The Persian War
The Persian War began in the 6th century BC. They conquered many of the polis in Asia Minor and in the eastern Mediterranean. These cities rebelled against the Persians. The first Persian War ended when the hoplites defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. King Xerxes I began the second Persian War but was defeated at the Battle of Salamis.
The Peloponnesian War
Under the leadership of Athens, many polis formed a union called the Delian League. The domination of Athens threatened other polis such as Sparta, which opposed the Delian League of Athens and its allies. The two sides fought against each other in the Peloponnesian War. Sparta won the war and became the leading polis.
Alexander the Great
Philip II of Macedon took advantage of the weakness of the Greek polis. Philip conquered nearly all the polis. Philip's son, Alexander the Great, ruled territories from Greece to India.