battle of plataea summary

Posted at November 7, 2020

The Athenians made a breach in the walls, allowing the Tegeans to break into the interior (where they found Mardonius's impressive pavilion). They arrived while the Spartans were celebrating the Hyacinthia, a religious festival. Mardonius initiated hit-and-run cavalry attacks against the Greek lines, possibly trying to lure the Greeks down to the plain in pursuit. Pausanias sent a messenger to the Athenians, asking them to join up with the Spartans but the Athenians had been engaged by the Theban phalanx and were unable to assist Pausanias. With the invasion threat lifted, the Greeks began offensive operations in Asia Minor. Had the Greeks attacked earlier the lighter Persian infantry would withdraw until the Greeks got tired and dispersed. The Spartans and other Lacedaemonians lost 91 and the Tegeans lost 16. Worldhistory.us - For those who want to understand the History, not just to read it. Behind his lines he built a square wooden stockade 10 stades (just over 1 mile) on each side. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable », Subjects: Over the next eight days the two sides stayed fairly static. Astonishingly Amompharetus, one of the Spartan commanders, refused to obey the order to move, on the grounds that Spartans didn't retreat. The Persians had been forced to make new plans after Salamis, but after Plataea they are ejected from Greece entirely. Marching in pursuit, the Spartan army, led by Pausanias, was augmented by a large hoplite force from Athens commanded by Aristides as well as forces from the other allied cities. Mardonius was certainly encouraged by this performance, interpreting as a sign that the Spartans were afraid to fight his Persian troops. With the enemy in their city, Athens, along with representatives of Megara and Plataea, approached Sparta and demanded that an army be sent north or they would defect to the Persians. Lacking a leader the survivors fell back towards the main Persian position. Once Alexander had delivered the Athenian refusal to the Persian camp Mardonius prepared to march south. Instead he sent his cavalry across the river in large numbers to harass the Greeks. The battle was in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia. Low and food and water supplies the Greeks decided to retreat to a position in front of Plataea, from where they could guard the passes and have access to fresh water. Before leaving he destroyed what was left of the city. As long as Mardonius remained in the battle scene the Persians kept fighting. As Athens was not protected by the defenses on the isthmus, Athens demanded that an Allied army be sent north in 479 to deal with the Persian threat. The Battle of Plataea was fought in August 479 BC during the Persian Wars; the Persians were defeated and driven from Greece. Cithaeron. On the right were 10,000 Lacedaemonians, including 5,000 Spartans. They were now in quite a dangerous position. Mardonius then discovered that the main Peloponnesian force had reached the Isthmus and was heading his way, so decided to return to his original plan. If the best fighting force the Greeks had to offer was defeated, then what hope could be held out? The retreat did not go well. The Greeks paraded Masistius's body in front of their army, apparently because he had been so impressive everyone wanted to see him. Ancient World Mapping Center. The Greeks have assembled a massive army, composed of contingents from around Greece. Eventually a Theban in the Persian army, Timagenidas, suggested sending troops to capture this pass. Amongst the Spartan dead was Aristodamus, one of the two survivors of the battle of Thermopylae, who had been determined to redeem himself. However, at the last-ditch naval Battle of Salamis, the Allied Greek navy had won a surprise victory, and that stopped the conquest of the whole Peloponnesus. Just as the Battle of Salamis was a definitive turning point to the Persian Invasion of 480, the Battle of Plataea was an effective end of it. As the Persians were approaching Attica the Athenians sent an embassy to Sparta to plead for help. Command of the army was given to Pausanias, then acting as guardian for Leonidas's young son Pleistarchus. Mardonius agreed, and on the night of the eighth day sent his cavalry to the pass. Mardonius disagreed, and instead moved on to Attica, where in mid-summer he occupied an empty Athens. The destruction of this army, and the remnants of the Persian navy, allegedly on the same day at the Battle of Mycale, ended the invasion. The Greeks carried out this manoeuvre, but the Persians spotted it and matched it themselves, swapping the Persians and their Greek troops. After Salamis. Once the centre was in place, the wings were to follow. Mardonius believed that the Greeks were in full retreat and ordered his Persian troops to cross the river and pursue the Greeks. It was a decisive victory for the Greeks as it ended that war. The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the third Persian invasion of Greece. The true purpose of this visit is uncertain - Alexander might genuinely have been trying to help the Greeks, or he could have been sent by Mardonius to try and make sure the Greeks didn't retreat as he was crossing the river. Though briefly checked during the opening phases of the Battle of Thermopylae in August, he eventually won the engagement and swept through Boeotia and Attica capturing Athens. In either case the Tegeans eventually couldn't take the pressure any more and charged the Persians. Depending on the source, Greek losses may have ranged from 159 to 10,000. However, his general, Mardonius, remained in northern Greece to continue the fight. Soon after leaving Athens the Persians learnt that an advance guard of 1,000 Spartans had reached Megara, on the coast west of Athens. On the Persian centre-right the Bactrians faced the 3,400 from Epidaurus, Troezen, Lepreum, Mycenae, Tiryans and Phleious. The deadlock was broken after the Athenians arrived and stormed the walls. Two more days passed, during which time the supply lines of the Greeks continued to be menaced. Mardonius was certainly interested in exploring that last possibility. When this message reached Mardonius he decided to retreat from Athens to Boeotia, and make his stand near Thebes. In the summer of 479 BC, the Greeks got together a huge army by the standards of the day, and marched out of the Peloponnesus. He thought the Hellenic army would fall quickly to his superiorly-vast army. The Spartans and Tegeans were first assaulted by the Persian cavalry, while the Persian infantry made their way forward. Much of the Persian army were caught in their camp, and slaughtered. Though the Persians vigorously defended the walls, they were eventually breached by the Tegeans. Battle of Plataea, (July 479 bce). A group of aristocratic Athenians, unhappy with their loss of wealth and influence since the war began, decided to try and overthrow the democracy, and if that failed to switch sides. While he was at Athens Mardonius sent another envoy to the Athenians, but this second offer was also refused. One contingent, made up of the Megarians and Phleiasians, were caught by the Theban cavalry and suffered 600 casualties, but this was the only real success on the Persian side. As well as a larger army, the other thing that gave Mardonius a definite edge was the existence of elite Persian cavalry. As he had not fully engaged the forces under his command he led his men away from the battlefield, on the road to Thessaly, hoping to escape. Although Plataea was in every sense a decisive victory, it does not seem (even at the time) to have been as famous as the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon or even the Allied defeat at Thermopylae. The Allied forces in the centre missed their appointed position and ended up scattered in front of Plataea itself. The Athenians called for reinforcements, and the Persians were eventually forced to retreat. The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. Plataea, seen from the south. The first contingent, 5,000 Spartans and 35,000 Helots, was sent out secretly on the day before the Athenian delegates were due to make their final appearance. Herodotus gives a figure of 300,000 Persians and 50,000 Greek allies for this force. You could not be signed in, please check and try again. The day ended with a Greek council of war. These entreaties were refused and the Persians began marching south forcing Athens to be evacuated. If the Greeks stayed where they were, they could soon have been starved out. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice). The cavalry won a notable success, forcing the Spartans to abandon the Gargaphian Spring. Eventually, the Greeks pushed the Persians back, back into the Asopus river. Pausanias decided to swap the Spartan and Athenian positions around, apparently because the Spartans had no experience of fighting the Persians while the Athenians had defeated them at Marathon. At the same time, the allied fleet sailed to Samos, where the demoralised remnants of the Persian navy were based. The battle of Plataea (27 August 479 BC) was the decisive land battle during the Persian invasion of Greece (480-479) and saw the Persian land army left behind after the failure of the 480 campaign defeated by a coalition of Greek powers (Greco-Persian Wars). According to Hanson, in his book Warfare of The Ancient Greeks, ‘a force of at least sixty thousand heavy infantry, and perhaps an equal number of lightly-armed auxiliaries—even Alexander the Great never yielded forces of such size.’ Despite the great size of the Greek force, it was still heavily outnumbered by the Persian army. Plataea is the most decisive battle of the Greco-Persian Wars. The Greeks were also split in two. Plutarch gives us two Greek dates for the battle, with the Athenians placing on the fourth day of the month Boëdromion and the Boeotians on the 27th day of the month Panemus. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ». After the death of Mardonius the surviving Persians broke and fled back to their wooden encampment on the opposite side of the river. Plutarch places this incident before the early cavalry battle, but also places it in Plataea, so it is more likely that it took place during the standoff on the river. Plutarch says 1,360. Herodotus gives a detailed order of battle for the Greeks during the second phase of the battle, the stand off near the River Asopus. This page was last changed on 27 March 2020, at 06:49. To prevent the Persian cavalry from attacking during the retreat, it was to be performed at night. However, neither the Persians nor the Greeks would attack. The very superstitious Spartans accepted this and remained in their positions as more and more Persian infantry joined in battle. The army was posted to block the main passes from the south into Boeotia, the stockade as a refuge in case the battle went wrong. Over the next few years leadership in the war against Persian passed from Sparta to Athens. Adjust view settings. The Persian lines ran from Plataean territory in the south-west to a position opposite Erythrae, a distance of around 5 miles. On the eleventh day Mardonius held a council of war. [1], The campaigning season had come to an end, and it was not until the next summer that the Greeks again allied their forces to face the Persian army. The armies stayed camped in their locations for eight days, during which new Greek troops arrived. In addition, he ordered a series of cavalry attacks in an attempt to lure the Greeks off the high ground. However, Artabazus had disagreed with Mardonius about attacking the Greeks.

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