Perisan Wars Essay, Research Paper
Persian Wars The Persian Wars started due to some of the cities in Ionia revolting against Darius I, Persia s king, around 499 BC. Greeks has settled there for many years, but around 520 BC the Persians conquered it. The Greeks after awhile revolted against the Persians and Darius. The city of Athens sent soldiers and ships to Ionia to help. After Darius and his troops defeated Ionia, he vowed he would take Athens out next due to them trying to help Ionia. Darius arrived on Marathon northeast of Athens with his fleet of 25,000 men. There, 10,000 Athenians, where ready for Darius onslaught of men with phalanxes. The Athenians charged at the Persians and defeated the mighty Persians. These phalanxes were a great way to protect the Athenians. With this victory the Athenians made their city defenseless because the whole army was battling. By the time the whole army marched to Athens the Persians ships could have reached Athens. Without the Athenians knowing that Athens was victorious they probably would surrender the city without a fight. So a young runner named Pheidippides, ran naked to Athens, which is 26 miles. As he arrived he breathed his last breath and said Rejoice, we conquer. Then he died. The Persians arrived shortly after but realized Athens already knew that they had defeated them earlier and the Persians left. Shortly after, 10 years approxatmly, Darius died. His son, who was his successor. His son s name was Xerxes I and he was determined to take over Greece. He assembled a huge army of ships and men. His army was many times larger than the Greeks, who were badly divided. Some of the city-states wanted to fight the Persians, but others thought it would be better just to let Xerxes take over Athens. Even some of the Geeks fought on the Persians side. With this Xerxes and his army hardly even had a match against the Greeks. As they were marching down the eastern coast, 85 miles northeast of Athens,
Xerxes and his army came across a narrow pass through the mountains at Thermopylae. There were an estimated 7,000 Greeks, including about 300 Spartans, blocking the way of the army. Once again like his dad Xerxes underestimated the Greeks and Spartans and for three straight days the ground was tainted with the Persians blood. After all the bloodshed a Greek man told Xerxes about a secret pass around the cliffs. The Greeks were now in trouble. The Spartan leader, Leonidas, told all of the Greeks from other city-states to retreat, and the Spartans would hold the Persians of as long as they could. There at Themopylae, all the Spartan soldiers were killed by the Persians. After this the Athenians only hope was at sea. So they left with a fleet of 310 ships and headed out sea. As they approached the island of Salamis, both sides left and right , blocking both ends of the channel, were huge masses of Persian ships. They were trapped, but Themistocles knew the waters around Salamis then the Persians. Due to the narrow channel the large Persian fleets would be a disadvantage instead of being an advantage. So the Athenians went straight for the Persian ships with battering rams which made holes in the ships. Two hundred Persian ships were sunk, others were captured, and the rest fled. Xerxes and his forces hastened back to Persia. The rest of the Persian army fought the Spartans in another great battle , which took place on the plain of Plataea. As a result that ended the the second invasion, by Persia, of Greece. As a result of the Greeks defeating the Persians basked in glory. The Athenians alone had challenged the Persians power from day one. Many Athenians heroes fall during their battles but they remained in all of the peoples hearts. The peoples pride in themselves an their city soared to new heights. After the wars the Athenians made the Delian League which was 140 city-states together which would ward of any future attacks from the Persians. These city-states had to pay yearly dues to Athens. The League was just another name for the Athenian empire. The victory and how much money the empire had set the stage for a great outburst of creativity in Athens. This was the cities golden age.