Persians and Spartans fighting at Plataea. 19th century illustration.
Gobryas, father of Mardonius, on the tomb of Darius I.
A map showing the Greek world at the time of the battle
Mardonius led the Destruction of Athens. Part of the archaeological remains called Perserschutt, or "Persian rubble".
The Achaemenid Empire and its allied Greek states (Macedonia, Thessaly, Malis, Locris, Phocis and Boeotia) at the time of the Battle of Plataea.
Answer of the Athenian Aristides to the ambassadors of Mardonius: "As long as the sun holds to its present course, we shall never come to terms with Xerxes".
Movements of the Persian and Greek armies in 480–479 BC
Camp of Mardonius and disposition of Achaemenid troops at the Battle of Plataea (479 BC), in which Mardonius was killed. From left to right: Greek allies, Sacae, Indians, Bactrians, Medes and Persians.
Answer of Aristides to the ambassadors of Mardonius: "As long as the sun holds to its present course, we shall never come to terms with Xerxes".
The initial movements at the Battle of Plataea. The Greek line moves forward to the Asopus ridge.
Death of Masistius in early skirmishes.
The Spartan general Pausanias commanded the Allied Greek troops.
Disposition of Achaemenid troops beyond the Asopos river at the beginning of the Battle of Plataea. From left to right: Greek allies, Sacae, Indians, Bactrians, Medes and Persians.
Aristides, commander of the Athenians, informed by Alexander I of Macedon (a nominal ally of the Achaemenids) that delaying the encounter with the Persians would help further diminish their already low supplies. Battle of Plataea, 479 BC.
The battlefield of Plataea from the Achaemenid (northern) side.
Pausanias offering sacrifice to the Gods before the battle
Scene of the Battle of Plataea. 19th century illustration.
The main phase of the battle at Plataea. The Greek retreat becomes disorganised, and the Persians cross the Asopus to attack.
Scene of the Battle of Plataea on the south frieze of the Temple of Athena Nike, Athens. The scene on the right may show the fight over the body of Masistius. British Museum.
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting on an ancient kylix. 5th century BC
Coin of Alexander I of Macedon in the decade following the Battle of Plataea and the departure of Achaemenid forces (struck in 480/79-470 BC).

Mardonius ( Mr̥duniyaʰ; Mardónios; died 479 BC) was a leading Persian military commander during the Persian Wars with Greece in the early 5th century BC who died at the Battle of Plataea.

- Mardonius (nephew of Darius I)

Xerxes then retreated with much of his army, leaving his general Mardonius to finish off the Greeks the following year.

- Battle of Plataea
Persians and Spartans fighting at Plataea. 19th century illustration.

12 related topics with Alpha

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Battle of Salamis

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Naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC. It resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks.

Naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC. It resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks.

Map showing the Greek world at the time of the battle
Battle of Salamis, 1785 engraving
Greek trireme.
Fleet of triremes based on the full-sized replica Olympias
The Lycian dynast Kybernis (520-480 BCE) led 50 Lycian ships in the Achaemenid fleet.
The Ionian fleet, here seen joining with Persian forces at the Bosphorus in preparation of the European Scythian campaign of Darius I in 513 BC, was part of the Achaemenid fleet at Salamis. 19th century illustration.
The battle of Salamis, 19th century illustration.
Greek triremes at Salamis.
Battle of Salamis, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
Death of the Persian admiral Ariabignes (a brother of Xerxes) early in the battle; illustration from Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls c. 1910
Artemisia, Queen of Halicarnassus, and commander of the Carian contingent of the Achaemenid fleet, at the Battle of Salamis, shooting arrows at the Greeks. Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
The triumph of Themistocles after Salamis. 19th century illustration.
The wrath of Xerxes looking at the Battle of Salamis from his promontory, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (detail).
Serpent Column, a monument to their alliance, dedicated by the victorious Allies in the aftermath of Plataea; now at the Hippodrome of Constantinople

Xerxes retreated to Asia with much of his army, leaving Mardonius to complete the conquest of Greece.

The following year the remainder of the Persian army was decisively beaten at the Battle of Plataea and the Persian navy at the Battle of Mycale.

Persian soldier (left) and Greek hoplite (right) depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC

Greco-Persian Wars

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The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them.

The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them.

Persian soldier (left) and Greek hoplite (right) depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Herodotus, the main historical source for this conflict
Thucydides continued Herodotus's narrative
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under Darius the Great
Persian and Median Immortals in ceremonial dress, bas-relief in Persepolis
According to Herodotus, the Athenians, hoping for protection against Sparta, made the gift of "Earth and Water" to the Persians in 507 BC.
Coinage of Athens at the time of Cleisthenes. Effigy of Athena, with owl and ΑΘΕ, initials of "Athens". Circa 510-500/490 BC.
The burning of Sardis by the Greeks and the Ionians during the Ionian Revolt in 498 BC.
Map showing main events of the Ionian Revolt.
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
The Greek wings envelop the Persians
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
The soldiers of Xerxes I, of all ethnicities, on the tomb of Xerxes I, at Naqsh-e Rostam.
Probable Spartan hoplite (Vix crater, c. 500 BC).
Major events in the second invasion of Greece
The pass of Thermopylae
Schematic diagram illustrating events during the Battle of Salamis
Spartans fighting against Persian forces at the Battle of Plataea. 19th century illustration.
Athens and her "empire" in 431 BC. The empire was the direct descendant of the Delian League
Map showing the locations of battles fought by the Delian League, 477–449 BC
Dynast of Lycia, Kherei, with Athena on the obverse, and himself wearing the Persian cap on the reverse. Circa 440/30–410 BC.
Coinage of Tiribazos, Satrap of Lydia, with Faravahar on the obverse. 388–380 BC.

The first Persian invasion of Greece began in 492 BC, with the Persian general Mardonius successfully re-subjugating Thrace and Macedon before several mishaps forced an early end to the rest of the campaign.

The following year, the confederated Greeks went on the offensive, decisively defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Plataea, and ending the invasion of Greece by the Achaemenid Empire.

Achaemenid Empire

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Ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia that was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. It reached its greatest extent under Xerxes I, who conquered most of northern and central ancient Greece.

Ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia that was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. It reached its greatest extent under Xerxes I, who conquered most of northern and central ancient Greece.

The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In 492 BC, the Persian general Mardonius re-subjugated Thrace and made Macedon a fully subordinate part of the empire; it had been a vassal as early as the late 6th century BC but retained a great deal of autonomy.

The land army which he left in Greece under Mardonius retook Athens but was eventually destroyed in 479 BC at the Battle of Plataea.

Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David, 1814.

Battle of Thermopylae

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Fought in 480 BC between the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Xerxes I and an alliance of Greek city-states led by Sparta under Leonidas I.

Fought in 480 BC between the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Xerxes I and an alliance of Greek city-states led by Sparta under Leonidas I.

Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David, 1814.
A map of almost all the parts of the Greek world that partook in the Persian Wars
The Spartans throw Persian envoys into a well
The site of the battle today. Mount Kallidromon on the left, and the wide coastal plain formed by accretion of fluvial deposits over the centuries; the road to the right approximates the 480 BC shoreline.
Map showing Greek and Persian advances to Thermopylae and Artemisium
5th century hoplite.
A flow map of the battle
Map of Thermopylae area with a reconstructed shoreline of 480 BC.
Contemporary depictions: probable Spartan hoplite (Vix crater, c.500 BC), and Scythian warrior of the Achaemenid army (tomb of Xerxes I, c.480 BC), at the time of the Second Persian invasion of Greece (480–479 BC).
Spartans surrounded by Persians, Battle of Thermopylae. 19th century illustration.
Crown-wearing Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. Impression from a cylinder seal, sculpted circa 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A Persian soldier at the time of the Second Achaemenid invasion of Greece.
The Capture of the Acropolis and the destruction of Athens by the Achaemenids, following the battle of Thermopylae.
Hidush (Indian soldier of the Achaemenid army), circa 480 BC. Xerxes I tomb. Herodotus explained that Indians participated on the Second Persian invasion of Greece.
Epitaph with Simonides' epigram
The Battle of Thermopylae, 19th century engraving
The Persian Gates narrow pass
Scene of the Battle of the Thermopylae (19th century illustration).
Leonidas Monument
Thespian monument

The Greek fleet—seeking a decisive victory over the Persian armada—attacked and defeated the invading force at the Battle of Salamis in late 480 BC. Wary of being trapped in Europe, Xerxes withdrew with much of his army to Asia, reportedly losing many of his troops to starvation and disease while also leaving behind the Persian military commander Mardonius to continue the Achaemenid Empire's Greek campaign.

However, the following year saw a Greek army decisively defeat Mardonius and his troops at the Battle of Plataea, ending the second Persian invasion.

Rock relief of an Achaemenid king, most likely Xerxes, located in the National Museum of Iran

Xerxes I

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The fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great ((r.

The fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great ((r.

Rock relief of an Achaemenid king, most likely Xerxes, located in the National Museum of Iran
The "Caylus vase", a quadrilingual alabaster jar with cuneiform and hieroglyphic inscriptions in the name of "Xerxes, the Great King". Cabinet des Médailles, Paris
Engraving of Babylon by H. Fletcher, 1690
The soldiers of Xerxes I, of all ethnicities, on the tomb of Xerxes I, at Naqsh-e Rostam
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. Impression from a cylinder seal, sculpted c. 500 BC – 475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I Metropolitan Museum of Art
Foundations of the Old Temple of Athena, destroyed by the armies of Xerxes I during the Destruction of Athens in 480 BC
The rock-cut tomb at Naqsh-e Rustam north of Persepolis, copying that of Darius, is usually assumed to be that of Xerxes
This cuneiform text mentions the murder of Xerxes I by his son. From Babylon, Iraq. British Museum
Xerxes being designated by Darius I. Tripylon, Persepolis. The ethnicities of the Empire are shown supporting the throne. Ahuramazda crowns the scene.
Trilingual inscription of Xerxes at Van (present-day Turkey)
The Persian king in the Biblical Book of Esther is commonly thought to be Xerxes
Xerxes (Ahasuerus) by Ernest Normand, 1888 (detail)

Xerxes I is notable in Western history for his invasion of Greece in 480 BC. His forces temporarily overran mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth until losses at Salamis and Plataea a year later reversed these gains and ended the second invasion decisively.

He left behind a contingent in Greece to finish the campaign under Mardonius, who according to Herodotus had suggested the retreat in the first place.

1900 depiction of the Battle of Marathon

Battle of Marathon

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The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece.

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece.

1900 depiction of the Battle of Marathon
The plain of Marathon today, with pine forest and wetlands.
A map showing the Greek world at the time of the battle
Darius I of Persia, as imagined by a Greek painter on the Darius Vase, 4th century BC
Initial disposition of forces at Marathon
Marshlands at Marathon.
Athenians on the beach of Marathon. Modern reenactment of the battle (2011)
The ethnicities of the soldiers of the army of Darius I are illustrated on the tomb of Darius I at Naqsh-e Rostam, with a mention of each ethnicity in individual labels. Identical depictions were made on the tombs of other Achaemenid emperors, the best preserved frieze being that of Xerxes I.
Persian infantry (probably Immortals), shown in a frieze in Darius's palace, Susa in Persia (which is today Iran)
First phase
Greek troops rushing forward at the Battle of Marathon, Georges Rochegrosse, 1859.
Second phase
Third phase
"They crashed into the Persian army with tremendous force", illustration by Walter Crane in Mary Macgregor, The Story of Greece Told to Boys and Girls, London: T.C. & E.C. Jack.
Fourth phase
Fifth phase
Cynaegirus grabbing a Persian ship at the Battle of Marathon (19th century illustration).
Relief of the battle of Marathon (Temple of Augustus, Pula).
Contemporary depiction of the Battle of Marathon in the Stoa Poikile (reconstitution)
Greek Corinthian-style helmet and the skull reportedly found inside it from the Battle of Marathon, now residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
Plan of the Battle of Marathon, 1832
Statue of Pan, Capitoline Museum, Rome
Reconstitution of the Nike of Callimachus, erected in honor of the Battle of Marathon. Destroyed during the Achaemenid destruction of Athens. Acropolis Museum.
Luc-Olivier Merson's painting depicting the runner announcing the victory at the Battle of Marathon to the people of Athens.
Burton Holmes's photograph entitled "1896: Three athletes in training for the marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens".

In 492 BC, after the Ionian Revolt had finally been crushed, Darius dispatched an expedition to Greece under the command of his son-in-law, Mardonius.

These numbers are highly comparable to the number of troops Herodotus says that the Athenians and Plataeans sent to the Battle of Plataea 11 years later.

The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)

Macedonia (ancient kingdom)

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Ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.

Ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.

The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)
The entrance to one of the royal tombs at Vergina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)
A silver octadrachm of Alexander I of Macedon ((r. 498 – 454)), minted c. 465–460 BC, showing an equestrian figure wearing a chlamys (short cloak) and petasos (head cap) while holding two spears and leading a horse
Macedon (orange) during the Peloponnesian War around 431BC, with Athens and the Delian League (yellow), Sparta and Peloponnesian League (red), independent states (blue), and the Persian Achaemenid Empire (purple)
A Macedonian didrachm minted during the reign of Archelaus I of Macedon ((r. 413 – 399))
A silver stater of Amyntas III of Macedon ((r. 393 – 370))
Map of the Kingdom of Macedon at the death of PhilipII in 336BC (light blue), with the original territory that existed in 431BC (red outline), and dependent states (yellow)
Alexander's empire and his route
The Stag Hunt Mosaic, c.300BC, from Pella; the figure on the right is possibly Alexander the Great due to the date of the mosaic along with the depicted upsweep of his centrally-parted hair (anastole); the figure on the left wielding a double-edged axe (associated with Hephaistos) is perhaps Hephaestion, one of Alexander's loyal companions.
A golden stater of Philip III Arrhidaeus ((r. 323 – 317)) bearing images of Athena (left) and Nike (right)
Paintings of Hellenistic-era military arms and armor from a tomb in ancient Mieza (modern-day Lefkadia), Imathia, Central Macedonia, Greece, 2nd centuryBC
The Temple of Apollo at Corinth, built c.540BC, with the Acrocorinth (i.e. the acropolis of Corinth that once held a Macedonian garrison) seen in the background
A tetradrachm minted during the reign of Antigonus III Doson ((r. 229 – 221)), possibly at Amphipolis, bearing the portrait image of Poseidon on the obverse and on the reverse a scene depicting Apollo sitting on the prow of a ship
The Kingdom of Macedonia (orange) under PhilipV ((r. 221 – 179)), with Macedonian dependent states (dark yellow), the Seleucid Empire (bright yellow), Roman protectorates (dark green), the Kingdom of Pergamon (light green), independent states (light purple), and possessions of the Ptolemaic Empire (violet purple)
A tetradrachm of Philip V of Macedon ((r. 221 – 179)), with the king's portrait on the obverse and Athena Alkidemos brandishing a thunderbolt on the reverse
Bronze bust of Eumenes II of Pergamon, a Roman copy of a Hellenistic Greek original, from the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum
The Vergina Sun, the 16-ray star covering the royal burial larnax of Philip II of Macedon ((r. 359 – 336)), discovered in the tomb of Vergina, formerly ancient Aigai
Hades abducting Persephone, fresco in the small Macedonian royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece, c.340BC
Fresco of an ancient Macedonian soldier (thorakites) wearing chainmail armor and bearing a thureos shield, 3rd centuryBC, İstanbul Archaeology Museums
A mosaic of the Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis depicting the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, 4thcenturyBC
The Lion of Amphipolis in Amphipolis, northern Greece, a 4th-centuryBC marble tomb sculpture erected in honor of Laomedon of Mytilene, a general who served under Alexander the Great
Alexander (left), wearing a kausia and fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail); late 4th-centuryBC mosaic, Pella Museum.
Portrait bust of Aristotle, an Imperial Roman (1st or 2nd centuryAD) copy of a lost bronze sculpture made by Lysippos
A fresco showing Hades and Persephone riding in a chariot, from the tomb of Queen Eurydice I of Macedon at Vergina, Greece, 4thcenturyBC
A banquet scene from a Macedonian tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki, 4thcenturyBC; shown are six men reclining on couches, with food arranged on nearby tables, a male servant in attendance, and female musicians providing entertainment.
Ruins of the ancient theatre in Maroneia, Rhodope, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece
Tetradrachms (above) and drachms (below) issued during the reign of Alexander the Great, now in the Numismatic Museum of Athens
The Alexander Mosaic, a Roman mosaic from Pompeii, Italy, c. 100 BC
Kingdoms of the diadochi c.301BC, after the Battle of Ipsus
Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander
Kingdom of Lysimachus
Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator
Epirus
Other
Carthage
Roman Republic
Greek States

Achaemenid Persian hegemony over Macedonia was briefly interrupted by the Ionian Revolt (499–493BC), yet the Persian general Mardonius brought it back under Achaemenid suzerainty.

486 – 465)) during the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480–479 BC, and Macedonian soldiers fought on the side of the Persians at the 479BC Battle of Platea.

Part of the archaeological remains called Perserschutt, or "Persian rubble": remnants of the destruction of Athens by the armies of Xerxes. Photographed in 1866, just after excavation.

Achaemenid destruction of Athens

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Accomplished by the Achaemenid Army of Xerxes I during the Second Persian invasion of Greece, and occurred in two phases over a period of two years, in 480–479 BCE.

Accomplished by the Achaemenid Army of Xerxes I during the Second Persian invasion of Greece, and occurred in two phases over a period of two years, in 480–479 BCE.

Part of the archaeological remains called Perserschutt, or "Persian rubble": remnants of the destruction of Athens by the armies of Xerxes. Photographed in 1866, just after excavation.
"The Citadel at Athens" at the time of Xerxes (1900 reconstitution).
Foundations of the Old Temple of Athena, destroyed by the armies of Xerxes I.
Answer of Aristides to the ambassadors of Mardonius: "As long as the sun holds to its present course, we shall never come to terms with Xerxes".
Athenians rebuilding their city under the direction of Themistocles.
Alexander the Great lifting Thais holding a torch, in "The Burning of Persepolis" (L'incendie de Persepolis), Georges Rochegrosse, 1890.
Acropolis excavation pit where remains of Archaic statues were found, northwest of the Erechtheum.
The Kritios Boy was recovered, decapitated, in the Perserschutt.
The Antenor Kore, recovered from the Perserschutt.
Part of the damaged Hekatompedon pediment.
The damaged Moscophoros.
The damaged Peplos Kore.
The damaged Rampin Rider.
The Capture of the Acropolis by the Persians
Architectural remains of the Old Athena Temple built into the north wall of the Acropolis by Themistocles.
Column drums of the Older Parthenon, reused in the North wall of the Acropolis, by Themistocles.
The Older Parthenon (in black) was destroyed by the Achaemenids, and then rebuilt by Pericles in 438 BCE (in grey).
Ruins of the Themistoclean Wall.

According to Herodotus, Mardonius volunteered to remain in Greece and complete the conquest with a hand-picked group of troops, while advising Xerxes to retreat to Asia with the bulk of the army.

The Achaemenids were decisively beaten at the ensuing Battle of Plataea, and the Greeks were able to recover Athens.

Coin from the end of the reign of Alexander I, struck circa 460-450 BC. Young male head right, wearing petasos.

Alexander I of Macedon

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The ruler of the ancient Kingdom of Macedon from c. 498 BC until his death in 454 BC. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alcetas II.

The ruler of the ancient Kingdom of Macedon from c. 498 BC until his death in 454 BC. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alcetas II.

Coin from the end of the reign of Alexander I, struck circa 460-450 BC. Young male head right, wearing petasos.
Early coinage of Alexander I, under Achaemenid Macedonia, Aegae, circa 500-480 BC. Goat kneeling right, head reverted; pellet above and before / Quadripartite incuse square.
Coin of Alexander I in the decade following the Second Persian invasion of Greece (struck in 480-470 BC).
Silver tetradrachm of Alexander I, struck at the end of his reign, circa 465-460 BC.
Aristides, commander of the Athenians, informed by Alexander I of Macedon that delaying the encounter with the Persians would help further diminish their already low supplies. Battle of Plataea, 479 BC.

In 492 BC it was made a fully subordinate part of the Persian Empire by Mardonius' campaign.

Despite his cooperation with Persia, Alexander I frequently gave supplies and advice to the Greek city states, and warned them of Mardonius' plans before the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. For example, Alexander I warned the Greeks in Tempe to leave before the arrival of Xerxes' troops, and notified them of an alternate route into Thessaly through upper Macedonia.

View of Plataea, and the battlefield of the Battle of Plataea.

Plataea

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Ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes.

Ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes.

View of Plataea, and the battlefield of the Battle of Plataea.
Part of the wall of Plataeae
The burial mound of the Plataeans, fallen at the Battle of Marathon, Marathon

It was the location of the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, in which an alliance of Greek city-states defeated the Persians.

According to Herodotus, the Spartan general Pausanias led an allied Greek defense against Mardonius' Persian forces.