The Ionian Revolt

a journey of three months In fact it's about 1600 miles.

My friend and guest - a special meaning for a Greek. xenos means both guest and host - partners in the principle of xenia, guest friendship. In a world before nations existed, the only way you could move safely from place to place was if you could stay with someone who could protect you as his guest (xenos) - your host (also xenos). Both xenoi had sacred duties. The cause of the Trojan war in myth was Paris (as xenos of Priam in Sparta) breaking the rule and carrying off his host's daughter. Hence the Trojans were in the wrong and in due course were punished by Zeus with the destruction of their city by the Greeks. So this is a serious measure by the Spartan king.

Discuss whether xenia is still important. xenos is an element in xenophobia, of course - a stranger was not always welcome.

Gorgo grew up to become the wife of king Leonidas, the hero of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC (page 39). Imagine Gorgo describing the meeting between her father and Aristagoras to one of her friends

A talent was a very large sum - a weight of gold or silver, not coinage. If a drachma was the standard daily wage, a talent (weight approx 26 kg) was the equivalent of nearly 10,000 drachmas. You can work out the modern value of 26 kg of gold - or 10,000 8 hour days at minimum wage!

Miletus what happened to it was what would normally be expected to happen to a defeated city. The stakes were high.

Taygetus mountains are nearly 2500 m at their highest - and often have snow between October and May. Early in their history, Spartan warriors crossed Taygetus and enslaved to Messenians on the other side. This enabled Spartans to concentrate on military training, as the Messenians provided the agricultural labour. Young Spartans were expected to raid Messenia secretly and randomly kill someone there to prove their manhood.

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