• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the respective contributions of Athens and Sparta and other Greeks to Greek victory over Persia in 480-79 B.C.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the respective contributions of Athens and Sparta and other Greeks to Greek victory over Persia in 480-79 B.C. The war between Persia and Greece is one that has been remembered in history, particularly recorded by Herodotus in his Histories. Athens and Sparta, along with other Greeks contributed greatly to the victory over Persia in 480-79 B.C. along with other factors. This essay will assess how their contributions and other factors contributed to the Greek victory over Persia. The Persians were very well prepared for their invasion of Greece which can be seen through the canal which was dug through isthmus north of Mt Athos (VII 1-24). The Persians also built a bridge to cross the Hellespont and made provision dumps which were carefully chosen by a survey to feed the army as they made their march. (VII. 25-26) Herodotus also states that for four years "the mustering of troops and the provision of stores and equipment continued, and towards the close of the fifth Xerxes... began his march." (VII 20-21) The vast preparations of Xerxes' invasion would mean that the Greeks would be facing a huge challenge and would have to come together to repel the invasion. Athens and Sparta could be seen to be the two major contributors to the victory over Persia. Athens could be seen as the major contributor in terms of naval contribution. ...read more.


(VII. 168-170) The Corcyraeans did offer to send a fleet in support but later began to change their mind and as Herodotus states "the dawdled about before getting to sea, and then sailed only as far as the Peloponnese" making their support to Greece redundant. The Greeks also asked for help from Gelon of Sicily; however his help was refused as he wanted command of the whole Greek army which the Spartans were unwilling to give up. There were still some states which helped a great deal such as Corinth and Aegina which Bengtson states that they provided the Greek fleet with ships. (Chapter 6: 101) Their contribution of ships was only beaten by Athens, yet Corinth and Aegina's contributions helped greatly/The lack of help from some of the more dominant and powerful Greek city states meant that the Greeks would be weakened and while some smaller one's did help, their contribution was not as great as that of Sparta or Athens. Despite the contributions of Sparta and Athens to the victory over Persia, there were other factors that contributed to the victory. For example, the Greeks strategy of using the topography of Greece to render the Persian numbers useless such as the use of narrow passages to use as the battlefield to condense the Persians into a small space to make use of their Phalanx and longer spears. ...read more.


fleet was caught in a heavy blow." (VII. 188-89) The storm resulted in a suspected four hundred ships destroyed in the Persian fleet (VII. 190) which would have not only left the fleet greatly weakened but would have also caused a huge dip in morale in the Persian army. The fact the weather changed so quickly may also have caused the Persians to believe that it was a God who did it, and in contrast, this would have shown to the Greeks that the Gods were on their side and their morale would have been boosted. The fact the Persians fell into Themistocles' trap at the Battle of Salamis also contributed to the Greek victory as it allowed the Greeks to utilise their ships better fighting prowess in narrow straights while rendering the Persians' faster and more manoeuvrable ships (cf. VIII, 10, 60) useless. If the Persians had waited or landed on the Peloponnese they may have won but the victory for the Greeks proved to be the turning point of the invasion (VIII. 75-95) and would have greatly improved the Greek morale and damaged the Persians with it. In conclusion while the Athenians, Spartans and other Greeks contributed greatly to the victory over Persia, however there were other factors such as the morale of the men and lucky events such as the weather, which altogether contributed to the victory over the Persians. Were if it not for them, then the outcome of the war may have been very different. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Descartess Overall Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness in the Meditations

    He bases his existence on the fact that he would at least have to amount to something, because there had to be something in the first place, which was capable of being deceived. (Second Meditation, 17-18) In light of Descartes' apparent accomplishment, in which he argues for the proof his

  2. In this essay I will be examining the reasons why against all odds the ...

    Instead they sent two delegations to give Cyrus warning to leave Ionia or face coming into battle with the Spartans. Shocked by the Spartans bluntness and with them being an unknown quantity, Cyrus was bemused and so asked "who are the Spartans?"

  1. In what way if at all does Herodotus overemphasize the role of individuals in ...

    and he can't perceive numbers correctly, often being sidetracked and focusing on individuals instead on the battles. Another of his weaknesses is that he relies heavily on oral tradition and he does not sift through his evidence, though the fact that he did interview people of various ranks and races

  2. Oedipus the King VS. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" "An Occurrence at Owl ...

    This is theatre. It has been crafted to look as though the fall is due to some error of action, strongly entwined with fate. It gives the impression that Oedipus could not have stopped the actual horrific incest with his mother and the murder of his father from occurring.

  1. The Parthenon was part of an ambitious building campaign that began around 450 b.c. ...

    and if that wasn't enough, many of the masons who worked on the Parthenon used different measuring systems depending on where they are from. To compensate for all of these differences must have been one of the most difficult tasks of the whole build.

  2. Comparing Herodotus and Thucydides

    Thucydides writes his paragraphs usually so they contain one main point which he is trying to get across. An example of this is when describing the build up to the Peloponnesian war he usually includes one main point.

  1. To what extent was the battle of Salamis a turning point in Xerxes' campaign ...

    Thucydides describes Themistocles? ?ability and intelligence? in his History of the Peloponnesian War, attributes that were used to their full advantage at Salamis. In the lead up to Salamis Themistocles acted as the strategic figurehead, insisting, as Herodotus describes, that the Greek force must continue fighting and that it must

  2. Greek History - the status of the Helots in Sparta

    in their own homeland, whereas many Greek slaves elsewhere were literal prisoners of war captured in foreign campaigns. Unlike captured foreigners, helots had a unified language and identity; they were all fellow countrymen. Helots belonged to the state (Sparta), whereas other Greek slaves belonged to individuals (Pomeroy 174).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work