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Volume 1
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Tyranny in Ancient Greece 3
Chapter 2: Kleisthenic Democracy 6
Chapter 3: The Persian Wars 7
Chapter 4: The Peloponnesian Wars 24
Chapter 5: Rise of Macedon
Chapter 6: The Wars of Alexander
Chapter 7: Division of Alexandrian Empire
Chapter 8: The Roman Battles

Chapter 1: Tyrannical Period

Before democracy was introduced, Athens was subject to a period of tyranny
by Peisistratos, who ruled from 561 BC to 527 BC followed by his sons who ruled

Peisistratos, relative of former Athenian politician Solon, gained his power through
the execution of a multitude of tasks. He first captured the port of Nicaea with the
help of the Men of the Hill
. This
victory cleared a trade blockage
that was causing a food
shortage in Athens for the
preceding years [1]. Although
this victory gained him
popularity in Athens, he did not
have enough power to gain
control of the polis
. It is said that whilst in the Agora, Peisistratos wounded himself
in order to demand bodyguards from the state. With his bodyguards and support
from the poor population, he was granted the reins to the government. He also
acquired the support of nobleman Megacles who helped vote him for tyrant in the
Athenian assembly and this coincided with the fact that the Athenians desired a
tyranny in order to resolve the conflicts and achieve stability

As opposed to the contemporary definition, Peisistratos was the ideal tyrant. He
contributed to the development of the very popular Greater Panathenaia

Poorest and majority of Greek population
City state
Annual festival to honor Athena
introduced coins to Athens. He also tried to distribute wealth evenly by decreasing
taxes for the lower classes and also created a band of travelling judges to ensure
justice for the citizens of Athens. Peisistratos also greatly promoted the arts and it
was under his rule that dythirambic
poetry and tragedy was introduced.

His first attempt at tyranny was short-lived as the political parties that ruled before
him overthrew him in 555 BC. However soon after, Megacles made him a proposal
that he would help Peisistratos come into power if he agreed to marry Megacles
daughter. Peisistratos agreed and regained his status by riding into Athens on a
chariot beside a tall woman playing the role of Athena. The public quickly granted
him his second chance at tyranny, believing that Peisistratos had the support of the
Goddess. However, this opportunity was quickly revoked when he refused to
impregnate Megacles daughter. He was driven out of Attica and forced to live in
exile for 10 years during which he made powerful allies and accumulated great
wealth and returned in 546 BC after which he ruled until his death in 527 BC. [3]

The legacy of Peisistratos continued with his two sons Hippias and Hipparchus. Both
sons ruled much like their father, appreciating the positive support of the people
and promoting the arts. This style of tyrannical rule changed when Hipparchus was
assassinated by two people who would later be recognized as tyrannicides in 514
BC [4].
The story goes as such: Hipparchus fell in love with a man named Harmodius who
was already with a man named Aristogeiton. Harmodius rejected Hipparchus
advances and humiliated him by telling it to Aristogeiton. Hipparchus later invited
Harmodius sister to the Panathenaic Festival to participate as a basket bearer only
to publicly humiliate her by saying she was not a virgin and thus not fit to carry the
basket. Later, Aristogeiton and Harmodius plotted to kill the two brothers but
panicked and ended up only killing Hipparchus. This enraged Hippias and he
executed the tyrannicides and became a cruel tyrant. The notion of the tyrannicides
signified the dismissal of tyranny [5].

Poetry recited by a cult for Dionysus consisting of 50 singers

In 510 BC, Athenian aristocrat Isagoras staged a coup with Spartan King
Cleomenes I and took control of Athens. Isagoras appealed to
Cleomenes I to exile Kleisthenes since he was Isagoras rival for power.
After he was banished, Isagoras attempted to break apart the boule

but they resisted and soon the citizens of Athens revolted against their
oppressors and cornering them on the top of the Acropolis on which
they stayed for two days before fleeing the city. Afterwards, Kleisthenes
was called back to help create a government for Greece.

Chapter 2: Kleisthenic

Kleisthenes was a nobleman from the
Alcmaeonid family who was the founder of
democracy in Athens. He was born around 570
BC and is often called The Father of
Democracy.After he came to be the leader of
the city, Kleisthenes changed the Solonic
Reforms which were four tribes based on family
relations into ten tribes based on their demes

which adopted a mythical hero as a patron.
These demes were then divided into three

City council
Area of residence
regions: city, coast and inland. In each of these regions, demes were divided into ten
and each phylai
consisted of three trittyes; one from each area.

The boule which was a council of 400 became a council of 500 with 50 members
from each tribe who were chosen by lot and was in charge for the month
. It is also
believed that he introduced ostracism where each year all the citizens of Athens
would vote to exile one person for ten years and a vote of more then 6000 was
needed. Athenians usually voted out people whose power was on the rise and was a
threat to the democracy.
Chapter 3: The Persian Wars

After the development of democracy Greece increased in power and became an
international trade hub and exported a much desired product: olives. Seeing the rise
of Athens, the other great power in the area, Persia felt threatened and this led to a
series of conflicts between the Greek states and the Archemenid Empire of Persia
from 499 BC to 449 BC.

It is believed that the source of the Greco-Persian conflicts can be dated back to the
dark ages when Greeks and Phoenicians had women stolen by each other and finally
after Helen was taken, it is said that the Greeks completely destroyed the city of
Priam which was a part of Asia Minor and thus considered to be a part of Persia.

The Ionian Revolt

In the Athenian calendar which would amount to 1/10
of a year
The Ionians were one of the four major tribes that the Greeks considered
themselves divided into during the ancient period. The Ionians settled about the
coast of Lydia and Caria and formed cities who remained independent until they
were conquered by King Croesus of Lydia in 560 BC. The cities stayed under Lydian
rule until they were conquered by King Cyrus.

During the fight with the Lydians, Cyrus sent to the Ionian states for aid but they
refused but after Lydia was conquered the Ionian cities offered to be under the
Persian rule given the same terms they had when they were ruled by King Croesus.
King Cyrus refused, citing their refusal to aid him and thus sent his Median general
Harpagus to conquer Ionia. Many Ionians escaped into Sicily such as the Phoceans
and the Teians; others were conquered. The Persians assigned an Ionian tyrant to
each of the Ionian cities.

Forty years after the sack of Lydia, the tyrant of Milesia, Aristagoras was
approached by some exiles from Naxos asking him to take over their island.
Aristagoras saw this as an opportunity to strengthen his position in Milesia and
asked the satrap of Lydia Artaphernes for an army and promised gold in return. This
proposal was accepted and then approved by Darius and an army was assembled in
order to attack Naxos the following year. When the Persians arrived at Naxos they
besieged the city but after four months they had run out of money and Aristagoras
could not repay Artaphernes and thus was under the threat of alienation.
Aristagoras incited his subjects to rise against their Persian masters, thus starting
the Ionian Revolt.

In 499 BC, Aristagoras returned to Milesia and held a meeting with members of his
faction convincing the Ionians to revolt. At this time, a messenger arrived carrying a
message from Aristagoras uncle pushing him to revolt against Darius and so
Aristagoras declared Milesia a democracy thereby revoking his tyranny. He had the
Greek tyrants captured and handed over to their respective cities to gain the cities
cooperation. It has been suggested that Aristagoras incited the whole army to join
his revolt and then took possession of the shits that were supplied by the Persians.
Now it seemed as though Aristagoras power was on the rise but he realized that he
would need allies and after being turned down by King Cleomenes I of Sparta, he
turned to Athens and Eretria where he received the support he was searching for.

In the spring of 498 BC, Aristagroas set sail with twenty-five triremes
; twenty from
Athens and five from Eretria. They joined with the main Ionian force in Ephesus and
made their way to Sardis, Artaphernes's satrapal capital. They caught the Persians
off-guard and set fire to the city but were driven back in combat and thus made
their way back to Ephesus. Greatly angered by the burning of Sardis, King Darius
sent an army to aid Artaphernes and found that the Greeks had recently departed.
So the Persians followed the Greek tracks to Ephesus were they engaged in battle,
however the demoralized and tired Greeks suffered defeat and many troops were
killed; some returning to Athens and Eretria in Greece.

The Athenians ended their alliance with Ionians having realized they were lied to
about the strength of the Persians, but the Ionians continued with the rebellion.
They persuaded the Carians to join their cause and seeing the spread of revolution,
the kingdom of Cyprus started to oppose their oppressors.

In the following year in 497 BC, Darius I led his armies across the Hellespont and
conquered the cities of Dardanus, Abydos, Percote, Lampsacus and Paesus.
However after he heard the revolt of the Carians, he moving his army there and met
with the rebels at the Battle of the Marsyas where after a long battle, the Carians
were defeated. The survivors of this battle fell back to Labraunda where they
debated if they should surrender or flee until they were joined by an army of
Milesians after which they decided to fight the Persians. This led to the Battle of
Labraunda in which the Carians suffered an even heavier deafeat.

It seemed at this point that that Carian morale was low so Darius decided to attack
the Carian strongholds but the Carians persisted. They decided to set up an ambush

An ancient vessel and a type of galley; boat
on the road to Pedasus, where they annihilated the Persian army and slain many
Persian commanders.

The revolution continued while the Persians fortified their armies and in 492 BC
they gathered a large land force accompanied by a fleet supplied by the re-
subjugated Cypriots, along with Egyptians, Cilicians and Phoenicians and made
their way to Miletus, the heart of the rebellion. The Median general Datis was in
charge of the Persian offense and upon hearing this the Ionians sought to defend
Miletus by sea, leaving the defense of Miletus to the Milesians. The Ionian fleet
gathered at the island of Lade, off the coast of Miletus. The Persians were uncertain
of victory at Lade, so attempted to persuade some of the Ionian contingents to
defect. Although this was unsuccessful at first, when the Persians finally attacked
the Ionians, the Samian fleet accepted the Persian offer. As the Persian and Ionian
fleets met, the Samians sailed away from the battle, causing the collapse of the
Ionian battle line. Although the Chian
contingent and a few other ships remained
and fought bravely against the Persians, the battle was lost. However the defeat of
the rebels was not yet over as soon after the Carians surrendered . In the following
year the Persians reduced the last rebel strongholds, and began a short period of
time where there was no wars.

Although Asia Minor had been brought back into the Persian fold, Darius vowed to
punish Athens and Eretria for their support of the revolt. Moreover, seeing that the
myriad city-states of Greece posed a continued threat to the stability of his empire,
he decided to conquer the whole of Greece.

The First Persian Invasion

After conquering Ionia, the Persians began to plan their next moves of extinguishing
the threat to their empire from Greece; and punishing Athens and Eretria. This

Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea
invasion consisted of two campaigns: Mardoniuss campaign and the Datis and
Artaphernes' campaign.

In the spring of 492 BC, Dariuss son in law Mardonius assembled a fleet and a land
army. The point of this expedition was to destroy Athens and Eretria while subduing
as many Greek cities as possible. He ordered his army to the Hellespont while he
travelled to Ionia with his fleet. He sailed on the coast of Ionia and abolished
tyrannies and replaced them with democracies and sailed back to the Hellespont
where he and the land forces marched through Thrace
re-subjugating it. When he
reached Macedon, he forced them to become a part of the empire
. While they
were camped in Macedon, a local Thracian tribe called the Brygians ambushed the
Persians and injured Mardonius however they were driven back and subjugated
after which the Persians made their way back to their homeland. During this time,
the fleet crossed to and conquered Thassos and when they attempted to round the
headland to Mount Athos, they were caught in a violent storm and most of the fleet
was destroyed. This Persian invasion made the Greeks aware of intentions
of conquering Greece.
In 491 BC, Darius sent ambassadors to all the Greek states asking for earth and
water as a symbol of submission. Although most cities cooperated, the
ambassadors were tried and executed in Athens and in Sparta they were just kicked
into a well. This similarity in action drew the lines for battle and sent a message to
the two cities that they would fight the Persians together.
However, Sparta then entered a state of disarray when the citizens of Aegina and
the Athenians, troubled by the possibility of Persia using Aegina as a naval base,
asked Sparta to intervene. Cleomenes travelled to Aegina to confront the
Aeginetans personally, but they appealed to Cleomenes's fellow king Demaratus,
who supported their stance. Cleomenes responded by having Demaratus declared
illegitimate, with the help of the priests at Delphi (whom he bribed); Demaratus was
replaced by his cousin Leotychides.Now faced with two Spartan kings, the

Thrace was a part of the Persian Empire in 512 BC during Dariuss campaign
against the Scythians
Before, the Macedonians were allied to but independent of the Persians
Aeginetans capitulated, and handed over hostages to the Athenians as a guarantee
of their good behavior. However, in Sparta news emerged of the bribes Cleomenes
had given at Delphi, and he was expelled from the city. He then sought to rally the
northern Peloponnesus to his cause, at which the Spartans relented, and invited him
back to the city. By 491 BCE though, Cleomenes was widely considered insane and
was sentenced to prison where he was found dead the following day.[41]
Cleomenes was succeeded by his half-brother Leonidas I.

Taking advantage of the chaos in Sparta, which effectively left Athens isolated,
Darius decided to launch an amphibious expedition to finally punish Athens and
Eretria. An army was assembled in Susa, and marched into Cilicia, where a fleet had
been gathered. Command of the expedition was given to Datis the Mede and
Artaphernes, son of the satrap Artaphernes. First, the Persian forces sailed to
Rhodes and had an unsuccessful attempt at sacking the city of Lindos. Then they
sailed to Nexos to punish them for their resistance and burned the city and its
temples. Next they besieged the city of Karystos and sailed towards their first major
target: Eretia.

The Eretrian strategy was to defend their walls, and undergo a siege. The Persians
landed their army at three separate locations, disembarked, and made straight for
Eretria and began besieging the city by destroying their walls. After six days of
fighting, many losses had been faced by both sides so two Eretrians opened the city
gates thereby betraying their city which was then plundered and burnt to the

After staying at Eretria for a few days, the Persians made their way down the coast
towards Attica and landed on the bay of Marathon. Under the guidance of Miltiades,
the Athenian general with the greatest experience of fighting the Persians, the
Athenian army marched quickly to block the two exits from the plain of Marathon,
and prevent the Persians moving inland. At the same time, Athens's greatest
runner, Pheidippides had been sent to Sparta to request that the Spartan army
march to the aid of Athens but they were undergoing the festival of Carneia and
thus could not help them till the rise of the new moon so the Athenians could not
expect reinforcements for another ten days. The city of Platea provided 1000
hoplites and for five days the armies therefore confronted each other across the
plain of Marathon, in stalemate after which the Athenians decided to attack.

Miltiades ordered the two tribes that were forming the center of the Greek
formation, the Leontis tribe
led by Themistocles and the
Antiochis tribe led by
Aristides, to be arranged in the
depth of four ranks while the
rest of the tribes at their flanks
were in ranks of eight. Some
modern commentators have
suggested this was a
deliberate ploy to encourage a
double envelopment of the
Persian center. The Athenian wings quickly routed the inferior Persian levies on the
flanks, before turning inwards to surround the Persian centre, which had been more
successful against the thin Greek centre. The battle ended when the Persian centre
then broke in panic towards their ships, pursued by the Greeks. Some, unaware of
the local terrain, ran towards the swamps where unknown numbers drowned. The
Athenians pursued the Persians back to their ships, and managed to capture seven
ships, though the majority were able to launch successfully.
Immediately after this battle the Persians sailed towards Athens to attack them
directly, and the Athenians rushed back to their citys defense. The Athenians
arrived in time to prevent the Persians from securing a landing, and seeing that the
opportunity was lost, the Persians turned about and returned to Asia.

The Second Persian Invasion

In the aftermath of the first invasion, Dariuss failure led to him raising a huge army
with which he planned to subjugate Greece with. In 486 BC due to the revolution of
his Egyptian subjects, Darius had to post-pone his plans of conquering Greece.
While preparing to march on Egypt Darius I died and passed the throne to his son
Xerxes I. Xerxes moved the army to Egypt and defeated the Egyptians and resumed
preparations for the invasion of Greece. He decided that he would bridge the
Hellespont and build a canal through Mount Athos but the invasion was delayed by
a year due to another uprising in Babylon and Egypt. In 481 BC, after roughly four
years of preparation, Xerxes began to muster the troops to invade Europe.
Herodotus gives the names of 46 nations from which troops were drafted. The
Persian army was gathered in Asia Minor in the summer and autumn of 481 BC. The
armies from the Eastern satrapies were gathered in Kritala, Cappadocia and were
led by Xerxes to Sardis where they passed the winter. Early in spring, it moved to
Abydos where it was joined with the armies of the western satrapies. Then the army
that Xerxes had mustered marched towards Europe, crossing the Hellespont on two
pontoon bridges.

Meanwhile, Athenss prosperity in trade and power was back on the rise. Athenian
politician and one of the ten strategoi
, Themistocles expected a second invasion
by the Persians and so pushed the Athenian council for the development of a more
powerful naval force. In 483 BC, a massive new seam of silver was found in the
Athenian mines at Laurium. Themistocles proposed that the silver should be used to
build a new fleet of 200 triremes, whilst Aristides suggested it should instead be
distributed amongst the Athenian citizens. Themistocles avoided mentioning
Persia, deeming that it was too distant a threat for the Athenians to act on, and
instead focused their attention on Aegina. At the time, Athens was embroiled in a
long-running war with the Aeginetans, and building a fleet would allow the
Athenians to finally defeat them at sea.
A congress of states met at Corinth in late autumn of 481 BC, and a confederate
alliance of Greek city-states was formed.[98] This confederation had the power to

Army generals
send envoys asking for assistance and to dispatch troops from the member states to
defensive points after joint consultation.

Having crossed into Europe in April 480 BC, the Persian army began its march to
Greece, taking 3 months to travel unopposed from the Hellespont to Therme. It
paused at Doriskos where it was joined by the fleet. Xerxes reorganized the troops
into tactical units replacing the national formations used earlier for the march. After
hearing of Xerxess march across the Hellespont, Themistocles discovered that to
get to Southern Greece, the Persians would have to travel through the narrow pass
of Thermopylae. This could easily be blocked by the Greek hoplites, despite the
overwhelming numbers of Persians. Furthermore, to prevent the Persians bypassing
Thermopylae by sea, the Athenian and allied navies could block the straits of
Artemisium. Meanwhile the Peloponnesian cities evacuated their women and
children to the city of Troezen.

The Persian army was seen marching its way to Thermopylai by a Greek spy and
news quickly reaches King Leonidas I. This coincided with the festival of Carneia
during which military action is discouraged but seeing the consequences, Leonidas
took the 300 men of his royal body guard and marched to Thermopylai. The Spartan
force was reinforced en route to Thermopylae by contingents from various cities
(see below) and numbered more than 7,000 by the time it arrived at the
Thermopylae pass. The troops stationed themselves at the middle gate of
Thermopylai near the city of Trachis for a few months until the Persian forces were
seen approaching Thermopylae.
A Persian emissary was sent by Xerxes to negotiate with Leonidas; Xerxes had
offered the Spartans freedom in return for right of passage. After Leonidass refusal
the emissary returned with a message to hand over their weapons to which King
Leonidas I replied Come and get it. ( ). After a delay of four days, the
Persian troops approached and what would later be known as one of the most
important battles in Classic Antiquity, the Battle of Thermopylai, took place.

First of all, Xerxes ordered five thousand archers to fire a barrage of arrows at the
Greeks, but the bronze shields and helmets deflected the missiles, leaving no
permanent. After that, he sent a force of ten thousand Medes and Cissians against
the Greeks, to take them prisoner and bring them before him. The Persians soon
found themselves launching a frontal assault, in waves of around 10,000 men, on
the Greek position. The Greeks fought in front of the Phocian wall, at the narrowest
part of the pass, in a strategic attempt to use as few soldiers at once as possible.
Persian casualties increased very fast and so on the second day Xerxes sent a second
wave of infantry but they fared no better than the first. While considering how to
attack, a local named Ephialtes, betrayed the Greeks and told Xerxes of a pass
around the mountain. At daybreak on the third day, the Phocians guarding the path
above Thermopylae became aware of the outflanking Persian column. After
learning that they were being outflanked Leonidas called a council of war and
dismissed most of his army. At dawn a Persian force of ten thousand men,
consisting of light infantry and cavalry, charged at the front of the Greek formation.
The Greeks this time sallied forth from the wall to meet the Persians in the wider
part of the pass in an attempt to slaughter as many Persians as they could. They
fought with spears until every spear was shattered and then switched to xiph

Leonidas died in the assault, shot down by Persian archers, and the two sides fought
over his body, the Greeks taking possession. Tearing down part of the wall, Xerxes
ordered the hill surrounded, and to shoot arrows at all the remaining Greeks.

Simultaneous with the battle at Thermopylae, an Allied naval force of 271 triremes
defended the Straits of Artemisium against the Persians, thus protecting the flank
of the forces at Thermopylae. The Persians detached 200 ships, which were sent to
sail around the eastern coast of Euboea. These ships were to round Euboea and
block the line of retreat for the Allied fleet.Meanwhile, the Allies and the remaining
Persians engaged in the late afternoon, the Allies having the better of the
engagement and capturing 30 vessels. That evening, another storm occurred,
wrecking the majority of the Persian detachment which had been sent around

short sword
Euboea. On the second day the Allied forces staged a hit-and-run attack on some
Cilician ships, capturing and destroying them. On the third day, however, the
Persian fleet attacked the Allies lines in full force. Thee Allies inflicted equal losses
on the Persian fleet and later that evening, the Allies received news of the fate of
Leonidas and the Allies at Thermopylae. Since the Allied fleet was badly damaged,
and since it no longer needed to defend the flank of Thermopylae, they retreated
from Artemisium to the island of Salamis.

Now that Thermopylai was opened, the Persians conquered Boeotia marched their
way to Athens and Themistocles ordered the evacuation of the remaining citizens to
the city of Salamis. The Peloponnesian Allies began to prepare a defensive line
across the Isthmus of Corinth, building a wall, and demolishing the road from
Megara. When the Persians reached the Akropoilis, they burnt it along with the
temples. When night fell, Themistocles met with the other leaders and their scouts
reported that the Persians had a naval army four times larger than that of the
Greeks. But even so, Themistocless plans were to fight the Persians in the narrow
body of water; the strait of Salamis. He sent his servant to Xerxes with a seemingly
traitorous message saying that the Greeks are fighting amongst each other and are
planning to escape Salamis so he should attack them. Xerxes was so eager that he
believed Themistocless ploy. He ordered his fleet to block the strait to prevent any
Greek escapes. When dawn rose, the Persians found the Greeks in a battle line,
ready to fight and they wanted to turn back. But the Persian fleet had sailed so far
up the strait that their vast army had no room to maneuver. The Allied fleet
attacked, and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 200 Persian
ships. Xerxes, viewing the carnage of his troops from his throne set upon the shore,
decided to return to Asia Minor leaving the conquest of Greece to his general

The Battle of Salamis is one of the most significant battles in Greek history because
it marks the turning point in the Greco-Persian wars where the offensive was now
turned over to the Greeks with the destruction of the Persian navy. After Xerxes had
returned to Persia tension rose among the Allies. Athens was not protected by the
Isthmus but their fleet was a key point in the protection of the Peloponnesians so
they demanded that an Allied army march north. The allies refused and Athens
removed its fleet from the Allied army. Mardonius remained in Thessaly but soon
moved to break the stalemate by offering peace, self government ant territorial
expansion to the Athenians in a plot to remove their fleet from the Allied forces but
the Athenians refused. Thus the Persians marched south again. Athens was again
evacuated and left to the Persians. Mardonius now repeated his offer of peace to
the Athenian refugees on Salamis. Athens, along with Megara and Plataea, sent
emissaries to Sparta demanding assistance, and threatening to accept the Persian
terms if assistance was not provided and thus the Spartans sent a task force to meet
the Persians.
Upon hearing of the march of an Allied Army, Mardonius destroyed what remained
standing in Athens and retreated into Boeotia to try and draw his enemies into the
open terrain so he could use his cavalry but the Greeks expected this so they stayed
on high grounds above Plataea to protect themselves from such tactics. Seeing the
failure of his first plan, Mardonius ordered a hit and run on the Greek front line by his
cavalry but it failed when the cavalry commander was killed. The outcome
prompted the Allies to move to a position nearer the Persian camp, still on high
ground. As a result the Allied lines of communication were exposed. The Persian
cavalry began to intercept food deliveries and finally managed to destroy the only
spring of water available to the Allies. Coupled with the lack of food, the restriction
of the water supply made the Greek position untenable, so they decided to retreat
to a position in front of Plataea, from where they could guard the passes and have
access to fresh water. The Athenians made to retreat later that night but the plan
went wrong and they became scattered in front of Plataea
Once the Persians discovered that the Greeks had abandoned their positions and
appeared to be in retreat, Mardonius decided to attack the Greeks with his entire
infantry. The Persians tried to break the Greeks' spears by grabbing hold of them,
but the Greeks responded by switching to swords. Mardonius was present at the
scene, riding a white horse, and surrounded by a bodyguard of 1,000 men; while he
remained, the Persians stood their ground. However, the Spartans closed in on
Mardonius; a Spartan soldier named Arimnestus saw him astride his horse, picked
up a large rock off the ground and threw it hard at Mardonius; it hit him squarely in
the head, killing him. With Mardonius dead, the Persians began to flee; although his
bodyguard remained, they were annihilated.
On the afternoon of the Battle of Plataea, Herodotus tells us that rumour of the
Allied victory reached the Allied navy, at that time off the coast of Mount Mycale in
Ionia. Their morale boosted, the Allied marines fought and won a decisive victory at
the Battle of Mycale that same day, destroying the remnants of the Persian fleet. As
soon as the Peloponnesians had marched north of the isthmus, the Athenian fleet
under Xanthippus had joined up with the rest of the Allied fleet. The fleet, now able
to match the Persians, had first sailed to Samos, where the Persian fleet was based.
The Persians, whose ships were in a poor state of repair, had decided not to risk
fighting, and instead drew their ships up on the beach under Mycale. An army of
60,000 men had been left there by Xerxes, and the fleet joined with them, building a
pallisade around the camp to protect the ships. However, Leotychides decided to
attack the camp with the Allied fleet's marines. Seeing the small size of the Allied
force, the Persians emerged from the camp, but the hoplites again proved superior,
and destroyed much of the Persian force. The ships were abandoned to the Allies,
who burnt them, crippling Xerxes' sea power, and marking the ascendancy of the
Allied fleet.

Greek Counterattack

After the battle of Mycale, the Peloponnesians sailed home and the Athenians
attacked the Chersonesos which was still held by the Persians. They retreated to
Sestos, where the Persian governor Artayctes was unbelieving of an incoming Allied
invasion, remained unaware and thus the Athenians sieged the city. This took
months but when food ran out, the Persians fled and Athenians regained possession
the next day.
In 478 BC, still operating under the terms of the Hellenic alliance, the Allies sent out
a fleet composed of 20 Peloponnesian and 30 Athenian ships supported by an
unspecified number of allies, under the overall command of Pausanias and subdued
most of Cyprus. The Greek fleet then sailed to Byzantium, which they besieged and
eventually captured. Control of both Sestos and Byzantium gave the allies
command of the straits between Europe and Asia (over which the Persians had
crossed), and allowed them access to the merchant trade of the Black Sea.

Delian League

Following the conquer of Byzantium, the Spartans wanted to end their involvement
in the war. Spartan king Leotychides proposed transferring all the Greeks in Asia
Minor (i.e. the Ionians) to Europian Greece to free them from Persian dominion.
However the Athenian commander at Mycale refused saying that the Ionian cities
were originally Athenian colonies so Athens would protect them.
The loose alliance of city-states that had fought against Xerxes's invasion had been
dominated by Sparta and the Peloponnesian league. With the withdrawal of these
states, a congress was called on the holy island of Delos to institute a new alliance to
continue the fight against the Persians. This alliance, now including many of the
Aegean islands, was formally constituted as the 'First Athenian Alliance', commonly
known as the Delian League.

The leagues first campaign, the Siege of Eion, was to eliminate the Persian garrisons
left in Thrace. Cimon commanded the troops and eliminated the Persian influence
and moved to attack the island of Skyros. This was not to conquer the Persians but
to eliminate pirates that had taken over the island.
A decade later the Siege of Thasos took place because the Persians had taken over
some part of the Chersonesos with the help of some Thracians.
Once the Persians in Europe were neutralized, the Greeks looked to extend their
power to Asia Minor. The campaign to Eurymedon began in response to the
assembly of a large Persian fleet and army at Aspendos, near the mouth of the
Eurymedon River so Cimon made his way with 200 triremes to deal with this threat.
The Persian army now began to move towards the Greek fleet. Despite the
weariness of his troops after this first battle, Cimon, seeing "that his men were
exalted by the impetus and pride of their victory, and eager to come to close
quarters with the Barbarians", landed the marines and proceeded to attack the
Persian army. Initially the Persian line held the Athenian assault, the heavily
armored hoplites proved superior, and routed the Persian army. Fleeing back to
their camp, the Persians were then captured, along with their camp, by the
victorious Greeks.
Towards the end of the 460s BC, the Athenians took the ambitious decision to
support a revolt in the Egyptian satrapy of the Persian Empire. Although the Greek
task force achieved initial successes, they were unable to capture the Persian
garrison in Memphis, despite a 3-year long siege. The Persians then
counterattacked, and the Athenian force was itself besieged for 18 months, before
being wiped out. Due to the conflict of the first Peloponnesian War which took place
simultaneously with the wars of the Delian League, Athens had to stop any Persian
conquest for 18 months after which they made their way to Cyprus and won a
double victory at the Battle of Salamis-in-Cyprus
. This battle was the last of those
in the Greco Persian wars and there was no conflict between the two empires until
396 BC.
Chapter 4: The Peloponnesian

With the increasing power of Athens during Pentecontaetia
, they became to be
known as The Athenian Empire. And after some time, their influence began to
dominate other city states. This increase in power threatened the Lacedaemonians

Athenians and their allies were attacked by a Persian force composed of
Cilicians, Phoenicians, and Cyprians, whilst sailing off Salamis-in-Cyprus. Under
the 'command' of the deceased Cimon (Died during the siege of Kition, they
defeated this force at sea, and also in a land battle.
Period of the wars of the Delian League
so when Athens began to rebuild their long walls after the Persians departure from
Greece, Sparta resisted
. This flared up the heat between the two polis. In 459 BC,
Athens took advantage of a war between its neighbors Megara and Corinth, both
Spartan allies, to conclude an alliance with Megara to take position of a foothold in
the Isthmus of Corinth. This lead to a 15 year conflict known as the First
Peloponnesian War

The First Peloponnesian War

Around the same time asA helot revolt arose in Sparta and they quickly pleaded for
help from their allies including the old Hellenic League and Athens. Athens
responded to the call, sending out 4,000 men with Cimon at their head. However,
something insulted the Spartans and they dismissed only the Athenians. This action
destroyed the political credibility of Cimon;, and shortly after this embarrassment
he was ostracized. After this sign of hostility, Athens responded with making rapid
alliances with Thessaly, Argos and Megara
. At the same time the Athenian settled
the Helot dispute and by 460 BC Athens was engaged in a war with Corinth and
other Peloponnesian city sates. On land, the Athenians were defeated by the armies
of Corinth and Epidaurus at Halieis, but at sea they were victorious at Cecryphaleia.

For several years at the beginning of the war, Sparta remained largely inert. In 458
BC or 457 BC, Sparta at last made a move, but not directly at Athens. A war had
broken out between Athens' ally Phocis and Doris, across the Corinthian Gulf from
the Peloponnese. Doris was traditionally identified as the homeland of the Dorians,
and the Spartans, being Dorians, had a longstanding alliance with that state.
Accordingly, a Spartan army under the command of the general Nicomedes, acting
as deputy for the underage king Pleistonax, was dispatched across the Corinthian
Gulf to assist. This army forced the Phocians to accept terms, but while it was in

Without the walls the Athenians would be defenseless making them prone to
An enemy of the Peloponnesian league at the time
Doris an Athenian fleet moved into position to block its return across the Corinthian
Gulf. At this point Nicomedes moved his army to Boetia and alongside a threat of
treason, the Athenians marched out with as many troops and met at the battle of
Tanagra where Sparta was victorious and returned home. At this point, Cimon was
called out of exile and negotiated a four month truce between both sides. After their
defeat, the Athenians sent an army to attack Boeotia and emerged victorious,
conquering all of Boeotia except Thebes. They also took down the Boeotian walls
and took this opportunity to finish their long walls. Shortly after this, Aegina
surrendered and was forced to pull down its walls, surrender its fleet and became a
tribute-paying member of the Delian League
Athens' remarkable string of successes came to a sudden halt in 454 BC, when its
Egyptian expedition was finally crushingly defeated. A massive Persian army under
Megabazus had been sent overland against the rebels in Egypt some time earlier,
and upon its arrival had quickly routed the rebel forces. The Greek contingent had
been besieged on the island of Prosopitis in the Nile. In 454, after a siege of 18
months, the Persians captured the island, destroying the force almost entirely. The
disaster in Egypt severely shook Athens' control of the Aegean, and for some years
afterwards the Athenians concentrated their attention on reorganizing the Delian
League and stabilizing the region. In 451 BC, Cimon returned to Athens and
negotiated a truce with Sparta. This peace was broken in 448 BC when Pericles led
the Athenian army against Delphi to reinstate Phocis in its former sovereign rights
on the oracle of Delphi. After more revolts and conflicts, Athens and Sparta
negotiated a Thirty Years of Peace.

Thirty Years of Peace

The Thirty Years' Peace was first tested in 440 BC, when Athens' powerful ally
Samos rebelled from its alliance with Athens. The rebels quickly secured the support
of a Persian satrap, and Athens found itself facing the prospect of revolts
throughout the empire. The Spartans, whose intervention would have been the
trigger for a massive war to determine the fate of the empire, called a congress of
their allies to discuss the possibility of war with Athens. Sparta's powerful ally of
Corinth was notably opposed to intervention, and the congress voted against war
with Athens. The Athenians crushed the revolt, and peace was maintained. After
suffering a defeat at the hands of their colony of Corcyra, a sea power that was not
allied to either Sparta or Athens, Corinth began to build an allied naval force.
Alarmed, Corcyra sought an alliance with Athens, which after debate and input from
both Corcyra and Corinth, decided to swear to a defensive alliance with Corcyra. At
the Battle of Sybota, a small contingent of Athenian ships played a critical role in
preventing a Corinthian fleet from capturing Corcyra. In order to uphold the Thirty
Years' Peace, however, the Athenians were instructed not to intervene in the battle
unless it was clear that Corinth was going to press onward to invade Corcyra.
However, the Athenian warships participated in the battle nevertheless, and the
arrival of additional Athenian warships was enough to dissuade the Corinthians
from exploiting their victory, thus sparing much of the routed Corcyraean and
Athenian fleet.

Following this, Athens instructed Potidaea
to tear down its walls and other
actions that enraged the Peloponnesian Allies. The Corinthians, outraged by these
actions, encouraged Potidaea to revolt and assured them that they would ally with
them should they revolt from Athens. Meanwhile, the Corinthians were unofficially
aiding Potidaea by sneaking contingents of men into the besieged city to help
defend it. This was a direct violation of the Thirty Years' Peace
At the request of the Corinthians, the Spartans summoned members of the
Peloponnesian League to Sparta in 432 BC, especially those who had grievances
with Athens to make their complaints to the Spartan assembly. This debate was
attended by members of the league and a delegation from Athens also asked to
speak, and became the scene of a debate between the Athenians and the
Corinthians. The Corinthians condemned Sparta's inactivity up to that point,
warning the Spartans that if they continued to remain passive while the Athenians

A tributary ally of Athens but a colony of Corinth
were energetically active, they would soon find themselves outflanked and without
allies. The Athenians, in response, reminded the Spartans of their record of military
success and opposition to Persia, and warned them of the dangers of confronting
such a powerful state, ultimately encouraging Sparta to seek arbitration as provided
by the Thirty Years' Peace. Undeterred, a majority of the Spartan assembly voted to
declare that the Athenians had broken the peace, essentially declaring war.



[1] Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, Jennifer
Tolbert Roberts, David Tandy, Ancient Greece: a political, social, and
cultural history(United States of America: 2012) Oxford University
Press, New York, p191-2025
[2] Herodotus Histories
[3] Lavelle, Brian (2010). "Pisistratos". Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient
Greece and Rome.
[4] Webb, E. Kent (October 18, 1997). "The Athenian Tyrannicides: Icons
of a Democratic Society". University of Washington. Retrieved 2008-10-
[5] Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution, Part 18