On This Day In History: Battle of Salamis Was Fought – On Sep 22, 480 BC
AncientPages.com - On September 22, 480 BC, the battle of Salamis in the Greco-Persian Wars was fought. The place of this encounter was located between the island of Salamis and the Athenian port city of Piraeus.
In the straits at Salamis, the Greek fleet defeated much stronger and larger Persian naval forces in this battle.
Battle of Salamis by Wilhelm von Kaulbach 1868. Credit: Public Domain
By 480, the Persian king Xerxes and his army had overrun much of Greece, and his navy of about 800 galleys bottled up the smaller Greek fleet of about 370 triremes in the Saronic Gulf.
The Greek commander, Themistocles, then lured the Persian fleet into the narrow waters of the strait at Salamis, where the massed Persian ships had difficulty maneuvering. The Greek triremes then attacked furiously, ramming or sinking many Persian vessels and boarding others.
The Greeks sank about 300 Persian vessels while losing only about 40 of their own.
The rest of the Persian fleet was scattered, so Xerxes had to postpone his planned land offensives for a year, a delay that gave the Greek city-states time to unite against him.
The Battle of Salamis was the first great naval battle recorded in history.