CHW 3M 2012: The Battle of Salamis

A king sate on the rocky brow/Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis/And ships, by thousands, lay below/ And men in nations; All were his!/He counted them at break of day/And when the sun set where were they?

In 480 BC, the Persian and Greek fleets met in a crucial naval battle just after the infamous confrontation at Thermopylae. The contest occurred at Salamis, and marked a turning point in the Persian Wars, and perhaps Western history. Today, you will attempt to win the crucial battle, and garner all of the accolades that come with victory. Here are few maps that will help you understand Salamis:


The Rules

  • We need six teams: three groups of Persians, and three groups of Greeks
  • The battle will occur in turn-based rounds. Each round, your group will be given some information about the battle. You will be given a few minutes to choose a course of action.
  • At the end of each round, I will tell you what actually happened, and assess each group’s decision.
  • At the end of the re-enactment, the group that made the best decision will be rewarded with treasures beyond your wildest dreams.
Greeks Persians
Navy Roughly 380 ships (sources disagree) About 720 ships (though they numbered over 1000 before some were sunk by storms. Since each trireme had about 200 men on board, the Persian fleet originally numbered over 200 000 men)
Commanders Themistocles (Them-MIS-to-kleez) of AthensEurybiades (Your-RIB-eh-deez) of Sparta Xerxes (Zer-Ceez), King of Persia (watching from a nearby hill)Artemisia (Art-em-EEZ-ia) of Caria

Ariamenes (R-e-ah men-eez)

Forces  Remember that the Greeks did not have a central government. Instead, each city/ state sent its  own forces into battle.The Greeks rarely got along. In fact, Eurybiades was given such a prominent role because a number of ships from other city/states refused to sail under an Athenian commander. Though some of the troops in the army served Xerxes loyally, some were little better than hired mercenaries.

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