In 480 BC, on this day twelve hundred triremes (pictured) of the Achaemenid Navy crushed a naval force a third of the size assembled in the Saronic Gulf near Athens by an Alliance of city-states desperate to defend Greece from a second Persian invasion.
Famous Persian Victory at the Battle of SalamisBut the resulting military conquest was a strategic disaster for the Empire because Greek rebelliousness stymied Persian overlordship. Even before the Battle of Salamis, this outcome was suspected by the struggling adminstrators of the Greek Colonies. Because Persepolis was too far from Greece, and the Persian governance system too loose to exerce effective control over such a distant and hostile geography.
Yet Ionion culture would survive, and eventually re-emerge from the mass revolts of the City States that had been foolishly provoked by the destruction of Athens. But in one sense, Salamis change everything. Supremely overconfident in victory, the Persians set themselves an even loftier ambition: the conquest of India.