Seige of Naxos - 499 B.C.

Aristagoras was looking after Miletus, a small city on the Ionian coast as their King Histiaeus was currently in Susa. Long standing friends who had just become exiles from Naxos spoke to him to ask for help. If they could reclaim Naxos they would willingly fall under the yoke of Darius and the Persian rule. (up until this time the Cyclades were free from Persian rule) The exiles had no money but would more than compensate if they got control of Naxos

This sounded very intriging to Aristagoras who likened the idea of being lord of Naxos. He organised the son of Histiaeus to go to Darius and ask for 100 ships saying that he would pay for the war. The message came back that he could have 200.

All seemed well with all on board and Megabates in command.

Things started to go sour when on their way to Naxos Aristagoras and Megabates didn't get on and the power struggle between them only fueled the fire. More problems arose when they landed on Naxos and everybody had fled behind the city walls ready for a seige when Aristagoras and the exiles were hoping for a surprise landing. Needless to say, the Naxians didn't greet them or the exiles with open arms

After four months of siege warfare the Persian supplies began to run out, they hadn't planned on this. Now the situation began to hit Aristagoras, the expedition had failed, they returned unseccessful.

NEXT PAGE: The trouble with Ionia


'Histories' by Herodotus published by Wordsworth 1996

'The Greco-Persian Wars' by Peter Green published by University of California Press 1998






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