The Persian King Xerxes gathered a massive land force to get through the pass of Thermopylae, but they had to get past Sparta.
We will be back! Watch out!!
KIng Leonidas had only a small force of men, but they fought like demons, swathing through Persian warriors like swiss cheese.
We must gather our forces against Persia. Come Join the army!
The Persians finally got past the Spartans by sheer numbers, but they had held them off for three days. They fought till every last man had fallen.
Yes! Please come!
Meanwhile, a small fleet of Greek ships were holding off the Persian navy at a place called Artemision.
Eventually the Greeks drove the Persians back, winning this important naval battle.
You might thinking, why were these battles so important to the Greeks? They won one lost one. These were important because it bought time for the big cities to start massing their forces to prepare for larger attacks. They also sent Perisa to lick their wounds of their heavy loses.