Greco-Persian Wars: Greek Victory in Delian League Conflict - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1291 Words
Date:  2023-02-27


The Greco-Persian wars named after its original name the "Persian wars" were considered to be biased was a sequence of wars and conflicts that existed between the Greek city-states and the Achaemenid Empire (Oppen, 2019). These conflicts had started in 499 BC. However, the war was not considered significant or rather with great impact for the Persians while it was taken seriously by the Greeks as they had emerged the winners. On the other hand, the Delian league, also referred to as the Athenian League, was a Greek city-states alliance that was controlled by Athens (Meiggs & Hornblower, 2015). The Delian league was initiated in 478 BCE and was aimed at liberating eastern Greek cities (Rung, 2015). Considerably, the two wars, the Greco-Persian Wars, and the Delian League, have numerous differences as well as similarities, as discussed below.

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The Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League have many differences based on the causes, effects, purpose, periods of time that they existed, and participants. On the bases of the causes, the Greco Persian war was caused by the fact that the Persian king was humiliated and wanted to expand his empire (Oppen, 2019). Additionally, the war was also caused by the revolts that were conducted by the Greek Ionians together with constant rebellions that left one of the Persian capital city burnt and increasing her hostility. On the other hand, the cause of the Delian league was a result of the Persian rule that was strenuous to the Greeks. Therefore, it was formed to liberate the Greek cities from Persian rule. Consequently, the Delian league was formed as a defense methodology aimed at revenging the attacks that were frequently induced by Persia due to their significant victories on their conflicts with their rivals. Secondly, the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League differed on the concept of the effects of the wars. While the Delian league led to the defeat of the Persians, the superiority and dominance of Athens and the initiation of the Athenian empire (Meiggs, & Hornblower, 2015), the Greco-Persian wars resulted to a period of peace and prosperity, as well as the division of views between the east and west while there was also arise of classes whereby people of low class emphasized on full citizenship. Considerably, there was the emergence of democracies among the Greek cities.

On the concept of the purpose of the wars, the aims of the Greco-Persian wars was to distract the Greeks with constant fights and conflicts so as to weaken the frequent attacks that were waged on the Persian Empire. Moreover, there were no open conflicts that took place between the Persians and the Greeks at initial stages; the strategy of distracting the Greeks was successful. On the contrary, the Delian League constituted Greek city-states that aimed at continuous warfare against the Persian Empire after she had emerged victorious in the battle of Plataea (Rung, 2015). Additionally, the aims of the Delian league, which were an alliance of Aegean and coastal city-states was to avenge Persia as well as to set the Greeks free from the domination of the Persians. Another difference was based on the periods of time that the wars began. While the Delian league was formed in 478 B.C. to free the eastern Greek cities from the supremacy of the Persian governance, the Greco-Persian wars were formed in 492 B.C., with conflicts between the Greeks and the Persians starting before 499 B.C. with two major mainland invasions taking place in 490 B.C during the reign of King Darius and 480-479 B.C. during the rule of King Xerxes (Lupi, 2017). More so, the Greco-Persian wars ended in 449 B.C. while the Delian league ended in 404 B.C. after the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian war that started in 404 B.C. when Athens was under Sparta (Powell, 2016).

Additionally, the Delian league differed with the Greco-Persian war on the scope of the participants and the tribute. The Delian league basically referred to "the alliance," generally describing the Athens and its allies (Rung, 2015). Considerably, the number of participants kept on changing with time. However, the recorded tributes were 330, with a large proportion of the states originating from Ionia while the majority of parts of Greece were also represented. Examples of famous participants of the Delian league were Chios, Lesbos, Lindos, Paros, Aegina, and Samos. On the other hand, the participants of the Greco-Persian Wars were the Greek states and Persia in a war that was fought for almost half a century (Oppen, 2019). Finally, there was a difference in the organization and successes of both the Delian league and the Greco-Persian war. While the Delian league enjoyed significant victories, for example, the battle of Eurymedon, Eion, and the Thracian Chersonese, the Greco-Persian wars were fought in four significant battles, the Salamis, Marathon, Thermopylae, and the Plataea, all of which the Greeks emerged victoriously.


Nonetheless, there exist several similarities between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League. First, both wars resulted in the superiority of Athens (Lupi, 2017). The Greco-Persian wars led to the emergence of Athens as the most influential Greek city-states among the others who were considered powerful. Similarly, the Delian league led to the increase in aggressiveness of Athens as well as the rise of the Athenian empire. Therefore, both wars led to the superiority and success of Athens. Additionally, Athens was the significant side in the war fronts and depicted as the party that was fighting for freedom.

Secondly, in both wars, there were winners and losers of the battles (Powell, 2016). The winners of the Greco-Persian Wars were the Greeks. Similarly, the winners of the Delian League were the Greek states led by the dominant allied, the Athens. However, Athens was later defeated in the Peloponnesian war. The losers of both the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League were the Persians. For instance, during the Greco-Persians war, the losers were the Persians under the ruling of kings Xerxes and Darius. Another similarity that existed between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League is that both wars constituted two parties or alliances (Meiggs, & Hornblower, 2015). The parties of the Delian League were the Greek city-states led by Athens and the Persians. Similarly, the two parties of the Greco-Persian wars were the Greeks and the Persians. Consequently, the two parties had different allies. For example, the allies of the Athenian league were the Greek city-states and Athens. Another similarity between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League was that in both wars were fought in different locations. For instance, the Greco-Persian war was fought in numerous locations such as Thrace, Greece, and Macedonia, while the Delian league was fought in Asia Minor and Greece, among other regions.


In conclusion, both the Greco-Persian Wars and the Delian League were significant historical wars between Persia and Greece and their allies. The wars took place at different periods of time and within a specific duration, considerably B.C. Therefore, there exists the above differences and similarities in the aspects of purposes of the wars, causes, and effects of the wars, periods of time that the wars started, and lasted as well as the participants of the wars. However, most of the wars were waged for freedom as well as to fight for democracy. Additionally, the benefits of the wars had been mostly for the Athenians.


Lupi, M. (2017). Sparta and the Persian Wars. A Companion to Sparta, 271.

Meiggs, R., & Hornblower, S. (2015). Delian League. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics.

Oppen, S. A. (2019). Comparative perspectives on Persian interactions with Greek sanctuaries during the Greco-Persian Wars (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University).

Powell, A. (2016). Athens and Sparta: constructing Greek political and social history from 478 BC. Routledge.

Rung, E. (2015). Athens and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 508/7 BC: Prologue to the conflict. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(3 S2), 257.

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