Ancient History

How did the Greeks win the Persian Wars?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. The Persian Wars were fought by Greek city-states and Persia between 490 and 479 B.C., following this rough timeline:

    • In the sixth century, Cyrus the Great of Persia starts the hostilities by seizing Ionia and Lydia.
    • In 490 B.C., the Athenians, led by Miltiades, defeat the invading Persians under Darius the Great at Marathon.
    • Expecting further battles with the Persian army, the Athenian leader Themistocles starts building a powerful navy.
    • In 480 B.C., a combined force from Thebes, Thespiae and Sparta is defeated at Thermopylae by Xerxes, son of Darius the Great. Athens is captured and burned.
    • That same year, the Greek fleet trounces the Persian fleet at Salamis.
    • The remaining Persian force is routed by a combined Spartan-Athenian force.
    • In 448 B.C., a peace treaty is signed with Persia.


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