Persian Wars

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War in ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T14:26:48+00:00July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek warfare: hoplite soldiers (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) Wars were very common in ancient Greece. The Greeks lived in little city-states, each one like a small town in the United States today, with no more than about 100,000 people in each city-state. These city-states - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes - were always fighting each other over their borders. [...]

Greek hoplites and democracy – Classical Greece

By |2018-05-30T23:35:45+00:00July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek hoplites and democracy - a Corinthian helmet from the 600s BC Hoplites needed armor When the Greek city-states turned to this new hoplite way of fighting, it meant that each man had to have the right armor. Nobody could fight without a shield, and a helmet, and all that. So you could only be a [...]

Ancient Greek soldiers: the Greek hoplite phalanx

By |2018-05-04T23:13:29+00:00July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Ancient Greek soldiers - Greek hoplites in a phalanx formation (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) Before the hoplite phalanx In the Bronze Age, and in the early part of the Archaic period, Greek soldiers fought their battles the same way most other soldiers did in the Mediterranean and West Asia. They learned to [...]

Battle of Salamis – Second Persian War

By |2018-04-23T08:06:26+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Phoenician ship In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes was attacking Greece. Things looked very bad for the Greeks, when the Greek navy, under the command of the Athenian general Themistocles, wrecked the Persian fleet at Salamis and kept the Persians from taking over Greece. Both the Persians and the Greeks used triremes to fight this naval battle. The Persians had a [...]

Herodotus and his Histories – Who was Herodotus? – Ancient Greece

By |2018-05-11T23:08:35+00:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

A story from Herodotus: Stone statues of Kleobis and Biton Herodotus: "Father of History" Who was Herodotus? People sometimes call Herodotus the "father of history." Herodotus was the first writer that we know of (probably really the first) who tried to (in his own words) find out what had happened in the past [...]

Defeat at Thermopylae – Second Persian War

By |2018-04-23T08:07:48+00:00July 9th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Thermopylae The Spartans fought the Persians at the mountain pass of Thermopylae for three days, while the other Greek soldiers got safely away to the south. At the end of three days, every one of the three hundred Spartan soldiers was dead, along with the Spartan king, Leonidas. But meanwhile the Athenians and other [...]

Thermopylae – Xerxes and the Second Persian War

By |2018-04-23T08:07:20+00:00July 9th, 2017|Greeks, History, West Asia|

Map of Greece showing where Thermopylae is The Greeks heard that Xerxes and the Persians were coming. They disagreed about what to do. The Spartans and Corinthians wanted to abandon northern Greece and only defend southern Greece (where they were). But the Athenians insisted that they should try to defend northern Greece at the [...]

Second Persian War – ancient Greece

By |2017-07-09T02:12:19+00:00July 9th, 2017|Greeks, History, West Asia|

Gold coin of Xerxes (or another Persian king) After the Athenians beat the Persians in the First Persian War, at the battle of Marathon, the Persians left the Greeks alone for ten years. The Persians were busy fighting a revolt in Egypt, and their king Darius had died. But as soon as Darius' son [...]

Battle of Marathon – First Persian War – Ancient Greece

By |2017-12-22T09:46:02+00:00July 7th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Battle of Marathon: The plain of Marathon The First Persian War The Persians were attacking Greece! They landed at Marathon in the fall of 490 BC. When the Athenians heard that the Persians had landed, the citizens (the free men) met in their assembly to decide what to do. Should Athens fight or [...]

First Persian War – Ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T07:33:35+00:00July 7th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Darius I, from the Behistun Inscription in Iran Darius wants revenge After the Ionian Revolt of 499 BC, the Persians and their king Darius wanted to conquer Greece more than ever. Persia wanted more and more land. Also, the Greeks had helped the Ionians to revolt against the Persians, and had marched to [...]