Herodotus the First Historian
Herodotus is the first true historian known in Western Civilization he lived during the Classical Age of Greece (the fifth century BCE)
Herodotus Historyand the story of the 300 Spartans
Herodotus and the Persian Wars he wrote The Histories which are now divided into nine Books Historia(in) Greek means inquiry, investigation Greek word historia comes from a base which means "to question, make an inquiry, investigate." The plural of historia in Greek is historiai and that is the Greek name of Herodotus' masterpiece, literally "The Questions
The Histories, a lengthy investigation of the Persian Wars (490479 BCE), the epic struggle between the much smaller Greek city-states of the West and their foe to the East, the enormous Persian Empire the nature of his Histories a jumble of fact and fable like a parent telling bedtime stories modern historians (in the Victorian period) dubbed him the Father of History and Lies
Herodotus asked people about their recollections of times gone by, the traditional tales they'd heard from their parents, grandparents and elders, and using those data, he attempted to formulate a coherent picture of the past.
Herodotuslife born ca. 485 BCE at Halicarnassus (Ionia) was a merchant and traveler spent some time in Athens died ca. 425 BCE at the Athenian colony of Thurii
These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, which he publishes in the hope of thereby preserving from decay the remembrance of what men have done, and of preventing the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians from losing their meed of glory; and withal to put on record what were their grounds of feud. Halicarnassus Bodrum Turkey
he was an oral historian he talked to people about what they remembered in the past or what their elders had told them then he collected the stories often uncritical of conflicting accounts little attempt to sift fact from fiction
the more lurid and sensational the story, the more he seems apt to include itbut especially if it plays into one of his particular fancies, that is. . . anything which proves the Delphic oracle is never wrong or involves women who are tall and beautiful or exposes the sexual perversity of foreigners. To many historians of our age, such themes and tone do not betoken a serious and professional approach to the study of the past; they are, rather, the casual ramblings of a raconteur.
to tell the story of the Persians Wars (490 & 481479 BCE) but Books 1-4 about background: Lydia, Egypt, etc. only in Book 5 does Herodotus finally get to the Persian Wars
the first narrative in The Histories focuses on a palace scandal that took place more than a century before the Persian Wars. Set in Lydia (an ancient state in western Asia Minor), it tells the tale of how the Lydian monarchy changed from the family of the reigning king Candauleswhose roots, according to Herodotus, could be traced all the way back to the mythological hero Hercules and came into the hands of his servant Gyges. A cocktail of fact and fancy, with ample helpings of sex and violenceWilliam Etty 1787-1849
The ring of Gyges - Plato A man named Gyges who lived in Lydia, an area in modern was a shepherd for the king of that land.One day, there was an earthquake while Gyges was out in the fields, and he noticed that a new cave had opened up in a rock face. When he went in to see what was there, he noticed a gold ring on the finger of a former king who had been buried in the cave. He took the ring away with him and soon discovered that it allowed the wearer to become invisible. In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, like the ring of Gyges, the One Ring grants the power of invisibility, and corrupts the character of those who possess it.
Bilbo finds the ring of power
The Persians originally a tribe from the highlands of Iran Cyrus (II) the Great (ca. 550 BCE) conquered and assimilated the Medes the Greeks confused Persians/Medes conquered Babylon; freed the Hebrews
By 546 BCE, Cyrus had defeated Croesus, the Lydian king of fabled wealth, and had secured control of the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, Armenia, and the Greek colonies along the Levant. Moving east, he took Parthia and Bactria. He besieged and captured Babylon in 539 and released the Jews who had been held captive there, thus earning his immortalization in the Book of Isaiah. When he died in 529, Cyrus's kingdom extended as far east as the Hindu Kush in present-day Afghanistan.
Cyrus was succeeded by his son Cambyses (II) in 530 BCECambyses conquered Egypt but he was crazy and vicious
This negative picture may be the result Herodotus Persian sources who disliked Cambyses. Assassinated in 522 BCE
The Persian Empire
Cambyses brother-in-law Darius took the throneconsolidated Persia created satrapies, run by satraps built the Royal Road
In another attempt to consolidate his state and government, Darius also sponsored a new religion, Zoroastrianism, which had already begun to rise in popularity before he came to power. At the heart of this belief-system lay a core of myths which feature a cosmic battle between the forces of light and dark. The religion, then, called on worshipers to assist the principal god of light, Ahura-Mazda, in his struggle to defeat the forces of darkness.
Darius also perfected a road system running across the majority of his kingdom, all the way from Sardis in western Asia Minor across two mountain ranges to Susa known as the Royal Road, were posted elite riders who carried messages back and forth from station to station on horseback, increased Persian wealth, prestige and bureaucracy Herodotus: Cyrus was a father, Cambyses was a master, and Darius was a shopkeeper.
The Ionian Revolution in the mid-sixth century BCE, a new sort of thinking arises in Ionia the Ionian philosophers search for origins and basic elements: water, air, earth, fire Pythagoreans: numbers
earliest attested non-religious explanation of the natural world
Until their defeat by the Assyrians, the Phoenicians had controlled the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea The Greeks also were beginning to expand their commercial interests and trading network across this region. They had colonized, in particular, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which brought them into direct contact with the Persians. A confrontation which would ultimately turn violent.
The Ionian Revolution Philosophical revolution leads to political revolution Aristagoras of Miletus: enlightened tyrant who forces the expulsion of other Ionian tyrants in 499 BCE forms Ionian League of free states having just expelled their tyrant, Athens (Athenians) join this league and send five ships from Attica
Miletus Theater and Temple of Athena
500-499 BCE 1. the Athenians were somehow at the heart of it all. 2. Infected like many Greek city-states by the Ionian revolutionary bug, they had ousted their ruler, a tyrant named Hippias, the decade before (510 BCE).
The Ionian League
The forces of the Ionian League march against Sardis (capital of Lydia) and liberate it but in the ensuing celebration, the Ionians burn the city down the Lydians call in Darius and the Persians to oust the Ionian League to even the score, the Persians burn down Miletus in Ionia (493 BCE)
Soon thereafter in a battle near the Ionian city of Ephesus, the Persian army defeated the Ionian League and forced it to disband. Aristagoras left the rebellion in disgust and fled to northern Greece where he was assassinated.
Miletus is razed to the ground
Partial ruins of Sardis
The Ionian Revolution
the results of the Ionian Revolution it did not produce any new democracy democratia: mob-ruleThe new thinkers (philosophers) fled Ionia for the west (Greece and Italy) It gave Darius an excuse to attack Athens for sending ships Darius needed to have a military victory to add to his institutional and economic achievements as king
Battle of MarathonDarius had two routes to invade Greece, one by land and one by sea. He chose them both and in 492 BC began his expedition. However, his first attempt failed because a terrible storm destroyed his fleet.
2 years later 2nd attempt 490 BCDuring the two year interval he sent heralds to the Greek city-states. The heralds, as was the custom, asked for "earth and water" as a token of submission. Many of the Greek city-states acquiesced but many did not, including the two most important, Sparta and Athens.
The Persian fleet conveying a force of infantry and cavalry sailed across the Aegean Sea in late August or early September of 490 BC.
"earth and water"
Eretria does not submit The city was sacked, its buildings destroyed and its inhabitants who survived the massacre that followed were taken prisoners. This was in retaliation for the part that Eretria played in assisting Athens in the destruction of Sardis in the Ionian rebellion. This was a clear indication to the Athenians that theirs would be the same fate.
Athena from the Temple of Appollo destroyed by the Persians at Eretria
The Persian army sailed from Eretria to the Marathon Bay and landed there, about twenty five and a half miles from Athens. Spartans do not come to help Plataians come with 1000 men
Athens was eternally grateful for that brave act of the Plataians. Together they would face the Medes and their conquerors, the Persians. No one had been able to stand up against them in the past.
The Greek's army doctrine was of an offensive nature. Their main weapon, the long, heavy spear, their heavy armament (helmet, shield, breastplate, greaves) and their battle formation, the phalanx, favored close combat. The Greeks used ne