After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (Emblems of Antiquity)

By Paul Cartledge

The conflict of Plataea in 479 BCE is one in all international history's unjustly ignored occasions. It decisively ended the specter of a Persian conquest of Greece. It concerned tens of millions of opponents, together with the most important variety of Greeks ever introduced jointly in a standard reason. For the Spartans, the motive force at the back of the Greek victory, the conflict was once candy vengeance for his or her defeat at Thermopylae the 12 months ahead of. Why has this pivotal conflict been so overlooked?

In After Thermopylae, Paul Cartledge masterfully reopens one of many nice puzzles of historic Greece to find, up to attainable, what occurred at the box of conflict and, simply as vital, what occurred to its reminiscence. a part of the reply to those questions, Cartledge argues, are available in a little-known oath apparently sworn by way of the leaders of Athens, Sparta, and several Greek city-states ahead of the battle-the Oath of Plataea. via an research of this oath, Cartledge offers a wealth of perception into historical Greek tradition. He exhibits, for instance, that after the Athenians and Spartans weren't combating the Persians they have been battling themselves, together with a propaganda struggle for keep watch over of the reminiscence of Greece's defeat of the Persians. This is helping clarify why this present day we simply be mindful the Athenian-led victories at Marathon and Salamis yet now not Sparta's victory at Plataea. certainly, the Oath illuminates Greek anxieties over historic reminiscence and over the Athens-Sparta competition, which might erupt fifty years after Plataea within the Peloponnesian warfare. moreover, as the Oath was once finally a spiritual record, Cartledge additionally makes use of it to focus on the profound position of faith and fable in historic Greek existence. With compelling and eye-opening detective paintings, After Thermopylae offers a long-overdue historical past of the conflict of Plataea and a wealthy portrait of the Greek ethos in the course of essentially the most serious sessions in historical history.

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Yet probably the truth that Teisamenus was once from Elis, town which hosted the Olympic video games each 4 years and controlled the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus too AFTER THER MOPYLAE 119 when the video games weren't on, had anything to do with it, because the Spartans have been constantly in particular attracted to the video games and continuously specially willing to maintain on stable phrases with Zeus of Mount Olympus, the main robust unmarried divinity within the complete Greek pantheon. The conflict of Plataea therefore grew to become the first of the five “victories” that Teisamenus may win for his new fellow-citizens.

We can’t say how tall the full monument initially was once since it doesn't continue to exist intact. a number of the base has been excavated at Delphi, and maybe a part of one AFTER THER MOPYLAE 133 Figure 6. 1. The official monument devoted by means of the triumphant Greeks to Apollo at Delphi (subsequently got rid of to Constantinople/Istanbul, the place its partial is still subsist within the previous Hippodrome) took the shape of a coiled, triple-headed snake, whence “Serpent Column”; above the snakes’ heads initially used to be perched a golden cauldron.

Trumpington, Cambridge, July 2012 PREFACE xv Map 1. The Aegean Greek global within the Classical interval. From Cartledge, historical Greece (2009). This web page deliberately left clean Mt. Oeta E Thermopylae U B DORIS AEGEAN SEA O Mt. Parnassus Delphi Cori nt BOEOTIA Thebes Plataea h Mt. Cithaeron Eleusis Megara PELOPONNESE Corinth GET TAY 20 N 10 C O M AE zero l. a. ED Helos Gythion 20 Troezen Sparta TS. US M MES SEN IA Tegea Caryae 10 ATTICA Athens Mycenae ARGOLID Argos Sepeia Olympia zero A Chalcis Eretria Crisa Gulf of E 30 Miles 30 Kilometers Highlands MEDITERRANEAN SEA Map 2.

It used to be at Eleusis in Attica to the west of the town of Athens that the Peloponnesian forces below Regent Pausanias (deputizing for the under-age Pleistarchos, son of Leonidas) joined up with the Athenian troops below Aristeides. it's also there after which, as famous past, that these commentators who desire to supply a historic context to the swearing of a real, genuine Plataea Oath think that it could actually were administered. definitely, the environment may were PAU L CARTLEDGE 104 auspicious.

However the hold up itself isn't in any way inexplicable; political concerns and difficulties except army ones also needs to be factored in. at the one hand, Pausanias may possibly nonetheless were hoping for but extra troops to reach, in order that he may possibly think there has been defense in numbers if not anything else; nonetheless, he used to be absolutely green as a normal, the scale and composition of his allied military have been at least remarkable, and common morale can't were exceedingly excessive, if certainly there has been now not a substantial temper of despair—a temper which might now not were relieved through a chain of allegedly unfavourable omens produced by way of seers (manteis) from the entrails of sacrificed animals.

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