1 Persian Wars
– Origins: Persian imperialism, Ionian Revolt
- Reasons for imperialism economic power, control of trade, capture booty, prestige. The policy of imperialism was imposed by King Cyrus.
- In 547BC Harpagus, a loyal Median General, conquered the Ionian Greek cities of Aegean Coast. The Ionian’s then had to pay heavy taxes and contribute to the Persian army and navy required.
- Captured empires include Babylon, Syria and Palestine by 539BC
- The Persian rule was tolerated because they did not interfere with their customs or religious beliefs.
- Cambyses, Cyrus’s successor, died mysteriously in Egypt, and the King Darius overthrew the other successor in 512BC.
- Darius reorganised the empires, introducing 30 provinces known as Satrapies each governed by a powerful satrap
“Darius was determined to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and extend the empire” Bradley
“Darius was strongly supported by these Tyrants (Greek)”Moe
“Darius sent 15 officers with three ships to reconnoitre the coasts of Greece and make notes” Burns
“The Persians wanted to occupy all Greece” Dandamaev
THE IONIAN REVOLT:
Aristagoras of Miletus was tyrant backed by Persians in Greece. To enhance his own power and favour with the Persian Masters, (Hurley) he invaded the island of Naxos. This failed. Persia then promised Aristagoras support to reinstate the oligarchs on Naxos. The Persian general Megabates, however, betrayed Aristagoras. He then started a revolt of Ionian Greeks against Persia.
Aristagoras, fearing the displeasure of Darius because of the failure of the revolt, now planned revolt from Persian rule – WEBB
“A particular incident instigated by Aristagoras, the tyrant of the Emiletus sparked the revolt” Bradley
“He stresses the Ionian rejection of the tyrants” J. V Fine
Herodotus says it was the fall out with Megabates “quarrelled with Aristagoras
‘The combination of Aristagors’s fears, histiaeus message, the blow to Persia’s prestige following the failure of Scythia and Naxos, comnined to persuade Ionia’s Greek leaders to raise the stanard of revolt – WEBB
Athens, Sparta and Eretria were asked to help, but Sparta declined. Athens and Eretria agreed, as they were openly hostile to Persia, opposed to tyranny.
“Miletus had been founded by Athenian settlers so it was only natural that the Athenians would help her in need” Heroditus
Aristagoras found it easier to convince 30 000 Athenians than one Spartan – HERODITAS
Persians were victorious as they had the resources to maintain the war effort, and the Ionians lacked unity and discipline, thus failing to work under one ruler
Set up context for revenge by King Darius
Miltiades escaped to Athens, a vital factor for future defence as he developed an intimate knowledge of Persian ways and tactics.
“Grant o god, that I may punish the Athenians “Darius
“It caused Darius to wish to subdue mainland Greece” Elismore
War against Athens was about Persia reclaiming and chastising a recalcitrant and openly rebellious subject- WEBB
– Invasion of 490 BC: Battle of Marathon, role of Miltiades
Before launching the attack Darius wanted to know how the Greek city states would react to the Persian attack, so two envoys were sent to the main cities.
“Darius now began to test the attitude of the Greeks… He sent heralds to the various Greek states to demand earth and water… He sent orders… for the provision of warships and transport to carry cavalry” Herodotus
The Aegean islands immediately surrendered, but the Spartans and Athenians had their envoys killed - a serious breach of international rules and a defiant gesture towards the Persians.
The Thasians , who did not even raise a hand to defend themselves… - HERODITUS
They then captured Naxos, Eretria and Sardis.
THE BATTLE OF MARATHON:
- This battle took place in 490BC, in the Bay of Marathon. The battle took a number of weeks, involving the