Herodotus – The Histories, Book 6, “Erato” [1-42] – End of the Ionian Revolt

  1. Histiaeus was given permission to go to Sardis. Once he arrived, he spoke with governor Artaphernes about the Ionian rebellion. Histiaeus said he had no idea why it had happened but wanted to get to the bottom of it. Artaphernes was convinced that not only was he lying but that he had orchestrated the affair.
  2. Histiaeus knew Artaphernes was on to him & ran off in the middle of the night. He had promised to make Sardinia a Persian possession & now he was running away. He went to Chios & was arrested in suspicion of some scheme with Darius. They found out he had run away from Persia & set him free.
  3. The Ionians asked why he had Artisagoras to break away. He lied & said that Darius intended to remove the Phoenicians from their home & put them in Ionian & put the Ionians in Phoenicia. They seemed to swallow the line.
  4. Histiaeus sent letter to Persians in Sardis via Hermippus. But Hermippus was relaying them to ARtaphernes before delivering them. He was also relaying the responses to Artaphernes. Artaphernes used this trick to find disloyal Persians & put them to death.
  5. Histiaeus knew this possibility was over & tried to get the Chians to take him to Miletus. Miletus had just gotten rid of Aristagoras & wasn’t happy to see another tyrant. Rejected, he went back to Chios. He couldn’t get them to give him ships so he went to Mytilêné & got ships from Lesbos – 8 triremes – that he took to the Hellespont. There he grabbed any ship coming from the Euxine Sea that wasn’t willing to follow his orders.
  6. Miletus was expecting an arrival of Persian troops, as well as a fleet. Persian detachments combined forces. They skipped all cities on the way & went straight for Miletus. The fleet was made of Phoenicians, Cyprians & Egyptians.
  7. The Ionians got wind of this & told their Panionium council. They decided not to commit land forces to help but purely use naval forces. They’d meet at Ladé & fight the Persian fleet.
  8. The Ionians were joined by Lesbian ships. Miletus had 80 ships, Prienians 12, Myusians 3, Teians 17, Chians 100, Erythraeans 8, Phocaeans 3, Lesbians 70, Samians 60 – 353 total.
  9. The other side had 600. They met off the coast of Milesia & landed their troops. The leaders had learned how strong the Ionian fleet was & began to fear what a loss would do to them in the eyes of Darius. They brought together the old Ionian tyrants & spoke to them. Now was the time to prove themselves to the king. Tell your people if they submit, no harm will come to them or the buildings. If they don’t, they will be enslaved. Boys will be castrated & the girls will be sent to Bactra. The land would be given to strangers.
  10. The tyrants reported this speech to the people. They all refused to betray their countrymen.
  11. The Ionian fleets met at Ladé, councils were held. Dionysius, Phocaean captain, told his ideas. We will either be slaves or freemen. We can choose hardships now to overcome our enemies & establish our freedom. If we sit around & do nothing, we will never escape the king’s vengeance. Our enemies know this & when given the choice, they will either avoid a battle or fight with a bad result.
  12. The Ionians responded well to these words.  Dionysius moved the ships into columns & made rowers do extensive exercise throughout the day & the night for 7 straight days. The Ionians began to grumble about this. What did they do in a past life to deserve such punishment? The Phocaeans had only provided 3 ships to fleet, where does this guy come off making us work like this? It’d be better to be Darius’s slaves than Dionysius’s sailors. Those working under him refused to do anymore.
  13. Samian captains saw this & felt inclined to accept Persian terms, including leaving the Ionian confederacy. They saw the chaos in the Ionian fleet & the strength of the King’s forces. Even if they defeated the flet another one 5x stronger would show up. This mutiny pushed them to listen to the Persian forces.
  14. Phoenicians & Ionians lived up to meet in battle. I’m not sure who fought bravely & who were cowardly. Samians ran off as soon as the battle formations were set, except for 11 ships who stayed. These men who remained were honored by Samos. The Lesbians saw the Samians leave & fled themselves as did many other Ionians.
  15. The Chians saw a lot of action. They had 100 ships, each with 40 men. When they saw most of their allies bail on them, they carried on with the fight. They lost more than half their ships. The other half ran off back to Chios.
  16. Many disabled & damaged ship ran ashore on Mycalé. The man made their way through the area of Ephesus & tried to cross. The Ephesian women mistook the Chians for an armed invasion force. The Ephesian men came out & killed them.
  17. Dionysius of Phocaea captured 3 enemy ships & ran off. He didn’t go back to Phocaea because it was likely to be squeezed by Persia for the revolt. He went to Phoenicia, sunk a ton of ships & earned a lot of loot. He went off to Sicily & plundered Carthaginian & Tyrrhenian ships but no Greek ones.
  18. The Persians won the battle & besieged Miletus. They took the city. It was about 6 years after Aristagoras’s revolt. All inhabitants were enslaved as the Oracle said they would be.
  19. A while back, the Argives consulted the Oracle. Their fate was tied up with that of Miletus. Miletus, often purveyor of evil, would fall to long-haired masters & they will also gain the Didymian temple. Persians wore their hair long & made the men, women & children of Miletus slaves. The Didyma temple was plundered & burnt.
  20. Those Milesians not killed were carted off to Susa as prisoners. No harm came to them but they were sent to Susa & then to Ampé on the Erythraean Sea. The city of Miletus was given to the Carians of Pedasus.
  21. The Sybarites never returned the kindness to the Milesians. Sybaris had been taken over by Crotoniats, & Milesians shaved their heads in mourning. The Athenians expressed sympathy, especially for the treatment of Phrynichus, the poet, who wrote a play depicting the capture of Miletus, that was so sad that the theater had to pay a 1000 drachma fine & was banned from ever putting on the play again.
  22. Miletus no longer had Milesians & the Samian rich were so angry with what their captains did. They held a council stating they were determined never to become slaves of the Persians. Before they should ship up, they’d run off to somewhere else. It just happened that Zanclaeans of Sicily wanted a colony built in an area of Sicily facing the Tyrrhenian Sea called Kalé-Acté. The offer was for all Ionians but only Samians were interested.
  23. The Samians made the trip to the Epizephyrian Locrians when the Zanchaeans & their king Scythas were besieging a Sicilian town. Tyrant of Rhegium, Anaxilaüs, was on bad terms with the Zanclaeans & asked Samians to give up the idea of Kalé-Acté & take Zanclé itself. The Samians took it. The Zanclaeans called in help from Gela’s tyrant Hippocrates. He obliged & took Scythas, Zanclaean king & sent him to the town of Inycus as a prisoner. Gela came to terms with the Samians & agreed to betray the Zanclaeans. Hippocrates enslaved most Zanclaeans, given them to Samians. Most prisoners slated to be killed were spared by the Samians.
  24. Scythas escaped & ran off to Himera & on to Asia. He met with Darius we gave him refuge.
  25. Samians escaped the Medes by taking Zanclé. The Phoenicians put Syloson’s son, Aeaces in charge of what was left of Samos. The city was spared from plunder or burning. After the fall of Miletus. Persia took Caria – some cities by force, some with no force.
  26. When Histiaeus heard about Miletus, he was at Byzantium. He left the Hellespont to Bisaltes & set off for Chios with help of Lesbos, he leveled a garrison & set up a head quarters in the city of Polichné.
  27. Usually a warning precedes great misfortunes. Chians had plenty of warning. 100 youths were sent to Delphi, only 2 of which returned. 98 died of a disease. Also a school house collapsed killing all but 1 boy. God was sending signs. After the botched sea battle, the island was easy prey.
  28. Histiaeus now had a large army of Ionians & Aeolians. They laid siege on Thasos when news that the Phoenicians were leaving Miletus. Histiaeus lifted the siege on Thasos & went to Lesbos. His army was low on food, so he went to the mainland to harvest crops. Persian Harpagus met him & his forces & took him & killed many troops.
  29. Greeks & Persians fought at Malena until the Persian cavalry chased the Greeks off. Histiaues believed Darius wouldn’t punish him for his revolt. His fame got the attention of his Persian captors.
  30. If he’d been taken to Darius, I think Darius would’ve forgiven him. Satrap Artaphernes was afraid if Histiaeus escaped, Darius would still hold him in high favor. So he had Histiaeus killed & embalmed his head & sent it to Susa. Darius heard about the death, he was extremely angry Histiaeus was not brought to him alive. The head was buried.
  31. The Persian navy wintered at Miletus. The next year they attacked islands of the coast, Chios, Lesbos & Tenedos, all reduced easily. They netted inhabitants by combing the islands. Persians also attacked Ionian cities on the mainland.
  32. Persian generals fulfilled all threats issued before the battle. When they got a hold of a town, they made boys into eunuchs & took the most beautiful girls & sent them as presents to the king. They then burnt the temples & the rest of the cities. Ionians for a 3rd time were made slaves.
  33. The navy moved to the Hellespont & took all cities on the left shore. Cities on the right shore had already been destroyed. The new targets were now on the European side of the straits. The Byzantines & Chalcedonians left up the straits to the Euxine Sea to the city of Mesembria. The Phoenicians moved to burn the Proconnesus & Artaca. They didn’t attack Cyzicus because the inhabitants had already submitted. Phoenicians subdued all cities in the Chersonese except Cardia.
  34. Up till then, cities of the Chersonese had been under the government of Miltiades who got control of them from this great grandfather Miltiades. Thracian tribe, the Dolonci held the Chersonese & was harrassed by a war with the Apsinthians. They sent princes to Delphi to find out what to do. The answer they got was that they ought to take back with them the first person who offered them hospitality upon leaving the temple. They went by the Sacred Road through Phocis & Boetia but no one welcomed them. Then they passed through Athens.
  35. Pisistratus was running Athens but Miltiades was a highly respected man in the city at the time. The Dolonci passed by his door in very strange dress. He asked them to come & talk to him. The men explained the Oracle’s words. Miltiades wasn’t fond of Pisistratus but he wanted to hear from the Oracle for himself.
  36. The Priestess confirmed her words & allowed him to take as man Athenians back with him. When they got to the Chersonese, they made him king. This first act was to build a wall across the isthmus of the Chersonese to protect their territory from ravaging Thracian tribes.
  37. Miltiades engaged in war with Lampsacenians but was taken prisoner. Croesus held Miltiades in high regard & ordered the Lampsacenians to give him his freedom or he would have them destroyed.
  38. Miltiades dead without children & left his kingdom to his nephew. He was honored as a found of the Chersonese. The nephew also died childless. He was killed by an angry deserter who through an axe through his skull.
  39. When he died, the Pisistratidae sent a trireme & sent the younger Miltiades to manage the Chersonese. When he arrived, he locked himself up in a room pretending to be in mourning. The rich men of the city began questioning him & even plotting against him before he left his room. Miltiades had them imprisoned & became king.
  40. Miltiades hadn’t been there long before calamity happened. 3 years earlier, he’d been on the run from the Scyths because they’d been harassed by the Persians who had marched through the Chersonese. Miltiades stayed away until the Scyths went home. The Dolonci brought him back.
  41. Miltiades head that the Phoenicians were attacking Tenedos & loaded up 5 triremes with goods & chattel, & went off to Athens. He left from Cardia & sailed down the Gulf of Melas, & ran into the Phoenician fleet. He escaped with 4 vessels but the 5th one was captured, with his son as captain. They decided to give the son to Darius. The Phoenicians remembered that Miltiades had advised the Ionians to listen to the Scyths to break up the Ister bridge. Darius gave the son a nice estate & a Persian wife.
  42. The Persians ended all punishments against the Ionians. Artaphernes called all Ionian deputies, forcing them to make agreements not to fight & settle any disputes via a Persian arbiter. They surveyed the land & reestablished tributes which were more or less the same as before the revolt.

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