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  • EMPIRE WARS

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In 480 BC the Median Wars, which had pitted Western forces against Eastern for nearly 20 years, reached a new phase. Fueled with ambition and hungry for revenge after his father’s humiliation at Marathon, Xerxes I, King of the Persians, made ready for another invasion of Greece at the head of his powerful and fearsome army.

At Thermopylae, the narrow pass between the mountains and the sea which provided the only overland to access to Athens, the Spartan King Leonidas I made a stand. With his 300 Spartan warriors, his tactic was to delay the enemy.

For three days, Xerxes and his men stood their ground against ever more numerous assailants in a struggle without mercy and without hope for the Spartans.

Athens fell, but the Persian victory had a bitter aftertaste. Xerxes army was greatly depleted, and the heroic sacrifice of Leonidas and his men became emblematic of resistance to invaders. Through the courage that he instilled in the Greeks, he inspired them, a few months later, to a victory that was this time decisive: the Battle of Salamis.

There, in a naval confrontation between markedly unequal enemy forces, the ruse employed by Themistocles finally got the better of formidable Persian might.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Empire Wars: Empire Wars, Philippi
    Following the death of Caesar, Marc Antony and Octavian both laid claim to the Emperor's political heritage.But initially, they joined forces to see off the challenge of other rivals.
  • Empire Wars: Philippi
    As Marc Antony and Octavian both laid claim to the deceased Caesar's realm, two opposing visions clashed in an epic battle between East and West.
  • Empire Wars: Marathon
    The Persians are invading Greece! Greatly outnumbered, the Greeks desperately debate strategy. To fight or not to fight?
  • Empire Wars: Thermopylae
    The Persians are invading Greece! Greatly outnumbered, the Greeks desperately debate strategy. To fight or not to fight?
  • Empire Wars: Empire Wars, Actium
    After Julius Caesar's assassination, Octavian and Antony divide the Roman Empire between themselves. But while Antony is in Alexandria with his love Cleopatra, Octavian makes a move to become Rome's sole ruler.
  • Empire Wars: Actium
    After Julius Caesar's assassination, Octavian and Antony divide the Roman Empire between themselves.
  • Empire Wars: Salamis
    Xerxes, son of Darius, is back in Greece to avenge his father and plans to crush all of Greece into submission. Will the Greeks bend to his will?
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