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Book 6

The Ionian Revolt Continues

Histiaeus goes to Sardis, where Artaphrenes accuses him of being the author of the Ionian Revolt (1). Histiaeus flees to Chios, where he is accepted after initial mistrust (2). Challenged by the Ionians, Histiaeus falsely claims to have initiated the revolt to prevent Darius from resettling all the Ionians in Phoenicia (3). Histiaeus' secret communications with potential Persian allies at Sardis betrayed by a messenger to Artaphrenes, who uses the messenger in place to also read the replies to Histiaeus' letters; Histiaeus' cover blown (4). Histiaeus tries to return to Miletus, but the Milesians reject him; so he gets ships from Lesbos and camps near Byzantium, controlling all sea traffic through the Bosporos (5). The Persians prepare a massive attack on Miletus by land and sea, using Cypriots and Egyptians, as well as Phoenician ships (6). In conference at the Panionium, the Ionians resolve to allow Miletus to be besieged, and to mass for a sea battle at Lade, an island near Miletus (7). Account of the contingents at Lade; the largest from Miletus, Chios, Lesbos, and Samos; total 333 ships (8). The Persian generals, worried at the number of Ionian ships, appeal to the deposed tyrants of Ionia, asking them to persuade the Ionians not to fight with promises of leniency or, as last resort, with horrible threats; the Ionians reject the appeals, made secretly and individually (9-10). Hortatory speech to the Ionian fleet by Dionysius the Phocaean (11). Dionysius, as chief commander, drills the Ionians until they become discontented and refuse to man their ships (12). Seeing the disunity, the Samian commanders decide to honor a deal made by their now deposed tyrant, Aeaces, and submit to the Persians (13). The battle begins, and most of the Samian fleet deserts; Hdt alludes to controversy among his sources over this battle; the Lesbians are said to have deserted when they saw the Samians doing likewise (14). Heroism of the Chians in a losing cause; they brought 100 ships with 40 epibatai on each (15). Some Chians escape to Ephesus, where they are mistaken for invaders and slain by the Ephesians, who are trying to protect their women who are at the Thesmophoria (16). Dionysius escapes to Sicily with three captured ships and becomes a pirate (17). The battle won, the Persians besiege Miletus and take the city in 494 BC (18). How the capture of Miletus fulfilled an oracle (19). Captured Milesians resettled by Darius near the Tigris, and their land colonised (20). Greece mourns for Miletus; Phrynichus fined by the Athenians for making them cry at his Miletou Halosis, 492 BC (21). The Samians decide to relocate to Sicily rather than face the return of Aeaces and Persian dominion (22). How the Samians betrayed the people of Zancle (Messene), who had invited them to Sicily, by collaborating with the tyrants Anaxilaus of Rhegium and Hippocrates of Gela, and seizing the city of Zancle for themselves (23). How the former tyrant of Zancle, Scythes, went to live at Darius' court (24). Aeaces restored to power at Samos, and the leniency of Darius towards the Samians; all of Caria falls with Miletus (25). Histiaeus, at Byzantium, reacts to the news by going to Lesbos and taking over the island by force (26). Next to fall to Histiaeus is Chios; how portents foretold this event (27). While besieging Thasos, Histiaeus learns of a Phoenician fleet heading for Lesbos and moves to intercept; but while his men are foraging for grain on the mainland they are attacked by Persian troops and beaten; Histiaeus is taken prisoner (28). Persian cavalry decisive in that battle; how Histiaeus gave himself up to save his life (29). Histiaeus is taken to Sardis and slain by Artaphrenes; Darius is displeased on receiving his embalmed head, and grants him burial honors (30). In the next year (493) the Persians take Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos; the Persian 'human chain' technique for finding those in hiding (31). Harsh treatment of the Ionian cities by the Persians involves castration of boys and temple burning (32). The Persians (by means of the Phoenician navy) conquer the whole region around the Hellespont, including the Chersonese, all except Cyzicus (which had already submitted) and Cardia, which was ruled by Miltiades son of Cimon.

Digression: the Miltiades family and Cardia

How Miltiades' ancestor, Miltiades son of Cypselus, came to rule Cardia: some Thracian princes, the Dolonci, held the place, but were pressed by a rival and went for help at Delphi, where the oracle told them to ally with whatever state gave them shelter after they left the oracle. Miltiades son of Cypselus received them and, unhappy with the rule of Peisistratus, went to Delphi to see what he could get out of all this (33-5). The oracle approved, so Miltiades took a volunteer force of Athenian settlers and went and made himself lord of Cardia; his defensive wall across the isthmus at Gallipoli (36). Captured in battle by the Lampsacenes, Miltiades was rescued by the intervention of Croesus of Lydia (37). On dying he achieved cult status; his nephew Stesagoras succeeded him but was soon killed, and the rule passed to his other nephew, Miltiades son of Cimon. How this Miltiades secured his position by force (38-39). How in 496 Miltiades son of Cimon had been driven out by a Scythian invasion, but now (493 BC) was back in control of Cardia (40). Fearing the Phoenician presence, Miltiades escapes to Athens via Imbros, but en route his son Metiochus is captured and handed over to Darius, who treats him well; Metiochus an honorary Persian (41).

The Persians begin to look towards Greece

The peace imposed on Ionia by Artaphrenes, and his division of the land into parasangs for tax purposes (42). In 492 BC, Mardonius imposes democracy on Ionian cities, which Hdt claims as evidence for the authenticity of Otanes' advocacy (3.80) of democracy for Persia; then Mardonius crosses the Hellespont with a large force, headed for Athens (43). Thasos and Macedonia are subjected by Mardonius, but then his fleet loses 300 ships in a storm while rounding Athos (44). The land force suffers heavy casualties in defeating the Brygi of Thrace, and Mardonius returns to Asia prematurely (45). In 491, Darius orders Thasos to destroy its walls and puts its fleet at his disposal; the great wealth of Thasos because of its gold mines on the Thracian mainland; yearly income of Thasos 200-300 talents (46). Remarks on the mines from autopsy; Thasos does as Darius asks (47). Darius prepares for war by ordering Ionia and the islands to build ships and muster troops; his heralds get earth and water from many cities of Greece, including Aegina; upset at this, Athens accuses Aigina before the Spartans (48-49). Cleomenes responds by trying to arrest the guilty at Aigina, but he is refused; Crius of Aigina relies on support from Demaratus the Heraclid, fellow king with Cleomenes the Eurypontid (50-51).

Digression on the Spartan royal families

Digression on the Spartan version of how they came to have two kings, and how one line came to have first place; other Greeks do not follow this (52). Hdt prefers the Greek version, which makes the Dorians Egyptians and traces their family back only as far as Perseus (53). A Persian version makes Perseus an Assyrian (54). The prerogatives of the Spartan kings in declaring war and leading the army (55-56). A survey of the civic and religious functions of the kings: extra food and wine, appointing proxenoi and Pythioi (official oracle getters); his judicial role limited to heiresses and public roads, and adoption; his extra vote (?) in the gerousia (57). How the Spartans mourn a king who has died, including a ten day no-business holiday (58). Any debts to a king expire on his death; this is the same in Persia (59). Inherited jobs in Sparta: herald, flutist, and cook (60). Origin of the feud between Demaratus and Cleomenes: how the bride of Ariston (an earlier king) became the loveliest woman in Sparta through the intervention of the goddess Helen. She had been married to his friend, but he tricked him into giving her up. She bore Demaratus; at first, Ariston suspected that the boy was not his, but later he changed his mind (61-63). Demaratus became king on Ariston's death. Cleomenes got Leutychides, who was of the Heraclid line, to challenge Demaratus' birthright by promising him the kingship. Leutychides hated Demaratus for stealing his wife-to-be by 'capture' (cf Plut Lyc 15). Formal impeachment procedures are begun, and Sparta appeals to the oracle at Delphi; but Cleomenes fixes the oracle, and Demaratus is deposed (64-66). The deposed Demaratus questions his mother about his birth; she claims to have been raped by a local hero in the guise of Ariston, and also points out that he (Demaratus) was born prematurely (67-69). How Demaratus fled from Sparta to Asia and was royally treated by Darius (70). Leutychides became king; his son died young, but his grandson Archidamos was to succeed him (71). Later, Leutychides was convicted of bribery (while attacking Thessaly in the 470s) and banished (72). So Leutychides and Cleomenes in 491 BC went to Aigina, seized 10 leading citizens, and delivered them to the Athenians as punishment for Aigina's having given earth and water to Darius' heralds (73). Supporters of Demaratus then accused Cleomenes, who was banished; he went to Arcadia and tried to ally the Arcadians against Sparta; in fear, the Spartans took him back, but he then went crazy and committed suicide. This was divine punishment, but there is dispute over which impiety Cleomenes was being punished for (74-5). The Argives say that he had violated Argive suppliants during a Spartan invasion of Argos, the story of which is told at length (76-83). First, Cleomenes was prevented from crossing the Erasinus by bad omens and had to sail around to Tiryns (76). Relying on a riddling oracle, the Argive strategy was to follow the commands of the the Spartan crier themselves (77). Cleomenes used this to trick them into being busy eating while he attacked; many took refuge in a sacred grove (78). Cleomenes tricked some of these into coming out, then butchered them. He then burnt the grove (79-80). He whipped a priest who forebade him from sacrificing at Hera's shrine in Argos (81). He returned to Sparta and was accused of having been bribed, but successfully defended himself with a story of a bad omen at Hera's temple (82). How the native slaves then took over Argos, but were finally put down again in 468 BC (83). But the Spartans claim that Cleomenes went crazy from the strong wine which the Scythians taught him to drink, when they came to Sparta proposing a joint attack on Persia (84). With Cleomenes dead, the Aiginetans come to Sparta to demand justice; Leutychides is handed over to them, and they decide to take him to Athens and demand the release of the Aiginetans held there (85). Finding the Athenians reluctant, Leutychides tell the story of the Spartan Glaucus to illustrate that the breakers of oaths are punished by the gods (86). Still Athens refuses, so the Aiginetans ambush a religious procession en route to Sunium by ship and take prisoners (87). Nicodromus, an Aiginetan malcontent, agrees to help Athens get revenge (88). By agreement, Nicodromus seizes the acropolis of Aigina; but the Athenians arrive a day late, since they have to borrow 20 extra warships from the Corinthians. Nicodromus escapes with his men and is settled at Sunium (89-90). One of Nicodromus' partisans, about to be executed together with 700 of his fellows, takes refuge at Demeter's temple and is forcibly removed; a curse on the Aiginetan oligarchs culminates in their expulsion in 431 BC (91). War between Athens and Aigina; Argos refuses to aid Aigina this time, because Cleomenes had used Aiginetan ships for a raid in the Argolid; but 1000 Argive volunteers do help. Hdt seems unclear about who won. (92-93).

The First Persian Assault on Greece: Marathon, 490 BC

Meanwhile Darius, at the urging of the Peisitratids, puts together a new force to assault Greece, this time under the command of Artaphrenes the younger and Datis (94). This force sets out from Cilicia and sails across the Aegean through the Cyclades, thereby avoiding Athos, and giving the chance to attack the still independent Naxos (95). The Persian force sacks Naxos utterly and continues on its way (96). The Delians flee, but Datis sends them a friendly message and makes a generous offering at the temple there (97). An earthquake in Delos portends the coming troubles of Greece; names of the Persian kings translated (98). All the Cyclades surrender and contribute troops, except Carystos; the Persians besiege Carystos until it surrenders (99). Darius' first objective was Eretria, then Athens; in response to an appeal from Eretria, Athens told their cleruchs at Chalcis to defend Euboia; but after learning that the medizing faction at Eretria planned to surrender, the cleruchs were instructed to escape to Oropus, which they did (100). The Persians arrive and besiege Eretria for six days, until the city is betrayed from within and the Persians sack it, burning the temples and enslaving the people (101). Under instructions from Hippias, the Persians sail to Marathon (102). Athens marches to meet them under ten generals, the chief commander being Miltiades son of Cimon; remarks on the family of Cimon, especially the three Olympic victories of Cimon (103). This general Miltiades had been ruler of Cardia; how he escaped from the Phoenicians and later from his enemies in the Chersonese (104). Phidippides the runner sent to Sparta to ask for aid; his story that he met Pan on the way, who complained of being dishonoured by Athens; this is the reason for Pan's shrine on the slopes of the Acropolis (105). Phidippides (Philippides ?) arrives in Sparta after one day and night (150 miles); the Spartans prevented from sending aid by the festival of the Carneia (106). The Persians at Marathon; Hippias guides them, though he has an ominous dream and on arrival is seized by a sneezing and coughing fit, and loses a tooth (107). The Plataeans join the Athenian force; digression on how Plataea came to be under the wing of Athens, 519 (or 509: Thucydides 3.68 says 92 years before the ruin of Plataea in 427; but a mss error is posited by Grote, Busolt.) BC: Plataea appealed to Sparta for help against Thebes, but Cleomenes told her to look to Athens; the Corinthians tried to prevent a fight, and instructed Thebes to let Plataea and any other cities of Boiotia be independent; but the Thebans attacked, and were beaten by Athens, which then set the Asopus river (running north of Plataea) as the border between Thebes and Attica (108). Dissension among the Athenian generals over whether to face the Persians; Miltiades makes a successful appeal to the polemarch Callimachus, and his is the deciding vote in favor of fighting (109). The other generals make Miltiades generalissimo, but he delays joining battle until his proper turn comes round (110). The arrangement of the Athenian line according to tribe; the Plataeans on the left wing; the line is strong on the wings and very thin in the center, so as not to be outflanked (111). The Athenian line charges the Persians at full run; the Persians are without their archers and cavalry (112). The center is broken, but Athens wins on the flanks, which then circle back and drive the Persians to the ships; Callimachus dies, as does Aeschylus' brother Cynegirus, whose hand is chopped off as he grips a Persian ship (113-114). The Persians take to their ships (minus seven captured) and sail round Sunium; a story that the Alcmaeonids had planned this with them (115). The Athenian troops return in time to prevent an assault on the city (116). Casualties: 6400 Persian, 192 Greek. The story that an Athenian, Epizelus, was blinded when he witnessed the passage of a god fighting on the Persian side (117). Back in Asia, Datis is forced by a dream to return a golden statue to Delphium in Thebes via Delos (118). Darius is lenient towards the prisoners from Eretria, and resettles them inside Persia near an oil well, which miraculously also produces salt and asphalt (119). The Spartans arrive at Athens after the full moon, and go home again after viewing the Persian dead (120).

Alcmeonids at Marathon; Cleisthenes of Sicyon and Alcmeonid geneology

Hdt doubts that the Alcmeonids had medized, because they hated Hippias and would not want to see him restored (121). A man named Callias also hated tyrants; digression on his achievements (122, an interpolation). The innocence of the Alcmeonids proven by their role in getting rid of the Peisistratids, which was much more significant than that of Harmodius & Aristogeiton (123). The signal to the Persians was to be a shield held aloft; this was done, but not by the Alcmeonids (124). How Croesus rewarded their patriarch Alcmaeon for aiding his emissaries to Delphi by allowing Alcmaeon to take from the storeroom as much gold as he could carry (125). How Cleisthenes of Sicyon made proclamation at the Olympic games that he would wed his daughter Agariste to the man who proved the best runner and wrestler at a special contest at Sicyon (126). Catalogue of the heroes who came to compete, including Megacles son of Alcmaeon and Hippoclides son of Tisandrus, both of Athens (127). Cleisthenes makes trial of them in various ways for a year, and Hippoclides emerges as the front-runner (128). How Hippoclides lost his chance by dancing on the table at the final feast (129). Cleisthenes chooses Megacles instead, and gives a talent to each of the other suitors (130). The son of Megacles and Agariste was Cleisthenes the reformer; the great-grandson of Megacles was Pericles son of Xanthippus (131).

Further Adventures of Miltiades

Miltiades, riding high at Athens after Marathon, is entrusted by Athens with 70 ships and an army, though he does not say for what purpose he will use them, but only that he will enrich the city (132). Miltiades takes the force and besieges Paros, ostensibly for helping Darius with ships, but really because of a personal grudge; he demands 100 talents as the price of raising the siege, and the Parians refuse (133). According to the Parians, Miltiades was instructed by a local priestess to climb the wall and enter the shrine of Demeter, which he did; but on the way back he fell and hurt himself (134). After 26 days of fruitless siege Miltiades returns to Athens empty-handed; the Parians are prevented by Delphi from punishing the priestess for guiding Miltiades into the city (135). Back at Athens Miltiades is accused by Xanthippus and sentenced to pay a fine of 50 talents; but he dies of the wound received in the fall, and his son Cimon pays the fine (136). Urged in Miltiades' defense are Marathon and the conquest of Lemnos. The Lemnos story begins with the expulsion of the Pelasgians from Attica; Hecateus says the Athenians did this unjustly because they wanted the land around Hymettus, but the Athenians say it was in response to Pelasgian aggression; the Pelasgians went to Lemnos (137). In revenge the Lemnians raped a group of Athenian women from Brauron, then (on finding that their sons stuck together and identified themselves as Athenians) they killed the women and the sons (138). Barrenness of land and women fell on Lemnos as a result; the oracle said to offer Athens anything; Athens demanded Lemnos, and the Lemnians promised to surrender it when a ship could sail there from Athens in one day (139). Miltiades later sailed there from the Chersonese in one day and claimed the oracle had been fulfilled (since it was Athenian territory); the Lemnians agreed after being besieged, and so Miltiades took Lemnos for Athens (140).

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