To what extent was the battle of Salamis a turning point in Xerxes' campaign against the Greeks?

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To what extent was the battle of Salamis a turning point in Xerxes' campaign against the Greeks? (50)-

The Battle of Salamis was an integral part of Xerxes’ campaign in Greece.  However, it was not the only turning point in Xerxes’ campaign, arguably the Battles of Thermopylae and Plataea were also vital in changing the dynamics of the invasion.  Salamis was significant as it was the first battle of a succession of battles in which the Persians were defeated, eventually leading to Xerxes ending his campaign.  Similarly, Plataea signifies the official end of Xerxes’ campaign, whereas, Thermopylae denotes the beginning of his invasion.  

Aeschylus states that following the Battle of Salamis, the Persian army was “dead and gone”.  Obviously this was a rather exaggerated statement as there were battles that followed Salamis (Mycale and Plataea).  As a play, Aeschylus’ Persae cannot be taken at face value, as it is likely it was written to propagate the Athenians, supported by the fact he won first prize at the Dionysia for the same work.  However, it provides valuable insight into how many viewed the Battle of Salamis as a Greek victory.  Additionally, Aeschylus fought in the Battle and so had first-hand experience of the events the unfurled.  By using the Battle to present Athenian supremacy in his play, Aeschylus must have viewed Salamis as a key component of Xerxes’ campaign, perhaps the turning point, or it is likely he would have omitted any mention of it.  It could be argued that Salamis was a turning point in Xerxes’ campaign as, before the Battle, the Greeks were on a losing streak and appeared to be the unlikely victors of the campaign due to their defeat at Thermopylae, after, they defeated the Persian army twice more at Mycale and Plataea.  This suggests that, as the connecting factor between failure and success, Salamis was the turning point in Xerxes’ campaign.  

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Greek strategy changed considerably at Salamis; whereas Leonidas and his Spartan force of 300 men dominated Thermopylae, Salamis was predominately directed by Themistocles and the Athenian navy.  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 be a naval battle as the Spartans’ idea of building a wall to seal off the Isthmus of Corinth would fail, ...

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