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

Historical Investigation: On the Greco-Persian Wars, circum 490 BCE

Extracts from this document...


A. Plan of Investigation: This essay examines how the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Artemisium influenced the course of the Greco-Persian Wars in the period 492 to 479 BC. It also assesses the extent to which they did so. It examines the influence of the battles on the morale, tactics and decisions of the Greeks. It looks at the effects on both sides where it later affected the Greeks but not the effect of the battles throughout the Greco-Persian Wars, which ended in 386 BC. It does not examine the course of the battles themselves; nor does it seek to hypothesise over how the war would have progressed differently had the outcomes of the battle differed from reality. The investigation assesses two sources for origins, purpose, value and limitations. The sources assessed are Tom Holland's 'Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West' and Herodotus' 'Histories', which, although not often referred to itself, is the source of almost all knowledge of the period and all the other sources draw on it heavily. B. Summary of Evidence: The Battle of Marathon occurred in 490 BC as the result of the first major expedition (an amphibious operation1) by the Persians into central Greece. At this point Greece was fragmented, ruled by innumerable city-states. Although these Greeks did share a common heritage, most of this consisted of killing or enslaving each other2. ...read more.


C. Evaluation of Sources: The book 'Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West' was first published in 2005 and was written by Tom Holland who is a British historian. He wrote the book in order to inform the general public of the war which, in the words of John Stuart Mill, 'even as an event in English history, is more important than the battle of Hastings'13. It is not an academic account, and it is not fully referenced and where there are opposing views he rarely details his decision to choose a particular side. He is very well informed about the period yet at times makes assumptions which may not be justified. It is a valuable source as it covers the whole period and explores in depth the effects of not just the battles being assessed but also economic and cultural factors. It is clearly well researched, yet the subject is so controversial among historians of the period that he would be unable to fulfil his purpose whilst explaining his views in every single controversial area so at times he makes assumptions which could at times be a limitation. A more obvious limitation of the source is that it was written nearly two and a half thousand years after the period discussed, so there is little evidence as to the events of the war - much that is presented as fact is more of an informed estimate. ...read more.


directly, leading to their tactics of securing the support of Greek traitors and using flanking attacks - tactics which nearly conquered the Greeks. E. Conclusion: The Greco-Persian wars are a period of much controversy, with many statistics and events being fiercely debated. Marathon, occurring 10 years previously to the other battles examined, was a great victory and gave the Hellenic League - the Greek coalition - the hope that they could successfully resist. However, it did lead to problems in Athens, as it created over-confidence to the extent of arrogance in the Athenians. The Battle of Thermopylae has come to symbolise the clash between the Persian Empire and Greece. However, it appears to me that The Battle of Thermopylae had little relative worth: the Spartans and their allies failed, understandably, to hold the pass for a significant length of time and the battle led to no development of tactics - except perhaps on the Persian side. However, it did have some morale value and it is unlikely that the fleet would have remained stationed off Artemisium were it not for the holding force at Thermopylae. In contrast, Artemisium was of no propaganda value and was intended, tactically, merely to prevent the Persians from surrounding Thermopylae through an amphibious operation and yet it led to the development of the tactics which defeated the Persians. Therefore, it is my conclusion that The Battle of Artemisium was of the greatest value and that The Battle of Thermopylae, whilst famous, was the least. F. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. WW2 historical investigation. To assess the degree to which intelligence lead to the victory ...

    Initially, they protected the convoys using a variety of vessels these ranged from vintage World War 1 destroyers to converted civilian whalers. 6 D�nitz concluded that group attacks would be necessary, and established the Wolf-Pack strategy (Ruddeltaktik) 7this strategy implied group attacks by U-boats on allied convoys system and was based on radio communications enciphered by the German Enigma code.

  2. Operation Barbarossa was the leading military operation in World War II, yet it failed ...

    Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that "what India was for England, the territories of Russia will be for us"10, and "if we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states."11 Lebensraum had been an intention of Hitler's since 1925,

  1. Investigacin Histrica: En qu medida la expropiacin de tierras emprendida durante el gobierno de ...

    Por otro lado, se�ala Guido y Enrique Chirinos que la reforma agraria de Velasco trajo tambi�n efectos negativos que en fin, no lleg� a beneficiar al agro peruano como tanto se esperaba. Por otro lado, la ignorancia de los campesinos los llev� al abismo por el hecho de no saber

  2. Women During the Period of Crusades. Crusades were expeditions as well as being ...

    Attacks on properties were widespread during this time and women were regularly forced to guard their homes or castles. Occupations during the crusades were also openings for women in roles such as: woman in markets, estate manageress, craftswomen, and merchants.

  1. IB Historical Investigation

    wars.14 Political Upheavals and Defeat of Rebels in Colombia In Colombia during the implementing period of the Alliance for Progress, labor unions organized workers to declare strikes which demanded better

  2. The purpose of this investigation is to discover to what extent the Battle of ...

    The first day is also famous as some of the tactics used by the Allies are very questionable. In the Battle of the Somme, it was the Allies led by Haig and Foch, the two generals, fighting against the Germans led by Von Gallwitz and Von Below (http://en.wikipedia.org).

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Anglo-French-Israeli conspiracy was that Israel would be 'invited' to attack Egypt across the Sinai as Israel had certainly being provoked by Nasser in recent years. Once Israel had reached the Canal, Britain and France would order Israel and Egypt to withdraw from the Canal Zone and occupy it themselves.

  2. Ancient Greece revision notes

    Phalanx: ancient Greek expression to signify an organized, dense line of battle. In the phalanx formation, densely packed lines of foot soldiers armed with long lances created a formidable obstacle, even to armed cavalry Hoplites were known as the heavily armed infantry soldiers.

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