The Persian Empire had expanded during the 6th Century BCE to absorb the Middle East, and in the process had taken control of the numerous Greek cities dotted around the coast of Asia Minor. Some of the cities of mainland Greece continued to support the cities, which they had colonised in Asia, in revolting against Persian rule, culminating in a failed uprising in the early 5th Century BCE known as the Ionian revolt.After failed further revolts, Persia sent a punitive expedition against the cities of the island of Euboia and Athens (who were Ionian Greek) with the intention of installing puppet regimes. This was defeated at the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE.Persia then decided that the only way to put an end to this was to establish an ethnic frontier by absorbing the Greek states in mainland Greece. They began with the cities around the northern Aegean Sea and islands. Then they began to subvert the cities of central Greece with bribes. Finally they invaded with an army comprised of the best contingents from their empire, and a war fleet raised from Phoenecia, Egypt and the Asian-Greek cities.They were opposed by the cities of the Peloponnese Peninsula, Athens, Phokia, Euboia and other smaller states and islands.

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