Prior to Greece coming into her Golden Age, she had to endure what seemed like endless attacks and invasions by the Persians, who wanted to expand their empire into the Mediterranean Sea. They deployed three campaigns at the start of the 5th century B.C., with the Greeks warding them off despite the large advantage of soldiers the Persian army had. They key and most notable battles of these three invasions were;
• In the city of Marathon, under the rule of Miltiades, the Greeks, vastly outnumbered, decimated the Persian troops while their own losses were negligible.
• The Battle at Plataea, which was already a victorious endeavor for the Greek armies.
• The naval battles at Salamis and Mycale, with the Greek fleets defeating those of the Persians.
• The Battle at Thermopylae, where the 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians under the leadership of Leonidas, were defeated while fighting with vigor and bravery; this battle and the valiant effort on the part of the Greeks will forever be remembered in the annals of military history.