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Greco-Persian War

When you're the biggest, baddest bully around, you'd think that you would easily crush a group of kids who are in the middle of fighting each other. Unfortunately for the Persian Empire, despite their massive armies and epic military strength, they just couldn't defeat the league of Greek city-states.
Biggest Persia
Just looking at their relative sizes, it seems obvious
that the  Persian Empire would crush the Greeks.
Unfortunately, history isn't that predictable.

The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The interaction between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered Ionia in 547 BC. Notably, it is widely believed that the Greeks used Greek Fire to burn Persian ships.


For a background on the governments of each - Persia was an empire, controlling modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypy, Libya, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. Sparta, a leading state, was a oligarchy, or sometimes even considered a fascist state, due to their warlike stance. Athens, another leading state, was a democracy, unlike most other states, but a democracy similar to Apartheid South Africa.


By Greek accounts, enmity between Greece and Persia continued for more than two centuries, culminating in the dissolution of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great; the principal events of the wars, however, unfolded during the two failed Persian expeditions against Greece, in 490 and in 480/479 BC. In 499, the Ionian Greeks rebelled against the expanding Persian empire and asked for help from other Greek cities. The Persian invasion of Greece led by King Xerxes was an attempt to take revenge on Athens for helping the rebellion of the Ionian Greeks. The Greeks united to fight back against the Persian empire



In the Battle of Thermopylae, although the Spartans were up against countless odds and it was rumored that when the Persian archers would fire their arrows it would darken the sky because of their vast numbers, the fighting at Thermopylae during the opening days resulted in heavy casualties for the Persians. The main flaw in the Persians failure to successfully defeat the Greeks positioned at Thermopylae was that they had been taught three things, “to ride, to tell the truth and to use the bow.”
Greece-Persia Map

The reason why these methods did not work was because the tight environment had prevented cavalry form charging and being as effective as they would in an open field of battle. They were also unable to use arrow volleys because of the high cliffs and narrow passes at Thermopylae.


Also, the Spartans' famous battlefield tactic was the phalanx formation which required unity in the ranks to repel, arrows, spears and other things thrown at them. The main reason why the Spartans were able to beat back the Persian invasions were because of their highly evolved fighting skills that were impenetrable. 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas were able to hold off the Persians by giving their lives for the freedom and defense of Greece.


The effects of the war were dynamic and huge - it would eventually lead to the Peloponnesian War, because Athens and some states formed the Delian League (over which Athens was the master), while Sparta and most of the Peloponnesian states formed a different league.

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31 comments

  1. is greek fire real?The Ottomans used it in real life. As did the Greeks during the Greco-Persian Wars, documented by the Persians, who didn't believe in Olympus.. I don't want to start an alien theory chain on edmodo, but this does sound like alien technology if greek fire is real. Some guy threw the recepie away and no one has been able to recreate it. There is quite a bit of evidence in some Nova episodes(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/) that aliens visited earth in ancient times. The dragon triangle has many witnesses of UFOs and Usos. Especially the famous event where 10 people saw 3 USOs float up and form a triangle and float away at Disney land in Japan. My overall question when i put my theories aside are how was greek fire made when human technology was primitive, but cannot be recreated now. Is it like the percy jackson greek fire, or is it something else?

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    1. Sorry; it was a mistake on my part.
      "In the 19th century, it is reported that an Armenian by the name of Kavafian approached the government of the Ottoman Empire with a new type of Greek fire he claimed to have developed. Kavafian refused to reveal its composition when asked by the government, insisting that he be placed in command of its use during naval engagements. Not long after this, he was poisoned by imperial authorities, without them having ever found out his secret."

      Ottomans didn't have the recipe for Greek Fire, even in the 1900's.

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    2. And here is some more information on Greek Fire:
      http://www.unifiniti.com/2013/11/greek-fire.html

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  2. Greek fire is believed to be generally true.

    And no, it was not ancient. It was medieval.
    "Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water. It provided a technological advantage, and was responsible for many key Byzantine military victories, most notably the salvation of Constantinople from two Arab sieges, thus securing the Empire's survival." - Wikipedia (Greek Fire).

    They included a number of sulphur-, petroleum- and bitumen-based mixtures.

    The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos (r. 945–959), in his book De Administrando Imperio, admonishes his son and heir, Romanos II (r. 959–963), to never reveal the secrets of its construction, as it was "shown and revealed by an angel to the great and holy first Christian emperor Constantine" and that the angel bound him "not to prepare this fire but for Christians, and only in the imperial city". As a warning, he adds that one official, who was bribed into handing some of it over to the Empire's enemies, was struck down by a "flame from heaven" as he was about to enter a church.

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  3. the legends of greek fire if not greek fire itself trace back to anceint greek. How long does greek fire burn. can anything washit away

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    1. And Greek Fire's fuel:
      "The composition of Greek fire remains a matter of speculation and debate, with proposals including combinations of pine resin, naphtha, quicklime, sulfur, or niter. Byzantine use of incendiary mixtures was distinguished by the use of pressurized nozzels or siphōn to project the liquid onto the enemy."

      They sprayed a liquid, which would (most likely) fuel the flames. It is possible that they would spray the oil on water, making it so the flame could travel - oil was always less dense than water

      But it could also be that the Greek Fire travels with the liquid.

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  4. "Incendiary and flaming weapons were used in warfare for centuries prior to the invention of Greek fire. They included a number of sulphur-, petroleum- and bitumen-based mixtures. Incendiary arrows and pots containing combustible substances were used as early as the 9th century BC by the Assyrians, and were extensively used in the Greco-Roman world as well. Furthermore, Thucydides mentions the use of tubed flamethrowers in the siege of Delium in 424 BC." Wikipedia

    Anyways, Greek Fire can burn as long as it has a fuel.

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  5. so nothing can wash it and scientists cant recreate it. and can you explain where the greek god legends came from if not aliens admit it, even this tiny peice of evidence is hard to argue with

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  6. "Incendiary arrows and pots containing combustible substances were used as early as the 9th century BC by the Assyrians, and were extensively used in the Greco-Roman world as well. Thucydides mentions the use of tubed flamethrowers in the siege of Delium in 424 BC." Wikipedia

    They had the technology for incendiary weapons at least 476 years before Greek Fire was created! It might actually be alien, but so far, its not proven to be alien.

    Furthermore, look to the 7 battles between the Nanman and Zhuge Liang!
    http://www.unifiniti.com/2013/08/zhuge-liang.html
    http://www.unifiniti.com/2012/06/war-of-three-kingdoms.html

    It is believed that Zhuge Liang used something similar to a flamethrower to defeat the wild animals the Nanman used.

    Not only that, the liquid could be oil - fires with oil CANNOT normally be put out with water, especially in water.

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  7. hold it, hold it, holdit. is greek fire very different from other fire weapons? IS it like Percy jackson greek fires or not

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  8. And:
    "It burned on water, and, according to some interpretations, was ignited by water. In addition, as numerous writers testify, it could be extinguished only by a few substances, such as sand (which deprived it of oxygen), strong vinegar, or old urine, presumably by some sort of chemical reaction."
    "It was a liquid substance, and not some sort of projectile, as verified both by descriptions and the very name, liquid fire."

    So it was a liquid substance defeated by things that remove its supply of oxygen.

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  9. it was ignited by water! dude, if humans cant make that even after fuel cells, how could they make it back then? This has to be work of an advanced civilization or smarter race.

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    Replies
    1. You might find this useful:
      http://www.greece.org/romiosini/greek_fire.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire
      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/244571/Greek-fire

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    2. And it is NOT ignited by water. It IS a liquid.

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  10. liquid fire, sounds familiar to a modern myth. cant place its name...

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    1. There are multiple references:
      Liquid fire is also lava and magma!

      Flames:
      1. Greek Fire
      2. Hot Oil ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_thermal_weapons )
      3. Meng Huo You, Ancient Chinese petroleum weapon
      4. Flamethrower

      Delete
  11. Possible; use the following examples below to decide:
    "It was a liquid substance, and not some sort of projectile, as verified both by descriptions and the very name, liquid fire"

    "In its earliest form, Greek fire was hurled onto enemy forces by firing a burning cloth-wrapped ball, perhaps containing a flask, using a form of light catapult, most probably a seaborne variant of the Roman light catapult or onager. These were capable of hurling light loads—around 6 to 9 kg (13 to 20 lb)—a distance of 350–450 m (383–492 yd)."

    Just like Percy Jackson, you can throw it in a container (a glass jar vs. a [possibly glass] flask).
    Unlike Percy Jackson, its a liquid, not an actual flame.

    1 argument for, 1 argument against. Choose your opinion.

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  12. and scientists cant recreate it today right

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    1. Yeah.

      "John Haldon and Maurice Byrne designed a hypothetical apparatus as consisting of three main components: a bronze pump, which was used to pressurize the oil; a brazier, used to heat the oil (πρόπυρον, propyron, "pre-heater"); and the nozzle, which was covered in bronze and mounted on a swivel (στρεπτόν, strepton)."
      "The process of operating Haldon and Byrne's design was fraught with danger, as the mounting pressure could easily make the heated oil tank explode, a flaw which was not recorded as a problem with the historical fire weapon."

      The try that was the closest to succeeding doesn't fit the historical descriptions.

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  13. i still think it doesnt make sense how humans a long time ago can create technoogy we cant when their average weapons were spears... there has to be something more to its creation. Whats the origin of greek fire?

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    1. I say it here:
      http://www.unifiniti.com/2012/06/greco-persian-wars.html?showComment=1383361313494#c8666788041106100913

      If the link doesn't work, just scroll up.

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  14. how was it proven not to be alien. So could this mean aliens played a part in human war innovation?

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  15. a fire needs heat and oxygen to burn right. so if someoene used a friction of maybysome large object on water( a sailboat) could it spark a whiff of fire or something? Could greek fire be made from friction on water? is that theoretically possible?

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  16. It's not alien, because humans had proven that around 464 years before its supposed invention (Its official invention was in around 1100 AD, while its supposed invention was 400 something BC). In my opinion, that HAS to be non-alien.

    If the Industrial Revolution was barely 20-100 years (the first or second, your choice), then how does it take so long to invent something like this?

    Even the Chinese invented guns in the Tang Dynasty, and flamethrowers were called Meng Huo You, created during the Han Dynasty.

    The reason why the Chinese had not invented them prieviously was because of internal problems - civil war - while the Greeks had around 400 years of strong authority and materials to make it, the Chinese had taken much shorter time to create it.

    It's a wonder why its considered alien, if it takes them this long to make it.

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  17. how would human and alien interactions work? is their any philosophy theories on aliens?

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    1. There are some theoretical ideas about interactions between aliens and humans.
      Schneier 10 (Bruce, Security Technologist, Author, MA in Computer Science – American University, “Worst-Case Thinking”, 3-13, http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/05/worst-case_thin.html):
      "Steven Hawking wants to avoid trying to communicate with aliens because they might be hostile, but does he want to turn off all the planet's television broadcasts because they're radiating into space?"

      On the other hand, nobody that's famous has recorded an actual encounter with an alien, so as far as I know, it is impossible to understand their behavior. Steven Hawkings, as mentioned earlier, would cut off communication with them, out of the idea of self preservation - but remember the Opium Wars. Self Preservation through juche (self-reliance; North Korean style) doesn't work.

      Pessimists, on the other hand - Professor John Zarnecki of the Open University and Dr Martin Dominik of the University of St Andrews say:
      "A lack of co-ordination can be avoided by creating an overarching framework in a truly global effort governed by an international politically legitimated body."

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    2. And continuing on that idea:
      "Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," the Russian astronomer Andrei Finkelstein said in 2012.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/alien-encounter-by-2031_n_886111.html
      "The Journal of Cosmology ran an article in March from Richard B. Hoover, claiming evidence of alien microfossils were found in a meteor, suggesting extraterrestrial life. NASA made headlines in December when it announced it found a new form of life with a DNA completely alien to everything we know."

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  18. While I don't believe there are numerous human-alien interactions, it is possible that something might occur; they might be considered an invading species.

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  19. back to greek fire who was the supposed HUMAN inventor for it

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