The Contribution of Themistocles to Greek Victory in the Second Persian Wars

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To what extent was Themistocles’ contribution a key factor in bringing about a Greek victory in the Persian Wars (480-479 BC) Themistocles played a crucial role in bringing about a Greek victory in the Persian Wars from 480-479 BC. A Greek victory was achieved in 480 BC at the Battle of Salamis due to the superior tactics used by Themistocles, both during the battle and the naval policy introduced prior. Themistocles was ‘the most intelligent general [at Salamis],’ and was ‘a man of intellect, foresight and cunning.’ It was largely due to these attributes that Themistocles enforced great tactical decisions making him a key factor in bringing about Greek victory in the Persian Wars (480-479 BC). Themistocles was an Athenian politician and naval strategist who was the creator of the Athenian sea power. Following the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, Greece underwent great development in an attempt to become a stronger power and eliminate Persian threat. Themistocles was a key factor in contributing to these developments, as he was leader of the Athenians after the Battle of Marathon. According to Herodotus, ‘Themistocles believed that Athens future lay on the sea as a trading power.’ Therefore, the contributions of Themistocles were largely relevant to the growth of Athens as a sea power, which proved to be the key reason for a Greek victory in the Persian Wars to come. Prior to the Battle of Marathon (in 493 BC and later), Themistocles ‘suggested fortifying the Piraeus peninsula, which had 3 harbours.’ The Athenians could establish a citadel overlooking the 3 harbours, which previously, were open and indefensible. This motion however was interrupted by the battle and was completed after Persian defeat at Plataea in 479 BC. This marks the initiation of Themistocles push towards a naval focus. The naval war between Athens and Aegina was quite significant for
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