Biggest pan-hellenic movement since the trojan war and marks greece"s entry onto the international stage. It"s more than just a war; it"s a moment of self-definition. The histories of the persian wars reflect this. They"re an account of greeks defining greek values and virtues. Every greek polis has a different idea of how they should respond to the persian attack. Even though it"s a pan-hellenic venture, every polis is looking out for their own interests. They are strong differences between sparta and athens. Sparta and athens define themselves in their difference between each other. Persia was a huge empire, stretching from greece to asia to egypt. The persians had a very ancient, vibrant and sophisticated culture. Greeks were mostly interested in the ways that persians were different. There was a lot of gold in persia, which the greeks interpreted as them being soft and corrupted. They viewed the milder asian climate as making the persians soft.