Text of · PDF file 2014. 12. 9. · GrecoPersian Wars. While Asia Minor was indeed...
Written by: Charlie LewinSmith
Table of Contents 1. Introduction of topic (3) a. Summary (3) b. Conflicts (3) i. First Invasion of Greece (4) ii. Interbellum (6) iii. Second Invasion of Greece (8) 1. Battle Briefing 2. Resource Guide (12) a. Representative List 3. Bibliography (15) 3 GPWUNC Introduction of the topic: The Persian assault on Greece This conference will be focusing only on the conflict starting with the first invasion of Greece up to the beginning of the second invasion of Greece (492 BC 480 BC) Summary The GrecoPersian Wars (Persian Wars) lasted from 492 BC to 449 BC. They were a series of wars fought by the citystates of Greece against the powerhouse nation that was Persia for almost half a century. The fighting was most intense during two invasions that Persia launched against mainland Greece between 490 and 479. Although the Persian empire was at the peak of its strength, the collective defense mounted by the Greeks overcame seemingly impossible odds and even succeeded in liberating Greek citystates on the borders of Persia itself. The Greek triumph ensured the survival of Greek culture and political structures long after the demise of the Persian empire. For the period being debated, the first leader in these wars was Darius I, third king of the Persian empire. Conflicts 4 GPWUNC First Invasion of Greece The Persians squashed the revolts in Ionia first, before continuing on to Greece. During the revolts Athens, along with another city state Eretria, sent troops in support of the Ionians freeing themselves from Persian rule. The Ionian Revolt constituted the first major conflict between Greece and the Persian Empire, as well as representing the first phase of the GrecoPersian Wars. While Asia Minor was indeed back in Persian control, Darius had vowed punishment onto Athens and Eretria for their support of the rebellions. The mediterranean city states were a proven threat to the Persian empire, and the political situation in Greece at the time posed a continued threat to the stability of Darius’ empire at that time. And so, the Persian forces embarked to conquer all of Greece. The Persians’ first invasion of Greece were composed of two main campaigns: 1. Maradonius’s Campaign a. The first campaign was led by Darius’s soninlaw Mardonius, who resubjugated Thrace which had been a part of the Persian Empire for a very long time. Mardonius was also able to force Macedon to become a supporting piece of the Persian Empire, when it had previously been independent but friendly with the conquerors. b. This campaign’s progress was prevented when Mardonius fleet was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Mount Athos. Mardonius himself returned with the rest of the expedition to Asia. The following year, having given clear warning of his plans, Darius sent ambassadors to all the cities of Greece, demanding their submission. He received it from almost all of them except Athens and Sparta, both of whom instead executed the ambassadors. With Athens still defiant, and Sparta now effectively at war with him, Darius ordered a further military campaign for the following year. 2. Datis and Artaphernes’ campaign a. Datis and Artaphernes (son of the satraps or provisional governor, Artaphernes) were given command of an amphibious invasion force, and set sail from Cilicia. The Persian force sailed from Cilicia first to the island of Rhodes, where it is
5 GPWUNC sailed next to Naxos, to punish the Naxians for their resistance to the failed expedition the Persians mounted there a decade earlier. Many of the inhabitants fled to the mountains, however, those caught were enslaved. The Persians then burnt the city and temples of the Naxians. The fleet proceeded to islandhop across the rest of the Aegean sea on its way to Eretria, taking hostages and troops from each island. b. The Task Force sailed on to Euboea, and to the first Major target of Eretria. The Eretrians made no attempt to stop the Persians from landing or advancing and thus allowed themselves to be besieged. For six days, the Persians attacked the walls, with losses on both sides however, on the seventh day two reputable Eretrians opened the gates and betrayed the city to the Persians. The city was razed, and temples and shrines were looted and burned. Following that, Darius commanded that the Persians enslave the remaining citizens. c. Battle of Marathon:
6 GPWUNC As soon as the Persian survivors had put to sea, the Athenians marched as quickly as possible to Athens. They arrived in time to prevent Artaphernes from securing a landing in Athens. Seeing his opportunity lost, Artaphernes ended the year’s campaign and returned to Asia. The Battle of Marathon was an important piece of the GrecoPersian wars because it proved to the Greeks that the Persians could be beaten. It also highlighted the superiority of the more heavily armored Greek hoplites (heavily armored foot soldier), and showed their potential when used wisely. The Battle of Marathon marked the end of the First invasion of Greece. Interbellum: Time Period between Invasions Achaemenid Empire (Persia): After the failure of the first invasion, Darius began raising a huge new army with which he intended to subjugate Greece completely. However, in 486 BC, his Egyptian subjects revolted. This forced an indefinite postponement of any Greek expedition. Darius died while preparing to march on Egypt, and the throne of Persia passed to his son Xerxes I. Xerxes crushed the Egyptian revolt, and very quickly resumed the preparations for the invasion of Greece. Since this was to be a full scale invasion, it needed long term planning, stockpiling, and conscription. Xerxes decided that the Hellespont would be bridged to allow his army to cross to Europe, and that a canal should be dug across the isthmus of Mount Athos where a Persian fleet had been destroyed in earlier years. These were both feats of exceptional ambition that would have been beyond the capabilities of any other contemporary state. However, the campaign was delayed by one year because of another revolt in Egypt and Babylonia. The Persians had the sympathy of several Greek citystates, including Argos, which had pledged to defect when the Persians reached their borders. The Aleuadae family, who ruled Larissa in Thessaly, saw the invasion as an opportunity to extend their power. Thebes, though not explicitly affiliated with the Persians, was suspected of being willing to aid the Persians once the invasion force arrived. In 481 BC, after roughly four years of preparation, Xerxes began to muster the troops to invade Europe. Herodotus gives the names of 46 nations from which troops were drafted. The Persian army was gathered in Asia Minor in the summer and autumn of 481 BC. The armies from the Eastern satrapies were gathered in Cappadocia and were led by Xerxes to Sardis where they passed the winter. Early in spring, it moved to Abydos where it was joined with the armies of the western satrapies. Then the army that Xerxes had mustered marched towards Europe, crossing the Hellespont on two pontoon bridges. Greek city states Athens 7 GPWUNC A year after Marathon, Miltiades, the hero of Marathon, was injured in a military campaign to Paros. Taking advantage of his incapacitation, the Alcmaeonid family arranged for him to prosecuted for the failure of the campaign. A huge fine was imposed on Miltiades for the crime of ‘deceiving the Athenian people’, but he died weeks later from his wound. IMPORTANT: in this conference, Miltiades is still alive for the sake of interest. He is still handicapped and financially/publicly crippled as well The politician Themistocles, with a power base firmly established amongst the poor, filled the vacuum left by Miltiades, and in the following decade become the most influential politician in Athens. During this period, Themistocles continued to support the expansion of Athen’s naval power. The Athenians were aware throughout this period that the Persian interest in Greece had not ended, and Themistocles’s naval policies may be seen in the light of the potential threat from Persia. Aristides, Themistocles’s great rival and champion of the upper hopliteclass vigorously opposed such a policy. In the end, Themistocles DID in fact become the leading politician in Athens during the interbellum. Sparta The Spartan King Demaratus had been stripped of his kingship in 491 BC, and replaced with his cousin Leotychides. Sometime after 490 BC, the humiliated Demaratus had chosen to go into exile, and had made his way to Darius’s court in Susa. Demaratus would from then on act as an advisor to Darius, and later Xerxes on Greek affairs, and accompanied Xerxes during the second persian invasion. This is all that is important that occurs during the interbellum for Sparta. Hellenic Alliance In 481 BC, Xerxes sent ambassadors to city states throughout Greece, asking for
Second Invasion of Greece This section leads into the time period that delegates will be debating in. Four major battles (in chronological order) will be introduced. Each battle will be an obstacle for the Greek representatives to try and overcome, as well as for the Persian delegates to defeat the defensive citystates. Depending on time, at least one battle must be completed before moving on to the second. How this will work is that multiple, short term and small resolutions will be formed to tackle the task at hand. It is the Persians’ obligation to know the movements and strategies performed at the beginning of each battle. If such plans are thwarted by successful Greek resolutions, the Persians must come up with new plans to reach their original goal. Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly Having crossed into Europe, the Persian army began its march on Greece taking 3 months to travel unopposed from the Hellespont to Therme. It paused at Doriskos where it was joined by the fleet. Xerxes reorganized the troops into tactical units replacing the national formations used earlier for the march. The Hellenic Alliance met and agreed to defend the narrow Vale of Tempe on the borders of Thessaly and block Xerxes’s advance. The Greeks were warned by Alexander I of Macedon that the vale could be bypassed and that the army of Xerxes was overwhelmingly large, thus the Greeks retreated. Shortly afterwards, news had reached the alliance that Xerxes had crossed the Hellespont. At this point, a second strategy was conceived. The Persian army would have to travel through the narrow pass of Thermopylae in order to reach southern Greece. The Greeks must come up with a strategy to defend the passage using their hoplites whilst utilizing the allied and Athenian navies to prevent the Persians bypassing Thermopylae by sea.
Battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium The Spartans dispatched their king Leonidas I with his personal bodyguard (the Hippeis) of 300 men. The customary elite young men in the Hippeis were replaced by veterans who already had children. Leonidas was supported by contingents from the Allied Peloponnesian cities, and other forces that the Allies picked up on the way to Thermopylae. The Allies proceeded to occupy the pass, rebuilt the wall the Phocians had built at the narrowest point of the pass, and waited for Xerxes’s arrival.
Battle of Salamis Victory at Thermopylae leads to the fall of Boeotia (regional part of Greece) to Xerxes, leaving Attica open to invasion. The remaining population of Athens has been evacuated, with the aid of the Allied fleet to Salamis. The Allies begin to prepare a defensive line across the Isthmus of Corinth. A wall must be built and the road from Megara must be demolished in order to abandon Athens to the Persians. A small number of Athenians have barricaded themselves on the Acropolis, awaiting the Persian onslaught.
side, by avoiding destruction or, as Themistocles hoped, destroying the Persian fleet, the Allies can prevent the conquest from being completed. The allied ships awaited the Persians off the coast of Salamis. Even after the destruction of Athens they stayed and attempt to lure the Persian fleet to battle.
12 GPWUNC Resource Guide The first list revolves around the various forces that fought against one another. This conference will be multi-delegational meaning that there will be more than one person representing a certain place. Between the groups of delegates, specific roles must be outlines (ex. A naval commander of Athens as well as a political head of Athens would make up the Athenian team). The second list revolves around specific commanders and leaders that were a part of the Greco-Persian Wars. Those representing the historical figures will be single delegation, and are expected to be well rehearsed in the role of their man. Representative List Thespiae A citystate for the Greeks. 700 Thespian soldiers fought at the battle of Thermopylae along side the 300 Spartans. Thebes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thebes,_Greece