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Greek And Persian Wars Essay

776 words - 4 pages

During the late 400s BC, a strew of mishaps led to decades of fighting among two very controversial groups. This mass of destruction is known as the Greek and Persian Wars. The Persian wars consist of a series of military campaigns conducted by the Persians against the Greeks, beginning in 499 BC. The wars were sparked by a revolt of the Ionian Greeks against Persian rule in 499 BC. The cities of Athens and Eretria aided the Ionian Greeks, but the revolt was crushed in 494 BC by Persian king Darius. Darius then sent a large force to punish Athens and Eretria. The Persians took Macedon and Thrace in 492, but their fleet was badly damaged by storms and they were obliged to withdraw. A second ...view middle of the document...

Sparta was supportive, but not active. Darius finally invaded in person in 490, moving down the Greek eastern coast. One of the Greek strong points, Eretria, fell after a six day siege. The city was sacked and the entire population taken captive. This was a clear indication to the Athenians that theirs would be the same fate.Later on, the Athenians had won at Marathon, but they certainly had not destroyed the Persian army, and they knew it. Well before the battle, they had made provision for whatever might happen at Marathon. The casualties give an indication as to the nature of the victory: 6,400 Persians died at Marathon, and only 192 Athenians. The Greek dead were buried on the Plain of Marathon.Meanwhile, the Persians were preparing. Darius was unable to respond immediately to his defeat because of rebellions on the other end of his empire. While he quelling these, he was killed. His son, Xerxes, spent several years securing his own succession. But he was determined to avenge his father's defeat by the Greeks. Once ready, Xerxes undertook enormous preparations, convinced that sufficient manpower would win one day. The Greeks...

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