Essay The Persian Wars: How the Greeks Won

1682 Words Jan 29th, 2007 7 Pages
The Persian Wars: How the Greeks Won
The Persian Wars were a series of conflicts fought between the Greek states and the Persian Empire from 500-449 BC. It started in 500 BC, when a few Greek city-states on the coast of Asia Minor, who were under the control of the Persian Empire, revolted against the despotic rule of the Persian king Darius. Athens and Eretria in Euboea gave aid to these Greek cities but not enough, and they were subdued by the Persians. The Persians became determined to conquer Hellas and make Athens and Eretria pay for helping the Ionian cities. In 492 BC, the first Persian invasion had its fleet crippled by a storm before it could do any damage. King Darius sent another Persian expedition in 490 which destroyed
…show more content…
The great Athenian general Miltiades came up with a shrewd battle plan. He decided to thin out the ranks in the center of the phalanx to strengthen the wings. During the battle, the Greek wings crushed the Persian wings and forced them to retreat. At the same time, the Persians in the middle managed to break through the weakened center of the phalanx. Instead of pursuing the retreating Persian wings, the Greek wings moved backward to attack the Persians that had broken through the Greek defenses. The Greek center then turned around so that they had the Persians surrounded. The Persians were slaughtered (5). According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Persians lost 6400 men while te Greeks lost only 192 (4). While the phalanx ruled on the land, the trireme ruled on the sea. The trireme was a type of warship which could be seen for the first time in the Mediterranean during the sixth century BC. The trireme completely changed war at sea. In former days sea battles were mostly fought out by soldiers who jumped from one ship onto the other. But with the introduction of the trireme the emphasis came on the battle between the ships. The trireme had a battering-ram with which it would ram opposing ships and attempt to sink them. The keel was 40 meters long and stuck out 3 meters at the front, where it was armored with bronze plates. The
Open Document