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Advance, ye sons of Greece, from thraldom save/ Your country, save your wives, your children save/ The temples of your gods, the sacred tomb/ Where rest your honoured ancestors; this day/ The common cause of all demands your valour... Those sailing in the Straits of Salamis, opposite from Piraeus in the Saronic Gulf, certainly remember the famous battle that took place here in September of 480 BC, between the alliance of Greek city-states and the Persians. This battle meant more than the beginning of the end of the second Persian invasion of Greece. According to historians, if the Persians won at Salamis, the development of Greece would have stopped and Western civilization would not have been what it is today. Therefore, the naval battle of Salamis is considered one of the most significant battles in human history.
The charge of the giant army of the Persians was not halted with the historic battle of Thermopylae and the death of the 300 men of Leonidas, or at Artemisio. This allowed the Persians to conquer Boeotia and Attica. In view of this, the Athenian general and politician Themistocles persuaded the Greeks to face the Persians at Salamis, and not at the Isthmus, as the Peloponnesians wanted, hoping to block the Persian invasion in Peloponnese. The point was strategic, as in the Straits of Salamis the numerical superiority of the Persians who had anchored 1,200 ships and 300,000 men in Faliro was useless. Thus the Greek fleet, which was more flexible than the Persian, with 350 triremes and 85,000 men, destroyed 300 Persian ships and achieved this important victory that went down in history.