Classic Age of Greece
The Classic Period marked both the high point in Greek civilization and the beginning of its end. Art literature and philosophy reached new levels in Athens, it was the time of Plato and Aristotle. It was also a period marked by increased warfare from without and within. When the Greeks in Asia Minor rebelled against Persian rule, the Persians responded by attacking Greece. The Greeks united to respond to the Persian attack, with Sparta leading the ground forces and Athens leading the naval forces. The Greeks lost the first land battle of the war at Thermopylae. The Greeks however won an overwhelming naval victory at Salamis effectively winning the war.
The Athenians then went on with the Delian League which they supported to defeat the Persians on Asian minor. The Athens in the course of fighting the Persians became an imperial power, and the expansion of their power worried the Spartans. Soon Sparta and Athens found themselves engaged against each other in the Pelponessian Wars. A war that lasted a generation and ended with a Spartan victory over Athens.