The Greek And Greek History Essay

1462 Words Nov 28th, 2016 6 Pages
In his work, The Histories, the Greek historian Herodotus gives an account of Darius and Xerxes, who were two members of the Achaemenidai family, and ruled as Kings during the Greco-Persian Wars. Persian kingship was different from earlier Greek kingship. I believe, however, that if we examine the virtues that Darius and Xerxes had, we could see they shared similar values than the Greeks. In this essay, I will argue that Herodotus does indeed provide us with a narrative that indicates that Darius and especially Xerxes did possess values that defined them as good leaders. Persian leadership resembled Greek leadership in the following ways: kings portrayed as intermediaries between gods and men; virtues of wisdom and patience; good military leadership and tactics; compassion towards ordinary citizens; mutual reciprocity between citizens (xenia); and ambition to defend one’s region. A central monarch or king being portrayed as an intermediary between gods and men is found in both Greek and Persian cultures. Herodotus shows us how Xerxes’ decision to go to war against Greece was influenced by a God through a revelation in his dream. At first, Xerxes decided to go to war; a decision that Artabanus—Xerxes’ uncle—disagreed with. However, the messenger in the dream—whom they claimed was a Persian God—managed to change the minds of Artabanus once and Xerxes twice. For this reason, Artabanus demanded that the Persians should know the vision sent by God to Xerxes and himself, and to…

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