Historical Inaccuracies 1#

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This story is not meant to be fiction, but it does draw from non-fictional events. So I'd like to distinguish what has and hasn't been historically accurate in this story.

The Diplomatic scene

The Spartan Gerousia were made up of twenty eight citizen elders over the age of sixty, and two kings, to decide policy within Spartan society. The Gerousia had the power to declare war, create laws and even outcast the kings when deemed necessary.

The Peloponnesian League was an interlocking group of city-state alliances meant to guarantee the internal and external stability of the Peloponnese island. The League wasn't necessarily meant to protect against external threats, but they were crucial in the Greco-Persian Wars. The League was primarily led by Sparta and served to preserve oligarchies by oppressing democracies and tyrannies. The original purpose for the league was to counter and prevent slave uprisings within the Peloponnese island from Helots.

Helot abuse was common during the Archaic era Greece. Helots were a conquered people that were enslaved, and became subservient to Sparta for generations. Spartans imposed sociological terror tactics in order to regularly ensure that the Helot population was unwilling to revolt.

"Crypteia" or "Krypteria" refers to the yearly declaration of war towards Helots, wherein Spartiate trainees would have to stalk and kill an unsuspecting Helot in order to graduate from their training institution. This was meant to be done discreetly, and getting caught would lead to severe punishment towards the Spartiate.

Much of Sparta's society revolved around the necessity of guarding against Helot revolts. Helots made up almost eighty percent of Sparta's population. Militarism for all Spartan citizens was seen as necessary for maintaining the Helot agrarian servitude. A primary factor as to why Sparta rarely declared wars outside the Peloponnese island, was because a Helot uprising during the army's absence could've imposed an existential threat to all of Spartan society.

Athenian Democracy and Tyrants

Thes story Tao spoke of, wherein Athens requested help from Persia, was true. In 507, when Athenian democracy was first beginning, Cleisthenes (a political leader and founder of Athenian democracy) requested help from Persia out of fear that Spartans might have overthrown them.

An embassy went to Artaphernes, governor of Lydia and brother of King Darius of Persia, for protection. Possibly due to mistranslation or misunderstanding, the Athenians agreed to an oath of "water and Earth" as tribute, which in the eyes of Persia meant complete submission.

The ambassadors were disavowed once they returned to Athens. There are no records of Athens giving tribute to Persians. Artaphernes also demanded Athens to restore the former tyrant Hippias to the throne of Athens, which they refused.

Ionia refers to the Greek colonies that existed alongside the Anatolian western shores, most of which were under Persian rule. During the Ionian revolt, the Athens assembly sent twenty triremes to help Ionia in the revolt against Persia.

The Athenian fleet managed to aid in capturing the lower city of Sardis during the battle of Sardis. But after being pushed back from the city, the Greeks were decisively defeated at the Battle of Ephesus, and the survivors returned back to Athens and Eretria.

Darius saw this military aid as a grave insult. Although the Athenians were a minor tribe in the eyes of the empire, it became a primary motivation for Darius' quest to conquer Athens.

The Tyrant of Athens

Peisistratos failed to become tyrant twice, and only succeeded the third time after a ten year exile in 546BC. He had amassed influence and wealth during his exile, and used his resources to march an army to Attica and overthrow the aristocracy.

During his reign, he gave more political power to Athenians while removing privileges to the aristocrats. His son Hippias inherited the title of Tyrant after Peisistratos' death in 527BC.

Hippias and his brother ruled jointly and supposedly tried ruling fairly and justly like their father. But after his brother was murdered in 514BC, Hippias became far more cruel and cynical.

His tyranny became so unjust, Athenians requested Cleomenes, king of Sparta, to depose Hippias. The alchaeonnidae family, a noble family from Athens, bribed the Delphi oracle to tell Spartans to assist them. In 510BC Cleomenes successfully forced Hippias to give up the city.

Archons, who were yearly elected officials in the Athens assembly, came to rule Athenian policy. When Cleisthenes, a noble of the alchaennoidae was elected in 508BC, his political rival Isagoras opposed it.

Cleomenes militarily supported Isagoras and helped expel Cleisthenes and the alchaennoidae family from Athens in 508BC. Cleomenes claimed the family was 'cursed', and used it as a justification to remove Isagoras' political rivals.

Isagoras began dissolving councils and displacing citizens from their homes, causing the people to revolt against him. The people entrapped Cleomenes and Isagoras in the Acropolis, and they stayed there for three days before they agreed to give up rule over the city. Cleomenes was able to return to Sparta after that, but three hundred of Isagoras' supporters were executed that day.

Cleisthenes and the Alchaeonnide family then returned to Athens from exile, and Cleisthenes was re-elected as Archon of the city.

Scythians

Scythian archers were 'state slaves' which Athens used to carry out sentences and laws for Athenian people. It was considered taboo for Athenians to act aggressively towards other citizens in a democracy, so slaves were employed to serve as the city's police force.

Scythians in particular came from the Eurasian steppe region, and were a nomadic tribal people whom lived a hunter gathering lifestyle north of Macedon. Tribes were diverse with internal wars and confederations working with and against each other. Many Scythian tribes regularly fought and traded with non-Scythian people, and Athens had a large population of Scythian slaves either from piracy, wars, or sold off by their parents.

Scythians were also famous for having woman warriors, who regularly fought and hunted alongside men on horseback. Scythian women warriors are what likely influenced the legend of the Amazonians, though the Greeks never attributed them to any specific Scythian tribe.

Were there women warriors in Greece? Probably not. But given that Scythian women warriors existed, and Greeks had Scythian slaves serving as police, I decided to incorporate Mimoza to encapsulate the possibility of that.

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