Life and Journey of Athenian Statesman Themistocles (524-460 B.c.?) as a Refugee in Persia

Author: Keaveney, Arthur Peter
In ancient Greece, Themistocles was universally acknowledged as the architecture of the Greek victory in the great Persian invasion. Some years later, political opinion turned against him in Athens and he was obliged to flee into exile and eventually wound up in the court of the king of Persia. This book examines the quite considerable body of evidence which survives about Themistocles’ journey and his life as a refugee in Persia, in order to disentangle fact from the abundant fiction.


“… a fine piece of scholarship on a subject that interests not only classicists, but also specialists of the Achaemenid Empire. The author shows an impressive knowledge of sources, as well as of scholarly discussions and is able to demonstrate his case with remarkable clearness and effectiveness…. The subject treated is given for the first time serious attention and the solutions proposed are largely innovative, and well argued…. this book will remain for many years the standard reference on Themistocles’ later career.” – Dimitris Paleothodoros, University of Thessaly

“He has a thorough knowledge of the primary sources, and sifts through them in meticulous detail…. He carefully places Themistocles in his 5th century context, avoids anachronistic 21st century judgmental criticism, and assesses him by the standards of his time….. All in all, this is a masterly treatment of the life of Themistocles. It is sure to become an authoritative work and required reading for anyone studying Themistocles or his times.” – John A. Madden, National University of Ireland, Galway

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. The Road to Susa
3. At the Court of the King
4. In the House of the King
5. The Mysterious End of Themistocles
6. Conclusion
Appendices: The Road to Susa – the Chronology; the Usher’s Gesture at Persepolis; the King and the Chiliarch
Bibliography; Index