Persian Wars

Defense of Greece

Battle of Marathon

In 499 BC, a few Greek city in modern Turkey rebelled against Persian rule. A couple of city-states soon sent in troops to help the rebels. The Persians quelled the revolt, but Darius I wanted revenge on the city-states, so he invaded Greece. In 490 BC, he sailed to the Plains of Marathon on his way to Athens. His army of 15,000 soon met the Athenian army of 11,000. Although he outnumbered the Greeks, the Greeks won due to a clever plan of luring the Persians into the center of their forces, using better weapons, and having more brilliant leaders.

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Battle of Thermopylae

After succeeding his father as king of Persia, Xerxes I tried to invade Greece again, this time through the Pass of Thermopylae. To block the Persian assault, 1,400 Spartans were sent to fight Xerxes. The Greek Navy would also engage the Persian Navy to slow their advance. For 3 days, the Spartans led by King Leonidas held off numerous Persian attacks. Eventually though, Xerxes used a secret path to surround Leonidas, and destroy his entire army. The Persians reached and burned Athens, yet bold Greek forces slowly fought back, permanently driving the Persians from Greece.

Battle of Plaetaea

This was the final land battle. In 479 BC Greek states resisted Persian occupation, and Greece wanted to be free again, so Sparta and Athens once again allied, and led a combined attack on the Persian camp at Plataea. The Persians held off one assault, but the Greeks soon withdrew, and the Persians, believing they'd already won, attacked a powerful, and sneaky, Greek phalanx, which destroyed the Persian Army. This, coupled with the naval loss at Salamis, forced them to altogether abandon Greece.

Battle of Salamis

This is a war in which a Greek fleet defeated much of Persia. In 480 B.C, The king of Persia, Xerxes , had about 800 galleys battling the Greeks.The Greek commander, Themistocles, then lured the Persian fleet into the narrow waters of the strait at Salamis, where the massed Persian ships had difficulty maneuvering. Then, the Greeks attacked with many sinking vessels. 300 sank and 40 of Greek's. The rest of the fleet surrendered and ran away.The Battle of Salamis was the first great naval battle recorded in history.