According to the learned Persians, it was the Phoenicians who caused the conflict.
– Herodotus, The Histories
That is the beginning of Herodotus’ explanation for the war between the Greeks and the Persians (you know, the war that movie 300 was sort of, supposedly, set during). Pretty typical how the blame gets passed on to someone else – it wasn’t the Persians’ fault, honest! Or the Greeks’ either! Poor Phoenicians.
Anyway, I quoted it because Herodotus is pretty entertaining for an ancient “historian” – he’s hardly a historian by modern standards, because he inserts all sorts of folk tales and mythical creatures into his history – but apparently he was the first to come up with integrating all the stories of the various peoples living around the Mediterranean in one chronological tale. And I’m pretty glad I was forced to read some of it in my Classics class. So much of our culture is based on ancient Greek and Roman stuff, that these names (Pericles, Athens, Croesus, etc.) keep coming up. I really should read the whole thing when I get a chance. 🙂