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The chronology here implied for the ten years (cf. Thuc. i. 18) between Marathon and Salamis would seem to be the following:

490 B. C. (autumn). Marathon.

490 B. C. (winter)—487 B. C. (spring). Orders given for another expedition, followed by three years (ἐπὶ τρία ἔτεα, vii. 1. 2), but apparently not full years (cf. inf.), of preparations.

487 B. C. (τετάρτῳ ἔτεϊ, vii. 1. 3). Revolt of Egypt.

486 B. C. (autumn τῷ ὑστέρῳ ἔτεϊ). Death of Darius; cf. vii. 4 n.

485 B. C. Xerxes reduces Egypt (δευτέρῳ ἔτεϊ μετὰ τὸν θάνατον τὸν Δαρείου, vii. 7).

484 (spring)—480 (spring). Four full years of preparation (τέσσερα ἔτεα πλήρεα, vii. 20. 1).

480 (spring). In the spring of the fifth year the expedition proper begins with the march from Sardis (vii. 37. 1 ἅμα τῷ ἔαρι παρεσκευασμένος στρατὸς ἐκ τῶν Σαρδίων ὁρμᾶτο). The march of the king from Susa by Critalla belongs to the preparations for the expedition.

στόλων ... μέγιστος. Thucydides grudgingly agrees (i. 23). This comparison of Xerxes' expedition with others (ch. 20. 2-21. 1) reads like a later addition suggested by χειρὶ μεγάλῃ πλήθεος. It interrupts the account of the preparations.

τὸν Δαρείου: cf. Bk. IV, especially ch. 83-98, 118-42.

τὸν Σκυθικόν: cf. i. 103 f.; iv. 1. 11, 12.

κατὰ τὰ λεγόμενα: especially the ‘Catalogue’, Il. ii. 484f.; cf. Thuc.i.10.

τὸν Μυσῶν. H., our oldest authority, holds that this movement included both Teucrians and Mysians, and that they passed from Asia to Europe by the Bosporus, and conquered Thracians as far as the Peneius and the Adriatic. His grounds appear to be (cf. Stein):

(1) The Paeonians regarded Teucrians from Troy as their ancestors (cf. v. 13. 2).

(2) Paeonian and kindred races were settled in scattered groups from the Propontis to the Illyrian mountains, e.g. in North Thessaly, in the Pelagonian (i. e. Paeonian) Tripolis; cf. the local legends of Dyrrhachium and the Cestrini on the Adriatic (Appian, B. C. ii. 39; Paus. ii. 23. 6).

(3) The Bithynians claimed to be Thracians driven from their homes on the Strymon by Teucrians (vii. 75) and Mysians.

(4) A number of similar names are found on both sides the Hellespont (Strabo 590), e.g. in Thrace a river Arisbus, in Lesbos and the Troad towns called Arisba, at Troy a Scaean gate, in Thrace a Scaean fort and river.

(5) In Homer Priam's allies extend from Western Asia Minor to the Axius.

(6) The musical skill and orgiastic rites of Phrygia are attributed to the earliest Thracians. Strabo, in fact (470-1), completely identifies the two civilizations.

But, as Macan points out, all of these (except (1), which is itself disputable) are consistent with a ‘Mysian’ migration from Thrace to Asia, while (2) and (3) distinctly favour the idea that the earlier habitat of the tribes in question was European. We may therefore prefer the later view (Strabo 295, 566), which represented the Mysians as immigrants from Thrace or Moesia. This is supported by H.'s statement (vii. 75) that this Teucro-Mysian movement drove the Bithynians from the Strymon to Asia, and by the earliest use of the word Mysian in Homer (Il. xiii. 5), where the race is placed in Thrace or Moesia. [In later passages (Il. ii. 858; x. 430) their habitat is doubtful, though presumably in Asia.] The tradition that the crossing was by the Bosporus is confirmed by the statement of Strabo (566) that it was named of old the Mysian Bosporus, and by the fact that this would be the natural crossingplace from Moesia to maritime Mysia near Cius (E. Meyer, Troas). Again, the Teucrians seem to have had no connexion with the Mysians before they met in the Troad, but are best derived from Cyprus (Meyer, i, § 491 n.).

Finally, H. is led to date the migration before the Trojan war by the presence of Mysians in Homeric Thrace and their absence from the Troad. The rival theory naturally dated the movement into Mysia later, as Mysians and Teucrians are not found in the Troad in Homer. For a fuller discussion cf. Macan, ad loc.

Ἰόνιον πόντον: the Adriatic (vi. 127. 2; ix. 92. 2).

τὸ πρὸς μεσαμβρίης: southwards, adverbial accus.; cf. iv. 99. 1.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.23.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.10
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.18
    • Homer, Iliad, 13.5
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.484
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.858
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