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

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Presentation on theme: "The Persian Wars Athens and Sparta Unite 499 – 479 B.C.E."— Presentation transcript:

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

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 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: 0Persia: 1

7 The Battle of Marathon

8 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: 1Persia: 1

10 The Battle of Thermopylae: 300

11 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: 1Persia: 2

13 The Battle of Salamis

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15 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: 2Persia: 2

17 The Battle of Plataea

18 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: 3Persia: 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”


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