Battle of Plataea 479 BC

click to see larger battle of platea mapThe site of this famous battle is in the mainland Greek region known as Boeotia (Voitia in Greek) near the border with Attica. The Athenians and their allies the Spartans and Plateans fought a combined force 3 times theor sizr of Perisans and Thebans Greeks.

The eponymous town turned to Athens in the 5th century BC for help in maintaining its independence from Thebes (Thiva).

In 490 BC the Plataeans sent their army of 1000 men to support the Athenians at Marathon.

During the invasion of the Persian king Xerxes, their city was destroyed by Persians and Thebans. The town was besieged for two years by the Spartans and razed to the ground by them in 427 BC., rebuilt, and destroyed again by the Thebans in 373 BC; it was later refounded by Philip II of Macedon.

The Battle of Plataea is described by Herodotus in detail. It took place in 479 BC . The Spartans and Athenians were outnumbered three to one by the Persians and had no calvary. For three weeks the generals of the opposing forces jockeyed for favorable positions.

The Persian cavalry commander was killed by the Athenians; the Persian general was killed by the Spartans. The Athenians and Boetians slew the Theban 'Sacred Band'.

Finally, the combined Greek forced stormed the Persian camp, and the Persian campaign was defeated. A pan Hellenic festival in honor of the dead, was held afterward for many centuries, commemorating this important victory, and was dedicated to Zeus Eleftherios (Zeus the Liberator).