The Greeks lived throughout its history the confrontation with the Persians as a war of the democratic freedom against the tyranny of Persia.
The "Medes" were tribes that inhabited the north-west of Persia, now Iran, in the area that was called “Media”, with its capital in Ecbatana. The Medes after many struggles and revolts were integrated into the Persian Empire since the time of Cyrus II the Great, founder of the Achaemenid or Persian Empire, who died in 530 BC. They dominated the so called "Silk Road”, a route from China to Western Europe.
The Greeks used almost as synonyms "medes" and "persians", and therefore the three famous wars in the first half of V century BC between Greeks and the Persian Empire were called "median wars" (Μηδικά, Mĕdiká). In these wars, independent and small Greek cities had a confrontation against the huge and powerful Persian Empire.
Against all odds the Greeks won, and confrontations lead to some of the most famous episodes in history as the heroic battle of Thermopylae, in which a handful of Spartans stopped the large Persian army, or the battle of Marathon, which result was communicated to the city of Athens by Philippides, a Greek soldier who ran without stopping the approximately 42 km between the two points, and what gave a name to the Olympic most famous race many years later.
Herodotus (484-425 BC) tell us these wars in detail. He presents a great confrontation between Greek freedom and Persian tyranny, between Hellene democracy and Median absolutism, in short, as a conflict between West and East.
Who would have thought that 2500 years later other conflicts would occur in the same area and they would be justified in a similarly way: West versus East, Western freedom and democracy against Eastern tyranny and despotism?. Do we possibly have these constant conflicts embedded in our genes?