Persians and Spartans fighting at Plataea. 19th century illustration.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
A map showing the Greek world at the time of the battle
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
The Achaemenid Empire and its allied Greek states (Macedonia, Thessaly, Malis, Locris, Phocis and Boeotia) at the time of the Battle of Plataea.
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Movements of the Persian and Greek armies in 480–479 BC
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Answer of Aristides to the ambassadors of Mardonius: "As long as the sun holds to its present course, we shall never come to terms with Xerxes".
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
The initial movements at the Battle of Plataea. The Greek line moves forward to the Asopus ridge.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
Death of Masistius in early skirmishes.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Spartan general Pausanias commanded the Allied Greek troops.
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Disposition of Achaemenid troops beyond the Asopos river at the beginning of the Battle of Plataea. From left to right: Greek allies, Sacae, Indians, Bactrians, Medes and Persians.
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Aristides, commander of the Athenians, informed by Alexander I of Macedon (a nominal ally of the Achaemenids) that delaying the encounter with the Persians would help further diminish their already low supplies. Battle of Plataea, 479 BC.
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
The battlefield of Plataea from the Achaemenid (northern) side.
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Pausanias offering sacrifice to the Gods before the battle
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Scene of the Battle of Plataea. 19th century illustration.
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
The main phase of the battle at Plataea. The Greek retreat becomes disorganised, and the Persians cross the Asopus to attack.
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
Scene of the Battle of Plataea on the south frieze of the Temple of Athena Nike, Athens. The scene on the right may show the fight over the body of Masistius. British Museum.
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting on an ancient kylix. 5th century BC
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Coin of Alexander I of Macedon in the decade following the Battle of Plataea and the departure of Achaemenid forces (struck in 480/79-470 BC).
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states (including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara), and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I (allied with Greece's Boeotians, Thessalians, and Macedonians).

- Battle of Plataea

The land army which he left in Greece under Mardonius retook Athens but was eventually destroyed in 479 BC at the Battle of Plataea.

- Achaemenid Empire

14 related topics with Alpha


Delian League, before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.

Delian League

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Delian League, before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.
Athenian Empire in 445 BC, according to the Tribute Lists. The islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos (shaded on the map) did not pay tribute.
Owl of Athena, patron of Athens.
Fragment of the Athenian Tribute List, 425–424 BC.
The Athenian Empire at its height, c. 450 BC.
Map showing the locations of battles fought by the Delian League, 477–449 BC.
Greece at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War

The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Fragment from Histories, Book VIII on 2nd-century Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2099

Histories (Herodotus)

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Considered the founding work of history in Western literature.

Considered the founding work of history in Western literature.

Fragment from Histories, Book VIII on 2nd-century Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2099
[[Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his Ministers, as She Goes to Bed|Candaules, King of Lydia, shews his wife by stealth to Gyges...]], by William Etty (1830)
Edwin Long's 1875 interpretation of The Babylonian Marriage Market as described by Herodotus in Book 1 of the Histories
Nile crocodile allowing the trochilus to eat leeches in its mouth. Drawing by Henry Scherren, 1906
Scythian warriors, drawn after figures on an electrum cup from the Kul'Oba kurgan burial near Kerch (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg)
Relief of Darius I, Persepolis
Statue of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens
A Greek trireme
The plain of Marathon today
Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David (1814)
The Battle of Salamis, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (1868)
The Serpent Column dedicated by the victorious Greeks in Delphi, later transferred to Constantinople
Dedication in the Histories, translated into Latin by Lorenzo Valla, Venice 1494
Reconstruction of the Oikoumene (inhabited world), ancient map based on Herodotus,
The Indian Gold Hunters, after Herodotus: gold ants pursuing gold hunters.
The Himalayan marmot
Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant, by Claude Vignon

The Histories also stands as one of the earliest accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, as well as the events and causes of the Greco-Persian Wars between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery (the Persians) on the one hand, and freedom (the Athenians and the confederacy of Greek city-states which united against the invaders) on the other.

The Persian retreat to Thebes where they are afterwards slaughtered (Battle of Plataea)

Thebes, Greece

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City in Boeotia, Central Greece.

City in Boeotia, Central Greece.

Interior of the Archaeological Museum of Thebes
Exhibit at the museum
Theban workshop (Oinochoe type), 7th century BC
Topographic map of ancient Thebes
Ancient coin depicting a Boeotian shield, AM of Thebes
Silver stater of Thebes (405-395 BC). Obverse: Boeotian shield, reverse: Head of bearded Dionysus.
Map of Greece during the height of Theban power in 362 BC, showing Theban, Spartan and Athenian power blocks
Ruins of Thebes
The Duchy of Athens and the other Greek and Latin states of southern Greece, ca. 1210
View of Thebes (1819) by Hugh William Williams
Thebes, 1842 by Carl Rottmann
Popular festival at Thebes, 1880s
A bust of Pindar
Entrance to the archaeological museum
Monastery of Transfiguration

It was a major rival of ancient Athens, and sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion under Xerxes I.

Though a contingent of 400 was sent to Thermopylae and remained there with Leonidas before being defeated alongside the Spartans, the governing aristocracy soon after joined King Xerxes I of Persia with great readiness and fought zealously on his behalf at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. The victorious Greeks subsequently punished Thebes by depriving it of the presidency of the Boeotian League and an attempt by the Spartans to expel it from the Delphic amphictyony was only frustrated by the intercession of Athens.

A Greek hoplite


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Hoplites ( : hoplítēs) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields.

Hoplites ( : hoplítēs) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields.

A Greek hoplite
Hoplite, 5th century
Hoplites shown in two attack positions, with both an underhand thrust and an overhand prepared to be thrown
Phalanx fighting on a black-figure amphora, c. 560 BC. The hoplite phalanx is a frequent subject in ancient Greek art
Probable Spartan hoplite (Vix crater, c. 500 BC).
Hoplite armour exhibit from the Archaeological Museum of Corfu. Note the gold inserts around the chest area of the iron breastplate at the centre of the exhibit. The helmet on the upper left is a restored version of the oxidised helmet on the right.
Stele of Aristion, heavy-infantryman or hoplite. 510 BC. Top of helmet and pointed beard missing.
Armour of an ancient Athenian Hoplite
Athenian cavalryman Dexileos fighting a naked Peloponnesian hoplite in the Corinthian War. Dexileos was killed in action near Corinth in the summer of 394 BC, probably in the Battle of Nemea, or in a proximate engagement. Grave Stele of Dexileos, 394-393 BC.
Chigi Vase with Hoplites holding javelins and spears
Hoplites on an aryballos from Corinth, c. 580–560 BC (Louvre)
Crouching warrior, tondo of an Attic black-figure kylix, c. 560 BC (Staatliche Antikensammlungen)
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. Circa 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Spartan hoplite. (Image from Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration, before 1910)
Paintings of Ancient Macedonian soldiers, arms, and armaments, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki in Greece, 4th century BC
Etruscan warrior, found near Viterbo, Italy, dated circa 500 BC.

The formation proved successful in defeating the Persians when employed by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE during the First Greco-Persian War.

The phalanx was also employed by the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE and at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE during the Second Greco-Persian War.