Persian Wars‎ > ‎

Demaratus

Who is Demaratus?

Exiled Spartan King. Advises Xerxes on the Greeks, specifically the Spartans.

What examples are there of his character?

Book 7 – Advises Xerxes truthfully but with no practical advice. States that law is their master, they will never retreat. Xerxes ignores advice and mocks him. Tells Xerxes to split Persian fleet – send 300 ships to Cythera to attack Sparta. Xerxes ignores this advice. Explains the Greek customs e.g. Spartans paying attention to their hair before battle.

What functions does Demaratus serve in The Histories?

·        Characterises Spartans

·        Emphasises Xerxes’ hubris

·        Counter of Herodotus’ bias – positive portrayal of Sparta

·        Evidence for Athenian bias as Spartans shown so positively, yet Athens still plays a greater role

Comments