One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The wars fought between Greece and Persia in the 5th century BC, in which the Persians sought to extend their rule over the Greek world.
The wars began in 490 BC when Darius I sent an expedition to punish the Greeks for having supported the Ionian cities in their unsuccessful revolt against Persian rule; the Persians were defeated by a small force of Athenians at Marathon. Ten years later, Darius's son Xerxes I attempted an invasion. He devastated Attica, but Persian forces were defeated on land at Plataea and in a sea battle at Salamis (480 BC), and retreated. Intermittent war continued until peace was signed in 449 BC
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