Persian wars with Ancient Greece

As Persia grew weak, the cities Greece grew strong. Finally, Phillip of Macedon gathered the power of all the little Greek states under his leadership, and Phillip's son, Alexander the Great, led the Grecian forces on his celebrated invasion of the Persian empire. A young and energetic emperor, Darius III., sat upon the Persian throne. He has just broken the control of his palace officials and made himself the real master of his realm. Hence he left to his satraps in Asia Minor the repulse of these intruding Greeks. Not until Alexander had conquered Asia Minor did the Persians rouse themselves to realize the seriousness of their danger. Then Darius gathered all the forces of his empire and met Alexander bravely but unsuccessfully in two tremendous battles at Issus and Arbela.

The defeat at Arbela was final and irretrievable. Darius fled hopeless, with only a small band of followers; and the leader of these slew him treacherously to win favor with the Greeks. Alexander, pursuing Darius in hot haste, came upon the dying monarch, abandoned by the roadside. Tradition says that Alexander was deeply touched, that with his own hand he helped Darius to a glass of water, and that he vowed vengeance on the slayer. He seems not to have realized his own deeper criminality, the thousand of deaths which lay directly to his charge and the destruction of an entire nationality. The Persian empire was no more.

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Read about Persian wars with Ancient Greece in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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