The Woes of the Greeks

Darius reigned 522-486 B. C., Xerxes 486-465 B. C., Artaxerxes 465-424 B. C. (vii. 4 n.). The words do not imply that Artaxerxes' reign was over, nor does H. elsewhere refer clearly to an event so late. Cf. Introd. § 9. Yet the identification of these three reigns with three generations--that is, one hundred years (ii. 142. 2)-- implies that the passage was written nearly a century after the accession of Darius; and though the war between the leaders of Greece might be the battle of Tanagra, and other hostilities before 445 B. C., the phrase has far more point if written in the early years of the Peloponnesian war. Twenty generations = 666 2/3 years (ii. 142. 2), so the period intended is 1189-522 B. C. H. seems to place the Trojan war circ. 1260 B. C. (ii. 145 ad fin.), and the Dorian migration was usually dated some eighty years later, so that the [p. 105] meaning would be that never since the return of the Heracleids had Greece been so troubled. (How and Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 1928).