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The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself,

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The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself, [#permalink]

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The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself, was perhaps one of the darkest hours ever faced by the ancient Greeks. Xerxes, with an army numbering in the hundreds of thousands supported by a fleet said by Herodotus to include 1,200 ships, threatened to overrun all Greece. As Xerxes advanced, the Delphic oracle prophesied disaster for both Athens and Sparta, the city-states upon whose strength and leadership the survival of the Greek world depended. Such oracles, often dismissed as mere religious superstition, or the result of political or economic bribery, are instructive about Greek society and the nature of Delphi itself.

Before Xerxes even reached Greece, most northern Greek city-states, such as Boiotian Thebes and many cities in Thessaly, had offered "earth and water," the traditional symbols of submission, despite warnings of retribution from Athens and Sparta. These warnings may have rung hollow in the face of the Persian threat, but in any case it was typical for Greek city-states to put their own survival above any pan-Hellenic cause. Greece at this time was not a nation, but a group of independent cities loosely bound by common traditions and language but riven by mistrust. Thus it was not surprising that many cities preferred to submit peacefully to a distant overlord rather than risk devastation in a war that even if victory should be possible, would be costly in both financial and human terms, leaving them indebted to their more powerful local rivals, Athens and Sparta. Delphi had long been an important religious center for many of these northern cities; the unfavorable pronouncements Sparta and Athens received, then, may reflect both the desire of northern cities to submit peacefully and the extent of their influence over the priests of Delphi.

Northern influence aside, the priests may have had their own reasons for urging capitulation. These priests comprised, in the words of historian A. R. Burn, a "rich ecclesiastical corporation." Their wealth derived from offerings to the gods (primarily Apollo) from prosperous Greek cities and foreign powers, including Persia and her satellites. Should the Persians ransack Greece, Delphi itself might not be spared, and its source of wealth would be jeopardized. Furthermore, the priests may have wanted to ensure that Xerxes, if victorious, would take a favorable view of Apollo and treat his priests and temple well.






1) Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a reason for the early surrender of the northern Greek city-states?

A) Xerxes' agents had infiltrated these cities and convinced many people that defeat was inevitable.
B) Many Greeks were more concerned with self-preservation than with the survival of Greece as a whole
C) Opposition to Xerxes would have required the northern cities to enlist the aid of their powerful rivals, Athens and Sparta.
D) The death toll that even a successful resistance to the Persians would cause
E) The northern cities did not take threats of retribution from Athens and Sparta seriously.
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA

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Re: The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself, [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2017, 22:31
such as Boiotian Thebes and many cities in Thessaly, had offered "earth and water," the traditional symbols of submission, despite warnings of retribution from Athens and Sparta.
E) cannot be the option here from above extract
A) correct. because we have no evidence of Xerxes' agents infiltrating and convincing people!!

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Re: The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself, [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 07:04
Interesting passage at least for the ppl who watched Troy and 300 movie..

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Re: The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself,   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2017, 07:04
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The Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by the Persian king himself,

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