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What does the Ionian revolt tell us of the nature of Persian imperial rule - Essay Example

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Ionian revolt is a rebellion of Greek cities in Ionia (Asia Minor) against Persian Empire, that was the beginning of Greek-Persian wars. The rebellion was caused by the dissatisfaction of the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea and Cyprus inhabitants with the Persian rule. …
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What does the Ionian revolt tell us of the nature of Persian imperial rule
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What does the Ionian revolt tell us of the nature of Persian imperial rule

Download file to see previous pages... At first sight, Ionian revolt was caused by the reasons, which can’t be called occasional. Ionian cities were first of all trade centers. The capture of Hellespont and Bosporus by Persians was fatal for the trade and the competition from the side of Phoenician merchants was becoming more and more threatening. Besides the economic damage, Ionian cities suffered from political pressure: in all the cities, ruled by Persians there were tyrants appointed. The failure of The Scythian Campaign of Darius disrupted the prestigious of his army. At last, the fewness of Persian troops located in the western part of Asia Minor made Greeks confident of the fast victory. The history of V century BC deserves special attention. It was an excellent example of how the mistakes in the organization can spoil the results. By the end of VI century Persia was the most important player on the arena of the Middle East. This country gained much power and influence during the government of Achaemenid dynasty. It conquered such powerful east-Mediterranean states as Midia, Lidia, Babylonia and Egypt. After the last Lidia’s ruler Kreza was defeated, Persians had conquered the Greek colonies that were located at the west coast of Asia Minor. Now it is the territory of the modern Turkey. Most of the colonies had been established by Ionians. Till this time people who lived there considered themselves to be Greek and were engaged in trade. They had to pay contribution to Lidia who controlled their land. In return Lidia provided Greek with autonomy and right to act without obstacles. Ionians has good relations with their strong neighbor. They were dependent, but had peaceful and satisfied life. However, everything changed when the Persian Empire took control over the lands. The situation changed for Greeks completely. They appeared under control of a very strong and strict conqueror, who dictated his own, unbeneficial rules. Thus, it seems rather understandable that Greeks refused to keep their previous status under new rule and this resulted in rebellion in the 499 BC that played a very important role in Greek history. It is not very easy to judge what happened in reality and what the main reasons for such rebellion were, because the only source of information is work of Herodotus “The History”. He was known as the father of history and at the same time as the father of stories, some of which are considered to be the product of his own imagination. So, the credibility of information found inhis work is pretty disputable. Herodotus was Greek, he was born in Halicarnassus. He was exiled from his native town and had to leave for Athens. There he worked on the description of the conflict between Greeks and Persians. Historian annals were not created during that period of time, thus Herodotus is deservingly considered to be the pioneer in this field and genre. The trouble is that in the most cases he did not care much about the credibility of facts and preferred to present his own opinion than the real facts. Moreover, he depicted history from the position of Greeks and also had prejudices towards Ionians. So his depiction of Ionian rebellion should be considered from a critical point of view. The rebellion failed. And in this case the actions of Herodotus were predictable. He tried to find a scapegoat. He did not reveal the real reasons of defeat and the easiest way that he found was to accuse Aristagoras, the leader of Miletus, in failure. So it is very difficult to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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