Published on April 17, 2008
Part 1: GreecePart 2: Alexander the Great: Part 1: Greece Part 2: Alexander the Great Lesson 20 Part 1: GreeceTheme: The Decline of the City-states: Part 1: Greece Theme: The Decline of the City-states Lesson 20 Persian Wars: Persian Wars Greek colonization brought the city states in conflict with the Persian Empire Remember from Lesson 6 Result was the Persian Wars (500-479 B.C.) Ionian Rebellion: Ionian Rebellion As Persian emperors Cyrus and Darius tightened their grip on Anatolia, the Greek cities on the Ionian coast became increasingly restless In 500 B.C., they revolted and expelled the Achaemenid administrators Athens sent a fleet in support of their fellow Greeks and commercial partners In 493, Darius repressed the rebellion Cyclades Islands Persian Wars: Persian Wars To punish the Athenians and discourage future interference, Darius attacked Athens in 490 The Athenians repelled the invasion Marathon Battle of Marathon: Battle of Marathon The Persians landed at the Plains of Marathon on September 9, 490 For eight days, the two armies faced each other On the ninth day, the Persians started to advance, forcing Miltiades, the commander in chief of the Athenian army, to deploy his army of 10,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans for battle Battle of Marathon: Battle of Marathon The Athenians surrounded the Persians in a double envelopment Although the Athenians were outnumbered, their spears were superior to the Persians’ bows and short lances The Persians fled to their ships Persians lost 6,400 men and seven ships Athenians lost 192 Battle of Marathon: Battle of Marathon However, Miltiades realized that the Persian fleet could sail and attack the undefended city of Athens According to legend, he called upon Phidippides to run to Athens to tell them of the victory and warn them of the approaching Persian ships Phidippides ran the 26 miles from Marathon to Athens in about three hours, successfully warning the Athenians who repelled the Persian invasion Phidippides was exhausted from the fight at Marathon and the 26 mile run and died upon announcing the warning Miltiades Olympic Marathons: Olympic Marathons The marathon was part of the 1896 Olympics The course was from Marathon to Athens (24.85 miles or 40 km) At the London Olympics in 1908, the Olympic marathon course was set at 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 km) to accommodate the Royal Family’s viewing In 1921 the International Amateur Athletic Foundation made 42.195 km the official distance of a marathon Xerxes: Xerxes Darius’s successor Xerxes tried to avenge the Persian losses by launching another attack in 480 Thermopylae Thermopylae: Thermopylae The Greeks sent an allied army under the Spartan king Leonidas to Thermopylae, a narrow mountain pass in northeastern Greece The point was to stall the Persians long enough that the city states could prepare for later major battles after the Persians broke through Persians attempting to force the pass at Thermopylae Thermopylae: Thermopylae Twice the Greeks repelled the Persians Then Ephialtes, a local farmer, traitorously led a force of Persian infantry through a mountain passage and the next morning they appeared behind the Greek lines Leonidas ordered the rest of the army to withdraw and held the passage with just 300 Spartans As true Spartans, they chose death over retreat Remember Lesson 17 All died but they did hold off the Persians long enough to ensure the safe withdrawal of the rest of the Greek army. Leonidas Thermopylae: Thermopylae “Stranger, go tell the Spartans that we lie here in obedience to their laws.” (Inscription carved on the tomb of Leonidas’s Three Hundred) Leonidas at Thermopylae by David After Thermopylae: After Thermopylae The Persians captured and burned Athens but were defeated by the Athenian navy at Salamis In 479 the Persians were defeated at Plataea and forced back to Anatolia Delian League: Delian League After the Persian threat subsided, the Greek poleis had conflicts among themselves The poleis formed an alliance called the Delian League Athens supplied most of the military force and the other poleis provided financial support Sparta did not join the league In the absence of the Persian threat, eventually the other poleis came to resent financing Athens’s bureaucracy and construction projects The resulting tensions led to the Peloponnesian War (431-404) in which the poleis divided up into two sides led by Athens and Sparta The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.): The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) The war went back and forth until 404 when the Spartans and their allies forced Athens to surrender Conflicts continued however and the world of the poleis steadily lost power Alexander the Great is going to step into this power vacuum (next lesson) “Failure of the Nerve”: “Failure of the Nerve” Xenophon lamented that up to this point, “the City-state, the Polis, had concentrated upon itself all the loyalty and the aspiration of the Greek mind. It gave security to life. It gave meaning to religion.” Then, however, “it was not now ruled by the best citizens. The best had turned away from politics.” Intellectual and imaginative life of 4th Century Greece gave way to an atmosphere of defeat Gilbert Murray explains it as “a failure of nerve” Part 2: Alexander the GreatTheme: Advances in Warfare: Part 2: Alexander the Great Theme: Advances in Warfare Lesson 20 Philip II: Philip II Ruled Macedonia from 359-336 B.C. and transformed it into a powerful military machine Moved into northern Greece and met little resistance due to residual effects of Peloponnesian War By 338 he had Greece under his control Macedonia: Macedonia Alexander the Great: Alexander the Great Philip intended to use Greece as a launching pad to invade Persia, but he was assassinated before he could begin his plan Instead the invasion of Persia would be left for Philip’s son Alexander who was just 20 when Philip was assassinated “Alexander inherited from his father the most perfectly organized, trained, and equipped army of ancient times.” J.F.C. Fuller, The Generalship of Alexander the Great Conquests of Alexander: Conquests of Alexander Ionia and Anatolia 333 Syria, Palestine, Egypt 332 Mesopotamia 331 Persepolis 331 King of Persia 330 India 327 Returns to Susa 324 Dies (age 33) 323 Warfare in the Age of Alexander: Warfare in the Age of Alexander Phalanx: A formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears, developed by Philip II and used by Alexander the Great Warfare in the Age of Alexander: Warfare in the Age of Alexander Hoplite The main melee warrior of the Macedonian army. Worked mainly in the tight phalanx formation, creating impregnable lines that often left the enemy demoralized. Hoplites in Action: Hoplites in Action Warfare in the Age of Alexander: Warfare in the Age of Alexander Companions Alexander’s elite cavalry, the offensive arm of his army, and his elite guard. They would be used in conjunction with the phalanx. The phalanx would fix the enemy in place and then the companion cavalry would attack on the flank. Alexander would lead the charge with his cavalry, normally in a wedge formation. These troops would also protect the flanks of the Macedonian line during battle. Warfare in the Age of Alexander: Warfare in the Age of Alexander Sieges involved the surrounding and blockading of a town or fortress by an army trying to capture it. A variety of weapons were built to hurl projectiles over city walls, scale or batter the walls, and transport soldiers over them. Tyre: Tyre “… if Alexander deserves permanent commemoration as a general, then it is above all in his capacity as a besieger, and of all his sieges Tyre was his masterpiece.” Paul Cartledge, Alexander the Great, 147 Tyre: Tyre Old city on the mainland was abandoned New city built on an island two miles long and separated from the coast by a half mile channel Walls were 150 feet high Had two harbors (Sidonian and Egyptian) Alexander originally had no ships so he built a mole across the channel Tyre: Tyre Mole was designed to be 200 feet wide and was built by driving piles into the bottom and filling in the space with stones, earth, and wood Entire trees --- branches, leaves, and all -– were thrown beside the piles to serve as a breakwall Stone was hauled in from the old city “A city and a forest were exhausted to build this wonderful mole.” Theodore Dodge, Alexander, 330. Alexander’s original mole has grown over the centuries and is now a broad landbridge with roads and buildings on it. Tyre: Tyre Tyrians attacked the mole with missiles, ships, and divers Alexander was forced to build two towers on the end of the mole to fend off attacks Tyrians launched a fire ship carrying cauldrons of sulfur, naphtha, and chemical oils to destroy the towers Fire ship burned down the towers and cracked the end of the mole so that it later was washed away by waves The work of months was lost in an hour, but Alexander began building another, better mole Tyrian Fire Ship Burns the Towers: Tyrian Fire Ship Burns the Towers Tyre: Tyre Alexander collected a fleet of over 200 ships and maneuvered them into moorings off the Sidonian and Egyptian harbors Blockaded the Tyrian fleet in its harbors and now was at liberty to use his siege engines to reduce the city’s walls Composition of Alexander’s Fleet No. of ships Origin 80 Sidon, Aradus, and Byblus 10 Rhodes 3 Soli and Mallus 10 Lycia 1 Macedon 120 Cyprus Tyre: Tyre Finally the engines penetrated the wall on the side toward Egypt The fleet had captured the north and south fronts of the city Ladders were thrown up against the walls and the Macedonians burst in 5th Century Greek Battering Ram Tyre: Tyre After a seven month siege, Tyre fell 8,000 Tyrians were killed in the fighting 2,000 more were hung afterwards 400 Macedonians were killed in the siege and just 20 in the assault Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) “Most agree that this was Alexander’s greatest set-piece battle.” Paul Cartledge, Alexander the Great, 151. Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) At Issus, Alexander captured Darius’ family and was holding them hostage but treating them well “Darius appeared to have lost the character for strength which he was thought at one time to possess. An excellent ruler in peace, he was his own worst enemy in war.” Theodore Dodge, Alexander the Great, 360. Seal of King Darius Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Darius had assembled a huge army from all the Persian nationalities Estimates range from 200,000 to a million infantry and 45,000 to 100,000 cavalry 200 scythed chariots 15 elephants Alexander had about 40,000 men Darius III, King of Persia 336-330 B.C. Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Darius drew his army up on a large plain near Gaugamela The ground was carefully leveled, obstacles removed, and brush cut down to allow free movement of his chariots and horses Darius wanted to lure Alexander into a battlefield of his own choosing so Darius could employ his masses Scythed chariot Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Alexander advanced and camped within sight of Darius’s army on Sept 30, 331 B.C. Darius feared a night attack and kept his men alert all night When Alexander did attack the next day, Darius’ men were tired In the opening moves, the Persians tried to outflank Alexander Larger force had given them this capability Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Alexander was able to counter with his reserve Two flying columns behind each wing which could wheel outward to meet any outflanking foe, to guard the rear, or to reinforce the phalanx in the center First such use of a reserve in history Oblique order Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Alexander attacked on the right to avoid Darius’ obstacles in the center Darius countered with his chariots and cavalry, but Alexander checked them with his right flying column Caltrops Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Alexander then advanced against the Persian left center, exploiting a gap that had been created when Darius shifted to meet the earlier threat to his right Alexander formed his men into a wedge and struck the gap A column of Persian cavalry exploited a gap of Alexander’s own and attacked to Alexander’s rear, but Alexander defeated them with his left flying column Wedge Formation 3 8 36 Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) Darius now feared for his own safety and fled the field The entire Persian center and left also fled The Persian army was dispersed Alexander pursued for 70 miles to Arbela (modern day Arbil) but couldn’t catch Darius The Persians lost 40,000 to 90,000 The Macedonians only 500 Gaugamela (Arbela): Gaugamela (Arbela) The military genius of Alexander “The Persians still relied on multitudes. Alexander was introducing new tactics.” Theodore Dodge, Alexander the Great, 385. Flying column reserves The wedge to penetrate an opening Striking not merely with mass but at the right place and time All around security Discipline of troops Ability to determine the enemy weakness and seize opportunity rapidly Alexander and the Principles of War: Alexander and the Principles of War Maneuver Mass Surprise Security Objective Economy of Force Offensive Unity of Command Simplicity Alexander and the Principles of War: Maneuver Created a gap by causing Darius to shift forces to meet the initial attack on the right Mass Used the wedge formation at the gap in Darius’ line (decisive place and time) Surprise Kept Darius up all night expecting an attack and then attacked the next day when Darius was tired Objective Capture Darius in order to replace him as king Alexander and the Principles of War Alexander and the Principles of War: Alexander and the Principles of War Economy of force Accepted risk on his left in order to launch a strong attack on his right Offensive Attacked even though grossly outnumbered Unity of command Alexander personally led the Companion cavalry in the attack on the right Simplicity Much of what Alexander was able to do was based on the discipline his soldiers had gained from drill After Gaugamela : After Gaugamela Darius’ escape frustrated Alexander because it prevented him from full claim to being king of Persia Eventually Darius’ followers assassinated him As Alexander became king of Persia and continued to advance east, he took on an increasingly Eastern attitude The End of the Empire: The End of the Empire "The Marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxanna" by Ishmail Parbury Alexander Married Roxanna and had his men also intermarry Adopted Eastern dress and habits Publicly insisted upon his descent from the gods Began giving key positions to Persians The Macedonians were tired of campaigning and resented the changes in Alexander’s behavior and become mutinous Alexander died in June 323, perhaps as a result of poisoning After Alexander: After Alexander After Alexander died, his generals jockeyed for power and by 275 they had divided up his kingdom into three large states Antigonus took Greece and Macedon Ptolemy took Egypt Seleuces took the former Achaemenid empire The period of Alexander and his successors is called the Hellenistic period to reflect the broad influence of Greek culture beyond Greece’s borders Next: Next Aztecs and Mongols
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