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Crucial Battles Of The Persian Wars

2004 words - 8 pages

ANCIENT HISTORY ASSESSMENT TASK - Ben PilgrimSalamis or PlataeaThe Ionian revolt provoked the Greeks and the Persians to start what is known as the Persian Wars. With the large pockets of Ionians living in Persia getting more and more discontent, a revolt was imminent. The first thing the revolting Ionians set out to do was to rid the Ionian cities of tyrants and set up democracies in their place. The Ionians were not alone, the Athenians sent 20 ships and the small city of Eretria managed to send 5 ships to aid the Ionians. In 498 BC, Sardis, the headquarters of the Persian satraps, was attacked. An accidental fire broke out and the city was destroyed. The Ionians suffered a defeat while retreating from the burning city of Sardis. They fought with a Persian force at Ephesus and were defeated. When news filtered back to the Persian king Darius of the Athenians actions, he was enraged. He told a servant to repeat the words "remember the Athenians" three times a day. With the revolt now widespread throughout Ionia, many cities gained freedom from Persia. The revolt ended in the siege of Miletus in 494. The Persian Fleet of around 600 ships had blockaded the city. The Greek fleet only had around half the number of ships as the Persians, and the ensuing battle had disastrous results for the Greeks. With Lesbos and Samos medising and joining the Persians, the Persians had a comfortable victory and later ransacked the city of Miletus.Its is generally believed that the Persians' reason for attacking Greece in 490 BC was to gain revenge on Athens and Eretria for the role they played in the Ionian revolution. The Persians easily conquered smaller states such as Boeotia and Thessaly, while in Sparta and Athens, the envoys sent by the Persians were killed, this would only further enrage the Persians. The Persians landed at a quiet bay, some 42 kilometres away from Athens. It is thought that the Persians planned to lure the Athenians away from Athens, and therefore make the conquest of Athens much easier. The Athenians set up camp in the foothills at Agriliki, blocking the way to Athens for the Persians. The Persians took up position on the plain of marathon, on the bank of the river Charadnos. No fighting took place for a few days, it is thought that this was because of the Persians waiting for Hippias to sabotage the Athenians' plans or that it was caused by the Athenians stalling and waiting for the mighty Spartans to arrive. The Persians became worried about the imminent arrival of the Spartans and decided to send troops by ship to Phaleron bay to try and take over Athens before the Athenians could march back form Marathon. Ionian spies informed the leader of the Athenians, Miltiades, of the Persians departure. Miltiades decided to attack the Persians, in the hope that the lack of the cavalry would bolster the Athenians chances of victory. Even with the lack of the cavalry, the Athenians were still outnumbered almost 3:1.The Athenians only hope was a...

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