- Mar 2014
If, however,it is true that they are engaged in such activities and what you, O king, have heard has a basis in fact, then you can see how unwisely you acted when you forced me to leave the coast.
Hdt. 5.106 Histiaios asks to be returned to Miletus under the pretense of securing the rebelling cities. While he himself was the one who told Aristagoras to revolt in the first place 498 BCE.
he called before him Histiaeus the Milesian
Hdt. 5.106 Darius confronts Histiaios about the rebellion of provinces started by Aristagoras in Miletus (Histaios' former governorship) 498 BCE.
While the city was burning, the Lydians and all the Persians who were in the citadel, being hemmed in on every side since the fire was consuming the outer parts and having no exit from the city,
Hdt. 5.101 The Ionians burn Sardis to the ground 498 BCE The Achaemenid Empire is not indestructible. Even the Ionians (notorious servant folk) can be convinced to revolt.
When his words were brought back to the Athenians, they would not consent to them, and since they would not consent, it was resolved that they should be openly at war with Persia.
Hdt. 5.96 Athenians refuse to take Hippias back, thus making their dispute with the Achaemenid Empire public (so it shall be war between us). The Achaemenid are no longer the only open aggressors on the board, free to build their empire at will. Now the threatened territories challenging their authority. This sets up the conflict between the states and also echoes Herodotus' idea of cyclical nations. Nations move from barbarism to simple, masculine, civilization to effeminate opulence. Once a nation reaches a level of effeminate opulence it will surely fall to a more rugged simple-living people.
Artaphrenes, however, bade them receive Hippias back, if they wanted to be safe.
Hdt. 5.96 Artaphrenes responds to the pleas of the Athenians with an ultimatum commanding the Athenians to take Hippias back as their tyrant, 500 BCE.
While Hippias was engaged in these activities, the Athenians heard of it and sent messengers to Sardis, warning the Persians not to believe banished Athenians.
Hdt. 5.96 Athenians sent a message to Artaphrenes in order to dissuade the Persians from believing or helping Athenian exiles (like Hippias), 500 BCE.
but Hippias, having come from Lacedaemon into Asia, left no stone unturned, maligning the Athenians to Artaphrenes, and doing all he could to bring Athens into subjection to himself and Darius.
Hdt. 5.96 Hippias, the deposed tyrant of Athens, seeks help in re-securing power in Athens from Artaphrenes, the governor of Sardis (half brother to Darius)
Then, desiring to make an alliance with the Persians, they despatched envoys to Sardis, for they knew that they had provoked the Lacedaemonians and Cleomenes to war.
Hdt. 5.73 The Athenians come to Sardis to speak to the Persians about becoming allies, -507 BCE. The reader sees the Achaemenids and their past members (current revoltees) being replaced as the active agents in the narrative. Herodotus now has the Athenians and Spartans (Hellenes) speaking for their own interests rather than being dominated by outside forces (Achaemenid or otherwise).
It was in the reign of Cleomenes that Aristagoras the tyrant of Miletus came to Sparta.
Hdt. 5.49 Aristagaros comes to Sparta to speak with Kleomenes to convince the Spartans to join in his revolt against Darius and the Achaemenids. He brings his famous world map as a prop and visual aid.
Coes, when the Mytilenaeans received him, was taken out and stoned
Hdt. 5.38 The Mytilenaeans - instigated by Aristagoras - seize and stone Coes/Koes (a representative of the Achaemenid Empire).
With all these fears in his mind, he began to plan revolt, for it chanced that at that very time there came from Susa Histiaeus' messenger
Hdt. 5.35 Histiaios sends a messenger to Aristagoras telling him to revolt against Darius (which nicely coincides with Aristagoras' desire to revolt against the Achaemenids since he can't pay back his loan form Artaphrenes and Darius).
The Naxians, then, made all preparations to face the onset of war. When their enemies had brought their ships over from Chios to Naxos, it was a fortified city that they attacked, and for four months they besieged it.
Hdt. 5.34 After approving his plan with Darius and Artaphrenes, Aristagoras sets out to attack Naxos. The Naxians surprisingly outlast the attacking Achaemenid forces, enduring a four month siege. The prolonged siege leaves Aristagoras bankrupt...
Artaphrenes sent a messenger to Susa with the news of what Aristagoras said, and when Darius himself too had consented to the plan, he equipped two hundred triremes
Hdt. 5.32 Darius grants 200 triremes to Aristagoras to lead his dastardly assault against Naxos.
Aristagoras came to Sardis and told Artaphrenes that Naxos was indeed an island of no great size, but that it was otherwise a beautiful and noble island lying near Ionia. Furthermore it had a store of wealth and slaves. “Therefore send an army against that country,” he said, “and bring back the men who have been banished from there.
Hdt. 5.31 After promising to help the Naxians re-gain control of their island, Aristagoras instead tells Artaphrenes (the governor of Sardis) to help him attack it and seize it's wealth. Artaphrenes agrees to attack Naxos provided that Darius approve the plan.
When the Naxians came to Miletus, they asked Aristagoras if he could give them enough power to return to their own country.
Hdt. 5.30 The Naxians approach Aristagoras (ruler of Miletus in leu of Histiaios) about securing their island [Naxos]. Aristagoras agrees to help them (but he's secretly scheming against the Naxian's interests).
This Otanes, then, who sat upon that seat, was now made successor to Megabazus in his governorship. He captured Byzantium, Calchedon, Antandrus in the Troad, and Lamponium, and with ships he had taken from the Lesbians, he took Lemnos and Imbros, both of which were still inhabited by Pelasgians.
Hdt. 5.25 Otanes follows Megabazos in the line of Darius' generals. He goes on a shopping spree of the Aegean islands capturing Byzantium, Calchedon, Antandrus, Lamponium, Lemnos, and Imbros. This extends Achaemenid control out of Asia and the Hellespont into the Aegean Sea, directly threatening mainland Greece.
This, then, is what Darius said, and after appointing Artaphrenes, his father's son, to be viceroy of Sardis
Hdt. 5.25 Darius appoints Artaphrenes to governorship of Sardis as he moves to Susa, 510 BCE. The moving of Darius' seat of power from Sardis to Susa sets of the chain reactions of rebellions which follow in the rest of book 5.
let nothing prevent you from coming to me so that I may inform you of certain great purposes which I have in mind.
Hdt. 5.24 Influenced by the advice of Megabazos, Darius recalls Histiaios to Sardis under the suspicion that Histiaios is plotting a rebelling - fortifying his principate as the seat of his tyranny. Instead of punishing Histiaios outright or letting him continue ruling in Myrcinus Darius makes him part of his personal council. Adhering to the old maxim: keep your friends close and your possibly-duplicitous-generals even closer.
This was the way in which they perished, they and all their retinue.
Hdt. 5.21 Alexandros, the son of Amyntas, punishes the Achaemenid messengers of Megabazos for their ill treatment of the Macedonian women. He has them killed and his duplicity is hidden from Darius. Nevertheless, the Macedonians are under the thumb of Darius.
The Persians who had been sent as envoys came to Amyntas and demanded earth and water for Darius the king. He readily gave to them what they asked and invited them to be his guests, preparing a dinner of great splendor and receiving them hospitably.
Hdt. 5.18 Amyntas of Macedon surrenders to the Achaemenid messengers peacefully knowing that the forces of Macedonia are no match for the huge armies of Darius.
Then Megabazus, having made the Paeonians captive, sent as messengers into Macedonia the seven Persians who (after himself) were the most honorable in his army. These were sent to Amyntas to demand earth and water for Darius the king.
Hdt. 5.17 Megabazos, a proxy for Darius and the Achaemenid Empire, sends messengers to the Macedonians demanding their supplication. The messengers converse with Amyntas of Macedon.
all who lived as far as the Prasiad lake were taken away from their homes and led into Asia.
Hdt. 5.15 The Paionians, attempting to defend themselves against the advancing Persians, are defeated due to local squabbles and all are routed and captured by the Achaemenid forces, led by Megabazos.
Then Darius wrote a letter to Megabazus, whom he had left as his general in Thrace, bidding him take the Paeonians from their houses, and bring them to him, men, women, and children.
Hdt. 5.14 Darius orders his general Megabazus to capture the Paeonians, furthering the Achaemenid incursion into the Hellespont.
Hdt. 5.11 Darius gifts the gift of governorships to two of his most loyal men, Histiaios/Histiaeus of Miletus and Coes/Koes of Mytilene. 512 BCE
Those Persians whom Darius had left in Europe under the command of Megabazus, finding the Perinthians unwilling to be Darius' subjects, subdued them before any others of the people of the Hellespont.
Hdt. 5.1 Megabazus, as a proxy of Darius and the Achaemenid Empire, subdues the Perinthians living near the Hellespont.
- Feb 2014
Tomyris filled a skin with human blood, and searched among the Persian dead for Cyrus' body; and when she found it, she pushed his head into the skin,
1.214 Queen Tomyris stuffs Cyrus head in a wineskin filled with blood.
. Tomyris, when Cyrus would not listen to her, collected all her forces and engaged him. This fight I judge to have been the fiercest ever fought by men that were not Greek;
1.214 The persian Army is destroyed and Cyrus is killed in a great battle with the Massagetai.
But Spargapises, the son of the queen Tomyris, after the wine wore off and he recognized his evil plight, asked Cyrus to be freed from his bonds; and this was granted him; but as soon as he was freed and had the use of his hands, he did away with himself.
1.213 Spargapises kills himself after Cyrus cuts his bonds.
When Tomyris heard what had happened to her army and her son, she sent a herald to Cyrus with this message:
1.212 Queen Tomyris asks Cyrus to return her son and leave the country.
Then the Persians attacked them, killing many and taking many more alive, among whom was the son of Tomyris the queen, Spargapises by name, the leader of the Massagetae.
1.211 Croesus' stratagem succeeds. the Persians destroy one third of the Massagetai force and capture Tomyris' son, Spargapises.
he told Tomyris to draw her army off, for he would cross (he said) and attack her;
1.208 Cyrus sends a message to Queen Tomyris after deciding to attack her within her own city. Bold move bro.
But Croesus the Lydian, who was present, was displeased by their advice and spoke against it.
1.207 Of all Cyrus' generals and advisors Croesus speaks out against the agreed upon plan of 1.206 He instead advises Cyrus to cross the Araxes River and seek battle in the enemy territory.
Cyrus called together the leading Persians and laid the matter before them, asking them to advise him which he should do. They all spoke to the same end, urging him to let Tomyris and her army enter his country.
1.206 Cyrus consults his generals and other leading men about Queen Tomyris' response to his marriage proposal.
Tomyris sent a herald to him with this message: “O king of the Medes, stop hurrying on what you are hurrying on, for you cannot know whether the completion of this work will be for your advantage.
1.206 Queen Tomyris responds to Cyrus' marriage proposal. It's a no. She thinks her troops can defeat Cyrus' in battle and save her city without loosing power over her holding to a political alliance.
Cyrus sent a message with a pretence of wanting her for his wife,
1.205 Cyrus sends a marriage proposal to Queen Tomyris of the Massegetai in order to capture her holdings through political alliance rather than through battle. Tomyris is not feeling it though.
When Cyrus had conquered this nation, too, he wanted to subject the Massagetae.
1.201 After concurring the Babylonians Cyrus turns his attention to the Massegetai, determined to add them to his growing Achaemenid Empire.
But as it was, the Persians took them unawares, and because of the great size of the city (those who dwell there say) those in the outer parts of it were overcome, but the inhabitants of the middle part knew nothing of it;
1.191 Cyrus and the Persian army attack Babylon by lowering the level of the Euphrates and takes the city by surprise.
Cyrus, then, marched against Nitocris' son, who inherited the name of his father Labynetus and the sovereignty of Assyria.
1.188 Cyrus attacks Nitokris' son Labynetos of Babylon as part of his conquest of Assyria.
When Cyrus had made all the mainland submit to him, he attacked the Assyrians.
1.178 Cyrus decides to attack Babylon and all of Assyria. This passage marks the end of Harpagos's conquering of Asia Minor (all of which has now come under the power of the Achaemenids).
These were the only men near Caria who held out for long against Harpagus,
1.175 The Pedaseans are the only one among the Carians to hold out against Harpagos for an extended period of time. Herodotus demarcates them from the rest of the subjugated peoples of Asia Minor.
nor any Greeks who dwell in this country did any thing notable before they were all enslaved by Harpagus. Among those who inhabit it are certain Cnidians, colonists from Lacedaemon.
1.174 In Harpagos's conquest of Ionia and Aeolia for the Achaemenid Empire, he engaged the Lacedaemonian settlers in Triopion and conquered them without too much trouble.
1.171 Harpagos goes on a veritable shopping spree of acquisitions for the Achaemenid Empire, including the Lycian in the region of Lycia in Asia Minor.
1.171 Harpagos goes on a veritable shopping spree of acquisitions for the Achaemenid Empire, including the Carians in the region of Caria in Asia Minor.
1.171 Harpagos goes on a veritable shopping spree of acquisitions for the Achaemenid Empire, including the Caunuans in the city of Caunus .
The rest of the Ionians, except the Milesians, though they faced Harpagus in battle as did the exiles, and conducted themselves well, each fighting for his own country, yet, when they were defeated and their cities taken,
1.169 The Ionian islands and the rest of Ionian are conquered by Harpagos and Cyrus for the growing Achaemenid Empire.
The Teians did the same things as the Phocaeans: when Harpagus had taken their walled city by building an earthwork, they all embarked aboard ship and sailed away for Thrace.
1.168 The Teians of the island Teos pull the same disappearing act the Phocaeans pulled in 1.164, escaping the siege of Harpagos and the Persian Army by abandoning the city to the Achaemenid general.
So when Harpagus withdrew his army from the walls, the Phocaeans launched their fifty-oared ships
1.164 The Phocaeans escape from Harpagos and the Persian Army as the siege lines retreat.
But the Phocaeans, very indignant at the thought of slavery, said they wanted to deliberate for a day, and then they would answer;
1.162 In response to Harpagos's terms of surrender, the Phocaeans send back terms of their own terms, requesting time to deliberate.
Harpagus marched against the city and besieged it, but he made overtures, and said that it would suffice him if the Phocaeans would demolish one rampart of the wall and dedicate one house.
1.164 Before the siege can really get underway, Harpagos preemptively allows the Phocaeans to surrender.
Phocaea was the first Ionian town that he attacked.
1.163 Harpagos, a general and representative of the Achaemenids, begins his conquest of Ionia in the name of Cyrus. His conquest starts at Phocaea and captures the city with a siege.
at length the Lydians were routed and driven within their city wall, where they were besieged by the Persians.
1.80 After the battle, the defeated Medes retreat and the Persian Army lays siege to the city of Sardis.
when Cyrus arrived and encamped face to face with Croesus, there in the Pterian country the armies had a trial of strength. The fighting was fierce, many on both sides fell, and at nightfall they disengaged with neither side victorious.
1.76 The forces of Cyrus and Croesus engage in battle near Pteria , Cappadocia. Neither side is victorious but there were huge losses on each side.
Persuade the Persians to rebel, and lead their army against the Medes;
1.124 Harpagos sends a secret message to Cyrus encouraging him to rebel against Astyages.
Leading these out, and engaging the Persians, he was beaten:
1.128 Another battle ensues and Astyages is defeated once again by Cyrus. This time he is taken prisoner by Cyrus and loses his army.
As soon as Astyages heard, he sent a threatening message to Cyrus: “Nevertheless, Cyrus shall not rejoice”
1.128 In his defeat, sour-grapes Astyages sends another message to Cyrus
So when the Medes marched out and engaged with the Persians,
1.127 A battle between the forces of Astyages and Cyrus occurs
Cyrus told the messenger to take back word that Astyages would see him sooner than he liked.
1.127 Cyrus gives a sassy response to Astyages that he will meet the Medes on the field of battle.
But when Astyages heard that Cyrus was about this business, he sent a messenger to summon him;
1.127 Astyages sends a messenger to Cyrus before the start of fighting.
The Chians, then, surrendered Pactyes
1.161 The Chians of the island Chios surrender Pactyes to Mazares thus ending this vignette of rebellion within the Achaemenid Dynasty.
Then Mazares sent a message to Mytilene demanding the surrender of Pactyes, and the Mytilenaeans prepared to give him, for a price;
1.160 Pactyes is finally traded back to his Achaemenid pursuers.
they sent Pactyes away to Mytilene
Pactyes is shuffled between cities and islands. He is sent to Mytilene who will eventually barter him to new captors. Mazares still wants him back to answer for his crimes and rebellion against Cyrus.
“Yes, I do command them, so that you may perish all the sooner for your impiety, and never again come to inquire of my oracle about giving up those that seek refuge with you.”
1.159 Aristodikos the Cymean re-asks the Oracle at Branchidai about Pactyes and receives a direct response the god. This direct contact with the divine is a rarity in Herodotus's histories. In the conversation between the god and Aristodikos, the god reprimands Aristodikos for questioning the divine in a "how dare you even ask that question" fashion.
The men of Cyme, then, sent to Branchidae to inquire of the shrine what they should do in the matter of Pactyes that would be most pleasing to the gods; and the oracle replied that they must surrender Pactyes to the Persians.
1.158 the Cymeans consult the oracle at Branchidae before they decide whether or not to give up Pactyes, their prisoner and suppliant, back to Mazares and the Achaemenids.
he sent messengers to Cyme demanding that Pactyes be surrendered.
Mazares sends a message to the Cymeans to negotiate the return of Pactyes the rabble-rouser.
But Pactyes, learning that an army sent against him was approaching, was frightened and fled to Cyme.
1.157 Pactyes escapes to Cyme in order to avoid the wrath of Cyrus and the approaching Persian army. This vignette of conflict within the Achaemenids/Persians is still a long way from its conclusion.
So Cyrus uttered his thought; but Croesus feared that he would destroy Sardis, and answered him thus:
1.155 Cyrus consults Croesus on what he should do about the rebellion of Pactyes. Croesus gives a respectable and helpful answer but is still seen as looking after the well-being of his former dominion: Sardis. He doesn't want to see the city sacked.
Pactyes made the Lydians revolt from Tabalus and Cyrus
1.154 Division within the Persians. Pactyes revolts against Cyrus, taking over the treasury of Sardis and leading a rebellion.
These, after coming to Phocaea, sent Lacrines, who was the most esteemed among them, to Sardis, to repeat there to Cyrus a proclamation of the Lacedaemonians,
1.152 The Lacedaemonians send a herald to Cyrus to give an order/ultimatum that no Greek cities be harmed or destroyed in conquest. Cyrus responds to this missive with confusion (and some derision) as he has no idea who the Spartans are.
all except the Milesians, with whom alone Cyrus made a treaty on the same terms as that which they had with the Lydians.
1.141 Herodotus singles out the relationship Cyrus establishes with the Milesians (distinct from the one formed with the Ionians and Aeolians). It is one definitively more favorable terms having been previously set down in a treaty rather than bartered for.
the Ionians and Aeolians sent messengers to Cyrus, offering to be his subjects on the same terms as those which they had under Croesus.
1.141 The Ionians and Aeolians attempt to make a defensive alliance with Cyrus and his Persians (in order to avoid destruction and plundering). They seek the same favorable terms they had under Croesus. Cyrus sees this as presumptuous, when neither of these nations came to his aid and now expected favors from him.
The chief tribe is that of the Pasargadae; to them belongs the clan of the Achaemenidae, the royal house of Persia.
1.125 This is the first mention of the "Achaemenid Empire" in Herodotus. It is referenced as the chief tribe among the Persians and the house to which Cyrus himself belongs. This mentions comes after the back story of the birth, abandonment, then ascendancy of Cyrus, and his victory over his estranged father Astyages.
. “Since the gods have made me your slave,” replied the Lydian, “it is right that if I have any further insight I should point it out to you.
1.88 Cyrus makes Croesus his royal advisor, consulting him on points of conquest and statecraft. Croesus, as a conquered royal, doesn't seem to resent this lower position. Herodotus portrays him as placid and serviceable in his new vocation: living to serve the rule of Cyrus as he takes over the former Median kingdom and its neighbors.
He ordered that the blazing fire be extinguished as quickly as possible, and that Croesus and those with him be taken down, but despite their efforts they could not master the fire.
1.86 Cyrus redacts his orders to burn Croesus on a pyre. Whether he does this to be in good standing with the gods or through some realization of humanity is up for debate (according to Herodotus).
e. The Persians took him and brought him to Cyrus, who erected a pyre and mounted Croesus atop it, bound in chains
1.86 Croesus is captured after the siege is broken and taken to Cyrus to be sacrificed. All this in fulfillment of prophecy.
So then they were besieged.
The Persian army lays siege to Sardis, the capitol and last foothold of Croesus and the Medes. In the culmination of this siege, Croesus's forces will be overcome and the monarch himself will be captured by his enemies, fulfilling the prophecy from 1.13 and reiterated in 1.53.
So when battle was joined, as soon as the horses smelled and saw the camels they turned to flight, and all Croesus' hope was lost.
1.80.5 Cyrus scores a definitive victory over the forces of Croesus, employing camel cavalry corps. This is the beginning of the end for Croesus who begins grasping at strings and looking for allies to help him defeat the Persians.
After this time, the destruction by Cyrus son of Cambyses of the sovereignty of Astyages son of Cyaxares, and the growth of the power of the Persians, distracted Croesus from his mourning;
1.46 This is the first mention on Cyrus in Herodotus. Cyrus's conflict against Croesus and the subsequent spread of his empire become the subject of the rest of book 1.
- Oracle at Branchidai