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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

038 - Behind the Wooden Walls



In this episode, we discuss the aftermath of the Greek loss at Thermopylae, as the Persians advance southwards to Athens and the rest of the Greeks flee to Salamis and to the Peloponnese; the lead-up to and the naval Battle of Salamis (480 BC) itself, in which Themistocles tricks the Persians into fighting in the narrows between Attica and Salamis, resulting in a stunning Greek victory at sea; and the battle's aftermath, which sees Xerxes' fleet and the bulk of his army retreat back to Asia

Late Summer 480 BC - The Greek fleet withdraws south from Artemisium after an indecisive engagement with the Persian fleet and news of the Greek army's defeat at Thermopylae; while the Peloponnesians fortify the Isthmus at Corinth, the Athenians evacuate their women and children to Troezen and their old men and possessions to Salamis; meanwhile, Xerxes moves south with his army, devastating Phocis and destroying Thespiae and Plataea for their loyalty to the Greek cause, while the Persian fleet sets out and reaches Phaleron; the Persians burn and loot Attica, now abandoned except for those few on the acropolis; when their wall was finished, the Peloponnesians wish to retire to the Isthmus and make their defense in the Peloponnese, but Themistocles, with support of Aegina and Megara, threatens to sail with Athenians to Italy, if Peloponnesians withdraw; Themistocles sends his slave with message to Xerxes, tricking the Great King into fighting in the narrows between Attica and Salamis; and a stunning Greek victory vindicates his naval strategy; the Persian fleet flees at night to the Hellespont to guard the bridges for the army to retreat and then to winter at Samos to ensure the Ionian Greeks don't rebel again; after the Persian army retreats north to Thessaly, from there Xerxes leads the bulk of his army overland back to Asia, but he leaves Mardonius behind with a force for an expedition against the Greeks the next spring




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Recommended Podcast Episodes:
***Ancient Greece Declassified - The Persian Wars

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