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You are watching: How did the geography of the greek peninsula help them defeat the persians?


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College Professor

Ph.D. From college of north Carolina in ~ Chapel Hill

Educator since 2018

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together the fifth century B.C. Opened, the Persian realm was moving westward in a search to consolidate control over the whole of the near East. Then, in 499 B.C., reacting versus the demand for taxes and tribute, the Greek city the Miletus climbed up versus Persian rule. This rebellion spread...


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As the 5th century B.C. Opened, the Persian realm was relocating westward in a pursuit to consolidate control over the totality of the close to East. Then, in 499 B.C., reacting versus the need for taxes and also tribute, the Greek city that Miletus climbed up versus Persian rule. This revolt spread from Miletus to the other parts that Ionia. Athens sent a naval force from throughout the Aegean Sea and also led a little force that took the Persian provincial capital of Sardis in the exact same year.

In stimulate to get vengeance versus Athens, the Persians, who lacked a an extensive navy, would certainly themselves have to cross the Aegean Sea. In 491 B.C., the Persian emperor Darius sent out envoys come Athens, demanding its submission to Persian rule. The Athenians not only rejected Darius"s offer but additionally killed the envoys. The Persian military landed in ~ Marathon in 490 B.C., whereby the Athenians waited 5 days to communicate the Persian forces for fear of gift outflanked by the Persian force. There are different theories as to why the Persians us did not engage, including the idea that the marshy land on the plain took away among the Persians" major advantages: their cavalry. In any kind of case, gift a an excellent distance from home and having minimal supplies, the Persians could not beat the waiting video game forever. Some historians think that the Persian commanders decided to send the cavalry to Athens through sea to take it the undefended city. This relocate may have actually precipitated and, indeed, demanded the Athenian attack. The occurring Athenian victory was as swift together it was unexpected. Follow to this narrative, the Athenian pressures then marched ago and to be in a position to defend their city by the moment the Persians through their mounties completed your sea voyage.

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Although geography certainly played a role in few of the key battles, so too did the tactics and strategy the the Greeks; therefore, location cannot be checked out in isolation. Darius"s child Xerxes gathered a force of unprecedented dimension for a brand-new invasion the the Greek mainland in 480 B.C. Rather than crossing the Aegean, the Persians approached indigenous the north, where they had domain names in Thrace and also Macedonia. At the extremely consequential fight of Salamis, i beg your pardon prevented the intrusion of the Peloponnese, the Persians to be baited right into entering the Straits that Salamis, whereby their huge numbers offered as a disadvantage: they came to be disoriented and fell food to Greek attacks. In ~ the battle of Plataea, the Greeks resisted the temptation to strike the Persians on great cavalry terrain and also instead, by retreating, took the fight come the hills and also were victorious. Therefore geography regularly helped in combination with Greek army strategizing and decision-making.