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Battles and Sieges of the Ionian Revolt, 499-493 BC

Battles and Sieges of the Ionian Revolt, 499-493 BC


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Battles and Sieges of the Ionian Revolt, 499-493 BC

This clickable map shows the main battles and sieges of the Ionian Revolt (499-493 BC), the conflict that helped trigger the long series of wars between the Greeks and the Persian Empire.


Ionian Revolt - Significance

The Ionian Revolt was primarily of significance as the opening chapter in, and causative agent of the Greco-Persian Wars, which included the two invasions of Greece and the famous battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis. For the Ionian cities themselves, the revolt ended in failure, and substantial losses, both material and economic. However, Miletus aside, they recovered relatively quickly and prospered under Persian rule for the next forty years. For the Persians, the revolt was significant in drawing them into an extended conflict with the states of Greece which would last for fifty years, over which time they would sustain considerable losses.

Militarily, it is difficult to draw too many conclusions from the Ionian Revolt, save for what the Greeks and Persians may (or may not) have learnt about each other. Certainly, the Athenians, and Greeks in general, seem to have been impressed by the power of Persian cavalry, with the Greek armies displaying considerable caution during the following campaigns when confronted by the Persian cavalry. Conversely, the Persians seem not to have realised or noticed the potential of the Greek hoplites as heavy infantry. At the Battle of Marathon, in 490 BC, the Persians took little heed of a primarily hoplitic army, resulting in their defeat. Furthermore, despite the possibility of recruiting heavy infantry from their domains, the Persians began the second invasion of Greece without doing so, and again encountered major problems in the face of Greek armies. It is possible that, given the ease of their victories over the Greeks at Ephesus, and similarly armed forces at the battles of the Marsyas River and Labraunda, the Persians simply disregarded the military value of the hoplite phalanx — to their cost.

Read more about this topic: Ionian Revolt

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Bronze Age Edit

      • c. 3100 BC Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt
      • 1580–1550 BC Hyksos-Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt wars in Lower Egypt
      • 1550/1549-1531 BC Conquest of Hyksos-ruled Lower Egypt by Ahmose I of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
      • c.1537 BCE Ahmose I's campaigns to Syria and Nubia.
      • 16 April 1457 BCE Battle of Megiddo – a battle between Ancient Egyptian forces under the pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition. , fought in May 1247 BCE between Ramses II and the Hittite Empire.
        • c. 2500 BC Enmebaragesi of Kish subdued Elam
        • c. 2500 BC Aga of Kish, the son of Enmebaragesi of Kish, besieged Uruk
        • c. 2500 BC Enmerkar of Uruk's year-long siege of Aratta
        • c. 2500 BC Dumuzid of Uruk captured Enmebaragesi of Kish single-handed
        • c. 2500 BC Enshakushanna of Uruk conquered Hamazi, Akkad, Kish, and Nippur, claiming hegemony over all of Sumer. Enshakushanna was succeeded in Uruk by Lugal-kinishe-dudu, but the hegemony seems to have passed to Eannatum of Lagash for a time
        • c. 2500 BC Eannatum of Lagash conquered all of Sumer, including Ur, Nippur, Akshak, Larsa, and Uruk (controlled by Enshakushanna)
        • c. 2500 BC En-anna-tum I of Lagash succeeded his brother Eannatum and defended Lagash against Ur-Lumma of Umma
        • c. 2500 BC Entemena of Lagash succeeded his father En-anna-tum I and re-established Lagash as a power in Sumer. He defeated Illi of Umma, with the aid of Lugal-kinishe-dudu of Uruk (the successor to Enshakushanna)
        • c. 2500 BC Lugal-Anne-Mundu of Adab subjected the "Four-Quarters" of the world – i.e., the entire Fertile Crescent region, from the Mediterranean to the Zagros Mountains
        • c. 2295 BC – 2271 BC (Short chronology) Lugal-zage-si of Umma conquered several of the Sumerian city-states – including Kish, where he overthrew Ur-Zababa Lagash, where he overthrew Urukagina Ur, Nippur, and Larsa as well as Uruk
        • c. 2270 BC (Short chronology) Sargon of Akkad established a vast empire which is thought to have included large parts of Mesopotamia, and included parts of modern-day Iran, Asia Minor and Syria
          • Conquest of Elam
          • 2271 BC Battle of Uruk and Canaan campaigns conquest of Ebla
          • Magan revolt campaign of Naram-sin
          • c. 2150 BC (Short chronology) Gutian attacks on the Akkadian Empire
          • c. 2055 BC – 2048 BC (Short chronology) After defeating the Gutian with the aid of other cities, Utu-hengal of Uruk established himself as the king of Sumer
            • c. 2050 BC (Short chronology) Defeat of Tirigan, the last Gutian ruler in Sumer
            • c. 2047 BC – 2030 BC (Short chronology) Ur-Nammu of Ur conquered Lagash
            • c. 1940 BC (Short chronology) Elamite Sack of Ur
            • c. 1830 BC – 1817 BC (Short chronology) The Amorite chieftain Sumu-abum won independence from the city-state Kazallu
            • c. 1752 BC – 1730 BC (Short chronology) Damiq-ilishu of Isin, the last king mentioned in the Sumerian King List, is defeated by Sin-Muballit of Babylon
            • c. 1728 BC – 1686 BC (Short chronology) Hammurabi of Babylon extended Babylon's control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms
            • c. 1531 BC (Short chronology) Fall of Babylon
            • c. 1507 BC (Short chronology) Kassite attacks on Babylon
            • c. 2492 BC Battle between Haik and Nimrod
            • c. 2300 BC Mari-Ebla's Hundred Years War
              • c. 2300 BC Battle of Terqa
                • 1400 BC Battle of Ai (legendary) (legendary) (legendary) (legendary)
                • c. 1650 BC – 1600 BC Conquests of Hattusili I and Mursili I
                • c. 1430 BC – 1350 BC Kaska invasions of Hatti

                Early Iron Age Edit

                Note: This section is covering Iron Age I and II, Iron Age III is related as Classic Period


                Background [ edit | edit source ]

                In the Greek Dark Ages that followed the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, significant numbers of Greeks had emigrated to Asia Minor and settled there. These settlers were from three tribal groups: the Aeolians, Dorians and Ionians. ⎖] The Ionians had settled about the coasts of Lydia and Caria, founding the twelve cities which made up Ionia. ⎖] These cities were Miletus, Myus and Priene in Caria Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomenae, Phocaea and Erythrae in Lydia and the islands of Samos and Chios. ⎗] The cities of Ionia had remained independent until they were conquered by the famous Lydian king Croesus, in around 560 BC. ⎘] The Ionian cities then remained under Lydian rule until Lydia was in turn conquered by the nascent Achaemenid Empire of Cyrus the Great. ⎙] The Persians found the Ionians difficult to rule. Elsewhere in the empire, Cyrus was able to identify elite native groups to help him rule his new subjects—such as the priesthood of Judea. ⎚] No such group existed in Greek cities at this time while there was usually an aristocracy, this was inevitably divided into feuding factions. ⎚] The Persians thus settled for the sponsoring a tyrant in each Ionian city, even though this drew them into the Ionians' internal conflicts. Furthermore, a tyrant might develop an independent streak, and have to be replaced. ⎚] The tyrants themselves faced a difficult task they had to deflect the worst of their fellow citizens' hatred, while staying in the favour of the Persians. ⎚]

                Darius I of Persia, as imagined by a Greek painter, 4th century BC

                About 40 years after the Persian conquest of Ionia, and in the reign of the fourth Persian king, Darius the Great, the stand-in Milesian tyrant Aristagoras found himself in this familiar predicament. ⎛] Aristagoras's uncle Histiaeus had accompanied Darius on campaign in 513 BC, and when offered a reward, had asked for part of the conquered Thracian territory. Although this was granted, Histiaeus's ambition alarmed Darius's advisors, and Histiaeus was thus further 'rewarded' by being compelled to remain in Susa as Darius's "Royal Table-Companion". ⎛] Taking over from Histiaeus, Aristagoras was faced with bubbling discontent in Miletus. Indeed, this period in Greek history is remarkable for the social and political upheaval in many Greek cities, particularly the establishment of the first democracy in Athens. Ώ] The island of Naxos, part of the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, was also in this period affected by political turmoil. Naxos had been ruled by the tyrant Lygdamis, a protege of the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos, until around 524 BC, when he was overthrown by the Spartans. After this, a native aristocracy seems to have flourished, and Naxos became one of the most prosperous and powerful of the Aegean islands. Ώ] ⎜] Despite its success, Naxos was not immune to class tensions and internal strife, and shortly before 500 BC, the population seized power, expelling the aristocrats and establishing a democracy. Ώ] ⎝]

                In 500 BC, Aristagoras was approached by some of the exiles from Naxos, who asked him to help restore them to the control of the island. ⎞] Seeing an opportunity to strengthen his position in Miletus by conquering Naxos, Aristagoras approached the satrap of Lydia, Artaphernes, with a proposal. If Artaphernes provided an army, Aristagoras would conquer the island in Darius's name, and he would then give Artaphernes a share of the spoils to cover the cost of raising the army. ⎟] Furthermore, Aristagoras suggested that once Naxos fell, the other Cyclades would also quickly follow, and he even suggested that Euboea could be attacked on the same expedition. ⎟] Artaphernes agreed in principle, and asked Darius for permission to launch the expedition. Darius assented to this, and a force of 200 triremes was assembled in order to attack Naxos the following year. ⎠]


                How did the Ionian Revolt (499-493 BC) change the Ancient World?

                The Ionian Revolt (499-493 BC) was a rebellion by Greek city-states against the Persian Empire's rule. This uprising was a serious challenge to the Persian Empire but was ultimately defeated. The Ionian Revolt nevertheless was to have a range of consequences for the Persian and the Greek Worlds.

                In the short term, the city-states that revolted recovered rapidly and were to flourish for centuries. However, the Ionian Enlightenment or Awakening, which saw the birth of Ancient Greek philosophy and science, was effectively ended by the crushing of the uprising by Emperor Darius' army and navy. Finally, the revolt was to trigger a series of events that resulted in the Greek and Persian Wars, that transformed the ancient World.

                Greek Migration to Asia Minor during the Greek Dark Ages

                During the so-called Greek Dark Ages, many Greeks migrated to the Aegean coast of Asia Minor in Turkey. [1] Here, the Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians, established settlements that became city-states. Ionia was the area settled by the Ionian tribes, and it was composed of twelve cities. They were independent, but they shared common places of worship and regularly cooperated. Ionia became very wealthy, especially Miletus, and it was in the 6th century the most important cultural center in the Greek World. [2]

                The rising Kingdom of Lydia, ruled by the famed King Croesus, conquered these Greek city-states. The city-states were able to secure a great deal of autonomy and continued to flourish under the Lydians. This arrangement was upset by the rise of the Persian Empire, based in modern Iran, which is often regarded as the first 'World-Empire.' [3] Cyrus the Second, sometimes known as the Great, conquered the Median and Neo-Babylonian Empires and annexed the kingdom of Lydia, thereby establishing the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire.

                Cyrus also annexed the Greek cities in Ionia. The Achaemenid monarch and his successors respected local customs and religions and gave regions their realms' considerable autonomy. [4] However, the Ionian Greeks who were very urbanized and their democratic political systems proved very difficult to fit into this system.

                Cyrus appointed his son, Darius, who adopted local rulers with dictatorial powers to control the Greek cities, who were answerable to a Persian satrap or governor and this policy. This caused great unrest in cities such as Ephesus and Colophon, which had traditionally been democracies, but the local Persian Satrap ignored this. [5]

                In 500 BCE, the Satrap of Asia Minor held an assembly with the rulers who governed the Ionian cities in Darius's name. There was increasingly rivalry among the tyrants, as they were known. Each sought to expand their territories at the expense of their neighbors. To preserve peace and stability in Ionia, the rulers were obliged to ally and foreswore to attack each other. However, in BC 499, Aristagoras, the tyrant of Miletus, sought to conquer Naxos's independent island and add it to his territories. He tried to win support from his fellow Ionian tyrants, but they refused. Aristagoras then secured some mighty Persians support and sought to conquer Naxos in the name of Darius. [6]

                However, this invasion of Naxos was a military disaster, and he owed some of his backers a great deal of money. Aristagoras knew he could be imprisoned or executed for his failure on Naxos. The tyrant of Miletus decided to gamble on a rebellion. He devised an audacious plan he encouraged the other Ionian cities to depose their pro-Persian rulers and restore their old governments. The region was ripe for rebellion. He managed to incite a series of revolutions in Ionia that led to the inhabitants expelling or killing their pro-Persian governors. Violence also spread to the Aeolian and Dorian Greek communities on the Aegean Coast.

                The Ionian Revolt

                Aristagoras knew that the Persians would not accept Ionian independence and that Darius would swiftly seek to re-conquer the region with a huge army. In desperation, he traveled to Sparta to secure help from the most powerful state in Greece. When it refused, he traveled around Greece, seeking men, money, and ships. Only the Athenians and the Eretians agreed to provide help to the Ionian rebels whom they regarded as their fellow kin. [7]

                Furthermore, both of these cities were democracies, and Aristagoras' impassioned pleadings swayed the popular assemblies. The Athenians and Eretians sent a large number of hoplites and ships to support the Ionians. The arrivals of these reinforcements persuaded the rebel to go on the offensive in 498 BC. The allies marched on Sardis's principal city and burned most of the town but could not seize the citadel. The rebels retreated to Ephesus, but they were demolished by a large Persians [8] . Aristagoras decided to continue the revolt and convinced more Greek cities to join him and even persuaded the Carians to join an anti-Persian alliance. [9]

                Then various kingdoms on the island Cyprus joined the revolt, but the Athenians withdrew their support. In 497 BC, the Persian Emperor sent three of his sons-in-law with a large army to crush the rebellion. Soon they had restored Cyprus to obedience and executed its rulers. Part of Darius' army was able to defeat the Carians at the Battle of the Marsyas River. Milesian forces joined the Carian army's remnants, but Darius's soldiers badly defeated this new army [10] . A Persian commander ordered an attack on the Carians, presumably to end their resistance.

                However, they discovered the plan, launched a night-time ambush, and destroyed the enemy forces with all its generals. This attack brought the rebels some respite. The following year the Persians changed their strategy, and they directly attacked the Ionian cities, and they besieged and seized several towns. Aristogros knew that his rebellion was doomed, and he fled to Thrace, where he was later killed. The Milesians and others continued to defy Darius, and they placed their faith in their large fleet.

                The Persian commanders assembled a sizeable naval taskforce, crewed by their subject peoples, notably the Phoenicians. This armada sailed to Ionia and met the rebel fleet at Lade in 494 BC. The larger Persian fleet utterly defeated the rebel navy [11] . Also, in 494 BCE, Darius's army captured the city of Miletus, which was devastated. By now, leaderless, the rebellion collapsed, and Ionia was reincorporated into the Persian Empire, and by 493 BC, the last remnants of resistance to Darius had collapsed.

                Impact on Ionia

                The Greek-city states managed to recover quickly, and they were soon able to secure a great level of autonomy. The Persian Empire was decentralized, and they did not seek to rule the Ionians directly. [12] It was a tributary Empire and did not want to conquer lands and peoples but demanded that they pay taxes and provide their Satraps with soldiers and ships when requested.

                Darius wanted the city-states to remain prosperous to continue to provide him with tribute and especially ships. The Persian Emperor was a farsighted ruler, and his policy of clemency was to prove to be successful. During the two invasions of Greece, the Ionians provided their Persian overlords with sailors and ships. The number of vessels would indicate that they had recovered rapidly after the revolt. The cities continued to prosper for centuries, right down to the Byzantine Empire. They even remained culturally Greek for centuries.

                The End of the Ionian Enlightenment

                Ionia was one of the cradles of western philosophy and science. [13] Traditionally, the Ionian cities, was where Greek science and philosophy began. Ionia's wealth made this possible. Additionally, Ionia was influenced by Babylon and Egypt's intellectual traditions. Here for the first time in the West, individuals offered explanations for the origin of the World without recourse to some deity. [14] They used reason and observation to develop theories on the nature of the World. Thales from Miletus (6th century BC) was probably the first philosopher and scientist in the western tradition. He argued that life came from the sea and was also an astronomer, and he successfully predicted an eclipse. The philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras came from Samos. Xenophanes was another important philosopher who criticized Greek polytheism and was arguably the first monotheist.

                The great revolt did not destroy the region's flourishing intellectual life, as seen in the works of the great philosopher Heraclitus or the writings of the historian and geographer Hecateus. However, the great revolt and the subsequent rule of tyrants forced many thinkers to leave. Moreover, philosophers no longer had the intellectual freedom or patronage required for their studies, and investigations and intellectual life declined in the decades after Darius crushed the revolt. Many thinkers and scientists, after the collapse of the rebellion, traveled widely through the Greek World and spread the ideas of the Ionian awakening. These Ionians played a crucial part in developing philosophy in other parts of the Hellenic World, especially Athens. While the Ionian Revolt led to the end of the first stage of Ancient Greek philosophy, it contributed to a great flourishing in scientific investigation and metaphysical speculation elsewhere in the Hellenic World. [15]

                The Greek-Persian Wars

                The Greek historian Herodotus argued that the Ionian Revolt was very important in history because it marked the beginning of the Greek-Persian Wars. The Athenians' and Eretians' involvement in the rebellion greatly angered Darius. The Ionian Revolt had destabilized a part of his Empire, and he feared a repeat of this in the future. According to Herodotus, Darius ordered his servants to remind him, daily, of the Athenians and their role in the rebellion. [16] This is probably a literary invention.

                However, the Persians had become concerned about potential unrest in the western reaches of their Empire. Athens had shown itself to be a threat to their interests, and it was feared that it could encourage more uprising in the future. This was to lead to the first Persian Invasion of Greece. This can be considered a punitive expedition aimed at punishing those who supported the Ionian rebels. [17]

                In 490 BC, a Persian amphibious force attacked several Greek cities and islands before landing near Athens. The Athenians defeated them at the Battle of Marathon 490 BC. [18] This defeat made Darius more determined than ever to punish the Athenians, but he died before he could invade Greece. Therefore, the defeat at Marathon did not end the Persian ambitions to subdue the Greeks. Xerxes, Darius's successor, wanted to punish the Athenians but wanted to conquer all of Greece. He launched the second invasion of Greece, and he moved his army via the Balkans into the Hellenic territory but was later defeated on the sea at Salamis and the land at Platea. It is highly likely that if it were not for the Ionian Revolt, there might not have been any Persian attacks on mainland Greece. This rebellion caused two significant wars, and these conflicts directly led to the rise of Athens and Sparta and weakened Persia.

                Conclusion

                The Ionian Revolt was a doomed attempt to regain the independence of Greek city-states. It was, however, a serious challenge to the Persians, the superpower of the day. However, the Ionian cities were able to recover quickly because of Darius's clemency and pragmatism. The city-states had changed, and they were no longer vibrant cultural centers. The revolt was the end of the Ionian Enlightenment. Still, it also helped spread its ideas around the Greek World, which was very important in the development of ancient philosophy and science. The other significant consequence of the rebellion was that it was one of the root causes of the Greek-Persian Wars, which was so important in the development of Antiquity and the Western World's evolution.


                Military conflicts similar to or like Siege of Naxos (499 BC)

                The dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants appointed by Persia to rule them, along with the individual actions of two Milesian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras. The cities of Ionia had been conquered by Persia around 540 BC, and thereafter were ruled by native tyrants, nominated by the Persian satrap in Sardis. Wikipedia

                The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike. Wikipedia

                The leader of the Ionian city of Miletus in the late 6th century BC and early 5th century BC and a key player during the early years of the Ionian Revolt against the Persian Achaemenid Empire. The son-in-law of Histiaeus, and inherited the tyranny of Miletus from him. Wikipedia

                The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. Fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. Wikipedia


                The beginning of the aftermath

                The Persian King Darius The Great

                The Persian King Darius I The Great was infuriated Athena dared to help the Ionians with their revolt and even managed to take control over Sardis for a short period. As a revenge, he decided to begin his European expansion and to solidify the western border of Persia. There were two routes for invasion. He could either choose to move on water or earth. In 492, Darius sent the first navy under the command of his military general Mardonius, yet the navy unfortunately sunk in the Aegean Sea near the Athos peninsula due to a storm.

                In 491, Darius sent his envoys to the lands of Hellas demanding the unconditional submission (or water and soil) of the Greek cities and most of them accepted. Only Athenians and Spartans did not and chose to kill the envoys instead. The Athenians threw the messengers off the Acropolis and the Spartans threw them in a well. After all, if the Persians want soil and water so much the well has enough of both.

                Then in 490 BC Darius sent two of his best generals Datius and Artaphernes with large armies to punish the Athenians and Eretrians for aiding the Ionian revolt. In the late August and the beginning of September, Persian ships carrying infantry and cavalry went straight to the islands in order to avoid the waters near Athos. They conquered the Island of Euboea and a few days later reached Marathon.


                References

                Labraunda, Roman Waterpool

                Labraunda, Tomb CT6

                Rock-cut Chamber Tomb 6, CT6.

                Labraunda, South Bath

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                The Persian fleet

                According to Herodotus, the Persian fleet initially numbered 1,207 triremes. However, by his reckoning they lost approximately a third of these ships in a storm off the coast of Magnesia, 200 more in a storm off the coast of Euboea, and at least 50 ships to Allied action at the Battle of Artemisium. Herodotus claims that these losses were replaced in full, but only mentions 120 ships from the Greeks of Thrace and nearby islands as reinforcements. Aeschylus, who fought at Salamis, also claims that he faced 1,207 warships there, of which 207 were "fast ships". Diodorus and Lysias independently claim there were 1,200 ships in the Persian fleet assembled at Doriskos in the spring of 480 BC. The number of 1,207 (for the outset only) is also given by Ephorus, while his teacher Isocrates claims there were 1,300 at Doriskos and 1,200 at Salamis. Ctesias gives another number, 1,000 ships, while Plato, speaking in general terms refers to 1,000 ships and more.

                The number 1,207 appears very early in the historical record (472 BC), and the Greeks appear to have genuinely believed they faced that many ships. Because of the consistency in the ancient sources, some modern historians are inclined to accept 1,207 as the size of the initial Persian fleet others reject this number, with 1,207 being seen as more of a reference to the combined Greek fleet in the Iliad, and generally claim that the Persians could have launched no more than around 600 warships into the Aegean. However, very few appear to accept that there were this many ships at Salamis: most favour a number in the range 600-800. This is also the range given by adding the approximate number of Persian ships after Artemisium (

                550) to the reinforcements (120) quantified by Herodotus.

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                HISTORIC BATTLES

                Battle of Salamis (480 BC)

                Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece. View Historic Battle »

                Sources: Some subsequent ancient historians, despite following in his footsteps, criticised Herodotus, starting with Thucydides. Nevertheless, Thucydides chose to begin his history where Herodotus left off (at the Siege of Sestos), and therefore evidently felt that Herodotus's history was accurate enough not to need re-writing or correcting.

                Background: The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499-494 BC, led by the satrap of Miletus, Aristagoras. The Persian Empire was still relatively young, and prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples. Moreover, Darius was a usurper, and had spent considerable time extinguishing revolts against his rule.

                Prelude: The Allied fleet now rowed from Artemisium to Salamis to assist with the final evacuation of Athens. En route Themistocles left inscriptions addressed to the Ionian Greek crews of the Persian fleet on all springs of water that they might stop at, asking them to defect to the Allied cause. Following Thermopylae, the Persian army proceeded to burn and sack the Boeotian cities that had not surrendered, Plataea and Thespiae, before marching on the now evacuated city of Athens.

                The Opposing Forces: Herodotus reports that there were 378 triremes in the Allied fleet, and then breaks the numbers down by city state. However, his numbers for the individual contingents only add up to 371. He does not explicitly say that all 378 fought at Salamis.

                Strategic and tactical considerations: The overall Persian strategy for the invasion of 480 BC was to overwhelm the Greeks with a massive invasion force, and complete the conquest of Greece in a single campaigning season. Conversely, the Greeks sought to make the best use of their numbers by defending restricted locations and to keep the Persians in the field for as long as possible. Xerxes had obviously not anticipated such resistance, or he would have arrived earlier in the campaigning season.

                The Battle: The actual battle of Salamis is not well described by the ancient sources, and it is unlikely that anyone (other than perhaps Xerxes) involved in the battle had a clear idea what was happening across the width of the straits. What follows is more of a discussion than a definitive account.

                Aftermath: In the immediate aftermath of Salamis, Xerxes attempted to build a pontoon bridge or causeway across the straits, in order to use his army to attack the Athenians however, with the Greek fleet now confidently patrolling the straits, this proved futile. Herodotus tells us that Xerxes held a council of war, at which the Persian general Mardonius tried to make light of the defeat.

                Significance: A significant number of historians have stated that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history (though the same is often stated of Marathon). In a more extreme form of this argument, some historians argue that if the Greeks had lost at Salamis, the ensuing conquest of Greece by the Persians would have effectively stifled the growth of Western Civilization as we know it. This view is based on the premise that much of modern Western society, such as philosophy, science, personal freedom and democracy are rooted in the legacy of Ancient Greece.


                Battle of Salamis (480 BC)

                Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece.


                RESOURCES
                This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Battle of Salamis", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


                Background

                The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499-494 BC, led by the satrap of Miletus, Aristagoras. The Persian Empire was still relatively young, and prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples. Moreover, Darius was a usurper, and had spent considerable time extinguishing revolts against his rule. The Ionian revolt threatened the integrity of his empire, and Darius thus vowed to punish those involved (especially those not already part of the empire). Darius also saw the opportunity to expand his empire into the fractious world of Ancient Greece. A preliminary expedition under Mardonius, in 492 BC, to secure the land approaches to Greece ended with the re-conquest of Thrace and forced Macedon to become a client kingdom of Persia.

                In 491 BC, Darius sent emissaries to all the Greek city-states, asking for a gift of 'earth and water' in token of their submission to him. Having had a demonstration of his power the previous year, the majority of Greek cities duly obliged. In Athens, however, the ambassadors were put on trial and then executed in Sparta, they were simply thrown down a well. This meant that Sparta was also now effectively at war with Persia.

                Darius thus put together an amphibious task force under Datis and Artaphernes in 490 BC, which attacked Naxos, before receiving the submission of the other Cycladic Islands. The task force then moved on Eretria, which it besieged and destroyed. Finally, it moved to attack Athens, landing at the bay of Marathon, where it was met by a heavily outnumbered Athenian army. At the ensuing Battle of Marathon, the Athenians won a remarkable victory, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Persian army to Asia.

                Darius therefore began raising a huge new army with which he meant to completely subjugate Greece however, in 486 BC, his Egyptian subjects revolted, indefinitely postponing any Greek expedition. Darius then died whilst preparing to march on Egypt, and the throne of Persia passed to his son Xerxes I. Xerxes crushed the Egyptian revolt, and very quickly restarted the preparations for the invasion of Greece. Since this was to be a full-scale invasion, it required long-term planning, stock-piling and conscription. Xerxes decided that the Hellespont would be bridged to allow his army to cross to Europe, and that a canal should be dug across the isthmus of Mount Athos (rounding which headland, a Persian fleet had been destroyed in 492 BC). These were both feats of exceptional ambition, which would have been beyond any other contemporary state. By early 480 BC, the preparations were complete, and the army which Xerxes had mustered at Sardis marched towards Europe, crossing the Hellespont on two pontoon bridges.

                The Athenians had also been preparing for war with the Persians since the mid-480s BC, and in 482 BC the decision was taken, under the guidance of the Athenian politician Themistocles, to build a massive fleet of triremes that would be necessary for the Greeks to fight the Persians. However, the Athenians did not have the manpower to fight on land and sea and therefore combatting the Persians would require an alliance of Greek city states. In 481 BC, Xerxes sent ambassadors around Greece asking for earth and water, but made the very deliberate omission of Athens and Sparta. Support thus began to coalesce around these two leading states. A congress of city states met at Corinth in late autumn of 481 BC, and a confederate alliance of Greek city-states was formed. It had the power to send envoys asking for assistance and to dispatch troops from the member states to defensive points after joint consultation. This was remarkable for the disjointed Greek world, especially since many of the city-states in attendance were still technically at war with each other.

                Initially the 'congress' agreed to defend the narrow Vale of Tempe, on the borders of Thessaly, and thereby block Xerxes's advance. However, once there, they were warned by Alexander I of Macedon that the vale could be bypassed through the pass by the modern village of Sarantaporo, and that the army of Xerxes was overwhelming, the Greeks retreated. Shortly afterwards, they received the news that Xerxes had crossed the Hellespont. A second strategy was therefore adopted by the allies. The route to southern Greece (Boeotia, Attica and the Peloponnese) would require the army of Xerxes to travel through the very narrow pass of Thermopylae. This could easily be blocked by the Greek hoplites, despite the overwhelming numbers of Persians. Furthermore, to prevent the Persians bypassing Thermopylae by sea, the Athenian and allied navies could block the straits of Artemisium. This dual strategy was adopted by the congress. However, the Peloponnesian cities made fall-back plans to defend the Isthmus of Corinth should it come to it, whilst the women and children of Athens had been evacuated en masse to the Peloponnesian city of Troezen.

                Famously, the much smaller Greek army held the pass of Thermopylae against the Persians for three days before being outflanked by a mountain path. Much of the Greek army retreated, before the Spartans and Thespians who had continued to block the pass were surrounded and killed. The simultaneous Battle of Artemisium was up to that point a stalemate however, when news of Thermopylae reached them, the Allied fleet also retreated, since holding the straits of Artemisium was now a moot point.

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                HISTORIC BATTLES

                Battle of Salamis (480 BC)

                Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece. View Historic Battle »

                Sources: Some subsequent ancient historians, despite following in his footsteps, criticised Herodotus, starting with Thucydides. Nevertheless, Thucydides chose to begin his history where Herodotus left off (at the Siege of Sestos), and therefore evidently felt that Herodotus's history was accurate enough not to need re-writing or correcting.

                Background: The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire of Darius I in 499-494 BC, led by the satrap of Miletus, Aristagoras. The Persian Empire was still relatively young, and prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples. Moreover, Darius was a usurper, and had spent considerable time extinguishing revolts against his rule.

                Prelude: The Allied fleet now rowed from Artemisium to Salamis to assist with the final evacuation of Athens. En route Themistocles left inscriptions addressed to the Ionian Greek crews of the Persian fleet on all springs of water that they might stop at, asking them to defect to the Allied cause. Following Thermopylae, the Persian army proceeded to burn and sack the Boeotian cities that had not surrendered, Plataea and Thespiae, before marching on the now evacuated city of Athens.

                The Opposing Forces: Herodotus reports that there were 378 triremes in the Allied fleet, and then breaks the numbers down by city state. However, his numbers for the individual contingents only add up to 371. He does not explicitly say that all 378 fought at Salamis.

                Strategic and tactical considerations: The overall Persian strategy for the invasion of 480 BC was to overwhelm the Greeks with a massive invasion force, and complete the conquest of Greece in a single campaigning season. Conversely, the Greeks sought to make the best use of their numbers by defending restricted locations and to keep the Persians in the field for as long as possible. Xerxes had obviously not anticipated such resistance, or he would have arrived earlier in the campaigning season.

                The Battle: The actual battle of Salamis is not well described by the ancient sources, and it is unlikely that anyone (other than perhaps Xerxes) involved in the battle had a clear idea what was happening across the width of the straits. What follows is more of a discussion than a definitive account.

                Aftermath: In the immediate aftermath of Salamis, Xerxes attempted to build a pontoon bridge or causeway across the straits, in order to use his army to attack the Athenians however, with the Greek fleet now confidently patrolling the straits, this proved futile. Herodotus tells us that Xerxes held a council of war, at which the Persian general Mardonius tried to make light of the defeat.

                Significance: A significant number of historians have stated that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history (though the same is often stated of Marathon). In a more extreme form of this argument, some historians argue that if the Greeks had lost at Salamis, the ensuing conquest of Greece by the Persians would have effectively stifled the growth of Western Civilization as we know it. This view is based on the premise that much of modern Western society, such as philosophy, science, personal freedom and democracy are rooted in the legacy of Ancient Greece.


                Battle of Salamis (480 BC)

                Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece.


                RESOURCES
                This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Battle of Salamis", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


                Watch the video: The Revolt That Shook The Persian Empire To Its Core- The Ionian Revolt Documentary -Part 1 (July 2022).


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