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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
II. THE GREAT AGE OF THE GREEK REPUBLICS TO 362 B.C.
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BATTLES OF PLATAEA AND MYCALE, 479 B.C.
Mardonius passed the winter quietly in Thessaly, preparing for the spring campaign. The Greeks in their turn made a final effort. A strong Spartan army, supported by the Athenians and their allies, met the Persians near the little town of Plataea in Boeotia. Here the heavy-armed Greek soldiers, with their long spears, huge shields, and powerful swords, easily overcame the enormous masses of the enemy. The success at Plataea showed how superior to the Persians were the Greeks in equipment, leadership, and fighting power. At the same time as this battle the remainder of the Persian fleet suffered a crushing defeat at Mycale, a promontory off the Ionian coast. These two battles really ended the war. Never again was Persia to make a serious effort to secure dominion over Continental Greece.
The Great Persian War was much more than a conflict between two rival states. It was a struggle between East and West; between Oriental despotism and Occidental individualism. On the one side were all the populous, centralized countries of Asia; on the other side, the small, disunited states of Greece. In the East was the boundless wealth, in men and money, of a world-wide empire. In the West were the feeble resources of a few petty communities. Nevertheless Greece won. The story of her victory forms an imperishable record in the annals of human freedom.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy