Aristogoras of Miletus

In 499 BCE, Aristagoras made a mistake that greatly changed historical past and led to western concepts being unfold throughout the world, a significant turning level in shaping the culture of future generations. It resulted in lots of wars and conquests however ultimately this error is why today delegates to the United Nations put on suits and ties instead of turbans.

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Aristagoras was the Persian governor of Miletus on the edge of the Persian Empire. The close by island of Naxos rebelled against the Persian Empire and Aristagoras seized the opportunity to take it back and get a promotion to a better place from the Persian emperor Darius I.

At the very least, even when it didn’t lead to advancement, he could add Naxos to his rising state and get money from the taxes on its citizens.

Since Naxos was an island, Aristagoras wanted a navy to conquer it so he received the assistance of Artaphernes, the governor of Lydia and Darius’ brother, to supply his navy to take Naxos in exchange for some of the plunder.

In addition, Artaphernes supplied Aristagoras along with his skilled and clever naval admiral, Megabates. Unfortunately, Aristagoras publically insulted Megabates leading him to warn the folks of Naxos of the impending invasion. The invasion failed as a result of the folks of Naxos had been ready and Aristagoras was defeated. The problem was that Aristagoras promised Artaphernes a portion of his booty and since he had none, Artaphernes would take revenge. At the very least Aristagoras could be exiled, but more than likely Artaphernes would kill him, simply inside his power since he was the brother of the king and had connections.

To save his skin, Aristagoras began a revolt in opposition to Persia and received some of his neighbors to assist him, similar to Athens and Ephesus. His military marched to Sardis, the capital of Lydia, and burnt it to the bottom whereas Artaphernes hid within the citadel. Darius I noticed what happened and rapidly defeated the entire rebels apart from the Athenians who escaped by ship.

Darius then launched the first of the Persian Wars which culminated on the Battle of Marathon, the place the Greeks easily defeated the Persians, ending the struggle. The second of the Persian Wars was launched by Darius’ son, Xerxes, which the Persians “won” after the battle of Thermopolis, however they later lost Greece in a insurrection. Greece survived and some hundred years later, the son of Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, unfold Western tradition in his huge conquests. “The world as we know today” is because of Aristagoras’ mistake that shaped the west (Fawcett 5).

Context of that World

The Mediterranean world in 499 BCE was very different from our own; the principle energy was the Persian Empire. Persia was a really giant empire consisting of twenty provinces known as satrapies which have been dominated by a governor, or satrap. The satrap was appointed by the king who at that time was Darius I. The satrap’s duties included taxing the people, performing as a choose, and making essential choices for the satrapy. The farther the satrapy was from the capital, the more autonomous it was because at that time the quickest communication was on horseback, which frequently took months to get from one part of the empire to a different. It also took many months to lift a military and march it to the farthest a half of the empire if a problem needed to be dealt with. As a end result, the satraps on the far reaches of the Persian Empire acted as kings of their own satrapies and could, generally, do as they happy, which describes Aristagoras and his satrapy Miletus.

While the rule of the totally different satraps diversified based on their location, they were all united with a uniform system of laws and judges. They shared abundant assets and order was maintained. They have been additionally all connected by a properly maintained and patrolled system of roads and cultural and technological trade was ongoing. This existed in sharp contrast to the Greeks, who were divided in lots of of different impartial entities, called polis, dominated by tyrants. Though certain collectively by language, faith, and lifestyle, they were a resource poor region. As a outcome, every polis was fiercely jealous of independence and suspicious of their neighbors, with frequent conflicts erupting. While, collectively, they occupied a big space, they weren’t a dominant world drive at that time. All this modified after Darius declared war, and the main polis came together and formed an alliance to counteract the Persian threat.

Although Greece continued as an independent assortment of city states after they defeated the Persians, they were finally brought together underneath the rule of Philip of Macedon. Expansion of the Greek Empire continued underneath the rule of his son Alexander the Great as the Greek lifestyle spread throughout a lot of the Mediterranean space and into southwest Asia, forming the foundation western culture.


  1. Abbott, E. A History of Greece, Part II: From the Ionian Revolt to the Thirty Years’ Peace 500-445 B.C. New York, Putnam, 1892.
  2. Although an old work, this guide will present a good synopsis of Greek history and the impression of Aristagoras’ actions on Greek historical past.
  3. Curtis, John E. and Nigel Tallis. Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia. Los Angelos: University of California Press, 2005.
  4. This useful resource offers an in-depth perspective of the entire history of the Persian Empire and the impression of Aristagoras. It also has a prolonged bibliography that can be utilized to search out further sources.
  5. Fawcett, Bill. a hundred Mistakes that Changed History. New York: Penguin Group, 2010.
  6. This guide supplies an excellent overview of Aristagoras’ rule of Miletus and the following rebellion that resulted within the war between the Persian Empire and the Greeks and how his actions changed history.
  7. Herodotus, The Histories, Revised. Trans. Aubrey de Salincourt. Ed. John M. Marincola. New York: Penguin Books, 2003.
  8. The only existing major source, this version additionally consists of editorial comments to aid in understanding of the textual content, a glossary, timetable, and index. An updated bibliography is also provided which can be used to find
    additional sources for further research.
  9. Holland, Tom. Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West. New York: Doubleday, 2006.
  10. A comparatively latest work, this book will present a extra updated viewpoint and accounting of historic occasions surrounding Aristagoras.
  11. How, W. and J. Wells. A Commentary on Herodotus, with Introduction and Appendices Volume 2 (Books V-IX). New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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