The Persian King Darius caused the wars. He wanted to extend his empire. When he lost he was humiliated so he went to war again.
In 490 B.C.E., the Persian navy sailed down the coast of Greece and landed at the bay of Marathon, about 40 miles north of Athens. The Athenian army, led by General Miltiades, moved to block the Persians' advance and trapped them on the plains around the bay. On the fifth day, the Greeks attacked.
Battle of Marathon
Pheidippides ran 26.2 miles. He told Athens that the Persians were defeated.
After Darius died, his son Xerxes, swore to get revenge on Greece.
The Battle of Thermopylae
The Spartan King, Leonidas, led a small army of 300 Spartans to fight against the Persians. Unfortunately, they all died in war.
The Battle of Salamis.
When the Athens were at war with the Persians. The Athenians tricked them, and then swarmed around them with their tiny ships. Then started stabbing the Persians big ships.
The Battle of Plataea
The Athens defeated the Persians. Xerxes retreated from the battle. He went home defeated.
Sparta was very weak after it defeat. While Athens was really rich. Athens became the most wealthy city-state in Greece.