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With defeat at Thermopylae, the inconclusive naval battle at Artemision, and Xerxes’ Persian army on the rampage, the Greek city-states faced an unprecedented attack, one which threatened their very existence. The tide would turn, though, in September 480 BCE at the Battle of Salamis in the Saronic Gulf, a naval battle which would rank as one of the greatest... [continue reading]
The Battle on the plain of Marathon in September 490 BCE between Greeks and the invading forces of Persian king Darius was a victory which would go down in folklore as the moment the Greek city-states showed the world their courage and excellence and won their liberty. Although in reality the battle only delayed the Persians in their imperialistic ambitions... [continue reading]
Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE. Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks held the narrow pass for three days with Spartan king Leonidas fighting a last-ditch defence with a small force... [continue reading]
Sparta was an ancient Greek city and the most powerful state of the Peloponnese. The city lay on the northern end of the Laconian plain, on the right bank of the river Eurotas. The site is admirably fitted by nature to guard the only routes by which an army can penetrate Laconia from the land side. At the same time its distance from sea made it invulnerable... [continue reading]
After his father's death in 559 BC, Cyrus the Great became king of Anshan but like his predecessors, Cyrus had to recognize Mede overlordship. In 552 BC Cyrus led his armies against the Medes and captured Ecbatana in 549 BC, effectively conquering the Median Empire and also inheriting Assyria. Cyrus later conquered Lydia and Babylon. Cyrus the Great created... [continue reading]