490 Marathon-definitely the Athenians.

The Spartans were delayed by an important religious festival (the Carneia) which they had to observe as they were very pious re the gods. They turned up 2-3 days later, but missed all the action!! The inter-war years: The Athenians were much more active in preparing for a second, and what was, they believed, an inevitably greater invasion. Themistocles was especially instrumental in warning the Athenians and other Greek states about this, even sending to the Delphic Oracle for a prediction. The Spartans were more concerned about defending the Peloponnese and their own alliance system and planned to build a wall across the Isthmus at Corinth. The Athenians pushed for a pan-Hellenic congress to discuss the defence of Greece which resulted in 480 at the Isthmus and resulted in the formation of The Greek League/Hellenic League. The following is worth considering: "Although the Greek states of the mainland admired Athens for her victory at Marathon, they looked for leadership not to her but to Sparta. Athens had no following and her neighbours were hostile. Spartra was the head of a great Alliance: among her followers she counted the neighbours of Athens-Megara, Aegina and Thebes-and she had a practical and probably a formal alliance with Athens herself. Her influence was thus paramount among the Greek states.

This did give some time however. It seems likely that Themistocles really called the shots. so the sacrifice was a significant achievement. navy (some 200 triremes) was supplemented by contingents from other allied states from the mainland and the islands and Asia Minor. The large Ath. It turned the Persian advance back to central Greece.G. the Spartans under Leonidas and a small contingent of mixed local Greek states held up the Persian advance for 3 days." (N. Hammond "A History of Greece to 322 B. but were annihilated.At the same time her prestige as a military power and as leader of a military Alliance stood very high since the crushing defeat of Argos at Sepeia.L. The turning point was Salamis..The whole problem of any organised resistance to the Persians herefore centred on Sparta. was commanded by the Spartan Eurybiades who had no knowledge or experience of naval warfare. at Artemisium. 223) Athens (sea) and Sparta (land) were made joint commanders of the Greek forces. The Spartans and their Peloponnesian ." (P. to the Athenians to evacuate their city and surrounding areas.. but Sparta was hegemon (supreme commander) The first naval battle..C. tactically the brainchild of Themistocles and the Athenian naval commanders.. A storm and lots of confusion did not result in a clear victory At Thermopylae.

allies were massed at the isthmus to defend the narrow land bridge into the Peloponnese. The Spartans were outstanding and showed why they were the leading military power in Greece. off the coast of Asia Minor where the Greek navy. The final land battle at Plataea was between the remnants of the Persian army (still overwhelmingly large) and a combined hoplite force of Greek allies. The more intangible things to consider would be: *Willingness to defend Greece *ability to see the bigger picture and put the defence of all of Greece before the interests of a particular polis or region *willingness to put differences and animosities aside for the greater good . led by Pausanias. Some states did not show up. The spartans did not participate as immediately after Plataea. Athens did not distinguish itself in this battle as their generals quarreled with the Spartans. I think one could conclude that both Athenians and Spartans played important roles in different ways in different battles. and did not co-operate in the lead-up and early stages of the battle. Their conduct came close to jeopardising the overwhelming success of the battle. they returned to the Peloponnese to secure consolidate their leadership leadership there. predominantly Athenian and Ath. led routed the Persians and drove them away from the Ionian cities. This victory drove the Persians from Greece. The final encounter at Mycale.

R.. Bradley. An Epic History" (very recent excellent text. Books worth consulting if you can access them: *Hammond. Ehrenberg. Burn.) . Forrest. as quoted qbove.*willingness to co-operate and consult *initiative in foreseeing future dangers and preparing for it etc. "The Spartans.. Hope this is helpful to you. "A History of Sparta" *V. "The Histories" *P.. "Ancient Greece. Using Evidence" (common text) *A. Cartledge. *W. great info on the Persian Wars. "From Solon to Socrates" *Herodotus..etc.G. "Persia and the Greeks" *P.

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