In early fifth century BC Greece, the Greeks consistently suffered from the threat of being conquered by the Persian Empire. Between the years 500-479 BC, the Greeks and the Persians fought two wars. Although the Persian power vastly surpassed the Greeks, the Greeks unexpectedly triumphed. In this Goliath versus David scenario, the Greeks as the underdog, defeated the Persians due to their heroic action, divine support, and Greek unity. The threat of the Persian Empire's expansion into Greece and the imminent possibility that they would lose their freedom and become subservient to the Persians, so horrified the Greeks that they united together and risked their lives in order to preserve the one thing they all shared in common, their
The Battle of Salamis was the icing on the cake for the Greeks. They were able to defeat the larger Persian fleet by dictating the terms of the battle. They choose a location that favored their smaller swifter ships instead of the much larger, heavier Persian ones. The Greeks were able to maneuver and ram the Persians at will and had most of the Persian fleet in check by nightfall. The funny thing about it is that Xerxes had a throne set up for him on the island of Salamis to watch the battle. After the Greeks victory here they had control of the seas. This restricted the Persian fleet from keeping the army supplied and protected. Xerxes took the remaining elements of his fleet and headed back to Asia after the battle.
The Greek victory against Persia was largely due to efforts of mainly Athens but also Sparta as well. Athens was responsible for the major turning points of the Persian invasions, while Sparta was responsible for the deciding battle. Miltiades, with his skilful battle strategies, defeated the Persians during their second invasion at Marathon, which gave Athens a confidence boost on their military. During the third invasion, when the Athenians were evacuated to Salamis, Themistocles had devised a plan to trick the Persians which had resulted in Persian army without a supply line. Sparta?s importance had revealed during their sacrifice at Thermopylae and at Plataea, where they provided the most effective part of the army.
The Persian War was fought by the Greeks and the Persians, and if the Greeks lost, we would not have democracy, science, or education. The war was started when the Greeks helped rebels in a city state near Persia burn a Persian city. The Greeks used strategy and their surroundings to their advantage to win the Persian War. The Persian War had three main battles: Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis
The Greek society was a direct democracy with people voting on the issues themselves instead of representatives voting on their behalf. Any male citizen over the age of eighteen was allowed to vote. Like the Romans, the Greek government was divided into separate parts. The Greek government consisted of an assembly, council, and courts, with each requiring a different number of voters present. The people all gather and vote on issues by hand, and this is the simplest form of majority rules. The role of the people is extremely important in how the society and state is governed and run. This early form a democracy was detailed by Pericles funeral oration during the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was an eminent Athenian politician who states in regards to the government of Athens, “Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy (Pericles, “Funeral Oration”, pp. 2)”. Here, Pericles states that the people have all the power and their opinion is highly valued. Likewise, the Romans valued the people’s opinions so highly that they entrusted with them rewards and punishments, vital aspects that held the society together. Pericles also states, “…nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, here is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition (Pericles, “Funeral Oration”, pp. 2)”. Here is the essence of democracy, every man no
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).
The Persian Wars were a series of destructive and malevolent battles which occurred in the time frame of 490B.C and 480 – 479B.C. The Greek victory over the Persians in the Persian Wars cannot be attributed to only one factor, more it was a commixture of factors. Such factors include unity, leadership, strategy, tactics and the pre-eminence of the Greek soldier. Each contributing factor was to play a distinctive and pivotal role in the various battles to come, which ultimately would lead to the subsequent demise of the Persians.
The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
The Persian Wars (499-479 BC) put the Greeks in the difficult position of having to defend their country against a vast empire with an army that greatly outnumbered
The First Persian War took place at the Battle of the Marathon near Athens and it was known as one of the infamous battle between the Athenians and the Persians. In 501 B.C.E., a Greek tyrant named Aristogorus provoked the Persian rulers by instigating an uprising in Miletus and Ionia to revolt against the Persian Empire. In order to ward off the Persian Empire’s wrath, Aristogorus reached out to his compatriots on the mainland in Greece of Athens and Sparta. “Sparta refused, but Athens sent twenty ships-enough just to anger the Persians, but not to save Miletus.” Nevertheless, the Athenians conquered the Persian’s capital of Lydian in Sardis in order to steal the golds, but they accidentally ended up burning down the richest capital of Sardis.
Greek democracy was best developed in the city-state of Athens from where the very word “democracy”, meaning “the rule of the people” stems. People ‘ruled’ by electing officials through lot and making important decisions by majority rule. Democracy was direct, meaning that the Athenians “allowed the whole citizenry to assemble in the central eklisia, or the equivalent today of the main city hall, to vote on important issues” (Makedon 1995). In this sense, Athenian democracy differed from representative democracy that is currently prevalent in most states, in which officials are elected through democratic vote and then given authority to make decisions for the people. In Athens, elected officials were paid, but the pay was very low so that it compared with the wages of the poorest citizens and only covered the compensation of their time and effort.
Through the manuscripts of Herodotus, an ancient historian who hailed from the mountainous lands of Greece, modern day historians have been granted the ability to piece together the multitude of events that supposedly transpired during the years 480 and 479 BC between the Persian empire and the city-states of the classical Greece (Herodotus). The second Persian invasion of Greece, which took place in the previously mentioned years, was a part of the many series of battles and encounters that made up the Greco-Persian Wars. This invasion in particular, however, probably saw one of the most distinguished battles in ancient European warfare befall. As a whole, the second Persian invasion of Greece consisted of several battles that transpired within a close proximity of one another chronologically. The war itself was fairly short-lived, even for its time, lasting only the course of approximately one year. The battles themselves took place in Thermopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, Platae, and Mycale (Setzer). The Persian invasion forces were led by King Xerxes I of Persia, the son of Darius I of Persia. Prior to the reign of Xerxes I, King Darius I had wanted to take control of ancient Greece. As such, he ordered two campaigns which made up the first Persian invasion of Greece. Much to his hindrance, however, Darius I breathed his last breath before he was presented with the opportunity to carry out a second invasion.
On the other hand, athens was a democracy which meant ruled by the people. In athens they usd a thing called lot voting. Which is basically voting. In the passage “ athens and sparta” it states “ Each would take a charge for a month, and ten generals were automatically elected due to experience.” Likewise, different people would get a chance to make a change or to do something they believed was helping athens.
The battle of Thermopylae was the Greek’s first stand against the massive army of King Xerxes, and was the most influential battle of the entire war. Up to this point, the Persian army was seen as too massive and powerful to be stopped. The once warring city-states of Greece knew they couldn’t stand against the Persians alone, and knew in order to defend their homeland they would have to unite. A unity of command was agreed upon; King Leonidas of Sparta was chosen to lead the Greek forces. He was chosen to lead because of the unsurpassed warring abilities the Spartans were so well known for made him perfect for the objective of stopping the Persians.