Ancient Greek History

Interesting Battles of the Persian Invasions

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There was a time when the Persian Empire was considered to the most powerful in the world. They were known for their powerful army, and they made it their mission to conquer any lands they could. They tied to conquer Greece on two different occasions, and each time the Greeks prevented it. Here’s a look at some of the most popular battles of the Persian Invasions:

Battle of Mycale

The Battle of Mycale, or the Second Persian Invasion, was the second time that Persia would attempt to invade Ancient Greece. By the time this battle occurred, the Persians were exhausted and didn’t want to fight anymore. They had attempted to assimilate Greece to expand their holdings, but the Greeks would not back down. The Battle of Mycale had the Persians bring a fleet of ships to Samos where they were met by the Greeks who expected a battle on water.

The Persian navy was destroyed quickly. A foot battle occurred next when the Greek army walked into the Persian camp. Despite their numbers, the Persians could not win this sneak attacks by the Greeks. As mentioned, by the time of the Battle of Mycale, the Persians were discouraged by how things were going for them. Instead of going home, many stayed in Greece to avoid punishment for desertion.

Battle of Plataea

The Battle of Plataea, or the Final Battle of the Second Persian Invasion, occurred in 479 BC. At this time, the Persian Empire was an intimidating force. It was the largest empire at the time. 45,000 Spartan warriors headed to Athens after the Battle of Salamis. Now they were ready to fight the Persians on the ground. The Persians found out and headed away from Athens toward the city of Plataea. The Persians had 300,000 men to fight.

Even though they had fewer men, the Spartans had a clear benefit. They knew the terrain of the area well, which allowed them to thrive in battles. During the Battle of Plataea, the Spartans used a clever tactic when they pretended to act as if they were retreating. As hoped, the Persians fell for the trap and planned to attack the “disorganized” Spartans. The Persian army approached on horses, which was a mistake on the rocky terrain. From there it was all downhill for the Persians and their general lost his life in the battle.

Battle of Lade

During 495 BC, near Lade, an important battle occurred. Lade is an island off the coast of Anatolia. For this battle, the Persian military planned to attack Miletus by sea and land. It was decided that Miletus would defend itself on land and Greek ships would assemble near Miletus to stop the Persian fleet as they approached. Several Greek islands participated and assembled their vessels near Lade, 333 ships in total.

An agreement to end the battle was eventually reached after the Persians pleaded with the Greeks to do so. However, not all Greeks would abandon the fight. The Greek captains who insisted on fighting were brave, but would be defeated. The next year, the Persians would capture Miletus as revenge. They would kill many of the residents. Samos was spared as they had abided by the previous agreement. This act of revenge helped to unify the Greek cities against the next Persian invasion.

The First and Second Persian invasions were pivotal moments in Ancient Greek history. These battles were amongst the most important of them.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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