The Iranian History 479 BC


Xerxes Pardons Jews For Esther

Feb, 4, 479 BC

Esther Tomb Hamedan
A hero to one nation may well be a sucker to another; and that's the case for Alexander the Great. After the battle of Gaugamela, Dariush 3d retreated to Ecbatana on Oct, 4, 331 B.C. to re-arrange a new army. However uprisings started all over the kingdom. Alexander conquered Babylon and Susa easily and sets off for Perspolis.
Perspolis did not have city walls, as the symbol of mighty Persian Empire. It was the richest city in the world. Alexander plundered the city, massacred all residents when they refused to acknowledge him as king and then set Perspolis on fire; thus leaving the once glorious empire to ashes.
Of few things left from the ruins are tablets made of clay that turned into bricks in the fire as a means to tell future generations the story of the greatest empire on earth. These tablets show that all people working in Perspolis had a wage and that slavery was forbidden. Women had a wage similar to men and earned salary during pregnancy. We also know that Elamite, Aramaic, and other languages were used alongside Iranian languages depicting the importance of preserving multi cultural societies according to Achaemenid school of thought.
Alexander's conquest started as a savior but he became hated, and then known as a barbaric person after burning Herat and its residents earning the infamous title Gojastak. (Updated: Feb, 5, 2012)

The Battle Of Plataea

Aug, 27, 479 BC

As the hero of the Battle of Salamis, Themistocles is honored during cermeony at a Spartan temple celebrating the Athenian defeat of Persian naval forcesAfter Athens was captured, Xerxes was assured of a decisive victory and retreated to deal with an uprising in Babylon. He left general Mardonius in charge of occupied territories. Although Mardonius was a great general, he was weak in terms of politics and could not restore the order for a long time. Instead he recaptured Athens and razed it to the ground to create fear. This in turn urged Spartans to join the Greek city states of Athens, Corinth and Megara with 45,000 soldiers and thus an army of 110,000 men was created whereas the Persian army was only 50,000.
General Artabazus and his 60,000 forces had refused to join in the battle at Plataea after disagreement with Mardonius.
There was a prolonged stalemate in which neither side risked attacking the other. The reasons for this stalemate were primarily tactical, and similar to the situation at Marathon; the Greek hoplites did not want to risk being outflanked by the Persian cavalry, and the lightly armed Persian infantry could not hope to assault well defended positions. Cavalry charges were made for ten days by Persians while the two sides camped in front of each other. During one of these raids, the cavalry officer Masistus was killed. Masistus was the brother of Xerxes.
The death of Masistus demoralized Persians. On top of this, Alexander I of Macedon who was an ally of the Persians defected during the battle to the Greek side. The Persian commander Mardonius was also killed during the fight. He was a significant personage riding a white horse and a stone that hit him in the head, killed him instantly.
Artabazus who had not fully engaged the forces under his command immediately retreated with remaining 40,000 men.
The Allied Greeks, reinforced by the contingents who had not taken part in the main battle, then stormed the Persian camp and slaughtered most of remaining soldiers. Of the Persians who had retreated to the camp, scarcely 3,000 were left alive who later joined Artabazus. The remnants of the Persian army, under Artabazus, tried to retreat back to Asia Minor. Artabazus eventually made it back to Persia, though losing many men to attacks, weariness and hunger.
Peace between Greece and Persia finally came in 449 BC with the Peace of Callias, finally ending the half-century of war. (Updated: Mar, 24, 2008)

The Battle Of Mycale

Aug, 27, 479 BC

Embossed figues show a Greeting Ceremony in Perspolis where Xerxes is holding a lotus, behind him the Crown Prince holds a Nymphaea flower, behind them stand the ceremonial guards.This  artwork was originally located in the middle of the Apadana stairway.After an alliance between Greeks and Spartans, many Ionian cities began revolting. Sacking of Athens was marked as "mission accomplished" as punishment for Greeks, but Xerxes rushed back to deal with revolts in Egypt and Babylon leaving behind his general Mardonius in charge. There was not a clear strategy for the aftermath of the victory and the occupied territories were just expected to surrender and comply but soon Mardonius learned that his terms were refused.
The region was vast and hardly defendable because the enemy had put together a strong fleet that could land overnight at any corner of Ionia. On Aug, 27, 478 B.C. 40,000 Greek alliance forces landed near Mycale mountain east of Samos. Iranians quickly formed battle lines on shore but some of their mercenary forces soon defected and fled the battlefield or joined the enemy lines. After a short battle, Persians retreated to the fort they had constructed further inland. The fort fell shortly and only a few of the remaining soldiers got the chance to flee to Sardis.
The complete destruction of the Persian navy, along with the destruction of Mardonius' army at Plataea, decisively ended the conquest of Greece. (Updated: Mar, 22, 2008)

The Battle Of Amos

Oct, 21, 479 BC

Aspathines BisotounOnly a year after the battle of Salamis which ended with great damage, the Iranian navy entrapped three rows of Greek battleships in the Cape of Mikail near the Amos Island and destroyed all units while taking some of the Greek officers captive in order to be interrogated on their tactics. This event gave Iranians a relief as a revenge for the Salamis loss.
Unlike the Battle of Salamis, the Battle of Amos has been hardly covered in historical sources. (Updated: Dec, 15, 2007)

English-Persian Glossary

Latest Additions to Iranian History Chronicle: