Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Herodotus
Pages of Erato

Previous | Next


regarded as of lesser account, and to march straight on Miletus. Of
the naval states, Phoenicia showed the greatest zeal; but the fleet
was composed likewise of the Cyprians (who had so lately been
brought under), the Cilicians, and also the Egyptians.
While the Persians were thus making preparations against Miletus
and Ionia, the Ionians, informed of their intent, sent their
deputies to the Panionium, and held a council upon the posture of
their affairs. Hereat it was determined that no land force should be
collected to oppose the Persians, but that the Milesians should be
left to defend their own walls as they could; at the same time they
agreed that the whole naval force of the states, not excepting a
single ship, should be equipped, and should muster at Lade, a small
island lying off Miletus- to give battle on behalf of the place.
Presently the Ionians began to assemble in their ships, and with
them came the Aeolians of Lesbos; and in this way they marshalled
their line:- The wing towards the east was formed of the Milesians
themselves, who furnished eighty ships; next to them came the
Prienians with twelve, and the Myusians with three ships; after the
Myusians were stationed the Teians, whose ships were seventeen; then
the Chians, who furnished a hundred. The Erythraeans and Phocaeans
followed, the former with eight, the latter with three ships; beyond
the Phocaeans were the Lesbians, furnishing seventy; last of all
came the Samians, forming the western wing, and furnishing sixty
vessels. The fleet amounted in all to three hundred and fifty-three
triremes. Such was the number on the Ionian side.
On the side of the barbarians the number of vessels was six
hundred. These assembled off the coast of Milesia, while the land army
collected upon the shore; but the leaders, learning the strength of
the Ionian fleet, began to fear lest they might fail to defeat them,
in which case, not having the mastery at sea, they would be unable
to reduce Miletus, and might in consequence receive rough treatment at
the hands of Darius. So when they thought of all these things, they
resolved on the following course:- Calling together the Ionian
tyrants, who had fled to the Medes for refuge when Aristagoras deposed
them from their governments, and who were now in camp, having joined
in the expedition against Miletus, the Persians addressed them thus:
"Men of Ionia, now is the fit time to show your zeal for the house
of the king. Use your best efforts, every one of you, to detach your
fellow-countrymen from the general body. Hold forth to them the
promise that, if they submit, no harm shall happen to them on
account of their rebellion; their temples shall not be burnt, nor
any of their private buildings; neither shall they be treated with
greater harshness than before the outbreak. But if they refuse to
yield, and determine to try the chance of a battle, threaten them with
the fate which shall assuredly overtake them in that case. Tell
them, when they are vanquished in fight, they shall be enslaved; their
boys shall be made eunuchs, and their maidens transported to Bactra;
while their country shall be delivered into the hands of foreigners."
Thus spake the Persians. The Ionian tyrants sent accordingly by
night to their respective citizens, and reported the words of the
Persians; but the people were all staunch, and refused to betray their
countrymen, those of each state thinking that they alone had had
made to them. Now these events happened on the first appearance of the
Persians before Miletus.
Afterwards, while the Ionian fleet was still assembled at Lade,
councils were held, and speeches made by divers persons- among the
rest by Dionysius, the Phocaean captain, who thus expressed
himself:- "Our affairs hang on the razor's edge, men of Ionia,
either to be free or to be slaves; and slaves, too, who have shown
themselves runaways. Now then you have to choose whether you will
endure hardships, and so for the present lead a life of toil, but
thereby gain ability to overcome your enemies and establish your own
freedom; or whether you will persist in this slothfulness and
disorder, in which case I see no hope of your escaping the king's

Previous | Next
Site Search