480 BC, Xerxes is ready. He gathered an army of 200,000 soldiers. Biggest army in history up until this time. He also gathered navy of 600 triremes, the boat. Trireme was the standard naval vessel in the ancient world. 200 guys per trireme. Ancient naval vessels were usually simple and straightforward. Summer of 480, Xerxes starts moving toward Greece. By August, Persians were in Greece.Greeks knew they were coming, so some Polis joined together to stop Persia.
They formed a military line called the Hellenic League.Most of big Polis signed up including Sparta, which had the best army in Greece. And Athens, which had the biggest navy in Greece. Altogether, they had 40,000 hoplites and 400 triremes. Greece were massively outnumbered on land, but slightly outnumbered on sea.Greeks tried to stop the Persian army in Thermopylae.The reason to stop Persian there was because Thermopylae was a very narrow pass between mountains and the sea.Xerxes arrives and find 700 Persian armies. And faces 300 Sparta soldiers. The whole force led by Spartan king, Leonidas.Even though Persians outnumbered Greeks, they were still unable to break through. The narrow space gave advantage to Greece. The battle would go for 2 days and Xerxes were about to give up. But Greek traitor comes through and tells Xerxes there is a secret passageway that gives a way through the other side of Thermopylae. Leonidas and 300 Spartans stand and fight til death. Prophecy said that Greece could only win this war if Spartan king dies. Leonidas sacrifices himself to win the battle. Persians now march on and forcing most Greeks to flee. Persian captures Athens and burns the city to the ground.Greek Navy was left next to the island, Salamis. And there, Xerxes makes the biggest mistakes. Xerxes does not want to spend a lot of time to chase Greeks around.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 5 pages?
History, Battle of Thermopylae, Greco-Persian Wars, Persians, Battle of Salamis