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Three Days in the Eyes of Themistocles

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

The following is a fictional excerpt from the Dairy of Themistocles, all obvious facts (e.g. number of ships etc.) are accurate, however opinion has been added for interest sake:


22nd September 480 BC -

An exhausted Athenian messenger arrived at Salamis this morning. He entered our camp and excitedly proclaimed that the Barbarian hoards had decimated Athens. I believe that, more than discouraging our armies, this horrific act will spur them on.
My personal scribe, Agathon, has finally received our full numbers, minute in comparison to those of the Persians. Athens, naturally, has the largest, most magnificent fleet, numbering 180 ships. Corinth has dispatched 40 vessels to Greece's aid. From Aegina, Chalais and Megara there is 30, 20 and 20 respectively. The war effort is being headed by Eurybiades from Sparta, despite the fact that he commands a mere 16 ships. The rest of our 14 allies have only 90 ships between them.
Poseidon's storms have wrecked a great many of the Barbarian ships and, although they still have more than 1,200 vessels from many countries, I am beginning to feel confident that we can put up a good fight. If only our alliance were stronger I would be sure of a sound victory.

23rd September 480 BC -

This morning our council decided to make our move and attack the Persian fleet. Morale is high among the crews from Athens while the Ambracian and Sicyonian men are also showing spirit. I feel sure that if we start this battle well the men from the other states will rise to the challenge! The battle began soon after our council meeting broke up. All was utter confusion. At the end of the day, however, the Persians had lost between 200 and 300 ships. Our casualties were little over a score.
May Greece remember this day!

24th September 480 BC -

Our victory has been decisive, Xerxes has returned with much of his army to Persia, leaving his brother, Mardonius, to face us. Eurybiades called another meeting and assured us that the splendid Spartan troops will be on the move as soon as word can get back to Sparta. I feel sure that with the momentum of this great victory behind us and as we stand united, we can overthrow Mardonius' force.


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