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Researchers locate Submerged Lost Ancient City where Athens and Sparta Fought a Battle

Researchers locate Submerged Lost Ancient City where Athens and Sparta Fought a Battle


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Researchers have found the location of the lost island city of Kane, known since ancient times as the site of a naval battle between Athens and Sparta in which the Athenians were victorious but later executed six out of eight of their own commanders for failing to aid the wounded and bury the dead.

Some historians say the loss of leadership may have contributed to Athens’ loss of the Peloponnesian War. But a scholar who wrote a book on the battle says the Spartans would have won whether or not Athens executed the generals.

The ancient city of Kane was on one of three Arginus Islands in the Aegean Sea off the west coast of Turkey. The exact location of the city was lost in antiquity because earth and silt displaced the water and connected the island to the mainland.

Geo-archaeologists working with other experts from Turkish and German institutions discovered Kane, where the Athens and Sparta did battle in 406 BC. Athens won the Battle of Arginusae, but its citizens tried and executed six of eight of the city-state’s victorious commanders.

Depiction of a battle between Athens and Sparta in the Great Peloponnese War, 413 BC. ( Image source )

“The Athenian people soon regretted their decision, but it was too late,” writes J. Rickard at History of War . “The execution of six victorious generals had a double effective—it removed most of the most able and experienced commanders, and it discouraged the survivors from taking command in the following year. This lack of experience may have played a part in the crushing Athenian defeat at Aegospotami that effectively ended the war.”

Debra Hamel, a classicist and historian who wrote the book The Battle of Arginusae, however, says she thinks Athens would have lost anyway.

“Sparta at that point was being funded by Persia, so they could replace ships and hire rowers indefinitely,” Dr. Hamel wrote to Ancient Origins in electronic messages. “Athens did not have those resources. Allies had revolted. They weren’t taking in the money they had in earlier days.”

Google Earth image shows the general vicinity of the islands, near Bademli Village in Turkey on the Aegean Sea.

Dr. Hamel, via e-mail, describes how the Battle of Arginusae was likely fought:

The Battle of Arginusae was only fought at sea. … The state-of-the-art vessel of the period was the trireme, a narrow ship about 120 feet [36.6 meters] long that was powered by 170 oarsmen, who sat in three rows on either side of the ship. There was a bronze-clad ram that extended about six and a half feet [2 meters] at waterline from the prow of the vessel. The purpose of the ram was to sink enemy ships. The goal of a ship's crew—the 170 oarsmen and various officers onboard—was to maneuver a trireme so that it was in position to punch a hole in the side of an enemy ship while avoiding getting rammed oneself. In order to do this you needed to have a fast ship--one that wasn't waterlogged or weighed down by marine growths--and you needed a well-trained crew.

Athens sent 150 ships, the Spartans 120. The Athenian line was about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) long or longer because it was interrupted by one of the Arginusae islands. The Spartan line was a bit less than 1.5 miles [2.4 km] long, Dr. Hamel estimates.

Greek trireme, drawing by F. Mitchell; note the battering ram on the prow to the right at the waterline. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Dr. Hamel’s book on the battle explores not just the battle but its aftermath too. Winning the battle “was a great triumph, saving Athens—at least temporarily—from almost certain defeat in the war,” she wrote in e-mail. “The victory was cause for celebration, but paradoxically, because of what happened afterwards, it was also one of the worst disasters to befall Athens in the war: A series of legal proceedings led ultimately to the Athenians' execution of (most of) their victorious generals. This was the stuff of tragedy.

Because the Battle of Arginusae is tied intimately with the legal proceedings that it led to, I was able to discuss in my book not only the battle itself and the intricacies of naval warfare (which are really very interesting), but also the proceedings back in Athens and Athens' democracy and democratic institutions. All of this was necessary to round out the story for readers who are approaching the book without any prior knowledge of the period.

Later, from 191 to 190 BC, Roman forces used the city of Kane’s harbor in the war against Antiochas III’s Seleucid Empire. That war lasted from 192 to 188 BC and ended when Antiochus capitulated to Rome’s condition that he evacuate Asia Minor. Most of Antiochus’ cities in Asia Minor had been conquered by the Romans anyway. He also agreed to pay 15,000 Euboeic talents. The Romans did not leave a garrison in Asia Minor but wanted a buffer zone on their eastern frontier.

The island on which Kane was situated, which is known from ancient historians’ texts, is in the sea off İzmir Province’s Dikili district Researchers, led by the German Archaeology Institute, included those from the cities of İzmir, Munich, Kiel, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Southampton and Rostock. Prehistorians, geographers, geophysics experts and topographers all worked on the project.

“During surface surveys carried out near Dikili’s Bademli village, geo-archaeologists examined samples from the underground layers and learned one of the peninsulas there was in fact an island in the ancient era, and its distance from the mainland was filled with alluviums over time,” reports Hurriyet Daily News . “Following the works, the quality of the harbors in the ancient city of Kane was revealed. Also, the location of the third island, which was lost, has been identified.”

Featured image: Main: Google Earth image shows the general vicinity of the islands, near Bademli Village in Turkey on the Aegean Sea. Inset: A representation of an ancient Greek ship on pottery (Photo by Poecus/ Wikimedia Commons )

By Mark Miller


Battle of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. was part of the first Persian invasion of Greece. The battle was fought on the Marathon plain of northeastern Attica and marked the first blows of the Greco-Persian War. 

With the Persians closing in on the Greek capitol, Athenian general Miltiades took command of the hastily assembled army. Miltiades weakened the center of his outnumbered force to strengthen its wings, causing confusion among the invading Persians. 

His strategy was victorious over the Persians’ strength, and the victory of “the Marathon men” captured the collective imagination of the Greeks. The tale of the messenger Pheidippides running 25 miles to Athens to deliver the news of the Persian defeat inspired the creation of the modern marathon.


The First Peloponnesian War

While the main conflict fought between Athens and Sparta is known as The Peloponnesian War, this was not the first time these two city-states fought. Shortly after the end of the Greco-Persian War, a series of skirmishes broke out between Athens and Sparta, and historians often call this the “First Peloponnesian War.” Although it didn’t reach anywhere near the scale of the conflict that was to come, and the two sides rarely fought one another directly, these series of conflicts help show how tense relations were between the two cities.

Gravestone of a woman with her slave child-attendant (Greek, c. 100 BC). Slavery was rampant in Greek states and some like the Spartan Helots constantly rebelled against their masters, often with ruthless consequences.

I, Sailko [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

The First Peloponnesian war has its roots in the mid-460s BCE, a period when Athens was still fighting the Persians. Sparta called upon Athens to assist in the putting down a helot rebellion in Spartan territory. Helots were essentially slaves who did most if not all of the manual labor in Sparta. They were essential to the city-state’s prosperity, yet because they were denied many of the rights of Spartan citizens, they rebelled frequently and caused considerable political unrest throughout Sparta. However, when the Athenian army arrived in Sparta, they were sent away for reasons unknown, a move that greatly angered and insulted Athenian leadership.

Once this happened, Athens feared the Spartans would make a move against them, so they began reaching out to other Greek city-states to secure alliances in the event there was an outbreak of fighting. The Athenians started by striking deals with Thessaly, Argos, and Megara. To escalate things further, Athens began allowing helots who were fleeing Sparta to settle in and around Athens, a move that not only angered Sparta but that destabilized it even more.

The Fighting Begins

By 460 BCE, Athens and Sparta were essentially at war, although they rarely fought one another directly. Here are some of the main events to take place during this initial conflict known as the First Peloponnesian War.

  • Sparta sent forces to support Doris, a city-state in Northern Greece with which it maintained a strong alliance, in a war against Phocis, an ally of Athens. The Spartans helped the Dorians secure a victory, but Athenian ships blocked the Spartans from leaving, a move which angered the Spartans greatly.
  • The Spartan army, blocked from escaping by sea, marched to Boeotia, the region in which Thebes is located, and they managed to secure an alliance from Thebes. The Athenians responded and the two fought the Battle of Tangara, which Athens won, giving them control over large portions of Boeotia.
  • Athens won another victory at Oenophyta, which allowed them to conquer almost all of Boeotia. From there, the Athenian army marched south towards Sparta.
  • Athens conquered Chalcis, a city-state near the Corinthian Gulf which gave Athens direct access to the Peloponnese, putting Sparta in tremendous danger.

At this point in the First Peloponnesian War, it appeared as though Athens was going to deliver a decisive blow, an event that would have dramatically changed the course of history. But they were forced to stop because the force they had sent to Egypt to fight the Persians (who controlled most of Egypt at the time), had been badly defeated, leaving the Athenians vulnerable to a Persian retaliation. As a result, they were forced to stop their pursuit of the Spartans, a move which helped cool off the conflict between Athens and Sparta for some time.

Sparta Strikes Back

Recognizing Athens’ weakness, the Spartans decided to try and turn the tables. They entered Boeotia and provoked a revolt, which Athens tried, but failed, to squash. This move meant the Athenian Empire, activating under the guise of the Delian League, no longer had any territory on mainland Greece. Instead, the empire was relegated to the islands throughout the Aegean. Sparta also made a declaration that Delphi, the city that housed the famous Greek oracle, was to be independent from Phocis, one of Athens’ allies. This move was largely symbolic, but it showed Spartan defiance to Athens’ attempt to be the premier power in the Greek world.

After the revolt in Boeotia, several island city-states that had been part of the Delian League decided to rebel, the most significant being Megara. This distracted Athens from the Spartan threat and Sparta tried to invade Attica during this time. However, they failed, and it had become clear to both sides the war was going nowhere.

The Thirty Years’ Peace

The First Peloponnesian War ended in an arrangement between Sparta and Athens, which was ratified by the “Thirty Years’ Peace” (winter of 446–445 BC). As the name suggests, it was meant to last thirty years, and it set up a framework for a divided Greece that was led by both Athens and Sparta. More specifically, neither side could go to war with one another if one of the two parties advocated for settling the conflict through arbitration, language that essentially recognized Athens and Sparta as equally powerful in the Greek world.

Accepting these peace terms all but ended the aspiration some Athenian leaders had of making Athens the head of a unified Greece, and it also marked the peak of Athenian imperial power. However, the differences between Athens and Sparta proved to be too much. Peace lasted much less than thirty years, and soon after the two sides agreed to put down their weapons, The Peloponnesian War broke out and the Greek world was changed forever.


Ancient Greece

What military technique helped Sparta become so strong?

Who fought against who in the Peloponnesian Wars

military technique that helped Sparta become so strong: Phalanx

Peloponnesian Wars: Sparta vs. Athens

At Thermopylae, stood their ground against Persians, all died, but Persians never reached Sparta

Athens, helots, and Persians posed threats to Sparta

population of Spart was mostly Helots, fewer pure Spartans

Peloponnese: Peninsula in southern Greece where Sparta was

city-state: Independent city in Greece

Phalanx: A battle formation in which they locked shields together and had swords and spears

Helots: Foreign conquered people, considered enemy from w/in, not slaves but not free. Gave half of what they grew to Spartans

Spartiates: Pure Spartans, owned land

Spartan boys spent 13 years in the agoge

evidence that Spartan boys developed stronger attachment to their agoge groups than to their families:
-barely spent time with family
-With agoge for longer

Spartan values suggested by document:
-Strength, bravery, cunning, obedience, nationalism, courage, leadership, loyalty

Strengths of Spartan education:
-Strength, militaristic training, athletic
-Know how to fight, survive better
-Strong, survival skills, able to prevent rebellion
-Offspring may have been stronger b/c women were strong

Weaknesses of Spartan education:
-Don't get a real education
-get whipped for trying to eat
-taken from families so early
-taught to be thieves
-no morals
-Being starved, not healthy
-Hungry, bad morals, no luxuries, gross food, nothing to live for but war
-Hard to get allies, everyone hates them, they kill people
-Only strength education, regulated marriages

Clothing worn by Spartan boys:
One garment throughout the year

Reason for small rations of food:
So they could go longer w/out food, be able to fight, etc. while hungry

Reason for encouraging boys to steal:
Know how to plan, be resourceful, figure out a way to get food if they didn't have it

Reason for whipping boys who were caught stealing:
They got caught, so they didn't know how to steal well enough

Krypteia:
The most sensible of young Spartiates, law enforcement officers, carried daggers and food, killed helots

Plutarch's reason for killing helot's:
-So they wouldn't rebel
-display of dominance

Spartan children taught:
1. the importance of reading was only for practical reasons
2. Treatment of a boy or man who's older than you: Respect, obedience, regard for them
3. working w/ hands: Not important, helots for that
4. Importance of money: no jobs, Helots for that
5. travel: Not important,
couldn't leave, not
allowed
6. attending plays: Didn't attend them
7. music: Used for dancing,
fighting

Sparta always concerned about being attacked. Spartan attitude towards the seven topics mentioned above address this concern about security by:
-Had no interaction w/ outsiders outside of war, didn't know there was life aside from that

Judging from Document D, were strengths of Spartan educations greater than weaknesses? explain
No

Description of figure of female Spartan dance shown: athletic

The Land
-Rugged mountains that covered about three-fourths of ancient Greece divided the land into a number of different regions, significantly influencing Greek political life
-Instead of a single government, the Greeks developed small, independent communities within each little valley and its surrounding mountains
-Most Greeks gave their loyalty to these local communities.

-In ancient times, the uneven terrain also made land transportation difficult
-few roads existed
-It often took travelers several days to complete a journey that might take a few hours today

-Much of the land itself was stony, and only a small part of it was arable (suitable for farming)
-Tiny but fertile valleys covered about one-fourth of Greece

Thermopylae:
-When Xerxes came to a narrow mountain pass at Thermopylae, 7,000 Greeks, including 300 Spartans, blocked his way
-Xerxes assumed that his troops would easily push the Greeks aside, but he underestimated their fighting ability
-The Greeks stopped the Persian advance for three days
-Only a traitor's informing the Persians about a secret path around the pass ended their brave stand
-Spartans held the Persians back so the other Greek forces could retreat

Salamis:
-evacuated Athens and fought at sea
-positioned their fleet in a narrow channel near the island of Salamis, a few miles southwest of Athens
-warships sent to block both ends of the channel, but the channel was very narrow, and the Persian ships had difficulty turning
-Smaller Greek ships armed with battering rams attacked, puncturing the hulls of many Persian warships
-over one-third of the fleet sank

Plataea:
-another defeat when the Greeks crushed the Persian army at the Battle of Plataea

-After this major setback, the Persians were always on the defensive
-The following year, several Greek city-states formed an alliance called the Delian League. (The alliance took its name from Delos, the island in the Aegean Sea where it had its headquarters)
-League members continued to press the war against the Persians for several more years
-In time, they drove the Persians from the territories surrounding Greece and ended the threat of future attacks.

Sparta:
-Sparta was nearly cut off from the rest of Greece by the Gulf of Corinth
-In outlook and values, Sparta contrasted sharply with the other city-states, Athens in particular
-Instead of a democracy, Sparta built a military state

Sparta Dominates Messenians
-Around 725 B.C., Sparta conquered the neighboring region of Messenia and took over the land
-The Messenians became helots, peasants forced to stay on the land they worked
-Each year, the Spartans demanded half of the helots' crops
-In about 650 B.C., the Messenians, resentful of the Spartans' harsh rule, revolted
-The Spartans, who were outnumbered eight to one, just barely put down the revolt
-Shocked at their vulnerability, they dedicated themselves to making Sparta a strong city-state

Sparta's Government and Society
-Spartan government had several branches
-An assembly, which was composed of all Spartan citizens, elected officials and voted on major issues
-The Council of Elders, made up of 30 older citizens, proposed laws on which the assembly voted
Five elected officials carried out the laws passed by the assembly
-These men also controlled education and prosecuted court cases
-two kings ruled over Sparta's military forces
-Spartan social order consisted of several groups:
-1st: citizens descended from the original inhabitants of the region included the ruling families who owned the land
-2nd: noncitizens who were free, worked in commerce and industry
-The helots, at the bottom of Spartan society, were little better than slaves worked in the fields or as house servants.

Struggles between rich and poor led Athens to become a democracy

-The idea of representative government began to take root in some city-states, particularly Athens
-Like other city-states, Athens went through power struggles between rich and poor
- Athenians avoided major political upheavals by making timely reforms
-Athenian reformers moved toward democracy, rule by the people
-citizens participated directly in political decision making.

Building Democracy
Draco: The first step toward democracy came when a nobleman named Draco took power
-he developed a legal code based on the idea that all Athenians, rich and poor, were equal under the law. His code dealt very harshly with criminals, making death the punishment for practically every crime. It also upheld such practices as debt slavery, in which debtors worked as slaves to repay their debts.

Solon: More far-reaching democratic reforms were introduced by him
Stating that no citizen should own another citizen, Solon outlawed debt slavery
He organized all Athenian citizens into four social classes according to wealth
Only members of the top three classes could hold political office
all citizens, regardless of class, could participate in the Athenian assembly
introduced the legal concept that any citizen could bring charges against wrongdoers

Battle at Marathon
The Persian Wars, between Greece and the Persian Empire, began in Ionia on the coast of Anatolia. Greeks had long been settled there, but the Persians conquered the area. When Ionian Greeks revolted, Athens sent ships and soldiers to their aid. The Persian king Darius the Great defeated the rebels and then vowed to destroy Athens in revenge. A Persian fleet carried 25,000 men across the Aegean Sea and landed northeast of Athens on a plain called Marathon. There, 10,000 Athenians, neatly arranged in phalanxes, waited for them. Vastly outnumbered, the Greek soldiers charged. The Persians, who wore light armor and lacked training in this kind of land combat, were no match for the disciplined Greek phalanx. After several hours, the Persians fled the battlefield. The Persians lost more than 6,000 men. In contrast,
Athenian casualties numbered fewer than 200.

Pheidippides Brings News
Though the Athenians won the battle, their city now stood defenseless. According to tradition, army leaders chose a young runner named Pheidippides to race back to Athens. He brought news of the Persian defeat so that Athenians would not give up the city without a fight. Dashing the 26 miles from Marathon to Athens, Pheidippides delivered his message, "Rejoice, we conquer." He then collapsed and died. Moving rapidly from Marathon, the Greek army arrived in Athens not long after. When the Persians sailed into the harbor, they found the city heavily defended. They quickly put to sea in retreat.

Pericles' goal was to have the greatest Greek artists and architects create magnificent sculptures and buildings to glorify Athens

Tragedy:
A tragedy was a serious drama about common themes such as love, hate, war, or betrayal. These dramas featured a main character, or tragic hero. The hero usually was an important person and often gifted with extraordinary abilities. A tragic flaw usually caused the hero's downfall. Often this flaw was hubris, or excessive pride.

Sparta declared war on Athens

-Athens had the stronger navy

-Sparta had the stronger army
-its location inland meant that it could not easily be attacked by sea

-Pericles' strategy was to avoid land battles with the Spartan army and wait for an opportunity to strike Sparta and its allies from the sea
-Eventually, the Spartans marched into Athenian territory, sweeping over the countryside, burning the Athenian food supply
-Pericles responded by bringing residents from the surrounding region inside the city walls
-The city was safe from hunger as long as ships could sail into port with supplies from Athenian colonies and foreign states
- In the second year of the war disaster struck Athens
A frightful plague swept through the city, killing perhaps one-third of the population, including Pericles
-Although weakened, Athens continued to fight for several years
-Then the two sides, worn down by the war, signed a truce

Athenian and United States Democracy:
Athenian Democracy:
• Citizens: male 18 years old born of citizen parents
• Laws voted on and proposed directly by assembly of all citizens
• Leader chosen by lot
• Executive branch composed of a council of 500 men
• Juries varied in size
• No attorneys no appeals one-day trials

Both:
• Political power exercised by citizens
• Three branches of government
• Legislative branch passes laws
• Executive branch carries out laws
• Judicial branch conducts trials with paid jurors

-Greece had three notable dramatists who wrote tragedies
-Aeschylus wrote over 80 plays
-His most famous work is the trilogy Oresteia, based on the family of Agamemnon, the Mycenaean king who commanded the Greeks at Troy
-the plays examine the idea of justice

-Sophocles wrote more than 100 plays, including the tragedies Oedipus the King and Antigone

Peloponnesian War
When the Peloponnesian War between the two city-states began, Athens had the stronger navy. Sparta had the stronger army, and its location inland meant that it could not easily be attacked by sea. Pericles' strategy was to avoid land battles with the Spartan army and wait for an opportunity to strike Sparta and its allies from the sea.
Eventually, the Spartans marched into Athenian territory. They swept over the countryside, burning the Athenian food supply. Pericles responded by bringing res- idents from the surrounding region inside the city walls. The city was safe from hunger as long as ships could sail into port with supplies from Athenian colonies and foreign states.
In the second year of the war, however, disaster struck Athens. A frightful plague swept through the city, killing perhaps one-third of the population, including Pericles. Although weakened, Athens continued to fight for several years. Then, in 421 B.C., the two sides, worn down by the war, signed a truce.

-A student of Socrates
-was in his late 20s when his teacher died
- Later, Plato wrote down the conversations of Socrates "as a means of philosophical investigation."
-The Republic was his most famous work
in it, he set forth his vision of a perfectly governed society
-It was not a democracy
-In his ideal society, all citizens would fall naturally into three groups:
1) farmers and artisans
2) warriors
3) ruling class
-person w/ greatest insight and intellect from ruling class would be chosen philosopher-king

Philip's Army
After becoming king of Macedonia, quickly proved to be a brilliant general and a ruthless politician
Philip transformed the rugged peasants under his command into a well-trained professional army
organized his troops into phalanxes of 16 men across and 16 deep, each one armed with an 18-foot pike
used this heavy phalanx formation to break through enemy lines
Then used fast-moving cavalry to crush his disorganized opponents
After employing these tactics successfully against northern opponents, Philip began to prepare an invasion of Greece

after his father was stabbed to death by a former guardsman, Alexander immediately proclaimed himself king of Macedonia.
Because of his accomplishments over the next 13 years, he became known as Alexander the Great.

Alexander Defeats Persia
Although he was only 20 years old when he became king, he was well prepared to lead
Under Aristotle's teaching, Alexander had learned science, geography, and literature
Alexander especially enjoyed Homer's description of the heroic deeds performed by Achilles during the Trojan War
As a young boy, Alexander learned to ride a horse, use weapons, and command troops
Once he became king, Alexander promptly demonstrated that his military training had not been wasted. When the people of Thebes rebelled, he destroyed the city
About 6,000 Thebans were killed
The survivors were sold into slavery
Frightened by his cruelty, the other Greek city-states quickly gave up any idea of rebellion

Invasion of Persia
With Greece now secure, he felt free to carry out his father's plan to invade and conquer Persia
led 35,000 soldiers across the Hellespont into Anatolia.
Persian messengers raced along the Royal Road to spread news of the invasion
army of about 40,000 men rushed to defend Persia
two forces met at the Granicus River
Instead of waiting for the Persians to make the first move, Alexander ordered his cavalry to attack
Leading his troops into battle, Alexander smashed the Persian defenses
Alexander's victory at Granicus alarmed the Persian
king, Darius III
Vowing to crush the invaders, he raised a huge army of between 50,000 and 75,000 men to face the
Macedonians near Issus
Realizing that he was outnumbered, Alexander surprised his enemies
ordered his finest troops to break through a weak point in the Persian lines
army then charged straight at Darius
To avoid capture, Darius fled, followed by his army
This victory gave Alexander control over Anatolia

Conquering the Persian Empire
Darius tried to negotiate a peace settlement
offered Alexander all of his lands west of the Euphrates River
Alexander's advisers urged him to accept
the rapid collapse of Persian resistance fired Alexander's ambition
rejected Darius's offer
announced his plan to conquer the entire Persian Empire

Alexander marched into Egypt, a Persian territory
The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a liberator
crowned him pharaoh—or god-king
During his time in Egypt, Alexander founded the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile
After leaving Egypt, Alexander moved east into Mesopotamia to confront Darius, who assembled a force of some 250,000 men
The two armies met at Gaugamela, a small village near the ruins of ancient Nineveh
Alexander launched a massive phalanx attack followed by a cavalry charge
the Persian lines crumbled,
Darius again fled
Alexander's victory at Gaugamela ended Persia's power
Later, Alexander's army occupied Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis
These cities yielded a huge treasure, which Alexander distributed among his army
A few months after it was occupied, Persepolis, Persia's royal capital, burned to the ground
Some people said Alexander left the city in ashes to signal the total destruction of the Persian Empire
Greek historian Arrian, writing about 500 years after Alexander's time, suggested that the fire was set in revenge for the Persian burning of Athens
the cause of the fire remains a mystery.


Researchers Discover Lost Island Where Athenians and Spartans Once Battled

A group of scientists, led by researchers at the German Archaeology Institute, have discovered a lost island in the Aegean Sea. The site of a major battle between the Spartans and Athenians during the Peloponnesian War and home to the ancient city of Kane, the island is mentioned in numerous ancient texts—but its exact whereabouts were unknown until now.

According to Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman, scientists found the ancient island on an Aegean Sea peninsula near Bademli village in Turkey. After taking geological samples of underground rock in the area, researchers confirmed that the peninsula was once an island, and that the strait separating island and mainland had simply filled with silt over time. Based on archaeological artifacts found around Bademli, the team of researchers is reasonably certain the peninsula was once the city of Kane, where the Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BCE.

“It was not clear that these lands were actually the Arginus islands that we were looking for until our research,” Felix Pirson of the German Archaeology Institute told Zaman. “By examining the geological samples obtained through the core-drill method, we recognized that the gap between the third Arginus island and the mainland was indeed filled with loose soil and rock, creating the existing peninsula.”

The find is an important one for historians and archaeologists. The Peloponnesian War was one of the most important events in the history of Ancient Greece, fought between Sparta and Athens—two of the ancient world’s greatest powers—and spanning 27 years. According to Quartz, though the Athenians won the Battle of Arginusae, " the crews of 25 Athenian ships were left stranded and several of the battle commanders were tried and executed for their poor leadership."


Where to Find Pallas the Silencer Cult of Kosmos Member in AC Odyssey – Heroes of the Cult Branch

To find Pallas the Silencer, you’ll have to participate in the Conquest Battle for the Achaia region. The catch is that you have to fight on the side of Athens, no matter where your actual preferences lie. If you fight on the side of Sparta, the cultist Pallas won’t spawn. So, once the region becomes vulnerable, make sure to report at the blue flag when the Conquest Battle becomes available. Luckily, it absolutely doesn’t matter whether the Athenians are the invading or the defending force just fight for Athens, and you’ll be golden.

Pallas the Silencer will show up about the halfway point of the battle, so just try and live long enough. The game will show you a short cutscene showing you Pallas, and you’ll also get the objective to kill the Enemy Hero. Once you kill him, you’ll still have to play through the rest of the battle before you can proceed with the game normally.

If you’ve reached this part of the game and somehow haven’t really figured out Conquest Battles, here’s how they work. You’ll have noticed by now that every region in the game is under the control of either Sparta or Athens. As you complete missions and side content such as clearing out bases, their hold becomes weaker. When the purple meter on the map screen goes low enough (to Vulnerable), the possibility of a Conquest Battle comes up. And, once again, to fight Pallas the Silencer, you have to fight on the side of Athens in the Conquest Battle for Achaia.

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Leading Up to the Battle

The Battle of Thermopylae was just one of many battles fought between the Greeks and the Persians in a conflict known as The Greco Persian Wars. Throughout the 6th century BCE, the Persians, under Cyrus the Great, had gone from being a relatively unknown tribe hidden away on the Iranian plateau to Western Asia’s superpower. The Persian Empire stretched from what is modern-day Turkey, down to Egypt and Libya, and all the way east almost to India, making it the second largest empire in the world at the time next to China. Here’s a map of the Persian Empire in 490 BCE.

Greece, which operated more as a network of independent city-states that alternated between collaborating and fighting with one another than a coherent nation, had a significant presence in western Asia, mostly along the southern coast of modern-day Turkey, a region known as Ionia. The Greeks living there maintained a decent autonomy despite falling under the dominion of Lydia, a powerful kingdom that held most of the territory in what is now eastern Turkey. However, when the Persians invaded Lydia and conquered it in the middle of the 6th century BCE, the Ionian Greeks became part of the Persian Empire, yet in their quest to maintain their autonomy, they proved difficult to rule.

Once the Persians had managed to conquer Lydia, they would have been interested in conquering Greece, as imperial expansion was one of the most important tasks of any ancient king. To do this, the Persian king, Darius I, enlisted the help of a man named Aristagoras, who was ruling as the tyrant of the Ionian city Miletus. The plan was to invade the Greek island of Naxos and begin subjugating more Greek cities and regions. However, Aristagoras failed in his invasion, and fearing that Darius I would retaliate by killing him, he called on his fellow Greeks in Ionia to rebel against the Persian king, which they did. So, in 499 BCE, much of Ionia was in open rebellion, an event known as the Ionian Revolt.

Athens and several other Greek city-states, mainly Eritrea, sent help to their fellow Greeks, but this proved to be folly as Darius I marched his armies into Ionia and by 493 BCE had ended the rebellion. But now, he was mad at the Greeks for their insurrection, and he had his eyes set on revenge.

Darius I Marches on Greece

About ten years before the Battle of Thermopylae, in an attempt to punish the Greeks for their support of the Ionian Revolt, Darius I gathered his army and marched into Greece. He went west through Thrace and Macedon, subjugating the cities he crossed. Meanwhile, Darius I sent his fleet to attack Eritrea and Athens. Greek forces put up little resistance, and Darius I managed to reach Eritrea and burn it to the ground.

His next objective was Athens – the other city which offered support to the Ionians – but he never made it. The Greek forces chose to meet the Persians in battle, and they won a decisive victory at the Battle of Marathon, forcing Darius I to retreat back to Asia, effectively ending his invasion for the time being.

Modern historians believe Darius I retreated to regroup for a second invasion, but he died before he ever had the chance. His son, Xerxes I, rose to the throne in 486 BCE, and after spending some time consolidating his power within the empire, he set out to avenge his father and force the Greeks to pay for their insubordination and insurrection, setting the stage for the Battle of Thermopylae. Below is a map detailing the movements of Darius I and his troops during this first invasion of Greece.


Battle of Thermopylae

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Battle of Thermopylae, (480 bce ), battle in central Greece at the mountain pass of Thermopylae during the Persian Wars. The Greek forces, mostly Spartan, were led by Leonidas. After three days of holding their own against the Persian king Xerxes I and his vast southward-advancing army, the Greeks were betrayed, and the Persians were able to outflank them. Sending the main army in retreat, Leonidas and a small contingent remained behind to resist the advance and were defeated.

The Battle of Thermopylae’s political origins can be traced back to Xerxes’ predecessor, Darius I (the Great), who sent heralds to Greek cities in 491 bce in the hopes of persuading them to accept Persian authority. This offended the proud Greeks greatly the Athenians went so far as to toss the Persian heralds into a pit, while the Spartans followed suit and tossed them into a well. In 480 bce Xerxes invaded Greece as a continuation of Darius’s original plan. He began the same way his predecessor had: he sent heralds to Greek cities—but he skipped over Athens and Sparta because of their previous responses. Many Greek city-states either joined Xerxes or remained neutral, while Athens and Sparta led the resistance with a number of other city-states behind them. Before invading, Xerxes implored the Spartan king Leonidas to surrender his arms. Leonidas famously replied, “Come and take them” (“Molon labe”). Xerxes intended to do just that and thus moved toward Thermopylae.

Xerxes led a vast army overland from the Dardanelles, accompanied by a substantial fleet moving along the coast. His forces quickly seized northern Greece and began moving south. The Greek resistance tried to halt Persian progress on land at the narrow pass of Thermopylae and at sea nearby in the straits of Artemisium. The Greek army was led by Leonidas, who was estimated to have had around 7,000 men. Xerxes, on the other hand, had anywhere from 70,000 to 300,000. Despite the disparity in numbers, the Greeks were able to maintain their position. Their strategy involved holding a line only a few dozen yards long between a steep hillside and the sea. This constricted the battlefield and prevented the Persians from utilizing their vast numbers. For two days the Greeks defended against Persian attacks and suffered light losses as they imposed heavy casualties on the Persian army. Only when the Greeks were betrayed did the battle take a detrimental turn for them. Ephialtes, a Greek citizen desiring reward, informed Xerxes of a path that went around Thermopylae, thus rendering the Greeks’ line useless in preventing forward advancement of the Persian army.

Xerxes took advantage of this betrayal and sent part of his army along this path, led by Ephialtes himself. After reaching the other side, the Persians attacked and destroyed a portion of the Greek army. This forced Leonidas to call a war council, at which it was decided that retreating was the best option. However, as the majority of the Greek army retreated, Leonidas, his 300 bodyguards, some helots (people enslaved by the Spartans), and 1,100 Boeotians remained behind, supposedly because retreating would defy Spartan law and custom. They held their ground against the Persians but were quickly defeated by the vast enemy army, and many (if not all sources differ) were killed, including Leonidas. News of this defeat reached the troops at Artemisium, and Greek forces there retreated as well. The Persian victory at Thermopylae allowed for Xerxes’ passage into southern Greece, which expanded the Persian empire even further.

Today the Battle of Thermopylae is celebrated as an example of heroic persistence against seemingly impossible odds. Soon after the battle, the Greeks built a stone lion in honour of those who had died and specifically for the fallen king Leonidas. In 1955 a statue of Leonidas was erected by King Paul of Greece in commemoration of his and his troops’ bravery. The Battle of Thermopylae also served as the inspiration for the film 300 (2006).


Watch the video: Vrysaki - The lost neighbourhood of Athens Βρυσάκι - Η χαμένη γειτονιά της Αθήνας (July 2022).


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