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Battle of Salamis

The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle between Greece and Persia, fought in 480 BC near Salamis, a small island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, Greece.

The Athenians had fled to Salamis after Thermopylae, while the Persians burned their city. The Persians, led by Xerxes I, decided to attack the Athenian fleet off the coast of the island, and were so confident of their victory that Xerxes watched the battle on a throne from the shore. The Greeks had about 300 triremes while the Persians had about 700 ships; however, as the Greeks, led by Themistocles, attacked the superior Persian fleet, another smaller contingent of Athenian triremes flanked the Persian navy. The lighter and more manouverable triremes sunk about 200 of the Persian ships, and Xerxes withdrew to Asia Minor.

Although Themistocles, an Athenian, was the major tactician during the war with the Persians, much of the actual fighting at Salamis was handled by the Spartans under Eurybiades[?].

The victory of the Greeks marked the turning point in the war with the Persians.



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