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Persian Wars

 Related Terms

• Xerxes
Alexander the Great


Definition: Series of wars fought between Persia and Greece. The conflict began when Persia occupied some Greek colonies in Asia Minor. Greece responded by defending the colonies; and Persia, commanded by Emperor Xerxes himself, responded by attacking Greece. The battles were fought on land and at sea. The battles of Marathon and Thermopylae are famous for the Greeks' heroism against overwhelming odds. The naval battle of Salamis almost wiped out the Persian fleet. The battle of Plataea was the final defeat. The Greek victories kept in check the growing Persian Empire. After the wars, Persia continued to meddle in Greek affairs. The answer came in the form of a reverse invasion, planned by Philip of Macedonia and carried out by his son, Alexander.

Related Resources:
The Persian Wars: Greece's Finest Hours
Get down to basics with this easy-to-read article describing the Greeks' mighty struggles against the mighty Persians. Includes maps and timeline, as well as interactive windows describing each of the four important battles.

Ancient Greece
Learn more about the area as a whole.

Elsewhere on the Web:
More about the Persian Wars
More details on the epic war.

Essays on the Persian Wars
These essays give you the before, during, and after of the wars.

Persian Wars Timeline
Dates are always helpful in understanding wars.

Maps of the Persian Empire
See the rise and fall of a great ancient empire.

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