How did the Persian War affect Athens?
Athens was at war with Persia (The Greco-Persian wars)
Back in the old days of Greece. It consisted of city-states and territories of those states.
Athens was one of the biggest and most important states.
The war between the greeks and Persia lasted from about 499BC-449BC. During this time, there were two invasions of Greece.
The first one was led by Mardonius of Persia in 492-490BC. It was a fail however, because his fleet got into a storm and was pretty much destroyed.
Later he was wounded in his camp and chose to retreat to Asia.
The following year Darius of Persia sent ambassadors to all greek cities, demanding submission. All accepted except Athens and Sparta.
In 490BC a Persian fleet was sent to capture islands etc. Eventually the fleet reached the coast of Attica at the bay of Marathon (40km or 25 miles from Athens)
The battle of Marathon kept on for a few days. One day the Persians decided to leave with their ships. While they were loading the ships with their soldiers, 10 000 Athenians attacked and crushed all resistance. That day many Persians died, but only 192 Athenians.
Athens showed the rest of Greece that the Persians could be beaten.
In the second invasion of Greece led by Xerxes, the Athenians lost the sea battle of Artemisium. And Persian advances on land had almost reached Athens.
Athens was evacuated and then captured by the Persians and the Athenian navy retreated to the island Salamis where they defeated the Persian fleet.
Xerxes with his destroyed fleet left Greece with most of his army. But he ordered Mardonius to stay.
After Salamis the Athenians could retake their city. Mardonius asked the Athenians to submit to Persia. They refused and evacuated again. Mardonius recaptured Athens. Then he asked them again.
The Athenians went to Sparta for help, threatning them that they would agree to Persias terms if they recieved no help.
Sparta assembled a great army of allies and met the Persians at the battle of Plataea, where Mardonius was killed and the Greeks had won the war.