Τετάρτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

 Aeschylus claims that as the Persians approached (possibly implying that they were not already in the Straits at dawn), they heard the Greeks singing their battle hymn (paean) before they saw the Allied fleet

Ὦ παῖδες Ἑλλήνων ἴτε,
ἐλευθεροῦτε πατρίδ', ἐλευθεροῦτε δὲ
παῖδας, γυναῖκας, θεῶν τέ πατρῴων ἕδη,
θήκας τε προγόνων:

νῦν ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀγών.

Forward, sons of the Greeks,
Liberate the fatherland,
Liberate your children, your women,
The altars of the gods of your fathers
And the graves of your forebears:

Now is the fight for everything.

A significant number of historians have stated that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history (though the same is often stated of Marathon). In a more extreme form of this argument, some historians argue that if the Greeks had lost at Salamis, the ensuing conquest of Greece by the Persians would have effectively stilted the growth of 'western civilization' as we know it.This view is based on the premise that much of modern western society, such as philosophy, science, personal freedom and democracy are rooted in the legacy of Ancient Greece.Thus, this school of thought argues that, given the domination of much of modern history by 'western civilization', Persian domination of Greece might have changed the whole trajectory of human history.

Ancient sources:
Herodotus, The Histories Perseus online version
Aeschylus, extract from The Persians
Ctesias, Persica (excerpt in Photius's epitome)
Diodorus Siculus, Biblioteca Historica.
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
Ephorus, Universal History
Plutarch, Themistocles
Cicero, On the Laws