Herodotus – Flashcard

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Herodotus lived during which dates
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490-420 BC
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The Histories were the ____
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first work of historical prose in Western literature
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Herodotus wrote ___
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The Histories
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Why was The Histories called that?
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because of a word in his opening lines, “These are the historai of Herodotus”
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what does historai mean in English?
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investigations
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what was the Greek word for the Histories?
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historai
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What did Herodotus investigate?
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conflict between Greeks and Barbarians (specifically Persian empire), value of freedom in face of tyranny, variety of nations/races/customs in Persian empire, traditional mythological conceptions typical of early Archaic Age, new spirit of critical investigation similar to the Pre-Socratics
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ethne
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nations
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nations
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ethne
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races
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gene
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gene
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races
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nomoi
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customs
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customs
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nostoi
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Why does Herodotus begin with story of Croesus, king of Lydia?
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Croesus was the first to take freedom away from the Greeks
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food chain
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Croesus gobbled up Greeks in Ionia, only to be gobbled up himself by Cyrus the Great
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Cyrus the Great
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founder of Persian empire
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How did the Ionian Greeks become subjects of the Persian throne
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Cyrus gobbled up Croesus
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story of Candaules and Gyges
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Candaules secretly showed his wife naked to Gyges, she finds out and makes Gyges kill Candaules
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what does the story of Candaules and Gyges explain?
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tells how Gyges came to the throne of Lydia
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why was the story of Candaules and Gyges important?
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shows Herodotus’ fondness for stories that are mythological in nature
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who was an ancestor of Gyges
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Croesus
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story of Croesus and Solon
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discussing happiest men on Earth, Solon says that cannot be determined until the person dies
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why is the story of Croesus and Solon important?
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emphasizes wisdom of Solon, displays traditional mythological thinking- Gods strike down those who lose sight of human limitations
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who was Solon?
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politician and poet who established a mixed government in Athens, one that eventually led to democracy
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what kind of government eventually led to democracy?
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mixed
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why is Solon features in the US at the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court buildings?
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seen as symbol of democracy
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who was Croesus’ father, and also the king of Lydia?
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Alyattes
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What did Alyattes do?
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invented coinage in the Western world
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how did Croesus take his father’s work to the next step?
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made pure gold coins instead of gold/silver alloy
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How did the Greeks pick up coinage?
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contact with Lydia
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what happened after the Greeks were exposed to coinage?
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ancient Western world began to slowly transition from a pure barter economy to a monetary economy
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different interpretations of Cyrus
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sometimes seen with wings, some see him as great conqueror, others as benevolent liberator
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why was Cyrus viewed by some as a benevolent liberator?
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let the Jewish people return to their homeland from Babylon
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during what period and time frame was Babylon at the height of its fame?
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Chaldean Empire, 7th and 6th centuries BC
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who was the Babylonian Zeus?
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Marduk
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What was built in honor of Marduk, the Babylonian Zeus?
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pyramid-like structure
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who was Nebuchadnezzar?
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most powerful king of the Chaldean Empire
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What did Nebuchadnezzar do?
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attacked Judea, destroyed temple of Solomon, and forced the Jewish people into Babylonian Captivity
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Who forced the Jews into the Babylonian Captivity?
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Who saw the writing on the wall?
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Belshazzar
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What was the story behind the writing on the wall?
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there was a great feast in Babylon the night before its capture by Cyrus the Great, Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall
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What is Book II of the Histories about?
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how Cambyses, the mentally deranged son of Cyrus conquered Egypt
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Herodotus goes on many digressions about Egypt, talks about
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pyramids, mummification, etc.
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Why does Herodotus go on so many digressions about Babylon, Egypt, and other places in the Ancient Near East before beginning his account of the Persian wars?
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allows him to emphasize enormity of the Persian Empire and thus the challenged the Greeks faced in the Persian Wars, allows him to investigate any strange subject
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Herodotus statue in the Library of Congress
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depicted as traveler with cape, cloak, and walking staff
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Why was Herodotus depicted as a traveler in his statue in the Library of Congress
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he claimed to have traveled may places and talked to many people in the research for Histories, which scholars are divided about
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____ was a contemporary of Herodotus
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Sophocles
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Oedipus Tyrannus was written by
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Sophocles
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Oedipus Tyrannus
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Oedipus just has solved the riddle of the Sphinx and freed Thebes, becomes investigator of a hidden crime, gathers evidence, finds out he was searching for himself
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First Persian War date
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490 BC
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Who first revolted in the first Persian war?
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Ionians, led by Miletus, revolt against Persians
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First Persian War
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Ionians, revolt against Persians; Athenians help and send troops to burn Sardis; Darius orders payback, sends generals to destroy Athens; Battle of Marathon
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How did the Athenians continue the fighting during the first Persian War?
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sent troops to burn Sardis
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what was the significance of Sardis?
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capitol of Lydia, Persian satrapy (province)
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How did Darius remind himself to get payback?
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forced slaves to remind him every dat at his meal to pay back Athenians
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Who fought in the Battle of Marathon
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Athenian hoplites vs Persians
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winner at Battle of Marathon?
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Greeks
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who were hoplites?
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citizen soldiers who could afford to purchase their own weapons
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what was the duty of able-bodied male citizens in the polis?
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had to be willing to take up arms whenever it was necessary to defend the polis
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what Persian War did the Battle of Marathon take place in?
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first Persian War
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who was the Athenian general at Marathon?
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Militiades
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What did Militiades do?
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he convinced fellow Athenian generals that it was better to fight for freedom than submit to slavery under the Persians
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what was another name for the Persians?
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Medes
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who was famous from the Battle of Marathon?
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Phidippides
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Who came up with the famous legend of Phidippes dying after running to report the news of victory in the Battle of Marathon?
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Lucian, who lived 600 years after the event
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discrepancy about Phidippides
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Lucian tells fable we know, Herodotus just says that he ran from Athens to Sparta to get them to help
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What did Phidippides apparently say before he died?
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“we conquered”- nenikekamen
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Capitol of Persian empire
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Persepolis
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Xerxes’ relationship to Darius
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Xerxes was Darius’ son
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Darius depicted as ____
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larger than other figures, shows his importance
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Drawings and relief carvings at Behistun
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glorify Darius, seen as master of slaves, emphasize his power and glory
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In drawings and relief carvings at Behistun, who does Darius thank?
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Ahura Mazda
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Ahura Mazda
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supreme deity of Zoroastrian religion
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what group still adheres to the Zoroastrian religion?
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Parsi, in India
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Aeschylus
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hoplite in the Battle of Marathon, one of the great tragedians of Classical Athens
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What was the trilogy of Aeschylus called?
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Oresteia
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What was the Oresteia about?
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revenge driven cycle of violence in the family of Agamemnon after his return from troy
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who kills whom in the Oresteia?
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Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus kill Agamemnon, Orestes (son) kills Aegisthus and Clytemnestra
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What happens to Orestes after he kills Aegisthus and Clytemnestra?
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he is tormented by the Furies, or the Eumenides
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ending to the Oresteia
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circle of violence ended by appearance of formal justice system under Athena, reflects what was happening in Athens
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apotropaic device
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when you possess evil and use it to ward off bad things; ex: gargoyles
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What was Athena’s aegis?
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Medusa’s snaky hide, given to her by Perseus; apotropaic device
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What was the role of Athena?
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agent of order and goodness, controlled chaotic evil with her aegis
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What did Aeschylus celebrate?
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virtues of human reason and order over dark and chaotic turnings of the mythic human mind; did not question traditional gods however
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2nd persian war summary
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Xerxes goes to Greece to take it into Persian empire; Athens, Sparta, and the other poleis work together; Battle of Thermopylae, Battle of Salamis; Greeks succeed in pushing back Persians
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Battle of Thermopylae
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300 Spartans fight to the death blocking the mountain pass to slow the Persian advance
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Battle of Salamis
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sea battle, Athenian triremes defeat the large bulky Persian ships; afterwards Xerxes flees
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who urged building of triremes and why?
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Themistocles, interpreted Oracle at Delphi’s saying about wooden walls protecting Athens
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What was different about how the Persians came to Greece during the 2nd Persian War?
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came by land, used bridge of platoons to cross the Hellespont
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What did Xerxes do to cross the Hellespont
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organized bridge of boats, also ordered the Hellespont to be whipped as if a disobedient slave, threw shackles in the water
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Who was the Spartan commander at Thermopylae?
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Leonidas
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who immortalized the Spartan heroism in an epigram?
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Simonides
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who wanted silver to be used for building up defenses?
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Themistocles
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How did the Athenians finally get payback after Athens was sacked by the Persians?
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Alexander the Great sacked Persepolis, conquered Persian Empire, ushering in Hellenistic period

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