Ancient Greece and the Persian Wars

From the British Museum's website:

The wars between Persia and Greece took place in the early part of the 5th century BC. Persia had a huge empire and had every intention of adding Greece to it.

The Persian king Darius first attacked Greece in 490 BC, but was defeated at the Battle of Marathon by a mainly Athenian force.

This map shows the routes of the Persian invasion forces and major battle sites of the Wars.
This humiliation led to the attempt to conquer Greece in 480-479 BC. The invasion was led by Xerxes, Darius's son. After initial Persian victories, the Persians were eventually defeated, both at sea and on land. The wars with the Persians had a great effect on ancient Greeks.

The Athenian Acropolis was destroyed by the Persians, but the Athenian response was to build the beautiful buildings whose ruins we can still see today. In Greek art, there are many depictions of Greeks fighting Persians and Greek plays also feature the Persian enemy.

This depiction on pottery shows a Greek soldier fighting a Persian. Notice the Persian's distinctive cap and pants.
The wars also led to a show of unity between the Greeks, which was essential to their success in defeating their enemy.

Here's a History Channel summary of the Battle of Marathon:


Here's a History Channel overview of the Battle of Thermopylae (the famous "Battle of the 300")

Here's a longer documentary (although it looks like a graphic novel and is overly dramatic) about the Persian Wars:

Here's a goofy (but informative) explanation of the Persian Wars: