Greek Military Timeline Kasey Boyd


Trojan War

1250 BCE - 1241 BC

Queen Helen of Sparta got abducted by the Trojan prince, Paris. A team of Greeks took a fleet of ships to rescue her. The war lasted 10 years, and led to the deaths of Achilles and Trojan prince Hector. Finally, the Greeks retreated from their camps, and left a large wooden horse outside of Troy. Little did the Trojans know, as they brought it inside of Troy, Greek warriors, led by Odysseus, were hiding inside the horse. Once it was inside, the Greeks stormed outside of the horse, ransacked the city, and won the war.

Sparta conquest of Messian

Approx. 743 BC - Approx. 710 BC

It was the longest running war in Greek history. Most likely, the Spartans wanted the rich, fertile soil that Messina had. Sparta feared Messina for their wealth, and thought the Messinians would want to take over, so they struck first, sparking the war.

First Persian War

Approx. 492 BC - Approx. 480 BC

The Persian wars were a series of wars fought between Persia and the Greeks. In 490, Darius 1 decided that he wanted to conquer Greece. The highlight of the First Persian War, is the battle of Marathon. The Greeks, though they were heavily outnumbered, fought hard killing ~6,000 Persians, only losing 192 Greeks. They then ran 25 miles back to Athens, to prevent the Persians from attacking.

Second Persian War

Approx. 480 BC - Approx. 449 BC

King Xerxes decided to get revenge on the Greeks. He built an enormous army of over 200,000 soldiers and 1,000 warships. The Spartans put together a small force of 300 soldiers, and ambushed the Persians in a small canyon. They were winning and were going to win, or so they thought. A Spartan soldier betrayed them and led the Persians behind the Spartan force. They then won that battle, and continued to march on Greece. They went to Athens, but found it deserted. The Persians continued to the coast, and ran into a small fleet of Greek ships. The Persians had a much larger force, and thought that they would win, but the Greeks rammed their ships, causing them to retreat to Persia.

The Second Peloponessian War

Approx. 431 BC - Approx. 425 BC

After driving out the Persians, Athens grew more powerful, causing tensions between them and Sparta to increase. The Athenian leader, Pericles, devised a strategy including the increased importations of food. Sparta had an unexpected advantage, when disease broke out in Athens, killing 1/4 of the citizens and Pericles. The Athenian's greatest victory was occupation of Pylos, off the coast of Peloponessus, when the Spartan defenders were taken hostage, and the Helots had a clear escape route. Decades of fighting had left Athens bankrupt, exhausted, and demoralized. Sparta then won, and the great city-state of Athens was demolished.

Alexander the Great

Approx. 336 BCE

Alexander tamed the wild horse Bucephalus at age 12, an enormous stallion with a furious demeanor. The horse then became his battle companion for most of Alexander’s life. When Alexander was 16, Alexander's father, Phillip, went to battle the Byzantiums and left him in charge of Macedonia. Alexander saw a chance to prove his worth. He led a cavalry against against the Sacred Band of Thebes, a supposedly unbeatable, select army. In 336 B.C., Alexander’s father, the king Phillip, was assassinated. At age 20 he became king. Alexander killed all rivals before they could challenge his sovereignty. He quenched rebellions for independence in Greece, and followed in his fathers footsteps in his hunger for world domination. He went for Persia, and easily conquered Sardes. Alexander's army ran into a bump, when they got some resistance in the cities of Miletus, Mylasa and Halicarnassus. Halicarnassus held out long enough for King Darius III, the Persian king, to amass a large army. In 333 B.C., Alexander and his men encountered a massive Persian army led by King Darius III near the town of Issus in Turkey. Alexander's men were outnumbered, but had more experience and determination. It became clear that Alexander would win, and King Darius III fled. Alexander took over Egypt and Tyre, and proclaimed himself the King of Persia. When Alexander entered India is beloved horse Bucephalus died. He returned to Persia, and offered to marry Persian princesses at a mass wedding. He had plans to take over Arabia, but did not live to see that happen. He died in June 323 B.C. at age 32.