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Unformatted text preview: imagination. By disregarding the reason and judgment of those close to him, and—in so doing— sentencing to death millions of his subjects, Xerxes commits the ultimate atrocity. Whether the phantom was truly a figment of his nightmare, the intervention of the gods, or an actual man— perhaps a warmongering Magi—physically looming over the king’s bed, is hard to decipher. The ambiguity leaves the interpretation up to the reader. However, it is plain to see that Xerxes’ dreams—whether they are manifestations from within himself, from the divine, or otherwise— are taken far too seriously. It is in this frightening story that a leader’s one ostensible nightmare leads to the one true nightmare in life for all his people: death and senseless war. Works Cited Herodotus. The Histories . Trans. Aubrey de Sélincourt. New York: Penguin Books, 1954....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course GENS 145 taught by Professor Bormann during the Fall '07 term at Whitman.
- Fall '07