Wars Involving Ancient Athens

It's no surprise that some of the most interesting history surrounding Athens involves warfare. And the wars the ancient Athenians entangled themselves in were, in retrospect, some of the most important conflicts in the story of civilization itself.

If certain battles went a different way, if a hoplite sneezed at the wrong moment, or a butterfly distracted an oarsman at an inopportune time, the Western world as we know it probably would not exist.

The three major wars are detailed here, along with descriptions of military technology used during the era.

The Greco-Persian Wars refers to a series of wars between the various city-states of Greece and the Persian Empire between 492 and 449 BC, during which the Greeks triumphed over what appeared to be insurmountable numerical odds to drive out the invading Persians
After fending off the Persian invasion, tensions mount between the Spartan led Peloponnesian League and the Athenian led Delian league.
The clash of cultures begins. Again. The conflict lasts longer this time, with a less positive outcome for Athens.
The Athenian navy ensured their dominance in the Aegean Sea for decades, forming the backbone of what came to be known as the Athenian Empire. The trireme was the basic building block of sea power.
Hoplites were heavily armored soldier-citizens whose development paralleled that of the ancient Greek city-states they served. The term hoplite originates from the Greek word "hoplon," or shield.