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THE_PERSIAN_WARS - Athens The Persians proceded to burn the...

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THE PERSIAN WARS In 490 B.C.E., Darius I of Persia attempted to invade the Greek mainland. He was met at the Plains of Marathon and defeated by a smaller force of Athenians and their allies. A runner named Pheidippedes (“horse legs”) ran the 26.2 miles back to Athens with the news of the Athenian victory and collapsed dead of exhaustion upon arrival. In 480 B.C.E., Xerxes, King of Persia , attempted an overland route of conquest after first building two pontoon bridges across the Hellespont , the most narrow strait between Europe and Asia (approx. 2 miles). After a successful crossing, the Persians marched down through Macedonia until they were temporarily stopped at the narrow mountain pass of Thermopylae by a small but resolute band of Spartans. After several days, a Greek traitor showed the Persians a secret route around the mountain pass, and the Spartans were attacked from the rear and slaughtered. However, they had bought their Greek allies valuable time to fall back and defend
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Unformatted text preview: Athens. The Persians proceded to burn the wooden temples on the Athenian acropolis as well as much of the city. Their waiting fleet was all but destroyed by the smaller, more agile Greeks ships at the nearby island of Salamis. After the Battle of Salamis, the Persians sailed home across the Aegean, leaving the Greeks in peace for many years. The Athenians, however, organized a defense pact of several city-states and islands called the Delian League , named after the island of Delos where the treasury of the Delian League was kept. In 454 B.C.E., Pericles ordered the treasury moved to Athens where it was housed in the Parthenon , the temple to Athens’ patron goddess. Pericles and the Athenians used the Delian treasury not only to build a stronger navy but also to rebuild much of Athens in stone , especially the temples on the Acropolis, much to the anger of the other member of the League....
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