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The Persian Wars

The Persian Wars

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The Persian Wars

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  1. The Persian Wars

  2. Overview Map

  3. 1. What did Athens do to provoke the Persian Empire? Was the Athenian action a good idea?

  4. 1. What did Athens do to provoke the Persian Empire? Was the Athenian action a good idea? • They sent troops to assist some Greek polis (the Ionians) in the Eastern Aegean who were rebelling against Persian control. • Depends on whether you value principle (and possible expansion) or prudence.

  5. 2. What was the Persian reaction to the Athenian interference?

  6. 2. What was the Persian reaction to the Athenian interference? • Understandable anger. Emperor Darius swears to punish the Athenians for their impudence.

  7. 3. The Athenians won at Marathon despite being outnumbered. How?

  8. 3. The Athenians won at Marathon despite being outnumbered. How? • Better troops: Hoplites vs. light infantry • Better tactics: fighting downhill with well-rested and well-fed troops. • Better ideals and morale? Greeks fighting for freedom and to defend their homes. (But hadn’t the Persians conquered many other people defending the same things?)

  9. 4. What would have happened if Athens had lost at Marathon?

  10. 4. What would have happened if Athens had lost at Marathon? • Athens (and quite possibly, eventually all of Greece) is conquered. • The greatness of Athenian and Greek culture never happens: no democracy, no drama, no scientific revolution. • Western civilization as we know it does not exist?

  11. 5. During the second Persian invasion, the Persians occupy and destroy the city of Athens but the war goes on. Why?

  12. 5. During the second Persian invasion, the Persians occupy and destroy the city of Athens but the war goes on. Why? • Because the Athenian populace escapes to an island. Destroying the physical city is not the same as destroying Athens. • Because the Athenian navy is still intact and willing to fight on.

  13. 6. Where and how was the second Persian invasion defeated?

  14. 6. Where and how was the second Persian invasion defeated? • At a great naval battle at the island of Salamis.