There has been much later speculation on the real causes for the expedition. In this section, Herodotus relates the invasion of the Greek mainland by the Persian king Xerxes in 480 B.C. As Xerxes swept irresistibly forward during the summer of 480 BC, opposition melted away. The second gale completely destroyed a squadron of 200 vessels that Xerxes had sent to sail around Euboea to attack the Greeks from behind. Xerxes was the driving force of the second Persian invasion into Greece. Xerxes I, Old Persian Khshayarsha, byname Xerxes the Great, (born c. 519 bce—died 465, Persepolis, Iran), Persian king (486–465 bce), the son and successor of Darius I. Ancient History Sourcebook: 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. -- His advice to Xerxes. Like its original, Xerxes Invades Greece can be an extremely boring and tedious experience for those uninterested in archaic styles of history that (like the bible) catalog things endlessly. Xerxes, now with his uncle’s approval, decided that the invasion would go forward. The Persian Invasion of Greece. Darius was succeeded as Great King by his son Xerxes in 486 BC. When his father died, in 486 bce, Xerxes was about 35 years old and had already governed Babylonia for a dozen years. Despite early successes, Xerxes I’s fortunes soured at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. Because Greece was supporting riots that were a menace to the Persian empire. Stephenie Meyer, author best known for her young-adult, vampire romance series Twilight. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). ‘I am the bearer of a secret communication from the Athenian commander, who is a well-wisher to your king and hopes for a Persian victory, said the slave Sicinnus. The various Greek states for centuries were the dominate powers in the eastern mediterranean. Wadi Hammamat. Christopher Kit Carson, one of the most famous mountain men and scouts in the West. Xerxes took the bait and weakened his force by sending an Egyptian squadron west to block a possible escape route; the squadron would not be available during the coming battle. Therefore, the names of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis are remembered with reverence. -- First invasion of Greece. Then, plunging into the water, they laid hold of the ships, calling for fire.’ During this stage of the fight, and Athenian named Cynegirus lost his hand to a Persian ax as he held the stern of one of the ships; he later died. Herodotus wrote that he committed to memory the names of all 300 Spartans who remained, ‘because they deserve to be remembered.’, Squeezed into the narrow pass and assailed from two sides, those Spartans who lost their weapons fought on with their hands and teeth. Anonymous. The following spring, Mardonius led his army south and captured Athens once more. Xerxes, like his father, ruled the Empire at its territorial apex. Xerxes, who watched the battle form a nearby vantage point, finally withdrew his battered troops. In addition, Themistocles led the Greek navy in two victories, at the Gulf of Pagasae and Artemisum. The Persian host drew up before the pass, which was barely 50 feet wide. The weather might also worsen and take an even greater toll of what was left of his once-proud navy. Many smaller Greek states, moreover, took the side of the Persians, especially Thessaly, Thebes and Argos. He sends back Artemisia with his sons and the eunuch Hermotimus to Ephesus (8.103-104). The majority of the Greeks’ 300 triremes were hidden from the approaching Persians’ view by St. George’s Island. He married the princess Amestris, daughter of Otanes, who would become mother to his sons Darius, Hystaspes, Artaxerxes I, Achamenes, and daughters Amytis and Rhodogune. Upon Darius’ death, Xerxes’ older half-brother, Artabazenes, claimed the throne but was rebuffed because his mother was a commoner while Xerxes’ mother was the daughter of the great Cyrus. -- First invasion of Greece. The name of the inscription that tells of Xerxes introducing qanat technology into Egypt, showing he did not treat them overly harshly when quelling the revolt. Having rejected the fiction of personal union, he then abandoned the titles of king of Babylonia and king of Egypt, making himself simply “king of the Persians and the Medes.”. Counselors of Xerxes. Once those movements were completed, he intended to annihilate the Greeks in the narrow waters off Salamis. Crested bronze helmets covered the cheeks and nose. On the other hand, from whatever angle we justify the Persian decision to invade Greece, their goals were essentially achieved by late 480 BC. When the commanders of the leading Persian ships realized that they were trapped and began to backwater, the caused a tremendous crush of confusion, because those ships coming behind them had nowhere to go. Counselors of Xerxes. He also ordered that ships cover the channel near Cape Cynosura. -- Character of Artabanus. -- Xerxes … Xerxes had watched the Ionians perform well and ordered the Phoenicians beheaded for lying about their allies. On the morning of September 20, 480 BC, the main body of the Persian armada, about 400 triremes, moved toward the showdown. This invasion involved two campaigns, resulting in a decisive Athenian (Greek) victory during the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Xerxes I, Persian king (486–465 BCE), the son and successor of Darius I. Xerxes' second attempt to bridge the Hellespont was successful. The formation was widened in order to minimize the risk of being outflanked, and as the phalanx reached a distance of about 100 yards from the Persian line, the hoplites broke into a double-quick pace that took the enemy archers by surprise. The Persian ships seemed more suited for action in the open sea-they were larger, sat higher in the water and were loaded with approximately 30 marine infantry or archers, as opposed to 14 aboard each Greek ship. First, the Athenians and Plataeans were overwhelmingly outnumbered, mustering only 11,000 citizen soldiers. Or, get it for 4000 Kobo Super Points! Because he wanted to expand his empire and conquer a big part of western Europe. But as he slept, Xerxes was supposedly visited by a phantom that urged him to proceed with the invasion. The anxious king is too happy to follow this advice (8.103). Their courage is best revealed in the words of Dieneces. Xerxes was designated heir apparent by his father in preference to his elder brother Artabazanes. More realistic estimates place its strength at 500,000-more than adequate to do the job. This latter town is not to be confused with Calynda, a nearby city that was ruled by king Damasitheus. During an indecisive battle near Plataea on August 27, 479 bce, Mardonius was killed, and his death obliged the army of occupation to withdraw. -- The Ionian rebellion. Now suppose-and it is not impossible-that you were to suffer a reverse by sea or land, or even both. Xerxes’ failure evolved around his mannerisms, as he was a man who was irresolute and need persuasion. If he Had conquered it, the Europe would have a different culture Howard Hughes, American industrialist, aviator, film producer, and director.  Ancient sources give unsatisfying motives and place blame on either an individual or supernatural causes. The fact that the Athenians chose to meet their enemy at the point of its entry into their country rather than defending the gates of their city is in itself remarkable. Themistocles Joined the Persian Army. It read: ‘Go tell the Spartans, you who read: We took their orders and are dead.’. Herodotus estimated a military force of some 1.7 million, while modern scholars estimate a more reasonable 200,000, still a formidable army and navy. WANT A NOOK? Xerxes, king of kings and ruler of the Persian Empire, which stretched from the Indus River to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and from the Caucasus to the Indian Ocean, had turned his attention toward the Europeans who dared to resist his will.  Xerxes concluded an alliance with Carthage, and thus deprived Greece of the support of the powerful monarchs of Syracuse and Agrigentum. He later described the scene as similar to the mass netting and killing of fish on the shores of the Mediterranean: ‘At first the torrent of the Persians’ fleet bore up: but then the press of shipping hammed there in the narrows, none could help another.’. This abridged excerpt from Herodotus' The Histories is an interesting read. Datis and Artaphernes intended to fight the Greeks at Marathon with 20,000 men while the city of Athens, only lightly defended, would fall easy prey to the second Persian army. The second invasion of Greece under Xerxes fostered more unity between the city-states but this coalition centered on Athens and Sparta and failed to … The heirs of western culture in philosophy, medicine, mathematics, drama and democracy owe their existence to such men. Xerxes’ Invasion of Greece 480 BCE. The Athenians and Plataeans on the flanks fared batter and put their opponents to flight before joining forces in the center and turning on those Persians who had broken through. Like his father, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. Hostilities continued for 13 years, but thenceforth Xerxes involved himself only slightly. Preparations were made and orders issued to raise an even greater army. After this, Xerxes I did not try to invade the Greek mainland again. Modern scholars estimate that Xerxes I crossed the Hellespont with approximately 360,000 soldiers and a navy of 700 to 800 ships, reaching Greece in 480 BCE. When the opportunity presented itself, the hoplites would turn their backs on their attackers and pretend to flee in confusion. To draw the enemy well into the shallow water and narrow confined around Salamis, Themistocles ordered the 50-ship Corinthian contingent to hoist its square sails and feign retreat. He argued successfully that the treasure should be used to expand the Athenian navy. He handily crushed these insurgents. Never before or since has an outpouring of cultural development on such a grand and far-reaching scale been realized on earth. Ava Gardner, film actress (The Barefoot Contessa, The Sun Also Rises). His father King Darius invaded what is modern-day Greece in 492 B.C. You Save 8%. On his accession to the throne, Xerxes was faced by revolts in both Egypt and Babylonia. Had it not been for … In 480 bce Xerxes invaded Greece as a continuation of Darius’s original plan. Herodotus estimated a military force of some 1.7 million, while modern scholars estimate a more reasonable 200,000, still a formidable army and navy. Xerxes enormous armies were decisively beaten by Greek forces a … -- The Ionian rebellion. Themistocles had convinced most of his countrymen that their best chance for survival lay in moving to Salamis. -- His speech. He crushed a revolt in Egypt and called together a council of war to determine whether he should undertake an expedition against Athens. He ordered the designers of those bridges executed and that the Hellespont itself be given 300 lashes as punishment. While the Persians had depended heavily on the strength of the bow and arrow, the vast majority of their foot soldiers wore no armor. Because of the constant uprisings due to he difficulty of those who experiences freedom to submit to … Ryan Seacrest, radio personality, TV host; host of American Idol TV talent competition. The Greeks attacked in their traditional phalanx formation with two very important modifications. Xerxes Invades Greece (Penguin Epics) Paperback – December 26, 2006. by. However, Xerxes successfully crushed revolts in Egypt and Babylon. Herodotus’ estimates of the size of the army that Xerxes put together for his invasion of Greece are so exaggerated that very few mo… Darius commanded a large standing army of slaves and mercenaries, which he used to invade and dominate neighboring kingdoms. We are now at 480 BCE, where Xerxes is going to try to invade Greece by land and by sea, but … As king, Xerxes successfully quelled rebellions in Babylon and Egypt. According to Herodotus he convinced Xerxes to invade Greece. Aeschylus, remembered as the father of literary tragedy, fought both at Marathon and Salamis. The city’s leading politician was Aristeides, but now another voice was heard-that of Themistocles. The Greeks might sail northward and destroy the bridges across the Hellespont, severing communication and supply lines. -- Character of Artabanus. Ancient History Sourcebook: 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. The irate Darius wanted to return with a larger force, but rebellions in his empire brought a halt to his plans. Legend has it that Pheidippides, still thoroughly exhausted by his mission to Sparta, was ordered to run the 26 miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the victory. The Greeks buried their dead in a mound that is still visible on the battlefield. Herodotus says that Xerxes acted upon false information that Themistocles deliberately sent to him by way of a slave. On August 18, Xerxes ordered a frontal assault. a sovereign by divine right, to whom opposition was as annoying as sacrilege…nervous in temperament, fallen from youthful fire into indolence, incited to make a war he didn’t like. His father Darius I did not lead the first invasion of Greece ten years earlier, but rather sent two of his generals to do it. In support of their Greek brethren the Athenians, along with a contingent from Eretria, raided and burned the Persian city of Sardis. His ultimate defeat spelled the beginning of the decline of the Achaemenian Empire. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The dead began to pile up in front the line occupied by Leonidas’ core of 300 elite Spartan hoplites, as well as small contingents from several other city-states. It is my duty to tell you that you have to fear from them: you have said you mean to bridge the Hellespont and march through Europe to Greece. Therefore, the top-heavy vessels fell easy prey to the bronze rams of the Greek triremes in those confining waters. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great and his mother was Atossa, a daughter of Cyrus the Great, the first Achaemenid king. By the spring of 480 Xerxes' army had reached Macedonia in the north of Greece. Worse, however, was the Babylonian revolt, which Xerxes sent his son-in-law to quell. And so we are now 10 years after, 10 years after the first Persian invasion. He built a new palace and began work on the monumental Hall of a Hundred Columns. Later that night, Xerxes began taking his uncle’s word to heart and in fact decided that an invasion of Greece would not be wise after all. The Spartans and other Peleponnesians had built a wall across the isthmus and placed troops there to defend their homes, but their naval contingents were with Themistocles at Salamis preparing to fight for Athenian territory. Then, the Greek navy defeated the Persian navy, including 200 Egyptian Triremes (a warship with three banks of oars), at the Battle of Salamis.After the navy’s defeat, Xerxes I retreated from the Greek mainland, leaving part of his infantry behind. Having attended to these matters, he decided to lead his army to mainland Greece to finally settle what to the Persians would have been seen to be ‘the Aegean Problem’. Athens and Sparta, however, remained defianct. This latter act had great political significance: Xerxes was no longer able to “take the hand of” (receive the patronage of) the Babylonian god. Xerxes I, commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. Shrieks and groans rang across the water until nightfall hid us from them.’ The Persians lost 200 triremes on that momentous day, the Greeks 40. His cousin and brother-in-law Mardonius, supported by a strong party of exiled Greeks, incited him to take revenge for the affront that Darius had suffered at the hands of the Greeks at Marathon (490 bce). The Greeks defeated this army and beat the navy again near Ionia. US Army Major General George S. Patton IV, son of Gen. George Patton of World War II fame. The next year, 490 BC, the Persians once again sallied forth to punish Athens. Xerxes Invades Greece (Penguin Epics) Paperback – December 26, 2006. Herodotus notes that never before had such an effort been undertaken. Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae. Perhaps a slight doubt now crept into Zerxes’ mind. Herodotus’ estimates of the size of the army that Xerxes put together for his invasion of Greece are so exaggerated that very few mo… Xerxes Invades Greece 128. by Herodotus. After three years of preparation, Xerxes invaded Greece in August of 480 BCE. He defeated the Spartans at Thermopylae, conquered Attica, and sacked Athens. Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps. Persia was, in the truest sense, the greatest superpower of its day. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. The differences between them, however, increased the rivalry and distrust that for a time had simmered just below the surface. While they held the pass, a pair of violent storms ravaged the Persian fleet. -- Xerxes convenes a public council. -- Age and character of Mardonius. With the dawn, however, the king put the apparition out of his mind and canceled the operation. 8 years ago. These Greeks are said to be great fighters-and indeed one might well guess as much from the fact that the Athenians alone destroyed the great army we sent to attack them under Datis and Artaphernes. Herodotus reports that the Spartans were sympathetic but, because of a religious observance, could not march until the moon was full. See if you have enough points for this item. Xerxes Invades Greece (Penguin Epics) Paperback – December 26, 2006. by. While Herodotus places Darius’ motives for a Greek excursion solely on revenge there is not such a clear cut reason for why Xerxes decided to invade Greece in 480 BCE. The problem of the relationship between the Achaemenian religion and Zoroastrianism is a difficult one, and some scholars, such as M. Molé, have even thought that this is an improper posing of the question—that there were, rather, three different states of religion: a religion of strict observance, a royal religion as attested by the Achaemenian inscriptions, and the popular religion as described by the Greek historian Herodotus. Finally, the Greek penchant for innovation provably had not been extended tot eh battlefield, especially against a numerically superior and battle-hardened foe. He sends back Artemisia with his sons and the eunuch Hermotimus to Ephesus (8.103-104). ‘Here again they were triumphant,’ Herodotus recorded, ‘chasing the routed enemy and cutting them down as they ran to the edge of the sea. Again the next night the spirit is said to have appeared and promised doom if Xerxes did not attack the Greeks. Vastness of Xerxes' expeditionary force; comparisons to great armies of the … Even worse, they would have no room to maneuver.The Greeks began to sing a hymn to the god Apollo as they struck the Persian vanguard in its exposed left flank. ‘He had told me to report to you that the Greeks have no confidence in themselves and are planning the save their skins by a hasty withdrawal. Because he wanted to expand his empire and conquer a big part of western Europe. Confident in his power to subdue them he invaded their countryk and before he came home again many fine soldiers who marched with him were dead. The various Greek states for centuries were the dominate powers in the eastern mediterranean. By: Paul Chrastina Darius the Great, King of Persia, was the supreme ruler of lands stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea during the fifth century, B.C. While Xerxes assembled the Persian juggernaut, the Athenians prepared to fight a decisive battle at sea. Their passage was facilitated by a massive engineering works: a channel was dug across the Isthmus of Actium so that the peaks of Mount Athos might be avoided. Darius vowed to punish the upstart Athenians for their transgression into what he regarded as a domestic affair. Xerxes Invades Greece. For close combat the Persian infantry carried daggers or short spears; their horsemen used swords or axes.When the clash of arms began, it was the speed with which the Greeks closed with the Persians and the superiority of their weapons and armor that carried the day. Having attended to these matters, he decided to lead his army to mainland Greece to finally settle what to the Persians would have been seen to be ‘the Aegean Problem’. Xerxes was born 519 BC in Persia. Nevertheless, the army’s size was of no help, partly because of misinformation about the enemy terrain and partly because of the appearance of a national feeling in Greece. This war changed all of Western history. The Persians invaded Greece and had initial success before finally coming unstuck at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. We are now at 480 BCE, where Xerxes is going to try to invade Greece by land and by sea, but … note.] They could not have been economic, because Greece was not important then. information regarding Xerxes' reign is the number of excellent full-length studies of the Persian-Greek wars that have been published re-cendy. With the crushing defeat at Salamis, Xerxes had little choice but to consider withdrawal. Why did the Greek city states disunite after Spartas victory in the peloponnesian war. Scott Fischer, mountain climber and guide; first American to reach the summit of Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest mountain. -- The avenues to renown. The Expedition Begins. It was the most ambitious military undertaking in the history of the world at the time, and it ended in utter disaster for Persia. Herodotus (Author) › Visit Amazon's Herodotus Page. The true military genius of Themistocles now proved critical. Anonymous. Many Greek city-states either joined Xerxes or remained neutral, while Athens and Sparta led the resistance with a number of other city-states behind them. Phoenicians, Egyptians, Medes, Cypriotes, Syrians, Levantines and Ethiopians were his subjects, as were those Greeks who had ventured forth from their mainland and established cities on the islands of the Aegean Sea, along the coasts of the Black Sea and Asia Minor. Logistics. Xerxes' Invasion 1853 Words | 8 Pages. Second, the famed historian Herodotus states, the Greeks had never even been able to hold their own in battle against the Persians before. The Persians’ greater numbers would be no advantage in the narrows. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Meanwhile, three years were spent digging a canal across and isthmus 1 1/2 miles wide near Mount Athos, bypassing the treacherous waters where Darius’ fleet had come to grief years before. Herodotus undoubtedly embellished his account of the incident to suit his audience, but the fact remains that the Greeks were influenced by omens and soothsayers and their actions reflected their beliefs. Both sides, roughly handled, were pleased to break off the engagement at Artemisium as darkness fell. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Thermopylae, which in Greek means ‘pass of the hot springs,’ provided to setting for one of military history’s great stands. Had it not been for … King Xerxes was 38 years old. While Herodotus places Darius’ motives for a Greek excursion solely on revenge there is not such a clear cut reason for why Xerxes decided to invade Greece in 480 BCE. He married the princess Amestris, daughter of Otanes, who would become mother to his sons Darius, Hystaspes, Artaxerxes I, Achamenes, and daughters Amytis and Rhodogune. Being a son of a great King Darius, he was coerced to live up to his Father’s name and be as a mighty sovereign as King Darius was. He spent the first few years of his reign putting down these revolts. activity of organizing the movement, equipment, and accommodation of troops. Xerxes invaded Greece because Greece hacked his Iphone, so he got angry, and then he took out his samsung galaxy, but it was two much patented, he gott sued, then he atakked. Although lengthening the flanks served its purpose, it also weakened the Greek center where, according to Herodotus, the invaders held the upper hand and actually broke the Greek line, chasing the survivors inland from the shore. Xerxes invaded Greece because Greece hacked his Iphone, so he got angry, and then he took out his samsung galaxy, but it was two much patented, he gott sued, then he atakked. The Persian Invasion of Greece In 480 B.C., King Xerxes I of Persia had an axe to grind with the Greek city-states. It was to be his 'divine punishment' for his father Darius' crushing defeat at Marathon in 490 BC. As he had said several years before, the decisive battle in the life of Athens, and indeed the whole of Greece, would take place at sea. Troops were levied in all the satrapies, and a navy, intended to be the army’s supply line, was gathered. by Herodotus. When the late-mobilizing Spartans received word that victory had been won without them, they continued onto the battlefield to view the corpses of the fallen Persians. The Athenian army had crowned its battlefield triumph at Marathon by arriving in time to stand off the would-be conquerors, who had no choice now but to turn for home in failure. 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