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Persians Capture Athens

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September, 27, 480 B.C.:
Persians Capture Athens

By: Mir M.Hosseini

King Dariush the Great was preparing for an expedition to Greece before he died in November 486. His son Xerxes succeeded him and as soon as he suppressed rebellions in Egypt and Babylon, a large army of 600,000 was gathered at Sardes to start an expedition towards west. After victories in Artemisium and Thermopylae, Thessaly and Boeotia were added to the Achaemenid empire. The Persian army captured Athens on September, 27th. Acropolis fell the next day and thus Persians took full control of the Greek harbor. Although the Persian victory looked complete, it's navy while trying to attack retreating Greeks in Salamis suffered heavy losses. Meanwhile civil unrest in Babylon made Xerxes leave early and appointed his commander Mardonius in charge of Persian army in Greece. Mardonius tried hard to keep Greece under control but he was killed in the Battle of Plataea in August 479 and Artabazus, one of his subordinates was hardly able to lead a large contingent back to Asia.

KEY TERMS:Achaemenid , Acropolis , Artabazus , Artemis , Artemisium , Asia , Athens , Bab , Babylon , Boeotia , Dariush , Dariush the Great , Egypt , Greece , Greek , Mardonius , Persia , Persian , Plataea , Salamis , Sardes , Thermopylae , Thessaly , Xerxes

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