Battle of Plataea - Lydia Sulda Professional Portfolio

Battle of Plataea
Final battle on Greek soil of the GrecoPersian Wars!!!
After the Battle of Salamis
Xerxes was worried that the Greeks would destroy his bridge at
the Hellespont and leave him and his army stranded in Greece so
he moved to take the majority of his army back across the
Hellespont to Asia
Left a part of his army in Greece for the winter under the control
of his general, Mardonius with instructions to continue the
fighting in Xerxes name
Persian’s retreated from Athens back up to Northern Greece,
allowing Athens free for the Athenians to return to their city and
attempt to rebuild
Athens and Sparta
Athens refused Mardonius’ request for earth and water
Mardonius marched down from northern Greece, taking
Athens again and burning it to the ground
Athenian’s all fled to Salamis again before he arrived
Sent word to Sparta urging them to join them in fighting
Mardonius and his troops – Sparta agreed
Mardonius retreated back up to northern Greece near the
town of Plataea which was made up of terrain better suited
for his cavalry – Greek army followed him there
Persian’s took position across the Asopus river, with flat terrain
in front of them good for their advancing cavalry
Greeks assumed position on a mountainous terrain opposite
the Asopus which was a tactical advantage for their hoplites
The lack of fighting was mostly due to tactical reasons. Neither
side wished to give up the advantage that their position allowed
them. Also neither side wanted the opposite to outflank them
Both sides spent a great deal of time swapping the positioning
of their troops to try and get a jump on their opponent
Persian’s tainted the Greek camps water supply – the Greeks
were then forced to move their camp further back to a more
secure source of water
Prolonged Stalemate
Persian’s thought that the Greeks moving the camp back was their
side retreating – so they charged forth to attack them
Greek line initially very fragmented as the various troops filtered in
The advance had the Persian cavalry on sloping ground, which was
a disadvantage to their troops but an advantage to the Greek side
Spartan’s refused to begin the fight until their omens favoured
victory – stayed under a barrage of arrows etc. from the Persians
until the sign finally came and then they joined the battle
Greeks able to defeat the Persians – a large number of the Persian
troops were trapped in their encampment, which the Greek troops
stormed and overcame their defences
Greek victory!!!!
The Battle
Important People
Pausanias – Regent of Sparta – Leonidas’
Aristides – commander of the Athenian troops –
extremely popular with the Athenian people –
previously at the Battle of Salamis
Mardonius – General left in charge of the
remains of Xerxes army in Greece – commander
of the Persian side
Remember these things
Battle primarily won through the work of the Spartan army –
perhaps this is why its not considered as famous or heroic compared
to the Battle of Marathon or Salamis where the Athenians were
heavily involved
Persians never returned to fight the Greeks on Greek soil
Mycale (fought on the shores of Asia Minor) – naval battle where
the Greeks destroyed the Persian fleet – freed the Ionians from the
Athens became the centre of an Empire – Athenians gained great
confidence from their defeat of the Persians (comparable to when
England defeated the Spanish Armada)
Next 50 years was the Golden Age (479 to 432 BC) – The Classical
Age – laid down the basis of Western civilisation
Spartans and Athenians went to war against each other (silly!) –
Athenians were defeated – End of the Golden Age of Athens
Random FACT
Kuwait is about 60% male (highest in
the world). Latvia is about 54%
female (highest in the world).