In the year 486 BCE, upon the death of his father, Darius I, Xerxes I became king of the Persian Empire. His kingdom extended from present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east to Egypt and Libya in the west and was the largest empire of the classical age. However, all was not well within the Persian Empire. The provinces of Egypt and Babylon were in a state of rebellion, and the tiny city-states of Greece were refusing Xerxes's rule. Nearly 2,500 years ago, the mighty Persian Army, one of the largest the world had ever seen, plunged into a war of conquest against a much-smaller Greek city-state force. Would Xerxes succeed where his father had failed? Would the mighty Persian army defeat the smaller military forces of the independent Greeks? Xerxes tells the thrilling tale of one of the most storied battles in ancient history and reveals how the wars' ramifications altered the course of Western civilization.
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May 29, 2008
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