The Persian Wars


Ionian Revolt

Aristagoras of Miletus - the Naxos Debacle - 499

Athenians assist in the burning of Sardis - 498

Persians crush revolt - Battle of Lade, Sack of Miletus - 494

Phrynichus and the Sack of Miletus - 493

Mardonius' expedition wrecked at Athos - 492


Darius' Invasion

Demand for earth and water - Medizing states - 491

Aegina crisis

Invasion at Marathon

Miltiades and the Alcmaionids at Marathon

Plataian allies

Spartan aid comes too late

- Phidippides the runner

- the Spartan Carnea

Athenian Self-Definition: the Saviors of Greece against the Barbarian

The Heroes of Marathon


Athens after Marathon

Themistokles and Ostracism - 487

Archons chosen by lot

Aristides the Just - ostracized 482

The Delphic Oracle and the Persian Invasion

Athens' "wooden walls" - Themistokles and the new fleet


Xerxes' Invasion

Medizing Greek States

Thessaly - the first line of defense

Battle of Thermopylae - the Spartan moment

- Leonidas the king of Sparta

- Ephialtes the traitor

Battle of Artemisium - aid from Boreas

Evacuation of Athens and the Wall at the Isthmus


Xerxes' Invasion

Battle of Salamis

- Themistokles the trickster

- Aeschylus' The Persians

Retreat of Xerxes and the fleet

Mardonius' campaign

- Battle of Plataea

- Battle of Mycale


Aftermath of the Persian War

Building of the Long Walls

Spartan concerns over Athenian strength

Themistocles the trickster

Vengeance on the Persians

Pausanias leads Greeks to victory against Persians at Cyprus and Byzantium

Shift of Leadership from Sparta to Athens

Pausanias antagonizes Greek allies

Pausanias recalled to Sparta for corruption, replaced by Dorcis

Athenians Aristides and Cimon win favor with Greek allies



Readings For Next Week::

Buckley ch. 10 – 15 (focus on 10-12)

Thucydides Book I (focus on 1.89-117)

Plutarch – Cimon

Sophocles Antigone

Fornara # 95 (Peace of Kallias)


Thucydides 1.89-93 on Themistokles and the Long Walls provides a good introduction to the historianıs work.  In it he comes close to the style of Herodotus in telling an interesting story in order to make a point:  how the Athenians attained the position that in time enabled them to develop their empire.  What elements of this story might provoke the comparison with Herodotus?  What effect do these elements have upon its reliability as a historical source?


Thucydides 1.89-117 provides a condensed account of the development of the Delian League from its beginning until it appears transformed into an Athenian Empire.  The format of a bare listing tends to emphasize Athensı escalating oppression of its allies.  In tracing this development, you may find it helpful to utilize the list format, noting the chronological order of these actions, locating their sites on the map, and considering the justification that Thucydides gives for each.


Plutarch recounts the story of Cimon recovering the bones of Theseus.  Why was this action important to the Athenians?  How did it influence Cimon's political career?  What other stories about Cimon reveal the ways he was regarded as a politician?


How did the rivalries between the kings and the different factions in Sparta influence the foreign policy of Sparta in this period?





Croesus king in Lydia


Cyrus becomes king of Persia


Cyrus conquers Media


Cyrus conquers Lydia


Pisistratus' final tyranny at Athens


Cyrus conquers Babylon


Death of Cyrus, accession of Cambyses


Persian conquest of Egypt


Darius takes power in Persia


Cleomenes King of Sparta


Harmodios and Aristogeiton assassinate Hipparchos


Darius conquers Thrace


Expulsion of the Pisistratids from Athens


Isagoras Archon at Athens; reforms of Cleisthenes


Board of Ten Generals instituted at Athens


Ionian revolt begins


Sardis burned by Ionians; Cleomenes wins Battle of Sepeia


Revolt quelled on Cyprus


Battle of Lade; Sack of Miletus


Themistokles archon at Athens; Phrynichus - Sack of Miletus


Mardonius' expedition wrecked in storm off Athos


Persians demand earth and water; Aeginetan crisis


Battle of Marathon - Persians retreat; Death of Cleomenes


Ostracisms and choice of archons by lot instituted at Athens


Persians dig Athos canal; new vein at Laurium silver mine


Aristides ostracized; new Athenian fleet built


Persian invasion; Battles of Artemisium, Thermopylae, Salamis


Battles of Plataea and Mycale