Sparta, Not Athens, Won The War Against Persia

989 words - 4 pages

The Greek victory against Persia was largely due to efforts of mainly Athens but also Sparta as well. Athens was responsible for the major turning points of the Persian invasions, while Sparta was responsible for the deciding battle. Miltiades, with his skilful battle strategies, defeated the Persians during their second invasion at Marathon, which gave Athens a confidence boost on their military. During the third invasion, when the Athenians were evacuated to Salamis, Themistocles had devised a plan to trick the Persians which had resulted in Persian army without a supply line. Sparta?s importance had revealed during their sacrifice at Thermopylae and at Plataea, where they provided the most effective part of the army.

Athens was an important contributor to the Persian wars. Its tremendous naval power along with their smart and innovative leaders, Miltiades and Themistocles, brought victory in situations which had thought to be impossible. An example of this is the battle at Marathon during the second invasion. The Athenians met the Persian?s large army among the hills, where their cavalry would ineffective, which was their strongest quality. Miltiades, informed by some Ionians that the Persian cavalry was absent, convinced Callimachus to strike. The battle had resulted in a win for Athens, without the help of Sparta and showed the superiority of the Greek hoplites compared to their Persian counterparts. Miltiades, knowing that the Persian?s strongest troops were placed in the middle and absence of cavalry, devised a strategy to encircle their enemy by strengthening their wings. This strategy is what brought victory, and in turn, was a moral victory for the Athens and eradicated the impression that Persians were unbeatable. The major turning point of the Persian wars was the battle won by the Athenians at Salamis. The battle here had shown the strength of the Athenian naval power. Themistocles was aware that the only way to defeat the Persians was to cut of their naval power, so he devised a plan. He sent a slave to the Persians with a message that they were escaping, and the Persians sent ships to meet there escapees. The Athenian ships were prepared to face them. Their specialty in sea battles, along with the narrowness and swirls of the sea gave the Athenians an advantage. This strategy is what ultimately brought victory to the Greeks, as it left the Persians without a supply line and weakened their forces. The two events, the battle at Marathon and the battle at Salamis, showed that Athens was a great contributor to the war, both land and sea.

Sparta was also a contributor to the defeat of the Persians. They were renowned for their great military strength and discipline on land. This gave fear to everyone who was facing the Spartans. In the battle at Marathon, the Persians had to attack soon, knowing that if they didn?t, the superior Spartan warriors would arrive. This fear forced the Persians to hurry their...

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