In 499 B.C., the Persians experienced rebellion at the hands of the Ionians in Asia Minor. These rebellions were centered in Miletus. A Persian army sent by King Darius suppressed this rebellion. The Greeks of Ionia appealed to Athens for help. Athens was a fledgling democracy at this time and could only send a small fleet of 20 ships. They would not be much help. Darius’s armies crushed the rebellions and just for spite, they burned Miletus to the ground. Afterwards, the Persians turned their attention to Athens for daring to get involved in their affairs. In 490 B.C., Darius sent a fleet across the Aegean to attack Athens. The Persians greatly outnumbered the Athenians. However, Athens was aware that the Persians were coming and attempted to get help. Of course, they appealed to the greatest Greek army, the Spartans. Athens sent their faster runner, Pheidippides, to Sparta 150 miles away to request their help. Sparta was in the middle of a religious celebration and refused to come to the aidof Athens. The Athenian army under the leadership of Miltiades marched out to face the Persians on the Plain of Marathon, 26 miles away from Athens. It was one of the greatest victories of all time. The much smaller Greek army defeated the huge, undefeated Persian army. Not only had Athens been saved, but also democracy! There would have been no Golden Age had they lost this battle! The runner Pheidippides ran the 26 miles from the battlefield to Athens to deliver the victorious news. Unfortunately, he pushed too hard and ran too fast.