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Themistocles - Athenian Leader

Themistocles - Athenian Leader Famous People Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Famous Historical Events Film Social Studies World History

This image depicts a bust of Themistocles, the Athenian leader whose advice helped his people to defeat the Persians in 480 BC. Among other things, Themistocles urged the Athenians to use the wealth of their city-state to build a navy.  

That navy became an indispensable means of protection for Athens when Xerxes and his Immortals attacked, and sacked, Athens in 480.  The people were able to flee the city aboard Athens' ships.

Ancient historians also tell us that Themistocles then sent a messenger to the Persians, wrongly reporting that the Athenians were fleeing in their vessels.  When Xerxes took the bait, the Athenian navy defeated the Persian navy at the Straits of Salamis.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the livius.org website.

 

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