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The Persian and Peloponnesian Wars

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1 The Persian and Peloponnesian Wars
Western Civilization Ms. Tully

2 500-338 BCE – Greek civilization reached high point
Philosophy, architecture, drama, warfare Herodotus (ca ) “Father of history” Recorded oral accounts of Persian War

3 The Persian Wars (499-479 BCE)

4 Origins of the Wars Cyrus the Great conquered Ionia in 547 BCE
Appointed tyrants to govern independent- minded Greeks Ionian city-states rebelled against Persian rule in 499 BCE Help from Athens and Eritrea

5 Persians Invade Mainland Greece
Battle of Marathon – 25 miles from Athens Persian war machine – massive naval expedition & infantry Hoplites defeated lightly armed Persian infantry 6400 Persians dead vs. 192 Greeks Greek victory – taught Greeks they could defeat the Persians Persian rule passed from Darius the Great to his son Xerxes Built up massive campaign to invade Greece Temporary setbacks b/c of Egyptian revolts


7 Invasion Round 2 – 480 BCE Unified Greek city-states
Spartans - overall leadership Themosticles of Athens – naval commander Battle of Thermopylae Spartan king Leonidas and his personal bodyguard of 300 men Supported by allied Greek troops Two days of battle against Persians Betrayed by local resident – scouts revealed this to Leonidas

8 Battles of Plataea and Myclae, 479 BCE
Dismissed allied troops – Held pass with 300 men for one more day, but all were killed or captured Persians occupied most of mainland Greece Athens evacuated in advance of Persian invasion Battle of Salamis Naval battle in narrow Salamis straits Persian numbers became a hindrance Greeks won – sinking/capturing 200+ Persian ships Xerxes retreated with majority of his army Battles of Plataea and Myclae, 479 BCE Final defeat of remaining Persian army




12 Significance of Greco-Persian Wars
Demonstrated independence of Greeks – would not be dominated by outside culture or monarchy Monarchy = very un-Greek Symbolized lack of freedom Greeks defined by freedom and independence Ensured that Greek ideals and culture would be passed on to future generations

13 The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE)
Athens formed the Delian League – a military naval alliance of Greek city-states from around the Aegean – shortly after Persian war Led by Pericles (ca BCE) Intellectual, aggressive, imperialistic Eventually became Athenian empire

14 Growing power of Athens worried Sparta
Numerous clashes between allies of Athens and Sparta in years leading up to Peloponnesian wars Led to war between the two city-states and their allies Sparta and its allies besieged Athens repeatedly Athens built walls around city for protection Athenians cloistered in city Plague in 430 – killed 1/3 of population (including Pericles) Athenians had naval power Triremes – Athenian ships built for speed Repeated attacks on coastline of Peloponnesus



17 Peace of Nicias (421 BCE) Invasion of Syracuse
Resulted in cold war (sort of…) Invasion of Melos – demonstration of Athenian brutality Alcibiades (ca BCE) – new ambitious Athenian leader Invasion of Syracuse Alcibiades encouraged Athenians to invaded Syracuse in Sicily Cut off grain supply to Spartans Alcibiades defected from Athenians to Spartans Wanted to avoid trial, had many political enemies Nicias took over command of Athenian military Spartans sent reinforcements to Sicily Syracuse defeated Athenians in 413 BCE

18 Second Phase of Peloponnesian War
Sparta declared war against Athens again in 413 BCE Numerous revolts in Athenian empire (especially islands and Ionia) Sparta created alliance with Persians Alcibiades idea Persians agreed to build navy fleet for Sparta so they could defeat Athenians

19 Alcibiades leaves Sparta for Athenians
Led a series of victories against Spartans – Battle of Syme and Battle of Cyzicus Spartan victory at Battle of Notium (406 BCE) Alcibiades leaves Athens Political infighting within Athens weakens and demoralizes navy Battle of Aegospotami Lysander became new Spartan general – very cunning and excellent military strategist Sailed Spartan fleet to Hellespont – cut off grain supply to Athens Athenian fleet had no choice but to follow – completely defeated

20 Athenians starved into submission – surrendered in 404 BCE
Gave up fleet, overseas possessions Corinth and Thebes wanted Athens destroyed Sparta allowed Athens to remain intact – cited great leadership during Persian war But Athens was beholden to Sparta – never rose to same level of power they once had

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