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The Persian Wars: A Defining
Moment in Greek History
What is the opposite of
What does it take to make the
Greeks unite against a
common enemy?
Tonight’s Class
The Persian Wars, Part I
Movie: Homer’s Odyssey
Persian Wars, Part II
Key Questions for Today’s
Who are the Persians?
What are the causes of war?
What key events occur during the war?
Who wins the war and what are the
Where Is Persia?
Who Are The Persians?
Absolute Rule of Kings
Poverty vs. Decadence
Excellence vs. Money
The Causes of War
Persians invaded Greece
490 BC (Marathon)
480-479 BC
Battle of Marathon- 490 BCE
Countless Persians vs.
10,000 Athenians
“The magnificent grove of
Marathon can confirm
his bravery – as well
as the long-haired
Persian – who
remembers it well.”
Epitaph of Aeschylus
Where were the
The Consequences of War
History changes as a result of this battle
Athenians = great political confidence
Athenian wealth, greatness + power
reflected in literature + building projects
Athens as a Naval Power
482 BCE
Silver Mines
Aristides’s Plan
Themistocles’s resolve
The Madness of Xerxes
Bridge over the
40,000 hoplites + 366
200,000 + 1000 ships
Ships destroyed
Thermopylae – 480 BCE
Trap the army, destroy
the fleet
300 men, 2 days, one
fight to the death
“Go tell them in
Sparta, stranger, that
we lie here obedient to
their orders.”
Leonidas - Hero Of the Battle
If Fox News Had Been There!
Salamis – 480 BCE
Themistocles’s Brilliant
Greek Fleet vs.
Persian Fleet
Persia loses the battle
479 Battle of Plataea
Spartans win
But Athens still has naval superiority
Greeks win war, but lose internal unity
Sparta vs. Athens
Sparta won the deciding battle but . . .
Athens had the navy
478 - Delian League
One vote each = democratic alliance
Why Is This A Defining
Moment in Greek History?
Athens - cultural center of the Greek
World . . . with the common enemy
vanquished, Greeks will fight amongst
Coming Next Week . . .