- Slides: 39
The Greco-Persian Wars 499 -479 B. C. Lesson 3: Page 73 in your textbook
Historical Sources Herodotus, the main historical source for this conflict Thucydides continued Herodotus's narrative
Causes of the Greco-Persian Wars Guiding Question 1: What caused a series of wars between Greece and its rival, Persia? Guiding Question 2: What did the Greek city-states do to defend themselves against Persian invaders?
Where is Persia?
The Challenge of Persia As the Greeks colonized throughout the Mediterranean, they came into conflict with the Persian Empire to the east.
The Challenge of Persia By the mid-sixth century BC, the Persian Empire controlled the Ionian Greek cities in western Asia Minor.
The Challenge of Persia In 499 BC, these Ionian cities attempted a revolt against the Persians and their ruler, Darius. The Ionians were assisted by the Athenian Navy.
The Challenge of Persia The revolt was unsuccessful. In fact, it was crushed rather quickly. But their attempt prompted Darius to seek revenge.
Revenge of Darius decided to punish Athens for helping the colonies. After training for a few years, Darius sent troops to invade Greece.
Call for Alliances Athens asked Sparta to help, but Spartan troops would not arrive for 9 days (they were in the middle of religious festivals) Other jealous city-states decided not to help Athens against the Persian Empire So Athens took on the mighty Persian Empire by themselves
Battle of Marathon The Persian ships sailed to the Bay of Marathon, only 26 miles from Athens.
A Serious Mismatch Persian troops— 100, 000 Athenian troops— 20, 000 Did Athens really have any hope against these odds?
Victory! The Athenian army was well-trained and did not break formation as they charged the Persian lines The organized charge surprised the large but scattered (and poorly organized) Persian army
A Slaughter The Persian soldiers turned and ran from the oncoming Athenians. The Athenian army almost drove the Persians back to the sea Final tally Persians— 6, 400 dead Athens— 192 dead Darius returned to Persia never to return
Connection to the Past The modern marathon has its roots in the Battle of Marathon. A Greek soldier, Phidippides, ran from Marathon to Athens (26 miles) to tell the Athenians of the Greek victory, and to warn them that the Persians may try to attack.
Connection to the Past Phidippides died from exhaustion after delivering his message. Today’s 26 mile marathon races commemorate his heroic act.
Phidippides Arrival at Athens
Bellringer – Write a Paragraph What were the main causes of the first war between Greece and Persia?
The Second Persian War 480 B. C.
The Empire Strikes Back After Darius died in 486 BC, Xerxes became the new Persian emperor. Xerxes promised revenge and planned to invade Greece.
Sparta joins the fight In preparation for the attack, some of the Greek states formed a defensive league under the Spartans. The Spartan league was led by Spartan warrior king Leonidas.
Athenian Strategy The Athenians however, followed a new military policy insisted on by Themistocles, one of the Athenian military leaders. This policy was to strengthen their navy. By the time the Persians invaded in 480 BC, the Athenians had a fleet of about 200 ships.
The Persian Side Xerxes led a massive invasion force into Greece. His forces included about 180, 000 troops, and thousands of warships and supply vessels.
Battle of Thermopylae The Persian army lands in northern Greece They were met by a force of Greeks at a narrow mountain pass called Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae This small mountain pass controlled access to all of Greece.
Battle of Thermopylae The Greeks tried to delay the Persians at Thermopylae, along the main road to central Greece. A Greek force of about 7, 000 held off the Persian army for two days.
300 Spartans A group of 300 Spartans in the Greek army were especially brave. When told that Persian arrows would darken the sky in battle, one Spartan responded “That’s good news, we will get to fight in the shade”
Primary Source “Here they (the Spartans) defended themselves to the last, such as still had swords using them, and the others resisting with their hands and teeth; till the barbarians who…. now encircled them upon every side, overwhelmed and buried the remnant that was left beneath showers of missile weapons. ” -Herodotus, The Persian Wars
300 Spartans A Greek traitor showed the Persians a secret passageway. This allowed the Persians to sneak up from behind attack the Greeks Most of the Greek defenders ran away, but the 300 Spartans fought until their deaths.
Athens Burned The Persians poured into Greece. They got their revenge by burning Athens to the ground. What were the Greeks to do?
Battle of Salamis As their city-state burned the Athenian people and the army escaped to the island of Salamis. The Persians were quick to follow. The Athenian navy would play a key role in their victory.
Those Clever Athenians When the Persians approached Salamis, the Greeks ships first sailed from shore like they were fleeing the island. They then turned quickly around and began ramming the Persian ships. Before the Persians knew what had happened, half of their fleet was on the ocean floor
How did the Greeks do it? Three reasons 1. Inherent advantage of the defender 2. They were better soldiers 3. They used the element of surprise
Effects of the Persian Wars 1. Victory in the Persian Wars increased the Greeks’ sense of their own uniqueness. 2. The gods, they felt, had protected their superior form of government, the city state (polis), against invaders from Asia. 3. Athens emerged from the war as the most powerful city state in Greece.