Famous Greeks: Pausanias

Thucydides regarded the Spartan King Pausanias (510–476 B.C.), along with Themistocles, as one of the two preeminent Greek leaders of the age of the Persian Wars. The Battle of Plataea (479 B.C.) ended the threat of a Persian conquest of Greece. In leading the Greeks to victory, Pausanias proved himself to be one of the best generals in history, a master of tactics and strategy and a superb battlefield commander. Pausanias also sponsored the Greek expedition to Mycale to liberate Greeks in Asia Minor. In concluding his history of the Persian Wars, Herodotus gives reasons for the Greek victory over the Persians and issues another warning against the disastrous consequences of hybris.

Questions to Consider:

1. How did Persian strategic mistakes contribute to the Persians’ defeat?

2. Compare Pausanias and Xerxes as battlefield commanders.

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