They also counted with cavalry and carts.
However on thin passages or gorges, the Persian cavalry could not display its full power and their number superiority was blocked, since their spears were shorter than the Greek weapons. The narrow battlefield of the gorge forced them to fight almost in equal number with the Greek army, forcing them to retreat after two days of battle.
The Persian army achieved important victories: the Greek fleet was rejected on the Artemisium cape and, after the victory over Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 men on the gorge of Thermopylae, the news of the first Persian victories spread over the country and discouraged the Greek army that retreated from battle, bringing new victories for Xerxes's army. The Persians devastated Boeotia and the Attica, reaching Athens.
After the Thermopylae defeat, on August of 480 B.C., in Athens there was consternation. However, instead of surrendering, the Athenians made the decision of evacuating the city and sending the families to Egina, Salamis y Trecena. The Greek army took refuge behind the wall that crosses the Isthmus of Corinth protecting the entrance to the Peloponnesus.
The Oracle of Delphos was consulted and predicted that the great Greek victory would be achieved through a wall of wood. This wall was interpreted by Themistocles as a fleet of battle ships. Most of the Greek leaders considered that the Spartans should battle from Corinth to have space to retreat in case of defeat. However they were persuaded by Themistocles to fight from Salamis.
He fortified the port of Piraeus, turning it into a naval base. Some political heads of the Asia Minor territory believed that the Greek should defend themselves on land first. Different opinions from the many Greek cities made difficult for the Greeks to organize a proper plan of defense. The Persian troupes took this attack as a revenge for their victory over Athens.
The city had been evacuated previously by order of Themistocles, the leader of democratic Athens during that time and that opposed great resistance to the Persian invasion, using the city's resources of silver to build ships to fight the attacking army. He had managed to gather a fleet of about 200 ships to defend the city from the menace of Xerxes's enormous legion.
Athens inhabitants took refuge in the surrounding islands, so the Persian army had to face only the Acropolis troupes. They looted the city, burning and destroying the temples of the Acropolis while the Spartan and Athenian forces established their last line of resistance on the Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf.
Themistocles tried to take the war towards Asia Minor, send his fleet there to dominate the ionic colonies and make them join his campaign against the Persian king, but Sparta objected this strategy, fearing they might leave the Peloponnesus undefended.
For this reason the war continued in Europe, offering freedom to those Greeks that signed peace with the Persian Empire, but the Athenian council refused the offer.
Xerxes was deceived by a clever message of Themistocles (against the advice of Artemisia of Halicarnassus, the ruler of Asia Minor, ally of the Persians during the war and very appreciated by Xerxes) to attack the Greek fleet under adverse conditions, instead of sending a part of his ships to the Peloponnese and simply wait for the dissolution of the Greek army after a prolonged siege.
The naval battle fought on Salamis (480 B.C.), where the Greek fleet had taken refuge in the gulf and the Salamis Island, was won by the Athenian fleet under the command of Eurybiades. This was only a small back step on a victorious campaign to the Persians at that moment.
Learning that the Spartan army, forced by Athens to lend their help, was preparing the attack against the Persian troupes, the Persians finally...
In Plataea. The later Persian defeat in Mykale, meant the freedom of the Greek cities of Asia Minor and Xerxes's giving up of those cities, refusing to involve further in Greek politics.
The Persians decided to retreat their troupes from Greece permanently, putting an end to the Median Wars and the confrontations between Greeks and Persians.
The battle of Athens, that Xerxes lead personally, is often erroneously interpreted as a battle between Greeks and Persians. Xerxes real intention was to punish the Athenians for the destruction caused by their forces on Ionic cities of Asia Minor that were under the Persian control. It must be mentioned that for this enterprise he counted with the support of other Greek cities, even Macedonia.
Xerxes took Athens and after a brief period of occupation he abandoned it, since his interest was not to conquer the city but only punish those that had taken war against other cities of Asia Minor. He did not fight against the Greeks or against Greece as a country, but against an alliance of Greek cities, with the help of other Greek cities, allies of the Persian Empire or the Greek cities in Asia Minor that suffered attacks from Athens in the Ionian revolt.
Little if known of Xerxes's last years. It is known that he sent Sataspes to attempt a circumnavigation de Africa, but the Greek victory over the second Median War caused the empire to sink in a state of apathy that would never fully disappear.
The king left many inscriptions at Van (Armenia), en el Mount Alvand (near Ecbatana), and Persepolis, where he ordered to add a new and sumptuous palace to the one his father left. In all of those texts he simply gathered his father's words. In the year 465 B.C. he was murdered by his vizier Artabanus, who promoted the ascension of Artaxerxes I to the throne of the Persian Empire.
The Persian Empire reached its end when it was defeated by the army of Alexander the Great that crossed the Hellespont with 42,000 soldiers from Macedon and various Greek city-states, and forced the Persian capital to surrender.
Abbott, Jacob. Makers of History: Xerxes. New York: Kessinger, 2007.
Biography of Xerxes." 16 Aug. 2007. http://www.sacklunch.net/biography/X/Xerxes.html.
Buckley, Jonathan. Xerxes. Fourth Estate, 2000
Davis, William Stearns. A Victor of Salamis: A Tale of the Days of Xerxes, Leonidas and Themistocles. New York: Kessinger Publishing, 2005
Gill, N.S. "The Persian Wars."
Ancient / Classical History. 2007. 16 Aug. 2007. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/xerxes/Xerxes.htm
Green, Peter. The Greco-Persian Wars. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998
Hakim, Ren a. Xerxes. Xlibris Corporation. 2006
Herodotus. Xerxes Invades Greece. New York: Penguin, 2006
Hignett, C. Xerxes's invasion of Greece. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963
Hooker, Richard. "The Persian wars." Ancient Greece. 1996. 17 Aug. 2007 http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GREECE/PERSIAN.HTM.
Lendering, Jona. "Xerxes I." Livius articles on ancient history. 2006. 16 Aug. 2007. http://www.livius.org/x/xerxes/xerxes.html.
Llywelyn, Morgan. Xerxes (World Leaders Past and Present). Chelsea House Pub, 1987
Llywelyn, Morgan. Xerxes. Chelsea House: 1987
Hignett, Charles. Xerxes' Invasion of Greece Clarendon Press: 1963
Rollin, Charles. The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians. Tegg and Co: 1851
Suzanne, Bernard. "Xerxes king of Persia 485 to 465." Plato and his dialogues. 1998. 16 Aug. 2007. http://plato-dialogues.org/tools/char/xerxes.htm.
Wallinga, Herman Tammo. Xerxes' Greek Adventure: The Naval Perspective. Brill Wright, Josiah. Hellenica; or a History of Greece in Greek: From the Invasion of Xerxes to the Suppression of the Samian Revolt. New York: Kessinger Publishing, 2007
Xerxes I of Persia." 2007. Wikipedia. 16 Aug. 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerxes_I_of_Persia.
Xerxes (Khashayar Shah)." Historic personalities. 2007. 16 Aug. 2007. http://www.iranchamber.com/history/xerxes/xerxes.php.
Xerxes I." Encyclopedia Britannica Article. 16 Aug. 2007. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9077684/Xerxes-I#269985.hook.
Economy of Persian Society: Darius and Xerxes Under Darius, the Persian Empire was at its height and its economy flourished. The lands and people he conquered paid taxes or tributes to him, most willingly, because he, like Cyrus, was tolerant of their cultures. The expansion of the Persian road system allowed for easier travels and a mail system to develop which facilitated trade and the moving of coin. Indeed, Darius
Dark Age and the Archaic Age Having watched the lectures for the prior learning unit on video, I was prepared to enjoy the video lecture presentation for this learning unit. I previously found the presentation of lectures in the video format to be very convenient because I could observe at my own pace, rewind if I missed part of the lecture, have flexibility about when I was viewing the lecture, and
Also, from Herodotus's books we see that some of them, obeying the famous oracle of Delphi, or using its predictions as an excuse, decided to surrender, and give "earth and water." This is particularly relevant on the influence of religion in that period. It was not uncommonly for wars to be delayed or even abandoned because of the predictions of oracles and the one in Delphi, which had a primary
In the end, the Spartan/Greek army's superior armor and weapons and clever use of topography to counterbalance the Persian's greater numbers helps to explain their victories on a military level. Unfortunately, Leonidas and his fellow Spartans were massacred after a local Greek revealed to Xerxes a secret route around the narrow pass, allowing the Persians to attack the Spartans from the front and the rear at the same time. At
Herodotus is called first historian, as he was the first known author of the historical book called the Histories, which contained various myths, legends and also many important historical events that were commented by this great Greek. Herodotus was a very smart man but when reading his book I have to mention that we have to treat him as ancient man who sincerely believed different myths (for example he was sure
" (8.6-7) Humanity, this suggests, cannot serve two masters -- God and a king, and humanity in the form of Israel chooses kingship. Thus, humanity is far more servile and weak and in need of divine guidance, than human beings who actively resist tyranny, in Herodotus, whether it be in their schema of governance of not. "This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will