What caused the downfall of Athens?
Three major causes of the rise and fall of Athens were its democracy, its leadership, and its arrogance. The democracy produced many great leaders, but unfortunately, also many bad leaders. Their arrogance was a result of great leadership in the Persian Wars, and it led to the end of Athenian power in Greece.
Did Athens get burned down?
Salamis, Plataea, and the destruction of the Persian invasion force. In September Xerxes, joined by many Greeks north of Attica, burned Athens.
Did Xerxes destroy Athens?
Modern scholars estimate that Xerxes I crossed the Hellespont with approximately 360,000 soldiers and a navy of 700 to 800 ships, reaching Greece in 480 BCE. He defeated the Spartans at Thermopylae, conquered Attica, and sacked Athens.