The Persians Flashcards Preview

Block 1 Framing the empire A340 The Roman Empire > The Persians > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Persians Deck (13):

Detail 1



Sea Battle


Dead King

New King

Aeschylus, born 525 BCE, fought at Marathon 490 and Salamis 480 BCE then Plataea Persian Army (Mardonius) defeat, Mycale navy defeat, both 479

Play Produced 472 BC(Pericles)

Salamis,480 BCE led by Greek Commander Themistocles

499-494 revolt of the Ionian cities, leading to Persian Invasions

Darius/Dareios-Invaded Greece in 492 in revenge for greek assistance to the Ionian cities revolt, but defeated at the battle of Marathon in 490 in an enveloping manoeuvre executed by the Greek general (stratogi) Miltiades

Xerxes, wanted to avenge the defeat and invaded in 480


Detail 2




Type of play


Queen Atossa

Dignitaries and Advisors of the Empire - chorus of old men of Sousa

Sousa one of the The Persian Empire's Capital Cities

An ideological play, a highly emotive and ideological story, "they are called neither slaves nor subjects of any single man' (24)

The Persians wear ornate dress and head gear in the play and have sumptuous luxury - gold bedecked army (11) the gold of Sardis (45), Babylon rich in gold (53) great luxury, effeminate, decadent


Detail 3

Masculine v Feminine




Greeks butch and masculine, Persians effeminate, behave like women, tear their clothes with rage and grief

Earliest work that sets the West (Greece et al) against the supposedly inferior East (Persia and its empire). The Greeks are free the Persians are slaves

Strategy Themistocles conned Xerxes into blocking the straits of Salamis, resulted in Persian fleet being cramped and unable to manoeuvre and fell prey to the Greek ships- 300 lost

Generals Greek - Themistocles , Persian - Mardonius


Story Progress 1 Asia emptied

Chorus describes departure of the Persian forces from Asia In all their might and glory

Archers, swordsmen, cavalry, sailors, Egyptians, Lydians, Babylonians, Syrians

Asia is emptied

Bridge built of lashed boats across the Hellespont (Bospharos)

Women tearing clothes sobbing at their empty homes and beds


Story Progress 2

The Queen enters, Darius' wife

She is worried about possible disaster "Great wealth may kick up a cloud".

She asks for council and describes a dream, 2 girls one Greek one Persian placed in a yoke by Xerxes, the Persian girl accepts this the Greek one fights and refuses to be yoked, Xerxes fall from the chariot symbolises the defeated the Persan army - PROPAGANDA 1

She speaks of a fight between an eagle (symbol of the Persian army) and a hawk (Greece) then hawk (in Greek myth the Hawk is a messenger of Apollo) wins - premonition of doom -PROPAGANDA 2

Chorus suggests prayers to husband and Gods, citing prowess of Greek army and possession of silver -PROPAGANDA 3

Chorus appears to laud Greek democracy "Neither slaves nor subjects of any single man" - PROPAGANDA 4


Story Progress 3 The messenger arrives

Enter Messenger who reports the doom of the Persian Army and navy - PROPAGANDA 4

How much they had lost when the Persians were destroyed by Greek Ships at Salamis

He recites the toll of the names of commanders who have died

Greek navy 300 ships, Persians 1000 yet destroyed by cunning ruse - the Persian ships were moored too close together, constrained, therefore unable to deploy properly and were picked off by being rammed by the Greek ships and damaging themselves in their haste to escape


Story Progress 3 -2

The Greek sailor master of his ship , the Greek soldier master of his spear - PROPAGANDA

Barbarians are simply anyone non-Greek, they speak 'barbar' -gibberish

Small island nearby used as trap to ensnare Persian soldiers, corralled and massacred

Xerxes tore his robes and screamed


Story Progress 4 - The Queen Raises Darius ( a vehicle also used in The Odyssey and Illiad)

Queen speaks of fears of doom and says she will conjure/raise the dead Darius' spirit for advice - his 'yellow died slippers'

More 'doom' propaganda by chorus - PROPAGANDA 5

Darius demands to know why he has been raised immediately and succinctly

They reiterate yet again the story of doom -PROPAGANDA

Darius condemns his son for his over-confidence and ambition, his lack of prudence his pride and hubris (similar to Achilles?)


Story Progress 4 -2

Darius condemns Xerxes attempt to tame the Hellespont with the Bridges (he had done the same at the Dardanelles) Xerxes had the Hellespont lashed

Darius recounts how the Persian Empire grew, its rulers, this again to show how clever the Greeks were to defeat such a powerful enemy - PROPAGANDA 6

Darius says the Empire will grow "Only if you take no expedition into Greek territory". "The land starves to death any excess of population".

Darius believes that the disaster has been incurred due to the Persians destroying and defiling the shrines of the Greeks as the Persians went through Greece - "Zeus chastises arrogant minds".

Darius - "Wealth is of no use to the dead" and departs


Story Progress 5 - Finale

The chorus praises the good governance and wisdom of Darius

Xerxes enters ruined and wretched - "Oh wretched me!"

Chorus - The Persians have been killed by Xerxes and cry out in mourning

Reiteration of the dead by chorus TEDIOUS PROPAGANDA - Greeks speaking as Persians but loving Greeks, much wailing, gnashing of teeth, tearing of gowns, HISTRIONIC

Following on from this was the Greek Victories at Plataea - land, Mycalae - sea 479


City Dionysian and the Lenae

Took place once a year

Usually three tragedies and five comedies over several days

All actors were male, in the orchestra, wore masks, exotic costumes for barbarians

chorus, spoke, danced and sang, form of divine worship,

Play performed 472


Greek tragedians

Aeschylus -The Persians, he was from a noble Attic family father Euphorion, claimed that he was killed by a tortoise that fell out of the sky when dropped by an eagle

Sophocles - The Theban Plays (Oedipus the King) - b 497-d 406

Euripides- - The Trojan Women -b 480 - d 406


Lines to quote

"Great wealth may kick up a cloud" Atossa

"Neither slaves nor subjects of any single man" Chorus

"Only if you take no expedition into Greek territory" Darius

"The land starves to death any excess of population". Darius

'So the city of Athens still not sacked?' - Atossa

"Wealth is of no use to the dead" Darius

"Oh wretched me" Xerxes