We are struggling, how are we supposed to fight in war?
You shouldn't have helped out the Ionians!
Battle of Marathon
Athens was struggling with some government problems. Around this same time, the Persians ruled the largest and most powerful empire in the western world.
Rich Silver Mines in Athens
In 545 B.C. Persia had attacked and defeated Ionia. Many years later, Ionia revolted and got Greece to help them out. This lead to the Persian king, Darius, punishing them. This was how the Persian Wars started.
Battle of Thermopylae
The year 490 B.C., Xerxes sent a fleet of 600 ships to sail directly to Athens. When Greece conquered Persia, someone ran all the way to Athens to yell "Nike!". Nike being the name of the goddess of victory. He was so tired he fell dead of exhaustion right afterwards.
Battle of Plataea
Large silver mines were found in Athens and they became rich. They spent the money on triremes. This made them the largest navy in Ancient Greece. The Athenians were now prepared for any attacks.
Xerxes sent 250,000 soldiers across the Aegean Sea to Greece. Athenians led the navy while Spartans led the army. Greece was beat by Xerxes's army.
Greece won against Persia by tricking them into sailing in a strait. The Persians got stuck so the Greeks came and killed almost all of the soldiers. After the fight, Xerxes returned to Asia, conquered.