Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Persian Wars began in 499 BCE, once Greeks in the Persian-controlled territory increased in the Ionian Revolt.Athens, and also other Greek cities, sent out aid, but were quickly forced to ago down after loss in 494 BCE.Subsequently, the Persians suffered numerous defeats in ~ the hands of the Greeks, led by the Athenians.Silver mining added to the funding of a enormous Greek army that was able to rebuke Persian assaults and also eventually defeat the Persians entirely.The finish of the Persian Wars led to the climb of Athens together the leader the the Delian League.Key TermsPersian Wars: A series of conflicts, from 499-449 BCE, between the Achaemenid realm of Persia and city-states the the Hellenic world.

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hoplites: A citizen-soldier of among the old Greek city-states, equipped primarily with spears and a shield.

The Persian wars (499-449 BCE) to be fought between the Achaemenid Empire and also the Hellenic people during the Greek classical period. The problem saw the increase of Athens, and also led come its gold Age.

Origins the the Conflict

Greeks that the classical duration believed, and also historians normally agree, the in the consequences of the autumn of Mycenaean civilization, plenty of Greek tribes emigrated and resolved in Asia Minor. These inhabitants were from three tribal groups: the Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians. The Ionians cleared up along the coastlines of Lydia and Caria, and founded 12 communities that stayed politically separate from one another, although lock did identify a shared cultural heritage. This developed the basis for an exclude, Ionian “cultural league.” The Lydians of western Asia Minor overcame the cities of Ionia, which put the region at dispute with the mean Empire, the precursor to the Achaemenid empire of the Persian Wars, and a power that the Lydians opposed.

In 553 with 550 BCE, the Persian prince Cyrus led a effective revolt against the last typical king Astyages, and also founded the Achaemenid Empire. Seeing an opportunity in the upheaval, the famed Lydian king Croesus request the oracle at Delphi whether he should assault the Persians in order to expand his realm. Follow to Herodotus, he obtained the pass out answer that “if Croesus was to cross the Halys that would ruin a great empire.” Croesus chose to attack, and also in the process he damaged his own empire, with Lydia falling come Prince Cyrus. The Ionians search to keep autonomy under the Persians together they had actually under the Lydians, and resisted the Persians militarily for part time. However, because of their unwillingness come rise versus the Lydians throughout previous conflicts, they were not granted one-of-a-kind terms. Recognize the Ionians difficult to rule, the Persians mounted tyrants in every city, as a method of control.

Achaemenid empire Map: The Achaemenid realm at its best extent.

The Ionian Revolt

In 499 BCE, Greeks in the an ar rose up against Persian ascendancy in the Ionian Revolt. In ~ the heart of the rebellion put a deep dissatisfaction v the tyrants who were appointed by the Persians to rule the local Greek communities. Specifics the riot was incited by the Milesian tyrant Aristagoras, that in the wake of a failed exploration to overcome Naxos, utilized Greek unrest against Persian king Darius the good to his very own political purposes.

Athens and also other Greek cities sent aid, but were quickly forced to back down after loss in 494 BCE, at the battle of Lade. As a result, Asia Minor returned to Persian control. Nonetheless, the Ionian revolt remains far-ranging as the an initial major conflict in between Greece and also the Persian Empire, and the very first phase the the Persian Wars. Darius vowed to precise revenge against Athens, and developed a setup to dominate all Greeks in an attempt to certain the security of his empire.

First Persian invasion of Greece

In 492 BCE, the Persian general, Mardonius, led a campaign through Thrace and also Macedonia. Throughout this campaign, Mardonius re-subjugated Thrace and forced Macedonia to become a totally submissive client of the Persian Empire, whereas prior to they had actually maintained a large degree that autonomy.While victorious, he was wounded and forced to retreat back into Asia Minor. Additionally, he shed his 1200-ship navy fleet to a storm turn off the coastline of mountain Athos. Darius sent ambassadors to all Greek urban to demand full submission in light of the current Persian victory, and all urban submitted, with the exceptions of Athens and also Sparta, both of which executed their particular ambassadors. This actions signaled Athens’ continued defiance and brought Sparta right into the conflict.

In 490 BCE, about 100,000 Persians landed in Attica intending to conquer Athens, however were defeated at the fight of Marathon by a Greek army of 9,000 Athenian hoplites and 1,000 Plateans, led by the Athenian general, Miltiades. The Persian fleet continued to sail come Athens but, see it garrisoned, made decision not to attempt an assault. The battle of Marathon was a watershed minute in the Persian Wars, in the it demonstrated to the Greeks the the Persians might be defeated. It also demonstrated the superiority the the an ext heavily armed Greek hoplites.


Greek-Persian duel: depiction of a Greek hoplite and a Persian warrior fighting each other on an old kylix.

Interbellum (490-480 BCE)

After the failure of the an initial Persian invasion, Darius raised a huge army v the will of invading greece again. However, in 486 BCE, Darius’s Egyptian topics revolted, postponing any development against Greece. During preparations to march ~ above Egypt, Darius died and his son, Xerxes I, inherited the throne. Xerxes conveniently crushed the Egyptians and also resumed prepare to attack Greece.

Second invasion of Greece

In 480 BCE, Xerxes sent a much an ext powerful pressure of 300,000 soldiers through land, v 1,207 pearl in support, across a double pontoon leg over the Hellespont. This military took Thrace prior to descending ~ above Thessaly and also Boetia, whilst the Persian marine skirted the coast and resupplied the soil troops. The Greek fleet, meanwhile, dashed to block Cape Artemision. After being delayed by Leonidas I, the Spartan king that the Agiad Dynasty, at the battle of Thermopylae (a battle made famous as result of the thin imbalance that forces, with 300 Spartans facing the whole Persian Army), Xerxes progressed into Attica, whereby he captured and burned Athens. However the Athenians had evacuated the city by sea, and also under the command of Themistocles, defeated the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis.

In 483 BCE, throughout the duration of peace between the 2 Persian invasions, a vein of silver ore had been discovered in the Laurion (a little mountain variety near Athens), and also the ore the was mined over there paid because that the construction of 200 warships to combat Aeginetan piracy. A year later, the Greeks, under the Spartan Pausanias, beat the Persian military at Plataea. Meanwhile, the allied Greek navy won a decisive win at the fight of Mycale, damaging the Persian fleet, crippling Xerxe’s sea power, and also marking the ascendency the the Greek fleet. Following the fight of Plataea and also the fight of Mycale, the Persians started withdrawing indigenous Greece and also never test an invasion again.

Greek Counterattack

The fight of Mycale to be in plenty of ways a transforming point, after which the Greeks walk on the offensive versus the Persian fleet. The Athenian fleet turned to chasing the Persians from the Aegean Sea, and also in 478 BCE, the fleet then proceeded to record Byzantium. In the food of doing so, Athens enrolled all the island states, and also some mainland states, right into an alliance called the Delian League— so named due to the fact that its treasury was preserved on the sacred island of Delos, whose objective was to proceed fighting the Persian Empire, prepare for future invasions, and organize a means of splitting the spoils of war. The Spartans, back they had actually taken part in the war, withdrew right into isolation afterwards. The Spartans believed that the war’s objective had currently been got to through the liberation of mainland Greece and the Greek cities of Asia Minor. Historians additionally speculate that Sparta was unconvinced of the capacity of the Delian league to secure permanent security for asian Greeks. The Spartan tap the money from the League permitted Athens to create unchallenged naval and commercial strength within the Hellenic world.

Effects the the Persian Wars

Despite their victories in the Persian Wars, the Greek city-states arised from the conflict much more divided 보다 united.

Learning Objectives

Understand the result the Persian Wars had actually on the balance of strength throughout the classical world

Key Takeaways

Key PointsAfter the second Persian invasion of Greece to be halted, Sparta i was withdrawn from the Delian League and also reformed the Peloponnesian league with its original allies.Many Greek city-states had been alienated native Sparta following the violent plot of Spartan leader Pausanias during the siege of Byzantium.Following Sparta’s leave from the Delian League, Athens to be able to usage the resources of the league to its own ends, i beg your pardon led that into dispute with less an effective members the the League.The Persian Empire embraced a divide-and-rule strategy in relationship to the Greek city-states in the wake up of the Persian Wars, stoking currently simmering conflicts, including the rivalry between Athens and also Sparta, to protect the Persian Empire versus further Greek attacks.Key TermsPeloponnesian League: an alliance formed around Sparta in the Peloponnesus, from the sixth to fourth centuries BCE.Delian League: An association of Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens, the purpose of which to be to proceed fighting the Persian empire after the Greek victories at the finish of the second Persian intrusion of Greece.hegemony: The political, economic, or army predominance or regulate of one state over others.

Aftermath of the Persian Wars

As a an outcome of the ally Greek success, a huge contingent the the Persian fleet to be destroyed and all Persian garrisons to be expelled native Europe, marking an end of Persia’s advance westward right into the continent. The urban of Ionia were likewise liberated native Persian control. Despite their successes, however, the spoils of war caused higher inner dispute within the Hellenic world. The violent action of Spartan leader Pausanias at the siege the Byzantium, because that instance, alienated numerous of the Greek states from Sparta, and led to a shift in the army command that the Delian league from Sparta come Athens. This collection the stage for Sparta’s eventual withdrawal native the Delian League.

Two Leagues

Following the two Persian invasions of Greece, and during the Greek counterattacks the commenced after the war of Plataea and also Mycale, Athens enrolled every island and also some mainland city-states right into an alliance, called the Delian League, the purpose of which to be to pursue problem with the Persian Empire, prepare for future invasions, and also organize a method of dividing the spoils the war. The Spartans, back they had actually taken part in the war, i was withdrawn from the Delian League beforehand on, believing the the war’s early stage purpose had actually been met through the liberation of mainland Greece and also the Greek urban of Asia Minor. Historians also speculate the Sparta decided to leaving the organization for realistic reasons, staying unconvinced that it was possible to secure irreversible security because that Greeks resident in Asia Minor, and also as a result of their unease v Athenian initiatives to boost their power. As soon as Spartawithdrew from the Delian organization after the Persian Wars, that reformed the Peloponnesian League, which had originally been developed in the 6th century and detailed the blueprint for what was currently the Delian League. The Spartan withdrawal from the League had actually the effect, however, of permitting Athens to establish unchallenged naval and also commercial power, unmatched throughout the Hellenic world. In fact, soon after the League’s inception, Athens started to usage the League’s navy for its very own purposes, which generally led the into dispute with other, less powerful League members.

Map the the Athenian realm c. 431 BCE: The Delian organization was the basis for the Athenian Empire, displayed here ~ above the brink that the Peloponnesian war (c. 431 BCE).

Delian league Rebellions

A series of rebellions arisen between Athens and the smaller city-states the were members the the League. For example, Naxos was the first member the the organization to attempt to secede, in about 471 BCE. It was later defeated and also forced come tear down its protective city walls, surrender its fleet, and lost vote privileges in the League. Thasos, another League member, additionally defected when, in 465 BCE, Athens established the swarm of Amphipolis top top the Strymon River, which intimidated Thasos’ understanding in the mines of Mt Pangaion. Thasos allied v Persia and petitioned Sparta because that assistance, but Sparta was unable to aid because it was dealing with the largest helot revolution in the history. Nonetheless, relations between Athens and Sparta were soured by the situation. ~ a three-year lengthy siege, Thasos to be recaptured and also forced earlier into the Delian League, despite it also lost its defensive walls and also fleet, that mines to be turned over to Athens, and the city-state was compelled to pay yearly tribute and also fines. According to Thucydides, the siege of Thasos significant the revolution of the organization from one alliance right into a hegemony.

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Following your defeats at the hands of the Greeks, and plagued by interior rebellions the hindered their capacity to fight international enemies, the Persians adopted a plan of divide-and-rule. Start in 449 BCE, the Persians attempted to aggravate the cultivation tensions in between Athens and also Sparta, and would also bribe political leaders to accomplish these aims. Your strategy was to store the Greeks distracted v in-fighting, so as to stop the tide of counterattacks getting to the Persian Empire. Their strategy was largely successful, and there was no open conflict in between the Greeks and also Persia till 396 BCE, once the Spartan king Agesilaus briefly invaded Asia Minor.