The Persian Wars

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Transcript The Persian Wars

The Persian Wars
War in Ancient Greece
Ohio’s Learning Standards
• History Standard 2:
• The civilizations that developed in Greece and Rome had an enduring impact on
later civilizations. This legacy includes governance and law, engineering and
technology, art and architecture, as well as literature and history. The Roman
Empire also played an instrumental role in the spread of Christianity.
• Expectations for Learning:
• Cite examples and explain the enduring impact that Ancient Greece and Ancient
Rome had on later civilizations.
• In this Lesson:
• Cite examples and explain the enduring impact that Ancient Greece had on
later civilizations.
The Ionian Revolt
• Persia conquered the Greek city-state of Ionia in western
• The Ionian city-states were used to governing themselves
(democracy), so they rebelled in 500 B.C.
• To help the Ionians, Athenian soldiers burned the Persian
city of Sardis.
• This enraged Emperor Darius, the Persian king.
• After his troops recaptured the Ionian cities Darius set
out to conquer Greece.
Geography of Ancient Greece
Why would Darius
want to conquer
Darius Invades Greece
• In 490 B.C., about 20,000
Persian soldiers sailed for
• They landed by the plain of
Marathon, near Athens.
• This flat plain seemed like
the perfect battleground for
the Persian cavalry (soldiers
on horseback)
Greeks Outnumbered!
• Although the Athenian
infantry (foot soldiers),
rushed to Marathon, their
situation looked hopeless.
• The Athenians were
outnumbered two to one!
• Also unlike the Persians, they
had no archers or cavalry!
The Battle of Marathon
• Despite their disadvantages,
the Athenians attacked the
day after the Persians
• At dawn, Greek phalanxes
raced across the plain, taking
the Persians by surprise.
• In panic, the Persians fled to
their ships!
Connections to Today
• In ancient times, a legend
told of a messenger who
died after running 26 miles
to carry the news of the
victory back to Athens.
• Ever since then, the world
“marathon” has been used
to describe a challenging
The Second Persian War
• Darius died before he could
launch another attack.
• His son Xerxes, was
determined to defeat the
• In 480 B.C., Xerxes assembled
an invasion force of about
100,000 men!
The Persian Empire
• The Persian empire was the
superpower of its day.
• Because it controlled Egypt,
Persia was able to add the
Egyptian army to its ranks
• Although the Persians did not
have a navy, they used ships
of the Phoenicians, who
were part of their empire.
The Battle of Thermopylae
• The Spartans moved north
to block the huge army.
• Led by King Leonidas, a
small Spartan force stopped
the Persians at a narrow
mountain pass called
The Downfall
• The Spartans held off the
invaders for days.
• Then, a Greek traitor showed
the Persians another path
through the mountains.
• Attacked from both sides, the
Spartans died heroically, in
defense of Greece!
The Persians Advance on Athens
• With no Greek army to stop them,
the Persians now advanced on
• The Athenian leader Themistocles
convinced Athenians to flee to
nearby islands.
• When the Persians reached Athens,
they found the city almost empty.
The Burning of Athens
• Xerxes burned Athens and sent his
ships to pursue the Greek navy.
• The Persians had 1,200 warships.
• Three times more ships than the
• Confident of victory, Xerxes had
his throne placed on a hill to
watch the naval battle in the
Straight of Salamis.
Themistocles Trap
• Themistocles kept his
Greek ships hidden
until the Persian ships
filled the narrow
• They rammed the
crowded Persian ships,
splintering their hulls.
The Battle of Salamis
• By nightfall, the straight was
clogged with more than 200
broken Persian ships.
• The Greeks lost only about 40
• The Battle of Salamis broke the
Persian Navy
• After another defeat for Xerxes
on land, the Persians returned
Victory for Athens!
• After defeating the Persians at
Salamis, Athens enjoyed a
“golden age”.
• The Athenian leader Pericles
began rebuilding the city,
which became famous for its
art and learning.
• The wealth and power of the
city increased.
The Persian Wars
Post War Impact
• Athens vs. Sparta
• Athens=Strongest Navy
• Sparta=Strongest Land
Impact Today
• Survival of Greek
Culture and Ideas
• Democracy
• Education/Language
• Military Power