The Vengeance Of Herodotus Essay

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One would assume that Herodotus would end his Histories with the Battle of Mycale, which marked Greece’s defeat and the end of the second Persian invasion of Greece, but he ends with three digressions from the main text. One of the digressions that Herodotus ends with includes the Siege of Sestos and the vengeance of Protesilaos. Through this digression, Herodotus maintains the theme of revenge and foreshows the future power and downfall of the Athenian Empire. The vengeance of Protesilaos shows the continuous theme of graphic revenge and its consequences. When one of the guards was cooking a dead fish and it began to move around, Artaykets says “Protesilaos is showing me that even though he is as dead and dry as a salted fish, he has power from the gods to pay back the person who wrongs him” (9.120.7-9), which proves revenge is a common theme throughout the narrative. Additionally, the vengeance of Protesilaos includes Artayktes deceiving Xerxes and stealing the valuables…show more content…
By showing that both the Greeks and Persians were obsessed with revenge, which often lead to further conflict, Herodotus suggests that the Greco-Persian Wars would continue for decades after the Greeks won the invasion. The Siege of Sestos shows the Greek’s desire to be as powerful and dominant as the Persians once were through striving to conquer all territory that had previously been owned by the Persians. Herodotus includes this digression at the end of his narrative to connote that because the Athenians were now as powerful as the Persians were in the beginning of Histories, they would eventually fall, similar to the way the Persians did in the narrative. Therefore, Herodotus can end his narrative with the first book because he implies the outcome and continuation of the next thirty years of Greco-Persian
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