Greek Town Saved from Persian Army by a Giant Wave in 479 BC
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Greek Town Saved from Persian Army by a Giant Wave in 479 BC

Over 2,500 years ago a Persian army was destroyed by a giant wave that was called by Herodotus and the villagers where it occurred the "Wave of Poseidon." In truth modern evidence has proved this giant wave a tsunami as evidenced by sand layers that were swept far inland by the action of the wave.

They called it the Wave of Poseidon believing it had been sent by the Gods to save a Greek town from a marauding Persian army almost 2,500 years ago.  Herodotus the famous Greek historian was the one who claimed it was an act of the gods; he was mistaken because it was caused by a tsunami.

At a recent meeting of the Seismological Society of America new evidence points out it wasn’t a divine hand that caused the wave, but some earthly force.  This force was an earthquake and the tsunami it caused that affected this coastline in the northernAegean Seathat destroyed the Persian army, and there are plenty of geological findings to support this theory.

According to Herodotus who wrote about the event a half century after it occurred in 479 BC while there were probably living witnesses to what happened, “There came to be a great ebb of the sea backwards, which lasted for a long time,” he wrote.

As the Persians pushed on toward modern-day Kassandra, a peninsula in northern Greece to finish off a town that is now called Nea Potidea a giant wave overwhelmed the whole army destroying it in place.

Herodotus then went on to write, “There came upon them a great flood-tide of the sea, higher then ever before, as the natives of the place say, though high tides come often.”  Thus the Persian army was washed away, saving the town.  Herodotus and the villagers believed that were saved by a giant wave thrown up by Poseidon to destroy the Persians, but recent explorations have revealed the giant wave was a tsunami that are frequent visitors in the northern Aegean sea.  According to one seismologist tsunamis are a greater threat in the northernAegean Seathen most people realize, and at special danger are the flocks of vacationers that come to the area during the summer so they can enjoy its many beaches.

A tsunami leaves some indelible tracks behind in the form of layers of sand that are washed far inland by the action of the waves, evidence that has been used to trace tsunamis worldwide.  In the northern Aegean a special set of geological features have produced the ideal way to guarantee huge waves like the Poseidon wave with a large bathtub shaped basin just offshore that is capable of generating large waves ranging from 7 to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters) high.

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Comments (1)

Wow, what a really fine presented piece of history.  Excellent.