The Persian Wars, 500 - 479 BC

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by vladimirschmalz
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Social Studies
Ancient History

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The Persian Wars, 500 - 479 BC

The Persian Wars, 500 - 479 BC

The Persian Empire posed the greatest threat to a growing Athens but also allowed Athens to consolidate its control over Greece and to establish itself as the premier city state of ancient Greece.

Time Line


Ionian Revolt

There are two Persian Wars. The first, led by Darius, culminated in the Battle of Marathon, in which an outnumbered Greek force defeated the Persians and ended their initial incursion into Greece.

The Battle of Thermopylae, immortalized in the graphic novel and movie 300, despite the eventual loss of the Greeks, allowed the Athenians the necessary time to plan and prepare for the Persian invasion. It worked too; they formulated the Battle of Salamis, which ultimately led to he defeat of the Persians.

The Battle of Plataea was nominal but important. It was the final battle between the Greeks and the Persians on Greek soil and represented the final (if predictable) defeat of the Persians by the Greeks.

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The Battle of Salamis was the Greeks' last chance against the Persians. The Greeks had evacuated Athens, given it up to the Persians, to lure the Persians into a narrow strait off Athens' coast. There, the smaller, swifter Athenian ships were able to outmanoeuver and destroy the larger, more plodding Persian ships. This effectively ended the Persian Wars.

The Persians arrived in Ionia (modern-day Turkey) and the Ionians called to Athens for help. The Athenians unwittingly submitted to the Persians. When they renegged on their fealty, the Persians resolved to crush them.


Battle of Marathon


Battle of Thermopylae



Battle of Plataea

Battle of Salamis

All images from Wikipedia; all videos from YouTube.


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