Presentation on theme: "The Persian Wars. 500 B.C.E.---------------------------------448 B.C.E. The “Persian Wars” were a series of wars between the Greek world and the Persian."— Presentation transcript:
The Persian Wars
500 B.C.E B.C.E. The “Persian Wars” were a series of wars between the Greek world and the Persian Empire that lasted roughly from 500 B.C.E. until 448 B.C.E.
The Persian Wars began when Persia began to require both money and military service from Greek colonies in Persian Asia Minor. They revolted in 499 B.C.E. with the help primarily of Athens.
Unfortunately for the colonies, Athens went home shortly thereafter leaving them to suffer the wrath of the Persians.
Persia’s King Darius was not satisfied simply punishing the Greek colonies. In 490 B.C.E., Darius sent a huge army in 600 ships to attack Athens.
They landed at Marathon.
The Athenian forces sought help from Sparta to repel the invading Persians. Pheidippides was sent from Marathon to Sparta seeking help.
Sparta was in the middle of a religious festival and could not send troops to help for another day. Pheidippides ran back to the Greeks at Marathon with the bad news and then fought with the Greeks against the Persians.
Amazingly, the Athenians defeated mighty Persia at Marathon. The Persians lost 6,400 men and the Athenians only lost 192 soldiers.
The defeat of the Persians at Marathon began a period of Athenian superiority in Greece. Why did this surprising victory lead to the Golden Age?
Ten years later, the Persians decided to attack again. Darius I had died and his son, Xerxes, was now king. He had vowed to avenge the loss at Marathon.
To attack Greece, Xerxes created a bridge across a thin strip of water called the Hellespont. He tied 300 boats together to cross the one mile wide Hellespont.
The Persians marched to a small pass called Thermopylae. The pass was so small, they had to march through single file.
At Thermopylae, the Persians met the Spartans who had teamed up with Athens. After a fierce battle, Persia won.
Now, the Persians set out for Athens. Knowing the Persians were coming, Athens was evacuated.
Outnumbered by the Persians, the Greeks had to trick the Persians. Led by a Spartan general, they tricked the Persians to fight them in a naval battle in a narrow place called Salamis.
Xerxes took the bait and attacked. Because Salamis was narrow, it prevented the Persians from using their full naval strength. As Xerxes watched in shock, half of the Persian navy was destroyed by the quicker Greek fleet.
In shock, Xerxes retreated to Persia and, for the most part, the Persian War was over. Athens and the Greeks had beaten the largest power on Earth.
Athens’ victory in the Persian Wars began the Golden Age for Athens. Why was the victory over the Persians so important for Athens?