Battle of Thermopylae

Battle of Thermopylae – August 9, 480 BC

The Greek region of Ionia had been conquered by Persia around 540 BC and the city-states were ruled by Persian tyrants from then on. Darius I was a usurper, becoming the third king of the Persian Empire by overthrowing Gaumata through the assistance of six noble families, in September 522 BC. In 499 BC, the Greek city-states of Athens and Eritrea encouraged the Ionian Revolt against the Persians. The Ionians attacked and burned Sardis, and Darius responded by following them back to Ionia, defeating them in the Battle of Ephesus in 498 BC. The Persians then responded with a three-pronged attack in 497 BC, capturing the outlying areas of the rebellion. The forces stalemated in 496-495 BC when the Greeks consolidated into Caria. In 494 BC, the Persian army and navy regrouped and attacked Mile...

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