Spartan Involvement In Persian Wars

1267 Words6 Pages
The Greco-Persian wars, the great struggle between the United Greek Poleis against the growing Persian Empire of the East. Sparta, one of the Major greek Polis was responsible to a great extent for the victory of the Greeks over the Persians. Sparta not only participated in several crucial battles of the war such as Thermopylae and Plataea, but also contributed to the Greek Political and cultural idea of unity. Along with the physical strength of the Spartan forces, their leadership at battles such as “Salamis” and “Plataea” allowed the Greeks to be victorious in the Greco-Persian Wars. The battle of Marathon, the first and instigating battle of the Persian wars of 490Bc, was fought and won by the forces of Athens and Plataeans, without the help of the Spartans. The Spartans had been called for in this time of need as Athens dispatched a runner to Sparta on news of the upcoming invasion. The Spartans refused to assist as they were currently taking part in their religious festival of Karnea, and would not send troops until “The Circle of the moon should be full” - Herodotus. Their exclusion from the victory at Marathon is a case against the significance of Sparta, how ever during the invasions the “Panhellic League” formed between the Greek states, with Sparta and Athens being the leading members, shows the first instances of Greek unity. It is well assumed that without the Coalition of the Greek states the Greeks could not have won the Persian war "the Greek achievement in the wars was amazing. Under the threat of Persian conquest a group of cities, many hostile to and jealous of one another, joined in a Hellenic league in order to present a united front against the invader." - Sidney Fine. Sparta’s involvement in as a founding member of the league gives good evidence to the extent of the Spartan significance in the war. “Ten years later, the battle at
Open Document