The name "Ethiopia" derives from the Greek ethiomeaning "burned" and piameaning "face": Aeschylus described Ethiopia as a "land far off, a nation of black men.
This account is fairly consistent with Herodotus's. Archaeological evidence, such as the Serpent Columnalso supports some of Herodotus's specific claims.
However, it was also the result of the longer-term interaction between the Greeks and Persians. In BC the Persian Empire was still relatively young and highly expansionistic, but prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples.
This tactic succeeded, but the Spartan King, Cleomenes I, returned at the request of Isagoras and so Cleisthenes, the Alcmaeonids and other prominent Athenian families were exiled from Athens. When Isagoras attempted to create a narrow oligarchic government, the Athenian people, in a spontaneous and unprecedented move, expelled Cleomenes and Isagoras.
The result was not actually a democracy or a real civic state, but he enabled the development of a fully democratic government, which would emerge in the next generation as the demos realized its power. This failed and Hippias again fled to Sardis and tried to persuade the Persians to subjugate Athens.
Despite the fact that their actions were ultimately fruitless, the Eretrians and in particular the Athenians had earned Darius's lasting enmity, and he vowed to punish both cities.
Mardonius re-subjugated Thrace and made Macedonia a fully subordinate part of the Persians; they had been vassals of the Persians since the late 6th century BC, but retained their general autonomy.
Mardonius had been injured in the prior campaign and had fallen out of favor. The expedition was intended to bring the Cyclades into the Persian empire, to punish Naxos which had resisted a Persian assault in BC and then to head to Greece to force Eretria and Athens to submit to Darius or be destroyed.
The Persians then proceeded to besiegecapture and burn Eretria. They then headed south down the coast of Attica, en route to complete the final objective of the campaign—punish Athens. For approximately five days the armies therefore confronted each other across the plain of Marathon in stalemate.
Herodotus explicitly tells us that the Greeks attacked the Persians and the other sources confirm thisbut it is not clear why they did this before the arrival of the Spartans. This theory is based on the absence of any mention of cavalry in Herodotus' account of the battle, and an entry in the Suda dictionary.
When Datis surrendered and was ready for retreat, the Ionians climbed the trees and gave the Athenians the signal that the cavalry had left. And when Miltiades realized that, he attacked and thus won. From there comes the above-mentioned quote, which is used when someone breaks ranks before battle.
However, both theories imply that there was some kind of Persian activity which occurred on or about the fifth day which ultimately triggered the battle.
Date of the battle[ edit ] Herodotus mentions for several events a date in the lunisolar calendarof which each Greek city-state used a variant. Astronomical computation allows us to derive an absolute date in the proleptic Julian calendar which is much used by historians as the chronological frame.
In that case the battle took place on August 12, BC.Latest environmental news, features and updates. Pictures, video and more.
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