Top Military Battles of Ancient Greece
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The Ancient Greeks were known for their intellect and strength of will. Because of its strategic location, they also were susceptible to invaders. When they weren’t fighting off foreigners, they were often at war amongst themselves. There were some battles, however, that stood out more than others. Each battle fought had a special place in history, but some stood out more than others.
Here’s a look at some of the best battles that took place in Ancient Greece:
The Battle of Marathon was a part of the First Persian Invasion where King Darius of Persia attempted to conquer Greece. In this battle, the armies from Marathon and Plaea joined forces to try to fend off the Persians. The battle itself was a victory and it proved to the rest of the world and to the Ancient Greeks that it was possible to defeat the Persian Empire. Not only was this an important battle, but it also formed the basis of the marathon foot races that are so popular today!
The legend of the three hundred Spartan soldiers that managed to hold off the Persian Empire before finally succumbing is one of those takes that has been told for thousands of years. The Spartans devised a brilliant battle strategy that involved trapping the Persian Army inside the pass at Thermopylae. Aside from a secret passageway, there was only one way in and one way out. The Spartans almost won the battle, but they were ultimately betrayed by a fellow Greek, who told the Spartans of a secret way through the pass. Though this battle was an outright loss for the Greeks, it set the tone for the Persian’s eventual defeat. Messengers were able to send word to Athens so that they could assemble their navy.
While the Spartans and Persians were fighting hard at Thermopylae, a messenger managed to send word to the Athenians that the Persians had arrived once again in Greece. After the First Persian Invasion, there are those in Athens who knew they would be back. So, the citizens voted to build and fortify a strong navy in order to beat the Persians when they did return. Ten years after they left, the Persians arrived again to try again to invade Greece. After the Persians defeated the Spartans at Thermopylae, the Athenian Navy was ready. They had devised a brilliant and legendary naval battle plan at Salamis. The Athenian Navy won the day, and ultimately this set the stage for the Greeks to win the war. The Persians left and never came back.
The Peloponnesian War pitted two powerful Greek city-states, Sparta and Athens, against each other. While the legendary Athenian Navy defeated the Persians, the entire fleet was nearly destroyed during this battle as part of the Peloponnesian War. It is said that around nine ships managed to escape. The loss at this battle was devastating to the Athenians. They were hungry and suffering and rather continue fighting the Spartans any further during the war, they decided to surrender.
Phillip of Macedon started the push to conquer Greece. The Battle of Chaeronea is what started this out for him. It was the first decisive battle in what would be a push to defeat all of the city-states and kingdoms of Greece. Eventually, Phillip would gain control of much of Greece before his death. His defeat of the Greeks helped solidify Greece as one, powerful place, rather than a series of self-governed places. Eventually his son, Alexander, would pick up where he left off because he spread Greece’s influence Easter by conquering prominent places like Persia and India.
There were some memorable battles that took place in Ancient Greece. These are some of the most important.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston