Naxos Expedition


The islands between Ionia (Asia minor) and Greece were left independent and were called the Cyclades. These islands were important trade routes and the largest and richest amongst them was Naxos.

 In 546BC – Cyrus of Persia had taken over all of these places crowning himself the king of kings. Higher taxes and tyrant rulers were imposed and this had created a lot of dissatisfaction with the people, which led to the revolt at Naxos. The people had drove away many of the nobles and aristocrats from the island in protest.

-These aristocrats then went to seek the help of Aristagoras, the tyrant ruler of Miletus, to gain control over Naxos once again. Aristagoras agreed to help thinking that if he got Naxos back, he would be able to annex it. However, he did not have the resources or the authority to conduct such an event by himself, therefore, he went to Artaphernes to ask for his help.


-          He seduced Artaphernes with the idea of an easy victory over Naxos, which could then be used to gain control over the other islands in the cyclades and then gain control over the Aegean.

-          Artaphernes agreed to help him saying that this would pose little threat to the Persians. Aristagoras was then provided with a fleet under the command of Megabates (one of Persia’s generals), they wanted to take over Naxos together. Aristagoras had hoped to lead the expedition himself and there was a certain amount of tension between them when Megabates was made in charge. This tension had been further heightened when Megabates wanted to punish one of the captains who had left a ship unattended, but Aristagoras on the other hand, let the guilty captain go.

-          Megabates was furious and to get back at him he sent a secret messenger to Naxos to warn them of the impending invasion.


When the invaders arrived, Naxos was prepared, the Persians were surprised when they arrived on the shores to find the Naxians ready to fight back. Four months after they had arrived,


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