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Classical Greece. World History I. The Persian Wars. The Persian Wars began when Greek cities, aided by the Athenian army, tried to revolt against the Persian empire. Darius , the Persian leader looked for revenge. The Persians attacked the Athenians at Marathon, only 26 miles from Athens.

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classical greece

Classical Greece

World History I

the persian wars
The Persian Wars
  • The Persian Wars began when Greek cities, aided by the Athenian army, tried to revolt against the Persian empire.
    • Darius, the Persian leader looked for revenge.
  • The Persians attacked the Athenians at Marathon, only 26 miles from Athens.
    • Despite being outnumbered, the Athenians defeated the Persians.
  • Xerxes, who ruled Persia after Darius’s death vowed revenge and planned on invading Greece.
the persian wars cont
The Persian Wars, cont.
  • In 480 BC, the Persians attacked Greece.
    • They brought 180,000 troops and thousands of ships.
    • 7,000 Greeks, including 300 Spartans, held off the Persians for two days at Thermopylae.
      • This allowed the Greeks living in Athens to escape before the Persian Army arrived and destroyed the city.
      • A traitor informed the Persians of the Greek plan and the Persians were able to outflank them.
    • The Greeks were able to defeat the Persians at the island of Salamis and later at Plataea, resulting in victory over Persia.
impact of the persian wars
Impact of the Persian Wars
  • After the defeat of Persia, Athens became the leaders of the Greek world.
  • A defensive alliance called the Delian League was formed against the Persians.
    • The Delian League was able to liberate all of the Greek states from Persian Control.
    • Over time, Athens took control of the Delian League.
      • They made smaller city-states pay taxes to remain a member.
    • By controlling the Delian League, Athens had created an empire.
the age of pericles
The Age of Pericles
  • Under the leadership of Pericles, Athens expanded its empire abroad.
  • Athens became deeply attached to its democratic system.
    • Athens was a direct democracy, meaning the people participate directly in government decisions through mass meetings.
  • Pericles made lower-class male citizens eligible for public office.
  • A body of officials ran the government on a daily basis.
the age of pericles cont
The Age of Pericles, cont.
  • The Athenians also came up with the practice of ostracism.
    • This was done to protect themselves against overly ambitious politicians.
      • If a person was identified as being a threat by enough people , that person would be banned from the city for at least ten years.
  • Under Pericles, Athens was rebuilt.
    • Art, architecture, and philosophy flourished.
    • Athens was known as “the school of Greece.”
the great peloponnesian war
The Great Peloponnesian War

After the defeat of the Persians, the Greek world was divided into two major parts, Athens and Sparta.

the peloponnesian war cont
The Peloponnesian War, cont.
  • Sparta feared the continued growth of Athens.
    • A series of disputes led to war breaking out in 431 BC.
      • Sparta disliked Athens forcing smaller city-states to pay them to remain in the Delian League.
      • Athens began attacking other Greek cities to gain more trade routes.
  • Athenian strategy was to stay behind its walls.
    • Pericles knew that Athens couldn’t defeat the Spartans in open battles.
    • Plague broke out in Athens at this time, killing over 1/3 of Athens’ population.
    • Despite this, Athens fought on for the next 25 years.
the peloponnesian war cont1
The Peloponnesian War, cont.
  • In 405 BC, the Athenian fleet was destroyed.
    • Within the next year, Athens surrendered.
      • Athens’ walls were torn down and navy was disbanded.
      • The Athenian Empire was destroyed.
  • The Great Peloponnesian War weakened the major Greek city-states.
    • Any possibility of cooperation among them was ruined.
    • Sparta, Athens, and Thebes struggled for control among the city-states, ignoring Macedonia to the north.