Philosophical Europe ||| The Political Progress ||| European Witness ||| EU News
European Forum ||| Special Homages: Meister Eckhart / David Copperfield
From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
II. THE GREAT AGE OF THE GREEK REPUBLICS TO 362 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 5
XERXES AND THE GREAT PERSIAN WAR
PREPARATIONS OF PERSIA
"Ten years after Marathon," says a Greek historian, "the 'barbarians' returned with the vast armament which was to enslave Hellas."  Darius was now dead, but his son Xerxes had determined to complete his task. Vast quantities of provisions were collected; the Hellespont was bridged with boats; and the rocky promontory of Mount Athos, where a previous fleet had suffered shipwreck, was pierced with a canal. An army of several hundred thousand men was brought together from all parts of the Great King's domain. He evidently intended to crush the Greeks by sheer weight of numbers.
 Thucydides, i, 18.
Xerxes did not have to attack a united Greece. His mighty preparations frightened many of the Greek states into yielding, when Persian heralds came to demand "earth and water," the customary symbols of submission. Some of the other states, such as Thebes, which was jealous of Athens, and Argos, equally jealous of Sparta, did nothing to help the loyal Greeks throughout the struggle. But Athens and Sparta with their allies remained joined for resistance to the end. Upon the suggestion of Themistocles a congress of representatives from the patriotic states assembled at the isthmus of Corinth in 481 B.C. Measures of defense were taken, and Sparta was put in command of the allied fleet and army.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy