The Idea of the Enemy in Aeschylus’s The Persians

"However, you can be sure that so great a multitude of men never perished in a single day" -the messenger to the Persians (line 432). Aeschylus's second part of a lost trilogy has come down to us as The Persians, told from the perspective of the Greek enemy in the Persian wars. It is unique, a … Continue reading The Idea of the Enemy in Aeschylus’s The Persians

Thucydides on Greek Origins

At the outset of Thucydides's "archaeology" of the Peloponnesian War, the greatest "motion" of the city yet seen by either the Hellenes or barbarians or also possibly of all mankind, including the ancient Trojan War, Thucydides provides many opportunities for wonder. Pointing to later thinkers, like Hobbes, Thucydides gives an account of how the Hellenes … Continue reading Thucydides on Greek Origins

On Herodotus

Herodotus's Histories, or "Inquiries", traces the conflicts that emerged between the Greeks and the Persians (the Achaemenid Empire), culminating in the great battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, Platea, and Mycale. Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, or modern day Bodrum in western Turkey. Much of his life was spent in Exile, living in Samos, Athens, and apparently … Continue reading On Herodotus