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athens and sparta unite 499 479 b c e n.
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The Persian Wars

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  1. Athens and Sparta Unite 499 – 479 B.C.E. The Persian Wars

  2. Background • The Persian Empire largest and most powerful empire • The Persians ruled Africa, the Middle East, and Asia • 499 B.C.E., Persians attack mainland Greece • Compared to Persia, in terms of land and soldiers, Greece was very small

  3. The Ionian Revolt: The Persian Wars Begin

  4. The Ionian Revolt

  5. The Ionian Revolt • Persian ruler, King Darius, divided empire into 20 provinces • Provinces made up of Persian leaders, but kept local customs • 546 B.C.E., Persians conquered Greek settlements in Ionia. Ionians lost farmland and harbors, forced to pay taxes, and serve in Persian army

  6. Ionian Revolt • 499 B.C.E., Ionians asked mainland Greece for help • Athens sent soldiers and a small fleet of ships • Athens support did not last long, Athenians returned to Greece in 493 B.C.E. • Ionians defeated, city of Miletus destroyed, many people sold into slavery as punishment • Darius set his sights on conquering Athens for helping Ionians • Scoreboard: Greece: 0 Persia: 1

  7. The Battle of Marathon

  8. The Battle of Marathon • Darius decided to invade mainland Greece • Darius sent messengers to Greece to ask for presents of earth and water (a sign of Greek acceptance of Persian rule) • Legend: Greeks threw messengers into pits and wells, “If you want Greek earth and water, help yourselves!” • 490 B.C.E. Persia sent large army of foot soldiers and cavalry across Aegean Sea to plain of Marathon on mainland Greece

  9. The Battle of Marathon • Greeks led by Miltades, sent Athenian runner on two day run to Sparta for help • Sparta unable to help due to religious festival • Miltades stretched men across narrow valley, with men in side hills • When Persians attacked in valley, men from hills came down and swarmed Persians; Persians retreated to ships • Why was this important to Greece? Confidence • Scoreboard: Greece: 1 Persia: 1

  10. The Battle of Thermopylae: 300

  11. The Battle of Thermopylae: 300 • Darius died, son Xerxes built huge army (180,000) to attack Greece • Xerxes crossed small channel to Greece by roping boats together • 480 B.C.E. moved south, Athens and Sparta united • Athens set out to defeat Persian navy; Sparta set out to fight the army (led my Leonidas)

  12. The Battle of Thermopylae: 300 • Spartans made stand at Thermopylae due to narrow pass through mountains • Spartans: 7,000 soldiers; Persians: 180,000 • Spartans successful until Spartan traitor shared secret passage through mountains, Persians able to attack from front and rear • Most Spartans retreated, Leonidas stayed to fight with 300 soldiers; brave fight but all killed • Athenians panicked and fled city to islands, Athens burned to the ground • Scoreboard: Greece: 1 Persia: 2

  13. The Battle of Salamis

  14. The Battle of Salamis

  15. The Battle of Salamis • Athenian naval leader, Themistocles had plan of victory • Trick Persians into entering narrow sea channel where they would be unable to turn ships • Themistocles sent slave to Xerxes with message that Themistocles wanted to change sides; if Xerxes attacked at channel in Salamis, Greece would surrender

  16. The Battle of Salamis • Xerxes sent ships to channel, Greek ships retreated to draw Persians in • Greek ships quickly surrounded Persian ships and used wooden rams on front of ships to sink over 300 Persian ships (the Greeks lost 40) • Scoreboard: Greece: 2 Persia: 2

  17. The Battle of Plataea

  18. The Battle of Plataea • Xerxes retreated to water bridge (boats tied together); bridges destroyed by storms • Xerxes fled channel, but left Persian forces behind on mainland Greece to attack Athens in the spring • Athens and Sparta joined once more; with an army of 80,000 troops, the Greeks defeated the Persians one last time at Plataea • Final score: Greece: 3 Persia: 2

  19. Conclusion • Why were the Greeks able to win? • National Pride: Sparta and Athens were able to put aside differences and unite in common goal • Geography: Greeks were able to use geography to their advantage • Comparison to today? • American Revolution; others? • Final results: Athens rebuilt, “Golden Age of Athens”