The Persian Wars Main Idea: The Athenian navy played a major role in the defeat of the Persian Empire and becomes an empire of it’s own.
The Persian Empire • Persia- Largest and most powerful empire in the western world • In 545 B.C. they invaded and conquered Ionia • 20 years later the Ionians revolt and ask the city-states of mainland Greece to help them. • Persians squash the revolt, the Persian King Darius decided to punish the mainland Greeks for their participation.
The Battle of Marathon • Darius sent a fleet (group) of warships to the shores of Greece- landing at Marathon, a city 26 miles outside of Athens • The Greeks launched a surprise attack and defeated the Persians! • A Greek soldier, Pheidippeds, ran ahead to Athens to tell them of the victory- he ran the full 26.3 miles! • Arriving in Athens he yelled Nike! (Greek term for victory) and then fell dead from exhaustion! • This is how we got the term and distance for the modern marathon. • The victory of Marathon gave the Greeks the confidence they needed to continue to fight off the Persians.
The Persistent Persians… • The Athenians prepared incase the Persians decided to attack again….. They did • How did the Athenians prepare? They advanced their technology- by building better ships called TRIREMES. http://www.google.com/imgres?
The Persians Defeated • Xerxes conquers northern Greece • To stop the conquest 20 Greek city-states band together, Sparta leading the army, Athens led the navy. • The Persians beat the Spartans at Thermopylae and enter Athens and set it on fire. • The Greeks had a trick up their sleeves- they led the Persians into a dangerous waterway, trapping and defeating them. • Xerxes returns to Persia, the Greeks fully defeat the remaining troops at the battle of Plataea- destroying the Persian navy and ending the war.
Result of the Persian Wars • Persia still rules Ionia • To prevent future attacks the Athenians suggest that the Greeks create a defensive league (protective group) • Called the Delian League