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Analyzing The Battle Of Salamis Essay

1568 words - 6 pages

What causes a military to become great, bond together, and win a significant battle in war? In ancient times, the Greek people, along with their culture, were threatened by the Persian Empire that sought to conquer the Western world. If the Greeks had lost the Persian wars, their way of life and the basis for western civilizations to come would have been lost. The Battle of Salamis was a combination of leadership, technology, and strategy which gave the Greeks an edge on their Persian opponents, setting into affect the beginning of victory for Greece.

The leadership of city- states along with individual leadership that united the Greeks into one fighting force that was fighting for a common cause. One of the main leaders throughout the entire war was Themistocles, a politician from Athens who was a born leader and would lead the Greeks to victory. Before the Battle of Salamis took place, many of the Greek generals wanted to leave the area, thinking that the narrow pass into Salamis was not worth defending; however, Themistocles used his talent of public speaking to keep the Greeks at salamis, saying:

“If these men sail away from Salamis, thou will have no fight at all for the one fatherland; for they will all scatter themselves to their own homes; and neither Eurybiades nor anyone else will be able to hinder them, nor to stop the breaking up of an armament.”(Herodotus 3).

Using his talent as a public speaker, Themistocles was able to unite the Greek city-states, creating one fighting force that would stay at Salamis to fight the mighty Persian army. While having a valiant leader was an important part of Greek leadership, the Athenians provide leadership in the form of naval strength, providing the Greek navy with a vast number of vessels for the battle. In an account of the battle from the Greek historian Herodotus, the Athenians are described as bringing “a hundred and eighty ships (to the battle), a greater number than that furnished by any other people” (Herodotus 1). Rather than sending a small fleet of ships, the Athenians sent their entire navy to help the Greeks defeat the Persians, sending a message that they were determined to help and save the whole country of Greece. Leadership may be a quality of individuals or cities, but during the battle of Salamis, it was the leadership of each city state united as one that helped defeat the Persians. During the battle itself, the Greeks were extremely disciplined, and each city state played a crucial role that needed to be fulfilled in order for the Greeks to be victorious (Gabriel). Unity was the greatest form for the navy itself; through their unity, the Greeks were able to overcome the Persian army and win the battle. For an army to be successful, it can be the simplest of things, such as leadership and unity, which can give an army an edge, and bring success within a battle.

With excellent leadership and a struggle with constant war, the Greeks began a technological...

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