TheAncientWorldGreece,EgyptandPersiainthe4thcenturyBC
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The Ancient World Greece, Egypt and Persia in the 4th century BC (Ozymandias Press) [電子書籍版]
A. W. Picard-Cambridge

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SALAMIS and Plataea settled that Persia should not expand into Europe. Her European conquests could no longer be held; in 479 she lost Sestos and the Hellespont, in 478 Byzantium and the Bosporus; with the fall of Eion soon afterwards Thrace and Macedonia recovered their independence, Doriscus and some forts in the Gallipoli peninsula remained, but were lost after the Eurymedon. During the rest of the century Persia’s foreign policy turns on two questions: are the Greek cities of the Aegean seaboard to be in her sphere or in that of Athens, and can she continue to hold Egypt? These two questions are treated elsewhere, and this chapter deals only with Persia’s internal history.
Xerxes’ return to Sardes after Salamis was not a flight, but was due to a fresh revolt of Babylon, where one Shamash-erba had assumed the crown, with the full royal title of King of Babylon and King of the Lands; from Sardes Xerxes could keep touch both with Babylon and Mardonius. Babylon’s final revolt was easily suppressed, and Xerxes now deprived the city of her exceptional position in the empire and made Babylonia an ordinary satrapy. He ordered the destruction of Marduk’s great temple, E-sagila, which Alexander found in ruins, and removed from it the statue of Marduk, thus rendering meaningless the accession ceremony of taking the hands of Bel; he razed Babylon’s remaining fortifications, abolished various native customs, and bestowed upon Persians the estates of many prominent Babylonians. The name of Babylon was dropped from the royal title, and henceforth Xerxes and his successors call themselves only ‘King of the Lands’; and Aramaic gradually replaces Babylonian as the language of official intercourse west of Babylonia. About the same time Xerxes’ brother Masistes, satrap of Bactria, also failed in an attempt to revolt; the empire was far too strong as yet for isolated local movements to succeed. Xerxes built himself a new palace at Persepolis, which was never completed; otherwise he seemingly spent the rest of his reign in idleness and sensuality at Susa, a period which supplies the background for the book of Esther, until, some time before April 464, in the 21st year of his reign, he was murdered by a courtier, Artabanus. He may not have been a personal coward, but he had few merits; he was vainglorious and weak, licentious and cruel, and even his pride was not of the kind which illumines misfortune. His murder represented a definite movement against his house, Artabanus also murdered his eldest son Darius, with the alleged help of his third son Artaxerxes, to whom he represented that Darius had murdered Xerxes. Artabanus must have had much support, for he reigned seven months, was recognized in Egypt, and defeated Xerxes’ second son Hystaspes. But Artaxerxes outwitted him; he bided his time, allowed Artabanus to remove those who stood between him and the throne, and then turned on the usurper and defeated and killed him...

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