Another great poetry must read includes McHenry”s Helleniad.
Darius, King of Kings, is not amused. When rebellions irrupt in the Ionian border provinces of his empire; it is not enough for Darius to send his generals to crush them. Darius is sensible that troublesome Greeks from Athens and Eretria gave the rebels military aid and assistance: and for that reason, Darius intends to expurgate them, extending the borders of his empire by subjugating a new province, to be named: Attica.
Supremely confident in his million-man army of peasant-slaves, Darius regally instructs his ambassadors to tour Attica and demand the ritual tokens of “earth and water”: the traditional signs of capitulation and submission to Persian rule. While smaller city-states unhesitatingly submit, not so Athens and Sparta: who unceremoniously catapult the Persian ambassadors to their deaths over the nearest cliff.
Darius is not adverse to a challenge: upon hearing the decease of his ambassadors, he orders the invasion of Attica. And so the First Perisan invasion of Greece has begins.
However, things do not at all go the way the King of Kings would like: the first campaign under Mardonius developed into something of a fiasco, turning out at best only a partial success. Darius promptly prepares a second campaign to be headed by the experienced Datis and assisted by Artaphernes: but even as the massive army departs, he receives several dire omens presaging a grievous outcome for the Persians.
Doubts begin to fill Darius’ mind. Inconceivable as the idea is – what if Datis and Artaphernes also fail? Must Darius himself empty his provinces to man a third expedition? Or is it time to finally cut his losses and admit the unthinkable – defeat at the hands of some upstart Greeks?