The Persian Wars: Greece's Finest Hours

The Battle of Salamis

Following the success at Thermopylae, the Persian army poured into mainland Greece and wreaked havoc, including burning Athens to the ground. The people and army of Athens, however, had escaped to the island of Salamis in the ships that far-sighted generals had insisted on building several years before.

The Persian fleet followed the retreating Greeks to Salamis, where another surprise awaited. With the Persian Emperor Xerxes watching on his throne from high up on a mountaintop overlooking the Bay of Salamis, the Greek ships first sailed away from shore--pretending to flee the island--then turned around quickly and began ramming the larger, slower-moving, more difficult-to-manuever Persian ships. Before Xerxes knew what had hit him, half his fleet was on the ocean floor. In frustration as great as his father's 10 years earlier, Xerxes led his army back home.

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday