The Phocian Betrayal at Thermopylae

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The Phocian Betrayal at Thermopylae

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Franz Steiner Verlag




This article makes three arguments regarding the Battle of Thermopylae. First, that the discovery of the Anopaea path was not dependent upon Ephialtes, but that the Persians were aware of it at their arrival and planned their attacks at Thermopylae, Artemisium, and against the Phocians accordingly. Second, that Herodotus’ claims that the failure of the Phocians was due to surprise, confusion, and incompetence are not convincing. And third, that the best explanation for the Phocian behavior is that they were from Delphi and betrayed their allies as part of a bid to restore local control over the sanctuary.



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Rop, Jeffrey. “The Phocian Betrayal at Thermopylae.” Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 68 (2019), 413-435.

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Rop, Jeffrey. (2019). The Phocian Betrayal at Thermopylae. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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