Xerxes' Greek Adventure: The Naval Perspective by H. T. Wallinga

By H. T. Wallinga

This quantity offers with Xerxes’ invasion of Greece (480 B.C.), quite as a naval operation. It examines the traditions preserved by means of Aischylos, Herodotos, and others opposed to the history of the progressive naval advancements within the interval previous Xerxes’ choice to assault. one of the matters mentioned are: the naval strain on Persian overseas coverage; the power in numbers of the Persian military in 480; its deployment within the waters of Salamis with regards to the actual positive factors of the battlefield and the placement of the Greeks; Themistokles’ mythical message as a key to the Persian plan of assault; the standard of the opposing ships and their tactical services; the conflict of Salamis itself and its end result. The e-book comprises maps and a photo of the realm mentioned.

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Not only that the duration of this activity seems to be computed more in accordance with the colossal result than on the foundation of real data: it is as if all the ten years between Marathon and Salamis were allotted to the work to explain its magnitude and as if this timespan was then distributed over the available originators to the extent that they were supposed to have had their hands free. The natural assumption that king Darius must have cried revenge would confirm his involvement. This view of the part played in 483 by the Persian ‘threat’ in Athenian politics gains in plausibility as soon as the number of 40 This item in Themistokles’ biography is not in my view of the same order as the concrete report of what he did in 483.

Revolt in Egypt therefore always spelled a twofold danger, the loss of the rich province itself and the loss of the secure possession of Syria-Palestine, Cilicia, Cyprus and of positions in the Aegean. If a free Egypt regained something like Necho’s navy or establish an alliance with free Greek naval powers, like Amasis’ association with Polykrates, or both, it would indeed become a very serious threat to Persia’s position in the Mediterranean littoral. g. Fine 1983: 287) goes against Herodotos’ clear report: see Wallinga 1993: 144ff.

Also, Athenians naturally must have crowded on to observation points on Salamis, to watch the arrival of the Persian fleet, but Phaleron and the harbours to the southeast of Piraeus, where the Persians were bound, were outside their range of vision (and Psyttaleia blocked as fully manned as Ameinias’ ship (VIII 17). I do not profess to understand for what reason other than pure convenience he improbably ascribes (or accepts the ascription by his informants of ) crews of 80 men to the auxiliary craft, nor why he makes them all pentekontors here and a mixture of different types at the occasion of the mustering at Doriskos (VII 97).

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