Xerxes: Images and Representations

Hunter Lynch
Flashcards by Hunter Lynch, updated more than 1 year ago
Hunter Lynch
Created by Hunter Lynch almost 7 years ago


Secondary Ancient History (III - Personalities In Their Times: Xerxes) Flashcards on Xerxes: Images and Representations, created by Hunter Lynch on 06/26/2014.

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Question Answer
List three different examples of ancient Persian images of Xerxes. 1. The 'Great King', with courtiers and tribute bearers surrounding him (in the Apadana) 2. The King 'in state', next to symbols of power (e.g. the lotus flower and attendants) 3. A military leader with a bow and a spear (on darics)
Outline the reasoning behind the portrayal of Xerxes in ancient Persian sources, and give one example. They were propaganda-like reliefs, which depicted Xerxes as tall and powerful. This intended to establish the power and fitness of the King, maintain support from the empire, and to intimidate enemies and subject nations. An example of this can be seen in the treasury relief in Persepolis.
Which ancient historian spoke about Xerxes in a positive way, but with negative reasoning? Herodotus exaggerated the power and grandeur of Xerxes to make his defeat more significant for the Greeks; "There was not a man more worthy than Xerxes to wield so vast a power."
Which ancient historian depicts Xerxes in an entirely negative manner? Aeschylus depicted Xerxes as young, foolish, and ignorant - in which he let hubris destroy an empire; "Xerxes, whose rashness emptied Asia of its men."
Which two modern historians describe Xerxes as an unfit ruler, and what did they say? 1. Olmstead believes that Xerxes was a "religiously intolerant bigot". 2. O'Neil feels that Xerxes was a "weak ruler with little aptitude in military activities".
Which modern historian is questionable about the depiction of Xerxes, and what does he say about it? Peter Green believes that our interpretation of Xerxes has been formed by "contemptuous Greek propaganda."
Which movie is most well known for the Battle of Thermopylae, and how does it depict Xerxes? Zack Snyder's '300' depicts Xerxes as a highly influential ruler, yet quite naive and extremely effeminate. This ultimately, angered Iranian audiences.
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