Essay Analyzing the Battle of Salamis

Essay Analyzing the Battle of Salamis

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What causes a military to become great, bond together, and win a significant battle in war? In ancient times, the Greek people, along with their culture, were threatened by the Persian Empire that sought to conquer the Western world. If the Greeks had lost the Persian wars, their way of life and the basis for western civilizations to come would have been lost. The Battle of Salamis was a combination of leadership, technology, and strategy which gave the Greeks an edge on their Persian opponents, setting into affect the beginning of victory for Greece.

The leadership of city- states along with individual leadership that united the Greeks into one fighting force that was fighting for a common cause. One of the main leaders throughout the entire war was Themistocles, a politician from Athens who was a born leader and would lead the Greeks to victory. Before the Battle of Salamis took place, many of the Greek generals wanted to leave the area, thinking that the narrow pass into Salamis was not worth defending; however, Themistocles used his talent of public speaking to keep the Greeks at salamis, saying:

“If these men sail away from Salamis, thou will have no fight at all for the one fatherland; for they will all scatter themselves to their own homes; and neither Eurybiades nor anyone else will be able to hinder them, nor to stop the breaking up of an armament.”(Herodotus 3).

Using his talent as a public speaker, Themistocles was able to unite the Greek city-states, creating one fighting force that would stay at Salamis to fight the mighty Persian army. While having a valiant leader was an important part of Greek leadership, the Athenians provide leadership in the form of naval strength, providing the Greek navy with a vas...

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.... New York: L. MacVeagh, 1928. Print.
5) Strauss, Barry S.. The battle of Salamis: the naval encounter that saved Greece--and Western civilization. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. Print.
1) Gabriel, Richard A. "What we learned ... from the battle of Salamis." Military History Oct.-Nov. 2009: 16. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
2) Allen, Charlotte. "Victory at Sea; How the Greeks kept the Persians at bay." The Weekly Standard 12 Dec. 2005. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
3) Raham, A.J. "Themistocles' speech before Salamis: the interpretation of Herodotus 8.83.1." The Classical Quarterly 46.2 (1996): 321+. General OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
4) "Salamis, 480 b.c.e." Gale Encyclopedia of World History: War. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Canada In Context. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

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