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Themistocles (Greek: "Glory of the Law"), was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy, along with his great rival Aristides. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he took steps to increase the naval power of Athens, which would be a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece, he fought at the Battle of Marathon, and was possibly one of the 10 Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle. In the years after Marathon, and in the run up to the second Persian invasion he became the most prominent politician in Athens. He continued to advocate a strong Athenian navy, and in 483 BC he persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of 200 triremes; these would prove crucial in the forthcoming conflict with Persia. During the second invasion, he was in effective command of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. Thanks to subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Allies possessed all the advantages at Salamis, and the decisive Greek victory there was the turning point in the invasion, which was ended the following year by the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Plataea.

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Themistocles (Greek: "Glory of the Law"), was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy, along with his great rival Aristides. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he took steps to increase the naval power of Athens, which would be a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece, he fought at the Battle of Marathon, and was possibly one of the 10 Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle. In the years after Marathon, and in the run up to the second Persian invasion he became the most prominent politician in Athens. He continued to advocate a strong Athenian navy, and in 483 BC he persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of 200 triremes; these would prove crucial in the forthcoming conflict with Persia. During the second invasion, he was in effective command of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. Thanks to subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Allies possessed all the advantages at Salamis, and the decisive Greek victory there was the turning point in the invasion, which was ended the following year by the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Plataea. More...

 
    Aristides, Athenian Leader
  Aristides, Athenian Leader
Athenian statesman and general. He was one of the 10 generals who commanded the Athenians at the battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) and in the next year became chief archon. In 483 he was ostracized because he opposed the naval policy of Themistocles. How...
 
    Battle of Marathon, The First Persian invasion of Greece
  Battle of Marathon, The First Persian invasion of Greece
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the fi...
 
    Battle of Thermopylae
  Battle of Thermopylae
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian Empire at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persians for three days in one of history's most fa...
 
    Battle of Salamis
  Battle of Salamis
The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle between the Greek city-states and Persia in September, 480 BC in the strait between Piraeus and Salamis Island, a small island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. The Greek victory marked the turning point of the...
 
    Phidias, Greek Sculptor
  Phidias, Greek Sculptor
Phidias or Pheidias was a Greek sculptor, painter and architect, who lived in the 5th century BC, and is commonly regarded as one of the greatest of all sculptors of Classical Greece: Phidias' Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of...
 
    Battle of Plataea, Defeat of the Persians
  Battle of Plataea, Defeat of the Persians
Battle between Greek and Persian forces near Plataea (modern Plataiaí) in Boeotia on the slopes of Mount Cithaeron. A largely Spartan force, including helots, defeated the Persian army of Xerxes I, led by Mardonius; the victory marked this battle as...
 
       
 
         
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