Speech Comparison of Xerxes & Themistocles

Topics: Battle of Thermopylae, Achaemenid Empire, Darius I of Persia Pages: 3 (661 words) Published: August 7, 2008
Darius I & Themistocle were 2 of many people who played a sig. role in Xerxes’ reign. Themistocles was known as the great Athenian strategist who united the Greekstates & saved Greece. Darius the 1st was the father & predecessor of Xerxes,

he played the role of being the most influential person to Xerxes & believed Xerxes was the most deserving to become his heir. Herodotus records that the Persians accounted Darius a ‘merchant’ for his great achievements on setting the

empire onto a sound financialfooting. Persians & foreigners also called him ‘Lawgiver’ for his enforcement of the law. On the other hand, Themistocles was so greedy he stooped to dishonest actions such as according to Herodotus he took a bribe of 30

talents to arrange the Greek fleets to stay longer in Artemesium. By P.law, the king must choose his successor before going to war. A Babylonian document claimed Artabazanes as the ‘King’s son of Elam’ in as early as 507BC. Sources differ on Darius’s later decision but Herodotus claims Demaratus an exiled Spartan king influenced Darius by Spartan custom that only the son born after his father became king himself would be eligible to succeed. Olmstead also claimed Darius was under the ‘Great influence

of Atossa’ so she prompted him to select her first son Xerxes. Due to Xerxes’ birth after Darius came to the throne & his royal blood connected to Cyrus the Great, thru Queen Atossa who was Cyrus’ daughter & Xerxes’ mother, Xerxes was crowned

successor. Xerxes must have had an aristocratic education & as Herodotus tells us he was trained ‘to ride, to use the bow & to speak the truth’. Themistocles had a mother of humble birth & he was unashamed of his lack of high-class education as Plutarch

records that he said ‘I may not know how to play the flute or lyre, but I do know how to make a city great’. He was a politician who opposed traditional, conservative & aristocratic families that were suspicious of radical democracy, thus,...
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