In front was the supply train; in the center were the Persians; and the rear consisted of the tribes of the empire. Artemisia advises that he leave Mardonius in command, since then Xerxes will have nothing to lose even if Mardonius fails; Xerxes agrees (102-3). His stories share a … The battle order reflected the polar assessment of the Greek contingents as being aligned with Athens or with Sparta, with those two each forming one of the wings (8.85.1). Here Herodotus may have referred in part to trustworthy information (Lewis, 1985, pp. Xerxes then gathers together the noble Persians and states his reasons and expectations for attacking Hellas, backed up by Mardonios. In addition there were 1,000 Phocians and all the Opuntian Locrians on the Greek side (7.203.1). Afterwards, the army marched in three parallel columns through Thrace towards Athos (7.121.2-3). In that work too there were already mentions of arrogant plans and bad advisors. Only 1,000 dead Persians remained on the battlefield (8.24.1). The rest of the fleet is full of fear. Thus the Persians had already lost altogether 600 ships without the enemy’s doings, a fact which Herodotus attributes to the will of the divinity: the latter is said to have wanted to create a balance of power between the two sides (8.13). The king, however, who was in a state of shock, immediately planned a retreat, since he was worried about the Hellespont bridge (8.97). At the beginning, the Greeks were successful and impressively proved their fighting strength despite their lower numbers. Herodotus thus showed the inevitability of the conflict (Köhnken, 1988). Yet Xerxes’ herald had expressly reminded them of the mythical origin of the Persians and of their ancestor Perses from Argos (7.1.50). Xerxes, during his twenty-one year reign, was successfully able to hold an entire empire together that contained fifty million subjects, which tells historians that his organisation and administration of the empire was perhaps commendable. Xerxes, during his twenty-one year reign, was successfully able to hold an entire empire together that contained fifty million subjects, which tells historians that his organisation and administration of the empire was perhaps commendable. Meanwhile a storm had destroyed the pontoon bridge (8.117.1). The Persians were already marching in formation (7.40.2-4). The king laughed and referred him to Mardonius, saying that the latter would make amends (8.114). Xerxes’ belief that he had nothing to fear from the Ionians (7.50-52) was later disproved by their breaking away (9.104). Artabazos, who accompanied Xerxes to the Hellespont with 60,000 men, was preparing to subject Potidaea, which had meanwhile broken away (8.126). Herodotus: Xerxes Invades Greece, from The Histories In this section, Herodotus relates the invasion of the Greek mainland by the Persian king Xerxes in 480 B.C. They were discouraged because of the occupation of Athens (8.50; 56). Xerxes not only intended to join the tradition of the great conquerors Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius, but wanted immediately to march against the whole of Europe. Through Thrace to Thessaly. The army was so vast, Herodotus declares, that it dried the rivers where it stopped to water its horses. With the few survivors Artabazus went back to Mardonius, to whom he was to become the unheeded warner before Plataeae. 86 ff.). After the battle, Xerxes wanted to know how many such men still existed, and so Demaratus provided him with a survey of the strength of the Lacedaemonians. Xerxes covered the route to Therma on land (7.124-27). Xerxes first marched against Egypt (7.7). The young king inherited a solid empire, which was greater than any before in history. ]. Themistocles had inscriptions put up at those places on Euboea, where drinking water was available for the fleet, to warn the Ionians siding with the Persians not to fight against their own compatriots (cf. Already on this occasion Herodotus looks ahead and records the synchronism between the battle of Salamis and that of Himera in Sicily (7.166). Mardonius, what manner of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight—men who contend with one another, not for money, but for honor!' He gives this event a special indication by dating it to the year when the archon Calliades was in office (8.51.1; Bichler, 2003). MARDONIUS ACCORDING TO HERODOTUS. XERXES ACCORDING TO HERODOTUS, HERODOTUS i. After Xerxes’ retreat, Mardonius prepared his offensive on land. ", Artabanus then made answer and said: "To another evil more pitiful than this we are made subject in the course of our life; for in the period of life, short as it is, no man, either of these here or of others, is made by nature so happy, that there will not come to him many times, and not once only, the desire to be dead rather than to live.". For two days the defenders were able to resist the onslaught (7.210-12). The Greeks possessed 271 boats, apart from the fifty-oared ones (8.2.1). West, 1985). Mosshammer, 1981; Wenskus, 1990.) Later an Argive delegation is said to have asked Artaxerxes whether the friendship they had established with Xerxes still held good (7.151). Argives. XERXES ACCORDING TO HERODOTUS. Boges, the commander of Eion, refused to accept the offer of an honorable withdrawal. The latter had for the most part abandoned their country, which was now being devastated (Kase and Szemler, 1982). Similarly sinful behavior marked the Persian naval action at Cape Artemisium. On the one hand, the interconnection between delusion and fatality is emphasized, and the malicious pretense of false facts is accentuated (Regenbogen, 1930/1982; Schlögl, 1998, pp. Modern historians estimate the total of combatants and non-combatants in the Persian army at 220,000 soldiers, a rearguard of 22,000 men guarding the lines of communication, and some 408,000 men serving on the ships. What occurred from this affair, I believe, along with the riggers of war, helped to turn Xerxes mind back to Vashti. In comparison, the capture of three Greek ships near Sciathus seemed a trifling matter (7.179-82). Thus the march of the Persian army was accompanied by ominous signs. Herodotus: The Histories: Xerxes at the Hellespont (mid 5th Century BCE) November 10, 2016 elizabeth.wasson Whereas many Middle Eastern peoples welcomed the advent of the Persian Empire, the Greeks viewed their own victories over the the Persians as making possible the very continuance of their civilization. Loss of the northern Aegean. However, the divinity announced the protection of its shrine by a miraculous token (8.37.1-2), and at Athene’s shrine a massive rockfall amid flashes of lightning annihilated the hostile soldiers (8.37.3). The well-informed reader knows that, in the Histories, to rise above others with a smile is a sign of fatal self-satisfaction (Lateiner, 1977). 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