Delian League, before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.
Bust of Cimon in Larnaca, Cyprus
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.
Cimon takes command of the Greek Fleet.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Owl of Athena, patron of Athens.
Pieces of broken pottery (Ostracon) as voting tokens for ostracism. The persons nominated are Pericles, Cimon and Aristides, each with his patronymic (top to bottom).
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Fragment of the Athenian Tribute List, 425–424 BC.
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
The Athenian Empire at its height, c. 450 BC.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Map showing the locations of battles fought by the Delian League, 477–449 BC.
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.
Greece at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
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
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
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
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

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.

- Delian League

Cimon played a key role in creating the powerful Athenian maritime empire following the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480–479 BC. Cimon became a celebrated military hero and was elected to the rank of strategos after fighting in the Battle of Salamis.

- Cimon

One of Cimon's greatest exploits was his destruction of a Persian fleet and army at the Battle of the Eurymedon river in 466 BC. In 462 BC, he led an unsuccessful expedition to support the Spartans during the helot uprisings.

- Cimon

In the first ten years of the league's existence, Cimon/Kimon forced Karystos in Euboea to join the league, conquered the island of Skyros and sent Athenian colonists there.

- Delian League

This indirectly caused the Athenians to move the treasury of the Delian League from the island of Delos to the Athenian acropolis.

- Achaemenid Empire

After Cimon's failure to attain much in this expedition, the Peace of Callias was agreed between Athens, Argos and Persia in 449 BC.

- Achaemenid Empire
Delian League, before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.

4 related topics with Alpha


Herm of Themistocles (1875 illustration)


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Athenian politician and general.

Athenian politician and general.

Herm of Themistocles (1875 illustration)
Profile view of an ancient Greek bust of Themistocles
A sluicing tank for silver ore, excavated at Laurium, Attica
A Roman-era bust of Themistocles in "Severe style", based on a Greek original, in the Museo Archeologico Ostiense, Ostia, Rome, Italy. The lost original of this bust, dated to circa 470 BC, has been described as "the first true portrait of an individual European".
Decree of Themistocles, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, 13330
Diagram of the approximate events of the Battle of Salamis
Romantic interpretation of the Battle of Salamis by Wilhelm von Kaulbach. Artemisia of Caria is seen shooting arrows in the direction of the Greeks led by Themistocles.
The triumph of Themistocles after the Battle of Salamis. 19th century illustration.
Themistocles honoured at Sparta.
Athenians rebuilding their city under the direction of Themistocles.
The northern wall of the Acropolis of Athens, built by Themistocles with built-in fragments of destroyed temples.
Column drums of the destroyed Older Parthenon, reused in building-up the North wall of the Acropolis, by Themistocles.
Ostracon with inscription: "Themist[h]ocles, son of Neocles"
Themistocles finds refuge with King Admetus.
Illustration by Walter Crane showing Themistocles standing silently before King Artaxerxes
Coin of Themistocles as Governor of Magnesia. Obv: Head of Zeus. Rev: Letters ΘΕ, initials of Themistocles. Circa 465-459 BC
Coin of Themistocles as Governor of Magnesia. Obv: Barley grain. ΘE to left. Rev: Possible portrait of Themistocles. Circa 465–459 BC.
Didrachm of Themistocles in Magnesia. Obv: Apollo standing in clamys, legend around ΘΕΜΙΣΤΟΚ-ΛΕΟΣ ("Themistokles"). Rev: Eagle with letters Μ-Α ("Magnesia").
Hemiobol of Themistocles in Magnesia, where he is seen wearing a tight bonnet with Olive wreath (a similar headdress can be seen on the coinage of Kherei). This possibly reflects the bonnets of Achaemenid Satraps, such as seen in the Herakleia head. Initials Θ-Ε around portrait and on reverse. c. 465–459 BC
A dignitary of Asia Minor in Achaemenid style, c. 475 BC. Karaburun tomb near Elmalı, Lycia.
Portrait of a ruler with olive wreath on the Magnesian coinage of Archeptolis, son of Themistocles, c. 459 BC. The portraits on the coinage of Archeptolis could also represent Themistocles.
Bust of Themistocles
Ruins of the Themistoclean Wall in the Kerameikos of Athens, Greece, named after Themistocles
Map of the Athenian Empire in 431 BC

His naval policies would have a lasting impact on Athens as well, since maritime power became the cornerstone of the Athenian Empire and golden age.

Meanwhile, the Spartans actively worked against him, trying to promote Cimon (son of Miltiades) as a rival to Themistocles.

Themistocles was one of the several Greek aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversals at home, other famous ones being Hippias, Demaratos, Gongylos or later Alcibiades.

Persian soldier (left) and Greek hoplite (right) depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC

Greco-Persian Wars

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Persian soldier (left) and Greek hoplite (right) depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Herodotus, the main historical source for this conflict
Thucydides continued Herodotus's narrative
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under Darius the Great
Persian and Median Immortals in ceremonial dress, bas-relief in Persepolis
According to Herodotus, the Athenians, hoping for protection against Sparta, made the gift of "Earth and Water" to the Persians in 507 BC.
Coinage of Athens at the time of Cleisthenes. Effigy of Athena, with owl and ΑΘΕ, initials of "Athens". Circa 510-500/490 BC.
The burning of Sardis by the Greeks and the Ionians during the Ionian Revolt in 498 BC.
Map showing main events of the Ionian Revolt.
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
The Greek wings envelop the Persians
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
The soldiers of Xerxes I, of all ethnicities, on the tomb of Xerxes I, at Naqsh-e Rostam.
Probable Spartan hoplite (Vix crater, c. 500 BC).
Major events in the second invasion of Greece
The pass of Thermopylae
Schematic diagram illustrating events during the Battle of Salamis
Spartans fighting against Persian forces at the Battle of Plataea. 19th century illustration.
Athens and her "empire" in 431 BC. The empire was the direct descendant of the Delian League
Map showing the locations of battles fought by the Delian League, 477–449 BC
Dynast of Lycia, Kherei, with Athena on the obverse, and himself wearing the Persian cap on the reverse. Circa 440/30–410 BC.
Coinage of Tiribazos, Satrap of Lydia, with Faravahar on the obverse. 388–380 BC.

The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them.

The actions of the general Pausanias at the siege of Byzantium alienated many of the Greek states from the Spartans, and the anti-Persian alliance was therefore reconstituted around Athenian leadership, called the Delian League.

More detail for the whole period is provided by Plutarch, in his biographies of Themistocles, Aristides and especially Cimon.

Battle of Salamis

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Map showing the Greek world at the time of the battle
Battle of Salamis, 1785 engraving
Greek trireme.
Fleet of triremes based on the full-sized replica Olympias
The Lycian dynast Kybernis (520-480 BCE) led 50 Lycian ships in the Achaemenid fleet.
The Ionian fleet, here seen joining with Persian forces at the Bosphorus in preparation of the European Scythian campaign of Darius I in 513 BC, was part of the Achaemenid fleet at Salamis. 19th century illustration.
The battle of Salamis, 19th century illustration.
Greek triremes at Salamis.
Battle of Salamis, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
Death of the Persian admiral Ariabignes (a brother of Xerxes) early in the battle; illustration from Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls c. 1910
Artemisia, Queen of Halicarnassus, and commander of the Carian contingent of the Achaemenid fleet, at the Battle of Salamis, shooting arrows at the Greeks. Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
The triumph of Themistocles after Salamis. 19th century illustration.
The wrath of Xerxes looking at the Battle of Salamis from his promontory, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
Serpent Column, a monument to their alliance, dedicated by the victorious Allies in the aftermath of Plataea; now at the Hippodrome of Constantinople

The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC. It resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks.

The Greek victory allowed Macedon to revolt against Persian rule; and over the next 30 years, Thrace, the Aegean Islands and finally Ionia would be removed from Persian control by the Allies, or by the Athenian-dominated successor, the Delian League.

According to Plutarch, the previously undistinguished Cimon "obtained great repute among the Athenians" due to his courage in battle; this reputation later enabled him to launch his political career.

Bust of Pericles bearing the inscription "Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian". Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from c. 430 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums,


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Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens.

Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens.

Bust of Pericles bearing the inscription "Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian". Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from c. 430 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums,
Bust of Pericles, Roman copy of a Greek original, British Museum
Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to Pericles, Aspasia, Alcibiades and Friends, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1868, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Bust of Pericles after Kresilas, Altes Museum, Berlin
Aspasia of Miletus (c. 469 BC – c. 406 BC), Pericles' companion
Anaxagoras and Pericles by Augustin-Louis Belle (1757–1841)
The Parthenon was prompted by Pericles.
Pericles' Funeral Oration (Perikles hält die Leichenrede) by Philipp Foltz (1852)
The Plague of Athens (c. 1652–1654) by Michiel Sweerts
An ostracon with Pericles' name written on it (c. 444–443 BC), Museum of the ancient Agora of Athens
A painting by Hector Leroux (1682–1740), which portrays Pericles and Aspasia, admiring the gigantic statue of Athena in Phidias' studio
Marble bust of Pericles with the Corinthian helmet, Roman copy of a Greek original, Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican Museums
The Acropolis at Athens (1846) by Leo von Klenze

Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War.

Simon Hornblower has argued that Pericles' selection of this play, which presents a nostalgic picture of Themistocles' famous victory at Salamis, shows that the young politician was supporting Themistocles against his political opponent Cimon, whose faction succeeded in having Themistocles ostracized shortly afterward.

Pericles may have realized the importance of Cimon's contribution during the ongoing conflicts against the Peloponnesians and the Persians.