Even though it happened in Greece two and a half thousand years ago, the Battle of Salamis in September 480 BC is directly involved in modern British civilisation.
IN the late summer of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek states suffered a humiliating reverse at Thermopylae, emboldening the Persian Emperor Xerxes in his invasion of Greece.
But Themistocles refused to abandon hope.
With what remained of the Greek fleet, the sly general lured the Persians into the cramped confines of the Straits of Salamis.
The Persians, oblivious to the danger, sailed right into Themistocles’s net. Their heavy vessels could not manoeuvre in the narrow strait, or evade the nimbler Greek ships.
Their surrender marked a new stage in the war, which would end in Persia’s final withdrawal from Greece.
So much in Western civilisation is due to the political, economic and intellectual life of the city states of ancient Greece, that Salamis may have been one of the most significant battles in all human history.