2Nd Persian Invasion Essay Research Paper 2nd

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2Nd Persian Invasion Essay, Research Paper 2nd Persian Invasion Persia, under the rule of King Xerxes, was preparing for revenge on Athens. The defeat they had suffered in 490BC at Marathon was a thorn in their side. Xerxes father Darius had begun the planning of this invasion and after he died it became Xerxes number one priority. Little did he know that he was going to be outclassed at every move, although the Greeks were heavily outnumbered. The exact numbers of each side are unknown; as Herodotus, our major source, is prone to exaggeration. Many factors gave the Greeks an advantage. The union of the states; the superiority of the soldiers at one-on-one combat; the strength of the naval fleet and the fact that the battles took place on Greek soil were all points in the

Greeks favour. Afterwards they stated that they were free men; not forced to fight and this was the reason for victory. one man could see all these advantages and put them to good use. He was once told you are going to be a great man one way or the other, either for good or evil. (1) Themistocles was a man who showed an unmistakable natural genius; ….He was particularly remarkable at looking into the future and seeing there the hidden possibilities for good or evil. To sum him up in a few words, it may be said that through force of genius and by rapidity of action this man was supreme at doing precisely the right thing at precisely the right moment. (2) Themistocles was held in high regard in Athens, enough to be chosen archon in 493 BC. After the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

Athens was sure that the Persian threat was over. Themistocles was not as confident. He wanted to build more ships for the Athenian Navy with the profits from the silver mines at Laurion. The Athenians, believing that the Persian forces would not return, did not agree with this. Themistocles played upon their competitiveness and convinced them that the ships were for use against a neighbouring state. They then agreed to build 200 new triremes. When it was evident that the Persians were coming Themistocles was the only man willing to take the position as Commander-in-Chief of Athens. (1) Plutarch, Themistocles – 2 (2) Thucydides, 1: 138 In 481 BC, thirty-one Greek states met at Corinth. They decided to join forces against the Persian barbarians. This union is the major reason

why Greece was able to defeat the Persians. Sparta was chosen as leader of this union as they had the most military experience and had the highest reputation as soldiers. The Athenians thought that since they supplied the most ships they should be the leaders. Thucydides says: Themistocles immediately saw the danger of disagreement at this stage: he therefore surrendered his own command to Eurybiades and soothed the Athenians pride by promising them that if they proved their valour in the fighting, he would guarantee that the rest of the Greeks would accept their leadership later on. For this action Themistocles is generally regarded as the man most directly responsible for saving Greece,…. (3) The men who had been ostracised in the preceding ten years were told to return.

Themistocles did not want these men to help the enemy as had happened in previous invasions. Aristedes; who was Themistocles greatest political opposition ; was one of these men. He became an important part of one of Themistocles plans. One of the important advantages that Greece had was her knowledge of the terrain and the surrounding seas and he did not want these exiled men to provide any information that might jeopardise that advantage. Themistocles strategy was to fight the barbarians at sea, far away from mainland Greece. He believed that the only way to win was at sea. This plan was opposed and his troops were sent to Tempe with the Spartans. They found the mountains here too hard to defend and returned to Thermopylae. Thermistocles believed that Thermopylae was an