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Monday, January 23, 2017

030 - Herodotus and the Rise of Persia

In this episode, we discuss the life, influences, drawbacks, and positives of the “Father of History”, Herodotus; and the political events of the Near East in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC that culminated with Cyrus overthrowing the Medes and elevating the Achaemenid Persians among the other chief powers of their time (the Lydians, Neo-Babylonians, and Egyptians)

ca. 1000 BC - the Scythians, Cimmerians, Parthians, Medes, and Persians arrive on the Iranian Plateau
ca. 725 BC - Sargon II of Assyria receives tribute from the tribes of the Zagros, the Medes included
708-686 BC - reign of first Median king, Deiokes
705-675 BC - reign of first Persian king, Achaemenes
686-633 BC - reign of Median king, Phraortes;the Parthians and Persians fall under Median control and become "vassals"
675-640 BC - reign of Persian king, Tespis
646 BC - Ashurbanipal of Assyria destroys Elam
640-580 BC - the Persian king Cyrus I rules Anshan
633 BC - Phrarotes dies in battle, Scythian domination over Media
627 BC - Death of Ashurbanipal
626 BC - Revolt of Babylon by Nabopolassar, new ruling dynasty (Neo-Babylonians)
625 BC - Cyaxerxes overthrows Scythians, re-establishes Median control over the Zagros
614 BC - Medes and Neo-Babylonians sack Ashur; Median princess Amytis is married to the crowned prince of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, uniting the two kingdoms
612 BC - Ninevah falls, end of Assyrian Empire
605 BC - Naboplassar dies, succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar II
600-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Urartians
590-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Lydians
585 BC - Battle of Halys River; result was a tie due to an eclipse predicted by Thales; shortly after the battle Cyaxerxes dies and is succeeded by his son, Astyages.
580-559 BC - the Persian king Cambyses I rules Anshan
580 BC - plagued by visions that his grandson would be his ruin, Astyages marries his daughter, Mandane, to a minor Persian vassal---Cambyses I
576 BC - Mandane gives birth to Cyrus II; Astyages had another vision of his ruin and orders the child to be killed; his general Harpagus delegates the job to a shepherd who instead raises the kid as his own
566 BC - the 10-year-old Cyrus is discovered and sent to live with his real parents
559 BC - Cambyses dies and the 17-year-old Cyrus becomes king of Anshan
552 BC - Cyrus leads a revolt against his grandfather, Astyages, in revenge for trying to have him killed as an infant; at the battle of Hyrba leading the Persian cavalry he trounces the Median cavalry
551 BC - indecisive battle of the Persian Border between armies of Astyages and Cyrus
550 BC - battle of Pasargadae saw Cyrus routing Astyages' army and becoming sole ruler of the Iranian Plateau; beginning of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

Video/Herodotus The Father of History: How to Read him Properly

Video/History of Battle - The Siege of Lachish (701 BCE)
Video/History of Battle - The Battle of the Diyala River (c. 693 BCE)

Video/History of Battle - The Fall of Nineveh (612 BCE)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

029 - The First Greco-Punic War

In this episode, part 2 of 2 on the Greco-Etruscan-Carthaginian relations during the 6th/5th centuries BC, we discuss the tyrannies that took place in Sicily in the first half of the 5th century BC at Rhegium/Zancle (Messana), Himera, Syracuse, Gela, and Akragas; the First Greco-Punic War and its aftermath/legacy; the decline of Etruscan power in Campania; changes in the Carthaginian constitution following the war; and finally, the explorations of Himilco and Hanno the Navigator

507 BC - Cleander becomes tyrant of Gela
498 BC - Cleander dies and his son, Hippocrates, becomes tyrant of Gela
494 BC - Samian fugitives seize the city of Zancle at the behest of Anaxillas, tyrant of Rhegium
491 BC - Anaxillas kicks the Samians out of Zancle, repopulates the city, and rules as tyrant over it along with Rhegium
491 BC - Hippocrates dies and Gelon overthrows his sons to become tyrant of Gela
488 BC - Theron becomes tyrant of Akragas
485 BC - The Syracusans force the Gamori out of the city; they seek assistance from Gelon who then uses his military to take Syracuse for himself; Gelon then makes himself tyrant of Syracuse and his brother, Hieron, takes over as tyrant of Gela
483 BC - Gelon forcibly removes the inhabitants of Kamarina and Megara Hyblaea to Syracuse; Gelon and Theron make an alliance
481/0 BC - Representatives from Athens arrive at court of Gelon, seeking aid in their upcoming clash with Persia, but Gelon declines
480 BC - the Battle of Himera (Hamilcar loses his life)
478 BC - Gelon dies and his brother, Hieron, becomes tyrant of Syracuse; their brother, Polyzalos, takes over as tyrant of Gela
476 BC - Anaxillas dies and Micythus acts as regent tyrant of Rhegium
474 BC - Hieron and Cumaean Greeks defeat the Etruscans in a naval battle near Cumae; Etruscan power effectively eliminated in Campania (relegated to north Tyrrhenian Sea)
473 BC - Rhegians and Tarentines are defeated by Iapygians
472 BC - Theron dies and his son, Thrasydaeus, becomes tyrant of Akragas
471 BC - Thrasydaeus tries to attack Hieron but is routed in battle and forced to flee to Megara, where he was arrested and publicly executed; Micythus founds colony of Pyxus
467 BC - The two young sons of Anaxillas leave Syracuse to retake the throne of Rhegium; Micythus steps down peacefully; Hieron dies and his brother, Thrasybolous becomes tyrant of Syracuse
466 BC - Thrasybolous was ousted as tyrant of Syracuse
461 BC - Leophron was ousted as tyrant of Rhegium and Zancle
ca. 460 BC - the Sicilian Greek cities had all broken away from the dominions of Gelon and Theron and had overthrown the tyrants’ heirs

Video/History of the city of Syracuse - Part 1
Video/History of Syracuse - Part 2 - The Tyranny of Hieron

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

028 - The Rise of Carthage

In this episode, part 1 of 2 on the Greco-Etruscan-Carthaginian relations during the 6th/5th centuries BC, we discuss the rise of Carthage as the dominant Phoenician colony in the western Mediterranean Sea

814 BC - traditional foundation date of Carthage
ca. 650 BC - Carthage had grown to become a regional trade hub, centered on the north-south trading circuit of the Tyrrhenian Sea and west-east Levantine-Iberian circuit
586-573 BC - the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, sieges Tyre; this wrecked havoc on Phoenician trade presence in the west, which allowed Carthage to step in to the vacuum and rise to economic superpower in the western Mediterranean
ca. 580 BC - the Carthaginians and Elymians of Segesta engage in military hostilities with Greek colonists who try to colonize the land opposite of Motya; fearing future hostilities, the Carthaginians in turn formed a military alliance with the powerful Etruscans of central Italy
ca. 560 BC - the Carthaginian general, Malchus, "conquers" Motya, Panormus, and Solus
ca. 550-530 BC - Mago was "king" of Carthage
ca. 535 BC - Battle of Alalia took place off coast of Corsica, in which the Phocaeans were completely expelled from the island by the Carthaginians and Etruscans; Corsica fell under Etruscan control
ca. 535-510 BC - 25-year war to pacify the island of Sardinia for Carthage
ca. 530-510 BC - Hasdrubal was "king" of Carthage
ca. 530 BC - Tartessos and Gades are brought to heel; Carthage controls southern Spain
ca. 525 BC - Phoenicians refuse to sail against their kinfolk and thus the plans of the Persian king, Cambyses, to conquer Carthage are thwarted
524 BC - the Etruscans are defeated outside of Cumae by the Cumaean Greeks, who reasserted their power in Campania, while lessening that of the Etruscans 
515 BC - the Spartan Dorieus attempts to colonize Cinyps in north Africa but is expelled by Carthage
512 BC - Doreius tries again to colonize, this time at Eryx in Sicily but is once again stopped by Carthage and this time he loses his life
ca. 510-480 BC - Hamilcar was "king" of Carthage
509 BC - Etruscan power is further diminished in central Italy, when Rome overthrows their yoke, abolishing their monarchy and establishing the Roman Republic; Carthage and Rome become commercial allies by signing a treaty
ca. 500 BC - By this point, Carthage had gained control over the north African coastline from modern-day Morocco to the border of Cyrene

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