After 50 years of fighting, in 449 BCE Persia agreed to stayfrom the Greek city-states on which it had been attempting toimpose peace.At Thermopylae, a coalition of Greek city-states blocked theadvance of a Persian army to force a sea battle at nearbyArtemesion in the hope of destroying the Persian navy whichthreatened the southern Greek cities. The Greeks lost the seabattle, and the force at Thermopylae, its mission over, waswithdrawn. The Spartan and Thespian contingents remained to coverthe withdrawal and were annihilated.

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