The Battle of Plataea in Boeotia ends the Persian invasions of Greece as the Persian general Mardonius is routed by the Greeks under Pausanias, nephew of the former Spartan King, Leonidas I. The Athenian contingent is led by the repatriated Aristides. Mardonius is killed in the battle and the Greeks capture enormous amounts of loot. Thebes is captured shortly thereafter and the Theban collaborators executed by Pausanias.
In 479 BC, when Persian soldiers besieged the Greek city of Potidaea, the tide retreated much farther than usual, leaving a convenient invasion route. But this wasn't a stroke of luck. Before they had crossed halfway, the water returned in a wave higher than anyone had ever seen, drowning the attackers. The Potiidaeans believed they had been saved by the wrath of Poseidon. But what really saved them was likely the same phenomenon that has destroyed countless others: a tsunami.
Despite Spartan opposition, Athens is refortified as well as rebuilt after the Persian destruction of the city.
With the help of the Athenian statesman and general, Cimon, Aristides commands an Athenian fleet of 30 ships that the Spartan commander Pausanias leads to free the Greek cities on Cyprus and capture Byzantium from the Persians and their Phoenician allies.
While Pausanias is occupying Byzantium, his arrogance and his adoption of Persian clothing and manners offends the allies and raises suspicions of disloyalty. Pausanias is recalled to Sparta, where he is tried and acquitted of the charge of treason, but he is not restored to his command.
The Spartan co-ruler Leotychides and the Athenian leader Themistocles lead a fleet and army to reoccupy northern Greece and to punish the aristocratic family of the Aleuads for having aided the Persians. Leotychides is caught accepting a bribe during the operations in Thessaly.
Greek maritime cities around the Aegean Sea no longer wish to be under Spartan control and at Delos offer their allegiance, through Aristides, to Athens. They form the Delian League (also known as the Confederacy of Delos) with Cimon as their principal commander.
Convicted in Sparta on the charge of accepting a bribe from the Aleudae family whilst leading an expedition to Thessaly against the family for their collaboration with the Persians, the Spartan King Leotychidas flees to the temple of Athena Alea in Tegea, Arcadia. A sentence of exile is passed upon him; his house is razed, and his grandson, Archidamus II, ascends the Spartan throne in his place.
Cimon of Athens increases his power at the expense of Themistocles. He ousts Pausanias and the Spartans from the area around the Bosporus. The Spartans, hearing that Pausanias is intriguing with the Persians, recall him and he is "disciplined".
Under the leadership of Kimon, the Delian League continues to fight the Persians and to release the Ionian cities from Persian domination. The capture of Eion on the Strymon from the Persians is led by Cimon.
The Greek poet Pindar visits Sicily and is made welcome at the courts of Theron of Acragas and Hieron I of Syracuse. They commission some of his greatest poetry. It is through these connections that Pindar's reputation spreads all over the Greek world.
Hiero I, tyrant of Sicily, allied with naval forces from the maritime Greek cities of southern Italy to defeat the Etruscan navy in the Battle of Cumae as the Etruscans try to capture the Greek city of Cumae. This victory marks the end of the Etruscan aggression against the Greeks in southern Italy and saves the Greeks of Campania from Etruscan domination.
The Greek poet Pindar moves to Thebes after two years at the Sicilian Court of Hiero I of Syracuse. While at Thebes, he composes lyric odes to celebrate triumphs in the Olympic Games and other athletic events.
AthenianpoliticianThemistocles loses the confidence of the Athenian people, partly due to his arrogance and partly due to his alleged readiness to take bribes. As a result, he is ostracized and retires to Argos.
Suspected of plotting to seize power in Sparta by instigating a helot uprising, Pausanias takes refuge in the Temple of Athena of the Brazen House to escape arrest. The sanctuary is respected, but the Spartans wall in the sanctuary and starve Pausanias to death.
Pan Painter makes a "bell krater" (an earthenware piece that is used to mix water and wine) which has a red-figure decoration of Artemis slaying Actaeon. It is now preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (approximate date).