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The Greco-Persian Wars

 
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The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered Ionia in 547 BC. By Greek accounts, enmity between Greek and Persian continued for more than two centuries, culminating in the dissolution of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great; the principal events of the wars, however, unfolded during the two failed Persian expeditions against Greece, in 490 and in 480/479 BC.

The Greeks themselves referred to those wars as the "Median affair". Although they were perfectly aware that the Achaemenid Empire, their enemy, was ruled by a Persian dynasty, they retained for this empire the name under which they had known it first, that of the Medes.
 
 
         
    Cyrus The Great, Founder of Persia
  Cyrus The Great, Founder of Persia
Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus II or Cyrus of Persia, was the first Zoroastrian Persian emperor. He was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. It was under his own rule that the empire embraced all previous civilized s...
 
    Darius The Great, King of Persia
  Darius The Great, King of Persia
Darius I: king of ancient Persia, whose reign lasted from 522 to 486. He seized power after killing king Gaumâta, fought a civil war (described in the Behistun inscription), and was finally able to refound the Achaemenid empire, which had been very l...
 
    Persian Empire, Achaemenid
  Persian Empire, Achaemenid
The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550330 B.C.E.), known as the Persian Empire, was the successor state of the Median Empire, expanding to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world which at around 500 B.C.E. stretched from the Indus Vall...
 
    Leonidas, King of Sparta
  Leonidas, King of Sparta
Leonidas was a king of Sparta, the 17th of the Agiad line, one of the sons of King Anaxandridas II of Sparta, who was believed in mythology to be a descendant of Heracles, possessing much of the latter's strength and bravery. While it has been establ...
 
    Gelon, Tyrant of Syracuse
  Gelon, Tyrant of Syracuse
Gelon, (born c. 540 bc - died 478), tyrant of the cities of Gela (491485) and Syracuse (485478) in Sicily. On the death of Hippocrates, the tyrant of Gela, in 491, Gelon, who had been his cavalry commander, succeeded him. Gelon early became involve...
 
    Aristides, Athenian Leader
  Aristides, Athenian Leader
Athenian statesman and general. He was one of the 10 generals who commanded the Athenians at the battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) and in the next year became chief archon. In 483 he was ostracized because he opposed the naval policy of Themistocles. How...
 
    Themistocles, Athenian Leader
  Themistocles, Athenian Leader
Themistocles (Greek: "Glory of the Law"), was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy, along with his great rival Aristides. As a politician, The...
 
    Xerxes I, Persian King
  Xerxes I, Persian King
Persian king (486 465 BC) of the Achaemenian dynasty. The son of Darius I, he had been governor of Babylon before his succession. He ferociously suppressed rebellions in Egypt (484) and Babylonia (482). To avenge Darius's defeat by the Greeks at th...
 
    Cimon, Athenian Leader
  Cimon, Athenian Leader
Cimon was an Athenian statesman, strategos, and major political figure in mid-5th century BC Greece. Cimon played a key role in creating the powerful Athenian maritime empire following the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480-...
 
    Pausanias, Spartan General
  Pausanias, Spartan General
Pausanias was a Spartan general of the 5th century BC. He was the son of Cleombrotus and nephew of Leonidas I, serving as regent after the latter's death, since Leonidas' son Pleistarchus was still under-age. Pausanias was also the father of Pleistoa...
 
    Battle of Marathon
  Battle of Marathon
In 490 B.C., 25,000 Persians under Darius landed on the Plain of Marathon. The Spartans were unwilling to provide help for the Athenians in time, so with the help of 1,000 Plataeans, and led by Callimachus and Miltiades, Athens' army of about one thi...
 
    Herodotus, Father of History
  Herodotus, Father of History
Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC in Halicarnassus, Caria; Bodrum in modern Turkey. He is regarded as the "Father of History" in Western culture. He was the first historian known to collect his materials...
 
    Battle of Thermopylae
  Battle of Thermopylae
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian Empire at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persians for three days in one of history's most fa...
 
    Battle of Salamis
  Battle of Salamis
The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle between the Greek city-states and Persia in September, 480 BC in the strait between Piraeus and Salamis Island, a small island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. The Greek victory marked the turning point of the...
 
    Battle of Plataea, Defeat of the Persians
  Battle of Plataea, Defeat of the Persians
Battle between Greek and Persian forces near Plataea (modern Plataiaí) in Boeotia on the slopes of Mount Cithaeron. A largely Spartan force, including helots, defeated the Persian army of Xerxes I, led by Mardonius; the victory marked this battle as...
 
    Battle of Mycale, End 2nd Persian Invasion
  Battle of Mycale, End 2nd Persian Invasion
The Battle of Mycale was one of the two major battles that ended the second Persian invasion of Greece during the Greco-Persian Wars. It took place on or about August 27, 479 BC on the slopes of Mount Mycale, on the coast of Ionia, opposite the islan...
 
    Thucydides, Greek Historian
  Thucydides, Greek Historian
Thucydides was a Greek historian from Alimos and author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" because...
 
    Alexander the Great
  Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon, a state in the north eastern region of Greece, and by the age of thirty was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ioni...
 
    Wars of the Diadochi, Alexander's Generals
  Wars of the Diadochi, Alexander's Generals
The Wars of the Diadochi (or Wars of Alexander's Successors) were a series of conflicts fought between Alexander the Great's generals over the rule of his empire between 322 and 275 BC. When Alexander the Great died (June 10, 323 BC), he left behind...
 
         



 
 
         
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