Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Battle of Salamis

The Battle of Salamis

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Salamis, which took place in 480 B.C.

A decade earlier Darius of Persia invaded Greece.  It was the famous victory at Marathon that put an end to that venture.

Xerxes, successor to Darius, again invaded Greece.  Those of you who saw “The 300” know something of how part of this invasion went.  BTW, while parts of that movie conform to the sources (“then we will fight in the shade”), much of it does not.  For example, Sparta had not one but two kings, and Leonidas had already fallen before the final onslaught and destruction of the Spartan force.  Still they had achieved their objective, namely delaying the Persians.

At Salamis the Greek fleet attacked that of Persia and won a major victory.  The Persian army, fearing that it would be trapped in Greece, largely withdrew.  The remainder met the Greek army the next year at Plataea.  It was at Plataea that the exhortation with which The 300 opens and closes takes place.  That battle was not the set piece that is indicated in the movie, but it did result in a Greek victory. 

There were no more Persian invasions of Greece.

No comments:

Post a Comment