Ancient Greek Wars and Battles Facts
When you think of ancient Greece perhaps what first comes to mind is their spectacular architecture or maybe their contributions to science and literature. However
there was also
a darker bloodier side to this amazing civilization which involved numerous wars and battles. In this section of Ancient Greece Facts you will find lists of
information about many
of these bloody military conflicts. On this page you will find a list of famous wars and battles along with some general facts about ancient Greek warfare.
Facts about Ancient Greek Warfare
- Early in their history during the Greek "Dark Age" warfare, if you can call it that, basically involved small short fights and raids between groups of people over
land or to
acquire assets such as livestock.
- As the Greek Dark Age came to a close and this ancient civilization entered its Archaic period warfare became more organized. City-states called polis emerged and
were able to
organize fighting forces. Although more organized these fighting forces at first were not sophisticated; training was minimal, weapons were often everyday items such
there were no uniforms, and soldiers were regular citizens who were only called upon to fight when a conflict arose.
- The fact that ancient Greece was made up of numerous independent city-states (polis) set the stage for numerous conflicts within this civilization.
- Over time the ancient Greeks ability to carry out warfare became more sophisticated. The city-state of Sparta created an army that was an incredibly professional
set an example that other city-states tried to duplicate. Sparta created a full time army of well-trained soldiers with state-of-the-art weapons and well thought out
- Ancient wars for the most part involved had-to-hand fighting. The ancient Greeks developed weapons and defenses that helped their infantry soldiers (hoplites)
battlefield. These weapons included short swords, long spears, circular shields, helmets, and breastplates.
Famous Ancient Greek Wars List
- The Greco-Persian Wars (Persian Wars) (499-448 BC) - These were a series of military conflicts between a coalition of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire.
war saw some of the most famous battles in ancient Greek history as you will see below.
- The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) - Between 431 BC and 404 BC the city states of Greece were at war with each other. The Athenian Empire was fighting a coalition
Greek city-states led by Sparta. The outcome would be the reshaping of the ancient Greek world with Athens power being nearly destroyed.
Famous Ancient Greek Battles List
- Battle of Marathon (490 BC) - This battle was a turning point in the Persian War. The outnumbered Greeks led by the Athenians defeated the Persians.
- Battle at Thermopylae (480 BC) - Thermopylae was a thin coastal pass. It is here that 300 Spartans bravely fought against the Persians and died.
- Battle of Salamis (480 BC) - This was a great naval battle fought near the islands of Salamis in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. The much smaller Greek fleet won a
stunning victory against the Persian fleet.
- Battle of Plataea (479 BC) - The central Greek city of Plataea was the site of the last battle of the Persian Wars to be fought on Greek soil. The Greeks defeated
their Persian enemy.