Beautiful Africa

Persian invasion of Greece

Darius's European expedition was a major event in his reign, which began with the invasion of Thrace, after which he left Megabyzus to conquer Thrace, returning to Sardis to spend the winter. Before returning, Darius also conquered many cities of the northern Aegean, while Macedonia submitted voluntarily. The Greeks living in Asia Minor and some of the Greek islands had submitted to Persian rule by 510 BCE. Nonetheless, there were certain Greeks who were pro-Persian, such as the medizing Greeks, which were largely grouped at Athens. This improved Greek-Persian relations as Darius opened his court and treasuries to the Greeks who wanted to serve him. These Greeks served as soldiers, artisans, statesmen and mariners for Darius; however, Greek fear of the strength of Darius's kingdom became strong and the constant interference by the Greeks in Ionia and Lydia were all stepping stones in the conflict that was yet to come between Persia and Greece. When Aristagoras organized the Ionian revolt, Eretria and Athens supported him by sending ships and troops to Ionia and burning Sardis. Persian military and naval operations to quell the revolt ended in the Persian reoccupation of Ionian and Greek islands; however, anti-Persian parties gained more power in Athens, and pro-Persian aristocrats were exiled from Athens and Sparta. Darius responded by sending troops led by his son-in-law across the Hellespont; however, a violent storm and harassment by Thracians forced the troops to return to Persia. Seeking revenge on Athens and

retria, Darius assembled another army of 20,000 men under his Admiral, Datis who met success when he captured Eretria and advanced to Marathon. In 490 BCE, at the Battle of Marathon, the Persian army was defeated by a heavily armed Athenian army, with 9,000 men who were supported by 600 Plataeans, 1,000 soldiers from each of eleven Greek city-states (11,000 men in total) and 10,000 lightly armed soldiers led by Miltiades. The defeat at Marathon marked the end of the first Persian invasion of Greece. Darius began preparations for a second force which he would command, instead of his generals; however, before the preparations were complete, Darius died, thus leaving the task to his son Xerxes. Sardis or Sardes (Lydian: Sfard; Greek: ?, Sardeis; Persian: , Sard) was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005) in Turkey's Manisa Province. Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia,[1] one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by the author of the Book of Revelation in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Its importance was due, first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.