The Persian wars were caused by King Darius, the Persian king, wanted to expand their Empire. The Persians lost. King Darius was humiliated and wanted to continue on which caused the series of wars. The Ionian Greeks knew that they needed help to fight. Athens sent troops and then left. The Ionian Greeks lost.
Battle Of Salamis (480 B.C.E)
King Darius decided to conquer the city-states of mainland Greece. He sent messengers to ask for presents of Greek earth and water. This would be a sign that the Greeks agreed to accept Persian rule but the Greeks refused. The Athenians sent Pheidippides to Sparta to ask for their help. He ran for 2 days and 2 nights. When he arrived, Sparta had a religious festival so they said no. Athenians won the war by themselves.
Battle of Plataea (479 B.C.E)
The Spartans decided to make a stand at a place called Thermopylae, were the Persian army had to go through a narrow pass between the mountains and the sea. King Leonidas only had 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers while the Persians had 180,000 soldiers. King Leonidas knew that he could only delay the Persians. To keep his army from being destroyed he ordered most of his troops to escape. 300 men have died.
Effects Of The War
The Battle Of Salamis was a sea battle. This battle included ships from the Persian side and from the Athenian side. These ships had a lot of differences. The Persian ships were much larger, but Athenians had wooden rams at the front of the ship which allowed them to crush Persian ships.
The Battle Of Platea was a land battle. The decisive battle took place outside the town Plataea in 479 B.C.E. Led by the Spartans, 80,000 Greek troops destroyed the Persian army. The threat from the Persian Emire was finally over. This important victory preserved the Greek's independence and kept Persia from conquering all of Europe.
Both Athens and Sparta claimed credit over the victory, which lead to problems. Sparta became very weak because they lost many soldiers, while Athens emerged as the most powerful city-state after rebuilding. Athens then created the Delian League which is a alliance with other city-states to protect themselves if Persia ever invaded again.