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

    Even though Darius had another elder son from a different wife, he became king since he was 'the son of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, who won the Persians their freedom,' thus she had 'immense power,' power which her son inherited.

  2. 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

  1. 'Whatever it is, I'm afraid of the Greeks, even when they're offering gifts' How ...

    Virgil did not want to offend his own race - the Romans, but he needed the horse to be brought in, so these reasons justify everything. The first reason I have already mentioned - the gods were against them. It was the fate of Troy to fall by the Trojan

  2. Vase painters were only interested in glorifying warAlthough it is true that the Greeks ...

    The next frieze is Achilles' pursuit of Troilus; when Achilles learned the prophecy that Troy could not fall if Pram's son were to reach the age of 20, he resolved to kill the boy and ultimately slayed him on Apollo's sanctuary, thus the sanctity of his shrine was violated and Apollo wanted revenge.

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

    be a naval battle as the Spartans? idea of building a wall to seal off the Isthmus of Corinth would fail, with the Persians breaking through and defeating them as they did at Thermopylae. Herodotus? account can be called into question, as it is known that he relied heavily on

  2. In what ways and to what extent Does Herodotus overemphasize individuals in the conflict ...

    revenge and expansionist desires thus to ?subdue all the Hellenes? as non-contemporary Plutarch states and to suffice and live up to name of previous kings and conquer territory which is a prerequisite for any Persian King and something Darius had yet to do, to acquire ? a deed worthy of

  1. Is Herodotus the father of History or the father of lies?

    not be without their glory; ?and to discover some reasoning on the origins of why battles began ?show why two people fought with each other?. He initially presented his work in oral theatrical manner to an audience of Greeks in Greece.

  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