Troops were sent from Athens to aid the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, who were fighting against the Persian Empire in 499 BC. This aggravated the Persians to invade Greek twice. Both the Persian invasions were defeated under the leadership of Miltiades and Themistocles, Athenian Soldier statesmen. With the victory over Macedonian conquest and Persian wars, Aegean and most of the other parts of Greece came in together in an Athenian-dominated alliance, the Delian League. Athens also became a center of philosophy, arts and literature during this time. The leading statesman, Pericles, used the tribute paid by the members of the Delian League to build the Parthenon and other great monuments of classical Athens. Athens was also a home to the leading philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, famous dramatists Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and Aristophanes, well-known historians Xenophon, Thucydides and Herodotus, the legendary poet Simonides and the renowned sculptor Phidias, during this era.