Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Persian Wars began in 499 BCE, once Greeks in the Persian-controlled territory climbed in the Ionian Revolt.Athens, and also other Greek cities, sent out aid, however were quickly forced to back down after defeat in 494 BCE.Subsequently, the Persians suffered plenty of defeats at the hands of the Greeks, led by the Athenians.Silver mining contributed to the resources of a substantial Greek military that had the ability to rebuke Persian assaults and also eventually loss the Persians entirely.The end of the Persian Wars brought about the increase of Athens together the leader the the Delian League.Key TermsPersian Wars: A series of conflicts, indigenous 499-449 BCE, between the Achaemenid empire of Persia and city-states that the Hellenic world.

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hoplites: A citizen-soldier of one of the old Greek city-states, armed primarily with spears and a shield.

The Persian battles (499-449 BCE) to be fought between the Achaemenid Empire and also the Hellenic civilization during the Greek classical period. The problem saw the climb of Athens, and also led to its golden Age.

Origins that the Conflict

Greeks the the classical period believed, and historians generally agree, the in the after-effects of the autumn of Mycenaean civilization, countless Greek people emigrated and settled in Asia Minor. These settlers were from three tribal groups: the Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians. The Ionians settled along the coasts of Lydia and also Caria, and founded 12 towns that remained politically separate from one another, although castle did recognize a shared cultural heritage. This developed the basis because that an exclusive Ionian “cultural league.” The Lydians of western Asia Minor overcame the urban of Ionia, which put the an ar at conflict with the typical Empire, the precursor come the Achaemenid realm of the Persian Wars, and also a power that the Lydians opposed.

In 553 with 550 BCE, the Persian prince Cyrus led a effective revolt against the last mean king Astyages, and also founded the Achaemenid Empire. See an possibility in the upheaval, the renowned Lydian king Croesus inquiry the oracle in ~ Delphi whether he should attack the Persians in order to expand his realm. According to Herodotus, he got the ambiguous answer the “if Croesus to be to overcome the Halys the would destroy a great empire.” Croesus made decision to attack, and in the process he destroyed his very own empire, v Lydia falling come Prince Cyrus. The Ionians sought to preserve autonomy under the Persians as they had actually under the Lydians, and resisted the Persians militarily for some time. However, due to their unwillingness to rise versus the Lydians during previous conflicts, lock were not granted special terms. Finding the Ionians complicated to rule, the Persians installed tyrants in every city, together a method of control.

Achaemenid empire Map: The Achaemenid realm at its greatest extent.

The Ionian Revolt

In 499 BCE, Greeks in the an ar rose up versus Persian rule in the Ionian Revolt. In ~ the love of the rebellion put a deep dissatisfaction v the tyrants who were appointed by the Persians to dominion the neighborhood Greek communities. Specifically, the riot to be incited by the Milesian tyrant Aristagoras, who in the wake of a failed exploration to overcome Naxos, used Greek unrest against Persian king Darius the great to his very own political purposes.

Athens and also other Greek cities sent aid, however were conveniently forced to ago down after defeat in 494 BCE, at the battle of Lade. As a result, Asia Minor went back to Persian control. Nonetheless, the Ionian rebellion remains far-reaching as the an initial major conflict in between Greece and the Persian Empire, and also the an initial phase that the Persian Wars. Darius vowed to specific revenge against Athens, and developed a plan to dominate all Greeks in an attempt to secure the stability of his empire.

First Persian intrusion of Greece

In 492 BCE, the Persian general, Mardonius, led a campaign through Thrace and also Macedonia. During this campaign, Mardonius re-subjugated Thrace and also forced Macedonia to become a completely submissive client of the Persian Empire, whereas prior to they had maintained a broad degree that autonomy.While victorious, he to be wounded and forced to retreat earlier into Asia Minor. Additionally, he shed his 1200-ship navy fleet to a storm off the coast of mount Athos. Darius sent out ambassadors to all Greek cities to need full submission in light of the current Persian victory, and all urban submitted, v the exception of Athens and also Sparta, both the which enforcement their corresponding ambassadors. This actions signaled Athens’ ongoing defiance and brought Sparta into the conflict.

In 490 BCE, approximately 100,000 Persians landed in Attica intending to dominate Athens, however were beat at the battle of Marathon through a Greek army of 9,000 Athenian hoplites and 1,000 Plateans, led by the Athenian general, Miltiades. The Persian fleet continued to sail come Athens but, see it garrisoned, made decision not to attempt an assault. The fight of Marathon to be a watershed moment in the Persian Wars, in the it prove to the Greeks the the Persians could be defeated. It additionally demonstrated the superiority of the an ext heavily armed Greek hoplites.


Greek-Persian duel: depiction of a Greek hoplite and a Persian warrior fighting each various other on an old kylix.

Interbellum (490-480 BCE)

After the failure of the first Persian invasion, Darius raised a huge army with the will of invading greek again. However, in 486 BCE, Darius’s Egyptian topics revolted, postponing any advancement against Greece. During preparations come march top top Egypt, Darius died and his son, Xerxes I, inherited the throne. Xerxes easily crushed the Egyptians and resumed prepare to invade Greece.

Second intrusion of Greece

In 480 BCE, Xerxes sent a much more powerful force of 300,000 soldiers by land, with 1,207 pearls in support, across a dual pontoon bridge over the Hellespont. This army took Thrace before descending ~ above Thessaly and also Boetia, whilst the Persian marine skirted the coast and also resupplied the soil troops. The Greek fleet, meanwhile, dashed come block Cape Artemision. After gift delayed by Leonidas I, the Spartan king of the Agiad Dynasty, in ~ the battle of Thermopylae (a fight made famous as result of the slim imbalance the forces, through 300 Spartans facing the entire Persian Army), Xerxes advanced into Attica, whereby he captured and also burned Athens. However the Athenians had evacuated the city through sea, and under the command the Themistocles, defeated the Persian fleet at the fight of Salamis.

In 483 BCE, during the period of peace in between the two Persian invasions, a vein of silver- ore had actually been uncovered in the Laurion (a tiny mountain range near Athens), and the ore the was mined over there paid because that the building of 200 warships to combat Aeginetan piracy. A year later, the Greeks, under the Spartan Pausanias, defeated the Persian military at Plataea. Meanwhile, the allied Greek marine won a decisive victory at the battle of Mycale, damaging the Persian fleet, crippling Xerxe’s sea power, and also marking the ascendency the the Greek fleet. Following the fight of Plataea and also the battle of Mycale, the Persians began withdrawing native Greece and never check an invasion again.

Greek Counterattack

The battle of Mycale to be in many ways a turning point, after which the Greeks went on the offensive against the Persian fleet. The Athenian fleet turned to chasing the Persians native the Aegean Sea, and also in 478 BCE, the fleet climate proceeded to capture Byzantium. In the course of law so, Athens enrolled every the island states, and some mainland states, right into an alliance dubbed the Delian League— therefore named due to the fact that its treasury was kept on the sacred island the Delos, whose objective was to proceed fighting the Persian Empire, prepare because that future invasions, and organize a means of splitting the spoils the war. The Spartans, although they had taken part in the war, withdrew into isolation afterwards. The Spartans believed that the war’s objective had currently been got to through the liberation the mainland Greece and also the Greek urban of Asia Minor. Historians also speculate that Sparta was cynical of the ability of the Delian organization to secure permanent security for eastern Greeks. The Spartan withdrawal from the League permitted Athens to create unchallenged naval and commercial power within the Hellenic world.

Effects the the Persian Wars

Despite their victories in the Persian Wars, the Greek city-states arised from the conflict more divided 보다 united.

Learning Objectives

Understand the result the Persian Wars had actually on the balance of power throughout the classic world

Key Takeaways

Key PointsAfter the second Persian invasion of Greece to be halted, Sparta i was withdrawn from the Delian League and also reformed the Peloponnesian organization with its original allies.Many Greek city-states had actually been alienated native Sparta complying with the violent action of Spartan leader Pausanias during the siege that Byzantium.Following Sparta’s departure from the Delian League, Athens was able to use the resources of the league to its own ends, which led that into problem with less powerful members of the League.The Persian Empire embraced a divide-and-rule strategy in relationship to the Greek city-states in the wake up of the Persian Wars, stoking currently simmering conflicts, consisting of the rivalry between Athens and also Sparta, to protect the Persian Empire against further Greek attacks.Key TermsPeloponnesian League: one alliance formed approximately Sparta in the Peloponnesus, indigenous the sixth to 4th centuries BCE.Delian League: An association of Greek city-states under the management of Athens, the purpose of which to be to continue fighting the Persian empire after the Greek victories at the finish of the second Persian intrusion of Greece.hegemony: The political, economic, or military predominance or manage of one state over others.

Aftermath that the Persian Wars

As a result of the ally Greek success, a large contingent that the Persian fleet to be destroyed and all Persian garrisons to be expelled from Europe, marking an end of Persia’s advancement westward right into the continent. The cities of Ionia were additionally liberated indigenous Persian control. Despite their successes, however, the spoils of war caused higher inner conflict within the Hellenic world. The violent actions of Spartan leader Pausanias in ~ the siege of Byzantium, because that instance, alienated countless of the Greek states from Sparta, and also led come a change in the army command the the Delian league from Sparta come Athens. This collection the stage for Sparta’s ultimate withdrawal indigenous the Delian League.

Two Leagues

Following the two Persian invasions of Greece, and during the Greek counterattacks the commenced after the battles of Plataea and also Mycale, Athens enrolled all island and also some mainland city-states right into an alliance, referred to as the Delian League, the purpose of which to be to pursue conflict with the Persian Empire, prepare because that future invasions, and organize a method of splitting the spoils the war. The Spartans, back they had actually taken part in the war, i was withdrawn from the Delian League beforehand on, believing the the war’s initial purpose had been met through the liberation the mainland Greece and the Greek cities of Asia Minor. Historians also speculate the Sparta made decision to leaving the league for realistic reasons, continuing to be unconvinced that it was possible to secure permanent security because that Greeks residents in Asia Minor, and also as a result of their unease through Athenian efforts to increase their power. When Spartawithdrew native the Delian organization after the Persian Wars, that reformed the Peloponnesian League, which had actually originally been created in the 6th century and detailed the blueprint for what was now the Delian League. The Spartan tap the money from the League had the effect, however, of enabling Athens to establish unchallenged naval and commercial power, unparalleled throughout the Hellenic world. In fact, soon after the League’s inception, Athens began to use the League’s navy for its very own purposes, which generally led it into conflict with other, less powerful League members.

Map that the Athenian realm c. 431 BCE: The Delian league was the basis because that the Athenian Empire, presented here ~ above the brink of the Peloponnesian war (c. 431 BCE).

Delian league Rebellions

A collection of rebellions developed between Athens and the smaller city-states that were members that the League. Because that example, Naxos to be the very first member the the organization to attempt to secede, in approximately 471 BCE. That was later defeated and also forced come tear under its defensive city walls, surrender that fleet, and also lost vote privileges in the League. Thasos, one more League member, additionally defected when, in 465 BCE, Athens established the swarm of Amphipolis on the Strymon River, which threatened Thasos’ understand in the mines the Mt Pangaion. Thasos allied with Persia and also petitioned Sparta because that assistance, but Sparta to be unable to assist because it was facing the biggest helot transformation in its history. Nonetheless, relations between Athens and also Sparta were soured through the situation. After a three-year long siege, Thasos to be recaptured and forced ago into the Delian League, though it likewise lost its defensive walls and fleet, the mines were turned over to Athens, and also the city-state was forced to salary yearly tribute and fines. According to Thucydides, the siege the Thasos significant the change of the league from an alliance right into a hegemony.

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Following your defeats in ~ the hands of the Greeks, and also plagued by internal rebellions the hindered their capability to fight international enemies, the Persians embraced a policy of divide-and-rule. Start in 449 BCE, the Persians attempted come aggravate the farming tensions between Athens and Sparta, and would even bribe politicians to accomplish these aims. Their strategy was to store the Greeks distracted with in-fighting, so as to stop the birds of counterattacks getting to the Persian Empire. Your strategy was largely successful, and there was no open up conflict in between the Greeks and also Persia till 396 BCE, when the Spartan king Agesilaus briefly got into Asia Minor.