by Konstantina Gongaki, Panagiota Preka-Papadema, Konstantinos Kalachanis and Panagiotis Antonopoulos
An important event of world history is the Greek-Persian war (5th century BC), as its outcome (with the victory of the Greeks) defined the evolution of culture in Greece and in whole Europe. Three battles that determined the course of this multi-year war was the battles of Marathon (490 BC) and of Thermopylae (480 BC) and the naval battle of Salamis (480 BC). Although the year of the above events is known, there is an uncertainty as to the date of their conduct. The purpose of this study is the presice determination of these dates based on the historical descriptions of Herodotus and the use of astronomical knowledge as Herodotus relates these events to great celebrations (Olympic Games, Carneia and Great Eleusinia) which were determined on the basis of the lunar calendars of Greek cities. Also, Herodotus mentions two solar eclipses that were observed at the beginning and end of Xerxes’ campaign (480 BC) the dates of which help us to determine the period of this campaign.