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The Battle of Thermopylae was an attack on Greece that arose as a result of Athens involvement in the Ionian revolt In 499 BC King Cyrus II tamed the Persian tribes and conquered Lydia and parts of Ionia but the Ionians made up of Greek tyrants rebelled against Persia which led to its invasion Warren Hollister 103 In an attempt to hold off the Persian attack Ionia enlists the aid of Athens and persuaded them to send twenty ships to fight against the Persians The Persian army then led by Darius I Cyrus grandson had the advantage over the Greeks and by 494 BC the Greeks took to battle the Persians at Marathon Warren Hollister 104 The decisive result would see the Athenians defeat the army of Darius I this defeat prompted Darius to plan a new attack against Greece but the task fell to his heir Xerxes Here we see previous wars fought between these nations with Greece claiming an early victory which would later dictate the rise of a second attack on Greece in what became the Battle of Thermopylae In this situation Greek provoked the Persians to attack them by their involvement in the revolt which sparked rage from the Persian King Xerxes who swore to take revenge on the GreeksThis period 490- 479 BC was the beginning of the Persian wars and marked the first battle between the Persians and the Greeks Xerxes by 480 BC had galvanized his army of about 180000 to lay siege on Athens In the wake of the news that Xerxes plans to attack Athens the greeks under the command of Themistocles prepare for battle Meanwhile Xerxes was making his march towards Athens taking advantage of the Greeks discord and forming alliances with opportunistic Greek cities such as Argos and Thebes Warren Hollister 104-105 Sparta established a regional defensive alliance the Peloponnesian League which consisted of Sparta Athens and Corinth Warren Hollister 105 One of
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