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battle of Artemisium


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(480 bc).

Pevki bay near Artemisium on the NE coast of Euboea was probably the base of the Greek fleet during the three days of fighting which coincided with the battle of Thermopylae. With fewer and slower ships, the Greeks nevertheless took the initiative for two days, though careful to fight towards evening so that they could break off if necessary. But on the third day, perhaps to coincide with the final assault on Thermopylae, the Persian fleet came out at midday, and although still technically the victors, the Greeks had so many ships damaged that they were already considering withdrawal when the news of what had happened at Thermopylae reached them. Though indecisive, Artemisium, as Pindar said, was where the Greeks ‘laid the shining foundation of freedom’. See persian wars.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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