Herodotus and Aeschylus

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  • Created by: fern
  • Created on: 08-06-15 20:17

Herodotus

  • Born 484BC, 4 years before 2nd Persian invasion and before Marathon and Ionian revolt
  • Literary background, related to poet Panyassis
  • Born in Hallicarnassus in Ionia when Artemisia was Queen
  • Ionian known for intellectual radition- scientists, theologians
  • Banished by queen's grandson- fled to Samos and begans travels
  • Egypt, Babylon, Athens
  • Histories- reasearch/inquiry
  • Written in 450x- oral history
  • Record/preserve achievements ino Greeks
  • Continuous thread with chronological approach
  • How events precipitate others
  • Linkage- events taking place because of previous events
  • Logoi- ring composition
  • 20-40 years after events, people alive from both accounts
  • Many people could be survivors- soldiers/sailotys but unaware of straegy and politics
  • Decision makers- dead or exiled
  • Babylonian and Egyptian translations
  • Growing tradition and written histoy
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Herodotus

  • Openly declares bias for Athens
  • Argues Athens were saviors of Greece, despite knowing this would be unpopular
  • Athenian Spartan tension 646BC
  • Favoured democracy
  • Hostile to Cleomenes, Corinth, Aegina
  • Travelled to places he writes about
  • Psyche- what people at time believed
  • Wye witness accounts
  • Democratically, allows readers to make up own mind
  • Factual errors due to oral tradition- influence of Homer?
  • Thucydides on other hand was travelled soldier
  • Not military expert
  • Oracles, dreams, dicine presence
  • Indiciduals 
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Aeschylus

  • Dramatist early 5th Century
  • Fought at Marathon, probably Salamis and Plataea
  • Eyewitness at Salamis
  • Religious glorification of Greeks over Persians
  • Brother killed at Marathon- Kyneferias
  • 425BC
  • Athens under Pisistratids
  • Age 15= start of democracy
  • 472BC=The Persians
  • Known for military prowness- graph on tomb
  • Religious/entertainment purposes
  • Hubris-human pride, arrogance
  • Xerxes goes beyonf gods crossign Hellespont
  • not history
  • Does not mention Athens by name, vivd battle description, dramatic elaboration
  • No Persian Perspectices
  • First hand account
  • Hostile towards Persians- portray Xerxes' poor leadershio
  • Sparta downplayed over Athenian bias? only mentions Marathon
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The Persians

  • Chorus weigh up situation- when will Xerxes return, Persian numbers, seamen by thousands, name of individuals, Skill with bow Imaeus, all over empire, ie Egypt, Lydians, cavalry
  • Xerxes crossed Hellespont with Persian youth, anticipate battle, speak of bows, oars, Persian lack of fear but concern if immortal guile is involced, fear they have heard nothing
  • Did bronze headed spears prevail?
  • Atossa has anxious thoughts, wealth is no good if king is dead, she tells them of her dream of Asian and Dorian sisters quarelling and one breaking free from Xerxes' yoke (democracy vs despotism) falcon claws Eagles head, no state can hold Xerxes accountable
  • Chorus tell her to pray to gods and that she must pour libations (Greek), omens will be well, she believes the, and Q and A over Athens- once conquered Xerxes is master of all of Greece, they once defeated Persia, have wealth from silver mines but are not skilled in bow and are masterless
  • Messenger arrives to deliver news of defeat - grief, fallen youth, bows were no help, strewn with bodies, evils fate, fleet and army are no more, dramatic, the chorus blame fate
  • Atossa says they must endure grief and is told Xerxes lives
  • Messenger gives account of battle- thick shaggy yellow beard died blood-red, had fortune favoured numbers they would have won, 300 vessels made up Greek numbers vs 1,207
  • Reference to Athene's city, Drius claims Zeus chasticises arrogant/boastful men
  • While she had men bulwark remains unmoved
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