By George Grote
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Extra resources for A History of Greece, Volume 05 of 12, originally published in 1849
Nor indeed was it difficult to show, according to the feelings then prevalent, that a new king of Persia was in honour obliged to enlarge the boundaries of the empire1. " Fifteen years before, the Milesian Aristagoras3, when entreating the Spartans to assist the Ionic revolt, had exaggerated the wealth and productiveness of Asia in contrast with the poverty of Greece—a contrast less widely removed from the truth, at that time, than the picture presented by Mardonius. Having thus been persuaded to alter his original views, Xerxes convoked a meeting of the principal Persian counsellors, and announced to them his resolution to invade Greece, setting forth the mingled motives of revenge and aggrandizement which impelled him, and representing the conquest of Greece as carrying with it that of all Europe, so that the Persian empire would become coextensive with the sether of Zeus and the limits of the sun's course.
Any subsequent period; for it comprised maritime Thrace and Macedonia as far as the borders of Thessaly, and nearly all the islands of the iEgean north of Krete and east of Euboea—including even the Cyclades. There existed Persian forts and garrisons at Doriskus, Eion, and other places on the coast of Thrace, while AbdeTa with the other Grecian settlements on that coast were numbered among the tributaries of Susa1. It is necessary to bear in mind these boundaries of the empire, at the time when Xerxes mounted the throne, as compared with its reduced limits at the later time of the Peloponnesian war—partly that we may understand the apparent chances of success to his expedition, as they presented themselves both to the Persians and to the medising Greeks—partly that we may appreciate the after-circumstances connected with the formation of the Athenian maritime empire.
Halic. ad Cn. Pompeium, p. 772, Reiske ; Longinus De Sublim. p. 86, ed. Pearce). 2 While Plutarch (if indeed the treatise de Herodoti Malignitate be CHAP. ] XERXES RESOLVES TO INVADE GREECE. 9 I have already mentioned that Xerxes is described J Xerxes a ?. nounces his as having originally been averse to the enterprise, project an assemto an assem and only stimulated thereto by the persuasions of Mardonius : this was probably the genuine Persian belief, for the blame of so great a disaster would naturally be transferred from the monarch to some e^a^ evil counsellor1.
A History of Greece, Volume 05 of 12, originally published in 1849 by George Grote