One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic. — Joseph Stalin

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Destruction of the Persian Host

The Persian preparations for war were hastened by news that all the Ionian cities had rebelled. These were, as you remember, Greek colonies founded on the coast of Asia Minor. They had little by little fallen into the hands of the Persians; but, as they hated to submit to foreign rule, they had long planned a revolt.

The Athenians, who knew that the Persians were talking of coming over to conquer them, now offered to help the Ionians, and sent some troops over to Asia Minor. These joined the rebels, and together they managed to surprise and burn to the ground the rich city of Sardis, which belonged to Darius.

A messenger was sent in hot haste to bear these tidings to The Great King; and when he heard them, he was very angry indeed. In his wrath, he said that he would punish both rebels and Athenians, and immediately sent his army into Ionia.

The first part of his vow was easily kept, for his troops soon defeated the Ionian army, and forced the rebels to obey him once more. When Darius heard this he was much pleased; and then, sending for his bow, he shot an arrow in the direction of Athens, to show that the punishment of the Athenians would be his next care.

As he was afraid of forgetting these enemies in the pressure of other business, he gave orders that a slave should appear before him every day while he sat at dinner, and solemnly say, "Master, remember the Athenians!"

When the preparations for this distant war were ended, the Persian army set out for Greece. In order to reach that country, it had to march a long way through the northern part of Asia Minor, cross a narrow strait called the Hellespont, and pass along the coast of the Ægean Sea, through Thrace and Scythia.

In these countries the Persian army met the fierce and warlike Scythians mounted on their fleet-footed horses, and was nearly cut to pieces. The Persians were so frightened by the attack of these foes, that they refused to go any farther, and even beat a hasty retreat.

The Persian fleet in the mean while had sailed along bravely. It soon came to the promontory formed by Mount Athos, a tall mountain which sometimes casts a shadow eighty miles long over the sea. Here a terrible tempest overtook the fleet, and the waves rose so high that six hundred vessels were dashed to pieces.

All the rest of the Persian vessels were so damaged by the storm, that it was soon decided that they had better return home. The soldiers of The Great King were of course greatly discouraged by these misfortunes; but Darius was more than ever determined to conquer Greece, and at once began to gather a second army and to build a second fleet.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province