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THE BATTLE OF PLATAEA

This battle concluede the Second Persian War in 479 B.C. and was the largest land battle fought by the Greeks against the Persians up to this time. Mardonius, the cousin of King Xerxes, led a Persian and allied force of 100,000 against a Greek allied force of 40,000 that was led by the Spartans under their king, Pausanius. The Greek army included 8,000 Athenians among whom Aeschylus may have served. The battle was fought near the river, Asopus, on the plain of Plataea near Thebes. After a week of manoevering on both sides, the Persian army crossed the river to attack the Greeks. A Greek counterattack stunned the Persians. Mardonius was killed and the Persian force was destroyed.