches are probably fabricated according to his expectations of, as he puts it, despite being an Athenian and a participant in the conflict, Thucydides is often regarded as having written a generally unbiased account of the conflict with respect to the sides involved in it. In the introduction to the piece he states, my work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, there are scholars, who doubt this. Ernst Badian, for example has argued that Thucydides has a strong pro-Athenian bias, the work does display a clear bias against certain people involved in the conflict, such as Cleon. The gods play no role in Thucydides work. This is very different from Herodotus, who mentions the role of the gods. Instead, Thucydides regards history as being caused by the choices, despite the absence of actions of the gods and piety play critical roles in the actions of the Spartans, and to a lesser degree, the Athenians. However, despite Thucydides lack of trust in information that was not experienced firsthand, such as Homers, he does use the poets epics to infer facts about the Trojan War.
In fact, Thucydides claims that Troy could have conquered in half the time had the Greek leaders allocated resources properly. Except for a few short excursuses, the remainder of the History rigidly maintains its focus on the Peloponnesian War to the exclusion of other topics. While the History concentrates on the aspects of the Peloponnesian War
Xerxes I, called Xerxes the Great, was the fourth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, Xerxes I is most likely the Persian king identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther. He is notable in Western history for his invasion of Greece in 480 BC. Like his predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex and his forces temporarily overran mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth until the losses at Salamis and Plataea a year reversed these gains and ended the second invasion decisively. Xerxes was born to Darius I and Atossa and Atossa were both Achaemenids as they were both descendants of Achaemenes. While Darius was preparing for war against Greece, a revolt spurred in Egypt in 486 BC due to heavy taxes. Under Persian law, the king was required to choose a successor before setting out on dangerous expeditions, when Darius decided to leave, Darius prepared his tomb at Naqsh-e Rustam and appointed Xerxes, his eldest son by Atossa, as his successor.
However, Darius could not lead the campaign due to his failing health, Xerxes was crowned and succeeded his father in October–December 486 BC when he was about 36 years old. Almost immediately, Xerxes crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon that had broken out the year before, and appointed his brother Achaemenes as satrap over Egypt. In 484 BC, he outraged the Babylonians by violently confiscating and melting down the statue of Bel. This comes from the Daiva Inscriptions of Xerxes, lines 6-13, although Herodotus report in the Histories has created debate concerning Xerxess religious beliefs, modern scholars consider him a Zoroastrian. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Xerxess first attempt to bridge the Hellespont ended in failure when a storm destroyed the flax, in retaliation, Xerxes ordered the Hellespont whipped three hundred times, and had fetters thrown into the water. Xerxess second attempt to bridge the Hellespont was successful, many smaller Greek states, took the side of the Persians, especially Thessaly and Argos.
Xerxes was victorious during the initial battles, Xerxes set out in the spring of 480 BC from Sardis with a fleet and army which Herodotus estimated was roughly one million strong along with 10,000 elite warriors named the Persian Immortals. More recent estimates place the Persian force at around 60,000 combatants, at the Battle of Thermopylae, a small force of Greek warriors led by King Leonidas of Sparta resisted the much larger Persian forces, but were ultimately defeated. According to Herodotus, the Persians broke the Spartan phalanx after a Greek man called Ephialtes betrayed his country by telling the Persians of another pass around the mountains. At Artemisium, large storms had destroyed ships from the Greek side and so the battle stopped prematurely as the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae, most of the Athenians had abandoned the city and fled to the island of Salamis before Xerxes arrived. A small group attempted to defend the Athenian Acropolis, but they were defeated, Xerxes burnt the city, leaving an archaeologically attested destruction layer, known as the Perserschutt
Herodotus was a Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire and lived in the fifth century BC, a contemporary of Socrates. The Histories is the work which he is known to have produced. Despite Herodotus historical significance, little is known of his personal life and his place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked. His work is the earliest Greek prose to have survived intact, of these only fragments of Hecataeuss work survive yet they allow us glimpses into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus’s work, This points forward to the ‘folksy’ yet ‘international’ outlook typical of Herodotus. Yet, one scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as “a curious false start to history” since despite his critical spirit. It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a recorded by Eusebius. But Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism.
For example, He argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the theory of a perfectly circular earth with Europe. Yet, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his notions of the Danube. His debt to previous authors of prose ‘histories’ might be questionable, this point is one of the most contentious issues in modern scholarship. It is on account of the strange stories and the folk-tales he reported that his critics in early modern times branded him “The Father of Lies”. Even his own contemporaries found reason to scoff at his achievement, the Athenian historian Thucydides dismissed Herodotus as a “logos-writer”. Moreover, Thucydides developed a historical topic more in keeping with the Greek world-view, the interplay of civilizations was more relevant to Greeks living in Anatolia, such as Herodotus himself, for whom life within a foreign civilization was a recent memory. Modern scholars generally turn to Herodotus’s own writing for reliable information about his life, supplemented with ancient yet much sources, modern accounts of his life typically go something like this, Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus around 484 BC.
His name is not mentioned in the tribute list of the Athenian Delian League, the epic poet Panyassis – a relative of Herodotus – is reported to have taken part in a failed uprising. Herodotus expresses affection for the island of Samos, and this is an indication that he might have lived there in his youth. So it is possible that his family was involved in an uprising against Lygdamis, leading to a period of exile on Samos, Herodotus wrote his Histories in the Ionian dialect, yet he was born in Halicarnassus, which was a Dorian settlement
The Achaemenid Empire, called the Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great. The empires successes inspired similar systems in empires and it is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in a Hellenistic style in the empire as well. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered the empire in its entirety by 330 BC. Upon his death, most of the former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire. The Persian population of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire, the historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well.
Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange. The impact of Cyruss edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire set the tone for the politics and history of modern Iran. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details Due to the duration of their reigns, Xerxes II. The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here, the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished, they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by 6th century BC another group of ancient Iranian peoples had established the short lived Median Empire. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region of what is today Iran c.1000 BC and had for a number of centuries fallen under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.
However, the Medes and Persians, Cimmerians and Chaldeans played a role in the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. The term Achaemenid means of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes, despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria. At some point in 550 BC, Cyrus rose in rebellion against the Medes, eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire
Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony that became Constantinople, and still Istanbul. Byzantium was colonised by the Greeks from Megara in c. 657 BC, the etymology of Byzantion is unknown. It has been suggested that the name is of Thraco-Illyrian origin and it may be derived from a Thracian or Illyrian personal name, Byzas. Ancient Greek legend refers to a king Byzas, the leader of the Megarian colonists, the form Byzantium is a Latinisation of the original name. Much later, the name Byzantium became common in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and this usage was introduced only in 1555 by the historian Hieronymus Wolf, a century after the empire had ceased to exist. During the time of the empire, the term Byzantium was restricted to just the city, the European side featured only two fishing settlements and Semistra. The origins of Byzantium are shrouded in legend, the traditional legend has it that Byzas from Megara founded Byzantium in 667 BC when he sailed northeast across the Aegean Sea.
The tradition tells that Byzas, son of King Nisos, planned to found a colony of the Dorian Greek city of Megara, Byzas consulted the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, which instructed Byzas to settle opposite the Land of the Blind. Leading a group of Megarian colonists, Byzas found a location where the Golden Horn and he adjudged the Chalcedonians blind not to have recognized the advantages the land on the European side of the Bosphorus had over the Asiatic side. In 667 BC he founded Byzantium at their location, thus fulfilling the oracles requirement and it was mainly a trading city due to its location at the Black Seas only entrance. Byzantium conquered Chalcedon, across the Bosporus on the Asiatic side, Byzantium was besieged by Greek forces during the Peloponnesian War. As part of Spartas strategy for cutting off supplies to Athens. The Athenian military took the city in 408 BC, after siding with Pescennius Niger against the victorious Septimius Severus, the city was besieged by Roman forces and suffered extensive damage in 196 AD.
Byzantium was rebuilt by Septimius Severus, now emperor, and quickly regained its previous prosperity and it was bound to Perinthos during the period of Septimius Severus. The location of Byzantium attracted Roman Emperor Constantine I who, in 330 AD, after his death the city was called Constantinople. This combination of imperialism and location would affect Constantinoples role as the nexus between the continents of Europe and Asia and it was a commercial and diplomatic centre. With its strategic position, Constantinople controlled the trade routes between Asia and Europe, as well as the passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea. On May 29,1453, the city fell to the Ottoman Turks, and again became the capital of a powerful state, the Turks called the city Istanbul, the name derives from eis-tin-polin
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used mainly for documentation in libraries and increasingly by archives, the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero license, the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, and an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format
Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, the peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles. The radical politician of aristocratic background, took charge, the reforms of Cleisthenes replaced the traditional four Ionic tribes with ten new ones, named after legendary heroes of Greece and having no class basis, which acted as electorates. Each tribe was in divided into three trittyes, while each trittys had one or more demes —depending on their population—which became the basis of local government. The tribes each selected fifty members by lot for the Boule, the public opinion of voters could be influenced by the political satires written by the comic poets and performed in the city theaters. Most offices were filled by lot, although the ten strategoi were elected, prior to the rise of Athens, Sparta, a city-state with a militaristic culture, considered itself the leader of the Greeks, and enforced a hegemony.
In 499 BC Athens sent troops to aid the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor and this provoked two Persian invasions of Greece, both of which were repelled under the leadership of the soldier-statesmen Miltiades and Themistocles. In 490 the Athenians, led by Miltiades, prevented the first invasion of the Persians, guided by king Darius I, in 480 the Persians returned under a new ruler, Xerxes I. Simultaneously the Athenians led a naval battle off Artemisium. However, this action was not enough to discourage the Persian advance which soon marched through Boeotia, setting up Thebes as their base of operations. This forced the Athenians to evacuate Athens, which was taken by the Persians, subsequently the Athenians and their allies, led by Themistocles, defeated the Persian navy at sea in the Battle of Salamis. It is interesting to note that Xerxes had built himself a throne on the coast in order to see the Greeks defeated, spartas hegemony was passing to Athens, and it was Athens that took the war to Asia Minor.
These victories enabled it to bring most of the Aegean and many parts of Greece together in the Delian League. He fostered arts and literature and gave to Athens a splendor which would never return throughout its history and he executed a large number of public works projects and improved the life of the citizens. Hence, he gave his name to the Athenian Golden Age, silver mined in Laurium in southeastern Attica contributed greatly to the prosperity of this Golden Age of Athens. During the time of the ascendancy of Ephialtes as leader of the democratic faction, the conflict marked the end of Athenian command of the sea. The war between Athens and the city-state Sparta ended with an Athenian defeat after Sparta started its own navy, Athenian democracy was briefly overthrown by the coup of 411, brought about because of its poor handling of the war, but it was quickly restored. The war ended with the defeat of Athens in 404
Athena or Athene, often given the epithet Pallas, is the goddess of wisdom and war in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena, Athena is known for her calm temperament, as she moves slowly to anger. She is noted to have fought for just reasons. Athena is portrayed as a companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her city, Athens. Veneration of Athena was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes, in her role as a protector of the city, many people throughout the Greek world worshipped Athena as Athena Polias. While the city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name, Athena is associated with Athens, a plural name, because it was the place where she presided over her sisterhood, the Athenai, in earliest times. Mycenae was the city where the Goddess was called Mykene, at Thebes she was called Thebe, and the city again a plural, Thebae.
Similarly, at Athens she was called Athena, and the city Athenae, Athena had a special relationship with Athens, as is shown by the etymological connection of the names of the goddess and the city. According to mythical lore, she competed with Poseidon and she won by creating the olive tree, the Athenians would accept her gift and name the city after her. In history, the citizens of Athens built a statue of Athena as a temple to the goddess, which had piercing eyes, a helmet on her head, attired with an aegis or cuirass, and an extremely long spear. It had a shield with the head of the Gorgon on it. A large snake accompanied her and she held Nike, the goddess of victory, Mylonas believes that Athena was a Mycenaean creation. On the other hand, Nilsson claims that she was the goddess of the palace who protected the king, a-ta-no-dju-wa-ja is found in Linear A Minoan, the final part being regarded as the Linear A Minoan equivalent of the Linear B Mycenaean di-u-ja or di-wi-ja. Divine Athena was a weaver and the deity of crafts, whether her name is attested in Eteocretan or not will have to wait for decipherment of Linear A.
Perhaps, the name Theonoe may mean she who knows divine things better than others. Thus for Plato her name was to be derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Plato noted that the citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess whose Egyptian name was Neith, and which was identified with Athena. Neith was the war goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient Pre-Dynastic period, in addition, ancient Greek myths reported that Athena had visited many mythological places such as Libyas Triton River in North Africa and the Phlegraean plain
Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower class Athenians, elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece, he fought at the Battle of Marathon, in the years after Marathon, and in the run up to the second Persian invasion he became the most prominent politician in Athens. He continued to advocate a strong Athenian navy, and in 483 BC he persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of 200 triremes, during the second invasion, he was in effective command of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. After the conflict ended, Themistocles continued to be pre-eminent among Athenian politicians, however, he aroused the hostility of Sparta by ordering Athens to be re-fortified, and his perceived arrogance began to alienate him from the Athenians.
In 472 or 471 BC, he was ostracised, and went into exile in Argos, the Spartans now saw an opportunity to destroy Themistocles, and implicated him in the treasonous plot of their own general Pausanias. He was made governor of Magnesia, and lived there for the rest of his life, Themistocles died in 459 BC, probably of natural causes. Themistocless reputation was rehabilitated, and he was re-established as a hero of the Athenian cause. Themistocles can still reasonably be thought of as the man most instrumental in achieving the salvation of Greece from the Persian threat and his naval policies would have a lasting impact on Athens as well, since maritime power became the cornerstone of the Athenian Empire and golden age. Themistocles was born in Athens around 524 BC, the son of Neocles and his mother is more obscure, according to Plutarch, she was either a Thracian woman called Abrotonon, or Euterpe, a Carian from Halicarnassus. Like many contemporaries, little is known of his early years, some authors report that he was unruly as a child and was consequently disowned by his father.
Plutarch considers this to be false, however, in an early example of his cunning, Themistocles persuaded well-born children to exercise with him in Cynosarges, thus breaking down the distinction between alien and legitimate. Plutarch further reports that Themistocles was preoccupied, even as a child and his teacher is said to have told him, My boy, you will be nothing insignificant, but definitely something great, either for good or evil. Themistocles left three sons by Archippe, daughter to Lysander of Alopece, —Archeptolis and Cleophantus, plato the philosopher mentions Cleophantus as a most excellent horseman, but otherwise insignificant person. And Themistocles had two older than these three and Diocles. Neocles died when he was young by the bite of a horse, Themistocles grew up in a period of upheaval in Athens. The tyrant Peisistratos had died in 527 BC, passing power to his sons, Hipparchus was murdered in 514 BC, and in response to this, Hippias became paranoid and started to rely increasingly on foreign mercenaries to keep a hold on power