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Themistocles (Themistocles)

( leader of Athenian democracy)

Comments for Themistocles (Themistocles)
Biography Themistocles (Themistocles)
(about 525 - about 460 years., BC)
Greco-Persian Wars generation advanced fighters for the Greek homeland. History has preserved us little information about the life and exploits of these heroes. But the life of the most prominent leaders of the people remained in the memory of generations as an example of selfless devotion to the homeland during the liberation war against the hordes of the Persian king. Particularly interesting biography of the leader of the Athenian democracy Themistocles. Themistocles came from Freariyskogo deme (district) of Athens and his father belonged to an ancient family Likomidov. His mother was a foreigner. Therefore, some put a little Themistocles criticizes its origin, . did not recognize its full-fledged Athenian and treated him with prezreniem.Takoe attitude has developed in the boy painful samolyubie.Vo all - in games, . in gymnastic exercises, . in the classroom - he always tried to be first,
. Talented boy dreamed of becoming famous, to shine exploits made everyone forget about his origin. In his free time, after teaching, he is not lazy, and thought out speech, because he knew that in Athens to nominate only those who successfully speaking in the assembly, will be able to lead the masses of the people. Teacher, drawing attention to his abilities, he predicted: "From you, boy, will be released, or something very good or very bad. Nonentity, you will not! "Contemporaries often recall these words mentor Femistokla.Ne all sciences boy worked equally willing. Music, poetry and other items required for the educated Athenian, he studied only as needed; but all that could be useful for future head of state, he worked with enthusiasm. Subsequently, . encountering ridicule people, . received, . they believe, . refined education, . Themistocles replied proudly: "If I do not know how to configure the lira, or play on cither, . but I was able to celebrate and make a powerful native Athens. "In his early youth, Themistocles was unrestrained and often commit evil deeds,
. Contempt of the noble Athenians infuriated him, and he tried to stand out even in bad. Later, . becoming an eminent statesman, . he, . recalling his childhood, . said: "From the most unbridled foals can grow beautiful horses: only need to properly educate them and leave." behavior in their youth Themistocles subsequently gave rise to his enemies to constantly remind people about his past mistakes, . and sometimes accuse him of fictional crimes,
. Tells us that his father abdicated Themistocles and stripped him of his inheritance and his mother in despair at the shameful behavior of his son committed suicide. This fiction, . but the actions of the young man gave, . obviously, . some cause for such klevete.Zhazhda fame quickly drowned in evil passions and Themistocles, . Although his father tried to dissuade him, . He began to speak in the assembly, . striving for political activities,
. Not afraid of aristocrats, he suggested a radical transformation in the army and in the state, and this attracted the sympathies of the broad popular mass.Eto was a difficult time for the homeland Themistocles. Threatening clouds gathered in the East. The mighty Persian empire continues to threaten the independent existence of small, fragmented cities of Greece. New conquest by the Persian kings were required to maintain and consolidate power, and the failure of the first trips to Greece could not stop them. Even the battle of Marathon, . ended in defeat for the hitherto invincible army "great king", . not frighten the Persians: it was too obvious superiority of the huge, . stretching from Egypt to the Indus River Power over the smallest and freedom-loving people Gretsii.No in Athens was a lot of people, . who hoped, . the war with the Persians did not resume,
. They have not seen and did not want to see the dangers threatening the country. These were mostly aristocrats, among whom was the hero of Marathon Miltiades. These people knew that the preparation for war will require the inclusion in the Athenian army of the poor, and this would mean that the poor will have to give and share in the government. That is why these people (among whom were bribed by the Persians and traitors) do not pay attention to the military preparations of Persia, urged citizens to remain calm and not to agree to any changes in the state. Aristocrats, who at that time were in power in Athens, considered hopeless resistance to the powerful Persii.Femistokl understood that the battle of Marathon - only the beginning of a long and arduous war with Persia. He considered it necessary to intensively to prepare for defense. Realizing that the Persian army ten times greater than the combined armies of all the Greek states, Themistocles saw the only salvation of the Greeks in the creation of a strong flota.Sobytiya showed the correctness of foresight of Themistocles. After the Greeks won a victory at sea, the Persians were not able to continue the fight, although their ground forces have maintained their mosch.Bolshinstvo Athenians understood the need to build a powerful navy. However, the State has no funds for the construction of ships. Then Themistocles, . knowing, . that will bring the wrath of the aristocrats, . nevertheless ventured to offer the popular assembly to use all the income from the state Laurion mines to build flota.Kogda something Laurion silver mines belonged to the Athenian tyrants,
. After the fall of the tyranny of the mines became property of the people. Silver was divided among all citizens of the State. Due to the threat of war People's Assembly adopted the proposal of Themistocles, despite the opposition of the aristocracy and the personal enemy of Themistocles, Aristides. Numerous and powerful fleet was built during the two years. Thanks to the selfless labor of citizens laid the foundation of sea power Afin.Aristokraty in Athens did not dare to speak out against the patriotic cause of national defense. They preferred to intrigue and personal attacks against the leader of democracy Themistocles. Some said, . that Themistocles, the Athenians turned from persistent soldiers hoplites in some shipmen: snatching a spear and shield from the hands of fellow, . He chained them to korabelyym benches, while others accused him of extravagance; third, . contrary, . exhibited his flint and even extortionists,
. These intrigues of aristocrats, however, failed. People believed Themistocles and did not want to lose a talented leader. Supporters of Persia and the leaders of the aristocracy, one after another had been expelled from Athens by the stigma. In 483 g. BC, shortly before the war, ostracism suffered a personal enemy of Themistocles, Aristid.Teper Themistocles started to unite all forces capable of resisting the Persians. He sought to strengthen and expand the existing alliance of Greek states. At a meeting of union delegates, he persuaded the Greeks to stop internal disputes and to entrust the command of all allied forces Spartans. At the head of the Union were the Spartans, but the Athenians, thanks to a strong fleet, is now enjoyed the same with them vliyaniem.Ne all Greek states took part in this association. Surrounding neighbors and ancient enemy of Athens and Sparta - Boeotia and Argos were not included in the union, and Thessaly immediately after the outbreak of hostilities openly sided with the Persians. The Greek states of southern Italy and Sicily, also joined the alliance, as the Allies were afraid of attack Persia, karfagenyan.Mezhdu to the Persian king Darius in three years after the battle at Marathon was preparing for another war. All of the Persian empire was set in motion. Countless tribes and nations, subordinated to the Persians, had to put his crack troops in the army "great king", the Phoenicians, Syrians, Greeks - the inhabitants of the Ionian Islands have collected and built for the 1200 Persian triremes. The number of the army of the Persians, according to historians, reached 800 thousand. infantrymen and 80 thousand. cavalry with a huge wagon train, camels and chariots, other writers have called big numbers. To supply this vast army of food warehouses were built in Asia Minor and Thrace. The plan of the Persians of their troops were at the same time to attack Hellas from the sea and sushi.Vo time preparing for an unprecedented campaign of Darius the king died suddenly. After his death the insurrection broke out in Persia, Babylonia, and finally, in Egypt, who barely managed to suppress the successor of Darius, Xerxes. But 9 years after the Battle of Marathon, the Persians were able to throw its vast forces against Greece, and in particular at the beginning of the campaign Afin.Pered Xerxes sent ambassadors to Greece, demanding "the land and water" (t. e. unconditional obedience). The signal is the beginning of the war was dug by the Persians Athos canal. The king would thus avoid the catastrophe that befell the last war in the Persian fleet, when he rounded the isthmus of Athos. For the crossing of the army from Asia to Europe, Xerxes ordered to construct a bridge across the Hellespont (Dardanelles). However, a sudden storm destroyed the bridge, built with the greatest difficulty. Then Xerxes, . as transmit Greek historians, . ordered the execution of the builders of the bridge, . and the sea and ordered the scourging sank to the bottom of his chain, . in sign, . that the Hellespont would now slave "great king." Again, a bridge was built, . this time more durable, . and his Persian army during the seven days of steady flow ferried to the European coast,
. The fleet of the Persians successfully passed the Athos canal and headed for the shores of Thessaly. Thessaly openly sided with the Persians, and Boeotia and Argos expressed pokornost.Uzhas came upon the king of the Hellenes. The population of many cities with the approach of the Persians was setting on a ship and sailed to Italy, leaving their cities to ruin the Persians, only to get rid of rabstva.Grechesky Allied fleet was off the island of Euboea in support of land forces. At the head of the fleet was a Spartan general Evribiad. The first naval battle with the Persians took place at the northern shore of Euboea, with the Cape Artemisia. It ended with the victory of the Greeks. The decisive importance of this battle, however, had not, as the Greek fleet could not meet its primary goal - to come to the aid of the army in Fessalii.Grecheskoe troops occupied the first passage in the north of Tempe in Thessaly. It appeared, however, that this position can be worked around from the rear. Then the Greeks retreated to the south and occupied the Thermopylae passage that separates Thessaly from Central Greece. Thermopylae Valley was convenient for the defense. Detachment of a few thousand Greeks, under the command of the Spartan King Leonidas, took the heights, . dominating the narrow passageway along the sea shore, . and successfully held out for a few days the pressure of the main forces persov.Vrag convinced, . that take Thermopylae in the forehead is impossible, . and decided to bypass the Greek army from the rear,
. Among the Greeks found a traitor named Ephialtes, who held the Persians at the narrow mountain path to the rear of the Greeks. This betrayal of one scoundrel ruined army of brave warriors.

At the news that the Persians, Greeks spared, the king Leonid realized that resistance is futile and will lead only to death of all the Greek army. So he let all allies himself with three hundred Spartans, covering the retreat, decided to perish with the sword in his hand. Heroically fighting, all the Spartans led by King Leonid died. Subsequently, the Spartans, who fell at Thermopylae, revered as heroes obscheellinskih. At the grave they were written verses of the poet Simonides: Traveler, go build our citizens in Lakedemone, Are their covenants dishes, here we polegli.Vest bones of the heroic, Spartan heroism inspired the Greeks. Learning of the capture of Thermopylae, the Greek fleet set off from Cape Artemisia to cover the coast of Attica. Sailing along the island of Euboea, . Themistocles left in the field of possible landing Persian inscriptions, . inviting the Ionian Greeks, . served in the Persian fleet, . move to the side of sootechestvennikov.Armiya Xerxes meanwhile, . passing Thermopylae, . slowly approaching the limits of Attica, . pillaging and burning goroda.Afinyane tried to persuade the allies a decisive battle to the Persians in Boeotia, . order to save Athens, however, the Allies would not hear about,
. They decided to concentrate all forces on the Isthmus of Corinth, here have already started to build a wall to stop the Persians and to protect the southern part of Greece - Peloponnese. Athens at that time still had no walls, . connect the city with the harbor, the Persians could rein in Athens and from the sea and sushi.Femistokl took a heroic decision to convince the people, . firmly rely on their fleet, . leave Athens and move to the neighboring island of Salamis and the city Trezenu (in the Saronic Gulf),
. Most people at first did not want to hear about it. People thought that if I have to leave the temples of the gods and ancestral graves, then to nothing and the victory and spasenie.Togda Themistocles decided to take extreme measures - to act on the people way. In one of the temples in Athens, lost the sacred serpent goddess Athena, patroness of the city. Priests, at the instigation of Themistocles, announced that the goddess left the city and calls from an Athenian to the sea. The famous Delphic oracle advised the Athenians' save for the wooden walls ". Themistocles interpreted the cryptic words of the oracle so that the "wooden walls" - a ship, sitting on the Athenians who will emerge victorious in a naval battle. The people decided to leave Athens, leaving the enemy to ruin flourishing vineyards and orchards, beautiful buildings, churches - the gods and ancestral graves. Only a few elders did not want to leave the holy city of Athens, and all later died at the hands of angry Persians. Soon the Persians devastated Attica and burned Afiny.Pri landing on ships of the Athenians occurred sad farewell scene of women and children with their husbands and fathers. The city was filled with tears and cries of women and children, and the plaintive howling roar of pets, scurried through the deserted gorodu.Pereseleniem device and citizens in new places led the Areopagus. Themistocles also procured the money necessary for the maintenance of the fleet and troops. Heading out of town to the harbor of Piraeus to board the ships, the Athenians saw that the statue of the goddess Athena, vysivshayasya of the Acropolis, stands without a golden shield. "Where did the sparkling shield formidable boginiN" - asked, puzzled people. Themistocles began the search for the missing shield. He did not find it as a shield, apparently, was hidden on his orders, but ran into a cast away the rich treasures. These values were taken to the state treasury and distributed by order of Themistocles afinyanam.V such a hard time for the country should forget about civil dissent, and Themistocles suggested that people return from exile of Aristide and the leaders of the aristocracy. He would also give them an opportunity to fight for the freedom of Greece. The idea of saving the nation inspired now all the people of Athens: the aristocrats, . and artisans, . and peasants - all were thinking only about, . how to defeat the Persians and drive them from their native strany.Kogda land army of the Persians occupied Athens, . Persian fleet approached the city and came to anchor in the harbor falerskoy,
. Greek allied fleet, consisting of approximately 380 ships (of which 180 were Athenian), stopped off the coast of the island Salamin.Priblizhalsya moment decisive battle with the Persians. The Athenians were eager to fight the Persians immediately. Ally headed by commander of the fleet, the Spartans Evribiadom, offered to sail to the Isthmian Isthmus in support of ground forces, defending the Peloponnese. At the military council Themistocles opposed this. He believed the main task to break the Persian fleet off the coast of Attica. Evribiad saw in defiance of the chief objection Themistocles; picked up a stick, he swung at Themistocles. "Bay, . but listen! "- said he Themistocles, . and irascible Spartan smutilsya.Korinfsky strategist quipped Themistocles, . he, . Athenian, . has lost homeland, . not appropriate to encourage those, . anyone still have it, . left to their fate their homeland,
. Themistocles replied sharply: "Wretch!" We, the Athenians left the home and walls, not wanting to become slaves for the sake of soulless things. But there is a city, the greatest of the cities of Greece - these are the two hundred Athenian ships before us, ready to help you escape, if you please. And if you go again betrayed us, we, the Athenians, and leave you and Put out in southern Italy. There we will build a new city! "Proudly replied Themistocles silenced the faint-hearted, and Themistocles managed to persuade everyone to take his ylan. But the morning fog lifted, and the Greeks saw a huge enemy fleet Falera. This spectacle intimidated allies, and they decided that night to sail to the Peloponnese. Themistocles did manage to hold until the Allies. He rightly felt that we should give battle in the narrow Salamis Straits. Here, high-speed ships of the Greeks would have the advantage over many, . but slow-moving vessels persov.I Themistocles, through a close friend of his told the Persian king, . that the Greeks are going to retreat at night, he, . Themistocles, . allegedly took the side of the Persians, and advises the king to attack the Greeks immediately, . until they have recovered from straha.Tsar Xerxes was confident of victory,
. He immediately ordered to close lanes of the Strait of Salamis, that no Odil Hellenic ship could not slip away. At this time, Aristide, who was returning from exile, secretly made his way by Persian ships in the location of the Greeks. He brought the message that the Hellenic Navy is surrounded by the Persians. Now the Allied ships could not leave afinyan.Femistokl knew noble soul Aristide, though he did not like it. He told Aristide that he sent to the Persians as a trusted person, and his plan. Knowing how popular Aristide's allies, he asked the leader of the aristocrats to use its influence to persuade the allies to venture to srazhenie.Minul another day and the morning came the battle of Salamis (480 BC). And they again saw the fleet of the Persians in battle array. In the distance. On a hill under a gilded canopy, on a golden throne sat Xerxes. Around the king settled approximate and many scribes, who were supposed to describe the great victory of the Persians. The Athenian fleet consisted of 180 high-speed ships. On the deck of each ship had 14 heavily armed soldiers (hoplites), and 4 archer. According to the participants of the battle, the famous poet Aeschylus, Persians were up to 1000 large ships, including high-speed 207. To start the battle, Themistocles chose a moment when a fresh wind is blowing from the sea. Wind does not harm the flat low-sided ships of the Greeks, as the heavy ships of the Persians from high up in the stern experienced severe kachku.Vzory all Greeks were sent to Themistocles. With the great ship's brother Persian King Xerxes, an experienced naval commander Ariamen noticed Themistocles and commanded him to throw in the arrows and spears. Then ship Athenians floated near Trier Themistocles, struck his nose in Trier Ariamena. Ships opponents grappled. Ariamen led his soldiers tried to jump on the Athenian ship. Boiled ruthless hand to hand combat. The Athenians fought bravely, and the Persian naval commander fell dead. Forwards Persians were slaughtered and their bodies thrown into the sea. The death of the commander upset the ranks of the Persians, and deprived them of courage. The Greeks also were inspired and fought with unprecedented valor, they realized that they still win or umeret.Afinyanin Lycomedes first captured enemy ship, then the Athenians captured and sunk many Persian ships. The Persians fought bravely, but their great ships could not withstand attack them from both sides of agile ships ellinov.Boy lasted all day. By the evening of the Persian fleet could not stand it and turned to begstvo.Tak Greeks at Salamis won a brilliant victory over a much stronger opponent. Now irritated Xerxes planned to transfer their land army on the bridge to the island of Salamis. Themistocles proposed to cut off the retreat: it is advised to destroy the bridge across the Hellespont, that, in his words, "catch Asia in Europe." Aristides, Themistocles, who said his plan, did not agree with him. He said that one should not bring the Persians to the extreme, because they will then fight with the courage of despair. "On the contrary, . - Said Aristide, . - We not only have to destroy the bridge, . but, . If it were possible, . should build yet another bridge, . as soon as possible to expel the Persians ", . Themistocles agreed Aristidom.On thought of a way to make the Persian king to withdraw from Greece,
. Themistocles sent a noble Persian captives to the king with the message that the Greeks are going to destroy the bridge at the Hellespont. Taking care of the interests of the king, Themistocles advised him to hurry to cross the bridge, as long as 1-river delay presledovanie.Obyaty horror Xerxes decided to immediately withdraw. He left in Hellas only part of the troops under the command of the commander Mardonius. Soon Mardonius army was decisively defeated at Plataea, and its remnants fled Elladu.Tak Hellas was saved from the terrible danger. Despite the intrigues and jealousy of enemies, the Greeks bestowed unprecedented honors Themistocles. Even the Spartans, who loved not the foreigners, was invited to Athens to Sparta and the commander is crowned with an olive wreath for his wisdom and gave the hero a luxurious chariot. Honorary detachment of 300 young soldiers escorted him to the border of Sparta. As soon as Themistocles started on obscheellinskom festival in Olympia - Olympic Games - representatives of all the cities of Greece gave him a solemn vstrechu.Femistokl proud of his fame. What is a resident of a small island Serif once remarked to him that his fame, he must not himself, but the State. "You're right - he returned a hero - I would have never become famous, if I serifyanin, if not famous to you, if born Athenian." Once, one of his fellow strategists opposed Themistocles and compared with his feats own. Themistocles told someone fable, once on the occasion into an argument with him the next working day. Weekday argued that the festival only, and knows that fussed but boasts, while the other day at leisure enjoying all the rest. "Right you say, - noticed a holiday - but if I was not born, it would not have you". "Also, - continued Themistocles, - do not be me, where would you teperN" Themistocles knew that now, after the expulsion of the Persians from Greece, the main enemy of the Athenians - Spartans. So he persuaded the assembly of the people immediately set about building walls around Athens, the citizens in case of danger could hide behind them. When the rule of the Athenians at sea wall would withstand any siege on land. The construction of the walls was carried out with great haste. We attended all the inhabitants of Athens, including foreigners, slaves, women and even detey.No and enemies of the Athenians were not dozing. The Spartans, instigated by the Athenian aristocracy, with fear and envy at strengthening the power of the Athenians. The construction of walls in Athens met with resistance Spartans. It is understood that the Athenians reinforce the walls of the city out of fear of Sparta, and therefore demanded the immediate cessation of work. Defend against the invasion of the Persians, they said, can only be in the Peloponnese, and there has already built a wall, partition off the Isthmus. All building in central Greece have to be razed, as nenuzhnye.No Themistocles deceived the Spartans, the Spartans sailed Athenian embassy led by Themistocles. When the Spartans complained that the Athenians were arming and encompass the city wall, he proposed to send ambassadors to Athens to see how it really is the case. He suggested it to buy time for the construction of the wall and into the hands of the Athenians in the person taking the Spartan Ambassadors. Therefore, the Spartans were forced to let go of Themistocles domoy.Femistokl continued to strengthen maritime power of Athens. He built new ships. At his suggestion, Union of Greek states was extended. Many of the new city-state has entered into an alliance and recognized the primacy of politics Afin.Takaya Themistocles stepped in Athens the demos - the common people. The sailors, steering, rowers, builders of various specialties, numerous artisans. Became influential in the national assembly. Themistocles, the Athenians made the sea people and, . strengthening the Athenian harbor of Piraeus, . he was "tied to the city of Piraeus", . land to moryu.Spartantsy meanwhile suggested the deletion of the Greek Union of the State, . did not participate in the war against the Persians (as, . example, . Thebes and Argos),
. Themistocles opposed this. He understood that in this case, the Union will depend on the prevalence of the Spartans and their Peloponnesian gosudarstva.S small island states Themistocles addressed authoritatively and proudly. He demanded money from them tribute and unconditional subordination Athens. So he joined with residents Karysta and Pharos. Appearing with a large fleet to the island of Andrew, he pulled him up and demanded money, saying that he had come with two gods - Persuasion and Force. Who does not follow the first, will be forced to submit to the second. Androstsam had to give. More significant island nations have been involved in union negotiation, in these negotiations Themistocles played a major role. The Athenians were now superior to the Allies at more.Mezhdu those enemies Themistocles decided to stab him. They have his exile by ostracism. The reason for the expulsion of Themistocles was the loss to the nation. The Athenians were afraid too resolute policy of Themistocles, directed against Sparta. People are tired of the Persian War and did not want another war with Sparta, which forces land surpassed afinyan.Izgnanny Themistocles first found a refuge in Argos. Soon, however, the Spartans were accused Themistocles that he was involved with Spartan king Pausanias of having links with the Persians. Any contact with the Persians were then considered treason. Enemies of Themistocles - Athenian aristocrats - an accusation supported. They are made from the national assembly reshenlya that the power to deliver sud.Poluchiv Themistocles in the news, Themistocles passed over to Corcyra (island in the Ionian Sea). But soon he was forced to seek refuge with the king Admetus of Epirus (north-west Greece). But here Themistocles did not stay long. Forced to leave Epirus, Themistocles sat on the cargo ship and sailed to Asia. None of the satellites Themistocles did not know who he was until the ship is not been driven by the wind to the island Fasosu (at the northern coast of Greece). The island that was then besieged by the Athenian fleet, and Themistocles, fearing that fall into the hands of their fellow citizens. He opened his own name the captain of the ship. He managed to convince the captain to pass the island and moor to the shore of Asia Minor. Police officer to the city of Kim, Themistocles said that lie in wait for him here, to catch and extradite to the Persian king. For the capture of Themistocles Persian king announced a huge reward of 200 talantov.Iz Kimy Themistocles went to the Aeolian city Egi, where he took an old friend Nikogen associated with him by ties of hospitality. Here Themistocles decided to voluntarily surrender to the hands of the Persians. He secretly went to the Persian king Ahasuerus, son and successor Xerxes. King graciously received Themistocles. One year later, Themistocles studied Persian language and customs of the country, then the king appointed him ruler of the three cities in Asia Minor: Magnesia, Lampsak and Miunta. In Magnesia same Themistocles and died 65 years old. Circumstances of the death of Themistocles unknown. There is evidence that he committed suicide, not wanting to fight against the Greeks. Most likely, however, he died from the disease.

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