Presentation on theme: "Sparta and the Persian Wars. The Rise of Sparta Ever since Messenian Wars Sparta followed an aggressive policy of expansion, partly through war and partly."— Presentation transcript:
The Rise of Sparta Ever since Messenian Wars Sparta followed an aggressive policy of expansion, partly through war and partly through diplomacy. By the beginning of the 5th century Sparta owned the whole of southern Peloponnese, and dominated the rest as the leading power. The armies of Sparta already had a reputation of invincibility Successful reforms in the 7th century had spared Sparta of the worst social/economic/political problems that other Greek cities faced in the 7th and 6th c. While the rest of the Greek world was facing tyranny, poverty and upheaval, Sparta was enjoying prosperity, stability, and political/military success.
Cyrus II and the Foundation Between 550 and 530 BC Cyrus II, establishes a vast empire First he incorporates Media and Persia, then the Assyrian Empire, and then many lands on the east of Iran He establishes a rule based on local diversity, respects local religions and customs His son and heir Cambyses II conquered Egypt.
Darius I (the housekeeper) Darius was a pretender, who prevailed after a bloody succession war. He expanded the empire to the East, and tried to incorporate Europe, including Greece His European campaigns were mostly a failure He organized the Empire, cut new coins (darics), and introduced new laws. His generals were defeated by the Athenians at Marathon.
The Battle of Marathon (490 BC) The first Persian invasion primarily targeted Athens. Spartan help was asked and promised but delayed, due to religious observance. The Athenians alone defeated the invading force with the brilliant tactics of general Miltiades. When the Spartans arrived, they inspected the monument, praised the Athenians and left.
Xerxes 486: Darius dies: Xerxes becomes king 484: Egypt revolts After the suppression of the revolt Xerxes prepares for a campaign against Greece. 480: Xerxes personally leads an invasion of Greece
The real Xerxes A sophisticated, fun- loving womanizer, better suited for the luxuries of the court than the battlefield. Xerxes inherited the Greek campaign from his father. During his reign, a new imperial capital was built, inteded to glorify Persian might
The Battle of Thermopylae 480: Although strategically it was a hopeless undertaking, the stand of king Leonidas and his personal guard at Thermopylae, encourages the fighting Greeks. The Athenians, with an equal spirit of bravery, retreat and allow the city to be burnt to the ground. This is the limit of Xerxes’ successes in Greece
Battle of Salamis (480) In the narrow waters of Salamis the Athenian-led Greek fleet destroys the Persian navy. Xerxes, for fear of being cut off, leaves for Asia His general Mardonius is left behind with much of the land army
The battle of Plataia (479 BC) In the battlefield of Plataia the Spartan army, led by Pausanias, regent for the son of Leonidas, wiped out the Persian land forces. Spartan victory was so swift and decisive that the more populous Athenian army did not even get the chance to get to the battlefield on time. This ended Persian threat against Greece. In future, the Greeks would be the aggressors against Persia.