The Athenians were captured after losing to the Persians whilst supporting the Ionian Revolt. Their support started Darius the Great's rage.
More arrive Brothers!
Persia Invades at Marathon but it defeated and forced to retreat after learning the hard way of the Athenians Phalanx. The light armor and lack of training against this formation led to the loss of 6,000 men
Run! We shall protect you!
Pheidippides makes it back to Athens to relay the news of victory before he dies from exhausting himself. (You could say he fell over into his grave.)
10 years later, Persia returned, With the help of 300 Spartans, Athens fought against Persia in Thermopylae for 3 days.
Fighting a losing battle the Spartans give up their lives to defend against the Persians so the Athenians can escape, after a traitor helped the Persians with an alternate route.
At the conclusion of the war Athens was pinned in Salamis but attacked the Persian ships, using the narrow waters to their advantage, their much smaller ships allowed them to use battering rams to sink the larger ships from Persia. Making the battle of Salamis a victory in their books.