The battle of
In September of 490 BC a Persian armada of 600 ships disgorged an invasion force of approximately 20,000 infantry and cavalry on Greek soil just north of
Undaunted by the numerical superiority of the invaders,
One of the Greek generals - Miltiades - made a passionate plea for boldness and convinced his fellow generals to attack the Persians. Miltiades ordered the Greek hoplites to form a line equal in length to that of the Persians. Then - in an act that his enemy believed to be complete madness - he ordered his Greek warriors to attack the Persian line at a dead run. In the ensuing melee, the middle of the Greek line weakened and gave way, but the flanks were able to engulf and slaughter the trapped Persians. An estimated 6,400 Persians were slaughtered while only 192 Greeks were killed.
The remaining Persians escaped on their ships and made an attempt to attack what they thought was an undefended
The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the pass of Thermopylae ('The Hot Gates'). The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon. Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy, and set out to conquer all of
A Greek force of approximately 7,000 men marched north to block the pass in the summer of 480 BC. The Persian army, alleged by the ancient sources to have numbered in the millions, arrived at the pass in late August or early September. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held off the Persians for seven days in total (including three of battle), before the rear-guard was annihilated in one of history's most famous last stands. During two full days of battle, the small force led by King Leonidas I of Sparta blocked the only road by which the massive Persian army could pass. After the second day of battle, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing a small path that led behind the Greek lines. Aware that his force was being outflanked, Leonidas dismissed the bulk of the Greek army, and remained to guard the rear with 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans and perhaps a few hundred others, the vast majority of whom were killed.
After this engagement, the Greek navy at Artemisium received news of the defeat at
Both ancient and modern writers have used the Battle of Thermopylae as an example of the power of a patriotic army of freemen defending native soil. The performance of the defenders at the battle of
Knowing that winter would soon be arriving, Xerxes decided on a naval assault on the remaining Athenians and their naval forces stationed at
The lighter Greek ships rowed out in a circular fashion and rammed the front of their ships into the Persian vessel . The narrow straight, the speed and maneuverability of the Greek ships and their knowledge of the waters enabled them to sink two hundred Persian ships.
Some were captured and the rest fled back to their bases in
Xerxes was not done with
The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.
The previous year, the Persian invasion force, led by the Persian king in person, had scored victories at the Battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium, and conquered Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica. However, at the ensuing Battle of Salamis, the Allied Greek navy had won an unlikely victory, and therefore prevented the conquest of the Peloponnesus. Xerxes then retreated with much of his army, leaving his general Mardonius to finish off the Greeks the following year.
In the summer of 479 BC, the Greeks assembled a huge army (by contemporary standards), and marched out of the
A large portion of the Persian army was trapped in their camp, and slaughtered. The destruction of this army, and the remnants of the Persian navy, allegedly on the same day at the Battle of Mycale, decisively ended the invasion. After