New Perspectives on the Military Campaign of Xerxes


In 480 B.C., the Persian Great King Xerxes attempted to annex Greece to his empire by military force. The campaign failed. The most important source on this so-called ‘Persian War’ is the Greek Herodotus, so that the Greek view dominates the accounts of the events to this day.

Hilmar Klinkott, a specialist in Ancient History from Kiel University, has now published a book in which he specifically addresses the non-Greek perspective on these events, which, as that of the 'others', has hardly been taken seriously up to now. In "Xerxes. Der Großkönig in Griechenland" (Xerxes, the Great King in Greece) he tries to break up known patterns of explanation and to classify them in the understanding of the Achaemenid Great King. These 'new readings' are by no means meant to correct the Greek tradition. Rather, they provide suggestions and hypotheses for the interpretation of another perspective, in this case: the Achaemenid perspective. Thus, the book does not offer a final, comprehensive historical reconstruction of the Xerxes campaign, but is intended to provide an impetus to overcome the familiar paths in historical interpretation and to find new perspectives.

Background Information
Hilmar Klinkott, Xerxes. Der Großkönig in Griechenland. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2023 [here] has been published with financial support by the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS (Subcluster Knowledge).


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