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Camac
Posted: 21-Dec-2008, 10:32 AM
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The Spartans were especially unique amongst the Greeks in many ways outside their Militaristic lifestyle. They were very xenophobic trusting no foreigners or foreign ways,(foreign meant anything or person not Spartan) They were also unique in the fact that they had a Constitution a set of rules, responsibilities, rights and obligations of the citizenry

They were also a very religious people ( Sparta would not wage war if it was at the time of a religious festival, as seen at both the Battle of Marathon and Thermopylae,. They would wait till the festival was over then go to war.)and a very moral people almost prudish in their outlook. Granted nudity meant nothing to them as it did with all the Greeks.

At the age of 20 all males were expected to marry but as they had not attained manhood or finished their 10 year active military service the males still lived in barracks and had to sneak away to see their wives. Military service lasted 40 years from the age 20 till 60. The first ten years was active duty and the remainder was reserve.

The status of women in Sparta was also unique amongst the Greek City States in that they had power, status and respect, and were allowed to own their own property and controll that of their husbands while he was away at war. In all the other City States women were kept at home and were the property of the male.

There were little or no restrictions on Spartan Women but they were required to produce children, especially males for the defence of the state. To the Spartan the State was All, it came before any and all other aspects of Spartan life. A Spartan who failed in his duty was dead and an outcast. The nearest comparision to more modern times would be the Japanese Samurai.

Well that the History lessons for this year. I'll be back if wanted next year and continue sharing my knowledge of Ancient Greece or any other historic topic you want.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 22-Dec-2008, 10:48 AM
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Talk about a "one track mind" society and the art of "building" a wall to stay hidden from the outside world...strange indeed.

They were a "unique" society indeed but in a strange way life was not so different as today...men had to be in service of the state from 20 to 60 like you state and here in our modern days we start to work at the same age and retire...well...hope to retire at 60...ironic.

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Well that the History lessons for this year. I'll be back if wanted next year and continue sharing my knowledge of Ancient Greece or any other historic topic you want.


Thank you my friend and looking forward to our next chapters next year and in the meantime...

newyear.gif MSNGIFT.GIF MSNGIFT.GIF MSNGIFT.GIF Enjoy the Holidays!

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 05-Jan-2009, 06:45 PM
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My dear Camac,

Please when ready I would like us to continue on our subject of Ancient Greece.

Thank you,

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Camac
Posted: 05-Jan-2009, 08:03 PM
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LOA;

Next class on Sunday 11 Jan.

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Camac
Posted: 11-Jan-2009, 12:37 PM
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As promised for those who are interested the next topic in Ancient Greek History will be the Persian Wars. In order to understand these wars we have to go back and look briefly at the Persian Empire. There have been a few Persian Empires but the one that interest us is the Achaemenid Empire which arose in the mid-sixth century (550-330 BCE) It was formed by Cyrus the Great and under his son Darius grew to its' largest extent.

The conflict between Greece and Persian also has its' roots around this time. As early as 1100 BCE the Greeks had been colonizing the Western shore of what is to-day modern Turkey. They were known as the Ionian Colonies after the people who founded them. These colonies were in the Greek tradition City States such as Miletus, Halicanarsus,Ephesus, and Naxos.These cities fell to the Persians under Cyrus and became part of his empire.

The first bout of the conflict started in 502 BCE when the island City State of Naxos rebelled against the Persians. The leaders of Naxos approached the city of Miletus, under a Tyrant named Aristagoras, for help. Aristagoras seeing an opportunity here to gain control of Naxos approached the Persian govenor (Satrap) of Lydia, Artraphernes, who was the brother of Darius I of Persia.

It was Aristagors plan to get a fleet of ships under the command of the Persian Admiral Megabates. In order to get what he wanted Aristagoras made promises that he would not only take Naxos but reduce the rest of the Cyclades Islands and add them to the Empire. In this he failed for he somehow insulted the Persian Admiral who in turn warned the people of Naxos so that when the fleet arrived the Naxians were well prepared and after a 4 month seige in 499 BCE Aristagoras withdrew.

Now in deep trouble Aristagoras called a council of the citizens of Miletus and convinced them to rebel against Darius. This they did with the condition that Aristagoras give up his rule and allow a Democratic form of government. The revolt spread quickly but the realization that they would need help quickly became apparent and Aristagoras set off for mainland Greece to obtain that help. Using the promise of money, which he did not have, he managed to alienate the Spartans but gain the aid of Athens and Eretria.

While he was away seeking aid the Persians under Artaphernes besieged Miletus and upon returning the Greeks took the opportunity to attack and lay seige to Artaphernes capital Sardis while he was engaged elsewhere.Although the Greeks could not take the citadel at Sardis they did manage to sack and burn the city to the ground. With the destruction of Sardis more city states came over to the rebellion including those on Cyprus and it looked like the Greeks would gain their independence.

This was a false dream as there was absolutely no possibility of them standing up to the full weight of the Persian Empire. It is said that Darius was so enraged with the destruction of Sardis that he instructed a servant to remind him three times a day of his vow to crush the Greeks. Until this time Darius did not even know of the Athenians and the Greeks were some obscure people in the West. By 493 BCE the revolt was over and Darius had reconquered all the Ionian cities involve and vowed to have his revenge upon the Mainland Greeks who had supplied help. His revenge would begin in 492 BCE with the first invasion of Greece and the leadup to Marathon.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 14-Jan-2009, 04:40 PM
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Well what impresses me is that "domino" effect that all these conquering have in common...as I read this...these guys would take the opportunity that the other one was gone to conquer while in the meantime he was the conquery...and so on!!!

Didn't they have enough soldier to protect their cities while gone to conquer the other? I thought with all this huge populace in these ancient countries and cities that were almost over populated and especially with the fact that "all! men were in service more or less of their respective countries as soldiers.

Again it is surprising to see that this ancient civilization that the Greek people are still amongst us today after all these wars and destructions over the centuries!!!!!

Fascinating!!!!

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Camac
Posted: 15-Jan-2009, 04:42 PM
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LOA;

Let me see if I can explain it this way. The leaders of Montreal decide that they will break away from Quebec. Charest and his boys say no way and leaving a small garrison to protect Quebec City attack Montreal. In the meantime Montreal knows it is in big trouble so sends an envoy to Ottawa for help. Ottawa says no way so the envoy goes to Toronto and says look we will pay you to help us. Toronto sees an oportunity to put a hurt on Quebec City and make a profit at the same time. Meawhile Charest and his army have laid seige to Montreal and are totally involved. Toronto sends its army around Montreal and knowing that Quebec City is lightly defened, attacks. Trouble is Toronto forgot about the Citadel and the Quebecers are safely set up there and can withstand a long seige. Toronto knows it can't sustain a seige so sacks the city and leaves taking Charest hair dresser with them. Charest rushed back to Quebec City sees what has happened doesn't really care about the sacking but is really annoyed about his hair dresser and vows revenge. He calls Harper in Ottawa and says "Hey you gotta do somethin bout dos Torona guys" Harper agrees and sends the Army to Toronto, beats the tar out of them and Montreal seeing that it is alone surrenders and everything goes back the way it was except Toronto not only got beat but Montreal didn't pay. Also Harper is up there in Ottawa vowing more revenge against Toronto for not voting for him. This is basicalyy what happened in the Ioanian Revolt and that vow of vengence led to the first invasion of Greece. Aristagoras like Toronto got greedy and saw an opportunity to get rich. Instead ended up loosing and going into exile. Hope my little bit of fun doesn't upset anyone.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 16-Jan-2009, 11:09 AM
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ROFLMAO lol.gif lol.gif

This is good realllly good...I couldn't even see the end and had to read twice for my vision blurred all the time from laughing....

I loved that part "really annoyed about his hair dresser"

Thank you for the explanation...that was good... naughty.gif

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Camac
Posted: 16-Jan-2009, 11:15 AM
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LOA;

Glad you liked my explanation. I was hoping you would get a chuckle from it. biggrin.gif


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 16-Jan-2009, 11:18 AM
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Oh! I did indeed my friend...I did and still does...I liked it very much...and I needed a good laugh this morning and you brought it to my lips.

Thank you my friend,

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Camac
Posted: 18-Jan-2009, 11:24 AM
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In 492 BCE, Darius, sent his army under the command of Mardonius, his son-in-law, to invade Greece. Gathering his army and fleet at the Hellespont, (Dardanelles) he moved into Thrace and Macedon, both of which were part of the Persian Empire at the time. Thrace being a Satrapy (province) and Macedon an ally and client state paying tribute for the right to survive. This invasion ended before it really started as the Fleet was destroyed by a storm off the Isthmus of Athos with the loss of 300 ships and 20,00 men. Mardonius withdrew back to the Asian side of the Aegean

Two years later, 490 BCE, Darius assembled another invasion force under the command of Datis and Artaphernes with the intention to strike at both Attica (Athens) and Eretria for aiding in the Ionian Revolt. Eretria was the first to feel the weight of the Persian Invaders and after a six day seige the city was sacked and the people sold into slavery in the eastern part of the Empire far from Greece. Now it was the turn of Athens to suffer the same fate, as far as Darius was concerned. Through out the early part of Athens' History it flip flopped between Democarcy and Tyranny and usually when the Tyrant was deposed he fled either to another Greek City State or to the Persians.

At the time of this invasion a Greek named Hippias, who was the son of a former Tyrant of Athens, Peisistratus, advised the Persians to land at Marathon on the south east coast of Attica and march overland to Athens razing the countryside as they passed. The Persians followed the advice and with between 20,000 and 60,000 troops set out for Marathon and their date with History. On this small vee shaped plain surrounded by hills the Athenians (9,000) and their Plataean allies (1,000) waited.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 25-Jan-2009, 11:22 AM
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As I read the paragraphs here, one can clearly read and understand that "tyranny" was very popular...power and greed must have been quite a motivation to get to the top.

I can't wait to read the rest and the fate of the Persian armies on their way to Marathon.

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Camac
Posted: 25-Jan-2009, 11:44 AM
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In the previous year, 491BCE, Darius sent envoys to Greece demanding Earth and Water as a sign of submission. The envoys sent to Athens were arrested put on trial and executed. The Spartans on the other hand were more expedient in that they merely threw the envoys down a well saying "They could get all the Earth and Water they wanted down there". This further enraged Darius and in 490 BCE he launched his second invasion of the Greek mainland. The two main reasons for this second attempt were, to subdue Greece and add it to his empire, and to chastize and punish both Eretria and Athens for aiding the Ionian rebels as mentioned previously.

Athens sent runners throughout Greece calling on the other City States to join them in repelling this invasion, only two city responded, Plataea, and Sparta. The Plataeans muster their full military force of 1000 men and marched off the join the Athenians at Marathon. The Spartans, being extremely religious, on the other hand told Athens that they would join them after the Feast of Carneia as they could not march until the rising of the full moon. The Athenians and Plataeans arrived at Marathon before the Persians and securing both the exits from the plain
made camp and waited but not for long. The Persian Fleet arrived and landed between 20,000 and 60,000 men, including 3,000 Calvary. The Greeks at this time in their History relied on Calvary mainly for scouting and not as a fighting force.
Because the Greeks had arrived first they had secured the plain and their line extended across the plain to anchor on the hills on either flank making it extremely difficult to be flanked by the Persian Calvary. For 5 days the 9,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans waited for the Persians to attack. On the 5th day it was observed that part of the Persian force, both infantry and calvary were re-embarking to sail around Attica and attack Athens directly. As the Athenians had completely denuded their city of defenses the decision was made to attack the Persians the following day hoping for victory and then a swift return to Athens before the Persians arrived.

The 9,000 Athenian and the 1,000 Plataean Hoplites were still out numbered at least 2 to 1 by the Persian and on the morning of the 6th day attacked the lightly armoured Persians. The Persians at first were astonished to see the Greek Hoplites running full bore at the Persian lines they could not believe that these Greeks carrying at least 60 lbs of armour and weapons were running the kilometer between the lines. When the Greeks smashed into the Persians the line bowed but the Persians held and slowly started pushing the Greeks back. This was actaully what the Greeks had planned for as the centre gave way it exposed the Persian flanks to the Plataeans who were on both Greek flanks and when the Greek centre halted the Flanks closed to enveloped the Persians. This is the first recorded use of the "Double Envelopment" in military tactics. What ensued was a slaughter with the Persians breaking and fleeing to their ships in total disarray. Athens and her Plataean ally had won and for the time being saved Greece from Persian domination. The day after the victory the Spartans showed up and immediately upon inspection of the battlefield heaped praise on both the Athenians and Plataeans . The Persians had suffered 6,400 losses and 11 ships captured to the Athenian 192 and 11 Plataean losses. With victory the Athenians dispatched a runner, Pheidippides, who ran the 26 miles 385 yards, ( the modern Marathon Run)only to drop dead after delivering the news to Athens. Thus ended the Battle of Marathon, but not the Persian Wars.


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 03-Feb-2009, 07:58 PM
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What an extraordinary description of battle tactics...really as I read this I just close my eyes and can clearly see the battle taking shapes and then chaos as all hell brakes loose...hmmm...I like that for it gives me an excellent idea of what battle is all about...might put it to practice in MK tongue.gif

Sorry it took so long to reply...but please I want to read next chapter.

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Camac
Posted: 03-Feb-2009, 09:17 PM
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LOA;

Sorry I missed Sundays' Chapter. I'll make up for it this coming Sunday.




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