An analysis of herodotus account of the battle of thermopylae

The data are so few — they rest upon such late and slight authority; they are so improbable or so contradictory, that to compile them into a biography is like building a house of cards, which the first breath of criticism will blow to the ground. Still, certain points may be approximately fixed There is no reason to disbelieve the Suda's information about his family:

An analysis of herodotus account of the battle of thermopylae

We need to examine this issue, since the modern Greeks repeatedly argue that they are direct ethnic descendants of the ancient Greeks and Macedonians. The fact is that the ethnic, linguistic, and cultural developments that these invasions created simply built upon similar movements of peoples into and out of the Balkans in the ancient past.

For instance, in speaking of the movements of Germanic tribes in the Balkans before the Slavs, the writer of Macedonia History and Politics says that the Goths were beaten off and the invasions in the fourth century did not lead to "ethnological adulteration.

Macedonia has been represented as a buffer protecting Hellenism from the waves of the barbarians throughout the centuries. Thus it is argued by modern Greeks that the area of the present-day Republic of Macedonia was affected by these barbarian invasions, but the lands that are now Greece were largely unaffected.

The American political scientist Buck explained that the notion of physical kinship implied in the word "nation" is the most conspicuous element in the popular conception of nationality. However, it is also the least realistic. Buck points out that we have only to think of the extent of invasion and colonization that has occurred in nearly every corner of Europe to realize that this notion could at best be only approximate.

More importantly, from the viewpoint of historical analysis, it is not possible to demonstrate national family connections. Recorded descent is at best restricted to a few families that are notable for some reason or another.

All that can be shown convincingly is linguistic descent, but this is often taken as evidence of national descent.

The decline of the aristocracy

Smith points out, specifically in reference to the modern Greek nation, "Greek demographic continuity was brutally interrupted in the late sixth to eighth centuries A. The editor of The Times, long the most prestigious of British newspapers, wrote in August Today, the historical refusal to acknowledge ethnic or cultural plurality has transmogrified into a refusal to accept political dissent in relation to these ethnic or cultural questions.

The obsession with Greek racial identity involves the distortion of the history of the thousands of years when there was no such thing as a Greek nation state.

Many of the views that follow explain that, whether the Greeks feel comfortable with the idea or not, their peoples are of diverse ethnic background, a great mix of the peoples of the Balkans, and have been for the past several thousand years.

If all of the peoples of the Balkans were subjected to mixture of varying degrees with the invaders, as was certainly the case, then the argument might readily be made that modern-day Greeks are no more ethnically related to early Greeks than present-day Macedonians are to ancient Macedonians.

A common assumption is that ancient peoples were ethnically homogenous. As has already been noted with regard to the peoples of Macedonia, the kingdom was undoubtedly a great mix of people, and the diversity increased with the expansion of the Macedonian Empire. There was probably a comparable mix of peoples in various Greek city-states.

While the Greeks who came into the Balkan peninsula became the dominant people in that area, strong influences from the earlier inhabitants remained. A widely accepted view is that the Indo-European language moved into Greece from Anatolia with the spread of agriculture around B.

There were also infiltrations or invasions from the north by Indo-European speakers sometime during the fourth or third millennium B.

King Leonidas of Sparta and the Legendary Battle of the at Thermopylae | Ancient Origins

Bernal suggests an explanation of ancient Greek development in terms of what he calls "the ancient model. Up to the eighteenth century A. Bernal suggests that the sense of loss that this created, and the quest to recover the lost wisdom, were major motives in the development of science in the seventeenth century.

Bernal argues that the ancient model was accepted by historians from antiquity till the nineteenth century, and was rejected then only for anti-Semitic and racist reasons.

He sees the Egyptian and Phoenician influence on ancient Greeks as beginning in the first half of the second millennium B. He concludes that Greek civilization is the result of the cultural mixtures created by these colonizations and later borrowings from across the eastern Mediterranean.

These borrowings from Egypt and the Levant occurred in the second millennium B. Instead they derived them - through the early colonization and later study by Greeks abroad - from the east in general and Egypt in particular.

According to both Herodotus and Thucyclides, Pelasgians formed the largest element of the early population of Greece and the Aegean, and most of them were gradually assimilated by the Hellenes.

Herodotus saw this transformation as following the invasion by Danaos the Egyptianwhich he took to be around the middle of the second millennium B.CHAPTER I.

THE BATTLE OF MARATHON Explanatory Remarks on some of the circumstances of the Battle of Marathon. Synopsis of Events between the Battle of Marathon, B.C.

, and the Defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, B.C. This battle emphasizes the importance of using tactics that are suitable to the composition of the forces involved.

Miltiades’ sprint towards the Persian lines would have been nonsensical had he commanded light infantry and missile throwers while Datis commanded hoplites.

The later Archaic periods The rise of the tyrants.

An analysis of herodotus account of the battle of thermopylae

Dealings with opulent Asian civilizations were bound to produce disparities in wealth, and hence social conflicts, within the aristocracies of function of institutions such as guest-friendship was no doubt to ensure the maintenance of the charmed circle of social and economic privilege.

Thermopylae: The Battle For The West [Ernle Bradford] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An impressively accessible narrative depicting the three-day battle for the pass at Thermopylae (the Hot Gates)--a critical contest in Xerxes's massive invasion of Greece.

The bloody stand made there by Leonidas and his small Spartan army in B.C. has been hailed ever since as . The Battle of Marathon (Greek: Μάχη τοῦ Μαραθῶνος, Machē tou Marathōnos) took place in BC, during the first Persian invasion of was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King .

The Myth of Greek Ethnic 'Purity' Macedonia and Greece, John Shea, pp THE GREAT ETHNIC MIX OF GREECE. Just as Macedonia and other Balkan states were invaded by Slavs and other peoples from the north and from within the Balkans themselves, so were the lands that eventually were to become modern Greece.

An analysis of herodotus account of the battle of thermopylae
The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo, by Sir Edward Creasy