Discussion 2

Different Interpretations of the Past

Objectives:
To recognise that events in the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways and to give reasons for this

Materials:
War chapter - Story section

Class set-up:
Whole class or small group

Vocabulary:
Thermopylae, Persians, Spartans, Herodotus, interpretation, bias,

Discussion:
Read through the story together; at the last page, go through each of the objects displayed and read the captions. Ask:

(Point out to children, if necessary, the role of the traitor, who enabled the Persians to come at the Greeks from two sides).

Explain that this story is based on Herodotus' account of the battle. Provide a few facts about Herodotus e.g. he was a Greek, he is called the 'father of history' and was writing in the mid-5th century). Ask:

Finish by emphasising that we need to be careful with written evidence about events in the past, as people can have different views of those events.

Background information:
You may find the following Background Information sheets found on www.ancientgreece.co.uk useful for this activity:

History, Writing and Recording (for information on Herodotus)

Battle of Marathon (for a summary of this battle of the Persian Wars)

Spartan Life