Ancient Greek Wars for Kids Illustration

Ancient Greek Wars

Ancient Greece was not one country. It was a collection of city-states. The Greeks were very proud of their city-state. If you asked a Greek where he was from, he would not say he was from Greece. Instead, he would say he was a man of Athens or of Sparta or of one of the other Greek city-states. But, the Greeks did think of themselves as one people. They had a common language. They had a common history. They had a common religion. They believed in the same gods. They knew from the stories they told and loved that the only way to beat a common enemy was to work together. Individual city-states in ancient Greece fought each other all the time. But city-states also teamed up to fight invaders like the ancient Persians.

Greek Warriors - All citizens in ancient Greece were warriors. But the Spartans were the best warriors in all of Greece. There was no argument about that. The city-state of Sparta was basically a well-trained army. In other city-states, children entered military school at age 18. In Sparta, they entered at age 6. Spartan girls were taught how to fight as well. Their school was separate from the boys' school. It was not as brutal, perhaps. But still, the girls learned how to fight and steal and lie and kill - skills that could save their lives in times of war.

The Ancient Greeks at War

The Trojan War, with games and activities - There is an old saying - Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. This saying comes from the legend of the Trojan Horse.

Persian Wars -  The Persians sent warriors to the Greek peninsula to squash the Greeks. They attempted three times to conquer the Greeks at the famous battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. Each time, the Greeks drove them away.

The Delian League - The Persian Wars had drained the Greeks. The Greeks won, but they wanted to be ready if the Persians ever came back. About 200 city-states banded together to form the Delian League. The Delian League was formed to create a treasury. The idea was that all the city-states in the league would pay money into the treasury to create a savings account. That account was to be used, if necessary, to fund a war. War was expense. It took money to make weapons, build ships, and train men.

The Peloponnesian War - The Peloponnesian War was a war fought between Sparta and Athens. It lasted 27 years. Sparta and Athens were always in disagreement. They did not get along. But 27 years! It was a terrible war. Sparta won. They were generous in victory, which was unusual for the Spartans. They usually fought to the death. Ten years after the war ended, Athens had regained much of her former glory, but Athens never completely recovered.

Persian and Peloponnesian Wars Quiz (Quia)

Quiz Wars Review

QUIZ: TEST YOURSELF Ancient Greek Wars (Interactive with answers)

From the files of the Hercules Detective Agency: Hercules Challenged