After their victory at Thermopylae, the Persians pushed forward through Central Greece and sacked Athens. The Greek fleet, numbering some 380 warships, in majority from the city-states of Athens, Corinth and Aegina, reassembled at the island of Salamis, in the Saronic Gulf, in September 480 BC. Although the council of Greek generals had decided that the fleet should redeploy to the Isthmus of Corinth, in order to block Xerxes’s advance to the Peloponnese, the Athenian general Themistocles was confident that a battle within the narrow confines at Salamis would neutralise the Persian fleet’s numerical superiority. Thus, he sent a slave to Xerxes warning him that the Greeks were about to flee and advising him to hastily blockade the straits. Thanks to this stratagem, the Greeks, chanting the famous paean «Ὦ παῖδες Ἑλλήνων, ἴτε, ἐλευθεροῦτε πατρίδα» (“Forward, sons of Greeks, liberate the fatherland!”), dealt a decisive blow to the Persians, forcing Xerxes to leave Greece.
Silver (Ag) .925
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