• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    However, this proved to be very ineffective and after some time General Haig conceded that his tactics were not effective and the new tactic of attrition was used. This tactic meant that the troops would no longer attempt huge breakthroughs but rather try to slowly break down the enemy.

  2. Free essay

    Using one or more examples of your choice, demonstrate how the historian should interrogate ...

    For example in document three the mode of address used by Elizabeth I describe James VI, 'My dear brother'_ and then herself 'Your most assured loving sister and cousin'_ shows that there relationship is on good terms thus we can assume that the author being Elizabeth I is being honest.

  1. Revson notes on the Middle Ages + their Heritage the Idea of Unity ...

    was important for the latter - 1st series of wars w/Xian neighbours -Aquitainians (769) - Bavarians (787-8) and Bretons (786-799) - 2nd series of wars was w/Lombards in central Italy, on behalf of Pope - he went into N. Italy and took crown of Lombardy as protector of Pope -

  2. Detailed Revision notes on the Peloponnesian War and Punic Wars.

    Sparta was a mixed constitution but mostly oligarchical (had 2 Kings, gerousia the old, over 18 age is the apella, five leading citizens oversaw king and all policy * Sparta was a equal society and continually trained for war and although highly capable/cohesive fighting they were reluctant to undertake foreign

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

    There is no hesitation that Christian European women every so often took part in fighting throughout the Middle Ages, but for the crusading movement this usually only happened in protective circumstances. Apart from having to take up these militant roles during this period of time, more and more women were

  2. Ancient Greece revision notes

    to be was the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable? Prometheus * PROMETHEUS was the Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was entrusted with the task of moulding mankind out of clay.

  1. E. Norman Gardiner in 1917 wrote: As to the origin and character of ...

    to Agathos Daimon stating ?he died here, boxing in the stadium, having preyed to Zeus for victory or death.?[11] Losing was therefore not considered an option and as Dawson correctly states, this inscription along with others of a similar character, ?epitomises the Greek sense of perseverance in honour and zeal

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

    for both Palestinian and Israeli communities Israel rethought occupation of territories and divisions in Israeli politics and society widened. The left saw a solution to the conflict involving the establishment of a Palestinian state and negotiations with the PLO the right wanted to retain territories and saw force as the

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