CLA230H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Ionian Revolt, Cyrus Cylinder, Croesus
Acquired Egypt around 671 BC
Capitol (Ninevah) sacked in 612 BC
o Medes and Babylonians
Cyrus conquers Medians in 6th century
Herodotus says Cyrus and Persians were vassals of the Medes
Cyrus the Great (559-529 BC)
Persians conquer Lydia in 547
Conquer Babylon 549 BC
Croesus (56-546 BC)
Herodotus states that Croesus, through conquest and
alliance, was the first to force political attachments between
cities and cultures
“If you attack the Persians a great empire will be destroyed”
o 20 satrapies
Total tribute 14,560 talents of silver (377 tonnes)
o The Cyrus Cylinder
Marduk “delivered Babylon” to Cyrus because
they were not heeding him.
Cyrus presents himself as divinely-chosen.
Doesn‟t mean he conquered Babylon BECAUSE his
religion it is a way of justifying rule
AFTERWARDS. Doesn‟t necessarily make him a
o 498 BC sack of Sardis by Ionians (with Greek help
Athens and Eretria)
Capitol of the local satrapy
Athenians connect themselves ethnically to the
Ionians (I. migrated from A.)
Hippias was in Persia and Satrap urged Athenians
in 503 to take him back If Persians take
Athens, no more democracy
o Leader of revolt against tyrants actually is one of the
o This attack is “WHY” the Persians begin to attack the
o The Battle of Lade (494 BC)
353 Ionian triremes v. 600 Persian ships
Dionysios of Phocaea overworks the
Ionians, training them to “break the line”
Probably sailing between two ships
and turn to ram them.
Herodotus says diekplous works but
they are outnumbered
Samians desert right before the battle
begins (60 ships)
o Greek Triremes
Three rows of oars. Long, skinny, fast.
In a fight they don‟t use the sail, they use oars
o Sack of Miletus (494 BC)
Persians take Miletus and enslave women and
children and burn the sanctuary at Didyma
Then take the rest of Ionia. Cities and temples
For the third time the Ionians were enslaved.
(Croesus, Cyrus, Darius)
Failed expedition by Mardonius 492 BC (storm,
attack by Thracians)
491 Darius send heralds demanding earth and
water (Throws heralds into pit)
Darius sends Datis and Artaphrenes “to reduce
Athens and Eretria to slavery”
Revenge for I. Revolt
Forts usually not breached. Usually small group
of Aristocrats who open the gate to help their
friends and ensure a place in the new hierarchy.
Eretria burned and enslaved.
Battle of Marathon
Persians sail to Marathon with Hippias.
Send a guy to run from Athens to Sparta 240 km (Herodotus)
Spartans are celebrating a religious festival which won‟t allow
them to go to war. Don‟t come until battle is over
Plataeans do come
10 generals and polemarch (war archon). Dispute over
whether to wait or engage. Miltiades wants to fight because
there may be some party in Athens who wants to give city to
enemies. Athenians start it
Herodotus says they land at Marathon because they can use
cavalry on the flat land. Greeks apparently run at them
(doesn‟t make sense hoplites can‟t keep formation). No
cavalry is mentioned.
Athenian center loses, wings victorious and turn on the
Set fire to 7 of the ships.
Polemarch dies (generals not at the back sending orders,
fighting on the front lines)
Important victory for Athenians because it is the first time
they beat of the formidable Persian force themselves)
Dead immediately made heroes. Herodotus talks about
„mysterious heroes‟ who came and helped them.
Miltiades dedicated his helmet to Zeus. Excavated at
Kallimachos statue at acropolis dedicated to Athena.
Treasury of Athenians at Delphi. “The Athenians (dedicate) to
Apollo from the Medes the first fruits of the battle of
Problems with Herodotus‟ account:
o Running in formation
o No cavalry mentioned but specifically landed there to
Later sources mention sources (Pausanias) (Suda – later encyclopedia – “the cavalry
are set apart” comes from when the Ionians (slaves of the Persian army) signaled to
the Athenians that the cavalry were apart (departed) and then Miltiades attacked