Histiaeus (Ancient Greek : Ἱστιαῖος, died 493 BC), the son of Lysagoras, was a Greek ruler of Miletus in the late 6th century BC. Histiaeus was a Tyrant under Darius I, king of Persia, who had subjugated Miletus and the other Ionian states in Asia Minor, and was in the habit of appointing Greek tyrants to rule the Greek cities of Ionia in his territory.
According to Herodotus,Histiaeus, along with the other Chiefs/Tyrants under Darius' rule, took part in the Persian expedition against the Scythians, and was put in charge of defending the bridge that Darius' troops had placed across the Danube River. The Scythians attempted to persuade Histiaeus and the others to abandon the bridge; one faction, led by Miltiades of Athens, at that time tyrant of the Chersonese, wanted to follow the Scythians' advice. However, Histiaeus argued that they should stay, as they owed their positions as tyrants to Darius and would surely be overthrown if he were killed.
Instead, according to Herodotus, Histiaeus suggested that they pretend to follow the Scythian plan. So Histiaeus was sent as an ambassador to the Scythians to tell them that the tyrants would accept the Scythian plan, while the rest of the tyrants acted as if they were demolishing the bridge. Histiaeus persuaded the Scythians to look for the Persian forces.
Herodotus writes that while the Scythians were away, the Persians returned to the Danube and Histiaeus organized the ships to successfully ferry them across the river.
During the expedition, Histiaeus' troops had started building a settlement at Myrcinus (site of the later Amphipolis) on the Strymon River. After returning with Darius to Sardis, Darius asked Histiaeus what he wanted in return for his service. Histiaeus responded that he wanted to be given control over Myrcinus, to which Darius agreed.
However, the Persian commander Megabazus suspected Histiaeus' interest in the strategically important area, which controlled key roads from Persian controlled territory into Europe, as well as known sources of silver and timber. Nevertheless, Darius considered Histiaeus to be loyal, and asked him to come back to Susa with him as a friend and advisor. Histiaeus' nephew and son-in-law Aristagoras was left in control of Miletus.
However, according to Herodotus, Histiaeus was unhappy having to stay in Susa, and made plans to return to his position as King of Miletus by instigating a revolt in Ionia.In 499 BC, he shaved the head of his most trusted slave, tattooed a message on his head, and then waited for his hair to grow back. The slave was then sent to Aristagoras, who was instructed to shave the slave's head again and read the message, which told him to revolt against the Persians. Aristagoras, who was disliked by his own subjects after an expedition to Naxos ended in failure, followed Histiaeus' command, and with help from the Athenians and Eretrians, attacked and burned Sardis. When Darius learned of the revolt, he sent for Histiaeus, who pretended to have no knowledge of its origins, but asked to be sent back to Miletus to put down the revolt. Herodotus writes that Darius permitted him to leave.
On his way back, Histiaeus went to Sardis, where the satrap Artaphernes suspected Histiaeus' role in the revolt, forcing Histiaeus to flee to Chios. Histiaeus tried unsuccessfully to build a fleet while on Chios. He then returned to Miletus with the aim of becoming tyrant once more. However, the Miletians did not want a return to tyranny and exiled him to Lesbos. There, he gathered some ships and, according to Herodotus, began committing acts of piracy in the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea from a base in Byzantium.
Meanwhile, the Persians defeated the leaders of the Ionian revolt at the Battle of Lade in 494 BC. When Histiaeus learned of this he left Byzantium, and his troops attacked Chios, blockaded Thasos and then attempted to land on the mainland to attack the Persians. After joining a Greek force in battle against the Persians, he was captured by the Persian general, Harpagus in 493 BC. The satrap Artaphernes did not want to send him back to Susa, where he suspected that Darius would pardon him, so he executed him by impaling, and sent his head to Darius.According to Herodotus, Darius still did not believe Histiaeus was a traitor and gave his head an honourable burial.
|Tyrants of Miletus|
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars.
Darius I, commonly known as Darius the Great, was the third Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE. He ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, parts of the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans, most of the Black Sea coastal regions, Central Asia, as far as the Indus Valley in the far east and portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, and coastal Sudan.
This article concerns the period 499 BC – 490 BC.
Year 498 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Siculus and Flavus. The denomination 498 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 494 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Tricostus and Geminus. The denomination 494 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Hecataeus of Miletus, son of Hegesander, was an early Greek historian and geographer.
The Ionian Revolt, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several Greek regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule, lasting from 499 BC to 493 BC. At the heart of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants appointed by Persia to rule them, along with the individual actions of two Milesian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras. The cities of Ionia had been conquered by Persia around 540 BC, and thereafter were ruled by native tyrants, nominated by the Persian satrap in Sardis. In 499 BC, the tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, launched a joint expedition with the Persian satrap Artaphernes to conquer Naxos, in an attempt to bolster his position. The mission was a debacle, and sensing his imminent removal as tyrant, Aristagoras chose to incite the whole of Ionia into rebellion against the Persian king Darius the Great.
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to control the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.
Aristagoras, d. 497/496 BC, was the leader of the Ionian city of Miletus in the late 6th century BC and early 5th century BC and a key player during the early years of the Ionian Revolt against the Persian Achaemenid Empire. He was the son-in-law of Histiaeus, and inherited the tyranny of Miletus from him.
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Artaphernes, flourished circa 513–492 BC, was a brother of the Achaemenid king of Persia, Darius I, satrap of Lydia from the capital of Sardis, and a Persian general. In his position he had numerous contacts with the Greeks, and played an important role in suppressing the Ionian Revolt.
The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 430 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Greece, Western Asia and Northern Africa at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world.
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Ionia, known in Old Persian as Yauna (𐎹𐎢𐎴), was a region within the satrapy of Lydia, with its capital at Sardis, within the First Persian Empire. The first mention of the Yauna is at the Behistun inscription.
Artaphernes, son of Artaphernes, was the nephew of Darius the Great, and a general of the Achaemenid Empire. He was a Satrap of Lydia from 492 to after 480.
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Strattis of Chios was an ancient Greek tyrant who ruled the Aegean island of Chios during the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC.