Battle of Lade - 494 B.C.
"War is the father of all and the king of all" Heraclitus.

The coastline of Ionia that had rebelled against the Persian king thought that they would easily defeat any armies the king could muster. But the Persian king had excellently organised a counter, and the coastline was by now being hit hard. With their allies, the Athenians retreating and Aristagoras the originator of the revolt fleeing the coastline. The Ionians would put up one last stiff reistance.

Artaphernes had recaptured many of the Ionian cities by 494, and was besieging Miletus from both land and sea. That year the Persian fleet met the Greek fleet off of Miletus' port of Lade. The Ionians joined with many of the islands of the Aegean Sea and had a force of 353 triremes, while the Persians had 600 ships. The Ionians were led by Dionysius of Phocaea, who, according to Herodotus, worked them so hard in preparation for the battle that for some time they refused to fight. As the battle began, many of the Ionian ships were still refusing to engage the Persians; upon realizing this, 49 ships from Samos left the line. This act caused the 70 ships from Lesbos to leave as well, and a chain reaction followed as other ships also withdrew. Dionysius' ships fled when they realized the battle was lost. The remaining Greek fleet was annihilated, and Miletus surrendered shortly thereafter.

Miletus was itself captured and sacked. The men were mostly killed, the women and children enslaved. The whole southern quarter of the city was wiped out.

Now Darius could say that the burning of Sardis had been avenged; yet this was no more than the prelude of things to come.

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'Histories' by Herodotus published by Wordsworth 1996


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