I watched the 300 DVD the other night and although the film was watchable it certainly wasn't as good as the original. In my opinion in the new version it was more a case of who had the broadest chest and the biggest muscles.
Post by Bromhead24 on Oct 28, 2007 15:23:16 GMT -5
Actually Xerxes was not the horrible slave master of the time, just about every city state including Sparta and every other Greek city states had and used slaves. Xerxes grandfather was Cyrus the great. (some backgroung here)
Cyrus was the greatest Persian Emperor and a righteous human being. At the time of victory, he was
Zol-qarnaingenerous toward defeated people. Being a freeman, he won the heart of his people, permitting them to worship their gods. He was extraordinarily peerless in all over the world. Comparing Cyrus' manner with Semi's rulers, one feels great pleasure for the Persian liberality and generosity and truly regards the Persian as the instructor of human race.
His son Darius in his inscriptions appears as a fervent worshiper of Ahura Mazda. A great statesman and organizer, Darius thoroughly revised the Persian system of administration and also the legal code. His revisions of the legal code revolved around laws of evidence, slave sales, deposits, bribery, and assault.
It was through the organization of the empire he became the true successor of Cyrus the Great. His organizing of provinces and fixing of tributes is described by Herodotus evidently from good official sources. He divided the Persian Empire into twenty provinces, each under the supervision of a governor or satrap. The satrap position was usually hereditary and largely autonomous, allowing each province its own distinct laws, traditions, and elite class. Every province, however, was responsible for paying a gold or silver tribute to the emperor; many areas, such as Babylonia, underwent severe economic decline resulting from these quotas.
Each province also had an independent financial controller and an independent military coordinator as well as the satrap, who controlled administration and the law. All three probably reported directly to the king. This distributed power within the province more evenly and lowered the chance of revolt. Darius also increased the bureaucracy of the empire, with many scribes employed to provide records of the administration.
Xerxes became king of Persia at the death of his father Darius the Great in 485, at a time when his father was preparing a new expedition against Greece and had to face an uprising in Egypt. According to Herodotus, the transition was peaceful this time. Because he was about to leave for Egypt, Darius, following the law of his country had been requested to name his successor and to choose between the elder of his sons, born from a first wife before he was in power, and the first of his sons born after he became king, from a second wife, Atossa, Cyrus' daughter, who had earlier been successively wed to her brothers Cambyses and Smerdis, and which he had married soon after reaching power in order to confirm his legitimacy. Atossa was said to have much power on Darius and he chosed her son Xerxes for successor. After quelling the revolt of Egypt, Xerxes finally decided to pursue the project of his father to subdue Greece, but made lengthy preparations for that. Among other things, remembering what had happened to Mardonius' expedition a few years earlier (his fleet had been destroyed by a tempest in 492 while trying to round Mount Athos), he ordered a channel to be opened for his fleet north of Mount Athos in Chalcidice. He also had two boat bridges built over the Hellespont near Abydus for his troop to cross the straits. The expedition was ready to move in the spring of 480 and Xerxes himself took the lead. Herodotus gives us a colorful description of the Persian army that he evaluates at close to two million men and about twelve hundred ships . Modern historians find these figures irrealistic, if only for logistical reasons, and suppose the army was at most two hundred thousand men and the fleet no more than a thousand ships, but this still makes an impressive body for the time. Xerxes' expedition moved by land and sea through Thracia, the fleet following the army along the coast. It didn't meet resistance until it reached Thessalia, where the Persian army defeated the Spartans and their allies at the pass of Thermopylæ while, on sea, neither the Persian nor the Athenian fleet could win the decision in the battle that took place near Cape Artemisium, along the northern coast of the island of Euboea. Because of Themistocles' decision to evacuate Athens, Xerxes managed to take the city and set fire to the temples of the Acropolis, but his fleet was soon after destroyed by the Athenian fleet of Themistocles at the battle of Salamis After this defeat, Xerxes returned to Asia via the Hellespont, leaving part of his army in Greece under the command of Mardonius. But the following year, after having taken Athens a second time, the Persian army was defeated, in September of 479, at Platæa, near Thebes in Boeotia, in a battle that lasted 13 days, in which Mardonius was killed while, at about the same time, what remained of the Persian fleet was destroyed by a Greek fleet under the command of the Spartan general Leutychides off Cape Mycale, a promontory of the Ionian coast, north of Miletus, facing the island of Samos. This was not the end of the war between Persia and Greece, but it was the end of the incursions of the Persian army on mainland Greece. And without a fleet, Persia had to abandon control of the sea to Athens.
The Persains Units Numbers Fleet crew 517,610 Infantry 1,700,000 Cavalry 80,000 Arabs and Libyans 20,000 Greek troops allied with Persians 324,000 Total 2,641,610
Herodotus tells us that 20,000 Persians died at the hands of the Greeks at Thermopylae, and that their bodies had to be concealed in hurriedly dug ditches lest Xerxes' army grow disheartened. The Persian ruler viewed the Spartan dead and was shown the body of Leonidas, which he ordered be crucified and the head struck off and fixed on a pole. It was meant as a warning of what the enemies of Persia could expect.
Herodotus Dynasty XXVI 490-c. 431 B.C.E
Herodotus was a Greek historian in the fifth century B.C.E. His birth was around B.C.E. References to certain events in his narratives suggest that he did not die until at least 431 B.C.E, which was the beginning of the Peloponesian War. In his later years, Herodotus traveled extensively throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. There, he visited the Black Sea, Babylon, Phoenicia, and Egypt. He is best known for his work entitled Histories. Because of this, Cicero claimed him to be the Father of History. Histories is the story of the rise of Persian power and the friction between Persia and Greece. The battles that are described are the ones fought at Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis. His story is the historical record of events that happened in his own lifetime. The first Persian War took place just before he was born, while the second happened when he was a child. This gave him the opportunity to question his elders about the events in both wars to get the details he wanted for his story.
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2007 19:58:56 GMT -5 by Bromhead24