Reconsidering the movement of Pausanias’army before the Battle of Plataiai in 479 BC
The article provides a reconsideration of the movements
of the army under the direction of the Spartan
Pausanias before the last phase of the battle of Plataiai
in 479 BC – the crucial moment of the Persian Wars,
when Persian land forces in Greece were defeated
and after the battle fled away from Greece. The
author suggests that both literary sources and the
topography of the Kithairon region provide a better
understanding of the movement of Pausanias’
army. The strategic importance of Erythrai has been
overlooked: the Kastron peak (656 m.) was vital for
Pausanias to make an accurate reconnaissance of the
landscape before the battle came to a final phase.
Herodotus notes that both the height and the width of the Eupalinian aqueduct equal 8 feet (3. 60. 2). Modern measurement gives 2.10 m for both height and width. It follows that the sixth-century Samian foot was 26.25 cm, and there is much to support such a conclusion. However, a standard Greek foot was much longer. We are dealing here with two different systems. In the earlier one, the foot corresponds to the height of an average Greek man, and it measures a half of a cubit and a third of a pace. In the standard system, there is no integer number of feet in one pace, a foot corresponds to the height of exceptionally tall persons and it is in a ratio to a cubit of 2 : 3. The change was probably caused by the growing interest in athletic competitions. The stadiums were extended to accommodate more spectators, and, since each stadium was 600 feet long by definition, the foot was extended accordingly.
Aelian in the detailed description of ancient tuna fishing (De nat. anim. XV, 5) mentions that Naxians and Eretrians knew about it according to Herodotus and others. Commonly it is understood in literal sense: inhabitants of Naxos and Eretria use this way of fi shing, as Aelian alleges. But arguments, on which this interpretation is based, seem unreliable. More plausible is to see in Aelian’s account an obvious hint at Persian tactics of depopulation.
"Lemnian Deeds" is a well-known literary and mythological topic. It includes two events: 1) the murder of the husbands and all the men of the island by the Lemnian women; 2) the killing of the Athenian women and their children by the Pelasgians. Researchers have long noticed the affinity of these events. Some scholars believe that the narration of the crime of the Pelasgians was created according to its Lemnian prototype. Or, to put in other way, one of the events became a kind of copy for the other. This paper provides a different interpretation to the noted similarity.