81: Cunaxa

The Retreat of the 10,000 by Adrien Guignet, 1842 depicting the charging Greek mercenaries at Cunaxa and the resurgent Persian infantry.

After 6 months on the road, Cyrus the Younger and Artaxerxes II face off to decide who will be King of Kings, deciding the course of Achaemenid History forever after. 

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2 thoughts on “81: Cunaxa

  1. Ehsan

    Very nice episode. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed the last few since Cyrus the Younger entered the stage. He is definitely one of those “what if” characters. What would have happened to the Greco-Persian relations had his rebellion been successful? Would there have even been an Alexander 70 years down the line? Very intriguing character indeed.


    1. A fascinating “What-if” that may or may not be the subject of a special episode sometime in the first half of 2023. For my money, the whole world would be very different had Cyrus won. So much of Phillip and Alexander’s rise to power is premised on events in Greece that absolutely would not have happened with King Cyrus III instead of Artaxerxes II. The podcast will get there soon, but safe-to-say Persian-Spartan relations would be very different with Cyrus in control. The really interesting thing to me is that, were Cyrus to live as long as Artaxerxes II, he’d still have been King in 330, so if Macedon still rose to power, they’d be facing a very different situation in Persia.


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