Xerxes and his army

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Xerxes and his army

Post  Brock M. Hay on Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:18 pm


This is just to talk about the life of the great Persian emperor Xerxes and details of the biggest event in his life, the second Persian war. Xerxes was the oldest child of his family, his mother Atossa, was the second wife of his father Darius who we learned about as well.

Right before the war with Greece, Xerxes had just demolishes the last of the rebel forces in Egypt, and assigned a closely trusted government official to be the governor of Egypt. Now that he had someone to keep care of his newly captured land, Xerxes could put his entire focus at what his father began. Probably for Xerxes this was one of his life's most important task, to prove and gain revenge on Athens for humiliating his father. Preparations for this war took almost four years, huge numbers of soldiers were gathered from all across the empire from the tributaries of the Indus river, to the Steppes of Asia, to interior Africa. The Phoenicians also provided strong ships and naval supplies, from each region Persia had they received not only soldiers but money, weapons, food, and even elephants for their long trip around the Aegean sea. His first bridge of ships that extended a mile long were destroyed by a terrible storm, and Xerxes was so enraged he had the heads of his engineers cut off. He was also furious at the sea, for being so disrespectful to his ships, so he had someone whip the sea three hundred times! Then he had a double line of ships that rested at the peninsula of Acre.

In 481 BCE the preparations were done, and Persia was ready to strike. In total there were 2,500,000 soldiers, 1,207 warships and 3000 small vessels. These numbers could have been exaggerated slightly by the historian Herodotus, but either way there was a huge amount of ships and soldiers. Their long and hard odyssey consisted of going through Hellespont, the Thracian coast, and Doriscus.Finally they were at Thermopylae to face the army of Leonidas, yet the day before the battle there was another crushing storm that weakened and destroyed a lot of the fleet's supplies. Even though this happened the army of Xerxes slaughtered the Spartans in Thermopylae. After this his army headed for Athens, to make his father proud.

The entire army was surprised to find that, Athens was deserted, but they burnt it to the ground anyway. They soon found that the Athenians had retreated to Salamis with their ships, so Xerxes sat at his throne watching the pursuit to destroy the Athenians. Then to his surprise saw his ships being destroyed by the rams of the Athenians.
Xerxes escaped from 2,500,000 soldiers to 300,000 soldiers arrived to Persia in a small vessel. Over the next few years the Greeks had many victories and captured many Persian cities. And in all of this madness Xerxes was murdered by Artabanus, who wanted the throne for himself.

This is my site that I used to paraphrase.www.sacklunch.net/biography/X/Xerxes.html

So tell me, DO you know of any other miraculous war stories when one small nation defeats a greatly larger nation?
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Brock M. Hay
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