If you’ve read Jewel of Persia already, then you know that this, the stated goal of the war and the much-anticipated victory, was rather hollow. All the Athenians had fled to the island fortress of Salamis, leaving Athens undefended. The only people still present were a few priests in the Acropolis. Xerxes marched his army in and burned it to the ground.
But even reading the ancient history, he didn’t seem terribly excited about it. Within days, he started thinking about going home. Many generals, with such a victory under their belts, would storm ahead at full speed, with renewed vigor. But Xerxes seemed to lose his heart for the war when he won his trophy, and he only went on to the next battle on the advice of his council.
Naturally, I have my fictional motivations for this. =)
(Painting of Athens as envisioned by painter Leon von Klenze in 1846.)
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