Essay on The Battles Against Persian Imperialism

2586 Words Nov 29th, 2016 11 Pages
Everyone loves seeing an underdog upset a team that is heavily favored to win. Whether it is the number one team in college football losing to an unranked opponent, or a child rising above the social barriers in his life and making it big, these stories encourage and excite us. Of course, the Battle of Thermopylae is no exception to our desire for seeing a group defy the odds and come out victorious. When 300 Spartan soldiers, along with men from other Ionian city states, gazed at the sea of Persian men amassed in front of them, no doubt they knew they would be crushed by the waves of the enemy. King Xerxes overlooked the site of the battle from his throne with complete confidence. How could 80,000 of his great army lose to 5,000 Greeks? Finally the despise thorn in his side would be defeated and punished for their rebellion against Persian imperialism. Twenty years earlier, around 500 B.C., an uprising of Greeks in the western coast Asia minor against King Darius the Great and burned the city of Sardis. This uprising lasted six years and caused Darius to grow in his disdain for the Athenians. A year later he gathered his armies and marched for Greece with the intent on repaying them for their insolence. When the Athenians heard that Darius was marching toward their home, they marshalled a force to meet him at Marathon. The Persians expected an easy victory, however; the Athenians rushed their enemy and forced the Persians into an embarrassing retreat. Darius was…

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