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Chapter 7 Section 4
War with Greece pgs. 184-188
The Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon
• In 499 BC the Greek city-states in Asia Minor
rebelled against the Persians.
• Athens and a few other city-states sent an army to
help the Greeks in Asia Minor.
• Persia put down the rebellion, but Darius was very
angry with the Greeks for trying to rebel.
• In 490 BC, Darius and his army sailed to the plain
of Marathon near Athens.
The Battle of Marathon
• The Persian army had 20,000 and the Athenian
army had 10,000.
• The Athenians stayed hidden and planned their
strategy. They would wait in the hills, and attack the
Persians the next day.
• When it was time to attack, the Athenians formed a
long line, and ran full speed toward the Persians. It
look foolish but it worked.
The Battle of Marathon
• The Persians did well in the center of the line, but on the
ends the Athenians were too strong.
• They attacked both sides, trapping them and then
drawing together like pincers.
• The Persians lost the battle, and suffered major losses.
• According to Greek legend, a runner named Pheidippides
ran back to Athens (+25 miles). He said one word,
“victory” then collapsed and died.
• We get the name for our marathons for this story. (26.2)
The Battle of Thermopylae
The Battle of Thermopylae
• Darius died before he could take revenge on the Greeks.
His son Xerxes became king, and decided to continue the
conflict with Greece.
• In 480 BC the Persian army attacked Greece again,
crossing Asia Minor to Greece through a straight called
• Xerxes had his men build bridges across Hellespoint.
They laid planks across two long lines of Persian ships to
make these bridges.
• But a storm destroyed the bridges before they could
The Battle of Thermopylae
• Xerxes was so angry that he killed the engineers who
designed the bridges.
• He also ordered the soldiers to beat the water with
300 lashes.
• When Xerxes finally calmed down, the bridges were
rebuilt and they marched across the into Greece.
• Sparta, another Greek city-state helped Athens in
fighting the Persians. Sparta had a very strong
The Battle of Thermopylae
• The Greeks decided to position themselves at
• At first it looked like they were going to push the
Persians back, but a Greek traitor showed the
Persians another path through the mountains.
• Before long, the Greeks were surrounded. They
fought till the end, but were defeated.
• The Persians marched to Athens and burned down
the entire city.
The Battle of Salamis
The Battle of Salamis
• The Greeks were not ready to give up.
• A Greek general Themistocles had a plan to defeat
• Themistocles knew the Greeks had smaller and faster
ships than the Persians.
• If the Greeks trapped the Persian ships, they could win.
• The straight between the island of Salamis and Greece
was where Themistocles decided to attack .
The Battle of Salamis
• The Greeks lured the Persians in with a false report
that the Greeks were trying to escape.
• The battle began in the morning where sea breezes
created strong waves. The Persian ships struggled.
• The Greeks then launched their ships from the beach
of Salamis and rammed the Persian ships, sinking
many of them.
• During the next year, the Greeks fought one more
battle with the Persians in Plataea.
The Battle of Salamis
• Many Persians were killed, and in the end, the
Persians had to admit defeat.
• Xerxes pulled the last Persian troops out of Greece
and went home.
• The wars between the Persians and Greeks are
known as the Persian wars.
• Although Persia lost, it still remained powerful for
more than a century.
In the Bible
• Read and Discuss Xerxes and Esther pg. 188
Discussion Questions
1. What events led to the wars between Persia and
2. Which side own each of the 3 major battles?
• WB page 107-108