There were other civilizations,
besides the ancient Greeks, located around the Mediterranean
Sea. One was ancient Egypt. Another was one of the most powerful
and well organized civilization of the time. It was called the Persian Empire.
Empire was huge. It started in Turkey and stretched all
the way to the ancient Indus River Valley. The Greeks still had
outposts in Turkey. The Greeks sent supplies to help some of
these city-states in their struggle to remain independent. The
Persians did not appreciate that.
The Persians sent warriors to the
Greek peninsula to squash the Greeks. They attempted three times
to conquer the Greeks at the famous battles of Marathon,
Thermopylae, and Salamis. Each time,
the Greeks drove them away.
Xerxes, the Persian King, could not
believe that the tiny Greeks had defeated his capable warriors. After
the second loss, Xerxes got made. Conquering the Greeks was no longer
his goal. He wanted them wiped out entirely. To do so, he sent a huge
number of Persian ships to the Greek peninsula. He was so sure he was
going to win this third battle that he had his servants bring his chair
along to the war. Xerxes and some of his friends sat in comfort at the
top of a cliff overlooking the Greek harbor, so they could watch the
Instead, Xerxes watched his own men die.
The Greeks had small ships. They moved quickly. They tossed burning wood
aboard the huge, cumbersome Persian ships. The Persian ships
quickly caught fire. The Persians had to abandon ship. Those Persians
who made it to shore were met by the terrifying Spartan army. It was a
slaughter. Xerxes escaped, but most of the Persians warriors were
(Persian Wars Interactive)
Persian Wars (mrdowling)