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Detail of Persian Campaigns

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1 Detail of Persian Campaigns
The Persian War Detail of Persian Campaigns

2 Who were the Persians? Centered in modern day Iran, which literally means “Land of the Aryans” At height, the Persian Empire covered the territory shown above

3 Rise of Persia: the Achaemenids
Ruling Dynasty from BC Controlled a vast empire from 530 BC forward

4 Darius I: “King of Kings” (521-486 BC)
Established Imperial Government Divided empire into 20 Satrapies Maintained large bureaucracy and spy network “Royal Road” from Persepolis (capital) to Sardis, in Asia Minor Ruled through local “client kings” who paid homage to Darius as their leader

5 Causes of the First Persian War
Ionian Greeks (living along coast of Black Sea) were being oppressed by a client king of the Persians In 499 BC, Ionian Greeks rebelled against client state’s rule and asked for help from mainland Greeks; Athens sent 20 warships to assist them

6 First Persian War Persians reasserted control by 495 BC; Darius decided to punish Athens In 492 BC, he sent a large fleet and army across Aegean Sea, landing near Athens Persian army approximately 30,000 troops; Athenian army about 9,000 Outnumbered Greeks met the Persians at the seashore

7 Battle of Marathon, 490 BC Persian camp was on seashore
Persian warships were beached Greeks assembled for battle Made center of phalanx purposefully thinner Massed troops on ends of lines Persian preparations

8 Battle of Marathon, 490 BC

9 Battle of Marathon, 490 BC . . . And performed a double envelopment of the Persian army Most of Persian navy launched without waiting for Persian soldiers; many drowned or were speared in water

10 First Persian War Aftermath
Greeks unified in face of perceived threat to their way of life, form Greek League Persian empire was in disarray due to loss; Darius spent next 4 years putting down revolts, until his death in 486 BC Son, Xerxes, assumed power, and prepared massive invasion force for return to Greece to avenge father’s loss

11 Second Persian War (480-479 BC)

12 Second Persian War Xerxes invaded Greece
250,000 soldiers from all over empire (Asia / Africa / SW Asia) 1000 ships paralleling army Crossed Hellespont over bridge of boats Met Spartans in battle in mountain pass at Thermopylae, in central Greece King Leonidas of Sparta led 300 Spartans and 3700 other Greeks in desperate stand to slow Persian advance Hollywood’s Leonidas Greece’s Leonidas

13 Battle of Thermopylae For three days, Leonidas held Persians off, killing thousands of Persians; but a Greek traitor showed Persians a way around the Spartan blockade; they were attacked from rear and destroyed to the man

14 Fall of Athens and Salamis
Persians marched on Athens, destroyed abandoned city Xerxes brought fleet up to destroy Athenian navy and kill Athenians who took refuge on island of Salamis Battle of Salamis ensued; Outnumbered Greeks destroyed Persian navy Lured Persians into narrow straits & negated their #s

15 Salamis Following defeat, Xerxes abandons army and returns to Persia; army defeated in 478 BC at Battle of Platea

16 Significance of Persian Wars
Greek victory allowed Golden Age of Greece to occur, allowing for Western philosophy, art, culture to come into its own and spread throughout Europe, US Persian victory would have snuffed out idea of democracy Persian victory would have changed our world today

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