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The Persian Wars

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  1. The Persian Wars

  2. Do Now • Take out your Lesson 9.1 Questions • Answer the following questions: • Which empire was a growing threat to Greece? • What league was formed in order to defend against them?

  3. Persia • Persia had an enormous empire that stretched from what is now India in the east to Egypt in the west. • It also had gained control over the Greek cities along the coast of Asia Minor.

  4. Persia

  5. Rebellion • 499 B.C. – Greek city-states in Asia Minor rebelled against Persia. • They burned Sardis, the western capital of the Persian Empire. • Athens sent a small fleet of ships to help the rebelling Greeks; the Persians crushed this.

  6. Sardis

  7. Darius I • This angered the Persian leader, Darius I. • He sent a huge army across land and sea to conquer the Greeks. • Forces were stopped short when a storm wrecked the Persian fleet.

  8. Darius I

  9. Battle of Marathon • 2 years later, Darius attacked again, just outside Marathon, 26 miles north of Athens. • He outnumbered the Greeks 2 to 1, and the worried Athenians sent word to Sparta for help. • Fearing the Spartans would arrive too late, the Athenian general took a chance.

  10. Greek City States

  11. Battle of Marathon (Continued) • He ordered the hoplites to line up facing the invaders as usual, but he packed the wings, or the far end of the line, tightly with soldiers. • When the Persians attacked the middle of the line and pushed forward, the Greek wings moved in to surround the Persians. • The much smaller Greek force trapped the mighty Persians and defeated them.

  12. Marathon Formation

  13. Marathon Formation

  14. Greek Legend • A Greek legend tells about a messenger running all the way from Marathon to Athens to report the Greek victory over the Persians. After completing the 26 mile-run to Athens, the messenger died while proclaiming victory. In his honor, the Greeks added a 26-mile race called a marathon to the Olympic Games.

  15. Marathon Route

  16. Battle of Thermopylae • Xerxes was Darius’s son. • 480 B.C. – he led an expedition of about 200,000 soldiers and more than 600 ships to conquer Greek territory. • The Greeks prepared with 200 ships in Athens’s navy, and Sparta and the Peloponnesian League on land.

  17. Xerxes

  18. Xerxes (300 rendition)

  19. Battle of Thermopylae (continued) • Small Greek force fought Xerxes’ army at a mountain pass called Thermopylae. • Greeks defended this until the last soldier fell; Persians broke through, captured Athens, and set the city on fire.

  20. Battle of Salamis • Meanwhile the Athenian navy withdrew to a narrow straight • between the Greek coastline and the island of Salamis.

  21. Battle of Salamis • The Persian ships far outnumbered the Greeks, but their ships were too large to turn quickly in the narrow straight. • The lighter, faster Greek ships rammed into the Persian ships and sank them. • The Greeks destroyed about 200 ships, and Xerxes returned to Asia Minor.

  22. Battle of Salamis

  23. Battle of Salamis Map

  24. Battle of Plataea • On land, the Spartans led the Greek army to victory in the Battle of Plataea. • Although an official peace agreement would not be made for another 30 years, the Persian threat to mainland Greece had been quieted.

  25. Battle of Plataea

  26. Delian League • After the Persian Wars began, Athens and about 150 city-states formed an alliance called the Delian League. • They vowed to fight the Persians and free the Greek lands still under Persian rule. • The members also agreed to pay tribute to Athens in the form of money or ships. • In return, Athens promised to protect the city-states with its powerful navy.

  27. Delian League • 467 B.C. – The Battle of Eurymedon River: the league freed several Greek city-states, pushing the Persians away from the Aegean. • Together, Athens and Sparta had played their roles to win the Persian War, but the victory set the stage for conflict between the two city-states.

  28. Wrap Up • Darius I • Battle of Marathon • Xerxes • Battle of Thermopylae • Battle of Salamis • Battle of Plataea • Delian League • Battle of the Eurymedon River Describe the key people and events of the Persian Wars