, On March 17, 2017, archaeologists announced that they had uncovered the partially submerged remains of the anchorage used by the Greek warships prior to the Battle of Salamis. Once again the Allies chose their ground well in order to negate Persian numbers, but this time (unlike Thermopylae) had to rely on the Persians launching an unnecessary attack for their position to count. , However, the Peloponnesians may have been party to Themistocles's stratagem, so serenely did they accept that they would now have to fight at Salamis. The Battle of Salamis is a ‘David and Goliath’ story.  Possibly, a Persian army had been sent to march against the Isthmus in order to test the nerve of the fleet. By 480 what has Xerxes done? παῖδας, γυναῖκας, θεῶν τέ πατρῴων ἕδη, Much of this centres on the suggestion, from Herodotus, that the Allied ships were heavier, and by implication less maneuverable. If Thermopylae/Artemisium occurred in September, then this may be the case, but it is probably more likely that the Persians spent two or three weeks capturing Athens, refitting the fleet, and resupplying. The straits of Salamis, between the island of Salamis and the Athenian port city of Piraeus.  The simultaneous Battle of Artemisium was up to that point a stalemate; however, when news of Thermopylae reached them, the Allied fleet also retreated, since holding the straits of Artemisium was now a moot point. , It seems relatively certain that the Persian fleet was sent out to block the exit from the Straits the evening before the battle. , There has been much debate as to the nature of the Allied fleet compared to the Persian fleet.  According to Diodorus, Xerxes "put to death those Phoenicians who were chiefly responsible for beginning the flight, and threatened to visit upon the rest the punishment they deserved", causing the Phoenicians to sail to Asia when night fell.. It was the culmination of Themistocles’ strategic vision and resulted in the exact situation he had intended. Related Content In the Allied fleet, the Athenians were on the left, and on the right were probably the Spartans (although Diodorus says it was the Megareans and Aeginetians); the other contingents were in the center. 17 Jan 2021. To block the Persian advance, a small force of Greeks blocked the pass of Thermopylae, while an Athenian-dominated Allied navy engaged the Persian fleet in the nearby straits of Artemisium.  Although Themistocles had tried to claim leadership of the fleet, the other city states with navies objected, and so Sparta (which had no naval tradition) was given command of the fleet as a compromise. Herodotus VIII, 84; Macaulay translation cf. You shall destroy the children of women.…” The second prophecy offered a glimmer of hope, but as usual the words were ambiguous and subject to interpretation.  By early 480 BC, the preparations were complete, and the army which Xerxes had mustered at Sardis marched towards Europe, crossing the Hellespont on two pontoon bridges. It resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The allied Greek fleet was commanded by the Spartan Eurybiades, a surprising choice considering it was Athens who was the great naval power and supplied by far the most ships. , Darius therefore began raising a huge new army with which he meant to completely subjugate Greece; however, in 486 BC, his Egyptian subjects revolted, indefinitely postponing any Greek expedition. Although heavily outnumbered, the Greek Allies were persuaded by the Athenian general Themistocles to bring the Persian fleet to battle again, in the hope that a victory would prevent naval operations against the Peloponnese. Do not, O king, make the Persians the laughing-stock of the Greeks, for if you have suffered harm, it is by no fault of the Persians.  This was exactly the kind of news that Xerxes wanted to hear; that the Athenians might be willing to submit to him, and that he would be able to destroy the rest of the Allied fleet.  (Hale, John R.). However, he writes that the next year, the Persian fleet numbered 300 triremes.  This view is based on the premise that much of modern Western society, such as philosophy, science, personal freedom and democracy are rooted in the legacy of Ancient Greece.  At any rate, if they indeed ever left, the Corinthians soon returned to the battle. In particular, it specified the main weapon of the final battle, the navy (“a wall of wood”), its place, Salamis, and its time, late September (“when the seed is scattered”).  Xerxes evidently took the bait, and the Persian fleet was sent out that evening to effect this block. Liberate your country, liberate The 2500th anniversary of this event is commemorated this month. These became known as the Ionia Revolts and were aided by the city state of Athens. , The Athenians had also been preparing for war with the Persians since the mid-480s BC, and in 482 BC the decision was taken, under the guidance of the Athenian politician Themistocles, to build a massive fleet of triremes that would be necessary for the Greeks to fight the Persians. Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Έθνους (History of the Greek nation) vol Β, Εκδοτική Αθηνών (Editorial Athens) 1971. "Persia and the Greeks" in The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2: The Median and Achaemenid Periods, Ilya Gershevitch, ed. In …  If Xerxes wanted to trap the Allies completely, this maneuver would have made sense (especially if he was not expecting the Allies to fight). When Ariabignes attempted to board on their ship, they hit him with their spears, and thrust him into the sea. Ancient Naval Battleby The Creative Assembly (Copyright). Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499-494 BC, led by the satrap of Miletus, Aristagoras. , The Persian fleet was still large enough to both bottle up the Allied navy in the straits of Salamis, and send ships to land troops in the Peloponnese. However, the Allies, under Spartan leadership, eventually agreed to try to force Mardonius to battle, and marched on Attica.  For the Greeks, the only realistic hope of a decisive victory was to draw the Persians into a constricted area, where their numbers would count for little. , Diodorus says that the Egyptian fleet was sent to circumnavigate Salamis, and block the northern exit from the Straits. Prior to the battle the Greek ships were beached at several bays on the island of Salamis from Cynosoura to Paloukia. Battle of Marathon (September 490 BCE), in the Greco-Persian Wars, decisive battle in which the Athenians repulsed the first Persian invasion of Greece. The Siege of Salamis: 306 BC. A narrow sea passage near the island is where the decisive sea victory that the Oracle of Delphi spoke of came true. According to legend, a messenger was sent from Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 25 miles (40 km), and announced the Persian defeat before dying of exhaustion. Battle order. , The exact Persian casualties are not mentioned by Herodotus. A congress of city states met at Corinth in late autumn of 481 BC, and a confederate alliance of Greek city-states was formed. In her desire to escape, she attacked and rammed another Persian vessel, thereby convincing the Athenian captain that the ship was an ally; Ameinias accordingly abandoned the chase. Battle ensued, and Demetrius won the victory, killing 1,000 and capturing 3,000 of Menelaus’ forces. The Battle of Salamis (/ ˈ s æ l ə m ɪ s / SAL-ə-miss; Ancient Greek: Ναυμαχία τῆς Σαλαμῖνος, romanized: Naumachía tês Salamînos) was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles, and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC. Much of the Greek army retreated, before the Spartans and Thespians who had continued to block the pass were surrounded and killed. The Persians had moved into position overnight, hoping to surprise the enemy, but this strategy was unlikely to be successful considering the short distances involved and the noise made by the rowers. Due to the victory, Greek civilization would flourish and entered its golden age. By the first years of the 5th century BCE, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, under the rule of Darius I (r. 522-486 BCE), was already expanding into mainland Europe and had subjugated Thrace and Macedonia. In 490 BCE Greek forces led by Athens met the Persians in battle at Marathon and defeated the invaders. One of the great naval battles in history, Salamis saw the out-numbered Greeks best a larger Persian fleet.  Alternatively, this change in attitude amongst the Allies (who had waited patiently off the coast of Salamis for at least a week while Athens was captured) may have been in response to Persian offensive maneuvers. , The Allied fleet now rowed from Artemisium to Salamis to assist with the final evacuation of Athens. C. in the Saronic Gulf , near the island of Salamina, present-day territory of the Hellenic Republic of Greece. With more Persian ships pressing in from the rear and the Corinthians joining from the side, there must have been a chaos of broken ships and drowning men - particularly amongst the Persians who had no shore to retreat to and most probably could not swim.  Since this was to be a full-scale invasion, it required long-term planning, stock-piling and conscription. When was the Battle of Salamis: September 480 BC. At the ensuing Battle of Marathon, the Athenians won a remarkable victory, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Persian army to Asia. ἐλευθεροῦτε πατρίδ᾽, ἐλευθεροῦτε δὲ  Another possibility (not exclusive of the former) is that the departure of the Corinthians triggered the final approach of the Persians, suggesting as it did that the Allied fleet was disintegrating. Greeks and Persians.  However, modern historians have greatly debated this point, with some pointing out the difficulties of maneuvering in this confined space by night, and others accepting Herodotus's version. Aeschylus states a total figure of 310 and Thucydides 400.  Herodotus recounts the legend that as the fleet had backed away, they had seen an apparition of a woman, asking them "Madmen, how far will ye yet back your ships?  Some ship-wrecked Phoenician captains tried to blame the Ionians for cowardice before the end of the battle. It is not on things of wood that the issue hangs for us, but on men and horses...If then you so desire, let us straightway attack the Peloponnese, or if it pleases you to wait, that also we can do...It is best then that you should do as I have said, but if you have resolved to lead your army away, even then I have another plan. According to Herodotus, the Persians suffered many more casualties than the Greeks because most Persians did not know how to swim.. Furthermore, to prevent the Persians bypassing Thermopylae by sea, the Athenian and allied navies could block the straits of Artemisium. The Battle of Salamis The battle of Salamis was a naval battle that happened in 480 B.C.E and was fought by the Greeks and Persians. Prominent commanders l… The next morning, the Persians rowed into the straits to attack the Greek fleet; it is not clear when, why or how this decision was made, but it is clear that they did take the battle to the Allies.  The friendly ship she sank was a Calyndian ship and the king of the Calyndians, Damasithymos (Greek: Δαμασίθυμος) was on it. The battle would take on mythical status amongst the Greeks, but in reality it was merely the opening overture of a long war with several other battles making up the principal acts. Cambridge: CUP (, This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 23:32. Your children, your women, the seats of your fathers' gods,  However, once there, they were warned by Alexander I of Macedon that the vale could be bypassed through the pass by the modern village of Sarantaporo, and that the army of Xerxes was overwhelming, so the Greeks retreated. The Persians, meanwhile, were stationed at the Phaleron Bay, less than 10 km away across the Saronic Gulf and close to the captured Piraeus. The battle of Salamina was a naval confrontation that took place on September 20, 480 BC. It happened in September 480 BC in the straits between the mainland and Salamis Island.  Themistocles claimed that the Allied command was in-fighting, that the Peloponnesians were planning to evacuate that very night, and that to gain victory all the Persians needed to do was to block the straits. The Greeks were outnumbered in ships by three to one and so if they were to win, it had to be through cunning – and the overconfidence of the Persians. Cartwright, M. (2013, May 05). It proved to the Greek world that a democratic system could defeat an autocratic power and is widely regarded as the 'turning point' of the Persian War.