In 499 B.C., the Greek city-states revolted against their Persian rulers. The Athenians sent warships to help the rebels, but the Persians crushed the uprising. The Persian king Darius was angry that the Athenians interfered. He decided to punish the mainland Greeks for meddling in his empire.
We are coming!
In 490 B.C., Darius sent a fleet of 600 ships and an army to invade Greece. The Persians landed at Marathon, which was a plain about 25 miles northeast of Athens. They expected the Greeks to come there and fight them. However, the Athenians did not come forward. They had only 10,000 troops compared to the Persians' 20,000 soldiers. When the Persian were getting to sail away, the Greeks charged out and slaughtered the Persians, because most of them had been standing in the water. Others had already left, so the Persians had no chance of winning.
We're outnumbered 2 to 1, so I think we should wait till they leave to attack.
King Leonidas led 7,000 soldiers into a battle that lasted for three days. The Spartans' bravery at Thermopylae was much celebrated. The Greeks, however, could not stop the Persians at Thermopylae. A traitor showed the Persians a trail leading around the Greek line, allowing them to attack from behind. Realizing that his Greek army would soon be surrounded, Leonidas dismissed most of the troops. He and 300 Spartans remained and fought to the death.
We will not back down!!!!
The Spartans' heroic stand gave Themistocles time to carry out his plan to attack Persia's ships. The Athenian fleet of ships lured the Persian fleet into the strait of Salamis, near Athens. The Greeks hoped this move would give them an advantage in battle. Themistocles believed that the heavy Persian ships would crowd together in the strait, making them difficult to move. The Greeks had fewer ships, but their boats were smaller and faster and could outmaneuver the Persian ships. The Greeks sank about 300 Persian ships and lost only about 40 ships of their own.
The combined forces of the Greek city-states in 479 B.C. formed their largest army yet. They had improved their fighting forces with better armor and weapons. At Plataea, the Greek army again faced the Persians. Each fielded a force of about 100,000 men. This time, however, the Greeks defeated the Persian army. Peace between the Greeks and the Persians did not come until 449 B.C.
This is it!
The big one!
The Persian army was no longer strong enough to defend the entire empire. Also, the Persian people grew unhappy with their government. The kings taxed the people heavily to pay for magnificent palaces and other luxuries. Members of the royal family disagreed about who should rule. As Persia weakened, it became open to outside attacks. In the 300s B.C., Persia could not resist the invasion of an army led by a young and powerful ruler named Alexander.