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Herodotus, Ionia, and
the Greco-Persian Wars
History 111: Lecture 19 (November 3, 2009):
The vastness of the Persian Empire
The empire's northwestern frontier: Medes unable to conquer Lydia
Rich as Croesus: Resources of Lydian kingdom
The view from Ionia: Greek cities of the eastern Aegean
Major cities: Halicarnassus (Bodrum), Miletus, and Ephesus
Key islands: Samos, Chios, and Lesbos
The intellectual world of the “Ionian Renaissance”
The Presocratics: Thales of Miletus and the eclipse
Hecataeus of Miletus and his map of the world
Herodotus and the invention of history
Herodotus’s method: comparing stories, interviewing priests
The origins of the conflict between Europe and Asia
Croesus and the oracle at Delphi: “A great kingdom will fall...”
Persian hegemony: Imposition of client-rulers (tyrants) in Ionian city-states
The Ionian Revolt (499 BC)
Sparta refuses aid, but Athens and Eritrea send 25 ships
The burning of Sardis
The Persian war machine under King Darius
Naval expedition sent against Greek mainland
Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C. (Athenian general: Miltiades)
“Sire, remember the Athenians”: The army of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.)
Bridging the Hellespont
“Then, I will fight in the shade”: The Spartans at Thermopylae
Spartans and Persians, Hollywood style: The “300”
“The wooden walls”: Themistocles and the oracle at Delphi
The Athenian naval victory at Salamis, 480 B.C.
The Greco-Persian wars as historical paradigm