Battle of Salamis

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Battle of Salamis

Post by Captain Fantastic » 12-06-2006 01:40 PM

Ω, παίδες Ελλήνων, ίτε
Ελευθερούτε πατρίδ', ελευθερούτε δε
παίδας, γυναίκας, θεών τε πατρώων έδη,
θήκας τε προγόνων:
νύν υπέρ παντών αγών


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Salamis

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Post by Alien-BC » 12-06-2006 01:54 PM

Hi Captain we covered this at school not that I paid much attention at the time.:(
Here’s some back ground on the conflict.

The Persian Wars

Like the Trojan War, the Persian Wars were a defining moment in Greek history. The Athenians, who would dominate Greece culturally and politically through the fifth century BC and through part of the fourth, regarded the wars against Persia as their greatest and most characteristic moment. For all their importance, though, the Persian Wars began inauspiciously. In the middle of the sixth century BC, the Greek city-states along the coast of Asia Minor came under the control of the Lydians and their king, Croesus (560-546 BC). However, when the Persians conquered the Lydians in 546 BC, all the states subject to the Lydians became subject to the Persians. The Persians controlled their new subject-states very closely; they appointed individuals to rule the states as tyrants. They also required citizens to serve in the Persian army and to pay fairly steep taxes. Smarting under these new burdens and anxious for independence, the tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, began a democratic rebellion in 499 BC. Aristagoras was an opportunist. He had been placed in power by the Persians, but when he persuaded the Persians to launch a failed expedition against Naxos, he began to fear for his life. So he fomented a popular rebellion against the Persians and went to the Greek mainland for support. He went first to the Spartans, since they were the most powerful state in Greece, but the Spartans seem to have seen right through him. When he approached the Athenians, they promised him twenty ships. In 498 BC, the Athenians conquered and burned Sardis, which was the capital of Lydia, and all the Greek cities in Asia Minor joined the revolt. The Athenians, however, lost interest and went home; by 495 BC, the Persians, under king Darius I (521-486 BC), had restored control over the rebellious Greek cities.

And there it should have ended. But Athens had gotten the attention of the Persians, who desired that Athens be punished for the role it played in the destruction of Sardis. The Persians also had Hippias, the tyrant of Athens who had been deposed by Cleisthenes in 508 BC. So in 490 BC, the Persians launched an expedition against Athens. They were met, however, by one of their former soldiers, Miltiades. He had been an outstanding soldier in the Persian army, but he took to his heels when he angered Darius. Unlike other Athenians, he knew the Persian army and he knew its tactics. The two armies, with the Athenians led by Miltiades, met at Marathon in Attica and the Athenians roundly defeated the invading army. This battle, the battle of Marathon (490 BC), is perhaps the single most important battle in Greek history. Had the Athenians lost, Greece would have eventually come under the control of the Persians and all the subsequent culture and accomplishmenst of the Greeks would probably not have taken the form they did.

For the Athenians, the battle at Marathon was their greatest achievement. From Marathon onwards, the Athenians began to think of themselves as the center of Greek culture and Greek power. This pride, or chauvinism, was the foundation on which much of their cultural achievements were built. The first great dramas, for instance, were the dramas of Aeschylus; the principle subject of these dramas is the celebration of Athenian greatness. The great building projects of the latter half of the fifth century were motivated by the need to display Athenian wealth, greatness, and power.

The Persians, however, weren't done. For the Persians, Marathon barely registered; the Persians, after all, controlled almost the entire world: Asia Minor, Lydia, Judah, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. While Marathon stands as one of the greatest of Greek military accomplishments, it was really more of an irritation to the Persians. The Persian government, however, was embroiled in problems of its own, and it wasn't until Xerxes (486-465 BC) became king, that the Persians really got down to business and launched a punitive expedition against Athens. This time the Persians were determined to get it right. In 481 BC, Xerxes gathered together an army of some one hundred fifty thousand men and a navy of six hundred ships; he was determined that the whole of Greece would be conquered by his army.

The Athenians, however, were prepared. While many Athenians celebrated their victory at Marathon and thought that the Persians had gone home permanently, the Greek poitician, Themistocles, convinced the Athenians otherwise. So while Persia delayed through the 480's, Themistocles and the Athenians began a navy-building project of epic proportions. Themistocles convinced the Athenians to invest the profits from a newly discovered silver mine into this project; by 481 BC, Athens had a navy of two hundred ships.

When Xerxes gathered his army at the Hellespont, the narrow inlet to the Black Sea that separates Asia Minor from Europe, most Greeks despaired of winning against his powerful army. Of several hundred Greek city-states, only thirty-one decided to resist the Persian army; these states were led by Sparta, Corinth, and Athens: the Greek League. Sparta was made leader of all land and sea operations.

Themistocles, however, understood that the battle would be won or lost at sea; he figured that the Persian army could only succeed if it were successfully supported by supplies and communications provided by the fleet. He also understood that the Aegean Sea was a violent place, subject to dangerous winds and sudden squalls. While he kept the Athenian fleet safe in harbor, many of Xerxes' boats were destroyed at sea. He also waited his time; if the Persians could be delayed on land, then he could destroy the Persian fleet when the time was right.

That time came in a sea battle off the island of Salamis. The Greeks had slow, clumsy boats in comparison with the Persian boats, so they turned their boats into fighting platforms. They filled their boats with soldiers who would fight with the opposing boats in hand-to-hand combat; it was a brilliant innovation, and the Athenians managed to destroy the majority of the Persian fleet. The Persians withdrew their army.

However, one Persian general, Mardonius, remained. He wintered in Greece, but he was met in 479 BC by the largest Greek army history had ever known. Under the leadership of the Spartan king, Pausanias, Mardonius was killed in the battle of Plataea, and his army retreated back to Persia.

It's difficult to assess all the consequences of the Greek victory over the Persians. While the Spartans were principally responsible for the victory, the Athenian fleet was probably the most important component of that victory. This victory left Athens with the most powerful fleet in the Aegean, and since the Persians hadn't been completely defeated, all the Greeks feared a return. The majority of Greek city-states, however, didn't turn to Sparta; they turned, rather, to Athens and the Athenian fleet. The alliances that Athens would make following the retreat of the Persians, the so-called Delian League, would suddenly catapult Athens into the major power of the Greek city-states. This power would make Athens the cultural center of the Greek world, but it would also spell their downfall as the Spartans grew increasingly frightened of Athenian power and increasingly suspicious of Athenian intentions.

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Post by Linnea » 12-06-2006 02:30 PM

*~*~*~*~

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Post by joequinn » 12-06-2006 09:03 PM

It was not widely known amid the chaos that accompanied the Oliver Stone/Colin Farrell disaster of Alexander that there was a second film on the glorious Greek in production! In 2007 we are going to be seeing Baz Luhrmann's version of the epic. And Luhrmann, who directed Moulin Rouge recently, has Leonardo Di Caprio in the starring role. Given Luhrmann's rough-n-ready style and Di Caprio's outrageousness, get ready for Brokeback Empire! The only question will be whether it will get a "R" or an "X" rating...

And then there is the cinematic version of Steven Pressfield's magnificent Gates of Fire, which is the story of the way in which 300 Spartan hoplites held off two million (!) Persians at the pass of Thermopylae in 490 BCE long enough to allow the Athenians to regroup for resistance. The novel, which is every bit as violent as it is superb, will make a wonderful film! Bruce Willis, who is guarding this project in the way that a dragon guards his hoard, will be playing King Leonidas, leader of the doomed 300 at the Gates of Fire!

The Greeks will peak in 2007! You heard it here first, sports fans...

(And oh! next Christmas get ready for Beowulf. CGI effects were invented for Grendel's mother! And Anglo-Saxons are just as cool as the Greeks!)
Last edited by joequinn on 12-06-2006 09:12 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by HB3 » 12-06-2006 09:12 PM

joequinn wrote: The only question will be whether it will get a "R" or an "X" rating...


Maybe it'll be the new 'Caligula.'

And how could you not mention 300? Too lowbrow?

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Post by HB3 » 12-06-2006 09:13 PM

I thought this thread was about some sort of salame taste test. I'm truly bummed.

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Post by Alien-BC » 12-06-2006 09:17 PM

Beowulf. Joequinn I await with great expectations;)

If it only to see how Hollywood misinterprets history they never fail to pi ss me of when debauching Europe’s chronicle’s:mad:
Last edited by Alien-BC on 12-06-2006 09:22 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by joequinn » 12-06-2006 09:22 PM

Alexander was super-cool. Cooler than Julius Caesar. Cooler than Napoleon. Super-cool. OK, so he was a bisexual, alcoholic megalomaniac! But still he was the coolest world-conquerer of all (with the exception, of course, of Ashoka Chandragupta!).

Steven Pressfield has just published a novel of Alexander's struggle to conquer Afghanistan in 327 BCE --- The Afghan Campaign. I can't understand why Pressfield would publish a novel on this subject right now. Can you? :D :D :D

And, oh, screw Duke Wayne, John Ford and the Alamo! The Gates of Fire --- now that was some real heavy action! :D :D :D

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Post by joequinn » 12-06-2006 09:47 PM

Here's the Wikipedia article on Pressfield's book on the battle at the Gates of Fire:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gates_of_Fire

And I must apologize for an historical error of fact (which I usually do not make). The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BCE: it was the Battle of Marathon that took place in 490 BCE. I am so embarassed. You can be sure that Captain Fantastic would not make such a mistake! But what can you expect? I am an ignorant barbarian who cannot even read Greek... :(

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Post by Alien-BC » 12-06-2006 10:01 PM

joequinn wrote: .............. I am an ignorant barbarian who cannot even read Greek... :(


Come out of the closet joequinn you’re a geek and you know it. And we love you;)

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Post by tiffany » 12-06-2006 10:14 PM

joequinn wrote: Here's the Wikipedia article on Pressfield's book on the battle at the Gates of Fire:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gates_of_Fire

And I must apologize for an historical error of fact (which I usually do not make). The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BCE: it was the Battle of Marathon that took place in 490 BCE. I am so embarassed. You can be sure that Captain Fantastic would not make such a mistake! But what can you expect? I am an ignorant barbarian who cannot even read Greek... :(


What's ten years when you're talking war Joe.......now how many years have we been in this one.........:mad:

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Post by joequinn » 12-06-2006 10:23 PM

I believe quite devoutly in reincarnation, folks, and I have always had a thing for ancient Greece. Who knows, maybe I was hacked to pieces in one of those innumerable battles in the old country? And maybe Alexander used to chase me around the table when he had taken a drop too much? Who knows, huh? :D :D :D

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Post by Alien-BC » 12-06-2006 10:31 PM

joequinn wrote: I believe quite devoutly in reincarnation, folks, and I have always had a thing for ancient Greece. Who knows, maybe I was hacked to pieces in one of those innumerable battles in the old country? And maybe Alexander used to chase me around the table when he had taken a drop too much? Who knows, huh? :D :D :D


You where Aphrodite joequinn :D
Only in this live you seduce us with your post. :p

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Post by joequinn » 12-06-2006 10:33 PM

Nah, I was Hermes, with those super-cool winged sneakers...

Image
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Re: How many years have we been in this war?

Post by Malaria_Kidd II » 07-18-2017 12:33 AM

tiffany wrote:
12-06-2006 10:14 PM
joequinn wrote: Here's the Wikipedia article on Pressfield's book on the battle at the Gates of Fire:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gates_of_Fire

And I must apologize for an historical error of fact (which I usually do not make). The Battle of Thermopylae took place in 480 BCE: it was the Battle of Marathon that took place in 490 BCE. I am so embarassed. You can be sure that Captain Fantastic would not make such a mistake! But what can you expect? I am an ignorant barbarian who cannot even read Greek... :(


What's ten years when you're talking war Joe.......now how many years have we been in this one.........:mad:
The actual answer by long time friends, and you know it too; it's been 1,400 years and some are counting patiently and some not so patiently! :roll:

MK II

This thread finally moved 11.5 years later.

P.S. A guest was viewing this very interesting historical entry and I thought to myself, "I think I'll go there." It was a good read an the rest is history. :wink: :(
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one but don't have it, you'll probably never need one again!" :oops: :wink: from 'Gun Shots' on Twitter/ Check out http://malarino.com/ it's 95% Turmeric :!: :mrgreen:

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