Sources on the Greco-Persian wars

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  • Sources on the Greco-Persian wars
    • Archaeological sources
      • Persia
        • Cyrus Cylinder
          • Advantages
            • Tells us about Cyrus' Achievements
          • Disadvantages
            • Comissioned to show how great Cyrus was
              • Makes it biased
        • Behistun inscription
          • Advantages
            • Written in three languages, showsing Darius trying to communicate with the whole empire
          • Disadvantages
            • Made as pro-Darius Propaganda
        • Reliefs at Persepolis
          • Advantages
            • Depicts what actually happened
          • Disadvantages
            • Made to show the might of Persia
          • Shows Proskynesis
          • Shows nations in national dress, paying Tithe
        • Royal Road
          • Advantages
            • Shows Darius' centralisation
          • Disadvantages
            • A lot of the road has not survived
        • Persepolis itself
          • Advantages
            • Shows the might of the Persian empire
            • shows centralisation of the empire
          • Disadvantages
            • Made to Impress Persias satraps
        • Cuniform tablets
          • Advantages
            • Record official affairs
          • Disadvantages
            • Does not tell us about the war
        • Coin of Darius
          • Advantages
            • Shows us the way in which Darius is trying to confirm his rule
          • Disadvantages
            • Made as propaganda to show him as wise and powerful
          • Shows Darius as a Bowman
      • Greece
        • Vase
          • Eurymedon
            • Advantages
              • Shows that the Greek beat the Persians
              • Is a contempory source
            • Disadvantages
              • Made to entertain
          • Hoplite attacking Persian
            • Advantages
              • Clearly shows the conflict between the Greeks and the Persians in the Stripy Pyjamas
            • Disadvantages
              • Made for a greek audience so shows Greece winning
        • Athenian and Plataean burial mounds
          • Advantages
            • Shows that a great battle must have taken place
            • Gives us an idea of the scale of the battle
            • Backs up literary evidence
          • Disadvantages
            • We do not know the exact number of bodies
        • Bronze persian helmet dedicated to Zeus at olympia
          • Advantages
            • Shows that the Greeks myst have beaten the Persians otherwise they could not have got the helmet
          • Disadvantages
            • We cannot be sure where it came from
        • Themistocles Decree
          • Advantages
            • Backs up other sources on the battle of Salamis
          • Disadvantages
            • Written by a greek, so may show anti-Persian bias
        • Snake tripod
          • Advantages
            • Tells us the different Poleis that participated
          • Disadvantages
            • Does not show the disunity within the alliance
        • Evidence of the sacking of Athens
          • Advantages
            • Backed up with literary evidence
      • Obsidian and Bronze arrow heads
        • Advantages
          • We can look at the styles to see which nations participated in battle.
    • Literary sources
      • Persia
        • Xenophon, Cyropaedia
          • Advantages
            • Would have been able to interview people who were alive during Cyrus' reign
          • Disadvantages
            • Was a Greek, so may show anti Persian agenda
        • Herodotus
          • Advantages
            • Went to Persia
            • Fairly un-biased
          • Disadvantages
            • Does play down Persian victories
        • Bible
          • Disadvantages
            • Written on a moral basis
          • Advantages
            • Backs up other sources, such as as the Cyrus Cylinder
        • Aeschylus
          • Disadvantages
            • Biased against the Persians
            • Written to entertain
          • Advantages
            • Backs up other sources
            • Had to base his plays on real things
        • Suda
          • Disadvantages
            • Written hundreds of years later
          • Advantages
            • Had hindsight
          • Says the Persian cavalery were leaving Marathon
      • Greece
        • Thucydides
          • Advantages
            • Contemporary
            • Had military expertise
            • Should be fairly unbiased as he was ostracised from Athens
          • Disadvantages
            • Did not take part in the wars
        • Herodotus
          • Advantages
            • On the whole, Fairly un-biased
            • Widely traveled
          • Disadvantages
            • Goes off on tangents
            • Would have relied on translators
        • Aristotle
          • Disadvantages
            • Born around 100 years later
          • Advantages
            • Would have had access to a large number of sources
        • Phrynicus
          • Advantages
            • Was contempory
          • Disadvantages
            • Was writing to entertain as he was a poet
        • Cornelius Nepos
          • Disadvantages
            • Was alive during the last centruy BC.
          • Advantages
            • Had hindsight on his side
        • Plutarch
          • Advantages
            • Would have had hindsight on his side
            • He wouldhave had access to lots of sources
          • Disadvantages
            • Was writing a few hundred years later than these events
        • Aeschylus
          • Advantages
            • Was a contempory comentator
            • Would have to tell the truth to make his play appeal
          • Disadvantages
            • Was writing to entertain
            • Wouls not have seen the battle
            • Biased towards the Greeks
        • Diodorus
          • Disadvantages
            • is not contemporary
          • Advantages
            • Would not have the bias of the time
        • Theopompus
          • Claims the Peace of Callias is a fake as it was written in Ionian greek rather than Attic
          • Advantages
            • Would have had hindsight to aid him
          • Disadvantages
            • Lived about 100 years after these events
  • Advantages
    • Backs up other sources, such as as the Cyrus Cylinder
  • Untitled
    • Untitled
      • Untitled
        • Untitled
          • Untitled
  • Suda
    • Disadvantages
      • Written hundreds of years later
    • Advantages
      • Had hindsight
    • Says the Persian cavalery were leaving Marathon

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