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 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, which Herodotus recorded in his writing The Histories, was one of the most arduous and notable battles of western history. Herodotus was an extremely significant historian who lived during the 5th century B.C. In this primary source writing, he portrays how Xerxes was superstitious and tyrannical, how the battle informs you about the Spartan culture, how the values of Greek promoted society, and he displayed how significant the Persian invasion was on Greek development, for example, their political and intellectual expansion. The Persian King Xerxes
The Role of Themistocles in the Greek Defeat of the Persians in 480 - 479 BC.
His force further had innumerable archers. It was with this in mind that the Athenians made the “fateful” decision to train 40,000 men for 200 ships in 481BCE. This force was relatively inexperienced compared to the Persian contingent, which included skilled Phoenician sailors (D.S 11.18.1). The Persians had light, fast boarding ships compared to the Greeks who had stout, strongly built ramming ships (8.10,60). This would prove critical later at the crowded straits of Salamis in 480BCE. If it were not for this fleet, the “Persian conquest of Greece would have been assured.” (7.139). If Persia had control of the sea, defeat by land would quickly have followed due to the inability of the city-states to hold a united front. The halt in city-state squabbles and the creation of the Hellenic League was “no small achievement” and was to the great disadvantage of Xerxes. This clearly was a factor in the overall demise of the campaign. The construction of the Athenian fleet, advocated by Themistocles, was a precursor to this.
The ancient Greeks are known for many things, and one of them is their stories. Whether they are told through epic poetry or drama, these tales have lasted throughout the times. However, as the times change, so did the Greek ideals about heroism and society. In this essay I will be using Homer’s Iliad and Aeschylus’ Persians to illustrate the differences in society and how they affect the heroism in the literature of later periods. The Persian people are depicted in ways that makes them appear weaker than the Greeks, but time changed how this was achieved. Due to a change in the values of Greek society, the Persians were portrayed as weak with the same traits that made Achilles appear to be so strong.
Aeschylus’ The Persians is an Athenian tragedy with a moral purpose designed to reaffirm the power of the Greek gods. In the play, Xerxes’ invasion of Greece is presented as an example of hubris or excessive pride, which must be punished by the gods. Xerxes actions lead to the downfall of his empire and the demoralization of Xerxes. The Persians was written for a Greek audience so naturally it is biased and inconsistent.
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 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
The Persian War was a string of battles fought between Persia and the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta. At impossible odds, the divided Greece was able to unite to defeat the biggest enemy that existed in that time. The fact that even at impossible odds, the Greek army was able to use intellectual military tactics and outsmart the Persians with their colossal army was a huge accomplishment for the Greek city-states. The most important battles of the Persian War were the battle of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea.
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.
Moreover, in the Battle of Thermopylae, Persian forces led by Xerxes outnumbered the Greeks yet again. However, the militant Spartans took up arms and were able to defeat the large Persian army. Thermopylae allowed the Greek forces to come up with various tactics and strategies in order to defeat Persia. Next, the Battle of Salamis was a naval battle between several Greek city-states and Persia. This battle forms the turning point of the Greco-Persian Wars since it ultimately “saved Greece from being absorbed into the Persian Empire and ensured the emergence of Western civilization as a major force in the world.” The ending of the Battle of Salamis left the Persian army trapped in Greece, which paves the way for the final battle of the war, the Battle of Platea. In the battle, the “Greek army came and defeated the weakened Persians, the Persian Wars were over”. The mark of the ending of the Greco-Persian wars gave way to Athens arising from the ashes as the dominant and central city-state of Greece, which then provides political and cultural advancements during its golden age.
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.
The Persian wars were a group of wars between the Persians (the largest empire) and the Greeks (city-states philosophers) from 492 bc to 449bc. The history is told in great part by Herodotus, a Greek historian, considered to write historical bias in regards to Greek & Persian history. Herodotus was said to investigate the Persian war, going through different lands and collecting personal inquiries, myths, legends and accounts of the Persian Wars. He was praised and honored for his recollection of the events, which were both factual and fictional. Herodotus wanted to pass down a history of why these two great people came into battle from a personal point of view.
In 480 BC, when the Persian horde, estimated by some historians to range from 300,000 to 1.7 million soldiers, landed on the shores of Thermopylae, the Persian King Xerxes sent emissaries to the leaders of the Greek city-states demanding their surrender and patronage to the Persian Empire (Frye, 2006). Despite the massive threat that was encamped on the shores off the Gulf of Maliakos in small town known as Trachis, the Greeks refused. Sparta, known for their superior military might, were chosen by the Greek leaders to lead a coalition of Greek warriors to defend their homeland from the invading Persian army (Frye, 2006).