Background • Persia=Iran today • In power from 600—500 BC. • Great military state • Leader: Cyrus the Great (580—529 BC) • Took over Asia Minor in 546 BC. • Athenians upset cause of colonies there—revolts occur. • Darius I (550—486 BC) hated the Greeks. He sent messengers warning of an attack. • 9 years planning for one. • The Athenians asked the Spartans for help if the Persians attacked. • They both then ignored the Persian warnings.
490 BC—Persians attack Greeks. • Battle of Marathon (WIN for Greeks) • 20000 Persians vs. 10000 Athenians. • Persians land on Plains of Marathon, 26 miles from Athens. • Pheidippides sent to Sparta requesting help. • “Rejoice! We are victorious.” • Sparta could not help because of a helot revolt. • Miltiades (Milt tee add eez) uses hoplites to attack Persians. • Result: 6400 Persians killed, 192 Athenians. • Persians went to out to sea… and waited!
Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) • Sparta agrees to help Athens after seeing the Persians can be defeated. • Themistocles (Them miss stock a leez) new general. • Army up to 150 000 soldiers strong, with aid from Sparta. They built 200 ships. Persia had 500 ships. • Persia had a new leader, Xerxes. He was arrogant, even had a golden throne. • Greeks to meet the Persians at the narrow passage of Thermopylae.
7300 Greeks at the passage. • A traitor led the Persians around the Greeks. • The 7300 were killed. • Persians “sacked and burned” Athens.
Battle of Salamis Bay (Sept 4, 480 BC) • Greeks ships were waiting in Salamis Bay. • Persian ships too large to enter through straights. They ran into each other and sank. • Persians turned around and retreated. The Greeks followed for a year.
479 BC: 60 000 Greeks destroyed 80 000 Persians at Mycale in Persia. • How were they successful? • They were more organized • They were determined not to be ruled by foreigners • They were unified • Greeks now have complete control of the Aegean world, forming the first global power. • Trade flourished and the power and culture of the Greeks becomes recognized. • The Greeks now have a strong sense of unity for the first time in their history. • This becomes known as the Golden Age of Greece.
The Results of the Persian Wars • The Greeks stopped the Persians. • The Greeks had to unify to defeat the Persians • The Greek hoplite soldier was proven to be superior to the Persian infantry. • Athens gained control of the Aegean Sea, after the Athenian fleet had destroyed the remains of the Persian fleet at Mycale • Sparta becomes jealous of the power that Athens gains from being the main city-state to fight off the Persians.